Friday, July 27, 2012

Odin's Eagles

Odin was a powerful god in Norse mythology. He governed the realms of wisdom, cunning, sorcery, and death. Just like Zeus, Odin had the power to transform himself into various creatures, which enabled him to wander about the earth undetected.

Interestingly enough, both gods often chose bird forms, as disguises - perhaps to make a hasty escape, if needed.

I don't have a picture of an eagle, but I do have a number of bird pictures and the question now is - What super power has disguised himself as.....

A hawk ....... this one is flying over Angel's Gate vineyard. Or.....

Three swans and a Canada Goose/Gander on Lake Ontario at Sunnyside. Or....

Some inner city pigeons!!

Here's the stitch.

It's done with Mosaic knitting, where you work across a row with one colour and slip stitches from the row below to bring another colour into the pattern. Before I did Fair Isle, I used to do a lot of mosaic knitting.  It has an interesting texture, which lends itself to stylized motifs - not unlike the stories from mythology.

The pattern is too grand for pigeons. It could be geese in "V" formation - certainly a hawk - they are always flying around - keeping an eye on us and I am sure it looks like an eagle - I just have to see one and take a picture.  It maybe easier to just knit a swatch or a whole sweater for that matter :)

Here is a sample of some mosaic knitting I did about 15 years ago.  It's a sweater for my daughter.  I varied the original motif from a Barbara Walker Treasury and created both male & female children/people. Mosaic knitting, mythology, Inukshuks, ancient cultures - they all seem to come together in a few knitting motifs.

Have a mythical day!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


The first stitch I posted a picture for was the Cloisters. I really just looked at the stitch and admired how it resembled the arch of a cloister.  Here is the stitch again.

I have since then done some research on cloisters to add a little more meaning to the stitch. Cloisters are essentially covered walkways. They were often part of monasteries as a symbolic way of separating spiritual life from the chaos of peasant life. To be cloistered is to be sheltered from the fray in a contemplative life style that only a religious and later an academic institution could support. Here is a small cloister from University College University of Toronto.

I was hoping to be able to get into the main quadrangle, which is edged by a magnificent cloister.  Unfortunately the huge wooden doors were always closed. I guess I'll have to go back in September.

I was, though, able to get this picture of a covered walkway. Cloisters created by nature are lovely too and offer a much needed escape from the material world.

However in the absence of any clearly defined physical refuge - a ball of yarn and some circular needles can create it's own escape.

Have a thoughtful day!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Inverted Gull Stitch

I had said earlier that I was having trouble finding an example of the Inverted Gull stitch in life. OK, I know that I'm a little "mad" and I realize that knitting should maybe just be knitting - interesting stitches etc.  It really doesn't need to be part of any grander scheme; but I can't help finding these correlations between knitting and life - (not that knitting isn't a part of life - it is sort of, in that it is an escape from life).

So, here is the Inverted Gull stitch from the Barbara Walker site.

And here is a seagull.  You'll have to just imagine the wings inverted.

Now the early designers who created these patterns named them for things that the stitches resembled in their lives. This stitch is often used in fishermen's sweaters - so you can see why someone who lived by the sea would see gull wings. So maybe I'm not that crazy doing the opposite - relating the stitch to something in my life.

Here is the picture that brought me back to the stitch.  It is the wharf next to the sugar refinery and I could see intricate stitches in the lights reflecting on the water.

It's not the Gull stitch because it moves from side to side, but it does form a column and it is by water.  This picture could actually become a sweater. Do you see the ribbing in the wharf.  Those circles would make an interesting interlude in a rib stitch. Add some bobbles for the lights and you're almost there.

Have an inspired day!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A little Night Music......

Sunday night we went to the parkette to the west of the flatiron building near St. Lawrence Market.  There we came across a lovely pianist, who was very welcoming.  She introduced herself to her "come by chance" audience;  sat for pictures or videos and happily explained how, although she had studied music, she just made up pieces as she went along.  Such as this one..

I am in awe of people with such tremendous talent!!

On Monday, another talented person, Fiona Ellis - knitter extraordinaire,  sent me a note to say that there was a street piano at the Roy Thompson Hall.  I couldn't resist!!!  My husband kindly agreed to drive me downtown to see what was "happening" in Ecuador.  That's the country represented by this piano. No one was around to play, so my husband and I "faked" it.

It was such a beautiful piano on a lovely warm night in Toronto that you could believe for a few fleeting moments that you were somewhere exotic - maybe Ecuador - and that you too could make music.

Anyway about a block or two away there was another street piano in front of the CBC building that houses the Glenn Gould Theatre.  We hurried along because there was a group there, who unfortunately left just as we arrived - well not to worry because another group -  two young men, walked by.  The first said that he didn't play and the second said that he didn't read music but could play by ear - this is what we heard.

I thanked him for the video and he thanked me for listening to him play!!  Just an awesome evening!!! The first piano was from Peru and the last Barbados.  Glenn would be happy!!!

Have a musical evening

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A chorus at Corus...

We went down to Sugar Beach last night to check out the street piano that was there. Fortunately we were able to avoid the $10.00 parking fee because we found on street parking - almost unheard of on the waterfront.  At first my husband thought that the parking was $20.00 - but that was for the whole weekend.  I didn't realize that you could camp out a Sugar Beech :)

Corus Entertainment has a big complex right beside the beach and this piano was tucked away on one side of the building.

The piano itself, represents the Dominican Republic, another country that will be participating in the PanAm games in Toronto in 2015.  The kids were great! and they matched the piano!!

People of all ages drawn together by music.  Here's another piano, Dominica, and a future pianist.

Have an inspired day!!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Trinidad and Tobago....

I will get back to the Found Poetry of Knitting Stitches shortly.  I just need a few more pictures.  The Inverted Gull Stitch, for example, is posing a bit of a problem - not to mention Odin's eagles.  I will also do an update on my daily challenges - just have to catch up on a few - like the one about cleaning out my wallet, which will extend to my purse, because the wallet, being mostly empty, is usual in order - it's the purse that's a mess.

The evenings have been so warm too, that I haven't been doing much knitting.  Instead we've been going for walks around the neighbourhood.  I know, to be cool, I should have said "hood," but sometimes cool is not alway saying what everyone else thinks is cool - that's my excuse anyway.

Last night we went to see the street piano that's in our neck of the woods.  It's at the SE corner of Yonge and Eglinton and it represents Trinidad and Tobago.  It was Street Theatre - people milling around, cars, trucks and buses roaring by, entertainers, in various stages of sobriety, encouraging one another and one lone camera woman :) Here it is...

Blogs are so much more than just diaries, because they can include so much more...then again in diaries your words had to make the events come to life - something lost and something gained.

Well, I think that we have really gained something with these street pianos - world status for one thing.  Here is the link to other street pianos around the globe. If you check out the Toronto link. I posted this video there.

Have a randomly musical day!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Piano People

I couldn't resist going out to see the launch of these fantastic pianos that will be scattered around Toronto until the end of July.  The event is a lead up to the Pan-Am Games in 2015.  The promoters gathered together 49 used pianos and had artists who were born in the countries that are participating in the games decorate them.  The artists, who now live in Canada did a fantastic job.  Here is one from Granada.

There was a big outdoor display next to the Roy Thompson Hall last night.  All the pianos were there with fabulous pianists playing great jazz pieces.  There was also a piece that all the pianos played together - quite amazing. Here are some more pictures.

Sorry I don't now which countries are represented in these two.

I now have to track where they will be placed in the city and try to get out to hear them being played. Not much about knitting today, but a little about what might be called "piano bombing." Here's how it sounds

Have a wonderful day!!

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Dry Bones Cable II

When I was taking the video for the previous post, I was hoping that each sail would be opened, one at a time so that there would be this magnificence tall ship, under full sail, cruising off into the sunset, the way it happens in the movies.

Well do movies imitate life?  Or do we expect life to imitate movies.  This is a chicken and egg question. I guess in this case, I was hoping that life would imitate the movies.  Actually, the boat waits until it has cleared a small channel between the mainland and the island airport before it unfurls all its sails. So that would be..townhouses - in the foreground - Pirate ship in the middle and busy island airport behind...alternative film festival maybe.

The phrase "dry bones" had me at first thinking of skeletons and, hence the pirate ship. But then I started thinking of bone rattling experiences. I had nearly dispensed with this idea when I came across a  small bicycle display at The Brickworks.

Or maybe it was a display of small bicycles :) Anyway, part of the display included a somewhat new Penny Farthing.

What has this to do with bones? Well it's all in a name, because these curious beasts were also called "bone crushers" in the US - apparently they were so difficult to ride that they literally crushed your bones. Hmmm it doesn't really resemble the stitch, but it is a vehicle.

Actually a quick look up on Google has a video of a bike called a "bone crusher" but it is really a modified Penny Farthing. Here is an interesting video of them.

You decide - pirate ships or bicycles.....I am leaning toward pirate ships - movies have made them romantic - though in real life we know they aren't!!

Have a Block Buster of a day!!

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Dry Bones Cable....

Sometimes when you think about something too much, it takes on a life of its own and becomes connected to way more things than it should.  Such is the case with the knitting stitch "dry bones cable." Now I can see why it was included in the Found Poetry of Knitting Stitches, it has a very intriguing name.  The stitch itself could have a bit more to it.  Here it is from the Knittingfool site.

OK maybe it looks a little like a "Jolly Roger." This image came first to mind when I heard the name.  I thought of ghost ships and pirates - Davy Jones Locker and all!  Here is the best I could do for a pirate ship.  It's a tourist boat down at harbour front.  I was hoping to get the beached boat on the QEW for the post - but, well I posted what happened that day - and so another day - another pirate ship!! Life should be so interesting :)

Here's a close up with something that looks more like the stitch.  The resemblance is in the rigging or maybe it's the sail - I'm not sure, I was too busy admiring Johnny Depp to learn much about tall ships.

PS - gotta love that sky!!!  Makes you just want to sail away!! So here we go.....

More on Dry Bones Cable in next post.

Take a vacation today!!!

Friday, July 06, 2012

A Vegetable Story

OK, I'm glad that you clicked on to read some more - because what could be more boring than vegetables - unless they are maybe the murder weapon and then everyone would say..."who would have thought..."

My second daily challenge was to cut up a load of vegetables and leave them "front and centre in the fridge" to snack on.  Well I did join this site to "improve." And yes, I don't often have healthy vegetables ready to eat in my fridge - I 'm sure I did at one time and then everyone, including the vegetables - wilted of boredom!

So I thought well, maybe I would pop past the green grocer on the way to getting my coffee fix for the day and see what they had.  This didn't happen because it was 90 F and I had brought my lunch and all I needed was water!  I did not go outside!!

Now I had a litany of excuses for the challenge.  1. This was just a new web group 2. Who did I know there and 3. Why was I interested anyway?  What I really meant to say was I was having trouble making raw vegetables interesting!!!!

I ignored the issue and buried myself in housework, when I came home from work - this is serious.  I started a cryptic crossword puzzle - could take a while and then low and behold - my husband came home with fresh carrots and celery!!

Actually, we had planned on trying out a new recipe for mussels - curried, and the broth needed carrots, celery and scallions. He has bailed me out again!!!   I could now, not only do the mussels, I could also complete the challenge.

I peeled all the carrots, cut up some of the celery and added a cucumber that was already in the fridge.  I then added a scallion or two and some sliced peppers. Well, I didn't even have to put them in the fridge, because the 19 year-old came down and said - thanks -  he would eat the whole thing before dinner...and did!

Now I have to live with the guilt, that maybe I should have been doing this all along and what a horrible mother I am, because I let the "veg" side down.... damned if you do and damned if you don't.

I'm not sure if they have challenges on weekends - but I hope that they have one soon that deals with guilt.  I guess that I could always eat celery sticks for penance.

Have a fruitful day.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Now where did I put my......

I joined something today called - Daily Challenge. Mercury is running through my chart, so I have been looking into writing sites, because I have a strong urge to communicate and I need something to write about -  why don't I just do some cold calling? had to ask, didn't you.

Well Daily Challenge is free.  At least the site is free - the challenges, maybe not so much!  Today's challenge was to make a list of where you put things, so you can find them again.  Killjoy!!!  I thought that life was all about not finding things that you had put in a safe place. Then everybody gets to go on a kind of scavenger hunt and you end up finding tons of things that you've forgotten about - except, of course, the thing you want right then.  Such is the randomness of life.

The huge irony about this challenge is remembering where you put the LIST!!!  Well, I have been meaning to make a list of user names and passwords.  I did start out to do that a year or so ago and I remember reading then, that you should not name your file "passwords" because a hacker could easily find it.  Well, damn, do you think that I can remember what I called that file!!!

This time I created a new file. Gave it another name and I sure hope that I remember it this time.  It's a little like hiding a key outside your house so you can get in when you lose your other keys.  I also know that they sell in various catalogues fake rocks that you can put near your steps or somewhere to hide your keys in. Maybe they should just write KEYS on the rock :)

Of course, this list is on my computer, now if my computer crashes, I'm S.O.L. Perhaps I should put the file on CLOUD - more security issues.  Then, of course, people will tell you that you have to change your passwords regularly.

Here's my photo take on it all...Life is crazy - enjoy...

Have a memorable day!!

Day Lilies

If Day Lilies could speak, what stories they could tell. Maybe this is why their blooms last for just a day, secrets must be kept  - so sad. I have two beautiful patterns from two very talented designers using the day lily stitch.  Here is Day Lily Shawl from Judy Marples.

and here is Lalique from FiberDreams

Both patterns use the day lily stitch differently.  Judy's shawl begins at the top so the stitch is reversed and Laura's begins at the bottom, so the lilies seems to hang down or cascade.

And here are my day lilies at dusk just before the end of their day.

Actually the more I look at the two patterns above, the more I think that there may be two different stitches here or the designers have varied them.  It doesn't matter.  I just love the fact that nature can be translated into so many different mediums (media).

My day lily story is that I occasionally have people ask me when day lilies bloom.  Well, depending on the colour, they bloom at different times through out the spring and summer.  I always used to tell people that the orange lilies, which seem to be the most common, bloomed on July 12th - Orangeman's Day or the commemoration of the Battle of the Boyne in Northern Ireland. Not everyone understood; but another friend of mine remembers being told that same story, when she was given a clump of orange liles. She said that she totally "freaked out" when the first flower opened on July 12.

Sad to say that global warming has shifted our folk stories or maybe the "troubles' in Ireland are finally over, because this year my orange liles bloomed on June I wonder what day that is?

Have a blooming wonderful day!!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Crazy Maypole II

I neglected to mention in an earlier post the tradition of the Maypole which predates Christianity in Northern Europe and Britain. Apparently the early symbolism of the Maypole has been lost, though many link it to fertility rites, the worship of trees and/or the celebration of Spring.

I like the worship of the trees' idea.  The fertility rites one could be interesting - I always liked a "Paul Jones" dance - maybe Maypoles were a little like those dances only with ribbons.  So perhaps the fact that people decorate hydro poles in towns and cities is a throw back to these ancient times when people worshipped trees, celebrated spring and generally created a focal point to draw people out.

The Protestant Reformation banned a lot of these ancient traditions - but I have to believe that many went "underground" so to speak.  In spite of all the conditioning that any particular culture has used to curb our natural instincts, there is still something very primeval that runs in our veins and surfaces from time to time - possibly around hydro poles or in sculptured corn fields or on moonlit nights when the ghosts of our ancestors call to us - come out and play!!  The idea is a little crazy perhaps - so is yarn bombing, really.

Have another crazy day!!!

Monday, July 02, 2012

Life gets in the way of Photography....

So I was "Goin' Down to Jordan"... there is a song about that and I hummed it all the way.  Here is what we planned on our day trip. 1. to go Kayaking 2. to go to lunch and 3. to take pictures of the "boat" at Jordan Harbour and the waves of Lake Ontario.

This is why I never "plan" things and I am always in awe of people who is what happened.

We decided to leave at 9:00am for an 11:00 kayaking start, at a point that in driving distance would be an hour.  However we know that if you plan to go to Niagara you must always leave at least an extra hour, maybe two for traffic.  OK, we did.  But our eldest asked about 8:45, if we could drive him to work because he'd been out late at Pride festivities and since he has managed to hold down this full time job (he has disabilities), and has not asked for any "help," we said, "sure."

So we were on the QEW by 10:00 not a little after 9:00.  Traffic moved well until Hamilton, where there was a 20min slow down for narrowing lanes. Finally we got to the Kayak rental place about 11:15 - not bad - we had allowed time.  But I was hoping to get there with time to spare to go about 15 mins further along to take pictures - well maybe after.

We got our kayaks and since we had done this before, we figured that we could get to the railway trestle and back in an hour, after all the return journey was with the current.  Yes, with the current, but against the wind today. So our kayak outing was 1.5 hours rather than 1 hour and cost us an extra $20.00 and maybe my life because, the winds and the currents were so strong that I was "worried."

It was now 12:40 and we had booked lunch at a lovely winery - I highly recommend it - Angel's Gate - at 1:00pm.  It has two patios that overlook the vineyards and the lake - be sure to book ahead and ask for a patio table with the best view.  It's a little bit of Tuscany in Vineland! The only negative, for me, is that it is 20 mins closer to Toronto, so I knew that we were never going back to take a few pictures of waves and a beached boat.

Water Lilies on the river Jordan (ON)
It is hard to make time for art, life, other people and I don't even want to mention the exercise.  So I will have to wait for another time to do "the boat." The positive is - it's ear-marked as another event and that means we have places to go and people to see ... well maybe that's boats to see, rivers to cross...and miles to go before we have lunch in Eden or maybe that's Angel's Gate!!!!

Have a serendipitous day

Crazy Maypole

This is a really delightful stitch and I can see why it was added to the list of knitting stitches with poetic names.  Here it is from the Barbara Walker site.

We have a lot of Hydro poles in Toronto that go a little crazy in summer because people plant climbing vines at the bottom of the poles, to make them more appealing. Here is what I mean.

This one is covered in Ivy.  In other years many were covered in Morning Glories, Trumpet Vine, Virginia Creeper, Clematis and more.  However, this year I had trouble even finding the one pictured above.  I have to believe that Toronto Hydro has discovered these lovely poles and chopped down all the growth.  Their excuse might be safety, I say that they are really just Philistines!!

Still a few stalworth souls, set on undermining the best intentions of the utility company have begun to cover the poles again.  Here's one with wire and Clematis. It's actually not a hydro pole. It's a pole for a stop sign; but it is an attempt to cover up the grey.

and here is trumpet vine - just not quite in bloom.

I think that there is a lot to be said for crazy poles in May or any other month.  I especially like it when someone yarn bombs a pole or two.

Have a crazy day!!!