Friday, 30 April 2010

Weekend Armwarmers

I've been wearing arm warmers all week. (I'm wearing some right now as I type!) Some days I wear them just because arm warmers are cool, and other days because the weather's been cold.

What's up with that? Com'on. It's almost May!

But even if it wasn't cold, I would wear these arm warmers. In fact, I have worn these to work many times. They're by far my favourite of all the pairs I've made and bought! (And that's saying something.)

I saw the pattern here, and loved it. Who doesn't love Dr Horrible?
Unfortunately, I had to do a lot of modifications to make them as awesome as they are. The main problem I had was because of the yarn I chose (it was pretty stiff), so I do not blame the pattern. But here's what happened:

Doesn't it look cute? This is the result from the first time I knit this sucker up. Cute, cute, cute. (The first time I made them all the stripes were blue, but then I realized I wasn't going to have enough blue to do both, so I added the white stripes. Perfect. And stylish? Jury's still out on that one...)
So, they looked cute when sitting on a table, but not so much when they were on my arm.
Look here:

Look at all that extra yarn. Yuck! They didn't fit at all. They practically fell off.
So I frogged them. But first I used my markers to figure out how many stitches I would need where to make them fit (assuming no stretchiness). (See two pictures above.)
With that recorded, I set out and knit them again. And this time I didn't knit them straight, like the pattern suggests, but knit them on the round. So much faster for me. And I decreased/increased where needed. And VOILA! Added the flap and buttons (love the buttons too), and that's what was needed to make my favourite arm warmers.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010


Well... remember how yesterday I was mentioning that spring was here. It seems that I jumped the gun just a little bit. I got snowed on while out running this morning. Yup.

Although I was loving the spring weather, I can't be too upset. This just means I get to wear a scarf today.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Spring is... well... it's sprung

I love tulips. Really, I truly do. I don't know if it's because I'm half Dutch or because I grew up in Ottawa. Or both. Probably both. And because my parents have always had awesome tulips out in front and seeing them bloom meant that it was really and truly spring.

Well, as you can tell, spring has sprung. And sprung with a vengeance!! One day the tulips were just buds.
And two days later when I came back for another visit they were in full bloom!

I love tulips. All the different colours and sizes and breeds.
Know what else is blooming? This afghan. Yup. Another one. People just keep having kids! So I keep having to make them.

There are worse things that could happen.
I got the pattern here after seeing it on craftgawker. It's fairly simple and it looks pretty cute. It's a little slower than I would like. I love afghans that practically crochet themselves! That is not the case with this one. But thus far, I do like the result... so I can't complain. (Err... I can't complain too much.)

Oh. And I was on a roll with the flower photography, so I took a picture of this flowering tree/bush my parents have in the back yard too.
No one knows what it is. They look like apple blossoms, but the tree doesn't produce any fruit... So for now we are stumped by this tree.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Keeping Warm

Well, I have to say: it's nice to be back in Ottawa. Sure it's raining today. So, the high is 6C (42F). That just means that I get to wear woolens! I already wore this new scarf thing yesterday!

When my HTB-SIL* saw it she said, "I like. But it can't actually keep you warm."
Well, it only took 15 seconds of her wearing it to prove that it does.

It's a crazy simple pattern. (ravelry link) Just straight knitting with some bind off and cast on thrown in there to make the different loops. And although I was really only making it to use up this yarn that I had left over from other projects, I really like it. I might just wear it again today!
So that's one upside of moving. I totally get to wear knitted things more often. (Okay... Summers here are hot. I won't get to wear things then.)
Down side of moving? (Cause there is always a downside): Things that break in transit. Goodbye painted bowl. I loved you.

* HTB-SIL = Hopefully to be Sister-in-law. Love her!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010


I'm moving! I'm moving today in fact. Right now!
And in honor/honour of that, I've made two lists. One for the top 10 thing I'm going to miss about California (Please note that all of these 10 would be people/groups of people, so I left those off.) and one for the top 10 things I'm looking forward to about being back in Canada (Please note that this one does include people/groups of people... cause really - I'm moving to be closer to family. It is the number one reason).

So without further ado:

Top 10 thing I'm going to miss about California/Bay Area:
1. Trader Joe's. This one isn't listed too high. It will be the hard for me to lose TJs. I don't know just how I'll live without Ginger Granola. Or Gingerbread box cake. Or their frozen section. Or cheap eggs. Or the dried fruit! Or fresh salsa. TJs is on of those places that just makes me happy. TJ I will really, really miss you.
2. Public Library. This one also isn't too high on my list. Sure there are libraries (almost) everywhere you go, but I love my library. I will seriously miss the return system at the MVPL. Automatic returns people! And if you want a book, you request it, they buy it! I think of the 30+ books I've requested over the years, they've turned down my suggestion once. Once! I am going to miss my little library. It feels like home to me.
3. Weather. I am very spoiled being able to a) run outside all year long. b) swim outside all year long. (I love swimming outside!) c) wear sandals 10 months of the year. d) sleep with my window open for 8+ months of the year. (I've LOVED that!)
4. Mountains. I love mountains. I'm really, really, really going to miss seeing the mountains. I'm even going to miss the hills. They are just sooo nice. They make me so happy.
5. Camping. Yeah. There's camping in Ontario, but it lacks #4. Mountains. And it has something we don't really have here. Mosquitoes. And Ontario has them in spades.
6. Events. There are sooo many more concerts and events to do here. I've said to people before - "If you want to see someone perform, it's not a question of if they will come to the area, it's when." Pretty much whomever you want to see, will be performing somewhere in the area sometime. And I'm going to miss the Sharks too. I know, I know. I'm going back to Canada. Sorry. I'm a Sharks fan people. Funny that I was never into hockey growing up, but now I love it. No matter where I go, I think I'll stay a sharks fan.
7. Tivo. If you have a tivo, 'nough said. I'm going to have to watch commercials again? I'm not going to have 5 episodes of Jeopardy! at my fingertips at all time? Whatever shall I do?
8. Free shipping. I'm really going to miss all of the internet shopping you can do in the US.
9. Advance greens. Sure, they make traffic lights take longer, but man advance greens sure make driving easier. You don't have to gauge whether or not you'll be able to get through the intersection in time. You know! You have the right of way. Oh! And on the topic of driving I'll include diagonal parking spaces. I love diagonal parking spaces. I understand why they totally wouldn't work in winter snowy parking lots. I will miss them!
10. Mexican Food. Yum. And you know that caucasian mexican food is nothing like Mexican Mexican food.

Top 10 things I'm looking forward to about Canada
1. Family day. (i.e. Saturday.) In University, my brother and I had family day - a day where we'd get together and hang out. (I know. Aren't we so Mayberry? Love it.) We'd bike to the farmer's market. Or bake pies. Or watch movies/tv. Or anything, but together. That tradition has continued with the rest of the family, but I haven't been around for 6 years to participate. So sad. I am so looking forward to being a sister/daughter/aunt/BFF in person.
2. UWEELRS in person. (i.e. Book club) This can now happen with a mug of tea in hand rather than over email. (Which has also been great! Don't get me wrong...)
3. Weather! I miss rain storms. I miss thunder and lightning. We get the wimpiest storms here!! I'm actually sort of looking forward to having seasons. I miss the crispness there is in the autumn air. I love nice long summer nights. And winter things! Like skating outside. And making snowmen. And, although I've never done it much in the past I think I could really get into cross country skiing and snowshoeing for good forms of exercise.
4. Camping. More specifically, canoe trips. I've missed these! I would love, love, love to go on a canoe trip this coming summer. Any takers?? Seriously - call me.
5. Gardening! Fresh produce from the backyard!! It's like my own CSA in the backyard! (Watch out fam. I'm going to be baking you zillions of rhubarb cakes and pies in just a few months!)
6. Getting the accent back! I was informed while in NZ that I've lost my Canadian accent. I still say 'eh?' but have lost some of the homeland twang. I have to get it back! (I almost find it funny when I can hear my parent's accent. But in a way I miss it.)
7. Similarly, but not exactly the same - Not having to translate things in my head. Okay. So American English and Canadian English aren't so different. But soon I won't have to think about whether it's honour or honor. Or check or cheque. Or if I'm supposed to say College friends or University friends.
8. Again on the same note: the metric system!! I like miles, but I've never really gotten very good at Fahrenheit. I get it, but it takes me awhile. It will be nice to not have to think about it!
9. Bulk Food. I don't know why there are no bulk food stores here. Is it odd that I'm looking forward to being able to buy spices, oatmeal, flour, chocolate and anything else you can think of in bulk? I hope it's not weird, cause I am looking forward to it.
10. A new job. Maybe this should be higher on the list... I am looking forward to a new job. ... When I finally find one. Eek. But I need a change in life, and I think a new job will help there. So I hope I get a good one!

So, wish me luck on my move. I am quite nervous about it. And only time will tell if this is the right decision. But I feel it is.
Thank you California for 6 fabulous years. I'll be back to visit.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

So long. Farewell. Auf Weidersehen

The other day my roomy called me over to look at a few things that she found on etsy that she liked. Man. There's some great stuff on etsy! Well, one of the things she liked was a newsboys hat. She told me that she loved it so much that she was going to buy it, to which I said: "Hells no. I'm going to make it for you!!"
Honestly, does she not see me knitting/crocheting every day?? Does she have so little faith in my knitting ability? Does she not know that I *love* making things for people?
The hardest part was to decide which pattern to make! In the end I used this one and made this:

I don't love the result, but the roomy seems to like it well enough. And I'm glad! Because it makes for a great farewell gift.

Yup. That's right. I'm moving. Only 3 days until I have to be packed and out of the apartment and on a plane back to the cold white north! I can't believe it. It's scary and exciting and scary! But hopefully, mostly exciting. (There will be a whole post about this soon...)

But back to the hat. I've actually made three now. One of my other friends saw it and said she liked it, so it was a no-brainer to make another one. They are so fast to crochet up! It's a fun, simple pattern, and I wanted to do a better job on the 2nd one. Not sure if I accomplished that... but I hope I did.

Plus. These days I'm loving things with button.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Look! New fingerless mittens!There's just something about fingerless mittens that I love!

I made these mittens based off of the Juniper Mittens pattern (from this blog). And Wow! What a fast knit! I cast on as the ferry was leaving port in Picton, and by the time we arrived in Wellington? I was done one! (I noticed halfway through the ferry ride that I had a nice old lady watching me knit and I wanted to say something to her... but then didn't. I couldn't tell if she thought if she thought it was cool or weird that I was knitting.)
I finished the 2nd during random moments here and there in the car and suddenly I had a pair of fingerless mittens.
Even better - styles in NZ are so different that I almost felt normal wearing my arm warmers there while walking through Auckland. Here you don't see them very often, and I sometimes feel self conscious wearing them. There - I think they made me fit in. :)

The one thing I don't love about this pattern is the lack of a gusset. It's just a straight tube. The fake ribbing does mean that it's stretchy, but I really do prefer tighter mittens.