Tuesday, February 22, 2011


 Last night we had a special guest come and skate with our club, Scott Bickerton.

The whole club was terribly excited to have him come - Nelson is his home skating club, and he was among the founding skaters of it in 1999.  He now trains in Calgary, at the long track, and competes in World Cup, World Junior and National level races.

We were all a little star struck, to be honest!

Scott was lovely: friendly and generous with his time and autographs.  I hope he knows how much it means to all the athletes to have had him come out and skate with us.  It was so inspiring for everyone!

We all learn so much by watching, by listening, by being out there with skaters who are further along in their journey of perfecting technique.

As a family with two young men growing up in it, we are always aware of the male influences in the world around our boys: in the culture in general, and in our community. I think this is a pretty confusing time to be growing into a young man.  Many of the boys that I meet in the same age range as our two are heavily into video games, often 1st person shooters (and think that they'll grow up to be video game testers). Having the opportunity to meet Scott, with his kindness, his openness and his obvious dedication to his sport was a real gift.

Thanks, Scott.  Spending a few hours of your life with us was a major event in ours.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

A first of sorts

It's not a gold, but it a first for me.  It's the first medal I've ever earned for any sport.

Great fun speed skating day yesterday in Vernon...


Happy to be home,


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Recent finishes

 This past weekend I got a lot of spinning and knitting done...

Most of the fleece from Bella is spun into yummy thin singles.  I'm doing wool that's about 15 WPI (wraps per inch) as a general rule, which makes me happy!  I found that the secret with this particular fleece seems to be: comb, comb and comb again.  The final wool from this fleece is much softer than what I was spinning up from the previous one.  There could be a couple of reasons for that:

  • Greater time and care directed to the carding/combing process
  • cleaner fleece
  • more experience
  • soft undercoat hairs distributed well throughout the wool
I'm getting better at the spinning part, too.  This fleece has been easier to spin straight from the rolags without pre-drafting.  Again, I'm not sure why that is.  I'm sure more experience will teach me.

In the meantime, I made the thrummed mitts above using purchased Merino roving (that I originally intended to do needlefelting with and now will probably just spin) from this pattern.  For those who are not familiar with thrumming, look it up!  It's Canadian!

The first time I saw a pair of thrummed mitts was a pair my friend Frances was wearing at an Elementary School assembly that we were both attending as parents.  In those days, Monday mornings would consist of walking the boys to school, then heading to the gym to watch the weekly school assembly...and catch up and visit with friends!  Considering the size of the community and the groups of parents who would routinely attend on those mornings, I think most of the behind-the-scenes connections for volunteer powerhouses such as soccer league, youth society projects, etc., were made during that brief weekly convergence at our kids' school.  Funny, I haven't thought about that in quite a while!  It was a real gift to be working at home during those years, to be able to attend things like that.

The other thing that got finished this weekend is my short sleeved cardigan...with wool that was a Christmas gift from my Mom and Dad. (THANK YOU!!)  I would link up the pattern here, but it seems to only exist as a Ravelry download.  If you are a member, look it up as 'Star-cross'd love'.  You should be able to find it through the pattern search function.  Or write me, and I'll hook you up to the .pdf.

I managed to get it done and blocked and was able to wear it to work on Tuesday this week...one of my co-workers, whenever I was working on it during my lunch break, would come over and say, "So, watcha making for me?"
The first time he did this, I said,"A vest, but I think it's going to be a bit small for you." We had a bit of a laugh, as he is quite a bit bigger than I am... and it became a bit of a running joke.  He would ask how his vest was coming along, etc.

So I made him a little vest.

A very little vest.  It measures about 1" wide, finished and worn by the little man at left.

Tuesday morning, I left it in his mailbox at work.

You see, he never asked what I was making for myself!