Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!!

Hello Knitters!!

First off I want to wish you all a very Blessed and Merry Christmas and Holiday Season!!  I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas Eve!!  Mine is going a little different than I had planned.  I ended up catching either strep throat or a throat virus of some sort and had to go to emergency yesterday to get some medication for it.  My throat does hurt quite a bit, but I'm hoping the antibiotics kick in soon and I start feeling better quickly.  Due to the fact that I'm sick, I stayed home tonight from my Mom's side of the family's Christmas dinner because I didn't want to infect anyone.  So I'm spending the evening with the animals and I'm cleaning the house since we are hosting my Dad's side of the family here tomorrow night.  Thankfully it's not a sit-down dinner, just some small snacks, but the house still has to be cleaned.  Since my Mom's birthday is today, I thought I'd try and surprise her by getting as much cleaning done as I can before she gets home so that she doesn't have to do it all tomorrow.  I should get back to it!!  Have a great evening everyone!!

Happy Knitting!!

P.S. I still have some Christmas knitting to do yet, I wonder if I can get it all done in time?!?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Busy, Busy

Hello Knitters,

I hope you are all are having a great week and that you are pretty much ready for Christmas.  I'm sorry for missing Miniature Monday and Ten on Tuesdays this week.  I actually had things planned but I ran out of time due to my incredibly busy life right now.  I'm really starting to feel the pressure of the season!!  The countdown has begun and I'm so not where I'd like to be on my projects.  Knitting-wise, I have to finish a scarf for my Aunt R, turn the heel and finish the foot of a sock for my Mom, put the finishing touches on a tiny gift for my sister, and I'm sure there is something else that I'm forgetting.  I also have a few things to sew up yet.  The biggest project right now though is the baking.  I've still got at least three days worth of baking to do and I have to fit it all into what's left of today and all day tomorrow.  See, that doesn't leave me any time to finish up the other projects.  I'm really not sure what I am going to do....  Anyways, I just wanted to let you all know that I am still alive, just super busy.  I'll be back to normal once the holidays are over :-)  I'm trying to enjoy Christmas, but I think I'm doing a lousy job of it.  Hopefully I can get things back on track! 

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Ballerina Bunny

Hello Knitters,

I finished my Bunny from Itty-Bitty Toys the other night and my amazing Mom seamed her up for me.  I made her into a ballerina by adding a tutu skirt and ballet slippers.  I took the idea for the slippers from the bunny that Brittany sent me in my Easter Itty-Bitty Swap package. 

I used Spud and Chloe Sweater in Watermelon and Popsicle, which was such a treat to work with.  I think I'm going to have to order some more of this yarn soon, it makes a really nice knitted fabric and is so squishy.  It's perfect for lovable toys!!

Here's a close-up of her slippers. 

She turned out even cuter than I could have imagined!!  The pattern is great and fun to knit.  I made her for my best friend/cousin's little girl A.  I think every little girl should have her very own bunny, don't you? 

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Hello Knitters,

Lately Mom and I have been watching the 25 Days of Christmas on ABC Family so I thought today's theme will be "My Ten Favourite Christmas Movies." 
  1. White Christmas - I discovered this one only a few years ago, but it has become one of my all-time favourites. 
  2. I'll be Home for Christmas - This one has been a family tradition since I was a young teen.  My sister and I liked to watch it together!
  3. The Santa Clause (as well as the other two) - Tim Allen is such a great actor.
  4. Mrs. Santa Clause - I really like musicals. 
  5. Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Frosty Returns - Special ones from my Childhood. 
  6. Snowglobe - An ABC Family Original Movie.  This is a really fun one that helps you take a look at how being in your own family, weird as they are, is sometimes the best thing.
  7. The Berenstain's Bears Christmas - This one is my Mom's all time favourite.  She says its not Christmas until she has watched it.
  8. The Nutcracker - I don't know what version it is, but it used to be shown on PBS when I was a kid.  Having been a ballerina as a child, my dream was to be in this production one day.
  9. Christmas in Handcuffs - Another ABC Family Original, it's a fun one to watch.
  10. Home Alone 1 and 2 -  A couple more from my childhood.
There is just something special about watching these every year at this time.  They've become a part of my tradition, and I really look forward it.  I enjoy watching the 25 Days of Christmas because they show old and new ones, and it's always fun to add to my list of favourites!

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hello Knitters,

Today's miniature is a little gingerbread man all decked out for the holidays.  I made him into an ornament that I'm going to give to my new brother-in-law for a stocking stuffer.  I know it's kind of cheesy, but I think it's cute. 

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Petite Purls - Winter 2010

Hello Knitters,

The Winter 2010 Issue of Petite Purls is now live!!  It is full of gorgeous designs and fun projects just waiting to be made.  I wanted to share a few of my favourites with you all. 

Cascade by Raya Budrevich - Which is a raglan-style baby cardigan with a beautiful lace leaf motif edging on the button band.  They have the sample knit in a grey colour, but I'd knit mine in a bright medium green I think.  Super cute for any little one in your life.

Petite Ballerina by Libby Grant - I used to be a ballerina as a child and remember being freezing during the winter months at class.  This adorable little wrap would have been the perfect accessory to ward off the chill!!  I like how the cable detail adds a little something special to it without taking away from the simplicity of the design. 

Leg Ups by Laura Nelkin - I don't have any babies of my own, but I've always thought that little leg warmers would be an awesome thing to use to keep their chubby legs cozy during the winter months.  This pattern comes sized from baby to adult so that everyone can get in on the fun!  The brioche stitch makes them extra pretty and is something that I've been wanting to try for a long time.  I think these in a baby or toddler size would be just the thing to get my feet wet with ;-)  And I must say that the little model is super adorable!!

Oliver by Jenna Swanson - Is a fun take on the sweater jacket.  It is knit in Spud and Chloe Sweater so it would be super soft and comfy to wear and the stripes add a fun playful element.  This is a design that could be made for a girl as well  just by just changing the colours. 

Uptown Girl by Shelley D. Jones - Leopard print is very big this season and what could be more stylish than this cute hat?  I really like the way the designer added pink to the mix for a fun take on the traditional colours and the bow is the the perfect thing to top it off.  I would honestly wear this myself!! 

Owlet by Odessa Reichel - I'm a big owl fan so this was immediately a project that jumped out as a "must make."  I was even more excited when I seen that the sizing goes from toddler all the way up to adult.  So now I can have my own pair!!  The pink and white colours are so much fun and add a nice pop of colour.  I think these are the perfect thing for the cold Canadian winter since the designer made them with that in mind!!  Also, these would be a great step into stranded colourwork.

Jack Frost by Katie Startzman - This toy is based on the description of Jack Frost from the Laura Ingalls Wilder book "Little House in the Big Woods" of which I was a huge fan as a young girl.  I used to think Jack Frost was this scary little skinny man who was sort of mischievous, but this design paints him in a magical light!  I'm honestly almost relieved to be able to have a different way of looking at him from now on.  I can't think of any kid who wouldn't want this hanging in their room during winter. 

This issue also includes some sewing and crochet patterns as well.  There is a sewn pixie hat, which is very cute as well as a crochet snowflake hat and crochet ear warmers. 

In the Show and Tell section I found among all their wonderful reviews that Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood of the Craft Sanity Podcast (of which I'm an avid listener and highly recommend) now has a Craft Sanity magazine available either online or in print.  You can check out more on her website hereShe does such an awesome job on her podcast that I can only imagine this being nothing but a fantastic magazine!!  Congratulations Jennifer!!

Their Renaissance Mom series is interviewing Meg McElwee of Sew Liberated.  And you have to check out her craft room, it's amazing!! 

They also feature some great articles including; festive quilted holiday coasters, and how to find time for knitting.

All in all it's a wonderful issue and I highly recommend you to check it out!!

I hope you all have a great weekend.  I'm off to start dreaming up what projects I'd like to make first....after all the Christmas knitting is done of course ;-)

Happy Knitting!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Happy Friday!!

Hello Knitters,

I hope you all are having a wonderful end of the week.  It seems to me as though the whole thing flew by and I'm amazed it's Friday already!  I did finish decorating my room last night, although there are two more things I'd like to put up, I'm just not sure where.  I even cleaned up my room as well, so it feels like Christmas in here now!! 

I thought today I'd share a few pictures of some finished projects.  But first I want to show a better photo of me wearing the fingerless gloves Mary Rose knit for me.  Aren't they just lovely?  I wore them shopping the other day and got such nice compliments on them. 

The next picture is of the hat I knit for my cousin's husband.  The pattern is Modern Rib by Susan B. Anderson from Spud Says!  I made one just like it last year for my sister's husband and he really liked it, so I thought it was a good pattern to use again.  I knit it in a soft navy blue wool so it should be nice and warm. 

And lastly, this is the lap blanket I made for my Grandma's gift.  If you remember, it was my first real crochet project.  I fnally got the boarder finished on it, and I must say that I really like how it turned out.  I really hope that she likes it and that it keeps her nice and toasty warm over the cold winter months. 

Well, that's all for today.  I need to get back to my knitting.  I'm trying to knock out a few gifts this weekend and I should get a head start on them.  Have a great day everyone.

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Hello Knitters,

Now that it's December, the Christmas music is in full swing here, so today's Ten on Tuesdays theme is "My 10 Favourite Christmas Songs."
  1. Carol of the Bells
  2. White Christmas - Bing Crosby
  3. I'll be Home for Christmas - Ann Murray
  4. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
  5. The Man With All the Toys - The Beach Boys
  6. Away in a Manger
  7. Cool Yule - Louis Armstrong
  8. All the Nutcracker songs
  9. Walking in a Winter Wonderland - Ann Murray
  10. Jingle Bell Rock
If you haven't already, I encourage you to get out the holiday music, it really makes the season that much brighter.

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hello Knitters,

Today we have a miniature star.  The Nutcracker Ballet is one of my favourite things about Christmas time and this little star plays a part in a Nutcracker themed ornament I'm making.  I'm trying to get it finished up tonight and should have it ready to share later this week. 

Have a great evening :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Itty Bitty Secret Santa Swap Package

Hello knitters,

Last night when we got home from the city we picked up the mail and in it was a card saying I had a package at the post office!!  I was so excited, but it was hard to wait until this morning to actually go and get it.  However, let me tell you, it was SO worth the wait!!  My secret Santa was the amazing Mary Rose (smozerose on Ravelry).  She has spoiled me rotten!! 

First off, it all came in a lovely green polka dot box that was filled to the brim.  It included: I skein Uptowne Road Lace in a gorgeous range of black, blues and purples, I skein of Scarlet Fleece Grassy Wool in pretty shades of purple, the Sock Yarn One Skein Wonders book, a small pair of scissors, some bigger sized stitch markers (which is great because I don't have any that size), the Knit Picks needle sizer (I've been wanting this forever!), 4 skeins of the prettiest embroidery thread I've ever seen in pink, white, tan and black, a beautiful "R" key chain, a Charlie Brown Christmas mug and some Chocolate Supreme Hot Chocolate to go with it (so cool because I'm a big Charlie Brown fan!), a holiday themed tea towel, a snowman cookie cutter (perfect since I've got to start my cookie baking soon), a recipe for a yummy artichoke dip and some adorable Christmas lights spreaders to go with it, Gel snowflake window stickers (that I've already put on my mirror), a cute little snowman ornament (which is now hanging on my tree), and I've saved the very best for last!!  Mary Rose knit me the most stunning beaded fingerless gloves!!  She made them just for me!!  I feel so incredibly blessed!!  Thank you so much!!

They came all wrapped up in their own special box!  I must also say that Mary Rose put lovely silver bows around the other boxed items as well, making the whole package so festive!

Here's a close up of them in the box.  See, they have a lace and bead Christmas tree motif on them! 

Mom took this picture in a hurry because she was on the way out the door, but I will try to get a better picture to really show the beauty of them.  I'm so looking forward to wearing them :-)

Here's a few more close-ups of the package:

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mary Rose!!  Words cannot even begin to express how blessed I feel and how thankful I am.  You have made this such a special swap for me!!  I rarely get any handmade gifts, so it was such a wonderful thing to receive the gloves :-)  Thank you again from the bottom of my heart!!

Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A's Fingerless Mitts

Hi Knitters,

I made these a while ago but finally got my Mom to take some photos this morning.  They are for my friend A's Christmas gift.  I used Spud and Chloe Sweater in Jelly Bean.  I think she'll really like the colour and I had a ton of fun working with it, it's just so cheery!! 

The pattern is from Knitting At Home by Leanne Prouse, which I must say is my favourite knitting book right now.  The style of it and the patterns are just what I think of when I think of knitting, and the photography is stunning and so inviting.  All in all, these were a fun, fast knit.  You can find out specifics on my Ravelry page.

Now I'm off to decorate my room....

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Working Away

Hello Knitters,

Today I've been working on my Mom's gift for her birthday, which is on December 24th.  Even though she's a Christmas Eve baby, I try to make her birthday gifts non-holiday related so she feels like she gets an actual birthday present.  This year she said she wanted this bathing angel she seen in a book awhile back.  She's a really cute angel who is wearing one of those old-fashioned bathing suits with the pantaloons.  I'm doing her suit in a navy polka dot print.  So far I've got her body put together and most of her suit done, now I just have to attach it to her.  She doesn't have facial features or hair yet, but that will come tomorrow.  I wanted to get all of the machine sewing parts done so that I can move my machine out of my bedroom and to the basement in the hopes of decorating my room tomorrow afternoon. 

On the knitting front, I'm currently working on the Baby Doll from Itty-Bitty Toys for my cousin/best friend's little girl C for Christmas.  It's going good so far.  I got the head done, two arms and part of the body.  C is getting a new baby brother or sister here in the very near future, so I thought she might like a baby of her very own. 

By the way, I did finally end up getting my Cyber Monday Knit Picks order to go through.  Their site was so extremely slow all day long Monday so the extended the sale till midnight Tuesday.  Before going to bed Monday night around 11:00 PM I got on and placed my order.  I'm pretty excited about what I got.  I picked almost everything out with a specific project in mind, which made me feel a lot better about ordering more yarn! lol  Now just to wait until it gets here!!

I also got my Itty-Bitty Secret Santa Swap package mailed out yesterday when we were across the river.  I had to wait for some yarn I ordered that had been delayed, so I just mailed it over there to cut down on shipping time.  I'm so excited for my swap pal to receive it!  There have already been some gorgeous packages being received and shared in the Itty-Bitty Knits Group.  Makes me excited for mine as well :-)

Well I better get back to sewing.  Have a great evening everyone.

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Hi Knitters,

Today's Ten on Tuesdays post is "10 Things On My Knitter's Wish List."
  1. 8 More hours a day to knit and crochet.
  2. Another set of blocking mats. -one set isn't quite big enough for some of the shawls I want to make.
  3. A stocking full of yarn :-)
  4. A gift certificate to the yarn store.
  5. To go to Rhinebeck next year. -This would be the ideal trip!!
  6. Knit Picks Nickle Options needle set.
  7. Somebody to put my yarn back where it belongs after I take it all out.  -That's a task I really dislike....
  8. A new, large crafting studio and storage space.
  9. A subscription to a sock yarn a month club.
  10. A knitting cruise trip. - What a wonderful vacation that would be!!  Sun, Sea, and YARN!!
Now I just hope some of my family members reads this before Christmas!!  ;-) 

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hi Knitters,

Since it's Cyber Monday and I've been trying to order from Knit Picks all day long, I thought a miniature KP shopping bag was in order.  Sorry it's so sad looking, it's been a bit of a sad day.  I had high hopes of all the yarn I was going to order for Christmas, but it seems as though their site just isn't working very well today.  Oh well, I'm going to keep praying it works.  Due to the slow down, Knit Picks has extended the sale another day, so if I can't get it to work today, I'll try again tomorrow! 

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pattern Sales!!

Hi Knitters,

I know it's getting late, but I wanted to mention that there are some sales going on.  For today only until midnight PST, Alana from Never Not Knitting is having a 50% off sale on all her patterns to celebrate her blogiversary!  You can check out her post and patterns here.  Congratulations Alana on your blogiversary!! 

Also, Kate Oates of Tot Toppers is having a buy 1 get one free sale on all her patterns from now until Sunday.  You can check it all out here.

Both of these incredibly talented ladies have TONS of adorable patterns, some especially great for holiday gifts!

I'm sure there are many more people out there having pattern sales for the holiday weekend, but I seen these two because I got my sister to purchase a few patterns for me for my Christmas present ;-) 

Have a great weekend everyone.

Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

In a Rut

Hello Knitters,

I seem to have fallen into an "I don't want to knit what I have on the needles" rut.  Of course I'm usually all up for starting something new, but right now I need to stay focused on the Christmas list and it just doesn't seem to be working.  Do any of you have some suggestions on what I should do?  What do you do when you feel this way?  I know I said I was going to take things easy and not stress, but it seems like the stress snuck up on me!!  Now I'm trying to figure out how to get rid of it.  I think the real problem is that I finally realized that today is the American Thanksgiving and it is almost over now, which means that Christmas prep officially starts tomorrow.  And I already feel behind!!  Also, today and for the next two days I'm busy making maple caramel popcorn for an order that's due on Monday, so that cuts into my crafting time a lot.  By the time I'm done for the day I'm usually too tired to work on anything.  Like tonight for instance, I've been searching patterns on Ravelry instead of actually working on one of the projects I have on the needles.  I did get a few rows done on a hat while watching Kenneth Copeland this morning, so I guess I've made a little progress right?  Maybe once the popcorn is done I'll feel more motivated to pick up those WIP's and get cracking.  In the meantime, I think I'll listen to some knitting podcasts tomorrow, that might help get me back on track.  I usually find them very inspiring :-)

By the way, Happy Thanksgiving to all you readers out there who are celebrating today!  And good luck to all those who are going Black Friday shopping tomorrow :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Little Reindeer

Hello Knitters,

I know I missed Ten on Tuesdays yesterday, but I was in the city for an appointment and by the time I got home I forgot what I was going to write about!  I'm so sorry about that.  I should be back on schedule next week. 

Today I thought I'd show you something or shall I say things that I've been making.  I joined the Itty-Bitty Knits Group's Secret Santa Swap and my package is going to be reindeer themed.  When I came across this pattern I just knew I had to make some.  The pattern is called Happy Reindeer and it's from  I thought they were just so cute, and my Mom suggested that one of them be a girl with pink antlers, which turned adorable!  Thanks Mom!! 

I've been working away on my gift list, trying to get caught up.  I've been making progress, just not as much as I'd like.  However, I'm learning to be happy with whatever I can get done and not stress over the rest.  I've determined to take time to enjoy the season and not rush right through in a whirlwind of busyness.  It will be interesting to see how I do!! 

Have a great week everyone :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hello Knitters,

Today we have a miniature turkey dinner since Thursday is the American Thanksgiving :-)  Remember this guy?  Well....needless to say, the orange hat didn't help....

Happy Monday!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How I Came to Be a Knitter

Hello Knitters,

For all of you out there who may not know the back story on how I came to be a knitter I thought I'd share it with you today.  I'm always fascinated with how people start up the craft and what kind of role it plays in their lives so I thought some of you might be interested in hearing my story.

My Grandma on my Mom's side was the most fantastic knitter I have ever met.  She could see a pattern in Vogue and design her own sweater to look just like it - and this was back in the 80's when there were tons of colour knitting and lots of cables, bobbles and the such.  She would make up her own charts and do her own calculations....she was just all around amazing with the craft.  I remember as a girl sitting on the floor leaning on her knees and watching her knit all these sweaters.  I was just fascinated!  I'd ask loads of questions about why she was doing this or that and how things would work, just trying to figure out the ins and outs of this whole knitting thing.  She would never teach me though because I'm left-handed and she thought she would have to reverse everything for me to get it.  But I do remember that even as a very young girl I wanted to know how to do this.  My Mom was the one who actually taught me when I was probably around 8 or 9 - I honestly don't remember exactly how old I was.  She didn't think I needed any special treatment, so she taught me how to knit right-handed, and since my Grandma is from Finland and knits Continental, that's how I learned too. My first project was a baby blue and yellow striped scarf for my Dad for Christmas. The scarf never made it under the Christmas tree that year, or any other year for that matter.  It got shoved into the back of my doll clothes cupboard where I would take it out from time to time and work a row or two, but it never did get finished.  I lost my interest in knitting as I went through my early teen years and didn't really think about it again until the summer I was 15.  My best friend and cousin TL, was babysitting some of our cousins and asked me if I wanted to come with her.  She just happened to be knitting a blanket at the time, so I thought I'd bring along some supplies to make one too.  That way we'd have something to do together.  I chose some off-white worsted weight yarn and cast on for a baby blanket.  I found it so much fun to be knitting with another person, since even though my Mom taught me, she didn't knit, she just knew how.  I enjoyed it so much during those few weeks that we got together.  However, summer was soon over and we weren't hanging out together as often, so I let the blanket make it's way to the back of the closet and never picked it up again.  I might have made a scarf or two after this, but no serious knitting took place until I was 17.  I distinctly remember my Mom and I took a trip to Petoskey for the day in late September or early October that year and stopped at this adorable yarn store called The Dutch Oven Yarn Shop.  At that time I was going through a LOT of stress and knitting was what I felt drawn to to help me cope and calm down.  I picked up some really pretty yarn and some wooden Brittany needles and went to town knitting scarf after scarf after scarf.  I didn't even have plans for them or really care who got them; all that I cared about was that I was knitting to keep my sanity.  I kept that up until after Christmas when I got sick and really wasn't able to do much, not even knit.  I picked it back up again the next summer when I was on vacation with my Mom, my sister and Aunt R.  It was right before my best friend from childhood was getting married and I was nervous to walk down the isle - knitting just seemed like the thing to turn to.  Somehow this book about knitting things with size US 50 needles (I think that's what it was) happened to hop into my suitcase and come along for the ride.  Since this was supposed to be a relaxing vacation, especially for my very over-worked sister who had some time off from University, everyone was just taking their time relaxing, reading, napping and the such.  Well, if you know me even a little bit you know that I can't sit still for very long before I HAVE to be doing something, anything, it honestly doesn't even matter what it is.  So at one of these moments, I came across the book and begged my Mom to take me to the nearest yarn store.  We found one a few miles away and it felt like an oasis!!  I got some yarn and the huge needles called for in the book, and once back at the resort I cast on immediately and was finished my first scarf in about an hour.  I remember my aunt being surprised I had finished so soon.  After the wedding was over, I dropped the knitting for the most part, only making a few scarves here and there.  When I was 18 I was very sick so my Mom and I took a trip to Florida for 7 weeks in the fall to help me relax and work on getting better.  One day we went to Michael's and I found the first Stitch 'n' Bitch book.  I took it back to our house and read it at night before bed.  The book was a complete eye-opener!  I had no idea that knitting could be so much fun or that you could make stylish, fun, and quirky things.  It wasn't long before I made my way back to Michael's, only this time to buy some yarn and needles.  During the evenings I would knit until my heart was content making scarves and then hats.  Now these weren't the "in-the-round" type of hats, they were the "seamed-up-the-back" type.  And since I really didn't like seaming, that fell to my Mother, who would seam as fast as I would knit.  My sister and her friend A came to visit us for the weekend, and by the time they both went back to snowy, cold Canada, they each had a hat to keep them warm.  I mailed my sister her matching scarf a few days later.  I kept this up the entire time we were there.  Once home though, I got sicker and wasn't able to knit anymore.  My mind just couldn't comprehend the patterns.  It was really hard for me to give it up, but I just couldn't understand anymore.  When I started to recover, I knew I was on the right path the day I started knitting a pair of mittens on two needles.  It made me so happy to be able to make something with my hands again.  This time I stuck with it, however I was pretty limited as to what I could do.  I made a ton of those "fun-fur" scarves and sold them at a Christmas bazaar one year along with some handbags I had sewn.  In the fall of 2008 I stumbled across Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book "Free-Range Knitter" and let me tell you, I was amazed how there was someone out there writing stories about knitting, and not only that, they were good!!  I enjoyed that book so much that I asked for the rest of her books for Christmas.  I spent the whole holiday pouring over them.  I gained so much confidence and knowledge from her.  I was ready for a challenge!!  On January 23, 2009 I got up the nerve to try something new; to start out on an adventure:  About a year earlier my Mom had ordered me Susan B Anderson's book Itty-Bitty Hats and I was so excited for it to arrive, but when it did, all the hats were knit in the round....I didn't know how to knit in the round.  So I woefully put the book away and tried to forget about it.  However, now that I had all this new confidence I marched downstairs and got the book.  I started at the beginning with the first simple rolled-brim cap and since I didn't have any 16" circular needles, I cast on and knit the whole thing on DPNs.  That was my first time ever using DPNs and I had no idea how to knit in the round with them, but Susan's book was so well detailed that I caught on pretty quick and was off and running.  Things were making sense and knitting was even more fun than I ever imagined!  Of course as they were published, I purchased Itty-Bitty Nursery and Itty-Bitty Toys. With each one I've learned more and more: these were the books that taught me how to k2tog, ssk, m1, cast on properly (since I was doing it wrong all those other years), weave in ends and sew on appliques, among many other things.  Now knitting is a part of my everyday life.  It's something I enjoy and turn to in times of happiness and especially in times of stress.  I find it comforting and relaxing and just an all around great thing to do and I am so thankful to everyone who has helped and inspired me along my journey!!  And most importantly I thank the Lord for giving me the talent in the first place and bringing everything into my life at just the right time.  It has been an amazing journey and I'm excited to see what's next!!

Happy Knitting!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Flower Scarf

Good Morning Knitters,

Today I actually have a finished object to share.  I crocheted this scarf for my Mom a while ago, around the end of October, but I never "officially" finished it until this past Sunday when I crocheted the last flower and sewed them on.  My Mom really likes it, so I think it was a win! 

I even got her to model it for me :-)  She's a child of the 70's so she really likes the flower detail.  She also picked out the colour herself.  I've got a different colour of the same yarn to make my own version. 

It even looks cute from the back.
The yarn is Bernat Mosaic in Spectrum and the pattern is from the 'Bernat Mosic Sweaters and Accessories' booklet.  For being 100% acrylic, I was actually very happy with this yarn.  It is made to be like the texture of handspun and the colour gradation is really nice.  It even is soft and warm, which is a plus for anything close to your skin.  I'm actually excited to make mine some day (I say some day because Christmas knitting is taking over right now) just to work with it again.  
On another note, as I mentioned above, I've begun to work on my Christmas knitting.  I started seriously on it yesterday.  I thought it was finally time to knuckle down and get to work.  I even made myself a schedule to help keep me on track.  I also estimated how much time each project will take me so I can fit them all in.  If I do an 8-hour-day of non-stop working, I estimated it would take me about 17 days.  Now that's not counting any interruptions, which there are sure to be!  I will keep you all posted on how it is going :-)

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Hi Knitters,

Today's Ten on Tuesdays theme is '10 Places I Want to Travel To."  Some are countries and some are states, provinces, or cities, but they are all places I'd like to see at some point in my life. 
  1. Africa
  2. Finland
  3. Norway
  4. Berlin, Germany
  5. Newfoundland, Canada
  6. Key West, Florida, USA
  7. Alabama, USA
  8. Japan
  9. Bora Bora
  10. Morocco
Can you just imagine all the inspirations and ideas you'd get from seeing these places?  This is one of my biggest dreams!  I've always enjoyed travelling - it's so refreshing to see new places and to learn about different cultures.  Just seeing the landscapes would me amazing!!  One day I truly do hope to visit these places, until then I'll just keep on dreaming....

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hello Knitters,

Today's miniature is a turkey since the American Thanksgiving is coming up soon.

He's not really taking this whole hunting thing seriously....

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Wedding Cake

Hello Knitters,

This was the wedding cake.  When I found out I couldn't really do the cupcake plan I originally had, I decided to make this design.  I asked my sister if it would be ok if I deviated from the plan a bit and she said sure.  I never told her what it was going to look like or that there was a fountain in it - it was to be a surprise. (Also I knew if I told her she would have said no right away!)  I've always found fountains in wedding cakes intriguing, so when I seen a design in a book similar to this one, I just knew I had to make it.  Ordering the fountain and the extremely tall pillars was quite an adventure!  I finally found them both on and they got here the same week as the wedding - that was cutting it a little short.  I'm so glad that I stuck with this design though and I think it turned out pretty good.  I was actually happy with it, and most importantly, my sister really liked it!!

Each tier except for two small ones, was a different flavour - black forest, chocolate with vanilla buttercream filling, vanilla with strawberry buttercream filling, coconut with coconut buttercream filling, apple with vanilla buttercream filling, almond hazelnut with almond buttercream filling and two lemon cakes with lemon buttercream filling. 

Well, that's pretty much it for the wedding recap!  Next week I should be back on schedule and have some finished objects to share.  Have a great weekend!!

Happy Knitting!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Wedding Photos


Hello Knitters,

Here are a few of the wedding photos!!  The one above is my lovely sister with all her bridesmaids.  The picture was taken here at home just after we all got ready.  Doesn't she look like a fairy princess!?!  I do have to say that she was the most beautiful bride I'd ever seen, and you could just tell the two of them love each other so much!

This is one of my favourites.

Here is the whole wedding party (minus the junior bridesmaid, groomsman, flower girl and ring bearer).  We took pictures in a few different locations, this one is by the "get-away" car.  Although you can't see much of it in the picture, it was quite cute.
Me, my sister and our Mom.

This is my whole family together.

The bridal party again.
 Since all the leaves were gone, and my sister didn't want a fall feeling to the wedding, she chose to have her pictures taken out on the rocks.  It was a gorgeous location!! 

I'm sorry that due to the down-sizing of the photos, they don't look as good as the real ones, but I still wanted to share what I could with you all. 

Have a great weekend everyone!  Tomorrow I'll be back with some pictures of the cake :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Love Frog

Hello Knitters,

Today I would like to introduce you to "The Love Frog."  He was the 'ring bearer' that the real little ring bearer carried down the isle at my sister's wedding.  The back story on him is that not long after they had gotten engaged, I decided to knit my sister "The Love Frog" as a way for her to always remember just how much she loves Jake.  The pattern for the frog is from the Spud and Chloe blog, and I added the heart for the love part.  My sister took him to work, and he sat on her desk.  When she started planning the wedding, she wanted him to somehow be included, so she came up with the idea of him being the ring bearer.  I knew that if he was going to be in the wedding, he would have to have the proper attire, so I said a prayer, and began knitting his tuxedo and crocheting his top hat.  They turned out great, and I think he looked quite dapper!

When it came time to go down the isle, he made quite the entrance:

Since I was walking with the ring bearer, I did notice the frog's position before we got to the beginning of the isle, but I was more concerned with him actually walking down so I didn't want to say anything to him that would make him think otherwise.  So this is the way the frog went down....he did look to be having a "swinging" time though!!

I will be back tomorrow with some more wedding-related pictures since I just got a copy of the professional photographer's photos :-)

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Ten on Tuesdays

Hello Knitters,

Today's Ten on Tuesdays theme is "10 Facts (some little known) About My Mother." 
  1. She's 100% Finnish.
  2. She can shoot a very large hunting rifle - although we don't really let her near one....
  3. She has knocked out a porcupine with a can of shrimp because he was eating our deck.
  4. She can make pretty much anything, and usually from whatever we have around the house.
  5. She takes awesome photographs, especially of flowers.
  6. She drove all the way to Florida and back with only the Best Western Accommodations Book that she found the first night of the trip.
  7. She is upholstering a footstool right now, and she's never done this kind of thing before.  She isn't afraid of trying new things, she just wings it and 9 times out of 10 it turns out completely amazing. 
  8. She can stand with her back to a hoop and blindly shoot a basket. (I think this is because she has good aim....see the shrimp can point above.)
  9. She is a great Christian example to everyone she comes in contact with, and is the person I look up to the most. 
  10. She is the biggest and best cheerleader to everyone, especially me!  She believes in people and always tries to see the best in them and help them bring it to the surface.  She is also a great spotter of hidden talents in others. 
*She doesn't take credit for any of these things, but says she did it all with the Lord's help and guidance. 

She is a fantastic Mother and I'm so lucky that I'm her daughter!  Thanks Mom for being so great, I love you!!  

Happy Knitting!!

P.S. I think I forgot to mention that my sister and her husband are finally home from their honeymoon, they came back last Thursday.  Thank you everyone for all the prayers!!  I was just so relieved to  have them home that it completely slipped my mind to tell you all they were back, so sorry!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Miniature Monday

Hello Knitters,

Sorry for the awful picture, but I took this last night and the lighting wasn't very good.  This week's miniature is a hunting hat since it is deer season here right now.  Pretty much everywhere you look, you will see men (and some women) wearing their orange hunting caps.  It's the thing that reminds me most of deer season.  This is quite a big deal for my Dad's side of the family - they even have a trophy for the biggest buck.  I personally am not one for killing innocent animals, and was scarred as a little girl by my Dad taking me to our business' garage to watch a bunch of men clean their deer.  I've always been an animal-loving person, so I feel for the poor things this time of year.  I do have some good memories though of going hunting with my Dad.  He would never shoot one in front of me, so most of the time was spent walking around in the bush, taking naps in big fir trees and walking down to the shore to look at ships through his gun's scope.  Sometimes we'd even find some old fishing lures washed up on the beach that I'd take home as my treasure.  However, I think my favourite part was when we'd stop for a break and have some of my Mom's homemade oatmeal cookies for a snack :-)  They were the best! 

Well, I hope you all have a fantastic start to the week.

Happy Knitting!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Ritzy Stable Mitts

Hello Knitters,

I finally wrote up the pattern for the fingerless mitts I made back at the end of summer.  I named them 'Ritzy Stable Mitts' since they remind me of something you'd wear out to the stable to check on your horse.  They're not really what you'd wear while riding, but they'd be just the thing to take off that morning chill on your way to the barn.  At least that's the way I dream of wearing them!

They're also great for us non-equestrian types to slip on during the cool fall months.  The yarn has a bit of cashmere in it, making them a little treat for your hands.  And probably the best part of all, at least in my books, is that they are super quick to make so they come in real handy for holiday gifts!   

You can find more information on the yarn, needles, etc and the pdf download here on the Ravelry page. 

Happy Knitting!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Few Hats

 Hello Knitters,

Here are a couple of the baby hats I made this past week.  As I've said before, there are a lot of babies being born in the next few months, so I've been working on some shower gifts.  These two are from Susan B Anderson's book Itty-Bitty Hats.  The yellow one is the Upside-Down Daisy, and the pink one is the Football Hat, only made in girly colours.  I got the idea for this one from the amazing Suzanne when I was watching an episode of her video podcast :-)  I'm very happy with how they both turned out and I think they look nice displayed on my new hat stands. 

This is the Red Apple Hat from the Spud and Chloe blog and it's also designed by Susan B Anderson.  The decrease sequences on this one are different than her other patterns, so it was fun to try out and learn a new technique.  

And this hat is the Spring Beret by Natalie Larson that I knit up during one of the wedding dress fitting trips back in the summer.  It was super quick and fun to make.  I have yet to find a recipient for it as it doesn't look good on me due to it's yellow-tone.  The front view isn't the most flattering on the hat stand but the side and back views look much better.

I think the back view is my favourite by far!  I did the more slouchy version since I like my hats with a little more body to them.  This might have to go on the gift-giving list for this year's Christmas presents, I'm sure I can find someone who would look fabulous in it! 

Well, have a great weekend everyone!  Make sure to take some time for yourself to relax and do a little crafting :-)

Happy Knitting!!

P.S. You can check out my Ravelry project page for some more close-up pictures, yarn, and specifics on these hats in a few days, I should have them all added by then if you're interested.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

How-To: Make a Hat Stand

Hi Knitters,

I've been wanting a hat stand for quite a while, but I have never been able to find one.  So the other day I showed my Mom a picture in a book of what I was talking about and asked her if she thought we could come up with something similar.  Of course, my Mom being the genius that she is, knew right away how to do it!  So I thought you all might like to see how we made ours.  It's nothing super fancy or anything-we used what we had around the house with the exception of the dowel, but I'm really happy with how they turned out :-)

First, Mom found some wooden hearts my Grandpa - we called him Atta (it's Finnish) - had cut out for her years ago.  He used to be a carpenter so he always had things like these on hand and loved making things for my Mom and all us grandchildren.  He has since passed away, so using these hearts for the bases of my hat stands makes them extra special to me.  They already had holes drilled in them so Mom went to the store and bought a dowel that would fit snugly inside.  We sawed the dowel into pieces that were the height I wanted, making sure to add extra length to make up for the parts that go into the base and the top.

I gave them a couple of coats of white paint - this kind was patio paint for wood, so it didn't need to be varnished or anything.  There wasn't a lot left in the bottle, so I did my best to give them a nice coating.

I stuck one end of the dowel into the hole in the base and lightly hammered it in to make sure it stayed.  Then Mom found some Styrofoam balls that were about the size of a newborn baby's head and I poked a hole in the bottom, added some hot glue, then stuck them onto the other end of the dowel. 

After that we took some fabric, cut it into squares that were big enough to cover the balls completely and draped them over top.  We took some sewing thread and wrapped and tied it around the "neck" part to secure the fabric in place.  (We tried our best to make the fabric lay as smooth as possible, but it did have some overlapping areas.  It still looks nice though).  To finish off, I cut away the excess fabric.

Ta-da!!  And there you have it, a very easy way to make some cute hat stands!  They're great for taking photos, especially when you don't happen to have a little baby handy.  I also made a bigger one for displaying and photographing adult-sized hats while I was at it. 

I'll be back tomorrow to show you how the hats I've been working on this past week look on them :-)

Happy Knitting!!