Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Finished Knitted Bat, Decorating for Halloween, and Reading On

Hello friends,

I hope you are doing well. This weekend, I spent time with my family, and catching up and going for a birthday dinner since my birthday was at Thanksgiving and we get busy with having the holiday dinner.

I have finished knitting this little bat for Halloween. I used a pattern that I found on Ravelry called Violet the Little Bat. It is a very simple pattern, and great for beginner knitters too! I wanted a quick and fun project for Halloween and it was the perfect project for me right now and so adorable.


First, I knitted the body and head by knitting in the round and increasing stitches, then decreasing stitches when getting to the bat's head. Then I moved onto the ears which were also knitted in the round to make the ears fuller. I did not add stuffing to the ears though as it is not requested in the pattern. Then for the wings, I still used the circular needles but did not knit in the round for the pattern. I added the eyes with some gray yarn sewn on with my darning needle. You can make your eyes using a different color and knit the body a different color from the wings if you prefer. There are many possibilities with making this project your own and being creative.

Bat hanging up on wall. I used one of the ends of yarn from sewing the wings on the body to create a loop to hang the bat.

I have been continuing to work on sewing the 3timesChic sweater seams as well. I am working on sewing the second side now and then I will be working on the neck edging. If you would like to read the entries I have written over the year about knitting my first sweater, please click here.

Sweater in progress
I decorated the apartment for Halloween and fall today. I had a few out already but it takes a little bit more time to take them all out and put them around. I just kept the decorating to our living room and put a few of my favorites on shelves. I don't really have a lot of decorations right now with little storage space.

Below are two pumpkins from Michael's that I bought last year, and the cat with a sign saying "trick or Treat" from the Milton farm craft fair a couple of years ago.

Pumpkin patch

I knitted the pumpkin below last year and it was really fun to knit up! You can see last year's post and how to make the pumpkin here.

Squishy pumpkin
This is my favorite Halloween decoration I own. I have had this small haunted house since I was a child. I am pretty sure I bought it from the dollar store but it is still in good shape other than the one ghost missing a head! But I guess that can make it even spookier! I like how it opens up to show inside the house as well, these are so fun for kids and adults too.

Haunted house, opens up to show many spooky inhabitants
I enjoy decorating for each holiday and it adds to the fun of celebrating. Will you be decorating your home for Halloween this year? And what are your favourites?

I am still reading My Not so Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella and Mercy for Animals by Nathan Runkle on my online Overdrive account. I have been reading them on my phone, which makes them easier to bring them along with me wherever I go and have some time to read. The books I am reading are both so interesting and I will be trying to read more of them before they both are due very soon and will go back to their lengthy hold lists.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AskatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachael for Yarning Along.  What are you working on and reading this week?

Thank you for visiting my blog! If you would like to keep updated on when I post an entry, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can include your email in the subscribe by email button at the top right corner of this page.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Knitting a Bat for Halloween and Got a Wool and the Gang Kit!

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend visiting my family and my boyfriend's family. It was my birthday yesterday and I enjoyed going for lunch with a friend, face timing with family, and going for dinner with my boyfriend. I am now only one year away from thirty years old and thinking I really want to make it a good year! A lot will be happening and I am looking forward to the year ahead. 

Knitting
I have been busy with different knitting projects lately. I have been working on sewing the seams on the sweater. I now have one sleeve and side sewn and working on the second this week and knitting the neck edging. It has been slow progress for me, I am thinking that I am not a fan of sewing seams after this experience like many of you said you were not when I started knitting all the pieces for the sweater.  I am looking forward to finally being done though. 
I started knitting a bat for Halloween over the weekend and using a pattern from Ravelry called Violet the Little Bat. It is a simple pattern and I am enjoying it so far. I have knitted the body/head and ears and going to start working on the wings. I would recommend this pattern if you still don't have a project for Halloween and are looking for something quick to knit up.

Knitting bat, done the body and ears, working on knitting the first wing

I received this Wool and the Gang kit from my sister for my birthday. It is the Farrah top in the billie jean color. I am so excited to start knitting this tank top once I am finished more of my current projects. I have been looking at all their amazing projects on Instagram for over a year now and think it will be a lot of fun to try one out!

The Wool and the Gang bag for the kit

Kit contents: four balls of up-cycled yarn, pattern, and a needle

Reading
I am reading My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella. I had started reading this book earlier this year, then I ran out of time on my loan from the library, and because there are so many holds on it,  I only got it back a couple of weeks ago. I am really enjoying it again and love this easy read. I was reading Love the Wine You're With but I was not getting into it as easily and still debating whether I will continue with reading it. I also got my loan recently from the library which downloaded online for Mercy for Animals by Nathan Runkle and I have been glued to this book ever since. In this autobiography, Nathan discusses starting the organization Mercy for Animals and sneaking into factory farms to expose them for their maltreatment of animals. I have my hands full with all this reading but I think I will read through them fast since I am really enjoying the books right now.


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

Thank you for visiting and if you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by email at the top right of this page. 

Have a great day!


Monday, October 2, 2017

Knitted Jumbo Christmas Stocking

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I have had a good weekend, went to another wedding dress appointment for my sister. She is getting married about a year from now. She did find a dress and I am so happy for her, it is beautiful. I also did some shopping and caught up with my mom and sister for lunch with her friends who came to the dress appointment. I am happy it is feeling cooler now, and I am looking forward to upcoming holidays, Thanksgiving, Halloween, and Christmas.
Speaking of Christmas, I have just completed one of the Christmas stockings way ahead of time. The pattern I used was from Ravelry called Jumbo Christmas Stocking in a Jiffy - Striped by Jennifer Jackson. I am so happy to be done knitting the first stocking, now I can start the next one and have them both finished in time for Christmas.




Knitting the loop
To make the loop to hang the stocking, I casted on three stitches, then knit until the piece was 14 inches long, then just looped it into the back of the top of the stocking once I folded the top over.

Knitted loop to hang the stocking 3 stitches for 14 inches
What knitting projects are you working on? I am thinking of knitting something for Halloween coming up, since it has gotten cooler out I feel more inspired.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On

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Have a great day!



Thursday, September 28, 2017

Progress on Sweater and a Big Christmas Stocking to Fill

Hello Friends,

I hope you are all doing well. It has been a hot fall so far, but yesterday and today brought some long awaited cooler air. I hope that the cooler air stays now, we are ready for fall. I have been working on sewing up the seams for my 3timesChic sweater. I had to start over the first side I attempted because it was not done right and was super tight under my arm so I probably wouldn't wear it if it was that tight.  I am happy that I frogged it even though it makes this process take longer, but I will be happier and more comfortable wearing it.

The left side of the sweater which I am working on
I am using the mattress stitch to sew up the sleeves and sides of the sweater. I am happy with the tension in the seam this time and I am looking forward to having one side seamed. I will try to have this side done by tomorrow and then I can start sewing the seams on the right side.

Sewing up the seam on the first sleeve
 I have also been knitting the Christmas stocking and getting to the end of the first one. I am planning on knitting two of them for my boyfriend and I. The stocking pattern I am using is from Ravelry, and it is called Jumbo Christmas stocking in a Jiffy. They weren't kidding, this stocking is huge! My boyfriend commented that he'll have to buy a lot of chocolate bars to put into it in order to fill it up. hmm maybe that's why I chose the jumbo sized stockings? more treats? maybe. I have to knit one more row in the white color yarn, then I will be knitting the toe in the color red.

Stocking almost finished 

Thank you so much for the support that I received on the last two posts, I really appreciated reading your comments. I loved reading about all of your experiences and thoughts about being vegetarian or eating less meat. I am enjoying being a vegetarian so far, it has been 1 1/2 weeks now and I am feeling great and I am so happy that I made the change. I am also having less dairy too and feel better about that. I went to a vegan restaurant on Tuesday called Fresh and ordered the clubhouse wrap which included grilled tempeh bacon and seasoned crispy tofu steaks with tomato, lettuce, and garlic mayo. It was so delicious! I can't wait to try other restaurants in Toronto now that I am switching to this lifestyle.

The clubhouse wrap and a kale slaw on the side
I am also enjoying cooking different meals and searching for new ones to make now that have meat substitutes and other meals like pasta which doesn't usually include meat. I have cooked with tofu, and want to look up more dishes I could make to make it more flavourful. I made an Asian Tofu Sauté with rice noodles one night which was so good when the sesame oil was soaked into the tofu. I got that recipe from The Everything Eating Clean Cookbook for Vegetarians.I would like to try cooking with tempeh and seitan as well. The tempeh bacon that I had in the wrap was so delicious, it would be great to get some to cook with.

Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, and AsKatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesday.

Thank you so much for visiting and if you would like to keep updated on when I post, please follow my blog on Bloglovin', Google followers, and you can also subscribe by email to get emails when I post a blog entry.

Have a great day!

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Beginning of Fall, Summer Bucket List Results,Fall Goals, and Thoughts on Becoming a Vegetarian

Hello Friends,

Hope you are doing well. I am happy it was the first day of fall yesterday! It was so hot yesterday, and was even hotter in Toronto today with a heat advisory warning this weekend. I hope that it is sweater weather soon though. It was cold for a while, then it got hot again. I also can't wait to be able to wear some of my knitted things. This year I will hopefully have a knitted sweater to wear once I am done and the kerchief, and a pair of socks. I worked on all of these earlier this year.
Yesterday I went to a flower shop to get a plant as a gift and saw this cute little pumpkin in a basket and had to get it for the start of fall. I worked on pulling out the old seam on my sweater and enjoyed a cup of tea while doing that.  We went to my boyfriend's sister's place later on to see her new apartment and had a pizza and board game night which is always so fun.

Happy Fall!

I had posted my summer bucket list in July and wanted to give you an update on how that went and what I would have liked to do or changed:

Summer Bucket List Results
1. Go camping: in August, I went camping with my family and boyfriend in August and it was a lot of fun. Click here to read about it!
2. Roast marshmallows on the campfire: I roasted marshmallows while camping!
3. Knit socks: I finished knitting some socks for my mom for a Christmas gift! click here to see them!
4. Go on a trip with my boyfriend : We went to Montreal this summer at the end of August! click here to see what we did. 
5, Make Summery treats: I did not make the popsicles that I wanted to, but I did try out a lot of smoothies. Click here to see the smoothies I made! 
6.  Have a picnic : The weather was not cooperative this summer. I planned to do a picnic with friends, but on the day we met up to go to the park the weather was crummy so we did an indoor picnic instead. 
7. Go to the beach: I went to the beach in August while camping and loved soaking up the sun and going into the water.  Click here to see my trip!
8.  Read three books: I only read two and still working on the third one I started in August.  
9. Watch a baseball game : We did not end up going to see the Blue Jays this summer. I hope we can next year! 
10. Go Kayaking : I had a plan to go, but it got cancelled then never happened, hopefully next year!

Summer knitting at the beach.... the best

I wish I had done more of the activities like having a picnic outside, and kayaking. I had not gone on a picnic for awhile and it has been a few years since I have been kayaking. I will try to do these things next summer for sure. 

Some things I would like to focus on in the fall, are to:
  • Continue knitting Christmas gifts
  • Carve a pumpkin
  • Decorate for fall
  • Bake a pumpkin pie
  • Do a DIY fall decor project
  • Finish knitting the stocking for Christmas
  • Finish sweater seaming and neck edge

And for anyone wondering if I went vegetarian or how that is going, I have not eaten meat for 6 days now but am currently still having dairy products. I did not eat meat last week, but did have some on the weekend when I was still contemplating what I would do. I am feeling great, lighter and have more energy. I also feel happy that I am doing this and I am learning more every day. I have been watching documentaries such as Cowspiracy (a must watch), Vegucated, What the Health, Forks Over Knives. I love watching them and becoming more knowledgeable about what is really going on in factory farms. Even if the documentaries are hard to watch sometimes, I would rather know the truth and make decisions based on that then to not be aware. I also have been watching YouTube channels like So You're Dating a Vegan who are so informative and fun to watch. I have enjoyed watching their series on people they know who have taken two week to a month challenges to go vegan. I am seriously thinking of becoming vegetarian for reasons concerning health, the environment, and compassion for animals. This change just sort of hit me the past couple of weeks but sometimes that happens in life and you just have to go with it. Things all of a sudden make sense for you. I had thought of going vegetarian in the past, but there were always excuses and now I will make it happen. I would definitely consider going vegan in the future, right now I am taking it slow and starting with meat first. Please email me(lknitter09@gmail.com) or comment below if you are one a similar journey and want to chat about it!

Thank you for visiting my blog and welcoming fall with me. If you would like to keep updated on when I post blog entries, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can subscribe by entering your email in the top right corner to receive emails when I post.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fall Craft Show, Knitting Progress, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. I had a wonderful weekend, spending time with my family and my boyfriend's family. Yesterday, I went to the Milton Farm Craft Show that they put on every year. There were so many wonderful things to look at and this year I bought a couple lovely things. I bought a ceramic berry bowl for my boyfriend's stepmother for her birthday. I also purchased some beautiful, soft alpaca sock yarn from Alpaca Time. I am so excited to get started on knitting socks with this yarn. My sister who crochets, also purchased some yarn to crochet a hat. It was an exciting find for us. I loved our trip there this year and looking forward to going to more upcoming craft fairs in the Winter hopefully.

Yarn I purchased from Alpaca Time at the craft show
Just a few of the many stalls set up at the show

Me with some craft show finds

In knitting, I have been working on knitting up the first stocking as part of the project for this Christmas to have handknit stockings for my boyfriend and I. I am using the Jumbo Christmas Stockings pattern on Ravelry. It is a fun, fast knit and I love working with big, chunky needles and thick yarn around this time of the year when it is getting a bit cooler. I am liking the way the stocking is looking so far, except I added an extra row in by accident right after working on the gusset but I think it isn't too noticeable.


 The sweater is still in a standstill and I must work on taking the seam out on the left sleeve and redoing it. I definitely want my next sweater not to include sewing pieces together at the end as many people have said it is more enjoyable that way.


I am still reading the book Love the Wine You're With by Kim Gruenenfelder. I am liking it but haven't been setting aside time to read due to being distracted by school starting up again and different things. I will try to read a little bit each day so I can enjoy the book. I have also still been reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I am on the chapter about paper and have been going through paper of mine and find that the book is helping so much to help me toss more things than I have before because we really hold onto things we don't need thinking we'll read it one day when we never do. I am looking forward to reading the rest of the book and working through all of the items and having less stuff around. 


Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AsKatKnits for Unwraveled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along

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Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Veg Fest in Toronto, Knitting Updates, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well.  On Friday night I went to Veg Fest which is organized by the Toronto Vegetarian Association. I had a great time going with my friend, trying samples, and learning more about a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle. We first spoke with a woman from Mercy for Animals about their organization and how they work to make lives better for animals on factory farms. I have since added them on Facebook, Instagram, and visited their website and love what they are all about. Then we went to the area of the festival where they had lots of food and products which were all vegan. I tried the Chick Chicken burger at a food truck which was made from chickpeas and my friend got the imitation beef burger. It tasted so good, I would not miss chicken eating that burger. Then we went around and ate samples and I also bought a vegan ice cream made from oatmeal. It was so good and my friend bought a donut from Bloomer's to share. I was pleasantly surprised how delicious it was.

Photo of me about to eat the vegan ice cream

Veg Fest tents set up 

My chick'n burger which was really made from chickpeas. It was really good!

My friend's burger, she got their famous burger which looks like beef patty but it is also made from chickpeas
I have been thinking lately of cutting back on eating meat and I want to live a more vegetarian lifestyle. Right now I am not limiting myself and saying I won't eat meat, but I want to gradually reduce eating it for my health and compassion for animals. I am excited about this change which I have been contemplating for quite awhile. I can share some vegetarian and vegan recipes I like on the blog too. I have gone a few days without meat now and eating more nuts, beans, other foods which contain protein but I am still learning about supplementing my diet with other foods to get the protein and nutrients I need.
Tonight while I was at Loblaws, I saw these snacks in the natural food aisle that I sampled at the festival and had to buy them because they were so delicious. The Hungry Buddha coconut chips are so good and they a crunchy and so flavorful. The SimplyProtein chips I have not tried yet but did try the granola bar and liked it, so I am looking forward to giving them a try too. They were a decent price, under three dollars each. I am not affiliated with these brands in any way, I just wanted to share which snacks I liked from the festival with you.

Vegan snacks
In knitting, I have not been knitting too much this weekend. I was busy seeing family this weekend and getting organized before school starts. I will share some progress made on my stocking and sweater seaming in a couple days to catch up! I will also be starting to knit some other projects soon and looking forward to sharing those projects with you.
I am still reading Love the Wine You're With: A Novel and enjoying it so far! I have also started reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing and I am loving it! I will be posting an entry soon on my experience with the book and how it helped me to get organized and start tidying up properly!

Thank you so much for visiting my blog today! If you would like to keep updated on when I post entries on my blog, please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, and you can also put your email into the subscribe button at the top right corner of my blog to get email updates when I post!

Have a great day!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Spiral Socks Knitted, Sewing Sweater Seams, and Reading On

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. It was the first day back at school for many yesterday, I hope that if you have children, they had a good first day! or if you are returning yourself, hope you had a good day. I will be starting my courses next week on September 12th, and only have one course I have to drive to the college for in-class sessions, and the rest are online. I am looking forward to starting up with the next batch of courses to finish the certificate later this year.I have been watching the news on hurricane Irma, I hope that if you live in the areas that the storm will hit that you stay safe!

Knitting:
I finished knitting the Patons Spiral socks and they look great. I can put them away now for Christmas to give to my mom as a gift. I love knitting socks, they are such a small project, easy to pick up and bring with me to watch television, or as you saw this summer, I brought them camping and to Montreal to knit while away on vacation.



I loved this pattern, it was a simple one and easy to remember and kitting in the same pattern for 13 inches. You can see the notes on Ravelry here. I am thinking of using this pattern again in the future, maybe for another Christmas gift or make a pair for myself at some point.


The socks laid out flat do not look as much like socks but more like stockings. I think it is so amazing that when you put them on, they fit your feet so perfectly. I like that about these tube socks, that they are so comfortable.


I will be pulling the sweater seam out today so I can re-do it and I have been working on that today too. I did some more research and I think sewing the sleeve first then going down the side of the sweater is what I will do this time for the whole sleeve is sewn in half instead of knitting side, then up the sleeve because it was tight and uneven that way. In the photo below the right side is not sewn yet I just placed it like this for the photo to show how it will look once the seams are sewn.


Reading:
I finished reading Into the Water this weekend. I loved the book, it was intriguing and kept moving a long and kept me interested and reading on. It got mixed reviews, and one thing I have to agree with it that at the beginning of the book you are introduced to a lot of characters and it is sometimes hard to remember who is who. I had to go back a couple of times to refresh my memory. Once I knew who the characters were and jumped back a couple of times, it was so good and the character development was so amazing. I love how Paula Hawkins adds so much darkness and mystery to her characters and she touches on some topics which are dark and show how evil some people can be. I think she handles these topics well and captures the emotions of each character wonderfully. I would definitely recommend Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, and I am looking forward to reading books she writes in the future.


I am currently reading Love the Wine You're With by Kim Gruenenfelder. So far I am in the early section of the book, learning about the characters and I will learn more about the characters as I read on and as they come together to create their business. I think the characters so far are trying to find themselves and are in negative situations at work and in love, and I am looking forward to seeing the changes they make as I read on. I also started reading the Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I will try to finish this book this week so I can begin applying the steps I learn. I will probably write a post this month on the topic to share what I learned and how it changes my outlook on tidying and keeping organized. 
             
Joining along with Frontier Dreams for Crafting On, AsKatKnits for Unwravelled Wednesday, and The Little Room of Rachell for Yarning Along.

What are working on and reading this week?

Thank you for visiting today, I appreciate that you took the time out of your day to visit me and if you would like to keep updated on future posts please follow me on Bloglovin', Google Followers, or you can enter your email in the top right corner of my blog to subscribe and get email updates when I post.

Have a great day!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Pumpkin Spice Smoothie Recipe and Knitting Progress

Hello Friends,

I hope you are doing well. Today is the Labour Day holiday in Canada and my boyfriend and I are relaxing today, going out for lunch with his mom, and getting ready for another week ahead. I also tried a new smoothie recipe I am excited about. I became interested in making smoothies in the summer and they were and still are my go-to for breakfast. I really love having the Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie in the morning and the Ultimate Busy Family Smoothie from Kiwi & Bean, they are my go-to smoothies right now to start my day off right. With fall approaching, I was feeling the usual craving for a pumpkin spiced latte or Frappucino from Starbucks and it got me thinking that maybe I could find a healthy smoothie recipe to satisfy my craving. I found a recipe from Andie Mitchell's blog for a healthy sugar-free pumpkin spice smoothie. She found the recipe in Jordan Younger's book Breaking Vegan. I was excited to try this recipe because I love having pumpkin spice flavored drinks and this recipe is also sugar-free, so it is also a lot less calories than your typical pumpkin spice drink. This smoothie was so tasty and filling, and satisfied my craving for pumpkin spice drinks. If you are craving a healthy version of your pumpkin spice latte or Frappucino, this recipe is for you.


Recipe:

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree mod: 3/4 cup (I added 3/4 cups for taste and color)
  • 1 cup fresh spinach or kale/ mod 1/2 cup (I added only 1/2 cup because the first time I made it, it tasted too much like spinach and it turned green)
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter (I used peanut butter)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • ½ cup ice
  • a few pinches cinnamon
  • 1 scoop plant-based vanilla protein powder, optional (recommended: vanilla Vega One)
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds, optional
Blend all the ingredients and enjoy! This recipe would be perfect for snack in the afternoon to give you a boost and to drink while reading under a cozy blanket. I am looking forward to getting my first Pumpkin Spice Latte of the year, I am also looking forward to making pumpkin pie and eating pumpkin muffins. What kinds of drinks and treats do you like to have at this time of the year? Let me know in the comments below!

Recipe from Andiemitchell.com

In knitting news, I have been knitting the second sock and love how quickly it is coming along. I am knitting socks using the Patons Spiral sock pattern which I found on Ravelry. I should have the socks done this week at this rate. I will be happy to have one of my Christmas gifts knitted in September. I will also be starting another gift this month so I will have to start thinking about gift ideas. For the 3timeChic sweater, I am starting to take out the seams on the one side I completed. I realized that I did not sew the seam correctly the first time and it was tight under my arm so I will be starting that part over. I will share my progress with you sometime during this week.



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