Friday, May 25, 2012

A new little!

Off to visit my dear friend's new little girl today.
It's rare that you remember the exact moment a friendship began but I remember it so clearly with N (she has no memory of this though which cracks me up). We were in the same class in first grade and it was the start of the school year, a sunny September day. Our teacher took us out of the classroom and into the schoolyard and told us to stand in a circle. Our school was surrounded by farms and it wasn't unusual to see cows who had crossed through the fence to roam the playground alongside kids jumping rope or playing tag.

The circle was formed but I hadn't found a spot and I remember trying to push my way in so I could see (true story of a shorty's life). N (who was always the tallest girl in the class) took my hand and told me stand in front of her and we've been friends ever since.

So a sweater and a book for her new sweet little girl.

The details
Yarn: Dale of Norway
Pattern: Elsie cardigan

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Knitting for a knitter

I made these spring glovelies for my pal KW at work who has been generously making all manner of scarves (hockey, dr. who) and baby blankets (She has an admirably high tolerance for garter stitch). I set about to making her a pair of quick fingerless gloves for the spring and somehow summer snuck up on me.

The details
Pattern: Spring glovelies (basically a tube with a thumb)
Yarn: Drops Alpaca
Needles: 2.5 mm

Oh and the mug - isn't it awesome? Snapped up in Liverpool but also available online here at the amazing Merchant & Mills.

Friday, May 18, 2012

i heart ... on happy news, growing older, counting good things

Morning view from the office

:: my friend lynn is engaged!

:: this Bruce McCulloch article on growing older.

:: my friend Brad was nominated for an award for this article. (Esp. read the last section -- I tried counting the good and the bad yesterday and well, hrm.... I guess I'll try again tonight)....

:: happy long weekend my friends!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Italy socks

I was fortunate to meet some sweet people on the tour. One man spotted me knitting these socks on the bus and told me with great affection how his mother long ago used to knit him socks. Nothing like 'em in the world, he said. (For seriously, he totally got it. I imagined his mother must've been so pleased to have given socks to such a nice son.) He only has one pair left now and I had to fight the urge to say "I'll make you a pair!" or "Take these ones!" But the truth is that last pair that he has is probably even more special precisely because it is the last pair.

So these are my socks from Italy, knit on the bus while staring out the window, chatting with new friends, sitting in restaurants, and decompressing at the hotel.

The details:
*Pattern - Basic socks on 2.5mm needles, a little longish in the calves.
*Yarn - Opal.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yarn shopping in Venice

Yarn shopping in Venice
I like a good yarn hunt as much as the next person but I hadn't expected to bring back any yarn from Italy because I suspected I wouldn't have time to break away from the tour. I found a few skeins of basic sock yarn in a department store during a day trip to Switzerland. It was satisfying enough but I was curious to see how Italian knitters roll with their local yarn shops.
Happily - during a free afternoon in Venice, I spied a lovely bowl of yarn in the window of a dear shop called lellabella. The store is packed with beautiful yarns and uber-chic scarves - I could have spent a long long time in there pondering an alternate life with an Italian stash and a closet stuffed with new pashminas. In the end, I picked up two skeins of pretty laceweight cashmere. 

 Nice, right? They remind me of the canal waters slipping beneath Venice's caramel coloured bridges.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Best of Italy

Wild poppies in Rome outside the Colosseum
The War Memorial, Rome
Florence, after the rain
At the border between Italy and Switzerland
Laundry line in Venice

I brought my little point-and-shoot camera with me to Italy for practical reasons. It took a while to get used to not having the flexibility of a SLR but the tradeoff was that I didn't have to lug the big ole heavy around. I have, on occasion, carried the big and small together and then arrived at a destination only to be too tired to fuss about. The result: I end up not taking any pictures at all - because that makes pin-sharp, logical sense, right? So this time, I took lots and lots of quick photos and I have to say, I liked it pretty well.

Here are some shots from the aptly titled Best of Italy tour. We travelled to Rome, Florence, Lake Maggiore, Switzerland, Verona, Venice, Siena and Assisi over 9 days (it was pretty crammed full from morning to night). We were fortunate to have only two days of rain (and they were spectacular end of days downpours) but otherwise it was picture perfect: bustling city streets, lazy lunches, long and lovely journeys through the country. Nice to meet you Italy, I hope I cross your path again.

I'll tell you about the yarn adventures in Italy very soon :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Lake Maggiore -  May 1, 2012

Home again after a very very lovely trip! I sure am ready to go back to work.*

*not true at all...Ah well.