observed by Diane » photo journal for those who enjoy vignettes of an ordinary life

for the knitters

I think I was meant to be a knitter. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been strongly attracted to yarn, yarn shops, and I’ve even been known to buy yarn — before I ever learned to knit. True story.
Nordic Winds shawl in Alafoss Lett Lopi www.dianeschuller.com

I finished my Nordic Wind shawl and am a tad more-than-pleased with it. My first time ever using the Alafoss Lett Lopi icelandic wool. I was concerned it was too ‘rustic’ but trusted the designer. Now that it’s knit up (a rather quick knit) and washed, I’m actually pleased with how it softens. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still on the rustic side, but that was the point of doing this one. I’ve got it safely stored away so I can proudly donate it to an auction for a very worthy local cause this fall: Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs, a non-profit organization that matches rescue dogs to veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

hand dyed sock yarn from Spinning Fates

Does this yarn look at all familiar to any of the knitters out there? If you visit Andi at My Sisters Knitter, you saw the socks she’s knitting up using this pretty yarn. The moment I saw a photo of this over at Andi’s blog, I checked out the details and located the Etsy seller who hand dyes this gorgeous yarn. If you’d like some too I highly recommend checking out Laurel’s Etsy shop, Spinning Fates. This particular yarn is her Spinning Fates Megara in the color Schrodinger’s Cat. My new 47″ ChiaoGoo RED Lace needles have arrived so as soon as I’m finished my current project (a Christmas present for my step-mom), I’ll be starting another pair of socks using this pretty yarn.

Did I tell you I ordered the knitting book, Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks? I can hardly wait to try some of the patterns. She gives straight forward and easy to follow instructions with each pattern.

madeline tosh yarn knitting up in Stargazing

And in case you think all I do is practice piano, entertain, and knit, here’s proof I spend some time in the kitchen.

homemade corn relish www.dianeschuller.com


TIP TIME: At this time of year, with all the fresh fruits hanging around the kitchen, the fruit flies are everywhere. Last year I discovered a great and incredibly effective (and easy) way to get rid of them without a single chemical. I use the cider vinegar method shown in this video and it works like a charm. He uses a large bowl, I only use a tiny egg holder and I catch all the fruit flies within 24 hours – gone.

Do you have a great tip (of any kind) to share?

Tweet thisFollow me on TwitterPin thisshare on Facebook
Gabriele - August 8, 2015 - 7:31 am

i think the yarn bug has bitten me, too. While on vacation I visited a yarn shop called Blazing Needles. The owner was amazing. Two hours later I had a satisfied tummy filled with warm tea, a bag full of smooth colorful yarn, and a crochet poncho pattern which is now 1/3 finished. I’m experiencing that “can’t quit yet” syndrome which has me blazing till my hands feel achy. I love reading about all your activities. Thanks again.

Andi - August 8, 2015 - 8:00 am

I love that you said you think you were always meant to be a knitter, as I was thinking the exact same thing the other day. Since I was young, my crafts have mostly consisted of create and playing with yarn in one aspect or another.
Your Nordic Wind is stunning! Love your color choices. Sometimes I fear working with such rustic, but it always turns out well in my experience as after a good soak…the yarn blooms like nothing else.
Spinning Fates is an amazing dyer and shop right? One of the many reason why it is one of my very favorite places to shop.

Toffeeapple - August 8, 2015 - 8:59 am

I try to keep fresh fruit covered with cloth, that way they don’t seem to find me an my fruit.

Your shawl is beautiful and I am certain that it will make good deal of money for your charity.

I am going to look at Spinning Fates, just to drool, you understand!

Lisa Gordon - August 8, 2015 - 6:09 pm

Diane, this shawl is gorgeous, and your corn relish looks so yummy!

steph - August 10, 2015 - 6:01 am

Your rustic shawl is lovely….what a generous donation!!! Yep…saw that yarn on Andi’s site….and love it just as much on yours!!!!!!!!! Really should be trolling etsy, but I’ve simply got to knit some of the stuff I already have. You know….all that stuff that I bought for ‘retirement’. (hee hee…..and how many years have I been ‘retired’?!)

Jennifer@threedogsinagarden - August 14, 2015 - 8:14 am

Love your shawl! Your timing of the tip on how to get rid of fruit flies couldn’t come at a better time. I have them in numbers and they are sooo annoying! I am going to try the cider vinegar. Have a great weekend!

Bridie - August 23, 2015 - 8:47 am

You know, I think I was always meant to be a knitter, too. My mum tried to teach me when I was younger—she would have given anything that either my sister or I had interest in learning any of the things she herself is so passionate about—but I wouldn’t sit still long enough to learn. She even taught my first husband, hoping that perhaps he could teach me. That didn’t work either. But oh, now! Now I couldn’t tell you the last time I let a day slip by without knitting for at least 10 minutes. I’ve learned so many life lessons through knitting; things that have nothing to do with what is actually on the needles…

That Nordic Wind is going to make someone very, very happy. I love that deep purple with the cool grey. And I do love that you’ve chosen to donate it Vancouver Island Compassion Dogs. Someone very dear to me has PTSD from his years with the RCMP, and as I have two children who are blind, one of whom has autism, I’ve become very aware of what a tremendous impact service dogs can make in the quality of life for people with all kinds of challenges. And of course rescue dogs need that extra bit of loving care as well. Such a wonderful gesture.

I am going to try that fruit fly trick right now! We’ve had very few this year, and then I woke up this morning to swarms of them.

And finally, I have to know what is in those jars! I am hoping I’ll have time to do some canning this summer, but we just this week my husband accepted a job in another community, and we are moving for September, so I don’t know how much I’ll manage to get done. I hope at the very least to get my grape jelly put away, but our grapes still have a way to go yet. Time may not be on my side.

Alina - August 25, 2015 - 3:21 pm

I strongly believe I was born to be a knitter! Even my last name means “sheep” in Russian 🙂 Your shawl look so lovely! I can almost feel its softness!

Annie - August 31, 2015 - 1:01 pm

That is such a lovely shawl, here’s hoping it will raise lots of money for such a worthwhile charity.