Thursday, January 29, 2009

bearly here

I have a cold. I've had it for almost a week. It's not going away.

Luckily, it's contained just in my sinuses, and hasn't gotten worse... yet. Although with me, colds have a habit of getting worse before getting better. Maybe I'll luck out, and it won't be the case. I've been living on Halls and Neo Citron for the last few days, and today I stocked up on chicken soup to hopefully help me get better.

But, because of my cold, I've missed my knitting group last Tuesday, and a trip to Costco on my uncle's membership today. Bleh. Of all the weeks to get sick.

I'm also having a little bad luck in one of my knitting designs, despite being totally inspired. I've come up with - what I think is - a great knitting pattern for a teddy bear. But, I need those plastic eyes to go on it. Do you think I can find eyes anywhere? No, of course not, that'd be too easy.

I remember, when I was working at Lewiscraft once upon a time, there was a whole section of them at the store. Now, irrigardless of where I go, all I can find is googley eyes. Michael's, Walmart, and Zellers have been no help. I've tried 3 dollar stores as well, with no luck either. So, I have to rely on ebay to help me out. I've found a few people who are selling eyes - even those plastic bear noses! - with the backings I need to keep them steady from the inside of the fabric. But the auctions don't end for at least a week, and then who knows how much longer before they arrive by mail.

I really need to put these eyes and noses in place before stuffing and stitching up the head, so in the meantime, I'm at a standstill. Oh well.

Maybe the extra week or so will allow me to focus on some other projects - but I so desperately want to finish this one! :(

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

it's been so long since I've crocheted...

Lately, I've only been using my crochet hooks for weaving in ends. I have to admit, it's been a while since I've crocheted anything.

I came across someone destashing a copy of 99 Granny Squares to Crochet, and I remember seeing it when I was working at Lewiscraft once upon a time. To this day I don't know why I didn't pick it up back then. But, I did buy it off this fellow raveller, and finally arrived in the mail today!

I got two squares made - it's #93:

I'm using up some Red Heart Super Saver I have laying around the house to whip these up. I don't have enough to make a full blanket, but I'll do as many as I can with what I have, and if need be, I'll swing by Walmart or something to pick up a few extra balls of these colours to finish it off!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Two birds, one stone

I've been using this pattern for basic kid's mittens to knit these 10 pairs, for afghans for Afghans, during the last 6 weeks or so. Exhausting, but fun. :) Managed to get a good handle on how to whip up a basic mitten, and I think I can now brave my own design. And, the other bonus, was I was able to destash much of the partial skeins of yarn I had laying around my house!

I think I'll have these mailed by the end of the week, since I need to the post office anyway to mail a couple thank-you cards.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

so far, I'm lagging

I've got three WIP's on the go atm, and haven't touched one of them so far this year. I've been too distracted with making my scarf and spinning wool.

I need to get a move on.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

scarf done :D

Finished my scarf made from malabrigo yesterday! phew!
Wore it out for the first time today when DH and I went to pick up my mom at the airport... and justifiably so, since it was snowing and cold out today! It's so warm... lovin' it!

Friday, January 9, 2009

oh, so tired

The night before last, I stayed up all night, deciding to both knit and design my own knit teddy bear from some red heart super saver yarn I have laying around.

Despite not completing it yet, as I have other WIP's that keep me on the go during the day, I've got at least the arms, torso, legs and tail knit and assembled. What to do with designing the head, I've no idea.

As this is my first attempt at designing a toy, I really want to get it at least 90% good on my first try, rather than looking at it and thinking "Wow, this whole thing is a disaster."

I suppose the point of today's blog post is that, since I pulled that all-nighter, I'm still recovering because I'm very sleepy today.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

got me some head!

Yes, I know. I titled that on purpose.

Finally, after a few years of searching, I found some glass mannequin heads for a good reasonable price - Pier 1 is selling them for $22 CDN each. I picked up two of them; they'll be a great asset to when I need hat models!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

show a little love

I am infatuated with scarves. I always have been.

That's why, since I restarted knitting and crocheting, that scarves have been the item that I've made the most often. In my book, the longer the scarf, the plusher the fabric, the funkier the design or colour, the better.

That's why I love winter - the best season to wear those big warm knit scarves!

Next week, friends of my parents' are getting married, and I thought, Why not knit a great scarf that I can wear to their wedding? And, what better yarn is there to use than some Malabrigo?!?

I bought one single skein at the creativfestival last October in TO, and I've finally gotten around to knitting it up. Should've taken me less than two days, but since I found it a bit wide, and had I finished it at that width it would've been a bit short, I frogged it and made it about an inch thinner. Frustrating to have to frog knits, but it looks much better now.

I can't wait until it's done so I can wear it out!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

another spinning attempt

I'm in the process of spinning up another skein of yarn from roving:
This'll have more of a 'barbershop poll' look once I blend it with another spun skein, which I'll get to eventually!

Monday, January 5, 2009

le beer bloggery

Of all the times I blog, I rarely post the creative stuff that DH makes. Granted he doesn't play with yarn, but he's rather creative when it comes to a relatively new hobby: beer making.

Over the holidays, he made two batches of beer: one with dried bananas (that he dried himself) and one with ginger. He bottled each batch in different coloured bottles to tell them apart, and labeled a few for gifts and xmas itself:
Aren't they neat?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

since I'm on a handspun-yarn kick...

... I thought I'd rummage through flickr again to select a few great photos of great projects.

The first pic I found was of these fantastic fingerless mitts and the ball of yarn it came from - great colours, some of my favourite, and spun into a really great colourway, to make these great mitts. Fingerless mittens, in my book, are simply the best project to both make and wear. Nice job! :)

Then there's this yarn called 'Baked Alaska' - which is just a stellar colourway. And nicely photographed too; print-and-frame worthy in my opinion. Another frame-worthy pic for a good wall hanging, imo, is this fantasticly coloured pic of fun coloured yarns!

Now, I just love green. Granted that my favourite colour changes daily, what's been mostly consistant is green, in any shade and form. So when I found this pic of wonderful handspun called The Dryads, I was almost beside myself. A good inspiration for future dyed wool.

I kind of freak out when I'm spinning my yarn, that the thread itself isn't consistant. I get thick and thin chunks all over the place, despite my best efforts. I suppose it's what makes handspun yarn unique, but a part of me gets frustrated when I do it to my own work. But when I see a beautiful yarn like this in all its fantastic texture, I don't nearly feel as bad! I love it, despite the fact that pink may not be my most favourite colour; the texture nonetheless looks fantastic as it is!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

my first handspun

I used a drop spindle to make this:
It's my very first handspun. Overall, I think it turned out alright, although I did try to make it as thin as possible. I was aiming for something about fingering weight, although despite my best efforts, there are parts of it that are thicker (like dk weight-ish) and parts that got too thin (like lace weight-ish), but, oh well. I think that sort of thing just happens.

Now, in the end I wrapped the skein around my arm, so I'm estimating its length to be about 28 meters, although I was hoping for more. It's 50 grams all together. At the very least, I love the colourway.

Friday, January 2, 2009

burnt wool

Apparently, when microwaving dyed wool to set the dye, it's possible to burn it:
And, in case you're wondering: the burnt part smells like caramel. Yummy.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Happy 2009, everyone!

I've been trying to think of a few good resolutions, that I know I'd want to stick to, and be motivated to stick to a month from now. Aside a few usual resolutions like losing weight and so forth, here are a few knitting/crochet related ones I've made for this year:

Commit 100 random acts of kindness using knitting or crochet, ie donating knit and crochet items, donating knitting supplies to worthy causes, etc. Why 100? Well, why not? Knock on wood that this is something I can accomplish within one year, but I wouldn't be a stickler about this one. One pair of knit mittens, for example, will count as one random act of kindness - so donating a few pairs will count as a few acts. Progress will be blogged.

I've also made a list of both online and in-print magazines that I want to get published in. I've been wanting to get published for years now, and I really need to buckle down and get in gear. This'll hopefully be my year. I set a goal of creating a minimum of 10 patterns this year to submit to various places for a chance of publishing something, hopefully something'll work!