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.