It’s been a while

But I just haven’t felt like spending much time on the computer. I’ve been working some overtime, and the last thing I want to do is look at a computer screen when I get home. What have I been doing other than working?

I’ve finished the rest of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials. Each book was better than the previous! I’m not sure if I’ll get around to posting reviews of the other two, but my review of the first book can be found here.

I’ve also read The Monsters of Templeton by Lauren Groff. Another great read. I may post a review next week sometime.

And just to show that I don’t love every book I’ve ever read…this weekend I read Stuck in Downward Dog by Chantel Simmons. I’m not sure why I didn’t like it. I enjoy some nice light chicklit. I enjoy yoga, which plays a dominate role in the novel. But really, a waste of my Sunday. Mara has got to be the most whiny and annoying character I’ve read in a loooong time.

After a brief hiatus, I am knitting. Work seems to have messed up my wrists a bit, but they are on the mend as things begin to slow down at work. I am slowly working on a pair of socks for Blair. Consolation socks, since I can’t seem to get a sweater to work. Picture to come.

What else is going on? Oh we started to get a fresh fruit and veg delivery from fresh options. We’ve received two weekly deliveries so far and I’m just loving it. I do love to cook, but I hate deciding what to make. The weekly delivery means that I just plan menus around what we get. No decisions. I just can’t rave enough about how wonderful that is! I’ve been meaning to take a picture of the lovely fruit and veg delivery, but the days are just not long enough yet to capture the loveliness in the natural light. Maybe in another week or two. The delivery varies each week and is full of organic and, when available, local fruit and vegetables. Yum!

And I curled. Yep. I did. And we won. Those of you who know me can stop laughing now. I’m serious. I did curl. And we did win. I even have the pictures to prove it. So there.

Will post properly soon. With photos of knitting. Or food. Or at least a proper book review. Or something.


In anticipation of spring


Originally uploaded by my spare time

These are some herbs that I planted last summer. Rosemary, thyme and mint if I recall correctly. I’ve been craving the lovely bright flavours of fresh herbs. I can’t wait until spring has sprung!

In anticipation of spring I have my stack of gardening books out and piled on our dining room table. This morning I was flipping through them as I ate my breakfast and avoided looking out the window in hopes of being able to delude myself into believing that spring really is just around the corner. Really it is! In spite of the piles and piles of snow in our yard. Sigh.

I have attempted a vegetable garden the last two summers. The results have been less than wonderful. We live in an older neighborhood with lots of very large, established trees. I love the trees, but they’re not very good for letting in sunlight. I think this year I’ll try to find some plants that are shade tolerant. Or perhaps container gardening is the route to go. Perhaps I can chase the sun with the containers? The front yard is much brighter. Perhaps I’ll plant some veggies among some flowers in the front?

In spite of my lack of success, I really do enjoy playing in the dirt. I guess it’s more of a labour of love than anything else. Eventually I’ll learn what works and what doesn’t through trial and error. If anyone has any helpful suggestions feel free to send them my way!

Published in: on March 3, 2008 at 1:35 pm  Comments (2)  
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The boyfriend sweater disaster

That’s it. I give up. I’m done. I’m not spending another second knitting Blair’s sweater. Nope. Not another single second.

I finished the yoke of the sweater and had Blair try it on. And it was crooked. Again. Even though this time I used entirely different shoulder and neck shaping. So I’ve come to the conclusion that the problem is not my knitting. It’s Blair. His upper body is lopsided. Really. That must be the problem. Honestly. It couldn’t be anything else. Because I am a very careful knitter. Who counts stitches. And follows instructions.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

So, what am I going to do with this lovely yarn? I think I’m going to make a throw for a chair in our sun room. After I frog it. Ouch.

Published in: on February 5, 2008 at 8:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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FO: Warm and Cozy Top Down Cardigan

completed w&c cardi2

Originally uploaded by my spare time

I finally managed to get a picture of the completed cardigan. As I mentioned earlier, it didn’t turn out the way I’d originally planned. But it’s wearable.

Published in: on January 6, 2008 at 11:43 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hand Made Christmas Gifts

stuffed bird 2

Originally uploaded by my spare time

I forgot to post this earlier. I made several bird ornaments from Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts to give to a few co-workers as Christmas gifts. Lots of fun to make. I used some fat quarters that I had lying around.

I’m really not much of a sewer. I tend to start a sewing project and then just put it to the side when I get frustrated, which inevitably happens. These birds were pretty simple to make, although it did take some practice before I got the curved seams looking reasonable.

I also made the quilted coasters from this book, but I neglected to take pictures before I wrapped them up for gift giving.

Overall I was pretty pleased with the projects. In fact, I may just make a few other projects from this book. I’d love to make the puzzle ball and the someone to watch over you quilt. Or perhaps I should stick with smaller projects that I’m actually likely to finish.

Published in: on January 6, 2008 at 11:33 am  Leave a Comment  
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Blair’s sweater: the second attempt

I decided to rip Blair’s sweater back to the point where the yoke and arms join. No tears were shed. In fact, I’m actually excited to tackle this again with a new plan of attack! I think I’ve learned a lot since I originally started this sweater two years ago, so the end result should be much nicer this time. I hope the motivation lasts long enough to get it done before I get distracted by something else.

I plan on making the sweater a bit longer before I add the arms again. I also plan on using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s hybrid shoulder shaping with a crew neck rather than attempting the raglan and v-neck again. I’ve seen a few sweaters using this shaping combination in blog land and I think it’s quite flattering. Hopefully I’ll have better luck the second time round on this sweater.

I just couldn’t bear to take a picture of the ripped sweater. But I will be sure to post a picture of the FO. Maybe I’ll even be able to convince Blair to model it!

Published in: on December 31, 2007 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Vintage Buttons!


Originally uploaded by my spare time

While doing some last minute Christmas shopping a couple of weeks ago I wandered into a lovely vintage shop in Osborne Village. The woman who owns the shop was quite charming and rather talkative. Blair was with me and she seemed quite taken with him when she saw his engineering ring. Funny, this isn’t the first time that someone has spotted the ring and treated Blair like a super star.

I could have spent hours exploring the shop, but I was on a shopping mission so I kept my visit short. However I did manage to find a lovely jar of vintage buttons. It’s silly how incredibly excited I am over this jar of buttons! Thrilled, really. I’ve already used one of the buttons on a cardigan I recently finished. Oh the possibilities!

Published in: on December 29, 2007 at 3:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Warm and Cozy TDC is almost done!

Warm and Cozy TDC Detail

Originally uploaded by my spare time

Last night I finished the last cuff and blocked my warm and cozy top down cardigan! Yay! It’s still a bit damp from being wet blocked. I’m trying to be patient. But, while still a wee bit damp, I tried it on. It is a bit smaller than I’d planned. I was thinking a bit oversized. Instead it just fits. Just. With a bit of negative ease. And I’m okay with that.

I think that sweaters develop a personality of their own. And this one didn’t want to be a cozy oversized cardi. Nope. It wanted to be a slightly fitted cardi that will be good for layering with a fitted, longish t-shirt. And there’s no arguing with the sweater. The sweater will be what the sweater will be.

Or perhaps I just need a lesson in gauge. Or I should be a bit less lazy and try on the sweater before I start binding off.

Finished photos to come. I’m going to make a looped I cord button hole and decide on a button. Weave in loose bits of yarn. And then the photos.

Hmmm, I guess this means I can start another knitting project? One off the needles means a new one on…right?

Published in: on December 12, 2007 at 7:39 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Inspired by Elizabeth Zimmermann

knitpicks swish and books

Originally uploaded by my spare time

I’ve recently become somewhat obsessed with the idea of knitting one of Elizabeth Zimmermann’s seamless sweaters. I’m thinking the seamless hybrid sweater from Knitting Without Tears in Knitpicks Swish. The wonderful thing about knitting a sweater this way is that I don’t have to decide which of the seamless sweaters I’d like until I hit the yoke!

I’ve already swatched the Swish and it knits up nicely and is easy to handle. I think this will be a wonderful project for over the Christmas holidays.

I also have some bits and pieces of yarn that I think would make lovely baby surprise jacket. Perhaps I’ll start one of these over the break as well.

Before I cast on for this I do have to get to finishing some of the projects that have been waiting patiently. I think by the end of this week I should have the Top Down Cardi completed. And I hope to finish Blair’s sweater as well. I didn’t think it would get cold enough for him to wear the sweater until February, but we’re having quite the cold snap right now.

Published in: on December 9, 2007 at 12:41 pm  Comments (2)  

Warm and Cozy Top Down Cardigan

Warm and Cozy TDC1

Originally uploaded by my spare time

Winter has arrived in full force. It seems a bit early to be this cold. Fortunately I’m well on my way to completing a warm and cozy sweater for myself. I’m knitting Cosmicpluto‘s Top Down Raglan Cardi. I’ve knit a version of this sweater before, joining it after the yoke to make a pullover. It’s a nicely written pattern that’s easy to adapt to suit your needs. I love knitting sweaters from the top down. It’s so much fun to try the sweater on as you go, checking to see if it’ll fit.

This time I’ve used seed stitch on the collar, cuffs and waist band.

I was a bit impatient so I finished the body sooner than I’d originally planned. I’d imagined a longer sweater with very long sleeves that I could tuck my constantly cold hands into. I’m hoping that blocking will add another inch in length to the body.

I’m planning on putting some sort of a closure on it, but not entirely sure what. Perhaps Elizabeth Zimmermann’s looped I-cord button closure. I have a large brown shell button that I think would be ideal.

Published in: on December 8, 2007 at 1:38 pm  Comments (3)  
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