...Cleaver that is... and I'm okay with that! With all of her glorious motherly ways.
I want to be the mom who bakes, sews and knits.
The only issue is... I don't really do any of those things well, so here's me sharing with you all my 101's.
Laugh with me or at me, I don't care. I just hope I can evolve during this process!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Ruffles For Mom

I ventured out on a limb (a huge limb) in the knitting world. My mom's birthday is (was) January 1st and I wanted to knit her something different from other gifts at Christmas and something more her style. Something with a bit of flare without getting too far out of my skill set. I got some great challenge out of this one, I tell ya! Woowee!

Its called "Just Enough Ruffles Scarf" and this is the photo with the pattern.

So a bit of what happened whilst knitting the sucker!...
Six rows in of 200 stitches I had to frog it. (Rip it out!) I'd done Garter instead of Stockinette. As a novice this is an instruction I read incorrectly.
Then about 10 rows near the end I had to rip out as many rows... with wraps! This time I'd picked up the wraps wrong here and there and also managed to have NO clue on how to increase stitches 3:1 (kfbf).
I ended up asking my mom of all people, while we were visiting for Christmas, how to increase 3 stitches from just one! She might have known it might be for her but she still had no idea what she would be getting!

And then while at her place she was peaking at my yarns and happened to pull out the ball for her scarf and complemented it. Its a Jo Sharp. 'Silk Road Ultra' 85% Wool, 10% Silk, 5% Cashmere.
I smiled. A good start to her gift!

It took longer than expected. I didn't finish it until January 6th, but the reality is, it needed the love and care. The only thing that got frustrating was managing 600 stitches on the circular length suggested. I don't know if they even come longer, but wow, most of my time was spent reshuffling the stitches every 20 or so.

Boy this scarf kicked my butt! I liked it though and needed to up the ante.
But this one also felt harder because the person I usually ask for help was the recipient. A lot of YouTube videos came in handy and cheering on from my knitting pen pal 1funkyknitwit!

Blocking. I had to improvise and use the hall in our lower level. I pushed pins through to the underpadding to hold it in place.
Not entirely comfortable with blocking yet, I put pins every 3 inches to make sure it wasn't going to go anywhere while it dried!

 I did feel that it could have been soaked for longer though. Maybe that would have softened it up even more. Or maybe the yarn was a tad heavier than I thought it would be. I just thought it might be a bit less 'structured' and more draped. But it could just be me! It still turned out great, if I do say so myself.
Weaving in ends was tricky though.
Here. It. Is.


A very versatile scarf for indoors or out! I like it. Its fun.
You can also see it on Ravelry.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Week #1 Organized Home Challenge Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink

Okay folks!
Week 1 of the '52 Weeks To An Organzied Home' is done and I feel gooooooo-oood.
This week was: Kitchen Organization: Countertops & Sink.

A very smart way to start; the kitchen. Its the heart. And as I mentioned, baby steps. Countertop and sink only. And in our house that was a perfect start! We clean each night but only to the road block. The clutter. But what I love is that we now have a beautiful clean base to work from. And I know we can keep it up. My fiance is the one who does most of the cooking and when he walked in today after I'd brought it to the final stage, he swooned. Yup. He did!

I learned so much just from this first challenge as well. Change your dish towels daily. Who knew? Okay, I didn't. Sorry if that grossed you out. I change them when I feel they need to be. Every couple days or so unless one got used to mop up the counter or floor. I assume this daily change should go for dishcloths too so I plan on knitting myself up a bunch of diagonal dishcloths to help with that.

Its also suggested and quite logically (which I love) that if you don't use it daily, put it away somewhere. So my KitchenAid and other items were relocated to the pantry or a cupboard space.What I have now is the kitchen I envisioned but that got taken over by life and babies and life.
Okay, its just the countertops but its a start!

A wee bit of chaos in our kitchen. Dumping grounds for anything and everything. Even the top of the fridge!

So... ready for the reveal?
And now we have calm. And work areas. Now I really want to get the backsplash I keep talking about.

In the corner I've kept the spices, cookie jar, coffee maker and microwave (with tea pot atop!). Its a hard area to use for work so I kept it for the countertop appliances.

Next week we organize Kitchen cabinets and cupboards. Then Kitchen pantry and food storage areas. Very exciting! Yes, I'm quite serious. Laugh. I love getting organized. I just never allow myself the time.
Thank you, coach Taylor!

52 Weeks To An Organized Home

You know how you're always saying,
"Boy, I need to get organized!"
"I can't find anything! I need to clean."
"I need to just take two days and get this place in order!"

Well, *I* say it. ALL the time. I'm sure my fiance is tired of hearing it because I never execute. But its not my fault. I have two small kids. And a small business. And isn't a 'lived in' look natural? Yes, it is. But a messy lived in look drives me bananas. Messy rooms cause me stress. Piles of crap drives me nuts! And I swore this mat leave I would get this place in order. Well, there's only 4 months till I go back to work and there's not much done. *insert very UNhappy face*

Then, on Pinterest, I found a posting for the '52 Weeks To An Organized Home Challenge'.
I was immediately turned on.
I probably cheered out loud!
A coach! That's what I need. ALL I need. I can do this. I signed up for the weekly challenge email right away and figured I'd tell my fiance later. I had no idea how he would respond. Because this is going to be on him too.

The start date was Monday, January 2, 2012. I found this on January 4th and I jumped on it. Its a brilliant plan, really. One small area each week. And her philosophy is that you take your time and get used to keeping each space in order. Develop habits for keeping it organized.

And now... you lucky reader get to hear all about it!
Its one of the ways I might actually
(A) keep up with it
(B) blog at least once a week 'he-hem...

And hey, if anyone wants to jump in and do the challenge... just go sign up. Its not too late.
Otherwise... watch as I get my crap together.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Presto! Its a Ball.

While at my mom's for Christmas I asked her about these whacky contraptions on the desk.

Turns out they are quite obviously for winding skeins into balls! And low and behold, I had skeins with me.

Umbrella Swift - open your skein and slip it over the umbrella.

Attached the end of the skein to the Winder and giv'er! (turn the handle, that is)



It went so fast I was actually sad when it was over.