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.

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.