Author Archives: Nicola

About Nicola

Long-time vegan, whole-food plant-based enthusiast and educator. Crazy about crochet and knitting.

Blogmas Day 21

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Happy Winter Solstice!

This is the longest night of the year. A night to light candles or switch on your strings of fairy lights, enjoy a fire or turn up the thermostat to keep the chill at bay, drink warm comforting beverages and be thankful for food and shelter to see us through the cold winter months ahead.

I made fruit cake today. Three, in fact. One with wholewheat flour, two gluten-free. One GF cake was requested by a person who used to work with me. She bought a couple of cakes from me last year and asked me for another this year. The other GF one was sent home with my friend who came for tea today.

The wheat one has been partially devoured already. Oh man, it’s good!

My 21st ball of yarn is a lovely festive red.

I have two sewing projects to show you, one completed yesterday evening and the other this afternoon.

I made a tool roll! The wrenches are for display purposes only as they were sitting around in my sewing room (ds1 was going to sew himself a tool roll for his new wrench set but hasn’t got around to it yet).

All the materials were from stash. The plaid was cut from the back of a shirt that belonged to one of the boys when he was a teen. The denim was a free piece from work. The little bit of red vinyl is a swatch that comes in with the rolls of vinyl at work. The D rings and webbing were on hand. I made this up as I went along and the size was decided by the rectangle I was able to cut from the back of the shirt.

My other sewing FO is this fuzzy vest. I used the same pattern as the other vest I completed recently but because it was chenille I didn’t bother with facings. I just used two pattern pieces (front and back) and sewed them together at the shoulders and sides, then hemmed all the raw edges. Easy peasy!

And finally, the beanie. Last night I stayed up far too late crocheting and watching The Witcher. Hmm, if knitting and Netflix is Knitflix what’s crochet and Netflix? Cronet? Croflix? Netrochet?

The hat isn’t finished yet. It has a lot of ends dangling inside from the embroidery. And I’m waiting for it to tell me whether it needs more embellishment. Something in the band above the yellow stripe, perhaps.

Three more work shifts to go before Christmas Day. I finish at 3pm on Christmas Eve, which is a pain because we have our big dinner and gift exchange on that day rather than on the 25th.

Wishing you a restful, peaceful longest night.

Blogmas Day 20

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A finished object! The O’Go with the Flow scarf is done. It’s very long but I wanted to use the whole 200 grams.

I love the soft colours in this.

We had a little more snow today, the light, gentle, meandering kind, no wind. Our weather station is reading minus 5 at about 5.30pm and we’re expecting it to drop to about -10°C tonight.

I went out today and bought a few more groceries (now that my meal plan is decided upon for the next week) and gifts.

Last of the daylight.

Advent yarn #20.

The sacks for my three sons are now by the tree but I have one more idea for adding to one of them.

Dinner is cooking and once that’s all over it’ll be back to the sewing room. And tomorrow is baking day!

Blogmas Day 19

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We’re on the home straight now. Less than a week to go.

I worked today and ended up leaving a bit late because we had a couple of keen shoppers who didn’t seem to want to leave.

I was glad that I’d made chili in the morning. Mr Fixit cooked rice. After dinner he made his usual joke: “What’s for dessert?” We don’t have dessert very often, and I was the one who as a child was used to having dessert after dinner 6 days a week whereas Mr Fixit rarely had it. I’m the one with the sweet tooth. And yet he’s the one who’s regularly asking (only partly tongue-in-cheek) about it.

I hinted to ds3 that maybe it was time for our first batch of gingerbread cookies, a firm tradition in this house at Christmas.

So look what we enjoyed tonight! I love it when people get the hint. And I didn’t have to lift a finger.

My other evening pleasure has been knitflixing! Knitting and Netflix. Season 2 of The Witcher.

I have two days off now and a long To Do list which includes making a meal plan for the next 8 days. If you celebrate at this time of year I hope you’re having fun getting things ready and not stressing about it. See you again tomorrow.

Blogmas Day 18

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The day started with snow. A lot of snow.

We cleared about 8 inches of the stuff off the driveway before I went to work for 9am.

And it continued….all day.

The store was predictably quiet today thanks to the weather. I got tonnes more tidying done in the fashion fabrics, but by 4pm my back was starting to twinge and seize up.

I was glad to leave at 5 and get home. I had forgotten the meal plan was chili so when I walked in the door I was surprised to see no pizza-making activity. Turns out that pizza was Sunday’s plan. As it was too late to soak and cook beans we made pizza after all.

I say ‘we’ but the men did most of it. I just wanted to lie on the floor and stretch my lower back.

Once I had eaten, and then liberated the Advent yarn, I had minimal energy so opted for passive entertainment! I caught up on some of the podcasts and vlogs that I subscribe to, and managed a few rows on the scarf.

(This is Hannah of The Cozy Cottage Crochet.)

It’s only just after 9 but I didn’t get my usual quantity of sleep last night and I’m ready to crash. Judging by the wind whistling around the house tonight and the continuing precipitation I feel like I may wake up to snowdrifts in the morning.

And with that, I’ll say goodnight.

Blogmas Day 17

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I’m going to have to write this quickly and get to bed because I finished work at 8.15 tonight and have to be up at 6.30am for a 9am start tomorrow. And I couldn’t put down my library book so I stayed up late!

I think this is the 6th book by Val McDermid I have read in recent months and I’m really enjoying them. Great writer!

My camera really caught the colours in the sky this morning. According to our weather station it was minus 10 outside.

Even though the thermostat in the hall was set to 17, the spot by the sofa was only reading 13. You can see why I like fleece PJs!

Now that my daily yarn is out of the bag I can go to bed. Back tomorrow!

Blogmas Day 16

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I woke early this morning, around 6.30, and it was still dark. I went to the kitchen, made a cup of tea, fetched a large glass of lemon water, my laptop, phone and library book, and crawled back under the duvet.

I spent a very pleasant couple of hours checking my emails, Ravelry and the other usual things, and when I decided to open the curtains I realised it was snowing.

Horizontal blowing snow.

Poor Mr Fixit had to go out of town today so I’m sure he just loved the driving conditions! At least it brightened up in the afternoon and I only had to clear about an inch off the driveway before he came home and compressed it with his tires.

This is the pattern I bought yesterday. It’s a good basic vest that I can use to make lots of versions in various fabrics.

This is View D. Medium length, size large. I left off the optional tie. The fabric is a quilting cotton with a wintry theme to wear around Christmas. I’m thinking of making a fluffy chenille one next.

Bright orange yarn and two beads today.

Dinner is in the oven and things are quiet. One son is home but in his room, the other two sons went out together for Christmas shopping and Mr Fixit has a class at the gym. Mrs Lazy, aka me, I’m sitting on the couch and appreciating my day!

Blogmas Day 15

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And here we are at day 15. A day off work which meant lots of housework! It does feel good when it’s done though.

I had organised a knit night for my Hygge group tonight which is always good motivation to get the place looking relatively clean and tidy. We had a good laugh, though there wasn’t any actual knitting accomplished!

I didn’t show you my new acquisition the other day.

At our staff Christmas party we were given gift certificates from the owner of the company. These sewing machine totes were on sale, as well as there being a 15% additional coupon over the weekend, so I splurged. My machine fits neatly in there so if I ever go to a class or sewing day at a friend’s I will be prepared.

My Christmas cacti are performing nicely again.

I have a pattern for a vest (waistcoat) and some pretty quilting cotton to make a seasonally-appropriate vest for myself for work so my plan is to get that sewn tomorrow. Theoretically it should be a quick project. If it works out, I’ll post a photo for day 16.

Blogmas Day 14

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What a beautiful morning! It snowed a bit overnight but as you can see we had a lot of blue sky by 9am.

Day 14’s yarn Advent was black yarn and another turtle bead (I confess I opened the bag before work today, rather than waiting for the evening).

Work went well again today. Lots of customers but also I finished cleaning up the section I started on yesterday and I managed to get about two-thirds of the fabric pile relabelled for the clearance shelves. I was feeling like I needed an energy boost this afternoon. Could have done with some caffeine and something sweet to keep me going!

The O’Go scarf is now as long as my wingspan and I am just finishing the grey section. One colour to go.

And the crochet beanie is to this point. I haven’t decided what’s happening next.

I really need to give in to my tiredness and go to bed. I’ll be back tomorrow.

Blogmas Day 13

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A co-worker gave me this box today. She overheard that I’m a sucker for nice boxes and tins. Twelve little screw-top tea tins in a pull-out drawer – oh my! Looking at the back of the box, I can see that I would never have bought this tea myself. It’s full of additives including dairy and artificial flavours. But I do love the box!

It was a good day at work. In between customers I managed to fill a cart with fabrics to be moved into clearance, which meant the remaining fabrics on that group of tables got sorted and tidied. I didn’t manage to finish the job but I’m back in tomorrow. The plan will be to get the rest of the bolts looking neat and any empty tables will be dismantled for now.

As we approach the end of the year, it’s a good time to weed out older fabrics. I was surprised that I found quite a few with a 2019 date. Once that section is done, I’ll move on to another one.

Ah, it’s so nice to be back home with the fast wifi. It was so slow uploading the photos to WordPress while I was at the cabin.

Mr Fixit and I tested out this new blend of spices. We’ve often made turmeric tea/golden milk before but we were ordering some more food from Om Foods in the Kootenays and thought we’d try this. It doesn’t tell you how much to use for a mug, so I put in a rounded teaspoonful per cup. It was quite nice, a more adventurous mix of spices than we’d usually use, and it’s good as an anti-inflammatory aid.

A pretty fabric bag today and some pretty beads too with my Advent yarn.

I’m open to suggestions as to what to store in the tea box/tins. And if you have any good ideas for knitting or crochet projects with beads that I can use my 24 small balls of yarn for (I’ll have 600 grams by Christmas) feel free to throw some suggestions in the comments.

Blogmas Day 12

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It’s the 12th which means we’re half-way through our Advent fun.

I’m so glad I made the effort to create this yarny Advent calendar and also that I decided to blog every day. I love this time of the year and I’m always a bit sad when December whizzes by and in the blink of an eye the Winter Solstice has passed.

I feel like I’m appreciating it all more this year and enjoying each day as it comes.

I realised after I took this photo that my son had included a teeny package of clear beads in the bag as well.

We had a quiet Sunday. Mr Fixit had to replace the control panel on our washer, and the band that goes around the drum on a friend’s dryer. Of course the parts arrived while we were out of town.

I spent a few hours in my sewing room.

There are five cat masks, one for each of us, plus a Snoopy one and a gnome one for me. If you have to wear a mask you might as well have fun with it.

Work tomorrow!