Saturday, November 06, 2010

Japanese Homestay

This weekend we are hosting 2 teenage japanese students through VIEC. Approximately 300 students from the same school travel together for a 'taste of Canadian life' to see if they wish to pursue an English program longer term. As a group they travelled by plane to Vancouver, chartered bus onto BC Ferries then to University Canada West where they had an orientation then were paired up with their host families. We got them home by 7pm, where we made a very quick omelet dinner. They had been travelling for 10 hours, were hungry, but excited, even though the time difference meant it was afternoon tomorrow in Japan!!

I'd say the omelet wasn't one of the student's favourites - I hope I can do better tomorrow! I bought stirfry beef, but didn't have time to make rice tonight, so for a quick dinner I made omelets with cheese and broccoli. I was considering smoothies, bagels and/or cereal for tomorrow...although the Japanese breakfast is considerably different. However, I am supposed to show them what we (as a Canadian family) would normally have...

I learned a couple of things, for instance, Japanese apple juice isn't as strong as it is I mentioned that my husband adds juice to flavour his water and that might be an option to try next time. I learned a Japanese greeting to say AFTER dinner is complete, however, I have no idea how to spell it :)

This is truly a great experience, one student showed me photos of his family and home tonight :) We brought out my husband's old trumpet for the other student to play - he oiled it, but its still a bit 'off' - he likes playing jazz like louie armstrong, etc...he liked looking at the sheet music we had as well.

Plus, our 5 yr old son was as entertaining as ever. The students brought us gifts, a beautiful japanese platter, origami sheets (they made a crane for me and an airplane for my son), as well as some rocket balloons that kept my son running around giggling all the while after dinner.

And, as it was a long day, they are calling it an early night - I guess it's likely a good thing that our clocks go back tonight - gives them an extra hour to adjust :)

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Hand-made Holidays

BATH, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27:  Christmas...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeIn past years, I've done alot of knitting for family gifts, and so saying we're going to do the "Hand-Made Holiday" challenge may not seem like a challenge, but it will be. Our son is just over 5 this year, and asks alot of questions about Santa and his workshop. I think it would be great this year if all the gifts under the tree were hand-made, so he can appreciate the uniqueness of everything AND consider "Santa's elves made this". There's not much time before he'll lose that magic of believing...although if he's anything like his mother (me), he'll believe no matter what :)

So our challenge - is convincing the rest of the family to NOT buy commercial toys, clothing - and instead purchase hand-made. I don't expect the rest of the family to make gifts, but there are certainly plenty of artisans, crafters, holiday craft fairs to purchase unique, one-of-a-kind hand-made items to keep this holiday season traditional and homey.

I'm excited...
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Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Hug Means so Much

I'm currently knitting some purple hats for Period of Purple Crying. It's a project to raise awareness that no baby should ever be shaken.

So, today, while I'm knitting my son looks at the hats and is quite intrigued. I tell him they are hats for new babies born in the hospital. At first he's worried I'm going to the hospital and I let him know that we (a group of my beginner's knitters and I) are dropping them off at a yarn store and they will take them to the hospital.

"So they are gifts to the new babies so they all get a hat when they are born?"

"Yes, just like you got one when you were born"

He then hugs me and thanks me for knitting hats for the babies.

I can't stop smiling :)
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Saturday, August 07, 2010

Running with Knitting...

Here are four colorful dishrags I knitted. The...Image via Wikipedia

As mentioned in yesterday's note, I was inspired by a photo in the June issue of Runner’s World Magazine about a knitter setting a record for the ‘longest scarf knitted in a marathon’ - I googled her and found her here: She doesn’t appear to be on Ravelry.

So last night I knit on the elliptical trainer - not a problem - cotton dishcloth, don’t need to look, I’m knitting on circular needles and could keep my running form…

Today, it was our long run (21km). So hubby and I run while our son rides his little bike out and back along the Galloping Goose Trail from just past the 13km marker to the 24km marker, then we have a snack and start running/riding back. I felt good at the start as knitting helped keep my neck/shoulder muscles in a more relaxed state than they were on last week's long run. I knit for first 3km, then spent the next 2km untangling the ball that slipped out of the belt :( - I own just one fanny pack, and my husband was wearing it with the snacks in it. Guess I learned a lesson to make sure I get another one or confiscate that one from him.
Sadly, due to rain I had to stop knitting :( - Because it was a cotton washcloth, it got really tough to pull those stitches along. Guess that's another lesson since the marathon is in October and might be similar rainy weather - I'll have to consider knitting wool(?)

I’ll try again tomorrow if the weather clears - we only have a "short" 6km run tomorrow :)
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Friday, August 06, 2010

Knitting at the RVM - hmmmm

Runner's WorldImage via Wikipedia

I've been quiet for a bit due to lots of other things going on in life. One of which is that my husband and I are training for the Royal Victoria Marathon (now supposedly known as the Good Life Victoria Marathon due to title sponsorship - I think they should have kept the Royal in the title, but I digress...)

I've had a couple of setbacks on the training however...I lost the month of June due to an unexplained cough that wouldn't go away...after a month on the puffer there was no difference, but give me 4 days on allergy pills, and it went away (too bad I didn't figure that out sooner!) Now that's behind me, my shoulder issue is flaring up while running as July/August has the longer runs starting now - we're going for mileage now, not just time!! Last Saturday (one week after I started training again), we had to do 16km - and the shoulder/neck muscles voiced their disagreement early into the run. Hubby, having significant knowledge about sports injuries, had me clench my hands/release and do some finger dexterity exercises - told my physio about this and he agreed that was 'bang on'. If the hands are in use, the shoulder muscles can't tense up! (hmmm, I joked with hubby that perhaps I should knit)

Anyhow, tomorrow we have a 21km run, and I decided to go read some Runner's World magazines for motivation. Well, what do you know, June 2010 issue had a reference to a knitter with a guiness record for longest scarf knitted while doing a marathon!!! Guess what I'm going to try on my run tomorrow ;)

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I'm knitting, honest I am!

Stitch N Bitch Knitting CaseImage by mirvettium via Flickr

Didn't realize how long its been since I last blogged!! During the Olympics - egads! Honestly, I've been knitting, but working both my business and around the house has kept me from blogging here (I'm blogging on my business blog).

I've been teaching sock knitting in my home since JDF Parks & Rec made an 'oops' and accidentally put my sock knitting class for spring in the fall folder, so there wasn't a class in the spring/summer brochure...but its been great to have a small class in my home to 'work out the kinks' and as a result we're likely going to continue all summer as a 'stitch n bitch' group on Saturday mornings. I have 3 other people from West-Mont school (parents and teachers) who want to learn knitting, so I'll teach them over the summer months while my sock knitters progress to more complicated stitch patterns on their socks :)

In the fall JDF Parks & Rec will be offering beginners knitting followed by Sock Knitting 101 again...but I'll keep the Saturday morning group as a support/help/coffee/chat group - although if we grow in size, it'll be time to find a coffee shop instead of my living room :)

You're welcome to join us - just drop me a line knitcaboose at
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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My first medal

I feel so honoured to have received my first Ravelympics medal and bouquet

Event: Aerial Unwind - a project that I had started in 1995 that was never to be finished, is now a pile of yarn to be used for something new and fantastic!

My next event will be posted soon!!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Teaching a class

A teacher writing on a blackboard.Image via Wikipedia

Well, tonight I'm teaching my first beginners knitting class. Well, not truly my "first" as I did create a knitting group a few years ago, taught some people knitting, and now one has gone on to design her own hats, knitting for a yarn shop, etc. (I digress)
Tonight is the first time I'll be a PAID teacher of knitting. It's through the Westshore parks & recreation, and although I don't have a full class, it is the first time JDF has offered knitting, and I hit my minimum class size on the first try! (There is still room though if you'd like to join in! )

I'm nervous, excited, and what calms me best in this situation is knitting...I just can't find my favourite knitting needles :(
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Saturday, January 02, 2010

Knitting choices...

A picture of double point knitting needles in useImage via Wikipedia

I've joined Team Canada for the Ravelympics (knitting olympics, accessible only by the 1/2 million members of Ravelry). Basically, this is competing in one or more categories of knitting/crocheting/spinning/weaving/designing from the time the torch is lit at the opening ceremonies, until the closing ceremonies of Vancouver 2010...I have a month+ to decide what I'm 'competing in'.

Most people pick something to challenge themselves...having done entrelac for a scarf for christmas, there goes a new 'technique' challenge for myself :( I've done 2socks on 2circulars, I've done magic loop, I've done toe up and toe down socks...I can't think of what I could complete in 17 days time and yet still challenge I'm searching interweave knits magazines, ravelry pattern lists for inspiration...while at the same time trying to figure out my christmas knitting list (probably good to make the knitting dual purpose right?)

My queue on Ravelry is a mile long, yet I can't decide on what I'll knit for 17 days?!?!?!

If you're up for it, join in! - (you need to be a ravelry member to log in).

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