Monday, November 26, 2007

1Hat, 2Hat, Peel an Orange and Simmer!

The red skullcap for Steve is done! He seems pretty excited by it, as noted in the thumbs-up picture. =)

I think if I had made it just about an inch longer, it would have covered his ears nicely, but I'm not sure if it's even possible to fix that kind of an error, since you knit from the bottom up, closing it at the top. If anyone has any suggestions on whether it's possible to add a few more rows onto the bottom at this point, let me know! The pattern can be found here at Woolly Wormhead.

One of my favorite holiday memories was simmering orange peels on the stove with cloves. I'm not sure how my mom came up with the idea to do this, or if she learned it from my grandmother, but it's one of the best ways to get an incredible Christmas-y smell in your house! If you associate the smell of Christmas with oranges, I guess!

Anyways, I bought us a box of Clementines (the smaller sweeter type of oranges) the other day at Costco. As soon as we were done devouring at least one of them, we started a small pot on the stove with the peel in it and a bit of water, just enough to cover the rinds. Since we didn't have any cloves around, Steve suggested nutmeg and vanilla extract. Simmering on the stove it smelled delicious and quickly filled up our small apartment with it's warm scent!

It's something you can get pretty creative with. Steve decided he wanted to try tossing in some dried cranberries and cinnamon in the next batch, and YUM, did that ever smell delicious too! Not to mention, it looks pretty in the pot!

I've also finally started on the Terry Matz Chevron Hat.

An arty picture (for fun) next to the gorgeous quilt my mom made. And my plants. =)

I have to admit when I started there was a bit of confusion on the sl1, k1, and then what do you do with the stitch you slipped? I was swinging it over the knit stitch, but then I was knitting the slip stitch together with the next stitch instead of just letting it fall like you're supposed to. So, I wasn't taking it off the left needle. Once I realized the error of my ways, I finished out the row like that (because I didn't want it to be asymmetrical!), but was sure to start the next one correctly. I am starting to see the chevrons appear, but hope they become a bit more defined the further along I get! I'm loving the blue and white variegated yarn though!

Hopefully everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I'm off to start on Christmas cards!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Socks and Booties and Toesy Warmers All Around!

There was an awesome DIY Trunk Show in my old neighborhood this weekend that I attended with my good friend Vel. We are both 'wanna-be' crafters, taking baby steps when we have the time to complete projects, and both probably think our jobs get in the way of these more fun pursuits. There were all sorts of cool people there with their fun items. Lots of knitters and bag-makers, jewelry makers, and even a fun guy who made coasters out of rocks! But 'due' to (pun intended) a pregnant friend at work, I have been keeping my eyes open for the perfect baby gift for her. I knew I had found it when I came across these adorable little webbed booties!

Not only did she sell me the booties, but I also got the pattern (which also can be made into little orange/yellow ducky feet), and then she offered to give me yarn to make another pair of froggy feet! The designer is Jen, and her lable is Blue Canary Creations. AREN'T THEY JUST THE CUTEST LITTLE THINGS YOU'VE EVER SEEN? I about squeeled when I saw them.

In other news, which is totally unrelated, except for the fact that it sort of has to do with feet as well, I think I may have found the photo of Suki I want to submit to :

This is one of her favorite spots...inside Steve's sock 'drawer'. Those are all clean socks. But they won't be for long. It's better than having cat fur all over his clothes though!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Jingle Bells

Anyone else really into Christmas music these days? It's like warm pumpkin pie and butter toffee for the ears, if that makes any sense. Nothing gives me that "home" like feeling more than turning the tv on to the music channels (our radio doesn't work in the apartment. I know- so sad) and going straight to the Holiday music channel and listening to all the good old and new Christmas songs. Listening to it makes me want to do things like spend all day baking, or have adventures with my sewing machine. If it was played all year round (one day this past summer I checked on this, and it was not. Do not laugh at me for this.), I think I would get much more crafting done.

I am already looking forward to getting home tonight, turning on the holiday music channel, and either finishing Steve's hat, or getting out my sewing machine.

I believe I should also invest in some holiday cheer for during the day at the office and on the commute home, so if anyone knows of any good iTunes Essentials I should check out, let me know!

Here's hoping for a Very Merry Season!

Friday, November 09, 2007

Oh my goodness....

Completely distracted right now by how ridiculously cute these little guys are! I sooo need to get a life, and get back to work!

Just something I stumbled across on Etsy while cruising for Christmas gift ideas!

Can be found at

Let me know if you think these things are completely hilarious and adorable, too! The descriptions alone are enough to make me want to go back in time and curl up with a favorite book from my childhood. Check out that price tag though!

Odette the Littlest Bookshelf Pierrot...she loves to talk to the other inhabitants of your bookshelf! She loves to wear her red hat!Odette is made of polymer clay and has been hand painted and coated in a matte varnish. She wears a lovely red dunce cap made of wool felt and topped with a tiny pom pom. $35
Meet Lily....she lives in the jungle and loves to make tiny clay pottery and eat pompoms. She tells delightful stories!!Lily is made of 100% wool needle felted and polymer clay. She carries a pompom snack for the road. She would love to take up residence upon your bookshelf or table (she needs a little support or she rolls over.) :)Rue measures approximately 4.5 inches tall and is very delicate. $45

Monday, November 05, 2007

Binging on Hats!

So since someone has a birthday coming up, and also because I had so much fun making my last/first hat, I decided my next project would be a hat for Steve. I gave him a few choices of different patterns, of which he picked out this fine little number:

There's a yarn shop a hop, skip and a jump from the train station he picks me up at nightly, and so we stopped there on our way home early last week so he could pick out the color of yarn he wanted. Since it had to be of a certain "chunky" weight, the colors were a bit limited to choose from, but we actually found one that looks very similar to the pattern: Addrienne Vittadini Trina in color 109. It's a mixture of 55% Merino Wool, 35% Microfiber, and 10% Cashmere. Super soft and stretchy!
I'm a bit further along than the picture alludes to, since it was taken a few days ago, but not much. Yesterday I had to rip out about 2 1/2" because I accidentally K2 instead of P2. Taking the circular needles out and putting them back in was pretty difficult, but I got through it. I discovered one other tiny error long after I had started which point I just decided the hell with it! It's good enough...anything else I find will just add a little bit of character!

Once I'm done with Steve's hat, I've picked one to make for yours truly. It is the Terry Matz Chevron Hat.

I found this divine blue and white variegated yarn to make it with:

Stay tuned for pics of the completed noggin' covers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Pumpkin Hat a.k.a. 'Halloweenie Beanie'

It has been SO LONG since my last post! The main reason for this has been because I just don't do that many crafty things in the summer. It just seems like my time is better spent outdoors enjoying the warm weather with friends than indoors, by myself, working on projects.

That being said, Fall is here and I have been bitten by the knitting bug again! There's just something about cold weather that makes me want to work with soft yarn. Awhile back, I found this lovely little pattern for a pumpkin hat on Crazy Aunt Purl's site
knit.php. I thought it was so cute, but didn't know when or where I would wear a hat that looks like a pumpkin! Of course, I didn't need to wait long until the third annual Crazy Hat Bar Crawl came around and two weeks before the event I decided that I would make this lil ol' punkin' hat just for that occasion!

At Witt's, the first bar on the crawl.

My pumpkin getting some sun.

As you can see, my hat does not look like the one in CAP's pattern. I swear I followed all the directions correctly, but I think somewhere along the way I must've missed something. Or my stitches were off way in the beginning - because how else would I have gotten a totally different pattern? I LOVE MY HAT, however, I am going to have to get better at following the patterns.

In the middle of transferring stitches from circular needles to the double-pointed ones (DPNs)....

...and the successful completion of the transfer! I just stitched away. CAP wrote that for her first few times with DPNs she "slipped the stitches off my circs and onto my double-points without knitting them, evenly distributing stitches over the three dpns." I'm kinda proud of myself for just diving in and knitting while transferring. Of course, since I was finishing this hat the day of the bar crawl, I couldn't really afford to take any extra time. This was probably a good thing. I work well under pressure!

I had a lot more fun using the circular needles and the DPNs than I thought I would. I think my next project will be another hat! I would love to learn how to make really funky hats like these:,2025,DIY_14141_5261873,00.html

Sunday, May 27, 2007

A Flowering Deck

Recently I've made it a project of mine to put a little prettiness out on my deck. Living in a big city where sometimes decks are the only space some people have to "get green", I've seen pictures of some pretty impressive deck gardens. I'm not going to go overboard, but I did want a bit more than one or two pots. So here are some pictures of how it looks so far....

Some fresh basil, rosemary, and oregano (not pictured) were my gift to Steve for making the second trip to Home Depot with me to get the cedar barrel and flowers. Still need to replant them in pots!
I love my cedar barrel!
Ivy and a potted arrangement. Originally had the ivy hanging, but it seemed to just blend in with the tree behind the deck so moved it to the little bench. In the background you can see that I still have a few more flowers to pot! =)
Those are the long leaves of our Christmas bulb that I have pictures of in an earlier post. It was starting to really droop in the apartment, so moved it here as I can prop the leaves up against the wall of the deck. Next to it are my favorite little red and gold marigolds, and a transplanted bamboo plant that looks like it wants to die, but just won't give up the fight.
More pretty marigolds! And those pots were only a buck apiece at Target!

The peeling white table looks much better covered up with this pretty blue round table cloth.
Close up of of the daisies, pink petunias, purple lobella, white begonias and yellow marigolds I put in the cedar barrel.
Happy Spring/Summer!

Monday, February 12, 2007

From Chicago to San Francisco...a.k.a. 30 degrees warmer

I will be heading to San Francisco on Wednesday to meet up with Steve for Valentine's Day! He's there for work, and I'm just taking a bit of a vacation for myself and meeting him for the holiday. =) I probably won't get any knitting done while I'm there but hopefully there will be lots of pictures to post upon my return. We have already booked a tour of Muir Woods and wine country for Saturday. =) HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU ALL!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Scarf is Not Flowering....but the Amaryllis Bulb Is!

So sorry for the delay in postings! I wish I could say a lot has happened on the scarf, but it is taking me a bit longer than I had wished, as you can see!

I thought that I would have more done by now, but I think if I want a project like this to go faster, I am going to have to learn the continental style. I may also have to start taking the train to work more often to give myself a few more hours a day to work on this!

This is the Amaryllis bulb that Steve's Aunt Sue gave us for Christmas. It's finally flowering! Isn't it pretty?

I realize that this posting is mostly just pictures, but it's late and I should get to sleep! I regret to say I watched a movie tonight but didn't knit at all while watching it. "The Breakup", with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, while not being that great of a movie, does it's job as a light romantic comedy. It really is just a really long commercial for Chicago! Also, if anyone has seen HERO's or What About Brian - no spoilers, please! They are Tivo'd and ready to go for tomorrow! What did I do before TiVo?

Since the knitting picture leaves something to be desired, I will leave you with what I consider to be one of the most hilarious things I have seen in a long time. This is just a clip of the highlights, I believe the entire episode can be found on YouTube. Watch this:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

An Angelic Scarf & A (Probably) Sloshed Shop Lady

The white scarf is in progress. It's not as ethereal as I had intended, the weight of the pretty white yarn is probably a bit too heavy combined with the small stitches I'm making. But, I think it will still turn out nice. It's a great project to knit while watching TV as it's a very simple pattern. Here it is if anyone is interested:

On another note, I hit up some of the fun Lincoln Avenue shops this afternoon. One consignment shop caught my attention. After walking in I exchanged pleasantries with the shop owner and she told me everything was half off. There had been a sign on the door that said "Buy 1 item, get the 2nd Half Off," but I wasn't going to argue with her if she wanted to be more generous. I looked around for a bit, I must've been there for maybe a half hour, as I had tried on a thing or two. In the whole course of the time while I was there, I kept thinking this woman is getting stranger and stranger by the moment. She must've asked me if I wanted coffee or tea about 5 times, each time I always said no, thank you though. Then she told me the same stories over and over again about how her husband was watching the Bears game today and how glad she was that she told him years ago she didn't care about that kind of thing. A little bit later she got into how she told her sister -in -law that she was jealous of her for being able to retire. This woman was probably between 55-60, herself. My favorite moment(s) was when she was telling me that one does not need to spend a lot to look good. Her "fancy-schmancy" sister-in-law had never visited her shop though, and couldn't understand the fun in finding a great cashmere sweater for a mere few dollars, she told me.

I really didn't think much of it until I was ready pay and leave. She could barely add up my items on her calculator. She had one of those that just had the plain white rolls of paper, simply to add items up on. She added everything twice, the second time coming to a total. Then she started adding everything up a third time. I actually got out my cell phone to use the calculator on it to add the items up, in an effort to politely help her out. This was when I decided, this lady is either completely off her rocker, or else ON something. I was starting to get nervous that she wasn't going to be able to complete the transaction and I wouldn't be able to take home my lovely second-hand store finds! Before she rung up my credit card, I reminded her of the total - I was going to be the one spazzing out if she overcharged me due to her loopiness.
End of story...I ended up with several items that I got great deals on! I promised her on my way out that I would recommend the store to all my friends, and that I will! Just be sure to visit her on "Sloshed Sundays," when there's a Bears game. Guess I just got lucky!

This bag and scarf, which are actually new, not second-hand, as the store sells both, are two of the things I picked up. I absolutely love the bag!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No New Knitting News

....or news of anykind, really. I started a scarf over Christmas, a beautiful white flowing yarn scarf, but only had about two rows in it, when I decided to take 2 weeks off. When I went back to it the other night, I was so disgusted with the fact that I couldn't remember how to do the particular stitch pattern that it required, that I just ripped everything out that I had, and decided that I would start all over. This time though, I would get further along than 2 rows before taking a break.

5 minutes later, I decided it wasn't the night for it. To which I proceeded to watch about 4 hours of craptastic Lifetime tv, fall asleep around 10:30, and wake up with a lovely cold! So, I'm convinced that my lack of motivation for knitting just has to do with my body knowing that I was about to get sick. Don't you just love January?

Anyways....I will try and get something going soon....and take pictures. In the meantime though, there might be more non-knitting news on the way. =)

Happy Tuesday.