Friday, December 2, 2011

Those Little Gifts That are Hard to Think Of

Your child's teacher, a friendly coworker, your yoga instructor; all people you'd like to give a little something for the holidays.  And you have run out of ideas.  I thought going through some Etsy shops that offer vegan products might give us some wonderful ideas.

Lisa of Johnsonfamilyzoo has the cutest eco friendly reusable sandwich bags available in her shop.  Just imagine bringing a sandwich to work in one of these bags or a snack!  They will be the envy of their coworkers.

2 Sided OWLS and STRIPES Reusable Snack and Sandwich Bag SET

Rachel from soapwallakitchen makes these wonderful, luxurious vegan organic soaps.  This doesn't mean the people on your list don't smell good; you just want them to feel pampered.

Organic Lavender and French Clay Facial and Body Soap Bar

Renée from pinkbubble creates these beautiful keychains.  It's a great way to make sure nobody loses their keys anymore.  And if you have a soccer mom on your list even better!

Soccer keychain

Jen from SickOnSin makes these wonderful pins.  With the incredible choice available I'm sure you can find a few that will make someone on your list happy.

Do you have a few coffee lovers on your list?  I can't help myself but I must mention my very own dear coffee cup cozies.  It also helps that right now they are on promotion BUY 3 and GET THE 4TH FREE!  They are a great way to carry the morning cup of java without burning your hands.

Yellow Coffee Cup Cozy with Acorn Leaf

I hope this very small list helps a little in your gift shopping.  If you need more gift ideas just go to Etsy and enter veganetsy in the search bar and lots of vegan items will come up; all by amazing creative vegans!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Working with knitting charts

For the One Cup Cozy a Day project I have been knitting with different stitch pattern books. Most books have written instructions and/or charts but one book in particular only uses charts to show how the pattern is knit. 

To be able to follow I started using a sticky note and sticking it just below the row I am working on. I also wrote the explanation for one of the symbols since the glossary is at the front of the book and I wasn't in the mood to look back every time.

You can see on the picture I also write down the row I have just knitted. That's because a certain cat loves to plop down on my book, moving the sticky note from its row placement. Lola, you know who I'm talking about.

I usually prefer to work with chart patterns when I have the choice. Do you prefer working with written instructions or charts? Do you have a different way of keeping track of your rows? 

Friday, November 4, 2011

Some Good Men Are Out There

The first man I want to talk to you about is my boyfriend.  Although he isn't vegan he has changed his cooking methods so I can eat supper without having to start from scratch when I get there. It would mean eating around 19:30 since I finish late.  So, I love getting to his place after work and having supper ready hot on the table.  He was a heavy user of margarine and now uses olive oil instead.  If I happen to mention some food is vegan, the next thing I know he's bought some when he went grocery shopping. 

This week we've had to make due with prepared food since he recently hurt his middle finger making it hard for him to write and horror of all horrors chop vegetables! 

Here is where the other good man comes into the picture. He's the owner of the neighborhood Asian market and my boyfriend went shopping for some vegetables the other night.  He was talking with him about his predicament and the owner actually chopped his vegetables for him. He chopped the bell peppers, the mushrooms, the carrots and the onion so we could eat a nice home cooked meal.  I was pleasantly surprised and will be sure to thank him the next time I see him.

Supper was delicious that night, a Chinese noodle dish with lots of vegetables and soy sauce; just the way I love it.

Have you ever benefited from someone's kindness or have you been the giver of such kindness? 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My love for a pom-pom maker

I finally received my Clover pom-pom maker and I am in love!  Pom-poms are so easy to make with this.  Of course when I told my mother she said something along the line, "In my days we just used cardboard to make our pom-poms."  I tried cardboard; the yarn just kept falling out of the hole and I just wanted to hurl the whole thing across the room.  I want to make a good amount of pom-poms and I want it to be easy.

You can see below the Clover pom-pom maker (makes 3 3/8 inch pom-pom) and beside it is another device I found but the pom-poms were too small around 3 inches only.  It also came with a 2 1/2 inches maker and I even bought the 4 1/2 inches one as well.  I couldn't find these in any store around town and am glad I found them at Herrschners.  Of course, I bought some yarn at the same time.

This is what a pom-pom looks like with the Clover maker and they also look great on my Cables and Seed Stitch Hat with Pom Pom.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Some loving for the knitting

I just realized this morning  I will actually be knitting 366 cup cozies for the One Cup Cozy a Day project.  The year 2012 happens to be a leap year.  The joke's on me.

The daily paper KnitPurlGurl Daily has the One Cup Cozy a Day project as one of their top stories :  It's a great easy way to stay up to date with what's happening in the knitting world. Thank you.

Lidia from Vegan Bloggers Unite has written a wonderful review about Knits By Nat : Thank you so much Lidia. 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

National Coffee Day

My crazy knitting project has launched.  It's all about coffee cup cozies coming to you daily for the next 365 days!

One Cup Cozy a Day

How do you drink your coffee?  I like mine black, no sugar.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lots of new projects

I have been working on lots of new projects that should finally see the light of day soon.

One such project will be emerging this Thursday on National Coffee day!  It will mean a lot of daily knitting but I am so looking forward to it.  Stay tuned, it's only a couple of days away.  And yes, you may call me crazy when you see what it's all about.

Some colours for the Cable and Seed Stitch Hat with Pom Pom have been knit but the making of the Pom Poms has me going a little crazy.  How I managed to make the black one is beyond me because now the method isn't working.  I am waiting for my Clover Pom Pom maker to arrive in the mail, hopefully very soon.  

I have been working on a matching hat and fingerless mitts which need some buttons for the final touch.  Saturday will be shopping day for those.  I can't wait to spend time looking through the wonderful buttons at  Rubans Boutons

Monday, September 12, 2011

Giveaway Contest on All Women Stalk

The blog All Women Stalk is doing a Giveaway Contest and the prize is my Purple Cable and Lace Slim Scarf.  Just go on their blog and follow how to enter :


Monday, June 27, 2011

SALE in my Etsy shop!

I am celebrating the return of my computer and of postal services by having a sale in my Etsy shop.  All my creations are now 15% off, the price shown is already reduced.  You won't need to enter a coupon code when you finish your order; nice, easy and quick.

So, whether you're looking for a hat, fingerless mitts, a scarf or cowl; now is the time to indulge in wonderful knit vegan creations.

You can find the link to my Etsy shop just over to your right; hope you like what you see. If you're looking for something and it's not there just leave me a message in the comments here or use the contact option on Etsy.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Breakfast memories

As a kid my favorite way to eat peanut butter on toast was to add some caramel to it.  Gross to some, but oh so amazingly delicious to me.  I recently discovered through Viva Vegan the Peanut Butter & Co line of products and they make a product called White Wonderful Chocolate.  It is peanut butter with white chocolate added to it and tastes so much like my caramel combo.  I just love it.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

First bike ride of the year

Yesterday I had the day off for Good Friday and decided to go biking with my boyfriend.  We ended up going to see the progress on the new bridge connecting to Laval and I can't believe they are almost finished.  This bridge has been talked about since the late 50s, early 60s and is now going to finally exist.

The biking went well for me, the boyfriend however ended up with a flat tire.  It's the 3rd one he gets and hopefully the little piece of metal the guy found in his tire and took out is enough to not have flats happen again.  I know flats can happen for all sorts of reasons but 3 flats in 3 outings is a bit much. 

The new bike I have is just so amazingly light and it really makes a difference when I go up hills.  Well, they aren't big hills but with my other heavy bike I always ended up having to stop in the middle and walk up to the top.  This time we had three hills and I was able to bike all three to the top!  I am quite proud of myself especially since my physical condition this year is just so-so compared to other years.  I have let myself go a bit too much this winter and don't like it one bit.  Hopefully using the BIXI to get back home evenings will help.

It was a gorgeous sunny day and we stopped in a park just to  bask in the sun.  We also wanted to rest our legs from pedaling against the wind.  Why does the wind have to pick up when we are on the way back home? It's when we're tired and can't wait to get back home. The sun was strong enough to slightly burn my nose and tan the top of my hands.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The distractions I deal with

Whenever I knit, it is unmistakable Lola will come to see what I am up to.  I could be surfing the net for hours and she leaves me alone.  But the second she hears the click of knitting needles she comes around.  If only she looked at what I am knitting but no.  This always happens while I knit.

She has to plop down on top of my book and chart making it impossible to continue knitting.  And the second I put her down on the floor, she's right back up before I even have time to pick up my needles.  She is so lucky I love her to pieces but sometimes my patience does run out and she knows it when it happens.  She doesn't try to get back up after I put her down.

She's also the reason I only use circular needles; she likes to chew on the ends of regular needles.  Now try knitting with a cat attacking your needles, not so easy.

Friday, March 25, 2011

My favorite way to eat soba noodles

A friend was tweeting about soba noodles and it reminded me of my favorite way to eat them.  I found this recipe years ago even before I became vegan in Vegetarian Times/July 1999.  It's really the dressing that makes it so great; apple cider vinegar, soy sauce, lemon juice and dark sesame oil. 

Now, I want to eat some over the weekend.  Will need to go to the Chinese supermarket since I am out of soba noodles.  I have all the other ingredients already on hand.

What are the ways you love eating soba noodles?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My biggest knitting pet peeve

This knot to connect 2 ends of yarn in the middle of a ball is my biggest knitting pet peeve.  I once had 3 knots in a 50g ball while trying to knit one of my spring scarves.  It drives me crazy and I want to throw the ball across the room when it happens.

Luckily this time I was knitting something small and had knit only 10 rows.  When 3/4s of the way into a row for a baby blanket is another matter though which is what happened to me the last time I knit for a friend.

Is this also your biggest knitting pet peeve or is it something different altogether?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cable and seed stitch fun

The last couple of weeks I have been working on a new hat and fingerless mitt pattern.  The hat was inspired by a stranger in the subway.  She was wearing a wonderful lace and cable hat and I really liked the look of it but wanted something warmer than the lace in between the cables.  Winters here can be very cold and windy and lacey hats just don't cut it most of the time. After a few trials trying different patterns I found the seed stitch looked good.  So here's what the hat looks like in black.

I also wanted to knit shorter fingerless mitts and decided to keep the cable and seed stitch as inspiration.  Here they are in black and a detail of the pattern in purple.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vegan salmon bagel

Some weeks back I bought myself these vegan salmon steaks from the Viva Vegan Store and someone wondered if they would be great to make salmon bagels. 

The salmon steak by itself is delicious.  I love bringing it to work; microwave a few minutes with a herbed gravy and some mashed potatoes.  It's a quick, easy and delicious lunch and my coworkers can tell you how much I love it.  I rave about my lunch every time I bring this.

And yes they are great to make salmon bagels.  I used the creamy Sheese, thinly sliced one of the steaks, added capers, onions and voilà!  The vegan salmon bagel is born.  I just wish I had some sprouts to put on top since I loved eating it this way.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Fruity Coconut Jelly

Fruity Coconut Jelly are amazing, delicious jelly desserts.  They are made with coconut gel and seaweed instead of gelatin which makes them vegan.

I love these with a passion and I have now found them in my neighborhood at the Asian market.  I first ate these last summer when a friend found these shopping in Chinatown.  They come in various fruit flavours; these are green apple, pineapple, strawberry and grape. I must buy the mango ones next time I go shopping.

Yes, half of the container is already gone after just one day!  I eat them straight out of the little cup being careful not to spill some of the juice in them.  There's also a little piece of fruit in them which I have yet to identify. I even have the omni boyfriend liking them.