Monthly Archives: September 2022

Knitting around Prince Edward Island

I live in British Columbia, which is a beautiful place to live, but I’ve always wanted to explore more of Canada. Prince Edward Island is a completely different environment from urban Canadian centres; it’s small and rural, a flat island that you can drive around in a day. It’s known for lighthouses and lobster.

My family and I packed a carry on bag each for our two week trip, and it was then when I learned the importance of not overpacking. I like to be prepared for things. I usually bring at least a small bag or backpack with me everywhere I go; you never know when you’ll need a book, or sunscreen, or a water bottle. So naturally I brought most of my summer clothes, enough toiletries to last a few weeks more than we were staying, and three books. By the end of our trip I had collected so much yarn that I had to divide it between mine and my mother’s suitcase, with some extra stuffed into the crevices of my backpack. I needed to sit on my bag to zip it up, but it all fit. Eventually.

The side of a brown building with a sign that reads MacAuslands Woolen Mill

The first stop we made was MacAuslands Woolen Mill.

I bought three skeins of 3-ply wool, the thick kind that has flecks of hay buried in its twists. Cream, navy, and light blue yarns that I thought could add to a sweater or be made into thick socks.

It was here that I told my parents to stop me buying anything more. I simply didn’t have room in my suitcase.

Two days into our travels we went for a tour at Green Gable Alpacas. Alpacas themselves are not super keen on being close to humans, but their wool is amazing. Warm and soft, I bought two more skeins, a merlot colour and a mustard colour. The owner of the farm, Janet, even gave us a spinning demonstration.

I also got a pair of hand-knitted mittens at a gift store (unfortunately I’m not sure who made them, but they are lovely.) I believe the mittens are knitted in the same light blue and cream yarn I got at the woolen mill, which I only noticed after we returned home and I unloaded.

Five skeins of yarn and a pair of blue and white mittens lying on a hardwood floor in the sunshine.

The next place we visited was close to the end of our trip. A little store called Knit Pickers, where I got a light green wool yarn. We stopped into a couple other places as well but I’ve forgotten which ones. I know one of them had a little cat running around, making me homesick for my three cats. The PEI Fibre Trail, a map of yarn stores around the island, guided our stops.

Find the PEI Fibre Trail website here

I now have much too large of a stash, and have to figure out the proper use for all these beautiful yarns. Next time I’ll bring a bigger suitcase, as apparently I have no self-control.

Let’s Twist Socks

This is the Let’s Twist sock pattern by Raquel Gaskell on Ravelry. They are the first pair of socks I’ve knitted.

find the pattern here!

This was a great pattern for a beginner sock knitter, although I would recommend knowing how to do cables beforehand.

A pair of yellow knitted socks on a beige carpet.

I used a beautiful yellow hand-dyed yarn with specks of green and purple. It was a Christmas present from my mother that I’ve been hesitant to knit up, because I want to do it justice. But I’ve realized that yarn, though beautiful as a skein, is meant to be used. This pattern used a little less than a 100g skein for two socks.

A person's feet wearing yellow knitted socks on a light blue wool blanket.

One issue I ran into was making the decreases for the heel even. When I followed the pattern instructions for turning the heel exactly, I ended up with an uneven number of stitches on each side. So, rather than just p2tog and turn at the end of row 4, I decided to p2tog, p1, then turn. I found that in doing this, my decreases were even and didn’t slant to one side as they had before.

I enjoyed knitting these socks so much that I bought Laine’s 52 Weeks of Socks, so I would always have a pattern to use. I’m indecisive and impatient. My least favourite part of knitting is finding a pattern, I just want to cast on already!. But when I found this book I liked every pattern inside, and now I won’t have to search for another sock pattern for at least a year! I’ve just started working on the Boyland socks, the pattern for week 17, by Caitlin Hunter.

Now I just need to find some shoes that match well with knitted socks- I don’t think New Balance runners, usually my shoe of choice, work well with bright yellow hand-knit woollen socks that reach above my ankles.

Sustainable Fashion (And Other Fashion Terms)

So, sustainable fashion, what is it? Well, the term ‘sustainability’ ultimately refers to limiting environmental impacts to sustain the world in which we live in. Generally it involved three factors—environmental, social, and economical. Sustainable fashion is a movement where all the categories of sustainability are applied to the fashion industry. Below are other conscious fashion […]

Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

My favourite type of hot chocolate is thick, spiced, and not very sweet. I make some of this hot chocolate for my family once in a while, usually after a stressful week.

Hot chocolate is fairly simple, the way I like to make it. 

Grab a pot. Heat up some milk, about one cup for each serving you want to make.

A small copper pot filled halfway with milk is sitting on a stovetop over a gas burner

Add some cocoa powder- I usually do a generous tablespoon per cup of milk. Add some honey, maybe another half tablespoon.

A blue ceramic honey pot and a brown paper bag of cocoa powder are sitting on a brown countertop

Whisk for about a century until all of the clumps of cocoa powder are dispersed. 

Add some chocolate chips once the milk has some bubbles and steam coming up from the surface. I like semisweet or dark chocolate. I never adhere to chocolate chip measurements, but let’s say one to two tablespoons. Add about half a teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix everything together until smooth. Taste it now, to see if it’s sweet enough or chocolatey enough.

Pour into some mugs.

One hand is holding a mug next to a copper pot and another hand is pouring hot chocolate from a ladle into the mug

Whipped cream is very important, put a lot on top. If you’d like, sprinkle some nutmeg on the whipped cream. 

Change up the amounts depending on how you prefer it. It goes very well with shortbread cookies!

I first made a cup of this for my mum when she pulled her back and was stuck on the couch for a day, which is about as long as she can go without ‘doing something productive’. She always tells me she feels guilty for resting, because there are so many things she could be doing. I think it’s very important to do absolutely nothing for a few minutes every day. Make something that tastes good, and drink it slowly.