Thursday, September 29, 2011

Just the scarf

Last night, as I sat down for my pitifully small daily alloted knitting time, Phil asked me what I was knitting for Rhinebeck.

I'm starting a new job next week, the schedule is crazy, and it's taken me a week to manage to knit a freakin' size 3-month stockinette baby cardigan, and dude's asking me - 17 days before the event - what I'm knitting for Rhinebeck.

I just stared up at him in astonishment, my eyes conveying a subtle "Are you sh**tting me???" message.

"Just the scarf then, eh?", he stammered.


Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Good mail

A few weeks ago, I received a letter in the mail. I'm not talking about a bill or a card or a note... I mean an actual, honest-to-goodness letter.

A friend of mine had decided it was time to step back from all this "convenience" and decided to take the time to physically set pen to paper and write me a letter.

I couldn't believe it. As I read her letter I had vivid flashbacks of a dozen childhood pen pals, of blue inked letters hurriedly written on ripped note paper... It was a simple, howdeedo? kind of letter, but the fact that my friend took the time to write it out by hand and send it to me by post - because she could have sent the very same message by email - infused it with an additional level of thoughtfulness and sincerity of feeling that moved me.

I can tell you that that feeling has led to some pretty deep, introspecty stuff at Casa de Dear. I've been pondering all this "convenience" which we've come to expect in our daily lives, and wondering what we've given up in the name of instant gratification... Honestly though? It's Sunday night. I'm beat. I think I'd rather sleep and live to rant another day, you know? :)

In the meantime, I'd invite you to pull out the old stationary and write someone a letter. It'll make their day, trust me.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

p.s. : snail mail isn't the only thing my mail carrier has been bringing to my door this week!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's been an interesting week here. Not that I haven't busy with the usual errand-running/appointment-making/meal-preparing/personal-growth-in-the-form-of-exercise-and-drum-practice-ing that is my life, but I've felt... quiet. Big changes are afoot in my life, and it's like I'm trying to cultivate as much calm as possible now in anticipation of the coming storm.

I'm changing jobs. Again. In a few weeks I'll be starting a new position as the medical librarian in a prominent, well-respected hospital in the Montreal area, and I'm very excited. And scared. And worried about how this will affect all our lives. And nervous. And psyched about what an incredible professional opportunity this is. And grateful. And...

Well. You get the idea.

My thoughts are going every which way, and until recently, I was finding it incredibly difficult to stay focused. Luckily, my beloved Interwebz delivered a mantra which I've found most soothing over the past few days...

It totally works, too. Heh.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Friday, September 16, 2011


It's cold here today. Granted, we haven't reached the single (Celsius) digits yet, but it's cold enough that a single piece of knitwear isn't enough to keep me comfortable anymore. This morning's weather definitely called for layering. I combined the recently blogged Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf and my beloved Castlegar cardigan over jeans and a simple black Tee, but I knew in my heart that wasn't going to be enough.

Like thousands of Canadians, I'd been desperately holding on to my denial Summer, see... Sure, there had been signs for weeks. All around me, there were subtle reminders. Apple picking season had begun. Labour Day came and went, taking our white pants with it. But - for me anyway - reality only truly sinks in when something very specific happens, and this morning it did. As a responsible, intelligent grown-up, I had to suck it up and face the truth:

I was going to have to ditch my sandals and wear socks.

Not my hand knitted socks, of course. It's still a bit too balmy to wear those (hah!) ... But their time will come all too soon.

Luckily, I love my hand knitted socks, and once I get over grieving for the dearly departed Summer, it'll be a treat to dig into my sock drawer again.

As you can see from this crappy picture, I'm not one of those "Poorly shod cobbler"-type knitters, heh.

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

'Tis the season

I've always felt that Autumn is THE season for knitters. Oh sure, people are always quick to think of Winter, pointing out the necessity of the hats and mittens and such that knitters produce to get our loved ones through its long cold months, and they're absolutely right. But Autumn is when we can show off our knitwear not because we HAVE to, but because we WANT to. We can throw on a cardigan or a scarf and not look out of place. We can pull on a hat and a pair of fingerless mitts and look fashionable. Let's face it, when it's minus 20 degrees Celsius in January, you don't care WHAT the knitwear looks like, you just want to get warm. But in Autumn? Knitwear can be appreciated for the beautiful pieces of art they are.

This morning, over breakfast, Phil and I were discussing how absolutely perfect the day was shaping up to be. The sky was gloriously blue, the sun was shining, and yet the air was crisp and fresh.

This afternoon we took the kids on a nature hike in the woods that Phil used to explore as a kid. We've all been there a million times, but each time we manage to find something new and interesting to explore and marvel over. It's always soothing to get out there and just BE for a while. Restorative. For all of us.

Plus, it was the perfect opportunity to take pictures of the Linen Stitch Koigu Scarf, heh.

I can tell I'm going to get a LOT of wear out of this scarf this season. It's the perfect accessory to just throw on and instantly feel fabulous. Wearing it made me feel fashionable and grown-up. I felt sure Stacy and Clinton would approve.

To your needles, my fellow Knitters! Rejoice, for scarf season has officially begun!

Happy Knitting, Everyone!

Thursday, September 8, 2011


Somehow, right in the midst of the Tomato Tornado (to say nothing of the Apple Avalanche that came right on its heels), I managed to finish the scarf I've been working on over the past few weeks. It's the Koigu Linen Stitch Scarf, by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out. I don't want to say too much about it here, because I'm planning on giving it it's own post just as soon as I can find the time to take some fabulously stylish pictures of it this weekend (OK fine, I'll settle for decent, in-focus pictures taken in natural light), but I can totally see this scarf becoming the next Noro Striped Scarf. There are just so many possible colour combinations, and there's really NO way any of them could turn out to be crap, you know? I mean... it's KOIGU. Like, duh.

Enough about the scarf though (patience, my preciousssssses). The point is that I finished it, and I was now free to cast on something shiny and new. The thing is though, I wasn't too sure what I wanted to knit. Nothing was really jumping out at me, calling out to my Inner Knitter. Or rather, nothing I already had the yarn for in my stash was calling out to me. Oh sure, Carol Feller's Tembo (and the Quince & Co. Osprey I'd need to make it) was really tempting, and Stephen West's Spectra (and the 10 skeins of Noro (at LEAST) I would be FORCED to buy "just to be sure I had THE perfect one") was looking pretty gosh darn nifty... But socks? Mittens? A shawl? You know... things I already have the pattern and yarn for???? Nope. Not even a blip on my radar. Typical.

I was starting to get seriously discouraged, when I happened upon the Garden Gnome Hat, which I've had in my Rav queue ever since it first came out. Quick, perfect, and I had about a dozen single skeins of KnitPicks Palette in the stash. This was it, the next project, the next One True Thing.

And I'm charmed, completely and utterly charmed. Maybe it's the red and white colour scheme, which reminds me of Cauchy's completely awesome red work. Maybe it's the (yet to be completed) pompom, because y'all know I'm a sucker for a good pompom. Maybe it's just the cooler weather making me want to begin cranking out the winter wear.

Personally, I think it's the fact that it's a HAT WITH FREAKIN' GARDEN GNOMES ON IT. Gnomes!!! On a Hat!!! Brilliant.

Happy Knitting Everyone!