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

5.24.2015

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.








5.21.2015

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!



5.13.2015

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.






5.06.2015

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 




4.17.2015

Taking a deep breath


The last few weeks have meant more changes in our routines, in our lives. I am back at work full-time, and that, as you can imagine, is a huge adjustment. Schedules are upset, habits must change. Everyone’s a little on edge. Does that happen to you as well? As much as I crave change sometimes, I am always uneasy when it happens. The unknown, the imbalance….let’s just say, I will be happy when things have settled back into a routine.

So we needed a family activity to regroup. Since winter was still in full swing a few weeks ago, even though the calendar said otherwise, we thought we’d venture into the woods, for a sugershack experience. And to be perfectly honest, I was looking for a pretty location to take some decent pictures of my finished Cinder scarf. 

Did I mention my feelings about change? 

So, the plan was in place, details ironed out, reservations made. We woke up to bright sunshine on Sunday … and checked the weather forecast. It said -14, or rather -24 with the wind-chill. Does that sound like an idyllic day to go walk outside? My thoughts exactly! So instead we chose to regroup and …. well, clean the house, since that also needed doing. Our sugar shack experience had to wait for another week, but we did make it happen. It was still chilly, but sunny and beautiful. Still a perfect day to be wearing my Cinder scarf.


The Classic Elite Ariosa yarn is perfect for bundling up against the elements. It’s soft and gives beautiful definition to the cables. Speaking of which, how perfect is this pattern? I love the fact that it is reversible. It practically begged to be made into an infinity scarf. It knitted up quickly, and is a perfect substitute for my Herringbone cowl which I have worn constantly over the last few winters.










4.05.2015

Renfrew

I hope you don't think that all I did on vacation was gorge on sweets and relax? Well, ok, you got me, I did, but I also did some knitting. When packing for our vacation, I purpusley left any hats at home and took yarn with me instead, to knit myself one. I had been eyeing the Renfrew pattern by Jane Richmond for a while, and decided this would be my next pattern to knit. I used O-Wool Balance, which was originally meant for another project, but was re-purposed last minute.

It was such a quick and satisfying knit. 

Do your knits have a story? Most of mine are associated with a story, an event, a location. The blanket I knitted while my baby was in the NICU, the scarf I knitted during my first KAL, the beach bag I knitted on the beach (where else?), the summer top that required hours of untangling linen yarn.

For me, this hat will always evoke images of a drive through the Alps. We were fortunate enough to be able to spend a week in a chalet, in a ski resort called Bad Kleinkirchheim. It was a three hour drive from our place in Vienna, and I spent it chatting with my cousin, a wonderful, uninterrupted talk we hadn't had in years. The babies were sleeping, and we chatted away while I knitted my Renfrew. It was fantastic, quality girl-time. And what better backdrop for photographing a knit then hiking trails in the Alps?



Ravelry notes here



2.19.2015

Christmas Abroad

As promised, I am back to tell you about our amazing trip to Austria. We spend three glorious weeks with my family. It had been more then 20 years since we celebrated the holidays with them last. It was a picture-perfect experience. The house, filled with laughter and chatter, the smell of the most delicious home cooking wafting through the air at all times. We feasted on traditional dishes and gorged on the most incredible cookies.


I was glad that Aidan got to experience a different kind of Christmas traditions. It was refreshing for us grownups as well. A celebration away from the hustle and bustle of shoppers and malls, from the pressure to find the latest, trendy gift. 

We instead were able to focus on family and togetherness.

I have always lived in a big city. I am used to being one among many, incognito if you will. Even living in the suburbs there is a certain anonimity that can be reassuring. But experiencing the holidays in such a close-knit community as the one of my family lives in, was refreshing. 

They live in a small village about 50km outside of Vienna. Everybody knows each other, helps each other. Every day, a new neighbour would call at our door with home-made goodies. (I suspect that we were also a curiosity to check out... the far off relatives, you know. ) My uncle, the beekeeper, shared his bounty with villagers as well. On Christmas eve we all joined in a little church ceremony during which our Christmas tree magically appeared at home, to the children's delight. They were in awe, their belief in the magic of the holidays renewed.

This Christmas will remain a cherished memory for our little family. I can only hope that we will have others like this in the future!