Thursday, March 29, 2012

Kai-Mei and a Chick


I finished up March's socks over the weekend.  They turned out really nice and the yarn was a dream to knit with.  The pattern, Kai-Mei by Cookie A, was easy, fun, and fast too since the lace is only on the foot section.  I was very intrigued by the way that the decreases and increases made the lace panel move across the foot, it kept things interesting and addictive.  I would knit this pattern again for sure.  The only thing I did wrong was that I knitted to 7 inches from the heel before starting the toe decreases and probably should have started them at 6 inches instead.  They're a little bit big, but that's okay, I think it just makes them more comfy.  I'm definitely not giving them away, I don't think I could part with them.

March Socks - Kai-Mei
Started: March 1, 2012
Finished: March 24, 2012
Pattern: Kai-Mei by Cookie A from Sock Innovation
Yarn: Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock - Colour: Matcha
Needles: 2.75mm Harmony DPNs

And just to add a little cuteness to your day:

My friend Nicky showed me this pattern yesterday and I thought it was so cute that I had to crochet it right away.  The pattern is Easter Chick by Jennifer Bennett, and it's quick, easy, and well written, just the thing for a last-minute Easter or springtime gift.  Since I made her for a friend who really likes purple, I thought the little bow was the perfect finishing touch.

Have a great day everyone!


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

In Reply


Thanks everyone for all your comments on my last post, you're the best!  Since there were so many good suggestions and insights I thought I'd sorta reply/add my thoughts to the comments here:

It was brought to my attention by Renee Anne that I may be a project knitter - and here all this time I thought I was a process knitter. The more I think about it though, I think she's right.  If I was a process knitter, then I wouldn't care if the thing got done or not, and to be quite honest, I do care that it gets done.  This definitely explains a lot!!

My cousin TL suggested that I keep my WIPs for crochet and knitting separate, which is genius!!  They are two different crafts after all, which I hadn't thought of before.  I don't count my sewing WIPs with my knitting WIPs, so why am I doing that with my knitting and crocheting?  From now on I will be keeping track of them separately and I'm sure that will elevate a lot of pressure about how many WIPs I have.

Jill is so right, we knitters do seem to go on kicks of finishitis and startitis, and I know I swing wildly back-and-forth between the two!!  I hadn't really thought about it, but I'm so glad Jill pointed it out to me.  It's like seeing my problem in a whole new light.  I think I've been trying to force my crafting into being in a constant state of "stable-ness" - not having too many WIPs and yet still having enough on the go to keep me interested, but really, why am I trying so hard to keep everything perfect? The swinging back-and-forth wildly is what makes my crafting life exciting!  Stability is something that I need to have in my everyday life, but when it comes to my creative pursuits, I don't have to be quite as balanced, I can loosen up a little.

Rae Lynne and I have a lot in common.  I too am usually so excited to start something new that I end up forcing myself to finish some WIPs in order to cast on.  I also find that when I have too many projects going at one time, I start feeling overloaded by all that I have to do and get stressed out.  That is why I go on a finishitis kick, to give myself some breathing room, so to speak.  And yes, I was also brought up to "finish what you start" and "don't be a quitter" and that definitely translates over to my knitting habits.

I think what it all comes down to is that I need to keep the fun in my knitting.  This is something I do for pleasure and when it starts to become a burden and I no longer enjoy it, then clearly I need to make some changes and get things going back in the right direction.  I used to look forward to my knitting time and it was a way for me to relax and work on something exciting or soothing and that is what I am working on getting it back to.  Thank you everyone for all the help, I think I'm ready to make steps in the right direction now!!


P.S. Julie, your comment made my day! lol

Friday, March 23, 2012

Un-Fun Knitting


I have a question for you all: Do you ever not enjoying your knitting because you feel like you are always trying to finish things up quickly so you can cast on for something new?

This seems to be a problem with me right now and I am determined to make some changes so that I will enjoy my projects no matter how long they take and not feel like I'm punishing myself trying to get them finished so I can cast on something new I've been wanting to work on.

As I'm sure you've noticed, I tend to be the type of person who likes to be doing new things and casting on new projects.  Problem is, when I think that I have too many WIPs going I begin to feel guilty about them, and very ashamed if I cast on something new.  To fix this, I set about working through my WIPs to get them wittled down to a more "reasonable" number, but honestly, who ever said there had to be a reasonable number?  Stephanie Pearl-McPhee has said that there are no Knitting Police, so why do I act like there are?  Where did these standards come from that I'm always trying to live up to in my knitting?  This just does not seem right.  What ends up happening, is that I don't enjoy or even like working on my projects because I'm forcing myself to finish them up in order to start new ones.  This just creates a ton of stress and lots of frantic, "hurried up" knitting.  Which equals a very un-relaxed and un-happy me.

Knitting is supposed to be something I do for enjoyment and relaxation, and my oh my, it has been anything but lately!!  If I am happy and okay with having lots WIPs why is that not alright?  Why do I compare myself with other knitters?  Why do I start feeling bad about doing something I enjoy?

It's not like I never get my projects finished, they just sit a while first sometimes.  And it's not like I'm saying that I should get all out of hand and have tons and tons of projects on the go either, I just think that I should lighten up a bit and learn to enjoy the process of working on each project instead of rushing through it.

So my plan is to no longer worry how many WIPs I have going at one time or make myself finish up a bunch of them before I can cast on for something new, but instead I'm going to just take pleasure in whatever I happen to be working on and not stress about how long it takes me to get it finished, and if I want to cast on something new, I will.  I'm going to view it with the thoughts of - I knit because I enjoy it, this is something I like to do, and I am not going to stress about something that is supposed to be fun and for my own pleasure.  Of course there will be times when I do need to finish something up right away, for gifts and the such, but I don't want the "hurry up" knitting to be a daily and continual thing for me anymore.  It's about time I start enjoying life, and I'm going to start right now.


P.S. This all comes from a chat with my sister the other day who noticed that I was stressed out by my knitting and pointed it out to me.  She encouraged me to lighten up and have some fun, and reminded me why I knit in the first place - because I enjoy it.  So I have to say a big THANK YOU to her!!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Itty-Bitty Easter 2012 Swap Package


Today I have another swap package to share with you, this time it's the one I received yesterday from Jessica (JaneBG1923), who, if you remember, I was her swap partner for the Advent Swap as well.  I've been so blessed to have gotten another lovely package from her!  This one is for the Itty-Bitty Easter 2012 Swap.  Here are some close-ups:

And here's a description of everything - I've taken this from my Ravelry project page like I did for my post yesterday to make sure I didn't forget anything!

-Jessica knit me the cutest reversible duck/bunny - it is a bunny in the picture above but now it has decided to be a duck this evening because we’ve had so many migrating birds and ducks here the last couple of days. 

-a knitted Easter bunny wash cloth - it is so soft! 
-Jessica also knitting a pair of adorable pink bunny booties for my future baby!! I told my sister that these were perfect because I can’t seem to knit a pair of booties that are the same size, so now my baby will have a pair that matches! lol they are so beautifully knit! 
-a cupcake tote bag 
-a purple Della Q tangled string project bag - I’ve already got a sock-in-progress in it :) 
-Lantern Moon flower stitch markers 
-mini nail files 
-a pair of fun kite socks and a pair of bright stripey socks - oh how I like my socks! Both knitted and non-knitted :) 
-a gorgeous pair of pink breast cancer mittens that have a super soft fleece lining inside - these are awesome Jessica! I will get so much use out of them, I’m a mitten girl :) 
-cupcake note cards 
-Shabby Chic note cards 
-a purple pen from her school 
-a big book of Easter stickers - Jessica knows how much I like stationary and stickers ;) 
-a beach-themed to-do list with a pencil and magnet 
-a wash cloth that expands when you put it in water! 
-the most gorgeous Florida mug with flamingos on it! Jessica this is awesome because I collect cute mugs and you know how much I like Florida :D I’m going to have my morning coffee in it tomorrow!! 
-the Spud and Chloe pattern for the Polly Pullover - I have to make this, it is so cute!! 
-a ball of Sirdar Snuggly Smiley Stripes - this is such fun colours! 
-a ball of On Your Toes sock yarn - I’m going to make a Baby Surprise Jacket with this for my future baby to put in my hope chest :) 
-Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool dk -I’ve never tried this yarn before! It is so soft and squishy :) 
-2 skeins of Koigu Premium Merino sock yarn for me to make myself a pair of bright pink socks!!!! I’m saving this yarn for May when things slow down and I can enjoy knitting these, this yarn is fabulous! 
-a gift card for the Bulk Barn since I don’t eat treats but she wanted to include something yummy. I’m always shopping at the Bulk Barn! I buy a lot of my baking supplies there as well as tea for myself :) I’m thinking I’m going to get some tea with this since I’ve been on a bit of a tea kick lately :) This was so thoughtful of you Jessica, thank you. 
-a pop-up Easter card that is just so cute, as well as a Mary Engelbreit card since I’m a huge fan of hers! 
-2 beautiful seashells that Jessica picked up on the beach for me!! I always collect shells on vacation, so these are perfect-my own little piece of the gulf :) And, yes they really do smell like the ocean!!! 
-Jessica also gifted me the Spilly Jane pattern for Flamingo Mittens!! I can hardly wait to make these!! Thank you Jessica, these are perfect :)
It’s just so neat that I’ve been Jessica’s swap partner for your first two swaps, I feel so blessed!! And it’s amazing how she was able to include things from Florida, the beach, and the ocean, which are all such favourites of mine :) Thank you so much Jessica, you did such an amazing job and I’m thrilled with it all!! I’m going to be on a swap package high all week ;) 
Yippee!! I’m so excited for Easter now!!

Isn't it all amazing?  Thank you again Jessica, you are totally awesome!!  You completely suited this package just for me.  I'm so happy and excited with everything and can't wait to knit the BSJ, Flamingo Mittens and the Polly Pullover!!  Now I have lots to look forward to once work is done.  May is going to be a month full of lots of fun projects!  For the time being I am going to dream about them....


Monday, March 19, 2012

Frogs and Fairies Swap Package

Hello all,

Wow, I'm so behind with blogging about my What's at the Bottom of Your Garden Swap package from the wonderful Mel (womaninashoe), from the Itty-Bitty Group.  I have to sincerely apologize Mel for not getting this up sooner.  Here are the pictures first, and I've added to the bottom a detailed explanation of everything from my Ravelry project page.  This was one amazing swap package and it was so fun that it came all the way from my dear friend in Australia!

 "The amazing Mel (womaninashoe) sent me such a fantastic package for this swap, she is truly amazing!
This box was stuffed full of all the most wonderful things!! So much fairy and froggy goodness all throughout!
There was: 
-my gorgeous Matilda the Wattle fairy with her friend Gisborne the bunny (she is beyond beautiful and the modifications you did Mel are amazing!) 
-Another Flower Headband that Mel knit for me in pretty pink and it’s so soft. (funny thing about this one, one day when Mom and I were visiting my Grandma at the hospital I was trying to tell my Mom how I needed to buy Susan’s newest pattern for a headband/ear band because I sure could have used one since it was so windy in the parking lot. But I never got to tell her because she lost her keys and by the time we found them I had forgotten. I remembered later, but I never did get around to buying the pattern, so thank you so much Mel, this will come in handy tons!) 
-a pink project bag with a cute black and white lining that has a clear pocket inside, and it came with a little pink/purple-ish bell shaped flower stitch marker (that I’m using on my bunny for the Easter swap, I’m also using the bag for the bunny to tote him/her around). 
-a blue & green striped notion pouch. 
-a cute tin full of the most adorable garden themed buttons - ladybugs, snails, frogs, butterflies, flowers, etc. 
-ladybug and chick iron on motifs. 
-2 beautiful yellow butterfly stitch markers. 
-Australian animal stickers. 
-a beautiful bookmark with a lovely saying about a friend. 
-a delicate pink flower pin for my jacket or to pin on my scarf. This is so cool because I used to collect pins when I was younger and I still enjoy looking for special ones to add to my collection. 
-a stunning pair of dangly earrings that have pink beads, gold seashells and flowers hanging from them, that are so me! 
-a matching pink and grey shell necklace - also very me! Mel you did awesome picking these out! 
-an adorable frog project bag with my kit to knit Ribbit out of yummy Spud and Chloe and a bouncy ball. 
-froggie bubble bath. 
-a beautiful glass mushroom for all my froggies and fairy to sit under. 
-a mommy and baby frog. 
-my very own frog prince, with a “kiss me” sign and all! 
-a frog sitting on a rock and he has pink polka dots and a daisy painted on him. 
-a frog solar light to put out in the garden once the snow melts. 
-a precious tiny fairy figurine. 
-frog chocolates that my family are already enjoying :) 
-fairy cookies in the cutest fairy tin! Mom and I are going to have a tea party with these. 
-a pink notebook that looks like a little pocket book with a jeweled clasp. I’m going to keep this in my purse for writing my shopping list on. 
-a pink notebook for keeping project notes - I’m already using this as well :) 
-and last, but most certainly not least - I am in awe of the beautifulness of this: a porcelain tray with butterflies and flowers painted on it. Mel, it is absolutely gorgeous!! I can use it to serve cookies and treats when we have a tea party!! It’s amazing :D
Wow, I have been spoiled good!! Mel, thank you just doesn’t seem like enough! I am so blessed to have you as such a wonderful friend, and I will treasure each and every thing you sent me. You did an amazing job of putting together a swap package that was so very me :) Thank you so much!! You are wonderful :D"
Thank you again Mel, I'm thoroughly enjoying everything!  I wore my headband out for a walk over the weekend and it is so comfortable and warm!  I haven't got started on my froggy yet, but hopefully soon so he can sing along with the Spring Peepers when they come out.  They're my sure sign it's Spring. Again, I'm so sorry for not blogging this sooner, I do hope you can forgive me!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Picture Friday

A box full of colourful goodness from Knit Picks 
One finished charity baby hat
A charity project for a boy - this is finished now I just haven't got a picture yet
The next thing to go on my hook
That big thing I mentioned starting.   Oh how I want to spend some quality time with it!  Soon, very soon....
Have a great Friday!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Amigurumi Chat

Happy Morning All,

I have been wanting to learn how to crochet toys for a while now, and I've tried a few here and there but for some reason I just haven't quite "got it".  Yesterday, I seen the adorable bluebird in Stacey Trock's profile picture on Twitter so I asked her which pattern it was and she directed me to her Craftsy course Amigurumi: Woodland Animals.  Isn't that awesome?  I have to take this!  I think it will give me all the help I need since I find it easier to learn from seeing, plus those are the most adorable woodland animals.  Hopefully when things slow down a bit I can sneak this in to my schedule, maybe I'll even ask for it for Easter.  She has so many other cute patterns as well, Nelson the Owl has been on my favourites list for quite some time but I just didn't feel confident enough in amigurumi to tackle him.  I think this course should help with that and if not, Stacey also offers a Craftsy Workshop on Nelson.  Oh my, this is opening up a whole new world of exciting possibilities to me!  Isn't it the best when that happens?

Have a great day,

P.S. Our snow is still here Penny, so don't be jealous yet!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Yarn Bombing Helsinki

Helsinki's Cathedral (my own picture from when I was here last summer).
This morning I came across this link on Twitter to the Blue Sky Apaca's blog post about some amazing yarn bombing on the steps of the Cathedral, I was speechless at the magnitude of it!  It's beyond beautiful, you should really check it out.

Have a great day,

Monday, March 12, 2012

Random Bullet's on a Monday

  • It rained here today.
  • I crocheted what was supposed to be a newborn baby hat this morning and it ended up turning out to be quite a bit bigger than I was planning.
  • This was the second one I started because I realized half-way through the first one that I was using the wrong hook.
  • Now I'm reluctant to try another one.
  • I need to make another one though because I promised to do so for charity.
  • Progress is slow on working through my WIP list.
  • Due to feeling low about that, I cast on for something big on Saturday.
  • Not sure if that was a smart idea or not....
  • Nix the raining thing, it is pouring out there.  By the time it's done the snow is probably going to be all gone.
  • Speaking of things melting, the ice on the lake is looking pretty rotten.  Watching it all break up is one of my favourite things about spring!  I missed it last year when we were in California, so I'm really looking forward to it.
  • I have a slight nail polish fetish.
  • To brighten my day I painted my nails "Thanks a Windmillion", which is a slightly muted sea foam green from O.P.I's Holland Collection.
  • They are drying, so that is why I'm taking time out of my work to write this post.
  • It sounds like this is going to be a very busy week for me.
  • Because of this, I'm thinking I will do just short posts, maybe some pictures here and there with a few words.  They could be like little "day brighteners."
  • Nails are dry, thus ends this post!
Be back soon,

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Granny Stripes Blanket: Finished


Dear blog readers, I am so sorry for my lack of blogging, honestly I am.  I have been trying to get a post together for days, but I never seem to have enough time to get it all in order.  My family's Pancake House has opened for the season (which is about 6-7 weeks) and I've been busy baking for it which seems to take up most of my time.  By the end of the day I just want to sit and relax for a bit with a project and my mind doesn't want to think up words for a post!  I will try to work on this though and hopefully be able to keep up with posting over the next two months.

Anyways, I have exciting news!  I finished my Granny Stripes Blanket!!  I'm so excited to have this one off the hook and on my bed.  It brings me such joy to snuggle under all those lovely colourful stripes each night.

Started: May 17th, 2011
Finished: March 3rd, 2012
Pattern: Granny Stripes by Lucy of Attic24
Yarn: 2 balls each of Stylecraft Special DK in: Pomegranate, Fondant, Sherbet, Saffron, Lipstick, Meadow, Aspen, Aster, Lavender, Spring Green, Plum, Magenta, Clematis, Shrimp, Turquoise, Wisteria, and Cloud Blue. 17 colours total - also known as the "Lucy Pack."
Hook: 4.50mm
Size: Approx. 60" x 85"

Wow, I really am so HAPPY with this blanket!!  It took me almost 10 months to complete, but it was an on-again-off-again project, not one that I worked on consistently.  It was so worth all the time that it took and I never felt like it was a pain to work on, it was always a joy and very relaxing, even near the end when it was getting super heavy and hard to pile on to my knee.  I still have quite a bit of yarn left over, so I think I might make some pillow covers.

Now that I am done this blanket, I went back to work on the Hexagon one and decided that it was just not turning out how I had hoped.  I was using a size G hook and it was coming out way too tight, so I have started over again with a J hook and it's so drapey and lovely!!  I'll have to get some pictures of it soon.

Anyways, I'm off to do some knitting before bed.  Have a great night!!


Thursday, March 1, 2012

March Socks: The Beginning


I can't talk right now, I'm on the Edge of the Granny Stripes Blanket, but I wanted to show a picture of March's sock yarn because I thought it just looked so pretty!!

It's Sunshine Yarns Luxury Sock which is 80/10/10 merino/cashmere/nylon blend in the colour Matcha.  Becca (borkles) gave it to me last May in the Itty-Bitty Cupcake Swap and I've been saving it for just the right pattern, which I've decided is Kai-Mei.  I've never made myself a pair of socks with cashmere in them, so I'm beyond excited about these!!

Okay, now I'm going to get back to the Edge!!