Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Book ~ "The Toronto Book of Love" (2021) Adam Bunch

From Goodreads ~ Toronto’s past is filled with passion and heartache. The Toronto Book of Love brings the history of the city to life with fascinating true tales of romance, marriage, and lust: from the scandalous love affairs of the city’s early settlers to the prime minister’s wife partying with rock stars on her anniversary; from ancient First Nations wedding ceremonies to a pastor wearing a bulletproof vest to perform one of Canada’s first same-sex marriage ceremonies. 

Home to adulterous movie stars, faithful rebels, and heartbroken spies, Toronto has been shaped by crushes, jealousies, and flirtations. The Toronto Book of Love explores the evolution of the city from a remote colonial outpost to a booming modern metropolis through the stories of those who have fallen in love among its ravines, church spires, and skyscrapers. 

I live in Toronto and I'm always looking for books about the history of Toronto so that's why this one caught my eye.

The stories are all focused on love with a Toronto connection.  The first story tells the story of a French soldier named Louis-Armand de Lom d'Arce de Lohontan, a baron who centuries ago had been sent to Canada to wage war again the first First Nations.  He published a series of books about his travels through the Indigenous lands of North America.  The last story is about "The Michaels", Michael Stark and Michael Leshner, who in 2003 entered into the first legal same-sex marriage in Canada.

Other stories include Lieutenant-governor John Graves and Elizabeth Simcoe, the duel between John White and John Small because White had spread rumours about Small's wife, the leaders in the War of 1812, John and Jemima Howard and their tomb in High Park, Ernest Hemingway hating Toronto, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, the Napalm Girl (Phan Thi Kim Phuc), Margaret Trudeau, and more.  At the back of the book, there is an extensive bibliography and suggestions for further reading.

I found this book interesting and liked the writing style.  It was written in a straight-forward manner with not a lot of details but just enough.  When I came across something especially interesting I wanted to know more about, I would stop and Google the subject for more information.  I think anyone living in Toronto (and elsewhere) would find this book worth reading.

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Double Dutch knitted dishcloth

The Year of the Dishcloth is organized by the Kitchen Sink Shop. March's pattern is a Double Dutch dishcloth.


I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton yarn and a 5mm needle.

Cast on 38 stitches.
  • Rows 1-3: K38
  • Row 4: K3, P32, K3

Double Dutch pattern:
  • Row 1: K3, *P4, K4* 4 times, K3
  • Row 2: K3, *P3, K4, P1* 4 times, K3
  • Row 3: K3, *K2, P4, K2* 4 times, K3
  • Row 4: K3, *P1, K4, P3* 4 times, K3
  • Row 5: K3, *K4, P4* 4 times, K3
  • Row 6: K3, *K3, P4, K1* 4 times, K3
  • Row 7: K3, *K1, P4, K3* 4 times, K3
  • Row 8: K3, *P4, K4* 4 times, K3
  • Row 9: K3, *P3, K4, P1* 4 times, K3
  • Row 10: K3, *K2, P4, K2* 4 times, K3
  • Row 11: K3, *P1, K4, P3* 4 times, K3
  • Row 12: K3, *K4, P4* 4 times, K3
  • Repeat Double Dutch pattern (rows 1-12) 4 times total

Finish:
  • Rows 1-4: K38
  • Bind off and weave in the ends

Sunday, 28 February 2021

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I just finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens.  They are fun to make.


I used 4 ply yarn and 5mm double pointed needles.

Wrist
  1. With A, cast on 42 sts
  2. Knit 1, purl 1 for 18 rows
  3. Purl
  4. Purl, increasing 2 stitches on each needle for a total of 48 stitches

Pattern
  1.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  2. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  3. Purl 2 rows with A
  4. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  5. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  6. Purl 2 rows with A
  7.  *Knit 4 with B, slip 2 purlwise with A*, repeat to the end of row
  8. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  9. Purl 2 rows with A
  10. Knit 1 with B, * slip 2 purlwise with A, knit 4 with B*, repeat to the last three stitches, knit 3 with B
  11. Repeat this row 4 more times (5 in total)
  12. Purl 2 rows with A

Thumb
  1. In step 12 above, purl 2, put 7 stitches on a stitch holder for the thumb and cast on 7 stitches, purl to the end.  Purl 1 row.

Mitten
  1. Knit the pattern until long enough (I did 6)
  2. Knit 1 row
  3. *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  4. Knit 2 rows
  5. *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  6. Knit 2 rows
  7. *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  8. Knit 2 rows
  9. *Knit 2 together*, repeat to the end
  10. Thread the yarn through remaining the loops and pull tight
  11. Weave end inside

Thumb
  1. With A, pick up the 7 stitches from the holder
  2. Pick up 7 stitches around the thumb hole for a total of 14 stitches
  3. Knit to fit length of thumb
  4. Knit 2 together all around
  5. Thread the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight
  6. Weave end inside

Friday, 26 February 2021

Burger Drops, Toronto, ON

I picked up supper this evening at Burger Drops in Liberty Village. 


I got a single American burger with pickles and no lettuce, onion or cheese with fries (there were LOTS of fries!) and Gord got a double cheeseburger with lettuce and no pickles and onion rings. It was a good meal.

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Book ~ "Our Darkest Night" (2021) Jennifer Robson

From Goodreads ~ It is the autumn of 1943 and life is becoming increasingly perilous for Italian Jews like the Mazin family. With Nazi Germany now occupying most of her beloved homeland and the threat of imprisonment and deportation growing ever more certain, Antonina Mazin has but one hope to survive - to leave Venice and her beloved parents and hide in the countryside with a man she has only just met.

Nico Gerardi was studying for the priesthood until circumstances forced him to leave the seminary to run his family’s farm. A moral and just man, he could not stand by when the fascists and Nazis began taking innocent lives. Rather than risk a perilous escape across the mountains, Nina will pose as his new bride. And to keep her safe and protect secrets of his own, Nico and Nina must convince prying eyes they are happily married and in love.

But farm life is not easy for a cultured city girl who dreams of becoming a doctor like her father, and Nico’s provincial neighbors are wary of this soft and educated woman they do not know. Even worse, their distrust is shared by a local Nazi official with a vendetta against Nico. The more he learns of Nina, the more his suspicions grow - and with them his determination to exact revenge.

As Nina and Nico come to know each other, their feelings deepen, transforming their relationship into much more than a charade. Yet both fear that every passing day brings them closer to being torn apart
.

It's autumn 1943 and Antonina is a Jew living in Italy with her father (her mother is ill and in a nearby rest home).  To protect Antonina, her father arranges with his friend, who is a priest, to have Antonina live with a Catholic family on a farm and pretend to be the Catholic wife of Nico, one of the sons, until the war is over.  She doesn't want to go but her father convinces her it is the only way she can stay safe.  

Nico has been helping Jews escape the country and carries on with this mission once Antonina (now called Nina) moves in with him and his family.  As Nina settles in to farm life, she and Nico become friends and eventually fall in love.  A former schoolmate of Nico's is now a Nazi official and suspects something is up and is determine to find out what it is.

I thought this book was okay.  It is written in third person perspective in Nina's voice.  The story started off interestingly enough with Nina giving up her life in the city to move to the country and pretend to be Nico's wife.  But then it took a dark turn suddenly.  While I had to applaud Nico's dedication to wanting to save lives, I would have thought that he would have given it up once he fell in love in Nina.  Plus his actions put his family in danger and I can't imagine having his family terrorized and beaten was worth it.

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Knitted baby beanie

I knitted a baby beanie this evening.


I used 4 ply yarn and 3.75mm double pointed needles and cast on 64 stitches.
  • Row 1 - Purl
  • Row 2 - Knit
  • Row 3 - Purl
  • Row 4 - Knit
  • Row 5 - Purl
  • Row 6 - Knit

Knit until the length is 3 inches from the beginning (row 1).

Decrease:
  • Row 1: *K6, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 2: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 3: *K5, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 4: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 5: *K4, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 6: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 7: *K3, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 8: Knit all stitches 
  • Rou 9: *K2, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 10: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 11: *K1, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 12: Knit all stitches
  • Row 13: *K2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Knit the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight.  Weave end inside.

Monday, 22 February 2021

Knitted baby beanie

I knitted a baby beanie today.


I used 4 ply yarn and 3.75mm double pointed needles and cast on 64 stitches.
  • Row 1 - Purl
  • Row 2 - Knit
  • Row 3 - Purl
  • Row 4 - Knit
  • Row 5 - Purl
  • Row 6 - Knit

Knit until the length is 3 inches from the beginning (row 1).

Decrease:
  • Row 1: *K6, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 2: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 3: *K5, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 4: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 5: *K4, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 6: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 7: *K3, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 8: Knit all stitches 
  • Rou 9: *K2, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 10: Knit all stitches 
  • Row 11: *K1, k2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Row 12: Knit all stitches
  • Row 13: *K2 together; repeat from * to end of round. 
  • Knit the yarn through the remaining loops and pull tight.  Weave end inside.