Saturday, December 13, 2008


I haven't posted pictures in ages -- but to be fair, I haven't taken any in ages. Daylight is pretty minimal, and I'm usually at work during it, so the opportunity for clear pics seem to pass me by. Of course, it usually so overcast on weekends that no natural light comes in. I'm not complaining though -- winter is finally here! It was raining and raining and snowing and raining... but now the snow is finally staying on the ground! I love it, and the dog is having a blast running around in it too. The streets and sidewalks are way too icey though; you'd think the city would have figured this out by now, but no.

I had a wonderful knitting session last weekend. A couple of colleagues from my department knit (and one crohets!), so three of us got together for an afternoon of tea, knitting, cats, and chats. Unfortunately, the girl who crochets couldn't join us; I'd love to improve my crochet skills and she is looking to improve her knitting skills. It was really my first social knitting event, as none of my other friends knit. We all had a great time, and one of the girls is having a knitting birthday party tomorrow. I'll be there! I'm so happy to have some knitting friends. Another girl from work was asking me how I learnt to knit, and said she is interested in taking it up. I told her about and encouraged her to check it out so she can join our knit sessions.

Life is pretty good.

Finally, a vacation!!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Am I the only one getting tired of seeing endless cowels when I browse Ravlery for new patterns?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Progress report

Ooh, look what is coming along so nicely:

Yep. I am really enjoying knitting my Lady Sweater. I did have to rip out the entire yoke twice, but I figured out my math and it's great. Okay, I admit I only ripped the yoke out one and a half times: I never finished frogging the second time and just started this one from a new skein. I will use the half-frogged attempt for the sleeves. But I haven't knit a single row since that picture was snapped! Well, I have, but on another project..

Yes, I started another one. the Christmas stockings are a kind last-resort project, so they don't count, but I started knitting a white mohair shrug. Jack picked up the yarn for me, and I felt I should start on it right away! I should go snap a picture, actually. THEN I will work on the Lady Sweater. I am excited to buy buttons for it, but won;t let myself go to the button store until it is done; that's just another excuse for procrastination!

ETA: Here's the mohairiness:

Also, I love autumn.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Choke: A FO

Having reviewed the posts on the first page of my blog, I am pretty embarrassed at my seeming lack of productivity! But you know, in the last month and a half, I finished a joint honours degree, started a new job, and have been promoted. So, I've been busy -- but I have also been knitting. I am in this weird stage of life where I come home from work, and there's nothing to do. Sure, there are always more dishes to be washed and more laundry to be sorted, but this is the first time in my adult life where I have not come home and had to go straight to schoolwork or a contract. I have always, since my second last year of high school, been working. The only summer where I did not take summer classes at University, I worked two jobs. Every other summer, I have worked and taken a load of summer classes. So now, when I get home from work, the only balancing act is: Should I knit? Should I read -- for pleasure? Should I do housework?

It is beautiful.

On to knitting! Here is a FO I finished over the summer: a dragonskin scarf for my mother.

Project: Choke, by Ailsa Daly
Made for: Mum's 50th birthday
Yarn: Tanis Fibre Arts fingering weight in Royal Flush

I really liked the pattern (so cool! Dragon scales!) and have gushed about this yarn before.. Both are highly recommended! I intend to make this scarf again, but not with a hand-painted yarn -- as beautiful as it is, I felt like it hid the stitch definition. And, I stand by my earlier assertion: So cool! Dragon scales!!!!!!!

Ooh, look at how beautiful the yarn is!!!!!! The yarn is from the same fibre artist as the yarn I used to knit Jenny's Scarf -- I vowed to never again knit a scarf with sock yarn, but holy moly, it is so beautiful and irresistible! One day, I'll knit socks.. Maybe.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

This is a few weeks old, but it is a really great essay. Whatever your political leanings, don't forget to vote in Canada's federal election on Tuesday.

To be creative is, in fact, Canadian

What sort of country do we want to live in? What sort of country do we already live in? What do we like? Who are we?

At present, we are a very creative country. For decades, we've been punching above our weight on the world stage - in writing, in popular music and in many other fields. Canada was once a cultural void on the world map, now it's a force. In addition, the arts are a large segment of our economy: The Conference Board estimates Canada's cultural sector generated $46-billion, or 3.8 per cent of Canada's GDP, in 2007. And, according to the Canada Council, in 2003-2004, the sector accounted for an “estimated 600,000 jobs (roughly the same as agriculture, forestry, fishing, mining, oil & gas and utilities combined).”

But we've just been sent a signal by Prime Minister Stephen Harper that he gives not a toss for these facts. Tuesday, he told us that some group called “ordinary people” didn't care about something called “the arts.” His idea of “the arts” is a bunch of rich people gathering at galas whining about their grants. Well, I can count the number of moderately rich writers who live in Canada on the fingers of one hand: I'm one of them, and I'm no Warren Buffett. I don't whine about my grants because I don't get any grants. I whine about other grants - grants for young people, that may help them to turn into me, and thus pay to the federal and provincial governments the kinds of taxes I pay, and cover off the salaries of such as Mr. Harper. In fact, less than 10 per cent of writers actually make a living by their writing, however modest that living may be. They have other jobs. But people write, and want to write, and pack into creative writing classes, because they love this activity – not because they think they'll be millionaires.

Every single one of those people is an “ordinary person.” Mr. Harper's idea of an ordinary person is that of an envious hater without a scrap of artistic talent or creativity or curiosity, and no appreciation for anything that's attractive or beautiful. My idea of an ordinary person is quite different. Human beings are creative by nature. For millenniums we have been putting our creativity into our cultures - cultures with unique languages, architecture, religious ceremonies, dances, music, furnishings, textiles, clothing and special cuisines. “Ordinary people” pack into the cheap seats at concerts and fill theatres where operas are brought to them live. The total attendance for “the arts” in Canada in fact exceeds that for sports events. “The arts” are not a “niche interest.” They are part of being human.

(Continued here)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

I'm knitting. Really.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Reckless acts of swappery!

I participated in my first ever swap this summer, with the lovely ladies of Montreal Knits. The price range was $20-30, and we were supposed to send a knitted item -- though this wasn't entirely clear to me at first, ha, and I know I'm not the only one. Personally, I knit a couple of small items because I wanted to send some gorgeous yarn to my partner.

I haven't actually met any of the group members yet, but am hoping to start going to their Knit Nites now that I am done school. My partner really spoiled me, exceeding all expectations! Check it out:

BEAUTIFUL Warani yarn. 50% Suri Alpaca, 50% Extra Fine Merino. It is so luxurious and I love the colour! I am going to try to hunt down another skein, or one in a complimenting colour, perhaps to make some mitts for myself. Haven't really decided on a project, but it is gorgeous, and I'll need to find it asap as the distributer has discontinued it.

Yeah, I am flashing Wu-Tang as I model these fingerless mitts! I spent Thursday transcribing part of a Wu-Tang documentary at work, so decided to show my support as Jack snapped a pic of these mitts. They are a perfect fit, and are exactly my colours. I am looking forward to wearing these on my autumn bike rides to and from work. Jack really likes em too, and I suspect he'd like his own pair..

WOAH! SO MANY GOODIES! Nifty spring-less safety pins (I have been wanting these, but haven't seen them in my travels), gorgeous handmade beaded stitch counters, yummy lip gloss, fine fibre wash, tape measurer, handmade DPN holder (so clever! I'm so glad to have this!), 2 sets of DPNs, Robyn's Nest magnet, Motown CD, and Vanilla Clodhoppers! Yeah, those have almost all been eaten. I have already used the handmade stitch markers, and they work really well! They have me considering a new technique for making stitch markers (note the cool Stewie and Godiva tins holding the stitch holders),

MY FIRST KNITTING MAGAZINES. I am really excited about these! Have already marked off some interesting patterns, and I can't wait to read all of the articles and tips. Being a self-taught knitter, this is exciting for me. I am considering asking for a subscription for Christmas, so this is a great chance to check out 2 major knitting magazines.

Honestly, it is like she looked at the survey that I filled out at the start of the swap and managed to pick out all of my favourite items. I am so, so pleased and thankful for everything.

I sent off my package today -- it was ready to go earlier this week, except for stitch markers.. I couldn't find my wire to make them! But we did a big clean-up yesterday and of course the wire turned up. So I made the stitch markers this morning, and posted the parcel. I won't say anything else about it though, just in case..!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just popping in to say..

I'm done my undergraduate degree!

I just got home from writing my last exam of a Joint honours degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.

The best surprise was getting back an essay after the exam and finding I'd been given an A, which I was not expecting! Honestly, I thought that it was the worst paper I'd ever written, and was much happier with the other essay that I handed in prior to the exam (the full grade of the course is comprised of 2 essays + final exam -- which itself had 2 essays). So, I'm done!

This is completely unrelated to my blog, but I am just so excited and happy. I had to blab somewhere! Ah, now to go back to reading for pleasure..

Friday, August 15, 2008

Soup Recipe

Last winter I had a hankering for Mulligatawny Soup, so I looked up some recipes, and combined all of the elements that looked delicious. Here's what I came up with:


3 cloves garlic, minced
ground cumin (approx 3 Tbsp)*
curry powder (approx 2 Tbsp)*
chili powder (approx 1 Tbsp)*
random Mexican hot sauce
1/4 cup butter
4 boneless skinless half chicken breasts, cut to large bite-sized pieces
8 cups chicken stock (I made mine with bullion cubes because I didn't have a whole chicken to work with)
2-3 stalks celery, sliced
3-4 carrots, sliced
1-2 potatoes, diced
1 can peas, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper (should be peppery)
1 medium-sized MacIntosh apple (or other tart apple) peeled, cored and diced
1 cup plain yogurt
lemon juice (approx 2 Tbsp)
2/3 cup cream (I used 15% but use what you prefer)
chopped fresh parsley or cilantro to garnish

In skillet or wok, heat butter and 1 Tbsp cumin over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides.

Add chicken to stock with liberal splash of hot sauce, cover and cook on low heat. Drain all but 1 Tbsp liquid from wok and add garlic and spices. Add carrots, celery, potato, splash of hot sauce, and a ladle-full of stock. Cook on medium-low heat for approx 10 minutes, stirring often.

Transfer veggies and liquid to soup pot. Add peas, salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. (At this point, I removed some of the soup for Jack as he did not want apples, yogurt, or cream in his soup.)

Stir in yogurt and apple. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Skim off fat if necessary.

Stir in lemon juice, then add cream.

Serve garnished with fresh parsley or cilantro.

*I'm really not sure how much spice I use when I cook, this are guesstimates. Taste it and adjust to your liking.

Friday, August 8, 2008

FO: Shoulder Warmer (with mods)

Finally, she posts a FO!

I have been very busy lately and haven't had time to knit (sob!) BUT I just had the last class of my undergraduate career.. Only one last exam! It has been fun and I love being in school (still trying to figure out how to be a professional student), but I am ready for some real world action. Anyway, on to the knitting!!

Project: Shoulder Warmer
Pattern Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet, by Julia Allen
New Skills: Err.. "Knitting a garment in 2 days" is a skill, yeah?

I obviously was in the middle of talking to someone in the above picture, so excuse the funny face!

The English editor inside me feels the need to say that this is not a caplet, but the misnomer can be traced back to Anthropologie, so don't give me any flack!

This was a great pattern, and knit up quite quickly. The yarn was also quite nice; I love the colour and it is so squishy!! It was a bit itchy when I first tried it on, but it feels great after washing and blocking. All in all, this was a quick and satisfying knit. I kept track of my notes, in case anyone else plans to knit this with worsted-weight yarn. I hope that someone finds this helpful:

Size: Small
Yarn: 5 balls of Jojoland worsted-weight wool (100m/110y per ball). I finished the body with four balls, but needed to use a fifth to BO the body and hem the sleeves.
Needles: 6.5mm
Gauge: approx. 7 sts over 2”

NOTE: You will have quite a few stitches on your needles if you use straights; it might be easier to work this back and forth on circs.

Holding yarn double-standed, CO 56sts on 6.5mm needles.
Work seven rows seed stitch.

Begin raglan (I placed my stitch markers as follows-- Row 1, RS: [2st seed border], K7, yo, pm, K1, pm, yo, K8, yo, pm, K1, pm, yo, K18, yo, pm, K1, pm, yo, K8, yo, pm, K1, pm, yo, K7, [2st seed border])

You will knit rows 2&3 a total of 13-14x, until each sleeve has 34 or 36sts.

Separate sleeve stitches and place on waste yarn. Continue stockingette body for another 3.5", then do 2 rows seed st and BO.

Finish sleeves with 2 rows seed st and BO.


Okay so I'm not a huge video game nerd, but the geek in me feels all warm and fuzzy:

Someone is knitting the entire first level of Super Mario Bros! She has got quite a bit done so far. You can check in on her process here.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


I'm not a part of this swap, but liked the questionnaire. I have replaced "dishcloth" with more applicable terms where necessary:

Keepin' Cool in Summer Dishcloth Exchange Questionnaire:
1. Do you Knit or Crochet? For how long?
I taught myself how to crochet three or four years ago, but haven't done much with it. I would have to pull out my booklet to guide through making anything. I taught myself how to knit a year and a half ago, but only really got into it last fall. I am addicted.

2. Do you enjoy using metal, wooden, or some other kind of needle/hook?
My grandmother gave me all of her spare needles, so I mostly knit on old English aluminums. I also like bamboo, and would love to try wooden needles.

3. What are your favourite types of yarn? Any you just can't stand?
I love natural fibers: wool, merino, alpaca.. I would love to try camel and bamboo. I am not a fan of synthetics, but will tolerate a blend if it is washable. I really dislike novelty yarns and anything that squeaks and looks cheap.

4. When it comes to yarn, are there any brands you'd love to try and haven't?
I am still so new to knitting that I feel like I have barely tried anything! I would love to buy more yarn from small companies, or individuals, especially in Canada.

5. When you make knitted items, do you use them yourself, or tend to give them as gifts?
I think it is pretty balanced at the moment. I have a whole queue of projects I love that I am trying to work through; some items are for myself, but I am always working on at least one gift.

6. Do you have a favourite colour? Any that you dislike?
I like blues, especially deep ones. I wear a lot of black; refuse to wear pink except on my undies or socks. I like all colours, really, but some reds/oranges/yellows don't suit my complexion.

7. What colour(s) (if any!) are your kitchen and bath decorated in?
Well my current residence is not a place I am investing money in, as I hope to buy a home next summer. I'd like a blueish-grey walls with white accents for the bathroom. Kitchen would depend on the layout and lighting -- anything from bright red to warm cream.

8. What are your favourite scents around the house?
Citrus -- grapefruit, orange, tangerine.

9. What is your very favourite thing about summer?
Flowers and grass and leaves on the trees. Birdsong.

10. What is your least favourite thing about summer?
Smelly, grumpy people on suffocating buses and metros.

11. Do you use soap or body wash in the shower?
Body wash.

12. What scents do you enjoy in the bath?
Again, citrus. Also, mango, strawberry, raspberry.

13. What is your favourite stitch pattern?
I will always love seed stitch, but don't have a favourite. I'd really love a stitch dictionary; virtual is okay, but a book would be a dream!

14. What sort of treats do you enjoy? Sweet or Salty?
Both! I like to snack on almonds or cashews, but absolutely LOVE candy: red licorice, vanilla Clodhoppers, sour rings.. I eat a lot of fruit though. It's cheaper than candy.

15. Imagine today is one of the hottest days of the year - what do you do to keep cool? Or are you one of those folks who loves the hot weather?
Oh, I stay inside my nice cool home and sip tasty beverages. I always keep a drinking glass in the freezer so that my milk or juice can be extra cold when I drink it.

16. What sorts of hobbies do you enjoy besides knitting or crocheting?
I like to sew, and am anxiously awaiting a home where I can have a garden (currently have 0 lawn, not even a balcony or rooftop!). I spend a lot of my free time reading. When I knit, I like to watch funny shows like "Dog Bites Man," "King of the Hill" or "Home Movies."

17. Do you collect anything (besides yarn!)
I don't have enough space for collectibles!

18. Are you on Ravelry? If so, share your ID!
Yes, it is a great a resource for free patterns! I rarely use the yarn recommended in the patterns I knit, so the yarn index list helps me find a comparable substitute.
My username is loveasaverb

19. Do you have any allergies?
Pineapple :(

20. Do you have any pets?
I have a wonderful American Staffordshire who I would love to brag about, but I'll save you the agony and just say she is the most affectionate, clever, and well-behaved dog I've ever met. We also have a Persian cat who is older than I am (she is 24 and going strong!). She really has character and interrupts conversations to meow at me.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Need to get these thoughts out of my head; the knitting is taking precedence over the homework!

I wore my shoulder warmer to a friend's vernissage last night. Here is an action shot that was snapped when I wasn't paying attention:

Yes, I really am that lanky. My friends absolutely loved it and couldn't believe that I had made it myself. They were quite impressed, which of course was a huge compliment to me! I had a few nice pictures taken as well, and am waiting to for my friend to send them my way. Also got an actual shot of the bf and I, which is quite rare and therefore exciting. The vernissage was at the bar I used to bartend at -- don't think I've been back since last summer. I got pretty pissed off when I found out that I was supposed to be payed by the bar every night -- after working 5 or 6 months in which I was told the only money I made were my tips. "It's not retroactive," the owner laughed, when I told him that I hadn't been paid at all. Anyway, they have fixed it up quite nicely and my friend's photos looked wonderful.

In other news, I made myself a big yarn shopping list (and an appropriately named document, saved right in the middle of my desktop for easy access!). There are quite a few projects that I am eager to get started on.. My next visit to Ottawa (should be in a week or two) will involve going to a lovely little store that is crammed full of all sorts of yarn priced ridiculously low: odd balls, discontinued colours, et cetera. So I have a made list of which yarn is required for which projects, and I will shop for as many as I can. I want to make (in general order):
-- pair of felted Christmas stockings for the bf and I
-- the diamond rib lace shrug
-- a little cape for myself, though that will be a frivolous treat
-- the February Lady Sweater -- though I really should finish the Mrs. Darcy cardigan first!

I should be thinking in terms of Christmas knitting.. A sweater for bf (he has asked for Mr. Stripey, in black-grey-brown though I'm dreading another double-knit.. takes so long!). Decide on a scarf for the skein of Malabrigo intended for my grandmother. Find yarn for a scarf or shawl for Jack's mum -- have never met her, so I will just choose something gorgeous and hope for the best.

I am also taking part in my first swap (!!), through the local Ravelry group. I am pretty excited and have some need ideas for my swap partner. Hope she likes everything!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

A promise that pictures will come soon:

I have been quite productive! In two nights, I knit myself a turquoise shrug, based on Julia Allen's "Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet." I washed it and set it to block yesterday and it should be dry by tonight. The yarn (same as I'm using for Mrs. Darcy) is absolutely beautiful -- I love the colour and the sqooshiness of the wool. Knitters, you do know what I mean when I talk about "sqooshiness," right? The wool felt a bit scratchy when I tried it on, but the wash should have softened it up.

I don't think I've ever knit anything so quickly! Two nights! It didn't even make it onto my "on the needles" list in the sidebar. I also basically re-wrote the pattern, as I decided it would be quicker if I knit the shrug with double-stranded yarn. I will post my instructions once I have some pics; they will hopefully be useful to anyone else wanting to make a size small with double-stranded yarn.

The scarf that I am making for my brother's birthday gift is close to being done.. Well, the knitting at least -- then I have to weave in all those ends. Ugh. I did about.. seven stripes (so, fourteen ends) last night before I got fed up. The ends sometimes poke out of the scarf that I made the bf last year, so I might need to re-evaluate my technique.. That's one of the downsides of being a self-taught knitter: I'm not always sure if there is a better way to do something. Well, practice makes perfect! And I suppose I could get off my butt and try to make to a social gathering -- there are a few knit nights that take place fairly close by, but they never seem very convenient.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Excitement, and a contest

IT'S DONE! I finished knitting my Hush Hush project this afternoon, and am really excited to block it. It is still in my sidebar at 99% until it is washed and blocked. I will hopefully add pics to my Rav project page soon, so the Ravelry users can see what all my excitement is about. Stay tuned.

ALSO I am very happy to share this wonderful contest with you. It is so easy to enter! Because I am a little bit incompetent tonight and can't figure out how to turn this button into something clickable, look at this:

(oooh.. ahh..) and click here. You have until July 31st.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

And it goes on and on and on and on..

For most of the past seven months, I've had less than one hour of knitting time per week. ISN'T THAT INSANE?? Any and every knitting project seems to take ages to complete.

Two weeks ago, my schedule opened up quite a bit so I am trying to buckle down on one particular project.. currently known as Hush-Hush. I'm working on it for my mother's 50th birthday; it is in her colours and an absolutely gorgeous stitch pattern.

Yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts; colourway "Royal Flush" (middle skein). On the left is Tanis's "Lilac" and on the right is Malabrigo "Snow Bird."

(I don't think she knows I have a blog but don't want to give out too many details -- just in case!)

However, I (somewhat foolishly) decided to use a sock yarn for this project.. I LOVE the yarn and LOVE the colours, but my goodness, it is taking ages. I worked really hard on Hush-Hush for the past two days, and went from being 20% done the project to 75% done. YAY ME. Current length is 50", and I am aiming for 66" before blocking..

THEN I still have to block. Which isn't a problem; I rather like blocking. It is a productive, almost relaxing process and I love to see the piece take its proper shape before my eyes. I was intimidated the first time that I had to do it, but holy moly it is so easy and so worthwhile. I won't do it here, but at my sister's the next time I head to Ottawa. The yarn can be machine washed, then I'll set it out to block. However, this means that I'll have Hush-Hush laying around chez moi for about a month before it is blocked and gifted! It's so soft and lovely that I'll have to hide it from myself..!

I can't wait to post the awesome pattern that I am using! And to show pictures! If you're on Ravelry you can get a sneak preview -- in the left-hand column of this blog, click on the "where my stitches at?" button to find my profile and browse my projects.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Corbin (wip)

I estimate that I will have 100 ends to weave in when this is done.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Needle Conversion Chart

For knitting needles and crochet hooks:

Just a quick note to update you on what I am working on right now:

The Mrs. Darcy cardigan has been given a bit of a rest -- I need to do some frogging and calculating for it, and really don't have the mental energy (or inclination) to work on it right now. I am hoping to complete it by late summer/early autumn, but that will depend on my work situation.

The Hush-Hush Royal Flush project is coming along well, but holy moly it is slow going! My deadline is late August, so I still have plenty of time for it. The yarn is so so lovely; I am really glad that I grabbed two skeins of hand-dyed yarn from Tanis Fiber Arts.

Last week I picked up some yarn for a quick project. My brother requested a scarf, so I decided to knit one for his birthday gift. Yes, his birthday is in August, but he goes to University on the other side of the country. Thia way, he will have the scarf when it starts getting chilly. I wanted it to be inexpensive and washable (boys are messy, you know!) so I grabbed a few skeins of acrylic. Here are the colours:

Unfortunately, I couldn't find four appropriate colours of the same brand, so one of the skeins is a bit thicker. It affects the width of the scarf ever-so-slightly, so the stripes are narrowest for that yarn.

More to come!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Maddy's Jacket

Wow, it has been a while since I've posted here! I've had a FO to share, but it was waiting to be gifted so it was a bit hush hush. Here it is:

Project: Maddy's Jacket
Made for: baby Lawrence
Pattern: Peach Blossom Baby Jacket by Looking Glass Knits
New Skills: Raglan, first jacket, DPNs

You may notice that the sleeves looks a little off: the jacket is actually knit in twisted stockingette, whereas the sleeves are regular stockingette. It wasn't done on purpose -- this project helped me realize that I've been wrapping the yarn the wrong way on the purl sts, so it has been twisting. I knew something was up! Some fellow self-taught leftie knitters on lj helped me figure out what I was doing wrong. I still think it looks cute, but wish the sleeves matched!

The pattern said that this could all be done on straights, but there was no way I could pick up the sleeve stitches -- so it forced me to learn how to use DPNs a little sooner than I'd planned to.

Otherwise, the pattern was excellent and I really love the finished product. I wanted something that was not too cutesy or traditional to match the parents' personalities.

I started knitting this before the gender of the baby was known and used some blue acrylic* I've had for a while, and picked up some lovely soft yellow to compliment it. I think it would look sweet on either gender, but baby ended up being a girl so I picked up some yellow buttons to finish it off. She definitely won't fit into it for a little while, but I'm excited to see how it looks on her

It's not perfect, but I think it is pretty adorable for my first sweater.

*NOTE baby clothes and blankets generally should not be knit with acrylic. They are traditionally knit with wool because it burns very reluctantly, and is self-extinguishing (the flame will go out when taken away from the source of fire). Acrylic, on the other hand, could melt into a baby's skin. Of course, you hope your baby won't be surrounded by flames, but remember that he/she has no way to move away from them. I only used acrylic because this is a jacket, not sleep wear, so she won't be unattended while wearing it. I also let the parents know, and they were glad to hear that it is machine-washable!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feather & Fan Scarf

I wanted to knit a light, lovely scarf for my Great Aunt Jenny who is dying of cancer. She lives in England and I can't go visit, but I wanted to send her a tangible expression of love, comfort, and well wishes.

Project: Jenny's Scarf
Pattern: Easy Lace Scarf by Knitters Review
Made for: Aunt Jenny
New skill: Lace knitting, beaded fringe

I had a moment of panic while knitting -- what if wool is irritable to cancer patients? Would a lace scarf be appropriate for springtime on the southern English coast? I was reassured, and finished knitting it a few days later. I used some lovely sock yarn that was hand-dyed by a local fiber artist. I highly recommend the yarn -- the colours are gorgeous, the price is right, AND this 80% wool -- 20% nylon blend is machine washable and dryable. Check out Tanis Fiber Arts on Etsy.

After blocking, the scarf measured 6' (before blocking, it was as long as my desk at work, I'll have to measure that on Monday!).

I decided it could use some embellishment, so I headed over to the neighbourhood bead shop and picked up some pretty gold beads, figured out how to wrangle them onto the yarn, et voila.

I wrapped up the scarf with a nice bar of Verbena-scented soap and mailed it off on Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Old Shale

Yes! I finished knitting on Monday, and blocked it tonight. Should be dry in the morning..

I'm thinking I will add beaded fringe, so I'll need to head over to Bidz soon.. Probably won't have a chance until this weekend -- maybe tomorrow, if they're open into the evening.

I'll tell the story of it when I post the final pictures.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Nintendo DS Lite Cover

Project: DS cover
Pattern: Seamless Nintendo DS Lite Sock by Kathryn Ivy
Made for:
New skill: Seamless double-knit pouch

I'm not the type to knit cozies for items just for the sake of having cozies. I did, however, want my (ok, the bf's) DS Lite protected from scratches.

I was going to knit this using the leftover skein from Jack's mosaic scarf. He always carries his PSP in a case, so I thought he'd like one for the DS as well. Good thing I told him before knitting it -- he told me he wouldn't use a case for the DS so I should save my yarn; he has one for PSP only because the screen is exposed. I always have a ton of crap in my purse and didn't want the DS to get too badly scratched, so I made one anyway. Just in purple instead.

This yarn is leftover from the calorimetry that I made my sister for her birthday. It is absolutely lovely, I recommend it: Queensland Collection Rustic Wool in colour 09.

And yes, that's an Ice Blue DS. Isn't it lovely? It has been loaded it up with Tetris, Sudoku, and old school Mario Bros for me to play, along with a ton of other games I just haven't tried!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Monsteress's Extra Yummy PB Cookies

1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 Tbsp crunchy peanut butter
1 Tbsp smooth peanut butter
Dash of water
Dash of salt
1 1/4 cup flour (might need an extra sprinkle)

Mix the milk, egg, pb and water in a large bowl. Add salt and gradually mix in flour. Roll out the dough and cut with your favourite cookie cutters.

Bake at 350'

(I love my dog, and my cookie cutter!)

Friday, March 28, 2008


I started this blog with the intention of showcasing my creations, but phew, I am so tired lately. I will use this post to show off a project I finished in November:

Project: Mosaic scarf
Pattern: Matilda by Silke Hupka
Made for:
New skill: Double knit, slip stitch, working with two colours

This scarf is amazing, I am so happy with it! It was my first serious, wanna-make-it-perfect project. I made it as part of Jack's Christmas present and put a lot of time and effort into it. The doubleknit took exceedingly long (I worked on this DAILY for over a month) but makes it so cosy. I chose the brown-grey Kureyon because it looks great with a variety of his jackets.

Yarn: Noro Kureyon, 100% wool, colour 149 (2 skeins); Inca Gold Marra, 70% merino 30% baby alpaca, black (3 skeins). The Kureyon pissed me off, I probably won’t use it anymore: BOTH skeins had that issue where it wasn’t one consistent string of yarn but had been tied to another. This happened in TWO places in the second skein which was spun terribly uneven to the point of near-breakage! Bah. The other yarn was lovely though.

One of the first people to compliment Jack on the scarf were two old ladies who coludn't believe his girlfriend had knit it for him. They told him it was well done and a beautiful pattern -- I think it was good to hear that from someone other than me!

Hand-wash only.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Stitch markers

A couple of months ago, I was working on a project that required stitch markers. I was in a hurry so went and bought a pack from a chain store for a couple of dollars, but really didn't like them. They were big and clunky and made quite large holes where I used them in the piece. I can't post a picture as it is a Secret Project, so just trust me on it..

So, a few days ago I made my own stitch markers:

17 ga wire
needle-nose pliers
wire cutter (sometimes on the pliers)

You also need something to wrap the wire around to make a circle; this should be big enough in diameter that the stitch markers can be used on different sized needles. I used a whiteout pen and they are hanging from a 6mm needle in the picture. You can see that there is plenty of room for them to be slid onto larger needles, and because the wire is such a fine gauge you do not need to wore about noticeable holes in your work where the yarn was pulled over the markers.

1. Cut a piece of wire 3-4"
2. Wrap wire around the pen and twist together for about 0.5"
3. Add beads to one end of the wire
4. Fold the wire over the beads and wind it around the middle.
5. Trim excess wire, press in ends with pliers so it doesn't snag your yarn.

I used beads that I already had, so only had to spend a few dollars on the wire -- and I got tons. This is a quick and simple craft and I plan to make more!

Friday, March 14, 2008