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


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.



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


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!


A New Year

This was supposed to be a "Happy New Year's" post, but time got away from me. 2015 is off with a bang, and I am already playing catch-up.

2014 was an interesting year for me, for my little family. Interesting and difficult, fraught with worries, but overall a good year. It's brought us closer, made us stronger, as such experiences usually do.

I find I have learned to be more confident, positive. 

All these lessons did however make it hard to be a consistent blogger. I am hoping to change this in the coming year. I have a few ideas I am hoping to pursue, projects I'd like to share, items to knit, photograph, places to visit and tell you all about. Plans, so many plans. I want to turn this blog into a place my readers will want to visit over and over again. 

I will be back shortly to tell you about our recent trip to Austria.


A favorite toy, another try

It's always been important to me that I teach my children a love of reading. Books are such a special way to learn about the world, but also escape. My kids' library is quite extensive, and we keep adding to it. It's fun to research books, and watch them get lost in the stories.

One of my favourite childhood reads  is "The Velveteen Rabbit". It's such a heartwarming, charming story. At the moment, Aidan is in superhero mode, so this particular story does not appeal to him too much, but I am hoping that maybe when Sienna is older she will learn to love it also.

In the meantime, as sort of a preparation, I thought I'd give her something to love, cuddle and play with. When I first started getting serious about my knitting, one of the projects I attempted, was a bear for Aidan. It was certainly ambitious at that time, and the result was a toy resembling a pig more then a bear. (you can read all about it here).

But that was a few years ago. I felt ready to give it another try. A little stuffed animal for Sienna. Are you familiar with the "Bunny girl in a dotty dress" pattern by Julie Williams? It's absolutely adorable.

It is a very clear pattern, with lots of photographs to clarify the instructions. If you are not a fan of seaming however, stay away, because the majority of your time will be spent doing just that. But it will be worth it in the end! 

Now I only hope that she will be loved and squeezed but those chubby adorable fingers, and that she'll be a constant and cherished companion.

Now...for names....any suggestions?


Happy 1st Advent

For our little family, first advent has always marked the beginning of the holiday season. This weekend we pulled out our Christmas decorations, started playing Christmas carols, and even managed to make salt-dough ornaments.

And, as I have done every years since Aidan was born, I made an advent calendar. This year's I am especially pleased with.

As I have found out, first graders are especially fond of Pokemon trading cards, so I decided to use those as my advent calendar fillers. Cheery wrapping paper and pretty tags helped complete the project. And finally my new chalkboard wall turned out to be the perfect backdrop. 

Aidan is already itching to rip open his first envelope.

Happy Advent!


Christmas is around the corner

Want to hear something scary? There are only 6 weeks left till Christmas! I know! It's almost here! Have you started knitting up your Christmas gifts yet? What's on your list?
I am hoping for a stress-free experience this year (HA! I know...), so I've made my choices, ordered yarn, and started.

My first choice? Foxy and Wolfie. The two girls I am knitting this for will look adorable in this hat. They certainly have the right personality to wear something like this.

Next on the list is a little lady that deserves something elegant yet playful, You have to agree that Ropes n Pearls qualifies. 

And last but not least a baby bonnet, for a brand new baby that I cannot wait to meet! 

All in all not a lot of things to make and easily accomplished in 6 weeks, were it not for a barely sleeping baby, homework, and other projects I have committed to!
Wish me luck...I can do it, right?