A Bit of Knitting and Crochet, with Handspun…

I took a free form crochet class not so long ago and found it incredibly inspiring. It is always a challenge for me to “loosen up” and let go with my creativity and free form practice helps one  to do just that. I ended up making this up as I went and couldn’t help giggling my way through it, it was so much fun. It’s a combination of a rayon yarn, with some wool and baby alpaca tossed in and it was very freeing to work out. I found a vintage button that matches the gold of the yarn. I am a beginner crocheter, and it is a series of single and double crochet stitches all massed together and worked back on itself. I love this weird little scarf, and it’s too bad the weather here will never warrant it as it is very, very warm.
This wrap is hand spun from a wool and silk top that was given to me as a gift. The stripes that emerged were a happy accident, and they work well with the simple diagonal lace. I leave these two pieces, with a couple of others, hanging in the hallway. I rarely wear them, as there is really no need but it makes me happy to see the colours when I come in the door. Our home is a refuge, and we have consciously tried to decorate with items that have some personal meaning. A lot of what is on our walls and in our personal space was crafted by friends and family. In our hallway are two cross stitch pieces done by my sister – one that evokes the farm we grew up on, another is of a dearly loved old cat that she designed from a photo. Grant and I call our style  “hodge podge”, but it works. (I won’t quit my day job to be an interior decorator though…)

Sunshine’s summery summer!

Sunshine has some flashbacks to share about her summer. Some of them include going to the PNE and riding the new most terrifying ride there, Atmosphere. It was a swinging carousal many metres in the air, higher than the Helivator, the highest ride in Vancouver. “I was so scared that I kind of went numb and started drooling on my sister! ” In other words “it was worth it, I could see everything, I could see a lake nearby, it was great.

Another thing I did was go camping for a day and a half near Toronto. We had to make our meals, and I fainted from the heat because I was carrying such a heavy backpack. I was carrying a bunch of kitchen supplies – I think it weighed more than me! I still had a good time, except for cleaning the dishes with pine needles and a pine cone for a scrubby. We went for a walk in the woods around 11 pm and all the girls sat in separate locations about twenty five metres apart in the dark and we were writing in our journals. About twenty minutes before it was time to go, a girl in the dark starting saying hello, hello, and we didn’t answer because we weren’t supposed to speak. In the end we went to her and comforted her because she started crying. All went well except we decided not to do that again!

My mom and my sisters and my best friend Steph and I planned a trip to Buntzen Lake but we ended up at Balcarra instead because the bus took us the wrong way. We still had fun, because we all found a little jelly fish that didn’t sting us and we watched him in a little tide pool till the waves came and washed the tide pool away. A little later Steph and I saw a far away point on a flat rock. We hiked to it over the sand and waded through the water to get there, going through trees that scraped us and looked at the clear water. We felt really proud of our exploring. We wanted to go further but the sign said the high tide would wash us away.

Today my adventure was to learn to crochet. It was really fun once I got the hang of it, but then I learned the next step and it got a teensy bit harder. I will probably work on it later on, for now I am going to give it a rest!”

Thanks Sunshine! 

On the steel horse we rode (to paraphrase Bon Jovi…)

The ride from Vancouver to Lillooet and on to Kamloops is one of the best motorcycle rides in the province.  We had very little traffic and wound our way along the Duffy Lake road, stopping in Pemberton for a grilled cheese and on to Seton Lake for a bracingly cold swim. It was hot, but not so hot as to be horrible in gear, and the evening cool was exquisite. As we rode, I heard this noise every once in a while. It turned out to be Grant, hooting happily as we sailed along a particularly GOOD stretch of deserted road.

The trip to Kamloops had a serious side. Our teacher has sustained a serious injury and is in hospital there. We had to drop off a few items to try and make the hospital stay a bit more bearable and generally convey love and good wishes from the Vancouver congregation and beyond. We offer any merit that we might accrue from our lives in the hopes of his recovery and freedom from pain.

And From Sunshine, a book review!

BOOK REVIEW:
Title: Princess Academy  Release Date: June 16th, 2005
Author:  Shannon Hale   Genre:  Fantasy Novel for young adults.
High on the side of rocky Mount Eskel, far from the valleys where gardens are green and lush, where lowlanders make laws, Miri’s family has lived forever, pounding a living from the stone of the mountain itself. For as long as she can remember, Miri has dreamed of working alongside the other villagers in the quarries of her beloved mountainside. But Miri has never been allowed to work there, perhaps, she thinks, because she is so small.Then word comes from the valley that the king’s priests have divined Mount Eskel to be the home of the prince’s bride-to-be—the next princess. The prince himself will travel to the village to choose her, but first all eligible girls must attend a makeshift mountain academy to prepare themselves for royal lowlander life.At the school, Miri soon finds herself confronted by bitter competition among the girls and her own conflicting desires to be chosen by the prince. Yet when danger comes to the academy and threatens all their lives, it is Miri, named for a tiny mountain flower, who must find a way to save her classmates—and the one chance to leave the mountain each of them is determined to secure as her own.

From acclaimed author Shannon Hale comes the Newbery Honor-winning novel about would-be princesses and one small but determined girl’s destiny.

MY REVIEW:
It’s been along time since I read this book, but I still remember it very clearly.  As a young reader at the time (Age: 11), I thought any Fantasy novel was awesome 🙂  In this book Miri only wants to work in quarry with her father, but since they make a small living her father dosen’t want that for her (even though she goes anyway without her fathers knowing).  But then everything changes for her when a handful of village girls are forced to got to a Princess academy where they will train to become princesses for the king to choose from.  Miri is the girl who sticks out in all the girls, because she doesn’t care about her appearance with her tangled hair and grubby fingers. But she starts working harder and giving a effort to become the Bride to-be Princess.  In her achievements and hardships she creates a close friend in one of her fellow Princesses to-be. when the king finally comes, Miri’s close friend falls ill and she can’t go perform for king.  In the end is Mirir becomes the Bride.  But wait there’s a twist. Miri realizes that the king loves her friend who has fallen ill, because they knew eachother.  Miri isn’t heartbroken since she never loved the prince. Finishing this book, left me with a satisfying look on the book.  This book has everything that a reader wants, even with the little twist at the end.  I give the book 5 stars!!

small gifts

This sweet little project came off the blocking board this morning and I am really very pleased. I like to have a few small knitted things around as potential small gifts, it is amazing how frequently the opportunity can arise to want to just give a little something. I am knocked flat when it happens to me. This knitted up very quickly and if I make it again I may enlarge it to full shawl size. It is definitely in the shawlette category but very pretty indeed. The name of the pattern is Summer Flies, a freeby from Ravelry and it seems fitting. The light and the breeze outside are all telling me it is autumn out there. We are sitting happily on our south facing deck these days when we usually have to avoid it till later in the summer, it gets so hot. A “small gift”, to sit quietly on the deck after work and watch all the birds in the trees. It’s an amazing neighbourhood we live in, a respite of green in a very busy city. I saw three piliated woodpeckers on a tree the other day on my walk, they must have been from one family. A heron flew by my living room window last week when I was talking on the phone. Yup, small gifts indeed!

Cursed Yarn

This sweater is a good old EZ Yoke sweater, and the yarn is cursed because this is the third attempt to make an object, any object from it. I seemed to have lost my mojo and was getting very frustrated till a wee voice in my head reminded me to go back to the basics. The red yarn, and it is red, not as pink as the computer screen shows, is a generic “wool”  I found somewhere and the light brown is a merino/alpaca blend from Green Mountain Spinnery, slighter lighter in gauge but it has worked out OK. I am quite pleased and will take this with me when we go on vacation in the fall.

G and I just got back from a week at Mt. Baker, and we seem to have hit the one week of summer that we are going to have. It was gorgeous as always, restful and strenuous at the same time, given we hiked almost every day. Hordes of mosquitoes from all the rain resulted in lots of bumps and bites, but completely worth it. It seems to be developing into a tradition, this week of camping at Baker. We were joined by some good friends too. It is kind of thrilling to see others respond to what we have loved for years.