Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Good bye Blogger

This is driving me nuts. After an hour of trying to edit my post, both via html and their 'compose' feature, it is still constantly messing up the settings and cutting off lines of text. I don't think I'll be posting anymore. I'm sorry.
Happy crafting everyone. If you want to see what I'm up to, I'll be on Ravelry.

As Promised...

I said I would share the pictures of what I was working on for my swap partner once she received it. It was my very first swap and I had a lot of fun picking things out for her and making things I hoped she would like.
Here is a group shot of what I sent:

The swap had an 'earth friendly' theme.

The requirements were:
*at least 1 skein of LYS quality yarn
*at least 1 handmade-by-you item
*something relating to one of their “other” hobbies.
*something reused, recycled, repurposed or otherwise “earth friendly”
*may include other fun goodies, knitting notions, treats or treasures
*Packages value should be approx. $25-40 NO
Reusable Grocery shopping lists that I had laminated.
Whiteboard markers to use on those lists.

2x 100g skeins of Canadian made 60% mohair/40% wool 
burgundy fingering weight yarn 
My partner likes to knit socks so I wanted to be sure there was enough yardage. 
She listed burgundy as one of her favourite colours. 
I bought this for her at the fleece festival in Woodstock. 
A glass jar repurposed to be a storage container and pincushion.
I added quilt batting on top of the lid and then 
sewed 2 layers of fabric over it. 

  The contents of the bottle. Things for her various hobbies.
Buttons, cross stitch thread, stitch markers and safety pins.

Various other items.
A Go Green frog magnet
A Canadian notepad
Smarties (chocolate) that isn't available in the USA
A Reusable sandwich wrap
GOLD embroidery needles for her embroidery/cross stitch 
A Reusable shopping bag 
I made up this pattern.
A knit nutcracker.
She collects them.
I made up this pattern as well. 
A DPN holder upcycled out of a placemat.
It has a front pocket with velcro tabs 
to hold other supplies or socks in progress
I also sent a bar of dark chocolate that wasn't in the first pic. 

There was also a painting I did that had a tree on it with the words Reduce Reuse Recycle around it in latin. 
Unfortunately I didn't get a close up picture of it and my partner didn't post any pics. 
However you can see it in the background of the first picture. 

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like the holidays!

I do apologize for not posting lately. I've been crafting as much as ever, but the majority of what I've been making are items I can't post about. I've started work on Christmas gifts. I decided that this year, since money is quite tight, I will make as many gifts as I can. Hopefully the recipients will appreciate the handmade love that has gone into each and every one.

I've also been working on items for my first swap! It is a 'green' themed swap, meaning at least one item should be somehow related to  recycling, repurposing, or reusing something. I'm so excited. It was such a blast to 'stalk' my secret swap partner, and then try and come up with ideas and items she would like. The box was sent just over a week ago and was at her post office yesterday. Once she's had a chance to post I can share it with all of you. :)

In the meantime...I have done 2 test knits since my last post. The first was for a Harry Potter Garden Gnome, by Phoeny. Don't you just love his wee belly button?!

The second was the Fall Down Shawlette by Lnand on Ravelry. I loved this pattern. It calls for bulky yarn, but as I didn't have any bulky I used 2 strands of worsted yarn. It knit up extremely quickly (I finished it in under 2 days) which I found very satisfying.

I also completed another Phoeny pattern as a quick gift for my mother for Thanksgiving. This one was a free pattern and just super adorable. Meet Russet the Pumpkin. Here he is posing with the finished turkey.

I shall post the swap related goodies that I crafted hopefully by the week's end. Until then, happy crafting!


Friday, September 24, 2010

A lot of catching up

My goodness! I can't believe how time has flown this last month. I'm busily preparing for my boyfriend's visit  the first week of October and my subsequent visit to his hometown. On top of that my nephew is getting baptized this Sunday and there are 3 birthdays in the next 2 weeks including my own. Lots of fun!

I have been busy crafting though. Let's see if I can do a quick recap for you of what I've made in the last month.

I finished test knitting this adorable knit-meself sheep by Phoeny on Ravelry.

I made a collection of MP3 player cases for a teacher friend on Ravelry. They're to protect the players she received for her students (K to grade 4) to help them with reading. They're great quick projects and fun to decorate.

I also started my Christmas knitting. I've made an adorable cadet hat for my nephew. Here's a pic from when I tried it on him to make sure it would fit.

For my mother so far I have made a hat to match the scarf she got last year and a moose dishcloth as she is moose-obsessed.

I made a pair of fingerless gloves for my aunt this week. Extremely plain garter stitch, but my mother picked out the pattern (over some lovely lace ones I had suggested!). She is allergic to metal and a few other things including wool. I'm hoping the lovely bamboo these are made of will both soothe her hands and allow them to heal as well as protect her from things like her keys and doorknobs.

Finally...I actually sewed! *gasp*
According to my sister (the sewing queen bee) I had bought all the wrong things to make a knitting needle case. The wrong fabric, the wrong interfacing, the wrong lining.

I was so upset at having spent over $30 on the mats to have them sit wasted that  I finally decided to try a smaller version and use at least the interfacing. I bought a pillowcase for $2 at the dollarama, they appeared to be solid blue in the packaging (turns out they're absolutely hideous, not well cut or seamed and have a bad dye job to top it off). I made it into this little DPN case.

I'm actually pretty happy with it, though I hate that you can see the sewn lines when it is rolled up. You wouldn't see that in the full size needle roll because the pockets are sewn to the lining. I've also since added the needle sizes in the top white line of each pocket so it's really easy to find what I want at a glance.

I also made 4 double batches of yummy yummy salsa with my mother. Hopefully it will be enough to keep us salsa-happy until next fall. :D
So that is what I have been up to. What is going on in your world?

For now, happy crafting!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Hi there!
So you may have noticed I always sign off with *Huggles*. I love huggles! How does a huggle differ from a hug you may ask? A huggle involves every bit of you. Your mind wishing the person well, your soul sending good cheer/comfort, and your arms giving a squeeze full of care (often combined with a rocking motion).

Why all the huggle talk? Well, a group mate on Ravelry was having a hard time this month, and I wanted to send a RAK to cheer her up. "Well, why not send a huggle?" I thought. But what would a huggle look like? I first made one that would sit in the palm of your hand. Sort of a snowman shape with long arms. But it didn't feel portable enough and I wanted to call it a portable or traveling huggle. I'd been working on another project that had a yellow happy face in it, and it just clicked with huggle, so I made another and ended up with:

I put magnets in his hands so that he could actually 'huggle' your wrist. Unfortunately the magnets sold at the craft store in town apparently aren't strong enough to hold thru a layer of yarn. Blah. The recipient received it this week and said it did help cheer her up a bit so mission accomplished!

I also received a wonderful surprise RAK this week! You may remember the itty bitty panda I knit awhile back. Well, I have a picture of it as my avatar on Ravelry. Justanotherbrick found a wee charm that perfectly matches my panda and made it into a stitch marker for me! My first ever fancy stitch marker. I absolutely love it! The fact that she even thought of me while in a store filled with a zillion goodies makes me feel wonderfully warm and special. I shall treasure it always :) Here's a picture of them hanging out together. Isn't he just precious?!

Until next time...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

More spinning

I took these the other day, and just realized I didn't post them here. To the left is an updated pic of the spinning from my last post, after the false start.  It is much thinner and I really like it. I can't wait to ply it! I still have quite a bit left to spin first though.

Here is the lovely multi-coloured blue that I started spinning as well, to see the difference in the fibers and how they spin. I drafted this one a bit thicker to showcase the lovely colours in the roving.

I can't wait to spin more, and to ply these. I still haven't decided which type of plying I'll do.  I may ply the multicoloured one with white once I get some white and spin it. :)

I haven't stopped knitting, but I had to frog my last piece of work (a shawl pattern I'd modified) after my needles broke. Here's a glimpse of what was turning out to be a pretty nice, warm shawl.It's hard to see in this image, but there is a row of eyelets just before each stockinette section. Just enough to give it that delicate lacey look.

I have made a couple other items, but as they are gifts I don't want to risk the giftee's seeing them here. I promise to share after they've been doled out. :)

 I was horribly upset about having to frog that shawl. However a few perfectly timed RAKs arrived from 2 wonderful Ravelry friends and made it much less painful. This group of lovely natural yarns to play with AND 3 new sets of circular needles perfectly sized for my little toy knitting, came from 2 dear women. The 3 on the left were from LilyLemon and the 2 balls of bamboo and all the needles were from JuleeQue. Aren't they fabulous?! I can't wait to knit them up and see how these fibers differ from my boring old acrylic!

Until next time, happy crafting!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Hi there!

So I had written this long post gushing over the RAK (Random Act of Kindness) I received last week. I had posted it...or so I thought. I just noticed today that it apparently never saved. Blah.
PirateRed (a wonderful member of a group I belong to on Ravelry) sent me my first RAK package...and boy did she spoil me! In the group we belong to you post a list of 5-6 things you would like. Then other members of the group can chose to send you something on your list if they happen to have something appropriate. On my list I put that I would love bits of roving so I could learn to spin. It was posted at the beginning of august, before I had actually tried spinning and was just dreaming of trying 'some day', as I didn't have a spindle yet.
She not only sent me 3 wonderful BIG samples of different roving...she sent me a spindle too! Lookie:
Closeup of the spindle
My wonderful RAK from PirateRed

Needless to say I was squealing for hours over this package. I'm still all fluttery and happy over it 4 days later. :-)

The roving: First is a delicate silk/merino blend that is just so soft and lovely I am afraid to try and spin it, so I just keep touching and petting it.
The stripey blue is wool colonial from Blue Goose Glen, and so sproingy (yes that's the technical term) and soft. Last there is the solidish bluish green. It is Pagewood Farms BFL and I just love the subtle changes of colour it makes.
The spindle is an Ashford student spindle and wow can I tell the difference using it compared to my cd spindle! It spins like a dream. 

I've actually spun up some of both of the blues now. The blue-green on the right, after a false start (see the pic below), has made a very nice thin single that I just adore. I can't decide how I want to ply it...because it is sooo lovely as is.
The stripey blue I've made slightly thicker to showcase all the colours in it. I'm still working on both but will snap some pics later to share.

False start. 
The new spindle took some getting used to as it is a lot lighter than my cd spindle. I had to get used to putting more twist in, or it ballooned out leaving those sections that don't look spun. I was also trying to spin the opposite of how I'd spun my orange/yellow as I'd read I did it backwards. I've gone back to my original way and it is working much better. I guess I'm just backwards. :)

I'm off to draft some more of this lovely fiber and spin some more! Happy crafting everyone!


Monday, August 9, 2010

I Can Spin!!

Hello Hello!
A few days ago I started a new craft. It's not a far leap from my knitting obsession. Not even a stretch. More a supporting craft even. I began to learn to spin my own yarn. I can't even describe the exhilaration that came with taking a ball of fluff and turning it into a smooth (mostly) and usable piece of yarn.

I'd been wanting to learn for a long time now, but was nervous and held off thinking I needed proper equipment. Turns out it is very simple to make your own spindle. Flocknfiber from Ravelry gave me this link that shows you how to make a simple cd spindle out of a few easy to acquire, inexpensive items. Mine is a little wobbly. I need to try and glue the whorl in place with better glue (I used my glue gun, but it didn't hold).

Once you make your spindle, all you need is some fiber to spin. It comes in several different make ups (Roving, top, clouds, batts, and hankies to name a few).  There are also umpteen different types to choose from. Wool from dozens of breeds of sheep, goats, alpaca and llama fleece, hemp, bamboo, silk. The list goes on and on. I had a bit of Corriedale (a type of sheep) roving left over from when I made some dryer balls a few months ago. So after watching hours of videos and reading many sites and guides, I jumped right in.

Here is my spindle with my very first attempt at spinning on it. On the right is a closeup of the orange yarn and my second attempt which was yellow of the same Corriedale fiber. The yellow one is much more consistent and smooth thanks to some drafting tips another friend on Ravelry shared (thanks again Bradymom29!).

After the 'singles' are spun, it was time to try plying. Again there are many different methods for this. I went for a simple 2 ply yarn by spinning my two samples together. It is definitely harder than it appeared in the videos, but for a first attempt I was happy with the result. Here it is freshly spun:

I then wound it up into a hank using the back of my chair, tied it in several places to prevent it from getting tangled, and dunked it in my bathroom sink filled with hot water. Right now it looks like this:

I can't wait until it is dry so I can see if it is balanced (doesn't twist into one big knot). If it is I can try knitting with it. So exciting!

For now I'm off to try and catch up on some knitting projects. Happy crafting!


Friday, August 6, 2010

Pretty eyes for pretty toys!

It felt like Christmas yesterday. My package of goodies from GlassEyesOnline finally arrived. Someone in ravelry's knitted toy group had mentioned loving this vendor and I just had to try them out. I've been running to the mailbox daily to check if they were here yet. It only took 11 days to get here from the states (that's quick!), but it felt like forever!
SO worth the wait though. I got a huge assortment of eyes, noses, ovals, etc.  Look at this amazing selection of goodies:

Info spew cause I'm in love
This site is great. It allows you order as few or as many of whatever size/colour you want. So you're not restricted to ordering 25 pairs of the same colour of eyes, or paying a premium for an assortment.
You do however get a discount if you order x number of a certain size. (over 12, and then over 25 and 50). However you can order whatever colours of that size you want. So, for example, I ordered 12 pairs of  regular 8mm eyes. 4 pairs were blue, 4 pairs were silver, 2 pairs were gold and 2 pairs were clear. But because I ordered 12 or more pairs of 8mm, I saved a penny or two off each pair.

As an added bonus you get free shipping if you order over a certain amount. I think it was $25. I spent $37 for all of this.

End of gratuitous information sharing

Here's some closeups of a few items. First, some special glitter eyes:

Then some iridescent ones (hmm lost one of the pearl ones in that shot) and finally a few of the different noses.

Time to go dream up new toys for all these goodies. Until next time...

Friday, July 30, 2010

A Purrrrrrfect bookmark

Hello again!

I can finally share pics of the surprise I was working on. It's a kitty cat bookmark. One of the groups I belong to on Ravelry has this great random act of kindness (RAK) thread where people list 5 things they would enjoy and random people can send them to them no strings attached. One person had a list which included: Anything with cats on it, anything handmade, and unusual bookmarks. I decided to help her cross those 3 off her list in one cute lil project. I first tried to make a cat curled up sleeping. It ... ended up looking like a rat. Then I remembered this picture I'd seen months ago and used it as my inspiration. This is the result:

I forgot to take a final picture after I blocked it, but you can see the added paw details in this picture of it while it was blocking:
I'm happy with it, and the giftee (all the way in south Africa!!!) received it today so I can finally share.

On a sad semi-related note, Canada Post is raising their shipping costs yet again. All parcels to the USA are going up by 20%. They already have prices far far above those in the USA, and even above FedEx and UPS. If I had either of those depots anywhere near me I wouldn't use Canada Post anymore. As it is, I won't be shipping out Christmas cookies this year. It was $28 for a medium tin of cookies last year. I love sending fresh baked nummies to my extended family and friends in America...but no home baked goodies are worth THAT much, on top of the prices of mats to make them. I'm extremely sad about this as baking and singing carols are my favourite things about the holidays.

Until next time....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Phoeny KAL Done!

The month long mystery knit a long of one of Phoeny's designs is done! Take a look at this darling knitted sheep! It is her pattern "Shaun the Sheep".
It's not yet available for sale, but hopefully soon! It's such a great quick pattern. I think it likely took maybe 5 or 6 hours total knitting time plus some time for seaming if you knit flat. The longest part for me was the body which is moss stitch and which I'm terrible at...I don't know how I always get distracted and forget to swap stitches. My fault for usually watching tv/movies as I knit I suppose..But I paid attention for the WHOLE body and it turned out fabulous! I love it!  

This was such a great experience. I especially love seeing everyone's take on the same pattern. "He" was supposed to end wearing a scarf but when I tried this tiny shawl on him he just became the cutest lil grandma sheep. So I made a pair of glasses out of some hanging wire from the toolbox, added a cute sheep button as the shawl pin and voila!

Until next time, happy crafting and *huggles*

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Snow in July!

It has been SO hot and humid this summer. Hottest on record I do believe. So I thought I'd knit up a little friend to help cool things down.
What do you think? I just grabbed some needles and wool and went at it, so he was very simple to make other than using the boucle yarn. IGH! But he turned out so much cuter using it I think.Still debating if he needs a scarf or not.

I also finished the little cutie below on Friday, thanks to the inspired idea of one of my Ravelry group mates to designate Friday as 'finish Friday'. He'd been sitting on my desk without legs for a whole week. Poor fella.

I made him in an attempt to destash some horrible old scratchy acrylic. Bad idea on a detailed knit in the round piece (my fingers were red and sore for days). But he turned out cute and laughing and perfectly palm-sized so I suppose it was worth it. If you'd like to make your own smiling alligator you can find the free pattern here. My apologies for the blurry first photo. Silly shaking hands. *sighs*

Now I'm on to a new cute project but I can't share it quite yet as it's a surprise gift for someone.
Ooooh, but we have Thursday to look forward to! The final step in the mystery knit a long of one of Phoeny's magical designs. I can't wait to see it all put together. I shall post as soon as I get it assembled and pics taken.
Until then, happy crafting and *huggles* for all!