hi!

Yes, well that took a while! It’s been a busy, hot, interesting summer so far. Lots of activity happening with the family, all good, many changes happening, but it’s all good. The next few weeks look to be just as busy so I’m just popping in for a quick update.

Melissa and I had 3 market dates this summer at the Edmonds Summer Market. They all were tons of fun and we sold lots of yarn and patterns, including Missy’s new colourway: Game Day. It caught the eye of many local Seahawk Fans, knitters and non-knitters.

We have a 4th date scheduled for September 5th, but we are cancelling that for a couple of reasons. My daughter is moving that weekend to Toronto that weekend and I want to be here to have every last second to stare at her before she zooms off to fun and adventure in her new job.

The second reason we are cancelling is that we now have our yarn in a shop in Edmonds, WA!!! We are beyond excited and so happy to be working with them: All Wound Up, run by a mom and daughter, Leslie and Nona. They are so fun and welcoming, and supportive of local dyers. It’s a dream to be there.

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Map and directions to get to their shop, if you’re visiting or live in the area, are in the sidebar. Lots of excitement and squealing on our parts!

I’ve been busy spinning some gorgeous fibres that we purchased at a local mill… lovely blends such as merino, alpaca, kid mohair, BFL, angora, just to name a few. They practically spin themselves!

I made another pair of our Ripple Wave Fingerless Mitts, just because… it’s been a while since I knit a pair and it was fun to do.

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I’ve started on Stephen West’s Daybreak Shawl with some gorgeous yarn I bought at All Wound Up.

And I’m finishing up on my Kikusui Cardigan that I started earlier this year. I made a solemn vow in front of my knitter friends that I will finish it to wear this Fall and they will hold me to it! I’m just working down the sleeves right now and then I’ll be done. Look for a finished photo soon-ish!

Rather than repeat photos here, most are posted on my Instagram account and on our Emerald Lotus Instagram as well.

I hope you’ve been having a good summer ūüôā ¬†It’s hard to jump back into the blog world, but I really, really am going to try to keep going here.

connecting

When we signed up for this trip over a year ago, we were drawn to it by the itinerary that went to Hong Kong, Kaiping, China, Vietnam, Thailand and Singapore, and the involvement of Dr. Henry Yu. As I said in the last post, Henry and Warren had worked together a few years ago on a series of¬†Chinese Canadian stories, with Warren and his cousin and her children highlighting the story of their grandfather, CD Hoy, his mother’s father, who immigrated to Canada in the early 1900s.

About a month before we were to leave on the trip, Warren got to thinking about where his grandfather was from, and the facts that he had was that CD was from a village called Sui Soon Lee in the county of Hoiping, Guangdong Province. So he did what we all would do, he googled it. Turns out Hoiping is the Cantonese version of Kaiping (Mandarin), one of the places on our itinerary where we were¬†scheduled¬†to visit the World Heritage UNESCO Diaolou sites. Emails ensued, Henry pursued it with his contacts, put us in touch with these contacts and voila, it was proposed that we would possibly try to visit the village while we were there. We didn’t have a long time in Kaiping… only 1 night, so it would be a tight squeeze if we could fit it in.

The morning that we were taking the ferry from Hong Kong to Zhongshan, the port city for Kaiping, we met Wanda Huang, a Chinese educator with local knowledge of the area and diaolous, who grew up not far from Sui Soon Lee and spoke the local dialect; as well, she lived in Canada and spoke perfect English. She would be accompanying us on this 2-day excursion.

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So it wasn’t really until that morning on the ferry that we realized that visiting the village was a real possibility, but we still weren’t positive that we’d find the village and what we would find if we did!

We picked up another local woman along the way who works for the government and was familiar with the village and its connection to CD Hoy. So there is our coach/bus following this woman on her scooter down narrow country lanes and voila, we pull up into the village. This is it!

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We were told that the writing on the gate said it was Sui Soon Lee. And off we go, gathering attention and interesting looks!

Sui Soon Lee, the ancestral village of Warren’s grandfather

The first man we meet, as translated by¬†Wanda, tells us that he had known CD as a little boy. We’re not sure about this since he left the village in 1901 and this man, while elderly, was certainly not 100+ years! We made mental notes to ourselves to check what years CD made trips back to the village. But regardless, he told us the house still stands and would we like to see it?

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As we were following him down a narrow lane, I’m¬†snapping photos along the way and it was starting to hit me what was happening.¬†I’m wiping tears while trying to take pictures and look totally normal. Hard to do. Believe me, I stood out!

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We were shown the house which is now uninhabitable and is used as storage, started to take pictures of it when a few more people showed up and started talking to Wanda.

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Incredibly, Wanda tells us, this little grey-haired woman says she is related to CD Hoy. Her grandfather and Warren’s great-grandfather were brothers. That would make her a great-aunt or great-great aunt, not sure, but it doesn’t matter! It’s a family connection!

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What ensued after was lots of chatting, laughing, photos, more people, a cute baby, more people… Our fellow travellers were incredibly patient and I think were just as touched that this connection was made.

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We stayed a bit longer but then said our goodbyes and we were off for our scheduled itinerary visits. But this was a truly amazing experience!

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This would not have happened without the hard work of many people: Amanda Butler with Worldwide Quest, the UBC Alumni Travel Club, Dr. Henry Lu, Wanda Huang, Dr. Selia Tan. We are so grateful and are very excited to share this with the family and see about making a return visit!

Lastly, as I was getting back to our coach, I saw this woman sewing in an open storefront, a beautiful gold cloth.

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Yes, I think we need to go back so I can investigate this further…

More photos on my Flickr site in this album.

one for the girl

robin scarf1

with a touch of green for luck.

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Cascade Heritage Silk Paints in Teal Mix for the warp, hand dyed merino wool lace for the weft. ¬†10.5″ by 65″ with 4″ fringe.

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Details in Ravelry.

spring weekend

Finally we had a weekend full of family, fun and sun. ¬†The only thing missing was the lad, still two weeks away from returning. ¬†My sister and brother-in-law came up for the long weekend and we had a great time exploring Chinatown, Deep Cove…went for a walk at Cates Park…did a lot of eating and crafting and enjoying the weather.

I’ve been spinning again and chose this fibre, inspired by the springy colours. ¬†I’m not sure what this fibre is. ¬†It was in my large drawer of stash and was missing its label, but I felt drawn to these colours. ¬†I’m thinking maybe it was an extra sent by Funky Carolina, but I could be wrong. ¬†It feels like merino to me, but again, I could be wrong. ¬†But I did love spinning this and it has gotten me back in the groove. ¬†And as usual, I forgot to take a picture of the full braid. ¬†So in between bobbins, I snapped a quick one of the second half of the fibre to be spun.

I finished plying this over the weekend and today I got it washed and while I was cleaning up my back garden, I hung it out to dry. ¬†It sure doesn’t take long in the sun and with a bit of warmth in the air!

What I have is 421 yards of a fingering weight yarn.  What shall I knit with it?

Treading Carefully

the Hoy House

So one of the the things we wanted to do on this little trip to Quesnel was to check out the house that Warren lived in when he was a kid…for about seven years until his family bought their own house a few blocks away.¬† The “Hoy House” was built by his grandfather, CD Hoy, in 1934 and is sort of an icon in the town.¬† Warren’s mom lived here with her 9 sisters and two brothers and it stayed in the family until, I think, around the late 70s.¬† CD owned the block and the house was at one end and his store,¬† a dry-goods and grocery store, was at the other end.¬†¬† Now the house is the only thing remaining.¬† The store was sold and there is now a CIBC bank on the site… there was a nice plaque on the front of the bank …

Since the family sold the house, it’s been a number of interesting establishments: a lawyer’s office, a basket shop, a couple of restaurants.¬† And with each owner, the place seemed more run down or was saddled with some really awful “improvements” that changed the whole character of the home.

Then we heard that it was bought by a local dentist and his wife, who it turns out is related to Warren’s close buddy in town, and the house has been renovated and looks so nice.

Hoy House, August 2006

Hoy House today

The dentist office occupies the first floor of the house, the second floor is being renovated and the couple will live in that.¬† I think it’s so great that a family will be living in the house again.

Well, despite my mention in my last post that I would talk about the freaky doll that made my tooth explode, I will not, actually.¬† I think I’m cursed and there is only one place it could come from.¬† Mandy.¬† Quesnel Museum.¬† Freak doll.¬† Need I say more?¬† I will say, however, that my tooth abscessed that afternoon, I had the root canal from hell when I came home, I think my vision is failing fast, and I’m pretty sure I broke my little toe while swimming yesterday.¬†¬†¬† Yep, I’m convinced that dolls are as creepy as clowns, especially noted haunted dolls.¬† And I will move on….

Happy thoughts!  I finished a pair of socks!

flame wave socks, from Favorite Socks book

The Ravelry link is here with all the details.¬†¬† I really love these and I’m considering making a pair of wristwarmers out of this pattern.¬† I kept trying it on my hand when I was knitting these and I kept thinking these would make great mittens or fingerless gloves or something along that line.

detail of pattern

My crafting mojo has been missing this summer, but my reading mojo has picked up quite nicely.¬†¬† So I’m very proud of myself for finishing these socks while satisfying my obsession reading all the Harry Potter books this summer.¬† I’ve forgotten how fun and imaginative these books are.

So I’ll try to stay out of trouble, keep my nose in my book, work, craft a bit and put all thoughts of freaky dolls out of my head.¬† Oh, maybe I’ll delete her photos from my harddrive.¬† Ah, hah.¬† That’s it!

I should say though that the Quesnel Museum was a fascinating place, with bits of nostalgia, including some things from the Hoy Store, a book that had an article written by Warren’s mom, and an exhibit of CD Hoy’s photographs.¬† We spent a lot of time there looking at everything and enjoying it all…¬† except for you know who.