Sunday, August 24, 2014

Year of the Blankets

Gone Fishing?
Well it seems this is becoming the 'year of the blanket' for me. I've never knit so many blankets ever!

My 25 year old son had casually mentioned he'd like a blanket made for him after he saw the one I made for our bedroom, how can I resist that.

So after I finished my last one for my nephew I tried to come up with one that would suit him. I couldn't find the right yarn. I really wanted a blues theme that would be masculine enough and  I also wanted a quick knit as I also have another blanket planned with a Christmas deadline.  After searching all the bulky yarn and the colour selections I decided to knit worsted weight held double stranded to get the same effect. So based on colour selection only I went with Red Heart Super Saver. My DH suggested that it looks good when some of the yarn is variegated and I quite agree. I couldn't really find a pattern I liked so I started creating in my mind how it what I wanted it to  look like,  I not only wanted different colours but also textures. I CO 222 stitches to give me a 4 stitch edge border on each side and I started with 12 rows of the blue variegated and I am alternating the colours of white/medium blue/variegated/grey up the blanket and I love how it looks. I am constantly measuring to see how big each colour section needs to be to get the desired size.

It's a really rainy weekend here perfect for knitting on a blanket :)


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Intarsia?

Image borrowed from the Bernat website
I've always loved the look of Intarsia knitting but I've always been too scared to give it a go. I found this cute little Owl dishcloth pattern and I'm thinking it may be a good place to give it a try. It's a smaller project and only has three colours for the picture.

Have you done Intarsia, if so how did you find it?


Monday, August 18, 2014

Another Christmas gift off the needles :D


Racing Stripes Afghan
I finished another of my Christmas gifts last night, this one took longer than I thought I started it in April but when the weather warmed up and it grew, it became more of a knitting in bed project or a cool day project. This was the Basic Stripes Afghan by Bernat.

I'm definitely happy with it, the yarn is a little difficult when joins are made in that it's very slippery and doesn't want to weave in or knit in well, but I managed and there was a LOT of weaving in, my least favorite part but the end result was worth it. If I knit this pattern again I will use the Bernat as I have used it before and it's a good yarn.

This is for my 10 year old nephew who loves bright bold colours and specifically loves these. His sister Jenah is also getting a hand knit blanket this year. I hope they stay nice and cozy this winter.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Seeding The Fields Dishcloth Pattern

Seeding the Fields Dishcloth

This pattern reminds me of seeding, I designed it in the Spring when the crops were being planted.

Seeding the Fields

-For the pattern, it list repeat the rows 1 - 6 eight times. This is the total amount of times to work the pattern rows. Work rows 1 - 6 for eight times. Or work it until the cloth is almost square. Then work a final repeat of rows 1 - 4 and the k3 rows for the border.
-This cloth can be completed with any regular size ball of dishcloth cotton. If you make the larger size cloth you may need two balls if they are ombre or variegated(If you use Bernat Handicrafter ombre or variegated) - disregard this if you are using Peaches and Cream, they’re balls have more yardage in both solid and ombres and should be just fine). A full size small ball of a solid cotton is enough no matter what brand you choose.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

J-Cloth Striped Knit Dishcloth Pattern

Striped Cloth

I wanted a cloth that reminded me of the blue/white J-Cloths my mom used to purchase. This is what I came up with. You start with white and carry it up the color not in use along the side. To end the pattern make sure to do another 4 rows of CC and finish with 4 rows of MC.

I had fun knitting these cloths they look great in lot's of colour combos but I prefer them in white and blue or white and any pastel color.

Striped J-Cloth Pattern

This is my first time adding a pdf in this manner. I'm using DropBox with a shared folder, please let me know if it lets you download. :)

Friday, August 08, 2014

Partying My way to better health

For anyone who's done Zumba you know how much fun it really is. Before you know it your workout is done and you just had a ton of fun but you know you worked hard, you have buckets of sweat pouring off of you and you need a ton of water, but damn it feels good.

The other day I had my first wake up call to get fit. It's been and off and on battle but now it's real. My DH is near to a type 2 diabetic, my DD is type 2 diabetic and I got some not so great news about cholesterol, and blood sugars. I also have low iron so I have to take an iron supplement which may help with my low energy and I have some other tests to make sure it's not because of anything else besides low iron in my diet.

Since she was diagnosed a month ago we've already begun making more changes. We've always been a family of whole grain breads and pastas but now we have to get even more serious. I personally had to make changes, mo more sugary pops if I want a pop it has to be diet and no more chips and chocolate.

I had done this workout before but had stopped because no matter how good I thought I was doing the game didn't seem to acknowledge I was doing it right so I felt like I was failing at it. One day I was doing it again, yes it's so much fun that I still wanted to do it. Well my remote fell out and I had to put it back in and this time I was getting 'zumba's and 'hot's' all the time. It turned out I had mistakenly put the remote in the belt incorrectly, the sensor has to be facing up at the top.

Well I didn't keep going I let myself get lazy and then our empty nest was full again and then more than full and I had almost no privacy. It's still a full nest but I can make time for me and do it. I did it this morning for about 45 minutes, sweat tons had a blast and got 67% on accuracy and I felt awesome!

My goal this month is to do this each day I'm at home during my holidays and when we are away I'll do some other form of fitness. This will be in addition to our daily walk with our dogs. I hope and pray that if I do this along with our healthy eating that I will actually shed some weight, change my levels and be more healthy and fit.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

Reese's Ice Cream Cake
For my son's 25th birthday he requested a ice cream cake with reese's peanut butter cups.

Reese's Ice Cream Cake

1 1/4 cup Oreo Crumbs
1/4 cup melted butter

2l vanilla ice cream
hot fudge sauce
Mini Reeses cups
2 l chocolate ice cream
Reeses pieces


Melt butter and mix with crumbs, press into spring form pan.

Let vanilla ice cream sit out for about 1/2 hour to soften. Pour into bowl and stir until smooth. Pour ice cream over base. Freeze for at least an hour or until very firm.

Spread hot fudge on top of vanilla ice cream, freeze for 30 minutes. Take out and cover the fudge layer with mini reese cups and freeze for another 30 minutes or until very firm.

Set out chocolate ice cream 30 minutes to soften. Pour into bowl and stir until smooth. Pour over reese layer and spread with an offset spatula until smooth. Top with reeses pieces and more mini reese cups if you like and cover in plastic wrap and freeze until very firm at least 3 hours.

Take out 15 minutes before to slowly warm up, place on a serving plate and remove spring form ring, cut and server.

Note: Freezing in a deep freeze may shorten time. Times for freezing will vary depending on your freezer. Do not do subsequent layers until the first one is frozen solid.


Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Summer is for...

 Summer is for dishcloth knitting, the perfect summer knit. I love this Spa Day Facecloth it makes a wonderful washcloth and I specifically use these in the bath, the textured pattern is so squishy and soft for the bath. This one is in lime green.
Summer is also for visiting. This is how tired Oliver is after my sister and her hubby visited with us for a few days with their two kids. I know people think he can be grumpy but he's a sweet boy who generally loves attention and snuggles. After he warmed up to everyone he gave each of them their own snuggle time. He gives the best snuggles.

Sunday, August 03, 2014

More of that Christmas Knitting

Basic Stipes Afghan - Titled Racing Stripes
Getting more of my gift knitting done so the I don't feel pressure to knit like a maniac come November. I'm about 70% done this afghan for my nephew. It's a nice pattern and the yarn is very soft I think he'll enjoy snuggling under it while he watches a movie or reads when the temps dip low. Where they live the winters are quite harsh.

Using Knit picks Brava in basic primary colours.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reading always helps!

 Well I had good progress on my first mitten but as I got to the first increase row I realized something was off. I had too many stitches. It turns out I didn't read the pattern right from the start and there should have been three cable sections.

I frogged it and started over and so far it's going great. This afternoon I got to the part I thought would be the hardest, which was the Thumb Gusset. It was really no big deal at all.

I did have the held stitches on a metal holder but it looked like that might get in
the way so I slipped them on to a piece of scrap yarn.

The colour is looking off here to me in this picture, it's Cascade220 Mallard and it really is a nice almost navy blue.

I'm hoping to have this mitten finished tonight and cast on for the right one. I'm so glad I gave dpn's a try!

And not too surprising I love knitting mittens a quick one skein project, what's not to love and since I live in a climate where I need them 75% of the year I'm stoked to be able to have as many as I want in different colours and styles.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Mittens in July?

This is the start of a pair of Irish Hiking Mittens. After two successful cabled wine cozies I decided to try mittens next. I'm getting closer to socks :)! So even though it's July it's mittens I'm knitting. I really do love these one skein projects.

I had picked up this yarn on my last trip to visit my sister in B.C., it was supposed to be for a hat but it has sat in my stash waiting to be used. I really wanted to knit these in wool as I really prefer this especially on dpn's the wool seems to really have a lot more give in it and I really don't have any concerns with laddering.

I love the front of this mitten, the cables are perfect for it. I'll be doing this pattern repeat for a bit before I do any increases and the thumb gusset but so far so good. I'm really enjoying this. My only issue is now I seem to need to be buying a different set of dpn's all the time...lol! I now have 4mm for these mittens and 4.5 and 5.5 but I know I'll be needing more in the future. I don't know what it is but to me the bamboo needles really help me a lot, the stitches don't slip easily off of them so for now bamboo is it for me.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Determination

Well I've tried knitting socks with different methods other than dpn's. I recently tried the two circular method, I spent a lot of money on great needles and yarn and although I grasped the idea of it I kept getting laddering. I've read some reviews on the yarn and some say it doesn't have enough give and can cause laddering. I'm not sure if it's the yarn or the technique. For now it's sitting there unfinished mocking me ;)

The other day I was browsing some patterns and I found this pattern I had saved awhile back but I put if off because it required dpn's. I am thinking enough is enough! I cast on that nightafter supper. I  didn't just jump into plain knitting, but this had cables, after all I don't want to be stuck knitting stockinette socks all my life. My reasoning also that if I could knit cables with dpn's I shouldn't be intimidated any longer when patterns call for them. Time to grow up and wear my big girl panties.

Well it was so much fun and not hard at all, in just a short time I had an awesome wine sleeve, which I just adore. These will be very handy as my DH makes wine as a hobby and often we gift it and what a better way to wrap it up. I've already cast on for my second one. These are great stash busters to use up the leftovers from other projects. This first one was some Briggs and Little I had on hand from a project that never finished and the new one is being worked on with Knit Picks in Holly Berry. It seems like it takes just over 100 yds to make one.

I've also got another project to try after this that also uses dpn's and I'm actually looking forward to learning this new project. If all goes well I'll soon be using tiny needles and sock yarn and doing things the way my Granny would have years ago when she knit socks for my Grandpa.

Cabled Wine Sleeve - Wine anyone?

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Happy Yarn Day

The Brava Bulky I ordered from Knit Picks arrived yesterday. I tried to find yarn locally but I couldn't get the colours I wanted. I needed a bright green, red, yellow and blue and they had exactly what I needed.

This yarn in Peapod, Red, Canary, Celestial, and Black is going to be knit into the Basic Stripes afghan.

My nephew loves these colours and this will be his Christmas present. I was going to do up another Hudson Bay blanket but instead of single chevron use the traditional garter stitch but I found this pattern and with the bulky yarn I know it will knit up super fast and I have at least one other I'd like to do with this pattern in a different colour combo for another gift so I thought this would work great and give me plenty of time to get other gifts done. I wonder if I'm the only one working on Christmas projects in April? ;)

Besides a little boy will maybe not be as gentle on a blanket so this should be nice and durable and for sure cozy. This will hopefully be on the needles soon. I've got a few WIP's that need to be finished before I start another large project.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I'm knitting a Sock...

Here I am knitting on the tiniest needles that I've ever used! These are 2mm needles on a 9" cord. The first row was tricky but after that it wasn't too bad. I didn't think I could knit on such a small diameter but it's actually not that bad. I picked up this Loops and Thread Luxury Sock Yarn form Michaels in the colour 'Ocean'. It is very nice yarn but I'm concerned that they are discontinuing it as it was labelled as 'clearance' which is never a good sign. It is very soft with a merino, nylon and cashmere blend.

So I knit, I've finished the cuff now and I'm on to the body of the sock before I have to figure out how to do the toe, which looks relatively easy but I will have to use dpn's at some point I'd imagine. I wasn't sure I'd like knitting on such a tiny project but it's very calming and it makes you slow down and relax(which is awesome). I'm not running a race here I just want to end up with a pair of socks :D

This seemed like a great place for me to start as there is no heel - Tube Socks

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Off and on the Needles

 Off the needles is this Hudson Bay inspired blanket. I made it larger than the baby version and with colours that will hopefully suit a pre-teen. I began this on January 4 and just wove the ends in last night. I'm already missing working on it, it was a fun relaxing knit. It is about 53w x 71l. It is pictured here getting a light blocking on my queen size bed.
 On  the needles(super tiny needles) I've never seen needles this small or worked with them. I'm going to try to make some tube socks with the yarn pictured below.
In the colour pictured(which I snagged from the internet) in Ocean. They only had 4 colours at Michael's and I would have tried the bright balloons but there was only one skein and since I'm a huge fan of turquoise I chose this colour. It is really nice and soft.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Retro Dishcloths

After I knit up the cute watering can dishcloths I was in the dishcloth zone and I was looking for another 'picturecloth' when I stumbled upon this mosaic pattern from Mason Dixon called Linoleum. I love the retro feel of it. I used cream, tangerine and pale yellow for this one and I'm starting another at lunch time today :)  This time with bright green, bright pink and cream.

This is such a fun and quick knit with just enough pattern changes to not make it boring.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Spring?

 I was watching The Sampler Girl's podcast and she was talking about her Spring KAL - I wasn't in the mood to knit when I got home yesterday, I was actually in kind of a funk. I think it really has a lot to do with the weather. I am beginning to wonder where Spring is!

I decided to give these cloths a try when I searched water in ravelry this picturecloth came up and I thought it was so cute. I did the blue one last knit using Knit Picks Dishie in Azure and I did the hot green one this afternoon with Bernat.

They are super cute and take almost no time to knit up.

Hurry Up Spring!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Blanket Progress

The Chevron Hudson Bay blanket is coming along quite well. I'm actually very surprised at how fast it's going. I've just started the stripes on the opposite end so I'm about 80% done!

As I mentioned in my earlier post about this blanket, I cast on 180. It is wider than I expected at about 58" and when it's done it should be 72" long.

I love the Chevron stitch and I actually started a prayer shawl with it. I'm aiming to have this done by the end of the month, with just a few more stripes to go I think I'll get there, considering I started on January 4 I'm pretty happy with my progress. That being said it has really taken up almost all my knitting time, just leaving some extra for prayer shawl knitting. When this one is done I'm going to work on my Honeycowl and my afghan for my bed and a few other WIP's that have taken the backseat...I hope!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Piece of Cake

 I saw people knitting these on Instagram and I really wanted to knit this but I didn't have Size 15 needles with a 20" cord, but I did have 9mm with a 24" and I also wanted the cowl to be able to wrap around the neck so I decided to CO 111, my sister did one with the same needles as me and CO 55 and it worked, so that is another option. For some reason this size needle isn't available locally and I'd have to order it, I may consider it now as I really like the pattern, it is such a quick knit and would do good as a last minute gift.

I used Loops and Thread Charisma in Chocolate Cupcake. I think I will do another and try the CO 55 and see how that goes, I have two more Skeins of the Charisma in the colour Northern Lights.

The free pattern for personal use is on Ravelry.

Friday, January 10, 2014

New Toy

Most year's my Dad sends me a gift card since we live quite some miles apart. I usually have a hard time selecting the perfect item to use it for. I take the selection process very seriously. Last year I had my card until April and I stumbled upon a great sale on a Tassimo and we purchased that and we love it a lot. I don't drink a lot of coffee so this suits our purposes.

This year however my kettle was acting goofy. The opening mechanism on the top started to go just after Christmas, it was getting almost impossible to open it up and when you have a pot of boiling water that can get dangerous. I knew right then what Dad's gift card would go for, the challenge choosing a kettle. I get really caught up in reading Amazon reviews and trying to select the best product for my money. This time around though, I felt like the reviews were really picky. People were nit picking the items to death and marking the item lower for the oddest reasons. I ended up at Home Outfitters and decided to just look in person, I really liked this better. I tried a few and I didn't like how the tops opened or the design and I wasn't really even looking for a kettle that had different temp controls since we mostly drink black tea - and then I saw this one!

First of all my kitchen has red accessories. My Tassimo is red, I have the KitchenAid stand mixer in Empire Red and I have other KitchenAid products and I have been very happy. We bought a set of there anodized steel pots and they are fab! Nothing like a pot with even heat, not sticking and washes up with just a wipe no matter what you cook....well anyway so red is a colour I love. The price was higher than I'd normally want to pay at $119 but I did have my gift card so it would only cost me a little bit. Then I started reading on what this pot does and some was a surprise. Yes, it is programmable to the temperature for your tea whether you drink black, white or green etc. It also reaches the desired temp in about 2 minutes so it is quick and it shows the temperature as it changes, and best of all it beeps when it is done, not too many electric kettles will do that. It also takes up less space than my old one and it looks awesome in my kitchen.

I hope it can keep up with us as we drink a lot of tea at the TeaMouse House!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

More Blanket Knitting

 The first time I saw the Hudson Bay Blanket Dee was knitting one up in King size. I thought the idea was awesome. I don't know if it is the cold weather but I feel like knitting blankets. I have a blanket on the go but it is too big to take as a travelling project and maybe because it's January but I felt like knitting with some bright colours as I look out the window at all this snow and cloudy skies.

That being said, I just wasn't sure if I could do all garter, I've always had a hard time staying with a project of this size for the duration. My other blanket has been in the works for too long and this one I wanted to be ready for next Christmas as my plan is to knit a blanket for my niece and nephew who live out of town. I decided on a simple single Chevron stitch for hers. Instead of the traditional Hudson Bay colours I've opted for stripes in Lilac, rose, berry and turquoise. She'll be 13 in December so I'm hoping she doesn't mind a hand knit blanket for a gift.

I cast on 180 stitches and this gives me two stitches at each end to keep a neat border. This should fit her twin size bed, *crossing fingers* I did the calculations at Purl Bee to make the stripes wider based on the increase in size.

I'm thoroughly enjoying this and if I like it as much as I think then I have a few others in mind that may get a throw for Christmas - the colour schemes are already dancing in my head.

So far I've been able to keep this a secret from my sister and I hope it stays a surprise. For my nephew I was thinking something more masculine, perhaps a basketweave stitch and I will do the traditional colours of red, blue, green and yellow on his.

Maybe I'm crazy, but if I'm going to get more than one blanket done for gifts next year, January has to be the time to start.

These need to be kid friendly so it's all acrylic. The cream is Phentex Worsted and the colours are all in Red Heart Soft, for acrylic it's not too bad it still feels nice and soft and my sister will appreciate that it is machine washable.