Tag Archives: photos

Guess where I am

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Hotel room view.

Hotel room view.

Prayer flags for victims of the Boston bombing.

Prayer flags for victims of the Boston bombing.

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Well, okay, that last one gave it away. I have never been to Boston before, but L is presenting at a conference here, so I tagged along. We got in on Sunday evening, which gives me three and a half days in the city, more or less on my own.

Yesterday I wandered around Beacon Hill, sat happily and knit in the Common, got lost in Chinatown, went to Fenway and then strolled along Newbury St. Today my plan is to walk the Freedom Trail, and then I have no idea. Any suggestions? I want to go to the aquarium (apparently there is a newborn seal pup, as if I needed any convincing) and the inflight Porter magazine was all about Fort Point, but what else should I see? Are there shops and/or cafes/restaurants/bars I should see (besides Cheers, which of course)? And, not that I need any yarn, but is there a knitting shop somewhere in this city? I tried Googling it yesterday and all the much-loved ones seem to have closed… Any tips?

Oh, this old thing?

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Yeah, it has been a while since I finished Kit, but you know how summer is: running around and plans and travel and it can be tough to find a few minutes to take pictures. On the weekend L and I finally managed to be together, in daylight, with a camera, so we dashed out the door and snapped a couple of photos of me wearing Kit.

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I love it, and yet I wish it was longer. Next time (and, honestly, I will almost certainly knit this again) I’ll go up a needle size or two and add a couple of inches to the overall length. The only other mod I’d make would be to attach the straps a bit closer to the middle. I’m not horrified by the sight of bra straps, but on the other hand, I do feel weird about wearing this to work without a cardigan or something over it.

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Happy Street

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L and I found a few minutes this weekend to get some proper shots of my finished shawl. It was actually harder than expected to photograph because it’s so big – 85 inches long and almost 16 deep.

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It’s almost more of a scarf than a shawl, which will be perfect for fall and winter (I purposefully chose colours that will go nicely with my red winter coat for that very reason). The looser gauge means it wraps nicely around my neck, twice, so it fits well under a jacket or, wrapped just once, it’s perfect as an extra layer in the air-conditioned office.

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Overall, I’m really pleased with this! (Details on it are here and/or here)

Still in season

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So windy.

So windy. Also, it was brighter than it looks, hence the sun glasses. Sorry.

On Thursday it was 20C, this morning it snowed. What I’m saying is, I have been wearing my Woodstove Season cardigan quite a bit and it has been lovely. I’m so used to knitting small things and accessories that to knit an actual garment and then get to wear it around is a whole thing. It took me two months to wear the first socks I knit (I thought it was weird, but I was a fool) but it only took me a week (during which I thought I was going to knit pockets) from finishing to first public wear. I could get used to this whole sweater thing.

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It has taken us a while to coordinate, so when L had a minute this afternoon we went for a walk to finally take some proper finished photos. Of course, it was freezing, and insanely windy, but you have to take what you can get. I swear, my hair is usually less wild than this.

It typically flaps less when worn open, but you get the idea.

It typically flaps less when worn open, but you get the idea.

I am really happy with the way this turned out. The sleeves have enough ease to be comfortable with a long-sleeved shirt under them, but they aren’t loose, so they don’t add bulk under a jacket, and the buttons are spaced properly so there isn’t any gaping. I do wish I’d knit the collar a little longer and the body a little shorter, but honestly, those are such minor details that they’re pretty much inconsequential. This is designed to be a long cardigan, and it is, which is something I’m sure I’ll appreciate during the winter (no lower back draft!).

And buttoning the million buttons back up.

And buttoning the million buttons back up.

It hasn’t been long, but so far the yarn seems to be holding up well too. It’s a superwash, so it doesn’t have quite as much structure as an untreated yarn, but there haven’t been any signs of pilling yet and it’s holding its shape just fine.

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Crispy crispy chevrons.

Details
Pattern: Woodstove Season by Alicia Plummer
Yarn: SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in Cyprus
Needles: 5.5mm for the body, 5mm for the collar and 4.5mm for the cuffs and bottom ribbing
Modifications: The biggest change was really the gauge. I knit this at 4.5 stitches to the inch instead of 4 stitches to the inch because, honestly, I just didn’t like the fabric when it was looser. This led to a false-start because I chose the wrong size initially. What I ended up with was something between the medium and the large, which was perfect. I made my buttonholes every 14th row (every 7th right-side row) instead of every 12th row, in part because my gauge was tighter so I could get away with it and in part because I wasn’t paying attention at the beginning and didn’t want to tink back two rows when it wasn’t going to make a difference anyway. To make my buttonholes work out I added two pattern rows to the body (after the end of the hip shaping and before the ribbing). I also picked up way more stitches in the armpit and decreased quickly and then slowly. All the details are Ravelled here.

I’d go back in a heartbeat

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The view from the veranda.

The view from the veranda.

There’s nothing like looking at vacation photos a few days after returning home to make you sigh wistfully. For me, holidays feel like time outside normal linear life-time, as if they happen adjacent to everything else. When I get back, it’s like I’ve never been gone, but also just had an amazing dream I can’t fully describe to people. Luckily, though, unlike dreams, vacations have photographic evidence. (Also, none of these photos have been edited or colour corrected, so yes, the water really is that colour. I couldn’t believe it either.)

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Since we’ve been back it has snowed (and then melted) and I’ve been sick (and gotten mostly better), L has been hard at work on his thesis, we’ve had (and still have) house guests, and Ganymede has been her most cuddly self ever. It’s nice to be back, but man, if you told me I could go back to Eleuthra tomorrow, I would be at the airport in no time (my speed would be helped by the fact that I’ve only half-unpacked).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Rainbow Bay Beach. You can see our house just up the shore (it has the gazebo).

Our time in Eleuthra (an island in the Bahamas) overlapped partly with one aunt and uncle (my dad’s middle brother and his wife) and partly with the other aunt and uncle (my dad’s youngest brother and his wife) and entirely with my grandparents, with whom we stayed. My grandparents have been going to Eleuthra in March for the last several years and I can absolutely see why. It’s pretty far north as far as the Caribbean goes (it’s about 60 miles off the Florida coast) so it’s more temperate than the islands farther south (I’d say the temperature ranged from 15 to 30C, and it was only 15 one evening when there was a breeze). Being in the north also means the flight is pretty short, which is a major bonus.

The beach outside Tippy's, which had the best pina colada and mojito I've ever tasted. Ever.

The beach outside Tippy’s, a beach-side bar had the best pina colada and mojito I’ve ever tasted. Ever.

The thing that really won us over, though, was that there were no resorts on the island. There’s a fair bit of tourism (it’s their main industry), but it’s tucked away in small hotels and guest houses and in rental homes, like the one we stayed in. We went out for drinks and lunch some days, but we made most of our meals in the house. We drove around to lots of beaches (Eleuthra has some amazing beaches), but we also swam off the boat slip in front of the house, or at the beach just down the shore. We went for walks and read and knit (well, I knit) and L kayaked and in general, the six of us hung out did our thing.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach.

Ben Bay Beach (at the northern tip of the island) was an amazing beach. It was a little tricky to get to, but, well, look at it! How could that not be worth it?

My dad’s family all lives in out East, so I don’t get to see them very often, and L hasn’t seen them in years, so in addition to being a thoroughly enjoyable holiday in its own right, the family time was invaluable.

I'm avoiding family photos, since I didn't ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they're in a pool, but they're 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the cold, colonial town/island off Eleuthra's northwest side.

I’m avoiding family photos, since I didn’t ask first, so instead I give you dolphins! These look like they’re in a pool, but they’re 100% wild and we saw them when leaving Spanish Wells, the old, colonial town/island off Eleuthra’s northwest side.

Truly, I would go back in heartbeat. And, if you go (or want to), let me know so that I can a) travel vicariously, and b) tell you about all my favourite places that didn’t make it into this post.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren't many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

It tended to cloud over at night, so there weren’t many great sunsets, but boy, when the sunset was visible, it was stunning.

New York yarn shops

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Well, that ellipsis lasted longer than I had intended. This week got away from me, and while I could tell you all about the moose gloves (fingers are super weird to knit), I promised to write about yarn shops in New York. We left the city on Friday morning, mere hours before the VKL marketplace opened, but that was probably for the best, because I got quite an odd look from the customs guy when I told him that I had purchased “shirts, books, and yarn,” so it’s definitely good that everything came under the allowed amount because I think they would have been very confused about how to charge duty on yarn.

Anyway, we really only made it two yarn shops, because I didn’t want to highjack the trip and, while L and I are generally very supportive and indulgent of each other, I try not to push it. Also, we did this part of the trip on his birthday.

First up was Lion Brand Studios. I’ve never actually knit with any Lion Brand anything before (I’m not sure it’s that big a deal in Canada, but I might be wrong about that), but I had heard about its amazing window displays and wanted to see the shop in person. Let me just say, even if you intend to buy nothing, it is still worth a visit. The front window was incredible (despite the scaffolding erected in front of it) and the shop itself is small and cozy and fun.

The reflections are annoying, but since taking a photo straight on was impossible, this was the best I could do.

The reflections are annoying, but since taking a photo straight on was impossible, this was the best I could do.

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Everything in the window was knitted, including the swans and trees, which L thought was pretty incredible. (He thought I should make sure to get a photo of the swan's feet on the blog, so take a good look.)

Everything in the window was knitted, including the swans and trees, which L thought was pretty incredible. (He thought I should make sure to get a photo of the swan’s feet on the blog, so take a good look.)

One of my favourite things in the shop was the “Testing Wall,” where you could get some yarn and swatch it before buying. This is so smart, and something I’d love to see more of. I didn’t take advantage of it while we were there (it being L’s birthday and all), but I definitely would on a future visit.

Such a good idea.

Such a good idea.

I also really enjoyed that the knitting-related decor didn’t end with the window display. I didn’t even notice this needle light shade when I first passed it, and while I was taking a picture another woman came to see what I was doing and laughed when she noticed it. Genius.

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What to do with your giant-needle collection.

Next up was Purl Soho, which was the real destination. I’ve been reading their blog since I first started knitting, and very much wanted to see the shop in person. It was getting dark (and cold) by the time we got there, so I didn’t get a shot of the window, but I did take this one from just inside the front door.

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It’s a bit deceptive how big this makes the shop look, but the back half is all sewing and fabric. Yarn wise, they had many beautiful things, but I knew what I wanted, and I wanted Brooklyn Tweed (which you cannot get in Canadian shops, at least as far as I know). I splurged a little (it’s New York!) and bought five skeins of Shelter: two in Plume, two in Hayloft, and one in Snowbound. We went and grabbed lemonade (why? I couldn’t say) and I started swatching.

Yum yum yum. The hayloft is really more mustard than green, but it's tricky to photograph.

Yum yum yum. The Hayloft is really more mustard than green, but it’s tricky to photograph.

Plume up close. I am in love with this colour.

Plume up close. I am in love with this colour.

I have definite plans for this purchase, but they remain secret for now. I will say, though, that Shelter is a dream to knit with. It’s rustic and lofty a very soft, which is everything I want to knit with right now – I just need to finish those moose gloves! Speaking of which, I should really go do that since I’m just four fingers and a thumb from finished. Have a lovely weekend!

Two and a half days in New York

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Before the parage of photos begins, let me put things in context. L and live in Toronto, the largest city in Canada. The population of Toronto (and area) is about 5 million. To put that in context, that is more than five times the population of Nova Scotia, my home province. So yeah, for me, moving to Toronto was a pretty big adjustment for me. So, it would stand to reason that going to New York City, population 8 million-ish, should be overwhelming. Oddly, though, it isn’t. It might be because we’ve both been there and know what to expect, or that we’ve travelled quite a bit, but I suspect it’s because New York is so ubiquitous. I mean, you can walk into a neighbourhood you’ve never been to, on streets you can’t name, and recognize something from a TV show or a movie, and that makes New York not at all intimidating.

All of which is to say that we had a great time. We had pretty crappy weather for the first couple of days (cold and raining/sleeting), but our third day was crisp and clear, so it all balanced out – I always figure it’s good to get at least one rainy day when you’re in a big city since you’re probably going to go to a bunch of museums and things anyway.

So, without further ado, here’s a selection of things we did in New York:

1. Walk around Central Park: We were staying on the Upper East Side, so it was close by, and who can resist, really?

Central Park: We were staying on the Upper East Side, so it was close by. (This is, as best as I can figure, the bridge in Home Alone 2.)

This is, as best as I can figure, the bridge in Home Alone 2.

2. Eat Ramen: This was near our friends’ place and is their favourite ramen place. It did not disappoint.

Eat Ramen: This was near our friends' place and is their favourite ramen place. It did not disappoint. (This is L's bowl, since the veggie ramen, while delicious, was less photogenic.)

This is L’s bowl, since the veggie ramen, while delicious, was less photogenic.

3. Visit the Museum of Natural History. I’m pretty sure this is where the Night at the Museum movies were filmed, and with good reason – it is awesome. We spent an entire (rainy) day here, and didn’t even make it through half.

The Hall of Biodiversity wasn't even an exhibit we were intending to go to, but it was so full of lovely things we stopped in anyway.

The Hall of Biodiversity wasn’t even an exhibit we were intending to go to, but it was so full of lovely things we stopped in anyway.

More biodiversity. There was just so much to look at.

More biodiversity. There was just so much to look at.

Dinosaurs! I had never seen dinosaur skeletons before, so this was pretty cool. (We also saw the big sea life and North American mammals exhibits.)

Dinosaurs! I had never seen dinosaur skeletons before, so this was pretty cool. (We also saw the big sea life and North American mammals exhibits.)

4. The Empire State Building. Neither of us had been, and since we had free tickets (our friends had leftover City Passes) we figured we should go. It turns out that if you go before 11 on a Thursday, there’s no line!

The Chrysler Building is pretty magnificent.

The Chrysler Building is pretty magnificent.

I love all the water towers on top of the downtown buildings. I'd never noticed them before, but I'm smitten.

I love all the water towers on top of the downtown buildings. I’d never noticed them before, but I’m smitten.

5. Walk the High Line. We started at 28th Street and walked all the way to the end, stopping for lunch at Chelsea Market. I cannot recommend this highly enough – what an awesome way to experience New York.

The High Line was a definite highlight. We started at 28th Street and walked all the way to the end, stopping for lunch at Chelsea Market. I cannot recommend this highly enough – what an awesome way to experience New York.

Yes, it was cold (I have a shawl on under that scarf), but it was sunny and beautiful. I wish we had something like this in Toronto.

6. See the city at night. You basically can’t avoid this (especially at this time of year), but still. Walking around downtown at night is immensely satisfying and lovely (and cold!)

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The arch in Washington Square Park plus the Empire State Building, all lit up.

My mum always says that you can’t do everything in one trip or you have no excuse to go back, so true to that we didn’t make it nearly everywhere we wanted to, and we’re okay with that. We did, however, make it to some yarn shops, but that will be its own post later this week.