Thursday, April 01, 2021

It's April

I will not do an April Fool's post... yesterday I saw that heavy snow was forecast for Vancouver and that reminded me not to believe anything I read today. 

But I will show you some pictures and make a bit of a list for the coming month. 

I have made a sleeve. You saw the beginning of it last time. So now that is done (for the moment) and I have started on the body of the sweater. (It's dark grey ribbing, all the same, so not very interesting to look at.) I don't know if I've shown you this picture before, but I snapped it around Christmas time as I was on a walk through some swanky fashion shops in Toronto. Unfortunately I have no idea what shop or who might the designer be. 

When Kid #1 saw it, the eyes lit up, so I decided to have a crack at making something like it. 

The ribbed side is a charcoal grey, with a more useable sleeve shape, and it will be a raglan sleeve instead of a drop shoulder like that. I am using a pattern called Rugged Raglan, even though we won't end up with anything very rugged, I think! We haven't decided on the colour for the other side, or the cable pattern, but I am leaning toward some colour we can call Highlighter Marker

That will be my main knitting for the foreseeable future. We go back to Toronto on the 25th I think, so I have plenty of time to make the body rectangle, and then I have to join the sleeve in and make the top part. Perhaps there should be some trying on and consultation, but we'll see how things go. 

I don't really have any other plans, so perhaps a to-do list is not needed! Let's move on to some pretty pictures of what I have been doing!

Vancouver is full of flowering trees these days. Whole streets are lined with frothy pinkness. When the sky is blue, the combination is so beautiful!

We went to Stanley Park yesterday with a friend who was looking for a certain cultivar of cherry, but although the ornamental plums are blossoming everywhere, and we just call any pink or white flowery tree a cherry, we learned that the cherries need another week or so before they are perfect. We did a lot of walking around in the park looking at other delights. 

Of course, a favourite, Girl in a Wetsuit

Today I was walking on Kits Beach and saw a small sailboat had come ashore, perhaps last week when it was very windy. 

The tiller

The waterline

And that is how April begins. As long as that heavy snow doesn't really materialize, it all looks good. 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Trying to blog more

I seem to have fallen out of the habit of blogging, and I would like to get back to it. Once a week shouldn't be too much... but we shall see. 

I like to make something out of a cookbook once it's come into my possession, even (or especially) if it's tattered and missing parts. So I found the pages on Dunk Sauces in that James Beard book, and look, there's one starred! (A dunk sauce is what a modern person would call a dip, I believe.)

We have some shrimp and we'll find some veg and bread, and that will be a fun picnic at home. 

Yes, those are green onions and not chives, nor green pepper

I have also started a big knitting project. I tried about five different things with some pretty laceweight yarn, but nothing thrills me. So I bought some dark grey wool-blend yarn and am making a sweater. 

More as the story unfolds... 

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

A new cookbook

 I am very fond of the system of Little Free Libraries people have made. Give a book, take a book. 

The other day I went to put back into circulation something that I can't even remember now, and I picked up The James Beard Cookbook. I have been searching for years for Beard on Bread, so thought this would be a decent substitute for now. And so well-loved; someone had used this book a lot! 

The first thing I noticed upon getting it home: the entire middle was missing. I do not have pages 129 to 348. I go straight from Baked Fish to Chicken Fricassee. 

I flipped through a bit in the front half, and some days went by before I started in on the second half. 

Someone had had a bit of a misfortune. Could have set the house on fire, it seems!

Ah well. Perhaps it was not meant to be. I will find something in the first half to make, just to say I did it, but then, it's back to the street for this one!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

The dress is done

The dress made with the muddy, grizzly-bear-coloured yarn is done. The dress is very cute, and I made some super-cute leg-warmers to go with it, but I still question my choice of yarn! 

The leg-warmers are just the cuffs of some 2-year-size socks. I thought I wouldn't make real socks for a kid who can barely even sit up on her own these days, let alone walk. 

Yesterday I went to Dressew, a sort of Vancouver institution on West Hastings Street. There was a line-up to get in! I found my buttons in record time and didn't stick around to get tempted by fabric. Luckily I have a cousin with a full range of tools in town so I was able to borrow a teensie crochet hook to make the button loop. 

Now I just have to figure out how to get it to the family. The kid won't fit it at all till the fall, I think, so no rush. I'll collect a few things, perhaps. She might even get a matching chapeau!

Thursday, February 25, 2021

Some tiles

I took a walk yesterday past a classic Vancouver building, the old BC Hydro building, now mainly condos. The outside has mosaic details at street level. 

This reminds me of Kaffe Fassett's Large Diamonds pattern, though of course diamonds are one of those eternal patterns! 

I would love to go in and see what remains of the original interior design. Although we are looking for a condo, I'm not sure this building would be high on our list, because there are no balconies. And now I look at what is available in it today, I see that they are tiny! Two bed, two bath in 815 square feet is one of the larger options! But at least these ads show that some of the common areas do maintain the blue and green tiles. 

From the REW website

This exterior wall would be exciting to come home to, though!

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Cosy little lap rug

This is what I started working on in January in Toronto after I finished the many dishrags. A bunch of lone balls of fingering weight yarn... when will I ever reach the end of this pile? I keep finding more, just when I think I have knitted it all up. 

A designer made special yarn and used it in a 12 Days of Christmas scarf pattern. It's 12 different stitch patterns, of which I used seven in this. I made it wider than a scarf, so this is baby-blanket sized; we now use it to warm our legs on the couch in the evening. 

That bright turquoise and the browny-red next to it are Jamiesons jumperweight wool, from the pile I picked up from my neighbour last August. It is lovely and colourful and made me sneeze like anything, so I packed up the rest of it and sold it to another knitter on Ravelry! (Bargain for her, tiny profit for me.)

The rest of it is nice Koigu and other things I seem to have picked up here and there. It's dark, not really baby colours, and it can't be machine washed or thrown in the dryer, so I do declare that it is ours to keep! 


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Is it too ugly?

Once upon a time, maybe even this time last year, I found three balls of very ugly sock yarn in a thrift shop. I thought I could make a blanket or hats to keep someone warm. So muddy and grey and splotchy. 

I brought it with me to Vancouver, thinking that I'd never get around to doing anything with it if it wasn't my only option, so here I am, forced to make something with it. (I see that I have not told you about my other project, so we'll get to that soon!) 

Of course, hats for charity would be good. I think I could get a lap rug out three balls. Make something where this gloomy grey and brown mush won't get anyone down! What to do? 

I have started a baby dress for my niece! I wanted to make this pattern and I know the mom is not bothered by gender conventions in clothing. I figure that it could look like a bear pelt or some sort of woodland sprite. We don't all have to be princesses, now, do we? 

There is a ridged yoke, no real sleeves, and then a slightly flared dress down to more ridges at the bottom. 

I just have to shape the underarms now and then zoom quickly down the body. I hope this is not all a big mistake! 

Wednesday, February 03, 2021

New month, new view

We have travelled. 


We are back in Vancouver for three months. We have an apartment overlooking the east end of False Creek, with the SkyTrain and an elevated highway between us and the water. A bit noisy, but it sort of all fades into the background. 

The flight was uneventful and not too crowded. Everyone just sat still and tried not to breathe for five hours. We had some N95 masks, we washed our hands, we got groceries delivered shortly after we arrived so we haven't been inside a store. I think we'll be okay! 

Vancouver is much less locked-down than Toronto. I am excited about the idea of actually going in to a shop without having pre-ordered something for pick-up. I've only really been in the grocery store for ... ages. 

We've only been here since Monday, though, so we are still not going in any stores. Luckily the view is pretty entertaining in all kinds of weather. 


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

It's snowing

This was taken this morning; it is now perhaps twice as deep! 

I know, this is not much of an update! 

It's always possible to see pictures at my Instagram, for when I am too lazy to make a whole blog post. 

I will show you a picture I put on Insta the other day! It is also snow-related. 

We learned (from another Instagram post!) that this pancake ice was forming on the Humber, Toronto's western river. It's a short walk from a subway station, so we put on our masks and went across town to see. My camera was almost out of power so I didn't take any video, but if you click through to that link you can see it swirling around. The river comes down off a weir, and some is frozen and some is not, and the ice is forming near the shore, and some water is fast and some is not... so you get swirls of ice in a round ice-free section. Quite nice. 

I might even have some knitting news soon! 

Wednesday, January 06, 2021

A big ball of cotton

I took this first photo in October of {gasp} last year. I found this yarn at the thrift shop and it might have cost $3 or $4. That is my 13-inch laptop it's sitting on. It's a great big ball of rainbow dishcloth cotton. 

I made my niece a kitchen hand towel of it, and mailed it to her for Christmas without taking a picture! What sort of blogger am I? 

Then I found a charity that makes up starter kits for people setting up homes. They want pots and pans and dishes and blankets and... stuff for the kitchen! So, I made seven more cloths out of that big ball of yarn! I know I have bits of other colours around, but couldn't find them, so everything is just solid rainbows. 

This one is your basic ball-band dishcloth. Usually this is done in two colours, but with the multicoloured yarn it works well, I think. 

This is one called Clover Tweed, also usually with two colours. Nice and nubbly. 

This is a new-to-me pattern called Simon

I love both sides of this, and it looks great in this yarn. Sort of pointillist, sort of pop art. At least, that's my story. 

This is a Double Bump. I love how the colours swirl differently in all these cloths, although they all have about the same number of stitches. 

Another new pattern for me: the Reversible Textured Dishcloth.  It makes a nice texture. 

A round one! I've made this before and I think it looks better in a single colour, but it will wash the dishes just fine. 

Another old favourite, the Tweedish cloth. Every other stitch is slipped on every other row, so the swirls of colour are squashed together. 

The lot. 

I also threw in some other cloths and a hat. Someone will need it. 

And a headband, or maybe neck warmer. This is the very last of some Rowan Magpie, one of the great yarns of yesteryear. Not quite enough for a full hat, but it will provide a bit of warmth. 

So, I took all those things off today to the shelter and handed them over, with a bit of cash donated to the Starter Kit program. My good deed for ... now. 

In other news, I took part again in the Christmas card swap on Ravelry. I was a bit miffed because I didn't receive any cards over Christmas but it turned out our letter carrier was off and it looks like his replacement just didn't do much work. I got 12 on the first day our regular guy was back! And they keep coming in. You can see a sort of garland of circles in with the lights -- those are last year's cards cut up. 

I see this is my first post of the year, so Happy New Year to you all. It's not off to a great start, but I hope all sorts of things will improve as we go on.