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.

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.

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.

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 🙂