Monday, July 30, 2007

Still Here

Wow, I didn't mean to drop out for so long. The lack of posting in these parts is pretty much due to a complete lack of crafting, thrifting or anything else that I usually write about. Chalk it up to summer, I guess. While so many bloggers have been writing about how glorious their season has been, mine has actually been pretty trying thus far. I'm not good in the heat and the hot summer was one of the few reasons that I was glad to leave Toronto last year. Unfortunately, there have been record highs here and since it's usually not this hot in these parts, air conditioning is scarce (and unheard of in homes). So, I've been sweating it out. Literally.

Here's my poor Mystery Stole, over a week into the two-week Clue #4. This clue goes to row 335 and I'm a measly 227 rows in. With me averaging about six rows every other day, it's clear that I'm not going to finish by Friday. I've got to push myself though, or I'm going to put this thing away and never pick it up again. Must finish the lace. Even if it takes me through September.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Charming, Indeed!

I finally finished my first "real" (I can't count the tea towel apron -- it was too easy!) project from Amy Karol's Bend The Rules Sewing. It's the very popular Charming Handbag. The outer part is made from an also very popular Super Buzzy fabric with little Russian dolls that I've had sitting around for a while. The lining is some scraps from the Wee Wonderful dolls that I made at Christmas.

I love this bag. I'm still not super confident with my sewing skills, but man, Amy makes it so easy to deal with. Now I just have to find a few places to go where I can take a bag that's too small to fit diapers/baby sunscreen/sippy cups in.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Mystery Stole: Chuggin' Along

And, after a week of few words, we're back to regular scheduled programming. I must say, all that colour week business was a nice distraction from having to update you on Mystery Stole Three. The above picture is the stole as it looks right this minute -- the purple string is my lifeline, which was put in as I started Clue #3. I did pretty okay with Clue #2, making one big mistake with that diagonal line that goes towards the middle, but choosing to ignore that particular blunder. Then another blunder was made, some stitches dropped in the tinking and... I had to frog back to the lifeline I put in after Clue #1. Thirty-three rows, gone. It was devastating. But at least I got to correct the unwanted zig-zag in that diagonal part.

So, I'm glad for lifelines. But I'm still not so sure if lace is for me. I do like the homework aspect of this project, but quite honestly, I think it's the only thing that's keeping me going. I'm not too happy with my choice of white yarn (so contrary to my style) and I'm not totally sure that the lace is my style either (Aaron's uttered the words "old lady-ish" a couple of times when inspecting the stole). But, I'm going to keep at it. As long as the weather agrees that is -- it's been so hot here that the yarn was sticking to my hand leaving it's fluffy halo behind. Gross.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday, July 13, 2007

Friday: Orange

Despite my obvious love of pink, I've got to say that this is the best day of the week with the best colour ever. I love my Tiger Lilies so much that they make me want to cry.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Colour Week: Green

From the garden (and the kitchen):

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Tuesday: Blue

There's not a huge amount of blue around here, but this is what I came up with:

Monday, July 09, 2007

Colour Week: Yellow

Andrea is hosting a colour week (yes, I spell it with a "u" -- I'm Canadian) and I thought I'd join in. Its raining like crazy today, so I snapped a few yellow things that are inside my house. After a full, full, full weekend (garage sale, watching Aaron paint the kitchen, an anniversary date, a night out with an old friend seeing an amazing and very dreamy band play, a trip to the Calgary Stampede and general craziness), I'm not much for writing, so here are the pics:

Ruby's toiletries.

A souvenir from a magazine I wrote for years and years ago. I found it while digging through stuff for the garage sale. I love this guy -- I know the yellow is scant, but it's there.

The first coat of kitchen paint.

Friday, July 06, 2007

W.I.P. Friday: The Stole

Oh, Mystery Stole. I think somewhere in the neighbourhood of 6000 people are doing Mystery Stole now. Unsurprisingly, I cancelled my subscription to the digest emails because it was just too crazy and quite honestly, there was very little information that I found very useful. But, I'm happily knitting along, just now in a more solitary way, which decreases the crazy pressure to crank out this lace stole.

Here's what I realized after knitting clue #1 (which I completed on Monday): lace isn't really my craft. I'm going to stick with this project, but I'm just not fussy enough to be bothered to frog back when I make a mistake. This isn't good, since a wee mistake on a fancy lace pattern can ruin the whole thing. I missed a yarnover or something around row 60, and while after some fudging you can barely tell, I know this thing is going to be far from perfect. I'm going to insert a lifeline in between clues, but in general, I'm not that emotionally invested in perfection. Bad lace knitter.

I'm also chugging along on my Charade socks and I'm halfway through a fabric bag... more to come if this heat ever lets up.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Book Review: Just Socks and Just Gifts

So, I wasn't immediately excited by the thought of the newest books in the Lion Brand Just... series. After all, while Lion Brand is better than say, Red Heart, I'm more of a LYS kind of girl than a Michael's shopper and I also think that all of those Lion Brand fun fur ads (you know, where the girl has Lion Brand fun fur on the cuffs of her jeans, jacket and dog's collar) just totally turned me off. But then when I saw that the books were edited by the very respectable Shannon Okey, I thought I'd check them out. And what did I find? A little bit of good and a smidge of meh.

I'll start with the meh. Just Socks features about three dozen sock patterns (knit and crochet) and while some of them are cute, I don't think any of them would fit all that comfortably under shoes. I may be wrong, but I don't think Lion Brand actually makes a sock weight yarn, so the finest yarn used here is weighted at a 3 (which is DK), but most of them are made of Lion Wool, which is weighted at a 4 (worsted). That's just too thick for my tastes.

Still, there are some cute patterns in here and they'd definitely be suited to beginners who want to try out sock knitting but are afraid to try knitting on toothpicks. And I can actually see myself making some of the more slipper style socks to wear around the house or in bed. Let's see what happens come winter time.

Just Gifts fares a little better. The first pattern is for a super cute crochet bear designed by my former secret pal Kim Werker. There are also some super cool dishrags that I've already knitted up (more on that in a future post)and some cute bags and mittens. There are a couple of things that recall that horrible fun fur ad (namely a felted newsboy hat big enough to hide a head of dreads under), but generally, it's a pretty cute little book. And there are tons of gifts for pets, including a sushi cat toy, if you're into that kind of thing.

So, Lion Brand might not be the hippest in some knitting circles, but these books are okay. I can't see 400 people on Ravelry simultaneously casting on to make Just Gifts' Teddy Bear Hat And Shoe Set, but there are a lot of people who like Lion Brand just fine and don't care about the knitting cliques. These books are for them and also for yarn snobs who might want a simple project to distract us from our Monkey socks and Clapotis.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Mail... So Far

Seeing as its a holiday here and there'll be no new mail, I thought I'd show off my mail from last week. Six cards so far from Andrea's super fab postcard swap. I should receive 13 in total and I expect them to trickle in, as the U.S./Canada postal transfer sometimes takes a while. Thankfully it seems like mine are finding their way to their new homes as well, so the summer love is spreading.

Oh, and that photobooth strip on the fridge (me and my lovely friend Mark) is totally for Andrea's benefit.