Monday, January 31, 2011


When you take care of a 4-year-old who is sick with a cold, it's pretty hard not to cuddle him, right?

Right. End result? Gibson gifted me with his cold -- he's much better now, of course, but I started feeling crappy on Saturday afternoon and woke up yesterday morning with the full-meal-deal: fever, stuffed up, sore throat, runny nose and coughing. YUCK.

It should have stopped me (but it didn't) from going to a huge yarn sale in Metchosin yesterday - someone known to one of the gals in my Thursday spinning group closed down a yarn store a few years ago in the interior, and all this yarn has been in storage since. We were privately invited to day one of the sale, which was held in an old empty garage. Wendy reminded me to get out my camera, and I still forgot .... but between the yarn fumes and the lousy cold, my brain must have been befuddled: I came home with about 40 25-gram skeins of sock wool ($1 each -- seriously, wouldn't you have??), enough of a lovely black boucle-type wool for a cardigan for myself, and a few other assorted skeins of loveliness.

Several of us went to Wendy's for tea afterwards, but by then I just wanted to be home in my bed -- by 4 pm I was curled up in Michael's recliner with his alpaca blanket over me, and didn't even have the energy to knit.

This morning I feel like I've been run over by a truck ... but I might be able to summon some knitting energy. I have some wool. :)

Friday, January 28, 2011


I arrived at Monike's to see this bucket of locks...
Isabel, Wendy and Rosalee were already spinning ... 

... but my interest was in the dye pots in the kitchen. There were two: an onion-skin pot, and an indigo dye bath. I'd brought along some plain natural wool...

Indigo is amazing stuff! The dye bath doesn't look like you'd imagine... (I forgot to get a photo of Monike's but I found this one online)...
   The wool has to be pre-soaked, and then it's gently lowered into the pot. When it comes out it's a light blue-y green color -- and then the air causes it to oxydize, and get darker! Watch this...
 Here's some white lace edging that Isabel threw in...

And here they are a few minutes later...
Want to see that again?  :)

Here's a lace doily of Isabel's...

How amazing is that?

So I put one of my skeins in to the onion bath, and it came out a lovely gold color...

Then we put it in the indigo bath. Remember elementary school color theory?

Yellow plus blue equals green.

Then we went back to our spinning and knitting, surrounded by all the drying fibre-y goodness!

I'm SO hooked on this!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How did it get to be Wednesday already?

I finished the Wings to Heaven shawl yesterday morning, and got it blocked ... not a great pic, but I'll get some outdoors later.
So that's shawl #3 for the 11-in-2011 Ravelry challenge, and I had #4 on the needles before the end of the day -- a much easier, quicker knit on 8mm needles with bulky yarn:
Today I have lots to do, some of which I'll be able to tell you about ... latah! :)

Monday, January 24, 2011


.. because I have a long "stuff-I-gotta-do" list!

Had an interesting weekend -- Julie came down from Parksville and we went together to a WordPress workshop, which Jason and Kristen also attended. Most of it was over my head, but I bumbled around trying not to look like a complete idiot, and eventually I hope to absorb what I heard.

Yesterday I knit and watched figure skating, mostly. The Wings to Heaven shawl I started on our anniversary is about 90% done, and I'd like to finish it this week -- my mind and heart are already on the next one!

Today I'm going for coffee with a potentially new client, in Sidney, one of my favorite places to knit at the water, so I'm looking forward to that. And since I haven't had my camera out of the bag for days and days, I thought I'd leave you with a photo from last year... if you look closely, you'll notice that these seagulls are 'soaring with the eagles'!

Friday, January 21, 2011


37 years ago this morning I gave birth to my first-born. In spite of me, he survived, and today Jason is 37 years old -- happy birthday, Jayce! Here's two recent pictures I stole from his facebook page -- the first one is from his friend Scott's wedding at Bedwell Harbour, and the second is Jason in his element -- at a music festival with a microphone in his hand!

And me? Still knitting, still writing, still hanging out at Clover Point (although there hasn't been much of that lately!) and still going to Knit'n'Cafe, which I'll do this afternoon. :) Then my sister Julie is arriving for the weekend -- we're going to a day-long WordPress workshop tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


How can that be?? Let me retrace my steps....

January 12th was last Wednesday -- right. On Thursday I hosted my 'Fibre Friends' spinning group here in the Sunset Room.  
 And Esther stopped in to visit, and modelled her new sweater for us!
There's a reason I knit intricate lace shawls, and ordinary socks, folks -- there are no seams to sew and, other than tucking in yarn ends, no other finishing. When I see projects like this, I'm in complete awe ... so, from now on, if I ever knit another sweater, I'll be begging Esther to do the finishing for me.

On Thursday evening I attended an 'Intro to WordPress' workshop that was a bit over my head, but interesting -- at some point this blog may migrate over to WordPress, along with several websites, but at the moment I have a LOT to learn.

On Friday morning I had marina admin stuff to do, then coffee with an editing client, then Knit'n'Cafe in the afternoon. I really need to take more pics there ... it's a great group right now, and lots of talented knitters are creating lovely things!

Right after Knit'n'Cafe I picked Gibson up from daycare, wrestled River away from whatever video game he got into when he got home from school, and we went out for burgers and fries. I got to hang out with the boys until Mischa got off work around 7:00, so that was fun -- but I was exhausted when I got home!

On Saturday and Sunday I attended yet another workshop, gifted to me at Christmas by Jason, sort-of about small business marketing. I say 'sort of' because it's difficult to describe what it was about, but it was interesting, and I got to hang out all weekend with lots of pretty cool people who are up to some pretty cool stuff. Again, I was brain-dead when I got home Sunday evening, though.

Yesterday I had a newsletter that had to be at the printer before 3 pm and from there to the post office by 5 pm. With my (figurative) blinders on, I sat at my computer from 8 a.m. to 2:49 p.m. ... and finished, in spite of the fact that Mike from Galiano showed up for a visit, the phone was ringing, and my knitting was calling.

I left the post office at 4:49 p.m. and got to Clover Point with my knitting pretty much in time to watch it get dark.

So, speaking of knitting, I'm maybe 20 rows further along on the shawl I showed you in my last post. And the current socks on the needles are about 1/2" longer than they were a week ago. Pretty dismal production for me!

Today I *must* do some marina admin stuff this morning, and this afternoon I have the private knitting class I'm teaching (that I also need to do some prep for).

I might work for a living tomorrow for a few hours, but I do also have some serious knitting to catch up on, and then AMERICAN IDOL starts tomorrow night -- I am a completely shameless fan!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Just before we left on Sunday, it started to hail, something that rarely happens here! Some of the stones were as big as peas landing on our 'porch' and on the boat's gunwales:

That wasn't going to stop us, though. We got out to the hotel around 1 pm -- and the room was amazing. Here's the view out over the American San Juans (including Mt. Baker):
And here's the view, not just of some of the room, but from the 2-person jetted tub in the room!

We went out for dinner our first night there, and we kept intending to get out for a walk along the seawall, but it was really cold the whole time we were there -- perfect for snuggling up in front of the fireplace. It even snowed a bit ... this is the view out to the right of the room:
Much knitting took place -- I started a new shawl called Wings to Heaven  and knit about 10" before I realized there was a serious mistake 2" back, and had to frog it. I'm almost back where I started now.... 
Here's a close-up of the pattern - I'm really enjoying this!

Got back in time for a small private knitting class I'll be teaching for the next 6 weeks, and got home just before supper, and just before the snow flew again.

Not sure if I'll accomplish much today.....  :)

Sunday, January 9, 2011


This coming Wednesday (Jan.12th) will be the 33rd anniversary of the day Michael and I met ... in the bar at the old Sidney Hotel. When I stayed there (at the now-much-improved bigger fancier hotel) for an overnight in November I asked to speak to the manager, because 33 years ago he was the lounge manager, and I knew the hotel was still in the family. The receptionist turned out to be his sister, and the three of us had a great chat about 'old times.' They were a little surprised that Michael and I were still together, with our history!

When Dennis had to leave for another appointment, I asked his sister to book us that same room for January 9th and 10th -- the two days this month I knew we could get away to celebrate. Well, she insisted on 'upgrading' us to the fancy-dancy deluxe suite at the same rate I'd just paid for a plain nice little room -- $83 a night!

So we are off this morning, and won't be back until Tuesday around noon. Yay!!!!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Just finished and blocked Annis this morning!

This is the first time I've knit laceweight on 5mm needles, and it wasn't fun, especially while I was still on the lacey edging. I used about 400 yards of a skein of 100% alpaca hand-dyed by Ryan at Knotty by Nature here in Victoria -- delicious yarn. It's a lovely teal with subtle changes throughout .... once again, my early morning pictures don't do the color justice.

It's more of a shawlette than a shawl, really, especially for someone my size ... but it IS stunning. I substituted crystal beads for the nupps the pattern called for, and I'm glad I did.

Friday, January 7, 2011


There's been two pieces of sad news in the nautical world in the last 24 hours . First of all, Jeanne Socrates, the British grandmother who left Victoria in the fall to sail around the world, has had a knock-down less than 200 miles from Cape Horn. She's fine, but there's too much damage to the boat for her to continue, so she's heading for a harbour in Chile as we speak. You can read the story, and see pictures here .

Closer to home, a serious fire in the Ladysmith Marina has left one man dead, shattering the dreams of a young couple about to go sailing around the world -- and there's extensive damage to the marina in general. That story is here.

I wanted to show you some pictures from River's birthday, but again, most of them didn't turn out very well -- the lighting at Mischa's is not great. But River did enjoy the cell phone we got him ...
We told him that even though we get that he'll be texting all his friends all the time, we really bought him the phone for his own safety -- he has increasing freedoms now, so we want to have the ability to get messages to him wherever he is, and for him to be able make contact with us if he ever needs to. He's texted me for the last two mornings to say "Good morning, Grandma." I love it!

I went out to Wendy's studio for the spinning group yesterday. I managed to get a few rows knit on a sock, but I mainly spent my time ogling everyone else's projects -- just look at the talent in this group! First up is Alice, wearing a ruana and showing a scarf she knit. This woman processes all her own fleece from scratch!
Then we have Jane, who owns and raises her own Icelandic sheep, and does most of her own processing, too. This sweater is one of the results!
Here's Laurie with a Fleece Artist shawl/scarf her daughter-in-law made her for Christmas.
And then there's Monike (current prez of the Victoria Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild) showing the sweater she made her guy for Christmas from her own hand-spun, and the pair of thrummed mittens she finished over the holidays, too.
 Finally, our host Wendy and member Gail model their 'first-ever' woven scarves -- completely different styles and both equally gorgeous!
No wonder I like to go there on Thursdays, huh?

Today is Knit'n'Cafe, but I won't be taking this project there.... see this heap of stitches? It's a shawlette being knit in laceweight baby alpaca (read: delicate as hell) on SIZE 5 MM NEEDLES.
... and there's over 300 stitches on the needles! It's a challenge, I can tell you that, but here's what it'll look like when it's done: 
I think it'll be worth it, don't you? :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


It's hard to believe he's 12 years old today! As tall as his Mom already, his voice has already deepened, and like many 12-year-olds, he's most comfortable in front of a video game or on his skateboard.

But River is also not your typical 12-year-old -- he's had some challenges to overcome in his life, and he's fun, funny, smart and creative. He is one of the biggest joys in our life (which is full of joys!) and I'm so glad we've been able to live close by for the past 7 years.

Right after I exchanged emails this morning with Penny about how my day was going to go, I remembered that we're having dinner at River's house tonight to celebrate - so my day just got even crazier.

Here's the shawl I showed off yesterday, blocked (the color is lousy, though-it's a lovely heather green):
I already have another one on the needles -- I must be crazy but I signed up for a Ravelry '11 Shawls in 2011' challenge. One day at a time....

Monday, January 3, 2011

198 Yards of Heaven....

... is the name of the shawl I've just finished, for myself -- my first project of 2011! It's not big, it's more like a 'shawlette' or scarf, I guess, but I like it a LOT. It's about 40" wide across the top and 20" deep from top to bottom. (Those of you on Ravelry can find the details on my project page).

I've been knitting at the water...three days ago I watched this huge otter at Clover Point lunching on an equally huge EEL!

And then, day before yesterday, when I took 'Galiano Mike' back to the ferry, I stopped at my favorite pull-out near Sidney and watched the sunset -- caught the last of it shining on Mt. Baker:
Today Michael and I are going on a little 'road trip' out to Sooke and Jordan River .... more later!  :)