Wednesday, January 30, 2008

FO: Un-cashmere neckwarmer

ETA: Sherrie has since posted some new photos of her wearing the neckwarmer properly!

Sherrie e-mailed me a link for an "un-cowl" that she thought was cute, so I sat down an knit it for her and surprised her with it last Friday night. She posted a photo of it on her blog, but I don't think she's wearing it right (she knows -- I told her). I think it should be flipped over so the toggle is toward the bottom of the scarf instead of at the top. But, whatever. It's hers and she can wear it any way she wants!

It took me a morning to knit. Here are the specs:

Pattern: Cashmere Neckwarmer by Kim
Source: Yarn Abuse
Materials: leftover bits of Manos del Uruguay 100 per cent wool in Natural and Green
Needles: US 11/9 mm
Started: January 25, 2008
Finished: January 25, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008

Fugly to fun

I changed my mind about what to do with those Frenchy's place mats. We haven't done anything to our bedroom, decorating-wise, and I thought those place mats would be a good springboard to start a bedroom theme. Here's the very plain bed and fugly curtain (belonging to the former owner of our house) before:

And after:

It's a start. I still need to paint the walls someday (and decide on a colour), but right now, I'm happy with the way it looks.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

FO: Manos mitts and cowl

I've gone too long without proper mittens and the recent cold snap reminded me once again that I am in dire need of warm, woolly mittens. With the Manos yarn that Blogless Annie gave me for Christmas, I finally knit myself those mitts I so desperately needed.

Pattern: I used this pattern as a guide, but I changed so many things that it might as well be my own pattern.
Materials: 1 skein of Manos del Uruguay 100 per cent wool in colour #114 (Bramble)
Needles: US 8/5 mm dpns
Started: January 18, 2008
Finished: January 21, 2008

Notes: They are warm and look oh-so snazzy with my turquoise jacket. They've already started to pill because I've worn them so much in three days, but that doesn't bother me.

I needed a scarf to match the mitts, but I didn't have enough yarn for a full-length one, so I decided to knit a cowl. I just cast on 75 stitches with US 10 circulars and knit until I ran out of yarn. I also got to use that great bind-off method again. It may be more time consuming that the traditional bind-off, but it makes such a nice finished product.

Here's a happy gal with her new winter gear! However, you'll notice now that I'm finally properly outfitted for winter, the snow is all gone and the sun is shining. My timing sucks.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Frenchy's finds

Last weekend Sherrie, Blogless Annie, Phillip and I spent an afternoon rooting through the bins at Frenchy's. I scored this skirt that Annie found in the costumes bin (is this really a costume?). I thought it was the cutest thing in the world. Rick-rack and an appliqu├ęd bird? Yes please.

I removed some ugly "pearls" from the bird's neck (really? Do birds wear pearls?) and now it's perfect. I love it!

And this morning I scored an even better Frenchy's find without even visiting Frenchy's! After my traditional Saturday morning visit to a local cafe and bakery, I decided to stop at Sherrie's house for a visit. Little did I know she was searching for my phone number at that very instant to tell me she found these glorious oversize place mats for me! Eeeeeee! I won't use them as place mats, but I will cut them up to make other things. I'm thinking another handbag . . . a girl can never have too many handbags, right?

I also have a new obsession. I spent all day yesterday listening to Sia. She's friggin' nuts, but she has the most incredible voice I have ever heard. And then when Jesse came home from work he had picked up her new album for me!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Phillip's sweater

Last night I finished the seemingly never ending seaming of Phillip's "can de pois" sweater (the colour is very reminiscent of canned peas, hence the nickname). Since it's a gift for his first birthday, which is in June (I know, I'm a keener), I'm not going to post a full shot of the sweater. I want it to be somewhat of a surprise for his Mum and Dad.

Pattern: Shawl Collar Sweater by Debbie Bliss
Source: Essential Baby by Debbie Bliss

Materials: 6.25 skeins of Debbie Bliss Rialto Aran in 210 lime
Needles: US 8/5 mm and US 7/4.5 mm circulars
Started: December 29, 2007
Finished: January 17, 2008

Notes: It's a pretty straightforward sweater. The only weird bit is that it says to put the uppermost back stitches on a holder while you work the front and sleeves, then you pick up the held back stitches and work the collar. Why not just work the collar as soon as you finish the back, and skip the holder altogether? I dunno.

I also used a new-to-me bind off for the collar to make it stretchier: Zimmermann's Better Bind Off. It worked really well. This would be an ideal bind off for toe-up socks. You can sort of see how it looks in the photo below.

The yarn is very nice. I like it better than Cashmerino Aran because it seems to pill less and it's equally soft. It's also superwash merino, which makes it ideal for a baby who will most likely drool and spit up on it from time to time.

Now I have to hide the sweater from Sherrie until June!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

FO: Simple Bag

Blogless (Blog-free? Which do you prefer?) Annie borrowed Last-Minuted Patchwork + Quilted Gifts from the library and she was kind enough to loan it to me while she's away. I love this book. There are so many great patterns in here. So, with a tummy full of my favourite salad, I sat down and made the Simple Bag while watching cooking shows on PBS.

I used some floral fabric from my Gramie's stash and some linen that I picked up at Le's Fashion this morning.

I love the way the straps use both fabrics.

And here's a shot of the bag's interior. I love everything about this bag! I can't wait to try out some more patterns from this book.

Favourite salad

I've been making this salad for lunch everyday this week. It was inspired by a salad I used to eat at a restaurant in Moncton. One day, I told the chef that he should never change that salad because it was so good. Of course, the next time I went in for a salad, they had changed their menu and eliminated my favourite salad. I experimented in the kitchen to try and recreate the dressing, and this is what I've come up with. It's my take on a Greek salad.

Get yourself some lettuce (any kind, I like romaine), tomatoes (I know, it's stupid to buy tomatoes in January, but they were at the grocery store and I brought them home. They actually taste really good), cucumber, feta and Kalamata olives (I happen to have run out of olives).

Make the dressing. I use a few splashes of balsamic vinegar, the same amount of olive oil, a drop of honey and a couple of pinches of dried oregano (rub it between your fingers to crush it up a bit).

Whisk it up.

Drizzle your dressing over your salad, and you have Ingrid's favourite salad. Yum.