Category: weekly catchup

Preparing for fall

The days have been warm lately, but I know it’s coming. Fall is on its way. It’s becoming very obvious that the days are getting shorter, which, unfortunately has caused me to use the dreaded flash photography (my eyes! It’s so bright and unnatural!). These days, by the time I get home from work and get dinner finished, the sun is already dipping far below the horizon. And am I at all organized enough to plan ahead for my blog photos? Of course not! That’s why flash is sometimes my best friend, even if I keep looking at my photos thinking they look just too… flashy. I have resigned myself that we may ne in for a long season of flash photography.

This week…

Knitting: I’ve started two new projects this week. In lovely eggplant purple I’m working on an Emelie cardigan because my brain is stuck on vintage cardigans. I love that this pattern offers three different lengths to work the sweater. I’m planning on working the middle length to have a nice vintage look without it being too cropped for my liking. I’ve also been kind of obsessed with the Feathernest Raglan sweater, but I couldn’t decide if I liked it in the shade of blue Cascade 220 I had on hand. I decided just to start it and have gone from loving it to hating it about 738 times, but now as it is growing, I’m starting to sit more firmly on the “love it” side. Or at least on the “like it” side of things. And working on a worsted weight sweater is a nice break from all the fingering weight projects I’ve been working on lately.

Reading: Still on Sea of Shadows. I know. It’s taking me forever. Get off my back already. I am liking it more these days, though.

Drinking: One thing fall means is a reason to drink more tea. Lately I’ve been obsessed with making Hong Kong style milk tea. I had only had it out and about in Asian bakeries or with my bubble tea in Chinatown, but I decided I wanted to try making it at home. After some research, we found out it was a blend of teas, so we headed to David’s Teas to pick up some Orange Pekoe and pu’erh tea to make our own special HK milk tea blend. Brewed with a dollop of condensed milk and I have a yummy cuppa milk tea at home! If you like black, earthy teas I highly recommend it.

Linking up with yarn along and KCCO.

post signature


Knitting: Lately, much of my knitting time has been devoted to my Golden Clarity cardigan, which just needs a few final touches. Like sleeves. You may be thinking to yourself, “Wait, where did this cardigan come from? Wasn’t she just working on a different one. And now there’s like a whole new cardigan that just materialized in a week’s time.” Part of me wants to let you keep thinking that I am some sort of knitting wizard, that I can just click my heels together three times and a hand knit sweater appears. That I’m the fastest knitter in the west east. Be awed and amazed at my knitting prowess.

But in reality, I started this cardigan a long long time ago and it sadly has sat abandoned and uncompleted until I could feel the tinge of fall coming along and knew it would get some wear soon. I think all the stockinette got to me and my brain couldn’t process it. But after work, sometimes all I want is just boring, uneventful stockinette. So this cardigan is getting some love again (hopefully enough to make it off the needles and into my closet).

Reading: Still working on Sea of Shadows. I don’t really have much to say about it. It’s a decent YA fantasy, but it’s not riveting and the writing is a little… eh. But it’s not enough of an ‘eh’ to make me read something else. Plus, all the good stuff I want to read I’m having to wait on for a library copy (must. not. buy. more. books.). So until I move up from spot 967 out of 1000 (maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but that’s how it feels), I shall keep chugging on Sea of Shadows.

Watching: The third season of “Call the Midwife.” Such a good little show that I feel is a bit under appreciated, especially compared to something like Downton Abbey (which I also love).

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

post signature

Color drunk

This week…

Knitting: I absolutely fell in love with Emily of Snapdragoncraft’s bright colored chevron cowl. It’s bright and colorful and just fabulous. So, I copied her. I just happened to be at a local yarn shop called Lettuce Knit this weekend when I found this amazing yarn. Our eyes locked across the yarn shop, and I knew it was destiny. So I bought it. Of course. And cast on my very own brightly colored chevron cowl. I know. I’m crazy. Andy already told me that multiple times as we walked out of the yarn shop. But I love the yarn and the colors and the cowl. It makes me so happy.

But on that note, I put myself on a yarn diet until Boxing Day. Why Boxing Day? Because that’s when our big local yarn store holds it’s big sale. I need you all to hold me to it. Don’t let me break. 

Reading: I finished The Coldest Girl in Cold Town which was an entertaining take on the vampire mythology. It was really driven by a fresh, realistic, strong lead female character who didn’t sit around and whine when things didn’t go her way. She took charge of her own choices, even if sometimes they weren’t the best. Now I’ve started reading Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong. I’ve only just begun, but I’m enjoying learning about the mythology built into this novel.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along

post signature


This week…

Knitting: Most of my knitting progress has been on my Keynote cardigan, which, color and detailing has a nice vintage vibe that I’m loving. I finished the body last night and am starting on the first sleeve. It’s a relatively simple knit, but the faux cables created by the simple lace panels keep things interesting. In green, the lace reminds me of crawling vines. I’m sure it will be even lovelier once everything is blocked. I’ve also cast on for my Guernsey wrap but have only worked a few of the pattern repeats so far. Since I plan on using it as a big snuggly scarf in the winter, I’m not in too much of a hurry to get it finished soon, even though it is a fun knit.

Reading: Still working on The Coldest Girl in Cold Town which is keeping me entertained. I also added The Magician’s Land to my library wait list. It’s the final book in The Magicians series by Lev Grossman and was just released last week. I’m really excited to see how this series ends as I’ve been following it since 2011 – the characters and setting just stick with you. If you grew up with the Narnia books or Harry Potter, I recommend this series – they offer a different take on growing up with magic and dreaming of fantastical places that roots them a bit more in reality and the consequences of such scenarios in the real world.

Watching: Lately I’ve been going through LOST and rewatching the whole series (it’s taking a while). I’ve also been watching the first two seasons of Orphan Black, which I am liking a lot. I’m always up for series that are smart and unpredictable. For a science nerd, the show is fun (although some of the science they mention is a little iffy….).

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along

post signature

Finding a groove

We’ve had cooler weather the past few days. On one hand, this gave me a reason to wear my Pluie cardigan without having to rationalize donning a wool cardigan in the middle of summer. On the other hand, the weather mostly felt like a cruel tease reminding me that for us here in the north, summer will be ending soon. Being a fall baby, I am predisposed to love fall, but this year I think I am still so traumatized from last winter that I’m not even looking forward to the beauty of crisp autumn days to come.

I also think part of my desperation to hold on to summer comes from the fact that even though the months have flown by, I feel like I haven’t done a many things of note. Maybe that’s what summer is about – lazy days in the sun just enjoying yourself and not accomplishing a thing. But when people ask me, “What have you been up to this summer?” I’m left uttering long “umm’s” and answering, “Work and knitting?” (The question mark at the end of that sentence is true to life as I feel I’m asking myself, “Is that really all you’ve done in the past three months?”)

I’m not sure why I’m so hard on myself about this (maybe I’m just in a mood today…that has lasted all summer) because the truth is that I’ve finished some of my favorite knits this summer. Projects I am really proud of. And even though I recognize that fact, I am still left wishing I felt more excited about what I’ve done this summer. So that when the sun disappears for winter and the 10 mile high snow drifts appear, I’m not left wishing I had made more of the warmth and the sun. Likely, though, I will look back in the middle of winter when school and work are in full-on crazy mode and realize that having even just a few lazy days of knitting and sunshine was a perfect way to spend a Toronto summer.

This week:

Knitting: I’ve started working on the Peabody sweater using some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport that I over dyed to create a heathered burnt orange. I love the beautiful leaf lace panel on the front of this sweater and the lace motif running down the sleeves. Isn’t it just begging to be made for fall? I’ve only just started on the lace panel so mine just looks like a crazy long ribbed tube right now, but I’m very happy with how the yarn is looking knitted up. I’m also working on some very vanilla striped socks (using self-striping yarn). Nothing fancy – just stockinette stitch while watching the colors change and change and change. It makes for very good commuting knitting when I can zone out or listen to a podcast while I work.

Reading: I finished Days of Blood and Starlight, the second book in the Daughter of Smoke and Bones series. I love these books – I love the setting, I love the characters, I love the unpredictable plot lines. This series has me entangled. I am really itching to pick up the third book in the series, but it’s pretty new, so I’m on the wait list for a library copy. I am really trying to cut down buying books that I can just as easily check out as ebooks from the library. So, now I wait. In the meantime, I checked out a copy of The Coldest Girl in Cold Town by Holly Black. Isn’t that a great title? Hopefully the book will live up to it.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

“Bring your knitting to work” day

There are some days at work when parts of my day are just spent waiting. And this waiting can sometimes take up to five hours. Five hours of watching a line of blue dye move through a gel at an excruciatingly slow pace (I shouldn’t complain… 5 hours is better than the 45 I had to wait for some experiments to work). These days are deemed “Bring your knitting to work” day.

I usually bring my knitting with me to work everyday so I have something to work on during my commute. But on “Bring your knitting to work” day, my knitting gets to come out and keep me company in the lab. I can usually read while working on a simple project, so knitting is a good way to keep my hands busy while I try to catch up on reading scientific papers. (Okay, full disclosure – the knitting is a way to try to keep my somewhat sane when reading gems like the one above. Just look at that title! Riveting. It was a real page turner. Are you catching all this sarcasm?)

It’s on these days that knitting keeps this from happening in the lab. Sometimes. After three hours of reading, the remaining two hours are a perfect time to catch some zzz’s when you are the only person in the lab. The lab nap is a scientific rite. You know you’ve made it when you find yourself sleeping in the lab. Just remember to set a timer or all that waiting will have been for naught when your gel run fails (not that this has ever happened to me).

This week:

Knitting: Keen eyed readers may notice that, yes, that is the sleeve for my Pluie cardigan. It’s actually the second sleeve – I’m almost there! If you are suffering from knitted umbrella motif withdrawal after the last few weeks of updates, don’t worry, I’ll have the cardigan finished soon.

Reading: I’m about half way through Days of Blood and Starlight. I also picked up two new books at the used book store: The Twistrose Key and Sea of Shadows which I look forward to starting soon.

Linking up with yarn along and KCCO.



This week was the start of a new obsession skill, learning to dye yarn. I’ve got nothing but “new mom” pride for this silly little skein of yarn, my first go at hand painting yarn. In my eyes, it is perfect and beautiful and can do no wrong. Someday it may even grow up to be a pretty hat to brighten up the cold, gray winters. And dyeing it was so much fun. I am seriously having to stop myself from dyeing any and all yarn in my stash left over from previous products. It’s helping that I may have used up all my food coloring this past weekend. But I do need to stop at the grocery store on my way home from work tonight for some milk, so while I’m there….

What else is going on this week?

Knitting: Still working on my Belgravia tee, which is making progress. I’m almost done with the front and I am really loving how it is looking so far. I also cast on another pair of socks. This time I’m working the herringbone rib socks in SweetGeorgia tough love sock yarn I picked up at the Knitter’s Frolic.

Reading: Still working on Daughter of Smoke and Bone – about half way through now. And I’ve been doing a lot of reading up on different yarn dyeing techniques (see, it’s taken over!).

Listening: While commuting and working in the lab, I’ve been listening to Royal Assassin as an audio book downloaded from my local library. I love the downloadable books most libraries have available now, though it does mean I usually only go to the physical library to renew my card, which is a little sad.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

in Progress

This week I’m…
Knitting: My business casual socks are well underway thanks to some lovely, uninterrupted train knitting during my Montreal trip. I’m using a Turtlepurl yarn I picked up at the Toronto Knitter’s frolic and I love it and it’s sparkly goodness. I couldn’t resist the sparkly yarn trend that seems popular right now. Like a crazy bird, I was just drawn to it, and I haven’t looked back since. I also started the Belgravia tee I had been hoarding for summer in a luscious fuchsia that is excruciatingly hard to photograph. 
Reading: I started Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor while in Montreal last week after a friend recommended it to me. Luckily, I had already purchased it when it was on sale a few months ago. Woah – I love this book so far! The world of this novel and it’s characters are so fascinating and unique. I look forward to reading it each evening before bed. Books that inspire that sort of passion and excitement are what I search for in an escape novel. I can’t wait to see where it takes me next.
Listening: During my daily commute, I’ve taken to listening to podcasts. One of my favorites right now is The Bugle. It’s a British podcast with John Oliver (of Daily Show fame) and Andy Zaltzman (of no American fame?) which dives into lesser known news stories with the humor you’d expect from someone on The Daily Show. Many times I’ve had to keep myself from laughing out loud on the subway like a crazy person (I may be a crazy person, but everyone on the subway doesn’t need to know that). I recommend it if you like funny things, politics/news, and, also, funny things. Or just quirky British men.
Linking up with KCCO and yarn along

FO: Summer boating socks

 Project: Summer boating socks ::: Pattern: Edwardian boating socks ::: Yarn: Knit Picks Stroll Handpainted

The weekend was a little dreary (but warmish, at least), so I took the time to finish up my boating socks. They are so fun. I’m wearing them as I speak blog. They are also surprisingly soft for socks knit with ‘bargain’ sock yarn. This Stroll yarn is probably one of my favorite sock yarns that I have worked with so far.

This week…

Knitting: Some sparkly business casual socks for me and some basic toe-up cabled socks for A.

Operation Honey: I’m at 17 hexipuffs so far this month. I doubt I’ll make my original goal of 40, but I should make it to 20-25 at least.

Reading: Still working on Miserere which is turning out better than I thought. It has an interesting premise that involves religion and history in our world along with fantasy elements in a different world, so it’s keeping my attention.

Watching: I’m finishing season one of Hannibal (talk about nightmare inducing tv), so to balance that I’m also watching season one of Chuck on Netflix for some lighter viewing.

Loving: More fruit is coming into season! I can finally afford strawberries! I can feel summer coming. I can’t wait for peaches and mangos and all things sweet and lovely.

Linking up with KCCO and yarn along.

Neon wave socks

The long holiday weekend allowed me to finish a couple of the projects I had on my needles, one of which was these neon wave socks

As you may have noticed, I’ve been drawn to bright, vivid colors lately, so I couldn’t resist this pink Malabrigo sock yarn on my latest trip to my LYS. I thought it was be fun to take this eye-popping color and integrate a traditional knitting motif, like cables.

I’ve also been trying to fully utilize the amazing abundance of gorgeous free sock patterns on Ravelry. So I settled on the seaweed sock pattern which uses lace to create a pseudo cable pattern. I think they came quite nice. The texture is interesting and the lace motif + bright color makes these a good pair of socks for spring and summer.

These are actually the first complete pair of toe-up socks. And I have to say they are growing on me. Especially with the two-at-a-time method. In my experience, working the heel on these is much easier to figure out doing TAAT than the top down sock method. Plus, I like that you can just keep going on the leg until you use as much yarn as you want.

Time for the weekly update.

Knitting: I’m on a total sock kick at the moment. These are my third pair of socks this year, and I’ve already cast on another pair of toe-up socks. I’m also working on a baby cardigan for my Ph.D. advisor who is having his first baby this fall, along with a drapey mohair pullover for myself.

Reading: Still working on The Girl Who Fell Below Fairyland and Led the Revels There by Catherynne Valente. It’s been slow going because I’ve had 2+ research articles to read each week for a short 6 week course I’m taking. I would much rather be reading about Fairyland.

Watching: I’m going back through all three seasons of Veronica Mars. It’s still as good as the first time I watched the series in 2009/2010. I was a late comer to the series, but I still love it.

Linking up with KCCO.