Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Progress, Progress, Progress...and love.

Did I mention that there has been progress?

Our world was covered in snow, and now it is gone. Which I don't really mind, as driving in it sucks. In my perfect world we would get snow for 2-3 months, and it would land everywhere but the road. I don't mind shoveling a bit! I just wish the roads would always be clear. Spyros thinks Canadians ought to build heated roads, he figures the money we would spend would be saved on snow removal.

This was my world:
Visa: It is sent! I also received confirmation that it has arrived and has begun processing. So I had to get my Police Certificate & Medical check...Police Certificate is done. Appointment made for medical! Excited to be underway!

Knitting: Toque for brother done. But is messed up. Too wide, not long enough - in fact it seems the dimensions are opposite to how I wanted them, but the width of the thing didn't show on the circ until half way through. I was going to frog it & start again, but wanted to work on my dad's gift. So I am halfway through that. Might think about the toque again later, or maybe not, I found him some other things (purchased). He's 15 and very 'cool' I don't know that he would really appreciate a homemade something anyway! Might have to special buy yarn rather than stash busting for him! Still hoping to finish dad's and maybe find time for one last one!? I will work on mine & Spyros stockings after Christmas.

Christmas: I am done with the shopping. I am done with the wrapping (aside from any knitted gifts remaining). I am done with the shipping!! Our Aussie family won't be receiving in time for Christmas, but at least it's at least a couple of months early than we managed last year!! We set up for Christmas at my mum's a couple weekends ago - but have yet to do it in our own home. I don't bake as I will eat it all in one sitting, and so will just start pigging out when I arrive at my parents!


A special thought for my friend. A great many people have been sending our thoughts & prayers her family's way this last couple weeks. Her father had been struggling for many months to get healthy, he came down with pneumonia, and a really bad case of it. They moved him to a larger centre, but discovered that he had a tumor in his lungs that was spreading to his heart. They lost him...I have known the family since I was 11 or 12. I spent a great deal of time in their home, eating their food, riding on their quads, telling secrets to this man's daughter. I won't be able to make it for the funeral, but my thoughts will be with my friend and her family and I know that even with the loss they are hurting from, they will be getting a lot of love and this years family time will be especially precious to all of us.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December already??

Well the holiday season is upon us. I am not so crazy about Christmas. I love stockings, I love family time & cranberry sauce. But the commercialism I find a bit nuts. Christmas songs being played in malls from Halloween. But I am trying to make a fair amount of my gifts...and that means I am trying to knit every spare moment. I definitely have some shopping to do, but I have a fair amount of loved ones that also know how much time & effort goes into handmade gifts, and for them it is a pleasure to supply them with things I have made!! Gives me projects too!

It did snow more, it's melted now, but it did snow a lot and we got stuck a the bottom of our hill unable to get up it because they did not plow/gravel it that first snow. Now that it's been graveled we have not had any issues, but let me tell you -- I was one unhappy gal walking up that hill in the snow that night. Lucky I didn't have groceries!!!

I began quite early and have gotten 7 1/2 projects done so far. And they weren't all pre-planned, some I have been thinking up as I go. I have 1 1/2 I would like to finish for sure, and an additional 2 that I would really like to get done.

Travel -- well we are done the visa!! Need to print off a couple of things & then photocopy the whole shebang and we will mail it off & await a reply!! So if all goes perfectly it could be approved in 5 months. It can take up to 10, but we are really hoping not as my man must be back in Australia by early July.

Finally made it out to a Sit & Stitch on Saturday, only to find that the venue (coffee shop) was closed oops and because I arrived late, did not get to meet up with fellow knitters...however, got to chatting on Rav and now have a Stitch & Brew date for this coming Wednesday night and am SO EXCITED about finally making it out to knitting meetup! Thus far even all fibre shows etc. I have attended alone (or with S - but he doesn't love it like I do, he just loves me!!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Snow is falling!!

A couple of days ago we had our first snow snowfall overnight...just a bit of a skiff, it did not stick to any of the roads. Today though...today I was sitting indoors, I was watching the snow falling and thinking how lovely it was. But then it was time to go home. 

I had been quietly enjoying the snow for over 3 hours...I had to sweep the snow off of the windows and doors, it was a bit slippery on the side streets as they were not plowed. I went to the service station to fuel up for the ride home. Slow going, busy traffic and they were all worried about the snow. Westside Rd. Plowed, but not well. Went about 40 - 60km the whole way home. It took a lot longer than usual. Passed a few people pulled over to avoid hills. There were still quite a few deer on the road (stupid deer -- don't they know it's so much harder to stop in snow!), also one coyote. Made it to the resort. Stopped for mail..and then couldn't get going again. Took a run at the hill 5 times. Nothing doing. Had to park it down by the pool and walk up that snowy damn hill. This is not a little crest, it's a big effing hill!! Close to 400 metres up hill in the snow with my hands full. NOT FUN!!!

So the lovely snow is not seeming so lovely. I put a call into the landlord to ask about plowing...so hopefully that will improve!! Also, gonna sandbag the back of the van.

Knitting?! Working on some Christmas gifts...the snow is definitely inspiring in the knitting department. I listened to a podcast the other day. Two people, I found it a bit confusing, a bit unorganized, and a bit boring. But yesterday I decided to check out KnitPurlGurl as she has been doing video podcasts lately. I dig. I knit while watching, though I was often distracted because I could SEE the yarn, and SEE  the projects. So I dig knitting VIDEO podcasts, also the audio ones are not for me so much.

Not much for news either than that --- can't really post photos of objects as they are pressies - but perhaps tomorrow will be a bit of a snow day?!?!! ooooooooooOOOOOoooOoOoooohhh

Saturday, November 5, 2011

First time blocking...

I know that every knitting book, blog & bit of info I read tells me that blocking is essential. However, I never have. Partially because I think things look OK as they are & partially because I don't have a blocking mat & I am a little afraid of wrecking things if I block them incorrectly...but I'm working on a Christmas gift, and there are a bunch of little pieces that need to be a certain geometric shape & then be sewn together. This item is being made from acrylic...so today when I finished weaving ends in (oh how I hate little things with many ends!!!) I pulled out a piece of cardboard, some straight pins and my iron. I pinned each piece into it's shape. I loaded up the iron with water, and steamed each bit. Hopefully it worked?!?! I guess I'll find out in an hour or so. If it worked out I should be able to start seaming it all together & soon it will be completed. Yay me for getting the jump on Christmas!

I have a very strong urge to knit something for EVERYONE -- this hobby is fast becoming an obsession! However, I know that a lot of people don't appreciate homemade gifts, and for the Aussie's on my list it's harder to imagine what they could possible need as well. Canadians are always good for  warm socks, mittens, scarves & toques!

After this project is done I think I will spend some time playing with my drop spindle. Seeing if I can create some yarn that I can actually knit an object with!! That would be so rewarding...

Also - travel is becoming a nearer thing for me as I got back my renewed passport, and have gotten a bit further on my visa application. A few more things are needed & then we should be able to send it off. Once I get approved we will book our tickets for Sydney, Australia! Because the length of approval on this particular visa is about 6 - 10 months (trust me - we are praying that I look like an exemplary citizen & it happens a lot more quickly) we will probably miss summer. On the up side, this past summer in the lower mainland was about the same bloody temperatures as winter in Sydney. So I think that's OK **plus it gives me more time to try to get this bod into a beach worthy shape**

Sunday, October 30, 2011


So I had a birthday. I turned 29. I am not worried about how much closer I am to 30 -- I don't feel any doom & gloom about it. I feel no different, so as far as I am concerned age is just a number...I'll get back to at 30 to see if I still feel the same ;)

For my birthday my sister & I went to a Mega Knitting class hosted by Lynne at Fibre Arts Bootcamp BC - http://llamasintheraw.com/ This is the same place that we went to learn to spin about a month ago. This time with 4 other knitters my sister & I chose some gorgeous yarn & used gorgeous handmade 1" needles to knit up a super quick project -- a pillow cover!

It seems that every time I am at this farm it is a great time. Tea, lovely lunch, wonderful people!! This was truly my first day knitting amongst other fibre enthusiasts and I loved it. I keep saying I need to join a knitting group and never seem to find the time. Well geez!!! I am going to make the time!

I do want to add some ribbon - there are touches of teal in the yarn & I want to add teal ribbon to bring it out. It could have been a little bigger so that now so much of the white was showing...so I'm not sure if I am going to frog it & do that - or just use ribbon.

When sister & I got home from the knitting day my man was making dinner & it was great! We had dinner & watched some scary movies. I did a bit of Christmas gift knitting...and then went to bed. I felt a bit of a cold coming on & was trying to keep it away. They are calling for snow any day now so winter is close!

Life other than knitting? Well I am knitting alot -- no plans for any trips in the really near future. Still planning on Australia soon, but within Canada I am not sure what we are going to get to now that the snow will be flying!

My blog is messed up. The columns are not working properly - so I need to work on that. Will see if I can get it fixed!! Cross your fingers!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Socktoberfest 2011

Heck ya I did it! I completed my socks -- both of 'em finally! I am pretty stoked! Gotta get some photos up of the completed pair. In the end I did end up frogging the toe on the first sock because it was bugging me. lol

Not much new here, been spending most of my free time trying to get the socks done. I definitely am not the biggest fan on Fingering Weight yarn. It takes me an awfully long time to finish a couple of socks! For now I am done & it's time to start the Christmas presents! 

It's nearly my birthday, and my sister & I are only 2yrs & 1 day apart. So for our bdays this year we are going to a Mega Knitting class. Gonna make something cool with some homespun and some 1 inch needles!! It's at a wonderful farm, we were there not too long ago learning to spin with a drop spindle. It's called Llama's in the Raw: http://www.llamasintheraw.com/ - lovely people, adorable llamas and fascinating yarn!

Otherwise?! Trying to get some work around the area. I sent off my passport today for renewal! Once it's back I can finish my visa application for Australia! I'm excited, we gotta get on this so that we don't end up with me in Canada & Spyros in Australia!!

Ok-- gotta go & do some holiday knitting!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011


Friday was work as normal in Vernon, and after work we made the trek to White Lake. It's a much shorter journey now, only an hour from Vernon, about 1h45m from our new place. Not much to report on the travels -- construction still going on in Armstrong & Enderby!

This Thanksgiving mum was out of town, she was at her parents place helping them with a few things around the house & yard to get ready for a Northern winter. Here in the Shuswap we decided to surprise mum by finishing off the upstairs! Back in April we renovated the living & kitchen & laundry area. Took all the old stippled ceilings & made them smooth. Repainted everything, and removed the old mahogany trim & replaced it with white trim. Mum also got a whole new kitchen & appliances. The surprise?? The 2 bedrooms upstairs had yet to be touched, and we thought we would tackle those!

We arrived at around 6:30. Ready to work! Of course since we came straight from work we had brought pizza (thank you Little Caesar for your Hot & Ready) we had dinner & got straight to work. Dad had scraped the ceiling in the master bedroom, and when we arrived Spyros put a coat of mud over the whole thing. I went out to the shop to start prepping the closet doors (also mahogany -- just getting painted white). That was the first effort for the project. To bed early - much work to do!

Saturday morning was breakfast & Spyros got to work on another coat of mud while I primed the doors & the walls. Once the walls were dry dad put up all the new trim so that we could prep it. By the evening we had a coat of primer on the ceiling! We went to spend some time visiting a friend that night. While visiting I took the opportunity to work on my second sock!

Sunday was Thanksgiving dinner...so we awoke & got to work. Two coats of paint on the ceiling, Turkey in the oven by 1pm. Sister arrived around 2:30 and got to work on all the other foodstuffs. Got 2 coats of paint on the main walls by the time we went to bed. Yes, that's right -- even after turkey & the fixins...we managed to do some more work!

Monday we got up & put 2 coats of paint on the feature wall and 2 coats on all the trim. Done!! Vacuumed & washed the floors & moved all the furniture back in...then we got The Brother to help us disassemble his room. Pack all his stuff up, rip all the existing trim & closet apart. We sanded down the doors, scraped the ceiling, put a coat of mud on the ceiling and left it to dry overnight.

Tuesday...regular day for dad & brother. Work & school respectively. So Spyros & I were into town to pick up a few supplies, and then back at the ceiling with another coat of mud. Then primed the doors and the walls...dad put up trim once the walls were dry. While drying I took some time to start this blog & watch a TV show while I worked on my sock! Then it was time to sand & prime the ceiling & prep all the trim. Then more dry time...yes, this is our lives...2-3 times we have to do the same thing & wait for it to dry each time. Yawn! Turkey, turkey & more turkey, it was great for quick & easy sustenance in between painting coats! Did some knitting on my sock while the cat sat in my lap! It still makes me laugh when cats really do play with my yarn - frustrates me, but makes me laugh too.

Wednesday we finished everything but the damn red wall. Terrible red. Not a bad colour - but a clear base that we used an entire gallon on the one wall & still it's picture framing!! OI! Otherwise though, good day - finished everything else in the room.

Thursday morning up & at 'em. Red wall DONE. Baseboard DONE. Floors vacuumed & washed. Most things moved back into the room. Cleaned up the place so that mum wasn't tipped off when she drove up to the house, and we came home!!!!

Friday afternoon -- finally received the call from mum. She's home. She loves it. It's all worth it! <3

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vancouver Island

So it's been awhile. :)

I came home. I worked, Spyros arrived in Canada. We traveled up through most of BC & Alberta as we were visiting my family. Definitely different countryside than Spyros was used to!

Finally we took a trip though. We went to Vancouver Island a couple of weeks ago. We spent a week- we took the ferry over, I knit, I was working on my first pair of socks. We arrived on the Island in Nanaimo. We went to the Visitor Centre & got a couple of maps. We headed for Parksville. We thought the camping would be better there. The plan for this trip was a camping trip. We brought a tent & sleeping bags. Of course we had no plans - just winging it!!

Found a place called Rathtrevor Beach campground. It's very close to Tigh-Na-Mara...the 1 mile beach when the tide goes out. Unfortunately we were out seeing sights each day and were never around during low tide. The campground was nice. We stayed in a group site, 5 spots shared one fire pit. But as I mentioned, we were so busy seeing the island we didn't spend much time at the site. We went that evening into Parksville to find dinner. Dinner was OK, super cute place, mediocre food.

The next couple days we were up early with the sun & the children running about!Our plan was to go out the Cathedral Grove and check out all the old growth red cedars in the area It's a beautiful place, definitely some huge trees!!! The path didn't take us as long as we had thought because there was a big part of it closed. Nonetheless we still were able to see the largest tree in the forest. We checked out Qualicum Falls, there is always time for waterfalls! That turned into a longer walk than expected. The weather was fabulous, it was a long succession of intense falls, but short ones where a lot of water was being forced through rather than a single really high one. We went to Coombs and wandered through the shops. We grabbed some lunch at the market and some fudge at the fudge shop. We found that the distances and the wanderings were much shorter than we had planned for. Into Qualicum we ventured, to see the sights and to check out a yarn shop I had seen along the way. It was nice, the lady working in it was nice. I found a yarn I needed to complete a project for a friend, and some very cool Icelandic wool (I have a small obsession with getting over to Iceland for the spas and knitting right now!). We went into Nanaimo for dinner & shopping. The old quarter was super adorable. The buildings cute and the paint colours and varieties on them were just beautiful. Found another local yarn shop (LYS) and it was very awesome. I bought buttons here. I needed a couple to finish out a cowl. It was a cute area, and my favourite part of Nanaimo.

We were trying to figure out a plan, Crystal was planning to meet us in Tofino, a send off before Spyros & I moved away from the lower mainland. We went about it in a most strange way, but it ended up alright! We went back down to Victoria..in Victoria there was no camping, we decided to splurge and spend a couple of nights in a hotel. We wandered around the city for food, and for sights & shopping. Again, an old quarter/China Town that had fabulous buildings. We found Fan Tan Alley which was incredible, and another similar little alley that had government  offices in it. I love that kind of thing a person can find in older cities. Also, a VERY fabulous LYS that I wanted to move in to! There were a lot of dirty areas and run down areas and people there as well. Over in the quay, where the parliament buildings were it was quite posh! We went to the Butterfly World and saw butterflies in all stages of their lives. It was pretty amazing. Also to Butchart Gardens, which was overpriced. They had beautiful flowers -- but I have seen other beautiful gardens that were cheaper or free! So I was a bit disappointed in that. A short journey into Sidney to see it, it took no time at all as it is quite tiny. I found it very cute that there was a little amphitheatre (where a wedding was being held) that was shaped similarly to the Sydney Oprah House in Australia. A bit of a longer journey took us to Sooke. We went up to the Sooke Potholes and wished we had come a little earlier in the day. It would have been a lovely hike, very glad we saw it though!

The finale of the trip was Tofino. The most expensive area of the island (though we did find most of the island quite expensive), we met up with Crystal the night before and camped in another place in Parksville - after that we went to Tofino, drove the windy treacherous road and found a place to camp. We wandered through town, many interesting shops, Crystal booked her surf lessons, we found some food and headed back to the campground for a BBQ & some time on the beach. It was nice for Spyros to see some sand that was more like home, but the temperatures sure weren't! Sunset was gorgeous though. It was a bit cooler in Tofino. The rest of the trip was quite warm (we drove too much to enjoy it though), and in Tofino we wanted to hang out on the beach all day and it was foggy & overcast and cool. So I took photos of Crystal surfing. We went shopping. We ordered a pizza, and watched another sunset. On our way out of town we stopped at the Tofino Chocolate shop- it did not disappoint. Neither did the LYS! Found some yarn there too. The week went too quickly.

It was a good trip. We saw much, and spent much. Next time I would like to see the smaller islands, Gabriola, Pender, Hornby, etc. I would like to have the time to spend at least 3 days at each place, to just enjoy the camping, the nature and the mellow time. Not be rush rush rush everywhere. We did not feel rested at the end of the trip, and we were surprised at how much money our camping trip cost us. We did enjoy most of our interactions with islanders...though I found in Tofino people were pretty rude (except the yarn shop & quilt shop - YAY crafters!). Glad we got to see a bit more of Canada, as our planned trip to Montreal had to be cancelled. 

I endeavor to post more often. About life, about travel (even small road trips) and about knitting, as I am really trying to do more of that to as I love it!

Knitting updates: aside from the smaller projects I have been working on and accomplishing SOCKS I was afraid of. I have now completed my first sock, it has some issues, I followed a pattern and ignored my gut. Silly! But I am keeping it as it is #1 -- #2 to come soon. The other new & exciting thing, I took a course with my sis to learn to spin. It was using a drop spindle and kinda more art yarn, but oh-so-fun! I think my scrapbooking days are over, as I love fibre and the many many things I can do with it :)