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Well, goodness. This summer thing really does wreak havoc with my blogging time. What with working hard to have time to get away on vacation, then actually going on vacation (camping…more on that later) and then returning with family members in tow and heading right back to work…sheesh, time has flown!

So, a bit of catching up is in order.

I made a few more Lizard Ridge squares, and have now finished 15 of the 30 I’ll need. How pretty is this??

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I may just keep producing the squares and stacking them around the house. They’re that satisfying.

I also finished the 3 x 1 ribbed socks and gave them to my sister Marie as a very belated birthday gift:

Marie's socks June 2008

Pattern: personal pattern
Yarn: Meilenweit 100 Cotton Fondo by Lana Grossa, in colour 6508
Needles: Harmony 3.0 and 2.5 mm dpns from Knit Picks

Marie prefers a sock with lots of give, so I experimented with larger needles. She swears that these socks fit well and don’t fall down even after she rides her exercise bike or runs up and down the stairs, so I’ll call them a success.

And yes, those are pews in the background of the photo. It’s like this: I needed a foot model before sending the socks in the mail. My knitting friend Shakti visited my office and was willing to save the day. The lighting in the chapel down the hall was perfect. So there.

* * * * *

Earlier this month, my parents (visiting from Newfoundland) and three sisters (two from Ottawa, one from Newfoundland) and their families joined us in northern New Brunswick at Sugarloaf Provincial Park. We frolicked with cousins from Florida as well as our many relatives living in the area. These people were born for fun, let me tell you!

The intrepid among us pitched tents in carefully chosen adjacent sites and created our humble version of the Kennedy compound.

Campsite - Campbellton July 2008

And look, we found Tiger (in the) Woods!

tiger roaring July 2008

He was exercising his knee by climbing up and down a stump.
Keep up the good work, Tiger.

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You may remember that I made a vow at the beginning of 2008 to knit only from my stash of yarn for the rest of the year. You may also recall my little slip with the Dream in Color Smooshy. Since most of it was for my daughter I was able to justify it to a degree.

I have also acquired (not without guilt) some skeins of Kureyon for my Lizard Ridge blanket, but my friend Debbie assures me that they don’t count as cheating because I need them for an ongoing project. I love Debbie.

Overall, though, I have been doing well with my stash reduction plan. So how do I explain this??
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I think the altitude got to me and muddled my brain.

You see, I was in Kelowna, BC, a few weeks ago, and while I know that it is technically in a valley, you have to understand that this prairie girl-turned-Maritimer gets a little bit excited when she sees something like this:
BC mountains

Look closer:
BC mountains through clouds
Yup. Those are mountains, peaking THROUGH the clouds. Gotta love that.

The next thing I know, I’m enjoying the view from my balcony in Kelowna, and thinking, “Wow, I feel close to the sky here!”
View from Grand Okanagan, Kelowna BC

Of course it wasn’t long before I had that thought familiar to all travelling knitters worth their salt: “Gee, I bet a place like this would have a great yarn store.”

The Yellow Pages revealed that Art of Yarn was just far enough away from my hotel to be a good exercise walk. Not exactly true. It was way too far, but I am nothing if not determined when I am about to give in to temptation.

The store was absolutely lovely, as was the lady working there. I ended up buying two skeins of mercerized cotton to make a bag, two balls of Kureyon for Lizard Ridge, two balls of Kidsilk Haze in a perfect shade to match several family members’ eyes, and three of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

As my card-playing buddies from university days used to say, “Come big or stay home.”

I had to set about using the yarn immediately in order to ensure that it wouldn’t technically enter the stash. Thus, this baby hat for the newest member of my husband’s family, his beautiful great-nephew, Brayden.

Debbie Bliss hat for Brayden 2
Pattern: Striped Hat by Debbie Bliss from Baby Cashmerino 2
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino
Needles: 3.25 mm

This was my first time knitting with the Baby Cashmerino, and I must say that it is buttery soft. Absolutely worth the long walk and the guilty conscience. (^_^)

I am never one to turn down an adventure, and last week I got to tag along with my best road trip buddy to the Charlevoix region in Quebec. It was my first time in that area, and I must say that it was gorgeous.

This was the view from our room:

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Although I did do a fair bit of work while I was there, I was also able to enjoy a change of scenery and the opportunity to stretch my office-cramped legs and go for some long walks. I also knit a bit, of course!

I finished two Lizard Ridge squares. One was made up from the leftover bits of Kureyon from the first ten squares, because I can’t bear to let those little balls go to waste. Here they are, bursting out of my Booga Bag:

Lizard Ridge Kureyon jumble May 2008

I am still loving this pattern, but progress has been a bit slower as I have been forcing myself to do other things. Like trying to finish the third pair of socks for 2008… the 3×3 ribbed pair which I will be gifting to… oops, I can’t say! I am 75% finished and hope to bring them down the home stretch on the weekend…which should be easy, since I’ll be taking a cross-country plane trip. They’d better let my beautiful Harmony needles on the plane or I will have a serious hissy fit right at Security.

Funny, I remember going to the U.S. from Canada less than two months after September 11, 2001. I flew in and out of several airports in Texas, and there were men and women from the National Guard everywhere. At one airport they had an older woman behind a screen for inspection, because the hooks on her girdle were setting off alarms. They were confiscating nail clippers and tweezers, but I was astonished to discover that long metal knitting needles were allowed on board! Wow. I remember thinking that it would be pretty hard to nail-clip someone to death.

Anyway, I’ll be taking a variety of needles with me, just in case. The reason I’m anxious to get the socks done is that my husband’s nephew and his wife are expecting a baby boy very soon, and I would like to make him a little something. Maybe something like this striped hat.

But back to Quebec… I understand that there is a book on the market called French Women Don’t Get Fat. I’m not sure what the premise of the book is, but I know the real reason they don’t get fat: it is because they stretch their meal out over hours and hours. Holy cow. I’m all for lingering over a beautifully prepared meal, but at one point I thought my friend was going to gnaw on the table leg, and I actually had to go back to my room (remember the cramped office legs?) after waiting for 2.5 hours for my fruit and cheese plate. I’m not kidding! It was because people meandered into the dining room to join our party, and the staff was too well-trained to serve our main course before the newcomers received their appetizers!

Too funny. Of course everything was delicious and beautiful in the Charlevoix area…just have some carrot sticks before you get there.

And bring your camera. I snapped some quick photos on my walk into La Malbaie, the nearest village. There were churches aplenty along the way, and it is hard not to feel close to God when this is what greets you around every corner:

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And here was another little divine moment…sitting on the deck with my knitting and tea, with a gorgeous view and birds tweeting nearby:

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Life is good.

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