Thursday, May 26, 2016


Today's post was originally going to be about a couple of recent outings, with a bit of local flora and fauna thrown in for good measure. But early yesterday evening something happened that has left me feeling very upset and unsettled. Thus, that planned post will have to wait for another time to make it onto my blog.

Almost every evening now that the weather is nice and the days are longer I take Fergus for a walk at the small off leash area here at The Cottages. It's really more of a path that follows the dike above Frost Creek than the traditional wide open area you would associate with a dog park. Fergus loves going there, and so do I. While he runs around sniffing every blade of grass, wildflower and weed that grows along the side of the path, I enjoy the sound of the creek running nearby, take in the trees, the rock facing on the other side of the stream, and if I'm especially fortunate watch one of the resident bald eagles soaring overhead. 

Fergus at the off leash area, photo bombing my shot of this wild Columbine

When we were there yesterday a friend phoned. I sat down on one of the picnic tables to have a chat with her while Fergus meandered down to the gate, waiting to go back home. One minute everything was lovely, peaceful and calm. I was chatting and laughing with my friend and watching Fergus look at me with a "can you please hurry up" look on his face. Then in an instant it all changed. A huge German shepherd came charging through an open door in the fence at the edge of the off leash area and attacked Fergus. At this point all hell broke loose. The dog's person came running behind, making a feeble attempt to control her dog. I was yelling at her to get her dog on the leash. Fergus was cowering in a little ball under the Shepherd. (In hindsight I think Fergus's fearful nature is probably what save him from getting hurt. Had he attempted to fight the dog off I think it would have ended very differently.)

As the person approached her dog it started walking towards me. I was still yelling at her to get it on the leash. Then it turned, ran back at Fergus, and attacked him again. It wasn't until this second attack that she managed to leash her dog. I had assumed she was a camper from the nearby Thousand Trails site, and was appalled when she punched in the gate code for the Cottages and walked through. The whole thing was bad enough when I thought it was some random camper that I would never encounter again, but when I realized that dog resided in the same community as me everything changed.

This dog was vicious. It attacked my dog. The attack was totally unprovoked. Thankfully Fergus wasn't hurt, but he was terrorized. But the fact that he wasn't physically hurt doesn't change anything. That Shepherd's intent was to harm him. And what if I had had Lucy or Ella with me? It makes me sick to think of what could have happened. 

My dilemma now is I have no choice but to report this dog to our strata. If I didn't, and then found out that it had gone on to harm someones pet or child I would never be able to forgive myself. But we are a small community, and pretty much everyone knows everyone else. I hate to stir up trouble. I just want to live my quiet, peaceful life here, minding my own business and being a positive part of the community. I feel like that is no longer going to be possible. 

This was taken earlier yesterday, before the incident with the vicious dog. I thought it was funny how Fergus had seemed white until I cast on a project with this white yarn and compared the two.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Win Some, Lose Some

Two weeks ago I wrote a post about a failed project I had just finished knitting. The comments it generated were very interesting. They ranged from those of you who agreed with me and thought the sweater was not one of my better knits, to those who thought it looked great and encouraged me to keep and wear it. There were also several people who thought that while the sweater was fine, if I didn't like it I should go ahead and take it to the thrift store so someone else could buy it and enjoy wearing it.

I most likely will be taking it to the thrift store, as I just can't see myself bothering to wear it when I have so many other sweaters. I already have a few sweaters that are worn and pilled enough to qualify as part of my dog walking wardrobe. The difference between them and this latest one is I actually like the others, even though they are rather worn and tattered. They are the ones I'm going to grab when I go for a hike, sit by the campfire, or take Fergus for a walk.

There is a deeper issue I wanted to talk about after that post, and it is about risk taking. I'm not the kind of person that wants to take any kind of risk with money, my health, or any other Very Important life scenario. But when it comes to things that don't fall into those categories I am just the opposite. Knitting is one of those things. I don't mind having the occasional failure (although I was a little sore about having special ordered that zipper and spending all those hours sewing the blasted thing in). I think failure is part of the learning process. If I hadn't ever been willing to risk trying a new technique I would still be knitting dish cloths and nothing else.

I feel much the same about sewing. I started out as a complete rookie, and would now probably classify myself as an advanced rookie. I make tons of mistakes, and probably log more time with my seam ripper than I do my sewing machine. Which is why, when I ran across the Ginger Skinny Jeans pattern back in early April, I should have simply bookmarked them for some point in the distant future when my seam ripper and I aren't so well acquainted. But hey, I'm a risk taker, and before I knew it I had ordered some lovely denim from Fancy Tiger Crafts, who also happened to be hosting a sewalong for the jeans.

I went into sewing the Ginger Jeans knowing there was almost no chance they would turn out. And I was okay with that. I figured I would learn from the experience, and even if I didn't have a pair of jeans at the end I would have picked up some valuable sewing skills. Maybe even enough new skills that a second attempt would turn out. But then the most surprising thing happened. They did turn out. There's a part of me that still can't believe it.

My shirt is the Wiksten Tank 

They were definitely a challenge.

They also took me a long time to make. A month from start to finish. But I was okay with that. Knitting has taught me to be patient and not expect instant results.

I never could have succeeded without the Internet. It was very helpful to look at blogs and tutorials from those who had already made these jeans.

One of the fun things was being able to personalize them. Instead of plain fabric to line the pockets and waistband I chose a bright floral design.

They aren't perfect. Far from it as a matter of fact. My topstitching around the waistband wasn't the greatest. And when I put in the rivets at the side I hammered so hard I rubbed the copper colour off the middle of the rivet. But in spite of their small imperfections they are the best fitting jeans I have ever owned. I know there will be many more sewing fails in my future, and that my next pair of jeans might not turn out as well as these did. And I'm okay with that. For me it is not just about the finished product. The journey to get there is every bit as important as the end result.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section. Are you a product or a process crafter? Do you like to take risks and try new techniques, or does that take the enjoyment out of the process for you?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Home Again

Before I get to the topic of today's post I wanted to thank everyone for their thoughtful comments on my last post about the failed sweater. There is much more that I would like to say about it, so will come back to it next time. Also, you might be wondering where I have been as I don't usually let so much time pass between posts. Several wonderful days have been spent in Victoria meeting my new grandson, and the rest of the time I have been immersed in a project. More on the project in the next post, and for now, on to Oliver.

There is something so incredibly special and delightful about a newborn baby - the tender skin, the soft hair, the way they snuggle in as you hold them, and perhaps most of all that realization that this is just a little sliver of time in their life. If you blink your eyes a few times they are suddenly toddlers, wanting to play doctor and have all their fingers covered in bandages.

Those little legs and arms grow bigger at an amazing rate.

And before you know it instead of being stretched out in a bassinet they are lying on the beach making a sand angel.

Newborns have a special way of tugging at your heart.

But then again, so do toddlers.

Have a great week!