I was walking the dog last night after work. Summer has returned to Ontario in that perfect way that only happens near the end of the season. Warm, sunny days and almost duvet nights.
As I coaxed the dog along with a steady supply of liver treats, I was thinking about how much I love this time of year. I was making a list in my head and thought I’d share them here.
- the bugs are done
- my brown-eyed susan patch adds more brightness to the shortening days
- butterflies are scurrying around to fill up on energy from the butterfly bush
- the first time you need to put a sweater on as evening falls
- shifting meal ideas to soups and stews and roasts
- dusting off my knitting that sat quietly in the corner all summer
- canning tomatoes and beets, and freezing endless cobs of corn
Enjoy the waning summer days, wherever you are.
My sister and I are Netflix binge watchers. I think you know what I am talking about. Gone are the days of watching one episode each week at a set time. Netflix makes it easy to sit down, get absorbed and before you know it, two or three seasons are done!
We both binged our way through Shetland a BBC Scotland crime drama that takes place on the Shetland islands…“where Scotland meets Scandinavia and the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.” The series is based on the novels by Ann Cleeves.
The incredible scenery caught our attention and we both started reading more about the archipelago that is located just 400 miles south of the Arctic Circle. We discovered Shetland Wool Week, a celebration of northerly native sheep, the Shetland textile industry and the rural farming community on these islands. We’ve been talking about a trip to Shetland, in the meantime, we can at least make the official Shetland Wool Week hat with the free pattern on their website. Join us and make the hat and send us a picture!
HAR & CJR
Saturday January 21st is the Women’s March on Washington, the day after the inauguration.
“The Women’s March on Washington will send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights. We stand together, recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us.”
A friend sent me a link to the Pussyhat Project. It’s a grassroots project with a mission to provide the people at the Women’s March with a unique, collective visual statement – pink hats that look like pussy ears! Check out the link, the pattern for the hat is provided. If you are a knitter, they are asking you to make a hat or two and send them for people to wear as they march. I have several friends going to the march and I think I can make one or two in time for them to wear them.
I just finished one for myself to wear this winter. Anyone want to join me? Send us a picture of you wearing your pussyhat and we will post it on the blog!
Some things are clearly made to go together. Gin and tonic (of course), ripple chips and French onion dip, and maple syrup with well, anything.
Other combos might not be quite so obvious. But when you look closer, or try them out, they make for some natural pairings.
Yoga is one we’ve combined with other activities. Several years ago, we did a yoga and knitting workshop at Kripalu. Nothing really tying the activities together, but we did sit cross legged on the floor to knit, and I’m sure our stitches were loose and relaxed because we were.
I did a yoga a kayaking weekend last year with White Squall Paddling Centre. The ability to isolate muscles and breathing in yoga made a huge difference to the buoyancy of the kayaking. And a little sketching thrown in too.
We recently did a little day hike and stopped for some scenic yogic poses.
Hiking and food is an obvious. Tire yourself out and have someone serve up a delicious meal at the end of it all. And a personal favourite – the various Butter Tart Trails across Ontario. You could walk or drive to the next bakery featuring their version of the Canadian classic.
So I am taking a break from clay and getting back to knitting. A perfect summer project is handmade socks. They aren’t too hot to have sitting in your lap and it’s an easy thing to take in the car on road trips.
I know you can find hundreds of options for free patterns online but I stand by my Ann Norling pattern for socks. It will cost you a few dollars for the pattern but it’s worth it. Between my sister and myself, we have probably made 50 pairs of socks using the pattern. Our paternal grandmother was a knitter and always had a pair on the go. Her socks were the only ones our dad wore. I have made quite a few pairs for my sons and they seem to enjoy them too!
I decided to make a pair for my too-cool-for-school nephews from LA. They have been everywhere, have everything, need nothing. I really wasn’t too sure how a pair of brightly coloured, handmade socks would go over. They are both reluctantly heading to sleep-away camp so I told them the socks were magic—they would drive away insects and homesickness and keep them warm at night. Let’s hope they work!
I traded an infinity scarf that I knit for some pottery by Racheal Bellemer.
Check out her beautifully decorated work on Facebook.
A few weeks ago I wrote about a quick hat I made and offered to make one for any one who was interested. I knit three of them and shipped them off to CA, NYC and Ontario!
The only ‘payment’ was a picture of the recipient wearing the hat! Here they are, including a sketch by Leslie in CA. Hats off (or on) to them!
Nadine in Ontario, Tessa in NYC and Leslie in CA.