Saturday, 31 December 2011


I've been sick. Not horribly sick, but sick enough. Since Christmas I've spent two days hopped up on Tylenol (I don't take medication often, so when I do it hits me) because of a horrible headache and a throat that was so sore I could barely swallow. And now, I'm being annoyed by an earache.
Well, you know what they say about what to do when life gives you a lemon... Well, then I would add: when life gives you an ear ache, knit a hat.
So that's what I've been doing, while watching world junior hockey games sitting under warm blankets drinking copious amounts of tea.

I made a hat that was gifted directly upon completion, so no picture was taken. Oops. (But it looked like this.)

I also made this hat.

I didn't follow a pattern per se, but cast on 96 stitches. Did a rib of ktb, p repeat. Switching to a larger needle after about 8 rows of the brim. decrease. done!

And hopefully my ear ache is done, too! Just in time to start the new year off healthy!

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas 2011

Happy Christmas, all. Look we got snow!

Hope everyone has a great day.
(Here are some of the things I made as gifts, but didn't get good pics of.)

Saturday, 17 December 2011


Can you believe that there's less than ten days until Christmas? Where did the time go? Why haven't I done any Christmas shopping? Like, none. How did this happen? Oh yeah. I was on vacation last week. (That's a valid excuse, right?)
This is my second (annual?) trip to Vancouver/Seattle, and if possible it was even more fun and more cookie filled than last time. Hard to believe, but true.

But because of all that cookie making and coffee drinking, I didn't really spend any time crafting. In fact, the only thing I finished on the trip, I knit on the plane (while watching, but not listening to, Beauty and the Beast. I am awesomely smart and checked my headphones.).

I pretty much based the pattern off memories of this hat. So simple and such a fast thing to knit up. And, I think it looks okay when on a head. Not as cool when it's just sitting around, but such is life.

And now I just have to figure out which family member/friend I can pawn this off on lovingly gift for Christmas. And I need to find a few other quick crafts to start, and finish, in the next 9-ish days. Eek.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

crocheted key cozy

So, I had a request for a crocheted key cozy. I was only too happy to try it!

I think I like this one even better than my old knit one! But I feel I must warn you that the results were a pass and a fail at the same time. Pass because I really like it. Fail because I'm not sure how easy it will be for someone else to recreate it.

Why? Because I had used this tiny, tiny, tiny crochet hook. Does anyone else have a crochet hook this small? I worry, no.

I inherited this hook from my mother, who I bet got it from her mother. The size on the side says England 9. It is probably from the days when things like crochet hooks were actually manufactured in England. I looked it up online, and size 9 is definitely not a contemporary size UK9.

So if you can find a hook small enough that you could make socks with it... That isn't to say it can't be made with a different size of yarn and hook. It can.  This is just what I did.

Also, this is what I did for my key. There are so many different kinds of keys out there. You may have to modify it depending on the shape of your key.

My Key Cozy notes 
(I pretty much took the knitting pattern, and made it with SC. )

Yarn: Noro sock yarn
Length: Not that much. Just some scraps.
Hook: really, really small.

Chain 10 sts. Join.
Ch 1. SC into every stitch in the round. Join round.
Ch 1. {SC1. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC4} repeat. Join.
Ch 1. {SC5. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC1} repeat. Join.
Ch 1. {SC1. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC4. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC1} repeat. Join.
Ch 1. {SC1. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC6. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC1} repeat. Join.
Right about now you should probably be trying it on your key. All keys are different and here I realized I'd needed to increase one more time. Maybe you won't have to. 
Ch 1. {SC1. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC8. in next stitch do 2 SC. SC1} repeat. Join. (Optional)
Ch 1. SC to end. Join.
Put key into the cozy. Make sure the yarn is above the top of the key. Do another SC row if you have to.
Ch 1. SC looping through stitch loops on the left and the right to join them together above the key. Do this until you get to the notch where you attach it to the ring. SC until the other side. SC other side together as well. Ch back to tab.
Ch1. SC around.
Ch1. SC through stitch loop from left and right to end.
Pull yarn through.

My key then looked like this.

I sewed the yarn in and done.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011


As I was walking out to my car tonight, I noticed that my key cozy is coming unraveled! Sometimes even the best crafts bite the dust. 

I guess it's not surprising considering I made it about a year and a half ago. Most often, it's a very sad day when a beloved knit starts to come apart. But this is such an easy pattern (I did make it in about 20 min after all) that I just might have to make myself another! And now I'll get to have it in a new colour!

Update: Crocheted version of key cozy is done and posted about here!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Beautifully Brown

I'm sorry it's been so long since my last post, but I've been working like a mad woman on a bunch of old project, and even a new one. None of these projects have anything remotely to do with crafting. They seem to be eating up my time like a kid eats candy on Halloween.
So since I haven't finished anything, I thought I'd show you what I've been working on. Mittens!

Or they will be mittens once I'm done! Thus far, I really like them! Note: there was a fairly obvious mistake in pattern. Good thing I realized it before I had to rip it all out.
Even moving at a snail's pace, I'm hoping to be done sometime sooooon. Cause it's been cold here! So cold that this past weekend I wore a headband under my toque when I went out for my morning runs. Seriously. That is cold. (Or. Yes. Maybe I'm just a wimp.)

What are you doing to get ready for the chill of winter?

Friday, 21 October 2011


Not that long ago, a friend asked me how many hats I have. You'd think it would be a lot, wouldn't you? I mean, I make hats all the time! "About 10 to 12," I replied at the time. But I had no idea. One of my favourite thing about being a knitter is always having new fun items to keep me warm. And it's so nice to have a stash of winter gear that is always changing. Make a new hat, give a hat away. 

But I became curious about how many hats I actually have, so went and found the stash of hats. Turns out I only have seven. 7 ! (Not to be confused with 7 factorial, which would be a lot.)

And that even counts this new hat I just finished. 

Like so many, I made this pattern from an image in my head of what I wanted the end result to look like. Needless to say, it didn't turn out quite as expected. ... Not that it's ugly. Just different. I wanted it to be a slouch, and although I cast on the stitches for that, I don't think that type of hat works with this type of yarn. 

Oh well. Sometimes you just gotta go with it. And all in all, I'll probably wear it. Less than some of the others in the pile, but I'm glad I made it. And now that I know I only have seven, I feel free to make something else. 

Wednesday, 12 October 2011


Every knitter in the world has the same problem: What do you do with all your leftover yarn? I don't mean what do you do with your stash. That's easy! Look at it. Dream about what you can make with it. Hoard it. Add to it. And sometimes, even use it.
I mean, what do you do with the small remnants of yarn that you end up with when you are done with a project. That is harder. Even if it's just a few scrap pieces, there is something in me that stops me from throwing it out.
That is how when I finished making my latest shawl I ended up with this headband.

I didn't have enough for a hat, but I still wanted something that would match. As with most times when I'm just using up scraps, I had a general idea of what I wanted it to look like (in this case I wanted it to be similar to that shawl) but mostly, I made the pattern up as I went along.
Here's what I did.

Dee-Dee headband notes
CO 100sts
k2, p2 for 7 rows
m1 sts for a total of 101 sts
k2tog, YO for 8 rows
k2tog for a total of 100 sts
k2, p2 for 7 rows.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Camping like it's 4C

When I got into work today, and told some folks I used a day off to go camping, they looked at me a little weird. "Um, wasn't it... COLD?" they asked. Well, I like to think of it as being chilly. But who cares if it's a little cold? I don't mind wrapping myself up if I get to spend the weekend with one of my best friends, while taking in the colourful trees, fresh air, sand, sun...

When you know it's going to be cold, you just prepare for it. I am never happier to be a knitter than when I'm preparing for some chilly weather! I've got so many options to choose from. Like my ETTA hat I made a few years ago. (Still a favourite. Even if I think it looks a little like a beehive on my head.) I also grabbed a whole bunch of random scarves. 
The one above is my first crocheted item anywhere. I kinda loved it this weekend. It's super long, but also narrow. So depending on how cold it was, I just looped it more or less times around my neck. Done. 

Corrie and I had an awesome time. Even if we couldn't build a fire to save our lives. Don't let the picture below fool you. Sure we got a fire going. ... after about 45 matches and 20 pieces of paper and perhaps a few choice words from me. We couldn't even get the paper to stay lit most of the time! I blame the wood we bought. We had to start drying the wood before it would burn on the fire! Seriously. 

But we made some super awesome food. Cornbread in a cast iron pan. Yo. And a baked onion!

It was super great fun. A trip we will definitely do again next year! 

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

In the autumn garden

Ready or not, I came back from my trip to Philly to find that fall has truly befallen us! The morning air has a chill to it. I'm wearing a scarf and jacket to work. A jacket people! I'm wearing tights and arm warmer to run. 
But in a way, it's so nice to see the seasons changing. I like when the leaves are bright red, orange and yellows. I like pulling out the part of my wardrobe I haven't worn in months.
And I like new garden veggies. Autumn means winter squash! I hadn't looked in the pumpkin patch in weeks, and to my shock when I looked on the weekend we have 7 (yes. I counted. seven!) pumpkins. And they are turning orange already too! Last year our pumpkins stayed green and were useless.

 Do you know how excited I get about pumpkins? Very! This year I've already had amazing pumpkin soup, and less amazing, but still really good, pumpkin brownies. (I'm still not exactly sure how I messed them up.) Next? Maybe a pumpkin latte. Or perhaps pumpkin ice cream.

But there are other things I'm excited about: butternut squash.

And kale! A second crop of snow peas. And, surprisingly, potatoes. I never realized just how different potatoes right out of the ground taste compared to the ones they sell in the store in the middle of winter. 

So autumn, now that you are here, please stick around for awhile. Because I'm not sure I'm ready for winter yet.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Better late than

When it comes to gifts, I tend to think people would agree that it's better on time than late, but better late than never. Right? Well, I was just over a month late when I delivered this gift to the incomparable steph chows. That's not too late, right??

By now everyone should know how I feel about taking reusable bags when shopping, so when I saw this great idea for using an old men's shirt to make a bag I knew I had to do it! I pretty much followed the directions exactly. I went and got a $1 shirt from the Goodwill, bought some straps, did a little sewing. Voila! Reusable bag! 
Thanks so much for a great idea!

And luckily I had a chance to give Steph the bag when we met up for dinner a few nights ago. I spent the weekend in Philadelphia visiting some old friends (they aren't old, we've just been friends for awhile), so our visit was right on the way. Too bad we don't live closer, but I'm so glad we get to hang out.

Here are some of my favourite pictures from my trip:

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Uncanny Jam

Jam!! I love it! On toast. On pancakes. On ice cream. In my oatmeal. Need I go on? 
That is just one of the reasons I make sure to participate in steph chows' annual jam exchange.  Last year I got some amazing jam, and this year was no different. 

Thanks so much to Uncanny for the great jam she sent my way! I tried some of her red currant and raspberry jam as soon as I took it out of the box. Yum! It tasted just like my grandmother's raspberry tarts. It was so good I almost cried! 

Okay. Maybe I didn't cry. But maybe I did have another 2 slices of jam toast!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


I'm done! Phew. I thought this shawl would never be done, it's been hanging around so long. And now that it's done I really like it! I bought this yellow yarn mainly because it was on super sale, and while I've never seen myself as much of a yellow person I kinda like it. 

Knitting details:
I got the pattern: here.
Unfortunately I made one little mistake. Totally my fault. ... I didn't increase on the WS rows and because but I still knit until the 195sts before starting the lace pattern. And because of it the shawl is the right length, but about twice as wide as it should be. Oops? It makes the scarf almost unmanageably big. (When I was showing it off I heard: (quote) "You could make a new style. Like wearing a afghan around your neck." Great.)
And the lace? I really like it! But it totally threw me for a loop until I'd done about 4 rows. For once I found the written pattern a lot easier to understand than the chart.

And in case you were wondering, this is what happens when you don't focus your camera correctly. Oddly enough, I kinda like this shot. It's kinda like what I see when I take my glasses off. 

Friday, 2 September 2011

Pranks 101

When I was in University, my housemates were probably the best pranksters on the planet. No joke. For my birthday in first year they filled my room with enough balloons that they were up to my waist and came tumbling out when I opened my door. I don't even want to think about how much hot air that took. They also once miniaturized everything in another roommate's room. Another time, I think in fourth year, one of them put cream cheese icing into my toothpaste tube. Yes. He actually used a toothpick to push it in there. And yes, I actually brushed my teeth with the icing. Let's just say it is not something I suggest!

Well, they taught me well.
For the past few months I've been doing an experiment/prank on my family. Every week or so I've been moving around the photos on my parent's walls. Thus far no one has noticed the change. I guess after awhile pictures become like decoration. Background noise. You don't notice them. Because they don't change. Or do they!? They do in HP. And then do when I'm around.

This past week I stepped up my prankster ways by adding mustaches to my older brother and I. Mine isn't so great, but I am in LOVE with his.
I cannot wait until someone notices. I figure if a week goes by I'm going to start adding more stuff, like cartoon thought bubbles. Any suggestions? I'm thinking my bro's should be: "Mamma Mia, what a meatball!" or maybe "I'll save you Princess Toadstool!"
So many options. So few mustaches.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Garden Update 3

In case you didn't know... it's tomato season! And we have hundreds of tomatoes to prove it! Look at 'em all!!
For weeks I've been having eggs and tomatoes for breakfast. Tomato & cucumber salads for lunch. And bruchetta with dinner. Tomatoes are so great! I think of them as the ice cream of vegetables - everyone likes tomatoes. (And yes. For you purists I know that tomatoes are actually fruit.)
I bet you are wondering what we did with ALL of the tomatoes above. No we didn't feed an army. But we did make a lot, a lot of tomato sauce this weekend. Both Saturday and Sunday. At one point on Saturday we had 4 big pots and one crock pot all cooking tomato sauce. Pretty awesome, eh?

Although it may seem impossible, there are other things growing in the garden. Most notably: Musk Melons! I don't love them, but it is pretty exciting that these grew. Every other year we've grown them they've never matured enough to eat.
This lone yellow pepper. Not sure what we're going to use it for yet... It is the only one out there.
And there are things still to come. Like acorn squash!
And butternut squash, kale, a 2nd round of beans and peas (as long as the temperature holds) and if we are really lucky, maybe even a pumpkin or two!

One last pic. On Sunday night I was walking from room to room in the house when it was suddenly lit by this amazing light. I looked outside to see the most amazing twilight and just had to take a picture of the amazing pink and purple clouds.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

My Snow Blue

OMG. Is that a (bad) picture of a knitted item? Me? Knit!? It's hard to remember a time when I was truly knitting. It's been soooo long since I've finished anything. But even longer than that, I haven't done anything fairisle since these hats over a year and a half ago!

Is it a coincidence that this was also made as a gift? (Prolly not, if you know me.)
One of the nicest girls ever, who I've played soccer with for the past two years, is moving to a place more North than Ottawa. (She's an amazing soccer player too. I'm very much going to miss having her on the team!!) I think the direct quote from her is, "It's a good thing I like winter!" Yes. Good thing. But another hat can't hurt right?

I made one slight modification to the pattern. Instead of having the contrast grey colour along the decreases on top of the hat, I kept it in the main colour.

I was worried I was going to run out of the grey. But I also thought that the hat would look better with blue along the ridge. Either way, I think it turned out pretty good. Hopefully it keeps her head warm.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Garden Update 2

It's been a long time since I've been in Ottawa for a weekend. First Toronto, then camping, then California. All those trips made for an *amazing* July, but it is good to be back. And it was soooo nice to spend time with the fam in the garden.

Thus, here is your garden update for the start of August!

Notice the difference a month makes?
I'd love to tell you the garden is the best ever... but there are a few things I'm worried about. I don't think the brussel sprouts are forming properly. Some of the celery isn't looking so hot. And the peppers...
While the ones that do have peppers on them look and taste pretty darn good, many of them are just a plant. No fruit. And isn't the fruit kinda the point?
But everything else is pretty great. We even made our first batch of homemade tomato sauce today! By next weekend we are going to have a bumper crop of tomatoes. I don't think it would be any exaggeration to say there are a thousand green tomatoes out there just waiting for a hot day to ripen. Homemade tomato sauce is on the horizon.
And one of my personal favourites right now: yellow zucchinis! I had to fight hard for these when we were making our seed list this spring and man are they worth it. I love the bright colour they add to stir-frys. Not to mention that they are super tasty!
Speaking of tasty... when I returned from California, everyone told me that the raspberries are done for the season. But oh look! There are still a few hiding out. You just have to take the time to look for them. And yum. They are worth it.
All in all, there's still a lot of garden to look forward to. I am loving summer! Hope you are too!

Monday, 1 August 2011

On the beach

For about the last week I've been visiting friends in California and it has been just so nice! It's fun to go back to somewhere I know so well and see friends I adore so much. It almost makes me wish I had never left! If only I could uproot everyone and everything I love about the Bay Area and take it with me. If only...

Cause I miss things. Like the beach. It was soooo nice to spend 2hrs on a Sunday morning just knitting at the beach.
Seriously. Why did I never do that when I lived in California??
On this past Sunday morning I was going to drive the Big Sur coast, but with it being overcast, I figured it wasn't worth it. So I just listened to the small waves crash on the shore and worked on my latest project. So. Much. Fun. Everything Cali related. I wish I got to stay around for longer.
More pictures to come.