RedBaliFrog and Trollbeads – Sweet as honey!

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I bought some non-Trollbeads! I placed a little order at Redbalifrog early in the month, and I’ve been using two of those purchases in this little light bracelet recently.

I bought my first-ever fancy lock, Redbalifrog’s Star lock, which is lovely. I find it a little hard to undo the small end of the clasp though, there’s no lever like the one sticking out of the big end.

I also bought the Queen Bee, because I love the shape and the detail. I’ve combined those two purchases with two honey-coloured Trollbeads for a wee bracelet that is fun and light to wear.

Trollbeads Tuesday – Night Owl Trollbeads Fantasy Necklace

Last week, I showed the two beads my husband gave me for Christmas. We’d chosen to keep the presents we gave each other small.

A few days after Christmas, we were doing some errands downtown, when he ducked into a mall, saying ‘we have to go here!’ Turns out we were in Dragon City Mall in Chinatown, and he wanted coconut buns. Who am I to refuse a bun? And who am I to refuse to go into this mall, because I knew there was a jewelry shop that carries Trollbeads! They actually had some on display in their front window, so in we went.

I’ve been coveting a fantasy necklace for a while now, but it was a bigger purchase than we’d been planning to make, so I just kept it on the list for ‘sometime later’. It was also relegated to that list because I knew that if I got one of the necklaces, I would need the Night Owl.

This shop had necklaces and Night Owls, so I tried some on for fun, and to find out what length of necklace I’d eventually want to buy. Both people in the shop were very helpful, and when the time came to totaling the price, they must’ve seen the apprehension cheapness on our faces, because they gave us a deal! The deal was so good we couldn’t refuse!

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Here’s my first creation with the Trollbeads Fantasy necklace (I ended up with the 100cm one), Night Owl, my two Christmas beads, and an Amazonite stone bead that my parents bought for my birthday last year.

FNs are really long necklaces with no clasp, just a big (100cm!) loop of chain, and a finial (I got the pearl, as you can see). There’s lots of ways to wear them – for this one I strung the beads on the chain (doubled, of course, because you can’t open the chain), then laid the chain out in a Y-shape on the table. I used a stopper bead high on each ‘arm’ of the Y, leaving about an inch of loop in front of each bead. Now I have two loops to hook together with my bracelet clasp! My husband actually liked this option best in the store, he said he liked how it looked like I’d layered two necklaces together.

I can’t wait to have more fun with this purchase! On days when I’m typing a lot, a bracelet can get in the way. Handwriting is fine, as I wear it on my left, and I’m right-handed.

Trollbeads Tuesday – Christmas 2014 bracelet

Trollbeads bracelet

Well, I’m only one day off from Tuesday, right?

My husband gave me two Trollbeads for Christmas this year, and I made up this bracelet to wear them for the first time. I have found so far that my Trollbeads style is much more eclectic than a lot of the ones I see around the internet (I follow a few people/stores on Instagram, plus Tartooful and Endangered Trolls blogs). This is mostly due to the fact that I don’t have a giant collection to pull from, and I have pretty eclectic tastes anyway. I’d say this bracelet is fairly balanced at least, and involves a lot of my favourite colours and beads.

Clockwise, from the clasp (the clasp/bracelet is the Elfbeads Treasure Chest) :

  • Trollbeads Azure Bubbles
  • Elfbeads Dragon (limited edition)
  • Trollbeads Garden Snow Christmas 2012
  • Elfbeads Giant’s Causeway
  • Trollbeads Oasis – Christmas present!
  • Trollbeads Magical Lamp – Christmas present!
  • Elfbeads Ocean Earthbead Fractal
  • Trollbeads Lucky Dragon
  • Elfbeads Ocean Earthbead Fractal
  • Trollbeads Silver Mountain
  • Trollbeads Amazonite
  • Trollbeads Jugend
  • Elfbeads Jungle Braid
  • Trollbeads Limited Edition Carved Amber
  • Trollbeads Fossils
  • Trollbeads Day 2014 bead

I had thought that I was a Trollbeads-only purist, but then Great Lakes Boutique had an amazing Elfbeads sale, and I bought 4 beads and got the bracelet, lock, and glass dragon bead for free! I think that was the only way to get the dragons. The Trollbeads I’ve bought in a few different stores – the main place I shop here in town is Suzie Q, and there are a few on here from Tartooful, from my last trip to Vancouver.

I think this Christmas I managed to communicate to my husband that these are a good go-to gift for me. πŸ˜‰ We were out wandering around the mall, then we split up to buy each other gifts, and I made sure to say “And are we stopping by Suzie Q, you know, the Trollbeads store, on the way home?” The wheels turned for a bit, and he said ‘Yes. Of course.’ That was fun, because we went in together and I poked at a few things I liked, and then left him to decide what to buy, so it was still a surprise. I think though, that all the Trollbeads are little works of art, and would be happy to receive whatever he thought I would like, even without my input. It’s know that someone has thought hard about you, and come up with a choice on their own, you know?

Trollbead Tuesday – Kimono Set

Once I re-discovered my 3 original Trollbeads, I wanted a collection. Now. But of course, there’s finances to think of, university tuition for the husband… so I turned to eBay. I had seen the odd very interesting matte Trollbead in all my blog searching (where do you go with a new obsession? I always go straight to the internet and find blogs of people even more dedicated than me!) and I soon realized that they were part of a glass set, and were actually discontinued. ‘Discontinued’ is a magic word that makes me want things more, so that’s what I searched eBay for.

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The neat thing about this set is that it was released before the big earthquake, but after that happened, Trollbeads donated some of the proceeds from this set to earthquake relief. Obviously, as I bought on eBay, my money went to the seller.

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I love the delicate colours, the varied patterns, and the unique matte finish. The only thing is that now I’ve amassed a few more glass beads (all shiny, as all but these 6 are) is that it is a bit of a challenge to put them together and have it all look nice. But when you do hit that sweet spot, it is great! You can see 3 of them on the bracelet photo in my first Trollbead Tuesday post.

I’m glad I bought these all together, I like the idea of having a ‘set’, even if I don’t always wear them together, but I am looking forward to getting some more shiny glass beads. I think my favourite two of the set are the two blue ones. I’m not sure that I’ve used the red and white one yet – although I think it is beautiful, I doesn’t go with anything else!

Trollbead Tuesday – Runes

Another reason I was in the mood to resurrect my Trollbead bracelet was Vintage Rose/Vanessa on Instagram (vntg_rose). Just as I was thinking about mine again, she was posting pictures of how she’d been wearing hers. She had one (ok, a lot, but this one first) bead that I was really coveting. She called it her ‘hobbity’ bead!

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Again, I went straight to Suzie Q’s, and they had a couple of them! This bead is amber, with runes carved into it, and I suppose there must be some sort of oxidating agent or paint or something to make the runes dark like that. It is called Trollbeads Runes, and it spells Denmark, which is where Trollbeads started.

I love the warm colour of the amber, and the ‘hobbity’ runes. It always feels warmer than the glass beads on the bracelet, and that coupled with the runes gives it a bit of an otherwordly feel. This one gets a place on my wrist most of the time, and I almost wish I’d bought two, so I could have one on each side of a focal point. I find I’m saying that about a lot of my favourite beads, but so far I have made the decision to buy singles, as I’ve only so much money to spend on stuff like this, and new and different always seems to win.

Trollbead Tuesday – The Beginning

Quick disclaimer: I really do want to keep this blog going, but after talking about my knitting on my podcast every couple weeks, I wonder if it is worth re-posting here too? I think I may do finished object posts here still, but (as you’ve probably noticed) I thought I’d try sharing other things I’m interested in, as well as knitting and crafting.

You may have heard of Trollbeads before, and if you’ve been to a major mall recently, you’ve probably heard of Pandora. These types of bracelets are sometimes referred to as European charm bracelets. The charms aren’t dangly, they’re large beads that you string onto a chain (or sometimes leather) bracelet. Here’s the one I’m currently wearing as an example:

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Mine is all Trollbeads, I only mentioned Pandora above because it is something more people have heard of, as they have their own chain of stores.

There is an amazing community of Trollbeads fans on the web, and tons of blogs dedicated to them specifically, and the whole style of beaded charm bracelets.

I’ve only really started wearing mine in the past 5 or so months. I had the chain and a few beads, and I guess I ‘rediscovered’ them just before Christmas, when I was sorting/cleaning out my bedside table area. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t wearing them! Actually, that’s a lie… I only had 3 beads, and wanted more. :)

Those three beads are what introduced me to Trollbeads in the first place – years ago (maybe 5?) I was browsing the Ravelry forums, and someone had posted pictures of two cute little silver beads, one that looked like a ball of yarn, and one that looked like the knit stitch. I immediately went into hunter-mode and tracked down what they were and where I could get them here. I went to the store (Suzie Q Beads), and not only did they have the amazing knitterly beads, they also had a cute little button one that was more of a disc shape. I bought the 3 beads then and there, as well as the bracelet to put them on. (Be aware if you’re just starting out that you need to buy both the chain and the lock/clasp separately!)

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The 3 beads that started it all. Ball of Yarn, Buttons, and Sweater (retired in 2013). I love how oxidized Trollbeads are – I find the Pandora ones all too shiny. I love the yarn and the sweater, they’re on just about every look I put together. The buttons are cute, but I don’t use it often because the shape is so different. It fits nicely between these two round silvers, and it also fits between the glass ones, but I always feel like it needs to go in the centre because I don’t have another disc-shaped one to balance it. Most of my looks are pretty symmetrical so far.

With only 3 beads on it, they always swung down under my wrist when I wore it, and it felt a little large on me, which I think contributed to why I didn’t wear it too often.

Now that I’ve picked up more beads, and have been wearing it regularly, I’m a convert! I love things you can collect (ahem, yarn). All the beads have names. And I love being able to almost design my own look each day. ‘Almost’ because of course you’re limited to other people’s bead designs, but I can put them together however I want, to match (or match) my outfit for the day. The chain and beads are all sterling (.925) silver, although there are a few bead designs that come in 18K gold ($$!) You can add colour with the glass or stone beads.

I don’t have too many at the moment, and they’re so fun to take pictures of, that I’ve decided to declare Trollbead Tuesday on this blog, and I’ll feature a bead or two each week.

Yellow & Black Attack

I wore this outfit to work (at the office, not the theatre) the other day:
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I felt proud of myself for mixing things up in different ways – this is a black jersey dress with that yellow lace shirt over it, and the yellow shirt normally comes down to my low hip. You can’t see the black-on-black, but I’m wearing a wide elastic belt on my natural waist, and I managed to tuck all the extra shirt into the belt so it didn’t stick out below. And I paired it with matching mustard yellow tights. :)

I was endlessly entertained all day with how many different things my tights matched….
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…safety sidewalk outside a construction site…
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…the line down the middle of the road… If I’d been walking to work with someone, instead of on my own, I really wanted to take a photo of me standing on the line in first position, so the line would be flowing out of my feet in both directions, but I was on my own.

I also wished I’d asked those school bus drivers waiting outside the museum if they’d take my picture with a bus. I also really wanted to stand on the hood of a yellow taxi or something, but apparently I’d rather stand in the middle of a road in my stocking feet than ask a stranger to take my photo.

Early Fall Ombre Manicure

Ombre manicure

I had a day off today, and spent an hour giving myself an ombre manicure! I feel it is appropriate for the time of year, as it is all the colours of the trees right now. I used a yellow polish on my thumb, dark green on the pinkie, and medium green on my Finger-finger. The index and the ring finger each got a 50-50 mix of the polishes on either side.

I did 2 coats of polish, but because I didn’t want to mix up lots and hope it didn’t dry before I got to coat #2, nor did I want to try to mix the same colour again, my first coat went (from thumb to pinkie) yellow, yellow, pale green, pale green, dark green. I think the index finger needed more like a 70-30 mix, as the 50-50 is only just different enough that it shows in some lights.

Fall Ombre Manicure

The lighter colours look better in this photo, but you can see where I haven’t finished tidying up stray polish. I usually do that after a shower when my skin is nice and soft, so not till tomorrow morning.

The dark green is Sephora by OPI ‘I Come in Peas’, the light green is Sephora by OPI ‘Read My Palm’ and the yellow was a gift in a swap package, Circus, by Andrea’s Choice in ‘Somersault’. It was really hard to get a nice coating of that yellow, it kept streaking and blobbing, but I love the colour. I’m in love with the apple green on my index finger, and I adore ‘Read My Palm’. I think that’s been in most of my manicures this summer!

Happy Olympics!

Olympic outfit!

Happy Olympics everyone! I am not a sports fan, maybe I’m even an anti-sports fan most of the time, but when the Olympics are on, I am glued to the TV. As much as I can be. I have to say, I’m working a little too much during these Olympics for my liking.

I chose my outfit carefully this morning, and pulled out that tiny old Union Jack purse of mine. Can I just take a moment to say how freeing it is to carry such a tiny purse around? Normally I have this giant bag, but today I felt so free and easy and light. I had my phone, my wallet, and my keys. That’s it. It was awesome.

Yes, those are little blue mice on my feet. They’re that jelly material, I bought them last year and had ever worn them out because they made farting sounds when I walked. Last week I finally got rid of that by taking my hole punch and punching a couple holes on the inner instep (right where your arch is) on each shoe. That gave the air somewhere to escape that wasn’t around my foot, and voila! No more fart-walking.

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Calgary had a ceremonial raising of a Union Jack outside City Hall this afternoon, to show solidarity with London, as we too are a former Olympic city. The Mayor and the British Consul General participated.

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I love the Olympics, I love Britain, I’m very excited. Although, I’m afraid to say I’m not expecting anything as all-star amazing as the Vancouver Olympics were. We might be great at ice hockey, but that leaves no time to devote to field hockey (which I played for years in school, and mostly enjoyed). I’m looking forward to watching the rowing (something else I used to do) and the diving most I think.

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And yes, I did cast on a project today. More on that later.

Week in… non-woolies

There haven’t been any Week in Woolies posts for a while because… well… it hasn’t been that cold.

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Just a sweater and a jacket, and I haven’t left the house in a hat in a while!

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And when I have worn a scarf, it’s been the old blue-and-green standby.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about our mild winter. It’s just a bit odd!

The perfect shoes for a crafter

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Are there more perfect shoes for a crafty person? I saw these Campers at my local shoe store, Gravity Pope, and I love them! Measuring tape! They had in them in this yellow, or a grey (which looks more mauve-y on their website). I just love the yellow though, it seems more like the iconic measuring tape in my mind. I love the metal finisher on the end of the strap – another great measuring tape detail. To me, in the summer yellow is practically a neutral! I’d wear them with my denim shorts, my yellow skirt, my blue skirt, cute sundresses of any colour….

I also really like Camper shoes, they’re always so comfy, even the heels. I have a pair of grey suede heels, and some grey/royal blue flats and both are very comfy, although I probably should have bought a half-size bigger in the heels for shoes I could wear for longer amounts of time.

I suppose a true crafty person would make their own pair, out of actual vintage measuring tapes, but while I’m happy to make myself clothes, I have (so far) drawn the line at shoes. Who wants to be halfway to work when the stitching on their shoes bursts?!

What would you wear these with?

Would a sundress in this fabric be just a bit too too much? πŸ˜‰

The fabric is from the Recess line by American Jane Patterns – it came in a few colourways from what I remember, but this is my favourite.

Wishlist Friday!

I started a Google doc a few months ago that I call ‘My big-item wishlist’. I like to note down things I want on there that are over $100. If it is under $100 and I really want it (skeins of sock yarn, I’m looking at you) I tend to buy it. But once things get into that 3-digit territory, I need to think harder about them. I should think harder about what I buy anyway, but here we are. Also on the list are trips I want to take (next year, in Rhinebeck!) and all sorts. I list the item, the price (or estimated price, for trips) and give a number between 1 and 5 indicating how badly I want it.

It helps me prioritize, because when I go to put something on the list I see all the other things on the list, and think about why I might want those things more (or less) than the new thing I’m putting on there. Sometimes it really gets me thinking… if I’m almost on the verge of buying something/putting on my credit card, but then I see the reminder that friends are meeting up in Chicago this summer, and I could buy the handbag/yarn/whatever, or save the money towards that…. I’ve crossed one thing off the list since I started it before Christmas: my camera, which I love and was totally worth it.

The current thing I’m obsessing over on The List is this purse:

It’s Fossil’s Mason Top Zip, and I love everything about it. The short chain handle, the long detachable strap, the colours, everything. But it is almost $200 here in Canada (and $168 on the US site, not that much less) so on the list it goes. The problem with this item is that I imagine taking it on all the (possible) trips that are on the list, using it every day in the summer…. so The List isn’t doing a great job as a deterrent right now. But we have a honeymoon coming up, and while P understands the need for many different pairs of shoes, he doesn’t understand the need for multiple purses. I’ve probably got about 6-8 and it confuses him. But a girl needs options, am I right?

Does anyone else keep a list like this? And how many handbags do you own? Is that number more or less than your shoe collection?

 

A Week In Woolies – Jan 16 – 22

Week in Woolies Jan 16-22

Let me say this this week. It was cold. Damn cold. At least at the start of it.

Jan 16: my day off, so I went grocery shopping. All the accessories (and the lack of scarf) are inappropriate for walking in the weather, but I as I was driving and only walking across a parking lot, I did it anyway. This is not recommended, what if your car breaks down/you’re in an accident and you have to get out and wait for police/emergency/whatever? But I hate being too bundled up at Safeway. Those fingerless mitts were my first knitting-in-the-round project, and sit low enough on the back of my hand that it is easy to pop my thumb out of the thumb hole and pull off the gloves underneath without taking them off.

Jan 17: This is what -50C with windchill looks like. My thrummed mittens (like wearing your largest pair of oven mitts out of the house, but so warm), my super-long-Bob-Cratchit-scarf, my warmest (and itchiest, sigh) hat, all topped off with the dreaded puffy jacket w/furry hood. Yes, I needed both hood and hat.

I take a bit of a perverse pride in saying that I continue to walk to (and from) work in all weather, but when I was done work at midnight and it was -50C with the windchill…. I wussed out and P came to pick me up. Unlike a co-worker who rode her bike home that night. Had we known that at the time, P and I would have stolen her bike and forced her to ride home with us in the car.

January 18 & 19: Much like the days before, but I switched up hats to amuse myself under my hood. I really like the black and white one, it is the Side Slip Cloche from Boutique Knits. I just wish I’d made it a little bigger, to fit my giant head properly.
Week in Woolies Jan 16-22

January 20 and 21 the weatherman lied to me. Each day it was forecast to be warming up that night, and as I’m heading home around midnight, I dressed to be a little chilly on the walk in, but better on the way home. This is not the way to plan, because the weatherman lies! Thus my surprised (and red) face after my walk in on January 20th.

January 21: only 1 hand-knitted item! That white hat is one of the few storebought hats that has ever fitted my very large head. ‘Onesize’ hats do not fit. Ever. If I want a nice hat (like that one) I have to go to an actual hat store, where hats come in sizes, and even then most of the womens’ hats don’t fit. My Ulmus shawl is a nice big one for keeping the chin warm (or up to the nose, as on Jan 18th), and was the only pop of colour in this outfit. I hadn’t worn all those white things together before, I think I was a little afraid of being mistaken for Bonhomme or something.

Then, on January 22nd, Mother Nature proved just how exciting Calgary’s weather can be… we had positive temperatures again! From -50 to +1 in 5 days. I pulled out my Odessa hat, the lightest and non-wooliest hat I’ve knit myself in celebration. Only 70% wool, and knit by me in 2007! Although, the prize for oldest knitted project goes to the wristwarmers from Monday, knit in 2003. P and I worked at the same time on Sunday, so he took the photos for me. The first few were accidentally taken with the ‘Dali’ Hipstamatic lens. Fun, but not too great for details. The shots were too fun not to include though.

 

I think this ‘week in woolies’ thing would be fun to do with a bunch of other knitters! Let’s see all those carefully hand-knit items out in the world, being worn. After all, isn’t that what they’re for? You don’t need a camera phone, you don’t need to make little collages*, just post a photo of some sort! Let me know if you’ve done it, and I’ll include the links in next Monday’s Week in Woolies post! Heck, they don’t even need to be hand knit, just show us what you look like bundled up for winter every day!

*If you like the look of the collages, try FD’s Flickr toys for something free, or if you have Photoshop, check out Pugly Pixel’s photo layouts!

A Week in Woolies #1

After my post last week about my mis-matching of knitwear in the winter, I decided to start a little series on the blog. ‘A Week in Woolies’ means I will try to remember (that’s the hard part) to take a picture of myself with my iPhone that includes my hat, scarf, and mitts/gloves.

I figured it would be fun because there are so many pictures of in-progress knits on this blog, but not many of things being really worn. Modelling shots of the finished object don’t count. πŸ˜‰ We’ll also be able to see patterns in what I wear (I can already tell you I wear my blue/green Clapotis all.the.time.) and if I look like ‘that crazy knitting lady’ as I’m walking down the street.

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Here we are, starting with the photo you saw last week.

As it was a new idea, I wasn’t too great with remembering to take photos, but I seem to have the pose down pat. I also thought it would be fun to put in the temperature range for each day, because you will see a definite down-surge in matchiness as it gets colder. I would rather my ears and fingers not freeze off than look cool.

The blue gloves on January 13th are great warmer-weather gloves. I bought them at The Bay a few years ago because they match that blue-green scarf I wear so often, and because they’ve got little conductive fabric patches on the index fingers and thumbs so I don’t have to take them off to operate my iPhone. It’s a little fiddly making sure you’re pressing with exactly the right part of your finger, but it is better than taking them off.

January 14th I’m actually wearing at matching hat & mitten set knit from yarn I spun myself! I use the term ‘matching’ loosely, you can’t see mitten #2 but it was a yarn that had loooong colour changes, so let’s call it more of a ‘coordinating’ set than a ‘matching’ one. The scarf I’m wearing there (which I also wore on the missing Jan 12th – didn’t take a photo because it was too warm most of that day and the scarf very soon moved to my purse) was my gift in Kimberly Michelle’s ‘Made By You’ gift exchange. It’s lovely and soft and warm, and goes pretty well with my new hat and mitts! It was made by new knitter Teale. Thank you so much!

January 15th the temperature took a nosedive and I was under-dressed in the hat department. And, truth be told, the coat department. The historical weather data on The Weather Network doesn’t seem to include the windchill, but on most days when it is that cold, there’s also the lovely biting wind that makes it feel 5 to 10 degrees colder still. Luckily, P dropped me off at work, and a kind coworker drove me home that day so I didn’t turn blue. Those pink and purple mittens though? Great for the cold, as they’re lined so they’re really a mitten inside a mitten.

Summary of the week: I felt fairly coordinated all week, up until the 15th when I made choices that were bad for both matching, and the weather.

Forecast for this week: The temperature is going to hover around -30C until Sunday or so, so I will probably be wearing my hated down parka for most of it, and the warmest knits I own. I try to deny the fact that I live somewhere where an down puffer coat is necessary, but when the windchill makes it -40C*,Β  I give up and just put the damn thing on. Until that point, I’m very happy to deny the coldness by wearing my regular wool-blend coats (the white one is Anthropologie {$45 on Boxing Day!}, the grey is Soia & Kyo) with various layers of sweaters underneath.

What do you look like all bundled up?

*fun fact: Celsius and Fahrenheit match up at -40. -40C and -40F are the same temperature: F-ING COLD.

A Knitter’s Woolies

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As a knitter, I knit a lot of things. Things like hats and mitts and scarves are fun because you don’t need to be super-worried about fit. Scarves – not at all, mitts and hats – small enough that starting over isn’t a huge chore.

As a knitter, I love fibre and all the different colours it comes in. I want to buy all the fibre I can fit in my house, and then some.

As a knitter, I love the millions of patterns available to me through the internet and books, (almost) all categorized by Ravelry. It is through browsing patterns on Ravelry that I realized that there is an immense number out there.

The above statements add up to – I like knitting little things, in different yarns and patterns. Meaning…. a knitter’s woolies will rarely match. There’s too much fibre out there to knit with the same thing twice! The same goes for patterns!

Today I felt like I did a very good job of coordinating my cold-weather-wear, so (for once) I wasn’t that girl with the blue/green scarf, red mittens, and beige/rainbow hat. Pink hat, purple/pink scarf, purple/pink mittens… not bad! Not to mention the permanent fixtures of the purple glasses and purple purse.

I feel like I’m starting to reach that point where I’ve knitted enough to start having things that coordinate, although the above group is the only proper ‘set’ I could create. I think some blue/green/grey mittens might be the next thing I should knit. Which leads to…

As a knitter, I hate knitting the ‘shoulds’. I just want to knit what I want in that particular moment. So I do. And while the matching was nice today, tomorrow I might put on my grey hat, maroon scarf, and store-bought fleece mittens, and I’m perfectly fine with that.

Thrift-a-phobia

I love thrift stores. I love them because they are cheaper, kitschier versions of antique stores, which I also love. I go into thrift stores and I browse the housewares, the furniture, and the books. Notice that clothing never comes in to this equation at all.

Thrifted Sweater Vest

(press the auto-timer button BEFORE the shutter button, and it will work better)

Part of it is the whole ‘used’ thing. Yes, I realize that clothes can be washed, I do it myself a few times a week, but it’s different when it’s my own dirt. For another thing I hate poking through unorganized racks. Just like I love Anthropologie, but the sale rooms intimidate me. My main strategy for shopping at Anthro is to try on things when they’re full price and nicely displayed with coordinating things, and then buy them when they hit the sale room. It’s all just too crammed in together and you have to look through every.single.thing to make sure you haven’t missed anything. The ‘everything crammed together’ reason is one of the main reasons I avoid thrift store clothing. Now, give me a bookstore with books crammed to the rafters 3 rows deep, and I will sit on the floor and sift through every.single.one to make sure I haven’t missed a gem!

It makes me sad that I feel this way about thrift stores because I know so many fashionable people in real life and in blog land that are always wearing awesome outfits, and saying ‘this old thing? Thrift store for $3!’. I love the Anthropologie style, but it isn’t exactly easy on the pocket book, and so many of their pieces are vintage-inspired, I believe that you can dress like an Anthro model entirely from a thrift store, if you have the fortitude.

Neuroses aside, I went to a thrift store the other day with the express purpose of looking through the clothing – to be more exact, the sweaters. I needed sweaters for this sweater scarf I made myself, and the place to get them was the thrift store. I went, took a deep breath, and browsed the ladies’ sweaters. I managed to pick 5 as candidates to be turned into scarves, and I found this awesome sweater-vest. I love a good sweater-vest!

Thrifted Sweater Vest

It was my size, Esprit, and only cost $4.99! And chevrons are all over Pinterest right now, so it must be cool, right?

I found that I could look through the big long racks, and that they weren’t as intimidating as I thought they were. Everything was at least organized by size, and mostly by colour within those sizes. I could walk slowly along the racks and see at least the sleeves/shoulder of each garment, and only pull out the ones with fabrics I liked. This one vest has me excited to go thrifting for clothes. Specifically, I really wanted to do something kicky and Anthro-y and pair it with a cool skirt or patterned blouse, but none of my current skirts went with it (too summery, apart from the one satin one which was too satin-y), and I don’t own any cool printed blouses (we’ll talk about my obsession with Emma Pillsbury’s wardrobe another day).

What’s your favourite thing that you’ve ever thrifted?