Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

(photograph courtesy of clarita at

Plans for this evening: board game with the kids and then a fun meal of nibblies and finger foods while we watch a movie.  Then a little toast between me and hubby as we ring in the new year (some time before midnight, no doubt--haha!).

Whatever your plans and wherever you are, have a safe and happy New Year!  Hope the new year brings you lots of knitting adventures and yarny goodness.

Happy Knitting :)

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas Re-cap--Last Part

I promise this is the last re-cap!  Really, I only have a couple of knitted gifts to share.  I made a neckwarmer and fingerless gloves for my brother-in-law (mentioned them here and here).  BIL appreciated the gift and he especially loved the scrapbook of his little girl (seriously, I wasn't trying to make him cry).

And of course, I finished the Fern and Waves Scarf by the skin of my teeth: finished knitting a few days before Christmas and wove in the last ends on Christmas Eve.  Since I promptly wrapped it, I never took a proper final picture.  So sadly there is no final photo.  But my mother-in-law loved it!  She took it to Florida with her to wear as a stole 'round her shoulders.

As for my mom's Fishtail Scarf, I too nelgected to take a final photo.  I did finish that early enough, but waited till the last minute to weave in the ends.  Then I wrapped it in haste so that I could ship it off to my family in Ontario.  This is the last photo (although you can see more here ).  It's not a proper shot, but that's the best I can do (unless my mom sends me a photo, and that's highly unlikely). 

Dear hubby said something poignant. Gifts made with one's hands are made of love.  Then he said how proud of me he was and that I too should be proud of myself for all the wonderful gifts that were made.  Thanks honey.  I am. :)

Happy Knitting!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas Re-Cap--Part 2

Here are the rest of the knitted gifts I can finally share with you (although if you're on Ravelry, you've already seen some of this.  Maybe I'm being pushy, but if you're a knitter, crocheter or spinner, you MUST join Ravelry .  It is an awesome resource for all things fiber--yarns, patterns, mods, designers, books, forums, help, etc).

First up is the Baby Sophisticate (I did post about this here, and here, here too, and of course here ).  Nothing, though, beats a finished item with buttons attached and ends woven in.

I just love those buttons.  They look like old leather ones (maybe I should have put patches at the elbows--haha).  And I think the little label finishes it off.

Too bad the hand-stitching is--oh,let's be kind--less than perfect.  Still, my sister loved it.

I also made hats to match, one for each of my nephews.

The bigger hat is taken from a free pattern on Knitscene's website called Earflap Hats (blogged about here.  I think you can still get the free pattern at this Knitting Daily link).  Since it turned out too big, I decided to gift it to my older nephew and try my hand at another pattern for the wee one. 

The smaller hat is a modified version of a toddler hat from Bernat's book Stretchy Sets.  Essentially its the same pink hat you saw yesterday--with modifications of course (mods can be found on my project page at my Ravelry notebook).

I also made a hat and neckwarmer for my niece in lilac (mentioned previously here).  Was it serendipity that it matched her eggplant-coloured coat perfectly?

Although I finished these back in August, I neglected the finishing touches until the last minute.  In fact, I seemed to do that with all my Christmas knitting.  Once the actual knitting was complete, I just couldn't bring myself to get through the finishing stage.  Hmmm, what does that say about me as a knitter?

There are a few other items about which to post, but I'll update those later this week (possibly even tomorrow.  After all, I am off till the new year).  Right now, there are some odds and ends that need attending to.

Happy Knitting :)

PS (By the way, check out my latest post at Bernat Yarns.  Yeah, I know I've mentioned that a few times too.  It's my blog and I'll plug, plug, plug if I want to--hee, hee).

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Re-Cap-Part 1

Christmas has come and gone (with 10 extra pounds to show for it, LOL).  I managed to finish the last two items on Christmas Eve and wrap them just in time for gift-giving.  It was a lot of work, but I'm happy to say all the recipients were truly grateful and appreciative. **blushes**  That feels good.  Made the effort that much more worth it.

First off, my oldest and dearest friend received the little package I made for her daughter: a cute hat with matching socks.  I had blogged about these over at Bernat (you'll have to scroll through the posts on Blogger Projects from DinaPurls to find specific posts).  I also have details over in my notebook at Ravelry here and here (you'll have to login through Ravelry).  This is a yarn that I can no longer find in town.  I'd have to travel to Halifax or order online (thank heavens Mary Maxim carries the entire Bernat line)

What a cutie!  So happy the hat fit her. 

And I finished the sweater for my niece too.  Sadly I couldn't get her to put it on Christmas Day (too many other distractions for a toddler), but dad informed me it fit her well.

I just love the eyelet detail in the yoke.  It looks so complicated, but it was so easy to make.  I had already blogged about it here and here, but nothing beats a proper FO pic.  And of course there are details over at my projects page on Ravelry.  And I loved working with the yarn (it was Vanna's Choice from Lionbrand and it came all the way from Florida).  Again, too bad I can't get it 'round these parts, unless I travel to Halifax or maybe order online.  The woes of small town life! (Although I think Herrschners might carry it, but I've never ordered from them).

There's so much more to blog about, but I'll save that for tomorrow.  Right now, it's back to knitting.  I've got a few things to finish so I can start on a new project for me!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Just finished my last shift at work.  Thankfully it was only a half-day.  Officially I'm now on Christmas break till the new year. 

One last gift to finish on Christmas Eve (who knew that hand-crafted gifts take so much time?).  I've been scrapping my little heart out the past two weeks.  Just one more page and I'm done.  My little elves (aka dear hubby and the kids) have been busily wrapping gifts all week.

In a few hours I'm gonna sip some wine and bask in the warm glow of the flickering tree lights. My boys will probably snuggle with us as we watch some holiday fare on the old tube.   

Have a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones! 

(pictures taken from free photography site)

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

I love getting the tree.  Usually it's the weekend before Christmas.  And its a real one.  Usually hubby and the boys go out to pick it--our little tradition.  I think this year's tree is a tad bigger than usual (doesn't it always look smaller on the lot?).

After years of fake ones, I've come to love the real thing.  The house fills with the scent of pine.  I don't mind the pine needles that fall away.  Nature isn't always neat and tidy.  Sometimes its a little bit messy--just like me.

We usually let the tree "sit" in the house for a day to ensure its drinking plenty of fluids.  The next day we decorate.

There are lots of special ornaments on our tree: special gifts from friends and family; many of them are handmade. It's fun to decorate with the kids and reminisce about who made what or the story behind a particular decoration.

Isn't Christmas lovely?

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Oh the Shame of It All!

My level of knitting this week: Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.  I could have been knitting--perhaps better to say that I should have been knitting.  Instead I opted to scrapbook.  In my defense, I was making a gift (which should have been started in November instead of two weeks before Christmas).  At least 8 pages are now complete and I've assembled two small non-scrapped mini-albums of snapshots.

Do I feel a twinge of stress?  Sense of impending doom?  Well, that's too extreme, but I seriously need to get my ass in gear this weekend or I'll be up till midnight on Christmas Eve!

I'll bypass any detailed talk about Wednesday night.  Silly ol' me decided to walk home in a blizzard.  With no hat.  With no boots. (In all fairness the day had started with rain).  Thank heavens for woolen socks!  Needless to say, neither knitting nor scrapping took place that night.

So I'm off to finish my projects.  Hope your day is a good one and filled with Christmas cheer. :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful . . .

"But inside the knittin's delightful . . ."

Haha!  "Let It Snow" is my fave Christmas tune.  In fact, we've had our first wintery blast this week and today there's even more snow.

So as I hunker-down indoors, I'm desperately trying to finish my Fern & Waves Scarf--oh so close! 

I'm also trying to work on my Bernat project at the same time.  That's going more slowly than anticipated (and I can't really show you that progress, but rest assured it will show up on my Rav project page, my flickr page or wait till I post about it on Bernat blog).

To make matters worse interesting, my sock looks wonky.  I'm loving the 2x4 ribbing on the leg and the striping actually looks quite nice.  As for the cuff ribbing . . . well, that doesn't quite look as nice. 

Doesn't the cuff look really loose?  When I made the boys' socks, I always used 1x1 ribbing on smaller needles and then worked the leg on larger needles.  Sadly I didn't change needles with my own socks, so the leg's 2x4 ribbing looks more snug. 

So what does this all mean?  To the frog pond goes the sock!  I'll just re-cast and skip the 1x1 cuff and instead dive into the 2x4 ribbing.  That'll work.

Now I'm off to shovel more snow  :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mind the Mess

It's just  some of my scrapbooking stuff.  One of my little ones was sick today and it was my turn to stay home (dear hubby did his duty yesterday).  I decided to take advantage of the time to work on a special scrapbook--so I'm not showing you any of the finished pages.

When I started scrapping a few years back, I used to make sketches and it would take me forever to complete a double page spread.  These days I don't scrap as often as I'd like to; however, when I do get the chance, I'm more laid back about it.  I let the pictures "talk" to me .  

I guess some knitters do the same thing too.  They let the yarn "talk" to them to discover what the yarn would like to be.  I don't think I can hear my yarn talking.  Rather, when I start a project usually its the pattern that attracts me first .  Then I search for yarn to fit the pattern.  Guess everyone works in their own way.

Happy knittin' (or scrappin')

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Making Merry, Good Cheer and All That

Yeah, Christmas cheer has come to my house at long last!  In dribs and drabs, the decorations have come out of hiding during the week.  Right now I'm listening to Nick at Nite's Classic Cartoon Christmas whilst I type on the laptop.  Earlier I went shopping for a few little items.  Wrapped a few presents (even finished some knits but I'll post those later).  Some of those gifts are heading to the post office on Monday.  Later I'm off to a staff Christmas party.  And apparently there's a winter mess--at the very least snow--heading our way sometime 'round midnight.  Tis the season after all.

Christmas is generally my favorite holiday.  Why so long to get into the seasonal spirit?  Why so lackadaisical this year?  Then it hit me: no snow.  I need snow to get into the season.  Usually we already have a sprinkling of the white stuff by now, but almost nothing thus far. 

Last year I was also making lots of ornaments.  I think that helped me get into the spirit.  The  little balls were a free pattern at Canadian Living website.  The pattern originally came from the book Handknit Holidays.

And the cutest mini-stockings.  I loved making them!  These were also a free pattern from Little Cotton Rabbits (who incidently makes the cutest toys!  You gotta check out her website).

And I even started a few items that never got finished.  I found the patterns in my MIL's old Canadian Living magazines circa 1980's (I guess the magazine used to put out an issue devoted solely to Christmas crafts and gifts).

I even finished knitting most of the pieces for the snowman and the reindeer too, but I just never got around to seaming and assembling.  Everything has been languishing in a ziploc bag.  Maybe when I'm off for the holidays . . . three more weeks! :)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


You can probably ascertain that I might possibly--maybe--have a knitty addiction . . . oh, who are we kidding?  I likes to knit.  A lot!

I also like to blog.

I also like to "socialize" on Facebook.

Of the latter, I have been unable to login for the past 48 hours.  Every time I try, I get this "site maintenance" message.  Yes, I 've reported my problem to the powers that be at FB, but its still really, really annoying.  Is this the way to cure an addiction?  Seriously . . .

Back to my other vices . . .

(origin unknown but came from a torrent of wallpapers)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

New Project

So I cast on for a new project: socks for me!  It's been so long since I've made socks, that the 2.25mm dpn's feel like uncooked spaghetti strands in my hands!  With regular use, my hands should get used to the smaller sized needles.

I'm using Bernat Sox.  While I liked the colour in the ball, not sure I'm lovin' it in a sock.  What do you think about the colours?

Guess I'll have to reserve judgement till I've gotten further into the sock.  After all, the colour changes can vary from the cuff to the main leg. 

The pattern is a ladies' vintage ribbed sock from Vogue Knitting's Ultimate Sock Book.  I've made the child's version a couple of times (remember these socks and these ones--the latter is a Rav link).  I really like the ribbing.  I think it makes for a better fit. 

These socks represent a "first" of sorts.  I don't think I've ever made a pair of socks for myself.  Wonder how long it will take me?  The one good thing about my feet is that they've stopped growing.  Once I've found a pattern that works, the rest will be easier.

Happy knitting!

Friday, November 27, 2009

That Time of Year?

Hard to believe that November is drawing to a close.  Christmas is rounding the corner, along with all the requisite activities: cookie baking, decorating and gift shopping; staff parties and gatherings of family and friends; and community events such as our local Santa parade and tree lighting.   A few neighbours have even put up their outdoor lights and decorations.  As for me, I'm not quite "there" yet.  Hence this is the extent of "decorating" to date:

When the spirit hits, I'll dig out my lovely decorations and start putting them around the house.  But. Not. Yet.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Blue-Green Loveliness

This was the quickest knit ever!  That's my lovely Fern Lace Scarf folded neatly--all 60 inches of it!  After I weave in the ends, I'll attach a fringe.  The kit came with curly locks made from 78% mohair, 13% wool and 9% nylon.  Me thinks a fringe will finish off my scarf very nicely.

With regard to blocking, I'm not sure exactly how to proceed.  Most of my handknits have been acrylics, so blocking hasn't been an issue.  After I'm done, I launder the item and never think about it again.

I'm sure an online search will yield loads of information (heck Ravelry will probably contain all that I need to know) .  But I'll have to wait till the weekend (no time or energy during the week).  Besides, the weekend would be the best time to borrow some foam tiles/mats upon which I will pin my blue-green loveliness.

Whilst I wait for the weekend, back to me knittin' ;)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Visit DinaPurls at Bernat

Y'all know that I'm blogging over at Bernat's blog as DinaPurls?  Thus far, my ramblings tend to get posted on Mondays, so take a peak over there sometime today to check out the progress of my "secret" projects (sometimes they also appear in my Flickr photo stream).  Say "hello" and maybe leave a comment (feel free to leave a comment here).

When I post here at Stitichery and Such, I don't expect too many visitors.  At Bernat, its a whole new audience--a very large audience.  I wonder how many people read my posts there?  Hmmmm . . .

(photo above courtesy of photography website--which one I cannot recall)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

It Grows (or Learn to Love the Curl)

I was gonna write about my lack of knitting this week, but in truth I've been working on my silky-alpaca scarf.  A little knitting during naptime, at lunch and in the evening as the boys got ready for bed.  Sure enough the thing has grown to approximately 37".  Not bad for a few days of sporadic knitting (Christmas knitting and Bernat knitting momentarily on hold).

At one point I frogged what little I had for fear that it would be too short (after all, I only have 175m worth of yarn.  I think that works out to just over 191yds).  Promptly I cast-on with 24 stitches instead of my original 28 stitches, eliminating the 2-stitch garter edging on each side.  The edge was curling just the same, so what the heck?  Eliminate it and learn to love the curl.

Two things I'm loving: the feel of the yarn in my hands and the colour effects.  The green pops out against the blue.  It had looked lovely in the skein, but not as pretty when wound into a ball.  What a pleasant surprise to see the colours mingle and coalesce as the eyelet curves to and fro across the scarf: bright greens, deep aqua, navy and cerulean--almost like blue waves over tropical sands.  Very pretty.

Here's hoping you're happily knitting on something special too. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Feels LIke Heaven . . .

Whilst my toddlers napped away, I cast on for the Fern Lace Scarf.  The original pattern had 56 stitches in lace weight.  It would be nice to make it a little more wider, but I don't have much yarn.  I'd rather have a long narrow scarf than a wide short one, so I only cast on 28 stitches (24 stiches for one pattern repeat with 2 stitches worth of garter edging on either side).  I hope it reaches a decent length.  The skein is only 175m.  Wonder how much length that will give me?

I must confess that the alpaca-silk-merino blend is yummy--so incredibly soft (heaven help us if I get addicted to this stuff!) And I absolutely love the warmth of the hand-crafted birch needles.

It feels like heaven ;)
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