Monday, August 29, 2011

Tofino Fern Daybreak

Finally, a finished object! With a serious case of startitis, I have several projects at various stages. I technically cast on for this 5 months ago, but was distracted by other new and shiny projects.

This shawl is 6 of 11 that I need to knit this year, and the details are:

Pattern: Daybreak by Stephen West
Size: Medium (although I'd hate to see what small looked like, as this barely fits around the shoulders)

Finished Measurements: 38" between wing tips, x 17.5" tall

Yarn A: The gorgeous and colourful springy Gourmet Sock from Gourmet Crafter Alexa Ludeman, in colourway Tofino Fern. Loved this yarn - so glad I could find a great project to use it on (as I'm not currently knitting socks). You can purchase her yarn colourways on Etsy or at Urban Yarns. I can't wait to try her new colours!

Yarn B: The always great Tosh Sock by Madelinetosh, in Cloak - a deep charcoal gray - almost black.

You can check out my project page on Ravelry. Also - check out my favorites done by other people of this shawl, some just gorgeous versions.

Back to working on my Vine Yolk Cardigan and Stephen West's Mystery Shawl KAL.

Cool things on the blogs this week:

1) Urban Yarns - I just want to have these Bella blue chunky Mittens NOW, and not have to knit them, although I'm sure it's enjoyable.

2) Gorgeous green over at Plucky Knitter

3) Very cool quilt on Tanis Fibre's blog.

4) Fuschia wedding details on SweetGeorgia.

5) Don't you just want to knit gorgeous Tanis Fibre after seeing these photos on Cosmic Pluto?

6) Check out Trouble. Bad Trouble.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

L'Auto Bitch

This weekend I had to say goodbye to my ever faithful first car, my 95 Mazda Protege. She took me through years of field work in environmental consulting, road trips home to 100 Mile, and whereever I needed to go.

She was named "L'Auto Bitch" by some former colleagues at the Friday after-work beer night, while trying to deduce a suitable nickname. Here is how the conversation went:

1) All cars are girls
2) "Protege" sounds French
3) What is "the girl car" in French?
4) How about, "L'Auto Bitch"? (Said with a French accent)

And so, the name stuck.

There was also the fun time last May when it was tagged, obviously not female. 8 hours later, and the spray paint (only) came off with a lot of elbow grease, and some acetone- not before I had to drive it to my boyfriend's apartment, which was the longest drive EVER:

In case I had to drive it, we focussed on removing the "I" first....

I love Pens!

She was on her last "wheels" last week when she couldn't go more than 20 km/hr randomly, and started surging.

My car on the tow truck:

The next day, she was fine. Hmmm..not so much trust any more.

So, she had to go.

To get something for her, I decided to go to the BC Scrap It program, as it's a 1995 (1995 or older qualify). So I will be getting $300 back from the BC Govt - more than I would get selling her, unfortunately.

My sis and I took a convoy out to Amix Scrap Yards under the Patullo Bridge to drop her off for the last time. By the time the paperwork was done, she was being wheeled away with a number 17 spray painted on her side. 17th to be assassinated. Yes, I took her to her death. It was surprising how emotional I have been over it. Not crying in public, people, but tight chested. The Amix secretary said that some people just couldn't let go and actually had to come back later to give up their cars.

I left her new hot rod!

My 1998 Honda CRV! It feels like a mini bus, and although it's very used, I am loving it!

As for my knitting:

1) My mystery shawl is coming along - need to finish the last two clues. There are some people that I swear don't sleep. And, if I finish by Sept. 1, then I can enter the draw for the prizes! Cool!

I'm such a cheater - you can look at the spoiler photo forums in Ravelry and see the finished projects. Totally went and checked it out. Some crazy shawls in there!

I'm almost complete my Daybreak Shawl by Steven West also - loving Gourmet Crafter's yarn!

I completed this book last week also:

 And my review:

For anyone who likes to learn history through fiction, this is a fantastic place to start to learn about the Canadian residential school catastrophe, and how it shapes the following generations.
I found it to be a good jumping off point to learn more, and from the first page, a smooth read that covers difficult topics.You can listen to the author's talk with Sheilagh Rogers on The Next Chapter podcast from last season. This is how I picked it up. One commenter on the fantastic new VPL commented that this book should be mandatory reading material for Canadian children in school.

I agree!

Oh, and thank you so much to Miso Crafty - I was the winner of one of her AWESOME project bags...can't believe I won.

Question - I am looking to name my new CRV - any suggestions?

Monday, August 15, 2011


This week I really wanted to highlight a couple of blogs and websites that I love. As usual, they are always featured on the right column, but you may have noticed that there are some newcomers some that just didn't cut it more.

Besides knitting, reading, eating, and sleeping (my main 4 activities in my life), I love working out with my trainer of the last 3 years, Emilia, from FLIP training. She's educated,  ambitious, and has just the right amount of push to get me going, but knows the line between a complainer and serious problems.

Growing up with sports all of my life, I know how to work out. But I did not have the motivation to get me to the gym. Having a trainer keeps me accountable to someone, and with focussed workouts tailored to me, she has helped lose weight, feel really good, and finally feel fit again.

Also, FLIP offers a fantastic Saturday morning circuit class in Vancouver. Why be ready to workout at 8:30 in the morning, you ask, when the bed with the soft, warm duvet is just calling your name?

Well, no matter how crappy I feel before, I always feel better after doing the workout. The mini circuits offer great variety so there is no "boring" downtime, chugging away at the same exercise over and over. There is a different group of people every week, working out with the three FLIP trainers. The trainers are energetic, insightful, motivating, and there absolutely no ATTITUDE like there are at other bootcamps and classes. You can drop in if you don't want to commit just yet. And the great part is, you are DONE by 9:30 am! Just check out their website and give them a call! It's worth it.

If you want to check out the extremely motivating and relateable blog done by Jen who I met in circuit class, go here!
A brand new blog I am proud to announce is from Marianela, at

She takes her analytical number-crunching brain and takes a good look at social networks, the knitting community, and where it can go from here. She is a newbie knitter, but you wouldn't know it with all of her projects she just cranks out every week or so. Great taste, and a great personality to know!

Top favorite knitting blogs to check out:

Yarn Harlot - If you want to laugh out loud about knitting, this is it. My absolute favorite so far. Check out her books too, I was LOLing constantly
MisoCrafty - my fave local blog - she has regular updates and fantastic knitting photos and commentary. You should check out her new project bags on Etsy also!
Urban Yarns and AlexaLudeman (aka Gourmet Crafter yarn) - Alexa writes both blogs with knowledge, beauty, and a touch of sarcasm. And Alexa is coming out with a book! Check out the websites!

Mmm favorite food blogs:

Family Feedbag - a new one I have discovered - check out the awesome potato salad!

SweetSpot - an online food magazine

smitten kitchen - my god, great food photos....danger, danger!

pom-pom plums

Joy the Baker - check out her podcast also.


On to the knitting projects. This week, I have received the 3rd clue in the Steven West Knits Mystery Shawl KAL (Knit-A-Long).  After an agonizing first couple weeks, I have rightfully decided to go with a completely different group of colours than the Madelinetosh sock electric pink and black. After seeing that there would be parallellogram blocks of colour, I was extremely worried that I would come out with an 80s patchwork shawl. Scary!

Never fear, however, as I pulled out two beautiful stash skeins of Pidgeon Roof Studios superwash sock yarn in light purpley greys:



I sought Kynna's help and great colour eye at Urban Yarns on Friday Stitch n' Bitch night for a 3rd muted colour. Originally thinking of a grey-purple (oooh, getting exciting :)) she brought forth a Madelinetosh Pashmina sock skein in French Grey:

French Grey:

And it works so well! I am so much happier with this project.

7 am called me out of bed to get started again on this project. Goodbye 80's colours, hello mystery!

I also discovered that the Koigu Grey merino I was using to stripe against the gorgeous Gourmet Sock in Tofino Fern for the  Daybreak Shawl I'm knitting was just blending in WAY too much. The Tofino Fern just has too much of exactly the the same gray, so the Koigu is out. In comes Cloak by Madelinetosh, almost a dark black. I will have to rip out back to the start of the striping, but I'm excited for my good decision.

After going gung-ho with the Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton skein for a beret, I'm just not happy with it, and worse, I think I'd have to buy one more skein of yarn just to finish - not the point of stashbusting!

So, I'm deleting this project, and will figure out what to do with it sometime. Maybe a nice cowl.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Good Doctor

If you are looking for a book that annoys you, characters that make you just want to shake them awake and say "Get Motivated Weirdo!", this is the book for you. The Good Doctor, by Damon Galgut, is this awkward novel set in South Africa, nominee for the Man Booker Prize, left an unfinished taste in my mouth. Although presenting some thought-provoking ideas about humanity, I really didn`t like it. As I listened to the BBC`s World Book Club author interview podcast, the author described his book exactly as above. Apparently annoying books are now acclaimed. Not a fan. I was screaming through the whole book, ``Frank, get a life!!!!``

Moving on to a Canadian novel, I have picked up As Long as the Rivers Flow, after hearing the author speak on The Next Chapter (CBC`s book podcast). It features Martha going through a residential school in Ontario. Although it`s a fiction piece, it is a piece of Canadian history that I have much to learn about. The first 3 pages had me hooked.

On to the knitting:

Finally, another finished project - Evan`s Sophisticate baby sweater. I knit it using Mission Falls 1824 Wool, in Hunter Green (Colorway 017). I love knitting in worsted weight, it goes so quickly! Knitting everywhere I could, I finished it in about 9 hours.

I found the cutest buttons at Micheal`s craft store - little dump trucks! The package also had:

So cute! Boys stuff is so cool sometimes.

More on the needles: after reading Miso Crafty`s blog (see link to the right), I discovered that designer Steven West is doing a Mystery Shawl Knit-A-Long (KAL). I have never done a mystery KAL before, and as I`m trying to knit 11 shawls in 2011, this fell right in line. Basically, he gives you a new clue each week, with a partial bit of the pattern. Here is mine so far - sometimes I wonder if it`s really going to work out, but it`s a good lesson in trust. I am using only 2 colours instead of 3, Dahlia and Cloak in Madelinetosh Sock:

All ready for the next clue, coming tomorrow!

After a recent trip home to 100 Mile House, we popped in to Rosi`s for coffee, in the suburb of Lone Butte - which happens to be a coffee shop, gift store, B+B, and alpaca farm all in one! As Rosi herself is just learning to spin, she had great fibre packages, including Suri.

Lovely! The alpacas are right by the main building, so you can see the freshly shorn animals and the babies.

Another great find this weekend was the Brown Dog Cafe on 10th, right across from the Safeway (and by the knitting store).

I had a great veggy chili, and the bf had the awesome big breakfast - best pancakes ever!

Taking a look at their drinks board, there are some delicious drinks that I might have to try one winter Saturday:

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