Are You Kidding Me?!

I love to knit. I started when I was about seven. All knitting is basically made up of two stitches: knit and purl. I learned to knit from my Grandma and to purl from my Nonna and I caught on to it like a house on fire. I recently started the new project that’s all the rage- The Beekeepers Quilt by Tiny Owl Knits. It consists of making little hexagons, stuffing them, and sewing them together.

My hexipuffs so far!

I got the pattern in my Knit Crate Newbies subscriptions (this is linked to my referral code.), which is an amazing way to learn the ways to combine knit and purl. The quilt concept is amazing, and as it’s super popular I’ve spent more than a little time looking at what other people have made. Both because people have done some amazing things with it and because I need proof that it is, in fact, possible to finish one of these in my lifetime.

As I was doing that, I came across this post on pinterest. If you don’t want to waste your time with her blithering, the summarization is that no one should charge for a pdf and $5.50 is ridiculous for a pattern. She then posts a free version of the pattern that isn’t the same, but very similar. She basically says that because people are modifying the cast on/bind off and such that it wasn’t even worth paying for the idea.

This killed me. I actually cringed while reading it. I don’t know what compelled me to, but a scroll through the comments  showed that people were thanking- thanking!- this… human for blatantly ripping off a designer. 

Stephanie Dosen, the designer at Tiny Owl Knits, is amazing. She does quality, well written patterns. The beekeepers quilt pattern has pictures. PICTURES! The pattern is well written and includes charts. Her other patterns are beyond adorable. She has a thing on her ravelry group where you can refresh like mad on fridays and the first person to respond to her post saying go gets a free pattern. This girl isn’t out to screw us, the knitters. She’s trying to make a living as a creative person and she deserves to be paid her work. I sometimes get stuck deciding which stitches to use on a basic scarf so yeah, making patterns is hard. Let alone writing them in a clear and amazing way.

I get a lot of offers to write “for the exposure” and if the site fits my brand and I think I have something that will merge then I’m happy to do it. Being a creative freelancer means not being rich. Flat out. I still spend 5 days a week sitting in an office and I’ll probably be doing that for a very long time. But, if I was offered to be paid for something and the payment never comes then that’s a problem and my friends would be outraged that this reputable publication doesn’t actually pay people. How is posting a knockoff of someone’s work not the exact same thing? Dosen deserves to be paid for her intellectual property. If this Charm Hour person is that outraged at paying $5.50 and has a thing about all patterns being free I’d like to see her make up some stuff and post it for free. Ripping off someone else is not okay.

Rant over.

But still bugging me inside because seriously, so many people are posting this on pinterest being like “this is amazing!” “knitting patterns are a rip off!”

Just, no.

Are You Kidding Me?!

All The Books I’ve Read Recently!

Books! We all know I love them! Here’s the ones I’ve read recently!


Two-Gun & Sun by June Hutton

I got this book on a goodreads giveaway, and it is GOOD! It’s about a girl who moves to a small town in the pacific northwest to run her uncle’s newspaper. It has everything I like. History, clothes, the 20’s, a huckster, an opera, weird characters, a brothel…. I was so impressed with this. My one complaint? DAMN SERRATED PAGES. I hate them. They’re impossible to turn with one hand while standing on a train. Why do we still have these?!

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

I picked this one up because it was on sale and it had a recipe for mole sauce. I’m so glad I did. This book makes me want to learn fluent spanish because if the translation was that beautiful I can’t even begin to imagine the original. The wording in this was so… It’s about this girl who’s an amazing cook, and she meets a man and falls madly in love with him. She’s the youngest daughter though, and is forced to stay unmarried and take care of her mother while watching the love of her life marry her sister. The way this book flows though. It just makes you feel everything.

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Caitlin Doughty

I have a friend who wants to be a mortician. She didn’t tell me this until the third or fourth time we hung out. Talking to her about it and why she’s passionate about it made me realize I’m really weird about death. Like megaweird. When I heard about this book on All the Books  I thought of Jodie and decided I need to unweird myself and read it. It’s written by the girl who does Ask a Mortician on youtube and she is delightful. I love how this book delves into the history and culture of death. It also lifts the curtain of the death industry. I didn’t know what I expected going into it, but I definitely didn’t expect to laugh. Doughty’s hilarious. Definitely worth a read.

Where I Belong by Alan Doyle

This book was one of my Mom’s book clubs selections. The amount of book club books I’ve read and have brilliant insights on… you’d think they’d just start inviting me. Alan Doyle, for those who don’t know, is the lead singer of Great Big Sea. They’re a very Newfie band. I always worry when reading books written by public figures- he’s an amazing musician and can write poetry but can he craft a narrative that keeps me interested? HELLS. YES. The main charm was the sense of place. This book writes about Doyle’s journey from childhood to the formation of the band. He grew up in a small town and damn if I don’t want to pack up my bags and get on a plane there. This is one of the most wanderlust-inducing books I’ve ever read. I’m waiting for my Newfie friend to read it so we can discuss it over a glass of Screech.

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin

For those of you who don’t know I’m trying to read a book by an author from every country in the world. I told this to my friend from Korea, and he recommended this. I now hate him because I cried on the train three times. The start was confusing- it switches perspective a lot and the first part was written in second person. I don’t know why, but second person has always made me feel slightly uncomfortable. Not in a bad way, more in a “I can’t wrap my head around it. This book made me feel a lot like The Little Town Where Time Stood Still in that I kind of got confused near the end and had no idea what I was reading until I hit the last bit and then I was like “woah.” It’s so good.

As for my books by countries, here’s where I’m at!

All The Books I’ve Read Recently!

When Solo Travel Means Being Alone

I walked into the bar and ordered a local pilsner. There was the usual hostel vibe, a large group was playing some sort of game. I sat down with my tablet at a table nearby. I figured being in a hostel bar alone some other solo traveller would strike up a conversation eventually.

I was still tired after the bus ride from Germany, but who knew who I’d meet? Where the night might take me… That’s what I love about solo travel. I completely bought into the whole hostel concept, and after three trips I had yet to meet a person I couldn’t “gel” with. For someone who spent lunch hours in Elementary school doing homework alone and got bullied out of a high school I felt like I had cracked the mythical code to acceptance, friends, and building up self-confidence.

“Is anyone sitting here?” I looked up at one of the guys from the game. I knew it! The travel inclusion always wins. “I just lost the game we were playing and my punishment is to talk to you for two minutes.”

What. The. Fuck.

I wish I had said something along the lines of, “I’m not a punishment, I’m a human. What happened in your life to make you that saying that is at all okay?” But sadly, I’m not a badass. I’m still mad at myself for going along with it. I was just… I guess flabbergasted. Who does that?

Larry*, apparently. Larry was someone who looked like the 90’s spelling of X-TREME! He acted like, well like someone who would orchestrate the above exchange. He set up a GoPro everywhere to record his “epic” times with his friends- one of which had just gone back to their group.

“I just got offered a job!” I saw the tour guide from the bus that day walking away from the group looking as shocked and bewildered as I felt while shaking his head. Larry looked ecstatic and was slurring his story about how the tour guide liked how he arranged this big game and that he should work for the company. I found out during my two-minute-to-the-dot conversation that I was on the same bus schedule as them until Paris. My stomach dropped. Great.

In the next Czech city the booking gods frowned on me and I ended up in the same room as Larry. The town was small and Larry and his merry band of fellowmen decided this means they needed to binge drink for two nights straight. Now, I won’t sit here and say you shouldn’t hard core party in Europe. I ended up being invited in on one of the night (after Larry passed out? Was to drunk to object? I’m not sure. As salty as it sounds, I wasn’t exactly concerned for his well-being.). His friends were actually pretty cool. I had fun. In the next city there was enough museums that I managed to avoid the group, but the town after that was very secluded. Hostel in the middle of the woods secluded. One of the nights a girl they had deemed worthy to be in their group was setting up a board game and invited me in on it. I jumped at the opportunity to be social until Larry announced “I’m not going to play if she’s here.” I was glad to see everyone at the table was a bit taken aback. I just didn’t have the energy to fight it and went to bed. Looking back, this did my bank account and liver a lot of good. I was able to take on the next two major cities with a lot of gusto; however, the whole endeavour soured me a little. I was having trouble shaking it off. What was wrong with me? Why didn’t people want me in on their super fun times? Had nothing really changed since I was a teenager?

I met up with my friend Tom in Munich, where I told him the whole ordeal. “The guy Larry, I just don’t get what his issue with me was. I mean, I don’t think-”

“Wait, Larry?” Tom’s eyes lit up. A look of understanding, disbelief, and the faintest hint of pity on his face. “That group had to stay back a night. They were on our schedule but no one could stand them. We were all happy to be rid of them.”

At first I was shocked but if literally anyone I knew had told me about what Larry did I would think he was more vile than satan’s breath after a night on cheap hooch. The guide’s bewildered face? The other people on the bus when Larry drank a 40 of jager at eight in the morning? His friends faces when he decided not doing something was better than including me? All true reflections of how he is and how the world reacts to him.

I’m happy I didn’t let him ruin my trip, I had an amazing time. I’m also a lot more aware of how behaviour like that hurts people and it’s helped me not do that to others. There needs to be an exception to prove the rule, and he was mine. I still think that I always meet amazing people while travelling.

As for Larry I don’t think that he works for the bus company- they make all their guides get a branded twitter. I haven’t found evidence of him doing anything really. I hope he got help. I get the feeling that there was something under the surface that he took out on me. I hope he’s not pissed off someone who would physically hurt him. Above all else, I really hope I never see that asshat again.

*name changed to protect the absolutely, completely guilty.


When Solo Travel Means Being Alone

Woohoo for big deals!

I’ve been busy. Work has been… work. Adam and I are taking French classes, I learned how to use a drop spindle, I cast on the beekeepers quilt… I’ve been reading a TON for both pleasure and school.

Most importantly I’ve been working on articles that got published on Matador! If you don’t know Matador, you should. I discovered them when I was 18 while slacking off at my first office job. The photo essays are gorgeous and the articles insightful. Block off like 5-8 hours of reading time because it’s a black hole of awesomeness. If you like Vancouver, me, or both definitely  check out 21 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Vancouver  and 22 Signs You Grew Up Drinking in Vancouver. I’m so excited to be a part of a site I’ve fangirled over for years. Some friends and I went to one of our favourite bars the day the first one got published and the bartender literally quoted my article back to me. It was amazing.

I’m also so happy that I’m planning a trip! My flight attendant friend’s sister has never been to Europe, so we’re taking her to London and Paris! I’m beyond excited- 16 days and counting! I’m not prepared at all. I know what books I’m taking and that’s about it.

Basically, I kind of have to get my ish together in 2 weeks.

Woohoo for big deals!