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


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?


Vintage Knitting Gadget

You know you’ve made a reputation of being an avid knitter, when your friends, the ones that do not know anything about knitting, keep an eye out for knitting supplies.
A dear friend of mine jumped on the opportunity to bring me, what she called her grandmother’s “knitting machine”.

So, machine is perhaps overstating it, when she unpacked it, I had to admit I had never before seen anything like it. Her grandmother, who is now in her 80’s, purchased it in her youth, and used it for years, but her failing eyesight has made it hard to continue knitting with it. As she lives a continent away, it is impossible to get a proper training from her, so I am a little stumped. 

I of course turned to Ravelry, searched through a few groups, asked a few questions, and the best answer I have gotten is that it looks a lot like a knitting board or frame. 

Next step is to stalk youtube for hopefully some good instructional videos and then I cannot wait to put it to use.

Is there anyone else out there that owns interesting knitting gadgets? Old and new? Anyone use a knitting board and feel like giving me a crash course?


SSKAL 2014 - A fail and a success

I have a confession to make...It seems I am addicted to baby-knits. I can't stop casting on, researching, planning. I've got it bad!

My latest favourite? Cascade by Raya Budrevich. I mean look at those pretty leaves! Who could resist tat? Certainly not me.

Since my own Summer Sweater KAL project ended in a frogged pile of yarn, I searched for solace in a quick project. And Cascade was the perfect pick-me-up. I whipped it up in 2 days. It took me longer to weave in ends, choose buttons, block and photograph it!

I cannot wait for Sienna to fit into it. I think this is a cardigan that will be knitted in several sized to accompany her through childhood!