Sunday, May 29, 2011


Last post, I was trying to decide where to go next with the knitting; I was at sea. Now, I've landed. I've chosen "all over lace" from Lanaknits. I'm using Katia's "papiro", a linen/cotton yarn. It's heavier than the allhemp6 called for, but my gauge is the same and so far I'm really happy with the results. And no, that's not grey, it's a heathery beige.

The pattern is everything I like--complex-looking, but easy to memorize. Quite soothing to knit after a few repeats. We'll see how it goes; it's early days...
Remember my pots on the improvised bench? Well, gorgeousness has arrived!

I spent a big chunk of yesterday covered in smudges of potting soil and splashes of water, but it was worth the effort. In a few weeks, all will be beautifully lush. The heuchera and bergenia will eventually make their way into perennial beds at the side of the house. But that's months away.

Friday, May 27, 2011

At Sea

I'm between projects. I have NOTHING on the go (OK, I'm not counting the turquoise Baktus that's my emergency car knitting). I feel as if I might need something I can knit on auto pilot. Something relatively simple and soothing. Something to wear on cool summer days, like today. Here are my candidates:

First up: Lanaknits "all over lace".

Second option: "Amiga" by Mags Kandis, from the current Knitty.

Both would be useful summer sweaters. Both are seamless. I love them both. Can't decide. Help!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Summer Perth

At last, I'm done. Here is my summer version of "Perth" in Diamond's Superfine Egyptian Cotton, a DK weight mercerized cotton yarn.

Yes, I wish I'd made it an inch longer, but I was really worried about the amount of yarn I had on hand. And yes, those are different buttons from the ones I originally intended to use. Next one, I'll add a little bit more to the body. Still, I'm happy with this. Nice to have it done for Victoria Day. I'll make the necessary additions to the Ravelry download in the next 48 hours.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Almost There

Almost done with getting the garden in and finishing the summer "Perth Cardi". I've been running around in the car collecting plants so that Trish and Jen can help me put them in next week. Even though everything is just sitting in nursery pots, the garden already looks better, more lush, full of excitement ...

Pots on my improvised bench awaiting gorgeousness.
Red dogwood to go under the kitchen window.

Grasses and coreopsis.

Hostas awaiting transplanting.

And the little summer cardigan is almost finished. Actually, it was finished until I decided 10 minutes ago to rip out the front border and do the buttonholes differently.

                                                              Show and tell tomorrow.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Almost finished my summer "Perth Cardi". I had to run out for some buttons, as nothing on hand suited. Good thing I live five minutes from Gwin Gryffon, where these were to be found.

Mother-of-pearl flowers--perfect. I couldn't pass up on Pima Lino Lace, at under $7.00 for over 400 metres, in stunning colours. Walked to Tara Foods on Princess St. and picked up some Dr. Bronner's soap in Eucalyptus and Lavender, to store with my hibernating knitted stuff. Thanks, Rose, for the suggestion.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Into Hibernation

With the Victoria Day weekend approaching, it's time to put the woollies into hibernation. This morning, I took them out of their basket by the front door and spread them out on the living room trunk/coffee table.

Over the next couple of days, I'll wash them, dry them, and stash them away in giant ziplock bags. I might try something new this year to deter moths. There's nothing worse than finding a favourite piece of knitting with a nasty little hole. I'm having brilliant success deterring squirrels in my window boxes with grated Irish Spring soap, so I'm thinking that a little piece of it in each bag might have the same effect on moths. Only problem-- all our stuff will end up stinking of Irish Spring too. There's a reason the squirrels stay away! Let me know what you do to keep moths away from your beautiful work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Made in the Shade

Even though it feels more like November than May, I donned my gardener's hat (figuratively, not literally) and drove east from Kingston, abreast of the Thousand Islands to "Made in the Shade", where, since I was the only customer, I had owner Laura's undivided attention.

She looked at my list of perennials and helped me choose some alternatives that might be better. Turns out she actually lives less than than a block from my house and really knows what grows well in downtown Kingston.

While we puttered through the garden beds and greenhouses, the horses next door looked on.

I chose some hostas, some native columbine, some grasses, some creeping thyme, some foam flowers, and a bunch of other stuff from amongst all this,

and this.

All the while I was wishing I had my nice "Strata" gloves. I left them at home because, really, you shouldn't have to wear woollen gloves in the middle of May! Looking forward to next Saturday, when, according to the CBC, it's supposed to go up to 26 C. I hope.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Texture Galore

Isabel and I are just back from the Wilton Cheese Factory. I'm having some tea and enjoying being back inside on a blustery, cold afternoon (as I write, it's a yucky, soaking wet 9 degrees Celcius--about 44 F). I just love the way my latest version of the "Perth Cardi" is working out in mercerized cotton. I'm making a short-sleeved version, which I mean to layer over a tank top in the warmer weather ahead . The sheen of the mercerized Egyptian cotton catches the light in magical ways, so that the surface of the knitting takes on more or less texture according to the angle from which it is viewed. On this grey day, this is about the best photo I can get:

Now on to the front borders (I'm planning something a little different from the wool version).

Saturday, May 14, 2011


This is right up there with hockey. Yes, beavers! I pass this spot frequently, but only yesterday did I bother to pull over and capture it on camera. It's the grandfather of beaver dams.

It's so long, I couldn't fit it all into the photo. It goes way off to the left out of view.

So, how many beavers do you think are hanging out in this fortress? Reminds me that a couple of years ago a portion of the Transcanada Highway was washed out when a beaver dam gave way. No danger of that here, but it's impressive nonetheless. If only beavers could knit....

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Seam Stitches

Recently, I've been using seam stitches quite a bit in my circular knitting. Seam stitches, for me, are vertical lines of reverse stocking stitch that appear in the places where a seam would normally appear. Why use them? For two reasons:

1. Sometimes in a top-down design, after the sweater is divided for the sleeves and body stitches are rejoined, the pattern stitch doesn't fit neatly into the new stitch count for the body. For example:

Working down from the underarm of the Perth Cardi (right side)

Same as above, but from the wrong side
The seam stitches allow the different parts of the sweater to converge neatly.

2. A seam stitch allows shaping to occur neatly in a circular design when there is a pattern stitch. The shaping might be in the waist area, or it might be in the sleeves. In the case of sleeves, this is where you will need to use centred double decreases in purl (see my post for Apr.23, 2011).

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me!

My 54th. Spent the day knitting, taking Isabel to the dentist, knitting, waiting for the plumber (who failed to show up), knitting, and having a wonderful dinner with the family. Isabel gave me this, since I'm a huge fan of John Dowland (the original singer/songwriter), James baked this,

and the weather was as perfect as a spring day can get.

Thanks all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

A Musical Interlude

On Sunday evening, Bill and I strolled up the street to hear Angela Hewitt perform at Sydenham United Church as part of the Grant Hall Concert Series organized by Queen's University. Deja vu. Angela's father was the organist and choirmaster at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa and I grew up hearing Angela perform from an early age. I can remember watching a CBC TV programme about her performance with the Toronto Symphony when she was about age 10. She still doesn't disappoint. Lovely performance, especially of the Bach Three-Part Sinfonias, which one doesn't often hear.
My turn today to perform some Bach, in a MUCH more modest capacity. Concert at 3:30 at the Queen's School of Computing Annual Concert. Looking forward to it.
On a knitting note (pardon the pun), here's a glimpse of the "Perth Cardi" in Diamond's Superfine Egyptian Cotton DK, colour # 71.

Discontinued, unfortunately. There's not enough to make long sleeves. There may not even be enough to make the border. Necessity may have to be the mother of invention, but, like Scarlett O'Hara, I'll worry about it tomorrow.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Instead of...

Ever since moving back to Canada, the thing I've missed most is this. So, this first full weekend in May, I've been trying to keep my mind off it by doing other things. We're having some masonry repair done to our 150-year-old bricks that were ravaged by vines before we moved in. The work is on hold over the weekend, but the scaffolding is in place.

 Isabel took some photos of yours truly wearing the "Perth Cardi", which is going to become a summer Knit-a-Long at Janie H. Knits. Check out the sidebar for a new view of this lightweight cardigan.

As you can see, it layers well, which is useful at this time of year.

Drove off into the countryside today and found trilliums like a carpet in all the woods.

Now, off to experiment with "Perth" in some DK mercerized cotton.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Recreating the Self

While eating my lunch at Miss Lilly's in Picton yesterday, I browsed through the Globe and Mail and came across this very interesting essay on sartorial expression a propos of the royal wedding. Who do we dress for? How is our knitting an expression of ourselves? What fantasies are we engaged in? Makes you think...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Capturing the Sparkle

Finally, sunshine. Gorgeous spring day, the kind I imagine Tolkien was writing about at the start of Bilbo Baggins' adventure. Bill and I drove along the lake to the Glenora ferry, where I paused to try to capture the sparkle of the sun on the water.

I wasn't entirely successful, which is a pity, since there are few things that impart as much joy as seeing the sun
sparkling on blue water.

While waiting for the ferry, I worked a bit on my car knitting-- a Baktus in turquoise, a jewel colour worthy of the day. Really, can anyone have too many Baktuses?

Had a little lecture from Bill about the flag that was flying at the ferry landing. Notice, it's not the usual Union Jack.

 Just in case anyone is curious, this is the background behind it.

Then, we drove into Picton, where I did a little shopping at Rose Haven Fibre Arts.

We had a nice lunch at the bookstore, then hopped back on the ferry and drove home, stopping only to take a photo of this for James (he's an alum of St. Albans School in Washington, DC).

Time to contemplate the next project. What should I do with these?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Rainy and cold--again. But the Norway Maple in back of our house is stubbornly trying to come into leaf anyway.  Love the little red and green bits hanging onto the branches like out-of-season Christmas decorations.

Voted yesterday, along with Bill, James, and Isabel (her first election). I'm always a bit surprised at how low tech it all is. You get handed a pencil and a slip of paper, you make an "X" next to your preferred candidate's name, then you head home and wait for the results to be announced in the evening.
As everyone knows by now, there were big changes.  Our riding, "Kingston and the Islands", was (I think) the only riding to elect a new Liberal member. The country is going populist on both the left and the right, with the intellectual centre disappearing. It's going to be interesting to see how things work out over the next four or five years.
I've just finished a big project that I can't show on the blog. Isabel and I took some photos of it on Sunday morning over on the courthouse steps and then, when we got back to our front door, I found that the wind had blown this little gem onto my front patch of garden.