Category Archives: books

Verb prompts

I’ve been wanting to post for so long, but either lack of time or lack of photographed knitting kept me from it. I decided to “break the seal” with this verb prompting post I have seen on other blogs. More knitting to come soon!
Making: I have several WIPS – crochet embellishments needed for a baby dress, a cabled hat I lost my place in the pattern with, and a new accessories pattern book just landed on my door step. So many fun things to do, so little time spent doing them. ūüôā
Cooking¬†: Grilled veggies. Actually Chris is cooking them, but I am really enjoying them.¬†ūüôā
Drinking : Kombucha! Ginger and grape.  I love that stuff so much.
Reading: Shantaram by Gregroy David Roberts. It’s great to read a book paced for the long haul. I’m in the last few pages. Join me on¬†GoodReads!
Wanting: A make-up brush of exceptional price and dubious performance, but none the less, I wants it.
Playing: I need a new game. I play Tetris on my phone every night on the train.
Wasting: Hours on Youtube. Too much time really. I have made a decisive effort to step away from all my technology gadgets.
Wishing: There were more hours in a day, days in a week, and weeks in a year. Trite but true.
Enjoying: Our backyard, and the fun time with friends this summer.
Waiting: For the labour day long weekend so I can be camping my with Connie-girl and baby Violet.
Liking:¬†The summer weather! It’s¬†usually rainy in Vancouver. It’s like a real summer out there.
Wondering:¬†¬†What the next home repair should be. But then, the floors for downstairs aren’t even installed yet.
Loving:  My new potted plants in the yard. I love me some succulents.
Hoping: I get a surgery appointment sooner rather than later.
Marvelling:  At how quickly kids grow. Can you just slow down a bit already? Sheesh. Aunty Violet can barely get the sweaters out.
Needing: Some yoga. I feel like I am made of lumber lately.
Smelling:¬†¬†I usually avoid fragrances, but lately I have dabbled a little (although guiltily): Elizabeth and James Nirvana White is what I’m wearing.
Wearing: Jeans, as per usual
Knowing:¬† It’s true what they say about age and doubt.
Thinking: Mostly the running lists of things that need to be done both for work and at home.
Opening: Outlander by Diana Gibaldan for a second read before the series debuts. I am really excited, and a bit nervous. I hope they do a good job with it.
Giggling: Usually at Chris.
Feeling: A bit tired honestly. The heat is keeping me up late, and my stiff muscles wake me up early.

Joie de Vivre

I have never been a reliable journal writer, so this blog is my first self-written record. Looking back at the posts and pictures of 2013 I was able to read the invisible writing between the lines.  Since I knit for other people predominately it was also a quick recap of births and birthdays, as well as the everyday joys of living. Most importantly, it was a powerful reminder about how much being creative gives me joy. Each project has a hopeful outcome, and going back through those projects was the best way for me to review the year. This list makes me feel positive about the year behind me, and more hopeful for the year ahead.

One of my biggest loves of 2013 was juicing. After randomly perusing Netflix one afternoon, I decided to watch Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. I was so motivated after watching the documentary that I ordered my juicer that same day.¬† I didn’t start a juice cleanse, as I had intended (which was less about motivation and more about timing), but I did incorporate juicing into my daily life. A juice of veggies and fruits became my afternoon “snack” and I felt better for doing it. Now I find myself craving beet-ginger-celery juice, and I have probably missed my juicer more than anything else I own while our belongings have been in storage these past 4 months. A prelude to the juicer was a vintage glass citrus reamer we bought on vacation in Toronto earlier in the year. Reading some of the posts from last year reminded me of weekend breakfasts savoring the freshly squeezed grapefruit juice that took a little elbow grease to experience, as well as the trips we took to Toronto and how good it was to see my friend Roxane.

Travel is always at the top of my list of most loved things to do.  We made three trips to Toronto from Montreal in 2013 Рboth are cities I had never been to before. Eastern Canada is beautiful, and it was incredible to spend so much time there. I love the culture of both cities, and would go back in a heartbeat.

Escaping this reality on the borrowed ideas of someone else’s imagination is extremely enjoyable for me. I love a good fiction novel. After moving (again), I realized (again) that books are heavy and so cumbersome to store. I rarely read a book a second time, and after someone shared their belief that holding onto books was like holding onto old ideas I vowed every book I read I would be passed along to an interested friend.¬† I own a Kindle, and although it does not have the same book-in-hand feel so staunchly defended by book and library lovers, I would gladly trade that feeling for not having to lug another book box up several flights of stairs. I purchased a large shelf of non-fiction books in the past, but when I went to select a book the trashy vampire fiction just threw itself at me, so the non-fiction just kept piling up, unread. I decided early in 2013 that I would not allow myself another sci-fi fantasy or sensational other-worldly series until I read my non-fiction shelf. I have to say it was hard to start. There were no clever sentences, nor escapist realities. The first non-fiction book went down like a large pill, but I kept going, and I now consider 2013 to be a trans-formative year mostly because of what I read.¬† The added knowledge alone was a boon that seemed to keep going throughout the year, and I looked forward to each new book and what it would impart. I’m very excited about being able to open up my box of non-fiction next month when we move into our new house.¬† So, at 36 I am a lover of non-fiction for possibly the first time (Ok, there was a stint in university when philosophy seemed like the only thing worth reading, but that was a long seventeen years ago)

I received an ipad for my birthday last year, and it’s become a hobby workhorse. I use it to find knitting patterns and yarn, but it also allowed me to utilize digital books and patterns. I follow along from the iPad rather than printing.¬† I spent hours (days?) last year immersed in drawing with my virtual sketchbook on the app Paper.¬† I used my iPad to chat with friends on Skype for hours, and being able to see my friends as well as hear them made the distance disappear.¬† My iPad came with me to bed when I was sick so I could watch Netflix, and I used it to peruse another 2013 discovery; digital magazines (I highly recommend National Geographic’s digital magazine which includes video clips.)¬† The WordPress app is a pale shadow of it’s non-mobile counterpart, but I used it too on occasion. The iPad is ridiculously handy and involved with most of my hobbies. In and of itself, it is not a pastime, but I recognize that it’s around quite a bit when I am losing myself in a task.

Does sleeping count as a pastime?¬† We bought a king size bed last year, and I can’t mention joy without thinking of the glorious restful sleeping I did in 2013. A bed so comfortable that even after months of blissful dormancy, crawling into bed at night still felt like a reward for even the toughest days. Cushiony foam + wide open space = slumber of the gods. The warning here is that once you go to the king you will not be satisfied with anything less.¬† My best question of 2013 is, “Why did I not get a King size bed sooner??” (And really the best answer to that should have been, “Because it will not fit in 95% of the bedrooms in Vancouver.” But that is another post)

2013 was the year I devoted to whatever my heart lead me to and I’m very grateful I had the opportunity. Best wishes for 2014!

Social animals, and produce bags

The produce bags are in full swing. The pattern modifications that I was mulling over seemed to be resolved by this pattern, Bag! You’re It!¬†(free on Ravelry).¬†I modified the handle a tad to create more of a roll, as well as a rolled edge to the bag itself. I also prefer the look and feel of the heftier handle in my hand.¬†I’m going to keep churning versions of these out as soon as I pick up some new cotton.

The smaller size bag is intentional. I imagine using a series of these to not only buy produce from the market, but also to store my fruits and veggies in the fridge, or from hooks we have in our kitchen.   Frees up counter space, but also helps prevent bruising both in transport and at home.  I also think they would be great if you are lucky enough to have your own garden. You can hose off your carrots right in the bag if you want.

These bags are both prototypes and gifts. The citrus bag is going to be a gift for a friend who is visiting me this summer.







And in non-knitting news…

I finished reading the The Social Animal, The Hidden Sources of Love, Character, and Achievement by David Brooks this week. It’s an interesting read. I found myself reading twenty pages at a time, and then having to contemplate the implications of what I had learned. ¬†The premiss of the story, which follows a couple from infancy to old age, was secondary to me. It really was just framework to convey new research in¬†psychology¬†and science about insights into¬†behavior,¬†how the brain works and¬†particularly¬†the unconscious mind.¬†¬† The importance of culture seems tantamount, and the story seems to be told to remind us of the emotional, intuitive self, and that our minds exist in the context of the social animals we are.¬† I liked this book for it’s ability to allow me to marvel at new information, and¬†entertain¬†ideas of what could be.¬†I seem somehow comforted by stories told from the perspective that we have so much to learn- that the world is not mapped out completely, and that new findings can turn the reality we know into something else entirely. I like that there is still mystery and unknowable things.

I don’t want my two readers to get too excited, but if you are interested in reading this book I am happy to pass it along. Post a comment if you are interested and I will chose randomly (I guess with two readers I could even flip a coin!) and mail the book to you. It’s hard cover, if that helps entice you.¬†

Have a wonderful day!