Friday, September 19, 2014

Summer Obsessions

It's halfway through the month and I'm only just now posting the newest Obsessions list. Oops! But I should cut myself some slack, after all, this is my second post this week! I haven't done that in ages!! But I'm making it my mission to blog more for the rest of the year. Yay!

Anyhoo, as I've mentioned before, the summer months messed me up a little, time-wise. The teachers' strike and school ending earlier than scheduled (who knew a week could make such a difference?), having the Munchkin home full-time, sewing and prepping for Fibrations, and trying to take advantage of the beautiful weather really took up all my time. Any spare time that I did have went towards knitting. Before I knew it, July was over and August was already halfway in. I had completely forgotten to write up and post a July Obsessions list!!

So instead of trying to rush and churn out two separate Obsessions posts for both July and August, here's a condensed list of the few summer obsessions:

1. Highlighter Tape

Over the past few years I've been trying out different methods of trying to keep track of my place in patterns and charts - pens, highlighters, and Post-Its on hard copies of printed paper, magnetic chart keepers, handmade chart holders, tablet apps...if it was capable of holding a pattern and/or chart, I had it. Every method had their pros and cons and I don't really favour one over another - although I do prefer to go as waste-less as I possibly can. Meaning if a pattern is simple and easy (like socks) I'll keep it on my tablet and refer to it when needed. If I need to keep track of rows/rounds, increases/decreases, and any information required to obtain a symmetrical and/or even length of pieces, then I'll print out or photo copy the pattern so that I can write all over as needed. When it comes to charts, it all depends on the complexity. If it's super easy to memorize and doesn't require shaping and "at the same time" instructions, then I'll refer to it on my tablet or phone. If it's more involved, then I'll definitely print it out. To keep track of my place on charts I use either highlighters or highlighter tape. 

Over the summer I was working on a test knits and knitting up swatches (for inspiration) and found that I was preferring the (moveable) highlighter tape over the (permanent) highlighter. Aside from the obvious keeping track of which row of the chart I was on, I was also using small pieces of the tape over the beginning of the sentence of the instructions I was currently on. Then it got to the point where I was also using the tape in my bullet journal, bills, notes to the Mister, and notes to myself (because who doesn't need to be reminded that you're out of milk?). Before I knew it, I've accumulated a nice stash of highlighter tape - all ready to go for all that fall and winter knitting that's about to commence!

:: TIP :: If you're frugal like me, to prolong the life of your pieces of tape put your chart in a page protector and stick the tape on top. The page protector makes it easier to take the tape on and off. For small charts, use packing tape over the chart as a barrier for the same effect. 

2. Sweetlegs Leggings


Towards the end of summer I was introduced to Sweetlegs leggings. At first I thought they were like every other leggings that were on the market and had bought a single pair without seeing them in person, solely because I loved the skull print (pictured above). When I got them in my hands I was wow'd by the incredible softness of the fabric. When I tried them on I was surprised as to how opaque the fabric remained, even when stretched over my legs, and how the print didn't distort or become 'shiny' (usually from the lycra in the fabric). I completely fell in love after an hour of wear, when I realized just how comfortable they truly are. Seriously, I felt like I was wearing nothing at all (and yet, I couldn't stop molesting my own legs, the fabric is just soooo cuddly soft!). Suddenly my solo pair morphed into five, with a handful more ordered. If you follow me on Instagram then you've already seen some of the prints I have. If not, I'm sure you'll be seeing some of them make cameo appearances on the blog!

3. Tunic Length Tops

Sweater Quantities
Future tunic-length garments

Needless to say I'm going to require some clothes to wear with my Sweetlegs leggings. While it would probably be easier and faster for me to sew a bunch of jersey knit tops, I'm pretty determined to hand knit a few before the winter is over. That, and I really need to get my serger serviced as it is in dire need of a new blade and a good cleaning!

I already have a good idea as to what patterns I want to knit up and as much as I would like to knit them all in neutral colours (re: black or grey), my bank account statement is demanding that I knit from stash. Sadly I do not have any sweater quantities in either black or grey so I'm either going to have to get creative or be content in wearing a lot of colour. On the knit list thus far: Veera Välimäki's Laneway, Amy Miller's Sweet Jane and Isabel, a lengthened Tin Can Knits Harvest, and possibly Joji Locatelli's Boxy Cape (which isn't tunic length, but I think would look awesome over a simple, black, tunic length basic tee or tank - as long as it covers my butt. The cape would merely be a cozy snuggly piece that could possibly cover up the tummy area while offering some warmth).

What do you think? Got any other tunic-like pattern ideas?

4. Cold Brew

I don't think I could have made it through the summer and my Fibrations prep without the aid of Discovery Coffee's Cold Brew (and sometimes decadent donuts!). I used to think all iced coffee were the same - just make simple double strength coffee, chill, and add ice cubes (I like my coffee black, even iced). Boy, was I wrong!! The cold brew method is definitely the way to go!! Cold brew coffee is just soooo smoooooth, clean, bright, and even a non-iced coffee drinker would find this a pleasant and refreshing treat on a hot summer's day. I also love that Discovery offers their cold brew in cool looking bottles that you can return and refill. Because trust me, I refilled mine a lot over the summer. And I mean a lot.

5. Lavender-Infused Simple Syrup


In the May Obsessions post I listed lavender as one of my obsessions. Well, lavender makes another appearance on the obsessions list. But this time in the form of lavender-infused simple syrup. At the start of the summer the Mister and I had made a pallet garden for our kitchen balcony and my two little lavender plants yielded enough buds to soak in a batch of simple syrup. I wasn't sure how long the syrup would keep for and so I was using it in everything. Mainly in tea lattes (fairy tea...oh yeah!) and as the sweetener in lemonades (the winner beverage of the summer!). I tried baking blueberry muffins with the syrup but the lavender was too soft of a flavour to even noticed. I'm going to have to use the actual buds next time for a proper flavour impact. 

I'm sad that my little jar of syrup is almost gone. I think I have enough for a few more fairy tea lattes. But you know what? It's probably for the best. Aside from this syrup I've been cutting down on my sugar intake and I'm sure my body will be happy once this lavender-infused yumminess is all gone! 

Well, that, my Friends, was the gist of my summer. It doesn't seem like much now that I'm thinking back on it, but with all that was going on I'm surprised that I even remember this much! How was your summer? What were you up to?



  1. Where are you getting your highlighter tape? I've checked dollar stores, big box stores, stationary stores and office supplies stores...can't find it anywhere! And I'm just one province over. It shouldn't be this hard! ;)

    1. I've seen it at my LYS! (Possibly it's specific to knitting) ...I've been meaning to buy some and try it out!

    2. Yes, I've found it at my LYS too. Have you checked any of the yarn shops in your area? I also know that both The Loopy Ewe and Webs online sell it too, although I think only in 1 colour. I got a bunch for super cheap via a seller on Amazon. You can also check out quilting fabric shops. Good luck!

    3. Thanks Jane and Melissa! I don't have many yarn shops in my area, but I'll definitely be checking the next time I'm in one! In the meantime, I found some through amazon and placed an order. Thanks again!

  2. I totally noticed that cold brew last time I was in Discover and wasn't sure what it was all about! I totally need to try this out!!!

    1. Jane, you must give it a try! To this day I'm still surprised as to how smooth and refreshing it is! Let me know what you think of it when you do give it a go!


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