Wednesday, July 11, 2007

summer warmth

it's already warm this morning and it's supposed to go to 36. Not a day to "go into town" as our quaint island-speak puts it, meaning take our small passenger-only ferry (really, as my nieces said, isn't this just a boat, Aunty Frances?) for the 5-or-so-minute trip to the "big island" town/big city across the harbour. Yesterday it was so warm that I bailed on my afternoon Pilates class and went for a swim instead. Folks who grew up elsewhere than our west coast tend to be surprised at the idea of swimming in the Pacific, saying that surely it's too cold. That always surprises me since I grew up swimming at White Rock, Crescent Beach, English Bay, and other mainland beaches. When our oldest was still a toddler, I remember taking her canoeing at Indian Arm and plopping her in the water to cool off -- she splashed around happily wearing her water wings, completely unconcerned that she was way out of her depth; she certainly didn't find the water too cold. Later on, when she was perhaps 5 or 6, we visited the Queen Charlottes, and the same daughter led her younger sister into water that was too cold for me but that the girls found just fine. It reminded me of splashing happily with my cousins decades before in the North Sea waters off the Yorkshire coast at seaside resorts like Whitby and Redcar. I think all of my kids now prefer river or lake swimming to the ocean, which seems practically heretical to my husband and I, but they will still happily plunge in for a good swim here. (Of course, none of us is as keen as my next-door neighbours who swim almost daily--and sometimes 2 or 3 times a day--from late June 'til the first week or so of September.

Anyway, despite the heat that's expected to build during the day, I will be going into town later to have dinner with a group of colleagues/friends to celebrate Sandra's birthday. Happy birthday, Sandra! (Not much chance she'll see this, 'cause I'm not sure I'm ready to let colleagues know I have a blog, but who knows?). I hope to finish her gift in the next hour or so. Meanwhile, so that I can leave you a picture and some knitting today, here are the two Shedir hats from Knitty (Link takes you to a pdf file)that I've finished over the last few months -- finally wove the ends of the chocolate brown one in yesterday and photographed them out in the sun -- can't imagine anyone would have been willing to model these for me yesterday in the summer heat, but perhaps their warmth will be appreciated some winter day. I knit them both out of Zara's merino which I loved for both its "squooshiness" and its great stitch definition, which you get an idea of in the close-up photo above. The first hat, the ochre one, for which I followed the pattern exactly but didn't bother with a swatch, will need a big head -- either lots of hair or a fairly big guy-- so I knit one less repeat of the main pattern for the second one and it fits me better -- for another one, I might even try doing one less multiple of the pattern, i.e. less stitches as well as less rows. The pattern itself is entertaining but even with knitting two, I didn't get to the point where it ever became mindless. It takes a certain amount of attention to make sure the cables twist and cross appropriately. And you really want to learn how to cable without a cable needle for this -- I can't imagine how long it would have taken to knit these if I hadn't learned this technique.


  1. I grew up in Thunder Bay and used to swim in Lake Superior. *refreshing* was what we used to say as our legs turned blue!

  2. Steph,
    Thanks for being my first non-family poster. You've made this ocean of a blogworld feel considerably warmer.

  3. Beautiful hats! And thanks for the home-ish photos from a San Juan Island girl. The water isn't warm, it's true, but it makes for a good bracing plunge! We used to climb onto the wheelhouse roof of my friends' fishing boat and leap in on hot summer I wish I could do that right now. Portland is much too far from the sea for my liking - the farthest I've ever lived, in fact.

    I look forward to seeing what the Seasilk is becoming, too!


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