Tuesday, April 28, 2009


... and I feel like I need a day off! :)

I didn't take nearly as many pictures this time as last year, but I guess I was busier this time -- I taught two classes, but they were both lots of fun!

Fun Knits owner Shelley's account of the weekend is here...

I got to see some old friends, and meet some new ones, and I even got some knitting done. No FO's though...

I think my new friend Dina from Maryland had fun, too -- I know we both came home with some new yarn we really needed. (Stop that laughing....) Dina came to the store yesterday for a visit, but had to leave on the 6 pm Seattle Clipper last night. Until next year, Dina! :)

Here's a few of my retreat pics, anyway -- starting with the view from my room...

...out over Discovery Passage, between Quadra Island and Campbell River.

We drove to historic Heriot Bay ...

... and watched the Cortez Island ferry coming in...

(That's world-famous Desolation Sound in the background).

We drove through the ancient native fishing village at Cape Mudge, which is the oddest combination of old and new ...

And, "only on Quadra Island" could you see this...

... a cow resting by the living room window!

We got back Sunday night and I worked in the store yesterday, so today I feel like I need a day off! I'm hoping to finish the current pair of socks, at least...

Friday, April 24, 2009


Yesterday morning I was down on Dallas Road to watch the first cruise ship of the season come in at 8 a.m. There will be over 200 of these come and go from our harbour this summer .... what recession??

It was a lovely morning at the water -- after watching the cruise ship dock, I drove to Clover Point so I could watch for the Victoria Clipper that Dina would be on. Finished several more inches of the brown scarf while I watched this tugboat and barge go by...

(Yes, that's the thing about watching tugs pulling barges .... you can knit *inches* on a scarf in the interim!)

Then the Clipper arrived and I got to meet Dina ...

... with whom, it turns out, I have lots in common.

We spent the day playing tourist around town (and never even made it to a yarn store -- good thing she's still got Monday, when we get back, to explore!), capped with a Fish'n'Chip dinner at Fisherman's Wharf where we joined our son Jason and his girlfriend Kristen.

Along with another knitting buddy, Jennifer, we are off to the Fun Knits retreat on Quadra Island this morning!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

QUADRA ISLAND is calling....

I've checked a ton of stuff off my to-do list in the last two days -- writing project completed, calls made, two more sponsorships in place for the FibreFest -- in addition to the usual hanging out with the grandkids, knitting, and breathing the air at Clover Point. I got there just before dusk last night and it was lovely ...

I've been getting geared up to go to Quadra Island for the retreat, too. The focus is on charity knitting this time, so even though I intended to participate anyway,Shelley invited me to be her guest because of CommunityKnitters.com! I'll also be teaching a couple of classes, so that should be fun. AND a woman I've never met, but have corresponded with via email for a year or so contacted me about coming along, and is arriving this morning from Maryland -- how fun is THAT?

So today we're going to play tourist around town, and of course, I'll take her to Knotty. We'll leave tomorrow morning for Quadra with one other local woman ... "only one more sleep!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I got to Clover Point yesterday just in time to see a fog bank roll in over Trial Island ... this is one of my favorite pictures in a long time, and I thought it was fitting today. (Remember that you can click to see it bigger).

What will you do to acknowledge Earth Day today? Here's a few ideas....

Earth Day Canada

David Suzuki's Nature Challenge

And, of course, I'll be knitting with natural fibres. :-)

Monday, April 20, 2009


Yesterday morning we met Mischa and the boys for brekkie, so that was a nice start to the day. Even though we see Mischa almost every day (we are her day care), it's usually when she's rushing to get out the door to work -- it's nice to actually spend some time together once in awhile!

Then Michael and I had to drive out to Colwood to pick up a carpet we'd been given (we've had plywood floors in the aft cabin since we tore out the last one!), so of course, we couldn't resist a stop at the Esquimalt Lagoon.

And Michael actually got a decent shot of *me* for a change!

... and of the ducks...

Then we stopped at Saxe Point on the way home (who's in a hurry to lay carpet on a beautiful sunny Sunday?) and watched a few sailboats barely moving in what little breeze they could find:

Why, yes, I *have* been knitting, why do you ask?

The burgundy socks, finally, in Regia, from this year's Knitting Pattern a Day Calendar, the February 4th entry. I like them a lot -- it's too bad they are a bit snug on me, and I'll have to give them away as a gift!

It's a work day for me, so I get to go hang out with fibre now.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My sister emailed me last night after she googled about the wreck we took photos of in Sooke basin last week -- she found this info. She was called the Florence Filberg, and I found a photo of her when she was still a working tug. Apparently she'd sunk in Seattle before she was towed to Sooke! (That blogger-kayaker dude also has several entries about lots of other favorite places of mine -- Clover Point, Albert Head, Enterprise Channel, etc.)

So I was driving along Dallas Road yesterday (my van goes there as if on automatic pilot, what can I say?) and decided to see if I could find the Beacon Hill spindle sculpture. I took Circle Drive into the park, and made my way up to the flagpole... and there it was.

Apparently some members of the local Weavers and Spinners Guild are planning a walking tour, with spindles in hand, some time this summer. I'll keep you posted!

I had a great time at Knit'n'Cafe -- a few women who haven't been coming were back, and a couple of new gals came, too, so it was fun. Picked Michael up from looking after Gibson, and we took a deli dinner down to Clover Point together. I got started on the third scarf in the mohair/silk series I'm doing:

And the old-man-of-the-sea went for a bit of a wander:

It was a full and lovely day, and today I'm teaching at the store most of the day. :-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Signs of Lekwungen

The Signs of Lekwungen (pronounced Le-KWUNG-en) is an interpretive walkway along Victoria's Inner Harbour and surrounding areas that honours the art, history and culture of the Coast Salish (First Nations Canadian) people who have resided in the Victoria area for hundreds of years. The project was completed in 2008, and I've been meaning to tell you about it for weeks!

The Songhees and Esquimalt Nations are part of the Coast Salish First Nation family and are descendants of the Lekwungen family groups. Lekwungen is the original language of this land.

Signs of Lekwungen consist of seven unique site markers – bronze castings of original cedar carvings, conceptualized and carved by Coast Salish artist, Butch Dick. The markers depict drop spindle whorls that were traditionally used by Coast Salish women to spin wool. The spindle whorl was considered the foundation of a Coast Salish family!

The site markers, each with a different theme, are placed at seven culturally-significant sites to the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations along the Inner Harbour and surrounding areas, as follows:
* the Lower Causeway in the Inner Harbour. (Theme: Four Directions of the Eagle. Eagles are the messengers of the sun (grandfather) and the moon (grandmother) and are far-sighted and strong.)
* Songhees Point (Theme: Four Seasons of the Salmon Family. The four salmon families are represented: Sockeye, Coho, Chum and Spring)
* Laurel Point. (Theme: Four Winds;eEach wind carries a healing power and a song.
* the site of the south west bastion of the Hudson Bay Company's fort,on the north side of the Malahat building, on Wharf Street. (Theme: Walk in Two Worlds; recognizes colonization.)
* the entrance to the Royal BC Museum. (Theme: Celebrate Diversity. Three Nations on Vancouver Island: Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth and Coast Salish.)
* near City Hall on Pandora Avenue. (Theme: Seim Speaker -- a person held in high esteem who speaks for the people.)
* the Beacon Hill "Lookout". (Carving theme: The Cairens -- rocks placed in circular patterns to signify ancient burial sites. Sea otters are the keepers of spiritual powers; "little people" are playful spirits who assist others.)

The carvings were cast in bronze by Jack Gibson, a casting specialist and well-respected sculptor among the First Nations. Each bronze casting is a disk, 106.7 centimetres (42 inches) in diameter, which is anchored to a brown powder-coated aluminum pole. Site markers are approximately 2.5 metres (8 feet, 4 inches) in height and weigh close to 455 kilograms (1,000 pounds).

Each drop spindle is anchored on an angle to a grey granite base. Underneath lies a sandblasted map of the Inner Harbour, illustrating the locations of the seven markers. The base's top is inscribed with the traditional place name (where applicable), phonetically in Lekwungen as well as in English.

The Original Carvings

Clear, close-grain red cedar was used to carve the whorls. The cedar tree was, and still is, sacred to the Coast Salish. From the cedar tree, ancestors were able to make such items as clothing, blankets, houses, canoes, paddles, totem poles and paint brushes.

Butch Dick is the master carver for the Signs of Lekwungen. Trained in fine art and graphic design, Butch has taught First Nations Art and Culture in School District 61 for more than 20 years and is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Victoria, teaching an Indigenous Learning course.

His sons, artists Clarence and Bradley Dick, assisted him with two of the spindle carvings. Project partners included the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations; the City of Victoria; the Government of Canada, Department of Canadian Heritage, Cultural Capitals of Canada Program; the Province of British Columbia; the Provincial Capital Commission; the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority; and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities.

You can download a copy of the City of Victoria brochure, with photos, here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I forgot to tell you that day before yesterday, when I took Hailey back to the ferry, I was daydreaming a bit on my way home -- until I heard a noise behind me on the freeway...

It was the sound of the motorcycle cop stopping me for speeding. So now I'm $125 poorer, and, I hope, a little wiser! (That's only the second speeding ticket I've had in my life - and I deserved both of them).

All the more reason why yesterday's 'escape' to Albert Head was so sweet. We cruised out under beautiful sunny skies and choppy water, and had this helicopter right over our heads for a moment ...

When we got to the little cove where we anchor, we weren't even alone.

But it didn't matter, because we'd left the city behind...

I had my feet up in seconds flat once the anchor was set, and worked on the navy blue mohair/silk scarf, which is nearly done.

And watched the action on shore (or rather, the lack of it...)

Those are Canada geese snoozing in the sand -- which is pretty much what Michael did, only in his lounger chair on the bridge.

This is my new favorite picture of our favorite anchorage:

The trip home was a little more eventful ... the usual south-west wind had come up to about 20 knots, so we banged around a bit on the way home -- but it was a lovely afternoon, and we can hardly wait to get out there again!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I just had a two-day 'retreat' with my sister.

I'm going to Quadra Island next week for a 3-day knitting retreat.

I produce a major fibre festival in June, and have a million details to take care of between now and then.

I have a new writing/editing job that's due in 10 days.

I haven't got time to goof off today ... but life is too short not to! (Right? Right?)

We're going off the dock, for the first time since our anniversary in January. It's supposed to be a beautiful sunny, calm and warm day, and Albert Head has been calling our name since spring arrived here in Victoria. I have to be back to teach a class at 7 pm so we'll just go for the day, but I can hardly wait!

I have two knitting projects that I should be able to finish.... and who knows? I may even start spring cleaning.

If you need me, I'll be here...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Now... where was I? Oh, yes, back at the B & B! Julie decided to brave it, and walk those stairs down to the beach from the B & B . And this is what she saw... (her pic, not mine, of course!)

There's one other beach picture that Julie took, I have no idea where on this trip, but it's a stunning photo and I just have to share it ....

And speaking of beaches, we also drove to the beach where our parents lived for several years -- somewhere I have a photo from almost 30 years ago of my father feeding a trumpeter swan on this beach:

Julie also caught one of me doing what I do best.... :)

(That's a sock I'm working on, and I truly hope to show you the FO's soon!)

We saw several wrecks on this trip ...

But we actually spent quite a bit of time driving around to find the best angles to photograph the 'best' wreck we saw -- it must have been a magnificent tugboat at one time, but not anymore...

We drove all the way around the entire harbour (East Sooke Road, for those of you in the know...) and ended up here, at the entrance to the harbour from the open Pacific Ocean. This entrance is known as quite a navigational challenge -- it's not very deep, and as you can see from the photo, it's a complete "S" curve to get in. Sure is pretty, though!

On our way home to Victoria, we stopped at Royal Roads University in Colwood, because Julie had never seen it (and it has lovely gardens and a real castle on the grounds). But all of that was upstaged by these dudes:

That was the one who wandered off after checking us out, but this guy....

... must have thought we were going to feed him or something. He came right up to Julie's window...

All in all, this was one of my favorite road trips, I think!

We had dinner at Mischa's last night (and not one photo of the boys is worth showing you!) and this morning I'll take Hailey back to the ferry -- and maybe finish those socks at a beach out that way.

Life is good!

Monday, April 13, 2009


I had a lovely long weekend, and I hope you did, too!

My road trip to the west coast with Julie was perfect. The rain held off, mostly, and we even saw the sun a few times! I might need to show you in two installments, because we took a LOT of pictures. First stop, the Esquimalt lagoon...

... and then on to the parking lot of the William Head Penitentiary, which is apparently the closest you can drive to Rack Rocks Lightstation.

By the time we got back to Sooke Road, we had already decided not to go Port Renfrew, but that was okay!

I knew there was a house en route that I really wanted to take a closer look at, so we found it, and we did. The whole house is built down in a bit of a ravine, so all you see from the higway is the roof ... but what a roof it is.

Lunch was at a great restaurant overlooking Coopers Cove:

Next stop, Jordan River, famous the world over for its surfing qualities (the waves come all the way from Japan, pretty much) but there was no chance of surfing that day... much too calm!

On our way back toward Sooke, we took a side road into what was supposed to be a little bay, and discovered two things. First of all, there was a huge waterfront development we've never heard about going on, with what looked like probably over 100 home sites started.

But more importantly (for me, personally), we found the Sheringham Point lighthouse!

Here's Julie making her way back up the hill from the lighthouse:

We stayed at the Ocean Wilderness Inn, which was a delight! Here's the view from our bedroom window:

And a small part of the gardens...

(This was also the path to the hot tub, in a gazebo off to the left, which we took at about 9 pm, in the dark, in those great big over-sized white bath robes. We were both too tired, and the hot tub was too hot, to stay in long, but it was a lovely experience, anyway!)

And then there were steps down to the B & B's private beach:

More tomorrow, I'm going with Jason to drop Joshua off at the train (to go home to Parksville) shortly, and then out for breakfast with Jason and Hailey, who is here from Whistler for Easter. I'm at Knotty by Nature today as usual, and then going over to Mischa's for our family Easter dinner (not orchestrated, organized, controlled or cooked by ME .... yay!!)