Cables & Lace

This week I started swatching on my first real design (in my studio haha), sneaking away at night after the holiday festivities to knit. It is incredible and a little overwhelming to consider all of the possibilities that come with writing your own designs and patterns. This little thing will turn into the front panels of a pretty cable and lace cardigan for little miss Naomi. Im excited to start working with numbers, although I have always been terrible at math, so a challenge is in store. I know I want it to be a classic construction, set in sleeves, very tailored and structured but I still have to decide if I want to start from the top or bottom of all the pieces. I recently heard Cirilia say something, somewhere, about how she thinks decreases look prettier than increases and I would have to agree, after really thinking about it. Then there is the ribbing, a dainty lace rib, or a sturdy fisherman's rib to balance out the sweetness of the lace? Cast on? Finishing? So many questions and possibilities!  A sweet new friend of mine gave me some beautiful vintage shell buttons a few weeks ago, and I think it will go perfectly, so at least I don't have to think about that. The yarn is the ever gorgeous and heirloom quality brooklyn tweed loft in blanket fort, Naomi's mother picked it up while she was in Brooklyn. She fell in love with it just as much as I told her she would. Maybe I am crazy for starting such a project amidst the chaos of holiday knitting, but I can't stop thinking and doodling about it. What do you think? 

thanks for reading, 


A New Studio

The other night Xavier and I were having a long conversation about feeling validated. I found myself talking a lot about how I feel validated when I meet certain expectations for myself in the realm of mothering, and wifehood. I know there is more to me than being a wife and mother, but there are certainly times when I get lost in the role, or trying to fulfill that expectation that I set for myself. We talked a lot about knitting and creative process, what his creative process means to him, how he expresses himself. It was certainly a good conversation. 

The next day he set up this beautiful space for me to find those things I tend to loose, like confidence and peace. Having my own physical space to explore my imagination, knit and unravel, and even maybe do a bit of reading is such a luxury to me. A table high enough so that the baby can't reach those sharp tools like seam rippers, and delicate things like lace on the needles, what a gift! 

I have to find a few baskets for storage, and put up some hooks for drying yarn but it already feels so special. In a feature I recently did, I talked about having structure in my life, and this space will certainly help me balance my day a bit more. When I'm in my studio, I can focus because I know everything else is done, this is my time to create and be inspired. Besides that, the fact that it is a gift from my husband, an encouragement to find confidence in my creativity, makes it even better. 


Balsamic Vinaigrette & Pear Salad

A few weeks ago I had a pear, gorgonzola and walnut salad from a fancy cheese and salad shop downtown. The dressing was a creamy and sweet balsamic vinaigrette, so delicious. I feel a little silly making such a huge deal about this combination but it was new to me, (I'm so behind the culinary trends,  forgive me haha) so I went crazy over it. The next trip to the grocery store I checked out a few bottles of balsamic vinaigrettes to read the ingredients and see if I could make it at home. Pretty much all of the bottles included sugar as the third or fourth ingredient, which, because the FDA regulations require the ingredients to be listed in quantitative order, means that most of those bottled dressings were sugar and oil with some salt and preservatives. So I went home and mixed together what I assumed a balsamic vinigrette is really supposed to be made of, balsamic vinegar, oil and a little salt and pepper. I mean, it should have been common sense, people have been making salads way before we had food processors and refrigeration. I kind of assumed it would difficult to do, words like "emulsify" sound kind of scary. I felt even sillier when I realized all I had to do was shake a few things together in a mason jar. 

Balsamic Vinaigrette:

1/4 c good quality balsamic vinegar 
3/4 c good quality olive oil 
two cloves of garlic, smashed
1 teaspoon of honey


Combine ingredients & shake the mason jar until it is "emulsified".
That simple. It does separate in the fridge, but all you have to do is shake it all up again and its fine. 
Now, Im actually not a huge fan of eating gorgonzola. I can appreciate it for what it is, stinky, astringent and moldy, it has its place in things and worked well in the fancy cheese shop salad but I wouldn't buy it to keep at home. I do absolutely love a good sharp parmesan reggiano, but preccorino is a good and more affordable substitute. (have I told you that I have to budget cheese into my grocery list? cheese and olive oil are my splurges, I will eat lentil soup three times a week if I can finish is off with some good olive oil and cheese!) So, when I made the salad at home I used:

two big handfuls of spring mix
1/2 a bosc pear, cut into chunks 
(thin slices are prettier but awkward to eat)
a couple of shaves of peccorino 
(I shave off bits with a knife, nothing fancy) 
balsamic vinaigrette 

I've added in a few different things through out the week to use in this salad, including some candied nuts, roasted sweet potato chunks. apples, and some cous cous with sage and cheese. It would also be a good dressing to keep on hand to go along with all the thanksgiving left overs. It is a pretty sweet salad, so adding some savory aspects would be good too, like roasted turkey, or even throwing the stuffing (or dressing if you are from the south) in and it would be great! That's really what a salad should be I think, lots of greens, with a good dressing and whatever else you have in the fridge. I love the idea of a panzanella, a type of bread salad, but have never had one! I might try to make one this week with left overs as well. 

As always, 
thank you for reading, 


Soulful Soup v.3 Emily from Thoughts And Biro Sketches

One of my absolute favorite things about blogging is the connections I get to make. I found Emily's blog a few months ago and instantly felt connected to her through her words, recipes and photographs. It was one of those "oh you too?" moments. Since, we have been emailing and sharing when we find the time. When I thought about the soup series I knew I wanted to ask her for a recipe. This recipe particularly, really peaks my interest because it has two of my favorite things, greek yogurt and curry powder, she had me at that! I am so excited to share her recipe with you! 

Some days call for simple food that is nourishing and easy to prepare. Soup fits into that category for me - when its raining outside, when we're busy with projects, when our lids are heavy with fatigue or the mind is overwhelmed with decisions. This lightly spiced zucchini soup is a favourite of mine - so easy to prepare, delicious tasting and very filling. Its a great way to use up an abundance or garden-grown zucchinis or marrows that are looking a bit on the sorry side too. 

You will need (for 4 or so servings):

1 large onion, roughly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
good pinch of sea salt
1-2 tablespoons curry powder
1 kilogram zucchinis or marrows, sliced
1.5 litres vegetable or chicken broth
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup **uncooked** white rice (I like to use brown rice for the nutty flavour)

In a heavy-based pot gently sauté onions with olive oil and salt for 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Stir in curry powder and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the zucchini, stock, pepper and rice and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer another 20-30 minutes. Blend for a smoother consistency or mash vigerously with a potato masher for a more rustic edge. Serve with a dollop of thick greek yoghurt and a sprinkle of fresh mint.


Doesn't that sound delicious?
Thanks for reading, 



Things have been quiet in this space, I know. This last month or so has been one filled with much healing, blessings and inward reflection mixed with bouts of deep sadness. I almost decided to stop writing all together, and perhaps take everything down, but I'm sure that was just a bit of panic setting in, causing me to consider removing any and all distractions from my faith, my family and my creating. But most things are just fine in moderation, just like this blog. When I have the time and something helpful, or inspiring, or delicious to share, I will. I can not believe that the holiday season is upon us, I wonder where has time gone, and I remind myself that it has been a very difficult season. In good and bad seasons of life, you can loose track of time.
What is there to say? So many of my inner thoughts and emotions have been devoted to coming to terms with loosing Sarah, dealing with the regrets of what I never said, or not making spending time with her more of a priority. Honestly, the reality of our mortality has shaken me. It has been hard for me to sleep, imaginary worst case scenarios tend to make themselves at home in my time between awake and dreaming. It has been a battle to not let fear of loosing over take me, but through much prayer and blessings of new friendships I have been encouraged and comforted. In fact, I paused for a second while writing this post to answer a rapping at the door (don't wake the baby who ever you are!) and was met with a package all the way from Paris. My sweet friend Emily from thewindhover sent me the most beautiful little crocheted collar, tea, yarn, rose scented cookies and recipe cards. My heart rejoices because I know that Emily acts out of love and inspiration from God, who sees my sadness and hears my requests.