I awoke rather too early the other day and suddenly felt a little homesick. These past few weeks have felt like one long holiday and I think it's possible that ever so slowly the realisation of what we have done may be setting in. It's to be expected that settling down, making friends and forming a new life will take time, I do know that. But I guess we've been so busy telling this to the children that it hadn't occurred to us we may feel the same.

Onwards and upwards, though, I made a friend this week. I met up with Krista from Poppyprint, you may know her through her passion for quilting. We met up in a fabric shop and then had lunch, a good chat and made plans to meet up again. She is so much fun!

My latest knitting project has been less than successful. I hate to admit it but after burning the midnight hour on one too many occasions I finally called it a day with my 'quick' cowl. After several attempts to get it sorted at the LYS, I never seemed to get it back on track and it seems lace patterns and I have a way to go, which is a shame as I also have this one on the go. Aside from the sheer frustration, I also decided that my yarn was not the greatest of choices anyway, the constant unknitting was making it extremely fuzzy and then once I started unravelling, it quickly became a tangled mass of fibres. I'm not going to let it beat me though, I'm changing that yarn and starting again, so watch this space!

We've been making great use out of our local library and are complete converts now. The crafting selection is second to none, although I think I may have cleaned them out of the best stuff for the time being! I also hired The Little House on the Prairie on DVD. Did you love those books when you were smaller? The Model is currently reading them at bedtime and I was more than keen to get watching those sweet little programmes all over again, snuggled together under a blanket on the sofa. The moment that play button was clicked it all came flooding back and I could remember everything as though it was yesterday. The Waltons up next and then I shall be really happy.

Happy weekend.


above the clouds

The sky has been very kind to us this week and Saturday was no exception. Sunday, however, was very foggy but Mount Seymour's website convinced us that those beckoning mountains were the place to be. Mount Seymour, in North Vancouver, boasts of being North America's number one snowshoeing resort so we headed on up in search of something new to try.

Before we went, the Model and I watched this rather amusing video, presented by Amanda Beauvais, so we had an idea of what to expect. Incidentally, if you watch the mini film, you must pay attention to her 'guest'. She had us tickled pink, with her 'grandma's footsteps' routine and animated face.

Snowshoeing is actually very popular and there were many other people who had the same idea. It is also great fun and surprisingly exhausting, though not exhilarating like skiing, of course, which was the main reason the children didn't share our enjoyment of this mountain exercise. During one of several particularly sulky moments, the Model even declared that Amanda Beauvais sucked. Oops, don't tell!

The reward at the end of the afternoon was the breathtaking sunset, high up above the thick clouds .. and then we drove down the mountain into the fog once more.

Have a lovely week, everyone.


iced blue

The weather has turned so bitterly cold, my now reptilious hands have given up the fight against any cream I slather on and I have been known to wear one of my new hats indoors (actually I love them so much, I'm not sure that's entirely necessary). Early morning the pavements are icy and treacherous.

At the weekend, with the sun shining as beautifully as it is today, we dressed rather quicker than usual and went to the beach for a walk. Little did I think that the beauty of the blue skies above belied the danger on the ground and within moments I slipped down a steep hill on a large sheet of ice, hurting my hand so badly I thought I may have broken it. It hurt so much I was buckled up with the pain, pressing my hand between my knees to try and dull it somehow. Now, the husband, although concerned, wondered out loud more than enough times how in the heck I managed to miss such an enormous length of ice. He actually spent a little too long pondering this question for my liking that I could have swung for him .. only I was one hand down already!

As we soldiered on with visions of hanging up my ski boots for the season, or no skating (really must arrange some lessons), it wasn't until we were back to the safety of a warm home and a boiling kettle, that the true horror set in. What if I couldn't knit? The knowledge that opening a bottle of wine could be troublesome was nothing compared to not being able to pick up the needles.

Fear not, though, dear readers, you will be pleased to hear that anti-inflammatories and an immediate ice pack (huh, she was spoiled for choice there, she says bitterly) worked wonders and, after a couple of days, I am now back to beavering away on my cardigan. Incidentally, many a time have I ruminated on why some Ravellers have so many wips on the go at any one time. But after suffering from this cold spell (being such a delicate flower) I can quite see the appeal because I'm considering going off on a bit of a tangent to knock up this soothing pattern.

Keep warm, northern hemispherites and mind that ice. And as for those of you living in the southern part of this globe, it'll be your turn soon enough, brrrr! Have a great day!



The second of my holiday hats and to be honest I'm wondering why on earth I resisted them in the first place. Perhaps I thought they might have been too tricky but, given the size of a project for the average bonce, I eventually concluded it would be an easy fail if all went badly wrong. And now that I've got two under my belt, I reckon hat knitting could easily become something of an addiction. This is Gudrun Johnston's Norby and I am thrilled with it. I may even go so far as to say I prefer it to 'Snöflingla', hmm just thinking out loud there for a minute. What's also on my mind is that had it been knitted in a paler shade, I could have done Norby even more justice, with its lovely ripple effect. But hey, never mind that, have you not noticed? It ain't grey!

Knitted in the round, I did quicky succumb to irritation at the amount of purling I had to start it off with but the rippling chart was definitely something to look forward to. And as for those tassels, what a brilliant addition. The yarn, which I snapped up from my now local yarn shop, is Tonos Carnaval by Misti Alpaca in blackberry (rather a duller shade than the photos would have you believe). It feels soft and reassuring, with just about the right amount of variegation in the colour for my taste. (I'm not convinced I have a fondness for the Noro style varieties, I'm afraid.) What's more it is super warm, as testified by the Model, who remained toasty as anything when she wore it over the weekend in bracing temperatures on a frost covered beach. She also looks much better in it than I do, so I'm in danger of losing this hat if I'm not careful! As ever, more knitting notes are jotted down on Ravelry.

Yippee, we've received word that our house contents are getting ever closer (last seen in Los Angeles) and I am suddenly starting to feel the excitement levels rising. Despite the majority destined to sit in storage till the summer, I am hoping to at least retrieve my sewing equipment. Well, that's the plan anyway, can you see my fingers tightly crossed as I place my three wishes and prepare to breathe a huge sigh of contentment xxx

Have a super duper week!


then came the rain

Thank you for all your comments. To those of you living in a different time zone, you have no idea what a thrill it is to wake up and hear your familiar voices (metaphorically speaking naturally, although literally would be good too!). Of course, don't get me wrong, it is just as fantastic getting comments from this side of the globe but I'm not waking up to yours. I think you know what I mean?

The snow is all gone now, school is back on (although both mine have been off this week with the flu) and we have moved yet again. This time to a house we shall call home only till the end of spring and, although we can't truly settle for some months, it's a lovely place offering lots more space in which to enjoy the next two seasons. It just means we are having a somewhat nomadic start to our Canadian adventure but that's ok, we'll get there in the end.

Since moving in I have been busying myself with a certain amount of domesticity. Washing the clothing that has been quarantined these last few weeks so as to rid all evidence of the you know whats. I've also been doing a fair amount of baking, our local grocery store being a gold mine for the gluten free ingredients I had become so used to going far afield for with the car in London, or resorting to mail order .. and the children are such eager beneficiaries.

And yes, I've been lucky enough to fit in some knitting time. Two hats done now and I am happily clicking away on this project, in between trips to the kettle to refill cups of medicinal hot lemon and honey. I have also joined a short knitting course at the local yarn shop. What is it about yarn shops, they are always filled with the most amazingly friendly and interesting people.

There is a lot of rain here on the Pacific Northwest Coast, which makes me thankful now for all the practice with the wet stuff we endured back in the UK. However, I do like to console myself that when it pours down at street level, it is snowing up in those mountains! Nonetheless I have had to make an investment or two and if He will insist on joining a work (no other halves invited) jolly, sailing around the Bahamas, rather than keeping an eye on me then, quite frankly, what can He expect. Don't you agree? The husband may well rue the day he began nagging me to get used to the new car because what better incentive than the shops, I say. Wellies are certainly 'de rigeur' on the feet of any sensible person over here and I reckon if you have to wear such things, let them be stylish. Hear hear. Next up, an umbrella, for I still haven't succumbed and you can bet there's going to be a lot of choice in this town!

Interestingly enough, the weather has cheered up since penning this post but that's me for today, what are you up to?



We have had a lot of them recently. Firstly in Vancouver last month, a welcome event not only for us but for many locals too, snow in the city being somewhat of a rarity. And then again in the Rockies, where we spent the days between Christmas and New Year.

There are yet more snowflakes in 'Snöflinga' and oh, what a lovely hat this is. As it happens it is one of two hats finished over the holidays but I'm afraid any tardiness in organising photos can be blamed on the incredibly poor light we've had in the city for weeks now (will it ever brighten up, I wonder?), but probably more so because of the recent company I've been keeping. Incidentally, you may be pleased to hear that's all so last year dahling and here's where I put in a plug for good old store cupboard coconut oil on the head overnight, encased under a carefully and safely tied Wholefoods bag (one must always retain a modicum of style) as the way to go. Do this every two or three nights for a week or so (followed by a fair bit of nit picking) and it works a treat!

Those little critters were picked up during the first week of new school, I reckon, and to answer a variety of questions a few posts ago, yes they were of the Canadian nationality and no, they were no bigger than their UK cousins. Well, I assume not anyway because this was our first dalliance with the little blighters. The distressed Model was not best pleased at the thought of me announcing to the school our predicament but when I pulled the secretary aside and lowered my voice to a more discreet level, she declared 'oh yes, there are another two infected classes' and then 'welcome to Canada!'

Perhaps you didn't need to hear that much information, dear readers, but if you are a knitterly type and perhaps even a little chilly headed at the moment, you may feel the urge to read on.

Snöflinga means 'snowflake' in Swedish and those little bobbles around the centre are the fat, falling flakes. It is such an easy pattern, beautifully written, and never ever boring. Cascade Heathers in Aspen was my choice and here I must confess to being rather partial to this wool, it being such a pleasure to use and pleasingly economical too. More notes can be found here on Ravelry and if you fancy a good video tutorial for making the snowflake bobbles, there's one right here.

So, there you go, that's hat number one. Now tell me, have you got anything good on your needles right now?

A message for Leslie - thank you so much for your recent comment, thank you so much and apologies for the late reply. I can't find a way of contacting you directly so I hope you get this message. We visited Vancouver Island a couple of summers ago and fell in love with it .. Victoria, Tofino, Telegraph Cove, all stunning. I would love to take you up on your offer when we next come across that ferry. Thank you x


golden and white

The drive from the West Coast through the snow clad Rockies has been stunning, picture postcard perfect, in fact. Always below freezing temperatures but obligingly sunny, our days filled with several happy hours skiing and taking in the sheer size and spectacle of it all in Golden.

Then on to Calgary to visit old friends at their lakeside home. Looking across the lake, the view reminds me of Lowry's matchstick figures, or a traditional Christmas card with hockey-sticked skaters on thick ice where we kayaked two summers ago. Our friends introduced us to the Canadian national sport, something they have already embraced whole heartedly with three boys playing for city teams.

Of course, we immersed ourselves in everything on offer and have found it exhilarating, exciting and above all, fun. Let this new year commence, I say. Please, please do bring it on!

Happy New Year, everyone.