lockdown knitting


After a few abortive starts and design failures, the shawl I started just as we went into isolation is finally conforming to my vision. It’s going to be way too huge but that’s okay; “swaddled” seems like a good goal right now.

After testing out a few compatible lace stitches that did not excite, I fell back on an allover arrow pattern with a gradient slide through the different yarns.

Here’s one of the earlier attempts, the best of a series of boring iterations. I know gradients are all the rage in knitting at the moment, but these yarns clearly wanted it.


Yarns by The Green Button Jar except for the pale blue at the top, which is by Indigo Dragonfly.

from the dye pot


Cotton and cotton blend handkerchiefs dyed with turmeric, using a soy milk mordant. After I boiled up a handful of dried turmeric root pieces, which didn’t seem to let much of their colour out into the water, I put the softened bits and the water into the Vitamix and made a slurry. Except for staining the Vitamix jar yellow and getting gobs of root bits all over the fabric (hi I don’t strain things enough) the result is a pretty good gold.

books I read in 2019

1. Christos Tsiolkas, The Slap
2. Madeleine Thien, Do Not Say We Have Nothing
3. Brooke Davis, Lost & Found
4. Zadie Smith, On Beauty
5. Sarah Dunant, The Birth of Venus
6. Aurelie Sheehan, History Lesson for Girls
7. James Ngugi, Weep not, child
8. Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
9. Heather O’Neill, lullabies for little criminals
10. Wayson Choy, The Jade Peony
11. Jeannette Walls, The Silver Star
12. Mary Lawson, The Other Side of the Bridge
13. Tom McNeal, Goodnight, Nebraska
14. Muriel Barbery, The Elegance of the Hedgehog
15. Erica Ferencik, The River at Night
16. Jane Urquhart, A Map of Glass
17. Casey Plett, Little Fish
18. Heather O’Neill, The Lonely Hearts Hotel
19. Wayson Choy, All That Matters
20. Imbolo Mbue, Behold the Dreamers
21. Timothy Findley, Stones
22. Ha Jin, Waiting
23. Lisa Moore, February
24. Joy Kogawa, The Rain Ascends
25. Shilpi Somaya Gowda, The Golden Son
26. Louise Erdrich, The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
27. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, The Nest
28. Katherena Vermette, The Break
29. Kim Echlin, The Disappeared
30. Jhumpa Lahiri, The Namesake
30. Miranda Hill, Sleeping Funny
31. Kim Edwards, The Lake of Dreams
32. Jane Urquhart, Away
33. Kim Fahner, These Wings
34. Mary Swan, The Boys in the Trees
35. Emily St. John Mandel, Station Eleven
36. Eowyn Lemay Ivey, The Snow Child
37. Jamie Zeppa, Beyond the Sky and Earth: A Journey Into Bhutan
38. Sue Miller, The World Below
39. Padma Viswanathan, The Ever After of Ashwin Rao
40. Nino Ricci, Testament
41. Mona Awad, Bunny
42. Paul Howarth, Only Killers and Thieves
43. Miriam Toews, Women Talking
44. Yasmina Khadra, The Swallows of Kabul
45. Joy Kogawa, Itsuka
46. David Benioff, City of Thieves
(in progress: George Sansom, A History of Japan to 1334)