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

8.25.2014

Embracing your Heritage

In my last blog post, I shared a glimpse of my childhood, and this stroll down memory lane sparked some ideas. It's funny how that happens.

In looking at old photos I came across pictures of us wearing traditional Romanian folk costumes. We all had at least a dress or a top growing up. I realized that I never appreciated their beauty when I was younger, but I now see how intricately beautiful and special they are. These costumes are world famous for their embroidery patterns. 

It came to me that these embroidery patterns would look great as knitting patterns as well. So I started sketching out a few possibilities, and I really like the result.

You may have noticed that I have had baby on the brain for months now, but at the same time knitting, so it was only natural that at one point the two would intersect. 

My daughter is at the wonderful age when she is starting to notice things around her. She is especially fascinated by high contrasts, like black and white images. So it dawned on me....I could knit up something for her featuring these Romanian inspired images.

I am not sure what to call the end result. I suppose you can call them a crib mobile?
I attached them to the inside of the bumper and I have to say, Sienna loves looking at them.



Bonus....it helped me practice my stranded knitting!



8.07.2014

A Piece of the Past

Wether you are a knitter or not, I am sure that your childhood wardrobe contained at least a few hand-knitted items. I remember some of mine... there were a few sweaters, booties, a dress, but most vividly I remember a hat. 

A white hat that tied under the chin and had a little flower embroidered on the front. We all wore it, my sister, my cousin and I. It figures quite prominently in my childhood photos.

So when my sister asked if I would knit some winter hats for my nieces, I immediately thought of this piece. I set to find a pattern that resembles it. There are a few similar ones, but the one I liked the most was the "Norwegian Sweet Baby Cap". 

It is such a quick and simple knit, you can whip it up in no time! What I like most about it, is the fact that you can tie it, which is practical when your toddler's deft little fingers always find a way to pull off hats. 

Do you have knits that are modelled on childhood ones? Any favourite patterns you'd like to tell me about?


Ravelry details here

7.28.2014

Maile baby cardigan

My mind is flooded lately with ideas. Crafty ideas that involve knits, sewing, all kinds of projects. Oh the things I could accomplish if only I could get enough sleep! Granted, the reason I do not sleep much is cute, but I feel I have to mobilize. I will continue making plans and lists, and try and accomplish what is on them. Wish me luck, as this would mean that I can actually come back here more often and  talk about them!

I only have a few minutes, but today it is time to talk knits again! I realized recently that I never finished introducing my baby knits! I wrote about the Puerperium, and baby S. has been wearing it  quite a bit, so it's time to take a look at Maile. I had some leftover yarn from this project, that I thought would be perfect for a a baby cardigan. 

Maile is a cute little girly pattern, just up my alley with clean lines and a little embellishment. Overall the pattern is good, but I had an extremely hard time with the joining of the sleeves. If you are emotionally prepared for it, or find a simpler way to do it, you will enjoy this pattern.




7.07.2014

Finningan's Market- Love where you live

In catching up with my blog reading recently, I was thrilled to see that Gabrielle, also known as Design Mom, is bringing back one of my favourite "columns", called "Love where you live". (Hop over for lots of fun blog posts!)

When I first read about this series of posts, I was really inspired to make an effort to explore fun and beautiful places close to home. We will be spending this summer in Montreal, so I am certainly determined to "love where I live" even more.

For a while now I have wanted to check out Finnegan's market. It is an outdoor antique market that takes place every Saturday in the summer. We thought it would be a fun outing with the kids, that we could finish off with a picnic. 

It seems that I completely forgot how chaotic it is to travel with babies in tow. Our day was not off to a great start. It took forever to get out of the house as it was impossible to get organized. In the end, my son left wearing the T-shirt he had slept in, and I had no time to make anything for our picnic. ( A big thanks to my sister here who rescued our lunch and made sandwiches for everyone! AND remembered to bring my dad!!!) But, we made it out of the house and believe me, that is something to be proud of these days! The 30 minute drive served to cool everyone's tempers, and by the time we got there we were all smiles and ready to explore.

The weather was perfect for a stroll through the stalls, for admiring, chatting and enjoying. I saw so many knick-knacks that I would have loved to bring home with me, here are a few glimpses.





Lovely garden accessories

                                                   
                                                 Happiness in a popsicle


                                                      Endless treasures to discover


                                             And of course something knitting related



                                                         Cousins


And last but not least, the reason I am not getting any sleep these days

Here, herehere  and here are my other "Love where you live posts". 

6.23.2014

Summer Vacation!

This is it, school is officially out. My (not so) little boy is about to experience his first summer vacation. How terribly exciting for him and at the same time terribly terrifying for me.

As much as I enjoy hanging out with my little man, I have not spent this much time with him since maternity leave! He is the kind of child that absolutely needs a routine, spur of the moment things do not go over very well.

I still remember that feeling of freedom on the last day of school, the idea of endless sunny days stretching in front of me. Every day a new adventure, full of possibilities. I was used to playing on my own, it never bothered me, but my son is different, he craves company, and needs help to get his imagination going.

So I have been thinking of how to fill our days. We have playdates and outings lined up, swimming and tennis lessons. But I also want fun activities to do at home. After all, we will be spending a lot of time around the house! Since Aidan is not great at playing on his own, I have to find creative ways to encourage him to be a more independent player.

I, of course, started a Pinterest board of ideas, and as often happens, this sparked my imagination. My son loves "Hunt and Seek" games, so I thought....why not create one myself?

I scoured the house for little toys and items to use, arranged them on a tray, and photographed it. This is accompanied by a list of items that he has to find in the photograph. 

This is what I have on the list:

a firetruck
the letter S
the letter A
an angel
scissors
a whistle
a bicycle
a medal
a  milk carton
a ball
a lollipop
a walnut
a rock
a dinosaur
a gift-tag
a basketball net
2 postcards
an antler
a brush
a ribbon
an elephant
a stamp
a slinky
a cellphone
a golfball
a flower
a key
an eraser
a house
a garbage can
a seashell
a harmonica
a cup

I mean the possibilities are endless, right?

If you are desperate for some time fillers with your kids, you can always download my pictures from my flickr account here, and the list here.












We're playing this afternoon....

6.13.2014

Strathcona, a summer scarf

Did I mention I have been willing myself to finish knit projects?

I cannot be the only one who finishes a knit and then lets it sit around for weeks, possibly months before weaving in the ends and blocking?

Well, I finally put the finishing touches on this one, and I am really glad I did. When Jane Richmond released Island, I immediately marked most of the patterns as favourites. Strathcona is such a fun, summery accessory. I enjoy wearing knits year-round, so this is a great light pattern. 

I started off thinking it was going to be a quick knit, but it was not, at least not for me. But it is very easy to memorize, so once you've gotten into the rhythm it'll go fast.




This is my first time using Knitpicks Curio, and it will not be my last. Some of my friends thought I was crazy (right Robyn?), as it is listed a "thread"weight on Ravelry, but I went ahead and found that with the yarn held double, it was pretty much a fingering weight, and I find it is quite a good match for this pattern.

The cotton has a wonderful sheen to it, and the colours are intense and saturated. Lots of possibilities in other words.

This is one I will be wearing quite a bit!



6.03.2014

TTTKAL & Mommy Brain

You know what they say about the best intentions....

Well, I intended to participate in Shannon's TTTKAL and make a cute summer top for myself, but I mobilized too late and by the time my yarn arrived, it was one day away from the finishing deadline.I blame mommy-brain. Indecision and procrastination have nothing to do with it!

Though this deadline was extended to yesterday, the 2nd June, I am nowhere near finishing.  But, it has given me the opportunity to follow along in the thread, chat with some other knitters, and that is always a blast. To anyone that is considering joining a KAL, Shannon's are always a lot of fun. It's a great group of ladies! I can only recommend it!

Nevertheless, let me introduce you to my project. I chose the Driftwood Tee by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. It is very "me". Clean lines, with a little interesting detail. I debated for too long which yarn to choose. I did not have anything in my stash, and did not want to invest a lot, so I though I'd give Holst yarn a try. I have heard good things about it. The specification on their website are very similar to the yarn this pattern calls for, only a couple of stitches off from the pattern gauge. So far it is a lovely yarn, though it is a lot thinner then I expected. I personally would call it a lace-weight, but hey, I am no expert. The knitted fabric is very airy, which is nice for a summer top. 



We'll see what the finished project turns out to be....hopefully I will stick to it, and get to wear it this summer, as I do not have the encouragement of my fellow knitters to keep me going.

Updates to follow!