Monday, November 30, 2009


... and I succeeded in posting every single day -- yay!

In other news, I've been knitting ...

I finished the body of the second newsboy cap, and I've cast on for the brim. My trip up-Island netted a finished pair of socks, and I've cast on for a baby blanket -- all my daughter's friends, or my friend's daughters, seem to be having babies!

I've been to the dentist this morning and had an extraction, so I'm going to go chill out for a bit before I need to be at the Sexual Assault Centre for the Threads of Compassion circle. More later, maybe!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Had a lovely trip up to Qualicum and back!

Made it to the Weavers and Spinners sale first ... there wasn't anything there that prompted me to spend my money, though (with apologies to the Qualicum area fibre folks). Then I went to the big craft fair -- and spent $20 on a CD (from an entertainer out in the parking lot!) for someone for a Christmas present.

Then we went over to Sri's house for a potluck lunch he had invited all of Susan's women friends to -- it was a neat idea. He had Susan's clothing and accessories all over the living room and dining room in his house, and we were all welcome to help ourselves to whatever we wanted. It was nice to see some of her other friends again (several of whom I've known for almost as long as I've known Susan), and most of them were having fun reminiscing about Susan while they were trying on her clothes, etc.

I was twice her size, pretty much, so I knew nothing was going to fit me -- but I did get her knitting needles and some yarn, a book, and a pair of earrings and a silver chain that I liked.

We went from there to Julie's house, and we'd been invited to join her and our niece Trisha (our brother's daughter, who lives with Julie) at Trisha's musical theatre rehearsal/recital evening. The lighting wasn't conducive to great photos but I did get one of Trisha (on the right) and her friend Sidney in a duet:

It was a fun evening!

This morning we (Julie, Michael and I and Trisha) went out for brunch at the Quality Inn in Parksville (check out the slide-show on that web page -- Parksville has one of the most beautiful beaches on Vancouver Island, in my opinion) -- to celebrate (belatedly) 'Take an Artist to Lunch' Day (or something like that!) and my birthday.

Had an uneventful drive home ...

Thanks for all your birthday wishes!

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Yesterday Janet came to Knit'n'Cafe with a shoebox for me ... full of old plastic needles that she has cut down to 8" and put beads on the end -- the better to teach kids to knit with at the FibreFest. :)

I always look in second-hand stores for short needles for that very reason, so these will come in handy, for sure.

We're on our way up-Island this morning for the weekend. The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners annual Christmas sale is on, our niece's Christmas musical theatre production is this evening, Sri is having a potluck lunch and giving away a bunch of Susan's clothes, and the Qualicum Christmas craft fair (one of the three biggest on the Island) is on. Those were already good excuses for a road trip -- and it's my birthday tomorrow, too. Michael drives so I get lots of good knitting time -- bonus!

I'll post tomorrow from my sister's (only 3 more days for NaBloPoMo, yay!) ...

Friday, November 27, 2009


This police boat patrols the harbour here on a regular basis, and goes up and down the Gorge Waterway. Last night just after dark it (and the Coast Guard Auxiliary inflatable) went flying by our marina with lights flashing and siren blaring, so I knew something was going on up the Gorge.

This morning the story is in the paper ... .

Don't know for sure, but I have a hunch these folks were occupants of a live-aboard boat anchored off Bamfield Park -- we saw them lots in the summer when we were going by there in our dinghy. They were in their dinghy last night when this accident happened, so I can't help but think they were probably returning to their anchored boat when they capsized.

This kind of thing happens here on the Island once or twice a year, and it's always so sad -- first of all, because it's a terrible tragedy no matter what the circumstances, but also because live-aboards all get painted with the same brush when there's news like this. The only difference, sometimes, between 'us' and 'them' is that we're lucky enough to live tied up to a nice dock in a marina. Lots of folks who choose the live-aboard lifestyle can't afford the dock fees (or the insurance that most marinas require now), so they choose to anchor out instead. It's always riskier, especially if there's alcohol involved -- but, like I said, a tragedy nonetheless. I'll post again if I hear any more news about it...

Meanwhile, I'm reading an old hardback book I found in a second-hand store earlier this week:

What a find this was! It was published in 1990 (I regret to add that that was 20 years ago, now, folks...) and it's a delightful history that I never knew existed, with illustrations (in black and white). The author is Shirley Scott, who now lives in St. John's, Newfoundland. From anecdotes about the first knitters in Canada (think: 1000A.D.) to the story of Mary Maxim to an overview of Canadian commercial yarn producers, this book is a great read -- and I paid $3.99 for what appears to be a collector's edition!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


... to my American friends and readers! I wish you every reason to feel blessed and grateful at this time, and I hope you have a wonderful Holiday Season, whatever you celebrate.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So much for that 'working for a living' idea I had yesterday. My plans went awry early on, so after that I just sort of went with the flow!

So I spent a few hours with two of my favorite little boys -- way more fun than working, anyway. Well, I mostly spent time with Gibson -- River's at that age where he comes in the door from school and if he doesn't have homework I can nag him about, then he gets a snack and goes in to his room to play video games.

But Gibson's at that age where he could entertain the adults in his life all day ...


I managed to knit a couple of rounds on a sock at a meeting last night. :)

Today might be almost as useless -- our old pal Mike is coming for a visit from Galiano this morning, and then I think Mischa and I have a shopping trip planned. Tomorrow I'll work for a living...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


No, I'm not really reduced to 'talking about the weather' on my blog, honest. But seriously, the weather here on the west coast lately IS a subject to talk about -- we've had serious floods up-Island in a few places, and ferry cancellations between here and Vancouver, and now on the northern route. It's been pretty consistently raining and blowing 20-knots-plus for several days now.

What's a gal to do?

Make a big pot of chicken stew...

... and knit, of course.

And today, work for a living....

Monday, November 23, 2009


About two years ago, I started a local 'chapter' of Threads of Compassion,a Chicago-based group that knits scarves and shawls for clients of the local Sexual Assault Centres. When I say I started a chapter, what I mean by that is that I put the info and link on the page, became the local contact, and encouraged local knitters to support the effort. It works out that about every other month or so I take 6 or 7 scarves or shawls in to the Victoria Womens Sexual Assault Centre ... and it doesn't even begin to fill the need. Some time ago, I suggested to them that I would be happy to host a knitting circle right there so that survivors could knit scarves or shawls for others, in a safe and secure setting with like-minded spirits.

Well, it's finally happening! Starting today, I'll be hosting a group there as a volunteer, and we'll meet Monday afternoons from now on -- I'm really excited about this development, and looking forward to seeing it grow. "Knitting is good for the troubled spirit. And it doesn't hurt the untroubled one, either." (Elizabeth Zimmerman)

If you are a local survivor and you'd like to know more about this effort, or join us, please feel free to contact me privately for more info ...

Sunday, November 22, 2009


I mentioned the other day that I was planning to help decorate the venue for Charissa's wedding. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned this here before, but many moons ago I owned a balloon store -- which meant I did a LOT of wedding decorating, and not just with balloons.

In this case, all the decorations were provided by Charissa and her folks, and we mostly just had to 'place' things, so it was a pretty easy task. The venue was the University Club at UVic, which is a gorgeous setting to begin with.

Our friend Robin, Charissa's dad, is a carpenter, and he created the bases for all the lights and the centrepieces. We put lights around the dance floor:

Here's the head table:

And here's a single table with the centerpieces, and with the place markers (little Christmas balls, actually, with people's names written on them in metallic pen -- very clever of them, I thought!):

And here's what the room looked like when we were finished:

When we were finished, I made it down to Clover Point where I worked on the swatch for the new, improved newsboy cap, and watched the pilot boat go out to this freighter -- in the week's usual rain and wind:

Then it was time to get home because River was coming for a sleep-over. :)

This morning it is -- surprise! -- raining and windy, and I don't intend to accomplish a thing today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Ever since I learned to knit socks, I've always knit both at the same time on dpns.(That way I never have to deal with 'second sock syndrome).

So yesterday, at Knit'n'Cafe, I did what I always do -- reached into my little sheep bag, and took out the shortest of the two socks to work on. Three hours later, I put it away to leave the coffee shop.

My routine, on Friday afternoons, is to relieve Michael, who has been taking care of Gibson since 9 a.m (joined by River since school got out at 3 pm) -- and when you're almost 60, running around after a normal 3-year-old can be pretty tiring! So I get to Mischa's by 4-ish, and stay until Jeff gets home around 5:30. Yesterday, I did two stops before I got there -- at the drugstore across the street to pick up a prescription, and then to meet Penny and Robin at their daughter's wedding rehearsal long enough to pick up their apartment key (which I'll need later today because I'm helping to decorate the reception hall, but that's another story)!

At some point once I was with the boys I reached into my handbag to get a cough drop ... and realized that my little sheep bag seemed awfully thin: something wasn't right. So I opened it -- and sure enough, there was only ONE SOCK and one cake of yarn, not two!

So I called the coffee shop to see if I'd left it behind. Apparently not, as the owner even kept the phone in his hand while talking to me, and retraced my steps out to the parking lot.

When Jeff got home, I drove to the drugstore, and inquired at their customer service desk -- no, no half-knitted sock had been turned in. Then I drove to the cathedral and checked all around where I'd parked ... no half-knitted sock there, either. On brand new stainless steel Knit Picks dpns, I might add. Note: all this time, it was pouring rain.

What could have happened to a half-knitted sock?? And if someone found it, what would they do with it??

So I got home around 6 pm after stopping at the market -- and there was a message on the answering machine that the coffee shop had found my sock! I got back in the van, in the pouring rain, and went to retrieve it.

Apparently, when the owners were leaving for the day at 5:30, they saw my sock -- sitting on a post on the edge of the parking lot, where someone had very carefully placed it, it seemed. Still completely intact, not even a dropped stitch ... but soaking wet right through the cake.

I have no idea how it came out of the bag, and no idea what adventures it had while we were apart -- I'm just really happy to have it back!

Friday, November 20, 2009

CALM AND DRY ... at least momentarily

Here's a shot of the Coho leaving the harbour this morning under much nicer conditions than the other night ...

I can't tell you how much I love this new Ogden Point webcam, it's hard not to open it 20 times a day -- it shows every single thing coming and going from the Victoria harbour from an angle that the Dallas Road one doesn't. :)

Now, about that newsboy cap ... the gauge LIED.

It's way too loose around the head, and in order to preserve the pattern for one more repeat, I had to 'stack' the decreases in a way that made it gather too much at the peak --- so even though it'll make a lovely hat for the charity drive, it's all wrong for my intended recipient. So I'm starting again...

We woke up this morning in a power outage -- the first one in almost 6 years we've lived on this dock. I assumed it was because of the wild winds that howled most of the night again, but it turned out that an 'under-the-influence' dude in a pick-up truck struck a power pole right by the bridge at 5:30 this morning, and took out the power for 5 blocks around. Dude's alright (well, except for the fact that he's in a heap of trouble, and might just have a bit of a drinking problem ... but he's not injured, anyway) and the power was back on by 9:30, so all's well.

Knit'n'Cafe today!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


... and windy, and it's been pretty much non-stop for the last several days.

The first big storm of the season is always kind of fun -- we light up the woodstove, 'batten down the hatches' (guess where *that* expression came from??) and snuggle in to the cabin (that's the living room in nautical talk) to rock-and-roll and ride it out. When we very first moved aboard, friends and family would call us on nights like that and ask if we wanted to come and stay at their house -- it took awhile for people to get that we *liked* being on our boat in storms!

I also like going to Clover Point when it's stormy.

I was about to leave last night, when it became too dark to knit, when the Coho ferry came out of the harbour -- it's not a great pic, but you can see that even it is struggling into the wind:

So work is getting accomplished, and so is knitting. Almost ready to start the decreases on newsboy cap #2 ...

It's a black cotton-acrylic blend, and the stitch pattern I'm using is called 'Eyelet Twigs.' I may actually write up the pattern this time when I'm done!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Yes, I know that last post was a big cop-out. But here I am posting at 6 a.m. again, and that feels good!

I got some work done yesterday morning, but then the phone rang, and Wendy was inviting me to lunch -- Ogden Point Dive Shop Cafe was the perfect place to chat, storm-watch and knit for a bit, so how could I resist an invitation like that? (Remember you can click on the pics to see them bigger...)

Wanna see that a little closer?

Then I picked River up from school, and we went for a drive through Beacon Hill Park to just hang out for a bit, and check out the fall colors, etc. I never even thought to get out the camera until we were in the Dairy Queen having hot chocolate! He asked me to take this one of him sitting between the two antique carousel horses...

And then he took one of me...

Then we went back to his house, where Michael was taking care of Gibson ... and I forgot about the camera again.

A lovely and not-very-productive day ... I have started another newsboy cap, though, and of course, cast on another pair of socks. But today I have WORK to do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Almost forgot to post again today!

I have about 3 minutes before the deadline, I think.... whew.

Some post, huh?

Monday, November 16, 2009


Wow, how did it get to 7 pm again before I post?

I didn't sleep very well at Hailey's (like about 4 hours) so I went to sleep early last night, and slept until 10 am -- it was lovely! Woke up to torrential rains which have continued uninterrupted all day ... so it was a good day to stay home and do nothing. Well, I did manage to get dressed. And I finished a small toque for the charity drive from the left over sock yarn (that I'd started at Hailey's yesterday) ...

Michael, on the other hand, had an energetic and productive day that started with a knock on the door this morning. A marina tenant had spotted several logs chained together, adrift in the Upper Harbour earlier, and it appeared that the obstruction was heading into our marina. Michael went down to the end of the dock to assess the situation, and sure enough, it looked like a bit of a boom/breakwater had broken away from the Rock Bay project area, and was about to do some damage to one of the boats in our marina. These were logs the size of telephone poles!

So he had to fire up the inflatable and tow this beast back up the harbour and tie it to an old jetty. After that he decided it would be a good day to get a new winter tarp on the boat, so shopping for that was a major project. The tarp has to be large enough to cover the entire bridge of the boat (a tarp's purpose on a classic wooden boat is to keep rainwater off the wood as much as possible to keep wood rot at bay), and I'm picky about how it looks -- so it has to be white rather than those cheap blue plastic tarps you see everywhere.

He finally found the perfect tarp at about 4 pm this afternoon, and then had to put it on in the pouring rain. It'll come off in time for this year's Carol Ship Parade in December, and then probably not again until spring.

The Harmony Guide book is off the shelf (in the toque picture) because I'm designing another newsboy cap for someone else for Christmas ... I'll let you know how that goes!

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Had a lovely weekend away, and I'm glad to be home.

Up at 5 a.m. yesterday morning to get enough coffee in to me to make it over to the VANOC 'Fleet Compound' at 7:00 a.m. to meet up with the other trainees. We all piled on to a big charter bus with our trainer Heidi, and headed north to Whistler. Here we are heading over the Lions Gate bridge and out of Vancouver:

A quick shot of the view from the top of the bridge:

We actually had some of our training on the bus, which was kind of fun. Then we got to Whistler, and to the huge converted warehouse/garage which is now headquarters of the Whistler Fleet until after the games:

The morning consisted of a bit of an overview of the Transportation component of the Games -- it's the biggest volunteer pool of the entire operation, with a huge contingent in Vancouver as well as Whistler, and covering both the Olympic and Paralympic Games. We got radio training as well:

Then, in the afternoon, we got introduced to the amazing GMC Acadian SUVs that we'll be driving:

Not too shabby, huh?

Every trainee got a chance to drive them for at least half an hour, around the Village, and out to each of the Olympic venues. Here's a 'sneak peek' at the Ski Jump:

And, as you can see, we had real live winter conditions to practice in! It snowed the whole time I was in Whistler, pretty much. Here was the view out Hailey's window this morning:

But she got me back to the 3:00 ferry -- with a lot of annoying requests from me to slow down, turn down the music, slow down, do her shoulder checks, slow down, etc. -- and I was home safe and sound by 5:30. :)

Oh, and I left her with my weekend's worth of knitting:

So I am now officially a trained Olympic 2010 volunteer driver. Funny, I don't feel any different -- just really tired!

Saturday, November 14, 2009


Michael drove me to the ferry yesterday morning, and then I got the bus from the ferry to the YWCA. It's been years since I've been on a bus, so that was a weird experience ... but it went well. :)

I love the 'Y'. The rooms are basic but clean, it's right downtown but feels completely safe, and it has a knitting room. Oh... sorry... I mean a common kitchen/lounge area. With a view!

Wanna see that view a little closer?

Vancouver is almost as pretty as Victoria -- but it's definitely got the 'big city' thing going on. But look, those are sailboats!

Even as I read about the Women's Ski Jumping team losing their court case (against VANOC, the organizers of these Games, for discrimination for not including their sport in 2010), I'm pretty stoked about this volunteer commitment.

I'll post tomorrow morning from Hailey's place!

Friday, November 13, 2009

FRIDAY the 13th


I'm getting on a ferry this morning... are you superstitious?

I'm off to Whistler for the weekend, for my Olympic driver training seminar. I go to Vancouver today and for overnight, then there will be a shuttle from downtown Vancouver in the morning to take us up to Whistler. I'll spend tomorrow night with Hailey, and be back on Sunday. (Should be a fair amount of knitting time in there, too...)

I'm taking my laptop, so I hope to keep my NaBloPoMo commitment intact!

I'll be here if you need me...
(Photo from Whistler Tourism)

(Hailey's little hide-away) :-)

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The sun was shining, and neither one of us had anything pressing that had to be accomplished, so.... what to do? Go for a dinghy ride, of course! What's that you say? It's the 11th of November? Tell these folks...

We took a little 'jaunt' over to the Inner Harbour to check out the boats...

Then we headed over to Fisherman's Wharf, since we were still warm ... and caught up to someone's left-over jack-o-lantern along the way...

We stopped by and chatted with the retired principal from River's school, whose float home is for sale there, and then noticed this one next door.... 'all the comforts of home!'

It was a lovely little outing ... and we were still not cold when we got home. :)