Friday, 16 January 2015

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Amanda Soule at SouleMama
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments."







Guilt Free Coffee

I have a love/hate relationship with my morning cup of coffee. I have kicked the habit, or at least taken a break from the habit, for years at a time, but I always seem to return to my beloved cup of joe.

I've never gone the espresso machine route (always out of my price range) but over the years I've tried several coffee makers. Some I've loved more than others, but each one of them has lost its lustre in my eyes. After my latest round of caffeine detox I took a long hard look at my coffee machine. The carafe was glass, but all the other parts, including the basket where the hot water would drain through, was plastic, and this did not wash with me.

Time to find a new coffee making system.

Needless to say I would not purchase a K Cup system. I won't bother going into the reasons; they do not need to be spoken, and EcoYogini has already done a great job.
Don't judge me. Yes, I am a nerd.
Continue reading at The Green Phone Booth>>>



Friday, 2 January 2015

Reverse Green Resolutions



It's the new year and my Facebook feed is full of inspirational quotes and resolutions for starting the year well. But like Neil deGrasse Tyson, I won't be making any resolutions.

We have all had to make resolutions in January when we were in school, which we know almost immediately that we wouldn't keep. Then we feel bad about ourselves for not keeping the resolutions. 

Unless there has been a genuine shift in thinking and attitude, and we are able to make a change in behaviour a habit, we do not follow through on our goals. 

Instead, I think we should be focussing on all the positive actions we have done for the environment over the previous year, like a reverse resolution. Most likely we are doing more than we realize, and this is important because we can get bogged down in all the things we should be doing. 

I've brainstormed as many actions that I can think of that we may have done in 2014, and if you have made even five items on the list a habit give yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Keep up the good work for 2015!


Continue reading at The Green Phone Booth>>>



Friday, 19 December 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Amanda Soule at SouleMama
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments."



Connecting With Nature: Winter Solstice

This time of year in our society many people (ok, most) are focussed on the holiday season of peace, joy and gift giving. It is not a time when people look to spend time outdoors. In the northern hemisphere it is either too cold, too wet or too dark to do much at all outdoors.

But it is important to remain connected to the cycles of the Earth and seasons year round. As the season darkens and the natural world goes to sleep, we, too, turn inward and slow down.

The solstice, the longest night of the year, and a turning point for the return of the sun, is a time of inner reflection, but should also be a time to connect with the natural world.

Many of our seasonal traditions and images stem from natural winter elements, such as holly, pine boughs, pinecones, mistletoe and evergreen trees.


Here are some suggestions for connecting with nature in the darkest days of winter:



Friday, 12 December 2014

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by Amanda Soule at SouleMama
"A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments."

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

The Beginnner's Guide to Knitting Socks

My first successful pair of socks.
I am a knit nerd, and especially a sock knit nerd.

I love spending time alone in a yarn shop feeling the fibres and browsing the patterns. I am willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on beautiful needles.

After several failed starts and knitting yoga socks (no heels, no toes), I decided that this was the year I was going to learn how to knit socks.

For some reason turning the heel and picking up stitches for the gusset intimidated me.

When I found the book How To Knit Socks: Three Methods Made Easy, by Edie Eckman, I finally found my key to successfully tackling my own socks. It gives very clearly explained step-by-step procedures for socks, along with photos to show what each stage should look like.


Youtube has been a wonderful self-teaching tool for crafters, and I have used video tutorials to see the process for a few stages of knitting socks.
Yoga socks

I discovered that turning the heel (knitting short rows) was not difficult for me, but picking up the gusset stitches after knitting the heel just didn't feel or look right the way I was doing it. This youtube video is excellent and I love the nice braided edge it gives my socks.

Ankle socks

Then once I had knit a few pairs I purchased the basic sock pattern from Churchmouse Yarns, which expanded my repertoire and gave me another way to knit a sturdy heel that I now use for all my socks.

I love ribbing all the way down
for a snug fit.
I started learning socks using four or five double pointed needles (the yoga socks were made with two small circular needles), but several knitters I follow on Instagram raved about the magic loop method using one 32" circular needle so I knew I would have to give it a go. The Edie Eckman book teaches this method so I was set, and I can now say that I, too, prefer magic loop for socks.

I have tried several different patterns for my socks and I love seeing the different textures as they develop.




There are several things I love about knitting socks:


Grain stitch socks
  • they are easy to transport and I often have my project bag in my purse, ready to work on if I have a few spare moments
  • it is easy to adapt patterns and customize them once you understand the basic anatomy of a sock
  • they are relatively quick to knit; I can knit a pair in approximately 6 days with dedicated knitting time
  • they make great presents that everyone is happy to receive
  • homemade socks feel so cozy and warm and it is satisfying wearing something homemade

My next challenge is to learn a different heel method, the fish lips kiss heel.

Harris tweed rib stitch
But currently I am knitting socks like crazy for Christmas presents for all the men in my life.




Here are some tutorial videos that have helped me on my sock knitting journey:




* I used my own money to purchase How To Knit Socks: Three Methods Made Easy and I have linked to it because I think it is an excellent beginner's sock knitting book.