Wednesday, December 26, 2007

my wish list questionnaire thingy

... for that crochet swap blog's January swap:

Are you a knitter or crocheter?? both
I love to make..... wrist warmers, but truthfully, anything with cables
I really want to make...... sweaters, specifically aran sweaters because I love all the detail. I just need to find the time to make them.
My favorite yarns are..... anything soft and comfortable. I'm not a yarn snob, I could care less if it's acrylic, although I'm not a fan of yarns that feel 'stiff' or 'sticky' when I'm using them.
My wish pattern is...... anything with cables, preferably, but in more general terms, my favourite things to knit/crochet are hats, scarves, and wrist warmers
My favorite hooks or needles are..... I prefer wood, but I'm starting to love those decorative ones I see in magazines, like with skulls and whatever other decorations they have on them now! funky!
I really wish I had..... time? Cillian Murphy? a million dollars? chocolate? lol, any of those would be great :D
My favorite colors are... I love all colours, although earth tones are my favourite
My hobbies... yarn crafts take up most of my spare time, although I also love reading a good book, cooking (I'm going through an Asian cooking phase atm), and trying to garden.
My kitchen theme and colors.. brown, green
My bathroom theme and colors... my bathroom's a work in progress, so there aren't actual colours set up yet!
My dislikes.... things that are too bland. I know that's vague, but in everything I try to find something that has a bit of character to it. Boring's not my thing!
My crafts... yarn crafts galore!
what I like.... Alfred Hitchcock & Stanley Kubrick movies, scary books, llamas, and anything 'kitchy'/vintage
My allergies... aspirin
My favorite pets... I don't have a favourite pet, although atm I've a cat. I love all animals.
My favorite scents... vanilla, lemongrass, lavender, anything summer-esque
My favorite novels or magazines... well, I'm currently reading a few knitting themed books, but I love a good scary book or mystery. Love knitting and crochet magazines, especially those with funky patterns.
Other stuff about me... hm, let's see - well, I enjoy a good cup of coffee, and that first-cup-in-the-morning ritual for me is quite important. I love functional items that are multipurpose, and yet decorative. I love classic rock, alternative, and punk music. If it's weird and fun, I probably would like that too, whatever it may be. I love gnomes. My favourite season is autumn, especially because of Halloween, but I also love the changing leaves. I love celtic-ish designs. My favourite shows on tv are the CSI's, Law & Order's, and LOST.

That's pretty much it, I can't think of anything else to write. Whoever has me for a swap, if you want to ask me anything else, please feel free to do so!

I made this hat for my brother

From this pattern I made this hat for my brother - he requested it over a year ago but I was unable to find the pattern until recently, via ravelry. The only change is that I crocheted the head part instead of seed stitch. Tee hee, and it fits me too :D (This was done precautionarily in case he didn't want it.)

Offset Cables Ombre Scarf

I lost the label of the yarn part way through knitting it, so bare with me while I note what I remember from the label:
The yarn was called 'Tosca'; 55% wool, 45% acrylic. Tension: 12 sts, 17 rows =4" (10cm) with US7 (4.5mm) needles. 50 grams, and around 95 or so yards to it.
What makes this scarf interesting is that the cables are slightly offset from each other, which is a nice detail. Nearly 4" wide (9.5cm) and 28" (71.75cm) long, it's ideal to keep your neck warm in the cold weather.

Pattern: (over 8 rows)
rows 1, 3, 5, & 7: p2, k2, p6, k2, p2, k2, p6, k2, p2
rows 2 & 6: k2, p2, k6, p2, k2, p2, k6, p2, k2
row 4: k2, p2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle, k2, p2, k2, p2, k2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold behind, k2, k2 sts from cable needle, p2, k2
row 8: k2, p2, k2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold behind, k2, k2 sts from cable needle, p2, k2, p2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle, k2, p2, k2
Repeat these 8 rows until your entire skein is used, but leave enough to cast (or bind) off.
© 2007 by Sabrina Thompson - original design and pictures. Please do not sell pattern or materials made thereof, or copy my pictures. Pattern cannot be distributed for sale, or as a 'free pattern' promotional tool for selling yarn or knitting supplies. If posting Finished Items on personal blogs, please link back to this blog and pattern, thanks. :D

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Sock Monkey Fingers Popped Out (wrist warmers)

Inspired by those socks that sock monkeys are made from, I wanted to make wrist warmers with that sort of style. (And I need another pair of sock warmers to add to my collection!) In case you're wondering, my DH came up with the title of this pattern. :)

Size: adult. The ribbing makes it stretchy, so this should fit pretty much any hand size. Entire mitt, from top of finger to bottom of arm, measures approx 7.5 inches (19.5cm).

- Patons Classic Wool in Winter White, Grey Mix, and Bright Red. 3.5oz/100grams per skein, 223 yards/204 meters each.
- 1 set (4) 4.5mm/US 7 dpn's
- an extra set of dpn's to hold fingers that are put aside; also making the second pair @ the same time if you wish
- a small crochet hook to weave in ends
- scissors
- measuring tape

Tension: 20 sts, 26 rows = 10cm/4" in stockinette stitch; 24 sts, 26 rows = 10cm/4" in K2, P2 ribbing using 4.5mm/US 7 needles

Fingers: (index, middle, an ring finger)
1) Cast on 14 sts in Winter White. Divide on 3 needles. Do not knit first row, but tie on Bright Red. (Leave white, it'll be carried through the middle for the next stripe.)
2) Knit 2 rows in the round with Bright Red. Carry through Winter White, tying off red.
3) Knit 4 rows in the round with Winter White.
4) Devide stitches evenly back to 2 needles (7 on front needle, 7 on back) and cut white, leaving a 1 inch (2 cm) tail.

Pinky Finger: same instruction as fingers, but made over 12 sts. When finished, divide on 2 needles (6 on front, 6 on back) and put aside.

Thumb: same instruction as fingers, but made over 16 sts. When finished, divide on 2 needles (8 on front, 8 on back) and put aside.

To join:
1) Arrange 3 fingers and pinky finger on 2 dpn's. Pinky, ring and middle finger tails should be between fingers, index finger tail faces out. Add a 3rd dpn to make it easier to knit in the round.
2) Tie Grey Mix yarn with index finger's tail, and knit the first round as follows: k6, *k2tog, k5* 3x, k10, *k2tog, k5* 3x. (48 sts) Place marker to note beginning.
3) Next row, k2, p2 around. Use 1" tails and small crochet hook to weave closed the gaps between the fingers. Tie securely so it doesn't undo.
4) Continue in k2, p2 ribbing for 2 inches. (13 rows)
5) When doing your last ribbing row, do so around except for last stitch - it's going to be p2tog with thumb's first stitch.
6) On thumb: keep the stitches divided in two and add on to your dpn's. With grey, p2tog last grey stitch and first white stitch, knit across white stitches except for last, and k2tog last white stitch with first grey stitch. Use 1" tail and crochet hook to close the gap between thumb and hand. Place marker just before p2tog and just after k2tog.
7) Continue in k2, p2 ribbing pattern for 1 round. Rearrange stitches on needles to make it easier.

Decrease rounds:
8) a) On row 1: Continue to p2tog or k2tog just after or just before stitch markers to decrease thumb gusset. You may have to knit a purled stitch or purl a knit stitch to keep this pattern.
b) On row 2: knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stitches w/o any decreases.
9) Repeat #8 5 more times. (48 sts)
10) Rib 7 more rows around, redividing the stitches on the needles.

Finishing rounds:
11) Add Winter White, *k10, k2tog* around. (44 sts)
12) Knit 1 row around.
13) Bind off loosely.

Don't forget to make a second wrist warmer! Making two at the same time - at least for me - saves a bit of time.

Variation: make gloves in k1, p1 ribbing instead of k2, p2. The decreases are a bit tricky but turn out nicely. To decrease at thumb, mark off the (now) 14 sts. (Two were decreased when binding the thumb into the glove.) Make glove in the round, but at thumb:
Row 1: For the first four sts, switch stitches around so that on the needle, instead of it being k1, p1, k1, p1, it’s k2, p2. (The purled stitch is moved behind to go with the next purl stitch.) Then, k2tog, p2tog. K1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, then repeat the decrease with the last 4 sts.
Row 2: K1, p1 around.
Row 3: Make the decrease as in row 1 for the first 4 sts; then k1, p1, and make the decrease with last 4 sts.
Row 4: K1, p1 around.
Row 5: Mark the middle of the hand on the other side of the wrist, opposite thumb. Make the decrease (as in row 1) on that side of the glove. Continue in pattern around, and at thumb, switch with first four stitches to decrease, finishing by k1, p1 for the last two stitches.

Row 6: K1, p1 around.

There will be enough grey yarn to make 2 pairs of these wrist warmers. You can queue this pattern on here if you wish!

© 2007 by Sabrina Thompson - original design and pictures. Please do not sell pattern or materials made thereof, or copy my pictures. Pattern cannot be distributed for sale, or as a 'free pattern' promotional tool for selling yarn or knitting supplies. If posting Finished Items on personal blogs, please link back to this blog and pattern, thanks. :D

A variation, essentially the glove with an added actual sock monkey head, can be found on yoelknit's blog, Sock Monkey Heads For Gloves. They're actually very cute!

Monday, December 10, 2007

grammatically speaking...

To be honest, I'm a bit of a stickler for grammar. I may not always be perfectly grammatically correct, but I consider myself better than most.

Up until recently that is, when someone on started a thread debate about using the word 'gift' as a verb. (As in, "I gifted my MIL with a handknit scarf.") We all are familiar with 'gift' as a noun, but is it proper to use it as a verb?

Most posted that they'd never use it as a verb, because not only does it not sound right, but argued that it was grammatically wrong. I've often - for the last few years anyway - noticed I was using it as a verb. I've no idea why I did, I just did. Probably picked it up from television in passing, because I doubt someone I know would use it this way.

A few random replies to other threads prompted other ravelry posters to emphasize their using 'gift' as a noun only and not a verb. This motivated me to look into whether or not the whole gift-as-a-verb issue is valid.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary (copyright © 2006 by Houghton Mifflin Company), 'gift' is both defined as a noun and a verb:
gift (gĭft) n.
Something that is bestowed voluntarily and without compensation.
The act, right, or power of giving.
A talent, endowment, aptitude, or inclination.
tr.v. gift·ed, gift·ing, gifts
To present something as a gift to.
To endow with.
Although, despite other searches, including google, the word 'gift' remains defined as a noun only.
I've mildly studied language on occasion, and always came across something that surprised me. What I thought to be grammatically correct often wasn't, and what was often sounded funny. I suppose if we use a term often enough, it eventually becomes grammatically correct. New words are formed to describe new things that enter our lives daily. New expressions are formed to describe what we see and do. Despite how something may sound odd at first, it's the evolution of language.
In the end, I suppose, despite how it may get under the skin of (it seems) many fellow knitters, I'll continue to use 'gift' as a verb. 'Tis the season to use it, anyway.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Help Make Blankets AND Win Stuff 2008!

I have this originall posted here, for the sake of reference. Be sure to email me at purplespirit1{at}hotmail{dot}com with email titled '8 inch squares' or 'charity blanket' for my mailing information so you can send the squares. I'm now accepting squares measuring 8 through 10 inches.

I'm still looking for knit or crochet squares. I have started a few blankets, although they need to be finished. I'm trying to peice together same- or similar-coloured squares to have matching blankets, so more squares are needed.

These completed blankets are going to be donated to local shelters in the Toronto area. I'm also planning some road trips to visit friends in Edmonton, Alberta and Kelowna B.C. some time in the future, so some completed blankets will be taken with me on these trips and donated to local shelters in those towns as well.
Contest: Every 3 months in 2008 (March, June, September, & December) I'll do a random draw for people who've sent me 5 squares in the same envelope. That person will win a knitting-or-crocheting themed prize valued at around $20. Every 5 squares that you include in your envelope will add your name again into the draw. (So, if you send 25 squares, you'll get your name in the draw 5 times for that 3 month period.) If you want your name re-entered in the next 3 month draw, send another 5 squares. Be sure to include your name, email, blog address, and full address so I can send your prize, if you win. At the end of the year, I'll include everyone's name who has not won that year but has sent their minimum 5 squares for a second prize, valued at around $15. (I haven't decided yet what the prizes will be, but I promise it'll be good and knitting or crocheted themed.)
Warmth is needed. Every knitter and crocheter has scraps. There's that one pestering ball of yarn that you just don't know what to do with. Those can be made into squares. Please destash your scraps, combine 2 or 3 colours or different yarns together to make ecclectic squares.
The type of yarn(s) you use is not important. Neither is/are the colour(s). Nor the tension. I don't care if it's sock yarn or the bulkiest chunkiest yarn in your stash, or anything in between, it can be made into a square.
Basic knit square pattern: Check your yarn's knit gauge over 4". Using recommended needles, double it so you're knitting across 8". Stockinette stitch the whole square or knit every row until you've reached 8" long, then cast off.
Recommended 8" Square Patterns, Knit or Crochet
(although feel free to use your own too!)
arches 8", crochet
circle of friends 8", crochet
stained glass 8", crochet - great if you've got variegated yarn
circle in a square make the 8" version, crochet
daisy in a square also 8", crochet
Again, feel free to make the design you wish. I just put these in as easy-access links to this partigular blog. Prizes will be distributed as long as I get a minimum of 2 people sending me 5 squares before end of march, june, september and december of '08, starting today. So get stitching. Post your questions and comments below. Extra scraps you have beyond this that are sent will help stitch squares together.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

finally, a post of FO's

I've finally gotten around to knitting a couple pairs of knucks that I saw published on knitty a while back - must be a year or so ago, now. Needless to say, the multicoloured stripped ones are a pair I knit for myself (from Patons Kroy Jaquard yarn in 'tutti frutti') and the grey ones are for DH (knit with Katia yarn in grey, and stripes made from Patons Kroy in Houndstooth). Tedious making all those fingers, but turns out well.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

eco-holiday/destash yourself

I've been wanting to write an eco-knitting/crocheting themed post for a while, and I figured now's as good of a time as any. Y'know, since those gosh-darned holidays are coming up. So, here we go:

seven ways to green yourself this holiday season
(and still knit or crochet)

1. Go through your current yarn stash and knit it. If you're like me and virtually any other knitter or crocheter, you've got way too much stash as it is. With less than a month to go (eek!) now's the ideal time to reduce your stash. Knit 10 scarves. Or 10 pairs of wrist warmers. Or ten hats. Entirely out of your stash, no store bought stuff. Set a goal to have these 10 items done within 2 weeks and you'll not only alleviate your stash, but you've got 10 gifts already made for the holidays.

2. Don't buy extra needles or hooks. One (or one pair) of each size is all you need. Buying extra needles and hooks means that more new ones (all made from new materials by the way!) are going to be made. REUSE your needles. If need be, finish your WIP's in order to move on to the next project with those needles.

3. Look for eco yarn. Organic stuff. Yarn made from recycled materials. Every once in a while, your LYS will have it. Substitute that for whatever yarn your pattern calls for, if you can.

4. Minimize the yarn you need to buy by looking for the maximum amount of yardage. If you can buy 7 skeins instead of 10, that's 3 fewer yarn labels that need to be made for that project. I know that Walmart sometimes carries those 1lb bags of yarn, check those out to see if you can use that for a project.

5. Recycle packaging. All those pesky yarn labels, plastic bags, and casings that your knitting supplies come in, make sure they get in the blue box.

6. Rummage through thrift stores and garage sales. Once in a while, they'll have craft supplies. One knitter's surplus is another knitter's treasure. Also, check out what ugly sweaters can be frogged into new beautiful clothes.

7. Save your scraps. All of your partial balls of yarn can be blended together to make ecclecticly striped scarves, hats, and blankets. (Interesting tidbit: the origins of granny squares comes from using up scrap yarn to make afghans!)

There's much more beyond this, but this is a good start for now. Go through these as often as possible to make your knitting and crocheting ecological, and save some money in the process.

Friday, November 16, 2007

november's just not my month for blogging

It's obvious that my blogging skills this month are sucking, but despite my lack of "Look What I Knit!" posts, trust me I have been knitting. Much of what I've made, though, is christmas gifts, which won't be posted in my blog because the recipients of those gifts may be reading.

Ravelry has been draining much of my time. I've finally got it all figured out, and have been adding to my notebook like mad. I've also started 2 groups - one is Read Knit Cook (which is a monthly read-knit/crochet-cook-along group) and the other is a Sweater A Month Club, which ambitionally anticipates not only having a sweater knit within a month, but my personal goal is to make 12 sweaters within 1 calender year, as of January. (Good Luck!)

So, I'm also dying to see my copy of that Anticraft book I was published in (check out my sidebar) - as a perk of being one of the contributors, I get a free copy of the book! As it turns out, according to theanticraft's blog, some have received notice from the publishing company that their copy is on the way, and hopefully soon, mine will be too!

And, last but not least, my kitchen renovations will be coming to an end, officially, this coming weekend. Everything's patched up, and many of my inlaws are coming over tomorrow to help us paint not only the kitchen but our living room too, since now it's pretty much all one big room! (Thanks to that wall being torn down!)

Thursday, November 15, 2007

I <3 free stuff, especially when it comes to knitting!

In case you haven't discovered this on your own or via ravelry, this survey from Bernat takes up only a few minutes of your time, and you receive a pdf file in return of one of their pattern books. You get the choice of one of three. Part 1 of the survey is for the knitting patterns, part 2 is for the crochet patterns.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

anticraft's contest-o-rama

I think that this may be an interesting way to use up some of my free time - always like entering contests where the prize is more craft supplies! (Can't have too much of that!)

Friday, November 9, 2007

yay! mittens! chocolate!

Linda's mitten swap package came in the mail to me today!
As you can see, not only did I get an absolutely funky pair of mittens, but an excellent care package to go along with it!
Thanks, Linda! :) It's a great package!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I just listed these three auctions:
Shipping discounts (in addition to combined shipping) are listed with each auction, so anyone who's looking at stocking up on yarn, now and with these auctions would be a good time to do it. I'm hoping that with at least one or two of these auctions, it'll help relieve some of the huge inventory I have in my store.

Thanks for looking!

Friday, October 26, 2007

closin' up (ebay) shop

Well, hasn't it been a while since I posted! I've been very preoccupied with finishing kitchen renovations (honest to goodness this time that it's almost done!) + ravelry's been keeping me very busy!

So, my news: I'm starting to grow out of ebay, and will be closing my ebay store towards the end of December. Beyond December, I haven't decided what I'm going to do just yet, but in the meantime, I need to clear out as much of the yarn inventory I have in there. My store's link (again) is:

If you know anyone who's interested in stocking up on yarn either for projects for this upcoming holiday season or in the near future, now's the time to pick it up. I don't charge handling fees, just the cost of shipping, because 95% of my packaging is reused (clean) boxes - very eco-friendly.
I'm pretty good at getting boxes out within 2 or 3 days of purchase, and ship world wide. If you happen to live locally and want to save on shipping, local pick up can be arranged within a few days of purchase! Let me know! Take a gander!

Friday, October 12, 2007

feeling a bit sheepish?

A small collection of sheep, but a collection of sheep nonetheless. These are the sheep that are currently living in my home. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

hand dyed sock yarn swap came in!

My handdyed sock yarn from Gina came in the mail yesterday! woo hoo! There are two skeins of brown and purple sock yarn (tres funky) + some matching stitch markers + a Vancouver Island magnet + 2 postcards + popcorn-on-the-cob!
Can't wait to give them all a try!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Happy (Canadian) Turkey Day!

Nothing knit or crochet to post today. I shall, though, post my favourite autumn-holiday recipe - Pumpkin Cheesecake. (very easy, for those of us who are not very kitchen-savvy!) What's awesome about this recipe is that you're making 3 pies at a time. I always had at least 2 Thanksgivings, one at my parents', and one at my inlaw's. Having a pie for each was great, and a third left over to give to a neighbor or friend as a hoiday gift!

What you need:
- 3 ready-made gingerbread or shortbread pie crusts
- 2 bricks plain cream cheese (regular or light)
- 1 can pumpkin pie filling, enough for 1 pie
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tblsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1 tsp real vanilla, or 2 tsp artificial vanilla
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. In a bowl, using an electic mixer, soften cream cheese with vanilla. Mix in spices, pumpkin pie filling, brown sugar and eggs with beater until even. Divide evenly between the three pie crusts. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until center filling is cooked and solid. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

in a bit of a frump

I'm not entirely sure how to describe how I'm feeling this week, and I feel a bit presumptuous to vent too much, since there's hope still with two remaining days.

Firstly, I've been involved in quite a few knitting-themed swaps over the summer. Since I discovered that knitting and crochet themed swaps actually exist (many are hosted by bloggers themselves) I've signed up for quite a few and swapped my heart out. (Naive of me to think that this would also be a great way to advertise a bit my ebay and etsy businesses, but I don't think that brought a whole lot of traffic, but that's neither here nor there.)

What has bothered me especially is twofold: one swap that I was invoved in, not to sound too selfish I hope, I felt that my swappee fairly much held back and I received not even the minimal requirements of that swap, and not only that, but I received items in it that are of no use to me. In this case, what I couldn't use, I gave to someone else whom I knew could use it, but I still felt a bit drafted by it.

Secondly, I'm still waiting on a swap package that I should've received back by the end of August. Again, not wanting to sound greedy (because I'm not) but I've never understood the logic behind voluntairally signing up for something and just not following through with it. If there's even a sneaking thought that there's a fiber of a chance that you can't get involved in something like a swap, then don't do it. But the good news from this one is that I've received an email saying that the package - despite being late (with apologies, thankyouverymuch) had been sent. Hopefully it'll get here tomorrow.

I suppose, after all that, I'm going into this sort of thing a bit more naively. I'll be holding off on the whole swap thing for a while, since I've been burned a teeny bit already, although it could be because I've been overwhelmed with other things that stuff like this may get under my skin a bit more than it needs to.

Phew. Venting's out. All that being said, I'm thinking of hosting a read-and-knit-along via a new blog in the new year, to save from hosting a swap. Kind of like a book-club-stitch-n-bitch-sort-of-thing, although I'm still processing the details of how I want to do it, and a book list to post as well.

Now, what would a thread be w/o me posting a few pictures? Below are:

a matt WIP with crochet sushi...

And something I call my 'grunge blanket' because it reminds me of grunge-music-era sweaters:
Despite my quantity of yarn, I realized about 3/4 of the way into it that I hadn't enough yarn to make the size throw I wanted, so it's in the process of being frogged and reknit into something else grunge-themed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

bland-esque Tuesday posting with uncreative blog title

Had no idea what to post today, but I figured, I better post something. So, I've knit up the illusion candy corn dishcloth from the swap package I got last week. Here are the pics:

On the right, here, is the straight-on view....

And to your left is the view of the dishcloth at an angle, and out pops the illusion of a candy corn! The only thing I changed from the pattern is I knit it across 30 sts instead of 36, just for the sake of making it narrower.

Friday, September 28, 2007

DB gets his sweater, and I get my Halloween Swap package!

This is the swap package from the crochet swap blog swap that I've received from Laurie, who has absolutely spoiled me with her swap package! I can honestly say that not only has she outdone herself, but this is probably one of the best swap packages I've ever gotten! (Not that I don't appreciate what I've received in the past, but Laurie has really outdone herself with this one!)

Halloween is my absolute favourite holiday, so I was glad to find out that the theme of this particular swap was - in fact - Halloween! Laurie sent me two patterns (one of which is an illusion candy corn dishcloth, and the other is felted pumpkins) plus all the yarn to go with it, some dpn's, halloween themed stamps, Pumpkin Chocolate Milk mix from the Peanuts Good Grief Cafe, a stellar halloween mug, a pumpkin candle, and a fantastic hand-made halloween themed card! :) Thanks, Laurie!

Secondly, my brother came home from Quebec where he has spent the last couple months working, so we celebrated his birthday (which was, in fact, a few weeks ago!) ... the sweater (originally posted here) he's flaunting for the pic. (Part of his head's cut off on purpose, he's not a fan of being pictured for online but I did want to include a pic of him wearing it on my blog!)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

yarn lot auctions for autumn clearance!

I know that I rarely, if ever, post my ebay listings in my blog, but I'm desperately need to make some room in my little itty bitty craft room/office!
There's some yarn that's been here for a while, so I've bundled everything up into boxes and made auction lots from them! They're all up on auction for at or less than what I've paid for them! (hint hint - great deal!) Bids are more than welcome! Help me clear out a box or two!

yarn lot + free acrylic or crochet cotton market bag that I've made:
mixed cotton lot + free handcrocheted acrylic bag
Get the yarn now in time to knit up for December holidays!
Starting in the new year, I'm going to be starting my own website, so that I'm a little less dependant on ebay, although I still want to support etsy. If you or anyone you know can help me out with these listings, I combine shipping and ship worldwide! I've got a great feedback rating too! It'll wonderfully help to make some room! Thanks!

Monday, September 24, 2007

WIP mittens & a chocolatey care package from France!

These are my mitts-in-progress, that I'm knitting for my pal for the mitten swap 3 - I hope she likes them! I've done all this today, I should be finished them soon. The pattern's been adjusted from knitsimple magazine's Fall 2007 issue. Hopefully my swappee will enjoy them!

Speaking of swapping packages... I've received a deeeelightful care package from my parents in France! You've guessed it - A BOX FULL OF CHOCOLATE! woo hoo!
Also included in this package (although not pictured) is a wrapped gift for my brother's birthday and a wrapped gift for my husband's and my 4th wedding anniversary, which both occur this month.

But I'm quite eager about this scrumptious chocolate, to be honest! (My diet is going right out the window, but I dare not complain!) I do think it's funny, though, that my parents expect me to share this enormous box of goodies....

Oh, and my bonus treat over the weekend is that I've finally infiltrated ravelry! woo hoo! I'm in! I'll be spending the week checking it out... all I've had time to do so far is update my account. But it looks rather interesting. I do advise that if you haven't yet signed up for ravelry, despite the waiting list being long, please do so!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The most exciting thing that I've got going on in my life at the moment is my waiting list status - which, wonderfully, I've moved quite far ahead in!

Found you!
You signed up on July 14, 2007
You are #16435 on the list.
1036 people are ahead of you in line.
17898 people are behind you in line.
44% of the list has been invited so far

Isn't my life exciting? Sucks to be one of the 17,898 people behind me.... Can't believe I've been waiting since July to discover the wonders of what is ravelry... looks like it's creeping up soon!

Oh, and for what it's worth... the Fall, 2007 issue of Interweave Knits has a few good articles about knitting green + an interesting article about cables, which I'm quite obsessed about atm in my knitting!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

to all the fiber snobs out there...

Yes, this nothing more than a basic cable.
Yes, this is knit with 3 different kind of fuzzy or novelty yarn.
Yes, this has also been knit with (gasp!) acrylic yarn throughout, to give it a bit of weight.
Yes, this is a scarf no less, not a pair of itty bitty socks that don't stay up irrigardless of the amount of ribbing done.
And yes, it shall be worn in public, with pride, provided that weather gets cold this winter - unlike last winter.

Monday, September 17, 2007

woo hoo! first sale done on etsy!

I'm a bit happy that I had my first etsy sale over the weekend - two of my driftwood crochet hooks sold! I'm glad that etsy's starting to work out. I was a bit worried about sales both on etsy and ebay, but I think it has a lot to do with summer and knitting is not really a summer-themed activity. Now that summer (at least, summer vacation) is over, autumn sales are picking up.

There have been good advancements on ravery.... my update, to date:
You are #16435 on the list.
2768 people are ahead of you in line.
16924 people are behind you in line.
40% of the list has been invited so far

Thursday, September 13, 2007

about me

just posting my questionnaire info in regards to the crochet swap :
My favorite colors: I tend to lean towards greens, blues, purples - but I like any colour outside of pastels, white,& black, unless it's part of a variegation.
My hobbies: reading, watching dvds, knitting crocheting
My kitchen theme & colors: I just renovated my kitchen, but haven't yet painted the walls! But what's there is cherry cabinetry, shades-of-brown floor tiles, and mossy greens-and-browns counter - so lots of earth tones
My bathroom theme & colors: also going to be renovated - they're too white. No colour ideas yet though
My dislikes: scratchy yarn, mohair, talk shows
My crafts..what I like: knitting and crocheting pretty much anything
My allergies: aspirin - not that it has anything to do with knitting, unless you send me aspirin-coated yarn
My favorite pets: I love all pets but I currently have a cat - fortunately she doesn't shed too much. My favourite animals are sheep & lizards.
My favorite scents: lemongrass, gingerbread, apple pie, vanilla, patchouli
Other stuff about me: I've just recently fallen in love with making cotton dishcloths. As far as knitting/crocheting errata, I like anything kitchy & 'designer' about the craft, such as decorated needles & hooks as well as the light-up needles & whatever other trinkets that make my fiber arts more fun to make; knitting/crochet magazines. As far as anything pop-culture-esque, I'm addicted to all 3 CSI shows, esp. the original one, all three Law & Order's, & LOST; Alfred Hitchcock movies, the original Twilight Zone, & Cillian Murphy.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

drift wood crochet hooks

I've always loved nature and natural looking things, and wanted to incorporate nature somehow in my knitting or crocheting. In past years, I hadn't had much luck, until I was recently inspired by the idea of using drift wood sticks as crochet hooks. So, this past sunday, DH and I took a walk along one of the small beaches of Lake Ontario in Port Credit, and picked up a handful of sticks 10" and shorter.

Upon bringing them home, I soaked them in vinegar to get rid of whatever scoobies may be in the wood:
Then I nuked them in the microwave to spead up the drying process, and whatever dampness remained was dried on my window sill: (next to my faux jade Buddha) ...
And then afterwards, it was a matter of getting the hang of carving the crochet hook part (where a few had broken and were discarded) plus some sanding, painted designs on a few, and varnishing:
... once they're completely dry (the varnish takes 24 hours, so they're still a bit sticky) they'll be posted on to sell.

Friday, September 7, 2007

mmm... pizza....

This is what happens when mindless hands, excessive acrylic yarn, and crochet hooks do when they come together:
I finally broke into the 4000 mark on the ravely waiting list:
You signed up on July 14, 2007
You are #16435 on the list.
4961 people are ahead of you in line.
14862 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far
I'm not sure what else to write about today. I've begun knitting my first pair of socks for christmas, my goal is to have at least 3 pairs done between now and the end of november to send to my parents and grandmother. Kind of make a dent in the box of sock yarn I have. Realistically, it may not get done, but who knows.
My kitchen renovations are practically done. The breakfast bar has to be finished, and the walls painted, some minor electrical work has to be completed, but otherwise, we're set. Cosidering that we've been doing this since April, I'm thankful of where we are right now.
Dealing with DirectBuy has not been easy - I know I haven't vented about this in my blog but it's just a whole messy ball of wax that I don't feel like getting into on here. Let's just say that it's gotten to the point where we've had to contact their head office and in the process of dealing with the Better Business Bureau. Oh, and we've currently had to go out of pocket $600 via DirectBuy due to their being absolutely impossible, and another $200 shopping @ Home Depot and Ikea to finish the last bits of the kitchen that should've been taken care of by DirectBuy. It's just madness. But I digress.
I'm looking forward to a weekend of vegging at home - yay!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

prepping for december holidays

A friend of mine saved me this cartoon from the newspaper, I thought it was great - maybe a bit hard to read, sorry:
I'm also starting to prep for Christmas. My parents moved to France about a year and a half ago, and are currently living with my grandma near Avignon. I thought to maybe knit them socks, since they won't have much purpose for hats and scarves due to the warm weather! So, yesterday in the mail, they sent back this form that I asked them to fill out so I can start my sock-knitting for them...
I have it hanging on the fridge as my easy-to-find reminder ... hence the magnets...

Monday, September 3, 2007

experiments with camoflauge yarn

I figure that August/September is a good time to start knitting for winter - because it would suck being stuck in a snowstorm w/o anything hand knit to cozy in to!

I found some very soft Bernat yarn that's both thick and flecked with different sorts of camoflauge - so I started with this hat-scarf-wrist warmer set. It's a bit big on me, but I do have smaller-than-average hands and the hat can have a turn-up brim.

I stitched the whole thing in a thick-&-thin ribbing (K1, P1, K2, P1) which has become my favourite ribbing style to knit.

I'll have a few more camoflauge knits made up to put up on etsy (hopefully) in time for December holidays.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

finally finished DB's sweater

These pics are the front and side views of my brother's sweater that I've made for his birthday (September 8th)... it's about damn time that I finish it too! (I started it back in January!)

The pattern's from Lionbrand - I only adjusted the collar from a turtleneck to a crew. The odd thing, though, is that the pattern calls for 10 balls of the Thick & Quick yarn for his size, and I only used 6. Well, not even 6, I've about a quarter skein left over, but still... anyway. It's in the 'charcoal' colour because it's the closest I could find to black.

Also, as a side note, my MIL called me today. My parents in law just came home from their vacation on Tuesday, and didn't see the ducks with hats until yesterday (the ones I posted on sunday) and they both thought it was a riot. :) Glad to see there are others with my sense of humor!

Ah, yes, and this is my update: (this is taking forever!)

You are #16435 on the list.
5502 people are ahead of you in line.
13486 people are behind you in line.
36% of the list has been invited so far

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Ducks with Hats + crocheted blanket

My parents in law have these glass door stopper thingies that have ducks in a row on them. Hubby and I spent this past week up there in Wasaga Beach, and out of both boredom and the sad realization that I have leftover scraps that I dare not throw out, I crocheted them hats and scarves.
For the sake of keeping myself busy, I also whipped up this crocheted throw for my MIL:

Saturday, August 25, 2007

a blanket from 8 inch squares

Well, DH and I in Wasaga Beach this week, on vacation, housesitting for the inlaws while they're in Newfoundland. Yesterday we spent absolutely vegging - and snuggling under a big blue ombre-varigated blanket I crocheted.

That blanket reminded me - for some reason - of when I was still working @ Lewiscraft. Every autumn, Lewiscraft and the Salvation Army collected handknits for Knit for Kids, which were donated to people who needed warm clothes. I realized how much I missed knitting for that.

So, long story short, I've decided to reach out to my fellow bloggers and try and co-ordinate some sort of knitting/crocheting themed charity thing.

What I'm thinking and looking for is this: Go through your scraps of yarn. Those partial & leftover balls of whatever. Stitch them together to create an 8 inch (20cm) square. It doesn't matter if it's knit or crocheted, nor does it matter the sort of yarn that you use. Or colours. Or pattern. Or combinations thereof. As long as your squares measure 8"x8". Once you have at least one or two done, email me at purplespirit1{at}hotmail{dot}com - titled Blanket Squares - and I'll send you my mailing info.

Once I receive your squares, they'll be stitched together to make a blanket Be sure to include in your envelope your blog info so I can give credit to all the bloggers who have contributed to each blanket made. I'll also keep posting as to where each blanket has been donated to.

Monday, August 20, 2007

a few ironic signs

I haven't blogged much in the last week or so because DH and I took a road trip from Mississauga, Ontario to Edmonton, Alberta.

On our travelling, though, we did find these two odd signs... The first, on a Super 8 motel:
This second one's a bit hard to read, but the sign reads "Trucks Trailers Keep Out Private Property" etc with a truck parked directly behind it.
:) I'll post some road trip signs later on, but I thought these two pictures were somewhat blog worthy.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

skinny boho seed scarf + a completed unbiased bag

I (still) have some leftover Patons Shetland Chunky, so some of it went to knitting this scarf.

Pattern: cast on 164 stitches on 6.5mm needles, then K1, P1 across. Row two: K the purled stitches, P the knit stitches to make the seed stitch pattern. Repeat row two throughout.

I had 5 different marl colours, so I stitched two rows of each colour.

To cast off and make fringe: Knit first three stitches. Bind off all but last three stitches.

Tie a knot at the end to end scarf. Drop the first and last 3 stitches, which makes the loops.

This scarf is a bit over 3 feet long, and at least 2 inches wide.

I also (finally) completed the unbiased bag from - not as deep as what I thought it would be, but still turned out pretty good nonetheless.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

crafting weirdness

This is how insane I am... I've been collecting these tabs from milk and bread loaf bags:

... and ended up taping them with clear packaging tape to a cut-up Ziploc bag to make this:

I've taken a picture of it from all angles: the colourful side is the front, the white side is the back, the top center picture is a row of tabs at the bottom, and the bottom center pic is the bag inside. I have been collecting these tabs for (litterally) years, not knowing why I was doing so, just knowing it needed to be done.

And this is what I ended up with.

But now, at least, I have a stellar little baggie which is the ideal size for things like dpn's, stitch counters, granola bars, and who knows what else. It's madness.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I <3 styrofoam heads & boredom

When left to my own devices, this is what I end up doing:
She's a styrofoam head that my brother found and gave me to display my knits... I was bored last night and ended up decorating her with some Sharpie markers... and of course she's wearing my recently finished knits...

Also, I'm glad to see that I'm more than halfway up ravelry's waiting list:

You are #16435 on the list.
8210 people are ahead of you in line.
7293 people are behind you in line.

Tons of people after me though... can't believe it! A long line up to go through... but considering it's been about 3 weeks since I signed up, it's getting there....

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Shetland Marl Mittens free pattern

I finished the mittens that I had blogged about on Friday... so I'll share the pattern, in case anyone's intereted in making these! They're actually quite cozy and warm! They're called 'Shetland Marl' for two reasons: firstly, because the yarn they're made from is Paton's Shetland Chunky, and secondly, because the colours happened to be called 'marl' - in different shades.

Cozy Shetland Marl Mittens
materials needed:
- leftover Paton's Shetland Chunky in 5 different colours
- 6mm straight needles
- a crochet hook or needle to stitch the peices all together

Tension 15sts = 4" (10cm) using 6mm needles

Deside, firstly, which of your 5 colours will be Colour A, B, C, D, and E. These could be 5 different colours, or just 5 different dye lots, it doesn't make a lick of difference in this case.

Front Panel:
- Cast on 12 stitches in colour A. Rib in K1, P1 manner for 5 rows.
- Next row: K1, P1 in the 1st stitch. K3, pick up 1 st, K3, and K1,P1 in the last stitch. (16sts)
- Purl next row.
- St st (knit 1 row, purl 1 row) for 2 inches from ribbing.
- Knit side: bind off 2 stitches. This will accomodate thumb. Knit accross. (14sts)
- Continue in St st for desired length of hand, less 1 inch.
to decrease/round top of mitten:
- K2tog, K4, K2tog, K to end of row.
- P2tog, purl across.
- row 3: Dec 1 @ beg, K2, K2tog, K to end.
- row 4: P2tog, purl across.
- row 5: bind off.
Repeat this with colour B. To save time, you can knit both of these panels at the same time on the same needle.

Back Panel:
do the same as front panels using colours C and D respectively, BUT when binding off the two stitches to accomodate thumb, do so on the PURL side, not the knit side.

Thumb: (worked top down) - make 2
- Cast on 4 stitches with colour E. Purl 1 row.
- K1, P1 in the first stitch, K1, pick up 1 stitch, K1, K1 P1 in the last stitch.
- Purl next row.
- K1, P1 in first stitch. *K1, pick up 1* x4. K1, and K1, P1 in last stitch.
- St st for 1.75 inches
- K2 tog or P2 tog at the beginning of each row, and continue to work in pattern using this decrease until 4 sts remain, bind off.

Now, it's a matter of sewing/stitching everything together. I suggest using some pins or something to help lay out each mitten. Make sure that the wrong sides are facing out and thumb gussets are facing each other, it'll be turned inside out so that the seams are hidden inside the mitt. It may be easier to stitch up the thumb first, the closing seem will be at the top of the thumb. Secondly, stitch together the part of the mitt between the bottom of ribbing and the thumb gusset, thirdly stitch in the thumb, and then fourthy around your mitt (if that all makes sense!). Be sure not to close the thumb up!

I hope these instructions were clear enough... Paton's Shetland Chunky has a lot of yardage to it... I had originally knit a toque from each skein colour, had enough yardage to knit each respective mitten pannel in a different colour, and still had yarn left over in each.

Friday, August 3, 2007

WIP mittens, kleenex, bathrooms... just Friday nonsense, is what it is!

Today's blog post theme is 'post for the sake of posting' - so bear with me.

First and foremost, I wanted to brag a bit of my minor contribution to the world of interior decorating. This little shelve-bamboo-Ikea-picture-of-water-dripping thing is set up in my bathroom. The ceramic duck is something that my mother ceramicked (yes, I know that's grammatically incorect, so what!) ages ago and I found in the garage. The apple scented Lysol room spray is there for... well... you know...
I was a bit inspired by watching From The Ground Up, and the fact that we're in the midst of renovating the kitchen, to touch up other areas in the house too. Adding this shelf to the bathroom not only makes the room esthetically nicer, but it's a handy extra shelf for things like the spray and toilet paper and such.

Secondly, I found these Kleenex boxes a while ago whilst grocery shopping:

I just thought they were kinda campy because the print on them is different strands of yarn, and as it happens, in two of my favourite colours (green and blue). So there. These get filed under my "knitter's kitch" file.

Thirdly, this is what creating-a-pattern-for-mittens-from-scratch-&-scraps looks like:

Back just before I left working for Lewiscraft (over 2 years ago) I stocked up on some different kinds of Shetland Chunky in these five colours as pictured. The full skeins were in my stock for a while, and one day I got around to knitting 5 different cabled toques, using a Stitch n Bitch pattern. I had partial skeins - and being the pack rat that I am, I didn't want to throw these out, that being a waste of yarn in my book.

So, the goal this weekend is to create a pattern for mittens that look rather ecclectic. Hopefully a post of how the finished product looks like will appear during next week's posts!