03 July 2015

Sock Went On A Walk


Being a cool and lovely evening, I took myself out for a brisk walk. My current sock project came along.
It's Ann Budd's Diagonal Ribbed Sock knitted in a discounted yarn from Romni's sale basement.  It's been a delightful and quick portable project. This is especially welcome after the length and difficulty of my last sock project. The diagonal ribbing of the title is making a nice clingy fabric that promises to be a pleasant wear.
When I got home from my stroll, I plunked myself down on the porch to finish Sock #2. I got within a few rows of being done when mosquitoes and the cool night drove me in. I'll finish in the morning. Pictures soon I hope.


28 June 2015

Textile Art

Photo from TMC exhibition website.
Yesterday, a very rainy Saturday, we went to the Textile Museum of Canada to see their latest show. Entitled Artist Textiles: Picasso to Warhol, it is a large and beautiful exhibit of some the 20th century's greatest known artists' work in commercial fashion and furnishing textile design. I highly recommend catching this before it closes in October. I was stunned at the depth. Besides the very famous title artists there is Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Dali, Matisse, Jean Miro and many more. Who knew they all designed for the fabric industry? 

I was particularly delighted to see one piece each by Duncan Grant and Vanessa Bell as I am currently reading a history of the Bloomsbury group. Isn't it funny how life offers up little coincidences like that? 

A point made in my current reading that is not mentioned anywhere in the TMC supporting text, is that these artists often undertook this type of work for the money. Ah yes, dirty lucre. It's easy to sneer at such "commercialism" but if not for it, we wouldn't have today viewing access to work of such wide ranging styles and periods in a boutique museum in a Canadian city. Of that I am sure.

Against the rules, I snuck a few photos. 

Upper left: Duncan Grant, Lower right: Vanessa Bell

I would look great in these. Just saying.

My fella's favourite: Pablo Picasso, Toros y Toreros, (1963) for Bloomcraft Fabrics. ©
Courtesy Target Gallery / Fashion and Textile Museum London www.ftmlondon.org

19 June 2015

My Birthday Trip

So, two weekends ago I passed another birthday and my fella took me on a little trip to celebrate.
I gather from rumour and hearsay that planning weekend getaways to celebrate the occasions of loved ones is a common occurrence. Well, in my first 50 years on this planet, such trouble had never been taken for me. Imagine my delight, my gratitude, my happiness. 

It was a simple trip. We decided to visit Kingston. Though we didn't know each other back then, we are both graduates of Queen's and thought it would be nice to see it again. On the way, we stopped off at a winery in Prince Edward County. In Kingston itself, we went for walks around town and campus, did some shopping, ate and drank. My favourite part of the trip? Sitting in the hotel lounge on Saturday evening overlooking the harbour, drinking wine and doing the crossword together. Yes it was a restful and cheerful and entirely special weekend. Happy birthday to me.

Norman Hardie Estates

The pizza oven at the winery.

Checking messages in Prince Edward County

Kingston limestone

Theological Hall, Queen's University: home of the Drama department.

The Chez Piggy courtyard from above

The view from our hotel.

10 June 2015

"Parenthetical" or "Poetry and A Pint"


So, if I hadn't mentioned it before, I had been internet dating on and off for the past couple of years. This is how I miraculously met the fellow I wrote about (around?) in this post. Now, be aware that I went on many, many first dates. I choose not to be that person who blogs about all the awful people out there. I actually found that most of them were not really awful but just real people, struggling, passing or failing, with at least the guts to try. One must approach these things with compassion, don't you think? I don't know if it's typical or not - the finding of a loved one through modern cyber dating. I'm just so darned pleased that it happened to me!

Another wonderful thing happened. I made a new friend!. I went on a couple of dates early last summer with a poet. He's a lovely, intelligent, graceful man but we just didn't click romantically. We've managed to keep in touch though. I took him to a theatre piece and he's introduced me to his world. Who knew Toronto had such a vibrant reading scene? 

There's a poetry zine called, (parenthetical): the zine, which is published by a young couple with enormous energy, love of the written word,  and good humour. It's fantastic! They call their enterprise Words on Pages. In conjunction with the journal, they also produce a reading series called Words on Stages, a bi-monthly event at a local bar. I've attended twice now as the guest of my friend. The Daughter has come with me. How amazing to listen to the open mic and featured readers. These are (mostly) young people who just love language and the way it sounds.The way it builds an idea. The way it creates a community of listeners and of readers. This is exciting stuff. And I feel welcome when I'm there. Being an audience member is to be an active participant. Oxford defines audience as "The people giving attention to something". Right?

Give attention to something.

To read my friend, R. Kolewe's latest poem and many other delightful pieces, click here.

27 May 2015

Shopping Excellence



Seriously? How cute do these new shoes look with hand knit socks???

I was buying summer sandals when I expressed admiration for these beauties. 
"I don't really need them right now and I don't have a job so I'll just get the sandals," I told the proprietor of the cute local shoe boutique. Obviously the gent took a liking to me. Since they are winter stock AND the last pair AND my size...he'll give them to me for half of the already half-off sale price. SOLD.

They are actually a tad big. Well, not with hand knit socks they're not!

25 May 2015

Spring!


The Falling Waters Shawl is complete - just in time to wear with light weight dresses as the weather here in Southern Ontario is finally admitting the arrival of spring.

The Knitter's Book of Wool says "This pattern works best with smooth, worsted-spun, multiple ply yarns in semi-solid and somewhat variegated colorways whose variegation stays within the same color family." Hello Yarn Indulgences Indulgent Style! The book also recommends a wool/silk blend for drape and shimmer. In a serendipitous turn, I actually purchased the yarn before choosing the pattern. I already had the book however and it was just a matter of the two coming beautifully together.

The original shawl is HUGE, almost a blanket. I wanted something smaller so I just changed all the pattern squares from 8x8 rows and stitches to 6x6. I also added beads for extra shimmer. Hmm...they don't really show up in these photos do they? Well, they are there, in shades of blue, green and purple, cascading with the pattern direction. 


It's just so lovely. I could not be happier with this stole.More photos on my Ravelry page.

14 May 2015

Knitters East


Last Friday's monthly Drunken Knitting was - gulp- East of the DVP! 
We usually meet downtown but it was Joyce's birthday and she insisted we drink closer to her home for a change. A reasonable request and besides, it was a lovely spring evening for a stroll in Greek Town. Of course I've been there often for dinner but this time, I brought my camera.


Near as I can tell, this particular section of Toronto consists of three things: restaurants, churches and bridal shops. I guess you wear your bridal gown while marrying in the churches and then celebrate in the restaurants?

The gowns are actually quite pretty.

We drink. We knit. We've been doing this for years and we never run out of things to talk about.

11 May 2015

From a Flow Chart



                                                                                           Here
a moral dilemma socks one; is it better to remain single, conscious of the many
overlapping half-lives that with luck add up to one, or should
we be planted at many listening posts ready to radio vital information back to  
     whoever
stands at the long bar? And will my genuine if respectful indifference militate
against the neutrality of my performance? Is a conflict of interest shaping up, or
     what?"


Flow Chart by John Ashbery
The Noonday Press, 1998 paperback edition, p. 100

09 May 2015

Spring Socks

Well they were supposed to be done last August. They stalled and languished and stalled again. They've seen other projects come and go. Now, at a pace of three or four occasional rows at a time, they are finally complete.

I know I complained about the fussiness of the the twisted stitches but the result is very satisfying. The fabric has great elasticity and clings so nicely. Yes, the effect is pretty too. I particularly like the partridge stitch heel with the garter bands. It shows up really well in this yarn. 

These short socks look really cute with white sneakers and a summer skirt. They are a lovely addition to my wardrobe. Am I likely to knit this pattern again? No. But I am glad I did it once. 
Yarn: Online Supersocke 100 Vintage Color
Pattern: Ripple Weave by Charlene Schurch

04 May 2015

Things That Make Life Easier


Things That Make Life Easier

Sunshine, blue skies and warm temperatures.
Riding a long distance with my loved one on this beautiful Sunday.
This beautiful day cost exactly $6 - the price of two ice creams.


Ya, I'm getting older but I can still do this!

30 April 2015

It's A Barbie Wedding!

Working at The Frolic this year meant I had no time to shop at all. This is a good thing for my wallet but it also meant I could not spend my traditional half hour looking through all the donated second hand pamphlets they sell for charity. There is always at least one good find and lots of entertainment in the search. Having a total of about 4 free minutes this year meant I had to grab what was close and on top so I chose this doll pattern booklet on impulse. Now that I have it at home, I kind of love it. Check out those bridesmaid dresses! There are even instructions for making that doggie.

My favourite part is the actual dolls. This is the Barbie I remember from the seventies with the round face and those open, lightly made up eyes. I think she is so much prettier than the harsh looking ones sold today.