Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One for the books: Trefoil Cardigan

Hooray! I finally finished my Trefoil Cardigan today, after sewing on the last few buttons this morning. I am so, so pleased with how this sweater turned out. Actually, I wore it (sans buttons) all last weekend, and I couldn't have asked for a better companion on those unexpectedly cold, grey days. It might just be my favourite sweater of all time. 

The yarn is light and lofty – so it's super warm without being heavy. It washed up nicely; any reservations I had about the security of my steeks vanished when I saw how the fibres plumped up after blocking. It feels...well, it feels like a fleece jacket: soft, light, fluffy and very warm. (But with the added benefit of being made from a natural fibre rather than recycled pop bottles.)

I think I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this sweater, and I'm looking forward to photographing it in the wild woods at Squam next month. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I'm making good progress on my Jaywalker sock. I dyed this yarn myself back in the fall, and that's making it an even more enjoyable sock project than usual. I love the way the colours work together – it makes me think of spring skies and lilacs, so perfect for this time of year. Oh, and then there's the KAL I accidentally-on purpose signed up for...I've got some busy knitting days ahead.

What are you all making these days?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Let us rejoice and be glad

I wasn't going to go see the cherry blossoms at High Park this year. I wasn't in the mood for the long subway ride, I didn't want to deal with the throngs of people, I'd been to see them just last year. Or was it two years ago? Good grief, could it have been three years since I'd been?

This afternoon I took my camera and headed west.

The trees have been in full bloom since last Friday and now the petals are starting to fall, drifting down like fat snowflakes. Chubby toddlers chased after them, trying to catch the petals between starfish fingers and clapped hands.

There were thousands of people walking the paths, posing for pictures, setting up picnics beneath the trees. For once it seemed like no one was in a hurry and everyone was in a good mood. If you wanted to illustrate Toronto's multiculturalism, you couldn't ask for a better snapshot.

After a week of pristine blue skies, they're calling for rain tomorrow. Looking up, it seemed impossible. That blue!

But nothing – good weather, beautiful flowers, ice cream bars – lasts forever. And lately the time seems to pass ever more quickly, with one blossom season melting into the next, and the next. It starts to feel as though marking the time is pointless, and then makes me think I should make an even greater effort to note the days.

In my second year of university I had a professor who started each class by reciting Psalm 118:24. He was a big man with a big voice, big opinions and strong beliefs. Every day his voice boomed out across the lecture hall. "This is a day the Lord hath made; let us rejoice and be glad."

I thought of him today. I think of him often, remembering his exhortation, that daily call to worship. It didn't matter much to me at 21, but 14 years later, I'm starting to understand.

For there is, really, so much to be glad about.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Woodsmoke and wool and the sheer exuberance of spring

We've had a series of beautiful days here: wide blue skies, a cacophony of birdsong, the sudden, somehow unexpected explosion of cherry blossoms. The maple tree outside my window is afroth with chartreuse buds. It's been five years since I moved home from Nova Scotia, and I'm still gratefully surprised by the timing – and the sheer exuberance – of spring in southern Ontario.

In other news, I finished my Duke St. Shawl last night. I washed it up and set it out to dry, and went to sleep with the tang of wet wool in the air.

It was all dry this morning, perfectly soft and drape-y, the colours singing in the early morning light. (The yarn is Tanis Fiber Arts Orange Label in Teal. Well worth the investment.)

Maybe it's silly to be excited about a shawl on the cusp of summer, on a day that promises to be just one in a string of warm, sunny days, but there's still plenty of time for shawl wearing yet. Cool evenings out on a patio; late nights around a campfire; misty early mornings down by the lake. The intertwined scents of woodsmoke and wool – I'll always have time for that.

Have a wonderful weekend. I hope the sunshine finds you, too.