Monday, 31 March 2014

I just made it!

It's still March! But to be honest, I don't think this REALLY counts...

I am wearing them today, but I'm just hanging out, working from home. (and yes, I even use nail art wraps on my toes...)
This winter has been painful for a flip-flop loving chick like me. I finally ad enough of the boots and shoes and socks and just grabbed these today to get something outside. The temperature is on my side, but the landscape is not.

Yes - you are seeing some Christmas decorations. Believe it or not, they just reappeared recently - we have had so much snow, these were buried until just this week...
And to be honest, I can't even call this snow anymore - it's snirt. Snow + Dirt = Snirt. And I hate it...

But we've had more than 3 days in a row above freezing, which is more than we've had in months. so I'm feeling good about it. I'm hoping I can bring out more than one pair of my favourite footwear...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

sweater progress

Sleeves? Check.

Steeks cut? Check.

Pockets knitted and sewn on? Check.

Stitches picked up for the front bands and collar? Check.

Pictures arbitrarily rotating themselves for no apparent reason? Check. (what the hell? I have no idea why they are doing this...)

Whatever - the sweater for my husband is in the home stretch - just the bands, some blocking and buttons and we're done. He has tried it on, and likes the fit and colour, but is concerned about the itchiness factor of wool. I told him if I had known he was planning on wearing it naked, then I would have used a softer fibre, but this wool, once soaked, would soften up sufficiently to be worn with his shirts.

I love the look of the saxon braid cable on the pockets - it adds just enough interest without it being over the top. Now I just have to slog through all the 1x1 rib bands and collar. It actually won't take that long, this is great TV knitting, so I should start thinking about my next project...

Monday, 24 March 2014

I feel the need, the need to bead...

(Sorry for the bad Top Gun reference...)
Ever since I made those beaded amulet bags, I've had a hankering for some beaded knitting. To be honest, I think the fact that I've been working away on a heavy wool boring sweater was also a factor in me wanting something small and sparkly...
So I dug out my beads (sigh. I have far too many beads...), and strung these up.

The plan is for a lacy little choker length necklace from one of my Brenda Franklin books.

These are a mix of turquoise, brown and other jewel tones, and I think they will look gorgeous when done.

And if that doesn't take the edge off, I have an entirely too large bag of beads set aside to maybe knit up...

Friday, 21 March 2014

Brenda! the pattern is fantastic!

Brenda is such a nice person. A fellow knit blogger, we met through our blogs (somehow...) and have met in person a number of times, usually at knit shows (coffee at the Frolic this year!!)
I sent her some sock yarn she needed (that was just sitting in my stash, never seeing the light of day, so it was win all around...) and in return she gifted me with a pattern for (get this!) crocheted flip flops! Too funny and perfect for me. I've got to say, there is nothing like getting that email notification that you've been gifted with a pattern - it will always bring a smile!
I dusted off my crochet hooks, found some cotton (like I don't have a ginormous bag of it...) and got started.
At first, i thought the crocodile stitch was going to be beyond my mediocre crochet skills, but I dove in, knowing that Brenda or Susan were just an email away, and both of them are better crocheters than I. But, with the help of You Tube, I persevered and voila!

I know there is only one so far, and unfortunately, it's too small for me, but that will not stop me. I've found my new favourite summer slipper. 

Brenda, you're truly one of the best!

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

While I was away

As I mentioned, I spent part of the March Break at the cottage with the Boy. Our neighbour Nancy was there with her two girls, and we spent a few days enjoying the place and each other's company. We combined for dinners, lunches, and even breakfast! It's great having such good friends - the kids all love spending time together, and Nancy and I share a love of good wine and conversation. And she doesn't think it's weird that I knit while I talk. Good all around.
I had great plans of finishing up my husband's sweater, but while I did work on it (halfway through the second sleeve!!) I decided to work up a couple of purple sparkly things. I have a family member that's going through a tough time emotionally, and she loves purple. so I dug into the bead stash and made these...

the top one (the one that looks striped) is the Beaded Amulet Bag, a free pattern from the Rainey Sisters. I changed the strap to a crocheted beaded chain to use up the beads.
The other one (with the bigger beads), is just something I made up as I went along, based on the amount of beads I had. It's open at the top, while the other one has a little flap with a shell bead as a weight. They are headed to their new home as we speak, and I hope she likes them and they bring a smile to her face.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Trying to get my mojo back...

My blogging mojo seems to have deserted me - I didn't do anything last week, partially because of factors around me, partially because I just didn't carve out the time to do so. 
I did spend much of the week at the cottage It was March Break here in Ontario - known as Spring Break to much of the world, here, Spring was the last thing on Mother Nature's mind! We actually took an auger out on the lake to see how much ice we still had - (full disclosure, Nancy and I walked along with the guys that were going to do the augering. While my son did take his turn with it, I was content to watch.) There is still 36 inches of ice out on the lake! That's almost unheard of! The most Ive seen before this year was 27 inches, and certainly not in March. By march, we are luck to have 14-16 inches, and I've seen the ice start breaking up in Marches past. The latest anyone on our lake remembers the ice going out is April 27th, and I bet we are later than that this year. there just doesn't seem to be any let up to this winter.
That may be part of the reason why I've been so blah lately. I'm so done with winter. Don't get me wrong, I love the seasons we get here, and I do enjoy winter, but I've had enough. We've been hit hard with it for so long this year. I'm so ready for the heat of summer!
There are SOME good things about winter - we get great visitors:

and... I'm sure there are other things, but they are not coming to mind...

Part of the problem I'm having is my job situation - basically, the powers that be have made some brutally bad business decisions, and the company won't last much longer. It doesn't seem to bother our CEO (he of the Palm Beach Estate, Muskoka Cottage and new Bentley). I don't hold anything against him, but really, flaunting his $600K reno in Florida was a little tacky... My boss and I are both on the hunt - ideally, we'd like to find something where we can continue to work together, but that might not happen for a while. In the meantime, I'm on the interview trail. I am still working, and will continue to draw pay from them as long as the company lasts - we have the office space until the end of March, then will work from home until final decisions are made. At least interviewing while still having a job means I can be somewhat picky about the jobs I interview for...

And in case you were wondering - yes, my nails are day-appropriate:

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Friday, 7 March 2014

Too bad he doesn't want a vest...

I've finished the body on my husband's cardigan, and have started on the sleeves. 
I love top down sweaters, but I always forget how much I hate knitting the sleeves. Yes, it's nice that they are already attached tot he sweater, so once I finish the knitting, I'm done - no sewing in or anything. 
The downside is the huge bundle of knitted wool that is attached to the sleeve that has to be consistently turned around and around as I knit the sleeve in the round. It's a pain.
But... the sweater is turning out EXACTLY how I envisioned it, and even my husband is looking forward to it. 

If I ever finish the sleeves...

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

socks - done and doing

It's no secret I like having socks on the go at all times. There's always at least one (if not more) sock in progress in my purse.
I like to have the ribbing done ahead of time - it's just straight stockinette - easy to do while a passenger, waiting in line or just hanging around...

I also do the heels at home, when I have the time to pick up the stitches, and do the decreases properly.

May I present the first of my String Theory Colorworks socks?

Love. Them. (and I don't even like pink all that much...) But my Mom will love them more, and she gets them for her birthday this month.

On the go:

Manos Del Uruguay. For a July birthday for a 15 year old girl.

Biscotti et Cie Witches Britches - for ME!

Sportweight String Theory - for ME!

Tanis Purple Label Cashmere blend - for the gift bag, probably for my FIL

I am so ready for any down time...

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Update to Yesterday

People wanted to see my Epic Fail. So because I love getting comments, and try to honour all requests (okay, SOME requests...) I dug this out of the trash.

I know it doesn't look like a fail, but trust me, it really is. I should have read the reviews online before trying this - its the Plantain t-shirt pattern, a free pattern from Deer and Doe. It's a lovely pattern - well written, well laid out, and graded for size well. But size is where it fails miserably. I'm not a small woman, but I know my size fairly well, and can usually make adjustments. I pulled some leftover cream ponte I had sitting around, and used that as a muslin, hoping that it would be somewhat wearable. Yeah. Not so much. It was RIDICULOUSLY small. I mean, out of proportion tiny. I should have measured ahead of time. I should have read some reviews. I know. I didn't. I just went ahead and sewed. Crap. A waste of good ponte. The armscye in the sleeve is beyond crazy - even a size 2 would have a tough time getting her arm in comfortably.
The only save on this make was using my twin needle successfully. 

So, yes, I'm pissed - at myself for not doing the due diligence on this, and at the pattern for having a ridiculous sense of size. I really hope a teen with self esteem issues does not make this top and feel like it's her fault.

I have to tell myself - it was a free pattern - you get what you pay for...

Monday, 3 March 2014

Using up the bits and pieces

I actually had a chance to get into my sewing room this past weekend, but unfortunately, a couple of fails. Actually one fail, and one "this might get saved". 
And so seriously a fail, that it's already wadded up and tossed, so no pictures. The might get saved is in time out while I debate it's fate...
I di get a pair of jammie pants made - the rainbow paw prints.for my friend's birthday, and with the scraps made a few bags (as I did with the extra curling print fabric.)

Bags are easy and very gratifying after a couple of fails! The top bag - the rainbow paw prints - the stuffed one holds the matching pajama pants - all ready for gift giving. There are three more of this print - ready for gift giving. Then at the bottom, 3 drawstring bags (one already in use) and a zippered bag from the curling fabric.
Then, because I was using up bits and pieces, I found this off cut of Christmas fabric that I just felt I had to make up.

I love Maxine and her humour. The only problem I can see with these two bags? Giving them away. I may just have to keep them in the family.