Sunday, 31 May 2020

Knitted Temperature Blanket - May 2020

I heard about temperature blankets at the end of last year.  I've never made one before and it sounded like a fun long term project.

The idea of a temperature blanket is to knit or crochet a row (or a number of rows) on a blanket each day for a full calendar year.  The colors used each day correspond with the temperature outside.  The more colours you use to represent temperatures and the more varied the temperatures, the more colourful the blanket.

To be consistent, I chose to use the temperature at noon.  I debated whether to use Toronto's temperatures (regardless of where I am) or the temperatures of where I am (so it's a Teena ~ temperature blanket).  I decided to make a Teena ~ temperature blanket ... it should be interesting to see how it turns out as I travel throughout the year.

I'm using nine colours from Red Heart Comfort and Bernat Cozy Style yarn.
  • Blue:  -6C or colder
  • Green:  -1C to -5C
  • Light purple:  0C to 4C
  • Teal:  5C to 9C
  • Red:  10C to 14C
  • Dark purple:  15C to 19C
  • Yellow:  20C to 24C
  • Orange:  25C and higher
  • Grey:  first and last rows and divider rows between the months

So far, the warmest temperature (orange) was 31C in Toronto on May 26 and the coldest (blue) was -10C in Toronto (blue) on February 14.

I cast on 200 stitches.  The first and last five stitches of each row are seed stitches (knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one, knit one).  In between, I'm doing stocking stitch (knitting the odd rows and purling the even rows).  I added two rows of seed stitch at the beginning of the blanket to stop it from curling (stocking stitch does that and I hadn't thought of that when I started).

May


Warmest in May:  31C (orange) in Toronto on May 26
Coldest in May:  5C (teal) in Toronto on May 8

April


Warmest in April:  15C (dark purple) in Toronto on April 13
Coldest in April:  4C (light purple) in Toronto on April 15, 16 and 21

KC's tree, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

I went for a walk to Trinity Bellwoods Park this afternoon.

I visited KC's tree.  I'd been to see it a couple weeks ago and it had just started to bud.  What a difference in a couple weeks!  So leafy and green!

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

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


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Neon Roll With It Tweed Yarn By Red Heart yarn 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) 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

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, 29 May 2020

Book ~ "A Million Little Lies" (2020) Bette Lee Crosby

From Goodreads ~ A lifetime of lies, and a truth too painful to tell.

When Suzanna Duff was ten years old, she lost her mama, and that’s when the lies began. At first, they were just harmless little fibs, a way to hide her unbearable loneliness and the truth about a daddy who came home rip-roaring drunk every night. But in time, the lies grew bigger and now, when she is a grown woman with a daughter of her own, they threaten to destroy everything she loves.

The irony of this situation is that Suzanna never planned to stay in Georgia, she was simply passing through, looking for a fresh start in New Jersey. Attending that wake with her daughter Annie, was a fluke. An opportunity to enjoy a free meal. It should have entailed nothing more than a solemn nod and a brief expression of sympathy but, Ida Parker, the grieving widow mistook her for her the granddaughter who was carried off as an infant. Too embarrassed to do anything else, Suzanna played along. What harm was there in pretending to be someone else for a few hours? Hours turned into days and days into weeks; strangers became friends, love happened, and before long a year had flown by.

Now the past is standing on her doorstep and Suzanna must decide to leave here and disappear as she has done before, or tell the truth and break the hearts of those she loves most.

In her last year of high school, Suzanna was in love with Bobby.  When she discovered she was pregnant, Bobby broke up with her and her father kicked her out of the house.  With nowhere else to go, she moved in with Earl, an older man who liked her.  It's now 1960, eight years later, and Suzanna is in an abusive relationship with Earl and she's had enough.  She sneaks off with her daughter, Annie, with $18 stolen from Earl's pants and heads to New Jersey, where she hopes to start a new life.

Suzanna and Annie hitchhike and get a ride as far as a small town in Georgia.  She sees there is a memorial service for a man who had recently passed away.  The buffet luncheon attracts her so she figures they will stop in, have a big meal and then move on.  What she hadn't counted on is the widow thinking Suzanna is her long lost granddaughter, Darla Jean, and wanting her to stay on with her.  So Suzanna becomes Darla Jean, which provides her and Annie something they have never had ... a stable home life and a loving family.  As she builds a new life, gets a new a job, and falls in love with a school teacher, she is always looking over her shoulder, figuring the real Darla Jean will show up.

I thought this book was okay.  It was written in third person perspective in Suzanna's voice.  If you are looking for a nice clean wholesome story, you will like it.  I've read many of this author's books and this is her style.

I found a couple things hard to believe.  When Earl wakes up after a drunk and realizes that Suzanna is gone and not coming back, he is determined to find her.  For some reason, he assumes that she has gone back to Bobby ... the boyfriend who dumped her eight years ago when he found out she was pregnant.  Suzanna has had no contact with Bobby in eight years and suddenly Earl assumes Bobby will be wanting them to be a family?  Really?!  So he goes on the hunt to find Bobby figuring Suzanna and Annie would be with him.

Another thing was when Suzannna's life is good ... she has a nice job, a "grandmother" who loves her and a boyfriend ... Bobby pops back into her life.  She realizes she's still in love with him and is prepared to drop her new life for him so they can be a family.  Keep in mind that this is the guy who dumped her eight years ago and wanted no part of being a dad ... I found it unbelievable that Suzanne would make the leap immediately that Bobby wanted to marry her, especially considering the crappy life she's had until she found her "grandmother".  By this point, she's about 26 and I couldn't believe she would suddenly still have the same feelings for Bobby she had when she was 18.  No way!

Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Ipsy Glam Bag - May 2020

My May Ipsy Glam Bag arrived today.
  • $12 a Glam Bag ($223CN for a year)
  • 5 beauty products worth $50+ (the average Glam Bag value in 2019)
  • Glam Bags are available in the U.S., U.S. Territories, & Canada. U.S. shipping is free. Taxes will apply to all bag orders shipped within the U.S. Canadian shipping is $2.95.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted hat

I've made a few pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens lately and was wondering what a hat (I've never knitted a hat) using the same pattern and colour would look like.  So I convert a mitten pattern into a hat and here it is ...


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Red Heart Super Saver (Berry) 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm circular and then double pointed needles.

Since the pattern in multiples of six, I cast on 108 stitches with A.  I knit 1, purl 1 for 12 rows.

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
I did this four times (so eight rows of colour).

To shape the top ...
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 4, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 3, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 2, Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 1, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round
  • *Knit 1, knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Knit one round. 
  • *Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • *Knit 2 together*; repeat to end of round
  • Cut yarn leaving a 6 inch tail
  • Thread the yarn through the remaining six stitches and pull tight
  • Weave in all ends

Monday, 25 May 2020

Book ~ "Seinfeld: A Cultural History" (2020) Paul Arras

From Goodreads ~ Since coming to an end at the pinnacle of its popularity, Seinfeld's story continues. The show's enduring appeal has helped earn its creators billions of dollars and counting. Many of the most popular and acclaimed comedy series of the twenty-first century are direct descendants of Seinfeld's style, and the show's ideas are now woven into the ways people think and behave. 

The greatest sitcom of the final years of the broadcast era, "Seinfeld" broke the rules, changed both television and America forever, and remains a living part of American culture. 

"Seinfeld: A Cultural History" explores the show's history with a look at the show's legendary co-creators, its supporters (and skeptics) at NBC, and its award-winning cast. By all the traditional rules of television, "Seinfeld" never should have made it to the air. 

Paul Arras pays close attention to the writers and writing of the show, offering a fresh look at the episodes themselves and assessing its broader cultural impact. Throughout he also dissects the show's main quartet and the other memorable characters that foursome interacted with over the show's eight seasons. This book considers what the adventures of Jerry, George, Kramer, and Elaine reveal about the nineties and what messages they pass along to twenty-first century viewers. 

"Seinfeld: A Cultural History" will lead any fan of the show back to the series to re-watch old episodes with new insights and observations. Readable and illuminating, the book's well-researched discussion of the show's background and legacy is an essential guide for Seinfeld viewers and scholars alike. Most of all, "Seinfeld: A Cultural History" is an enjoyable way to engage, or reengage, with one of the funniest shows of all time! 

This book is about Seinfeld, the show about four self-centered friends and what happens in their lives.

The chapters are:
  1. Jerry and Larry
  2. A Guy Walks into NBC ...
  3. Who (Almost) Killed the Pilot?
  4. Ensemble Alchemy
  5. The Four
  6. The People in their Neighbourhood
  7. Faith, Race and Place in Seinfeld's New York
  8. Jerry and Company in the World and in the Bedroom
  9. The Spectacle, the Disappointment and the Brilliance of the Finale
  10. Television Legacy
  11. Critics and Missteps
  12. Seinfeld Today
  13. The Rankings:  Every Episode from Best to Worst

The book provides the details about how the show came to be ... Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld coming up with a show that the network didn't really believe in and David and Seinfeld themselves didn't think would go anywhere (David hoped it wouldn't).  It lasted nine seasons until Seinfeld decided to quit while they were on top.   It was interesting to learn more about the writing and how the stories came about.

There is information about the backgrounds of Jerry Seinfeld, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Michael Richards along with what they have been doing post-Seinfeld.

If you are/were a fan of Seinfeld, you'll find this book interesting.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Budapest Park and Marilyn Bell Park, Toronto, ON

It was warm and sunny so I went for a 10km walk yesterday morning along Queen Street W to Budapest Park to Marilyn Bell Park through Exhibition Place to home.

When I was at Budapest Park, there were geese and their babies and I wished I'd had my camera (rather than just my cell phone) with me.  So today I did the same walk but brought along my camera they were still there.  I hung out for a while with them.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I finished knitting another pair of Honeycomb (aka Newfie) mittens tonight ... my sister had mailed me the pattern years ago.  They were fun to make.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), Red Heart Super Saver (Berry) 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) 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

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, 22 May 2020

Book ~ "Stranger in the Lake" (2020) Kimberly Belle

From Goodreads ~ When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned. 

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two. 

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust - her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

Charlotte and Paul married about year ago.  Charlotte grew up in a crappy trailer park with a drug addicted mother and and Paul is rich and ten years older than her.  When Charlotte married Paul, the small town gossips assumed she was marrying Paul for his money and comfort.  Paul had been married before and his wife had passed away four years earlier, found drowned next to their dock, and there is still speculation that he'd murdered his wife for her money.

One morning Charlotte finds a woman drowned next to the dock ... a woman Paul had been speaking with just the day before, though he denies to the police that he knows her.  He assumes his former best friend from high school, now known at "Batty Jax" who lives in woods, was involved so takes off immediately to find him.  Micah, Paul's other best friend from high school, lives next door and is a great source of support for Charlotte.

I've read other books by this author but I wasn't crazy about this one ... I didn't like the story and didn't think it could really happen the way it did.  It is written in first person perspective in Charlotte's voice.  It jumps back to 1999 to when Paul, Jax and Micah were in high school (those chapters are labeled) and then it is in third person perspective in Jax's voice.  I didn't really like the characters and I found the "whodunnits" and why convoluted and unbelievable.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

Late this afternoon I went for a walk to Trinity Bellwoods Park.  It was such a nice day (warm and sunny) and there were lots of people out enjoying the park.

I checked on KC's tree.  I'd been to see it a couple days ago and what a difference a couple days made!  It's lively with budding leaves!

Monday, 18 May 2020

Honeycomb (aka Newfie) knitted mittens

I finished knitting a pair of mittens tonight ... I used the same pattern as the pair I made on Friday.


I used black Red Heart Super Saver 4 ply yarn as my main colour (A), pinata Craft Smart (ombre) 4 ply yarn as my second colour (B) and 5mm double pointed needles.  This time I reversed the colours ... the one on the left is what I finished on Friday and the one on the right is the one I finished this evening.


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

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

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 with A 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

Book ~ "None So Deadly" (2019) David A. Poulsen

From Goodreads ~ It’s a case that has haunted Cullen and Cobb for years - the murder of eleven-year-old Faith Unruh. And now the brutal killing of a police investigator who was similarly obsessed with the little girl’s murder has put PI Mike Cobb and former crime-writing journalist Adam Cullen back on the killer’s trail - and directly in the line of fire. 

As the case is unfolding, Cullen is desperately trying to get out from under the thumb of a local biker gang without ruining his relationship, getting arrested ... or worse.

Adam Cullen is a freelance writer/former newspaper journalist and Mike Cobb is an ex-cop, now a private detective.  They work together on occasion.  Danny, a teenager, needs advice and comes to Adam and Mike ... his girlfriend's rich father wants him to kill his wife (Danny's girlfriend's mother) and make it look like a robbery.  Danny doesn't want to do it but the father is trying to blackmail him into doing it.

In the meantime, Adam had gotten financing from a not-so-nice motorcycle gang to keep his girlfriend's shelter open ... and now they expect him favours from him by running errands for them.  The consequences could be deadly if he refuses.

And finally, Adam and Mike have been obsessed with the unsolved murder of 11-year-old Faith in 1991.  This storyline started in a previous book in the series.  A former police officer who was even more obsessed about the case was recently murdered and Adam and Mike assume there is a link and are determined to solve these murders.

I liked the writing style and liked this story ... there was a lot going on.  It is written in first person perspective in Adam's voice.  As a head's up, there is swearing.

I like that this story is set in Calgary and the author doesn't try to hide the fact that the story is happening in Canada.  There are numerous references to Calgary in addition to Canadian musicians as Adam is a big music fan who has quite an extensive collection of Canadian music.

I liked the characters and their interactions ... Adam and Mike, Adam and Jill (Adam's girlfriend of almost a year), Adam and Kyla (Jill's young daughter).

This is the fourth and latest in the Cobb and Cullen series and I've read them all.  Hopefully there will be future books in the series.  It works as a stand alone as there is enough background provided so you don't have to read the other three to know what's been going on.

Happy Victoria Day!


Victoria Day is a federal Canadian public holiday celebrated on the last Monday preceding May 25, initially in honour of Queen Victoria's birthday.

The holiday has been observed in Canada since at least 1845, originally falling on Victoria's actual birthday (May 24, 1819). It's always been a distinctly Canadian observance.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Coronation Park, Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail and Ontario Place, Toronto, ON

I went for a long walk (about 10km) this morning and headed south to the water.  I haven't been out much in the last couple of months and I miss my walks.

Lakeshore Blvd. W is down to two lanes (rather than the usual four).  The south two lanes are closed for pedestrians and cyclists.  When I got there around 10ish, it was fairly quiet.  On my way home a couple hours later, it was more crowded.


I started off at Coronation Park.  It was nice to get down by the water.  There still aren't any boats on the water, though that should be changing soon.   The only boat was a police boat.

Saturday, 16 May 2020

Trinity Bellwoods Park, Toronto, ON

Gord and I went for a walk to Trinity Bellwoods Park this morning.

We visited KC's tree.  I'd been to see it a couple weeks ago and it hadn't started budding ... and it is now.


Heading home, we saw a white squirrel in the southwest end of the park ... I've seen them there many times.