Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Chats and Socks

Good Morning Knitters,

How is everyone doing this lovely day? It's quite windy here but other than that, it's sunny and beautiful. My Mom is coming up today and we're going to go out shopping for a bit this afternoon. Tonight is my cousin Matthew's high school graduation. I started sewing myself a dress for the occasion (can't remember if I mentioned that or not) and it's almost done. I just need a little help from my Mom with advice about the hem and some hand sewing. Hopefully I can get some pictures of me in it and post those tomorrow. The fabric that I used is a cotton voile, and it's so comfy. I've never worked with cotton voile before, but I'm so glad that I chose it for this dress. It's flowy and silky which I was surprised at for being 100% cotton. Anna Maria Horner has some voile in one of her lines that I've been looking at, so now that I know how it wears, I think I might have to purchase some in the future.

As promised, I'll give you all an update on what I did this past weekend:

Like I mentioned earlier last week, my sister's bridesmaid Jessica came for a weekend visit. It was so great to see her since I haven't in about 5 years! She's such an awesome friend, and I miss her so much! It was great to get to catch up. We didn't do a whole lot of things other than chat! On Friday Mom and I picked her up at the airport in the morning, then we got some lunch, headed back to my sister's and just talked. My sister came home from her business trip that evening and that brought a lot more catching up! Saturday Jess taught me how to cook ribs and we made a nice dinner of Maple Glazed Ribs, Broccoli Cheddar Salad, Jell-o with Fruit Salad, Whipped Mashed Potatoes and Baguette. For dessert I made a Chocolate Snack Cake. It was so much fun to cook together and I learned a lot. I'm excited for the next time I can make a full meal. Improving my cooking skills has been a goal of mine. Last night I made my sister a Mushroom Wild Rice Soup, she said it turned out good, and I found I really enjoyed making it. I've already begun to plan meals for the rest of the week/weekend. Since July 1st is on Thursday, I'm going to make something special, and then I really like to make things for the 4th (it's my inner American coming out!), so I need to start planning that as well. I think I will do some research online for some cute ideas. Now where was I....oh right, Jess's visit. Sunday we were planning on relaxing until her flight time at 4:00 pm, but she got a call around 12:00 pm, that said her flight was cancelled and they were putting her on an earlier one, so we all rushed around to get ready and managed to get her there on time. After that, Sayja and I went to the grocery store and then came home and just laid low the rest of the day. Jake came over in the evening and he and Sayja watched a movie while I did some knitting. All in all, it was a great weekend. A bit too short in my opinion, I would have liked to have had much more time to spend with Jess, but it was great the time we did get to spend together. She says she'll be back again before the wedding, so I'm looking forward to that.

I did manage to get a knitting project completed over the weekend (chalk it up to all that talking time). I started and finished a pair of toe-up socks using Felici Sport in the Seaside colourway.

I also never got the chance to post a picture of the socks I made a little while ago using Felici Sport in Neapolitan. I wanted to share these with you earlier, but I some how managed to leave one sock at home and had one sock here, so I couldn't take a "pair" picture. Now they are together, so here it is:

These ones are cuff-down. I tried to match the stripes on these ones, while the other ones I just decided to wing it. I like how both turned out, but I must say that the toe-up ones are my favourite because the heel is very comfortable. Sometimes when doing cuff-down I end up making the heel pick up stitches bulky on the inside, but with toe-up, that whole process is completely eliminated. This is by far some of the best sock yarn I've used though. Very soft and warm and great since it's sport weight it knits up so fast!

Well, that's about all the news I have to share right now! I should go and get myself ready to go out this afternoon. Have a great day everyone!
Happy Knitting!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

And the Winners Are....

Hello Knitters,

I've picked the winners for my blogiversary giveaway! I'm so excited for both of them :-)

Winner #1 - (Comment #2) Lisa said...I'd love to be in your giveaway...that yarn is beautiful and I love the project bags, too. Happy Blogiversary!

Winner #2 - (Comment #20) One Sheep said...Happy Blogiversary, and Thanks for the giveaway. The flowers are beautiful, and the prizes are too. If I don't win a prize, may I have some flowers?

Congratulations Lisa and One Sheep!! Please email me at fairytaleknits@live.com with your mailing address and I will get these prizes out to you as soon as possible.

I'm sorry I never got back with pictures of the finished project bags, but the cording I bought was too big, so I need to pick up some smaller ones tomorrow. I will post a finished picture of both before I send them off.

It's been a super long day for me today, so I will be back again tomorrow with an update of my weekend and what I've been up to. Congratulations again to the winners!

Happy Knitting!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Polka Dot Twirly Skirt

Hello Knitters,

This is going to be a quick post since I'm in the middle of getting ready to leave. My sister is away on business, so I'm going home for a few days. I will be back here again on Friday when my sister's bridesmaid Jessica is flying in for a weekend visit. Until then, I'm going home for a bit of relaxing and enjoying being by the water :-)

One of the things I wanted to share with you all today is my "polka dot twirly skirt" I made yesterday. I know the picture above is a bit dark, but I got my sister to take it after midnight last night when she got home from work. The pattern I used was Burda Young 7910 and it's View A. It's a super fast and easy pattern. I would say it took me 2 or 2 1/2 hours to complete it from start to finish. It consists of two skirt panels (front and back) that are sewn down the sides and an elastic waistband with casing and then you just hem it. Next time though, I think I will do french seams so that it's more finished on the inside. Now I just need to find a top to wear with it!

The other thing I want to tell you about is The Love Bug Experiment. You can read the full story here or check out the Ravelry group. I came across this yesterday and thought it was such a great idea. The general plan is to knit, crochet or sew a "love bug" then attach a kind note and leave it somewhere to be found by someone else just for the sake of touching other people's lives and bringing them a smile. I thought it was so cute! Kelsey over at Caffeinated Frenzy has an adorable "love bug" knitting pattern, or you can make any pattern you'd like. There are lots of cute ones on Ravelry so the possibilities are endless!! I'm going to have to make some "love bugs" soon and place them around town! I hope that you join in, there's nothing better than being able to brighten up someone's day :-)

(Love bug photos by Kelsey Leib)

Well, I should get back to getting my things together. I will try to post while at home, but if things don't work out I should be back by Friday. Have a great day everyone!

Happy Knitting!!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Blogiversary Giveaway!!

Happy "First Day of Summer" Knitters,

I hope you are all enjoying this lovely day! As promised, I'm having my one year blogiversary giveaway today! Are you ready to see the prizes? Well, here they are:

This time I'm having two winners!!

Winner #1 will receive two skeins (one blue 604 and one blue 630) of Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton as well as one large project bag and one small project bag (made by me).

Winner #2 will receive two skeins (one purple 618 and one yellow 638) Blue Sky Alpacas Dyed Cotton as well as one medium project bag and one small project bag (also made by me).

You can seen the corresponding project bags in the group picture. They're not completely done, that's why I didn't take full pictures of them. I'll try to get some up as soon as they are done. All that's left is to add the drawstrings, but what I had originally bought for them is not going to work so I need to find something else. The larger project bags are big enough to hold medium sized projects, and the small project bags are the right size for socks or small toy projects.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment at the end of this post. The contest will be open for one week, and I will announce the winners on Monday June 28th, 2010. Good luck to everyone!
I thought I'd leave you all for today with some pictures I took this morning in my sister's garden. What a perfect way to begin the summer, don't you think?

Happy Knitting Everyone!!

P.S. Sorry for the edit, but the post posted itself before I was finished.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

A Little Advice

Hello Knitters,

I'm back with a few pictures to share. I wanted to blog last night, but I was too tired by the time I actually got the chance to sit down and write. I thought it would be much better if I waited until today so I'd actually make some sense!
I'll start off with a picture of Jake's birthday pie. It is a banana cream pie that has chocolate and peanut butter layered over the crust and then topped with banana cream filling, whipped cream, homemade chocolate sauce and honey roasted peanuts. Wow, that was quite the list! lol

Next, I wanted to show you a picture of the fabric from the skirt I'm working on. It's by Sandi Henderson and I think this print is called Lei. I really like it, it's very summery and just right for a skirt.

To update you on my sewing progress: I haven't gotten the chance to sew every single day this past week, and this weekend I'm going home for a couple days and won't be taking the sewing machine with me, so I'll be missing out on a few more days. I've been having some difficulty getting to my sewing every day, so I asked for some advice in the 30 Days of Sewing group on how everyone fits their sewing (and knitting or crafting in general) time into their day, and I got so many great responses and tips. I'm going to make a real effort at putting them into practice! I find that I start out my day with all the good intentions of fitting in everything I would like to do, but then it seems like life happens and I never get around to completing these things. One great tip that a couple people gave was to schedule my sewing time into my planner. Rae Lynne of Drip Drip Drop, suggested putting it on my to-do list as if it were exercise. I thought that was such a great idea. A lot of times I feel guilty for taking time out to sew or knit, especially if I'm making something for myself. This is something I want to work on overcoming. I need to convince myself that it's ok for me to take some time to just do something for myself. In a lot of ways it's actually a good thing for everyone, because if I have that "me time" then I find I'm a better person for it. I'm more happier and that reflects onto everyone I come into contact with. So starting now, I'm going to work on scheduling my sewing time for this challenge into my planner, work on not being so hard on myself about making things for me, and fit some "me time" into each day. It's great to have goals to work towards! I heard this week that unwritten goals are just wishes, so that's why you have to write them down. When you do, you'll actually complete them. That's something that stuck with me and I'm going to make a real effort to do that!

Well, I should be going. I have to pack up some things to take home with me tonight. I want to leave you all with a little "sneak peek" of something I've been working on for my blog giveaway (which will start on Monday!).

Have a great weekend everyone, and don't forget that Sunday is Father's Day! Take some time to show your Daddy just how much you care and how thankful you are for him.

Happy Knitting!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Cleaning House

Good Afternoon Knitters,

Today I am cleaning house. It's garbage day so I thought I might as well do a full cleaning at the same time. My sister has been very busy at work and I wanted to do something to help her out. Since we're both living here right now and I spend the majority of the time here during the day I thought I should do the cleaning. I've got most of it done, but I do still need to mop the floors. I thought I'd take a quick break and grab something to eat and write a post, then I'll get back to it.

I'm hoping to get a chance to do some sewing today. Yesterday I spent most of the day/evening in the kitchen. I baked a banana cream pie that takes a while to assemble (I've still got to put the finishing touches on it this afternoon, I should have some pictures to share tomorrow) for my sister's fiance's birthday which is today, then I made some "healthier" banana muffins so my sister could have something to take with her for lunch, I also made her a vegetarian pizza for dinner. I enjoyed my day baking and cooking, but by the time I was done I was way too tired to sew anything. I did sneak in a tiny bit of knitting on my sock though.

Well, that's about all for now. I just wanted to write a quick update. I should be back tomorrow with some pictures of my sewing progress :-)

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

More Cake

Hello Knitters,
I'm back again at my sister's house. We had a great weekend celebrating her birthday with our family. Above is a picture of the cake a made. It's a strawberry cheesecake sandwiched between two layers of sponge cake, filled with layers of fresh strawberries and whipped cream and then iced with whipped cream. It's her favourite cake, so it went over very well.
Yesterday was filled with appointments so I didn't get a chance to do very much crafting. I started a pair of socks a couple of days ago and I finished the first one last night. I forgot to take a picture though. Maybe I'll wait until the pair is complete and then show you. That will give me more incentive to finish them!
With all the busyness these last couple of days, I didn't get any time to work on my sewing. I decided that I'm going to complete my 30 days, but not necessarily in exactly 30 days - I'm going to stick to the commitment of sewing for 30 minutes each day on as many days as it's possible, but when I miss a day or to, I'm just going to pick back up where I left off. This way I can still complete the challenge, but at a pace that works with my current life schedule. I want to enjoy this endeavor and I find the idea of forcing myself to sew on super busy days to be a very unpleasant thought. Summertime is all about relaxing, taking things easy, and enjoying yourself, so that's the way I'm going to approach this challenge. I'm hoping that by sticking with this, I will come to like sewing even more.

Today I baked some bread, and during the waiting times, I snuck in some sewing. I started a couple projects that I can't talk about here on the blog just yet, but that's a little peek at one of them. Another thing I'm working on is a skirt for myself. It seems like an easier pattern, so maybe I'll have it done soon. Also, I learned today that my cousin's graduation is on the 29th, so I thought it would be a fun goal to make myself a dress to wear to it. I guess this means I should get looking for a pattern and some fabric....I think this means a little trip to the fabric store is in order!

Well, I hope you all are having a wonderful week and that everyone who is participating in the 30 Days of Sewing Challenge is enjoying themselves! I'm off to bed now so that I'll hae the energy to get right back to work in the morning.

Happy Knitting and Sewing Everyone!

P.S. While home on the weekend, I forgot to get the extra yarn I needed to complete my dotted chicken, so I'm going to have to work on it next week when I'm back home. Just thought I should update you all on the progress there!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Speedy Update

Good Saturday Morning Knitters,

Today I'm working on baking the rest of my sister's birthday cake and packing up my things to head home later the afternoon. My sister, Jake and I are going back home to stay for the weekend. I'm excited to see my little Yorkie Emmie! I've missed her and the other pets while being up here. I'm also looking forward to picking up some more of my supplies for both knitting and sewing, since I'm coming back up to spend next week here.

Speaking of sewing. I didn't get any sewing in yesterday for Day 5 of the 30 Days of Sewing Challenge. I did however spend my time looking for patterns. I came across quite a few really nice ideas. I hope I can find some suitable fabric at home to make a few of them.

Well, this is just a quick little update since I've got to get busy so I'm ready to leave when my sister gets off work. I will be back on Monday, so have a great weekend everyone!

Take care!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Making Progress

Hello Knitters,

Today's update is going to be a little short since it's getting quite late and I'm super tired. I got my 30 minutes of sewing done today. I was on a roll making the coasters, so I spent most of the late afternoon and into the evening working on them. It was fun watching them come together.

These are the blue ones I made. I also made two more pink/red ones so that there is a complete set of 4 each.

I also got some knitting done today. I worked on the chicken and got him to the point where all I have to do now is add the dots and his eyes. I don't have enough colours here at my sister's house, for the dots. I'd like him to have lots of colour, so I'm going to wait until I get home to finish him off. After I did that, I worked on taking back the rows of my Traveling Woman shawl that I mess up. I think I've figured out how to get it back on track, at least I hope so! It still needs some more attention though, but I'm going to leave that for the morning when my brain is working better.

An exciting thing that happened today was that Jake set up the wireless Internet, so now I can blog from anywhere in the house! Right now I'm writing this while sitting on my bed in my room :-) We don't have these kinds of luxuries at home, so it's quite a treat for me!

Well, that's about all for today's update. I hope you all are having a wonderful week!

Happy Knitting and Sewing!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Birthday Bash!!

Hello Knitters,

Today was my sister's birthday!! Her fiance and I had her a little party when she got home from work. He did the BBQing and I provided the salad and cake. I didn't bake this one, it was an ice cream cake from Dairy Queen. I'm going to bake her real birthday cake on the weekend when we can celebrate at home with the whole family.

This is the lovely couple! Aren't they just so adorable?

I'm not much of a singer, so Jake sang the birthday song to her. This is her "encouraging him to sing" look.

When she blew out her candles she had one left. It's her "one true love" candle.

She said she had a great day, and I'm so happy that I could be a part of it. She's the best sister in the world, and I'm so lucky to have her in my life!

On the crafting front, I officially joined the "30 days of sewing" group today. I'm so excited about this. Janelle had such a great idea, and I'm glad she's letting us all join her. My goal is to work on sewing myself some summer clothes as well as some housewares for my sister's new home. I think this is going to be the perfect thing to help keep me on track. I'm also seriously considering applying this to my knitting, since I have way too many WIPs that need to get finished. I'll think it over, and let you know what I decide.

After all the trouble I had with my top yesterday, I decided to work on something a little less stressful so I made two coasters for my sister. They are something that she doesn't have yet, and I can see that they will come in real handy. I didn't worry too much about perfect lines and shapes, but focused more on the handmade look. I really like how they turned out, and best of all both her and Jake think they're nice!

Well, it's late, and I've had a long day. I'm off to bed now. Have a great night everyone!

Happy Knitting and Sewing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday's Happenings

Good Evening Knitters,

How was everyone's day? My cousin came over today for a little visit. It was so nice to see her! I hope that we will get the chance to visit again before she heads back home.

I started knitting a Dotted Chicken from Itty Bitty Nursery this morning. I wanted to have a quick project to work on. I got the yarn way back in April from my Itty Bitty Easter Swap partner Brittany. I'm so glad to be able to finally put it to use! I forgot to bring my fiberfill, but my Mom is going to bring it up with her tomorrow when she comes to town. If I keep working on it, I hope to have it finished soon. What a cute pattern!

I also got to work on my top this afternoon. I'm to the point where now I only have to whipstitch the facing seams closed and then hem the bottom. I thought I should try it on to see how it looked, and guess what, it doesn't fit. The top part is way to snug! I was really surprised because it didn't look like it was going to be. I'm a bit frustrated, so I think I'll wait till tomorrow and try to figure out what to do. It does have 5\8" seam allowances, so I thought I'd try to take them out and re-sew them at 1/4". Maybe that will help.

I came across a really great post today on Melissa's blog Knitting a Baby . She was talking about committing to sewing for 30 minutes everyday for 30 days. She got the idea from Janelle over at Pretty Little Stitches. I thought that was a great way to keep on track with my goal of sewing myself some summer clothes. Imagine how much you could get done if you sewed for just 30 minutes everyday. My life is very conducive for this right now. Being home alone all day long lends to getting quite a bit done, but I thought this would help me to keep motivated. You could really actually apply this same principle to anything that you would like to get done. I think I might consider using this with my knitting! I could really use some motivation in that area right now! There seems to be quite a few WIPs hanging around my house lately....

Well, I'm off to bed for the night. I've got an early doctor's appointment in the morning! Have a wonderful night everyone!

Happy Knitting!

P.S. Tomorrow is my sister's birthday!! I'm so excited!! :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Just a Regular Day

Hello Knitters,

I hope everyone is getting their week off to a good start. Today I went to the dentist for a cleaning, and got to go to Walmart with my Mom to pick up some sweats and slippers. I'm staying at my sister's new house with her this week and forgot to pack something comfortable for just lounging around the house. This morning I answered the door at like 11:30 am in my jammies, since I had nothing else to wear while sewing, and scared the Jehovah Witnesses pretty good! lol I felt pretty stupid at the time, but had a good laugh at myself about it later. I was so flustered (as were they) that I still took their paper while trying to explain that I'm a Christian and already have my faith, so I didn't need to go to their convention. They were probably thinking "boy does that girl need some help!"

I haven't gotten around to actually knitting anything since I've been here, but I did get some sewing done. Last time I posted I was working on a baby quilt that needed to be hand-tied, and I did get it almost completed. I ran out of embroidery floss with only four ties to go. Now I've got to go on the search for some more floss that will match. So in the mean time, I'm working on sewing a top for myself. One of my goals is to sew some summer clothes for me, so this is my starting piece. I was debating whether or not to make it a top or a dress, but I think I decided, with the help of my sister, to make it into a longer top. The pattern I'm using is the "Smashing Smock" from Anna Maria Horner's book Seams to Me: 24 New Reasons to Love Sewing. By the way, I don't think I ever mentioned this before, but back in the spring, my Mom won a Toshiba Netbook from the Tim Horten's "Roll Up the Rim to Win" contest, and since she's not really a computer user, she gave it to me (I love, love, love my Mom!!), but I haven't really figured out how to upload pictures just yet. Maybe by my next post I'll have figured it out.

Anyways, I should get going. I think I might try out my sister's new stove and make some cheesecake squares. Have a great evening everyone!

Happy Knitting

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Nip Cancer Girls

Hello Knitters,

I have a special announcement to make!!

Hop on over here to check out a few things I donated to the Nip Cancer Girls. Linsay and her friend Jessica are selling items in their etsy shop to help raise money for the Susan G. Komen 3 Day Walk for a Cure. There are quite a few lovely and adorable items in their shop and I hope you pop over and take a look. All the money goes to the Susan G. Komen foundation so it's a very, very worthy cause! I met Linsay (mommieof4munchkins) through Ravelry and was so touched when I heard she was raising money for breast cancer. I lost my Auntie Lorna to breast cancer, and even though I was very young at the time and don't remember much, my Mom was really close friends with her and I've seen the impact the loss has made in her life. My sister's future Mother-in-law also had breast cancer, and I'm happy to say she is a survivor! Our family has been touched numerous times by breast cancer as well as all forms of cancer, so anytime I see a way to help with finding a cure, I do my best to donate what I can. Please take the time to go and check out their shop. If you'd like more information on the Nip Cancer Girls, you can look here, you can join their facebook fan page, and even follow them on twitter @nipcancergirls. Way to go Linsay and Jessica, you two are wonderful examples for us all! I wish you both all the best in the world!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

One Year!!

Good Morning Knitters,

Today is my blogiversary!! It's been one year since I started blogging. It seems like I've been doing this forever, yet at the same time, it also seems like it was just yesterday I got the idea to start writing about my knitting adventures. I'm so glad that I did, and I've enjoyed every minute of it. It's been wonderful to be able to share my knitting passion with others who feel the same way, especially when I don't have anyone in my house or nearby who I can talk to about such things. I want to thank all my blog readers for taking the time out of your busy days to read what I have to say and leave such sweet, encouraging comments!!

I wanted to celebrate by having a giveaway, but things around here have been to busy lately, I haven't got a chance to plan anything yet. When I talked to my Mom about it, she suggested I wait and host it on the 21st which is also the first day of summer. Really, what better way to start off summer than with a blog giveaway? So that's what I am going to do. It will give me the time I need to prepare everything :-)

On another note, I think my sister is moving into her house this weekend. I hope she would like me to come and stay with her sometime next week. My cousin is coming to down with her girls to help her Mom out while she has surgery, and since she will be staying in the city, I thought if I was up there then she could pop over for a visit. I know she'd like to see the new house too. I hope it all works out.

Today I'm hoping to get a lot of crafty things done. I have quite a list of projects that need completing, but I haven't had the mindset to just sit down and finish them. I need to do some sewing today since I can do my knitting while in the car on the way to town tomorrow. So I should go and get to it!

Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Happy Knitting!