Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wreath of the Day - November 30

Today’s creation is made from some dark iridescent beads, complimented by a mix of purple and greenish beads, strung on some copper coloured wire. And there is a dash of copper-coloured star shaped sequins for some added shine.

In other projects… I’m loving the start of my newest mittens. They are looking like something I may have to keep for myself.

One of the highlights of my day was when a friend presented me with this!

She just returned from some cross border Black Friday shopping and brought me back these wonderful Cherry Kisses. Can’t wait to tear the bag open, but I know once opened they will be gone in about five minutes.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Wreath of the Day - November 29

Today’s selection for wreath of the day is a multi-coloured bead with turquoise wire creation.

My co-worker must have loved the baby sweater because she used the word awesome no fewer than 8 times in an email chain thanking me for it, and she sent me this picture, taken after she brought it home last night.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Wreath of the Day - November 28

As mentioned yesterday, I’ve got a wreath making problem – I just can’t stop making them. I’m strangely satisfied with stringing beads and twisting them into wreaths.

Here is one of the latest creations, a mix of black and silver beads on silver wire.

In other news… it is Cyber Monday at Knit Picks! I couldn’t resist and settled in at the computer and picked out enough yarn for several more pairs of socks and mittens. Can’t wait for the wonderful box to arrive – Merry Christmas to Me!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby Sweater

I don’t knit many adult sweaters, since I’m not a huge fan of the sewing things together stage, but I do like making baby sweaters. There is something oh so satisfying about how fast they knit up, how (usually) happy the mom-to-be is to receive them, and most importantly, it is nice to know that the person who wears them looks cute, no matter what you knit.

I’m always happy when a co-worker is pregnant because it is a great excuse to knit up a baby sweater. So, just after I joined my latest company I was thrilled when one of my teammates announced she was pregnant. Yay, I get to knit a baby sweater.

Off I went to Mary Maxim, and bought my favourite baby sweater yarn – Sirdar Snuggly DK. I love this yarn. It is soft and comes in some great colours. They have a beautiful soft beige with flecks of pink and yellow that is my favourite, but this time I chose one with shades of beige and browns. Since I don’t know if this will be a boy or a girl baby, the Aran tones will look good no matter what.

I love how this sweater turned out and like the nice deep collar on the back.

I spent my afternoon continuing to work on the secret Christmas project. Only a few hours to go and I will be done.

For tonight’s TV viewing accompaniment, I might get to work on some mittens, but most likely I will be distracted by some shiny beads. I’ve definitely got a wreath making problem. I will show you photo evidence of the abundance of wreaths later in the week.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Pool Party Socks

Yesterday night I finished the pair of socks I’ve been making out of KnitPicks Chroma yarn in the Pool Party colour. It is a great blend of shades of blue and green.

The pattern is Evelyn Clark’sRailroad Rib Socks. A great pattern that Meredith found.

These socks made a quick pass through the For Sale pile and are being shipped off to their new home soon.

Off to start my next project – a pair of mittens, but you will have to wait to see what colours I’ll be using (in other words, I still haven’t made up my mind) J

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What to make next?

The moratorium on beading and other projects continues until I finish the socks that I am currently working on. The good news is that I could possibly finish the socks tonight, which means I am well within the planning window for my next project.

The thing that comes to mind first is to knit another pair of mittens. The challenge is that I have a bunch of KnitPicks Palette yarn waiting for me, but none of the colours are screaming “knit me”. I do have some gorgeous sock yarn that does beg to be held and knit up, but I don’t want to jump into another pair of socks right now. I tried to take a picture of the sock yarn but the camera refused to capture the true beauty of the colours, so we need to wait for a sunny day to photograph the yarn in natural light.

So, what yarn should I use to make my next pair of mittens?

I’ve got plenty of colours to choose from…

This ball of light blue Pool coloured Palette keeps getting passed over. I loved the colour when I bought it, but when it arrived in the mail I didn’t like it next to any other colours. I could pair it with some white yarn…

Or add in a splash of navy…

Or I could use these Wallaby and Mai Tai Heather colours, mixed with some white or cream…

(apologies for the blurry photo, but my camera battery isn't cooperating tonight)

I love the Pennyroyal colour – not quite light purple, not quite grey. Although I like this more than Pool, I’m not sure what to pair it with. I could go with some Navy and Cosmpolitan…

I tried putting the Pool and Pennyroyal together and it didn’t do anything to make me want to knit them next.

I also have some leftover Chroma in the brown and cream colours. While not inspiring on the table, I know mittens made with these colours will be very nice.

And then there is the distraction of all the beads that my sister sent me in the mail…

I’m still fascinated by making beaded wreath ornaments, so these specific beads have caught my attention right now.

So, plenty of ideas to choose from. I’m leaning towards making mittens in the Wallaby and Mai Tai Heather colours, or the Pennyroyal with the Navy and Cosmopolitan. (And I may get distracted by the shiny beads.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Queen Anne Socks

I haven’t accomplished much worthy of a blog this weekend. I’ve put myself on a beading moratorium until I finish the socks that are currently on my needles. I have made some progress on the socks but I’ve been distracted by other activities, such as watching Breaking Dawn. For Taylor Lautner fans, you only have to wait about 2.5 seconds for him to tear off his shirt. The rest of the movie progresses as expected with lots of over-the-top, passionate drama along the way.

To have something worthy of blog show and tell, I’ve decided to go back a few months and show you these socks.

Socks sold to a good friend before Christmas.

The socks were knit from Knit PicksStroll Tonal in the Queen Anne colour. It is a great yarn which I will definitely be knitting with again. (I just checked my stash and I’ve got some more Stroll tucked away, so the socks may begin sooner than I thought.)

The pattern is the Undulating Rib Socks from Interweave’s  Favorite Socks,25 Timeless Designs.

Now back to the socks on the needle. It is my goal to be able to show them to you sometime this week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Wreaths Inspired by Stephanie

While I do call Steph my friend, she is really my bead pusher. She likes to give me a few shiny beads that she knows I cannot resist and then she sits back and watches while I go into a frenzy and purchase more beads to go with them. While at the store she suggests things (like star-shaped sequins) that I would never buy on my own, further feeding my bead problem.

This week I have made the following four wreaths all of which started with beads or ideas from Steph. I have to admit that I would never have made the pink ones or the star one without her participation so while I am disgusted by how easy I am falling for her pushing; I also thank her for the inspiration.

I did notice when I was working on the secret sewing project that it goes lovely with the gold and turquoise wreath.

In other news, an exciting package arrived for me today. I haven’t had a chance to open it yet, but I suspect there will soon be a post entitled “Wreaths Inspired by Pam.” I love my bead box with all its beauty and orderliness but I think this package may mess with my current system and will cause me a bit of stress as my bead box is no doubt too small.

Now I am off to get my Gold status at Starbucks.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Vacation - Day 2

Once again, today was spent sewing. I’m making good progress on the secret Christmas project, but my vacation is turning out to be as stressful as work (well not really, but not as relaxing as it should be.) I spent all day cutting and sewing fabric.

Cici spent her afternoon sleeping and glaring at me for making too much sewing noise.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Vacation - Day 1

Today was spent sewing. I sewed and sewed and sewed (with some pressing along the way.) Due to the secret status of the project I cannot show my efforts, but by 11:30 am I had used up a 200 metre spool of thread and had to run out to get more thread (and a Starbucks – just 2 cups away from Gold status!)

To show something of what I’ve been up to lately, I am still progressing on making wreath ornaments. Here are a few that I’ve completed this week. If you would like to purchase a wreath, they are for sale for $10 each. The one's below are no longer available, but let me know what colour you would like and I will be happy to make one for you. email me to purchase

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Looking Forward to a Week Off!

This coming week I am on vacation and looking forward to every minute of it. I’m not going to either of my favourite vacation spots (Fern and Disney, for those who don’t know me well), but I’m as excited as ever because I get to stay home, all by myself, and do whatever I want.

I’ve decided what I want to do this week is watch crappy daytime TV and sit and sew, knit and bead. I’ve got an ambitious sewing project on the go which is slated to be a Christmas present. I cannot go into detail in case the recipient reads this blog (highly doubtful) but let’s just say I’m under the illusion that I can accomplish before Christmas that which in the past has taken me years to do. I’m always overly optimistic at Christmas time.

I’m also in the midst of a great pair of socks, so those will be worked on this week and when not sewing or knitting I will likely be making more Christmas ornaments out of beads, because they are nice, distracting, shiny objects.

Today I went grocery shopping, vacuumed and I’ve just finished making supper – spaghetti with garlic bread made with fresh roasted garlic. The spaghetti was just an excuse to make the garlic bread. Mmm. Now that supper is made, I’m putting my feet up and sitting on the couch.

Let the vacation begin NOW!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Knit Picks Wish List Contest

As you may have read, I’m quite taken with KnitPicks yarns lately. They have a contest right now where you simply have to fill out a wish list to potentially win yarn. I’m sometimes drawn to contests and always drawn to dreaming about yarn, so it seemed like a perfect contest to enter.

Here is what I’ve added to my KnitPicks wish list.
  • Swish Worsted Yarn – enough to knit me a nice Aran style sweater in the Lost Lake Heather colour
  • 6 balls of Palette Yarn – to make more mittens. I selected enough for three pairs of mittens - Rose Hip and Merlot Heather; Mineral Heather and Aster; Marble Heather and Mulberry
  • Stroll Hand Painted Sock Yarn in the Pony Ride colour which looks nice to wear and the Juice Box colours which sounds and looks like fun
  • Stroll Tonal Sock Yarn in the Kindling colour because it looks like a nice rich brown tone
  • A Knitting Yarn Swift which is an extremely useful gadget to hold hanks of yarn while they are wound into balls. This gadget saves time, marriages and friendships. (I almost broke up with Meredith once due to a yarn winding incident.)
  • A Yarn Scale to weigh all the bits of leftover mitten yarn I have, since it is a bit weird to always go to Steph’s house to weigh my yarn
You can view these items on the KnitPicks website.

The contest is to win $50 worth of wish list items, but my wish list comes to $195.74. Oh well, a girl can dream.

I may not win the contest, but I’ve got some money burning a hole in my pocket, so I may just purchase some of my wish list items anyway.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Berry Snowflake Mittens

There’s not much to say about today’s item, other than I love these mittens. 

They are knit with the same “U-pick” colour of Chroma that I wrote about on October 20, except this time I paired the berry colour with the “Bittersweet Heather” colour. I love how the berry colours look against the brown background.

Like the previous mittens, the pattern is my own combination of graphs inspired by the Latvian Mittens book.

The latest Knit Picks catalogue arrived in the mail today. Might be time to buy more yarn!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Purple Socks

My husband’s aunt passed away a couple of years ago and we often miss her. She was good fun and she loved my socks. It was always a given that I would give her a pair of socks for Christmas, and she in turn gave me yarn. She didn’t know much about knitting socks or buying yarn, so she would just go into her local yarn store and ask for yarn that was good for socks. It was always fun to see what she would come up with.

Her last gift to me was some purple yarn that knit up into a beautiful pair of socks. I’m not sure what the yarn was as it came without a label, but I like it. The pattern is very stretchy, so these socks will be comfy for almost anyone who wears them.

The pattern came from a great book from Interweave – Favorite Socks, 25 Timeless Designs. Interweave publishes some wonderful things, and I love their knitting magazine. They often feature socks, and this book is a collection of some of their great sock patterns - definitely deserving the title “Favorite Socks”.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Uh oh, I’ve got a bead problem

I’ve had a pretty good day. My long lost friend Laura came to visit and while she was here she bought some of my mittens. Yeah! Fun seeing Laura. And another yeah! Money to spend on more yarn to make more mittens… or, maybe I could buy some beads.

I found myself out wandering aimlessly so I texted Steph that I was going to buy beads. Knowing I needed an enabler she immediately stepped up to the plate and offered to meet me at the bead store, and as I result I bought these…

I’ll be making a whole lot of Christmas ornaments now. No idea what I’ll do with them, but I will enjoy making them.

I’m liking this make what I like now and figure out what to do with it later thing.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shadow Knitting

As it’s getting colder, I’m starting to think of winter accessories such as scarves. Several years back I made a couple of scarves using a fun technique called shadow knitting. I cannot remember where I found the pattern, so I cannot credit whoever thought these up, but they did make perfect scarves for Jacob.

By alternating rows of dark and light yarn, combined with knitting some stitches and purling others, you can produce a subtle pattern that appears and disappears depending on the angle from which it's viewed.

When you look at shadow knitting straight on it appears to just be some simple stripes.

But, when you view it from a different angle you can see aliens….

Or, skulls and cross bones.

Shadow knitting is just plain fun.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Beaded Ornament

On the weekend, Stephanie carelessly threw out the word “crafts”, which in the current Steph vernacular translates to “beading”. Since the stores are now assaulting us with Christmas ornaments at every turn, my mind immediately connected beading and ornaments, and I became instantly obsessed with making a beaded Christmas ornament. I waited impatiently while my husband finished up on the computer and within seconds of his abandoning the desk, I was Googling beaded ornaments.

I found a few patterns for glass balls covered in beaded netting that were tempting, but a bit intimidating. A few years ago my sister made me this gorgeous beaded ornament and I remembered her saying how much work went into it.

Gorgeous beaded ornament, hand-made by my talented sister

I knew I needed more instant gratification, so my attention was caught by some instructions for a beaded wreath. As mentioned back on October 12, up until now I’ve done well with avoiding the pitfalls of buying beads but when I saw the beaded wreath idea all caution went out the window and within moments Steph and I were on our way to Mary Maxim.

In a strange turn of events, Steph bought nothing and I bought an assortment of beads and findings. After two evenings of work I completed this little beaded wreath.

I quite like it, have already made another bead purchase, and will no doubt be purchasing more beads in the weeks between now and Christmas.

The instructions to make this ornament are found at the Beading with Eden website.