Monday, December 29, 2008

hack, cough, wheeze

It's 1:30pm and I'm still in my jammies. I have finally succumbed to my first cold of the season. Blech. Lucky me, I've got lots of books, chocolate, and tea to keep me company.

Hubby drove me into work on Sat (cuz the snow makes parking on the street impossible) and when I walked through the door, my boss tells me that there's no power. So after some discussion, she decides to close for the day and her husband drove me home. All the melting snow is heavy and a number of trees are falling down and taking down power lines. Not good.

Not much knitting to report. Just lots of shopping (for clothes), hanging out with my family, and eating. My left wrist twinges when I knit. I think I hurt myself shoveling snow.

Off to find a warm cat to nap with. I'm pretty sure Ricky's burrowed under the quilt on our bed.

Friday, December 26, 2008

open letter

Dear Mother Nature,

I really do love you. You make my flowers bloom and my grass green. But sometimes, you can lay it on just a little too thick. You're giving us the 4th snowstorm in 10 days. Haven't you heard that it's called the "wet coast" out here? At the rate you're going, we'll have to rename ourselves the "white coast".

If I promise never to wish for a white Christmas, can you please turn off the snow?


PS. My patio furniture thanks you, too.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

ready for Christmas

The last Christmas knit is off the needles.

Pattern: Elegant Cat Cloth by Tawnie's Knits
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Needles: 4.5mm straights
Notes: Did a garter stitch border instead of the moss stitch. Made some changes to rows 13 & 49. If you knit the cloth per the pattern, the cat is reversed from the image on the website so I knit the second one by reading each row backwards.

Since I had the kitchen cotton out, I crocheted myself a quick tawashi.

Pattern: improvised from this pattern - tawashi (the PDF won't load on my computer)
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter cotton
Hook: 5mm
Notes: Made just for fun

Here's a snow update picture:

The snow is officially higher than my knee high boots so my pants get wet. We have to go out and drop off some presents today and then we're coming home and watching movies until we have to go out tomorrow.

Phoebe wishes everyone a Meowy Christmas and hopes Santa drops a can of sardines in her stocking tonite.

Ricky sez: "Bah Humbug! Turn up the heat!"

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It's Santa time!

Two days and counting down to Santa's arrival -- the boys are pretty stoked!

I've done almost all of my Christmas knitting -- the only thing left to finish is a pair of socks for Tony. Sock one is done and sock two is three inches in. I'll have a bit of knitting time tomorrow and on Christmas day as we head into family events where the kids will be off playing with their cousins and grandparents, so I'm hoping to be able to cast it off on Christmas day.

More updates with knitting photos to come after my last day of work today!

Monday, December 22, 2008


Did you know that shovelling snow can seriously cut into your knitting time? I still don't have the wash/dish cloths done yet. Usually, they're a fast knit but we've been busy moving phenomenal amounts of snow around. Remember what my backyard looked like Wed morning?

Fast forward to yesterday morning:

And this morning, I woke up to this:

So what can you do but strap on the cross country skis and go for a shuffle around the neighbourhood.

I've never gone skiing on our street before so this was a special treat. We went down every side street and it's downhill back to the house so the gliding was fun. If it's not too icy, we'll go out again after supper to look at the Christmas lights.

Saturday, December 20, 2008


I got up this morning, made some tea and nearly choked on it when I looked at the outdoor thermometer (the big numbers are Celsius and the smaller ones are Fahrenheit).

BRRRRRRRR!!! Seriously, it is cold. There is frost on the inside of the windows. There's no frost on the outside because it's so cold, there's no moisture left in the air. My car makes funny creaky noises when I'm driving. Kinda scary! I hope it doesn't fall apart. There is a snowfall warning for the next day or so. The fridge is stocked and I've got lots of yarn so I'm ready!

Christmas knitting/crocheting continues. Hubby was trying to figure out what to buy for a 15 year old girl. I gave him a bunch of suggestions but he didn't like any of them until I suggested that I make something (me and my big mouth). Thank goodness that crochet is quick.

Pattern: Queen Anne's Lace Scarf by Khebhin Gibbons
Yarn: Malabrigo worsted in Velvet Grapes; 1 skein (last one in my stash)
Hook: 6mm/US J
Notes: approx 6.5 ft long

I also finished the market bag.

Pattern: French Market Bag by Polly Outhwaite
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted; colour Kiwi; 3 skeins
Notes: Miscounted and ended up with 216 sts. Did my own thing with the handles.

I threw the bag in the wash and it only partially felted.

I've got a front loader and there's just not enough hot water to felt things so I'll need to run it through again.

I've got one more Christmas gift on the needles. Just something small so it'll be finished before Christmas. Right now, I'm going to dig out my long underwear and throw another quilt (or 6) on the bed.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

snow day

I took this picture around 10am - before another 2-3 inches of snow fell. It is crazy out there. Hubby had to shovel snow twice and we've almost run out of ice melter.

Hubby and I braved the snow and went out for a little last minute Christmas shopping this afternoon. We were looking for a stand for our new TV. We didn't see anything we liked. Everything is either hi-tech (glass & metal) looking or old fashioned ugly. Then we had a look at window coverings (can't have any glare on the new TV). We also found shoes for hubby! He's got size 13 feet and there's not much of a selection in that size. We got lucky today so I made him buy 2 pairs.

I'm (unofficially) Christmas knitting.

This will become a really nice market bag once it's felted. It's the first time I've used Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted and I absolutely love it to bits. It's so soft and heathery and cozy. I want to make myself a sweater with this yarn. I'm madly searching for the right pattern. Got any suggestions?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

you know it's cold when...

... the lock on your car doors freeze solid. So I had to climb into the car via the trunk. I have a little Honda Civic sedan so it was a very tight squeeze.

Friday, December 12, 2008

ready for Christmas

(sorry for the crappy pics - it's snowing outside)

Pattern: Journey Cable Socks by Sivia Harding
Yarn: Impulse of Delight Summit Sock (80% superwash merino and 20% nylon; 420 yds per 115g skein) in colour Mountain Mists
Needles: 2.5mm Addi circ (magic loop) and 2.25 dpns
Notes: Plenty of mods. I used larger needles for the leg and smaller needles for the foot. I cast on for the med size in the sportweight eventhough, the yarn is fingering. I love, love this sock yarn. It is the squooshiest superwash merino/nylon blend that I've ever touched.

A close-up of the cables:

And with this FO, I am officially finished my Christmas knitting. Unofficially, there are a few other knitty things that I'd like to accomplish - a felted bag and a few wash/dish cloths. Should be doable since there's 12 days left.

I nipped into the local Sally Ann yesterday and I picked up a very nice furoshiki. These cloths are used by the Japanese to wrap their bento boxes. Can you spot the weaving loom?

Two others that I already own:

I love the images and each one is so unique. These are quite large (3 ft square) but they come in other sizes. The texture is very unusual almost like the warp is a fine thread and the weft is a slubby cotton.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I'm a star

Wanna hear me "umm" through my television debut? Then click here. Fast forward to about 9:22. Try not to laugh.

Monday, December 8, 2008

nuppy love

I picked up a copy of Knitted Lace of Estonia by Nancy Bush on the weekend (yet another day where I spent my whole paycheque). It's got some lovely patterns in it. Sigh... Must learn to knit faster.

My bf just got back from Argentina and she brought me yarn!

I have one skein of sheepy wool and two skeins of alpaca. The alpaca feels a bit greasy so I might wash it in Eucalan before I knit with it. The wool is about 155 yds of bulky weight and the alpaca is about 57 yds of super bulky. So what should I make with this pretty stuff?

Friday, December 5, 2008


What do you do when someone gives you a starter and you don't want to bake every 10 days or drive your friends insane by handing out starter dough? You use it all up.

That's 8 dozen muffins (cranberry/walnut, cranberry, raisin, and apricot) plus 2 cranberry/walnut loaves. My KitchenAid mixer worked really hard today.

Ricky sez: "Do you have to sing along with the Christmas music?"

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Another knitted Christmas gift done!

Pattern: 1x1 rib over 20 sts
Yarn: Bernat glow in the dark yarn; one skein of each colour per scarf
Needles: 6mm
Notes: They really glow!

I was doing some shopping with my Dad yesterday and I came across this cute magnet. I had to buy it for hubby.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

finding my voice

I'm finally feeling the urge to blog again. It's been a tough 2 months since Mom's passing. It feels like everything is in suspended animation and each significant event (Thanksgiving, birthdays, and now Christmas) is a new hurdle and no one has the energy to jump. I am doing my best to comfort Dad while slogging through Mom's estate.

Knitting and quilting hasn't stopped but it's gotten pretty slow. I have a feeling that I'll be distributing hand knit Christmas presents into January.

If you're curious, here are the specs for the FOs that I showed in my last post.

Pattern: Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Yarn: Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight in Lauma (purple spirit)
Notes: You can barely see the purple. Most of the time, the yarn looks pink to me.

Pattern: Koolhaas by Jared Flood
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca
Notes: Great heathery yarn.

Pattern: R2D2 Beanie by Carissa Browning
Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in blue, black, grey
Notes: Knit a longer tube for the sticky-outy bit and stuffed the extra inside rather than using batting/stuffing.

I lucked out during the post Halloween sales and I found a styrofoam head for only $1.50. It makes blocking/drying/photographing hats a lot easier.

So what am I working on (that can be blogged about)? I'm making 2 glow in the dark scarves for the nieces. One is pink and white and the other is blue and white. I am knitting a sock sample for work using Dream in Color Smooshy. Plus there's the crocheted scarf sample that has finally gotten past the first row.

Yarn acquisition has slowed down because of some unexpected car expenses (3 major repairs in less than 4 weeks). I did weaken and I bought 7 skeins of Berocco Ultra Alpaca Fine. This stuff is so nice & soft. Five skeins will hopefully turn into the Apres Surf Hoodie and the rest will be used for socks.

The other big news - I'm going to be on TV. A show called Living Vancouver called the lys that I work at and wanted to do a crochet feature. So yours truly got a haircut, a manicure, and flaunted my stuff in front of the camera. If you get CBC Vancouver, the episode will air Wed Dec 10th at 3pm PST. Otherwise, you'll have to watch it online from the show's homepage.

And I'll finish this post with a Queen Phoebe picture:

Monday, November 24, 2008

my month in pictures

Last but not least, Phoebe watching the squirrels hiding nuts in our big maple tree.

Monday, October 13, 2008

I love you, Mom


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Windowpane socks tutorial, part 4

And here is the final part of the tutorial! The rest of the foot is a pretty standard sock foot if you want to substitute your favourite measurements.

I basically decrease along on the gusset until I've got 60 stitches on the needle, because that's my number for a comfortable sock. Your number might be 64 or even higher, depending on the width of foot that you're trying to fit.

The photos part of this tutorial is for the random mitered squares. Here's one done as an example.

And here's how to do it.
On the front of your sock, knit 6 stitches.
Turn and purl back. Cast on 5 more stitches with an "e" caston.
Knit 11 stitches.
Purl back.
Knit 4, slip 2 stitches together, knit 1, pass two slipped stitches over.
Purl back.
Keep on knitting the mitered square until you have one stitch left on the needle.

Pick up 5 stitches along the side of your square. Slip-Slip-Knit the last stitch you pick up with the first "live" stitch at the bottom row.

Slip the first stitch and then knit all the way around your sock until you get to the other side of the square. Slip the last stitch to your needle, then pick up one stitch on the side of the square. Knit those two stitches together.

Turn your work, slip the first stitch and purl all the way back around until you get to the other side of your mitered square. Purl-two-together the last stitch of your row with the bottom-most stitch on the side of the square.

Keep on working your way by alternately knitting and purling your way until you've knit all around the sock.

Finish on a knit row. Pick up and knit 6 stitches across the top of your mitered square. Continue knitting your sock until you want to do another random mitered square.

To do a mitered square that points the other way, knit until you want to start your square. Then cast on 5 stitches.
Turn your work and purl back 11 stitches. Knit another mitered square.

When you have one stitch on your needle, turn your work and pick up and purl 5 stitches down the side of the square.

As before, knit and purl back and forth around your sock foot, picking up one stitch at the side of the mitered square each round.

Finishing on a knit row, pick up 6 stitches along the top of the square.

Begin your toe shaping about 1.5" from the end of your preferred sock length. (As you'll see above, I've already started my toe shaping, about 3 rows from the end of my square.)

For toe shaping:
Round 1. K1, SSK, knit to last 3 stitches, K2tog, K1 Repeat on other side of foot
Round 2. Knit one round

Repeat until you have 8-12 stitches on your needle, depending on how wide you prefer your toes. Kitchener stitch the stitches together to close the toe of your sock.

And then knit another one!