Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Best Beaded Creation to Date

I’m very pleased to announce that I finally finished a beaded necklace today.

I started this project back on February 20. I began by stringing three strands of assorted pink and crystal beads (that was the fun part); next I strung one strand of double-holed pink and clear beads (that was the not fun part). My conclusion at this point was that beads with two holes are stupid and a pain in the butt to string.

Once the beads were strung I went into a serious procrastination state as I contemplated how to finish the necklace. I knew I could put some cones on the end, but didn’t know how to secure everything. Today I sat down at my table to tackle the finishing and by using a combination of knots and crimp beads, I believe I have securely finished this multi-strand necklace.

I’m very happy with the way it turned out. Now I need to go shopping and buy an outfit to wear it with!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Stay Tuned... Someday I'll Finish Something

I’ve been slower on the updates this month, due mostly  to my day job exhausting me, and the weather being too hot to make much more than a cold drink each night. Every day I do a bit of work on something and think about how I’d like to post it on my blog when it is finished.

Eventually I will finish something, but in the meantime here are the things I wish I was making enough progress on to be blog worthy.

I’m back into beading and this pile of beads and strings is just about to grow up to be a necklace.

I love these new green and turquoise beads and they will be quickly strung as soon as the pink piece is finished.

This month’s mitten project is only a few days from completion, but not ready for prime time blogging yet.

And once those mittens are off the needle, I’m be diving back into the Leftover Blanket and hope to make enough progress on that to warrant a blog update soon.

So, stay tuned and I’ll post a finished item soon (hopefully.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Time to get my bead sorting on

I’ve just finished a fun morning which was focused on checking out Michaels. It was exactly as expected – a shiny, new store that offered a better selection of craft items that the other stores I know of on the subway line.

I showed amazing restraint and only spent $12. For that small amount of money I bought some fun turquoise and green beads, for a necklace, and two bead storage boxes. Sadly, I’m way more excited about sorting my beads, than making a new necklace. While we were out, we also snuck in a pedicure, so I have some nice, new, pink polish on my toes.

The boys are out watching Batman, so I’m going to head for the couch and sort this mess into the wonderful new storage boxes. I figure the act of sorting will inspire me to begin a new beading project.

Side note for those in Toronto…  Michaels claims to be located at Yonge and Sheppard. It is not. It is actually located further north, beside Empress Walk. For my fellow subway riders, get off the train at the North York Civic Centre.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Weekend Plans - Seeking Inspiration

Sooo, I don’t seem to have found anything to blog about lately. I’m not exactly sure what happened but I suspect it is a combination of too much work, too much heat and not enough time to find some inspiration. This weekend, all that is going to change.

Tomorrow, I will not be working, the temperature should be tolerable, and finally, I’m going to Michael’s. I’m very excited!

As I’ve mentioned, I live in Toronto, but for me Toronto is defined as any part of the city that is within a 15 minute walk of a subway station. If it isn’t located within a desirable proximity to the subway it really doesn’t exist for me. Sure Michael’s exists in Toronto but up until last week it was in those dead spaces not reachable by subway so in my version of Toronto, it didn’t exist. Last weekend all that changed when a Michael’s opened at Yonge and Sheppard, just a mere three subway stops north. Yay!

Tomorrow I’m off with a friend to check out Michaels and find my inspiration.

In other news…

I was talking to a friend last night and she mentioned that she had come to realize that her new dining room table was super long and an excellent work surface on which to spread out long pieces of fabric, for sewing.  I don’t know why that didn’t dawn on my before now, but as soon as she mentioned it, I was totally jealous.  

I need to get rid of all of our living room furniture to make room for a big, long dining room table.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

July 2012 - Not a Friend to the Knitter

Toronto’s 3-day forecast


  32° C
  30° C
  33° C
  22° C
  21° C
  22° C
According to the news, we are in the midst of a heat wave and on track to have the hottest July ever!

This weather isn’t helping my knitting ambitions. I’m determined to start and finish at least one new project each month. This month I have my mittens on the go and while I’m almost done the first one, I’m not sure if I will finish it by tomorrow which is the middle of the month. The false deadline is looming and I may not make it – oh the stress.

While I can (and do) knit in the heat, the yarn moves through my fingers slowly and it takes me a while to get things done. I keep thinking I should get back into beading but for some reason keep reaching for wool instead.

Not that I’m wishing the summer away, but I could do with a forecast that is dialed back a few degrees.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Love the Smell of Wool

Steve went to a movie tonight, so I stayed home to do as I please. While I watched Dallas and knit, Cici inched her way closer and closer to my yarn.

She loves the smell of wool and couldn’t resist getting her nose right into my ball of yarn while she slept.

I like the smell of wool too.

For those who watch Dallas... I don't get the whole Annie, her ex and the necklace thing. And the pregnancy thing was way too easy. The writers could do better than that. (But it wouldn't be as great and cheesy a show if they did.)

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Final Pea Report

Here is what the peas look 9 days before their official harvest.

Nature wins, I give up. That is all.

(Nature did give me a consolation prize of a nice sunset tonight.)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

3-colour Knitting is a Bitch

Sorry for the lack of posts this week, but it has been a bit of a scorcher and the motivation to make things hasn’t been great.

In spite of the heat, I have been compelled to try and do a bit of knitting each night. Although I love working on the Leftover Blanket and have enjoyed the hat and socks I’ve made lately, I need to have the next project be more challenging. I decided to work on a pair of mittens. As I searched the colours in my stash, I picked out a nice yellow and orange, but needed to do something else to take it up a notch. I decided to throw in one more colour on the cuff.

As I began to live with the decision to knit with three colours, I soon remembered that it is a major pain to knit with three colours at once. I can easily manage two colours, since I do have two hands, but throw in a third and the result is a tangled mess. With two colours I manage to keep the yarn winding to a minimum and if a twist results, I can just dangle the knitting in the air and it will unwind itself. With three colours I can put one colour in one hand and keep that relatively tangle free, but the other two colours must be picked up and dropped and by the end of the row it is an unmanageable bird’s nest of yarn. My solution is to stop and untangle the yarn after every half row. The result is that 3-colour knitting takes me four times longer than regular knitting and the slow progress is not satisfying.

The end result is still somewhat satisfying, but only enough to have me limit using three colours to very small portions of my project.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Long Weekend Brownies (Mmmm)

This weekend much of our country celebrated Canada Day. What this means for me is that the second I was home from work, on Friday, we packed up the car and high-tailed it out of the city; heading to our friends’ house for our annual Canada Day celebration/food fest.

I had glorious plans of spending many hours quietly reading or knitting, interspersed with catching up with our friends. Given our need to fit in our annual pedicures, barbeques, visits with friends of our friends, and adding in a dash of sight-seeing, there was no time left for knitting.

Here is the state of knitting when I packed. A respectable cast on to get me going on a pair of mittens.

Here is the state of knitting when I unpacked, back at home. A measly half row of knitting was accomplished.

However, Katie and I did manage to find a few moments, when the kitchen was available, for us to make Slutty Brownies. A glorious concoction that starts with a chocolate chip cookie layer, piled on with a layer of Oreo cookies, topped off with a layer of brownies that holds the creation together.

Oh my, this was absolutely as good as it sounds. Pure deliciousness!  I highly recommend visiting What’s Gaby Cooking, to check out this recipe for yourself.

Our sight-seeing adventure involved getting up close and personal with Niagara Falls.