Tour de Fleece – Off to a Strong Start

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I <3 the Tour de Fleece. It’s my motivation to spin lots of yarn. For those of you who do not know what the Tour de Fleece is, it’s a Ravelry-based event where you try to spin every day on your spinning wheel along with the Tour de France. You can also set personal goals within that – mine include spinning for the SweetGeorgia Summer of socks and spinning yarn for a comfy tunic type thing.

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I started with the Cloud 9 Fiberworks Fluffy Merino in Candy Ache. It’s some locally dyed stuff that I picked up at the fibre festival that was really nice to work with. I went for a simple 2-ply, splitting the braid in half, starting my spinning from different ends to have more of a barber pole effect.

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Yesterday I started spinning for the  SweetGeorgia Summer of Socks. I am spinning the Panda base in Stormchaser. I just love spinning with this stuff, it’s so well processed and dyed that the fibres are not very compacted so it’s very easy to draft and needs little prep. I’m spinning it fractally (you can read more here). I plan to make some plain toe up socks with this when it’s done, so I figured the fractal spinning will lend more drama to my project. I split the braid in half and spun one half from end to end yesterday. The other half I split into 8 smaller pieces and will spin them from end to end all starting at the same point. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!

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Movie Time Party Fun

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This article, Why Nicolas Sparks Matters Now made me realize that I really have only seen one Nicholas Sparks movie (A Walk to Remember! Mandy Moore and Shane West!) – I haven’t even seen the Notebook, even though I am pretty sure I have seen every other Ryan Gosling movie a few times (The United States of Leland is so depressing FYI).

I think it’s time to marathon watch some. I am not a huge movie watcher, but this seems like a good in the background thing to watch. The Mashrabiya Shawl/Vest/Scarf/Top is pretty easy knitting, but there is a lot of it to knit so I need some movies. I’ve been watching the first season of The Mindy Project (OMG Dr. Castellano!) I saw bits of it but did not really get into it, but the second season was sooooo good. So I am catching up. Anyways, I digress. I think this upcoming week I need to watch some cheesy movies and knit. And what better is there than movies based on Nicholas Sparks books!?! I am thinking The Last Song (pre-tongue Miley), then Safe Haven and The Last One, finishing up with The Notebook of course.

 

My Favourite Smoothies.

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I like smoothies. I am pretty good at making them. Maybe even an expert – I spent much of my university career as a professional smoothie artist at a big juice bar chain. I can still make the top 5 off the top of my head. My kids say I make the best smoothies ever, so that alone lets you know how pro I am. Ha. I also love fresh juice, but have vowed to never ever never clean a juicer again, as much as I’d like to have one. I have two go to smoothies.


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Mocha Protein Shake to the Max

Chocolate protein powder (I used BSN Lean Dessert Fudge whatever), regular coffee made on the small setting on the Keuring, 1/2 cup of milk and enough ice to fill my large favourite Blender Bottle SportMixer. It has a good shape, hot pink accents and a tattoo-inspired Little Mermaid sticker. Get in some protein, a little bit more with the milk (and calcium too!) and caffeine all in one drink. It tastes pretty good too – basically like a chocolate coffee milkshake.

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Fresh Fruit Heck Yes!

This one is simple – take 1/4 cup of 4 different fruits or any combo of fruit totalling 2 cups. I like to make these up in little baggies with fruits that are on the edge or that I bought and the kids were not into (helloooo cantaloupe). I also watch bad tv while I do prep. It’s how I roll. These baggies were made up of 1/4 each of raspberries & blueberries which I had bought Costco packs of so there was lots, some strawberries and the unloved cantaloupe. I throw these in a magic bullet cup thinger with some water, low fat greek yogurt and either a touch of honey or some vanilla protein powder depending on if it’s a breakfast smoothie (protein!) or afternoon snack smoothie (sweet sweet honey). It’s really simple, but super effective. Is it OMGawesomeTheBestSmoothieEver? Not quite, but it’s simple and I am not a big fan of sorbet, lots of honey, stevia, agave, ect as sweeteners in smoothies which tend to make TheBestSmoothieEver because they take them more into that desserty treat category. And I don’t do figs or dates. I am not a big juice fan (unless it’s fresh and has beets) in general, other than the occasional orange juice for breakfast. But if you are, totally replace the water with some juice. Party time! And if you want to feel healthy or whatever, throw in a handful of kale or spinach – I find kale can up the refreshing quotient a bit.

Fruits that go great together:

Banana & Strawberry – CLASSIC

Peach-Blueberry-Banana

Watermelon-Raspberry-Cherry-Squirt of lime

Mango-Raspberry-Peach-Banana

Cherry-Raspberry-Watermelon-Blueberry

Strawberry-Mango-Peach

Pineapple-Raspberry (or blueberry)-Banana

 

My other favourite smoothie has 1/2 a banana, 1/2 cup blueberries, a few slices of peach, orange juice, plain low-fat greek yogurt and some honey. So good. Sooooo good. It’s a good breakfast.

MCN is MC Lovely or how I convinced myself to cast on another project.

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I love casting on projects. Starting is awesome. I was trying not do do anymore starting and focus on more finishing until I came across Northbound Knitting MCN Fingering. I’ve admired NBK yarns for a while now and finally we ordered some for the store. We brought them along to Brandon for the Blue Hills Fibre Festival and are going to put them out in the store Friday…. IF I DON’T BUY THEM ALL. Hahahaha. JK. Mostly. It might just be the squishiest MCN I have ever knit with.

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While I am known for being a lover of all things colour, I have to admit I am pretty bland. I started out with the trio above (which I want someone to buy and make a Colour Affection Shawl with) and ended with black-ish. Ryan calls me his stormcloud sometimes because my favourite thing to wear is shades of black, charcoal and salt-and-pepper greys. So I was drawn to the awesome stunning neutrals from NBK. If you look at dyer Lisa Mutch’s Ravelry designer page, you can see that blacks and greys are her thing and she does them SO SO well. I picked one called Gothic. So squish. It was hard deciding between it and Espresso, but I liked the purple undertones (which are exaggerated in the pic below).

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I decided to cast on Mashrabiya which has been in my queue and library a while. I love the versatility of this scarf/wrap/vest/lacy top and it’s pretty fun to knit a fingering weight yarn on US 10 needles. This project really sold me. The rows are so long, but the lace is big so there are not too many repeats. So far so good! I like knitting it – the stitch pattern is fun and interesting, but easy to keep a handle on. The yarn is a dream to knit with – it slides well and has a nice squish that feels great to knit with.

 

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Now the hard part… staying away from the NBK Merino Fingering Singles and BFL/Silk/Cashmere Fingering. Oh my. They are all too pretty.

Wednesday <3s

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It is Wednesday, right?  I just feel like the days are getting away from me.

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Working on this cowl is pretty great! The colours are so bright!!! I just have a couple more repeats to do and then it’s done. I need to start finishing things.

 

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Going to the Blue Hills Fibre Festival as a vendor with my store, Wolseley Wool on Saturday. I am on the hunt for something that will work for Jonsey. It’s taking place in Carberry all day Saturday and I can’t wait – it’s such a great festival. Everyone is so warm and there is lots to see.

 

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5 Ways you’re Not Living With Chronic Illness – I just saw this article on my twitter feed and really liked it. It’s so easy to get caught in a negative hating spiral. These are some simple ways to try and get out of it or avoid it.

 

0d3814697179bf805bef986db2861b83I am all about the Gelish fade and this blog post has some great info and graphics on how to and taking it a step further. It’s such an easy technique for such a great nail look.

And finally, some words from the wise Angela Chase. All I want to do today is hide on the couch with blankets and My So Called Life…. maybe when the kids are asleep.

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