Saturday, January 6, 2018

2018 Intentions

Welcome, 2018!  My word for this year is YES as in yes to more life-affirming activities.

I've been giving this new beginning a lot of thought and I came up with categories of intentions (not resolutions).  Here goes:

1. Travel, this is the easiest one!

  • France;
  • Scotland;
  • Christmas in November at Jasper Park Lodge with my French reading circle;
  • A couple of trips north to see my father (who is going on 97)

2. Knitting and other creative projects (another no-brainer)

  • Work on pencil-ribbed skirt by CYT
  • Finish Thrummed Mittens by RCY
  • Finish Anabella Cowl by CYT
  • Polka Dot Scarf by CYT
  • Grain shawl by Tin Can Knits
  • Champagne bottle candles
  • One Miss Maggie Rabbit by Posie
  • A few small knitting projects from my RCY Advent Box
  • French General Quilt before Christmas 

3. Reading, easy street! I have committed to reading 15 books for another year on Goodreads.  Amongst them:

  • The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
  • Simon Veil: Une vie by Simon Veil (now reading)
  • The Ladies in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste NG
  • La bâtarde d'Istanbul by Elie Shafak
  • La mémoire du temps by Mylène Gilbert-Dumas
  • Elinor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

4. Good health all around (not so easy)

  • Ride my our new stationary bike 3x or more/week
  • Weekly yoga
  • Keep walking outside when weather permits
  • Have a weekly fun outing by myself or with friends
  • Care less about what people think
  • Surgery for stomach
  • Vein clinic for treatments to legs
  • Maintain a strong and healthy back with exercises

5. Home Projects

  • Laundry room redo
  • Downstairs hall wallpaper removal and paint

6. Important Events

  • Tristan and Amina's visit in February (I will have my whole family around the dinner table!)
  • My 60th birthday
Please tell me at least one of your intentions for 2018 by commenting below.  I would love to know what's on your list if you have one!

Thursday, December 14, 2017


I've been off since December 5th and that lasts till January 8th when I start teaching at the Uni.  It's my little hiatus before 4 months' work, my biggest job.  A lot of students this year and my schedule has changed from teaching twice to three times/week.

In the meantime, hiatus... Since I'm done with Christmas knitting, I am attempting to finish some rather long-winded projects.  The Annabella Cowl (see sidebar) is lovely knit up with a blend of Alpaca, silk and mohair.  The CYT pencil ribbed skirt - not even half done, it is knit entirely in a 2x2 ribbed pattern that takes for. e.ver!  Then there are the thrummed mittens that I left unfinished last year that I have to figure out again...

I have two mini knitting projects from my River City Yarns advent box - some boot toppers and some wrist warmers... little Christmas trees and a pocket gnome that I will have to do needle felting for. Yikes!

I am just finishing up the loveliest book called the Keeper of Lost things.  A relaxing, funny, compelling story of the type that I love.  A Motley Crue of characters reunited in a HOUSE, form a family of sorts and work out life problems together.  A very humane and heart lifting story that is just right for the pre-Christmas season. There are goodness and evil, weakness and talent, mystery and mayhem as well as a ghost - all in a beautiful home called Padua somewhere in England

If you want to be entertained and not shaken and stirred at this time of year, this is the book for you.

On another note, on a recommendation from my sister and her husband, we have just finished watching a one-season series called The Halcyon.  It takes place in a 5-star hotel in London during the beginning of WWII and it is filled with beautiful scenery, the rich and the not-so-rich, the naughty, the nasty and the nice.  It also is my idea of entertainment. Although it is a drama, the good guys win enough times to keep the hope afloat. This series does not discourage.

Lastly, I have begun a series called: The Loch (see sidebar). You may or not know that I am a crime-drama aficionado and this one takes place on the site of the famed Loch Ness. Here's a Scottish ditty for ye

O ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak' the low road
An' I'll be in Scotland afore ye;
For me and me true love will never meet again
On the bonnie, bonnie banks o' Loch Lomond.

How does it come to be that a French-Canadian girl from western Canada knows this tune? Well, my Mama was a young woman during WWII and she learned all manner of tunes from the radio which she then passed on to her girls while getting the dishes done.

Scotland is our next destination triplet when we head back to France in 2018.  Can't wait to see the Highlands, taste the whiskey, walk around Edinburgh and buy some yarn for myself and tartan for my son-in-law!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Christmas Knitting

Every Christmas, V and I give the kids cash for Christmas and I give them something knitted. I get requests for hats a lot but this year, I made a couple of my girls some great mitts. The pattern is from Tin Can Knits, a Canadian company, and the pattern is called The World's Simplest Mitts.  You can download this pattern free on Ravelry or click here. If you can knit in the round, you can make these mitts.  Although the pattern is simple, the yarn speaks volumes here. It's Malabrigo Mecha, 100% wool, gorgeous and plump.  I added a pair of glove liners inside them to make these extra warm and versatile.

The woman's hat pattern I favor is Rikke, a free download on Ravelry.  It is deceptively simple and has a little slouch.  I have made a lot of people happy with these.

For the three men in my family who want knitted toques, I use my favorite Boyfriend Watch Cap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas, a beautiful yarn store on Bainbridge Island in Washington.  This is a purchased pattern.  I knit these out of Cascade 220 which is a reasonably priced yarn and they turn out really well.

Image via
Image via

When making knitted gifts, I try and make sure that the people I am knitting for are 'Knit Worthy'.  This means that they appreciate the gift as well as the time it took to make it and they will endeavour to take care of the item.  I also make sure that the pattern and color will please the recipient or else the gift will live its life out in the bottom of a basket somewhere at the back of a dark closet... a nightmare for any knitter.

This year, I will include with my knits, a single wash dose of Eucalan with washing instructions.  I am on a mission to educate my family on the care and feeding of their woolly treasures.