08 January 2015

Aus Einem April

     We dust the walls.
     And of course we are weeping larks
falling all over the heavens with our shoulders clasped
in someone's armpits, so tightly! and our throats are full.
     Haven't you ever fallen down at Christmas
     and didn't it move everyone who saw you?
     isn't that what the tree means? the pure pleasure
of making weep those whom you cannot move by your flights!
     It's enough to drive one to suicide.
And the rooftops are falling apart like applause

of rough, long-nailed, intimate, roughened-by-kisses, hands.
Fingers more breathless than a tongue laid upon the lips
in the hour of sunlight, early morning, before the mist rolls
in from the sea; and out there everything is turbulent and green.

Frank O'Hara 
Meditations In An Emergency
Grove Press 1957

05 January 2015

Meditative Knitting

Well, it's a new year and  I am still picking away at the 2014 Summerworks Socks. With every knit stitch twisted and every row being one of a 20 row repeat, this is slow going. Sock #1 was completed in the car coming back from Rhinebeck. Sock #2 is about half done. Of course there have been other projects - Christmas knitting comes to mind - and yes, I have more things on the needles concurrently (a cardigan, mittens, The Sagano shawl). This sock however has become my meditation knit. The pattern is quite geometric with yarn overs and double knit stitches moving along in one direction and then the other. One needs to count. Rather than being annoyed at the complexity, I've embraced it. I've taken to knitting a row or two first thing in the morning while I wait for my caffeine to hit. Or I pick it up when job hunting becomes too frustrating and I need to calm my brain by patiently counting twelve stitch repeats. At this rate it's going to be a while before I have new socks and this is perfectly fine with me.

Every knitting project has its purpose. That's one of the wonderful things about the craft.

30 December 2014

Another New Year

In a little more than 24 hours a new year will arrive. I guess that means it's time to reflect and write the year end blog post. Recently, going over old posts, I see that I have written less and less about my personal life here. Now, I'm a private person at the best of times but I've been positively silent lately. Perhaps there is some sort of odd inverse relationship at play. It seems the more that is going on, the less I am likely to say.

Much happened in 2014. My daughter moved out on her own. I turned fifty. I lost a job under difficult circumstances resulting in great financial hardship and an uncertain future. I met a man I have grown to love and who loves me; the one who is my person. 

Unexpectedly, the event that should have been the most demoralising, is the one that has been the most empowering. Being wrongly dismissed from my job in a humiliating manner, instead of crushing me, rallied my strength in a way I did not know was possible. With the help of a great non-profit organisation, Worker's Action Centre, I've been fighting this wrong and actually winning some small victories. The support of my daughter, my friends and my wonderful boyfriend has buoyed me, made me feel strong.

Another first in 2014? I knit a scarf for a man! The linen stitch, Sherlock inspired, coat scarf was done in time for Christmas. The full 164 cm was achieved and my fella wears it all the time. It turned out pretty well I think!

I am looking forward to 2015 and all the challenges it may bring. My Freewill Astrology horoscope says this is the year I will "learn more than ever before about what it's like for all the different parts of you to be united". How very exciting! Bring it on.

Happy New Year everyone!

27 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

It has been a wonderful holiday season here so far. There are good people in my life and I have been so fortunate to spend time with many of you over the past several days. 
Happy Holidays to all my friends, those close to home and those I know from afar via the internet.
Peace. Joy.

Notice the photo of my beloved cat Wendell in the upper left. He passed 17 years ago but every Christmas we take time to remember him when we decorate the tree.

17 December 2014

Counting Down

According to Sherlockology, the Season 1 scarf is 164 cm long. Is that with or without fringe I wonder? 
I have about 50 cm of knitting left to attain this goal. With 6 knitting days left until the gift is due and factoring in the average rate of 7 cm knit per hour, plus fringe and blocking...Ahhh!!!!

08 December 2014

Gift Knitting Backlog

It has become painfully obvious that my GAL 2014 participation is likely doomed to failure. Every way I turn, there are bumps in my holiday gift knitting. As I only committed to three items, this is a little depressing.

I always, always, give The Daughter a little knitted something. This year I decided to just re-knit her favourite mittens in a different colour. What could be easier? Yet, somehow, I got the shaping all wrong and much ripping was needed. A loss of precious time was the result.

Then my new beau declared that the gift most likely to warm his holiday heart would be a hand knit scarf from Yours Truly. I tried to explain to him that the ideal scarf he described is really a woven one, but he's a Muggle (a dear one) and didn't really get it. I've decided that a fingering weight linen stitch is most likely to approximate what he wants. Yarn choice and swatching has held me up because I want it to be perfect. The thing is not even cast on yet.

So, the calm days of pub knitting with a pint and a poem are over for now. I shall return to such pursuits in the slower days of january. This little shawl, which seemed like such a good idea, will get finished - just not in time for Christmas.

30 November 2014

Constancy of Stash Level

I finished my latest Broadripple socks and wore them to Thursday night knitting. I've lost count how many times it is that I've knit this pattern. Such a beautiful sock and, at only 56 stitches around, it's a very fast knit.
I enjoyed knitting this BFL Sock so much that I decided I needed another skein of Fleece Artist. Oh it's not like I don't have any more yarn at home. The women at knit night joked that having recently finished a project, I needed to keep my stash level constant. Also, I needed a pick-me-up and this $19.95 yarn is not just beautiful; it's also economical.

I laboured over the choice between 3 or 4 colourways. Then I got it narrowed down to the bottom two. I was drawn to the coral/pink partly because it was Fleece Artist's Kidazzle, a yarn I've not tried before. On top of the wool and nylon, there is a touch of mohair. However, as much as I love trying new things, the bright ocean colours in the upper skein of BFL Sock won over in the end. That's the one I took home.
Unskeined for maximum viewing.

24 November 2014


the slow striptease of our concepts
     -it is even this which builds us, 
for you I would subtract my images
     for the nude truth beneath them

as you, voluptuous, as with mirrors at the loins
     are unclothed piece by piece until
each cloth is slander to your skin and
     nakedness itself is silk across your rising sex

Gwendolyn MacEwen, A Breakfast for Barbarians
The Ryerson press 1966

19 November 2014

A Knitalong Just in Time For the Holidays

I am excited to have joined the Indie Gift-A-Long on Ravelry. I stumbled across it on Laura Chau's blog. She is just one of several hundred indie designers participating. 

What's not to love about this? Support an independent designer, get a 25% discount on patterns and join a fun knitalong that makes you eligible to win great prizes! Love it! As I told Laura, "They had me at prizes." The discount lasts until November 21 if you'd like to take advantage. Use the code giftalong2014 when purchasing any of the eligible patterns.

I had no trouble choosing a pattern. I've decided on Laura's Sagano Shawl. It's unique and sumptuous. The textured daisy stitch makes it look so warm and that's a big plus with the sudden onset of winter we had here in Ontario this week. The yarn I've chosen to use is some Indigo Dragonfly Polwarth Silk that's been in my stash for a while. In fact, I thought of it immediately for this shawl before I even dug it out of the bins. There was a brief hesitation because it's such a large skein - 685 metres - and the pattern (with an extended border) will use 500 at most. However, the colour is perfect for this project. Beauty won out over economy in the end. I'll just have to find a second small project to use up the rest of the yarn.

13 November 2014

Oops, Forgot

It dawns on me that after all that posting about the Rhinebeck Sweater's progress, I never actually posted the end product. It's been up on Ravelry for quite a while now. 
I am very, very delighted with this sweater. It's exactly what I wanted. Warm and cozy. Simple enough to go with everything but not dull. Neutral bit still noticeable. Timeless design. It's definitely a wardrobe staple.
Pattern: #19 Cabled Cardigan by Margaret O'Leary
Yarn:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca

Everybody looks better in autumn colours!

10 November 2014

Winter Wool

It's a gray, cold day here and I am home sick. There are three other current projects on which I could be working; all of them light and silky or lacy and pale. Today however, I need to be organic. I need warm earth. So I've been knitting this oh so woolly wool (Blue Faced Leicester to be exact) with its rich autumn colours on warm bamboo needles. I may have just found the cure for the common cold.
Yarn: Fleece Artist BFL Socks
Colour: Kiss Curls
Pattern: Broadripple by Rob Matyska,  Knitty Summer 2003