Tuesday, May 31, 2005
She and her brood swam to within about twelve inches of my feet. I could hear her soft quacking and started speaking to her, quietly, calmly. She didn't move, but did cast a wary eye on me. You could see that she was listening and when I was quiet, she started making that soft quacking noise again, but didn't move away. Her babies were totally unconcerned, all gathered around her, some stretching their legs, others nuzzling themselves, some just swimming in circles around the rest of them. Mother kept an eye on me and when I slowly took my feet out of the water (she IS, after all, a wild creature and I'd rather be cautious), she started to move away. When I started talking to her again, telling her how beautiful her family was and how she's doing a great job of looking after them, she came right back to her spot in front of me, eyed me, did that soft little quacking and then took her brood and moved on.
I've never experienced anything like that; it was truly as if we were having a conversation. The babies were adorable, still covered in down, but feathers beginning to grow. We know that she started out with nine ducklings; somewhere along the way, one of them probably became another creature's dinner. It's an experience I'll never forget.
Sunday, May 29, 2005
The Flower Basket shawl has been blocked and is already dry. With our 30+ (C) heat today, it was dry within an hour, but I left it for a few. I love this shawl! Here are the pics I took of it; I think I'd still like to get an outdoor shot of it, but that will have to wait until tomorrow, because it's too dark now.
Lisa's name got drawn out of the pot, but I have no address or way of letting her know.
The Knitters Companion because it is so portable. When you are away from your big books and need help on something, this one is great. Also, Knitting on the Road because I simply adore socks!
So, congratulations, Lisa.... get in touch so I can get your surprise package out to you, ok?
On another front, I'm calling the "must have" draw closed. I have fifteen entrants; all the names are on slips of paper and will be going into a pot tonight for John to draw. I'll let you know who the lucky person is after I've contacted her.
TTFN... back out into the sunshine!
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Here are a couple of pics of Gyrid, though.
close-up of the cable panel on the front of the top
And I've decided that the Flower Basket shawl is big enough. I'm finishing up the last set of 10 rows and will then do the 10 edging rows. That means I have 18 rows to go until it's finished. It does feel good to be seeing the end of a couple of projects. Now, how many are left in that basket???
Oh, don't forget... the deadline's fast approaching for the draw.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Where to start.... John and I moved to Kelowna just over two years ago to open a restaurant here in town (we have since sold our share). We rented a large house so that we could "board" some of the restaurant employees. At one time, we had our bedroom and the other four rooms were rented to restaurant employees. The house also contained a two-bedroom basement suite that was rented out separately. When we moved in, it was rented to two young men. After we sold our share of the restaurant, the employees slowly made other arrangements and one of the guys from downstairs moved in with us upstairs. That's when Rob & Carol rented the basement suite. They were a fairly "new" couple (having been together about three years... the same as John & I, who had gotten married about two months before they moved in). We got along well with them and when we had to move (the landlord's son bought the house and wanted to move in), the four of us talked and decided that if we could find a house large enough and for the right price, we wouldn't mind repeating the housing situation. The search didn't yield anything that was appropriate at the time, so we rented a house with one of our boarders and lived there for about 4 months. Then, with Rob & Carol dissatisfied with their basement suite, this house came on the market. Between the four of us, the rent is not overwhelmingly high and the house is large enough that we can have our privacy if we so choose it. And... it's on the lake.
We've signed a one year lease. So far, it's working well.
And Susanne, anything else you'd like to know, please don't hesitate to ask. I won't say that my life is an open book, but I have nothing to hide. (That goes for anyone else, too.)
Last night, I finished the first of Fibretrends "Peak Experience" socks, the Angel's Rest version. I like it, and I have the second sock on the needles, so I will finish it. If I were to do this pattern again, I would use a larger needle on the leg and switch to smaller ones for the foot. It's a little snug getting it on my foot. I must qualify, though, that it would depend on what happens to this yarn after washing. The last socks I made using this yarn did not spring back at all after washing and drying.
Here's a pic of the sock and a close-up of the pattern stitch. It's a very easy one to learn and if you do forget a yarn over, it's easy enough to pick up on the following round.
And for Marguerite, here's a picture of the one finished Old Shale sock. I did cast on and finish the old shale cuff for the second one, then realized that I'd done it on the wrong needles. Can we say ribbit? The yarn hasn't found it's way back to the needles yet, but it will. I shall prevail!
After dinner last night, the four of us decided to go for a short boat ride. The lake was calm, the skies were fairly clear, Jeopardy was over, House wasn't on for another hour, so away we went. (And there went an hour of knitting time.) It was great! I do love the feel of the wind on my face and the water spraying out from behind the boat. Honestly, I never really thought I'd be much of a boater, being a prairie-born girl and all, but I'm really enjoying being out on the lake and living on the water.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
It's been a busy weekend. For most, it was a three day weekend, but seeing as I worked Saturday, it was a standard two day weekend for me. I'm not complaining. The past two days have been busy. I had time to knit. I'll post a pic of what I spent the weekend working on later. Suffice it to say, I started yet another project. No, I'm NOT going to count how many projects I actually have on the go! Don't ask!
Then, on Sunday evening, friends brought their boat over. Since they live nowhere near the water, they'll be leaving the boat here. They can come and go as they please and have given us permission to use the boat whenever we want. They're good people and good friends. Of course, when dropping off a boat, one has to have a party, right? We ended up having an impromptu "appy night" with four couples and two pre-teens. One of the pre-teens is the daughter of the boat owners and I had the chance to give her the original "Lacy Rose Poncho", done in pale blue, not pink, so I suppose it should be called the Lacy Blue Poncho. (pattern for said poncho is in my sidebar) I told her she could fight over it with her sister, if push came to shove. I didn't tell Kelsey, but if her sister really wants one, I'd be amenable to making her one. I have more of the cotton I used for hers, so it wouldn't cost me anything extra. A couple hours of crochet is no big deal.
Yesterday, the pre-teens pestered Gord so long that he drove them over and took them for a boat ride. I went along. The weather wasn't the greatest for boating, but when you have access to a new toy, you MUST take advantage of it, right? The girls wanted to go under the bridge, but the water was quite choppy on the other side, so it was a quick turnaround and back out to "our" side of the lake. After some minor repairs (a leaky plug?) and a discovery (water streaming into the boat from somewhere near the throttle...no, nothing too serious), we shut her down, enjoyed a couple snacks and played with the depth finder. An hour or so later, we headed back to the house.
I didn't realize until later that I'd gotten a bit of sun and wind burn on my face. That evening, my face was soooooo warm that Carol thought I was having a hot flash. Not that that's an impossibility, but the heat was only in my face and didn't go away. Nope, not a hot flash.
Finally, last night, before heading upstairs to bed, I went down to the dock. Just me. The sky was amazing. White, fluffy clouds to my left; dark, stormy clouds to my right; directly above me, clear sky. The water was almost glassy calm. I could see a loon and a grebe out on the water. Fish were jumping. It was so peaceful. John was still up when I went back up to the house and the first thing he asked me was "So, are you happy in your new home?" How could I not be?
Does it get any better than this?
Sunday, May 22, 2005
I did promise that nearer the end of the month, I would post my "must haves". I was going to post a picture of my choices, but I've lent one of them to a customer so there goes that idea. Oh well.
If you've never seen Ann Budd's books "The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns" and "The Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns", do. I find them indispensable, especially if you want to do any kind of customized knitting. The format of the books is a table format, with gauge (3 st/inch to 8 st/inch) down the left hand side and size (age 2 or so to men's xl) along the top. You find the gauge you want, in the size you want and then follow the pattern all the way down. Because they're basic patterns, you can customize in whatever manner you want. The "Handy Book of Patterns" contains basic patterns for mittens, gloves, hats (what we in Canada call toques), tams, scarves, socks, vests and a sweater. The sweater book has patterns for the different sleeve styles and suggests ways of customizing your garment. The binding of the book is a spiral binding so the book lies flat when in use (love that!) and there's a pocket inside the back cover for those slips of paper with information that we all gather (don't tell me I'm the only one, ok??).
I've knitted Ann Budd's "Grand Plan Sweater", which is the sweater pattern in the book of patterns and I've never had a sweater go together so beautifully. I CAN show you a picture of that one. I knitted it out of Paton's Canadiana Tweeds (yes, I know.. it's acrylic, but I got it for a really good price, it's eminently washable, wears like iron and is holding up quite nicely). I made this one about three years ago now, and would make another one tomorrow if I needed another sweater.
So... if you haven't already entered your choice, do! Keep in mind, you do have to provide me with a way of contacting you. If you have a blog, I'll have a link to it, but if you post with no way of me replying to you, it will be difficult for me to let you know you've won. Hmmm... I guess you'll just have to keep coming back, won't you?
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I have made great progress on Ljod. The back is finished and I've got about 5 inches of the front done. I'm into the diamond knot and, though the chart looks confusing, I'm finding that it's really not that big a deal. I must remember, though, to take my "tool kit" with me to the store today. I'm going to need my cable needle soon. (I left it at home yesterday...good thing I didn't need it.)
Yesterday, we saw something that we hadn't seen in the whole two years we've lived here. From what we've heard from friends, some have lived in this city most of their lives and haven't seen what we saw yesterday.
If you look at the picture carefully, you'll see that the center blue section is raised. That's the nav gate on the Lake Okanagan Floating Bridge. None of us here have ever seen the bridge go up to let boats go from one side to the other. This time, there was a handful of sailboats and a large house boat that went across. From here on in, I'm sure it will be nothing more than a curiousity, but the first time is always special!
Incidentally, it's not that boats can't get under the bridge. There are two raised sections of the bridge that smaller boats and houseboats can navigate; the nav bridge is only for the larger boats. From what we understand, that section doesn't get raised very much, so I'm assuming that the larger boats generally stay in their own area of the lake (an assumption on my part).
Now, it's time for my shower. Enjoy your Saturday!
Friday, May 20, 2005
By the way, Rebekah, if you ever want to come share the view for a little while and maybe sit on the dock and knit with me (which I didn't get to do yesterday), come on over!
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Last night, I had a wonderful opportunity to take some great pictures. A storm rolled in over the lake from the south and after it dissipated somewhat, the sunset broke through from the west and created a glorious rainbow that came and went. Some of the time, we could only see a piece of the rainbow, other times the whole rainbow. The colours ranged from a vague hint of colour to a bright, complete spectrum rainbow. So, why am I describing it rather than showing you? Well, I took the camera to the store yesterday, intending to take a couple of pictures of the crochet class I'm teaching (only two women out of the seven registered showed up) and left the camera (and my much-needed sunglasses) there. *sigh* Figures, doesn't it? Perfect photo op and I leave the camera at work.
I'm still knitting like crazy, but nothing's close to completion yet. The flower basket shawl needs another 30 or so rows, I think, before doing the edging, so that's probably the project nearest completion. After finishing the Audrey top, I started another Elsebeth Lavold pattern for myself (Ljod .. I think... from her Viking Collection). It's a sleeveless top with a "four knot" knitted into the front (looks kind of like a celtic knot). I'm into the armhole shaping on the back. I decided to work it in Sirdar Breeze, a blend of cotton and acryilic, in buttermilk, a nice soft yellow. I love the feel of this yarn and the stitch definition is really nice. I have a feeling I'm really going to like wearing this one.
Hmm... either the smell has dissipated somewhat or I'm getting used to it. Either way, I think I'm going to go downstairs, make myself a mug of tea and go sit on the deck for a while with some knitting. And laundry.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
On another note, I went shopping yesterday. On the way to pick John up from work, I stopped in at Chapters to see what was interesting in the knitting books. I found this one and decided I wanted it.
I've heard about this book before (A Gathering of Lace, gathered by Meg Swanson) and, considering how much I'm enjoying the process of knitting lacy shawls (Kiri, Flower Basket and Meadow Flowers) I thought this book would make a nice addition to my library. There are a few others I'd like to get, but I have to be patient. I don't need to get them all at one time. (Unless I happen to win a lottery, or something.)
Incidentally, I'm hoping there will be a few more entries into your "must-have" picks. I'm already putting together my list of "should haves" from your picks. Once we're closer to the end of the month, I'll put together the list of your picks and post it here. Thank you so much to those of you who have responded so far. I'm really enjoying reading your comments and your picks. For those of you not sure of what I'm writing about, you can read all about it by clicking here.
Alright, time to get on with my day. It's Tuesday. Today's knitting class has been cancelled due to the provincial elections (the teacher is one of the people staffing a polling booth; I don't know why she can't be in two places at the same time!). I suppose I'd better make time in my busy schedule to perform my civic duty, shouldn't I?
Monday, May 16, 2005
That rainy weather enabled me to finish Audrey yesterday, much to the chagrin of my husband who asked me at one point "Are you STILL knitting?" I guess I should have been doing something else instead. Oh well, it's done now; it fits beautifully and it will be a good addition to my wardrobe.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
Anyway, that's enough of a rant for this morning. Here's a picture of the completed poncho. One of our Friday night appy night guests was kind enough to model it for me.
Today, I'd like to see if I can't get the Audrey top done. I'm almost up to the armhole shaping on the front. Once I reach the neck edge, it's only the shoulder panels that need doing, and those don't take long. Hopefully, I'll be wearing it to work on Monday. Once it's done, I'll see if I can get John to take a good picture of me wearing it.
I must admit, it feels good to have another FO and working diligently on finishing another one. It's been too long!
Friday, May 13, 2005
Now, here's the explanation for that project. When we first started talking about crochet lessons at the store, I made a crocheted poncho, using the pattern from Michael's. Of course, once you have a sample in the store, customers want to make it, which is a great concept, right? Well, it would be if there were no mistakes in the pattern. There are. It was very frustrating for some of the customers and one in particular keeps coming in because the pattern isn't making any sense to her. So, being the kind-hearted person I am, I'm re-writing the pattern, correcting the errors and making it easier to understand. Once I've done that, I'll post a link to the Michael's version and a link to the revised and corrected version, along with a couple of pictures.
Incidentally, the model used in the picture on the Michael's version has to be a tiny slip of a thing because where the first row of trebles comes on her is nowhere near where it comes to on a real person. On me, that row sits at my shoulders and, when completed, the last row is at my elbows, not my wrist as it is in the picture. I must admit, though, as much as I dislike ponchos, this one's kind of cute.
Alright... I'm going to clean my room now, Mom.
Monday, May 09, 2005
Yesterday, we did our sofa run, but I'm not too sure why. The sofa looks awful. It's covered with grime, the stitching's come apart and it looks as if critters of various sorts have been making it their home. John seems to think all it needs is a good upholsterer; I'm thinking it just needs to be put out in an alley somewhere. The way it looks right now, I'd be afraid to sit on it.
Before we left for Vernon, I put together three sets of stitch markers, so I could give one to Bev for her birthday. We were supposed to get together with David & Bev for her birthday celebration, but it was right in the middle of moving stuff over to this house and it just never happened. She is a knitter, so I figured she'd appreciate the markers. She did. Unbelievably, she's a knitter with nothing on her needles at the moment. I just can't understand that! I don't really like going to their home; it's not one of the cleanest homes I've been in and it's not getting any better. They have two dogs, two birds and David smokes in the house. I always leave there feeling grimy, for some reason. Oh well, they do appreciate the visits.
On the other side of it, one thing I do like about their place is the hummingbird feeders. They have at least two of them in front of their living room window and yesterday, the air was positively humming. Fortunately for me, John made sure I had the camera with me. I've always wanted to take a good picture of a hummingbird.
Before I forget, for those of you who haven't yet let me know which is your absolute "must-have" knitting book, don't forget to let me know before the end of the month. You can find the original post here.
And now, it's time to get ready for work.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
I've always wanted to take pictures of fireworks. Have you ever tried taking pictures of fireworks on film? You have to wait to see the results, for one thing. Then, if the pictures are no good, you've wasted that film. On digital? Well, let's just say, I took 90 pictures of fireworks. The ones I'm not happy with, I will simply delete. Of those 90, I have a couple of pictures I'm happy with. I'd like to try again now that I have the hang of it, but fireworks don't just happen every night around here. My next opportunity will be July 1, Canada Day. I'm assuming they'll have fireworks again. Now, if only I can get my neighbours to turn off their dock lights.
And, just cuz I like to show off.....
Oh! Before I forget, Carol asked me to let you all know... (watch for the alliteration here...) Carol calls the coot Curtis.
Saturday, May 07, 2005
If any of you read the Art of Yarn blog (where I work/play), you'll see by today's post that we're putting together some kits for the store. Sally's put together a really cute lacy poncho and I'm working on a smaller version of the entrelac scarf. Hey, I'll take any excuse to start a new project! There's something exciting about starting a project, don't you think?
Well, here's the progress so far:
Living on the lake, I'm expecting life and nature to be fascinating. Thus far, I haven't been disappointed. Now, for those of you who think we live way out in the boonies somewhere, the city of Kelowna is a mere five minutes away. We have only to cross the bridge to get to town. That does keep some wildlife away, I'm sure. We have a fair number of ducks, geese, swallows and quail to watch at the moment and we hear the pheasant every day. We think it's one, could be more.
We've been noticing this little guy hanging around lately.
Ah, the backhoe's quiet.
Friday, May 06, 2005
In addition, I'm going to be re-working the entrelac scarf pattern so we can put it into kits for the store. As it is right now, it's knit up on 32 stitches, four rectangles of 8 stitches. I'm bringing it down to 24 stitches, or four rectangles of 6 stitches. In order to take pictures of it, though, it needs (of course) to be re-knitted at the smaller size. I started that project yesterday and will, hopefully, do some work on it today. I'll post a progress picture when there's a little more than an inch and a half and more colour than just browns to show you. If it turns out anything like the other entrelac scarf, it's going to be a keeper.
I'm quite surprised I'm liking the Noro Silk Garden as much as I am. I think, from here on in, any scarf I make will be made with SG. It is a beautiful yarn.
Now, for the lightheartedness. On Ada's blog, she had a link to a quiz to find out your Inner European. So, I did it. Even though I'm from good, hearty Dutch (actually Frisian) stock, my inner European seems to be French. In all honesty, that doesn't surprise me at all. I think I'll get John to do the same test; I'd almost place bets that his inner European is the same.
Your Inner European is French!
Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything - at least, *you* think so.
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
The move is done! Now, we’re about to tackle the mountain of unpacking that needs to be done when you combine three households, Rob & Carol’s, John’s and mine. (What does one do with five sofas, anyway?)
This morning, the cable guy came and got us hooked up to that great highway, also known as the internet, so I could, at the very least, update you all on what’s happening here. On the knitting front, that’s been very little, as you can well imagine.
I did, however, do one thing. While at the store yesterday, I drew out, planned and started knitting my first, very own design. It’s not my first design, but it is the first one I’ve actually started knitting. It’s a vest for myself. (I could picture it worn over a white shirt.) Last week, we got in a bunch of Noro yarn, Kureyon and Silk Garden, and two of the Silk Garden colours just would not leave me alone. The colours are gorgeous. The one I chose just cried out to be something for me, but not a scarf. When pencil met paper, the vest design showed up and I couldn’t wait to start it. I’ll keep you posted on how it’s going. So far, I’ve only got three inches of ribbing to show you, and that’s not terribly exciting, is it?
Alright, so now that we’re finally here, on the lake, I suppose I should share a picture or two. I can do that. Yesterday, John had to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get ready for work and I had to drop him off at the pickup point by 5:15 a.m. When I got back home, by about 5:45 a.m., I simply couldn’t go back to sleep, so I sat on our deck with my knitting, a mug of tea and the camera. It wasn’t a spectacular sunrise, but it was my first sunrise on the lake and that made it special.