One Year Anniversary!

I know it is a little bit past, but October 18th, Paul and I celebrated our one-year anniversary! It was on a Sunday and that was the day after Creativ Festival and Woodstock Fleece and Fibre, so we mostly celebrated by NOT doing any yarn things.


It doesn’t seem like that long ago that we were in full wedding craziness. There were a few weddings that year in a short period of time, and we were first, which I am glad about. I was able to attend those other weddings and just relax, no worrying about deadlines or getting things done.


I was also able to attend with my husband. Paul and I were engaged for almost three years, so it was high time we actually planned a wedding and tied the knot. Our wedding day was everything I could have dreamed for and I got to marry a very good man, who puts up with a lot of sarcasm and yarn.


First and Last

Paul’s middle brother Chris married his lovely fiancee this past Saturday. It was simultaneously the first wedding of the year and the last one we are involved in for a little while! It has been kind of crazy with all the wedding events and then the weddings themselves, but they were all really great!

Paul and Michelle

Alli looked completely amazing and Chris wasn’t too bad either, they had a beautiful ceremony and an awesome reception.

Chris and Alli

I was quite sick the entire time, but started to feel a bit better towards the end of the night. I was determined to stay and not miss anything though.

Pat and Michelle

I am sincerely glad I did not miss one second of their wedding and am so happy to have a sister! CONGRATULATIONS GUYS!!!

Nguyen Women

Everyone has fled the cold weather on honeymoons and vacations, so I instagrammed this picture the other day to show them just what they were missing.

Baby its Cold Outside

Another Wedding!

I would like to dedicate this post to our friends Sara and Piotr Jankowski!!

Sara and Piotr

They were married on December 13th of this year and I am taking this post to wish them CONGRATULATIONS!!!

Sara Wedding

One of the best photobomb’s of life happened at this wedding. I wished to share it!

Best Photobomb of 2014

Monday Mishaps: Mitten Block

Working on Sara’s mittens has been cake for the most part. I’ve done this pattern before so I am familiar with it. There are no little surprises or ‘at the same time’ clauses to look out for. Yet what I failed to realize is how different the Cascade 220 is from Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label yarn.

Fiddlehead Mittens Colourwork

TFA Yellow label completely relaxes when you block it. It becomes super soft and almost melts into the shape you want it to be. Cascade 220 does not. Right away when I started knitting the mittens, they felt very dense; this is a good thing, it means they will wear longer and be warmer. The less open spaces between the stitches means the less cold air will get in.
My plan was to knit both the outside mittens and block them together, then pick up the stitches to knit the lining. I was not going to block the lining because when I did that with my own mittens, the lining expanded and it was slightly too big to fit inside the mitten shell. As a result there is a wrinkle on the inside of the mitten in the lining. In order to accommodate this my plan of blocking the shell and not the lining emerged.

Inside out Fiddle Head Mitts

Everything went good for the blocking itself. I wetted the mittens down and they didn’t relax near as much as the TFA yarn ones did, but they relaxed a little bit nonetheless. One mitten was perfect on it’s own, I didn’t need to pin it at all. The other one was not quite the same size. I needed to pin it down in order for the wool to get the memory of being the same size as the first mitten.
I got a blanket and a towel, because I usually pin things like that, and went to go find my pins. This turned out to be easier said then done. My pins are usually upstairs in the smallest of our three bedrooms, that is my room where I stores tones of yarn fabric etc. We had been putting all the wedding things in it from immediately post-wedding and just nipping in to grab something quick when we needed it. There was literally no room to walk within the space. After about 45 minutes of fruitless searching I messaged my neighbour who has just gotten into quilting. I know that requires copious amounts of pinning etc. As it turns out, the pin-gremlins had visited her house too, they were missing. I went back up into the craft room and tried to find something that I could substitute for pins. I found some of the needles I had from VKL Chicago 2013, they look like really long pins. However they were for needle felting and were not substantial enough to hold the mitten in place.
While standing in the middle of the room and looking around in a vague sense, I spied a handful of the pins on my shelf. I scooped them up and went to pin this mitten!

Fiddlehead Mitts Shell

As it turns out, the mitten was too thick to pin, I bent three pins attempting it and the other ones just slid out as soon as I was finished. I just sat and looked at the mitten helplessly for a few minutes, then attempted to get my mind together and think of a solution. I had sock blockers, but the bend for the ankle would make the mittens dry funny and I was having none of that. I was also not willing to bend the sock blockers out of shape. They were just made of wire though, so I could probably make my own if I could find some wire that would work. While my neighbour couldn’t find her pins, she definitely had a wire coat hanger.
I managed to bend it into the right shape and slide the mitten over top. It worked out perfectly! It only took me two hours to get it right. I really should have known better and not spend that amount of time on finding the actual pins and just thought of another idea. Everything worked out and now I have a wire hanger bit to block mittens on!

WEDDING!! Part Two

When I left off last week, I was just on the verge of walking down the stairs. I made my way down and held up my dress so I would definitely not trip on it. As I got closer to the bottom of the stairs where my Dad was waiting, he started saying, “don’t trip.” I reached the ground without incident, thankfully and my Dad and I continued on out way. We had to stop for one second to pose for a photo, but we walked along the back of the guests and started down the aisle. As I was going down the aisle there was actually quite a bit happening around me. Photographers running around for better angels, people moving, shifting, talking. When I looked up the aisle at Paul he looked back at me with anticipation. He said that he teared up, as there is no photographic evidence at this I call lies! I think he just didn’t want me to turn around and do it again. I constantly told him if he managed not to tear up, I was going to do just that.


As soon as my Father handed me off to Paul, a cold wind ripped through the garden. The minister leaned over to us and asked if we wanted to ‘fast track’ the ceremony. With my teeth already beginning to chatter, I nodded.


There were a few different parts to the ceremony, first up was our ‘loving letters’. The letters we had written for each other prior to the ceremony. Paul did get a little choked up while reading his, which evoked sighs and caused a few more people to start crying. Paul has always been really good at writing really touching things, I don’t know where he gets it but it is a skill I do not possess. I suppose I would write really touching mushy things, but it wouldn’t be me. My humour, and personality in general, is much more sarcastic and dry. Needless to say, I had a bit of trouble writing my loving letter, I needed to balance the line between my personality and what is socially appropriate while not straying too far from either one. I think I did creditably well…

Hand Fasting

After the letters, we were hand fasted. This was traditionally used as a form of temporary marriage for when people lived too far away from a priest to get married properly. They then had a year and a day to find a priest and have their marriage blessed before God. I really like this tradition and it originated in England or Scotland, later, hand fasting became a part of the marriage right itself. I thought it appropriate to include because my family comes from those areas.

Chimney Sweep

During the ceremony Rev. Tom also explained about my something old, new, borrowed and blue. Something old, was a butterfly pin from my mother. Butterflies are generally a symbol of transformation and next steps in life; it is constantly changing into something more beautiful. It is also know to represent the soul in some cultures and I read a passage of poetry somewhere about how marriage is the joining of two souls into one. My something borrowed was a chimney sweep. Okay, not an actual chimney sweep, but a small plastic one carried with my bouquet. The etymology behind carrying something borrowed, is to borrow the good luck of a happily married couple you know. I carried this token on my wedding day because my mother carried it on hers. As she was waiting to walk down the aisle one of our family members from Britain ran up to her and thrust this plastic chimney sweep at her. She looked at him in confusion, but he forestalled her questions with a quick, ‘later’ and dashed away. As it turns out, chimney sweeps are good luck, if you’ve even seen Mary Poppins you will know what I am talking about.

Butterfly Blue

My something blue was my jewelry. It is made from blue crystal which symbolizes honesty, fidelity, respect, trust and patience. I am really counting on the patience to come through and last. My something new was my wedding dress, I am hoping to make a quilt out of it. I could probably get a few scraps of cloth from my mother-in-law from the alterations on the dresses.


After this it was time for the vows, we didn’t write them ourselves, we just said words that have been said a thousand times by millions of people. Then onto signing the license.

When we met with our officant before the wedding, was a coaching us for licnse signing pictures, he said ‘don’t look like your signing a legal document, be close, be romantic, you’re getting married!’ I will tell you, by that point I was just trying to warm up my hands, they were like ice.


We had a friend do a reading for us at this point. I loved that it was liberally sprinkled with Lord of the Rings Quotes and this is the only point where I almost cried. The exact she was going over at that time was the ‘all who wander are not lost’ part of Tolkein’s poem, ‘All that glitters is not gold.’ With this quote, Tolkien manages to quell the fears of anyone who reads it, who might be worrying that they are adrift in one way or another. So every time you worry that each little part of your life isn’t exactly planned out, think of this quote and take a deep breath. You’re doing fine. When she said ‘ you’re doing fine’ she looked over at me and winked.


Even writing about it now is making me all choked up. I am not a person who cries a lot, not at weddings, not a movies, but I almost lost myself in that moment. Over the past months planning the wedding, I did feel lost sometimes. I wasn’t sure if this is what life was supposed to be like, what if I am doing it wrong? Everyone has these thoughts at some point or another, but when Shauna said that line, I knew I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Any lingering darkness in my mind was chased away and I realized that the biggest parts were almost over. Everyone was here and accounted for, anything else that came up, we would handle.

We were all FREEZING, if you can't tell...

We were all FREEZING, if you can’t tell…


The final part of the ceremony had to do with the gemstones. On their way into the ceremony, everyone had to pick out a gemstone. One they liked, there were difference colours, shapes, sizes, etc and we had the meaning on them on our programs. Everyone was to make a wish with their gemstone and they could either keep it, or give the stone with it’s wish, back to us. After that, there was a kiss and we all skittered into the building before we totally froze to death. I asked someone to get me some of the hot apple cider we had for the outdoor guests. My dress was not conducive to sneaking around in search of hot liquid. I just stood there holding it for a few minutes while people hugged and congratulated me and Paul. Then, very suddenly, everyone was gone. Out into the building to find sustenance.

I stayed put because there were going to be family photos in a matter of minutes. I figured I would be easier to find if I didn’t move. The next couple hours were dedicated totally to photos.

Paul and I got back to the White Oaks and formed something of an assembly line into the hall. Everyone was to go inside and the parents of the bride/groom, wedding party and Paul and I would enter. I actually have a video of that…

After the entrances, we had dinner, there were speaches while everyone ate. We did that on purpose to reduce the chance of hanger. Luckily there were no mobs of hungry people interrupting the lovely speeches. My vietnamese paragraph went off well, one of Paul’s uncles actually stood up and shouted “Paul! Your wife speaks Vietnamese better than you do!!” I would put that one in the win column.

Viet Dress

Wardrobe change

Overall, everything went very well. I think everyone expects a couple things to go wrong here and there, but everything went off perfectly at our wedding. It was an extremely good day that I will treasure forever. I am so thankful to have so many wonderful people in my life and everyone worked so hard to make this day possible. So thank you, to everyone. Especially Paul. A lot of guys take a step back in regards to wedding stuff. They think it is a ‘girl thing’ and want nothing to do with it, or have no real opinion. Paul was completely in, from the very start, both hands…. and feet. Thank you.

All 16

WEDDING!! Part One

I know everyone has been patiently waiting for the story of our wedding! If you would like to see more photos than I post on this page, here is a link to our photographer’s blog post. He has posted a bunch of photos and whoever gets the most ‘likes’ (at the bottom of his blog) wins a free canvas. Considering that I am going to get some wedding photos on canvas I would really like to win one, so help me out and please ‘like’ at the bottom of Jesse’s page!

Bride Robe

My wedding day started at the ungodly hour of 8:00AM. Even though I was getting married at 3:00PM, you need to start that early when you are doing hair and makeup for ten people. I should preface the hair and makeup talk by saying that my mom, wedding party and some friends went to a salon to get our nails done the Thursday before the wedding so we were all ready to go in that aspect. It was something I had not really thought of, but I am really glad we went a few days before the wedding because it would have been crazy to attempt it on Friday or day of.


Since there were so many people, I was placed in the middle of the queue because the bride’s hair and makeup should be perfect. I think they knew I am not used to getting my makeup done and thought if they did it closer to when the photographer is likely to show up, I might not mess myself up too badly. During the time we were waiting for the photographer all the girls chatted and talked about wedding stuff. I also had to practice the Vietnamese version of my speech.

Bride and Mom

That’s right, the VIETNAMESE portion of the speech. This was discussed between Paul and myself, we decided to go ahead and have Paul’s mom write me up a sentence to say in Vietnamese. This sentence turned out to be a PARAGRAPH. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I will tell you that I do not speak Vietnamese… at all. I can say thank you… that’s it!

Bride and MIL

What I ended up doing is had Paul’s mom read me the speech and I wrote it out phonetically. Then I said it to her. I could tell when the girls in the next room were listening because there would be silence then a lot of giggling. I am not going to lie, it sounded really funny. At some points, it sounded like a duck choking on something, but I am sure that was my poor accent. Alli, my sister-in-law-to-be on January 10th, came over and said some of it with me, which made me feel slightly more competent.


Then the photographer got there and it was time to start taking all the photos! The photos of my dress, of me getting ready, flowers, etc. Pictures for the next three hours (approximately).
Just before 3PM it was go time. Everyone trooped out of our room and the girls headed for the place where they were going to walk out and I went upstairs. I opted for the dramatic stairway entrance; which is one more reason I did not wear heels!


So like I creeper, I sat at the top of the stairs, and watched people sit down and get ready. It was freezing cold out, so there were a lot of people making use of the hot apple cider we provided. I am not sure if they were drinking it or not, but they were definitely holding it and trying to leech all the warmth they could from those small mugs. There were a couple times when I saw Paul walking around and dramatically ducked out of sight. Luckily he wasn’t actively looking around, but I felt justified in my caution.
Those minutes at the top of the stairs seemed to drag on forever, as had been the theme with the past half hour or so. At length, the time came. I took my bouquet, picked up the edge of my dress, and tried not to trip down the stairs.
I am going to leave it there for this week because I would like to have as much detail as I can in here. I’ll pick it up next week!