16 October 2014

Sewing On the Buttons!

This puppy is going to be ready in time!

I'd seen several cases on Ravelry where kniitters had foregone the double folded collar. I considered this to be laziness and swore i would do the full collar, seaming and all. However, as I was knitting, I folded the fabric in a few places and found it really was too bulky in this alpaca yarn. So I halved the stitches and am glad I did. The collar/button band sits nicely. It also used half the yarn and took half the time. 

Hopefully I will have some wonderful photos of Rhinebeck and my sweater to share next week.

13 October 2014

Faster Pussycat! Knit! Knit!

Well the pieces are done and are blocking. This evening I'll start the shawl collar and button band. It's a HUGE double folded collar. I suspect that, though simple, it will be time consuming. As one of my fellow travelers points out,  it doesn't actually need to be done until Saturday. I may be finishing in the car on Friday.
These cables are scrumptious.

10 October 2014

Going to Rhinebeck



Here are me and my Rhinebeck Sweater waiting for the bus yesterday. Actually, it's a ball of Berroco Ultra Alpaca in the colour Slate, that was soon to become part of my Rhinebeck Sweater. Alas, the bus never came. Hopefully the future of my sweater is brighter.

I am so excited to be attending Rhinebeck for the first time this year. As soon as I accepted the invitation about three weeks ago, I cast on a new sweater. Thankfully I already the yarn and a chosen pattern. This is to be a shawl collared, belted, 70's style cardigan. The knitting, with a few setbacks, has gone well. One of the challenges that slowed me down was the transition on the front panels from the ribbing to the cables. The pattern says "decrease evenly" but that made some cables come awkwardly out of pearl stitches. I wanted them to flow out of the knits and  also to maintain the ribbing along the button edge. The only way to accomplish this was through a combination of increases and decreases to line everything up. Yes, it slowed me down but it was totally worth the effort.

24 September 2014

10 Books

There's an interesting meme going around social media. The idea is to list ten books that have stayed with you in some way. The list is not meant to be great literature - just some books that have had a lasting effect. The instructions state not to think about it too much but of course I've ignored that advice. I think about everything too much. 
The list itself was not particularly difficult to make. A group of about fifteen books came immediately to mind and that was fairly easily whittled down. It's the 'why' of the selection that intrigues me. Of the hundreds of books I have read, why these particular ten? 
After much thought, I decided that there are a couple of factors. 

First is the story. My list contains stories that are compelling from the first to the last word, often featuring a character with whom I am heart-breakingly in love. A group of academic colleagues uncover the unknown depths of a man after his death. A gifted writer and student goes through psychological hell and comes out the other side. A child understands racism for the first time and doing so, sees the heroism of her beloved father.

The second thing that stays with me always is language. My favourite books use language in a way that keeps me coming back to hear it again and again. I love words beautifully and simply used. They echo in my head for days and years. A few of my books make this list largely on one phrase alone:
"My darling, my darling lie down with us now, for you are also earth whom none but love can sow."
"I keep writing here so I will always have something to read."
"There is no such thing as a breakdown."

Some of these books I read more than thirty years ago and one, just last year. I've shared a few of them with my daughter and she loves them as much as I do. All of them remain on my bookshelf and will do so always.

What's Bred in the Bone - Robertson Davies
Famous Last Words - Timothy Findley
The Passion  - Jeanette Winterson
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
The Outsiders - S.E. Hinton
By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept - Elizabeth Smart
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
The Hobbit - J.R.R Tolkien
Safe Houses - Lynne Alexander
The Sonnets - Ted Berrigan

21 August 2014

Grenadine Is Its Name


Pretty, isn't it? I bought it last weekend at LadeeBee when it looked like there would not be enough yarn to finish the lace edge on the shawl pictured in my last post. I knew I'd never find a match so why not make the edge in a whimsically contrasting colour? This hand-dyed coral/pink looks very striking against the wine tones of the shawl. Now however, I have reached the shawl edging and there seems to be quite a bit of the purple left. So I'm giving it a go. The LadeeBee may still be called into service but for now, it is standing by on the swift, gracing the room with its beauty.

20 August 2014

Take Me To the River


Summer is fast coming to a close. Too fast! Somehow there are fewer than 14 days left and I've not done many of the fantastic summery things I had planned to do. Where are all the books I was going to read, projects I was going to knit and photos of amazing outings I was going to take? I've been too busy with other, more intellectual pursuits, such as internet dating and watching SYTYCD clips on YouTube. Oh well.

One of the summer things I love to do is ride along the Humber River trail. Yesterday was the perfect day for it so off I went. The trail itself is not a challenging bike ride; it's the getting there that hurts. Those hills on Bloor Street West are killers! Once there however, it's so peaceful and green.



Naturally, I brought knitting on my bike ride as one does. I had also quite unnecessarily packed my mp3 player. The music of the river was enough. I sat on this bench knitting for almost an hour. The colour of my luscious yarn kept twinkling and changing in the shifting light. There were children playing and chattering on the stones just below. It was kinda perfect.



17 August 2014

See the Pretty Flowers

My friend Sally and I recently went for a walk in the gardens of Spadina House. It was a beautiful summer day and the garden was in full splendour.

The gardens are maintained almost entirely by volunteers. 
The design is traditional kitchen garden. Thus there are vegetables planted in alternating rows, with the flowers - all just a few steps from the kitchen back door for easy picking. The aroma of these ripe cabbages in the sun was fantastic. Later, we saw a goldfinch feasting on insects in the patch.
This, Sally tells me, is a zinnia. Those beetles you see were everywhere.
Sally on a leisurely stroll.
This is the view from the top of the huge staircase that travels up Spadina Hill. Brilliant.

13 August 2014

Summerworks Sock 2014 Edition

This year's Summerworks sock is going much slower than the 2013 Edition. I am working a busier venue so have far less down time. Also, I've chosen a complicated pattern. It is the delicious Ripple Weave Sock from the Fall 2006 Vogue. It's a 20 row repeat and every knit stitch is twisted. The ripple effect is stunning but each row takes time.
My shifts have been mostly closing ones which means there is a 20-30 minute stretch every night when all the paper work is done but I need to sit quietly guarding the lobby waiting for the last show to get out. That's when I knit a row or two.
Check this! There is a show this year about YARN!

27 July 2014

Splitting the Set

Here our lovely model, aka The Daughter looks out while showing off my latest finished projects. Perhaps she is contemplating her bright future in her new apartment? She moves in with friends in September. Where did the time go? 

Sadly, this cute little beret does not look good on me at all which is strange because berets are kind of my thing. Perhaps it is too floppy. As The Daughter remarked, "mushroom" shaped hats look better on me. So this blue hat is now hers. Adorably so. The wristers I will keep for myself and there is still a small ball of yarn left for something else. This Indigo Dragonfly MCN Sock sure has great yardage.
Beautiful happy girl.

21 July 2014

Some Blue

Still water at Sunnyside Pool on a muggy night.

Indigo Dragonfly MCN Sock in colour Fringe Over Troubled Water