Lately a lot of my crafting inspiration has come from my son, who is growing and needs things, and from my goal to live more gently on this earth and think twice before buying and using things.
My values of living frugally and buying ethically-produced clothing that is not damaging to the environment sometimes feel completely at odds with each other. For me, this is where mending, crafting, and buying second-hand come in. Can I mend something to extend its useful life? Can I knit or sew more of our everyday wardrobe basics? Is it something I can trade or buy second-hand rather than purchasing new?
It's been quite a while since either Elizabeth or I have had a moment to record our weekly accomplishments here on the blog. I think it's a fun way to share a bit more about ourselves and our projects so I've decided to revisit it this month. I'm not sure we'll try to make it a weekly thing again though, maybe we should change it to "Accomplishments of the Month" instead?
I really love baking bread at home, and I actually rarely buy any bread products except bagels (and croissants when I'm feeling indulgent). But with the crazy heat we had all summer I got out of the habit of baking, and until last week I hadn't made bread since last spring. I like using the method from the Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day cookbook. In reality it does take a few more than five minutes, but once you've got a routine going and have the dough stored in your fridge it really is pretty easy to whip up a fresh loaf whenever you feel like it.
I've spent the past week sketching and swatching many, many cable patterns for a new design I'm working on. I love this part of the design process and usually have way more ideas than I can fit in one project, so I often end up with tons of swatches.
One of the best parts of living in our new neighbourhood is being close the Jean-Talon Market, my favourite market in Montreal. I've been taking full advantage of it and going about once a week or so to pick up fruits and veggies, much of it for freezing and canning for the winter.
For the past few months we've been using this blog to celebrate our accomplishments, both big and small, and we want to celebrate your accomplishments too! And because we love to send special packages in the mail, we'll be giving away a prize. Please see the end of this post for all the details.
This summer has been very full, mostly of good things, but sometimes it gets a bit hard to keep up. So this week I've tried to focus on some accomplishments that are about taking care of myself, and allowing myself time to play.
One of the things I'm most excited about getting done this week is setting up a new bee hive. We've had hives in our backyard for the past few summers, but I haven't been really involved in taking care of them too much (it's been more my boyfriend and his brother's project). Unfortunately this year none of them made it through the winter, so we decided to do a bit of a re-set, with my boyfriend and I taking on more of the responsibility for them, and moving the hive up onto the roof of our building so we'd be less likely to get stung while gardening.
This past week has been a tough one: teething baby, husband with a week-long migraine, preparing to move house in 3 weeks... The thing that's kept me going through the stressful week has been my knitting. I'm working on a new sock pattern using Pizzicato in the Palestra colourway to be released next month.
Both the festivals we've attended this spring (the Knitter's Frolic in Toronto and the PEC Fibrefest last weekend in Picton) have been great - a chance to get our yarns and patterns out in the world, and to connect with friends both new and old. But preparing for them keeps me incredibly busy, and I was missing out on getting to spend time gardening, which is one of my favourite things to do at this time of year.
So... I'm a little bit late with this week's post. I had grand plans to post last night after returning home from Fibre Fest in Picton. And of course after a long drive with two kids, all I wanted to do was eat dinner and go straight to bed. But I still want to share last week's accomplishments with you, so here they are!
Sweet Paprika Designs offers high-quality materials for knitters and crocheters, with a focus on locally-sourced and sustainable products. Co-owners (and sisters) Debbie and Elizabeth create their own hand-dyed yarns, knitting kits and patterns in their Montreal dye studio and organize knitting and dyeing events in the community.