The Wayward Skein: Episode 9

Knitting Content

Rob’s 2018 socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Bergère de France Lubéron in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Color Affection by Veera Välimäki. Knit out of Night Owl Fibers Basic Sock in the Rusted Hook, Pumpkin Spice Latte, and Leather Boots colourways on size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

Tea:

Today’s tea is a from a fantastic local producer called Take Charge Tea. I’m drinking their Chaga with Cocoa Nibs, and it’s such a deliciously subtle flavor, good hot or cold. It has a taste somewhat like maple, but not cloyingly sweet or overly chocolatey. I apologize, apparently the website address on the back of the tea package, which I mentioned on the podcast, is no longer correct. They’re now at maidenkanadah.com!

Recipe Review:

This week, I made Filipino Chicken Adobo from the Two Sleevers blog. It’s a deceptively simple recipe – this version is done in the Instant Pot, and then put under the broiler for a few minutes to crisp up the skin. Who would have thought that only five or six ingredients would make such a fantastic meal? Mods I made included replacing the soy sauce with coconut aminos, since that’s all I had in the kitchen, and substituting apple cider vinegar for the white vinegar.

Podcasts:

selmaknits put out a new episode of the Little Big Knits podcast this week, Serenova put out a new episode of the Serenova Crafts podcast, and my lovely friend Kate put out a new episode of the Hawthorn Cottage Craft podcast. Please go show them some love!

What’s Going On:

Thanks to RabbitRibbit and krysknits for hanging out with me this week!!! ❤

I’m looking forward to the Twist Fibre Festival next weekend, and starting to plan for my RHINEBECK!! activities 🙂 If you’re thinking of heading to Twist next weekend, NatalieServant still has room in some of her classes. She’s a great teacher, and you should check out what’s still available 🙂

Wedding planning has started in earnest, so let me know if I start bombarding you guys with too much wedding garbage!

And big, huge, MEGA thanks to Rob for the early birthday present. I think the new camera made a huge difference, don’t you?

Stream of consciousness…

So wow…

Apparently with all the fun of starting a new podcast, I kind of forgot to blog for a while. My two readers must be BESIDE THEMSELVES. (Hi, mom!)

As it turns out, not being able to sleep because of the heat and humidity kind of kills a person’s productivity (unless we’re talking about sitting in front of the a/c, knitting). So much knitting has happened – well, until this week, that is. The lack of sleep has caught up with me, and I’ve been falling into bed pretty much as soon as I get home from work. Did I ever mention that I hate summer? I really hate summer. I don’t deal with the time change very well (yes, that happened back in March – what of it?). I don’t deal with heat or humidity very well. I don’t deal with teenagers who have no life and so keep me awake at all hours of the night by banging around the kitchen for snacks very well. Let’s just say that from May to September, I’m a hot mess – literally! Bring on pumpkin season!

Back in June, I decided to try this low-carb thing. As you may know, I’m a type II diabetic, and I’ve had difficulty controlling my blood sugar levels. I’m not keeping strictly keto, but I have been using a lot of their recipes. There are a few blogs I follow for ideas and inspiration (I’ll list them below). So far, when I manage to stick to it, my blood sugar is within normal ranges, which is super duper awesome! Sadly, I suck at meal planning and cooking ahead, so when I’m lazy, I tend to fall off the wagon. I’m getting better, though. I’m not trying to advocate a low-carb lifestyle, or push it on anyone, I’m just reporting my anecdotal evidence that it seems to be helping me keep my blood sugar under control. I haven’t lost any weight yet, but between that and going to the gym, there have been some minor changes to my body that I’m pretty happy about. The blogs I’ve been following are Two Sleevers (I even have her cookbooks!), My PCOS Kitchen (I’ve never been diagnosed with PCOS, nor do I think I have it, but I do get ovarian cysts… so there, that’s a TMI thing you know about me now!), and Low-Carb Yum (so many tasty things!)

I’ve also been on a quest to get rid of a lot of clutter in my life. Part of that has been stashing down rather than acquiring any new yarn/fiber/hobby stuff, and getting plastic bags and plastic waste out of my life. I started knitting these little Reusable Produce Bags, and they’re SO quick and super cute! I’ve been knitting piles of them. They’re having their inaugural fling at the grocery store this evening. My friend Jen (stormcoast on Ravelry, and the host of The Uncreative Crafter podcast) has been doing trash walks, and recently did a Books, not Butts walk, where she encouraged people to sponsor her for one cent per cigarette butt she picked up. In one short walk, she managed to pick up 505 cigarette butts! That’s both impressive (on her part) and really gross (on the part of the smokers). You can follow her efforts to clean up her town here!

Anyway, school has started again for me, so I’d better get back to my assignment (and my breakfast!)

 

 

The Wayward Skein: Episode 8

Knitting Content:

Finished Objects:

Reusable Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield in size small. One made out of unknown fingering weight, one made of Louet EuroFlax Sport (unknown colourway). Knit on size 3.75mm (US 5) and 6mm (US 10) needles. The purple bag has one extra pattern repeat.

Works in Progress:

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velour (discontinued) in colourway 1317. Knit on size 5mm (US 8) needles.

Rob’s 2018 socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Bergère de France Luberon in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Mitered Square Blanket (based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis). Squares this week were Infinite Twist Helix in the Hooker’s Green colourway, and an unknown sock yarn. Knit on 2.75mm (US 2) needles.

Tea:

This week’s tea is Just Peachy by David’s Tea. It’s a subtle, sweet, and smooth peach-flavoured herbal tea that’s one of my favourites for drinking iced in the summertime. It’s very fresh and delicate!

Screen Time:

Netflix: I watched Hannah Gadsby’s new special, called “Nanette”. It’s a very thought-provoking piece, and I highly recommend it.

Podcasts: I spent time catching up with the Knitting Expat Podcast with MinaPhilipp. She has KnitCrate review videos as well as regular podcast episodes, and I love watching her. She’s funny and smart, and her little daughter Layla is a delight to watch!

I also watched the most recent episodes of the Must Love Yarn podcast with jrbirdkid and KellySpins. If you haven’t visited their shop in Shelburne, Vermont, you need to get there soon! I love watching these ladies, it’s always relaxing and enjoyable!

Also spent some time catching up with StormCoast on The Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans and selmaknits on the Little Big Knits podcast.

Recipe reviews:

I’ve been trying to follow a low-carb diet to get my blood sugar under control, so this week, I tested out two dessert recipes from blogs I’ve started following. My favorite is the Coconut Pandan Chia Seed Pudding from the Two Sleevers blog. Another good one I plan on tweaking a bit is the Keto Triple Chocolate Cheesecakerecipe from My PCOS Kitchen blog.

Book Talk:

I started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo this week, and I’m very much enjoying it thus far! If you find that you get stressed thinking about cleaning, I highly recommend giving this a read.

Have a great week, everyone!

The Wayward Skein: Episode 7

Tea:

Today’s cuppa is David’s Tea Super Ginger. It’s a green rooibos with organic ginger, three kinds of pepper, and a touch of stevia. It’s a little spicy, it’ll warm you thoroughly, and it’s great for digestion! It’s one of my favorite teas, and I keep a supply of it pretty much everywhere I go.

Knitting Content:

Finished Objects:

Basic Vanilla Socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee). Knit out of Nova Sock Print in colourway #174 on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Reusable Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield, size medium. Knit out of a random sock yarn I had been given by a friend years ago, on size 3.75mm (US 5) and 6mm (US 10) needles.

Works in Progress:

Reusbale Produce Bag by Tia Stanfield, size small. Knit out of a random sock yarn I had been given by a friend years ago, on size 3.75mm (US 5) and 6mm (US 10) needles.

Rob’s 2018 socks (based on the same Sock Recipe pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, but this one’s done with a 3×2 rib over 80 stitches). Knit out of Bergère de France Luberon in the Eau Vive colourway on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Mentioned, but no progress

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velours in colourway 1317 on size 5mm (US 8) needles.

Birthday Shout-Outs

Happy birthday to all our July babies in the group!!! Happy cake  day to handbagcrazyeatmyyarnssummerieday, and Tashaskraftplace!!

Special Announcement:

My friend Sarah, TrueCanuckGirl, has a BookTube channel, and has recently been asked by Harlequin Romance to start reviewing their upcoming books, interviewing their authors, etc. This is a very exciting opportunity for her, and I would love for you all to check out her Booktube channel here at Not Just Romance Novels.

Podcasts to Check Out:

Lately, I’ve been catching up on some of my favorite podcasts. Please go give them some love!

The Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans – Jen also has misbehaving kitties who show up frequently on camera, and she’s got an awesome sense of humor!
Little Big Knits Podcast – Selma is one of the most brilliant knitters I’ve ever met. She will teach you more about knitting by accident than most of us will ever learn on purpose!
The gentle knitter podcast – Nicole’s podcast is just a very relaxing and educational time.

Have a great week, everybody!

The Wayward Skein: Episode 6

Knitting Content:

Basic vanilla socks, based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Knit out of NovaSock Prints in colourway #174 on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Winterlong by Bristol Ivy. Knit out of Filtes King Velour in colourway 1317, on size 5mm (US 8) needles.

Mitered Square blanket (loosely based on Knitted Patchwork Recipe by Martine Ellis). This week’s square is knit in Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock in the Ainslie colourway, on size 2.75mm (US 2) needles.

Tea:

Today’s cuppa is David’s Tea Quince Charming. It’s a fruity black tea that has notes of caramel, vanilla, apples, and peach. You can’t taste the black tea at all, there’s no bitterness. It’s mellow and sweet, and my favourite tea! This is a seasonal tea, only available in the fall.

Around the house:

Made a batch of blueberry-peach jam on Saturday evening, and a batch of plain strawberry jam this evening. There are several more batches in the queue (it’s that time of year). I used Pomona’s Pectin this year for the first time, and I’m loving how it handles! Between that and my Instant Pot, jam-making has never been quicker, and I can do batches without any sugar this way! (I use minimal artificial sweeteners, but you probably wouldn’t need any if you were using super-sweet fruits… as most of my jams will contain rhubarb, some sweetener is required).

A safety note: The Instant Pot can be used to cook the jam, but not to can it. I still use a regular boiling water bath to process the jars when they’re filled.

On the screen:

Finished with Midsomer Murders (sob), but I downloaded the entire run of Sliders, and I’m enjoying a bit of 90s nostalgia! My daughter and I also went to see Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again last night, and it was AMAZING. I did cry a lot, if you’re going to see it, bring tissues!

Podcasts:

I forgot to mention, but this week has been devoted to catching up on The Uncreative Crafter Podcast. If you haven’t checked Jen out before, go on over! You won’t be sorry you did!

HUGE thanks to everyone who has subscribed and joined here on Ravelry!! I really appreciate it, and you’re all awesome! See you next week!

The Wayward Skein Podcast: Episode 5

Knitting content:

Finished Objects – Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho. Knit out of Ancient Arts Fibre Crafts Big Squeeze in the Orange Tabby colourway. Size 6mm (US 10) needles.

Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. Knit out of James C. Brett Woodlander Double Knitting in colourway 11L. Size 4.5mm (US 7) needles.

Work in Progress – Basic vanilla socks (based on Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Knit out of Nova Sock Prints in colourway 174. Size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles.

Tv & pocasts

Still watching Midsomer Murders. Sadly, I believe I’m on the last series, and I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with myself once it’s done!

I’ve been catching up on podcasts lately, namely The Little Big Knits PodcastThe Uncreative Crafter Podcast Fans, and The Canadian Knitter Podcast.

Podcasts which are in my immediate queue to be watched include The CATT Lady Podcast, Hawthorn Cottage Crafts Podcast and The dunkelgrün group. Stay tuned to see what else I’m watching, as I have a long list of them to get through!

Life and stuff

Not much going on this week, other than recovering from vacation, going to splash pads for playdates, and getting sunburned (twice). Have a fantastic week, and keep your sticks pointy!

Recovering from vacations…

Have you ever felt like you need a vacation to get over your vacation? I’ve been feeling that way since I got back to work on Monday. Even though I’ve been going to sleep at a reasonable hour, I’ve been having to drag myself out of bed every morning. And it’s not because I’m dreading going to work. I love my job, I love my boss, and let’s face it – work is air-conditioned!

This has been my first ever “eventful” vacation, and we didn’t even do all that much. I drove down to Chicago on the evening of Friday, June 22nd. Met Rob half-way at the Port Huron train station, and he drove the second half of the run. I’m getting way too old for that – my legs started cramping up the second I got into the passenger seat. Saturday was spent hanging out with his family, and we had the added pleasure of a visit from his uncle Marty and aunt Barbara who live in Florida! It was so great to be able to see them! We didn’t do much until the following weekend, other than a few dinners out and seeing Deadpool 2, because Rob was still working. We did visit the Holocaust Museum in Skokie, IL… but I’m still processing all I saw and felt there. That will be for another post (no photos were taken, other than of the memorial fountain outside, which you’ll see in the mosaic below).

Saturday, June 30, we took off bright and early for Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. We visited the Canadian Bush Plane Centre, and had a lot of fun there! The next morning, we made our way bright and early to “The Station” and boarded the Agawa Canyon Train. What an experience! This four-hour train ride takes you to Agawa Canyon Park, which is only accessible by train. In the park, there are several hiking trails in all directions, which you can explore for an hour or two while the train gets ready for its trip back to the Soo. It was so beautiful out there, but REALLY STINKING HOT. Happy Canada Day to us 🙂 We got back to the hotel just before dark, and were lucky enough to catch the city’s fireworks display – which was being set off RIGHT next to our hotel. We had front-row seats!

The next day, we drove back to Ottawa along highway 17. We stopped in Sudbury to see the Big Nickel and to have lunch. I despaired a little at how much North Bay has changed since I lived there briefly in 1995. Once we were back in the city, we hung out, spent some time with my parents, saw Deadpool 2 again (with my daughter, who was DYING to see it), rented a paddle boat on Dow’s Lake, and took a day-trip to Burlington, Vermont to do a bit of shopping and hang out with friends. All in all, I’m exhausted! (Add to all that the fact that we were in a major heat wave for the entirety of the two weeks, and my apartment only has one air-conditioning unit, which cools the diningroom/kitchen area. Sleeping was most uncomfortable once we got back to Ottawa!)

In the five days since Rob flew home, I’ve been getting an insane amount of knitting done – you’ll see that in the next podcast episode – and enjoying my time back at work. I’m starting to make some plans to hit the Twist Fibre Festival in St. André Avellin, QC in a month. This is the first time in seven years that I’ll be missing Stitches Midwest in Chicago! I feel awful about it, but I just don’t have the funds to make two trips to Chicago that close together. I’ve got my eye on Rhinebeck, and I can’t wait until October!! Several of us will be staying in the same group of cabins I usually stay in, and we’re going to have so much fun!

Stay tuned for another blog later this week on what I’ve been doing to improve my overall health, but more importantly, to finally get my blood sugar under control after four years as a type II diabetic. Keep your sticks pointy!

Mosaic2

The Wayward Skein – Episode 4

Welcome to Episode 4 of The Wayward Skein podcast! Apologies for the picture quality – I’m saving up to buy a better camera than the built-in on my laptop.

Knitting content:

Finished Object – Barley hat by Tin Can Knits, out of Lorna’s Laces Haymarket in the Lookbook colourway, on size 4mm (US 6) and 5mm (US 8) needles.

Works in Progress – Sock Recipe: A Good, Plain Sock by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, out of Nova Sock Print in colourway 174, on size 2.5mm (US 1.5) needles. Also working on the Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho, out of Ancient Arts Yarns Big Squeeze in the Orange Tabby colourway, on 6mm (US 10) needles.

No tv or reading content this week, but I do talk a bit about my travels with Rob in Sault Ste Marie, riding the Agawa Canyon Train, visiting Burlington, VT, and checking out the boat rentals on Dow’s Lake in Ottawa!

The Wayward Skein Podcast: Episode 3

What I’m drinking: Caramel  Apple Spice Slim Life tea by Yogi.

What I’m knitting:

FO: Harvest by Tin Can Knits (6-12 month size shown). Knit out of Lorna’s Laces Haymarket in the “Lookbook” colourway. Needles used were 4mm (US 6) and 5mm (US 8).
WIP: Barley by Tin Can Knits (baby size shown). Knit out of Lorna’s Laces Haymarket in the “Lookbook” colourway. Needles used were 4mm (US 6) and 5mm (US 8).
Frog Pond: Rob’s socks, based on the Sock Recipe: A Good Plain Sock pattern by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. The yarn used was Nova Sock Print, colourway 174. Needles used were 2.5mm (US 1 1/2).

What I’m reading:

Finished: A Swiftly Tilting Planet by Madeleine L’Engle, and Many Waters by Madeleine L’Engle.
Currently reading: An Acceptable Time by Madeleine L’Engle, and The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama.

What I’m watching:

TV: Midsomer Murders and Champions on Netflix.
Podcasts: The Uncreative Crafter Podcast, and The Canadian Knitter PodcastThe Canadian Knitter Podcast.

 

I knitted a thing!

This past week has been hard on a lot of us, so let’s look at something a bit lighter on the palate today. I finished a knitted thing!!!!! My Harvest baby sweater is finished!

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This is the Harvest sweater by Tin Can Knits. The pattern is free and ranges from sizes 0-6 months all the way up to 4XL for adults. It’s a quick, easy, intuitive knit, and I enjoyed every second of it. I love Tin Can Knits patterns, and I’ve knit up several of them over the years (my usual go-tos are the Flax sweater and the Barley hat). I talked about this knit on last weekend’s Two Tangled Skeins podcast, if you’d care to tune in. It’s knit in worsted weight yarn, which makes it work up very quickly. I’d even knit this for an adult, under the right circumstances (those circumstances would be one of my children begging for it). Our friends have already had their baby – she was born last Sunday, and she is absolutely adorable! I won’t share a photo, for privacy reasons, but trust me when I say she will look fantastic in this sweater 🙂

I only barely broke into the second skein of this gorgeous yarn (Lorna’s Laces Haymarket 100% Blue-faced Leicester in the Lookbook colourway), so I decided to cast on a Barley hat with the remainder.

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I imagine I’ll be able to finish it before I record Episode 3 of the podcast this weekend. (Right now, you’re looking at the inside of the hat). I also have my next project queued up, although that one might not see a cast-on until my return from Chicago – we’ll see how much room I have in my luggage! I’ll give you a hint though… it will be knit in this gorgeous yarn that was sent to me by the wonderful folks at Ancient Arts Fibres for review:

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A small bite of politics… In other news, many of us have watched in horror while border patrol and ICE agents have separated thousands of children from their parents and detained them in warehouses filled with chain link cages. I discovered a few days ago that, while Canada does not separate children from their parents, it DOES incarcerate children with their parents (awaiting immigration and refugee/asylum hearings) in detention centres in several major cities. The biggest and most crowded of these is in Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto. I won’t go into the morality of this or any other political statements, but if you’re Canadian, I invite you to read this report, titled “Invisible Citizens: Canadian Children in Immigration Detention”, published by the University of Toronto. The topic will be revisited at a later date. (Thanks to an online friend of mine who works as an immigration lawyer for educating me on the subject.)

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I’ll be leaving for Chicago on Friday, so there may not be another blog post until I arrive there, but there will definitely be an episode of the podcast posted before Monday, and I’ll take lots of pictures, I promise! (Not of the actual trip down, since I’m driving, but once I get there.) I hope everyone has a great week, and maybe hit a protest up this coming weekend if there’s one in your neck of the woods!