Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Gearing up for another Hot Docs festival

At the end of April, the Hot Docs festival takes place here in Toronto. Ten days of all docs, all the time. I am volunteering again, but all my shifts are in the office, rather than in the cinemas. I remember last year thinking I should get out more in the hustle and bustle, but once again, when faced with a choice between a 3-hour shift using my knowledge of alphabetical order and sorting and categorizing, or a 5-hour shift ripping hundreds of tickets, I chose the office. I know my strengths...

I do, however, have 10 tickets to the festival, which come with my subscription to a year-long documentary series. So I sort that out first, getting morning screenings instead of late-night ones if I can, choosing some films for just me and some to drag family to. I will get more vouchers for tickets from volunteering, just to fill up every waking moment during those 10 days, despite the sensible part of my brain telling me that maybe 10 movies will be enough.

The whole lineup is here. I think I won't give you any hints, but will for sure keep you in the loop when I see the films. Some trailers are here: go crazy -- I have!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A new hat

Although I have many UFOs hanging over me, I decided we needed a new hat around here, using up leftovers from mittens and a bit of hot red from the Temperature Scarf.

Elaine is going hiking in the Rocky Mountains this summer, and they tell you to be prepared for all sorts of weather. A nice, light, wool hat seems just the thing.

She will be taking long underwear, shorts, mittens, and underwear suitable for swimming in. Who knows what the weather will be at the top of a mountain?

The intrepid traveller-to-be.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The state of the knitting pile

It seems like a long time since I posted anything much here, and certainly whatever I was knitting last time has been brushed aside.

Here are a pair of socks I finished for Elaine a while back. Fraternal twins, indeed. The yarn, as I recall, was sort of wimpy and splitty, and I don't expect them to wear especially well, but they are fun and warm for now.

This is my living room coffee table. The gold is a hat; the white is a shawl and the purple is some nice wool DK yarn someone gave me. (My friend had been trying to knit a hat for her ex-husband's new baby, but didn't get very far, and in the intervening couple of years, the moths or carpet beetles got at it, so as I unravelled the few rows she had knit, I found 2 or 3 weak spots!)

This you may recognize as the yarn I made my beautiful mitts out of. One day I went in to the corner store, carrying my mittens, and I came out with a few groceries but no mitts! I went back in, looked everywhere, and they had simply vanished. Into someone's pocket, I suspect, but there's no way to know. Big sigh.

So now I am using the leftovers to make a hat. Sticking a red stripe in, with the "hot" yarn from my Temperature scarf.

The hat gets taken with me wherever I go, because you can't really screw up "knit 2, purl 2." This shawl, however, stays put. It's a pattern out of an old Paton's book, called Shawls, but they are all shown as baby blankets.

The yarn is the California Cotton I got a year or two ago. I'm thinking of the summer, but we'll just see how fast I knit, and how much I get distracted. 

I really like the leaves, and I like the old-fashioned instructions. At the beginning of each row you "increase." No more information than that. And all the decreases to shape the leaves are k2tog: no matched, reflected, mirrored decreases here. 

The shaping of the leaves continues into what we might think of as the border, so there are sloping lines of decreases up the outer stitches. The final instruction is to crochet a picot edge around the whole thing; we'll see how that turns out. 

And now you are kind of up to date on what is happening in my knitting pile!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Popping in here

A few things have happened around here. Not very much in the knitting department, really, because I have been flitting from project to project, knitting enough to hurt my arm, but not enough to have finished anything. The two main things are a fingering-weight hat and a "vintage" shawl -- from an old baby-shawl book. Alas, no pictures of either right now.

One of the things which messed my life up was that my phone died. I've never had that happen before. The phone was on the table, and when I picked it up it was really hot! Little mini battery explosion?? Who knows. But then it takes some time to get a moment to go to the shop, and it took forever to get the whole plan settled and fill out various forms, blah blah blah. Since the old phone didn't even turn on, they couldn't transfer my contact list over, and if there were any photos I hadn't downloaded, they are gone now. First world problem, I know.

I do have a couple of pretties to show you.

This is a thing I made before Christmas. Maybe I even posted about it before? Anyways, it is dangly bits from an old chandelier, stuck on a piece of dowel, with twinkly LED lights mixed in. Quite nice, but perhaps not the final stop for these danglers. I'd love to put it in a window, but my own window options are not great.

This is a poster my neighbour had. She lived with her diplomat husband in Havana in the early 70s and picked up some real treasures. She was selling three of her collection of posters, and this was my favourite. Todos a la Plaza = Everyone to the plaza to hear Fidel ramble on and on about stuff on July 26, the anniversary of the Revolution. I really like it and it is now in my dining room. (If only I were going to Cuba again soon....)

And finally, our neighbourhood Coopers Hawk is back in the park. A sure sign of spring!