Happy New Year! I hope you had a fantastic holiday. What did you get up to? If you’re like me, your days off were probably filled with delicious food, snow and laziness. With a little bit of those three things, our start to 2015 ain’t half bad! Nicely done.
So I want to ask…Do you believe in New Years resolutions? Did you make any for yourself this year? Every NYE I like to reflect on the past year and maybe do a general pondering for myself, but I have to admit I am pretty terrible at sticking to the black and white statements like “stop doing blah” or “quit suchandsuch” that are so trademark for New Years. My NYR attitude changed however when I stumbled across a wonderful Amy Poehler quotation that I thought you’d like: …
“I am a firm believer that every few years one needs to shake one’s life through a sieve, like a miner in the Yukon. The gold nuggets remain. The rest falls through like the soft earth it is.” –Amy Poehler
Isn’t that lovely? (Thanks a Cup of Jo). Such a great way to think about what we should hold dear in our tiny lives. What are your gold nuggets?
With my free time this holiday I decided to knit!! (What’s new) Well, if you’re a seasonal knitter like me you can probably understand the urge to pick up the old knitting needles when the weather gets chillier. In early December I poked into one of my favourite Vancouver wool stores and from the moment I laid eyes on a ball of fuzzy black alpaca wool I’ve been slowly weaving away at a little toque.
The Coastal Toque is made of royal alpaca, so is delicately soft with a gentle fuzziness and enveloping elasticity. What is royal alpaca though? (I didn’t know so wanted to do some research!) Apparently, alpaca wool is only classified as “royal” when its fibres are less than 19 or 19.5 microns in diameter. During the wool’s processing, only the finest and softest alpaca strands are collected together and woven into balls. The finer the fibres, the softer and less itchy the garments are. (And the happier our heads are too!)
Alpaca wool is comparable in softness to cashmere, and according to some people is smoother and warmer in quality. Alpaca wool is also friendlier to your bank account! This toque’s wool cost $20. I don’t know about you, but I am certain that I will be wrapping my head in this cozy toque all winter until the flowers start to bloom!
The Coastal Toque
wool: 1 skein baby alpaca yarn Cascade 3001 Black (100 grams) $20. needles: One 9 " circular needle, size 3mm. One set of five 3mm double pointed needles. misc: 1 yarn marker. (I used a safety pin.) Size: Fits an average sized adult head!
1. Cast on 100 stitches. Using the magic loop technique, join your knitting in in the round being careful not to twist your stitches. Place a marker/safety pin on the right needle’s tip at the beginning of your first round. This will help you keep track of your progress.
2. Knit 1, Purl 1. Once you reach your starting stitch, make sure to knit the “knits” and purl the “purls”. Purl stitches look like this. Knit stitches look like this. Continue this pattern until your toque reaches 12 inches.
3. Transfer stitches to your double pointed needles (4), saving one needle to use as your right hand needle. Make sure that there are 25 stitches on each needle. Start decreasing:
4. Knit 1, Knit 2 together. Knit/Purl until 4 left on needle. Knit 2 together from back of the stitch. Knit/Purl remaining 2. Repeat this pattern on each needle.
5. Continue in this fashion until there are 4 stitches remaining on each needle.
6. Break wool with at least 1 foot of extra yarn. Thread this yarn through the remaining 16 stitches, then tighten them together. Secure thread tightly to your work with a couple reef knots. Tuck in loose ends.
Happy knitting! I hope you enjoy your homemade Coastal Toque! What’s in the name you ask? Well I was inspired to knit this lovely soft treasure after seeing so many Vancouverites lately around the city donning similar beanies. It’s the west coast thing to do! Get knitting :) Then, go hit up that trendy coffee shop, brewery or west coast beach to blend in with the hip locals. You’ll fit right in. (ha ha)
It’s good to be back with this month’s post. Happy New Year again!! I hope you enjoy 2015’s months ahead of baking delicious treats for yourself and loved ones, as well as creating some beautiful DIYs, crafts or projects! If you do neither you know who to spend more time with this año:)
PPS: A little piece of serenity
PPPS: Fashion Dads :)