Wednesday, December 31, 2008


You're thinking.... 'What on earth is a zinc?' Well, I have only a limited understanding of how they work, so go here and read the bit on the right about 'sacrificial anodes' first.

Right. So we have an old wooden boat, and it has zincs on the hull and on the prop shafts. Every two years when we haul out (a boat owner's nightmare I'll tell you about another time...), we replace the zincs -- more often if they're really bad, and if we can get a diver between haul-outs.

But we didn't haul out this year (or find a diver), and it may be late spring of '09 before we do -- so when we heard that another boater here was hiring a diver, we thought we better get the zincs replaced.

So diver Chris turned up today, of all days, donned his dry suit, and jumped into the December-31st-west-coast-Pacific-Ocean-water without hesitating, and replaced the two main zincs .... which, it turned out, were about 80% used up, so 'none too soon,' as the saying goes.

(That's Michael holding up one of the new zinc bars there...)

Meanwhile, we put Joshua on the train this morning for up-Island, and Hailey went back to Whistler yesterday. I can put the decorations away now, and be done with Holiday Season '08! We don't do New Year's Eve, but Mischa and Jeff may go out to some friends this evening for a bit, so Michael will go crash on their couch to babysit the boys if they do -- and I'll be here, fireplace roaring, knitting in hand. I can't think of a better way to end one year and bring in a new one! The baby blanket is almost 50% done already. And I couldn't let the year end without casting on a new pair of socks -- for me, this time -- with some Regia sock yarn, the very first sock yarn I ever bought, almost two years ago. Pics tomorrow!

Have a safe New Year's Eve, and Happy New Year to you all!

Monday, December 29, 2008


I love the Christmas season .... everything about it. Family, food, fun, festivities -- I think it's all magical, every year, no matter what happens or doesn't; whether we have much money, or not; whether we have rain, or snow or sunshine. I really just think it's a wonderful time of year! It's fun to be around children, it's fun to be part of the 'hustle and bustle' of it all (but not for long), it's fun to eat all the treats, it's fun to hang out with family and not be watching the clock.

I love Christmas ... and I also love it when it's over. You can feel it in the air, I swear. Yesterday Michael and I got lattes and drove down to Clover Point for awhile in the afternoon -- and yes, it was Sunday, and yes, it's warmed up substantially here -- but there was something else, too. EVERYONE was out strolling along the waterfront -- not walking, but strolling -- walking their dogs, playing with their kids ... and looking MELLOW. It was lovely.

Maybe it's just my imagination. Maybe they're all just brain-dead from the demands of the season, or hung over, or ...? I just know that I always feel a bit 'carefree' between Christmas and New Year's, and I enjoy it, and I think others might, too.

My son took all the best Christmas pics so you'll need to wait for those -- but I got a new camera! It's a Sony Cyber-Shot, and it's going to take me awhile to figure it out, but I love it. Thanks, Santa! :-)

Meanwhile, here's the last of the pics from the old one... first of all, everyone's socks fit, and were appreciated!

From the left, clock-wise: daughter Hailey's purple variegated, grandson River's black-with-gray-heels-and-toes, sister Julie's Noro Silk Garden, son Jason's gray Paton's Kroy, daughter Mischa's 'desert' camoflage, and grandson Gibson's 'forest' camoflage. Missing is son-in-law Jeff, who'd gone off for a Boxing Day afternoon nap with his gray (Paton's Kroy) socks on, and hubby Michael, who doesn't want any more socks!

I also finished the mittens to go with the scarf I knit Hailey this fall ...

First mittens I've ever knit! They are a little wonky -- too big here, too small there -- but cute, and I learned a lot, and I'll knit more.

I also finished a touque for our 'old salt' Galiano Island friend Mike -- and then forgot to get a pic of him IN it.

This was knit from the left-over camoflage sock yarn and some black mohair I had in my stash.

And I just found out that an old family friend (well, actually she's young!) is having a spring baby, so I've gotten started on a baby blanket...

It's a 2" seed stitch border with 'panes' of stocking stitch, and the yarn is Diamond Yarn's Superwash Merino, and I'm really enjoying knitting it.

More holiday pics tomorrow...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


There's a bajillion of them on the ground still, and more predicted for today, but I'm getting a little tired of them, personally. (I may be a bit cranky today -- in addition to this chest cold that won't go away, and my weird sleeping habits that won't go away, I woke up this morning with a weird kink in my back that won't go away!)I far prefer this kind of snowflake:

This came in a Christmas card from my friend Grace and I love it! I don't know if it's knit or crocheted (and I asked her and she didn't answer me....I'm hoping she'll leave a comment, hint, hint) but it's a beauty. We didn't put up our stupid little fake tree this year, so the snowflake is hanging on Michael's Norfolk pine -- which I may decorate fully now.

I'm about a quarter finished the final pair of Christmas socks -- I'll have no problem getting done, done, done! Hailey is already on the bus home from Whistler and will arrive tonight, Julie comes on the train tomorrow, and Joshua on Boxing Day. I'm so looking forward to a great Christmas with everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I love this day -- 'the return of the light.'

Woke up to a winter wonderland this morning for the first day of winter! It snowed about 8" in the night here...

It slowed down long enough to get out and clear off the boat and shovel all the docks...

(That's River and Michael clowning around!)

Me? My job is to keep the fire going inside, stay warm and dry to get over this cold, and get the Christmas knitting done:

Oh! I almost forgot! When I delivered the very last of the hats to the Extreme Outreach Christmas party yesterday, this is what it looked like...

There's over 100 stockings here, and every one of them contained (or was tied with) a scarf or hat knit by Victoria-area community knitters.

They were about to serve dinner to approximately 300 people -- homeless and street people, and low income folks and single parents. And if more gifts were needed, there was plenty to go around ...

On behalf of Extreme Outreach, many thanks again to all the community knitters and crocheters for all your hard work!

Friday, December 19, 2008


About 3 weeks ago I let you know that I'd gotten a call from the Extreme Outreach Ministry here in Victoria, and that they needed 130 more hatsfor their Christmas hamper program. I thought it might be possible....

Well. You've emailed me, you've called me, you've mailed parcels from as far away as Ohio (!!) -- and this afternoon, an anonymous person dropped off a box of hats,etc., to the Knotty by Nature store, with ... over 50 hats!

I have delivered, as of now .... are you ready for this??

118 hats
31 scarves
3 pairs of slippers
2 sweaters and
2 pairs of mittens

... to the families served by Extreme Outreach. And that's in addition to the couple of hundred scarves and hats we'd already done earlier in the year!

THANK-YOU, thank you, thank you, knitters and crocheters, for making some stranger's Christmas a little warmer ... and from me, personally ... may every dream you have come true!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


We woke up this morning to another 3" of snow here, and the last dump hadn't melted yet -- this is so unusual for Victoria! We were at River's Tae-Kwon-Do belt ceremony (on the other side of town!) last night when the worst of it was coming down, so getting home created a few anxious moments, watching cars skid around all around us.

But the belt ceremony was worth it. We watched the kids warm up...

... and then receive their new belts...

... and show them off to each other!

But today I may not even get out of my jammies ... I have nowhere to go, and even if I did, I probably can't get the van up the hill out of the parking lot. It's 5:30 a.m. and I've already got the fire going and the coffee brewing, and so knitting will happen!

I finished the purple Kroys, and am almost ready to turn the heel on another (different) camoflage colorway pair of socks. Still a week to go and I only have two pairs of socks to knit .... I think I'll be successful with the Christmas knitting!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


This is what it looks like at my marina the last few days...

I woke up yesterday morning feeling crappy with this cold that's been lingering -- again -- and didn't improve much throughout the day.

Got Julie onto the train for up-Island, and Doneen flew back to Calgary last night. My camera took yet another lousy pic of the two of them (no, it's not the photographer, I swear....):

... but they ARE both wearing lovely knitted things from the needles of 'Auntie M,' as Doneen calls me.

After I took Julie to the train, I drove down to Clover Point just in time to see the sunrise over the Juan de Fuca, so that was lovely:

Worked at the store yesterday, but my heart wasn't in it much because I felt so crappy -- I'm really sick of this cold that won't go away.

So today I'm hanging out at home, finishing the purple variegated socks and hopefully starting another pair of Noros -- it's eight days until Christmas, and I have two more pairs of socks to knit, still. Hmmmmmm......

Sunday, December 14, 2008


This is what it looks like in my little corner of the world this morning.

But my sister got here on the train before it hit (although the train passed through some of the early storm about half-way here), and Hailey arrived from Whistler before it hit, AND -- the part I couldn't say on my blog earlier because Julie reads it -- her daughter, my niece Doneen, also flew in from Calgary on Friday night, so we had a great surprise birthday celebration for my sister yesterday! We treated her to a day at the spaaaaaaahhhhh to celebrate her 60 years -- a back massage and facial in the morning, lunch, then a manicure and pedicure in the afternoon, then a hairstyle with my daughter Mischa, and then we had a 'girl's night out' dinner -- me and my daughters and Julie and her daughter. It was a great day ... and the snow started to fly as we got safely home from it all!

Hailey would like to get back to Vancouver this morning, but we'll have to see if the buses are even running.

Meanwhile, during a break in the festivities yesterday, I took myself down to Clover Point for some knitting, and watched this...

There were about 40 small boats out FISHING, and this sailboat trying to get in to the harbour.

Paton's Kroy purple variegated socks ready to start the heel flap...

Doneen and Julie will go Christmas shopping downtown today, and I'll be working at the store this afternoon!

Friday, December 12, 2008


How did that happen??

Well, I don't think I'll be winning the blog-a-day award for December, now, will I? It's been a busy few days here on the Wind Walker! I'm still trying to finish the Christmas decorating, but we had some troubles with a marina tenant and had to take steps to get him and his boat out of here yesterday -- not a part of this job that I enjoy, that's for sure.

And there's been knitting... furious knitting! I cast on these socks Tuesday evening ...

... and since that pic was taken last night, I'm finished these socks! Noro Silk Garden, 3.25 mmm needles, 56 stitches -- gotta love it! And just for fun, I wound the original ball into 4 balls, and played 'back and forth' with the colors until I got to the heel.

Oh, and I taught my first class at the new store on Wednesday. Only two of the 5 people registered turned up, but it was fun anyway ... one woman wanted to make the little wreath, so that meant learning to make an I-cord, and the other wanted to make the little 'Fair Isle sweater,' having never made a sweater before. I got there early and created a bowl-full of Christmas yarn...

This evening my sister will arrive by train from Qualicum to celebrate a landmark birthday with us here this weekend -- and she's coming by train because we're supposed to get 2" of SNOW today! For anyone reading this who's not local, it maybe snows once or twice in the winter here, and rarely more than a 'skiff,' and then it doesn't stay on the ground long. Two inches? That's a LOT of snow for Victoria, and it's supposed to continue off and on until Sunday or Monday!

So Julie will come on the train, and Hailey's hopefully coming home from Whistler for the family dinner tomorrow evening. And we bought the boys a toboggan yesterday to take them to Beacon Hill Park tomorrow, so that should be fun. This hill ...

... is perfect for little boys and toboggans!

I hope the snow doesn't get too thick before Knit'n'Cafe this afternoon 'cuz I really need the break. :-)

Monday, December 8, 2008


Yesterday afternoon while we were still in the Inner Harbour, Michael was having a lovely nap, and I was having some lovely knitting, and there was a knock on the hull -- we had company. Mischa and the boys were out for a walk, and came for a visit ...

River had already had the Inner Harbour experience the night before, so he was more interested in his cinnamon bun.

Gibson was the recipient of River's old Christmas friend 'Anchor,' whom we'd unpacked the night before, and he decided he's too old for.

And our daughter, Mischa!
Got back onto our dock this morning just in time for me to go to work. Even though I work in a yarn store (it's only one afternoon a week, but it's every knitter's idea of heaven!), it feels so surreal to 'have a job.' It's the first 'real' job I've had for at least 5 years, and it's weird to get used to. On the one hand, I've had to learn how to use a cash register all over again (with only limited success, judging by the number of 'void' slips in the drawer; on the other hand, I get to touch and talk about fibre all day long!

Here's the Noro sample socks I knit last month that I never got a pic of:

And the Ella Rae shawl on display:

Today I finished River's not-argyle socks -- pictures tomorrow -- and then cast on another Noro pair. These are meant as a Christmas gift, but I'm liking them a LOT myself. We'll see...

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Would someone please tell Santa I want a new one for Christmas? I'd love it if I could show you some nice photos from the last two days -- instead, I give you THIS:

This was River's Tae-Kwon-Do "Kick-athon" at the Bay Centre on Friday evening. (That's Michael holding the 'kick paddle' for him -- we took turns doing that).

The problem with my camera is that it seems like it can't decide, in compromised lighting conditions, whether I need a flash or not -- so it just takes a really shaky picture that looks like I've been into the eggnog a little too much.

So I decided to go up on the glass-fronted elevator to see if I could get better light....

And finally, on the top floor of the mall looking down....

Lousy pictures, but I'll tell you one thing ... River kicked 2000 KICKS in an hour and fifteen minutes!!! We were so proud of him! And several other club members did, too -- and it was all a fund-raiser for the local Food Bank, and a great success.

Saturday was the Knotty by Nature Grand Opening, of course, and it was a wonderful day! Knitters, weavers, spinners, demos, food, fun and fibre -- it doesn't get much better.

And here's my absolute favorite...

(This gentleman had earlier let me know that he knew about fibre... after all, he'd worn his cashmere suit!)

Left the store at 4 pm to pick River up again, and with my sister and niece, off we went to the truck parade. Then we made it back to the harbour just in time for the Lighted Ships parade!

I'm not even going to pretend I got any photos of these events, but someone did.

This morning Julie and Trisha headed back up-Island and Michael took River home. I'm spending the day decorating for Christmas (I was hoping to be done in time for yesterday's festivities, but it was not to be...) and knitting. We'll head back to our marina tomorrow!

Saturday, December 6, 2008


It's been a looooooooong 36 hours, and I'd love to tell you all about it -- River's Tae-Kwon-Do 'Kick-a-thon' at the Bay Centre, the amazing Knotty by Nature Grand Opening, the truck parade, and then the boat parade. But as you can imagine, I'm asleep on my feet here, pretty much. I did want to show you the view out of our front window this evening, though...

That's our BC Legislature Buildings in the background, with the giant Christmas tree in the centre, and the smaller Christmas tree is on the bow of the sailboat across the dock from us.

My sister Julie and niece Trisha came down for the day, and River was with us, and it's been a great day -- more details tomorrow!

Friday, December 5, 2008


First of all, I promised pictures of the Ella Rae shawl I finished yesterday.

I gotta tell ya, I've never seen blocking make such a huge difference! When I took this baby off the needles, it was the size of a nice bandanna -- but after blocking, it's over 4' tip to tip, and 30" long -- a huge difference. And here's a close-up of the beaded picot bind-off I did just for a little extra pizzazz on the edge:

Today I want to express thanks for our boat, Wind Walker, which has been our home for over 10 years now. She's a 1965 Chris Craft (the 'cadillac' of wooden boats in its day), beautifully crafted down to the finest detail with 14.7 tonnes of Phillipine mahogany. I tell people she's a "2-bedroom, 2-bathroom boat" which is technically true, although it's crammed into a space 38' x 13'. That's okay ... it works beautifully for us!

She was the perfect boat for us when we found her, and she's still the perfect home for us now. I'll say it again ... we'll never go back to land if we can help it.

Well, I'm off to run some errands, cruise the boat over to the Empress dock, spend a bit of time at Knit'n'Cafe, and then watch River at a Tae-Kwon-Do exhibition this afternoon!