Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Revving Up

 We had a chilly and very windy Remembrance Day. It was exciting to play the bass drum for the first time in this parade. Because we are supported by the Agassiz Legion, that's where we march.
Later we joined the other bits of our band at the Legions in Chilliwack and Vedder and then on to the Anafvets. I remember doing medical support for the big parade in downtown Vancouver when I was in the Reserve Forces Medical Corps in the early 1980's. I never paid for a beer when I was in uniform, and once, a whole table of Royal Canadian Mounted Police were leaving, and they each put a glass of beer in front of me on their way out.
 The Magpie bakery has moved from Agassiz to just west of here. They have a brick oven and make (awsome!!!) croissants on Friday and Saturday. Maybe this winter won't be so cold.
But if it is, I made my Mom some thrummed mittens from a Fleece Artist kit I bought in Charlottetown. Casbah! Nothing too good for Xmas gifts.

Scott's Slade sweater is still languishing and waiting for buttons. It was acres of navy stockinette and I am not sure of the fit. Hopefully he will like it and wear it and we can get pictures.
 Charity knitting for our hand made hats collection. I raided my chunky bucket in the stash. This Fleece Artist Tosca just sang to me in the skein. But I hated it knitted up, even in a cowl. Lala to the rescue. Her Starving Artist hat pattern works for hand spun, so I thought I could squeak it through. Hopefully some teenage mom will appreciate the styling.
 I also whipped up a Janis hat and would make more, except I don't think the recipients want to look like a catalogue page. I may make another Starving Artist with a plainer yarn. These two hats count for the Stash and Burn Podcast's 15 Hats in 2015. I hope to make my hats before the fall fair so I can display them there.
 Toasty Cozy. Awesome pattern. This is made of chunky baby alpaca for my sister who does not believe in microwaves (no magic bag) but has to believe in sore joints.
 And one for her husband. I actually bought this merino chunky yarn because I didn't have anything as fine as the alpaca in the stash, and I didn't want to gip my BIL. He stayed here for a few days while he was working on his son's new house and was a delightful house guest.
 Too many things on the needles! I am still plugging away at the Baby Surprise Jacket. It is a lovely pattern that I have knit too many times to count, but it's unusual. I wanted to do a KAL with my knitting circle so I could support them through the disbelief. It's easy if you can follow directions, but it's amazing how hard that can be sometimes. This is for a December baby that I may never see, so the pressure is not on. I want to work on my Christmas list first.
 This is the November socks. I could easily finish it, but that would entail working on it, and I have Christmas presents to knit. I think I talked myself into finishing the sixth and last pair for Project Sock Drawer when I have done my gifts.
I am still working on a big something for my knitterly daughter who may read this if she is bored in her studies. I will post after Christmas. But can I say it will never end if I don't stop ripping back. Plus the yarn had a bad attack of moths (how did they get in to my stash!!!!) and I am having to piece and curse simultaneously.
 What do you do when you are overwhelmed by a to do list, sick at home with a cold and caught up on all your podcasts? You cast on a frivolous scarf for yourself. This is the Alpine Frost Scarf from an Interweave Crochet that I don't have. I dug around for some soft lace weight merino and downloaded the pattern. It is stupid simple, but that is a charm in itself. I have had a hankering for crochet and last year I had an irresistible urge to make a scarf that Rory wore in Gilmore Girls. Now I can sate both those impulses. But not right now. I'm practicing for our Pipe Band concert at the end of the month, preparing the Christmas Pageant and setting up the Christmas Cards. When I'm not knitting gifts.
Last night at practice, Big Al pulled out a scarf he is working on for his Grandma. You gotta love knitters and drummers.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Away We Go (Again)

D and I took a trip to Palm Desert. I was only home for 10 days and had a lot of paper work to catch  up on. I was happy with the yarn I bought and nervous about what to bring for travel knitting. D's sweater is on the back burner because I found that lovely vest. Scott's sweater was almost done, so I cast on one for my Emily. Got a lot of knitting done, but some of it was on windy desert roads.
 We decided to just have fun on our week long break. So we went to the movies. I wish I could go to the Palme d'Or cinema every week. They have Shakespeare!!! And beer and wine. You won't find that in Canada. We have Presbyterian Temperance roots that still don't trust open liquor.

 But no one was at St. Vincent. Very funny.
 The flamingos at the Desert Springs Marriot were there to welcome us, across the road from our Intrawest Desert Willow Resort where we stay.
 The wind mills are mesmerizing. If you drive west on Highway 10, you go through a lot of them. We shopped at the outlet malls and had fun.
 Up the Tramway for the first time. We timed it to be there at sundown. It gets dark very quickly down south.
 Lovely fellow hikers took our photo from one of the look outs.
 We tramped through the trails and saw a HUGE squirrel, too quick to take a photo of, but this deer was not worried about us.
 I love cacti. I used to have them as house plants, but I am seriously challenged with just pothos and spider plants, right now. Love a happy barrel cactus.
 And the ocotillo that can look dead and be blooming red flowers at its tip at the same time. Our golf course is planted with native plants.
 This is the faerie bush!
 The pool that is closest to us. We spent a bit of time reading and relaxing and knitting.
 A day at Joshua Tree National Park and a fun drive from the Colorado Desert into the Mojave.
 These trees are actually a type of yucca. Fascinating.
 I really loved my outdoor shower! I would love one at home, but it is only warm enough a few weeks a year.

 The kids are coming home for the weekend, so I have to put their knitting gifts away. I started mom's Handmaiden thrummed mittens I bought in Charlottetown. The Casbah is so soft and squishy and I like making the thrums.
 I did some darning and restored a pair of socks. All the merino had worn off and there was just a nylon thread left. I haven't worn them yet, but I am happy they are socks again.
 There has been some stitching. I really enjoy embroidery. It was my first craft before I went to school, and comes very naturally to me.  I also put some decorative elbow patches on my very old black cashmere cardigan so I can wear it again.
These are the last socks in this year's Operation Sock Drawer. But they are not getting any love. Too dark. I love the pattern, Nutkin, but have screwed it up a few times, and I don't like knitting top down. I may just frog them and make a different pair when the Christmas knitting is done. I bought some lovely Regia self striping sport at 88 Stitches when I went for the Tin Can Knits trunk show and bought the Road Trip book.
It is very wet here. Good for my asthma. The big black dog loves to walk in weather. I planted amaryllis (and delivered one to Hospice) and made my Christmas cakes this week, only a few days late. There are long lists of music for our Celtic Concert and the parade for Nov. 11. There is a Christmas Pageant to prepare with the youth group and extra choir music for Christmas.
I always feel that I'll feel better when I have just one more gift finished or the cards made, but the truth is the list will continue on the next page.
My goal is to enjoy the planning and preparations, and celebrate the friends and family I am blessed to have around me.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Eastern Seaboard Part Deux

 Here's the linen tea towel I bought from the silk screen studio in Saguenay. I love the blueberries.
 Carly missed me and is so happy to have me back and walking her every day.

 In PEI I bought this hand woven tea towel for a gift.

 Cottage Craft is a Nova Scotia mill. I bought this in Sydney from a lovely lady who was mainly selling knitwear.
 This looks more purple, like squished blueberries. It is 85% mohair and 15% merino worsted weight from a chevrerier (goat farmer) and designer. We loved her booth.
 Northern Waters Knitwear in Charlottetown had lots of low priced, locally milled pure wool. I want to make my paw some felted mitts with this brown.

 The Mineville Wool Project is from Fleece Artist. I thought this would make me a nice cowl. 250m chunky.

 Belfast Mini Mills is on PEI. This was such soft, washable wool. I thought I would make man socks. There is still enough after the fingerless mitts.

 I found a beautiful set of Casbah and fleece for thrummed mittens. They are in an Iris colourway for my mom.
 Also bought a hand woven waist jacket for DH for Christmas. Please don't tell him. This seriously takes the pressure off for the third sweater of Christmas. The Slade is blocking on the carpet in the front room and I have achieved gauge for my daughter's sweater. But there are numerous accessory gifts for family and friends.
 I also found this enormous merino wrap in a vintage shop. Love the silver/taupe. Could have used it for the Opera.
It's nice to be home. The coffee is so much better, but the service leaves something to be desired. I was a bit woozy as I did loads of laundry and washed floors.
Already I'm packing for next week. DH and I are taking a week to Palm Desert because he hasn't had a holiday and worked hard all summer. There will be travel knitting.

Eastern Seaboard Part Un

I flew to NYC and met a friend from home who has been travelling. We had a lot of fun. I wore my Starry Starry Night socks to the MOMA.
We stayed just down the street from Carnegie Hall.
We took a whole day to shop at Purl Soho and the area. It is a lovely shop with very nice people- many of whom were visitors like us.
I took off on a walk through Central Park. Full of joggers and moms pushing strollers, wee ones learning soccer.
After a few wrong turns, I found Strawberry Fields. There were no flowers there that morning, but I sang a little prayer.
The New York Public Library was fabulous!
We saw "Macbeth" at the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Centre.
Then on to our ship and unpacked in our stateroom.
Good bye New York. Hope to see you again.

Boston was full of history and gardens.

Maine was beautiful.
Halifax was a bit overcast, but we had a good welcome. Each port had wifi and a little arts and craft fair.
I loved the Nova Scotia Crystal Factory and picked up a few gifts.
Alexander Keith's brewery was beautiful and is one of DH's favourite IPAs.
Then on to Sydney.

And Prince Edward Island.
Sir John A. MacDonald was Canada's first Prime Minister and Charlottetown is the cradle of confederation.
They have "Cows" ice cream.
Our ship took up the whole harbour.

The next day, at sea in the St. Lawrence Seaway, we had a 5k on board.

Saguenay had the best welcome with square dancers and blue berry pie.
Then maple taffy. We shopped in the artisan booths.
Then we went back on board for Dim Sum in the Tamarind Room. We loved this restaurant and its servers.

Back on shore we went to a silk screen artist's studio, Moi a Moi. She made a linen tea towel beaver for one of our party because the one she wanted had been sold.

Ile d'Orleans just before Quebec City.
We docked right in front of the Chateau Frontenac. It is a UNESCO Heritage site.
Love the Canadiana.

The Old City is beautiful, like Europe.
And actually has a wall around it.
We said good bye to our 10 day home and flew back to the Fraser Valley. Next post: Wool piggery (cochon de laine, en francais).