25 October 2012

Bright Shiny Newness

It's been up on Ravelry for a while now but here is the blog reveal of my turquoise Agatha. I finished it during The Ribbon Project so it had to wait to be blogged. The project took a little longer than I had hoped to complete, becoming a fall cardigan rather than a spring one, but finally it is here and I love it so very much. Glad I am that I went out of my colour comfort zone by choosing this bright Cascade 220 heathered blue.
Here I am looking all perky and happy in my new sweater because it is a perky and happy sweater. I feel fresh and cute when I wear it. That's a pretty big accomplishment for a cardigan.
And here I am looking romantic and dreamy in my new sweater. The vintage style lace pattern inspires feelings of girliness and romance. Damn! All this from a cardigan? Yup,

21 October 2012

Table Knitting

It doesn't look like much here but this is my current "at home" project. It's Ysolda's Orchid Thief, originally published in Brave New Knits. I cast on at a knit night several weeks ago but now it never leaves the apartment. In fact, I don't even put it in its project  bag anymore. It lives out on the dining table, ready to pick up whenever I have a half hour to spare. At over 400 stitches per row, that half hour means I get one row done. I've increased the number of pattern repeats because I'm using a finer yarn (Ysolda used Malabrigo Sock. I'm using Wellington Lace).This means a lot of stitches on an infamously tricky pattern. If you know Orchid Thief at all, you're aware of the on-line chatter about how a pattern could be published with such unclear instructions and so many errors. It was only through a lot of digging through Ravelry that I was able to sort it out. 
Since regaining copyright, Ysolda has self published the pattern and addressed the problems.

The Wellington mohair/wool blend is knitting up beautifully. A halo appears as its worked but there is no shedding and the shawl does not feel scratchy at all. The colour is gorgeous, especially in the morning sun by the window where I do my knitting. I can't wait to see what it looks like blocked.

18 October 2012

Book Review

 Have you seen the new Vogue coffee table book,
Vogue Knitting: Classic Patterns from the World's Most Celebrated Knitting Magazine ? For their anniversary they've compiled a sort of greatest hits from the last thirty years into a beautifully bound, full colour, large volume. It was sitting in the window of a local book shop so I popped in and had a look.
I confess to being disappointed. Other than three pages on the history of the magazine, there is nothing new here to inspire me to put down my fifty dollars.
Do you recognize the above shot? It's a stunning fashion shot of a timeless sweater from the Fall 1989 issue (Thank you Debi for selling your copy to me.) It is included in the book.  I don't dispute their choices of pieces. In fact, it is a spot-on cross section of the best garments from various years (Calvin Klein bubble anyone?) Yet it falls flat because there's no re-interpretation. They don't just publish the same photographs from the original issues but photos of the photos from the magazine. I get what they were going for - a chronicle of a knitting publication. Still I think, as a vision, it lands short. For those of us who have been following Vogue Knitting for some time and own many of the original issues, it doesn't excite. I wanted to see new pictures of some these patterns re-knit in today's yarns with new and daring colours accompanied by some written text about the impact of the design and why it is representative and relevant. More work? Yes. But that would have been a book I'd have paid for.

09 October 2012

Day 7 - Green

The final day of this year's Ribbon Project fell on Thanksgiving Sunday. Interesting. At my sister's home I tied my green ribbons to mark the beautiful appetizer spread she laid out as well as her glass fowl collection which I've always found whimsical and amusing.
Thankful. It's something to ponder. For what am I thankful? 
As a friend of mine recently remarked, "Every day above ground is a good one." It sounds a little trite - possibly even cynical. However, during a year when some old friends have left and there has been much loss and uncertainty, that little line makes a lot of sense. So, I'm thankful that I'm still here and that will be enough for now.

08 October 2012

Day 6 - Orange

Saturday of the Thanksgiving long weekend. A perfectly cool and clear day for doing some work in the garden. Then it was off to lunch with a fellow knitter. Not bad at all.

06 October 2012

Day 5 - Blue

I did tie a few ribbons on my way home to the bridge over Lakeshore Blvd. that leads to my hood. It's a very cool view from up there (though I admit to being a teeny bit frightened over all those lanes of traffic). However, I forgot to bring my camera. Maybe I'll walk down there on Thanksgiving Monday and see if they're still there.
I spent last evening quietly at home...knitting. Big surprise. Many a recent evening finds me working lace at my dining table listening to Laurie Brown on CBC. Not a party, no, but heck. It keeps me sane.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

05 October 2012

Day 4 - Red

The only thing I saw yesterday that inspired me were these cool mushrooms that sprang up over night along the lake shore bike path. I tied my red ribbon in the morning and was delighted to see it still there that evening.

Day 3 - Pink

It was crazy foggy here on Wednesday.  Here is that same darn condo tower, looking up from the garden at the Sony Centre theatre. Below is the East side bed of the garden. It was to have been plowed under years back to make room for the street level development that was supposed to partner the condo building and be of so much benefit to the community.  They publicized artist's studios and class space along with retail and a Toronto historical info centre for tourists. Not surprisingly, as soon as construction started, they announced a budget short fall and only the condo tower went ahead.. At least the pretty garden survived and wasn't turned into parking.

03 October 2012

Day 2 - Yellow

I went to the Tarragon Theatre to see No Great Mischief starring my two imaginary boyfriends, R.H. Thomson and David Fox.  I was lucky enough to see this premiere in 2004 and had to catch the remount. The play has grown, if it's possible, even more magical with time and age.

Before the show, I dined down the street at the Apollo Eleven diner. The usual please! Greek salad, fries and coffee. Passing the theatre's staff entrance I paused to tie a ribbon in memory of those many years ago when my ex-husband worked there and I had the pass code to this door. The Daughter and I visited him many, many times as he worked late. We washed her baby clothes in the costume department laundry. We barbecued dinner in the courtyard. Heck, I even worked there a few times myself before the Baby Days. All happy memories. Last night, during the play, I tied a ribbon to my seat's armrest. Naturally, there is no photograph of this.

J.D. Nicholsen, David Fox, R.H. Thomson.
Photo courtesy Tarragon

02 October 2012

Day 1 - Purple

Oct 1 fell on a Monday this year so The Ribbon Project will take place across a work week and into Thanksgiving weekend. Interesting.
The email with Day One's colour choice came late yesterday due to an internet problem. . It wasn't until my afternoon break that I discovered the choice. So, there I was, wondering the block around my office realizing that there's nothing I "like" enough down there to note with my purple. Then I saw the Bixi stand. I thought of my friend Michelle and how she's always praising Bixi  to the skies. I thought how lucky we are to live in a city with such a neat cycling program. Heck I thought about how much I like my friend Michelle. So I tied one of my purple ribbons.

Ribbons 2012

Well, it's the beginning of October and that means the 7 days of The Ribbon Project. I seriously considered dropping out this year. Fewer people took part last year and I was wondering if the event still has legs. Also, being honest, I've been depressed the last while and I felt that my current state is not conducive to creativity. Then the email invitation came in that funny, familiar font, and I immediately said Yes. The project has become a bit of a touchstone for me over the past five years - a sort of annual check in.  I like being part of this small group of people I've never met. Tying ribbons and snapping pics has become my autumn tradition. So let's see where this goes this year.