Happy Stitches

Keep your stitches smiling!

Smelling the Roses, even in February February 15, 2010

Filed under: General Musings,Tancook Cottage — happystitches @ 12:28

Smelling the Roses, even in February.

The Pinstripe Sock pattern is all but done! I wish I could find time to knit more of them: there so many cool variations that one could make, and oh, are they sumptuous!
But, I’m champing at the bit to get back to the DK mitten (please, can I have a clone now …).


The sock pattern is written, been proof-read and laid out in In Design, so now we are into the final testing and photography stages. I have made a start on resuming the book “Cool Knitters Finish in Style”: I’m getting well into it again, but I will now publicly confess to playing hookey this week. (Hookey is English UK slang for sneaking off work).

Last weekend, just back from a planned mini ski vacation with my husband, I was dithering about taking the annual three day ski camp at our local hill, Wentworth, the very next week. Being self-employed is fine, but unless you do the work, nothing gets done!
I’ve been hoping to take this intensive ski course for the last few years but I’ve always been away at Medrona or Stitches West. However, my desire to stitch up the finishing book before I hit the flight paths in April was causing me to hesitate. Major guilt had its way with me. Luckily I have wonderful well-adjusted friends, husband and family, so when the subject came up for discussion I was soundly informed that, since all relevant factors (the weather forecast, the snow conditions, all limbs currently sound and even an offer of accommodation with a friend near the hill) seemed aligned in a most auspicious way, I would be crazy to miss this opportunity. I was still feeling torn, right up to the moment of departure, but off I went.

What a wonderful experience it turned out to be, on so many levels. I wound up in a small group of female skiers being coached by an expert, and after three days I really felt that I had made a significant improvement in my technique. Coming late (in years) to skiing leaves one with an awful lot to learn! I also really enjoyed meeting and spending time with the group; I tend to remain rather solitary when I’m home in Nova Scotia, socializing only with knitters. I have been heard to mutter that I only go out to go to the airport.

Our group drew from all walks of life and was an amazingly supportive gang to hang with as we wrestled with our personal demons! What totally amazed me was that about 70% of them were knitters! That’s way above the national average. It caused a degree of amused puzzlement amongst the male skiers when we all gathered eagerly around my double-knit sock at lunchtime. Double-knitting always intrigues: men, women, knitters and non. Hopefully from this start we will develop an apres-ski knitting group (so I can hang out with even more knitters)! It was amusing to find that our ski coach thought that I was pulling his leg when, during show-and-tell, I admitted that knitting was my only form of gainful employment. This from a man who teaches SKIING!!

On my return, I decided to place a wholesale order for Omo (wool-silk yarn) from Curious Creek, as the socks were so totally irresistible in the combination of Cat’s Pajamas and Omo that I’d like to be able to kit them together (the mittens-in-progress will also be in this combo). Imagine my surprise when I received a speedy reply from Kristine saying that she’d be able to get my order out before she left. Left? She had just received an invitation to crew on a 40’ sailing boat for about 3 months, going from Panama to the Galapagos to French Polynesia! Wow. What an amazing opportunity. Her husband had been instrumental in urging her to go (another wonderful man).

I totally take my hat off to Kristine for taking this chance. It will be a life-changing experience and it will undoubtedly pay dividends in her future creativity. I know that she will be very anxious about upsetting her loyal customers and briefly abandoning her business (they take on the nature of a demanding and all-consuming child).

But in the overall scheme of things, provided you are not on the bread line, a delay in receiving a few skeins of yarn will not change the universe. When Kristine is no longer able to be this physically active (which can happen without notice, and frequently does), she will have wonderful memories and no regrets.
We could all benefit from seizing the moment and living it to the full: most of us are only temporarily able-bodied and brained. We need to keep in mind that we work to live, not the other way round. Have an amazing trip, Kristine!

In keeping with the CARPE DIEM theme (thanks for that, old Horace), this particular instance of my blog is being written on the Tancook Island ferry: I’m off to the cottage for lunch with friends, to see Hillary’s latest photographic offerings (more on these in a forthcoming blog) and, ta da, to see the new doors that have now been installed between the sewing and sitting rooms. (These have been anticipated eagerly for the last 10 months – I’m really excited.) Once I reach the island the computer will be closed and stay that way.

Follow-up to the above (upon leaving the island): what a glorious day on the island. It just can’t get much nicer: calm with blue sky and sunshine. The new doors are fabulous! Not only do they transform the small square room that they were intended to improve, as it now has twice the light and an ocean view, but, unexpectedly, the main sitting room is vastly enhanced too. The whole ground floor feels spacious! I could bear to live here.

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4 Responses to “Smelling the Roses, even in February”

  1. Virginia Says:

    Mmmm… skiing. I really want to go.

    And yes, we have the term playing hooky in American English also. 🙂

    Sometimes we even play hooky ourselves. (I don’t think there’s an agreed upon spelling of the term though)

  2. Cheryl Waters Says:

    I’m so glad that both you and Kristine have reminded us of the importance of stopping and smelling the roses. We need to do more of that.

  3. Julia Holland Says:

    Hah, I work for a bunch that thinks people should do nothing but work, sleep and eat (and if they could get rid of the latter 2 items, they would, believe me). It’s one of my bedrock beliefs that we should work to live, not the other way around. Good for you, Lucy, taking time off and enjoying all the lovely things life has to offer!

    I love your decor at the Tancook place, BTW, and your walls are the exact shade of yellow of my upstairs hallway 🙂 Bold and beautiful!

  4. susanna eve Says:

    It looks like your cottage is turning into a tiny perfect house:)


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