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A Newfoundland Photography and Knitting Blog by Betty Nolan

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Goin' Fishin' Ellen?!

Monday past, my middle daughter Andrea and her fiance, Stephan, came to Newfoundland to get married this coming Saturday. So needless to say, Ellen has been a bit neglected. While she's not fussy about being neglected, she is very understanding, seeing that she will have the opportunity to model the dress tomorrow before it is turned over to Andrea for the wedding.  We won't post the dress until after the wedding.

In the meantime, yesterday we took the bride-and-groom-to-be on a fishing trip, arranged by John with a friend of ours whose brother has a boat. We were treated like royalty even though we caught just one fish. The ocean was a bit rough (the photos don't reflect that!) so we didn't stay out too long. Ellen was invited to join us, but seriously, she definitely would have ended up in the salt water and that's not the type of bath she'd enjoy!

The coastline is always interesting with ocean caves and the sun glistening across the water. And, of course when you meet a handsome dog, it always makes the day complete!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Spectacular Sunset Ellen!

Lately we've been experiencing some beautiful sunsets, so today on the occasion of finishing the Catherine Purse for Andrea to match her wedding dress, we thought we'd take Ellen to model the purse and experience the sunset.

We went to a local beach in a nearby community named Topsail. The beach there is aptly named Topsail Beach. It was really windy all day today and I had considered leaving Ellen home, but when John volunteered to come along and help keep Ellen upright, we jumped at the opportunity. When we arrived at Topsail Beach, the wind had dropped off considerably, so much so, that a group of people had lit a fire at the beach and Ellen stood on her own!

We took pictures of Ellen and the finished purse, which is one I wrote about briefly in a blog post back in July (Ellen's Soulmate + What's On The Needles Now). I found the pattern in book called Knitting Little Luxuries by Louisa Harding. The yarns used in the purse are the same yarns that I've used in the wedding dress. The purse is lined with heavy satin sewn in place. The wedding is next Saturday so had to finish the purse before Andrea and Stephan come home tomorrow!

After the photo shoot with Ellen, John and I stayed to experience the sunset and take pictures so we could show you. The pictures below are not enhanced with saturation. This is the actual sunset!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ellen's New Best Friend!

It's been said that a dog is man's best friend. This is certainly proving to be true for Ellen this week. We are doggy-sitting a Shepherd-Black Lab cross (very tall) nine month old puppy whose name is Cooper. He is a rescued dog so sometimes his manners are a little rough around the edges. As you may have guessed, he is Mr. Active! So we've gone on walks and had chats, even a sleep-in last Sunday morning. What we are not doing much of is knitting and there's good reason for that. Last week when I was knitting and finishing the capelet in the last post, John had to rescue it from His Nibs and put it above his reach in the laundry room with the door closed. This dog is a fibre lover!

At first when Cooper started visiting I found out about this fibre love of his (he claimed a sweater drying on a rack) and wouldn't allow him in Ellen's apartment/my studio at all. But since he's been living here for almost a week and has proven himself to be a trustworthy soul, he has gradually been allowed access (last night even had a nap there!). Tonight I thought I would tidy things up and make a decision about the next hand knit project so I invited Cooper to join me. I recently bought some cord and beads from Michaels and one ball of Fun Fur, thinking I could use the Fun Fur as the edging for a scarf and perhaps some beads in the fringe. Cooper likes to sniff things, so while I was sorting all this out I let him sniff as we were going along - until we came to the Fun Fur. He laid claim to it immediately! When I told him "no" it was mine, he absolutely didn't agree. So, now I am writing this blog post in the studio with Ellen with the door closed while Cooper is watching TV with the family in another room. I guess we'll have to knit him something furry.

Below are a few pics of Cooper and Ellen. Cooper is being bribed with a doggie biscuit to sit still for the photo.  ;-) The photos beneath those are of Cooper the day we took him along to the SPCA Walk for the Animals in June of this year. He still had lots of energy after the walk so we played ball in our back yard.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Elegant Evening Ellen!

This evening Ellen and I went to watch the sun go down at Cape Spear. You can't see the sun actually set at the horizon. It just goes down behind a huge hill. The light at Cape Spear is just beautiful at that time of day. I had to finish the capelet in order for Ellen to have something to model.  It was a bit of a rush, but we did it!

There was a few raised eyebrows because Ellen and I were hanging out.  One gentleman with his young family said that he is in the movie business and has seen some pretty weird things. Then we met the Commissioner at Cape Spear who questioned our presence and photography and wondered if it was commercial photography because then we would need a permit.  I assured him that it was knitting related and showed him the pictures of Ellen modelling.  He was fascinated and said that I should go to the most Easterly Point with Ellen and take a few photos because you never know when she'll get to go back to Cape Spear again! He said the shrug was very nice and he was pleased I was having fun with the knitting and with Ellen (and I did not need a permit!). We did visit the most Easterly Point as you will see below. The waves were quite large today.  Ellen was a bit nervous but we stayed well inside the safe zone and we saw a tour boat! Thank goodness it was a beautiful evening and no need for the fog horn. That would have frightened Ellen half to death!

Of course I had to carry Ellen all the way back to the car and along the way I heard a couple laughing behind us and one of them saying something along the lines of: "Shhhh, she'll hear you!" We turned to say hello and to let them know that this is perfectly normal for us.  :-)  Anyway, between the jigs and the reels, the couple was from Alberta. We ended up explaining our travels and having a laugh. Then they took our picture. I keep telling Ellen she's gonna be famous!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Before Your Time Ellen!

Ellen seems to think that I never did any knitting before she came along. All the same, how could she know?  Let's let her in on a few things that she might like.

The first is a hand knit sweater I knit for Andrea.  I found the pattern in a Vogue Knitting book that had patterns from the 50s. Andrea wore the sweater with pride until her cat, Jack took a fancy for it.

The 2nd item is a blanket I knit for Ange last Fall when I first got the knitting machine. Ange had moved to Montreal and when the cold weather started to set in, she said she was frozen all the time. As soon as she discovered that I'd bought a new knitting machine, she asked for a blanket for Christmas.  Ellen's wishin' she had been around for that!

The blanket is made from 100% acrylic yarn I bought at Michaels (22 balls of it to be exact) and it's knit in 20 panels with pattern card No. 1 that came with the machine, then crocheted together on the right side of the blanket so that the crochet ridges look decorative. Then I crocheted single crochet around the perimeter of the blanket 6 times. Took a few TV hockey games to get that done!  :-)

I've written up the pattern for the blanket and posted it as a free download on Ravelry. You can check it out at My Ravelry name is Kievgirl or Betty Nolan Designs.  If you want to do a pattern search in Ravelry, the blanket is listed under "Bright Blanket."  Have a look!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

It's Fall Ellen!

Yesterday it finally sunk in that Fall is here. It was one of those windy days where it's sunny and warm , then 15 minutes later it's cold, cloudy and raining. So, I went to the local farmer's market, Lester's Farm Market, to get some fresh vegetables. Seeing that this week I've been knitting for the SPCA Fall Fair, in keeping with the animal theme, I thought that I should revisit my children's childhoods and go to the petting farm located at Lester's. A few years ago a llama lived there, and I wondered if he was still around as a picture of him would go great with a fibre blog post. He wasn't there yesterday and everyone was too busy for me to ask where he was.  I took some pictures anyway. The bunnies reminded me of angora (though they were not angora bunnies), the Emu reminded me of Emu brand yarn I used to buy years ago and the donkey, well, he was just a nice guy that came over to say hello to me.  

Last night I finished the hat for the SPCA, so Ellen was up bright and early wanting to go on a photo shoot. Beautiful day, with the hat and scarf all finished, so off to the Park we went. My oldest daughter came along also which Ellen said was competition! Wherever I go and set up Ellen we always get a few curious stares or children tugging on their parents clothing asking what's going on. Today was no different.  :-)

Last night when I was sewing up the hat I thought I'd do something different with it. Sometimes I find that hats don't sit properly on the back of the neck so I stopped sewing about 2 inches from the bottom, left 2 flaps, then sewed them up leaving a V on the nape of the neck. I guess they could be left as open flaps also. The hat definitely fits better and even though the idea needs to be perfected, it works well and doesn't look odd. While I was trying to get the hat to sit properly on Ellen, my daughter was commenting on how it looked. I had to admit, it's difficult to model a hat with no head and I forgot to bring a bowl to allow Ellen to properly model the hat. Enter Alana! A real life model - how cool is that. She said that the hat and scarf were cozy. The only thing about real life models is that sometimes they want to keep what they've modelled! Ellen said she'd never do that!

Then we took a stroll through the Park because it was such a nice day and I wanted some flower pictures. The story of the weekend is below in photos.  Enjoy!

Oh! The green stuff in the glass is a smoothy I made from the spinach and kale I bought at the market and the sunset is from Friday night.