27 May 2012

In Passing

Coming home, I passed a young man on the sidewalk just now. He was speaking into his cell phone. His walk, the cut of his jeans, the style of his glasses, the angle of his cap,
all told me that, here is a fellow who wants very much to be trendy but is really just a nice boy trying a little too hard.

"..But, I don't want to distract you from your shopping, So..", I heard him say.
The look on his face and especially the tone of voice said clearly that,
"No, you're not distracting me at all.  Please.  Keep talking," was the answer he desperately wanted.

I continued walking, unable to catch the rest, but hoping, hoping, that those were the words he heard

22 May 2012


In hindsight, I should never have chosen this yarn for this project.  The pattern is Socks for Veronik from Interweave Holiday 2007.  The Yarn is from Mary Maxim.  It's a slightly thick-and-thin, fuzzy, wool/nylon blend that in my head, worked beautifully in this pattern.  In reality it was quite difficult to work on the too-small-for-the-yarn 2.25's and resulted in a stiff (though attractive) fabric,  All those p3tog's with a splitty single ply? Sheesh!
Ply.  It's something I've never really understood.  Recently someone told me you should never knit socks in a single. Oops.
I'm optimistic my knowledge of such things will shortly be improving a a result of yesterday's acquisition of  Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Yarn.  I picked it up in hardcover for just ten bucks at BMV. It has a whole chapter on ply! as well as tons of info on fiber foundation, spin and color. Can't wait to read it cover to cover.  It's sure to help my knitting skill. They also had her companion book, The Knitter"s Book of Wool.  Perhaps I should get that one as well?

17 May 2012

Your Brain Knitting and Raffling

I went to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee speak at the DKC meeting tonight on the topic: This Is Your Brain on Knitting.  I've known Stephanie casually for several years and often knit with her at Lettuce, so I know how witty and charming she is, but I'd never actually heard her "public speak" before.  Now I see why people all over the continent flock to do so. Not only does she present a well organized, well researched lecture, but she's funny as hell doing it.  She had us all in stitches while talking about such seemingly unfunny things like dopamine, theta waves, meditation and visual spatial sense.Of course we all know knitting is good for us but Stephanie provides the scientific evidence in a totally entertaining and inclusive way..

Embarrassing story of the evening:  
I bought some tickets for the fundraising raffle.  They sell the roll style tickets 3 for a twoonie and the proceeds go to Cancer research.  You  separate the matched pair along the dotted line, put one ticket into the bag and keep the other for the draw.  I tore my tickets accordingly and returned to my seat.  Checking my numbers I saw that I had 707, 708 and...708.  I had put two of the same tickets in the bag.  I basically screwed up a pretty simple raffle concept.  Sigh. Then they did the draw calling...709.  Silence. So I timidly raised my hand and told the whole crowd that I'm a boob and why.  I offered to forfeit but everyone kindly agreed that I had won.  I got a beautiful wicker basket and a copy of Stephanie's book, Things I Learned from Knitting...whether I wanted to or not. What nice people.

12 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day To Me

    Well, this actually has nothing whatever to do with Mother's Day but is something pretty.  I realized I hadn't yet blogged my other Frolic purchases,  Let's call them my early presents to myself. So here is a sunshine filled skein of wool/mohair Sock Handpaints from Stoddart Family Farm.  Stoddart remains one of my favourite booths to visit each year and I was happy to see them moved to a high traffic location on the main floor this time around. For some reason this yarn says 'hat' to me.  It will have to be the perfect pattern though - something reminiscent of the seventies, perhaps with a brim?
     I also acquired a skein of Painted Fleece seacell/silk.  It's difficult to see in the photo but it is the palest of whispers of a green shade.  Hence its name - Sprout! Perfect, right?  The colour is a bit of a departure for me but it looked so fresh and it was on sale. A spring shawl?  An open work shrug?  We shall see.

Here the Stoddart and the Wellington have a sexy snuggle on the fire escape.  How is it that two skeins of the same basic ingredients, can be so different?  And each so uniquely delightful?
So, Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow pro-creators.  I hope your day is a pleasant one and doesn't involve crying in your tea because you spent last evening watching your daughter give the last high school  performance she will ever give and she was brilliant and beautiful and she's moving out in September and you've no idea what you'll do with yourself when she does....Or maybe that was me.  I digress.  Myself, I'm working tomorrow but my favourite co-worker will be there so it will be a pleasant day.  If the weather is still fine when I get home, I hope to plant snapdragons.  And maybe knit. 

07 May 2012

Coming Along

Sleeve One of Agatha is done. Progress continues to be slow on this beauty. This is not because I'm having more trouble with it, but simply because I'm not picking it up as much as I'd like. My knitting time is down now that the weather is fine and I'm cycling to work often rather than taking transit. Also, I've been spending my evenings reading more. Naturally, this delights me given my past struggles with books.  I just finished a biography of my beloved Akhmatova and before that it was Mordecai Richler's Barney's Version
So, it seems there just aren't enough hours to do all the things I love. Darn job.

I am loving her so far though.  She's a snug, eye catching little thing.  The shaping is fantastic - it really hugs my waist and makes my arms (single arm for now) look long and elegant. Also, I remind myself that, because of the add-on construction style, this baby will come off the needles ready for blocking. No finishing required! So, it's further along than it may look.  

06 May 2012

Sweet Lucy

A little too sweet as it turns out.  The poor girl had been listless and increasingly wobbly for weeks.  When it became clear that she wasn't getting better on her own, the most excellent Daughter packed her into a taxi after school, and with my credit card in hand, whisked her off to the vet.  Tests confirmed a diagnosis of diabetes.  Suddenly I find myself to be a person with insulin in the fridge, a giant box of syringes in the cupboard, and a sharps disposal container under the sink. Holy sudden change Batman! 
This little crisis has been the occasion for much soul searching.  Naturally, one of my first thoughts was of the expense.  I'm already struggling financially and recently found out that I'm to be the victim of seasonal layoffs at my crappy job.  I considered the horrible option that I may not be able to do this.  Then I thought, "Wait. What kind of person do I want to be?"  I took this funny girl cat and her daughter home from the Humane Society three years ago and they have given me nothing but happiness since.  Do I kill her just because she's sick,  Am I that person? The answer is that I am not. 
I've done some budgeting and made some decisions about things I will need to give up to afford the food and medication.  Until my proverbial ship comes in, things will be sparse around here, but I trust it will be worth it.  I will not let outside forces make me do terrible things and then shrug saying that I had no choice.  I have a choice and I've made it.
Lucy jumped on my bed this morning and poked me in the face, meowing for her breakfast,  She hasn't done this in days and I nearly cried with relief.