favorite bits & bobs

I thought today I would share with you some of my favorite knitting tools.
I don't buy a lot of notions. I'm quite purposeful when I purchase these little items as it is quite easy to go overboard. Over the years I've realized that I do not like fancy stitch markers. I like simple. Keep it simple but pretty. After all I do like pretty things. 
I was gifted these stitch markers in a swap, and they are my favorite. You can find them in this shop called Fripperies & Bibelots

I also purchased these Merchant & Mills Bulb Pins at Stitches West last year. They're not specifically made for being stitch markers, but they are great for keeping track of rows, especially when you're doing increases on sleeves or socks. 
More recently I ordered this wonderful wool soap and gauge ruler. Love them both, the scent of the wool soap is very soft and subtle. 
I love lace knitting and if I print out a pattern for a project it gets covered in notes, highlighted bits to help with keeping track of repeats but one of my favorite things is highlighter tape. Really helps with keeping track of rows especially when I have to put my knitting down and it might be awhile before I get back to it. Washi tape works wonderful too but the only difference is the highlighter tape really gets a lot of life, you can peel it a million times and still sticks to the paper. Washi tape not so much but it sure is pretty.  
I love tea. If this isn't your first time visiting my blog or my instagram feed, then this is not news. So its no surprise when I came across a stitch marker set by Vintage Rose that I had to buy it. Very cute but I don't use them when I knit with fine yarn, tends to snag the yarn but otherwise they are lovely, well all of her sets are lovely!
When I block my finished knits I really love T-pins and blocking wires. Blocking wires really do work wonders, if you have not tried them the kit from knit picks is a great starting point and I've been pretty happy with mine but order extra T-pins. You really can never have enough of those. 
Mine are in action below. Right now I use blocking mats, they are ok but in the future I would love to buy this or this.
If you have any tips, tricks or favorite notions, please share! I always love to hear what other knitters like!
In other knitting news, I am in WIP it down mode. I've been finishing some of my languishing projects. My cable cowl called Vanderbilt is done. Its wet and blocking, once its dry I just have to graft the two ends. As you can see in one of the photos I am using blocking wires and many pins.
The yarn is Miss Babs Keira. Really great heavy fingering, its like a light sport weight and really great stitch definition hence the cable cowl. I'll definitely purchase again plus its got great yardage, 560 yards! 
Another WIP that is seeing some love is my Wapiti, which I am knitting up in Malabrigo Merino Worsted. Not too much to go...
As for what book is on the go, I just finished listening to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I had never read any of the books, I've only seen the movies. Oh yes, I am one of those people... 
Audible just released the books so I used one of my credits. I really enjoyed it. Not sure I will purchase the rest but I'm pretty happy that I gave the first one a listen too. The narrator was really great and I love that when they are that good you forget you are even listening to an audiobook but thats also because the writing is just great! 
 Tomorrow is thanksgiving in America. For those of you partaking in this turkey filled holiday, I hope its wonderful and I just want to say I am thankful for all you knitterly friends!

linked with The Small Things


Summertide and the living is easy

Finally, it is off my needles. Summertide Shawl has almost been 2 months in the making.
I initially wanted to finish this along with everyone else who knitted this during the mystery kal but along the way we found out we were moving.
Although we don't have much in terms of a household, it is still a lot of work especially when you find out you are moving back to Texas from California. 
5 1/2 years ago we moved to California from Texas. 
This time we have made our new home in Dallas. 
We are all moved in and mostly settled. Only a couple of boxes left, Miss Sydney and Miss Sammy have found their favorite spots in the living room, so its starting to feel like a cozy home.
Unfortunately while driving here,
 I was bit by some crazy mean zombie ants and had a really bad reaction.
My arm was so swollen and just so incredibly itchy.... Its mostly better now, the skin is still a tad itchy but I apply calendula, coconut oil and vitamin E oil daily. I will have scars on my arm although they are minimal considering it looked like it was a really bad burn.
 C'est la vie!
I couldn't knit for awhile there, but back to knitting over the past weekend. 
To be honest, I feel that I was more annoyed that I could not knit or do anything crafty than the fact that I was bit. Haha.. hmm!
 I was able to finish the last few rows on my shawl and I absolutely love how it turned out! 
My ravelry project page is here
Have you watched any good movies lately? I watched this movie called, The Lunchbox while I was knitting. I loved it. Definitely recommend. I also recommend watching this documentary, India's Daughter. Not for the faint of heart and it is heartbreaking at times but worth watching. 
Today the christmas music is on loud, She & Him is one of my favorite christmas albums also The Hotel Cafe, Winter Songs is a good one. 
My parents are coming for a visit this week. It will be their first american thanksgiving and their second time to Texas since I moved from Canada. It will be fun,
my husband's family are loud and crazy, fun and there's a lot of them.
I've received some bits of happy mail recently, it seemed only fitting that the first package I received at my new place was yarn!
Just before I moved though I found out I won a prize in the Knitbot Kal and of course I bought more yarn along with some of the new pink & green colors from Quince & Co called Sage & Shell.
 Just love!!
Also some really pretty yarn from one of my favorite yarn dyers, Lakes Yarn, the color is called Framboise. 
I have so many patterns I want to knit up, just a few in my queue are Celes, Henslowe, Autumn Leaf and not to mention some more cozy socks. I am almost done with my Woodland Tales mittens, while the actual pattern is done, I am knitting a lining for them so its just a matter of finishing that.
The last few mornings have been really cold here compared to where I was living before which makes me want to pull out all my knits and wear them and also makes me want to knit all of the socks I can.
First things first, finish all my WIPS and drink some hot chocolate.
Have a great day!