Cardigan Trail

We’ve been taking full advantage of the nice weather and hitting the local trails. One of our favourites is Cardigan River Trails.

Cardigan River Trails are situated behind the ball diamonds west of Cardigan. It is a picturesque wooded area that hosts a wide variety of bird and plant species. Pictures above is an empty Robin’s egg shell we found along the trail.

Along with being treated to birdsong, there is also evidence of bird activity such as these holes made by a Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker.

We took a newish section of trail that leads directly down to the river and loops back. It has a beautiful boardwalk through the wet sections. In just a few weeks, this section will be brilliant with bright purplish-pink Rhodora blossoms.

We also get treated to these water views.

Along the way there were still quite a few Mayflower blossoms. They have since bloomed and disappeared on many of our usual trails but here they are still hanging in!

The Eastern Tamarack are starting to grow back their needles.

We found a little sunny spot along this section of trail.

This stand of pines looks a little dark and foreboding but is still a pleasure to walk through. The smell of the pines is delightful.

And last little snippet from our hike is this photo of the Serviceberry blossoms. These are so beautiful and they turn into such a delicious treat when they’re in fruit. You just have to be faster than the birds to snag a taste!

I hope you enjoy this little peek into our hike. If you happen to be in Cardigan, I highly recommend checking out the trail!

Sweaters, Socks, and Spinning

Even though it is now officially Spring, I still want to keep on knitting all the cozy knits. I’ve been seeing swoon worthy sweaters, adorable socks, and luscious fibres on podcasts and Instagram and I can’t help but feel completely inspired. My to-knit list is becoming quite long indeed!

I have a few sweater WIPs that I’m working on right now, a pair of socks, and some spinning.

First up is Goldwing by Jennifer Steingass. While I’ve been pretty good at knitting from my stash for a lot of projects this year, I couldn’t resist picking up some of this lovely blue tweed yarn from Belfast Mini Mills. The color was absolutely perfect for my youngest and it has been a while since I’ve knit her a sweater.

The pattern is very straightforward and clearly written (as are all of the Jennifer Steingass patterns I’ve used) and it knits up very quickly. As is usual, when I knit top down sweaters, I opted for a tubular bind off because I prefer that type of edge on sweaters. Now I just need to get cracking on the sleeves!

Next up is a knit with a good friend. We decided that we would both knit Sun in Setesdal by Sidsel J Høivik.

I am using the called for yarn for this project and really enjoying it. It is my first time knitting with Hillesvåg yarn and it certainly won’t be my last. It is a lovely, rustic wool that knits up into a very nice fabric. Also, this TOTALLY counts as using stash because yarn because I’ve has it since late 2021, right? 😉

It is knit from the bottom up and I’ve completed up to the under arms and have cast on the steek stitches and knit a few rounds. Even though it is knit on 2.75mm needles, it is knitting up quickly because I want to knit “just one more round” each tim I work on it. Plus, the sunny yellow is just such a happy color to work with!

The last knitting project I have to share with you today (I actually have one more sweater project but I haven’t taken any photos of it yet) is a cozy pair of wool socks.

These are Into The Woods by Melody Hoffman and are knit in Fleece and Harmony’s Point Prim Sock in “Haunted Woods” colorway as the main color and some Lichen and Lace Rustic Heather Sport that was left over from knitting my Lunenburg Pullover.

I’m almost finished the first sock and am very much loving how they are working up. They also fit into several of my crafty goals for this year. I’ve committed to knitting myself more handmade wool socks because they feel the best on my feet and I don’t get blisters from walking around wearing them in my boots and shoes. I spend a lot of my time on my feet and walking both at work and at play each day so comfy feet are important. Another massive win for wool in my books!

And last project (but not least!) for today is some spinning!

I did a Shetland Swap with Melly Knits and I’ve been spinning it up. This is 100 grams of Shetland wool from a ewe named Morning Glory who is local to Melissa. How cool is that? I even get to know the steep’s name!

I’ve opted to spin this as a heavy-ish Laceweight single with the intention of knitting a Flukra by Gudrun Johnston. I’m getting sooooo close to finishing the spinning. Fingers crossed 🤞 I will be finished this weekend because I’m very excited to see how it knits up. If it knits up anything like it spins, it will be a really treat!

That is all the crafty news I have time for today. I hope you have a wonderful day wherever you may be abs that you find some quiet time for crafting too 💗

From Fibre to Finished Socks

Gotland sheep wool is one of my favourite fibres to spin and knit. I don’t get to work with it nearly as much as I would like. The lustre and the silvery greys are exceptional. Those qualities are lovely on their own but when over-dyed , something truly magical happens.

Vibrant colors deepen, become richer and more jewel-like, and almost glow.

Gotland wool really has an opportunity to shine when spun in a worsted manner. Smoothing the fibres and a short forward draw bring out the gloss and sheen which comes naturally with this wool. Plus, it makes for perfect handspun for knitting socks!

I chose to spin my fibre as a 2 ply fractal to get the most fun out of the colors. I’m pretty happy with the finished yarn. Fractals are just such fetching yarns!

I didn’t have quite enough Gotland to knit my socks entirely from my handspun so I paired it up with some leftover Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock in “slate.”

The sock pattern is very simple sock using 60 stitches and 2.25mm needles. The heel is the Slightly Modified Garter Stitch Edged Eye of Partridge Heel (that name is a mouthful!) which I borrowed from Hermione’s Everyday Sock pattern.

Instead of transitioning abruptly from one color to the next for the toe I added in just a touch of colorwork to soften the edge.

The finished socks are so silky, soft, and cozy. I can’t wait to start wearing them!

Do you knit your own socks? Do you spin for your own socks? What are your favourite wool breeds and why? I’d love to hear!

Hand Knit Catch Up

I have been a busy little bee working away on a few hand knits since I last posted about November projects.

I have completed my Lunenburg Pullover by Savory Knitting and I has become a fast favourite of mine.

I used the called for yarn, Lichen and Lace Rustic Heather Sport, and I fell completely in love. The yarn is milled by Briggs and Little but dyed by Lichen in lace in the most delight shades. The pattern calls for Charcoal, Shrub, Birch, Pollen, and Sky and they worked so perfectly together that I didn’t deviate. While it is on the rustic sides, as the yarn name states, the knitted fabric is squishy, bouncy, airy, and still sturdy. It is such a pleasure to both knit with and wear that I’ve already planned another sweater knit for more in the future. But I digress…

The pullover pattern was a very speedy and satisfying knit. The colorwork yoke worked up like magic and kept me wanting to knit “just one more round”. Recently, I learned to work the Norwegian purling method and that came in very handy. I am a two handed colorwork knitter and with the use of this method the colorwork (purls and all) just flowed.

I have also finished my Aito Shawl by Melody Hoffman The pattern was simple, straightforward, and very well written and it was a very pleasing knit. It worked up quite quickly and the lace sections were easily memorized. In my books, a very fulfilling project!

Instead if using Plotülopi as the pattern suggested, I opted for Briggs and Little Country Roving because we had a great supply of it at the shop and I wanted to try out a fun project with it. It did require some prepping as it is wound into cakes with 5 strands held gently together together but I separated it out into a huge ball of singles and knit away. The yarn is feather light, bouncy, and quite soft. Plus, when knit up it is very warm … exactly the qualities you want in a woollen shawl. I love to toss it around my shoulders while knitting and relaxing at home.

My last finished project to share today (before moving on to a couple of works in progress) was a test knit for an amazing new Newfoundland designer I stumbled across on Instagram …. Heather Nolan aka Oileánach Knits.

The pattern is the Foraois Hat, which is now available to download through her Ravelry page, and was a very quick knit! It called for bulky weight yarn and luckily, I had a ball of both Fleece and Harmony’s Heatherdale Lopi and a ball of Alafosslopi in my stash. The finished hat had a doubled brim and as such is very warm. It is a fantastic hat for hiking in winter!

Speaking of stash, I found out through Laura of Louis and Jane that haberdashery on Instagram has suggested a Makers Dozen for 2022. The premise of the initiative is to use either stashed yarn to complete 12 new projects this year or to pull out twelve old works in progress that have been languishing and finish them (or any combo there of) and I jumped right in. This fits in perfectly with my crafty goals for the year and the Foraois Hat is the first project completed toward my dozen.

Another project that I have underway that fits well within the Maker’s Dozen parameters is my La Manche by the lovely Jennifer Beale. I knew when I saw this pattern that this was a must knit for me. I had some Island Collection Worsted in my stash which worked perfectly.

I had originally purchased the yarn for another pattern but when I knit the swatch the colors and original pattern were just not what I was going for. You ever have that happen? Fortunately, they look lovely knit up here.

I’m speeding right along with this project and am very much looking forward to wearing the finished cardigan!

And last project to share about today is my Gotland socks. This is another Maker’s Dozen project AND it fits with the Natural Sock-along and Rustic Knitalong and I’m also participating in. All three are year long “alongs” so there is plenty of opportunity to experiment and play.

I am using some Gotland fibre I hand dyed and then handspun as the main portion of the sock and some leftover Fleece and Harmony Point Prim Sock. The socks are going to be soooo nice to wear when they’re finished!

The pattern is pretty basic and I opted for the modified Eye of Partridge heel from Hermione’s Everyday Sock and a teeny bit of colorwork on the foot section.

Well, that’s it for me for now! How about you? What are you working on now? Are you participating in any “alongs” this year? I’d love to hear.

Capturing Morning Light

I spend most of my morning walks during the winter in darkness. The dark mornings hold a special kind of beauty …. brightly sparkling stars, the Milky Way, and on full moon days I get to switch off my headlamp and walk under the moonlight. I love my quiet time in the mornings.

On the weekends and days off, I get to switch up my routine a bit and get out to enjoy the sunrise.

While I still get up early (I was up at 4:30am today), I get to take my time. I stoke the fire in the wood stove, spend some extra time in meditation, brew myself some lovely espresso, and sit down with some reading or knitting. I wait until just before sunrise to head out for a walk or hike.

This morning was quite crispy but the light was so beautiful. I headed to the beach for some playtime with my camera. I don’t feel I do the scenery justice with these shots but I just can’t resist trying to capture that golden morning light.

Does your weekend routine differ from your weekly schedule? Do you like to get outdoors for a certain time of day? I’d love to hear about it.

Snowshoe Weather

We’ve had our first really good snowstorm of the year here in little old PEI. If I don’t have to go anywhere, I really do enjoy a good snow storm! Snuggled in by the wood stove with coffee and knitting, a pot of soup simmering on the stove … what could be better? Why, snowshoeing after the storm has passed, of course!

The sky was still a bit moody and grey with a bite to the wind when I headed out, but I dressed in all my winter woollies and was plenty warm. Anyone who has snowshoed before knows how quickly you get toasty! Also, with powdery, knee-deep snow (with you snowshoes on, mind!), it is one heck of a good workout.

I saw quite a lot of Snow Buntings flitting about but was too slow on the draw to snag a photo of them.

The sky started to clear a bit while I was out exploring and it is amazing how the snow sparkles when the sun hits it. It truly is like walking in a snow globe at times.

I also noticed that many of the hawthorns still have some berries hanging in there so there is a bit of food around for the Waxwings, which are one of my favourite species to watch.

If you received snow yesterday/today, I hope that you get to enjoy it a bit. If you don’t like to be out in it, I hope the falling flakes made you feel cozy and content.

Bye for now!

Shifting Light

One of the things I love most about morning hikes here in PEI is the changeable nature of the light. All of these photos were taken within an approximately 40 minute time span. We’ve got blues shifting to more vibrant colors as the sun peeked up and then shifting to grey as the snow settled in.

For now, we have gently falling snow … the perfect weather for snuggling up with some tea and knitting. I am very much feeling a hibernation vibe today.

November Projects

November was a busy month for crafting. Two KALS that I was participating in ended on the 30th and I wanted to make sure that I completed my projects.

My most intensive project was for the Fleece & Harmony Kate Davies Designs knitalong. I’m a big fan of Kate’s designs, having knit a few of them over the years, so I was eager to jump in with both feet and tackle Rams and Yowes.

Rams and Yowes has been in my Ravelry queue almost since it was launched and I set to choosing yarns and getting started.

The yarn chosen for this project is Belfast Mini Mills Island Collection Fingering and Specialty Sock in various shades of cream, browns, greys, and black

Rams and Yowes is knit in the round, steeked, and stitches are picked up and knit for the blanket edging. The cut ends are neatly tucked away in a knitted facing, and the blanket edge/facing is kept flat with an i-cord edging. Kate really thought of everything! The only thing that I would change if I was to knit this blanket again is to drop down a needle size for the edging/facing because my gauge for garter and colorwork are slightly different but that is only me being super picky about my own knitting 😁

This project took approximately three months to complete and I finished with two weeks to spare for the KAL. I was extremely happy to have finished it within the allotted time frame.

Second on my list of completed projects for November is the Alien mittens by Knitting Lotta, which was my entry for the Worsted Fibre Podcast mitten KAL.

Anyone who knows me knows that I adore knitting colorwork mittens and Lotta’s designs are just too fun to resist! I paired them out with some deliciously soft and squishy Point Prim Sock from Fleece & Harmony in “Slate” and “Caramel Apple” colorways.

The finished mittens are toasty and warm and definitely very unique. An all around pleasurable knit!

My month would not be complete without some spinning.

My friend Joanne gifted me with a stunning braid of black Shetland wool and Tussah silk from Shades of Ewe Fibreworks and I couldn’t wait to get spinning it! I did most of the spinning during out Saturday morning Craft Circles.

And last but not least, I had my dye pot going.

I walk by a beautiful Butternut tree almost daily and this year it was loaded with fruit. After doing a little reading through some of my natural dye books, I decided to dye up some merino combed top and I am SO happy with the color. I haven’t started spinning it yet but I am very much looking forward to it.

So November was an eventful month indeed! I hope to have lots of fun projects to share about for December.