Sunday, December 27, 2009

We have cake!

A few weeks ago, we discovered a mouse living in the back of our laundry room. No real damage but a box of instant mash potato powder was chewed into. We completely forgotten that box was there. The real casualty was an electronic rice cooker that was a present from my mom a few Christmases ago. There were a few droppings along the top of the cooker and inside the vent. Even if I could clean it up, I would never ever feel comfortable using it went in the garbage.

We have several rice cookers and the one we use daily is in the kitchen. It's nice small one that makes enough for the three of us. The one the mouse contaminated was a bigger one that makes congee (mushy rice). We don't use it often but it's so handy to have. I can cook congee on the stove top but it's so handy with the cooker. You throw in the ingredients, press a button, and go away until it's done. I was bemoaning about how I would miss that cooker. One of the boxes under our tree this year was a replacement rice cooker from hubby. The box said it cooks white rice, brown rice, sushi rice, sticky rice, congee, soup, and cake. Yes, cake.

I was intrigued by the cake function and had to try it out.

The instruction booklet suggested using a boxed cake mix but I used a simple cake recipe I found online. The recipe made more than what was recommended so I had to hit the cake setting twice in order for it to bake properly. The result was a tasty cake, a little on the dense side - that's my fault...I should have separated the batter into two batches.

So, yes, you can bake a cake in a rice cooker. Who knew.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is coming!

It's Monday morning and I'm home. I have two days off. Normally, this would make me very happy but this is the first year that I am not taking time off between Christmas and New Year. To coin a phrase from a's cuckoo banana heads at work right now. I'm not denying that I'm not excited with all the Olympic stuff happening around me but it just doesn't feel like Christmas is 4 days away. Presents are ready & waiting to be wrapped, tree is up and decorated. A new Christmas puzzle sitting in the box. Same as every other year but this time it feels different. The 2010 Olympics have overshadowed Christmas for me. :(

In order to get that Christmas-y feeling back, we made a trip to Granville Island on Saturday afternoon before heading over to the Festival of Lights at Vandusen Gardens later. I love that place! They did a fantastic job on the lights. Despite the large crowds, it was still a lot of fun!

A dark and ugly picture but unless you're planning on bringing a tripod & such, pictures will turn out dark and ugly. These were the most amazing lights! They're the plastic top part of water bottles cut into flower and star shapes! There must have been bazillion of these all over the garden. In the dark, with the lights, they look like coloured ice flowers!

And here's another picture that turned out without a lot of effort.

Happy Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's cold outside

Last summer, during that long heat wave, I said I wasn't going to complain when it got cold in the winter. But that was before I knew how cold it was going to get! It's FREAKIN' COLD here!!!

The up side is that I got to wear all my hand knitted hats, scarves, mittens. I just didn't expect to have to wear everything all at the same time.

It's in the forecast to snow tomorrow and all through the weekend. I have mixed feelings about wanting a white Christmas. This is the first year in a long time that we're not shutting down for the holidays.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Mini Santa

The perfect accessory for any computer desk. I'm going to bring this in to work for my desk...on Wednesday.

ETA: Did I mentioned I have two days off? Wheeee!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A very productive weekend...

It took me the whole weekend but I made a picture.

It's not much but I can proudly say "I did this myself" I've been playing around with the Adobe Illustrator and there is so much to play with! Every step was a challenge, right down to trying to figure out how to save this as a jpeg to post here.

Just because I can.

Things that makes me happy:
1. Playing with new toys.
2. Making things - even if it is just a picture on the computer.
3. Christmas music.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I got nothin'

Well, I've been knitting and doing a bit of spinning. Not much excitment here. Started a pair of fingerless mitts today. Got a new camera but it's been too rainy and cold to go outside to try it out. Not really feeling motivated to do much this weekend. It's been a long busy couple of months at work and I feel I need some decompression time.

I've been playing around with Illustrator on the computer making calendars. I found a place that sells mini jewel CD cases. The difference between the regular CD ones and the calendar ones is that the calendar case cover flips back. I ordered 200. Husband asked what am I going to do with 200 calendar cases. I dunno...I guess I'll make 200 calendars. I don't think I even know 200 people to give calendars to.

My knitted Waldorf doll is still waiting for the rest of her hair. She still needs clothes.

Things that makes me happy
1. Christmas music.
2. Wool socks FTW!!
3. More Christmas music!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Peanut Butter Cookies

I made peanut butter cookies today. It's the easiest recipe in the world.

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg.

Mix, bake for 10 mins at 350 deg.

That's it. It's a really small batch so I usually x4 to get enough cookies to last more than an hour. It's best to use peanut butter that's smooth and not separated. It's impossible to stir the oil back in and makes lumpy cookies. Family doesn't mind anyway and it gives the cookies pockets of peanut butter. Still tasty but hard on the wrists.

Knitting news

Still working on the Pinwheel sweater. Just knitting up the i-cord border now and then have to start the sleeves. It knits up fast but all that plain knitting in the round is really boring. I was getting to that point where I want to poke my eyes out with my lace needles.

Doll Pattern

I've had several people email me asking about the pattern. I don't mind sharing it but I need to re-write my doll pattern. I was making notes as I went along on my ipod touch when I accidentally lost the app (bad sync on my part) and lost all the info. It's easy enough to re-write but just have to find the time to do that.

Things that makes me happy:

1. A picture of my nephew in his transformer costume. He won first place!
2. Birds in the garden. I love watching the birds in my backyard.
3. Rainy weekends - guilt-free days of sitting on the couch, knitting, and watching old movies.

Sunday, November 01, 2009


...for knitters.

In the spirit of Halloween that was yesterday, here's something to put fear in the hearts of all the fibre people out there.

I love this cardigan. It's just a plain sweater with a picot edge around it and mother-of-pearl buttons. Somehow I had snagged and broke a thread on the back of this cardigan. I knew that and had meant to fix it before I washed it. Completely forgot and washed it last night. Yup. This was the biggest fright I ever got on Halloween.

The good news is that it's fixable.

Other stuff

Ever since Black Sheep Yarns opened up last year in Port Moody, I've been doing a lot more spontaneous knitting. Before, it was a planned trip to the yarn store. I usually take transit to work so I would have to plan in advance to drive in to Vancouver, find time either at lunch time or end of the day to hit all the stores. And if I forget something, it's a pain to go back. Now, I just drive 5 mins and Black Sheep is there. Although I try to go for specific things, I'm more likely to pick up a new yarn just to try. If I like it, it's easy enough to go back and pick up enough for a larger project. The down side is that my yarn stash has grown way too much this past year.

Yesterday's yarn haul yeilded 2 balls of Noro for a scarf, a skein of Koigu sock yarn, and the Rowan Lima Collection pattern book. There was a couple of samples of the Lima knitted up at the store. That yarn is really amazingly soft, not surprising with 80-something % Alpaca. Considering that it will use 5.5mm needles, the yarn is very light and the sample sweater had a lot of drape to it. The yarn itself is actually a chain of thinner yarn. My guess is that it will trap air inside itself to give it bulk and warmth without the weight. I'm tempted to go back today and pick up a ball to try out. But I know that would mean going back and getting enough for something larger...something that I wouldn't have time to knit up right now.

Maybe buying the pattern book wasn't such a good idea.

Things that makes me happy:

1. BC Lions lost last night.
2. Hell week at work is over.
3. Sushi for dinner last night.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Warrior

I actually made up a list of things to do this weekend. I will not post the whole entire list but I will share what I've accomplished...

1. Finally finished sewing the last seam in my felted tweed cardigan. I love this stuff! It's so soft and squooshy!

2. Blocking the above cardigan. Keeping my fingers crossed that it will dry before the end of the day. I don't trust the dog to not sleep on it. That's an annoyed dog butt sticking out.

3. Started knitted the Pinwheel sweater with the Cascade Heather. I think this might be it...the yarn seems to be happy being the Pinwheel sweater. The February sweater is now back in the queue. One day I will find the perfect yarn for it and it will be wonderful.

4. Knitted the stem & leaves for my pumpkin and finsiehd the second pumpkin. I'm going to make a couple more before I felt everything as one batch.

5. Finished the last 1 & half inches of a sock. The yardage for the Noro sock yarn is really incredible! I don't know why I thought I would need two skeins for pair of socks.

6. I have over one and half skeins of the Noro sock yarn left that I started the New York Plaid scarf. So far, I have nearly 6" done.

7. Fixed the problem of my apps not showing up on the new computer for my ipod. It was as simple as manually transferring the files over from the old computer to the new. I spent a lot of time on the phone and emailing the folks at Apple. No one suggested this and they couldn't figure out why the apps weren't showing up. I posted the problem on Ravelry (a knitting forum) and someone suggested this.

7. Finished some work-related stuff.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Who am I kidding?

I had to go to the yarn shop to buy some green wool. For my pumpkins, I said. But before I left, I did some quick calculations on how much Rowan Felted Tweed I would need if I were to make a sweater with it. Now, why would I do that if I had no intentions of buying more wool? I can't say it was all my fault. I had this ball of the soft grey sitting on my computer table for a couple of weeks now. It was supposed to be a bunny rabbit but it will now be part of a soft grey sweater.

Rowan Felted Tweed is my new favourite yarn. I'm fickle that way.

Thankful for:
1. Rain.
2. Halloween chocolate. Every year we buy more and more candy but have been getting fewer and fewer kids. I know where all the extra chocolates are going.
3. Good dental coverage - need a crown...maybe it wasn't good idea about the extra chocolates.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Garter stitch ranting

I hear a lot of people say stockinette stitches are the most boring thing to knit. Not true...garter stitch is the most boring thing to knit. At least with stockinette, you get to purl on the wrong side to break up the tedium of plain knitting. Garter stitches makes me want to poke my eyes out with my needles.

The Cassidy cardigan is now on hold. It looked ok but it wasn't want the yarn wanted to be. It wanted to be the February Lady Sweater. That's what it's going to be. The only problem is the huge amounts of garter stitch to be done. It looks great so far but so very boring! Fourteen more rows to the end of this section and then on to the fun stuff!

I broke up the monotony of garter stitch knitting with a side project of knitting a pumpkin.

The pumpkin itself turned out well but can't say much for the leaves & stem. After the leaves & stem were knitted & had gone through the felting process, I noticed (as you can see in the picture) that they didn't felt at all. Took another look at the ball band and it said "superwash". D'oh!

I'll have to dig around some more for green wool tomorrow. It hasn't been a good knitting day.

I also made some little clay rabbits who looked more psychotic than cute. Not a good craft day either.


1. I know I've said many times how thankful I am for my friends and family but it bears repeating...over and over again. I didn't want to say the same thing every post but I really am thankful for them. I'm really lucky to have them. There's no rule that says I have to come up with something different everyday.

2. The use of my hands that I could make stuff on a whim.

3. Coffee - did you know coffee is good for you?

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Towashi! Towashi! Towashi!

The crochet class was fun. Dotty at Black Sheep is a very patient teacher. I'm well on my way crocheting this scarf. But like any lace project, it looks like something the cat threw up until it's done and blocked. I'm using something Malibrigo that I had in the stash. Good for me! Stash busting!

BUT! At the end of the class, Dotty showed us a crochet scrubbie...a Japanese towashi. The concept is simple enough - you increase at one end and at the same time you decrease on the other end. Sew together and you get a spiral shaped scrubbie. My crochet version was really really bad and asked myself how hard would it be to knit them? Apparently, not hard at all.

Instead of working on my scarf, I've been making towashies. I've been experimenting with different size needles and different numbers of stitches. While they are supposed to be used as dish washing scrubbies, the larger ones can be used as a body scrubbie. They're knitted out of cotton so they are quite soft.

Thankful for:
1. Drop Bears - a group of people I play WoW with and they have been very kind to a noob like me.
2. 2010 Winter Olympics - Whatever one's opinion on such events, I really do believe that it's the reason the economy in my little part of the world is not as bad as others.
3. Family members who are sane and rational. They keep me grounded and relatively normal.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Oh look! Shiny!

I have a LOT of yarn and fibre and I went to the yarn sale at Black Sheep anyway last weekend. Of course I bought more yarn. What else do you do at a yarn sale?

Last Sunday was the first Beginner's Crochet class. I kinda know how to crochet but I always wondered if I was doing it wrong. It never looked right. Anyway, Dotty at Black Sheep was more than patient with us. I learned so much in that first class. I never knew how to count my stitches reason why I sucked at crochet. Nothing worked because my count was always off. She went over everything - how to hold the yarn. different ways of holding the hook, and a few of the basic stitches. I came home and practice a bit and jumped right into something that she recommended NOT to do....crochet with mohair. I made a little crochet cap to make the wig for my doll. It looked great until I took a closer look in daylight. Yuck. I'm going to have to add more hair.

The second class is tomorrow and I'm really looking forward to it. We get to start our scarf!

My problem is not the lack of ideas of what to make but the opposite. I have too many things I want to do RIGHT NOW. I have so many projects going and will jump from one to another whenever anything new and shiny catches my attention.

The latest "new and shiny" is the Gail (aka Nightsongs) shawl. I don't remember where I first saw it. Probably Ravelry. I blame Ravelry. So last night I got home around 8pm. Ate dinner, watched a bit of TV with the Hubby, played a bit of Warcraft, and thought...hmmm....the yarn I spun from Sweet Georgia's fibre club would be perfect for this shawl. Next thing I knew, it's 2am and I'm knitting a shawl. Not the wisest thing to do because it was frogged out this morning and restarted with larger needles, same yarn, and minus the errors. It's thicker than most lace things I make but I'm happy with the look so far.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Erick's Knitted Sock Monkey Pattern

Here's the pattern for the sock monkey. I hope I didn't miss anything. The monkey is knitted in the round with no seaming involved.

Yarn: Cascade 220 – 2 skeins grey, 1 skein white*, 1 skein red*
*You don’t need a full skein of the white & red.
2 small black buttons for eyes.
Black yarn – just a bit to embroider the face.
Needles – 3.5mm double pointed needles.
Stitch holders or spare yarn.
4” doll maker’s needle or long darning needle.
Stitch markers – optional.

Using Emily Ocker cast on method and white, cast on 8 sts & divide over 4 needles.
Knit 1 round.
Knit 1, M1 to end = 16 stitches.
Knit 16 rounds.
Join red yarn and knit 2 rounds. Break off and knit another 3 rounds in white. Break off white and join grey.
Knit 52 rows in grey (or until leg is long enough).
Put the live stitches on a holder and make second leg.

Monkey Butt:
Knit front stitches of first leg, knit front stitches of 2nd leg, knit back stitches of 2nd leg, knit back stitches of first leg.
Knit 2 rounds in grey.
Attach white. The side facing you will now be the back of the monkey. Short row until 8 sts remaining and back to full sts.
Short Row Butt:
Knit 15, wrap & turn.
Slip 1, purl 12, wrap & turn.
Slip 1, knit 10, wrap & turn.
Slip 1, purl 8, wrap & turn.
Slip 1, knit to first wrap, pick up wrap & knit together with the stitch, turn.
Slip1, purl to first wrap, pick up wrap & purl together with the stitch, turn.
Repeat until all the stitches with wraps are picked up & knitted. You should be back where the grey yarn is still attached.
Break off white and join grey. Knit body – 50 rounds in grey. After a few rounds, stitch up the hole between the legs. Easier to do it now than later.

Break off grey and join white. Knit 1 round. For front head shaping, short row 2 sets of white, join red and short row until 8 sts remaining. Return to full sts following the same colour changes.
Knit 3 rows plain knit in white.
Dec for top head shaping. Dec 1 on each side of front & back (total 4 sts dec) every second round until 12 sts remain. Don’t close up the head yet. Put the remaining stitches on some spare yarn to hold. This would make stuffing the monkey easier.

Stuff body, working from feet up. Stuff in small amounts at a time and don’t roll up the stuffing. Keep it nice and loose. It will pack better than large wads. I used wool fleece to stuff mine but if you’re making it for a child, you can buy hypoallergenic stuffing.
When you finished stuffing the head, graft the top close. Pull the yarn tail into the monkey and bury the end.
Optional - You can make a little cloth bag of lavender to stuff in the body but if the monkey will be a toy for a child, I would not recommend this as the monkey may need to be washed occasionally. Also optional is that you can make a little bag of stuffing beads to give the monkey a bit of weight.

Using the Emily Ocker method, cast on 6 using white. K1, M1 to end. 12 sts. Knit 16 rounds, join red, knit 2 rounds, knit 2 rounds in white. Break off and join grey. Knit 45 rounds. Cast off.
Make second arm.
Stuff and sew opening close. Join to body.

It’s a 5 stitch icord.
Using white, cast on 5 stitches on one double pointed needle. Slide stitches to other end of the needle and knit. Repeat for 14 rounds. After a few rounds, pull the yarn tail to tighten up the stitches.
Join red and knit 2 rounds, break off red and switch back to white for 2 more rounds. Break off and join grey for another 50 round or until tail is long enough.
Cast off and sew firmly to monkey butt.

Using grey, cast on 16 stitches and join.
Rnd 1 and all odd rounds - Knit
Rnd 2 - (Knit 1, inc 1, knit 6, inc 1, knit 1) x2 to 20 stitches.
*Increase 1 stitch at each end of the ear for front and back of ear until you have a total of 32 sts.
Rnds 9 - 15 rounds – Knit
Dec 1 at each end of the ear for front and back of ear. You are decreasing a total of 4 stitches each round until 12 stitches remaining. Graft to close and make second ear.

Edited to add:  some people mentioned the ears are a bit big - yeah, I know...that was the way my son wanted it to be.  I had done several versions of the ears and these were the ones.  If you want to make the ears smaller,
Using grey, cast on 10 stitches,
Rnd 1 and all odd rounds - Knit.
Rnd 2 - work your increases to 16.
*Then work your subsequent increases to 24 stitches total.
Rounds 9-12 - Knit.
Dec 1 at each end of the ear for front and back of ear. You are decreasing a total of 4 stitches each round until 12 stitches remaining. Graft to close and make second ear.

Use pins to mark eye placement.
Pin ears to the sides of the head & sew.
Use small black buttons for eyes and pin to the head. If this is a toy for a child, embroider the eyes on with black wool.
If using button, use a strong buttonhole thread and long doll needle, enter the body through the back of the neck and pull through to the first eye placement. Attach first eye and put needle back in the head and out through the next eye placement. Attach the second eye and put needle back in the head and out through the first eye. Pull a bit to indent the eyes but not too tight. When you’re happy with the look, put the needle through the first button, back in the head to the second button. Put the needle through the second button & back in head, exiting at the base of the back of the head. Knot firmly but be careful not to catch any of the wool fibres. Pull the needle through the doll to bury the thread end.
Using black wool, embroider the nose and mouth.
Using some white wool on a needle, run the wool around the neck line a few times. Pull carefully to give the neck a bit of shaping. Tie off and bury the ends in the doll.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I'm such a goof!

It would help if I gave you my email. I thought it was in my profile somewhere.

thymeformom AT hotmail DOT com (without the spaces)

Sunday Stuff

Today is the last day of my two week vacation. It's been great. It felt like it's been more than two a good way. Didn't think about work...much. Didn't check my work email at all. I was tempted a few times but resisted. I feel good. Refreshed. I know that feeling will last until Monday morning half an hour into the work day and then it will be like I've never been away. Ugh!

To make myself feel better about the impending doom called work, I made a batch of brownies. Brownies are easy to make but hard to pour into these little cups. I could have made a slab of brownies but didn't feel like it.

Ugly, aren't they?

They say brownies can last up to 3 months frozen. Do people really have extra brownies that they can freeze them? It will never happen at my house. I was going to let these cool and then glaze them later but not sure if it's worthwhile glazing the six remaining brownies.

The Waldorf doll is going well, sort of.

I've stuffed the legs and lower body and trying to figure out the best way to attach the head. I've been thinking about how to do the hair. From what I've read on the internet & at Ravelry, I might just make a skull cap to attach the hair and then sew the cap on the head.

I wrote up the pattern for the sock monkey and these are the legs for the second monkey. Elegantly displayed on top of my favourite knitting container - the classy plastic tub. If anyone is interested in the pattern, email me and I'll send it to you when I'm done. I'm going over the pattern to see if it makes any sense. Most time, my patterns only make sense to me.

Things I'm thankful for:
1. The big rainfall we got the other day. It made the yard lush and green.
2. Today's sunshine and breeze. I love this weather!
3. My hands - being able to make and create crafts and work with my hands.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Malabrigo Artigas Vest they look like wood?

The vest is knitted from Malabrigo Gruesa, Pearl Ten colourway. Funny enough, when I ordered the yarn, it looked plum/purple in the book but blue in real life. I don't know if the tags were mixed up but I like the blue a lot better. I have way too much purple yarn.

The vest is the Artigas pattern in the Malabrigo Book One but with some minor changes. I used 9mm instead of 10mm and didn't check gauge. (You have to live on the edge sometimes.) The front bands are done in 2x2 rib. Same for the arm bands and neck. Instead of using only one button closure at the top, I did four. And I lengthened the body slightly and changed the armhole shaping.

I love this vest! It was a really quick knit and it's soft and comfortable and warm. Sometimes, you just have to knit something that you don't need a math degree to figure out. Something quick and painless and will give you instant gratification.

I was thinking of making another one but I'm not so good with making two of anything. :(

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I finished knitting the feet and legs and have joined them to knit the body. I was thinking that maybe I should have knitted the feet in a different colour so they'll look like shoes. We stopped off at Black Sheep Yarns to pick up some yarn for the shoe colour on our way to see Distict 9. Movie was good but it had a few holes in the plot. The whole time, I was thinking: I have yarn in the car...I have feet to reknit. In the end, I decided not to reknit the feet and keep them flesh colour. I'll save this yarn for the next doll.

Things to be thankful for:
1. Cousins who knows a lot about computers. Whee! New computer!!
2. Dalaran at 60 fps - if you play WoW, you'll know why this is a good thing.
3. One more week of vacation left!

For the lack of anything really interesting to say, here's a pic of the buttons I made. Still need to colour them.

Friday, September 11, 2009

No Excuses

It's just plain laziness that I haven't wrote. It's not because I don't have anything to say or that I was very busy....just lazy. That's it.

Not sure where I'm going with this post so I'm going to just ramble for a bit here. A few weeks ago, a mother was badly injured and her 2 year old daughter was killed a block from where I work. It was a very grisly accident. So bad that there was no doubt the child was dead. I can't think of words that could describe how the mother was. I can't imagine how her life has been forever changed. I can't imagine how the father must have felt. And how it must affect the grandparents and the aunts and uncles and everyone that these people know. Today, I was driving along a very busy street and saw a child run out onto the intersection. He had only taken 4 steps onto the street. I heard a mother yell out for him to stop. I looked around and I did not see the mother at first...she was about 15 meters behind, talking on a cell phone and pushing a baby stroller. There was an older child with her. You can tell she was frazzled with the three kids. But it made me want to go up to her and yell at her, what was she thinking??? Who could she be talking to that was more important than her kids?

I'm just going to jump right in to fibre stuff now. I did say I have no idea where I'm going with this post. It will just be whatever is in my head. I have two weeks off from work so YAY!!

Ok, I've been spinning some of the Fibre Club fibre from Sweet Georgia.

This is Foundation from June, I think. I divided it into 8 to spin and navajo plyed it to keep the colours together in a block. I'm now spinning the August fibre and have a few months backlogged.

I've been in a finishing mood. Finished the monkey ears FINALLY!

I can't remember when I started this little guy. He's been sitting around earless forever now. My son guilted me into finishing his ears.

I've also finished a vest that I've been working on. I didn't like the way I did the armbands so I picked them out and re-knitted them. Now all it needs are the buttons. I made some out of air-dried clay & will paint them this weekend.

I finished another sweater & even started sewing the seams together. I just have one more side to sew up.

I've been reading up on Waldorf dolls. There's a Ravelry group for them. There's a Ravelry group for pretty much anything and everything. Waldorf dolls are traditionally sewn and I really don't care for sewing that much. I decided to knit a doll.

The head is done and stuffed in the traditional way for making a Waldorf doll. Fleece batting is rolled into a ball and stuffed into a piece of tubular gauze. The head shaping is done by tying the head in sections to form the eye lines and cheek. Normally, the head is then covered with a skin tone stretchy fabric that is sewn onto the head but I knited mine instead. I think I should have tied fibre ball tighter as the knitted skin doesn't seem to show the definitions as well as a fabric skin would. The fleece I'm using is a leftover shetland batt that I carded. This picture shows the head and neck. The extra fibre will be rolled up and stuffed into the body. This will make the head stable and not wobble.

The plan is to knit the two legs, join at the bum, knit up the body. Knit the arms and sew those on separately. In theory, it's simple. I'm working on the third set of feet right now. The others were either a bit too small or I wasn't happy with the shape. The hardest part is trying to keep track of what I'm doing so I can make the second leg the same.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Is there such thing as too much sunshine?

Blogger ate my post.

It's too hot to type it over and OVER again!!

I'm going to find a cool spot to enjoy my iced coffee.

edited to add...figures it took this one! :(

Monday, June 29, 2009

The best way to spend a Saturday morning

I love it when it's warm enough outside to sit out & do my carding. I don't have to clean up all the debris after.

I found a box of shetland lamb fleece - washed, picked, & sorted out in ziplock bags. I think the idea was to blend it with something. Can't remember what I had intended to do with it. I do remembered changing my mind about what I was going to blend it with. Anyhow, I spent Saturday morning carding the fleece into fluffy batts. I even had my spinning wheel outside for a while until it got too warm.

Thankful for:
1. A bit of rain last week - plants are loving this weather.
2. A relative quiet day at work to catch up on stuff.
3. Spent time playing with my drumcarder and spinning wheel.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

An attempt at Silk Fusion

I hang out with a group of really cool fibre friends - Twisted By Choice. Every so often, we get together & do fun fibre stuff. That was what we did yesterday.

The day was filled with catching up on each other's news, wet silk dripping everywhere, and lots of good tasty food. It's been a rough time at work. Having a chance to spend a day like Saturday just playing and squishing wet silk on a nylon mesh is really good for your soul.

This piece is made with some leftover dyed silk. I can't remember if it's Bombyx or Tussah but it is really REALLY shiney! The top has been embellished with dyed silk rods and silk waste. This sheet was the second one. The first one didn't turn out so well with the top layer pulling apart already. I think the medium wasn't worked thoroughly enough. I'm going to try and coat the surface with a gloss finish to see if that helps.

Thankful for:
1. Perfect weather on Saturday - not too hot and no rain (just a couple of drops).
2. The Clubhouse - where we meet up & play with fibres.
3. Moroccan olives!

Friday, June 05, 2009

Cool Knitting needles!

One of the joys of blogging is that you get to read and see a lot of really neat stuff other people do. Came across this at to make your own resin knitting needles! They are so cool!

I know I still have a can of resin the garage somewhere.

Things that made me happy:
1. Mairuru's sarubobo and pattern...I'm making one right now.

2. Being a couple days ahead of schedule at I have a few days grace to fix mistakes & make changes.

3. Good friends at work to lunch with.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


At lunchtime today, I walked over to SweetGeorgia's studio to pick up the Fibre Club fibre. May's offering is a beautiful handdyed Blue Face Leicester in greens & blues with a touch of brown (but it looks a bit copper-y in the sunlight). The colours were inspired by a local eatery called Foundation. I love the colours in that place with all the old formica kitchen tables and vinyl chairs. I have a thing for old formica tables. We still have the set inherited from my parent-in-laws when we first got married. The table ended up as a baby change table when my son was young.

You can't see it but I've pulled a bit off already and have been finger spinning it at work this afternoon. How can you resist?

Things that made me happy today:
1. Lunchtime walk to Felcia's studio.
2. Fibre at the end of that walk.
3. Ice cream for the walk back to work.

Monday, June 01, 2009

How many pairs of knitting needles does one really need?

The age old question.

It's embarrassing but I do have a lot of knitting needles. I had no idea until I started cataloguing them in my Knit Buddy application on my ipod. I have 53 pairs of circular needles, 23 pairs of straights, and 17 pairs of double pointed needles. All in various sizes...except 8mm. These are the ones not in use in my box. That's insane. I keep all the packaging for my needles so I when I'm done with them, they go back in the packages. There are empty packages as well in that box. Quite a few empty packages. I think one of the things I need to do this summer is to go through everything and take apart any WIPs that I know I'm never going to finish. I did a cleaning up of my yarn stash last year but this year will be WIP clean up time.

Knit Buddy also allows you to track your yarn stash too. I'm not going to even attempt that.

Did I mentioned that I signed up for a beginner's crochet class at Black Sheep Yarns?

Thankful for:
1. Sunny, hot day.
2. Sushi for lunch.
3. A nice cool breeze tonight.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Time off

I love Long Beach...not Long Beach, California but Long Beach Vancouver Island. We were there for four days. The weather on the first day was raining by the buckets but it was still so beautiful. The next couple of days were sunny and gorgeous. It was windy there but no one cared.

This was the view from the balcony in our cabin.

This little cove was just below our cabin. As soon as the tide was out, we were down there, poking into the tidal pools.

I love the colours and textures best. Spent a lot of time staring at the little sea anenomes. They looked like little buttons.

I don't know very much about starfish but always thought they only had eight legs. This one has eighteen.

The mandatory sunset picture...

Thankful for:
1. The agility and mobility to enjoy a walk on the beach.
2. Being able to take time off at work during a crazy time.
3. The baked goods at this lodge were really good and being able to limit myself to one pastry a day.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


The first rose of the season!

We're having one of our rare Vancouver sunny day today. I love this time of the year. It's warm and sunny with a nice cool breeze. Every year, I try to take a picture of the poppies. The deep purple in the centre of these poppies are my favourite shade of purple. It's amazing how brilliant this colour is. I was fooling around with the settings on the camera, trying to capture that same brillance. I am not good at this. The resulting photos look so orange-y. It's ok...I have the whole summer to experiment. :)

Right now, I'm sitting out on my deck, picking through a bag of silk noil. It's one of those mindless tasks that you can do anywhere and anytime.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Today was not your normal Friday. It was one of the Friday-from-hell type of Fridays. The kind that is usually reserved for when you really REALLY want the day to end so you can go home on time. The only good thing about today is that it's the start of almost a week off for me. Almost a week off because I'm off next week but have to work next Saturday. We've hired a crap-load of staff and were told that we have to be there for the new staff orientation. Bah! Everyone was really busy trying to get things done for next weekend plus we have a show happening as well as all the construction going on. I feel slightly guilty that I won't be there and will show up just for Saturday. Just slightly guilty.

While everyone at work will be running around like crazy, I'm heading to Long Beach on Vancouver Island.

Thankful for:
1. Finally figured out how to convert movies for my ipod.
2. A week off.
3. Dog managed to get outside before throwing up today.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Woohoo! New fibre accessory!

Picked up a new knitting accessory on Friday. It's wonderful! I can use it to keep track of my knitting needles, carry patterns & charts on the go, and all sorts of fun stuff. Found an application that would even keep track of all your knitting projects on the go and acts as a stitch/row counter as well. It's been only 3 days and I can't believe how I ever survived without it!

Oh yeah, it plays music and videos as well. :)

I was all set to get a new phone. Wasn't even thinking of the iphone but the Samsung Omnia. Why? becauase it has a much better camera (5.0 megapixel) than the iphone (2.0 megapixel). Then my sister showed me her ipod touch. That was over. I don't really need the camera and I didn't need a new phone either. I just wanted a new one. The camera on my current phone is still pretty decent. Besides, I have my camera. And I like the idea of not paying huge amounts of money for a data package that I don't really need. The ipod touch will connect to any open network. Lots of areas like that downtown. Free internet means more money that could be better spent on fibre.

And on Ravelry, there is an ipod forum too! Knitters are truly everywhere.

Thankful for:
1. A brother who emails you back late at night with answers to your ipod questions.
2. A sister who is every bit an enabler as my fibre friends.
3. Long weekend Monday.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Part of the knitting green initiative.

It's not like I don't have anything else to use. I have bags and baskets that I use for knitting but I always go back to the good old margarine tub. Everything fits. It keeps my yarn from rolling all over the floor. I could say it's part of my green initiative. yeah.

Things to be thankful for:
1. Sunshine today.
2. Getting my stuff done ahead of time at work so I have time to deal with the changes tomorrow.
3. Long weekend this weekend and that means we get to leave early on Friday.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nothing much to say today.

Not much to say today...came home, ate dinner, watch tv, knit, pretended to crochet, played WoW. I'm starting to find it odd that I meet nice people when I play lower level characters than my high level ones. I don't know if it says something about the mentality of people who play games. People can be pretty serious in the top levels making sure their toons are decked out in the latest and greatest. I guess a lot of people play the lower alts are for fun and can afford to be more laid back.

Things to be thankful for:
1. Lunch and a much needed chocolate break.
2. Sunny weather in between the rain.
3. My office was not flooded out.

Monday, May 11, 2009

All in all, it was a fairly quiet weekend. Hubby was still feeling sore from his back surgery so we didn't do the usual Mother's Day stuff. We did go to the Joel Plaskett concert Saturday night, however. I was a bit worry how his back would be, sitting in those tiny cramped seats. We bought the tickets ages ago before he got his surgery date. Concert was great!

Here's a tiny horrible picture of Joel Plaskett, taken from my cell phone camera. Not the best picture. I completely forgot to do the settings properly and didn't want to fiddle with it in the dark.

Things that makes me happy:
1. Stopped by Black Sheep Yarns for the yarn sale on the way to the concert.
2. Just so happened to have a ball of yarn and needles in my bag (see #1) so I was able to knit while waiting for the concert to start.
3. Good music.
4. Concert finished (even with all the encores) right before the hockey game ended so we avoided the traffic going home.
5. Next weekend is a long weekend!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

A thought or two...

Sweetgeorgia's post the other day about women artists and how they struggle between a balance of family and art is very interesting. I can honestly say those same thoughts have crossed my mind many times. As much as I would love to spend as much time as possible being creative, I wouldn't give up what I have with my family. I think that's the point of that movie...why should women have to make a choice? It's a question that I've heard many women ask themselves all the time. I don't think there is one right answer. I think it's a balance that we each have to find and come to terms with.

Thankful for:
1. Ugly job to pay the bills so I can afford to play once in while.
2. People like Sweetgeorgia for her honesty and willingness to share herself.
3. Although I call it the Ugly job, it has good moments too. I can't really say it's a dull job.

Friday, May 01, 2009

A spinning mishap

Found a bobbin of merino/silk that I had spun ages ago. Wound it into a ball & plyed it. It was looking pretty good. I have a bad habit of pulling the end a little ways into the yarn so it wouldn't unravel...which I did here. Usually I make the end long enough so I can see where it is to pull out. Didn't do that this time. I took the bobbin off the wheel to wind onto the niddy noddy and the end had disappeared. The worse thing you could do is panic (which I also did) and really messed up the bobbin looking for the end. What am I going to do now? Can this be saved?

I was hoping that leaving it for a day or two would make the end miraculously reappear. No such luck. I thought maybe the bright sunlight would help...nope. Shouldn't have panicked.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I've been thinking long and hard whether or not to start a Facebook profile. My sister is on is my niece, my son, pretty much all my cousins, aunts and uncles. Looked up some friends too. It seems harmless enough but I can't seem to bring myself to do it.

It took me a very long time to even mention to real life friends that I blog. Even now, a lot of my friends don't know I blog still or I haven't told them where to find me. Just you fibre folks and that's it.

I think I'm not quite ready yet.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A little change in plans

I really didn't know SweetGeorgia's studio was so very close to where I work. It was very do-able to run over there on a lunch break. Yup. It's such a cool place! There were all these beautiful colours of Cashsilk on a shelf... yes, they're even more brilliant in real life.

I was going to save this for when we go away at the end of May but who was I kidding? There was really no chance this would sit around for a whole month!

The colourway is Blackberry. I started it while I was waiting for my husband in surgery. It was the perfect pattern - easy enough to knit without concentrating too hard and fun enough with the lace to keep my mind busy so I wouldn't worry. As much as I love the Ping yarn, I really needed something to wow me today. The surgery went well and he's staying overnight and should be home tomorrow.

Thankful for:
1. Canadian healthcare & health insurance.
2. Ability to knit.
3. Competent surgeons.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's been way too long!

One day stretches in the next and before I knew it, months have gone by.

It's now Spring and the planting of the garden has begun.

The kale is actually from last year's planting. They came back this year. Surprised that anything made it through the snow we had. Those snow storms killed off quite a few of our older my rosemary bush that we planted when we moved into this house. I was very sad to see that it didn't survived.

One thing I've decided is to play less on the computer and do more fibre stuff. Computer games can be addicting. Time spent playing WoW means less time spent doing fibre stuff like dyeing and spinning. I dusted off my spinning wheel this weekend and finally finished Ping, the pygora fibre. It's washed and dried and ready to knit.

I even have the perfect pattern for it...Sweetgeorgia's CashSilk Fern scarf. As much as I've been craving colour lately, I just couldn't bring myself to dye this fibre. I love the different tones of grey in there. Hard to tell in the photo but in the sunshine, you can see all the different tones and I love it! Plus the fact that it's pygora/merino blend makes it super duper soft.

It's not my best spinning but considering how long I've been away from my wheel, I'm surprised I remember how the thing worked. There is something so very soothing about watching the fibre turn into yarn. I think next weekend, if the weather is nice enough, will be spent dyeing.

Thankful for:

1. Warm grass and sunny spot for the dog to sleep on.
2. A fibre stash that makes it easy to satisfy any fibre cravings.
3. Internet for bringing me inspiration when I needed it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Gung Hai Fat Choi!

It's not really a resolution but I decided this year I was going to try very hard to finish one project at a time and not start anything new until whatever I'm working on is finished.

I started the Kim Hargreave cardigan over the Christmas/New Year break. It was going well. The sweater was supposed to be done in seed stitch but after doing half the back, I didn't like the look. Ripped it back & did only 16 rows of seed stitch for the border. It was much better. The rest of the back took 2 days to finish. I knitted both fronts together. Forgot to mirror the shaping and ripped back. Got to the shoulder shaping and decided the measurements from the pattern would give me a small armhole. I like my sweaters roomy. Ripped back & added a few centimetres to the armhole. Ripped back the back to match the addition to the armhole. Started both sleeves and that went well. Got to the top shaping for the sleeve cap & realized I didn't add any extra length to compensate for the larger armhole. Ripped back & re-knitted the cap. Just about to cast off both sleeves when I re-read the pattern. I'm 20 stitches short at cast on so the sleeves are very narrow. Ripped back to seed stitch band to add stitches as side increases. That's where I'm at now.

So when my son said he wouldn't mind a nice warm scarf to wear, I jumped at the chance to do something else. As much as I love this sweater, I need a break from it. It also meant a trip to Black Sheep Yarns today. Guess what he picked? The same yarn in the same colour as my doomed sweater! I managed to convinced him to go with a different colour finally. The scarf pattern is the Henry scarf on Knitty. I didn't realized (because I didn't read the pattern) that it's knitted lengthwise. That means 452 stithces!

Row 1 is basically knit 1, yarn over all the way across and row 2 is slip 1, knit 1. For some reason, I slipped 1 knitwise instead of purl. I knew it would sit backwards on my needle but thought it would be a good idea. So the next row, I had to turn every second stitch around so it was facing the right way. That's a lot of stithces to turn around. My brain is still on holidays.

It's Chinese New Year here and this weekend was full of family get-togethers with lots of eating rich food. That's my only excuse.

Good fortune to everyone!

Thankful for:
1. Flannel sheets - really love crawling into bed with warm fuzzy sheets.
2. A mom that cooks like nothing you've ever seen!
3. A family that loves anything seafood. Every family gathering is a feast of seafood of some discription.
4. No snow this weekend - the forecast was for "flurries" but it was sunny all weekend.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

A White Christmas and then some

I think this year, the weather has been trying very hard to make up for all those green Christmases! I can't remember seeing this much snow in one year before. Love snow but glad I had the past couple of weeks off (and next week as well).

Despite the pain-in-the-butt factor of icy roads and having to shovel the snow, I love it! It appeals to the kid in me. We stayed at home more than we would otherwise. It was really nice to spend quiet evenings cozy at home. Definitely a plus!

This year has gone by so fast! It has been a good and bad year for me. When I look back, most of the "bad" was from work. That's something that I'm thankful for...strange as it sounds.

Son graduated from high school with honours and a couple of scholarships. The Asian part in me played that down but I'm a really proud mom! :D He started university and seems to be doing well. He's healthy and happy...a bit messy but that's a teenager.

Hubby slipped in the snow a few weeks ago & ended up with back problems. He's going to the physio right now. Considering how hard he fell, I'm glad it wasn't worse. Another reason for a quiet Christmas this year. He's not moving around very fast.

Work had been very stressful this past year. I won't go into it again. The new year is not looking any better. For the past couple of months, I've been seriously rethinking my options but have decided to tough it out here. Olympics are coming and the opportunity to be part of it is too much to give up now. I made a decision to stay at least until the end of the Olympics...after that, we'll see. It's easy to look back when you're in a quiet time and think maybe it wasn't so bad. I'm sure reality will slap me in the face when I get back to work. When I get stressed at work, I buy yarn. I predict a lot of yarn buying this year.

Things to be thankful for:
1. Taking an extra week of holidays and actually finding myself relaxed and happy.
2. No one I knew got into any car accidents because of the snow.
3. My family.

And things that makes me happy:
1. Found a box of Halloween chocolate I forgot about.
2. Snow - it has been a beautiful White Christmas.
3. Ten balls of Rowan Felted Tweed to make into a nice soft sweater.