Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Baby Gifting Update

You'll recall that my cousin is having a baby.

I've taken all your suggestions, whittled them down to the achievable (for now) and came up with this package to send her (she's due in March):

1) Bibs (free pattern here):

2) Itty bitty legwarmers (I invented this pattern - I tried to make them funky and gender-neutral-ish, but I only had these colours in my stash):

3) Some little terry cloth rags for stuffing in a diaper bag (just in case, you know)(these were a little freebie - I made them out of the leftover terry from the bibs...even if they never get used, I won't care):

4) Nursing Covers (free pattern here):

Uh, hi.  Take a closer look at the gorgeous fabric I found (and I insist that you swoon, 'cause it wasn't cheap):

And I thought I didn't have enough fabric leftover but surprise! I do, so she's getting a market bag made from these two fabrics, too:
(That's my project for this weekend.)

When she pops and we all find out whether it's a boy or a girl (I'm voting for either one, 'cause as long as all its parts are accounted for, I really don't care whether the little one has an innie or an outie), I'm going to plan for a zip-up-in-the-back hoodie (that idea still astounds me!) and a meathead hat and some other fun stuff.  Not that I'll be knitting stuff all in pink if it's a girl or anything, but you know what I mean.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


This is apropos of nothing, but I just had to share it. 

I was lurking on YouTube and stumbled upon an animated music video that was kind of cute and touching.  Of course, it wasn't so touching that I'd shed a tear, but it was sweet anyway.

I scrolled down to the comments section (I know, I was just asking for trouble) and saw a comment that made me laugh really really hard out loud:

"Damn ninjas chopping onions in my room again."


Saturday, January 28, 2012

Whoopdee doo

It's not immediately clear what is going with the weather, but - unrelenting rain, notwithstanding -  I'm pretty sure it's winter.

I took all of our usual gear out of storage a couple of months ago (and actually weeded out the duds - and got rid of old handknits)(!).  The problem is, we don't have a storage solution for it.  I am short, so a high-up shelf is no good.  My husband is very tall, so a low-down solution doesn't work.

(He also has what we have dubbed "man eyes" - that's the inability to properly see the contents of the fridge and other hard-to-reach places.  It is caused not by the loss of sight, but rather laziness.  I have observed that this particular affliction tends to affect men as opposed to women.)

So, what to do?  I don't have any room, it can't be low, it can't be high.  It has to be close to the door, otherwise it won't get used.

Also, it had to be buildable (we don't have an Ikea - not unless we want to drive 15 hours to the nearest one).

My solution:

That's right: slap up some metal standards and brackets, paint some 1x6 trim and slap them in there.  Phew, that's high design, right there.

Lame, I know.  But what can I say?  It's working.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Slouchster is Dead, Long Live the Slouchster

I had to, it got cold.  And I felt kinda naked.  Ok, not really on the naked part.  But hell yeah on the cold part.  I even got frost nip on the day these photos were taken.  Like, bad.  Puffy and itchy and raw and bad.  Oops.

Also, gratuitous puppy shots:

Stay warm, folks.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poetry; is not for me

I've never really been able to get into poetry.  I've got a couple of favourite poems that were studied in school, but for the most part, when you put a poem in front of me, all my brain sees is:

Blah blahbitty blah,
Blahblah blah blahbitty,
Blah blah blah.
O' blah blah blahblahblah,

But something happens when you put it to music.  My brain explodes when poetry is put to music.

Case in point:

The poetry of Colin's lyrics is beyond what I can handle.

"A panoply of song"

Seriously?  A PANOPLY?  Wha?

...and "A barony of ivy in the trees, expanding out its empire by degrees"?  A BARONY?  Holy eff.

I just can't handle it.  When I first listened to the album, I thought for sure I had misheard him.  But no, dude actually wrote that.

If you like the Avett Brothers or Iron and Wine or The Fleet Foxes or The Deep Dark Woods or any kind of music, really, you must take a listen to this band.  If you dare.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Wherein I Make a Strong Case for Blocking

These are two swatches I've done for the Caller Herrin I'm trying to get underway.  The colours are different, as I'm experimenting with several options, but the swatches will still serve my purposes.

One swatch has been wet-blocked.  The other has not.

Can you guess which is which?

Also, I'm sure I don't need to tell you, but I'll say it again, anyway: Kate Davies is a genius.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Christmas was awesome

About a month before Christmas, my husband was out doing...something.  I don't know.  He was out with friends, I think.  Shopping, maybe?

Yes, my husband shops.  Willingly.

No, you can't clone him.

Anyway, he was out with friends, shopping (and yes, I'm sure he's straight, by the way) and he stumbled upon a big sale at the Paderno Factory Outlet (Paderno is a local company, dontcha know).  A major sale.  Like a holy-cow-now-we-can-afford-the-Cuisinart-food-processor-we've-been-talking-about-for-five-years kind of sale.

So he bought me a Cuisinart.

Yikes, sorry for the hair-raising photography.  The light is so horrible, these days.  I don't have much to work with.

*Officially* it was a Christmas present, but the thing is massive and there was no way he would have been able to hide that thing somewhere in the house (our house is so small that we can't even fit a Christmas tree in it).

I've been inventing excuses for the past 6 weeks to whip it out and play with it.  I don't think he understood why I wanted one so badly until he used it, himself.  When he saw how fast it chopped his stir fry veggies, all he said was "Duuuuuude." and his eyes just about popped out of his face.  Stir fries are a twice-weekly tradition in this gluten-free household, so it was a big deal.

I've been using it for mixing GF dough (pizza, cookie, scone, almond balls, etc) and chopping the aforementioned veggies.  What else should I be making with this thing?  Ideas?  Oh!  Homemade mayo?  Egads, I can't believe it only occurred to me just now.

Gotta go!  That mayo ain't gonna make itself.

(PS: The keyboard for my iMac pooched on me a couple of months ago.  The letter K and the comma buttons suddenly decided that they had known enough of the world and offed themselves.  Perhaps it was murder-suicide.  We'll never know.  Anyway,  I've been using the frustrating/disgusting/obnoxious keyboard that came with it, five years ago.  So he got me a new keyboard.  He's a keeper, this husband of mine.)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

People Are Nice

Something really wonderful happened just before Christmas.  I received this message on Ravelry:

Dudes, I just about fell off my chair.  Seriously.  My jaw hit the tabletop.  I kid you not.

Wasn't that nice?  I was so touched - especially because I have never met this person.  I don't even know her name (no, wait. yes, I do - ok, but I don't know her LAST name.).  I don't think she knows my name.  Yet, she took the time to hunt through my queue and saw that I had "wishlisted" Caller Herrin.  And bought it for a complete stranger.  Two days before Christmas.

Also, Wood sent me a beautiful card.

And my good friend from high school sent me one, too.

People are nice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

R.I.P. Slouchster

At work, I sit in front of a computer most of the day (I draft and design and draw and type).  I worship the "undo" icon.  Control-Z is my favourite shortcut.  If it wasn't there, I'd have pulled all my hair out by now.

Problem is, the habit of using Ctl-Z can lull you into a sense of complacency.  Like, it doesn't really matter if I screw up - I can just punch a couple of keys/click on a little swoopy arrow and everything is okie dokie.

And that false sense of security can start to mess with your head.

I present Exhibit A:

My favourite hat ever knitted on this planet in all the world for the history of mankind ever invented.

I love this hat.  The yarn is beautiful and soft and smooth and the colour is perfect (an exquisite charcoal grey with little flecks of heather).  Most importantly, this yarn was given to me by Wood, when we swapped yarn a couple of Christmases ago.  This hat is my security blanket.  My binkie, if you will.  I sleep in it, sometimes.


I, in my infinite wisdom, put this hat (which is 100% NON SUPERWASH wool) through the washing machine's regular cycle - not once BUT TWICE - and THEN.  AND THEN.  I put it through the dryer. 

That's right.  I can't just screw something up a little bit.  I have to go all out.

And the one thing I thought when I pulled all the clothes out of the dryer and found that hat sitting in the bottom of the drum, looking all puny and miniaturized and forlorn was:


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wow, I am a slacker.

So it's been, like, almost two whole months since I last posted here.  Jeez.

A LOT has been going on and I'm not even sure where to start...

  • I've been working overtime
  • I've been dealing with some ancient history/family crap/childhood drama/etc and it has eaten up a lot of brain power.  Not sure if I'll get into it here, but well, you never know.  We'll see.
  • I finally finished the @%$^*& argyle vest.  Won't be doing THAT again.  Photos coming soon.
  • A new Gap Factory Outlet opened up (first one in our province), so that means that I can now SHOP FOR CLOTHING!!!  So, I went shopping.  Twice.  (Prior to that, our poshest shopping experience was brought to us by Old Navy.  Not exactly my cup of tea, as I am not 12.)  Ahhhh, new jeans.  That fit.  And look good.  Bliss.
  • I cut into some fabric to make some wool trousers for work.  I took some photos to continue re-start work on my trouser tutorial.  Problem is, it's winter and the availability of good photo-friendly light in these parts is abysmal.   I'll keep plugging away at it and will post it here when it's ready.
  • I finished all the goodies for my pregnant cousin pregnant cousin's baby.  So cute.  I'll save the photos for another post (you see what I did there?  I'm enticing you.  )
  • Oh, and Christmas happened.  Right.  I got a little spoiled (which I will reveal a little later)(what? you think I'm going to give you all the goods in one fell swoop?  do I look crazy to you?)(don't answer that)
  • And I de-fuzzed all my stuff:
This sweater:

 And this sweater:

  Netted this:

It was pretty dramatic.  I'm not exactly sure what took me so long, but it made all the difference in the world, in regards to how the knits look.  Especially the beige - it is a loose-spun 100% undyed wool, whereas the teal is a superwash merino.

I was on Ravelry snooping around in a few forums where people were discussing different types of yarn and I was really surprised to see so many references to pilling.  And by "references", I mean "complaints".  I don't understand.  If you're using merino or other types of soft, non-itchy wool, you should know that the reason they don't itch is that they have a short staple length.  Short wools pill.  They just do.  It's a fact.  Get used to it.  By a pill shaver for $6 and suck it up, buttercup.

When my hair is short, it flies around and curls and doesn't stay nicely in a ponytail.  When it's long, it sits nicely in an ultra-smooth braid.  Same thing with yarn.  If you want soft and springy and non-itchy, you're going to get pills.  If you want sturdy, non-pilly wool that will stay crisp (like you would use for colourwork, for example), it will be itchy (to varying degrees).  Can't have your cake and eat it, too.  (Disclaimer: I can't/won't promise that this will never change.  Technology is a beautiful thing and you just never know what they'll figure out next...)

So don't diss the wool manufacture all over the internet just because you don't understand the inherent properties of wool, ok?

End rant.

Wow, I didn't know that was in there.  Funny what happens when you sit down in front of a keyboard.

I have no idea what else I was going to tell you, so I'm going to go and get organized and I'll be back.  I'll leave you with a cool photo of the tallest tree in our province (we visited it on Christmas day).  It's an elm and it kicks ass.