Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Year of Knitting: Farmhouse Shawl

          I seem to really be into knitting shawls this year with this - the Farmhouse Shawl from Cabin Four- being my fourth (and most favorite) shawl of the year! This is the most snugly shawl- practically a blanket- perfect for curling up on early mornings with. While I saw knitting this pattern I kept imagining myself grabbing this off the hook at my - imagined- back door and heading out into my - imaged- back yard. Curling up in my- very real and favorite- outdoor chair and sipping on a mug of coffee. The vision was so real I could practically feel the cool Autumn air on my cheeks.

        Before we found a place to live this shawl kept my vision firm- we would find a house- it would happen. Knitting this shawl kept me focused and grounded through the weeks where we didn't know what our future would look like. Knit with gorgeous Hinterland Range yarn from Vancouver Island in Snow this yarn is as local as it gets for us. Working with Hinterland yarns is a dream- as soon as I started I could feel the love that had gone into making such a beautiful product.

      The pattern it's self was so quick and easy- one to surely make again. I truly enjoyed the process. I will admit to feeling a bit like Stevie Nicks with the fringe and I will likely wear my Farmhouse to the Vancouver Folk Festival- yes even in July it can get chilly on the water!

Friday, June 17, 2016

It's Friday!

          Friends it is Friday again- time to kick back .... and pack more boxes! Yes that seems to be the theme of our days! Often when I glance at the calendar I get a gross sinking feeling- so many tasks to be checked off that giant to do list that comes with moving. For the most part our family has been pulling together to take care of the more mundane tasks such as laundry and packing during the week so we can still have our weekends a bit free. There are still so many things we wish to do here on the Coast before moving at the end of July- we have created a bucket list of sorts.

        I am hoping to post here all of our favorite spots in and around Vancouver to visit- you can also follow our summer adventures over on Instagram. I may or may not have started a hash tag #thingsiwillmissaboutvancouver which is pretty much everything friend and food related! So stay tuned for weekly updates on our Summer 2016 bucket list- maybe it will spur you on to create your own family bucket list for the coming months!

       As mentioned it is Friday- aside from packing boxes I hope to have a few quiet moments with my coffee while I start a new knitting project- it's a secret for now- details will be forthcoming! So here's to two entire days of coffee, knitting and adventuring! Happy Friday Friends! xox

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Year of Knitting: The Vera Tee

         With all the travelling between the Okanagan that we have been doing these past few months I have traded in my sewing machine for the knitting needles- knitting being the more portable of projects to pack for the weekend. Not only am I still making and creating in a very tangible way but the very act of knitting keeps me sane- I am by far a patient person- possibly the worst traveller ever and so the knitting keeps me busy.

        When I came across the Vera Tee from Mackenzie Sasser I knew that my girl needed one- or possibly more- of these sweet little tees- the very perfect layering layer! Initially I thought the Vera Tee would be great in the fall under her jean jacket or layered up when it gets frosty- to be honest I am afraid my children are going to freeze in the Okanagan! After this weekend though my girl wore her Vera tee almost everywhere- it turns out this knit is great for warm weather as well as layering!

      I knit this little sweater up in a week- yes the time spent in the car stuck in traffic helped but this pattern was so simple and a pleasure to knit up. I used two skeins of Malabrigo yarn in #035 Frank Ochre- this mustard shade is a favourite of both my Girl and I! The Vera Tee is knit inside out- once the shoulders are seemed up you flip the whole thing about before picking up the collar and tacking down the roll sleeves.

      As I mentioned I am slightly worried my West Coast kids are going to freeze this fall and winter- a real winter in Kelowna is slightly different than what we are used to! I will definitely be knitting a few more Vera Tees up to have on hand for when things get chilly!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Life Lately

        Life lately has been a bit of a whirl wind- to say the least. As many people who read this blog have possibly already heard- either via word of mouth or social media our little family has made some major life changes of late. We are moving home to the Okanagan- a brand new adventure for all of us. While my Mr. and I both grew up in the Okanagan it's a place that we haven't lived together as a couple- ever! We both moved to Vancouver when we were kids- fourteen years later we are ready to head East again and start a new chapter in our life.

           This move comes at a time when housing prices are skyrocketing in Vancouver- there is literally no way we could ever afford the type of house or lifestyle we desire. However housing is not the main reason we are moving. When we came home from our trip to California at the beginning of March both the Mr. and I felt off- we felt something was missing from our life here in Vancouver. We felt stuck in a cycle of business that neither of us were interested in- the rat race if you will. At what could be considered the height of our careers we were both feeling flat and rather unfulfilled. As a family we felt disconnected and out of control. We needed a change.

          Its so funny how the Universe opens the right doors just when you need it. Things just started lining up and happening- slowly at first- new jobs and then a place to live- our own home right by the beach- a garden and a clothes line. Slowly we are starting to dismantle our life in Vancouver- one by one doing all the things we love to do and wish to do just one last time- we can't bear to start saying good bye to people yet- those tears will come in a few months. Vancouver will always be such a special place to our family- it's where we fell in love, became a couple, became parents, watched our babies walk, the run, then bike.

       This change is exciting- and at the same time so scary. We have done this whole life thing on our own for so many years we will have to relearn how to be a part of a larger family once again. We are such a part of an amazing community here in Vancouver- walking down the school hall to do drop off we feel like we belong- we will have to find a new community again. This relearning of how to adult in a city that is so familiar and yet so changed from the one we knew before. Exciting but scary stuff! They say you can't go home but we can't wait to get started!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Summer of Skirts

         There really is nothing better than the feel of the hot Okanagan sunshine on bare legs for the first time each year- take it from me I- this is a field of which I am expert in! Recently we have had a whisper of promise from the sly summer breeze- it promised long evenings spent giggling with cousins, sticky feet from walking through popsicle drips and most of all it whispered promises of quick dips in the lake! It's with these whispered promises of the season yet to come in mind that my girl and I have declared this the Summer of Skirts!

          Two weekends back- time does certainly fly- we had a free day with Grandma and Grandpa- this meant outside playtime for the Littles and two entire hours of  uninterrupted
 sewing time for myself! I'm not going to lie- it was nice- real nice -to be able to sit down to the machine and know my kids were well distracted- thanks to my Mom and Dad. I have had this great Japanese Linen stashed away for a few months now- just waiting for the perfect pattern and coincidentally a Japanese pattern book arrived in the mail just the day we were leaving! Talk about timing!

         I am absolutely in love with all the darling patterns and gorgeous styling in the Linen, Wool, Cotton Kids book from Akiko Mano. So good- I would live inside this book if I could! This wee skirt was just the start of things to come- my girl and I have picked out a few pieces to make her easy summer wardrobe complete- obviously another skirt!

         After a really busy fall, winter and spring we are all looking forward to summer break- longer days and an easier (read no) schedule. Being a full time working mom has been a huge experience for me this past year- learning how to balance my time between family and work has been a constant juggling act and somewhere in there one of my favourite things has gotten passed over. I miss sewing- I miss watching a garment come to life. I am so looking forward to doing more making this summer- both for my Littles and myself as well- I have a pile of patterns to work my way through!

         Meanwhile back to the real heart of the matter- there really is nothing better than the first bare leg day of the season- especially when you are a six year old- with a new skirt- that has bunnies and foxes!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

On Our Bookshelf: Wildwood

       When I was a kid in probably about grade two I can vividly remember sitting on the carpet during story time and listening to my teacher- Mrs Steinhouwer- read to us James and the Giant Peach. With it's macabre details of the little orphaned James and his big bug friends I was enraptured- hooked into reading even though I could not yet read such a book myself. This book was followed by Jacob Two Two Meets the Hooded Fang and my beloved Anne of Green Gables as read to me by my Aunt that summer. These are the books that made me fall in love with reading.
     It was with this in mind that I went searching for something new that would capture their imaginations the same way James' epic journey inside a rotting peach.When I came across this hefty tomb- aptly titled Wildwood by Colin Meloy I will admit that my attention was caught by the illustrations on the cover- never underestimate the power of a good book cover or wine label!

      We are only a couple of chapters in and rest assured we are all appropriately spell bound. Wildwood is clearly written by a master story teller- which Colin Meloy is- weather it be a book or a song with his band The Decemberists. I really don't want to give anything away as the story is just so magical- dark and brooding just the way children of a certain age (surprisingly) like it. I will say one thing- leave one last cryptic remark on the matter- we all have a whole new suspicion of crows- looking askance whenever more than one starts to accumulate!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Year of Knitting: Moonstone Pullover

           So kids grow- and fast at that! At the beginning of the year I cast on the Moonstone Pullover- in a beautiful neutral grey wool that I was so in love with. I knit it up quick as can be- popped it off the needles and attempted to put it onto my boy's body. To no avail- he had grown- and so little sister got a brand new sweater she never even knew she wanted!

        Needless to say the Boy was disappointed and so off to our favourite local yarns shop we went- I let him pick out the colour this time. The bright blue we came home with wasn't what I would have picked out but he felt strongly this was the colour for him and so I trusted in that. As you can see it was absolutely the right choice!