Thursday, March 30, 2017

Knitting, Dyeing My Hair, and Other Updates

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I have been busy knitting my sock and knitting the front piece of the sweater. I have knitted 17 inches and I have 7 inches left until I start working on the neck shaping. I be starting next week. My sock is coming along, I am going to be working on this sock a lot in the next week so I should have more updates on how it looks next week.
Sock and sweater knitting 

I also dyed my hair for the first time on Wednesday. I had some gray hairs to cover up! I used the Garnier Nutrisse Cream and my color is 413 Bronze Brown. I am so happy to have dyed it and the grays have gone away for now. My hair was so soft and smooth after I put the conditioner in and then dried it. I will definitely be using this product again. I am so happy that the first experience was good and I am happy with the results.  There were a few grays that escaped on the left side after dyeing it, so next time I will be sure to focus on that area more. It looks really dark in this photo it is a little lighter and looks red at some points in the light.

Selfie: hair dyed Bronze Brown 
I received this cute cat mug from a friend this week as a late Christmas gift. I love mugs and especially love this one because of the cat it is so adorable with its little bow on its ear. I get together with a few friends and we exchange gifts every Christmas. Most of the time our get togethers get posponed because of sicknesses and things coming up. This time was funny because it was postponed three times and our initial plan was to get together in December so I had a couple little knitted stockings to give them and it is now Spring. I am glad that we finally could meet up!

I enjoyed drinking my green tea yesterday from this mug!
I have been watching April the Giraffe on the YouTube Animal Adventure Park account for a few weeks. I am so excited she will have her baby soon, I hope it is today but I say that everyday!  Is anyone else watching and waiting?

April the Giraffe at Animal Adventure Park. Photo source (print screen photo from their YouTube)
Thank you for visiting! I hope you enjoyed the post! if you did please follow my blog for more updates at Bloglovin' or Google Followers!  My next post will be on Saturday, which is a "Stitchy Saturday" post. I will be sharing the stitch pattern that I have worked on this week.

Click here to follow Needles and Wool on Bloglovin' 

Have a great day!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Crafting On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. My weekend was busy visiting family and friends. I have been knitting more of the sock, I am following the Bernat Basic Socks pattern.  I am really enjoying knitting with this soft fine yarn and clicking away on small needles. I am loving the colors of the sock as well and like how there are a dew shades in the yarn. I have knitted 5 inches of the sock so far and once it reaches 7 inches in length, I will start the heel flap.
I thought I would include my "Keep Calm and Carry On" notepaper holder it made me think of the new craft along I am part of called " Keep Calm Craft On" by Frontier Dreams. I love the expression of keep calm and carry on and think the craft on is perfect for a craft along to join bloggers who participate in various crafts.
I am also enjoying my green tea this afternoon in this mug that my sister gave me which says Sisters and is part of the Children of the Inner Light collection made by the brand Marci. It is one of my favorite mugs and she gave it to me for Christmas to think of her, so it is special to me.


My sock in progress, it is getting longer!
Joining in with Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm and Craft On

Thank you so much for visiting my blog! my posting schedule will be shifting a bit starting this week. I will be posting my project updates on Tuesdays, recipe and book sharing and other updates on Thursday, and as usual my Stitchy Saturday post will remain on Saturday.

If you liked this post and would like to follow my blog, you can follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers.

Click here to follow Needles and Wool on Bloglovin' 

Have a great day!

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Spring Stitch Knitting Pattern

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. This week on Stitchy Saturday I am talking about the Spring Stitch. This stitch looked so interesting and would be a lot of fun to knit up. I could see this stitch being used for many projects! It looks like a bobble stitch but you can see the loops of the yarn that have a spring-like appearance. The same of the stitch is just perfect as it was the first day of Spring this past week!


What stitch:

This week I tried the Spring Stitch






Pattern:

Use the needles that the yarn calls for.
It needs to be a multiple of 4
Repeat from * to *
K=knit
P=purl
RS= right side
WS= wrong side

Cast on your stitches.
# rows as your base:
K1 row RS
P1 row WS
K1  row RS
Row 1.- WS.- k1 for edge, *k1 with 8 wraps around the 2 needles, k1, p2*. end with a k1 with wraps, k1 and k1 for edge. 

* If you would like alternating springs like in the photo above, P2 then wrap yarn around 8 times and knit and then continue pattern so the springs are not on top of each other.
Row 2.- RS.- Knit the whole row.
Repeat these 2 rows until desired length.
End work with:
P 1row WS
K 1row RS
Bind off purlwise.

Pattern found on the Youtube channel Joannesweb (she calls it the worm stitch)


What I thought: 
I really loved this pattern, I know I always say that, but this one was very fun to knit. It was repetitive and relaxing and the springs are really cute! I loved feeling the spring sections of the swatch after I was done and I was getting inspired to knit a project using this adorable stitch pattern. I think it would look so nice on a hat or cowl.

Knitter level: 
Beginner: It looks challenging, but to get the spring look of the pattern it is simply wrapping the yarn around 8 times and then knitting. The rest is just knit and purl. I was sure I would find this one challenging but it wasn't too challenging and I started to get into the rhythm of the pattern and didn't even need to look at the pattern in front of me to knit the stitch pattern after a short while.  

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitted this stitch before and what did you make with it? If you liked this post and want to be updated on when I post in the future, you can follow me on Bloglovin or Google Followers! 


Click here to follow me on Bloglovin! 

 If you would like to see past Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here.


Have a great day!



Friday, March 24, 2017

March Photo Scavenger Hunt

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I have joined I Live I Love I Craft I Am Me... in her March photo Scavenger hunt this month. The link up consists of taking photos which correspond to a list provided at the beginning of the month. I thought it would be a fun way to talk more about myself and show you important things from my everyday life and to be creative and have fun taking the photos.

Flowers:

My boyfriend got me these flowers on March 6th. He bought them for me after work on his way home. It was such a sweet gesture. I love when he surprises me with flowers, when we started dating he would give me flowers sometimes when I would come over to visit him at his apartment.

Baking:


This month I baked a delicious banana loaf using the Betty Crocker Banana Bread with Walnuts mix. I only had to add water, vegetable oil, two eggs,  and one banana. It was delicious!


Reading:

Reading is one of my favorite hobbies. I try to read one book every month, and lately I have been working on reading one book every two weeks. In the photo I am reading the book "The Nest" by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney.


Comfortable: 

 This photo is one night in March when I was relaxing on the couch with a blanket on my lap, in my pajamas and knitting. The epitome of comfort to me!

 Favorite Color:


Purple is my favorite colour and my African violets are a beautiful vibrant purple. I love how they have beautiful flowers even in the winter. Two of them are flowering but one is not. Do you know why that might be?


Candles:

I received these three candles from Bath and Body Works as a gift for Christmas. They smell so nice and I am looking forward to using them.


Hat:


This is the hat I have worn a lot this winter and thought it was perfect to use for the "hat" category. I love how it squishes down pretty small and fits in my pocket. I am glad I knitted it early in the winter so I could get a lot of wear out of it.

Walk:



On March 22nd I went for a walk down to go do a bit of shopping. I loved how sunny it was that day! it was still pretty cold out in Toronto, but I had my newly knitted infinity scarf and my knitted hat to keep me warm.

Favorite mug:



This is a photo of my favorite mug and my bamboo plant in the kitchen windowsill. I love this mug because it is large, I love the gray color, and the details on the mug resemble a knitted sweater. I got it from the Superstore, it is by President's Choice.


My Choice: 

I have been working on this puzzle for a couple of months here and there I will pick up a few pieces and put them in while I am passing by or cooking dinner. I think one of these days I will devote an hour to finishing it. I just love having puzzles on the go they are very relaxing.  I got this one for Christmas from my parents, I had finished one from my boyfriend in January of a cat and flowers. Anyone else love puzzles? 

Thank you for stopping by my blog and seeing my responses to this photo scavenger hunt. I really enjoyed thinking of photos to take for each topic and I am going to go read some other blogger's posts from the scavenger hunt now! if you liked this post and want to follow my blog for more updates, please follow me through Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

I hope you have a great day!


Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Knitting and Reading

Hello Friends,


I hope you are all doing well! I was saddened to see that Ginny over at Small Things has cancelled her weekly Wednesday Yarn Along where other bloggers and knitters share their knitting and crochet projects and what they are reading. I wanted to post today on what I amm reading and knitting as this has become important to me and I love sharing what I am reading with you all.  I think it is so nice when we can share more interests and thoughts on our blogs. I am instead linking up with Frontier Dreams she has a link up which is called "Keep Calm and Craft On" (KCCO), which are on Tuesdays.

I am currently reading the Nest, I have found it a bit slow so far, but I am hoping that I get more interested once I am past the character's background stories. I usually give books a chance and even if I am not hooked right away, I read on to see if it becomes more interesting later on, especially if it is a book that is popular and got good book reviews.
I am knitting the sock from last week, I have finished the cuff part of the sock and now onto the leg part of the sock. I have knitted more of the sweater, I am getting closer to knitting the neckline and looking forward to trying something new.

Knitting socks,, front piece of sweater, and reading The Nest 
                           
I will also be scouring Pinterest soon for a knitting stitch pattern to try out this week for my Stitchy Saturday posts on Saturday. You can see last week's stitch pattern which was the "Horseshoe Lace Stitch".

Thank you so much for visiting! What are you reading and working on this week? please leave a comment below, and if you want to read more of my posts please follow my blog on Bloglovin' or on Google Followers!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Knitting, Baking, and Donating

Hello friends,

I hope you are all doing well and had a wonderful weekend. Happy first day of Spring! I finished the infinity scarf and it ended up being 60 inches long in order to wrap around twice. I have loved working with this soft, chunky in this deep navy blue color. The yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick and I used size US 13 needles.


Infinity scarf ribbed stitch, Lion Brand Thick & Quick yarn with US 13 needles 

On Thursday last week, I baked banana bread. It seemed like the perfect day to make it, my boyfriend was sick and I thought this would make him feel better. The Betty Crocker mix was delicious, my boyfriend and I went back for seconds. It was so soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside and so warm and comforting when it first came out of the oven.  I will definitely be making this one again!





I have been knitting the front piece of the sweater, it is getting longer. I will share the sweater progress on my Wednesday post. I knitted a bit more of the sock and I am enjoying how the yarn makes a pattern on the sock and is changing colors it makes it more interesting to knit up. I know the socks will probably look different too making them unique.

I donated blood on Saturday morning for the first time. I have wanted to donate for a long time. It was fun going with my sister and some other people we know. It feels good to give back and I feel like the blood I donated will make a difference in someone's life. I felt tired the next couple of days but now I am feeling more rested and energetic.  I was given the sticker below to wear while I was there because it was my first time donating, I thought it was cute, people should get these stickers when starting anything new... be nice to me!



I got this plant and pot as a gift from my boyfriend's father and step mother yesterday, I love it! Another plant to add to the growing collection! I am up to nine plants now.  I have one of those Ecocube flower kits I will start once it is warmer that I got for a gift at Christmas so I will have ten plants in the apartment!


Thank you so much for visiting my blog and I hope that you have a good start to your week! If you liked this post and want to read more, please follow my blog on Bloglovin' and Google Followers! Have a great day!


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Horseshoe Lace Stitch

Hello Friends,


I hope you are all doing well. This week on Stitchy Saturday I am talking about the Horseshoe Lace stitch. I have always been fascinated by lace stitch patterns, they look so lovely and are a good addition to the bottoms of sweaters and scarves and shawls. I found this stitch pattern while browsing Pinterest this week and I loved the look of this lace stitch pattern so much I had to give it a try!

What stitch:

This week I tried the Horseshoe Lace stitch



Pattern:

K1 or k1= Knit 1
k2tog= Knit 2 together.
P1 or p1= Purl 1.
PSSO= Pass the slipped stitch over the k2tog.
yo= Yarn over.
*…* Repeat stitches from * to *.
Odd rows are on the right side.
Even Rows are on the wrong side.

Multiple of 10 plus 1.

1.- K1, *yo, k3, (slip 1, k2tog, PSSO) k3, yo, k1*
2.- Purl.
3.- P1, *k1, yo, k2, (slip 1, k2tog, PSSO) k2, yo, k1, p1*
4.- K1, *p9, k1*
5.- P1, *k2, yo, k1, (slip 1, k2tog, PSSO) k1, yo, k2, p1*
6.- K1, *p9, k1*
7.-P1, *k3, yo, (slip 1, k2tog, PSSO), yo, k3, p1*
8.- Purl.

Pattern from Joanesweb. She posted a video tutorial that I followed and it is very helpful!

What I thought: 
I loved knitting this pattern, it was exactly the challenge I needed right now. I think we all get to a point in our craft when we just have to spice things up a bit.  I enjoyed this pattern because it is beautiful and you could see the details of the pattern unfolding as you knit.  I think this stitch would be a beautiful detail on the cuff of a sock, on the bottom of a sweater, or at the end of a scarf, anywhere to add a lace detail. It would make any project look more beautiful. I think this stitch pattern would look even more beautiful with a finer yarn. I used worsted weight yarn and it looks a bit chunky.

Knitter level: 
Intermediate. This lace pattern requires experience in knitting with yarn overs, slip stitch, and knitting two stitches together, I had to restart knitting the swatch a few times because I was ending up with an extra stitch. I think it is helpful to read the pattern over first before knitting along with the video, in order to have an understanding of the pattern which changes frequently.

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitted this stitch pattern before? 


 If you would like to see past Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Yarn Along: Knitting Socks and Reading the Nest

Hello Friends,


I hope you are all doing well. I am joining along with other knitters for Ginny's Yarn Along today. I have been working on a few different knitting projects this week. I have been knitting the infinity scarf, the sweater, and my most recent project is knitting socks with Bernat Sox yarn. I love working with the fine sock yarn for a change from the chunky yarn I use to knit heavy winter socks.  I am using Bernat Sox yarn in the 'Sangria' colour and using size 2.75 double-pointed needles.

I finished Knitlandia by Clara Parkes yesterday. I really enjoyed reading the book, and I learned more about the knitting events going on in the world, and I realized how amazing our community actually is. This book has given me a new found appreciation for our craft.  I saw that Clara Parkes has another book called The Yarn Whisperer which I might check out as another weekly read.

I have started reading The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney. My sister let me borrow it a month ago and highly recommended it. I was excited to read it, but I had other books on the go at the time. I have finally been able to read it. and I am enjoying it so far. I am looking forward to reading all that goes on in the Plumb family... 


The Nest and Knitting socks with Bernat Sox fine yarn using 2.75 mm DPNS 


Thank you for visiting! I hope that you enjoyed the post, what are you reading and knitting or crocheting this week?  please let me know in the comments below! If you liked the post today and would like to visit my blog every week for yarn along posts, stitch patterns on Saturdays, and more updates please follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a great day! 








Monday, March 13, 2017

What I am Knitting and More Updates

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. It is a cold and wintry day here in Toronto. It has been snowing most of the day now and it probably won't stop for quite awhile we are expecting a lot of snow! (25 cm). I thought it was almost spring, but I guess we still have to put up with a bit more winter. I hope my plants and flowers aren't too cold!

Two of my african violets, hopefully not freezing by the window with a view of the winter wonderland outside 

My bamboo plant and aloe plant in the kitchen 

Last week I started knitting a swatch out of Bernat Sox yarn to get ready to knit a sock. It took quite awhile to knit up the swatch but it was the correct gauge and I got the all clear to start knitting my sock The color is "Sangria" and I love these colors together it has been making an interesting pattern so far as I knit the sock cuff. I have to knit another inch of the cuff.  I am knitting the socks on double pointed needles and before this I have only knitted socks on circular needles so it might be a learning curve for me.

Photo from last week when I was knitting a swatch to measure the gauge 


Knitting up the sock with 2.75 mm needles and the Bernat Sox super fine yarn in Sangria color 

The front piece of the sweater is getting longer I have been knitting it up when watching the Bachelor (final episode tonight!) or This is Us (another show I love). It is a nice repetitive pattern and I have been enjoying knitting it while being somewhat distracted. We all need projects on the go like this right? ones we can just pick up and knit without too much concentration. The infinity scarf is almost finished, and I just have a little bit more to knit.

I got dinner cooking in the slow cooker today, I am making Honey-garlic chicken thighs in the slow cooker. It has been cooking for 2 1/2 hours so far and the whole apartment smells so good! I have tried making them one other time, and they were so delicious. The chicken thighs come out so moist and so flavored. It is a recipe my boyfriend's mother gave us and has quickly become a favorite of ours.  The recipe is pretty simple, you just have to make the sauce with most ingredients that people have in their kitchen already and then add the chicken thighs. Cook for 6 hours then voila you have dinner! I want to share this tasty recipe with you, it is posted below.

Dinner is cooking away in the slow cooker, it smells delicious

Honey-Garlic Slow Cooker Chicken (recipe from allrecipes.com)

4 Skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of ketchup
1/3 cup of honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of dried basil

Directions:
1. Lay chicken thighs into the bottom of a 4-quart slow cooker
2. Whisk soy sauce, ketchup, honey, garlic, and basil together in a bowl; pour over the chicken
3. Cook on Low for 6 hours

Enjoy!

Thank you so much for dropping by! I hope that you enjoyed the post and have yourself a wonderful day!  Please follow me on Bloglovin or Google Followers (links on right side panel) if you would like to get updates on my blog!



Saturday, March 11, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Herringbone Stitch

Hello friends,


This week I was busy catching up on the infinity scarf that I had started in February, I bought some more yarn at Michael's to complete the scarf and got back to work on it on Tuesday afternoon. On Friday I knitted this swatch of the Herringbone stitch and I really enjoyed its two row repeat. Here is information on this week's stitch the Herringbone.

What stitch:

This week I tried the Herringbone Stitch
My knitted swatch in Herringbone stitch

Pattern:

pattern worked in 2 


Row 1: K1, Sl1, K1, Insert left needles into the slipped stitch, lift it over the knitted stitch but don't drop it off the needle, insert needle into the slipped stitch right to left, wrap the yarn, pull it through and complete stitch as a regular stitch. Repeat for the rest of the row. 
Row 2: Purl two stitches together, keep them on the needle, purl into the first stitch on the left needle once again, slip stitches off needle, Repeat for the rest of the row. 
Continute repeating these two rows in order to create the Herringbone stitch. The right side is zig- zagged and the wrong side is bumpy.

If the written pattern is confusing, I followed the Wool and the Gang video they posted and their pattern from their website .

What I thought: 
I really enjoyed working on this stitch pattern. Once I had the pattern in memorized, it was fun to knit the pattern without thinking about it. I loved watching Youtube videos as I knit this repetitive pattern. I love how the herringbone stitch looks with its V's going horizontally and that is what first drew me to the stitch pattern. I think this stitch pattern would be great for a blanket using larger needles and yarn or as detail on hats and scarves. 

Knitter level: 
I would put this knitting pattern at intermediate, it does get a bit fiddly and if you aren't familiar with slip stitches and just learning knits and purls this one might be a challenge. Once you have a grasp of knitting and purling and want to try something a little more challenging then this is the pattern for you.  

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitting this stitch pattern before? if so, what did you knit with the pattern? If you would like to see other Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here.
Thank you and have a great day!



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Yarn Along: Adventures in [Knit]landia

Hello Friends,


I hope you are doing well. Happy International Women's Day! I am participating in Ginny's Yarn Along today where I post what I am knitting and reading this week.

Reading: I am reading Knitlandia by Clara Parkes and I am enjoying reading this book about all of the author's travels and adventures in learning more about the knitting community around the world, I love reading books by knitters I always learn so much more about the world of knitting and crochet.

Knitting: I bought more Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn today to finish up the infinity scarf I have been working on for awhile now. I am also continuing to knit the front piece of the sweater and will keep you updated on that project.

Reading Knitlandia and knitting an infinity scarf 

I went to Michael's today and I bought this Bernat Sox sock yarn  and I will be knitting up a swatch today for the gauge I can't wait to get started! What are you reading and knitting this week?

Bernat Sox sock yarn 

Thank you for dropping by my blog and hope that you will come back soon! If you like this post please comment, and if you want to follow my blog please click on the "follow me on Bloglovin'" button on the right side panel or follow me on Google Followers also on the right side panel.



Monday, March 6, 2017

Current Knitting Projects and Oatmeal Protein Ball Recipe

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. I have been working on knitting a couple of projects lately, the blue infinity scarf and the front piece of the sweater. They are both coming along well,  but I need to buy another skein of the blue yarn this week to finish up the scarf. I have been making some progress with the sweater piece, it is getting longer day by day I can't wait to start the neckline.  For my next project, I am thinking of knitting some socks with fingering yarn, so this week I will stop by Michael's to pick up both the yarn for the scarf and some new yarn for the socks.


Infinity scarf halfway done

The front piece of the sweater in progress
I tried out a new recipe today that would make a great healthy snack called "Oatmeal protein energy balls" from the Cityline website. I really like them they taste amazing. I am supposed to only eat two as a snack as part of the weight loss challenge, but I feel satisfied after eating only two.

Oatmeal protein energy balls in the container 


Protein balls recipe:  from Cityline 


  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (I bought Nestle Boost)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup smooth, natural peanut butter
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 2-4 tbsp water (I added 4 tablespoons to help the ingredients stick together
Directions: 

  • Mix oats, protein powder, cinnamon and flax to large bowl.
  • combine peanut butter, maple syrup and vanilla extract (Will be sticky and crumbly) 
  • add in liquids, use your hands to combine until it comes together in a sticky ball that holds together. If mixture is too dry, add in more liquid but not so much that it won’t hold shape.
  • Roll into balls using hands.
  • Place in a container to set in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
  • Store in fridge until ready to eat.

Enjoy!

I tried them and I loved them!
Thank you so much for visiting my blog! I hope you like the recipe today and maybe will give it a try. I will catch up with you on Wednesday for Ginny's Yarn Along. If you like what you saw today there will be more coming, you can follow my blog on Bloglovin' or on Google followers. 

Have a great day!




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