Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Knitting in the Sun On a West Coast Tuesday . . . Ah, Summer!

 I'm finally sleeping until past 5 in the mornings now, so well and truly back on Pacific Daylight time. Can't stay in bed much past 5 though, especially with the sun beckoning so sweetly.
 This morning, I took my morning cuppa and my knitting down to the beach. What an indulgent combination: my favourite tea in a favourite mug, incoming tide raking the beach pebbles for that swish-rattle-whoosh-AAAAHhh rhythm, salt tang with that slight note of decaying flora and fauna, sweetened by the ozone work of sun and air, rosemary and lavender and wild rose singing their notes into the mix. . . .Almost too distracting for FairIsle work. . . .
 But the pattern only involves two colours at a time, and each row's stitches are fairly clearly indicated by the last one. Surely you can all identify the plumply charming Ewes in the first part of the design. But can you spot the three rows of Rams' heads that have emerged in the section above? Three more rows of those, turned upside down for the next section, and then another patch of Ewes and I'm done. Except for the drama  of cutting the steek, followed by an eternity of edging, but we'll worry about that later. . . .
 The design is Kate Davies Rams and Yowes, knit from a kit supplied by Jamieson & Smith -- all the yarns are natural colours, no dyes used at all. Gorgeous, no? And speaking of gorgeous, knitters or non-knitters, you should check out Davies' beautiful blog. It has me thinking seriously of detouring through Scotland, particularly the Shetland Islands, next time I cross the Atlantic!
 For the moment, though, I'm quite content to settle in by another big sea, here on my little island in the Georgia Strait neighbourhood of the Pacific Ocean . I'm sorting through recent travels, processing memories, exclaiming at photos of scenes I'd forgotten, writing blogposts (Barcelona hotel post up next!)
 On today's agenda: a walk with my friend Alison, artist-teacher of the plein air course I took in France; an appointment with my hair stylist (direly needed after almost 8 weeks!!); a commitment to finish planning and writing my fall syllabi for two courses; some reading, some more knitting, some weeding and at least one swim in the saltchuck. . . . not bad, eh?
 I'd love to know what you're up to as well -- some of you have to go in to an office every day, I know, and I hope you're not resenting/envying my summer freedom too much (If it makes you feel better, thank of all those fall-winter-spring weekends I'm stuck in the house marking and marking and marking. And know that I am spending time every day working, getting ready for next year's courses.). Do you find ways to put some summer in your 9-to-5?

Another question, this one technical: I'm getting fewer comments these days, and I'm wondering if that's just because we're all wanting to stay outdoors in the sunshine longer OR does the Bloglovin' platform OR my recent switch to moderated comments make the difference. I've found that I can leave comments on some blogs but not others if I access them through Bloglovin'. To leave a comment on Pondside's blog, for example, I have to leave Bloglovin and type Pondside's URL into my browser to reach a comments page that works for me. I can well imagine that if some of you have to do this to comment here, you might just not bother. But just this once, if you could take the extra two minutes just to let me know what's up, I'd really appreciate knowing.
As for the moderated comments, I'm hoping to remove that screen in another week or two. . . .

Meanwhile, you know I love having you visit here. If you haven't found a Reader to replace Google Reader yet, I do find Bloglovin' easy to use, if you can get past that goofy apostrophe AND tolerate the occasional problems with commenting. I've got a button in the right-hand column above that you could click on should you want to follow me -- easy to do and no big commitment.

And since we're talking techie (okay, very mildly so. . . ) if anyone's figured out how to get the Twitter widget working in Blogger (mine used to, doesn't anymore, I removed it and can't get a new one to install), I'd love to be walked through a fix.
Now let's all get out and enjoy the sunshine! Happy Tuesday!

30 comments:

  1. I think you need to sign onto your Bloglovin account firt to be able to easily leave comments on other blogs...
    I am finding the same issue with far fewer comments and I am finding fewer of the bloggers that I follow are posting these days.

    I am knitting a baby blanket for grandchild number 2 who is due early September...love your pattern mater!

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    1. Hmm, even signed in I have trouble commenting on some blogs. Interesting that you're noticing a similar issue -- it may simply be a summertime thing.
      What anticipation you must be enjoying as you knit up that welcome blanket for your second grandchild -- will you show us?

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  2. Hi Mater, Have tried to post comments twice through Bloglovin' with no success. Am now trying through the safari link to your blog.

    Love the knitting and your relaxing summer day. Enjoy!

    Vivian

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  3. Hi Mater, This is try #4 to post a comment. Very frustrated... Do enjoy your blog very much! My lack of comments does not indicate lack of interest, just time crunch pressures...
    Vivian

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    1. Thanks so much for persisting and for leaving the kind comment. I'm the same way, often enjoying blogs very much but not finding time to leave comments . . .

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  4. Hi Mater, Have tried to post comments twice through Bloglovin' with no success. Am now trying through the safari link to your blog.

    Love the knitting and your relaxing summer day. Enjoy!

    Vivian

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  5. Love the blog but don't want to appear like a stalker so moderate the amount of times I comment. I do like it though when you get a bit of a discussion going and there are lots of comments. You do have a smart and interesting set of readers. Hope you find a way to get the comments flowing. It's fun.

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    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Moonboots. I've wondered what you've been up to, having lost sight of a few blogs recently what with change of reader and with being away for so long. It's true that my readers can offer up some really clever conversation, so I do want to make sure that's easy, from the tech side.

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  6. Hi, nice to hear you're back. Many people I know have chosen Feedly as their "Reader" now that Google Reader is no longer available. I have reached you here by clicking through it to your site.

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    1. I appreciate you taking the time to comment, DGW. I've been meaning to check out Feedly -- no shortage of learning curves to keep our minds sharp as we age, is there?

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  7. Lovely knitting so cute. Is it a blanket? Really nice pattern. Must take a look at that website. Love love reading your blog but don't often comment. Had noticed a fall off in comments and posts on blogs I follow but assumed it's due to summer and holiday time. I signed up for bloglovin in anticipation of the big change but haven't actually found any difference in the way I access blogs which isn't much help in relation to your technical queries. Anyway, I sense you're a little despondent and just want to say hang in there. Your blogs are really varied and interesting. Also enjoy your book recommendations - must look for the "dog one". Like you I very much enjoyed Kate Atkinson's latest. Can also highly recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's new book "Americanah" Have you read it? Courage Mater! I'm sure your blog blip will sort itself out. Iris H

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    1. Thanks Iris. Yes, it's a blanket -- knit in the round, and then I'll cut (eek!) through the 5-stitch steek (after reinforcing), and pick up stitches to knit an edging.
      Didn't mean to sound despondent, but thanks for the encouragement.
      If you do end up reading Hornung's Dog Boy, I'll be curious to hear your feedback. Atkinson's work is all great! I'll keep an eye out for Americanah, but my goodness, those book piles are dangerously high, aren't they?!

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  8. I've been commenting less over all because I'm trying to chill vis a vis the headaches. And summer and hols have meant I'm less often online. I sense my comments are slow too. It never occurred to me that Bloglovin' would have anything to do with it. Occasionally, I cannot comment when I access a blog by clicking to it within the platform (so I just access the blog directly). I am always logged into the feed because that's how I read my blogs.

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  9. Oh, and thanks for showing us your progress on that project. I've been wondering about it!

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    1. I should post photos on Ravelry, shouldn't I!?
      And no need to explain your commenting rate -- I just wondered if there was anything techie I needed to expedite. I've scaled back my own comments on other blogs, just because of the time involved. . .

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  10. I prefer Feedly to Bloglovin. On a weird note, my google reader is still up and working as well. Sometimes it's just easier to sign up for posts by email. They are a little delayed in coming, but I never miss one.
    Your knitting is fabulous. I can definitely see the little ewe and ram faces!! I'm busy knitting baby things for my first grandchild who is due in October. Nothing as fancy as your making though.

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    1. My Google Reader isn't up, but there is still Google Follow . . . or is it Google Friend Connect? Hmmm. . .
      You've got a grandchild on the way? So exciting!!

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  11. That ewe/ram pattern is beyond charming! Your day does sound idyllic; glad you're able to relax and savor it.

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    1. As long as I can get some reading and writing hours in each day, I'm trying to savour as much summer relaxation as I can, storing it against those long winter months . . .

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  12. Thought I would like to say that I enjoy reading your blog. Thank you for posting. I have noticed in many blogs I read that comments are fewer and I have put that down to northern hemisphere summer.

    Sue

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    1. Thanks for taking time to comment, Sue. It does make perfect sense that the comments would drop in the summer . . . and really, that's a good thing. We should be hanging out in the real world as much as possible, right?

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  13. You would indeed enjoy the Shetlands. I visited family in Lerwick and on the island of Whalsay. There are many people of Shetland descent on Vancouver Island. In fact, they introduced knitting to the Cowichan. Did you ever read Yetsa's Sweater or a Sweater for Amos to your children? I'm using Bloglovin and have no problem posting comments.

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    1. I've got to find these books to put aside for Nola. . . I do remember hearing about this connection before, possibly from a friend who's a spinning/weaving enthusiast. . .

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    2. The second book is actually Amos' Sweater by Janet Lunn illustrated by Kim Lefave (?).
      Janet Lunn was the first children's author to be the Chair of the Writers' Council of Canada.
      We have great Canadian children's literature in Canada and I always hope that our children can be exposed to the "homegrown" first.

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  14. The pattern you are knitting is so cute. I admire knitters a lot. One day I'll progress beyond scarves and fingerless gloves. One day.
    I use Feedly for all my blogs and have had no trouble commenting anywhere.
    Summertime seems to be taking its toll on comments and blog posts. I've noticed a decline as well.

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    1. Feedly keeps popping up -- I really do need to test it!
      I'd say that if you can knit fingerless gloves (you do a thumb gusset, right? you can knit anything else. It's just a question of following a pattern, although you do need to pick up a technique here and there along the way. Mind you, you have so many crafts on the go already, you hardly need to add to your repertoire.

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  15. Knitting needles by the sea, isn't there a song by that name? There should be. This will be a treasure piece.
    I'm glad you're unwinding after your holiday abroad and settling into the local one. Isn't the sunshine wonderful?
    I suspect that the commenting dip is due to the seasonal change. I know that I've fallen off somewhat. Just wait till bad weather settles back in...or not!? Gaaa.

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    1. So will your Grrrls Rock group be covering this tune any time soon?
      Yes, that's one thing that is very sure. The bad weather is not so far off. Nor the start of term, weekends of marking, evenings of prep, etc. . . . All the more reason to play while we can, right?

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  16. Hi Mater, no technical issues here, just a bit lazy right now! I'm not doing anything exciting, staying indoors in this heat, reading, pottering about. Look forward to more Europe posts - I'm interested to read the Barcelona hotel post.

    Enjoy your summer, you are so busy throughout the rest of the year.

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    1. I'd be indoors as well, if I lived where you do -- sounds as if you've been having some seriously melt-y temps!
      And you're spot on about the need to enjoy the summer. I might be very busy throughout the rest of the year, but I'm really fortunate in the time off I have in summer. Important to remember and make the most of it while I can!

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I'd love to hear your response to my post. Agree, disagree, even go off on a tangent, I love to know you're out there, readers. Let's chat, shall we?

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