Saturday, December 23, 2006

Happy non-denominational winter holiday!

I'm off to the (Ottawa) valley to spend the holidays with the fam. I've packed a truly ridiculous amount of knitting to keep me occupied. (What if I ran out of yarn? The only place I would be able to get more would be Wallmart! Oh, the horror!)


Thursday, December 21, 2006

christmas came early


(picture me running around the room, arms flailing, screeching at the top of my lungs like a 12 yr old girl at a boy-band concert)


Allow me to explain. Last night was Lettuce Knit's holiday party. There were door prizes. My number was drawn for the grand prize:

Can you read that? $200 smackaroonies worth of knitterly goodness! Woo-hoo! I must have been a very good knitter this year!

YET...the year is not over and I have a little bit of knitting left to do...

After royally messing up one project last night (I was in shock, it was no time to do beaded knitting) I've got some catching up to do.

I hope santa is just as good to all you knitters!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Every time a bell rings...

... a chihuahua gets it's ears? I finished my first attempt at amigurumi!

(No, the dog isn't giant. It's the Christmas tree that's tiny.)

It's a (christmas?) miracle considering a) I used a japanese pattern which I cannot read and b) my crochet skills are elementary at best. All things considered, I think he's a hearbreaker. I had to imediately put him in a gift bag and send him off to the girl that helped me translate the japanese. He was so cute, I was in danger of keeping him! He kept giving me those looks with his glassy black eyes!

All of this crochet business has got off track with the x-mas knitting. With 6 days to go, I cast on a hat, despite having one important work still in progress. I've started my 'gravy' knitting before the "turkey" knitting has come out of the oven! I think the crochet was cranberry sauce...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

I have no knits to blog pa-rum-pum-pum-pum!

Santa's on his way, and I'm almost ready for him. I finished TWO knit gifts yesterday. Woo-hoo! Of course, I had originally intended to knit something for everyone and anyone I had ever met... yeah, that's totally not happening. The list has been whittled down to a manageable four. Sensible, lady-like bites of knitting. Completely doable.

As I can't give away what my knitty-gifts are as of yet, here's what else I've been up to:

Hand made wrapping paper! My apartment is teaming with art supplies, as both myself and the bf had to buy every kind of paint or paper imaginable to make it through four years of art school. I could create a new 'object d'art' everyday from now to eternity and never run out of supplies. As a result, every now and then I root through the boxes of goodies, did out a bunch of things I had totally forgotten about (we have gold ink? Cool!) and come up with a way to put the stuff to use. The paper with the green trees was lino-block printed (but could easily have been done potato-stamp style). The gold stars were hand painted. Great mindless crafty-work for in front of the boob-tube! (This year's crafting brought to you by all five seasons of Absolutely Fabulous).

After my triumphant completion of TWO knitted object last night (did I mention that before?), I decided to take a crack at
amigurumi. You may remember I bought some neat-o japanese craft books in NYC. Not being much of a crocheter (yet) I asked a workmate if he could get his japanese speaking girlfriend to translate some of the instructions for me. She totally went over and above:

Diagrams! Anime stationary! As if I'm not going to crochet everything in this book for her!

Does it look like a chihuahua yet?

I have a feeling I'm going to get seriously addicted to making these little creatures. They're quick, easy, and c' cute?!

Nine more knitting days until x-mas. Ahhhh!


Friday, December 08, 2006

Am I dye-ing?


Exactly one month after recovering from my last cold, I am sick again. What gives? You'd think I'd been licking subway poles or something! (I assure you, I haven't) My sniffles kept me home from my office holiday party last night. Boo! I'm sure my co-workers happily took care of any spare drink tickets floating around in my absence. On the upside, I am certainly NOT hungover today. Besides, two days of no-worky make for two days of much-knitty.

As most of my knitting these days is Christmas-related and must remain strictly on the down-low (I don't want to blow Santa's cover), I thought I'd dig into the vaults and tell you all about my ghosts of knitting past. Here's something I documented ages ago and never got around to blogging about: Kool aid dying!

This summer I got a great bargain on some natural, un-dyed wool. I'd read about dying yarn with Kool-aid on and thought I'd give it a whirl. I had so much of this bargain yarn, I figured even if I destroyed a few skeins with a lousy dye job - it would be no biggie.

After reading and re-reading the instructions, I headed off to my local grocer and purchased about a bazillion packets of grape Kool-aid. Okay, it was really just a dozen packages of grape with a few cherry thrown in for interest. I actually found myself embarrassed in my Kensington market grocery store to be purchasing something so utterly un-healthy, un-organic and generally un-bohemian. I felt like anouncing to everyone " It's okay folks! I'm not drinking it! I'm using it to dye yarn!". Realizing I would probably get more strange looks for dying wool with Kool-aid than merely drinking it, I kept my mouth shut.

Back at the ranch (aka, my apartment), I took out my big, red enamel pot, tossed in the kool-aid, the yarn, the water and turned up the heat. After a short prayer to the knitting gods, I left the kitchen, fingers crossed.

When I came back a while later to check on it, it seemed to be 'done'. The water was clear which, according to the instructions, meant all the colour had been absorbed by the wool - but the wool was mauve. NOOOOO! I hate mauve! Purple, no problem. Amethyst, violet, eggplant... any incarnation of purple - but mauve? Ew! I think mauve is a colour that should only be worn by those under the age of 10 or over the age of 65. (Sorry if I offend any mauve-lovers out there, but that's just how I feel.)

I went back to the grocery store. If I had been embarrassed the first time, I was mortified the second. Especially considering I had the same cashier. She remembered me:

"Weren't you just here? Buying the same thing?" she said.

"Uh, yeah. I use it to dye yarn. I don't drink it!"

"Oh. $4.80 please. Do y' need a bag?"

Not only was she completely un-phased, she was obviously not a knitter. Despite my shame, the second trip was worth it. Another batch of Kool-aid did the trick:

My yarn turned a nice warm purple colour. (PURPLE. Most definitely not mauve.) I love the colour, and as an added bonus - it smells like grape! (Don't worry, If you don't want to smell like Strawberry Shortcake I hear the scent does fade) I would warn anyone thinking of trying this technique that the colour may not turn out evenly. Mine is slightly variegated, but I actually prefer it that way. Also, as you can glean from my results, if you want saturated colour, I'd suggest using twice as much kool-aid as recommended. Just don't drink the stuff. Seriously.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Gettin' the rock

Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

I think there must be something in the Socks that Rock dyes. People go nutso for this yarn! Grown women transform into vultures! They will line up for hours! They will drive for miles! They will spend their children's college funds!

Not really being much of a sock knitter, I haven't been able to understand the madness. (Sadly, I only completed one sock for Socktoberfest. Not one pair. One sock.) When I heard that Lettuce Knit had recieved an order of the crack Socks that rock yarn, I decided to see what all of the fuss was about.

I fought the crowd, and managed to walk away with two pretty skeins of the stuff. I found myself attracted to all the colourways with the word 'rock' in the title - Rooster Rock, Rocktober... Hmmm. Curious. In the end I decided on "Jailhouse Rock" and "Lagoon". You can see I wasted no time winding one skein up for the big debut-knit:

Oh yeah, and then this jumped in my bag:

Manos del Uruguay Kettle dyed wool - colour 101 - oops!

Now lets just see if I become a convert to the holy church of 'Rock'. You here that, yarn? Impress me!