Saturday, December 26, 2009

Green, Green Grass


Happy Holidays Knitters,
I just wanted to show you a little picture of the Grass I knitted from Mochimochi Land for my sister and her boyfriend. They were great stocking stuffers! I thought they were so cute, and the perfect thing to sit on their desks at work to remind them of summer during the cold winter months.
I hope you are all having a lovely break!
Take care

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas everyone!!

I just wanted to write a quick note to say Merry Christmas and I hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating our Saviour's birth with your loved ones! :-) Have a very happy holidays!

Take care!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finishing Up


Good Morning Knitters,

Are you all feeling the Christmas rush yet? I sure am! I just realized this morning that I have one extra day! See, I thought tomorrow was Christmas Eve, so I'm very excited and relieved that I have one more day to get things done. I'm just waiting for my coffee to finish brewing so that I can get started on my day of baking and finishing up some last minute projects. I've got a busy day, but it should be a fun one. I really enjoy baking, so I'm actually looking forward to spending the day in the kitchen.

Our Lab went in to get leg surgery yesterday so we had a day in the city, which cut into my project time. I did get to bake some when we got home but it wasn't as much as I would have liked. My Mom went to pick the dog up this morning, so we'll see how she's doing. She's a tough girl, but I know she's not going to like having to be in a cage over the next few weeks while she recuperates. She has a lot of energy (that's how she hurt her leg in the first place) so keeping her quiet is going to be quite the chore!



I wanted to show you the finished picture of the hat I knit for my sister's boyfriend. It's the Modern Rib Hat from the Spud and Chloe blog. The yarn I used was Shepherd's Wool Worsted Spun Fine Wool in Royal Blue. I used less than one skein, and it knit up like a dream! the pattern was great, perfect for car knitting, or for knitting while chatting with friends. It looks and feels super warm. I can't wait to see how he likes it.

The picture of the little reversible bluebird at the beginning of the post is now sitting pretty in his little nest which I just finished. I didn't have access to the O-Wool that the pattern called for, so for the nest I used Lion Brand Homespun because I thought it had that nesty feel to it. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out, I think it looks very much like a nest!

Well, I should get to those cookies! I hope you all are having a wonderful day and are getting yourselves ready for Christmas! :-) And by the way, here is the Ravelry link to my free Last Minute: Waves of Grace Scarf pattern! I finally got it all set up.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last-Minute: Waves of Grace Scarf

Hi Knitters,



I want to give you a little early Christmas present. I made this scarf for my sister's Christmas gift, and since I had so much fun making it, I thought you all might too! It's the perfect thing for that quick last-minute gift you need since it works up fast with bulky yarn on big needles, just what we knitters need this close to Christmas. The name came about because as I was knitting it, I went through some times when I needed waves of grace from Jesus. Now this is my first pattern I've ever written, so I'm sorry if there's any mistakes. I came across a cable pattern in an old book, and I'm not sure if this is exactly the same, but it's close. The instructions were vague, so I just made stuff up as I went along.


Waves of Grace Scarf


This pattern is for personal use only. Do not reproduce this pattern elsewhere.


Finished measurements: 6 inches wide by 54 inches long

Materials


Yarn: Sean Sheep Lilydale (90% Acrylic/10% Nylon; 75 grams/123 yards (or any bulky weight yarn would work) - 2 balls

Needles: US 13 (9mm)

Tools: cable needle, yarn needle, scissors

Abbreviations:


k knit

p purl

sl slip

Pattern


Cast on 26 sts.

*slip the first stitch of every row, this just makes a nice neat edge.

Row 1: knit

Row 2: purl

Row 3: make sure to slip the first stitch of this row also *sl next 3 sts on cable needle and leave at front of work, k3, k3 sts from cable needle, k6* repeat till 1st left, k1

Row 4: purl

Row 5: knit

Row 6: purl

Row 7: make sure to slip the first stitch of this row also *k6, sl next 3 sts on cable needle and leave at back of work, k3, k3 sts from cable needle* repeat till 1st left, k1

Row 8: purl

Row 9: knit

Row 10: purl


Repeat rows 3-10 until the scarf measures 54 inches long, or however long you want to make it. I just kept knitting until I used up most of the yarn. I bound off after row 10 by just turning to the next row and bound off in knit stitch, however, to make it look a bit better I would probably bind off in purl stitch on a row 10.

Well, that's it. I sure hope you all enjoy making this scarf, and please let me know what you think!

Merry Christmas!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Thrumming Update


Good Morning Knitters,
Here's my progress on the thrummed mitten! It's looking good right? Well, actually, if you didn't notice it right away, I'll point it out to you...after the 5th line of thrums, you'll notice I knitted an extra round (this is because I had worked on it one night, and then came back to it the next night and wasn't paying attention). Then 3 thrummed rows after that, I did it again...that was due to knitting it while listening to a sermon by Gloria Copeland, in which I was trying to pay attention and take notes :-) There's also a place along the side, by the thumb where I knit two thrums beside each other. Good thing I'm not too worried about it! I don't think that my sister's boyfriend is going to care, all they need to be is warm, and that are at that!! I've been taking notes of my mistakes so I can at least make the other mitten match!!
Well, I know this is a short post, but I've gotta be heading out the door for a birthday party. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, and I'll be back on Monday hopefully eith a little surprise for you all! :-)

Friday, December 11, 2009

More Snow, and A Snood


Good Afternoon,

This is what I woke up to yesterday morning! We've gotten even more snow since then. It seems as though it snowed non-stop all day yesterday. Today dawned sunny and bright, which was so nice, it made everything look pretty. However, the wind has picked up now, and is doing a pretty good job of blowing everything around. They're calling for more snow in this area tonight, but I don't think it's going to be much. It looks as though the bulk of the snow is over now. Whew!!

I did get a good portion of knitting done yesterday. I sat next to the fireplace and knit with my little Emmie (the yorkie) on my knee. She was enjoying the heat, just not the parts where I would drop my needle on her! I will hopefully be able to share my progress with you all soon, as well as my surprise! ;-) Oh how I love surprises! How about you??

On another note, if you haven't already, you need to pop on over to Susan B. Anderson's blog and check out her giveaway (there's still time to enter, but be quick as it ends tomorrow!) as well as the pictures of her wearing her Snooty Snood by Gina Hills, she's written a great post about it. I just love to see knitters so enthusiastic about a project they've made! To me, that's what knitting is all about! She's seriously convinced me to consider purchasing this pattern and yarn to make one too. It looks like a great project and I'm sure it would come in super handy with all this snow we've gotten! You can purchase both the pattern and the yarn together here from Loops, or download it here from Ravelry. This would also make a great gift for a special someone on your Christmas list, that is, if you can part with it!

Well, I should be getting back to my task at hand, which is making maple caramel popcorn which needs to be done very soon! Have a great day everyone, and keep warm!!

P.S. Check out Susan's fingerless gloves, I can't wait till the pattern for them comes out, they are adorable!!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It SNOW!!!


This is what I woke up to outside this morning. We are supposed to be getting hit by quite the winter storm over the next 24 hours from what I've heard. It's been snowing all day long, and so far we've gotten a good amount, although I'm pretty sure we're in for a lot more! I'm actually enjoying it, and hoping that we do get more because it looks so pretty! However, I'm sure that if we still have to go into the city tomorrow, I'll be singing a different tune! We're preparing for the worst just incase, so we stocked up on supplies yesterday while in the city, and today we're having our gas fireplace hooked up so if the power goes out (which it does frequently and since we live on a back road, it can take a long while for them to get it back on) we'll still be able to keep warm. I'm sure I'll have an update for you tomorrow!



On to some knitting news...I've got a little knitting peek to show you today. This the first of two thrummed mittens I'm making for my sister's boyfriend's Christmas gift. They're turning out pretty good so far, and they're really not as hard as they look, just a bit more time consuming because of adding the bits of roving, but other than that, they are just like any other mitten pattern. I'll have to get back to you about what the yarn and pattern are since I don't have either here with me right now. I'm hoping that all this snow makes me much more productive with my knitting. I'm really lacking in the multitasking department right now...I'm going to have to pray for some super-human knitting speed! I need to be cranking out projects left and right!! Time's-a-wasting!!

My last picture for you is of one of my Christmas trees I've finally got up and decorated. I thought it made a pretty backdrop for the new Christmas header for the blog. The project on the tree in the blog header is a surprise that I'm hoping to be able to tell you a little more about in the coming days...depending on my knitting speed.
Have a great evening everyone and take extra care! Especially those of you who are weathering this huge winter storm too!
P.S. I do have something to confess...I know I told you all that I was going to take part in Susan B. Anderson's knitalong for the Christmas elf on the Spud Says! blog, but I'm just too busy with Christmas preparations and gift knitting to take part this time. I'm very sorry that I've missed out on all the fun, but I'm looking forward to the next one, when things are a bit slower. I hope that everyone else got a chance to take part, and I'd love to see any pictures of your finished elves! You can leave a link to your blog or ravelry page in the comments and I'll be sure to check them out!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Christmas Elf

Good Morning!

I'm trying to get an early start on the Christmas crafting today. I usually don't start till around noon, but today I'm going to get right to work.

Last night I did try some knitting, and it went quite well. The thumb doesn't seem to slow me down at all, thankfully! I began working on a pair of thrummed mittens for my sister's boyfriend. I only got a bit of the cuff done, but I'll try and post some pictures once they start looking like something. I also finished all the knitting for Chaeli's hippo, now all I have to do is finish stuffing him and sew him up. I can't wait to see how he looks! I'm really happy with how everything is progressing. Now I just have to find some time to do some Christmas decorating!

Just in case you didn't already know, Susan B. Anderson has another knit-a-long on the Spud Says! blog. This time since it's for the month of December, it's an elf. Now I must say that we don't really celebrate Santa Clause at our house because we're Christians and believe in Christmas being the day of Jesus' birth. We view the whole Santa and elves thing like a fairytale. However, I still think it will be fun to try making this little guy. I didn't get to start him yet, but I think I will try to this afternoon when I can find a break between projects. If you'd like to join, you can find the first post here.

Well, I should be off to work on my gifts. I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is It December Already?

Hello Knitters,

Well it's December 1st today, who can believe it? I'm finally beginning to get into the Christmas spirit, which is great. I've really been praying that I would get in the Christmas mood, and last night I think the Lord answered my prayers, because we got an unexpected dumping of snow! It must have snowed 3-4 inches in about 1-1 1/2 hours! It looks very Christmasy and pretty out there now. While out on our walk today, Mom and I saw one of our neighbours had built a snowman on their front lawn, and I'm not talking about a little thing, he was full-sized! I was so wishing I had my camera! The whole walk was just beauitful! Like a winter wonderland. The lake looked amazing because it was so calm and reflected the trees in it. I'm going to try to take my camera with me from now on because we always seem to see lots of beautiful things.

I started making gifts today. I cut my thumb pretty good on Sunday so I haven't been knitting at all. That's why today's gift project I'm working on is a snowman tea cozy for my Mom. I've got most of the fabric pieces cut out, and now I'm going to begin sewing right after the post. It's going quite well so far and I can't wait to see it when it's finished.

Tonight I think Mom and I are going to watch some Christmas movies, so I'm going to give some knitting a try and see how it goes. I'm thinking I can hold the needle across my palm so that I don't have to use my thumb, but I haven't tried that yet, so I'm not sure how well it will work.

So I have an apology to make. I was very pressed for time on Saturday and was still finishing up the leg warmers in the morning. Everything around home was quite hectic, and I didn't get to take a final picture before we left for the baby shower. They turned out super cute though. I'm sure they're something I will be making again for the next baby shower gift I need, so I'll definately take a picture then!

Well, have a great day everyone!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Another "Little Blessing"

Hello Knitters,
Well, here's my news I was talking about the other day; one of my cousins is having a baby in December and they are having a baby shower for her next weekend. I was just informed this last week and have been working on some projects since. The first thing I made was the Sheep Comfort Blankie from Natural Knits for Babies and Toddlers by Tina Barrett. I knit it in Patons Astra, however, I find it a bit stiff and not as soft as I would like, so I think I'm going to try washing it and see if that softens it at all. I sure hope so anyway. The second thing I'm working on is a pair of baby leggings, you can find the pattern here. I have one almost done, and so far I think they're going to be quite cute. I was listening to the KnitPicks' podcast #96: Knitting for Little Ones. And the ladies on there who had babies were recommending knitting baby leggings because they are easy to put on the baby, and not have to take off like you do with pants when changing their diaper. It sounded like a good idea, so I thought I'd give it a try. The yarn I'm using is Patons Kroy Socks in Paint Box. My Mom picked out this one because she loves the colour of it, and I do too. They're 80% sure it's a boy so I think this is a perfect, fun colour.

I've also got a picture to share with you of a little knitted cutie!



How adorable eh? This is the Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, Too from Susan B. Anderson's latest book Itty-Bitty Toys. I mentioned before that I was making it for one of the little girls on my Christmas List. Her name is Emma, and she has a huge imagination, which I just LOVE! I had a big imagination too when I was a little girl, in fact, I think I still do. Anyways, the last time I seen her, she was telling me about this little (imaginary) bird that she had in her hands. It was the cutest thing ever. So I thought that I would make her a little bird of her very own. I think she'll enjoy the fact that this little guy can hatch from an egg right in her hands. It was so much fun to make and I especially enjoyed the part where I got to sew it together and try it out for the first time. I think he has his own little personality, and I love that! It's so much fun to make a "little friend" with your own hands.

Well, I should be going, I've gotta get working again on the baby leg warmers. I hope everyone is enjoying this lovely weekend!

Take care!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Busy in the Knitting Department

Hello Knitters,

Wow, things in the knitting department here have been on over-drive lately! I've been starting projects left and right, most are Christmas gifts, with one or two thrown in there that are for my own winter wear. I'm making progress on them all, so I feel good about that, but I finally am starting to feel a bit of pressure from the time crunch. The great thing is, I'm enjoying every project right now. I mean, I look forward to working on them and feel as though I can't get enough of them! I'm loving it! There's nothing better than to be fully enjoying the work of your hands.

I don't have any of the projects to a point where they can be photographed yet, so today's post will be pictureless. I'm also working on downloading some updates for my ipod so I can't upload pictures at the same time. We have dial-up still out here in the boonies! lol

Tomorrow my Mom and I are running into the city for the day. I have two doctor's appointments, and we have plenty of other errands to do at the same time. I'm hoping to get a chance to pop over to Gloria's yarn shop to look for some yarn for a scarf for my sister. She was giving me some specifics of what she'd like when we were out on a walk the other day, and I want to see if I can find something that will come close. I love picking out new yarns for projects. It's so much fun to watch the whole thing progress from ball of yarn to finished object.

Well, that's all I've got for today. I'm hoping that either tomorrow or Friday I will be able to give you all a peek at what I'm working on and give you some more updates and some good news! ;-) I'm keeping it a secret for now until I can show you a picture.

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Knitting a Kiss!

Hello Knitters,

As I said, I would be back today to tell you about the lovely little package that arrived in my mailbox yesterday. When I was done blogging, I went downstairs to find my Mother had brought in the mail, and the package for me. I had ordered the book last week, and it finally got here. I could hardly contain my excitement! It was Nicky Epstein's Knitting a Kiss in Every Stitch. This book is amazing! Such a perfect thing for right now when you're trying to find ideas for Christmas gifts. In it there are more than 35 unique knitted gifts for everyone on your list. I'm in love! I've already decided on some of the projects for people on my list. I want to make the Pampering Spa Cloths, Slouchy Bow Hat, the All Heart Wrap and the Cable Delight Hat. Plus, there are tons more that I'd love to make, and I'm sure people would love to receive. If you're in need of a good gift project book, this is it! I can't wait to get started on some of these projects.

Well, I should be off to bed now. Have a great night everyone, and a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Little Bit of an Update

Good Afternoon Knitters,
I've got the turkey pictures to show you today!! Isn't he cute?? He's Tom the Turkey, and even though here in Canada we've already had our Thanksgiving, he's still spreading the holiday cheer around our house! Again, I can't say enough about how fun, easy, and quick he was to make. I hope that Susan B. Anderson does another knitalong sometime in the near future, I'll be for sure joining!
On to other things, yesterday I had my H1N1 vaccine, since my doctor thought I should get it since I have asthma. It was a quick shot, but my goodness, does my arm ever hurt! They say the muscle ache should last for about 5 days, but I hope it's gone sooner. So far it hasn't affected my knitting too much, but if it gets any worse, it just might.
A couple of nights ago, my Mom was checking out some stuff on the TV, and she came to the ABC Family channel. Well it seems as though they are having a countdown to Christmas movie marathon every night for the month of November leading up to their 25 Day's of Christmas movie marathon starting December 1. I know it's a little early, but we've been enjoying the movies so far! There's nothing quite like watching a good Christmas movie while knitting Christmas gifts to get you in the spirit!
Now, on to the best part. The other day I got Susan B. Anderson's Itty-Bitty Toys in the mail, and have been glued to it since! If you haven't already, I highly recommend that you purchase it or check it out at the library. It's an amazing book, and it's filled with TONS of great knitting toys. I want to make almost every single thing in it, right now! I've already started two projects for Christmas gifts. I have two adorable 3-year-olds on my list and so I thought what would be better than a project from the book?? Emma is getting the Egg to Bluebird and a Little Nest, too which is one of the reversible toys, and Chaeli is getting the purple Hippo. I am having so much fun making these, and I can't wait to share them with you once they are finished!
Well, I should be going....downstairs on the table there is a package from the mailbox waiting for me to open it, and I can't wait to do so, and I'll share it's contents with you tomorrow! Till then,
Have a great day!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh Dear!

Hello Everyone,

I'm having difficulty again with uploading my pictures, so today's post will be photo free. I'm so sorry! I wanted to share with you all my completed turkey from the Tiny November Knitalong. He's all finished and looks adorable. It was such a fun little project, what I great idea Susan B Anderson had! She's such a creative woman.

I didn't have a chance to knit at all this weekend because I was sick. I guess you know you're not well when even the idea of laying in bed all day knitting doesn't appeal to you! I'm beginning to feel better and hope to be back to working on projects very soon.

Today I spend the majority of the day cleaning out my clothes closet, window bench and dresser drawers. I made the switch from summer to winter clothing, and even donated a bunch of things I know I'm not going to wear again, but someone else might like to. I feel much better having gotten that all done, and tomorrow I'm hoping to get the rest of my room cleaned out and tidied up. I guess you could say it's fall cleaning time in our house right now!

Today I was told that there are something like 47 sleeps left till Christmas?? Can this really be right?? I just counted, and I think it's more like 46...oh dear!! Since I've not been very well for the majority of October and now into November, I haven't even gotten a big start on my Christmas gift list yet! This is not the best feeling I can tell you! I'm thinking I'm going to to have to scale back a whole lot this year, and I hope that people will understand. With the way my health has been, I know it's not wise to over-schedule myself right now. I guess I'm just going to have to do my best, and that's about all that I can do. This Christmas season is going to be an interesting one to say the least!

Well, I think it's time I go and lay down for a bit, maybe look over some ideas for quick gifts. I hope that you are all getting a great start to the week and staying well!!

Take care!

Friday, November 6, 2009

New Charity Knitting Project

Good Morning Knitters,

I thought today that I would reveal what the new charity knitting project is! I wanted to find something that would allow me to use up some of my great big stash of baby yarns, so I decided on the Preemie Jester Hats from Knitting for Peace. The one I'm knitting right now is done out of Bernat Baby Jacquards in Strawberry Jam. I love the Jacquards, they are so much fun to watch as you knit because the colours and patterns are constantly changing, I love it! By the way, the colours in the picture don't look quite right, I'll try to get a more accurate picture in the near future!


I had to go back to the city yesterday for two appointments, so I didn't get my part of the turkey from the Tiny November Knitalong done. (Or much else for that matter) So that is what I'm going to work on while I have a cup of coffee. After that, I think I have a lot of catching up to do since things have been slipping by the wayside around here lately.

I hope you are all having a wonderful Friday!!

Take care!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Hat of My Very Own

Hello there,

Sorry I didn't write yesterday like I had planned, but we went to the city to pick up some things, and by the time we got home, I was feeling more like lounging, than writing, so that's what I did. I'm back today though, and I have a secret project to show you. It's one that I was working on and never even said a word about on the blog because I didn't know how it was going to turn out. Well it turned out great, and I really like it! Yay!!


The other day when I was out walking with my Mom, I needed a hat because it was a tad on the chilly side. Well, I came to realize that I do not have my own knitted hat! I know it's sad, but I seem to knit for everyone else but myself? Does anyone else have that problem? So after borrowing a hat from my sister for that walk, I came back home with the resolve to sit right down that evening and knit up one for me. I wanted to have one that was warm and a bit on the slouchy side, so this was the pattern that I found on Ravelry that I really liked. The yarn I used was some Patons Rustic Wool that I've had for well over 8 years! I'm glad that I finally got a chance to use some of it up. It was a great little bit of stash busting! It knit up quickly, and now I can wear my very own hat when out walking. This makes me very happy, because I really appreciate the effort that I put into it. Which is something you can't always say about others whom we knit for, right? The only thing is, now I've noticed that I don't have a good pair of mittens to wear that will keep me warm on our chilly afternoon walks. Hmmm....I guess that will be something I'll have to correct in the near future.



I see that the fifth day of the Tiny November Knitalong has been posted, so I'm heading on over to the Spud Says blog to get working on the wings and the waddle!!

Have a grand day all!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Finally Some Photos!

Good Monday Everyone,


I finally was able to get my pictures to upload! Now I can update you all on the progress of my projects. Like I said the other day, I finished the Fetching fingerless gloves, and I really like how they turned out. They're super soft and warm. Great for this time of year when you don't need full mittens yet.
Here's a picture of the finished red charity mittens. I still do have to block them, but that's all. They were a fun and quick knit, and I can't wait to get them to some deserving child. Every kid should own a pair of red mittens in their life! Nothing says cheer and fun like the colour red when you're a kid.
And last, but not least is a picture of the leaves when they were in full colour. My camera couldn't capture the brilliance of them, and it was an overcast day, but in the sunshine, they just glimmered. A sure sign of the handiwork of God if you ask me!
Well that's all for today, I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about my new charity project, and an update on the Tiny November Knitalong!!
Take care!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Joining the Knitalong!!

Hello Everyone!

I hope you all are getting a great start to your weekends! I just came to post a quickie, since I don't have a lot of time today to write, but I wanted to share with you the "Mystery" Tiny November Knitalong Susan B. Anderson is holding over on the Spud & Chloe blog. It looks like a lot of fun! I don't have any Spud & Chloe yarn, it's not available in these parts, so I'm going to use some worsted-weight cotton I've got in the stash...see, I'm doing my best to stick to the yarn diet!!! If you can, I hope you pop on over to the blog and join in! It's a great project for right now, since it's small and requires only a little bit of knitting time so I'm sure you could sneak it in somewhere.

Well, have a great, and safe weekend everyone!!! I'll be back Monday with my progress on the "mystery" project!! Till then,

Take care!

P.S. This will be my first ever knitalong, so I'm super excited, if you couldn't already tell!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Finished Projects - Without Pictures

Hello All,

How was everyone's weekend?? The weather here is getting much cooler, and it's been rainy and windy these past few days, not the most uplifting. However, the sun has been trying to peek through today, so hopefully it will clear up and we'll have some sunshine soon. Our leaves are almost all gone except for a few that are hanging on. I did get out to take some pictures the other day, and I will share them with you soon. I've been trying since yesterday to upload pictures on the blog so I could show you the finished Fetching gloves, the red charity mittens which are done, and the leaves, but for some reason they won't upload. I'll keep trying and will hopefully be able to share them with you all soon.

Like I said, I finished the charity mittens on Sunday like planned. I just have to block them and find them a new home with some precious child! Now that they are done, I'm on the lookout for a new project for my charity knitting Sundays. I'm thinking maybe socks for Children in Common? Or maybe a hat to go with the mittens? I'm still not sure, but I'm going to take some time out this week to look through Knitting for Peace for some ideas.

I am now working on a surprise project (well a surprise for my family anyway) for Christmas gifts. Last week when I was listening to the Knit Picks' podcast (the one about impractical knits), Marcie was talking about how she loves knitting patterns from the mochimochi land site. She mentioned that she had knitted Grass, and as soon as I heard that I knew I had to too! The patterns from the website are adorable, and there are some that are free while the others are not very expensive, most around $5. Grass is one of the free patterns, and so far I'm finding it to be a fun, easy, and quick knit. I'm making two right now. I've got one completely knit and the other I'm working on the reverse side, so I should be able to start felting them tomorrow. I can't wait to see them come together! I'll try to get some pictures for you soon, once I figure out this uploading problem.

Well that's about all I've got for today, I hope you all are having a great start to the week!!

Take care!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Well Aren't You Fetching!

Hello,

How is everyone's week going?  Mine has been improving.  I have some knitting I've been working on to show you!  I have been wanting to make the Fetching fingerless gloves for the longest time, but I never had the time or the yarn to knit them.  Well, the other day I found some really gorgeous Patons Angora Bamboo in the stash and thought it would work perfectly.  It's so soft, and warm, and I LOVE the colour, which is called Low Tide.  It's such a nice colour to wear when everything else in nature is going brown, I think. 



This is a great pattern which works up quick yet is not mindless knitting, there's some thinking involved, which is just what I wanted - nothing too hard, but yet still challenging to my mind on occasion.  This is a picture of the first one right after I finished the body, but before I knitted the thumb hole.  By the way, sorry about the poor image quality, I shot this in the evening at my desk with my other hand.



I'm on to the second one now, and will show you the completed pair tomorrow.  I'm working on getting them done so that I can wear them to the city in the morning. 

On another note, I've been doing some Christmas gift discussing with my Mom this morning and since I'm currently unemployed, it sounds like there will be a lot of cutting corners this year when it comes to my gift giving.  It's looking like I'm going to be knitting and sewing from my stashes, which is good, yet a bit of a challenge.  However, I'm welcoming it, and can hardly wait to see what I can come up with!!  I have a feeling there will be a lot of yarn substitutions in order, but it's going to be fun!!  So far I've done really well with sticking to my yarn diet, and I've begun to do the same with my fabics.  I will admit that sometimes I struggle, especially when I'm walking past the yarn isle in Walmart, and I won't even allow myself to go to the yarn store...that would be to painful.  However, I'm working my willpower, and have been looking more into the stash where I've been finding lots of things that I forgot I even had, which is making me fall in love all over again.  To tell you the truth, it's a good feeling!  I'd recommend it to anyone who is on a budget this year.  Sometimes I find myself surprised at how much I do own, and I'm sure you'd find the same.  Christmas is a time of year to think about giving, and not getting, and I think this is helping me with that.

Well, I'm off to make a latte, and sit down with my knitting.  Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Couple of Quick Gift Ideas

Good Morning,

Today I wanted to share a couple of things I found the other day that I thought were great ideas for quick and easy Christmas gifts.  They are from the blog Spud Says!  The first one is the Outsider Mittens, which is a free pattern, made from Spud and Chloe Outer.  They look fantastic!  They're a quick knit, done on US 13 needles, so you could make a lot of them in a short amount of time.  My favourite is the one with the bobble cuffs!

Susan B Anderson also showed a picture of two finger puppets that are made from Spud and Chloe Fine back on Friday on the blog as well, that are just too cute!  They are from the new Interweave Knits Holiday Gift Issue '09, which comes out this Friday.  I'm so excited about this pattern.  It is completely adorable, and the perfect thing to make for any little girl.  I have two little girls on my list who I know would love these!  I can hardly wait till I can get my hands on a copy of the magazine.

These are perfect for me since I'm in need of some quick-to-knit projects for those on my Christmas gift list.  I hope that they'll be useful for you as well!  Everyone needs a few quick projects either because we're strapped for time, or have someone unexpected sneak onto our gift list.  Both of these fit the bill, especially the mittens, since they can be for anyone from a child to an adult, and can be gender-neutral. 

I've got to get to work on finalizing my Christmas gift list today.  I keep putting it off because I can't seem to find just the right things for everyone, but I need to get cracking at it, so that I can start the projects soon! 

Have a great day!! 

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Started

Good Afternoon Everyone!!

How was your weekend?  Mine was quite nice, got to spend a good amount of time with my family, so that was great!  I even got some time to work on some knitting...yay me!  I've been struggling lately to find time to do any knitting, so I was really excited when I got a chance this weekend. 

I worked on the red charity mittens!!  Ok, I have to be honest, I got confused on the weekend about what day it was, and ended up doing my charity knitting on Saturday instead of Sunday.  But hey, at least I worked on them!!  I finished the top of the second mitten and started on one of the thumbs.  Since these are such a small size, the thumbs really shouldn't take much time at all.  I think I'll have them done for sure next weekend.  Then I'll need to find something new to work on for my next charity project.  I LOVE planning new projects.



Since Fall is here for sure, I've decided to start working on my Christmas gifts.  I've been getting pressure from my family to not make as many time-consuming gifts as last year (I'm guessing they didn't enjoy how stressed out I was?) so I'm working on coming up with new, easier projects.  I want to do some cute knitted ornaments, so I started a few on the weekend. 



The Santa Hat is from the Holiday 2009 Knit Simple magazine, and the Stocking is the Mini Holiday Stockings by Carissa Browning, which you can get on Ravelry - here, or from her blog - here.  These are both super cute, and super quick - just what I need!

Well, I hope everyone is getting a great start to the week!  I'm off to work on some projects!

Talk to you soon!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Little Life Help

Hello Knitters!!

Sorry I haven't posted for a bit!  This past weekend was our Thanksgiving here in Canada, so I'm all thrown off about what day it even is!!  I didn't get any time to work on anything this weekend, what with celebrating with the family and all.  This week is filled with appointments, and trips to the city for supplies, so I'm not really sure if I'll get a chance to do any knitting for a while.  I'm really hoping that I can sneak some in here and there though! 

I picked up the new Vogue Knitting Holiday magazine today, and I can hardly wait to sit down tonight with it.  There's nothing quite like relaxing with a new knitting book or magazine now is there?  I look forward to it so much!  It's one thing I love to do when I have some down time. 

The other day I stumbled upon a blog I want to share with you all.  It's called Mothercraft - coaching for the modern mom.  It's done by a lady named Carly.  She has a whole website, and business devoted to "empowering moms to find careers they love, get more done & simplify their lives."  Now I'm not a mother yet (not even married, to be more specific), but I found tons of helpful tips on simplifying my life and to help me to take the time to care for myself so that I can care for others.  I think that is one of the best things we can do, because we really cannot help others when we are run down, wore out, and just plain pooped!  Carly has lots of great advice and she even has some videos where she tells you in her own words how to put these things into action.  I'm sure if you are a mother, you will find even more of her tips and tricks to be extremely helpful.  I hope you all pop on over and check it out! 

Well, that's all for tonight, I've got to be getting myself to bed soon, I have an appointment in the morning, so I need to be up extra early.  I hope you are all having a great week!!

Take care!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

A Fall Makeover

Good Afternoon,

I've done some changes to the blog this morning, how do you all like it?  I've been wanting a change for the season, but I could never find just the right thing...till now.  My Mother was the photographer on this one.  She takes such amazing pictures!!  I told her about my plight, and next thing I knew, she had this all set up on the table and was shooting away.  I'm so blessed to have her in my life, she always knows what would be just the right thing. 

Fall has been coming for quite a while in our area, but she's not in her full glory yet.  The trees are turning, but a lot are still green.  One thing we do every Fall when the leaves are at their peak is drive around and take pictures of them.  I'm hoping to share some of those images with you in the coming weeks.  There is something so completely breath-taking about seeing a forest full of turning trees.  It's like one night while we are sleeping the Lord comes and paints the trees, and when we awake, all we see is a splendor of colour.  It has to be my faviourite thing about Fall.

Another thing I love about this time of year is how it makes me want to knit even more than usual.  I start dreaming up lushes sweaters, wooly scarves, fuzzy mittens....the list goes on and on.  I get so excited about all the new yarns, and the gorgeous Autumn colours.  I love thinking of new things to knit to keep those I love warm and toasty as the air gets chilly.  It stirs something up inside me that makes me so glad I'm a knitter.  I love having the ability to bless those around me with something that I have created with my own hands.  It brings me such a deep joy. 

I hope that you all feel this way as well, and why don't we try to share the joy with others and teach someone how to knit.  I'm sure that you have someone in your life who would love to learn.  It may be your sister/roommate who needs a way to relax after work/school, or a neighbour that needs a way to make gifts for her family this year since funds are a bit low, or even a child in your life who seems fascinated by the idea of using string and sticks to make something wearable...we should be teaching children how to do this so that they can carry on the craft.  It's sad to see so many young kids who don't know how to do handiwork.  Knitting can teach you so much (patience, determination, giving, etc), and I think the younger generation would benefit from it.  And there is nothing like seeing the look on a new knitter's face when they have finished a project...it truly does good for the soul. 

Have a happy day all!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Beary Fun Knitting

Good Morning!

I have a confession to make; I have an obsession with teddy bears (well with all stuffies to be honest).  When I was a child, my room was full of them, I had one particularly special bear named Teddy HoJohn.  My cousin HoJohn gave him to me for Christmas one year, I think I was between the ages of 2 and 4, so I named him after him.  He was one of my best friends and we went everywhere together.  And I mean, literally everywhere.  One Sunday my Dad was taking me to church on the ski-doo, and told me that I could not bring any toys with me because I might drop them along the way, but I was bound and determined to take Teddy HoJohn with me, so I got my Mom to put him in the front of my snowsuit as she zipped it up.  When we got to church and Dad unzipped my snowsuit Teddy HoJohn popped out.  I thought he would be mad but he didn't say a word.  Looking back on it now I think he was so surprised at my good plan that he was trying not to laugh!  Another time he got left in a booth at a restaurant about an hour from here and since my Mom wasn't going to drive all that way to pick him up, my Dad got one of the men on his work crew to pick Teddy HoJohn up on his way through.  So needless to say, we have been best buds and he meant (and still does) the world to me.  He still sits on my window bench in my room. 

Now the reason I'm telling you this is because the other day I got a new knitting book.  It's The Best-Dressed Knitted Bear by Emma King.  When I seen this book, the little girl inside me just jumped for joy, I had to buy it.  Emma King has done a fantastic job of creating some of the most adorable, and yes, best-dressed bears I have seen.  They are the perfect thing to make for a little-one (or big-one) in your life.  I can't think of a child who wouldn't be thrilled to receive such an adorable friend!  There are numerous outfits you can make as well to dress your bear for any occasion.  They look like the perfect small knitting project for those times when big knitting is not an option, like while traveling, or when you are pressed for time and need a quick gift.  There is six different bears, ranging in size and complexity, and a total of 18 different outfits.  There are hula bears, pirate bears, safari bears, and even a golfer bear.  It's such a great idea; what a terrific book!  I hope to get some time in the near future to make one...with that being said, I should be getting back to work!!  Have a great day all!

Happy Knitting

Monday, October 5, 2009

Look at the SOCK!!

Hello Knitters,

I'm back from vacation, and just trying to ease myself in to the swing of things again.  We had a great time, with lots of fun!  It was so nice to be able to spend some quality time with my sister.   

Good news!!  All that sitting in the car made me focus on the socks, and I got a good portion of the first one done.  I think I need to pick up another ball though because they are a bit longer than the pattern.  Apparently my sister's boyfriend likes his socks to be on the long side.  I took a few pictures of it along the way.  Here I am trying it on to check the length:


 
I turned the heel on the way home, and am now knitting the foot part.  With the new added length, I have a feeling these will take a little longer than I anticipated.  But I'm going to try my best to keep working on them, so this means the thrummed mittens are going to have to wait a bit longer. 

Yesterday was quite busy so I never got a chance to work on my charity mittens.  I'm so sorry that I have nothing to update you with.  I'm hoping to get more time this Sunday.  We had another trip planned for this coming weekend to go to a women's Christian retreat, but due to other circumstances, we had to cancel.  So I should have some extra, unplanned time.  This week is also a little less hectic (at least so far), so I'm hoping to get more posting done, and do a little work on the blog in general.  Things seem to pop up out of the woodwork when I have something blog related planned!!  So we'll see how it goes.

Well, that's all for now folks, I've got to be off to finish up the rest of my to-do list for today! 

Happy Monday!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Yarn Diet

Morning All,

I have some sad news....some very sad news indeed!  I've come to the decision that I need to go on a yarn diet (see previous post with all that new yarn).  I know, I know..just at the time when all the fun fall yarns are on the shelves.  But alas, I'm going to have to be strong!  I even came up with the plan myself....harsh, yes, but when I found myself contimplating stuffing my shoes and handbags with yarn the other day, I knew I might have a slight problem.   I took stock though, and I think that if I use only stash yarn to make my gifts this year, I should get things down to a more managable amount.  Have any of you gone on a yarn diet before, got any tips for me?  I could really use some advice!  I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Take care,

I'm off to wallow in my yarn...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

A New Plan

Hello,


The other day while I was visiting my LYS the owner showed me a pair of thrummed mittens one of her customers had made. Now I had only read about them and seen pictures online, so to put my hand inside and feel how soft and warm they were was quite a thrill! I instantly wanted to make them, but I didn’t know how or think I had the skill to take on such a task.  I put the idea out of my head, and
purchased my other stuff and promply left.  However, the mitten kept popping in my mind over the weekend, so I went to the ravelry site to see if there was a pattern I could look at to convince myself that I could not make these.  I found one....but it turned out not to look to bad.  I like a little learning curve in my knitting, and this looks like it is just the thing.

Back in 2004, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (aka the Yarn Harlot) had a thrum-along on her blog.  I read through it, and figured that I could do this...I'm brave (or at least pretend to be on occasions).  All I had to do now was find some roving, but where would I get that?  I called around, but no one seemed to carry it which dissapointed me terribly!  We live in the north, it gets COLD here!!!  How could no one carry this??  Thrummed mittens should be a staple in every man, woman and child's wardrobe.  Well on Sunday night when I went out for coffee with the owner of my LYS, I happened to mention that I wanted to give these a try but was having a hard time locating the necessary supples.  Well low and behold, she said that she carried everything I would need!  I 'bout jumped out of my chair I was so excited.  So first thing Monday morning (after I had my coffee of course, I can't be expected to pick out nice colours when I can't even see now can I?) I ran out to her shop and bought all this:



Went a little overboard??  I know, but I came up with the perfectly brilliant plan that every person on my Christmas List needs a pair! (see previous comment about staple wardrobe piece)  What could be better than something pretty and practical??  I'm hoping to get started on a pair right soon...as soon as I finish these socks...yes I said socks....my sister's boyfriend is actually going to get his birthday socks soon...or at least I hope....it's amazing what loud voices that roving has! 

 Hope you all are having a happy knitting day!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Charity Knitting

Hello All,

My sister and I are taking a little trip this week while she is on vacation, so I wanted to let you know that the posts over the next little bit might be a little short and far between.  I'm looking forward to spending some quality girl time with her.  We haven't had a chance to see each other much lately, so we've got lots of catching up to do!    

Now on to today's post.  I have been wanting to do some charity knitting for quite a while now, but I always have trouble finding the time.  So I came up with the idea of setting aside my Sunday knitting time just for that purpose.  I thought that since Sundays are the Lord's day, I should use that time for doing something that will honour Him.  He teaches us that we should take care of those who are less fortunate than us, so this is my way of doing that.   



My first project is a pair of red mittens for a child.  I started them yesterday, and I got one done except for the thumb and started on the cuff of the second.  The yarn is Patons Classic Wool Merino in Bright Red and the pattern I used is the Basic Mitten from Betty Christiansen's book Knitting for Peace: Make the World a Better Place One Stitch at a Time.  I love this book because it has some great patterns as well as stories and information on different charities and how you can contribute to them. 

I thought I'd make Mondays my show-and-tell day to update you on the progress of whatever charity project I'm working on.  If you'd like, you can even join me in dedicating Sundays for your charity knitting and leave a comment, or a link to your blog if you have a picture there, to update me how your projects are coming along.  I think we could all set aside a little time once a week, or even once a month to knit for those who really need something warm and comforting.  Nothing does the heart good like knowing you brought a smile to someone else's face.   

Well I hope you all had a lovely weekend and are getting a good start on this week.  I'm off to make my packing list and tie up a few loose ends before we leave. 

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Baby Set

Hello Everyone,

I'm finally starting to feel better, and thought I'd show you something that I've been up to. 
I finished the white seamless yoked baby sweater!!  I completed it at the beginning of the week.  It started out as just a sweater for my sister's co-worker, but then I thought it looked a little lonely.  So I decided to make a matching hat, booties and mittens.  Since this little one is coming in November, I wanted him/her to be warm!



I'm quite happy with how it all turned out, and the mom-to-be loved it, which is the most important thing! 

Well I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend, I'm off to finish up a scarecrow I've been working on.  Pictures to come soon!!  :-)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Need Some Rest

Hello All,

So sorry I haven't been around!  I've been sick, so I'm taking a few days off to recover.  I just wanted to let you all know so that you don't think I just fell off the face of the earth!  I do have a nice FO to show you when I'm back.  I hope everyone is having a lovely week, and I will be back soon...hopefully! 

Take care

Friday, September 18, 2009

Is It That Time of Year Already??

Hello All,

This is going to be a short post since I'm swamped right now trying to get things done, but I wanted to let you all know that I'm still here.  :-)  I think the days seem to be getting shorter and shorter because I keep running out of time! 

I've noticed that Fall is here, I've accepted it.  The temperature has dropped and that "crispness" is in the air.  The leaves are starting to change and a few have already begun to fall.  I've been trying to ignore it and hang on to the last threads of Summer, but there's no denying it, it's here.  No one else in my house has accepted this; they are all waiting for the "official" first day of Autumn on the 22nd.  They won't even let me hang up the new wreath I bought for the back door!  I must admit, I love Fall decorating, the colours are just too much fun.

This time of year signals to me that it is "time to begin Christmas Gift making".  And I will be honest with you, this year, that phrase is making my go weak in the knees.  I have no idea what to make for everyone!  Not a clue!  I want to make gifts that are adorable, practical and economical all at the same time.  I was hoping to do a lot of stash busting, but alas, I have no idea where to start. So far I have 20 people on my list ranging from the very young to the very old.  They are all quite diverse as well, so it's hard to find the right gifts for each one.  I love the idea of having gifts that are very personalized.  I want to make sure that the person will love and use the gift I'm giving them.  I have been going over ideas for the last two weeks, and still I have come up empty handed.  If anyone has any advice for me, I'd greatly appreciate it!  How do all these other women do it??  It's a mystery to me!

Well, I should be off and back to work, I hope you are all having a wonderful week, and thank goodness the weekend starts tomorrow!! 

Have fun!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A FO and Some Links


Hello All,

I have a finished object picture for you. It is the Smocked Sundress from Heather Ross' book Weekend Sewing. I had a lot of fun making this. It is an easy project, once you get the elastic thread onto the bobbin and loaded properly. I made it a tad smaller than the one in the book. I was thinking of it for a baby about 6-12 months. The sizes in the book were 12 months to size 4. It wasn't hard to make the adjustments since she includes guidelines for making it fit your intended wear. You can even make an adult version of this. Heather has a pattern for it on her website. I think that would be really great for just lounging around, or running to town in the Summer. I'll have to keep it in mind for next year. As I've said before, her book is a great one; I highly recommend it.

I have some links for you of things I've come across that I thought you might like to check out:

These are adorable!! I think anyone who makes handmade gifts has to have them. If you head on over to her blog she's having a give-away for a box of these right now.
I'd love to have these hanging on my tree this year.
I made this on the weekend, and it was a huge hit. I used 3 oz. semi-sweet choc. and 1 oz. bittersweet choc.
This is great. I seen ones like this on the runways at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in NY.
Perfect for your end-of-season jam making.

Well, I hope you are all having a great start to your week!! I'll be back soon with some more pictures.

Take care!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Fall Knitting Inspiration

Hello All,

So sorry I haven't been around this past week. I've been not feeling the best, and things have been a bit busy here. I'm hoping to get more time to blog from now on, but I can't make any guarantees. I'd really love to though.

Now I know I promised some project pictures but my sister took my camera to work to take some pictures of her new office for me to see. We are going to work on decorating it together! Yay!! But that means that the project pictures are going to have to wait till I get it back. Sorry about that!! I was really looking forward to showing you what I've been up to. But hopefully by the time I get it back, I'll have a few more projects done and I can show you those too.

Yesterday, while in the city, I picked up the new Fall/Winter Debbie Bliss magazine. I'm so inspired by it, I hardly have words. The patterns, the yarns, everything is amazing. The photographs are stunning, and truly inspiring. I can hardly wait to make something from it. I also picked up the Fall Vogue Knitting magazine. The sweaters in it are remarkable. I was just blown away by the beauty of them. The colours: amber, cranberry, moss, pumpkin and russet are sensational. I just love it. It makes me wish I was a more experienced knitter so I could make all these gorgeous sweaters.

It feels like Fall to me today. It's still quite warm out, but the leaves are starting to change and fall off. It makes me feel like knitting cozy things, making savory meals and warm desserts. I do love those things about Fall, but I think what I don't like is that it means Winter is coming next! That's something I'm totally not ready for.

Well I should be off to work on things...I need to get the ball rolling this morning. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Take care!

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Lowdown On the 'Vacation'

Hello All,



Well where should I begin?? I promised I would re-cap our little 'vacation,' so here it goes:


Tuesday we had to be out of the house by 8:30 am, because that was when the floor man was coming to start sanding. I had packed most of our stuff the night before since I'm so not a morning person. Mom drove me and the Emmie (the little dog) over to the old house we were staying at, then she went back to pick up Cassie (the lab), and Mittens (our rather large cat). While she was gone, I drug a lot of stuff upstairs and started to put things away. A little while later, Mom came back and said that she had a little accident with the kitty litter box, and somehow had spilled pee all down the front of her (and even into her shoe) when she was trying to get it out of the bathroom, so we needed to go to the store to get some new litter. We all got in the car, including the cat (he was in a carrier) and drove into town. Cassie went nuts, barking and whining, as soon as we got there. It was so bad that while in the bank, Mom said she could hear her inside! I was so embarrassed!! Finally we left and went back. By this time I was in desperate need of some coffee, so I put a pot on and we enjoyed some time sitting out in the front porch. After awhile, it started to get a bit more damp and cold out and the wind picked up. We heard a big bang from upstairs so we thought we should check on the cat (who was locked into the bathroom up there so he wouldn't run away). Mom went in there to check and came out all panicked because she couldn't find him, so I went in to look and found him squeezed underneath the tub, he was perfectly fine, thankfully. The noise was from one of the upstairs window's had blown open. On the way out of the bathroom, I tried to shut the door but it wouldn't latch (yes, it was so old that it didn't have a knob, but a latch thing, that was really quite complicated). Mom tried it, but when she got it latched the latch-lifter part fell inside the bathroom, so now we had locked the cat in there and couldn't get it open from the outside! We had to drive all the way home to get a knitting needle to lift the latch to get him out. Once we got back and had gotten the dogs to settle down, Mom happened to notice that her lap was wet, I guess Emmie had peed on her while sitting on her knee. So we had to drive all the way home again for her to change. While we were there, we noticed that the sander wasn't very loud and thought that the cat could come back for the time being since he was not enjoying himself being squeezed under the tub in fear. We went back and picked him up and took him home, where he really did seem much happier. We went back to the place and had some lunch, then about an hour later, Mom noticed that Emmie had peed on her a second time! She wanted to go back home to change again. But by this time the rain and wind had increased making it quite cold, even inside since it is a bit drafty in there, what with it being old and all. So we decided we would pack things up and head back home. We found out that morning that we could still sleep in our house until he started to put the finish on the floors which wouldn't be for about four days, and boy can I tell you, I have never been so happy to get back to my own home before!! Trying to get the dogs to settle down there was unbelievable, so it was such a relief to go home where they were use to being.


This is a picture of our kitchen all plastic-wrapped.


The next few days, we spent either upstairs in our rooms, or downstairs in the basement. We couldn't walk on the floors while he was sanding, but we could after he left in the evening, however, the dogs couldn't. It all worked out though because we had a way for them to get inside and outside without going near the floors. The only problem was, that in order to get from upstairs to the basement, you had to either go out the front door and around the house outside and come in the basement door, or climb over the banister, down onto the library table, then onto the desk, then jump by the dinning room table (all this stuff is in the entrance way) down onto the floor which from there you could go down the stairs. During these few days, I got to finish some projects (there will be pictures to come in the next few days). It was good for me to be stuck in my room all day, because it forced me to work. I might have to keep that in mind when I have my next deadline looming!


By Saturday afternoon, he was ready to put the first coat of finish on, so Mom and I took the dogs and went for a drive, which I must admit was quite the thing because Cassie would not settle in the car and just kept barking and whining. We couldn't go back to the old resort because there were other people staying there and we didn't think they would appreciate the dogs running around. After a few hours, we thought we should go back home and feed the dogs and check on the smell. We were hoping it didn't smell too much so that we could sleep in our rooms because we really had no other plan. Well, needless to say, it stunk so incredibly bad. The fumes were so thick, that when you walked into the entrance way, you could actually feel them. It definitely ruled out sleeping in our rooms. We took the cat (who had been shut in the upstairs bathroom with a towel in front of the door) because we didn't want him staying in the smell, and we went back out for another drive. We went and got some dinner, then sat out by the bridge to think of what we could do for sleeping arrangements. Sadly, the only thing that we could come up with was to sleep in our garage. It has a heater, and all the furniture was already in there, so it seemed like the only logical place to stay. I must admit that I never thought I would sleep in a garage, but it really wasn't all that bad. It was sort of like camping I guess, if I had ever been camping, which I haven't. We have a freezer in there, and used a cooler with ice as a fridge for our food, and both Mom and I had our own couches to sleep on, Cassie had a chair, Mittens had his free roam of the place, and Emmie slept on the couch with Mom. We had to spend two nights out there. It was definitely an experience. The only downfall, was that since the china cabinet inside the house was pushed up against the door that leads from the garage into the house, we had to use the garage side door and go across the deck to the side door on the house to get in. We had to do this even in the night (and I must say that those were two of the coldest nights of the whole summer) when we needed to use the bathroom...not too fun.

That is our food station, and our lighting....as you can see we even brought the tea kettle.

This is Cassie sleeping in her chair.

This is Mittens, doesn't he look relaxed??

All in all, it wasn't really a 'vacation' but it was ok. I wouldn't do it again, but it was better than it could have been I'm sure. Being able to stay in our house for most of the days was very nice, and the garage really wasn't all that bad.



This is Emmie, she is looking over the back of the couch at me. Isn't she cute??

Well, I will be back soon with some pictures of some projects, until then, please enjoy yourselves and have a wonderful Labour Day weekend!!

Take Care!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Back...But Still Busy!!

Hello All,

I am back from our "vacation" but things around here are still going to be a bit hectic for the next couple of days. I have lots to post about (wait till you hear how the week really went!), plus some pictures of some finished projects!! Yay!! I am planning on updating you all closer to the weekend, once things get more back to normal. I hope you all had a great weekend, and that everyone is getting themselves back in to the swing of things now that school has started. I hate to say it, but once school starts, I always feel like it's the beginning of Fall. :0) Have a great week all, and talk to you in a few days!!

Cheers!!

P.S. Here is a great site that has tips for getting yourself (and your family) organized. They also have a line of products with Franklin Covey that look quite handy. I ordered myself a few things this afternoon! There is nothing like starting off the Fall a little bit more organized! :o)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Old-Time Vacation

Hello All,

Well I had a nice relaxing weekend. How about you? I spent a lot of time with my family and I even got to try out my sister's kayaks with her yesterday. We had a ton of fun out on the water. It was nice to just be able to relax and enjoy a little bit of what is left of Summer. The weather has been better here lately, and I think it is going to warm up some again.

This week, my family and I (including the animals), well all except for my Dad who is planning on braving the smell, have to move out of our house because we are getting our floors re-finished. My sister is staying at her boyfriend's parents' house, so it's just Mom and I and the pets who are going. We are staying just up the road from our place at what use to be an old summer home, back in the day, for some very wealthy Americans. It's really quite beautiful. It's like going back in time when you step in there. I really love it, and am so excited that we get to spend the week there.

Since there is no TV or Internet connection there, I'm bringing along my knitting and my sewing machine. I'm hoping to have lots of time to work on projects.

Well that's all for now! I don't think I will have a chance to check in until next Monday, so have a great week all!!

I'm off for vacation!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Confessions of a Wedding Cake Baker - Day 4


Good Morning,
Well it's all over. I haven't heard from any of the wedding attendiees yet to know how it went over, but I did get you all tons of pictures!! I'll try to upload as many as I can. My server is quite slow today, so I'll see how many I can do.
I should start back where I left off yesterday. Now let me see, where was I?? Or right, I was going to do the stacking and piping. Well the stacking went much better than I was expecting. I was quite worried about how I would pop each tier on top without messing up all the icing, but it worked out great. My sister guided me and I just slowly snuck my fingers out from underneath it. Then it was on to the piping. I did a #12 dot bottom boarder around all cakes, then I did a #352 leaf boarder around the top. For that, I did two rows slightly spaced apart so they would overlap. To finish it all off, I piped #3 dots in triangles on the bottoms and along the tops under the leaves. I was following the design for Martha's wedding cake in her baking handbook.



Next we did the flowers. I say we, because my sister was the one to arrange them all and tape them together to make pretty little bouquets. We placed them together, and then we were ready for delivery. Now if you notice that those are silk flowers and not the fresh ones I was talking about earlier, well there's the little story behind that: Yesterday morning my Mom was reading in Martha's wedding cake book about putting fresh flowers onto cakes and she said that you can't have the flowers touching the cake incase they are posioness. Well, I freaked out (because this was completely last minute), and did some online searching and Mom called the florist, trying to figure out if the flowers we had were or were not eatable, but we both came up with nothing. There was no definate answer, everyone just said "well, it's better to be on the safe side." Then I came across a post by a lady who had used eatable flowers in a meal she prepared and her son happened to have hay fever, and eating the meal almost sent him to the hospital. This got me thinking about how many people seem to have some kind of allergies, and I decided that it really is better to be on the safe side. But now I had no flowers for the cake. Mom came up with a brilliant idea, and ran downstairs to get a wreath she had and we started to take out the flowers that were pink and white. Luckily my Mom has impeccible taste and would only have flowers that looked like real ones, no tacky ones here! When all was said and done, I was happier than I thought I ever could be with how the cake turned out.





Friday, August 21, 2009

Confessions of a Wedding Cake Baker - Day 3

Good Morning All,

Today is the day. I'm excited and nervous about it. I did manage to get the cakes all filled and iced last night by around 10-10:30 pm. I had some help from my Mom and my Sister, and if it wasn't for them I would probably still be icing. Here is a little tip for anyone who wants their icing to look smooth around the sides of the cake: use a metal bench scraper. What you do is, put your cake on a turn table, then while holding the scraper in one hand along the side of the cake, turn the cake with the other hand, and it smooths out the sides. It does a really good job, especially when it's late at night and you can't see anymore.

Today's goal is to put in the dowels, stack the cakes and then pipe on some decorations and place the flowers.

I'll post pictures once I get things more together, right now it is a rush against the clock. Wish me luck!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confessions of a Wedding Cake Baker - Day 2

Hello All,


Cake Day #2 is now in process. Yesterday was a day off from this business since I had a doctor's appoinment and also needed to pick up the rest of the supplies. I'm now armed and ready. Bring on the cake!


My, that is a lot of cake....This looks like it is going to be a very long day! My goal is to fill and ice all the cakes so that they will be ready for construction tomorrow.
Well, I'm off to get busy, I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Confessions of a Wedding Cake Baker - Day 1

Hello All,

Here is the knitting picture I promised yesterday:


The details:

Pattern: 'Little Pumpkin' from Itty-Bitty Hats by Susan B. Anderson.

Yarn:

Orange - Peaches & Creme Cotton -#11 Sunburst

Brown - Patons Wool Merino - Taupe

Green - Bernat Cotton - not sure what colour since the ball band was missing, but it's dark, almost a forest green

Needle: US 7 circular and dpns

Gauge: 5 st per inch

I loved making it, I have a thing for pumpkins and since I'm in the Fall mood already (which has been put aside for a bit due to the unusually warm weather we've been having - thank goodness), I thought it would be a perfect project for a day of car knitting. I wasn't disappointed. I love Susan B Anderson's books (can't wait for her new one coming out soon!), and I have a thing for knitting hats, especially for little baby heads. It was a lot of fun, and very quick.

On to other things; now about the wedding cake, I thought I would do my best to keep you all up to date on the whole process. I can't promise anything, as I have no idea what this is going to be like, but I would love to share it with you if possible. I already have a picture of the cakes (most of them) that are in our freezer.



The only ones missing are a white 10" layer (which is still cooling), and a strawberry 10" layer (which is in the oven as we speak). There are 6 three-layer cakes in total (I decided to cut out one of the 8" cakes from around the bottom because it was just getting to be too much cake!!). Each cake is a different flavour: the bottom tier - chocolate, middle tier - Neapolitan, top tier - white, and the 8" rounds are; lemon, coconut and red velvet. I can hardly wait till Friday afternoon to see it all come together. The wedding is Friday with the reception at 7:00 pm. I need to have the cake there before 6, so I am aiming for 4ish. I sure hope it works! Wish me luck!!

I'll do my best to keep you posted. Gotta go, I hear the timer beeping!!

Cheers!