"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication."- Leonardo da Vinci


The city that never sleeps

I could not resist giving you a glimpse of our recent NYC get-away. Babysitters are hard to come by, so when my mom agreed to watch the kids for 3 days, we jumped at the opportunity to plan a little excursion. New York was a logical choice for us, I never get enough of this city. There is always more to see, more to do.

This time around, we walked the high line, explored the West Village, got our first taste of Brooklyn, and enjoyed our first Broadway show. It was a relaxing, yet exhausting getaway.

New York never disappoints. 
It also does not need words.
So enjoy the photos.


TTTKAL 2015, a project accomplished

You are going to get a kick out of this one. As I mentioned previously, I decided sort of last minute to join into Shannon's TTTKAL 2015. I have a ridiculously busy schedule these days, so I only committed to a little top for my daughter. Surely I thought, I could do this!

And I am proud to say that I did. Finish in time, blocked and ends woven in. I managed to snap a few shots while my little one was napping, and I made the deadline! Ok, the extended one, but a deadline nevertheless.

I have to say that I am proud of the ever-growing collection of handknits she has. (And at the same time I feel terrible that I have not knit anything for my son in....a while.)

The discussion on the thread today turned to heirlooms, and loving grandmothers knitting and sewing away. It seems most of us have fond memories of just that. I wish I had a photo of my grandmother knitting, but alas there are none. Still, knitting will forever be linked with her, and that is so immensely special to me.

But I digress. Back to my Ruffaluffagus. Once the photos were snapped, I was ready to have her wear it for Father's day this weekend. I thought I'd just try it on, to make sure it was perfect. I had measured after all, but it's always good to double-check. I have had my experiences with measuring

You may have guessed it by now....it does not fit! It seems that once I added the collar everything tightened. I can fix it of course, and I will, but it's one of those moments when you let out a well-deserved swear-word.


When knitters get together

As you know, I am a mom. A mom of 2, whose son is quite the sporty type. We have soccer, swimming, hockey, power-skating lessons... it busy, very busy. And as my daughter grows, it's only going to get worse. So finding a day when my schedule is clear is no easy feat. But it worked, for myself and my knitterly friends. We all cleared a Saturday, and gathered at Lilian's place for an afternoon of ....yarn-dyeing.

Lily and I took a workshop together a few years ago, and since then we've been hooked. And sadly enough it's taken us this long to get organized and meet to do it again. This time around however we wanted to try something a little different. Instead of acid dyes we used natural, plant-based ones. 

We had tea, onion peel, pomegranate, turmeric and cabbage. These were not our snacks, but our dyes. It was fascinating to see everyone's imagination take flight and experiments turn out. 

My inspiration came from a few evenings before, when I was having snack and tried to sneak in a few paragraphs from one of my favourite books. The colour I was hoping for is  a pastel yellow-pink-orange colour, and as you can see, it turned out pretty well. I used a combination of pomegranate dye, and onion peel.

It was so much fun! I came home with my mind buzzing with ideas, and thoughts and questions... I looked up articles and plants, and I am going to try this again. For sure! As soon as I can clear my schedule again! Hopefully it will be sooner then a couple of years from now.

As a side note, red cabbage is not a good choice... I guess there is a reason it does not come up as an example when researching natural yarn dyeing. It smells...


A Love of Travel

I love travelling. I was lucky. As a child I would accompany my grandmother on her yearly visit to her sister in Germany. This was a huge deal at the time, as Romanians were not free to travel across the border. My first trip with her was at the age of 3, and I looked forward to our vacations every summer. I still remember the thrill of boarding a plane, knowing that only a few hours later we would touch down in another place, experience a whole new reality, different smells, different routines, different customs. I think that these trips are at the root of my “wanderlust”, and I will be eternally grateful to my Oma for opening my eyes to the joys of travel.

I want to do the same for my children, I want them to experience the world and all it has to offer, to learn about , become immersed in other places, places that will broaden their horizons and teach them about life. My oldest has been  to a few places with us already, but I noticed that, of course, at this young age, his memories fade, he forgets about his trips. That made me wonder about what the best way would be to help him hang on to these memories.

Sightseeing is not always easy with children, they have little to no patience for exploring a museum, walk the streets of a new city but I found a way around that. What works for us is pretending that we are on a treasure hunt. We give Aidan a map and tell him he needs to help us find a specific location. It gives him the sense that he is in control of our explorations, and what child does not love that? I find it helps him cement those memories more, as he was not just a follower, but a leader.....Or maybe he's just getting older...that is of course entirely possible, but I like to think I have come across a genius idea here!

And now the maps that he's used to guide us, are a treasure in themselves. So I thought I'd incorporate them into his room's decor. I came across this tutorial for folding origami hearts, and tried it with the maps. Once framed and properly labelled, they are the focal point of his room, and he proudly shows them off.


TTTKAL 2015, Here We Go Again

Isn’t it funny how certain events are hard to resist? I am proud to say that I have been joining Shannon’s KAL’s from the beginning, I have missed only one I think. So when she announced the start of this year’s TTTKAL, even though I hesitated at first, I signed up anyway. 

How can you go wrong with a KAL whose first rule is to “have fun”? There is no pressure, you do not have to finish, just cast on and do your best, you can knit an adult size piece or a child’s top, the possibilities are endless. Honestly the hardest part is to keep up with the chatter on the Ravelry thread.

Now, as I have limited knitting time these days…we have way too many after school activities, and yes, I realize I have no one to blame by myself…but nonetheless, limited knitting time lead to me choosing a baby-sized knitting pattern to join the TTTKAL. I am making Ruffaluffagus for my daughter in Koigu KPPPM. I adore the color scheme of this yarn, and so far it’s great to knit with. And the pattern is adorable ... it's the ruffles .... I believe!

Now all I have to do is book some time each evening to try and catch up on the Ravelry thread!


Style a Knit

My return to work, from maternity leave, has prompted a wardrobe overhaul. I have gone through several "styles" in my life in an attempt to find the real "me". It's been an interesting journey, but I believe, or rather hope, that I have finally matured. 

For some reason, this time, I was determined to approach it from a practical point of view. I've been reading a lot about capsule wardrobes, and I can see its advantages, especially for a person whose morning routine is a mad dash. Simplicity, a formula, interchangeable pieces, all a must at this point in my life. So, I am working on creating one for myself, and I have decided that as a knitter it would be essential to incorporate some knits into it. 

I am “limited” to a pretty typical casual business attire, but that does not mean that I cannot be a little creative. And to be honest, I am having fun planning outfits around handmade knits. I am thinking this may even turn into a regular column on the blog, what do you think of  “Fashionable Knits”, “Fashion Purl-ice” or better yet “Style-a-Knit”.

After a few delightful hours spend on Ravelry and Pinterest, I have a list of knits that I will have to "whip up" to add to my wardrobe. It's not going to be easy, it's not going to be cheap, it's certainly not going to be fast, but it's going to be SO much fun! And you'll hear about every detail. 

My first choice? A Bristol Ivy pattern called Svalbard. 

Pattern name: Svalbard                            Outfit inspiration Pinterest

I'll be back soon to tell you more about it.


Knitter's Frolic

I recently had the best weekend getaway! 

Picture this: road trip with a girlfriend, uninterrupted knitting time, pedicures, wine and fantastic talks with like-minded people, a wool-festival aptly named “Knitter’s Frolic” and workshops filled with an amazing wealth of information, all new and exciting.

This adventure has been in the works for a while. Robyn, aka knitpurlmama and I had originally planned to go to Rhinebeck, a couple of years ago, but that never turned into reality. Still, we kept the dream alive and finally decided on Toronto’s Knitter’s Frolic. We met up with another wonderfully crafty friend, Jen of Spinnerknits.

I was so busy having fun that I did not even pull out my camera. I do have a few Instagram shots to share though.

Besides the overwhelming amount of yarn, I immensely enjoyed the 2 workshops I took. The first one was with Sivia Harding, who makes these incredible knits adorned with beads. I learned a tremendous amount from her and I cannot wait to experiment more.

The second workshop was with Kate Atherley whose enthusiasm for brioche stitch is contagious! Oh, the possibilities!! So many new things! So little time!!

I came home with what I consider a modest yarn haul, and I am currently obsessively researching and planning stages of upcoming projects.

Now that I’ve gotten a taste of yarn shows/festivals, I would love to check out more! 

Sivia Harding and I

Kate Atherley and I