Wednesday, 22 February 2012

My Lenten Promise

Hello my lovely followers!

Mardi Gras has come and gone, and since the day of gluttony is over, now starts the hard part: 40 days of giving up something. Today is in fact, Ash Wednesday - the day that symbolises Jesus entering the desert for 40 days and 40 nights.

So I'm thinking about what to give up. This morning as I was brushing my teeth and had a few minutes of reflection time, I thought to myself, "hey, what if I don't give anything up and just do extra good?" but then I realised that was a cop out, and at 5:30am, blamed the ghastly hour as cause for my brain not working at full potential.

A few years ago I gave up coffee. That didn't fare well - I was a miserable person and probably caused more damage in the world without it. The year after that, I gave up my morning cigarette (yes, terrible habit I know) and lasted about 3 hours before getting the shakes and succumbing to the nicotine demon. Last year I gave up spending money (other than gas and other necessities, coffee NOT included, thank you very much). It worked - until my LYS had a sale. Then it went down the drain and I continue to feel guilty about breaking my Lent promise. This year though, I'm caught between a rock and a hard spot. Do I give up yarn shopping or Nutella??

Nutella seems like the obvious choice for me, seeing as it's always in my pantry and in front of my face, so the temptation of it for 40 days should test my character and will. Yarn shopping however, can get out of control very quickly - but it's an out-of-sight-out-of-mind thing. Plus, yarn shopping is for the good of "The Little Cowl Company" clients (seeing as I've barely knit myself a cowl or anything else for that matter). I can't give up something that could so detrimentally affect someone else, now can I?! So I guess Nutella it is...ok fine, all chocolate for that matter. Might as well go hard or go home!
Wishing you all the luck if you decide to give something up! Stay strong, and knit on!

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Yarn Swap

Hello my darling knitters. I write to you from my comfy couch and an interesting episode of Young and the Restless blasting in the background. What a guilty pleasure I get to indulge in as I surf Ravelry and some awesome blogs. My 18 month old nephew just got picked up from a day with nonna (grandmother), dinner is simmering, and me and my mom are catching a quick breath after a busy day.

I came home earlier this afternoon and just as I walked in the door, the door bell rang behind me. It was my much anticipated swap package! You may recall a few posts ago that I mentioned swap groups on Ravelry. Well, I joined a "Caffeine Addicts" group and got matched up with a super cool swap partner. We chatted a bit before the swap, trying to understand what the other would like and then off to the stores! 

I threw some cool things together: a charcoal grey cowl, gorgeous forest green Van Dyck by Filati chunky yarn, grey wool yarn from, a hand-embroidered pencil case from India, a lovely MAC eyeliner in plum, some organic fair trade coffee and loose tea, Starbucks Blonde Roast coffee, and a little note on my favorite Florentine stationary.

Well, lemmy tell you what I got! The first things I pulled out of the package were the hat and mitts. Beautiful beautiful mitts and the most feminine pretty hat, in a lovely shade of turquoise tweed. She also included two-and-a-half skeins in the same yarn, AND the most lovely shade of purple baby Alpaca (my favorite yarn of all time). 

To go with the coffee and tea theme, she included some lovely "Turtles" flavoured coffee, hazelnut flavoured coffee, fair trade organic coffee from my swap-partners hometown, chamomile tea (my favorite as well), green tea candies, cupcake mix, cupcake notepad, and some very cool bath fizzies. I'm actually quite happy no one else in the house drinks coffee (other than espresso) because I'm planning to hoard it.

I thought it would be fun to share what I got, and hope my swap partner enjoys her package as well. I am so excited to wear my new hat and mitts tomorrow, and am still searching for a cowl pattern that would be worthy of my new yarn.

As my new yarn package labels says:

Knit, Smile, Repeat!


Friday, 3 February 2012

Ignorance is Bliss

I should start this edition of my blog out with an important disclaimer. If being a knitter wasn't was tipped me on the nerd scale, being obsessed with anything and everything Jane Austen and 18-19th century England sure does the trick. That being said, enjoy my weekly knitting commentary below.

I may be a little bit late on the Knit Picks bandwagon, but gosh, have I jumped on!

I signed up for the Knit Picks newsletter about a year ago, but every time I saw that little e-mail pop up in my inbox, a mix of excitement and dread washed over me. Excitement because obviously I had browsed the website and fell instantly in love. Dread because I knew if I dug further into their offers, I would no doubt spend a mortgage payment on yarn and books and needles and all other wonderful items.

Well, I finally gave in. I have been dying for the Jane Austen Knits magazine. Not only does Knit
Picks have it, it's 40% off. So, here i'm thinking..."just get the magazine and check out before anyone gets hurt". La-di-da, zooming through the site to check out and BOOM!, pop up for a yarn swift and ball winder. Well, hello.

I inherited a beautiful wooden yarn swift from my parents, who must have picked it up on a trip to Italy in the late 70s or 80s. I had no idea what it was for until I started knitting, and then I had almost no idea how to use it. Well, Knit Picks informed me how. All I needed was a ball winder! now my mind is racing, "does Knit Picks sell ball winders? Should I buy some yarn to test it?" (not like I don't have four Rubber Made containers at home and a linen closet filled with yarn, no no, let's buy more).

I called some stores in the GTA and their prices for ball winders was extraordinary...Knit Picks was not. So I figure I'll get the ball winder so my beautiful skeins of baby Alpaca doesn't get tangled as I try to wind it myself. Ok, two items in my tentative shopping cart. Not bad, Jordana...not bad. Wait, I have a pending Wish List going with interchangable wood needles, books and yarn. At this point, my mouse-palm is sweating and I'm shaking with the urge to just get everything my heart desires and not care about the cost.

But I resist. Kind of. I get a little buzz on my trusty Blackberry with an email notification as I'm on Knit Picks website of greatness. Groupon offer for yarn! GOOD GOD DELIVER ME FROM TEMPTATION!

This offer was just TOO good. Basically, half off. So I purchased two skeins of a gorgeous hue of eggplant mink, silk and cashmere yarn, some lilac superwash merino and matching extra warm wool. To test out the yarn swift and ball winder, of course.

In conclusion, I must stress the need for self-control when opening up Knit Picks or Elann or Craftsy e-mails. These sneaky little websites KNOW the craziness that ensues when a yarn offer arises. We must be strong!

Have a great weekend, and as always, Keep Calm & Knit On!