Today is an exceptional day. It is the first Sunday, in a very long time, where I haven’t had to schedule in any social events or work obligations. It is a day filled with nothing but a glorious white space of time that I can fill with whatever activity I choose. So of course, I’ve been spending it sleeping, catching up on my stories and working my needles.

All of the holiday presents have been completed, blocked and are ready to be wrapped up. Once the last gift was off my needles, I will admit to breathing the loudest sigh of relief. (It was touch and go there for a second, and I wasn’t sure I’d finish them all on time.)

I’ve also made lots of progress on my pullover (I got the neckline and body finished, and I’m working on the sleeves) and I’m slowly working up the cables on the shawl. When I’m not knitting, I’m spending my time on Ravelry looking up potential projects so I can work through my stash and free up some storage space for new yarn babies. It’s been refreshing not having to rush through this search period like I usually do. I like being able to peruse the patterns at a slow pace and put together a knitting roster of projects I’d like to attempt after they’ve been cast off.

And the best part of my roster is that most of the projects are for me. I’ve spent the last couple of months knitting for others that I’ve decided I could be a little selfish and focus on making items for myself. So far, I’ve added patterns for a cardigan, fingerless gloves and socks. Heck, I might even spoil myself and throw in a new scarf for the Winter. (I think I’ve been a good enough this year to deserve it.)

Well, I’m going back to doing whatever I feel like doing, and looking forward to more days that look just like this one. Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday as well.

A friend

Sometimes I run into the perception that as an adult it’s a lot harder to make friends than when we were kids. On some level, I believe this to be true but to an extent. Mostly because as a kid I tried to befriend everyone and anyone, but as an adult, I’ve learned the importance of curating my friendships a bit more. This lesson took time and patience, and I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of acquaintances but a few friends. And it’s not that I don’t want any friends, I do, I’ve just learned not to open up to people I meet right away. (A lady has to have a little mystery about herself.)

Sometimes I luck out in these connections, and I meet someone who I click with right away. I love these moments because I don’t have to worry about being open. It’s clear to both parties that we’re both still feeling out the friendship but we already know it’s going to happen. Last week I finally got to spend more face-to-face time with someone I’d been getting to know over the phone, and we weren’t surprised that we hit it off. We had ramen together, got to know each other over a bottle of wine and spent an hour dancing on a sidewalk in Boston (with a bunch of random people) to some of our favourite songs. (Seriously, the DJ was throwing down tracks like “No Diggity”, “Can’t Touch This” and “Rapper’s Delight”). I love to dance, and I will dance anywhere, so having someone else who shared in that burst of spontaneity, with as much wild abandon, filled me with such joy. It still brings a smile to my face every time I think about it. (When E rapped all the words to “Big Papa” it just cemented in my mind that she and I were going to be great friends.)

I’ve been connecting with the most amazing people whenever I dare to leave my house, (I met a lot on this trip to Boston as well) and I love that I’m getting the chance to create these moments with another person, and vice versa.

On the topic of knitting, on Saturday I’m heading over to R’s house for a knitting night. (She’s another fantastic woman who I’m honoured to call a friend and we met on my trip to Montreal in July. July!) I’ve been looking forward to our knit night for a very long time. Mainly because we haven’t seen each other in a while, but also because it’ll give me time to catch up on some of my projects. I have a soft spot for knitting while surrounded by good company and even better conversation. (I think I’m going to take the pullover with me since the shawl is a project that requires 100% focus.)

By the way, I’m enjoying the pullover pattern. It’s my first ever pullover project, and I am over the moon at how it’s coming out. It’s perfect tv knitting, it’s worked in a DK yarn, and it’s a welcome break from the complexity and anxiety of tackling the cable on the shawl. I’d like to splurge a little and make another in a more decadent and warm yarn. However, I bought yarn at Newbury Yarns in Boston, (and the exchange rate sucked) so I’m trying to “limit” myself right now and keep my fingers busy with projects.

I did purchase a skein, yesterday, for a test knit I’m taking part in this year. That’s justifiable. Right?

Everybody Scream

It’s Halloween! Everybody scream! I’ve been planning this costume for quite some time (mostly because I had to knit the hat and make the hair ties) but I present to you, Louise Belcher. The sarcastic, lovable, mischievous younger sibling from the show Bob’s Burgers. I just had to go as Louise because we are so much alike and she is, hands down, my favourite character on the show. (I named my bike after her.)

Happy Halloween!

Okay now down to business! I mean where do I even begin? I have been quite the busy lady. Last weekend I took the beautiful trek down to Saint Andrews for my first ever Knit East, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. While I didn’t sign up for any classes, I still think that I had a great experience. (overall) I drank mimosas, had the most delicious fish ‘n’ chips, caught a glimpse of The Yarn Harlot and of course stimulated the fibre economy by dropping buying yarn at the marketplace.

Yummy and expensive.

I know I don’t need anymore, but I really couldn’t resist picking up something. I tried to be good but the colours just called to me, and you guys know I can’t resist. (Seriously, I’m bad at it.) Plus, they were from some of my favourite East Coast dyers, so I had to get them.

My camera isn’t even doing the colours justice 🙁

On the knitting side, I’ve managed to, brace yourself, finally cast off the socks. I have a full pair now, and they look like twins, so I’m happy. (and relieved) They got done just in time for the start of November when I thought I was going to be knitting them well into December. (Feeling pretty proud of myself.) After I give it a good blocking, I’ll post a photo on the next blog post so you can see it in its final glory.

So for now, you can catch me working on my campsite pullover and the Ishneich shawl.

This week is going to be a hectic one since I’m travelling but, knowing myself, I’ll probably fit in a yarn related event somehow to retain balance. Tomorrow, I’m hopping on a bus to Boston, so there’ll be lots of time to work away on the remaining projects. (Only short one Christmas present now and it’s a hat. So not even worried.)

While on the bus I’m hoping to practice working on my public knitting skills during this trip. I love knitting in public, but sometimes, I have a hard time stopping myself from thinking mean thoughts. It mostly happens when I’m trying to count my stitches and the people around me won’t stop talking. Sigh, I’ll get there eventually.

Talk soon!

 

Back

I’m back and on a Thursday!  Yes, I know I was only gone for one week, but I genuinely missed you guys. I started this blog as a way to share my yarn obsession but it’s become so much more than that to me and not posting last week was a tough decision.

However, going on a little adventure helped me decide what I wanted to write this week, so all is not lost. So not only did I spend a couple of days in Halifax last week, connecting with entrepreneurial centres from around the world, but I also got a chance to indulge in said yarn obsession. From the moment I knew I was taking a trip to Halifax I knew I’d be scheduling a visit to The Loop. (If you haven’t visited I would most definitely recommend popping in and checking it out.) I have very fond memories of The Loop.

In my early knitting years, I took my first ever visit to Halifax, NS and jumped at the opportunity to explore a yarn store in another province. (It’s where I bought my first yarn bowl before my kitty decided that she liked it better in pieces.) My visit to The Loop was everything I’d hoped it would be then and the feeling remained true on this last visit. (Though I should note that while they have moved locations since my first visit they are still on Barrington street.) Also as a bonus (because it was that good of a day) I ran smack dab into my next vacation. While at the Loop we encountered a group of women, who were indulging in the sport of yarn buying, and they were on a craft cruise. From the moment I heard those words, I knew this was going down on my bucket list. Seriously, all I could think about was how many projects one could accomplish while relaxing the luxury of a cruise ship. (Mind you I am also someone who has never taken a cruise before and as they ignorance is bliss.)

Now I’m back home and back on my knitting groove. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve gained the awareness that craft cruises are a thing or if I’m just hitting my knitflixing (Knitting and Netflixing) stride but I’ve been powering through my knitting.

  1. I’ve managed to complete my Reyna shawl. Finally! (I mean I frogged the thing so many times because my stitch count kept going off that I contemplated just abandoning the project) Luckily, I stuck with it, and I am floored by the results. It still needs a good blocking, but so far I like how it’s looking. The Painted Desert yarn paired up nicely with the pattern and I love the way the colours blend into each other. (I have another skein of this, and I think I might turn it into a pair of socks or a lacy scarf.)

2. While I’m still working on the second pair of my socks, (yes, the same pair) I’ve successfully turned the heel, and I’m heading onto the foot.

3. Last but not at all least, I started my Campside Pullover class on Monday and managed not to (pardon my French but) fuck up royally on what is the hardest part of knitting the whole thing. (I will admit I forgot to yo at one point but luckily Trish (knitting Jedi that she is) was there to help me out and I was back on track.)

4. Add the kitty blanket I knitted to the tally, and I’m beginning to feel like a bit more organised and definitely more productive. I can’t wait to see what gets casted off my needles next. (I have been casting on quite a bit so it’ll be a welcome change.)

My shawl class is coming up tonight and I somehow managed to get all the yarn winded (by hand) in time. Maybe someone out there is sending good knitting vibes my way. Keep on keeping on kind stranger(s). I can use all the help I can get.

Some days

Some days are hard days but today was a great day. (It helps that the weather warmed up.) Yesterday, I treated myself to a mental health day and used it to let myself wallow in self-pity. (I also killed half an apple pie while watching This is Us but trust me when I say it didn’t die in vain.) Now, I don’t do this often, but sometimes I just need a day where I can feel sorry for myself, cry, and be in my feelings. Then I pick myself up, dust off the pity crumbs and move forward by reminding myself of the things I yearn to achieve.

I’ll always remember walking in downtown Port of Spain, Trinidad as a teenager. I had the smart idea to wear the worst pair of high heels -in the rain- and ended up slipping on wet concrete falling comically onto the ground. (I was mortified.) Later that day I told my dad the story and how embarrassed I felt at the moment. He looked at me with empathy, but the only thing he asked was “Did you pick yourself up after you fell?” and I said, “Yes, of course.” Then he said “Good. That’s the only thing that matters.” This memory stuck with me for years, and it’s something I’ll never forget. Mostly because he was right, it doesn’t make sense to dwell on how many times you’ve fallen, what counts at the end of the day, is the number of times you get back up. I’ve used that message to push me through some of my hardest days.

So today, I pulled myself up like the pseudo-adult I am, and I made a plan to make things happen. Not just work-wise but I got the ball rolling on a charity project for the kitties in my community.

I love cats. Well, it’s more like I’m obsessed with them. (I frequently try to pet stray cats, and I’m guilty of stopping conversations mid-sentence to yell “kitty” at cats passing in the street. I mean, there’s a portrait of Cosmo, my kitty, hanging in “her room”. You get the idea.)

Like this lovely fellow who stumbled into my backyard.

The goal is to finish up my ongoing project list (throwing some on the back burner) and focus on creating blankets for one of the local cat shelters in my city. I chose this project because it’s all I can handle right now with my schedule and it’s mindless knitting I can do in front of the tv. It’ll also keep me warm at night knowing that the kitties are sleeping soundly in their blankets.

I made one for my kitty, and she loves to sleep in it. She’s had it since she was a young kitten and she still uses it to this day.

Yesterday was a day of pity, but today it is time to pick myself up and go to “werk”. Right now I’m driven more than ever to continue doing good for my community. In whatever way, I can.

I’ll be on travelling next week, so, unfortunately, there won’t be a blog post. (Now, now. Don’t cry; I’ll be back <3 )

P.S. If you’re a knitter in the city of Fredericton or its surrounding area and you’d like to contribute to the donation please don’t hesitate to send me an email or leave a comment below.

 

Cough syrup

I finished my sock! Okay, I only finished one, but I wanted to start the post on a positive note and right now it feels like a huge accomplishment. I also feel competent enough to complete its twin. So, all in all, great feelings all around. Not sure why this sock knitting experience was so vastly different from the last one, but I do believe that my skills as a knitter have improved. I mean there were no holes (this surprised me). I knit a whole sock, and there wasn’t a single hole. Feeling pretty proud of myself. Now, I just have the task of ensuring that I keep my tension neutral while knitting the second sock because I don’t want the fit to differ too greatly.

Completing the sock has been the one good thing that has gone right for me in the past couple of day. I’ve been battling a horrible cold, and it not only upended my entire weekend but my project schedule as well. Now to some, getting sick may not seem like a big deal (you get sick, you fill yourself up with copious amounts of chicken noodle soup, and you pull yourself together) and if I weren’t talking about myself, I would agree with you. But I am a horrible sick person. Seriously, I’m terrible at being sick. (Makes a man cold seem like a spa day.) I’ll paint a little picture. From the moment I start feeling unwell, it’s all downhill from there. And as the day goes on, it escalates until I’m barely human. Instead, I’m a cough-syrupy zombie who walks around the house in pyjamas, moaning like a ghost while consistently lamenting on exactly how sick I am. I will then proceed to make my partner test me for a fever, the moment I start feeling warm, (this usually happens about 4 or 5 times a day for the duration of my sickness) because one never knows when they are suddenly going to come down with hyperthermia and one must be vigilant. (The longer you read this blog, the more you’ll realise that I tend to veer towards the ridiculous. It’s one of my charms.) While the aches and pains are a lot to put up with, one of the worst symptoms, to me, of being sick is that I find it extremely it hard to be productive. Not sure what it is, but I have an unusual reaction to any form of cough syrup. It makes me loopy, unfocused, and it’s hard for me to find the strength to do anything but sleep throughout the day. Which of course meant that I couldn’t get any knitting done this weekend. I was beyond bummed.

So instead I spent the entire weekend staring longingly at my projects, hoping for a bit of strength so I could feel my needles in my hands again….and then promptly passing out into a Nyquil induced stupor. Luckily, but not so luckily, ever since I moved to Canada I’ve been susceptible to getting sick around this time of year. (When the weather drops so does my immune system. You should wait until Winter hits, I’m a real treat to be around.) I’m on the mend but still dealing with a horrible cough. Though I have started to breathe through my nose again, successfully, so that’s a great sign.

Can you understand now why I was so excited about the sock? It really IS all about the simple joys in life.

First World Knitting Problems

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I spent some time in breathtaking St. Andrews, New Brunswick. It was my first visit to Charlotte County, and I am seriously contemplating moving there. (Is it too early to think of retirement?)

The town is the epitome of a quaint, homely, beach town (my absolute favourite kind of town), with its beachfront properties, local cafes and saltwater air. It could easily pass for the location for a Gilmore girl episode. (All the communities I want to live in look and feel very similar to Stars’ Hollow.)

However, Saint Andrews didn’t pass one section of my “Can I live here?” test. Hold on to your hats everyone, but I found out pretty early on that “there is no yarn store.” (Of course, I asked. It’s the one place I always try to visit when I travel somewhere.) I’m still reeling from the devastation I felt upon learning that the local yarn store burnt down a couple of years ago. (You can buy Briggs and Little wool at the local grocery, but one cannot knit with Briggs and Little alone. At least I can’t.)

The view at low tide was magnificent so you can only imagine what it looked like when the tide rolled in.

(On a side note, one thing you should know about me is that I’m a dreamer at heart, which ties hand in hand with my love of knitting because I can work on a project and day-dream about everything under the sun for hours (and hours). So upon hearing this news, I immediately started thinking about a life where I’m the owner of the local yarn store in the town. I would bike to work every day (from my beachfront cabin, of course) and supply everyone, from locals to visitors, with multitudes of yarn (and notions) in varying weights, fibres and colours. (It’s nice to dream.))

They say the best way to get over that future yarn you were yearning to buy, is to get under some yarn you already have. (People say that right? No? Just me?) Although with my luck I buried myself in my sock project (because I am beyond determined to finish it before my sweater class starts next month) and jumped right in only to find that my yarn cake completely unravelled, and managed to tangle and fuse itself into a muddled unshapely ball of yarn. I got under some old yarn alright and spent the next two days patiently unravelling each tangle until I had about four different sized yarn balls. Annoyed but not defeated, I am now back on track to knitting my socks again and feeling a bit more accomplished since I’m past all the hard spots. (Just a bit. I’m praying for no more setbacks. Knock on skein.)

You probably can’t tell, but I’m smiling in this picture. I had no idea of the trouble that was looming.

Still, even though it doesn’t have a yarn store, I would still dream of one day moving to St. Andrews. I’m an island girl, and nothing uplifts me more than the fresh, crisp smell of saltwater in the air. This week I learned that the combination of saltwater air filling my lungs and a project in my hands has the power to catapult me into a bubble of contentment. I think I’ve found my ultimate happy place.

I had no words.

Fall + Giveaway Winner Announced

Hi, folks! So as predicted, I’m swamped with work and buried under projects, so this is going to be a short post. Even though I’m quite the busy bee right now, I’ve found that I’m also more focused, my creative block has dwindled, and I’m feeling good. *shoulder shimmy* 

Watching the leaves change has made me yearn for Fall coloured yarn, more than ever, so I’ll be plotting a trip to the yarn store very soon. (Hmm, maybe even somewhere out of town.)

P.S. Still working on that Christmas list, and still behind, but I’m hopeful and taking it one project at a time.

And now without further ado, I’d like to announce the winner of the giveaway. And the winner is…. *drum roll*….. Scott Eckes. Congratulations Scott! I’ll be sending you an email soon so I can get your details.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated and thank you so much for sharing your stories with me. 🙂

It’s almost Fall! The leaves are right on the cusp of changing, University students are flooding the city, and there’s a slight chill in the morning. It’s my favourite, and most daunting, time of year. I can’t wait for all the colours it brings, but I’m such a busy bee during this time that I always have to remind myself to stop and take it all in. Couple that with the realisation that we’re not that far from December, ergo Christmas, and the fact that I am way behind on my knitting projects…..you could say that I’m in full-on panic mode. (My head has been spinning thinking about my timeline.)

Nevertheless, I’m a planner by nature, and I have some hope that I’ll be able to make it through. I’ll be beyond heartbroken if I don’t get all the Christmas presents cast off in time. (I had to buy a notebook for my plan because my cat decided to gain the title “killer of post-its” by turning my cork board into a personal cat scratcher.)

While I’m nervous about the upcoming Fall, I am also vibrating with excitement, because beyond all the work commitments, I signed up for some interesting knitting classes this season. I’ll be working simultaneously on the Campside Pullover (for myself, which is a rare occurrence) and the Ishneich Shawl (for a lovely friend of mine). The yarn is picked out for both projects, and I’m just counting down the days till they are on my needles. Luckily, I’ve got some swatching homework to do for the pullover, so I get a sneak preview of how the colour will look knitted up. (I’ve enjoyed adding swatching and blocking to my regimen.)

On Top (for Ishneich Shawl): Lichen & Lace & Cascade Yarns Heritage On Bottom (for Campside Pullover): Berroco Vintage DK

My socks are still coming along quite nicely. While I’m enjoying the experience this time around, I’m also trying not to dwell on the fact that I have to knit another one. (Why, oh why, must they come in pairs!)

I really like how it’s turning out.

And I impulsively added the Reyna shawl to my rotation. (I had some lovely Painted Desert yarn that I’d been itching to knit up for awhile now.)

I can’t wait to get to the purple/blue sections.

Phew! So much on the go and so little time but I guess I’ll take the advice of a great friend and just “knit through it.”

P.S. Just a reminder that there is still time to enter the giveaway. The draw is taking place next week Wednesday 🙂

Being Present (in my own way) + Giveaway [Closed]
Giveaway is now closed.

Apparently, a lot happened this weekend. A hurricane hit Texas causing massive flooding, Game of Thrones had its season finale and Floyd Mayweather, and Conor McGregor boxed like two kittens wearing cotton balls for gloves. (I think I like my version of boxing better.) And I was completely, dare I even say blissfully, unaware. Don’t get me wrong I was devastated to hear about the news in Texas, and I’m an avid GoT fan, but it felt good to unplug from the world for a couple of days, reconnect with nature, and most importantly carve out some time for myself and my partner.

It was my first time camping at Fundy national park, and I’m already thinking about when I’m going to make a return trip. (Which is a testament to what an amazing experience it was.) We stayed at the Point Wolfe campground and spent three glorious nights exploring the park, eating s’mores (until our chocolate stash fell to the ground and died. we were devastated.) and conversing around the campfire. Now my one critique about Fundy is that it has too many activities and it left me almost no time to work on my sock. (Seriously, there are numerous hiking trails (of various difficulties and lengths), park activities and multiple beaches. I did try to work on the sock every now again, but it mostly ended up accompanying me on my many adventures.)

On our first day of exploration, we geared up to walk down to Point Wolfe Beach. However, we didn’t remember that at Fundy you have to mindful of the time, and how they relate to the tides, so our expectations were just a little too high when we left camp for our trek. We weren’t disappointed per se, (because walking on the ocean floor is always a neat experience) we were just a bit underwhelmed by the amount of water. (It did look like a barren desert land.)

Point Wolfe Beach at low tide

So we decided that it was worth it to see it in two different states and made a plan to come back later in the day. Unfortunately, we had 3 hours to kill, so we grabbed lunch, hiked the Coppermine Trail and then headed back to the beach for what we hoped was a spectacular view. (And oh boy it did not disappoint.)

Getting some knitting done at Point Wolfe Beach (at high tide).

Going to Fundy gave me something I didn’t even know I needed but was yearning for with every fibre of my being. Peace. I challenged my body as we hiked a round trip of Laverty Falls and refreshed my soul with a swim in the pool at the base of the falls. (And trust me unless it’s a hot tub I’m never ecstatic about immersing myself into a body of water in this country.)

I warmed up…eventually!

All in all, as I laid down in the truck bed looking up at the vast blanket of stars decorating the night sky (Fundy is a Dark Sky Preserve which means it restricts artificial light pollution allowing viewers to gain a spectacular view of the night sky), I felt content. Honestly, I didn’t need anything more from this trip. I went on this trip to try to get back to basics and allowed myself to do exactly that. It is rare that I make it a priority to take time for myself and live in the now but what I’ve learned, as I trip through adulthood, is that it’s important to give yourself time to focus on what YOU need to move forward. (Or like me, you can become a wood hermit for a couple of nights.)

*Giveaway:

This giveaway is my way of saying thank you to my readers (new and old) for joining me on this knitting adventure of mine and a chance to gift one lucky winner with some of my favourite things.

(2) balls of Rowan kidsilk haze, (2) balls of Rowan kid classic, (2) balls of Sugarbush crisp, (1) handcrafted wood shawl pin & (1) magnet to proudly display your love of yarn.

To Enter:

  1. **Subscribe to the blog (subscription box located on the right sidebar).
  2.  Leave a comment below about one of your favourite camping memories. (Or a memory you have of being outdoors.)

*This is not a sponsored giveaway.
**This giveaway is open to everyone.

The giveaway will close on Tuesday 12th September, 2017.

That’s all folks! Good luck to everyone who is participating 🙂