Saturday, March 29, 2008

Learning to Knit

I had a comment on my bag post from Mary Ann she was inspired to try to knit again and I know some of you have also made comments that you wish you could knit. May I suggest starting with an easy garter scarf. Here is how to do it, if you have any difficulties you can email me at mrs_tea_mouse@hotmail.com. If you want to leave a comment so I can view your project's progress I'll link back to you.

I may post some pictures later of the steps involved, but there are tons of great online tutorials out there and some are even great videos you can view....I am not that tech savvy as to create them, but they are a great resource.

Garter Stitch Scarf(Pattern Available from LionBrand) - I chose this pattern for the simple fact that it is quick and easy to do and it only involves the knit stitch and because it is a scarf you'll get lot's of practice and be a pro at basic knitting when you are done.

What You'll Need:
1 Ball LionBrand Homespun Yarn(this yarn is bulky weight, feel free to substitute with another yarn that is also the same weight. This may also be called Craft or Rug yarn). If you buy your yarn at a Local Yarn Shop, they can help you purchase the right weight. This pattern uses a ball with 185 yards so anything with that yardage would be suitable. Economical substitutes could include: Bernat Softee Chunky, or for a bit more luxurious feel Bernat Alpaca. If you want to try something more expensive, try visiting the your Local Yarn Shop(LYS) for more choices in unique yarns.

Knitting Needles: Buy a pair of 8mm needles or U.S. size 11. They come in all sorts of styles, you can get metal, plastic, bamboo and more. Bamboo needles are nice for the beginner as they aren't very slippery and it's harder for stitches to slide off the needle. Later on you'll prefer metal needles as you can knit much faster with them. If you're thrifty you can probably find needles at a local thrift store or some dollar stores carry bamboo ones for cheap.

Point Protectors: These vary in styles and prices. They sit at the end of the needle and keep your work from slipping off when you are not working on it.

Ziploc Bag: I keep the yarn I am working with in a ziploc bag as I am working, this keeps it clean and free from any pet hair etc.

Tapestry Needle: For weaving in Ends.


Before You Get Started:

No matter how you buy your yarn it will not be in a nice ball. I always roll my yarn into balls to work with and then it's ready to go. When you buy more expensive wools they always come in skeins and need to be rolled prior to use, so it's a good habit to get into.

Getting Started:

Casting On: Cast on 18 stitches.

Work in Garter Stitch(Knit each row) until you have 18 inches of yarn left. BO(Bind off) all stitches and weave in ends.

Friday, March 28, 2008

My version of Mr. Greenjeans


This is Mr. Greenjeans, but I am making mine in Denim Blue in Cascade Sierra(which is simply stunning to work with)!

I just got to the part where I divided the sleeves from the body last night, I learned a new trick!

This sweater will be my first real sweater project and I am both nervous and excited to get it finished. The hardest part I think so far will be the sleeves as they are to be done on dpn's(double pointed needles) and knit in the round, something I have almost zero experience with....so I am crossing my fingers for that. The pattern is knit from the top down with cables on the lower part of the sleeves and the body. I chose the yarn because it is 80% Pima Cotton and 20% Merino wool - I am hoping that it will be the ideal summer sweater.

Thanks to my Knitster for giving me the push I needed to try more complicated patterns!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

My Bag



I must have been dreaming of Spring when I picked the colour! I absolutely love this bag and I am using it regularly to take my current project to work.

Health Update

Thanks for all who have left comments wishing me well on my minor surgery! I'll give a brief update and then do another post about my new knitting projects.

I had the minor surgery done on the 17th of March under a local anesthetic, unfortunately for me the area wouldn't stay froze and three times I felt what was being done with the scalpel and had to get 3 more needles of freezing. At the end of the procedure I could still feel her stitching me up, but I had enough of the needles by then and I just waited for it to be over.

While she was doing the surgery I started feeling nauseous and my right leg wouldn't stop shaking. I drove to pick up my DH from the office and he took me home. I spent the next few days trying to sleep off the pain from the incision and dreaded the upcoming Easter weekend as I knew I had to be functioning by then.

Thankfully I was able to attend all of the Easter celebrations - the vigil was lovely!

Then came Monday - the dreaded Monday! I was able to remove the last bandages on Monday and have a shower. I don't know if it was all the anxiety surrounding the procedure or not but I felt dizzy and nauseous and I stepped out to compose myself. The last thing I remember was thinking I was about to be sick and I had passed out and had a seizure. I did this once more and DH called the EMT's. I came to and I was confused but I thought I was ok and I tried to insist they cancel the EMT's from coming. They looked me over and I thought I was fine, they asked me to sit up and I was barely up before I did it again. So off I went to the hospital where they did lot's of tests but everything came back normal. I may pass out again when I get the bill...lol!

For now I am ok - my face took the brunt of it, mainly the bridge of my nose. I can't touch my face and I have what feels like a terrible sinus headache. The worst part is remembering the incident, it was quite scary and whenever I think about it I get upset.

I am hoping it was just that all of the events prior to led to me going into shock as I started to remove the last of the bandages. I have never had seizures before and I have only fainted once before and it was also after a bad accident, but there were no seizures. Those may have come because of doing a face plant into the tub.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Easter Break - Easter Humor

Please forgive me - I am re-using my Easter Blogging Break post from last Easter. Things are a bit more hectic than normal. I will have an extra short week next week as I have to have some very minor surgery done on Monday. See you soon!


I hope you all have a blessed and wonderful Easter!










Monday, March 10, 2008

Tasty Treats & Fun Easter Egg Coloring Idea

I am linking to Dawn of Colours of Dawn(wheat berry salad) - Ver as she has a recipe up that I just adore and I don't think it's common enough for most people to know of it. If you haven't tried this recipe I highly recommend it. Whether you serve it as a salad or as a dessert(which is my preference) it will be a hit.

Also Easter is just around the corner - it seems hard to believe but it's true. Just last week I was at our church's Passion Sunday rehearsal. I have once again volunteered to be the Narrator for the reading of the Passion on Palm Sunday. Thankfully I'm one of those people that will practice a lot, and I should come out ok. There were some interesting words like sepulchre that I had to learn to pronounce.

Well moving on - I learned a new trick for coloring Easter Eggs and it's quite fun and easy to do.

These are Tie-Dye Easter Eggs

You will need:

Colander
Hard Boiled Eggs(however many you like)
Vinegar
Food Coloring

Place 2 eggs at a time in the colander(this prevents them from breaking), splash them with about 1/8 cup vinegar, drip with a few drops of food coloring, gently agitate to get the eggs well coated in the coloring, let colour set for 30 seconds and then add another colour and agitate(I only use 2 colours - you can use up to 3), allow to set.

After the last colour has set, give them a light rinse with water and then let them drain for a minute or two and then set on paper towels to dry.

Looking to cook the 'perfect' Easter egg - read these tips at Eggs.ca and you will not be disappointed. Aside from the obvious Eater egg use, hard boiled eggs make a good breakfast, lunch or snack on the go, with only 70 calories and a great source of protein.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #39 - Enough of Winter!!


OK, so I've had just about enough of wiinter!!! Today it was -31 when I woke up. The normals for this time of year are around -14 with highs of -3. So far we are having the coldest March on record!

So naturally I am tired of all the cold and snow. Here are thirteen things I am looking forward to about summer.


1. Being able to wear dresses to work and not having to wear itchy nylons. Is it just me or are these things torture to wear? I've actually heard that some 'guys' wear them for comfort...What the?

2. No more winter coat! I'm tired of being dressed like the abominable snowman to run to the store to get milk. Driving in the car I feel like there are two of me as I squeeze my parka under the steering wheel.

3. Gardening! We are newer homeowners and gardening is soon becoming a favorite thing of mine to do. I even enjoy the weeding, shhhhhhhh don't tell my DH that!

4. Walks in the park with Oliver - it's so much fun to watch him running in the tall grasses, tail wagging, he just loves his walks. This time of year though his paws get too cold. I've tried boots - that was a bust. He stood there in the driveway with this dejected look on his face and wouldn't move...too cute!

5. Road trip! Road trips are the best - even if you don't go far, packing up the car grabbing some snacks and heading off on the highway is always good fun.

6. Sitting in the backyard enjoying a firepit and playing cards until late at night under the gazebo. If it gets too cold I snuggle up with a blanket and lay on the lounge chair and I could sleep there, it's so relaxing.

7. No more forced heat! My skin is so dry and it's had enough of the harsh heating we need to keep toasty warm. It's been so cold we've put a space heater in our room and now my skin is exceptionally dry.

8. Flip Flops, sandals, thongs - whatever you call them my feet like to be free of the tight laced up shoes and boots.

9. Picnics in the park and family bbq's.

10. Fresh air - this kind of goes with #7. I am anxious to open the windows and get fresh air inside.

11. Painting my kitchen. I am painting it a nice soft yellow when winter is over.

12. Longer hours of daylight. Right now there are days I could be in bed by 8:00 p.m., seriously. I need the sun to keep me up and to drag my butt out of bed in the morning.

13. All the fresh fruits and vegetables that taste oh so much better when they are in season.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!
The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Book Help

A few years ago I read a fictional book about Joseph of Arimathea - I've been trying for the last year or so to find it again and I can't remember the title. If you know of this book can you let me know the title.

Quick and Easy Creamy Spaghetti

I stumbled upon this recipe while waiting at the doctor's office a few weeks ago and I thought I'd share it with you. I am unsure of the source at the moment, I know it was in an advertisement in a Canadian Living magazine.

1 jar of spicy spaghetti sauce(your choice)
30 - pre-cooked meatballs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
Spaghetti Noodles(we use Healthy Harvest whole wheat, use your favorite)
Frank's Red Hot(optional)

The secret ingredient is the mushroom soup - I know it sounds odd, but this makes a most delicious creamy tomato sauce. Mix the spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup in a sauce pan, add the meatballs and let them warm up in the sauce. Serve with noodles and if desired add a few dashes of Frank's Red Hot to spice it up.

Note: The first time I made this we didn`t have a spicy sauce so we just used the Frank`s Red Hot and it worked just fine, so you can use any sauce you have on hand. I found this was a quick meal for a busy work night.

Monday, March 03, 2008

The final product


Well here is the finished product. It is in the process of being blocked in this picture. Blocking it really opened up the lace quite nicely.

I am happily wearing it today and it's not hugely bulky but yet it keeps me nice and warm.