Saturday, December 29, 2007

bobble anyone?

I tried to convince my Mom that she should model her own hat, but by the time I remembered to take the photo her hair was "done". Since I wouldn't be seeing the hat for a while I succumbed to modeling it myself. Here is the Twiggy Bobble Hat, courtesy of Andrea Tung of Fable Handknit. This was the first time I've made bobbles, and I admit, they were fun. I knit this for my Mom as a Christmas gift while catching up on old Heroes episodes (Jay and I had to sit at the computer to do so - not comfortable, and therefore, quite memorable.) The yarn is Rowan Cashcotton because I knew my Mom would appreciate the softness, and I enjoy knitting with it (the yardage for the price is also a big plus). It makes for a soft, lightweight hat and I hope my Mom likes it.

The dilemma of the day involves the fabric above. It's the "Holiday" pattern by Shinzi Katoh and I'm just smitten by it. Jay and I have been catching up on all things house this week (which is a whole post in itself), and we're focusing a lot on our kitchen. This fabric would work - I mean really work - in the space. Unfortunately, it seems that ordering right from Japan is the only way I can get it, but the instructions are a bit unusual and I'm so used to Paypal and direct ordering that I'm a little hesitant. I may try contacting Superbuzzy directly to see if this fabric is on their radar, but otherwise I may have to go without. Perhaps it's been too long since I've had a Shinzi Katoh fix?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

stoked x 3

An old boyfriend used to love finding the opportunity to say he was "stoked". So, I'm taking his youthful, useful word and listing three things that have me stoked these days:

1) Sadie's drawings. One day all she could manage were scribbles, then a day later she knew how to make faces with arms and legs. This guy above doesn't actually have legs, but Sadie claims it's a tiger, hence the pattern on the body. Pattern on the body? How did she jump into this realm of undertsanding? (And I think I'll have to embroider him on something - how can I resist?)

2) Scarbiedoll's honesty. This post struck a chord with me, and I adore Nadine for sharing her experiences so candidly, allowing us to feel like we're not alone. 'Cause we're not.

3) This book. I asked Jay the other day if he ever thought I would become such a knitter, and he honestly answered "no." Deep down I know the turn happened after Sadie was born - it's the one thing I can pick up and put down quickly, and no sharp (well, not really sharp) implements are used so I can leave it around. Everywhere. But I mainly knit functional things from patterns so this book is a real inspiration. Nothing helps more than seeing a community of people pushing the limits of the craft, and I'm always stoked to hear the backgrounds of these artists - how they got here, what lifestyle they lead now, what future they are dreaming of. It's a great book to end the year reading, cosied up on the couch thinking about a whole new year of possibilities.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

tree solution(s)

After seeing The Golden Compass Wednesday morning, I stepped off the streetcar one stop later than usual. I thought I could walk through our local park and see if any branches were lying around. There were two streets I could have walked up; I chose the one furthest away. I wasn't quite to the park when I almost walked past three piles of perfectly shaped, perfectly cut tree branches. I smirked at my luck and started digging through the pile. Finding four great branches among the bounty, I set off with them in my arms. One woman asked me what I was going to do with them and I happily answered, "they are going to be my Christmas tree".

One bucket, eight bricks and a length of jute later, the tree was up. Sadie helped me unpack the ornaments while I told her the story of my cardboard stars. We plugged in the lights and decided this was a good tree. Charlie Brown in style, sure, but a tree that met with the criteria I was given. Jay even likes it. The only downfall? It really doesn't photograph well, especially when there are paint-by-numbers behind it.

The other photo is my smaller tree endeavour. A late night inspiration from this blog had me dreaming of paper possibilities. Mine may not be as colourful, but drawing and cutting it was pretty fun and I think there might be more paper ideas to come. But speaking of inspiration, check out this fantastic advent calendar! It's a great blog and that robin's egg blue wall is awesome.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

seeing dots

Every year on Christmas Eve, my Mom would give us one gift to unwrap - a new pair of pajamas. It didn't matter that we knew what would be inside the box, it only mattered that it was tradition and that we would go to bed in something new and warm. In my attempt to figure out how Christmas might work in our house, I've decided to keep up this tradition with Sadie. Of course, I've also pledged to be as "handmade" as possible, so I sat down this week and made a wee nightgown. I didn't use a pattern, so I probably took longer than I needed to, but in the end I think it worked out. The heart buttons are just an extra detail, and the entire back is regular buttons (this is what happens when you sew freestyle - you get stuck and sometimes button plackets are the only solution).

We'll see if it passes the Sadie test; she has a quirky habit of not liking anything I make her. My new plan? Don't tell her that Mommy had anything to do with it.

Monday, December 03, 2007

another monday

Admittedly, hearts are not really my thing, but I have an inkling that three year olds like them. So, to match her cookies, here is Sadie's tiny apron. The pinks and purples are more muted than she would generally pick, but I'm using fabrics I already have (honestly, I have a contract with myself - absolutely no more fabric enters this house for an insane amount of time. Ditto with patterns. Not ditto with wool...I need at least one indulgence.) It was ridiculously fun to make the ruffle and I hope the apron gets used to the point that cookie batter gets wedged between the folds.

So another Monday, another gift made. Not quite as inspiring or as relaxing a day as last Monday, but oh well. At least I got a belated thank you gift almost finished and spent some quality time humming along to Johnny Cash. Perhaps spending the previous night in Sadie's bed being kicked incessantly by little feet had something to do with my mood?

And man, do I ever wish we had some natural light in this house. Winter equals dark, muddy photos...and apologies from me.