Tag Archives: bicycles

A Proper Mother’s Day

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I don’t have kids, but it was my birthday yesterday, and since I’m the oldest that means Mother’s Day this year fell on the actual anniversary of my mum becoming a mother. In the year I was born my birthday was actually a couple of days after Mother’s Day, so my poor mum had to wait a whole year for it. Now though, I like to think that the waiting has paid off.  Unfortunately, what with my parents living in Nova Scotia and me living in Toronto, I didn’t get to see my mum over the weekend – instead, L and I did birthday stuff.

I had to work yesterday (I’m a copy editor at the National Post, and since there’s a Monday paper, I have to go in on Sundays to work on it), so we did birthday stuff on Saturday. As t turned out, the weather was so lovely all weekend that either day was basically the dream of a Spring-born. Obviously we had to take advantage of the 20C weather, so we bicycled to Kensington market, bought picnic supplies and then bicycled down to Toronto Island (well, we took the ferry, but you know what I mean).

One of my favourite things about the ferry is its life jacket ceiling. So reassuring.

We spent the afternoon on the Island, eating a lot of delicious bread and cheese, bicycling around, tossing a Frisbee, and admiring the lovely houses. Then we bicycled home (it’s just about 8 km each way to the ferry, entirely downhill there and thus, entirely uphill back, so it wasn’t as lazy a day as it felt). After a nap, we went out to meet some friends for drinks and dinner and, I have to say, it was just the kind of low-key fun day that I always hope my birthday is going to be.

Our bicycles resting under a Norwegian maple (according to the sign) while we ate our picnic.

I didn’t get any knitting time on Saturday, though, so on Sunday I went with L to a Frisbee practice before work and while he ran drills I sat in the sunshine and knit. Remember those 67 stitches I cast on last week? Well, they are (hopefully) going to turn into the Autumn Leaves Stole by Jared Flood (rav link). I’m really enjoying the knitting and it has been flying along (I’ve had about two hours total to work on it and I’m halfway through the first chart) and then yesterday, while I was knitting in the sun, I realized something was wrong.

Can you spot the errors?

Can you see it? There on the right – the garter stitch border is not, shall we say, consistent. I do this when I swatch sometimes (you know, forget to knit the last X number of stitches on a purl row) and I thought I was catching myself as I went along, but apparently not. I’m planning to give this to my mum for Christmas (I am starting early this year!), so while I might have decided I didn’t care that much if it was for me, I decided that I should rip it back and do it properly for my mum. Have you ever ripped back lace knitting? It’s terrifying, what with all those yarn-overs and k2togs and whatnot.

So many live stitches – thank goodness Ganymede was otherwise occupied.

I ripped back 10 rows (there’s no picture, because I was too tense) and then, when I picked up the stitches, I only had 61. I counted again. Still 6 short. I checked, and there were no obvious dropped stitches, all my yarn-overs had survived, but there were definitely only 61 stitches where there should have been 67. I decided to start working the chart, since I assumed it would become clear where the missing stitches at least should have been, and yes, when I hit the middle of the first leaf (where it’s slip1, k2tog, psso), there was no stitch to slip. I found the dropped stitch (which had basically melted away), picked it up and kept going. Sure enough, this was the case for every leaf but one. I’ve now reknit those ten rows, plus two, and I’m pleased I decided to rip back when I did, rather than waffling as I continued to knit, which is what usually happens.

Totally worth it, right?

An hour’s work just to end up back at the beginning. Oh well. By the time I get to the end I’ll be glad I did it.

My Favourite Time of Year

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When I was a kid (and really, to this day, even though I’m not there) my parents’ backyard was filled with cherry trees. There was the big, old original one, and then, thanks to squirrels, birds, and raccoons, nearly a dozen smaller ones all over the property. Combine those with two mature old pear trees and let me tell you, early Spring was a flurry of blossoms. I miss that clear statement of change and waking up now that I’m not home, so when I saw on Twitter last week that the cherry blossoms were out in High Park, L and I made a plan.

On Saturday morning we bicycled over. It was overcast and not very warm, but there were still lots of people there and the trees were overflowing with frothy clouds of white and pink blossoms. It rained on Saturday night and most of Sunday, so I can only assume the flowers have been trampled. If you didn’t get to see them (or you’re far away and don’t have fruit trees of your own), here’s a taste of High Park in full-on Sakura blossom glory.

Overcast skies do not set off white blossoms to their advantage. But nonetheless, lovely, no?

I think this train is hilarious.

I prefer not to look at the skyscrapers when I'm in the park, but I do love the juxtaposition.

After our walk through the park we went to Roncesvalles for coffee and to pick up paczki (delicious Polish doughnuts) and homemade pierogie. Not bad for a Saturday, I’d say – especially since it also involved some very productive knitting time, of which, more later.

Easter write-through

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My plans for Easter weekend ended up being all jumbled, and I wasn’t entirely sure it was going to work out at all. First, I was planning to go away with L to spend the weekend with his family. But, then I had to work on Friday and he had a meeting on Monday morning, so it didn’t seem worth it for me to drive all that way for a night. Then, my sister and her friend were going to come for the weekend, but due to her thesis work, Jenny decided to just come for Saturday. And just like that, my entire Sunday was wide open.

I haven’t had a whole day to just myself in a long time, and even though I didn’t think I wanted it, it turned out to be awesome. I baked. I knit (my Happy-Go-Lucky socks are done! More later). And, best of all, I went on a solo bike ride all around the fancy neighbourhoods north of our place (this was all the nicer after my mum called to tell me it snowed in Nova Scotia on Saturday night).

Man oh man, what a gorgeous day.

Trees are in blossom all over the place.

I love the way the brightness of new leaves pops. This may be my favourite colour.

See what I mean? Gorgeous.

Bicycle!

Yes yes. Sometimes you just need a day to yourself.

Happy Go Lucky

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Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

Wherever you are, I hope your weekend weather was a beautiful as the weather we enjoyed in Toronto. It’s March, remember, and it should be miserable, torturous weather throwing rain and slush and days no warmer than 5C at us; instead, though, we’ve been enjoying days of 15C, 16C, and 21C days! Deep down I know that this cannot last, and snow will likely fall once again before we’re fully free of winter, but right now I don’t care. This weather is incredible!

So, how do you knit in weather this delightful? My answer last year was not to. This year, my answer is take small projects outdoors. Thus, despite having just cast off one pair of socks, I cast on another. Meet the Happy-Go-Lucky boot socks from Sock Knitting Master Class, my current project go-to.

Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

Happy Go Lucky, fresh out of the gate.

I’m knitting these in Cascade 220 Superwash Sport in 1910 (blue), 859 (teal), and 803 (purple). I am loving this wool. It is soft and buttery and it seems that 2.75mm needles are the perfect size because, in my hands anyway, the stitches feel almost like they’re forming themselves. I short, I am loving this project.

Anyway, because the weather was so gorgeous, and because I got the entire weekend off, L and I spent pretty much the entire weekend running all over the place and being outdoors. Except, the running (at least on Saturday) was actually bicycling. Oh heaven.

Old vs. new

Old and hard vs. new cushy and new.

This is my new old bike, and on Saturday morning L put a new cork wrap on my handlebars and then we took off all over the city. In no particular order: We went to Lettuce Knit so I could exchange some wool, to the Ex to throw a frisbee, we watched planes land on the Island, we went for fancy sandwiches, we went to one of our new favourite coffee shops – in short, we did all kinds of things we’d been talking about doing for ages and finally did because it was such a gorgeous day.

I took many pictures of this plane coming in to land, but this one looks the most like an action shot. (It was much sunnier that day than this photo would have you believe.)

In theory, this meant I didn’t have much time for knitting, but in practice, it all worked out fine (small projects, you see, are very portable). So, on Friday before work I spend three and a half hours knitting on a café patio with Zoe. Then, to cap on Saturday’s bicycling, Wendy and I met up for beer and sat knitting quite happily in a pub – much to the apparent amusement/confusion of a woman sitting at the bar, who turned around to stare at us for a quite some time. It was St. Patrick’s Day, though, so maybe she as just confused  as to why neither of us were knitting in green. Who knows.

Cafe knitting.

Cafe knitting, crappy cellphone photo.

What I do know though, is that if this weather keeps up, knitting through the summer will be an absolute pleasure because it will involve bicycling, coffee, beer, and lots of time out of doors with people I love.

Heel flap

Despite the busy weekend I still managed to get the heel flap finished (and now turned).