Thursday, August 25, 2016

Glenora Countdown

A reminder: the summer sale on Glenora will be over at the end of the month. That means only a few more days to grab this easy-to-knit, easy-to-wear pattern for only $1.

This useful jacket has no edgings to work, no sewing, and offers the choice of a shawl-pin closure (the "no closure" option), or buttons. If you choose the latter, make sure you add the button loops after blocking, and pay attention to their placement--one just below your bust, one at the base of the neck, and one halfway in-between those two. It's an opportunity to use a few special buttons from your button stash. Last winter, I wore my Glenora more than any other sweater in my collection. It's become a wardrobe staple, so what are you waiting for?

Sunday, August 21, 2016

August Tidbits

1. I've just grafted the shoulders of the updated version of Wheatsheaves. Just in case someone reading this hasn't done much Kitchener Stitch (named after Lord Kitchener, who during WW1 ordered that the toes of soldiers' socks be made seamless), here's a tip. While working the initial graft, don't bother about tension, other than to keep everything on the loose side. Then when all the stitches are joined, go back and tug gently on them just until they match the tension of the surrounding stitches. It's a simple matter to tighten up the tension, but devilishly difficult to loosen things up. Below, you can see where the stitches on the right-hand side have been adjusted, while the ones on the left are waiting their turn. It's unnecessarily fussy to try to get the tension perfect on the first pass.

To those readers who complain of my penchant for knitting with grey, I swear that this wool is definitely not that colour. It's actually a lovely greenish turquoise, rather on the bright side, in fact. Somehow, my phone camera refused to acknowledge it.

2. While the heat and humidity are dreadful, our drought seems to be over. Things are greening up (apart from the trees, which have gone into a weird stage of early fall). Case in point: the hibiscus on the corner of Earl and King Streets.

How can you not love dinner plate sized flowers!

3. Went for a walk in the late afternoon yesterday before the crowds gathered in Market Square for the last Tragically Hip concert.

Crab apples and the dome of St. George's Cathedral.
Trucks setting up for live screening of The Hip's concert with dome of City Hall in background.
We were out of the country for the decades when The Hip became the iconic Canadian band. Regardless, we could feel the poignancy of the day.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Sock Talk

Confession: I'm not much of a sock knitter. It's hard for me to get excited about something that (most of the time) is hidden from view when worn. At the same time, I love to wear hand-knitted socks. Who doesn't? They're toasty warm and can be made to fit perfectly. Plus, socks make perfect social knitting, provided they're relatively simple and utilitarian in design. They're also great for summer knitting because of their portability and lack of hot, heavy bulk. ( I had to give up on my Fall Coat knitting because of our intense heat over the last few weeks.)
Today I want to show off two beautiful versions of the Snakes and Ladders Socks--a design that looks complicated but is actually quite easy to knit.
First up is ThereseS's Snakes and Ladders in a rich, hand-dyed cherry red.

See the star toe? I love it because it fits my toes really well and there's no grafting to do.
Next, here's knitgarden's handspun version of Snakes and Ladders. Yes, you read that right--HANDSPUN!

The lighter colour lets you see the garter stitch heel, worked over 60% of the stitches and oh, so cushy. The fleece is CVM. That stands for "California Variegated Mutant", which always sound to me like something SciFi, but is actually a breed of sheep. These socks are entered in the Monterey County Fair. Can't wait to see how they do.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Vim and Vinegar

I've been silent for a while. There's a reason. We're caught up in a home purchase and sale---again. Yes, our current 3-storey limestone house is lovely, and yes, we can walk to just about everything, and yes, we can see the lake from the front door. So, why would we opt to move? Because:
1. I really want/need better and brighter studio space.
2. I want a place large enough to hold workshops.
3. Eventually we would need to move anyway since our current place is tall and narrow, without a main floor bathroom. Bill, who is older than I am, turns 66 today. I think it's a good idea to move to where we can "age in place" rather than wait until we have to move.
4. I strongly desire a bit more connection to the natural world. OK, I have some garden here, but our new place has tall, mature trees and larger grounds (think dye garden).
5. A place came up at the right price in the right place. It needs work. Actually, Bill keeps referring to it as "the dump", but the space speaks to me and it's in Barriefield, a more-or-less intact early 19th-century village within walking and biking distance of Kingston's downtown.
No pics yet of the new house, but here are some shots of Barriefield when we attended its 200th anniversary a few years ago.

For now, our house smells of Vim (a household cleanser, for my non-Canadian readers), and vinegar, as I struggle with maintaining an unnatural state of neatness and cleanliness, and panic at the dangerous possibility of owning two houses.
P.S. Very little knitting going on for the moment.