Posted by: Kate | January 13, 2017

Oh the Math!

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The Curve of Pursuit blanket is done – almost. The pattern itself is complete, however because this is for a young man who is 5’10” and potentially still growing, it needs to be a bit longer. I am adding stripes equal to the width of the border at each end (orange, brown, oatmeal, brown). Then it will be done. Well, then and when I’ve sewn in the rest of the ends.

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Now let’s talk about the awesomeness that is Woolly Thoughts patterns and their mathness (yup, totally made that word up). According to the designers “Curve of Pursuit is based on the curves that are formed if four dogs set off to chase each other from the corners of a field. The path created by each dog is an equi-angular spiral”. I cannot tell you how this level of math and knitting combining forces makes my heart happy.

Oh, and both Bushboy and Panda approve.

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Posted by: Kate | January 6, 2017

Zoom Away

I treated myself to a zoom lens for my Canon Rebel after Christmas. Picked it up for half price at the London Drugs Boxing Day sales. I’ve been wanting a zoom lens for a while, so was thrilled to get it. Mr. Kate and I took it along on our traditional New Year’s Day walk and even though it was very cold in the winter wind, I had lots of fun trying it out.

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The above is with the zoom lens and below is with my regular lens.

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The series below shows how much detail I can pick up:

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Looking forward to many more opportunities to play with the new lens!

Posted by: Kate | January 1, 2017

Word for 2017

People often think I am younger than I am. Some of that is good genetics, some of it is hair dye. But some of it is that I have a certain outlook on life.

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I have been called innocent, conservative, “cute” and too nice. In reality I am none of those things (ok maybe cute sometimes, although as a short woman that word grates; and how can someone be too nice – it always seems like a not very positive thing when people say it though). I am reserved unless I know you well, and an introvert, but I think what those people see is that I have not lost my sense of wonder.

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It is a conscious choice to be a romantic in this world. I’m a practical woman, yet I have always had a romantic, sentimental side. How can I not be when I am married to the man I have loved since I was 16? My parents thought, and still think, it odd, as they are not romantics. And many people see it as naive. But I prefer to think of it as not allowing myself to become jaded and cynical, states that are all too easy for someone of intelligence in this day and age.

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So this year, I choose WONDER as my word. More than ever this year I will look for the amazing wonder that surrounds me. And considering where I live, I know it surrounds me daily. Many people around the world want to come to where I live because it is so filled with natural wonder.

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I don’t want to apologize for finding wonder and beauty in small things, for being delighted with a well-turned sock heel (seriously – wondrous!) or for appreciating a well-written phrase. I will look for the good and the strong and the peace around me. I will fill my life with the wonder I see all around and I will not hesitate to share.

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So my friends – what is your word for 2017?

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Posted by: Kate | December 7, 2016

And so it Goes….

Like so many who started in this blogging world when I did (8 years ago plus now) I am struggling with whether this space has outlived itself. Does the blog still provide what I need or want from it? I now share my photos on Instagram (Coastalkate) and I am on Facebook with my close friends.

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I still have stories to tell. If my mind could just write whenever it started composing, I would have many posts here. But I work on a computer all day, and the effort to sit down and write after work hours seems to elude me these days (this is the same issue with some letters that are far overdue, by the way).

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I am not ready quite yet to bid the blog good-bye. I am going to take a break until the New Year. In that time I will think about what this blog means to me and what purpose the space may still serve.

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In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. May you find time for friends, family and yourself in this busy month.

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Posted by: Kate | October 29, 2016

West Coast Abundance

Life cycles are in your face when you live on the west coast, as close as we are to nature snuggled between the mountains and the ocean. And none are so spectacular as the cycle of connection between salmon and the forest.

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In every town and city on this island there is a salmon-bearing river, or two, or ten. Above is the Campbell River, one of the biggest on the island, where 10s of thousands of salmon are born, leave and then return two or four years later to lay eggs. This life cycle has been going on for thousands of years and even with human activity it takes a lot to kill a river to the point where the life cycle stops. Luckily on the island people have recognized the need to protect our rivers and even those that were heavily disturbed by industrial activity are being revitalized.

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Every fall a walk along the river means looking for the salmon. Watching them struggle against current and snags and rapids to get as high up the river as they can to lay their eggs (females) and fertilize the eggs (males), and then die.

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The salmon cycle itself is an awesome sight. But it is only one cycle in a much bigger picture. And it is the bigger picture that makes the west coast a place of such magnificence.

As the salmon come up the rivers, the fish eating predators also come to the rivers. Around here that is mostly black bears and birds. These predators prowl the river banks picking off these fatty fish (especially the females with their nutritious eggs) when they can get to them. Watching a black bear fish in a shallow river is a sight to behold, they often miss but the commitment is impressive! When they do catch them, not only are they nourished for the lean winter months to come (and our island bears don’t hibernate the same way bears in colder climates do, they nap more than deep sleep so need more nourishment) but they leave the carcasses behind on the forest floor (and sometimes on the trails of course).

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These fish remains (I was nice and posted a picture of a whole fish that must have been dropped before it could be eaten, but there were many ripped apart and mostly eaten carcasses strewn along the sides of the trail and into the forest beyond) along with the remains of the rest of the dying salmon (most salmon species die once the eggs are laid and fertilized, making this a one-time return trip) are nature’s fertilizer. Add in the decaying leaves of fall, and as every gardener knows you have the makings of a very fine compost. A compost that, in conjunction with the replenishing fall and winter rains, feeds the stunning, over-whelming, awe-inspiring forests that surround the island rivers.

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Every child who goes to school on Vancouver Island at some time will go on at least one field trip to see the salmon in the fall. From a young age we begin to understand this bigger world on a physical and visual level and I am convinced that it impacts us as we become adults. True west coasters are known for their love of nature and the outdoors, for their appreciation of all our resources, and for their laid back approach to life. They know that it is a cycle, that they are all a part of it, and that the whole is so much bigger than the sum of its parts.

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I am a West Coast girl. It is in my blood, in my soul, in my outlook on life. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Posted by: Kate | October 23, 2016

Boring is Good

“What did you do this week-end?”

“Not much.”


Of course, you all know that those are my favourite kind of week-ends, right?

Posted by: Kate | October 10, 2016

Thankful




Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: Kate | October 5, 2016

Treasure Hunt Walk

It started out like a normal Sunday walk in the woods, me and Mr. Kate enjoying some fresh October air.


Then Mr. Kate spotted the toadstools.


We spent the rest of the walk seeing how many varieties of fungi we could photograph.


So much fun.

Posted by: Kate | September 28, 2016

The Right Yarn

Sometimes you have a pattern in mind and go looking for the right yarn. And sometimes you are just walking along an aisle in Michaels and the right yarn finds you.


As soon as I saw the jewel tones I knew this was the right yarn for my friend. Plus it was soft and warm. I immediately saw it in the ‘right’ pattern as well – the helix scarf.


I love this clever little short row pattern, it is so adaptable and looks good in a wide variety of yarns. I made this one long enough to wrap twice around the neck as I know that’s how she’ll wear it!


Yarn: Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in the Tealberry colourway

Posted by: Kate | September 21, 2016

The Year of the Apple 

I am surprised I am not dreaming of apples, frankly. 

The tree has been more loaded this year than ever and I have been busy processing apples into my freezer.


The tree is not empty yet, and I am giving bags away. Mr. Kate suggested I put little baggies of apples on all the neighbours’ doorknobs.


Baking them into single serving pies and tarts works as well!

Always grateful for garden bounty, but some days I need a bigger family!

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