Saturday, October 31, 2009



I've been back from my trip to Houston for 5 days now and I feel like it was weeks ago that I was there. I love my family and was so excited to spend time with them. The kids are hilarious always and there was never a dull moment.

Now I'm back here and fighting to get over my souvenir from the trip: One of my nephews came down with some sort of flu on our second day there and he generously shared with us. Fever? Check. Cough that rips your lungs out? Check. Runny nose? Check. Fatigue, loss of appetite, aching all over? Check Check Check. Whee. Having to take half a sick day on your first day back from vacation is really awesome.

This morning I'm sitting in bed with my computer, knitting and coffee and just taking it easy. I need to start finishing some stuff around here (start finishing? excellent grammar lady). So, this weekend my goal is to work on just one (or two in the case of this morning) projects: My deep V argyle vest that I started a month ago (or more... I don't think I wrote down when I started) and for my bed knitting this morning: the second Not-cranberry biscotti sock. I'm recording these here in an attempt to hold me accountable somewhat. Let's see how that works out for me...

Now I need to get up and get some bread started. (Getting the bread started is a desire not a need but in order to do it I need to get up... oy enough with the over explaining.)

I have to say though, I wish I were here:
Chasing gulls

These pics are from my favorite day in Houston when we went to Galveston. I don't know what it is about beaches but it's like my entire body relaxes when I get to a beach. The sand, the water, I don't know what it is but my ideal vacation will always involve a beach.

It was really windy that day and the beach was pretty much deserted, since it was mid-October I guess. For us Canadians it was summer temperatures (around 27 Celsius! woo!) and we had a blast playing in the waves. Well, until two of us got stung by jellyfish. You'll be shocked to hear that one of them was me. Yes, accident prone me got stung by a jellyfish on vacation. Unprecedented.

(Also, I may or may not have bashed my upper lip somehow in the pool and had a swollen, scraped lip for several days).

In all, I managed to get a tan due to all the time spent in the pool/at the beach (yay! tan in October!!) and I had a ton of time with my family and got to see some of Houston and area. In all a very successful vacation.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Mustachioed Women

You know how sometimes when you're at work you start drifting and the next thing you know you're discussing the merits of a felt mustache and beard with your coworker? No? Hmm.

A few weeks ago I saw a felt mustache/beard on Craftzine Blog and showed it to my office-mate, Wen Shu. We thought they looked fun and decided to make some to wear at work for Halloween. I ended up making mustaches only but the idea was definitely inspired by the ones on Craft.

Serious People at Work
(Why, Hello double chin, nice to see you)

We felt silly of course but had a great time wearing them, pretending to be terribly stuffy important businessmen

Serious mustache means serious business
(how cute is Wen Shu? Seriously)

or trying to twirl the ends like a villain.

Trying for an evil mustache twirl

One of the guys came in and once he had stopped laughing called me Lanny McDonald which was so fitting we couldn't think of anything else...

If you too would like a really quick disguise or have always wanted to look like Lanny (or an old timey villain) here's how I made them:

Lanny McDonaldOld Timey Mustache
1 piece of craft felt 9" x 12"
20" ribbon or yarn for ear loops
thread to match felt
Mustache template: mustaches
(click on the pic and then download the large 1024x873 size to print)

Choose a mustache and cut 2 from your felt. Cut your ribbon or yarn in half so you have two 10" lengths. Fold each in half and place on the bottom piece of your mustache. Cover with the top mustache piece and pin together. Hand sew or machine sew the 2 pieces together being careful to secure the ear loops but not to get them caught. Wear with pride.

Please don't make these to sell, but feel free to make them for yourself or your friends, random strangers on the bus or coworkers. Or anyone else who needs one. Just don't sell them or the template.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


hearseespeak no evil

This time Saturday evening I'll be in Houston on my first real vacation in a really long time. My brother and his family moved to Houston this spring and I'm so excited to go visit them. I miss my nephews & niece (and my brother & sister-in-law of course) and I'm really looking forward to going to visit and relax.

Now, those of you with kids are probably thinking "Relax? Who are you kidding? 2 four year olds & a two and a half year old? Relax??" but right now it sounds very relaxing to me. I won't need to be on a computer 8 hours a day and I won't need to answer calls from angry or cranky or just unreasonable people. I won't need to solve problems or investigate issues. All I need to do is play and swim and hang out. I can't wait. I love those little monkeys.

Speaking of monkeys, I made these for the monkeys I'm going to visit.


I used a few different tutorials I found online and I love how they turned out. I'm still thinking about whether they need clothing or accessories. I'm thinking about superhero capes for the boys and a skirt for the girl. I'll see how much time I have tomorrow.

I love these faces.

monkeys! close up

I'm really excited about our trip. If anyone is from Houston or knows any really fun things we might want to see while we're there I'd love some suggestions. For now I have to think about packing. First things first: knitting. I can knit on the plane right? I haven't flown internationally since 2002... Maybe step one should be the FAA rules...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Short Sleeved Wrap Cardigan

Happy Thanksgiving! I made a Thanksgiving dinner for the Boy and me yesterday, which I've never done by myself before. I roasted a turkey breast rather than attempting an actual turkey, dressing made in the crockpot, mashed potatoes, gravy & pumpkin pie. So good but not quite the same. I don't know if I'll ever be able to master my Mom's turkey dinner. I thought of her often as I was getting stuff ready for the dinner.

Moving on...

As I mentioned a few weeks ago I finished the main knitting on my Wrap Cardigan and had started the collar. I ended up needing to order an extra skein to finish the collar. The color is a match but it ended up just slightly darker/more saturated than what I had knit the rest of the sweater with. It's not very noticeable so I'm calling it good.

ariosa wrap cardi

ariosa wrap cardi back

I really like it. It's a perfect layering piece for the office. I had planned to include button holes when knitting the collar but in the end I decided not to. It's quite wearable the way it is but I do wish I had included them for the option.

Pattern: Ariosa Wrap Cardigan (free pattern available from Classic Elite Yarns)
Yarn: Custom Woolen Mills Mule Spinner 2-Ply. I ended up using about 3 1/2 skeins (around 800 yards).
Mods: The pattern is written for a chunky yarn but I wanted to use this worsted weight yarn. I knit a size larger than what I needed (in order to avoid having to do math) which worked out perfect.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Oh what a gift!

My very good friend Julie went to Ireland in August. Now, being slightly fiber obsessed, my first thought was "Oh! Wool!" I didn't say anything about Irish wool, because I thought that was a bit of a big imposition. Fast forward to her trip. I was supposed to water her plants and check on her place. It turned out that the key I had for her place was old (she had changed the locks last year and I didn't realize it and we didn't think to check. d'oh). So I wasn't able to take care of her house for her. Imagine my chagrin then when she arrived home and told me she had something for me (after taking in stride the news that I hadn't been able to take care of her amazing plants).

Imagine my SHEER JOY when a couple of weeks after she returned home she presented me with this:
gift from julie

There are 600 grams each of a dark grey and a light grey Aran weight Jacob. It's wonderfully wooly and so gorgeous. I need to find something to make with it. I don't know the yardage, but I have a feeling there's more than enough for a sweater.

Any suggestions?

(I have FOs to show-gasp-but I'll post those over the next few days. I have a splitting headache and the computer isn't helping.)
(Why the headache you didn't ask? I know a lot of people call themselves clumsy. Not to be a one-upper, but I think I'm the queen of clutz. I tripped over something in my apartment Sunday night in the dark and fell, bruising my hip and landing on my head (I didn't have time to brace myself or anything). I actually "saw stars" (a flash of light). It was one of my finer moments. So for the last 2 days I've been trying to take it easy and not feel too much like an idiot. )