Saturday, September 26, 2020

All that idle knitting

Once upon a time, at the beginning of the pandemic stay-at-home time, I finished some previously half-done knitting; I started knitting things and didn't actually want to keep them; I used up yarn someone gave me and basically knit without knowing what would happen to all the things.

Winter is coming and the pile was growing on my living-room flat surface, and not everyone in the family wants to just look at knitted things. I needed to find a place where they could be used. 

I heard about a group called the Encampment Support Network that is helping people who find themselves living in tents in city parks. They were having a winter clothing drive, so today I took them hats, a few scarves and a couple of hand-me-down fleece vests. 

These hats are called LOSY, or Left-Over Sock Yarn hats. With two strands of sock yarn held together, a hat like this can be knit up in a couple of days. Look how much sock yarn I had lying around the house! Every little amount can be used, adding splashes of colour. 

That green hat above is really too small for an adult head. I asked if they wanted stuff for kids and was relieved when they said they didn't need kids' things. So now I just need to find an 8-year-old. That white one is super warm, using some leftovers and some yarn a friend gave me; the multicolour in the front is scraps of Kureyon. (I showed you another hat of Kureyon last time; that one went to my neighbour.)

You may have seen these scarves and cowl before. If I weren't already awash in nice scarves, I would have kept them, but it's sort of hard to justify having a scarf for every day of the week, and probably almost every day of the month! They'll keep someone else warm. 

Used items were welcome, too, so I finally got around to unpicking my embroidered name from a scarf I wore to my English school in 1972-3. 

This is a perfectly good scarf, but one I haven't really worn for almost 50 years, so let's just pass it on...

All these things had to go in a bag for their trip to the clothing drive. I found this gem in my bag of bags... I believe the last time I was in Loop was 2006. So they get a vintage bag from a cool London yarn shop as well! 

(Added later: I just saw on twitter that they had so many donations today they are not taking any more!)

I got my walk in by taking all these things to a storefront a few kilometres away, met a friend for a coffee and walked home. I came past an old shopping plaza that is halfway torn down. You can see the stylish 1972 arches along this outside wall. Someone has been painting rainbows. 

As I got closer I wondered if this was a really bad paint job or a really good one. 

In each arch the colours move up a bit, but all have the rainbow colours dribbling down into each other. 

I really like it!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

How time flies

Well, what has been happening? 

I have started a sweater for me, but can't get into it. So I am knitting little things with odd balls of yarn. I find things around the house: not only balls of yarn but half-finished sweaters and piles of squares for blankets and all sorts of things. 

Here's a sample of recent knits:

A scarf made in brioche stitch which is very soft and squishy but which eats wool like crazy. This is apparently all the worsted-weight yarn I have, so a nice, scarf-sized thing instead of a cushy wrap.

This Noro Kureyon was left over from my springtime sweater. It's a good pattern but I had to add the cuff and lengthen it to cover my ears. 

This is something called a LOSY hat. LOSY stands for left-over sock yarn. You hold two yarns together and knit on 4 or 4.5 mm needles and use up lots of bits! Another hat I would lengthen for myself. Maybe I just have a big head!

In other news: I went to the optometrist today and have ordered a new pair of glasses. Très chic, I say. You can see them in a couple of weeks. My retinas and ocular nerves are very healthy, thanks for asking. 

I got a new cookbook, and unlike with most cookbooks, I mean to make every single recipe! It's the Moosewood Restaurant Favorites. Tonight's dessert was Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Cookies. Pretty darn chocolatey, with 1/4 cup of cream cheese in with the butter. I haven't quite figured out if that adds anything, but it doesn't hurt. 

This week I've been going to what I call the "old-lady exercise class." Of course it is outdoors so I am not sure how long we can continue. We go to a piece of the park next to the daycare playground, so sometimes there are leaf-blowers and sometimes there are sad two-year-olds and sometimes there are garbage trucks. We use wands, or long sticks, to push and pull. My wand was holding up beans in the garden till last week. One woman uses her blind husband's white cane; I am not sure if he just stays home while she is at class or what! Anyways, it is a bit fun and gets us stretching and what-not so that is good. 

The other day I made it up the hill to Spadina House, which has great gardens. I especially wanted to go there in the spring when the chestnut trees were in flower. Finally they opened sometime recently, so I popped in the other day. 

Phew, there's your round-up!

Saturday, September 05, 2020

Yet another new thing

Elaine was here for a few days and I offered her this recently finished shawlette, made from a variety of odd balls of cotton in summery bright colours. 

She said it seemed to be a useless garment. I think she was objecting to the combo of "cotton" and "scarf." 

But I'd say not entirely useless! Lovely when you don't want to be too hot, when it's spring or fall or winter and you just want a little something. Perfectly useful! And dang colourful, too.