27 December 2013

A Variegated Holiday

Lest ye think I am ignoring the holiday season, let me put your fears to rest. I know you all are just dying to know what I've been doing! Well, there was the aforementioned ice storm which tried to ruin not only my party but the entire Christmas of many, many Torontonians. Power was out for two or three days for some folks. The Daughter and I were warm and well lit throughout so I feel I have no right to complain about a poorly attended party. Other than that, the season was a surprising and unusual whirlwind. I didn't see many people I had hoped to yet ran into many others I hadn't expected at all. There was extended family time (stressful), some quiet romantic time (delightful) and one very, very scary time when The Daughter had a fall and I thought she had been severely injured. After a hospital visit and a sleepless watchful night, it was determined that she'll be fine. Thankful, thankful.

Amid all the chaos, (let's not forget all that vermin vacuuming!) there was no time to just sit and knit. My first opportunity was on the train to visit my parents on Boxing Day. I cast on some Sweet Georgia sock intending to knit an Arrowhead Shawl. But this yarn is too variegated to show off the textured pattern with all its increases, decreases and yarn overs. The colourway needs a flatter surface to highlight its beauty. So after knitting Arrowhead all the way there, I ripped back and started Traveling Woman on the way back. Much better.
sweetgeorgia Tough Love Sock: Stillwater
I'm still committed to knitting Arrowhead. I may just have to pop into Knitomatic for the Boxing Week sale and pick up a nice tonal. Hey, I lost a lot of stash from the beetles. I deserve a little Christmas present.

23 December 2013

Ice, Ice Baby

Toronto was hit by a big ice storm yesterday. Unfortunately, this was the day of our Christmas party and with little to no public transportation available, only 7 of the expected 30 people showed up. We were a small but happy group. Despite the best efforts of the young people to eat everything in sight, I am still in the possession of a massive amount of food. Anybody hungry?

My office stayed closed today. With this unexpected free time, I decided to go for a weekday morning walk in High Park; something I've not been able to do in a long while.
The ice was destructive. Yes, disruptive also. 
Still, one can't deny that it is pretty.

14 December 2013


Yes, they are every knitter's nightmare and now I have first hand knowledge as to why.  Before I begin my sad tale, let me tell you I have just confirmed that what I have been treating as a moth infestation is actually a carpet beetle infestation. Same result. I am down stash and have a much cleaner apartment.

It all began last week when The Daughter, who has just returned from 3 months at her Dad's, went into her long unused sock drawer and found holes in every single pair of her hand knit socks. After dealing with the initial nauseating feeling of shock, I flew into action. Everything in her drawers was laundered, the drawers were vacuumed and scrubbed with hot water and bleach. Every corner of the room, including the mattress, was vacuumed meticulously and then sprayed with lavender. Thus I thought the problem could be controlled...

Until I checked my stash a few days later. I'll spare you the gross details but will admit that I cried - a lot.
I realize I've no one to blame but myself here. I kept large amounts of stash in pretty baskets, arrogantly assuming that wool eating critters could never happen to me. Thankfully, the luxury yarn stored in plastic bins seems untouched. Those bins are still sitting out on the frigid balcony as we speak, freezing for 24 hours, just in case. Other stash has been rotating through the freezer and microwave all week. The yarn with visible larvae (brown larva means carpet beetles) has been tossed.
I no longer own baskets. Instead,. I am the proud owner of many, many new Ziploc bags and plastic storage bins purchased at my local hardware store. All of today, a Saturday, was spent turning my apartment upside down, getting into every corner. Diatomaceous earth is supposed to be effective and is non-toxic so I've spread it around the baseboards  Tomorrow will see more cleaning, more vacuuming. Supportive knitters who have had similar experiences assure me that my vigilance will get results. 

I am exhausted but determined.

24 November 2013

Even More Red

My local knit night is at my chosen LYS, Eweknit.  One recent Thursday while there, a lovely, lovely thing happened. Connie, a lovely, lovely woman, who I know only from this weekly gathering, approached me saying, 
"You are just the person I'm looking for."
She was holding a paper shopping bag. She explained that she had bought some sale yarn a while back but now realized it wasn't really for her and that she would never use it. 
"You should have it," she said.  "It's your colour." And she handed over the bag.
In it were ten skeins of Marks & Kattens Alpaca. It's a luscious, loosely spun bulky weight that, being vibrant poppy red, can most certainly be described as my colour. I was unbelievably surprised and touched that Connie would think of me this way. Wow. All I could do was say thank you and give her a hug.

Knitters are nice people.

18 November 2013

New Mitts

Like many knitters, I have a large collection of sock yarn partial skeins. It's difficult to know what to do with all those bits and bobs. I've seen some Ravelers make wonderful stripey socks but that requires the yarns to be all the same brand if it's to work well. One can also use up scraps with the old contrasting heel and toe trick.
When I was knitting my Summerworks Socks, I remember thinking that the Schoppel-Wolle Cat Print yarn would look so pretty on my hands and how unfortunate it was that there wouldn't be enough left over. Then I saw this pattern in Veronik Avery's Knitting 24/7. The original pattern is done in dramatic red and white. My version is far more subtle, using solid Cascade Heritage to offset the variegated yarn. My cable pattern is knit incorrectly as well. There were slipped stitches within the cable crosses that I just couldn't master so I knit everything on those rows. I think the effect, though quite different from the original intention, is quite fetching.

Conclusion? I call this experiment in stash busting a success and see many more stripey projects in my future.

27 October 2013

Word On The Street: Sara Peters

As I do every year, I went to Word On The Street, last month. I always try to catch a reading or two and this year, it was local poet Robert Priest I went to hear. Little did I know I was about to be knocked on my ass by the young woman reading with him.
The session was entitled "Out of the Darkness" and supposedly invited "you to reflect on emerging from darkness" or some such bullshit structure forced upon art to give it a sound byte. Sara Peters arrived with her blond hair pinned on top of her head, wearing a simple skirt and red, red lipstick. She sat on her stool and evenly read lines such as:

"And Goldilocks said My life is broken, my heart is over

Snap my neck like a broccoli-stalk."

I fell immediately in love.

After the too-short readings, there was a Q and A moderated by some dude who asked pointed, often inappropriate questions. Whether because she does not know how to play the literary interview game, or because she was deliberately subverting it, Sara paused after each question, then quietly, simply, answered, "Yes," or "I don't know." in her beautiful voice.
My affection deepened.

I bought her book, entitled 1996, and had her sign it. I mentioned that some of her lines sounded familiar to me and it turns out she had made a recording for the Poetry Magazine podcast that I had heard. She seemed genuinely pleased that I recognized it.

Over the past weeks I have spent quite a bit of time with the book. This is serious work - elegant and mysterious - about tough subjects; cruelty, eroticism, abuse, youth and self discovery. It speaks to me deeply, to the person I once was and to the person into whom I have evolved. I get more meaning from each reading and look forward her next book.

Some other favourite random lines:

"I'm not sure why I'm convinced

That expressing contempt is my life's work -
And I should have been back at the party."

"     ...The air smells

Like the mulch of primeval concupiscence! I cried,
and what could you do but agree?"

"but up was the only unoccupied direction, 

so how else to get there? And always
these questions. Who set those fires?
Who broke those mirrors? Is that your blood?"

1996 Sara Peters
House of Anansi Press, 2013

26 October 2013


Why is the colour red so hard to photograph? I tried multiple settings on the camera and multiple times of day and this is the best shot I could manage of my most recent project. Notice how everything in the photo is in focus except the actual subject? What is it about red that always makes a blur?

With the exception of the bad photos, I love everything about my new wristers. This is my second go at the free Artyarns pattern. It creates a snug and pretty glove and uses less than one skein. I did make one modification; completing one more cable pattern pass after the thumb rather than going right back to rib as the pattern instructs and I am very happy with the result.
My yarn choice here was Louisa Harding Orielle - a sparkly, super soft alpaca. What a lovely bit of luxury!

17 October 2013

A Wee Bit Fishy

Flipping through my pattern collection last night, I came across this 1968 Lady Galt Fisherman Knits booklet. "Classic fisherman knits...Celtic yarns...in a great head-to-toe look for the entire family," says the cover. Now, one's first instinct may be to laugh. The excess, the awkward poses, the fake smiles. But, let's take a closer look shall we?

This cardigan is really quite fetching. The length is cute, the cable work is stunning and the jacket-like shape of the sleeve and shoulder is quite flattering. The collar just needs to be lowered and relaxed a bit, and this easily becomes a classic yet contemporary sweater.
Hmm...wheels turning. Don't I have some lovely Aran weight in my stash?

13 October 2013

03 October 2013

Ribbons 2013

Well, it is October 3 and no word from the organizer of the Ribbon Project. This is not surprising. In fact, I didn't even think about it until October One had actually arrived. Only a few people took part in the annual art project last year and its profile was becoming increasingly low. It's natural that such things end eventually.

However, it feels a little strange to me. The first week of October has become a "stop and take stock" time for me. Summer is definitely over and the fall/winter routine is firmly in place. The danger of being swallowed up by the day-to-day is ever present. It's good to pause and reflect now. With that in mind, I took my camera to work with me yesterday and this is what I saw on my way home.

I have undergone many personal changes in the past few months. I feel that I am in a better place than I was this time last year. That is something worth remembering; worth taking stock of. I remain ever grateful for the beauty around me and the joy that is possible if only I open my eyes and recognize that it being offered. So, Ribbon Project or not, I'll be carrying my camera over the next few days and making myself stop and look around.

30 September 2013


I cast on this new project over the weekend. The pattern is Leoni from the Louisa Harding collection Venezia. It's written for a soft bulky yarn and 7mm needles but even going down to 5.5mm to get gauge, it's knitting up super quick. I find the sample garment in the photo to be a bit static looking. My version will hopefully have much more movement and drape.

It's quite wonderful to knit with Kikki again. This cotton/viscose/linen blend was one of the first yarns I purchased when I started knitting seriously again about seven years ago. I've two tops made with it that I still wear today. Working with the yarn now is like returning to an old love. All the various colours and textures lightly plied together, are a delight to watch as they blend into stitches. Sadly, the yarn was discontinued years ago but  a recent stash dive reminded me that I have twelve skeins of this colourway plus a full bag of blue and a scarf's worth of a third colour. Nice.

22 September 2013


I've walked September end to end
barefoot room to room                     Adrienne Rich, Equinox (2004)
"Now you're weeping," he said into the phone.
"No of course I'm not," she said, wiping snot from her nose,
Pulling her knees closer to her chest.
"What are you doing then?" he asked.
"I'm walking around my apartment."
"What are you doing that for?"
"Why shouldn't I?" she said. "It's my apartment."

17 September 2013


I've become quite fond of knitting lace. There is a wonderful moment during each lace project when one stops seeing the paper instructions and starts to see the pattern emerge in the yarn under the hands. From then on, you're in the zone. It flows organically, almost like sculpting, and the shapes appear one by one, row by row. Love it.
What I am not fond of is knitting to deadline. This is why I seldom knit big gifts. However, when my niece announced she was marrying, I knew I wanted to give an heirloom type gift along with whatever household doodad I chose from the registry.Wow, the shower came fast! Before I knew it, it was 10 days away with only a third of the shawl complete. I actually had to count the rows and budget rows-per-day in order to even have a hope of finishing on time. Then I decided to add one more repeat because it really was too small to start the border. Then I decided to bead the border. Because I am crazy.

It was painful, especially the midnight blocking the night before wrapping. These photos were taken just before popping it into a gift bag. Yet, I think it was worth it. The Zephyr wool/silk lace has that dry shiny crunch that I find so sensual in some silks and the beads add a lovely weight to the whole thing. My niece seemed to like it very much.

10 September 2013


Here I frolic in a sweater knit from yarn I bought years ago at The Frolic.  It's not my knitting of this Drops pattern that disappoints. It fits beautifully thanks to a few personal modifications and I love the sculptural effect of the edge work.
It's the yarn that is the problem. It is long discontinued and it has become quickly obvious why. This Debbie Bliss Cotton Angora does not wear well. I've worn this sweater twice and it looks old already. The yarn sheds and pills and the jacket is stretching out. What a shame after all that work.

30 August 2013

The House

in this house poems are broken, 
I would invent the end of poetry;
we are only complete when

     that image of me in you
     that image of you in me
     breaks, repairs itself.

you are the earth and the earth;
release those cosmic hands which held you
while I set out on my urgent journeys --

     in this house we repair
     torn walls together and do not
     ask how they were torn.

we work slowly, for 
the house is the earth
and the earth --

     the delicate people in you
     from room to room.

Gwendolyn MacEwan, A Breakfast for Barbarians
Ryerson Press 1966

22 August 2013

Summerworks Socks

A few times each day when working a theatre festival, there are sweet 15 minute intervals when you've finished everything you needed to do for the last show and it isn't quite time to start preparing for the next one. What to do? Knit on a sock, of course! (Actually, most people smoke).

The second half of the second sock here was knit during the few quiet moments of Summerworks. Hence the name. They are knit in a basic three-by-one rib spiraled by moving over one stitch every four rows. I think this is an effective way to present this hand-dyed Schoppel Cat Print. it breaks up the colour just enough. I also love the way each of my two skeins was lighter on one end so the colour darkens from the pink to a heavier blue and grey concentration as I knit down the leg and along the foot. What a cool effect.

19 August 2013


I have just finished working for this year's Summerworks Performance Festival. It's Toronto's annual jurored theatre/art/music fest. Performances take place in theatres, parks, bars and galleries throughout the west end.  It's a remarkable undertaking. Summerworks has a year round staff of only three people and a limited budget yet somehow they manage to bring together dozens of performance companies and temporary employees, hundreds of volunteers and many host venues. It's a feat of Ninja-like coordination.  During the twelve days of my employ, I am the happiest and possibly most tired knitter in the city.

Above is the courtyard of the venue I manage. I conservatively estimate that I ran between this public space, around the corner to the theatre entrance and up and down its many stairs, 222 times. My legs and butt look fabulous!
My theatre is right around the corner from Romni Wools. As a treat I popped in just before closing time on Saturday to enhance my sock yarn stash. I have several lace patterns in my queue so was looking for tonals. Here we have Hot Socks Tweed (red), Nova Sock Print (green) and Online Vintage Color (blue). They were all in the sale basement! Now, which one will become Monkey?

02 August 2013

Knitting in Hamilton

Family stuff has been going down lately and that means many trips to Hamilton. Ah the complexity. The stress. Family is a touchy subject for me, one that I'll not go into here.

Thankfully there are knitters and I don't mean this lightly. On one recent trip I took a time-out and went to find shelter. The wonderful Glenna directed me to Hamilton's new yarn store, Handknit Yarn Studio. It's a lovely little oasis downtown. The walls are painted a calming blue, the accents white. The stock is invitingly displayed. Glenna introduced me to proprietors Kate and Tracy and we sat at the centre table, sipping iced coffee. knitting and chatting for about an hour. Having touched base with my people I was sufficiently braced to move on and face the crazy.

Naturally I bought yarn. Handknit has a nice selection that includes yarns you don't see everywhere else. They've a surprising variety of Lopi! In the end I chose this Pima Lino lace weight from Diamond in a beautiful neutral tone. The store sample shawl knit in the same influenced me greatly. Such lightness combined with airy drape. I didn't even know it was possible to find lace in a cotton/linen blend and I'm excited to see what it can do. This will make a lovely summer wrap.

29 July 2013

Affectionately Mine

Y'all know that I am not a trendy person. Fads are not something I follow and bandwagons are methods of transport upon which I do not jump. My clothes are decidedly out of date as are my reading habits and television viewing choices. In knitting I rarely choose the pattern everybody else is working on. Well, there were all those Jaywalkers but, come on! Jaywalkers?

Why then have I become the approximately the 9650th person to knit Color Affection? Over the past year I have seen this wrap simply everywhere and each one was more intriguing than the last. The pattern increasingly crept into my consciousness and I began to wonder what colours I might choose were I ever to make one. The deal was sealed in June when The Daughter gave me a skein of navy blue Cascade Heritage on my birthday. I knew I already had the light blue skein of the same and a lovely cabernet Prism yarn in my stash.
Now six weeks and much mindless internet TV watching later, I love, love, LOVE my new shawl. More pics on Ravelry.

28 July 2013

Babies Everywhere!

I had such a wonderful walk in High Park on Friday. It began with a stroll through the zoo where I was thrilled and delighted to see that the capybara's have had two babies. So Cute! My head nearly exploded. After watching them for a good long time, I wondered hither and yon eventually ending up by the pond. There was another family - a mother duck watching her four youngsters bobbing next to the shore. I sat down at water's edge and within a minute, three of the young ducks crawled up on the rock next to my feet and had a nap! We sat there happily, ducks napping, me reading, for twenty minutes. 
You should  go see these cuties if you can.

My new friends

25 July 2013

The 2013 TTC Knitalong. Wow.

The 2013 TTC Knitalong has come and gone. It was the largest yet with eleven locations (not including the pub!) and over 120 participants. I had a blast working with so many amazing people pulling this thing off, Fun fact: As an entire group, the volunteers meet only twice - once at the beginning of the process and not again until the evening before the event. The rest of the work is done in singles and pairs and with many, many group emails.You wouldn't think it would work, but miraculously, it does.
We raised $1600 for our charity, Sistering this year. This may not seem like much to some, but it's our best year yet and we're very pleased. Not bad for an event that began eight yeas ago as a little shopping spree.
Oh, and I may have acquired some yarn on the trip.
Fooling around at Americo

The day's haul.

17 July 2013

An Absence

I've been away from my blog for a bit. It's not been an intentional absence. I think I just temporarily ran out of things to say. I blogged so much for the Knitalong, Then my camera died. Then there was a heatwave and my knitting slowed way down. At times I'd feel guilty about not posting. At those times I'd remind myself that, hey, this is a hobby. It's supposed to be fun. It's not like there are rules or anything.

Rest assured, I have been keeping busy.

I finished those Mary Maxim socks.
Glenna's Ribbed Sock knit with Mary Maxim Gemstone alternating two skeins.

I went to WWKIP Day in High Park where Sistering had a weaving display.

I bought sock yarn at The Romni summer sale.
ONLine Supersocke 100 Vintage Color

I've been reading Ted Berrigan poetry obsessively:

A Memory Filled With White

If you have a good temper for only a penny
Toot-toot!  and out come the beverages
All Chinese hearts beat for a girl named Nelly
Her secret thought in May is to have pesos
And be immortal
The coast had been scrubbed down prematurely
Like the teeth of some ancient but vital lore
Taking a stroll
And finding brave men dressed in silence
And are effeminate
Having dinner on the coast 
Is that an emblem of a name for summer
A real vacation?

Ted Berrigan & Ron Padgett  Bean Spasms
Granary Books 2012, Originally published by Kulchur Press 1967

02 June 2013

Latest Sock Adventure

Eventually, you get to the point as a knitter when you mostly know what you like and definitely know what you don't like. Life is just too short to knit awkward patterns, ugly colours or displeasing yarn. 
On a recent trip to Mary Maxim I purchased two skeins of their Gemstones brand in the Sapphire colour. On the skein it appealed to me so much, looking like random undulations of all my favourite jewel tones. However, as I unwound it to cast on, I began to suspect that it was stripes, not random at all. A quick click on Ravelry to view project photos proved me right. This has long colour repeats that make thick, solid sections and there is a one particularly bright colour - a turquoise that was hidden inside the skein - that pops vividly, not blending at all with the other darker tones of purples, burgundies and teals.
What to do? The yarn is otherwise very nice so I hate to waste it but I just knew knitting it as it was would make me cranky. My solution was to go through both skeins,cutting out that turquoise and spit joining the pieces back together. Now I am knitting off both balls at once, starting each at a different colour point and switching between them every two or three rows. It's producing the random look I wanted. A lot of work and trouble? Perhaps. However the result is totally worth the effort.

24 May 2013


It’s TTC Knitalong planning time again. This year, I've taken on a bigger role in what we’re calling “Communications” , working on media and writing for the blog.  It’s a remarkable amount of work. Head over to the Knitalong blog to see some of the fruit of my efforts.  Each evening this week I've spent about an hour and a half researching and writing. This after eight hours at my job. However, I do not mind it all. I love doing it. It’s fun and challenging. Rather, it's fun because it's challenging.

This has got me thinking about the nature of “work” and “jobs”. My day job, where I sit doing very little, rarely using my brain and having no decision making power at all, is certainly not what I would call my work.  It’s what I do for money.  Yes, I continue to look for other opportunities but for now, I need to pay my rent and feed my kid. (I sometimes worry that those other opportunities may never materialize but that’s a discussion for another day).

Over time I've learned that it is essential for my spiritual and mental health to get my work satisfaction in my private life. The Knitalong is one example of this – and it’s for a wonderful charity. In the summer when my day job lays me off, I work for theatre festivals that barely pay but that provide the constant problem solving moments that remind me  I am a thinking human being with skills. I've never believed that people inherently love leisure and hate to work. We just need tasks that engage and satisfy us. Then it doesn't feel like working at all. Too bad so many people don’t have this in their professional lives. 

This comes back, as many things do, to knitting. Some find it dull or say they don’t have the patience. In other words, it’s too much work. In classic novels, I have noticed that the embroidery or knitting the heroine has in her lap is often called her 'work' by the author, and not in a nice way. Interesting. Those of us that truly get it, see it as so much more than a chore. We delight in the challenge of figuring out the pattern, the math, of choosing yarn, of watching the movement of our hands actually make something. You go through this amazing process and end up with something concrete that’s beautiful or practical or both. Yes, it’s work but it’s joy as well. I plan. I create. I knit. I work.

On that note, I finished another sock.
Windjammer Socks by Jennifer Tepper: published in The Knitter's Book of Wool

30 April 2013

To A Stranger

PASSING stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you,
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me, as of a dream,)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall’d as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me, or a girl with me,
I ate with you, and slept with you—your body has become not yours only, nor left my body mine only,
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass—you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you—I am to think of you when I sit alone, or wake at night alone,
I am to wait—I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

Walt Whitman
Leaves of Grass 1900

20 April 2013

Pink and Blue

My current project is Windjammer Socks from Clara Parkes', The Knitters Book of Wool. 
The yarn here from Painted Fleece (sadly discontinued), is great to work with. The main component of this sock blend is Bluefaced Leicester, a wool I've used before on socks with great success. So, I've known for a while that I like it. Now, thanks to Clara's book, I know why I like it.
Bluefaced Leicester Wool is the softest of the Longwool breed category. From the book, I've learned that this sheep produces fiber with "open but smaller curls, a fine fiber diameter and a silky demiluster". It also has a nice long staple length - 3 to 6 inches in comparison with Merino's 2 to 4 inch average. This means it produces a fabric that is durable and attractive. It's slightly rougher than the Finewool Merino, but not uncomfortably so. In my experience, softest is not always best. Socks knit with Leicester wool hold their shape beautifully, last longer and don't pill. A wonderful fiber.

07 April 2013

More From 1975

 Cotton corduroy for the junior miss.
 High waisted and wide legged.
Sweet separates.

30 March 2013

Fashionable Research

On this beautiful Saturday, The Daughter and I went for lunch and then wondered up to the Toronto Reference Library, a place I rarely visit but always enjoy immensely when I do. The intention was to sit quietly reading a book I had called up from stacks but that never happened. By chance we ended up on the top floor next to the advertising and catalogue shelf. Soon we were immersed in the wonder that is the 1975 Eaton's Fall and Winter Catalogue.
People like to joke about bad seventies fashion but in reality, the "sophisticated 70's" did a lot of things right. Of particular beauty was the decade's outerwear. Winter coats and hats were gorgeous. I would wear any of the above coats today.
Yes, I'll admit the wide lapelled poly pant suit is ridiculous but those sweaters sure are cute. The whole colour palette here is inviting. And that cream zipper sweater with culottes and boots? Tres chic.
Bathrooms in the 1970's on the other hand, were best avoided.

24 March 2013


I've been meaning to knit another pair of Robin Melanson's Glaistag. The ones I made 4 years ago have worn through from many, many happy wearings.
There's some multi-coloured handspun in my stash that I wanted to incorporate somehow. The problem is that this yarn is thin as thread. My solution is to hold it with a double strand of Grignasco cobweb merino silk which, in a moment of madness, I purchased thinking I'd be able to use. In black. I can barely see the letters on this keyboard and black cobweb is a good idea?

Anyway, the colour effect of the two yarns blended is rather nice. Now problem #2 is that the mottled texture obscures the pretty English lace pattern. Alas. All those painstakingly executed ssk's and sk2p's that you can hardly make out. 
I did consider chucking the whole thing. However after consideration, I shall carry on. I've decided the end result, while not my original intention, shall be its own unique kind of pretty.

09 March 2013

International Women's Day? A Poem, Of Course.

Well, it's a day late but I read it yesterday and thought "How perfect." given the way I was feeling. A piggish comment by a male co-worker followed by many, many positive comments and wishes via the interwebs from women friends helped me see, once again, the importance of sisterhood.


You show me the poems of some woman
my age, or younger
translated from our language

Certain words occur: enemy, oven, sorrow
enough to let me know
she's a woman of my time


with Love, our subject:
we've trained it like ivy to our walls
baked it like bread in our ovens
worn it like lead on our ankles
watched it through binoculars as if
it were a helicopter
bringing food to our famine
or the satellite
of a hostile power

I begin to see that woman
doing things: stirring rice
ironing a skirt
typing a manuscript till dawn

trying to make a call
from a phonebooth

The phone rings unanswered
 in a man's bedroom
she hears him telling someone else
Never mind. She'll get tired.
hears him telling her story to her sister
who becomes her enemy and will in her own time
light her own way to sorrow

ignorant of the fact this way of grief
is shared, unnecessary
and political

Adrienne Rich
Diving Into The Wreck, W.W. Norton and Co., 1972

18 February 2013

Lace. Oh Yes.

Remember my trip to Elora to visit Wellington Fibres Mill? Remember this yarn?
Well, here is what the first skein has become. I love it so much I can barely see straight! This Orchid Thief was a painful knit in many ways, and I admit there were times I wanted to chuck it. Now I can definitely say that it was worth it.  I can't wait until spring when I can wear this lace over a light dress.
The deets are on my Ravelry page

The mohair/wool lace weight behaves in a surprisingly yet not unpleasantly different way when knit compared to when it's on the skein. It becomes lighter and acquires a bit of a halo. The lace pattern is defined but not harsh. Lovely. The best part? I still have the small skein of blue and another 650 yard skein in plum. What to do with them?

11 February 2013

A Scarf

Sometimes a knitter needs to go back to the beginning and knit a scarf. In this case, the yarn came first. I really wanted to use this discontinued Artful Yarns Serenade, cotton/angora blend that's been sitting in my stash for years. Veronik Avery's Transitional Scarf from her Knitting 24/7 book provided the perfect pattern - just the right fibre and yardage.
The plushy texture of the yarn made it a delight to work with and the eight row repeat of the pattern kept it interesting. Unfortunately, the slight violet tones in the pink, don't complement my colouring. This scarf is not meant for me. Into the gifting pile it goes until I find some fresh faced young thing who can wear it.

29 January 2013

East Village Poetry Walk: Part Two

New York is a BIG city. And CROWDED. It is possible to feel very lonely wondering its streets. Being by myself in galleries and theatre lobbies, peering into expensive shops and crowded cafes, I felt rather disembodied at times. There are so many places where one feels one is not invited. I often found myself missing The Daughter who is my usual travelling companion
It wasn't until my third day in NYC, on my visit to the East Village, that the tight spring in me started to unwind. I loved the aesthetic of the streets with their criss-crossing fire escapes and random community art gardens. There's more sky. I ate a leisurely lunch at the pretty Moroccan cafe that is a stop on the poetry walk, lingering over my glass of wine while writing in my journal. The food was delicious, the staff friendly and casual. I finally felt like I was on vacation.

I didn't get a photo of Tompkins Square Park. I forgot to take out my camera. About halfway through the walking tour, one slowly crosses the park, east  to west, while listening to a John Ashbery poem appropriately titled, Just Walking Around. I admit I hadn't heard of Ashbery before. My knowledge of American writers in general is quite poor. (In Ontario high schools during the seventies, we were raised on Margaret Lawrence, Shakespeare, and Who Has Seen The Wind.). Just Walking Around is a trickster of a piece, beautifully read by the poet himself, and it grabbed me fully;

"...It gets to be kind of lonely
But at the same time off-putting,
Counterproductive, as you realize once again
That the longest way is the most efficient way..."  
Listen to and read the poem here.

In the center of the park, between playgrounds and benches, is a large, circular off-leash area surrounded by a nice wrought iron fence. Leaning on the fence, listening to the poem for the second time, I paused to watch the dogs play for a while. A big, beautiful hound, tail wagging, all ears and legs, galloped up to me, put his big paws up the fence and presented that doggie face that says 'I love only you.' I rubbed his ears cooing and laughing, knowing in my heart that, for that moment, I was completely happy.