Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Have Knitting, Will Travel

It's all my friend M's fault. She and her husband B - affectionately known as the 'Child Whisperer' visited us in July and M brought her knitting.

The Child Whisperer exists. We had him here. Too bad he lives
in another province...

I hadn't been knitting much in 2014 up until that point but seeing her at those needles brought on a yearning. M is a lovely lady who devotes a considerable amount of time to knitting hats for people who have undergone chemo treatments. On just one occasion she knit an entire boxful by herself to be donated. One amazing woman, no? And, when I show you the yarn present she brought me all the way from Kingston, ON and KnitTraders, well, you are going to be in line with me agreeing that the woman is in the running for saint hood. Another time though.

I, on the other hand, am not so altruistic. M was knitting caps using cotton and I loved the pattern. I loved that it was knit flat and needed to be seamed. Call me crazy but I LOVE sewing a knitted seam. I also loved that the pattern was so easy to customize. So, together with a couple of skeins from that lovely yarn present I mentioned above, I cast on to knit a hat as presents for Christmas rather than for charity.

And I proceeded to knit pretty much everywhere. I knit while the four boys were exploring further astray while we were on a hike from Flatrock on the East Coast Trail.

This was the view from my knitting rock. Not too shabby.

Here is the finished knitted woman's hat on Eldest. I will post another picture when the whole set is completed as this version still needs a couple of acoutrements.

I knit at Elk Lake, BC while the four boys frolicked in the lake. No, it wasn't too warm for knitting with 100% wool.

I knit while waiting in line at the Brentwood Bay ferry terminal.

I knit on the grounds of Hatley Castle and not just so I could say that I had been knitting on the grounds of a castle. Well, that's not the only reason anyways!

I managed to find some high quality and amazingly cute models to show off my finished pieces.

This is an adult man's hat but Middlest sure looks cute in it.

Here is Hairy Brother modelling the same hat for me just so I can prove that the hat will fit a big boy too. Sadly for Hairy Brother, this hat is not for him :( Sorry, Little Brother!

Some of my models just weren't sharing their mother's enthusiasm for modelling hats.

So the ever camera shy Middlest had to help out. What a nice big brother!

This is another hat requiring acoutrements. I
will post an update when it's finished.

And when we got home from family vacation, I finished a WIP from last fall which will now be headed to the USA for a November birthday. I can tell you that because the recipient doesn't read this blog. Mainly because she cannot yet read… This childs hat was modelled by one of my gorgeous nieces. Yes, it's true, I have a rather beautiful family, extended and otherwise.

This is Velvet Acorn's gorgeous Paisley Cloche pattern. It was a pleasure to knit.

Currently I am knitting the second of the Fable Fingerless Mitts by Sian Parker - another extremely fun and quick knit - to go with the woman's hat from above. Are you knitting anything these days?

Friday, September 5, 2014

First Lavender Harvest

I love lavender. If it's not my favourite smell than it's at the top of the list along with old fashioned roses, lilacs, babies (when they're clean ;)!) and fresh salt air. I think it might be my favourite though. It was my grandmother's favourite smell and I do like tradition.

I think I may have tried to grow lavender before in Germany (in pots on the back terrace where they promptly dried out from lack of water, too much direct sunshine and did I mention lack of water? My bad. I tried again in Ottawa but the wee starter plants I planted just shrivelled up and died during their first year probably due to that lack of water problem again. I was a vampire in Ontario as every May I retreated to the basement where it was coldest (even with the air conditioning blasting in the rest of the house, it was still coldest down there) and didn't come out again during day light hours until early September so I didn't notice them drying out. I didn't bother trying when we lived in NS as it was only a three year posting and I didn't think I'd get to enjoy any established lavender plants before we moved. I was right as we moved after only living there for two years.

Not one to give up on a dream too easily, however, I bought a couple of starter plants last year and put them in our temporary garden next to our back deck. It's a temporary garden because eventually we plan to extend the deck for access to the clothesline and that spot will be directly over where I planted the garden. Why did I plant anything there knowing they would be moved? Because it's the most protected spot on our property and I was hoping to get some plants well established in our micro climate before having to move them further along the side of the house.

I really didn't think the lavender plants survived the winter as by Spring as they looked quite dead to my inexperienced eye. You'd think after killing a few of these beauties I'd recognize a good and dead plant,  right? Happily it's apparent that I can't as on this, their second summer, I managed to harvest my very first, very wee lavender bunch just before we left for BC in August.

Thrilled doesn't describe the feeling. 

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Proof of Life

Hello out there! Helllloooooooo! It's me waving from a rather windy Newfoundland and Labrador front bridge (that's a front deck to you CFA's (Come From Aways)). And a special, SPECIAL 'hello' to M in Kingston, ON who tells me that one of the first things she does every morning is check out this blog for an update while she's enjoying her morning coffee. Bonjour, M!

I know I say it each time but where does the time go? Here's a glimpse of what we've been up to. With any luck, I'll have the opportunity to elaborate sometime soon. With any luck…

June: School and Grade One ended with a bang. I can't believe I have a seven year old! And I love his rock star hair.

I spent an inordinate amount of money decorating our front bridge (deck - see above). Total cost including furniture: $0.

Thanks for the gorgeous hand me down furniture, A!
Ah. Natural beauty.

July: With early July birthdays, the first week of July at our house is always a riot of birthday celebrations. It was a shark (Eldest) and pirate (Middlest) theme this year.

That's a capsized boat on the upper right. Eldest designed it
This is the second year that I've designed this cake. Middlest really
likes it.
Pinterest provided a wealth of ideas - like this
'fish and chips' sign.
The birthday brothers!

Onto August when we went on our big British Columbian invasion. I'm sure my in-laws are still in recovery.

We headed to Island View Beach almost as soon as we got off the

And here we are, right back at school again (today was their first day back!):

Youngest was NOT impressed by his brother leaving.
He asked where both of them were, when I said that
they were both in school he said "I need more brudders!"
Middlest was crazy excited!

Whew! That was a whirlwind ride. I'll check back again soon, K?