Thursday, August 31, 2006

You call that music?

Growing up my family was divided musically. My youngest brother and I loved rock. We thrilled at the squeal of the electric guitar. We lost our souls to the solid drum beat. I gleefully danced wildly to my favourite group. I practiced belting out my favourite songs in front of the mirror hair brush mic in hand. I dreamed of dating a rock star.

The older, sadder, squarer family members listened to country. Do you believe it? Country. They were a lost cause.

I have remained faithful to rock most of my life.

Then, however, I meet a man. I fell in love. In his music collection I found not only rock but also jazz and even, I hate to admit, country. How could this be? Surely it had only been a momentary lapse.

Then on my wedding day I was confronted by the truth. I was told plainly that if I wished to be a full-fledged member of my new clan I had to learn to enjoy "Bluegrass". "Bluegrass" what was that?

The family decided that I had to be properly introduced. What better place then across the border in Tacoma, Washington at Wintergrass. It was to be a three day introduction proceeded over by no other than the father of Bluegrass music himself: Bill Munroe. The father of Bluegrass music must be older than dirt, I reasoned. My speculation was confirmed when Bill appeared on stage. He was a wizened, tired, old man. I was surprised that he hadn't been wheeled onto the stage. He looked so fragile clutching his mandolin. To his credit, he made it safely through the first couple of tunes. Then he appeared to keel over. Was he clutching his chest? We, in the audience, uttered a collective moan. Our concern was voiced by one of the younger band members, "Is Bill alright?" He turned and asked a senior member.

"Bill, sure. He's just getting down." He assured us. On clue, Bill Munroe showed exactly why this was his music. His hand moved at lightening speed over the strings. The sweet sound he and his band produced stole my heart. It awoke in me a long dormant love for who I was and were I came from. It spoke to me proudly of long dirt roads, the smell of fresh cut hay, and caring for your neighbour.

So, I say, "Move over rock here comes Bluegrass."

If you have never attended a Bluegrass concert you owe it to yourself to listen.

Hubby and I leave tomorrow for the Chilliwack Bluegrass festival. My next blog will be Tuesday, September 5th.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Free pattern

Fights with your significant other - sadly they can't be avoided. A relationship is a dance sometimes you dance together sometimes separately.

Hubby and I have had our fair share of battles. Though, thankfully, I have found that the older our relationship grows the shorter these battles are.

Researchers say that most couples fight over money. Though I can't deny we have fought over this topic, these fights don't stick out in my mind. What does is one of our first. It was over a book.

Hubby was interested in introducing me to his favourite literary genres and so with this thought in mind he lent me one of his favourite books.

I began to read and to my surprise realized I liked it. I began to carry the books with me. I relished the morning commute and lunch breaks for this provided me with an opportunity to read.

Weeks past until finally one day Hubby said, "Are you finished with my book yet?"

"Yes." I answered sheepishly.

"Well, can I have it back then."

I produced the book. Weeks of my care had permanently changed the book. When I had borrowed it from Hubby it had looked brand new. Now it looked like it had been through a battle. Pages were dogged-eared. The cover was torn.

"This is how you return it. Look at it. I will never lend you a book again. Never. Unless you can prove to me that you will take better care of them."

I had scanned his library. I knew it was worth my while to prove I could. I knew my habits wouldn't change. I knew the books I read all ended up in the same place at the bottom of my purse.

Maybe I could knit myself a solution. I needed to knit a shell. Something that would successfully protect books against my rough treatment. Finally, I found a possible solution. I cast on stitches and worked faithfully until my creation was finished. I showed it to Hubby.

"I hope it works." Was his response.

Know what? It does.

The "Book Sweater" pattern can be found on 's Free Pattern page. Happy knitting.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Early reviews

I have received an early review of Novelty Yarn .
'It's intriguing, it's delightful.'
'There are so many truths in your CD. A lot of great insights."
-Celia Leaman
To say I'm on cloud nine would be an understatement.
If you would like to employee Celia's gentle and skilled hand to assist you with your writing you are in luck. Celia instructs for Writers Online Workshops (Writer's Digest)
Celia's web site address is:

Monday, August 28, 2006

knitting class: stitch pattern testing

Thank, Cathy, for today's post.

You see, Cathy was intrigued by one of my patterns. She was concerned, however, by the stitch pattern. "Would it actually work?" She queried.

How do you test a stitch pattern? Do you really have to cast on all the stitches required in the pattern or is there a short cut?

Fear not, oh noble knitters, there is a short cut: knit a sample swatch. Be cautious, ensure that the number of stitches cast on for your sample swatch corresponds to the number of stitches required for the pattern. Say, for example, the pattern is over a multiple of 3 stitches plus 1 cast on 19 stitches for your sample swatch. if the pattern is over a multiple of 2 stitches cast on 20 stitches for your sample swatch. Work the sample swatch for 2".

Will the stitch pattern work. Now you know the answer.

Happy knitting.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Sail away, sail away, sail away

Sorry about the long pause in communication.
It proved to be a busy week-end. Absolutely no computer time. Still it was very enjoyable - full of twists and turns. You see we had some unexpected visitors - relatives from the prairies.
One of the attractions on our small island is, of course, our beaches. Beachcombing, maybe even some canoeing. We do have a canoe.
We drove down to the beach where the canoe is stored. We leave it tied to a heavy, monstrous, old log. Safe. Or so we thought. When we looked for the canoe we didn't find it. We didn't even find the log. What happened? Hmmm, good questions. We speculated that the tide came in and dragged the canoe and all away. So if you see our canoe please give it a shove in the general direction of Mayne Island. Thank you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Three reasons for my happiness

1) I received more hits yesterday than I have for a while.
2) I visited the printers yesterday and all is well there.
3)Hubby is steadyily working away on the recording. He has a day job to which he is devoted. So he has given up his spare time for this project. He is going for best hubby of the year.

Hey, here's a thought judging from yesterday's impressive log ons it looks like you may be interested in being one of the first to receive a copy of Novelty Yarn. If such is the case simply email me ( and I will ensure that happens. Subject line should read: book. The audiobook (book-on-tape) will sell for $15.00 American/$17.00 Canadian. Taxes apply on Canadian orders. Approximate running time is: 80 minutes. Novelty Yarn will be ready to send no later than September 15th.

...and knitting needles go click.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Guess what I accomplished last night?
I am so proud. It's like my baby began to walk. And in an odd way that's exactly what has happened.
I recorded the last page of Novelty Yarn.
I now leave it in Hubby's capable hands. I swear he teethed on a microphone. No, I will not reveal his stage name. He doesn't have one. You see he shared the mic with his family. Teen-age Hubby learned quickly how to recorded these family gatherings. Can you image a family of musicians sitting around jamming simply for the fun of it? I know it blew me away too.
My oldest brother stomped around belting out Hank Williams on key, off key, any old key. Mom sang sweetly while doing the dishes. But we drew the line at entertaining each other with music. Annoying each other - sure. But entertaining each other - no way.
Not only is Hubby well versed in the usage of microphones but he is also the coolest computer geek I've ever meet.
So you see he is the best man to magically transform my writing into voice.
Ya, he will take it from here. I may have to re-record a story or two but after that it's time for Novelty Yarn to toddle off into the world.
It was fun, hard work. I hope you enjoy the results.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My precious

There is no knitting shop on Mayne Island. This presents some problems for me. Recently, the beautiful variegated yarn pictured here called out to me.

"Knit me! Knit me!" It screamed.
The label's suggested needle size was US 17.
I am the first to admit that I have a ridiculously vast collection of knitting needles. In my own defense, most have been gifts. Among this vast collection do you think I had a pair of US 17? You're right, I didn't.
So I did what Hubby and I always do when we need something from off island. I added to the list.
I added this item knowing full well that I would be the one hunting for and purchasing this item. Hubby does not knit. Hubby has no need for knitting supplies.
Unfortunately, when it was time to go off-island I had to work. This meant that Hubby had to go by himself. Oh, well, I thought, next time I will buy those needles. I put the variegated yarn in a box on a shelf hiding it from view.
When Hubby returned I was intrigued to discover what had been left off the list. To my amazement, I found the US 17 knitting needles.
His reply, "It was on the list."
Clearly he does know what a special man he is. I have been truly enjoying knitting with my new needles.
The birth of a new knitting shop brings much joy to all knitters. So it is with much delight I announce the birth of "Three Bags Full".

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The details

You may have noticed my announcement in the box above. My first book launch. I am so excited.
Here are the details:

My book launch will be part of a three day event organized by Mayne Island's local arts council. The event will celebrate the work of island artists and artisans. Opening night - September 15 from 7 - 10 pm - musicians and writers will be featured. The event will continue on Saturday, September 16 from 10 am - 4 pm and will concluded on Sunday, September 17 11 am - 3 pm.

I will be performing a humorous piece from Novelty Yarn. I want tons of audience participation during my piece. Audience participation is always so much fun. Copies of the audiobook will be available for sell during the night. I plan to include a surprise in each jewel case: like a cracker jack box. Wish me luck. : )

Monday, August 21, 2006

Written in jello

Some rules are written in stone. Bluntly put, you ignore these rules at your own expense. Other rules - like many knitting rules - are written in jello.

One of these jello rules is: work a complete row before you set your knitting down."

There are a few reasons why this is a wise move:
-if you don't you may forget in which direction you are headed.
-if you don't you may distort stitches.
-if you don't you may drop a stitch when you pick your knitting up again.

However, as you can plainly see, for me this rule is written in jello.

What's next? I am wide open. Please email your suggestions to:

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Thought of the day


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Revolutionize your TV

I love Google and Yahoo.
You log on. You type in your request. Then poof there on your screen it appears.
Why can't your TV work like that? Can you image.

Sharpen your knitting needles - knitting class starts Monday.

Friday, August 18, 2006


I can hear you. You don't have to scream.

Yesterday I asked if you were interested in re-starting the knitting classes. I promised you that I would re-start them if I received more than 58 new visitor log ins. Well, it was like a loud scream. I received 79.

Congratulations, the knitting classes are back. Thank you for helping me with this decision.

I can't shake this image of one woman racing through an office building quickly logging on to my site from any and all available computers. This hard work must be rewarded. : ) So for her and maybe you - here we go again.

Where we have been:
There are blogs in the archives on all of these subjects. They are not in order of appearance.
1)Defined hand knitting
2)Ways to learn to knit
3)Where to knit
4)Caution against knitting too much
5)What not to wear while knitting
6)Knitting needles: types, uses, and sizes.
7)Yarn: dye lot number; novelty yarn; fibre content; weight; how to make a yarn ball and why; the manufacturing of yarn; where to obtain yarn; how to keep yarn clean while working.
8)Knitting techniques: I-cord; double knitting; knitting in the round on two straight needles; double knit cast on.
9)Patterns: knitting without a pattern; introduction to patterns; the knitting language; stitch patterns.
10)Casting on
11)We ended the classes with a knit-along. The knit-along was to dramatize how important it is to read your pattern before beginning. Remember, I did not tell you what we were knitting. I only sent one installment at a time. No pictures were sent until the end.

Where we can go from here:
I have a number of ideas. We could talk more about patterns. We could discuss how to add a new ball of yarn. Tips on what to do while knitting. Exercises to do after knitting. Casting off. Care of your project. Where to store yarn. I have an idea for another knit-along. And the list goes on...

Your input is greatly appreciated.
If you encounter a problem with your knitting; if you require clarification; or simply have a dilemma you wish discussed I am all ears. Please drop me a note:

Thank you once again for your help. Class will start soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Knitting class

Although summer is by no means done with Mayne Island. The chill in the morning air promises autumn will soon arrive. Inspired by this chill, I have been concerning re-starting the knitting classes which I had been offering through this blog. The classes offered help to knitters of beginning level. If you would like to encourage me to re-start these classes please ask your family and friends to log on to my site. Yesterday I had a total of 58 first time visitors. If I receive more than 58 visits today I will know there is an interest in the knitting class. If not I will not re-start them. Thank you for helping me with this decision.
Happy knitting

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Canadians are a peaceful people: no war has taken place on Canadian soil. This does not mean that we are not aggressive: witness any hockey game. The fact that no war has been reported does not mean that no war has taken place. I, myself, took an active part in one.

I clearly remember the day war broke out in my home. It pit brother against brother. My parents, the truce makers, were away for the day. Although, I was no older than six I was immediately recruited to manufacture weaponry.

The war tore my home apart. The living room became no man's land. My oldest brother and I sought refuge in Mom and Dad's room. The enemy attacked us from the "Boy's" room.

I quickly began manufacturing weapons. I tore long strips of paper, rolled these strips into balls and ensured these balls were kept moist.

We fought valiantly. Until I realized I had to go to the bathroom. This meant I had to sneak across enemy lines. I made it safely into the bathroom. Unfortunately, they nabbed me just as I was leaving.

I knew all was lost for our side. How could my brother fight on against such a cunning and impending foe? Indeed witnessing my brother's violent defeat could be one of the reasons I am a pacifist today.

Copyright by Leanne Dyck on August 16, 2006

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Vikings sail again

Busy August continues.
Gibons Landing Fibre Arts Festival August 16 - 20
I have sent 'Islandia' (see above picture) across the sea so that it could be included in the show. Someday I hope to travel half as much as my creations do.
Mayne Island Fall Fair August 19
- a juried show of local produce, crafts, and art.
-a parade
-many informational exhibits
- as well as our Saturday farmer's market.
Tons of fun to be had by all. Except yours truly who has to work. "Ah-h-h!"
Novelty Yarn: the audiobook
As for our little hiccup that I report on yesterday. It seems that Hubby has solved it. Or at least is well on the way to solving it. See what a little faith can do. I did too have total faith. Did too.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Novelty Yarn: audiobook

The following story is an example of the kinds of stories you will find in Novelty Yarn. I hope you enjoy it.

What’s on your needles?

Some knitters love to knit socks, others scarves. My passion has always been sweaters. I still remember one of the first sweater I knit. I was about sixteen at the time. The sweater was pink with white accents. It featured set-in sleeves. This created a challenge, as these were the first set-in sleeves I had ever knit.

When I was done, I proudly showed the sweater to Mom.

“I like the colours you selected. It will look very pretty on you.” Then upon closer examination she added. “Why are the sleeves puffing out like that?”

“That’s how it’s suppose to look.” I said defensively.

“Are you sure? It looks rather odd. Bring me the pattern and I’ll check it for you.” Mom offered.

“I’m not following a pattern.” I said rebelliously.

“Oh, Leanne, how do you expect to have anything turn out right if you don’t follow a pattern. You’ll just waste yarn if you don’t. Promise me you will always follow a pattern.”

With that request ringing in my ears, I unconsciously began my career as a knitwear designer. For you see, I stubbornly refused to follow Mom’s advice.

What became of the sweater? Well, despite Mom’s offers to “fix” it I through out.

Copyright by Leanne Dyck on August 14, 2006

We have hit a minor little hiccup in this project. There always seems to be one in every project. I am completely confident that technical support will be able to solve it. He (Hubby) has always come through in the past. There is no reason for this to change. Still, your positive thoughts are most appreciated.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

It's time for music

Still more exciting news! We meet with the musician who will supply the music for Novelty Yarn and supply the music for Novelty Yarn he did. Uh...go figure...: )
Check out his web site:
Awesome! Awesome! Awesome!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Who knew?

As most of you know, I have been creating an audiobook. Recording my voice as I read my writing has taught me a few things.
1)I have always been impressed by ancents. They tickle my ear. I have pinned away for one. It was not until I played my recordings that I realized that indeed I had one. I think it may be possible that we all do.
2)My goal is to improve upon my writing. Listening repeatedly to what I have written helps me reach this goal. So the keys to improving your writing are: write often, gather regularly with other writers, and listen as your writing is read.
Oh, the things you learn.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quite a sight

It must have been quite a sight. Picture, if you will, a large cardboard box perched precariously on the seat of a small electric bike. The driver has pressed her body against the box to hopefully stabilize the box. The roads are seldom level and so the driver must employee the pedals to enable progress over these hills. Surprisely, all goes well until a pedal falls off. When this happens, the driver must leave her perch to retrieve the pedal. This, of course, causes the box to fall down. The occasional car passes adding peril to the driver's chore.

Was it all worth it?

Just look what came in the mail.

Beautiful yarn!

Was it worth it? Yes!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A letter: a poem

Tucked away safe in an old shoebox,
The corners yellowed,
The print faded,
Treasured all these years,
A letter from you.

Copyright by Leanne Dyck on August 10, 2006

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Audiobook update

I have been keeping you in the dark now I would like to shed some light on the situation.
1)The fire on Galiano Island, one of Mayne Island's sister islands, is not out but is contained. The splash of rain we finally received last night should help.
2)I have been shying away from mentioning my audiobook. ...but I can't contain my excitement any longer. Good things are happening.
The manuscript came back from the editor.
Now the pictures and text are at the printer's. Would you like to see the cover shot? Here it is...
Isn't it beautiful?
The synopsis that will appear on the back is:
In this diverse anthology, writer and knitwear designer Leanne Dyck celebrates knitting, in prose and poetry, as she spins the yarn of her journey to become a knitwear designer.
I am planning a book launch for the middle of September. Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for me. I can hardly believe this dream is coming true. : )

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

What fell off my needles

Of course it is hard to determine very much about this sweater from this photo. At this point of the sweater it does not resemble the finished garment. The polo-neck looks very wide - it won't be. The body seems rather thin - it won't be.
The saga of this sweater is rather interesting: full of trail and error. I will reveal all once I have a successful conclusion. Please stay logged on.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Happy BC day

Today is a holiday throughout Canada. (Correction: I have just been informed -thanks to CBC radio - Newfoundland-Labrador and Quebec do not celebrate this holiday.)
In BC this day is called "BC day". Talk about being encouraged to be egocentric. : ) It is a day to realize how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful province. The money we don't spend on winter boots and coats we can spend on housing. The fact that we don't have to shovel snow makes up for all the grey days we must endure (it does?) I could go on but you get the point: we are very lucky to be living in this glorious province. Oh, BC, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways....

Tomorrow, I promise, something about knitting...even if it kills me.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

My ride

Electric vehicles are still a novel concept on Mayne Island: there are but a hand full. So the sight of me on mine has casued heads to turn.

A woman, out for a walk, literally stopped dead in her tracks to exclaim, "Is that ever cute."Among woman, "Cute" seems to be the adjective of choose to describe it.

Kids seem to take a slightly different view. Last week, I had an errand to run so I jumped on my bike. I passed a few kids on bikes heading in the other direction. The last kid I passed stuk out his thumb. Clearly, he didn't think my bike was "cute". Clearly, he thought it was "cool".

I have to agree. Electric bikes are very cool. They require no gas. They emit no toxic fumes. No insurance or driver's license is required. It is a fun ride which requires very little effort on my part. Sure hills, of which there are many on Mayne, require some pedaling but it's nothing compared to a standard bicycle. An electric bike is quiet most deer just stop amd stare as I zoom past. They are not at all alarm by the noise.

The dealership's, Greenworld Electric Bikes in Victoria on Vancouver Island, brochure describes it as the "perfect urban vehicle". It's not a bad "rural" vechicle either.

To be honest, there are a few wee problems with it. There are four street lights on Mayne Island - four. This makes for some dark nights. The lights on my bike are really not strong enough to drive in this pitch black. The bike's frame is plastic. So when you go down you will do damage.

If you fancy a loud, fast ride an electric bike is not for you.

With the price of gas and my love of nature, I am proud to call it my ride.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

The warrior returns

Ticky is an addict. Like a drug addict, he needs his fix. Ticky gets high from cat fights. Thankfully, for him and not for us, a neighbor cat shares the same addiction. As humans, we are not informed as to when these maneuvers will occur.

A couple of days ago, I was working in my studio when I heard a loud noise followed by a blood curdling cat howl. I ran outside. A black dot shot past me. It moved like it had been shot from a canon: the neighbor cat. That's strange I thought he usually waits until I order him to leave. Then limping towards me appeared Ticky. Head hanging low, he was not his usual cheery self.

Each night it is Ticky's habit to join us in the living room. That night no Ticky. I later found him in the bedroom on the blanket box. Clearly not feeling so good.

The next day, Ticky's food went untouched. In fact, I didn't see Ticky at all.

The middle of the next day, I began to worry. I told myself it was silly to worry. Cat's do this: when they need to heal they go off by themselves. Still I couldn't help worrying.

That evening around 5:00, just in time for supper, he appeared. He was pleased as punch to be home. We shared his joy. He seemed like his old self. Later I caught a glimpse of his wound. His inside thigh by his left rear leg had been ripped raw. The sight shocked me. Yet he seemed in high spirits.

Hubby speculated if this would help wean him from his addiction.

My response, "A cat's - a cat: you can't make it a hamster."

Maybe you can translate for him?

Friday, August 04, 2006

Sense of place

This post was to be entitled "What fell of my needles". Notice the name change.

What happened?

Well, a slight miscalculation resulted in frogging.

We shall speak no more of this.

What we will speak of is "sense of place".

A friend recently moved off island. She sent an email saying that she was doing fine. She went on to explain that this is because she could easily blossom where she was set.

I am sorely lacking this capacity. I am greatly effected by my surroundings. Mayne Island's climate is what I need to blossom.

Another friend had been seriously considering moving. She had become bored with her surroundings. Recently, however, she has re-invested in local events and activities. This has awakened her interest in her home.

Yes, disinterest in your surroundings can effect us all.

Gosh, I can even become bored in paradise.

When this happens I develop itchy feet. Like the bear in the old song, I long to discover what is on the other side of the mountain. Summer is the prefect time to explore your options. Yet, "home" is like "beauty" you must carry it within your heart or you will find it not.

I know I am home because thoughts of it give me a sense of belonging, pride and security.

Yes, I count myself among the fortunate. I have found my home, right here, on this beautiful island.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

For the love of books

I wrote this a million years ago - well, not quite but it feels like it. It appeared in the Manitoba Child Care Association newsletter.

When we think of reading to infants and young children many questions arise. Here I will answer three of the most commonly asked questions.

What, if anything, does the infant gain from this type of experience?

The positive effects of the reading experience are four-fold. To begin with reading is of immense benefit to early language acquisition. The infant is repeatedly exposed to a few words in an interesting and stimulating format providing him/her with a golden opportunity to expand upon a limited vocabulary at a manageable pace. Second, reading is an effective way to stengthen the bond of adult to baby. During those few precious moments, the child has your total attention, nothing exists in the universe except the two of you. Third, the sound of your voice is a wonderful preparation for nap or bed time. Fourth, the fine illustrations found in picture books provide excellent visual stimuli. Illustrators draw from the limited experience of the young child's world. They draw common items such as balls, cats, dogs, faces, which the child no doubt has had experience with. Infants are by nature egocentric and these illustrations have great appeal to them.

I'm no Robert Munch, how can I even attempt to read to a baby?

Even Robert Munch had to, and still has to practice. Most babies are a very receptive audience. They are perfectly content to lay there and listen to you. By using Robert Munch and other storyteller's techniques you can enhance the reading experience. Some of these techniques are:
-Point out similarities between the world of the book and his/her world. Say something like, "Mary has a green ball just like that one in the picture".
-Ask questions and allow time for him/her to respond, whether there is a verbal, non-verbal, or no response. Allowing time for the infant to respond even before such communication is likely will prepare the child to pickup on the cue. Such preparation will make it more likely that an older child will take a more active role in the reading experience.
-Talk about and draw interest in the illustrations. If the illustration is of an animal point to the animal and comment on its name and the sound it makes.
-Use gestures. When you read the word B-I-G use your body to dramatize the word.
-Vary voice tone: from low to high; loud to soft; slow to fast.
-Use eye contact.
-Use your imagination: vary the test, expand the story, use your creativity - remember nothing is written in stone.
-Use your genuine interest in the reading experience. If you show enthusiasm for what you are reading the baby will pick up on that.

The more you practice the better you will become. However, before everything else, please remember the needs of the young audience should be paramount. The book is there for the enjoyment of the baby. If you sense an infant's attention lagging, stop and read again later. Make the reading experience as positive as possible.

How soon can I start reading to a baby?

As soon as you begin talking to a baby, you can begin to read to him/her. Research has found that an early positive exposure to the reading experience will help the child slip naturally into the habit of reading.

Reminder: 1st Thursday's opening night at the library tonight 7 - 9 pm
Featured artist: potter, Joan Connolly
See you there.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Shared Stories

Reading and being read to has always been a passion of mine.

One of my favourite anecdotes from my years as an Early Childhood Educator (child day care worker) took place when I was subbing. As a new substitute at the day care, I didn't know either staff or children very well.

The day was drawing to a close. We had a brief period of time until all the parents would arrive to claim their children. So our options for activities were limited. Ideally we need an activity that had a clear ending. Ideally we needed an activity that would involve all the children but very little of the equipment.

"I could read." I offered naively.

I was informed that these children hated storytime. They refused to sit still - they wouldn't listen.

I decided to try it anyway. So with the staff's dubious, "good luck" ringing in my ears I started.

It was a tough crowd. Only half of the group joined me. However, I was determined to succeed. I choose my favourite story. A sure winner or so I thought. It was a story I knew well. This would allow me to improv. The book was a prop. I involved the children as much as possible. Instead of me simply telling the story to them, we told the story together. If a child wanted an opportunity to contribute orally I gave them that opportunity. I drew them in because I was interested in what they had to offer.

Soon all the children had not only joined me but they were all thoroughly enjoying the story.

Later, after the children left, a staff member turned to me, "Wow! I never knew that was possible. Thank you."

"It was my pleasure." and it had been.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Ewes need a home

I received an interesting email yesterday. I share it with you now in the hopes that someone will be able to help Peter.

Hi- for the past 33 years I have kept a flock of approx. 15 coloured romney type ewes with bloodlines including Bramblewood farm (Jo Sleigh), Jan Tuytel, Joan wooten, Joan Yates. I have a very nice coloured yearling unregistered (but good breed character) ram I wish to trade for an equivalent. Also- I NEED to reduce flock size. If you know anybody who would like some very good healthy ewes, please have them contact me.
My partner was a spinner.weaver.knitter for many years- and gave it up due to arthritis... so the sheep were bred specifically for quality of wool. They have quite a long staple-about 6-8 inches, and good crimp. Not so fine as merino or corriedale, but good handspinners' wool for sweaters, blankets etc. A bit of scottish blackface in them- way back. Nice range of colours from charcoal to light grey, with others having some brown in them...We want to sell about 10 ewes, and either trade or sell the ram (He was our best lamb from last year, and was lightly used late in the breeding season)

Peter Frinton
RavenHill Farm

Local: (604) 947-9412 Toll Free: (800) 550-3622
M7-741 Carter Road Bowen Island BC Canada V0N 1G0

Busy August continues:

Opening night: Thursday, August 3rd 7 - 9 pm
(and running for the entire month)
Trincomali Community Arts Council on Mayne Island sponsors 1st Thursdays at the Library.
This months featured artist is potter Joan Connolly.

Saturday, Sunday, Monday - August 5, 6, 7 noon - 4 pm
'Three Artists' 8th Annual Exhibition
on Galiano Island.