30 December 2010

Happy New Year

It's time to just say it.  This "holiday season" has sucked big time.  Shall I list why?  No.  That would be dull for you and for me.  Suffice it to say that I'll just be glad when the year rolls over and we can forget most of this week ever happened. (There was that one nice family skating party.  I'll cling to that memory.)
According to my astrological reading,
"...2011 will be a time when you will generate far more gratification and success than usual..."
I heartily look forward to it!

27 December 2010

"My Barbies Are Better Dressed Than I Am."

That's what the Daughter said when she opened her new collector doll on Christmas morning.  I had knit up the little red jacket from another of my old McCall's magazines, modifying a stodgy cardigan into a long flowing silk jacket. It was attached to the box with a pretty red ribbon. Shortly after breakfast, the new doll was outside the box (a great accomplishment as anyone who has ever opened one of those packages knows), wearing her new jacket and on the shelf beside last year's girl.   A photo shoot ensued.

25 December 2010

Christmas Eve

The presents were wrapped and under the tree...
The traditional Christmas Eve cabbage rolls were baked... 

...and we're ready.  Happy Christmas one and all.

21 December 2010

Holiday Outfits

Thanks to Lily, Ruby, Leah and me, the girls are ready in time for their Christmas parties.

What I Want For Christmas

Santa, please bring me this book.

13 December 2010

Purple Feet

Pattern:  Blackrose
Designer: Suzi Anvin
Yarn:  Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock
Modification:  Moved the lace pattern two stitches instep-wards so that the first stitch on my needle would not be a ssk.
I have a very visible ladder problem here on the lace edges.  It creates a piping effect which makes the lace stand out a tad more. I can live with that but still wish it was not there.  It's so frustrating.  I pull and tug, yet still...ladders!
Love this yarn!  I picked it up last year at the Knitomatic Boxing Week sale having no previous knowledge of the brand.  What a great, sturdy and pretty yarn with which to knit lace.  It comes in so many colours too.  I may just grab some more this year if Haley still carries it.

09 December 2010

My Bike Tires Have No Politics

Winter has arrived.  Alas, that means I'll be putting the bike away for now.  I don't mind a bit of cold but I don't have an all-weather bike and am sure to slip and break something once there's snow and ice.  So for now, I'll have to be a non-riding Left Wing, Bike Riding, Pinko.

05 December 2010

Everything Is Possible


The murmurs ebb; onto the stage I enter.
I am trying, standing in the door,
To discover in the distant echoes
What the coming years may hold in store.

The nocturnal darkness with a thousand
Binoculars is focused onto me.
Take away this cup, O Abba Father,
Everything is possible to Thee.

I am fond of this Thy stubborn project,
And to play my part I am content.
But another drama is in progress,
And, this once, O let me be exempt.

But the plan of action is determined,
And the end irrevocably sealed.
I am alone; all round me drowns in falsehood:
Life is not a walk across a field.

Boris Pasternak  1946
translated by Ann Pasternak Slater


The buzz subsides.  I have come on stage.
Leaning in an open door
I try to detect from the echo
What the future has in store.

A thousand opera-glasses level
The dark, point-blank, at me.
Abba, Father, if it be possible
Let this cup pass from me.

I love your preordained design
And am ready to play this role.
But the play being acted is not mine.
For this once let me go.

But the order of the acts is planned.
The end of the road already revealed.
Alone among the Pharisees I stand.
Life is not a stroll across a field.

Boris Pasternak 1946
translated by Jon Stallworthy and Peter France

30 November 2010

NaKniSweMo Accomplished

So, I successfully Knit A Sweater in November!  Do I win a prize? No? Well, I do have an awesome sweater, so I guess that will do.
Can I just say that top-down with no seaming worked on 5mm needles makes me a happy girl?

23 November 2010

Get On Board The Crazy Train

Picture this. Four women of a certain age sitting around a dining room table. There are several opened bottles of wine in the center as well as the remnants of a fabulous meal . The liqueur chocolates are now being consumed.

Says Woman #1 (The Hostess)  "When I was in the mental hospital in Johannesburg..."
Woman #2 "Wait a minute! You were in a mental hospital? You never told me you're a past psychiatric patient."
Woman #1 "Well, I am."
Woman #2 "So am I."
Woman #3 (Me) "So am I"
Three heads snap toward Woman #4 who smiles and nods, "Um...ya."

Cue the open mouth silence which is quickly followed by the laughter and one giant group High Five.
This is why I love my friends.

Post the Cat

Sometimes you just need to look at a nice picture of a cat.  Here's hoping some of Lucy's serenity rubs off on her human companion.

17 November 2010

Look What I Found

I came across this gem yesterday while browsing my magazine shelf. This Scheepjeswol Winter 1982/83 is the first pattern book I ever bought.  I was living in Kingston at the time, attending Queen's University.  Scheepjes had a retail store back then, right downtown on Princess Street. I timidly went in one afternoon looking for a pattern to knit myself a sweater in school colours. Gosh I remember pouring over the photos and instructions for hours before finally knitting  a pullover using cheap, department store acrylic. Feeling more confident from the experience, I bought two colours of the actual brand name yarn, and knit pattern 894 for the Boyfriend. Wonder if he still has it?

Is it just me or is the styling here still gorgeous today?  It's so very wintery.  The shapes are a bit boxy but heck, it was the eighties and anyway, boxy isn't always bad.  I love the drop shoulders and the earthy textures. In fact, with the currently falling temperatures, cardigan 904 is looking very knittable right about now  Check out the half gloves and the stylish flare of thick socks and scarves.  And oh how I wish, I wish soft and luscious, thick corduroy pants would come back in style.

12 November 2010

The Ribbons of Others

This years's Ribbon Project has been loaded onto the Flickr page,  Sadly, it appears there were fewer participants than past years.  However, the photos are stunning and the ribboning is heartfelt. Go check it out.

10 November 2010

Furry November Sweater

My NaKniSweMo sweater is black and I have friendly cats.
The body is done.  It's a top down cardigan so the finishing will be minimal.  Finishing by the end of this month is a quite reasonable goal.  Now, on to the sleeves!

31 October 2010

Autumn In The City

One of the nice things about being an unemployed bum (if I may be permitted to Pollyanna the situation) is that I have the time to really look at the world around me.  
It is physically impossible for me to stay in the apartment all day. After the job listings have been checked, resumes sent, homework completed and whatever other tasks I can thinks of have run out, I am driven out the door.  
So, I walk.  A lot.  Walks are free and good for me. At least twice a week, you'll find me trudging through High Park. My lungs fill with good air and my leg muscles engage as I navigate hills.  I smile and nod at passers by and remind myself that I am still part of this world.  I watch the seasons change.
I particularly enjoy going to Dog Hill to see the dogs play together. They seem to instinctively group by size but once in a while, a little guy will take on a dog four times his size, jumping and running with such joy that one can't help but laugh. The elderly and timid stick closer to their humans but participate by barking and tail wagging.  Sometimes one of the dogs will frolic over to say hi to me, but mostly they stick with their own species. And who can blame them?
It was unusually quiet when I visited mid-afternoon Friday.  The professional dog walkers had just left and the after work crowd had not yet arrived.  The few dogs there were peaceful.  I got this photo of two of them enjoying a drink together - was just snapping when the poodle looked up at me.  Lovely.

28 October 2010

Sockety Socks

Lisa, Nadia and I had a lovely Sunday venturing to the east end of the city. We shopped the Painted Fleece studio sale and then went for a large, somewhat greasy yet delicious, brunch.  
Look at the beautiful sock yarns I acquired.  From left to right we have One More, Doris's Sofa and Sangria or as I call them, apricot, blue/gray and purple/mauve.  I actually need sock stash enhancement in a big way.  Several pairs of socks from my early knitting days have simultaneously fallen apart in the last month.  I guess nothing truly does last forever, even beloved socks.  I need to get knitting, knitting!
The Daughter has already claimed the mauve and wants it to become Kaiso.  The blue/gray told me from the shelf at the sale that it is my future Waving Lace.

I did manage to finish a pair last week.  Alas, they are The Daughter's not mine.  By her request, it's another pair of Broadripple from Knitty (what a sensible, attractive pattern!) in a shade of pink I can only describe as bubblegum.

20 October 2010

The Winner Is...

Crochet!!  And I didn't suck at it either.  It's not perfect.  I've come to the conclusion that I'll never be a perfect knitter and am OK with that.  It is, however, very much improved and as a result, is highly wearable.
Pretty beads.  Very pretty yarn.  Pretty day.

Ripping Back

My Annis is finished...sort of.  It's cast off and blocked.  The Misti Alpaca lace weight yarn is stunning and the beaded edge came out better than I could have hoped for.  The cast off edge however, rolls and rolls like a sausage.  I'll never be able to wear the darn thing like this.
So.  Do I try a row  or two of single crochet (at which I suck) to stabilize it?  Or perhaps I should rip back and work the last four or five rows in seed stitch or a loose rib?  Ideas?

12 October 2010

Nupp Solution

Just say no to nupps.  Place beads instead.

10 October 2010


May I just say that nupps are stupid? Stupid, stupid nupps.

08 October 2010

Thursday Yellow

How glad I am that the last day of this year's Ribbon Project was such a gloriously sunny one.  The walk to the grocery store was stunning with so many beautiful stops along the way.  And of course, I have to plug my mayoral choice with a ribbon.  Yellow flowers and ribbons for a green Mayor.  Go Joey Pants!

07 October 2010

Wednesday Green

I decided to go to knit night at Lettuce yesterday evening.  It was already growing quite dark as I walked through Kensington Market so all my photos blurred.  The days are so short now.

05 October 2010

Purple Tuesday

I had an interview today downtown in one of the souless high rises of the Financial District.  The TTC imploded and I arrived about 10 minutes late.  Bad start.  The woman had me fill out a form then sat me down at a table and told me, while fingering my resume as if it was dirty, all the reasons I am unsuitable.  Five minutes, in and out.  For this I pressed my pants and wore the pinchy shoes?
Anyway, I left the area a different way than I arrived and inadvertantly stumbled into this courtyard with some unusual fountains.  I've passed the front of this building hundreds of times but had no idea what lay behind.
Thus, my gratitude for this day is that I discovered some new loveliness in this hard, hard city.

Orange Monday

So, have you ever been sitting working at your favourite coffee shop, with the ear buds in and THE BEST SONG EVER comes on?  Don't you just want to get up and dance around the cafe?  Why don't we ever do that?

04 October 2010

Sunday Red

It was laundry day.  My furthest trip this Sunday was down the fire escape, through the yard and into the basement laundry room.

03 October 2010

Saturday Blue

The only ribbon I tied on Saturday.  Dusk.  Photographed both with and without flash.
I worked all day Saturday.  It's very difficult for me to work there these days because of the hurtful upheaval that happened at that place last year. I try to be the bigger person and get over it but I'm still uncomfortable every minute I'm there.  However, it's the only part time job I have left at the moment so I keep it out of necessity. I can't wait for the day when I can quit. 
So, as you can imagine, my gratitude for the beautiful views I pass on my ride home is tenfold.  How lucky I am to have restful places where I can stop and regroup, becoming myself again after a long day.

Friday Pink

My neighbourhood is being ripped up.  It's been going on for well over a year.  People complain and yes, it is inconvenient, especially the long walk to get to any form of public transportation right now.  However, I like to watch the process.  The metamorphosis wrought by the dozens of hard hats and heavy machinery has been fascinating.

01 October 2010

That Time Again

Can you believe it's October already?  And with the first of October comes The Ribbon Project.  The artist, Hannah Godfrey who started it all, has sent out the email announcing another round.  Naturally, I said yes. This morning I trotted off to the dollar store to buy the colours of ribbon I needed and then I started tying and photographing.
I haven't decided yet on a context for this year's participation.  Perhaps to match the general directionlessness of the rest of my life, there will be no context.  We'll just see what transpires.
I hope to post the first two days tomorrow evening.

26 September 2010

Music To Knit By

As promised, here are some photos of the newly completed Damson. It has been re-christened from it's working title of Damson the Second, to it's official Ravelry name:  The Jim Croce Damson.  Odd. I know.  However, I spent so many happy hours recently sitting in my comfy chair with my old K-tel Jim Croce on the turntable and knitting this.  The long, long, final rows of this shawl were completed while humming along to Lover's Cross, I Got A Name, Operator and others.  This LP has been in my collection since I was a young teen, back when my entire collection was fewer than ten records.  It doesn't get taken out often these days, but when it does, it's played on repeat.  Such good comforting music.
Here's a sample. Enjoy.

24 September 2010

What This Place Needs Is More Yarn

Lettuce Knit has a new home.  They're still on Nassau Street but have moved a few doors west to a larger, lighter store.  I dropped in on Wednesday evening for a bit of knitting and laughter.  The previous location was charming but had space issues caused by the long thin shape of the rooms.  The storefront at 86 is rectangular so the table sits in the middle of the floor with plenty of room to walk around it and shop.  Two huge windows let in the natural light highlighting the yarn and the trademark lettuce green paint colour of the walls.  Simply delightful.

While there, I finished my second Damson.  Cast it off and blocked it last night.  I'm thrilled with the way my birthday Tanis yarn looks in this pattern.  Note:  One skein of Tanis is not quite enough to knit a Damson.  I suspected as much and the proof was in the knitting.  Rather than go out and buy a second skein for one inch of knitting, I used some black Silkience I had in my stash. The effect is lovely.
It's not quite dry yet.  More photos are forthcoming after the pins come out.

17 September 2010

Still Knitting

It's just that I've had a little bit of startitis.  So, while I'm knitting a lot, there are no finished objects to show for it.  Damson the Second is getting there and I'm almost at the end of a new first sock.  The Rose sweater continues to inch along.  The stocking stitch cotton/linen pullover is going to be gorgeous but knitting it is so boring
Soon my pretties, very soon.

11 September 2010

Labour Day Retreat

In my case the need was to retreat from the labour of being me on a daily basis.  When nothing is going your way, as a friend says, "Get out of Dodge for a few days."  So off I flew to BC to be in the presence of someone who loves me.  How remarkable and healing it is to be reminded that I don't suck.

Of course there was yarn shopping.  What's a trip without a wee bit of stash enhancement?  I was looking specifically for sock yarns.  At the lovely Button & Needlework Boutique, I picked up a skein of Estelle Arequipa on sale (possibly my favourite words).  Then I went to Beehive and there found some pretty pink ONline Supersocke which is fast becoming another pair of Broadripple.