I’m not sure if it’s the same for other crafty people, but for me the desire to create goes into overdrive around the holidays.  When I was living in Florida, we didn’t have very many cold days, so I feel like my desire to crochet was directly tied to the few weeks when it got cold enough to warrant wearing a jacket – so in those weeks I would dig out my hooks and leftover yarn from years previous and throw together a new hat, or mittens, maybe a scarf.

Now that I am living in Canada, I have even more of a reason to do needlework.  It snows here for approximately eight months of the year, and while I have several lovely scarves from Jim Thompson, they are really better suited to fall than the harsh Toontown winters that I’ll now be experiencing.

I did remember to bring my hooks with me, but I didn’t have any yarn.  Luckily, my husband and I found an awesome yarn shop called Prairie Lily Knitting and Needlework, conveniently located near a Tandy Leather – which will probably end up being another post later on, because wow do they have lots of cool stuff! Prairie Lily is a cute little shop with lots of different yarns.  In recent years I’ve developed a bit of a taste for fancy yarns and yarns that are more artisinal in nature.  Being an artist myself, it always feels really good to buy something from another artist and from artisans in developing countries.  I was happy to find some excellent hand dyed and spun merino wool DK yarn for a pair of fingerless mittens I wanted to make for myself.  The yarn is a really neat pink/blue/purple swirl which I love and is very soft and warm.

I have notoriously cold hands and feet; they get cold even when I’m inside.  I can put socks on my feet, but the gloves that I own all cover up my fingers.  That makes typing and drawing pretty much impossible.  The solution is fingerless mittens, which I have made before for my friend Allison who has similar problems with cold fingers and hands.  I actually ordered a purple/blue combo yarn to make a new pair of mittens for Allison as well, but the yarn has yet to arrive.  The etsy shop I purchased from has actually disappeared from the Etsy website, so I think I might have to file a paypal claim and get my money back. 🙁  I’ve never had a problem with ordering from Etsy before, so this is a new one on me.

Anyhoo, Dave was surprised at how quickly I finished my new mittens. I made two pairs from the single skein we got in just a few hours.  I actually ended up taking one pair apart and redoing them the next day while waiting for my new computer to get fixed, which kind of amazed him too.  Here’s a picture of the mittens that I took right after I finished them up.

I ended up using some amazon store credit to purchase some amazing Merino/silk blend super chunky yarn online from Living Dreams Yarn.  This yarn is amazing, easily my new favorite yarn.  It’s super soft, chunky, and warm.  It’s also really pretty with a mild iridescence that probably comes from the silk.  Not gunna lie; it’s very expensive – almost $30 for a single skein – but I had the store credit so I didn’t mind splurging a little.  The seller shipped super fast, which is awesome because I have no patience at all and now I live in Canada so things often take a little longer when it’s coming from the US.

It took 3 skeins to make my scarf, and another skein (which my awesome cousins got me as a Christmas gift, thank you again!) to make a toque for Dave.  I’m not going to need a new scarf or mittens for a while, but I would definitely buy from Living Dreams again. And no they aren’t paying me to say that! Haha.

I didn’t use a pattern for any of these, but there are loads of free patterns that you can get online. If I’m making complicated stuff I often look on Craftster for inspiration.

Now if I could get the cat to stop stealing my mittens (oh the kittens with mittens!) then I’d really be in good shape.

Here’s a picture of me with my scarf, mittens and Dave’s hat. He doesn’t like being in photos but didn’t mind taking one of me.