Fading Summer

It gets quieter in the parks around my neighbourhood as the season shifts. All the obvious reasons, the kids are back to school, it is cooler and the impulse to run around the park fades. There are no weekend picnics on the lawn or teenagers partying in the woods behind our house, it is too cold to hang out there at night now mostly. My daily trips into town are complete, and the rambles around the city to see it with fresh eyes are more contained to my immediate area.

The bark on this tree made me think of cables in a hand spun sweater. (Scary how a fibre person’s mind works.) But check it out…

Isn’t it tempting to think that someone could look at this and try to recreate it? A sturdy hand knit to keep one warm under a grey sky? Maybe my imagination is pushing it a bit, but I don’t really think so.

It’s all greys today. This is the Twilight Scarf, from a fine fleece, a lovely book that features items done with both hand spun and mill spun yarns. I did this with the yak/merino I spun up and it is incredibly soft and light. It will cover a draft when the cooler breeze comes through.

Ripe, sweet, and pretty much the last of them. From our park, about five minutes from our house.


Fresh from the post, this afghan in the most cheery colours imaginable has been claimed by the cats as very worthy. My sister Alison “whips these out” she says. Hmm, I suspect there is a bit more work than that involved. Though I remember one year when we were teenagers when she made about a dozen over the course of a long, cold winter. One of my ex-boyfriends from those long ago days is reported to still have his, a happy bumble bee striped black and yellow. I remember. (The afghan, not the boyfriend so much.)

Thank you Alison! I will wrestle the cats for this one. It is great.

(The portrait of those perfectly gorgeous women is from an old postcard. It came with the afghan in the mail yesterday. Sisters. Need one say more?)

Knitting Blog

Call something Warp and Woof Knitting, one should include some knitting right?

The Anne Shirley scarf, from Ravelry.  I am a bad Canadian, never having read the Anne of Green Gables series from which this scarf derives its name. This is likely blasphemous, but when I was a kid every time I tried to read one of the books I found Anne to be a bit bland for my tastes. I should take a look again, before the province of PEI has me lynched or something.

Gloves put together from yarn scraps –  from the scarf and some socks. Sweet Georgia fibre hand spun, some Hand Maiden 4 ply cashmere and some Regia sock. Those are scraps to be used. They are much too nice to waste. These could be a gift set perhaps.

And because I am all about the getting rid of plastic bags as much as we can, this handy hemp (green) and hand spun cotton (beige) bag, also a free pattern from Ravelry.  It is called the Grrlfriend Market Bag, easy to make and hopefully handy to use. I haven’t used the hemp yarn before, so we shall see how much it stretches out. This bag may end up carrying only items that won’t slip through but it is kind of funky so far.

The sun is lower in the sky now, even here on the South coast of BC. It makes the leaves glow gold, and there is morning dew on the car when I go “into town.” This is a view from under a tree, out at Buntzen Lake a week or two ago. Just a different perspective.

Other People’s Kindness

A friend gave me a pass to Van Dusen Gardens today. I took advantage of the fine weather to wander about. What I was particularly excited to see was an exhibit, The Little Green Dress Projekt, a really wonderful work in progress that I was keen to see. I am somewhat chagrined to say that the garden enthralled me so much that I missed the exhibit entirely and had to look at the photos online. Right at the end of my walkabout I came upon the studio where the woman I presume was the artist was working and did a mental forehead slap. I was really tired by then and the thought of going back into the garden was a bit too daunting. It means I have to go back right? Such a shame. I encourage a click on the link above to the blog though, it is a wonderful local project. I did, in the spirit of seeing my town with fresh eyes take some pictures of my own though.

The Garden’s explanation is better than any I could do. The spot where these poles stand is a quiet one. Today there were very few people in the gardens and the traffic noise was dulled by the cedars and the warm weather. One could almost imagine being out of the city. This particular spot must attract people to sit and meditate, because there was a palpable sense of stillness there. I sat for a while myself.

It is kind of imperative to take a lotus picture when one identifies as a Buddhist. I mean really!

It is a botanical garden, I had to get some flower shots. A lot of the blooms are done now that the summer is fading, but some persist in our warm climate. These guys are very cheery. The sun was warm enough to bring out the smells of the trees and the flowers, so along every turn of the trail my senses had another treat.

Korean gazebo, another very still place to just be awhile.

Thank you Irene for such a great afternoon. (I really have to go back and see the Green Dresses too! Soon.)

Memories From the Old Mexican Blanket

When Grant and I met in 1990 he was driving around that old Dodge van, the one that belched blue exhaust and required enormous arm strength to keep straight on the road. I got used to pumping the brakes well ahead of the stop lights, and being on the receiving end of alarmed looks when we pulled up into forest service camp sites. (I was always a bit nervous about some of the characters hanging around the free camp grounds in out-of-the-way places. Then I realized that others were just as alarmed by us when they saw that old white van drive in. ) I joked, sort of, that on our trips along the Oregon Coast and into California that the emissions police would be tossing us in jail. Those days, all those years ago, were a huge adventure and we put a lot of miles on that gas guzzling beast. The van was eventually sold to a young guy, a tree planter who was headed out into the bush to make some money. I hope he got some use out of that great vehicle, so well customized with Salvation Army cupboards and home-made storage, before it expired to rust.

This old Mexican blanket lived in the van and has been hauled out and snoozed upon on a lot of places  on the north american continent. Now when I look at it, I can see how it is a simple weave, but well done, compared to the cheap ones seen in the discount stores now.One can really appreciate how a textile becomes a part of one’s history. Just a plain weave cotton blanket, stained and full of dust, well used for upwards of thirty years.

I don’t know much about how these things are produced, but they are seen in every self-respecting old hippy’s camping outfit. There must be an enormous bolt of cloth from which sections are cut somewhere. Most recently this blanket has been spread under a tree on Locarno Beach, where we listen to our ipods and read, and I watch Grant wander out for a swim. The leaves are starting to drop, and the water feels just that much cooler in the past week or two.

I have some odds and ends of fibre that I spun up – this is about 60 metres of roughly three plied merino that was pretty “felty” in the package. It was likely more suited for a felting project than hand spinning but the colours drew me in. I think this will be the cuff of some mittens, just some jewel colours to brighten up a simple project. We’ll see.

More Manning Park from July, just because. This is a view of Lightning Lakes from a viewpoint towards Frosty Mountain.