Monday, January 30, 2012


Well we finally got out for a walk the other day, and it was lovely.

We walk around the property every day, and we walk to and from the 'village', to the post office, restaurant and ferry, but we hadn't 'gone for a walk' since before Christmas, and we've been missing that!

Apples still clinging to a neighbor's tree:
Sailor's sailing and ferries to and fro-ing:
And the streams that empty into the bay from up above the village are full after all the rain:Blue sky and calm out there today, so we may even go for another one. But in the meantime, have I ever got knitting to do! I'm working on the Stripe Study shawl commission...
It's interesting because the stripes are done in 'short rows' but it's otherwise just garter stitch and pretty ho-hum -- I'm about a 'third' done. Then there's the pair of socks I have on the needles .... I'm teaching the sock knitting classes right now, so I need to have a sock ready for each of two classes each week that I can use to 'demo' the next step -- so I've just turned the heel on both socks, and need to have them knit to the toe decreases by this Saturday morning. That will be my Rock Salt project for this afternoon's knitting circle.

And I'm still slooooooooooowly working on the second block of the second strip of my niece's afghan ... and I'm still participating in the Ravelry shawl 'Mystery Knit-Along'. We just completed clue 4 of 6, and my Christmas in January shawl looks like this:
This is the edging, of course, and then it'll move into straight short-row stockinette by the next clue and end up being a narrow crescent shaped shawl. I love it! I'm glad there's only two more clues, though, because...

Last week I was commissioned to design a particular 'dress' for a 10" doll, and said I'd have something for her to look at this Saturday. HA! (More about that in another post, later....)

And finally, yesterday, also on Ravelry, I was invited to join a cowl knit-along. It's a series of five cowls, and there will be a time limit to knit each one and post a pic in order to get the next pattern for free, and there's a bunch of other prizes for suckers like me, too ... um... I mean for the cowl knitters who sign up. They had me at 'cowl', I signed up, and the first pattern is printed out this morning on my coffee table.

Oh, the pressure! :)

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So it did warm up, and then it started to rain, and then the wind started to blow... and we've now had 3 or 4 days straight of 'rockin and rollin' in here. On Saturday morning my living room was pitching so bad that I actually felt a little naseous ... that's never happened before! A live-aboard in Ganges Harbour (10 miles north of here) lost his life in that storm -- his sailboat had torn away from its mooring, and he was found in the water but they couldn't revive him.

I've been to town to run errands, buy groceries and check in on our friend Mike at his boat, but other than that, I've been pretty much hanging out here at home, and really enjoying it (even though it makes for really boring blog fogger)!

Our son Jason had a birthday on the weekend -- he's 37 now, which really translates as his *mother* is getting older (that would be me)!
Speaking of my kids ... Hailey has flown off to Cannes, France for a week! She's a professional organizer and has a long-time client who is selling her villa there and needed her help -- tough job she has, huh?

I finished a second pair of fingerless gloves for myself yesterday ... my hands are *not* healing very well, regardless, and I still have some side-effects from that antibiotic reaction last week. Ack! However, the 'Mystery Knit-Along' is coming along -- I did frog the white one I started last week, and I'm now doing 'Christmas in January' by starting again with red silk and dark green beads:
.... and this one I love!

Friday, January 20, 2012


Well it has warmed up overnight to a balmy -4C, and we are still supposed to get more snow/freezing rain/rain before the temperature climbs to a +6C or so this afternoon. I sure hope it does, because I haven't been out of the boat in 4 days, our water's been frozen, and we're out of coffee. Hoping we can get out of the driveway this afternoon for a trip to town!

Meanwhile, much knitting has taken place. I finished the Arcus cowl (#6 of the 8 commissions I got before Christmas) yesterday:
... and I've done another half a block on a blanket strip, and I've ripped out and re-knit 2" of the mystery knit shawl, and ....
... I've had to whip up a pair of cotton fingerless gloves for myself to help these hands heal! It's been suggested to me that I may be allergic (or at least sensitive) to wool, so I'm keeping the gloves on at least until the current issues heal up, and then we'll see.

Yesterday I looked out the window to see a rigid-hulled inflatable with about 5 people on it, cruising slowly around the bay...
They said they were from Fisheries and Oceans, and they have to do 'periodic' testing of the sea floor in all Small Craft Harbours -- for metals, fecal coliform and PH balance! It was -8C yesterday, you'd think they could have picked a warmer day! I've sure appreciated our little woodstove these past several days.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Well, the 'more snow' we were expecting arrived overnight with a vengeance, and it's still coming down. It's a lovely winter wonderland out there, but I'm sure glad I don't have to be anywhere but here ... with a little fire in the woodstove, and my knitting!

I ended up having to visit emergency yesterday to get on a more powerful anti-histamine to slow this reation down - I have the equivalent of a 'chemical burn' on the palms of both hands, and on a few of my fingers, so I'm now bandaged up to keep infection at bay. I begged them to leave my fingertips free so that I can knit ... knitting hurts, but so does just sitting here, so I'm just pacing myself a bit at a time. NOT having fun.... here's what just one finger looks like right now (and the rest is much nastier):
Weird, huh?

The GOOD news is this... as of today, Michael is TWO MONTHS smoke-free for the first time in almost 43 years!! I'm so proud of him, and so happy that he seems to have finally beat that addiction, after many, many attempts over the years.

And the other good news? AMERICAN IDOL starts tonight! I know, it's weird, I'm not much of a TV person at all, but I got hooked on that show two winters ago, and just love it -- I've been so looking forward to watching it this season.

Pictures of knitting soon, I swear...

Monday, January 16, 2012


One of my 'crosses to bear,' it seems, is an ongoing battle with excema. I had a particularly severe outbreak on my hands at Christmas (can you say 'stress??') ... I'll spare you the details, but I ended up on an antibiotic, which I then reacted to - severely. Makes the excema discomfort seem like nothing, I can tell you that!

So I am stupid on anti-histamines and anti-inflamatories now, and the antibiotic reaction made the outbreak on my hands even worse! Makes for very slow knitting (especially because I'm supposed to be wearing cotton gloves) and a miserable me.

Between that and the recent weather, I've hardly been out of the boat -- I went to knitting on Thursday and I'll go to Rock Salt today, but it's been really cold and yesterday it even snowed for an hour or so. It's all gone now, but there's supposed to be more later today.
These fellows had gone out to set their crab and shrimp traps, and got caught in it:
They admitted that it was a pretty weird experience.

I taught sock-knitting on Saturday! A couple of gals from the knitting group wanted to learn, so I put an ad on our local 'info exchange' list to see if anyone 'out there' was interested, and several people called ... so I had two classes with 4 people in each. Even with the stupid gloves on and feeling exhausted, I had a great time!

Getting lots of knitting done, but not much to show yet. The cowl is nearly done and I'll get pictures of it later; I'm on my second blanket strip, and the spring socks I cast on for myself have about an inch of cuff so far. And then, since I didn't have quite enough projects on the needles, apparently, I joined a shawl 'mystery knit-along' on Ravelry. I've finished the first 'clue':
... and I think I'll take my miserable self back to bed now!

Monday, January 9, 2012


According to my blog 'manager' it's been 5 days since I last posted -- where does the time go? Other than River's birthday dinner on Wednesday ...

. I've had some pretty lazy days, actually, so I have no excuse!

I looked out the window one day and saw this...
I have no idea where it came from, and as I watched it, it dissipated!

I've been knitting, of course... I finally got past the swatch for my niece's wedding present sampler afghan (she got married in October!) and I've got the first 'strip' almost done:
This is pure undyed wool grown, processed and spun here on Salt Spring Island at the Gulf Islands Spinning Mill (several years ago, I've had it in my stash a looooong time), and I'm creating a traditional 'aran'-type sample blanket ... with luck, they'll have it in time for their first anniversary, do you think?

I also finished shawl #5 for that commission I started in the fall... this is 'Lacy Baktus' in a pale grayish-green wool-cashmere blend:
... and I've already cast on for #6, which is a cowl knit in some luscious Australian merino the woman sent me!
She originally hired me to do eight shawls and cowls, but has now given me the go-ahead to do another four items with additional yarn she sent. I'm having fun matching yarns to patterns, and trying out some different things I wouldn't ordinarily make!

Speaking of knitting ... we'll be at the Rock Salt this afternoon ... and I have a pair of new socks on the needles for me, me, me!!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


A huge special happy birthday today to our 'middle' grandson, River, who is (unbelievably!) thirteen years old!!
I intended to dig out a bunch of old photos of him and do a collage here ... but instead of embarassing the poor kid, I decided I'd just steal one of *his* favorite pictures. River has had his share of challenges in this life already, but is becoming a wonderful 'young man' who is smart, fun, funny, talented (musically and artistically) and quirky, and he continues to bring joy to our lives every day!

So today we'll take the ferry over to Victoria for a family dinner -- he has requested Chinese food, which is our favorite, too, so no objections there. And it's been pouring rain here for days, so it'll be a nice little 'road trip' for Michael and I, too. I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, January 2, 2012


Happy New Year, everyone! Even though 2011 resulted in us coming to Salt Spring, I'm pretty happy to leave the *rest* of that year behind us :-)

My camera has lots of different light settings, but I still haven't been able to figure out how to take a decent picture in low-light conditions -- the only kind available in Jason and Kristin's apartment in Victoria. But I have to show off the last of my Christmas pictures, anyway, because it captured one of my favorite moments ...
River will be 13 in a few days and is already halfway through middle school, Gibson will be 6 next birthday and is halfway through kindergarten, and Joshua will turn 18 in a few months, and graduate from high school this year. They're all growing up 'way too fast! Joshua lives up-Island with his mom, so these three don't get to see each other as often as they'd like ... and you can see how they feel about each other here.

The tree is down, the decorations are all but put away for another year ... and as much as I love the whole holiday season, I also like to see it end, too, and to get back to our quiet little life. I had no idea how well I'd adapted to this rural lifestyle until we arrived in downtown Victoria for dinner at Jason and Kristin's .... driving in the dark and in the rain, and with the all the lights pedestrian movement and the traffic noise, I was keenly aware of how much detail I needed to focus on. Here on Salt Spring? Drive slowly and watch for deer....

I've already signed up for Ravelry's 12-Shawls-in-2012 Challenge but I have to first finish the one I started on Dec. 28th...
... which will bring my 2011 shawl total to 17!

Knitting at Rock Salt this afternoon .... I have a tough life. :-)