26 February 2015

Sonnet 74

You can remember when it was and where
but it just so happens what happened is a blank
A sudden pang reminds you that once again
something nice had happened, it truly had, 
but whatever it was has become a blank.
It was a foggy day on Featherstone Point.
Many things happened on that same day, 
and you remember those things very well.

Everyone was making comments about the lovers.
Some of it was ribald but respectful.
And five minutes later, just around the corner
something much more interesting happened -
a woman in a red wool sleeve-length sweater? -
much more worth remembering --but she's gone.

David W. McFadden
Be Calm Honey
Mansfield press 2008

19 February 2015

Down Time

Pattern:  Jack-in-the-Box Mittens by Robin Melanson
Yarn: Rowan Pure Wool Worsted
Well, I've been dreadfully ill for weeks now. I blame all that time spent in hospital wards and offices. Nasty, germ filled places, hospitals are. First it was a stomach flu that flattened me for days. That was followed by a persistent pink-eye infection. Currently I am getting over a feverish hacking cough/cold contraption that keeps me up night after night. Seriously?

One tries to keep one's spirits up. 

Attempts to take advantage of the enforced down time have included knitting (naturally) and continued internet job searching. Unfortunately, the hat I was working on turned into a disaster and had to be frogged and job searching is extra disheartening when your face is all red and blotchy and your whole body hurts.

Enough complaining. I am a firm believer in tomorrow being another day. In the meantime, on my few necessary outings, I have been enjoying my latest FO. Cables plus Rowan worsted wool equals warm and attractive hands. This is my fourth knitting of these mittens from Knitting New Mittens and Gloves and I don't expect it to be my last.

A bit of cheer in the cold. The neighbours have left their holiday decorations up.

09 February 2015


Yes, colour is glorious. One of the reasons so many of us knit is because we love colour and such a variety of it is available in today's yarns. Yet, once in a while, it's nice to return to neutral. This is Noro Silk Garden Sock in 269 - a colourway some call Natural. It slowly grades from beige to ivory to pale, pale gray. Noro is not my favourite to work with. It sticks to itself and the centre pulls rarely pull. Still,The Daughter requested another pair of Noro socks and I have to admit that the last pair are still going strong after several years. The silk makes this stuff STRONG.

The Daughter wears a largely neutral palette these days. Beige is her main colour with navy and/or burgundy providing the accents. This pair of plain socks with just a little rib down the front sides, should go with almost everything she wears.  I am enjoying the calm of this knit.

One odd observation. The yarn on this skein seems to be thicker than every other Noro Sock in the store though the labels claim the exact same weight and gauge. Is it because less dye makes the yarn fluffier?

07 February 2015


Re-reading my last post it occurs to me that it might be perceived as being just about me, me, me! After all, it wasn't me with the traumatic incision. the loss of movement, the future weeks of recovery. Who am to whine about being "stressed out" and crying in the bathroom?

It begs the question: Where is the line between self aware and self centred? Between conscious introspection and navel gazing? Conversely, when am I simply telling my story and when am I intruding on another's privacy by presuming to tell his?

I've come to the conclusion that, in the end, the only experience upon which I am qualified to comment is my own. I am constantly surprised and intrigued by the odd, unexpected, thoughts and feelings that arise in the circumstances life decides to throw. It is about the observation of such things that I choose to occasionally write. This in no way diminishes the experience of my people. Their stories are their own and are precious. My story is one that sometimes intersects with their's and it is consequently made more precious.

Also I knit. My 2014 Gift-a-Long Sagano Shawl was 5 weeks late. In that time I fell so deeply in love that it is no longer a gift. (Not to worry, I already have another knitted gift project in mind for the intended recipient). 

My new shawl has come in handy. Recently, I returned to the tradition of long walks in the park. It was bitterly cold, cold, cold last week and I had to wrap my new shawl tight around my nose and mouth while I walked. The Indigo Dragonfly silk/wool blend yarn knit into the dense daisy stitch pattern, kept me very warm. The unblocked ribbed pleats of the border makes a striking frame around my face. I love lace as you know but I also love that Laura Chau designs these thick, warm, decidedly un-lacey, shawls.

My camera has a mind of its own and randomly takes these blurry, over-exposed photos. 
I've decided to go with it. It's a design feature!

04 February 2015


Where you get off when you miss your stop on the 172A bus.

What's it like to withdraw from reality and move in with someone you love to take care of him after major surgery? What's required? How does it work?

Well, you get less knitting done than you thought you might. There's the odd row here and there but mostly there is just too much else to do. What with all the laundry and the food preparation. The bandage changing. The linen changing. The bathing. Managing the medication schedule alone takes a surprising amount of time and energy. Five different drugs all with different timetables!

I missed my cats less than I thought I would. The Daughter took them to her place and I had expected to be constantly worrying about them. I wasn't. See above.

I've always been remarkably good at the nitty gritty bits of life. At heart I am a deeply practical and organized person, especially in moments of crisis. Still, in the midst of all the pragmatism and the "getting it done", there was a myriad of emotions. Big ones like the terror of early morning fever and uncontrollable shaking. "Should I call 911?" There was that warm feeling of gratitude toward ER staff the day we did have to go in with scary post-op complications. There was the evening I found myself sobbing in the bathroom for no apparent reason. There were also some embarrassing, seemingly petty worries. "I haven't worn makeup or shaved my legs in days. He's never seen me like this." And there were spontaneous silly outbursts like when I said he made that walker look sexy. "Ladies!" he cried, and we laughed and laughed.

Thankfully, he's out of danger now. I've moved back home. I still go every day and spend some nights but I'm slowly emerging back into reality. The thing is, "reality", such as it is, doesn't feel very real. Buying coffee, sending emails, even shaving my legs - it's all very nice. It just seems a whole lot less important right now.

Except for the cats of course. The cats are important. They told me so the day I brought them home.