And breathe…..

Coming up for air… where has the last month or two gone??

They are clearing trees * read butchering forest, my snowshoe trail and this little Moosey’s home* across the road from us. Yesterday this poor discombobulated Moose was peering over our fence trying to figure out how to get in. I’m sure the poor lad didn’t know what was going on and was just trying to find safety. It was with a sad heart that I watched him climb back up the hill and into the trees. I hope he was smart enough to figure out that he could get to our clearing in just a few more feet to the right and then he would be safe.

I cut the grass for the first time this season on Sunday ,clearly it has been a few weeks since I wrote this post, in my winter coat and hat…… What the deuce??? It has been a coooold Spring, everyone still has the heating on and there is a frost warning. Not cool! I’m so glad that summer is slowly arriving and hopefully things warm up.

Things have been super busy around here, hopefully I can fill you all in on that shortly but until then I have some new projects on the go.

I’ve been doing a lot of purging around the house and and getting rid of things. I had previously purged the stash of things I would never use but there seemed to be a mountain  of leftovers accumulating that needs to be dealt with. My thought is the quickest and easiest way for me to use up these leftovers is definitely to knit a blanket but that lead to a whole other bunny trail of which blanket and do I have colours that go and so on and so forth.

Romi swooped in and saved the day when she offered a coupon for one free pattern. Her Carson Throw jumped out at me and I immediately wanted to cast on.

I grabbed some co ordinating colours and cast on. It is coming along nicely and I’ve just started using a second colour. I can’t wait to add more colours to the mix and see it progress.

More stash diving is on the go because Rachel Coopey is doing a MKAL *mystery kal* for Unwind Brighton.  Solid or semi solid yarn is what Rachel has suggested for these socks so I’m knitting mine with Wandering Cat Yarns BFL in English Toffee.

This is my progress after completing the second clue. The third and final clue was released a week ago and I’m still trying to find the time to get caught up…. soon!

Before I could even start my MKAL socks I need to clean off my sock needles. They were  housing my half finished 2nd Patina sock. Poor Patina’s they got left by the way side while I was involved in a huge project but now its time to finish them up. I’m really enjoyed this Tanis pattern and even though it has been slow going, when I do have the time to knit on them it just makes them last all that much longer. Look for an FO picture soon!

So those are the stash projects I’m working on right now and I’m holding myself back from casting on more…. I need to get something off the needles first me thinks.

What are you working on? Do you have a queue the length of your arm that you need to cast on RIGHT NOW??

Talk to me, I’ve really missed chatting with you all.

Belleisle Woodworks

The random number generator choice #1!  For the Lucky Penny Baby Collection giveaway. How random is that??

Gracey, please email me with your rav i.d and the Lucky Penny Baby Collection will be on its way to you.

I wanted to let you all know that my dad’s etsy shop is now open!

Belleisle Woodworks is stocked with some stunning lathe turned bowls. All bowls are made using reclaimed wood, some of that wood coming right from our own acres on the Ridge.

All bowls are one of a kind!  Some may be similar is style but there will never be two exactly the same. The beauty of using reclaimed wood.

We have honey pot yarn bowls in stock:

as well as lots of other larger multi purpose bowls in different woods.

This Cherry bowl has a beautiful grain,

and the Spalted Maple bowls speak for themselves.

I got to choose a bigger bowl for myself before I started listing things and I immediately went for the Spalted Maple. (I’m sure you will be seeing it in an upcoming blog post.) I find myself turning the bowl around and around staring at all the different markings this beautiful wood created.

  Check out the shop there may be something you fancy.

If you are outside the U.S. and Canada and are interested just message me on etsy and I will give you a shipping cost. It can get pretty price outside of North America but we are willing to ship anywhere.

Giveaway: Lucky Penny Baby Collection

 

Today I’m lucky enough to be giving away a copy of the Lucky Penny Baby Collection by Tanis Lavallee of Tanis Fiber Arts to one fabulous reader!

Not only do I get to show off these super cute patterns I also get to share a little Rowan love because clearly we love this wee smiler around these parts. In fact, it might have taken me a longer time than usual to write this post because I couldn’t decide what pictures of Rowan to use. hehehe

The collection includes:

The Schoolboy Vest

I love vests for the simple fact that you don’t have to squeeze chubby baby arms in and out of them. They keep the core of the body warm but still allow lots of movement and a built in air conditioner if you will for those that overheat easily. This vest offers a fun and easy fair isle motif that you be a great first project to try out fair isle.

The Frosted Alpine Hat

A nice complimentary hat for the School boy Vest. Ear flaps and a chin strap are definitely the best way to keep a hat on babies as well as give them an extra shield against the cold. These two would make a fabulous gift set.

The R&R Hoodie

Hoodie’s are just so versatile especially when they feature a zip. Great to use as a jacket on the cooler summer evenings and then carry it right on through the Fall and Winter as a sweater. I love clothing with multiple uses.

 and The Keyfit Blanket.

A perfectly fun and cheery blanket!

A great project to complete a nursery or give as a baby shower gift. I love bright fun colours and this blanket would have definitely fit the bill for T’s room when she was little. I love that it’s not gender oriented like everything seems to be these days. Tanis offers some fun palette’s that are perfect for this knit. It would also be a great way to use up stash and create your own colour scheme.

This collection was a labour of love for Tanis. Knit throughout Rowan’s first year she has truly tested and perfected every knit This is by no means a collection solely for boys. Every pattern is completely unisex and would be a great addition to any babies wardrobe.

It just so happens that I started a girly version of the Schoolboy Vest as soon as the patterns were released. *my battery charger died so you will have to suffer with an instagram shot until the new one arrives* I needed something mindless to knit on that I didn’t have to think about and this fit the bill exactly. These shades of purple have been staring at me from the two boxes of worsted scraps I have been contemplating using for a project. They definitely belong together.

There are so many possibilities with these little knits I can just imagine turning both boxes of scraps into scores of Schoolboy Vests using ALL the colours!

 Tanis also just released a free hat pattern the Trench Hat that features a great scallop chart that she used on other versions of the Schoolboy Vest and R&R hoodie.

There will be scallops in my future for sure!

*How cute is this kid???*

To be entered in the giveaway for the Lucky Penny Baby Collection please leave a comment below telling me which pattern you would knit and what colour combo’s you love. I will randomly draw a winner on April 22nd at 9am Atlantic.

Review: Idakoos T-Shirt

 

Millions of T-Shirts sorted by Themes

Recently I was lucky enough to get to choose any t shirt from Idakoos.com to try out. There is an option to create your own design and get it printed onto any of their products but because I’m just not that tech savvy I went for something they already had.  With thousands of designs it really was hard to choose, they have 414 hobby categories alone, but of course in the end I went with the…… you guessed it a KNITTING shirt!

Tell me this shirt isn’t awesome?

This is the women’s xs, a perfect fit but if they had an option for a longer torso I definitely would have chosen it. I think a lot of women are choosing longer bodied shirts these days even if they don’t have a long torso like myself. Maybe that’s an option they could look into?

Not only do you get to choose the design and style of shirt but there are 17 different colours of the women’s shirts! 17!!

Let’s have a look at my shirt so you can see the variety I’m talking about.

This is the shirt I chose… by clicking any of the other colours you get to see exactly what your shirt will look like and change the font colours as well. So many sites are limited to 3 or 4 colours of shirts but you don’t get to see exactly what you are getting until it arrives. I’m very visual so I loved being able to see the finished product and try all the options  before finally decided on it.

Idakoos

Idakoos would be a great site for gift ideas. Get something customized with an inside joke, a nickname, team shirts, bridal party shirts, you name it.

Their products range from tees, hoodies and baby onesies to totes, mugs and plastic signs. They have distribution centers in Florida, The Netherlands and Peru so they are able to ship worldwide with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

 Check them out!

I bet you could find that “painfully hard person to shop for” the perfect gift!

Create your own T-Shirts

*Thanks to Idakoos for providing a t shirt for me to review.

All opinions expressed are my own.*

In the Kitchen: Breakfast – Paleo Biscuits and Jam

My kitchen has been hopping!

There are only 4 of these left from the batch I made a few days ago so I thought I’d better tell you about them before the only thing I have left to show are crumbs.

Things are getting easier with my new lifestyle change and eating good food all the time is just another part of my day and it feels great! I have so much more energy and cooking food is now an enjoyable part of my day instead of a last minute dash of what can I make. I’m enjoying trying new recipes and baking delicious things to fuel my body knowing they are 100% good for me.

My newest recipe trial were these ridiculously simple Paleo biscuits.

Gluten and Grain free and totally delicious!

Yes I am still on the hunt for some breakfast foods and I think I might have found something this time. These take only a few mins to throw together and there is enough time to get a few rows of knitting in while you wait for them to come out of the oven. They stay fresh in an air tight container and are even a fabulous freezable snack as well. Freezable is always a bonus if you are running short on time, especially mornings.

*I flattened mine a little too much before putting them in the oven but they still taste delicious.*

I tried my hand at making some Paleo Jam a few weeks ago. With only 3 simple ingredients it was a pretty “no brainer” recipe for my first attempt. While I don’t know that this jam is THE one, it’s not exactly a sweet jam, it is definitely a start and you better believe we are going to be picking berries galore this year.

These biscuits were the perfect companion to my freshly made jam and definitely hit the spot for those morning foods I was kind of missing.

Miss Dashwood

At the end of last year my mum asked me if I could make her a shawl. Mum NEVER asks me to knit her anything so of course I immediately said yes.

She wanted a shawl to wear with a new dress for a special occasion *last week* one that she could pin around her shoulders but also one that she could use as a layering piece over her jacket too.

I knew just what I wanted to knit her but I showed her pictures of a few different options so she could decide. She ended up picking the shawl I wanted to knit her in the first place, SCORE!

Pattern: Miss Dashwood by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Vermillion

Mods: My only mod was to go up a needle size on the body because it was coming out too dense for my liking. I also used a dk weight instead of sport so this might explain why it was dense. I wanted this shawl to be big!

My Rav Project page

Paulina P is an epic shawl designer in my opinion! I have long admired her designs and vowed to one day knit one of them. She currently has 53 patterns on Ravelry, a must see really! I was really glad when mum chose Miss Dashwood, my favourite of all her designs so far.

I must admit when I first read through the pattern I was completely intimidated and started to question whether I had the skills to knit this shawl at all. The border was knit first and then the body of the shawl is added after the fact and worked up. An interesting technique and one that I actually enjoyed once I got through the miles of border.

When you broke down the sections and knit bit by bit it was really actually rather simple yet creates a stunning shawl that looks very intricate.

The yarn was a hard decision. My mum’s dress had lots of colours in it so when she chose the redish pink for the shawl the hunt was on. I asked a couple of indie dyers if they could dye something for me and scoured LYS’s. It wasn’t until I actually took the dress to the store that I realised I had something in my stash that would work perfectly I just needed any extra skein. I bought the yarn in my stash at  Knit East back in September not knowing what I wanted to make with it and thankfully finding one more skein at my LYS  completed  the shawl.The colour of the shawl has a bit more of a pinkish tinge than red. It is shown more accurately in the outdoor shots when I am wearing it.

Since working with so much of this yarn on one project I have come to terms with the fact that although I love Madtosh’s colours I do not enjoy working with the single ply. I find it splits easily and doesn’t necessarily suck up the dye through the entire skein. Lesson learned! I will use dk twist in the future like I did for this shawl.

One Popiolek shawl under my belt with many more to choose from.

I wonder what will be next!

FO: Groovy Socks

Pattern: Groovy Socks by Caroline Hegwer

Yarn: Knit Picks Felici in Building Blocks

My Rav project page

My Groovy socks were actually finished in December I could just not get the right lighting to snap some pics of these. Turns out my bro has tons of natural light at his house so I took advantage the last time we visited and got pics of a couple of pairs of socks. My Smokestack pics were taken there too, looove that shaggy rug!

I knit these on 2.25mm’s but the pattern yields a pretty tight sock. I’m sure they will stretch with time but I would definitely knit another pair with 2.5mm’s so they aren’t so hard to get on.

This pattern was one of those addictive patterns. A two row repeat and one of those rows is plain knitting…. can’t get easier than that. Perfect socks for on the go and the self striping makes you never want to stop.

I learned this week that Knit Picks is discontinuing Knit Picks Felici.Here I was excitedly waiting for their new colours to arrive. Insert sad panda face here! This is such a hard wearing yarn and really held up perfectly with my hardwood and tile floors. I wears socks to bed, heck i’ve even walked around on my rock driveway with these. Basically if I can’t do what I would in a pair of store bought socks, they just won’t last in my house. There are still and handful of colourways available before they are gone for good so if you want some I’d suggest you get it now! I may have some on the way.

I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get some of the older colourways before they were gone too. Maybe someone will decide to destash and I will be able to get them.

This was the last Felici colourway I had in stash and I’m going to have to make the ones coming last all the longer.

At least a have a handful of beautiful felici socks to keep me going for a while.

If you have older Felici colourways in your stash that you’d like to sell lets talk.

If you need me I’ll be groovin’ in my new socks!

In The Kitchen: Dinner and a Dessert

I’ve been spending a lot of time in the kitchen as of late.

Since changing my dietary needs I’ve had to be more aware of what’s on hand and what can be made for each meal that follow my guidelines.

I’m loosely following Paleo but not putting as much emphasis on meat as paleo seems to do. I’m learning as I go and creating some yummy things with a few tweaks as need.

A success from last week was Paleo Shepherd’s Pie.

I used the same ingredients in the meat portion that I normally do but instead of white potatoes on top I added Sweet Potato and a hint of cinnamon.

Talk about delicious and not much different that what we normally have. It was a hit and will definitely be a new go to.

The thing that I have the most problem not being able to have right now is being off gluten and wheat.

Bread, cereals I crave them!

So when I finally found a no grain bread recipe that was delicious I of course had to share.

This is actually a recipe for banana blackberry muffins but since I didn’t have an blackberries on hand I substituted walnuts and dairy and soy free mini chocolate chips and made it into a mini loaf.

Holy Smokes this one is GOOD!

Tasted better than the Banana Bread we usually buy at the store. Bonus!

We are hoping there will be some of this left for Moose when he gets home….. it is a mini loaf after all and mighty tasty!!

I’d love to hear about any delicious recipes you absolutely love.

Snowed In

We have been battling snow storms lately….

We were blathered with a huge dumping of snow last weekend which left T and I snowed in.

It was a tonne of heavy snow so we took advantage of our situation and…. went out to play.

A couple of days later we woke up to another snowed in situation!

After shovelling off the deck and clearing paths we again decided more playtime was in order. Our sliding didn’t go quite as planned before of the shear amount of snow. We made it down the hill once and then had to wade through hip deep snow to get back up to the top.

This weeks game has been all about using the ice rink of a driveway to our advantage.

We made a hill on the opposite side of the driveway to slide down. Once we hit the bottom we just keep on going until we have to pull out the emergency brakes or smack into the house.

We have tried many different paths, sliding aids and conditions but the slide like you have a turtle shell seems to be the best so far.

That was a heck of a lot of snow thrown at us in the span of 3-4 days but by george we are making the most of it!

Smokestack Socks

Pattern: Smokestack Socks by Tanis Lavallee

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Purple Label Cashmere Sock in the Dove colourway

My Rav Project Page

I recently had the pleasure of testing another pattern for Tanis Fiber Arts.

The Smokestack Socks pattern is another timeless classic, a unisex pattern that will suit absolutely anyone!

Smokestack is the sock version of her Brixter hat, genius and works perfectly in sock form. I love the simple mix of purl stitches and cables.

I got to try out Tanis Purple Label Cashmere Sock for the first time with these socks.            Merino/Cashmere/Nylon…. need I say more??

It was like knitting with fluffy kittens, so soft and scrumptious!.

The Dove colourway is a popular pick when it comes to Tanis yarn and rightfully so. A beautiful mix of light and dark grey paired with the perfect purples. Not only a unisex pattern but a unisex colourway too!

More of the varigations in the colourway show up when a bit more natural light is used. I love seeing those little strips of colour.

My favourite part of these and Tanis’ Patina socks that I’m currently knitting is that she carries the pattern down the heel. While knitting my Smokestack heels I just kept thinking “that is such a pretty heel” while stopping to admire them. In my opinion this little design feature adds so much.

 I don’t know how Tanis always manages to create those “potato chip” sock patterns. Betcha can’t knit just one??

I’ll be knitting another pair of these for sure because I ended up gifting them to my mum yesterday. I just keep thinking “It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks, It’s ok that I gave away the cashmere socks”…. hehe

I have been promising her a pair of socks for over a year now so it was time and they will be all that more special in cashmere.