Wednesday, 27 February 2013

My new favourite colourway

If I had to give up every other colourway and only knit with one, it would be this.

Dye Version "Galapagos".

This is the bamboo stretch sock yarn, but next time I see her booth (Knitter's Frolic in April??) I am getting it in every base yarn she makes. It's that gorgeous...

Monday, 25 February 2013

I got incredibly lucky...

I won a contest on Cheryl's blog. She offered up any number of gorgeous knitted items, but then remembered how much I liked her pottery, so she offered me a piece of that. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? How lucky could I get? As much as I love other people's knits, a piece of handmade pottery is so special.
She showed me some pieces she had, and I fell in love with a bowl. I love the pure simplicity of the shape, and the lovely glaze, and the next thing I knew, this wonderful bowl was leaving it's birthplace of Sunny Southern California to take up residence in Canada. In February.
 
 
 
 

Lucky Bowl. Well, I'm not sure the bowl feels lucky, but I sure do. I introduced the bowl to it's new home in a truly Canadian way - during a light snow.

It's real home will be in my dining room or living room, both of which have dark green walls.


(Colours are SO off here - overcast days, unnatural light and green walls that refuse to be photographed true to life.)

I see it overflowing with pale pink peony blooms from my garden, come spring...


Thursday, 21 February 2013

I'd laminate the list with him on it...**

Commander Chris Hadfield, soon to take over as leader of Expedition 35 aboard the International Space Station, tweets the coolest photos from space. I could get lost on his Twitter feed...

And get this - he's not only an astronaut (which is coolness in itself), AND Canadian (allow me some national pride...), he sings and plays guitar!



AND (to ice my cake...) he plays, FROM SPACE, with THE BARENAKED LADIES!! (one of my favoruite bands from the first time I saw them in a little hole in the wall club, and bought their indie cassette tape...)


He is SOOOO on my list...

**points to those people that get the reference...


Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Quick addendum...

A few people were interested in the cup holder mitten from the last post. A two second Ravelry search will bring you to this http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/cupholder-mitten - and it's a free Ravelry download.
Two nights in front of the TV, (during which I did a ton of other stuff, so it could be a one evening project...) and you'll have your own.
The only change I would make to my next one is the bottom - I'd change up the decreases so it wasn't as pointy, but that's a pretty small issue.

Just be careful who you show them to - I have requests to make quite a few more!

As a note - I used a lone ball of (I think) Paton's Classic Wool that I found in my stash, and 3.75mm needles, and made the size small. It just dented the ball of wool. I have pretty average hands (I've never been called "dainty"), and it fits great. It fit most of the guys that tried it on, but in some cases, I'd probably go to a medium. I have a ton a worsted weight odd balls that would be great for these. I'd stick to 100% wool though. I think any kind of acrylic or blend would stretch too much, and if you are holding a cold can on a cold day, I'm pretty sure a fake wool would provide zero insulation, so why bother? It takes so little, go for the good stuff!

Super quick project

As you know (because I've gone on about it ad nauseum...) we have a cottage, and we try to get up there as often as we can. Unfortunately, we don't get there as much in the winter as we would like to, as the boy's basketball schedule precludes regular trips (games at noon on Saturday really cut into the time...) But when we get a long weekend (and add an extra day to it...) we take advantage. As we did last weekend, for the Family Day holiday here in Ontario.
While there, we tend to partake of the usual winter cottage activities:

sledding:


snowmobiling:


being towed behind a snowmobile:


hiking:

snowball throwing:
(what you don't see here is the pair of eager dogs waiting for the next snowball to be thrown for chasing!)

and of course, drinking. But we all know the trials and tribulations of outdoor drinking in winter - the beer can too easily slips out of bulky ski gloves or slippery knitted mittens. So when I saw a pattern for a cup holder mitten, I had to try it.
(Sorry for the indoor shots - when it was in use at the cottage, I wasn't taking pictures of it...)




Seems I have requests for about a half dozen more of these - more from the guys than the girls! The beer (or beverage of choice) sits snugly in the hole - no slippage, no dropping. The only problem is one might forget they are holding a full beer, and one might gesture with one's hand, or possibly, drop one's hand into a position of possible beer spillage. Not that one would know anything about this...

Friday, 15 February 2013

Bags

A selection of bags that I've sewn up recently. I promise I'm going to give some away - I just want to get a few more made (I'd like to give away sets...)
 
 
Sets like this one. A large project bag, a small one (sock size, and a lined zipper pouch. All from about 1/4 metre of fabric.
This set is spoken for. This is the one I said I had a reader that would love the pattern? I know Robyn loves all things cherries, and she reads here often and always comments, and would really want to win this, so instead of leaving it to chance, I pretended in my mind that I held a contest for these bags, and she won. So I sent them to her.
 
Call it a random act of kindness if you want, but I just like doing things like that. I know she will use them, and that's what matters.
 
By the way, by the time you are reading this, we are either packing for, or on the way to, the cottage. Son had a day off school, and Monday is a holiday in Ontario, so husband and I decided to make it a four day weekend and take off early.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

To thank Susan

Susan not only provides me with crochet advice, she is also generous with yarns and other stuff. When we meet up )in Kitchener, at the Frolic...) she always seems to have "excess" yarns to give me. Mostly sock yarns, as she has gone off socks, and I still crank them out.
To thank her, (and to reduce my ridiculously large fabric stash), I made her a few bags and sent them off. (I had an ulterior motive - she uses grocery bags for her project bags, and if I'm going to be hanging with her at the Frolic in April, her knitting has to be properly attired...)
I can show these, because she already has them.
 

Truth be told, I also used her as a guinea pig while I was perfecting my lined zipper bag method, so hers are a touch wonky. She says they are okay, but I may have to replace those at some point...

I have gotten better at the zipper bags, and will be making more of them!
Looking at these now, I think I should have reversed the linings - put the green in the red bag and the red in the green. Whatever - the method works, and I'm happy with them.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Why I worked at home on Friday

We went from zero snow to this:

in less than 24 hours (and when all was said and done, there was more than 40 cm that feel in Aurora. Seems our little town was the big winner in the Southern Ontario snowfall competition.
My son stayed home from school (after texting his friends and finding out they were ALL staying home...), and my husband also worked at home. Bonus for me - they did most of the shovelling! My son was out four times during the day, that's how hard it was coming down.
The birds were less than thrilled:

But our bird feeder was a popular hang out.
 
Best part for me? Working at home means I got all my laundry done, freeing up the weekend. Of course, I also tend to surf the internet more, and spend more time on Facebook that I ever have (I finally got a cover picture in place). I also work with the kitchen TV on, and watch way more Food network than I should. My favourite is Bake with Anna Olson. She was making coffee cakes, which are a favourite of mine. OF course, this just made me add a few ingredients to the shopping list...
Butter Tart Coffee Cake anyone?
Or maybe a Raspberry Ricotta Buckle? (I made that one on Saturday - it's a keeper.)

Friday, 8 February 2013

It's all Susan's fault...

Susan and I have been talking crochet this week. Actually, she's been talking, and showing me pictures of some of the fabulous crochet creations she's been working on (she's CorkyPomPom on Ravelry - go check it out...). She's in progress on a new blanket, which got me to thinking about my Pop blanket squares. I have 59 of them, but I don't love all the colours of them. (It's Noro - there's always a few muddy shades....) So we tossed ideas around about how to turn these squares into a blanket before I lose ALL interest in the project. (we're getting close to that stage, I haven't made a square in a couple of months). Susan's been going on about granny squares, and I think I've caught the bug. But instead of starting from scratch, I wondered (in an email to her), if I could start with my already knitted squares. We tossed ideas back and forth.
You gotta love have a sounding board, because this is what I ended up with.

(She also told me about joining the squares as I go). The colours are somewhere in between these two - a little more saturated, and the green circle is closer to an emerald green.


I'm in love with this! I may actually finish a blanket in this lifetime!
(I have 59 squares - I may get a blanket and a baby blanket out of this...)

Monday, 4 February 2013

Grumpy Old Man sweater

Babies look adorable in Grumpy Old Man sweaters. You know the ones - cardigans with the big shawl collar? The one worn by guys that are always yelling "Hey you kids, get off my lawn!!" Those kinds of sweaters.
(Disclaimer - I've never actually heard anyone say "get off my lawn", but I do know my share of grumpy old men...)
 
 
I was between projects, and had this stash of Cascade hanging about, and A good friend I work with has a fairly new grandson (the first in the family), so I whipped this up. Stupidly, I forgot to take pictures of the finished sweater - picture this with wooden buttons on it.

Or better yet - just look at this!

Sorry for the bad iPhone pictures - blame the Grandfather! But it's a baby in a sweater that fits him! The parents andd grand parents are thrilled, and that's all that matters to me!

Friday, 1 February 2013

Really?

On Wednesday at Knit Night, I ended up coming home with 7 (SEVEN!!) more cuts of fabric. Really? Because why? I didn't have enough already? There's a world wide shortage of quilt fabric ends coming and I wanted to be prepared? It's a sickness and I can't stop...
But, they are super cute, and I'm going to keep them a secret for now - I picked up some perfect ones for Susan - she likes bigger project bags, and the colours and patterns I found are so HER. Then there's one perfect pattern for a regular blog reader. I could do a giveaway, but then what if I don't draw her name? And the fabric has her written ALL OVER IT. So I'm going to make some bags, and send them to her and pretend she won a giveaway on this blog, because I know she would enter anyway, but I don't want to leave it to chance.
The rest will be giveaways for all the other blog readers. I just have to figure out that damn time problem thing again...