Sunday, May 30, 2010


One of my favourite things to do at this wonderful time of the year is to sit out on the patio.  With a lovely knit project, a family game of Scrabble, a cool drink and a dog in the grass.

I hope you also had a wonderful weekend.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rest and Relaxation

It`s been a glorious May 24 weekend.  I`ve had lots of fun, sun, rest, relaxation and socializing.  But also housecleaning, shopping and cooking. It`s amazing what a difference that one extra day makes.

Oh yes, there was also knitting.  Have you seen this magazine?

It is packed with projects using traditional techniques taken from back issues of Piecework magazine.  There are some really great things in here.  Like Bohus:

And Finnish mittens:

And twined mittens, also known as two-ended knitting:

I tired twined knitting a couple of years ago, but gave it up because not only is it incredibly slow to work, but it is also recommended that you use a yarn with a Z-twist.  Most commercial yarns are S-twist and they tend to come unspun when working twined knitting. See, here's the difference between the two types of twist:

And see this, a close up of the yarn shown above with the magazine:

That's z-twist yarn!!!   I was flabbergasted.  You know where I got it?  You'll never guess. At the Waterloo farmer's market!  I was at the market just last Thursday and I bought the yarn to support the local farmer, and because it's nice stuff from a British milk-sheep. So now I think I want to make twined mittens or socks.

But also in the same magazine was a pattern for Party Socks by Nancy Bush:

Oh yes! Party-hearty weekend!!  Knit on my friends. :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

End of an Era

The company I formerly worked at for seven years, TVWorks, will be closing its doors June 25th.   This week I was in London with Sandvine, my current employer, as part of their job fair for recruitment.  It was a strange occasion for me.  I was delighted to see my former co-workers, many of whom are also my friends.  It was like I'd never been gone.  But I'm sad to know that the place is closing down.  Being there in person brought it home to me. But I'm hopeful that I'll end up meeting some of those good people again, in other times at other companies.

Fortunately, this weekend the weather has been a huge pick me up, with blue skies and warmer temperatures.  Garden centers were packed with happy people picking out plantings.  I know, because Jim and I were there too.  We got our front garden weeded and put in a few new plants, something we do every year.  We're not the smartest gardeners.  We plant, and hope.  That's about it.

When we moved here, there was one spindly clematis planted by the garden shed, in heavy shade.  I transplanted it to the front of the house where it roasted to a crisp in dry sandy soil and full light.  After two years, it still wasn't dead, so I gave it a try again over by the side of the house.  This year it has fully recovered and is going gang busters.  I'm seeing lots of growth and many buds.  Brave thing!

And now for the knitting.  Here's a progress pic of my Lizard Ridge:

It's coming along great and still lots of fun to work.  I decided to divide my 20 balls of Noro into three packs of mostly reds and two packs of mostly blues.  This was my little way of putting my personal stamp on a ubiquitous blanket.  I like it fine.

 I'm looking almost halfway there and thinking about casting on a shawl.  It's such a treat for me to knit with Noro, I feel like savouring it.  Plus a shawl is great summer knitting, and there are so many beautiful free patterns out there.

I've lately come to the conclusion that so long as I have yarn and needles there's really nothing to stop me from casting on and abandoning as many WIPs as I want.  I generally get around to finishing them eventually.  Radical thinking I know, but as the song says "If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad..."

Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Gift of Giving

This Mother's Day I gave myself the gift of making others happy.
For my mother, the lovely orchids you see to the left in this picture.  She was delighted with them and with me.

For my godmother, an Icarus shawl:

I knit this shawl for the fun of it, and as I neared the finish, I decided that it would make a nice gift for my god mother.  I didn't know that she's been going through a rough time lately with illness, both for herself and her daughter.  This shawl came at a good time.  But even better, I could tell she was just thrilled to have me visit, which I haven't done in quite a while.  You know how life can get in the way.

My sons cooked for me, and bought me chocolates and resolved not to fight with each other.  The sun even chose to shine by the time I was ready to walk the dog.

I hope you all had a lovely Mother's day too.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Backyard Romance

I'm trying to finish up a shawl just now.  One that I'd like to give as a Mother's day gift to a lovely lady who was very motherly to me.  Now that the weather is so nice, I like to knit outside on the patio.  Dexter always comes with me too.  But lately it hasn't been very peaceful in our back yard.  Meet the reason why:

This is Esmé.  She lives next door.  If Dexter and I are hanging out in the backyard it's not long before we hear scratching and whining as Juliette strives to be reunited with her Romeo. I'm no Montague and as a result we have this to enjoy:

 Oh yes, it is a fierce romance.
It isn't always pretty.

But they are a happy couple.

It's so nice for everyone in the family to be happy.