Friday, July 31, 2009


There have been forest fires raging out of control here in BC for several weeks now -- one of which is near where my father is buried in Gold Bridge, BC.

But when you read or watch the news, it's all very 'surreal' -- it's one of those events that only happens to other people, or in the movies or something.

Until the fire is on the mountain in Whistler, BC, burning 3 miles away from where our daughter Hailey lives.

Last night's update was that it's burning *away* from the Village, but it's nerve-wracking, regardless! When I got hold of Hailey on her cell phone, I suggested that she should get out of Dodge and she had actually considered doing just that -- but had a job to go to, so decided, in the end, that it would be 'business as usual' until she hears otherwise from the authorities there.

The 6 a.m. update says the fire is still burning up and away from the Village -- and none of the Olympic venues are affected at this point, so it may well turn into a non-event for this family.

It's supposed to be a few degrees cooler today, so maybe I'll actually get some work done.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Yesterday the thermometer topped 100 degrees in our boat ... with the windows open and a fan on! But it was easy to be distracted since we have the boys for a few days ...

We took some pictures of Joshua and his friend too, but they're on my son's camera and he hasn't emailed them to me yet. While we were swimming, two tug boats were busy moving some kind of platform structure around at Point Hope:

I'll be calling there today to see what it was!

Knitting is happening .... slowwwwwwwwwwwwww knitting! I'm on the edging for the shawl, but not even a quarter of the way around, it's taking forever!

I'm hoping to wear it to Steph and Ryan's wedding this weekend, so I need to keep plugging away at it.

Speaking of this weekend, it's Symphony Splash time again -- our absolute favorite event of the year will be this coming Sunday. The rest of the summer is getting booked up, too -- we have a cruise next week for 3 days with Susan and Sri, and then it's our 30th anniversary, and we have several day trips planned, too. In spite of my whining about the heat, I hope this weather holds! :-)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Spent the day yesterday with my friend Monica from Mayne and then Penny joined us from noon on -- wow, I had a 'girlfriends' day! :) It was too hot to work, anyway ... the thermometer topped out at 95 degrees in some parts of Victoria yesterday!

Penny and I took Monica to the ferry and then stopped here to knit...

We're supposed to get more of the same all week, with today being the hottest ... so I suspect that, other than the two hours I've been at the computer this morning, not much more will get accomplished today.

I'm about 6 rows short of finishing Waves in the Square, so maybe by tomorrow I'll have a picture of it!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Anyone who's ever met my daughter Mischa knows that she is smart, funny and beautiful -- but she has some kind of weird short circuit in her brain about TIME.

I was to pick her and her friends up at 9 a.m. to drive them to Parksville for another friends' wedding.

I arrived at 8:45, because I *don't* have a weird thing about time. Mischa and one friend were in the van with all their things by just after 10 a.m.... and then we had to go pick up friend number two. Then we all agreed that we had to go through the Starbuck's drive-through before we left town, of course.

Then we had to stop for gas, and then, 45 minutes later, a bathroom break; finally, we had to find a bank in Nanaimo so some cheques could be deposited.

We arrived at Tigh-Na-Mara resort in Parksville at 12:45. And, don't get me wrong, we had a great time on the drive up -- it was sunny and warm, and I love being around all that 'young energy'. I just can't believe how loooong everything took!

(In these pics, Mischa is the one with the DARK hair ... she colored it day before yesterday after being a red-head for almost 4 years!

By the time we got them all registered and unloaded, and I headed south again, it was almost 1:30 -- and I hadn't eaten a thing. When I stopped in Ladysmith for a sandwich I realized that by the time I got home to Victoria, Knit'n'Cafe would be pretty much over.

So I did what any self-respecting knitter would do ... stopped at one of my favorite beaches in the world, leaned up against a lovely tree in the shade, and worked on Waves in the Square. :)

... which is coming along nicely, I might add. I only have ten rows or so before the border ... it's already 21" long, and I love it!

Got home at around 6 pm., exhausted. I think I need a day off...

Friday, July 24, 2009


I spent the better part of the last two days watching Wendy set up my brand new spinning wheel!

Some of you will know what it is just by looking at it, I'm sure, but just for the record, it's an Ashford 'Traveller,' and I love it, love it, love it!

Now, if I could only find the time to spin on it... when I got home last night I wanted to show Michael how it works, but I realized all my roving was up in the storage room, and I didn't have the energy to retrieve it. This morning I have to make a quick trip up to Parksville, and I hope to be back in time for Knit'n'Cafe this afternoon.

Oh, and Hailey arrived from Whistler last night to take care of the boys for a few days, while Mischa and Jeff are off at a friend's wedding, so I'm hoping to spend some time with her, too.

Maybe NEXT week I'll get to spin.

But in the meantime, it's here, it's mine, and it's beautiful....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


This is about 14 ounces of qiviut plied with wool from the North, and it's all mine. It would retail at about $75 an ounce or so (read on to see why) -- and if you read my blog last week, you know that I paid $30 for all of this. :)

Qiviut is a beautifully soft fibre which comes from the 'underbelly' coats of the Arctic musk oxen. Qiviut does not felt when exposed to water and temperature changes, unlike wool, and it is lightweight, strong, insulating, and reportedly eight times warmer than wool.

Pure qiviut can be worn right next to the skin because of its extreme softness, but because it doesn't hold its shape well,it is often blended with other fibres -- cashmere or wools -- in order to knit with it.

Musk ox roam the Arctic in herds ranging in size between ten and 200, and a single musk ox sheds between five to seven pounds of fibre a year. Musk oxen have existed since the Pleistocene era and can be found in Alaska, Russia, Sweden, and Norway.
The qiviut is collected from the land in the spring as they shed it in large 'sheets'.

More recently, there are a few northern farms that raise musk ox, and the qiviut is collected by combing in the spring as they shed it. Musk ox are never sheared, as the coats take a long time to grow back, and shearing would expose the animals to the winter elements. Most qiviut collectives support native peoples, and the majority of their earnings are returned to the village of origin for improvements.

Qiviut has been used by the Inuit and other Arctic peoples for centuries because of all of its practical qualities - it keeps the wearer warm while wicking moisture away from the body. It makes light, lofty scarves and shawls, and it is often spun very fine to make lacy yet insulating over garments.

I have no idea yet what I'll do with mine ... but I don't care. It can just sit here and look all qiviuty.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I had some lovely photos to show you yesterday but Blogger wouldn't cooperate, so I'm trying again today.

The first thing we saw en route to Chatham Island was this boat ...

The tide was really low and the owner must not have been paying attention -- but when we went by later to get better pics, he'd already floated off the rock and was gone!

Lots of Garry Oaks ...

And this 'inukshuk' that someone created up on a bank...

Erin and Julie climbed up this ridge to get a photo of a lovely arbutus tree at the top ...

... and discovered prickly pear cactus growing wild everywhere...

Then we went off exploring in the dinghy, and saw the lighthouse...

... and a mama seal nursing her baby...

... and great blue herons...

Later in the day, the wind blew up and we didn't feel secure in that anchorage so we moved over to Cadboro Bay, passing this scenery en route...

Cadboro Bay is much more 'citified' but it was still lovely...

We watched the laser sailors for awhile, and then Victoria's two best-known tall ships, the Pacific Grace and the Pacific Swift, sailed in to anchor for the night...

Yesterday I did manage to get some work done before it got too hot, but then our oldest grandson, Joshua, arrived on the train, so off we went to the beach again. Joshua, at 15, is now officially 6 feet tall!

Nice to get one picture of 'all the men in my life...'

(I know Michael looks like he was in pain there, but the sun was just bugging him!)

Today is a work day until I can't stand the heat another minute!

Monday, July 20, 2009


We explored a new anchorage on the weekend with Julie and her friend Erin from Calgary. We couldn't spend the night because a wind came up so we moved over to Cadboro Bay, but we spent the day exploring by dinghy.

For some reason Blogger won't let me upload any more photos this morning, and after trying for 45 minutes, I have to go out the door. I'll try again later to update you on our adventures!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I started out yesterday working hard at the computer -- but then we got company...

Mischa and the boys turned up for a visit, and it was getting too hot to work, anyway -- so we woke Gibson up, had some lunch and then piled in to the dinghy and went exploring.

First we saw the 180' Huntress -- the hot tub on the upper deck of this thing gets covered to become a helipad, as necessary.

No economic downturn in those quarters, apparently.

Fisherman's Wharf's ice cream stand beckoned, though, so that's where we ended up.

Cute dummy, huh?

After I drove Mischa and the boys home, I went to Clover Point (just one more row!), and saw that the harbour entrance was fogged in!

Today ... work, work, work.... but then my sister Julie and her friend Erin will arrive at supper time, and we're going off the dock tomorrow first thing. Back on Saturday some time!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BIG boats

I had to go out to Sooke yesterday, so of course I stopped to knit at a beach on the way back...

I'm on row 120 of Waves in the Square -- only 50 more rows to go, and I'm really hoping to be finished in time to wear it to Stephanie and Ryan's wedding on August 2nd!

We've had some big and interesting boats in the harbour lately. Joides Resolution, an offshore drilling research boat, was here...

Right now the CGG Veritas, the most high-tech cable-layer I've ever seen, is tied up at Ogden Point.

And last night, the 172-ft. Deniki came in to the harbour ...

More work, work, work, today .... I'm almost caught up!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I brought my new spinning wheel home yesterday.

Isn't it lovely? :)

Now I just need to meet a few deadlines, and I'll reward myself with unpacking and setting it up. Meanwhile, you can check it out here -- it's the Ashford Traveller double drive -- and yes, I have room for it on my boat. In fact, my first inkling that I had room for a spinning wheel was last year when Wendy brought her wheel along on a knitting cruise we did. Here's my living room (aka 'salon' in boat-speak) ...

I have another acquisition, too. My friend Penny found TWO second-hand hardback original copies (of a 1947 reprint) of Mary Thomas's "Book of Knitting Patterns", so she bought one for each of us!

I'm just tickled about this ... I already had the "Book of Modern Lace Knitting" by Marianne Kinzel (1953; reprinted in 1972) and the "Second Book of Modern Lace Knitting" (1961: reprinted in 1972), as well as "Handmade Lace and Patterns" by Annette Feldman (1975), so the Mary Thomas book nicely adds to my collection of 'historical' lace knitting books. Of course, I'm going to have to live to be 437 to knit all the patterns, but that's beside the point, right?

Back to work -- I have a meeting with a client at 11 a.m. and I'd love to have some progress to report!

Monday, July 13, 2009


... because I'm swamped with work I didn't get done over the weekend because I played too much! Well, just one dinghy picnic ... but it was a looong one. :)

Last year, we found a little nook near the harbour entrance where we can watch the comings-and-goings without getting hit by wind, or too much wake. This time, we watched this cruise-ship dock ...

... and watched the idiot boaters trying to go by it as it's backing up!

After our picnic, we followed the wake of a whale-watching boat ...

...and then meandered through the Inner Harbour, and checked out the 150-ft. Katya...

and the equally luxurious, though different, Chimera...

... which is an Australia-based, award-winning 102 ft. custom-built sailboat.

Finally, we dropped anchor in another little nook to enjoy an ice cream cone, and watch this tug come under the bridge...

The harbour's been really busy this week, including a fancy-dancy huge, new navy blue helicopter making the rounds -- I'm thinking it's carrying either media or security because of this ...

In spite of the work schedule (and the occasional looong dinghy picnic distraction), knitting has happened -- I'm on row 110 of the Waves in the Square shawl (which means it's 387 stitches now, but will yet grow to over 500), but no decent pics to show you.

I'll be at Knotty by Nature knitting this afternoon, too, so I better get back to work!

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Getting loads of work done, and even had time to get to Clover Point in time to see our local fireboat .... practising?

I've made a bit of progress on Waves in the Square, but the rows are 350+ stitches now, so it's slowwwwwwwwww going ...

I leave you with a great picture I took last week of Mt. Baker (Washington State) from Willows Beach here in Victoria (well, technically Oak Bay, but who cares!)

And some cute ones of the boys at the beach:

Back to work -- hey, I might even get caught up on reading *other* people's blogs today!