29 March 2008

Nice Photo Though

Behold! A hand rolled centre pull ball, done on a TP roll. It's so cute I think I'll name it.

Later that week:
Unfortunately, having knit with it a while, the centre pull doesn't pull so well anymore. I think I squashed it too much in the bag. Yet, I am not defeated. I shall try and try again another day!

26 March 2008

Tis A Long Yarn Indeed

I was lucky enough to participate in the first Knitty Yarn Roundtable at Alterknit last summer, and another one last Wednesday at the Purple Purl. Very cool to have my little opinions counted in the creation of a feature in Knitty. I discovered a few things about my yarn preferences while knitting these funky swatches. For example, mercerized cotton (the green speckled one, centre top) looks very pretty, but I don't like working with it. My love of cotton blends however, was confirmed. The grey section at the top of the photo is a Nashua blend with linen. I love it. Everything the others at the table complained about - the crunchiness, the uneven stitches, the ropiness - are all qualities I adore. I'm just weird that way I guess. This stuff would make a great tunic.

One thing I missed from my first Roundtable to my next, was the question "What does this yarn want to be?" on the form. This little phrase sparked much inventiveness and hilarity last summer. "A tractor cozy", Lisa replied about a wool she particularly disliked. Priceless.

I do like the look of my wee swatches in the late evening sun here. So warm and inviting. Contrast that picture with this:

Barren n'est pas? It's one of the views from the Go Train on the way to visit my parents on freakin' Easter Sunday people! I believe this is somewhere before Oakville. In many ways, Southern Ontario can be disappointing.

For a delightful blend of cool and hot, there's Dr. David Suzuki. Don't you just love this ad campaign?

22 March 2008

Book Review

I went to the launch of Robin Melanson's Knitting New Mittens & Gloves at In The Loop Cafe last Wednesday. It was a delightful gathering with live Celtic music and much trying-on of the beautiful samples. I actually had a peek at the book about a month ago when Robin brought a copy into the cafe but decided to hold off buying until the party so as to be all official-like. And I got my copy signed by the designer! Tres cool.

It's, quite simply, a beautiful book. There are twenty-eight designs, at least half of which I want to marry. Robin turns mittens, gloves and hand warmers into creations to be fancied and adored. Discussing the book with Christina of The Loop, we decided that the best description of it, is scholarly knitting. Robin has combined creativity and inventiveness with a deep respect for technique and knitting lore. In her own words, the designs are "unusual but not outlandish". I know I will be a better knitter after tackling some of these.

Her use of Celtic language is not out of place. How delightful that a pair of beaded sea silk hand warmers are named after Rusalka, a Slavic water dwelling fairy.

The book itself is a nice size for portability. The photography is gorgeous. My one main criticism, no fault of the designer I'm sure, is the typeface. It is far too small. When I lay the book on the table, I cannot read the print, making knitting directly from the text impossible. Enlarged photocopies will be necessary - a small inconvenience for such a wonderful collection which will live in my knitting library for years to come.

16 March 2008


At last, there was sun today, though it was still so very cold. I'm tired of winter, dragged down by chill and gloom. Today was day 11 of a twelve day work marathon. On three of those days I worked one job in the morning and a second in the evening. Come Tuesday I get to rest.
For cheer, and the memory of summer, here is an FO garden shot from last year. Sweet basil, sunshine and yarn...aahhh.

13 March 2008


Ayumi tagged me for a meme. Well, there's no knitting so, why not?
The Rules:
1. Link to the person that tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

  • I play with my hair a lot - twirl it around my finger. I know I'm doing this and make no attempt to break the habit. I like the way it feels.
  • I don't eat squash. Yuck. It's revolting.
  • I love to exercise, especially to work with light weights, but I hate doing it when anyone is watching.
  • I appreciate lipstick more and more each day.
  • I tear up when I yawn.
  • My favourite chip flavour is salt and vinegar.

I tag Michelle, Marin, Koko, Susan, Kelly and Angie>

05 March 2008

The Loop Increases

My favourite place, In The Loop Cafe, has had some new shelves built.
Upon those shelves has been stacked oodles of yarn. What could be better?

04 March 2008

A Paper Diversion

Well, the knitting is all the same. The ugly socks are almost done and the purple tunic rollls along in stocking stitch.
In the meantime, I made this little dress from paper I bought in the gift shop at the Textile Museum. The crispness of the texture just screamed sharp pleats to me. I'm thinking Jackie O., mid-height pumps, supper party. Your skirt swings when you walk and the belt buckle glitters in the low light. You are efficient, yet sexy, and your legs look great. Get it?
Making these little outfits for paper dolls has been such a great source of play for me. As adults, we so often forget the joy of playing for its own sake. Also, since I can't sew, this is the closest I'll ever get to creating this kind of dress.
Speaking of the Textile Museum, if you've not yet seen the installation The Blues, get thee down there. It's quite remarkable in scope. The show closes April 6.

01 March 2008

The Post - Astrologically Speaking

Does anyone else read Freewill Astrology by Rob Brezsny, the syndicated horoscope? While I don't read it as a great predictor of my future, I find his phrasing, his mythological and literary references, and his often just plain cryptic teasing, to be a great jumping off point for further reflection. The seeds of other discussions.

Example: In late December the column suggested that in 2008 Gemini should do less numbing of pain and instead "launch a fierce, relentless campaign to heal the pain so that you no longer have to numb it". Those who know me , know that I did a lot of numbing of a lot of pain in 2007. And 2006...and 2005...

I was already working on this problem when the column came out. It seemed omen-like, or at least a reinforcement that I was on the right track.

Now this week, there is encouragement to story tell. To share "adventures in redemption", the riddles of the quest. Doing so, the column continues, will give "the exact boost you need to open fully to the next great story in your life".

This, at a time when I have been pondering The Post. I've been working through my shit in my journal forever, sorting it out, categorizing, making sense. Yet, the urge to put it here so that it is public (even if only three people read it) has been strong. I wonder why? Does public recording take experiences and feelings from the realm of the theoretical, and make them more real, more valid?
I just recently listened to the episode of Cast On in which Laurie Perry aka Crazy Aunt Purl, was a guest. She spoke extensively about her blogging process. I was surprised to hear that she rarely writes of the deeply personal events as they are happening. She works through them first, then records her story in the blog several months later. The perceived immediacy of her writing, and hence, the impact of the story, are apparently enhanced by the calmness of perspective. This seems a wise approach.

So when is this perspective achieved? And how to balance the measuring of readiness against the instinct to share? Yes, I have a small, common story. In it is some knitting and other stuff. I whisper my story across the country through email to my best friend and mumble it over wine with some Toronto friends. Yet when, if ever, is it time to type it into public record to become The Post?