Thursday, January 31, 2013

January Mittens Finished!

I'm pretty impressed with myself right now. (not very modest, but can't have it all!)

I decided on January 10, that I could knit a pair of mittens in January. I also decided to make a fully lined pair, with is basically knitting two pairs of mittens. As of last night at 10 pm, I finished them! Yay!

They are made from KnitPicks Palette, in Oregon Coast Heather and Bison colours. The lining is made from KnitPicks Gloss, which is a nice wool/silk blend that should feel nice to the hand. The lining colour is Bordeaux. I love how the Bison and Bordeaux colours work with the subtle mix of colour in the Oregon Coast Heather.

Now I just hope the rest of the winter goes by without a day that is cold enough to wear lined mittens!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

QR Code Mittens

I’m in a blog rut today. It has been a week since I posted, so I want to give you something new, but I got nuthin’. 

I did finish the mittens a posted about a couple of weeks ago, but just the mitten shell, not the lining. I want to wait until they are completely finished, before I post about them. Other than working late, and working on those mittens, I haven’t done much. I did do some baking (and trading) yesterday, but we ate most of it before any pictures were taken.

So, I’ve decided to look back and post a picture of some mitts I knit back in November as a Christmas gift. I have a friend who appreciates things that are a bit on the nerdy side, so I decided to knit her some custom QR Code mittens.

I drafted a custom design that includes four QR codes – her first and last names, and two words that describe her. They were fun to knit and hopefully not too nerdy for her to wear out in public.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Back to Beading - First Necklaces of 2013

This week has been busy, but I’ve fit in a bit of time to do what pleases me. I finished one mitten, but the idea of knitting another and lining both, by my false deadline of the end of January, is daunting.

I have the desire to wear something with colour to work tomorrow, so I decided to go for something with purple in it. This, of course, led me to thoughts of my beads and the fact that I had some purple beads looking to be made into a finished product.

I had two sets of purple beads that were intended for one project. When I looked closer I saw that one type needed to be put on string or wire, and the other needed jump rings. I couldn’t figure out how to bring the two together, so I decided to make two necklaces. I made them so they could be worn together, or on their own.

The jury is still out on these. I can’t decide if I like them enough to wear them.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pre-Golden Globe Goodness

A bit of a extra mini post for today....

We are getting ready to settle into the Golden Globes, so we have a tiny feast planned.

Some chili and guacamole (inspired by Dina Pugliese).

I'll add in a margarita and be ready to watch the Golden Globe arrivals and awards!

Finshed Pillow and First False Deadline of 2013

I’ve fallen ill to startitis lately, and I now have too many projects on the go. I was determined to finish something this weekend, so yesterday I slept in (priorities!) and then I hopped out of bed and finished the pillow I was embroidering. I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

First False Deadline of 2013

Being a sucker for a possible prize, I decided I NEED to make a new pair of mittens by the end of January, to participate in a little contest on Ravelry. I get bonus entries if the mittens are lined, and of an “ethnic” nature. All of that collided into starting these mittens.

I plan to line then, and the pattern is influenced by traditional Latvian patterns, so I think I can get all the bonus entries I’m striving for. Mostly, I just wanted to make a pair of lined mittens for myself, and I figure it is better to do that before the winter ends. (Although given the wonderful double-digit temps this weekend, winter may already be over!)

I was also desperate to use the Oregon Heather Palette I had in my stash. I photographed the mitten start outside, hoping the natural light would help me catch the beautiful colours in this yarn. It is an incredible combination of blues, reds and yellows against a sandy brown base. So beautiful, when the sun brings out the colours. Here’s a close-up of the yarn.

What’s Next?

Now I should be sitting down to knit, but I’m off to the grocery store to buy some avocados. I’m easily influenced, and @DinaPugliese posted on Twitter that she is having guacamole with the Golden Globes tonight, and now I NEED guacamole too!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Back to Basics - Embroidery

As noted in my last post, I need to sew a pillow for our couch. The requirements were simple – removable cover for washability; something that looks good on the brown leather couch; and preferably fake suede, since that is the material the last pillow was made from, that we have loved to death.

As part of the New Year’s shopping adventures, Cathy and I hit Fabricland which was a fine place to find a cheap piece of fake suede. I picked out a nice camel coloured piece and expected to have a pillow that looked plain but functional.

The more I thought about it that was just too plain. I contemplated adding some tucks for visual interest, but that didn’t quite do it for me. After giving it more thought, and being thwarted by not having enough yarn to start a specific knitting project, I came up with a plan… embroidery. Embroidery is probably the first needlework my mother taught me how to do. It is quick and easy to learn. It can be used for a simple embellishment, or to create a grand, artistic masterpiece. (In this instance, I’m going for simple embellishment.)

After a quick trip to Mary Maxim yesterday, and I was equipped with a $.49 bit of embroidery floss that is helping me turn this…

Into this…

Here is a close-up of the detail. A simple chain stitch applied in a swirling pattern.

 Tonight I’m taking my new stock pot out for a run, and making a pot of beef barley soup. I hope it is good, because I doubled the recipe, just to justify using the stock pot!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Big Plans for 2013

Happy New Year!

The first days of January are always so wonderful. A vast, full year of potential lies ahead. For me the potential holds the following:

More blogging

I won’t promise to achieve this immediately, but I do know my blog has dwindled lately, and I miss it. My day job (the one that pays!) has been very greedy with my time lately, which is why the blogging has slowed. I have a plan in place to help correct this situation, but it doesn’t take effect for another few weeks, so you won’t see an immediate change, but I hope there will be more frequent posting in the future.

More pictures

I’ve just bought myself a wonderful new camera. It isn’t state of the art (in fact, it is last year’s model), but it is a wonderfully compact Nikon Coolpix S6200 that will live in my purse so I’m more frequently ready to take a picture or two, to share with you.

I didn’t actually use it much over Christmas, because we were either talking or eating, but I did take a moment to snap the following picture while I was eating my lunch today. The view of the decorations from my food court table, at First Canadian Place, was quite stunning. This picture doesn’t quite do the holiday d├ęcor justice, but I’ll share it as just one example of pictures to come.

More cooking

We spent the weekend with our great friends in Niagara Falls. We were there long enough to enjoy some spectacular food and drink. In addition to hanging out in their kitchen we had some time to kill during the day. What are two women most apt to do with time on their hands? Shopping!

We stumbled upon a Stokes store that was having a great sale and so I bought some great new toys. I’m not much of a cook, but I do love a good kitchen gadget. I recently decided that my hand mashed potatoes were not good enough, and that I NEEDED a potato ricer to improve things. So, into the store we went and I bought a potato ricer, micro plane grater, stainless steel measuring cups and a 14L stock pot.

The cooking fun begins tonight with some mashed potatoes, but there will need to be future recipes that involve a large quantity of soup or stew in the stock pot, and something with lemon zest so I can try out my new grater.

For the sake of a gratuitous picture… I give you Cici and her New Year’s friend. Sally played hostess to Cici and the two dogs played, and played, and played. Cici is still exhausted.

More sewing

The weekend shopping spree also saw the purchase of quilt batting, to stuff the quilt I’m making. And, I bought a new pillow form and some fabric for a new pillow for our couch, to replace the current one which Cici has claimed as her dog bed.

More knitting

And finally, I have great plans for more knitting. I’m afraid to look into my stash, as I know I will be overwhelmed, but there is plenty of yarn to keep me busy.

I’ve started my first 2013 knitting project, with plans to complete a lace cardigan in 2013.

I’ve already distracted myself from that project, and decided I need to complete a new pair of mittens before the end of January.

The “I make mittens” group on Ravelry, has been highly active in 2012. Mary Elizabeth, one of the moderators, proactively sought me out this weekend, and had me count up the mittens I made in 2012. I came up with six pairs, which means I now want to knit at least 7 pairs in 2013. Must get started now!

I’m sure I’ll knit some socks, and I’ve got yarn that would make a good hat, and of course there is the Leftover Blanket which would be great to finish in 2013.

So much yarn, so little time!

More time with friends!

I have had some good times with friends in 2012. You know who you are - if you were laughing with me, and not at me. J I hope there will be more coffees, lunches, dinners and drinks in our future!

I’ve also made some online friends for the first time in my life. My introverted, cautious side has held me back from calling people friends, if I haven’t met them face to face, but all that changed in 2012. Sharing a common love of all things Walt Disney World, I’ve been able to virtually meet some great people, that I truly call my friends. Again, you know who you are, if we’ve shared some laughter and support together in 2012. I wish you more laughter and only good times ahead for 2013! (And of course, I wish you many trips to Disney, which some of you are well on your way to accomplishing!)

Soooo…. That should be enough to keep my busy this year!