Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's finished!

I've finally sewn the flannellette lining to the back of the Piecework Blanket. I hope the two layers won't make the finished product too hot. I'll get a report once the recipients (my daughter and her family) use it.
Ten years ago I assembled the squares I'd knit for the master knitter designation into a blanket. (I won't admit when it was that I'd started the project.) It was way too large, so I cut it in half--it will be much more manageable this way. I don't know how to crochet and just sewed the 48 blocks together with an overhand stitch. I found the sewing tedious and remember thinking at the time I was originally assembling the squares that I would rather have been knitting.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This and that

I've posted several photos which I took when I was on the tour of the rooftop garden of the Royal York Hotel in Toronto. It was a great opportunity to get another perspective of the city, and to see the skyscrapers reflected against each other in their walls of glass.
I was going to take a closer photo of the beehives, but the inhabitants were buzzing around and I wasn't sure how territorial they were. I do know that the bees spend a lot of time around the lavender plants.

This week I received another newsletter from the Shetland Guild of Spinners, Weavers & Dyers. This issue was also full of their activities and a description of the temporary home of the Shetland Textile Working Museum at the Bod of Gremista in Lerwick. Their current exhibition is called "New from Old (Changes in Fashion)" and shows the evolution of textiles over the decades, reaching back to former centuries. Having seen a number of past exhibitions, I can imagine this one is another innovative display of treasured knits.

There was an amusing reference in one part of the newsletter about a journey to "Scotland"--a reminder that one doesn't dare call the residents of these islands 'Scots'. They are Shetlanders!

Update on the Piecework Blanket: I haven't worked on it for several weeks. Still just have to sew the lining to the blanket.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Earlier this week I took four grandchildren by train from Ottawa to Toronto, where they were meeting family and then going on to spend a week at a cottage on Lake Huron. I intended to return to Ottawa later in the day. That left me with a few hours to fill in before the return trip. To pass the time, my plan was to read while sitting on a comfortable couch in the lobby of the Royal York Hotel, located just across the street from the train station. Fortunately, while walking through the lobby, I noticed a sign about Sunday afternoon tea in the Library Bar. I spent a very pleasant time enjoying the music of a solo performer, the delicious food and the general civilized ambience.

While I was there, I learned about a tour of the hotel roof to see the garden and beehives. Thus, a small group of us were escorted by two young chefs, who explained in detail what was growing in the numerous raised beds and talked about the beehives and the resident bees. It was interesting to learn about the variety of plants and the honey produced for use in the special dishes served in the hotel restaurants. The enthusiasm of the chefs was fun to hear, and a treat to see the city from that elevated vantage point. I did take a number of photos and will post them on my blog in a few days.

I've completed most of the arrangements for the Italian tour and the complete tour package will be sent out in two weeks. Then I can concentrate on the planning of next year's tours to Scotland and Wales. (Still waiting to hear from Flybe about the domestic Scottish flights.) However, as soon as I have a few more details, Garth (my 'website guy') will be updating my website and announcing when registrations will be accepted.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A slow news week

I promised myself I would post every Tuesday, but life got in the way this past week.

Earlier this week, I heard on the news that there is coastal erosion at the Fortress of Louisbourg site on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. I was concerned that this had occurred in the area which had been so carefully restored. However, apparently it isn't in the actual renovated site, where we visited last summer on the 'Maritime Memories Tours', but where they are working on the archaeological dig. (Susan, thanks for updating me on that.) It has meant increased pressure to recover whatever possible of artifacts and traces of the earlier occupations. A recent study warned that the coast could erode by about 30 metres in the next 50 to 100 years. By the way, if anyone is interested, it is possible to be a member of the fortress's volunteer program and to take part in the dig. A good reason to spend more time on Cape Breton.

I finally got an update on the Flybe service to Shetland, Orkney and the Hebrides for next year. Well, not exactly a full-blown disclosure, but a notice that Flybe would be releasing the fares and schedule for 2011 at the beginning of September, 2010. Then, I will be able to complete the information for those who've been waiting for details about the fourteenth 'Scottish Skeins & Skerries' tour scheduled for next summer.

The Piecework Blanket has also hit a bit of a stall. I did buy some very colourful flannelette for the lining, but have been just too busy to sew it on.