Thursday, September 29, 2011


Note: The story I'm about to tell you is true. And it is ultimately knitting-related. And it's intended to make you LAUGH.

Night before last we invited Mike over for dinner to celebrate his retirement, at 78! (He's been the wharfinger at Whaler Bay for 5 years, and has now gotten all settled on a new dock in Ganges where he has NO responsibilities!)

I haven't cooked a roast of beef for years, partly because we're not big meat-eaters, and also because of the price of those things. But this was a special occasion, and so I shelled out for a (cheap cut) pot roast. Then I went to the farmer's market and bought a bunch of fresh-out-of-the-garden organic carrots, and fresh this year's baby potatoes. It took me two hours to prepare the veggies and dress the roast with onion and garlic and beef broth. Into the oven it went while I prepared an equally delectable fresh-organic-greens salad. Michael drove in to town to pick up Mike, and at 5:30 the table was set and they'd arrived back.

When I lifted the glass roasting pan out of the oven, the heat (it had been on at 400 degrees because it wasn't cooking fast enough), for some reason, went right through my oven mitt. I tried to get it set down quickly on the counter because it was going to burn my hand, but couldn't do it -- upside down it went, and all that lovely 400 degree fluid spilled over both of my feet! I happened to be wearing a pair of my handknit wool socks, of course, so as I was screaming in pain I also reached down and ripped off the socks so the burning would stop. With dinner now all over the floor and our poor friend staring with that I'm-absolutely-shocked-and-completely-helpless-deer-in-the-headlights look, my hubby had the presence of mind to get a basin filled with ice water for my feet until we could figure out getting me to Emergency.

The short story is that I have second-degree burns on my left foot, and first degree on the right foot. Yes, it was painful then, but somewhat better yesterday and today already, and they tell me by tomorrow it *shouldn't* be painful at all. However, I'm bandaged from ankles to toes, and I'm under doctor's orders to sit in my recliner for at least the next 48 hours with my feet up and doing NOTHING. A home nurse will visit later today. And then it may take as long as 3 weeks to heal completely, during which time I will have to be in bare feet, and in the recliner as much as possible (after all, it is nearly October, and one can't be out running errands, etc., in bare feet). Besides, I have a husband who loves taking care of me, mostly because I'm so cussedly independent most of the time that he doesn't get the chance.
So guess what? It's my feet that are burned, not my hands. I'll be having A LOT of guilt-free knitting time. Not exactly the ideal way to get it, but, hey, I'll take what I can get! Mwah ha ha.

I already finished the 'mystery object' which turned out to be a lovely cowl...
And yes, I'll behave myself, and do whatever those medical people tell me to do. I promise. :-)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


By knitting in public regularly, I have met two or three knitters here on Salt Spring, and at least one has come to the knitting circle I'm attempting to start here in Fulford. But yesterday I got to meet at least eight new knitters! One face was familiar from the one meeting of the local Guild I've managed to get to, and it turns out that this knitting circle meets in her partner's restaurant. I'd like you to meet Heather, who graciously modeled the (still not blocked) stole for me...
There was also another Guild sale installation in the window of Bruce's Kitchen ...
In this case, it was a woven (and then felted, I think) set of a fork, knife and spoon, of course!

Bruce's Kitchen is a small but funky little coffee shop overlooking the park where the world-famous Saturday market is held (you can see the edge of it beyond the parking lot in the photo), and that was the first time I'd been there. I arranged to meet our friend Mike for coffee an hour before the knitters were coming, and got a 'lesson'. You see, Bruce's doesn't serve you coffee, you make your own -- in little one-cup French presses. Mike showed me the ropes...
How cute is that?

Well, we've weathered our first big storm of the season in the marina -- it blew up to 40 knots in Haro Strait off and on for the past two days. We lost power for a few hours, and 'rocked and rolled' a lot, but otherwise the Wind Walker, and the marina, came through it just fine. We're anticipating more of those, and worse, over the winter, so that was just a preview, but it was a good one!

I'm now doing a test knit for a mystery something ... and is it ever! I'm just following directions precisely and blindly on this one, because nothing about it is intuitive, and, just to complicate things more, it's knit in Noro. Check this out:
Note the changes in direction, the live stitches on the holder, etc. I have NO idea what this will become, but it's fun trying to figure it out. I'll keep you posted!

Monday, September 26, 2011


Just in the past week, autumn has begun to arrive in Fulford Harbour. It's been rainy and dismal, but it was nice after supper on Friday night so we went out for a little dinghy ride. Little wisps of fog chased us around the bay ...
... but we know we may not have many more evening dinghy rides before the nights start closing in on us, so it was lovely to be out there -- the calm, the quiet, and the smells of the ocean, mingled with the cedars ringing the harbour, were all lovely. And what a nice place to come home to. Cruising past the 'village' ....
... to our little corner of the world...
On Saturday mornings, we have a bit of a routine. Michael has to go in to Victoria to do a little janitorial contract we've hung on to (it's nice that it's for our son, too!), and the longer we live here, the less he likes to go there -- so he takes the 6:15 a.m. ferry so that he can get done and be on the 1 pm ferry home. It's still dark at that hour now, so I drive him to the ferry and then drive across the bay to Drummond Park to watch the ferry leave. This weekend, by the time the ferry left it was just light enough to get a picture ...
Then I usually drive in to Ganges .... grocery shopping, the market and doing laundry take up my morning. This weekend the West Coast Work Boat Rendezvous was happening in Ganges -- it's always interesting to see these beautiful old work boats mostly now converted to pleasure craft -- and our old friend Maryann from Parksville (one of the charter members of the Association) is always there, too.

The Rendezvous also marks the end of the 'summer' moorage season in Ganges. Once all the work boats leave on the Sunday, folks who are waiting for 'winter' moorage are generally hovering around like vultures to get on that particular dock -- it's first-come-first-serve, and it's *really* inexpensive, so there's a lot of competition! At 8:30 yesterday morning, the 'Kanaka,' a well-known local boat, left the harbour authority dock across from us (where he spends the summer) to cruise in to get his place there ...
... and our friend Mike began his journey, with some friends from Galiano, to do the same thing.
We drove in to meet him, and 'caught up' with him near the Salt Spring Sailing Club docks ...
(By the way, that big old fish boat behind him is the 'Tyee 1', another little piece of BC history, at over 120 years old and still floating!). Here's the boat that was the 'posture child' for this year's Work Boat Rendezvous -- it's called the Torhavn, and I don't know much about it except that it sports an Easthope engine!
Anyway, we got Mike all settled in his new 'home' in Ganges and then went for lunch with him, his friends Jeff and Audi who had come with him, and our friend Maryann. (Jeff and Audi, by the way, own a sailboat called 'K So' and Audi tells the story: "Jeff starts every question to me with "k, so.... are we going shopping?" "K, so, what's the plan?" 'K, so, we're buying a sailboat?' so I decided that should be the name of the sailboat we bought!" And then they named the dinghy 'Let's Go!')

So we had a nice day in Ganges, but had to get back here because the first wind storm of the season was roaring in, and we wanted to check on all the boats.

In spite of all that 'out there' activity, I did manage to have some quiet time right here, and FINISHED the 'Entwined Hearts' shawl. Here's about a fifth of it, in all its unblocked glory...
Today I'm going in to Ganges again to the knitting circle that meets in the winter months there, and I'll try to get someone to model it for a better picture!

It's pouring rain and windy out, again -- I think I'll go refill my coffee and cozy up to start a new knitting project!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


We've been home for a week already? Where DOES the time go?? Well, it has been busy around here! But first, some more pics of our mini-holiday.... that Glenthorne Passage sunset was exquisite, and Blogger wasn't cooperating the other day!
That house on the point sits empty all the time - we've never seen any activity there at all. But the passage behind it is the entrance to Ganges Harbour, and it's busy all the time -- boaters coming and going, freighters and ferries. This next pic is just to the left of that house, and 10 minutes later...
While we were anchored in Glenthorne we went via inflatable over to James Bay, the park on the north-west shore of Prevost, where it is my mission to pick apples from the abandoned orchard there. It's Michael's mission to feed the deer!
(Is it just me or do these two have the same facial expression?) ;-)
Anyway, we had a great time, and we were just so grateful to be able to at least get away for a week.

Since we got back, I've company twice. First of all, I had a visit from Maria and Julie (not my sister, another Julie!) last week. I met Julie several years ago when she demo-ed her antique sock machine at the Victoria FibreFest; I 'met' Maria when we both participated in a 'secret shawl knit-along' online a few years ago, and I'd been following her blog ever since. Unbeknownst to me, Julie and Maria also knew each other through a sock-machine-knitting forum online -- and through a very convoluted series of events, Maria came up from Washington to visit Julie in Victoria, and then they came over here for the day. I'll let Maria tell you about our visit. It was a lovely day, and I'm enjoying getting to know both of these knitters! (I have NO idea why I didn't take any pictures, though...)

Then the next day my friend Esther and our 'Bawston' buddy Maggie (she's the red-head) came for a visit -- we hung out to knit at the Rock Salt Cafe for awhile and then came back to the Wind Walker. We didn't get a lot of knitting done, but we had a great time!
I've also been busy picking, freezing and baking with blackberries (and apples!), in between knitting and two new little writing gigs I've started. In our almost-34-years together, I've baked Michael maybe three blackberry pies, and this year was one of them. We've had blackberry pancakes and muffins, and I've frozen a couple of pounds so far. Now the rains have started, so I may not get any more...

Knitting is happening, too, but nothing I can show you -- I still have about 12" to go on the silk stole, and about an inch to go before the toe decreases on the current pair of socks. I *have* done an interesting and fun test knit for a Christmas project, but can't say anything about that yet until the pattern is released.

Day before yesterday, Michael and I went on a 'road trip' by ferry, to Galiano Island. Our friend Mike, at 78, is finally retiring from his job as wharfinger at Whaler Bay, and moving here, to Ganges. He and a friend are cruising his boat over this weekend, so he asked us to come and get a bunch of his stuff -- tools and heavy things that are taking up space on the boat, and that he really won't be using anymore. Getting to Whaler Bay from here on the ferry system requires going from here to Schwartz Bay (the main terminal for the Victoria area), driving off, going about a mile out on the freeway, doing a u-turn and coming back to get on the Galiano ferry. At the end of the day we had to do the same thing in reverse, so it was a four-ferry day!

Here's the Vancouver ferry coming out of Active Pass, which our ferry is just entering...
And here's Whaler Bay, a lovely little spot that I'm sure Mike will miss...
The guys were busy unloading and sorting Mike's dock boxes and loading stuff in to our van, so I got to wander and take pictures. :) You can see the two of them working away next to Mike's boat on the dock...
We got back to Fulford at 10 pm, exhausted!

Yesterday I had to drive in to Ganges for a doctor's appointment, and passed this along the way...
It's an installation promoting the upcoming local Spinners and Weavers sale on October 1st and 2nd, which is also the day of Salt Spring's Apple Festival -- so if you're coming over from Victoria for either event, let me know!

Here's a couple more shots I took while I was in Ganges... I'm a-feared the rainy season has begun. :( Link
Today .... I'm knitting. At home here this morning, and at the Rock Salt this afternoon from 2 - 4 pm.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

AAAH... WE NEEDED THAT (Post 2 of 2)

I had to laugh when I read Esther's comment yesterday ("How long is a few hours in Salt Spring time"?) We have an 'inside joke' on Vancouver Island that we're all on 'Island time,' which is, of course, a slower pace compared to city life. But I've commented that I thought I knew the meaning of 'Island time' until I moved here to Salt Spring Island, where the pace is even slower. (SS Islanders call Vancouver Island 'the big Island!')

Anyway, the answer to the question must be 'about 24 hours' because that's how long it's taken me to get to this second post. Our friend Mike from Galiano showed up on the 9:30 a.m. ferry yesterday morning, and I needed to take him in to Ganges .... a 14-mile drive to the 'town' here on the Island that somehow ends up taking all day every time you go!

So ... back to our little mini-holiday. After 5 days in Bedwell Harbour, we reluctantly pulled up Linkanchor (it's a tough place to leave) and moved on to our second-favorite Gulf Island spot, Glenthorne Passage on Prevost Island. Those of you who have been reading my blog for a year might remember that we cruised there last year but only stayed a few hours before I became seriously ill and had to be rushed to the Gulf Islands hospital (you can read the details here if you like)! We've been back twice on day trips with guests but this was the first time we went by ourselves and could stay for a few days. It was heavenly... here's the view looking out from the anchorage onto Captain's Pass (that's a ferry going by in the distance):
Here's the same view (a little closer-up) at sunset (with a few extra neighbors):
Glenthorne is known for its stunning sunsets, and it didn't disappoint... but for some reason Blogger won't let me upload any more pictures right now!

KNITTING happened, of course ... I've made serious progress on the silk stole for Julie, and nearly finished a pair of socks. But the most exciting project is that I've designed and knit a new scarf...
... which I'm calling the Gulf Islands scarf, and which I'll have the pattern written up for SOOOON.

Michael looks pretty relaxed after the holiday, don't you think? (Well, at least his hair does.... we both need haircuts badly!)
I'll have to figure out what's going on with Blogger and post, yet again, later. I still have lots more pics to show you!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

AAAHHH ... WE NEEDED THAT (Post 1 of 2)

Got back yesterday afternoon from a week-long cruise -- not very far away, but every minute was wonderful. (Warning: long and photo-heavy post here)!
We made a bee-line for Bedwell Harbour, as we've done every year - the difference this year is that it's less than 1.5 hours away, instead of 4! Our first three days there were very relaxing and hot -- we wasted no time getting into the pool and hot-tub, and even treated ourselves to a hamburger one night in the pub.The food's great, and the view is wonderful...
On day four we had our first (and only) 'mis-adventure'. Just to orient you to the depth of this disaster, you need to know that, on land, the pool is across a lane off to the right in this photo. And the anchorage, Beaumont Marine Park, is off to the right behind the ivory-colored shed you see, centre-right in the photo. In other words, you can't see the anchorage from the pool or the pub. (The boats you see in the background there are actually in the Poets Cove Marina).

So... Michael gets out of the pool to join me in the hot tub one day ( a distance of about 5') and happens to glance out toward the marina -- just in time to see our boat going by, about 75' from the breakwater in front of the marina! We flew out of the hot tub, dried off and dressed in about 30 seconds, ran down the dock to our inflatable ... and chased our boat! Turns out that a big cruiser had come in and tried to anchor next to us -- they must have landed right on our anchor and then lifted it when they moved on to another spot instead. In the process, the Wind Walker was set adrift, and was slowly making its way across the harbour when we spotted it! Good thing Michael happened to look up when he did, and amazingly, it didn't hit any other boats or the breakwater before we 'caught' it.

We had a few other, more pleasant, dinghy adventures:
I took lots of pictures of scenery, too -- I hope, for you, that they don't all start looking the same!
Every year, one of the things I enjoy the most is watching what I call the 'cast of characters', and in this case, that means lots of different vessels:
And this year, for the first time, two other Chris Crafts were anchored in Bedwell at the same time as we were -- both of them a bit smaller, and built in different years, but still interesting to see.
After 5 days at Bedwell, we moved on to our second favorite anchorage in the Gulf Islands, Prevost Island. Post #2 to follow in a few hours!