Sunday, January 28, 2018

Out foxed again!!!

Few things brighten a January day in Toronto. However, today ....

1. The sun was shinning.
2. There was no line-up at the bank.
3. I found a legal parking spot.
4. A red fox crossed my path!!

Well, it wasn't just my path there were, obviously, several other pedestrians, a dozen cars, maybe a few dog walkers and one amazing, very clever red fox.

I was coming out of the bank about 2:00pm on a sunny Thursday in January, when I saw this red fox blithely walking along the sidewalk towards me. We do have ravines in Toronto and more wooded areas than most cities, but none were close. Remember this was on Yonge St. - Toronto's main north-south street and in case you didn't know - the longest street in the world. Yonge St, actually becomes highway 11 somewhere beyond the suburbs. Highway 11 goes right up to James Bay, which is a small bay that opens into Frobisher Bay somewhere a little below the Arctic circle. That's a long way away!!

But I digress. Foxxy was obviously out for a stroll. However, he needed to cross the street to get to where he was going and since he was aware of various cars on the road, he walked to the crosswalk, waited for the lights to change and then crossed.

Someone on the other side of the street captured this splendid moment in time. The photo is a little cropped, however, I am on the right side of the street, just a little out of the picture (go figure). The other two pedestrians in the picture walked passed me and commented. At which point, I closed my jaw, which had dropped in awe and answered them!!

In fact, I was amazed to see the picture on FaceBook! I had been telling everyone about the fox incident and now I had proof!! It would have been perfect, though if the angle of the camera had moved just a degree or two to the right and then I could have said, "Look, there I am."

However, this seems to be the story of my life - Never quite in the picture, never famous, always in the wings while others take all the glory!!

This time, that "other" was a red fox. I think the cosmos is trying to tell me something :)

Have an awesome day!!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Charity, thy name is knitting!!

I'm cheating. This is repost from a page I wrote for a knitting retreat that I attend in the Spring - Yarnover Sleepover. This year it's April 20-22 At The Fern Resort, Orillia ON. I hope you enjoy it.

Many of us knit or crochet for charity. There is a wonderful feeling about being able to share not only our talents and our yarn with other people, but also our hearts.

However, it's hard to find just the right charity. There are so many really deserving ones out there. In fact, I don't think that we actually reached out to any one charity, in particular. I think that "The Shoebox Project" found us.

Here is what happened.

One day, as I was coming to work, I was approached by one of the architects on the main floor. He said, "You knit, don't you?" I thought. "Here it comes. Would I knit him a sweater."

Well, slap my wrists. He was wondering if I could ask some of my friends, if they wouldn't mind knitting a few headbands for a charity his wife supported - The Shoebox Project. I said that I would ask around and get back to him.

Here was my strategy.
  1. Call Julia Bryant. I know she has more friends, generally speaking, than myself and many of her friends either knit or crochet.
  2. Do an e-mail broadcast to yarn stores across Canada to spread the word about this wonderful project.
  3. Talk to Yoso members about The Shoebox Project.
First, of course, I had to explain exactly what the charity was. The Shoebox Project is an international organization that gives gifts to woman in shelters at Christmas. In fact, there are 22 chapters in Ontario.

The idea is that over the year, members collect small gifts for these boxes. One of the most popular items, I am told, is a knitted or crocheted headband.

This is how my strategy played out.
  1. Julia contacted her friends and from August to October they created over 50 headbands.
  2. My e-mail to stores brought in several headbands from Creative Yarns, where Trish Denhoed often teaches. In fact, Trish knew of the project and was actually with a friend in California on Hallowe'en - the night a Shoebox group, there, assembled their boxes.
  3. Yoso accepted my proposal to adopt The Shoebox Project as our charity.
All of us are, now, knitting or crocheting headbands and we are asking everyone who attends our weekend to consider using up some of their stash by knitting some quick and easy, or more challenging - especially if you want to try out some new stitches - headbands. Bring them to Yoso and we will see that they get into some wonderful boxes. Or contact a ShoeBox chapter in your area and see if they might like some headbands knit by you and some of your friends.

Here are a few links to free patterns for headbands. Also feel free to add and/or post your own patterns in our face book group - Yarnover Sleepover All Year .

Click here for some free patterns - you will be directed to a Ravelry page. Key "free headband patterns" into the search bar and Voila! Click here for local drop of places or bring your headbands to YOSO and we will drop them off for you.

Please share pictures of your headbands in our FaceBook group too. We'd love to see them!!

To me a headband is like a small "hug" from afar. We've all been through some difficult times and it's wonderful to know that someone cares.

The pictures? Headbands I have crochet, so far, for the project.

Have a charitable day!!

Friday, January 12, 2018

January Thaw...

.....warmer weather is always worth writing about. We have moved from daily highs of -20ºC to +10ºC in just a few days. However, it will move back down to -10ºC in just a few hours - sigh!

Anyway, warm weather thaws the brain and gets the creative juices working. At the beginning of the thaw, I saw a post about a book on creativity - Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I was thinking of buying the book to speed up the thawing out of my brain. However, I've been there before - 1. Bought self-help book. 2. Read the first three chapters. 3. Decided how it was going to end. 4. Closed the book. 5. Did a little something creative and that was it.

This time I went to Good Reads and read the reviews. Well, there was enough in there to light my creative fire, that I didn't have to actually buy the book. So, creatively, this is what I have done -

1. Started a new personal website on felting -
2. Got an idea for a new product and emailed it off to a supplier.
3. Finished a book - "Galore" by Michael Crummey. The book was great, with events that could only happen in Newfoundland - the setting and author's home. (Really, as an author, I would have done a name change.)
4. Continued posting in a group I started on Facebook for our Spring Knitting retreat - Yarnover Sleepover. The magic number for engagement, I am told is 100! We're at 24 - coming along.
5. Started a new headband for our charity, the Shoebox Project. That will be 7 headbands from me, when completed.

Now if I could only continue with the book I started writing last year. I'm at 5,000 words - need another 45,000. I think I need another thaw.

The picture - I've posted it before - whenever I feel that I have seen the light.

Have a brilliant day!!