Saturday, 31 July 2010

Early Morning

Last evening, on the way home from work, I popped in a different cd.  This doesn't happen very often  I seem to be content with whatever is in the player, but I had been doing a quick tour of my divas on cd this last week - Bette Midler ( I love Miss Otis Regrets and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy is my kind of music) and yes, Celine Dion for whom I have sort of love hate relationship.  Love to sing with it, but I cannot just listen to it). 

It was a very long time since I popped the Mozart in the player.  A very, very long time.  Though I have always loved his work. It is full of such energy.  It is the absolute best music to clean by (Direct imaginary orchestras with my duster wand?  Why yes.  Yes I do.)  Perhaps it is that Mozart was such a young man when he wrote his masterworks.  Perhaps it is because he was a bit of a stinker, but no matter.  Mozart is morning music. 

See what I mean?  This is music that will pierce even a teenage boys deep slumber.  And it keeps at it.  There are those delicate parts where it gets so soft that it sounds like the whisper of angel wings, but then along comes that piercing urgency.  Morning music for the sluggish at heart.

But the wonder of Mozart is that not only did he write peppy morning music, he wrote morning music for those mornings just like today.  

As the sun was rising this morning, it caught the gentle puffs of clouds and tinted them a soft and dainty cotton candy pink, light as the air clouds live in and just as sweet.  Perfection was the gentle blue behind it all.  This is music for mornings so lovely it hurts to breathe.   

It wakes you and gives joy to a pink and blue morning and with great delicacy, it sets you on your way.

Friday, 30 July 2010

Knitting Lace Triangles

River City Yarns brought in a few copies of Knitting Lace Triangles by Evelyn Clark and I was lucky enough to score a copy.  What a nice little book.

I always feel that people who design beautiful shawls and fantastic sweaters have minds that operate just a little differently than the vast majority of us.  They have a vision that pierces the murky future project and set them solidly, with grace and elegance and beauty in today.  Evelyn Clark is one of these people.  She does beautiful things and as this book testifies, she thinks differently but the process is not terribly complex.

Different does not mean difficult. Clark's process is simplicity itself.  She walks you through the process step by step.  She chooses 4 different lace motifs and she teaches us how to use them to do things of beauty.   She mixes them up, she puts them together in all sorts of ways. She goes through her process of picking beginnings and endings, and with a little technical information, calculations for meterage required and size, allows us to learn to do our own thing.   With these simple steps, we could design our own  shawls.  

This isn't a big book.  It isn't a complete compendium of how to and I think we are better for it. It is small.  It limits our view, restricts it, so that we can focus in on the process, the steps you ought to go through to combine lace patterns with charm and flow and grace.  Learning within these limits can set you free.  

If you are looking for a book to add to your collection and to enlarge your skills, choose this lovely little book.  You will be charmed by it as surely as I am.  

Thursday, 29 July 2010

Matchy Matchy?

 There has been intermittent work on the blue sweater.  It is coming along nicely and is looking fantastic.  

All that is left is a little more knitting for length and then the button band collar finishing.  As I have been knitting, I have been living this huge internal debate over how finish the hems and button band.  The plan for the original buttonband is how this sweater got started.  I never gave a whiff of a thought to hems.

The first time hems came into the thought process was as I was knitting the last stockinette row on the sleeves!  To get that over with I went with garter stitch.  It seemed easy enough to rip back if I figured something else out but planning to do something over again seemed so defeating.  Enough of that happens around here without planning for it.

I tried to settle for garter.  I really tried to talk myself into it.  Garter would `casual` it down.  The sweater is looking really really dressy.  Black tie sort of dressy and I am not the only one who thinks so.  One of the ladies at the store commented on it.  Maybe garter stitch would keep things in the realm of my wardrobe.  You know.  Jeans.  Stretchy pants.  Even worse things.

I thought hems and buttonband ought to be matchy matchy.  I had never really noticed anything different.  Isn`t matchy matchy how it is done.  I did not warm to the idea.  I just couldn`t settle on it.  

I was looking at a sweater in a Rowan book at work.  There it was.  Ribby hems and garter stitch collar and other trims on a cabled sweater.  It looked odd the way it was done on that sweater but it had more to do with the extensive cabling and the ribbing and the garter.  Too many elements somehow. Had it been simpler, it would have looked just fine.   

My elements will look like garter or stockinette.  They ought to be just fine.  The plan is to do a band of reverese stockinette and a band of stockinette followed by another band of reverse stockinette.  It would roll inward along the outer edge but I think that would be OK.  I could also finish the last bit off in garter stitch to have it finish flat if it didn`t have the right sort of flow to it.  I suppose.  But the roll is where I was at the start.

The blue sweater is going forward.  The plan is back to the beginning. Time well wasted.  No matchy matchy.    

PS  Idle fantasy.  Wouldn`it be just fine if the dollars for gold guy commercials would run for the rest of year with a stuck closed zipper in place of dollars for gold guys mouth.

PPS  ...and that e-harmony couple too. 

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Foolishness ;)

In between all the other little things I have been knitting,  a little foolishness with braids happened to pop off the needles.

The maple leafs are duplicate stitched on as is this:  

the ugliest squirrel known to humankind.  It looks better from far away.  I only hope the giftee will be able to tell that it is a squirrel!

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Finding a Primer

Words have always been my friend.  They have provided comfort, fun, information and sometimes consolation.  They took me far away and kept me close to home and gave me adventures no matter how dull, no matter how confined my day to day world was.  And sometimes words abandon me and become a source of bewilderment and pain.

These things are train problems. From grade 5 and possibly even grade 4 math: Two trains are going down a 60 km track toward each other.  The first is traveling x  fast.  The second is traveling y fast. How far will each travel before they meet?

When I see problems like this, the words jumble up on the page into a pile and become incomprehensible.  The letters won't lie down into order and all I can see is that there is going to be a train wreck.  Two trains are going toward each other and they are going to meet and how could it possibly end well?

I found something very like that yesterday and though I cannot make head or tails of the directions, though the particular skill I was trying to learn remains a mystery,  my inability was illuminating. Seeing that pile, that hump of letters, understanding that it was a pile, a jumble, a hump, a hill, was new and yet I know beyond a doubt, I have seen it before, over and over again. Many many times.

The words piled up and no amount of help, no guidance will make those words lie down and behave. I don't have the skills, the words, the language to explain just where the problems are.  It isn't that I don't want to ask but that I am unable. I am mute. The explanation is jumbled up in there too. I sit there feeling foolish, and I am pretty sure sitting watching me is uncomfortable for those around me.

This is the point where some people simply decide that I am stubborn and perverse and not really very bright. Perhaps deciding this gives them a sense of context, a label under which to place me.  Perhaps doing so, gives them so comfort.  I understand that.  I am a big fan of finding comfort.  (My young instructor - what a wonderful young woman she is - made no decisions, applied no labels, slotted me not, though I could see she felt helpless and inadequate. I hope she is reading this.  I'd like her to understand.)  

I developed a headache and that was it for the day.

I drove home feeling ridiculous, feeling like a mystified 10 year old, feeling incredibly stupid yet knowing that I am not, knowing that I am reasonably intelligent, knowing that knitting is my territory as sure as words have always been.  If this is how kids feel who suffer from learning disabilities, oh sweet heavens, what a horrid thing to have to live through without any idea of how to cope.

At least I know that if these words never order themselves, I can put the stitches on 2 needles and do a perfectly marvelous graft and no one will ever know of my little 'issue'.

This is not the first time I have come across train wrecks in knitting.   I think it is the source of my nervousness about patterns.  I think it might be why I completely 'get' Elizabeth Zimmermann and Barbra Walker's work.  They don't describe things word for word, they don't mix numbers and letters. They are spare of words and I delight in that and now, I completely understand why.  It also makes my frustration, impatience and tenseness with counting to 2 in lace and with at least one perfectly wonderful scarf pattern I recently tried, completely understandable.

I'm not sure why, so suddenly, after all these many years, I recognized the primer with which to break the jumbles that form.  Perhaps it is age, perhaps it is the state of my vision and its moving, weaving, waving letters, perhaps it is that knitting provides the framework. I doubt that I can stop the words from jumbling when they will, but at least I understand that there is something specific happening and maybe one day soon I will break the code to swiftly putting the words back into orderly rows.

I'm going to work through the this wee graft and find the words to explain how I have to think about it.  Part of my job in being a student was to give my instructor other ways to describe it to people. Maybe struggling through this with this new primer, will lead to a second value or a second letter to break this mysterious code.  

Monday, 26 July 2010


I have been working my way through sleeve shapings from Knitting from the top down.  

The red seamless set in sleeve turned out fairly well. It was a bit fussy to work up the pickups neatly (hahaha.  I originally typed pickyups) .  

 A red raglan sleeve turned out really well, though in the time since, like all cotton, it has grown quite a bit.  It needs redoing.  

And just lately, I am working on a simultaneous set in sleeve. 
Wow.  Just wow.

No muss.  No fuss.  Easy to execute, easy to adjust for a custom fit. No pesky sewing of the sleeves required.   All that is needed is a wee little bit of letting go of your expectations.  

I am glad to have worked through all of them. I have learned so much.  It has been a lot of fun along the way, but this one, with its very tidy from the first minute look, with its crisp clean line, is beyond a doubt, my favourite.  I can see this one becoming my way of doing set in sleeves.  

I just need to add more length and do a button band and weave in a few ends.   

Without a doubt, that is the fun of doing a sweater from the top down.  By the time you get to this stage, no mater how tired you are of the project, there is so little to do, that finishing is easy peasy.  

The bad part is by the time you get here, short sweaters are easy to talk yourself into.

Friday, 23 July 2010

On Flying Saucers.

One of the best things about working at a yarn store is that you get to see all the new stuff first.  I don't get to see so much as I used to...most of the yarn comes to the southside store with it's bigger warehouse facility, but I do get to see some new things.  

This is one of them.  

Flying Saucers?  Oh my.  

What it is, is a really nice sock yarn, dyed and spooled for those among us who absolutely must have matching socks. Great bright colour blends.  It looks like fun.   It comes off the spool in town strands ready for knitting 2 socks at once, ready for winding perfectly matched double balls without the hassle of trying to match the strands.  

I of course couldn't care less about the matching.  In fact, I probably will have to work to make nonmatching socks, just to spite the maker. Not really. I just want comfortable socks.  The look doesn't matter at all.  I'm looking forward to having a little fun with these.

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Simple Things

I like soil and the way seeds are laid in clean worked earth and sprout out of the ground a couple days later.  Was there ever something so lovely, so grand, so simple as a bean or a pea plant popping out of the ground.  There is a grandeur in it that isn't in anything man made.  

I like listening to rain falling when I am sitting on the porch, cup of coffee in hand, snuggled in a sweater.  I like running through a rain, trying to get back to the porch, so I can stay dry, that mad dash you make as rain starts pelting down hard when you are between car and roof.  I love that.  

I love putting a needle through a loop of yarn and pulling another loop through.  I love how dozens of small loops, interconnected, make part of one grand fabric that can keep you warm.  

I love how the late evening sun looks as it peers through the trees before it sets, applying an orange and gold and pink backdrop to the silver grey and earthy brown trunks.        

I love the stillness of early morning, where everything awaits the breaking of the sun over the horizon, over the tree tops so it can peer directly into the yard and warm up all the hidden spaces.  

I love the way a ball of string can become something so much more, how a single seed can feed you, how a sky can be pink and orange and blue at the same time, how a lone drop of water can slake the thirst of a dry place.  

I like simple things.  Perhaps it is because I have a 'simple' mind.  Some would think it so, but even if it were the truth, the simple things remain.  That is part of the magic of simple things.  

I would still run through the rain even if I did not take time to marvel on the joy of it.  The sun would still rise and set even if I did not take the time to see its colours.  Peas and beans would still make magic when they pop out of the ground if I didn't notice.  

What matters to the inner part of me, is that I do.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

I've got the Blues

ooooo, doowap, shebop a doowap (imagine really bad singing here)  

I am knitting away on the Blue Sweater.  One sleeve done and the other on the way.

 You can see the simultaneous set in sleeve and its crisp neat line.  I debated the finish all the way down the sleeve and decided on a neat band of garter stitch.  It seems to suit the yarn.

That is really what I wanted to write about this morning.  The yarn.  

The yarn is Artesanal from Aslan Trends. It is a blend of alpaca, cotton and nylon.  It really is the nicest stuff.  It is soft and yet full of body.  At this gauge (5 stitches to an inch) it drapes marvelously.  

It has a nice tweedy look.  Little flecks of white cotton among soft strands of blue. In some ways this little cardigan is going to look very dressy, the sort of thing you could wear to a fine dinner and not feel out of place among ladies with the designer names on their backs, but is also casual.  There is something rustic and yet refined about the look of this.    Jeans and fancy black dress.

I'd like to finish the second sleeve this evening, but sense must reign, and I will work on the second Satsuma sock.  Everything else is almost ready, and it is only the sock that is going to slow things down.  I'll let me knit the sleeve tomorrow.  

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Just a Little Silly

Hmmmm.  Can this be right?  My horoscope for today.

 You like the idea of exploring your fantasies, but you hate the thought of wasting all that time. Unfortunately, you may have such a strong belief in the mundane world of business that it's nearly impossible to set it aside and slip into your imagination. Nevertheless, you will find it easier to justify guilt-free dream chasing if you call it "strategic planning" and actually put it on your calendar for the day. (from Rick Levine

Strong belief in the world of business?  I don't think so.  Unless it is the yarn business.  Justify dream chasing?  Not me.  I am a firm believer in wasting time wisely.  It is, however, vital to schedule dream chasing into my day.  While knitting.

Here is a little delightful something in case you need a little help chasing dreams and wasting time wisely.  

Monday, 19 July 2010

Pretty Blue Thing on Monday

The pretty blue thing is still looking pretty.  And blue.

It isn't quite ready for photos, but here it is, in it's mid knitting phase.

I am doing this one quite simply.  Top down, simultaneous set in sleeves a la Barbara Walker, cardigan, v neck, 3/4 sleeves.  

I could have had both sleeves finished, but I wanted to wait till I could try it on with the sort of things I will wear it with.  Never having done this kind of sleeve before, I wasn't sure how deep the armscye needed to be for a good fit.  I knew I wanted it more fitted than both red sweaters, but I didn't want it to look like I was being pulled up by the armpits.  


The jury (a good mirror) is telling me I'm going to have to renovate.  It looks good (a 10 on the thrilled and tickled o-meter), but it isn't quite right.  The sleeves fit OK, but they don't quite have the look I wanted.  Walker recommends adding one stitch on every other round at each sleeve edge but my upper arms didn't get that memo.  I will have to vary the number to get a nice rounded sleeve top for a good fit.  It will look much better if I start with a few more stitches at cap of the sleeves too.  

So, back to the beginning, but that is OK in every way.    

See in the upper right hand of the photo?  See that little ridge that seems to stand up in one place?  It is a row of way out of whack gauge knitting from the provisional cast on. I didn't notice it till I was a few rows down. Heinous looking.   I thought I would fix that later.  Now I don't have to.  

Things I have learned so far with this sweater:  a really good fast provisional cast on which I would not have figured out without LizChristine's double knitting class, and how a simultaneous set in sleeve works.  

It was a very good weekend.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Pretty Blue Stuff

I have 7 balls of this pretty blue stuff (Aslan Trends Artesanal).  It is a nice blend of cotton alpaca and nylon with that tweedy rustic look I love.  I'm not sure what it will be, but Art (I can call him Art.  He has been in my dreams for a few months now) and I have a date this weekend.  

For a while I thought it might be a second Leisl, but I don't know.  I'm just going to wing it and makes whatever strikes me as right the day I start to knit. 

Gauge done.  Ready to go.  Now all I need is the pattern.  Or maybe not. 


Not a lot of knitting going on.  My head is in the clouds (or maybe that ought to be stuck in the mud) and today, I am packing the van.  I sincerely hope we get to get away.   

There sure are a lot of things around here waiting to be knit.  I hope the situation improves dramatically over the next few days.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

I got the internet down blues

We have had wonky Internet reception for the last few days.  In the grand scheme of things this is a small problem, really small, but in the actual sitting here, staring at the computer world of things, life stops right there.  Without my connection, I am just a little bereft.  I pickup and knit, but even with knitting, I feel like I am twiddling my thumbs.  

And there is nothing I can do about it.  Our prairie skies are giving us rain and I shall not complain.  Some places there is a little too much rain, but we will call that moisture for next year.  The clouds defeat my satellite connection and it will be a while till I can look at a change net services.  

So not a lot to say this morning, just a little knitting on something different and the hope that the signal carrying this very lame post get through.     

I know there has been a lot of music here the last bit. There will be some for a while longer. It may not to be your sort of thing, but I do beg your kind patience and acceptance of it.    

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Cracks in the closet

I finished going through my study.  It is tidied but not cleaned.  Not quite my goal, but well, work intervened.

This is the second time in as many weeks that I forgot a day.  Neither were my usual work days, and both were Mondays.  Makes me wonder where my mind is these days.  

Ah well.  I'm a dunce.  So sue me.

The big green bin of WIPs.  Though to be honest, this is half full of yarn for something I  am hoping to do very shortly.  I don't want this to go into the closet and get forgotten about. (Could happen. See above)

This bin is where all the come and go stuff is in.  All the socks that I am currently working on, the lace for the blinds for the upstairs bedroom, the socks waiting for heels.  And a little bit of yarn I want to use for a nice warm snuggly, easy to knit, brainless, garter stitch triangle. And umm, some sock yarn for a lovely little pattern from Lene at Dances with Wool, called Minni.  

 And the lace WIP basket.  This is where the two Icarii reside.  It has been way to long since I knit on these.  Maybe next?  And there is a little bit of yarn for a really cute little boy project to knit up.  

Each basket contains a fair bit of space for yarn for a next project.  So I really don't have many WIPs.  They ought not to tumble round my room so.  I'm not quite sure why WIPs seemed to be sprouting from each and every square inch of the floor. 

Of course, there is that basket behind the door....

And even I don't like to acknowledge the cracks where half done sweaters hide in the closet. 

Monday, 12 July 2010

Monday Monday

You know how sometimes when you wake in the morning, you are sure the world is gray and cloudy?  But all you need to do is clean your glasses, and suddenly everything is clear?  

No?  I should remember this more frequently.  My glasses are now clean.  I am good to go.

One of the things I plan to accomplish today is to do a deep clean of my study.  Even the books need airing.  There are 3 things in quantity in my study.  Yarn, books of all sorts, and blue and white china, which really isn't china, just pretty blue and white stuff.

I began the study clean up last evening by digging through the WIP baskets.  Yes, yes, I have several.  I didn't mean for it to happen, but the original was overflowing because of one almost finished project.

My Adult Surprise jacket for camping was causing an overflow to the overflow.

Preblocked, no buttons.  It seems this is how all my projects are going to be photographed.  And instead of buttons, it may yet get a zipper.

 The sleeves were really too wide to be practical and dealing that has taken a few weeks. I steeked the sleeves under the arms, so that the neat join along the top stays.  The steek begins after the decrease corners are out of the way, so it is rather sudden.  If I was to do a second one, I would start the sleeve sections with fewere stitches, and I would increase as I worked up.

The only other change I would make to it if I felt like it (which I don't) would be too make the hood a little smaller.  Went a little overboard there, but it isn't worth the reknitting.

I am pleased.  It fits where I want it to fit, with enough room under the armpits for the many layers I ususally wear when camping.  It envelops and will keep me warm.  Mission accomplished.     

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Bach to Mcferrin

When I was a child in grade 4, our teacher used to have us listen to a CBC Radio music series.  Part biography, part music program, it introduced those of us without pianos and music lessons the the big guns of classical music, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, whether we wanted it or not.

It was sort of how every person in may part of the prairies was infused with the knowledge of fiddle music through Don Messer's Jubilee, which played Saturday night just before Hockey Night in Canada, on all the channels (1) that we could receive.

Sometimes simple exposure makes all the difference in the world because I have an affinity for fiddle music and Bach.  I think I have an affinity for this too.  

I caught this performance on TV a while ago.  It is from a Bach anniversary performance in Germany. Riveting.  Mesmerizing.  Possibly the very best vocal performance of any music in the history of mankind.  It has my vote. 

For P.A., my dear friend, who will love this and for N. who keeps my on an even keel.  Such are the people knitting brought me to.

Work was lovely yesterday.  My mood is much improved.  Listening to this piece is like icing on the cake.  

Friday, 9 July 2010


I knit a very long time on the shawl yesterday.  Knit and knit and knit.  As usual, it looks exactly the same.  Sort of depressing really.

I knit a little on some socks but they failed to inspire.

I'm feeling a little blah and I am completely ready to snap out of it.  And I know just the way.  

I'll just go to work.  I know.  Summer.  Going to work.  Usually this means you'd rather just hang out at home than work, but working in a yarn store is different.  No nicer place to hang out.  Summer, winter and every day in between.  In fact, summer is the best time to work at a yarn store.  

The fall yarns will start to come in any day now. Just thinking about is making me feel cheerier.

Here is a little summer something the help me snap out of it.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Onerva Mine

Still knitting madly at the Onerva shawl.  I am really enjoying knitting this, and really enjoying the flexibility of this design.  I have plans for it you see.

It is now about a foot and a half across the top edge.  I have just finished the 5th design section.  I wanted 5 and then from here on, the center will be plain.  That ought to help speed up the knitting some.

It is just at the point where the rows are starting to feel long.  Sigh.  I have a long way to go.  I want to knit much wider than it is, to make it a good traditional shawl size.  Then I will start decreasing to make a great big square. With this lovely little pattern, it ought to be easily done.  Eventually, I want to add a small edging, something not too fancy, just something to crisp it off.  Or I might leave it plain. An edgings job would be to show off and highlight the centre, the centre is the star of this shawl.    

As I knit this, my first really big shawl, I begin to understand how and why the construction of shawls developed.  Medium sized centre, then several edgings.    Knitters, across time, and no matter where they were from, went with relatively small centres, first, due to the physical limitations of their needles, but also to combat the dreaded middle, the "I am so sick of this thing", of long, long rows.  

As I approach that part of knitting this, I am trying to figure out how to keep myself entertained.   It is probably going to be easy for this one.  Plenty of things to think about.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Note to self:

Knitting with Bette was great. Knitting with Liz Christine was better.

Note to self:  Every once in a while, remember to take a class. Taking a class not only teaches you good new skills, but is good for the brain.  Stretching your brain is just like stretching your body.  Keeps it healthy.

Note to self:  Pay attention when the instructor tells you which yarn to use even when you feel pretty confident that you could do it in any yarn.  Forget what you like.  Knit what she says.

I started with Rowan Scottish Tweed 4 ply.  I thought if it looked awful, I could felt it all.  And it was a yarn I had not used yet.  Bad choice.  Far too clingy for a newbie like me.  One of the others in class was using it too, but she has knit without any significant breaks, since she was a very small child.  She managed but it was still a challenge.  I tried and restarted 3 times.  (I have the two colour tubular cast on down pat).  It just wasn't going to do.

Here I sat with all sorts of yarn at home that would have been fine, with nothing appropriate to knit for the class.  Right next to where I was sitting, literally, right next to me, was a shelf full of a yarn from the long gone Needful Yarns, Cucciolio.  

I grabbed a couple of balls of the shelf and began my sample. 

It's far from perfect, but it is close to respectable.  The edges are more or less closed as they ought to be.  There are no strands carried on the wrong side.  I have a long way to go, but I'm close to        
figuring out matching gauge on both sides, and I am about to start some colour work.  

It was interesting watching each of the students think about how we were going to use the technique as we came to understand the basics of how to use it.  Some fantastic stuff is about to happen. I am the tame one in the group.  I'm planning on using the technique for some afghans that I am doing for fall.  

Note to self:  Consider buying every last ball of rescue yarn off shelf.  Good stuff.  Very good stuff.  

Monday, 5 July 2010

I Wasn't Going to Post

I was planning to leave you with the strange bird post for today, but I am compelled by sheer circumstance to give you a heads up.  Of course it isn't going to help you if you have to work today...

Flipping through TV channels while sipping my coffee and avoiding news broadcasts this morning, I saw that Turner Classics channel is showing The Letter this morning at 7 a.m. mountain time (daylight savings version) 

The Letter is a 1940 movie based on a 1929 Somerset Maugham play.  Bette Davis stars as the wife of a plantation owner who is charged with the murder of her lover.  This film contains one of the finest depictions of hand work in film.  Ms. Davis, you see, crocheted and knit, and was willing to use her everything to make a movie character believable.

A quick search of the Internet came up with these photos on a really nice blog post:
Famous people knitting

The film, might be a little film noir-ish for so early in the morning, but it is a great film to knit to and some really fine work by an amazing actress.  One of her not to be missed performances.

You could call this morning Knitting with Bette.  

This afternoon I'll be taking a class in Double Knitting with the amazing Ms. LizChristine, a young woman I am fortunate to work with who just completed a winter long project.  Mittens for her entire choir.  Not just mittens, mind but double knit mittens.  That would be 28 pairs, 56 separate mittens as finished projects, but with double knitted, completely reversible mittens, stitches to complete 124 separate mittens.   

You could call that knitting with Liz Christine.

A busy but rewarding day.  (Considering doing some laundry too.  Some days I scare me.)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Just Plain Nutty

Mr. Needles was working around the yard yesterday mowing lawn, working in flower beds, installing new exterior house lights.  The usual weekend stuff.  

He noticed a robin flying low across the back yard whenever he got near the deck.  He never really thought about it.  Everything seemed normal.

Then he noticed some long strands of dry grass hanging in the dining room window.  

Then he saw there was some hanging from the bottom of the window too.  

Nestlets.  He decided to leave them for me to see.

Later in the afternoon, he got dive bombed again, by a nutty robin.  He looked to see if she was still building the dining room window nests, but no.  She had moved on.

 Built it bigger and better in the kitchen window. 

Silly pretty birdie.

Friday, 2 July 2010


I woke this morning and realized that logic told me it was Friday, but  it felt like a weekend.  My first thought was who put a day in the middle of the weekend?  Silly I know, but it was my first thought.  

The shawl knitting and knitting the Satsuma monkey socks is going along like a house on fire.  Rather, I am knitting like a house on fire but they look the same. I need them done ASAP, so the knitting is going to continue even when I don't feel like knitting on them.  

But there are times when I just cannot deal with patternwork.  This is what I have been doing for those times.  

This is Punta Yarns Merisock.  It has a very different feel to other sock yarns I have worked with and I am not sure why, but it is interesting and feels warm.  I hope the darker colour spiral keeps going all the way up.  

Today is going to be a good day.  I can feel it in my bones.  Even so the plain knitting is accompanying me today. No point in pushing my luck.

Thursday, 1 July 2010

Happy Day

We had a big storm the other evening. An inch of rain in 45 minutes and another half inch through the night.  It was particularly spectacular because the bulk of the rain fell in a very very short time span. There was a point where we could not see the end of the drive about a hundred feet from the house.  For the Canadian prairies, that is a heavy and rare rain.

I love to sit outside on the front  porch when it is raining.  There just isn't anything like the smell of rain, and the smell in the air immediately after a rain.  This time it was impossible.  Rain came under the deck and the mist from the hard drops hitting the ground soaked everything.  This was a storm to watch from inside the house. 

When it was over, no damages, not a lot of sign that it every was.  Except for these small things it left behind.  

Water ran so fast it ridged deep little rivulets in our inches deep cover of washed rock, right down to the clay surface of the drive.  Neat little channels were cut in unexpected ways.  

I admit to a certain fondness for storms of a certain kind.  Snow at unexpected times in the year, heavy but not damaging rains.  There is something wild and unexpected about these things, something primitive that connects even the most ardent city dweller to the power of nature that plays across our great Canadian landscape.  We are sometimes at her mercy though to many times we think we command and hold her hostage.

My daughter in law just called me all the way from the Ukraine to wish me a Happy Canada Day. I will pass that wish on to all of you too.  Go outside.  Look to our roots.  Breathe in big air.  Celebrate our wonderful home.  

Happy Canada Day! 

File:Canadian Maple Leaf.JPG

Updated to add:  I firmly believe that these next few days ought to be an international North American Holiday to celebrate our North American-ness.  From July 1st to July 4th, nothing really gets done anyway.    I'd really like to keep the international holiday going to  Mexico's Independence Day holiday in September, but...