Sunday, November 18, 2007


Wow, I still have blog readers! Awesome!

Things in craft land have been pretty slow, because grad school is a surprising amount of work, and I got really sick in there for a while, and was basically floored for an entire week (could have been flu, tonsil infection, or maybe even mono.....regardless, it was highly unpleasant) and had to catch up on all my homework after that....ick. But, crafting has not come to a complete halt. For instance, I finally got around to finishing the Dark Saber scarf, of Arcness' design, and it will be mailed out to him without too much further delay.

The yarn is good ol' Cascade 220, and I knit it from side to side on a giant pair of circular needles (10cm I think?) and it was a challenge. Nevertheless, it turned out pretty well I think. I won't venture an estimate on the time it took to complete since I worked on it pretty sporadically.

The infamous socks are STILL in progress. They're like the project that never ends. Maybe one day they will be finished.

I also have two craft swaps in progress (both of which I'm behind in.....yikes!) but I'm pretty much done making my crafts for those, and I'm quite pleased with how everything came out! I'll be taking pictures tomorrow before I send those packages off, and once my swap partners receive, you guys will get to see the goodies as well!

In the meantime, I want to share with you the awesome crafts I received from my fantastic swap partner Maimun, in the Star Trek swap! Everything she made me was perfect and awesome, and she themed it like an away-mission. The first was this totally cool duct tape bag:

Next, she made me this awesome travel mug:

And a beautiful bracelet:

And lastly, some wicked stitch markers (which I have been desperately needing):
So hurrah! I hope that Maimun likes what I made for her as much as I like what she made for me.

The other craft swap I have in progress is the Retro Video Game swap. Keep watching the blog, cause once that one arrives I'll have pictures up for all of you to see!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I'm still alive!

Just a quick note to let you all know that yes I'm still here and yes, I've been crafting, but life has been a bit crazy. I'll try to post some pictures for you soon. In the meantime, I'll just say that I love my new place (I can see the mountains from my street!) and though school is pretty intense, I love the classes. Also, plans are in the works for the first official Langley Pie Party, so if you live nearby, you should come!

Friday, August 10, 2007

The coziest ipod in the world

Aren't you lucky blog readers today! You get a post filled with lots and lots of pictures! Details too, of this week's knitting adventures! So grab some popcorn, sit back, and here we go!

A few weeks back, I came across this post on Craftster where the person had created little sleeves for their headphones. "Ingenious!" I thought to myself. And then I bookmarked the link and promptly forgot about it. However, the idea stayed in the back of my mind, and last week I finished up a couple things, and needed some easy and portable knitting to take with me on the train. I figured that if one could cozy their headphones, they could do the same for the other miscellaneous cords. My power cord is always deviously pretending to be my usb cable, and my usb cable far too often disguises himself as my power cord. If I knit them little jackets, they'd never confuse me again! And so the multicolour power cord was born. It was knitted in a 5 stitch i-cord with - you guessed it - the ill-fated sock yarn of froggingness! Luckily I only had to frog this back a few times before I got the hang of knitting an I-cord around a bulky object.

Fast forward to last night. Now, another pattern that I'd had archived was Grumperina's ipod cozy. I was struck with inspiration to make it, since she made hers with Manos del Uruguay, and I happened to have some Manos in a tiny ball waiting for a special project. And after I knit that, my headphones looked so lonely I just had to start knitting them a sleeve too. Anyways, pictures first, details after!

It's glowy!

It's Geass!

That's right, there's a Code Geass symbol on the back. Don't know what Code Geass is? Check out the entry on anidb. The Geass symbol was actually knit with acrylic yarn (I know, I know, don't burn me at the stake please! I'll never mix wool and acrylic yarns again! ....wait, no, I probably will..) and double stranded to make it more visible among the changing colours of my Manos. I knit it on 4mm needles as the pattern says, but I think my thick-and-thin yarn was more thick than thin, and it came out a bit big. If I do this pattern again, I'll likely use smaller needles.

All in all, it took me maybe an hour to knit (maybe a bit more, since I was watching anime at the time....not Code Geass, I was watching the end of Erementar Gerad). The knitting was a breeze, but the sewing.......the sewing was EVIL! I might not even have gotten this done, if not for my brilliant housemate Robin. I wandered upstairs looking for a plastic sheet to use to go over my screen, but alas, there was no plastic to be found. Everything was too pliable, too opaque, or too rigid to be useful for this project. I almost despaired. And then Robin, looking down at a binder, speculated that the plastic binder cover might work. BRILLIANT! GENIOUS! Binder cover is actually perfect, being firm enough to stand up to abuse and hold the sewing stitches, but flexible and clear too, enough to be able to poke through with my needle to sew it on.

The sewing took a long time. I decided to put plastic over the clickwheel aperture too, since my knitted circle was not quite a circle, and I noted that sewing does wonders for getting things to stay in the appropriate place. The pattern calls for sewing up the sides in mattress stitch which I've never attempted before. I tried my best, but it's only really an attempt at mattress stitch and not the clean seaming I would have hoped for. I shall have to practice that. I haven't put the buttons on the back yet, but overall I'm quite pleased with this project. Wheeeee!

And now, my swap partner received her goodies, and took pictures, so here's what I made, courtesy of Zero Cool from the swap gallery! First, the bunny toys, which were mostly Ian's work, since he did the drawing and cutting with the jigsaw and drilling. (Note, I actually did take the first picture, I had forgotten about it until now! It's the fruits and veggies pre-cutting. As an aside, we tried drawing a head of lettuce, that actually looked more like a pork chop, and as a result, our resident feline, Little Boo, has acquired the nickname of Pork Chop.)

And now the Fetchings with the owl cable on them. I used the owl cable pattern for the Owl Cable Hat. It's a bit hard to see the owl on the gloves, since it blends a bit into the upper and lower cabling, but hopefully you can pick it out.

And last but not least, the second incarnation of my socks is progressing. I'm using an ankle-high sports type sock pattern from the book The Urban Knitter by Lily Chin that my friend Lindsay is lending me. These socks use a short row heel, and it was my first time doing short rows. It was pretty fun! I think the remainder of the sock will knit up pretty quickly (as soon as I stop stealing my sock needles to knit ipod accessory cozies....).

Monday, July 30, 2007

A (sortof) busy month!

Well, July has zipped by. I've spent most of the month in Ottawa, and I'm sad to say that I didn't quite get as much knitting done as I would have liked. Nevertheless, I shall tell you all about it in one whirlwind post! Before we start though, for those of you who don't visit Craftster
I bet you're dying to find out what I received from my swap partner in the Anime/Manga swap. The first item was this lovely pair of wings, which she based loosely off of Haibane Renmei. They're so elegant, and I'm scheming up a complete costume to wear with them for Halloween.

The second and I have to say my favourite item of this swap, was a set of two Bleach patches, which she hand-embroidered. I don't know how she managed to find the patience to make both those patches, but I absolutely adore them, and already had to fight off my brother who wanted to steal them! I think I might knit a pair of black gloves like Rukia's to put them on!

I was asked by another craftster member to do a personal swap, and so I knit these long fingerless gloves with skulls on them for her. Alas, she seems to be MIA, so I don't know if I'll ever get any items in return, but I hope at least that the gloves arrived safely and that she liked them. I tried to knit them as close to her specifications as I could.

And in more swap news, I signed up for a wishlist swap, and put up a wishlist for my sister to surprise her! Two wonderful craftsters chose to craft some beautiful items for her. And as for me, I made a pair of Fetchings for the swap, but modified them to put an Owl Cable on the back of the hand. I used a dk weight wool blend yarn in dark green. The lighter weight of yarn makes the cables a little more flowing, in my opinion, and a little more subtle. Overall they ended up looking pretty elegant. I was very happy with how they turned out but alas forgot to take pictures before sending them away. Ah well. Maybe the craftster who is receiving them will post pictures in the swap gallery when she gets them.

And I have to confess that I still haven't sent Zinobi his hat *cringe* I still want to re-do it, I think. Poor Zinobi, he's been waiting forever. Ah well. I'll make him something super awesome sometime in the future to make up for it. And in other knitting request news, the Dark Saber scarf for Arcness is about halfway done. The chart is so gigantic that I have to really pay attention when I'm knitting it, and keep track of 5 or 6 balls of yarn at a time. It's my first time doing colour work on such a large scale, and it's tricky, but I think it'll come out nicely in the end. I'm knitting it on 10mm needles so I can felt it.

Till next time, blog readers!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Anime/Manga swap

Well, my swap partner has finally received, so I can safely post up pictures of the things I made her for the swap! I'm still waiting to see what she made me since my packaged arrived in Ottawa at my brother's house, where I was supposed to be right now, but it turns out I won't be going there for a week or so still. *dies of anticipation*

My swap partner doesn't watch any anime, she only reads manga. I themed my swap items on her favourite manga - Kimi wa Petto.

The first item was a scarf. I knit it out of Cascade 220 wool, on 10mm needles. Here's the scarf initially:
It's hard to tell from the picture, but it's insanely long and wide. I then felted it in the washing machine for about 20 minutes (I'd felted a test swatch previously to calculate how much it would shrink) and set it out to dry on the floor. Here's the scarf drying, and a close-up shot of the stitches so you can see how much it felted.

I folded the ends up to make pockets and embroidered them, then sewed them up on the sides using a blanket stitch. The one side has Momo's box on it, with the word 'Momo' on the side of it, and the other side says 'Kimi wa Petto'. I knit some matching wrist warmers to go along with it, using an amalgamation of a couple patterns I found online.

It's hard to tell what the wrist warmers look like on their own like that, so here's me modeling one.

The last item was inspired by this manga page:
I sortof made up my own pattern, and it came out not perfect, but good enough I suppose. I think the sheep in the manga has some sort of gelpak or something inside it, but lacking that, I went out and got some of those ice cubes that are plastic with water inside. My swap partner also adores peanut butter M&M's, so the sheep is bringing them along as an extra surprise.

The sheep was knit with Phentex Merit yarn (acrylic) on 2.5mm needles. The hardest part was sewing the zipper in. I haven't done much sewing in a LONG time and it took forever. Turned out pretty good though, and my swap partner said she liked everything! Yay! This was my first craft swap, and I think I might sign up for another one sometime soon.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Dying is easier the second time

For my Guild Wars guild members and allies reading this, no I am not talking about being rezzed with Vengeance or Death Pact Signet (although both are marvelously fun). This post, is about dying yarn!

On the holiday weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Philosopher's Wool and tour the farm. The old philosopher himself gave us the tour, with his rubber boots on over his thick knitted socks and his white hair and beard sticking out at all angles from his head. The tour was fantastic, and we got to see the little lambs, and the wool at each stage of the process to becoming yarn. If any of you ever visit there, I also encourage to ask you the story of how they built their house, because that is a fascinating story in itself.

Myself, Jenn, and Jordan each got a skien of undyed yarn and set to work that afternoon with some jars, some food colouring, and a trusty microwave! Due to my previous experience dying yarn with koolaid, I was much better prepared this time, and we each decided to dye our skeins with three colours.
They turned out better than we could have expected! Here are our three skeins drying outside. I sent mine to my sister who is at the moment confined in the middle of nowhere, BC, with no car and no internet. Knit lots, Anna! You'll be a prostar knitter by the end of the summer, sis!

In terms of other projects, the Kon Hat take #2 is almost complete. Details and pictures to follow when I finish it up. I've also cast on the second try at a pair of socks. To be able to knit along with a friend, I'm doing some very basic socks from the book The Urban Knitter. My swap partner from the Anime/Manga swap at Craftster also received her package, so I'll post up the details of those soon.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Exponential stash growth

"Are you sure?" my mom asked me. I tried to sound confident. "Yes," I replied. None of the certainty I meant to convey translated through to my voice. My mom asked again, "Can you really live without your computer for two weeks?"
Katie was laughing at me in the background. It wasn't helping. "Yes, I'll be fine," I reassured her.

Upon hanging up the phone, Katie just looked at me, and said, "There's no way you'll survive that long without your computer." I knew it was true. I didn't want to say it. In my head, I began concocting elaborate schemes. It was a simple enough problem. My computer was in Ottawa, as was I. I needed to go back to Hamilton. I wouldn't return to Ottawa for two weeks. My perfect plans to get a ride back was disrupted at the last minute, and my only option was the train. I had my desktop with me. Could I take my desktop on the train? No, that's crazy talk! But, once I started to back my belongings, I came up with a crazy plan.

1 computer tower
1 fuzzy blanket
1 roll of duct tape
1 case of pop

And, here we have the result:
Although the whole experience was less terrible than I thought it was going to be, I have resolved to never take my desktop on the train again.

But enough of that. Let's get to the yarny goodness! After the aforementioned epic journey, I stopped off at my parents' house. My mom, who is likely the best mom in the world, had found some awesome yarn deals for me. So very exciting! Here they all are! The first are these four GIANT spools of cotton, fingering weight, and I have no idea what I'm going to do with them, but I'm sure I'll think of something. I'm tempted to try the Peacock Plumes Cardigan from Elann. I'm not sure how my gauge would compare though. I've also never worked with cotton before, which contributes to my hesitation. These giant spools are motivation enough to get over that though. Secondly, there are two bags of "Fashion Yarn" made of "100% unknown fibre"!!!! Woooo!!!! I can't say I know what I'm going to do with these either, but the fluffy one looks like it might make a fun stuffed animal for when I decide to try knitting one of those. I can't really see myself wearing something Next, we have some more thrift store recycled yarn! Wheee! And finally, the pièce de résistance, a bag of yarn ends, many of them sock yarn! Check out those beautiful colours! That whole entire bag was a mere 25 cents!!!! I'm going to make the best socks ever!!!

Lastly, I have a pic of the Kon hat I made, but it turned out too big. Additionally, I had to put on a white outline because the brown was too indistinguishable from the black. I've decided I can't give such a substandard piece of knitting away. I might send this hat to my sister because she won't mind the hugeness of it, and knit the entire hat again, this time in the correct size with a lighter shade of brown.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Let the frogging begin!

Hurrah, my blog officially has one reader! I love comments! They make me motivated to write posts. So, without further ado, I present to you The Sock
I picked up this fun sock yarn when I was home for my dearest Mama's birthday a couple months back. The sock in question was begun whilst visiting Vancouver for my younger brother's senior recital (which was fantastical, by the way). Since my internet access was limited at the time, I used the convenient pattern out of the front of a novel my Mama was reading, entitled, "A Good Yarn" by Debbi Macomber. That's right, it's a fiction novel about a knitting shop, and it has a knitting pattern in the front! It was all well and good until last week when I decided that I did not like this pattern after all. So, I shall frog the entire sock and start again. Perhaps I shall try Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern. It looks like good fun.

In other knitting news, I have finished my doubleknit Mario Boo scarf, and also some manga-themed items for a swap at craftster forums, which I shall not reveal until my swap partner receives them in the mail! You shall just have to wait in anticipation until then. You may, however, see the scarf. Ta-da!I am also nearly finished a hat, which I shall snap a picture of as soon as its done.

In non-knitting news, I shall finish with a story about the bus.

I take the bus quite a bit, since I don't own a vehicle, and don't wish to own a vehicle. The bus is a very convenient and cheap form of transportation, but has its ups and downs. Yesterday I had the coolest bus driver ever on my way to work. He not only greeted every person that got on the bus and asked them how they were, but did so in each person's native language! If he didn't know a greeting in a particular language, he would ask, and commit the answer to memory. How cool is that! His accent was terrible, but he was remarkably good at being able to find the correct greeting, and he brought a smile to nearly everyone who walked on the bus. The world needs more people like this.

That's all for now. Check back later for more wacky randomness from me!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

The beginning

So I suppose this is my blog. Perhaps this is a more convenient method of communicating my knitting adventures than randomly IMing half my friends whenever I finish a new project. Will this blog last longer than my previous one? Only time will tell.