Thursday, 28 April 2011

Old School Tea Cozy

I love tea. I always have. Growing up we would have it every night after dinner. (I think it was caffeinated. Yes. I don't know what my parents were thinking at the time... ) My dad would get up from the dinner table and say "Who wants tea?" and all us kids would say, "Tea please!" (I know! We were so freaking cute I could gag. Anyways...)
If there is one thing I don't like about tea it's cold tea. Yuck! Enter this tea cozy!

Doesn't it make you want to talk in a British accent, eat scones and stay up until all hours of the night/morning to watch those Royals get married? (Susan! Get well soon! Hope you can still have your tea party! I want to be there!!) Whose with me? You know I'll be up at the crack of dawn to watch it! And I'll be drinking tea from a teacup (not a mug) while I do it!

This FO was made by request for a friend. After looking through a bunch of patterns, I knew I fell for this one. Seriously. The pattern is from a magazine my grandma would have knit from. Isn't it awesome?
So I started to knit is up!
... ... ...
And then I realized it just wasn't working. It was at the same time too narrow and too wide. I was advised to rip it out and start all over again. And in the end, that's what I did.
For the most part I'm a laisse-faire sort of a girl. You know, no one is ever going to notice a small mistake. And I feel like I'm good enough that I can fudge patterns. Want to do a different cast-on? Why not. Add a few stitches here? Easy!
But there are mistakes you can't recover from. And while I hate to frog (it sucks out a little piece of my soul to rip out knitting) I tend to be happy that I've done so.

So now my dear friends can enjoy nice cozy tea. Even if it is disgusting rooibos. (yuck.)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

broken hearted

So, my grandma and I were hanging out last night. Doing what two awesome ladies do when they want to have an awesome fun time. You know... geeking it up; watching Jeopardy!. And I picked up my new knitting project and Grandma looked at me longingly and said, "I wish I could still knit. I miss it so much. But I can't see the stitches good enough anymore."

My heart is officially broken.

Monday, 18 April 2011


I have a pretty freaking fantastic nephew. He's fun and smart. And he's definitely not afraid to say: "Hey! I like that. Can I have it?" In fact, I've lost these hats to him saying just that! I mean... he's so cute. How could anyone say no??
But it is time for my niece to get a hat too. She's two and although she's as smart as a whip, doesn't talk so much...

It's a pretty cool design. (I downloaded the pattern from Ravelry, but anyone can get it here.)
Years ago, I made a similar hat. You make it using short rows. That makes the curved top. No decreasing needed! Once that is long enough, you pick up all the stitches along the edge and knit the brim.
And now I'm supposed to add an accent. My niece already has a hat from her grandma (SIL's mom) with a crocheted flower, so I was thinking buttons.

These are the ones I've got. I'm not in love with any of them. But I do sort of love the multitude on there. Add a few? Add them all? Go buy new ones?? Don't add buttons at all?
Any opinions?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A year in review

Today is an anniversary of sorts. Or an Otta-versary. It's been a year since I moved! Crazy!

And looking back at those lists of things that I'll miss and things I'm looking forward to, I'm surprised by just how spot on they are. Every. Single. Point. It's so exact that I'm thinking I should have bought a lottery ticket. (Don't worry. I wouldn't have played: 4 8 15 16 23 42.)
So, what was I most notably right about?

- Trader Joe's? I've been there 4 times in the past year. Those four times were in the span of lovely Seattle 3 days. Let me tell you, 4 times is not nearly enough! I've broken down at least a half dozen times and actually google-mapped routes to East Coast TJs to figure out the closest one to Ottawa. Answer: None of them. Like, maybe Boston? New York City? None are in driving distance. But watch out TJ's. I will be back.
- I was right. Family day is the absolute best. It would/will be even better once a certain younger brother of mine moved/moves back to town!
- While I miss the mountains, I've adored being on the East Coast, and getting to spend time with East Coast people. Cause I never would have run my first half marathon if I hadn't been here. And while I didn't go canoe camping, I did make chocolate orange cakes in the ADK.
- The library? Yup. I still miss that little building.
- The weather. Yes and yes. (It was on both lists if you remember.) I *loved* winter for the winter aspect of it. Snow? Fun. Canal? Awesome. Getting to wear awesome woolens? Fabulous. I didn't even mind brushing snow off of my car. But I do mind that I can't run outside when it's soooooo cold. I can't stand treadmills. When I am on one I feel a little bit like my soul is dying. So, I am soooo glad that spring is here, cause it's time to get back into running shape!

So what was the one bad prediction I made. ... Turns out I haven't gotten my Canadian accent back. And I have proof. So, my SIL was telling me just this past weekend about a study of regional dialects using twitter. Turns out "Hells ya" and "Hella" are pretty much Bay Area things. Yup. I say those. Mostly jokingly, but I still say them. My SIL said that for the past year she thought I was crazy and had made up that slang. Nope. I just talk like a BA-ian.

All in all, a good first year back in the homeland. And while there are days that I *MISS* it, on the whole, I think the move has been for the good.
And good thing I can visit. Like I'm going to do this summer! :)

Friday, 8 April 2011


Earlier this week I declared that spring has sprung. Since then I've experienced snow and rain and ice pellets and sun. Is that what spring is in Ottawa? It may be spring, but I might just keep mittens in my purse for awhile longer yet.

Although you can't really see it, I made these mittens with a cable pattern to match this hat. Yes, I know the colours are totally different. But I thought it would be neat to carry the same theme throughout so that they'd match, but not match.
I think the cable didn't work mainly because this is made out of wool. The stitches aren't as distinct, so it just swallows up the detailing.
I didn't really use a pattern for these, but just drew on my knowledge of the general way to make mittens. Cuff, gusset, thumb, done.

But in the end, these mittens are a fail - at least for what I wanted them to be. They should have been boy size. Nah. Definitely turned out to be girl size. Snug on my hands. Oh well. They might not be what I wanted originally wanted to make, but that just means they'll keep a different pair of hands toasty.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Origami tulips

For me, tulips are the harbinger of spring. Or maybe when I was living in California it was those daffodils that pop up along canada road that were just waiting to make me happy when I was out for a weekend bike ride. Either way, those bulb flowers make me so very happy.
But what happens when you just can't wait that long for spring to come? It'll be weeks before the tulips are out. And I want it to be spring now!
Well, momma used to say: If you can't the mountain to Muhammed, then make him some origami tulips!

Look! Instant spring! Okay, so it wasn't exactly instant. It did take me an half hour or so to make these... But well worth it!
I just followed the instructions found here. And if like me, and some other fabulous people I know (you know who you are), and you are diagram-ly challenged (please do not ask me to put together Ikea furniture) there are super helpful youtube videos too.
Super fun! Especially the part where to you get to blow them up like a balloon.

So make a spring garden, I say. Or brighten someone's day. Or take them when you pick someone up at the airport. Cause the best thing about these flowers? They never die. (Although they are highly crushable.)