Saturday, August 27, 2011

Babies, babies everywhere!

There's a bit of a baby boom happening in my circle right now - four in the making - two friends and two co-workers.

The first up is a girl to my co-worker - due this winter, so something warm and cozy was in order.
I've opted for Mom's Shawl Collared Baby Sweater in Big Cat (colour is Miss Lillykins). I've knit this sweater before, and it's a great quick baby knit - perfect for boys or girls. Just the sleeves and collar left to go.

For the two friends (one due December, one due March) I want to make blankets. After seeing the Yarn Harlot's gorgeous baby blanket - I'm thinking something similar - nice and heirloom-y. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

And she flies....

Yes... Magpie is finally ready!

I have a feeling this is going to be my most popular pattern so far - the feedback I've gotten has been great - with lots of people asking for the pattern.

It's definitely one of my favourites.

It's also a surprisingly fast knit, despite the long cast on and beads. I had this one done in just a few days. The lace pattern is easy-to-memorize, and before you know it, you're flying through the charts.

I think the hardest part about this pattern is choosing the perfect beads!

Anyway - you can decide for yourself. Get your copy here!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Dalhousie winners (and just in time....)

When my coworker and I stepped out for our lunchtime walk today, both of us remarked on how it felt like fall.

A cool breeze, geese in the park - such a change from the heat and humidity that it makes you want to grab a cup of cider, pull on a merino cardi and go hunt for the perfect pumpkin!

So I guess it's only fitting that I announce the winners of Dalhousie.

Congratulations to:


I've contacted the winners - and I hope you enjoy the pattern.

As for me... I've still got hankies to play with.... lots and lots of hankies!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New yarns and a little more hanky panky

If you're interested - the yarns from Miss P's dye session are now in the shop - they include several one-of-a-kind colourways created by Miss P herself

There is Tabby Cat (worsted and fingering), Fluffy Cat Lite, Alley Cat, Stray Cat and some Twinkle Cat Gold.

And I'm still playing with my hankies. I've started a simple feather and fan scarf.
I love how its turning out. It's need how the drafted fibre pulls together in the stitch. It's a neat process, but definitely not something I'd want to do all the time. I think I'm going to have lots left over (it's a giant stack of hankies - I should have split it up and done two colours) so I'm going to find some coordinating yarn and make a beret - I'm thinking something like Alley Cat for the ribbed band, and then the silk hankies for the rest of the hat - what do you think?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hanky panky

There was yarn dying today - but since you've seen so much of that, I thought I'd share something new.

I mentioned a few posts back that I had purchase some silk hankies - or mawatas - to try some dying and knitting.

Here they are hanging out to dry. Each of those hankies has several layers - this is going to take a while to draft.But I do love the shine.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Dalhousie (mini contest)

It's ready!My lovely coworker helped me take photos on our lunch today

And now Dalhousie is all put together and you can make your own pair!
And to celebrate - we are going to have a little contest - leave a comment any time before Monday, August 22 and you could win a copy of the pattern! I'll choose five winners on Monday evening at about 8 p.m.

Good luck! Tell your friends!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Slipping away

Summer seems to be flying. I remember summers that appeared endless when I was a child.
But here we are - already half way through August.

Oh well - not much to do but enjoy each day while you can - right?

Mom got the sock machine together without me
She hasn't had too much of a chance to play with it, as she's on a knitting deadline. I'm waiting for her to work all the kinks out before I play with it.

After seeing Minding My Own Stitches Silk Hankie post... I decided I needed to try it too (it's silk - of course I had to try it!) I bought some undyed ones and Ill be giving them some colour this weekend. I think Mom is a little apprehensive about the whole thing...

Magpie is still being test knit - but I expect to have the pattern ready soon - and Dalhousie will be ready as soon as I get pics.

And the cats...They're just chillin'....

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Despite being Sunday - the sun has been notably absent. Rain clouds have hovered since morning, but not a drop has fallen.
Tux declared it was a good day to stay inside and relax.

It was hard to disagree, so we've been snuggled up on the couch, knitting (well I've been knitting, Tux has been doing what Tux does best - napping and hogging the afghan).

And what have I been knitting?
A new design for fingerless mitts.

These are a going-away present for my department's intern. She's a bright young woman studying Journalism and Creative Writing at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia. Friday is her last day with the company, then she heads back east to begin her second year of studies.

Pictured is the first mitt. I just have the thumb left on the second mitt to do, but I have a pile of ironing to tackle first (so naturally, I'm blogging and putting off the ironing as long as possible)
These are knit in our House Cat, and they should keep her toasty warm and fashionable when the cold wind comes off the Atlantic. I expect to have the pattern available for you all by the end of the week.

In addition to knitting, it's also been a good day for laundry (hence the ironing) and something I don't make very often.

Stew. Dave loves it, but I'm not a huge stew fan - but I'm trying to cook healthier and more frugal.

This meal fit the bill on both counts. It used up left over steak from last night's dinner (which was really too tough to enjoy as steak) and is nothing but veggies, meat and a nice thick gravy broth.

I've been getting good use out of my slow-cooker lately. My parents gave it to me for Christmas a few years back, and I barely touched it. My brother (who inherited all Mom's cooking talent) loves his and uses it frequently.

While it does make cooking easy in the "set-it-and-forget-it" fashion, it does require forethought. Planning has never been my forte, I'm much more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl.

However, I'm making the effort to think ahead. Two weeks ago we enjoyed a nice beef roast. Last weekend it was pork roast and apple sauce.

This stew was put together as I was cleaning the kitchen last night, then tucked in the fridge until morning. We got up, popped it in the slow cooker, and voila - dinner was ready promptly at 5 p.m. Not a bad deal, if you can remember to plan ahead!

What are you favourite slow-cooker meals?

Friday, August 12, 2011


Look what Mom just got in the mail....
A sock machine - we are going to have socks coming out the waazoo....

if we can figure out how to put it together...

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Pretty, pretty, pretty

I was going to wait until the pattern was ready to share these, but it's so pretty, I can't wait.Yarn is Slinky Cat - colour is Tempest (Mom's creation)I think I'm going to wear this to work tomorrow.
It will look so nice with my jeans!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Another contest...

... but it's over here.

You may remember me mentioning that Mom and I were asked to design patterns for the Honeysuckle Project.

My pattern - Katherinehas been released. And Mom's Wandering Rose
is as well. And we have two lovely skeins of Honeysuckle Pink left, so she's having a little contest (my pattern will be thrown in as well!).
Go check it out!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Magpie almost ready to fly

I'm suppose to be mopping floors while Dave is out of the house fixing his Grandma's sump pump (I hate mopping when he's here - the man doesn't understand the concept of a freshly mopped floor and how I'd like it to look that way for at least an hour) but instead, I took a little extra time and finished up the second version of Magpie.It's blocking now, and I think I'll sneak up to Mom's after work tomorrow and take some finished shots of her.

As soon as the floors are mopped, I have to get the charts and pattern into a basic pdf for my test knitters.

As you might remember, this is a refined version of Magpie. The first was a whopping 72 inches wide after blocking.

I was wearing it as Dave and I were out and about yesterday, and, as pretty as it is, the extra length is a bit unwieldy. I had to be very careful not to sit on it, or let it get caught in the car door.

The new version is a much more respectable 63 inches wide. I had planned to offer two versions, but after wearing version one, and knitting the pattern again, I've decided just to offer the smaller version, with basic instructions on how to change the size up or down. Really - it's only the cast-on that determines the size - the pattern is worked the same (just with more repeats - and of course more yarn and beads).

Speaking of beadsIt's a little blurry - but look at all that shiny!!! There are about 425 beads in the shawl. I love the weight and sparkly they add!

I've really enjoyed beading - much more than I thought I would - I even have and idea for beaded socks rolling around in my head and I'm itching to cast on....

...after I finish mopping the floors of course!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bead, beads, beads

Miss P is safely home, and Miss Peno is enjoying life out from under the bed again.

And I've been knitting:Work has begun on the smaller version of Magpie. Mom dyed this yarn for me last week (colour is Tempest), but the beads I'd been hoping to use didn't match quite as well in real life as they did in my head.

So today, Dave kindly offered to drive me to the bead store (the fact that the guitar store is right across the street might have had something to do with it.)

I got some lovely beads for the shawl
... and a few other colours, just for good measure!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The adventures of Miss P and Aunt V - Pt. 3

Today is Miss P's last day here. This morning is a lazy morningBut soon enough we'll be packing up and hitting the road - three hours to Owen Sound.

So, I'll leave you with some truths I've learned from a seven year old:

1) Fields are forests to bugs

2) Astronauts wear space suits because the universe is too bright

3) The word syllable has three syllables

4) The moon would be cooler if it was made of Cheez Whiz

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The adventures of Miss P and Aunt V - Pt. 2

There has been ship buildingand yarn dyingand now we are definitely ready for bed! Too bad she won't let me sleep in...

Monday, August 1, 2011

The adventure of Miss P and Aunt V.

Miss P did indeed come home with Dave and I after the wedding.

Poor little Peno cat is firmly ensconced under my bed. I did manage to get her out for a few moments. I closed the bedroom door and an hour later, Miss P was at the top of the stairs petting her.
Of course, as soon as the bedroom door was opened again, Peno found her way back under the bed and won't come out again.

Miss P also manged to lose a toothand swindle Dave and I out of $5 for it. (most the tooth fairy ever gave me was a quarter - that's some serious inflation!)

We've also been playing with sculpeymostly making beads.

There has also been knitting - Miss P did three rows on a cat blanketAnd I made an octopus! This is another of Hansi Singh's patterns. Surprisingly, it was even easier than the Loch Ness Monsters. It could easily be knit in a long afternoon.

This one was knit in leftover Big Cat (colour is Huntsman) and a spare ball of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran for the under side.

I definitely see more octopi in my future.... but maybe after Miss Pee goes home.