Monday, August 27, 2012

moment in time

Two weeks into the reno and it's full-on chaos. I'm not yet used to having a toilet on the front lawn, but the resident "mighty machine" is a fun sight every morning.  It's the big gaping hole that's a little bit disconcerting.

This is that big gaping hole up close. Scary, right? I mean, that's the front door up there, a mere 8 inches from nothing. Not to mention I took this photo from a place previously underground. So weird.

Amidst the jackhammering and dust, I had a day alone in the house (well, alone from my family, not alone from a construction crew). With that time I finished up a quilt for Sadie. Now that Sadie and Milo share a room, I've been trying to make them similar-but-different bedding. I had a double size red corduroy quilt in storage so I cut it in half and then made a single patchwork border along one side. I chose different fabrics and binding to suit my lady and little guy, but the red is a nice, warm similarity. If their room is ever tidy I'll try and take a photo of the finished quilts. But that's a big if.

This is the wee work corner I have set up in Milo's old bedroom until the basement is finished. What you can't see is that I share this small space with the cat litter. Oh well, small sacrifices. At least during this chaos I can still make.

Only 4 and a half months to go.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

of yarn and foxes

More small scale knitting, this time for a charming little guy named Charlie. He was born in May and already has a smile that melts hearts. This teeny hat is made from Mission Falls Superwash which has been discontinued for a while now. I stocked up last year on a few neutral colours and any red I found and it comes in handy for quick baby gifts. I mean, you can wash it! Awesome.

We were away in Prince Edward County last week and I managed to catch up on a lot of reading. The most fun novel by far was Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi (unfortunately the shawl pattern I was trying wasn't nearly as enjoyable). I struggled keeping the characters' voices straight, but it didn't really matter. The storytelling was magical and quirky and addictive. Oh, and incredibly clever. So what for my lazy brain! I had visions of Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox in my head most of the time I was reading this, but considering the cover and the fairytale structure, it probably wasn't so far off. I think the premise - the emotional reckoning of a male writer who always kills off his female characters - is such an compelling idea. Oyeyemi's style is refreshing and original, and I was reminded of my first introduction to Jeanette Winterson. Totally fun.

But the shawl...not so much. For more knitting and reading stories, visit today's Yarnalong.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


Mortgage renewing, tax filing, permit getting and basement emptying - such is the stuff of life these days. It makes for really dull conversation and adds dust to my sewing machine. But making things keeps me sane, so I try to fit a bit of knitting into each day and there's always a book to fall into late at night until I can't keep my eyes open any longer.

This small knitting project is from this free pattern for tiny trees. It's super easy and such a great way to use scraps. I have visions of making a whole forest of these but maybe that vision is more appropriate for another season, not this overly humid July.

As for the novel the wee tree is sitting upon, wow did I love it. A few years ago Ami McKay's The Birth House finally got me out a long reading rut. Her voice was fresh and the story was utterly compelling, so I was eager to try The Virgin Cure. I waited for the paperback (which took patience) and finally the book arrived this month. The horrific slums of 1870's New York City came to life on the page and the 12 year old main character, Moth, was so fascinating. The troubling account of the options available to a poor, orphaned city girl makes for a rather dark story but McKay is able to add flavour and simple humanity in a way that makes the story almost charming. It's a unique style, but I think it is exactly what makes me enjoy McKay's writing so much.

This represents my first book for the 6th Canadian Book Challenge, which just started on July 1st and runs until Canada Day next year. The goal is to read 13 books by Canadian authors, and if you're interested you can join the challenge at the link above. I have done this challenge twice before and it's such a great way to discover new Canadian novels. Now that Milo is older I figure I can manage a reading challenge again, and this novel was certainly an excellent start.

For other knitting and reading suggestions, visit today's Yarnalong.