Friday, June 30, 2006

Little brown

I have pawed through my wardrobe finally declaring, "I have nothing to wear!" Who hasn't? In fact, I have done this more than once. Usually when this happen I feel a need to shop.
The thought of wearing one dress for 365 alarms me. I enjoy playing with fashion. I like talking with clothing. This passion could have been what lead me to design.
Yet, there is one woman alive who is not alarmed by wearing one dress for 365 days. Read about it on:
I logged on and read: 'A one-woman show against fashion'. Strange I didn't see it that why. Instead I saw a salute to accessorizing. : )

Tomorrow: Happy Canada! The wearing of the red and white.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Writing school

Do you know the Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young song: Driving School. This song has nothing to do with today's post - of course. Of course.
Mayne Island beauty. The last scene you see as you leave us for the ferry. How can you go? Oh, well, we know you'll be back.

The 11th Annual
Victoria School of Writing
A five-day summer intensive session
July 16th - 21st

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Kristen Key is going down

Do you watch 'Last Comic Standing'? Then you saw last nights challenge. Magazines where presented to the comics in brown envelops. From this stack they had to choose one to do a one minute "stick" on. Kristen Key selected 'Modern Knitting'. Kristen, "Who reads this magazine, anyway? Lonely spinsters." She played right into the stereotype. I am so glad she didn't win that challenge. Come on, to be funny, comedy must be like a good dinner: served fresh. Am I a stand-up comic - ah, no. I am a critic and I know what I like. I don't enjoy the borderline desperate comedy where a white guy pokes fun at other nationalities so I can't say I am sad to see Joey Gay go. Chris Porter shows some promise. But really no one has stood out for me yet.
Let's all wave good-bye to Kristen Key. I have no trouble laughing at knitting but come on show originality.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Messing around

I left the windows of my studio open last night: causing a breeze. This has helped tons. Now that I am hiding out from the sun in my tiny little studio I am realizing the mess that has accumulated. Embrassement prevents me from taking a picture. I feel like a treasure hunter. Speaking of which, have you caught the new show. It's pretty cool. ...but then we all my weakness for reality TV.

Monday, June 26, 2006

...but, baby, it's hot outside!

The weather forecaster has announced that today we will hit late June highs across the province. And I say, "Bully" No, I'm sorry I can't say that I am at all thrilled. I'm not built for hot weather. I love the sun but I hate the heat. Once the temperature hits the high 20s my body begins to shut down. It can't help it's self. I drag my body around willing it to move. I feel like I am wearing four fur coats. It hurts my brain to think.
Ironically, just a short couple of days ago, when we where experiencing unseasonably chilly weather, I was pinning for summer. I had forgot the effect it has on me. "Where is summer?" I pinned.
Well, I guess I now know where it is. Ah?
Sure there are things that I can do to combat the heat. Sure there are. Only trouble is that means I will have to move.
Maybe just maybe I will find the strength to crawl up the hill. There is always a breeze up there. Wish me luck.
Stay cool!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Wasn't that a party

Managing this blog has changed me. Before the blog I would not have dreamed of bringing a camera to a party. Taking pictures would bring too much attention to the photographer. I was tempted to leave my camera at home. ...and so I found a purse that the camera fit in and one that it did not. I presented both to Hubby. "Which purse do you think I should take?" I enquired. He choose the one with the camera - sealing my fate.
The invite:
My sexy firefighter escort. Okay, maybe I should have warned him about the camera. ...but what would be the fun in that. The presence of the camera did convince him to keep me on the dance floor. So I just may take it with me to all such functions. : )
The band: in their present state they are "Tender Vitals". Add a guy and they become "Spank the Kitty". Hum, I wonder why they choose those particular names? Could it have anything to do with the fact that our local vet is the blonde behind the piano? Yup.
I can not sit down when they let loose. Absolutely perfect combination of songs.

And, of course, our esteemed fire chief.
Or at least his tie.

To sum up the whole event with one word: FUN!!!!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

The design

Today, everything worked so beautifully. ...and so with no further delay here is what I will wearing tonight.
I love how this design turned out. The stitch pattern is so lovely and fits the design so nicely. I decided to tie the hood closed. Of course, alternatively, you could make the I-cord shorter and sew on a button.
This design needs a name. Can you help? Hope so. If so, please email your suggestions to Subject line: naming.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Having a ball

Mayne Island volunteer fire department is being honoured with a ball. I am being escorted to the event by a sexy firefighter - Hubby. To celebrate I have knit a new design. After my busy day, I will post a picture.

Well, I have to apologize. I was hoping to be able to post a picture of my new design. Hubby kindly took the pictures. No trouble there. Except of course the fact that my relationship with the camera is still strained. Beyond on that, however, all was well. Until I attempted to post the picture on the blog. I tried one time - no go. I tried two times - no go. I tried three, four, five times. ...and well I think you can guess. Needless to say I am a little frustrated right now. I will try again tomorrow and hopefully that will work. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Knitting on the beach

Traditionally, summer meant the end of knitting. Time to store it in cedar chests until autumn's breeze beckoned. How times have changed. Judging from the number of orders I have had recently, it seems more and more knitters refuse to say good-bye to their craft. And why should they? Summer is the time to knit in cotton, flax, silk, hemp, bamboo and the list goes on. Knitting makes it possible to be industrious while you lull on the beach. So knit on, my friends, knit on!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

What makes me happy

Red marks on my paper
Make me happy

To improve as a writer you must write. However, this will only take you so far. You must also finely tune your craft. Find weak spots and weed them out. How do you do this? When I read my "stuff" I smile at my brilliance. What weak spots? I wonder. The best people to find your flaws are other writers. Lay your writing bare and allow others to run through it with red pen in hand. Does this hurt? Yup. This is why you must pick these critics with care. A careless (some may say mean) critic can damage a new writer. A critic may even end a career before it has begun. Alternatively, caring, competent critics can lead you to higher heights. Heights you never knew you could attain. Last night Mayne's Islands writers group meet. Five writers, five friends, five seeking to soar or helping to find wings. Three of us laid our babies bare. Great care was taken but it was still criticism. Not for the weak of heart. We all survived. We all grew.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Why support groups work

For those of you who have not heard enough about my wrists. Or who, heaven forbid, have not read the previous posts. You are in luck.
A brief recap: I am suffering pain and numbness in my wrists due to over-use. Namely, knitting for eight hours a day.
I must confess that my relationship with pain has been greatly limited. Woman have this rep. of having a high pain threshold. Sadly, this does not include me. The last time I had an extended stay in a hospital was when I was eighteen months old. So, you can guess, whenever I feel any degree of pain I become a big baby. In light of this, you can guess how I appeared at the gym on Saturday. Tensor bandage around my wrist. Luckily, I ran into a friend who had had an operation for carpal tunnel. After listening politely to my plight, she reassured me by stating what I had was nothing. She recommended that I buy splints for my wrists and wear them to bed. This and other recommendations I have followed. I feel my wrists healing as I write. Well, to be truthful I probably will feel better after I stop typing.
That's why support groups work. When you encounter others who are or have been in your position you gain strength from them. You learn that you are not alone. You gain hope from their success. You gain knowledge on how to overcome. Live on with fearlessness my friends.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Jazz it up

So what happened yesterday? Why was there no post? It started out as a normal day. My wrists were a little sore but nothing major. I had to check my email, log on to my web site and then make my post. I had a finite amount of time to get it all done. I checked my email. I logged on to my web site. Then everything froze. Frustrating? I'll say. So I gave my computer a time out and it is behaving much better today.

The "three wishes baby blanket" is one of the few remaining free patterns offered on The three wishes are: love, happiness, and health. The blanket is knit in a simple garter stitch. So as you knit you can work in these three wishes.

Yesterday, I received a request for ideas to add excitement to the edges. My ideas: If you enjoy embroidery why not add some stitches to the edges. One of my favourite stitches is the blanket stitch. Add this detailing in a contrasting colour. Or you could choose the same colour only in a darker tone.

Adding a fringe or a four tassels would also add excitement. Cut yarn approximately 12 inches long. For a fringe, cut enough pieces of yarn to decorate the entire edge of the blanket. Or, alternatively, you could simply decorate the top and bottom. Space the fringe out evenly. You can do this by adding fringe every two inches. Or whatever you think looks best. To make the fringe you can use the same yarn you used for the blanket or use a contrasting colour or a darker tone. Tassels may be added to the four corners of the blanket. Cut approximately 40 pieces of yarn 12 inches long. Divide the pieces into four piles of 10. Corner by corner thread these pieces into the exact same place. Then tassel by tassel use a knot to attached the tassel to the blanket.

Making fringe and tassels may be a good topic for future posts. Stay logged on.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Be a social knitter

Finally, I have finished being probed for yet another year. No, I was not captured by aliens. Worse I am a female with generation upon generation of cancer victims and survivors. We all know how important it is to have a mamogram. This does not stop it from sucking, however. Okay, I am a wimp I will freely admit this. A mamogram is only the beginning of this yearly adventure. Far more delights are to be had. I will not go into it here. It's enough to say that I am done.

Anyway, while I was at the Doctor's I mentioned my wrists to her: my wrists have been feeling numb lately. She asked me how often I knit? I said often over eight hours a day. Well, her response, "That's was just silly." She has limited me to four hours a day. No more than four hours a day. I began to panic. This is my bread and butter. More than that it is what I do to unwind. Take away my ability to walk or breath on my own but for Pete's sake let me have my knitting needles. Sound familiar? I know. I know. I sound like a heavy smoker or an alcoholic. I can just see the ads now. "Are you being effected by someone's heavy knitting. Don't let this happen to you. Learn to knit socially."

Trouble is that knitting is viewed as a positive thing. Hubby loves it when I knit for the office baby arrivals. He has even started asking me, "So and so has just had a baby were is there sweater, uh" In fact, he has taken on the responsibility of finding events and people for which to knit. What a pusher?

So, four hours, my life literally pasted before my eyes. I can say good-bye to my knitwear designer career, I thought. The Doctor sensing my mood said, "You're young surely there is something else besides knitting that you want to do with your life?" "Write" was my response. I wonder if you have to use your wrists for that?

With the dawn comes clarity. She said, "No more than four hours." She did not say that I have to sell all my knitting supplies and never touch another knitting needle. It will take careful planning and care. For example, no more bulk knitting. Meaning, focusing on my writing and design. Limiting the places which carry my hand knits to Artcraft on Salt Spring Island. Also caring more for my wrists.

There are things I can do. Not all is lost. Keep a stiff upper lip, as my Dad would say.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Stephen King

I found this book on tape in a bargain bin. I wasn't sure what I was buying. How could a book improve my writing? However, it was only $9. so what would it hurt. I purchased it. Finally I had time to listen. I found hidden between anecdote upon anecdote a font of knowledge. One of the tips: attempt to write at the same time each day. Even though it doesn't look like if you review the time of this week's posts, I do try to follow this advice. I have found that is a valuable piece of advice. In fact, there are many treasures to be found. Book or tape this is a wise purchase for any aspiring writer.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Bambi is a Mayner too.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Walking the tightrope

We all walk a tightrope. A fine line which defines who we are. Many of us walk this tightrope carefully: tiny steps, cautious balance. Nothing fancy. Looking over at another's performance we may see a few tricks: a little leap, larger steps. Looking down we see their safety net. Its a long way down. Yet there is a smile on their face. We wonder, "What would happen if we tried that? Would our safety net catch us? Would we too walk our tightrope with a smile?" It's a lot to risk. What do we have to gain?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

On an island

'Somewhere among the notebooks of Gideon I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction fo spirit. There are people, Gideon used to say, by way of explanation, who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born "islomanes", he used to add, are the direct descendants of the Atlanteans, and it is towards the lost Atlantis that their subconscious yearns thoughout their island life.' (p.19, Burnt Bones by Michael Slade)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Busy weekend

Soccer Fans: First day of the World Cup. Listen to CBC radio to keep informed.
Knitters: Knit Out. Travel to Saxe Point in Esquimalt (Vancouver Island, BC) Sunday, June 11th, 2006 11 am - 4 pm (For more info., please read my 4/11/2006 post)
For those with refined theatrical taste: MILT's (Mayne Island Little Theater) 25th year Celebrations. Last night was opening night and boy oh boy did it go well. The fans were delighted. It runs until Saturday, June 10th. Doors open at 8 pm. Arrive early as seats are first come, first sit.
Lots to do, see, and cheer.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

What besooke me on the 6th day of the 6th month of the 6th year.

Ignorant of the significance of the day I ventured forth. Suddenly a sorceress appeared. A mealy ensued where upon she pierced me through draining me of my life force and leaving me for dead. I summed forth my powers of healing and miraculously I survived. Only to be imprisoned in a castle. My capturer made me toll night and day. I fought with a fiery dragon, overcame it, and made it do my bidding. Together we explored the outer reaches of the castle. There in the tallest tower I found my teasure. Victorious I returned to my capturer who granted my release.

For those who care, my hubby will now translate:
Yesterday Leanne had an appointment to have her blood tested. From there she went to one of her "island" jobs: cleaning Oceanwood country inn. Although, Oceanwood is the most expensive accommodations on the island I would not describe it as a castle. I can only guess that the dragon Leanne describes is the vacuum cleaner. Leanne showed me the treasure she found: a penny. Her excited over a penny reveals how important it is to tip room service.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Becoming a knitwear designer

In March I began my mentorship through the association of Knitwear Designers. I was thrilled to have someone help me develop my skills. I firmly believe that all professionals should continue to develop their skills. Learning should be a life-long pursuit.
One of the books my mentor suggested I read was Deborah Newton's "Designing Knitwear". I ordered the book through The Needle Arts Book Shop ( I can't recommend this book shop more highly. My book arrived as a present: carefully wrapped, tied with ribbons. Marsha White, owner, even included a beautiful poem:
The Prayse of the Needle
To all dispersed sorts of Arts and Trades
I write the Needles praise (that never fades)
So long as children shall be got or borne,
So long as garments shall be made, or worne,
So long as Hemp or Flax, or Sheep shal bear
Their linnen woollen fleeces yeare by yeare;
So long as Silk-worms, with exhausted spoyle
Of their owne Entrailes, for mans gaine shall toyle:
Yea, till the world be quite dissolu'd and past;
So long at least, the Needles use shall last;
By John Taylor (1580 - 1653)
Thus, even before I flipped the first page my reading experience was off on the right foot.
I sat down simply to skim a couple of pages. I ended up reading the first chapter. I felt Deborah Newton was talking directly to me. I feel like I have made a new friend. Her writing style combined the beautiful drawings and pictures make this an irresistable book. It doesn't hurt that some of the points she makes would be the points I make: "Don't feel that you have to knit with the "proper" needle size for a given yarn, that is, the one suggested on the yarn's band. ...Instead, knit a swatch that looks and feels good to you, which you'll find by experimenting with various needle sizes." (page 14)
So, if you want to try your hand at design for the first time or have been a knitwear designer for a few years I encourage you to log on Needle Arts Book Shop and meet Deborah Newton. Happy reading!

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Little Things

Don't ever outgrow the little things
the world just gives away,
The free fresh air and sunshine,
And the games that robins play.

Don't ever outgrow the magic
of a puddle in the rain,
the splash one little puddle makes,
the joy rainbows contain.

Don't ever outgrow big shady trees
with shadows twice their size,
And the wonder of a perfect moon,
That captivates the eye.

Don't ever outgrow the tender heart
that loves the things it sees,
And brings to all that's beautiful
in treasured memories.
-Authour unknown

Sunday, June 04, 2006

About my wrists

The pain in my wrists started when I knit for long periods of time. "Experts" say to rest your wrists for at least ten minutes after every hour of work. "I didn't have time to do this" I told myself "and besides the pain stopped once I finished knitting." I bought a tenor bandage and carried on. Not smart - you say. No kidding - I say.
It's important to state here that doctors have recommended knitting to arthristis suffers. Bare in mind, however, they do not say, "Knit for as long as you can without resting."
Now I have the wrist pain even when I am not knitting. The pain is especially bad when the weather is chilly and wet as it is today. On the pain scale, the pain is rather mild but it is still pain.
Fearing that I would have to terminate my knitwear-designer career if I did not act, I began weight training yesterday. I have attended gyms in the city. I joined a execrise group when I moved to Mayne Island. The group I joined is run my volunteers. The price was right $2 per visit or $10 for a month. Being volunteers they are not demanding. Everyone gets out of it what they are willing to put in. Yesterday I meet a qualified personal trainer. I was apprehensive. The "city" personal trainer had been forceful, demanding, cold. She set me straight during the introductory meeting: she was the dictator and I was her piece of meet. Needless to say, I was not eager to return to this scenario. On a small island you tend to run into people. I had run into the personal trainer and she had been friendly, funny and nice. Still I had not meet her as a personal trainer. All through the session I was braced for her to scream, demand, or to force. Nothing. Instead I found a friendly, flexible human being. She did not view me as a piece of meet but rather someone who had asked for her support. It was plain to see that she was willing to use her knowledge to help me. In short she was the polar opposite of her "city" counterpart. I was relieved. I am confident that I have come to the right person. She will help me build my knitting muscles. I look forward to future visits.

Saturday, June 03, 2006


"So, Leanne, have you been knitting? If so what did you just finish?"
I am always knitting. So much so that I am now having a few problems with pain in my wrists. More about that in future posts.
I just finished casting off sweaters for my application to Crafthouse ( Crafthouse would be a very good venue for me. It is located on Granville Island in Vancouver so the amount of foot traffic alone would be very good news for my humble knitting business. I do hope I get in. I need to have everything ready and sent away by June 5th. Now that is a little early but better early than late.
Wish me luck. : )

Friday, June 02, 2006

A recipe for fiction

-Fog, thick as pea soup, has enveloped the island. Things are not what they seem.
-Just finished reading an article on a 18th century prairie Madame.
-I desire to blow a great big hole in the "nice, mousy" knitter stereotype.
Pour ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.