Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Refreshing indeed

"Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude."  - Pride and Prejudice

Now most of the things Miss Caroline Bingley say are not quote-worthy, unless of course you are looking for a laugh. She is a bit ridiculous, but nonetheless a genious character created by Miss Jane Austen, for Miss Caroline Bingley is so real. The things she does and says reminds me so much of a few girls I went to high school with. They were SO annoying, I remember thinking I just want to walk by with some scissors, 'accidentally' slip and cut out a chunk of their oh so perfect hair. Anyways the quote above made by Miss Caroline Bingley is so very true, I have just thoroughly experienced it for myself.

All of November and Decemeber were spent devoted to knitting mittens as Christmas gifts. Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE making mittens, and I was happy with how they all turned out. They were very much admired and appreciated on Christmas morning, making all my late night knitting marathons completely worth it.

However last night I started on a new project (a hat for myself) in the which I needed to learn a new stitch pattern called 'Herringbone' and let me tell you.... it  WAS  refreshing!! I was having so much fun, figuring it out and then clicking along once I got the hang of it. I think I will be making a scarf with the same pattern as well to match my hat. FUN! FUN! FUN!

Learning new stitches, challenging yourself to try something you haven't before is quite refreshing! It's good for the brain and the soul, I look forward to this upcoming new year and the things I will see and learn in it.

my pile of Christmas mittens :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a Very Jane Austen Christmas

I have to admit a guilty pleasure.... I love Christmas shows! and not just the awesome ones like A Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas and Elf. I mean I love all the them, every ridiculous made-for-tv movie/christmas special there is. I have watched tons of low-budget, poorly acted and absurdly storeylined movies, and loved them ALL! With the singular exception of  'Bad Santa' starring Billy Bob Thorton which I know I would despise for a myriad of reasons.

Last night I watched  'Santa Baby' and 'Santa Baby 2' starring Jenny McCarthy in the which she is Santa Claus' daughter. In the first movie she has to take over Christmas after Santa has a heart attack, throwing her back into her old life and eventually causing her to choose her prom king high school sweetheart boyfriend over her selfish all buisness minded city boyfriend, and the second movie Santa goes on a mid-life crisis and abandons Christmas leaving 'Mary' to save it again, with the help of her current and high school boyfriend (who is played by a different less-hot guy)  in the end from a disgruntled elf who is posing as an assistant to help Santa but ultimately trying to take over the holiday!   


Which leads me to my next question....

Why couldn't Jane Austen have written a Christmas Story of some sort?! I mean really, how hard could it have been!!

Or my follow-up question why hasn't anyone else made a Christmas movie set in the same time period at least?!? I am sure I would enjoy it just as much. When it comes to Christmas movies I am not to picky, as evidenced by my viewing choices last night, and evidenced more by the fact that it was not the first time I had seen 'Santa Baby' so I went on watching it last night in full knowledge of what I was about to see.

I'm not sure if there are many people who read my blog with random posts and rants, but if you have happened to come across it and are reading this and know of a Jane Austen Period type Christmas movie, please tell me about it! It would make my Christmas!!

and also if you are similarly entertained you will know which ridiculous Christmas movie this classic quote comes from:


Friday, December 3, 2010

Candy Cane Ornament

I saw an ornament like this and figured out a pattern to make a similar one. It's pretty basic and simple, but those are the best ones to make right?! They go so fast your tree will be bedazzled with candy canes in no time.

What you need:

Size 4mm (US 6) double pointed needles
Red DK Yarn
White DK Yarn
Pipcleaners or other bendable wire (in a pinch I used a coat hanger and it worked but was very hard to bend into a nice shape)

Cast on six stitches with the red yarn

Make a 7 inch i-cord and tie off

Cast on six stitches with the white yarn

Make a 9 inch i-cord and tie off

Stick a pipecleaner or other bendy wire inside the i-cords

Stitch them together at the bottom

Wrap the white i-cord around the red one and stitch together the ends

Bend into the shape of a candy cane

Attach a thread through the top to make a loop so you can hang it on the tree

Sing 'O Chirstnas Tree' very loudly as you hang it on the tree.

The candy cane on the left has pipe cleaners inside to help keep it's shape and the one on the right has pieces from a coat hanger.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the loaves and the fishes

By some small miracle I had enough yarn to finish the mittens!

I was seriously worried and you can see by the small amount that was left I had good reason to be.

To celebrate I made a few knit candycane ornaments to hang on the tree and give to a few friends. They were so fun to make, super quick  and simple. A perfect project to fit in between all the Christmas gift knitting I have planned.  Once I take a picture I will post up the pattern on how to make them.

Winter is just the best, I am loving all these dark cold nights that I have to cuddle up on my couch with a hot chocolate, a good movie and my yarn and needles.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


"The happiness of Miss Smith was quite equal to her intentions. Miss Woodhouse was so great a personage in Highbury, that the prospect of the introduction had given as much panic as pleasure; but the humble, grateful little girl went off with highly gratified feelings, delighted with the affability with which Miss Woodhouse had treated her all the evening, and actually shaken hands with her at last!"

That quote is a little long I know but I dont have time to search for a better one. I am experiencing the same feelings as Miss Harriet Smith was at that moment in the story. 

PLEASURE  because I am almost finished knitting a pair of mittens for a Christmas present


PANIC because I am looking at the tiny amount of yarn that I have left and am worried it is not enough to finish the job!


The pattern said one skein of yarn would be enough, and I only used a teeny tiny bit of it earlier to make some doggie legwarmers for my sister-in-law's miniature pincher, but seriously could the pattern be that accurate!!!!!

Fingers crossed it's not.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Mittens are the best thing ever to knit!!!! Seriously I want to make everyone I know mittens, if you are expecting a Christmas gift from me this year prepare yourself... there is a good chance it will be mittens!

Whoever thought knitting people scarves was a good idea?!?

Here are some reasons why knitting mittens is the bomb diggity:

1)  you can finish a really cute pair in ONE WEEK!!! Which is very important to me since it seems like every scarf I knit ends up being a ridiculously epic long project.

2) They are far more useful than a scarf, think about it. If you are freezing in your car in the morning are you more concerned about wrapping a scarf around your neck or putting mittens on so you can touch your steering wheel without you fingers turning into popsicles.

3) Mittens look really professional, making them is sweet because people think you put in SO much time and effort to make them when really it was WAY less time that it would have taken to make anything else.

4) They also look way harder to make than they really are, thereby making you look like a super skilled knitter.

5)  You can sing the song "Three little kittens, lost their mittens..." while you are knitting!

MITTENS ROCK, GO MAKE SOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and if you want a super easy and beautiful pattern I recommend the basic cabled mittens pattern that a friend of mine found on ravlery.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance." - Pride and Predjudice

I visited a craft fair at a local elementary school this past weekend to check out the fun Christmas crafts and goodies they were showing. I also planned to check out the tables selling knitting wares, to see if my knitting club could hold our own in the craft fair circuit. What I found was quite suprizing to me, there were three tables selling knit/crocheted stuff and they were all rather...blah. That is not to say they weren't nice, everything was carefully made with nice yarns and such... but it was all rather plain. Not one scarf I saw had any pattern to it, it was all just straight knitting. I was thoroughly inspired by their lack of inspiration!

It seemed like most stuff was knit in a span of one month, all basic and straight, with larger gauged yarn that knits up quicker. Probably they only decided to do the craft fair a month or two before it was to happen, so they went for quantity instead of originality.

I am quite confident the twisted stitchers (my knitting club) will be able to do really well next winter, especially since we have a game plan and will start at the begining of the year, making a few cute things every month that we would sell at our table. Who knows, maybe we will start our own little etsy shop too! and we can make signs and pass out business cards with our shop site on them, this is going to be fun! A perfect project to start the new year with!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

crochet shmochet

Victory is MINE! 

I have conquered the crocheted flower baby hat that was an utter and absolute fail when I tried it the first time. Having my Hello Kitty project finished sucessfully gave me new hope. I tried this hat again and a strange thing happened, all the parts that were terribly confusing to me were now simple as cake. (I refuse to use the saying 'simple as pie'... pies are really hard for me to make!)

All I needed was a few weeks immersed in the language of crochet and now it all makes sense.

Also I have a link to a video that you HAVE to watch, it is for Jane Austen's Fight Club and it's AWESOME!


and here is my beauty, I made for my friends new little girl:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

busy as a bee

"One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best."  from Persuasion

Halloween is upon us and for the first time ever my little girls don't want to be princesses or fairys! When I think back to our trips to the grocery store when they would wear huge princess dresses because I couldn't get them to agree to normal clothes, it amazes me this day has actually come. This year one of my daughters wanted to be a cat and the other a bumblebee.

I wanted to try and piece together their costumes with stuff we had instead of buying them and was happy with how it worked out. For the Bee I had her wear a black t-shirt and tights with and yellow and black striped skirt and a flower pinned onto her shirt. Then to make it really bee-y I knit her yellow and black armwarmers and legwarmers and they totally MADE the costume. I am so happy with how it all turned out.  I made them on 6mm needles too so they went really fast which is a good thing when you have a ton of planned Christmas presents to get to.

There were tons of patterns online for legwarmers but they all called for different gauged yarn than the black and yellow yarn I already had, so I just made a pattern up myself. Isn't it funny how often that happens? We always think we know best, or at least like think they way we do it would be better.

I will post the pattern I made up later but I doubt anyone will ever use it. Nevertheless I will put it up, so you can read it and think to yourself "Why did she do it that way? My way is better I think I will do it like this..."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quickie Dishcloths

"Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be."   from Emma

this quote just makes me laugh.

Maybe they would be more healthy if they used some cute butterfly dishcloths. I whipped a few of these up for a friend of mine who was getting married this past summer. They knit up so fast and easy and turned out really great.

It kind of makes me wish I used cotton dishcloths because they are all so easy to make and there are soo many cute patterns, but seriously cotton dishcloths?! Who uses them! They just end up stinking and I gag thinking about all the microbes and germs stuck in them, and how often do you have to wash them? doesn't it seem wrong to have to wash a washcloth? Who even uses any kind of cloth now that they have invented the scrubber thingy that holds the soap in the handle?

...now that I think about it, it was kind of the worst wedding gift ever, I am the worst! Whatever at least they were fun to knit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hello Kitty

I feel I have let enough time pass for you to mourn the loss of my knitting masterpiece with me.

It's time to move on.

I intend to do that with a splattering of blog posts, I will write every other day until the pain if it all is but a distant memory.

Today's special is HELLO KITTY!

I love Hello Kitty! What girl doesn't? and when I am asked where does she come from, is it a movie? a show? I respond "it does not matter. It's Hello Kitty. She is awesome."

As you may or may not know I have two little girls and they share my adoration for Hello Kitty, so much so that we are currently repainting and renovating their  bedroom from a Princesses Room to a Hello Kitty room.

To continue on with my adventures in crocheting I thought I would try to make a hello kitty purse! I found the pattern on ravelry and it was fairly simple, a lot of single crochets with a few doubles in the mix, a perfect pattern for me to practise the stitches and become more comfortable in the crocheting universe.

It only took me four tries at making the face shape until I had two that were actually the same size and would line up properly to make the purse (the other two have become strange looking potholders) and it all went along fairly easily, with no real big problems or confusions.

I was happy and proud of my first real crocheting accomplishment, but not as happy as my girls were who shrieked and screamed and danced around the room hugging and kissing it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Knitting Depression

There has been a lack of posting on my blog lately and I will tell you why. It's because I've been depressed about my knitting. I finally finished my epic shawl/scarf and promptly ruined it in a matter of hours. Well it was somewhat ruined already, but I had come to terms with the earlier mishap and was happy with it until I further destroyed it more. I can't even put any effort to making this a witty or exciting blog post to read, I've decided I just need to post it all out and then I can get over it.

The first mishap was realized after I was an hour into my second ball of yarn. You will never guess what when wrong because it is something I am intense and obsessive about, something you would never imagine me screwing up because I preach about it all the time. Can you guess, it's not gauge, but close, the dye lots. Perhaps I had aneurysm while I was in the yarn shop, I don't know why, all I know is that as I was painfully knitting along I found that one ball of yarn was slightly darker than the other. BOOOO!!!!!  I was not about to pull out all the work I had just done, and there was no way the store would have any of the same dye lot left so I soildered on. I cut the yarn our halfway, knit my next ball of yarn and threw the darker one in again to make a sort of thick stripe pattern, not very attractive but I could do nothing else. I was not going to LOVE the look of my shawl, but I would like it, the pattern was still really cool and I loved the shawl/scarf versatility of it.

HOURS and HOURS of knitting passed, through night and day and in and out of weeks. Finally I finished it, so proud of my work, I had grown to love it after all the time we had spent together. I was so excited to block it out to straighten out the pattern and make it beautiful. I filled my sink with mild water and gently submerged my scarf into the water. "Whoa!" I thought the water is so blue! So astonished was I that I took a picture of it. All was thought well until I pulled my precious scarf out of the sink. Understanding dawning I realized why the water was so blue, it was all the dye from my scarf just floating away, except for the yarn from the different dye lot, it was as if the colour was leaving the first yarn and soaking into the other. The slightly different coloured stripes morphed into a super dark stripe next to a hideous washed out bleached lighter version. Just gross.

I couldn't even look at it or my knitting needles for days.

There is no happy ending to this sad little tale, I bought some fabric dye and will attempt to put some colour back into my scarf but I have not the littlest bit of hope that it can be saved.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

cool beans

Ok, I have no Jane Austen spin to put on this post, no quote or movie scene to relate.

BUT if you have seen the movie Hot Rod you may remember the scene when Rod and his brother say 'cool beans' to each other over and over. It is hysterical and always makes me laugh really hard. Generally most things Andy Samberg do make me laugh, he is awesome...

anyways I finished my knuckies (fingerless knuckle gloves... but cool people call them knuckies) and in tribute to one of my favourite sayings, taken from Hot Rod, I have stitched 'cool beans' on the finger parts. I love them very much, they are perhaps one of my favourite things that I have ever knit. They are so sweet and awesome, I guess to sum them up in only two words I would have to say... they are...

Cool Beans!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I honour her

A woman, especially, if she have the misfortune of knowing anything, should conceal it as well as she can.  ~ Jane Austen

Before I give an account of the fantastical event that occurred a mere five days ago, I must start with another quote, This one by Aeschylus (whoever the heck that is...)
It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered.

I therefore declare to any person who may read this, that it is not with envy or jealousy that I share this story with you, it is rather, with wonderful admiration that I honour my friend and you by sharing this very honourable, amazing tale.

It began with a phone call.

My dearest friend calling to inform me that she was planning on learning how to crochet at our next knitting club meeting, and she thought I should learn along with her. We have a fairly experienced crocheter in our club and my friend, let's call her Bremily, planned to ask our fellow club member how to crochet.

Why? I asked her, we are having so much fun knitting and are both equally awesome at it. Bremily then informs me that whilst searching for a pattern on ravelry she forgot to specify the type of craft and came across a baby hat pattern that she fell in love with, the only hitch, it was for crocheting. I think to myself, sure, perhaps it is time to acquire a new talent for my list of accomplishments. I did crochet two blankets when I was fourteen, perhaps it won't be too hard to pick it up again.  I mention this to Bremily and she also admits to having learned a long long time ago, although adding  "I for sure don't remember anything"  

The appointed night for our monthly knitting club meeting arrives. Bremily comes armed with practice yarn, crochet hooks and the pattern for her beloved baby hat. Before our fellow twisted stitcher has even explained to us the crocheting basics, Bremily is off in the corner, chaining away. What is chaining you, or any other normal person with no recollection of how to crochet might ask? Well it is like 'casting on' in knitting, something I re-learned that night.

As the night goes the picture is very different between the two of us that are there 'learning' how to crochet. 

I am continuously pulling out and starting again, crocheting (and I use that term very loosely) a few rows here, try going circular for the top of a hat there, seeing if I can even make a few straight rows here. Ending the night with nothing to show for my hours of looping and chaining and pulling and pushing, except for the mangled yarn I have been using and reusing over and over. THIS is what a normal person may experience when learning a new craft.

Bremily, however is anything but normal, she is a prodigy! With only three or four questions to our expert friend she masterfully creates a perfectly flawless beautiful crocheted baby hat WITH a flower to attach on. You must comprehend this is no ordinary baby hat, or woman for that matter. It is not simply a straight round crocheted had, it has an adorable pattern with an exquisite flower attached that she created right there before my confounded eyes.

It is here therefore that I honour her, that while "for sure" not remembering anything she was able to create one of the cutest baby hats I have ever beheld. She is and should be an inspiration to all. For those people struggling out there, with the looping and the chaining and the frustrations of learning a new skill or craft, know this... some people just get it, and some people don't.

For those who get it, they can bask in the knowledge that they are awesome talented people and go on to make awesomely talented creations.

To the others I say, go home, watch about a hundred youtube videos, practice practice and practice and you may be able to reach the elevated level of skill those surrounding you posses. Then show up to your next knitting meeting with you own awesomely talented creation and do a little dance while waving it in their face.

Here is a picture to showcase the amazing talent that Bremily possess to create and follow such a beautiful and complicated pattern.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Do you know what that Acroynm stands for? Well if you read my knitting blog then you are somewhat plugged into the world of knitting and may know.... it stands for "World Wide Knit In Public Day" !!
I heard about it at my local yarn shop and had to join in on the fun. Some of the Twisted Stitchers and I met up at the spraypark and knit-on while our kids played. It was so much fun, the only things that were missing were a few of our other twisted stitchers and matching t-shirts! 

Every legit club has matching logo t-shirts! No worries, we are getting on that right away, designs are being dreamed up as we speak.

Monday, June 7, 2010

simple pleasures

"One half of the world cannot understand the pleasures of the other"  ~ Emma Woodhouse

I've been without internet for a while, it's amazing the unsteadying effect that can have on one person. I felt like an aimless wanderer, walking around my house with no order or sense to what I was doing. Alas today I flip open my laptop and there are those beautiful five bars showing me completely connected to the internet, sigh, what a pleasure.

My bedroom is somewhat in shambles right now, my husband is building a sound booth in it (don't ask) and the whole room is in pieces. There are huge wooden planks everywhere, most of our stuff has be shoved in the closet and covering the floor; making barely any walkable space in the room. It is an utter disaster and has been for about two weeks now. There is one thing that is keeping me sane. When I open my door and try to mark my path as to how I will maneuver myself to get to the bed I look to my left and smile.  

As part of the redesign I had to change my bookshelves to ones that would work in the different space. I love organizing my books, sometimes I just sit and stare at them when I am bored. It is a simple yet wonderful pleasure of mine. Anyways I made a little display with all my Jane Austeny books and now every time I go into my room and want to pull my hair out with the mess of it all I look and see my beautifully arranged favourite books and feel a little better.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


"Mary wished to say something very sensible, but knew not how." ~pride and prejudice

That line always makes me laugh because it is so me. I wish I was clever and had a quick wit as well but alas, I do not. I am the one who is laying in bed two days later thinking, OH MAN, I should had said THIS! Anyways I was trying to think of something Jane Austeny to put with this post and nothing was coming to me, thereby making this one very appropriate.

I have a little advice for you today, something that had I been a little more quick-witted and able to think of something very sensible to reply I may not have been stuck in the spot I was. When someone has done a huge amazing thing for you and you are seeking a way to thank them for their help, DO NOT ASK THEM WHAT YOU CAN DO TO THANK THEM!!! Seriously! it's dangerous business!  You go in thinking you will take them to a cool play or to the spa for the day(both things you can enjoy as well) and then out of nowhere you hear yourself agreeing... to knit them a blanket!

Now if you were having this conversation with a baby that was some sort of genius and could talk at a very early age I would say sure, go for it. However if the person is taller than 24 inches I would take care in the offerings you make.

That being said, it was most definitely a huge labour of love, but I am FINALLY finished the blanket! Hours and hours knitting with 6mm needles, at times I thought my brain was going to explode from the monotony of it all. It was worth it though, and when I stop whining and think about it, fairly appropriate since the person I made it for helped me in a colossal way, for many hours and many days.

It feels so good to be done though.

Now I am working on some butterfly dishcloths for a wedding present, a nice somewhat complicated pattern to awaken me out of my knitting despondency. After that, who knows! Something FUN and something for ME!! Maybe a nice summery scarf,or some cool fingerless gloves or a bag for my yoga mat.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

"Nothing ever fatigues me, but doing what I do not like." - from Mansfield Park

Has it been that long since my last post? Unconscionable!

I blame it the insipid blanket I am knitting. I am bored, SO bored! Row after row after row of tedious repetitive knitting. BLARG!

I decided to start a few more projects, smaller ones that I can work on at the same time as the blanket to break up the monotony of it all.

One diversion I am working on is a pair of hot pink fingerless gloves. They are excessively fun! I love the yarn, actually the yarn has nothing to do with it, it's more a love for the colour of the yarn. Pink! so bright and cheerful... very tolerable, I dare say, definitely handsome enough to tempt me.

I am planning on stitching some cute flowers or stars on them, as well and words on the knuckle parts. But what to say? There are countless projects of it done on ravelry, but none with words that I feel are good enough for my pink knuckies. So I put it out to you blogosphere, and the one or two people that accidentally read my blog. What should I put on them?

A few ideas I came up with, rock - star , wild - girl, dance - hard, what - ever, cool - beans and high - five (although it may be weird saying high five on the topside of my hand and not to inside where actual high fives happen..)

This is the idea from Ravelry

and this is one of my pinkalicious knuckies

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Life Skills class...not as inconsequential as I thought

Her needlework both plain and ornamental was excellent, and she might have put a sewing machine to shame. ~James Edward Austen-Leigh, about Jane Austen (James was a nephew to Jane Austen and wrote a memoir about her)

She may have been able to put a sewing machine to shame, but I sure wouldn't.

You could accurately compare my sewing abilities and skills to that of a blind six year old, and I do not exaggerate. Do not think I am being shy or humble about my skills, as Lizzy said in the 2005 P&P  "I'm not afflicted with false modesty, when I say I play poorly..." and so she did play poorly and so do I, sew exceedingly poorly. I can knit, crochet a little and even cross-stitch with the best of them, but sewing is a whole different can of worms.

I passed the sewing part of my life skills class in high school by asking the teacher for help so many times she essentially did my whole project by the end of it.

Last year I knit a checkered purse and I sewed it together so that it was lined with a cloth shopping bag, I think I have a picture of it along my left sidebar. The purse is square, I had to sew 5 straight lines, thats all. It took me four hours and I broke 3 sewing machine needles in the process.  Are you starting to comprehend my abilities here?

SO when I discovered those knitting needle holders that roll up and hold all of your stuff my first thought was, where can I buy one!? Oh no, my friend Nikki says, I have invented a killer pattern that is better than those other ones. She shows me her complicated diagram complete with measurements and ruler straight lines and I drift into a flashback of the 'drafting' part of my life skills class, my teacher had crazy eyes and my lines were never straight enough eventhough I had totally used my hot pink metal ruler.

When my brilliant friend shows me the finished product two thoughts flash through my mind.
1) that is the coolest most amazing knitting needle case I have ever seen and I really really want one... and 2) there is no way on this planet earth that I will be able to make that.

She tells me how much fabric I will need to buy, I nod, write it down and start desperately devising a plan as to how I can create another 'can you help me' sewing class situation wherein I get my talented seamstress friends to make mine for me, we could do it as a Twisted Stitchers (our knitting club) project.

Enter my fairy Godmother.

The most amazing, generous, skilled, brilliant, fun, beautiful, magnificent, fantastic, wonderful woman.  I can't add enough adjectives to explain how awesome this woman is.

She got the pattern from Nikki to make one for her daughter Emily (a fellow twisted stitcher) and she made me one too!! It is the most beautiful thing I have ever beheld. The fabric she chose, so cool and sparkly, I am obsessed with it. I just sit and stare at it, roll it out look at it for a while, then wrap it up, put it away only to find a need to take it out and admire it again.

Life Lesson learned: Surround yourself with amazing people to do the stuff for you that you really suck at.

Now all I need is to find a way to use algerba in my life and I will take back all I ever said about the ridiculous nonsensical things they teach you in high school that teachers claim you will use later in life but never do.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Easter Basket Bedlam

"If I could but know his heart, everything would become easy."   Sense and Sensibility

Understanding is a valuable thing to posess. It makes difficult things, less difficult, confusing situations, less confusing. You know what they say about people who assume, what about people who presume? Is there any common saying to make you feel stupid when you presume something? They basically mean the same thing right?

I will say that my recent knitting folly came as a result of a presumption made by myself, definetly not an assumption!

There is another saying 'there is no such thing as a stupid question' ? I have never agreed with that, I agree with the idea that if you don't understand something you need to speak up and ask for clarification, but there definetly are stupid questions.

Anyways, I am not sure where I am going with all of this... bottom line, I had a very stupid moment the other day.

On Saturday I saw a cute pattern for a little knitted easter basket with comments that it was a really quick knit and only would take an hour or two to make. I figured I would whip a couple up to hold the little fuzzy chicks the easter bunny was going to bring my kids the following morning.

The pattern seemed simple enough, I grabbed some scrap yarn I had laying in my stash and started knitting away. Three and a half hours later I had finished ONE BASKET!  ONE!

AAAAND it looked nothing like the picture in the pattern, or the pictures from the other projects shown on ravelry. It still looked cute, and I wasn't sorry for the time I spent making it, but STILL, the other one looked cuter... and I still had one more to make... say good-bye to another 3 1/2 hours...ugg. 

I sucked it up, Sunday morning I made another one, and it was cute... kind of.

I read over the pattern again and again and still couldn't find any reason why my little baskets looked so different. I looked at the projects on ravelry again and found the answer in one of the little comments someone wrote about their basket. She said "I modified the pattern a little, so I could knit it in the round."

Wait, WHAT! Wasn't this pattern SUPPOSED to be knit in the round?

Need I go on?

It made sense that it would be knit in the round, baskets are round after all. I read the pattern again and low and behold it was missing those four crucial words. "Join in the round."  WHATEVER!

Apparently knitting on straight needles and seaming up along the side, made all the difference in this case.

I couldn't have even asked a stupid question, it just seemed so obvious to me that if you were going to knit a basket, it would be knit in the round....

If only I had a dashing Mr. Knightley (as seen in the new Emma) to scold me by saying "Better be without sense than misapply it as you do."  I would still feel just as dumb, but would find solace in the attractive man taking such an interest in my knitting endeavours.

I'm only showing you pictures of my basket creations so you think they are cute and aren't seeing what they should've looked like and wishing I had had more sense.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Little Monster booties

I love knitting baby booties! I am addicted! They are so cute and usually quick and easy to make. I wish I knew more people having babies so I could knit them all booties.

Plus I love being able to say "Oh I just knitting my booty" or "I gotta go work on my booty" hahah such simple things make me giggle so hard.

ANYWAYS my best friend just had a little baby boy and I was so excited because I was able to knit some booties that I have had my eye on for a while. (always keeping my eye on them booties! hahaha, seriously how old am I? 5? don't care, still funny!)

They are little monster baby booties, I found the pattern on ravelry and they are ADORABLE! I am obsessed, I want to make them for everyone I know. Maybe when I have time I will play around with the pattern and try to figure something out.

I also made a matching hat to go with the booties and though I made them myself I have to say, THEY ARE SOO CUTE!!!

Little Monster Hat

I wanted to make a hat to match some really cute monster booties I made from a pattern I found on ravelry. I knit them with 8mm/US11 needles so it went really fast and is so simple, two things that I am a fan of. I fell in love with the yarn I used for the booties, it's so cute and soft and fuzzy. It is also a little stretchy so if you wanted to make a hat like this with a different yarn you may have to modify the pattern to make it a little bigger. Also I made the pattern to fit a newborn so if you are knitting for an older baby or maybe one with a big head you may want to up the cast on to 40. Have fun!

1 ball Moda Dea Dream Solid yarn in leaf

Scrap yarn in alternate colour, you won't need very much
1pair Size 8mm/US 11 dpn needles or  Size 8/US 11circulars,
if you are brave enough to try the double magic loop method that I love so much
1 pair Size 3.5mm/US 4 douple pointed needles
Yarn needle


Loosely cast on 35

Knit rows 1 - 23

Row 24:  K3, K2tog, repeat all around

Row 25:  knit all around

Row 26:  K2, K2tog , repeat all around

Row 27:  K2tog all around

weave through remaining stitches


Cast on 10 onto 3.5mm/US4 dpns

Knit rows 1 - 6

Row 7:  K1, K2tog repeat, (7 stitches remaining)

Row 8: Knit all around

Row 9:  K2tog, K2tog, K1, K2tog  (4 stitches remaining)

thread yarn through remaining stitches and pull tight, leave a really long tail and use that to stuff inside the horn.

Cut another piece of thread and attach the horns onto the hat.


Friday, March 26, 2010

Double Magic Loop Method

I like to knit using fat needles because they go so fast. You get such a feeling of accomplishment when you can finish a project in a short amount of time. It makes me feel like I am doing something more than my epic projects that seem to be cast on my needles for ages.

When you are making a hat and using size 4mm/US 6 needles it is just ridiculous. So much work for such a small thing! Using big needles makes it better, but for hats it poses two problems.

1. It is hard to find big needles in double pointed sets. They can be found, just not easily.

2. If you use the circulars how do you shape the hat at the top?

Solution the Double Magic Loop!

I just started doing it once, I can't imagine I am the first to try it. I planned to post a link to a video for it, since I use it all the time, but there are no youtube videos of it (strange, usually anything you can imagine is on youtube!)
So I thought I would write it out with pictures to explain what I am always talking about.

These pictures are with needles sized 12.75mm/US17

Cast on the amount of stitches needed

count out a third of the stitiches and slide it to the end of the needle like this.

Pull up on the cord at the place you figured as 1/3 of the stitches

Pull it further through and you have your 1st magic loop.
Next count out another third of the stitches and make your second magic loop beside the other needle

It should now look like this.
If you are worried about your tension or laddering don't be. I have never had any problems with it. Since you are using fat needles the stitches are big and give you a little room to play with.

Join together in the round and start knitting the first section.
Make sure when you join that the stitches are all the same way on the needles with no twisting. If there are twists, as with all circular knitting, it won't work.

Once you have finished knitting one section it will look like this

You slide the part that was in the middle up onto the empty needle, and then go to the other needle and make another magic loop splitting the stitiches in the middle

Keep on knitting and magic looping and knitting and magic looping and off you go!

One last tip, often I will switch up the places where I split the stitches to make my loops, that helps prevent laddering in the same spots. It doesn't have to be exact with every 1/3rd the same size, just so long as there are three sections allowing you to have the circular shape.

Let there be a stubbornness about you that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. Let your courage always rise at every attempt made to intimidate you from trying a new weird knitting method. 

Any guesses from which book that paraphrased quote is from? It's one of my favourite moments.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Best Ever Ever!

I have just seen the best ever ever ever Jane Austen adaptation movie!

I don't want to hype it up so high that it can only be a disappointment to you so I will only say this bold statement, that I have thoroughly thought through.

It is the best Jane Austen adaptation ever!

That is to include the beloved and near perfect 4 hour Pride and Predjudice- Colin Firth movie.

Seriously people.

I'm serious.

The movie is a 4 hour adaptation of Emma.

The characters are cast perfectly.

The acting, especially of Emma, is some of the greatest I have beheld.

The story, scenery, all of it, amazing.

Emma is of course is always battling it out with P&P in my mind for top Jane Austen novel. They are so different and both so amazing. The character of Emma is ridiculous and hilarious, I love her in the book and this is the only emma adaptation that has captured her true character.

I really could go on and on but I don't want to ruin it for anyone. Maybe I will give it a month, If you haven't watched it by then, shame on you, you deserve to have it spoiled.

GO WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Fabric Glue, a magical thing

"Besides, I cannot help thinking that it is more natural to have flowers grow out of the head than fruit."
Jane Austen's letter to Cassandra (1799-06-11), on decorating her hat.

I had plans to make my brother a sweet toque this past christmas when I picked his name in our family draw. He likes all things medieval and so I was going to make him a toque that was a battle helmet with a beard attached at the bottom, very awesome. Unfortunately, I ran out of time and ended up buying him a sword instead.

So for his birthday, which was this past week, I planned to make him the helmet toque, but instead came across a cool sponge bob squarepants pattern!  He loves spongebob, possibly more than weapons and medieval stuff.

The toque was so simple to make. I found the pattern on ravelry (best website ever!) and followed a few other peoples suggestions for the modifications.

Most people made it as a normal round toque, strange right! He is square! That is like his whole 'thing'! I wanted to make my toque actually look like him, so obviously I made it square. The pattern had pom poms instead of shoes, I wasn't in love with thath, so I copied one person who just added stitches at the bottom of the long i-cord to make little shoes, really easy. Last dilemma was the face. The toques that had the face parts knitted on, looked weird. I didn't like it. Some people used felt pieces and it looked better but I didn't like the look of the stitches going around the felt pieces to hold them in place. There was one toque that did not have those markings and so I emailed the girl to ask how she made the pieces stick on without the stitches showing. She wrote me back and what she said rocked my world.

ENTER: Fabric glue.

Fabric glue is something I had never heard of. It is a magical thing.

It's a glue.

It dries flexible.

It can be washed over and over and still holds strong.

MAGIC!!! It was so easy to use and made my toque look just how I wanted.

Fabric glue, buy it, try it.

It will rock your world,

and that's a promise.

this is not my brother, just my official toque model.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Olympic fever

"Silly things do cease to be silly if they are done by sensible people in an impudent way"  Emma Woodhouse, from  'Emma'

Would you ever consider riding a small sled, that looks like a cafeteria tray, down a frozen track while lying face down and experiencing forces up to 5 G's?  It's silly!  Why is it not so silly when it's Jon Montgomery racing down crazy fast to win the Gold?... well I guess it still kind of is...

I have a confession to make. I am a total winter sports junkie
.... for two weeks..... every four years.
It's only mere chance that it coincides with the winter olympics.

This year I have been especially addicted because the olympics are happening right where I am. I don't know why, but it makes a difference. I am watching more events than I normally do, it helps since there is no time difference. I also feel like I am a part of it because I am so close to it.

I admit it, I have hopped right onto the olympic bandwagon and I'm thoroughly enjoying the ride.

This past weekend I was up in Whistler village to watch the 2-man bobsled races and it was soo much fun. The atheletes are amazing, as always, but I also really enjoyed the general spirit all around. Everyone was wearing their countries flags and colours and cheering for their atheletes, it is all so exciting and festive. I didn't see any arguments or fights and often people were cheering for competitors that weren't even from their country.

In preparation for the event I decided to knit myself some things to show my national team spirit. I knit a red scarf and also red toques with white maple leafs on them for me and my husband, and I did it all in a WEEK!

I have discovered an amazing thing, and that thing is super fat knitting needles. I don't know how I will ever go back to my skinny minnies. I knit a scarf using size 19mm (US35) and it took me maybe a day and a half! I knit the toques on size 12.75mm (US17) and it took a day each! Incroyable! Imponente! Das ist ja toll!

I invented this pattern to make the  O Canada Toque , it's not to late, buy some super fat circular needles and knit a hat with your countries colours to show your team spirit!