Friday, May 29, 2009


I had a date yesterday, with two of my favorite little boys ...

After all, the circus was in town ... and what could be more fun for Grandma than that?

We had a great time -- the boys have never been to a circus, and I hadn't been to one since their mom was a little girl!

But while we were off at the circus, my beloved was having some fun, too ...

Last year, just in time for Father's Day, Michael fell in love with this kayak which was on sale (second-hand) at the kayak store that's one of our dock tenants. The family agreed to pitch in to buy it for him, but when he went to get it, it had sold! He noticed it was back yesterday, and sure enough, it was for sale again.

He owns a new toy now. :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009


...because the big-ass yachts start arriving from all over the world.

This one is the 150' 'Time for Us,' it's owned by some Kansas real estate dude, it cost over $30 million to build a few years ago, it has a crew of ten, and it can be chartered for a mere $200,000 USD weekly.

Oh, you just lost your job? your house? Too bad about that...

As much as I love boats, and elegant design work, and being blessed with the wherewithal to cruise in my little corner of the world, I also get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach every time I see one of these.

This is much more my style, personally...

Although it looks a little 'worse for wear' at the moment (which is probably why it's coming in to the Point Hope Shipyard across from us), the Rolano is Sushi on the Sea at the Sooke Ocean Resort B & B in the Sooke Harbour. She's an 80' motorsailor with a crew of 4. And no hot tub. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


In spite of my crazy day yesterday, I did manage to cast off this sweater this morning! Wanna see that cables-and-lace bit close up? It's lovely, if I do say so myself ....

Yarn: "Kim", an Italian cotton-acrylic blend that I ordered from about two years ago, 4 mm needles, a pattern of my own devising -- but the 'cables and lace' is in one of the Nicky Epstein books.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


1. I sat down this morning to upload pictures from the weekend, and my camera battery is dead. Luckily my friend Esther sent me a few of the Swiftsure finish line, and I'm sure she won't mind if I use them here (thanks, Esther!)

2. I got a call on the weekend from an old friend who has beat cancer THREE TIMES -- she was coming to Victoria for radiation treatment. :-( Michele has been a warrior in the best sense on many levels and nothing short of a medical miracle for the past 7 years. There is no correlated good news for this item, except that I'll make a point of going to visit her as soon as I can get up-Island...
3. Since the restaurant where the FibreFest Fashion Show is held CLOSED overnight two weeks ago (on the DAY that the posters and programs were going to the printer, I might add!), I have been madly scrambling for another venue for 60 folks to have a dinner -- not an easy task four weeks out, in the month of grads, weddings and Father's Day. But yesterday I finally found a GREAT place (a two-level 'ballroom' at Harbour Towers, for you locals!) so today I have to scramble to get the printing finalized, the tickets delivered to Knotty by Nature, and the press release out! Check out this great space .... lots of room for displays, change area, sound system in place already -- what a goldmine, I'm SO happy!

And knitting has happened, which you'd see if only I could upload the photos. Tomorrow....

Friday, May 22, 2009


The 66th annual international Swiftsure sailboat race gets underway tomorrow morning, so the boats have been arriving steadily for several days now.

It's a party atmosphere in the harbour already, and several of my past favorites are competing again -- Mad Max, Kinetic IV and, of course, the local tall ship HMCS Oriole, sail-training yacht and 'goodwill' boat of the Canadian Navy.

I'll be teaching a class so I won't be able to see the start, but here's a photo from last year that shows what it looks like at Clover Point at the start of the race -- almost 200 boats jockeying for position! As you can see, last year's race was more like a 'Driftsure' at the start, though, so hopefully this year they'll catch some wind right away!

Meanwhile, on the knitting front, I'm to being finished the purple sweater, after it being a UFO for over a year now! Knit'n'Cafe today, so I should get lots more done -- I'm on the sleeves, with about 6" to go. Yay!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


I can't believe I haven't told you about my visit to Pendray House yet!

This house is over 100 years old and has been 'loaned' by a land developer to the Collective to run an art studio there. It overlooks the Esquimalt Lagoon, and it's just lovely!

I went there at the invitation of my friend Wendy, who is half of the inspired duo who created this project, which was on display there last week:

Wanna see that a little closer? :)

The entire display is either knit or crocheted, and we're invited to contribute to it. (It'll be on display at the Victoria FibreFest, so you can see it and add to it then!)

But that's not the main reason I was at Pendray House. They are doing an exhibit called 'Memory, History and Family' (on until May 25th, if you're local) and Wendy organized an event called 'Womens Work' as part of that.

I assumed that cameras weren't okay inside the gallery, so I didn't take pictures of the 100+-year-old lace items, the 75 years of historical women's aprons, or the 'work' we were doing .... knitting socks, and picking and carding wool. I did, however, get a picture of the grand staircase...

... and of Wendy demonstrating my drop spindle over the bannister...

We had a lovely day, and I learned more about carding, too -- many thanks to Wendy for the invitation!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Gibson's birthday is on May 25th, but it turned out that Hailey could come from Whistler, and the rest of us were all able to get away this past weekend, so away we went!

Michael and I had Saturday night on our own in the anchorage, and then Mischa and the boys, Jason and his girlfriend Kristin, and Hailey arrived at the beach on Sunday afternoon. Hailey brought the balloons and party hats, Gibson brought his beach toys, Jason brought his guitar and we ALL brought food.

The tide was coming in the whole time we were on the beach, so Michael, and then Mischa, had each taken a turn at pulling the dinghy further up the shore.

But at some point we heard someone yell, "Your boat!" and looked over to see our dinghy floating away! It was about 10' from shore when Michael reacted, kicked off his shoes, threw off his shirt ... and about 20' away by the time he dove in and swam a few strokes.

What you want to know now is that, even in AUGUST, the Juan de Fuca Strait is far too cold to stay immersed for more than a few seconds at a time. Two minutes in this water and you'll be in the beginning stages of hypothermia. Michael knows this because he *does* go in, on purpose, at least once a year -- for about 30 seconds.

So, at 59 years old and out of shape, he was sensible enough to realize he couldn't make it, and turned around and came back. Right then a young man who was watching said, 'That thing have oars in it?' When we said yes, he dove in -- and swam out to our dinghy which was by then about 40' away from shore. We stood there in disbelief that a total stranger was willing to take that risk for a *boat*, cheering him on.He had a bit of trouble getting aboard once he got to it, but managed to pull himself together and hoist himself over the side (which confirmed our fears that Michael could've never done it, and would have been in SERIOUS trouble even if he did make it to the boat).

This dude, whose name is Jessie, has no 'meat on his bones,' and it turns out he'd never been in the ocean before (which explains why he was so willing this time, but may never go in it again, now!) -- he was at the beach with his wife Crystal and two-month-old baby boy Paavo, and he's our HERO, that's for sure!

There were no other boats on the beach at the time, so we would have had to call the Coast Guard, and god-only-knows where our old inflatable might have ended up by the time they arrived.

So Jessie and his little family (his wife said to me that he's *always* cold, and she couldn't believe he did that!)have a special place in our hearts now, and a date to go for a little cruise on the Wind Walker -- without going swimming.

We had a bit of an adventure coming home, too -- we had towed our little sailboat out to the anchorage by just tying it alongside the WW. It was calm on the way to Albert Head, so it was an easy trip. Coming back on Monday, however, was much choppier -- and we realized as soon as we got out of the shelter of Albert Head that we couldn't tow it that way. So, in two-foot seas and about a 15-knot wind, we had to put the WW in neutral and bounce around long enough to disconnect the sailboat from our side, and let it back so we could tow it from behind. NOT FUN, and next time we'll think of that BEFORE we leave the shelter of the anchorage!

Much knitting took place, too, in spite of all the family time and birthday fun! I finished the brown scarf, and a pair of red socks, which are a gift:

I also completed the back and have started on the sleeves of the purple sweater I started last year!

Now I have MUCH work to do today to make up for all this play time.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


In honour of Gibson's 3rd birthday this weekend, we had a family trip to our favorite little cove at Albert Head, and had many adventures and mis-adventures. We all lived to tell about it, but my camera battery is still re-charging, and I have to meet a friend at the ferry in an hour, so MUCH more later today!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


My friend Wendy is involved with a new art gallery in Colwood overlooking the Esquimalt Lagoon, and she sent an email out last week about a show they're having this month. It's called Memory, History and Family, and runs until May 25; exhibited will be "works in any medium that remind us of our roots, with accompanying stories by the artist about the relevant significance of the piece."

For this week, an event called Women's Work is happening as part of that show. In addition to a display of aprons, past and present, several of us will be knitting, spinning, carding and drop spindling from noon until 5 pm for the next 4 days. I have some lovely, colorful socks on the needles that should be perfect!

(As an aside, I'm getting tired of socks and scarves .... gotta cast on something different soon....)

The Intermediate Knitting class I'm teaching at Knotty by Nature finished last night ... and there's three more knitters in the world now. :) My Saturday class ends this weekend, and there's four students doing really well in that one, too. I love teaching but it's getting close to FibreFest now so I don't have the time -- and after it's over, I like to go play all summer, so no more classes for me until October!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Many of you know that I'm a freelance writer/editor when I'm not playing with boats or knitting.

I love my job. I don't have to work very hard to make decent money, I can work in my jammies at 5:00 a.m. and be done for the day, if I want to be, by 10:00. I can turn down projects if there's anything I'm not comfortable with (and I have!); I also get to meet lots of interesting people, and learn about interesting subjects that I might not otherwise come across in my life. And, occasionally, there are other rewards, too.

Generally speaking, most clients cut you a cheque, shake your hand, and ride off into the proverbial sunset. But yesterday I had coffee with a client whose book is 'hot off the press' and he wanted to make sure I got a copy.

This job was a challenge ... what do I know about investing? Much of this book was in some kind of foreign language to me -- formulas and mathematical concepts and I don't get along so well. But Dr. Kinarthy's easy-going writing style and demeanor made it much easier, and I got it done.

Yes, the book *is* autographed, but more importantly...

... this dude knows how to say thanks!

(Oh, and if the book interests you, you can buy it here!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SHEEP TO SKEIN and other knitterly news

Saturday's Sheep to Skein class was as much fun as the first one -- I had washed some more of my Corriedale before the others arrived, and then we spent the day learning to card:

And it wasn't all 'work':

Amy and May even tried the drop spindle:

Next week's class is spinning on the drop spindle, but I'll miss that one ... we're taking the family out to Albert Head to celebrate Gibson's 3rd birthday, but the final class is on dyeing, and I'll be there for that one!

I've decided I *love* 3mm sock needles -- after laboring over the last pair (on 2mms) for almost 3 weeks, I cast these on Friday morning, and finished them last night!

I'll be casting on the test knit ones today, finally.

We had dinner with Mischa and the boys last night (we decided it was our belated Mother's Day dinner), and then Michael and I drove down to Clover Point briefly. I'm glad we cut through Beacon Hill Park to get there, because I've been intending to get a photo of the camas grass, which is in full bloom now.

This was historically a hugely important plant (for the healing properties of its roots, I believe) for the original peoples here on this coast, and the reason why we have the city of Victoria (as opposed to Sooke or Esquimalt). You can read more about that here if it interests you.

Monday, May 11, 2009


... I rarely blog on the weekends. I'm too busy living!

My 'weekend' always kicks off at Friday Knit'n'Cafe, and this week we had a drop-in visit from Esther and her three grandchildren -- all of whom are *almost* as adorable as my grandchildren. Charlotte, the oldest, taught us how to finger-knit:

Then we had River and Gibson overnight on Friday ... this was a first for Gibson since he was a baby. He's been in that too-big-for-the-playpen-too-small-to-sleep-in-a-real-bed stage for a long time, and we have limited options on a boat for someone who's used to a crib. But he's nearly 3 now, and Mischa and Jeff had a concert to attend, so we thought we'd give it a try again. We had a great time!

(Note the T-shirt River is wearing, I love it! It says, "Stop annoying my parents, that's MY job!")

On Saturday mornings I teach Intermediate Knitting at the store, so by Saturday afternoon, which was gorgeous, I was ready for a dinghy picnic. There's been a LOT of noise across the harbour here at Point Hope Shipyard all week, so we cruised over there to see what was going on. Earlier this week, this barge was brought in:

But now it looks like this...

They've been tearing it apart for scrap metal all week -- no wonder it was so noisy!

Then we went over to the Inner Harbour, and 'hid' for awhile behind Laurel Point:

While we were there, we had company...

And we watched a young hawk in a tree on the point, too...

Then, on our way back under the bridge, we slowed down to watch the F/V Amy Usen getting its spring 'spruce-up.'

The Amy Usen is an active local fishing boat, built in 1966. She's an 85-foot troller with a cargo-sized hold!

Then yesterday afternoon I participated in the second 'Sheep to Skein' class, which I'll tell you all about tomorrow! :)