Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year dear readers and fellow crafters!

Bubbly Spirits
First off, I don't think I can thank you enough for visiting and reading.  And I especially appreciate all your lovely comments.  My first meager posts in cyberspace felt like a monologue exercise (not that I mind talking to myself, but the give-and-take of conversation is so much nicer).  Over the past year, the blog has grown, resulting in new friends--both cyber- and real-life.  

So as I raise a glass of sparkling bubbly, I want to wish you and yours a happy, healthy and crafty 2011.  Cheers!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christmas Wrap-Up 2010

So there wasn't too much Christmas knitting in 2010.  This year I knitted mainly for my niece and nephews: two hats and a vest (that's a total of three items compared to last year when I made about 7-8 items). And I made no scrapbook gift albums either (the last couple of years I've made at least a few for family).

Now for the details:
One item was a cute vest (you can read about it over at Blog Bernat or you can check out my Rav project page (Ravelry link) for more details).  It was my first experience with intarsia.
Monster Vest for Nephew
The other two projects were skull earflap hats from Bernat's new Roving e-book (pattern here at this link).  Intarsia was also required.  Needless to say, I'm done with intarsia for a while.  If skulls aren't your "thang", you could easily modify the pattern by replacing it with another motif or just leaving it plain (more details on my project page (Ravelry link).  This was also a Bernat project so you can read more over at the latest Blog Bernat post).
Earflap Skull Hat for Nephew
There's something about an decent earflap hat that speaks to me--maybe its the warmth factor?  In any case, I liked hat so much, I made another one for my niece. However, a plain old skull didn't seem girlish enough.  So I modified the motif.  In Bernat's e-book for Roving, I found a poncho pattern using a skull with bow--perfect for a girl! (see my project page (Ravelry link) for more details). 
Girlie Skull Hat for Niece
It would have been nice to make more gifts.  Doesn't a handcrafted gift seem more personal?  Of course not everyone enjoys or appreciates a knitted/crocheted item (although the scrapbooks have been well received).   If I planned for my gifts (knit, crochet or scrapbook) in January, would it all be completed in time for Christmas 2011?  Ha!  Now that would a great plan!   ;)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Good Things

What are the good things in life?  What's the secret to happiness?  The love of a good partner, happy & healthy children, caring and supportive family and friends . . . the rest will take care of itself.

Nothing like a health scare requiring a trip to the emergency room to sharpen one's senses and to put things into perspective.  Rest assured that all went well and we're on the road to recovery.  If you've ever had to spend time in outpatients/emergency, the sounds of pained cries and sobs can be disheartening.

Hope you are enjoying the holidays with your loved ones.  Give them an extra hug and let them know how much you love them.

Friday, December 24, 2010

All Through the House . . .

Not a creature was stirring . . .
except maybe a mouse.
The stockings were hung near the faux fireplace
To lend the room a sense of whimsy and grace

Ahh, the best time of the year: Christmas!  
I love the scent of pine through the house after the tree gets set up.
Putting Up the Tree
I love the twinkling lights, both inside and out.
Outdoor Lights Aglow

And I love decorating the tree with all the lovely ornaments: some handmade, some special gifts from friends and some crafted by wee hands no longer wee.
Handcrafted Porcelain Angel, Tin Foil Bell, and Knitted Stocking

One of a Kind Santa and Plastic Canvas Train
But most of all I love spending time with my boys, and watching the joy on their faces.  Then after the excitement fades to quiet, dear hubby and I sip our coffee . . . 
A Cup of Jo and Toast . . . Perfection!

Hope your holidays are filled with peace and joy. :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Spreading Joy

Knitting joy, that is.  My second Boyfriend Hat is done.  It just needs a few ends to be tucked in.
Another Hat
No real mods other than to change up the stripe placement from my previous project.  And obviously I used different coloured stripes so the boys wouldn't get their hats mixed up.

So what's up next?  This next WIP looks ordinary enough.  Can you guess what it might become?
Mystery Knit
It's not a scarf or even a sleeve and definitely not another hat.  Its going to be a case for a DS--a wee bit wide, but I think we can fix that during the seaming process.  More importantly, its not my project.  It belongs to my son. 

After finishing a hat for his Toad, he wanted to learn how to purl.  Then he decided to knit himself a DS case.  This particular pattern has a section for toting games too--a big plus in his eyes (You can check out the Ravelry pattern link here).  This case is for his older brother.

I'm just beaming that my wee babe has taken such an interest in knitting.  He also wants to try crochet.  Ahhh, spreading the joy of crafty goodness. :)

Have a good week!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Confession Time

I'm addicted--harmless addiction, but an addiction nonetheless  Yes I do like to knit and crochet, but this is a non-fibre addiction (and no I don't count Ravelry 'cuz ultimately that is fibre related).

No this addiction is more of a gaming one.  Rest assured it isn't EverQuest or Call of Duty (insert popular online video game of your choice).  But it does happen online.  I'm referring to Restaurant City, one of numerous games found on Facebook (yeah, I know).

It started innocently enough.  My brother-in-law sent me an invite and I obliged.  Often such games require "friends" or "neighbours" or "clan members" so that "gifts" can be exchanged.  I didn't plan to actually play.  Unfortunately once I started, I couldn't stop.  So here I am, still playing after logging in consecutively for over 100 days--yeah, that's called obsession.  But it is a fun obsession.

Meet the lovely cyber-version of me (too bad there's no curly hair).  With the appropriate number of coins, you can deck out your cyber-self and cyber-staff in neat outfits.

Cyber-version of Me

She runs a very hip and happenin' restaurant in the cyber-reality of the world wide web.  Check it out.

Exterior of Restaurant
The above is actually an older photo as I've currently decked out my restaurant for the holidays, complete with gingerbread men, lights, snow and Santa.

Restaurant Interior
The interior has recently been changed too: revamped the layout and included winter and Christmas decor throughout.

So now you know the truth (is it an ugly truth? 'Cuz I'm not feeling the ugly). And really its a harmless addiction as long as I can limit myself (usually I can) and as long as I don't spend real money (um, never gonna happen--and sadly there are those that do).  Real money is earmarked for knitting books and yarn--duh, that's a no brainer.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Quick Knit

Have you seen this pattern on Ravelry?  The lovely Boyfriend Hat (Ravelry link) is a quick knit.

Quick Knit
My son lost his hat (not sure where, but I think it was at the movie theatre when we caught the latest Harry Potter flick).  Too bad 'cuz the one he lost was a memento from the Blue Jays second World series win back in 1993. 

Rear View
I used Lion Brand's Vanna's Choice.  What a lovely yarn!  The hat is soft, squishy and very stretchy.  The two balls were leftovers from Baby Sophisticate (one of last year's many Christmas knits).  Too bad I can't find this yarn locally.  Maybe my mother-in-law might procure some more whilst in Florida this winter?  I could ask.

I only made two modifications:
1) added a couple of red stripes for fun (have quite a few leftover Bernat Softee Chunky). When changing colours, I first knit the round and then proceeded in rib pattern on the next row;
2) added about an inch before starting the decreases. I wanted to make sure the hat would cover my son’s ears.

I like the pattern so much, I'm making a second one for my other son.  Sadly he too has lost his hat.

Have a good week!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

All in the Details

Don't ya think that sometimes its the little finishing details that can make or break a knit (or at the very least take it from so-so to adorable).  I think the wooden buttons take my Little Navy Stripes from nice to super-duper cute (but that's just my honest opinion and I'm a tad biased).  Wotcha think?
Baby Cardi and Matching Beanie
I just love the rustic feel of the steel blue and cream paired up with the wooden buttons (I don't think they're real wooden buttons, but they're a darn good facsimile).
Detail of Buttons
This Little Coffee Bean cardigan pattern (Ravelry link) is a keeper: I can definitely see myself knitting this one again for future newborns (and I do know of at least one due this summer).  And the Beanie (Ravelry link) is a quick knit too.  Happy to report the new mom appreciated the gift.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Blog-jack In Progress

Don't adjust your screen!  It's just us, the Toads. :D

This is Toad and my brother Toad.  While that chicky Acrylic-girl is putting lights on her house, we've hijacked her laptop.  Aren't we scamps?  Actually we're really two fun guys--get it?  Fungi!! We're hilarious!

We wanted to share our knitting adventures.  One of us was feelin' chilly, so we decided to try this knitting thing.  If that chicky can do it, why can't we?  How hard could it be?
And like good brothers, we helped each other out.  Those needles are kinda big. 
But then something went horribly wrong.  Not sure exactly what happened . . . Guess knitting isn't as easy as it looks :(
That's not right, brother!  What did you do?  What's happening?!
Watch out!  Those sticks are awfully pointy and sharp.  Somebody could get hurt.
Oh noooooooo!  This hurts!!!!
Good thing we have a nice boy who loves us very much.  He patched us up and made one of us a lovely hat to keep our melons warm. 
That's not a hat, brother.  It's a mushroom cap--get it?  Haha!  We're hilarious!
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