Thursday, July 31, 2008

my writing on Author's Den

Once again this month on Author's Den ( my most read piece of writing is Knitting in Iceland. To read this piece please log on to: The second runner up was Searching. Searching was inspired by a trip to Iceland.

I set sail for a distant land determined to find buried treasure: my roots.
Upon arrival I immediately set to work with axe and shovel.
The frozen land broke my axe. The rocks bent my shovel.
I roared at the mountains. I thundered at the sea.
"The soil I walk is foreign soil. The sounds I hear are foreign sounds. The air I breathe is foreign air. This Ice-land is not a part of me."
I clawed. I kicked. I yelled. I screamed. Exhausted I fell to my knees.
A distant faint voice sang in foreign sounds from deep within the earth.
"I did not hear? What did you say?" I begged.
My breath stirred the soil. The soil revealed a glimpse of a treasure yet to be discovered.
"Do I belong? When, how can I see more of you?"
The voice sang my reply, "Mjog gott…very good."
…my search had begun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Art in the Ag Hall

Start your August in style.
From Friday, August 1st to Sunday, August 3rd there will be an art show in Mayne Island's Agricultural Hall. The show features the art of seven talented female painters. Included among this group are my friends:

Cedar Christie

and Jeanne Lewis
Pick a day:
Friday, August 1st 7 - 9 pm Opening
Saturday, August 2nd 10 am - 2 pm
Sunday, August 3rd 12 am - 2 pm

Those who can attend are in for a treat. Those who can't will have to make do with my report.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Knitting Olavia

As this is, after all, a knitting blog perhaps we should turn our attention back to knitting.
I am pleased to announce that one of my designs has been chosen by Cynthia McDougall edit of Knit Together to be the featured pattern. You can read about her test knitting of this project in her blog: You will also find an account of her assualt on her new office space. Wow, she's brave. My studio needs some TLC but I won't be posting photos here. What can I say? I'm a neat-freak trapped in the body of a slob. : )

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Charge those batteries

Yesterday was a whirl of activity as I struggled to get everything done.
I am very pleased that I was able to take in the quilt show. The talent of this tiny island overwhelmed me. It spent my bike and camera batteries as well as my own internal battery. Now fully charged, I am now ready to present my report.

These cute little signs guided my journey to Dinner Bay Park.

Upon reaching Dinner Bay Park by eyes swam.

Present were the off-island merchants who supply our talented island quilters with thread and cloth.

Other tents proudly told of the activities of the Mayne Island Quilt Guide.

They made quilts for Canadian soldiers who were serving over seas.

They teach Mayne Island students in grade five and six the secrets of their craft.

Both boys and girls enjoy creating quilts. This is but a tiny sample.

Also in this area was a tent which featured antique quilt turning. I was entertained by the stories of these treasures.
Then I paid $4 and started down the path to the Japanese gardens.

One of the first quilts I saw was designed and made by a fellow fabric designer: Arlene Neely of

I entered the gates to the Japanese gardens and was immediately treated to...

Then the batteries in my camera decided to give up the ghost.
I apologize for this short tour. I really wish you had been able to attend. You would have thoroughly enjoyed yourself, I am sure. I know I did. I lost all track of time. Words are insufficient to describe the amazing colour combinations and the fine skill that I witnessed. My heart melted over the baby quilts. One quilter even incorporated the baby pictures of her grandchildren into her quilt. Others quilted jackets and hand bags. One adventuresome quilter even quilted a jeep. Yes, you read that sentence correctly a jeep. The same quilter used fishing poles to hang her fish themed quilts. Creativity is a live and well on beautiful Mayne Island.
Mother Nature didn't behave herself, I am sorry to write. She dumped the wet stuff but the resourceful quilters were undaunted. They draped plastic and prayed for sun. Their positive spirit was victorious and all though it wasn't sunny it only rained for a very short period of time.
I am told that over 600 people attended the quilt show: an accomplishment that the guild should take great pride in. Sadly, we must wait another four years to enjoy the next Mayne Island quilt show. Mark your calendars today. I'm sure the next show will even better. Although, I am unsure how it could be. I am comforted that better minds than mine are in charge.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Canadian Knitwear Designers & Artisans

I am proud to announce that I am the new vice-president of CKDA (Canadian Knitwear Designers & Artisans) my knitting weeps

Yesterday I spent most of the day writing. My muse grabbed me by the hand and gently led me to a wonderful world where creativity rules and writing is easy. To say the least, it was a very enjoyable day.

I recently read an article which appeared in one of my favourite writing magazines. It was an article written by an popular author. The essence of the article was that if you didn't write for at least fifteen minutes each and every day than you weren't a writer. To me, it read like an ultimatum. You know the scene, you're an elementary school student. You are approached by a group of students. They look at you from head to toe and then they say,"Unless you were pink then your not one of us."
Oh how you wish to be one of them. You would do anything...anything.
Well, I've always been a loner so facing that scenario I have always responded the same way, "Sorry what you see is what you get."
So, needless, to say I didn't respond well to the ultimatum. It was a good article full of good advice but the ultimatum brought ants to my picnic.
Do I want to be a writer?
Do I want to improve my writing?
Will I write as much as I can each and every day?
...but I don't need to be bullied by a popular author or anyone else.

Today I met with the members of the Mayne Island writers group. I won't be wearing pink.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Heads up quilters

Not as infrequent as Brigadoon ( but just as magical.
The Mayne Island quilt group is a force on the island. Every four years this talented group of artisan display their work. This Saturday July 26th at Dinner Bay Park they will once again delight the masses with their work.
Come, treat your eyes.
For those who can't attend, I plan to attend and will report back.
Oh, yes and yesterday's marketing trip was a success. I will tell you more as plans are finalized.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Beginning, Middle, End

I fly from knitting project to knitting project. It seems I am in a never-ending state of creating. In my own timid way, I boldly go where few have gone before.
I bought this variegated sea silk last year. It called to me and I had to have it. You know how it is. I bought one skein because the price made me shy. All the projects that I thought would do it justice demanded at least two skeins. At last years Church fair, I found the cotton crochet yarn. The two fibres lived happily in my studio until today. Today they were wedded together. I love the combination. My plan is to create them into a shrug. I didn't do the whole swatch wash thing. I have no idea if they will live happily ever after. (Don't do this at home boys and girls.)

Someone gave me their old stash. Some of the yarn was wrapped in yarn bands. These yarn bands told me the fibre content and care instructions. Some yarn didn't. I fell head over heels in love with some burgundy yarn. It didn't have a yarn band. Some of this burgundy yarn felt like mohair, some didn't. I threw caution to the wind and cast on. I loved my creation. I knew I would wear it often. I had a skirt that cried out for it. I finished this much...

then I abandoned it for another project. Today I found it again and want...need to finish it. However, I have a whole list of questions. How many stitches did I cast on. The bottom section appears to be 4 x 4 rib, the top section appears to be moss. Am I right? How long are each section? You know I am committing many knitting sins with this little number. I know I am but I can't help myself. Please forgive me. Please wish me well.

I finished this sweater just in time for tomorrow.
"What is happening tomorrow?," You may ask.
Well, I am marketing my baby sweaters to a children's clothing boutique.
Your positive thoughts are appreciated.
Knit on...

Friday, July 18, 2008

Working to a deadline

Due to the success I have had selling my baby sweaters at ArtCraft gallery on Salt Spring Island, I have been encouraged to market more of my baby sweaters in a similar venue. So I'm currently looking for another gallery that may be interested in selling them. Mass knitting is hard on my wrists. So I am only interested in one more gallery. least for now.

I have had repeated offers of free and inexpensive machine knitters. However, I would rather stick with what works. For me what works is hand knitting. So, even though, machine knitting may be easier on my wrists I am and will remain a hand knitter.

Next Tuesday I have an appointment with a children's clothing boutique. I am hopeful that they will be interested in these sweaters.

I still have to sew seams and make the finger puppet for this purple version of "Pumpkin" (To view the patterns, please log on to and go to the For Children page).

This orange version of "Puddin' Pie" is ready to go.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

In Celia's garden

Sadly, I don't spin. I view those who do as no less than alchemists.
I have been enjoying following the Yarn Harlot's Tour de Spin. (scroll down to July 15th for an especially interesting post)
And yesterday I had a special treat. I visited my friend Celia Leaman's garden and found...

a fluffy mint cloud
hand-dyed yarn drying in the warm island sun

Not only is Celia a talented spinner and knitter but she is also an entertaining author. Please visit her site at:

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Arm yourself

A tourist travelling to Mayne Island is well advised to arm themselves. You need not arm yourself with guns and bullets. In fact the discharge of guns is prohibited on the island. No, instead arm yourself with information. Pick up these four brochures...
These four brochures are...the BC Ferries Schedule (so you know when you need to catch the next ferry back), the Mayne Island Map & Visitor Guide (included in this brochure is information on accommodations, camping, restaurants, services, farms, real estate agents, and transportation), the Mayne Island Hiking & Walking Trail Map (included in this brochure is information on public beach access and woods & view hikes) as well pick up the newest brochure...
This lovely purple brochure is the artist's guide. Debbie Bowles and the members of the Trincomali Community Arts Council assembled this brochure.

Flipping it open you will notice the first listing on the right hand side is Olavia's, Leanne Dyck knitwear designer and author. That's right yours truly.

On the back you will find an event calendar. Included among those listed are the Mayne Island Quilters Show (Saturday, July 26th 10 am - 4 pm) and TCAC 3rd Annual Celebration Show (September 26 & 27). I will write more on these events as we grow closer to the date.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Report from the fair

I climbed up the hill on the way to the ground I was immediately confronted by the swarm of busy, happy people. Encouraged by the sweet sound of talented island musicians, I ventured further and found...

an old goat...

...a lady in vintage attire...

...I even met Queen Victoria.

I did find the crafts...

and even the art. This portrait was done of a local celebrity. Who that celebrity is makes one ponder...

Friday, July 11, 2008

Unexpected stitches

When last I mentioned my cardigan, I had made much headway. I was almost finished in fact: I only had the sleeves and pockets left. Then as sometimes happens my attention swifted to a project that had a deadline. My cardigan must now wait while I finished this baby sweater.

Who knows where my needles will take me next: life is a journey.

Please attend the church fair tomorrow: 10 am to 3 pm. You're guaranteed to have a good time!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Just another day in paradise

My front yard continues to be a problem. It largely takes care of its self. We have done some mowing there are many levels and it slopes so much that it makes maintenance difficult. Thankfully I have been able to find some local gardeners. Though they work when and where they want on the plus side they are cheap: they work for food. ...and they're just so darn cute!

Yes, that is a deer fence that you see. The wind blew a hole in it and we weren't in any rush to fix it. Our gardeners (For clarification, when I write gardener you should read deer) are now free to come and go when they want.

The twin fawns have been hanging around for a while. So, Mom has become very use to our strange human ways. She now posses very nicely for her picture.

Have a lovely Wednesday.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Ferry trouble

Okay, listen to this one. Imagine you're a business person or a cancer patient living on a southern gulf island in beautiful British Columbia.

Which one?

Oh, I don't know, let's pick Galiano Island. You have a meeting or an appointment on the mainland. So you drive down to the dock. You arrive on time to catch the ferry. The ferry workers welcome you on board. You settle in for your sail to the mainland. Oh, but wait for what ever reason the ferry workers decide to kick you off the ferry. They kick not only you off but also 49 of your fellow islanders. If you refuse the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) use force to kick you off.

Think it can't happen? Think again. It happened last Saturday. The reason given was that there were too many passengers.

I have two questions:

Question number one: Hasn't anyone told them that its summer? In the summer there are usually a lot of people who want to use the ferry. Are the ferries so sure that you don't want to travel to the southern gulf islands that they can travel with a limited number of staff? ...because they do and they did last Saturday.

Question number two: How fast can ferry workers count? We line up to take the ferry. We all do: cars and foot passengers. You mean to tell me that they can't count us then and there. Or even maybe when their selling the tickets.

Oh, yes, and if you think your save because you are a foot passenger (as I always did). Then think again. They kicked off everyone drivers and "footies".

Lesson learned: If you want to use the ferry don't live on a small island. The high ferry tickets slice through your wallet and they kick you off when ever and for what ever reason they want.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Don't miss it

It made the cover of the Mayneliner (our island monthly magazine) and you would be well advised not to miss it. Its always tons of fun! This years theme is Klondike Daze. Mayne Island was a main spot for miners on their way to seek their fortune during the Cariboo Gold Rush. In their memory, the organizers offer new kids games, prizes, a silent auction, pies, cakes, plants, hot dogs & hambergers, live entertainment, The Chilcotin Pass cafe and much more. So bring your pan, pick and shovel and join me this Saturday, July 12th from 10:30 am to 3:00 pm. You'll probably find me admiring the crafts at the craft table.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Report from the front

Here is the progress I have made on the sweater. It doesn't look nearly as unusual as I thought it would. You never know exactly what it will look like until all the pieces are assembled. Who knows what the pockets or sleeves will look like.

Here in BC we don't pay to drive our vehicles on the highway. We all contribute - by way of taxes - to the upkeep. Living on an island we must rely on the ferries. The ferries are our "marine highway". I maintain that ferry transportation should be free for islanders. The hike in the cost of ferry transportation has greatly effect our island economy. Today rural islanders will be protesting ferry hikes. For some background information on this topic please read:

For information concerning today's rally please read:

Happy independence day to all my American readers. Today I am knitting along to...

Speaking of Rock Band (in case you were wondering what Rock Band is:, I can sing this on expert. And yes you should be very thankful that you can't hear me. Rock on dudes.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Bonne fete Quebec
I had the good fortune of visiting Quebec several years ago. I was warned before I went to keep my mouth shut. I was informed that they wouldn't appreciate my western Canadian ascent. I was in Quebec for three months. I did speak. I tried my best to speak French. All of my attempts were very well received. They tried to put me at ease by speaking English. Between the two languages we were able to communicate successfully. In fact, far from feeling prejudice I felt very welcomed. I recall roaming the streets of old Quebec city. I was charmed by its beauty and culture. Today I would like to add my voice to others in saying, "Bonne fete Quebec."
Read more:

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The confession of a lazy knitter

Sample swatches are important...and if you don't respect them you will suffer the consequences. I am currently working with the fallout of yet another incorrect estimation. Can you hear me weeping?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Happy Canada Day

Knitting along to:

Today hubby and I will be walking down to Dinner Bay to join our fellow islanders in the celebrations. I hope you have a happy Canada day.