neglect

Hi there neglected blog of mine. It’s been a while! I’ve just chugging along, living life, doing stuff. Not much is new, and it would seem silly to try to summarize the last year + several months worth of activities. So, instead I present you with photos of tiny, adorable, handmade things. Here are some booties I made for people I know who recently made babies.

Untitled

Untitled

booties

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ikea hack

Last weekend, whilst avoiding schoolwork a tiny bit, I turned an Ikea serving platter into a jewelry stand. I’d been on the hunt for one for the past year and nothing in the stores really satisfied me. I didn’t want to settle on something ho-hum. When in doubt, DIY! I bought the serving platter a couple of months ago and the pretty paper from Midoco and the Paper Place in February. I don’t know why it took me so long to actually put it all together. It only took about 20 minutes!

ikea hack
before assembly
paper

I used a little bit of Elmer’s glue to secure the paper to the glass. The bottom piece of paper with the ginkgo leaves ruffles a little bit on the edges. I’m okay with it.

trace

Here it is in action. It lives on the dresser in our bedroom. This is much better than me rifling through several tiny boxes to find what I’m looking for in the morning.

tada!

heart garland

I was in a dollar store the other day and saw all the Valentine’s Day merchandise on prominent display, including cards specifically for nieces and nephews. I’ve never sent anything to my siblings’ kids for V-Day before. Am I supposed to be doing this? Am I a bad aunt? I thought about sending a mass produced card and some equally mass produced chocolate but instead decided to send them something homemade and crafty.

I remembered seeing this ridiculously cute felt heart garland last year. Went to the local art supplies store, bought some felt, and got to work.

felt
cut outs
sewing

I ended up cutting out enough hearts for a three lengthy garlands plus one shorter one. One for my sister’s family, one for my brother’s, one for our living room, and the short one is perfect to hang on our front door. I’m going to put together care packages with these garlands tucked inside and send them westward to my loved ones.

heart garland

swing thing.

swing thing

love you.

Just shy of turning 26, I have become one of those aunts that puts customized labels in her handknits. This was a pleasant project. It’s Swing Thing from Little Turtle Knits. I used Wool of the Andes from Knitpicks in the popular avacado colourway. These photos are pre-blocking.

It has been very warm in Victoria the past few days. Tomorrow we’re going for a hike, swimming outdoors, and a picnic lunch with some friends and then probably spending the rest of the day lying in front of our ridiculous commercial grade fan. (Silas’ parents bought it for us when they were in town. It’s huge.)

Have a nice weekend!

oh, hello!

Woops. Where did those last two months go? I have obviously fallen behind on my blog updates but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been keeping up with my regular online haunts. However, a lot has happened since the last time I posted way back in April!

1. I got a new job! I’m working at a women’s clinic and learning tons about women’s health, public health policy, doctors in Victoria (particularly those who are/are not pro-choice), and have met so many pleasant midwives and women’s health care professionals.

day one.

2. At the end of May we drove down to central Washington for Sasquatch and met up with friends from Vancouver, Saskatoon, and Toronto. After three days of roasting in the sun and listening to excellent indie bands, we drove for 19 hours straight to Saskatchewan for a week long visit there. Saskatoon will always and forever have a place in my heart. You know those places where everything just feels right? The city and community just seem to open their arms and give you big hugs? That’s Saskatoon for me. It was lovely. We went to Silas’ parents farm for a few days as well where I always feel so humbled. Seeing hard-working communities that feed people makes me feel so appreciative. Farmers do not get enough respect.

rings

3. After being back home for only two weeks, Silas and I packed our bags up again for a weekend trip to Calgary to see our dear friend Samantha marry a lovely man named Jason. We got to catch up with Calgary friends, including some of whom I have known for 6 years all thanks to the internet, as well as my old roommate Barry whom I lived with in my third year of university.

happy friday

4. Summer has finally granted Victoria with its presence. Today for example, there isn’t a cloud in the sky and the market was bustling with people, and I was soaked with sweat after my bike ride home. It was a chilly spring, so chilly in fact that we were worried about our composting worms being outside. But no need to worry about that now. Which gives away number 5 on the “new things since last post” list…

5. We started vermi-composting!

6. I’ve been biking to work which is about an 8.5km ride each way. Silas read this book called The Blue Zones for a freelance story he was writing; it’s about areas of the world where people live the longest and their habits and diets that may contribute to long active lives. One of the things is incorporating exercise in to your daily routine (like communiting to work or gardening) instead of putting time aside for exercise (such as going to the gym or running marathons). I’m not biking every day but I’m hoping to keep it up for at least 3 days a week.

So. That’s what’s been going on with me. We have dedicated ourselves to paying off some credit card debt, so Silas and I have been on a very tight budget for the past month. Once the debt is gone, we’re going to start some serious saving to start a little cushion for when the time comes to (eep!) get a mortgage. This is very difficult for a spendy person such as myself. Silas is very good money and I am terrible with saving. The only major planned purchases are new bikes for ourselves, which won’t happen until after we sell our car. Luckily we have interested buyers and we’ll still have the luxury of driving for the rest of the summer (for day trips and camping) as the interested buyers aren’t moving here until the end of August.

As for crafting, I’ve been kniting a few different projects and finishing some long term projects that didn’t need to take as long as they did. Currently on the needles are my Tangled Yoke cardigan and the Lace Ribbon scarf. I finished up a pair of socks for Dan’s birthday and a few nights ago sewed up a pouch (with my sister’s guidance) to hold my current knitting project. Here are some pictures!

BIL socks

linen pouch w/applique

lining

That’s all for now. I promise I won’t be such a stranger any more.

happy earth day!

Things are springy here in Victoria and I wish I could say the same for my homies back on the prairies. There’s nothing quite like the promise of spring on the prairies with the snow melting and people wearing short pants only to be reminded of winter with a blistering snowfall. You have my sympathy, prairie pals. We’ve had our fair share of weird weather too, although I’ve been told that this is quite normal for spring in Victoria. But snow is rare at the worst of times in coastal BC, and last week we received weird hail-like snow shower. The ESL students at my work were going crazy with the squealing and the taking pictures.

spring snow.

Is it weird that I start out all my posts talking about the weather? Anyway.

It was my sister-in-law’s birthday at the beginning of the month and I finished up a pair of Monkeys for her. It was so sweet, she sent me an email saying that she should be framing them instead of wearing them because of their intricate pattern. I knit them with Sweetgeorgia Yarn that I got in last year in Halifax at Tangled Skeins. It’s a lovely yarn but if I were to knit them again I think I’d pick a lighter colour so that the pattern would really pop.

monkeys

A few days ago I just finished up a Koolhaas hat for Silas. Mission Falls is quite lovely and I want to use it for more projects. I’d really like to make Annie Modesitt’s Backyard Leaves scarf with it. Or maybe Stefanie Japel’s One Skein Wonder with 1824 Cotton? My queue on Ravelry is getting out of hand.

handsome.
Dreamy yarn & boy.

koolhaus
Silas at the Seattle Public Library, which was Jared Flood’s inspiration for the Koolhaas hat.

Speaking of spring and Earth Day, here is a list of things I am looking forward to in the next few weeks:
· starting my new job at a women’s clinic! yay!
· getting a worm bin from the Compost Education Centre
· going to the Moss Street Market for fresh fruits & veggies!
· checking out the rummage sales Victoria has to offer
· general spring/summer time fun like drinking on patios, bike rides, and sunshine at 9pm!

thrifted yarn

Speaking of rummage sales, I scored on a $3 box of yarn at a sale last week. The contents weren’t amazing but there is some Patons Beehive wool and other vintage goodies, including that whole pile of small skeins of tapestry wool. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it yet but that is the case with most of the yarn I buy. Perhaps some kind of scrappy scarf or maybe I can use it to practice colourwork. Joyce (my sister) and I went to two fairly large rummage sales, one at Central Middle School and another at Christchurch Cathedral school, and got some vintage earrings, books, housewares, and jewelery. This further proves that people who live in Victoria have a lot of good stuff and tend to give it all away at ridiculously cheap prices.

tulips

This will have to be quick since it’s 7:33pm and Earth Hour is in 27 minutes. Are you participating? BC Hydro will be tracking electricity usage and I’m really interested to see the results. We’re quite power smart already using florescent bulbs and switching off our power bars at night. Silas and I might play Carcassone by candlelight.

Here are several pictures of my latest finished knitting project. It’s the Tulips baby sweater kit by Dream in Color, knit with Dream in Color Classy. I bought the yarn in Seattle (as mentioned in a previous post) and started it last weekend on Gabriola island, finishing it up and blocking on Thursday evening. It fits her very well and will (hopefully) fit for another few months. Instead of using the blue for the border, I bought a skein of Classy in Cocoa Kiss for the darker edging because Tomma looks very good in bold, dark colours.

finished tulips sweater

close up

baby model

tomma's back

Notice Silas in the background offering Tomma some beer.

in like a lion.

Did you miss it? That blink of time that was February? Am I the only one that thinks it’s weird that it is already March 4th? This year is speeding by and I feel like I need to stop and smell the flowers more often which is quite possible now that I’ve seen flowers buds and cherry blossoms blooming. I forgot that spring in this part of the world starts when the rest of the country hasn’t yet begun the thaw. I’m certainly not complaining.

In my attempts to get started on spring cleaning, I organized my embroidery floss one evening last week. The tangle of threads and hanks were kept in an old plastic “Le Kit” (remember those?) pencil box from elementary school, when my craft of choice was making friendship bracelets. I should have taken a “before” picture complete with the purple box covered in Lion King stickers but alas. Here is the “after” picture which is a cheerful reminder of the coming spring colours.

embroidery

Last weekend I went to Vancouver with Joyce and Tomma. My niece Jessica’s 4th birthday is tomorrow, so she had her birthday celebrations on the weekend. Jessica had three birthday parties: one with her mom’s side of the family, one with us, and one with her friends. I finished the Molly bolero (from Debbie Bliss’ Junior Knits) that I had started last year as a Christmas gift, but didn’t finish by the time Christmas rolled around. Jen (my sister-in-law) wrote me an email on Monday to let me know that Jessica wanted to sleep in it on Saturday night and insisted she get to wear it her party. What a sweetheart. Jen also told me a story about how they had found an old Barbie doll from Jen’s childhood (in the late 70s) who was wearing a handknit sweater. Jen was trying to remember who knit that sweater for her doll (it was most likely one of her mom’s friends) and little Jessica said “Maybe Auntie Jen knit it!”

molly sweater

The sweater is a bit too big because my gauge was a bit off. Bigger is definitely better when it comes to kids’ knits though. I would be so choked if she grew out of it in a month. I recommend the pattern but I don’t think I’ll work with Cotton Ease again because I am a yarn snob and didn’t like the feel of it while knitting.

Let me tell you about some yarns that I loved working with. I made the “Out of Retirement” hat from the Yarn Girls’ Guide to Knits for All Seasons out of Shibui Baby Alpaca and Berroco Ultra Alpaca held together. I’ve looked at a few of the Yarn Girls’ books before but nothing really caught my eye. But after seeing SouleMama‘s post with her version of the hat, I was sold. Plus, I found the cutest heart shaped button at Three Bags Full on the weekend. Three Bags Full is easily my favourite yarn shop in Vancouver; you should visit if you get the chance.

In non-craft related news, my dear friend Rachel has been in town staying with us for the past two weeks and soon my other dear friend Dan (Rachel’s partner) will be joining us. It will be pretty cozy with four people sharing 650 square feet, but their company is definitely worth it. Oh! A couple weekends ago Silas and I went to Seattle to see the Mountain Goats. I went to So Much Yarn so I’ll show you what I got. I also have cheesy touristy photos of us in front of the usual touristy things (Space Needle, Pike Place Market). Next time, I promise!

groundhog weekend.

There’s nothing I love more than a lazy weekend. After a particularly hairy week at work, I came home on Friday night, put on my pajamas, ate comforting food, and let my brain go mushy while watching back-to-back-to-back episodes of CSI: Miami. How sweet it was.

The rest of the weekend followed suit: sleeping in, moving slowly, shopping for groceries, eating good foods, drinking coffee, and doing whatever I wanted.

sunday coffee

I finished Silas’ birthday socks (three weeks after his birthday) and he agreed to model them for blogging and Ravelry purposes.

toes

Today I wore my new favourite shirt, my most comfortable pair of jeans, and my favourite toque. I made soup and read some of my favourite cookbooks.

how to eat

I’m anticipating a particularly dreadful Monday morning. I really hope Wiarton Willie is right.

Hi there. Perhaps you’ve found me through Jen Likes Knitting. Welcome! I found that keeping a blog solely dedicated to crafts was restrictive. I was feeling all kinds of weird pressure and was beating myself up for not having any interesting content because I was knitting at a snail’s pace, so I decided to move everything over to a URL that wasn’t so specific. It may seem like a small detail, but I like this address much better. I hope you will too!

I am continually amazed by how much inspiration can be found online. Hours have been spent pouring over Flickr groups, or click click clicking through all the bazillion blogs and tutorials. I need to remind myself that all that time spent on looking at crafts takes time away from actual crafting.

So. It is almost the end of January, and I’d like to remind myself of the simple resolutions I’ve made for myself this year.

1. Sit up straight.
2. Read more.
3. Write more letters.
And two more late additions:
4. Take better photographs.
5. Do less and do more.