Saturday, December 29, 2018

Look, a pillar box!

My friend Katie is back in Kent, though only for the holidays and she's not blogging. Tsk.

But she did send me this lovely Edward VIII pillar box, from the Marine Esplanade in Ramsgate, I believe.

It occurred to me recently that the next monarch will likely not even make pillar boxes. Who needs 'em? And that will be sad for some of us! 

Friday, December 28, 2018

A day trip

The other day we went to Hamilton. It's about an hour down the highway, and there is a GO bus every half hour, so, easy-peasy. But we rarely do it!

We were first on the double-decker bus, so sat up top at the front! I wish we'd been in those seats on the way home, because something happened on the highway that slowed our progress a great deal, and we couldn't see anything. Of course, only an accident with fire trucks and tow trucks could liven up that very boring stretch of suburban road.

Our main target was the Art Gallery of Hamilton, where they are showing photographs by Vivian Maier. We first met up with a friend for lunch, walking up James Street, which is apparently "the art street." The thing we hear, here in Toronto, is that all the starving artists have been priced out of their big-city haunts and moved down the lake to Hamilton. We were told "art is the new steel." Huge steel plants sit empty, great spaces for ... whatever! And indeed, our friend is on the board of a little gallery on James Street.

I took a picture of myself in a mottled mirrored window, before going into the Vivian Maier show.

It was quite big, about four galleries worth of photos. Great portraits of people seen on the street, self-portraits of all sorts, some colour pictures and some 8-mm movies. Hers is such a weird story and we haven't seen many, many of her photos.

There was also a show of Norval Morrisseau's work and a show called Hamilton Now: Object. This is part of that show, a piece of fabric made of twists and turns of the same photograph.

More fabric, with the pictures on all sorts of scales.

This was also in that Hamilton Now: Object show, but what's important here is Elaine wearing a hat I made in 2014. I think here she was looking through some VR glasses to see wild sparkles and flowers above the blue vessel!

There was Speaking for Herself, women's art from their permanent collection.

This was part of a series, where the artist had taken quotes from ordinary women and illustrated them with Barbie clothes.

We couldn't pass up the VW bus, or in this case the Bruegel-Bosch bus.

This great piece was in the stairwell, by Tim Zuck. Nice.

Then we were tuckered out and headed back to the bus station to go home. It was an old art deco train station, repurposed after that train line shut down. Very stylish.

And then, after some sort of jam on the highway, we got home safe and sound.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

I made a vest

I finished my vest of all colours.

If I were very good, I would have taken out the shoulder seams, ripped down front and back to the start of the armhole decreases, and decreased about ten or fifteen stitches more. It's not the 80s anymore!

But I did not.

I've been watching a lot of Midsomer Murders on Netflix while knitting this, and now I think it would be the perfect accessory for those slightly batty old women, possibly murderers or at least with questionable pasts, mucking about in the countryside.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

A slice of fun

My brother bought himself a new cottage for Christmas, so he gets a dishcloth or two from me, because I am just that nice.

I made this Citrus Slice dishcloth once before, and gave it away in a swap. One day I will make myself a set: orange, lemon and lime!

You knit 12 wedges and seam them in a circle, and it seems the centre will never close up.

But, yanking it all together tightly does pull the centre in and you have your delightful slice of lime.

It would be nice to have a row of white around the outside, but how very fiddly that would be.

He also gets some red bricks. This is a truly one-of-a-kind cloth, with a couple of badly laid bricks over on the right. No-one will ever notice, right?

Saturday, December 08, 2018

A walk in December

The other day I thought I would take a long walk out on Toronto Islands. The forecast was for +2°C, so, not terrible. Maybe?

Clearly no-one else thought going to the islands was a good idea. The ferry terminal, with its blasted concrete plaza, livened up with colourful chairs, was virtually empty.

This is a new condo building, in the style "when people liked things not to line up." I am not a fan of this style and think that we will soon start lining things up again, but this decade will apparently be immortalized this way.

I have an app on my phone that can keep track of my distance and time, but this time I decided I would just use the stopwatch feature to see how long it took me; I planned to walk the 5 km to the opposite end of the island and back again.

If you click this photo, you can probably see the heron on the left side. I was actually taking a picture of the out-of-season yacht club. I walked along the lefthand shore here and disturbed the heron into flight again later. Beautiful!

After a short time I remembered that all weather reports add, "cooler by the lake," and decided it was just too frigging cold to walk to the end, so I took a detour towards the park in the centre.

And then I looked at my stopwatch: I had been on the move for 29 minutes. If I turned back now I could just catch the ferry and make my way back to warm civilization!

It was pretty bleak out there, but these red twigs make everything a tiny bit better.

The ferries run every hour and half-hour from the city, and on the quarter and three-quarters from the island. I got to the terminal at just the right time, except that it was the lunch hour and the ferries take a break!

My cousin lives on the islands, maybe a 7-minute walk from the ferry. My phone had died, taking this last picture of grey clouds and blustery water, so I couldn't call her, didn't know if she was home, was no longer sure what time it was...

There was a Waiting Shed, with heat, so I took the opportunity to just go inside and knit and warm up for half an hour before the boat came.

I remembered much later that I do own a pair of fleece-lined jeans, so I might try this again sometime soon. With a flask of hot chocolate or tea. And some sort of light scarf wrapped around my whole head.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

A nice sunny day

It's been so grey and gloomy lately, that today's bright sunshine and freezing temperatures were a nice change.

Sun shining through tiny golden leaves.

Blue, blue sky!

I am almost finished the back of the many-coloured vest and should have something to show you shortly!

Saturday, December 01, 2018

NaBloPoMo wrap-up

Heavens, what happened!

I was all set to do this post yesterday, I'd taken pictures, found links... and then forgot all about it!

At the beginning of the month I told you how I had to gather up all the half-finished things and send them away. One has indeed made it back to the comfy chair, and has grown quite a bit since then.

I am well and truly into the back of this vest as well, but had a bit of a setback.

I thought I could be clever and change patterns when I started doing the solid colour, but the tension was different and it would have looked weird. And we can't have the Vest of Many Colours looking weirder than necessary!

So I ripped out that bit of plain green and continued the zigzags. Today's task is to make certain that the side seams will be the same length. I predict this will be finished in a week.

I have also knitted a little neckwarmer, but can't find it anywhere... it is red.

I am making a dishrag for my brother who has bought himself a new house for Christmas! I have time to make a couple before I see him in a few weeks.

Before I came up with the dishrag idea, I started a hat so I would have some portable knitting, but then haven't spent enough time with it to get the stitch pattern down, so it sits neglected for now.

And so the comfy chair is now once again surrounded by works-in-progress and all's well.