Friday, March 31, 2017

Eye candy

I am slowly finishing the Westknits gigantic marled shawl. The pattern calls for an i-cord edge, but I don't really like that. I prefer my shawls to have ridiculous, labour-intensive edges.

Only about 15 or 18 feet more to go... I have no idea how big this baby will really be!

Thursday, March 30, 2017

What will I do in April?

Today's Think Write Thursday is a "Hello April" post. Even though it is not truly April till the weekend!

One hopes, year after year, that April will bring green things poking out on trees, a flower here and there, maybe an early trip to the garden centre. We do already have some crocuses in the 'hood, so that is nice.

Some neighbours cut down a big tree recently so we shall see, as the sun creeps northward, if our mornings are more sunny in the back yard.

I will knit another vintage accessory, this time a hat. I have some new purple yarn, and it shall be a lovely hat, I imagine.

Purple is kind of Elaine's colour; we'll see if I get a new hat out of this or not.

Stuff-wise, I have a lot on my plate in April. During which stuff will I get to knit, I wonder?

At the end of the month is the Hot Docs film festival, where I will again be volunteering and fitting in about ten movies. There are a few things to do in advance: work at training sessions for new volunteers, hand out this year's shirts, put a dozen muffins in the freezer!

Before that, however, I will be making a trip out west. My father passed away February 24th, and we will be having a memorial and celebration of his life on the long weekend. We held off a while in hopes that lots of family and friends will be able to arrange to be there.

And as the circle of life goes on, I'll be out there again in May for my niece's wedding!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Remembering that great hat

Earlier this month, we three went university-shopping around southern Ontario. We went to three universities, wandering around the campuses, seeing the residences and athletic centres.

I took this picture when I realized we were all wearing our excellent knitted hats. Aren't we cute?

The next day we were wandering around with my brother as tour guide. We had lunch, we saw a lab, I went to the ladies'... And then at some point I saw that I didn't have my hat! I did my best to retrace my steps, but it was a bit of a maze and we'd been out all morning, so I have to say that my brown lovely hat is lost!

When we left, I gave my brother instructions to rip it off the head of anyone he sees wearing it! But I am pretty darn sure I'll never see that hat again.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Bedroom booties

Funny-looking things.

Crochet! It wasn't hard, though I interpreted "s.s." differently in the two places it was used. One of the crushing traumas of my crafting life was learning that crochet abbreviations look the same but mean different things in the UK and the States. Being in between, I never know.

Pointing my delicate toe, like the one in the pattern:

Friday, March 24, 2017

Today we get clue 4

This season's Stephen West knitalong is almost done. Today the last clue comes out. I have, of course, lots of yarn left, although there are some colours I used more than others, and a couple of balls I didn't use at all (yet).

That little V is white sock yarn and the beginning of a Zauerball I bought. I need to make another shawl with a lot more of this in it!

This wrap-around boomerang was going to be all that pinkish colour. It is a mohair blend with little silvery bits in! Tiny bling in the crazy shawl. However, it irritated my nose and sinuses and whole head, so I only managed a few rows. The bright yellow is still great, but not as great as bling-filled mohair would have been. I'm prepared to suffer for my art, but not that much! (Not really very much at all, actually.)

The last bit I knit, section six, is moss stitch, changing colours all over the place. I even included a couple of eyelet rows, just for the heck of it.

Some people are using more unified colour palettes. Like this one. Or this one. And then there's this.  (So many, so good!) Some people swatch and rip and redo and make things perfect. Some people assembled yarn colours based on a painting or a scene. I imagine that when people can see the finished shawl and understand how it fits together, instead of being given a section or two at a time and making colour choices based on guesswork, colour palettes will be less crazy, but most of us just did what the designer said and gathered a bunch of odds and ends. I keep going back to a few green balls, especially when I veer into the bits of orange or pink. It is, in my mind, a green shawl.

The whole thing, so far. I love the non-parallel-ness of it. We'll see what today's clue brings. I hear there's a medium and large size option. I still have a bowl full of yarn, so I'm going for as large as can be!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Looking out a window

Today's Think, Write, Thursday task is to look out a window I don't usually look out.

In my house there are a couple of windows I don't usually look out of. One looks directly out on to the window and bricks of the next house, and it is in a sort of awkward place for looking out of, anyways.

My window, their window

One is under the back deck! Last summer we had to replace a few boards on the deck and realized we could leave a bit of a gap, so now sunlight can make its way down there. Nice, but nothing to see. I won't even show you a picture of it, since it is just a dirty window. I'm not likely to climb under the deck to wash it, ever!

I  just went out with the intention of looking out of maybe the library window, or the window of the grocery store, but the thought flew out of my mind. So you are stuck with my neighbours' house, and the hidden delights under my back deck.

Actual knitting content tomorrow!

To see out other people's windows, go here!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Think Write Thursday

Your Think Write Thursday topic for March 16, 2017 is to write about your heritage. Are you Irish and ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow? Are you Italian or Greek or English? Tell us about your ethnic background and culture and how the traditions of your heritage fit into your lifestyle.

I am Canadian. If one wants to get technical, you could say I am Dutch-Canadian, but my father came to Canada when he was eight, and the only Dutch things we really paid attention to were sweets. Gestampte muisjes, chocolate, speculaas. Oh, and my surname is obviously Dutch!

On my mom's side, we are a Canadian mish-mash for generations. A bit of French-Canadian, a bit of British Isles. So, the dominant culture, really.

I pay no attention to St. Patrick's Day. It, like Valentine's Day and many other days, has become a commercial thing, though it is sponsored not by Hallmark or chocolate makers, but by the Guinness brewery. It is, here, only an occasion for drinking lots of beer. I wonder if McDonalds still even makes green shakes, like they did in the 70s. Now that was a tradition. (Holy crap, lookit this. A quarter of a cup of sugar in one small drink!)

Like a good Canadian, I celebrate Victoria Day, Canada Day, and the weird August holiday that is called Civic Holiday some places and Simcoe Day here in Toronto. Or you could call it Emancipation Day. And this is the heritage I will pass on to my children: holidays which move around, don't move around, have different names, celebrate queens no-one else bothers with, and more.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Slippers so far

I have knitted two rectangles of ribbing.

I have sewn a seam to make a heel.

Now I have to partly sew up the toe end, then fold back the points, do some crochet edging, make them all elegant and delightful.

I'm pretty sure the second one will be better than the first.

I'm off for a few days, partly searching out the perfect university for Elaine and partly visiting my brother. Two train trips, and if all goes according to plan, two days of car trips as well. The knitting is, of course, my prime concern.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Some more knitting

I was given this outrageously bright yellow yarn for Christmas. It's too bad the pictures don't really capture the highlighter-yellow properly.

I mixed it up a wee bit with some brown, some green and a bit of pinkish. 

I made a shawl of this pattern several years ago. This time I made three strips, all the same length, to make a scarf.

I used every scrap of the yellow. I even ran out mid-fan and had to finish with the green. 

It's very pretty. It's light and warm at the same time. It's quite fancy-schmancy!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

What I am knitting

First up, we have the March vintage accessory. This will one day be a ladylike slipper, with a crocheted edging and decorative buttons. Right now, it is a rectangle of grey ribbing. Not very exciting!

For excitement, though, I have Stephen West.

This is the first of four "clues" in his latest mystery knitalong. I should have something for scale... The line where the two textures join is about 17 inches long. No idea where we'll go next! The big deal is the "marl." We hold two strands of fingering yarn together, changing colours at will. As you can see, I have lots of green yarn!

The next clue comes out on Friday, so I have plenty of time to work on the grey ribbing!

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Hello, March

March 1st was dreary and grey. Our winter has been so unusual, I don't know if we'll see an early spring, a return to snow and ice, or a bit of both! But I assume by the end of March we'll definitely be headed towards green things growing and lighter coats.

Big knitting thing in March: Stephen West is doing another mystery knitalong, and this one takes two strands of fingering weight yarn at a time, to make a marled slanket. A slanket is a blanket-sized shawl. I'm in!

At first, of course, I thought, "I don't have 7 or 800 grams of fingering yarn lying around here," but, of course, I do.

I have two big bowls out, with greenish yarns in one and lighter yarns in the other. I did happen to buy a skein of pinky-purpley-lime yarn the other day, but {cough} it may have been unnecessary. The first part of the mystery is revealed tomorrow!

Other things in March: It is time for March Break and since Elaine is in Grade 11, we will take a casual glance at some southern Ontario universities. Primarily, I think, the one her uncle works at, so we can get in a bit of a family visit.

Also, lots of good stuff coming up at the cinema, like this weekend of great talks. I will be volunteering at a couple of the talks, but unfortunately not the one with Jennifer Keesmaat, who I'd really like to hear. Can't have everything. March will also bring us the line-up for the Hot Docs festival; a few titles have already been released. I want to see at least half of those!

And so much more....

To see other Think, Write, Thursday posts, click here.