a freeze frame

HANDMADE IS BEAUTIFUL

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

WHISPERING PINES



I made a shawl!! So much fun to knit! I'll confess to being a bit scared at first. I mean, just the word lace kind of sounds tricky right? But really it was a pleasure to knit! I would most definitely recommend it to a beginner knitter looking for a simple yet full of new techniques pattern!

A bit of details maybe. The shawl is called Whispering Pines, partly inspired by the loveliest poem ever, Stopping by Woods on a snowy evening and is the first design of Molly from A Homespun House podcast (which I highly recommend!!). It uses around 420 yards of fingering weight yarn or light sport yarn. I chose to knit mine with some Quince & Co fingering yarn in their Cypress color way. I honestly knew right away that this shawl would have to be in forest green and it turned out even better than I expected! I have two more projects planned using Quince & Co wool so I will give you my opinion of it a bit later! 
Blocking it was a bit trickier than actually knitting it because I don't really have any proper equipment for it, so it's not quite as big as it could be. But I can always block it again so it's no big deal! 


So basically, shawls are awesome. Let's knit some more! Seriously though, I feel like I need shawls in every color and every thickness of yarn there is now. And I already have a few in mind of course! 
Like Henslowe, Brill, Drachenfels, Hansel, Aeris, Winterberry and Campside.
Which one do you like best?



The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
Friday, October 10, 2014

1 PHOTO & 20 WORDS // NEW EYES



That moment you waited 5 years to get new glasses and it feels like you're seeing the world clearly for the first time in a while. Also, new face (sort of).

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Joining in with Abi over at Creating Paper Dreams for A photo & 20 words. Sort of a day late, but let's ignore that fact. Also, she's awesome.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014

YARN ALONG // GREY SKY PINK YARN

Joining in with Ginny for the Yarn along. 
I love to read. I love to knit. Here's a little bit about both.


The sky is grey, leaves are falling and it's raining. So obviously I'm knitting pink socks! The pattern is called My Cup of Tea and it's just the right mix between girly and classy I think. Can't wait to wear those during the long dark hours of Winter. The pattern is actually very very easy to follow, and I am just about to make the heel flap. The yarn is by Oh Loops, it's 80% merino and 20% nylon and I am in love with it! I'm so glad I have two more skeins of their beautiful yarn!

This week is also Shetland Wool Week and so I have cast on my Shwook hat along with Melody and a good many other people. All those color combos are super inspiring, I feel a love story with fair isle starting (fair isle sweater anyone?). I'm of course knitting it with Shetland wool from Jamieson & Smith, and I picked the color combo that you guys recommended a while ago! Clearly you have great taste because it's knitting up beautifully! If you're feeling like giving it a try, you can still join us on the KAL, you have until the end of the month to knit your hat (and J&S will be giving away yarn to a lucky knitter!). 


Reading wise, I just finished Book 5 of Outlander! I felt like it was time to start eating and sleeping regularly again so I haven't started book 6 yet but oh my those books! Best thing I have read since Harry Potter I think! There's adventure, history, love, epicness, Scotland, romance... And Jamie Fraser. He's my new Mr Darcy. You need to read Outlander. And watch the show. 
But read them first. It's amazing! 


So, what are you working on?


PS: I finished my first shawl! Blog post with photos and all the details next week on the blog :) 
Monday, October 6, 2014

FOOD FOR THOUGHTS

Or maybe thoughts on food… Anyway, food:  
Food is the best. Food is the worst. I love to eat. I hate the way it can make me feel.
We are what we eat. Haven't heard that like a thousand times in your life and just thought "hmmpf"?  But it's so so TRUE. Food defines what we are, what we look like, how we feel, how we act. I love food and I love eating. But I've also always been sort of angry at it, if such a thing is possible. Let me explain.

I feel like I eat pretty well. I stopped eating meat at 15 (and thus charcuterie too, and all those very fat french specialties!), ate lots of veggies and fruits at every meal, made healthy cereal based breakfast in the morning. I do love Coke and croissant and cheese and the once a month pizza, but overall my alimentation has always been very balanced. Yet I've always been a size bigger than what I knew I should be, shorts have always been to small for my thighs and I'd rather have died than be seen in a crop top. And no matter how much sport I did, I didn't lost a single kilo/pound in the last eight years. And that made me so mad. Like "this is not fair" kind of mad. I never felt good. I ate the "right things" and yet always felt that something was not working properly in my digestive system. My dad has a lot of stomach… issues and is definitely overweight. And he and I are so alike "genetically" that I think everyone has always assumed that I simply had the same bad digestive system as him. and that was it. But I'm curious. And there's Google. So I started looking around.


I don't do diets. I think diets are stupid because you can't live off two carrots a day or just proteins. But I wanted to know more. I started hearing about paleo but wasn't super convinced. Then I read a couple stories about girls whose life could seriously have been mine. I heard the term celiac decease, gluten, dairy and such a lot. And it made me think. I then grabbed a copy of It starts with food. I didn't like it very much. Way too much scientific facts  told by people who are not scientists and that I felt were just meant to scare and confuse us. But some of it also made sense, and a small part of me felt like this could be it. I should try that.

It was the beginning of August, I was going to be alone at home for the next 3 weeks, which made shopping for food a lot easier. In the next 3 weeks, I completely removed gluten and milk from my diet. Added more proteins (mostly eggs) and even more veggies. First week was bad. I could tell my body was very confused. But I hold on, because I could feel something was happening. Something good. At the beginning of week 3, I made a hot chocolate for breakfast. Just to see. Five minutes later, I felt awful. My stomach was bloated, I felt weak and tired. In other words, I felt exactly like I had in the past 10 years, except I hadn't realized it was actually not normal to feel that way because I was so used to it. So I hold on. In the beginning of September my mom started telling that she thought I had lost weight. I said "no way, you know i never lose weight." An extra two weeks and she kept telling me. And I kept not seeing it. I did feel a lot better though. My digestion was PERFECT. I had more energy, my sleep issues disappeared. I felt good. I got on a scale and discovered I had lost 5 kg (that would be 11 pounds). In 6 weeks. I still drank Coca Cola, and ate Nutella every now and then. I was never hungry because I had 3 normal meals a day. I just stopped eating pasta and bread and milk and it changed EVERYTHING. So stupidly simple. I've been living with my body for 25 years, spent the last 10 years angry at it, but really I knew nothing about it. We are just getting to know each other, and it starts with food.

me in purple tights and jean shorts, feeling good. also, switched to soy milk at Starbucks <3
Thursday, October 2, 2014

FOR THE LOVE OF SOCKS


I did it! I've made a pair of socks! And I don't even wear socks! Well at last I didn't. But they are so comfy and pretty. and handmade! It's the beginning of a love story let me tell you. My family is warned, it will be a sock kind of Christmas ;)

I used a free Ravelry pattern called Hermione's everyday sock, perfect for beginners and super cute and not too boring (you wouldn't want your socks to be boring right!). As for the yarn, it's Malabrigo Sock yarn, it's 100% super wash merino, which isn't ideal for socks (it's better with a little nylon thrown in the mix!) but I just loved the color!
For the knitting itself, I confess, I did have to watch a few Youtube videos to help me with the heel (I highly suggest Martingale's 3 part videos How to Knit a Sock !) but other than that it was super easy. I apparently am kind of lucky because I followed the pattern to the word without any modifications or gauge checking and the socks fit me PERFECTLY. Maybe the designer is my feet twin who knows!


I improved my "technique" a lot between sock 1 and sock 2 and there is still a lot I would love to try/change with the next technique, especially for the heel, and the grafting. As everyone who knit socks for the first time, I was super afraid that I would run out of yarn and so made the cuffs not too long. And obviously I ended up with a LOT of yarn. I might have enough left for small mittens I think, or maybe baby socks for my nephew? We'll see!

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Of course now I am addicted, and thus decided to join the lovely Liesl in her Monthly Sock Challenge! I have even already cast on my October socks! I will be using Oh Loops yarn in a lovely soft pink and another free sock pattern called My Cup of Tea (aren't sock pattern names awesome??). Very lovely, very girly and from what I have read so far not that complicated.

So what do you think, ready to knit some socks?