Wednesday, February 22, 2012

paper poppins

Sadie + paper + tape = amazing things.

After watching Mary Poppins the other day, Sadie grabbed her favourite materials and promptly fashioned herself a hat. On her first try. I'm still amazed that she understood how a hat would go together - I think the brim concept didn't fully come to me until I sewed a hat sometime in my twenties. But she simply started cutting, used loads of tape, and then showed up 30 minutes later dressed entirely as Mary Poppins.

I love my crafty girl.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

reversed reservations

There is something wonderful about being wrong.

I finished The Elegance of the Hedgehog last night, a novel that just a few days ago I felt I was forcing myself to read. But boy, was it beautiful. I wept at the end, partly for the story and partly for the thought that we endure life's difficulties for rare, fleeting moments of beauty. These moments are so worth suffering for because beauty is simply that profound when experienced. Okay I'm terrible at articulating this. Let's just say if I'd stuck with my initial reservations I would have missed out on so much literary goodness.

A similar thing happened with this sweater. I picked up some Noro Retro on sale over the holidays thinking I could mimic a sweater I'd seen at Banana Republic. After researching, I figured trying Cecily Glowik MacDonald's Idelwood would be a close enough match and more of a sure thing than winging my own pattern. But when I started knitting all these doubts started surfacing. Would I have enough wool? Was the cowl too much? Did I like the striping that was appearing? I decided to knit only half the length of the cowl (I do have a short neck, so thought this might work) but when I hit the waist shaping and tried it on, I really thought I should abandon the whole thing. But for some reason I didn't. I knit to the end, tried it on, thought it was horrible all over again. Then falling asleep one night I realized that maybe it was just too long. Ripped it back a few inches the very next day and finished it up. But I didn't actually wear it until a few days ago. And once again, I was totally wrong. I quite like the final sweater and the shortened cowl works well. The Noro has a nice, hazy effect and the striping is pretty subtle.

First lesson of the year: persevere through all reservations. Projects and books are always worth finishing.

For more reading and knitting stories, visit Ginny's Yarnalong.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

hello budget

In the past, I could easily be accused of being a yarn snob. But after using Berocco's Vintage Chunky for Milo's Snowy Owl I think I'm able to shake that reputation. This low cost, half-acrylic yarn is actually a joy to use and the heathered palette is pretty great.

After the owl project I had almost two full skeins left over in aqua and pumpkin. So when I needed a quick knitting fix this week I figured I'd have just enough to make a striped version of my Toddler T-shirt Vest pattern that would be super warm and machine washable (amazing, right?) I went up a needle size to make the body roomy for my getting-older-toddler while keeping the smaller needle size for the ribbing. The garment is soft with a nice weight to it, and I'm really happy with the colour combo. And for another whole $8 I grabbed a dark navy skein to combine with some leftover gray for just one more vest. What can I say? Striped clothing is hard to beat, so the more the merrier. And budget friendly wool is pretty cool too.

On the reading front I'm still working on The Elegance of the Hedgehog and it's improving with every page. For a large dose of knitting and reading inspiration, visit this week's Yarnalong over at Small Things.