Thursday, September 30, 2010


I'm getting very serious about the Olivier Pullover.  Yesterday, I spent ages researching yarns and looking at color charts until my eyes crossed.  And I still can't decide. The thing about colors is that there are too many.  Henry Ford had it right:  black is enough.

I have some colors that I don't particularly like to wear - those would be anything in what my mother used to call 'earth tones'.   She was mad for golds, browns,  and beiges.  When I was a kid, it seemed to me that our whole house was decorated in those colors.  It was probably trendy but I grew to quite dislike these colors. 

My favorite color is red...but I have enough of that.  And, the tweeds don't actually come in real reds - or in my number two color which is yellow. 

This leaves me with blue.  It was my favorite color until I grew up, left home and discovered how many other colors there were in the big city.  But, blue denim is one of my favorite fabrics to wear and that's not just because of how comfy it is. 

Green makes me happy and I like almost every shade of green.  I have had several pieces of green clothing but find that I only have one left now.  And, gray is a work horse kind of color which goes with every thing. 
So, in this post are photos of the colors I have come down to -  but I can't make up my mind.  From the top: morning mist (I'd buy it for the name);  spruce;  and, slate.

Can you help?  Which one do you think would look best knit up into this pattern?  I've put a survey in the can vote for your choice.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I'm so weak.  I had made a sort of promise not to buy the latest Interweave Knits Weekend.  I mean, really, how many new patterns do I need? 

But then I made the mistake of actually looking at it the other day.  I was smitten by the Olivier Pullover by Coralie Meslin.  Doesn't it look like a fun knit?  And an easy pullover just for, er, weekends?  I especially like the tweed yarn used.  It's been a while since I knit with tweed...must do it again. 

and this one:  the Amelia Cardigan designed by Silka Burgoyne.  I have a lovely grand daughter who prefers more traditional sweaters.  I think this is perfect.

There's lots of good patterns in this issue.  More useful stuff than I might find in any one regular issue of this magazine.  Maybe I'm a 'weekend knits' kind of person? 

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

It must be fall...

the flocks of robins are back to chow down on the tasty red berries of the mountain ash.  It took only one day for almost all the berries to be gone.  This robin is working the clean-up crew, I think.

For more rubies, visit Mary T right here.

Mellow Yellow Monday

Today is the first Monday of the fall.  What could be more mellow and fall-ish than a cupboard full of fruit jams, jellies and pickles?

The very white ones are pear-ginger jam.  Pears don't have much color, do they?

For more Mellow Yellow, visit Drowsy Monkey right here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Wonders - A

A is for Armor.

This warrior beetle is doing his best to defend the bean crop that I'm taking from him.  He's so determined that he's not abandoned his post.  Doesn't he have the most beautiful shield?

Even if it means a total relocation, this soldier is ready.  However, he's not that far from the bean poles.  I'm betting he made it back before too long. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


True to form, I've not been able to knit on two projects at the same time.  I was so curious to see how the new yarn would look when knit into the new pattern I'd found.   I'm calling them Wine Country because that's where I was when I received the yarn gift.  And the grape-y colors remind me of bergundy and merlot.  And the straight lines with lace in-between are like the long rows of vines growing in the vineyards you see everywhere in the Okanagan.  The steely gray of the rocks and mountains around the valleys; the brown is the fertile soil that grows the grapes.  Oh, this was a fun summer picture to paint. 

I think the yarn is just a bit busy for the pattern but I like it anyway.  And I was eager to get to the heel.  It's called a Balbriggan heel and was the interest point for making these socks - as well as the lovely lace pattern, of course.  I like trying new heel techniques.  You never know when one will stick with you.  I adopted the short-row heel as my default technique several years ago.  But, there's a lot of ways to knit the heel of a sock.

As I was knitting this, I kept thinking about the name and wondering where in Ireland is Balbriggan.  It just had to be somewhere in Ireland.  And it is!  In fact, it's not too far from where we were when we explored the seacoast north of Dublin.  Another few minutes on the train and we'd have been there.  Instead, we got off here, in Skerries.

I quickly researched the history of the heel and discovered that Balbriggan was once a center for manufacturing hosiery.  The long stockings pictured did, indeed, have the same  heel that I've just knit.  That was a fun connection to make.  As knitters, we connect with history every day.  But I felt an even deeper link having been so close to the town.  Maybe my Irish friends can add to my research?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last day

It was the day for Mom and Dad to come and reclaim their girls.  And, most definitely an occasion for a cake. 

Every cake needs to be decorated.  Just for the taste buds:  it's a chocolate cake with mint icing.  We had found a bag of figures for an Indian village at the thrift store.  What a perfect cake decoration!  Not historically accurate at all but they enjoyed putting it all together.

And, of course, we needed a canoe to get around the cake.  And blue tissue for water.  I think it looks fabulous, girls!

Oh, oh!  Who's dropping in for a bite?  A humungous frog!  No one's too sure where he came from but he sure made a mess.  It took a bit of corrective landscaping - with icing - to mend the crater but nothing can really spoil a chocolate cake.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday in 3-D!  A high fashion night.

Last night we decided to watch the 50-year-old 3D film footage of Queen Elizabeth's coronation on CBC.  I first saw it on a neighbor's black and white TV when I was a little girl.  Big box - tiny screen.  But it was so amazing.  We wouldn't get a TV in our house for 3 more years.  Just in time for Ed Sullivan and Elvis.  And it was still amazing.

Hope your Ruby Tuesday is as memorable...check in with Mary T here for more rubies.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

Mellow yellow in the glass...

...champagne at brunch.  Who's mellow now?

For more Mellow Yellow visit Drowsey Monkey here.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Wonders - Z

Z is for Zest.

A visit to the veggie patch produced some tasty treats to put in any meal we choose.  Lots of extra zestiness here.

And while, the others worked the garden, I zoomed  in on a fly having it's own zesty adventure on a leek bloom.  Aren't they both gorgeous?

And, now, here I am at the end of the alphabet again.  There's a whole lot of words - and stuff to match - in the world .  Besides,  it's fun.  Come back next week for a new beginning.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Not so new

I am still knitting.  I seem to be disappointing all those friends who have been waiting patiently to see some.

My Wowser socks are truly plodding along.  I am on sock number two.   BTW, Deb says that they look way, way better in person than in the photo.  I just know the photo color isn't quite right...imagine a bit brighter and lime-ier.

For at least two days I haven't knit a stitch.  I've been so busy - and then so tired - that I couldn't even think about having to concentrate on that  pattern.  Many knitters have several projects on the needles so that there might be one relaxing knit for those busy days when the brain function is low.  I haven't figured out how to do that.  Oh, I've managed to get two and sometimes three projects on the go.  But then, I get stuck into one and it's finished - usually the simple one!  I haven't quite got to the step where you start another simple one.  I just move on and finish the other two in order.

So, here I am getting ready for another project.  Look at  this yarn I got  from Wendy.  It was my gift at our Unbirthday celebration when we were vacationing at the cottage this summer.  It's lovely and squishy and the colors are so pretty.  The name says it all: Yummy!

Of course, I need a yummy pattern to go with it.  So I went browsing through my Knitcircus  e-magazine patterns.  Remember the subscription that I won?  Click on the link and you can read some great knit and yarn articles and see some fabulous patterns.  What I won were the patterns...what a prize!  Anyway, I have chosen Jane Prater's In the Clover just because I was so lucky.  And it's a nice pattern with a nifty new heel type for me to play with.  Check out the Fall Issue with an interview with Cat Bordhi (queen of socks) and an article on chart-making.  And a bunch of other good stuff.

And, for the record, I did have some easy projects to relax from the first Wowser but they're gifts and so I can't post the photos.  You never know who's looking, do you?

Friday, September 17, 2010

New arrivals!

Look what just got here!

Well it should be, who just got here, really.  Deb and the girls just arrived and they drove through orchard country - and shopped - just for us.  We have peaches, pears, apples, plums and butternut squash.  She was taking orders for whatever us West Coasters  thought we might need.  So, we have pears and squash and peaches.  Maria has the rest. 

 Pear-ginger jam,  squash soup and fresh-frozen peach slices for my  breakfast.  Oh, the winter won't be so gray after all.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Wish I were here

It's been - and continues to be - a week of meetings.  I do like meetings - I know, how weird is that! -but it's nice to have some in-between time to play.  Not a lot of that going around this week.

So, inspired by J.G. over at Hotchpotcafe, who seems to want to escape, too, I'll share where I would rather be this week: 

walking the cliffs in Howth, Ireland.  Hearing the sea birds screech and cry and having the wind off the Irish Sea blow away the cobwebs would be a welcome change. But, I think I'll have to settle down and prepare for another meeting or two.  So, packing my bags will have to wait.

Where would you like to be this week?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

It's taken all summer but now...

the tomatoes are coming! 

What's red in your world today?  Check out the Ruby Tuesday photos here.  Thanks to Mary T for hosting.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday

Just a street view while I sat at a sidewalk table the other day.  Two kinds of yellow...mellow and very bright.

Both buildings are for a different martial art form.  I like how the 'traditional aikido' is more mellow than the   'Champions' with the big red fist! 

For more yellow touches on a Monday, visit Drowsey Monkey right here.

Sunday wonders - Y

Yesterday was a fine day weatherwise.  Good thing, too because it had a way of lurching from side to side.

On my way out to enjoy brunch, I discovered that one of my tires was flat.  I know!  Yet again!  And 'yet' is another Y-word.  So, a hasty phone call and I arranged to be picked up.  OK.  Swinging the pendulum over to the good side.

We drove to the chosen restaurant only to discover a triathlon in progress...we arrived in the village just as the mountain biking leg began.  Not a parking spot to be found.   So, on to plan B which led us to a lovely table outside and some delicious Eggs Benny.  Mine had smoked salmon...yum!

I could sit and watch the people walk by on their way to some Saturday shopping.  It was all lovely and bright and the conversation was good.

But later, back at home, we had a tire to deal with.  Changing a tire is no big deal but it does take a bit of muscle sometimes to get those lug nuts off.   Then, spare on,  we set off to our favorite tire store.

It was so easy.  While the tire guys worked, we swanned off to the grocery store across the road for some things on the list.  It being Saturday, the food sample folks were out in full force.  Now, since I try never to go to stores on a Saturday, I didn't realize what goodies there were.  Everyone was decked out in a chef's jacket and there was organic coffee, many kinds of crackers,  fresh local fruit,  fresh-baked cheesecake and, at one stall, huge fresh ciabatta buns with meat and veg inside.  Why pay for food?  Kids were running around grazing here and there.  They were willing to wait a long time for fresh supplies of those buns!

Back at the tire outlet, we were delighted to find that there was no charge for our repair and we went home quite happy.  A day of definite contrasts.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


"So, haven't seen ya for a while."

"Yeah, I took a little holiday."

"Oh.  Go anywhere nice?"

"Um...I went to Costco." 

"Whadja do there?"

"Just filled a cart.  Looked at stuff.  Dodged a lot of people.  Spent some money."

"Oh.  Sounds nice."

"Yeah.  It's good to be home, though."

"See ya tomorrow?"

"For sure."

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Chattering classes

This morning a new sound rifted in the window of the computer room.  It was so familiar that I almost didn't notice, at first.  Then I realized what it was.

It was children walking to school!  Talking together; shouting at their friends ahead or across the road.  Or indulging in a little before-school horseplay.  As much as one can manage walking on this busy road to school.

I thought how much I had missed this sound during the summer holidays.  And, yet, I wasn't conscious of its absence in those months.  It's only when the sounds resumed that my ears and my brain started working together. 

I remember walking to school many years ago.  No, I didn't have to walk barefoot through snow or anything like that.  It was over a mile from my house, though.  And, one school was 3 miles and I had to cross a busy highway, too.  Looking at that old highway now, I can't even recognise it.  Much less think of a kid in primary school crossing all alone.  Traffic seems to have gotten bigger and busier since I was walking to school.  And streets are wider.

However, there was usually a gang of us walking together, chattering and oblivious to any traffic that came by.  Just like those kids outside my window.

What memories do you have of your trip to school each morning? 

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Sunday wonders - X

X marks the spot.

This is where the camera batteries gave up.

We are normally 'belt and suspenders' kind of people and we always carry two sets of spare batteries.

But, this, time out, our belt buckle didn't work and the elastic had sprung on our suspenders.  None of the spares seemed to have a charge in them.  We couldn't take any more photos.  How could this happen?

Too bad, too, because we all had a great time flying kites - there's always a breeze by the water.  And seeing the fish boats bring in their catches of salmon.  And having a yummy lunch - with chocolate milk.  And playing on the big train in the park.  And buying some sock yarn with Grammy.  And eating ice cream that melted so fast in the hot sun.  And then, when we were all  getting so tired and hot riding home, Mommy drove up in the car and loaded some small weary people into their car seats.  And the bikes in the trunk.  Thanks, Mom!

Friday, September 3, 2010


In the morning, I spied a different bird in the ash tree.  It looked like a chickadee.  No, wait!  It's a nuthatch.

Hey! It's one we've not seen before - a black-throated gray warbler.  Now this bird is actually fairly common in this part of the world, apparently.  So, we must have seen it before.  But chickadees are much more common.  Pretty easy to get them confused if you, like us, don't know the difference.

And, just in case you thought the bees had stopped working so hard as summer fades, look here.

They are busy, busy on the Sedum "Autumn Joy".

Our expected visitors came later in the afternoon.  Joanna and Harry dropped in during their visit to Vancouver.   It was a lovely sunny day and we could sit out on the deck, enjoy our tea and catch up.  We were busy talking that neither of us thought about getting a camera out for a photo.  Take my word for it...we were relaxed and happy.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Afternoon delight

The sun shone again and it seemed like the perfect time to go for a walk in the woods.

This spot is only five minutes from home.  A gentle walk through the forest with little Rice Lake always in sight.

Families come for an afternoon of fishing.  A carefree afternoon before school starts again.

The trees are tall...

...the boulders are huge.  No, Anne's just there for size reference.  Although it does look as though she's calling for help to get up there.  It's a perfect rock for a bit of a dance!

The rain has stopped and the slugs are all over the path.  Someone dropped popcorn and they seem to like it.  These are both banana slugs but one is a spotted variety.

This one was very hard to see on the path...I almost stepped on it.  The holes on the slugs lead to their lungs -  although they can also breathe through their skins. 

At the end of a bridge, a clump of Himalayan jewel weed.  When I first started hiking in our forests I fell in love with this flower.   

This is such a nice way to get exercise and fresh air.  I wonder why we don't do it more often?  It's so close...or is that why?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Is there meaning?

Looking up at an apartment building, my eye was caught by words which seemed to be attached to the windows of  one side.

They said:  "the clouds looked no nearer when I was lying on the street".  The beginning (unseen) says: "lying on top of the building".   This was written by a British artist, Liam Gillick, and now adorns this building.

The letters weren't on the windows as I had thought.  The letters were a kind of low railing attached outside the windows.  The  balconies  don't appear useful  so I think they must be to remind window-openers of that fact.

But maybe there is no sense to be made of this.  It's art - there doesn't need to be an explanation.  Or even a function.

And that reminds me of a snippet of conversation heard while walking by the open-air artists' market in Stanley Park: a little girl is curious about what she sees; her mother says, dismissively: "It's just art, dear."


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