Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Where I've been...

This past weekend, I taught at a knitting retreat held at the Delta Marsh Field Station. This is right on the edge of Lake Winnipeg, and it was my first real road trip outside of Winnipeg since we moved here. The field station is actually linked to my husband's department, and I've never felt so lucky to be associated with biologists. The place is gorgeous and I hope I'll get to go back! (it's rented out to other groups as well, so maybe I'll go back with these knitters, too...)

I got to talk about Knit Green and show off some of the projects from the book for the first time. It's a real relief to share these things after keeping these secrets for all this time! The Spire Smock (blocking photo, above) was a big hit and fit my friend Christine perfectly. Many people checked the Waves napkins...this is a prototype for the one in the book. (I used different yarns for the one in the book.)

I also brought this basket, which is featured on the cover of the book. That was fun! Everyone really enjoyed getting to touch the projects as they actually appeared in print.

I'll keep introducing you to these projects and telling you more about them as time passes. In the meanwhile...

I had a conversation with my dad a few days ago about our fireplaces. We have two fireplaces that were originally built to be coal burning. Now they are used for wood instead. Although it is easy to purchase wood for having a fire, it is nothing like what you might expect if you live on the east coast of North America. There are no dead trees in the backyard, just waiting to go into one's woodpile! There's not even a lot of space in many people's yards for a woodpile here. While I live in the city, I thought I'd offer a tour of the prairie as I drove home from Delta Marsh. (no photos of the marsh itself, there's no good place to pull off the road to shoot a photo!)

This is the hunting lodge that was converted into part of the biological field station. It's right alongside the lake, so there are lots of trees here. The lake has some sandy bits, some rocky shore, and a lot of drift wood. Cold weather was coming, so there was a big breeze off the lake and that made waves.

The drive from the field station to the city is about 70 miles or so and an hour and a half. It takes some time to drive on the gravel roads, which require lower speed limits.

I stopped along the side of the road from the field station to take photos of the prairie.

This is what the road looked like, it's built a tiny bit above the actual landscape. These fields were being used for hay; other fields had crops which were already harvested or being harvested. The combines used in field work can shoot great clouds of dust and dirt in the air if the soil is dry--you can see these clouds for miles. It looked a bit like a fire until you got close.

This is what one of the drier fields looked like--there are great shades of color from black earth to dark green to hay color. There are also fields of sunflowers, canola, flax, hemp, and grain.

The farms and field edges often have trees planted as wind breaks. You can tell that the trees were planted there because they are all in straight lines or very intentional clumps! (Trees will seed themselves, but there aren't a lot of forested areas here.)

The yellow car is mine--I was trying to shoot all the angles I could see without blowing away. It was a breezy day.

When I got onto the Trans-Canada highway, speeds increased. Even so, there wasn't a lot of traffic on a Sunday afternoon. So, I was able to look at the window and noticed a train crossing the prairie. If you click on this photo, you'll see how long this freight train is...longer than the photo! I shot the photo through my windshield, while driving home.

On a sunny day, the sky is blue and the clouds skid by...the horizon lasts forever and there is such an open beauty to the landscape! While the city looks like, well, a city--you can drive out just a few miles and see the prairie come back into control again.

More about knitting and a story about our (great big) small world in the next post!

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Blogger Donna D said...

Got my review copy today and I LOVE IT! I love it even more than your first book, but that could be because I tech edited the first book and this one I get to see as a virgin. But I don't think that's it. Your writing feels very relaxed in this book. Also, I love your projects. So I'll be writing a review soon....


September 29, 2009 at 7:59 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Tell me you're not burning coal. And if you do start, promise me you have a CO detector first. Back in our NH days, we ended up in the hospital with CO poisoning from a coal stove and it's a deadly serious subject to me now.

--AlisonH at spindyeknit.com

September 29, 2009 at 9:32 PM  
Blogger Sarah Jean said...

I...kind of love that your car is yellow. <3

September 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM  
Blogger Joanne said...

Thanks, Donna!! :)

Alison, no worries, we aren't burning coal. The house was built in 1914, so once, they burnt coal in these fireplaces, but we don't do that now. Wood only, please...

September 30, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger PBnJ said...

Hi, Joanne,
Just checking in with you. Congrats on the new book!
I am looking forward to seeing it! I finally got to see your previous one, Fiber Gathering, at my county fair recently. I was so excited to finally get to look at it - very beautifully done.
I can understand what you mean about needing space for a woodpile when you use a woodburning stove or fireplace. I live in a place where our only heat is woodburning stoves. We definitely go through the wood in the winter.
Well, gotta go for now - have a great day!

September 30, 2009 at 7:45 PM  
Blogger Jessica Salen said...

Love your new book! Such inspiring creative ideas.

Shana Tova, Jessica (Jenn's Friend, Zoe's Mom)

October 1, 2009 at 5:14 PM  

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