Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Knitter's Love Potion

Laurence and I have not met in person. We send messages to each other to comment on our newly finished knitting projects which we posted on ravelry or just to talk about small things in our lives, hers in France, mine in Canada. This message from her in my raverly box this morning just moved me so much I did cry, tears of appreciation.

"From laulo

Sent at 12:50 PM Today
Hi Leila,
It must be hard to not knitting because of your tendinitis! I don’t know the treatment that your doctor prescribed to you but if you want to decrease the pain and the inflammation with natural medicines you can try this potion ( we made it in our pharmacy and people were quickly relieved):
essential oil of:
- gaulterie 2ml
-eucalyptus citriodora 2ml
-lavandula burnatii 2ml
-mentha piperita 1ml
in 15ml of vegetal oil of arnica.
Apply a few drops of this potion on your wrist 4 times a day and massage.
This potion is “natural” without the side effects of oral anti inflammatory.
And if you really want to knit, I know that there are square needles.They allow to knit without pain when wrists are fragile.
I wish you a speedy recovery and a lovely week.
Take care,

Thank you so much, Laurence. For you, with your too busy a schedule while holding a very important full time job and taking care of two young kids that you can only find time to knit at night, to spend your precious time to give me advice and a prescription of natural medicine ( because you know I love homemade stuff) for my hurt wrists, you give me more than the medicine, you give me love, you give me support. My wrists will be stronger soon, I'm sure. But the more important thing I've discovered, the love of knitting has brought me wonderful friendship from many knitters all over the world who have been with ravelry. And because I know many of us, knitters, have suffered this occupational pain for knitting too much, I think it's just right to share Laurence's loving potion with you. Take care of your hands, knitters, so that you can keep on knitting, keep the loving threads of yarn continue to make wonderful loops of love never ever end.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Petals and Clay

My doctor has forbiden me from knitting and clicking the mouse (too much) for at least one week. And I also have to wear a wrist band. He said I had been developing tendonitis in my right wrist. He refused to hear my argument that if it happened only in my right wrist, it could not be because of knitting. At the end of my visit, I promised him I wouldn't knit more than fifteen minute long in one sitting and I would learn to use the mouse with my left hand. None of these promises is easy for me to keep, but I have to do for the health of my wrists.

Away from my yarn, I pulled out the soap making drawer and came up with this newest soap which I call "Petals and Clay".

Ingredients: Glycerin soap base, French green clay, aloe vera leaf gel, evening primrose oil, ylang ylang oil and calendular petals.

After cutting the loaf, I got eight 4oz bars of soap, each bar has a different look. This is my favorite one of all. I can really see the beautiful golden petals embedded in soft aloe vera gel swirled in pale green clay.
I'm glad I find some comfort while not knitting from playing with these soap. What would you do if you can't knit?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A Soaper Knitter

I've been knitting too much, my wrists hurt and my knuckles swell, but I don't plan to stop knitting even for just one day. If it's the price I must pay for making some nice, cozy and pretty shawl like this Mara of mine, I can afford it gladly with the help of some Advil pills.



I knitted up Mara with Madeline Tosh 80/10/10 Sport on Cottage Door, a lovely shade of gray. In the following close-up, I hope to show the pale mossy green streaks here and there in the subtle varigation of this yarn...


Rows and rows of garter stitches, then tons of rib knitting didn't bore me a bit. I love the comforting rhythm of needle clicking and the wonderful soft touch of yarn while watching my favorite movies or listening to my loved audio books. I've learned to de-stress productively!

Talking about productivity, I've spent some time and money on my new hobby recently, making soaps. I've started stocking essential oils: lavender, tea tree, sweet orange...and carrier oil: argan, evening primrose, rosehip, borage...and all the fun additives: calendula petals, all kinds of clay. In the beginning, I made some fun to look at and fabulous smell soaps. The more I learn about soap the more I want to make natural facial soaps that can be used on my extra sensitive skin. I promise myself I will try making cold process soap to craft homemade soap from scratch one day when I get over my fear of working with lye.

This is my Vitamin Soap. Does it look just like mango pudding? So yummy!


In this soap, there are shea butter, carrot oil, wheat germ oil, sea buckthorn oil, willow bark extract, vitamin C, and just a few drops of these essential oils for fragrance: rosemary, lavender and peppermint. And there is no extra colorant.


Should I call myself a soaper knitter.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Carrot Cake Soaps

Ingredients: glycerin olive soap and milk soap bases, carrot oil, vanilla oil, cranberry seeds, red and yellow lab colors.
Recipe by a cake lover who never bakes in real life.
And I swear, they smell like pieces of cake, vanilla, carrot...yummy...

Carrot Vanilla Cream Cheese Cake Soap

Carrot Vanilla Cream Cheese Cake Soap

Carrot Vanilla Cream Cheese Cake Soap

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Tea Tree Honey Soap

Face soap for combination skin, made with liquid honey and tea tree oil on glycerin base soap. No extra colorant or fragrance.

Tea Trea Honey Soap

Friday, October 07, 2011

Calendula Ginger Wheat Germ Oil Soap

The golden color of the soap is from wheat germ oil and dried petals of marigold, the October birth flower. Ginger powder gives the soap a sweet, warm, and comforting aroma. They look just like my favorite sweets, ginger candies...Is there a recipe for edible soap...

Calendula Ginger Wheat Germ Oil

This face soap was made with clear glycerin soap base and without any artificial color or synthetic fragrance.

Calendula Ginger Wheat Germ Oil Soap

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lemon Olive Soap

My super natural, super green homemade soap with glycerin soap base, extra virgin olive oil and essential lemon oil. Tested by my own family and myself last night. The result: LOVE IT.

Lemon Olive Soap

I wish there's a "smell-it" key!

Lemon Olive Soap

Monday, September 26, 2011

Sea to Sky

I promise you that I stil knit. I'm working on three shawls alternately , but I can't name them now. For some reasons, every piece that I boasted about in the past never got to see its final day. Never. It must be a curse..
I can sit all day to knit, but it's not healthy that way. While away from yarn and needles, I accidentally tumbled upon some gorgeous google pictures of homemade soap...and that was the beginning of another obsession...Oh soap! I always love soap...if I can only make my own soap...And I have tried. This is my second one.

Sea to Sky Goat Milk Soap

I even thought of a name for it, "Sea to Sky Goat Milk Soap".It smells like fresh kiwi.I still miss sunny days of summer has just passed.

Sea to Sky Goat Milk Soap

I don't mind to hand wash my sweaters and shawls from now on, I guess.


Saturday, September 24, 2011

First Saturday of Fall

Welcome Fall. I have never been so ready for you this time. Even though the wind is not cold enough for me to desperately need a cape or a coat, wraps and shawls are just perfect to keep my evening walk a bit longer, especially with my newly done Smoke Wrap, the new lover.

Pattern: Guernsey Wrap by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed
Yarn: Smoke Stack on Madeline Tosh 80/10/10 Sport

Smoke Stack Wrap

Smoke Stack Wrap

Smoke Stack Wrap

Smoke Stack Wrap

Smoke Stack Wrap

Smoke Stack Wrap

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Dark and Stormy Capelet

I don’t think Sarah needs this cute capelet for a while when it’s so nice here in Vancouver. Dark and Stormy Cape No dark and stormy sky in the next 7 day weather forecast. Dark and Stormy Cape Followed Thea’s instruction word by word, I knitted this cozy capelet with ease. She’s a great teacher and I trust her always. Dark and Stormy Cape I love the cables and they only look complicated. Dark and Stormy Cape There’s a big portion of The Plucky Knitters yarn in my stash, but strangely, this is my first project I use her yarn. Note to self: you should stop petting and admiring beautiful yarn and start knitting them up. Dark and Stormy Cape I feel so sorry for my daughter who has to get dolled up in this cozy fall season capelet on this warm day of September. Only a daughter understands and forgives her mother's craziness. Dark and Stormy Cape

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Small Happiness

I got up this morning to see the room filled with sunshine, so bright. Open the window, my shadow was so huge on the wall...I loved to play with shadows when I was a kid. You did, too?


Love small flowers. They are always so humble, but looked very closely, they are amazingly beautiful in their small way. I see a butterfly smiling at me here. She didn't fly away when I was approaching her...

Butterfly or Flower

And my true happiness of the day is this parcel of Wollmeise yarn, shopped for and sent to me by my friend, Paola, from Germany. We haven't met each other in person, but through conversations and our knitting chats on, it seems like we both understand each other crazy fiber love.

From Germany with Yarn

I don't know what I'm going to knit with these beautiful yarn, but I'm sure I will name one of the projects PAOLA. Such a lovely name. So sweet my yarn angel.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Knitting Lesson

Melissa, my best friend for 30 years, and her daughter Titi, stayed with us in her visit to Vancouver last week.

Our daughters are about the same age when we first met as university freshmen.


We took lots of pictures together like we used to do in the old days.
Still love to be goofy after all these years.




We had so much fun together.
But, the best part was when she asked me to give her a knitting lesson.

Knitting Lesson

Keep cool and knit on, Melissa!

PS: All the credit of these fabulous photos goes to Kim, my dear husband. He was in the same group of our university friends back then in Saigon, Vietnam. For one week taking our friends around town, we feel like tourists in our own city, beautiful Vancouver.

Tourists in Our Own Town