Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Blogmas 2019 Announcement!

Hello Friends,



I hope you are doing well. I am excited to announce I will be doing Blogmas again this year. Blogmas is a challenge for bloggers to post daily on their blogs for most of the month of December starting the first day of December and posting everyday leading up to Christmas. Last year was my first year doing Blogmas and I had a great time coming up with topics to cover and patterns to try out for Christmas. You can read last year's posts by clicking here. I wrote about goals of mine, knitting projects, ideas,and  books I had read and plan to read in the new year. I will be including some of the same types of posts as last year, but also writing some posts on new topics and trying out some new patterns and including gifts ideas. It will be so fun and I am already excited for it.  This is both a writing challenge and a knitting challenge for me as posting daily requires you to write each day and also to come up with more creative ideas and some projects to share. I remember last year it was a bit of a challenge at times to post daily, but it was also interesting what posts and ideas come out of that daily challenge. I posted some posts such as wellbeing at Christmas and 'quick gift ideas to knit or crochet in time for Christmas' last year which I wrote on the day and were written from inspiration by participating in the challenge. I am so excited for Blogmas it is such a fun time of the year and I love sharing it with you all.

Want to join me?
If you would like to also post blog posts daily for Blogmas, let me know in the comments below. If I have enough interest I will start daily link up parties so we can share our posts. I will be hosting daily link parties where you can also post your Blogmas blog post at the bottom of my posts so we can all share our posts each day.


I am currently still knitting the candy cane scarf using the pattern from Ravelry called candy cane scarf by Kristen Retigg. I have to knit more to have the scarf ready in time for Saturday's Christmas parade! Think I can finish it? I am still waiting to get the circular needles in the mail to work on my shawl. I started reading Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin, it is so good so far I am excited to read more. 

Making more progress on the scarf!


Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.


Thank you for visiting my blog today and I am so excited for December to come and to share in all the joys of the holiday season with you. Sorry the photos are so dark I had to take photos tonight to share this post!



Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Knitting a Candy Cane Scarf and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. It has been getting a lot colder here in Toronto. It is also getting so dark now earlier at night after we moved the clocks back with daylight savings time on Sunday and it feels a lot later when heading home from work. Wedding plans are going well and I signed a contract for hair and makeup and will have a contract for a florist soon, then we are done signing contracts and have all of our main vendors, that is so exciting. I am really looking forward to our big day now as it gets closer.

I have started knitting a candy cane scarf by Kristen Retigg found on Ravelry. I am still going to be knitting the casual lace knit shawl, but I had to order larger needles so that is on hold for now. I was so excited to start the shawl project that I started without long enough needles and planned to buy some eventually. I picked up the needles again to knit this scarf last night to work on while I waiting for the needles and to also knit something fun for the holidays. It is knit in all garter stitch and by using some increasing and decreasing each right side row by knitting two stitches together and a knit front to back increase. This candy cane scarf is such a fun and festive knit to make and wear at Christmastime. I was thinking I can wear this scarf at the Christmas parade and markets to look and feel festive. I am knitting the scarf on US 9 needles and I am using leftover yarn Red Heart Super Saver red and white yarn from knitting last year's Santa gnome. I had a lot left over and enough to make a scarf and maybe some other fun things for Christmas.

Pattern: Candy Cane Scarf by Kristen Retigg

I just finished reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg this week and will start reading Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. As you can probably see I am really interested in reading books in the self help and self improvement category. I am also listening to the audio book of  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It has been a great companion on my drives home from work and so informative and I love the lessons I have learned so far. All the books are to promote positive habits and I am a big believer that we can really change our lives by changing our habits as all three of these books demonstrate. I have been starting some positive morning habits and weekly habits and can see how they are improving my life already.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday and Small Things for Yarn Along (November)

Thank you for stopping by! What are you working on and reading this week?


Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Shawl is Growing

Hello Friends,

I hope you are having a good week so far. We ordered the save the date cards for our wedding on Monday and now we are waiting for them to come in the mail. I will have to ask our parents for addresses then get them sent off soon. It is a big first step to getting the wedding one step closer to happening in 6 more months.

I have knitted more of the shawl and am loving the detail of the K2tog, Yarn over, then purl the other side  that I did for four rows.As you can see in the photo there is not a lot of room left on the needles to grow this shawl, so I am planning on moving the shawl to bigger needles soon. This is such a fun shawl to knit and I like the pattern a lot so far. I am using the pattern Casual Lace Knit Shawl by Purl Avenue and you can find the pattern on Ravelry. I am using size US 6 circular needles and using Lion Bran Vanna's choice yarn in the colorway 'Dusty Green'.






I am still reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I have been listening to the audio book 168 hours by Laura Vanderkam, but I am not enjoying it that much and I'd hoped. She focuses a lot on career choice and talks about not thinking anything you do in your job is "work" unless it gets you farther in your career or you love doing it. A lot of people do work at their jobs that are not self serving for their careers so I don't agree with that. Also I was hoping it would be more focused on planning your time outside of work and it isn't so I will move on. I will instead be listening to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R Covey. I am looking forward to listening to this popular book and hope to learn a lot and be inspired. 


Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and Unraveled Wednesday with As Kat Knits.


Thank you for visiting today and have a good day!


Sunday, October 20, 2019

Knitting a Shawl

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This weekend I have been busy seeing friends and doing some work on wedding planning by choosing our save the date cards. I chose four photos I liked from our engagement shoot and I can't wait to order the cards to send them out to everyone. Today has been a good day for getting things done at home. I need those days once and awhile to get some projects moving along and to accomplish my goals.
I also got a lot of knitting done today on a new shawl I started last week. I am knitting the Casual  Lace Knit Shawl by Linda Thach that was published in Purl Avenue and her pattern can be found on Ravelry.  I am using Vanna's Choice yarn by Lion Brand in the colorway of 'dusty green'. So far I love how the shawl is turning out and I like the simple pattern consisting mostly of knits, yarn overs, and purling the other side.



I am still reading the Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It is an interesting book and really makes me more aware of how making positive habits can change your life. I am also currently listening to the audiobook 168 hours by Laura Vanderkam and it inspires me to make the most of my time and put it towards actions which bring me closer to achieving my goals.

What are you knitting and reading?

Thank you for stopping by today and hope you have a great day


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Knitted Turkey Wine Bottle Topper Pattern

Hello Friends,


I hope you are having a good weekend. It is the Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I went to my fiance's mom's place yesterday and we had a wonderful thanksgiving dinner. Liam's mom loved the turkey wine bottle topper I knitted for her. I was so glad that she liked it.I am sharing the pattern I made up below if you would like to make a turkey for Thanksgiving. This can also work very well as a finger puppet for children. I enjoy making these toppers because they are perfect for topping wine bottles given as gifts and are so festive and fun!



Materials needed:

Yarn: Bernat Cotton yarn for the red, brown, beige and black parts of the turkey.
Needles: 3.25 mm double pointed needles
Darning needle

Side of turkey

Back 

Pattern:

Body:

  • Cast on 20 stitches
  • Knitted seed stitch (k1,p1, next row p1,k1)
  • Continue for desired length. I knitted in seed stitch until it measured 5 inches

Head and beak:

  • Switch to the red yarn
  • Knit 20 stitches around for desired length
  • Beak: add the beige yarn and make one two stitches in the center of the head after about 8-10 rows. Place stitches on a cable stitch holder and move all red stitches divided onto two needles and knit back and forth for two rows.  Pick up the beige stitches and pick up the desired amount of stitches to make the size of beak you would like. then knit in the round and decrease until one stitch remains. I picked up 4 other red stitches.
  • Pick up the previous knitting needles again that you put aside to knit the beak. Begin to decrease by knitting two together every 4th stitch, then 3rd,2nd,1 stitch every other row until you have 8 remaining stitches and bind off.

Wings:

  • Cast on 6 stitches
  • Garter stitch (knit both sides) until desired length.
  • Begin decreasing by knitting two together when desired length of the middle of the wing
  • Bind of when you get to one stitch remaining.
  • Leave a long length of yarn when binding off around 8 inches to attach it to the body when you are finished.
  • attach the wings to the side of the turkey just below where the red yarn begins for the head.


Back feathers

  • Cast on two stitches with black yarn
  • Make one stitch (M1) knit-wise every knit row until have 6 stitches across then stitch to brown yarn.
  • Knit the right sides and M1 in the middle of the row, purl the wrong sides
  • Knit until 17 stitches across
  • Add on the beige color. knit 3 rows and M1 on knit sides
  • Bind off:
  • For top of feathers I used the channel island bind off method to get the feathers at the top to have texture. You can follow the YouTube video I used to do this method using Knit Purl Hunter's video.
  • Leave a long length of yarn when binding off around 8 inches to attach it to the body when you are finished.
  • *Repeat this twice to make two pieces and then sew them together and attach onto the back of the turkey body.
  • Attach the feathers to the back of the head of the turkey (as pictured above) by sewing yarn behind the head to the feathers so the feathers stand up and do not flop backwards.


Snood:

  • Cast on 3 stitches in red yarn
  • Garter stitch for 3-5 rows and bind off
  • Leave a long length of yarn when binding off around 8 inches to attach it to the head when you are finished.
  • Attach the snood just below the beak

Eyes:

  • Use black yarn and sew desired eye size onto the front of face. I knitted into the inside of the head and came through the back of work and tied on a stitch to back to fasten.
  • Sew the eyes using the yarn then come through the back and fasten the yarn on the wrong side (inside of the head) do the same for the second eye.


Finishing notes:

  • Assemble all of the pieces together using the yarn from binding off the pieces. Make sure to leave enough yarn hanging from beginning pieces to use to weave in the ends and tighten the work at the end and fasten so it does not come apart.
  • There will be a lot of threads to weave in when you are finished especially in the back with switching to three different colors. 
  • You can change any of the colors given in this pattern or even change the size or length of the pieces to make your turkey unique.
Your turkey is done! Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Thank you for visiting today and hope that you make the turkey for your next thanksgiving dinner to give to the host or to enjoy for yourself. I have not tested out this pattern since making the one turkey so I hope that it works for you. Please let me know in the comments if you knitted it and how you like the pattern.




Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Knitting a Turkey for Thanksgiving

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have taken today off work and it feels so good to have time to myself. I decided to take a few days off work around my birthday this year to give myself time around one of my favorite times of the year, which is right around my birthday, Thanksgiving, and fall. My birthday is tomorrow, I will be 31 years old. Turning 31 makes me reflect on how fast time is going by. I think of how life is going to change a lot in my thirties with getting married next year,starting a family, and buying a house. There is so much to plan and do right now with the wedding coming up and the year coming to an end. I have also become very consumed with knitting and reading lately and this could take up most of my days easily. Today I met up with my fiancé Liam during his lunch near his work and I have done a workout, knitted, read, and chatted with my mom. I did a lot of knitting today on the new project I have started.

I am knitting another wine bottle topper, this time it is a turkey! I am knitting it as a gift for my future mother-in-law and will be giving it to her on Saturday for Thanksgiving  on top of a bottle of wine. I hope that she likes it as much as she liked the bunny wine bottle topper I made her for Easter this year. I have a couple of days left to finish it. So far I have the body done and am starting the head and the beak of the turkey.




I have knitted the body of the turkey in the seed stitch pattern to give the body of the turkey some texture to resemble the feathers they have on their bodies. As seen in the photo above, the head of the turkey is going to be simple knit stitch in the color red. The beige stitches are the start of the beak of the turkey. I will be knitting some wings also in the seed stitch to give them texture. I drew up a diagram of the turkey plans as this was something I did not find online. I find it fun to make my own patterns and I am using some of the design from the bunny topper to guide me with the body and the head decreases. I will share the pattern with you all when the turkey is complete in the next post.


I am still reading the book The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. It is so interesting to learn about habits and how they affect our lives and how we go about our days. Another book about habits that I will be reading next and might have taken a peak at already is called Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin. My sister read it and loved it, so I am so excited to read this one next.


Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.

Thank you for visiting today and I hope that you have a wonderful day


Saturday, October 5, 2019

Knitted Pumpkins and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have been busy with work and wedding planning tasks. I can't believe my wedding is only seven months away now. There is still so much left to do, but we have a lot of it planned now and I am getting excited for the big day as it gets closer. I am also happy that it is Fall now and it is getting chillier. I love the cooler air when we can wear sweaters and dress cozier which is perfect for inspiration for knitting and knitting some projects like scarves, hats, mittens to keep us warm. I also feel inspired to knit pumpkins this time of the year for Fall and Halloween. I found a pattern for knitted pumpkins on Ravelry by Katrina McNerney. I knitted two pumpkins, one in orange and one in white and they were so fun to knit.

Pattern: Knit pumpkin by Katrina McNerney


The knitted pumpkin looks like the photo below as you are knitting a tube shape in the round to make the pumpkin. The photo below was taken last night before I filled it with polyester stuffing and closed up the top and bottom of the pumpkin.


This pattern was easy to follow and makes for a great quick knit to make something festive for this time of the year. I used orange and white yarns to knit the two pumpkins. The white pumpkin was larger because the Loops & Threads Select Wool in the white colorway was thicker than the  Loops & Threads Impeccable orange yarn. I love how they turned out and I also knitted up the i-cord stems in brown cotton Bernat yarn to top it off.




I have been reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. I think this book will help me to understand how habits that we form make our lives flow better and so far I learned that there is a part of our brain that actually works to help us to remember how to do things so that we can have more time and brain capacity for other thoughts and actions. I am trying to get into creating more positive habits in my life especially when it comes to getting ready for work so I am more organized and just do what I need to do to have a good work week instead of rushing around to get things done. This will allow me to take the guessing out of my schedule during the week and follow a schedule so I can be more receptive to new opportunities at work with less thought and just the use of habits helping be to be more successful.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and Small Things for Ginny's Yarn Along.

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I hope that you have a great weekend


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Finished Knitting Patons Spiral Socks and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I finished knitting the Patons spiral socks using the spiral socks pattern by Patons found on Ravelry. I love the look of the socks and the Patons Kroy sock yarn in the colorway of coastal stripes. The self- striping yarn looks great and it is so fun to knit with to see what pattern emerges as I knit on.


 They do not have a heel in the pattern, but you can always add a heel if you prefer to have the heel. Without a heel, they look like my socks below straight swirly socks that you can pull on in any direction.


The two socks do not match exactly due to the self-striping yarn which makes them look so fun and unique.



The pattern creates zig-zag stripes up close that you can see them when you pull the socks tight. It also makes it easier to see if you are on track with the pattern and doing it correctly by checking to see that they have equal length of stitches until the next switch every 5 rows.



I will be knitting a turkey wine bottle topper soon as a gift for my fiance's mom. She received the bunny wine bottle topper last Easter from me, loved it, and wanted me to make another one for Thanksgiving. So I will be working on either finding a pattern or developing my own pattern for that soon and will be sharing the progress. I bought some small balls of Bernat cotton yarn on my last trip to Michaels and will be using them to knit the Turkey.

I have been reading the Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod, and so far it seems so much like reading The Secret. He talks about having unwavering faith and applying extraordinary effort in everything you do and these two combined will bring you success. My loan for this e-book is up at the library now so I will hopefully get it back soon. In the meantime I will be reading The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg which I borrowed from my sister. I am excited to read this book because lately I have been working on cultivating some positive daily habits to help me to be my best self and to accomplish my goals. I finished reading The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. This book was so sweet and fun and I loved the characters. I really want to read more from Jasmine Guillory I love her writing style and her attention to the little things and creating characters that you are routing for. I am also currently listening to the audio book of Girl, Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis. It is so empowering and motivating to listen to. Rachel is very passionate about her work and really helps you want to be  your best and go for your dreams.

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

Joining along  with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On

Thank you for visiting my blog today and I hope you enjoy the rest of your week!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Michaels Fall Yarn and Decor Haul

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Happy Monday! We got through the first day back at work or first day of the work week. It has been a lot cooler outside lately and the first day of Fall is on Monday September 23rd in Canada. It's time for warmer sweaters and jackets now and  I have been wearing cozy sweaters and socks again at home and cozy-ing up with a blanket on the couch. I went to Michaels craft store this weekend with my mom and sister and I bought some Fall decor and some yarn to knit a few fall related projects. Michaels always has such lovely seasonal decor, I always look forward to shopping at Michaels for Fall and Christmas decor at the start of the season. Right now they have a good sale on all Fall decor, so it is a good time to go stock up. I really enjoy putting up the fall decorations in our place and feel like it is more cozy now with the decorations I bought. I love everything about Fall, the crisp air, the pumpkins, and the falling orange and yellow leaves. I am excited that the Fall season is here and I got my first pumpkin spice latte on the weekend. 

My Michael's Fall haul
I bought orange yarn from Impeccable yarn by Loops and Threads for knitting some pumpkins. I love knitting pumpkins at this time of the year, they are fun knits and they make great decor. I bought some Bernat cotton yarn to knit up a special gift for my fiancé's mom for Thanksgiving which I will be sharing in October.  I love the look of all of the Fall colors of yarn together in orange, brown, red, and black.

Yarn colors of Fall
I bought the picture below that says "hello Fall". There was such a good variety of pictures like this one at Michaels it was hard to choose and I wanted to take them all home. But I really love this picture and how it looks and stands up. It is perfect for the top of my shelf in the living room. The white pumpkin goes well by the picture's side.


I like the look of white pumpkins and neutral colored pumpkins are popular this season. The pumpkin I bought below is considered a "craft pumpkin" on the Michael's website, so you can decorate it as well and have fun with it. I will be leaving my pumpkin white.


Thank you for stopping by and I hope that you are enjoying Fall so far too! Please leave a comment below to say hello :)

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Knitting Spiral Socks and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I finished knitting the first spiral sock using the spiral socks pattern by Patons found on Ravelry. I get into the rhythm of knitting the 5 row repeat and it is such a good pattern to knit while watching TV or doing something else at the same time. It has been a great project for the Summer because it is light and easy to carry around on trips. These will be so cozy to wear this time of the year when it is getting a bit cooler out and I am reaching for warm socks again.

In my happy place


Progress
 I love how this self striping yarn looks and enjoy knitting with Patons Kroy Sock yarn in this colorway of coastal stripes.



I finished reading What to Expect While You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff. I learned a lot about how to get prepared for tying to have a baby or trying to conceive (TTC) as they used this term a lot in the book. I will keep these tips in mind when the right time comes for Liam and I. I am getting married next May and would love to start a family after I get married. I am still reading The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. It is such a fun book and was perfect for the summer. Next up on my to read list is The Miracle Equation by Hal Elrod. I have it in an ebook format from the library and I am excited to read more of it. I really enjoyed Hal Elrod's first book called The Miracle Morning and its ideas and strategies for a better life really resonated with me so I think a follow up book with even more tips will be great as well.

Joining in for Yarn Along with Ginny at her blog Small Things and Crafting On over at Frontier Dreams.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I enjoy you visiting and love reading all of your comments!


Sunday, September 8, 2019

Toronto Veg Fest 2019

Hello Friends,


I hope you are doing well. Yesterday I spent the whole day at the Toronto Vegan Festival with my friend Leeanna. We have been going for three years now and the very first year I went inspired me to go vegetarian. You can read about the first trip I took to veg fest which inspired me to go veg here. I have also been very interested in going vegan and have done a month long challenge in the past. You can read about my month long vegan challenge here. I was so happy to see so many people at this year's veg fest it was so busy. I loved going to all the vendors and eating samples and talking with some of the vendors. I enjoyed attending some cooking sessions on making healthy salads with Terry Hope Romero and cooking vegan food in the instant pot with Nisha Vora. I always leave feeling so inspired and good about being vegetarian and wanting to improve in my cooking and also my networking with others.



 It was so busy there and such a positive energy in the air people enjoying vegan food and I was feeling so happy because I could eat everything there and enjoy the food and be with like minded people. My friend and I went to Vegan Bear stall first for lunch we got the "bear wrap" which is a vegan shawarma with seitan, veggies, tzatziki, and hot sauce in a pita. It was tasty.

Vegan Shawarma from Vegan Bear
 Next we walked around to more vendors and got lots of food samples. Then I saw people eating poutine and had to get some because I haven't had poutine for so long because of the gravy not being vegetarian. We went to Twigs & Taters next and they had this hilarious sign on their truck. 


This poutine was declious!

Photo of the CN tower
 Then I went to the Apiecalypse now! stall for dinner and got a slice of pizza. They also had a lot of other treats like cookies and pies, but I resisted. I got the BBQ buffalover pizza which was so delcious and filling. The ingredients were: buffalo not-chicken, red onion, plant-based notzzarella,  plant-based jalapeno havarti-style crumbles, ranch dressing spiral, and bbq sauce. As I was walking with it and waiting for my friend to order from my favorite vegan restaurant Fresh, I was asked twice where I got it from people who wanted to go get a slice.




I bought two shirts while at the veg fest. One is from Kinder Culture and says 'be kind to every kind'. I also got the Veg Fest t-shirt made my American Apparel which says "Live Life on the Veg" on the front and on the back it says Toronto Veg Fest. I am looking forward to wearing these shirts and working harder on spreading the positive message of living a plant based life.

Be kind

Front of shirt

Back of shirt
At night it was beautiful with the stringed-lights hanging from the trees. I was so happy to spend the whole day there with my friend catching up on life and trying out more foods because we could be there for two meals. I am still so happy that I decided to go vegetarian two years ago after attending my first veg fest. I believe in a world where no animal needs to be harmed so we can eat because we can live healthy lives without eating animals and causing them to suffer. Abstaining from meat is also better for the planet because deforestation for animal agriculture is causing harm to our planet right now and is one of the contributing factors to the amazon burning. I feel sad that this is happening to our planet and I am glad I can make a difference in my health, the lives of animals, and the environment by choosing to be vegetarian. I would like to continue living vegetarian and also start living a more vegan lifestyle by having less dairy, eggs, and fish.



Are you vegetarian or vegan and have you attended this type of festival before?

Thank you for stopping by!


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