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Rhinebeck 2016 (part 1)

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We’re back from Rhinebeck! It was as amazing as I expected, though a little overwhelming on day one. It was like Christmas come early. I bought lots of yarn, pet lots of sheep, went to the Ravelry meetup, met lots of knitters, and had a generally wonderful time. We camped at Mills Norrie State Park, just a few miles from the fairgrounds, and that was a really great experience, with the exception of the cold and our tumultuous arrival. Due to a bunch of travel and car factors, we left later than we had hoped on Friday and ended up getting in late (around 11:00pm), and finding our campsite was a challenge in the dark, but thankfully some kind knitters pointed us in the right direction. It was also bitterly cold Friday night (around -1C – definitely too cold). I’m not sure what our plans are for next year, but the closeness to the fairgrounds (and avoiding the traffic across the bridge from Kingston) was fantastic.

This was by far the biggest festival I’ve been to – every time we thought we had seen all of the vendors, we came across a barn we hadn’t wandered through yet. I had a short list of things I wanted to check out, but nothing that I was really set on, so we tried to see everything and then make purchasing decisions. The only thing I really wanted but missed out on was a Jennie the Potter mug – we weren’t keen on waiting in line before opening in the cold, and I didn’t want to participate in the footrace I’d been warned about, and it was nice to start the morning with coffee and cider and a leisurely walk around the main buildings. The main buildings were pretty busy on Saturday morning, but since we were staying longer and weren’t set on any purchases, we just came back to the really crowded booths later in the day or on Sunday morning. Sunday morning was a lovely time to shop – the barns were really quiet, and it was lovely to chat with some of the vendors.

We also saw a cheesemaking demo, which was really neat and done by an interesting speaker, and saw some dog frisbee, flyball, and agility demos. We also spent lots of time looking at the sheep, goats, alpacas, and other animals in the barns. My favourites were a really friendly pair of sheep (I’ve forgotten the breed, though they might have been suffolk?) who just wanted us to rub their noses and pat their heads. One thing I was sad to miss was the used equipment auction, but I didn’t really have the budget to buy anything big, and it conflicted with both the Ravelry meetup and cheesemaking demo. Next year we’ll also make sure to leave more time for the food building. We only spent a few minutes there, but everything looked so good and there were lots of samples to try.

I had such a wonderful time – I’m already making plans and counting down the days until next year!

(Finished sweater and yarn pics to come in a seperate post later this week!)

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Niagara

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H and I spent last weekend visiting L in St Catherine’s, and we spent Saturday in Niagara seeing the falls and the parks around there. I hadn’t been since I was a kid, so I was excited to see the falls, and we arrived early enough that we missed the really big crowds. After seeing them, we walked along the Niagara Parkway and visited some of the gardens and the dufferin islands, which are connected by a bunch of bridges.

If we’d planned our day better, we might have bought bus passes ($8 or so for the day) or rented bikes and visited some of the museums and battlefields along the parkway. They’re about 20km or so from the falls, so even if you dedicate the day to walking (we walked over 15km), you don’t see lots of the interesting stuff that’s further out. Otherwise, there’s only about 4-5 hours of interesting stuff within walking distance (though there’s lots of touristy stuff on Clifton Hill if that’s your thing). On Sunday, before heading back to Toronto, we explored St Catherine’s a bit and then saw the boats and pretty houses in Thorald, which is just outside St Cat’s. It was such a cute town, though everything was closed since it was Sunday.

Overall, it was a great weekend – such a fun late summer trip!

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Easter Eggs

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Happy Easter Sunday!

To celebrate, some friends and I got together on Friday evening and dyed some hardboiled eggs with food colouring. I love how the colours turned out, and using tape made such fun patterns. I also made some hot cross buns, and generally enjoyed a bit of time off work and school (although I’m still writing papers…).

It’ll be after Easter by the time most of you see this, but in case you want to save it for future reference, I wrote up a tutorial for dyeing eggs with food colouring a few years ago.

I hope you are all having a wonderful long weekend!

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Laurelhurst Mittens

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Today is the first day that really feels like spring here – I can hear the birds chirping and the melting snow dripping off the roofs and balconies. So, naturally, I have finally finished these mittens for H! I started these for her birthday in November, and they ended up being one of those gifts that I wrapped still on the needles, and gave, sheepishly, unfinished.

Now that they’re done, though, I’m so pleased with them! The pattern is simple, a plain mitten with some colourwork, but I think the simplicity is quite striking. These are also some of my favourite mitts I’ve made in terms of fit – they’ve got the perfect amount of ease around every part of the hand. The pattern is actually a free download on Ravelry, and I’m rather surprised it doesn’t have more projects!

The yarn is some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes that I’ve had in my stash for awhile now. I ended up using about a skein and a third of the grey (which is “cobblestone heather”) and less than half a skein of the burnt orange colour (which is “maple syrup”). I spent a long time debating between the orange and a purple, and I’m happy with the orange. It makes a very autumn-like combination, and since these mitts aren’t heavily insulated, that’s when I can imagine wearing them the most.

All of the details about these mitts are on my Ravelry project page.

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

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Appia cowl.

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I finished my Appia cowl! I am so pleased with how it turned out, and now I’m a tad obsessed with the idea of cowl-shawl combos. I’ve already started looking through my stash to start another one of this designer’s patterns. The yarn is my own fingering weight in “Daybreak”, which I think is a perfect summer colour.

(Rav link)

I hope you are all having a lovely and relaxing weekend!

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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!

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7/52: Looking Back.

16-02-2015_01

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!

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Brunch and Cables.

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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.
(Rav link)

How has your week been so far?

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along.

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6/52: Dinnertime.

09-02-2015_01

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…

Thinks that if she sits on top of the bin of food for long enough, it will be dinnertime. She’s often disappointed in this pursuit!

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