Wednesday, January 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday

Hmmm, the problem with your main project in progress being a scarf is that week to week it doesn't change very much in appearance. Yes, it is longer but it still looks like an unfinished scarf. So I probably won't bother with any more pics of my Cabled Scarf until it is blocked in all its FO glory.

But, that might take a little longer than it should since I have been officially sidetracked by the arrival of my Bendigo order. (the fact that my friend's parents had to include all this yarn for me in their measly luggage allowance all the way from Australia is fairly embarrassing... but I'm so excited that it is here!)

Those are all 200g balls! I now have enough yarn to complete the final 3 sweaters for resolution to knit each person in my family (including me!) a sweater in 2011.

Because I am very impatient, I have already cast on my son's 'Little Star - Canadian style'. I am going to knit  Zoe Mellor's Little Star sweater without the stars and stripes.  Although I have to admit I am already reconsidering adding the stripes on the sleeves back in as I love the colour of the green yarn - so this sweater may need a name change down the track.

The wool is Bendigo's luxury 8 ply. So far it is lovely to knit with. It is very springy and sooo soft.

Finally, I have also pulled back out a very old project from hibernation (which I am now calling 'Keeping it Even'). Back when I learned to crochet (badly) from a book (before YouTube), I made a blanket for my yet unborn first child. It is Bernat's free pattern Twinkle Little Star with some mild modifications. I originally made it from Bernat Baby Coordinates in yellow and blue, as in the pattern. Then I panicked that I might have a girl and made it again in green and yellow. Then, because I apparently wasn't done yet, I started it in pink and green. Just after I started, I had a little boy and never touched it again.


It isn't my favourite work, but my son loves his and currently won't go to bed at night without it (which of course, makes it all worthwhile).
Soooo, now that I have a daughter and my husband and I are debating SOMEDAY (far away)  trying for a third, I would like to finish the pink and green blanket for my Doodlebug. Then, I will have the green and yellow as back-up for whichever our possible third might be (watch, I'll have twins - yikes, that's not even funny)



Hopefully YouTube will be able to reteach me how to crochet. For now, I will block out of my mind what a PITA the seaming of all those squares will be.



Get inspired by checking out more WIP's at Tami's blog, who is hosting us all.

Cheers, Nikki

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Casting on Kindness

Since entering the world of knitting I have heard of some lovely examples of how kind and giving knitters & crocheters (is that spelled right??) are.

Now I have an example of my own!


A client of my husband heard we had had our darling Doodlebug and gave us a beautiful homemade baby blanket for Christmas. This woman has never met my family but appreciates my husband's work and wanted to celebrate with us the birth of our second child.


How lovely is that?

Of course, nowadays I can really value and appreciate the time and effort that went into make this sweet gift.



I promise to remember and look forward to my chance to take this kindness and pay it forward.

Cheers, Nikki

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday


I've got a couple knitting projects on the go (while I wait for my lovely Bendigo yarn that is being hand delivered on Sunday!)

First is my Tidepool socks. My first socks with heel! I'm hoping to get these finished next month by the pool in Hawaii : )


Next up is a Cabled Scarf from Debbie Bliss' Fall/Winter 2010 magazine. I am really enjoying working with  Cascade Eco+ in this lovely forest green colour.


I love the braided look to the cables although I am wondering if I should have used slightly bigger needles to try and achieve the more drapey look of the original.


Of course there are still lots of items in my queue...

For more WIP's, see Tami's blog hosting us all 
Cheers : )

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday's Musing

As you enter adulthood, one of the experiences I think a lot of people share is the discovery that the way your family does things is not necessarily the way everyone does things. There is a realization that things you just assumed were a certain way, may not be have to be that way. (The first instance of this moment for me was when I got my first apartment with a roommate and  discovered that vinegar does not actually have to be kept in the fridge - who knew?)

Another (somewhat odd) practice in my family was to make almost anything into a sandwich.  My family looooved sandwiches. Our sandwiches all had specific manners in which they were to be made. For example, bacon sandwiches were never toasted but shrimp sandwiches always were. Some of my lasting favourites are the corn sandwich (not toasted ; ) and the classic british chip butty. Of course, in seventh grade I threw out the peanut butter and honey sandwich my mum made me for lunch everyday for a year, but that's another story)

Perhaps some of these tendencies are genetic rather than learned?

The other night I watched my 2 1/2 year old at the dinner table happily munching away on a self-made broccoli sandwich (not toasted).
That's my boy : )

Monday, January 10, 2011

FO: Baby Sweater - First Cardigan Ever!

I have finished my first cardigan for my darling Doodlebug.



Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers (oops, I forgot to mark down the colourway)

I have done several projects with Cascade 220 and really enjoy working with it (and the price point for 100% wool). I did find this colourway a little more itchy than others I have worked with so far.

I used 3.5mm needles for the ribbing and 4.5mm needles to get gauge.


Pattern: Raglan Cardigan with Fully Fashioned Shaping from Debbie Bliss' Baby knits for Beginners.

This was the first knitting book I bought several years ago and the 3rd project I have made from it. Overall I think it a good book for progressing from your very first project ever to something of a competent knitter. It also has the best instructions I have found for how to seam together difference edges.

This was my first go at Raglan construction. I really liked using the live stitches for the neck and not having to pick them up.

I knit the 6-9 month size and it is a good fit for my (smallish) 6 month old and will probably last a few months. I think it will probably get too short instead of too tight.










I have officially completed 1/4 of my resolution to knit a sweater for each member of my family in 2011.

Cheers!










Friday, January 7, 2011

FO: The Making of a Mobius

My first finished knitting project of 2011 (beating out my first cardigan ever by a day - more on that later).

I wanted to make my mum something knitted for her birthday at the end of January. But what? She lives in Vancouver and it is rarely cold enough there for hats or mittens or big scarves. No way I have enough time for a sweater or any so ambitious.

I saw a cowl on Raverly that I liked and decided to go for it.

It's called Bulky Mobius Cowl I needed super bulky yarn and a 10mm! circular needle.

I picked up two skeins of Rowan Drift in a beautiful misty blue semi-solid
and my very first Addi circular in a 10mm 32''. The pattern called for 36'' but 32 was the biggest I could find and I thought "eh, close enough"

Then I got home and read the pattern for the first time... hmm what the heck is a mobius cast on?

I watched Cat Bordhi's very instructive video and gave it a try. By now I've realized that my needle is likely wayyyy to short but I paid a lot of money for it and am determined to make it work.

My first attempt with 46 stitches was too small and had the dreaded hole at the first stitch (which both the video and the pattern warn you about but I managed to accomplish anyways). The first round was difficult with the shorter circular but still manageable.

I had a second go casting on 60 stitches and low and behold the darn thing worked. It took me one evening of TV watching and one more hour the next day and...
Ta Da!!

I hope my Mum loves it as much as I do : )

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Resolve

Well, here we are, it's January 5th and I'm still writing to myself. This blog has already lasted longer than my "no chocolate" resolution for the year : )


Today I'm going to put down in writing a few of my goals for the year so I can't look back later and deny making them.


1. I want to knit a sweater for each member of my family (yes, even me!) I am placing an order with Bendigo Woolen Mills today which my friends mum is going to bring over from Oz- yippee!
00607.jpgso far I have picked:

Luxury in Bark for my husband (OK, he picked it)








00126.jpg


00616.jpg






Rustic in Earth for me

And Luxury in Denim Blue for Monkey (my son - not his real name Ha)













Doodlebug's (daughter - also not her real name, ya think?) sweater is already off the needles and being seamed! Pics soon!


2. Next goal is to train for a 1/2 marathon this year. This is a tough one! I ran my only half in 2005 then got married and had kids and fell WAY off track.

3. To start french lessons. Monkey is starting French preschool in September and I'm worried I won't be able to keep up!

I would also like to start piano lessons this year but I'm not going to make a resolution out of it as I feel like I am already planning to take on a lot and if I have any real chance of accomplishing it all I should keep it realistic (you know, like going from no running to a 1/2 marathon - realistic ; )

Well there it is. In writing, irrefutable. Good luck to me!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Clean up

Today we are going to pack up the Christmas tree and decorations in hope of finding a cleaner tidier house under the Christmas chaos (Ha).

I thought I would catalogue a few of our christmas decorations and traditions before they disappear for another year.

Our beautiful tree is filled with lovely ornaments that I have been collecting for years. Whenever we travel I try to pick up a Christmas ornament as a memento. It's a small inexpensive way of remembering the trip (without filling the house with crap).

For instance we have various Santa's...

Hawaii Santa

Halifax Santa

And Florida Santa

We also have quite a few sentimental ornaments. Like this special new one for this year

Or this simple one from my childhood.

And several knit ornaments by my husband's mom, who sadly passed away when he was little.

Through her and my husbands family, I have learned the value of sentimental and homemade objects and have started a Christmas collection of my own.

Ribbon trees (so fun to make!)



This year I tried my hand at my own knitted ornament

Another fun tradition I started this year, was adding a little note to each pocket of the advent calendar. Our advent calendar consists of a blank scene with pockets for each day with little velcro objects to stick on the scene. I don't have completed photo was this is what it looks like before you start.


Everyday my son would get to add an item to the nativity scene and get a note with something to look forward to that day (They included things like "Grandpa arrives today," or "today we will make a gingerbread house" or even "today you get a sticker to put on your shirt"). It was definitely a hit. Next year when my daughter is bigger we will have to alternate days with them.


So that's it. Another Christmas done. It was a lovely one.
I suspect 2011 has a lot in store before we will see these things again. Bring in on : )

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

The very fact that I am typing this blog while breastfeeding is probably a sign that I am a bit crazy to be trying out this new way of talking to myself. But hey, it's a new year and I would love to start it by going on a new adventure (even if the only place I am going is into cyberspace)

I'm not sure what I have to offer in a blog. I would certainly never profess to be an expert at anything but I love to learn. So maybe it's worth it just to write the process down and be able to look back on the journey.

The short version of the journey so far... I am a 34 year old, mother of two, living in Calgary, Alberta (not my home town). Before I stopped working to stay home with the kids, I did my time at university and then spent 10 years working as a pediatric oncology nurse (as well as a couple years travelling and a little bit working in peds ICU). I'm still adjusting to the much smaller world as chief organizer for a family of a 2 1/2 year old son, a 5 month old daughter and a very hard working husband.

So, the plan will be to write about the events of daily living and the new things I get up to along the way... I think. (I suspect a lot of subject matter relating to parenting & knitting).

Anyways... Cheers and Happy New Year. May 2011 be a great one : )

(PS: I apologise in advance about the grammar - my grammar sucks)