Wednesday, August 28, 2013

little things

A little bit of sewing almost forgotten. My mom sometimes brings tea with her when she comes to visit, so I made her a tea wallet with a few herbal options (this might explain why she brings tea - we don't have the real thing around these parts). It always surprises me what a tiny bit of cotton batting and some favourite fabric can create.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


It takes having a quiet evening on a cottage vacation to finally get a photo of this cardigan (photos are my biggest hurdle lately - especially when I have to be the model. It's much easier when I'm making clothes for the kids, but I've been an especially selfish maker for a while). This is my third in a series of cardigans, and the pattern is finally perfect (here is the first and second attempt). I have a fourth waiting to be blocked and photographed and then I will post the pattern here. It's a simple design that really suits my favourite yarn - Debbie Bliss Luxury Donegal Tweed. I haven't translated it into other sizes, but it's such a basic top-down recipe that I think most knitters could easily size up.

On the reading front, The Douglas Notebooks: A Fable is my first Canadian novel for this year's challenge. Written by Christine Eddie, and translated into English by Sheila Fischman, it is a lyrical, contemplative tale of love, family and nature. Translating must be such a fascinating art. This is actually the third novel I've read that's been translated by Fischman and it gives me the feeling that there is something inherently lyrical about French prose. Trees are central to this story and even this small passage illustrates the rhythm the translation captures: "When they opened the door in the morning, they would take a few steps in the clearing, examining the vegetable garden, and enter a theatre devoted to beauty, inhabited by a crowd of giants that opened up towards the light." Needless to say I was thoroughly charmed by the novel, making me love the Canadian Book Challenge all over again.

For more musings on reading and knitting, visit Small Things for this week's Yarnalong.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

the stuff of vacations

When packing for vacation, it's my knitting/reading bag that gets the most thought. How many books is considered enough? What new knitting project can I start? What will I do if - catastrophe of all catastrophes - I finish up everything in the bag?

Turns out that I already underestimated how many books I could read (thankfully there's a bookstore in town, so that error has been rectified). A Scattered Life by Karen McQuestion was brought half-read, so I finished that up first. Let me say though, it wasn't the ideal way to start a vacation. The ending is dreadfully sad and I didn't see it coming so I was rather affected by it. Which may explain why I quickly dove into The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. My mood was instantly restored. Don, the main character, was wonderful. His voice was fresh and humourous and the entire book was utterly delightful. I laughed out loud a number of times and really had the feeling that I was reading something genuinely new. But I consumed it over the course of a day, so the experience was swift. Which maybe means I need to be knitting more?

As for knitting, I finished up a little baby gift for a friend at work who is due soon. Hopefully this Koigu Kersti palette is gender neutral enough. I used it for a pair of socks for Sadie but much prefer how the fabric works up when knit flat (instead of in the round). The darker browns are more balanced and it makes a very sweet hat. The pattern is based on one from Debbie Bliss' Baby Knits for Beginners but I've lost the book and had to wing it. I used 4mm needles (3.5mm for the rolled brim) and cast on 70 sts. Hopefully it's the right size for a newborn. It's hard to believe that babies are really that small, especially when you have a 4 year old acting as a blanket on his lanky 8 year old sister right in front of you.

For more knitting and reading stories, be sure to visit today's Yarnalong.