Monday, January 31, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 30, 2011

Another lovely day - bright and sunny and just a little below zero - this in itself is

1. Did a three mile walk today. I always consider being able to do these things very lucky!

2. Fortunately, the 18-year-old hung in there and wrote up the essays for which he had done the research.  It's one thing to start and another to finish. Can I count 1:30am Jan 31 as still part of Jan 30.

3. Dinner was spaghetti with clams and mussells. I love it when all the mollusks open.  It suggests that they are fresh and will taste very good and they did!!

4. Luckily the exchange text book store bought back all the books I returned to them - at much less than I paid for them initially, but still better than nothing.

5. Hopefully, I have bought the last set of High School text books. This is a love-hate thing!  I love seeing the kids move on; but I hate losing them.  We can never win!

Almost February and January was a pretty up month...I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 29, 2011

It's Saturday and a lovely bright and sunny day, though a little cold; but my luck today was....

1. Fortunately, the ladder was in the house and not frozen outside somewhere, because that meant that I could wash the bathroom ceiling - what a lucky break  :)

2. The Globe had a little article and a big picture on Agata Oleksiak, a crochet artist that I could post about (about whom I could post).

3. I was in the mood for a bit of knitting so I now have just 127 stitches left to go, as far as knitting on the border of Sagittarius is concerned and then I'm done!

4. Did a three-mile walk late in the day and it was still light at the end!

5. The 18-year-old's report card came in and you have to know that this is a child who didn't really complete elementary school and was going to be slotted into a program in high school that would pack 30 or more students into a class, all of whom couldn't care less about any sort of achievement, and worse, most of them would, out of boredom, act out, get into trouble and well, you know the story..... We decided 4 years ago to go into debt and put him in a private school. The mid-term report that came in today means that he will apply to colleges and universities with an 80% average.  This is good. But the best is still to come....

6. Because he has to submit several written essays for the programs that he wants to pursue, radio and television arts, he had been researching Marshall McLuhan. To night we had, as I said to my husband, the $75,000.00 conversation. He was discussing the internet as the Global Village and had identified the medium as giving out the message that we are all equal (the internet began that way) and we all want to connect personally, and instantly in an amazingly exciting way he went on.."this is so cool... the more I think about it, the more I want to learn, McLuhan gives me one idea and I get a ton more, that I want to explore..." Enough said.

It was a great day!

I am eternally grateful that we could intervene early.  We couldn't have done it with all three; but we had to do it with this one. Deo gratius!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Guerilla Crochet

Crocheted Car Cover by Agata Oleksiak
Just when you think that you've seen everything, along comes someone like Agata Oleksiak.  I don't sell a lot of crochet patterns and I don't think that many people would buy crochet patterns to create things like this! But you have to marvel at the talent, endurance and moxey of anyone who can, not only come up with these ideas, but also execute them!

Crocheted Tent by Agata Oleksiak
Agata is an artist who was born in Poland and lives in NY. She has had installations all over the world, but her favourite activity is her guerilla crochet projects on the streets of NY.

I happened to see an article in the Globe about her so I looked her up on the internet.  There are more pictures, if you follow the link above. Below is the picture that accompanied the article in the paper

Crocheted Covered Bull - Wall St. NY

She has definitely given a whole new meaning to crochet!

Lucky Day Diary Jan 28, 2011

Filligree from Woolly Wormhead
Lucky Friday was very active because......

1. Woolly Wormhead sent me two new patterns. I always love seeing Ruth's work.  It is so creative, so tasteful and yet so easy to knit!

2. Company is coming for dinner and dinner is made!

3. Nothing like company coming to make you clean the house. But now that it's done, I fortunately don't have to do it tomorrow.

Lucy from Woolly Wormhead
4. There's another sprout coming on the rather sparse Amaryllis I showed earlier. The first Amaryllis bloomed all at once. Maybe this will be one of those slow and steady ones to luckily get us through to Valentine's Day!

5. Dinner was great and we talked about everything including Dryads and the royal wedding. As my husband pointed out, we spent an hour discussing how we were NOT going to talk about the wedding.  They still fascinate. Lucky to have friends to share a common interest or disinterest!

Not a bad day and tomorrow is Saturday!!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Of Dryads and the meaning of life...

Dryad from Woolly Wormhead
OK, I think that it's time to move to a higher plane. I know that getting out of parking spots, fixing wiper blades for rear windows, buying Cranberry scones etc... is the stuff of life; but, every once in a while we need to be catapulted out of the mundane, however, comfortable that may be and look at knitting and life at a higher level!

I know, I can hear you...Oh no...not academia again.  Well no, it's not really that high brow intellectual stuff, not from me anyway; but it is still about raising knitting and maybe ourselves above that sort of plastic canvas stuff. For example, we can shop at Value Village and Walmart as long as we know what a Dryad is!

Now, I know that you are not going to have a conversation in the checkout line about Dryads and Hamadryads (these are dryads with a degree) but maybe you might just want to disappear into a Greek myth or two when you need to tell your mind that this is just what your body has to do (shop here) and that really your mind doesn't need anything except Mozart, whose birthday is today, Jan 27 - a little night music please - and maybe the odd Dryad. Because, if we could just live with what we love in our minds, well we might go naked and that wouldn't work because the police would pick us up and send us home.

So we compensate. We clothe the body and feed the soul.

Dryad from Sivia Harding
I have chosen Dryad, because it was a term that I had never heard before until I uploaded a pattern by Sivia Harding and another by Woolly Wormhead, both called "Dryad."  Dryads are tree nymphs - most specifically "oak tree" nymphs. They are those shy elusive creatures that inhabit oak trees. I have always just referred to these "lesser" immortals from Greek mythology as nymphs whether they were from the water, air, earth etc...

Well, slap my wrists, because the more you assign names to things, the more you enrich your vocabulary and your life. So not only do we have nymphs, we also have "wood" nymphs or Dryads. In fact, I guess, that the ancient Greeks really knew how to enrich their lives because, not only did they have nymphs for oak trees, they had - nymphs for Ash trees called Meliai, for Apple - Empimeliad and for Walnut - Caryatids and many more I'm sure.

Tree scarf inhabiting a Dryad
Cultures tend to be very specific about the things that mean a lot to them. The Inuit, for example, have something like 20 synonyms for snow. This I can understand. When you are surrounded by snow for 10 or 11 months of the year, you would develop a vocabulary to enrich your life by finding those minute differences in your surroundings.

I guess that the ancient Greeks were surrounded by spirits, nymphs, capricious gods, demi-gods, titans, and other rather superior human beings. I have a feeling that I might have missed something by being born somewhere in the 20th century.

Knitters are a culture unto themselves, not unlike the ancient Greeks. Non-knitters will apply the term knitting to anything from crochet to latch hook rugs, whereas, we knitters are very specific about the terms we use to define what we do, the tools we use, the yarns, stitches, cast-ons, offs, etc...etc...that make up a garment. Mystically, though, we are not the Dryads of knitting. Although we can magically turn string into Art, we still need a source of inspiration. Some invisible spirit must inhabit our work to raise it to the sublime. Now, where are those muses :)

I have just realized that if I research the names of all the Dryads and the names of all the other nymph species - water, air etc.  I would have an amazing cache of ideas for lace scarves, shawls and stoles - yes, immortality means eternity!!


Lucky Day Diary Jan 27, 2011

I'm having to turn over every stone or chunk of ice to find a little luck in an otherwise dreary week; but....

1. I managed to fix the windshield wiper on my rear window. The ice build up had pulled the rubber away from the housing.  At first I thought that it was "finished"; but then I tried just shoving it back in place and it worked!!! Saved some time and some money.  I'm all for the kind of luck!

2. As much as I complain about the ice and cold, I am lucky that no one has suggested to me to take an Arctic adventure package such as this Polar Trip lead by a woman.

3. My daughter posted to my Facebook a note about Margaret Trudeau. I'm not a big fan of Maggy; but I like hearing from daughter who is away at school.

4. I had a burst of creative energy in the evening and wrote a post on Drayd's because two designers named two very different knitting patterns Dryad. A lucky combination!

5. Got an invitation to a party!

Tomorrow is lucky Friday!!! Hope you had a lucky day too!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 26, 2011

It's milder today, but a little grey so we may have to work a little harder at being lucky!

1. Fortunately, I got a return e-mail from another knitter who had been at Vogueknitting live.  She also said that Lynette's entry was fantastic and should have won!

2. My eye exam went well today.  I worry because I do so much knitting that I maybe straining them; but I'm good for another year!

3. No exams for the 18-year-old today, so a little less angst. Funny how we just can't seem to let go! Can I say, I'm lucky that there was less angst today?

4. I read an article about a family of 3 deciding to live with just 100 "things." They are minimalists. As I look around at all my "stuff," I am thinking that this may be a direction to move towards! It's always fortunate to have a goal!

This might have passed for a very non-descript January day, except that I have to look for all the positive (lucky) things that happen each day, beacuse of my Lucky Day Diary. It is a good way of reminding myself that, I am not living with a medical condition; I do not live in country where violence is a way of life; I have more creature comforts than many; I have had the benefit of an education, of family, of friends.......This is the real luck in any day!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 25, 2011

This has to be a lucky day, it's Robbie Burns' day and...

1. Luckily, Kim Finlay posted to my Facebook Wall the fact that an unpublished letter from Robbie Burns had been found under some floors boards in a castle in the South of Scotland. I love these lucky finds!

2. I was able to drag myself, kicking and screaming, to the gym today and fortunately, my reward was to watch a daytime TV show that showed you how to clean lots of hard to clean things like baseball caps, silk flowers, make-up brushes, hair brushes etc. by putting them in the dishwasher - you probably knew that anyway!

3. Luckily Lynette posted lots of fabulous pictures to her blog so I could import them into this weblog and also send out an e-mail broadcast showing her magnificent submission to Vogue Knitting Live! And thank you MBT for commenting on the post. To have someone, who was actually at the show say that they felt that Lynette's entry should have won is, wonderful!

4. Spaghetti to-night! What's not to love! Sorry no Haggis!

5. Also luckily someone posted to Facebook a Flash Happening on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. It was a group of students and more singing A Man's A Man For A' That.  It's a long song; but wonderful to be transported to Scotland if only for a few minutes!

Not too bad in the luck department today. I have also made a mental note that I should organize a few "Flash" happenings. I love them. They are the little things that can make a day and they are so grassroots!

Hope you had a lucky day too!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Best of the show.......

.....but one! I just had to show you in detail, Lynette's submission to Vogue Knitting Live. Out of 100 entries, this was first runner up.

All submissions had to be done in mohair, because a South African mohair company was the sponsor. Mohair was easy for Lynette, she works with it all the time. These were the parameters - now for the idea! Lynette said the inspiration came to her in the middle of the night - we all know the feeling -  it was the image of a rose on a piece of Victorian Chintz fabric. A journey had begun!

After sketching the shift and wrap, Lynette began knitting and knitting and knitting! Finally the main part was done, all that remained was painting on the rose motif. Lynette does some stunning "painted knitting" and apparently mohair takes dyes beautifully. It was a natural choice. Lynette called it Victoria Falls Wrap and Sheath and submitted it to Vogue! The rest is history. Look for Victoria Falls in a future Vogue magazine. You may even want to knit it yourself - awesome!

Here's a link to Lynette's other patterns which may be ordered from Infiknit, just in case you can't wait or you want a little project in between!


Lucky Day Diary Jan 24, 2011

1. I finally got a chance to look at a video that Lynda Gemmell of Cabin Fever sent me. You'll love this.  It's about getting people to climb stairs rather than use the escalator.  It's all about making things "fun."  
My friends do have some lucky finds.

2. Picture postcard snowfall again today. My car started in -20C temperatures and the transmission shifted into DRIVE on the second try. Well she's a 13-year-old Honda Civic. I'm lucky I still have her.

3. Fortunately, there is "Answer Your Cat's Question" day Jan 22. I missed it this year; but, I'll work on communicating with all three of them in order to celebrate it next year :)

4. Monday was awesome for sales. Thank you!

Lynette Meek of Le Tissier Designs one of the winners (centre) at VogueLive!
5. Lynette Meek of Le Tissier designs was first runner up at VogueKnitting live. Here is the picture - from right to left - winner, next Lynette Meek(white handbag) and her design(pink and green wrap with shift) which was first runner-up, then second runner up(last white garment). Now you tell me whose design is the most stunning. Lynette said that her entry drew "gasps" when it appeared on the runway. BTW the winner has a book due to be published by Vogue soon! I am so glad that Lynette's entry got selected out of 100 submissions and that she was the best, but one, of the show.  I feel very fortunate that I distribute Lynette's patterns - she's a winner!!!

All in all a great day and tomorrow is Robbie Burns' Day!

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Man's a Man for a' that:

Robbie Burns' statue in Allan Gardens Toronto
I posted, a few years ago, a tribute to Robert Burns and I dug out a lot of "plaid" knitting projects at that time.  He is one of my favourite poets, because he has preserved through his poetry the language of the common man, or at least the common scotsman. I always feel with knitting that we are preserving a very old tradition, a cottage industry, that earned livelihoods before the industrial revolution. As a result I gravitate towards artists, that preserve through their work, an older life style.

On the 250th anniversay of the birth of Robert Burns in 2009, I designed Red Rose shawl as a commemoration. I also managed to find the poem set to music on youTube. Here's the link sung by Andy Stewart.

According to another site, burns wrote 559 poems. These are his published poems, as I am sure that he wrote many more and just gave them away!

I know that there are knitters who have probably knit and/or designed as many projects. There is something about the creative process that knows no bounds.

Red Rose shawl from Queen Annes Lace
I still have on the back burner, a lace shawl - Cutty Sark - a term I explain in the earlier post linked above. Burns said it first (In Tam O'Shanter); the ship came later and finally the whiskey! The order is important, because without the poet, the creative spirit, the ship and the drink might have been given other names and much would have been lost.

As a testament to Burns' global influence there are 54 statues of the poet worldwide.  I have visited this one in Toronto and the next time I go to Montreal, Halifax, Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Windsor and Fredericton, I will visit the statues there.  There are also 16 statues in the US, 2 in New Zealand, 8 in Australia, 19 in Scotland and 1 in England - go figure!

Celebrate the creative spirit and the common man (woman) in poetry, in knitting, in all that keeps us connected to history, the arts and each other!


Lucky Day Diary Jan 23, 2011

Well, it looks like it could be a lucky day today. It's gorgeously sunny, but -20C, this is really unusually cold for Toronto! So we will have indoor luck today!

1. Fortunately the Sunday paper had a very interesting article on a man who bought 40,000 negatives at an auction. Now, I ask - would you ever buy 40,000 negatives and expect them to bring you luck? Well, it turns out that these were pictures taken by a woman, Vivian Maier, throughout her lifetime, that were never printed as photographs. Vivian worked most of her life as a nanny and likely had little money; but she did have a camera and took lots of pictures in her spare time - fabulous pictures. These negatives were kept with her other belongings in a storage locker and were auctioned off when she failed to pay the rent on the locker. The purchaser, John Maloof, a Chicago real estate whiz, bought them, printed a number of the photos and had a gallery assess them. He now has a gallery show in progress and several more lined up, a book about the photographer, who died before he could locate her and the rest is history!

2. Also in the paper was a notice about a severe weather warning for TO.  Basically it suggested that people stay indoors today. Gee, that's too bad, now I'll just have to knit all day :) What a stroke of luck!

3. Fortunately, the 28-year-old, decided to stay at home to help celebrate his brother's birthday. The tradition is pizza and cake, so the menu is an incentive. As the kids leave, there are fewer at home to "party," so the younger ones get short changed a bit. I'm lucky he stayed!

Sagittarius in progress
4. Luckily, although it was cold, the sun shone all day and lightened the spirit.

5. Fortunately, also, I think that the short row shaping in the knitted on border of Sagittarius will work around the point of the triangle at the bottom of the shawl. It will just take some careful blocking.

All in all not a bad day and I already have an order lined up for tomorrow - things are looking good for the start of the week!  Hope you had a great Sunday as well!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 22, 2011

Amaryllis Jan 22, 2011
It's Saturday!  I have my Lottery ticket and........

1. Luckily, I managed to find a birthday card (it only took 5 stores) that didn't tell the 17-teen-year-old turning 18, to "go wild" or worse on his birthday. What ever happened to jokes about Acne - maybe that's not funny to an 18-year-old!

2. Also, fortunately, I found a great article about the 400th anniversary of the King James version of the bible, that I was able to write about (about which I was able to write) in an earlier blog (Song of Solomon) - well where would you be without eccentrics!

3. Another knitting friend Brenda who reads the Guardian (Britain) sent me a link to some fun knitting articles.  Here's the lucky link for you to enjoy too! There are instructions for knitting a Jack Russell Terrier among other things. Actually I would make it bigger & felt it.
Amaryllis bud Jan 22 2011

4. Fortunately, my camera and it's battery (charged) were here - not at work- to take pictures of this gorgeous Amaryllis that has been on our dinning room table since Boxing Day. It has 3 stalks all with four blooms each and it looks like another stalk is starting. This was really a lucky buy on my husband's part for my Christmas present. My Amaryllis to him needs a real shot of "luck." These are not the gifts of the Magi; but they are magical, if and when they bloom. I'll keep you posted.

This is the second week of my Lucky diary posts and things are still pretty up and tomorrow we have a birthday party!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Song of Solomon

Sheep Go Round from Fiber Trends
The weekend papers always provide some interesting and esoteric reading - nothing compared to the British "Sunday" papers - but still good. So, I loved reading a discussion, in the Toronto Star, of the King James version of  The Bible which is still considered the gold standard, not just, for Christian beliefs, but also, for the study of imagery, poetry, narration...the list goes on.

I particularly liked a piece by Heather Mallick who was comparing a "sexy" bit in the Song of Solomon to music by the "Stones". This is the quote she used -

"Thy teeth are like a flock of sheep that are even and shorn........." I am sure that this has nothing to do with "woolly mouth" - that feeling in your mouth, the morning after a great party! I guess teeth have changed over the years.

My favourite from the Song of Solomon is: "I am the Rose of Sharon, and the Lily of the Valleys." I have tucked this away as an inspiration for a lace shawl design one day.

Anyway here are my knitting takes on the passage - great sweaters with sheep motifs in either classic fair isle or intarsia - all worn by smiling people with great teeth!

Wooly Sheep Sweater from Fiber Trends
The rest of the passage reads:

........which came up from the washing; whereof every one bear twins, and none is barren among them."

I'll leave ewe to figure this one out. If it's about teeth, one may need some serious dental work. Anyway, I still love the way knitting is connected to so many things and I apologise for any seeming irreverence. It's a wonderful article on something that was written almost 400 years ago and still surpasses it's "updated versions."  Enjoy.

Lucky Day Diary Jan 21, 2011

Not only is today Lucky Friday; but it is now just 2 months from the Vernal Equinox - or in other words Spring!

1. Luck came a little later in the day than usual. I did send Lynette Meek, who was heading off to Vogue Knitting LIVE a bon voyage.  I was wishing her all the luck of the draw.  They will choose a winner from the 12 finalist and she maybe it!

2. I also had time to do a little net surfing and come up with this amazing car covered in granny squares. Now who is the granny & who is the square? Time to rethink all those labels!

3. I was lucky that not all the Club Soda cans, that my husband had left in the car in sub-zero weather, had frozen and burst. There was one, that with a little ingenuity, and lots of kitchen tools, could be pried open, and squeezed to get enough "Spritz" for a wine spritzer before dinner!

4. Dinner was pasta from the local supermarket - only on Fridays do we do take out or is it bring in.  There is something about Fridays that says, we have worked all week and deserve a "treat." We are very lucky that we can do this - nothing is taken for granted!

Maybe not tons of lucky things happened - but a very satisfying day and tomorrow is Saturday!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 20, 2011

It's a lovely day to-day, again a little cold -12C, but sunny and almost no wind. So, the aspects are good for another lucky day.

1. I checked the lottery numbers today on-line and I have won $10.00!! Three of my six numbers were right.  We're just warming up for the big one!

2. My sale of discontinued patterns went well last night. I was lucky to get a parking spot right out front, so it was easy to carry in the bins of patterns. OK this happened yesterday, but a friend of mine called to-day to suggest that I do the sale again, because many people missed it. I wonder if I could count on that parking spot again!  Think lucky!!

3. I met a very elegant lady today, beautifully dressed, who happens to shop at Value Village (this is a bare bones re-sale chain). Fortunately, for me anyway, she has raised the shopping experience for used clothing 200%!

4. Another missing shipment showed up. A delayed shipment came in and I have moved a step closer in the re-tooling of my website.  The last was a lucky find from an internet search! 

5. Dinner to-night is made! This type of organization has more to do with luck than planning. I am not a type A personality - probably more of a type C!

6. It's after 5:00pm and still light outside. I know that this has nothing to do with luck. But it's reassuring to know that rarely do the "heavens" rely on luck. Maybe it's their job to just impart it - to create eternal consistency in an otherwise inconsistent world.

A little thin in the luck department today; but tomorrow is Lucky Friday!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Adrift by Carol Feller
I realize that I have used this word a few times in some recent posts so I thought that I would explore it a little more. Vicarious means felt or enjoyed through the imagined participation in the experience of others. It comes from the Latin word "vicarius" which means substituting.

I think that this is a perfect word to use with knitting. Knitters tend to enjoy seeing the projects that other knitters have knit. We love "show and tell" at guild nights; most groups on Ravelry have a "What's on the needles" thread and I know of a lot of knitters who could spend the whole day on-line just looking at what others have knit!

We never seem to tire of seeing the knitted stitch. There is a great deal of comfort in its regularity; its somewhat oval shape is very aesthetic and its repetition into a whole garment, awe inspiring.

I am distributing for a new designer Carol Feller and I uploaded several of her patterns to my site yesterday. I love them all, but I particularly like Adirft, pictured here. It is a lovely diaphanous wrap with sleeves knit in lace weight yarn on 4mm needles. Now I could really imagine myself knitting this wisp of a garment. It congers the emotional image of a waif, a soul blown by the wind or someone floating in a sea of dreams.
Centrique by Carol Feller

I could also imagine myself knitting Carol's other two projects for different reasons. Perhaps I would knit Centrique to be one with the scenery in the background and the other Iceling Set maybe to enjoy again children. Yes, I can take a lot of pleasure in just imagining the needles in my hand and the yarn slipping through my fingers. Thank you "vicarious" for giving a name to our thoughts.

Iceling Set from Carol Feller
Dinner - well, I could fast and just enjoy, vicariously, other people's dinner :) No, as far as food is concerned, I need substance. How about some fish or seafood. Tuna casserole always works for me. Here is a link to an easy one with variations. Enjoy the real thing.

Lucky Day Diary Jan 19, 2011

It's Wednesday - mid-week hump day.  Let's see how lucky we are at getting over the "hump."

1. Luckily, I got out of my parking spot again today, in spite of the fact that we had freezing rain last night, my car door was frozen, the six inches of snow on the roof of my car had slid down to the windshield and was frozen solid. I just chipped away; put her in reverse and floored it! Some things just feel right!

2. I didn't slip and slide too much on the back streets driving to work - it was just too slippery to walk. There is always something fortunate about sliding through an intersection when no one else is there!

3. I am so lucky that Robyn Gallimore of Red Bird Knits sent me this link to the Bad Astronomy blog via Facebook. It's a discussion of the Orion Nebula, which appears as a star near Orion's famous belt. I love the constellation, Orion. I always look for it in the south sky in March, as a sign of Spring! We have to feel very fortunate when we look at ourselves as part of the larger picture - all this and we are part of - amazing!!!

4. I fortunately saw another sign of Spring this morning. Four or five very plump Robins were pecking at crumbs on a front lawn. Now I have probably read somewhere, that some robins don't actually migrate south for winter; but I am going to pretend that this is another sign of Spring - and it's only Jan 19.

5. Red Birds Knits was on a roll today. (Not directly related to the birds above, but her first name is Robyn) She posted that Sweater Day is February 17. This is something that was started by the World Wild Life Fund. The idea is to turn down your heating a few notches and wear a crazy sweater on February 17.  They are actually turning this into an event! Well, I had to post a comment to their site; but I thought why not offer a free pattern - why not - you just have to write up the pattern - lucky I wasn't busy today! So now there is a free basic pullover on the Infiknit site. All you have to do is turn down your heating on Feb 17 and tell all your friends about it and knit several crazy sweaters for all of them before the 17 of Feb.  :)

6. Lynette Meek of Le Tissier Designs called today from Nanaimo. She is in the final stages of getting ready for Vogue Knitting LIVE in NY.  I can't believe that she flies out Friday morning.  Remember she is the only Canadian finalist in the show.  Got my fingers crossed. I am so enjoying her "luck" in this!

Not bad for the "hump." There's just Thursday and then "lucky" Friday before the weekend!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 18, 2011

Well, today was a much better day than yesterday in the luck department! Here's why:

1. Lots of orders came in today.  That always makes me feel very lucky!

2. I had lots of help in, as well, to fill the orders - even better!

3. I almost didn't get out of my parking spot this morning; but the postman was walking by and waited to see if I needed a push.  I didn't; but it really helped knowing he was there - what a stroke of luck!

4. Fortunately the freezing rain which was forecast had not started yet, so I got home without a struggle.

5. I was thrilled that my friend Meredith has started a Lucky Day Diary too.  Lots of positive energy combined should help make everyone a little luckier!

6. I'm lucky that I had time to make soup last night because dinner for tonight is ready!!!

7. I always like lucky "vibes" and Cath. Thorley posted this to my Facebook wall:

This is really cool…passing along: This year we will experience 4 unusual dates.... 1/1/11, 1/11/11, 11/1/11, 11/11/11 .... NOW, figure this out.... take the last 2 digits of the year you were born plus the age you will be this year and it WILL EQUAL TO 111.No wonder it's the year of the rabbit - with all these lucky digits!!

8. Well I was just about to close out of Facebook for the day when Kim Finley, whom I know personally and is a knitter and friend of my neighbour and a former president of the DKC, where I will be tomorrow night - whew all in one breath - posted this to my wall. It is from the Monarchist League of Iowa

It has all the lucky links that you will ever need including Aston Martin, the Charles Dickens Bicentenary, Hermes, The Norton Anthology, Twinings and sooo many more - just a sea of riches. I used my lucky network and Voila!

9. Finally - 9 wow count them - a link to an article in the Globe.  It has a Canadian slant too it. But the information is still relevant for US readers. Some of the links will be different. It's about lost bank accounts, forgotten lottery tickets, unused gift cards - lots of stuff!

Tomorrow (Wednesday) I am at the Downtown Knit Collective (DKC) with all the patterns that I am discontinuing, on sale!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 17, 2011

To-day could be a challenge.  The newspaper said that it was "Blue Monday," which means that it is generally a depressing day for almost everyone, because the holiday bills have come in; it's cold and snowy; we've failed in our New Year's resolutions; we need vitamin D; the list goes on..... So I guess that I'll have to crank up the volume today!!!

1. Fortunately they had my favourite treat at the Second Cup this morning - orange cranberry scone. They don't always have it in and it's all I ever buy. This is good and it's only 11:20am.

2. Got out of my parking spot again to-day. My husband needed a push from a neighbour; but I did it, first shot!

3. Luckily the cat has forgiven me for stepping on him this evening - well black cat on a navy carpet in a darkened room. Cat treats work!

4. One of winter's positive sides is food that requires slow cooking.  I could become addicted to stews, tagines, cassoulets. Knitting is not an addiction, it is the therapy we use to deal with addictions :) I'm lucky we had time to make up a few dishes on Sunday to eat all week!

5. Two Christmas cards sent by my sister-in-law in Edinburgh arrived - They were postmarked in time - just got sidelined I guess. I'm lucky that they arrived at all.

6. Sivia Harding posted to my Facebook this quote from Martin Luther King:

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

It was a lovely reminder that there is a higher order and there are great people striving to elevate us all! There are days when I need these reminders - Blue Monday was one of them and I'm lucky that this day comes just once a year!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 16, 2011

Today was another beautiful day - just a tad cold -10C but:

1. Fortunately, I managed to work out the short row increases that I needed to attach a border to a triangular shawl. I won't tell you how long it took me to do the math. I'm just going to say that when I put it on a graph, it worked, finally!

2. I got a lovely note from a friend of mine on Facebook. I have shared many family stories with B. over the years. She is an amazing role model! I will always remember that for her 75th birthday she did an assisted sky dive. I hope that I'm that lucky when I get there.  I'm working on it!

3. Luckily my husband managed to find chicken backs for soup. I love making soup stock;  it perfumes the house and puts me in a great mood.

4. I also got a lovely comment from Norma on a previous post. Thank you so much. I must admit I didn't mind at all when the first two went off to university, because I got to clean their rooms! I finally got a chance to throw out all the moldy sandwiches and other crud that had collected during those really difficult high school years. I just couldn't bug them about everything, so I let their rooms go and so did they :)

5. Luckily, I was also able to pick up a copy of the magazine Victoria (Bliss) because my sister had sent me an e-mail saying that there was an article about a woman who owns a sheep farm and spins and dyes her own wool. At first I thought, this is a nice article; but I deal with a lot of people who own fibre farms, then I looked at it from my sister's point of view. I thought wait a minute! This is all about people who are lucky enough to be able to live "the dream." My sister saw a person who had been fortunate enough to escape to a farm, raise gorgeous animals and create fabulous yarn as their full time job! And really by extension, the article was about everyone who has been able to break out of the routine and work at something they love!!!

I'm really glad that my sister sent me the e-mail and that I made the effort to get the magazine and read the article, because, I needed to be reminded that I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work at Infiknit!

Saturday was the end of the first week of my "lucky day" diary and I have to admit, that although I haven't had any money just fall into my hands, I've been in a wonderful frame of mind and I have had energy to get things done, that have been cluttering up my mind, so this is a start. I still  have some more "lucky" learning to do, though.  I think that I have to do some more de-cluttering to free up even more mental space so I can be open for opportunities, when they present themselves and I have to expand my network, again to create more chances for good fortune to occur!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 15, 2011

It's Saturday and fairly relaxed so I should be open for some good luck to-day. Let's see.

1. Fortunately, I just had to ask the 17 year-old once to go up and shovel a neighbour's walk. In others years, it would have taken 5 or 6 requests. There is light at the end of the parenting tunnel!

2. I was able to clean the upstairs of the house in no time at all. One less person in the house makes a difference. Now if I could only manage to have fewer cats...

3. Luckily, the sun came out about 3:00pm, which gave me a burst of energy, so I finished the housework - even vacuumed the basement stairs and went with my husband for his 3 mile walk!

4. I am a city person. I was actually born in Toronto, so the fact that I am within walking distance to about 100 restaurants (I will count them all someday), makes me feel very lucky.

Today was a little slow in the luck department. My lottery ticket didn't win; but I checked out the numbers and the last time 5 of the 6 won was 1991. This is due to come around again. Sunday should be better!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 14, 2011

So, Friday, being Friday, is always a little luckier than the other days of the week except maybe Saturday and Sunday depending on your work schedule.  That being said, I am hoping for some very lucky occurrences today!

1. First I have to say that I felt very lucky after reading Cat Bordhi's post on Facebook, because this hasn't happened to me in a long time.  Here is her quote:

....Boarding flight homeward, nice lady with strong accent behind me tugs at my vest. "You have toilet," she says. Toilet seat cover attached to my backside. The kindness of strangers. And humor of life....
For all of you who know what a popular knitting personality Cat is, you can appreciate her embarrassment - but she managed it with aplomb! All posts on your embarrassing moment(s) welcome.
2. Got out of my parking spot again today - ta-dah!
3. I just realized that the space where my local Winner's store used to be  (they moved, just about a mile away) - is being replaced by a Marshall's. I feel that the luck of the "find" is just around the corner! In fact, I could probably toggle between the two stores - now how is that for doubling your luck!
4. I was lucky that a shop owner asked me how she might reduce her pattern inventory because I came up with one idea for sock patterns which involves having a "Sock Hop".  This sounded like a lot of fun, especially if you are shut up in doors and need an event to get you out! I posted all the details for the event on an earlier blog!
5. Bought my lottery ticket for tomorrow's draw. I usually don't buy lottery tickets, but I have decided to buy just one 6/49 for the lucky day diary - keeping myself open for "luck."
6. My husband brought home my favourite Friday night dinner - BBQ'd chicken from the local supermarket.  It isn't fancy; but I don't have to cook it; so it's second to Ambrosia!!
Not bad for a mid-month Friday. Now on to a snowy Saturday or so the forecast says.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sock Hop Socks

Latvian Wedding Socks from Red Bird Knits
I was talking to a store today and the owner asked me how she could reduce her pattern inventory. Anyway, I put my thinking cap on and came up with a few strategies.

Here is the first idea. You could group patterns and create a themed event around them. For example, let's say that you have a lot of sock patterns that you would like to see fly or "dance" out the door. How about staging an old fashioned "Sock Hop."

1. Have customers get dressed up in 50's garb, with "bobby" socks or better still with socks that they have knit. You may even want to "plant" a few people with socks on of patterns that you would like to reduce.

2. To limit the excitement, not to mention the noise, you could make this a "flash" event - maybe a few half hours during the day.

Winter Dreams from Red Bird Knits
3. Serve cherry coke. Have a disc jockey to get it all going. Take lots of pictures and put them up on Twitter and Facebook. Borrow a vintage turn table and some LPs. Have prizes. (spot dances) Link it to a good cause, perhaps and have all your sock patterns front & centre.  Give the patterns away as prizes. Have a mini sock fashion show. Have a chorus line - anything that will hype up the need to knit socks.

4. Book our trunk show of Red Bird Knits socks for some added interest and kick up a storm!

Please let me know if this works for you.

Lucky Day Diary Jan 13, 2011

I think that I may have to work a little harder at being lucky today, because it's the 13th - fortunately not a Friday.

1. I did get up a little earlier today because I wanted the shower first. It is the only way to insure that the water pressure and temperature stays the same throughout the shower. You have to live in an older house in an even older part of the city to really appreciate that perfect shower conditions are not a given. You either plan them or rely on luck! Okay, this was planned - sorry.

2. I may be able to maximize my luck for a morning shower; but, I can never plan my exit from my on-street parking. I have to rely on luck, experience and chutzph. Basically I have to drive into a snowbank in the evening when I come home. The snowplow makes several passes through the night, packing on more snow  and then I have to use whatever it takes to blast out in the morning. Actually I love it! Some climb Mt Everest; I just get out on the road in the morning, with a bit of luck!

3. A parcel that seemingly went missing en route to Saskatoon, has arrived. It did, though, take 11 days via Canada Post from Toronto. (Actually to have any parcel show up at all has a certain element of luck to it.) But at least I didn't have to dig out the tracking  number; call Canada Post; re-ship; fill out umpteen forms; find several proofs that I had actually paid for the shipping and that the parcel was worth what I said it was, to claim a refund and then track that the refund had been sent.  There must be an easier way.

4. I forgot to buy a 6/49 lottery ticket yesterday and I was dreading going on their site, just in case I found that the numbers, that I would have selected had won. Deep breath - they didn't!!!! Does that make me a winner!

5. I talked myself into going to the gym today. This isn't really about luck.  It's about hating to get up out of my chair and move at all.  Well, my reward was that, as I was fishing for my card to get into the gym, I found a $20.00 bill that I had tucked away in there and forgotten about!  Quelle Luck - wait is luck masculine or feminine - this might need a whole other blog! Problem solved - it's feminine - go figure!

6. I picked up two boxes, that are the perfect size for shipping yarn and patterns, from the electronics store next door, but one.  They have a cardboard pick up on Thursdays and if I remember, I can usually find a few good boxes to recycle as shipping containers. I haven't had to buy new boxes in years! As lucky finds go, this is peanuts; but I'm a scrounger and something like this can make my day!

7. Fortunately, my copy of MacLean's magazine came today and in it was an article about a Canadian artist I love, Shary Boyle. I saw Shary's work a number of years ago in another magazine which showed pictures of her porcelain figures. They looked like Royal Dolton figurines, to which Shary added real lace also dipped in porcelain. Another distinctive feature of the figures is that they all had 6 fingers instead of 5. A knitter could identify with that. However, it was the last article in the magazine that made me feel very lucky. It was about an Indian family in the Punjab who sold their farm to send their eldest of 3 sons to Canada. Then the four who were left moved into a one room apartment and raised chickens - in the apartment, as well. I will never complain about the size of my house again!

Not bad for a Thursday the 13th in icy cold January. Bring on Friday.  Friday starts out lucky just because it's Friday!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

National Rubber Ducky Day

Hen and chickens from Fiber Trends
To-day is national Rubber Ducky Day. The link is actually to last year's listing - but things don't change much in the world of rubber ducks. I'm really not sure why we need a day to celebrate a bath toy - but it is a toy with staying power. Maybe in the depths of bitterly cold January we need a spot of yellow to lighten the mood.

Anyway, I don't have any patterns for knitted ducks. I have patterns for knitted felted chickens, which look a little like rubber ducks. I also have a pattern for mittens that look like ducks, would that help? Then, of course there is Lucy Neatby's duck sweater that I have posted before. But we're not talking rubber ducks here, we're talking mathematical ducks with a serious academic side to them.

Barnyard Mittens II from Infiknit
There are sites that will customize rubber ducks for you. Put your logo on a few, that is. I'll bet that there is even a very large inflatable duck to be had some where, if you wanted to do a promotion or something.  How about 10 or 20% off everything in the store that is yellow.  Could you hide a few rubber ducks in your store and when they are found take a certain percentage off the finder's purchase?  Maybe you could even make this a "flash" event on Facebook.

Duck Sweater fro Lucy Neatby
There is also a popular song that goes with the duck.  It actually made it to #16 on the charts back in the 70's - you remember - "Rubber Ducky, you're the one.... ". Please post to my Facebook, if you happen to be somewhere there is a rubber duck "happening."

Dinner - nothing with wings or Foie Gras - and the best that I can think of is fried eggs - sunny side up.  I'll try to be a little more creative tomorrow. Oh and btw, I missed chocolate covered cherry day and I have a pattern from Heartstrings for socks and matching fingerless mittens for that day - next year!  Enjoy!

Lucky Day Diary Jan 12, 2011

OK, this is shaping up to be a lucky day!  An earlier horoscope suggested that Wednesday of this week was going to be good and so far - it's 10:00am - it has been.

1. The 6 or so inches of snow that fell last night and is still falling was fortunately very dry and light so it whisked off the car in no time. I was actually thinking of walking to work; but then I had errands to run, err drive, to-day and I had left the decision a little late so my son would then have to walk to school faster than his usual snail's pace so I thought, we might be the wusses of winter, but I am going to drive the mile or so to his school and my office!

2. The snow to-day was so beautiful that it made me feel so lucky that I'm a Canadian living in this amazing climate. It was actually quite a bright day and you could see a hazy sun shining through the clouds even though the snow that was falling was quite thick - not actually heavy but there were lots of flakes and they seemed to almost pause or hang in the air for a moment as they descended. It was picture postcard weather and if you live in the moment - this was a moment to be!

3. Another lucky chance call - for all those who do "cold calling", it does work, but, maybe not as often as you would like it to. Actually Cedar Springs (the water people) called to get me to place an order for more water bottles. Well I had actually put my last jug in the system so I really did need more water; but I had also read that they were now using glass bottles that were actually lighter, though not cheaper; but it would mean that I wouldn't have some lethal chemical leeching into the water. I ordered 3.  It was lucky that she called because I might have let it drift for quite awhile.

4. The clinic, I went to last week and got the lucky break of a free parking ticket, called to say I was normal - whew, I was worried about that - so many other people wouldn't agree with them.  :)

5. Finally, it was lucky that I remembered to check out the site because I would have missed the fact that tomorrow (that's to-day), is national Rubber Ducky Day. I should be able to have a lot of fun with this! Now, of course, I can't get the song out of my head .... "rubber ducky you're the one...."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lucky Day Diary Jan 11, 2011

Well, today's date certainly looks lucky either way you present it - 11/01/11 or 01/11/11 and today:

1. I was lucky enough to have left some gas in my car so the gas lines didn't freeze over night and I could start the car to-day.  Must get to the gas station p.d.q.

2. Things were a little slow in the luck department until 4:00pm when my good friend Mary Pat came by bearing gifts. Mary Pat was clearing out her father's apartment and passed on to me some fabulous books - two poetry books - one by Al Purdy and another by G.K. Chesterton, plus a fabulous, almost never opened, Latin dictionary (just a day before Latin Wednesdays on Facebook!)- how lucky is that!

3. Well, I got to the gas station and my favourite attendant was there - he always makes me laugh - he could just be giving a synopsis of the weather forecast; but he says it in the most hilarious way - the weather chanel should interview him!

4. I could also enjoy vicariously my friend Julia's luck in that she has 12 people signed up for her trip to Morroco - a full house!  Julia organizes trips to Morroco for fibre enthusiasts. I think that she should get on twitter and post away, when she's away, then I could enjoy the actual trip too!

5. I was also lucky to have had all neurons firing, because I figured out this clue in the Globe's crytic crossword puzzle - Let everyone with a ring get married - which became - all (everyone) o (ring) wed (married) or allowed for "let".

Can't wait to see what luck comes in tomorrow!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Chuck Berry and the next generation(s)....

Line Dance from Red Bird Knits
Dinner conversation with late teens and early twenties can be a challenge; but when the nineteen - year- old remarked on a recent performance by Chuck Berry which was all over Facebook - we found a common ground!  I must see if there is a group on Ravelry following Chuck Berry.  Chuck Berry may well be the hottest 84 year-old on the planet and, as far as my kids are concerned, is still up there with the latest rap performer - he may even outshine them!

There was a suggestion that we should take a trip to Missouri because Chuck Berry performs in a bar(?) there (somewhere) every Sunday night - we could get to MO maybe via Cleveland and the Rock and Roll hall of fame!  I feel a road trip coming on. Someone added Graceland and I am sure that we could find an excuse to go to Nashville too.

Mexican Dance from Red Bird Knits
Obviously there is something in the music and "duck walk" of Chuck Berry that transcends time. Michael Jackson's moon walk, perhaps, does the same.  We'll just have too see whether it lasts as long as Berry's. I guess Elvis' pelvis was/is there too - his birthday was Jan 8. There are those who believe he is still with us - being eternal is the ultimate longevity

What are the ingredients of longevity? What does it take to be amazing at 76 (Cohen) or 84 (Berry) - a song, a dance, a significant presence.  How can we translate that into knitting? I know that there are some patterns out there that have an amazing following and there are designers who list thousands of fans. Is Kaffe Fassett still a major player in knitting and will he be doing shows and creating amazing work into his 80's - I wish he would come back to knitting - the quilters have had him long enough!

I think that designers, such as, Debbie New - "Unexpected Knitting" and Elizabeth Zimmerman are the innovators and entertain us in their own way - but we also need the equivalent of "song and dance." Who are the Cohens and Berry's of knitting?

Dinner?  Maybe some tapas. This is bar food with a difference. Extend any of these recipes and you have a whole meal.

The pictures - patterns to dance in.

Lucky Day Jan 10, 2011

1. Well, so far to-day, hasn't had the lucky hits that yesterday had. Still, my meeting tomorrow, which I was dreading, has been cancelled - yeah!
2. It was still a lovely sunny day and a cheque came in. I always like those surprises.
3. I found out that two of the designs that I represent will be featured in a catalogue, a very nice surprise.
4. My friend Meredith dropped in with her 3-month-old - I love babies, oh yes and mothers too.
5. Lynette Meek of Le Tissier Designs called from Nanaimo to tell me about her plans for attending Vogue Knitting LIVE as a finalist. I wanted to hear all about her flights, what she was planning to do in NY. I even asked what was on the menu for the dinner. I am enjoying the trip, vicariously.

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Lucky Diary - Jan 9, 2011

1. Well luckily my daughter's cell phone alarm went off at 8:00am giving me an hour or two more of Carpe Diem (sieze the day). Actually my daughter is in Halifax and we are in Toronto, but she has a Halifax phone and a TO phone. It was the TO phone, which she leaves behind (and obviously doesn't turn off, when she goes back to Dalhousie) that went off. Well first I tried to turn off our alarm, which wasn't on. Then I had to find where the "noise" was coming from - top drawer of my husband's dresser, by the time I had turned off the alarm, I was wide awake and ready to start the day - sort of - What a lucky break!!!

2. Then I took a look at the day that I was about to sieze. It was beautiful - bright and sunny, though very cold -8 or -9C. The smoke coming from the buildings was white and fluffy, which always reminds me of angels.  There was an article in the paper on ice rinks - maybe to-day will be skating at the Brickworks. I was very lucky to have this amazing day on the weekend, when you don't have to work, so you can really enjoy it!

3. Well, I was also hoping to luck out and have a white dress shirt in the house for the 17 year-old's graduation photo session on Tuesday, but I didn't so, I had to hop over to Winners and get one - however, I was lucky enough to get a parking spot about 10 spaces from the front door on the first try and as it turned out I found the last size small 15" neck on the rack at $30.00. I often think that Winners has an alien manufacturer or two - because I find that either the sleeves are too long,  the necks too wide or the general shape so contorted that it wouldn't fit anything remotely human. Anyway, the price was right and the wait in line, not that long.

4. Another lucky strike, my husband was able to book our daughter's return flight home for reading week in February at a mere $500.00 - down from the usual $800.00. It may be lucky - but it still hurts.

5. I felt that I was on a roll as far as the shopping was concerned so I decided to drag my husband, kicking and screaming, into our local GAP store to see if we could get a sweater or two to replace some of the really worn ones with holes - you know the ones they will never part with. Please don't mention that I should be knitting him a few.  The last one I knit somehow got into the wash and is now half the size - more on that later.  Anyway another lucky hit at the GAP. There was a sweater that actually looked quite nice, that he could live with and with the extra 50% off was only $15.00.  Now to wash and mend the others.

It's 8:30pm and since I usually fall asleep very early, I don't think that there will be any more "luck outs" to-day. I have already done the Sunday Star crossword and have all but 3 or 4 words left to be solved. I know I should be doing some knitting - but maybe I'll read a bit or do the cryptic crossword puzzle. I can't count a great dinner as luck, except that it was paella and almost all the clams & mussells opened - a diem carpe'd.

I wonder what will "luck out" tomorrow - I'll keep you posted. !!!

Get Lucky - part 2

Beaded Shamrock Socks from Heartstrings

I have become fascinated with the idea of luck. The day I posted "Get Lucky," I had an appointment at a clinic - just something routine. I got a bit lost getting there, so I was running short of time. However, when I arrived I not only had to park the car,  but I had to pay up front for parking, estimating how long the appointment was going to be. Well, clinics are unpredictable and I could be in and out in half an hour or I could be stuck there for 3 hours - what to do? Suddenly out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man in a car waving at me. I went over to him (you never know your luck) Well, here he was offering me an all day parking ticket.  He had finished early and could I use it? Could I? - you bet!

When I got back to work, I decided that I wanted to explore this idea of "learning how to be lucky" a little more. Here is what I found. Lucky people:

1. Maximize Chance Opportunities

Lucky people are skilled at creating, noticing, and acting upon chance opportunities. They do this in various ways, which include building and maintaining a strong network, adopting a relaxed attitude to life, and being open to new experiences.

2. Listen to Their Lucky Hunches
Lucky people make effective decisions by listening to their intuition and gut feelings. They also take steps to actively boost their intuitive abilities -- for example, by meditating and clearing their mind of other thoughts.

3. Expect Good Fortune
Lucky people are certain that the future will be bright. Over time, that expectation becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because it helps lucky people persist in the face of failure and positively shapes their interactions with other people.

4. Turn Bad Luck Into Good
Lucky people employ various psychological techniques to cope with, and even thrive upon, the ill fortune that comes their way. For example, they spontaneously imagine how things could have been worse, they don't dwell on the ill fortune, and they take control of the situation.

These points come from an article by Daniel H. Pink . It was written in 2003 - but it is still very relevant to-day. One of the points made in the article is to keep a diary for a month and just record the lucky things that happen to you in a day. By the end of the month, you should be a lot luckier.
Beaded Shamrock Wristlet from Heartstrings

So I am going to start here.  I will post my positive diary daily. You may post along with me or send me something lucky that happened to you this day. You can do it as a post or just send me an e-mail at the link above. I am starting with Sunday, January 9. This looks like a good day to start. It's cold but sunny outside. I went to the bank yesterday, so I have money in my pocket and the bank line didn't look as horrendous as I thought it would. I've cleaned the house, taken down the tree, so lets get started!

I need to knit one of those wristlets for my writing in my lucky diary!

Dinner? Here's a lucky recipe. Apparently in Italy, eating lentils is good luck!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Get Lucky!

Bunny Fun from Fiber Trends
According to this article in the Globe luck is something that you can learn - maybe something like "get lucky 101."  The main thread of the article is that through trial and error you can train yourself to have more lucky breaks. For example: When looking for a parking spot closest to your destination, some will luck out and get a space very close to where they want to be.  This will encourage them to try another time.  Whereas someone who has rarely found the "right" spot will take the first parking spot they see, even if it is a block away from where they want to be. These people don't even bother to circle the block once in the off chance that they might get lucky. However, the "lucky" ones probably circle the block a few times.

Ric Wallace, the subject of the article, considers himself very lucky, he even calls himself a "Luckologist." He has a website - and he says that he's so lucky that even when he goes for a walk, he often comes home with a few dollars. Luck just seems to fall into his hands.  He has won loads of lotteries and just seems to luck out with things most of the time

Maybe it's just a positive attitude. Maybe it's hedging your bets - if you've had a string of bad luck - your luck should turn soon. Whatever it is, he's counting on the year of the rabbit, beginning Feb 3, 2011 to be the luckiest year ever - remember the rabbit's foot - well here is the whole rabbit.

Faberge Eggs from Infiknit
Dinner tonight - something with eggs - I always think that eggs are somehow lucky - not sure why.  Maybe it's their shape - lace designs that form oval shapes always sell better for some reason. Eggs remind me of the Faberge egg with the surprise inside. Here's a site from the egg farmer's marketing board call "Get Cracking." It actually has a link that says, "Tell us the ingredients you have in your fridge and we’ll give you recipe ideas to match."

Now if they could only do that with the "STASH."

Friday, January 07, 2011

Vogue Knitting LIVE ....leaks

OK this is not Wikileaks - but it is a little bit of insider information....I am thrilled to announce that we have an amazing Canadian finalist in the Vogue Knitting LIVE  in NYC  January 21-23. Out of the incredible array of garments submitted (100) to the competition, Lynette Meek of Le Tissier Designs was chosen as one of the 12 finalists!!!

Shibori Scarf from Lynette Meek
Many of you already know Lynette because you have ordered her patterns from us or participated in her Victorian trunk show 2010. For those of you who don't know Lynette, here is your chance to stock patterns from "a soon to be world famous designer" ( I have seen her submission and I would lay bets that it will be best of the show - it is stunning - that's all I can say I'm sworn to secrecy.)

So make sure you have a good selection of patterns to brag to customers about how you knew all along that Lynette's designs were winners and would you like to knit a scarf or two to flaunt!!! Here is the link
Pelerine from Lynette Meek

You also may want to try to create a little excitement around the Vogue show for customers who aren't going and if you have someone who is going, try to get them to post to your Facebook regularly to generate even more excitement 

Wisteria Gloves and Socks
Here's the link for the Vogue show, so you can keep up to date!

Have a great day!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Epiphany and Little Christmas

Eastern Socks from Le Tissier
On January 6, Christians celebrate the feast of the Epiphany - sometimes called little Christmas. In France it is/was the day that people exchanged gifts; but for most, it is the day that marks the story of the Magi - three kings, mystics, who came to pay homage to an event that the heavens had predicted - the birth of a king.  They brought gifts, so we are told, - gold, frankincense and myrrh.

The word epiphany actually means:
(1): a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something (2) : an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking (3) : an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure. 

Istanbul from Red Bird Knits
It is a wonderful story of rich, educated and powerful people being brought to their knees by something as simple as the birth of a child.

Maybe this is a time to think of our own epiphanies. To remember times when we had an intuitive grasp of reality, an illuminating realization! It's a wonderful way to start the new year. It's all about knowledge and experience, wrought through encounters with the divine.

One of my "epiphanies" came shortly after Christmas in early January. It was a very cold day -12C, but bright and sunny. The smoke clouds coming from the buildings downtown were horizontal and fluffy. I was pushing my son, then 2 1\2 years old in a stroller, he was looking up at the sky, when all of a sudden he said, "Look, Mom, angels!" Smoke and mirrors, angels and Magi, it's all in what you believe! Believe in Magic!

All epiphany stories welcome. I'd love to hear yours!

Dinner?  There are traditional cakes and sweetbreads, but I did find someone who suggested roast pork with gravy for Twelfth Night or Epiphany.  It is the end of the Christmas celebrations - so something festive would be in order.

The pictures are of knitting designs - socks because of the journey - all with an Eastern flavour.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Filigree Ensemble from Heartstrings
I enjoyed writing about my discovery of the new word (to me anyway) "mitochondria", that I thought that I would add a blog or two on interesting words that could be related to knitting. So, for this post I have chosen the word "ubiquitous" meaning everywhere - omnipresent. Discussing interesting words, also gives me a chance to talk about their roots - mainly Latin and to remind everyone to join Latin Wednesdays on Facebook with the XRX group and other dabblers like myself!

Ubiquitous comes from the Latin words "ubi" - where and "que" - and or plus - so the literal would be where plus or everywhere. It has come to have a somewhat negative meaning in the sense that we become bored with what seems to be everywhere - such as, the ubiquitous Crocs - those rather ugly, but I guess quite comfortable, large rubber? slip-ons with holes. At the height of their ubiquitous-ness (not a real word), I was beginning to think that life was a "croc." Anyway they are still around, but, not as omnipresent as before - we have now moved onto "Uggs" - not sure what will be next. Can I say life is an "ugg"? Maybe not - how about "hug."
Fretwork mittens from Le Tissier

I would like ubiquitous to have more of a positive spin, though, so that it could refer to knitting. Wouldn't it be wonderful if knitting were everywhere. Not just in "bombings" but you would just see people knitting, a bit like we see them texting on their cell phones - awesome!

Well  we are not there yet, but we do go through trends in knitting, so that as far as the niche circle of knitting is concerned, "eyelash yarn" was definitely ubiquitous a few years ago.  I would say that hand dyed yarn is so right now and certainly sock and scarf patterns are everywhere!  What seems to be very sparse and this would be the antonym, is any pattern using intarsia. I thought that this might become a "new" trend and I blogged about it a few years ago - but nothing has materialized. Too bad, intarsia has lots of possibilities.

The ubiquitous in food would be pasta and the Italian restaurant - these are not negatives.  Where would we be without pizza, pasta, and pesto? The pictures are of knitted hand decorations for the ubiquitous electronic devices!

Monday, January 03, 2011

How many Barbies can.....

from Infiknit on the head of a pin or dress a shop window.  This article in the Toronto Star fascinated me - it's about the "Abandoned Barbie Project" an undertaking by Dr. Sheldon Wagner, a 67 year-old psychotherapist who owns a store - gallery - at 100 Ossington Ave in TO.  The gallery is never or rarely open; but it is filled with Barbie dolls that have been rescued and re-dressed or not as the case may be and posed in "artistic" settings worthy of the likes of Andy Warhol!

Over the years Wagner has rescued abandoned Barbies from garage sales, flea markets, trash bins etc and housed them in his shop/gallery and then turned, what he could, into art vignettes. I have somehow bonded with this artist/doctor.  Most would consider him "a little weird", but I understand his need to preserve childhood and to turn the power of "play" into an art form.

I have knit dolls clothes - too many, too often and I have a store of the most exquisite knitted dolls' clothes patterns - many in period costume, which I have re-sized for Barbie. I am waiting for someone to share my passion - most look at me, as though I too am a little weird. Except Penny, who buys my dolls' clothes patterns and, I presume, knits them.

I understand from the article that Dr Wagner's gallery will be open on Sundays in the new year. I feel an "outing" in the making - Penny are you available one Sunday....? Now apparently we will have to make our way through stacks of other toys and un-positioned Barbies to view the whole collection - but it will be something unforgettable, I'm sure.

Dinner?  Well, what would Barbie eat? Hamburgers? Now, I haven't had a hamburger since the first snowflake fell and really we are heading into Spring - I usually bypass winter - but I am going to acknowledge it for one day to go skating at the Brickworks - So lets do hamburgers. This is billed as the definitive source for hamburgers - I love authorities - so enjoy!