Sunday, October 31, 2010

{Yet Another Gift Done}

Today is Halloween, just 55 days until Christmas is upon us.  The days here are getting crisper with a tad of frostiness each morning.  I of course am MORE than welcoming this change from 70 degree days!  Let winter come!  The most surprising?  This is the second to last gift that I had to do, and then my Christmas knitting list is complete!  Almost too good to be true, isn't it?

Alrighty, now's the time for the standard warning: if you happen to be Niece #2 - You may not look any further!!  Anyone else, look away!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

{When Knitting Attacks}

I have just about had it with this dang pea coat.  I've been knitting garder stitch for what seems like weeks now, and this is what I have to show for it:

I keep measuring the hood only to discover I don't have as much length as I thought I did last time I measured... it's like I'm knitting backwards! UGH!  I don't even have sleeves yet!

And ya know what?  I I just ran out of yarn.  SERIOUSLY.  I don't even know what I'm going to do. Should I rip back the hood and knit the sleeves? Or should I just frog the whole thing and pick a new design that isn't so BORING to knit?! I hate this coat!  Or maybe I'll just buy my niece a beautiful Christmas Dress like this one:


Sunday, October 24, 2010

{My Socks Are Done!}

Man I loved knitting these!  The pattern, the yarn, everything.  They're the Lace and Cable Socks by Wendy Johnson from her toe-up sock book, and the yarn is the Umaj Sock from Gaia's Colours, which is a dyer from close to where I grew up.  I wrote extensively about it a few posts ago. hehe

Done!  And since I decided to make them anklet socks (like I normally wear) I still have half the skein for a second pair!! YAY!

Friday, October 22, 2010

{The Quilting Problem Solved!!}

Oh my gosh! Okay... I'll start at the beginning.

So you guys remember my recent quilting disaster, right? (It was outlined here, but I don't suggest you read it. It's kinda depressing. lol)  I was talkin' it over with my new knitty, quilty, overseas friend named Laura Jane, and SHE suggested that I go check out The Moda Bakeshop.  I had NEVER heard of this before and O.M.G. It's the best thing ever! I have been searching for inspiration for my Christmas tree quilt that uses both my triangles and my squares and WHAM! Here it is!  It's perfect!

YAY!! Now I'm SUPER excited!  I'm going to go and buy some white fabric (or off white at least) at the quilt shop soon and then I'm going to get started! YAY!  My more contemporary turnovers will be in the center for the tree and I'll use the squares for borders so no clashing or cutting!  Plus, the green fabrics that I already bought will be able to be used for other borders and such.  It's SO. PERFECT I want to SCREAM.

Thanks Laura Jane!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

{Whoo Are You?}

Get to know a blogger with some fun questions! I found it on the multi-purpose life.  We should all play along!

1.What was your favorite meal growing up?
My dad has his "Famous Macaroni and Cheese" which is baked with a creamy cheese sauce and more melty cheese on top.  I still beg him to cook this while I'm in town! hehe I can't get mine to be QUITE right!

2. What's your favorite month?
Definitely October, but this month has been lettin' me down.  I'm done with 70 degree temperatures! It's fall, People!

3. What store is most represented in your wardrobe?
There was a day when I could answer Ann Taylor Loft but lately they've gotten all trendy on me instead of more classic.  Now, since being a full-time student, I'd probably have to say Goodwill

4. How many times do you go to the movie theater each month/year?
 It hasn't been often, these days! (again with the student budget excuse. hehe)  Maybe 3 times or so and usually for a great big-budget action film! Those are the ones that are super fun to see on the big screen!

5. Fill in the blank-I'm looking forward to an ALL hand-made Christmas this year!  It's so exciting! I'm thinking I'll even sew little giftbags for everything!

How about you guys? Care to play along? :)


Check out Night Owl Crafting to read some other fun answers, too!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

{I Am So Sick of Garder Stitch!}

So sick of it in fact, that I put my niece's Pea Coat to the side and cast on for some socks for me!  My mom bought me some gorgeous yarn for my birthday from a local BC dyer called Gaia's Colours (which can be found online at .  They even spelled coloUr right! muwahahahaa. (shut up blogger. It's spelled right!)  The yarn I'm using is the Umaj Sock, which has 10% Bamboo and 10% Nylon  mixed with super wash Merino. MAN is it soft and shiny and soooooooooo pretty!

Can you see the hints of orange and purple in with the different shades of pink? It's so gorgeous!  She has a ton of beautiful colours. (I'm thinking the Ceres next).  I think this might be THE perfect sock yarn! I can't wait to wear them and wash them and see how durable the yarn is!  Because if it works out? This may be my go-to sock yarn foreva.

I've had this yarn as my "next project" for a while now, but have been focusing on Christmas knitting.  Well no more! Time for something for ME! Socks! (as in, the one in the picture. hehe)

The pattern is the Lace and Cable socks from my book Socks From The Toe-Up. Love!  I so wanted to try two at a time this time, but I still don't have a way to weigh my yarn in to two equal balls.   Does anyone have a better way of doing that?

So I'm goign to go back to some knitting of socks now. :)  Hope everyone else is having a lovely weekend!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

{Dum.Dum.Dum. Another one Bites the Dust!}

Another gift off the Christmas Knitting List that is!  Mom's Gift has been completed, which means I need a jump break so she doesn't peek!!

Friday, October 8, 2010

{Finished Curtains}

The inspiration hit last night after dinner.  I had all the necessary materials and when a projects grips me like this it tells I have to do it Right Now!   In this case, it was curtains for the dining room!  I had some extra muslin fabric and some green fabric left over from my quilt, plus some burlap for extra length on the bottoms - all I had to do was sew it together!

Here's a before picture I found from last Christmas (I think).  These were some stock drapes I picked up years ago when I worked at Pier 1 Imports.

And now, here's the NEW curtains!  The cost? $4 for two! (the other one is on the light side of the house, so no good picture. hehe)
I think this was the best solution for our old house. Since we're renting we don't want to get too involved with buying brand new curtain rods or custom anything.  These are fun! The burlap adds dimension and weight to the otherwise very thin fabric and the custom height gives the room a bit of a regal feeling without being formal at all.  The white of the muslin is also really clean and fresh in this room.

Using the branch for a curtain rod was an idea I saw on a blog AGES ago and I have no idea where to find it again, but it must have affected me deeply because I've been hanging on to these branches for a long time for this purpose.   For the top of the drapes I used grommets (my only expense) and some twine to tie them up since they won't be functional draperies at all. 
I think my dining room is ready for dinner guests now!  :)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

{My Fall "Mantel"}

We don't have a fireplace in this house (something that will definitely be rectified in our next home), so the one flat surface that I get to decorate up all pretty is the credenza in the dining room.

This Monday coming up is Thanksgiving in Canada.  Even though I don't live within the borders of my country anymore, I still like to live in the spirit.  Plus Mr. Pie likes having two Thanksgivings so it's not a hard sell. ;)   We're expecting a house full of people which for us means there will be 6 to dinner, including ourselves.  We really love entertaining on occasion and I'm really looking forward to it!  Doesn't it always make you think about sprucing up the house a little? 

Thus, I bring you my student-budget mantel / credenza decorating.   I wish I had a before but I never remember that part. Just picture clutter. lol

 The empty cake platter will have Pie on it come saturday, and then after that I think I'll put a pumpkin up there! Maybe we'll even carve it, or maybe I'll try one of those cool painting techniques I've been seeing all over the blogosphere! :)  Here's some closeups, of course.

This was an experiment that I'm happy to say went relatively right.  It's first incarnation was of a VERY fake summer wreath from the dollar store.  They must have thought highly of it though because it was marked $8.00.  I found it in the 90% off shelf and paid $0.80. The summer flowers were falling off in the bag on the way home. lol  The other flowers were from the dollar store too and it was only one stem.  I paid $3 for that one and just snipped off the flowers and a couple of leaves and worked them under the wire.  This little wreath might get a few more makeovers in the future, so I didn't use any glue.

A fresh pumpkin and a single $1 stem of fall leaves dressed up some items I already had on hand.  I love using books for decorating, don't you?

The only new thing purchased here are the reeds.  I probably could have done with another bundle, but for $3 I'll stick with the one for now. hehe  The vase I made in January during the snows and I'm so happy I'm finally finding a great place for it! Isn't the texture great?  Check out my Recycled Sweater Vase over Here.

So there ya have it! I think I'm planning one more project for tonight too. Muwahaha. (If I find time at my sewing machine. hehe)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

{Updates to Xmas 2010}

I just updated my Christmas 2010 Knitting page that you can see the tab for at the top of the blog.  I'm pretty excited!  I only have two gifts that aren't started right now, which TOTALLY seems doable!  YAY!  The gift I'm working on right now is making great headway, but of course I can't say anything about it here without giving it away.  Should be done within the week though!

Other than this gift there's not much crafting.  The quilt has been put on the back burner while I let it stew and school is more than a little crazy.  I'll hopefully have more stuff to show you soon. :)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

{Crafting Slump}

I haven't had a ton of time for crafting lately, but what I have been working on is not working out for me. lol You see... I started Mom's shawl, but I think I've made a pretty big mistake in the lace and am going to need to rip it back.  Of course I wasn't using life lines. UGH.

I've also got the Pea Coat for my baby niece laying around here somewhere, but since it's only garder stitch it hasn't been getting a lot of attention either.

With this bit of a slump in my knitting I decided that I would ride the Quilting High that I'd been on since my last quilt was finished.  I told you I got my fabric in the mail, right?  I was SUPER excited.  Mr. Pie even offered to take me to the quilting store to pick out some solid colours so I could start working on the quilt today!  We bought some darker fabrics that are kind of semi-solid to go in the background.

I get home with my new bag of goodies and I'm feelin' good.  I've graphed out a plan (because I am a Math major after all. hehe) :

A tree!  I thought that since the fabrics had a kind of Christmas-y flair that I would do a big tree with a cool background and then some nice good sized borders to make it bigger.  This guy would end up about 45" across if I left the square the original 5" size, before borders.

I got out a piece of muslin and started laying fabrics out. I had planned to pin them all down and then hang it on the wall while the work was in progress. Brilliant, right??

I didn't get very far because the fabrics do not blend. At all.

You see, in my youthful enthusiasm I ordered a pack of turn overs (the triangles) from Missouri Quilt Company online because it was their daily special at $1.33 and I liked the fabrics. Then I searched through the rest of their shop to find something to coordinate so that I could do a whole quilt.  What I found was a charm pack (squares) that had very similar colours .  And yes, the colours go just fine, but it's the style of the prints that just don't coordinate.  The turnover pack is very contemporary with some geometry shapes and such that kind of read Christmasy and the charm pack I picked is more traditional with botanicals and such.  I adore them both but in trying to lay them out I realized that they just don't GO together.

Then thought Maybe it's just that they're in these big squares and Maybe it wouldn't bother me as much if they were smaller.

Plan #2: more squares with borders and such.  I proceeded to try this with a bit of pinning:

Better, but to much the same end.  Did you know it's really hard to figure out a way to use triangles and squares together? I was trying ot find a design that would let me use both packs together in the same quilt, but I don't know if that's going to happen.  Especially when the triangles are 6" high and the squares are 5".  I'm just loathe to waste a bunch of fabric. *sigh* Plus, with this idea, I would need about 3 more charm packs to make a quilt with the right sizes and I've already spent a bunch of money on this stuff.

Now I'm stuck. I've put all the fabric away because I was just getting frustrated.  In all things creative I've learned that if you have to force something to "work" then you're probably going about it all wrong. I want a crafty projects to go easily, dang it!!   I wonder where my MoJo went? Grrrr....

If you're a quilty type, could you please clue me in to what I'm doing wrong? I mean.. I know now what I've DONE wrong, but how can I fix it? lol