Wednesday, December 31, 2008

it's the end of the year, and...

... I've got WIP's. Not liking that!

I'm in the midst of knitting my Mariah sweater (which I knew I wouldn't get done by now, so that's ok) plus that bat shawl that I started at the end of August (and wanted it done for Halloween - so much for that!) plus a sock yarn blanket (scroll down to find links to tutorials) that I started back in June, to which I'm not even an eighth done. Phew.

Hating WIP's. Maybe 2009'll be my year. My new year's resolution for then? To finish the year w/o any WIP's!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

moderately wasted baking

The tradition has been, in my side of the family, for Christmas, is to have 13 dishes for the main holiday meal, and 13 desserts. One of those two traditions belongs to the Polish part of my family, and the other belongs to either the French or Italian part of my family, I forget which is which. Since DH and I were in charge of desserts @ my SIL's, then we thought to bring13 desserts.

So, as I posted the other day, DH and I spent two days baking in preparatin for this. We made 3 different kinds of cookies, DH whipped up some eggnog flavoured tapioca (which turned out awesome) and to go along with his family's tradition, we served pie and ice cream as two of the desserts. To fill in the balance of the 13 desserts, we brought over some chocolates and nougat that my parents have care-packaged to us from France.

Now, I must post at this point that I did tell everyone way in advance that 13 desserts were coming that night. And I even strongly hinted that if not all the desserts were at least tried, that I'd be disappointed.

Well, the chocolates went. DH's tapioca was mostly gone. The inlaw's traditional pie and ice cream was eaten. All the cookies I baked though - and I do mean all 3 dozen plus (with the exception of 3 cookies, mind you) were uneaten. Granted, we did have a big meal, as always at Christmas, but I hate the fact that I wasted 3 days baking and none of it was eaten.

I hate to sound like a sourpuss during the holidays, because I am grateful for the time I spent with my inlaws, especially since my parents and brother live out of the country and I miss spending the holidays with them. And I did get some fantastic gifts for the holidays nonetheless.

But I'm just so disappointed that I wasted all that energy in trying to incorporate my family's tradition, and wasted all that time making things from scratch, and the stuff made from scratch was the stuff uneaten.

Ugh, well, it's out now. Oh well. Unto the next holiday.

Friday, December 26, 2008

gingerbears with scarves

Instead of knitting, I've been baking for the last two days, in preparation for a belated Christmas celebration (tomorrow) with my inlaws. As a result, my gingerbread bears all got scarves:

These guys are just a sample of the 30 or so DH and I ended up baking. It may be hard to tell, but with the bottom two bears, I was trying to make cabled scarves with them. Yum.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

more sweater progress

Here is what 2 skeins knit look like:
Not the best picture, mind you, but you get the idea. Lighting sucks, sorry. Lucky to have this much done so far. Hopefully no more frogging!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

anti sweater progress, froggery and recovery

(insert curses here)

I stupidly realized that I had knit 8" of sleeve w/o starting any increases at 6". So I've had to frog 2" worth of cables and reknit that part, which took me all of Friday and yesterday. Ack.

But thankfully, now it's fixed and I'm on my merry way.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

sweater progress

My goal is to keep progress on my sweater via my blog ~ and hopefully it'll become a weekly contribution. I hope to knit at least 1 skein's worth of sweater a week, so it'll get done before winter ends!

So far I've been working on this sweater for a few days (not even a week yet!) and I've already got one skein's worth done, in the sleeves:
If the cables weren't taking me forever to do, I'd have a lot more done, but the cable's only on the sleeves, so it's worth its intricacy. Also, knitting a sweater on 4mm's is also contributing to how long it's taking, but I'm sure it'll be well worth it!

Monday, December 15, 2008

makin' myself a sweater

I'm finally getting around on knitting myself a sweater - I've decided on Mariah - a knitty publication from a while ago. I noticed it when it was first published, but was initially discouraged for two reasons: firstly, because it didn't come in my size, and secondly, because I couldn't afford or decide on the yarn I wanted to use.

Thanks to ravelry though, I've collected a whole bunch of Debbie Bliss Merino DK in green - well, one of their shades of green. Since it's not a yarn I can find at an LYS within arm's reach of where I live, I had to rely on people's destashery to collect enough. I've got about 20.5 skeins all together, that I've collected from 3 different people.

Over the weekend, I've adjusted the pattern to fit me - the only major change I had to do was the torso part, but I think the XXL sleeves will fit alright, with maybe only some minor tweeking. Oh, and just to make my life easier (she says with sarcasm in her voice!) I'm going to change the zipper part to button holes. I've got some buttons in earth tones I'd love to use.

Now, realistically, based on the yardage used in the pattern, I may have just exactly enough, but since I'm tweeking the pattern, I realistically may be short. So, I've found someone else who's destashing some Debbie Bliss merino dk but in a different shade of green, of which I'll save for the hood. Of course, it's optional to not make it a hoodie, but hoodies are not only trendy atm, but convenient to have on those cool evenings.

Here's hoping I don't botch it up - I've already got a few inches of the sleeves knit! I both love and hate how confusing the cables on the sleeves are, but I'm sure they'll look great in the end! Phew!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

chocolatey care packages!

My parents and grandmother in France sent DH and I our annual Christmas Chocolate Care Package! I just received it today - Woo Hoo!

There are all kinds of decadent treats in there that I can't wait to gobble up, although we'll (try to) keep them for Christmas, when we have it with my in-laws.

My favourite treats are the pains au chocolate (in the blue bag, pic on the right) and the papillots (the clear bag with gold foils). Not pictured is a Bergers de France yarn catalogue, which I've slightly looked through and looks fantastic. One other thing - and I'm not sure if it's noticable in the picture, but we were sent marzipan (yuuuuummmm!) that's pineapple flavoured! That'll be decadent, I'm sure.

I also love those chocolates that are also tree ornaments - there's a couple packs of those, which'll look great on the tree @ my SIL's place, we'll keep it for then. I don't see as much of those in Canada, or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong stores? But it's pretty big over in Europe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

mittens for charity

I'm currently using this pattern for children's mitts to knit 10 pairs for charity, using the wool I have in my stash.

I bought, a while back, some variegated Patons Classic Wool Merino in different colours, most of which I've barely touched, and currently have no use for. I also received some 100% wool in different brands in the mail, from just random exchanges via, which have since just been sitting in my living room. All of this is being converted into kid's mitts.

Pictures will come soon. I currently have 6 pairs finished, and have started a 7th pair - the ribbing of which was done during tonight's bitch n stitch meeting when I went out.

Why ten pairs? No idea. Why not?

I was thinking of donating them for afghans for afghans - but I'd have to wait until they campaign for children's mittens again, and who knows when that'll be. They may get donated to a different charity in the meantime.

I've been on a knitting-for-charity kick lately. Maybe 2009 will be the year that I'll manage to get a crapload of knitted and crocheted donations out? 2007 I managed to donate nearly 80 items to the Dulaan project alone - or rather over the 2006/2007 winter season. Tons went out.

Ah, who knows. In any case, they'll be made and ready to donate for some kids that need warmer hands. Maybe it'll do some good?

Monday, December 8, 2008

what to knit with glow in the dark yarn?

I bought these four skeins of yarn a while ago - 3 of them glow in the dark, and I bought the black one to make a good contrast. But I've no idea what to make with them. I want to make or design something practical and functional, not just decorative. I'm totally brainfarting. It's one of those yarn purchases that I 'had to have', without any rhyme or reason, and it's not something that I normally do... I'm just clueless.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beer Cheese!

I meant to post this a while ago ... DH and I went grocery shopping one weekend, and one of the stops that we do around the grocery store is in the cheese section, because we just love cheese. And, we happen to find the oddest thing: cheese made from Guinness! Ack!
It was picture worthy, I thought, because it's just something I've never seen before. It was covered in a layer of brown wax; the cheddar parts I assume are the orange parts, and the brown part was what contained the Guinness. It didn't taste like beer at all, and it tasted more cheddary if nothing else.
There's just a part of me that can't help thinking that it looks like chocolate fudge with weird orange marshmallows in it.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

random things that I found, pt 2

The other day I posted a bunch of flickr pics that I found, mostly knit themed, so I thought I'd rummage through the site again to find some other really fun pics, just to see other people's really great creations.

Sundae Crochet is a cleverly made ice cream sundae - yum :) - despite the cooling weather, this I think inspired me to maybe make sundaes for dessert tonight!

Crochet Taffy Apples is another creation by the same artist, also looking decadently deeeelicious!

I love this crocheted Laughing Buddha - fantastically made!

The work that must've gone into these hyperbolic kelp and hyperbolic cacti must've been incredibly time consuming, but they look wonderful.

Now, I never knew this place existed, but there's actually a Crochet Museum out somewhere called Joshua Tree, which I assume would be in Arizona or California or something, which looks like a very fun place to visit! (For sure during the next road trip that DH and I take!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Wednesday at the mall

I spent the day before yesterday finishing up a few Christmasy things I needed to get done at the mall - I bought a couple more gifts that remained on my shopping list (with the exception of my nephew, whom I still don't know what to get) plus I mailed out a whole bunch of packages.

Normally I only have one or two to mail, like for swaps or destashed yarn from ravelry, or a sale from etsy. But between the care package of gifts I was sending to France (for mom, dad, brother, and grandmother), the scarves for the Special Olympics, a ravelry destashing swap, and one other package that I was kind of ticked off of having to resend, my arms were full!

This package that I had to resend - it was an etsy sale I made, and thought I had packaged it rather well. It was sent mid October, and it should've arrived to its destination in the US long before Wednesday, but on its way down the packaging somehow broke open! I've no idea how, considering how well I always package things, but still. And it already made it to the state it was supposed to be mailed in! One would think it would've gotten delivered nonetheless, but it required so much effort to mail it back, and of course it was!

Luckily nothing was lost from the open package, but it ticks me off not only that I've had to spend another $30 to remail it, but it's taken so long to have to resend it, and I just hope the customer receives it before the holidays!

On another note, I'm a bit thankful that I knit this year for the holidays. I've got everyone taken care of except my FIL and DH. I've no idea what to knit either of them, but I've a sneaking suspicion that FIL won't wear anything that I knit anyway, based on past experience, so I may not bother.

I love putting together care packages as gifts, and it's what I've done for everyone this year. Each person got one knit item, plus a couple other things added to their gift bags. DH and I had no idea how to narrow the gifts down to one single gift per person, but figured that a few small gifts all together would hopefully be a treat!

I'm just waiting for my SIL to write me back on some ideas for my nephew, and we'll be done. I hate shopping @ the mall in December, which is why I've all my holiday shopping done so early, but now that practically all the gifts are bought and made, I can't wait to hand them out! eesh! I'm a little excited for the holiday!

Monday, November 24, 2008

2 more skeins finished, and out of my stash!

A month ago or so I blogged about starting to knit some scarves for the special olympics, and the two scarves I had in that post only consumed a little under half a skein of blue and white, but I mailed them nonetheless. Today I finally finished the two skeins into two more scarves, one knit and one crochet:
Phew! These'll be mailed probably wednesday or thursday, so I'm done with this project! Hopefully they'll be put to great use!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

things that I've found randomly, that I love

When randomly searching 'my knitting basket' on google, I came across this fantastic basket-of-yarn cake that I would just love if someone could make this for me for a birthday or something! How scruptious!

It got me to thinking of all the pics on flickr that I have yet to search and observe, so here are a few of my favourites: (linked so that not to violate any photog copyrights, so click away!)

a knit-tastic tattoo - once I muster up the courage to get one, I'd love one similar to this!

this picture of green yarn has inspired me to artisitcally photograph my yarn, and hang it around my office!

a fantastic pic of a cat hugging yarn - and taken a bit off guard, it seems....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

my first 'stitch n bitch' meeting

The group's been around for a while, apprently, but I went for the first time this past Tuesday. I was invited by someone I met via ravelry to attend; the owner of Linda's Craftique in Port Credit has a meeting every other Tuesday, that meets after her store closes - the group heads to a fantastic pizza place across the street, and just knit and eat pizza for a couple hours. Great fun. :D

I managed to work on these mittens, which I started the day before the meeting and finished the day after. Using nearly 2 skeins of Mirasol Yarn Sulka that I bought at Linda's Craftique, the pattern is simply called Cabled Fingerless Mitts, available here. (You need to look around a little - it's available as a free pattern that you have to 'buy' when checking out, and the pattern's emailed to you.) But I love the yarn, it's one that I've never used before and is super soft and wonderfully warm! You can't tell from my poor picture quality, but there are little red and blue fibers mixed in with the black yarn, which make them all that more unique.

Friday, November 14, 2008

snowflake dishcloths

I've adjusted the pattern from Strings And Things for their snowflake dishcloth... to a 7" square. I've also purled a few extra details around the snowflake to give the dishcloth a bit more texture. These'll be gifted to my neighbor for the holidays.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Fusion Scarf

Size: adult
Finished measurements: approximately 4.75” (12cm) wide, 26” (66.5cm) long, laying flat (in half) and unblocked.

Materials needed:
½ skein Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Forest
2 skeins Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Camel
8mm/US 11 straight needles

Tension in pattern: approx 18 stitches = 4” (10cm)
Terms used in this pattern: BO2 (bind off or cast off 2); m2 (make 2)

Hold together 1 strand of Camel, and 1 strand of Forest, and whole holding two together, CO 24 sts.
Next row: holding two yarns together, *k2, p2* across.
Repeat ribbing pattern, with these two colours for 13 inches (33.5cm). Next row: Switch Forest yarn to Camel, so that you are now knitting 2 strands of Camel together; continue in ribbing pattern for 3 inches (8cm).
Spacer Row: *k2, bo2 in pattern* across to last stitch, k1.
Next row: K1, make 1, *p2, m2* across to last 2 sts, p2.
Continue in ribbing pattern for 18 more inches.
Next row: repeat Spacer Row.
Fold scarf without twisting it, so that 1st rows of spaces lign up with second row of spacers; it’s going to be offset by a stitch, so that the stitches that remain on the second spacer row lign up where you’ve bound off in the 1st spacer row.
To weave together: k1, make 1, *bring left needle through next space, p2, m2* across to end. Continue in k2, p2 ribbing for 3 inches (8cm).
Replace 1 strand of Camel coloured yarn with Forest, and continue in ribbing pattern for remaining 13 inches (33.5cm). BO in pattern, weave in ends.

© 2008 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

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yarn Karma - paying it forward

I've recently come across some very generous knitters on ravelry - there's a huge community of knitters and crocheters there that swap yarns and knitting supplies, and some are generous enough to send yarn or supplies one way w/o charging for them or for shipping.

Due to this, I've built a good collection of yarns and supplies. Most of which I was able to use for some design ideas I've had in mind and some other projects. Unfortunately, there was a stash of yarns I couldn't find a use for.

My neighbor is a high school teacher in Toronto, and we got to talking today on how there's a knitting club at the school he teaches. A knitting club! How lucky! I asked him if they could use yarn, and he said absolutely!

An hour later I showed up @ his place with a large Ikea bag full of the yarns I can't use - some were yarns shipped to me, others were yarn from my own personal stash - for this knitting club. He was so happy, and commented on how a lot of students are shying away from the group - despite the group being relatively new - because of the cost of yarn. Hopefully this bag of yarn will get a generation of knitters more enthoused about their projects!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Dashing is done

DH's modelling the pair of Dashing I made for my dad for xmas - made from Cascade 220 in a nice shade of purple. I've made it considerably shorter than the original pattern, but still long enough to cover a good part of his arm.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Mississauga mention on Regis and Kelly Live

This morning I was watching Regis and Kelly Live as I was knitting, and Regis mentioned that he was making another trip to Canada, visiting my hometown of Mississauga to attend and I guess talk at a ceremony comemorating our mayor, Hazel McCallion. Kinda neat to have Mississauga mentioned like that on tv! Neat.

Just putting it out there, is all.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

finished Fetching

I think that this pair of Fetching that I made for my mom for xmas turned out rather well! I love the colourway of the yarn - it's Twilley's of Stamford Freedom Spirit yarn, 100% wool.
Although, trying them on for me, they had a bit too much stretch, but that's due to my having slightly wide hands... wider than normal I think. So, if I were to make these again, I'd add an extra 4x1 ribbing repeat. And because I just prefer a longer mitt, I'd add an extra cable repeat to both the top and bottom. Aside that, they fit really well!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama is President

Minutes ago, his acceptance speech hit the airwaves in Chicago.

I never thought I'd feel the sense of joy that I do over a non-Canadian election, but remembering my frustration as Bush got elected not only once, but twice, into office, I was almost in knots to think that the Republicans would somehow weasel their way back into the White House again.

When I first heard that CNN thought Obama would likely win office - dare I say it, I almost felt... emotional.

I - as most others, not only in the US but worldwide - realize that this is a huge step forward for not only my American neighbours, but for the world around us.

There is hope. Things will change. Sometimes, the right guy wins.

I've so many things running through my head right now, so many... feelings. I've no idea how to put them into words. This is not a political blog, nor am I one to normally comment on politics as a whole, so this faults my putting my sentiments here properly.

His campaign slogan, I think, best sums it up for us all: Yes We Can. Here's hoping he can.

Things can only go up from here.

another scarf done!

Finished the scarf for my grandmother! Spent the day blocking it, otherwise I would've posted it yeserday!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

less than 2 months until Christmas...

I've done things a little backwards this year.

I've knit for the wrong family first.

I know this sounds bizarre, but let me explain: My parents live in France, my inlaws all live here. My husband, brother and I normally put together a care package to send to France with gifts for Christmas, something for each of my parents and my maternal grandmother; this care package needs to be mailed before December 1st to get there on time for the holidays. I haven't knit for any of them yet.

But, with the exception of my FIL, I've knit for my entire DH's side of the family.

I should've procrastinated with my inlaws, and knit for my parents first. Because now, I'm scrambling. I haven't even bought gifts yet, but my brother's coming home (from being overseas @ work) mid-November, so he'll help shop for my Dad at least. I've bought something for my grandmother, but not for my mom yet either.

Now, knittingwise, I'm planning to make the same scarf I knit for my SIL (posted here) for my grandmother, but using some nice fingering weight handspun I bought on etsy; these Dashing gloves for my dad and these Fetching gloves for my mom, with some yarn that I bought over at The Wool Bin store in Oakville yesterday. Hopefully these 3 projects shouldn't take me more than a couple weeks to complete!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

dual purpose cozy

As it turns out, the carboy cozy I designed for my husband's beer making has a dual purpose, it works well for a large-pumpkin-cozy too:
Can't wait to carve this thing tonight! Woo hoo!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I want to... cut my hair!

Today I happen to catch Pink being interviewed on The View - and decided that that's the hairstyle I want. I want to chop my hair that short.

Now, I wasn't necessarily watching The View because I like that show, I rarely follow it, mainly because Elisabeth whats-her-name drives me bonkers. And, despite liking a few songs, I can't call myself a huge Pink fan, but I like her style. And I love the hair she had today.

I've no idea if that hairstyle would look good on me or not, because I've eternally not been able to get a good hair cut - like ever. Maybe if I can find a printable pic of that kind of style, I'll bring it in somewhere to see if I can get my hair chopped that way.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

olympic scarves

I read in the current issue of knitsimple magazine the need to make some scarves for the Special Olympics - a pattern is available via the link, but I followed the pattern in the magazine. So far I've only knit half a skein of each colour and wound up with two scarves, which I'll mail this week, and finish knitting the rest of the skeins later on, hopefully have them mailed before the end of November.

Monday, October 27, 2008

a scarf

I found this Woolly Bully yarn when I went to the Creativ Festival the weekend before last - turned out making a fantastic garter stitch scarf.
I also bought a skein of Malabrigo (sp?) - in a great shade of orange. Just because I've read a lot of people on Ravelry bragging about it, I wanted to see what all the buzz was about. It's fantastically dyed and wonderfully soft. Just have to find the right pattern for it!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Autumn Soup (aka Squash & Pumpkin Soup)

Prep & cooking time: about a couple hours - it's a bit of a long process, make sure you've an afternoon free! (It's well worth it, it's so tasty and makes a wicked amount of soup!)

1 baking pumpkin, halved, seeds and stringy fibers removed and set aside
1 white squash, halved, seeds and stringy fibers removed and set aside
1 butternut squash, halved, seeds and stringy fibers removed and set aside
1 winter squash, halved, seeds and stringy fibers removed and set aside
1 small parsnip
1 yukon gold potato
1 sweet potato
1 turnip
3 tblsp sesame seed or vegetable oil (sesame seed oil is preffered, it's got a delicious nutty flavour)
1-2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 handful fresh sage leaves
1 tblsp fresh ginger, grated
3-3.5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 vegetable or mushroom boillon cube
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp marjoram powder
1 tsp coarse salt
black pepper to taste
1 can (170ml) thick cream
1 tblsp brown sugar

Take the halved pumpkin and squashes in a dish, face down, into a preheated oven - 400F - for 50 minutes.

In the meantime, put all the seeds and fibery insides of the squashes and pumpkin in a pot with a tblsp of oil and cook for about 3 minutes. Add broth, water, bouillon cube, sage and thyme, and bring to a boil. Lower to simmer for 10 minutes, then put aside.

Put the rest of the oil at the bottom of a large pan. Add the onion - finely diced - and heat until onions are yellow/golden coloured. Dice the sweet potato, potato, turnip, and parsnip and mix in with the onion. Strain the squash and pumpkin fiber and seeds from the broth and disgard, and add the broth 1 cup at a time, mixing well with the potato mix. Simmer.

When pumpkin and squash are ready, remove from oven, and scoup out pulp from skin and puree in a food processor, along with the ginger. Add to soup, mix well, and simmer for another 5-10 minutes.

Remove from heat. Pass the soup through the food processor again to turn the entire thing into a puree. Mix in curry powder, marjoram, salt, and black pepper. Put back on heat and cook for another 15-20 minutes.

Remove from heat, mix in thick cream and brown sugar, and serve.

Refrigerates up to 7 days, freezes for 6 months.

This makes a boatload of soup, I recommend storing a bunch in the freezer to thaw and nuke for those cold winter days!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

completed hat

I haven't done much knitting for myself, but I did manage to finish this hat:
It's a slight adjustment from the original pattern - first, adjusting the pattern for the thicker yarn, and also realizing that once a floppy hat was made, it absolutely didn't look good on me, so I frogged it. But I do like the fact that it's done top-down.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Le Killer Bunny est fini!

Finally finished knitting the killer bunny for the husband! It's hard to tell that there are two bottom fangs, due to the camera angle in each picture, but they're there! Phew!

Monday, October 6, 2008

I've been published!

The new issue of the anticraft - the Samhain '08 issue - has just been put out today, and I'm in! Not once, but twice! Huesos Deliciousos and Calacas de Arcilla are my two contributions to this skullish issue.

There are a few other very cool things as well - a pasta recipe that I'll need to try, and there are a few surprises that'll appear over October that I can't wait to see!

Friday, October 3, 2008

this week has been one of those weeks.

I got around to my bat shawl today, I haven't touched it in a while. I was about 2/3's of the way through my third row of bats, and seriously botched the 1st bat in the pattern severely. I had actually botched it a bit for about 3 or 4 rows, but I was hoping that as I knit, I could fix it. I didn't, it just got worse. At this rate, I wonder if I'll have it done for Halloween?

Oh, but there is a fun thing though: Last saturday, DH and I went to see Spamalot at the Canon Theatre in Toronto, it was so funny and so much fun to watch! And hubby is - like many guys, I think - such a huge fan of Monty Python.

It has inspired me to knit him a killer bunny from theanticraft - goal is to have it done before Christmas, which is plenty of time. I hope. I already have the head and torso knit up and stuffed, so, yay!

Monday, September 22, 2008

wrapped gift dishcloth

IMO, an 8" square dishcloth or bigger was always a bit too big for my own use, so I wanted to create a size a bit more comfortable. Plus, I can more comfortably make 2 or 3 dishcloths from 1 skein of yarn, since it's a smaller size.

needed: 1 pair 4.5mm knitting needles, 0.6oz/19grams red cotton
(I used Lily Sugar n Cream in 'red' - 3 dishcloths can be made with 1 skein with a bit left over)

finished size: 7" x 7", blocked, 6.5"x6.5" unblocked

CO 32 sts.

Make 4 rows of seed (or moss) stitch: Row 1 - K1, P1 across; Row 2 - Knit the purled sts, Purl the knit sts.

Follow the chart for the next 31 rows, by knitting the white squares and purling the red squares on RS, and purling the white squares and knitting the red squares on WS.

Continue the seed (or moss) stitch on 4 sts of both sides of the dishcloth.

Finish by making 4 more rows of seed stitch, and BO in pattern.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

changing layout, and another pair of knucks

I've finally gotten around to changing the layout of my blog - I was tired of seeing the same thing over and over again, and considering it's been well over a year since its last change, it was due. So there, it's done.

I've also managed to finish another pair of knucks:
Again, knit with about 3/4's of a skein of Patons Kroy sock yarn in 'Burnished Sierra Stripes' - I picked it up because it looks Halloweeny. I've found some thicker yarn (different brand) that's a similar colourway, that I'll make some sort of hat from, but I'm waiting for it to arrive - I've ordered it from Europe off of ebay, so... maybe this week it'll get here? Anyway, nonetheless, these are done.
Naturally I changed the pattern again - for the life of me I can't figure out the cuff pattern (I think I'm just too dense to figure it out) so I left 42 sts around the cuff instead of doing the last decrease, and did a k3, p1 ribbing around, which fits really well. I think I need to invest in whatever the yarn is that's recommended for the pattern - Paton's Kroy, as much as I love using it, seems a teeny bit too thin to work with, and there's some slight stretching due to the tension being a wee bit thinner than what it should be.
Next time. Must remember for next time. Of course, it's what I thought last time, but forgot. :P

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

a vest for DH...

Just finished this vest for the husband...
I knit it in the round, using 4.83 skeins of Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in Ebony. The neck collar was a bit high, but he prefers a tighter neckline and liked it that way, despite my initially wanting to knit a deeper v-neck.

But, it's a good bulky vest for whenever he wants to wear it! :) Hopefully it'll get some good use, now that the weather's starting to cool off!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

oh no! what's this? there's magic in the air!

How fantastic is it, that the Nightmare Before Christmas has been rereleased?


I just picked up my copy over the weekend! What bliss!

Friday, August 29, 2008

~ My 200th Post! ~

I'm in the midst of knitting a wa-na-na-na-na-na-na-na bat shawl from the current issue of theanticraft; I've got a Halloween themed Buck n Doe to go to in 2 months, I hope to have it done by then! I just got my yarn in the mail a couple days ago, so I'm elated to get it started!

I just finished the first bat chart though, as you can see, and have already found a very minor problem with it - I'm supposed to have 75 sts across at this point, but only have 73. I wasn't about to frog it, because I've already done it once before yesterday, and it's too tedious to undo.

So, naturally, I adjusted the pattern slightly. For row 77, which is the row that follows the first bat pattern, I've added an extra yo + k2tog stitch over each point of the bat's wings. That way, the yo increase at each end of the shawl can still be made, and now I'm at 75 sts across w/o increasing the number of rows to the shawl.

Since I have to pick up sts at the end to add a border, I can't risk having so many extra rows.
Just goes to show you - once again, I can't avoid adjusting patterns. :P
Oh, and I've had the brilliant idea of hanging a cloths pin to the end of my shawl, to weigh it down. I've noticed on a few shawl projects that, if it's worked from the bottom up, the bottom ends up curling up on me, which is frustrating while knitting. This way, it's held down w/o stretching the fabric!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Transit Bookie Oddly Ribbed Hat

Finished measurements: Hat fits approximate 21” head circumfrence.

Materials needed:
- ½ skein Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Retro
- 1skeins Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Camel

(there's enough yarn in this pattern to make both this hat and the matching transit bookie book cozie)
- 4.5 mm/US 7 circular needles, 12”
- 4.5 mm/US 7 dpn’s, set of 4
- 1 7mm snap fastener
- darning needle or small crochet hook

Tension in pattern: approx 26 stitches = 4” (10cm)

With Camel, CO 105 sts. Join, place marker.
Ribbing pattern: *k1, p1, k2, p1* around. Continue rib pattern in Camel for 4 inches.
Next row: switch to Retro, and continue in ribbing pattern for 2 inches.
Next row: switch back to Camel, and continue ribbing pattern for 1 inch.

Decrease rows: (switch to dpn’s when needed)
Row 1: *(k1, p1, k2, p1) twice, then k1, p1, k2tog, p1* around; 98 sts.
Row 2: *k1, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k2tog, p1, (k1, p1) twice* around, 91 sts.
Row 3: *k1, p1, k2tog, p1, (k1, p1) four times* around, 84 sts.
Row 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14: *k1, p1* around.
Row 5: *(k1, p1) four times, then rearrange next four stitches on needle so that it looks like k2, p2 (knit stitches in front, purled stitches in the back), then k2tog, p2tog these four stitches* around, 70 sts.
Row 7: *(k1, p1) three times, then rearrange next four stitches on needle so that it looks like k2, p2 (knit stitches in front, purled stitches in the back), then k2tog, p2tog these four stitches* around, 56 sts.
Row 9: *(k1, p1) twice times, then rearrange next four stitches on needle so that it looks like k2, p2 (knit stitches in front, purled stitches in the back), then k2tog, p2tog these four stitches* around, 42 sts.
Row 11: *k1, p1, then rearrange next four stitches on needle so that it looks like k2, p2 (knit stitches in front, purled stitches in the back), then k2tog, p2tog these four stitches* around, 28 sts.
Row 13: *rearrange next four stitches on needle so that it looks like k2, p2 (knit stitches in front, purled stitches in the back), then k2tog, p2tog these four stitches* around, 14 sts.

To end: place 7 sts on one dpn, and 7 on another so that the two dpns are parallel to each other. Graft close by using a third dpn, passing through 1st stitch on both front and back needle, knit, repeat for next stitch, and bring 1st st over 2nd to bind off. Continue across, break yarn and weave in ends inside of the hat.

© 2008 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

Transit Bookie book cozie

Materials needed:
- ½ skein Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Retro
- 1skeins Patons Classic Merino Wool (100% pure new wool; 223yds/204m, 100g/3.5oz skein); colour: Camel

(there's enough yarn in here to make this pattern and the matching transit bookie oddly ribbed hat)
4.5 mm/US 7 circular needles, 12”
- 4.5 mm/US 7 dpn’s, set of 4
- 1 7mm snap fastenerdarning needle or small crochet hook

Size: book cozie covers trade paperback

Start with ribbed book flap first, in Camel, CO 6 sts and k1, p1 every row using 2 dpns until piece measures 2”.

Switch piece to circulars, add 79 more sts and join. The flap will be the center of your book cozy. Continue in hat’s ribbing pattern (k1, p1, k2, p1) around for 1.5 inches.

Switch to Retro, continue in pattern for 1”.

Switch back to Camel, and continue in pattern until entire piece (excluding flap) measures 4.25”.

Next row: *k1, p1, k2tog, p1* around, 68 sts.
Next row: *k1, p1* around.
Next row: (k1, p1) seven times, k1, on left needle pass next knit st over purled st, p1, slide next 2 sts on right needle psso, put st back on left needle, place marker, k1, p1, k1, on left needle pass next knit st over purled st, p1, slide next 2 sts on right needle psso, put st back on left needle, place marker (64sts)

Rearrange sts so that the two yarn markers are on opposite ends, marking a new beginning and end, respectively. Place 32 sts on one dpn (front), 32 on a second dpn (back). Cut yarn, leaving a 1” tail. Retie yarn at one marker, and graft close like hat. When you get to the tail, tie together and continue graphting close. Break yarn, pass through last stitch, and weave in ends inside of the book cozie.

Separate the two halves of the snap fastener, sewing one half to the tail, and the other half to the book cozy to correspond.

© 2008 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

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

his black cabled hat

Finished measurements: approximately 18.5” (47.5cm) around, 7.5” (19cm) tall lying flat and unblocked. The hat stretches to fit pretty much any size adult head. This hat fits a regular adult sized head (roughly 21" circumference) although does stretch.

Materials needed:
- 1 skein Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick (80% acrylic, 20% wool; 108yds/98m, 170g/6oz skein); colour pictured: Charcoal
- 9mm/US 13 circular needles, 12”
- a set of 4 9mm/US 13 double pointed needles
- 1 yarn marker
- 1 cable needle

Note that there’s enough yarn in 1 skein to make 2 adult sized hats, with a little bit left over. Pattern adjusted for a tween sized head is at the bottom of the pattern.

Tension: in stockinette: 9 sts, 12 rows = 4” (10cm)

Instructions:CO 50 sts, join.
Ribbing: *K1, P1, K2, P1* around, placing marker at beginning. Repeat for 3 more rows.

For cabled part of hat: (repeat these 8 rows twice)Rows 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, & 8: p2, * k6, p4* around to last 8 sts, end in k6, p2. (There are 5 sections of k6, where the cables will end up being.)Row 3: p2, *place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 on cable needle, k2, p4* around to last 2 sts, end in p2.
Row 7: p2, *k2, place 2 sts on cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 on cable needle, p4* around to last 2 sts, end in p2.

To decrease: (this will become the third cable repeat in pattern, to be worked over a decrease to finish)
Continue following cabled pattern rows 1-8, and switch to dpn’s when needed. Make rows 1, 2, 3, 5, & 7 as above, adjusting for the decreases indicated below; knit the knit stitches, purl the purl stiches, and work cable in rows 3 and 7.
Decrease rows will be incorporated into rows 4, 6, and 8 as follows:
Row 4: p2tog, *k6, p2, p2tog* around to last 2 sts, end in p2tog.
Row 6: p1, *k6, p2tog, p1* around to last 2 sts, end in p2.

Row 8: sl1, *k6, p2tog* around. Purl last stitch tog with first stitch (this row’s sl1). Move stitch marker to new end.

To close/end hat:
Next row: knit the knit sts, purl the purl sts
Next row: *k2, k2tog k2, p1* around.
Next row: repeat row 3 of cable pattern, but change cable pattern to k2, place 2 on cable needle in front, k1, k2 from cable needle and continue around.
Next row: *k2tog, k1, k2tog, p1* across.
Next 2 rows: k2tog around.5 sts remain after last row.
Break yarn and weave through remaining sts with a crochet hook or darning needle, pull tight to close and weave in ends.
To make a smaller hat to fit a tween, with a roughly 18"-19" head circumference, make the following pattern adjustments:
CO 45 sts instead of 50. Do the ribbing as is in pattern.
For rows 1, 2, 4, 6, & 8: *p1, k6, p3* around instead of *p2, k6, p4*. Therefore, throughout hat you'll be purling 5 sts between each cable instead of 6.
For the decrease rounds: skip the 'Row 4' instruction and continue with the pattern as is.
This ought to make a tighter fitting hat for smaller heads.
© 2008 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

Sunday, August 24, 2008

My cousin and her fiance are getting married in November, and are having their Buck & Doe party the weekend before Halloween, therefore having a Halloween themed costume party for it. It's no secret that Halloween is my favourite holiday of the year, so I'm rather excited to put their Buck & Doe gift together for them.
Traditionally, wedding and Buck & Doe gifts tend to be housewares, and DH & Iwill likely gift them a gift certificate somewhere for the such (since they already live together and have pretty much everything they need, a gift certificate can help get something they want) - but I couldn't resist knitting something. And the most appropriate thing I could think of is Halloween themed dishcloths. Homely indeed, with all the fun of the spook of the season.
The 5 patterns I used were a bat (purple), ghost (white), kitty (black), jack o' lantern (orange) and skull (yellow) - a great way to eat up a lot of miscellanious dishcloth cotton I had laying around the house. I found some printable cotton-twill label paper at Wal-Mart, which is excellent for customizable labels, where I was able to print the care info, fiber content, and names for the dishcloths as well.
The great pumpkin-shaped and bat-shaped ribbon I found at Michael's; and a while ago I found a great price for gift bags at Zellers (13 for 4.95!) to which, in that collection, is yellow gift bag with a bit of an antique yellow Victorianesque print to it, which is vintage enough looking to be holiday appropriate for the gift.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

ghosty dishcloth

I was also unable to cut-and-paste the graphed version of the pattern into my blog, so I printed it, photographed it, and inserted it for anyone who prefers to follow a graph. I've done my best to write out this pattern, but if are any mistakes, please post it to my blog and I'll make the proper corrections! (Although I'm sure it's ok!)

Materials needed:
34 grams (1.25oz) Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, in Off White
1 pair 4.5mm (US 7) needles

CO 40 sts.
Seed stitch 4 rows. (k1, p1 across 1st row; every row afterwards, knit the purled stitches and purl the knit stitches)
For the next 42 rows, seed stitch the 1st and last 4 stitches of each row in pattern. Knit the middle 32 stitches as follows:
Row 1: knit across
Row 2: purl across
Row 3: knit across
Row 4: p2, k3, p6, k2 p6, k2, p6, k3, p2
Row 5: k2, p4, k4, p4 k4, p4, k4, p4, k2
Row 6: p2, k5, p2, k6 p2, k6, p2, k5, p2
Row 7: k2, p28, k2
Row 8: p2, k28, p2
Row 9: k3, p26, k3
Row 10: p3, k26, p3
Row 11: k4, p24, k4
Row 12: p4, k24, p4
Row 13: k4, p10, k2, p10, k4
Row 14: p4, k9, p4, k9, p4
Row 15: k4, p8, k6, p8, k4
Row 16: p4, k8, p6, k8, p4
Row 17: k4, p8, k6, p8, k4
Row 18: p4, k8, p6, k8, p4
Row 19: k3, p11, k4, p11, k3
Row 20: p3, k12, p2, k12, p3
Row 21: k3, p26, k3
Row 22: p2, k28, p2
Row 23: k2, p28, k2
Row 24: p2, k6, p4, k8, p4, k6, p2
Row 25: k2, p5, k6, p6, k6, p5, k2
Row 26: p2, k5, p2, k2, p3, k4, p3, k2, p2, k5, p2
Row 27: k2, p5, k2, p3, k2, p4, k2, p3, k2, p5, k2
Row 28: p2, k5, p2, k2, p3, k4, p3, k2, p2, k5, p2
Row 29: k4, p4, k6, p4, k6, p4, k4
Row 30: p4, k5, p4, k6, p4, k5, p4
Row 31: k5, p22, k5
Row 32: p6, k20, p6
Row 33: k7, p18, k7
Row 34: p8, k16, p8
Row 35: k9, p14, k9
Row 36: p10, k12, p10
Row 37: k11, p10, k11
Row 38: p12, k8, p12
Row 39: k14, p4, k14
Row 40: knit across
Row 41: purl across
Row 42: knit across
Seed stitch 4 more rows, then cast off in pattern.

© 2008 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

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

bones indeed

There's something about Halloween I just love. Don't know why. But I've always thought Halloween to be my favourite time of the year. There's something fantastic about dressing up, collecting candy, staying up past your bedtime and getting a sugar high, and being scared out of your bones that's simly fantastic. It wasn't until I read up on becoming Wiccan at 17 that I found out that Halloween - or Samhain - is reveared as the main holiday since it's the Wiccan (and for the most part, Pagan) new year. Maybe that had something to do with why I was drawn to this holiday so much?

Today on the anticraft's blog, announced their Samhain theme: Broken Bones. Brilliant indeed. :) A few issues of the anticraft had recently been - I dunno - somewhat off the wall, although still tie in to an anti-craft theme, as in not what you'd normally think of making. But to have issues going back to the somewhat darker underground of the anticraft's roots is what I like best. A while back I submitted a craft pattern for some skeletons - I won't say made of what just yet - but I wonder if they'll be in this issue? I hope so!

My cousin and her fiancee are also planning on getting married this November, and are having their Buck & Doe party (instead of having separate bachelor and bachelorette parties) on October 24th, and it's a whole Halloween-dress-up-in-costumes sort of theme, which is brilliant. It's been a good long while since I've been to a costume party. I've that to look forward to as well!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

done - another scarf

Since my MIL's favourite colour is green (must be the Irish in her!) I knit her a (mostly) green scarf - again, another pattern from my Little Box of Scarves book, like I did for my SIL. I used up an entire skein of Bernat Wool Blend, the colour: Tan & Sky. I only needed a wee bit of a second skein just to finish the bind-off at the end, but otherwise it came out as a good long scarf. The only adjustment I made (because you know me, I love changing patterns) is I added an extra 7 stitches to make an extra pattern repeat - the original width would've been a bit too narrow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

shit, son, that's a good deal on yarn

I stepped into Reitman's today to buy my friend a gift certificate for her birthday on Saturday, when I came across these two scarves.

Originally priced for $20, they were marked down to $6.99, so since I liked the yarn so much (you can't tell, but there's a metallic silver thread running through it) I picked up the last two. I was surprised when I went to pay for them, that they were marked down another 70% off, only paying $2.10 each! Now that ain't bad for that lot of yarn!

These will both get frogged and reknit into a matching set of a hat, scarf, and pair of mittens for my winter wear, but it ain't bad for price. :D

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Carboy Cozy

I grew up with my dad always making wine, and now my husband brewing beer at home. In either case, the carboy needs to stay relatively and consistantly warm, which is sometimes
hard in the winter (despite having the heat on) and durning the summer (with the air conditioning). So, I rounded up my partial skeins of Red Heart Super Saver yarn and decided to whip up a cozy for my husband's beer carboy, to warm it up.

In case you want to make your own, here's the pattern:

Materials: Red Heart Super Saver, any colour - scraps and partial skeins encouraged
5mm (US 8) circular needles, in at least 24" long plus one 12" long
5mm (US 8) dpn's
yarn marker
a crochet hook to weave in ends

Tension: 17sts = 4" (10cm)

Pattern: *to fit a carboy with an approx circumfrence of 90cm (39"), which is a standard 5 gallon (23 litre) carboy

1.) CO 152 sts on longest circular needles. Join and place marker.
2.) K2, P2 around for 2 inches.
3.) Switch to St st (knit around) until entire peice measures approx 36 cm (14 inches).

Decrease rounds:
Odd number rows: knit
Even number rows: decrease as follows, switiching to smaller circular needles then dpn's when needed:
Row 2: *K12, k2tog* around
Row 4: *K11, k2tog* around
Row 6: *K10, k2tog* around
Row 8: *K9, k2tog* around
Row 10: *K8, k2tog* around
Row 12: *K7, k2tog* around
Row 14: *K6, k2tog* around
Row 16: *K5, k2tog* around
Row 18: *K4, k2tog* around
Row 20: *K3, k2tog* around
Row 22: *K2, k2tog* around, 30 sts
Rows 23: K around
BO next row, and weave in ends.