The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Canada Day 09!

Happy Canada Day!  Says she with faint enthusiasm.

Getting to & from the x-ray lab was not fun.  So much hopping!  Why on earth is the place in a basement?  Then we went for a boot.  Here it is – modern medicine’s torture chamber:

Air Walker - except I cant walk

Air Walker - except I can't walk

DH, geek that he is, now calls me Darth Vader.  Funny eh?  He wants sound effects.  Uh huh.

Dude at the store says “daily use” of this thing for 6 – 8 weeks.  Right now it feels heavy & my ankle is quite unhappy at the 90 degree angle.  Hopefully, I’ll be able to walk & drive again soon.  Until then, I’m declining invites and having to skip fun things like Knit Night.

On the bright side:

  1. I am enjoying Wimbledon this year.  Last summer was a blur of work-related madness.
  2. A late-breaking birthday gift arrived yesterday.  Books!  Howl on Trial – The Battle for Free Expression, Bill Morgan & Nancy J. Peters ed.  Here’s what Brother Man wrote inside, “There is no more perfect book for you.  Law & Poetry.  Happy Birthday.”  It is too!  He also sent Song yet Sung by James McBride.  I’m looking forward to them both, so thanks Bro & Dad.
  3. Facebook friends/ family are being sweet.  Not saccharine.  Just sweet enough.
  4. I am now a chatterbox on Ravelry.  Have time will debate!
  5. One piece of my Purple Cocoon Cardi is now complete!  I decided that the yarn (Blue Sky Alpacas with Silk) is groovy.  It only took some getting used to.  My chosen colour is Amythyst or 129.  As you can see the green couch is ‘command central’ right now:
Top, back of Purple Cocoon Cardi - my interpretation of the cocoon stitch!

Top, back of Purple Cocoon Cardi - my interpretation of the cocoon stitch!

Full back view of Purple Cocoon Cardi - not yet blocked

Full back view of Purple Cocoon Cardi - not yet blocked

Postscript:  calling Toby DP wasn’t such a bright idea.  No double entendre meant!  I am a pure and innocent blogger.  Dear Pet is all I meant.  Forgetting there’s an industry where that means something entirely different.  The Knit Knack isn’t that witty, trust me!


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Walk good

Last week the ace revolutionary bookstore, Babylon Falling, closed its doors in San Francisco’s Tenderloin district.  It was 2 years & a week strong.  Owner Sean Stewart has shared his thoughts on the financial, systemic & personal factors that lead to the store’s closing.  It is a powerful read & I won’t go into paraphrasis here.

I’m not de-linking BF just yet.  Sean has plenty of material that he may be putting on the blog.  Some things are more than bricks & mortar.

Here’s an example of Sean as the curatorial bookseller.  It’s from the Owner’s Choice package he put together for me:

At the end of daybreak this land without a stele, these paths without memory, these winds without a tablet.

So what?

We would tell.  Would sing.  Would howl.

Full voice, ample voice, you would be our wealth, our spear pointed.

Aime Cesaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land, p.17

As we say back home – Walk Good.

At the end of daybreak, Jamaica

At the end of daybreak, Jamaica


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Perchance a Shrug

After much ado, I finally casted on for the Wedding Guest Shrug.

Step 1 was to find a fishing line counter to accurately split my hank of Handmaiden Lace Silk in two.  I started off on the wrong foot, or as my father would say – with one of my trademark egregrious errors.  I was very certain that the local Hiker’s Haven would have a Shakespeare line counter for sure.  People must fish once they have hiked, right?  Wrong!  I was hunting for Shakespeare thanks to advice from a fellow Raveler, Feather Song.  The good folks at Hiker’s Haven pointed me in the general direction of the big box stores.  I ended up with a Rapala counter.

Step 2 was rigging it to the ball winder (formerly a dining chair support).  At this point, Hubby was highly amused.  It is attached with plastic cinch ties.

Step 3 was counting/ winding.  It is gorgeous yarn with a mind to tangle on itself.  Took most of Saturday but I managed to best that hank.

After all that, I find that even with the yarn knit double it’s a much lower gauge than the Reading in Bed Shrug pattern’s.  Will take longer to make for sure.  I’ve settled on using my 4 mm needles.  That gives me a stitch gauge of around 23 for 4″.  The yarn is making up for all this trouble with every step though.  I simply love it!

Wedding Guest Shrug started at last

Wedding Guest Shrug started at last

On Saturday afternoon we got out & enjoyed the summery weather.  It was blazing!  Hubby’s been dying to walk over to a bridge.  It’s a fair distance but we did cut through a playing field.  Toby couldn’t have been happier, even on the main road.  The bridge is over a golf course valley, and creek.  They have some benches along the side, and the view was really worth the walk.

Yesterday, I headed into Toronto for my cousin’s poetry reading.  I meant to take the train but missed it by a hair.  I did make it in by car but had to wend through & around parade-goers.  The annual Sikh New Year parade was on in the downtown core.  Although 30 mins late, I did catch the readings.  My cousin isn’t decided about having an internet profile, so I’ll keep mum about the details.  I am so proud of her though!  A great way to put the icky week behind me.


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Walcott, our Laureate

As I probably wrote before, Brother-man’s much vaunted Lady B package also included a copy Derek Walcott’s Nobel Lecture.  It’s hardcover & the first edition.  The proper title is, “The Antilles:  Fragments of Epic Memory.”  It’s a slim (unpaginated, if you please) volume with a rather hoity-toity blurb.  I just finished reading it.  The blurb is rubbish, and the text is amazing.

For all my love of Walcott’s work, I never heard his lecture to the Academy.  I only learned about him after-the-fact.  I got a copy of “Omeros” for Christmas 1992 – precisely because he, a son of St. Lucia, won the Prize in Literature that very month.  My father’s idea of a perfect gift for his sixth form daughter and her head full of A’Level English.  I inhaled “Omeros” – it’s paginated to 325.  Then really became a fan after hearing Walcott read in April ’93 at the Globe Theatre in Kingston.

The lecture is a moving, beautiful thing.  To say, as he does:

At last, islands not written about but writing themselves.

Caribbean culture isn’t inconceivable but will be self-contradictory.  His benediction for a fresh language and a fresh people.  Spoken almost 17 years ago.

Thanks, Brother-man.  Made my day.

ETA: Well, all posts are E&OE… After reading this, my Father wrote to point out some errors.  He also took a jab at my flawless memory.  First of all – it’s the Ward Theatre in downtown Kingston.  My bad.   He quibbled with the date of the reading but that is right.  I know because Walcott dated his autograph.

Less critically, he says Auntie Gloria was teaching either Lear or King Henry IV Part 1 for Father HoLung.  While I am editing, I should add he only ever speaks of Father as Dickie HoLung.  Yep, a story lies behind that bit of irreverance.  Far be it from me to repeat it – bad memory & all!