Accessories, Creations, Original Patterns, Ramblings, Random Topics

“A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge – “H” is for Hat!

Another one of my “A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge items is complete! I am super happy with this one, not only is it the first hat pattern I have ever designed, but I also created the mosaic stitch pattern, and I knit the whole thing on double pointed needles! Crazy as it sounds, I have never knit anything on double pointed needles in my over 40 years of knitting!

So, that’s two more items I can cross off my challenge lists, knitting something on double pointed needles is one of the items on  my Knitting Goals for 2017. I have attempted knitting on dpns many times but found it awkward and uncomfortable, so instead of sticking with it, I either avoided patterns using dpns or converted them to straight needles.  This time I stuck with it and I am slightly embarrassed to say that I really enjoyed it once I got over the beginning awkwardness!  I am looking forward to doing more with dpns and have already started the 2nd hat using solid colours to make the mosaic pattern more defined.

Next on the “A” to “Z” Challenge is “I” is for Inchworm. I have a really fun idea for this one so please stick around to see the results.  It might be awhile as I am working on multiple other projects as well. It is impossible to knit only one thing at once! Well, isn’t it???!

 

Accessories, Creations, Original Patterns, Patterns for Sale, Random Topics

“F” is for Frost Flower

I have finally finished the next entry for my “A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge!

The Frost Flower lace pattern is one I have wanted to try for many years but was rather intimidated by the idea of a 24 row pattern in which every single row includes pattern stitches, no nice easy purl rows in between to provide a break!  But, here it is at last, my “F” is for Frost Flower scarf!

Frost Flower Scarf

As an added bonus, completing this project also allows me to cross off another of my 2017 goals, #8 – Tackle a more complex lace pattern that I have never tried before. I do however, plan on adding a part B to this goal as I have decided to give myself the challenge of trying to design my own original lace pattern!!

I added a beaded edge to each end of my scarf to provide a little extra glitter and the yarn I chose has a lovely metallic thread throughout.

For this project, I used Lion Brands “Shawl in a Ball”, Metallic Moonstone which I purchased from YarnCanada.ca (love this online store!)

This is a yarn I would definitely recommend. I have used yarns before which include a metallic thread running through them, and I have previously found that they split, gather or tear. This yarn did none of these and was lovely to work with. I was very happy with the progression of colours throughout the ball and yardage is amazing, 518 yards per ball!! I completed my looong scarf and still have at least 1/3 of the ball left over for another awesome project!

I will be making my Frost Flower Scarf pattern available for sale in the next few days.

Now it’s time to start planning for “H” is for Hat. For those of you who missed it, I went a little out of order and have already completed “G” is for Granny. I have chosen two shades of Lion Brand’s Landscapes yarn, a solid colour and a self striping, for my hat and will be designing a mosaic motif!  Can’t wait to get started 🙂

 

Ramblings, Random Topics

Healthy Recipes to Share!

I had a request for a couple of recipes from my previous post “Search for More Energy!!, so here they are! Please keep in mind that I kind of wing it when I cook, so you may need to make minor adjustments in order to get the seasoning to your liking.  The recipes below are designed to serve two.

I tried another new recipe tonight which I thought I would share also.

Couscousish Cauliflower

Couscousish Cauliflower

Ingredients

4 cups uncooked cauliflower
1/3 of a large cucumber, seeded
5 cherry tomatoes
Juice of 1/2 a lime
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Sea Salt to taste

Mix all of the above ingredients in a food processor until very finely chopped. Serve cold or heat as desired. I served it over a bed of sweet potato (just cause I love sweet potato!) but it is also wonderful as a dip or a spread!

Broccoli & Sweet Potato Dip
Ingredients

2 cups raw broccoli pieces
2 cups cashews
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/2 yellow pepper
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
Sea Salt to taste
One medium sized sweet potato

Mix all of the above ingredients except the sweet potato in a food processor until a paste like consistency is obtained. Peel and cook a sweet potato. Mash and add to the other ingredients.
Serve cold or heat and serve tossed with pasta.

Red Cabbage Rice

Ingredients

2 cups raw red cabbage
1/2 cup cashews
1 medium carrot
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 cloves finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
Sea Salt to taste
2 servings cooked brown rice

Mix all of the above ingredients except the rice in a food processor until chopped.
Heat over low heat until the cabbage is slightly softened. Serve over a bed of brown or other rice.

I hope you enjoy these delicious, healthy recipes as much as I do!

Ramblings, Random Topics

Search for More Energy!!

At first glance, this post may seem unrelated to my usual items focusing on knitting, however, for me it is very closely tied to my passion for my craft!

Not only do I spend somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6 hours a day knitting and developing patterns, but I also work a full-time job outside of the home.  Keeping up the level of energy required to continue at this pace was beginning to feel unattainable until the realization came to me that I was totally ignoring the need to provide my body with the fuel it requires.  Time to get back to focusing on a healthy diet!!

Healthy Fridge

This is my happy, healthy fridge today!!

I had drifted into the lazy habit of making meals from cans and frozen things. Granted, I was buying from the organic section of the grocery store, so these options were still healthier than many other choices, but fresh fruit and vegetables were sadly lacking. Not only had I found that my energy levels were dropping, but my food choices were not leaving me feeling satisfied and were so lacking in colour and flavour!

Continue reading “Search for More Energy!!”

Creations, Original Patterns, Patterns for Sale, Ramblings, Toys

“A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge – G is for Granny!

For anyone keeping track of my “A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge, you may have noticed that “F” is for Frost Flower is missing!  No, I have not forgotten about the letter F and the Frost Flower pattern is underway, however, as it is a longer term project, I decided that it would not be breaking the rules of the challenge to move onto the next letter ahead of time! After all, I made up the rules 🙂

I am happy to introduce “G” is for Granny!

Granny2

I have made a few dolls using versions of this pattern but wanted to spend some time perfecting the shaping and the finishing techniques.  I will be making another couple of samples to test my pattern over the next week or so and once complete, I will be adding the pattern to my Ravelry and Etsy stores.

Now, just to prove that F is not forgotten, here is my WIP for “F” is for Frost Flower.

Frost Flower2

I really love this lace pattern and am very happy with the yarn I chose, Moonstone Metallic Shawl in a Ball by Lion Brand, purchased from Yarn Canada.

I hope to finish this project in the next two or three weeks and will also be starting on “H” is for hat!

Ramblings, Random Topics

Oh Happy Day! Yarn Order Arrival!!

Box Opening3

Living in a fairly small city means that there are very few options for yarn shopping so for a long time now I have been looking for good online shopping options.  Many people have recommended various sites but, as a Canadian, the issue always came down to the horrendous exchange rate when converting from US dollars to Canadian! Even something as simple as Patons Astra becomes ridiculously expensive when buying from a US site. With the exchange, Astra would cost me $5.35 Cdn from Yarnspirations and other US sites. When I buy it in Canada or from a Canadian site, it is only $3.49!!! There is something very wrong about this! I design and knit a lot of small holiday ornaments using Astra, so this yarn is a definite favourite.

Astra

I have found the perfect solution in YarnCanada.ca. Not only is the selection absolutely superb, incorporating almost 40 brands with outstanding colour, weight, and type options, but the ability to sort by any of these selections makes for a very satisfying shopping experience. YarnCanada also offers the best pricing I have found anywhere!

The yarn listings include clear images with plenty of details regarding gauge and content, and the ability to create multiple wish lists is an added bonus.  I often have different projects planned for the future and creating a wish list of possible yarn options for each is a very useful feature.

My order was processed extremely quickly, and shipped the next business day, as promised. A tracking number was provided and I was able to track my order right up to the delivery at my door which was a full two days earlier than expected and free shipping for orders over $35.00 dollars!!!

YarnCanada is most certainly my yarn store of choice and I am already planning my next order! I highly recommend this online store, thank you for the excellent shopping experience!

To close, one more photo of the ever present cat!

Zule

Accessories, Creations, Original Patterns, Random Topics

“A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge – E is for Earring

Here is my latest entry for the “A” to “Z” Knitting Challenge – E is for Earring!

I knit these little flowers with a fine sock yarn and then just added some beads and an earring hook, I can’t wait to make more in a variety of colours!

Next on the challenge list is F is for Frost Flower. The Frost Flower lace pattern is one of my favourites of all times and I found the perfect yarn for it during my recent online yarn shopping spree at YarnCanada.ca. I will be doing a review of my shopping experience with Yarn Canada, I am a very happy customer!!

Here’s my Frost Flower yarn, I am so looking forward to getting started on this project!

FrostFlower