Saturday, November 30, 2013


Hey, I just blogged every single day for 30 days for the first time in MONTHS! Now... let's see if I can keep it up....

Had a great day today -- finished teaching the 4-week intermediate class at Stitches Yarn Shop here on Salt Spring. Great class, great students -- it was a lot of fun!

Michael met me after the class -- it was 'Light Up' day today in Ganges, and it had all happened before I finished my class, so we drove around and looked at the lights a bit. Christmas on Salt Spring is a pretty big deal around here! Santa comes by floatplane, for one thing... that happened at 1 pm today:

There's a chili competition going on in Ganges right now (we were cold and tired so we came home), kids' entertainment, et. ... and lots of other Christmas happenings. Fun!

Day off tomorrow ... I'm looking forward to doing some Christmas knitting, catching up on some paperwork, and not much else! :)

Over and out for November....  :)

Friday, November 29, 2013


I had a lovely birthday day today ...

It started when I woke up to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers on the table.
 And then Michael, who can't cook, cooked us 'breakfast' -- how cute is this?
I stayed in my jammies, knitting and drinking coffee, until almost 2 pm. Then I had to go into Ganges because today was the opening day for 'WinterCraft', the Salt Spring Arts Council's Christmas season Show and Sale ... and yours truly is one of the artisans in it, and I hadn't finished setting up my display and pricing yet! Didn't quite get done before the doors opened, but it worked out okay...
Wanna buy a lace shawl? Or a cowl? Or some Christmas doilies and 'mug rugs?' I got 'em.

Here's an overview of the whole show, which looked amazing ... my stuff is in that first aisle just to the left of the woman in the burgundy coat.
 This is Richard Steel, the manager/creative genius behind this whole shindig:
The show goes from now until Dec. 23rd, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, so if you're in the neighborhood, come check it out. :-)

Anyway, when I got finished at the hall, I got home in time to pick Michael up and we went to the Rock Salt for dinner. It's been a lovely day!

Tomorrow... my last intermediate knitting class. It'll be fun!

Thursday, November 28, 2013


I mentioned yesterday that I had to get my entry in today for the Eye For Color show the Guild will hold in the spring of 2014. Thursday is the regular Guild meeting, but I couldn't get there until it was almost over because of several other stops I had to make first. When I got there, a color workshop, facilitated by member Rosemary, was just ending.

This is Rosemary.... (wearing a sweater that she knit from yarn she spun and dyed, from a fleece she processed, in a pattern she designed herself, by the way)...
... and this is all that color they were working with, close up... :-)

I was sorry I missed it! But I did get my Eye for Color registration in on time, though. :-)

And then, after a Welcome Wagon visit way up a mountain here on the south end, I stopped for a few minutes at one of my favorite viewpoints. Only I couldn't see much because the fog was rolling in. But I got some great pictures ... great color, great light.

So it was a colorful day!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I was at the Fulford ferry at 7:15 this morning and watched the sun come up ... this is looking southeast out of the harbour toward Schwartz Bay where the ferry comes from.
 And speaking of ferries, the Skeena Queen appeared as I was watching.
And then I heard a noise below me on the dock...
Check out that rebel in the middle!

Made it into Victoria and, of course, after all my errands were done, and before time to go to the lunch I made time to do some knitting at Clover Point. When I left I took the long way around the harbour and I was sure glad I did... this massive BARGE was sitting at the cruise ship dock at Ogden Point. I don't think I've ever seen anything like it!
Oh, and lunch was lovely, too...

Tuesday, November 26, 2013


As a juried member of the Salt Spring Arts Council, I am now invited to participate in the annual winter Art Show and Sale ... opening this Friday and happening daily until Dec. 23rd. Today was set-up day at the hall, and I wasn't actually ready .... so I was relieved when I arrived to find that they weren't sure where they were putting everyone yet, so they weren't ready either! That meant I got a reprieve ... until Thursday morning.

I just have a few little things left to do ... a couple of I-cord ties for some lacy little knitted gift bags, finishing up the descriptions/care instructions on all the tags, making sure everything is properly priced, etc. I will have several coaster ('mug rug') sets in Christmas laciness there, as well as some of my shawls, and several cowls. I lowered most of my prices since the summer show, and I'm excited to be part of this one! Here's one of the pieces I'll have at WinterCraft...
It's a circular tablecloth (or christening shawl?) in crochet cotton, knit on size 2.75 mm needles. It took a little while to knit. ;)

Tomorrow is the Welcome Wagon Christmas staff lunch in Victoria, so I won't have time to do any of that until tomorrow evening. I'll take along a couple of toques I've started for the ferry rides ... one has to get mailed away to our old buddy Mike, who has moved to Winnipeg, soon, if it's going to make it there before Christmas. The other is for the local Santas Anonymous Christmas dinner ... I'm hoping to create several little gifts for that event, and get some other local knitters to help, too.

And then Thursday is the deadline to get my application in to the Salt Spring Weavers and Spinners Guild (of which I'm a member) for their spring show at ArtSpring Theatre called 'Eye for Color.'  I'm *really* excited about this project .... each Guild member partners with any other artist in the community (many choose painters, but the other artist can be a photographer, a painter, a graphic artist, or whatever), picks a theme, and then collaborates within their respective skills to produce two coordinating pieces. As you can see if you clicked on that link, the results are amazing!

I'll be partnering with a very talented local young photographer by the name of Billie Woods (who is also a knitter, that's how we met) - and if you click on that link, that's her voice singing as well. She's in Europe doing some singing gigs and taking pictures as we speak... so I wouldn't be surprised if our theme will be 'architecture' or something like that. :-)

Then on Friday, apparently our children have invited us to Victoria again for  dinner (because apparently it's my birthday) - fun! :)

Monday, November 25, 2013


People sometimes ask me why I don't post more about being a liveaboard .... about life on a boat. Well, the answer generally is that, most days, my life doesn't look much different than yours -- even though I live it afloat.

But some things really are different when you live aboard, and I became painfully aware of one of those differences over the last few days while it's been cold outside.

You see, we don't have the same electrical power that you have in a house. From my limited understanding of the difference, I'll try to explain.... 

There are 15 amps in a standard '110 volt' outlet -- the kind that you all have a few dozen of in your homes. And you could plug something in to every single outlet in your house and be using all that electricity ... and probably never blow a breaker.

Here on our boat .... and in many marinas ... we have a total of 30 amps of power available to us at any time. Period.

Your average coffee pot, while perking, uses 6 - 9 amps. An electric heater of any sort generally uses about 13. A hot water tank uses about 15 amps. A TV and satellite system and computer and printer and cordless phone and fridge and a lamp to see them all with will use a total of about 15 amps.

Can you see how this could be a problem?

Right. In the summer, 30 amps is plenty of power for us ... we don't have heat on (and neither does any other boat in the marina), and our hot water tank is a 'mini' version so it only uses about 7 amps or so. So we can run our 'house' and never blow a breaker.

This time of year, however, we need heat ... and the other boats here, even though no one else lives aboard, still often have a little heater on board to stave off mildew. And we don't *each* have 30 amps; I'm not exactly sure how many amps we all have, but I do know that sometimes if I turn on the coffee pot at the moment that someone else's heater kicks in, the breaker to the whole dock blows.

And Michael then gets up from his recliner, puts his boots on, goes up the dock to the driveway, and flips the breaker.

But never mind the other boats. Just on this one, we sometimes have to 'juggle' our power requirements if we don't want to blow the breaker. Especially when it's cold enough that we'd like to have a heater on ... in the aft cabin (that would be our bedroom), for example, while we have the woodstove warming up the salon (that's the living-room, in boat talk).

So we do this dance, almost daily, in the winter months. Want to make coffee? Turn off the hot water heater for that 10 minutes (and don't forget to turn it back on so you have hot water for your shower in half an hour). Need to use the hair blower? Better turn off the heater for a few minutes so I can dry my hair.

Get the picture? Mostly, it's an accepted disadvantage of daily live-aboard life. But sometimes it's just really annoying!  

I did knit a hat today...
... so I'm happy about that!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

I've had a *delicious* day -- and it had nothing to do with food(well, almost nothing)!

First of all, I didn't have anything I 'had' to do. So I could stay in my jammies all day ... and I did just that.

There was a heavy frost outside at daylight, and it stayed cold all day. So I started a little fire in the woodstove and kept it toasty warm in here the whole day.

(No I don't have a Christmas tree up yet ... that's an old photo).

Michael went in to Ganges to run some errands, so I had my home to myself for several hours. 

I got some carrots, onions and potatoes prepared, and put a pot roast in the oven .... more warmth without turning on the electric heat.

I did some dishes, tidied up a bit, made a few phone calls. Played mindless games on the computer ... for almost an hour.

Between ferries, Fulford is sooooooooooo quiet; I love it, and today I literally 'absorbed' the quiet all day. Sometimes I find a radio station on my computer to listen to while I work -- but not today. Just silence.

Then I soaked and blocked some knitting -- a few lace doilies that will be for sale at ArtCraft by the end of the week, and the christening shawl I knit several weeks ago (pictures tomorrow). I stopped to look outside at the world around me several times ... beautiful blue sky, flat calm, lots of wintering birds around chasing minnow. Lovely! 

And I knit. Cast on a toque this morning in a tweedy gray alpaca ... and I've almost finished it now.

Michael came home ... and went almost immediately for his daily nap. More quiet.... :)

It's now 7 pm., and dinner is ready. It's been a 'delicious' day! :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013


This morning as I was getting out of the boat to go teach my knitting class, I heard an unmistable sound in the air above me...
This eagle was talking to one on a branch a little further along the shoreline - and I had time to get my camera out of my bag while balancing on our rocking 'porch', at the time, and get the photo, before they both flew away.

Then I got to the yarn store to teach the class, and when I walked into the classroom this is what I saw...
The piece was called 'Ode to Cedar,' and guess what? It's made from THREAD. Not even YARN, just thread. Unbelievable! (Remember that you can click on the pic to make it bigger to see more detail). 

Then we got back to the marina just about dusk... and this was the scene in the sky above me. . . 

It doesn't get much better than this. I love my life!


Friday, November 22, 2013


I'm almost always up by 5 a.m. That's my quiet knitting time, and I love it - the phone doesn't ring, no one will come to the door, there are no boats moving around in the harbour and the ferry hasn't fired up for the day yet. And Michael always sleeps until at least 8 a.m.

Of course, these days it's not light out until at least 7 a.m. - which is when I put the knitting down for a break, open the curtains and have a look out at the day. The thermometre has dipped below zero (but only just) the last few nights, so it's been cold out there. This is what it looked like in Fulford Harbour when I opened the curtains this morning...

Doesn't that look cold to you?

And then I looked out another window...
... and there was a mist about a foot high on the water. Out another window...
... these are some old abandoned boathouses in the corner of the bay ... and the same mist. 

Then I noticed it was moving. Within 10 minutes it had all dissipated completely, and we had amazing blue sky all day. 

It was still cold, though! 

Thursday, November 21, 2013


I've been knitting.  :-)

This is a test knit cowl and I used some old hand-spun for it; it's lovely, and it'll be a Christmas present for someone!

This is another test knit, a 'shawlette' and I haven't even blocked it yet, but it's black, and it has beads, and I may have to keep it for myself. ;-)

And yes, I have spindle spun.

Both of my spindles came home with some actual spun fibre on them the other night. Not *well* spun, but spun. It's fun.... just not sure if I'll pursue this, because it may take me til I'm 79 to be able to spin laceweight yarn, which is pretty much all I use anymore!

Still working on the baby blanket.... more tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Yesterday there was an online post from someone in Ganges who was downsizing, with a list of several items for sale. "Ceramic and wool sheep, $10" caught my eye, so I went to the address to check them out.

They were adorable ... and they followed me home:
But while I was in town I was playing with the settings on my camera -- I got a new Canon not long ago, and I haven't taken many pictures in the dark with it yet, but that was one of the frustrations with my old camera -- they never turned out very good. So ... in a pitch black parking lot, with a little sliver of moon coming out from behind a cloud, and no flash, I got this:
... and I'm *really* happy about that!

This morning, after a very windy night, I looked out our window to see this cruiser, tucked right up against the shore. It's November, and someone's out there cruising! This boat wasn't there at dark last night, so the dude might have just not wanted to go any further in that wind. Almost as soon as I spotted it, the anchor was up and the boat was motoring out of the harbour!

Knitting at Rock Salt manana... and I sure hope I'll get finished the current cowl test knit so I can get back to the baby blanket!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Told ya!

Yesterday when I was walking home from the Rock Salt restaurant, I spotted these huge mushrooms in the ditch on the side of the road. The two in this photo measured about 8" across.
 But ... even cuter .... was all their babies, nearby:

That's it, that's all I've got today.  :) I've had a day in my jammies catching up on paperwork and phone calls... and now I'm on  my way out the door to a spindle spinning lesson -- I'm excited! (And yes, I got dressed ....)

Monday, November 18, 2013


This evening my Welcome Wagon assistant, Jenny, and I participated in a local home-based business show held at Mahon Hall. The usual suspects were there ... Tupperware, PartyLite, Watsons, etc., but there were also several businesses that I wasn't familiar with, so that was an interesting experience. We were there mostly to introduce Welcome Wagon to those businesses, and we definitely made some good contacts and potential sponsors, so that was good, too.

Just before the doors opened to the public... 
 My assistant Jenny....
On the other hand, the (public) turnout wasn't so great, so the time went really slowly. To top it off, the organizers left both doors to the hall wide open the entire time (I'm guessing that was for the purpose of letting anyone driving by that there was something going on in the hall), and it was pouring rain and miserable outside -- so the end result, for me, is that I'm frozen to the bone now! I've been home for half an hour and still feel like I'm unthawing. NOT fun. Oh, well, at least I *will* get warm now.

Tomorrow ... I have mushrooms to show you. Can you hardly wait? ;-)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Every fall, when cruising season is over, Michael pulls 'old faithful' (our 13' Achilles inflatable) up out of the water, and scrubs it tip-to-toe (including the underside, which is always heavily laden with mussels and other marine growth), repairs anything that needs repairing, and then deflates it - which allows him to remove the floorboards and make repairs or replace them. Then he services the outboard engine.We have two outboards which we have used sort of 'interchangeably' over the 15 years we've had this boat: a 9.9 hp and a 20 hp. The 9.9 is sufficient and doesn't burn as much fuel, of course, but ho-boy, can we ever move with the 20 hp! Eventually, it all gets put back together and re-inflated and it's ready for another cruising season. This is what it looks like after a season of 'wear and tear', lots of use and oxidization, etc. -- you can see that the hypalon is faded, and dull and 'flat' looking:

This year, he got it hauled out and cleaned, but we have to order some parts for the 9.9 engine and do some repairs to it, which may take awhile and we didn't want to leave it out of the water for too long - so it's re-floating without the engine for now.

Let me digress and tell you a little story that you'll get a chuckle out of. One evening during the first week after we bought the Wind Walker and this inflatable, 15 years ago, we quit working on it early one evening, and motored out of our little marina into Deep Bay (on Vancouver Island, north of Qualicum Beach). Michael opened up the throttle, and we spent probably half an hour going in circles at full speed, 'surfing' our wake, yee-hawing at the top of our lungs and just generally having a total blast making complete idiots of ourselves -- until I yelled 'if only our kids could see us now!' We both realized in that moment that those kids would probably be absolutely mortified, actually, if they could have seen us then. That made us laugh even harder, of course.

We've had a lot of fun in that dinghy in the 15 years since, but nothing has ever compared to that first little adventure, and we still laugh when we think about it. These things are supposed to have a 10-year life, and ours has never been under cover or serviced regularly or anything like that, yet at over 16  years old, she's still like the old favorite pair of blue jeans to us. Anyway, this is what she looks like today, back in the water, sans engine for now.
Cleans up nice, doesn't she? :)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

We're having a fun day with Gibson ... Michael ran some errands and then took him to the skateboard park while I was teaching my knitting class, but I forgot to give him my camera.

Now we're just having a quiet evening at home .... that's all we're capable of after a day with a 7-year-old! :)

I finished my latest shawlette ... and it was too dark to get a decent picture because it's black. It's called the Ocean Moon shawl, and I love it - here's a picture from the pattern website. Mine is the narrower version...

I took several of my shawls, scarves and cowls to a women's clothing shop in Ganges that's having a big open house and sale tomorrow -- extra money for Christmas if anything sells!