Wednesday, July 18, 2012

pink ladies

Just before Craftsy decided it couldn't ship to Canada anymore (really? it's that challenging? I'm thinking about you too Zappos!) I stocked up on some yummy Rowan Amy Butler Belle Organic DK. Sadie loved the colour and she was sure her Gramma would too. So I had two projects quickly lined up, and Gramma's was finished just in time for her birthday.

Now I don't get the chance to say this often, but my mom is one pretty lady. She dressed up in red for her birthday which was a great setup for the pink shawl (and I love her red sequined headband). I tried to make this shawl a bit bigger than the last Mara I made her, and the garter edge seemed a little more tailored and summer-y than the Mara's usual ruffle. Sadie's version - knit after Gramma's was finished - is an almost exact replica because Sadie shares Gramma's fashion sense and wanted a matching garment. The pink is sweet on her and seeing a kid in a shawl is pretty charming.

I also just finished The Sweet By and By by Todd Johnson, another book I'm glad to have stuck with. A few chapters in I almost gave up, but the characters voices finally started to grow on me and I also began to see the wisdom of the story. It's quite a poignant exploration of aging and sickness and I feel like my eyes were really opened to both. 

For more knitting and reading inspiration, visit today's Yarnalong.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

summer's seaside

Wearing a cowl on a day of stinking high humidity was definitely not my smartest move. Same goes for knitting a double thickness cowl in the summer. Well, any cowl really.

But you know those days when you just want to start a new project and you're going to be near a yarn store? That's exactly how this happened. In the matter of two hours I purchased Tiny Owl Knits' ships & seaside pattern, visited Lettuce Knit, chose 3 colours of Berroco Ultra Alpaca and started this cowl (the 4th colour was from my stash). The knitting was quick and mindless but I did stall at the grafting. I guess I'm a bit better at the Kitchener Stitch now, but that's after at least 8 starts and a serious commitment to Youtube and it's still not perfect. Luckily it hides well in all the wrapped and folded loveliness of a cowl. Though I'm not entirely sure how much I'll wear this cowl since the colours are a little...not what I'd usually pick? Guess that's what happens when you make a hasty, less-than-2-hour knitting decision. But I do like the pattern and the effect of having one side predominantly one colour.

As for reading, I have finished up two very different novels. First, A Tiny Bit Marvellous which was light, quick, slightly unbelievable but enjoyable nonetheless. The daughter character was frightening in her entitled, yet low-self-esteem teenage way. But in truth, I remember very little now because I was so swept away by Cutting For Stone. Wow. The characters are rich and compelling and the story is heartbreaking and eye-opening. I was hooked from the very first page, and when one of my favourite characters died I wept uncontrollably (which was during a flight and rather hard to conceal, can't they make those drink napkins bigger?). The novel made me think about parenting, love, ambition, culture - substantial themes set inside a wonderful story. A fantastic read.

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