Sunday, November 30, 2008


Yesterday while I was sitting at my desk, I looked out the window and saw a big gray/brown shape on the peak of our neighbor's roof. It was a great blue heron! I grabbed the camera - quick!

Sadly, I haven't used the zoom feature at all (new camera, remember?) and only managed to get a limited magnification. If you enlarge the photo, the bird is quite visible.

The heron seemed to be eyeing the neighbor's pond below. I don't know if they actually have put any fish in it. Around here, fish don't last in ponds as the herons cruise over looking for such easy pickings. Even tadpoles are endangered. I've never seen a heron here before, though. A nice surprise. I hope it comes back so I can get a better photo. I'll practice with the zoom so I'm ready next time.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I sort of noticed yesterday that the house felt cold but we like it on the cool side. Our kids think the house is like the high Arctic LOL But we do have our limits and this morning the thermostat didn't seem to be showing any change from the night-time setting.

Not worried yet, we investigated and found the pilot light out. After trying to relight it a couple of times, we realised that it was probably this little doo-hickey that seems to crap out every three years or so. It's not a big thing and it will be fixed on Monday.

In the meantime, we have warm sweaters and socks, a space heater and a fireplace. How bad can things be?

Plastic Barbies

I've been catching up on getting the donated Barbies and babies ready for resale at the thrift shop. They've been stacked up in a corner of the sewing room for weeks waiting for me to have time for them. This is about half of what I got done over two days which was about 30 Barbies, 5 babies and a half dozen little ponies. It can take me up to half an hour to fix up a doll depending on the state of the hair. They do get their hair in some pretty bad tangles although many baby dolls are bald which makes things really fast. While I get the hair smooth, I think about the personality of this doll - based on her hair, mainly. Then I figure out what clothes to put on her and then I search for shoes. The last step is to seal them up to keep them nice for the store.

Everything is a search, really. I start off with the clothes all sorted into various zip-lock bags but things get into a mess pretty fast as I rummage through the bag, pull out and discard various outfits. Or I find one part of an outfit and can't find the rest. Soon I am rooting through a jumble. It must have been pretty bad yesterday because I found myself dreaming of a big Barbie dressing room with all the clothes on little hangers. And all the shoes and accessories lined up neatly on shelves.

I have all the re-organising to do today since I just stuffed all the little bags into bigger boxes. That closet is still looking pretty good this morning. Just saying.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fair play?

So, Vanoc has bowed to pressure exerted by reporter Peter Lee and all those school kids. What nonsense! I'm sure Vanoc had this marketing scheme planned all along. Hold back one mascot - the cutest and probably most locally relevant - and create a buzz around it. Was Lee in on it or was he just used like the kids?

Funny thing, that Mukmuk was freed from his cyber-jail just as the Christmas retail season ramps up. Or am I being too cynical? Or maybe I should just stand back and applaud the clever marketing minds at work.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Littlest DGD

Remember that little pattern book that I bought at the craft sale? I did manage to find something that I'd not seen in my other old pattern books. These cute little Mary Jane slippers are for Katie who has many pairs of little socks but these are a bit different.

They are about 3 inches long and made from the pink/gray yarn that I liked so much. Wow! It has really given me good value: a pair of adult socks, a blended kid's pair and now these. But that's all there is...I used it all up. Totally.

I'm not sure I really like the colored yarn for these slippers now that it's made up. I think that if I make them again - and they are really easy - I will make them quite plain. The pattern has a little contrast trim thing on the toe. It was too busy with the patterned yarn but plain would probably look very nice. There's always something to learn.

See it?

The family resemblance, that is. These socks are the result of blending yarns and might be kissin' cousins. I used a multi-gray blended with a blue/gray/orange. Both are cotton and wool blend yarns and so they work a bit better together. The difference between these and the 'Skybluepink' socks is that these yarns are self-striping. It sort of works with the colors but I'm not entirely happy with the result. The other big problem is that I can't control where the colors are. These are remnants and I can't just wind off a bit and start where I want. I did try to get two sort-of-orange toes. So, while each sock is OK on its own, they don't really work as a pair. Fortunately, they will grace a two-year-old's feet and he'll not notice it that much. If I were doing another pair of socks with blended yarn then I would stick to those with random coloring. It's all learning.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Here is 'Bass Lines'...all done, at last. Believe it or not, this is the best picture I can get today. I may try again tomorrow. The flash washed it out and when I didn't use the flash all I got was this. When I did a close-up I got a better color so I'm posting that photo, too. The rug is about 32 x 22 and I bound it with gray wool.

It seemed to take a long time to get to the binding which actually goes pretty quick once I start. I wonder what it is about finishing that I don't like? It's not just rugs...I hate doing up hems and sewing on buttons, too. And sewing up a knitted garment is such a chore. I'm a little better disciplined now than I used to be. I kind of force myself to finish one rug before I can start another. Designing new ones doesn't count, though.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


We worked at a craft sale today, making coffee to revive hard-working volunteers as well as customers.

There were lots of beautiful knitted things: beautiful afghans, neck warmers, scarves and slippers to keep everyone cozy. Crafty sewn dolls and ornaments for Christmas were lined up ready for sale. There was lots and lots of home baking, too. So much work, so many hours. It was nice to see so many folks coming in to buy these items. It's so validating when someone buys that baby sweater or box of cookies you've put so much love and skill into making.

I found a knitting book for myself. I know, just what I needed LOL But it was such a sweet little book. An old Patons & Baldwin that I'd never seen with baby knits. I've probably seen a lot of the patterns but not this book. It's quite small and has red card covers and some lovely little drawings. I'll find something in it to knit, I know.

I also found some buffalo yarn in a light raspberry pink color. I'm collecting buffalo yarn for a felted project that I have in my mind. So far, I have white, three shades of gray, charcoal and the pink. Maybe I'll get started after Christmas...I always need a completely new New Years' project.

And, of course, we bought our share of baked goodies. Peanut butter and chocolate tarts. Ginger spice biscotti. Some almond bark with cranberries. Yes, there's still some left...tomorrow's another day.

Friday, November 21, 2008


More experimenting with blending yarns. Here's another little sock - probably for Charlie. There's a lot of white in parts of the blue/orange yarn which gives it a vaguely Scandinavian look to me. I doubt I'll be able to match each sock exactly.

This technique seems to work better when there are shorter random color lengths otherwise it just ends up looking striped. I also think the cotton yarns give a softer blending than the strong colors in wool sock yarns. But maybe I just haven't tried the right combination. There's lots to choose from.


I took advantage of a break in the rain to play with the camera. I wanted to see what kind of close-ups I could get of the garden in winter. Here's what I found.

From the top: a lily of the valley berry, tiny toadstools, a cluster of beautyberries and a rose hip.

Right: new growth on a winter jasmine Below: a primula whose color makes me smile

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


...finished. This isn't the greatest photo because the sun is too bright. Wait! I didn't really complain about that!

Anyway, I still have the binding to do but I'm pretty pleased with the rug so far.

Kind of cool

Remember my pink socks? I think the colorway was called "Sugar". Well, I liked the yarn so much that I bought another couple of balls - this time in a green colorway called "Kelp". When the socks were knit up, they did look like kelp floating in the ocean on a very sunny day.

After knitting the grown-up socks, I had remnants and I like to knit kids' socks with these leftover bits. I was wondering what would happen if I knit one round in pink and one round in green throughout. Here's the result. Isn't it wonderful? I call it "Skyblue Pink" and these are for Becky. Because of the way I do short-row heels, there's part which is just green and the toe I made just pink for balance. The other sock will be the opposite due to yarn distribution.

I'm looking through my remnants for more that I can do after this. Great fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Where were you?

We all voted in our municipal elections yesterday. Well, some of us did. Our District had a shocking turn-out...less than 17% of eligible voters showed up to cast their ballots. What is wrong with everybody?

I don't know how low (or high) it was in other municipalities. In a way, I hope it was that low everywhere just so we don't look so pitifully apathetic. But, really, I hope we are an anomaly. There's nothing exciting going on here, I guess, to get the citizens fired up. I mean, how passionate can one be about garbage pickup schedules and whether someone on the other side of town gets to develop their property? But we should care. Isn't this the government closest to us?

Maybe it's a feeling of not being able to fight City Hall? Surely, this was the opportunity to get out and say something...anything. Just say it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Apparently if you get up early on a Saturday morning and your newspaper hasn't been delivered yet, there's something amazing on CBC Radio 2...Molly Johnson and a lot of beautiful music. This is worth waking up for.
This morning I was especially happy to hear a song by Emmylou Harris that she wrote herself: Red Dirt Girl. I could listen to her all day. But, there was more. Lots more. Jimmy Cliff and Ella and Lenny Kravitz and Diana Krall and BB King and Rufus Wainwright and oh, so many more. Just great stuff for four hours.

I'll be back.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New toy

It's a new camera! And a nice sunny day to take some pictures. These are by no means art photos and , really, are just Anne playing with the camera this morning. So what's in the picture isn't necessarily what she intended to snap. I've left out all the shots of robins in the mountain ash trees happily nibbling on the last berries hanging there. There was so much to-ing and fro-ing with the zoom that the robins are not very visible. There was a bird in the pine tree, too - really.

But the little chickadee having one last splash in the birdbath is pretty good. As is the shot from 8 cm of the oak leaf and pine needles. That's the reason for the new camera: to take good close-ups. And, it does the job. I like how the leaf/needles appear to be stuck in ice. But it's just a bit of last night's rain on a glass table top.

And, just for fun, there is always a Stellars jay hanging out on the deck. This one found a peanut and is quickly making off with it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Say what?

So, today we got really, really serious about this HD thing. We've been lurking about the electronics departments and trying to glean information. We've interrogated our high-tech kids and tried to figure out what TV to buy. Then we did the research for which supplier would be best for our needs. OK...decision made.

We go on-line with telus and try to get the package tuned just right. This is not so easy as it sounds. So we call the sales people - always a last resort for us. The man on the other end of the phone couldn't have been nicer or more helpful. Really. And there was all kinds of 'bundling' and savings we could realize. Oh, wait a minute...HD isn't available yet where you live. What are all those brochures and dinner time phone calls about, anyway?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Good thing I did a lot of hooking on the rug last week. Ive almost got all the background done and I really like it. I haven't really decided how I'm doing the border yet.

We've been distracted by our Christmas visitor. Yesterday was our early Christmas, since Wendy will be elsewhere in December, and it was quite lovely. Carols playing in the background, shortbread and mandarin oranges. We emptied our stockings and opened our gifts. Big surprise gift! In the big parcel that looked like putters for mini golf were collapsible hiking sticks, one for each of us - with shock absorbers. Roll on Ireland... And there was, of course, lots of chocolate. But, it was just a rehearsal as we have more to look forward to on Dec. 25th.

I could knit, though. I have a whole lot of things on the go at the moment. I have the gray cardigan hibernating because I got tired of it. I just have not ever been happy with it. Don't know if that's because I had to take the original pullover apart and redo or not. I don't usually feel that way about frogged knitting. But I had so much trouble finding an appropriate design and then there didn't seem to be as much yarn as I needed for anything that seemed good. It's to the point of being sewn together and as everyone knows that's the really tedious part. If I keep it out it will get done. Putting it away would be unwise.

Last week , I knit really fast on the ribbed T-neck so that I could have it done and then start on the tea cosy that I needed to make for Wendy to take back with her. Lucky for me these are pretty quick to knit because I'm still not finished the T-neck on the gray sweater. For some reason this is taking the longest time to finish. Here's the tea cosy - each side has a different two are ever alike.

See the festive Christmas tablecloth?

Then, last night, I was so tired of the fuzzy gray mohair yarn that I pulled out the new sock yarn that I had bought last week. More of that cotton Stretch sock yarn - this time in a sea and sand colorway. Socks are always the best default relaxing.

It's been a great visit. I've learned all kinds of new things about blogs and cameras and computers. This new knowledge will be put to good use although it might be in subtle or behind-the-scenes ways.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin