Sherwood and other forests

A burning question: if April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring?

The answer: gloom and doom, with a beacon of hope.

I don’t know how people live in a climate where it rains all the time. I can’t stand three days in a row of rain, myself! Not to mention the damp chill.

So, I had to take some photos in the forest to remind myself that there is hope of regrowth after all.

And what did I find? Dead trees…

…and more dead trees.

Auuuggghhh!

But then I decided to take the glass half full approach to life for once, and was able to notice signs of life after all:

…both real and metaphorical!

And another shot of the Toronto forest (as opposed to Sherwood):

So, how is Sherwood anyway? Well, he’s ticking along quite merrily – as did Robin Hood and his men, apparently.

Gotta love these beads (there will be 1300 or so in the finished object, or so I’m told)! The yarn is Misti Alpaca Handpaints laceweight in the prosaically named “EZ05” colourway. I’m calling it Sunset in the Forest, myself.

And here’s the money shot:

Not bad, eh? It will be approximately 16″ wide when finished and I don’t know how long, but suffice it to say there are many, many more pattern repeats to go.

But now off to gather my materials for the big all-day legal training session I’m attending today…

Luckily I’m not presenting, which means that I might actually have the time to whip up a scarf!

Happy Monday!

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Never on Sunday…

I tend to refrain from shopping for yarn on Sunday, preferring instead to clean the house laze about, go out for coffee, knit, etc.  It is, after all, meant to be a day of rest (I am a subscriber of the “take what you like and leave the rest” school of religion, obviously).

Which meant, of course, that I had to go trolling for yarn yesterday!

Yes, yes – I was unfaithful to the Handmaiden yet again! I should be hanging my head in shame, not gloating about it over the Internet, I suppose.

But in my defence, I had the car yesterday and was in the mood to explore. So I headed up to a shop I had heard about some time back called The Enchanted Needle.

This shop is located in a city called Woodbridge, just north of Toronto:

Woodbridge used to look like this, apparently:

Now it looks more like this:

And it’s full of these:

Argh.  Let me tell you that the Enchanted Needle was the only beacon of light in what otherwise seems to be Strip Mall Hell.  It is a great shop, primarily focusing on needlepoints and tapestries.  I saw some kits for pieces like this:

I had to avert my eyes, because the last thing I need is another expensive and time-consuming hobby.  So, instead, I headed upstairs to the smaller space where they sell knitting yarns.

It is there that I found the Misti Alpaca Handpaints depicted above there.  Blue, turquoise and lime green – what’s not to like?!  I won’t tell you how many skeins I got there.  Suffice it to say that if I were to tie all the skeins together, affix one end to the doorknob in my apartment building and venture out on foot in Toronto, there are few places I couldn’t find my way back from.

For good measure, I threw these in:

2.25 mm knitting needles!  If you had told me I’d be buying such a skinny pair of needles a year ago, I would tell you that you had taken leave of your senses.  Instead, the senseless one is I.

I guess having new kilometres of yarn in the stash wasn’t enough, as I promptly arrived home and ordered the following from Blue Moon Fiber Arts: Blue Moonstone…

…and Star Sapphire.

Why did I have to take up lace knitting! It requires kilometres of yarn and every project takes a long time to finish.  This ensures that the stash will grow to brobdignanian proportions.

On that note, I think it’s time to go off and re-organize the stash.

But not before I explain the photo at the top.  That is a photo of Melina Mercouri, who was a famous Greek actress and singer:

The film she is probably known most for here in North America is Never On Sunday…

… where she played a hooker with a heart of gold who organized all the other hookers in Athens to stand up to the big bad bossman pimp, and led them in a strike!

A woman after my own pinko heart, clearly.  She later became a Minister of Parliament and they’ve even made stamps with her on it!

The whole country mourned when she died some time back.

Vale Melina.  I want to be you when I grow up.

Happy Sunday!

PayDay mysteries… and a new family member!

Well, what a coincidence that on PayDay, I came across a mysterious door…

…which led to a long and winding path through an enchanted forest.

And where did the path end?

My local yarn store!

Amazing, isn’t it? So, of course I just had to buy some yarn.

Misti Alpaca has managed to outdo themselves, I learned, with some new handpainted lace yarn in 800g skeins!

(In actual fact, I had learned this before PayDay. But it was a guid excuse to lay in some more stock.)

Isn’t this sumptuous?

I also succumbed, finally, to the temptation to give in to that dreaded Siren, Kureyon.

Now, I don’t quite get why I would want to knit socks out of this scratchy-as-hell yarn. However, I couldn’t resist the lure of the rainbow…

So, the lovely Leane suggested that I pair the Kureyon with a strand of this Kid Seta and make a shawl:

As you’ve probably gathered by now, I am highly suggestible to anything to do with the acquisition of yarn. But it’s lovely in itself, isn’t it?

Almost like a sunset in a skein!

I even bought some novelty yarn on sale because of the fab colour:

Fit for a Yarn Queen.

And, finally, this rather uncharacteristic purchase. The yarn is called Twelve and it’s got twelve types of yarn in one.

Funky, eh? I thought it would make a cute party scarf at some point.

But lest you think I was selfish on this very fine day, let it be known that JJ got a goodie as well:

A garden gnome for the balcony flowerbox!!!

And not only that, but it comes with a handy reference manual on All Things Gnomish:

In this photo is the author of the guidebook (I’ll leave you to guess who that might be):

JJ is quite chuffed, and as I write is talking to the gnome. I’m advised that his name is Wee John. (And now you understand why it is that JJ actually puts up with all my foolishness. He’s a bit barmy himself, eh?

And finally now I realise why I was so inspired to do my Group of Seven project!!

Methinks the wee pagan Quack Junior and Wee John will become fast friends…

I just hope that they don’t run off to the forest together!

Happy Thursday!