finger-knitted ear-warmer

Tomor­row is the first day of Decem­ber! Thought I’d share a super cozy last minute gift to make :D

fingerknitted headband

I’ve men­tioned this ear-warmer in a post before, and final­ly got around to tak­ing all the pic­tures to make a how-to :D It works best with bulky weight yarn, to keep the fab­ric soft. I think super bulky would turn out too stiff. Because of the way the knit­ted fab­ric curl with fin­ger-knit­ting, the ear-warmer/­head­band will also turn out dou­ble-thick! So it’s super warm :)

I used:

Bulky weight wool. I used the scrap yarn I have, but one ball of this will be enough to make one head­band of sol­id colour. 2 balls if you want to make one with a con­trast­ing colour.

No need for nee­dles and hooks, just fin­gers :) but you do need a tapes­try nee­dle for sewing the head­band together.


I learned fin­ger-knit­ting and join­ing method from Knit­ting With­out Nee­dles by Anne Weil. She also has a pho­to tuto­r­i­al on how to fin­ger-knit here. But to save every­one the trou­ble of going back and forth between dif­fer­ent sites, I’m show­ing the basics of fin­ger-knit­ting in the how-to below as well.

The bind-off method is inspired by this fin­ger-knit­ted blan­ket video by Good Knit Kiss­es. The author of the video uses a dif­fer­ent fin­ger-knit­ting method than the one I’m used to, so I just took the basic idea and made up a bind-off method that works for me.

Basi­cal­ly, fin­ger-knit­ting pro­duces a long strip of knit­ting. For the head­band, we’re going to make 6 strips of knit­ting and join them togeth­er length­wise as we knit.

It might take longer to make the head­band if you’re learn­ing fin­ger-knit­ting for the first time. But with some prac­tice, the head­band took me a cou­ple of hours in front of the TV to finish :)

Ready? Let’s knit! :D

We first make a set­up row. Take your left hand, take the yarn end and hold it between your thumb and hand, then take the yarn behind your mid­dle fin­ger, in front of your fourth fin­ger, and behind your pinky.

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Wrap the yarn around your pinky, take it behind your fourth fin­ger, in front of your mid­dle fin­ger, and behind your index finger.

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Wrap the yarn around your index fin­ger, then take it behind your mid­dle fin­ger, in front of your fourth fin­ger, and behind your pinky again.

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Wrap the yarn around your pinky, take it behind your fourth fin­ger, and in front of your mid­dle fin­ger, than hold the yarn between your index fin­ger and mid­dle finger.

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Straight­en out the wrap­ping a bit, it will look some­thing like the pic­ture below, with the yarn end still held between your thumb and your hand, and the work­ing yarn tail between your index fin­ger and mid­dle finger.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 09 12 PM

Now, start­ing from your pinky, take the low­er loop of yarn, and pull it over the upper loop of yarn and over your fin­ger, so that you would have only one loop of yarn left on your fin­ger. Repeat on your fourth fin­ger and mid­dle finger.

Then take the yarn end between your thumb and hand, and swing it to the back of your hand between your index fin­ger and mid­dle fin­ger, like so. We’ve now com­plet­ed the set up row.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 11 06 PM

We now begin our first row. Wrap the work­ing yarn around your index fin­ger, from left to right, take it behind your mid­dle fin­ger, in front of your fourth fin­ger, and behind your pinky.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 11 43 PM

Wrap the work­ing yarn around your pinky, take it behind your fourth fin­ger, in front of your mid­dle fin­ger, and hold it between your index fin­ger and mid­dle fin­ger. The work­ing yarn tail will always rest between your mid­dle fin­ger and index fin­ger after each row.

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Start­ing with your pinky, pull the low­er loop on your fin­ger over the upper loop and over your fin­ger. Repeat with your fourth fin­ger, mid­dle fin­ger, and index fin­ger. We’ve com­plet­ed a row!

Repeat the steps from “we now begin our first row” to “we’ve com­plet­ed a row” 39 more times. So that alto­geth­er we will have 40 rows.

Note on size: 40 rows fits me fine, since head­bands are sup­posed to be a bit snug to stay on the head, and because of the loose gauge of fin­ger-knit­ting the head­band will stretch. But the length of your knit­ted strip may also vary accord­ing to the kind of yarn you use or the ten­sion of your knit­ting. You can wrap the knit­ted strip around your head after 40 rows, and see if the ends will meet with a bit of stretch­ing, and if you need to add or take out a row or two. Or if you’re mak­ing it for some­body else, make the knit­ted strip a cou­ple of inch­es short­er than the per­son­’s esti­mate head cir­cum­fer­ence. I think an aver­age adult head is 22″ around.

As you knit, the right side of the work will be fac­ing the back of your hand, the wrong side of the work will be fac­ing up.

After the 40th row is com­plete, we now begin to bind off the strip. Wrap the work­ing yarn around your index fin­ger from left to right. Hold the yarn between your index fin­ger and mid­dle finger.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 24 11 PM

Pull the low­er loop over the upper loop and over your index finger.

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Place the remain­ing loop on your index fin­ger onto your mid­dle finger.

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Take the work­ing yarn and wrap it around your mid­dle fin­ger, from left to right. Pull taut (but not too tight) the work­ing yarn by hold­ing it between your index and mid­dle fin­gers. Pull the two low­er loops on your mid­dle fin­ger over the upper loop (work­ing yarn loop) and over your mid­dle finger.

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Trans­fer the remain­ing loop on your mid­dle fin­ger onto your fourth finger.

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Wrap the work­ing yarn around your fourth fin­ger, from left to right. Pull taut the work­ing yarn tail by grip­ping it between your index and mid­dle fingers. Pull the two low­er loops on your fourth fin­ger over the upper loop and over your fourth finger.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 28 45 PM

Trans­fer the remain­ing loop on your fourth fin­ger to your pinky. Wrap the work­ing yarn around your pinky, from left to right. Pull taut the work­ing yarn tail by grip­ping it with your index and mid­dle fin­gers. Pull the two low­er loops on your pinky over the upper loop and your pinky.

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You will have one remain­ing loop left on your pinky.

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With­out turn­ing the knit­ted piece, trans­fer the loop on your pinky to your index fin­ger, with the right side of the work fac­ing you, posi­tioned like the pic­ture below.

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We are now knit­ting the sec­ond strip, and join­ing it to the first strip as we knit. Wrap the work­ing yarn around your fin­gers as usu­al to knit one row.

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Then, posi­tion the knit­ted strip and your hand like the pic­ture below. Note that the right side of the knit­ted piece is still fac­ing up.

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Insert your index fin­ger from under the loop into the out­er­most loop of the sec­ond row from your hand — the high­light­ed loop in the pic­ture below.

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You will now have two loops on your index finger.

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Then wrap the work­ing yarn around your fin­gers as usu­al to knit the row. When you get to your index fin­ger, pull the two low­er loops over the upper loop.

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And in every row here­after, before wrap­ping the work­ing yarn around your fin­gers to knit the row, insert your index fin­ger into the out­er­most loop of the knit­ted strip — the high­light­ed loops in the pic­ture below.

Photo 2015-11-28, 12 34 55 PM

When the sec­ond strip is com­plete, bind off as shown before, with one loop remaining.

If you’re mak­ing a sol­id colour head­band, you can con­tin­ue knit­ting until you have 6 knit­ted strips alto­geth­er. If you’d like a con­trast­ing colour, change colour after knit­ting the first 2 strips, as follows.

Make a loop with new colour and place loop in the work­ing loop, like so.

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Tie the yarn end of the new yarn to the work­ing yarn tail of the pre­vi­ous colour. You might want to put a pen into the new yarn loop to sta­bi­lize it when tying. Cut off the pre­vi­ous colour.

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Then knit with new yarn and join it to the pre­vi­ous­ly knit­ted strip, as shown before. Knit two strips with the new yarn. Then change to pre­vi­ous colour, and knit two strips.

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After bind­ing off the 6th strip, leave a long tail for sewing, and cut off yarn. Pull the yarn end through the work­ing loop to fas­ten off.

Now we sew the head­band togeth­er. With wrong side fac­ing, sew the two short ends of the head­band togeth­er using a loose mat­tress stitch. Because of the loose gauge of fin­ger-knit­ting, some stitch­es are going to be quite loose. Ensure that your nee­dle is pass­ing through two strands of yarn on each side in each stitch.

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After sewing the seam togeth­er, don’t fas­ten off. Pull the sewing yarn tight to cinch the seam. Turn piece right side out. Wrap the sewing yarn firm­ly around the mid­dle a cou­ple of times, with the top and bot­tom edges of the head­band fold­ing into the cen­tre, like so.

Photo 2015-11-28, 3 18 00 PM

Fas­ten off the sewing yarn by tying it to the begin­ning yarn end. Weave in ends.

Now we make the small strip in the mid­dle of the cinch. Fin­ger-knit a piece that is 6 rows long, and bind off, leav­ing a long tail for sewing.

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Wrap the piece around the cinched mid­dle of the head­band, sew the ends of the small piece togeth­er, then sew through all lay­ers of the head­band a cou­ple of times through the mid­dle. Fas­ten off by tying the sewing yarn tail to the begin­ning yarn end of the small knit­ted piece in the middle.

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And we’ve done it! A dou­ble-thick, super warm, (lit­er­al­ly) hand­made ear-warmer! :D

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I hope my pho­tos are clear. But if you have any ques­tions, please feel free to leave a com­ment below and I will try my best to explain, and oth­er vis­i­tors will ben­e­fit from your ques­tions too, so don’t be shy :)

Wish­ing you a hap­py week!


adventure in rock-felting


I was look­ing up Christ­mas gift ideas and stum­bled upon tuto­ri­als for felt­ed rocks. All I need­ed was some wool rov­ing, some stones, hot water and soap. I had all of those things. So I thought I’d give it a try.

There are many tuto­ri­als for felt­ed stones. I fol­lowed the one from Dai­ly Colours. I was gift­ed two bags of rov­ing some years ago. One bag was in fall colours, and the oth­er was in beau­ti­ful shades of blue. I had real­ly want­ed the blue rov­ing to work, but it just would­n’t felt/bind/shrink around the rock. I thought the water was­n’t hot enough, or I was­n’t rolling the rocks in the right way… then I noticed that the tuto­r­i­al had specif­i­cal­ly not­ed not to use “super­wash” wool, so then I read the label on my rov­ing, and noticed that what I was using was indeed super­wash wool. No won­der it did­n’t work!

For some unknown rea­sons the fall colour rov­ing worked much bet­ter though. It felt like the wool did­n’t bind as firm­ly as it was sup­posed to around the stone, but I thought they still look great! Next time I’ll get some dif­fer­ent wool, and maybe pick up some rocks from the beach! :D

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I think I might try stitch­ing on them. Will keep you post­ed if I do!

Have a hap­py weekend!


adventures in fingerknitting


My inter­est in fin­ger-knit­ting was sparked when I was con­tem­plat­ing what project to bring on my trip to the east coast. I did­n’t want my nee­dles and project to be con­fis­cat­ed at the air­port. A few knit­ters I asked, and even my good friend who is a for­mer flight atten­dant, assured me that they have either brought knit­ting nee­dles on the plane, or seen peo­ple knit on the plane. But still, my project was on 3.5mm straight met­al nee­dles… I did­n’t want to risk them being “mis­con­strued as weapons”.

A while ago I also bought Knit­ting With­out Nee­dles by Anne Weil of the beau­ti­ful blog, Flax and Twine. I tried mak­ing this fin­ger-knit­ted scarf in the book for a friend.

fingerknitted scarf

It uses a “join as you go” method that joins mul­ti­ple knit­ted strips togeth­er to make a wider fab­ric. So then I thought I can do some fin­ger-knit­ting on the trip, with some local­ly made yarn, and that would make some pret­ty spe­cial sou­venirs. Tak­ing hand­made to the next lev­el! :D

I used the “join as you go” method from the book and came up with these fin­ger-knit­ted fin­ger­less mitts :D

fingerknitted fingerless

I made these while dri­ving through Cape Bre­ton Island. The wool is by East Anchor Yarns. I made them for my sis­ter. I thought they’d come in handy (haha) for dri­ving in cold weath­er. It would keep the hands warm enough before the car is ful­ly heat­ed up, and it leaves the fin­gers out to grip the steer­ing wheel. They fit my sis­ter well :D

fingerknitted fingerless mitts

And this is the fin­ger­less mitts in action! :D

fingerknitted fingerless mitts in action

Late­ly I made a cou­ple of head­bands / ear-warm­ers for the shop, which also uses a “join as you go” method, but slight­ly dif­fer­ent, and cre­ates sort of a ribbed fabric.

fingerknitted headband

I based it on this tuto­r­i­al for mak­ing a fin­ger-knit­ted blan­ket. The instruc­tor of the tuto­r­i­al uses a dif­fer­ent fin­ger-knit­ting and cast­ing-off method. So I just took the gen­er­al idea and kind of made up some of my own steps to fit the fin­ger-knit­ting method I know. This was actu­al­ly a lot of fun to make, and very quick, so I’m hop­ing to write a tuto­r­i­al for it :D

And with the same method, I made a baby blan­ket! :D (for a fam­i­ly mem­ber, I don’t think she reads my blog :S) It’s very thick and warm. I used 1.5 balls of Bernat Blan­ket.

fingerknitted blanket

I like this method because the fab­ric does­n’t curl relent­less­ly inward, like the result­ing fab­ric from “join as you go” method from the book.

Using the book I’ve also made a cou­ple of bowls. They’re like soft nests. I’m hop­ing to use them at work to hold stones.

fingerknitted bowl

In some ways I actu­al­ly like the very tac­tile process of fin­ger-knit­ting more than knit­ting with nee­dles or cro­chet­ing with hooks. Espe­cial­ly when mak­ing some­thing for anoth­er per­son. There’s some­thing very heart­felt about lit­er­al­ly mak­ing every sin­gle stitch by hand. I look for­ward to shar­ing more about the head­band / ear-warm­ers! They’re very thick and warm as well.

Wish­ing every­one a great start to the week!



buttermilk mary

Trip to the sea con­tin­ues! :D


We were so for­tu­nate! We were told by the locals that the leaves in Cape Bre­ton were 2 weeks behind their reg­u­lar sched­ule this year, so we got to dri­ve through the moun­tains when they were the most vibrant! <3

Like many peo­ple who vis­it Cape Bre­ton Island, we drove around the Cabot Trail, which is the upper part of the island, as shown in this map here.

We stayed at the Auld Farm Inn in Bad­deck, I think the largest vil­lage on the Cabot Trail. (We high­ly rec­om­mend the B&B, the rates are very rea­son­able, and the hosts are so very friend­ly and thought­ful. I loved that they took the time to explain the his­to­ry of the farm house and referred to them­selves as cus­to­di­ans rather than own­ers of the prop­er­ty. AND they use old keys for the rooms!)


We aimed for an ear­ly start in the morn­ing, as fel­low inn guests let us know that they took 6 hours to com­plete the trail the day before. It was a sun­ny and crisp fall morn­ing when we set out on our road trip around the trail :)

If I remem­ber cor­rect­ly, we spot­ted this church near St. Anne’s Bay, not far from Baddeck.


Then we stopped at the look-out point at Lakie’s Head, with its rugged coast­line of pink rocks.


We stopped here for the wash­room I think. And I real­ly like the build­ing against the bright blue sky, and the name of the place. So honest.


This is also where we found an album named “But­ter­milk Mary”. I thought But­ter­milk Mary was the artist or the band, and I thought that’s a great stage name (or blog post title, or name for a cat, haha). It was­n’t until after we came back and Googled it that we real­ized But­ter­milk Mary is a set of jigs by the Baroque N’ Fid­dle String Quar­tet, and we total­ly regret­ted not buy­ing the album at the gen­er­al store! We end­ed up buy­ing it on iTunes :P It’s real­ly love­ly, you can watch it played here.

Can’t remem­ber the last time we nav­i­gat­ed by paper rather than GPS or Google Maps. This map was giv­en to us by a friend­ly staff when we got to the High­lands Nation­al Park office. We were ask­ing for direc­tions to water­falls on the trail. She marked her favourite spot on the trail with a heart :)


White Point Beach was her favourite spot and she high­ly rec­om­mend­ed it. Just a bit north of Neil’s Har­bour, which is a very pic­turesque fish­ing community.


This light­house dou­bles as an ice cream par­lour in warmer months!


Obvi­ous­ly Octo­ber is not one of the warmer months in the east coast. It actu­al­ly got real­ly windy when we got to White Point.


And we snapped a few more photos…


But we nev­er made the trek to the White Point Beach, because it was just too cold and windy. So we got back into our warm rental car and con­tin­ued on the trail.

There were many look-out points along the way. Pic­tures real­ly can’t cap­ture ful­ly the vast­ness of land and the majes­tic moun­tains. Can you see the riv­er weav­ing between the mountains?


We start­ed fol­low­ing one of the short­er trail to find the Black Brook Falls, but then Mike spot­ted the Coy­ote warn­ing sign and told me about it. I start­ed to pan­ic, remem­ber­ing sto­ries from our east coast friends about how east coast coy­otes hunt like wolves, in packs. So I con­vinced Mike to turn back. But we did ven­ture into the woods for a few min­utes. I love how moss seems to cov­er every­thing in these woods.


And we came across a riv­er. Mike took a bril­liant pho­to of it, which I don’t think he minds me show­ing it off :D


I also took far too many of these behind-the-dash­board pic­tures with Mike’s DSLR while he was dri­ving. The view is dif­fer­ent behind every bend! And as you can see, the weath­er was also dif­fer­ent minute by minute. It was now hail­ing. But look at the sea!!


One of the last look-out points we stopped at was the most exhil­a­rat­ing. I believe this is at or near Mar­ga­ree. The gusty wind, the sea mist, the salt in the air, the roar­ing sea — it sim­ply com­mands us to be ful­ly present in that moment of being there. I usu­al­ly have a huge fear of deep water and height (because I can’t swim). But in that moment, look­ing down into the sea and the jagged rocks from a cliff, I felt strange­ly safe, like I’ve found my place in all the cre­at­ed beings and things. Like I belong. The expe­ri­ence of that momen­t was one of the best gifts that I brought back with me.


After going around the trail we explored vil­lage of Bad­deck the next day. Aside from Bad­deck Yarns (see pre­vi­ous post :D), we vis­it­ed the Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell His­toric Site and muse­um. I nev­er knew that the inven­tor lived in Cape Bre­ton! (he and his wife are also buried in Bad­deck) And that aside from invent­ing the tele­phone, he also con­tributed to many inno­va­tion­s in avi­a­tion and ship­build­ing. The tetra­he­dron was a struc­ture that he fre­quent­ly incor­po­rat­ed into his inven­tions, from kites to tow­ers to air­crafts, because of its strength. This is a tetra­he­dron shel­ter that he would have stayed in to observe fly­ing experiments.


Alexan­der Gra­ham Bell fell in love with this view and stayed. I wish we could stay too.


Doing a bit of beach-comb­ing here before head­ing to Syd­ney.


And here we are in Syd­ney, cap­i­tal of Cape Bre­ton, home of the big fid­dle and beau­ti­ful pur­ple rocks!


Here we spent the day vis­it­ing a cou­ple of his­toric house muse­ums. At Jost House the upper floor dis­played an apothe­cary exhib­it and a marine exhibit. The house was occu­pied by fam­i­lies of mer­chants from the 1700s until the 70s.


Then we vis­it­ed the Cos­sit House, which is believed to be the old­est house in Syd­ney, built in 1787. It was the home of a min­is­ter, who lived there with his wife and 13 chil­dren. It has a love­ly back gar­den main­tained by the muse­um docents, with hand­writ­ten signs explain­ing the names and uses of the herbs in all the gar­den box­es. It real­ly was a cozy place. But when I took the pic­ture with Diana Mini it turned out sort of dark, and then it has this glow at the door­way, which makes it look like those pic­tures of haunt­ed places… or a house with a glow­ing heart…?


Not sure where the glow comes from, it is also in a pic­ture at the Jog­gins cliffs (pic­ture of my feet), so I’m sure it has to do with the devel­op­ing process or some kind of lens flare, and not the house itself :P

We then drove back to Hal­i­fax to catch our flight home, try­ing to squeeze in a few more strolls in the love­ly city before we had to leave.

Argyle Street, naturally.


If you ever find your­self vis­it­ing Hal­i­fax, and you’re look­ing for sou­venirs that are not in the shape of a lob­ster or light­house, be sure to vis­it the World Tea House and Bis­cuit Gen­er­al Store on Argyle St.!

Also, if you like East Asian food, I high­ly rec­om­mend the Beaver Sailor Din­er up the street from the har­bour! I think it’s pret­ty new, the staff was real­ly friend­ly, the noo­dles are hand­made, the prices rea­son­able, and the logo is cute! (I think they should make buttons/pins of the logo.)


Anoth­er great place where we found awe­some sou­venirs was the farm­ers’ mar­kets. We vis­it­ed the Sea­port Farm­ers’ Mar­ket for break­fast one day at one of the bak­ers’ stalls, and bought quite a few bags of sea­weed prod­ucts from Mer­maid Fare :D (the own­er is very knowl­edge­able about the sea­weed and how to cook them!) Here’s Mike’s pic­ture of a friend­ly fish mon­ger. We did­n’t bring back any fish though.


And then we ven­tured into the His­toric Farm­ers’ Mar­ket in the Alexan­der Kei­th’s Brew­ery build­ing (still haven’t done the brew­ery tour, must do that one day!). We find that it’s a small­er (but equal­ly vibrant) mar­ket with more local res­i­dents vis­it­ing, where­as the Sea­port Mar­ket can be very crowd­ed when there’s a cruise ship dock­ing at the har­bour :S At both mar­kets there are pro­duce, spices, soaps, cof­fee stalls, bak­eries, crafts, art­work, and every­one is hap­py to explain their prod­ucts even if we weren’t buy­ing anything.


This is from one of our ear­ly morn­ing strolls at the Old Bury­ing Ground in Hal­i­fax. I like how the gen­tle sun­light of ear­ly morn­ing is fil­tered through the trees and illu­mi­nat­ing the old graves. It was found­ed in 1749, and closed in 1844. We spent some time there mar­veling at the old let­ter­ing and crav­ings on the headstones.


And final­ly, part of why we were in the east coast in the first place was because I was pre­sent­ing a paper at an art ther­a­py con­fer­ence in Hal­i­fax. That hap­pened before we went on the road trip to Cape Bre­ton. And this was me, basi­cal­ly read­ing out my script because I so dread pub­lic speak­ing. But I hope what­ev­er it was that the par­tic­i­pants took from what I shared would make a dif­fer­ence one day, no mat­ter how small, how indirect.


And that was my jour­ney! I have a feel­ing that I will jour­ney back one day. Just feel strange­ly at home in the east coast. Until then, I will miss the warm hos­pi­tal­i­ty and the sea.

I hope you enjoy the pho­tos and sto­ries and trav­el tips! Thank you for jour­ney­ing with me! :D


trip of the dreams!


I’ve been look­ing for­ward to vis­it­ing the Jog­gins Fos­sil Cliffs for months. I had so want­ed to become a pale­on­tol­o­gist when I was a child, so going to a fos­sil site was a trip of the dreams! I stud­ied tide time charts and planned our dri­ve so we would arrive at low tide; I looked at oth­er trav­ellers’ pho­tos and com­ments; I checked and re-checked weath­er fore­cast and prayed for rain to hold off on the day we planned to visit…

– and sud­den­ly we were here!

The cliffs are sit­u­at­ed along the Bay of Fundy, which has the high­est tides in the world. It holds rocks and fos­sils from the “Coal Age”, about 300 mil­lion years ago.

This, where I was stand­ing, is the OCEAN FLOOR (could hard­ly con­tain my excite­ment!!) and will be sub­merged in up to 13 metres of water in a mat­ter of hours.


(as you might notice, some pic­tures were tak­en with film with the Diana, and some where tak­en on my phone).

We joined a walk­ing tour, in which the friend­ly tour guide point­ed out dif­fer­ent fos­sils that could be found at the cliffs. Like this fos­sil of a tree trunk.


These were track­ways of Arty the arthro­pleu­ra — a giant insect about 1–8 feet long. The tour guide showed a scaled down repli­ca of Arty.


Fos­sil of a trilobite.


Fos­sil of tree roots.


Look at the beau­ti­ful lay­ers of rocks on the cliffs!



The tides com­ing in…


It was majestic.


We were hop­ing to vis­it the Fundy Geo­log­i­cal Muse­um in Parrs­boro after­wards, but we spent a bit too much time at the cliffs, and by the time we got to Parrs­boro the muse­um was closed. So instead we spent some time at the wharf look­ing at the sun­set sparkles on the water.


More on Nova Sco­tia tomor­row! :D

Hope every­one is hav­ing a good start to the week!