Guess what day it is!

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Here I am pictured with some appropriately festive trees

In case you were not aware, my name is Valentine.  If you want to make sure I’m not joking please direct your attention to the subtitle of this blog, where I make a bad joke about it.  Presumably, you also know that today is Valentine’s Day. The day of love, couples, chocolate, romance, and me.

Growing up with the name Valentine was not always fun.  It was kind of fun to have a long name that sounded like a princess, but it was less fun when kids decided to get witty.

Here is an incomplete list of jokes I have heard (more than once) about my name:

  1. Will you be my valentine, Valentine?
  2. Who is your valentine, Valentine?
  3. Happy Valentine’s Day, Valentine!
  4. (not exactly a joke, but definitely not kind) Haha, your name is Valentine!
  5. And shout out to the grown man who legitimately did not believe my name was Valentine! You know who you are.

I have also had strangers fawn over my name and then demand to hear the start to finish story of why that is my name, complete with set design and costume information.  This is not as delightful as it sounds.

For many years, I hated Valentine’s Day because it meant that people would once again be reminded that my name was also a holiday.  I especially hated it in middle school, when cooties and hormones were both popular accessories for the masses.  By the time I got to high school, if anyone so much as looked at me on Valentine’s Day, I would be ready to rip their face off.

But then I had a wonderful realization: I don’t need to give a shit.

Yes, my name is Valentine.  Yes, people will always say dumb, dumb things about it one Valentine’s Day (seriously, no matter how funny you think it is – I assure you it is not).  But no, I don’t need to care.  Because at the end of the day, they’re the ones who are going to look foolish when I am not laughing at their joke.

And none of them have their own holiday.

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I like to take pictures with lights, because who doesn’t?

So happy Valentine’s Day.  And if any of you have a Valentine, Valentina, Valentin, or Valentino in your life, do everyone a favour and wish them a happy Valentine’s Day if you desire. But if you want them to like you, please don’t ask them to be your Valentine.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from Valentine.

WIP: Boudicca Scarf

Hi all!  I though I’d give you a quick update on my WIPs.

I’m taking a break from the Socialite Sweater (knitting in fingering is exhausting) and working on my Boudicca Scarf!

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A close look at the cabled richness

I love how plushy and cozy the cables are and this yarn (from Tess Designer Yarns) is just so squishable.  I’m really excited to pair it with a gold shawl pin for when the weather is super cold — as it often is here in Toronto!

In other news, has anyone else read this article from the CBC about the melting Antarctic and Greenland ice?  As someone who was already concerned about climate change, I am finding myself increasingly anxious and frustrated by the lack of coordinated action by political leaders.  It often seems like there isn’t anything that I as a single person can do.  Does anyone else feel this way?

Anyway, I apologize for the dark turn this WIP took.  Have a lovely rest of your weekend!

Love, Valentine

#FiberuaryChallenge

Hello!

Just a quick update today to tell you that I’ll be participating in Fiberuary this month.

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It’s me, in case you forgot what I looked like.  Co-starring my Cape Battersea

Fiberuary is a challenge in the knitting community where you post something new about your knitting everyday for the entire month.

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Each day of the challenge (from @fiberuarychallenge)

You can follow along on Instagram with me!  I’m @vavivalentine and comment on today’s pic to let me know if you’re doing it too!

Here’s to a fun month!

Love, Valentine

P.S. I’ll give you the link to the Cape Battersea pattern, in case you wanted one of your own 🙂

WIP: The Socialite Sweater II

Hey all!

I’m still working on the Socialite Sweater, but I’ve made some changes.  I’m no longer making it with long sleeves and it’s no longer cropped.  I decided to make it a normal top length with half sleeves.

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The sweater so far!

In the picture above you can see the jog where I switch colours, which I wanted to be a focal point in the sweater.

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A knitter’s eye view!

This has been a fun project, but I’m kind of ready for it to be over.  Anyone else feel that way about projects sometimes?

Love, Valentine

Digital Solutions for the Eco-Conscious

Hi all!

In 2019, we live in a technological world and it is becoming more technological by the minute.  Those with an eco-conscious bend can feel conflicted between wanting to do well by Mother Earth and the demands of a digital world.

What if I told you that technology can work for your green needs?

Here are some suggestions of tools you can use:

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1. Ecosia

Ecosia is a search engine much like Google, with one key difference.  They use the income generated from the ads in your searches to plant trees in over fifteen different countries.  You can read more about the company here.

I use Ecosia myself and I’ve noticed no substantial difference in search quality from any other search engine.  It does have a prettier home page, though.

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 1.53.45 PM.png         2.  Flora

Okay, I have to be honest.  I only found out about these next two this morning and haven’t had a chance to try them out.  But they’re both on my phone now and hopefully will become part of my ritual.

Flora is a free app that motivates you to stay off your phone.  You set a timer, plant a seed, and then get the hell off your phone.  While you’re off your phone, the seed grows into a tree or flower.  If you accidentally pick up your phone (it happens to the best of us), your tree dies.  You can also set a dollar amount that will be donated and go toward planting trees.  There also seems to be features where you can track the activities you’re accomplishing while off your phone — reading, studying, quality time with friends, etc.  You can also team up with friends and stay off your phones together!

Screen Shot 2019-01-21 at 1.57.14 PM.png3. GoodGuide

Another app I have not yet tried, GoodGuide rates products on a scale of 1-10 based on ethics, production, and polluting factor.  This is something I have often wanted while shopping and, best of all, it’s free!

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4. A Good “Old” Fashioned Power bar

We all know how important it is to turn off our electronics when we’re not using them, but did you know how easy it can be?  Just plug all of them into a power bar and turn it off when you’re not using it.  Done!

Of course, the world’s problems cannot be solved with some apps and a power bar, but hopefully these can help a little, especially if lots of people use them.

Best of luck and happy Monday!

Love, Valentine

 

WIP: Since we last spoke …

Hello, all!  It has been quite a while since we last spoke and that’s something for which I am sorry!  I spent the holidays with friends and family and wanted to be present with them.  Consequently, a lot less screentime for me!  I also spent the past week in Iceland on a school trip, which also hindered my blogging!

However, I’m here now and I thought I’d show you the things on which I’ve been working.

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A knitter’s-eye view of the Socialite Sweater

First up, is the Socialite Sweater.  I picture it as something the modern, trendy, it-girl would wear.  It belongs in sleek bars with casual atmospheres and out on the town decked in gold.  The yarn is a merino and silk blend with variegated colour.  There are actually two yarns, a blue and a green base.  The two colours are combined in three-row striped throughout the garment.  I’ve put the jog in the centre as a focal point.  The final sweater will be cropped with full sleeves and a high, crew neckline.

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The Boudicca Scarf

The Socialite Sweater didn’t seem like it would travel (two large balls of yarn was a lot for a small backpack), so I started this scarf for my Iceland trip.  I made a cabled scarf for a friend of mine a couple of months ago and I wanted own of my own!  I’m planning a lot of fringe for the ends and a gold shawl pin when I wear it out and about.  I made a mistake in the cabling towards the bottom, but I’m too lazy to rip it out so there it will remain.

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The Beekeeper’s Quilt so far

Finally, an update on the Beekeeper’s Quilt.  You may remember that several weeks ago I started this as an “in-between project” (for those of you who don’t, here’s where you can read about it).  So far, I have eight hexipuffs — almost nine.  Somehow, my colour palette has become pink and grey, but I know I must have scrap blue and green yarn somewhere.  It’s a slow start, but a very rewarding project altogether.

That’s it from me!  Stay warm and stay kind.

Love, Valentine

Houseplant Tour

Hi friends!  I mentioned my houseplants in a previous post, so I thought maybe I’d take the time to introduce you to them.  Below you can see my little jungle corner where all my plants live.  For a while I also had a fern, but she wasn’t very healthy so I took her to my mom’s where the house is a little colder and there’s natural light (what a luxury!).

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The whole set up, including my pink globe — a necessity for any geography student!

Starting from the left, I have a Croton Petra (Codiaeum variegetum).  This is a tropical plant from southern Asia and the western Pacific Islands.  It requires sun, but I’ve had it in this dark room with a lamp and she’s been doing fine.

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Croton ‘Petra’ — Codiaeum variegetum

Next is a plant that may be familiar to many of you: the snake plant (Sanseveiria trifasciata).  This plant has been very trendy recently, mostly because of its unique appearance and air filtering qualities (which you can read about here.  The snake plant is native tropical west Africa and needs very little light and water.  It is also one of the only plants to release oxygen at night, making it an ideal houseplant for a bedroom.

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Snake Plant — Sanseveira trifasciata

In the back, you can see my acorn peperomia (Peperomia tetraphylla).  I bought this plant on impulse from Canadian Tire over the summer, because I loved the glossy, circular leaves.  Unfortunately, the pot was only labelled ‘Tropical’, so I had no idea what she was!  It took me almost two months of intense Googling to identify her.  The acorn peperomia is native to the Pacific Islands, including Australia and New Zealand, as well as parts of Africa.  It’s actually part of the pepper family!

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Acorn Peperomia — Peperomia tetraphylla

Lastly, there is my calla lily.  This was a gift from my mother when I went away to university last year.  For the longest time, I was having difficult with her because of soil mold, but nothing a little repotting and TLC can’t fix.  Now she’s thriving and I even have two flowers!  White lilies are traditionally a sign of mourning, but there is nothing funereal about this beautiful plant!

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Calla Lily — Zantedeschia elliotana

And that’s the tour!  I hoped you enjoyed meeting all my plant friends!  What kind of houseplants do you have?

Love, Valentine