Summer fun

Summer is rolling along nicely for us. The weather has finally picked up, but it is definitely not the brightest summer we’ve ever known. Actually, the temperature right now is pretty much perfect for me. My hands and feet aren’t cold and I’m not wilting – perfect balance! We don’t get the vast expanse of blue sky that Mum loves so much about the Prairies – because we have SO many more trees! – but it truly is the most appealing and soul-lifting experience to lay on the grass and see nothing but blue.

Mum has been away in Saskatchewan for just over a week, visiting my brother and we miss her dearly. Hopefully, she will be home later today, so we are heading out to get some groceries for her, mow the lawn, open the windows etc. This is the third year in a row that she has driven the 1600 km. Quite a drive for anyone.

Last night I finished making a patchwork picnic blanket for the girls, using a bunch of 6.5″ squares I had cut out to use up some scrap fabric. I had pondered making some patchwork scarves, but never did. This is much more useful, especially now that I can knit scarves and it looks like there will be no shortage of them around here! There was no real plan for the blanket, but I did put the pieces in bands of colour. I used an old duvet that we had stashed away for the batting and some striped outdoor fabric for the back. I am not a quilter by any stretch of the imagination, so there is nothing fancy at all about this. Just a good use of fabric scraps and a bright and colourful thing to lay on while we are in the garden reading Famous Five Mysteries.

Patchwork Picnic Blanket

Patchwork Picnic Blanket

I have been doing a fair bit of knitting, but have so many projects on the go at the moment that there isn’t much to show. I am making lace scarves for my mother in law and sister in law, using 2 of the skeins I got from KnitPicks. Baby alpaca and silk seems a pretty luxurious combination for a yarn, don’t you think? I’m doing one with the seafoam pattern and the other is “stripe with twisted bar”, both from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Awesome book. Will buy it when I can justify spending yet more money on my new hobby! It would be so easy to totally lose control when faced with such a vast array of beautiful yarns, appealing patterns, great books and neat gadgets and tools. I try to restrain myself, just a little!

Anyway, here are a couple of the things I have finished recently:

"Asking for Roses" shawl by Amy Swenson

"Asking for Roses" shawl by Amy Swenson

For this, I used Madeline Tosh Toshlight in Smokestack, a gorgeous blue merino. The pattern is really lovely, although I did have to rip out the lace panel and start again, as there was a small error in the pattern and I had also made a mistake. Easier to start from the beginning than to unpick rows of lace knitting. Should pay more attention next time, then I might have noticed my initial error. Still, it was a relatively quick knit and a useful learning experience. I will make it again, eventually! I would like to make something bigger next time.

Cloud Bolero for Pip

Cloud Bolero for Pip

Cloud Bolero (back)

Cloud Bolero (back)

This is the Cloud Bolero by Ysolda Teague. Free download through Ravelry. Easy peasy to knit and super quick when using chunky yarn. So much faster that knitting with laceweight yarn, but I did feel rather ham-fisted using big needles again! She loves it, thank goodness, as she often asks for something, then won’t wear it. Don’t get me started on that one! I am making another for Milly, this time in DK weight and on slightly smaller needles in order to make it smaller, so it fits a 4 year old instead of a 7 year old. I’m using Berroco Vintage DK for Milly’s.

We have come to the conclusion that we are not inclined to camp in a tent. Realistically, it just isn’t something we fancy doing. Brian has never done it and my back is still precarious, so I’m really not enamoured with the idea of roughing it at all! After much pondering, we have decided to consider a fifth wheel, which means getting a bigger truck to tow it. The idea is that we can go away for the weekend, pretty much on a whim. We are not great adventurers, but it would be nice for us all to get away from time to time and not always be thinking of what needs to be done around the house and garden. The Island is fantastic for camping of any sort, so there will be no end of places to go. We know what we are like and know that if it is a question of paying for hotels, we just won’t go anywhere! So, we spent some of yesterday looking at and sitting in some very North American trucks. Not sure what they’ll be like to drive, as we haven’t done that yet. The fifth wheel will wait until next year and we’ll spend the next few months saving up and deciding what features we really want. Of course both the truck and the fifth wheel will be used, so it is a matter of figuring out what the options are and keeping an eye out for the right thing. We are all really, really excited about the idea of going away, camping, having campfires, roasting marshmallows and playing games together, as well as exploring our beautiful island.

Brian’s Mum and Dad arrive in a few weeks, so we’ll spend weekends getting ready for them. We might even manage to have a garage sale so that there is space in the spare room for them to sleep!

I hear stirring, so had better get on with making a pot of tea for the troops!

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~ by Pip 'n' Milly Creations on July 31, 2011.

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