Tuesday, October 30, 2012

My little visit to Whistler was lovely ... but I still haven't seen any snow.

When I got there, Hailey announced that since we missed having a family Thanksgiving this year, she was making a Thanksgiving dinner for us! She invited her friend Sabrina over, and we had roast chicken with stuffing, yams AND sweet potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower with a cheese sauce. And Sabrina, who happens to be the proprietor of Sugar Momma Pastries, brought dessert!

I personally hung out on the couch knitting while these two lovelies took care of me, and just after I got home put the finishing edge on this baby blanket:

I've started on the second one now, but Hailey came back with me so we're having an extended visit. One of these days I'll get back to work... :-)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


I'm off to Whistler this morning for a quick visit with Hailey! Back on Saturday ... with knitting pics to show!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Our train trip to Jasper was pretty much the way I envisioned it.... I took the early ferry off Salt Spring and was waiting for Esther at the Schwartz Bay terminal as the sun came up...

We were on the 9 a.m. ferry to Vancouver. The train doesn't pull out of Vancouver until early evening, but we were both excited to get going, and just decided that we'd rather hang out there than wait it out at home. The Vancouver station is a heritage building, and it was a lovely sunny day, so we checked our baggage, walked around a bit, picnicked on the lawn... and waited for the 'All Aboard!' call.
That first evening, we just had time to get settled on the train. It was already dark, so there wasn't much to see anyway!

We woke up on Wednesday morning in the 'foothills,' and we could see the Rockies in the distance ... it was lovely! Lots of evergreens but some fall colors, too.
Our first glimpse of Mt. Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies ... the peak is cloud-covered except for 10-15 days a year!
At 4 pm on Wednesday we rolled in to Jasper ... it was cool but sunny, and there was no snow, except 'way up on the mountains. Ate some dinner at a nearby restaurant, and fell into our beds in our cabin!

Apparently neither of us got a picture of the lodge where we stayed, so I've borrowed this one from their website:
Thursday, after a buffet brunch, we walked into 'town' to visit the yarn store. It was similar to the one here on Salt Spring ... a combination of quilting, other needlework, beads and yarns. The owner wasn't in but the gal working there found a couple of nice chairs so we could sit and knit and visit -- I never thought to take any pics! I was able to sell them ten sets of my stitch markers, which was, coincidentally, the exact amount I needed to bring home a gorgeous skein of superwash merino in variegated greens produced by an Edmonton indie dyer called DandelionKnits . Esther succumbed to her charms, too, and bought a skein in purples.

Jasper is lovely ... unlike Banff, which has become a huge, commercialized centre, Jasper has retained its small-town charm. Here's the visitor information centre and a few shots around town:

There were a few stone houses. This was the prettiest one we walked by -- and even the shed in the back yard was stone: 

When you look up .... 'waaaaaaaaaaaay up.... here's a sight! It's a restaurant at the top of a tram ride, apparently. Not that I was going any closer to see it!

Here's what the view of Jasper is like from up there, apparently ...
(... pic borrowed from a Jasper tourism site...)

The time went by really quickly, and soon it was Friday mid-day and time to start the journey home ... here's some of the scenery from the train:

I saved my personal favorite for last. With the lens of the camera flush with the window of a very fast-moving train, I give you ...
... my Jasper Monet! :-)

We arrived back in Vancouver on Saturday morning ... exhausted but happy. I'm already planning my trip for next year! Yes, some knitting got done ... more about that tomorrow.

Esther has more pictures on her blog here, too.

Monday, October 15, 2012


Finished the dog hair project ...
... and the fingerless gloves...

and, just in case you thought all I've done is knit, I also did laundry. Which allowed me to watch this beautiful great blue heron a few feet away, fishing....
It's 7 pm on Monday evening as I write this. I am completely packed and ready to be on the first ferry outa here in the morning. Esther and I will meet at the ferry terminal to take the Vancouver ferry from there ... we're off to Jasper!

I may or may not take my laptop; I may or may not have wifi; I may or may not find an internet cafe. I'll post if I can .... otherwise look for a lllooooooooooooonngggg post on my return!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Happy International "I Love Yarn" Day!
It's also the end of International Wool Week in a few countries, and the start of it in others!
In New York City a few weeks ago, this fountain was drained and replaced with a little bit of wool....   :)
No big celebration planned here, but I sure want to publicly acknowledge my sheer appreciation for the wool industry, and all the great fibre folks around the world who keep it going! And, just in time, a parcel arrived for me yesterday.... this is a 4 POUND cone of pure light fingering weight Vancouver Island wool from a fleece that I sent to the Qualicum Bay Fibre Works mill several months ago for processing! (The coffee mug is included for perspective... the cone is about 14" high and 10" in diameter!)

If I'm reading the label correctly, I believe it claims to be about 12,000 METRES of wool. Guess I have some knitting to do (and some dying, too...)

Not today though... I have Welcome Wagon stuff to do, and a pair of dog-hair mittens to finish (one down, one to go...).

Four more sleeps!  :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


The lovely test knit shawl...
 600-odd yards of pure periwinkle blue wool, and 600+ beads in the edging. Not too shabby, huh? :)
And my niece's wedding present sampler blanket. There are seven 'panels' side to side, and each paenl has nine 'squares'. Each panel has at least one cable and one lace square, and one square that is 'special' -- either it is something personal to Doneen and Curtis, or about love or marriage, or it's a classic ('heritage') knitting stitch. So if you click on the picture to make it bigger, you can probably see, for example, the 'Tree of Life' and 'celtic hearts' and a square that's a dog, and the 'marriage lines' classic stitch, and -- just under the shadow on the right -- a 'house' square. 
It was Doneen and Curtis's first anniversary yesterday, and I started this project a few months before they got married! I'll be putting it in the mail before the end of the week.

Yesterday, just for fun, I needed a quick knit after the tedium (did I say 'tedium?' I meant 'concentration'....) of the shawl, so I 'whipped up' this funky moebius cowl. The yarn is Elann.com's 100% merino 'Thick and Thin' -- I love it, and I think it cost all of $7!

Today I've started on a pair of mittens from the last of the dog hair, to go with the toque I finished last week. I'd like to finish those and get a new pair of cotton fingerless gloves done for myself before the train trip. We'll see how that goes ... only 6 more sleeps! :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The weather has been unbelievable! So... we've been out playing. We've done at least one more trip over to Portland Island (now that we've discovered how easy it is to come and go from there...) and out to Russell Island.

 I completely forgot to mention that I spent the night in Victoria last week, and Esther, the Queen of Waffles, served me this breakfast (with real Canadian maple syrup):
It was SO good!

Much knitting has taken place, too... I finished a beautiful shawl test knit for a designer on Ravelry:
I'll have a better picture and more details after it's blocked, which will probably be today! I still have to get a good pic of the wedding present blanket, and by the time it's light out enough to do that today, I'll be done the moebius cowl I'm working on now. 

We just got back last night from spending our Thanksgiving weekend anchored out at Russell Island. It's only about the third or fourth time in the twenty years since our kids started to leave home that we haven't had a big family dinner, so it felt weird and sad -- but we had each other, incredible weather and beauty around us, and MUCH to be thankful for!
Michael loves going around the island in his kayak while I'm knitting:

It was definitely bitter-sweet cruising home because it will probably be our last trip off the dock this fall... looking back toward our 'cruising grounds':
... and ahead to home:
Right here in the marina, the fall colors are stunning .... this is on the little bank right behind our boat slip:
Now, this week I have a mile-long list of things I need to accomplish -- Esther and I leave on our train trip one week from today! :-)

Monday, October 1, 2012


It's been an interesting week here in Fulford! First of all, this huge barge came in, right in front of us, to do some repairs to the ferry dock: 

It was a little noisy, and nerve-wracking when they had to move it around, but still ... fun to watch. At one point the crane was actually lifting a huge section of pilings when it dropped into the water! They had to first of all fix the crane, and then send a diver down to locate and hook back onto the pilings.

Here on our dock, a boat that's been tied up behind us and badly neglected for several years finally left here. . .
It is apparently going to find a new home as guest accommodations in the owner's yard. All I know is I'm relieved it's gone ... it was an eyesore, and it also complicated things for us every time we had to dock our boat...

... which we had to do yesterday, after our day trip! Julie, Robert and Erin were here (and I never took a single picture of them!) and we went over to Portland Island, for a change, for our lunch stop. It was lovely...

Then we cruised back to Russell Island, as always, so the folks (and Buddy, Robert's dog) could go ashore for a walk. We were on the Parks dock when the ranger came to see us ... it's a 'no-no' to tie up there, but we knew the dog would not have willingly got into the dinghy. Parks dude was reasonable and allowed us to stay, as soon as we assured him we weren't going to spend the night -- here he is, departing!
In the knitting department, I am finally the proud owner of a set of interchangeable needles! They're the Knitters Pride Symphonie Dreams Deluxe set, and I'm VERY stoked to have them! Flannelberry got some of my stitch markers to sell, and I got these. I already have a lace shawl on the 4 mm's -- it's a test knit so I can't say much about it just yet.

I have also finished my niece's wedding present blanket ... pictures soon, I swear!

Only 16 days until our train trip -- I have to finish this shawl and a cowl and a pair of mittens and a pair of fingerless gloves before I go. Hmmmmmm....  :)