Tuesday, July 31, 2012


As promised, the photos of me flying through the air have arrived.

This is my first try.  He told me to hang on tight.  I really did.

But, hey!  this is fun.  Let me out of here.  I'm ready to zip!

And, then I'm off on the longest line.  1100 feet of zipping over the canyon.  Odd thing:  it doesn't look as graceful as I felt.  It must be the uber-cool helmet and harness.  Yeah, that's it.

Thanks for taking the photos, Steve.  

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Sunday wonders - D

D is for Diamonds.

Like me, Mother Nature likes a bit of bling.  Raindrops are strung on a spider's web by the Pinware River in Labrador.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Stash

And now it's back to more lady-like senior appropriate grandmother-ish...oh, dear.  You can see I'm having trouble not only in adjusting but also to finding the labels.  So, no labels.  This is about the stash.  But I was so busy zipping and floating among the clouds and mountain-tops that I had not so much knitting time this past week. 

I have only finished off two lots of yarn out of the big chest.  These little baby janes sure didn't take much.  But sometimes, when all you have are small bits, it's nice to be able to use them up.  And I had a bit of pink to make some flowers.  Not sure if I like the look of an attached flower as much as an embroudered one.  That's for next time.  I'm not picking it out and doing it over. 

This sweet thing is my Cedar Cardi.  The pattern is Demne designed by Anne Cholewa.  Knitting this tiny garment made me feel like an engineer for Lilliputians.  I have never encountered so much technique in a one small project before.  A sideways knit should be relatively simple.  And this one was - as long as you followed the instructions.  To the letter.  Thinking outside the box became worrisome so I stopped.  Of course, the dire warnings to follow the directions didn't encourage much straying from the path, either.  This winding path took much longer to walk than usual, too. 

But, kvetching aside, I think it turned out nicely.  The color is the exact shade of the cedars growing all around me. Now I'm off to finish a little vest - more next week. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

The BIG Adventure

I don't actually have a 'bucket list' - mainly because I hate the phrase,  However, I do have things that I've always wanted to do.  Liek travel to India.  This month, I have done two of those mch-dreamed of things.  I have visited Newfoundland and Labrador.  And two days ago, I was zip-lining.

Ever since the Olympics here in Vancouver, I've had a bee in my bonnet about zip-lining.  I'd thought about it before without much hope.  But then it seemed like it could really happen.  There was a zip-line installed right down-town in Vancouver.  Anyone could do it.  It wasn't threatening at all.  But, I wasn't prepared to wait out the long lines so that opportunity went by.

But, some of the family were planning a trip to Whistler.  Did we want to join them and maybe try out the zip-lines up there?  Are you kidding me?!!!  We jumped at the chance.  Here are oldest ad youngest members of our little group.  All decked out in harness, helmet and great clanking pulley thing that made climbing stairs impossible unless you held it in your hand. 

We began at village level with a 'bunny line'.  If it wasn't going to work, the guides wanted to know before they got us up in the trees. 

First line up in the old-growth forest - showing our great form right from the get-go.

This is how the lines appeared to us as we looked down on Fitzsimmons Creek.  We were about to criss-cross  the valley on these very lines.

This is how those of who weighed less than the required weight travelled on the longer lines.  I can't believe that those pulleys wouldn't have made up the extra pounds!

We zipped along five lines with each one being longer than the last.  And with each line our confidence grew.   No photos of this but the last line was a free-style.  All but two of us managed to hang upside down as they crossed. over the creek.

We're ready to go and do it again and step up the action.  I'd like to try ten lines and see some different scenery.  The killer part isn't the zipping.  It's all the stairs you have to climb.  Trail steps as well as actual staircases up to the jumping platforms.  The longest was 77 stairs.

Zipping is such fun.  For some, it was hard to take that step off into nothing.  I thought it would be scary but it wasn't at all.  With all the gear on, I felt very safe.  They opened the gate; I stepped off and wahoo!  I was flying.  That's as close as I'll ever get.  Next week, I'll post a photo of me in the air.  I couldn't take pix of myself so you'll have to wait for that.  And take my word for it.  I DID IT!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

In the clouds

Two hours of driving, a million miles away.

Up bright and early on Tuesday, we set off on a road trip to Whistler.  There's a big adventure in store.  One minute we're in a village with the clouds lowering and, the next - well, after a gondola ride -  we're here on Whistler Mountain: above the clouds and looking out over the mountains.

And more mountains.

Another gondola ride across the valley takes us to Blackcomb Mountain.  Here, we happen across a hoary marmot, suntanning on the rocks.  These marmots make a whistling sound which explains the name, Whistler.

Then a chairlift ride to the top.  Where it's still winter.

And there are more mountains.

A painter takes advantage of the gorgeous day for some plein air artistry.

And there are more mountains and stunning views.

We ride down the chairlift, then hop on another, and yet another as we float gently down the mountain to the village.  I hadn't been on a chairlift for almost 40 years and had uneasy memories of having to jump and run.  But I needn't have fretted - it's all so controlled, slow and safe now.  I could have ridden the chairs all day.  Just sitting in the sunshine, with nothing but blue sky, birds singing, tall trees and rocks.  Often there are carpets of flowers below and it's quiet.   Really, really quiet.

In the village, there are hundreds of  these bike warriors just off the mountain trails, covered in mud and dressed in armor.  Apparently, this guy has already been through the bike wash.

A closer view of  some red flowers that we have yet to identify.  This was taken from the chair with a zoom - we never did get close to them.
Tomorrow is another day.  And an even bigger adventure. 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sunday wonders - C

C is for Clotheslines.

Wherever there were houses and families in Newfoundland there were clotheslines.  It's wonderfully windy along the coast. 

Even the Norsemen did laundry.  Well, the women did the real work, I'm sure.  This is a replica dwelling at L'anse aux Meadows.

I would love to have a clothesline.  We have the kind of climate where we are grateful for the invention of the tumble dryer.  But, there is nothing better than the smell of wind-dried sheets, is there?  Having been inspired by all the flapping clothes I saw, I have been scouting around the yard for a place to put one.  It's not easy since we've got plants, veg and trees everywhere.  I have identified a nice clear patch.  But the other half of the household has just pointed out that the washing would be right under a drippy pine tree.

Way to rain on my parade, er washing. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Saturday stash

Frogging, tinking, and a lot of little knitting. 

This week was all about filling in some blanks on the sales shelves.  I had some green and blue cotton in the stash.  Originally, it had been a very needed gift from Wendy when I arrived at her house without my knitting.  We're talking about flying across the country and leaving the knitting bag sitting on the table at home.  She came through with this lovely yarn, needles and a pattern book.  On that trip I made a blue baby sweater and hat, I think.  It was a few years ago. 

So.  Green and blue cotton.  What to do?  I have been admiring Spring Picnic by Helen Rose for a while now.  I had only admired it as I do any colorwork - from afar.  Carrying colors, working with bobbins and having tangled yarn makes me cranky so I just admired.  Why did I actually read the pattern?  Who knows?  But it isn't stranded knitting...it's all done with clever slipped stitches.  I'm OK with that.  I'm casting on and flying through the body.  Well, you know the froggy parts and the fun parts already.  I love how my Happy Little Clouds turned out. 

Having both blue and green left, I made some more of the ever popular Baby Janes.  They're not necessarily meant to go with the sweater but if someone wants to buy them all together, that's just fine by me.  I timed the shoe knitting last night:  one pair takes one hour and fifteen minutes from start to finish, including buttons.   These are such fun to make. 

 And, I loved this Quacking Up bib.   A bit of pale yellow cotton and an hour or so is all it takes to whip up one of these cuties.  The link will also show you several other of her knit-in designs for either bibs or washcloths.  I think I might have some cotton that needs to be knit up. 

Now I can almost cross that green and blue off the list.  About half a ball of each left...maybe a little hat.  Or a striped bib.  There are no end of possibilities. 

Friday, July 20, 2012

Afternoon delight

Don't know why but that song has been circling my brain for a few days now.  I know.  I could have picked something better, couldn't I?

This is a slightly different version.  Anne has a new-to-her camera with greater zoomability.  A sunny day and the promise of birds singing in the trees was an invite not to be turned down.  I didn't take a camera so all these shots are hers.  Tests, you know.

Imagine our surprise when we saw what the  film crew 'little people' had left for us to wonder at.  As you can tell, these sets are not big enough for adults.  I'm trying to find out what the film is but all I know is that there are about twenty movies/TV series currently being filmed here.  No locations.  Jeesh!  So much filming here that I doubt anyone would crash the party.  But inquiring minds do want to know.

Let's move on to the sea shore.   Here comes our friend, sea otter.  He's trying to get in to shore and we're in his way.  Oh , well, might as well do some fishing.  This shows us his good side, whiskers and all.  I have enlarged this from the original.  It seems to have held its focus quite well.

An osprey sitting atop some pilings.  I think he's already had his lunch.  Those are purple martin boxes around his poles. 

The great blue heron stands and waits.   So patient. Both these photos were taken from quite a distance.  The zoom passed the test.  It is better - and higher res, too.

A field of daisies.

Some beach pea showing it's gorgeous color.  This camera is not as good for flowers as the one I use. Just sayin'.

I could lean on the fence and look  at this view all day.  The camera never managed to catch the cedar waxwings that kept flying over the reeds.  More afternoon snacking.

But, look closely, through the reeds and we see who's having a dream in the sun.  Truly delightful. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Woolgathering: Good enough?

What ever happened to my 'good enough' way of work?  It seems to have deserted me in the past week. 

Due to laziness, I have become very adept at fudging.  Or ignoring.  Or hoping things would work out in the blocking.  Like this knot of yarn that was hiding inside the ball of yarn.  I had blithely knit a third of the row before this bumped under my hand and on to the needles.  What to do?  I tried to ignore it.

Meanwhile, like the zit on prom night, it just kept getting bigger and more glaring with each succeeding row.  Here is my eventual solution.  See where my laziness got me?  A whole bunch of re-knitting.  Fortunately, we're talking about a baby sweater here.

The sleeves for this sweater were also a challenge to my let-sleeping-dogs-lie attitude.  First, the pattern called for provisional cast-on.  Immediately, I'm thinking of ten ways of achieving the result without doing this.  However, the pattern tempted me with a new way...I can't resist trying something new!  This is me, happily working on the little sleeve.  I kind of liked the red and the green. 

But, there are other plans.  I have to fold this up and knit the pieces together to make a hem.  Note I am knitting in the round.  Normally, when asked to do this, I just ignore the provisional thing and head straight to my way of making a folded hem.  Since I was in follow-the-instructions-to-the-letter mode, I did as asked.  Now working with a nest of needles.

OK.  Here is the finished hem.  I'm not sure it's any nicer than if I'd done it my way.  But it does look neat and tidy with only one end to weave in.  And I had a good time juggling the needles.

Meanwhile, back on the sock ranch, things are not happy with my Woodstocks.  I don't like the heel treatment that I have chosen.  And I've decided to write up the pattern in case anyone wants to follow my tangled path to Woodstock.   So sock number one is frogged.

Enter sock number two which is now sock number one.  Still following?  I am no longer winging the pattern as it's all written up in an orderly way.  Now, when I re-start that first sock, I'll be totally consistent with the second.  Er, first. 

Perfection isn't attainable.  I've always said it.  But for some reason, knitting karma has caught me this week.  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just a few more

Photos from Newfoundland.  I hope that you're not tired of them yet.  Each time, I go into the file, I find interesting shots.  These are all from around the Bonavista peninsula.

Just chillin' with the puffins in the fog...

A long way back from Bird Island.

Puffin eggs are a gull delicacy.  I think they're very pretty , too.

The trees on the Rock are not very big by our West Coast standards.  Fences are easier to make out of the branches than to mill boards.  Save the good stuff for the houses.  This is the country version of a garden fence...

And this is the townie way to do it.  I think this one is more ornamental than useful, don't you?

I finally found out why the bells are placed on the ground beside the churches instead of in the steeple as we're more used to seeing them.  If there's an accident at sea, anyone can ring the bell as an alarm.  Keeping it accessible is the number one priority. 

 A wild azalea growing near the sea.

Another view from the town of Trinity. 


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