...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!

Sunday, 26 February 2012

DIY Sunday

Once in a while my husband (technically fiance but I'll call him anything I darn well want!)
(Sometimes 'boyfriend' too for fun) but anyway... my husband took the kids up to his parents place for the day and I had the house all to myself. What to do? What to do? Well, I knew before he even finished making the offer what my day would be filled with.
Nothing crazy, no sewing machine stuff, but a few different projects that I just haven't had time for. The DIY's that usually happen around here involve my 3 year old son. And then he destroys them within an hour of making them. Not always intentionally. But mostly out of curiosity of how strong the glue is... I think.

They were out the door by 11:00am. And I knew they'd be back by 5:00pm. Seems like a good chunk of time but I knew it'd fly by fast.

First things first.
It'd last me for the afternoon so that I could plow through til dinner.

That done I wanted to get the easiest DIY off my plate. I have no idea why its taken a year but it has. I got a hole at the elbow of one of my fave shirts. It fits so well and haven't found a replacement. So I shoved the shirt in a corner until I remembered to buy patches. I had this grand idea of silk screening the patches first, but heck, who has time? I need to get on with things.
 Uhm, its really not as warn as this makes it look.

This is an easy DIY. You don't need a tutorial but my finding the right oval shape will amuse you. Because, I don't free hand anything. But really, what in our house is oval? I quickly scavenged around. And this is what I found. Quite seriously. 
The oval puzzle piece and the cookie were too small. But until I found the mouse I considered using them and just upsizing.

 The cookie went well with my tea.
 So in the end the computer mouse won as a template.
And there we go. Done and done.


Inspired by Pinterest and a pin I found from the blog entry DIY: Recycled Tshirt Scarf Necklace Roundup at etté studios, I wanted to make use of some tired t-shirts. And since I found 3 t-shirts quite quickly I decided I needed to try three different styles.

Design One 
Tutorial found on etté studios.
Cut tshirt into 1" lengths. I don't do freehand as previously mentioned. I'm more of a technical artist. Drafting, Blueprint drawing, Graphic Design... See what I mean? I need rulers. But you can do it how ever you like! Next pull the pieces at each seam to give it a stretched effect.

I had an idea to throw some butter yellow in there with the grey. I even had some UpCycled non-selling shirts from my silkscreen line. But apparently this shirt was not meant to stretch because when I did... it just frayed. So I scrapped the yellow. Sad.

I gathered the pieces in my hand making sure the seams were all flat on my palm. Wrapped the last piece (that I cut in half) around the first end to hide the seams. I tied both ends to a scarf loop then hid them with a crochet hook by pulling it back under the wrap. I didn't like the look of it showing. I wanted this scarf to look clean. And I had to wrap both ends of the loops as this shirt had seams.

And meet my model. Have you met her before? She's a bit of a hussy. I apologize for that. But she hates bras, she's a bit 70's like that. But she's better looking than me on a DIY Sunday, that's for sure!

Design Two
I also found this next one via etté studios.
Full tutorial found here: Recycled Tee Scarf at Schwin&Schwin

Design Three
Scarfy/necklace thing on Crafster by Skaborsk
The original tutorial that she followed on Instructables was apparently ordered to be taken down. By who? I don't know. As she says, how can you patten a cut up tshirt? I have my money on... well, lets just say it rhymes with Banthropology. They like to patten indie ideas as their own.
Did I go too far?

Moving on. As the tutorial says, cut your strips, stretch them, cut the seams (if there are any) then knot all of the lengths together into one very large loop! I wanted to take a photo of it laid out because it was comical but meh, so little time.

Then wrap it wrap it wrap it. And you've got another funkadelic upcycled scarf!


Again. Pinterest. Oh I have a few gems pinned. I just need more time! But bit by bit I will get through them. And in case you care to see what I've pinned go HERE.

I first found this pin at Juicy Bits and was so inspired to do them for my kids' bedroom.

But after reading some comments on the tutorial I wondered if yarn dipped in glue would, in fact, work.

So I looked around some more and who other than Martha Stewart herself (or her creative team) had also written a tutorial on it. Hers said to wrap the balloon first and then brush glue over the yarn.

I tried one of each. To see which worked best. And the results... are not yet in. They're drying silly!

But what I will tell you is that I realize now that I already made a mistake. But what's new.
I didn't water down the glue. Could explain why I went through an entire bottle with the two of them!
Oh well. I'll report back later on how they came out.
Ready to brush it with glue.
 I will say this. IT IS MESSY. Be prepared to get gluey. Very very gluey. I don't suggest this as an activity for children under... hmmm... 18 years of age. Seriously. I might have thrown the balloon across the room except that it was stuck to my fingers.

Here's them drying. The colour scheme will match their room. Again, the reveal will happen another day.

So that's my DIY Sunday. Maybe I'll get a couple more in over the month of March. My mat leave is over as of April 16th so I need to make the most of it!

And now tell me, what did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Circulars To Covet

While visiting my parents this past weekend I took my mom's new set of circulars for a test drive. Wow.

I bought the set for her at Christmas from Knit Picks. They have flexible cables instead of plastic. AND I got her the 'Cadillacs' of the bunch. Harmony Wood. The woman has been knitting since she was 13, get her some rockin' needles!

It was actually a perfect plan to try her circulars.
I started my daughter's new Yoke Sweater on my own 5mm circulars, then my mom reminded me I hadn't done a test swatch.  The only 5mm she had around were the Harmony's... Nice!
So here's my swatch on the needles.

Look at that gorgeous wood.

The flexible cable didn't put up a fight. No wrestling required.
May I add I'd like to thank my mom for coaxing me to do a swatch as it turned out an entire inch too big. Oops. So I'm jigging the pattern to work out to the size I need.

Ahhhh... and I'm back on the plastic cable circulars.
But as they say, "Patience young Grasshopper."

Monday, 13 February 2012

My New 'Stash

After finishing the Yoke Sweater I really wanted to go out and get some new yarns. I have dishcloth yarn now so when I'm down a project I can at least get my fix off dishcloths... watch out friends and family!

But I needed a new project because I love knitting in the evenings while I/we watch a show and kids are in bed, very romantic.

The other night my fiance and I did the Harry Potter Deathly Hallows double bill. We were catching up on Part I just as a refresher, but I'd caught it on the movie network lately so didn't really need it. I asked him if he'd mind if I knit while we watched. He totally hesitated! Hahaha! Its the first time he's ever displayed any kind of opinion on the matter. Wow. In the end I think I knit a bit but then put it away. I think its the clicking of the needles... who wants that in a moment of suspense? Fine.

Back to the main plot here. I headed out to Michaels to get some yarn. We have amazing yarn stores downtown here but some days I just want some new action. And what I found this time, without chasing kids or the pressure of them waiting in the car with fiance, were some really gorgeous yarns. I had a hard time not going crazy.

Useful Information!
As Zellers disappears and Target comes in Michaels will be building their yarn selection to fill the gap. Target doesn't stock yarns so this is good news for Michaels shoppers! Plus I find the selection at Zellers weak anyway (sorry Zellers but its true). I got this info from an employee. And I'm spreading the good word of the Yarn Goddesses!

Here's what I got.
Never mind the dusty stairs. If I'd known that my camera would pick it up I'd have pledged but who has time for that when squeezing in photos with children underfoot?

75% wool, 25% nylon  LionBrand Sock-Ease - Rock Candy
I had no plans to make socks yet, but had to grab this anyway. Plus it was on sale.
I fell in love with the colour combo. These are the colours I love. All mixed together. If it includes the word description Avocado or Eggplant, I love it.

Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends  70% Acrylic, 30% Alpaca - Lavender
 To clarify, yes its acrylic and I said no more, but its not 100% acrylic. And the colour and texture was too good to not grab. I have no idea what I'm going to knit with it so I grabbed 4 skeins because I roll like that.

Lion Brand Nature's Choice 100% Organic Cotton - Olive
 This is the yarn I want to the new Yoke sweater in. Its so gorgeous. And more mustard than olive.

Patons Silk Bamboo 70% Viscose from Bamboo 30% Silk - Coral
This is not as pink as it looks. Its really a fantastic soft coral, apparently THE colour of spring 2012. And I had a hard time not buying this up in every colour-way there! It was 40% off. And this is more of what you'll start seeing at Michaels. Natural fibres. I picked up 4 skeins, its Light/3, and so so soft. Ahhh... Again, no idea what I'll knit with it, but had to have it.

Don't worry I won't hit you with new stash every time but this is really my first lot. So I had to share the love.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

The Yoke Sweater

I want to tell you about this adorable sweater that I knit. Or tell you about how adorable it was supposed to be.
I came across this pattern on Ravelry via Pinterest. And knew I had to knit it up.

I was lacking natural light for the photos so I apologize for their quality.

It is a pretty basic pattern that I figured I could start with. It could have turned out lovely.
A few things happened. I used a 100% acrylic that I found at Michael's in the discount bin.
*siren* Big mistake. I've learned my lesson on that thank you very much.
EDIT: Its not that acrylic doesn't have its place in this world... maybe just not on my needles...

I had hard time knitting the sleeves on double point needles. I just couldn't pull the stitches tight enough from needle to needle. Never mind trying to boss around 4 needles at once! Holy hanna it ain't easy. I mean look at this picture below. Its like trying to paint a beautiful canvas with a bunch of mosquitoes nipping at your ears but you need your hands to paint, then swat, then paint, then... see what I'm saying?

Then, by the time I finished it my daughter had fattened up so much (from her high fat diet instructed by the doc) that its a wee bit tight on her. Even for a two button style.
Proud girl modeling. Its hard to get her to sit still now though!
I do love the 3/4 length that came out though.

And while digging through my buttons my sister and I found these gorgeous vintage looking ones that would have been perfect. They have a mother of pearl finish to them. But they will be used another time!

Here's how they would have looked.

 What a 100% acrylic prevents is hiding your mistakes. An all (or mostly) natural fibre would allow you to wash and 'set' the stitches to hide the 'blips'. You can give it memory. And this first version needs much assistance in that category!
The change in stitching is from the needle to needle transfer. And can't be fixed with washing.
And this is how it looks laid out. Too messy.
I'm still happy to have knit it and learned new techniques though. Thank goodness for YouTube! And my mum on speed dial!

So I have gotten some new yarn. More in keeping with the type used in the pattern. A mustard yellow that I hope will block out better in the end to cover the gaps and errors. And if not, well, I'll just keep trying darnit!