Saturday, December 22, 2007

the most wonderful time of the year?

I just wanted to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season, and yes I will say Merry Christmas(although the P.C. police will probably pull me over for that, but what the heck) to all you faithful readers, and everyone else who stumbles upon my weird corner of the universe. I probably won't have the chance or much time to post again this year, but you never do know.

I decided to showcase some flakes on the tree this year, and then realized that I gave away most of the ones I made, so it's a bit of a "Minimalist" theme. Oh well, it's less to take off I suppose.

I'll probably be working on the endless list of WiPs that I have during the festivities, when I'm not baking or cooking or doing any of the other millions things you have to do around this time of the year, two of my current projects are pictured below:

This is a cable & bobble scarf, that when complete is supposed to be for me, but there have already been mentions of it being stolen, so who knows.

And just in time to not be completed for Christmas:

The inevitable nordic Christmas stocking, which is my first official Fair Isle project--fun but time consuming, and of course I find myself overly critical about the stitches and keep unravelling...oh well, perhaps Cee will be able to hang it up next Christmas?

So have a wonderful time with your family and friends, make sure you eat and drink too much, laugh too loud and dance really goofy, but if you see one of these little guys cavorting your way during your merry making,

Perhaps it's time to call a cab.
Ho Ho Ho and all that stuff. See you all next year!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

fair and foul

Okay, so don't laugh...or do laugh, it's completely up to you...I decided the other day to try something I'd been scared to do...don't ask me why, I just figured it was going to be beyond my capabilities as a somewhat new knitter. Anywho, as I was saying, the other day I got it in my head to try something scary, and that something scary-ish was fair isle knitting. Now, I'm not that seasoned a knitter, and from what I can tell, and what I've read and been told, knitting fair isle is usually done in the round, so I took my little chart, (of which I'm also not that experienced in using in either crochet or knit) some yarn and I sat down and here's what came out:

I actually had to look up how to carry yarn across in knitting, because I just had no idea (I can hear those snickers and snorts you know!) I know how to in crochet of course, but...well anyway, I was excited that it turned out--sort of--but wondered if the back side was really supposed to look like this:

And then I said out loud (to myself, 'cause that's what I do) "Oh, I guess that's why fair isle is usually done in the round"...??)

I decided like this fair isle stuff, I just may try it again.

Since our foul weather seems to be sticking around, and because I thought they were just too cute, I knitted myself a pair of the 'Subway Mittens' featured in the Winter 2007 Interweave Knits.

Because you just can never have enough mitts...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

snow squalls

Alas, the inevitable has happened...we have our first snow of the year...well the first "permanent" snow anyway. It's quite cold out too, which, I suppose, goes along with the whole snow thing, but it's still a bit of a shock, seeing as how we've had an insanely warm, even hot Fall this year. With the snow comes the annual parade of "people who forget how to drive on snow" accidents--you would think most people who have lived in a northerly clime most or all of their lives would remember that ice is slippery--and news of people keeling over whilst shovelling stuff.

Anywho, I have been churning out thread flakes like there's no tomorrow, mostly for giving purposes, here's a look at a few:

In case you are wondering, yes, they are all the impossibility in Nature as it were, so let's just call it a craft anomaly, which is merely me using the same pattern because it was easier than switching between four or five different ones, especially when you have a bunch to make.

In between crafting the snow storm in my living room, and dealing with everything else that life can throw at a person, I managed to procure Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts magazine, and even though the practicality of this is a leetle bit dubious in my mind, couldn't resist making one of the garter mug cosies:

The reason I questioned the practicality is because I figured this would have to be thrown in the wash all the time (especially if the person who is using the mug/cosy is me) and I think the pattern actually called for 100% wool...which went completely against my better judgment, so I just used some of 'me old suckrylic' I had hanging around, and I think it looks purty good if I do say so myself...I won't say what Cee thought of it...only that he asked me to please not make a 'diaper' for his cup, too. That is Tigger (Tee Eye Double Guh Err) on the cup, by the way, I'm not exactly sure how he feels about it, he's not talking.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Okay, so I got tagged by Sharon for a new meme, thank you Sharon! I know I'm definitely not that interesting, but here goes:

38 things about me that you may or may not want to know: (38, really?)

1. Name one person who made you laugh last night?
Cee, definitely, he makes me laugh all the time, it's one of the things I love about him most.

2. What were you doing at 0800? Today? Most everyday I'm drinking a coffee and debating whether to eat breakfast...thrilling, I know.

3. What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Chatting with my mother-in-law and her sister about 'Dancing with the Stars'--one of their fave programs...I can take it or leave it....mostly leave it.

4. What happened to you in 2006?
Nothing horrific, thank God.

5. What was the last thing you said out loud? "I think I'll make myself a coffee" no-one in particular.

6. How many beverages did you have today? 2 coffees, 1 glass water so far.

7. What color is your hairbrush? Silver with black bristles.

8. What was the last thing you paid for? Umm...groceries last night...again with the thrilling...

9. Where were you last night? At home, where I should be....where were you?

10. What color is your front door? Light brown (think coffee with lots of cream).

11. Where do you keep your change? In a change purse, and an old tin from Harrod's dept. store (no, not the one in London, the one in the Toronto International Airport)

12. What’s the weather like today? Overcast, windy but warm, especially warm for the middle of November.

13. What’s the best ice-cream flavor? Heavenly Hash.

14. What excites you? I'm such a geek, I get excited when I figure out a knitting pattern that was giving me trouble--really it doesn't take much.

15. Do you want to cut your hair? Define cut...if you mean 'off' as in all of it, no...well periodically I do, but other than that I settle for the odd trim.

16. Are you over the age of 25? Let's go with yes...I'll even admit to being 29...for the umpteenth year in a row.

17. Do you talk a lot? Yes, especially to myself.

18. Do you watch the O.C.? Do I watch the O.C. do what? Let's go with no...didn't they take that off the air anyway?

19. Do you know anyone named Steven? Yes, several anyones in fact.

20. Do you make up your own words? All the time, especially when I'm talking to myself.

21. Are you a jealous person? Yes, unfortunately.

22. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘A’. Anne (with an E).

23. Name a friend whose name starts with the letter ‘K’. Kari

24. Who’s the first person on your received call list? Cee, always.

25. What does the last text message you received say? Something from the cel provider about minutes or some crap like that.

26. Do you chew on your straw? I was 5 years old I cut the roof of my mouth really badly with a straw whilst drinking a Dairy Queen chocolate shake (don't ask how...suffice it to say I was clumsy then and I'm clumsy now) and so from then on I've had a strained relationship with straws...

27. Do you have curly hair? Most definitely, it keeps getting curlier as I get older too, no matter what I do.

28. Where’s the next place you’re going to? Well, other than the fact that my inner grammar teacher is going to automatically correct that sentence for ending with a preposition, I suppose the next place I'm going to will be home.

29. Who’s the rudest person in your life? Other than my inner grammar teacher? My brother, he is the biggest, rudest snob I know.

30. What was the last thing you ate? A turkey-bacon & tomato sannywich for lunch.

31. Will you get married in the future? Already there.

32. What’s the best movie you’ve seen in the past 2 weeks? The Monster Squad (how's that for a blast from the past??!) on DVD.

33. Is there anyone you like right now? I like lots of people and animals, too.

34. When was the last time you did the dishes? This morning...oh. so. thrilling.

35. Are you currently depressed? Does it get dark at night? Seriously, something I've had to fight all my know what they say about the tears of a clown...

36. Did you cry today? No...but the day's not over yet.

37. Why did you answer and post this? I had a discussion with myself and we I decided 'what the heck'

38. Tag 5 people who would do this survey. Arrgh, here I must protest...I say if you are reading it and you feel like doing it, go for it.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

i said i'd do it

And so I have...although now some could argue that this post is 'image heavy'...sigh, you can't please all the people all the time I guess.

Here's some of the things I've been making lately, starting with the weirdest (in my opinion, anyway) This is a little mini sweater I made (pattern taken from the Charmed Knits Harry Potter book, I can't recall the real title at this particular moment in time--I blame my ever aging and decreasing brain cells--but the author of it is Alison Hansel):

The tape measure is there for perspective, but then you knew that, didn't you? These little sweaters are meant to be Christmas ornies...I made it cause I was bored watching tv one night and wanted to see if I could do it...which is basically the reason why I choose to knit most everything I make, not 'cause I'm bored, but to see if I can...I also wanted to try some duplicate stitch fair can see by the lack of said duplicate stitch that I suck at of these days I shall perfect it.

Next is a pair of knucks which I finally got around to embroidering:

I just used some contrast yarn with back stitch, since the embroidery floss I tried didn't seem to work, and I suck worse at embroidery than I do at duplicate stitch. Still, I think I did okay, seeing how it was freehand. For the non-knitters out there, these seemingly meaningless letters and numbers are actually knitterspeak for a decreasing term; Slip 1, Knit 1, Pass Slipped Stitch Over. I was debating on doing "knit hook" to also show my crochet pride, or some other oddity, but in the end went with this, and I must say, they have garnered me some strange looks from the 'straights' in the real world, which I secretly love...what can I say, I'm a weirdo in real life, too.

The month of October truly was Socktober for me this year, as I found myself knitting a sack full of socks:

Here is pictured one partially (now fully completed) pair, I have at least 4 others completed last month, all for me to wear in the house this Winter--where else could I wear a pair of socks like this?!

Lastly (and some could really argue the weird factor here) I have pictured a sweater, hat and booties which I made for a little doll. Now, I've seen some people use dolls to model their baby outfits, and I know the general consensus is that it can be a little creepy, but since I made this specifically for the doll, I think they'd give me a break:

I tried my hand at designing here...I took patterns for actual babies and 'smalled' them down...adapted here and redesigned there. All in all I think it turned out pretty cute.

And so there are a few of the things I've been doing lately. I actually have many more pictures, and hopefully can keep posting them here and there.

P.S.--check out Sharon's blog for some really cute knitty Christmas ornies! They are too cute for words!!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

bear with me

Talk about procrastination, we are still without computer, and like my old favourite literary character Blanche DuBois, we seem to be relying on the kindness of strangers...well...not strangers, but Cee's mum, by which I mean we stop by her place to visit and check email once in a while, but tis a little difficult to compose the usual witty (yeah, right, dream on) and insightful blog posts when you are on the clock and being watched (however innocently), much less upload the infinitely crappy pictures of all my obsessively knit or crocheted projects...don't get me wrong, I'm so grateful she lets us make use of her computer, it must be hard to share.

One of these days we shall make up our collective minds and make a decision on some kind of computer-type device...until then, bear with me.

I promise next time to post pics of some really neato things...well hopefully!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

after much anticipation,

and a large amount of requests, I am overjoyed to present an image of the recipient of the epic ghan of graph. Dearest blog readers, I give you Gavin Joseph:

Born October 10, 2007 at a very healthy 9 lbs, 1 oz, but I told you that before. If I'm not mistaken, this picture was taken the day he came home from hospital, so he is two days old here, but already he appears to have very good taste in hats...GO FLAMES GO!!! What can I say, it's our game. He is wrapped up in a blanket not made by yours truly, so hence it is not also a picture of the ghan of graph, but it's nice all the same.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Okay, so remember how in my last post I said that the great expectation was imminent, possibly happening as I was typing....well I must be psychic, cause little mommy had her baby at 1:05 p.m. on Wednesday, October 10...virtually as I was typing that very blog entry!.....shiver me spooky is that?? I think I should start an exciting new career as a knitting medium...I'll have it knitted before you even realize you wanted it....

In any case, mucho congrats to Grammy Pammy on her first grandson, Gavin Joseph, who tipped the scales at 9 lbs 1 oz....and much love and empathy to his mommy, who should be congratulated not only for her new son, but for being one hell of a trouper for pushing out that giant baby!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Well, now that the great expectation out west is imminent, possibly happening as I type, and now that the epic 'ghan of graph' has been sent and is quite possibly being received today by the infamous post system, I suppose I can finally post the crappy pictures I took of my first charted picture afghan. Adapted from a vintage filet thread crochet pattern for a carriage cover (although the practical side of me wonders why anyone would want a carriage cover made out of thread, but maybe I'm thinking carriage cover in some other permutation than it was originally intended back in the day of vintage thread filet patterns), anyway, I digress:

Here's the full frontal view:

And here's the close up views of the panels, such as they are:

The back is, mercifully, exactly the same as the front, except, you know, mirrored. There was much swearing and cramping of hands involved in this, but happily it is done and sent, and hopefully will be well received. Can you guess the sex of the baby??

Perhaps when Grammy Pammy receives this and baby is finally born (we are now 10 days over due and new little mommy is getting understandably cranky) and home, she might take mercy on me and post some decent pictures of Epic on her website...but no pressure...hint hint.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

don't faint, i've got pictures!

Well hello there, it's me, Kiki's digital camera...I've been lonely for a long time because the computer that once so willingly accepted my images has gone to wherever over-priced computers go when they crap out. In any case, she finally got her stuff together and took me in to a place that could get my images off and put them on a cd....never mind the fact that the tech at the store said my memory card was 'so old she'd never seen one like it'--sheesh!--here's some pictures that Kiki took over the last few weeks...maybe I'll be getting replaced soon along with the computer, who knows...

Okay, enough of my camera's musings, here's a couple of pictures of my Mr. Bean-inspired bear I made a while back, here he is, lovingly named Legume:

As you can see by the DVDs, which we own, we are not fans of the show at all. Here's a bit of a close-up on his face and features:

I know what you're saying...Mr's Bean's bear had dark eyes, or sometimes no eyes at all depending on which show you were watching, but this was my preference, so I claim artistic license. He was shamefully easy to make, being that he is almost all garter stitch, and I found the pattern over at Knitting Pattern Central for anyone else who must now have teddy. A word on yarn choice, the pattern is written for dk weight and I used worsted, so my resulting bear is a little larger than the original, but it's just more of him to love.

And now some of my experimental tomatoes, of which the count is over 200, and a few more to come, so yes, 'The Great 'Mater Experiment' of 2007 has been successful, even resulting in a few conjoined tomatoes:

And here's a picture of the first 3 tomatoes that were harvested this year.

And I do have more pictures, but I'll just save them for another time. It's good to be posting images again.

Friday, August 31, 2007

just checking in...

That is all, thanks, bye. Or maybe not all, since everyone who knows me knows I tend to talk or write people's ears off...of course that's only if I know them...but I suppose the innernets is just like having 20 million bestest friends anyway, right? Yeah, I know, like that many people would ever read this blog....

One of these days when we finally get another computer when l figure out how to get the pictures off my digital camera without the software (maybe take it to a store or something? DUH!) and then I can post all of pictures of the the inanely trivial things I tend to photograph. I know you are just dying to see them, aren't you?

The epic "ghan of graph" is--dare I say it?--almost complete. No really, despite the self-destructive perfectionist urge I have to make it just a little bit larger--can you believe it, the single crochet stitches made it just a skosh smaller than I thought?! I can't win with this, can I?--I shall not rip it a second time...that is what borders are for, to make the blanket just that little bit bigger. Despite the love/hate relationship I have developed with this thing, I must say some little part of me does think it's quite cute. I'll still be happy to have it done and out of the house, I'm just sayin'.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

a great big pain in the...hand

Have you ever worked on something for what seems like ages, and then all of a sudden you come to an awful realization, say like you made a mistake near the beginning of a loong scarf or something and didn't notice until you were almost finished? In my case, I worked over a third of a graph afghan and realized that it was going to be waaaay too big....

I should preface this by saying that my wonderful friend Pammy asked me a couple of months ago to make a graph pattern for her first grandbaby due in the Fall, to which I of course agreed. I started it and then promptly left it for a month or so few weeks to finish a few other things and such, thinking, as all procrastinators do: "Well I have until October, LOTS of time!!!" Then a couple weeks ago I realized my lots of time had ticked away, as time will do, and decided to hunker down and start seriously working on this thing....and so I did...and I worked very hard, trying to bang away 10-15 rows a night...and so my hand began to hurt--a lot--and this weekend I decided to take a day or two off from the marathon of evening crochet...and it was at this point that Cee made this innocent comment: "Gee, that's turning out to be a really big blanket...." To which I replied, "Oh.. no...wait, do you think so??" Heartsick, I tried to float down the river of denial for as long as I could, but once the idea was in my head it wouldn't get out, don't you just hate that? And after I measured and did some arithmetic (never my strong point) I figured that by the time this baby blanket was finished it was going to be over 5 feet in length without the border...I just knew I'd have to frog all 23 inches of my graph ghan in progress. Honestly it's not my fault....the pattern I have was meant for filet thread crochet, so I was kind of winging it for baby yarn, having to guess hook size and which stitch to use....Sure, I could have left it, and then maybe when it was complete, they could have used it for a hallway runner...nothing would appease me, not even Cee saying "Well, just keep this one and start them another one", to which I replied, "But then I'd have to buy more yarn..." At this point he made a noise sounding suspiciously like a scoff and said "You'd do that anyway..." Humph! No, I made the decision, took a deep breath, and started ripping. It took me most of Sunday afternoon and evening just to rip the dang thing out. I was actually nauseous, thinking about all that hard work, all those yarn strands I had to keep untwisting while I worked, and then had to do the same thing when I ripped it back and learn, what can you do? And so now, a few days later, the ghan has been restarted with a smaller hook and in single crochet.....and when it is done I will be very glad to see the back of hand still hurts, and time, she is not on my side...but it WILL get finished!

I harvested the first 3 tomatoes yesterday and took a picture, here it isn't:

Two of my maters were only the size of raspberries, but one was your typical cherry tomato size....they tasted pretty good, and I felt very fulfilled, maybe the way a farmer would when he had sown his seeds and tended and then harvested his crop, well okay maybe not, but you get the idea, I started singing "The Circle of Life" and danced around my kitchen, eating my cherry tomatoes....not really, but I guess this sort of proves that my thumb is a little bit green after all.

Friday, August 03, 2007

still living in the dark ages

Still here. Still breathing. Still without computer. You don't realize how much you have come to rely on 'things' until you don't have them anymore, do you? I mean, if this were 15 years ago, I wouldn't be going through internet withdrawal, would I? I wouldn't be jonesing for a blog fix, or a Youtube chuckle or just thinking up some idiotic thing to type in a search box, just to see if there were sites dedicated to it, now would I? I wouldn't be checking IMdb for an actor I saw in a show and wanted to know what else he'd been in...and I certainly wouldn't be cursing the fact that I couldn't search for knitting or crochet patterns, or looking up how to do a certain stitch or technique either. Ah, c'est la vie as the French saying goes.

We are still 'shopping' computers...which is to say, neither one of us knows a tinker's damn about what goes into a computer and what gigahoosie whatsit we need to run our big, metal picture-box thing. Well, maybe we aren't that bad, but it's a lot closer than I'd like to admit...hopefully soon we will have something.

On the home front, this is where I'd place some pictures of my tomato plants, which are growing nicely and rapidly producing many tomatoes...none of which are ripening that I can see as yet, but who cares, The Great 'Mater Experiment has seemingly succeeded, which surprised no one more than I, you can be sure of that! Only one of the plants seems a little bit sickly, but it is still holding it's own and producing tomatoes, even if they are a little bit smaller than the other three plants.

I've been knitting more dishcloths, and working on what will hopefully be a graph 'ghan, nothing too interesting, but I would still show some pictures if I could. I also just finished a knitted Mr. Bean teddy bear I have affectionately named "Legume"....again, a picture would normally be right in this space:


Saturday, July 21, 2007

can't talk....reading...

Yes I am (almost!) 40 years old....Yes, I'm a Harry Potter fan(atic)....yes, I have in my possession the very last book. Yes, I plan on reading it tonight and probably finishing it tomorrow or Monday. Yes, I have no life, just ask Cee and he will tell you so.

If you need me between now and Monday, don't bother, I'm off to be with Harry, Ron & Hermoine....and I still am holding out hope for Snape, because I secretly love that old greasy-haired miserable git of a Potions teacher.

Love, me.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

h is for hooped

And that's what our computer is: Hooped.... It seems that what with all the power spikes we've been having lately, due to the drain on our hopelessly inept power grid out here, our surge protector couldn't handle the load, and basically a surge went through our entire system....or so says the all-knowing, smiling computer tech-god. Oh yes, it can be fixed, but given the ancient age of our computer (nearly 5 years old!! How ever did we manage to have it that long?!) it would be more advisable to invest in a new system, and perhaps they could manage to transfer over some of the data we wanted to keep on our old system, if we are very lucky, which as most people who know Cee and I know, we probably won't be, as if it wasn't for bad luck we'd have no luck at all...

So that's it...and since the computer fairy hasn't left us a new system as yet under our pillows, I suppose it may be a while until we can manage a new one, since we hadn't even been thinking of replacing ours for a while...ah well, c'est la vie as they say. There was a lot of 'stuff' on the old one that will be lost, but I suppose it could be worse..although at the moment I'm not sure how...

And for anyone who didn't know, you should replace your surge protector 'often', according to the all-knowing tech-god, as when he asked me how old ours was and I told him "about 2 years" he basically choked on his tongue and again muttered something about it being 'ancient'.

At least I've been getting a lot of crocheting and knitting done, not that I can show you or anything, since I can't upload any pictures, but just imagine lots of cool finished thread bookmarks and doilies (table hats) and things like that...

Monday, July 09, 2007


Or possibly fubar...whichever military acronym you use, they all mean the same thing: our computer has crapped friends, it's so effed up it won't even turn on or off, so you just know that can't be good. There was much gnashing of teeth and screaming of profanities last night, I can tell you.

Luckily, Cee's mum lives close, so she has kindly let me use her computer today. So...until we get ours fixed, (if indeed it can be fixed) my blog posts shall most likely be very scarce.

Pray for could get ugly.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

it's a beauty way to go

Ah yes, the immortal words of Geddy Lee as he sang the song "Take off! (to the Great White North)", it is a beauty way to go. Happy 140th Birthday Canada! Ye don't look a year over 100...

Saturday, June 30, 2007

cuff 'n stuff

I have begun knitting a pair of socks from the Favorite Socks book. I do really like this book (even though they have flagrantly misspelled the word 'favourite'...for most of us who live in the Commonweath countries, anyway)

The biggest reason I like this book is that it appears to be a challenge for me. I have started no less than three patterns (the above being said 3rd) and have run into...em...shall I say...difficulties...with each one (except this far...) and although it is a little frustrating, I also find it fun searching for answers to my 'howdeedoodat' questions, and rewarding to learn new techniques...for example, I learned how to do a double long-tail cast on thanks to Knitting Help, and then I figured out how to make that cast on in rib, thanks to the back of this very book, and then I gave up knitting that pattern (for the time being) because I kept screwing up the chart, which I have also never used before...ahhh, so much to learn, so many puzzling looks from Cee as he watches me start multiple patterns and frog them over and over.

Here's a closer look at the cuff, just because I know you want to see....or not...anyway here it is:

The biggest reason I like this pattern so far (aside from the fact that I can actually follow it) is that it only uses 4 dpns....most of them call for 5, and well, anyone who has read my blog (hey, it could happen!) knows that I have this 'thing' about sets of 4 and 5 dpns, and how I can only ever find 4's when I need 5's...

Wiki Wiki Fun

So I was surfing aroung the blogisphere the other day, and I came upon a meme that I thought was pretty fun and interesting, and so I swiped it without being tagged, just 'cause I felt like it.

It's the Wikimeme, and basically what you do is head on over to Wikipedia and type in your birthday, month and day only and then you list 3 events, 2 births, and 1 holiday for that day.

Here is what I came up with, for January 14th:


1. 1690 -- The Clarinet is invented in Nuremburg, Germany.

2. 1954 -- Marilyn Monroe weds Joe DiMaggio.

3. 1978 -- Johnny Rotten quits the Sex Pistols after the final show on their American tour at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.


1. 1741 -- Benedict Arnold, General notorious for treason

2. 1968 -- LL Cool J, Rapper & Actor (same day and year as yours truly!)

3. 1969 -- Jason Bateman, Actor (star of one of my fave shows, Arrested Development--I still curse Fox for taking it off the air)


New Year's Day in Eastern Orthodoxy--makes sense, since the 7th is Christmas

I won't tag anyone, but feel free to head on over to Wikipedia and glean some superfluous knowledge about the day you were born.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"it's a major award!"

One of my favourite lines from "A Christmas Story"...wait...have I suddenly got Christmas on the brain because I've been making snowflakes? Nope, I'm just excited, happy, and am blushing a little bit, frankly, because the completly sublime Sharon over at Chickenlips Knitting has bestowed upon me my first award:

How totally marvellous is that?! Aside from being one of my favourite colours, the best part of it was the wonderfully kind words she said about me on her blog, which is one I especially look forward to reading. She always has lots of witty and funny posts and pictures of her ongoing and finished works of fibre art. Thank you Sharon, you are the best!

And now my assignment is to pass this hot pink button of praise on to five other ladies who most assuredly deserve it, and here they are:

1. Vik at Like Grandma. This effervescent lady is so divinely kind and welcoming. She always posts such wonderful pictures and stories, and is the driving force behind Knitting for Homeless, a small spark of an idea that is growing into a world-wide movement.

2. Lady Linoleum at Monster Crochet. The title grabbed me and drew me in! This is one creatively prolific lady! She never ceases to amaze me with her new designs. Whether it's crocheted meat, monster eyeballs, or skull in cross bones sweaters, she is a true artist in every sense of the word.

3. Cupcake at Crochetroo. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oy oy oy!! This extraordinary lady is not only diversely talented when it comes to pattern designing, but she also tries to raise awareness to Australian wildlife through the medium of crochet, which is no small feat.

4. Cass at Shut Up, I'm Counting. I recently found her blog through a comment she made on mine, and I'm so glad I did! Her irreverent humour keeps me in stitches, and her multiple pictures of her many diverse pets and projects are always a pleasure to see.

5. Hel at Truth Cycles. She takes some of the most beautiful photographs I have ever seen! I love visiting her blog to see what her many animals have been up to and to read her outlook on life.

And now wonderful ladies, your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to pass on this honour to five other deserving blogger chicks. So go ahead, swipe the button, spread the love, share the joy.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

summer snow

Because it's been so hot lately, and because the Harbingers of Doom (read: Weathermen, oh sorry, Meterologists) have been telling us that this Summer will be a 'scorching hot sizzler', and well, just because, I took out the thread and my trusty size 7 steely and crocheted me some snow:

These patterns all came from a book called "White Christmas in Thread Crochet"--it feels weird even typing that word in, not the 'Crochet' word, 'Christmas' of course. I don't even like thinking past next week, much less six months from now....Did crocheting fibre snow work to cool me down on a blistering day in June? ehh....not so much, but it still looks pretty.

One thing that doesn't look pretty (to me, anyway) is the blocking process. Have you ever wondered what a thread snowflake looks like while it is blocking and stiffening? No? Well, I'll show you might want to cover your eyes and peek through your fingers for this:

Shocking, isn't it? And maybe just a little bit creepy. Every time I block a snowflake (or any other thing that needs blocking) I am always taken back to high school Biology, and dissection, more specifically the earth worm we studied in grade 10. Remember pinning things down so you could 'examine' the parts? I was usually pretty good at finagling my way out of having to touch the icky things we had to dissect--and there were loads of them--but I had to handle the earth worm, and let me tell you my friends, it haunts my dreams to this day...well, maybe not, but it was still gross. It all seems so barbaric to me they still make kids do that anymore? Anyway, all the pinning reminds me of the earth worm...except no creatures great or small had to die so I could make my snowflakes.

Lookie what I found:

Besides being full of totally wicked and wonderful sock patterns, this book has a hidden spiral binding, which I think is pretty much the cat's pyjamas. I shall be attempting one of the least-intimidating-looking patterns soon as I figure out how to do a long-tail double 1x1 rib cast on, whatever that is....

Sunday, June 17, 2007

not even close

I know I know, you are just waiting with baited breath to find out if I was able to finish that little sweater with the yarn I had left, right? What do you mean "No actually, I couldn't care less?!" Humph! Well, humour me at least while I expound to you the harrowing tale of "The Cable Sweater That Almost Wasn't"...

Once upon a knitty time....nahh, really I finished with more than enough to's the proof:

And here's the pudding:

I had quite a bit of yarn left over, more than I thought I'd have. Not enough to make a hat, but perhaps enough to start one. This is fast becoming one of my favourite little baby sweaters to make. I found the pattern in a book by Coats & Clark, and it was actually the first pattern other than dishcloth or hat that I attempted when I started knitting about a year and a half ago, so this is my second time around. The sweater is about a 6-month size.

I seem to be knitting socks more and more, although they are usually for other people as I don't normally wear socks anymore. Give me my fuzzy slippers in the winter and bare feet in the summer. Socks are always too long for me, since I have freakishly small feet....small yet wide...not a good combination. I always used to end up having excess sock sliding back and forth on my foot. But then I found a great tutorial on how to customize a sock pattern in the amazing book "Big Girl Knits" I must say I love love love this book! Aside from said awesome sock tutorial, they have some really great patterns, and it's a pretty good read, too.

Anyway, armed with my new sock-customization knowledge, I took a basic sock pattern and changed it for my measurements:

I made a couple pairs of what I like to call 'slipper socks'. The multicoloured pair are a leetle bit on the loosey-goosey side--I forgot to take into account the fact that I knit loosely--I corrected for the blue--but I don't care, I like the fact that I feel like I'm not wearing anything on my feet when I have them on, and now I have a choice between barefoot and slippies.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

bits and pieces

June is turning out to be a bit of a strange month. We seem to have lept from Winter straight into Summer, except for a day last week, when it almost went below freezing overnight--picture Cee and I rushing out with blankets, trying to cover up the four newly-planted tomatoes at 10 o'clock in the evening...I think they did okay, but a couple of them do look a bit frost-bitten. I will be sure to get back out there and get a picture to update the 'mater experiment. It's been a wild ride so far as weather is concerned, we have had some fierce thunderstorms and even a tornado touch down only about 10 minutes from us last Friday.

I finished my sister's sweater, only to come to the sad conclusion that it just may be too short for her...I had my suspicions, but when I held it up to myself for Cee to look at, even he mentioned it, and he never notices things like that, so I had to finally admit it to myself. I guess my only option is to send it to her, have her try it, and if it is too short, send it back to me so that I can--gulp--try to take it apart and frog it back to a point where I can add length....this is not something I want to do, but a secret part of me is up for the inferiority complex is kicking in though and that hateful self-doubting part of me keeps telling me it could all be a moot point anyway, because she may just take one look at it and decide she doesn't like it at all.

Progress continues on what is turning out to be a sizable trousseau for the great expectation out West. Below are pieces of a cable sweater, size 6 months....all I have left on it is the sleeves, the start of one is pictured at the top, plus the neck band and button bands....

This just may be a nail biter, as I have no more of this particular yarn--I plundered the stash for this one, and couldn't seem to find any more in that colour when we were out the other day....I do like to live dangerously when it comes to knitting though, and seem to get some sort of thrill out of just finishing projects with only a few yards of yarn to spare..don't ask me why, but I almost feel like I'm getting one over on the yarn--take that, you skein! I beat you!--worst comes to worst I can always use a different colour for the sleeves or the bands....

When I saw that Sharon had made a lovely pair of Fetching hand warmers, I thought my niece (she of the Monkey Bismol socks) might just like a pair of her own too, so another stashed skein became these:

I don't mean to keep complaining about the stinkin' camera (a poor worker blame's their tools) but the colour is just not showing up as the gorgeous fushcia that it is. A fun pattern, although if I'm honest, I'm not sure I quite like the picot bind off, but they completed really quickly and I found the pattern quite easy to follow. I would have tried them on for the picture, but I didn't want to stretch them out with my pudgy little hands.

All of this has been made in between taking pit stops in an ongoing project for Pammy, which when (if!!) finished, will become my first ever graph ghan....don't worry I will post progress shots when there's some progress to post. Progress seems to be slow as there are multiple colours (okay, only 2!) but they keep twisting, so I have to keep stopping and unwinding, and I find that frustrating, so sometimes I just say 'okay I'll put it down for a minute' and then the next thing I know I'm starting a pair of Fetching handwarmers, or another sweater...and I'm quite sure I will be trying the Coupling socks in the new Knitty...another project to add to the ever-growing list.

If you like the handwarmers, and can't go another day without making a pair, you can find the pattern here. If you're wondering just what the heck a Coupling sock is, you can check them out here.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

get yer sneak on

I just finished some sneaker booties--they might be for someone still 'baking' out West, perhaps?--or as I like to call them, 'shoe-booties' (for anyone that cares, that is an obscure "All in the Family" reference to the episode where Archie and Mike get locked in a back room or cellar (I can't remember which) and end up telling drunken stories, one of which was that Archie as a child was so poor that he had to go around wearing one boot and one shoe, so all the kids called him "Shoe-booty"--my brother and I got a kick out of that one and would say that all the time...I know, whatever...I was a child of the '70's, what can I say)

I modified the pattern a little bit to make them wee, they are from a book of family slippers--Cee actually has the adult version, made as a gag for him (you can see his in action here) the joke was on me though, cause he actually wore them until they wore out, and he is patiently waiting for me to mend of these days, dear, I promise.

Anyway, without further digression, here are the shoe-booties, presented for your consideration both with and without flash, just for kicks:

Without flash:

With flash:

They were a giggle to make and took almost no time at all. They make me smile.

Friday, June 01, 2007

all things considered, i prefer animals

I'm happy to report that as recently as the other day I was still having the pleasure of viewing the 'pet' ducks waddling around our yard. Drake was spotted standing right in the middle of the street at the side of our house, practically daring the cars to hit him (thankfully every car saw him well ahead and went around, imagine a little duck having that much traffic control power!) I went outside with some bread and bribed him back onto our lawn, where Jemima (being a female, I can only assume she was too smart to sit in the middle of a through street) was waiting for him. I spent a very nice half hour with both of them, feeding them bread crumbs and having a conversation about how they probably shouldn't think of nesting in our yard because there are two cats that love to stalk bird-type creatures and they frequent our front and back lawns as well. Not to mention some local young kids who think they are pretty tough and get a kick out of bullying eachother, so I'd hate to think what they would do to two pretty tame ducks. As if to illustrate my point, a group of 5 'tough punks in training' rode by on their bikes, arguing among themselves and, thankfully, so self-absorbed they didn't see the beautiful water fowl sitting not 3 feet away from them as they passed. In the end I went inside and left them still there, sitting largely unseen under our pine tree, it was a nice way to end the day.

Top Secret: Sneak Peek

This may or may not be a partial view of a layette completed just very recently for a great expectation out West....I don't want to spoil the surprise, so it's just a teaser.

My sister's sweater is a near fait a complit, all that remains are the weaving in of the ends, which is my most favourite part (drip sarcasm drip) and finding some appropriate buttons.

It turned out well. Made with a very soft cotton yarn. It needs a bit of blocking, but other than that, a success for my first adult wearable. I hope she likes it. The pattern was actually a lot of fun to knit, I found it here.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

good deeds and seeds

So spring is progressing...we have already had two days here where the temperature has reached over 30 degrees celcius (that's around 86 for you fahrenheiters). All of our lilac trees (I think we have 3, I know for sure there's one....see what a gardener I am?) are blooming, and we are cultivating a fine crop of dandelions out front and back....hey, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em I always say...and secretly I think dandelions are quite pretty, especially when you drive past big sections of them along the roads. I know there are lots of moms, including my own, who may have received a bouquet or two of these prolific little weeds for Mother's Day at least once in their lives, picked by eager chubby little fingers and given with love.

Crocheting and knitting wise I have progressed on a few things. The monkey bismol socks are now complete (I'd have posted a picture, but the second one looks (thank goodness) just like the first, so I didn't bother, you can use your imagination--it seems to be a lost art these days. I have a few baby things on the go for the expectant new arrival out west, and I am also half finished a sweater for my sister Tee, who just had a milestone birthday (I won't say what milestone, but let's just say that when my dad and mom reached this milestone, she stuck signs up all over the boulevard and plastered huge banners across the garage broadcasting just how old they were....lucky for her no-one returned the favour). My own woman in red sweater has been put on the back burner while I work on these other things, including some things for a new project idea created by dear Vik.

Vik wrote on her blog, Like Grandma, about knitting scarves for homeless people. She made five scarves and went out and very quietly and anonymously left them by people while they were still asleep. Then she left, not waiting for or wanting a thank you or any kind of recognition, but hoping that in some small way she may have brightened these people's lives. Vik got quite a lot of response on her blog about this selfless and generous act, and this prompted her to start a blog called Knitting For Homeless. The idea is that each person knit or crochet 5 scarves and give them to the homeless. Every little bit helps, and you will be amazed at how good it makes you feel. You can read more about it on either of her blogs.

The Great 'Mater Experiment:
Week 6

As you can see, the seeds are growing fast. They really do look smashing in their 'high-tech aluminum growing tray'--which may or may not have contained chicken chow mein at one time, I'm just sayin'--and probably in a couple weeks, I will attempt to make the transfer from their little pots to the great big scary pots outside...sniff sniff, they grow up so fast, don't they?

Monday, April 30, 2007

love my monkey

Have you ever had a project go amazingly well, and then reached the very last step and completely screwed it up? I have. Last night, I was nearing the end of the first Monkey sock and doing the Kitchener stitch--which I have done before--successfully--the finish line was in sight, I was sailing along, and for some reason, I just completely arsed it up. So there I sat, silently panicking, The Amazing Race was on the TV, and Cee was saying something to me, but all I could do was sit there ignoring everything, and look down at this ugly, mangled toe of a once pretty sock, and think "What the heck am I going to do now?!" For one insane moment I considered ripping the whole thing out and starting all over and then I thought "What, are you NUTS?! That's crazy talk!!" I decided to try just picking out the grafting stitches and carefully put the live stitches back onto the needles....have you ever done this? It was painful, extremely tedious, and totally nerve wracking, I felt like I was doing surgery--maybe that's a little bit much, I do have a flair for drama--but still...I think it took me about half an hour to get those 28 stitches back onto their needles. By the end I didn't even care, the air was blue around me from all the cursing, and I'm pretty sure Cee thought I'd gone completely around the bend (yet again), but thanks to some persistence and my size 7 steel crochet hook, I was able to save the patient:

And then I needed the Tylenol...All being said and done, I think the Monkey Bismol sock looks fab. The second time I did the grafting, I did it very slowly and tightened after each stitch, and it worked much better. Crisis (and panic attack) averted, I was even calm enough to cast on the stitches for the second sock.

I will admit I was a little intimidated by this pattern, anything with a lacy look tends to give me hives just thinking about knitting it, but I thoroughly enjoyed making it, and it really did go amazingly well until I screwed up the Kitchener stitch. Also, the four versus five DPN debacle was actually not as bad as I thought it would be. I was able to figure it out quite quickly, and with no brain hurt, which is always a plus.

Nigel the infamously famous sock monkey thinks it's smashing! (And I only had to pay him two bananas to say so!)

I know I said a few posts back that I'd be blogging less, and then I went and blogged a whole bunch, but this time I really mean it. I will be blogging less for the next little while. I will try to get back as often as I can to post, and will hopefully have pictures of countless finished whatnots and thingamajiggies, so be patient with me. Ta ta for now.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

the power of flowers

I love it when people help people, and I love it even more when those people get other people to help even more people...that probably makes no sense, but it is very likely the most times you will see the word 'people' in one sentence. What I'm eventually getting around to saying is that there is this lady on the Crochetville forum named Krystal, and some time back, she was looking for a daisy square for afghans and other projects for the various charities she was involved in, but she couldn't seem to find one, so she cleverly made up her own. Then she went one better and decided to offer the pattern to anyone who emailed her for it, and all that she asked was that each one who gets the pattern make and send her a square for her charity blankets. Here is my contribution:

This square is 8", and as you can imagine, the possibilities for colour combinations and project ideas for it are endless. Plus I think it's pretty groovy. Krystal has already made one charity afghan with squares donated and is now working on her second. If you would like to read more about her efforts or get this pattern for your very own self, you can check out her blog: Krochet Krystal , and you can also email her directly at krochetkrystal (at) yahoo (dot) com for the pattern.

Last night I dragged out the DPNs of death and cast on to knit some Monkey socks for my niece.

Pink is her favourite colour, and I think it will showcase the lacy pattern pretty well, at least that's the story I'm telling myself, since this yarn colour faintly reminds me of Pepto Bismol.

I have a pet peeve about double pointed needles; if lots of people design patterns that use 5 DPNs, why can I never find sets of 5?! Why do I always find sets of 4 but never 5?? Am I looking in the wrong place? In all the sets I have, I have only one set of 5 double points, and the pattern I needed them for at the time only called for 4, which is pretty much par for the course in my life. Is it me?! Is there some conspiracy at the yarn stores that when they see me coming in to buy DPNs, they rush to take the sets of five off the shelves and replace them with the fours? Why can't the needle makers and the pattern makers get their stuff together? This is truly a crocheter's lament on knitting, because when you crochet, you buy A hook, and with this one hook, you can make anything, work in any direction, and at any length. Sure, hooks come in different (mm) sizes just like knitting needles, but they are all basically the same size in length and can all do a multitude of things. Not so with knitting needles...12" straights, 14" straights, circulars with at least 3 different cable lengths, double pointed (in sets of 4 and the ever-elusive 5!), very many needles to buy and use...why why why? Did I lose you?

Anyway, what bugs me about this 4 or 5 needle thing is now I have to work out how to fit the stitches on the needles, and now this may effect how I knit the pattern of the Monkey Bismol socks, and thinking like that makes my brain hurt, and I try to avoid the brain hurt whenever I can...unless I use one of my other DPNs of a different size, but that will surely make a difference...right? I suppose I could just shut my yap and buy two sets of DPNs, but then they would win, don't you see?! I know I know, shut up & knit.

P.S.--If you were wondering just what Monkey socks were, you can find the pattern here at Knitty.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

signs of life

It's been two weeks since I planted them, and already things are a poppin' in the seed department:

The Great 'Mater Experiment:
Week 3

I first noticed the sproutlets in the pot on the bottom right yesterday and by this morning there was activity in all four pots. Not all the seeds appear to have taken, but you can't win them all, and I'm holding out hope for all my little tomatoes to spring into life.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

you know it's spring when

Your "pet" ducks return for their annual visit. That's right, I think we can safely say this is no longer a coincidence. Jemima and Drake have come back for the fifth year in a row.

This picture was taken last April 18th, about two feet away from our front door. Who knows why they like our yard or street so much, (could it be our delicious bread crumbs?) but right around this time of year we see them, sometimes every day for weeks. Yesterday Cee remarked that the drake duck, whom I called "Drake" (I know, how original) was back, so I knew our Jemima was close by. I named her Jemima after Beatrix Potter's "Jemima Puddle Duck".

As nice as it is to see them, we always feel concern about the sometimes over-zealous kids around here, who have no compunction about approaching them--or respecting our lawn or gardens or other items, for that matter. Our next door neighbour told me the other night that we should have a "keep off the grass" sign...I kind of snorted and said that probably the only beings that would read it and heed it are our ducks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

on a thread

I was recently lucky enough to test a new doily (table hat!) pattern for a seriously gifted designer over at the Crochetville forum. Kathy or "KatchKan", as she is known on the 'ville, has got some awe-inspiring talent. This is my humble attempt at her latest, called the Willow-wisp Doily:

I think it turned out well, and I really enjoyed making it. The size is approximately 15 inches in diameter. If you would like to see more of Kathy's amazing designs, and see some of her brilliant beaded purses, check out her site: Crochet N Beads

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

wayback least a little. A crappy picture, to be sure, but here it is nonetheless:

The woman in red sweater is progressing, this is a partial view of the far it will get remains yet to be seen...this pattern, while pleasing to knit, is causing me all kinds of practical concerns, such as the chance that all the little twisted cable stitches may get pulled out very easily, and the bottom chevron points--which are inconveniently mostly not shown in this picture--are having a very annoying tendency to curl up...I'm hoping this is because it's all crowded on the circular needle, but some nagging feeling is telling me that just isn't so...I just wish the camera would pick up the delicious cherry red of this yarn.


That was all I could think of to say when, while flipping through an old photo album--you remember those, don't you? The ones with the sticky pages that you put your polaroids in... long before the days of these new-fangled contraptions called the digital camera and web album?--anyway I was looking through one of those and came upon this photograph and all of a sudden, was transported back to a much simpler time, when my biggest problem was worrying whether or not to smile for this picture, because I had just days earlier lost my two front teeth, thanks to my best friend who gave me the elbow and knocked me down, not on purpose, but did I clean up with the toothfairy!! I giggled and couldn't help but wonder just what possessed my mother to dress me like this:

Little K, circa 1974

Calm your worries, dear readers, the flood I was evidently so well-prepared for never came...what's better than orange bell-bottomed pants that are just a skosh too short, I ask you? How about a homemade tunic shirt made Von Trapp-style out of my aunt's kitchen curtains? (I'm not kidding, by the way)....I love my blue fake keds--that's right, they weren't even the real thing--they just completed the heck out of that ensemble.

Oh, little 6-year old K....there's just so much I need to warn you about, and sadly, I cannot...

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

sowing the seeds

It may still be cold outside, but my thoughts are turning to warmer Spring climes and hopeful new beginnings. So with that in mind, I am starting a little project I like to call "The Great 'Mater Experiment"....experiment you see, because I don't have the first clue about gardening...oh sure, I like planting things ("things" being flowers you buy in the store, already grown and in their neat little individual cell packs)...and I love watering and fertilizing things...I'm just not so much in love with weeding things (I like to think of myself as more of an equal opportunity gardener...because most of the time I can't tell the difference between a weed and a plant). I've had reasonable success the past few years, and my ever-present need to nurture always pushes me forward to keep trying...

I missed having the cherry tomatoes last year, so this year Cee got me some seeds and starter pots, and so the experiment has begun. I tried this a few years ago, but started the seeds a little too late and the plants never got outside because it was too cold by the time they were big enough to re-pot....hopefully this year I timed it right.

The Great 'Mater Experiment:
Week 1

grow little 'maters, grow.

Like any good mom, I have given the little seeds a nice warm and cozy place to live, lots of fertilizer to grow big and tall, and all the sunshine they could ever want, both in the literal and the figurative--in the form of my effervescent self....did I just hear someone snort?

I started a new "woman in red" sweater--this time for me--yesterday, (if) when I finish it, it will be the first adult sweater I have knitted...let's just see if my fibercraft ADD will allow me to see it through to the end before the lapse of this decade...