Sunday, 31 January 2016

How I Came to Knit

I learned to knit in 1966.  It was not a popular pastime for women at that time, not with the rise of the Women's Movement and Feminism.  I was 9.  What did I know?  I just wanted to learn.

My mother bought me a book from Mary Maxim on learning to knit*, a pair of needles and a ball of yarn.  I remember reading the book and studying the drawings.  It was a good book but while it showed how the needles went into the stitches and the yarn went around to form new stitches, it did not show how to hold the needles in your hands.  I had to figure that out for myself.

I had problems with the cast on method described in the book.  I know today that it is the long-tail method.  My mother showed me the long-tailed thumb method instead.  The end results are exactly the same but the thumb method is so much easier especially for a nine year old.  The cast on my mother showed me is still my go-to method unless some other method is more suited for a particular project.  While my mother did not knit, she knew how.  Like so many children during the forties, she learned to knit for the war effort in WWII.

I knit on and off until my early twenties.  Mainly I knit doll clothes for my Tammy doll and my younger sister's Barbie doll.

Then I stopped.  Partly it was lack of money; partly it was time.  But, mostly I had a hurtful experience and to knit reminded me of that pain.

Then about almost 20 years ago now, I went to an auction sale.  I bought a lovely wooden tray.  As a bonus gift it came covered in balls of yarn.  The whole package cost me $1.00.  Now, what was I going to do with the yarn?  Christmas was coming and I had three nieces and one granddaughter.  All the girls had their Barbie dolls.  I pulled out my patterns from my youth and started knitting up the yarn into doll clothes.

This was fun.  I practiced techniques and learned new skills.  Each outfit was a little practice swatch.  I could try out lace, cables and finishing techniques.  I purchased plastic containers that would hold a doll on one side and lots of clothes on the other.  I filled each with doll clothes all the right size for Barbie.

That Christmas the package to my granddaughter was mailed off.  The three for my nieces were wrapped and taken to my mother's.  Hubby was in charge of handing out the gifts.  His beard made him the natural choice.  I told him that he had to give out my packages to the girls at the same time.

He handed the first girl hers. She had the paper off before Hubby could hand the second girl hers.  Her eyes were huge.  Her package was the same size and shape as the other and she could see what was in the first package.  By the time the third girl got hers she was jumping up and down with excitement.  She knew what she was getting and could hardly wait to start playing.

My cash outlay was probably around $10.00 per child that Christmas.  There were hundreds of dollars of toys, clothes and other stuff lying around once all the presents were opened.  The girls only wanted to play with their Barbie clothes.  They dressed and undressed dolls, compared outfits and had a grand time.   Their joy and excitement was intoxicating.   I was hooked and have not stopped knitting since.

All four girls are adults now and still enjoy getting knitted things from me, especially socks.

Progress is still happening on the Fair knitting front.

I finished the child's vest category.

The gansey is longer.

This is turning out to be perfect lunch 'n learn knitting and hockey knitting.  That was the only time I worked on it this week.  I am saving this for the playoffs.  Essex finished first in the regular season and Alvinston finished 8th.  They start their series on Tuesday. Essex has home ice advantage for all their league playoff games.

The top four teams have home ice advantage and the top 8 teams get playoff spots.  The really sad thing is that there are 9 teams in the league.  Only one team does not make it.  The regular season does not end until tonight.  There are several games ongoing and they will determine who has 2nd through 7th place.  Essex is so far ahead and Alvinston is so far behind that no matter what happens tonight their positions as first and eighth won't change.

As discussed before, I am trying to keep three project on the go any given time.  While I was deciding what project I should cast on next, I worked on the Levity Shawl.  I am now half-way through the border.  I am getting bored with this project so I might just work on it more than the others to finish.  Then I can start something new and exciting.

This morning I decided to start this one.

Design A from Sirdar No. 280 Early Arrivals Knitting Book

I am knitting it in Cherub DK from Cascade Yarns in Classic Blue and Ecru.  I don't know where I got the yarn from or when.  For some reason, I did not enter this yarn into my inventory system.  I found the yarn in a bag in the basement where I store my inventoried yarn.  There is no store name printed on the bag.  There was no sales slip in the bag nor any price tags on the balls.  I don't remember buying it and I don't remember getting it as a gift.  It is a mystery but turns out it is perfect for this little hoody.  It is almost like I planned it.  The pattern calls for 4 balls of blue and one of white.  That is exactly what was in the bag.

I also decided that there was no chance of starting the child's socks unless I converted the skeins I picked out for them into cakes.  Did that this morning.

If you want to track my progress and see how many projects are still to go, there is a progress report on the right sidebar which links you to the worksheet where I track the projects.  I update it before starting my blog post each week.

* The book is still in print.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

The Law of Unintended Consequences

The law of unintended consequences is the concept that actions of people and in particular governments always have effects that are unanticipated or unintended.

Apparently this was one of the underlying concepts of Adam Smith but he was looking only at positive consequences of capitalism.  Smith held that each individual seeking only his own gain ends up promoting actions that turn out to be in the public interest.  He completely missed pollution, ozone depletion and climate change.

We are most familiar with bad or disastrous unintended consequences.   A Bad outcome was observed as early as 1692 by John Locke who objected to a bill to lower the maximum rate of interest that could be charged to 4% from 6%.  The bill was intended to benefit borrowers but Locke predicted that the  real effect would be to restrict available credit and lower the income of the very people the bill was designed to benefit.  The poor would have less chance of borrowing through legal means and would end up having to borrow from the equivalent of loan sharks of the 17th century.

There are three categories of unintended consequences.

1. Unexpected benefit.  Also referred to as luck, serendipity or a windfall.

2. Unexpected drawback.  This is a negative, unexpected detriment that occurs in addition to the desired effect anticipated by the policy, program or legislation.  This effect when viewed from the point of view of a taxing authority is referred to as loophole.

3. Perverse result.  This is the opposite of the effect that was originally intended.  The intended solution makes a problem worse and is often referred to as a backfire.

My firm decided that sponsoring a program at work for us to increase our fitness; maybe lose some weight was a good idea.  The concept being that if we were fitter we would be more productive.  To that end many of us acquired these fancy-dancy electronic wristbands that track calories burned, steps taken, and the amount of sleep we get.

I returned to work this week and got my very attractive fuchsia wristband.  Most of my co-workers already had theirs for almost 2 weeks.  The bad news is I am way behind in counting steps.  The good news is I got to observe some of the unintended consequences of the devices.

The firm is sponsoring contests between the various office groups such as managers vs partners or managers vs the rest of the office.  Many of the  water-cooler conversations involve how to cheat the device and how to generate more steps with less effort.  Now I am sure that these are just conversations and no one is actually engaged in cheating.  They are, I believe, just an unintended consequence of the device; generating increased creativity.

Some have suggested putting the device on the dog.  Even on a walk with you, the dog takes many more steps than the human. 

One couple discussed each taking turns wearing the device since one worked days and one worked nights.  You could double the steps recorded.  My own Hubby suggested he wear it when he goes to the gym.

One poor fellow discovered you could increase the recorded steps  when riding in the car by hitting a pothole.  We'll know if that technique catches on when the high cost of suspension repairs is the main topic of discussion.

There are probably 20 steps involved in going to the coffee maker and pouring a cup of Joe.  However, there are 800 steps if you leave the office to go to Tim Horton's down the street.  This does not bode well for office efficiency.

One young co-op student is driving his mother to distraction as he paces the house.  To relieve his boredom he is practicing walking backward.

If you stand in place and lift your feet, the device records steps.   It also records steps if you fidget with your feet sitting at your desk.   I returned to work after almost a month's absence, I was rather alarmed by all the twitching of my co-workers.  It was like walking into a room of jitterbugs.  What neuro-toxin was affecting them?  Did we have a new case of sick building syndrome?  Was it a new contagious disease?  Should I call 911?  Had the entire office taken up bird watching?  No, just a desire to increase steps.

I admit that I am dead last in the number of steps.  I am sure I will continue to be dead last.  No one is going to want me on their team.  It is going to be grade school and high school all over again.  My activities do not generate steps.  I like to swim.  I will admit I have not done this for a few months.  I developed an ear problem and I did not want to make it worse.  The wrist device is water repellent, not water-proof.  If I swim - no steps.

I also dance.  You would think that this would generate lots of steps.  It doesn't.  I have checked the device before and after.  I am a belly dancer.  A lot of the movements do not involve moving your feet.  Shimmining in place - no steps.  Chest circles - no steps.  Layering a shimmy on top of other movements - no steps and no extra steps for layering on top of an actual dance step.  It is great exercise as you use all the muscles of your body. You are in constant motion just not necessarily moving your feet.

I walk Reba.  This will generate 2,500 to 3,000 steps.  Too bad she is on Pelee Island three days a week.  I cannot force myself to walk in the cold and wind on my own.  Also if Hubby takes her for a walk before I get home, no way am I going to wake her up and take her again.  She is over 12 years old now and I do not believe in animal abuse.

What I spend most of my free time doing is knitting.  No matter how much I wave those needles around, how often I pull the yarn from the ball or how fast I knit no amount of steps register on the device.  Knit or walk?  Perhaps I could attempt both at the same time.  Chances are the unintended consequence will be me tripping, falling and breaking my arm.  Maybe I will just buy a spinning wheel and learn to spin wool.  All that foot pumping should count right?   Just what I need - another hobby and a fibre stash.

Now for knitting progress:

The Levity Shawl has a few more points in the border. It pretty much looks the same so I have not photographed it.

The child's vest is blocked.  Assembly and finishing is still required.

On Wednesday I had some video training scheduled at the office.  I cast on a hat for the preemie hat and matching bootees category.  I got most of the hat done. Only the top decreases and securing the ends was completed at home later.

The lovely ball is a Christmas decoration I picked up at Pier 1 a couple of years ago.  It is the perfect size for blocking baby hats.  I was thrilled when I saw the balls and realized their potential.  I was getting tired of the strange looks.  Tired of mothers hugging infants closer to their chests;  tired of mothers pulling  toddlers closer to safety as I tried the baby hats on oranges and grapefruit in the grocery store; searching for the right size for blocking.

I knit up the bootees later in the week.

The yarn is Sirdar Americana a cotton and acrylic blend.   I think the yarn is now discontinued.  It is missing from Sirdar's website.  I purchased three balls a few years ago at the Needle Emporium with the intention of knitting a baby sweater.  Instead, I knit a hat and bootee set for the Fair three years in a row now from this yarn.  The yarn is finally down to a small collection of leftovers.  I have plans to drop the leftovers off for LeeLee Hats.

Friday we had our annual training summit at work.  I did not have to present so there was hours of knitting time available.  I am able to stay awake and participate better if my hands are occupied.  Plain knitting was the right knitting for this work event.  

Above is the start of the Great Gansey Sweater.  I am making modifications to suit me.  I want it longer, more of a tunic so I need to accommodate my hips.  Hence side slits and extra stitches.  I am making more of an A-line sweater than a box style to take in those extra stitches.  Also, I have eliminated the texture stitches in the main body.  Mine is straight stocking stitch until the garter stitch rows of the upper chest.

The yarn is Paton's Classic Wool in the colour Currant.  The yarn was a Listowel tent sale purchase in 2014 so the colour is most likely discontinued.

This week ends with one more finished entry, one nearly finished, one newly started and one project that feels like it is never going to end.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

An Even Dozen

I feel like I have been knitting up a storm these last few weeks.  I have been battling with Poindexter and knitting.  I did not have much energy left for anything else.  Today I checked my spreadsheet and I have only  completed 12 items.  It feels like so much more.  Twelve seems like such a small accomplishment.  I keep telling myself that I have been working on the big things first.  They take more time and effort.  Yeah right my inner voice says.  

Lets look at some photos of recent progress.  Maybe it will take my mind off the fact that I have 30 items still to go.

I whipped up the dishcloth category.  I used the waffle stitch from the Knitting Stitch Bible for the centre with a garter stitch edging all round.  The yarn is Sugar 'n Cream, 100% cotton.  I picked up a couple of cones in 2013 at the Listowel tent sale.

The baby blankie is done.  I was trying to save this for hockey game knitting but it was just too much fun to watch the self-striping pattern appear.  I could not stop knitting on it until it was done.  The final size is 30" by 36".   I could have made is square and had enough left for a baby hat but since I was not going to have time to make a hat I simply made the blankie bigger. [I understand the lack of logic in that statement.]

I did get to knit on it for one hockey game.  Essex played Wallaceburg on Tuesday night.  Essex won 9-1.  Normally when the game is this lopsided I plan to go home early.  However, on Tuesday night there was enough interesting and goofy things happening to keep me there right to the end to see Essex score their final goal with 1.7 seconds left on the clock.

The Timbits came out to play following the first period.  Both the red team and the yellow teams had goalies.  Then I counted the players on each team.  Red had 6 and Yellow had 9.  All 15 players did a slow chase of the puck.  The pack headed out as a group following the puck.  The group spread out like a comet with its tail. One child fell down taking half a dozen with him.  I hid behind the baby blankie 'cause I was just laughing too hard.  The red team managed a goal.  I wasn't sure whether to cheer for Red or go ahh for Yellow.

The big kids had their own tumbles.  Two Essex players collided and knocked each other down.  A Wallaceburg player was heading back to his bench.  An Essex player was heading down the ice with his stick in front.  Neither looking at the other.  The Wallaceburg player skated into the Essex stick and down he went.

The linesman was almost taken out.  An Essex player and a Wallaceburg player were each struggling for the puck and moving along the boards down the ice heading towards the Wallaceburg end.  The linesman was along the boards.  The linesmen and referees amaze me with their ability to remove themselves from the line of play so that they do not interfere with the puck. I have seen them leap in the air, spread their legs and hop on the boards.  The linesman hopped on the boards but it was not enough.  He was still in the line of play along the boards.  He lifted his feet higher so that he would clear the players heading his way.  Lucky for him, the Wallaceburg players on the bench caught him before he completely tumbled back into their bench.  Play continued unabated.

With excitement like this how could I go home early?

I started the child's vest category.  I have a child in mind for this one.  My favourite restaurant is Mama's Place in Essex.  Paola, the proprietor has a young son.  I think this will be perfect for him.  

I am using the tank top pattern, Design F from Little Sweet Peas as a basic vest pattern but doing my own design to it.  As of this morning I have the back done and the front to the underarms.  The yarn is Knit ca Delight, purchased back in October when Hubby and I went to Stratford.  It has been talking to me about being this vest since it came home with me.  I am using white, cardinal and maize.

The Levity Shawl is coming along.  I am adding the lace border.  I have 5 of the 23 points done.  It is going faster now that I have the 24 row repeat memorized.

I have located patterns, yarn and needles for the next 3 projects.  I do not have to worry about having hockey knitting for 2 weeks.  There is no home game this week.  Maybe I can make further progress on Levity and start something more complicated.

Essex has only one more game to play in the regular season which ends January 31.  Essex has the league's first place already sewn up.  The battle now is for second, third and fourth place in the league.  Only first and second place finishers get home ice advantage for the league playoffs.  Four teams are vieing for those remaining three positions.  Playoffs start in February.

On Tuesday I finally broke down and went to the Harrow Health Clinic to see someone about Poindexter.  I am now on antibiotics for a secondary infection.  I think I am feeling better now.  I hope I am getting over this; I return to work tomorrow.

Since I was going to be in Harrow, I offered to pick up some cream that my friend C was looking for.  The store was closed for inventory so I decided to continue my exploration of the little towns in the county and stopped in at Blimeys in Harrow.  The store was a surprise and a fun place to browse.  I loved the selection of Dr. Who merchandise and the next time I need to get a teapot I am heading there.

Sunday, 10 January 2016


This week saw the completion of a couple of projects.  The sweater for my brother, modeled below by Hubby.  My brother is 6 foot 5 inches and broad chested.  Hubby is 5 foot 9 inches and much smaller around.  The sweater will fit my brother just fine, Hubby just swims in it.  Hubby says it is very comfy.

Hubby was heading to Toronto on Thursday.  The sun was shining, I had just put the last button on so we ran outside for some photos in the sunshine.  I managed to adjust all the setting except the white-balance.  As a result the photos are an unmistakable blue.

I work very hard at choosing the right buttons.  Buttons can make or break a garment.  I think most commercially made clothes do not have enough buttons.  As a result the front gapes.  In this case, the buttons also had to be large enough for a large man's fingers.  There are nine buttons on this sweater.  Another detail I do is to put a smaller button on the inside band to support the outer button.  The button reduces the stress on the knitted band and adds a layer of couture finishing.

It was also a relief to finally finish the afghan.  I have been working on it since September.  This is the first afghan I have ever knit.  I always said it was too much a commitment for me.  It took over 16 balls/skeins of yarn.  This is equivalent to knitting two large sweaters.

With Hubby gone to Toronto and me still on vacation, I spent all day Friday with the afghan draped over me sewing the last 5 squares together and then to the previous 15.  I picked up a gazillion stitches around the edges.  It took 5 circular needles of varying lengths.  I then started the I-cord edge and knit and knit and knit until I was ready to scream that I was never doing another I-cord edge and then it was done but not quite.  There was still lots of ends to weave in.  I had woven in ends as I went but there was still lots along the outer edge and the ones for the blocks just sewn on.  Now it is done.

My friend C and I made a day trip to London on Wednesday.  I had some things to do and she joined me for the drive.  It was really a thrill for me to have company on the trip.  We talked non-stop the whole way.  We had a lovely lunch out and then went on a yarn crawl taking in Mary Maxim, Lens Mill Store and on the St. Thomas to the Little Red Mitten.

Now I don't need yarn.  I set out on a quest for patterns.  I had been searching Ravelry but still not finding what I wanted.  I came home with a book on Christmas stockings and one for preemie babies.  I am bored with the pattern I have been knitting for the baby hat and booties and wanted to change it up a bit.

I did break down in the Mary Maxim store and bought a ball of yarn.  This one in Peach.  I have been agonizing over what baby blanket to knit; what size and what colour to the point where I simply could not make a decision at all.  I saw the sample in the store window and felt complete relief.  I bought the giant ball, collected the free pattern and felt like letting go happy tears.  I cast on Friday morning.  Just like with knitting socks from pre-patterned yarn, I am endless amused as I knit.  I forced myself to put it down and knit on something else.  The baby blanket will be perfect hockey game knitting.

The green shawl is bigger.  I also cast on for a wash cloth and it is half done.  I promise a photo that is not blue next post.

This week I put away the left over yarn bits from completed projects and started gathering up the yarn, needles and patterns for the next set of projects.  I want to cast them all on at once.  Why I think I can knit on all of them at the exact same time I cannot explain.   While I can multi-task like a professional, they have to be completely different tasks.  I washed the floor and while it was drying so I could add the shine keeper product, I knit.  At the same time I was doing the laundry.  You can do other things between the loads.  The shine keeper needs 1/2 hour to dry between coats and the floors needs two coats.  I knit while it dryed.  However you can only knit on one thing at a time.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

It Feels Like Nothing Gets Done

It is a new year and I am still harboring the cold from 2015.  This cold has been hanging around so long I am thinking of giving it a name.  Something annoying; a name most people would make fun of like Poindexter.  Poindexter is like a family member  you didn't invite to your house.  You can't say no to his staying with you as it would upset your mother.  Now he has made himself at home and you can't get him to leave no matter what you say or do.

I woke up this morning and I have lost my voice.  This is the latest manifestation of symptoms.

I like to take time off work between Christmas and New Year's.  I do cleaning that needs to be done at least once a year; stuff my cleaning lady is not expected to do.  I feel like I am putting my house in order before my busy season at work.

Poindexter is slowing me down.  I can only do a little before I am coughing, sneezing and wanting to take a nap.  The cold is only part of why I feel I can't get anything done.

One of the chores I planned was to clean the oven.  It is a self-cleaning oven so really not that big of a deal to clean.  However, from year to year, I cannot remember how to set the stove to the self-cleaning cycle.  I need the instruction manual.  Luckily I can remember where I keep it.  It is in the cubby in the living room coffee table.  

I opened the door to the cubby on Monday.  Half the stuff avalanched out on the floor.  Time to clean up the cubby.  I sorted the assorted pieces and then started putting them in better places.  Included in the cubby were maps and atlases.  We have a separate place to store those but the space would not hold any more so time to clean up the map storage.  This lead to wiping the dust off the other shelves in the storage unit.

In the cubby were computer and other assorted cables.  I keep those in the basement.  The basement ones seem to have gotten spread out so I found a clear plastic bin, rounded up the cables and then had to reorganize to free up space in the shelving in the basement for the bin.

There were various clipping I saved from newspapers and magasines and other assorted sources.  I started a storage box for those some time ago and stored it in the bedroom closet.  I retrieved it and added the cubby clippings.  I grabbed an empty storage box for the floor protectors found in the cubby.  This lead to combing the various drawers to collect all the other floor protectors stored there.

In between going upstairs and downstairs to deal with the assorted items in the cubby, I took breaks and worked on the squares for the afghan.  Of course finishing one lead to blocking it and the other squares previously finished.

On one trip upstairs, I saw that the laundry basket was full, so down to the basement it went on a trip down with something else.  I started the laundry and of course each trip down to move clothes from the washer to the dryer meant I moved stuff on that trip.  This included moving left over yarn from the afghan back to its storage bin in the basement and gathering yarn for the next upcoming projects.

It took all day to deal with a small amount of stuff.  In the end, the oven got cleaned - on Saturday. Now I have to put the instruction manual away.  That could take another whole day!

While I have not yet finished all the cleaning chores I have assigned to myself, I have made some progress on the knitting front.

All 20 squares for the afghan are complete.  The last 5 are blocked and waiting to be sewn together.  They will also be sewn to the previous 15.  Then the border has to be added.  I still have not worked out how I will finish it but I am strongly leaning towards an I-cord edge.

I held a blocking party.

The cardigan is still in progress.  It is partially assembled, the button band is done and I am waiting to get buttons to complete the buttonhole band.  I want to be sure I make the button holes the right size.  Button buying entails a trip to Fabricland in Windsor.  I don't yet feel up to it.   But once I have buttons I can finish the assembly and add the collar.

Cody's vest is done.

I used a basic vest pattern from the Patons pattern book "Back to Basics".  I made some modifications.  I raised the v-neck.  Hubby tells me that most v-neck patterns have the V too low.  He likes them higher up on the chest.  I followed his advice.  I hope Cody agrees.  I also made the arm scye wider so the shoulders are narrower.  I like vests to end at the shirt sleeve seam.  I think when the vest edging hangs over the top of the arm it just screams "home-made".  I am trying to achieve a hand-made couture look.

I also added a cable up the front.  I modified a cable pattern from the Knitting Stitch Bible.  I think the cable adds decorative interest but is still very manly.  I hope Cody agrees.

The yarn is Cascade - The Heathers 220.  The colour is 2429 - Ireland.  I purchased the yarn in Heather's basement.  Heather's mother used to have a yarn store in Windsor.  I believe the store closed when she received an unsolicited offer to purchase the building.  It was too good to turn down.  The yarn went into storage including all the yarn that had been ordered for the next season.  Heather set up shelving in her basement for yarn.   If you know Heather, you can make an appointment to go to her house and shop.  As space opens up on the shelves, more boxes come out of storage.

When I block sweaters, I like to layer the pieces.  I lay out the first sleeve and pin the piece out to size.  I then pin the second sleeve on top of the first sleeve as all the details are already worked out.  The fronts get put on top of the back for the same reasons.  It takes a little longer to dry, but once the sweater is completed it will be double thickness when drying anyway each time it is washed

Setting up the blocking this way also means less time bent over the bed laying out pieces.  I can also assure all pieces that should be the same size are in fact the same size.

Because of the drying time, I had time to complete another entry - something made from novelty yarn.  Meet Harvey Hedgehog.

I am in love with this guy.  So much so that he is currently sitting on my coffee table.  I am not ready to put him away with the other finished entries.

I saw the pattern in the Mary Maxim catalog.  The pattern is Tinsel Hedgehog by King Cole and was free with the purchase of Tinsel Chunky Yarn.   I had to have it so the next time I was London [Ontario] I stopped at the store and bought yarn to get the pattern.  Now I knew that I was going to only need one ball of yarn to make one hedgehog for the Fair.  I just cannot figure out why I came home with two balls.   Maybe Harvey needs a Harriet?

The pattern also requires a small amount of DK yarn for the face, ears and feet.  I used some left-over yarn from my odds and ends bin.  I chose beige.  I was tempted to use a lovely green but settled on beige as it was more realistic.  Why a polyester tinsel hedgehog  that is only inspired by a real hedgehog and is not a realistic portrayal in the least must be beige to be more realistic is one of those confusing conundrums that makes me, me I guess.

Hubby and I like to go to the movies at this time of year.  It is part of our holiday traditions.  Once I finished the afghan squares, I was out of movie theatre knitting.  I knit while waiting for the movie to start. The lights are only dim and there is usually enough light to see what I am knitting.  I will also knit through the movie if the project is simple enough.  Legs of socks are my usual choice but any plain knitting will do.  So I cast on the Levity Shawl.  The first part is just garter stitch with increases every row.   I am using a DK cotton and linen blend.  I thought it would make a lovely summer shawl.  The yarn is discontinued and I bought a lot of it from the Mary Maxim clearance room in the Paris [Ontario] store.  My original plan was to over-dye the yarn with indigo.  I have not gotten around to that and it is a lovely green on its own.

I can't seem to get the white balance right on my camera.  The photo looks blue.  I think it is the yellow light from the lamp I used to add light for the photo.  It is again a very dull gray day outside.

I think it is time for a nap.  Maybe that will help encourage Poindexter to leave.

P.S. We saw Joy, Star Wars - The Force Awakens and Brooklyn.  We enjoyed them all very much.