06 October 2015

I've been knitting knee socks! I know!
The last time I knit a pair, they turned out beautifully. Once they were done. Which took forever.

This pair is going along much more quickly. The foot is just 48 stitches around and is flying along. The pattern is from Classic Elite and calls for their worsted weight Mountaintop Vista. Vista is a lovely yarn but I am knitting my socks in Elann Esprit (a Cascade Fixation knock off) because
a) I have no Vista nor any cash to buy some
b) I've knit socks in this elastic/cotton blend before with good results. With the inclusion of elastic, the socks stay up - an especially desirable feature in knee length hosiery.

In the original yarn, the socks look very earthy and natural. Knit in Esprit, they are more nubbly and fun looking. The effect is not intentional but it suits me fine.

I love, love, love this cuff! How can something so simple to knit turn out looking so cool and intriguing? 

01 October 2015

Found Another Fashion Sweater

The Daughter and I were clipping fashion mags yesterday and making awesome paper doll clothes. We both stopped and gasped when we saw this stunning ad for a Brooks Brothers pullover. Yet another example of knitwear being current and fabulous. We both agreed that we would wear this. Just look at that cowl neck.

Though this was likely machine knit, the actual knitting here doesn't look that difficult to do by hand. The arms and body pieces look relatively straight & the stitch pattern is consistent. I love the ombre affect. It reminds me of Noro's Natural colourway. I wonder if there is a comparable soft wool brand in this colour?

20 September 2015

Fill in the Blank

Change is...

  1. Good
  2. Hard
  3. Inevitable
  4. All of the above.

09 September 2015

Life Continues To Say "Gotcha!"

Here you see a portion of my shawl collection which is now spread over every available surface of my apartment. You may ask, "Why is this so?"

Moths have been spotted in my home. It's not an infestation but I have trapped a few so, naturally, I am concerned. My stash is very safely packed but my FO's are not. So, I spent yesterday morning pulling out every sock, sweater and shawl to shake and inspect. Oddly, the knitwear is all fine but a few silk scarves had eggs (old ones to which i am not attached thankfully.) I decided I needed to pack everything in plastic but before I did that I wanted to lay my shawls, which were stored next to the silk scarves, out in the sun for a few hours. I lay them all out in the clear, bright, hot yard, then trotted off to the hardware store to buy a zip-loc bags in quantity. 

Fifteen minutes later, the skies darkened and opened - dropping a torrent of water on all my lovely shawls while I stood dumbfounded and helpless outside the Home Hardware. Damn! (Well, I used stronger language at the time.)

It took 2 hours to wash every single shawl in Eucalan and lay them out on flannel sheets. Everywhere. The air conditioner has been running non-stop to keep up with the humidity. 

At least I have clean shawls now! Also, I am enjoying today seeing the beautiful results of hours and hours of my labour displayed before me.

03 September 2015

Vintage Magazine Check-In

Check out these sassy dresses from 1966. This brochure from my vintage collection is Bernat and the featured yarn was Opalette  - 55% virgin wool, 45% viscose. Hmm...I wonder how comfortable that was to wear as a dress? Regardless, I love the silhouettes and the serious hairstyles. I especially love that these illustrations are drawings rather than photographs. Just lovely.

Fast forward nine years to one of my favourite fashion years; 1975 and the McCall's Sweater Book. When I first saw this photo, I thought the sweater sat at the waist. That impression turned out to be an optical illusion caused by the way the model's hands are posed but that's the length I would knit this cardigan. It's the only modification necessary because in every other way the piece is modern and relevant. I can see this delicate thing knit up in a number of present day DK yarns. I think I need this in my wardrobe.

The rest of the outfit? Well, we don't need the polyester trousers or the sharp lapels but a version of that hat has been on young women everywhere this summer. Just goes to show that classic styling is timeless.

31 August 2015

Imperfect Mittens. Imperfect life.

In accordance with the recent trend of using stash in the production of handwear, I present Adorable Not-Fingerless Mitts. They are worked in leftover Cascade 220 which I used on another Andi Satterlund pattern - Hetty
So... my centering at the top point is imperfect and my thumb join is loose with small holes. I still have a nice pair of mittens that will keep my hands warm (despite their refusal to be photographed true to colour!)

My cat is still breathing, albeit sometimes in a laboured way. Last night she jumped up onto the bed demanding cuddles, head butting & purring. I've vowed that as long as she still seems present and her personality is evident, I will care for her. One day at a time.

25 August 2015

August Mittens

There's nothing wrong with knitting mittens in August. In fact, it makes a lot of sense. It's a light, portable project that won't overheat you and it will give you warm hands in the winter; a winter which is coming sooner than we like to admit.

Confession. These are accidental full mittens. I wanted the quick satisfaction of a small project so I cast on Adorable Fingerless Mittens by Andi Satterlund. When I got to the palm of the first mitt it was clear that my gauge was way off and these mitts were far too loose. I also used the wrong yarn. The pattern uses sport weight and this Cascade 220, leftover from a sweater, is worsted. 
Rather than chuck the project, I decided to just keep going and make traditional mittens. It was an easy modification to make and I am quite happy with the result so far.

17 August 2015

Not Much Knitting & A Sick Cat

Very little knitting to report. It's been a rather nasty August here. Not to complain but, really?

In early August I had a frightening cycling accident that caused a bloody and terrifying injury to my leg. Thankfully, both my boyfriend and a helpful police officer were on the scene and acted quickly. Two words. Ambulance. Stitches. 

This happened just five days before the annual theatre festival for which I do venue management. It was too late to cancel the gig, (and frankly I need the money) so I worked the contract using a cane. The event was more hectic and more poorly scheduled than usual. It was exhausting and painful.

Then my poor cat Molly tried to die in the middle of all this. As it turns out, she has advanced heart disease which she has been hiding, as cats do. We are trying treatment to see if she can go on to live a decent quality of life. So far she is responding well to her twice daily meds, but we we're not out of the woods yet. We'll know her prognosis in a week or so. Poor sweet girl.

Right? Thanks for letting me get this off my chest. Back to carrying on.

Molly under the dining table looking much better than she did a week ago.
Honestly, she looked and sounded then as if she was going to leave us at any moment.
This bright eyed photo gives me hope.

04 August 2015

Summer Album

Moan, moan. Complain, complain. It's all very well to fret on about being unemployed. Under-employed. Precariously employed. Whatever you want to call it. Yes, it is a serious problem, one with which I live daily and take constant action to try to change. However, it is time to step back for a moment and view some goodness. After the day's resumes have been sent and the emails answered, I often get the chance to get out and see the beautiful world around me. Not everyone gets to do that or is lucky enough to live in such a lovely part of the world. 
Today I just want to appreciate my good fortune on that count.

Early in the spring, I went for a walk in High Park and caught the tail end of cherry blossom season. This park is right next door to me. How lucky am I?

This glorious foxglove is at the High Park greenhouse.

I try to ride out to the Humber River a few times each season. This was 2 weeks ago.

Not sure which street this overpass is. 
This as far as I go. I rest here, then turn back

Knitting by the river. A bench. An apple. A bottle of water.

Last week my boyfriend took me for a drive through the Beamsville Bench wine country. 
I'd never done a wine tour before. It was a lovely drive on a hot day. Beautiful scenery. Friendly people. Some very tasty wines.

Our favourite stop was Hidden Bench.
We came upon it unexpectedly which made it that much more special.

Then on July 5, I marched in the Jobs, Justice, Climate march. Because life is not all wine and knitting. Sometimes you have to stick it to The Man.

31 July 2015

The Tao Of Physics

In the vast spaces of the subatomic world where
Matter has a     tendency     to exist
The lord of Life is breathing in and out,
Creating and destroying the universe
With each wave of his breath.

And my lord Siva dances in the city streets,
His body a fierce illusion of flesh, of energy,
The particles of light cast off from his hair
Invade the mighty night, the relative night, this dream.

Here where events have a    tendency    to occur
My chair and all its myriad inner worlds
Whirl around in the carousel of space; I hurl
Breathless poems against my lord Death, send these
Words, these words
Careening into the beautiful darkness.

Gwendolym MacEwen
Afterworlds, 1987

22 July 2015

Notorious Red In the Park

It's a truly beautiful day here in the city. Sunny but not too hot. Breezy. 

Finding myself full of anxious energy due to boring old life circumstances best not dwelt over, I decided to take advantage of the weather. My knitting. my camera, and I went for one of those long, long, walks in High Park.

Stopping to rest and knit at the picnic tables between Dog Hill and the allotment gardens, I was challenged again by just how hard it is to photograph red. After multiple settings and a dozen shots, these two are the best I could achieve. Perhaps there is a better photographer than I out there who can explain the Notorious Red phenomenon to me.

It's hard to tell, but this single-ply lace weight from Riverside Studio is slowly becoming a cardigan. Ever so slowly. 
I always wanted a lace weight sweater and it seemed like a good idea to try on. However, I am only 80% through the back piece and already it feels like a slog. I am hoping that as more pieces form and I can better envision the end product, I will get excited again. It is, after all, a lovely shade of red.