May 9, 2015

Happy Mother's Day




Happy Mother's Day to all those that mother someone.  I still miss my mother terribly...she passed away nine years ago.  I have had the pleasure of mothering a son and a daughter.  I can't believe how quickly time flies as my son is now 22 years old and my daughter is 19.  I am proud to say how amazing these two individuals are and how lucky I have been to be part of seeing them grow.  So to all you young mothers out there try hard to enjoy each day with your kids because it's so true what they say...they grow so quickly and before you know it they are adults.   Here is what I have learned:

1)  Let your children hear you say that you love them. My husband and I said it so many times over the years to our children, that they are very comfortable and say it often to us.  What a thrill!

2)  Make rules for your children.  They really do want rules.  Don't be influenced by their friends' parents rules...listen to your gut about what's right for your family.  They will thank you later.

3)  Try to really focus on them, put away the technology and be present for your child.  I can't tell you how many of my students complain that it is hard for them to get their parents to listen to them.  They want to be heard.

4)  Celebrate your child's successes.

5) Teach them it's o.k. to make a mistake.  Guide them to learn from their mistakes so they don't repeat the same mistake again.

6)  Let your child explore their interests.  You never know what it will lead to.

7)  Spend time with your kids.  They are really interesting individuals.

8)  Eat dinner together as much as possible.  That dinner conversation is so important.

9)  Don't ever think motherhood is easy.  It's not.  But it's oh so rewarding.

10)  Don't shelter them from disappointments.  It's better to learn early that things don't always go their way.

11)  Teach them, by example, to help others.

12)  Read to them even when they are 12 years old.

13)  Let go of the mother guilt.  The fact that your child is being brought up in a loving home makes them so fortunate.

My sweeties

Well that's just a few of the things I learned.  I could keep on going!  I am sure all you mothers out there could add to my list too!

I hope you all enjoy your special day.  Happy Mother's Day everyone!  xo

April 26, 2015

Toronto Knitter's Frolic 2015

I made my annual venture to the Toronto Knitter's Frolic on Saturday.  My friend and I got there early enough that we were near the front of the line.  When they opened the doors at 9a.m. there was a big cheer from the waiting crowd.  Talk about passionate knitters! This annual event is a favourite of mine as all knitters know that it is so much fun to actually see and touch the yarn that you only have access to from the internet.  Here are a few things I enjoyed:


There was so many beautiful yarns to look at.  The yarn pictured above was all from the Sweet Fiber Yarn booth.  The colours were even more beautiful in person than on the internet.  Melissa Thomson brought a variety of her yarn, Super Sweet Sock, Cashmerino 20 and Coastal, a beautiful silk/merino blend.  I also enjoyed looking at the knitted samples that different vendors brought.  The Warrior Shawl caught my eye in The Needle Emporium's booth. It was a really interesting shawl pattern. Eweknit, my favourite Toronto based yarn store, brought a Madelinetosh Pashmina version of Brooklyn Tweed's Statis Pullover. It would be so amazingly luxurious to wear.


Super Sweet Sock

As for my purchases I tried to show restraint!  The night before the Frolic a new Spring Forward collection from Amy Miller for the Plucky Knitter yarn line was published.  The pattern Lake Effect caught my attention immediately and I knew exactly what yarn would look perfect with it, the chartreuse Sweet Fiber colourway I used for my Cladonia recently.  Thankfully Melissa brought some of that colourway with her.  Both my friend and I snapped up enough to make this lovely lace sweater.  If you haven't looked at this new collection of patterns yet you really should!  There are some beautiful patterns in it that you are going to want to knit.






This colour just glows in the sun
And I don't know if I mentioned it but I love buying interesting stitch markers.  I just could resist these pretty ChiaGoo ones.  Look how pretty they are!



I think my favourite part of an event like this is being surrounded by other knitters/crocheters who are as passionate as me about their craft.  I am not alone in the world!

Congratulations to Monica who was the winner of my contest and won a copy of the Hyperballad Cowl by Julie Crawford.  Yeah Monica!


April 18, 2015

Knitted Bliss: Hyperballad Cowl

(Make sure you read to the end...there's a giveaway!)  Although it may be spring some days are still a bit cool, especially in the mornings.  When I go for an early morning walk I love to throw on my new cowl, the Hyperballad Cowl, by Julie Crawford, otherwise known as Knitted Bliss to many.  Knitted from Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Silver Fox it is the perfect way to keep me protected from the cool morning chill.  This newly published pattern can be knit in a smaller (one skein) or a more substantial version (two skeins) and has a combination of cables and broken ribbing creating an eye-catching cowl.  I really enjoyed knitting it and I love the way it turned out. Check it out:


Hyperballad Cowl




I have long been fan of Knitted Bliss.  Julie's blog was one of the first knitting blogs I started following. I remember discovering her site and just reading all the previous blog entries from the past. She has a unique style of writing and so her posts are so much fun to read.  The photos on her blog and on Instagram are just beautiful.  She has a great eye for colour, finding the latest trends (see her Favourite Pins of the Week feature on her blog), and is a skilled designer to name just a few of her talents.

She has created some lovely patterns, such as the infamous Stockholm Scarf, which over 3300 people had knit at last check.  By the way it's free!  In addition, Julie joined together with Tanis Fiber Arts and helped create some lovely patterns for the Year in Colour Club during the past few years.  One of my favourites was the Pemba Mittens knit in Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label Dk weight.  I love the leaf pattern up the center.  Another favourite pattern of mine is her Causerie Hat and Mitts knit in Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic Blue Label fingering yarn.  All the patterns that were part of the Club are now available on Ravelry. 


Pemba Mittens

Julie has been kind enough to offer a free copy of the Hyperballad Cowl to one of my lucky readers.  Please enter a comment in the comment section below and on Sunday, April 26th 12:00 eastern time I will pick out one of the names. (Please enter your Ravelry name so I can reach the winner easily).  Good luck.

April 12, 2015

Cladonia

Cladonia, by Kirstin Kapur, is a pattern that I have had in my queue for some time.  It is a lovely shawl knit in fingering weight yarn, with a pretty lace border. I was waiting to have the perfect colour combination before knitting this shawl, and after my trip to 88 Stitches, I knew I had finally found it.  Look at this colour of Sweet Fiber Yarn:


Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock
Just before adding the lace section

I combined Sweet Fiber Yarns Super Sweet Sock in Chartreuse with some yarn I had in my stash, String Theory Caper Sock in Java (a merino, cashmere and nylon blend) and knit the most beautiful Cladonia.

Ta-dah:













In person, Chartreuse is such a vibrant colour, it just seems to glow.  Even my husband, who rarely says anything about my yarn, commented on the beauty of that colour. Sweet Fiber Yarns' Melissa Thomson has a real gift when it comes to dyeing gorgeous yarn colours.  (If you want to try out her yarn she is beginning a new Sock Club starting in May...check it out).

String Theory's Caper Sock is another old favourite of mine.  The colourways are also very unique.  This yarn added a softness to this project creating a shawl I never want to take off. (I bought my String Theory as Shall We Knit in Waterloo. The owner is bringing some to the Toronto Knitter's Frolic in Toronto at the end of the month if anyone wants to check it out).

Cladonia is one of those patterns that is so relaxing to knit.  Everything went perfectly.  The last row of the lace border took the longest to do but was not difficult at all.  I can understand why almost 2000 people have made this pattern.  I don't usually make the same pattern twice but I could see myself making this shawl again.  This shawl was a little break from the cardigan I am knitting.  More on that later!  Have a good week : )

April 6, 2015

Las Vegas: Part Two

Since spring seems to be struggling coming to this part of Canada I will have to resign myself to looking at other parts of the country where flowers are blooming and the sun is shining.   On a recent trip to Las Vegas here are just a few sights that caught my attention.  

sunrises from my hotel window were stunning


poppies in full bloom



Besides the Bellagio, the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel also deserves an honorable mention in the flower department.  Look at the merry-go-round...it is totally made up of flowers.





the horse was made of so many daisies

Then there was the walking path with hanging balls composed of flowers and lights.  Just incredible.









Each ball was more incredible than the last







$25 million Popeye Scultpure displayed at Wynn

At the Aria Hotel the front lobby had beautiful garden with an origami display.





Then there was the amazing Volcano show at the Mirage.

volcano show at the Mirage




To think that some people never leave the casinos and miss all the incredible sights...see what they're missing!



April 5, 2015

FO: Japan Sleeves

Japan Sleeves, my spring sweater, is complete.  I thought I had cleverly planned this sweater to be finished just in time for the springy weather that comes in April.  But just like last year, when I completed my Folded Poncho, the snow came and the photos were done with snow flying in my face.


However, I know it can't snow forever and I will be all ready with this lovely sweater.  As mentioned in a previous post, I thoroughly enjoyed the construction of this sweater written by Joji Locatelli.  The pattern was written so cleverly and clearly, beginning with the lace panels and then the top down construction, that it really kept my interest.  When I got to the body, knit in the round, it was a bit monotonous, but made for good t.v. knitting.  I would really like to make this pattern again, or at least its' sister pattern, Old Romance.  If I were to do it again I think I would like to use yarn with a bit of cashmere in it.  I was pleased with the combination of the Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light colours I used (Teddy Bear and Molly Ringwald) and I was impressed with how far one skein of yarn goes.  For the medium sized sweater I only used about 1.4 skeins of the pink colour and 2.5 skeins of the light brown.

I am really enjoying the colours I chose for the pattern Cladonia by Kristin Kapur.  I am just finishing the main body of the shawl and then I will move on to knitted the lace section.  Look at this colour combination:





What do you think?  Wouldn't it make a great fall Japan Sleeves?  The yarn I used was String Theory Caper Sock Yarn (containing 10% cashmere) in Java combined with Sweet Fiber Yarn Super Sweet Sock in Chartreuse.  Ahhhh, the possibilities.

March 28, 2015

Las Vegas: Part One

In all the craziness that is Las Vegas there are places of real beauty.  My husband and I recently visited Las Vegas and although gambling is not my thing (so much better to spend my money on yarn!) I really enjoyed myself.  My favourite spot to visit was the Bellagio Hotel...as a person who has lived in the depths of winter since November the Bellagio Hotel was an oasis.   Although I wasn't staying at this hotel I enjoyed walking through to admire the beautiful displays and get a taste of spring.  I just wanted to share with you a few pictures of the stunning displays there.

When you are in the hotel lobby there are so many areas that catch your eye. First there are the gardens behind the check in desks:



Then, when you look up to the 18-foot ceiling in the lobby you see the most beautiful glass sculpture consisting of 2000 hand-blown glass blossoms. 




Everywhere I looked I was impressed. This beautiful horse was also in the lobby.

Then while walking through the hallways of the hotel I looked up and these umbrellas caught my attention. 





But my favourite area was the Bellagio Conservatory which showcases different gardens each season. Unfortunately for me, this area was being changed over, so I could only see it partially completed.  Despite that it really was a thing of beauty.  












This turtle's back was made of mostly roses...just stunning.

Then there was the floor to ceiling chocolate fountain with cascading chocolate fourteen feet down running 24 hours a day at the hotel's pastry shop. 

 

And of course there was the infamous water show that is set to music outside the hotel.


I hope you can now understand why I walked through this hotel more than once!  I think it is definitely worth a visit if you are ever visiting Las Vegas. 

And just so you don't think I spent my whole time wandering in a hotel I wasn't even staying in, next time I will share a few other spots in Las Vegas that also caught my attention.