21 July 2014

Some Blue

Still water at Sunnyside Pool on a muggy night.

Indigo Dragonfly MCN Sock in colour Fringe Over Troubled Water

15 July 2014

TTC Knitalong 2014



Saturday July 12 was the annual TTC Knitalong. I've lost count of how many I've done now. Is this my 5th or 6th? regardless, this year was the best ever. The weather was fine and the company even better. Even the TTC co-operated with none of the major crisis that have slowed us down in the past.

I took on a bigger role this year - liaising with our charity, Sistering, doing press and communications and gathering prizes. I even got to see how pinback buttons are made! Fun! I'm not working right now, so it's certainly easy for me to take the time. Also, I just enjoy the work. It makes me feel good to use my skills organizing a fun event that helps such an amazing cause. The more I learn about Sistering, the more I realize just how special and unique they are. The services they provide are truly amazing.

The volunteers that make it all happen. I love these people.

I was very happy to see that one of our LYS's, LadeeBee, carries pottery made at Inspiration Studios which is a Sistering run micro business incubator. I bought that soapdish on the right.

Of course, I have to captain a team that includes my own LYS EweKnit.
My co-captain this year was Christina. She is charming and delightful and I could not ask for better company. The  whole team loved her. We had such a pleasant day.


07 July 2014

Finished Something. Ha!


Yes it's a basic pair of socks but, after days of false starts on other things, it feels great to see these come off the needles. I used Glenna's Nice Ribbed Sock as usual but spiralled the rib for more texture..Glenna's math is perfect. This pattern makes a heel that fits me beautifully. The yarn is one of the Regia Kafe Fassett line that's been in my stash for a few years. There's no point in questioning how Fassett's colours look in the skein because you just know they will be charming on the sock. That's why he's Kafe Fassett and we're not.

This pair of socks is for a teen girl. I know she will love them.

Now back to my hat. I finally managed to get a good start on it this morning. The sweater is still waiting.

06 July 2014

Getting Gauge

The gauge gods are not with me. 

Despite much swatching, the sweater I cast on earlier this week was coming out far too large. I was knitting the extra small and using a half size smaller needle than recommended. Still, my cardigan was shaping up to be fit for a giant. I ripped it back yesterday and then spent a good amount of the morning doing the math to make the sweater smaller still. 

After all that I hadn't the heart to cast right back on again so I decided to start a simple hat today with my Indigodragonfly MCN Sock. This skein was given to me by a good friend as consolation after my unfortunate losses from nasty yarn eating insects. It has 10% cashmere and is delightfully sumptuous to hold and knit. It's a good thing using this yarn is such a pleasure because after working about an inch of the hat brim, it became obvious that it was coming out much too small. What on earth? I've made this hat at least a half dozen times before. It should be a cake walk. More ripping ensued.

So, after several days of knitting, I've absolutely nothing to show for it. Knitting can be like that. I intend to spend this evening closing the toe on an almost complete pair of socks. Then at least I will have something to show for the weekend.

24 June 2014

Song: Prose & Poetry

My heart is confirmed in its pure Buddhahood.
But a heavy list to starboard
                                      makes me forget
From time to time.
                                      Breath makes a half turn
Downward & divides:
                                      it doesn't add up
2 plus 2 equals 1:      
                                      It's fun, yes, 
But it isn't true, &
I can't love you                 this way.


2.

So what'll I do, when you

                                      are far away
& I'm so blue?
                                      I'll wait.
                                                 & I'll be true someday.


3.

That's all well & good.  But

What happens in the mean time??


Ted Berrigan
In The Early Morning Rain, 1970
                                             



17 June 2014

A Sock In The Evening


How I love that the evenings have finally become fair. I sit on the porch, knit a brightly coloured sock and watch the world meander by. It washes away the work day.

15 June 2014

Is It Blue/Green or Green/Blue?



The Lonely Tree Shawl may have been the fastest knit in my personal knitting history - just 10 days from cast-on to final blocking. It virtually flew off the needles.  Good thing too. Despite it being mid-June, it is still quite cool and a wrap is often needed. Just this morning I threw my Orchid Thief over my shoulders to take a walk in the park.

I am generally happy with the way Lonely Tree turned out except for one thing. The picot bind off is not entirely a success. Each "picot" bump has a little whole in the middle and looks wobbly. I've done this bind off before so am not sure where I went wrong here. Now, I am well acquainted with the "It's a design feature!" adage.  However, in this case, I really wanted it to look like the edge in  pattern photos so I am a little disappointed. Otherwise, it's just lovely. The colour makes me happy.


09 June 2014

Me at 50

Last Friday I turned 50 years old. That damn number has been hanging over my head for months now. I've been obsessing over ageing and all that it brings. I've been fretting about where I am in my life. All my cousins are talking about retiring and here I often feel like I never even got started. No house, no career, no lover. None of the things a a successful woman of a certain age is supposed to have accomplished.

So, what else to do but buy a red dress and throw a dance party? No one was going to do it for me so I did it myself. I got a friend to DJ at my favourite restaurant and I invited everyone I know. I made loot bags from the dollar store and thank you notes on bright pink paper. Twenty-five people came! Some dropped in for a quick hello and others stayed and danced the night away with me. My 20 year old daughter brought her two best childhood friends and they brought their moms and the six of us danced to MC Hammer. Hilarious! My knitting friends gave me yarn and yarn bags and gift certificates for yarn. Other friends bought me drinks. Gave candy and hand crafted jewelry. I was stunned and touched and had such a good time.

So. Here I am at 50. I know that I am lucky. I have an amazing daughter and many wonderful friends. I am healthy enough to dance until 2AM and I still look good in a red dress. Not bad.

Who me, 50?

05 June 2014

Make Along Success

Today was the deadline for the EweKnit Summer Top Make Along. I actually finished mine this past weekend.


Of course I couldn't leave the pattern alone and decided on modifications. As written, the cables are supposed to run up the front and the back. I decided I wanted a more simple back so only did the cables on the straps. Then I rather by accident discovered that I like the back worn as front and vice versa. So that is how I shall wear it.
This pattern is from a 2004 issue of Sandra Magazine. Sandra, as I have mentioned before, is a funny one. Often it is so over-the-top but other times, particularly with summer patterns, it gets it just right. Now this pattern had reverse stocking stitch up the middle, a lace bust insert and tassles on the bottom. Leave all that off and follow the instructions? Voila! A lovely top.

It was fun doing this as part of a group project - knitting to a deadline and watching others do the same. Of course, the chance to win a draw prize was quite the incentive. I'll let you know how that goes.

01 June 2014

Happy June Knitting




As soon as I saw this Stoddart Family Farm sock yarn at the Frolic I knew it was my Lonely Tree Shawl. I had seen Alex knitting one at knit night and was immediately smitten with this woolly, heavier-than-usual wrap. The pattern calls for worsted weight and 5mm needles. I've always found Stoddart "fingering" to be on the heavy side. I'm knitting it with 4.5 mm needles and getting great results. The green/blue (or blue/green) colour makes me very happy and this wool feels and smells fantastic. I'm enjoying the contrast of spring colours with the cold weather texture and weight of the yarn. The end product should be quite unique.

This wintry shawl is flying off the needles and will be ready just in time for the heat of summer!

26 May 2014

Night Blooms

"When lilacs last in the door-yard bloom'd,
And the great star early droop'd in the western sky in the night,
I mourn'd - and yet shall mourn with ever returning spring.
                                                                                            Walt Whitman

I went for a walk this evening and saw these flowers, the only two on a large bush. How appropriate. I saw a concert at the Royal Conservatory on Saturday night of a piece by a composer named Jennifer Higdon. It was a premiere entitled Night Blooms, inspired by the Walt Whitman poem  Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloomed. I don't often go to music concerts but the tickets were given to me and I do love poetry, as you know.
It was a painfully beautiful piece for piano, quartet and voice that explores "so many aspects of grief and loss", according to the program notes. I've been experiencing my own grief lately having had my heart very badly broken. It made me feel a little less lonely sitting there in the dimness experiencing those words & that music with so many other people. 
I walk when I am upset. It calms me. Sometimes I take my camera in case I see anything exceptional. These lilacs were especially enticing. The air was a bit thick tonight and one could smell them before seeing them. The colour in the evening light was deep and bruised. They have such a short yearly life span, lilacs do, but my, aren't they lovely while they last?