Well, that took a while…

So it has been about a year. What made me think about this is the fact that the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair starts on Friday!

It has been a pretty busy/sometimes unpleasant year, so I took a pretty long break from this. Lots of amazing things happened this year but I got a bit lost in the whole fight to finish work for my PhD, the realization that I have much more work to do/things to fix and also have to write down everything that I have been thinking the past zillion few years.

I have some nice pictures of these nice things, which I would like to share, because they are pretty, but also because they are a nice visual reminder to myself that there is colour in the grey.

First exciting thing: we adopted a rabbit! Her name is Edith and she is really old and acts like a curmudgeonly old granny. We have actually been fostering her since January – but as my PhD is taking ages and we really liked having her around we decided to keep her.

Edith. We propped each other up a few times this year.

Edith. We propped each other up a few times this year.

I ended up doing quite a bit of travelling this year. Most of it was for conferences and meetings, but it was still pleasant. I ended up going to Vienna, Paris and Oxford. All of these places were awesome, and living anywhere in Europe still seems like it would be transit utopia. Vienna was new for me, and really interesting. One odd thing about it is that usually the only vegetarian option in their very starch and meat heavy diet (how are people in Vienna so dainty?!) was deep fried cheese. Brilliant, but overwhelming. Paris is Paris. You know, really nice. I went to Versailles for a day. It is such a nice city. I didn’t visit the palace. Who has time to be in an accordion of a line in the sweltering heat (it was hot as hell while I was there) and also it is pretty expensive. I am going to sound awful when I say this but: I have visited a lot of palaces (childhood tourism I swear!) and once you’ve seen one gold spoon you’ve seen them all. Maybe not, but I only had one day, so I took Monty Don‘s advice and visited the Potager du Roi. I almost died of happiness, it was so beautiful and productive and ramshackle and… the best garden I have ever been in.

Oxford is one of my favourite places and I got to go and visit a really nice and interesting group at the University. I bought a ticket to a performance of (post apocalyptic!) King Lear at Merton College. I took the following picture because I was having tea and thinking about Lewis.

Oxford is always contemplative

Oxford is always contemplative

The final trip was a personal one. Etienne and I went to Nova Scotia for a wedding and made a bit of a trip of it. The East Coast is extremely beautiful and full of really nice people. We started it off in Cape Breton. We camped, to save dollars, but forgot most of the things we needed and had to buy them. Less dollars saved, but now we have some really nice camping dishes.

Cabot Trail

Cabot Trail

Seeing whales is really important to me… so we did that. It was great! Pilot whales are like black belugas and travel in large groups.

Pilot whale

Pilot whale

As much as I like whales, Etienne LOVES lighthouses. I entered into a draw to win a quilt with a lighthouse on it (Etienne bought me 5 tickets) but alas it seems I didn’t win.

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I hadn’t really appreciated how harrowing it must have been to be a lighthouse keeper… although you may have been isolated and bored enough to bang out a thesis pretty fast!

Lighthouses come in all shapes and sizes!

Lighthouses come in all shapes and sizes!

The East Coast has really mastered the art of mixing quaint and beautiful. There is too much to tell and I don’t really know where to begin… so I won’t for now. Maybe I will tackle that down the road.

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We also went to Prince Edward Island for ANNE OF GREEN GABLES uber tourism. I love Anne of Green Gables. It is watched at least once a year with family. Etienne hadn’t watched it before we went there ( how? I know! ) so he was confused when I lost it upon seeing a sign for the Lake of Shining Waters and when I was petrified of the potential of the ghosts of orphans and grandmothers visiting our tent in the park at night… Needless to say, it was awesome and we have started in on the films.

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I did end up taking a bit of a fiber break but I am back at it! Here is a hat I am knitting in some Dorset and Alpaca fleece that I bought at the RAWF last year. I skirted, washed, carded and spun it all myself. Considering that, it is working up pretty well!

Dorset and alpaca marl/2ply

Dorset and alpaca marl/2ply. Aside: I took this photo today. It was super warm in Toronto, on Nov 4!

There are a few other things that happened this year that I may write some posts about, namely: gardening and growing from seed, and a sweater project that I am working on. Hopefully I do this sooner rather than later!

Have a great week!

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It has been far too long!!

Hi there! It has been far too long since I posted anything… and I regret it!  I have a number of blog posts in the works. From things that happened in the summer and also from a very recent event in Toronto, and will be sharing some posts about some wooly activities that I will undertake this winter. In the meantime I am going to miss you with some pictures of the many faces of sheep. Can you guess where I was last week?

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hey campers!

(This is a long one, but it is mostly just pretty pictures and there is even some knitting at the end!)

We went camping again!

This time we went to Algonquin Park which is a few hours north of Toronto. I’m just going to bore you with a few pictures of it now.

The park is absolutely beautiful, although the number of people that are on the hikes at one time does make it a bit trickier to see wildlife. The especially lovely places we hiked were a spruce bog and a beaver pond. I took many many snaps but here are a couple of my favourites.

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meadow in the spruce bog

Last camping trip the theme for EP and I was birding. This time, for some reason, I was pretty taken with the number of interesting mushrooms which were about. We focused a little bit more on the smaller things, which are sometimes more awesome than dramatic vistas.

It was quite interesting. As you are trying to focus on these little things so that you really get all the details of their oddness you start to notice the striking variety of textures that exist on such a small scale.

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In the end, I didn’t see a moose, but that was ok.

Knitting time!  I knit a colour work hat of my own design on the drive up. I would like to say it is Fair Isle knitting because that was what I was aiming for but it’s made out of Briggs and Little wool from New Brunswick, naturally gorse dyed wool from the Sheep and Wool Museum in Ireland and was a totally made up design with I decided on row by row. Definitely not Fair Isle knitting, but I feel like I have the wool handling technique down and I will soon be ready to try the vest from the Mary Jane Mucklestone Craftsy class. Here is the hat, I am pretty pleased with it as a quite wearable hat (I used it while camping!) and even more pleased with it as a successful experiment!

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xx

another birthday … for a bunny

Have you ever seen a bunny eating a cake?

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Now you have!

It was Alistair’s 8th birthday on Sunday. A ‘cake’ was made, birthday songs were sung and Alistair chowed down on some of his favourite foods.

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The cake was made of bunny kibbles mixed with banana and layered with brussels sprouts greens on a bed of hay topped with a coriander flower. These are foods that Alistair will escape out the back door into the garden for or try to steal from your hand. His favourite foods all in one giant pile of goodness.

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Clean up time

Clean up time

Alistair does have some manners though and cleaned himself up once he was finished eating. If something is that delicious it really does make sense to dive in face first and think about propriety once it is all over.

On to the garden. The echinacea has been doing splendidly and has been providing much sustenance for the bees in terms of food but also shelter. The little bumbles hang under the petals at night for a safe place to snooze.

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My knitting didn’t progress very much over the long weekend as it was depressingly humid. I did finish one Liv sleeve and am finally pushing to finish an old sock project. The second diagonal cross rib sock heel has been turned. I am happy I picked these up again, the colour is one of my favourites.

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I hope you had a lovely weekend!

xx