Another day, Another pair of socks

Hello faithful readers. I am back on the East Coast, and if I’m honest with myself it feels terrific! Okay, so I’ve been back for a while now, but I was suffering from the worst case of writer’s’ block. I had some ideas ready for posting that I thought was blog gold but then I got back, and I was hit by the worst summer cold, so the ideas started feeling outdated, and I decided not to post them. So without the creative juices flowing and the inability to put thoughts to digital paper I instead focused my fingers on knitting. I was slightly hoping that I would manage to get some projects done and knit away the block. And guess what? It worked!

The past couple of days I’ve been knitting and knitting, and after I post this and put my laptop down, I’m going to start knitting again. Weirdly enough, the fatigue has not settled in at all this summer, and my fingers have been working the needles over time.

Mostly, I’ve been making socks which blows my mind to think about because I have a whole blog post dedicated to why I didn’t enjoy knitting them, but I’ve apparently gotten over that little issue. Because….

I knit the pair above for my partner using Ancient Arts Yarns in the colourway “West Coast Waterfall.”

And then I knit this pair for a friend in Diamond DyeWorks (I lost the tag so I can’t remember the colourway).

Also, I went to my favourite LYS in Perth and picked up the Uneek sock kit, which has been a unique experience (did you see what I did there?) and cast on for another pair.


I never actually thought I would fall victim to the sock addiction crave but I guess I’m on my way there. I should be fine. Don’t send help.

Kingston

Just like this bunny, my new job has me hopping from place to place.

So it finally happened. I packed up my bags and moved to Kingston for a month. I always find it amazing how you can know something is coming up in your life but still feel emotional when the day finally arrives.

Well, the day came and went, and while my emotions are still all over the place, I was really proud of myself for managing to get on that plane and not take my entire yarn stash with me.

Now for some this may not seem like an actual issue but for me, I had a hard time merely wrapping my mind around what skeins would make the trip with me. You might be laughing right now, but it was tough guys!

The yarn for the dovetail shawl. A mixture of Louet Gems and Sweet Georgia yarns.

Yet, I managed to put my big girl pants on and not to bring my entire collection with me by sticking to projects I knew I could potentially get done in time. I put the Celtic shawl back on needles because it needs to get done and packed a sock project I started before I left. I also packed the yarn for the dovetail shawl and some spare (what I like to call emergency) yarn because it’s pretty, speckled, locally dyed in NB and all of that criteria reminds me of home.

(Also, I just knit the cutest pair of socks with yarn I got from the same NB dyer, Diamond DyeWorks, and it is now one of my favourite pairs. I’ve worn it every day since blocking it so of course, I had to pack another).

I’m walking on rainbows! Woo-oh.
Spring is the time for everything with colour!

Luckily, Kingston is right on the water of Lake Ontario (it’s also a university town), so it eerily reminds me of Fredericton and helps me feel a little more settled. I’m not much of a big city gal, so it’s nice to be staying in a small, quiet community for the next four weeks. I’m here for work so posting might be limited but be sure to follow me on Instagram for quicker updates to my little adventure.

I might even be able to sneak in a quick visit to Knit Traders in downtown Kingston. Ha! You thought I wasn’t going to buy yarn after bringing so much with me, didn’t you? It makes me happy that I can still keep you on your toes 🙂

 

Solace

Aha! I refused to let April fly by without putting out a blog post, and I’m glad I’ve finally managed to put thought to digital paper.

The last couple of weeks have been quite hectic and with my upcoming move to Kingston, ON (just for a month) I’ve been focused on soaking up as much of home as possible.

The great news though is that after every work day, I’ve been finding solace, and reflection time, in my knitting. And it’s been heaven just to unwind, pick up my needles and get to work. And boy have I been productive.

I finally finished the love socks (that I’ve been waiting to make for forever) and gifted them to a friend of mine as her “something blue”.

Aren’t they cute? I just want to smush them.

And knitted up a pair of fingerless gloves just for fun.

I have chronic hands are always cold syndrome and these will fix that quite nicely.

Getting all these projects off my needles means I’m close and closer to working through my list of patterns to try. I had to put some away on waste yarn until further notice, but I’m hoping to get them all completed and blocked before the end of the year.

That seems like a reasonable and attainable goal. Now I just have to reach it.

Connections

I’ve been travelling a lot lately for work, and my mind has fixated on the concept of connections. Now, I’m not talking about the connections one must take to get to their destination but instead those moments when you connect with another human being who was nothing but a complete stranger to you only a second before.

I will admit, out loud, that I am a bit of a nervous flyer and while I try to maintain a modicum of calm and friendliness around me before boarding the metal death trap, once I board I’m definitely not the type of person who likes to chat during the flight. In fact, I’m that person wearing noise-cancelling headphones, looking out the window, or focusing intently on my knitting. I try to do, whatever I can to politely not make conversation with the person next to me. I even managed to surpass myself this last trip and created my own portable sensory deprivation chamber (patent pending) by adding an eye mask to my flight toolkit (which already includes the aforementioned headphones and travel pillow), so I could sleep, and stay asleep until the plane safely touches land again.

However, my flight from Charlottetown to Toronto took an unexpected but pleasant twist. I sat down in my seat, surrounded myself with my comfort kit, smiled at my seatmate (fully intending to ignore her and dive deep into dreamland) and then spent the next 2 hours of the flight engaging in conversation. I’m not sure what happened, I was fully prepared to knock myself out for the next couple of hours, so I didn’t have to think about the fact that I was that high up in the sky but once we started conversing we just couldn’t stop. We talked about our lives, our partners, I told her about my dad and she told me about her adopted daughter. We spoke so in-depth that we were both shocked to hear the pilot announce that we were landing and it wasn’t until we were collecting our luggage that we realised we’d never actually exchanged names. We both laughed at that because we didn’t need to know each other’s names.

In the end, we were just two strangers, from opposite generations, sharing stories about their lives with each other, knowing we might not ever see each other again and it was wonderful.

Yearning

I am yearning guys! Yearning! And as I sit here writing this post looking out at the what seems like the endless whipping of snow in the air, I can’t help but yearn some more.

Now it’s not a usual occurrence for me to take my frustrations out on my knitting (I mean I’m a nice person that way) but I will admit that I’m not harbouring a lot of happy feelings towards my White Pine sweater right now.

Not because the pattern is too complicated, or I’m not enjoying the process of knitting it but because I’m just over everything it represents. I’d even say that I’m in a “down with sweater weather” kind of mood right now. Yeah, I said it, but it’s a long time coming so don’t judge me too harshly. (Everything in moderation, right?)

So you could say that my spirits were in dire need of perking up, so I didn’t even fight it when my hands decided to cast on another project.

I went through my Ravelry library of projects I’d been eyeing for a while and landed on the With the Tide shawl pattern by Anna Mathis. It helped that I had Ploome Fibre Arts hand-dyed 3-ply sock yarn (The colourway is called Well Tickle me Coral) in my stash to pair with it.

And you know what? It worked.

Now instead of eyeing my sweater with an eensy teensy bit of disdain I just put it away, pull out the shawl and wish for the upcoming season to come just a little bit soon.

I guess what I’m trying to say is I’m ready for Spring. In fact, you can say I’m yearning for it.

“Nothing says love like a handmade sweater”

My friend Jody said this to me today and, as a knitter, it most definitely rings true.

Now I will admit that I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day (what can I say! I’m a “love you all year long” kind of gal) but every year my partner brings me flowers and I present him with a token of my affection. And while he’s used to getting knitted items from me, this was the first time he’s ever gotten a whole hand knitted sweater.

Working on the sweater was such a great experience, but it made me long for seamless sweater knitting patterns. It was my first time knitting a sweater in parts, and honestly, if it wasn’t for Trish (knitting Jedi master that she is) I don’t think I could have gotten through the experience. I mean it seems simple enough. Knit the back, the front and the sleeves separately and then stitch them all together. (How hard could it be?)

Well, it’s harder than it sounds and if it weren’t for her helpful tips and tricks, the sweater would not have come out looking the way I wanted it to, and he probably wouldn’t have received it until March.

It also helped that I love knitting for other people. In fact, I think I knit more for others than I do for myself. There’s just something about knitting a functional and beautiful item for someone you love that makes my heart go all warm and fuzzy. And without sounding like a total cheesecake, I like to believe that my love for him is imbued into every stitch and seam that makes up the whole sweater. (Plus I like knowing that it’s keeping him warm while he walks in the frigid winter cold.)

Okay, that’s enough cheese. At least for now.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Yesterday, I took a trip up to Woodstock, NB and attended the Winter wool-gathering for the very first time. An annual event, the gathering brings together wool enthusiasts for a day of yarn swaps, classes (I signed up as a volunteer to host my first ever advanced beginner workshop on a moss stitch scarf project), great conversation and a marketplace.

I’m thrilled that I made space in my weekend to check it out. I had a lot of fun surrounding myself with other wool lovers and it was also great running into some new and familiar faces. (Like Ploome Fiber Arts and Where the Wildflowers Grow) It was also a great opportunity to add some items to my inventory that I’d been eyeing for a while so I was definitely a happy knitter on Saturday.

Even though I didn’t pick up any yarn, (I’m trying to be a good girl and work some projects off my needles first) I did pick up some accessories I’d been coveting. Like the ILoveHandles wrist ruler, The Sock ruler, and (drumroll, please) the new Addi Flexi-flips.

New equipment alert!

Now, if you haven’t heard of the Flexi-flips, and you love knitting with dpns then rejoice because these might change your life. I mean who doesn’t want to knit with only three needles in circulation instead of five. (Plus, they look like the love child of dpns and circular needles.)

Now while I’m revelling in my excitement about the needles, I will admit that I haven’t tested them out yet. I’m planning to use them to knit the Love Socks pattern but those are still on the pending project list. To be honest, until I finish my Mukluks and the Boyfriend Sweater and start my Ladies Top-Down Sweater, I’m not even looking at another project.

Mukluks!
The back of the boyfriend sweater

Phew! It’s kind of shocking when I think about it. I used to be someone who never had multiple WIPs, and now I’m the kind of person who’s consistently juggling at least three projects at a time. (It’s a good thing I love to knit.)

I hope you’re all having a lovely winter and getting lots of projects done in the cosy indoors. I can’t wait to show you guys the results once I finally cast some projects off my needles. Talk soon! 🙂

Birthday

It’s my birthday! Every year, on January 3rd, I celebrate turning one year older, and every year I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a little more wiser. (Well, wiser than I already think I am.) For me, having my birthday so early in the year makes me feel as if I get the rest of the 362 days to really settle into my new age and all the experiences, moments and memories it will bring.

When it comes to the agenda of my birthday celebrations, I tend to keep it very relaxed and this year was no different. It also doesn’t help that I’m fighting off the flu. On. My. Birthday. 🙁

Nevertheless, I started my day off with a hearty breakfast from my favourite diner, took a much-needed trip to my LYS (local yarn store), ate a delicious dinner made by my partner and rounded off the evening with a homemade Ghirardelli chocolate cake. (His mom makes me one every year and I hoard it like Gollum hordes the ring.) All in all, I had a great birthday and I’m enjoying every last second as it winds down to a close.

Starting off a new year, at a new age, I always find myself wondering what the rest of the upcoming 362 days are going to look. As a principle, I only set one resolution for myself, and it’s simply to “try one new thing”. This, for me, is such an attainable goal since I’m always looking to try new things anyway and it’s a goal I’ve managed to never fail at achieving. And on the plus side, when I end up trying more than one thing (which I usually do) I feel super accomplished throughout the year. (I believe that’s called a win-win situation.)

I mean in 2017, alone, I tackled:

1. Knitting my first ever sweater. (I can’t stop wearing it!)
2. Making socks out of sock weight yarn.
3. Dabbling in the art of knitting shawls with fingering weight yarn.
4. Visiting a new campground in the province of NB.
5. Being open to new friendships while tending to the ones I’ve already established.
6. Knitting gauge swatches for my projects.
7. Blocking my knitted items at I cast them off.
8. And last but not at all least, gaining the confidence to start and launch this blog.

 

Got to say, I’m quite proud of myself!

Thank you so much for being on this journey with me. I can’t wait to share the new projects and adventures 2018 will bring. Hope you’re ringing in the New Year on a high note!

Season’s Greetings, Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Yule! No matter what you celebrate, I hope you’re having an amazing time with your loved ones and cherishing the memories you’re making.

I’ve been spending my time in the lovely Florenceville with my partner’s family taking time to relax, unwind, laugh, eat, drink, knit (of course) and be merry.

I can’t wait to see what the new year will bring but for now, I’m just enjoying being surrounded by the people I love and sending well wishes to my friends and family who live around the world.

Yesterday was a good day. A friend of mine came to visit from out of town, and I got to spend time at my LYS while helping her pick out yarn for a sweater. (It’s not often that I get to play “yarn consultant” so I’m usually pretty excited when the opportunity arises.)

We hemmed and hawed over which colour to go with, picked out her purchases and then fell into a conversation with the cashier about the sometimes expensive cost of yarn.

Now, this is not something that crosses my mind often when I’m buying yarn. In fact, I rarely ever take into consideration the cost of the item because at the end of the day it’s about knitting with something that feels good in my hands. (Why knit with it if it doesn’t bring you joy?)

Purchasing yarn, for me, is a sensory experience. I stare at the colours with intent (revelling in how they blend or speckle together), lightly run my fingers through the strands (acquainting my fingertips with the feel of the fibre) and sometimes (because it’s all or nothing) I might even give it a sniff or two. (If it’s okay for wine aficionados, then, in my opinion, it’s definitely okay for yarn aficionados.)

Now you might be thinking to yourself “that’s a bit of a weird process” (unless you’re just like me and you understand 100%) and you know what I can accept that. But in the end, I enjoy my method because, in all honesty, we’re going to spend a lot of time together. I would even go so far as to say that the yarn and I embark on relationships of varying degrees. Sometimes, it’s a quick and easy fling, sometimes a long commitment or sometimes it’s just a yarn you wanted to try out but alas the relationship it wasn’t meant to be.

I know everyone has their process and you should do what works best for you. I, personally, just find it hard to use yarn I don’t enjoy touching. (Not for myself and not for someone else.)

A girl’s gotta have some standards after all.