I think I’m smart

Before I get down to business after a bit of an absence, I must first direct your attention to…

Felicia Day, I love you. I can’t believe I just discovered Geek and Sundry/the Flog now. Here is Knit Culture‘s take on the encounter as well.

So, basically this post is dedicated to how smart I think I am. I bought some inexpensive tools recently. Inexpensive tools that have proved to be indispensable (for me anyway).

First off, I wanted one of these.

Yarn holder, yarn lazy susan, I can’t find one unified name for it. Unfortunately, any one of the nice wood ones I had my eye on I couldn’t afford (though FYI, the site that that image links to supplies awesome stuff I don’t really see elsewhere).

Then I found this:

Link to the store here (their English could use some work, I'll admit).

Plastic? I don’t care, as long as it gets the job done. The job being preventing this from happening.

Yarn twisting and curling on itself – my mortal enemy. The physics can be found here.

And it turns out it works quite well. I did away with the silly holder. Didn’t really stay on anyway (though I’ve been promised they’re sending something to fix it).

My second stroke of genius came at the dollar store. I had been lusting after Knit Pick’s Chart Keeper, but a) I’m cheap, and b) the magnets worry me – won’t they hurt the electronics in my purse? Then I saw this:

Just a clear pencil case. I’ve already been using row counters to count repeats, so don’t need the magnets. The case does the job of keeping my charts from getting all crumpled in my bag just fine. The only downside is that this is the other side:

Not really my style.

In other news, I finished my belt for the Ravellenic Games!

I even made the buckle. Because I am a wizard (my ego is getting quite the stoking today, I know).

Cut and fitted 'em myself.

Voilà, my medal :D

Unfortunately, my TARDIS plushy didn’t get done in time to qualify for the British Cricket event. But it’s done now :)

The pattern is by Nyss of Pixelated Mushroom and is available for free on her site.

Desmond investigates:

Almost done, I promise. But first…

Lookit my new Hunter boots! (And check out the sexy super pale leg). Yes that is a crocheted cat toy in the background (and yes, it came with the bed). I’m very excited because not only are they awesome and green, but I can’t wait to show off hand-knit socks in these puppies.

I’ll leave you with this lovely colour of Berroco Vintage Chunky (you can see the threads of purple running throughout more clearly IRL), which I’ll be using for the Simple Lace Shrug from This is Knit was scored by yours truly at 20% off at last week’s grand opening of the new Toronto LYS, Ewe Knit, which has opened up practically next door to my knit night group’s pub of choice. Whether this is awesome or horrifying (to my wallet, anyway) remains to be seen. They also appear to be installing an espresso machine. It’s like they know me…

I got my purchase home, set it down, and then this happened… again :

Cat after my own heart.

More things I am excited about

Well, to be honest, I’m still excited about my purchases from the Frolic. So is Desmond, it would seem. I managed to get this photo but couldn’t get one of the best part, when he was actually full on burying his head in the bags of yarn. Man I love this cat.

Nevertheless, on to this week’s even larger levels of excitement!

1) Appropriately called Bigger on the inside, I cannot wait to start Kate Atherley’s TARDIS shawl from the latest issue of Knitty. Anyone who knows me knows of my love affair with Dr Who.

So excited I went right out and got yarn for it.

2) I’m on the planning committee for WWKIP Toronto Edition, and am happy to report that things are really getting going. Look at the shiny new blog masthead!

We also have a Ravelry group, a  Facebook event page, and I’m even attempting to get the Twitter hashtag #WWKIPTO going. Wish me luck.

3) I have just discovered the West End Scarf. Drooool. Yet another one to add to my ridiculously long queue.

4) Look who’s coming to the Downtown Knit Collective next week!

5) My fiancé has recently said things to me like “come sit in the TV room with me. I miss it when you aren’t sitting in your chair knitting” and “you see that sweater that guy is wearing? Do you think you could knit me something like that?” I am beyond estatic. This from the guy who cringed when I offered to make him a hat two winters ago. Nevermind that the sweater he pointed out was machine knit in what had to be fingering weight…

Pucks, purls, cats, and bears, oh my

Saturday was Pucks n’ Purls!
Hockey, beer, poutine, and freezing weather. A very Canadian, and very enjoyable, day!

Lanesplitter has been started! Unfortunately I was several rows in before I realized that my interpretation of “use two balls of variegated yarn that start with different colours” had resulted in something that looks like a Christmas elf barfed it up. I kept knitting, figuring it’s variegate, it’ll change soon. Nope. Here it is JUST starting to change colours. I’m stubbornly keeping my fingers crossed that this will turn out, feeling too invested to frog it. It’s just one small corner in the grand scheme of things… right?Where are all the other colours going to make an appearance?!

At least the wrist warmers are coming along alright.Yay!

A colleague wanted to know if I could knit a lapel pin after this design

Yeah, she’s a big fan.

It just didn’t lend itself to a 2×2 piece – the smaller details would not have shown through. So I ended up with this embroidery/needlepoint-on-canvas-type-thing.

Does it work as a likeness? You be the judge.

I haven’t mentioned Desmond in a while, a whole 2-3 posts even. So here’s an update.

Seeing double? One of our neighbours has a black cat that looks almost identical to Desmond. I’m hoping Desmond doesn’t grow much more, or we truly won’t be able to tell them apart.

It’s a daily routine: they do this sort of staring contest for a while, and then…

they wrestle? Yup, wrestling. I’ve never seen behaviour like it, but they don’t fight – there’s no hissing or scratching, and any biting doesn’t break the skin. They just… wrestle. Maybe it’s a black cat thing?

On the Sunday we went antiquing out in Norfolk county. I found this cute little handknit bear from Ireland:

I didn’t buy it only because I don’t have enough space for all my yarn-related stuff as it is. I did think it was worth taking a picture of though. Is it bad that I also thought “I can do better”?

Licence to shop

The last cowl of my cowl kick is done!

I’m really happy with it. Better pictures of the others to come soon.

In other, sadder news my bag of notions (more of a sort of pencil case I carry with my knitting) went missing sometime in the last week. It either fell out of my bag (I doubt it) or got snatched by one of the kids I teach to knit/crochet. To be fair, if it was the kids they may not have known better since I let them use yarn that I bring. I do tell them that I can only give them their first ball and that the needles are loaners, plus the notions were in my own personal bag… Ah well, at least it means they’re really taking to needlecrafts?

Though you know, sometimes it’s not so bad when someone steals your stuff… I got to go shopping for more!

Which means I caved and bought the Knit Picks Emergency keychain I’d wanted forever. It was only 3 bucks, but I couldn’t justify putting in an order of yarn I really don’t need in order to get the free shipping. BUT it turns out Knit-O-Matic carries Knit Picks in-store, and they had the keychain in stock :D

And then it was off to Mary Maxim to top off my toy box notions necessities.

The darning needles come with a case!

And let’s finish it off with a gratuitous shot of Desmond. I’m attending the OLA Conference this week and he apparently wants to come with me, having made himself quite comfortable in my conference bag.

Albeit I’m a little peeved with him at the moment. The little bugger has figured out that there is a pill inside the “pill pocket” treats he’s been gobbling up for a week, and has now decided to refuse to eat them. I tried inserting them in a piece of ham instead and he just ate around the pill. ARGH. Any suggestions? Feel free to comment.

Happy Holidays indeed

I love where I work. One of my lovely coworkers and fellow crafter offered to crochet a cat bed for Desmond. Voilà le résultat fabuleux!

Verdict = success

Last night the Knitters’ Drop-In program that I run at the library had their holiday party. I was pleasantly surprised to be given some lovely gifts and cards! I’m so touched :)

The most perfect mug ever

So, I was shopping and saw this mug and had to have it.Kitten (and BLACK like Desmond at that!) and yarn. ZOMG.

Plus, he really does like knitting ;)

Here they are together! …sort of. I was aiming for closer proximity, but this is the best I could get. It’s a little sad just how long I struggled to even get this oh-so-lovely shot of his butt…

I also grabbed this at the dollar store in the same trip. It’s a tin on a keychain that zips up. It came with candy in it, but my first thought was “omg I can keep my notions in it!” Everything in my life gets related to my yarn habit, it seems.

And in project news, mom’s driving mitts are coming along nicely. Slowly, but nicely. After I’m done the mate all I gotta do is put the buttons on the top and sew on the grips to the palm.

And I’ll end with some yarn porn. Swiss Mohair was on sale at Mary Maxim last week (I’d blame Lynn for talking me into buying it, but that would be a lie) and the Alpaca was from the 20-Somethings holiday party gift swap on Thursday :)

It’s been a good week

So, if there is some delay in future posts and knitting projects, this is why…

———- ————– ——— ———— ————- —————— —————— —————- ————— ———— ———– ——— ———- – —— – ———- ————- ————– —————- ———— ———— ————– ————– ————– ———— ————— ———— ————– ————– ———— ————- ————— ————— ————— ————– ———– ————– ————— -   – - His name is Desmond (after much deliberating), he’s 7 mos, and he’s the biggest suck I’ve ever encountered.

Unfortunately he also seems to have a taste for yarn already. We’ll have to work on that… – – – – –  – – – – – – ———– ————- ————– ———– ————- ————— – —— —— ————– —————- —————– —————– —————– —————– —————————- ————- ————— ————- —————— ————————

In other news, I caved and bought an interchangeable set.

And to help assuage guilt, I am attempting to sell my old needles. Tell your friends!

————– ——— – –   ———— ————– —— – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – ————- —————     ——————     ——————————    ————- —————– ————– ———— —————– ——————————– ————- ——– ——– —– ——— —— ——- ——– ——- ———- ———- ——— ——— – ——————– ——————— ————————- ——————————- — ———— – Speaking of old. Check out what my Grandma found and gave to me over the weekend! (I’m referring to the books, not my Grandma of course. Love you Grandma!)

Notice the 50 cent price tag!

Grandma said she remembers making a sweater with this bear motif on it for my uncle when he was a baby. I love that it’s still around.

The Granny Squares one is so awesomely 70s. Would be worthy of appearing in the Museum of Kitschy Stitches. Then again, they have been making a comeback in recent years, albeit in rebooted form.

——————- —————– ————- ———— ————— —————– —————- ———————- ——————- —————– ——— — – – — – – – — — – — – —— — —— ——– ———– ———- ——– —– —— – — – – – – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – –

One final sharing: here is the back cover ad from Granny Squares.

I especially love the line “it takes a very special yarn to make a sweater that can be handed down to every kid in the family.”

Not that, you know, it’s every younger child’s source of embarrassment or anything. Naw, they’ll love it!