Friday, September 28, 2007

Speeding along, making mistakes

This is Arthur's new sweater, loosely based on a Rowan pattern called Jack.

You may remember that I lost some of it on my holiday... Now I am about back to where I was on that lost piece, and look! A mistake!

(And now, I will show you all about it in Keynote which I really don't know much about. You'll have to click to get it large enough to read, I think. Love little arrows!)

I ripped out and reknit 10 rows and am now, once again, back where I was a month ago. Tomorrow, actual progress?? And I must work on my Keynote skills, too!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A little light refreshment

On the weekend we were out and about, trying out Elaine's bike-with-no-training-wheels, and we hit a couple of yard sales. Got 2 nice glasses for 25 cents apiece, and 5 balls of this blue wool. A bit ancient, but apparently not moth-eaten or anything. Scarf, anyone?

The sale where I found the wool was closing down, so I got the 5 balls, half a bag of polyfill stuffing and a laptop case for $1. The bag was made when laptops were the size of steamer trunks, but I think it'll be a fine knitting bag, with all those pockets and flaps and stuff. I love pockets and flaps....

I would show you the triumphant cycling Elaine, but we took a few pictures one night in the almost-darkness, and that's it. Must rectify that. Right now, she is upstairs with a miserable cold. Luckily we have the audio book of The Deathly Hallows, so we're pretty well amused, but I'd be happier if she were well enough to go to school!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Finished, finished!

Two socks, complete! Kind of identical, and they FIT! I can't believe this is my first FO since July! Good heavens!

I've been perusing the You Tube Tom Jones offerings, and must just show you one more.

"Ya, ya, ya." I love how, even when taking part in something ridiculous, Tom Jones still sings like an angel. Or whatever.

Added much later: Urgh, they've taken that one down! Try this!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's only a teeny problem

Urgh, these socks will be the end of me!

I finished one, and dutifully started the second. I asked Arthur if he wanted them as similar as possible, or as different as possible, and he went for similar.

See how similar they are! Practically identical, wouldn't you say? Perhaps that top blue stripe is just a smidgen different?

Oh, what a smidgen can do!

Well, this way he can have a left-foot sock and a right-foot sock, because I ain't fixin' it!

Just to show you that even pros sometimes gag on the job, watch two totally different heart-throbs from the 70s. You must watch right to the end, to see what I mean.

You turn the heel, you give that last whoop, and something trips you up.... But I'm sure I can recover, too.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

And today's treat...

It's Talk Like a Pirate Day.

For some reason, we knitters love this day; I've been celebrating it for at least a couple of years.

And look at what's at Mason-Dixon Knitting today! A real cool denim pirate jacket for you to knit for your little one. (I'm thinking of how much denim one would need to make a nice long one for me!)

Yo ho ho!

Don't pirates wear stripey socks? For next year I'll make some nice red/white stockings!

Monday, September 17, 2007

I bought some yarn

I'd given up on my promises of knitting from stash a while ago, since I am apparently weak and unable to pass a yarn store without yielding to the call. I am happy to note that soon September will be over and my kinda obligation to not buy yarn will be over!

Anyways, I was at Romni the other day, replacing my lost cable needle. I took a stroll through the sale stuff downstairs, and found 10 balls of Yorkshire Tweed Chunky, in a lovely blue.

There's my winter vest, right?

Great progress is being made on the second sock, and I'm pretty sure I'll finish one of my goals for this month. Whoo hoo.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Oh, I did it

All right, all right, I'll sign up for this Ravelry thingy.

Found you!
  • You signed up on Today
  • You are #32852 on the list.
  • 20203 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 0 people are behind you in line.
  • 37% of the list has been invited so far
Now you don't need to feel bad that you are so far down the list, since I am even farther. Really, what I want is to find a vest pattern for Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Chunky. That was my motive for getting in a virtual queue behind twenty thousand other people!

Eye Candy Friday

Sunset the other night, from the deck!

The deck which needs a few tiny 2x4s here and there between the shade-casting horizontals, and lots of climbing and flowering plants (next summer's job!) but is otherwise done!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Remember the day they chopped the tree? Today they came back and finished the job.

Shouldn't these guys be wearing hard hats? Ear protection?

I had a blogger catastrophe towards the end of the process. I was all ready to film the final toppling, when... "Warning: battery exhausted." So I ran in the house, switched batteries, ran out again... just in time to hear the crash as the last bit fell. Boo hoo for me.

All gone.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Almost done a sock

Jeez, Arthur has big feet.

I figure a just few more stripes and then the toe.

Then what, another sock, or a piece of another project? I replaced the yarn for Arthur's green sweater, so maybe I'll work on the front of that. Still need a cable needle of the right heft, though...

Oh dear, another trip to the yarn shop might be in order. And maybe wash the kitchen floor!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Just one more round-up

You may recall the tendrils!

We managed to harvest quite a few weird and wacky fruits off the vines before we went away, rescuing them from certain thieving rascals you've likely heard about.

But the sunflowers we left, since they were really just coming out.

When we returned last week, we ooh'd and aah'd at the heads, with their neatly arranged seeds! They weren't quite done, so we left them alone....

Never leave anything a squirrel might find delicious alone!

I actually saw the thief running up the tree to his secret lair, my sunflower head in his mouth! He leapt from tree to house to other house and didn't loosen his jaw. Thieving rascal!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Back to knitting

We're definitely not on holiday anymore, but in the full September chaos. So, now, what about those summer knitting goals?

1. Finish the Rockpool cardi. By the end of September! yeah, yeah

Oh, actually that has been frogged, and is being turned into a Basalt Tank.

I really won't be needing such a thing for another 8 or 9 months, but I like doing it, although I haven't touched it since I got back.

I will try to keep to the "end of September" goal, even though it's now a different pattern!

2. Finish the pink blotch socks... Well, there's a bit of a problem here. I knit one sock, it didn't fit Arthur, so I knit a somewhat modified Broad Ripple, and that didn't fit either, so I'm pausing for breath. I think the new goal should be "finish a pair of socks!"

Oh, gawd... This involves the lost knitting bag. I now have half of one pink sock, and enough yarn to make both socks. Then I have one frogged 50g ball of red and blue yarn, with the other knitted into half a sock and then lost. So, winter is coming and Arthur does need new socks, and I will indeed finish the pink blotch socks by the end of September! BTW, the boat has been searched and the bag is still lost. Waah.

3. Grey lacy gloves for me. I won't be wearing these for months, but I'll finish them! Uh, yeah, I'll get on that.

Hmm. They sit by my bed and I do a few rows now and again. I have separated the stitches for the thumb. Let's attempt to make a bit of progress, but these should be done by glove season, which still gives me a few months (or is it weeks?) I think! They are quite intriguing, and if I can make a pair of gloves from one ball of sock yarn, that'll help with the stash reduction!

I like to think these will make it look like I have hands made of granite, like a superhero I vaguely remember. I think I was thinking of The Thing from the Fantastic Four, but Wikipedia tells me he's really covered in orange scales. I blame the confusion on black & white TV in my youth! Unless anyone knows of a real granite superhero?

4. Use my red and black Stretchwool for a few charity hats. What? Oh, okay....

Nothing to report, captain. Throw out this idea for now!

And now I also have the green pullover on the needles for Arthur. That will be a great garment to have in the near future. Ahem.

So, the things I really want to knit in September are socks and a sweater for Arthur and a summer top and some gloves for me. Sounds like a tall order, but since it seems common for me to overshoot in these plans, I'll just go with it for now. This means abandoning the sock-yarn scarf, which is fine, since I started on too-small needles and would have to start again anyways.

And if we ever emerge from the "back to school" week, we will celebrate the almost-completion of the deck!

It needs a few more 2x6s put in place to provide some shade, but is certainly usable! Now if I could just make it to the liquor store, we could enjoy a G&T as the sun sets.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Castlegar leg of the journey

After our week of boating and real-estate ogling, we left Pender Island on the morning of the 25th, but weren't flying to Castlegar till the 26th, so we had a day in Vancouver.

Just by chance my brother was there, and we met up with some old friends for a bit of fun at the beach and a fine dinner!

(Note the grey sky and the fact that we were the only ones on the beach!)

Then, off to the Kootenays. We saw family,

Arthur and my dad

Me, my sister, her daughter, and my crazy kids

saw the river, mountains and sky,

and ventured into an old gold mine, which was kind of dark, so we don't have much in the way of pictures, but here are the kids with about a ton of ore.

(If you go to that page and click the link for the Le Roi mine, you will see a picture of stalactites and stalagmites. These are fake, since it's a metal mine in an ancient lava lake and not a limestone cave at all! There are tiny, tiny stalactites forming there, but they're only about a hundred years old, and a bit rusty!)

When we left Castlegar we flew back to Vancouver, instead of eastward to Calgary. (You take what you get when you fly 4 people on points...) So, we saw Stanley Park clear as anything, and you can see all the damage done by a big storm last winter.

And then we waited and waited for a pilot, our plane was over two hours late leaving, and we got home about 3 in the morning!

I think we've been forced out of any jet lag, since Elaine has to be at school at 8:30 these days, but I'm not sure we're "back to normal." I realize Arthur needs a new raincoat, Elaine's pants are practically up to her knees because she's been growing, it took us several trips to the grocery store to get our cupboards fullish, and the knitting UFO pile is looking ominous. Maybe this is normal, after all....

Monday, September 03, 2007

What I did on my summer vacation

Ah. I think that back-to-school will bring a bit of order to this household. So, let's wrap up the summer and start afresh!

We went to BC for the last two weeks of August.

Postcard shot showing why real estate prices are so high -- I'd pay a lot to have that as my daily view!

The first week was the most picturesque -- we went here and stayed in a very nice cabin, complete with fun fireplace and hot tub -- and since you don't need to see (very many) pictures of my niece or in-laws, you can see (lots of) scenery and pretty colours.

Oh, okay, just one cute picture of Arthur and cousin Su trying to see who is taller!

It was certainly the Wet Coast lifestyle.

Much layered clothing (Auntie Nancy and Elaine are here waiting for the boat at the dock, in sweatshirts!) and the towels used at the pool one day were still damp the next morning, despite hanging out "to dry."

I must say that this was perfectly fine, recalling damp summers of my childhood and somehow making it all more of an adventure.

And best of all, every day it cleared up marvellously in the afternoon and we had fine weather for boating, climbing hills, hanging out at the pool and playing "who's that baby?" with the old family snaps.

This mostly meant paper pictures of the Arthur-and-Elaine generation, and slides of Xmas 1962, or was it '63? (We had slides, a projector and a tray, but the guys had to rig up a cord, which involved handy-dandy tools and stuff!)

There were also a few gems from the black-and-white era, including Stephen with Fish....

and this Boy and Dog pic, which is clearly of someone related to Arthur, non? It is Stephen's father's brother, Uncle Gord, with his dad in the background, and a dog who couldn't stay still!

Stephen's sister and her husband are coastal environment experts, so we not only had every bay and islet named, but we had morning intertidal inspections, with starfish, barnacles and crabs and every different kind of weed and grass identified. Sometimes we all got very excited about something or other off the side of the dock, giving new meaning to the term "beach bums."

We also saw pretty green moss.

And beaches covered with fire-broken rock and clam shells, indicating that people lived and ate clams here long long ago.

The arbutus tree is one of the most lovely in the universe, I think.

Here is the reddy-brown bark and the soft greenish wood.

The pirate flag in action, with Captain John and Matey Elaine.

Perhaps we'll end for today with another gorgeous view!

Tomorrow, we leave the Gulf Islands for the mainland -- I think this is more than enough pictures for now!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A moment of silence, or is it panic?

We had a lovely holiday! A week at Pender Island in BC and then a few days in Castlegar with my parents. We actually saw all our siblings except one! (Hi, Syd!)

I'll give you the travelogue shortly, but right now we must concentrate on the knitting. I took the red and blue sock, and got to the middle of the heel flap on the airplane. Yay, me. Then it got set aside, since in the cottage I had room to spread out and enjoy knitting the back of a cotton pullover for Arthur. See, a sweater back.

Over that week, I finished the back (lost my cable needle somewhere) and got about 3 inches done on the front. There came a point when I tired of making 8-stitch cables without a needle, and I moved on to the second version of the pink blob sock. Here, pink blob meets headless salmon, about to be barbecued and eaten up.

The finished back got packed, but I think the red and blue sock and the sweater front were squashed into a little black bag. And now, the skill-testing question: WHERE IS THAT LITTLE BLACK BAG????

We've come home, unpacked everything, and can't find it. It's on a bus in Vancouver? In the seat pocket of a little plane?? Under the bed in a cottage on Pender??? I hope it is on Uncle John's boat, but Uncle John is now at Baffin Island, thousands of miles from the boat, and no one can go check.

This vessel, we hope, is hiding the little black bag. Note the pirate flag, which didn't even fall apart!

Meanwhile, I am super sad because I might just have lost
  1. 3 inches of knitted front
  2. a ball of that green cotton that I was just about to join on
  3. a 4.5 mm circular needle
  4. a half-knitted sock that had already caused me some grief
  5. my 2.5 mm wooden needles that cost way more than knitting needles should cost
  6. and finally, the little black bag that got away
I am consoling myself by abandoning everything and making a scarf out of sock yarn, which will, undoubtedly, make me insane soon enough.