28 June 2008

My New Love

What brilliant mind thought of combining two of my favourite things, cotton and alpaca, together? Throw in a hint of poly amide for strength and you've got Artesanal from AslanTrends Yarns. I picked it up at In The Loop's summer yarn sale. I've a bit of a problem here. I intended it for my Secret Pal, but I have fallen seriously and passionately in love. What to do, what to do? 'Tis a quandary indeed.

There's been another "Question" posed. What is the perfect amount of stash? I suppose one that just feels manageable and right. At the moment, mine feels a bit over-the-top. Well, all my possessions feel suffocating and heavy in my current state. I've been culling for months. Good thing Hayley is having monthly yarn swaps. I intend to unload a bunch of my crafting acrylic on July 12. I know she can find it a good home.

26 June 2008

Questions, Questions

Last week's SP12 question of the week (What did you look forward to most about summer vacation when you were a kid?) went unanswered but not unconsidered. I simply couldn't remember looking forward to any particular aspect of summer holidays. Looking back, I remember what I loved about childhood summers. I loved the freedom of practically living in my bathing suit for two months as the neighbourhood kids were always running through sprinklers or charging off to the public pool. Shoes were rarely worn and by the end of the summer, I could walk over gravel and not feel it. Did you play outside until the street lights came on? We did.And fruit. When I was wee, pale imitations of strawberries, plums, cherries and peaches were not widely distributed year round like they are today. Locally grown fruit, sweet and juicy, appeared only in season and was relished and gorged upon for those brief, delicious, times.

This is all hindsight of course. One of the wonders of childhood is the lack of "looking forward to" and "looking back upon". Kids usually just live in the present - as much as the adults around them will allow, anyway. It's only us grown ups who spend so much time living in the other worlds of the future and the past. We could all use a bit more time in "Right Now", dontchya think?

Is this too much for a simple question? If so, I apologize to my Pal and whomever else may be reading my ramblings. My blog, my brain. Knitting content to follow...

23 June 2008

A Dip In The Frog Pond

This cabled sock is driving me mad. More specifically, my tendency to take poor notes, or no notes at all, is the actual culprit. I am using the short row heel technique for the first time. Sock #2's heel has just been knit and is considerably smaller and shorter than that of Sock #1. For the life of me I can't figure out why. I thought I had done the two exactly the same.
Then again, there's the poor notes issue.
My first instinct was to rip back the second heel and make it look more like the first. However, Sock #1, being the first attempt, is not very tidy. Alas, ripping and re-knitting an entire foot seems to be in my future.

17 June 2008

Pretty Meme

This is a very cool meme. I've seen it on both Michelle and Marin's blog recently and felt compelled to join in.

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.***
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

***I actually used Google Image Search

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What do you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your Flickr name.
1. Yvette
2. Palak Paneer
3. Assumption of the Virgin
4. Purple neon
5. R.H. Thompson
6. Cafe Latte
7. Cavendish Beach PEI
8. Bath Ice Cream
9. Background Singer
10. Darling Daughter paper doll
11. Growing lettuce
12. Long Yarn

15 June 2008

How I Spent Father's day

I painted my toenails to match my pretty new sandals.

I went for a nice walk...

I worked on my cabled socks over coffee.

Which brings me to The Question of the Week. I think my favourite beverage, summer or winter, is cafe latte. Yum de dum. I especially like the ones at In The Loop which is where I worked on my sock. Convenient tie in.

I also like beer in the summer but that sounds so low class, doesn't it?

12 June 2008

Secret Pal 12

I've joined SP again despite my insane life. I so like making the little packages and being surprised myself. I've made some lovely internet friends over the years through exchanges.
So, once more, around we go!

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
I really like cotton blends more and more. Cotton with silk, with viscose, linen, wool, nylon. I saw a beautiful new South American one recently that was cotton/alpaca. Gorgeous.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

Everybody lives in peace in my divided desk drawer. I've recently started keeping the circs, still in the original plastic sleeves, in one of those dollar store drawstring fabric gift bags. It works very well.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?

Knitting since childhood (taught by Mom) but seriously for about five years. I now and forever will consider myself to be intermediate. I know too many amazingly gifted knitters to ever call myself advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

5. What's your favorite scent?
Sandalwood. I also like lavender, citrus and bergamot. I'm not fond of smelling like desserts such as vanilla and strawberry.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
My downfall is the salty, greasy side of the spectrum and I'm trying to correct that. However, I do enjoy a lovely sweet now and then! Chocolate? Gumdrops? Mmmm...

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?

No spinning. I took a crochet class recently and made a wonky looking facecloth! I dabble in beads, making my own stitch markers. I still like making paper doll clothes and am always on the lookout for fun paper and embellishments.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

I have eclectic taste. Don't like hard core country or hip hop.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?

Still into the jewel tones - purple, red, blue, purple, rose, purple, dark green, purple.
till find yellow icky.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

In flux. The Daughter, 14 and beautiful, is the one constant.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Lace, mitts, wrist warmers, tops, doll clothes and on and on....
I would never knit an afghan or one of those toilet paper covers.

13. What are you knitting right now?

A beaded shrug (knitting with beads = intense). Also a lace stole and cabled socks.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?

Yes, of course.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

I change it up depending on the project and the yarn. I like pretty needles and sometimes just buy a set because they look so darn cute.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
No. Boo hoo.

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
About a year.

18. What is your favorite holiday?

Summer long weekends.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
Attempts at life simplification have led to the disposal of many old collections. I do however, continue to acquire vintage knitting books and magazines from the
50's, 60's and 70's.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

No subscriptions at present. I do like Rebecca and wouldn't mind some current issues.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

I'd like to learn basic colour work and I still need more expansion of my cast on methods.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yup! Size 8 shoe.

23. When is your birthday?
It just passed on June 6. I am a proud Gemini. I notice that many of my knitting friends are Gemini as well. What do you think that means?

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
I am but I hardly ever go on the site. I'm longyarn.

11 June 2008

How Leonard Cohen Changed My Life

Friday June 6: I put on my party dress and went off to see Leonard Cohen. I was feeling somewhat blue. Alone on my birthday, using the ticket I had bought for myself weeks before knowing that I would be alone on my birthday. That afternoon, I had made a tentative agreement with a sketchy landlord for a small apartment in a sad neighbourhood because it was the best I could find in my price range. I had been searching for weeks and had cried a bunch in rage and frustration at the seeming impossibilty of finding a decent home for myself and The Daughter. So, I was feeling anxious as I entered the theatre.

Magic happens, you know. The concert was three hours of it. The air sparkled with energy, camaraderie, beautiful tones. I haven't felt so present in years. Afterward, I ended up walking with two other women who were at the show. One of them is a knitter I know from a few functions. We decided to go for a drink to continue our Leonard love fest. During the course of conversation, this most beautiful of knitters mentions that she is moving and is looking for someone to take over her amazing apartment near High Park.
Yes, you've figured it out, I shall be that someone. At great inconvenience to herself, she showed my her home, then put in a glowing review for me with her landlord. He just wants someone nice, not the highest bidder. We met last night and he and his wife seem to think that I am that someone nice.

My wise therapist told me, "Sometimes you just have to pray". She's not a traditionally religious person. She meant that sometimes, after you've tried everything, you just have to give it up to the universe and ask and believe. When I was at me teariest I said, "Please. I need an appropriate home for my daughter and myself." I even wrote it in my journal last week. Now, miraculously, I have a beautiful, safe, affordable home in which I can make my fresh start.
So I say thank you, thank you, thank you.

My New Home

In about 7 weeks, I shall be living steps from here. Right now I'm extremely tired so I'll just say thanks to goodness and positive energy. More to follow.

05 June 2008


Thank you everyone for all the nice comments about the purple top. It's very cheering to receive such positive feedback.

01 June 2008

Finally Finalized

(Hi Johnny D!)

Well this baby was an exercise in construction challenges and I'm not even counting the fact that it's my first major chunk of cabling.

  • Knit back. Knit front. Back doesn't match so rip it and do it again altering the shaping.

  • Realize there's no way in hell I'm ever going to master crochet picot edging. Put pieces away while learning knit picot. Then attempt, rip, attempt again.

  • Insert sleeves three times due to sudden brain aneurysm which caused the ability to seam sleeves to disappear completely.

  • Wear new top to work and realize the neck opening is far too big which causes the top to slide off the shoulders. Rip out neckline. Pick up fewer stitches, pull tighter and add an inch of seed stitch.

Take a flattering, dimly lit, photo that doesn't make me look fat. Yay! Appreciate that this Dale Svale is pure heaven against my skin. Realize that I'm in love with this Rebecca pattern and that all the work was worth it.