Thursday, December 29, 2011

Knits For 2012

I was taking a look at my Ravelry queue yesterday, and couldn't believe how many things I had forgotten that I had added over the past little while.  I know that while this list isn't that big compared to some other's queues on Ravelry, its still bigger than I am likely to ever complete in the next year.
So I thought maybe I should actually use that handy feature that Ravelry provides where you can sort projects in order of priority in order to figure out what projects to work on next.
I also used that opportunity to do a bit of housecleaning, and get rid of some items I had added just to bookmark because there had been times I wanted to find a particular type of pattern, and queued everything that I thought might be applicable.
Let me tell you, that feature on Ravelry that allows you to order your queue is actually pretty great!  I just used it to rank the top ten items, everything below that is still a jumbled mess with no particular order.

Without further ado, here is a quick rundown of the top ten:

1.  Dovetail Cowl
As I mentioned here, I bought a skein of Royal Alpaca wool in black for an xmas gift, and this is the cowl pattern that she chose.  So that is why the project is ranked #1, because I need to get to it first. 
Photo Found Here
2.  Jeweled Cowl
Yes, I know.  I have already made this twice, and the first one was unravelled, and the second one still needs to be.  But I am brave, so I am going to try it again - twice.  I have two skeins of wool ready to go for this project.  The first one will be for my mom, who was supposed to get the one I screwed up, mentioned here.

Photo Found Here
 3.   Pine Forest Baby Blanket
I have already made this once, and loved it.  Another friend of mine is expecting, and I think this pattern is the perfect gift. 
Photo Found Here

4.  Christopher
I can't remember where I first saw a post about this project, but as soon as I looked at it, and at how good all the finished projects looked, I knew I had to try it.  I love how professional it looks, and am intruiged by the fact that it is reversible, and has no seams!  I love no seams!
Photo Found Here
5.  Business Casual
I am always up for knitting socks, even if they take forever and get put on the back-burner a lot.  When I saw this pattern posted recently I fell in sock love.

Photo Found Here
6.  Guernsey Wrap
There isn't really anything to say, except that I love the look of this pattern.  That is all.

Photo Found Here
7.  Textured Shawl
I found this pattern because I wanted to find a use for some yarn I purchased and stumbled across this.  I guess now that I think about it, this is very similar to number 6.  Oh well.
Photo Found Here
8.  Smockies
I have been promising to make my best friend some fingerless mitts for quite some time now.  I love the look of this pattern, and plus once when she came to a wool store with me, there were some in the store that were made up that looked a bit like these, and she liked them.
Photo Found Here
9 & 10.  Tied.  Sweater.  Maybe...
So I think I want to attempt to knit myself a sweater...maybe.  If I do it needs to be something kind of timeless, and something I will actually wear.  Over the past little while I have come across two items I may actually oneday knit.  Aidez and Thermal
photo found here
Photo Found Here
Whew!  That is it.  We will see how long it takes before my priorities change though.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Back in Action

So the Christmas season didn't completely pass without any crafting.  I did manage to sneak in an hour or two last week to make a few treats for my coworkers.  I used the exact same method as here when I made
favors for my parent's anniversary party.  I filled the little bags with Christmas Hersheys Kisses.  Yum.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Last Minute Cupcakes

What happens when you need to make something for the company Christmas potluck lunch, and are severely strapped for time?  A trip to the grocery store to buy everything you need to make some cupcakes.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

2011 Xmas Photo

So we took Maurice to A very doggy Christmas at his doggy daycare (he gets to go once a week), and he had the time of his life.  Bobbing for hot dogs looked disgusting, but he seemed to think that hot dog water tasted really good.  He didn't quite understand how to get the hot dog chunks off the bottom of the bin though.
Anyways, here is his pic from the party.  Have you ever seen a happier looking pug?

Christmas Rush

Everything has been such a crazy rush lately, and I feel like I have been able to just get to the bare minimum of everything.  I hate it, and its a terrible feeling, especially at Christmas.  Here is a very good (and embarassing) example:  I set up my Christmas tree two weeks ago, and it doesn't have anything on it.  Okay well one thing - a pug ornament that was given to us as a gift a little while ago.  How terrible is that?  It doesn't even have a tree skirt!  Thankfully its a pre-lit tree, and its white, so when plugged in it gives the apartment an amazing soft glow when its dark outside (which is pretty much all the time I am ever home).  Plus Maurice really seems to like to sit under the tree, he spends all his free time (which is basically all his time) sitting there.

Was planning on a post about the things I really wanted to do and make this Christmas season, but Blogger seems to be going a bit haywire right now, so I will wait on that.

Friday, December 16, 2011

On Learning New Things

I think I am a bit of a fearless knitter, because I choose what to knit based on seeing a pattern that I like, and never on what my current skill level is.  Never have I come across a knitting project and thought "ooh, i love that, I want to make it" and then looked and the pattern and thought "oh, never mind.  I don't know how to cast on that way" or "I don't know what that means".  I think "I am going to make this".  Okay I will be honest, usually I am thinking "omg, i need to drop everything else and make this right now".

The great thing about knitting is that if you make a mistake you can just unravel what you have done, and try again.  Over and over again.  (which is what happened to me when I was trying to teach myself how to knit in the round on DPNs).
And if you come across a term you don't know, or a technique that you haven't yet learned, almost everything you can think of can be found on either Google or YouTube.

So that is how I ended up knitting this baby sweater.  I wanted to expand my knitting knowledge, but wasn't sure I wanted to invest the time (and most importantly) the funds learning to make an adult sweater.  I still don't even know if I ever really want to knit myself a sweater, because honestly would I really wear it a lot, and do I want to go spend probably five times the money on wool that I would likely spend grabbing a sweater at the mall.  Althought when I come across posts like this one, that makes me reconsider.

To be honest I think I probably could have chosen a more challenging project, because this sweater is knit in one piece - well the body is anyways.  And I finished that fairly quickly...and it has been sitting armless, and bandless in the front since then.  I stopped at that point because I realised I didn't own the correct size DPNs to finish the rest.  I have since bought some, but haven't finished. 
So I plan on getting to that soon, but for now this is what I have got:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pug Tidbits

I know that everyone needs a little more Maurice in their life. 
So without further ado...

Tired Pug
 Serious Pug
 Christmas Pug

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Getting Cozy

So I am working away on the Tea Cozy that is found in Last Minute Knitted Gifts, and it is hopefully going to be done in time for Christmas, because it is a gift for someone.

Also I had the pleasure of working on it while attending my first ever knitting group meetup.  It is a new group, and this was only the second meeting, and only three of us were there, but the company was great, and the space peaceful, and the view pretty nice too.
pic found here

Friday, December 9, 2011

Major Knitting Fail

Last night I felt how Maurice looked...sad.
I finished the Jewel cowl that I had been working on...but as I came near the end I started to have that feeling that something wasn't quite right.  So I looked at the cowl, and then I looked at the pattern, and at some of the other completed projects on Ravelry.  Something wasn't right, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  Checked the pattern again - yup, I was following the directions properly, everything seemed in order.  So I figured I would just finish and bind off, and then evaluate.  And maybe that gut feeling I had was just wrong.  So I did...and it quickly became evident that my gut feeling had not been wrong.  Let me tell you, it was (and still is) SMALL.
So as I was taking Maurice for a quick walk last night I was mulling things over in my head and came to an awful realization.  As I mention in this post, this is actually my second go round at this project.  I had to undo the first one. 
When I started the second one I stupidly just grabbed the needles that I had been using from the first project, which happened to be a few sized smaller than the ones I should have used this time!  So I used size 5US circulars instead of size 8US...resulting in a very small cowl...which needs undoing AGAIN.  AHHH!!!

So much for making this a Christmas gift.  I was too disheartened to even take any pictures of the finished project last night.  Maybe I will take some pictures of the undoing this time.
On to tea cozy knitting I go...

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Just One Bag Full

from Three Bags Full when I visited last Saturday.  One very small bag, I might add.  My wallet couldn't really afford three.
But at least everything I bought has a purpose and a plan (which may or may not be the case for all of the yarn purchases I make.  So I finally remembered to take some pics, and thought I would give a little rundown of my plans.

First Up - I just can't get enough of the Malabrigo Lace.  And since I have pretty much decided to give away my Jewel (that is 99% done - yah!) for a Christmas gift, I still want to make another for me.  And when I saw this color, I was sold.  My crappy photography skills don't do it any justice at all, trust me.

Secondly - Well on second thought, this should actually be my first thought because I want it to be a Christmas gift.  I want to make this tea cozy for my friend's sweet mom, who always welcomes me in, and feeds me, and loves tea.  Of course I am not using cashmere, but was inspide by this post, on this fantasic blog that I stumbled upon one recently and was instantly hooked.  After the fact I thought that maybe I should have bought superwash because then it would be machine washable...too late.  Plus the intended recipient is a sometimes-knitter, so I think she may not mind hand washing a handknit.  I know if I received any sort of handknit from anyone I would always hand-wash with care!

Lastly - Last year I made these finderless gloves for a christmas gift, and they are very well loved by the recipient, she wears them all the time.  And I don't know if you have ever felt this wool, but oh!  It is so amazingly soft.  And so I picked up another skein in black to make her a matching cowl.  And no, I am not crazy, so I am not going to try and finish before Christmas.  Its already crazytown in my life because I am working on three 4th yr university courses with due dates looming, plus already working on some Christmas knits.  So, I plan on wrapping up the skein, and recommending a few patterns so that she can pick which one she likes best.  So far I am thinking this or this

And that pretty much documents the purchases I made (and in record time too) because poor puggy was waiting for me in the car.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

They're Owl Mine

So I had five minutes to kill before a little dinner date yesterday, and decided to pop into the Chapters store that happens to be very near to the restaurant...and what did I see perched on a shelf...
Yup, it was the owl bookends that I mentioned here.  They were back!  So I quickly called my mom, who confirmed that no, I wouldn't be getting them for Christmas because she can't find them anywhere.  So she said yes, grab them while you can.  So I am going to take them to her house this weekend so I really can "get them for Christmas".  Did I mention they just came in yesterday??  It was meant to be!  
So they are not owl mine yet...but they will be :) 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I forgot

I forgot to take pictures of the Ginger Molasses Cookies that I made for my co-workers last night.  I use this recipe, in case you are wondering, and it is one of my favorites.  You can't really go wrong when something is rated five stars by almost three thousand people!  For a little comparison, they taste a lot like the ones that Starbucks sells.
pic came from here
 Also, I forgot to take pictures of my almost finished Jeweled Cowl, which is so soft and the wool looks amazing when knit up.  I love it!

Just to add one more, I forgot to take pictures of the wool that I purchased at Three Bags Full on Saturday.  I have specific projects in mind for everything I bought.

I think that is all that I forgot.  If I think of anything else, I will make sure to take some pictures!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Active Pug

On Saturday I had to (well okay wanted to) go to Three Bags Full, a great knitting shop on Main St. in Vancouver, and I thought Maurice might like to come with me, and go for a walk afterwards.  Well...not so much.  Too many people, too many sandwich boards (of which he is terrified), too many noises, etc.  He kind of slunk along the sidewalk with his tail down, terrified, watching his back the whole time.

So yesterday, we did something that is more his speed.  We went to the New West Quay, which is walking distance from our apartment, and strolled along the river.  It was so nice out yesterday. 
picture found here

He has come a long way, because when he was a puppy he was too terrified to walk on the wooden boardwalk, and it has taken him almost his entire life to work up the courage to look over the edge!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Its That Time of Year Again

For Christmas parties, and for being able to wear sparkly shoes :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I am working on a knit right now that I LOVE.  I first stumbled across the pattern while trying to find something to make with this wool.  Someone else had made it, and I knew I had to do it to.  So I went and bought some beads, and merrily started on my way.  And I almost finished too, but a little nagging voice in the back of my mind kept saying 'start over, start over, start over'.  I had twisted my stitches when joining in the round (a first for me, i had never done that before, even when learning to knit in the round).  And I had thought it might not matter in the end because it is a cowl, and will always be twisted around my neck anyways.  But also it was my first time knitting with such a lace weight (is that a proper knitting term?) yarn, and my tension was a bit off in parts, and it just looked sloppy.
And so I unravelled The.Whole.Thing.  I should have actually taken some pics because it was a pretty serious undertaking, especially with 51 rows of beads, each with 14 beads.  Some quick math tells me that is 728 beads!  I tried to be careful every time I got to a beaded row, but a few times (ok maybe more than a few) I was going too fast, and sent little seed beads flying all over the living room.  And into the couch crevices.  And when I stood up there were beads stuck to my legs.  Oops.  Little seed beads bouncing across the wood floors may or may not have annoyed another member of my household :)  Also Maurice may have likely ingested a few little purple beads :)

Anyways, while in Portland in September I purchased this and had been saving it for something special:
Which is actually the yarn called for in the pattern, and it is much better.  This yarn is amazing, I love it.  My only regret so far is that the beads I chose are ending up looking a little silver, when I had wanted them to be clear.  Oh well...