Tuesday, January 30, 2007

When a man shirt becomes a girly shirt

I came across this great tutorial through Vera's blog and just had to try it out. You can find the actual tutorial here. So, I rifled through hubby's drawers and found a shirt that no longer fits him (won't say if it's too big or too small!) and kindly asked if I could cut it up. As soon as I got his permission, I went crazy with some scissors and a sewing machine.

Voici the before:

And the after:

Cute as a purple pumpkin.

This was super easy to make and I'd recommend the tutorial to anyone. It was fun and very rewarding. Now I have a new cute shirt! And it only took me about two hours to make!

Kitty Talk

It's time to play every body's favourite game: "My Kitty Does the Darnedest Things!"

Mr. Moustache used to lay down and tuck both of his front paws under his chest, but lately he's only been tucking on paw in. That leave the other paw awkwardly outstretched. He seems to be comfortable lounging around like this but it makes him look like a one-front-pawed kitty. Of course, it's also the cutest thing in the world.

What cute/weird/darnedest things does your kitty do?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wait a minute Mr. Postman!

Look what the mailman dragged in today!

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. I now have those US 11/8 mm 60 cm circulars that don't exist in Yarmouth County. Many thanks go out to Shannon who has loaned me the needles so I can finish those felted house slippers. You're a peach!

I'll be working on those slippers as soon as I finish the first of a pair of socks I've started working on. The photo doesn't do them justice -- the sweet georgia yarn should be in the most beautiful shades of blues and greens instead of a weird grey colour. But not to worry, I will be shooting these Jaywalkers in natural sunlight very soon.

Oh, and I'm in love with this pattern. I know, Jaywalkers are to knitters as drugs are to teenagers (every body's doing it . . . ), but I still love these socks. I thought about giving them away to someone, but I think these babies will be keeping my tootsies warm. And I'm planning a special surprise for the toe of these socks. They're gonna be supercute socks.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Not gonna be a spin doctor

So, I didn't get the job . . .

But I'm okay with that. I really wanted the job, but I realize that it may not be the best place to work if (a) they don't want to hire someone who's more than qualified and (b) they mail letters to those who weren't chosen for the position. Is it just me or does that seem extremely cold? I like to get a phone call from the person who interviewed me so I can ask them how I can improve, what I should have done differently, and all that stuff. Now I'm wondering who they hired . . .

It's probably for the better. I know I should be in journalism and not in PR, but goddammit there aren't any decent newspaper jobs, especially in Atlantic Canada (which is where I'd like to be). So, back I go, to the job boards, in search of that ever-elusive job writing for that ever-elusive newspaper.

Monday, January 22, 2007

FO: Branching Out

Mum helped me block the scarf and I'm SO happy with the way it turned out. The edges are a tiny but scalloped -- I guess we could have used more pins -- but it still looks great. And check it out with Mum's thrift store olive green coat! It's a match made in colour wheel heaven.

Pattern: Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Source: knitty.com
Materials: half of a ball of Misti Alpaca in colour CA02 (Orange Melange)
Needles: a 24 inch US 8/5 mm bamboo circular needle
Started: January 13, 2007
Finished: knitting January 19, 2007, blocking January 22, 2007
Modifications: I didn't use the suggested yarn and I knit 30 pattern repeats instead of the suggested 36 because Mum didn't want the scarf to be too long. It's more of a decoration for her coat than a functional scarf.

Notes: This pattern was fun, but sometimes frustrating. As we know, the scarf fell off the needles several times and was a bitch to put back on. But I don't think that will keep me from trying lace again. I still have half of a ball of this yarn left, so I might just attempt another Branching Out scarf. My co-worker at the gallery was kind of eyeing this one up ... Here's Mum. The proud owner of a new lace scarf.

Oh, and I know I promised blocking photos, but we blocked the scarf on a variegated tan coloured carpet, so all the photos I took look like a big bunch of nothing. You can't discern the scarf from the carpet. Next time I'll put a sheet or something in a contrasting colour between the floor and the garment.

In other news, I ran all over town this morning looking for a 24 inch/60 cm US 11/8 mm circular needle and do you think I could find one? Nope. I checked out everywhere I could think of, including Zellers and Bargain Giant, but I couldn't find the right size. I might just have to call Halifax and get someone to send me one. Such a sad state of affairs. I guess those felted slippers will have to be on hold for the time being.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A sea of orange

The knitting portion of Branching Out is done and just in the nick of time. Last night, Moustache took out his aggression on the remaining Misti Alpaca yarn. He tore a huge hole in the Ziploc bag that was housing the yarn and sucked on the glorious Alpaca goodness. The ball was soaking wet with kitty drool. Ew.

I'll probably be blocking the scarf tomorrow when I go to my folks' house (I don't have a room where I can block the scarf and be sure that Moustache doesn't eat it) and I'll have some more pre- and post-blocking photos, including one of Mum's Frenchy's coat with her new lace accessory.

My next project is a pair of felted house slippers made from some gorgeous Manos del Uraguay. This will be my first attempt at felting and I'm very excited about it. The slippers will be gifted to someone, but I can't say who yet because they're supposed to be a surprise! The pattern calls for knitting with three strands at once, so I've started winding a three-ply ball. Fun!

I had my job interview on Thursday and had homework to do for tomorrow. I finished the homework Friday night (can you say "keener"?) and will hand it in tomorrow morning. I can't wait to find out about this position! The employer said to expect to hear about whether I've got the job later on this week. So, again, keep your fingers crossed for me!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Denny Doherty RIP

When I was one year old, I saw my first concert. It was at the Odeon Theatre in Yarmouth, a theatre that no longer exists, circa 1982. My Mum and Dad took my brother and I to see the Mamas and the Papas. Of course, Mama Cass wasn't there -- Elaine "Spanky" McFarlane replaced her -- and Michelle was also replaced by John's daughter, MacKenzie Phillips. But John and Denny performed and I was there. Since I was "in diapers," as my Dad says, I have no recollection of the concert, but it must have been a founding moment in my life because I've always loved the sweet sounds of the Mamas and the Papas.

In my teenage years, my folks took me to see another show based on the Mamas and the Papas. It was Denny Doherty's one-man musical, Dream a Little Dream. Besides seeing Les Miserables, it was probably one of the best shows I've ever seen. And every time I saw Denny Doherty on TV, I smiled and thought back to that amazing show I saw at Neptune Theatre in Halifax.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and the world lost a legend yesterday. Denny Doherty died after suffering an aneurysm last month. There's a great tribute to the sweetest, most down-to-Earth rock star the music world has ever seen in The Chronicle-Herald today. I suggest you read it and listen to some of those incredible tunes the Mamas and the Papas recorded during the short time they were together.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Branching out into lace

The branching out scarf is 50 per cent done and coming along quite nicely. I never thought I would like knitting lace because I don't really like how most lace patterns look. I would never want a lace shawl -- I just don't think they're very pretty. But, I got this lace weight yarn in a swap and had to do something with it. And I'm so surprised that I actually like the way this scarf is turning out. I worked on the scarf while I was visiting my folks in Pubnico Monday night and Mum was kind of eyeing it up. She brought out a green coat she recently picked up thrift shopping and held the scarf up to it -- they look great together. So, I guess this scarf will be gifted to my Mum! I'll probably have enough yarn to make two scarves ... but I'm not sure if I want to make another one. Disaster struck yesterday when the scarf fell off the needles in my book bag. I had NO IDEA how to get the loops back on the needle, so I ended up frogging several rows and eventually figured it out.

I'm hoping the pattern will show much more once it's blocked. It looks a little messy right now.

And in other news ... I got a call back yesterday from the people hiring that job I really want and I have an interview tomorrow morning! Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Editor's note: Wine and lace do not mix. Even if you think just one glass of wine won't affect the way your fingers move yarn around needles ... think again. I had to rip back 20 rows tonight when I discovered a huge hole in my scarf.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

You've seen it on the table, now see it on me!

Hubby obliged me and played photographer for the evening, albeit a shaky-handed photographer.

So, there it is. What do you think?

FO: Tempting sweater

I finished the Tempting sweater on Friday and I'm so pleased with it. I haven't had the chance to organize a photo shoot of me in the sweater yet, so here's a sneak preview of the finished garment.

Pattern: Tempting by Jenna Adorno
Source: knitty.com
Materials: five-and-a-quarter balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in colour #330010
Needles: one set of US 8/5mm bamboo dpns and one 24 inch US 8/5mm bamboo circular needle
Started: December 28, 2006
Finished: January 12, 2007
Modifications: None at all.
Notes: This was a very simple and quick knit and I'm glad I chose it for my first attempt at a sweater. It fits me quite well and I hope to get a lot of wear out of it. I love how pretty this sweater is. It's girly and cute and I can wear it to work with a skirt or on my days off with jeans. Verdict: supercute sweater.

I promise to have modeling photos up soon. It looks a little wonky just sitting on the table. Let me assure you, it looks much less boxy on my body.

I went to my lys yesterday morning to wind a bunch of balls of yarn on their swift and I ended up buying some more yarn for future projects. I'm so excited about these future knits!

Bottom to top: three balls of Manos del Uraguay that will soon be transformed into a pair of house slipper from Knit 2 Together, and two balls of Sweet Georgia yarn in Life Aquatic to either make some Pomatomous socks or Jaywalker socks ... I haven't decided yet.

And here is my newest project: an orange lace scarf in Misti Alpaca lace weight yarn. I know it doesn't look like much right now, but when I stretch it out just right, you can see the pattern. This baby will need a heckuva lot of blocking, but I think it'll turn out okay. It will be gifted to someone -- I'm just not sure who yet.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

So close, yet so far away ...

"So close" because I'm so close to finishing my Tempting sweater, "yet so far away" because I need another ball of yarn and that ball is roughly 300 km away. So, I've convinced hubby to make a trip to Halifax tomorrow to get another skein of yarn and maybe some nice sock yarn. I've promised him I'd do the rounds of the record shops in town in return for the yarn shopping.

But back to the sweater. It's nearly finished. In a few days, I'm sure I'll be wearing it for all to see and I will be posting photos of myself modeling the sweater very soon! I went out and bought some ribbon this afternoon to weave in the yoke of my sweater. It's a nice 1 1/2 inch ribbon in a pretty pale aqua. It compliments the turquoise-y colour of the yarn perfectly!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Progress report

I attached the sleeves to my sweater yesterday. Everyone still says he sweater looks small, but I think it'll fit. I mean, it stretches a lot and I'm a small person. Once I work the yoke a bit more, I'll be able to try it on. I'm definitely happy with how it's turned out so far. AND my third ball of yarn was knot-less!

I've applied for a job that seems quite promising. It's a media relations job based in Yarmouth, so I wouldn't have to move. And, it's a full-time, permanent job, so, if I get the job, we could buy a house and settle down right here, close to our families. It's all very exciting, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up too much. You never know who else will apply for the position. I'm definitely qualified for the job and the deadline to apply is next Friday, so keep your fingers crossed!

Another one of my friends just had a baby boy, so I guess I'll be knitting another blue baby hat. The pink one had been promised to Sherrie, who has a strong feeling she's having a girl!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Is this normal?

I've been plugging away at the Tempting sweater and it's looking great so far, but I've run into some "snags" (aka knots) with my Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran yarn. I've knit two balls so far and both of them had a knot (as seen below) about halfway through the ball. When I encountered the first knot, I thought maybe it was just a freak accident that happened in the factory, but then there was a second knot in the second skein and I'm not very impressed. The knot has two broken ends knotted together, so I have to untie the knot and now I'm going to have twice the number of ends to weave in. Argh! I figured yarn that cost almost $11 CDN a ball wouldn't have any dumb knots in it. Anyone else encounter this problem with this kind of yarn?

After knitting two balls, I have eight inches of sweater knitted. Besides the irritating knots, the yarn is buttery soft and I love the colour. Many non-knitters have commented that the sweater looks small but they don't realize that 2x2 rib stretches immensely. I'm knitting the smallest size, so I hope it'll fit!

EDIT: After a wee bit of Googling, I have found out that knots in DB Cashmerino Aran are rather common. Sad, but true.