30 December 2006

Christmas part one.

It's over!
So...lets show off some Christmas crafts that I've been trying my best to keep secret!
I don't have photos of everything, but here's a list o the gifts I made (I swear I'm not lying)
8 pairs of socks (!!!!)
3 sweaters (!!!)
1 quilt (!!!)
2 pairs of slippers
2 knit hats
1 embroidered hat patch
1 belt
6 aprons


So here are some photos!

This is Gord's 'Morse Code' Sweater. It's a top down raglan that I made using the Incredible Cutom-fit Raglan Sweater Generator It fits pretty well, I just need to make it a smidge longer. The morse code on the front says "My girlfriend Knit this" This was my first time using Knitpicks 'Swish Superwash' which is supersoft, but after one wash, I can tell it's going to get pretty pilly.

As will these socks. Or at least I think these will get some pill action. Gord is one of my favourite people to knit for - I get a crazy thrill from seeing socks I knit on his feet.

This here's my Mom's bpt cardigan from Knitty. I used ArtYarns 'Fable' in the 'Boy Who Cried Wolf' colourway. This sweater was super fun to knit (that is, after I got some much needed help from my knitting guru knittykat) but sewing the zipper in wasn't too fun, there's some messy bits with the zipper inside, but I love how it turned out & my mom happily wore it to Christmas Brunch.

With her new socks!

What a great sock model she is! All the Pilates really helps!

It's exciting for me to be able to chart my knitting progress. Last year I'd never think of knitting a hat like this as a last minute gift, but in 1 day I had this Fake Isle Hat from Magknits knit up & ready to be given in my family's 'Cutthroat Santa' gift exchange.

I loved knitting this hat - Noro makes for a quick knit since I'm so curious about what colour will come next that I can barely put it down!

Probably one of the biggest projects I've ever taken on, but one that I had super fun with (even while almost in tears) was this Denyse Schmidt Quilt I made for Tim & Donald. These two guys are amazing & last year as my Christmas gift they totally redid my sewing room into a place of beauty. I wanted to make them something in this room. This is my first ever quilt, and while you can tell by looking at it in some spots that a novice made it, I'm still super proud of it.

(Doesn't it look SO nice on my bed!)

I started it in about August, and could only work on it when the boys weren't home. I finished it at the beginning of December. I'm definitely going to be making some more quilts - I already have 2 more Denyse Schmidt quilts picked out from her amazing book.

The other thing I had my sewing machine busy making were aprons! I made a total of 6 of these using this Butterick Pattern. Here is my sassy sister modeling hers!

I used some crazy delicious Amy Butler fabric for this & am thrilled to have a little left over. Just a little though, maybe enough for a pillow cushion. I think the aprons were a big hit, I'll post more photos of them tomorrow or when I have time to sift through the millions of photos I've taken in the last week.

My sister's birthday falls just 2 days after Christmas, so this year I knit her the Ivy wrap sweater from Knitty. I just had the seaming left, so I threw all the pieces into a bag & decided to seam it up in Hamilton. And yes, I forgot 2 very important pieces. The waist ties. The waist ties that were 56" *each* of Knit 1, Purl 1 ribbing (K1,P1 is my least favourite thing ever - never mind having to do it for *56"!*) So I printed out the photo of the sweater & told her the finished thing would be forthcoming. I think I have to tweak the armholes too, and I'd rather do that when I'm relaxed & not under a deadline.

So, sadly I don't have photos of everything in action, but I was pleased to give gifts straight from my heart this year. I already have plans for next year. Is January 3rd too early to start making stuff for next Christmas?

Tomorrow's entry: What *I* got!

22 December 2006

Baby Jesus!!

In about ten minutes I'm leaving to go to Gord's & then from there I will begin my Christmas travelling. My very own Polar Express. I made a list of all the things I've sewn & knit since starting my Christmas gift making & quite honestly, I am insane.

If you don't hear from me for a couple of days it is because I have drank lots of wine straight from the bottle and/or I am playing with my parent's dog.

peace out!

18 December 2006

It's the Final Countdown

do do do dooooo do do doo do do doooo.

On Friday evening I sat down with my craft excel sheet, my craft calendar & the scraps of paper I've been jotting down 'to do' lists on. The lists were huge, the excel spreadsheet didn't have even half of it's cells filled in with hot pink (the colour for 'complete' projects) and I was way behind on my craft calendar.

I had to ask myself how much crafting can one human girl do in 2 days??

The answer is a lot. SO MUCH that I was too exhausted Sunday night to take photos. Also, who knows who is reading this & I'd hate to have all my hard work ruined by posting pictures up here. In short, I was able to fill in 5 rows on my spreadsheet with hot pink. I even had time to go to a Christmas potluck gift exchange where I drank wine, champagne, peppermint schnapps & ate tons of delicious food. When choosing friends, make sure they can cook as well as mine can. It's like I got my own little posse of Iron Chefs. YUM!

Oh I'll be so excited to update this after everyone has received their gifts!

13 December 2006

Merry Christmas to ME!


I've been pretty lucky this year - I've only had to buy one or two things for people, so I don't really have any right to complain about crowds - especially since the one place I went today was a high end skin care place - so it's not like there were throngs of people - but still, my streetcar ride home was enough to make me hate holiday shopping.

Which is why I'm SO glad I came home to my secret snowflake package! I had been so wrapped up in sending out my package to my own partner that I sort of forgot that *I* would be getting one in return! From a crafty friend whose name I do not know! How very *secret!*

I documented the whole thing:

a package! for ME!

all the way from San Diego! The only thing I know about that place is that in the late 90s boys from San Diego wore very tight girl jeans & white belts & that's where the Locust are from & I also know that highway 405 will take you from the Boom Boom Room down to Interstate 5 which goes right to...the San Diego Zoo San Diego zoooo-oo-oooo.

Anyway, then I opened up the package & read the card....searching for some clue about who my secret pal was!

I still had no clue.

but ooooo! What teasures were inside! And all wrapped up extra sweetly! yum!
First up - *BEAUTIFUL* ribbon!

And then 2 mixed CDs! AWESOME mixed Cds! My secret snowflake is obviously super awesome because these things are *perfect* I mean....The Make-Up! Rocket From the Crypt! Comets on Fire! *Small Brown Bike*!! remember Small Brown Bike??? The Hot Snakes! Dirtbombs! Tons more! (including Mean Red Spiders.....I mean...Come ON!)

Here I am being all like "daaaaaaaamn You have good taste SS!"

Things were getting hot in here so I had to take off my sweater - which is when I discovered that at some time during the day an earring that makes up one of my *most* favourite pair was MIA.

ear *with* earring:

ear *without* earring:

well, that was all soon remedied since, I kid you not - the next thing I opened was a pair of earrings!:

I'm all "Perfect timing Secret Snowflake!"

Next up was 3 balls of super soft DK yarn in 3 of my MOST favourite colours! Brown! Pink! Baby Blue!

smells good too!

And then some of the cutest bias tape I've ever seen (you can tell I think it's cute by how I'm shifting my eyes)

I'm all "ouch! bias tape, you're hurting me with how checkery cute you are! ow!"

But the pain didn't stop there! It just got pain-ier when I got to the little bag of vintage buttons!

Like tiny treasures in my hand!

Whoa! Wait! There was something else too!

This awesome One Skein Wonders book! For *SURE* this will be put to good use! Especially since I now have 3 lovely new skeins added to my stash!

Well...I am overwhelmed. To whoever the awesome girl is that put this all together for me & *obviously* put a lot of thought into it since I freaking loved everything in it - THANK YOU.

You made the day I lost one of my favourite earrings turn out to be a pretty great day.

And to the kind people of Toronto: If you find 3 delicate leaves, held together with tiny chain - that's mine. Please return ASAP.

10 December 2006

fa la la la la!

Because I have been christmas crafting since *MAY*, I've been in the spirit of the season for a good 6 months. Other people (like Tim, my roommate/BFF) take a little coaxing & a lot of wine to get into the ho ho holiday frame of mind. My game plan was to keep christmas decorating in the back of my mind - barely mention it, let HIM suggest putting up the tree. It happened Friday night.

The night started with me in the sewing room (where I've pretty much been tucked away for the last 2 months) Tim was in the closet (HAHA!!! getting the tree out....but seriously, what red blooded person can resist making jokes when a gay man goes into a closet? not me.) And Donald made us dinner - an incredibly wholesome looking dinner & since Amy Sedaris' book 'I Like You' was right there on the table, I decided this would be a good photo op. We didn't even stage it (you can tell we didn't cos I have a bunch of crap on the table):

"Dear mom, I am sure to include most food groups in my meals. I am healthy, don't worry."

With food on our plates & wine in our glasses
we entered the living room to sit on our asses
i looked over there & much to my glee
Young Tim! He'd set up my Rudolph menagerie!
And the Rudolph movie was playing on the TV!

(I made that up as I typed!)

What are the odds?

After our hearty meal, we got to work - folks, try not to drink *too* much wine before putting a tree together - it sort of requires a brain & Tim & I pretty much drank ours away right before getting to the task at hand but we eventually figured it out.

In an act of Supreme Hilarity, I put the Christmas stockings on my feet! Where do I come up with this stuff?

yardy har hardy!

Taking ornaments out of their boxes is exciting -- mostly because 'out of sight, out of mind' fully & completely applies to me so I totally forget about most of my decorations until they are right in front of my face.

Like Papa's famous 'Smash Mouth Santa'! (Looks like I got my craftiness from Papa Wee Willie!)

And most important of all! Bonhomme! (Not actually a tree ornament, but a zipper pull I used to wear on my winter jacket as a small girl or 'petite fille' -- he eventually came to live on my parents christmas tree & now mine & I wish Bonhomme was a year round guy - he's so super!)

And check out these totally adorable ice skates my aunt Kathy made me when I was little - She made these over 20 years ago & they are still extra awesome! (they are felt, with paperclips as the blades!)

After about 3 hours (I'm not even kidding) the tree was finally up & decorated:

The best tree yet!

09 December 2006

home reno.

Heyawesome! will be getting a fresh coat of paint! Stay tuned for more awesome renovations!

07 December 2006

wanna be on top?

Last night I took a much needed break from crafting (I never thought I'd sayt his...but I might suffer from crafting burnout soon!) to watch the finale of ANTM. My friends & I have gathered weekly at each other's homes to oooo & ahhhh over the Tyra's Vag arms & Miss Jay's cute little everything:

It was a bitter sweet goodbye -- I didn't feel ready to let go, but I was also keen on cutting some of my television ties; ties which are being cut at an alarming rate! I *just* said goodbye to Project Runway on Monday & Six Feet Under the week before! soon I'll be able to read books again!

There was a lot of wine & a lot of treats & a lot of hooting & hollering....even champagne! And huge rasterbated images of Caridee & Miss Jay (And Tyra, but she was on the other wall)

Tim had been out of town & was taping the show - so we were all urged to keep the name of America's Next Most Toppest Model a secret.....which everyone did.

Everyone except for me - and I did it the most accidentally ever & I had had enough wine that after I said it I asked Tim to pose for a photo of him being angry & me being SO sorry:

I'm all like "friends?" and he's all like "give me 3 seconds to get over being mad at my bff." and I'm all like "Have I ever told you how handsome you are" and he's all like "I can't stay mad at you" and I'm all like "that's right baby."

As *IF* he didn't know Caridee was going to win.

As IF.

03 December 2006


After a full day of crafting frustration so brutal I was almost in tears, I was quite happy to end it by making this little guy:

His back leg is a little thick, and he's one sided, but he was a joy to make & he made my day a billion times better before I wrapped him up in pretty tissue paper & packed him in a box to mail away. I hope you have a safe journey little elphalent.

so......my day has been so CRAZY that I *TOTALLY* just blanked on how to spell elephant - and after I typed it as 'elphalent' I had to read it over & over & I couldn't remember how to actually say elephant & I thought "hmmm...must be elphalent." And then of course I realized it was totally wrong but decided to keep the typo so that you could understand the mush my brain is turning into.

30 November 2006

tight math

Early stages of Alzheimer's meant that for almost a year I couldn't remember the name of the ridiculously funny online comic Achewood. Today I finally re-found it & today's comic perfectly fits in with my barrage of Christmas gift blog entries.

note to boy: I don't want n0 wanna-bling for christmas, make sure that shit is real. Just kidding, G-unit. Just kidding.

23 November 2006

dude, how'd you make that?

As a youngster my craft ideas consisted of sewing playing cards together to make little card holders (thinking back now, I realize that was pure genius) & gluing felt onto fun-fur to make finger puppets for members of my family. Imagine what I would have done had I had the Internet! My afternoons in the basement typing on a typewriter with unmarked keys (my parents bought it at a garage sale, I’d spend hours memorizing the sequence of letters) and sewing on my Little 'Miss Durham' toy sewing machine.....
(*just* like this one, but beige & orange...come back to me little Miss Durham....)

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Would have been full of making even awesomer stuff. If you have an idea but don’t know where to start with it, chances are someone else does. Exchanging ideas has never been this simple & it’s time everyone takes advantage of it.

So here, then, are a few of my favourite online ‘How-tos’:

Dying to have a wallet that no one else does? Sick of carrying around your cash in a zip lock bag? Have minimal crochet skills? Why not make this absolutely adorable argyle wallet?
This tutorial on how to make an empty pack of gum into an ipod sleeve is down-right brilliant!
I had straight pins in my bed, in my couch, on the floor…everywhere! Until I made this adorable pin cushion. While there, be sure to check out Whip Up’s intense list of tutorials. Favourites of mine are these cutie pies and these tissue holders.
While searching for the perfect Christmas gift for the four legged friends on my list, I came across this tutorial for making fancy dog leaches. Cutest!

Of course, there are websites dedicated to the making of things. Everyone knows about Craftster, right? While it can be overwhelming at first (there’s 5 billion forums & sub-boards & what if you just want to know how to make a sock monkey?) take advantage of the ‘search’ option at the top of the forums page. This helps to sift through all the threads (sic) & get you to where you need to go. Some of my favourite Craftster tutorials are how to re-cover boring flats into the cutest shoes ever, and the endless supply of bag & wallet making tutorials. Apart from the tutorials, just reading through the boards & seeing so many great projects is enough to spark my creative firestorm. Another super amazing website is Instructables.com this little baby is an amazing forum for people to share their how-tos with the whole world! Many, *MANY* hours can be spent searching through these pages.

Lego USB stick, anyone?
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One Hour Craft is another site I visit very often & it always has cute little projects you can bang out in an evening if you need to get a craft fix in. (like a junkie…..seriously….)

SO much crafting! SO much cute stuff to make! Go! Go forth & craft!

19 November 2006

Bingle Jell Block

The Christmas clock is a tick-tock-ticking & my christmas crafting is bending round the half way corner. Only a couple of semi-huge projects to finish up & then a bunch of smaller ones & then it's hot toddies & figgy pudding & making popcorn garland for me!

And like....how seriously excited was I to actually SEE *Santa Claus* today? Very. Very excited.
After a delicious brunch we headed up to the parade!

My lovely friends taking in some seasonal lattes & some Marching Bands:

Some Christmas.......................walrususus?


This year Santa was truly on his game - sending mad shout outs to everyone. I made a small movie on my camera but I don't know how to post it to my blog. Maybe Santa will bring me some computer savvy-ness this year.

How did I keep warm while standing there? I wore my new winter coat!

I actually finished this a couple of weeks ago but I had to get the buttonholes made & then I had to wait until it was actually cold enough to wear what feels like a giant wool blanket. (mmmmmmmm) The collar on this thing is probably my favourite part.

Can be worn down....for, like, versatility:

But maybe my *favourite* part is the super secret bear guy I screened on the inside:


It's Built by Wendy Simplicity pattern 3966. I like it, but when I make it again (I think I'm going to make one in a solid dark colour..but not until after christmas) I'm going to add some princess seams on the front - as it is now it's a little boxy. All the more better to wear big handknit sweaters underneath, right? Anyway, it was a dead easy pattern to follow & I officially challenge winter to get me cold this year.

TRY IT WINTER! yeah.....that's what I thought....

In an effort to keep my father warm this year I knit him this hat last night:

I made the pattern up as I went along & yes....I am ripping it out & knitting it over again because yes......it is far too small. Those white blobs are supposed to resemble westies but stretched out like this......eh.....not so much.

At least these will fit:

Handsome christmas socks for my pops.....

I knit these on size 2 needles in Regia - A simple sock, for a simply wonderful dad.
(uhhhh...that just came out of my fingers, I didn't plan on being that sentimental.)

Looks like I've been a busy kid, huh? I have even more but it is super secret stuff that I won't be able to show until after christmas.........exciting!

12 November 2006


Long time no blog hey? It's getting dark here early now, maybe that can be my excuse. OR the fact that I've had very busy little hands these past couple of days.

Lets begin..

Last Friday I looked one of my fears straight in the eye & went to the bead store. The bead store frightens me - I love that people can make jewelry, I love that they know what to do with all the clasps & loops & pliers & stuff in there, but when I go it's always been to buy ironic unicorn or dolphin charms, never because I needed something of a specific size. Size 6 beads? What are those? Where do I look for those? How do I push through the wall of women who are standing infront of what I think it is I need? Anyhow, I needed beads for my Odessa hat, so I went there & found the perfect thing so then I came home & I knit it:

Size 4 needles
Rowan Cashsoft 4ply
The pattern was fun & easy & knitting with beads is well worth the effort of having to string them onto the yarn. I just wish I had made it a little longer so my ears were better covered. The pattern calls for cashsoft *dk*, but I bought 4ply by mistake. I used size 4 needles & cast on 130 stitches instead of 110 to make up for the difference.

My Squirrelly Swedish Mittens are done!!! And I LOVE them!

Brown Opal sock yarn as the CC colour & Trekking XXL as the MC. Uh, yes, these mittens *did* cost me almost $50 to make. Whatever, can't take it with you, right? But I love these mittens so much I just may ask to be buried with them.
There's a few obvious mistakes in the colour work in the mitten on the right but it don't stop me loving these things like crazy. I used the fabulous pattern at elliphantom knits & just added some rows here & there. I plan on having these mittens for a super duper long time, but if I did have to knit them again I'd probably use a size 2 needle instead of a 1 to accomodate my clumsy hands.

Friday night I set out to see if I could crochet a little amigurumi christmas tree ornament....

I can! And I can make it extra cute, too! It was pretty easy, I just used the shape making techniques I learned from making the sleepy-eyed cat & went with it. I got especially excited when I remembered I had super fluffy white yarn left over from the baby uggs... I want a whole tree full of these little guys!

And finally, yesterday I tried my hand at making a new wallet:

While I like how it turned out, this is definitely going to be the test pattern. There are some *major* design flaws (like the fact that the pockets for cards is upside down when the wallet is open, and the snaps are too heavy duty for the fabric (which is a cotton lining, and an interfaced tweed outer fabric. Back to the drawing board.

Whew!! Lots! And more to come!