Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hypothermic Swims, and The Over-and-Over Again Project

I am a Canadian. I come from a "nice," thoroughly unrealistic country. --Matthew Fisher
It's Canada Day Weekend, and since the holiday fell on a Saturday, we're lucky enough to have Monday off. I'm looking forward to being off on a Monday. I always enjoy being off on a weekday, not just because it's a nice break, but also because I secretly love daytime tv. It reminds me of those rare days when I got to stay home from school as a kid when everyone else had to be at school. I had the same feeling later on as an adult when I was a substitute teacher and took a day off during the week... Man, I loved watching the kids trudging to the bus stop while I was still in my pajamas. What a great feeling.

We decided to head out to Lake Cowichan yesterday to see if the water was warm enough for a swim. When we got there, people were already starting to set up their beach chairs and bring in their picnic baskets. I was skeptical about the water temperature as soon as we arrived, as there was still a bit of a chill in the air, and we haven't had many super-warm days to warm up the lake yet this year.

The hubby and I sat on the edge of the beach in our bathing suits and rash shirts, waiting for the courage to wade in. We eventually did, and it was, shall we say, brisk. Bracing. Totally freezing, even. We hooted and waded in a bit further, swishing our limbs about and trying to adjust, and eventually, I took a  deep breath and submerged myself and started to swim as quickly as I could. It got better after a few minutes, and we swam up and down the length of the shore for an impressive 30 minutes or so before we called it quits. It was a brave attempt, nothing to sneeze at for sure.

Nothing says Canada Day like a hypothermic dip in the lake, I say.

We dried off and picked up our things and drove to the town to find a picnic table in the sunshine to enjoy our sandwiches. We were like basking lizards for the first few minutes, just soaking up the warmth of the sun again. It wasn't as busy there as I thought it would be, but I could see more people arriving by the minute. The last time I was in Lake Cowichan was before Christmas when I stopped in for a coffee on a rainy day on the way to a work meeting. This was a nice switch:

I noticed someone had yarnbombed a couple of the trees. I'm not a yarnbomber myself, but the sight of it made me smile:

We wandered over to another table and sat down to eat our lunch. I guess I'd never really noticed before, but it was the first time I noticed the displays of old logging equipment all around:

After we ate, we walked across the pavement and wandered through the little museum featuring life in the area when logging was the main industry. I was surprised at how much they were able to pack into the small space. The displays were all cleverly built, mini scenes from houses and shops... all little glimpses into the past.

 Of course, I loved the kitchen:

And after seeing the sitting room, I left coveting the box next to the organ, which looked like it was overflowing with someone's sewing project:

 And the little scissors on this embroidery hoop are just beautiful:

There were plenty of photographs on display. I'm not sure I would have chosen this seating layout, myself:

And this one just looked like a really, really bad idea:

I guess that's how this poster came about:

There was even a mini post office. These mailboxes were really cool, each one with its own combination lock:

My mom operated a phone exchange like this when she worked at an office in the Philippines:

 And the general store was a delight:

 And just WHAT are these rum soaked crooks dipped in??

Today, I am resting and relaxing. I finished one side of my top a couple of days ago. I'm still unsure of how it's going to look in the end, but I have an idea cooking in my brain that I'm hoping will work out. So far, I like the look of it:

I thought I'd be further ahead with the second side today, but I am still struggling through the twisted rib hem right now. It was nearly complete this morning, but when I compared it to the first side, I noticed that it was much smaller. I made a face... I couldn't have made it with another size needle, could I? I thought I remembered only using one size for the entire first side. Did I actually start with a larger one for the rib? Why would I do that?

This is why notes are important. And no, I didn't take any. Of course I didn't.

So, I ripped it all out and cast on with a larger size needle, but as I started working the first row (which, even when it's not twisted rib, is always a struggle), I became absolutely sure that I did NOT knit the rib with this needle, not at all, no sir. I could only deduce that my gauge had somehow changed, and the longer I thought about it, I realized that I had noticed how much more difficult the second side seemed to knit. So, I ripped it out again.

Sigh. I'm about halfway through this section, and I guess I'm more relaxed this time because it seems to be going a lot faster. I suppose that, if you're going to do anything over and over, it's going to get easier each time. I'm thinking that I should call this project "Triple K" or "The Over-and-Over Again Top," because it's looking like I'm going to be knitting each section AT LEAST three times. Lord help us.

I'm pleased to know that I have one more day off tomorrow. Things are just about the same these days at work, and I feel as tired as before, but I'm hoping, hoping, hoping that this will all balance out again some day. I really don't know how I could continue if it doesn't. I don't think I want to contemplate it just now. This weekend, I am reminded of all the privileges I have by being lucky enough to be born in this country. No matter what happens at work, I am grateful that I have this place to call home.

For now, I think I'll go get myself a bowl of ice cream and sit down to knit some good ol' twisted rib for the third time... again...

Have a great weekend!

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