"Annual Calendar" notwithstanding, my "year" runs from the day after Labour Day to the end of June.

This past "year",  for the first time since '06/'07, I look back and "see" progress and net gains - not losses and endings beyond my control to address, manage, process and accept.

My plan for June worked out nicely - I even managed to enjoy it day by day as I worked this week to organize things for July and August. A huge accomplishment for me!

This weekend I'll shift to the cottage full time so I've set up house and garden to continue to "support life" for those still working in the city without the benefit of ...well... me. The list on my desk against that task, as of this morning, is resplendent with check marks. Wahoo!

Now everything hasn't been done to perfection as I imagine it. Satisfaction can't always be about making everything the best it can be. I've learned to recognize "good enough" and then, to occasionally leave it at that and be happy. I've learned this makes the people around me much happier than the perfection I naturally prefer.

Happy! No small accomplishment. Never permanent except as a goal. But right now "Happy" is how things are!

Whatever your July/August holds I hope "Happy"'s in there for you!


In a Rabbit Hole

Its 10 bajillion degrees inside and out - okay its a bit cooler inside but still...anyway I've fallen down a proverbial rabbit hole of Ravelry searches - I'm only looking at "favourited" projects. I've never done this before and its making me want to knit everything I look at!

(Except a pair of Ultra Alpaca Boxer Shorts I saw - it's just too hot to imagine that!)


Father's Day Socks FO

Pattern: Two-Yarn Resolable Socks by Wayne Pfeffer, adapted by Anne Merrow (based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's Moccasin Socks)
Source: Interweave Knits Favorite Socks
Yarn: Soles: Briggs and Little Toughy Remnants Leg: Berroco Ultra Alpaca remnants Instep: Mystery Worsted Remnants
Needles: 3.25mm dpns
Start: June 10 Finish June 20, 2013
Modifications: None

These are less handsome than the first pair of these knit in red and grey for him but they expand My Beloved's "collection" of cozy, tough cottage socks and for that, he's thrilled.

It was Father's Day over the weekend but we also celebrated his Birthday so it seemed fitting the knitting I did was on something for him.

Being  interested (when its for him) in my knitting (when its for him) he quite enjoyed following the progression (since it was for him) from assembly of possible yarn from the remnant basket through the knitting and trying on to the sewing in of ends.

In fairness the man "listens" to a massive number of  knitting "stories" and he does so with a convincing amount of attention. But when I'm knitting for him there's an unmistakable element of genuine engagement.
So with lots of trying on - unnecessary but when I can get his attention I can't resist - the fit is quite perfect. But this week he's out of town so they're modelled here on my (thankfully) smaller feet.
Kind of novel compared to the last FO with his name on it!

With My Beloved away its great I still have lots of "help" with photography etc?!
Thanks for dropping by!


Crochet at the DKC

Last evening was the final DKC meeting before the summer break and the featured speaker was master crocheter Lara. Remember this post about her wedding Sari? That Lara.

Being familiar with Lara's work from the Craft Group I attend it was interesting to see and hear the response from the room full of knitters as she presented and spoke about some of her pieces.

The lucky knitters in attendance seemed duly impressed not only with the fit but also the drape and "hand" Lara consistently achieves in her gorgeous garments.This is due, in no small part, she suggested, by her admitted affinity for luxury yarns.

Obviously unusual for a speaker at the DKC Lara clarified early in her presentation she neither knits nor designs. I happen to know though she plans carefully, shops for the best yarns at bargain prices and carefully and thoughtfully matches yarns and fibers with projects. And she does swatch!

She also explained that learning/understanding cotton thread crochet for flat, decorative home dec pieces and the critical need for mastering tension when working that part of the craft was a great foundation for the development of her skills in now working with heavier luxury fibers making garments of every description. It was not lost on the audience that the thick stiffness often associated with crochet is absent in Lara's garments like skirts and drapey tanks and even dresses. They flow and drape the body beautifully.

Lara also works with heavier yarns for bulkier results that still don't seem "crochet stiff", pieces like jackets cabled pullovers and multi coloured yoke sweaters!

One of the more fascinating pieces was created using over 200 wee tiny crocheted blocks in two designs.

She even presented a crocheted lace shawl fine enough it can pass through a ring like a classic Shetland Wedding Ring Shawl.

It was a satisfying evening. For me it made the typically sparse June meeting well worth the trip downtown.

Sadly Lara isn't likely to be back to the DKC as next week as she's moving stateside. 'All the best in your new life Lara. We'll be watching your Ravelry page to keep up with your future projects!

This meeting also marked the last program organized by outgoing Program Coordinator and Master Knitter Cristina. Thanks so much Christina for so many compelling presentations over the past two DKC seasons!

So that's it for DKC until the fall. At the September meeting we'll be treated to a modeled Trunk Show of the pieces from the Fall 2013 edition of the Twist Collective. That issue will mark Twist Collective's 5th Anniversary so it should be a great show. It will be moderated by the DKC's own Fiona Ellis and may even feature other Twist Designers co-moderating via Skype!

Lots to think about from last night, lots to look forward to next year! Thanks for dropping by today - I'm off to the garden!


Tyrolean Stockings by Ann Budd FO

Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2007
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Source: Eweknit Toronto
Colour: 62178 Lot: 1102
Needles: 3.25 dpns
Start: May 19 Finish: June 8, 2013
Modifcations: None

Fabulous Pattern! The handsome cable down the shin seems the show stopper the real brilliance is the back!

The decreases look good when the sock is without a calf but put them on and the structure really pops.

I particularly love how the tight twisted and 4-stitch cable motifs keep their shape as the surrounding ribbing provides all the "give". (The photos with the pattern present a bird-like leg and positive ease...my hefty calves fill things out!)
The way the leg design morphs into the ribbing on the instep lends nice fit and feel.
The slipped stitch heel matches the heel's visual scale to the rest of the sock.

Then there's the yarn. This 50/50 Alpaca/Wool blend is really nice to work with, carries the dye so as to allow a wonderful depth of colour and of course, feels great.

It has nothing of the rustic look of the pattern photos instead offering a cozy factor that's as much visual as it is tactile.
 Lots and lots of halo
While maintaining stitch definition
Up close the colour seems almost neon but then miraculously it softens from a distance albeit to a still surprising-for-the-pattern shade of salmon.

I've used this yarn once before and I liked it even more this time than last. I'll be using it again. As for the socks these were my first attempt at knee highs. They won't be my last!

Thanks for dropping by to check these out!


Father's Day Socks

Resoleable Two-Yarn Socks from Interweave Favorite Socks



By the looks of the morning this is NOT going to be a "Knitter's Spring" day. Instead its going to be a gorgeous day in June - sunny, comfortable with little humidity. Ahhhhh!

This is the first June in a couple of decades I've not had a child in school and so not had to navigate/manage the likes of...
Academic year end meetings, parties, concerts, report cards and teacher interviews, information nights for the upcoming school year, recitals, trips, graduations, playdays, track meets, proms, teacher/coach/instructor gifts, sports finals and semis, baking and/or cooking contributions to any and all of the above mixed in with auditions and tryouts and course selection for the next school year. Never mind the "Summer" programs and activities that start before the school year ends, overlapping to an almost cruel degree the frenzied finishing up of the stuff that's been going on since the previous September.

...the June stuff.

So I decided to embrace my "new" June this year.

Instead of making food for school events or pot luck suppers related to the kid's activities I'm making lovely light dinners for us here at home enjoying seasonal ingredients like Rhubarb, Asparagus, Scallops, Mint, Peas, Lamb and Lemon. I'm taking time to set the table in the garden where the floral action's in full swing after a sip (or two!) of wine on the patio where I keep an eye on the BBQ.

In time for the start of the month (instead of the end of it) I switched out the linens, pillows, throws, area rugs  to light, bright cool cottons, sisal and rafia. (Okay a couple of times this June we've had to put the furnace or gas fireplace on but the point is things looked like summer!)

Rather than just brute force garden taming I'm indulging, a bit each day, in seeing to the finer details that make a June garden feel luxuriously well tended. (You know sweeping path edges and fluffing up the soil, plucking wee tiny weeds just as they emerge - that kind of stuff - as if there's a staff seeing to it - the staff happens to be me but still, luxurious!)

All this while prepping the dog for the next Obedience trial in a couple of weeks and knitting and hunting down yarn for summer projects at the lake and I even plan to get out to the DKC meeting next week!

It feels like a triumph. I wouldn't change Junes passed for anything but we did them up big to the point of being "done" so now I can move on happily and in full appreciation of what this June offers...

Today, after our walk, Hudson and I are headed for the grooming table. Everyone's out for dinner this evening leaving me to enjoy leftovers, knitting and "sipping" on the patio taking in the garden views with a clean fluffy dog at my feet!

June - I'm loving it!


Knitter's Spring

Last evening after a dark, cool, dreary day, I retreated to the TV, with new projects in tow, looking for mental respite from the lousy weather.

I turned on the Golf Channel to see what was going on at the U.S. Open. (I love knitting while watching Masters' Tournaments - the manicured verdant fairways and greens 'so "Edenesque".) But last night every interview was from beneath a Golf umbrella with the loud sound of rain drumming upon it.

Change the channel, 'see how the Jays are doing...ah baseball, summer's game, that'll feel nice to watch for a bit....but you can't really see the game being broadcast. The field is shrouded in dense fog.

How about flipping around to see what else is on...oh here's an ad for the Jersey Shore encouraging tourism in the wake of Perfect Storm Sandy.

Sigh. Climatologists told us this would happen. There's no escaping it, even watching TV. They were right. What are we going to do?

I glanced down at the work in hand and thought "at least its good for knitting", then "hey we're having a Knitter's Spring!". 

'Not too hot to hold needles and wool yarn. No trouble dreaming of the prospects of mittens or cozy socks and sweaters. My wardrobe of knits are getting more than usual wear - wool scarves and fingerless gloves for morning walks with Hudson and more often than not donning a wool cardigan when we get home.

So what's ahead today? More crazy weather? Yup but its also going to be another perfect Knitter's Spring Day! That's how I'm going to look at it. (I'm also going to walk to the store for a few groceries and leave the car at home!)

Thanks for dropping by!



As I finished toe two on the Tyroleans (they're currently in their pre "debut" bath) I indulged in vicarious casting on to the point where I couldn't settle on just one project to start.

So during the final new episode of Foyle's War last evening, arms aching from two big days in the garden pruning shrubs I cast on for two...

#1 The planned twined mitts to match my newly finished Zen Hat.

#2 Pair two of Resoleable Socks from Interweave's Favorite Socks. (The book attributes the pattern to two adaptations of EZ's Moccasin Socks by Wayne Pfeffer adapted by Anne Merrow for the book.)

I like the characterization of "adapting" better than "inspired by". To me it assigns the original design idea to the one who came up with it rather than someone who tweeks details and releases it as their own. Do you notice how often that kind of stuff pops up on Ravelry? It seems the original designers don't make any objection at all.

Anyway so I now have two new projects. Two times the Cast Ons for two times the fun this week.

Happy Monday! Thanks for dropping by!


No Knitting Night Knit Night

I went. We shopped. We did not join the knitting circle, instead heading back out into the rainy night in search of "beverages".

I bought the specified colour of Koigu for the "Sporty Striped Peds" sockettes (I've never before found a specific colourway of Koigu!) I haven't a plan for the stripes just yet. I'll have to let you know.

The cream linen Louet Euroflax yarn sold out in 10 days but more will be in next week. We'll see if I make it down there again to pick some up. I may have to send a minion! We'll also have to "see" if we ever have summer weather that might justify a white linen shirt!

Tonight, having yesterday dispatched a Tyrolean leg and heel my plan is homemade pizza, a glass of wine and mindless knitting of a Tyrolean foot watching PVR'd TV and enjoying that magical feeling of getting ready to cast on something new!

Have a great weekend!


With Eweknit Night in the Crosshairs

'Pushing Tyrolean Stocking #2 to the heel so I can work it mindlessly at Eweknit's knit night tomorrow evening.

I'm not big on LYS knit nights. 'Tried it at my local yarn shop so travel time wasn't an obstacle but still couldn't get into it.

I kept thinking the staff rep assigned to babysit the group in the store had been working all day or part thereof and was likely more than ready to just get home. Also the unspoken idea the shop's accommodations on such evenings are to drive sales and so the expectation is to to make purchases. I hate feeling "incentivized" and I am not good at buying yarn on impluse.  The whole thing was just uncomfortable.

Why go to Eweknitnight then? To visit with a friend who suggested we go and to support the relatively "new kid" on the block and because I'll have knitting borne of yarn purchased there last month. Beyond that the store blog has a great post on linen yarn complete with pattern recommendations and while checking that out last week I fell in love with the idea of having one of these for my very own. The shop also has a good selection of Koigu always in stock and I'm also recently enamoured of these.So I have potential purchases "ready" to justify taking advantage of the "shophospitality".

There's also a recently added room of fabric that should be more than fun to peek at. (I'm good at buying fabric on impluse!)

So I'm mentally prepared and after two more repeats of the Tyrolean chart I'll be all ready to go tomorrow. Maybe I'll be brave and take my camera - you'll be 'first to know if I do! Thanks for dropping by!


My Son is a Gas

Number one son's great fun but I'm not referencing his entertaining personality.

I mean something more akin to "a gas" from high school chemistry. Remember how gases behave, dispersing themselves throughout any space big or small, becoming more concentrated when confined, more diffuse upon expansion into a larger "space" but whatever the concentration - taking over the whole thing.

By contrast, Darling Daughter. like her father is a "Solid". Stable. Unchanging unless exposed to some extreme "heat", "cold" or" force". The "space" she takes up can be relied upon. Those two are constant and firm.

With Number One Son living downtown at school this past academic year that left me living with a pretty predictable pair.

With his arrival home May 1st though, the "gas" instantly filled up the whole place - I mean around the clock, every room in the house, "projects" in the garage and at my sewing machine, newspapers spread daily across the breakfast table, diving through my fabric stash, multiple laptops and the desktop a blaze with social media, and You Tube, his phone buzzing the arrival of incoming messages like a swarm of African Bees (not at the dining table though - we have a rule about that!) Sharpies and sketchbooks, skateboarding in the driveway, cycling, friends in groups big and small in and out, staying for meals, using the car...he attended every Leaf playoff game in Maple Leaf Square, became of legal drinking age, discovered a host of "sick" (that means "great") bars in Kensington Market, visited the CN Tower, AGO, Bata Shoe Museum, took in a Jays Game, checked out the Cherry Blossoms in High Park, had a number of medical appointments and tests and a dental visit too.

You can't pack that much stuff, along with going out every and I do mean literally every night without a "staff" of some description. Around here we spell "staff" M-O-M.

Then a couple of weeks ago my cousin and his family in New York invited him to visit them in the Big Apple for the month of June before we head to the cottage for his summer's employment. In preparation, shopping the vintage stores of Queen Street West moved into high gear.  With his NY wardrobe assembled last week was a frenzy (for me) of list making, laundry, mending and buying boring stuff like toilettries etc. As you might imagine he was too busy with "last visits" with his friends to see to those kinds of details.

Saturday morning, our "Gas" was put on a pressurized plane for LaGuardia but from the photos I'm getting from my cousin - he's quickly re expanded into their place.

Here in the once again quiet stillness of his absence I'm mindful of another High School science lesson - this one from Physics about the features of a Vacuume - the thing that boy leaves behind after every departure. I know its temporary and will pass -  I hope so because I'm also discovering knitting in a vacuume 'seems to go very, very slowly!

Thanks for dropping by!