27 December 2007

Thank You Sherrill

...for the beautiful card. You're so thoughtful and talented.

15 December 2007

Getting There

Well, it was a very sad and draining couple of days. Rivers of tears, miles of tissue and laughter too. When several hundred people put their differences aside to come together in grief and remembrance, it's a remarkable occasion. One beautiful person really can make such a difference in the world. Rest in peace Sandy.

Got my knit on last night with the Drunken Knitters. Laughing with these women is good for my soul. As Christmas gets closer, I like to take note of all the things in my life for which I'm grateful. Loud, yarny pub gatherings is definitely near the top of that list.

Do you like the festive scene created by The Daughter and myself? The gingerbread pieces are store bought. I worried that was cheating, but the lack of baking stress made the process so much more fun this year. I am concerned that this homestead is in grave danger from approaching giant Kitty. Look out!

11 December 2007

My Cousin

TONAJ, Sandra Marie Peacefully at home on Monday, December 10, 2007, in the loving arms of her family. Our precious "Angel" has returned to the Heavens and to the welcoming arms of her grandparents Katerina and Anton Tonaj and Aurore and Irenee LeClair. Her parents Pauline and Martin are forever grateful to God for allowing them to have loved Sandra unconditionally for the past 40 years, and for having her love for them go on endlessly. Sandra is and always will be the centre of her parents' lives. Sandra lived her life from one special occasion to the next and always ending with her Birthday, which is August 12, 1967 (in case you should forget). Sandra made loving her so easy as she was always ready to make everyone she met her friend and greeted everyone with a huge smile and infectious laugh. Loving her forever are her sister Susan and brother-in-law Joe Iannuzzi, nieces Christiane (Derek), Laurie, Kimberly (Darcy Burchell) and nephew Gregg (Brianne). Loving, adored baby sister of Monica and Larry Pratt (the late Michael Connelly), nephews Sean (Brittany) and Kyle (Kailey). Lovingly treasured by her brother Mark, sister-in-law Debbie, nephew Daniel, nieces Eryn and Devon. Precious sister to Paul and Cindy (Levie), niece Rachel and nephew Brandon and Cindy's children Serena, Candice and granddaughter Laura. Sandra was the most adored niece of Anne and Iggy Krampac, John and Jackie Tonaj, Rosaire LeClair, Moe and Irene LeClair, Charles and Olga LeClair, Henry and Marion LeClair and their families. Sandra had many special friends in her life who visited and spent endless hours playing match games, puzzles, colouring, doing homework with her and watching movies. Thank you, Perry, Stefani, Justyne, Christine Ashley and all her caregivers and medical staff over the years. Sandra's love of life and her family kept her fighting against all odds. Sandra gave great joy to all who called her daughter, sister, aunt, niece and friend. Sandra's parents and family wish to thank everyone who shared in Sandra's life. We invite all of you to join with us and share your special memories and stories of Sandra in the Celebration of her Life at MARKEY DERMODY FUNERAL HOME, 1774 King Street East (at Kenilworth) on Wednesday from 2-5 and 6-9 p.m. Prayers will be held at the Funeral Home on Wednesday at 8 p.m. Funeral Mass will be Celebrated from Incarnation of our Blessed Lord (Barton at Nash) on Thursday, December 13, 2007 at 9:30 a.m. Interment to follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please donate to a charity of your choice and please sign your donor cards so that others may live on with your greatest gift. "Sandra, loving and missing you always. Fly with the Angels, Sweetie." Love Mommy and Daddy.
Date Posted:

05 December 2007

Yays and Nays

Yay for the newest Knitty!! So many spectacular designs to covet. I am especially fond of this sweater - knit from sock yarn even! Now that's ballsy!
Nay for losing my llama wrist warmers. I haven't seen them in 2 weeks. They're not in any coat pockets or dresser drawers and I fear the worst. They're such special friends; so llama-ish.
Yay for getting my Christmas Around the World Knitters Swap parcel off. I often stress too much about these things. Did I send appropriate gifts? Will my swap partner like it? After seeing on the blog some of the packages other folks are starting to receive, I think my assortment is just fine.

01 December 2007


O, I've the happiest of feet! One spot of confusion though...What is this word "Gifts" in the title of the Interweave magazine? They mean gifts to myself, right?

29 November 2007

Quick and Easy Mittens

Last night I finished these mitts for The Daughter. The cuffs are knit with SWTC Karaoke, leftover from a scarf. The hands are Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Bulky, a fabulour basic winter yarn.
This was my first pair of mittens. They were easy as pie to knit on the two needles as written in the pattern, but I think I'd like to try them in the round next time. The side seam looks and feels a bit awkward.
The Paton's leaflet from which this pattern comes, has proven to be an old friend. I picked it up a few years ago and have used it many times since. The berets I'm always knitting (three of them now) come from this book.

26 November 2007

Random Update

I survived Grey Cup week. Who knew Rider fans wore watermelon rinds on their heads?

I've picked up the last bobble for my Christmas Around the World swap. I just need to pack it all and send it. What fun. I love parcels.

I'm sick of rain. Gray, gray skies and rain, rain, rain. Blah.

I'm knitting mittens for the first time. Photos hopefully will follow.

21 November 2007

Memories of Alterknit

  • Being surprised on Mother's Day by my wonderful daughter with a knitterly brunch.
  • The equally yummy brunch and madcap silliness of the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.
  • The dozens of foamy lattes I've consumed there, each one as delicious as the last.
  • The pretty dishes.
  • Writing letters to a beloved one winter afternoon, corner table, crying away and not caring because I felt so at home.
  • The objects finished among friends.
  • Holding 5 week old Vivianna for an hour while Mom Alessandra knitted and chatted.
  • The roominess of the space and the gorgeous natural light.
  • The chance to meet other knitter mom's and exchange stories, worries, laughter.

Terri, thank you, thank you for the wonderful year. How sorry we all are to lose our home away from home. Circumstances were beyond your control and you fought for your dream as long as you could. We're so proud of you.

20 November 2007

Holiday Shopping Opportunity

I'm definitely checking this out. Would anybody else like to come along?

14 November 2007

One Sock

Seriously! This pattern with this yarn? When I'm right, I'm right.

11 November 2007

The Yarn Bus

Yesterday I went with the Downtown Knit Collective on their second annual bus trip. We travelled North toward Owen Sound through beautiful, sunny Ontario autumn.

The first stop was Shelridge Farms - described as Sheep Farm and Yarn Mill on the flyer. I was met with disappointment as the family has recently sold all their sheep and we never saw the mill. I was so hoping to observe the workings of yarn production but the emphasis here was on the shopping. Lovely yarn though.

After lunch we headed over to Koigu. This was the more satisfying leg of the trip. There was still shopping (bargains!) for those so inclined but there was also tons of cool stuff to observe. Richard the dye guy showed me around the dying kettles and ovens. Then I watched hanks being made from enormous industrial swifts. Far out.

Best of all? Behind the shop and up the hill? These curly creatures who were endlessly entertaining as well as photogenic. They're the original Koigu flock. They now use merino from Europe for their dying but still keep the flock. Happy sheep!

06 November 2007

Ah, The Yarnography

Like a drunk coming off a lost weekend, I've awoken from a two week mood slump to find, not a hangover and a strange bed fellow, but...yarn. Without realizing it, I seem to have purchased a great deal of it lately.

Here we have hand dyed tencel/silk purchased on Ebay several weeks ago. It arrived yesterday. The description said lace-weight but it's actually more like thread. I don't know what I'll be able to manage with it, but it certainly is beautiful to gaze upon.

Also from Ebay, some banana silk. I've always wanted to try it and it was such a great value. I bought sari silk from the same seller a couple of years ago.

Here is lovely, lovely Dale Svale. I've been lusting to try this cotton/viscose/silk blend since I first fondled it years ago. Now Knitomatic has it on sale so I grabbed eight skeins of this fetching musky grape tone.

This last acquisition is thanks to Kelly - a gift from Rhinebeck. Thank you!!!!! What an original colour blend in this merino sock yarn from Ancient Threads Farm in New York. I heard a rumour that Alterknit will soon be carrying some of their stuff.

04 November 2007

Went To The Fair

Yesterday was the annual visit to the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. We made many new friends including this girl who was convinced she was a household pet and wanted to come home with us. It is dairy goat weekend. The sheep arrive later this week.Yarniness was represented by these two alpacas and one llama who wouldn't stand still for a photo.
I bought no yarn as I still have some natural llama, like the skeins below, left from last year. I did fall in love with some black alpaca yarn, but it was for display only. Sniff.
However, what's the Royal without some shopping? Just look at all the beautiful food products available from Ontario. There's wine from Muskoka, wild rice from Keewatin and jam from Parry Sound. In the fridge is a lovely goat cheese and a piece of Georgian Bay smoked fish. I feel a bit like the guy in the commercial;
"Good things grow-ow-ow...in Ontario."

02 November 2007


Lovely pic and all but I do find the text explanation a tad difficult to swallow.

Which mythological creature is most like you? (with pics!)
created with QuizFarm.com
You scored as Unicorn

You are one of the most beautiful things alive. you bring joy, yet you are strong and underestimated.

01 November 2007

21 October 2007

Ya, Ya, New Yarn

...and new yarn store.
I visited Toronto's newest yarn establishment on Thursday. Lindenhof Farm has opened a storefront at 102 Ossington Ave., among the galleries and wine making depots.
The yarn is beautiful to look at, particularly as it's homegrown. Yet, this is serious wool lover country. No sea silk and etcetera. Sweaters, hats and socks reign here. The natural stuff really shines. Wools and alpacas, undyed and untampered with. Glorious!

I bought this beautiful, lace weight, undyed white alpaca. Here's the "funny", yet annoying part of the tale. It's a small store and I was the only customer at the time. I was happily chatting with the nice lady and suddenly, it occurred to me that I simply must buy something. I felt obligated. This due to the fact that I was there and she was there and therefore....
I can be silly that way.

Regardless. I left with one seriously beautiful skein of yarn which is enough to make the Qiviuk Webs Scarf from Interweave.

16 October 2007

It Has Begun

It turns out that I can do this...it's just extremely difficult...well, for me anyway. Pick up and purl? Puhl-eese!! Could we invent anything more awkward? Wait. Maybe that's just me again.

Sure looks pretty though...

I did hit a major snag. When I laid out the skein for winding, I discovered about 6 to 8 clean cuts in the yarn along both sides. I don't recall them being there before, but I wasn't looking for damage. It's as if the skein was sliced partway through, maybe by a box cutter when opening the original shipment? Just guessing. Anyway, I had to perform a lot of grafting to get the yarn ready for knitting. There are still some weak spots. I'm concerned.

13 October 2007

Entrelac In The Round?

I've recently purchased Interweave's Holiday Gifts 2007. What an improvement over 2006! I am seriously in love with the issue.
I think my next project will have to be Sandy Beadle's Annetrelac Socks. Of course, I've never knit entrelac before so why not attempt it on tiny needles and in the round?
I've been waiting for the perfect project to come along for the beautiful Fleece Artist sock yarn Canknitian gifted me last summer. This is it.

09 October 2007

Sunday Pink

We went a'visitin for Thanksgiving. This was the only pink ribbon I tied on Sunday because the rest of the day was spent either at the Toronto Coach Terminal (which honestly has nothing worth marking), on a bus, or out of town.

Ribbon Project Summary

So what did I get out of this? What was the point? Looking at the project Flickr page tells me that the point was different for everybody - and that in itself may have been the whole idea.

Personally, I decided to tie the whole experiment into my personal therapeutic work. Being present in my life and noticing the world around me has been my project for the last year or so. "Be curious," my therapist says. She also says "Get out of your fucking head!" I love that I pay her to talk to me this way.

I also wanted to make my part in this Toronto specific. This city where I live, that has kicked my ass around the block repeatedly lately. I've been here twenty years now and TO seems to be getting harsher, more crowded, ruder and so much more expensive. The streets are dirtier, the air harder to breathe and housing is ridiculously inflated. The highschool situation is just plain scary. I've been considering leaving.

I need to believe that goodness and beauty still exist. So I set out to notice it, even if it was very small, and to mark it. Thus I found that if one stops and looks a little differently, there are a few small reasons for delight.

06 October 2007

Saturday Purple

Took the bus to Madeleines, one of my favourite coffee shops.

05 October 2007

Friday Yellow

Thursday Green

Didn't have any green ribbon. Used yarn. You understand.

A "cute" story:

While I was taking the shot of the steps at Glenholme. I laughingly shouted "Smile!" to the boys at the top. One of them mumbled something back that included the words "stupid bitch".

"Hey," I said to the Daughter, "The art just swore at me."

30 September 2007

Sunday Catch Up Post

The front and back of the Shaped Lace Tee are finally complete and, as I suspected, there will not be enough yarn. So, I am left with two choices. I can leave it sleeveless in which case it's more of a vest and I'm not much of a vest person. The other option is to find a matching solid colour yarn and do the lacy part of the sleeve with that. I'm thinking that picking up the blue would work. Any thoughts? I shall put it aside and mull.

In the meantime, I've started another beret using Briggs and Little Regal. I've received stunned looks from a few knitters at my choice of yarn. Yes, it's rough and thick and cheap but I like it. It makes great, warm hats and the heathering in the colour is very pretty.

So, Nuit Blanche was a total disaster. Every venue we tried to see was so incredibely crowded that it was impossible to enjoy any of the installations. I was pushed, shoved and smushed. After taking an hour to move along a few blocks of Queen West, it became clear that we weren't going to make it to Parkdale. Even if we could have, we wouldn't have been able to get near the stage. We limped home on the Dufferin bus. Thus I missed Close Knit. Bummer.

The one piece we did see and appreciate was our first stop after a delicious dinner. It was well off the main path so I guess the suburbanites didn't venture there. This neon light line, accompanied by ambient sound, was uber cool. If we had headed home then, the night would have been much better.

25 September 2007

The Ribbon Project

I'm participating in The Ribbon Project the first week of October. I'm so excited about this. Imagine. Seven days, some coloured ribbons, a camera and an observant eye. It's the chance to briefly share with the world your particular point of view.
Won't some of my fellow knitters join up? I know we see things in a unique way and isn't that worth sharing?

I'm also planning to attend the Close Knit event at Nuite Blanche.
Toronto kills me. Most of the time it craps all over you and then events like this happen that make you not want to be anywhere else.

20 September 2007


Got my Ravelry invitation. It's fairly daunting stuff! My user name is (not surprisingly) longyarn.

18 September 2007

What Train Am I?

You're the Nikolaevsky Express!

You know that the shortest distance between two points is a
straight line. Lately, however, you've recalled that this is not always the
cheapest or easiest distance between two points. Straight or not, you like
to gauge things differently than most of the rest of the world. You've been
known to call most everything "capital". Your favorite saint is

Take the Trains and Railroads Quiz
at RMI Miniature Railroads.

16 September 2007

Fall Seems To Have Arrived

I finished weaving in the ends on two projects this afternoon while watching Season Two finale of Gray's Anatomy on DVD. (Boo hoo! Denny! You got tears on my wrist warmers!)
They're for a friend's family along with this scarf and this one. I suppose I designed the gray ones myself? The structure is based on the warmers from Last Minute Knitted Gifts, the pattern the purple ones are knit from. However, I wanted something more formal and substantial for the second pair so I bought some dark gray Cascade 220 and spent an evening with my pattern books trying to come up with something. I decided on a combination of 1 x 1 ribbing and off centre cables. They're supposed to be for a guy. Do they look sufficiently male to you?

Just look at those cables! The thing is, I'm not sure if they're true cables or "mock". Semantics aside, they still look smashing.

Have you seen the fall Knitty yet? Be sure to read David's article about his recent struggle with depression. He describes beautifully the role of craft and creativity in his life, even in the darkest of times. His descriptions of the frustration involved in trying to get the meds right, and the disappointment in not enjoying normal pursuits are bang on. That's why he's the writer. I cried a bit when I read it. Then I wrote a note on his blog thanking him for his writing. I'm recently weaned from my meds but am still in therapy from a similar episode. It's nice not to feel alone.

09 September 2007

Oooh, Prettiful Present

No, it's not my present.
T'was the birthday fete of Sophia today and she held court at Alterknit. The gorgeous fleece was gifted by Jacquie. The colours looked so lovely against the flowers that I took a quick pic.
Happy Birhtday girl!

08 September 2007

Northern Elegy

From "Northern Elegy"

The grim age turned me like a river,
turned my life into another channel,
and drifting in it I do not recognize
my shore. What visions of things
I let get away! The curtain rises
without me and falls. So many friends
I've never met even once. So many faces
of cities might have moved me, yet in this world
I know only one city and discover it in dream.
So many poems I haven't written
whose secret chorus rambles near by
and one day will choke me.
I am forced to know the beginnings and ends
and life after the end, and something I don't have to remember.
An indistinct woman occupied my natural place,
with my legal name, and has left me a nickname.
I did what I could with it, thank you.
I won't lie in my own grave.
But sometimes a mad spring wind
or the combination of words in a chance book
or someone's smile suddenly pulls me
into an unrealized life.
Back then something might have happened:
I could have traveled, seen and thought things,
recalled my past or gone into a new affair
as into a mirror, with a blunted awareness
of betrayal. But yesterday I wasn't so wrinkled...
Yet if from there
I looked at my present life
I would be envious.

Anna Akhmatova

05 September 2007

Christmas Around The World Swap Questions

Are you religious?
No, though I was raised to be and still respect those who are.
How long have you been knitting? Would you consider yourself a Beginner, Intermediate or Advanced?
I've been knitting since childhood but only seriously for about 5 years now. Intermediate.
Do you have any other hobbies besides knitting?
I bead a little, keep a diary, make paper doll clothes.
Favorite color(s)?
Purple/blue/red family. The richer the better.
Do you collect anything?
Sorry, no. At least I try not to. But I do keep mysteriously acquiring yarn, shiny trinkets, items with pictures of the Blythe doll on them.
Are you allergic to any fibers or animals?
Nope. Thank goodness.
Do you have any pets?
Three beautiful cats.
Coffee, Tea, or Hot Chocolate?

Coffee, then tea.
Cookies or Sweets?
Well, I can't eat wheat flour so I guess it's sweets.
Do you knit socks?
I do.
If not socks then what? (tell us about your favorite knits)
I go through phases - lace, garments, wrist warmers...
Do you put up a Christmas tree? If not then what do you do?
Yes a tree. I love my old ornaments.
Favorite holiday treats?
Clementines, sherry, mixed nuts.
Favorite holiday smells?
Pine, bayberry, mulled wine.
Do you celebrate Christmas in a traditional or unconventional way? Please elaborate.
Just visiting and being visited as much as possible. Unfortunately, due to my line of work, I often work a lot over the school holiday (which sucks).
What are your favorite holiday traditions?

The season always starts with Stuart McLean: A Vinyl Cafe Christmas around mid December at Convocation Hall in Toronto. Does anyone else know what that is?
Finish the sentence: “For me Christmas is all about....”
twinkly lights.
If you were a Christmas ornament you would be…….?

The chubby ballerina with fairy wings!
What was your favorite gift you've ever received? Or given?
The stuffed pink mouse with green gingham ears I got when I was wee. Saw it in the catalogue, asked Santa for it and there it was Christmas morning!
When do you start your Christmas?
Seriously get going as school ends.
Do you send Christmas cards? Do you make them or buy them?
Oops. I always mean to...
What is your favorite Christmas dish?
Cabbage rolls - now vegetarian cabbage rolls because of The Daughter.
Carolers are at your door. What do you do?
Join in, then pass out candy. I used to carol in university with my theatre group. Some of the best times ever.
When do you open presents? Christmas eve or Christmas morning?
In the morning, in pj's.
Do you celebrate with family or friends or both?

01 September 2007

Art Is Good For You. So Is Broccoli

Here's an interesting occurrence. I went to see the Square Foot show this afternoon (found the listing on Toronto Craft Alert). It was quite overwhelming with so many pieces to look at. Challenging as well, what with the height, and depth of the grid and the bad lighting.
So, what I did was go around the room slowly once. Then I picked up the catalogue and went back to re-visit my half dozen favourites and note the artists' names. Here's the interesting part. All my favourite works were created by women. Hmm...

If you're interested, the last day of the show is tomorrow.