Monday, April 30, 2007

Read me...Leanneism (found on 's link page)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Where I am...where I'm headed

Well I found what I think is a rather good Beet Borscht recipe. Although they call it a beet soup recipe.
Hubby wants only beets in his borscht. Hopefully the grocery store will have beets when we go.
The food selection is not always the best. I mean they try but it is tricky getting food to the island. The ideal is to grow it yourself. We do have fantastic soil here.
Work on the kits goes well. I have finished Honey Bunny's back and sleeves. I now have the pocket on my needles.
Log on to Leanneism (accessed from 's link page)on Saturday and play our guessing game.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

No, I'm not!

There are those among us who are apply skilled in the kitchen. One of their favourite past-times is to pour over recipe books. They dream of what mouth-watering wonder they will bring forth from the kitchen next.
I am not one of them. No, I'm not!
My strategy is to learn a few recipes. I make them again and again. Changing something here and something there until they become truly mine.
The trouble with this strategy is that after a time you become sick of it all. You can't stomach to eat any of the dishes. You need a break.
This recently happened to me. In fact it happened last night. I was ready for a new recipe. And so armed with my limited kitchen skills I began.
Thankfully I had heard a dinner suggestion on a radio show.
The chef said, "Take potatoes, onions, and mushrooms. Fry over low heat. Then throw the mixture into a swallow baking dish and add eggs. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 10 minutes."
Here's what I did. I boiled the potatoes for 15 minutes. Then I fried the potatoes for about 5 minutes adding spices such as parsley, garlic, salt and pepper. I tossed in green onions first and then mushrooms. Then when everything began to look cooked I tossed it into a swallow baking dish. I beat five eggs and add it to the mixture. I topped it all with cheese. 10 minutes later out it came. It was good.
What I will next time is add more garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper just before I put it in the oven.
Now I am looking for a Beet Borscht recipe.
Do you have one to share?

I am not looking for more knitting.
No, I'm not!
What with the bamboo surprise and the kits I have enough on my plate.
Next up is a sweater for Hubby.
Yet I see must-knits everywhere. I love those cardigans with the large collars.
Fashion has changed its focus from the waist to the collar and I highly approve.
I even have yarn that is crying out to become a cardigan.
...a luxurious mohair blend.
...but I will not weaken.
No, I won't!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Back at 'er

A break is nice. ...but I have work to do.
Work on the kits goes well. (Deadline May) I have finished "Muffin". Now it is on to "Honey Bunny". I casted on the back of "Honey Bunny" this morning.
Then of course is the finishing inventory for ArtCraft. (Deadline June 11th). I have to finish 16 baby sweaters. I have six finished. Three ready to be sewn. So I have seven more to knit before June. Wish me luck. Off I go.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bamboo surprise

I am working on a new design. You may recall the post that explained that this design was to be a surprise for the Victoria Fibre Festival/ Knit out (June 8th to 10th). I am still very much enjoying working with bamboo. It feels like silk. I love it. What I don't love is knitting and re-knitting the design as I discover a...yah...a better way to work the design. Such is the life of a knitwear designer.
I need a little break from knitting and so...please join me over on Leanneism (the blog can be accessed from 's link page.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Peaks and valleys

It's vital.
It is important to work a sample swatch before you begin each and every knitting project.
Counting stitches to determine gauge while working in Stockinette stitch is relatively easy.

You simply count the knit stitches found on the right side of the swatch.
As you can see by this example there are four stitches to the inch in this sample swatch.
However, I recently received this question in my email inbox:
I was wondering how do you count seed stitches for gauge? I can't figure it out. Do you count the "bumps" What do you count?
The stitch pattern seed stitch consists of a series of knit and purl stitches. The knit stitch makes a bump. The purl stitch makes are valley. So in order to calculate gauge for seed stitch you need to count both the bump and valley.

As you can see in this example there are four and half stitches to the inch in this sample swatch.
I would like to thank the writer of the email.
If you would like Q & A Mondays to continue please send your questions to I especially enjoy receiving questions that concern my patterns as this one did. Thank you.

Happy St. George's Day!

Today is also the date of William Shakespeare's ( birth and death. And the world is celebrating with International book day. To celebrate, tomorrow I will have a special post on my Leanneism blog. Access the blog by logging on to and going to the link page.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Having fun this week-end

Do you love guessing games?
I do.
I received something in the mail today that could lead to tons of fun for everyone.
Want to play?
If so
1) Log on to this Saturday.
2) Go to the link page
3) Read Leanneism
Looking forward to it.


One of my designs appears today in the Accord Publishing Knitting Calendar.
I just received an email requesting clarification for the "Three Wishes Baby Blanket".
What esactly is double knit yarn?
Double knit yarn refers to the yarn weight. It is also called "DK" or "Light Weight". You can locate this yarn in your local yarn shop by finding the "3" that appears on the yarn band.
I hope you enjoy knitting the blanket.
Another instolement on Ticky's saga appears on "Leanneism". The "Leanneism" blog is accessible from the link page.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Leanneism please read it

Please log on to "Leanneism" from the link page.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Creating your own meaning

Recently I read an interesting blog entry on the site. Go to the blog now and read it, please. You'll have to scroll down a bit to the April 14th entry: Ten Zen Seconds. I'll wait here.

In a nutshell what I got from the finely penned article is that we all create our own meaning. Our own reality. I know I do. I have a tendency to see myself a certain way and extend this vision to others. Not always a good thing to do especially when you shot yourself in the foot.

You see as an unpublished author I said, "Why should a publishing house take a risk on me?"

This sentence lead me to inaction. I didn't submit the Novelty Yarn manuscript to any publishing house. I didn't even try.

After receiving good reviews and the prompting of published authors I am beginning to shape a new reality for myself. Today I continued on this path by submitting a book proposal to a publishing house. Will this publishing house validate me? Maybe - maybe not. That's not the point. The point is that I am validating myself. I see value in my words and so will continue on this path where ever it may lead.

I'm sure there will be many life lessons to learn along the way. And I am learning you can't learn these lessons unless you open yourself up to possibilities. You must walk the path.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Fashion show

I don't live in TO or the big apple. Or even Vancouver.
I am the typical rural gal. Straw grows out of my head. My nails are full of dirt (not really but I am trying to make a point). I am rural. I am proud to be rural. As the old song goes (my personal anthem) "I couldn't be a city slicker even if I tried!" I have belted this out at the top of my lungs. You shouldn't fight who you are. Though at a sweet young age I did try.
Yet I can't help myself I do love somethings urban.
I do enjoy the interlocking maze of streets and buildings. Seen from a distance they intrigue me. Making it abundently obvious to all who view me that it is not my native vista.
I also enjoy fashion shows.
And so it is with great joy that I prepare to participate in two fashion shows this year.
One--the Victoria Fibrefest & Knit out ( --will take place on June 8th. For this fashion show I am planning something special. I am thoroughly enjoying knitting it from Bamboo. It will appear without a name and hopefully at the end of the week-end will receive one.
The second--the Salt Spring Island Fibre Festival ( --will take place on July 21st. I am planning a toure de force for dear Mayne Island. I will stand as a knitwear designer showcasing, in her designs, the beautiful yarns of Mayne Island producers.
Meadowmist Farm ragg wool yarn:
Hatake mohair yarn:
These are my plans. Stay tuned to see if this hayseed pulls them off.

Sunday, April 15, 2007


I just told hubby of my discovery. You know the Page One thing.
His response, "What about Excite?"
Well, I just checked and you can add Excite to the mix.
Just thought you might want to know.

Page one

If a business person stands out in the middle of the forest and screams, "I want your business!" will the trees care?
Probably not.
Business people recite the motto: location, location, location.
Time was if you wanted your business to be noticed--I mean really noticed--you had to invest in a business location on urban main street.
That's why I was surprised to discover, while developing a book proposal, that my humble rural business was being noticed. Google, Yahoo, AOL, MSN, Alta Vista, Dogpile and Mamma have listed "Olavia's hand knitting patterns" on page one when you use the search words:
"basic hand knitting techniques"
"basic hand knitting patterns"
"basic hand knitting designer"
"hand knitting patterns"
Thank you for noticing.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vancouver Sun article on knitting

I had to search a little but finally on page 104 I found it and here it is...
Knitters will find the usual reference to Grandma's pass-time and a seemingly shocking discovery that knitting has relevance in 2007. ...go figure....

Friday, April 13, 2007

Leanneism please read it

"Leanneism" can be accessed from 's page.
Thank you.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Guild in news

Buy a paper. Buy the Vancouver Sun.
I received an email yesterday from the president of my guild: the West Coast Knitters Guild (
In it, she informed me that the Vancouver Sun would be running a story on the guild in this Saturday's paper. There is a web link to the Sun and I will try to remember to post it on Saturday.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Recovered enough

Okay I freely admit it I am a bit of a suck when I am sick. It is not a state I am use to.
I have recovered enough to share some news.
Donna Druchunas has posted some of my writing on her charity blog.
Okay that's the good news.
The bad news: Well you may have noticed that I have changed the date of publication for Yarn Therapy. Fear not Yarn Therapy will be published. I am hoping that it will be published in 2007 (around November). Unfortunately unforeseen circumstances have conspired to ensure that it will not be published in May. Believe me I am as disappointed as you are (maybe even more so). Tomorrow will come. The sun is always shining somewhere.
More good news...
The knitting kits are "going great guns". There's a fine rural Canadian saying for you. In case you need a translator it simply means that all is going well.

Grand plans

I had grand plans for this post. I thought I was ready too. Unfortunately, it didn't take long to discover that I'm not. As I type this I struggle against ending up with my face on the keyboard. I am swimming in a sea of fog. I think I will go lie down. Please know that I meant well.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Name change...again and more

You may have noticed that I changed the name of the new vest design again. When you spend most of your time in bed all you have to do is think. Thoughts flit through your mind like butterflies flitting through a spring garden. How I long to work outside on the yard. That time will come. If you study war you are not working for peace. Wow where did that thought come from. And "Pledge" vest reminds me of dusting. Well, there is something I can do about that. And so I did.
Below is "Muffin". I finally finished it. Three cheers.
When the kit is done: Each knitter, that means you, will be able to choose between three designs: Honey Bunny, Puddin' Pie, or Muffin. And your choose of colour. The kits will make their debut at the first (of the year) Mayne Island Farmer's Market (May, 19th...I think?) Please log on to this site for further details (like the correct date).

Monday, April 09, 2007

Voice from the flu bed

Sorry about the absent of post. I have been sick and still am... But a mere cough and aching head will not stop this post.
Even though I was sick, Saturday was a grand introduction to this summer's activities. It is so nice to be surrounded by other like-minded business people. I hope to learn much this year. And yes, next time I will remember my camera.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Please don't forget

Mayne Island Arts and Crafts Guild
30th(almost) Annual
Arts & Crafts Sale
Soothing Bath Products, Designer Knitwear, Artist Cards,Goodies, Books by Mayne Island Authors, Beautiful Pottery
Easter weekend: Saturday, April 7th

from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
at the Agricultural Hall

It worked...

Do you remember those Crisco oil commercials. You know the ones that conclude with, "one tablespoon". Well this is 's version.

I knit the largest size of Muffin (24 months) and all that is left of the yarn ball is what you see in the picture. So all systems are go. I will be offering sizes 6 to 24 months in the kit. More information regarding the kit to come...

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

I'll race you to Friday

There is a Mayne Island art and craft show this Saturday. And I am struggling to be ready in time.
Today I finished my latest version of Islandia.

I just love how this hood turned out. It will be for sale at the show along with my audio book on CD: Novelty Yarn, my accessory Wool-lays, baby sweaters and kits. All items where hand knit by yours truly. And the books where written by me. Joining me on my table will be the work of Mayne Island author Celia Leaman. (Learn more about Celia by logging on to's book page. You can also visit her web site from this page.) I invite you to come visit me this Saturday, April 7th at the Ag hall. I shouldn't be hard to find.

Monday, April 02, 2007

A study in tension

When don't you follow the gauge guide on the yarn band?
Well, when you want to achieve a different fibre look than what the yarn manufacturer had in mind. Or when the gauge guide doesn't make sense to you.
I usually work Canadiana on 6.0 mm/ US 10. I like the fabric this creates. Really it would take Sherlock Holmes to determine that I took such a needle leap.
The gauge information found on the yarn ball states: 20 sts = 10 cm (4") on 4 1/2 mm (U.S. 7) needles.
Thinking that it may be confusing if I didn't I decided to follow the rules. So I cast on 20 stitches and worked for 4 inches. I achieved...
4 stitches = one inch
Normally what you would do when this happens is go up another needle size. To say, maybe, 4 mm. However, by the feel of the fabric I did not have this luxury. So the kits will recommend using 4 1/2 mm (U.S. 7) needles to achieve 4 stitches = one inch.
Progress has been quick on Muffin. I have finished the back, a sleeve, and the pocket.
We all cheer.
soon: more jpgs