Friday, July 21, 2017

My First Time Blocking a Knitted Piece for the Sweater

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  Today I went to Michael's craft store and bought some yarn and needles for a project I will share with you soon, and then to Walmart to buy some more pins for blocking. They did not carry them at this location, so I bought some dress pins and they worked well along with the fork pins I had purchased already. I will definitely be buying more blocking pins in the future. I blocked my first knitted piece and it took quite awhile because I was just getting used to placing the pins and making sure they stayed in place and made sure the tension was good and even throughout the piece. It required cold blocking by spraying the piece once it was pinned down to the desired measurements. I pinned it all down, then used a spray bottle and sprayed cold water on the piece. I was not sure how much to spray so I kept going until it was all damp.  Now it is sitting in my living room drying on the foam mats.

After pinning the sweater and spraying the piece
 First, I pinned the bottom of the piece to be 24 inches across, I had to stretch it quite a bit. I did not have to stretch it up as much it was already pretty close to the measurement because I knit a little extra so it would be longer.

It is hard to see, but the photo is of the pins up the side of the piece


Before blocking the piece
After the piece is pinned and sprayed 

I will be sharing how all the pieces turned out in an upcoming post. I will post some before and after shots to show the difference blocking makes.

I went to Michael's today and they had a clearance sale on these Loops & Threads skeins and I scooped them up for $4 each. I was looking for white and red super bulky yarn for a project so I was very happy. I bought the US 15 bamboo needles for the project and the Patons Kroy socks yarn for the next pair of socks I will start knitting soon.

Michael's haul 

I enjoyed my first time blocking a knitted piece. It took a lot of focus and attention to detail. It is very important to have a lot of time to work on blocking a piece, because it took me longer than I expected it to. I am looking forward to seeing how all the pieces turn out after they are blocked, and how it looks once I seam all the pieces together and have a sweater.

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to keep updated on what I am up to, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and/or Google Followers.

Hope you have a great day!




Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Preparing For Blocking, Healthy Smoothie Recipes, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I had a wonderful weekend spending time with my family and going shopping and now all the summer sales are happening, so it is a good time to shop! We got our new Sealy mattress, bed frame, and headboard delivered on Sunday which we purchased at Sleep Country and it is so comfortable. It is taking me awhile to get used to it though, I have a hard time sleeping on different beds or in different places right away but I know I am already adjusting to it. I am looking forward to this week, I will be working on blocking some sweater pieces finally and continuing to finish my Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief.

I have the materials all ready to begin the blocking process for the pieces of my sweater. I have the blocking mats that I bought at Walmart instead of using some more expensive blocking squares I found. I also bought some blocking pins from Walmart. They aren't the T-pins I keep seeing people use, but I will give them a try. I will be sharing my experience blocking all the sweater pieces, along with some before and after shots in the next posts.


Close-up of the pins
 I have also been knitting more of the chevron lace scarf and loving this pattern. I am looking forward to wearing it towards the end of the summer when it is a bit cooler.  I am almost finished the last section of stockinette pattern before the final garter/eyelet section and finishing section. I hope to block the kerchief next week.

To be a scarf using the chevron lace stitch pattern

Kerchief in progress, almost finished
I have still been reading Bridget Jones: Mad about the Boy by Helen Fielding and Into the Water By Paula Hawkins. I have not been reading too fast these days. I think I just need to pick a time each day when I sit down and read. I can't read in the late afternoon too much or else I will get too sleepy. I am really enjoying these two books!

I tried two smoothie recipes with the new Hamilton Beach Personal Creations Blender I bought on Saturday. It works so well, and it is so powerful for such a small blender. I love it because after you blend your ingredients, you can drink right from the same cup. It is so fast and easy, and cuts back on dishes. The two smoothie recipes I found and tried this week are the Hearty Fruit and Oat Smoothie from Martha Stewart and the Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie from Gimme Some Oven. Hope you give them a try!


Hearty Fruit and Oat Smoothie:


Ingredients

Ingredients:
I split all the ingredients in half for this smoothie because I am doing a weight loss challenge which requires me to eat only two servings of fruit each day(more about the challenge below). It tasted great with half the ingredients and it was enough to eat for me.

1 cup quartered strawberries  
1 sliced banana     
¼ cup raw almonds          
12 cup old-fashioned oats        
1 cup of low-fat yogurt             

1 teaspoon maple syrup         

Method: 
put all ingredients into the blender, blend and enjoy

Recipe from Martha Stewart 

What I thought: 
I loved this smoothie, I liked the taste of the almonds and the oats mixed in with the fruit. I felt so energized after drinking this and that it would fill me up for the morning. I can see this being a good drink for when you need a quick breakfast to take with you on the go. The only thing I would change about this smoothie, would be to make it colder by adding frozen fruit or ice to the mixture.

Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie


Ingredients

Ingredients:
1 large banana peeled
1 cup of ice cubes
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1 heaping tbsp of peanut butter
1/2 tsp of vanilla extract, store bought or homemade

Method:
put all ingredients into a blender, blend and enjoy!

Recipe from Gimme Some Oven

What I thought:
This one was my favorite. I am obsessed with peanut butter and banana, so I knew I would love it. I like that it is colder too because of the added ice. I really enjoyed drinking this smoothie for breakfast this morning and it filled me up until lunchtime. With its simple ingredients and delicious taste, I have a feeling I will being making this one a lot.

I have been still working on losing weight and getting toned by following the Cityline Weight Loss Challenge guidelines which is basically each day eat  3 protein, 3-4 fats, 1 grain (the hardest one, and no grain at dinner), eat lots of vegetables, and 2 fruits. I had fallen off the wagon a bit, but my mom and sister are also doing the plan and they encouraged me to get back on track and we have all be encouraging each other. So far I have lost 12 pounds but I feel a change recently again and I feel more motivated to resist temptation and grains at dinner so I think the loss will pick up again. I really want this for myself and I am feeling less bloated and feeling better lately which was my reason for starting.

 I still need to have my gelato in the evening sometimes!
Joining along with Frontier Dreams with Crafting On, The Little Room of Rachell with Yarning Along, AsKatKnits with Unraveled Wednesday, and Julie's Creative Lifestyle with Cooking and Crafting with J&J.

Thank you so much for dropping by! I hope you liked the post today. If you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers and you can get notifications on when I post.

Have a great day!


Saturday, July 15, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Knitting Stitch Pattern of the Week: Dandelion Stitch

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This week I decided to knit the dandelion stitch pattern because I think it looks so nice and perfect for this time of year when there are more dandelions. I think this pattern would add a nice detail to a pillow cover, garments, a scarf, and hat. I hope that everyone attending the 2017 Maker Meetup that is being held by Our Maker Life in Toronto is having a wonderful time! I hope I can make it next time!

Swatch of three repetitions and a few extra knit rows 

Pattern:
Knitted in a multiple of 8 sts  + 1 and 12-row repeat.
Row 1 (RS): Knit all sts.
Row 2: Purl all sts.
Row 3: Knit all sts.
Row 4: Purl all sts.
Row 5: K3, flower(see below), * k4, flower; repeat to last 2 sts, k2.
Row 6: P2, (p2tog, p1) twice, p2tog, * p3, (p2tog, p1) twice, p2tog; repeat to last 2 sts, p2,
Rows 7 through 10: Repeat rows 1 through 4.
Row 11: K7, * flower, k4; repeat from * to last 2 st, k2.
Row 12: P6, * (p2tog, p1) twice, p2tog, p3; repeat from * to last 3 sts, p3.


Flower: Insert right-hand needle into the third stitch down from the second stitch on left needle (this space forms the centre of the flower) and draw through a loop, leave loop on right-hand needle and knit 2, make second loop into same stitch, knit 2, make third loop into same stitch.
Note: Make sure that your loop stitch is loose enough to lie flat and not distort your work.
Knitting abbreviations:
Knit: K | Purl: P | Purl 2 sts together: P2tog.


Knitting pattern from Knitting Stitch Patterns

What I thought:

I enjoyed knitting this stitch and liked how the "flower" part of the stitch pattern turned out with the stitches resembling dandelion petals. I can see myself using this stitch in a summery tank top or in a pillow cover.  

Knitting level:
Intermediate: the flower part of the pattern can be a bit fiddly and tricky to knit and would be a bit challenging to a beginner knitter. I think with practice of the flower part it gets easier.

Thank you for visiting my blog, I hope you liked the stitch pattern tutorial and come back soon to visit! if you would like to follow my blog, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Summer Bucket List 2017

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have been getting my course work wrapped up, they end in mid-August, and then I will be done the first three of the online Office Administration certificate. I have been working on knitting and finishing off my projects. I am now looking forward to the blocking process for both my sweater and my kerchief.  I am looking forward to starting to knit up some socks, which are on bucket list I created of things I would like to to do this Summer. I decided to make a list of things I would like to do this Summer since the Summer can fly by and I could miss out on doing things I would like to do! It is helpful to write a list to get ideas flowing and to come up with a plan. So I wrote down a list of ten things I would like to do this Summer to share with you!

Summer Bucket List 2017

1. Go camping
I have gone camping with my family every summer for many years and we love to be outdoors and enjoy nature. I love spending time at the campsite, going to the beach, having delicious barbecues and enjoying each other's company.

2. Roast marshmallows on the campfire
This is something I do every year when I go camping with my family and my boyfriend. I love the taste of roasted marshmallows, and love making s'mores with them. Yummy!

Campfire at a cottage last Summer
3. Knit socks
I want to get started on knitting socks for Christmas gifts as I love knitting socks for my family. I will probably knit my boyfriend socks too this year so I have to get started soon! Socks are also a great project to carry around during the Summer. They are a light project and easy to throw into a bag to go to the beach or sit by the pool.

4. Go on a trip with my boyfriend 
We have been talking about going to Montreal and staying in a hotel downtown. We are still not sure exactly when but sometime this summer for sure!

5, Make Summery treats
I have seen so many fun summer treats that you can make at home. Like popsicles, smoothies, and other refreshing treats that also be fun to share with you!

6.  Have a picnic 
There is a wonderful park nearby and whenever I walk there, I think it would be fun to make some sandwiches one day and go have a picnic with my boyfriend or some friends.

A photo from a fun picnic with friends back in 2010

7. Go to the beach 
I feel like the summer is not complete if I don't go to the beach. It is so nice sitting and reading on the sand, sunbathing, or going into the water. I would love to knit on the beach this year, that would be so relaxing and enjoyable. The weather just has to cooperate!

8.  Read three books
I am always reading, but in the summer there is more downtime on vacations to read. I hope to get a lot of reading in this Summer! maybe I will look for a fun Summery book to bring on my vacations.

Reading on the beach in the Dominican Republic in April 2017

9. Watch a baseball game 
I have gone to a couple games so far and I would like to go again this year. It is fun to just hang out and have a beer and maybe some popcorn and kick back. 

10. Go Kayaking 
I have not gone kayaking for about four years now, and it would be fun to go again.

Kyaking in the Summer 2013
I will make a summary post at the end of the summer to let you all know how I did with my bucket list, and if I accomplished all the things I wanted to do this summer.

What are some things you would like to do this summer?  

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to follow my blog to keep updated on my latest posts, you can follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sweater Pieces Knitted and What I Am Reading

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. Yesterday I went with my dad to Evergreen Brick Works for a second time this summer to ride our bikes on the trails. We were cycling for quite awhile and I was getting pretty tired, but it was such a good workout. I was happy the weather was so nice yesterday too, it was sunny all day and warm. Today we are expecting some showers soon, and maybe a thunderstorm.

I finished knitting the second sleeve for the sweater! so now I am finished all the pieces for my 3timesChic sweater.  It feels great to be done knitting all the pieces.  Next, I will have to cold block all the pieces and then seam them together. I still need to pick up some blocking materials like the blocking mats, the T-pins, and maybe the wire. I might buy them online because I looked at Michael's and did not see the pins or wire, and the blocking mats were very expensive for just one 12 inch square piece.

Top and left pieces: sleeves, middle:front piece, and right: back piece 

I had finished the kerchief and was so excited until I realized it was a little small for my liking, so I had to take a few rows out and I am adding another stockinette section. I have been working away at this lately and I am almost finished knitting the kerchief.  I am knitting a scarf with last Saturday's stitch pattern: chevron lace. I continued knitting and it will be a lighter scarf to wear closer to the fall. I love how it is turning out.

I am still reading Bridget Jones: Mad About The Boy by Helen Fielding and Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. They are both so good in different ways and if I am in the mood for a light, fun read then I will pick up Bridget Jones, and if I want a more serious, dark, mystery, then I pick up Into the Water.

Scarf using lace chevron stitch pattern and kerchief
Speaking of books, I saw this cute "Little Free Library" box while on a walk last week and had to snap a photo of it. I didn't grab a book this time, because I already have enough on the go right now. I might pick one up while on another walk soon. Do you use a little free library in your neighborhood?

Little Free Library box
At a park nearby, I could sit here all day and look at this view

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

Thank you for visiting my blog today! I appreciate the time you take to visit me and I love reading all of your comments. You can follow me on Bloglovin' and Google Followers to be updated on when I post blog entries.

I hope you have a great day!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Knitting Stitch Pattern of the Week: Lace Chevron

Hi Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today I was shopping with my boyfriend and we were looking for shoes for shoes for him, and some other things we needed for the apartment. We went for dinner to Scaddabush and had a lovely time. It was the perfect weather tonight to sit out on the patio, not too hot and not too cold. This week I found this pattern called the lace chevron stitch. I was looking for a lace pattern to knit a light scarf with. I had leftover yarn of the Patons Astra in the color lilac from when I knitted the bookmark for my Mom for Mother's Day and decided it would make a lovely light scarf for the Summer, Fall, and Spring time. I have been loving knitting this easy lace stitch and I am happy with how it has turned out. I am looking forward to seeing the end result in a scarf! Hope you give it a try, let me know how you like it in the comments!

swatch: 31(30+1) stitches, repeated pattern 3 times and a bit.



Pattern: 

Cast on a multiple of 10 sts, + 1.
Row 1: Purl
Row 2 - right side: * K5, yo, ssk, k3; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 3: Purl
Row 4: * K3, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 5: Purl
Row 6: * K2, k2tog, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k1; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 7: Purl
Row 8: * K1, k2tog, yo, k5, yo, ssk ; rep from * to last st, k1.

Row 9: Purl
Row 10: K2 tog, yo, k7, * yo, sl 1-k2tog-psso, yo, k7; rep from * to last 2 sts, yo, ssk.
Repeat Rows 1 - 10.

Pattern from Lace Knitting Stitches

What I thought: I like the pattern, it is simple, and it is so nice to see the pattern emerge as I was knitting. Some patterns take a few repeats for the stitch to emerge but this one emerges right away which was nice to see. I like how this stitch pattern is a short ten row repeat so it is not too long and you feel like you can get through the rows quickly. I like the look of the lace in the chevron. I have knitted the chevron seed stitch in a prior Stitchy Saturday so it was nice to try out an alternative version of the chevron stitch pattern. This pattern is great for a scarf,  which I am making, and would be great for the bottom of a garment, or for a light blanket. 

Knitter level: Beginner: I would put this pattern at beginner because this is a simpler pattern and shorter sequence of rows which are not too difficult. I think every knitter from beginner - expert would love to knit this pattern it is fun. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitting this stitch pattern before? if so, what did you knit with the pattern? 

If you would like to see other Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here. If you would like to follow my blog and keep updated on when I am posting new stitch patterns or blog entries, you can follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers! 

Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Trip to Montreal, Sweater Sleeve Progress, and Reading On

Hi Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I had a busy weekend going to Montreal with my family to visit friends and family friends. I grew up in Montreal, Quebec and moved to Ontario when I was fifteen so we have a lot of good memories in Quebec. We went to downtown Montreal where I met up with my friend I have had since elementary school and it was so nice catching up with him. Then the next day we went to a barbecue hosted by my parent's friends and we had a great time with lots of food. We had to get La Belle Province hot dogs and poutine for lunch which is a tradition of ours. The trip was amazing as always, the weather was rainy and gloomy most of the time but we made the most of it and I love our tradition of going to visit in the summer. We got back on Sunday night and I have been getting back into the swing of things here. I finally bought one of the Starbucks "you are here" mugs while in Montreal. I have been using it everyday since I got back, it looks small but it is wide and hold a lot of coffee.


We went to Old Montreal on Saturday morning which is so beautiful with its old buildings, cafes and stores. It was raining that morning but we had our umbrellas and just walked around mostly, popping into a few stores.
In Old Montreal
Knitting
I have been knitting more of the 3timesChic sweater sleeve. I have knitted 17.5 inches now I am onto the decreasing part of the sleeve. I am looking forward to being done the sleeve then can move onto sewing the pieces together.

Sweater sleeve in progress
 I took apart a few rows of the kerchief after I finished it last week because I decided it was too short for me and I would not wear it if it did not stretch out like 20 inches when it was blocked. It was actually 20 inches too narrow when it was finished and I don't think blocking could stretch it to the measurements it is supposed to be at 53 inches as it was 35 inches. It was hard to take it apart especially after posting about being done, but I will be happier in the long run by knitting an extra stockinette section which is 21 rows, we'll see how the measurements are once I finish those.


Reading
I read so much of Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy on our trip to Montreal and got through a lot of it. I am loving the humor in the book and how she is going about starting to date again it is so funny and I can remember how dating used to be a headache at times wondering if they liked me or if I was doing something right or wrong. This book has got all of that and her learning to use twitter and trying to get followers is hilarious and I can relate to trying to get more followers through social media and my blog. Today I decided I will get started on reading "Into the Water" by Paula Hawkins because I left Bridget Jones in my parent's car so I have an excuse to start reading it!


This week I will focus on knitting the sleeve and finishing it, finishing the kerchief, and buying some yarn to start knitting socks. I still want to choose a sock pattern on Ravelry so I will also choose one to get started on the socks soon. I will be focusing on blocking the pieces next week so I am excited for that, then I will be sewing the sweater pieces together maybe in a couple of weeks.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, if you would like to keep updated on my blog posts, then please follow me through Bloglovin' and Google Followers!

Have a great day!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Stitchy Saturday: Happy Canada Day Special, Shell Lace Knitting Stitch

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. This week I decided I wanted to knit the knitting stitch swatch in red and white for Canada Day! it is Canada's 150th birthday today and I wanted to celebrate it a bit on here. I am a fourth generation Canadian and so proud to be living in this beautiful, wonderful country. This week I found this shell lace stitch and thought it looked so nice. I like how it turned out and I think this stitch would make a lovely scarf or detail on the bottom of a garment.

Swatch of the stitch pattern: 21 stitches and three pattern repeats



Pattern: 

Knitted in a multiple of 10 sts, + 1 and a 10-row repeat.
Row 1 - right side: Purl
Row 2: Knit.
Row 3: * K1, yo, k3, sk2p, k3, yo; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 4: Purl.
Row 5: * K2. yo, k2, sk2p, k2, yo, k1; rep from * to last st, k1
Row 6: Purl.
Row 7: * K3, yo, k1, sk2p, k1, yo, k2; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 8: Purl.
Row 9: * K4, yo, sk2p, yo, k3; rep from * to last st, k1.
Row 10: Purl.

Knitting abbreviations:
K: Knit | P: Purl | Yo: Yarn over |
SK2P: slip1, knit 2 together, pass slipped stitch over.


Pattern from Knitting Stitches Pattern


What I thought: 
I liked this pattern, it was easy to follow and it looked wonderful when complteted. I like that it is a short 10 row repeat as well and not too long. I think that this stitch would make a lovely light spring or summer scarf knitted with fine yarn or a nice detail at the bottom of a garment. 

Knitter level: 
Beginner: The stitch is easy to follow and the repetition is easy to learn after a few pattern repeats. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog, it is always nice to read your comments and get your feedback. Have you knitting this stitch pattern before? if so, what did you knit with the pattern? 

If you would like to see other Stitchy Saturday posts you can click here. If you would like to follow my blog and keep updated on when I am posting new stitch patterns or blog entries, you can follow me on Bloglovin' or Google Followers! 

Have a great day EH!
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