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On The Road

Day 2 of the great adventure dawned a lot cooler than we’ve become used to.  Living in Kelowna has that effect on people.  A quick breakfast and we were on our way, spending 9 hrs on the road to Regina.  We (and 4 other cars) managed to avoid hiting a bear cub as it crossed the highway outside of Canmore, but the 2 purple martins that suddenly swerved towards us weren’t nearly as fortunate. I’ve never seen birds do that before.  The sound was horrific.

People often comment about the flatness of the prairies and how boring they are to drive through, but the clouds made the trip fascinating for me.  It looked as if someone had carefully placed them in position, then let them go with the breeze. Almost Dali-esque.

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The highpoint of the day was stopping for gas in Swift Current. We made it on fumes, hearing the low gas warning bell just before we could see the station.  BB was a little leery of the fellow approaching him as he got out of the truck, until he realized the station was full-serve. Been awhile since we’ve seen that. To top it off, there was free popcorn with every fill-up.  Great day!

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Road knitting was a swatch for a sock. Still thinking over a pattern.

We ended the day in Regina, tired and hungry and looking forward to next days trek.

 

 

 

Effecting Change – Part 2

I recently celebrated a birthday but the changes that came with it are greater than those that simply come with age.  Two weeks ago, we sold our house. We weren’t ready for the move and it took it’s toll on us. Selling up and starting over was the only feasible plan. To add to the changes,  BB and I are separating and as I write this, I’m halfway towards my new life.  It’s not the life I would have chosen, at least not on my own, but it’s the life I’m going to have, so I’m dealing with it. I’m moving back to the town where I was born and raised and where the majority of my family still lives. It’s extremely hard but I know it’s not impossible. I hope it’s not impossible.

We packed the truck up on Wednesday and pulled out of Kelowna Thursday morning. BB is driving my moving van and towing my car behind; I’m riding shotgun, as usual (you don’t just walk away from each other after all this time, you pull away gently – but with all your stuff).
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We made a quick stop in Banff where we had a private memorial service for our Skyler. It was very difficult being on the golf course, surrounded by memories.  When Skyler died, we were 3 days from moving to Kelowna and there was no time for me to grieve the places we’d shared – even if I was capable. I got to do that yesterday to some extent but it became obvious to me that the process is far from over.  We laid his memory to rest in one of his favourite spots, the ‘beach’ off the golf course where the Bow and Spray Rivers meet.

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We spent the night in Canmore and it was lovely to see the Three Sisters again. And to know that the bunnies are still running rampant.

Day 1 knitting involved sock repair.  The sole of the foot had blown out and a simple darning wasn’t going to work. Reknitting up to the toe was quicker than I imagined.

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Next stop: Regina, SK

Let’s Talk

On this day, and every single day, we need to be aware that people around us may be suffering beyond their control. That those people need to feel free to talk to someone – to you, maybe – about what’s on their mind. We need to learn to listen, to really listen, and to hear what might not be said.

Kristy Wolfe Photography

20         The number of days that have passed since my dad, a 58 year old cardiologist, went missing.

17          The number of days that have passed since my dad’s car was found.

16          The number of days that have passed since my dad was found.

10          The number of days that have passed since we celebrated my dad’s life.

0122-003 Dad’s favourite view from the deck of our house on Cowichan Lake.

Tomorrow, January 28th, is Bell’s annual Let’s Talk Day. You’ve probably seen or heard some of the commercials that have been running recently. The one that really hit home has two guys at work talking about another colleague who has anxiety. Click here to view the video on YouTube.

Below is an excerpt from the speech I gave at my dad’s memorial. I’m…

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Hoping for a Christmas Miracle

Meet Hildy.

Pattern: Girl Friday by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. Knit in Knit Picks Gloss HW, Blackberry

Pattern: Girl Friday by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. Knit using Knit Picks Gloss HW, Blackberry

She’s been keeping me company for the past few weeks.  She’s momentarily sleeveless but she’s warm and fun to be around and remarkably quick, for a cardigan.  It turns out that Hildy also has a twisted sense of humour, and I’m not referring to the look of her stitches.  You see, Hildy is coming up a little short.  I ordered extra yarn knowing that she’d likely need more length for me but somehow there may not be enough.  All her bits are knitted and I’m just working up the collar and front bands but I’m starting to worry.  I’ve got 50 grams left, as I write, and the problem is that the yarn has been discontinued. Not just the colour, but the whole line of yarn.  I’ve knit and weighed and measured and done the math.  If I’ve done it correctly, I should be able to finish with 5 grams to spare – enough to seam the sleeves and sides.  I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle.  Otherwise, I’ll be back begging you to look through your stash for me.

2544 Yds…… and Counting

I haven’t figured out yet if I feel busier than ever because I’m getting slower with age, or if I’m really just busier.  I truly think it’s the latter.  Every time I sit down here to catch up, something else calls and nothing gets posted.  If I can just get to September, I’ll have more time – I think.  It’s been almost 3 months since my last post.  Here’s what you missed.  I”ll explain later.

Reprieve

Happy Wednesday!  And it really is a happy day for me.  For starters, even though it’s a bit chilly, the sun is shining (mostly).  Yesterday was too dull and rainy and cold for the end of May.  Most importantly, today is not the last day of May.  Since the weekend, I’ve been thinking that today would be May 31.  As you may have read previously, my MadMay 2012 shawl is due to be finished by midnight May 31.  I got just over halfway through the second lace pattern last night and was feeling a bit blue; I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish by tonight, not with all the beading that’s yet to come.  And that’s when it hit me.  I have one more day.  I have one, whole, extra day!  Maybe I can do this after all.

Here’s where I am now.

Yes, I know it doesn’t look like much.  My needles are short and, well, it’s lace.  Lace never really looks like anything special until it’s been blocked.  Here, let me stretch it out a bit …..

There, that’s a bit better.  Now you get the idea, sort of.  Patience, my friends.

I’m off and running knitting to the finish line now.

Some Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

It’s rather cold this morning –  only 13ºC (55ºF) and the sky is patchy with clouds.  Whether through stupidity, bravery or hopefullness, I’ve put laundry out on the line.  There’s a goodish breeze, which will help things dry, but I’m a bit worried about the sunshower that’s just started.  Maybe it’s just one of those days.  Maybe tomorrow will be too, as the forecasters are predicting wet snow for the morning hours.  Gee, I can’t wait. 

Here we are mid-month and I’m halfway through 3 projects.  There are 2 pairs of socks:

Vine Lace Summer Socks using Knit Picks Risata in Waterslide.  Sadly, the Risata has been discontinued and this is all I’ve got.  It’s lovely to work with.

Faceted Rib Socks , Stitchjones 100% Merino in Milan

 and a wee shawl,

Azzu’s Shawl, Bohoknits Fingering Weight Sock Yarn in Bazooka (perfect name for this colour!)

The Vine Lace socks are a KAL in the Sock Yarn Round Robin (SYR2) group on Ravelry.  They were designed by a fellow member,  and for no apparent reason, proved to be very challenging for me.  The KAL was originally set for May.  I cast on these socks 6 times, tried 2 needle sizes, and 3 different yarns.  I could not, for the life of me, get them to work out.  Dropped stitches missed stitches, there was always something.  On 2 separate attempts, I managed to knit up more than 2 inches of sock and thought I’d conquered my knitting demon.  Both times I ended up having all the stitches fall off of one needle.  By the time I’d retrieved them, (which involved frogging a number of rows) I was too fed up to continue.  I started on another pattern, with yarn #1 and flew through it.  Fortunately, the KAL was extended through June (I wasn’t the only one bedeviled in the group); I chose yet one more yarn and started again without a hitch.  I can’t explain it; I’m just glad the curse has been lifted.

Before I knew I’d try the Vine Lace again, I started my June socks, Faceted Rib Socks from The Little Box of Socks.  I now have one KAL sock and one June sock (minus the toe) complete.  I’ll go back to working on the second Vine Lace tomorrow but once June’s toe is done, the rest of today is for my shawl.

It took forever to find the right yarn in the right colour to go with my Spring hat (no, I haven’t worn the hat yet as I’m still waiting for Spring – any day now, I’m sure).  I finally came across the perfect colour in a yarn by a new local dyer who just happens to work at my LYS.  Kelly has started her own line of fingering weight sock yarn called Bohoyarns and it’s gorgeous stuff.  I found the perfect pattern for it in Azzu’s Shawl, by Emma Fassio.  Kelly also designs knitwear.  You can find her patterns on her bohoknits blog or on Ravelry under bohoknits.

This just in:  Seems two of our local elk cows have recently had their calves.  I heard them bleating across the river and managed to get a few pics.  Enjoy!

Springtime in Alberta

Lucky break here in Banff.  We didn’t end up with the predicted snowstorm overnight,  but we are getting some of it now.  Things went “snow globe” for a while, but seem to have settled down again.  “Springtime in Alberta, chills me to the bone”. (Thanks to Ian Tyson for that – never were truer words spoken)

April is passing by so quickly, much more so than March did.  Maybe it was soaking up all that REAL Spring weather in Vancouver last month that did it for me; I didn’t want it to end.  BB and I drove to a conference in Vancouver and the time on the road allowed me to start and finish my March socks.

Harris Tweed Rib socks made with Diamond Luxury Soxy in Taupe.

While in Vancouver, a friend asked me to make her a cowl.  Something warm but light, that could be worn long and loose, or doubled up around the neck.  We went to Urban Yarns  and she came out with some Dream in Color Starry.  Picking a pattern was a little more difficult as most cowl and infinity scarf patterns just didn’t fit the bill.  Instead she picked from a couple of long scarf patterns and I stitched the ends together.

Checkerboard Lace Scarf in Dream in Color Starry, Ruby River

The scarf only needed half a skein and I wanted to use up all the yarn so something else had to go on the needles.  Fingerless mitts seemed the perfect thing for  200 yds of yarn

Mitt Envy.  Aptly named.  When I finished, I wanted a pair too.

I also made my first shawl.  Storm Cloud Shawlette has been in my queue for awhile and I’d even bought the yarn for it.  I had no idea it would knit up so quickly.  Once done,  I realized that I’d need more of a shawl than a shawlette to keep the chill off here in Banff (yes, even in summer) so I added a few more inches before binding off.  Now if I could only wear it.

 

Storm Cloud Shawlette in Knit Picks Imagination Handpainted , Looking Glass

April Showers?

It’s snowing …. again.  I came in from the  lunchtime dog walk, made a cuppa,  and suddenly, the house seemed dark.  Next thing you know,

 It’s been doing this a lot lately, but more often in the form of sunflurries.  You know, like a sunshower but with snow instead of rain.

I am reminded that I’d like to crawl into bed for a wee nap.  I can’t though, as my duvet is in the dryer.  King-size duvet.  Small dryer.

If I dry it on low heat, it’ll take more than 6 hours to dry – maybe longer  (it’s a crummy dryer).  It only takes about 3 hours on medium heat, but I need to turn it every 30 minutes so it doesn’t get scorched.  I can avoid that by drying it on low heat but …….. There truly is no rest for the weary.

So while I wait for the dryer to beep me back into action I will knit.  I’m working on my April socks and loving everything about them.

The pattern is Evelyn A. Clark’s Go with the Flow and the gorgeous yarn is “Sweet Pea” Fingerpaints from Cherry Tree Hill for Yarns on Stage.  Love it!

Also in progress is

Woodland Turtle Cowl in James C. Brett Marble, Berries.

Yes, the yarn is acrylic, but the colour’s lovely and it’s very soft –  just what I want for a warm wintry cowl.  If you think it’s too late in the season, start reading this post again.  I’d love to do a drapey version in Madeline Tosh DK.

Still need to cast on a scarf to go with a jaunty little Spring hat I bought recently.  I’ve finally decided on Silken Ease using Wendy Happy in Libra.  I figure I’ve got some leeway in the timing of this project and just hope it fits the bill. (Sorry, the hat looks better on my head – really.  Maybe next time).

Oh good, snow’s stopped – for now.

Salt Cravings

A salt lick, just as the name implies, is a deposit of salt that animals lick.  According to Wikipedia, it provides “the sodium, calcium, iron, phosphorus and zinc required in the springtime for bone, muscle and other growth in deer and other wildlife ……” 

 There are naturally-occurring salt licks, and store-bought, ready-made ones.

There’s a restaurant chain called Salt Lik, which brings together a totally different kind of animal.
 
 
 
 
The most common salt lick to be found in these parts however,  looks something like this.
 
 
Road salt.  All those clean “swipes” are courtesy of elk’s tongue.  A herd of about 12  spent the night nearby and stopped into the compound for a little pick-me-up.  Wish I had a picture of that.