Saturday, May 31, 2008


... from my cold/flu, and from the knitting funk!

That was a LOOOONNGGG couple of days -- fever of 102, horrid cold, and worst of all, not hardly leaving the boat.

So in case you've been going through Clover Point withdrawal, as I have, here's a couple of ocean shots taken on our holiday last year... the first one is Mt. Baker from somewhere at the top of Haro Strait on our way to Cabbage Island Marine Park, and the second one was from the deck of our boat, in our anchorage at Bedwell Marine Park, S. Pender Island.

At least being sick, and being forced to be a homebody meant I got some knitting done! See?

This is the knitted-on lace edging on the test knit shawl -- isn't it stunning? Here, look a little closer....

The woman's a genius.

And this morning is sunny, SATURDAY (read: no grandchildren, no deadlines, no major marina chores!), clear blue skies, and calm, and I think I'll take the shawl out to play!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

KNITTING DISASTERS .... and other news

Not having much fun knitting these days!

First of all, I have a lousy cold, AGAIN. Then...

In the test knit, I dropped a stitch somewhere - with 325 stitches on the needle - and couldn't find the problem. So I had to tink back, but as I tinked, the yarn started breaking down, and 'fusing' (like mohair does) REALLY bad. Which explained why I couldn't find the dropped stitch! It became really difficult to figure out what I was unknitting -- a single stitch, an ssk or, ...? It took unraveling FOUR rows to get back to where I could be sure I had all the right stitches, and the right amount, on the needles.

Needless to say, I threw the unraveled yarn away, and started the re-knit with a new ball. What a fiasco! So I'm now back where I started unraveling 3 days ago, and have four rows to go before I can start the edging.

So ... in an effort to clear my head, I picked up the side-to-side vest I've been working on, only to discover a fairly serious error in IT. Aaarrggghhhh! I made some modifications at the very beginning of the project, but forgot to write them down (can you say, "duh....?") so when I got around from the left side to the right side, I didn't remember the modifications I'd made, and so I just sort of made up some more on the spot, and, well, now I have a mess to clean up. . .

I think I'll take a garter stitch dishcloth with me to the Guild meeting this morning - I think I can maybe not screw that up!

Meanwhile, I looked out my front door yesterday, and this is what I saw... son Jason and his friend Nicola 'chilling out' on the roof of his floathome across from me. At least that brought a smile to my face!

And daughter Mischa, hairstylist extra-ordinaire, started work in a new shop yesterday, so I went to see the place and ended up being her first client. I've got my summer haircut now, and her new shop got my Momma seal of approval. ;-)

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Weekend... continued...

So, after the Swiftsure race start, I drove home to find that the SS Beaver was just being 'helped' onto the ways at Point Hope Shipyard.

I'm really happy to see that the Beaver will be plying local waters again... it's a bit of an 'institution' here, as you can imagine!

On Saturday evening, our friends from Qualicum came for supper and our tradional butt-whipping known as a euchre game (or 4), and then spent the night. They were going sailing yesterday afternoon aboard their sailboat Pippin, with their two 'kids' (who are adults) Rennie and Rose.

After they left I had to drive out to one of my favorite LYS's, Boutique de Laine in Oak Bay, who were having a HUGE sale, mostly on 'bag lots' of wool. I only spent about $75, and got enough yarn for a sweater for me, two pairs of socks and a few scarves -- not bad, huh?

Then off to the major event of the day.... grandson Gibson's 2nd birthday party!

With his Dad, son-in-law Jeff:

And his Mom, our daughter Mischa:

Had a great time, of course! Then home in time for the final event of the day... our son produced an art show in the Sunset Room...

It's for emerging artists, it's fabulous, and if you're local, it's on until 11 pm this evening!

Today I had to finalize the poster and program for the FibreFest, and get them to the printer. Done!

As you can imagine, there's not much knitterly news... I've had to tink about 4 rows of the test knit, and hope to get started re-knitting it this evening.


The Inner Harbour on Saturday morning was alive with activity for the Swiftsure race start -- one of my personal favorites, Dragonfly, is in the foreground in this pic:

Then I drove down to the start line at Clover Point by about 7 a.m., and it wasn't long before the 'parade' of boats coming out of the Inner Harbour started.

This is what a 'start line' for a major sailboat race (over 200 boats!) looks like just before the start gun. The line is actually an imaginary one between those two big military boats:

And they're off!

And an hour later this is what it looked like from along Dallas Road:

Race results, if that interests you, can be found here.

MUCH more later... gotta run, it's Monday morning!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


This weekend is SWIFTSURE here in Victoria, and the city is alive with sailors!

Yesterday I watched some of the sailboats arriving off Clover Point:

And this morning, the Inner Harbour looks like this...

There are usually over 200 boats entered in this race, so I'll be down at Clover Point this morning (the start line) to watch the start. It's actually four different races, and all the excitement doesn't end until tomorrow sometime, because the longest course goes out the Juan de Fuca Strait to Swiftsure Bank in the open Pacific and back. Here's a diagram of the courses, if this interests you.

Can't think of a better way to get in some quality quiet knitting time!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


Remember this? (Don't know how you could forget, I've been talking about it constantly for several weeks now!)

It's called the 'Interlude' stole, and it is a free pattern on the Elite site. I knit it in's baby alpaca/merino laceweight blend (LOVELY to work with, by the way), doubled, on size 4 mm needles. It measures about 22" x 66" blocked, and it was an enjoyable (though loooonnggg) knit!

So Pat at our Guild meeting modelled it for me yesterday...

And now it's on its way to Afghanistan!

In other knitterly news, I've just finished repeat #4 of the test knit pattern (2-1/2 more to go, then the edging) and I love how it's turning out. And the side-to-side vest is about 3" from coming off the needles -- I hope to finish both of these before the end of the weekend... but there's lots of work involved with the Victoria FibreFestright now, so we'll see. I've got to get the final poster and program to the printer today, and return all the calls and answer the emails I didn't get to yesterday -- wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


On a whim on Saturday morning, Michael and I decided to head out to our favorite anchorage at Albert Head for the long weekend. I couldn't really afford to take the time away, but ... I'm glad I did!

Doesn't take long to 'shake off' the city from here...

Even though we had company in the cove...

... we preferred this company...

I managed to get both the Moonshadow Stole and the Interlude shawl blocked, but still didn't get pictures -- maybe today. I'm nearly finished the side-to-side vest, and I completed 4 full repeats of the 15 row pattern in the secret test knit project. :-)

So ... much knitting got done, much relaxation happened, and much sun was soaked up.

Yesterday morning the forecast on the marine radio was for 35 knot winds in the Juan de Fuca, so we headed back in to the marina around 11:00. We passed this dude on the way in...

This is an old classic 'clinker-built' design dinghy, and the motor had the unmistakable 'putt-putt' of an equally classic Easthope engine . What fun to see it out on wide open water!

We could see a rather large obstacle in the distance, and by the time we got to Ogden Point (the Victoria Harbour entrance), we had to wait for this to dock:

And then we realized that, of course, there was a mass exodus underway from the Inner Harbour -- 'checkout' time on the Harbour Authority docks is 11 a.m., and it's been a long weekend!

Oh, well, we made it back to our slip safe and sound (well, safe, anyway) and spent the day 'catching up' with the kids, email, marina chores, etc.

Now I really have to get back to work!

Saturday, May 17, 2008


The Victoria Harbour Ferry is an 'institution' here in the harbour ... these are cute little water taxis that zip around the harbour all summer carrying locals and tourists alike, and stopping here and there.

Well, our marina decided to get them to stop here. Ocean River Sports and Capital Iron (two really popular stores right here) spear-headed the effort, and held a press conference/party to celebrate their debut. . .

And here comes the Harbour Ferries, and they're about to perform their WORLD FAMOUS WATER BALLET for us ...

... and then they go by ...

... and then the turn...

... and then having to wait while a big honkin' tug and barge goes by, and a few rowers get out of the way!

And then... the ballet!

One more circle...

Taking a bow...

... and sailing away...

Now, wasn't that fun?

Thursday, May 15, 2008


It's weird to me that I have been knitting as much as ever, and yet have nothing to show for it -- I have three projects on the needles, and there hasn't been a huge amount of progress on any of them!

But I did start a new project a few days ago. It's a test knit of a really special item for a designer I love, and I can show you a 'teaser', at least...

This is a 'top down' shawl (so it feels like I'm knitting it 'upside-down') and the yarn is 100% cashmere -- couldn't be yummier! I really see that I am a 'process' knitter more than a 'product' knitter, because I was having a lot of trouble with row 33 on this pattern, and when I phoned the designer, she said (and I paraphrase), 'Well, look at what you're knitting ... what part of it has the problem?'

Look at what I'm knitting? What a concept! lol It was amazing to me how quickly I could 'diagnose' the problem when I looked at a photo of the finished product, and looked at what I'd actually knitted ... instead of just 'unconsciously' knitting merrily away! I think this is particularly important with lace knitting -- knitting 15' of stocking stitch on the back of a pullover doesn't require much attentiveness to the design, but an all-over lace pattern sure does.

I'll be working on that today in between tackling the reorganization of my 'stash room,' in which I have to locate and sort out FibreFest stuff.

Meanwhile, on our dinghy ride last night here in the Upper Harbour, I got a little closer to Point Hope. Here's Breeze, a gorgeous converted tugboat that I haven't been able to find out much about.

And here's another shot of Black Hawk, which I blogged about yesterday:

And, finally, here's the MV UChuck, 'up on the hard.'

It's a busy spring at Point Hope Shipyard!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


Yesterday at Clover Point, my 'mindful knitting' (read: quiet, meditative) time was accompanied by the 'Oriole,' a local Navy 'goodwill' sail-training ship.

It looked like this when I saw it yesterday, though ...

Here's the story about the dismasting.

The Swiftsure is coming up and the Oriole is usually a competitor in that race, so I hope they get a new mast soon!

Anyway, I was interrupted once too often by a military helicopter thundering by (not sure if that had anything to do with the Oriole, but...), really low over the water right in front of me...

I had no idea knitting was a subversive activity, but I finally gave up and came home ... only to find that the Upper Harbour (where I live) was a-buzz, too!

First of all, the bridge was up, and a huge tug was coming in to Point Hope Shipyard ...

The Black Hawk is a Seattle-based 125' ocean-going tug that was built in 1968, and it's been in the news more than once. Here is a copy of an old newspaper clipping:

And in 2005, the Black Hawk made headlines when it caught fire in the Lake Washington Ship Canal. The owner and an employee got out safely, and I never heard any more about it until I saw the boat come in here yesterday.

It will join a local well-known converted tugboat called 'Breeze' that's already up on the ways at Point Hope, as well as the MV UChuck that's in for its spring refit.

It's just as well that I had to stop knitting anyway ... I'm doing a special test knit for Sivia Harding and I'm at a REALLY hard row that I have to call her about today!