Saturday, December 20, 2008

White Christmas

We are going to have a rare white Christmas this year. The temperature has been ranging from 0 down to -10C over the past week. There is about 30 cm. of snow on the ground and more expected. The family arrives today and I am so excited to have the grandkids here for the holidays. Say good-bye to peace and quiet!

Cold rose hips:

Need to knit a few more:


Monday, December 15, 2008

Best Laid Plans and Winter Drawers On

I started this blog thinking that I would hone my writing skills. I am realizing that honing doesn't happen in a vacuum. I guess that's where discipline comes in, not one of my strong points. Maybe (see???) I'll make blogging at least weekly my 2009 resolution.

Winter has arrived. We had 4" of snow yesterday and it is -5C. Not cold by prairie standards but cold for us wet coasters. The grey skies have cleared today and the sun is shining which makes it all much more bearable. I must admit I like having an excuse to bundle up in handmade woollies, sit by the fire and knit. What's not to like about that?

I have been knitting a LOT. One (or more) could call it obsessive but I prefer to think of it as being disciplined. HA! One of my proudest projects is the Cobblestone Pullover I knit for hubby. Perfect fit and all round great knit.

There have also been Amigurumi toys:

Christmas tree ornaments:

A dress and cardie for granddaughter:

Rowena cardigan for me, diaper soakers, scarf, fingerless mitts, fingered mitts, felted purse and bowl, etc., etc. All on Ravelry.

And last, but definitely not least, a new grandson arrived in September! Number three in the 'cutest grandbabies on earth' series.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

How The Deal Went Down

I found a new podcast a couple of weeks ago - The Manic Purl Podcast. Turns out Chrissy lives in Vancouver so since I was headed over there I thought I'd see if I could make a purchase of her naturally hand-dyed yarn (100% merino superwash 'Storm'). We arranged to meet one evening in a Starbucks near her house. I must say it felt a little strange and I was a little apprehensive meeting an unknown someone from the internet. Upon entering the Starbucks there was this lovely young lady sitting near the door with a skein of gorgeous yarn on the table. She didn't look scary at all so I got a coffee and sat down for a little visit. Chrissy's hubby/bodyguard arrived a few minutes later and we had a bit of a laugh about our 'deal', wondering if we should surreptitiously transfer the goods under the table, casting glances over our shoulders. We had a very nice visit and I love my yarn purchase - soon to be a pair of socks. Her online store is

My daughter's shower went really well. Her friends had set up a table on Burnaby Mountain covered in yummy food and drinks. The weather was perfect and everyone really enjoyed themselves. I had dressed up a very cute teddy bear in the Baby Surprise Jacket and wrapped him in the Noah's Ark quilt - I think she was quite tickled.

I have been knitting diaper soakers for the new baby, three so far in different sizes. They are so cute - I can't wait to see the little fella decked out. I also knit up these little socks for the B-man and his little bro.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

There is a very fine line between hobby and mental illness.....Dave Barry

I love that quote. I have walked that fine line many times. When I find something that really interests me I tend to jump into it, immerse myself in it and not come out until I have either gotten bored or life has somehow gotten in the way. As I get older I seem to have more patience and stick-to-it-ness, I am more willing to work out mistakes and not just throw up my hands in despair, and I have much more pride in and appreciation for the finished product. I think knitting has been my biggest and best obsession. It is a great stress-buster. It is portable, tactile, sometimes repetitive, mostly interesting and the end result provides great satisfaction. Knitting socks makes me feel ever so clever. Wielding five fragile rosewood sticks and a fine yarn looks very impressive. I was once on the ferry to the mainland when a small group of Chinese tourists stopped in front of me to watch my knitting, bobbing their heads and smiling at me. They were clearly impressed, which felt good, but I felt like a tourist attraction, almost as good as spotting a killer whale off the starboard side!

I recently finished the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is a very interesting pattern, a little confusing in that EZ assumes you are in her brain and know what she is thinking. It is not for the faint of heart or the inexperienced and the finished piece is a strangely shaped rectangle that looks nothing like a sweater. The 'surprise' is how it goes together. I don't think I could ever have figured it out without a diagram which has you match A to A and B to B and voila! you have the cutest little sweater for baby. I had enough yarn left over to make a little earflap hat and booties. All set for my daughter's baby shower next Monday. I'm also working on a quilt for baby which I'll have finished as soon as I put the binding on today. My plan is to dress a stuffed toy in the knitted outfit and wrap it all in the quilt.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Wee Hours

A little birdie woke me this morning at 4:45 with a very pretty, but LOUD, call right outside my open bedroom window. I tried to go back to sleep but no such luck. Gave up and got up. rrrrgh.

Life has been somewhat hectic this last month. My son-in-law has been in Fiji leading an archaeology field school so my daughter and grandson have been staying with us. Having a 3 1/2 year old around makes for very different days - his energy is unstoppable so there is something happening all the time. He is so cute, so lovable, so affectionate and sooooo busy! I love having them here -- J loves to cook so we have great meals cooked for us as well as lots of home baking (not good for the waistline but so what!) The little guy had strep throat last week, fever, lethargy, swollen tonsils, etc. Poor baby, he really felt miserable, but he was such a trooper saying "I feel better now" whenever we fussed over him. He had to go on antibiotics and yesterday we noticed a rash over most of his body. We stopped the antibiotics (he has had a full week's worth), gave him a soothing bath and hopefully it will be better when he gets up this morning.

I have been getting quite a bit of knitting done as it is something I can pick up and fire off a few rows in between gramma, mom and wife chores. The Sea Baby outfit is for the new grandson due in September. It was a lovely knit with yarn that was 30% Sea Cell. Such a cute pattern. I also made a tea cozy for J to match her lovely Denby ware. That was done in Cascade 220 wool which felts beautifully. Felting always scares me - taking a nice, albeit large, object and tossing it into a hot water wash and agitating the hell out of it is somewhat of a leap. I have only had to frog one item (slippers) but that wasn't the felting process, more the pattern being weird and the slippers ending up looking like a plaster foot cast. I save them though as you can cut the felted object like fabric so may be able to use them in or on something else one day.

The weather has been great, lots of sunny days, some of which have been a little too hot for my liking. Hot flushes and hot weather are not a fun combo. However, it is usually easy to find a cool(ish) spot somewhere and, if all else fails, a drive in my AC equipped car to run some errands makes for a reprieve. The relatives in Florida thought it was highly amusing when I told them we were having a heat wave. They seem to think the Pacific NorthWest is always wet and cold. Funny, that. The garden is gorgeous - roses, star-gazer lilies (8 feet tall!), day-lilies, shasta daisies, canterbury bells.....

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Where did summer go?

After that lovely stretch of warm weather last week I have to confess I thought it would last forever. Well, it didn't. The last few days have been downright miserable. Wind and rain and overcast skies - blah. The garden seems to love it though, in fact the whole yard looks green and fresh. There is a lovely little wild rose bush in full bloom at the top of the driveway, the salal has flowered and the brambles add their own special highlight of white blossoms all through the underbrush. I love the new green tips on the branches of the evergreens - they look like little fingers.

I finished a felted tea cozy yesterday (in spite of a migraine - rrrrgh). It was a very easy pattern, the flowers were cross-stitched on after knitting.
It is amazing how a big floppy knitted article can felt down to a solid piece of fabric. Next project will be felted clogs for Braedy. He actually asked me to knit him some slippers last time he was here so I'd better get busy before his next visit!
My son-in-law left for Fiji on Friday for a two month archeological dig. He has taken a field school with him so will be teaching the entire time he's away. He and my daughter study the pottery found in these digs to try and establish a travel timeline of the ancient peoples. They have found shards of pottery up to 3500 years old with distinctive markings that indicate the movements of various indigenous tribes. Very interesting stuff. Meanwhile my daughter and Braedy are left behind as daughter is pregnant, due in September. I'm headed over to visit with them this weekend. They will be coming to stay with us for most of July which will be lots of fun. It always brightens up the house to have Braedy around.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Birth Announcement

After I wrote the previous post I had the cable guy here for some repairs. As he was traipsing through the bush on our property he came across these two new babes. Mum was standing guard about 20 feet away. They were absolutely still, obviously well trained by Mum.

Summer is here - not officially but close enough.

I finished these Queen of Cops socks yesterday. I love knitting socks; I love the small bamboo and rosewood needles in my hands. And I feel very clever juggling 5 needles at once.

We finally seem to have settled into summer-like weather here. The garden is gorgeous with lilac, wisteria, azaleas and rhodos in bloom. Hubby bought me a beautiful hanging basket for Mother's Day. It is huge - full of petunias and daisies busting out of a moss basket. I've got geraniums potted in front, the Stargazer lilies are about five feet tall, Lady's Mantle is everywhere, woolly thyme is spreading across the pathways (smells lovely when crunched). We have a resident raccoon who rambles through every evening. I wonder if it's a she and if we may see babies soon. Lots of deer around including a very pregnant doe. We usually see at least one pair of adorable little fawns each year. The hummingbird feeder is abuzz with Rufous and Annas fighting over space. They are like tiny jet fighters, whizzing by at such a speed I don't know how they keep from crashing into things!

I'm off to Victoria this weekend to visit a very dear friend (since grade 4!) for a couple of days. We share the same obsessions with yarn and fabric so will visit as many shops as we can cram in, have lunch at the Dutch Bakery, I hope, and yak our heads off. It is her birthday in June so I'm going to present her with an early prezzie, the bag pictured. I hope she likes it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I'm not sure where to start so maybe I'll go with what is making me happy these days. I just celebrated my 55th birthday - yikes! I have no problem with being 55, it's just that when I say it outloud it doesn't feel right. Ever since turning 50 I get a small shock or jolt whenever I have to tell someone my age. Can I really be 55 when I only feel 30ish? I have this image of myself that doesn't quite match up with the person I see in passing mirrors and windows. That person looks more and more like my mother! Not that looking like my mother is a bad thing, as I always thought she was lovely, it's just that she was a lot older than me. Oh well. I am getting better at accepting the sags, wrinkles, crinkly knees, odd spots, etc. that mark the passage of time.

I have been madly knitting and quilting over the past few months. My most recent finish is a hooded baby cape that should fit Ryleigh this fall and winter. I have also almost completed a cardie for myself, socks, booties. In the quilting department I made a lovely batik quilt for my pseudo-daughter (my daughter's best friend) and another for her mother who turned 60 this month. I quilted some placemats that turned out to be very cool even though the pattern was not ADD friendly and I spent a lot of time taking out seams and re-sewing them.

I think I'll close for now as my tummy is asking for breakfast.