Sunday, August 12, 2007

Going Coastal

Last week they boys and I made our yearly pilgrimage to visit my father and his wife on Vancouver Island. I look forward to this week every year as it's full of sunny (yet not humid) days and cool nights with open windows and the ocean air blowing into your bedroom. This is a picture of my father and me on the balcony outside of the kitchen. Nice view to eat breakfast by isn't it? To make sure I meet my quota of knitting content here - I'm wearing "Air by Kim Hargreaves" from the Calmer Collection. It's knit in Calmer - shade Chiffon. I asked dad why he didn't smile in pictures and he replied that "that would cost extra".

I was especially excited about this trip because dad had located an Alpaca farm about five minutes from his house and we booked an appointment to go and see them. I also purchased some Alpaca roving in beautiful shades of gray and a rosy-brown. For some reason they remind me of Tauntauns from Star Wars.

My Kromski is portable but is a full sized wheel so it's not something to travel with. Don't think I didn't consider it though. In the end, I brought my favourite Tom Forrester spindle and spent a luxurious few hours spindle spinning in dad's back yarn. I even did some plying on the spindle. Thanks Adrianne for pointing out the excellent Spin Off article from the summer 2007 issue on how to ply on a spindle. I also did some carding which allowed me to experiment with blending fibres. I took some wool/alpaca/mohair roving that I'd dyed at spinning guild in lovely teals and blue-greens and carded it with some emerald green Romney that had touches of Angelina. The result was just what I had hoped for and I had a blast spinning my creation.

Just to prove that I can play with the boys - I joined the guys on a charter to fish for salmon on the ocean. We caught several pink salmon and dad landed a twenty pound spring salmon. There's nothing better than feasting on freshly caught salmon (which we did that very evening). A nice B.C. Pinot Noir is the perfect pairing (IMHO). We saw an eagle swoop down and catch a salmon right near our boat. He then perched on a rock and had a feast for us to see. What a majestic bird! Back at the dock, my son spotted this handsome harbour seal waiting for a handout from the fishermen. There were quite a few of them hovering around waiting for their bounty (like knitters at a Kid Silk Haze sale).

My tendency to take at least five knitting projects with me worked in my favour for once in my life. I managed to leave the instructions at home for two of the projects. I was especially excited to work on my new Autumn Rose sweater. Anne from She Ewe Knits turned cart-wheels to get the yarn and book to me before the big trip. Imagine my disgust with myself when I started the sleeve and reached for the Shetland Black...only to discover I'd left that one shade at home. By the way - none of the knitting stores on Vancouver Island have received the "Fair isle Knitting is back in vogue" memo so there was no Shetland 2 ply to be had. I'll be posting about this project later on this week. It's an amazing design but I fear that the instructions as compared to the picture are wonky so, I think there may be some errata.

So...that left my monsoon sock from the February Socks that Rock Club shipment and the Tulip baby sweater. I'd been stalled on the sock for a while because the 5 x 5 cables called for on the pattern weren't resonating with me. Some things just feel like over- kill and big cables like that on small needles, delicate yarn and a small item like a sock fall into this category. I took this shot for posterity and ripped back. I am continuing with the rib pattern and placing a similar yet smaller cable up each side of the sock as directed in the Cable Rib sock pattern from Interweave's Favourite Socks book.

The Tulip baby sweater is a delight to knit and I see why they're addictive. In this rendition, the light peachy-pink shade has been swapped out for the Wisterous (lilac) shade. I wasn't sure how this would look at first but I quite like it now that the other colours are being added.

I did also haunt 3 yarn stores on the Island but was fairly restrained. I only bought some patterns, needles and a couple of "one off" balls of yarn. We arrived home safe and sound last night and tomorrow it's back to work. Even arriving home to a dead fridge didn't damper my spirits. It was a great trip and I feel as though I truly relaxed and found a bit of myself again. The perfect vacation!


Pixiepurls said...

I have 1 sleeve left on my tulip sweater and I am waiting for the yarn for autumn rose to arrive and I ordered it 6 days ago and it hasn't shipped yet, I'm getting impatient!! I do hope there isn't an errata.. so depressing to buy a pattern and it has errors... argh!! :(

Anonymous said...

Hi Michelle -- I just checked the pattern, and I believe it's correct.

You do your rib as instructed....then do the "set up" round in Old Gold where you increse if you have to, then it says to do one round of Shetland Black, and then it says to work the first 8 rounds of the sleeve chart for your size (and that starts at the better bottom of the chart with a row of Old Gold) because on the 9th row of the chart you do your first increase.

So you end up with an Old Gold/Black/Old Gold stripe above the ribbing, and then it goes into the reds/old gold checkered sort of pattern, then another Old Gold/Black/Old Gold stripe and then the circular pattern........

Looking at the sleeve chart, it shows that the sleeve of all desigs includes the bottom pattern which isn't marked for shades -- because it up above -- and I guess they want you to look up there for what colours to use. Sorry this is so long but I want your readers to know how to figure this out too ok?

Dr. Steph said...

You and your dad look alike. Sounds like an excellent vacation. And you have demonstrated why we need to pack more than one project for vacations!

Unknown said...

Fishing? What were you thinking? You could hurt your hand! Cut that out.

The tulip looks fantastic. And I am sleeping on our discussion. I really wanna go.

Romi said...

My gosh, but you look like your Dad!

Sounds like a wonderful time. :)

Wendy said...

Hmm . . . maybe I need to stop working on my tan, and head to Vancouver!

That Autumn Rose sweater is awesome. I remember when Eunny posted a finished picture of it on her blog, but then I never found out where she actually had it published. Thanks for the link!

Definitely something I'll be mulling over for my fall knitting que.

vanessa said...

fabulous vacation!

i cannot wait to see you in autumn rose :-)

Robin said...

The Autumn Rose pattern looks so beautiful! Glad to hear the west coast weather and scenery was just what you needed!

Jodi said...

I love the substitution of Wisterious! I honestly didn't buy the kit after debating over it for a long time at Stitches Midwest just because of the icky peach.