30 January 2007


I picked up a half dozen knitting leaflets at a used book store the other day (including these adorable, if somewhat comical, sockettes). The thing that bugs me is that some of them are food stained inside. Other people's food smudges always gross me out - like in lbrary books. Eeeww!
Not only that, but how did the original owner manage to knit with foody fingers?

28 January 2007

A Pretty Object

Signs Of The Former Tenant

Whatever she did all day

it wasn't housework
the lady downstairs says
the kids were always filthy
it takes me a day to remove
their fingeprints from the walls
and hours of scrubbing before
the tub gives up its dead-cell scum
and the oven is free of grease
even the smell is stubborn
windows open for days against
dirty diapers and stale food

The place is liveable now at least

though some things can't be fixed
the broken latch on the bedroom door
and the worn pattern of the tile
from the kitchen sink to the front window
where just at eye-level
faint smudges cling
like breath clouds
sobs imprisoned in glass

Bronwen Wallace
Signs of The Former Tenant
Oberon Press 1983

27 January 2007

I Don't Have To...

Yes I am knitting. I've completed the toddler hat and the back of the sweater for Dulaan. I keep telling myself that I have to take pictures and post these things.
Wait a minute. Who says I have to? The fact is, I haven't done it because I've told myself I should and hence, no longer feel like it. By putting these demands on myself, I have turned my hobby, blogging, into a chore. Hello! It's supposed to be fun!

This is a theme with which I have been struggling for about a year now. We do not have to do anything (except die). Every single action we make, as adults, is a personal choice. It's very difficult to really get this but once you do, it changes everything. My first objection to this idea was "But, I have to feed my child." The response was "No you don't. You choose to feed her because you love her." How much more positive that sounds and feels. Allowing oneself choice also means sometimes choosing not to do something. I hate doing dishes, really hate it. So I choose not to do them as often. If the husband doesn't do them that night (usually he does but not always), this means dirty dishes on the counter until the next day. I can live with that if it means more time to knit. My choice.
Neat stuff. Another way I've heard it put is "Stop 'shoulding' all over yourself. Old habits are hard to break so, yes, I catch myself 'shoulding' still. At least I notice it now. It's all part of the journey.

So, a pictureless post with no knitting content. My blog, my choice. Pictures will come, when the photography urge is there, I will snap all my wee projects.

PS: Knitters may take over the world. Muahahaha...

21 January 2007

Dulaan Sweater Pattern Chosen

Cute isn't it.

Looks simple enough so it should be a fast knit. I found it in a back issue of Family Circle Easy Knitting. There are several sweet children's projects in sizes 2 through 8 in this particular mag if anyone else is planning a sweater. Great stash busters, these.

18 January 2007

Current Subway Knitting

I've started another Broadripple using Patons KroySocks in Winter Eclipse. How I enjoy working this pattern. It's varied enough to keep it interesting yet simple enough to do while looking around.
Beyond the subway, I'm almost done a toddler hat for the Dulaan Project. I've also chosen a child's sweater pattern for the project that will perfectlly use up all the leftover yarn from The Daughter vest. I've yet to cast on though. Tzarina has been banished to the basket temporarily awaiting tweaking and severe blocking. It hangs funny and may or may not be a total disaster.

Check out these lovely sweaters. I recently purchased a photocopy of a 1920's knitting book that is full of flapper treasures. Such a comfortable era in woman's garments. Everything flowed and there wasn't the bother of wiry foundation pieces. Isn't it interesting that the war brought back girdles and stiff bras? I wonder why that is?
Unfortunately for me, the bottom right sweater, which is my favourite, turns out to be crocheted. Guess who's hopeless at crochet?

16 January 2007

It's Not A Toy. It's A Creative Outlet!

Meet Bebe, one of the Fashion Angels.

I received the set of four dolls as a Christmas gift from The Husband and The Daughter. I admired the set in a toy store one afternoon and they actually went back another day to buy it for me. How cool is my family? They buy me toys for Christmas! This is more touching to me than any expensive jewellry, electronics or whatever, could ever be.

The kit comes with four good quality cardboard dolls (ethnically diverse, of course) and a slew of patterns and materials to make their outfits. What fun! I made this ensemble last Saturday after watching an episode of
McMillan and Wife, in which Susan Saint James wears the cutest hat ever to a murder victim's funeral.

The Daughter is not allowed to play with the set without me. "Remember, it's Mommy's present," she was told.

Michelle says I'm weird but that it's a good thing. Hmmf!
I'm going to play with my dolls now.

14 January 2007

I Must Not Drink and Email

I didn't even have the tequila! I had three pints and then came home, watched some bad tv and had a few more. Then I decided to surf for a while. Bad idea. The computer should be locked up when I've been drinking.

I've been on a bit of a Steven Heighton kick lately(see previous post). To be fair to myself, we're sort of contempories. We were at Queen's at the same time and I was reading his stuff in the school journals even back then. However, we've never met.

So, that night, I ended up on his home page and there on the bottom are two little words: contact me. So, I did. Mr. Heighton received a lovely pretentious email with my opinions on his writing and some deep questions which seemed very relevent at the time. And yo...he replied! In my inbox this morning was a polite response. I'm so embarrassed, I'll just crawl under something somewhere. This isn't my first episode of late night drunken emailing, but I usually contact people I actually know.
I've sent an apology for the intrusion.
Poetry lovers, please buy one of his collections; The Ecstasy of Skeptics or The Address Book. Then we'll say I did him a favour and call it even.

Next time I'll have the tequila.

11 January 2007

We Haven't Had A Poem In A While


an alchemist of "the envious
practice of written speech," and I envy her,
every song an alembic fulminating
with fabulous liquid pewter, the jewelled
plumage of the hummingbird, pure laudanum
of flowing iambs. Those scorpions in their sepulchres
of resin: samphire and the friend-
killing heroin: her pen
brims over like a syringe with
elegies, torch songs, her tongue
like the arc-flame of the refiner
annealing the dead, still-anguished eyes
of a friend, into grace, or the base-
metal of our half-
murdered language:
now rejoined.

Steven Heighton
The Address Book
House of Anansi Press 2004

08 January 2007


from Patons Head to Toes flyer 2004
Yarn: Briggs and Little Regal
Needles: 3.5mm straights for brim, 4mm for hat body

Wrist Warmers
from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
Yarn: Natural llama purchased at the Winter Fair
Needles: Size 4mm circulars. The pattern calls for 2 short sets but I worked on 80mm length and worked in a loop. Easy.
Modifications: The thumb hole was just a slit. I wanted a bit more coverage so I picked up 10 stitches, worked around 3 rows of garter stitch, then cast off.

And yes...I am aware that my bathroom mirror needs a cleaning.

04 January 2007

Good News, Bad News and Last FO of 2006

Here is the "fashion doll" dress I knit for The Daughter for Christmas. Just because it's small, doesn't mean it was easy. I had to rip back the waist several times to get the fit right. Then those teeny tiny cables on 2mm needles nearly did me in.
Kickin result though! Barbie looks cool and comfortable in her stylish day dress. Her boots kick ass.

Ok, the bad news first. I went to the dentist today and the news was bad indeed. (Don't click if you are squeamish.) It seems to me that the cure may be worse than the problem. My actual teeth are quite good so it's a shame that I'll probably lose most of them. I blame all those years of poverty and no dental plan. Qu'elle drag.

The good news is that Francois and Alice, who's relationship to date can be described as "cool", slept on the same surface for the first time yesterday. Notice that they are almost touching. I don't know who joined who as I walked into the middle of the nap. Luckily, the camera was nearby.

01 January 2007

Santa Was Very, Very Good This Year

Happy New Year everyone. I hope everybody's celebrations, large or small, were appropriately fun. I know Michelle's evening was extra special. Congratulations girl! Our celebration consisted of an excellent dinner out followed by watching the first four episodes of Xena Warrior Princess. That's the first 4 0f the 66 Santa brought us on DVD! Never again will the words "There's nothing on TV" be heard in my house.

Yes, Santa was exceptionally good this year. That's a lot of presents under the tree for just three people. While we scaled back and simplified in all other aspects of the season, with each other, we over-indulged. It's been a rough year chez marriage so I think we were awkwardly apologizing with our wallets. I spoke to my therapist about it and she reflected that gift giving is just a different form of communication. She figures it's probably a good thing this once. This assuaged my guilt and has helped me to enjoy both spoiling and being spoiled. The daughter of course, got extra spoiled to balance out the prezzie opening. She has been exceptionally good this year and deserves everything and more.

A special thank you to Kelly for my only fibre related gift, two skeins of gorgeous purple goaty mohair from her trip to Wellington Fibres. So thoughtful.

And here is a closeup of my gift to myself - the cotton/angora blend I mentioned in my last post. The group shot of the Romni boxing sale purchases just didn't do it justice.
I'm spending today, the first day of a brand new year, in my pj's sick as sick. I've been ill with alternating cold and flu throughout the holiday season but have ignored it through all the working and festivities. Today my body went into full protest mode and shut down. Slept until noon then went back to bed at three. It's oddly nice to be allowed to finally be sick. There are no plans for the next two days so I have the luxury of just hanging out and taking care of myself. Not a bad way to start 2007.