Wednesday, December 24, 2008

'merry christmas, movie house!!'

Just wanted to drop by and wish you all a very merry Christmas and happy new year! Thanks to you all for reading and commenting, and sticking with me in the non posting times! In the spirit of the season, I've brought back one of my own personal favourite and most terrifying holiday gif files:

Don't you just want some bleach for your eyes/brain now???? I hope you all won't be up late crocheting/knitting/crafting or tearing your hair out tonight! I have only made 2 gifts this year and finished the last yesterday (n'yah n'yah phffft).

Take care and as always, eat too much, drink too much, and laugh too loud!! And don't forget to dance.

I leave you with the immortal words of Clark W. Griswold, from my Dad's favourite Christmas movie, "Christmas Vacation":

"And when Santa squeezes his fat, wide ass down the chimney tonight, he's going to find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!!"

I can still hear him laughing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

the most wonderful time of the year?

Is it really almost Christmas time? It doesn't feel like it to I the only one? Every year it seems to come sooner, and every year it feels less and less like it...maybe I'm just getting old and crotchety.....maybe I'm becoming more like my mother, God Bless her, who was not fond of Christmas, and despite working in a mall, left all her shopping, be it gift or food, until the very last possible minute, and made me wrap everything (once I grew old enough), even sometimes my own presents ("don't look in this box before you wrap it!!") all the while baking and cleaning house and complaining the whole time that we had too much, didn't appreciate it, and as Christmas dinner wore on and the wine disappeared, telling us how ungrateful we all were....we in turn kept filling her wine glass, because we liked "drunk mum"--she was funny, and said weird things!--and she only drank that one day a year...what can I say, we're a bunch of strange folks in my family. Anyway as I get older I can appreciate what my mother had to go through, all the work, cooking, shopping, cleaning (not so much wrapping as I said earlier, I was the "wrapping beeyotch") and all for one day a year.

My mom was a legendary baker....she made so many good things, like peanut butter logs, and marshmallow rolls, and butter tarts (Oh! the butter tarts!!!) I don't have one favourite, they were all so good! I remember one year (I was about 7 or 8) my mother baked early (in October or November) and put everything, squares, cookies, tarts, goodies, you name it, in the freezer, all nicely packed and ready to pull out Christmas evening. She really had everything organized and all ready to go. After dinner, she went to the freezer to pull out a few tasties for a dessert tray, only to find out that my teenage brother and his teenage friends had been steadily raiding the deep freeze of all the goodies and there were none left for us to eat!....I'm sure she drained an extra bottle that year.

If you have a favourite Christmas memory, can you share it with me? Maybe that will get me into the Christmas spirit...

I've been knitting berets a lot lately....don't know why. I'm not really a hat person, they don't look good on me, but berets, well I can handle one of them...harkens back to my old "Brownie" days I guess. Still, I only have one head, and just how many of them do I need??? One more, apparently:

This is the "Sweet Honey Beret" by Faina Goberstein, from the Winter 2008 issue of Interweave Knits. I have to say I love the honeycomb pattern, even though it took me a while to get used to it (let's face it, it doesn't take much to confuse me!)

And there's the flip side. My first attempt was in a grey(gray?gris?) yarn, which I ran out of on almost the last row, and in trying to 'stretch' said yarn to finish, dropped a stitch and completely arsed it up so bad I frogged it and tried it with this multi-coloured yarn.

Here it is perched on a bowl for an almost 'real head shot'...I made this with a larger needle (more out of necessity than anything else...the needle the pattern called for has a sweater on it currently, so I went a size up) and I made it extra slouchy (like me!) 'cause that's how I like it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

i've never liked politicians,

Although I'm sure they have nothing but good things to say about me....snort, whatever...but still, the crap that's going on with our government right now is ludicrous. I won't bore anyone by going into details, just say our politicians seem to have gone insane, along with a good number of our citizens, apparently. We just had an election barely six weeks ago, and now the opposition leader, who no-one in Canada wanted to be Prime Minister, is on the verge of becoming just that, thanks to a coalition with the NDP and the Bloc Quebeqois, which is a truely frightening prospect to me, and anyone else who doesn't think that the leader of a party that wants to separate the province of Quebec from Canada should have any power over the rest of Canada. Arrrgh, I don't even want to talk about it. If it's not gloom and doom about the economy it's this new palaver about our "leaders" wonder I don't want to watch the news's some fibre for your diet:

This is a relatively bad picture of a flower afghan that's been ongoing for about a year...I seem to only want to work on afghans in the winter, small wonder.

And here are some glovey-mitteys I made, from the pattern in the Creative Knitting January 2008 issue:

I also tried the Mystery Beret from Wooly Wormhead (you can find the pattern at Ravelry, they have dubbed it: "Meret"):

And here's the flip side....I did the rolled/ribbed brim, which I really like...I suppose now I should block it, so you can see the lacey pattern better:

Sorry for ranting about the govt....the only potential good thing this mess has done is galvanized the country towards their's made Canadian politics sexy again....

Monday, November 10, 2008

a moment in time

At the 11th hour,

On the 11th day,

Of the 11th month,

We remember.

We remember the ones that went before. The men and women who gave their lives so that we can live and enjoy ours. We wear red poppies on our left lapels to signify that they are not, will never be, forgotten.

In Flander's Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt.-Col. John McCrae

We remember....that freedom is not free.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

ode to my red oblique cardigan

Please indulge my dorkiness.....

(To the tune of "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes", by Edison Lighthouse)....

It looks kinda dozy,
but it's so warm and cosy,
this sweater that was made by me...

Oh, and love grows where my Red Oblique goes,
and nobody knows like me.

Sure I made a few gaffes,
But it keeps out the cold drafts,
and others know it's plain to see...

Oh, that love grows where my Red Oblique goes,
and nobody knows like me.

The sleeves have stretched to just past my knees,
still it keeps out the breeze,
when I walk out the door....

It lengthens every time that it's worn,
but I scoff at the scorn,
'cause like never before.....

I can say "I did it!"
and people know I've knit it,
it's just so wonderful to me..

Oh, 'cause love grows where my Red Oblique goes,
and nobody knows like me.

Oh, yes, love grows where my Red Oblique goes,
and nobody knows like me.

Dear Red Oblique sweater:

I love you,

Love, me.

Pattern: Oblique by Veronik Avery, Knitty: Fall, 2007

Saturday, November 01, 2008

what the...???

Hey....where did all my blog posts for the last two months go??? Oh yeah, that's right...I didn't do any. Apologies. Life has been....weird, to say the least. I won't go into a lot of detail, I'll just say that a lot has happened....not a lot of it good, but not all of it bad. Some of it funny, some of it terrifying. Some things may or may not be resolved, so I'll leave it there for now. I may not be posting very often for the next while, so if you get tired of checking here, I understand.

I've been knitting a lot, save for about a two-week break during which I thought about knitting and crocheting, but didn't do any. I finished a sweater (which I have no picture of yet, but have worn a lot) and for a few days, became engrossed in knitting tiny little socks, hence this picture:
The pattern is mini stockings, which you can find on Ravelry, I believe it's by Little Cotton Rabbits.

I also started the domino potholder from Interweave Knits site, except I'm not using dk weight, just bernat handicrafter, which I assume is worsted weight. I'm thinking I'll have to make it less squares or my potholder would come out tea towel size. These little guys are fun to make and go fast:

And I also finished a present for one of Cee's friends who is expecting a baby with his wife in January. I'm taking a bit of a risk posting here because she is aware of my blog, but what the heck, I like to live life on the wild side:

The picture kind of sucks, but it's a little teddy bear all-in-one. Super soft and cozy, and the whole time I was knitting it I found myself singing "Teddy Bear's Picnic" which drove Cee crazy (and me, too, if I'm honest). But a very quick knit (I did it after my sweater, which took months) I completed this little guy in under a week at the 6 months size.

A little closer look. Since I have no baby to model, and the killer shih-tzu was just not cooperating, I took a picture of the pattern picture on the Mary Maxim catalogue so you can see what it looks like filled with a baby:

You get the idea. The cuteness factor is large, there was much "oohing and ahhhing" when I showed it 'round. I do hope they like it. They live in Illinois and I'm not sure, but I think they get pretty cold winters there. It will be put to good use.

I will try not to make it too long before I post again. Take care all.
"At six o'clock their mummies and daddies will take them home to bed, because they're tired little Teddy Bears...."

Sunday, August 31, 2008

august rush

Such a month, this August was!! First of all we had the Olympics....our Canadian athletes seemed doomed to be wallflowers until almost half the games were over...but they soon quieted the nay-sayers who called us the "Ugly Betty" of the Olympics.....what does that even mean? Leave it to Fox News...Oh and Boo to the people that felt the need to replace the little singing girl from the opening ceremonies with the other "prettier" little singing about giving a kid a complex....Booo!!!! Hisss!!! Boo!!!

My pretty sister and her handsome fiance of--oh let's just say a few years--decided to make it legal and had a beautiful very small ceremony on the 8th in Calgary. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't currently live in Calgary even though that's my hometown, so sadly we weren't in attendance in body, only in spirit. Tee, you looked gawjus! I was probably casting on my Ravelympic projects right around the time they were saying their "I do's", but I was thinking of them the whole time.

A Major Prize, A Major Prize!!!!!

I won!! I won awesome stuff from an awesome contest given by Sharon (she of the awesome Stitch Jones yarn) I was looking forward to some of her gorgeous yarn, but the angelic Sharon also threw in some other fun goodies, including a pretty card, beautiful stitch marker (matches the yarn, so sweet!) and a chocolate bar with a pictoral scene of Portland, Oregon, which is her home base. My goodness, Portland is a breath-taking city!! Seeing Mt. Hood made me homesick for the Rockies. Sharon, I've said it before, but you really are the best!

Look at the lusciousness!!!!! From her Super Socks line.

The colour is Orchid and I am in love with it...I'm thinking of making it into the Knotty or Knice socks from Fall Interweave Knits.

I Came, I Saw, I Ravelled.....

Speaking of Ravelympics....well, I had a fair result. I finished the Leaf & Lace baby cardigan from the vintage pattern about a week into the olympics:

Extreme closeup, like anyone cares...

But fell a little bit short on the Pomotomus socks.....I finished them, but this morning....only a week late!!

I had fun, but kind of knew about a week and a half in that I really had bitten off more than I could chew, so I just tried my best. By the last few days I didn't even feel like knitting, so I didn't push it....Heaven forbid I lose the urge to knit, Mystery Stole 4 is starting soon!!! Last chance to sign up!

Monday, August 04, 2008

biting off more than i can chew

As usual. I decided to take part in all the fun of the Ravelympics. I'm a sheep, and like to be in on the action, and not be left out of the fun, because that brings up all kinds of painful childhood 'issues'...not really, but sort of...whatever.

So of course I entered not one, but two events, because I really am out of my mind (on a good day, anyway). The first project I wanted to do was from this pattern booklet:

Which is really old...I'm not sure how old, but definitely old enough to be considered vintage. The price on the book is .75 cents. I got it from Cee's mum. It was in a box of other patterns/magazines, etc. When I first started knitting, I tried to cypher out the pattern (it has lots of weird abbreviations that aren't explained like Wl.fwd---wtf??---and w.r.n. and w.o.n.) I couldn't figure them out and put the pattern down.

Then recently I saw someone had made this little sweater on Ravelry. It really is gorgeous.

And I decided to try it again...but still couldn't decode those weird abbreviations, except I kind of figured that w.r.n. meant 'wind round needle' and w.o.n. meant 'wind over needle' but the clue. From what I can figure out, I'm hoping all of them simply mean yarn over...what the heck. I just had a weird thought....the babies in those pictures are probably in their late 40's or early 50's by now.

My second project will be the Pomatomus socks from Knitty...I have wanted to do them for a while, too...I have no idea if I will be able to get even one of those project done.....let the madness begin.

P.S.--the writing you see on the second picture is not mine...I wouldn't ever write on a pattern, it goes against my Canadian upbringing...Cee's mum says it's not hers either...what a mystery. I don't suppose they had post-its back then...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

told you i was no photographer

Thanks so much to all of you for all of the warm wishes of sympathy over Cee's true British fashion, his family is soldiering on, trying to keep things as normal as they can, whatever that is.

As for me, well, I've been knitting (insert 'no duh!' I'd be doing anything else?!?). I finished the like 10 days....(I'm thinking of joining the Ravelympics, I could kick some serious butt, in a not-that-it-really-matters sense).. I'm so happy with it, and I can totally see why everyone seems to be making dozens of these, what a pleasure to knit! I was so excited to take a picture of it that I didn't even weave in the ends, which is usually a big no-no for me, but oh well.

And now you will see why I'm no photographer, because here's what happens when I try to do more than one thing at a time, ie: spread out clapotis with left hand while balancing and holding camera with right:

A slanty pic of the Saturday sky and a peek at my pudgy paw. Still, check out those clouds...

And we're done:

I can safely say I'll be making more of these, since my MIL has been wearing it around, refusing to take it off and give it back...and it's like Africa hot here right now...hello central air...what would David Suzuki say? What a versatile thing this is, this little french scarf/shawl/thingie....what a genius Kate Gilbert is. And mine is visible from space, too! I exaggerate a little, but still...I thought maybe the drop stitch would make it...not so brighty...not so much...sigh, still...I thought dropping the stitches would give me the hivey hives, but it was strangely gratifying.

Completely changing the point, my Ravelry queue is becoming far too long...anyone else have that problem? I find myself spending more and more time looking at what people have done, favouriting them and then queuing them up...somebody stop me.

You can find the Clapotis here, but I can't imagine anyone who's online who hasn't heard of it yet...

Sunday, July 13, 2008

turn turn turn

I wanted to thank all of you for the good wishes and thoughts about Cee's dad that you've been sending...

We said goodbye to Cee's dad last Sunday, July the 6th. There won't be a funeral as per his father's and mum's wishes. Things here are a bit disjointed, understandably. Cee told me that it didn't even feel real for him until he saw the obituary in the paper.

The important thing is that he is no longer lingering in pain from an insidious, debilitating, life shattering illness, and his immediate family is no longer living in torment, watching him slip away hour by hour. He is now free.

This whole experience has of course brought back memories of both of my parents' illnesses and deaths, and has been a trying time for all concerned. The only comfort Cee and his family can have right now is knowing that he's not suffering any more. And if you keep telling yourself that, it just might make it a little bit easier to get through.

Here's some knitting content, a Clapotis I started last week as a distraction.

I'm using some baby yarn I had in my stash that is a little fact it just might be visible from space, but I'll finish it anyway. For everything, there is a season, and so it goes.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

i am not a number...

I am a free man!!!! Well, I'm not a man...or a number...I digress...The sci-fi/fantasy savvy of you will recognize the title and lead in of this post from the British TV series "The Prisoner", starring Patrick McGoohan...which of course everybody has watched, right? (methinks I hear the sounds of crickets chirping...) Yeah, I didn't know it either...when my husband asked me if I'd heard of it and was incredulous that I hadn't, I inquired when it was broadcast on tv....turns out it was originally aired the year before I was even born, so gee, duh, wonder why.... It's a cult favourite, apparently, with a huge following. Cee's brother has the whole series, let him borrow it and we've been watching it here and there when there's time.

The thing that caught me originally is the opening of the show, when you hear the character tell the "Bad Guys" that they won't get any information from him and said "Bad Guys" say "We hook or by crook"...and this lightbulb went off in my head and I thought "Ah ha!!! That's why I keep getting all these weird search hits on my blog...another mystery solved!" (and now there will probably be even more since I've referenced dialogue, characters and the actor's name) Anyway, the premise of the show is that the lead character is a secret agent (See also "Secret Agent Man") who resigns, but apparently "They" think he knows too much, so he's gassed and wakes up in this place called "The Village", which appears to be this idyllic sort of seaside town but is actually a prison, and he is known only by a number, the number 6, which he keeps telling them he will not respond to, hence the phrase "I am not a number, I'm a free man!!!!" So far my favourite character is this giant white balloon/ball thingie called Rover that is sort of the security's kind of a weird show, we'll leave it at that.

I get a lot of knitting done while we are watching it, let's put it that way....I made another pair of Fetchings. I really do love this pattern, it just goes so fast (I'm not that fast a knitter, and I can usually get them done in a full day) I think I'll keep this pair as I gave the other ones I made last year to my niece.

It's been a long, strange week at Chez Kay & Cee...without going into too much detail, Cee's dad is having continued major health issues, so we've been spending a lot of time at his parents' house. So because I don't have enough going on, and because it's so practical to knit a big, bulky sweater when it's a zillion humid degrees outside, I cast on the Oblique sweater from the Fall 2007 Knitty.

Apologies for the poor quality photo...I don't know what it is with my camera and the colour red. I had to edit this majorly to keep it from looking radioactive. I absolutely love this pattern (even if the lacy lacyness is a bit confounding to me...I keep thinking I've screwed up and should frog, then realize I'm okay) and I've knit about 10 inches of the back so far...I'm using the yarn that was originally for my woman in red sweater, which has gone to the lily pond after almost a year and a half of neglect.

Oh, I also adopted a new motto this week, thanks in part to my sister's last birthday card to me, and also to lack of sleep, time to do my housework, yard work, work work, regular life-type stuff and all that kind of thing:

Appropriate for all situations, don't you think? Now if only I could put a little bubble text that says "let's knit!" under the 'screw everything' I'd be set....or possibly "Let's get pissed! or "Let's trash the place!" or whatever suits your's hoping the next week will be blissfully uneventful, take care everyone, and Happy Canada Day to all my fellow countrymen/women on July 1!!! Happy July 4th to all our neighbours to the south!!!...happy happy for all.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

did you know

that I used to smoke? Well I did. A lot. I was one of those people that actually enjoyed smoking, of those. I wasn't an inconsiderate smoker by any means...if people didn't want me to smoke in their cars or homes or near them, I wouldn't, I'd just go outside and freeze or get rained on with the rest of the social lepers, but baby, I loved me my smokes! I used to wake up in the middle of the night and have to have a smoke before I could go back to sleep, that's how much I loved them, and my smokes, they loved me in return....I never even gave one thought about trying to quit. Ever.

But then I met Cee. Cee doesn't smoke...never fact he gets quite ill around cigarette smoke.....awkward!! When we first met, I still stayed a smoker for a little while (of course, never around him), but when it became increasingly more apparent that our lives were going to be intertwined, I decided I'd better bite the bullet and at least try to quit....notice I'm not mentioning anything about quitting for my health. Well I did quit....over nine years wasn't pretty. Have you seen the commercial with the flight attendant screaming at the passengers on the plane and breaking into crushing sobs as she picks up the phone to page? Well that was me.

I tried cold turkey (anyone remember that movie? It's pretty accurate and funny) at first...I went to my mother, gave her my cigarettes, and said "I'm a non smoker now, you can put these away for me."...and she looked at me with that look that only mothers have, and said "Mmm hmm...ok." I made it almost 6 hours before I (quite logically, to me at the time) thought I should probably kill someone for their smokes. The addiction had me...hard. Luckily for my mum, she'd put my cigarettes where they could be easily reached in the case of my spectacular cold turkey failure, which of course, inevitably happened.

Two months later I tried the gum. I told Cee over the phone that I was quitting, and he said "Uh huh" in sort of an unbelieving tone, which to be honest, kind of pissed me off (it could have been the beginnings of nicotine withdrawal) and I thought, "Do I really want to quit for this guy?!" (still notice I'm not quitting because smoking is so horribly bad for me, but because Cee doesn't smoke) Anyway, I managed to make it through the first 24 unbelievably horrible hours and I knew...I just knew I was going to be successful. And every time I started to think about having a cigarette, I just tried to remember how horrible quitting felt, the shakes, the irritability, the wanting to kill people for their cigarettes, the uncontrollable heaving sobs...and I stayed not smoking. Now the gum (Nicorette Gum, to be specific) can be a double-edged sword....some people cannot stand the taste--I didn't mind it. Some people actually get addicted to the gum--I didn't like it that much. About a month or so after I quit, I stopped chewing the gum. Fast forward to 9 years and some months later and I am still smoke free. I don't miss it really, although I can smell it from about 50 feet away and sniff wistfully at times, and my eyes get all glassy with the fond, fond memories.... I do, however, dream about smoking. All the time...almost every night in fact. It's always the same...whatever dream I'm having, all of a sudden I stop and light up a smoke, and get about half-way through it, feeling absolutely wonderful. Then I panic, thinking "Oh no...I quit smoking...I can't have this!!" Then I look around sneakily and think, "Oh well, it's only one, it doesn't make me a smoker again." and then whatever other dreams I'm having continue. I think I have this dream for at least two reasons; 1. Because I know in my heart if I had even one cigarette, I'd be up to a pack a day in about a week. and 2. at least in my dreams I can still enjoy me my smokes...It truly is a hard addiction to break.

Sometimes I like to think that someone up there sent me my beloved Cee just to get me to stop smoking...and I got a pretty good deal in the trade.

Now on to things knitting and crocheting and fibre related, since it is World Wide Knit In Public Day...or something like that. For me, that's pretty much every day, since I drag my stuff everywhere, but I suppose not everyone is as wrapped up in this addiction as I am. (gee, do you think I've got an addictive personality or what?)

Cee's mum brought me an Avon catalogue a few days ago, pointed to a picture of socks with no toes (Spa Socks, they called them) and said "Do you think you could make me these?" and I of course said "Absolutely!!" and so I found the Pedicure socks pattern on Knitty.

I took some liberties here...she wanted them to wear in bed to keep her heels warm, so I used some baby wool I'd been gifted instead of the recommended Patons Merino, and I went down a needle size. I also ribbed all the way down the leg and the instep, because my MIL has very dainty ankles and narrow feet (lucky wench). She likes them, and they went fast because of the thicker yarn.

Then because I don't have enough projects going, I decided to start a new knitting bag. I'm using the "Mrs. Weasley's Bag of Stitch Witchery" pattern from Charmed Knits. I played around with colours and came up with a combination I thought was utterly brilliant, and I revelled in my cleverness, my ability to create something unique...then I went on Ravelry and found at least two other people had come up with the exact combination...great minds...

This is the centre front panel of the bag, which seems to be going quickly. Something tells me though that the rest of the bag will take me a while, since my right thumb has been giving me some weird pains, so I'm going to try to stay away from the needles and hooks for a while and give the paws a rest...don't know if I'll suffer withdrawals or not.

If you want to take a look at the Pedicure Socks pattern, you can find it a Knitty here.
If you want more info on the book, "Charmed Knits" (projects inspired by Harry Potter), click here.

Monday, June 09, 2008

a head's up...

(Subtitled: "Who the Eff does she think she is, anyway??")

Just a little bitty note to say that I've changed my author name on this blog to Kiki instead of cut down the confusion....if that makes any sense....When I started the blog I didn't want to use my real name so I used the first initial of my name, which is K...phonetically spelled; "Kay"...but then I started leaving comments on people's blogs and such and used my name; "Kiki" (still not my official "real" name) which is what most of my friends and family call me, but it would come up "Kay" as sometimes people weren't sure who I was, and perhaps thought that I was at the least Bipolar, and at the most suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder...which if you ask the people closest to me, they might say the jury could probably still out on that one....

Aaaanyway....I answer to most anything (with a few naughty exceptions), so you can still call me Kay if you want, or Kiki, or Weirdo...whatever gets you through the's allright, it's allright.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Here I go's H-O-T hot outside! Wasn't I just complaining about all the snow we had? Wasn't I also just complaining that I whine about the weather too much? With the Humidex (that is a fancy way of saying "it's effing muggy!" or "close" as my mum used to say), the temperature today is 42 degrees (somewhere in the neighbourhood of 106 for all the Fahrenheiters)...which is waaay too hot for my aging circus-fat arse. I think I got about twenty minutes of sleep last night, which is more than the dogs had. You'd think, being a relatively smart person (shut up, I am so!) that perhaps I (or 'we', Cee makes decisions sometimes, too) would have turned on that most-appreciated invention called "Central Air" (Did you hear the Halleluiah chorus ring out when you read 'central air'? I did...) but no, our cheap, stubborn old hides refuse to accept the need for air conditioning this soon, after all it's only the beginning of June, for heck's sake....and if I'm honest, I'm not even used to having Central Air ("Ahhh-Ahh" Angels singing) in my house, since where I grew up, nobody has a/c in their house, because when you live close to mountains, you just don't need it, and there's no humidity (it really isn't the heat, it is the humidity that kills you--the cliche is right).

I appreciate all the kind words about the purely evil beehive tea's still working well, so the practical side of me can't bring myself to do away with it...and it's starting to grow on mould.

On a happier front, I completed a crocheted Care Bear, see if you can guess which one. This is for a very special, but usually grumpy boy, who shall remain nameless, although one of his nicknames is Misery Guts:

A fun and relatively easy pattern. Again, the devil is always in the details. In this case, they are done in size 10 thread, with the exception of the eyes & eyelashes, which are felt, so if you aren't comfortable working with the tiny steel crochet hooks, I suppose you could try doing them in felt as well, you'd just have to take an educated guess at the sizes of the nose/foot pads and the tummy symbols. They also have a little red heart on their backsides, which I'm told mimics the actual Care Bears (I was a little bit old for that craze way back when).

When the heat comes, I usually take out the thread and my steelies, and after taking a bit of time to get used to the thin-ness of the thread and the insanely small hooks, I am addicted to thread crochet again, it doesn't take long.

This is by far my favourite bookmark pattern, by the talented Cupcake, and is a free pattern on her blog, Crochetroo. Stop by and see her other creations, she is really gifted.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

just a flyby

A quick post, with no pictures today. I will share that the hideous thing I was making in the previous post is now complete, and not really any the less hideous for being completed. Some day I may be brave enough to post a picture, when it stops making me retch...I really don't want to subject you good people to it....if it weren't for the fact that Cee keeps telling me "it's really not that bad, you know...." and it's practical I would probably not only throw it away, but cut it to shreds first...I've got you scratching your heads now, don't I? Oh, okay, just don't say I didn't warn you....hope you don't have an easy gag reflex....

Did I make you cry? I'm really sorry.....Yes, okay, it's supposed to be a beehive tea cozy...In my defence, (and I suppose I need one) the picture in the magazine (Creative Knitting May '08) looked so cute and kitschy and fun and even practical (Cee, being English, will drink a minimum of two pots of tea a day) that how could I go wrong? Well it went....wrong.....I suppose maybe the thing that bothers me (other than everything) are the colours don't really gel, the pink daisies remind me of weird-looking spiders, the leaves don't really look like leaves, the bee buttons are cute but I think they look stupid....and that 'beehive'...with its hateful loose purl stitches....arrrrgh!!!!

There is no denying the practicality of keeps the teapot scorching hot, the secret is this kicky quilted lining:

And I only broke two sewing machine needles making it, too....cursed. from. the. start.

I also wanted to put up the link for the Ballband Discloth pattern, since I received some inquiries. That pattern is in the Mason Dixon Knitting book along with a few other nice ones, but the Canadian Living Site has it excepted on their page, and you can get it by clicking right here.

That's it for now, told you it would be short. I just hope none of you have nightmares now....

Sunday, May 25, 2008

fear and loathing

Something happened to me the other day that I never in a million years ever expected would happen; I actually experienced total hatred of something I was came on gradually as I was making it, but with each row it grew and grew until by the end it was all that I could do to keep from taking the scissors to it:

After it was all cast off and finished, I just tossed it into my basket, I couldn't stand to look at it anymore. I won't tell you what it is supposed to be, just in case I hurl it into a flaming fire pit to become a ball of melted acrylic. Barring that, there's a few more things that need to be done to it before it's technically finished, if it ever makes it that far. The day after the tossing, I looked at it and still thought it was pure evil. I'm not sure why I hated it so much, sure it's acrylic, and some people would argue that's basis enough, but I think it had a little to do with the fact that I knit it on double pointed needles, and got horrible ladders going up the whole way.

Can you see them? They are right in the middle of the picture...I was frustrated because I seem to have been able to correct the ladder problem on knit stitches, but no matter what I tried (and I tried a lot of things, including cursing violently) I couldn't get rid of those hateful loose stitches on the purling rows. In the end I tried to 'borrow' a little from each side of the offending stitches to make it less noticable, but trust me, this picture is kind, you can see the ladders all the way up and down in the 3 places where the needles met. If any of you smarter more experienced knitters have any helpful advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. At one point during the madness I said to Cee that I think I may have reached the pinacle of my knitting abilities and I may not be able to get any better, and he helpfully suggested I should take a break from knitting...oh, he's a funny one, allright. Does it make me crazy that I finished it even though I was hating it so much? Memo to self: Remember, it's supposed to be fun and relaxing....I know, try not to laugh to hard at that one...
Yesterday I busied myself making a few of these little guys

Which, if I don't decide to hurl out the offending thing, are actually part of's a little leaf, or it wants to be anyway.

I've been doing a little Spring cleaning knitting, getting rid of a lot of my kitchen cotton yarn in the most fun way I know how:

No matter how many of these I make I never seem to have any for myself....but it doesn't bother me, I just like making them.

I've been looking out at the garden lately, at all the weeds...weeds seem to be the only things we can grow with any consistency (aside from my tomato plants last year). Our area has prohibited spraying herbicides and pesticides here, so we have copious amounts of dandelions, which I actually think are quite pretty, especially when you whizz by them on the side of the roads, but they do play havoc with my allergies.
Our local news station published a 'natural weed killer' recipe that is eco-friendly and I of course was immediately skeptical and thought cynical thoughts about how all this 'earth friendly' 'green' and 'organic' stuff is just getting too trendy for words, and no-one really cares about the planet but they are all just slapping 'green' on stuff to sell it and all that...and then I thought that I'd just mix up half a batch of that weed killer stuff just to try and guess worked! It worked like a charm. Within about 6 hours of applying it, most of the weeds were dried up and some had actually disappeared altogether, colour me happily surprised and a little less cynical.

I'm going to pass it on to all the other wanna-be gardeners out there, give it a try and let me know if it works for you. I will preface this by saying I only tried it on the weeds that were growing in between my patio stones and near the driveway...I have a feeling if you sprayed or poured it near your precious flowers and plants, it would kill them along with the weeds, so be forewarned.

Natural Weed Killer

4 Cups White Vinegar
1/4 Cup table salt
2 Tsp Liquid Dish Soap
Mix together (it will look a little weird). You can either put into a spray bottle and spray the weeds or pour directly on them. Big weeds may need a second dose.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


First of all, I wanted to say thanks to all the great (and obviously very smart) people who read this weird blog and gave me all the wonderful comments about my pattern for the iPod pendant, you guys rock!!

Usually this time of year is my most favourite, I love to see all the buds on the trees and all the bulbs coming up, new flowers, etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm no gardener, the fact that I've managed to keep my hibiscus plant alive for 6 years now is a complete miracle to me, but man, I do love me some Spring! This year...well I suppose it's because of our extended winter, but it seems like it's not even happening this year. We went right from three feet of snow on the ground to +30 temperatures within a no like. I just realized I whine about the weather a lot...feh.

Speaking of whining...wait, no don't go!...are you still with me? Well I'm about to whine a bit, not a lot, just a bit, about one of my favourite blogger/writer/knitters, the yarn harlot, I've got nothing but love for her, being a fellow Canadian and basically living in the same area of the country and being a knitter and all...but I do have a wee bone to pick....I was given a copy of "At Knit's End"...and whilst reading it I came upon a page that said something about how knitter's should stop debating eachother's knitting, there was no wrong way to knit, and that they should all stop correcting eachother and and deal with the more important issue; how wrong crochet is.

Whoa...wait...what? I'm hurt...not really hurt by that. Unless she's kidding, in which case I'll just shut's possible that was just sarcasm and I'm getting my pants in a bunch for nothing. But honestly, why's she hatin' on all the hookers anyways? When I was a kid and my grandmother was knitting slippers (with that plastic phentex yarn yet) she never looked up from her knitting and said things like "knitting is cool and cache, crochet is crap and wrong" the lady down the street who crocheted ponchos for all the little girls (it was the '70's) never said "people who knit are stupid, only smart people crochet" People either knitted, crocheted, or did both....and no one ever dissed the other. When did all the animosity start? Normally I don't really give a toss about it, I'm glad I do both, I love to do both (there's a dirty joke in there somewhere I think) although lately I have been knitting more, but I was reading a little bit of the threads on Ravelry about the debates between the two, how the knitters seemed to think the crocheters were pouting (and indeed whining) because most of the groups seemed to be catering to only knitters, when the crocheters said really there are more people who crochet (I didn't know that) and all this palaver and drama, and I was thinking it was all so very silly, and then I happened to read a book by one of my favourite bloggers and right there in black and white she says that "crochet is wrong"...I'd like to know why she thinks it's so wrong. I take umbrage, harlot...but I still love you, and in case you were kidding, I'll shut up now.

On to more pleasant things, like finished is a knitted Humbug Bag from 101 Designer one-skein wonders I made to hold my sock projects:

I used a carabiner clip instead of the recommended ribbon as a 'handle' so that I could clip it to my purse strap to take along with me. If you think the outside is wacky with the stripy stripy patterns, check out the material I lined it with:

Does it make you say "wow"? I'm not sure what I was after (or maybe high on? j/k) when I bought the material, but it actually matches some of the colours in the bag, so I'm claiming PMS as an excuse...that and the fact that it was in the quilt remnants bin and cost practically nothing....what's that, they should have paid me to take it out of their store? well humph!! Seriously I like the bag a lot, it's perfect for holding my dpns, tape measure, yarn, whatever little things I need, plus I left a little hole at the top for the yarn to feed though.

Speaking of socks, I finished another pair, this is another pattern from "Favorite Socks" (Cable Rib) and I modified it a wee bit for my own benefit:

Next I'll search for the perfect pattern to give my gorgeous Stitch Jones yarn the justice it so richly deserves.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

look, a pattern!

I thought I would post my pattern for my iPod cozy/thingie, since I received a few requests for it (shut up, I did so!!) So anyway, if your mp3 player is cold or dusty, and/or you'd like to know where it is and keep it out of the way while you knit or crochet (you know, if you have a dog/cat/spouse/child/?? who sits directly beside you while you knit/crochet and you don't want to put said mp3 player in a place where it may or may not get sat upon by a curious but possibly well-meaning family member or anyone else) then read on, for I have your solution, hang it beautifully from your neck!

How to take your iPod nano (or any other mp3 player-type device, let's face it, this is highly and easily customizable) from this:

To something that may or may not look like this:

Pod Pendant (or Nano Necklace if you prefer)

3 1/4" H x 2 1/2" W (again, this can be easily customized by doing a little measuring and a teensy bit of math with your tension)

Yarn used is Bernat Handicrafter (cotton) Stripes
needles: 4.5 mm/size 7 US straights
Gauge/tension: 10 sts & 12 rows= 2 inches

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin;

Cast on 25 sts.
Work in stockinette stitch until piece measures 2 3/4". Next work 5 rows of garter stitch. Now cast off. Make sure you leave a long tail for sewing (say 12" or so) Pretty painless, right?
Now take your lovely piece of fabric and fold it in half width wise with right sides together. Sew the side seam (I like whipstitch the best, because of the name!). When you finish sewing the side seam and get to the bottom, keep going and sew up the bottom seam, leaving approximately the last 1/2" open to allow for the ear phone cord (it goes without saying (or does it?) that if your ear phones plug into the top of your player, you can just sew up the whole bottom seam, but I didn't have to tell you that, did I? 'Cause you're so smart!)

Now you have a choice to make. For the 'necklace' part, you can choose your poison and either make a 2 or 3 stitch i-cord (tutorial available at Knitting Help, link at the right, go ahead and look, I'll wait) or, in my case, use a crochet hook, attach to the right side with a sl st and chain the appropriate length (approximately 28-29"), then attach to the other side and fasten off. Now you are done, shout it from the rooftops, and enjoy your new pendant/necklace! (but don't forget to weave in the ends!)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

hot fuzz

Okay, just a flyby post, despite the provocative title, it's nothing risque...really I'm just excited that I finally finished the knitted Bobby (British policeman) doll for Cee. I'm happy with the way it came out, and he's pretty tickled with it, too, being that he, as a little lad in England, used to have a policeman's outfit to play in....let's face it, we're both just a couple of giant big kids:

In a word, to sum up the pattern, I'd say fiddly...lots of little details, but ultimately a fun knit, and it only took me almost a year to make!! (mostly because I put it down to hibernate more often than I picked it up to work on it.) For anyone interested in the details, the pattern came from Jean Greenhowe's Mascot Dolls, which has some other really cute patterns in it.

"Eere..wot's all this, then?! Nothing to see here...move along, move along..."

Saturday, April 12, 2008


How awesome is this??!

The very awesome and talented Sharon of Chickenlips Knitting and Stitchjones fame sent me some glorious, beautiful, wonderful yarn!! Check out that gorgeous colourway, "La Villa Strangiato"--could you die? Don't you just want to reach out and touch it? Don't worry, I'll do it for's so soft and yummy (I promise I didn't try to eat it, but it IS yummy!) This will be turned into a beautiful pair of socks, once I find a pattern worthy of it's awesomeness.

And look what else she sent, a pretty little hand-made stitch marker!

This little beauty is already being put to use! Thank you Sharon, you are such a sweetie, I am truly overwhelmed!!