Thursday, 26 November 2009

Happy (American) Thanksgiving

Happy (American) Thanksgiving y'all.
(As I've been constantly reminded by one of my bffs, it is AMERICAN Thanksgiving. Not my thanksgiving. Canadians celebrate in October.)
Thought you might like to see the pie I made this morning. Caramel Apple Walnut pie.

Um.... yeah... it does look so sweet that it could kill someone! It just might. I had NO idea there would be a whole caramel layer on the top. I thought it was going to be a drizzle not a full on layer.
Well, I hope my friend (recipient of the pink hat) & her family like it!

Monday, 23 November 2009


Wowzers! Isn't this a cute bag?
I'm pretty proud of it. Mostly because I came up with the design all on my own. Really. I did. It's fun to just sort of knit on the fly. Well, it's fun to knit on the fly when it works out. Like this time! I'm quite happy with the results.
I made this bag as a gift for a very cool girl...

If you can't figure out who this bag is for.... then you've got problems. Big problems. You're probably illiterate. Which means, you probably aren't reading this.... Soo.... moving on.

Anyways, here are the instructions for what I did. My first pattern? Kinda? They are more like notes on what I did. And there's probably mistakes in it, so follow at your own risk...

Little Brown Bag: (How's that for a pattern title?)

Yarn: Vanna's Choice Solids
Needles: US9
Gage:17 stitches / 4 inches

Using the provisional cast on method, cast on 9 stitches.

R1: s1, k to end
R2: s1, p to end
R3: s1, k to end
R4: s1, p to end
R5: s1, p to end
R6: s1, k to end
R7: s1, p to end
R8: s1, k to end
R9: s1, k to end
R10: s1, p to end
R11: s1, k to end
R12: s1, p to end
Repeat rows 5-12, 10 times
Pick up 42 sts along both sides and the 9 provisional cast on sts. (102sts total)

Working on the round:
(I used A LOT of DPN for this. For some reason I have 2 sets of size 9's, and I used all 8 needles to work on this. It's awkward at the start, but it gets easier as the bag gets bigger and I eventually moved to a circular needle. If it helps, you can also place markers to mark the front, back and side panels.)

R1: p1, K40, p1, K9, p1, K40, p1, k9
R2: p1, K40, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1, p1, K40, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1

Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until the bag measures 12" from the base. (Or the depth 1/2 inch less than you desire.)

R3: p1, {K1,P1} *20, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1, p1, K40, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1
R4: p1, {P1,K1} *20, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1, p1, K40, p1, {S1,k1}*4, S1

Repeat Rows 3 & 4 once more.

R5: p1, cast off 40 sts.

Okay! You're at the top of the bag. There are two sections to work next: The handle and the flap. You can do either next.


R1: S1, k 10, turn
R2: S1, p 10, turn
R3: S1, k to the end
R4: S1, p to the end
R5: S1, k2, C3F, k3 (C3F = Cable 3 Forward.)
R6: S1, p to the end

Repeat Row 1-6 until the handle is approximately the length you want, but a little shorter. It'll stretch. Trust me.

Pick up the 11 stitches from the side where the handle is suppose to attach and weave together using the kitchener stitch.

Onto the flap! As you can see I put a design in mine. You don't have to, but you can! Get some graph paper and design what you want to be on the flap of the bag and then just knit it in! But remember to put it in upside down. You are knitting from the top down after all. This is what you do in general.

R1: k1, p1, k1, p1, K15, m1, K15, p1, k1, p1, k1 (You need a odd number for the last 6 rows.)
R2: k1, p1, k1, p34, k1, p1, k1
R3: k1, p1, k1, p1, K31, p1, k1, p1, k1

Repeat R2&R3, adding in your design if you want on on the flap of the back. Continue until the flap is 6 rows short of being the same length as your bag, ending with R3. Then:

R4: {K1, p1} * until last stitch, k1
R5: {K1, p1} * until last stitch, k1
R6: {K1, p1} *3, k2tog, yo, {K1, p1} until 9 stitches remain, yo, ssk, {K1, p1} *3, K1
R7: {K1, p1} * until last stitch, k1
R5: {K1, p1} * until last stitch, k1
R6: {K1, p1} * until last stitch, k1

Sew in loose ends. Pick cute button. Sew on said buttons.
Put something in it and then go for a stroll to show it off!

Saturday, 21 November 2009

You know...

You know you are addicted to knitting when:
1) The day doesn't feel quite complete if you haven't knit at least one row of something.
2) Get really, really excited when you see a cute pattern and cast it on seconds after seeing it.
3) When you have 15 minutes to kill before meeting friends for dinner, you walk into the local REI not to check out camping or outdoors equipment, but to peruse the hat section for ideas.

Yup. That's what I did last night. I was about 15 min early for dinner with friends last night and so I honestly walked into the REI and picked up hat after hat, looking to see if I could replicate it. Yup. That's what I did. If I'd had paper with me I would have written down notes! That's how much of a geek I am!
You may see the results of said fact finding mission at some point in the future.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Best first project

Do you want to learn to knit? Or teach someone else to knit? Or do want to make someone a gift, but only have a short while?
Have I got the pattern for you!

Turn a Square is the perfect pattern to use to teach someone to knit. In fact, I used it this past spring to teach one of my friend's sisters to knit. Well, she already knew how to do the knit stitch, but this pattern is good because it uses knit, purl, k2tog and ssk. But the vast majority of this hat is knit. You only have to do the other stitches a few times. I definitely recommend it for a first project.

I made this hat a while ago to get rid of some bits of yarn I've had lying around forever. It kind of worked out pretty cool because it's stripes of blue and a variated yarn with the same blue in it. It didn't photograph very well, which is why I didn't blog about it at the time... but... I'm a little low on finished projects, so here you go.

But there's a cute one in the works, so hold tight and it might be ready by next week. (fingers crossed.)

Monday, 9 November 2009


I love mitts. Well, okay, I love armwarmers more! But mittens are a close second. So much fun. They are fun to make and fun to wear.
These are no exception.

I got the pattern here, and it's pretty fun. I do like to do cables every once in a while.

My one dislike about the pattern is that the cuffs ribbing isn't that stretchy. I don't know if it's because I used two strands to make the mittens warmer or if it's because of the cables. I think the cables are cute, so I wouldn't remove them, but I worry that they will be a little large and snow could get down the cuff.
Well, I guess we'll see.

Saturday, 7 November 2009


Welcome to the first (of probably many) editions of IWICMSTC.
What's that you say?
I said: I Wish I Could Make Something That Cool. Look at this!

Isn't this bowl the coolest thing in the world? And I didn't buy it! Handmade. Such a fun gift to receive! I've always wanted to learn how to do pottery. But, you know, it's one of those... I want to learn how to do pottery in the same way I want to be able to do a round-off triple flip in a tuck position. In other words: ain't gonna happen.
So I think it's so cool when other people try fun stuff like this! Oh you talented people! I'm so jealous of you.

And so thankful that you are my friends. You rock. I love it!

PS - I've had some unofficial editions of this. I'm lucky to have such talented friends.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Lil Dude

Surprises, surprises! Life is full of them. This one was a big, happy surprise when I heard the news. My niece&nephew count is going to increase to 3 come April! Yup. My older sister is havin' a baby! How fab is that?!
Now, I've mentioned about 10000 times how I'm planning on making Christmas sweaters for each little one, but somehow it didn't hit me until 3hrs after I heard the news that it meant I had some more Christmas gift knitting to do! :)
Here's the sweater I made:
I used a base baby cardigan pattern, but modified it to have the lace up the front. Here's the lace pattern I used:
R1: K3, yo, sl 1, k2tog, psso, yo, K3
R3: K2,yo, K1, sl 1, k2tog, psso, K1, yo, K2
R5: K1, yo, K2, sl 1, k2tog, psso, K2, yo, K1
R7: K
(purl even rows)
I should have moved it a few stitches away from the edge, but it's okay where it is.
All in all, a cute, pretty quick knit. And although I don't know whether it'll be a boy or a girl, I think this would be cute for either. I might write it up into a pattern, but I haven't decided yet. There's nothing crazy new or unique about the cardigan, but it is cute.

Sunday, 1 November 2009


It's November!
What a useless month November used to be for me. In Ottawa, I remember how it felt like there was no sun during the whole month. Sooo depressing. It's tons better here by the bay, but still. The shorter days are starting to get to me. I do not like running in the dark.
But I no longer hate November. That was then and this is now! Like the last three Novembers, and along with a lot of other crazy people, I'm going to busy over the next month trying to write a novel. So, if I don't post very often... it's probably because I'm not knitting as much as I normally do.
Which brings me to this pattern.

When I saw its name - Ballard - I knew I *had* to knit it. I had to do it because last year I wrote a novel about a girl who lived in Ballard, Wa. (Read: Seattle.) I didn't mind making it one bit either. It's super cute!

Even better - I can definitely see my character wearing this hat.
It was a fun&fast knit. The lace pattern was super easy to memorize and it gives a fun wave feel to it. The only mod I made to it was that I used the alternate cable cast on. (And really, that's not much of a mod.)

I got the pattern off of ravelry, but if you like it you can get it here too. As you can see the ones in the pattern turned out sooo much nicer than mine. Part of that might be my not perfect knitting style (?) but I think a lot of it has to do with the yarn that I chose and that I totally messed up the blocking of this hat. I just shouldn't have done it.
Yet, I love the colour of the yarn. I think it's perfect for this hat! I guess you can't win every battle.

Anyways, wish me luck with my November. Ima gonna need it.
(& I do have a few project stashed for posts. Come back on Thursday for a good pattern for a lil dude.)