14 May 2015

Knitters East

Last Friday's monthly Drunken Knitting was - gulp- East of the DVP! 
We usually meet downtown but it was Joyce's birthday and she insisted we drink closer to her home for a change. A reasonable request and besides, it was a lovely spring evening for a stroll in Greek Town. Of course I've been there often for dinner but this time, I brought my camera.

Near as I can tell, this particular section of Toronto consists of three things: restaurants, churches and bridal shops. I guess you wear your bridal gown while marrying in the churches and then celebrate in the restaurants?

The gowns are actually quite pretty.

We drink. We knit. We've been doing this for years and we never run out of things to talk about.

11 May 2015

From a Flow Chart

a moral dilemma socks one; is it better to remain single, conscious of the many
overlapping half-lives that with luck add up to one, or should
we be planted at many listening posts ready to radio vital information back to  
stands at the long bar? And will my genuine if respectful indifference militate
against the neutrality of my performance? Is a conflict of interest shaping up, or

Flow Chart by John Ashbery
The Noonday Press, 1998 paperback edition, p. 100

09 May 2015

Spring Socks

Well they were supposed to be done last August. They stalled and languished and stalled again. They've seen other projects come and go. Now, at a pace of three or four occasional rows at a time, they are finally complete.

I know I complained about the fussiness of the the twisted stitches but the result is very satisfying. The fabric has great elasticity and clings so nicely. Yes, the effect is pretty too. I particularly like the partridge stitch heel with the garter bands. It shows up really well in this yarn. 

These short socks look really cute with white sneakers and a summer skirt. They are a lovely addition to my wardrobe. Am I likely to knit this pattern again? No. But I am glad I did it once. 
Yarn: Online Supersocke 100 Vintage Color
Pattern: Ripple Weave by Charlene Schurch

04 May 2015

Things That Make Life Easier

Things That Make Life Easier

Sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures.
Riding a long distance with my loved one on this beautiful Sunday.
This beautiful day cost exactly $6 - the price of two ice creams.

Ya, I'm getting older but I can still do this!

30 April 2015

It's A Barbie Wedding!

Working at The Frolic this year meant I had no time to shop at all. This is a good thing for my wallet but it also meant I could not spend my traditional half hour looking through all the donated second hand pamphlets they sell for charity. There is always at least one good find and lots of entertainment in the search. Having a total of about 4 free minutes this year meant I had to grab what was close and on top so I chose this doll pattern booklet on impulse. Now that I have it at home, I kind of love it. Check out those bridesmaid dresses! There are even instructions for making that doggie.

My favourite part is the actual dolls. This is the Barbie I remember from the seventies with the round face and those open, lightly made up eyes. I think she is so much prettier than the harsh looking ones sold today.

27 April 2015

And So We Frolicked

Late in the afternoon there was a quiet moment to take a silly photo.
Oxford defines Frolic as "To play or move about in a cheerful way". Well, yes, amid all the crazy busy, there was some cheerful playing. 

This was my first Frolic on the other side. I've been working casual part-time at my LYS when they are busy, and boy were they busy this past Saturday at the annual fair known as The Knitter"s Frolic. What a new experience. I've always worked customer service but haven't done much direct retail style selling. What fun to promote the products I know well and believe in, and to discover that I am actually good at it. When I was unsure, my lovely co-worker Caroline always helped me cheerfully. She's just wonderful.

Now, even though it is knitting related, it is still event work. Just like theatre festivals and sporting weekends, there is a fast frantic set up followed by a long day on your feet talking to people. Then comes the even faster tear down. The resulting tiredness and sore legs today is something I know well!
Hard to believe we went from this to our booth in four hours.

15 April 2015

Not Socks

Well, I thought I would have finished socks to post. I worked away at the them last night and this morning only to discover that I had misread my own notes and that all my worked needed ripping back to fix a sizing issue.

So, I am sharing a more pleasurable knitting experience. This is the Yarn Indulgence wool/silk blend being worked up with beads. It's such a pleasure to work with this shimmery loveliness. This project is either a fat scarf or a short stole. I intend to just keep going until the yarn runs out and then we'll see.

09 April 2015


                                for Anna Akhmatova

To one who's never been stunned by a word,
and I say to you all.
Who only knows how to help himself
and only with words -

he cannot be helped.
Not over the short term
and not over the long.

To create a single lasting sentence,
to persevere in the ding-dong of words.

No one writes this sentence 
who does not sign her name.

                                         Ingeborg Bachmann 

26 March 2015

Done & Done!

Is it possible for a person and a yarn to simply not get along? Every time I knit with Noro, the process is difficult, almost painful. This simple pair of plain socks on 64 stitches, had so many mishaps and false starts that I thought they'd never be finished! Now at last, The Daughter has her thick, warm, neutral socks just in time for spring. Timing is everything, right?

One fun thing happened. While digging out a bag in which to transport the new socks, I came across a forgotten pair awaiting darning. They're the last remaining damaged knitwear from the 2013 bug infestation. They had somehow been forgotten. I quickly darned the holes and voila! There are now two sock pairs to deliver. 

In the meantime, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for Noro and I to consciously uncouple.

18 March 2015

Bought Yarn

It looks like spun spring and, oh how I need spring to come. Appropriately named "Bud", this green/blue, Yarn Indulgences is more green than blue and makes me think of rivers and new growth. Stash restraint be damned and poverty can go to heck. I learned long ago that, no matter how low the bank balance, a little something that will bring hours of pleasure and beauty is never too expensive. Two items there will always be enough room for on the credit card are books and yarn. Poetry books. Silk blend yarn.

I am going to cast on Falling Waters Shawl from The Knitter's Book of Wool. It's the perfect choice. The pattern recommends a semi solid, multi-ply in a wool/silk blend for best effect. This Yarn is exactly that. My shawl will be smaller than the sample making a light summer stole that will go beautifully with most of my dresses.  

10 March 2015

One Step Ahead, Three Steps Back

Another way to stay inspired is to learn something new. "Learn, learn, learn," I always say. Your brain, like your body, needs to be exercised throughout your life or else it will turn to mush.
I had a last minute opportunity this weekend to sit in on a crochet class. Behold! My first ever granny square. I've always wanted to know how to make one of these. It's not perfect but I am delighted with the silly thing.

Unfortunately, my mushy brain took a costly vacation recently. I've been knitting away on Sock #2 in the Noro Natural colourway. As I approached what I thought was the end, the nagging suspicion that something was wrong kept niggling away. Then this morning I finally, and embarrassingly, figured it out. I had forgotten to turn the heel. I picked up directly after knitting the flap and have been chugging away at a confusingly odd-shaped foot ever since. Doh!! Just goes to show that even a so-called "experienced" knitter can make a bone headed mistake. Rip it. Rip it. Frog.

This is a picture I took this morning while waiting for a streetcar. I hope the coolness of the shot redeems me slightly.
Regardless, it's an interesting view of how new Condo-Toronto has blended, or tried to, with beautiful old historic Toronto.