My Days and Anniversaries

Hi, out there! I’ve been a tad busy and somehow the days just flew by and here we are, a month on from my last post. This after I promised myself to do better . . . oh, well . . .

GODR5236

Sometimes the cat knows best . . .

By the way, if you are curious about where I am living, go here:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@49.8829593,-120.7609463,7.3z?hl=en

That link should show you the bottom west part of British Columbia, with Vancouver (BC) in the lower left-hand corner and Salmon Arm near the top and east of Kamloops. That will give you the general idea. If you zoom out you can see where we are in relation to the entire province.

And this link is a close-up of our area:

https://www.google.ca/maps/@50.6861583,-119.2831572,10z?hl=en

We live just west of the words ‘Grandview Bench’ and slightly east of the 97B Highway.

And for comparison, this shows the size of our province compared to the UK:

UK-BC Map 01

. . . and where I live should be somewhere along the French coast north-west of Paris and south of London. (now that I think about it, I should live there!)

I thought I’d throw those in here because I’ve had numerous remarks from people who don’t know my province. The towns where I live or have lived are generally quite small and not shown on average maps.

IMG_8150

Hoarfrost on the trees in the mornings was lovelier than this photo can show . . .

Back to what I was saying . . . The days have been cold here, as you can see from the photo, especially the last couple of weeks, but with some nice bits, too. I’ve begun attending a couple of handwork groups in Enderby, a smaller town than Salmon Arm (also fairly small, though) and about 15 minutes drive south and eastish (Is eastish a word? Guess it is now!) from here. And now you can see where those towns are 🙂

My cousin’s wife S and I were out shopping for Christmas and stopped in a lovely wee coffee shop in Enderby. It’s called Country Coffee House and it’s too bad all you lovely people live so far away . . . I bet you’d like it as much as I do. Awesome home-made soups and equally delicious lattés, too. A super-friendly owner/operator and so is the group of crocheters; they call themselves the Happy Hookers and they are, too. I’ve been twice so far and there has been a small baby both times, not in the group, but the mums are friends with the group members, so I got to see them close up. Hard to look and not touch sometimes.

I finally began using one of the balls of yarn I bought on Leka Island in Norway (I was quite disappointed because it was spun in China, of all places, so not actually the Norwegian yarn I’d hoped for. But I never had the chance to shop at an actual Norwegian wool yarn shop, and at least this carries the memories of the little convenience store on Leka and of my time there. I have begun a free-form cushion cover (free-form because I am making it up as I go along; I’ve already had to frog it a couple of times when it wasn’t working out the way I wanted. Price you pay for not following directions . . .) The right photo shows just a bit of the latté I was drinking as I worked. I felt so reminded of Cooper’s Cafe in Skipton, where I met with Lucy’s Knit n Natter group at the beginning of November.

So . . . when S and I stopped in that day in December, I saw the sign about the Happy Hookers and realized they meet the same day as the Sit n Knit group meets at the library, which is a very short block up the street. Crochet in the morning and Knitting in the afternoon! How lucky is that? So three weeks ago cousin M drove me to Enderby in the morning. I had a great time with the group, then had soup and a bun, and left, second latté in hand, in time to join the knitters at the library. I was first there that day, so got to sit in a wing-back chair right next to the electric fireplace!  I’ll have to take a photo of the fireplace and the chairs to share next time I go.

wingback chair 01

I love wing-back chairs!

Members of both groups were SO friendly and welcoming! And the groups are open as to what one brings to work on, so I saw both knitting and crochet there, and I think there was a piece of cross-stitching at the knitting group.

My cousin was great about coming to pick me up again when the group was over. Both groups meet for about two hours each, so it makes for a good day out. And the cousins get a day at home without me. We get along fine, but I’m still a visitor . . .

Two weeks later, I spent the day in Enderby again and I’ll go next Tuesday, as well, barring blizzards and/or freezing weather. We’ve not had a real blizzard, but I got up today to a gentle snow falling and I think it’s still coming down . . . still, this winter will be very short compared to winters in Edmonton, and it’s been surprisingly warm for the season, with not much snow until after Christmas. I don’t mind, really. We will need the moisture in the ground this summer when we are back on forest-fire alert. Not looking forward to that, I can tell you!

IMG_8097

This was taken shortly before Christmas! Not the usual here; last year we had about six feet of snow over the winter. This year it only started in January, really.

In other Crafty News lately:

The black and white Did I mention that I bought fabric at some point in January? And then some more . . . no idea what got into me 🙂

The photo in the bottom right corner is what I bought when I was first back here. I’d borrowed a book about making “Inchies” and felt inspired. Inchies are tiny quilts an inch on each side (2.5 cm for you youngsters). Then my cousins gave me a gift certificate for Fabricland for Christmas. And by then I’d borrowed another book, this one on making cloth bags, “The Bag Making Bible”. I fell in love with the bag on the cover, decided to buy fabric to make it, then fell in love with more . . . and the post-Christmas sales were on, from 70% off to “buy one metre, get two free”. The poppies on a dark background really wanted to go home with me and then I saw the black and white with poppies, ladybugs and more . . .

The black and white fabrics are actually going to become bags, but the first fabric I chose pulled at me to make it into a summer dress, and when I couldn’t find more of it in our store here, Cousin M drove me all the way back to Vernon (a half hour or so each way), where I bought the first length, so I could buy more. And while in the store the second time . . . I saw the same pattern, Queen Anne’s Lace, on a blue background (the first, in the larger photo above, has a background of deep red)! And I saw another lovely floral, too, the one on the left of the top small picture. I’ve had my eye open for large florals for some time now, and this is the first I’ve seen of any. The fabrics in the bottom right photo are likely to end up in bags.

I have my patterns traced and ready to use now. And the fabrics have all been ironed (I really, really love ironing, especially fabrics!) But I hit a snag when I tried to decide what dress pattern I wanted to use. At first I was thinking of one of my patterns from Sense & Sensibility, especially the Romantic jumper (see the link) or the Edwardian dress, but somehow I don’t see those as suited to large florals. But I did like the idea of making a sort of sundress that I could wear over a long-sleeved white blouse, partly because I bought a cotton blouse that I really like in Oslo while shopping with my cousin Tove and it would be perfect under a jumper. (In Canada a jumper is a sleeveless dress worn over a blouse, not what we call a sweater, which is a jumper in other countries).

Still in Crafty territory:

I don’t know if any of you will remember the Fair Isle style socks I started before I went away last spring. I was using the recommended size of needles and they were looking all right, with only a few errors in the patterns. (I started these before I had my cataracts fixed and actually thought that chocolate brown yarn was black!) Anyway . . . after reading what Dr. Snail recommended on her blog, The Snail of Happiness, where she said that using the smallest possible needles would result in a thicker, longer-wearing fabric, I decided to frog all five of my partly-completed socks. So far I have only found three of them and above you can see what they looked like and the beginning of wee balls of yarn after the frogging began . . .

I have begun another pair of socks, well, one sock so far, and am still working on the toe. This time I’m making another change: I’m using two strands even for the toe and heel, partly to keep the sock consistent in thickness but mostly to give me the extra cushioning. I love comfy socks, especially in the winter!

I’m so glad I knitted some mitts for myself while I was in Yorkshire, too. I’ll share the story behind those in another post, though. They are wonderful to wear right now, but not quite as warm as I’d like, due to the fineness of the yarn. So I’m planning on making some larger ones to wear over them next year if we get another really cold spell . . .

The last photos today are of my trip up to Stirling, the campsite (with the blue tent I borrowed from my housemate of three days), my wee sheep companions  Flora and Anastasia seen here peeking out of my sandals, where they stowed away so they could see Runrig for themselves (another story that will have to wait) and a couple of shots from Friday and the first night’s concert. I have no photos of the Saturday at all. I’d misplaced my iphone (thought I’d lost it) and used only the camera. Those are among the photos I accidentally deleted in late September. I’ve been afraid to look at my iphone photos until today, worried I might not have any from the gig. So I’m quite happy to have these, at least.

Music is still a major part of my day, as you likely expect. Runrig are having the most fabulous “Poll of Polls” on Twitter right now. I missed the first couple of days, but have taken part every day since then. Each day they take the songs from one of their fourteen studio albums, divide them into three or four groups and have us vote for the one we like best in each group. The winners move up to Round Two and eventually we will know which song is the all-time favourite of Riggies around the world. It’s been lovely, revisiting the music itself and also remembering those two nights last August. It was exactly six months ago on the 17th and 18th of this month, only a couple of days ago. That was the first anniversary I had in mind when I began writing this post.

The others are what would have been my Mum’s 96th birthday tomorrow (Wednesday) and my Aunty’s 99th birthday on the following Sunday. It’s hard to believe they will have been gone three years and four years, respectively, this April. interesting that they were born four days apart and died two weeks apart. Bittersweet days, for sure, as I remember the companionship we shared for so long. I miss them both so much. April is also the first anniversary of my last Auntie’s death and she would have been 94 this coming May. I was lucky to have as much time with each of them as I did, though, and that is what I shall focus on this year.

Here’s a Canadian song for you, sung by Bruce Guthro of Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, who was lead singer for Runrig for the past twenty years. He has a lovely voice and this is an old favourite song of mine in any case. Farewell to Nova Scotia

Another of my Canadian favourites: Lucille Starr (born in Manitoba, but grew up in BC. Quand le Soleil dit Bonjour aux Montagnes, also known as The French Song back then.

More Canadians:

Kate and Anna McGarrigle singing Dancer With Bruised Knees

One of Kashtin’s most beautiful songs, Ishkuess

And, of course, Buffy Sainte-Marie. This is No No Keshagesh  and

Darling, Don’t Cry

I’ll leave you with Judy Collins and Cook With Honey

And I’m off to listen to more Runrig and then vote . . .

All the best to each of you. See you soon!

11 thoughts on “My Days and Anniversaries

  1. Wonderful to know you are enjoying life and, thank you for sharing more of your journey with us, Love your crafting skills.. And I left you a couple of comments on your travel blog last year Linne, and as Marlene says, I think you deserve a medal for sleeping in a tent.. I know I like my bed .. So think I would struggle on the floor of a tent..
    Sending love, We have been busy planting seeds… As Spring tries to get going..
    Much love Linne.. and thank you for your Like . ❤

    • Sue, I am lucky in that I can sleep anywhere! And for the right cause, even more so lol. Thanks for dropping by. I’m well overdue for a post again, but so much is happening here, or trying to happen . . . will catch up again soon, I hope. Love that you are planting seeds. Just what I’m waiting to do, too. Love back to you. Talk soon!! ❤

  2. I love the look of the “jumper” that you’re going to make, although all those buttonholes might put me off! Your fabrics are gorgeous, and there’s no reason you shouldn’t have bought them, none at all…. I’ve been feeling like doing a bit of garment sewing myself lately and decided on a dress pattern that was the very first thing I ever made, at 21. I haven’t bought suitable fabric yet because personal work isn’t really supposed to be on my priority list…
    Keep well, keep warm, and thanks for all the music. xxx

    • Hi, Jill! I know what you mean about the buttonholes, but Jennie, the designer, says that back in those days, they often stitched the opening closed and used the buttons as decorative details. I’m still waffling, as I’m not that great with the machine buttonholes, but hand-stitched ones take forever . . . On the other hand (and with me, there always seems to be an ‘other hand’ , sometimes it’s nice to have a dress that can be worn open over jeans or another skirt or whatever.

      Yes, they are lovely, aren’t they? I could fill a house so easily if I were to buy every fabric that appealed to me . . . and just the other day we drove to Vernon again and I was dropped off at the fabric store while the cousins went elsewhere . . . and there was the blue Queen Anne’s Lace, marked down to $6 CAD a metre!! So I bought 2 more metres (for that one I’m now thinking about a circle skirt . . . a midi to maxi length, depending on how the fabric works out). And then I was two more black and white patterns that really spoke to me and one was $5 per metre. How could I leave it all there? But I was restrained and only bought 1 metre of one pattern and 1.5 m of the other (at least that’s what I remember now lol). The black and whites will definitely go to making bags.

      I’m going to be a bit of an enabler here and suggest you buy some lovely fabric and make that dress! I’m sure you’ll love wearing it and I do hope you post a photo of the pattern and the finished dress! Enquiring minds do want to know . . .

      I’m glad you’ve been enjoying at least some of the music; it’s been such a lifesaver for me, so often.

      I love seeing what you make for your market, as well as your stories about the market days themselves. Such fun! Keep ’em coming, will you?

      Much love to you. ~ Linne

      • I also often wear a shirt/blouse or longer top open over a t-shirt and jeans, it’s a very useful style. I’m still thinking about sewing a dress for myself – but I have so much unfinished work lying around that I feel I should get to before starting something new. I’m still coming upon things that I started over TWENTY years ago, like needlepoint designs and bits of embroidery….

  3. There is quite a lot here in one lump. I would not sleep in a tent for anything these days short of the collapse of my home. Even then, I doubt that would happen. Probably end up sleeping in my car. It’s quite comfy. But I love the colors of all your knitting projects. The top one with the jewel tone blue and purple is beautiful and I love the patterns in the socks. You spend so much more time than I doing creative things. I did look at your maps and they didn’t make it quite clear for me but then, I’m not that good at that. Are you planning on staying there awhile? I’m planning on selling my place and moving on this summer. Not sure yet where but getting rid of a lot is going to help. Your fabric entices me. I can’t let go of that either. I have a shirt for my daughter and I on the table to cut out and sew as well as a quilt top. The list just gets longer. ;( Trying to make up what I have and then found some fine flannel for the shirts while getting a couple pieces needed for the quilt. I’m hopeless when it comes to leaving fabric in the store. ;( Keep taking care of yourself and keep up the knitting and sewing. Hugs, M

    • Well, Marlene, I’ve always loved camping, but this was interesting, to say the least. Mostly because there was nothing to lean on to help me get to my feet when I crawled backward out of the tent. 🙂 I ended up asking whatever young man was passing to give me a hand up and, of course, they did. Now that’s when one feels a bit past their youth . . . and that’s what comes from leading a mostly sedentary life for some years and then suddenly re-visiting the activities of one’s youth. Oh, well, it was so worth it! I was actually expecting to sleep rough with only my army jacket, but my housemate of only a few days loaned me the tent, etc. And the owner next door helped, too. But I would have done whatever it took, honestly.

      The blue and purple piece is crochet, but it can be hard to tell from such a wee bit of work. I bought four balls of yarn on Leka; two thicker yarns in different variegates and two baby yarn, one dull purple and one dull green. There wasn’t much choice, really. Not sure yet what I will do with the rest.

      I haven’t been as creative as usual, but am trying to get back in the groove. I have a LOT of craft supplies and I’d rather use it up than part with it. But we’ll see . . .

      As to the maps. If you think of going north from Seattle to Vancouver, then east and a bit north toward the middle of the province, it will give you an idea. We aren’t that far from the border, maybe a couple of hours’ drive at most. I’m not sure how long I’ll be here. I can’t expect cousins to put me up forever, but it’s a question of finding a place big enough for my stuff, old and decrepit enough to make me happy (without being so bad it’s a health risk or falling down), as well as fitting into my wee budget. I won’t need space for stuff for long; I do plan to go through and share a lot of my things. But it’s hard to know until I see it all.

      I’d like to have my own place again, even though I know it will be lonely and I won’t like that. I did find the perfect piece of property that’s under an hour walk from where my groups meet in Enderby, and it’s only six times what the credit union will approve for a mortgage! lol On to the lottery, right? I do like having a dream, even when it seems unlikely. Two years ago I would have said that going overseas for six months and seeing Runrig, not to mention Norway, would have been impossible. And then . . .

      I know what you mean about moving but not knowing where . . . I’ve been there many times myself. Including before I came here. It will work out; it’s just sometimes hard to trust when the outward signs aren’t visible. Sort of like today trusting in spring after heavy snow all day yesterday . . .

      Fabric . . . if that were the only thing, it would still be a challenge for me. But it’s not the only thing . . . I have supplies to do almost every craft known to woman . . . but what scares me more than dying with stuff left behind is the thought of using up all my stuff and then sitting around waiting to die. I’ve seen that a few times and it won’t be me. (partly because I can’t see myself ever, ever using it all up or ever resisting buying more . . . I love dresses, preferably long ones midi to maxi. I know it’s not the style anymore, but I can’t help it. And I love colour with a passion that’s really hard to explain.

      Your quilt top sounds intriguing. I do hope you share photos at some point. And your flannel shirts. Nothing like a comfy flannel shirt in winter, is there? I’m not an expert seamstress, so some of the details of shirt making I find challenging, but dresses can be easy. I’m just having trouble choosing; caught between the fabrics, the patterns I have and the images in my head, which won’t translate well to reality, I’m afraid. ‘Twas ever thus, too, for me . . .

      You made me laugh with the flannel story. I don’t know if you remember, but back about six years ago, when I was with my Aunty Irene for two weeks out of every four and at my friends, the Crafties, the other two weeks, I was doing a LOT of crochet and made nearly a dozen blankets. Why I laugh is that I had two or three skeins of Red Heart that I wanted to use up. Then I started a blanket and needed more . . . then I decided to make a blanket for each grandchild, the parents and a couple more young ones in the family. And I bought more! And now I have leftovers, more leftovers than what I had when I began! Millions of people would never understand what happened there, but I suspect you and a few of my other readers will . . . I tell you, if I could have justified it, I would have bought all the material in those three floral patterns that were in the store! So in fact I was a bit restrained . . .

      I hope you are still making gentle progress in your KonMari adventure (dare I call it that?). And I also hope you are taking time for not only rest, but creativity as well. It sounds from that quilt top and the flannel shirt/s that you are. It’s the most healing thing, creativity, isn’t it?

      I started a new sock the other day, but it’s going slowly. I expect to speed up in a day or two. The toe-up method is one I really like, but the beginning can cause me a bit of angst.

      Well, this is almost as long as the post, isn’t it?

      Stay warm and snug, Marlene, and remember that spring IS coming! Much love to you and many warm hugs. ~ Linne

  4. The first time we went to Norway I did exactly the same as you – bought some lovely looking wool that I thought was Norwegian only to discover when I got it home that it was made in China. I was so sad. Anyway, next time we went I found a wonderful wool shop in Tromso where I was able to buy some real Norwegian wool and knit some real Norwegian socks.
    I bought the Bag Making Bible very recently too (and its companion A Bag for All Reasons). I haven’t made any of the patterns from it yet, but the two bag kits I have completed were both from Lisa Lam, the author, and they were fun to make. You have some wonderful fabrics there.
    I’m still feeling a bit sad that I didn’t manage to see you when you were in the UK, but 2018 was a bad year for me and so I just couldn’t get my head round organising such things.

    • Oh, how lovely that you have been to Norway, too! I loved it and hope I can get back one day. So much to see and do, but the family sites were the main draw this time. It’s a shock to find wool made in China being sold with Norwegian names, isn’t it? I’m so glad you found a shop with some real Norwegian wool. Were your socks patterned? I have found that plain socks go much faster (big surprise!) but I do love the actual stranded knitting and, of course, those socks are thicker and warmer.

      How nice to think of you buying the Bag Making Bible! I didn’t know there was a companion book; will have to look for that in the library next. The library Bag Bible had the patterns on a large sheet, tucked in the back. So my cousin and I went to a copy shop and had it printed. I’ve been tracing the ones I want onto Swedish Tracing Paper, another favourite tool of mine. The bag seen on the cover of the Bible is the one I want to make, but now, having digressed into dress planning, I’m waiting to see what I have left of the florals to work with. I’ll still use the other fabrics for bags, though, so all is not lost. I don’t really have a place to work here, but it’s not entirely impossible. I’ve found in my life that waiting for the time and place to be perfect before doing something has only resulted in nothing being accomplished. Sometimes one just has to ‘jump off the cliff’ so to speak.

      2018 was a difficult year for several people I correspond with and so there are others I haven’t met up with yet, too. I was sad to miss you, though. I’ve been part of an online discussion group since early in 1998 and one of our members lives in Belgium. We had talked about meeting in London, but it didn’t happen for us, either. In some ways life was challenging for me last year, too, but the trip certainly helped me start moving forward.

      One reason I’d hoped to meet you was that I suspect we have some things in common. I’ve been heavily promoting the Guppy Friend laundry bag to all and sundry ever since you posted about it. It’s hard to get people excited about it for some reason. But I shall persevere . . . I love your dedication to taking care of the planet. And of course, your love of books and writing. And being scrap-happy LOL. And you never know, I may be back. One of my wee savings accounts is for travel. I’m really hoping the band will do a reunion tour in five years, although I admit it’s unlikely. But it’s a motivator and whether they do or not, I’d love to come over again and see more. This time with a bit more planning and foresight, perhaps.

      Well, Jan, thanks so much for dropping by; I always love to hear from you. I’ve been over on your blog a few times, reading, but haven’t left a comment for some time. I hope you and Mr. Snail are keeping warm and dry. And that you are planning your garden. I’ve always found garden planning to be a great way to cheer myself up . . . even when I don’t actually have any land to plant on.

      Love and Light to you both. ~ Linne

Thanks for stopping by my blog! I look forward to reading your comments. ~ Linne

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