Reggie says…

Whenever you’re ready, I’ll get in the car.

Bad blogger, good crafter

I admit, I have been a pretty poor blogger lately. But I’ve been busy.

My yoga studio expressed interest in selling my recycled candles and knit yoga bags, so I got to work coming up with a sellable selection, a much more time-consuming process than I realized. I went through many a crooked wick and sunken well of wax before mastering my candlemaking skills. But I’m pretty happy with what I ended up toting to the studio last night. Here’s a peek.

I think the biggest hit has been the little juice glasses with etched patterns going around – popular with grandmas across the nation from what I hear.

This morning I went garage saleing, as that’s where all of my supplies for these re-melted candles come from, and I think I finally know that thrill of the hunt that avid garage salers like my mom experience on a regular basis. I hauled off one sale with the biggest candle I’d ever seen, just imagining how many little candles I could make from it. The cost? $1.

Like any business owner the real cost is in your time, but hopefully that time is spent doing what you love and I LOVE THIS.

The bags were another story. Being stubborn I’m determined to find a way to make them super quick, but with knits that’s really tough. Does anyone out there sell knitware? Is it even possible to make it profitable?

So thanks for hanging in there, whatever readers I have left. I’m exausted but happy to be through phase one of my project, which is turning out the first batch and praying someone likes it. Many more phases to come (let’s hope) and many more lessons to share, I’m sure.

Thanks also to Mike for picking up the slack while I was boiling away in my little lab – I know I left plenty of it.

Loving: Polka dot pitcher

I believe this cute metal pitcher was in the wedding gifts section of Target — as if I could possibly give this away once I purchased it.

I tucked in a bunch of dried flowers I’ve had sitting in the corner of my craft room for months. Now I’m not sure where to put it, but perhaps in the future it will hold something more useful like spatulas.

Vacation photos

Our approach to travel is a little unconventional but it works for us. We try to see as much as we can possibly see – that we have never seen before – in just over a week. Two summers ago we covered the deep south, 13 states and 3,500 miles. This time, with a wedding in Hudson, New York as our excuse, we decided to try New England and the Maritimes — Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in Canada.

I think this trip was much more stressful than the south trip. You try driving to a new major city every single day. Navigating took all the patience we had and some we didn’t. But we reaped the rewards in extraordinary views, and weather that always seemed about 12 hours ahead of hurricane Hanna. She let us be, and we soaked it up.

Here’s the wedding venue, a factory turned empty warehouse turned theater.

One of many, many, many statues in Boston.

I loved Boston. Couldn’t get enough of it. What a smart city, full of history and cool architecture and great shopping and restaurants. Best pizza and bread pudding I’ve had in my life was at Figs in Beacon Hill.

What else? A lighthouse near Portland, Maine.

The view at lunch at a little pub in Shelburne, Nova Scotia. By this point we were trying to master driving in the metric system. Do you know how fast 100 km/hour is?

Sunset in Lunenburg, NS.

That afternoon we drove through little beach town after town and stopped for a hike in the Kejimkujik (i think?) national park. There were seals and crashing waves and white sand. I just don’t think our photos captured how incredible it was.

Me in front of the Anne of Green Gables house on Prince Edward Island.

That’s right girls, it’s a real place, and it is incredibly beautiful. So picturesque it doesn’t seem real.

Switching gears, Stephen King’s house in Bangor, Maine.

Driving there the night before in dense fog was so creepy I completely understood how he could imagine his stories.

Mike examining a canon at Fort Ticonderoga in New York. I never said we weren’t huge geeks.

Is this heaven? No, it’s Vermont. A state full of hippies and Ben and Jerrys. Love at first sight.

Crochet stripes blanket, a must-make

So here it is, the wedding present I almost couldn’t bear to give away.

I started it a month before the wedding, which left me just enough time to work a few rows here and there, usually a set amount daily, and then speed crochet the last couple days and finish weaving in the ends on the car ride to the airport. A close call, yes, but it turned out so beautifully it was worth every scrambled minute.

Here’s a look at it before I finished the ends.

The colorway is really nice, and the way the stitches switch from single crochet to double and back adds cool texture and speeds up the process. The edging also cleans up any bobbles that come from the color switches, a technique I plan to use again for other projects. Find the pattern at lionbrandyarn.com. It’s beginner-friendly.

I made one bitty change because I thought the ’70s color combo begged for orange yarn (a fave of the bride, too) so I used magenta for the red rows and orange for the magenta rows. I never expected to be a fan of Vanna’s Choice yarn (as boutique-y yarn tends to spoil the knitter), but it is actually lovely and soft and I’ll use it again. (Not to mention tres affordable…)