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.