30 January 2017

Just A Shawl

Yes, times are bad and seemingly getting worse. My struggles with job disappointment and poverty very much got me down over the holidays. Then the world went crazy after January 20. One bad news story appears after another and it's difficult not to despair for all our sisters and brothers. My daughter said she feels like she's living in a dystopian novel.

I do what I can.  I post flyers and send emails about migrants' and workers' rightsI marched on January 21 because how could I not? Yet, for comfort,  I turn to making and reading about making. Angela at Pans and Needles said it best describing wanting to see "something small to make me feel like there are still good things happening, little blips that remind me that beautiful things are still being made and put out into the world with love." 

Two years ago a friend in Victoria BC saw some hand-spun alpaca at a market stall and thought of me. He mailed it as a surprise. This year, one of my dearest friends turned 50 and celebrated with a dance party. It felt right to continue the gifting cycle by knitting this yarn into something special for her. Working the cables and short rows in soft and creamy yarn has been a great source of solace to me this month. Last night I received a text from my friend saying she was outside, warm and cozy in her new scarf.

Wild Plum Shawlette by Amanda Scheuzger
Knitscene Winter 2013

Two 50+ friends cut a rug because you must never stop dancing.

Me and 50 000 friends take over Toronto. Never stop marching.

27 January 2017

1984 The Good

What better chaser of the blues is there than finding Vogue Knitting Spring/Summer 1984 at a junk store for one dollar? I've confessed my affection for 80's style here before. I look back fondly on the wavy hair, the natural dark eyebrows and especially the loose, drop shouldered sweaters. Yes much of eighties style was ridiculous and over the top but not all of it. Here we have, in my opinion, some of the loveliest examples of mid-eighties fashion.

The Good

Who doesn't love a pale and loose sweater thrown over a tank for summer? The schematic of this pattern shows that it is, literally, two rectangles sewn together with sleeves attached. I think it's perfection.
 The Great

This woman could walk into any room today and be declared fierce. An update of her hosiery and shoes and perhaps the skirt length, are all that`s needed. I can't imagine knitting so much stockinette on such a small scale, but the results are gorgeous. The square Lace Shetland Shawl in the corner is Estonian lace inspired and a wonderful knitter on Ravelry has updated the pattern for easier knitting in lace weight.
 The Magnificent

I love, love, love, this from head to toe. Especially the toes! T-strap heels are a favourite of mine. OK, the model's make-up and hair need softening but the rest is breezy and elegant. In the era of over-size, the subtle looseness of these garments looks very classy. Does anyone wear this length of skirt anymore? Other than me, I mean?

The Throwback
Surprise! This is not from 1984 Vogue but from RIGHT NOW. It's Melli by Camille Rosella and is in the current spring edition of Pom Pom Quarterly. An homage to the eighties if ever I saw one, even if the designer is too young to know it.

26 January 2017

George Street Diner at Dusk

"The waitress turns on the lights: it is barely two o'clock, but the sky is black, she no longer has enough light to sew by. A soft glow; people are in their houses, they have probably turned on their lights too. They read, they look out of the window at the sky. For them ... it's different. They have grown older in another way. They live in the midst of legacies and presents, and each piece of furniture is a souvenir. Clocks, medallions, portraits, shells, paper-weights, screens, shawls. They have cupboards full of bottles, material, old clothes, newspapers; they have kept everything. The past is a property-owner's luxury.  
 Where should I keep mine? You can't put your past in your pocket..."
Jean-Paul Sartre
Nausea, 1938 

14 January 2017

New Year

The coming of a new year makes me feel somewhat obligated to write some sort of piece on the theme. However I find myself with little to say. Rather, I may have a lot to say but no appropriate words. The holiday season was exhausting, involving as it did a string of obligations mixed with disappointments. 
So I choose for now, to be quiet. I am however, making, making, making. Many projects are on the needles. I knit every day, sometimes for several hours and that's enough until my voice and other enthusiasms return.