Monday, December 31, 2007

Banner year

Wow. Considering I just started knitting last November, I'd say I accomplished quite a bit in 2007. It's neat to see all the FOs up there in that mosaic. I can see a colour trend -- there's a lot of pink and turquoise, arguably my favourite colours.

In 2008, I plan to try colourwork (I have this in mind) and maybe even knit something for Jesse. Whenever I show him a pattern for something I think he might like, he scrunches up his face and shakes his head. But I recently found a hat that he has said he'd like to have and I can't tell you how excited I am. Finally, I may get the chance to knit him something!

Happy New Year and happy knitting to all.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Yarn binge

I've never had much of a stash. My "stash" mainly consists of a small Rubbermaid bin filled with bits of leftover yarn from past projects. My rule is to only buy yarn when I've finished a project and need something new to work on. That all changed after Christmas. Armed with $40 in gift certificates for Tangled Skeins in Dartmouth, I braved the freezing rain on December 27 to take full advantage of their Boxing Day sale.

I knew I wanted sock yarn and some yarn for a sweater for Phillip's birthday (he's outgrown the Trellis I made him, so, naturally, he needs a new sweater). Here's what I brought home with me:

Oceanwind Knits superwash merino in blu at 30 per cent off.

Artyarns Supermerino in colour #127 (it reminds me of watermelons), also at 30 per cent off.

Eight skeins of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in lime, again for 30 per cent off. I've already started knitting the Shawl Collar Sweater from Bliss' Essential Baby for Phillip.

As I was winding up my sock yarn, I spied some Noro Cash Iroha at 50 per cent off. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you see a pile of Cash Iroha? The Hourglass Sweater, of course. Seeing as I don't own a copy of Last Minute Knitted Gifts, I raced around looking for it at Tangled Skeins. I found a "store copy." I had a plan. I asked the kind clerk whether I'd be able to photocopy (I know, sacrilege!) the pattern if I bought eight skeins of Cash Iroha. She complied, and I ended up with yet another large bag of yarn!

Blogless Annie also added to my newfound stash by giving me two skeins of Manos in colour #114 (Bramble) for Christmas. I haven't yet decided if these will be mittens of a scarf. Even though it's been sort of overdone, I do like My So Called Scarf.

So, there it is. Now you know what's in my stash. I think it's time to pick up a bigger Rubbermaid bin.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Handmade gifts

Frenchy Sherrie and I had a little gift exchange yesterday. You can see what I made for her family here.

And what did I get?

The most perfect Christmas tree ornament for a knitter.

Some homemade vanilla (it's just a vanilla bean and some vodka. So simple!).

And some of Sherrie's soap (mint chocolate), a tiny grater and some nutmegs. What's weird is I just ran out of nutmeg this week and was planning to pick up another nut at the health food store yesterday. It's creepy how Sherrie can read my mind.

Thank you Sherrie for all the fun handmade gifts!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I finished all my Christmas knitting early last week.

The presents are all wrapped.

Our first ever full-sized, real tree is up.

And now I'm just relaxing, making some mindless moss stitch face cloths for myself. I am 100 per cent ready for Christmas.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Potpourri Post (cute "p" words)

I have a whole lot to tell you about, so I'm going to throw everything into this one post. Christmas is almost here and I'm too busy to break this up into several tidy, little posts. Here it goes.

First things first. Hand-knit socks + party shoes = a match made in heaven.

Yes, that's right folks. Once I let the sock yarn from hell mellow a bit, it gave me some pretty snazzy socks. Sure, they didn't end up striping evenly, but it's winter, it's snowing, it's cold and I need to warm my tootsies (especially when they're in party shoes rather than big, woolly boots). This is, of course, the Jaywalker pattern, knit up with Claudia Handpainted Yarn in chocolate cherry.

Next up, I fell madly in love with Noro this week. I spent two days knitting a couple of secret Christmas projects from two balls of Noro Kureyon #134. Wow. Could this stuff be any more beautiful? Seriously, Noro is to knitters as crack is to junkies.

After I told you about my blank moo greeting cards, I received a sweet note from a lovely moo employee named Daniel. He said they spotted the error shortly after sending the cards, so they were repirnted and reshipped right away. I got the new cards in the mail this week and they look quite sharp.

And see? My message is printed on the inside!

I also finished these wristers for Sherrie's Dad for Christmas. If you take a trip in the wayback machine, you'll see I knit him some wristers in February. Sherrie does a good job explaining what wristers are here.

And speaking of Sherrie, look what she gave me in exchange for the wristers!

Some of the sweetest smelling soap ever. It's minty and oh-so refreshing. Mmmmm. I could sniff this stuff all day.

She'll be opening an etsy shop soon, but if you hop on over to her blog, you might be able to snag some soap from a test batch at a rather substantial discount.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A little something special

Becky over at moonfrog is having a "little something special" contest for the holidays. She's asked bloggers to post a photo and a story about a special decoration that makes your holiday season special. Here's my entry!

When I was a student intern at The Herald in 2003, the first assignment I got was to write a story about an "interesting" crafter at the Dalplex Christmas Craft Market in Halifax. The assignment had been pawned off on me after all of the seasoned reporters pooh-poohed it as a lame holiday story. I didn't have the luxury of declining the assignment since I was the lowest on the totem pole, so I accepted. Lucky for me, I have a knack for making the most boring, eye-rolling story ideas into award-winning, front page stories (it's true! The only award I ever won was for a story with the headline, "1,000 cookies a day.").

Anyway, to make a long story short, I ended up interviewing Elizabeth Brown, an artist from Liverpool who saw "faces" in other people's woodpiles. She used her wood carving skills to bring those faces out and was selling her carvings at the craft market. The story didn't make the front page, but it did end up on page A3, above the fold. (click on the image to enlarge it and read the story.)

I went to the craft market on the day of publication and found Elizabeth Brown. She had picked up The Herald before setting up her shop that morning and she said several people had stopped into her booth after having read the story. She was so thrilled with what I had written that she gave me one of her old world Santa Christmas tree ornaments.

The ornament is still one of my favourites and I smile every time I see it. I usually keep it hanging around year-round as a reminder of how I was able to turn what could have been a really lame story into one that brought me compliments from those hard-ass reporters who wouldn't touch the assignment with a 10-foot pole.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Crafting day!

Yesterday, a bunch of us gals got together to spend an afternoon crafting for Christmas! Here's Sherrie working on some handmade cards.

Rebecca and Annie worked on some hand-knit gifts.

And I worked on a top secret project that kind of turned into a disaster. I'm not sure if it'll be a Christmas gift or not. It depends on how butt-ugly it is when it's finished.

We also indulged in some sweets!

I made this tart from November's Martha Stewart Living magazine. It was divine!