Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I rock!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

OMG knitting!

This is a knitting blog so at some point, there should be pictures of knitting, eh? Don't be shocked.

Pattern: Clemence cowl by Katya Frankel
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca (col unknown as I don't have the ball band); 1 skein
Needles: 5mm Addi Turbo circs
Notes: I made the smaller version of the cowl because I expected that the alpaca would make the cowl grow. I was right. I really like the yarn. It has a fairly tight twist so the alpaca doesn't fuzz up too much. This is a sample for a class that I'll hopefully be teaching in Nov. so I didn't have Ricky model it.

My sooper seekrit project is also finished & blocked. These are the prize socks in Gladys' husband's Ride to Survive fundraiser raffle. The winner hasn't received these yet so here's a picture of the wrong side. Looks pretty good but the right side looks even better.

I have a new toy - a cordless/rechargeable Ott Lite. There was a huge stack of these at Costco. I bought one to take to the pool hall (my knitting group meets in a pool hall) because the lighting can be dicey. I can also take it camping and knit in the tent. I can see that this lamp will be really useful.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

still busy

What a crazy week (relatives from both our families were in town)! During the madness, the doorbell rang at a very early hour and I yelled at hubby to answer it because the only time it rings is when a parcel is being delivered and I was only expecting one parcel - my bday present from P-la. Lookit what she sent me:

A very pretty purples cowl! P-la - if you read this, let me know what the yarn is cuz I love it and I want to buy some!!!

ETA: The yarn is from Twisted Fiber Art Evolutions.

She also sent me some gorgeous Claudia Hand Painted fingering:

Thanks so much, P-la! I love it all. BTW, the cowl looks great on me, too ;)

We've had a mole living in one of my flower beds all summer. It hasn't been able to break through the weed barrier so a few weeks ago, it moved into our lawn. It has slowly been working its way towards the street. This is what my sidewalk looked like last week:

There are 14 mole hills. That's not counting the ones coming from the house to the sidewalk. I have cleaned up the dirt piles and there haven't been anymore new ones so maybe he's moved on.

I took Ricky to the vet today. His appetite has dropped and his weight has been going down & then up. The vet thinks Ricky is just being picky so we've got a new food to mix with the stuff that he doesn't like. We'll see how it goes but I think we're going to end up paying for some expensive surgery (to gather intestinal samples). I don't want his pretty belly shaved!

Ricky sez, "I am mad at you, Mom. No more cowls or trips to the vet."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sunshine Coast or Bust!

Well, the 'bust' part happened. We had a great day planned - take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, wander around Gibsons (i.e. I go to Carola's quilt shop while hubby amuses himself), head north and visit Madeira Park (home of a yarn store in a yurt), and maybe catch the tidal surge at Skookumchuck Narrows. We were all ready to go, I was shutting down the computer for the night and heading to bed early in order to catch an early morning ferry, and that's when I heard it - ::drip:: ::drip:: ::drip::. Hmmm... what could be dripping? Well, there was water coming out the top of the hot water tank and dripping down the sides. I yelled for hubby and we set about shutting the tank down - turn off the gas and water supply. The water supply was a bit of a problem. The shutoff was broken so we ended up turning off the water to the whole house. Yep, no running water so no toilet flushing, brushing teeth, etc. Wasn't it just a few months ago that I was peeing at the local gas station?

Anyways, I called the plumber who said he'd send someone the next day since we'd managed to turn the water off and it was no longer an emergency. I was up til 1:30am draining the tank. Luckily, the tank sits on concrete and there's a drain right beside it. There's a bit of damage to the edge of one of the floor boards but it's not too bad. It's still summer weather so I'm sure things will dry out quickly.

Since there are no Sunshine Coast pictures, I'll show you what I bought in Victoria:

Some books from Munro's, Shi Bui sock from Button & Needlework Boutique, Fleece Artist Merino and Angel Hair combo from Beehive Wool Shop, a sheepy water bottle (hubby actually saw this while I was shopping at Beehive and bought it for me :), bicycle fabric and a cute birdie quilt pattern both from Satin Moon Quilt Shop.

And the sheepy water bottle isn't just any old water bottle. Some of the sheep are having a little extra 'fun':

And here's the fabric that I bought for the birdie quilt:

It's not quite enough but I probably have bits in my stash that I can use. I want to downsize the quilt for a baby so I'll probably only make 4 blocks.

I photographed my Mondo Cable Cardi and I realized that I made a boo boo. There are 20 rows between the first and second twists and 18 rows (the correct number) between the second and third twists.

So the cardi is in limbo until I decide what to do. I will not be frogging it back because this yarn doesn't frog well. One option is to ignore it and keep going. Another option is alternate - 20, 18, 20, 18, 20. What do you think I should do?

Monday, September 14, 2009

another grand day out

Less than 12 hours after our previous adventure, we were out the door again. This time, we drove south to Washington State. Our first stop was the lovely town of Anacortes. As we were driving, we noticed the signs pointing to the ferry that takes you to Victoria (where we were the day before) and I commented that we should've just taken the ferry from Victoria to Anacortes instead of driving the long way around.

After lunch we headed south to Whidbey Island and our ultimate destination - Deception Pass State Park. One of the first things I noticed when we stopped at the viewpoint was the scent of the arbutus trees. This tree only grows right on the coastline and the bark is rusty coloured, thin, and peels off the branches. A very unusual sight.

And this is the path to the Pacific Ocean. If you head west and skip over the southern tip of Vancouver Island and the northwest tip of the Olympic Peninsula, it's land-free until Japan.

The weather was perfect for a stroll down the beach. Even the fighter jets were zooming around. The noise did not bother the fish (who were jumping) or the sea lions. And there must've been lots of fish judging by the number of fisherpeople on the shore and in the boats just offshore. I wonder what they were trying to catch.

When we got tired of walking, we amused ourselves by skipping rocks and trying to stack them.

(Click on the above picture to see the 4 skips)

We brought our kite but after it got stuck in a tree, we decided that it wasn't windy enough for kite flying. We eventually got hungry and headed south to Oak Harbour for supper before turning around and heading home.

I didn't visit any yarn stores (can't buy yarn everywhere I go!) but I did pick up some lovely fabrics for a baby quilt. Again, this post is pretty much done so I'll save loot pics for another day.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

the big wide world

Hubby took this week off from work so we've scheduled a bunch of adventures. First up is a trip to Vancouver Island and more specifically Victoria - the capitol of BC. We got up super early to catch the ferry over to the island. This is the boat that we will be boarding.

The weather was awesome for the ferry ride and I convinced hubby to sit outside but it was pretty windy/chilly so we didn't last out there for very long.

Our first stop was Craigdarroch Castle - very 1890s. It was full of oak wood panelling imported from Arkansas. Sadly, the owner (net worth of $20M) died shortly before the house was completed.

For the longest time, the castle was the highest point in Victoria as it stands 4 stories tall. These are views up and down the main staircase. Very impressive.

On our way into town, we stopped for a late lunch. We randomly picked Floyd's Diner (the building is painted pink) while driving down the street. It was a great place. Hubby ordered a burger and the patty was handmade and huge. I ordered the Mahoney which translates into "whatever the kitchen feels like cooking" and they'll charge you whatever they think is fair for it. You have the option of paying that price or flipping the waitress for it - double or nothing (i.e. if you win, the meal is free and if you lose, you pay double the price). I was served the largest omlette ever. It tasted as good as it looked. And no, I didn't flip for it. Afterwards, we stomped around downtown Victoria and visited some lovely shops. A yarn store, Knotty by Nature had a bike out front sporting some fine knitwear.

We splurged and spent a lovely night at the Empress hotel. It sits right on Victoria's Inner Harbour.

The hotel is huge and you can't see our room in this picture but it's one of the ones with the window (with the green caps) sticking out of the steeply pitched roof.

Our room was gorgeous with a spectacular view. The weather turned nasty on the second day which was fine because we spent most of it inside the Royal BC Museum enjoying the Treasures exhibit. Wow! It was quite interesting to see all these artifacts from so many civilizations.

The cats were very happy to see us when we got home. It was the first time that we'd left them home alone for so long (36 hours) and we were a little worried that Ricky would eat all the food, Phoebe would starve and try to kill him. Normally, if we're gone for a short amount of time, we'll seperate them so that they each have their own food, water, litter box.

Ricky sez, "I missed you sooooo much!!!!"

Phoebe left us a 'welcome home' hairball. Ick!

I took some knitting with me but I didn't get much done. There was just too many things to see. Oh and I did buy some yarn and fabric but I think this post is done so I'll hit publish and save the rest for another day.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

hold your horses

We braved the soggy weather last weekend and made our annual visit to the PNE. Nothing like the smell of horses, cows, and sheep to wake you up.

We saw everything - the Superdogs, the Clydesdale horses, the prize home, the RCMP Musical Ride (pictured here), and Chris Isaak.

The Chris Isaak concert was great. He has such a great voice and he's a wonderful stage performer. I almost died when he snuck off the stage and climbed into the bleachers right behind us. I was less than 6 feet from him!

For his encore, he changed into this crazy suit that was covered in small mirrors. He looked like a human disco ball.

We had a great time and now I need to give my poor stomach a break from all that fair food (mini donuts - yum!).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

tea cozy or new cat bed?

A whole bunch of Chic Knits patterns arrived at the shop a few weeks ago and the Mondo Cable Cardi caught my eye right away. When I recently bought a bag of Berroco Peruvia, I knew that it would be the perfect yarn so I picked up the pattern last week and cast on.

Not bad for a weeks worth of knitting. I would've gotten more done but I couldn't find my cable needle and while I can cable without one, the yarn gets a bit splitty (cuz it's a big single) when I'm slipping 5 stitches to the left/right.

At my weekly quilting meetup, Cathy gave me a tea cozy as a belated bday present. I photographed it but I forgot to take it downstairs. When I returned, Ricky had claimed it for himself.

Ricky sez, "I love my new kitty cozy!"

Nothing quilted is safe in my house.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

11 and counting

Last weekend was our 11th wedding anniversary and every year we trek up to Whistler for the day. We stopped at our usual eatery - Ciao Thyme Bistro for an amazing lunch and wandered around the farmer's market.

In a moment of weakness, I indulged in a skein of Impulse of Delight Essential Merino Sport in the colour Aubergine. Yeah, I know it's not purple. But it's an intriguing mix of blues & blacks. I think this would be the perfect hat or a pair of mittens for hubby. Another vendor selling 'art' yarn tempted me with a skein of "Fruit Loops" but I resisted. She had a skein of yarn that looked like streaky bacon and she plied in felted bits that looked like over easy eggs. Yes, it's called "Bacon'n Eggs".

It was pretty warm so we stopped often. This is one of the water features in the upper village. I thought it would be fun to dip my feet.

It took a lot of convincing to get hubby to stick a toe in.

It is ice cold, glacier fed water so you could only stand in it for a few seconds before your feet got numb.

On our way home, we stopped at English Bay for a lovely seafood supper. And after supper, we walked along the Stanley Park seawall and enjoyed the sunset. It was a perfect day.