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Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

The mountain view we enjoy from home changes minute by minute.

Here is how it looked yesterday and today.


Then I added a little color from one of our geraniums.

As seen through the trees

And the elves continue their work.

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The elves have been busy at my house making and wrapping handmade gifts. There were lots of owls in the house before they topped the grandkids’ heads.

Owl toppers, hats and a shopping bag

No spoiler alert needed because our families already gathered for the holiday celebration. The gang has quickly grown too big to stay at our house so we rented a bigger house and a fun time was had by all. I ate my first fried turkey, 16 pounds in 45 minutes, cooked by my son, and tossed some donuts in the oil when the turkey(s)! we’re done. It was delicious and now we have the best turkey soup I ever made.

There were more hats,

Pom poms were a hit this year

and even a little pottery this year in my handmade gifts.

Snow conditions were ideal and we have been snowshoeing in the woods and mountains.

Snow at home

Hurricane mountain clouds

Can’t get lost here

My elf work is almost done so now I can sit back and enjoy the season.

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We traveled for 20 hours on Wednesday and are gradually recovering from jet leg.   Spring is just on the brink of arriving. A strong storm blow through yesterday, with wind, thunder and lightning.  Our Davis Weather Station reported the highest wind since we’ve lived here: 42 mph. Lots of power outages.

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Our county is the one where hardly anyone has power. I was happy to use my Coleman lantern and candles last night, while we read and knit. This is the Forest Path stole I began the plane to Ireland. It’s too complicated to put down and I’ll keep knitting it. At the airport security check, they asked me if I had knitting needles in my bag.  I said I did, with two weeks worth of knitting that they could not have. They laughed, confirmed I had knitting needles and let me pass.

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We set up the generator and all is well.   Today is glorious and sunny.  Lots of birds singing,. and the woodpeckers are hammering away.  It was a long winter indoors. What I love most about our travel and caretaking lifestyle is the opportunity to spend long stretches outdoors.

But Tim needed his headlamp to play the piano today.

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And apparently we’re having company!

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There’s never a dull moment here on Protection Island. We combine our island chores with our own hobbies and interests every day.

Today for instance, I wanted oreo cookies. We won’t be ashore for a few days and didn’t buy them on our last shopping trip but luckily I found a great recipe on the internet. You can see it here. I just happened to have all the ingredients, mostly, on hand. A well stocked larder is the key to life’s pleasures. We don’t have a mixer or beater and we don’t even have a wooden spoon in our kitchen. But my hands and a strong, long handled, metal serving spoon did the trick. Although I overcooked them a little and shaped the cookies too big, they are delicious and satisfied my craving. I may let Tim eat one or two as well.

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Yesterday I reached a milestone. I finished knitting a lace shawl I started for my daughter in 2015 while we were caretakers on Deal Island, Tasmania. I wrote about it here. I knit the body of the shawl, which measured 60 x 30″, during our 3 month fall season there and brought it home to  “just” finish the edging. I could knit about 3 inches of edging a night, there were 17 feet of edging to knit, or 204 inches, which basically would have taken 3 solid months, every night. But other projects intervened. So with some devoted knitting time here and the courage finally to rip out my provisional cast on, the shawl is complete. The pattern was recreated from a lace stole made in the Shetland Islands by Mrs. Jane Thomasina Williamson and was a joy to knit.

Here’s my version.

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I’ll wait until I get home to wash and block it in our pristine well water.

The other activity I obviously enjoy is taking photographs. The scenery and wildlife are inspiring. Sometimes unexpected, to me at least, results occur. I took a few photographs of sunset when we went out for a walk after dinner. I must confess, I almost always only use my iphone these days for photos. I am sooo lazy. I even gave away my SLR camera.

Anyhow, when I looked at the photos, they were marred by a green dot. Not the rumored green flash seen at sunset. A distinct dot off to the side. A quick google search revealed it happens commonly with the iphone camera because…well the reason eluded me. Something about not having filters and a reflection off the lens. It may be prevented by aiming the camera so the green dot ends up in the middle of the bright light. Or it can be edited from the photo. Since I already had the shots I chose to edit them.

Here is the original photo, I was trying to catch a silhouette of a cruise ship leaving the Strait of Juan de Fuca near the New Dungeness Lighthouse.

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Notice the green dot. Next I tried to edit it with Snapseed. This was my first attempt with interesting results. The area I “healed” ended up in a different place and two ships appeared.

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Interesting but not what I was aiming for. Here’s the final version.

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See how the day flies by?

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That’s what they say when a woman goes into labor. Preparations must be made. Our third grandchild was born on Monday, 4 + weeks early. We are thrilled but weren’t quite prepared. I had started to knit this lovely sweater during our trip to the Olympic Peninsula. It’s a pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee called Noveau-ne. It will be lovely but could not be finished in time for Tim’s departure. Here’s how far along I am.

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It needs a little more length and a couple of sleeves, and a bonnet and maybe booties. I thought I had plenty of time. We both had planned to be home individually to span the projected arrival. Ah the best laid plans. Tim spent most of Monday rescheduling his trip. It entailed a boat ride ashore at 04:45 yesterday. I finally saw the sunrise, or was awake enough to take a photo. It was lovely when we left the island after the wind from Monday settled down.

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I dropped him off at the marina and headed back to the island, where I’m the only inhabitant at the moment. He took a bus, ferry, bus, 2 planes, bus, train and should be there by today. Ah modern travel.

I thought I would put something together fast so all day Monday, while Tim arranged his trip with airlines, bus companies, hotels, etc. and waited for word on the labor’s progression, I pieced together several squares woven on a 4″ pin loom. I have to confess, the squares came with the second hand loom but I had it in mind I would make a bonnet or something from them. Then I got more ambitious and made a vest.

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It is sort of sweet but in the end, I decided it gave me something to do rather than pace or boil water and served its purpose. I didn’t send it off with Tim. I’ll decide if little Juniper gets it when I am home.

In the meantime, the eagles and deer will look after me while I am here on my own.

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A pair of caretakers we met in Tasmania said every day they tried to do something for themselves, something for the island and something physical.  They had a cute acronym I can’t remember, PIG (physical, island, growth); CrEW (create, exercise, work); CARE (create, activity, read, enhance; or caretake, activity, read, exercise).  You get the idea, something like that. We’ve found a pretty nice balance.

We have to clean the dock and boat every day, not as bad as it sounds.  It uses water pressure mostly and is fairly gratifying.  I proposed we sit and spray the seagulls before they even soil the dock instead but it’s probably frowned upon on at a bird refuge.

We keep the cabin tidy and mow the grass around buildings.

We worked as migrant labor for a few days and dug up 15 gallons of daffodil bulbs. No easy task in chest high grass. I’m only mildly broken.  Hope the sale goes well.

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Tim practices piano a couple of hours a day.  I knit, weave, bake, and read. I’ve completed two sweaters, one was basically done before we got here and has come in very handy.  We either wear long sleeve wool shirts or sleeveless shirts.  There doesn’t seem to be an in between.

I bake bread, pizza, pies and crisps.  Have to keep my partner happy.

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I usually weave a bit in the morning. I finished a belt, am trying to learn Andean pebble weave on a backstrap loom, and have some card weaving projects in mind.

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I knit up a bag to use on our bikes when we go shopping from leftover scraps.

IMG_1457Now I’m trying to finish a lace shawl I started in 2015 for my dear daughter. It may happen.

And I take pictures.

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The island and its inhabitants are very photogenic.

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That’s me. The daffodils we marked a couple of weeks ago with one foot tall flags are now surrounded by chest high grass. It makes finding them, surprisingly challenging. But I gathered a shovel and bucket and off I went to harvest daffodil bulbs to take off island to possibly sell as a fundraiser for the Friends group. I labored for a couple of hours and collected a bucket full of bulbs from about 25 plants.

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When I looked up from my work I saw a deer grazing nearby who couldn’t care less about me.

I finished knitting a sweater I made for myself that began in earnest on our plane ride on April 24.  I love it. I may get to wear it over the next couple of days when the weather will be wet and cool.

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The pattern was Ennis Pullover by Sarah Solomon and it was an interesting knit. Now on my needles is a mesh market bag so we can hold our food in a secure bag on the bike rack.

i wanted to clear out the refrigerator leftover sauce and cheese so made a delish pizza for lunch.

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And challenged myself to make a cake from scratch, without even a hand mixer or wooden spoon! We only have a large serving spoon that serves as a wooden spoon and a plastic whisk. But it worked.

We weren’t the only ones who ate well yesterday. This crab was on our porch when I must have interrupted a seagull’s feast.

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After my work was done, I took a walk and watched the eagles soar.

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The wind picked up and they were able to hang on the air.

 

 

 

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