I just wanted to say..

..thanks! I know that Thanksgiving has lapsed for both Canada and the US, but I wanted to say thanks to everyone who is reading this. More and more of you have been coming around my little corner of the internet in the last few months and I'm both amazed and totally grateful. So thanks!

Now, I must resume my emergency paper-writing position. (Term paper due tomorrow. It's only half-done. I'm freaking out) But at least I have some awesome coffee and Hannah Georgas is playing in the background. If this isn't a formula for getting things done, I don't know what is!

Happy Wednesday!

Happy Small Business Saturday!

While I failed at actually participating, I can imagine I'm shopping while writing, right? I have my eye on a lovely top from Vanilla and Lace, and I'm bribing myself that if I can get 20 pages of writing done by the end of the weekend I'll be allowed to buy it.

I feel like it's a mad goal, but I set it anyways.

I have no knitting content, yet again, but here's a photo of a frozen Edmonton taken from the top of my home at school, a.k.a the giant building shadow on the left. The sad part of that photo is that it was taken at 3pm when the sun was setting. Though, it's a small price to pay for such a beautiful view of the frozen river.

Now, off to write more and drink lots more coffee. I hope you all have woolier weekends than I!

Happy Saturday!

To procrastinate..

Just popping in to show off the fruits of this weekend's (less than enthusiastic) reading marathon. It's another cowl!

It's the Gap-Tastic cowl again. It's mindless and I can work seed-stitch while reading, and Malabrigo worsted doubled up goes so fast. Plus, Frank Ochre is such an amazing colour, I can't get over it.

I also had the pleasure of going to Make-It, a.k.a the most epic and awesome craft sale, with some lovely ladies on Saturday. I spent more than I should have, and came out with some great stuff that will likely show up here soon!

I'll leave you with a lovely cover of a beautiful song, Skinny Love. Birdy's album is full of delightful covers fit for falling temperatures and clicking needles. What are your favourite songs for this time of year?

Happy Sunday

Madelinetosh Roundup

My efforts to formulate complete thoughts about Wovember have fallen to the wayside over here.. so for now, I've got 2 FO's to show off. (They are made of wool, I promise!)

The first and oldest is the hat I made for James last month for his trip to Europe. (Rav Link) I pretty well made up the pattern as I went, but it was 120 stitches in 2x2 ribbing for about 8.5 inches, then I took the decreases from Jared Flood's Turn a Square hat and modified it a bit so it would accommodate the ribbing pattern. I'm quite pleased with it, and James seems to be too as it's been on his head almost constantly since the weather turned. In a perfect world,  I might have made it about 1.5 inches shorter. The yarn was Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Fig and I used almost a full ball.

The second is the Rikke hat from Happy Knits. (My Rav Link) I was a bit hesitant about making a hat with garter stitch in the round, but it was totally worth it. It's absolutely lovely. It stayed on my head all day without slipping around and saved my ears from the chilly breeze of the library. I was also hesitant about the colour I chose, Calligraphy, as it was a bit more pink than I expected. No matter, it's a great neutral that will pair great with most of my wardrobe.

I'm quite charmed with the Madelinetosh yarns I've had the pleasure of working with so far. Fig and Calligraphy were both such subtle and interesting colours, and I've got some more vibrant colourways sitting in my yarn shelf.

They're both Tosh Merino Light, on the left is Robin's Egg and on the right is Mansfield's Garden Party. I haven't intentionally bought as wild a colour as Mansfield, and I hope I can come up with something neat to do with it. Any ideas? I'm thinking of a shawl or cowl, but I'm unsure.

Yet again, my day will be full of research and writing. I stayed home today, and I had to force myself out of my cozy cupcake pyjama pants and into real clothes to motivate myself to work. It's a good start, right?

Happy Wednesday!

Winter is here

Well, Edmonton managed to dodge winter for a surprisingly long time. I can't remember the last time we had a snowless Remembrance day. In any event, I woke up to this:

Birch doesn't really know what to do about it either. He seems to be amused with the smells, but has been grumpy and cold all morning.

My knitting seems to have been quite well timed, as I just finished myself some winter wear. In the span of a movie (plus a little extra) I cast on and finished a Parisian Twist Ear Warmer. I decided to try and grow out my hair, and that always poses a challenge in winter. The compromise between warmth and having hat hair all day is something I'm far too vain to contend with. The pattern was easy and well written, and the product is the perfect combination of squishy, warm and practical. Plus, I got to use a cute button I've had in my stash forever.

The rest of my day is going to be filled with research, nutella hot chocolate, soup, knitting and a bit of Harry Potter to keep me sane. What are your favourite things to do to chase the chill?

Happy Saturday!

Happy Wovember!

I came across something magical this morning: Wovember. I think this is a great project, and I can't help but admit that I've fallen victim to the dissociation between fibers and where they come from. I mean, it's one thing to know that wool comes from a sheep, or that angora comes from bunnies, but it's another to consider the whole process. (Nevermind that I'm bracing myself for the flurry of poorly executed moustashes emerging around campus this month) So, I'll be helping celebrate Wovember this month!

But now, I'm off to do my duty to herd immunity and go get my flu shot. I'm a bit nervous, as I'm super squirmy about needles. I gave myself a pre-shot treat at my favourite coffee shop while feverishly working on my research.

Happy Wovember!

Getting there

It's beginning to feel even more like fall around here. Fear about finishing papers and assignments on time is settling in and my desire to snuggle on the couch with some tea and knitting is increasing. Thankfully it's not snowing here yet, but the temperature hovers around freezing for my morning walk to the bus and it's becoming increasingly uncomfortable to carry a coffee. Enter my Fiddlehead mittens.

I really need to get finishing these. I'm halfway right now (excluding lining) and I'm pretty sure the fiddliness of the thumbs made an inch of thumb knitting take longer than the whole project itself. I was really worried that they wouldn't fit properly, since I have really long fingers, but they ended up being perfectly snug in the end.

I also found the answer as to the perfect study knitting: seed stitch cowls. In my last post I was trying to work out a funky cowl to be crocheted, but that failed miserably. I think I had crocheted each ball of yarn twice and it just never came out right. So, I switched over to some 8mm needles, cast on 131 stitches and went until I ran out.

Pattern: Gap-Tastic Cowl
Yarn: Bernat Roving in Low Tide, 2 balls

I love it so much that I've started another one in doubled Malabrigo worsted and have some Thick and Quick earmarked for a third. Readings, here I come.

I was also surprised by a lovely yarn treat from my Dad yesterday. He went on a road trip and stumbled across a shop in Brooks, Alberta selling mostly felted things but some yarn too! He didn't ask what the content/yardage was, but it's the most lovely hand painted shade of orange gold that wouldn't photograph to save it's life. What would you do with this? It looks to be around a worsted weight. I'm thinking a small shawl? That answer seems too easy, though.

James and I have been trying to enjoy the river valley as much as possible before the snow flies, and I had a day off school so I picked him up super early and we went for a 9:30 walk with the dog. It was perfectly calm, the dog park was void of dogs and small children, and the sun was shining. What more could you want?

I'm off to make more tea, read more boring textbooks for my least favourite class ever and knit with some yummy Malabrigo. Oh, and make sure James stops eating all the Halloween candy. We've had a box of it for a couple days and we already need to get more. I think this is the first year I haven't been inclined to eat any chocolate bars, too. Weird. Are you guys doing anything exciting for Halloween? I'm planning to camp out in the living room with Netflix and feed the masses until the candy runs out. And I'll wear my sheep hat for good measure.

Happy (almost) Halloween!


I've eluded to my epic procrastination skills before, and I'm sure this is something any student reading this can relate to. Here we are, at the end of October, midterms and assignments looming, schools to be applied for, supervisors to befriend, and I started a new project. 

When I was small and first started playing with yarn crochet was my go-to skill. My ten-year-old self found the two needles far too clumsy and slow so I learned to crochet like the wind. Since I picked up knitting seriously in the last 4 years my crochet hooks have been covered in dust and languishing in a jar. After all, I certainly can't multitask while crocheting the same way I can with knitting. I found myself at a breaking point last weekend where my brain literally felt full. I had spent an hour reading a single page of a journal article and absorbed nothing, so I abandoned all schoolwork and picked up a hook and some fat yarn to re-create a cowl I saw on Tania over at What Would a Nerd Wear

The yarn is Bernat roving, an 80% Acrylic and 20% wool blend that leaves something to be desired. I bought it mostly for the lovely teal colour that I imagined in a highly textured cowl, but I didn't think I'd be crocheting it, that's for sure. I've been experimenting with different stitch patterns to little avail. Trying to find the balance between loose and fishnet, firm and rigid, seems to be something my brain isn't doing too well. Also, there's the problem that my swatches have been lying to me. The micro scale just isn't working out in macro, and so far I've crocheted the equivalent of 1.5 cowls and I still haven't settled on a stitch pattern I like. In the photo above I was experimenting with a linen-type stitch that came out to be so stiff I inadvertently made myself a Miss Universe sash. 

Hopefully I'll find time to make some progress which will probably mean picking up a new hook in a size between what I have handy. That is, if I can finish my paper, study for my next skeletal anatomy exam, read a book and prepare a presentation. 

Happy Wednesday! And happy midterm/paper/project/surviving to all students!

(Long Overdue) FO Friday

I pulled this cowl out of my closet this morning and realized that it never made it up to the blog in it's full form. So, without further ado, here's my Wicker Cowl!

Pattern: Wicker Cowl by Kate Gagnon Osborn
Yarn: Savannah DK by the Fibre Company

The only modifications I made to this were to add repeats to use up my yarn, since I didn't really feel the need for leftovers. I ended up adding about 1.5 extra repeats on since I'm not picky about symmetry in a piece like this. I love this thing! It's a great transitional knit for fall and keeps me warm in class without the bulk of a scarf. The content of the Savannah (wool/cotton/linen/soy) is great for the transitions I make from a freezing cold building, to the sauna portion of the building, then back outside. (Who doesn't love underfunded arts buildings?) 

Also, the stitch pattern reminds me of thistle. 

I hope everyone has a blast at Rhinebeck this weekend, for those fortunate enough to visit. For the rest of us, I hope your weekend is full of all the delightful things fall has to offer. I'll be imposing some serious study time on myself to get some assignments out of the way, but I'll be supplementing with lots of knitting and perhaps trying my hand at baking some Apple Pie Cookies with the apples from the tree in the backyard. 

Happy Friday!

New Favourites

I don't have much in the way of knitting content to share. I've been plugging away on my Kerrera but some of the shoulder directions are seriously messing with my brain, so it's in the timeout chair. Given that the weather has taken a turn for the autumnal around here, I've picked up my Fiddlehead Mittens and am burning through them.

I'm using some Manos Silk Blend as a contrast and Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran as a main. I picked up both while on holidays and didn't have anything in mind for either when I bought them, so I'm pleased with this mini stashbuster project. Not to mention the soft hand of the silk is a great contrast to the roughness of the Scottish Tweed. I'm not sure what colour I'm going with for the lining, but I'm thinking a light grey might look nice, but that's a bit boring. Maybe a green? If you guys have any suggestions that would be awesome.

The only other thing I have to share with you my new favourite breakfast food ever. Quinoa.

I use it a lot for dinners and salads, but today was the first day I tried it with a breakfast spin. I used the recipe from Dinner at Julie and it came out perfectly. Hopefully it will fuel my day of writing grad school statement drafts and reading my neglected sociology textbook.

Study Study

In continued new-school-year efforts to procrastinate at every turn, here I am on the eve of a terrifying bell-ringer exam on the upper skeleton. The whole thing. All the little bumps, grooves, tubercles and epicondyles. Add to that the stress of endless readings, my honours project looming in the background and the even bigger, darker cloud of grad school.

Nonetheless, I'm still knitting.

That's a swatch I worked on last week for a hat for James. He's heading off to Europe for a week on Friday, and it's my duty as knitter and girlfriend to keep that head warm from afar. I had him choose a yarn from Mr. Yarn and he chose Madelinetosh Tosh DK in Fig. It's great to work with, and I even got a skein for myself to play with later. The hat's coming along nicely as well. It's morphed into a hybrid of the Jacques Cousteau hat and the decreasing in Turn a Square. He's tremendously picky and never wants to be knit for, so I hope it comes out to his liking in the end.

Apart from that, here are some small joys around these parts:

A fancy and beautiful new necklace from Kate Miss of For Me, For You. I spent way too long admiring her jewellery and took the plunge.

My new latte making suite. I also invested in a Moka pot and an adorable bowl from Anthropologie. I'm hoping to accumulate a set of them over the next year, and 1 is a good start. Not to mention it's the perfect size for a sleep deterring caffeinated treat! This weekend's project is to perfect the pumpkin spice latte as I just can't afford to buy them every day at Starbucks.

Autumn in the river valley. Simply the most beautiful thing. It was also quite hilarious to watch Birch try and get the boats full of rowers coming down the river. (Don't worry, we kept a close eye on him to make sure he didn't get taken away)

Happy Monday!
(Also, most of the photos were, as you guessed, taken with the Instagram app. I drank the Kool-Aid and it's oh, so sweet)

Hibernation Fare 101

Living way up in the Northern part of the world has it's advantages. We don't have to deal with insane high temperatures in the summer, we can see the northern lights (which were out last week!) and we have lovely long summer days.

What's not so good is that the leaves are already changing and the crisp breeze of fall is in the air. Don't get me wrong, I'm excited to pull out  my hand knits again, but it's a bit sad seeing summer die before September is over. To help combat this chill (and the cold room in which I study) I've been a soup making machine.

I first saw this crazy delicious curried coconut zucchini soup on Steph's blog last year and made it almost instantly. It's super easy to make and has a pretty small list of ingredients that aren't hard to get a hold of at any time of year or state of produce. In the case of this batch, everything but the curry powder and coconut milk had come from a CSA delivery.

It only takes about 40 minutes from start to finish and is a hundred times more satisfying than opening a can  of Campbells.

I actually have an FO to show off soon, so I'll be back once I have some pictures of it! For now, I get to read about food and identity while devouring a fresh batch of soup.

Happy Monday!


Now that my classes don't start until the early afternoon for half my week, I'm afforded a bit more morning relaxation time. So I've had a giant breakfast, knitted a bit, caught up on Pinterest and my blogs and now I can come show you the fruits of my weekend creation!

I've been totally inspired by a fox-like brown/red/orange colour lately. I'm not usually a fan of those types of colours, but I guess Pinterest has and I've been dreaming of a gauzy cowl to accent the boring black and grey wardrobe that comes with fall and winter. Not to mention that all of my knitting projects require a bit of focus, so I have nothing to work on while reading my hefty load for the term. Thanks to some organization from some lovely knitters I was able to bring this skein of yarn to life!

It's almost exactly what I had envisioned. It could probably have gone a bit darker, but it's always hard to gauge what a colour will look like when dried. Either way I'm thrilled and I can't wait to have some luscious BFL/Silk hanging around my neck!

What colours are surprising you lately? I'm usually such a blue/green girl that I'm still amazed this colour thrills me as much as it does.

Happy Wednesday!

The Lost Summer

I had such big plans for the last summer months. I was going to spend more time spinning and knitting. I was going to learn how to can my plethora of CSA veggies, read more and run farther. Instead, I spun just about nothing, knitted very little and am still afraid of canning. I haven't really read anything extracurricularly and have been merely maintaining my running distance.

Instead my time was consumed by a disappointing summer class and this handsome fella:

He's not mine; he belongs to James' mom and we're the official acting puppy-parents while she's away. He takes up much more of my time than I expected, but it's worth it. I mean, look at that face! (And, if you're so inclined and into dogs, check out this adorable video James put together with footage we took a couple weeks ago)

In my knitting world, nothing much is happening. I feel like I've been knitting my Matsuri forever, so I starting a sanity-saving Meritursas beret. I'm doing it in Canopy Worsted which, like all Fibre Company yarns I've been working with recently, does not disappoint. It's like knitting with a butter/silk blend. Delicious.

So, there's my afternoon in summation. I'll be sitting at my desk working on my hat, watching old episodes of Buffy and drinking a beer. I spent the afternoon dyeing up some laceweight BFL/Silk which is busy drying up in the hot second floor of the house, so I'll be back soon to show off my handiwork!

Happy Saturday!

Slow Saturdays

Good Morning! The first thing I have to share with you this morning is that I did an interview for Deborah over at interrobang knits this week! You can check it out on her blog here, she frequently posts about some really interesting topics so you should run over there even if you don't want to read about me. I was super flattered when Deb asked me to kick of this feature for her. I had so much fun answering the questions she sent over, I hope you enjoy reading my ramblings. I'm looking forward to reading about more people! And if this is your first time over here, welcome!

This weekend, I have actual knitting content for you! I was finally reunited with a camera. I'm posting from my deck while trying to dodge baby raindrops and getting ready to go for a run. It's almost embarrassing how little progress I've made on my Wicker Cowl, but at least I can say I'm over halfway finished. The pattern calls for 5 repeats of the lace pattern but I'm confident I can squeak out 6.

One of the things I love most about lace is how it so naturally pulls fabric into interesting directions. I'm loving the rippled edge on the bottom of this thing.

This project is also my first attempt at using the Zephyr Needles from Knitpicks. I had a bit of a startitis emergency at one of the houses I was cat-sitting at, but realized that I was in the house of a knitter and found these. I was expecting them to be pretty terrible and sticky, but I've been quite impressed overall. The movement is quite good, without being too slick. I think they would be great for working with slippery silks, but there is one flaw that would drive me over the edge with smaller yarns.

You can see right through the needle to the other side, and consequently the other half of the stitch. This project has been pretty easy in terms of having to monitor my stitches, and the yarn is large enough that it's not a huge issue, but I can foresee that driving me bonkers on some projects.

With that, I'm going to finish my breakfast which happily includes tea made from the monster mint plant growing in one of my boxes. All this rain we got has turned it into a beast. A tasty, tasty beast.

It's a chocolate mint plant, and I highly recommend getting your hands on one if you can. It grows like gangbusters with almost no effort and, while I loathe mint tea 90% of the time, makes fab non-gag worthy tea. Do you have any favourite homemade tea ideas? Once the sun comes out I'm planning on making some minty sun tea, but I'm stumped for now.

Happy Saturday! And don't forget to head over to interrobang knits!

Nostalgia etc.

While I really shouldn't be complaining that it's raining outside, since there are forest fires raging in Alberta,  but rain combined with having a summer cold is making today a bit of a downer. My grand plans to go to the market and go for a run were squashed, so now I'm sitting in bed, nursing my cold and queuing up a handful of movies to make the day go by. First on the docket is Amelie.

I can't count how many times I've watched Amelie on a dreary day like this. While it really elicits nothing but good feelings, it always makes me miss traveling so much. I can't really believe that it's been 4 years since I got home from a 6-month backpacking trip with James, and the more time passes the more we're itching to go somewhere. It doesn't help that I feel like I'm the only person who hasn't gone anywhere recently. It's alright though, I can console myself with photos.

Napping on the beach in Soulac-sur-Mer, France
So with that, I'll pull out my Wicker Cowl and pull up my blanket and snuggle with the kitty I'm temporarily watching. I hope you guys have a sunnier Saturday!

A Small Victory

Even though this happened 2 weeks ago now, I finally got the photos from my race! My dad showed up and served as acting photographer for my team, which worked out great because the corporate photographer was a no-show.

I wore my barefoots, and was the only person I saw running in them. I was really surprised by that, since these things are taking over the world.

My heat started last..

And 25 minutes later I made it back in. That shot is pretty harsh, and has been burned into my brain in such a way that I'm super self-conscious about my running form now. Why is my arm all the way over there, and mostly, where did my chin go? I have one, honestly.

I'm pretty proud of myself for finishing with that time. I ended up coming in 26/75 which isn't too bad for a first race. I may or may not already be looking at some more this summer. I'll be back soon with some real yarn-related content soon. I've been away from home and the camera isn't with me, which makes posting about my crafts pretty boring. Now, I'm going to enter a food coma... my softball team had the end of season dinner which consisted of me eating constantly through the whole Boston/Vancouver game. So full!

Happy Friday!

Playing the Waiting Game..

I still haven't quite gotten into the swing of working at my 8-5 office job yet, and I feel super unproductive lately. That means very little knitting, no photography and no blogging. My nights have been full of lazy TV and movie watching, napping, and a lot of web surfing. On the bright not-so-pathetic side, I'm running my first 5K race tomorrow! I'm pretty nervous, though. I'm crossing my fingers I'm not the dead slowest person out there, but it's a mostly non-serious race anyways. I did a practice 5K run on Friday, which felt great and was super convenient as I live exactly 5K away from my office.

In order to quell my anxiety about this as well as my waning knitting mojo, I've been a busy shopper. Though my timing is poor as we're facing a possible postal strike in Canada, I have all kinds of non-creative purchases coming.

Enough Vintage Chunky in Chana Dal to make Vashon. All this running is toning me up quite nicely, and I finally feel confident enough to attempt pulling off a shorter sweater like this. Not to mention how cozy those cables look! Maybe it will even be done by fall. A girl can dream, right?

Photo from Berroco.com

The yarn to make a Wicker Cowl in, you guessed it, natural. I'm super excited about this, it's my first Fibre Company purchase, and I got it for 30% off at Hidden Purls. (And their shipping rates were excellent! Even all the way up here, assuming it makes it due to the strike)

Photo from Kelbourne Woolens

And last but not least, I splurged on a bag from the lovely Katie at Made By Hank. I bought the cutest strappy wallet from her a couple months ago and I can attest to the great quality of her work. Even though it was a bit of a splurge, supporting independent crafters is the best thing ever. I've been watching the evolution of the tough ruffles purses for over a year (maybe 2 or 3) so it's kind of cool that I get my own. I can't wait to tote this around! Plus, that's the perfect shade of teal, right? Never mind that I just bought a sweater in that colour..

Photo from MadeByHank Etsy

So, with that, I'm off to bed. I need to get a good night's sleep so that I can rock my race! Or at least complete it without embarrassment. I'm cool with either result. Do you guys have any special treats coming in the mail? If you do, I hope you get them! (And I hope that Canada Post can figure their garbage out.. much as I scoff and their usefulness, the threat of not having them around is a huge bummer)

WIP Wednesday

So, in order to keep track of my frighteningly large pile of WIP's in my room I'm starting WIP Wednesdays around here. This week, I bring you a single Stay On Bootie.

Pattern: Stay On Baby Booties by Knitgirl's Mother 
Yarn: Colinette Jitterbug in Jay 
Needles: 3.5mm

How cute is that? It's a great pattern that comes together right at the end. Plus, it's all in garter stitch which is also awesome and gives it such charm. This little guy also made me fall in love with this colourway again.

It's hard to believe that baby feet are that little, but at least it makes for quick knitting! Now, I have to get to bed so that I can get up early enough to ride my bike to work again. And I have a soccer game tomorrow night, and 2 runs on Friday. Hopefully I'll still be standing by the weekend! I hope it's as sunny where you are as it is here, it's almost sandal season in Edmonton!