July Knitting Updates

I have been busy knitting this month.

I have a Snowflake for my daughter that needs a placket, buttons, and ends sewn in.

Alice Snowflake

This is knit out of Berroco Vintage DK in Dewberry which is a bright pinky/purple colour and a cream or light brown colour that I think it called mushroom. If you have any button recommendations for buttons for this one or the one for myself, PLEASE LET ME KNOW! I’ve been looking but haven’t found anything yet.

I made a Milo for the baby to wear this fall/winter.

Milo II

I love the Milo because it is a great piece to put over anything and goes with anything. We walk to daycare and it can get VERY cold here so any bit of extra warmth is always welcome! I had almost exactly enough left from my Dewey to make this. There is just  tiny bit left.

I did my first test knit. I made a pirate pig for the baby, my daughter wants one now!

Pork Belly, the Pirate Pig Test

It was fun to test this pattern! It is well written and has a stuffing technique I have never used before that I love! I am going to use a version of it for all future toys I knit. And! This is the first time a project photo of mine was used in the pattern page!

And here is the final product of the Dewey I made for the baby.

DK Dewey

I love how this looks on my boy! This pattern was supposed to be knit in a fingering weight but I converted it to a DK weight for a faster knit! If you are interested, please look at my project page for notes on my calculations. I love how wide the neck is. I love the cable. I love the yarn. I love every but the sleeves. I with I gave it more ease at the armpits.

Here is the Dewey in action at the cottage on the July long weekend! The baby cannot stay still now!!! He sure keeps me on my toes because his favourite things to play with are things that he shouldn’t be playing with!
Dewey in Action

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Thursday Morning Memories

My mom was a stay at home mom and an active volunteer. On Thursday mornings, she volunteered at our elementary school. Before I was in kindergarten, my Grandpa would come over and baby sit me on Thursday mornings.

First he would give me a boxing lesson then I would “take a round out on him”. Once I punched him too hard in the stomach. He had had stomach cancer before I was born and had to have various surgeries on his stomach so it was not in the best shape. He also had an “extra belly button” which was really just a surgery scar. To me it was so cool.

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Grandpa and I at his last birthday in 2007.

After we had our boxing lesson, I would get us each cheese slice to eat.

Then we would get in the car and go to Wiebe’s food. I was grossed out and fascinated by the store at the same time. The store always smelled like fish. And we would always end up in the fish aisle where I would stare at the fish. I do not know if the eyes were removed from the fish (I was only 4!) but I either stared at the eyes or the eye sockets.

I am not sure if we would ever buy anything but I am sure I would have begged him to buy the squirty cheese in tubes.

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Tales of a Sweaty Ukrainian: Three Days In

I’m three days in trying the Hippie Pits All Natural Deodorant in Down to Earth by Delish Naturals and I’m more impressed than I expected to be!

My initial thoughts on it:

  • my armpits do not itch anymore
  • forget those Dove commercials, my armpits are smoother than I remember (and I’ve used a lot of Dove deodorant!)
  • I don’t know if it is because I am not used to the smell, but I can always smell the deodorant. It doesn’t smell bad but I just notice it.
  • I am not sweating as much as I expected but I haven’t spent a lot of time outdoors because my daughter was in half day camp in the morning and afternoons were resting time.

On the first day, I reapplied the deodorant around 4:00 pm because I wasn’t feeling as fresh. I did not reapply the next 2 days but I probably should have today.

The real test will be tomorrow when I go to Winnipeg Folk Fest. The high is 29*C and it is supposed to feel like 34*C with the humidity.

I’ve read some concern online about the price of this deodorant but also look at the size of it when you consider the price. It is MUCH bigger than my Nivea deodorant.

I also have only worn this with tank tops. I’m not quite brave enough to wear a t-shirt with it yet. I also wonder that if I am using a natural deodorant, it would be best to wear clothes made of natural fibers because it will allow my armpits to breathe more?

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Tales of a Sweaty Ukrainian

I know not everyone wants to talk about sweat. But I sweat. A lot. Especially when it is humid, which it is here all summer long.

There is also a lot of discussion on the internet that antiperspirants can contribute to a variety of health factors.

And there is the fact that antiperspirants can irritate my armpits, especially if I’ve recently shaved.

All of these factors lead me to try out Delish Naturals Hippie Pits All Natural Deoderant. I bought this from Tiny Tree Hugger Diapers.

Delish Naturals Hippie Pits

I am rather skeptical that this will work, but I thought I should give it a try. I’m using the Down To Earth version which has a variety of essential oils that are supposed to help with deodorizing and preventing sweat. Even if it doesn’t work or I only use it while I’m at home because I am not 100% comfortable going out wearing it, it has got to help a bit not using the chemical-filled mainstream antiperspirants, right?

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Hand-me Down Knit!

Remember the Otto Short Sleeved Pullover I shared in this post?

Otto Short Sleeved Pullover

I had knit it in 6-12 months using cotton with the hopes that my daughter, who was born in December could wear it in the summer. I used the intarsia method as well so it would be only one layer thick which mean I had a lot of little balls of yarn to deal with. I did cheat and carry the cream over the single stitch of brown. Knitting with cotton hurts my hands so. It didn’t make me very happy that she didn’t fit it until the fall/winter and wore it layered over other shirts.

I remember my daughter was such a placid baby and good sleeper that I was able to do the majority of knitting holding her while she slept in my arms!

The good news is that my son fits clothes within the appropriate age range! He is wearing it today for the first time and I am so happy!


hand me down knit by sherylcm, on Flickr

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Hypocritical Mother Moments: Diving In

In my younger years I’d see those moms take forever to get in the water, squealing the whole time about how cold it is and I vowed:

That will never be me.

And now it is.

Pelican and Pier in Matlock, Manitoba

We took our children swimming in the lake this weekend. We took our 3-year-old off the end of the pier. The water was cold and she screamed the whole time. My husband brought her out to sit on the pier with her brother, grandma, and aunt.

Since I’ve had my daughter, I’ve been very slow to get into the water, squealing about how cold I am. I usually take at least 5 minutes to go down the stairs. Then it takes me another 5-10 minutes to get into the water up to my neck. Forget about dunking my head in even though I promised myself I would always completely submerge myself!

This weekend, I counted out loud to 10 to gather up the courage. I had to “gather up the courage” about 4 times over and I still hadn’t gone under. I thought I would just walk out until the water was up to my shoulders. I got to the small of my back and turned around. I “gathered my courage” a few more time. Still dry on top.

I walked closer to the pier and thought if my daughter saw me, I’d be forced to get wet. No dice.

Somehow I managed to make myself see how ridiculous I was being and dove in (keeping my face and hair above water of course!). I swam around and my body got used to the temperature so fast.

How did becoming a mother turn me into such a wimp about diving into the water?

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Gardening Rituals

Spring comes, I can’t wait for the snow to melt and temperatures to consistently remain above freezing so I can plant my garden! Fresh vegetables from my backyard! Yes! What can go wrong?

Circle Garden

I call this the Circle Garden. It has since been filled with wonderfully blooming perennials. Sadly the ground cover at the front of it has not grown back this year. It primarily has perennial bachelor’s buttons, lilies, Echinacea, and one other plant which I forget.

My mom has taught me since I was young that I should never plant until after the May long weekend (which is usually around May 24th I think? I don’t properly know!).

Usually about 2 weeks after the May long weekend I realize that I haven’t planted my garden yet. Even though it was all I could think about when the snow was melting!!

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I love the promise of flowers about to bloom!

Next thing you know June is almost done and my garden is still bare! I run to the nursery (read: drive because there are no nurseries within walking distance of my house) to buy as many vegetables and perennials I can find within whatever random budget I set for myself.

While inside the nursery, I realize 2 things:

  1. I cannot add simple numbers together, even with the assistance of a calculator
  2. I do not understand the price of plants based on the weird pot colour/size scheme they have

I throw random vegetables and perennials into my cart and hope that I am not spending $100s!

I bring my plants home, water them, and try to plant everything within a day or 2. I vow to water all my plants first thing in the morning.

Roses

A rose bush that I bought then abandoned when I still lived at home. I need to go and trim it up for my mom…it is one of the many gardening tasks I tell myself I will do better each year! (note, my mom has since replaced the sad fence!)

A week later, I realize that not only have I not planted my plants, but I haven’t watered them either! I decide right there and then I need to plant them. Unfortunately by this point, the weeds have taken over so I have to weed. Also, I have to clean up all of the dead plants from last year. While doing this, I think to myself “this isn’t that bad, I can spend at least an hour a week weeding and the garden will look great! This fall, I am going to clean up the plants and get the ready for winter for sure”.

I plant all the plants and read the fertilizer package. It says to fertilize every 3-4 days at first then every 5-7 days. I can do this. Maybe not first thing in the morning, I’ve learned my lesson but definitely every night before bed I can water the plants. And I WILL fertilize them.

A week and a half later, I realize that I haven’t watered or fertilized the plants once and it has only sprinkled outside once. The weeds are growing but I don’t have an hour to spare! But I can water the plants.

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I love have beautiful and delicate columbine looks. I also love the deep colour of these. I’ve not yet found a place in my yard to keep them alive.

2 weeks later: not only have I not watered, but I haven’t done any weeding much less an hour a week. I must weed. Approximately 30 seconds into weeding, I discover that the mosquitoes have arrived. About 2 minutes into it, I wonder why I thought this was a good idea in the first place and next year, maybe I should just grass over my garden.

From this moment on, I ignore the garden unless some beautiful flowers have bloomed, or the weeds are higher than the plants.

Somehow despite all this, I end up with beautiful flowers and some vegetables which I forget to eat more of than not!

purple pepper

A purple pepper from my garden last year! I got to the nursery too late to get any wonderful variety of peppers this year.

Once fall comes, I have completely forgotten about my garden, much less my vow to clean them up before winter!

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Discovering Tanis Fiber Arts

At the end of April, I discovered the idea of yarn clubs and I HAD to join one. I love getting surprise mail! I love the idea that it will get me outside of my colour comfort zone. I just had to find one in Canada because I don’t want to pay duty on it. And one that was open to join. A lot of the clubs I found are based out of the US and had limited time memberships. After a quick Google search I found Tanis Fiber Arts. She is based out of Montreal and has her membership open all year-long. You get 6 shipments a year and there is a pattern designed for each skein of yarn you receive. If you are interested, look here. I made it clear to my husband that it was the best idea for a Mother’s Day present for me since it is the gift that keeps on giving. I figured that if a colour wasn’t one that suits me, I could make a gift for someone else. Soon after, I became OBSESSED with her yarn colours. Conveniently, my son did not have a sweater to wear this summer. I bought shadow in her yellow label DK weight so I could change the Dewey Cabled Pullover from a fingering weight to a DK weight. The details are on my ravelry project page. This is my baby modeling it when I was halfway done seaming it up.

Trying on the DK Dewey

The May shipment of the yarn club is a beautiful soft blue with pops of pink and purple called Moonmist in a lace weight. While the colour is beautiful, it is not a colour that suited me. I immediately thought of my niece who has very fair skin, very light hair (almost white), and blue eyes. I found the Sorello pattern and held the laceweight double with a 4.0 mm needle to make a nice and light airy version of this sweater! I think it will be perfect for her to wear in the summer or for layering in the winter!

I still need to sew in the ends and block the sweater. Her birthday is in October so I’ll probably procrastinate until right before her birthday party! Please view my project page if you’d like to see more details or pictures!

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A New Brush?

Until today, I have never bought myself a hair brush. Ever. My old hair brush was one my mom bought me probably 10 years ago for Christmas and it was time to say goodbye.

Since I’ve never bought a brush before I had no clue what type is actually good for my hair. Right now my hair is very tangley. I have had it cut only twice in the past year. I don’t really have much time or desire to spend much time on it. No matter what I do, my hair insists on being straight so I am learning to live with that.

Most days, I struggle to detangle my hair with my ancient brush after I showered and immediately put it in a braid. The braid is essential  to help stop tangles and to prevent my baby boy from grabbing my hair and pulling.

I went to a hair supply store and was overwhelmed with all the selection they offered. Then I saw one that said it is the best detangling brush ever.  Since it came in purple and it is wise to believe everything you read on the package, I bought it!

 

 

I came home, unbraided my hair and brushed it. And wow…it sure does make a difference to use a brush that actually works! Now if I can get my baby boy to stop pulling my hair, I may be able to wear it down once in a while!

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Me Time

Carving out some me time every day with 2 small kids at home can be a bit tricky. Luckily we have finally been able to give our baby the skills to learn how to be a good sleeper. I knew that deep down, he wanted to be a good sleeper.

We believe he has a problem with chicken because he threw up a lot when he ate it, and got eczema. Since we both have dropped chicken from our diet, his eczema has mostly cleared, spit ups have almost stopped, and he started sleeping better. Well enough that we could sleep train him. Now I am just working on more consistent naps.

I try to take some me time every afternoon while baby sleep. My daughter is 3 and LOVES to play in her room. I love the days when she curls up on her bed and takes a good nap. Mostly because she will be in a good mood in the evening!

During my me time, I drink tea, watch soap operas, and knit (cleaning, what is that!?!?). My most current project is a gift for my niece. My husband bought be a subscription to Tanis Fiber Arts’ yarn club for Mother’s Day. The May yarn was a skein of laceweight in a beautiful light blue with splotches of pinkey/purple called Moonmist.

 

 

I thought it would look so beautiful on my niece who is VERY fair with big blue eyes. I found the pattern for Sorello by Georgie Hallam. I am holding the lace weight yarn double and using 4.0 mm needles for my Moonmist Sorello.

I finished knitting it last night. I just have to weave in the ends and block it and it will be ready well in advance of her birthday in October! I believe there is enough leftover for a size 5, but it would be cutting it close!

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