23 August 2016

Oh, For A Well Lit Monkey

Another challenge of the new home is "Where in the heck do I take my knit FO photos?". There are large windows on only one side so we get either full morning sun or no light at all. I can't get the depth and softness I used to easily achieve with the diffuse side light of the windows in my last place. I'm having to take over exposed morning shots and soften them with photo software (as with the sock shots below). The effect is not ideal. I guess I may need to find somewhere outdoors to shoot.

Other than that, the knitting goes very well. I finished my Olympic gloves and have swatched and cast on for a pullover. It's been far too long since I knit a garment.

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A.
Yarn:  Manos del Uruguay Alegria

20 August 2016

Accidentally Olympian

It was never my intention to knit an Olympic project this year. However, I just happened to cast on Veyla the afternoon of the opening ceremonies and despite one huge set back where I missed ten rows and had to rip, this pair of gloves is now about 80% done. Combine that fact with an invite to watch the closing ceremonies with other knitters, and suddenly I am determined to have these complete by tomorrow night. 

19 August 2016

House Museum

Theaster Gates in his current Art Gallery of Ontario installation How To Build A House Museum, asks who has the right to have a museum created in their honor? Why are some people's houses more worthy as candidates for museums? 
It's a thought provoking, immersive installation that takes the entire upper floor of the AGO. It presents as art, urban history in a socio-economic framework & constantly re-interprets the word "house" in changing contexts. House music. The bricks of the factory that built the neighborhoods (The George Black House) . The House of Muddy Waters.
Go see this exhibit if you can.

I visited a more traditional house museum yesterday - Spadina Museum and gardens. I've posted about the fabulous gardens here before. I visit these gardens often but yesterday, I took the museum guided tour.  Basically the house was owned by a very wealthy family for a very long time and is a museum on that merit. Still, it has been beautifully preserved and restored with most of the furnishings and artwork being original and the textiles and wall coverings being painstakingly reproduced. It's all very lovely and gives one a glimpse of past Toronto as it was known by the very few. Admission to the garden is free so provides an accessible refuge to all from the summer's bustle. It's a peaceful way to spend an hour in the city.

The greenhouse is still in use.

Looking at you from the drawing room.

Fine dining indeed. The painting is the wedding portrait of the matriarch.

The conservatory with it's exotic plants - an incredible luxury.

11 August 2016

A Walk By the Lake

I have now been living in my "new" neighbourhood for six months. It's been an interesting journey. After seven years in a radically different space, the adjustment process has been lengthy and ongoing. I've gone from a residential street to a downtown tourist destination, from a second floor to a high rise, from spaciousness to "economical" living, from living alone in all my spinster ways to living (happily and gratefully) with a loving and patient partner.

My fella and I have been working at discovering our area. It actually has much to offer if you take the time to look. We go on many walks and bike rides. The other evening we wondered down to the port lands and watched the sun set over the city. It's such an underappreciated part of town with one of the best views going. Unfortunately, on our walk we saw one of those nasty development proposal boards - a sure sign that rapid change is on the way.

08 August 2016


Back in May, I wrote of casting on while travelling, with the yarn I had available in my bag. I realize now I neglected to share the results.

I had no pattern so I improvised a wrister with simple seed stitch borders and basic thumb gussets. The leftover yarn used  is the sadly discontinued local brand Painted Fleece, with which I knit these Daughter socks five years ago. It's a deliciously soft merino in beautiful tones of pink and grey. Though I made notes while knitting, I am not likely to repeat this project. It's too basic. However, I am pleased with the result and by the fact that a little improvisation and a quality yarn made a car trip so much more pleasant.

Syd supports my knitting efforts and he's so darn photogenic.

31 July 2016

Creativity: Lace and A Blog

So we are at the height of summer which often means the knitting slows waaay down. This is even more true than usual for me this year. I have knit a total of three socks since May. This bothers me. I find I am doing many familiar activities less than I used to - less reading, less drawing and writing, less exploring new ideas via the library and the internet. 
Part of the reason is location. All that porch knitting and reading I've done in years past is over simply because I no longer have a porch. My new home is very small and affords little privacy. Part of the reason is time.  Being in a relationship, while wonderful, means I have much less quiet time alone. There are many new rhythms and patterns I am still navigating in my changed living situation.

Much of the reason is simple lack of mojo. My creative drive has dulled of late and I'm not sure why. I have been peripherally aware of its niggling lack in a non-specific way but it became more apparent this morning after reading Karie Westermann's excellent blog post about taking control of your creativity. I know how necessary it is for me and my mental health to explore and to make things (like socks and blog posts). I need to re-focus and recommit to doing so and to finding the joy within that pursuit. Find the space. Find the time.

One thing that's helped is picking up again the Peacock Feathers Stole on which I have been slowly working for over two years. Lace knitting has always been a meditative act for me. It can calm my anxiety, which is very high lately. I find that knitting a few rows in the morning instead of reading the newspaper, starts my day from a much more centred place. The silk/merino yarn is beautiful in the morning light. I'm only on row 220 of the more than 600 but this project is definitely more about the process than the product.

24 July 2016

Best of the Eighties

Someone was unloading some 80's knitting magazine in a local Little Free Library box. What fun. I picked up a few for exploration. I did find the expected over-the-top hilarious big sweaters and will blog some of those later. 
However, the good ones are really, really good. Here from Fashion Knits 84, (a Patons publication) are my favourites. Stunning, timeless sweaters. They are often a bit more cropped, a little boxier, than we are used to today. The sleeves are mostly dropped rather than set-in. These are not bad things. Fashion has room for more than one type of fit.

You may have noticed that the clothes have a lot more fabric than we usually wear today. These voluminous skirts were a problem for me back then and my hips are no smaller today. I love this cardigan! I picture it with a more form fitting dress or skirt or an easy trouser.

Another beautiful cardigan, this one with a jacket shape. You could add waist shaping (or not) and wear it confidently today.

19 July 2016

Sunshine Kitty

The cat sure loves this sock in progress. Do you think it's because the colour of this Manos Alegria is in the same family as his own? Or is it because the project is lying in the morning sun spot? While I'd like to believe the former, I am pretty sure it is the latter.


Yawn and roll.


04 July 2016


Well, this happened! I marched in my first Pride parade in solidarity with our LGBT sisters and brothers. The workers' right group for which I volunteer had a float and I got to wear the balloons!

29 June 2016

When It's Hot Outside

It's cool and cozy in here.

25 June 2016

Train Knitting

I went to visit my family yesterday. One of my favourite parts of this little journey is the commuter train trip. It's a one hour, air conditioned pause from hectic life; a chance to rest, knit, and listen to a book. 

On the mp3 player: Moby Dick courtesy of The Big Read
On the needles: Diagonal Rib Socks courtesy of Ann Budd