Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Today's excitement

I was sittin' here doing my nails with my new purple nail polish, when the phone rang. It was Arthur, saying the school was on fire, his money and bus tickets were in his locker inside, and would I come to get him.

So, off I went!

As we were approaching the subway station and I was looking for my tokens, some girls told us that the subway was free for students of the school, so he could have come home on his own... but then I would have missed the excitement!

Apparently the fire started in a drama classroom! Costumes, props, painted backdrops? I'm betting he'll get a few days off school, and things will be messed up for some time. Yet another reason not to be a school administrator; what a headache!

ETA: There are sufficient half-empty schools around, so he's off to a different school building for a few days! Can't wait till they let the kids back into the building to retrieve their lunch bags....

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The squares blanket in use

Awwwww. She's four months old now, and look at those arms and legs go!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Done, like I said

The Basalt transformation is complete! (Well, all we need now is a baby, but that should be doable!)

It is grey and gloomy outside today, so you get flash pictures on the floor.

If you like, you can imagine the colourful hexagons as flowers in a field!

For a moment I wondered about putting an edge all around it, but the hexagons are self-edged with a nice garter stitch inch or two, so I just repeated those rows on the ends with the half-hexes. Cheery and colourful and hexagonal! And quite big, too.

Friday, April 20, 2012

The white speck

Yesterday I was in my yard* trying, as I do every spring, to dig up the grass and leave the hostas, when I saw this moth who settled on my greenery. Imagine my delight when it was still there after I'd gone to find the camera!

So I got this sort of okay picture, and sent it to my pal the Moth Man. He just published a field guide to moths. I did some proofreading and copy editing for him, and he gave me a copy of the book. Now, apparently, I am equipped to identify my own moths, and he made me look it up myself! Harsh.

After one attempt which got the response "No - laughs..." I did figure it out.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of The White Speck.


*Do you always type yarn, when you mean to type yard? I do.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Action in the park

Today I volunteered at the school for the afternoon. Walking down the street, I saw action in the park!

It's all fenced off while they work, so I couldn't get closer, and all I had was my phone camera, but it zooms a bit:

On my way back, things were really taking shape! A lovely-coloured, but pretty wimpy-looking, slide replaces our beloved twirly slide, and on a ship-shaped play structure.

As I took these pictures, one of the bajillions of Red Admiral butterflies who appeared suddenly a couple of days ago flew right by my face, but I didn't get a picture! They were blown in on warm winds from the south, I hear. Norma has them in Vermont as well!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Something strange

I was going through my drafts folder to see what pearls of my wisdom were as yet unpublished.

I came across a cute picture from Pinterest, but I can't actually get back to any sort of source for it. What the heck, it's here among other pinboards! 

Oh, do you suppose I could impress my kids with this now? I think not. But, cute.

I also found a link to this very cool art show at the National Portrait Gallery in London. There are fourteen portraits of people who may or may not be someone known to history. People have written fake biographies of them. Just another reason to go to London this spring, but alas, no can do.

Lastly, there was something knitting-related! Perhaps I ran across this on Ravelry, but I can't recall. It's called Colour through the Year, and all I have is:
  • Jan-Feb: Red
  • Mar-Apr: Orange
  • May-June: Yellow
  • July-Aug: Green
  • Sept-Oct: Blue
  • Nov-Dec: Purple
I may have knitted a red dishcloth... certainly not much in the way of orange lately.  Nor do I plan any yellow any time soon. I think this was really a non-starter!

My basaltic blanket is so close to completion! I can almost promise you a picture of the finished object by the end of the week!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Catch up, with knitting

I have been knitting, really. It seems like I haven't finished anything for a while, but I've been making some progress.

This crazy thing will one day be a big, holey, cotton scarf. I'm not sure it will be a great thing, but it's an experiment! Long, long ago (September 2008, as I see) I got this Rowan Cotton Tape from someone. It was when our gang was doing a lot of charity knitting and a friend took it and made a baby blanket out of some of it. The other day she and I were planning our "enrichment cluster" at the school and going through her yarn and things. (A piece of advice: do not volunteer to teach knitting to grade 1 and 2 kids. The middle school guys were bad enough. We're introducing god's eyes this week so we get some peace.) Well, we found the blanket, all knitted and needing a few ends sewn in, and a few balls of this yarn left. I volunteered to take it off her hands and sew in the ends.

Then I had to decide what the heck to do with purple and pink cotton tape! We'll see how it goes. The stitch pattern is from Reversible Knitting, and is quite cool.

This is my most recent dishrag. I started it in Saint Lucia; it's the Chinese Waves pattern, my new fave. 

I finished it at City Hall a couple of weeks ago when there were a bunch of knitters hanging about supporting striking library workers.  (I am not in any of those pictures, and those are way better than the phone pictures I got of the day.)

Another leftover project from Saint Lucia is my multidirectional scarf.

This is ye olde pattern that I made once before, in England, in 2005! (And another time, as well!) I was looking for something to do with this yarn and saw one on Ravelry, so this was my plane knitting on holiday. I love the way the yarn patterning works in the triangles.

What I've really been working on lately is this blanket, the rehabilitation of Basalt. Yesterday it looked like this, but I have since sewed that hexagon up and...

... added a border on the straight edge. I was worried I would have nothing but yellow and dark green left if I just carried on, so I got a bit of the brown and light green in! Purple and "mushroom" is all gone.  One more hexagon and a half, then another border.

The last thing that is on my mind, if not my needles, is Botticelli! I started the border, found that I had made a mistake right at the beginning of it, and also found that it is not an intuitive pattern, not fun and easy at all! So I tossed it aside to think about it, and as soon as I finish up a few things here, I will make a slightly different border and get 'er done.

If I were cleverer, I would divide this up and make a week's worth of posts out of it. Sigh.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catch up without knitting

Let's see, what have I been up to lately?

I went to the Rex to see John Russon play jazz. It was fun, sitting in a pub drinking beer and listening to live music. Haven't done that for a long time!

I did a jigsaw puzzle. We have had only moderate luck with thrift store puzzles lately. One had a nice picture, but the pieces were all shaped like "I" and it was just too mind-boggling to work on. Then I had one of the New York skyline, complete with twin towers, but those pieces were awkward as well and there were too many huge bits of black sky! This one, of the square in Brussels all covered with flowers, had the perfect mix of hard and doable!

I watched as Stephen and Arthur took rotten bits out of the deck (which was made when Arthur was in utero; I just watched that time, too) and replaced them with new bits. Notice the lilac on the left has leaves already. It's about three weeks ahead of its usual schedule, we figure.

I coloured eggs. The poor Easter Bunny was too busy on Saturday to do eggs, so we coloured them on Sunday and searched for them through the house on Monday. Now we just have to eat them!

The big local news is that the city is renovating the park! We talked a lot about park renovation when Arthur was in kindergarten, and plans were put forward, debates were held about what kind of material we would use and so on, and nothing came of it for years. Now, however, there is more money and the city is going gangbusters on this park renovation all over the place.

Not a swing in sight. Also, that log on the left used to be a big (old) Manitoba maple that shaded the sandbox. It was sad to see all that stuff go, but my kids are a bit old for sandboxes now, and that tree had to go before a branch broke and fell on someone! We look forward to new climbers and new trees!

Finally, some wildlife. Strolling down the street in the middle of the afternoon, a raccoon.

Next up, some knitting!