Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Brain Slug Baby Hat pattern...

is here.

I was bored. Wanted to mess around with writing up this pattern. Finally got up and off my arse and did so. (I think the DDR helped with that part.) Here you go!

Brain Slug Baby Hat!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Barely breathing...

but I made it, people. The holidays came and went (as did my in-laws), and I'm hoping that Santa was as good to you as he was to us. It appears that my brain went ka-blam-mo due to too much 'nog, and I have no pictures of Christmas knitting to show you. It seems that I forgot to take pictures of ANY of the things that I crafted. Final tally was: 1 scarf, 2 pairs of fingerless mitts, 1 Thermis, 1 hat, and 1 pair of penis mittens.

I was fortunate enough to receive lots of books. (Some crafting ones, some fiction.) Lots of yarn. Some lovely jewelery. A handbag. Lots of peace, love and joy. And. The. Awesomest. Thing. Ever.


Yeah, yeah. Go ahead and sling some ethnic stereotypes my way now. All I know is that I am one freakin' happy camper. And if things go the way I intend, I am going to learn how to play the game without feeling like I have penguin feet. (The dance mat takes a little getting used to.) I love Russell Peter's take on Asians and DDR. Here, watch. (NSFW due to language...)

Monday, December 14, 2009

That's a little better...

This is the second mitten, and I learned quite a lot from it's completion.

One: When improvising a pattern, fer Pete's sake...look at other similar patterns so that you don't end up with Penishands.

Second: If improvising patterns, do not do so during a marathon session of Red Dwarf. The ensuing giggles will definitely distract you from the task at hand.

Third: Getting heavily into the Holiday Spirit(s) may also impair your ability to improvise said pattern. Regarding that last point...don't judge me too harshly, as my in-laws are coming for Christmas again this year. *sigh* The first mitten was ripped back and knit to match the second, and they've both been sent to my Mum, hopefully in time for the holidays. Canada Post is being a serious booger this season.

My swap package for the Shakespeare Swap has arrived! It was lovely, and there was clearly a lot of care put into this baby:

See that bag? Handmade, people. And it is the PERFECT size for my current FO, Thermis. And the scarf/shawl? Stunning. I am utterly charmed by this package and my faith in the Interwebs has been renewed. The holidays really are the most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sometimes, a mitten is just a mitten.

Heeeeey, that's one good lookin' FO.

Nice view from the back too...


For those of you who don't have the mind of a 12 year old boy...would I be a total dickhead to give these mittens in the condition that they're in right now? I believe that this is what the Brits call a cock-up. Maybe make the flip top schlonger? Or should I just rip it back and start from the middle again? After all, there are hours of entertainment to be had making random penis jokes when staring at these mittens, and that's gotta be worth something. Yikes. Any suggestions?

Sunday, December 6, 2009


*Where* did November go?
Oh yeah, that's right.

Housewide H1N1 will do that to you. We were hit hard here, no need for the vaccination - we were immunized au naturelle. And of course, we managed to get sick the week before we left on holiday. Wonderful. But it was a great trip, as we were all healthy by the time we got on the plane. There were many bonfires in backyards, shopping, boardgames, shopping, and one unexpected FO.

While in TO, I was asked to knit a baby hat. So I made a little trip to the LYS from my parents place (Creative Yarns, great store!) and picked up a ball of Rowan Cashmerino for an Aviatrix hat.

It turned out nicely, and the only bad thing about it was that I was a dumbass and packed it in my luggage. So the hat is here with me and waiting to be matched with another hat for the recipient's older's sister before it's mailed off. I'm thinking Fish Hat.

I'm behind on Christmas a pair of glittens were requested by my Mum. And seeing as how she gave birth to me and all that...she kinda takes priority here. I've now frogged three different mittens already in the search for the right one - Ysolda's Snapdragon mittens were too bulky and heavy. The Roman Holiday ones were too small. And the modified Cabobble mittens were too big. I am just having no luck with this project. Here's hoping that the Emerald Mitts will work.

And I appear to have lost a whole bunch of photos, including the ones I took of the swap packages that I sent out. So, I'm going to have to borrow some pics from the lovely recipients.

From the Odd Ducks group on Rav - for the Shakespeare Swap! A pair of socks knit in the Watchful Chaos pattern, a spindle bag sewn from silk brocade and lined with a crazy wild cotton print, various fibers including milk fiber, and an orifice hook made by me from sea glass I picked up on a walk at Lawrencetown.

Again, from the Odd Ducks group - for the Winter Sanity Swap. The idea was to prep a kit for your recipient to save them from the insanity of the holiday season. A pattern, and all the necessary accouterments needed to complete the project. As you can see, I had a fun time throwing in things into this package to help my spoilee get through the season.

Here's hoping that the packages I receive for these two swaps will also help me get though the season.

We decorated the tree and the house yesterday in anticipation of a winter storm blowing though the province. While it looks like it was decorated like a 6 year old high as a kite on a sugar rush was in charge...I love our tree this year. 'Cause if you're going to go geek, you'd better own it.

May the Force Be With You.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ska in the most unexpected places...

I know that babies shouldn't watch too much TV. But Miss E LOVES Yo Gabba Gabba...and as discussed last night with Calins, here's the ska segment that we were talking about. Here's to AWESOME kids tv, even if it is populated by freaky green monsters and orange talking dildos.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

This is going to be quick...

'cause I have a weather migraine coming on. Yuck. Even though it's bright and sunny (and freakin' COLD!), I'm unfortunately not enjoying it right now.

It's November, right? Which means that if we check down an entry or two, I had a whole list of stuff I wanted to get done. Aaaaaaaaaand? Did I get it done?


You bet your sweet ass I did. Observe.

Craft Hope blankie #1.

Craft Hope blankie #2.

I still can't quilt for shite...but at least I know now that I can't. And possibly, just might take a class on machine quilting in the near future.

Still haven't blocked the scarf. But am ALL DONE with my swap packages. (Yes, there are several.) I'll post pics once the packages are out in the big wide world. I loathe going to the post office with munchkins in tow, so I'll probably mail out things on the weekend.

And now? What's on the list for this month? A little travelling, (Yay for visiting hometowns!), a lot of reading (reviews to come soon), and holiday crafting. I can't believe I got suckered into it, but there you go. So here's the preliminary list:

Mittens for both of Mr. Munchkin's teachers. Possibly hats too. Seriously, if I had a pot of gold, at least half of it would be going to them - they're amazing and have really helped my little man by leaps and bounds. To say that I'm grateful has to be the understatement of the century.
Socks for me. (I did mention that it's friggin' cold all of a sudden, right?)
Socks for others.
Mittens for little hands.
A quilt for Mr. BHT's cousin who is expecting a girl in the depths of winter. Well, Texas winter. Does that even count as winter?

Yeah. The needles will be flying. Just like the snowflakes!



Monday, October 26, 2009

Progress report!

So I said screw it with the sock design. I went through the entire Ravelry database of sock designs... all 8784 of them. Took 4 hours. And I found a winner!

Watchful Chaos pattern. The yarn is the "Life Aquatic" colourway in some very precious Sweet Georgia superwash sock. One is done, and the other is getting there. I had to rip the first one back after some seriously erratic cabling. As for the origin of the socks - my swap partner seems to be open to creative I looked at this picture of Miranda from the Tempest, and went from there.

Isn't it lovely? Living near the sea, we often go out to watch the waves after a storm. As someone who isn't accustomed to the sound and fury of the ocean (having not grown up here)... I think that Waterhouse did a wonderful job of capturing the terrifying effects of a powerful storm.

I chose to invoke the dichotomy of Caliban and Ariel in this bag instead of in the sock design.

The outside is silk brocade covered in butterflies, and the inside has a crazy cotton print. Air and the Corporeal, in the most broad of interpretations.

The Susan scarf is done. Just needs blocking. And I have a confession to make. I've never blocked lace before. So, I'm at a bit of a loss as to how to go ahead with this one. I suppose I'll just get some pins, a bucket of water and hope for the best.

And finally, the Craft Hope quilt.

As you might be able to see, it's not finished. I still have to do the binding - a pretty orange polka dot material has been selected, but not attached. I have to say, making this quilt (it's a crib quilt) has been a humbling experience. Before this, there wasn't a craft that I didn't immediately "get". But machine quilting this beast has been...a learning experience. Quite frankly, I suck at it. I actually have two crib quilts to finish - the other one is just pinned together layers at the moment - but they'll have to wait.

They'll have to wait because I have had my annual disaster - I sprained my ankle. Same one as always, the right one. And this time it wasn't entirely my fault. Y'see, Mr. Munchkin was in the bathroom, and decided that he wanted to help clean the floor. But he forgot to dry it up. So, I went in the bathroom (his "assistance" unbeknownst to me), promptly slipped on the massive puddle of water, slid across the tiles and slammed into the radiator on the far wall. At some point during my balletic glide across the floor, I hyperextended my foot and sprained the ankle.


I'm sitting here quietly, knitting away and watching the girl happily having a tea party with her stuffies. It's not all bad.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blue Bonnet

It's done! Here's the hat for the beginner KAL over at DSD. And the pattern is as follows:

Blue Bonnet

Yarn: Malabrigo Chunky (bulky weight)

Needles: 6.5 mm (10 1/2 US)

Gauge: 16 sts = 4 inches, 23 rows = 4 inches

Size: This fits a child who wears a size 2.

Techniques used: knit, purl, 3 needle bind off

CO 54 sts.
K 2 rows
*(RS) Knit.
(WS) Knit 3 sts, purl until 3 sts remain, knit 3 sts.**
Repeat from * to ** until work measures 9.5 inches. End on a RS row.
(WS) Bind off, using 3 needle bind off method. The bonnet should be inside out while you are binding off.
Attach ties - measure a 2 feet long length of yarn, cut, and repeat 5 more times. Insert three of the pieces of yarn into each side of the bonnet (bottom corners) and braid them together. Repeat for the other side.

The little crochet flower is from this pattern. My crochet skills are cruddy after years of neglect, but these flowers are very easy. Attach the flower to the bonnet and you're done!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Maybe, Just Possibly...


I've started knitting one of the three big projects for the swaps. It's for the Shakespeare swap, and I'm designing a pair of socks. (Wearable by human feet, with any luck.) Based on The Tempest, one of the socks will represent Ariel and the other will be Caliban. I'm still thinking of ways to depict the two of them, and I've gotten as far as a wing for Ariel, but am having a tougher time thinking of an icon for Caliban. Having a great time with this package - going to take the kids to the beach this weekend to look for sea glass to make into some cool jewelery.

I'm still knitting away on the Susan scarf, and have just agreed to run a beginner knitter knit-along on one of the boards that I frequent. And of course, being the weirdo perfectionist that I am...also agreed to design a pattern for the KAL. It will be a simple child's bonnet, knit in bulky weight. I'll post the pattern here and on the KAL simultaneously, once it's finished.

Also, if you haven't heard of Craft Hope yet, click on over. I've participated before on project 3, and project 5 has just been announced! This time around, it'll be very simple quilts for homeless children in the Michigan region. I've had a quilting itch for awhile, and I think that I'm going to try and satisfy it with this project. My machines are back from the spa and working better than ever. So, I'm ready to go.

So, final tally of stuff that has to be completed before November strikes:

Susan Scarf
Craft Hope quilt
Shakespeare Swap package - including sock design
Beginner KAL - including pattern design

Totally doable.



Hell, if I can get these done in a day, then anything crafty is possible.

Leafy Mitts. Love this pattern. Done in Malabrigo Bulky, which I think has been discontinued.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I just noticed that all the emails that I wrote responding to comments on previous posts weren't sent! So I apologize if you were kind enough to write me a comment, and thought that I didn't respond. I did, I swear! *grumble* Somedays, I swear that technology isn't as helpful as I think it is.

Best Way To Start The Day...

Because who doesn't love Gene Kelly? And the Beatles?

Monday, October 5, 2009

The knit mojo...

it is back. Not as much sewing going on here. Last week Ms. Happy and the Mogrunt came on over and we made prefold diapers out of old t-shirts and flannel. (It's so cute - they're sock buddies! Check it out.)

Mega cute, right?

Unfortunately for me, the little miss decided that Mommy's sewing machine was absolutely fascinating. (It was in the dining room - but it's usually hidden away in my basement sewing corner.) Somehow she messed up the tension and timing BIG time. S'ok, both machines needed a tune up anyway and no one lost an eye. (I may have gained a white hair or two, but that's to be expected.) Now, the serger and sewing machine are both at the spa for a week. And they deserved it, as I was sewing a lot recently. I finished the project bag prototype:

I like it.

Not sure about the bottom yet, but I'm thinking of options. I also finished the McCartney socks for mah man.

I cast these on during the Paul McCartney concert here in Halifax and just never got around to finishing them until now. My handspun in merino/tencel from Funky Carolina. There are lots of mistakes in the first one, as I was knitting in the dark and was quite distracted by my rum and coke and the thrill of listening to "Back in the USSR" while sitting on my deck.

Last weekend, the family went to Moncton. Very cute town, it reminds me a bit of Kingston back in Ontario. Of course, we went to London-Wul. Nice shop, but a bit disappointing as there were no angora bunnies or sheep anywhere to be seen. Had to do a bit of yarn tourism, of course.

The pink one is merino/angora. The blue one is alpaca/merino/cashmere. And the fiber is camel/tussah silk. And pom-pom makers! I love these things.

The best part of travelling? Lots of knitting time during the drive.

Susan Scarf (ravelry link) in HA's Rapunzel (2ply worsted silk) for a very special lady. I knit quite a bit of this last night catching up on episodes of Flash Forward. I'm liking this show so far. I just hope it doesn't degenerate into WTF land like Lost did.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swap Happy.

So, over at Ravelry...I may joined a swap. Or two. Possibly three. Needless to say, this may be a case of me biting off more than I can chew, especially once you add Christmas shopping into the mix. (PSA: 12 weeks until gifts are due, people. Yikes.) But I'm slowly getting things done.

Christmas gifts for the ladies in my family this year are all coming from various etsy silversmiths. And as for the men? Well, I'm still wracking my brain on that account. This year, though...I refuse to knit gifts this year for anyone over the age of 10. The ratio of appreciation to work just isn't high enough to justify me wearing my fingers down to the bones.

And as for my swaps? I'm particularly excited about one of them - it's a swap based on Shakespeare! Partners haven't been handed out yet, but I'm already bursting with ideas. See, we have to include one big item (i.e. a hat/mitts/etc), a medium item (i.e. a skein) and two small items (i.e. chocolate, soap, tea, etc.). For the big item, I'm envisioning something really fun that involves beads and yarn. I'll keep you posted, as I may actually write this one up as a pdf pattern. Medium item will likely be a skein of handspun. I'll know what colour when I find out what my partner's preferences are.

For all three swaps, I will be sending stitch markers as part of the packages. So last night, I sat down and made up a bunch of prettiness.

See? Nice, eh? They're going to be hard to part with. I've also been sewing for the swaps, but I think that I'll save those pics until after the swaps are done. Y'know. Just in case. Wouldn't want to disappoint any one stalking me...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Righty-o, book reports!

I've been delayed on this post - has really stepped their game as of late, and we've actually been getting DVDs that we want to watch. Mind boggling, I know. And on we go...

The Other Boleyn Girl
Now, while I love me some historical fiction...this book was utter pap. I mean, sure there was a sprinkling of politicking and rollicking sex. But really? The characterisations of the real historical figures involved made me want to grind my teeth. I'm sure that it makes a good read, if you're mildly interested in Tudor era England. But for anyone not looking for a mindlessly diverting book for the beach, do stay away.

The Tenth Gift
This was a very ... odd book. Very cool, as it taught me that Barbary Corsairs raided the coast of England for slaves and to further their jihad. (Pirates! Who doesn't find those bastards fascinating?) The depictions of Morocco (both old and new) were intoxicating. Not to mention the fact that the use of embroidery as a constant motif throughout the book made me want to pull out my needles and threads. But all of this wonderfulness may be the reason why I felt so betrayed at the end of the book. Amazing beginning and middle...and a slap in the face at the end of the book. It's as if the writer realized that she didn't really know how to wrap up the story, and slapped a "conclusion" on the back of the manuscript. Finishing this book gave me a vaguely unsatisfied feeling by the end. Sort of like eating three eclairs and realizing that you really wanted a good steak.

The Zombie Survival Guide
Ok. I admit that I may be a little paranoid. But DUDE. If the zombie war comes...I am so going to have my titanium crowbar ready for action. This book written in a totally serious tone, which makes it even funnier. Every element of a zombie outbreak has been carefully considered, from the use of swords (take note: blades never run out of ammo) to the use of boats (don't do it - zombies apparently survive underwater). Very light reading, and awesome for feeding those late night "what if..." conversations.

The Alphabet Versus the Goddess
Written by a neurosurgeon (!), this book makes me happy because it's all about language and how it is at the root of cultural shifts. After years of having my English degree mocked (especially when I've just been trounced at Scrabble), it is *so* nice to read about how someone thinks that semiotics can change humanity. The notion that the shift from the visual to the abstract ways of processing information (i.e. pictograms to alphabet) has fundamentally changed the way that the brain processes information is awesome stuff for a geek like me.

The Sandman series
The first time that I read these comics/graphic novels was waaay back in high school. My then boyfriend introduced me to Neil Gaiman and the Incarnations, and it was probably the main reason that I think of him in a fondly manner. (No, not fondle-ly manner.) If you haven't read these yet, please do. They will seriously mess with your mind, in a good way. Last month, I was in Quantum Frontier looking at board games with the family (the current craze here is for Memoir 44) and the store had the whole Sandman series on the shelf. Total impromptu move, I pulled them off and bought the whole lot. Food for the soul.

I have more to write, but need to go and feed small people before they start to go feral. Oh wait. Judging from the condition of my bathrooms, that may have happened already. Ok then, off to retame the Wild Things before they start eyeing the cat in an unsavoury manner.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Haz A Serious Happee...

No book reviews today, and sorry about the LOLCat talk...but I am having a major consumer geekasm today. First up - boots.

Yes, they're synthetic leather. I. Don't. Care. OMG, I *so* don't care 'cause I love these boots so much. They make my little inner steampunk skip for joy. They're boots and spats all in one! I figure that I'm going Neo-Victorian what with the long gloves and all, so why not go all out? They're from Spring, fyi. I'm thinking that some corsetry action is in order after this acquisition.

Next up, the best ice cubes ever.

I found these at Alberto Lorenzo, a new store in Dartmouth Crossing. They also have iceberg/Titanic ice cube trays. I'm thinking that one might make really awful, nasty days much more palatable. "Take that, Leonardo! Under you go, Kate! Into the sea of Bailey's with you two!"


I'm a bad person.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Screw You Mother Nature...

For I have finally figured out how to dress for the shite NS weather that you have been tossing my way lately.

It's too cold to just go around in a short sleeve shirt. Yet it's too hot to pop a sweater on top of said shirt. And halfway through the day, it'll change from cool to warm, so wearing a long sleeve shirt isn't going to work either. So, what's my genius solution? Gauntlets. Too cold? Pop 'em on and over the forearms. Too warm? Take them off!

And the best part? I get to wear my dragonscale gauntlets. (Red and orangey silk.)

Love love love these. But just never really found a reason to wear them out of the house. I originally knit them to keep my hands warm while playing WoW, but since I'm not playing anymore, they've been hidden in my desk drawer. A total shame, yes?

And I've discovered a personal truth...I am definitely a seasonal crafter. Sewing in the summer, and knitting anytime else. At some point, the sewing became a mild obsession. In particular, I've been sewing bags. Here, look.

My first box bag! Currently in use as a sock project bag, I used the tutorial from Three Bears. I think for the next box bag (oh yes, there will be more), I'll definitely interface it. Not sure if I'll line it, though. I forsee much fiddling in my future.

Placemat bags! Best dollar store upcycle ever. Thanks to the tutorial from Obsessively Stitching, a new obsession has been born. I mean, it all started so innocently...I just needed a book bag for my son, as he wanted a special bag for his trips to the summer book club at the local library. And then his best friend saw it and wanted one too. And then I realised over the course of the summer that the totes were a brilliant size for knitting bags. And market bags! And beach totes! And so on and so on.

These were made entirely from stuff from the Dollarama - 2 placemats for the sides, denim patches for the internal library card pocket, and a dismantled dog leash for the handles. The webbing from the dog leash is perfect, as it's not too stiff and it is certainly tough enough to handle anything a 6 year old can dish out. You should see the looks that I get at the checkout line when I buy several leashes at a time.

The red bag in the middle is my favourite - and the best part is that the pattern is available in red, blue, green, and orange! So yesterday I went to the store and picked up two placemats in each colour.


It's a sickness, I tell you. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these bags. But I *want* one in each colour.

Oh well, at least I'll be happy in my padded cell.

Next post, I'll be reviewing my summer reading list. I found some books that I'll definitely have on my re-read list, as well as some too-awful-to-toss-into-a-bonfire books.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Wax on, wax off.

*stretches out*


It's nice to move into a new space. Give me some time to get settled in, and then we'll start the demolition.