September 29, 2014

Baby Blankets

A friend had a yarn stash that she was hating and thus, I promised to make use of it and then give it back to her.  MWAHAHAHA!  I loved the idea of making a bunch of stuff that I didn't need, but still having something to do - and how better to help a sister out?  I kind of figured that the yarn couldn't be *that* hard to work with - famous last words, right?

Anyhow, I see what the problem was, it's a nice bulky yarn, but it has a fine fiber twisted around it - AND IT GETS CAUGHT ON YOUR FREAKING NEEDLES EVERY TIME.  I mean... erm... it's somewhat irritating to knit with as it's terribly a titch splitty.

So I knit one blanket.
I think the lace may actually make this blanket less pretty.

Then I crocheted two more.
But boy do I ever loves me some bobbles

and shell borders.  SOOO cute.  

Crazy zig-zag stripes!
I hate this yarn.

(Though, I have to admit, it is much much better to crochet with.  Knitting with it SUCKED!)

June 3, 2014

Enormous Cables and End of the World Yarn

I'm fairly certain I've mentioned the yarn that was bought at the Mayan Apocalypse sale a number of times and now I can finally inform you that I am finished making my little lapghan.  It's lovely for throwing across your legs when you curl up in an arm chair to read a book, but really, it's not very big, so mostly that's all it's good for, but man-oh-man is it pretty.

This yarn is super super warm and I love the colour (it's also super warm. heh.  Yeah, I know, I'm not funny.)  It knit up great and was quite lovely to work with, even if I don't enjoy 10 stitch cables.  :)

Must say, I sort of love this little blanket.  I'm a little sad that I didn't have more yarn to work with, but really $24, 8 balls, PURE wool.  It was a steal.

June 1, 2014


Soooo... my sister was learning how to knit... and she was doing pretty well, but she didn't think she could make a particular cowl - so she pretty much sent me the pattern and asked me to make it for her for Christmas.  Well, guess who can't post things that are gifts now that the sisters & mother have figured out that this blog exists - yep, this girl.  And then guess who forgot that she hadn't posted about it.  Yep, still this girl.

Anywho, I kind of sucked at reading the details of the project page and it could have come out more appropriately (ie. I didn't read the directions for knitting in the round and then knit it in the round anyways because seaming is for suckers!), but I love it and I think my sis loves it.  :)

filters are fun, right?
I was so nervous that my sizing was bad when I was finished, it looked so small!  Then I wet blocked the damned thing and hung it to dry - not something I would EVER do if I were not aiming to stretch it - and voila!  Fits great!

May 30, 2014

Catch up

I swear I didn't stop knitting.  There have been a *few* things I have managed to finish lately (well, lately being in the last 7 months) I swear!  Thus, the catch-up FO dumps.  My bad.

Do you know that means the baby-man is 7 months old now?  How did that happen?

Anyhow, I did pretty well with the mystery KAL that I signed up for about a week before my due date.  I think I finished it at the end of November, sadly, I decided to add a zipper instead of buttons as I quite obviously knit the not quite right size for my bigger-than-it-used-to-be body - this is only sadly because I am lazy and have not sewn in the zipper.

Imagine how amazing it will be when it zips up.

Those cables are hawt!
My friend Jess also decided to start teaching people how to crochet and since my crochet skills are somewhat lacking and I wanted to support my friend, I went to her very first class at The Loop in Kensington and we made these lovely little toques.

Oh yeah bitches.  I totally made crochet cables.  Boom.

But of course, what is a toque without mittens?  Nothing.  That is what it is...  so I sort of massively edited a pattern for mittens and made something that sort of matches.  :)  To my surprise, my cable-y mittens got some attention from the pattern designer and my edits are linked from the pattern details page on Rav now.  Woo!  SUPER EXCITING!!!!

Love my mittens!!!

 That's probably enough catch up for one day.  There will be plenty more to come.  :)

May 29, 2014

Crochet Basket

Well, I am beyond behind on my blogging.  Benji came along and took up almost all of my time. Hilariously, I get back in here to try and post a thing or two and what do I find?  A blog post - all written and complete with pictures - just sitting here waiting to be published.  So... here's a good start.  :)

So, this basket was incredibly easy.  It took almost no time at all.  I wanted it to have a little bit more structure (ie. be more rigid) so I doubled my worsted weight yarn and used a K hook.

Teddy Bear Bed!

Sadly, it didn't turn out terribly rigid - but I get this funny feeling that's not how this is supposed to work.  It looks pretty cute though.  :)

October 8, 2013


I had a baby shower to go to this weekend.  Wasn't sure I would make it, but thought I would exercise my right to knit anyways, especially since the expected baby is a girl this time.  Love love love baby girl clothes!

Anyhow, so I had this sweater pattern in my queue.  Honestly, it really seems like it is pretty much the exact same pattern as the vintage hooded baby sweater (minus the hood - but there is a hood in this pattern too, if you go looking for it.)  Anyhow, even though it seemed like a repeat, it's a gorgeous sweater.  :)

And then of course, I had left over yarn - so I made those booties again.  Yes, I am a creature of habit.  Does it matter?  I hope not.

October 1, 2013

October Mystery KAL - Craftsy

I am currently 8 days out from my due date.

There was a mystery KAL on sale at Craftsy.  I will be on mat leave.  These two things go oh so well together (or at least they will until there is a baby to take up all my knitting time.)  So - I bit the bullet and ordered the yarn for the KAL.  :D

The yarn came in the mail today.  Grey.  Woo?  It's super practical - and I guess that's a far cry from the last CAL I participated in - but still...

The pattern also showed up in my email inbox today.  This looks like it's going to be a very very nice sweater.  :)  Even if the colour is a little bit on the boring side.  But really - boring just means it's versatile.

Owl my love!

Yeah, I know, I think I'm funny, but I'm not...

The post title doesn't remind you of the Stones?  *sigh*

Anyhow, OWLS!

I kind of went on a rampage.  I was using up spare yarn.  (Yes, yes, I have lots of spare yarn to use - and this is *nice* stuff too!)  And... well, there is a baby Benji... and there are owl patterns gallore!  So I made some things.

A hat!

Who me?

And a preppy little sweater vest.

Owl detail

Owls all in a row

I'm still deciding if I want to add eyes to all of the owls, or one of the owls on the sweater vest - and if it's just one owl - WHICH ONE!  (I'm thinking either centre or just to the right of centre.)

September 21, 2013

"Natural" Cleaning Supplies

So a friend of mine was visiting not that long ago and helped me out with a kettle scale issue.  We had used CLR a couple of times, but since it is so ridiculously corrosive, you can't just let it sit until all the scale comes off and then you have to clean your kettle out about 4 times before you feel comfortable using it for things that are going to be consumed.  Anyhow, suffice it to say that my kettle was a disaster.  So we boiled some vinegar and added baking soda to it and then let it sit overnight.  Voila!  My kettle no longer has ANY scale in it.

Anyhow, this got me excited about all the awesome cleaning supplies you can make on your own.

I already use vinegar in a lot of my household cleaning (and by a lot, I mean it goes into the laundry periodically - mostly with towels and I use a mix of water, vinegar, & a dab of liquid dish soap to mop my hardwood floors.)

Right.  So, then I decided I was going to try out some of the nifty DIY housecleaners on Pinterest.  In particular - DIY laundry detergent - as seen here and DIY household cleaners - as seen here.

For the laundry detergent I left out the Purex crystals because, honestly, they stink.  The author of this particular post seems to really like fragrance.  I do not.  AND - I searched around the interwebs looking for a substitute for Felsnaptha or Zote soap since I CANNOT for the life of me find them.  It does appear that neither is available in Canada.  BUT - it turns out that you can substitute Sunlight Laundry Soap bars for the Zote soap.  Though - it's kind of a crazy conversion!  1 bar of zote soap (14.1oz) = 3 bars of Sunlight soap (130g each).  So... just for grins, I only bought 4 bars of sunlight soap instead of the 6 that this recipe calls for.  We will see how that works out.

As for the DIY household cleaners - so far I have made the "All Purpose Cleaner" and the "Grease Cutter".  I am just looking for a squeeze bottle before I make the tile cleaner.  As for the "antibacterial spray" - I won't be making it - this is because I don't particularly like things like that as I feel it just forces the bacteria to mutate, so my house is full of lots of awesome bacteria.  It never hurt anyone, right?  Sure.

Anyhow, this is the "excitement" in my life right now.  :)  I must admit, I'm hoping these work out awesome.  I'm sure I will update (or just post an update at the end of this post at some point) in the future.

August 31, 2013

Adorable baby girl dress

There seem to be a large number of upcoming baby-girls and I love making things for baby-girls.  In fact, even if no one ever had a baby-girl, I would still make adorable little dresses just coz they're cute.

On that note: upcoming baby-girls = crocheting adorable little dresses!

I found this pattern on ravelry and thought it looked so sweet!  I wasn't really sure about it after having just finished the white though.  So, I added some pink trim and an adorable pink heart pocket.  Oh yes, that is not just applique, it is a fully functional pocket.  Isn't that just what babies need?  Little places to get their hands stuck?  Maybe not the best thought out... but the pocket is cute anyways.

Frilly and pink!


August 25, 2013

Baby Benji sweater

Since we have a little one on the way, I thought I ought to maybe make a thing or two for him instead of just making things for everyone else's babies.

Of course, that means testing new patterns and using up stash yarn.

I'm not a huge fan of how the final product sits (even after a pretty solid blocking).  The mesh pattern makes this sweater a little skewed.  I'm sure it will look great on, but it's not the most fantastic pattern on the planet.

The whole darn sweater

View of the mesh panel

Yes, I did make a mistake on the mesh pattern.  No, I did not catch it.  I don't think it will be that noticeable, but BOY can I ever see it in pictures!!!

August 14, 2013

Best Afghan Ever

So, I got it in my head that I should pound out an afghan (for no reason, at all, whatsoever, I swear.  Ok.  I'm lying.  But I can't tell you why - yet.) and there is this amazing pattern on ravelry - so that's what I did.

This afghan had a surprising construction in that it was crocheted from side to side instead of top to bottom.  I love all the detail work and it was really really interesting.

There was a slight incident involving all the yarn and my coffee for this project.  The floor still bears the proof that when the choice is between yarn and carpet - yarn wins.

Anyhow, not much to say about this one.  It was fun, challenging, turned out great.  Couldn't have asked for a better project.  :)
up close and personal



August 10, 2013

finally finished objects (FFOs?)

Remember that gorgeous shawl that I was working on ages ago?  You know, the one that I promised myself I had to finish and then royally screwed up the graft?

I finished it!  Finally!

It took a lot of solitary time - 1st to pull out the remainder of that awful graft, 2nd to move all the stitches so that they were the right way around (and to ensure I hadn't dropped any), and 3rd to peacefully, quietly, and patiently redo the graft.

So, it's done!  :)

Then I blocked it and put it away, coz I don't know where to wear it.

All blocked and finished!

The finished product has taught me two things though:
Lesson 1.  Shawls are always nicer in lace-weight yarn.
Lesson 2. Patterned shawls are always nicer in solid coloured yarn.

Oh well.  :)
Look at all those stripes detracting from the pattern!

July 5, 2013

Baby Booties Reprise

So I had this wonderful idea to make some booties to go with the cardigan I made for baby-bob (Nolan).  It was the night before my gf's last day of work.  So I was in a mad panic trying to get these booties made in an evening - not the smartest thing to do, but not impossible either.  I wanted to bring the entirety of the giftie to work and send her off with it.  I thought I could finish off the booties on the train.

I was so focused on the booties and getting them done, that I forgot the remainder of the gift - all gift wrapped and sitting by my front door.  Woops.  So the whole thing came a little later than was planned.

On a positive note - I did finish those booties on the train.

These are the same booties I made to go with the vintage cardigan - but I followed the pattern this time instead of a modified option.  I'm not sure which I like better.  The mods are super cute, but way more work - and the original pattern also makes super cute booties.

June 20, 2013

Baby-bob’s Giftie!

One of my gfs is having a baby near the end of June (read: had her baby yesterday).  Apparently this baby is male – so they dubbed him baby-bob.  Then I started feverishly working on a cardigan for a baby-bob so that he would have a lovely giftie for when he was born. 

The cardigan came out so well; I am very pleased.

Baby-bob will be a dashing little man.

The pattern was a touch difficult to follow as it was all written in paragraphs as opposed to bullet points.  It worked out pretty well all in all though.  Somehow I managed to make two front sides that were the same and the seaming – though tedious (as always) – was not as horrible as it could have been. 

Then came the search for buttons.  I happened to be by a quilting store and they had these amazing square buttons that looked so cute – but they were $0.99 a piece!  I needed 4.  That seemed like a lot for 4 buttons.  Then I looked down, there before my wondering eyes was a bucket of buttons and a ladle – no I’m not kidding – with a label that read “button soup.” So I filled a bag of buttons – and made sure to include some round beige buttons – and paid only $3 for more buttons than I could possibly ever use.  This, of course, does not mean that I will not be on the hunt for buttons again.  It just means I have a better chance of starting my button search at home. 

Oh… right.  I almost forgot.  I made a blankie for baby-bob too.  I’ve made this pattern before and it is easy and comes out so pretty.  I changed the border to something more akin to the border for this pattern and managed to sneak just the slightest hint of blue into baby-bob’s lovely new blanket.

I hope he likes them!

June 13, 2013

Work for hire – Newborn baby hat – Bear

My mom has recently retired – read, left her job as a teacher and started working at a jewellery store.  This is awesome for me because I can buy myself awesome diamond studs for a ridiculously inexpensive price tag.  Oh yes.  It also became awesome for me because one of her co-workers had a friend having a baby.  She wanted a baby-bear-hat made.  Mom offered up my skills.  So for the first time ever, I made something that was not for me / anyone I know. 

How’d it turn out?  Well, it’s fine.  I had a few issues with the pattern.  1. the sizing is all wrong.  I ended up going to a K hook and doubling the yarn (ie. Crocheting with two strands) and am STILL shy on the width.  It’s close enough now, but really?  Come on.  2.  I just don’t really like it that much.  I guess this is the joy of working for a “client” you make what they want – rather than something you’d like to make. 

cute enough, but not really my style.

So, the outcome?  I sold something.  That’s interesting enough.  Would I do it again?  Sure… as long as it wasn’t too hard.  Will I love it?  No.

June 6, 2013

Sapphire socks for mom

I found this pattern ages ago and had the “perfect” yarn for it.  Or so I thought.  These socks seem to have worked out well in the end, but I was freaking out near the beginning because there was so much purple / burgundy.  I couldn't see the pattern and thought I had made a giant mistake when it came to colouration. 

When the yarn finally started changing colours though, these turned into magic.  The pattern makes the socks *look* like they were really difficult to make, when in fact they were really very simple. 

So bright!
 LOVE this pattern.  LOVE the outcome.  So pretty.

May 30, 2013

Booties to match vintage cardigan

Ok, back to some knitting progress.  It is seriously a good thing that Rav has the option to sort on most recently completed, otherwise I’d be forgetting to put a lot of things up here. 

Anyhow, you know that awesome vintage cardigan I made?  Well, I wanted booties to go with it (since I had leftover yarn and all).  These came up as an adorable option for the aran weight yarn I just had sitting around taking up space and so I set off to work on them.  I am seriously the laziest knitter ever because these have been sitting in a drawer finished – aside from a button! – for what feels like months! 

Even after finishing off these adorable booties, I still have yarn leftover.  A hat was definitely a consideration, but I may just want to nix that since the sweater already has a hoodie.  I might be able to just leave this yarn in my stash as a “precious” for later on when I need some scrap yarn. 

May 3, 2013

Not even kind of about knitting

See the sidebar that says "I may start posting more fun stuff about life in general"?  Yep, that's where we are today.

I do have knitting that is finished, but that can wait for next time (maybe by then I'll have a little more done).

Anyhow, as those of you who know me will already know, my husband is a freelance artist with a major focus on comics.  This means we spend a few weekends a year being a presence in Artist's Alley at the cons in the province and this past weekend was Calgary.  It's our 3rd year in a row being exhibitors in Calgary (read home) and trying to eke out some funds from this whole art thing.

Personally, I am not really a geek so much.  Video games were banned in my house growing up.  We never did have a Nintendo (yes, I am one of those kids who would come over and try to make Mario jump by shaking the controller up and down vigorously.)  However, somehow I did step into that world before having met Dave - computer games weren't banned, so I played many many hours of Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. (MANY MANY hours).  Though, I must admit, Dave did find some lacking in my geek knowledge - he would laugh that I say this, as he refers to my lack of knowledge regarding geek culture to be that I "grew up under a rock".  I also must admit that even though I tell Dave I've never seen Star Wars or Indiana Jones (he fixed that already, don't worry) that I was sort of lying.  I remember my parents renting these things when I was little.  It was a movie.  We watched it - once - probably in the 80's sometime around when I was 8 years old and had better things to do than remember every movie I watched (or rather, these specific movies).

That being said, I do love geek culture.  There is so much fun stuff - and as Wil Wheaton said -  it's great to be surrounded by people who are brought together by love.

Over the past few years of going to these cons I have learned a lot about superheroes in particular.  Now I can mostly pick out costumes.  I remember being stared at in disbelief the first time I asked "who was that supposed to be?"  It's getting to the point that if I don't know, they're either really obscure characters or Dave has no idea either.

I'm getting off topic though - the point was that we were at the Calgary Expo this past weekend, and it was fantastic.  Every year we have fantastic table neighbours who are so nice and welcoming and willing to share their booth set-up tips or spread the word about other Canadian cons.  The exhibitors look out for each other and will do the rounds to say hi to table neighbours from previous years.  We spend one weekend with these people a year - and it's always nice to see their smiling faces the next time.

In addition to getting to know our neighbours, somehow we are getting to know the people who come by the booth year after year in ten minute increments - and they seem to actually care about how things are going for us.  Now that is something you don't find every day.  People at work may ask how you are doing, but they don't really care.  They want you to say "fine" and continue with your day.  There was a lot of warmth and heartfelt congratulations and stories shared this past weekend from people we meet once a year for a few minutes at a time.  I am just blown away by the sense of community at these conventions and how you can run into people time and again and they remember you.  You contributed to their con before, you had a conversation, and they appreciate that and reciprocate.

On top of all the new / old friends - I ran into some old / old friends from back in my university days, when I was still trying to get as close to the palaeontology world as possible (without needing a phd).  I lived in Drumheller for a couple summers near the beginning of my university career and met some fabulous people.  It's been 13 years since the first summer I lived there - I was 18.  Those summers were a lot of fun and the people I found didn't quite fit into the small town scene - they've since left Drumheller for the greener pastures of Calgary and Edmonton and it's kind of unbelievable that after all these years we still remember those summers and the people that made them so great.

I am so grateful that these conventions bring so many people together in such a fabulous showing of community.  I couldn't be happier to be a newcomer to this community and be welcomed just the same as people who can geek out to a degree that baffles me.  Thanks Calgary.  :)

April 20, 2013

Delinquent Blogger

I have excuses.  Do you want my excuses?  Not really?  Well, you're getting them anyways coz it'll make me feel better.
1.  Work has been stupid busy and I have zero drive to accomplish anything when I get home.
2.  I am working on a sweater.  It's a really easy pattern (read: boring).  I no longer want to finish it.  Motivation ~= 0
3.  Sleep.  Yep, I have been actually getting a decent night's sleep lately.  This cuts into knitting time.

Okay, excuses are done.

What the heck have I done since I last blogged?  It's been a while.  HOLY!

Good thing my ravelry can be sorted by "most recently completed"

TA DA! SO, I finished a baby blanket that I've had on the go FOREVER!  So pleased!  And then I packed it up in a drawer, didn't take any pictures and called it done.  Woops.  I must admit, I still don't have a plan for this blanket.  I kind of figured it was for a baby boy.  A friend of mine is having a baby boy, but I already started another blanket for that one.
A picture!  With the border!
Repeat pattern.  I love it though!
I finally finished my rust tweed shrug - again, I did not take a picture, but I have been wearing it.  It's REALLY freaking warm.  Glad I got it done by the end of the winter (being that it's March winter has not yet left us, but it is tantalizingly close to spring... pfft... sweaters).
Best image I have.  I know, it's hard to see.
The L'infinita cowl I was working on gained completion (and photos!  Why have I not blogged this yet?) and then I wore it non-stop.  OMG  I love that thing.
I don't seem to ever wear it long.  But it is a lovely colour.
Of course, I did more stash-busting and made yet another baby sweater.  I might have to take all the things out of my drawer (you know, the non-existent baby stash for possible future?) and take a picture just to let you folks all know how out of hand this is getting.

Okay, so that's everything I've finished recently... how about things I've started.

Starting with the sweater that is sucking my will to live.  "Look how cute it is!  oh and look how easy it is!  I'll just make it for my sister's birthday.  It'll be so fun and easy.  Awww..."  @$*&;%!  I think I have something ridiculous like 250 stitches on my needles at the moment and what I get to do to those 250+ stitches is seed stitch.  FML.  Seriously... why did I think this would be a good idea????  This sweater is WAY too boring.  It consists of stockinette stitch and seed stitch.  It is easy though.  But man, where did my motivation go?  Out the window?  With the fun?  Oh yeah, that's where it went.  I'm hoping when I finally get it off the needles that it will be super super cute and well worth the agony of a FREAKING BORING PROJECT.  **Note to self** you are no longer a beginner.  Stop attempting beginner patterns.  You hate them.
(I am a really really bad blogger and wrote this a couple weeks months ago.  I have since finished this god awful thing.  It's cute.  Sister seems to like it.  Feeling less rage.)
Somehow it looks better when folded in half

Then... remember that gorgeous yarn I bought at the "mayan apocalypse sale".  Ya know, she who dies with the biggest stash wins?  I think I'm about 3 balls into my lap-ghan that I'm making with it.  (I made the pattern a lot thinner).  I love working on this, therefore, it is getting my attention instead of the aforementioned sweater.  Sadly, this means I had to put a moratorium on this lap-ghan in order that I might actually get the sweater done for deadline #2 (deadline #1 came and went and I was not finished - deadline #2 is when Katy gets back from school - March 18th.  gah!)
Love the yarn.  Going to be quite the teeny blanket though.
Mmmkay... so now all I have to do is go take a whole ton of pictures and put them in this freaking post - otherwise... Most.  Boring.  Post.  Ever. (Took me waaaay too long to get pictures, but I did it!)