FO: Cream & Sugar Cowl

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Pattern: Cream and Sugar Cowl

Yarn: o.o.a.k  from Tanis Fiber Arts

Needles: 3.75 mm (US 5)

Notes: I knit this lovely neckwarmer back at the beginning of March, and promptly gave it to my mother who had been admiring it while I was binding off at her home. We took some photos, but it wasn’t until we were back in Toronto that it was clear that they just didn’t work. So we had to wait until we were back in the same town as the cowl to do some re-shoots on Easter weekend! Isn’t my mom gorgeous?She makes 57 look goooood.

This is such a great little pattern. It’s perfect for a treasured skein of fingering weight yarn, and everyone who sees this just loves it- another friend in my home town saw it and wanted one, too! So…. here it is in progress, the Cream and Sugar Cowl  in Shibui sock yarn, in the wasabi colourway.

cream and sugar in progress

I was surprised when I looked over my projects and realized I hadn’t made anything with this yarn before. It’s really lovely, and the indoor, nighttime photo doesn’t do the colour full justice- it’s a lovely, fresh spring-y green.

Modification Monday: Ivy League Mitts

Original Pattern: Ivy League Vest

Knitter Extraordinaire: Caroline (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Turned the beautiful fair isle vest into these stunning fair isle fingerless mitts, and even charted out the thumb gusset in pattern. You’ve got to check out the full details on her project age, here.

What Makes This Awesome: There are so many things to praise about this gorgeous pair of mitts. It’s not even that these fair isle mitts are a beautiful adaptation of the vest, or that she even charted the perfect thumb gusset(!!!), but on top of all that, it’s that her brilliant usage of harmonious colours together. Nothing jars or seems out of place. Just perfect, stunning mitts.

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day, everyone! I hope you are having a lovely day. I know not everyone has a green thumb, So here is a link to some great house plants you can buy that do a great job of scrubbing the air and removing toxins.
 
For those of you who want to try or already enjoy growing some tasty edibles (even if all you have is a tiny little windowsill and no garden to speak of), here are some great links:

I actually grow lots of tomatoes (cherry and grape ones) on my patio every summer, and they are amazing- so full of flavour.  And really easy- all they need is a sunny spot.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Earth Day Ramp Up: Keeping Clean & Green

I was a bit of an early adopter on environmentally friendly cleaning products, since most commercial ones make the skin on my hands really irritated, or the overpowering scent makes my throat feel funny. I also find it odd that we somehow have collectively accepted the idea that wiping a surface down with poisonous and harmful chemicals is somehow ‘clean’.

I use straight up baking soda for anything I feel needs a good scouring-
such as the tub, bathroom and kitchen sink, etc. And if I feel like I
really need to disinfect a surface, I wipe it down with a rubbing
alcohol (isropyl alcohol). 

But earth-friendly sometimes needs to be really easy, right? Enter Method, probably the most consumer-friendly eco cleaning product company. They make every kind of cleaning product you can think of both for your home, and for your body. They even have a wonderful line of baby care products- all all non-toxic, naturally derived biodegradable ingredients and an earth-friendly outlook.

Method products are available in: Canada, United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia. And they come in many great fragrances- not too strong at all.

I only buy biodegradable laundry detergent, although I’m not faithful to a particular brand. It’s great for sensitive skin. Method makes a great one, but I find that my grocery store carries a bunch of them, so I buy whatever is biodegradable and on sale. I don’t use dryer sheets (they have formaldehyde in them!), so to eliminate static (and use less electricity) I don’t run my dryer more than 20 minutes at a time. I find clothes only get static-y if they become bone-dry in there, so running it for shorter times eliminates that. Or, if I don’t need the shrinking and de-wrinkling powers of the dryer, I hang clothes on a dry rack to dry au natural.

We’re all friends, right? Of course we are. So hopefully it’s not TMI to tell you about the line of feminine hygiene products I use:

I love Natracare. They don’t behave any differently from the plastic products that most of us use. Think about this- every feminine hygiene product you have ever used in your entire life (including the wrapper/backing) is still sitting in a landfill somewhere. Whatever your preferences are, they have the product for you- and it’s all organic, biodegradable, and awesome. I’ve used their products for years and never had any problems. And they are available everywhere. Check out this country list!

And even though this isn’t really about keeping clean, we’re all interested in knitting, crocheting, or spinning fibre, right? How about trying your hand at dying with vegetable base dyes? Re-Nest has a great article on this.

Earth Day Ramp Up: The Beauty Edition

First of all- Tanis Fiber Arts is having a giveaway! Go leave a comment for a chance to win!

I know I don’t often talk about some of my non-knitting personal habits, but with Earth Day coming up on Friday, I thought this would be a good time. Most of the products I use are ‘green’ products, and I feel like I’ve tried enough of them that I thought I’d give you my faves. the first one is what I feel is the most important, since skin care is generally something we all care about. I personally don’t see how slathering oil and petroleum industry by-products onto my face will give me the skin I want. Here are three simple products that I love, work great, and are better for you and the environment:

First up: Rose Hip Seed Oil

I use rose hip seed oil on my skin every night when I go to bed. Just a dime sized amount mixed with whatever moisturizer you  currently use is perfect. I bet in about two weeks you’ll notice a real difference in your skin. Brand doesn’t matter, and you can get it at every health food store every where. It’s about $15. It’s magic.

 Next up: Tarte Cheek Stain

This product is amazing, and also rocks as a lip stain. I use the ‘natural beauty’ colour. And I know $30 seems like a lot for blush, but this will last you a looong time. And it’s free of parabens, sulphates, synthetic fragrances, petro chemicals, and Phthalates (all that stuff- terrible for you!). Which brings me to me next point- you see that green symbol on this shamelessly thieved photo from Sephora? Sephora actually has an entire section devoted to earth friendly beauty and hair products. Go check it out!

What about perfume? Glad you asked:  Lavanila

This smells incredible. The company has a series of fragrances and body care products that smell utterly, unbelievably amazing. Vanilla Grapefruit (pictured above) is my favourite.  Considering the kinds of chemicals that go into perfumes that you then tend to spray directly onto your skin, a more earth friendly choice of fragrance will definitely benefit both you and the planet.

I hope you’ll take a closer look at some greener products that you will enjoy! Let me know if you do try any of the above.