Friday, February 27, 2009


Once a year our grandson River's school holds a 'Talent Night' for the students. It's totally fun, and Michael and I are always amazed at the abilities and creativity of these young kids -- from piano playing, to dancing, reciting poetry and magic shows, they're all really quite amazing!

But, of course, our interest is mostly with River, who definitely got the music gene that's in this family. (My mother was a pretty good singer and I play guitar and sing; so does my son Jason, and he also plays piano). River's Dad is a punk rocker, so he's had his own amp since he was about five. He's tried playing both drums and guitar so far, and makes up some pretty good 'rap' songs, too.

But last night he debuted a whole new talent .... beatboxing. If you're not sure what that is, check out this video ... and this one.

I could just kick myself, because I hadn't taken the time to figure out the *video* function on this new camera of mine -- I sure could've used it last night. Riv did a wonderful performance; everyone in the audience totally got into the beat, and loved it!

I had brought my knitting, but didn't even knit a stitch. :)

I'll make up for that at Knit'n'Cafe today, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Remember last year, when I reported being the recipient of many, many bags of raw fleece?

Well, my friendly neighborhood sheep farmer called me again last week -- and once again, I took two trips out to the Peninsula yesterday and brought back the fleece from approximately 40 sheep! This stuff is gorgeous -- it's Corriedale and Suffolk, and some C-S crosses, and it's lovely.

I'll be giving some of it away, we'll be using some at the store for some 'sheep to skein' classes, and I'll be keeping lots for myself -- my new spinning wheel comes home next week!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


I have a story to tell you, but first I have a story to tell you.

Yesterday, "A-Channel," our local TV station, came and did their "A" Morning show all about the store! I didn't get there until about 7:30 a.m. or so, and they were in full swing by then. Here's the two fellows interviewing and filming Stephanie spinning:

They also followed Mahsheed, our felting instructor, while she finished a wet-felting project from beginning to end; interviewed Ryan about his rope-making techniques; and 'panned' us gals in the corner drop-spindling and knitting. It was very cool!

But the story I have to tell you is this.

When Michael and I first met, 31+ years ago, we had a date one night but I'd gotten a bad cold so I cancelled. That evening there was a knock on my door, and there was Michael ... with a lovely potted plant for me. Now, at the time I had no use for potted plants -- they just seemed like a lot of bother. But there at my door was this sweet man with a gift for me .... should I be honest and tell him I don't really like plants? Or should I be grateful for the gift, thank him sincerely ... and learn to like plants?

Well, you can guess...

Now stay with me here. Last fall, I blogged about how much I love crocs. A few days later, a bag appeared on my front porch -- with a brand new pair of bright red crocs in them.

I've never worn red in my life. And I never imagined that I ever would. But these crocs were a gift, and as I found out later in the week, a gift from someone I would never have expected to give me a gift. And as I was looking at them, I thought of that poem, "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple..."

I have no trouble wearing purple. But red? So at that very moment I decided that I would be grateful for the gift, thank the giver sincerely -- and learn to love red.

I'm not yet an old lady ... but wearing red shoes, with wild red socks, seems like a huge stretch for me -- like something only a crazy old lady who doesn't care what people think of her would do -- so it's been a challenge just thinking about it!

But today is the day I've chosen to publicly honor the gift ...

I'm stepping out! :)

Monday, February 23, 2009


I started the weekend, early Saturday morning, down at Clover Point. I had to teach a class at the store at 10 a.m., but had time to catch this first...

And then this ...

... and the sun was barely up!

After my class we took a 'road trip' up to Qualicum Beach to visit our friends Susan and Sri. We always stop at this look-out on the Malahat (Mountain) looking down over Finlayson Arm (Saanich Peninsula in the immediate background, American San Juans in the haze...) and watched this crane barge coming out from the beach at Bamberton Park.

We (Susan and I) got our butts whipped in euchre, as usual , but Michael and I had a nice time. We slept in yesterday morning and then sat around drinking coffee and chatting, and the time flew by -- our original plans to call my sister and maybe go out for breakfast had to be shelved so we could make our way home yesterday afternoon before dusk.

And what happens when I have nearly 6 hours uninterrupted knitting time in the car? The better part of a new pair of socks, that's what...

Today I'm at the store all day ... starting at about 6:30 a.m., actually, because A-Channel (Victoria's local TV Station) is coming to film! Stephanie invited a few people to just come hang out in the background since it's before the store opens, but she doesn't want it to look empty. Should be fun!

Friday, February 20, 2009


Every now and then, to make up for the days when everything goes sideways, I have a day that everything goes so well I'm left in disbelief.

Yesterday was like that. I had an editing job to finish in the morning -- and I met my goal, with time to spare. Then I had to put the finishing touches on a client's website -- done, and not a single glitch.

I went out to run some errands -- in three different places, I found a parking spot immediately. There were no line-ups. One of the errands included some complicated banking for the marina, and I'm always nervous that I don't have all the paperwork in order -- I did.

I treated myself to a latte and drove to Clover Point to knit/meditate. Not a single motor-cycle came roaring through, not a single young male with the car stereo bass blasting (for the sole purpose of vexing my spirit, I swear), not a single child chasing and frightening the birds. Just knitting .... and breathing... and blue sky.... and calm waters.... MAGICAL.

Then I went grocery shopping. I had a loonie in my pocket for the shopping cart (instead of my usual routine of having to park, go in to the hostess to get change, and then come back out to the parking lot to get a cart), the store wasn't out of a single thing I needed, and I remembered to bring my own bags in from the van (instead of remembering, when I'm in the cash register line-up, that I hadn't)!

When I got home I started supper, leisurely put the groceries away, and then even got four more little things crossed off my 'to do' list before dinner.


Today I have a few things to accomplish this morning, and then it's off to Knit'n'Cafe. If the day goes *half* as well as yesterday, it'll be a wonderful one! Hope yours is, too...

Thursday, February 19, 2009


Is it Thursday already? Once again the week has flown by ... busy catching up from being down with that nasty flu bug last week, and I'm still behind on work for clients -- but today I should be completely caught up (she says, with fingers crossed...).

I've had a few lovely moments in the last few days, though. While I was out running errands the other day, I stopped in to my local favorite market, which happens to be right across the street from my youngest daughters' -- where Michael was taking care of Gibson at the time. As I parked and got out of the van, I looked up to see this...

What a treat! They were just going out for a walk and saw me parking, so we had a little visit right there on the boulevard.

(Just in case you've ever wondered about this situation .... Michael is retired, except for our managing the marina, and I'm *not* -- so he takes care of our youngest grandson two days a week while I work. I see Gibson lots, but not as often as Michael does...)

And day before yesterday I took a break from the computer and drove down to Clover Point ... just in time to catch this:

I cast on for a pair of socks the other day, and I can't tell you how much fun I'm having! The yarn is Paton's Kroy (on sale last year at Michael's Craft Store and I bought about 8 skeins of it) in a variegated red. Anyone who knows me knows that I *live* in shades of blues, grays, black -- once in a while, a bit of purple, green or fuschia thrown in if I'm feeling a bit flashy! Well, these socks are bright ....

VERY bright, and can you see how the color pooling is creating a spiral around the foot?

I'm thoroughly amused by all this. Even more shocking -- I think I might wear them.

Monday, February 16, 2009


... in October, that I swore I would get the flu vaccine. That would have prevented the last ten days of... well ... NOT FUN ... at my house!

Michael got the bug first, slept with a high fever for two days, hardly ate a thing but still had to stay close to a bathroom for the next two, and is barely getting his energy back now. (He found enough energy to go out and bring me a bouquet of flowers on Saturday, though, bless his heart!) Then last Wednesday I started feeling not so great -- slept for two days with a high fever, have practically lived in the bathroom since, have hardly eaten anything, and have no energy at all.

I think it's safe to say, seriously, that this is the kind of bug that kills elderly folks occasionally, or people whose health is already compromised -- I've never experienced anything like it, personally, and never want to again.

'Nuff said. In October I'm getting the flu shot.

You'd think I'd have lots of knitting accomplished, wouldn't you? Well, I finished the navy blue socks (which were about half-done when I got sick), finished a baby hat to go with the blanket I made a few weeks ago, and did about 5" on another traveling scarf. Oh, yay....

Yesterday our friends Susan and Sri were here from Qualicum Beach, and we were able to go out for breakfast with them to celebrate Susan's Mom's birthday -- I managed a small bowl of oatmeal and yogurt with a little fruit. After resting back at home for a few hours, I even dragged myself down to Clover Point -- I hadn't been out of the house in 5 days, and it was a beautiful spring day!

I took the 'scenic route, for a change, past our Coast Guard station and Ogden Point (where the cruise ships come in)... and saw this:

That's one of those obscene freighters that turns up here 3 or 4 times a year full of rich people's yachts, for which they've paid up to $25,000 to transport sometimes 3/4 of the way around the world to find a new playground.

But this... the new Search and Rescue boat, and she's a beaut! On the right side of the picture is our new Pilot boat, which is lovely, too, but as a recreational boater I'm so impressed with the local (or any) Coast Guard auxiliary -- they raise funds relentlessly so they can put boats like this in the water and then put volunteers in them to go out in all kinds of conditions to save lives like ours when we get in trouble out there.

Finally made it to Clover Point ...

Aaahhhh.... I can breathe again.

I'll be at Knotty by Nature today!

Friday, February 13, 2009


I was talking to Shelley, owner of Fun Knits Yarn Shop on Quadra Island, the other day, and she tells me that her Spring Knitting/Spinning Retreat is in danger of being canceled if more folks don't register soon.

That smarts, 'cuz I really need a retreat in April. It's my last chance for a break before the final FibreFest planning, and besides, I didn't get to go on one in January or February -- both the retreats I planned had to be canceled because there weren't enough registrations. And the biggest reason is because I've been to a few of Shelley's retreats, and they're WONDERFUL!

So if you've been thinking about going to Quadra Island in April, or just can't decide, or you even intend to go but haven't put your cheque in the mail yet -- please do it now! I know that, in the past, Shelley has even accepted just a deposit with the registration and the balance later, and if that would make the difference for you, call or email her and ask about that. Join me at the Fun Knits retreat -- you'll be glad you did!

Meanwhile, I've gotten bit by the nastiest flu bug I've had for years. I've been pretty much sleeping or in the bathroom for the last 48 hours, and it doesn't appear to be letting up yet. Not even enough energy to knit -- I've accomplished about half an inch on each of the pair of socks I've got on the needles, and that's it. Today is Knit'n'Cafe, and I don't think I'll be able to go.

I'm going back to bed right now, and I'll see how I feel later. Sure would be nice to get out for the first time in 3 days!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


I woke up yesterday morning with the flue bug that Michael's had for several days, but had stuff I had to do. So I was driving home from getting groceries when I spotted this big tug coming into the harbour:

I knew it looked familiar and that was confirmed as soon as I saw the name: The Haida Chieftain is one of the biggest and oldest still-working tugs on this coast.

The 145-foot steel tugboat was built as a U.S. Navy tug by Foundation Marine Co. in 1944, and named Foundation Lillian. (Farley Mowat wrote a couple of good books about the Foundation tugs and their salvage work and tows in the Atlantic.)

After service with Foundation Marine on the east coast, she was renamed 'Escort' and then 'N.R. Lang', and was owned for a time by Kingcome Navigation (1971, running log barges and other materials through Seymour Narrows on a regular basis).

She's 30-ft wide, and 'draws' almost 13 feet (meaning that's how much of her is under the water that you can't see).

In January, 1965, the Haida Chieftain caught fire off Cape Beale on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The crew of 10 abandoned and were picked up by the tug LaPointe of the Vancouver Tug Boat Co. The brand-new tug La Beine, on her maiden trip, intercepted the Haida Chieftain, put out the fire, and towed the vessel to port. The Haida Chief was then rebuilt and returned to service.

Currently owned by WAYDEN TRANSPORTATION SYSTEMS INC. of Richmond (a suburb of Vancouver), she required further repairs in 2004 when she rammed into the dock on Main Street in Richmond on New Year's Day.

And here she is about to go under the Johnson Street bridge en route to Point Hope Shipyard, yesterday.

There is an old video of her online, taken by a deckhand, slogging through some stormy waters off the Queen Charlottes. She's a grand old boat, that's for sure!

And yes, I've been knitting, too ... I finished the purple beaded scarflette while I was watching the Haida Chieftain go by!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Yesterday, right after I posted about being a lousy blogger, I got an email from Anita, who sent me this:

Thanks, Anita! (Makes me wonder how fabulous my blog would be if I actually got back to posting daily...) I'm supposed to pass this award on to five other bloggers, but I'm not awake enough yet to think that hard, so I may have to do that later.

On a completely unrelated note, I've been following the adventures of a young man who was 16 when he left his home port of San Diego, California, to sail around the world alone (and become the youngest person ever to do that, if he succeeds)! He's about to leave Cape Town, South Africa to begin the Atlantic crossing to Panama, and you can follow Zac's adventures, too, if you like, here.

Another 'tidbit': I just happened to be at Clover Point a few days ago (imagine that...!) and saw this ship ... leaving our Esquimalt harbour for a 6-month tour of duty in the Middle East. Hope they all come home safe and sound!

Had a great day at work yesterday ... Mischa and the boys stopped in for a bit of a visit, so that was nice, and it was quiet enough in the afternoon that I got to work on my socks a bit. I'm almost finished the purple scarflette, too, and I'll take some pictures when it's light out!

Today I'm working on FibreFest details, because I *really* want to make a few announcements about some exciting things that will be happening, but I have to clean up a few loose ends first.

Have a happy!

Monday, February 9, 2009


... but thank YOU for caring about me enough to wonder where I've been! Wow, where did the days go? I'm okay, folks, it's just that weird sleep thing beating me up again -- if I don't post by 7 a.m., it just doesn't happen because the rest of my days are so full!

Life is good here in my little corner of the world, though, just busy. Between paid writing work, FibreFest planning stuff, and classes at the store, I've barely had time to even knit. I *have* finished about 2' on the purple scarf, and I'm nearly ready to turn the heels on the current pair of socks. No pics yet, sorry...

But I do have some other pictures, though. My niece Doneen sent me some that she took before Christmas here during the snow. Here's the 'hill' of Beacon Hill park covered in the white stuff...

And here's the view from that hill, by the way (it's about a block from my favorite view, Clover Point).

And here's the fun on the hill -- River:

Mischa and Gibson:

Mischa, Gibson and Michael:

I have some more recent photos, too. Gibson got a haircut:

And River and I went for brekkie on the weekend, and while we were waiting for our order, we built a 'house of cards' (or two) out of jam packages:

I found time on Saturday to go to a LYS's big blow-out sale and came home with a little sock yarn...

... by my calculations, enough to make about 15 pairs of variously-sized socks for myself and the family -- that's all my Christmas '09 yarn taken care of, and I paid less than $100!

It's Monday, so I'll be at the store today ... and now I must-go-knit-and-drink-coffee. Have a great day, everyone!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


I had some errands to run yesterday morning, but it was already turning into a lovely day so I couldn't resist indulging in a latte and sitting at Clover Point for a bit. One of the two west coast Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) patrol boats is in town, apparently to take part in Olympic 2010 security exercises, and I watched it for awhile in the Juan de Fuca ...

And along came the local camera club to take pictures of it, too:

While I was there, I finished the market bag:

Now, about that thingamajig-otherwise-known-as-a-fringe-twister... here's the best photo and description I could find online for it.

And here's Ryan showing me how to use it to make the handles for my market bag:

... which took place at the store last night during our first-ever 'Fibre Social' -- it was a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Most folks are happy when they get to sleep in, but I'm not one of them. Have you noticed I've been slacking here in blogland this past week? It's because I've been up half the night again, and then sleeping in, so that when I *do* get up I kind of have to 'hit the decks running' to do my day!

Today is no exception, but I do have various assorted news to tell you first!

Yesterday was, as always, a wonderful day in the store. First of all I have to show you the thingamagig I was talking about yesterday ... here's my buddy Raven to show it to you.

I think it's really called a 'Fringe Twister' but Stephanie calls it an I-cord buster -- I'll let you know how it goes when I get to give it a whirl.

And while we're on the subject of Knotty by Nature, they brought in a great line of large hand-made mahogany needles made by a local guy named Seth. Here's felting instructor extra-ordinaire Mahsheed showing off a pair of size 50s ... (they go down to about a 10 mm size). These are 14", but I custom-ordered a pair of 9" 10mm ones, so he said he'd have them for me in a few days.

I also started a new project, finally! This scarf beginning is for the International Scarf Exchange -- it's Indigo Moon merino, and I've added some beads into the design just for the first few inches (which I'll repeat at the other end if I ever get there...)-- if I beaded the whole thing, it'll take until *next* summer to finish it!

Meanwhile, here in the marina, we are helping a young woman who just bought her first sailboat/home from SALTS. It's always exciting to see young people, especially women, exploring the live-aboard life!

I'm outa here, I have a gazillion things to do today ... have a great one!

Monday, February 2, 2009


... and that's about all I have to show for the weekend!

I taught Intermediate Knitting at the the store on Saturday -- you'll be hearing about that, because I have two different 6-week classes going on right now. Then, since I knew I wanted lots of guilt-free weekend knitting time, I cleaned my oven. (What? Isn't that how you do it?)

Finished another pair of Noro socks, almost identical to these ones for myself, and finished another 4" or so on the market bag.
. An interesting part of this project will be the handles. I would opt for I-cords, but Stephanie has this gadget in the store -- I have no idea what it's called, but it *looks* like 3 roach clips mounted on a little piece of wood (sorry, I'm an old hippy, what can I say?) -- and she's going to show me how to use it to make the handles, which apparently goes like lightning compared to knitting I-cord. I'll go with that!

Today I have my regular shift in the store, and I have to get another pair of socks cast on before I go!