So close.

FO: Exam socks

FO: Exam socks

FO: Exam socks

FO: Exam socks

FO: Exam socks

I am so close to being finished my exams… one more tomorrow! It’s in the evening until 10pm, which isn’t great, but after that I’m off for the summer (and to find a job)! I’m also moving on Saturday (back to my parents’ house for the summer), so the next few days are going to be busy ones.

Appropriately, I also finished my exam socks today! I made these up as I went along, but they’re pretty basic- toe-up, short row heel with gusset, and 1″ of ribbing at the top. I also made these quite tall, I worked even for about 5″ after the heel. The yarn is Lion Brand Sock-Ease in 133 Circus Peanut. This was my first time using this yarn and it’s a pretty average sock yarn. What I really loved about this skein was the colour! It’s so bright and cheery for spring, which was much needed today as we got the annual ‘I thought we were done with this’ April snowstorm.

(Rav link)

These are also my (very late) March socks for my 12 socks in 2014 challenge, since I never finished the socks I cast on in March. I’m hoping to finish another pair this month so I’ll be back on track!

I haven’t been doing a lot of reading this week outside of my coursework, but I have been sneaking in a few pages of House Girl by Tara Conklin when I have a spare moment. It’s a great novel, and I’m really liking how the historical and modern timelines play off each other.

Let me know in the comments what you’re currently knitting and reading! If any of you are also writing finals, good luck! Have an amazing day.

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along as usual.

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Birthday Socks for H.

FO: Birthday Socks for H

FO: Birthday Socks for H

FO: Birthday Socks for H

FO: Birthday Socks for H

I actually finished these socks months ago (sometime in November), but since they were a gift for H around the same time, I haven’t had the chance to take photos of them until now! This pair is another from Tanis Lavallee’s Business Casual pattern, which I’ve made once before. I really love the cables on these socks and the pattern is a free download!

The yarn is Patons Kroy Sock, from a big bag of this colourway that I got from a sale last summer (that’s probably why the socks don’t quite match… different dyelots?). I’ve made a few pairs of socks out of this yarn for myself as well, and it’s a bit thicker than most sock yarns, which makes it quite robust.

(Rav link)

I hope you are all having a lovely weekend… I’ve completed 2 of my 4 finals so I’m almost done!

Exam socks

WIP - Circus socks

Reading and knitting

Lion Brand Sock in "Circus peanut"

This week, I’m…

Knitting :: Exam socks… with the start of finals this week, I knew I was going to need a simple project for any stress knitting emergencies. These are just basic toe-up socks in Lion Brand Yarn Sock-Ease (colourway 133 “circus peanut”). I love how bright these are going to be… perfectly cheery for spring! I’ve just started the second sock so I hope to finish these this week. I’m sure there are lots of toe-up sock recipes out there, but I could share mine sometime if there is any interest.
(Rav link)

Reading :: The no. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith. I started this forever ago but never finished it… I had forgotten how good it is! I really enjoy his writing style.

I’m also reading House Girl by Tara Conklin on my kindle. As I mentioned on Saturday, I’m loving this book. I really like the two storylines and the characters are great. I can’t wait for exams to be over so I can get into it properly.

Watching :: Season 1 of Elementary (still really enjoying this!) and looking forward to watching The Great British Sewing Bee season finale tonight! (It’s already aired in Britain but I’m going to wait for it to be up online to watch).

Let me know in the comments what you’re knitting, reading, and watching! Have a lovely day.

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along as usual.

This weekend.

Rainy weekend

Winter abundance bowl

Aloe Vera shoots

Tea and homework

This weekend I’m enjoying…

- House Girl by Tara Conklin. I’m only about 1/4 of the way through this but I can already tell it’s going to be one of my favourite books of this year.
- Season 1 of Elementary. I was a bit hesitant about this at first because, well, another modernized Sherlock adaptation? But I actually quite like it.
- Pom Tango and Peaches and Cream teas from the David’s Tea spring collection
- The sauce from this Winter Abundance Bowl recipe
- A few new-to-me blogs: Small Fish, Sew Knit Grow, and Bluebirds of Happiness
- Heather’s new kitchen and food-related link up. I’ll definitely be doing this in future weeks… what a great idea!

I’ve got 4 exams this week and next so I might not be around as much… if you’ve left a comment or sent an e-mail, please be patient- I will reply eventually!

Let me know in the comments below what you’re enjoying right now… I hope you are all having a lovely weekend!

(None of this is sponsored… just things I like.)

Almost spring.

WIP: Boneyard shawl

Diamond yarn luxury pima lino lace

Spring Boneyard and currently reading Cosmo by Spencer Gordon

WIP- Spring Boneyard shawl

This week…

Knitting :: My Spring Boneyard shawl in Diamond Luxury Pima Lino Lace (colours light denim and nile). This is at the point where the rows are long enough to take forever… and I still have at least a few more stripes to go. On the bright side, I think we might finally be getting into spring! Winter seemed to last forever but it’s been above 0 here for a least a week straight, so perhaps we’ve made it?
(Rav link)

Reading :: Cosmo by Spencer Gordon. I’m about 3/4 of the way through this and I honestly can’t decide what I think of it. Some of the humour is really dark, but some of the stories have made me laugh of loud. I’ll probably finish this tonight so I’ll let you know next week what my final thoughts are. On an unrelated note, I think that this is a really unattractive book cover.
I also finished Call the Midwife: a Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times by Jennifer Worth. The is the first in the trilogy of memoirs that the TV show (by the same name) is based on. Since I love the show, I thought I’d give the books a try.. and I loved this one!
I think I’m going to start House Girl by Tara Conklin next… have any of you read it?

Finally, a couple of housekeeping things today:
Firstly, the winner of the Craftsy class giveaway as chosen by Random.org is #22, Sollertia! Congratulations and enjoy! (Craftsy will be in touch with you with instructions to claim your prize).
Secondly, I posted a tutorial on how to dye Easter eggs using food colouring on the weekend. If you’re looking for something fun to do before Easter weekend, go check it out!
Thirdly, I’ve been trying to organize/ consolidate all of the ways you can follow this blog. Currently, you can

  1. Follow via e-mail/ wordpress (in the sidebar)
  2. Follow via Bloglovin’
  3. Follow my RSS through feed reader such as Feedly

Happy first day of April!

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along as usual.

How to dye Easter eggs using food colouring (a tutorial)

How to Dye Easter Eggs using Food Colouring

Plain eggs

Eggs in Dye

Colourful Easter Eggs

Using tape to create patterns

Colourful Easter Eggs

I cannot believe how fast these past few months have gone… it’s only a few weeks until Easter weekend! I though I’d share an easy way to dye brightly coloured Easter Eggs with you guys since they turned out so well the last time we made them. This is super easy and uses supplies that you probably have in your pantry!

How to Dye Easter Eggs using Food Colouring
(Method adapted from Martha Stewart)

You’ll need:
Eggs (hardboiled or emptied- see note below)
Warm water
Food colouring
White vinegar
Glasses
A spoon
Stickers, tape, string, etc. for making interesting designs

Note: There is a great tutorial for emptying (“blowing”) eggs here. If properly cleaned, emptied egg shells can be stored and reused indefinitely. Hardboiled eggs, however, should be stored only for as long as you’d store any hardboiled eggs.

You will need a seperate glass for each colour you want to use.
In each glass, mix 1/2 cup of warm water, 1/2 tsp of vinegar, and a total of 15-20 drops of food colouring. Play with colour concentration or mix different colours for interesting effects.
To dye each egg, submerge in food colouring mixture for 5-10 minutes, depending on desired colour intensity. Carefully remove each egg from the food colouring mixture with a spoon and place in egg carton to dry.
Repeat as desired for layered colours. For patterned eggs, cover the area you don’t want dyed with stickers, string, or tape before submerging. Make sure that the first colour is dry before dyeing with a second colour. Be creative!

Let me know in the comments below if you’ve dyed eggs using this tutorial. Have a beautiful weekend!

Linking up with Pinworthy Projects.

Knitting and Sewing (and a Craftsy Class Giveaway)!

WIP- Maeva Socks

New sewing machine.

New sewing machine!

Beginning of a fabric stash.

This week…

Knitting :: My Maeva socks… some of you might recall that I cast these on for the Ravellenic games, but didn’t finish them in time. I’m about halfway into the foot of the second sock, so I’m going to try to finish these this week so that they can be my March socks for my 12 Socks in 2014 challenge. (Rav link)

Reading :: Cosmo by Spencer Gordon. This is another short story collection for my CanLit course. I’ve just started it but I like it so far… it’s a fairly recent work so all of the cultural references are contemporary. I might get to meet the author in a few weeks, which would be really interesting.
I also finished Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman this week. I quite liked it- the setting was really interesting and the plot was good. The main character wasn’t great (he was kind of boring) but overall I’d recommend it.

Watching :: Series 2 of The Bletchley Circle… if you haven’t seen this show, you really should- it’s awesome! It’s about a group of British women who were codebreakers during World War 2, who go on to solve crimes in London in the 1950s. Superbly done, great acting, and gorgeous costumes and sets.
Season 2 of Motive. I had kind of forgotten about this show but season 2 just started airing and it’s still quite good. It’s a crime show set in Vancouver, and it’s set up so that you know who the killer is at the beginning of each episode, and then the focus (as the title suggests) is on figuring out the motive for the crime.

And as you might have noticed in the above photos… I bought a sewing machine! I figured that nearly two years of living away from home warranted me having my own. I bought it used and just picked it up yesterday. I’ve even got the very beginning of a fabric stash (to complement my yarn stash)! One of my goals is to learn to make a quilt, so I’ve been watching the free Intro to Quilting class on Craftsy… I can’t wait to choose fabric and get started!

In fact, in celebration of crafting month, Craftsy is giving one of my readers the chance to win a free class! In keeping with my current project, I’ve selected the Toe-up Socks class (40.99$ value), so you can create your own awesome socks! Craftsy has their own giveaway system so it’s really easy to enter. You’ll just need to click here to be entered to win the Craftsy class! If you don’t already have a Craftsy account, you’ll be prompted to make one- it’s completely free and gives you access to lots of great resources, patterns, and inspiration. The giveaway will be open until March 31st (Monday) at 11:59pm.
This giveaway is now closed, thank you for all of your entries! The winner will be announced shortly.

Let me know in the comments what you are currently knitting and reading! Happy Tuesday!

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along as usual.

Disclaimer: Craftsy had kindly given me a free class to give away. I also use Craftsy affiliate links on this blog. All opinions are my own and I only ever write about products/ companies that I really use and love. Thank you for supporting our sponsors and affiliates.

The Story of a Sweater

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This week…

Knitting :: My Featherweight cardigan! Long-time blog readers will know that I have been working on this for a LONG time… I first cast on for this pattern in 2010, when I was a sophomore in high school, with the goal of finishing it within a few months for a trip. Needless to say, that didn’t happen… it’s four years later and I’m still working at it! The first time I knit this, it had a lot of fit issues (some my own fault, some the fault of the pattern), and I wasn’t happy with the drape of the fabric. I frogged the entire thing in 2012 and cast on a new version, at a different gauge, around this time last year. I’ve been working on it on and off since then and I’ve nearly finished the first sleeve (and it fits this time!). Maybe I’ll get to wear my Featherweight this year? (Rav link)

Reading :: Finished Eden Robinson’s Traplines. This short story collection is beautifully written, but it was a little morbid and depressing for my taste. I’m glad I read it, but I probably won’t be doing any re-reads!
Still reading Dubliners by James Joyce. Really enjoying these anecdotal stories of working-class Dubliners.
About halfway through Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. This has been my on-the-go reading on my Kindle for a little while now and I’m enjoying it. It’s not Gaiman’s best work by any stretch, but the setting for this book is a really interesting one.

If you’d like to see more photos of my knitting throughout the week, you can follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I hope you are all having a lovely day!

Linking up with KCCO and Yarn-Along as usual.

Vanilla Syrup for Coffee and Tea

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This recipe is really simple, but I got a bunch of requests for it in the comments of Wednesday’s post, so here it is!

This syrup is a bit like the flavoured syrups that they use in coffee shops. I like to use mine in tea or coffee with some milk (plain or frothed). If you have an espresso machine, you could also make homemade lattes (syrup in the bottom of the cup, one or two shots of espresso, and steamed milk).

To make frothed milk, you can either use a milk frother (I have one similar to this one) or you can use a jar or other container with a lid. Just put in a few tablespoons of milk, shake until it’s frothy, remove the lid, and microwave for about 30 seconds.

Simple Vanilla Syrup

Yield: Approximately 1 cup

Ingredients
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Add the sugar and water into a pot and heat over medium-high until boiling.
If you’d prefer a thinner syrup (like the one in the photos above), turn the heat down as soon as the mixture starts to boil. If you’d like a slightly thicker syrup, allow the mixture to boil for 1-2 minutes before turning down the heat.
Turn down to low and simmer until mixture has thickened (about 5 minutes).
Stir in the vanilla extract.
Allow the syrup to cool, then transfer to a sealed container (one batch just fits into an 8oz/250ml mason jar- like these). Store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Enjoy!

Linking up with Pinworthy Projects, Foodie Friday, and Weekend Potluck.