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Weaving Classes at Sanjo Silk Studios

It started as a post on Instagram, as one of the Knitting Ladies from Knit Social, Amanda, had been busting out beautiful scarves like nobody’s business.

Yarning for more… options

Part of my interest was from previous dealings with knitting some seriously variegated yarns. I really disliked the look of it when the colours got all tangled and stitched together. The colours pooled in odd ways, and it really drove me nuts. I know a lot of people like the way they look, but it just wasn’t for me. Here’s an image of a sweater I made, which was really fun to knit, but I only wore once. I really hated the pooling!

I had been looking for classes, and did initially sign up for one at Baaad Anna’s, however, that was later cancelled because we didn’t have enough people signed up! I was looking forward to it for so long! Did I flip out? Maybe a little bit. I’m pretty dramatic about this stuff, guys.

A few days later, like a misty dream on an enchanted seascape with the clouds parting at the sound of three cherubs singing a sustained note, in the form of a Facebook post, Amanda sent me a link to Sanjo Silk’s Weaving Classes.

Get Me A Seat in This Class, Woman!

The classes ran from 7pm to 9pm each Wednesday for one month. They were held at their studio in Granville Island, which was awesome because it gave me the opportunity to hop on the little False Creek ferries in the evening.

Apart from learning a new craft, I was excited at the prospect of me getting out of the house. It became something to which I looked forward after work, and was a welcome break from simply turning off my monitor and firing up Netflix.

It was a small class, just four of us around a table in the middle of the studio. Once in a while, some tourists would walk by and point, making me feel a little bit like I was in a fishbowl. (But then again, it might also be attributed to the fact that Sanjo Silk has some fucking amazing shit.)

We were introduced to the Ashford Knitter’s Loom, and I totally fell in love. It was a foldable little guy that came with its own bag. A loom in a bag. What the…? Heck, yes!

We had some weird experiments with beautiful yarns, which I matched with some from my stash.

😍

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Totally Worth It

Jo was a wonderful instructor, and my classmates and I had so much fun with our looms. We learned the basics of weaving, of course, but also had the chance to play around with decorative elements by skipping lines and looping yarns around one another. I took to the task completely, and I knew from the get-go that I was going to love weaving.

There was an intro to the technicals, of course, but it was pretty much up to our own imaginations to see what trouble we could get into.

We all ended up purchasing our own Ashford looms after the last class. I got a 16″ rigid heddle loom with a 12.5 reed. The awesome thing was that while I didn’t enjoy knitting lighter/fingering weight yarn, weaving this weight was so enjoyable! It’s so different when it comes to weaving.

The drape is so nice, and I didn’t feel like I was working with dental floss all around my fingers. Perfect!

I’ve been weaving like a mad motherfucker for months now! Here’s the same yarn from the Grace sweater that I ripped up and turned into scarves!

Look at that texture! Look at all these exclamation points! I’ve worked myself up into a tizzy!

And here is an image of Tina wearing a sample square I made with some leftover yarn, looking like something right out of Dr. Zhivago because cat.

 

Sprucing up the website

I’ve realized that I’ve been more active on Instagram and Pinterest lately, and I wanted to share some of those images and photos with you. It’s been a while since I made some additions and changes, and it felt like a great time (more than a year since the last update) to spruce things up a bit. I’ve added some more windows into my life on the sidebar over there.

I have a ton of photos of Tina Tuna, which I love sharing because she is so wonderful. I’ve also been really into weaving, and have gotten myself a nice rigid heddle loom.

FRIDAY NIGHT IS VERY EXCITING FOR ME.

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In other news, I’ve sort of begun writing things down more regularly, but have been hesitant to post them publicly. I feel like I am still starting to get back into the idea of blogging, and recently, I’ve just felt like I’ve had a more clear direction of where I want to go and where I want to be. I’ll try and get things sorted and see if I can start posting things again in a more sensible way.

The Basics of Breakfast

It’s been a refreshing past few months for me. I’ve been really nerdy about my budgeting so far, and I find that I’m a bit better at budgeting my money than my calories.

I comfort myself in the fact that I can at least succeed in something, if not attaining rock-hard abs, then controlling myself to not fall into a pit of uncontrollable debt.

More importantly, I’ve been really looking at defining these measures of success.

Surprisingly, I find victories not in the overall idea of spending as little as possible, but rather, in the value of what I spend the money and time in.

In a way, I might be spending the same amount of money as in the past, but now I find I am getting much, much more value out of it.

It feels very progressive.

I found out some pretty interesting things about myself.

I haven’t purchased butter or milk or flour for over three months.

I used to think that these were food staples in the house. For a while, I was kind of into baking and making crackers and bread. It was a nice thing to do to keep busy, and I did enjoy it once in a while.

The problem was that Trung did not like eating cookies or pastries. He enjoyed fruits and nuts more, and always made a stupid face when I would offer him a cinnamon bun that I made or a slice of banana bread. (I know. What a weirdo.)

And secondly, I was getting fatter because I was alone in eating all this junk.

Thirdly, I don’t like milk. I don’t eat cereal. I was buying milk because I figured all people had milk in their fridges.

And so, the milk always went bad, the flour would sit in the pantry for months, and the butter… was in the fridge forever. I would bake stuff just to get rid of it.

Once I cut that out of my grocery list, I started opting for one-time/single-serve trips to the bakery nearby. I really like pastries, but I also didn’t want to store them in bulk.

While it was definitely cheaper to make your own bread and snacks, in the long run, I was getting fatter and eating more stuff that really slowed me down during the day.

Sure, a fancy pastry would ring up to about $4 for a croissant, but that also came with the exercise to walk to said bakery and get out of the house.

Plus, working with my own flaws, I knew that I would almost always be too lazy to go out for the fancy pastry anyway.

And unsurprisingly, this turned out to be true. In the last month, I’ve only gone for the fancy pastry once.

So in the end, I was actually not spending any more money on fancy pastries and coffee than I had been when I was making them on my own.

Weird, right?

I put that money into fruits and veggies instead. Okay, I put it to wine.

So that adjustment resulted in me spending a bit more money on different staples.

Instead of bread and jam and butter for go-to breakfast staples, I swapped this out with fruits and vegetables. Now, there is always either a banana, an apple, or a small container of baby carrots within reach.

I thought I’d get sick of this shit, eating the same stuff over and over, but to be honest, I haven’t yet.

Come to think of it, crackers and bread are a lot more boring to eat over and over; compared to fruits, where you can rotate between sweet and sour a lot of the time. Green apple one day, a sweet banana the next.

Sometimes, I’d even spring for a nice Asian mini-rice bowl. Simple rice, egg, and soy sauce. Some green onions chopped up, sprinkled with sesame seeds, and I’m golden.

Now, a few months later, I don’t find myself missing the bread and pastries too terribly. It’s kind of like getting used to a haircut or new shoes. I’m eating way healthier, too!

Also, the part of my fridge where the milk used to be has now been replaced with a bottle of wine. So much better!

Again, I’m not necessarily spending any less money, but come on. Wine!

Keeping to the Basics

I think it really does come down to how well you know yourself, and not letting the idea of “the perfect X” dictate your actions.

The idea of the perfect breakfast for me used to be a hot cup of coffee and a beautiful croissant slathered in butter and jam, some kind of nice omelette, and a folded newspaper off to the side. I think it’s because I grew up with those images from movies and shows that I watched. Even commercials. Especially commercials.

Occasionally, yes. But not every day!

The thought extends itself to the idea of “Keeping up with the Jones’s” and really, how absolutely awful and ridiculous it is to keep comparing yourself to others.

Being really honest with myself, my breakfast actually just consists of a hot cup of coffee, a piece of fruit, and looking at Facebook on my phone while Tina Tuna relaxes in a patch of sunlight on the floor.

And I don’t feel any less ashamed about that!