Jar Cozies

 I don’t know how to crochet.  Well, that’s not entirely true. I can do something that resembles crochet, but I never knew what the names of the stitches were, just a few variations on the same thing and I could go back and forth in a line.  I saw this free pattern for a Jar Cozy on The Handmade Girl and thought I’d give it a try. It’s my first time following a pattern and I had to watch a few youtube videos to learn basically everything in the pattern, but it was super simple and I love the result!  Now I can enjoy hot drinks in my jars!

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Technically this is inside out (I think).  When I finished it I liked the pattern on the inside better than the outside, at least when it was stretched over the jar.

ImageNow I have an even better use for my Cuppow lid (above).  These are fantastic.  They take any mason jar and turn it into a travel mug.  These lids have also come in handy for feeding Will smoothies.  The hole in the top is the perfect size for a straw and this fits on any regular mouth canning jar.  They also make a wide mouth version if you prefer!

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Is fall just around the corner?

I know that the chill in the air is probably just our air conditioning that’s turned up a little too high, but I think fall must be in the air.  Maybe it’s the students coming back and Grant getting busier each day with work, or the return of my craving for all things pumpkin.  Whatever it may be, I have an itch to knit something warm and cozy.  I think I’ll start with this yarn:

ImageKnit Picks Palette in Blue Note Heather

And this pattern:

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Audrey by Jane Richmond

Next, I think I’m going to go look up how to make a Pumpkin Spice Latte since I don’t think Starbucks has them yet!  🙂

The Black Cat Farmstead

I’m a little late in posting this part of our trip to Stockholm.  A storm, power outage and getting ready to move next week all had me distracted.  I didn’t want to miss writing something about the Black Cat Farmstead, though.  It was quite possibly my favourite part of our less than 24 hour trip.

While we were on our way to the Pizza Farm, we saw signs with a black cat painted on them.  It said something about fibre, so I was intrigued.  We saw another flyer when we ordered our pizza advertising their hours on Pizza Night.  Apparently Pizza Night is quite a thing in these parts.

ImageAfter we ate, we packed up to head back to the B&B.  Grant suggested we go and I hesitated because we were already out past Will’s bedtime.  I caved, of course and that was a great decision.  The Black Cat Farmstead is wonderful!  We parked on a newly graveled parking lot next to an old house with a new foundation.  The house has some connection to Laura Ingallas Wilder and originally was on someone else’s land.  The owners were delighted to move it and have a part of history.  Inside the old house was an array of hand spun yarns from the sheep that live on the farm, various spinning wheels, drop spindles and even an enormous loom the size of a room that had been restored.  The couple that owns the farm was so welcoming.  I learned to spin wool using a drop spindle and was able to see several of the other methods in action too.  I never knew anything about spinning prior to this, but I can see how it can become addicting.  My favourite part was as I was learning to spin the wool, Andrea kept referring to the sheep by name and she knew the fleece belonged to him not only because of the colour, but because of how soft it was too.  It has been a far fetched dream of mine to have sheep and angora rabbits and learn to spin yarn from their fleece or fur.  I was able to buy some of Henry’s wool.  I am confident that is not actually his name, but I like to imagine I know his name while I practice.

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IMG_5441My first attempt at spinning.

While all of this was happening, Grant got to explore the couple’s “bread and butter” (the farm and fibre are a hobby).  They do large scale sculptures.  We have a few photos of that too.  If you’re heading out to Stockholm for pizza, definitely stop by.  Or head there just for the fibre – it’s well worth the trip too.ImageImageImage

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Easter Sweater

This is a long overdue post that I had forgotten about until I just found the photos on my camera!
We spent Easter here in the dorm and Grant’s dad made the trip out from California to see us.  Will had a lot of fun spending time with his Gramps and we enjoyed celebrating Easter with friends from church.  It was Will’s first Easter complete with egg dyeing (that Gordon and I did most of), an Easter basket and of course, a new knit Easter sweater!

Easter egg dyeing

Will’s Easter basket had eggs filled with puffs and jelly beans, the letters spell his name (I have plans to make the whole alphabet as fridge magnets, but didn’t have strong enough magnets) and stuffed bunny that I had made a few weeks earlier.  Will’s Nai Nai also sent him Grant’s old Beatrix Potter books which were some of my favourites as a kid.

I fiished Will’s Easter sweater over Spring Break and I love how it turned out.  It fit well but with a lot of room to grow.  It’s a little slouchier than I had imagined, but still love it nonetheless.

The pointed hood is definitely my favourite part.  That, and the hand dyed yarn I chose.

Pattern: Wee Austin Hoodie (Pattern is also available in adult sizes: Austin Hoodie)
Yarn: Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light in Betty Draper’s Blues
Size: 9 months
The only thing I am planning to change is the buttons.  They are little trucks and I really like them, but they’re a little heavy for such a lightweight sweater.  I’ll just have to make something else to put them on!

Spring Shawl

The weather over Easter was beautiful and had me wanting a new lightweight scarf.  I have this yarn that I bought a few years ago that is a merino wool and silk blend.  I had yet to find the perfect thing to make out of it but once I saw this shawl and thought it would be perfect.

I modified the pattern a little.  There are several charts and the pattern changes slightly every few inches (a textured ombre is the best way I can think of to describe it) but I liked how the first chart turned out and not the second so I backed up repeated the first chart pattern throughout the whole shawl.

It’s now off the needles and I love how it turned out!  It’s so light and soft, I’m wondering why I didn’t make one of these a long time ago!

Elijah the Elephant

I first made this little elephant two years ago as a baby shower gift.  It was my first stuffed toy that I had made and I have been wanting to make a second one ever since.   It is also fun to look back at the photos of the first one I made and to see that my knitting has improved some since then!  I have a feeling I will be making another one of these since Elijah the Second is about to be gifted just like the first.

(After taking all these photos, I realized that poor Elijah does not have a tail yet.  I must remedy that before putting him in the mail!)
Pattern: Elijah
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK (Discontinued colour)
(If you want to see my first Elijah, look here)

Knit Valentine

I’ll be honest, Valentine’s day has not ever been my favourite holiday.  I don’t have any bad memories associated with it, and I’m not one to rant about or complain about it either.  In fact, I should love valentines day because I love hearts, chocolate and flowers.  Both pink and red are my favourite colours.  And I really love all the candy that is on sale on February 15th.

That being said, last year I decided to make Grant a knit valentine.  Knitting is not exactly his forte, but he loves to receive (and give) cards and I love to knit.  So this seemed like a perfect fit.  A little of me and a little of him.  I think I might just have to make another one this year… or if anyone would like me to make one for you to give to someone special (on short notice), I’d love to do that too!

Milo Soaker

I received a new knitting book for Christmas, Vintage Baby Knits and I LOVE it.  Already there are a ton of things that I want to make for Will and as gifts.  The first airplane-with-a-baby friendly knit was the Milo Soaker.  Will does use cloth diapers, but I am thankful that this isn’t a necessity as a diaper cover (thank you Bum Genius and your fantastic pocket diapers), but rather just something cute on his little bum.

Pattern: Milo Soaker