Blogmas Day 6

Standard

Retreat!

Yay, the day is finally here. We had a lot of snow overnight so the driveway had to be cleared twice before we set out. Ds1 couldn’t get his Golf GTi out of the drive at first so three of us were shoveling away like mad. He was already running late because he had to scrape ice off his windshield.

That was at 7am. We didn’t leave until 11.30 but traffic was still super slow going through the city thanks to the slippery roads. There were quite a few accidents this morning.

We stopped for take-out tea and for bread and “cheese” and bananas and then we were on our way properly. Thankfully we made it to the cabin safely and are now ensconced on the couch having settled in, stocked the fridge, lit the woodstove and enjoyed our first soak in the hot tub as the sun was going down.

We’ve been here a few times before. It’s private and quiet, just the way we like it.

Nothing says “Canadian cabin” quite like Tim Hortons mugs on a woodstove eh!

This is a photo-heavy post and the app is struggling to load them all. The wifi seems strong enough so hopefully it’ll publish okay.

Today’s vlog/podcast recommendation is The Orange Couch. Kate is a vegan who I “met’ through the Vegan Knitters and Crocheters group on Ravelry. She is relatively new to podcasting but is an experienced knitter and it seems like she finishes a sweater every week!

Oh, and I nearly forgot.

The light is a bit yellow in here but the yarn is yellow anyway (and the bead is light blue).

Blogmas Day 5

Standard

A beautiful start to a cold day.

I was at work again today. In between managing the store and helping customers I got some more tidying done and I got that feeling of satisfaction that you get from accomplishing a worthwhile task. I probably should have taken a photo because it won’t stay tidy for long – most customers seem to have absolutely no respect for the fabrics or the fact that the staff have to clean up after them.

After work, it was time for the staff Christmas party. I think this is the first meal out I have had in two years. The last time I recall being in a restaurant was the staff party in 2019. Pre-plague.

The menu included a couple of vegan options so I had an Impossible burger in a bun with fries, a non-alcoholic Heineken, and a dreamy creamy peanut butter pie with non-dairy whipped cream.

We had a Secret Santa gift swap and sung a really bad rendition of the 12 days of Christmas!

Today’s Advent yarn is a pretty green and it is joined by a blue bead.

I forgot to recommend a blog or vlog yesterday. I’d like to give a shout out to Arne & Carlos who are widely known as knitwear designers, live in an old converted railway station in Norway, have a regular podcast and are running a knitalong for Advent making tiny sweater ornaments. They are lovely guys and very entertaining.

I’m having a hard time keeping my eyes open so I think it’s time for bed. Tomorrow is the first day of my week off and we will be driving north to our cabin retreat.

Blogmas Day 4

Standard

We woke up to snow this morning. That was a surprise for me as I rarely look at the forecast.

It snowed most of the day. I was at work today and it wasn’t crazy busy so maybe the snow put some people off the drive.

Today’s Advent yarn is a soft pink. Not as bright as the photo makes it look. Plus another seahorse bead and a round blue one.

Mr Fixit and ds3 just went out and bought a Christmas tree which will sit downstairs overnight to acclimatise to the indoors. Then tomorrow it can be set up and decorated. I may not have a hand in that because I’ll be at work until 5 or so then I’ll go straight to the restaurant where we are having our staff party.

We didn’t have one last year because of the plague (!) so this will be my first meal out since early 2020. I need to wrap my Secret Santa gift tonight.

Talk to you again tomorrow.

Blogmas Day 3

Standard

Hi all. I have an FO to show you. It’s a basket crocheted out of super bulky jute yarn from work. This stuff is probably great for macrame but it’s a battle to crochet. It’s so rough and thick and my wrists and hands didn’t enjoy making this basket at all. I loosely followed the pattern on the ball band but I could see it wasn’t going to stay flat if I didn’t add extra stitches on the base. I also ignored the instructions to do front loop hdc on the sides or it would have curled in on itself very oddly.

I’ve had some lovely knitting and tea time with friends this afternoon. It felt good to be back to the easy relaxing knitting on the scarf after that jute.

I made gluten-free muffins and gallons of Yorkshire tea.

I have now used up three-fifths of the O’Go Donut. Two colours to go.

I took advantage of the daylight to open up Advent bag #3 which yielded a mushroom coloured yarn and another green bead.

Today’s recommended podcast is The Cozy Cottage Crochet. Hannah in Florida talks about crochet, her designs, and her cute baby daughter, Nova.

Two shifts to work before Mr Fixit and I are off on our retreat. Can’t wait!

Blogmas Day 2

Standard

I slept in today so instead of dawn photos I have sunny blue sky photos. These show my maple, walnut and cherry in their winter nakedness.

Day 2 of my Advent calendar gave me pale blue yarn and two more beads, one of which is a seahorse one.

I baked cookies today to freeze for next week. This recipe is my own. Feel free to use it, share it, adapt it. They make good ‘energy bars’ and are free of added oil and refined sugar.

This isn’t really a dessert. More of an all-purpose snack. We’ve made them lots of times and they are great for taking on plane journeys for travel fortification and even breakfast on day 1 of the holiday.


The ingredients can be subbed, left out, added to. I rarely have coconut in the pantry these days. Today I didn’t have prunes so used apples instead. The prunes do work well though. I learned years ago that prune puree makes a reasonable sub for oil.

Everything (but the kitchen sink) cookies

3 cups whole-wheat flour
1 cup rolled oats
1 tblsp baking powder
1 cup chopped nuts
1.5 cups raisins
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tsp cinnamon
.5 tsp salt
.5 cup coconut

Mix in large bowl.

In blender, blitz
1 cup ready to eat prunes
1 cup water
.5 cup maple syrup
.5 cup plant milk
Juice 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla
1 banana

Pour into bowl, mix. Drop large spoonfuls onto 2 baking sheets (use parchment or silicone because they will stick otherwise). I got 16 large cookies out of this quantity.
Bake 25 mins at 375°F.

My Vlogmas recommendation today is This Little Wonderful Life. Ali from Kent in England also has a podcast channel, Little Drops of Wonderful.

And a bonus! DROPS is offering free patterns during Advent. You can find them at garnstudio.com/christmas-calendar.php?cid=19

Have a wonderful day, wherever you are.

Blogmas Day 1

Standard

Welcome to December! This photo was taken at around 7am from my back deck. I never tire of the view.

It was a work day today and I’m pretty tired tonight. The day went well and I feel like I accomplished something (I left the store tidier than I found it and cleared out a section of outdated fabric)!

It was unseasonably warm with the temperature reaching 18°C. Feels weird! Whilst I’m happy we don’t have icy roads, I’m hoping for snowshoeing opportunities at our retreat next week

Here is Yarn Advent Calendar #1. A 25g ball of turquoise yarn and two pretty beads. I was wondering whether to start a project which I could add to every day, using the colours in the order they show up. But I never decided on a plan for that.

One of the YouTube channels I follow is Crafternoon Treats. Kathryn from Yorkshire is doing her version of Vlogmas (Craftmas) and she talks about crochet, knitting, yarn dyeing and jewellery making, among other things. Go and check out her channel!

Blogmas, here I come

Standard

Hi everyone! I have decided I’m going to participate in BLOGMAS this year. “What the heck is Blogmas?” I hear you cry! Well, it’s quite simple – it’s when bloggers such as I write a post every day (or every other day, depending on time commitment) during December. Some say it ends on the 25th, others do the whole month.

My plan is to post every day from the 1st to the 25th. I will be opening my home-made Advent calendar each day and I’m sure I’ll have lots of other things to talk about.

I’ll be watching some of my fave podcasters doing Vlogmas (the video version of Blogmas). If you are a blogger/vlogger please comment below with your website address so I can come and visit.

After all, blogging and vlogging is all about sharing and building community.

Photos above include two handmade Christmas cards, a batik patchwork drawstring bag (I finally cut into one of my turtle batiks from my holiday in Maui about 4 years ago), a pillowcase-sized sack (one of three) for putting under the tree later this month, and my knitting WIP.

See you tomorrow!

Makers gonna make

Standard

What did I make today?

A Christmas ball

This ball is better than the slapdash attempt I made at the work event last week. I’ll be telling them to scrap the first version. It was messy as heck.

An infinity scarf

Isn’t this fabric cute! And I got it for less than three bucks!! It was an 80cm remnant of soft brushed knit fabric. Two seams and it’s done.

Another huge swoncho

A friend came over to sew with me today. I took the opportunity to sew this swoncho. It’s the same pattern as the grey one I made for myself, but a larger size, as this is a gift for someone. I just love that I can make a complete garment in an afternoon.

Snow!

Standard

The morning after out big storm, we woke up to a light dusting of snow. And today, a couple of days later, I was at work and there was light snow falling most of the day, enough that I had to brush it off my windows before driving home tonight.

The temperature is hovering around freezing but it’s supposed to reach 4°C tomorrow so I doubt the snow will be around for long. Thanks to Mr Fixit my winter tires have been on my car for a few weeks already.

The alien worm is shrinking. I reached the end of the lavender section tonight. So far, I have 16″ knitted.

I am finding this O’go yarn very pleasant to work with. It’s soft, not splitty, and I’m pleased to say that the transition from one colour to the next is done with dye, not a knot.

This is perfect Netflix knitting. Every row is the same!