Giveaway!! Wool Me Tender Shawl & Yarn Review

Cold weather is coming, but me and my big grey shawl are ready.

Wool Me Tender Shawl |

Pattern: Offhand Lace

Yarn: Wool and the Gang Wool Me Tender

Needles: 10 mm (US 15)

My project page on Ravelry is here. 

This is the second of 3 (really!) shawls I’ve knit in the last couple of months. This is the thickest and coziest one, by far. Wool and the Gang is mostly famous for their wonderful knitting kits. I’ve used Wool and the Gang before, and I loved the mitts that I made- they turned out great and I still wear them.  This was my first time just freestyling with the yarn, and I was really pleased with it. I’ve probably wanted to knit some bulky weight shawls for ages,  and this was the perfect time to make it happen. The yarn was perfect – 100% Peruvian wool, single ply, and  strong. The thickness was consistent throughout.

Wool Me Tender Shawl |

I don’t normally wear my hair in a topknot, but it was raining that day and we had to do photos.  I got pretty wet on our way! Toronto has a lot of underpasses that are beautifully painted, so we figured  we would just shoot photos by one. Except… you actually have to get out of your car and get to it, since parking in an underpass isn’t usually allowed.

This particular mural was prettier just outside the covered part of the underpass. It wasn’t raining quite as hard then, so we stood in the drizzle for these photos. It was more fun than you’d think- something about choosing to stand in the rain and just embracing it. I couldn’t put my jacket down, so in all these photos, it’s bunched up between my knees.

Wool Me Tender Shawl |

Wool Me Tender Shawl |

The awesome folks at Wool and the Gang offered to do a giveaway – two skeins of Wool Me Tender in the color of your choice! So nice, right?  To enter, leave a comment letting me know which color you would choose, and what you would make with it. They could be two different colours, too! Comments close Thursday night at 10 p.m. EST!

Wool Me Tender Shawl |

p.s.- When I was setting up the links I noticed they are having a 30% sale on all their kits until Friday– if you were thinking of trying out one of their wonderful kits, this would be a good time.

Modification Monday: Abanu the Giraffe

Modification Monday: Abanu the Giraffe |

Original Pattern: Noah’s Ark Giraffes

Knitter Extraordinaire: Stephanie (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Changed to knit the pattern in the round, changed gauge, modified the ossicones, added felted details and changed the mane. Excellent details for similar results can be found on Stephanie’s project page, here.

What Makes This Awesome: Stephanie has done some fantastic details and modifications on this adorable giraffe. I love the bobble mane, it looks wonderful and is no doubt a tidier solution for knitters that struggle with applying fringe to toys (I have totally struggled with this myself!) The more rounded head also looks cuter, and the needle felted heart on the arm (click through her project page for lots of great photos) is such a loving detail. And such great colour choices! Hard to imagine a cuter giraffe than this.

Modification Monday: Abanu the Giraffe |

Pin Ups and Link Love: My Favourite Things This Week

My Favourite Articles and Links This Week

Recently I’ve been trying to figure out how to talk to Lila about race and racial diversity, and I found this article to be really helpful.

A great review of my new poetry book– I’m particularly pleased to have it described as ‘Anna Karenina gone furious’.

I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breath looking at these Pinterest baby photo fails.

15 Canadian words that should be more prevalent. I was surprised by this list! Naturally I knew them all, but had no idea that they weren’t in the American lexicon.

My Favourite Pins This Week

Pin Ups and Link Love: Chocolate Streusel Coffee Cake |

A super simple chocolate streusel coffee cake recipe. It’s one of those recipes that has a box of cake mix as an ingredient, but I like that sort of thing- sometimes I feel like making things from scratch, and sometimes I just need a dessert to serve people as quickly as humanly possible. This is definitely in the latter category. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Mexican Stuffed Peppers |

I love stuffed peppers. When I was in my first year of university and had the residence meal plan, Wednesday were stuffed pepper days and they were my favourite meal all week.  Healthy and full of protein, this is an easy weeknight recipe. Pinterest link is here, and the original recipe post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: How to Chop and Freeze Basil |

My basil plants are huge and bushy, but fall is coming! If you also have basil in your garden and want to freeze it, this is a super easy video on exactly how to harvest your basil and enjoy fresh basil in your cooking all winter long. Pinterest link is here, and the original post is here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Crocheted Tote|

I feel like there have been a lot of really quite chic crocheted bags lately, I’ve been really impressed. This tote looks modern and cozy, just right for fall and winter. Pinterest link is here, and the original post can be found here.

Pin Ups and Link Love: Imagine Quote |

This is so true- just imagine how different we would feel, act, and be if we obsessed over the best parts of ourselves? I wish I could find the original source, but the best I can do is an Instagram rabbit hole. Pinterest link is here, Instagram rabbit hole is here.

Vacation Report: England and Spain

 I don’t think little kids actually enjoy travelling, generally speaking. The routines are off, everything is different (different beds, different food, different environment) and kids don’t find that invigorating and exciting until they are probably tween or teenagers. Traveling internationally with kids is not for the faint of heart, but overall, our trip was fantastic. There were definitely some rough parts but overall it was worth it.

Which is just too bad for my kids, because we intend to keep dragging them around to various places, and I trust that when they are older they will look back on it and think it was a grand adventure. Like so many things in childhood that our parents make us do, they turn out to be good decisions.

But I love this hilarious photo of Lila on the plan prior to take off. Just scarfing down chips, wearing her jammies, and rockin’ with her penguin headphones:

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Something I learned from this trip- no more red eye flights with small children. It’s just too hard on everyone. I think Lila slept for a total of an hour on the flight to England, and James for about 3 hours. I think Guy got about an hour’s sleep, and I got about half an hour. Who wants to start a vacation like that? I’ll be looking into how to break up the flight so that we can fly during the day next time.

We got to spend some great quality family time in England:

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Then we flew from Bristol to Barcelona:

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain | Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Some close friends were getting married in Spain- the couple that introduced Guy and I! They have been together a very long time and decided it was time to make it official. I went to the bachelorette party, Guy went to the bachelor party, we had a few days to explore the city and then we went to Girona for the wedding. It was … breathtaking. Hands down the most beautiful, most fun wedding I’ve ever been to! Including my own, but I have a theory that when it’s your own wedding, it can be hard to relax and enjoy since you are in the eye of the storm.

They rented a villa in the countryside, complete with it’s own salt water pool. The views were spectacular, and the whole thing was nothing short of magical. We put Lila and James to bed in the evening in the main house, and then danced all night under the stars with our friends. There were other kids too- all the parents took turns checking on them all night long.

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

Something fun we did with Lila was we gave her my old digital camera, a point-and-shoot that is about 8 years old but has always been pretty reliable. It was fascinating to look through her pictures and see the trip from her perspective. There were loads of photos, many of them blurry because she had smudged the lens and I wasn’t always remembering to clean it off. Also a huge number of photos of toys. Here are my top pics from her shots:

Traveling with Kids: England and Spain |

 The blue bunny is on a pair of leggings we got for her in England, and she was absolutely fascinated.  I would check on her and find that she was just staring at her pants (there are a variety of woodland animals on them). Not a single photo of any of the sights. I wonder how old she will be before that part of the trip begins to interest her?

Finished Knit: Kveta Shawl

Finished Knit: Kveta Shawl |

I’ve said so many times that I’m not really a shawl person, but the Kevta shawl made me change my mind.

Finished Knit: Kveta Shawl |

Pattern: Kveta

Yarn: Berroco Millefiori in Viola

Notes:  This yarn is from Berroco’s new fall release, where they launched all sorts of new yarns and new patterns. I was fortunate to get to pick a project to knit, and I instantly fell for Kveta. The yarn sold me- I’ve already gushed about it in previous posts here and here, and it’s probably because I’m surprised by how much I like a yarn that has this much variety in it. The colourful bits are silky, the black bits are woolly. There are loads of colour changes but it somehow stays quite consistent. Also, it looks mighty fine with my favourite jacket.


The shawl has a great construction in that you ‘knit’ the fringe as you go, at at the end, you drop the stitches and get the fringe sides. Although I did find the snipping (otherwise they are big loops) to be a little time consuming, but it as worth it. A 2 skein shawl with all this Zen garter stitch was really great to keep in my purse and just knit away at during free moments.

Finished Knit: Kveta Shawl |

I have a lot of time these days for simple knits. Lately James has taken to trying to crawl up the stairs a million times a day, and I was finding it frustrating. So I stashed a stockinette project on the stairs and now when James starts crawling onto the bottom step, rather than feeling like ‘oh, here we go again…’ I’m glad that he wants to go. I can knit a few rows while I sit on the stairs below him,  so that he can’t fall.

Finished Knit: Kveta Shawl |

Some anglophiles might notice that I’m near the famous Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, England in these photos! I’m working on a post about our recent vacation, with all sorts of photos. I think sometimes going through the photos after the trip is one of my favourite things- it’s like reliving all the best bits all over again.