A day late – The Day Book

I wrote this yesterday, but never got around to posting it. Keep that in mind when reading the answers that it was all supposed to be for Tuesday.

Outside my window… is the approaching spring. You can feel it in the air now. Can’t wait.

I am thinking… my upcoming travels as well as my upcoming trials. An appointment with the lawyer this Friday.

I am thankful for… my friends and family. They have been amazingly supportive with all of this badness. I am also thankful for Red Velvet cake. It is delicious and makes most things better, at least temporarily.

From the kitchen… Leftovers! Lots of chili, potato soup and meatballs to get through.

I am wearing…One of the silk scarves my sister dyed. It’s greys and yellows, which go really well with my teal sweater.

I am creating… not much right now, asides from all the cooking and baking I’ve been doing. Plotting a sham and mitten project for myself. Right now I’m thinking that I’d like to do a “set”. My first two options I can make to be matching (click on the image for the Rav page):

 

Gretel

Hanzel

or

Thrummed Mittens

White Cap Slouchie

The other thing I can do is mix one of my favourite mitten patterns with one of my favourite tam/slouch pattern. I’d love to hear which ones you guys like.

Hats:

Rose Red

Verity

Skeleton Key

Jane

Fenimore

With one of these Mittens:

Karisma

Thistle

Magic Mirror Mittens

Flocked

Verity and Skeleton Key are my favourite of the bunch (which I all love), as are Thistle (minus the “skirting” at the base) and Flocked. Ideas? Comments? Suggestions?

I am going… to an office supply store tonight. That shouldn’t excite me nearly as much as it does. Tomorrow, I’m going to my favourite pub in the world with some of Pat’s friends from work.

I am reading… Tigana still. Going to soon be starting my Anne Rice collection again in honour of my upcoming adventures.

I am hoping… that this meeting goes well and that the estate can get back on track. I just want this done.

I am hearing… a lot of Laura Marling lately. It’s my calm music.

Around the house… I haven’t done a big clean in a while and it desperately needs it. Laundry is also begging to be done.

One of my favorite things… Honey. I wont go into my incredible and deep love of bees and honey, but I will say that this lady makes some amazingly delicious infused honeys. Personally, I’d recommend Bunny Hunny, Chai Honey, and Chamomile Vanilla as my favourites.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Shopping today, pub tomorrow, relax on Thursday,  lawyer’s appointment on Friday. Long weekend thanks to “Family Day” on Monday.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


Big Tuesday Post

Another freezing winter’s day. Yesterday was especially tough. Made it that much harder to get out of bed and return to work when the wind chill is around -34C (about -33F).  Add to that some more dead parent nightmares. Yeah, it was a fun morning. Despite my post the other day, my whole day had this downness to it. I discovered around lunch time that my iphone has a massive crack on the back from it falling out of my purse over the weekend. My new iphone. Sigh. Then, on the way home from workmy new purse had its strap break. Literally as I was walking off the bus into the freezing cold night.

So, I went home, sat in front of the television, and refused to do anything. I didn’t cook. I didn’t clean. I didn’t do anything more than lay my ass down with an afghan, two cats and the dog. The husband forced me to eat something when he got home from karate (which he cooked because I refused otherwise. Yes, really mature, I know. I know my limits, and I know that in the mood I was in, I was likely to hurt myself if I tried to make anything more complicated than open-and-microwave)

On the plus side, I had a great weekend. Friday night, the hubby and I went to my mother’s home/estate to work on things there. Afterwards, as a treat, we went to see The Rite. I have a strange love for demon related movies (Constantine, Devil’s Advocate, you get the idea) and really enjoyed it. I love Anthony Hopkins, and really enjoyed him in another creepy role.

Saturday involved first going out with our friends S&K to see The Green Hornet (which was better than I was expecting. It was lots of fun) followed by some hardcore knitting to finish up a project that I’ve been super excited about. My Super Sekrit Knitting Project? It was a gift a friend of mine who had a baby shower this weekend. Pat and I are good friends with her and her husband and often give each other gag gifts at birthdays and the like. For the baby, I wanted to do something that was functional, handmade and hilariously awesome.  So,  I made this:

Cole the unwilling Viking

Pattern: Bella Knitting’s Viking Boy Hat

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

And, as you can see, I also made some matching booties. I altered a pretty straight forward pattern to match the hat details. I’m really happy with how it all turned out, and have since had a few requests for more from a few of my other friends. Woo!

Pattern:  Textured Cuff Bootees by Zoë Mellor (from 50 Baby Bootees to Knit)

Yarn: Lang Yarns Merino 120 Super Wash

My Rav Project Page

Yay for actual crafting content! Sunday was the shower, and the gifts were very well received. :D

Unfortunately, the weekend also held some really sad news. The father of one of our friends passed away on Friday night. He had been fighting cancer for a while, and had a very similar experience as Pat’s Dad (healthy guy, suddenly afflicted with a very aggressive cancer). This Imbolc I’ll be lighting a candle in his honour and for his family. It’s so hard when close friends are going through such a difficult time.  I may, if we can afford it and if I have the time, make them a meal or a snack. It’s not much, but I know when I lost my parents, not having to prepare a meal was a god send.

Speaking of Imbolc, the lovely Laura Marjorie Miller shared another one of her great posts. Definitely check it out. My plans are pretty basic, actually. I’ll probably have a cleansing bath, maybe do a reading. I’m debating doing some kind of fertility thing…any recommendations?  I’ve heard that it’s traditional to open all the doors and windows to welcome Bridget in. Are we supposed to do that tonight, or tomorrow? I may also make a list of things that I’d like to have gone from my life and then feed the list to a fire.

We have plans with friends to visit my favourite Irish pub in town, Patty’s. It happens to be the very same Pub that Charles de Lint, his wife, MaryAnn and their band play at occasionally. Afterwards, we’ll be visiting L & S as an after-funeral gathering. It’s going to be a busy today.

Anyway, to wrap up this post, here’s my Tuesday Day Book entry:

Outside my window… is the impending storm.  It’s not supposed to be as bad here in Ottawa as other places (I hear apocalypse is being thrown around as a descriptor in the states for the storm. Really? It’s going to be bad, but not that bad people.)

I am thinking…about my upcoming trip to New Orleans! I haven’t talked about this here yet, because it was still being planned. One of my closest friends in the world is this lovely gentleman by the name of Isaac.

Isaac and I, about 7 years ago. Neither of us look much like this anymore.

He is currently in a fantastic job that earns him an obscene number of aeroplan points. He has invited me on a 5 day trip to New Orleans with him! We’ve been talking about traveling there together for as long as we’ve been friends (going on 12 years now). It’s going to be EPIC. We’re leaving in March and will be there for about 5 nights. SO EXCITED.

I am thankful for… my husband. I know, I say that a lot, but he puts up with a whole bucket of crazy for me. He’s super sweet and very good at helping me through crap times.

From the kitchen… I’m super happy with how my first attempt at home made Beef Stroganoff went.  I’ve been eating it happily for days now.

I am wearing… Plaid pants with a dark blue top. I have my wedding flats on too. Woo

I am creating… Hopefully tonight, the Guiness Gingerbread. YUM. I love you, Nigella.

I am going… to be running around like mad tomorrow.

I am reading… First Lord’s Fury by Jim Butcher.  Last in the series, I think.

I am hoping… to have enough money for both of my trips in the coming months. New Orleans in March, Calgary in May. Busy busy

I am hearing… A lot of crazy people freaking out over the weather.

Around the house… I’m hoping to keep the house clean for longer than a day. yeah. Right.

One of my favorite things… Planning and plotting for trips! I have a list of things we should do/see/eat while in NO. :D

A few plans for the rest of the week: Wednesday holds Imbolc, a pub trip and comforting friends. Friday is work on the estate, with Sunday holding the return of Family Dinners with Jan and co.

Here is picture for thought I am sharing…


The Hat Hope (and Curse)

I guess it’s about time that I make a craft post, eh? It’s been a while. Well, to be honest, I haven’t been very crafty lately. I’ve been putting a lot of time and attention into the house and cooking. BTW, welcome to all my LSG and Rav peeps!

A week or two ago, I decided to start on the toque to end all toques for the husband. For years now, I have been meaning to make him a toque that meets all of his winter hat requirements, as follows:
1. Has at least the option to cover his ears
2. Is warm and breaths
3. Isn’t itchy
4. Looks good and stylish with his winter jacket
5. Wont be really finicky about washing

I’ve tried several times to make him a hat to meet these requirements; however, I have discovered that I am cursed. I can’t seem to knit a hat to the size of his head. I have literally made hats too small for my cat, and the whole time thinking “This is going to be great! He’s going to love this hat! My, it looks small. It’ll stretch. Of course it will stretch”.

Yeah, even Byron is unimpressed.

I came close, once, with this one: (Rav link)

The hat that was almost ok

Unfortunately, he realized in the wearing of this hat, that he doesn’t like the beanie style. He says it makes it his head look too big, or the hat too small.

It actually got to the point that my mother knit hats for all of us the following year, just so that I wouldn’t have to. Unfortunately, she knit them all in super cheap acrylic and in huge One-Size-Fits-All-Including-Giants sizes.

A little too big

The following year, his sister bought him a great hat on a trip to BC, though he was sad to discover it was perfect in every way but the style – he really liked being able to fold the rim up or down to customize length.

Almost right

So, here I am. It’s starting to get cold and I have been promising this damned gift for the entire time that I’ve known how to knit. I found this pattern (Rav link again), showed it to him and then had him approve the yarn:

Yes, it's Red Heart. Whatsittoya?

I’m a little concerned, as it looks giant right now, but I’m hoping that that’s just because I’m used to creating tiny little things due to my wacked gauge and tension issues.

So long as it fits his big Irish head, and can fold down to cover his ears, I think we’ll have a winner. Only time will tell.

Questions and Agenda

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Honestly, I haven’t much to say that hasn’t already been said. I’ve been slowly working away on Mrs. Darcy and am just under halfway done the last sleeve and I only have one ball of yarn left. EEP! This is yarn that I purchased years ago from Elann, so I’m SOL if I run out.

Isn’t it pretty? Well, I guess it’s pretty plain looking, but to touch it makes all the difference. It’s a wool and alpaca blend that is this beautiful tweedy plum colour.  For those with the Rav, here’s the stash page for it. So close to being done! I think when I finish all the pieces, I’m going to need to drop by the local Knit Night and ask for some help with seaming. It’s something I’ve never been good at, and I want this sweater to be perfect! Meanwhile, speaking of sweaters…

Tis nearly that time of year….my favourite of all: Samhain! In honour of this, and considering how important it is to me this year, I’ve decided to join  The Domestic Witch’s  Halloween Blog Party! You can read more about it  here!

I plan on starting to post on Samhain related things started October 1st.  I haven’t fully decided on the nature of the posts yet, but I’m excited about the project.

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing a lot of reading on pregnancy and babies lately (no little bean yet, I promise. It’s more just prep-work. We’re hoping for next year some time, but not before at least one of us have a full time job with benefits that isn’t a contract). Are there any that you’d recommend? My favourites so far are Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth and The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth

Also, have any of you ever been to Jamaica before? We’ve booked our honeymoon and I’d love to hear about things that you enjoyed while you were there. We’re going to Negril, if that helps.

On that note, I have to get back to work. I’m taking at least a week off in the near future, so expect some posts about cleaning, purging and things of the sort.

A brief catchup

Sorry for the delay folks. It’s been a busy week! Today I’m off on a bit of an adventure and will be back on Monday. So, in the mean time, lets get you caught up!

Firstly, I don’t have any amazing pictures of How To Make Taiwanese Dumplings, because I ended up being hours late to the Dumpling Making Fest. I was very sad, but what can you do? Sometimes life just wants you to eat, not make.  So, here’s what we enjoyed:

Doesn’t that look amazing? Trust me, it was.  Luckily, Alice taught two of our friends, so I should be able to get them to show me some time. Yum! And isn’t it better to eat than cook sometimes? I think this is one of those times.

I’ve started knitting again lately, which is great. Hopefully, it’s a step in the right direction and I’ll find myself motivated to pick up the hook. I’m not sure what it is that has me completely uninterested right now, but I hope it goes away so that I can learn to crochet! I’ve been working on this cardigan for the last three years:

Mrs. Darcy

All I have left to do are the sleeves, so I finally picked it up and started to work. I was in the middle of the sleeve cap decreases when I realized that my pattern abruptly stopped. You see, I’ve been working off of the same pattern this whole time. All I have left is one badly damaged piece of paper, and it became quickly apparent that I was missing a whole page.

Ugh! So, I went hunting…and it turns out the designer has taken down the pattern as it’s about to be published in a book. I asked around and no one had it or they weren’t up to sharing. I was unimpressed. Luckily, there was a whole thread dedicated to this issue on Ravelry and I learned of a great webpage: Archive.org  Basically, this page captures websites over the years on their Way Back Machine. I found an old captured copy of the pattern on there, and was able to print it off. WOO! My cardi is saved! So, I finished the one sleeve and hope to get through most of the next this weekend.

Meanwhile, I made an excellent discovery going through some clothes that I took from Mum’s collection after the passed. I thought it was an apron, but it turns out it’s a cute wrap dress!

Pretty! Perfect for hot summer days

Ugh. Excuse my expression here.

Perfect length and it has POCKETS!

It wraps at the back

Go Mum! I never ever saw her wear this, and it was tucked away in a pile to go to charity when I saved it for myself. Can’t wait for the next hot day to wear it out!

Well, on that note, I have some stuff to do around the house before my weekend gets underway. Have a good one! I’ll be celebrating Lammas on Sunday, so I’ll be sure to share my rit with you then :)

Wheels and Wedding Crafting, Part 1

Good afternoon everyone!

We in Canada were lucky this week to have Canada Day on Thursday. For me, it coincided with my summer hours week, so I got Friday off as well (at my job, we work 45 minutes more each day during the summer, which earns us every second friday off!). Faced with this long weekend, I wanted to get a lot done.

One result of weddings, that I hadn’t prepared for, is the mess. Firstly, you’re bringing home a bunch of stuff you didn’t have before (yay gifts! Oh wait, that includes ALL of the decor too!) and no where to put it. It also means all of those jars I used for centerpieces came home with flowers in them. I’ve been slowly working towards reclaiming our home. I feel that today, finally, I’ve made head way. All the flowers have been composted, water dumped, jars washed and sorted. I’ll be selling some of them, and keeping the few that I really love. Unfortunately, with these flowers, came some of the BIGGEST EARWIGS I’VE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Yes, they warrant caps lock. Seriously. Thank god I have a fearless husband manned with huge shoes to destroy them.

I know that that’s not a very Yay Nature! thing, but I have this understanding with creepy critters. In your environment, I’ll leave you alone. My house, however, does not welcome anything between 5-7 legged critters. Spiders I can handle, because they eat things I hate. And they are master weavers. Bugs though? No way. You know, I thought about posting a picture of an earwig just now, for those of you who don’t have them, and I just couldn’t do it. No way I’m letting one on to my blog! UGH.

They are truly my most hated critter. Unfortunately, I live in an area where they prosper. HATE. Ugh.

So, back to happy things: This weekend has been productive. I did some cleaning at The Big House (the family home), did some banking, cleaning and, completely unexpected: Bought my first vehicle.

My last car had been a gift. When my father died, my Mum gave me his ’96 Volvo so that I could get back and forth to work, and to her place to get her to her many doctor’s appointments. Unfortunately, as you might remember me talking about, I crashed it about 7 months ago:

The car that saved my life.

I’ve only owned one other car before that, and it was extremely brief. And wasn’t really mine. My Dad bought a Volvo and was going to sell it to me. I took it on a few road trips  and then decided that I didn’t want to keep it. In fact, even before we left I decided I didn’t want to drive it, so my best friend, Isaac, drove it on our road trip out East.

Isaac, Me and The Car

My favourite picture of the trip

My first car

It was a great car, but I was having major stress issues dealing with it being a standard. You see, I never really learned to drive a manual car properly, and it was just too much for me to drive for 22 hours straight. So, I gave it back to my Dad when we got back from our Summer travels.

I’ve never actually purchased a car, had it put into my name and owned it, all on my own. Every since the crash, I’ve been needing a vehicle to get around. My Mum’s van has been useful the last few weeks, but we’re sending it back to the dealer soon and I don’t want a minivan. So, Pat and I started our searching and very randomly came across a 2000 Subaru Outback with a bunch of scratches and almost no rust. It’s in great condition and the scratches make me less worried about keeping it pristine. So, allow me to introduce my new baby, Betty Joan:

Meet the lovely lady Betty Joan

Her name is both a nod to Mad Men, as well as a reference to her license plate. I obviously can’t tell you much about it, but it does include the letters B and J. She’s a great car that will definitely serve our family as it grows. We aren’t planning on having kids right away, but certainly within the next five years. We wanted a vehicle that could handle all of our stuff (including our 85lbs dog) and any potential babies. I think she’s just great :)

In other news, I wanted to share some of my wedding crafts. Now that the wedding is over, I feel that I can finally share some of the things I made for it.

Heriloom Wedding Garter

My Garter

Pattern: Knitted Lace Wedding Garter

Yarn: Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter

Ravelry Project Page

This garter was actually a really fun quick knit. Because of the yarn I chose, I had to change the pattern quite a bit. It still ended up HUGE, but absolutely gorgeous. The yarn was just the most beautiful stuff I’ve ever knit with, though not the easiest to work with. The glitter separated from the yarn, and didn’t have the same stretch. Winding it was NOT fun. In the end, I only wore the garter for a little while, because it was just too big and too warm for me to wear at the end of June. It’s definitely going into my cedar chest for my kids though.

All knitted

Jam Wedding Favours

Jam Favours

I decided quite early on that I wanted to make jam for our favours. It suited our rustic and DIY theme. This was especially true once we decided on mason jars as the centerpieces. For the recipe, I used the one on the quick set packages. I found it too sweet for my taste, but it was also my first time using Quick Set (with sugar already included) as opposed to pectin. The jam was straight up strawberry. We made 85 small jars (I think they were 1/2 cup?).

How to make your own easy peasy jam:

1. Boil your jars and lids for a good 10 minutes at a rolling boil. This makes sure you get all the nasty bacteria out. Remember, when removing them from the water to use sterilized tools, and NEVER touch the inside, the mouth or the bottom of the lids with your bare hands.

Sterilized Jars

If you have a pressure cooker, I’d definitely recommend using that to sterilize instead. But, boiling works fine so long as you’re careful and quick.

2. Cut up your fruit. In our case, a BUNCH of strawberries. We cut them pretty chunky, because I find it easier to mash bigger pieces. Depends on the consistency you like.

LOTS of strawberries

3. In our case, we just threw all the strawberry bits into a pot with some lemon juice and boiled them. Once they started to boil, we added the quickset. The key here is stirring. Keep on stirring and mashing up the big pieces.

Me, stirring away

4. Once the jam has boiled for some time (I think it was about 10 minutes, but I’d have to check), you remove it from the heat and start skimming the cloudy stuff off the top. Personally, I put the skimmed bits in to a bowl to eat with fresh bread or shortbread cookies.

5. Once all skimmed, ladle the jam into your prepared jars. Get the lids on quick, as it’s the heat of the jam which will pull the lid down into a seal.

For storage: If you plan on using the jam right away, keep it in your fridge once cooled (Hot glass + cold fridge = bad news!). Otherwise, you can store it in a cool dark place for about 3 months. Longer if you freeze it instead (which is what we do. We’ve used jam YEARS later, if its been frozen). When labeling, make sure to include the date made.

Some great labelling pages: Eat Drink Chic

What I did:

-Printed one set of labels on Staples Brand labels (Ours read Strawberry Jam. Handmade with Love. Heather and Pat, 26-06-19).  Those went right on the jars.

-Printed another set that read “Spread the Love! Heather and Pat, 26-06-10”. These went on plain white tags, also bought at Staples. We then used some of my scrap yarn to attach those to the lid. We were lucky that our jar lids were so pretty, so I didn’t feel the need to add fabric, though you can. Just be aware that this has to happen as you’re closing the lids as it goes between the middle lid and the outer ring. Be careful that you’re spooning the jam in cleanly, otherwise you’ll get jam all over your fabric.

Hope you enjoyed!! I’ll be posting more of my crafts over the coming weeks.

KniCroBloWeek: Post 7. What a Yarn and A Wild Card

Sorry guys! I’m just not good with deadlines ;) It’s my inner rebel I guess.

What a Yarn

There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative

Such an open ended topic! Well, I can definitely say I have a yarn problem. I’m like this with all of my hobbies. I far more enjoy collecting the bits and pieces necessary for the task rather than actually doing anything with them. Yarn is definitely the same. I have yarns that I feel are too pretty to risk “messing up”, so I’m waiting until I feel that I’m a stronger knitter. There are some beauties in the world that I have been coveting for years. Yes, years. Here they are:

1. I don’t knit socks. Or rather, I haven’t yet. For some strange reason I have an unnatural love and need for sock yarns. I can’t explain it. The colour ways, the dainty weight. I just love them so. More than any others, I am totally in love with the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Raven Clan colourway. You see, I’m a big pagan geek. I looooove Corbae, and these immediately made me think of Charles de Lint and his motley crew of animal people.  My personal favourites?

Haida

Rook-y

Thraven

Aren’t they gorgeous? WANT.

2. I’m a very tactile person. I touch everything. Poor Pat can attest to it…I fondle clothes in stores. I touch all of the towels and bedding at Home Outfitters. One of the most visually beautiful lines I’ve ever seen happens to be one of the softest as well: Handmaiden Yarns. Specifically, any of their lines with silk or cashmere. They just glow. I mean, really. Any time I walk into a LYS, I have to pet the handmaiden yarns. Have to. One day I’ll have the money to make something out of it. <3  I’m most fond of their subtle colourways. Beautiful stuff. Go check it out!

Now, as for a review, I have just started knitting with the prettiest yarn I’ve ever owned. It’s for a small project, so I could justify the HUGE price tag (I can’t remember…I think I’m blocking out the trauma. I believe it was about 40$/skein) . I’m currently knitting my wedding garter out of the lovely Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter. It’s a blend of mohair, silk and glitter. I would never have guessed it would be so soft, but it actually rivaled the cashmere I almost bought. The glitter isn’t scratchy, and the mohair isn’t too itchy. It’s beautiful, luminous, and the colour is perfection.  Ha! I just noticed that someone else has linked a heriloom garter to the yarn’s main page. See, it makes sense! :D  (Though I honestly think the pattern I’m using is prettier. Less…spiderwebby)

The yarn:

My yarn with my engagement ring

Isn't it lovely? Perfect for my "Something Blue"

Now, as for working with it…I have to be honest. Winding it was awful. The glitter separates from the rest of the yarn, so it was a matter of constantly adjusting and making sure everything was together. I don’t have a swift, so Pat was put to work for sure.

Knitting with it is pretty similar. The glitter grabs on to random bits and separates at other places, so I have to be careful not to splice the yarn as I go. Knitting lace with this is trying, for sure. The result, though, is gorgeous. I really love what it looks like so far. It’s going to be a large garter, but I think it’s going to be an heirloom that I will keep within the family. Hopefully, my sister will wear it at her wedding and then our children. <3

A work in progress.

All Tooled Up
Do you have a particular knitting/crochet tool or piece of equipment that you love to use? Maybe it is an old bent pair of needles that used to belong to someone special, or a gorgeous rosewood hand-turned crochet hook that you just love the feel of? Write about what you love it.

I have a few tools that I absolutely love. Number one, I LOVE bamboo needles.  They knit so smoothly and softly, it’s lovely. There’s something so comforting using them. I also really love the cheap walmart acrylic set of knitting needles my Mum got me many years ago. It’s ugly, but it’s from Mum. I will cherish them forever.

My Tools: The Knit Kit, my walmart needles and bamboo needles.

Lastly, it’s a new purchase that I wish I had always had as part of my kit. What is it, you ask? Why, it’s the Knit Kit. I picked it up at Wool ‘N Things for about 20$. It’s endorsed by Martha freakin’ Stewart. It’s amazing. Seriously. It’s small, portable and has everything you need. It has: A tape measure, a crochet hook, a stitch counter, yarn cutter, scissors, needle ends (keep you from losing stitches on WIPs), stitch markers and enough room to store more (I keep my darning needle in there too).

AMAZING. (not pictured: needle ends. They are being used, as are two markers)

Mine is currently covered in dried Coke Zero, from when Mum was admitted to the hospital. I haven’t had the heart to clean it yet. They come in white w/ pink, black w/ white or blue w/ white. LOVE it.

So, there you have it :) What a fun week! Great blog topics :D

KniCroBloWeek: Post 5&6

Ack. Did it again, didn’t I? This week has just been too busy. I was out with friends Thursday/Friday, and then Friday evening was spent with my honey, watching movies and hanging out. I belated present:


Location, Location, Location

Where do you like to indulge in your craft? Is your favourite arm chair your little knitting cubby area, or do you prefer to ‘knit in public’? Do you like to crochet in the great outdoors, perhaps, or knit in the bath, or at the pub?

I guess I’ve returned to my roots with my craft. When I first started, I wasn’t at all comfortable KIP. I kept it to my family home and then my apartment when I moved out. It wasn’t until my friend, Melissa, and I found the Knitting Meetups that I started knitting in public. We met once a month at a Bridgehead coffee shop downtown, and then another day in the month at the Bridgehead closer to our apartment in the Hintonburg area. I have also knit as part of a living and breathing exhibit at the Museum of Civilizations craft exhibit a few years ago, which was neat but unnerving. I’ve knit in class, I’ve knit on planes, trains, automobiles and buses. I’ve knit at friends’ houses. I’ve knit in pubs. I’ve knit outdoors and in movie theaters. My favourite place in the world to knit is in my living room, on the couch, in front of the TV. I have light. I have access to my pattern (and the internet for tips, notes and errata).

Me and some of the ladies of Knit Night

Me and some of the Ottawa Knitters at the Museum of Civ as part of their live craft exhibit

Knitting in my ugly orange chair

Revisit a past F/O

Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of hole. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much.

This is a tough one. Which piece to follow up? Do you want to see my first scarf? Or my first lace wrap that met the Yarn Harlot? Unfortunately, most of my pieces were gifts, and so I have no idea how they fare. One, was lost in a house fire. Another may be in Japan, if its owner kept it.  I guess the easiest is the one piece that I have handy.

Rebecca Lace Cardi

From Rebecca 29. Pattern info on Rav here.

Started: April 2005

Completed: October 2005

My project notes on Rav here.

Pictures when completed:

Taken in 2005

Taken in 2005

I wouldn’t say that it’s the most worn FO I have, but it has gotten some wear. I wore it out a few times, including my brother in law’s wedding reception (no pictures unfortunately). Most notable outing was definitely the Yarn Harlot book signing:

Me and the Harlot

Today, I’m about 40lbs heavier and it still fits. Ah, the joys of the wrap top.

Hard to get a shot of knitwear when holding the camera yourself...

Rebecca, today.

She’s in pretty good shape. It was definitely the project that taught and challenged me the most so far. She’s a great addition to the wardrobe for sure. I always get tons of compliments on it when I wear it out. :D

KniCroBloWeek: Post 3&4

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday.  I spent the day with my sister at the family house in Orleans. She returned home to Calgary today, so I wanted to take advantage of all the time we had before she left. Now, to get back to it!


One Great Knitter

Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way

I have to say, there are a few Great Knitters in my world. The first is one that I’m sure has influenced a lot of people. The lovely Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka, The Yarn Harlot. Steph made it ok to be a dork about knitting. She talked about the silly things we’d do in yarn stores and made it all hilarious. She’s incredibly approachable, scary smart, and definitely the kind of woman I hope to be one day. She was one of the first bloggers I came across online. I liked her simple webdesign that really showed that it was about the knitting, not the flash and glam.  We met once at Yarn Forward during one of her book tours and she was incredibly sweet to both me and my friend, Melissa.

Me and the Harlot

I loved her honest insights into her home life, her love of knitting and the challenges she faced. Sure, she’s like a superhero of knitting with those crazy fast skills, but she always manages to stay down to earth and gets just as frustrated as the rest of us with yarn, projects and gauge.

The next is one of my long time reads. She was one of my first knitting blogs as well, and definitely served as an inspiration for me as a person as well as a knitter. The beautiful Lolly of Lolly Knitting Around.  Lolly is super kind and really great about responding to her audience. She talks about life, family, yoga and knitting equally.  She and I have really similar tastes in projects, so it’s always neat to see how her pieces turn out. Though she doesn’t post as much today, I always go back to see how things are doing, how her love of Yoga is changing her life and what her family is up to.

The next is one who doesn’t blog anymore, and can you blame her? Life got a little busy for the amazing Eunny of See Eunny Knit! As an editor of Interweave Knits, you know this girl has an amazing eye and incredible talent and love of the craft. Her work has always inspired me to be better. She is the knitter I hope to be one day. Her stitches are gorgeous and crisp. Her pieces always look so perfectly tailored. Really gorgeous stuff! Even though she doesn’t post anymore, I definitely recommend going back and reading past entries. Eunny is real people too ;)

A New Skill

Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

There are always new skills that I want to learn. I’m definitely one of those people that will never feel completely satisfied with what they can do now. I’d love to learn to knit continental, backwards and to do stranded colourwork. Anything I can’t do, I want to be able to. I think the big goals for me are to one day get to where my Mum was. She could crochet and knit without thinking about it and she produced some beautiful afghans over the years. I would love to learn to crochet. There are some blankets and slippers that I’ve been coveting for years that have intimidated me because of the hook. For instance:

From Knit Scene

Alicia Paulson's beautiful Tira Misu

There you have it! See you tomorrow folks! <3

KniCroBloWeek: Post 2. Aspirations


Aspirations

Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

It’s funny, but that Mountain has always been there for me. It’s certainly changed over the years since I started, but it’s definitely always existed. I honestly don’t remember my first mountain, but I remember the one that lasted the longest. The beautiful and lovely, Rogue Sweater by Jenna Wilson:

Elkbiologist from Ravelry's Rogue

Sweaters scared me. The seaming, the fit. It all seemed impossible. Add to that the mysterious cables, I thought it would be impossible. The hood won my heart and I swore that one day, I would make myself a Rogue. That day, I could truly call myself a knitter.
It was later that I realized just how easy cables were. Charts can be complicated, but nothing compared to lace (if you ask me). When I made that discovery, suddenly my mountain changed. It was still a cabled sweater, but it was far more complicated. My mountain became Demi, by Kim Hargreaves from Rowan’s Vintage Knits:

Parikha's Demi, from Ravelry

It was beautiful. Delicate and it completely won my heart.  That is, until I started on Jemima (who would then become Mrs. Darcy) and realized that I don’t currently possess the patience to knit sweaters.
Today, I think I have two major goals. I want to be able to do colourwork and I want to knit a real shawl.  I’ve dabbled in lace, but it’s never been anything complicated or large. My inspirations:

Evelyn A. Clark's Swallow Tail Shawl

Deep in the Forest Mittens by Tuulia Salmela

So, there you have it :) Colourwork frightens me, like cables used to. I love the results, I just don’t know that I can do it yet. Lace intimidates me because of the attention it needs, and how you really need to be on the ball every step of the way.