Monday, April 27, 2009

Fishnet Bandana

After the success of my 7-Up scarf, I realized that I liked the look of an all-eyelet triangular scarf, even though it wasn't what I originally set out to knit. I gifted it to my sister-in-law's girlfriend, who absolutely loved it. It was so loved, in fact, that the giftee not-so-subtly hinted that a black version would be much appreciated by her lady love. I barely ever knit for Aaron's sister since her tastes are very specific, so I lunged at the chance to knit something that I knew she would like. I picked up the darkest skein of Noro I could find and knit away.

This pattern (which I'm sure has been invented elsewhere, but I'm giving you my own version) is simple as simple can be. Use any kind of yarn you'd like, choosing a needle size or two higher than the one recommended on the ball band. Then:

CO 1 st
Row 1: Kfb
Row 2: Kfb, Kfb
Row 3: Kfb, K2, Kfb
Row 4: Kfb, K4, Kfb
Row 5: Kfb, K to end
Row 6: Kfb, (yo K2tog) to end

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until scarf is desired length or you run out of yarn (a decent sized skein should be enough). Bind off as loosely as humanly possible. Block.

Blocking is an essential here... well, sort of. I didn't block the 7-Up version because the yarn was holding pretty large eyelets, and I felt it was light and large enough as is. But with the Noro, blocking was the key to success. Before blocking, the scarf was heavy and small. Blocking made it pretty much double in size and really opened up those eyelets, making for a light and flirty scarf. Hooray!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Thrift Porn

It was a good weekend, thrift-wise and otherwise. Aaron has officially kicked my Pyrex out into the garage. I think that's reasonable.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


I'm trying not to spend money. I really am. But I do have a tendency to buy a lot of crap that I don't really really need. Still, I do like to support Etsy merchants when I have a chance and see something I really like or could use as a gift down the road. So, I bought this necklace.

Like it? It's from this seller and it came all the way from Israel. Not that I can actually wear a necklace these days without it being pulled on by a tiny fist, but one day. One day.

Speaking of buying things, my friend Kirsten is running a little experiment where she blogs everything she buys, in an attempt to curb her spending. It's quite fascinating. I was thinking of doing the same, but fear that it will expose me as someone who is well on her way to becoming one of those weird hoarder ladies that you see on Oprah. Yikes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Spring, She's A-Sprung

I wasn't expecting to hit the garage sales this weekend. In fact, since there's no green on the trees here yet and it's expected to snow again later this week, I'd forgotten that garage sales tend to start sprouting up the weekend after Easter. So, I was a little surprised when I saw some handmade GS signs as I went about my business on Saturday. Being curious, I stopped in at a few and baby, I scored!

Up top you've got some old school Tupperware in brand-new condition (this stuff does have a lifetime warranty, you know). I have no idea what era this is from because I think Tupperware tends to choose a design and stick with it for decades, but I love the Brady Bunch colour palette.

Pyrex! Pink Pyrex! This is a set of Pink Daisy Space Saver casseroles with a cradle, a glass lid and two metal freezer lids. Not in minty condition, but that means I can use it without feeling like I'm destroying a historical relic.

More pyrex, this time a '80s-era gravy boat. I really needed a gravy boat, so I feel no guilt for buying this one.

And, a little birdy salt and pepper shaker. I did buy some more stuff, but I'm not going to go overboard here. Next week I have a rummage sale in my calendar, so we'll see if I'll have more treasure to share.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Book Review: Baby Stuff

Well, well. It's been a while since there was some Aranzi Aronzo action in these parts. But, it seems that the fictional Japanese crafter has published another book in English and this one has got me excited once again. Baby Stuff is, as you've probably already figured, is a new Aranzi book full of crafts for the wee ones. And, unlike the last book, Cute Stuff, I want to make EVERYTHING in here.

Okay, maybe not everything, but lots of things. A brief recap of Arazni Aronzo: there are a bunch of little Aranzi characters that are typically made out of felt. You've got the typical Japanese cute stuff (bunnies, bears, kitties), plus the typical Japanese weird stuff (characters named The Liar, The Bad Guy, etc). The first few Arazni books taught readers how to make dolls. First tiny dolls, then regular sized dolls. This one, like it's predecessor, uses the characters to embellish more practical items.

The projects in Baby Stuff are probably the cutest Aranzi Aronzo items yet. They're perfect for the kind of parents who want something child appropriate, but pale at the very thought of a diaper bag covered in plaid teddy bears. There are super cute bibs embroidered with a drooly mouth, adorable hand towels, diaper pouches with poo and pee characters stitched on, and a very sweet growth chart. My favourite hands down is the cutest duvet cover I've ever seen, which I want to make for Henry once he moves into his big boy bed.

Once again, the instructions are all given in comic book form, so you kind of have to know what you're doing. But, a lot of this stuff can be hand sewn, so these projects are easy for everyone. And cute. Don't forget the cute.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Happy Easter to those of you who are into that kind of thing. We're more of the easter-egg huntin', chocolate bunny eatin' kind of Easter family than the church-goin' types, but Easter is enjoyed by all in our home nonetheless. I did zero Easter crafting or anything this year, so instead, I present to you some pictures of my kitchen in progress.

Up top, you've got "before."

Here's "during."

And, um, "during-er." The schedule shows about three weeks left for both the kitchen and the stuff they're doing in the living room to be all done. Right now we're in the super frustrating period of the renovation where we're waiting for things that have been ordered to arrive (counter top, tiles, etc), so it feels like nothing is happening. I never thought I'd miss cooking so much.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Heads Up, 7-Up

Ha-ha-ha! (Remember those old 7-Up ads from the '70s and '80s?). I love the colour of this Sheep Shop Yarn -- so refreshing (and caffeine-free). This is my botched version of Stefanie Japel's Reclamation Scarf. I obviously am completely unable to follow instructions, since the pattern for this scarf calls for one row of eyelets per five rows or something, and I did them every other row. Oops. So, it's more of a fishnet pattern, which wasn't quite what I intended, but I kind of like the result anyway. Airy, loose and kind of '80s, which seems to be what the kids are digging these days.

I love this yarn. The 7-Up colour strikes me as being kind of hilarious and the yarn itself is softer than soft. It's really gorgeous and I want to run out and buy another hank to make another scarf. The hanks also carry a huge yardage -- Stefanie's pattern is designed to use a single skein of yarn (the size of the scarf depends on how big the skein is), but I quit after a while because I didn't want the scarf to be too huge. I think I may have enough left to crank out a tiny baby hat for my niece or nephew due this fall.

This scarf will soon be on it's way to Vancouver to be gifted away. I shall miss it. But, I'm telling ya, this Reclamation pattern is addictive, so I should have a replacement on the needles soon.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Book Review: Crafty Chica's Guide To Artful Sewing

I have to admit, I didn't really know anything about Kathy Cano-Murillo before I saw this book. I know, the Crafty Chica is all over the web and has already published six books, but her site is more of a, well, site than a blog, and I prefer to lurk in the worlds of the likes of the Wee Wonderfuls and the Angry Chickens. No matter, I like Cano-Murillo's Mexican-influenced style and I was drawn to the promise of easy sewing projects.

So, as the book promises, the projects inside are all low-sew. I'm a total sucker for these kind of books, but I don't know why: I don't actually like most low-sew projects. I think my age is talking here -- maybe I'm just too old to feel like I can pull off a purse made out of plastic or a dress comprised of sewn-together silk scarves. Still, the Chica has some good ideas, and she also includes a great beginner's sewing guide which offers novices all they need to make these simple projects.

Cano-Murillo keeps it simple, breaking the projects into three groups: Purses (which are to beginner sewers what scarves are to beginner knitters); things to wear (all embellishments on pre-existing items); and items for the home. Again, with projects like a tote made from a towel and a jean jacked embellished with eight million buttons, I really can't see myself making many of these. If I was 17 though, for sure.

So, I may not be keeping tabs on the Chica, but I am glad she exists. And I am thankful for anyone who encourages people to be a little less frightened of their sewing machines, even if it means more plastic tote bags in the world.

Friday, April 03, 2009


Since returning from Hawaii we've been staying at my parents house (quick update: our kitchen cupboards have been installed and our living room re-drywalled, but our house is still basically uninhabitable). Ruby gets bored quickly here and we're so out of routine, but she has been entertaining herself by painting. And she's really into these swirly watercolours.

Roo really puts the "water" into watercolours, these little paintings are almost soaked through by the time she finishes them, but they dry up pretty nicely. And she actually has a pretty good sense of colour and composition. She cranks out about five of these every day and I really love them. Next stop: easter eggs!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Back In Action

Wow, Hello April. March has been super cuckoo crazy -- our house is in absolute shambles and we just returned from a very long and very amazing two weeks on Maui. The trip was presented as a surprise by Aaron last month (he found a seat sale he just couldn't resist) and off we went. We were only supposed to be gone for a week, but Henry came down with a tummy bug that had him puking the day before we left. Ruby got sick our first full day there, so we were feeling a bit cheated by the time they finally got better and our vacation was coming to an end. So, we extended our stay, worked on our tans and ate lots of pineapple.

Ruby amazed me on this trip -- she was totally into the aquarium, expertly pointing out the hammerhead sharks. She was also obsessed with the lava rock, having learned all about volcanoes at playschool last month.

Henry was awesome too, charging into the waves with all his might, letting them soak him (I'm still finding sand in his ears). Some other things about the last two weeks:

1. I love the Pina Colada. Not so much on the Mai Tai.

2. I finished the last two Twilight novels (and watched the movie on the plane). Umm... I was feeling almost like I could write a whole post on this one, but my feelings of love/annoyance have almost totally subsided. Feel free to weigh in on your feelings on the series if needed.

3. I like train rides. Especially tiny tourist trains.

4. I also love eavesdropping. We heard one guy bragging to a table full of strangers that he had just bought four $500 Louis Vuitton towels. For some reason, this is a part of our trip that has really stayed with us.

5. Nothing beats a good ice cream cone.

There's so much more, but I'm tired from the red eye flight home (not fun when you have a baby on your lap). More goodness coming soon. Especially if I ever get back in my house and near my craft supplies.

Oh, and I totally fell off the 365 photos wagon. I'm picking it back up for April. It'll be 300 photos for me this year... hopefully.