Thursday, December 22, 2011

A Knitter's Night Before Christmas

I thought I'd share this poem - titled A Knitter's Night Before Christmas, it's absolutely brilliant. :) Check it out and leave a comment, it's wonderfully written!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

CT$ progress

I'm progressing nicely with my CT$ fundraising... just passing the $30 mark, and getting to $35 isn't going to be a problem I don't think by the 28th.

I've decided, with whatever extra CT$ I receive between now and then, I'm going to put it to some benificial use. There are a few charity possibilities to put it towards. I can donate excess $ towards Canadian Tire's collection already in store, for whatever it is that they collect money for. I also know a friend whose daughters were actively in Girl Guides growing up, and she still has friends who have daughters going through Guides, and some of these girls manage to go to camp (thanks to the generosity of their cookie sales, I suppose) but can't afford tents - so buying a tent at CT using the extra $ I get (plus of course paying the balance myself, no problem) and donating it to a girl who gets to go to camp would be awesome. Alternatively there's also shelters that always accept donations of whatever, so excess CT$ can purchase something that then can be donated there as well would come in handy too.

Anyway, there's an endless list of possibilities. I'm of course still collecting the CT$, for the google eyes previously mentioned 2 posts ago, so check that out. Alternatively, there's also my facebook fanpage for my shop: - check that out, there's a listing somewhere there, posted recently, for earrings available only through my fanpage in exchange for $5 in CT$ (1 pair) or $8 in CT$ (2 pairs).

On the condition, of course, that the CT$ is received before June 28th... and with Canada Post maybe or may not be on whatever strike they're on, who knows how much slower the mail will take, but let's hope for the best nonetheless.

ETA: Thanks to friends and ravelry purchases of google eyes, I was able to raise just under $42, so that's pretty cool! Thanks to everyone who has contributed!

Friday, May 27, 2011


I'm at $28 in CT$ as it stands, and it's only been about 3 weeks, which is awesome. I've got another month to come up with at least another $7 for DH... nervewrecking!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Owl Cozie KAL - & raising CT$ for DH

For those of you who frequent the Canadian forums in ravelry, this may be old news, since I posted this there about 2 weeks ago... regardless, here I go (again!)...

I've designed this owl cup cozie a while back, and on ravelry (queuable here) for a while now I've offered the 10 sew on google eyes for sale, since they're so hard to find, & they stay on so much better than the glue-on google eyes. (Glue on google eyes are awesome, but for fabrics that stretch all the time like the cup cozies tend to do, they're not the best and will have a tendancy to eventually flake off, therefore sew on eyes are much sturdier!)

Because my husband loves Canadian Tire, he gets a lot of CT gift cards on the holidays, which go almost entirely towards tools and car supplies. As a change, though, I decided on collecting CT$, and since he's turnign 35, it'd be great to be able to raise @ least $35.

Considering how much he covets his tools, and working on his car, plus how much of his spare time he devotes to helping his parents, sister, and my brother with all the handy things he does, this really is the least I can do. I can honestly say that my DH is awesome when it comes to a lot of things, but especially the time he devotes to working with tools & helping both his family and mine (not to mention neighbors too!) all after working 70+ hours a week.

Over the last 2 weeks I've so far managed to raise $21 all in CT$, by selling 10 eyes for $1 in CT$ to ravellers, which is awesome. But I've got $14 more I'd like to raise - plus of course anything over and above that will be gifted and definately put to good use.

So, if you're reading this & have a couple CT$ that are just sitting in a drawer (even if it's entirely in 5 cent bills) and would like to knit up that owl cozie, please contact me via ravelry - I'm knitphomaniac there. An SASE will need to also be provided, and I can easily fit @ least 10 sets of eyes in one envelope with 1 Cdn stamp, possibly more.

THIS MAKES A GOOD: destash project, SnB KAL, 'learn to cable' project, gift for Father's Day or birthday with a coffee shop gift card, etc. (Just some ideas!) Or you can even headstart on December holiday gifts - these are ideal stocking-stuffer type gifts!

If you've got a knitting group and would like to do this KAL, maybe you can propose that each person in the group can bring $1 or more in CT$ - that way all their eyes can be sent via and to you.

JUST A REMINDER that if you wish to participate in this particular project, I do need to receive the CT$ by Tues June 28th @ the very latest! PLEASE QUEUE IT ON RAVELRY & happy knitting!

Friday, March 25, 2011

the quality of knitting/crochet, yarn, & etc...

I've been spending a lot of time in the chat rooms of etsy, and a lot of time in etsy (since 2006) and other online selling sites, and a discussion that has come up time and time again, among knitters & crocheters, is the quality of materials used in knitwear and crochetwear. This has also been a topic of countless discussions on ravelry as well. 

"Yarn snobbery" or "fiber snobbery" is about as taboo of a discussion as talking about religion and politics in mixed company. What defines a snob when it comes to yarn varies from one person to the next.

If you choose to not use a certain type of yarn, due to allergies or whatnot, that I can understand. There's nothing wrong with that at all. What I can't seem to understand, though, is simply going with a certain kind of yarn to make things simply because it's cheaper.

Acrylic, for example, tends to be (more often than not) cheaper than most other yarns. There are different qualities of acrylic, but at the end of the day, acrylic is acrylic, and acrylic is plastic. That's all that it is. So, why on earth would one make clothing from it? A sweater or scarf etc, made from acrylic, is the equivalent of wearing a plastic bag, and it keeps you just as warm. All it does is make you sweat, since it doesn't breathe. It's not a snob thing, it's just fact.

I've seen a lot of people on etsy make garments from acrylic, and their excuse is that acrylic is just the cheaper yarn to work with. Aren't you setting yourself up for failure before you've even started? I look even in my own closet, and I don't own any 100% acrylic clothes, even though much of what I have has been bought in department stores. Many of my shirts and undergarments are made from cotton. Even store bought sweaters are a wool blend at worst.

Yarn goes on sale all the time. Plus, if you already start with quality yarns, wouldn't that retail for more if you're planning on selling them? Or are we all comdemned to that Walmart mentality, where cheaper is always better? Do we not value our work enough to start with quality materials to make a quality product? If we're going to invest our energy into using a quality pattern, and we all know that handmade tends to be better quality than not, then why use inferior materials to begin with?

I'm not knocking acrylic yarns - I've plenty, but I believe it needs to be used accordingly. Acrylic is ideal for making toys. It's even great for making throws and afghans. Acrylic blend are great for making machine-washable garments. But to use 100% acrylic for clothing? I don't think so.

Even if you're not planning on retailing anything you've made - when you make something for yourself or to gift to someone, one would think you'd want to wear a quality garment. You don't have to spend a lot of money on quality yarns, there are some great ones that are priced inexpensively to start.

I use this as an example: A chef wouldn't use inferior ingredients to make dishes at his restaurant, a baker wouldn't bake with expired or inferior ingredients either, because (and pardon borrowing the slogan from a certain commercial) you can taste the difference quality makes. It's exactly the same in knitting and crochet.

Anyway, that's my vent, for what it's worth. I'm not even going to start with the ethicality of not charging for labour on selling sites when it comes to handmade, or infringing on trademark or copyright items when it comes to selling your work either, that's a different post for a different day. It would just be nice to see, when it comes to knitting or crochet as a whole, that people make an effort to start with quality yarns from the get-go.

You don't have to spend a whole lot of money to get good, quality yarns - just know which yarns are best suited for which projects is all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Seven Year Itch (totally improvised!) sweater for myself!

I can't believe that I finally finished knitting a sweater for myself! Woo hoo!

Last September, DH & I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary - and one of the traditional wedding gifts for the 7th year is wool, so DH quite wonderfully gifted me a gift card to knitpicks. :) I bought some Wool of Andes yarn in Winter Night, used a cable design from Cables & Arans by Erika Knight for the sleeves, and improvised away.
 The whole thing is seamless in a sense - the decreases make it look like I've knit the sleeves in seperate peices, when in fact it was all joined together in a yoke-sweater fashion. I officially finished it very early Saturday morning (at 2:30am!) and it has been blocking for the rest of the weekend!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Today is Sweater Day - World Wildlife Fund

Today is sweater day ... the World Wildlife Fund is encouraging everyone to wear a sweater, and turn the thermostat down by 3 degrees to help reduce carbon emissions. So, today I've done just that. Temp's down to 18 degrees Celcius and I'm wearing a handknit sweater that my grandmother knit me about 12 years ago, which I adore.

Hugging Earth today. :)

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

(knit) Pet Rock pattern

Materials needed: a very small amount of any worsted, dk or aran weight yarn in grey, plus double pointed needles one size smaller than what's recommended on the label for a tight knit; a small amount of stuffing or batting to fill the pet rock           * note: I used Red Heart Soft Touch in a dark grey, and 4mm dpn's for the rock photographed

Tension: not really important for this project

Finished Size: fits in the palm of your hand :)

terms used:
k - knit
m - make
k2tog - knit two together
st(s) - stitch(es)

Cast on 4sts.
k1, m1 in each stitch (8 sts)
Divide between 3 dpn's, join & place marker.

increase rows:
Row 1: (and all odd numbered rows) knit across
Row 2: (k1, m1) in each stitch (16 sts)
Row 4: *k1, (k1, m1) in the next st* repeat between * around (24 sts)
Row 6: k5, (k1, m1) in the next st, k11, (k1, m1) in the next st, k6
Row 8: k4, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k11, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k5 (30 sts)
Row 10: k4, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k11, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k1, (k1, m1) in the next st, k5 (36 sts)

Stockinette stitch (knit every row) for 1 inch.

decrease rows: Add stuffing progressively as you go in this step, ensuring that the rock is completely full (but not overstretched) before finishing.
Row 1: k5, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k5 (30 sts)
Row 2: knit all sts
Row 3: k5, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k5 (26 sts)
Row 4: knit all stsRow 5: k6, k2tog, k10, k2tog, k6 (24 sts)
Row 6: knit all stsRow 7: *k1, k2tog* repeat between * around to end (16 sts)
Row 8: knit all stsRow 9: k2tog around to end (8 sts)
Row 10: k2tog around to end (4 sts)

Cut yarn, weave through remaining stitches & pull tightly, tie knot and weave in ends. Some shapping may be needed to be done; pattern allows the rock to be slightly flatter on one side than the other.

© 2011 by Sabrina Thompson - original design and pictures. Please do not sell pattern 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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Stig

I finished knitting The Stig (from the show Top Gear) the other day for DH, which he loves, and it was an amazingly simple pattern. Great stash busting project!

Friday, January 21, 2011

barbie's new rags

 In order to destash, I've got these 'barbie' (dollar store version of the doll) dressed up in dresses that I've improvised. Debating whether to count this as 3 separate projects in my 52-project-thing, or one large project since they used so little yarn (10grams or less each). Nonetheless, a fun project to do, and yay for destashing!

Friday, January 14, 2011

2nd friday, 2nd project done

My goal to make 52 projects (ammended from goal: 52 pairs of mittens) in 52 weeks is in week two - with my second pair of mittens. Got the mirror beads on this pair too, which was fun. :) I love coming up with a kitchy design to decorate otherwise what may be boring mittens.

Friday, January 7, 2011

pair of mittens #1 finished, 51 pairs to go

Finished my first pair of the year: knit with Patons Classic Wool in leaf green, embroidered with some jade heather Patons Classic Wool & I added some boho type mirror beads that I bought off of etsy. These are a rather well modified version of a pattern I have, that should fit women's hands.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year 2011!

I've got a new goal for 2011: 52 projects completed within 52 weeks. Mainly to destash all the yarn that I have. I'm hoping to use up as much yarn out of my own stash to do this without having to buy any new stuff for a while.

I love knitting mittens, so I think that most of these projects might wind up being mittens. My favourite go-to pattern has been the #18 mitten pattern from Knit Simple Fall 2007, & I've a feeling this pattern is going to be used to death. It's a chart break down of 9 different sizes of mittens: dk, worsted & bulky for each men's, women's and kids.

I'm currently working on my first pair, which I hope to eventually gift to my MIL later this year for xmas, made from Paton's Classic Wool (my favourite yarn). Pictures will soon follow.