Knitting, painting and other summer things
Except for a couple rainy days here and there, the weather here this summer has been just wonderful; warm and sunny during the day and usually pretty cool at night. I have been taking advantage of the great weather to go for walks and enjoy the outdoors, but it hasn’t prevented me from making quite a bit of progress on other more “indoorsy” projects that I have been working on recently.
First off, I want to show you guys the Lissome cowl I just finished using a handspun I made just about 5 years ago during the tour de fleece. It’s a 100% merino salmon pink-ish barber pole yarn in a sports-ish weight. At first I really wasn’t sure how this was going to knit up, but I think it turned out beautiful on this gorgeously well structured cowl.
Susan Pandorf is a genius for having designed such a wonderful pattern! It is simple, yet impressively well thought and well written. The first 4 rows were a bit counter-intuitive for me so I had to pay more attention working those, but once I got used to it, this cowl just knits up like a breeze! The texture is absolutely amazing and the finished cowl is delicate enough yet not too lacy – a great balance!
I used all but two yards of the two skeins I had, and was able to work up 14 repeats of the main body. The finished cowl was blocked at about 10” high and 25” long folded, so 50” circumference in total. As usual, all the details can be found on my project page so you can go check it out there.
While this cowl was under construction, I was also lucky enough to have a little photo session with the lovely Emily from Cyclopes photographie. See, I needed a professional portrait done and she does stock photography, so we agreed on an exchange – she would do my portrait for free if I agreed to be used as a model for some stock images. Now I have a lot of hobbies so I had a fun time trying to decide which one I wanted to feature for the stock pictures, but I opted for spinning, knitting and yoga.
As you can see, the pictures turned out simply amazing, I just have no words.
And in other news, I also spent some time last weekend painting an accent wall in my dining room. It took a little bit longer than I expected, but as you can see it was well worth every minute!
That’s all for now folks, wish you all a great week 🙂
Earlier this summer, one thing led to another and I ended up spending a week of vacation in Hawaii. Yep, one beautiful week in a pacific paradise.
I’m lucky enough to have a lot of vacation time but I didn’t really know what to do or where to go this year. I took a week off on my birthday, so from August 27th do September 2nd and thought I’d figure something out eventually. And finally, one week prior to my vacation, I stumbled on a 600$ plane ticket to Hawaii. Yep. That’s what happened.
I am still amazed at what I saw and experienced there, and to this day I still do not understand why the entire population of the US still hasn’t moved to Hawaii yet… Because I would if I could.cutie little white cotton blanket for little baby Damien who will get baptized in October. I used 3 full skeins of Berroco Modern Cotton DK, and it’s just so luscious and soft I could bury my face in it all day! I might write this pattern out in the next couple months with different yarn weight/gauge and size options, so keep an eye out for that.
That’s it for now folks, cheers 🙂
Where has summer gone?
Anyone else here feels like June was just yesterday? I swear, I really feel like summer just barely started, but it’s already the end of August, how exactly did that happen? Where was I? Where did summer go? I know, I know – it’s not technically over yet – the end of August and September usually bring some of the best summer has to offer, just before it all goes out with a bang in the fall, when the leaves change in October. And I know that I still have a lot of fun stuff coming in the next few weeks, but somehow I still feel lovelorn – summer felt so short, I want to start it all over again and rekindle the romance.
Oh well… at least, we had some good times. Less than a month ago, I spent a week in Ohio where we took advantage of the great weather and planned all sorts of activities. We spent a day at Put-in-Bay, on Lake Eerie, also visited the beautiful Shedel Gardens in Elmore, OH, went antiquing and yarn shopping and so much more!
Although it’s been fun, I guess I haven’t been making much progress when it comes to knitting, sewing and such but I guess I have made a few bags, started an afghan and a baby blanket. I’m not quite ready to share those yet since but I should have something craft related to share with you next time, I promise! 🙂
Thanks you all folks, and I’ll talk you again soon!
Ok, 4 months is a long time. I have to admit, I really (REALLY) have been neglecting my blog… But then again I guess I’ve been neglecting a lot of things, because in those 4 months, I haven’t used my spinning wheel or my loom, only used my sewing machine for minor clothing repairs and barely made any progress on the WIPs I’ve had on the needles for months.
There could many different reasons behind this general disinterest I have been experiencing towards both crafting and the blog, but I think it’s mostly a mix of bad case of winter blues and a much needed break after completing such a big project as this dress. Add to that the fact that I also fell back into an old love of mine and picked up a couple good books to read, and there you have it – almost nothing to show for the last 4 months.
Actually, that’s not entirely true either because I DID finish one project since January, and that is the Star Anise hat that I started in December.
I also have a couple sweaters on the needles, namely here the Dessine-moi un mouton I showed you in July last year and the striped Snowflake I started early in January using some Berroco Folio I had in stash in color “tan” and “raspberry coulis”.
In other news, I also spent 4 days visiting Washington DC last month, and we had a blast! Although we were a bit late for the cherry blossoms, we still had a lot of fun visiting parks, memorials and monuments and visiting the US Capitol and the weather was just GORGEOUS the whole time we were there. For those interested, here’s a little photo recap of our fun-filled vacation in DC.
So that’s it for now folks, and I surely hope next time won’t be in another 4 months! Cheers!
Vacation is no time to be lazy!
Guys, I just came back last Sunday from an AMAZING vacation, and I feel totally recharged! It was definitely much much needed after working all summer with no real breaks, covering for everybody else’s vacation.
Today though, I feel like karma really does exist because after waiting patiently all summer for my vacation to come, I ended up with what was (probably) the most beautiful 2 weeks of the summer, weather-wise!
We spent a good 10 days on the go, first visiting friends in Buffalo, NY then driving to Toledo, and then taking the bus there for a short 3-days getaway in Chicago. There, we visited the Art Institute of Chicago, the Shedd Aquarium, the Field Museum, the Skydeck at the top of the Willis Tower, we also took a boat ride on lake Michigan, walked the waterfront and ate an awesome deep dish pizza at Uno’s downtown. Here’s a little photo recap of our time there :
After all this, I felt totally revived, and it’s good because… I came back to a real construction site 🙂
Thing is, before leaving for vacation we started renovations at the house, mainly adding a shower to the bathroom and redecorating said bathroom and my craft room. Most of the hard work had been done before leaving for vacation, but not everything is quite functional yet.
The shower works, but the bathroom has not been repainted yet, and I don’t have a towel bar. The sewing room is painted, but the IKEA furniture I bought for it has not been put together yet. Since there’s still a lot to do, I am so glad I came back feeling so energized! I will share with you guys pictures of my bathroom and craft room makeovers when they are complete but in the meantime, I can tell you that I chose a very bright and playful color scheme for my sewing room that uses yellow, white and gray. Most of the room is very basic, but I went all out for the accent wall, with which I had quite a bit of fun. Want to see it? Here it comes…
A little taste of summer!
I just got back from a very warm, sunny, crazy week of vacation in Nevada and Arizona with my brother and his girlfriend. It was so much fun, I feel totally recharged! After so much snow, and rain, and cold weather here up north, a little sunshine was definitely more than welcomed. We first visited Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam, then saw the Grand Canyon and Sunset Crater Volcano, we drove through Sedona and the Tonto National Forest, hiked the Hayden Butte, and so much more! I definitely kept myself really busy, but it it was all worth it. All in all, I had an incredible vacation, and I really want to share a little bit of it with you guys, so here’s a few pictures I took – hope you like them!
And of course, since I was going to spend a lot of time on a plane or at the airport on the way there and back, I had to start a little project to keep me busy, right? RIGHT? So I started the Estuary shawl, using some Confetti Superwash yarn from DGB I had in stash. Lucky me, a little bit of knitting here and there during the trip and some knitting time at the airport allowed me to reach the halfway mark in only a week. Yes! It’s a very easy pattern so far, very well explained with easy to follow charts and instructions.
One thing led to another
It is finally vacation time for me, and I can say (for sure!) that I have been waiting for this moment for a very, very long time. We can never really get enough of those, do we? But I was so stressed out the last few months that I sincerely believe that I really, truly needed a break from it all. Plus, summer’s been so busy for me that I feel like weeks and months just went by in the blink of an eye. Doesn’t seeing time flee so fast, right before your very eyes, scares the heck out of you? Well, I can tell you it scares the heck out of me, if anything! Where did my summer go? What did I do? and WHY, OH WHY IS IT SO SHORT?? So I finished work last Friday, and just like that, half of my first week of vacation is already gone.
Oh, I know what I did though. Saturday morning, I set off on an expedition… A fiber expedition (I bet you wouldn’t have guessed). Last weekend was the Twist Festival, held in St-André-Avellin, Québec. It probably is one of the largest (if not THE largest) festival of it’s kind in the area, and I was just so, so excited to go! Even though I couldn’t stay for the the entire event, I still sniffed around the (100+!) vendors and found a few treasures to bring back home 🙂
Since we were already so close to Ontario, we decided to drive a little more and spend a couple days in Ottawa. Since the weather was on our side and all the attractions were so close, we were able to walk pretty much everywhere. On Saturday afternoon, we saw the Canadian Museum of History, then on Sunday we visited the Supreme Court of Canada, the Parliament, the Canadian War Museum and saw the Rideau Canal, Library and Archives Canada and the Byward Market. All in all, we walked around 12K(±8 miles) in between places, plus whatever distance we covered going through the monuments and museums. Oh boy, was I sore the next day! We finished our trip by going to the Museum of Nature on Monday, then drove home. Here’s a few pictures of our trip, it’s really not the best quality but it is the best I can do with a phone camera! (yes, I know… I won’t forget my camera ever again. I. AM. SO. MORTIFIED.)
As I came back from vacation, I also noticed that I was nominated for the Liebster award by the very lovely Šárka from Berries and Yarn, I was very surprised and also very happy! I was not expecting to be nominated for it, but I found it very touching, and it’s really good to see people enjoy reading my random rants 🙂 So here are my answers to Šárka’s questions :
- What got you into blogging?
I got into blogging because I like to talk about crafts, and I really enjoy sharing my adventures with like-minded people. Unfortunately for me, there isn’t a lot of people around with similar interests I can talk to, so I decided to share my stories on a blog 🙂
- What is it that you enjoy the most about the blogging experience?
What I prefer about blogging is to be able to connect with people all around the world who share the same passion but have a different background, different views and different experiences. Being able to exchange with these people allow me to learn and grow, and gives me a different outlook on things. It’s a mind-opener, I think.
- And is there anything about blogging you find annoying or irritating?
Not really, except maybe when a post I make doesn’t reach people in the way I would’ve wanted it to, maybe 🙂
- How do you find new blogs to follow?
I generally look at blogs followed by people I follow, or look for specific tags (yarn, handspun, etc.)
- What inspires you?
Life, in general 🙂 I tend to be a very positive, empathetic and free-spirited person, and I find inspiration in everyday beauty. Sometimes it’s just by looking out the window and seeing a mom and a child walk to the park hand in hand, or sometimes it’s just a song playing on the radio, or the way the light is shining through a piece of stained glass. I don’t follow a strict pattern when it comes to creation, I just feel it 🙂
- Do you prefer paper diaries, calendars, planners, stationery, etc, or do you rather go digital?
I do both. I’m a very organized person, and I like to have digital planners, organizers and data bases. But when it comes to creation, nothing beats the good old pen and paper 🙂
- What´s the best book you have read this year?
I can’t say it’s a book I have read as much as a book I have re-read, and that would be Alice’s adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. I have been completely in love with Alice’s universe since the first time I saw the Disney movie as a child, until now – and I daresay I could never get tired of it. I re-read the two books earlier this year, and it still is like magic to me. Every time I read it, I discover things I did not quite see (or see like that) before, and it opens up to a wonderful new adventure to me.
- Given unlimited time and resources, what is your dream project?
Surprisingly, I don’t really have one. I think if I concentrated my dreams in a project, I would feel very empty once it is finished, so I prefer to simply enjoy creativity as it is, and enjoy every step of the way 🙂
- On the other hand, what sort of a quick project do you go to for instant gratification?
That… I don’t have one either. If I need instant gratification, I’ll go for a jog, for me creation is not about instant gratification 🙂
- What was your favourite boy band in the 90s? Don´t tell me you did not have one 🙂
Oh, I plead guilty… My favorite boys band in the 90s was the Backstreet Boys 🙂
- If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be and why?
That is a hard one since there is so many extraordinary people in this world, but if I had to pick one, it would probably be Gandhi.
So according to the rules, I should be nominating 11 other people with less than 200 followers and ask them 11 questions, but I must admit that I am not very much a “shout-out” kind of person -there’s too many blogs I like, and I have no idea how many followers they have. Plus, I feel if I had to make a list, it would be unfair to those I forgot to mention, or I would end up making a mistake and nominate someone who’s over 200 followers. It’s just really difficult for me 😦 If anything comes to mind, I’ll edit this post and add nominees and questions, but for now I will leave it at that. If you are reading this and wish to participate, I then officially nominate you, and ask you the same questions I was asked 🙂 Fair?
On that note folks, I think I will let you go and walk to the grocery store to buy myself a little treat to celebrate my 28th birthday 🙂
Majestic Landscapes (and Squam Art Fair!)
Today I’m really excited to tell you that over the weekend, I went to my FIRST Art (yarn!) Fair; and I loved it!!! I decided to go to New Hampshire to attend the Squam Art Fair, a very nice fiber fair organized on the shores of the beautiful Squam Lake… And since we knew we were going to drive through the White Mountains, we decided to leave earlier and take full advantage of the majestic views the place has to offer. On our way, we stopped at the Franconia Notch State Park, where there used to be the a rock formation at the top of a mountain that looked exactly like an old man. This distinctive feature has attracted a countless number of tourists in the last 200 years, but finally collapsed in 2003 due to natural erosion. Since then, the park has been remodeled and now presents different monuments and photographs explaining the story of the mountain.
It was quite interesting to see, and I must say those mountains really create a jaw dropping landscape! Honeybee and I were really impressed by the view! Although we did not have time to go hiking because we had to get to Squam Lake in time for the fair, we did thoroughly enjoy the view, and we promised ourselves to go back there some time to take advantage of the trails.
We got to Squam Lake a little early, so we stopped somewhere to eat and then drove to the venue. I was really nervous and excited since I’ve never been to an Art Fair before and I really didn’t know what to expect. The place was really nicely decorated, there was knitted pompoms in the trees, benches and rocks covered in yarn, really cool solid ice lanterns with candles in them, I just didn’t know where to look!
So when I finally set foot in the place, I got really excited! There was a lot of very nice stands, with very pleasing people, presenting amazing local products from fiber, to yarn, to wooden shawl pins, to handmade baby bootsies and pattern books. I had to set myself a budget so I wouldn’t spend an entire paycheck (gotta be reasonable!), so after going around a few times, I settled for my favorite skeins of yarn :
The orange ones are 100% superwash merino fingering yarn from The Woolen Rabbit, a little company based Conway,NH that offers the most vibrant hand dyed yarn I have ever seen! You can check out their website if you’re interested at http://www.thewoolenrabbit.com/. The yellow skein is a merino-silk lace yarn from Toil and Trouble, a Massachusetts hand dyed yarn company. Although I chose a very conventional color scheme, most of their color mixes are very unique, it’s definitely worth a look! You can buy their yarn on Etsy at https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ToilandTrouble or you can check out their Facebook page.
So that’s all folks, thanks for reading my rants 🙂 I’ll talk to you next time!