Jacket time!

It’s officially jacket time again!

As much as I loved the summer (especially the part when I dipped my toes in salty water), I won’t exaggerate if I call it a total disaster, sartorially speaking. In spite of hours and hours spent reading, thinking and talking about sustainable fashion, I went all the way down the pit of style rut, wearing nothing but jeans, plain black t-shirts and sneakers by the end of August. Oh, and I did wear earrings, but that was the only embellishment I could stand… Call me an ultraminimalist, it’s totally deserved!

But all is going to change now that my favourite season is back!

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Things you’ll never have to buy again, part 3

One of the readers has suggested running around naked to save on clothes – or so I understand – and I would gladly adhere if it weren’t so damn cold! We’ve had the worst month of June ever, with too much water and too little sunshine… Even the flowers in the garden seem to disapprove (with one exception), which brings me to today’s piece of wisdom. Let’s talk plants!

If you like a little peps in your plate you’re probably deep into seasoning – and so am I. Basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary – all are frequent and welcome guests in my kitchen. And all of them can cost quite a bit, once dried and packed into nice little containers…

Homegrown, by Iryna Klionava (that's me!)

Homegrown, by Iryna Klionava (that’s me!)

The good news is, you don’t need dried herbs if you can have fresh ones! Continue reading

What’s going on

Not much, actually. I get up in the morning, bring my kid to school, try to squeeze the maximum value per minute out of the 3 hours of hands-free time this gets me, lose time surfing the Web, bring the boy back home at noon, throw together some sort of meal or another, try to do things while entertaining the kid until he falls asleep, see my husband off to or back from work, volunteer at the local library once a week, shop for groceries, do laundry… and knit when the stars align. Pretty uneventful but that’s how life is. Sometimes there’s a surprise: eating out with the extended family or the kid falling ill on a Friday afternoon… And then it’s routine once again. But it’s not the repetitiveness that gets me down: I kind of like my days to be predictable. If I can fit a healthy amount of fun into an ordinary day, I’m totally OK with it.


See what I mean? Who needs fancy entertainment if they can have this?

What truly gets on my nerves is that I receive no answer from the knitting magazines, yarn companies and design editors I wrote to what seems like ages ago. Just a word, huh, guys? Something beyond the machine-generated “Thank you for your submission”? Are you that busy? What’s maddening about all this magazine business is that one has to wait for months before an answer comes – and not necessarily a positive one – and that multiple submissions (that is, sending the same pattern to several magazines simultaneously) are strictly discouraged. And in the meantime your patterns and ideas just lie there and you can’t even wear what you’ve knitted – for fear of spoiling the only prototype you have… It’s sooo slow! In a world where one can connect with people instantly and where everyone is on-line 24/7, the knit mag business is somehow managing to stay light years behind – and get away with it.

Which makes me think that it’s maybe time for me to go indie. I believe in my patterns: Liffey has scored 138 projects on Ravelry alone and, as I have discovered, it has been translated into Russian, so you can double, if not triple, the count (the funny part about this unauthorized translation is that I’m myself a Russian speaker, so they could just have asked if had a Russian version of the pattern instead of going the hard way). Anyway, what I’m saying is that my patterns aren’t that bad. In fact, I think they’re getting better all the time (you should see the one I’m working on right now!) and I’m doing my best to make them both knitable and knit-worthy. So… shall I make the leap?

There and back

Whoa, it’s been nearly a month… again! But I have a mighty good reason for this long silence: I’ve been away!

From home…

And from knitting!

I intentionally didn’t take my knitting with me and know what? – I survived! I did miss my stitches but I was set to have a good time, and so I did! Thanks to this self-imposed “knitting fast” and the kindness of Mr. Toddler (or should I rather call him Mr. Preschooler now that he’s nearing the age of 3?) who had a siesta almost every afternoon, I suddenly gained some reading time that I hugely enjoyed.

What kind of book can keep me awake during the hottest hours? Detective stories, of course! I read The Body in the Library, A Carribean Mystery and An Autobiography (I’m still on it) by Agatha Christie and The Hound of Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle: all (except the autobiography) in Ukrainian, which made the reading even a greater pleasure. If your eyebrows just went up with surprise, it’s because you ignore that I grew up in Ukraine and, not unlike the mythological Antaeus who drew his force from his mother the Earth, I feel revitalised whenever I read in Ukrainian (and whenever I read good crime fiction – double score!)

I didn’t take many pictures, mostly because being on holiday is about enjoying the moment, rather than rushing to record it. I did take the usual “Been there, seen that” and “Look how my kid is super cute” pictures but don’t worry, I won’t post them here! Instead, here is my favourite: I love it for the calm and relaxing atmosphere and the minimalist composition. I don’t know about you, but I could have one of these every evening until the end of my days and never get weary!


A very good day to all of you, friends!