26 March 2015

Done & Done!

Is it possible for a person and a yarn to simply not get along? Every time I knit with Noro, the process is difficult, almost painful. This simple pair of plain socks on 64 stitches, had so many mishaps and false starts that I thought they'd never be finished! Now at last, The Daughter has her thick, warm, neutral socks just in time for spring. Timing is everything, right?

One fun thing happened. While digging out a bag in which to transport the new socks, I came across a forgotten pair awaiting darning. They're the last remaining damaged knitwear from the 2013 bug infestation. They had somehow been forgotten. I quickly darned the holes and voila! There are now two sock pairs to deliver. 

In the meantime, I have come to the conclusion that it is time for Noro and I to consciously uncouple.

18 March 2015

Bought Yarn

It looks like spun spring and, oh how I need spring to come. Appropriately named "Bud", this green/blue, Yarn Indulgences is more green than blue and makes me think of rivers and new growth. Stash restraint be damned and poverty can go to heck. I learned long ago that, no matter how low the bank balance, a little something that will bring hours of pleasure and beauty is never too expensive. Two items there will always be enough room for on the credit card are books and yarn. Poetry books. Silk blend yarn.

I am going to cast on Falling Waters Shawl from The Knitter's Book of Wool. It's the perfect choice. The pattern recommends a semi solid, multi-ply in a wool/silk blend for best effect. This Yarn is exactly that. My shawl will be smaller than the sample making a light summer stole that will go beautifully with most of my dresses.  

10 March 2015

One Step Ahead, Three Steps Back

Another way to stay inspired is to learn something new. "Learn, learn, learn," I always say. Your brain, like your body, needs to be exercised throughout your life or else it will turn to mush.
I had a last minute opportunity this weekend to sit in on a crochet class. Behold! My first ever granny square. I've always wanted to know how to make one of these. It's not perfect but I am delighted with the silly thing.

Unfortunately, my mushy brain took a costly vacation recently. I've been knitting away on Sock #2 in the Noro Natural colourway. As I approached what I thought was the end, the nagging suspicion that something was wrong kept niggling away. Then this morning I finally, and embarrassingly, figured it out. I had forgotten to turn the heel. I picked up directly after knitting the flap and have been chugging away at a confusingly odd-shaped foot ever since. Doh!! Just goes to show that even a so-called "experienced" knitter can make a bone headed mistake. Rip it. Rip it. Frog.

This is a picture I took this morning while waiting for a streetcar. I hope the coolness of the shot redeems me slightly.
Regardless, it's an interesting view of how new Condo-Toronto has blended, or tried to, with beautiful old historic Toronto.

05 March 2015


Colour. Texture. Cool found objects. 

Another way I tackle the inspiration blahs is by strolling and looking at window displays. A beautifully presented window is something to be paused over and savoured. My sister was a visual merchandiser so I guess I appreciate even more the skill and creativity required. After dark, when the store is closed and only the window lights are bright, is the best time to do this.  Sometimes I walk the Mink Mile (that Bloor block between Yonge and Bay with all the high-end shops) but I am also very lucky that my own neighbourhood has some lovely boutiques with charming windows.

The cool thing is, you don't necessarily want to buy what you see. When I look at the above display, I get the urge to clean out my closet, to put together new outfits, to sort my stash. I am reminded that I want to knit a loose fitting pullover sweater. I get the urge to make paper crafts.
More texture here. The painted blue chair and rose tin I especially love.
And bath salts! I own bath salts. What a simple luxury.
These two outfits would not look good on me but that doesn't mean I don't love them. I have many pendants & should wear them more often to dress up blouses. The print on that skirt is delightful.
Those wool scarves are gorgeous.
Don't I have something similar. I wonder where it is? 
Shoes! What's not to love? And cute socks. Sometimes, when new clothes are financially out of reach, a little accessory like fun socks or tights can be a real pick-me-up. 

02 March 2015

Insomnia Art Project

Sometimes I wake in the middle of  the night and can't get back to sleep. As I age, this is happening more frequently. Rather than fight it, I've taken to using the time on random odd projects. Sometimes I knit or write a journal entry. Once I sorted my underwear drawer. Four-thirty AM a few weeks back found me sitting on my hall mat polishing all my shoes. 

Last night I made art.

I've been clipping and keeping images for years. When I'm feeling inspired, or more often, uninspired, I arrange them into a collage in my notebook. Late at night is the best time for this because that's when the inner critic is asleep. Usually I add little passages from whatever reading is my current obsession (in this case it's John Ashbery's Flow Chart, The Noonday Press 1991). Text as visual art; the link between words and pictures, is something that deeply intrigues me. Marcel Broodthaers is a favourite. There was a great show at The Power Plant on the subject a few years ago called Postscript, that I went to see twice. Did anyone else catch it?

Anyway, I like this one so am sharing it here. Usually my assemblages are dark and broody. This one feels light and hopeful to me. It reminds me of the approaching dawn.