Friday, October 31, 2008


We are off to Qualicum Beach to spend Hallowe'en with our friends Susan and Sri (we think it's about a 12-year tradition, but we can't remember exactly!), but first, some pictures of my walk yesterday through Beacon Hill Park.

I read something in the paper this week about why all the fall colors are so vivid here this year, and it made a lot of sense. I think it was in a gardening column, and the expert said there's two reasons: we've had a warm, dry autumn (if it was wet the leaves would start 'rotting' sooner), and we haven't had any major windstorms to strip the leaves off the trees! The evidence is everywhere, and especially in Beacon Hill ...

It was so lovely that I decided to let my sweater (back) come out to play... :-)

Here's a close-up of the lace-and-cable border (from Knitting on the Edge, Nicky Epstein, which I'll repeat on the sleeve cuffs, and maybe for a turtleneck (I haven't decided yet). This photo shows the color perfectly, too...

(Edited at 10:00 a.m) I'm not the only one who has great pics of Victoria's autumn colors... check this out!

I'll miss my Knit'n'Cafe because we have to leave about 11:00 a.m. ... BEST WITCHES, EVERYONE.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


... if I'll ever mention knitting again?

I am knitting. I'm working on the second pair of interminable black socks, and I still have the back of the lavender sweater on the needles -- mainly because I had to rip back about 7" of it when I discovered that I was absent-mindedly doing the raglan shaping all wrong. Let me put it this way .... it would have been about 4' long by the time I cast off!

But I have been writing, writing, writing -- and I *have* been to Clover Point! Indeed I watched an amazing sunset there night before last. This...

...became this, as I drove along Dallas Road...

And yesterday, I got to stop there briefly again, and saw this:

(Doesn't it make you wonder what happened to that mast??)

Must go -- I have some serious knitting to do. I need to start my Christmas knitting soon, too!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Confession: I wear Crocs. All the time. And I'm starting to think I'll wear them until my dying day -- even though two years ago, I thought they were the ugliest shoes I'd ever seen.

Anyone who knows me has probably heard me complain about the state of the art when it comes to womens' shoes. The last few years it seems as if they are all either stilettos or big clunky things or 'sensible shoes.' Ugly, the whole works of them. What's a gal to do?

Well, since I live on a boat on a dock, there seemed to be plenty of those Crocs around. So last summer I was convinced to try on a pair ... and I've never looked back. I've had bad feet (read: sore feet) my whole life -- not anymore. They are the most comfy shoes I've ever worn -- and believe me, I've spent a lot of money on fancy-dancy 'women's walking shoes' and the like. They come in a zillion colors...

They're WASHABLE. And ... the best part ... they cost $10.

So I was already a convert when I started thinking, a few weeks ago, that I should really be pulling out my 'winter' shoes. I've changed my mind, though, and two things convinced me: first of all, I realized that even though they have holes in the top (not a good thing when you live in the Pacific North West, aka the Wet Coast), I can wear my knitted wool socks in them! And since I'm now a sock knitter (who'd-a thunk it??) I'll have lots of choices soon.

But the best part? Apparently they now come in a transparent variety-- so you can even show off those knitted socks! How cool is that?

So you can just imagine how happy I was when Michael arrived home from a walk through Chinatown last night with a brand new pair for me -- the ugly winter shoes will be donated to a charity today!

Sunday, October 26, 2008


That's how the whole hall was yesterday at the Cowichan Fleece and Fibre Fair in Duncan. Bev and I drove up, and my job was to teach beginner knitting and host knitters if they sat down to knit.

Well, we had no 'customers' to speak of, but it was a fun day, and we both got lots of knitting done. I sold lots of fridge magnets and we both had a chance to wander (read: spend money on fibre-y goodness).

But my camera's got to go.

That's how most of my pictures turned out -- it doesn't do well at all in 'low light' situations. I managed to get one or two if I stood right in front of an open door.

My camera did manage to capture this lovely tree in the parking lot, though...

It was a great day ... ran into some old friends, some Ravelry buddies, and (hopefully) made some new friends, too!

I'm nearly finished the back of the lavender sweater, but I got side-tracked a little by this traveling scarf.

Traveling scarves is a Ravelry group, and it works like this: each group has about 12 members, who each start a scarf for themselves, and post their preferences (in terms of color, fibre, etc) with the group. They then mail it to the next person down the list, who adds another 4 - 6" (in whatever design or color they choose), and then mails it on to the next participant. Eventually you get your own scarf back, complete! But it's a lot of fun seeing what everyone else has done, and having the chance to try out new stitches. So this scarf, as you can see, is almost half done. I'll mail it away tomorrow, and be ready to receive the next one that comes!

Going for brekkie this morning with an old friend who just recently moved back from Nova Scotia!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


I'm off to the Cowichan Fleece and Fibre Fair this morning.... I'll be teaching beginner knitting, and 'hosting' a knitting circle all day. Tough life I have, huh?

I'll be working on the second pair of black socks, and the lavender sweater, which I haven't taken a picture of yet ... but I'll also be collecting some Romney roving from the Qualicum Bay Fibre Mill and hope to sit down at a spinning wheel for a bit, too!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

CELINE et al....

In spite of the lousy reviews you might have read, the Celine concert was AMAZING. If you are a Celine fan, then all the negative comments you read about her being schmaltzy or geeky or whatever can just be ignored. She IS all that, and it's adorable! I tried to take some pictures, but wasn't very successful...

The stage was wonderful -- she (and the dancers and back-up singers) mostly stayed on the outside square, while the band was in the centre -- and the centre part moved up and down as needed. So we had a view of her at all times! She would 'disappear' into that center square whenever she went for a quick change... and you can see in the picture that the stage had 'wings' right out into the audience, as well.

And when she had her back to us or was facing the other side of the audience, we could always see her on the big screen which was right above us.

Anyway, she sang for about an hour and 15 minutes, most of her best songs (Power of Love, I'm Your Lady, Drove All Night, Because You Love Me, etc.) and her final encore was, of course, the theme from 'Titanic.'

The only negative thing I've ever said about her is that she has a weird fashion sense -- but who really cares, when she can sing like that??

Anyway, it was a wonderful concert, and my husband didn't drool, try to rush the stage, yell out his undying adoration, or any of the other things I thought he might do to make a total fool of himself! lol

We spent the night at the YWCA Hotel (it's perfect ... two blocks away from the concert, affordable, clean and comfy, AND I always know I'm contributing to programs for women when I stay there). On Tuesday afternoon after we checked in, Michael decided to have a little nap, so I took my knitting down to the lobby, where there's a great little expresso (latte) bar. I'd no sooner curled up on the couch with my knitting needles than a woman came over to me asking to see what I was knitting! She was on staff there, and immediately went in to her office to bring her Noro socks to show me... (another lousy picture!)

... and then printed me off the pattern from her computer. I LOVE that knitting in public is such a great magnet!

The morning after the concert I had to go find one of Vancouver's best LYS's... a place called Three Bags Full, and it was lovely. Sivia Harding works there part time and I was hoping to see her, but it was her day off. You'll be proud of my restraint ... I only bought two skeins of Fiddlesticks Knitting 'Zephyr', a merino and silk laceweight blend, and, of course, a skein of Noro to make those socks! (Pics of that and other assorted knitting tomorrow... my camera battery is getting recharged as we speak).

Then we drove along the waterfront in Vancouver's West End ... one of our favorite spots.

I'm wearing a little lacey cowl I whipped up on the ferry on the way over ...

(Lion brand 'Suede' in navy blue; cast on 18 stitches on 12 mm needles. k1, yo, k2tog across the row, k the last stitch. Repeat that row until the thing is 20" long -- about 20 minutes of knitting, I think! Cast off, turn it a half twist and sew it together. Voila -- a 'moebius' cowl!)

Made it onto the 3 pm ferry, and we were home by supper time.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


(Photo taken from her official website...)

We are off to Vancouver this morning for the Celine Dion concert tonight at GM Place! The reviews all talk about how the audience for her concerts is mostly women 'with husbands in tow,' but in our case, it's the other way around -- Michael's been in love with Celine for years. I like her, but not stupidly, like he does. :-)

We'll spend the night (because MY reward will be checking out a few yarn shops) and be back tomorrow. And, as always when we travel, I get lots of knitting time ... driving to and from the ferry, on the ferry and in the hotel. I'm looking forward to the whole adventure, actually -- we can't remember the last time we went off the Island, so it'll be a nice change.

I finished Hailey's scarf, but as I write, it's too dark to take a picture. More tomorrow!

Monday, October 20, 2008


... of the road trip I took to and from his memorial service.

Let me tell you about John and Mary Ann. They were married for 38 years, the last 17 of which they were live-aboards. In fact, they were an inspiration to us when we met them, because we hadn't 'taken the leap' yet. They were the first folks we'd met who were actually living the live-aboard life! They had one son, Tig (married to Christine) and a grandson, Kale. John's been a mechanic, a fisherman, and most recently, a boat broker.

John did battle with cancer the first time about 5 years ago, and won that battle. But it came back this summer, and as cancer often does the second time around, much more aggressively. We knew, when we were on Salt Spring Island on our holiday, that all was not well -- because John and Mary Ann have been really involved in the West Coast Workboat Association, and they weren't at the Rendezvous there. When we asked someone about them, we were told that John was 'very sick'. John died, at 58 years old, on October 2nd.

Michael wasn't able to come with me, but I drove up to Parksville on Saturday for the service. It was a lovely fall morning, and I gave myself lots of time ... I love driving up-Island, especially in the fall.

First stop, Goldstream Park, where the salmon run is just starting.

See that 'ridge' across the water? It's actually about a foot-high waterfall that the salmon have to hurdle to get to the spawning grounds. Here it is, closer up:

So I immediately spotted two salmon who'd made it over the waterfall, and were just probably just resting from the ordeal! (You can click on these to make them bigger ... I was standing on a bank and the fish were about 5' below me, in about a foot of water).

It was a lovely fall day - perfect for a little walk through a rainforest!

The parking lot at the Bradley Centre in Parksville was packed full when I arrived -- John was loved by anyone who knew him! The service was lovely, and I got to chat with Mary Ann for a few minutes, and give her a big hug.

I decided I was too tired to drive back home (it's about two hours if you don't stop, and it would've been almost dark) so I met my sister Julie and niece Trisha for supper at our favorite Chinese smorg place, and then spent the night at Julie's.

I wish there would have been a fourth person to take a picture, because we spent the evening curled up on couches in her living room, the three of us knitting. It was a lovely end to the day! I said goodnight at about 9 pm, read for about 10 minutes -- and woke up at 5 a.m. Unheard of for me to sleep through the night, OR to sleep for 8 hours -- I MUST have been tired!

Had a quick coffee with Julie and headed off again.

First stop, Parksville Beach (I lie. The first stop was the nearest Starbuck's for a latte, and THEN Parksville Beach!) I was knitting and enjoying the latte and the view out over the Strait of Georgia (complete with Canada Geese doing their morning lap)...

... when I noticed the 'fall-ness' in the bay...

... and then I saw a great blue heron on a rock over-looking the water, so I had to go for a walk to get a bit closer.

When I got to within 15' of him, he started to pay attention...

... and then decided he needed to *really* pay attention:

... but I didn't give him any trouble, I just walked quietly back up the beach. :-)

The rest of the trip was uneventful (although I did increase the stash at at least one second-hand store -- ok, maybe two -- and a stop at the The Loom in Duncan.)

When I got home and came down the dock, I encountered these two characters -- who also happen to be my two favorite men on the planet -- and counted my blessings.

They were having lots of fun, AND getting the porch fixed!

All in all, a lovely weekend to honor the life of John B. :-(