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