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!
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!
I promise I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, despite the radio silence here last week. I’ve just hit crunch time for this semester… all of my energy is being funneled into coursework, job hunting, apartment hunting, volunteering, and so on. I did get to go home for reading week, though, so that was a nice break. I’m hoping I’ll be back to regular posting next week. In the meantime, I hope you’re all well- let me know what you’ve been up to in the comments!
(Knitting above- my Aidez Cardigan)
Every week this year, as a little photo challenge, I’m sharing a black and white shot of my roommate’s cat. To see all of the photos so far, go here.
This week, she is…
Still at our apartment while I visit my parents during my reading break, so this week’s and next week’s photos are from the past 2 months. This one is from the week H got Lyra, when we were both still home for Christmas. She’s settled in so well since then!
As I’ve mentioned before, H and I are doing Sunday brunch with a few friends, alternating between our apartments. It’s one of my favourite things… shuffling in from the snow, making cups of coffee and tea, mixing ingredients for pancakes, maybe knitting a few rows if there’s a spare moment.
Right now, I’m working on my Aidez… I’m hoping to finish it before the weather gets too warm to wear it (although given the temperature this week, it’ll be awhile). I’m about halfway through the back, which will be the longest part since there are so many charts at once. I’m still in love with this colour… Cascade Eco+ in 958 Cinnamon.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I’ve been gathering supplies for awhile to try out natural dyeing! As you can see above, my first attempt was pretty successful.
I dyed 10 mini skeins in total (20g, about 40-50 yards each). I mordanted all 10 skeins using alum and cream of tartar (7g of alum and 6g of cream of tartar per 100g of yarn) by simmering them in a big pot for 1 hour.
I dyed 5 of the skeins in simmering dye baths for 1 hour, using dyes made from onion skins, turmeric, frozen spinach, avocado pits (smashed open) and black beans (soaked for 12 hours). For the remaining 5 skeins, I drained off the leftover dye from each pot into jars and put one skein into each jar. I let them sit for 72 hours and they’re drying now.
Fortunately, the skeins dyed in a hot dye bath are well dried, so you can see the colours! I love the bright yellows from the turmeric and onion skins, and pink from avocado is so unexpected. The only dye that didn’t really take was the spinach- I think perhaps vegetable dyes might take better to fibre mordanted in vinegar. Maybe I’ll give it a shot, although I’ve heard it makes your house smell awful.
Knitting // My hat for the mystery hat swap. Since taking these photos the other day, I’ve actually knit the whole body and I’m blocking the hat. Almost ready to send off to my partner!
Reading // Irene Némirovsky’s Suite Francaise for a class I’m taking. I have such mixed feelings about it. It’s such a beautifully written novel, but so sad.
Loving // The return of the snow. It’s been so cold here but without any snow, and if it’s going to be cold, it might as well be pretty too! We woke up to about a foot of snow on Monday morning… so pretty!
Baking // These muffins from Oh She Glows. They were a bit too banana-y for my taste but H liked them.
Listening // To the new NPR Invisibilia podcast… such fascinating stuff!
Excited for // The return of spring and being able to garden again!
L came to visit last weekend, so I made a quick batch of these scones and we had them with fresh blueberries (an indulgence in Canada in January!) and whipped cream.
These scones are my favourite plain scones- they’re not sweetened, so they’re perfect for topping with fruit and cream or even just butter and jam. The recipe is really quick and easy, so if you’ve never made scones before, I’d encourage you to give it a go!
Preheat oven to 425 F (220 C / Gas Mark 7).
Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter or two butter knives. Add milk until dough just comes together. Knead gently. Roll out onto floured surface and cut circles using a mason jar or a glass. Bake in preheated oven for 10 mins or until tops are golden brown.
Serve with blueberries and freshly whipped cream.
What are you favourite toppings to have on scones?