Home for a rest.

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I’m home for a few days, sandwiched between a long weekend visiting my parents and a trip to New York next week. I’ve been dyeing like crazy to keep the shop stocked and for some upcoming events. I’m also starting to plan my courses for next year… I can’t believe this will be the last year of my degree!

I have managed to squeeze in a bit of knitting, though. I’m almost done my little cardigan for the blueberry- it just needs the ends woven in, a bath, and some buttons (Rav link). I’ve also been making Appia, a cross between a cowl and a shawl, using a skein of fingering of my own yarn in one of the new colourways (Daybreak). I’m really enjoying the pattern so far- the construction is really interesting (Rav link).

What are your plans for the weekend? Happy Friday!

Pennsylvania in May

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(Valley Forge National Historic Park)

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(The Edgar Allan Poe House)

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(Downtown Philadelphia)

I’m a bit late uploading these… but in May, my dad and I drove down to Pennsylvania for a wedding and managed to squeeze in some tourist-y things before heading home. Valley Forge was definitely a highlight- it was like a combination of a museum, historic site, and park. We saw some interesting landmarks around the park and went for a quick hike- I’d definitely recommend it if you’re in the area.

I’ll actually be back in the US next week, in NYC this time. Any must-see recommendations? Best knitting shops?

I hope you’ve all had a lovely weekend! Happy Sunday.

Under the Weather.

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I’ve been feeling a bit under the weather the past few days… I’ve been drinking lots of tea and resting in hopes of warding off whatever bug is going around.

Fortunately, this means lots of time to work on the little details for Agrestal (details here, if you missed them) that are making everything come together, like the beautiful yarn tags pictured above, which I picked up the other day. There are some more photos in today’s post on the Agrestal blog. I’ll also add a gentle reminder that the sale (code “agrestallaunch” for 10% off) and the giveaway both close at the end of the day on Friday, so get your purchases and entries in before then!

It’s also meant time for knitting, so I’ve made quite a bit of progress on my socks! I just cast off the first one yesterday evening and I’m almost through the toe on the second. While I knit, I’ve been watching Warehouse 13 on Netflix. It’s science fiction, so I didn’t expect to like it very much, but the storylines are pretty compelling and the characters are great! As for reading, I’m still working on Where’d You Go, Bernadette. I’m about halfway through and still enjoying it, although I hope the plot picks up a bit soon.
(Rav link)

What are you knitting right now?

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along.

An Exciting Announcement: Agrestal Yarn!

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I can finally reveal the secret project I’ve been working on the last few months…

I’ve been dyeing yarn! And now you can buy it! It’s all ethically-sourced yarn from Canada, and I dye using botanically extracted, certified organic dyes. I’ve been having so much fun inventing colour combinations.

Agrestal has its own blog, so this blog will be staying mostly personal. If you’re interested, though, you should check out the website, blog, twitter, facebook, and instagram. And you should definitely enter to win a skein in today’s Agrestal blog post.

Thank you all so much for your continued support and enthusiasm! The internet really is full of wonderful, lovely knitters.

High Park

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Last weekend, while M was visiting, we took advantage of Toronto’s Doors Open event, where museums and other facilities around the city are free. We visited the Bata Shoe Museum, went for a short hike in High Park, and toured the city greenhouses in the park, which is where the city grows all of the plants for use in city parks. It was really cool to see how seeding and transplanting work on such big scales- they had really neat seeding machines to help out but lots of the work is still done by hand.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Be sure to check back tomorrow for an exciting announcement!

2015 Garden Updates (#1)

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My garden this year is going to be a little different… usually I have that lovely raised bed in my parents’ backyard, but since I’m staying in the city this summer, I’ve got a lot less space to work with. No to worry, though, I’ve read time and time again that balcony gardens can produce way more food than you expect! Since May was crazy with moving and everything else, it’s been a bit of a slow start, but here’s what we’ve got right now:

-Little pots of herbs (dill, parsley, cilantro, chives, and lavender from seed, and spearmint and Italian basil from purchased seedlings)
-A planter of leaf lettuce (Grand Rapids, from seed)
-A planter of spinach (Bloomsdale Longstanding, from seed)
-One of those upside down planters with a cherry tomato plant in it. There were originally two, but the wind the other night proved to be too much for the less sheltered plant. I have no idea if these planters work, but they were recommended in a book and I’d love to make space vertically.

I’ve still got lots of things I’d like to plant, and for now, the next few tasks are replanting that tomato plant, planting carrots, and turning a really big rubbermaid tub that we got off freecycle into a self-watering planter. I think I’m going to put beefsteak tomatoes and pole beans (probably Kentucky wonder again) in it.

In completely unrelated news… is anyone going to the Textile Museum sale tomorrow or Saturday? Tips from anyone who has been in the past? I’m really looking forward to it!

Yarn Along

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This week, I’ve been…

Knitting :: A simple pair of toe-up socks, but with a twist- an afterthought heel! I’ve never done an afterthought heel before, but I like it so far! The yarn is Turtle Toes self-striping, which I picked up at the Toronto Knitter’s Frolic a few weeks ago. It’s neat because it comes in 2 identical small skeins- one from each sock. As long as you start from the same end of both balls, your socks turn out the same!
(Rav link)

Reading :: I’ve just started Where’d You Go, Bernadette, which lots of people have been recommending. I’m only a little ways in, but it seems like it will be a fun summer read.
I’ve also been perusing The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables, which is a nice guide to some basic heirloom varieties with beautiful photos. I just wish it had more info about container gardening with heirloom varieties- if you have any resources, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

What have you been knitting and reading this week?

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along.

Lately

PicMonkey Collage

Hello friends! I promise I’m still alive, the past few months have just been insanely busy. Fortunately, classes are done and I’ve finished all but one of my final exams and assignments, so I’m slowly getting back into doing things that aren’t schoolwork. A few general life updates for you today:

1. We’re moving! We’ve found a new apartment, and I’m so excited to move in at the beginning of next month. I cannot express how happy I am to be moving from a basement into a place with lots of windows and lots of light. We even have a balcony, so I’ll be planting some veggies in containers (I’ve actually already started some of the seeds). I’m really looking forward to being able to blog more often, and with the better photos… expect to see a lot more of me around here in the next few months!

2. I am so excited to announce that I’m starting a business this summer! I’ve won a grant and it’s going to make it possible for me to do some really cool stuff in the upcoming months. I can’t tell you too much yet, but I can tell you that it will involve some very special yarn and some very special dyes, and you’ll be able to buy the yarn starting in May. More news to come in the next few weeks, and the launch should be sometime around the second week of May.

How have you been the past few months? I’d love to hear about any updates in your lives!

Toasty.

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As I think I’ve mentioned here before, our apartment can get pretty chilly. Even when the heat’s working properly, it’s a pretty old house and the basement is the coldest floor. I find my hands are always so cold when I’m doing computer work, so when I saw Leslie’s little collection of gloves a few weeks ago, I knew I had to make a pair for myself.

I am so pleased with how they turned out! They fit perfectly, they were so easy to make, and they keep my hands nice and toasty! The yarn I used is Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Troll Falls Worsted in Bronzite, which is perfect for this pattern. Rocky Mountain has been discontinued, but Hasmi now sells her yarns as Raventwist, and is still one of my favourite Canadian dyers.

Big thanks to HX for helping me take photos of these!

(Rav link)

What have you been knitting this week?