Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Take the weather with you...

We've had close, humid air and a summer storm here, followed by that freshness of revived plants and the scent of Autumn around the corner.

So although it's heading to the other side of the world where lambs are frolicking and spring plants are breaking out, it seemed the right time to finish of the hat fit for a weather witch (or one of her nine mothers for that matter).

It will wend it's way in the mail tomorrow, hopefully with fair winds behind it and no stroppy cyclones in sight...

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Sunday, 21 August 2011

Sunday bliss

I's so lucky to have a balcony with to-die-for views across downtown Vancouver and the North Shore mountains.

In the summer I have a white armchair and fluffy rug out there. Lunch today was pumpkin seed bread with brie from the Comox valley, and light, wafer thin rosemary crackers with goat's cheese. And maybe a sip of Pinot Grigio.

Yes that's a copy of French Girl Knits in the foreground - when I'm done with hats I'm plotting a chic little sweater. This lovely book by Kirsteen Griffin-Grimes is written from the perspective of a North American yearning for French culture and aesthetics (and designing some gorgeous knitwear as a result).

I'm fortunate to have spent a fair bit of time in several regions of France, both on family holidays and as a teen visiting independently to improve my French, make friends and have adventures. The author's vignettes did evoke some of my own memories - and reminded me that having a little cheese to grignoter on the balcony with un gout de vin was an excellent way to pass a few lazy Sunday hours... Salut!

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Location:Vancouver, BC

Thursday, 18 August 2011

The harvest hat

Another photo so you can see the texture...

I'm onto the third tier of rectangles with the Noro hat...I might have been further along except that I took my two boys to the beach. The tide was far out and people were wading in only up to their knees seemingly for miles. The children played games crawling commando style on their elbows or floating like starfish on their backs.

It's only mid-August but there's a cool breeze blowing in. My garden is looking past its best but I captured a few flowers having their final flourish while my cat sunned herself.

I'm enjoying every moment of warm sun; I know it won't last long. The flowers have the right idea.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

See me knit

This is a kind of peaceful video of my lap and my sitting room :-)

YouTube Video

Here's the piece in progress:

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Monday, 15 August 2011

A thing about hats

I started knitting hats in the spring after I'd had surgery and was well enough to sit around but not with it enough to work. I thought it would be tricky but was amazed once I'd got a few circular needles how quickly a little heathery pink beany appeared.

I quickly ralised that compared with the time and investment of making a whole sweater, hats used just one or two skeins of yarn and were done in a day or two. This gave me more opportunities to visit one of the gorgeous yarn shops near here and get lost in all the amazing colours and textures, and to imagine what I might make next...

Lately I've discovered entrelac, a technique where you knit little squares back and forth. By cunningly picking up stitches along the edges of the last row, the end result is like squishy patchwork. By making each square smaller than the last these rows can vanish Alice in Wonderland style towards the middle of a circular hat design.

After making a lovely autumnal one in two fine variegated yarns I then made a simple charcoal grey one, which is more of a standard beret. Now I'm making a hat inspired by the colours of the seashore fit for a weather witch (for Elizabeth Cunningham fans) out of incredible springy, bouncy wool/silk from Japan (Iro from Noro).

I can't get over the improbable but perfect colour changes popping out or the blackberry-like bulges of the patches standing out thanks to the thick, defined stitches. The way this is growing feels more like wooly baking than knitwear construction.

When it's done it will go beyond the waves to a friend far away. I hope she sees dawn breaking over rocky tidal pools every time she puts it on - and that it keeps her head warm.

Location:Vancouver, BC