December 18, 2012

A Festivus for the Rest of Us!

'Tis the season for holiday festivities! 

Yes, this is part of my holiday decor
Every year, Mr. Social and I host a Festivus party, and this year we added a little 2012/end of the world/zombieapocalypse spin to it. In addition to the traditional ugly sweaters, we encouraged our guests to come prepared for the zombie apocalypse. But before I show off the fabulous people who came to the party dressed in theme appropriate attire, let me show off some of the goodies I made!
The first batch of cookies I baked were Chocolate Cardamom Macadamia Nut Cookies. Mmmmmmm. I think I accidentally doubled the amount of chocolate chips in the recipe, probably because I bought them at the bulk store rather than in a package from the grocery store. So I eyeballed it to guess I got the right amount. You can never have too much chocolate, right? I think that if I make these again, I'll use the same amount of chocolate, again, but I'll add a little more cardamom and not toast the macadamia nuts before adding them to the batter. But all in all, they were nummy!
For the next batch of cookies, I tried out a recipe I found on Pinterest, Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies. These were touted as being like mint chocolate chip ice cream in a cookie, and well, it's true! If you're a lover of mint chocolate chip, I highly recommend these (myself, I'll only make them for parties as after one of these I've hit my max capacity for mint). The guests seemed to love these though, as there were only 6 left at the end of the night!
Now, just because it's the holidays it doesn't mean we should be overlooking birthdays! I also whipped up a birthday cake for my friend CC, who sadly couldn't make it to the Festivus festivities as she wasn't feeling well (I suspect a few too many wobbly-pops the night before...). But, as it turned out, it was another revelers birthday as well so the cake got to fulfill its destiny...
I had planned on making a bunch more stuff for the party, and got a little stressed out that I didn't have time for it. However, I really didn't need to make anything else, as the stuff that people brought with them to share had the table groaning under the weight!

To add a little incentive to guests to come wearing ugly sweaters/zombie gear/holiday appropriate attire, I offered up a prize for the best outfit. The winner was decided by popular vote, and I gotta say, it was hard to choose this year!
Ultimately, it was determined that J in her ugly sweater/super duper patterned skirt was the winner of the giant inappropriate stocking (handmade by me of course)
And the runner up got a kiss from me :)
Apparently I was walking around with lipstick on my face all night. Hooray for mistletoe!
All in all it was a fantastic evening, and I'm excited to see what next year's festivities hold! (provided the world doesn't come to an end on the 21st!)

December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday - December 12, 2012

Holy shit that was a LOT of custom knits! But, I'm finally done! And since Mr. Social and I are currently rearranging everything in our home, I can't sew. Which means my Thurlows remain unfinished *grumble grumble*

But you know what I can do when I have a few spare minutes? I can knit! And since I've been unselfishly knitting for weeks, it's time to knit something for me!

Can you guess what that is? No, it's not a Jayne hat.

Gorramit, this is the happiest sweater I have ever knit!

Why is this the happiest sweater I ever knit? Well, that's simple. It's the brightest sweater I ever knit. You see, I tend to wear a lot of black. And more black. And sometimes even grey. In an attempt to change up my wardrobe and throw myself way out of my comfort zone, I took a bunch of leftover yarn that was supposed to be for Jayne hats and decided to use it for a sweater.

Wow, my mirror is dirty
The pattern is a variation of Buttony Sweater by Katie Marcus. I've had my eye on this sweater for a while now but socks and hats always seemed to get in the way. But I decided I didn't ant a cardi, so instead I've turned it into a henley. I love that the button band is off to the side instead of down the centre. Makes it moer interesting, n'est-ce pas?

The body of this sweater went so fast. Like, I cranked it out in about 3 days fast. Sometimes I forget how fast things knit up in a bulky yarn go. I'm running dangerously low on the yellow yarn though, so I may need to get just a wee bit more to finish off the sleeves. I can't wait for this to be finished!

Check out more WIPs (and share your own!) with Tami's Amis

November 23, 2012

FO Friday - November 23, 2012

Wow, it's been a while since I've posted for FO Friday! But luckily I've been knitting like mad and have some stuff to show off! (No finished sewing sadly, no time for that until I finish up about 6 more hats...)

Anyhoo, I've recently whipped up a couple "boho" chunky cowl things. And in doing so, I used some of my very own handspun yarn :)

The first one is charcoal grey with some red/black dreamy soft merino I spun up. This thing is HUGE! In the pic it's actually folded over in half. Seriously ginormous. And warm! And snuggly.

The second is burgundy with some super fun yellow/red/black corespun yarn of my creation. This was actually my first ever corespun yarn. Again, this scarf is super snuggly, and this one, while not as wide as the first, is super long so it can be wrapped for additional warmth (it's wrapped twice in the picture)

Sadly, I won't be keeping either of these cowls as I've decided to put them both up in my shop. But the great news for you is, if you really dig these one of a kind cowls, they can be yours!

Have a great weekend lovelies!

November 19, 2012

Spinning for a BFF, The Final Spin!

Do you ever start doing something and gets distracted part way through? For me that was this blog post (I started it hours ago...)

Anyhoo, I finally have the BFF yarn! I got the right yardage and everything! And it's just so pretty!

For this spin, I again used 2 different fibres, this time around it was some awesome electric merino/silk from KnittyandColor, and some alpaca/merino/sparkle fluff from Hilltop Cloud fluff. This yarn is so amazingly soft, I'm so excited to use it!

 This time around, I've ended up with approx 390 yards, and while it's a lighter weight yarn than I was aiming for, I don't care! The colours, the fibres, the sparkle are just all perfect. AND, Pacasha loves it too! What more could I ask for?

As for the scarf itself, we've decided not to use the actual BFF pattern (p5tog? are you insane???) and we're just going to go with something simple instead. The yarns we've spun will be the focus of these scarves, but the sentiment is still there.

I haven't started the scarf yet as I've been madly knitting away on orders for my shop. In fact, all of my other crafty pursuits have fallen by the wayside as a result. The Thurlow's I've been working on? Completely stalled. The ugly sweater I want to knit for our upcoming Festivus party? Probably not going to happen. But that's not the end of the world, as I recently was given a sweater that will do for that, so that's one less thing to stress over.

Is anyone else starting to feel the Giftmas pressure with their crafting?

November 13, 2012

Spinning for a BFF, Take Three

I've spun up more yarn for the BFF Cowl, and this one is delicious!

This time around, I used fibres from YorkieSlave Artworks (seriously, check out her goods! her spindles and fibre are divine) and again some fibre from Hilltop Cloud. The finished product is a yarn chock full of luxury, containing merino, tussah silk, bamboo, firestar and angelina (ie. SPARKLE).

At 224 yards, this yarn is a lot closer to my goal of 360 yards, but alas it's not quite enough. But it's pretty and sparkly and has gorgeous drape, so I'm going to hang onto it for a something special later on. In the meantime this purple pretty will get loved and petted while hanging out in my stash.

Since I'm getting closer I hope the next one gets me to the yardage goal. My fibre stash is getting low!

November 7, 2012

Spinning for a BFF, Take Two

I have more yarn! And it's even prettier than the last!

For this yarn, I again used 2 different fibres, both from Hilltop Cloud. The colourways I used this time were Emerald City (British Shetland Wool, Merino, Tussah Silk, Black (Gold) Bamboo) and Punk (Merino Wool, Alpaca, Tussah Silk and Mulberry Silk with added sparkle).

LOVE how this yarn turned out! As usual, you can't see it in the pics, but there's a healthy amount of sparkle in it, and the pink just pops! I spun it up a little bit thick and thin again to add just a little more interest to the yarn (as if it needs any more).

But, just like the last time, I didn't end up with enough yardage! Still aiming for 360 yards, I ended up with 158. WTF?!?! That's less than the last spin! Granted, there was also less fibre for this spin, using 2 fibres at 100g each, instead of 110g/115g. C'est la vie. That just means I'll have to spin again!

Does anyone else out there have plans to knit up a special BFF cowl of their own?

November 6, 2012

Thurlow Sew-Along - Front and Back Pockets

Sewing time was limited last week, but I got myself all good and caught up over the weekend. I now have front and back pockets! And yes, I'm a little behind as the sew-along has moved on to the fly/zipper, but I won't have time to work on that for a couple days.

Front pocket progress, step-by-step
The fabric I'm using for this potentially wearable muslin is some random blue suiting I had in my stash. I was a teensy bit overzealous when cutting out the pieces, as I didn't realize I cut them out on the wrong side of the fabric. I suppose I could have just sewn the pants together backward so the right side of the fabric shows, but screw that, I'm too lazy to think about doing the fly backward. The two sides don't look all that different so I opted to leave it as is and live with my mistake. Also, this stuff kind of looks like denim in pictures. It's not denim. At all. If all goes well with this muslin, the next pair will be made with denim. Pinstriped denim :)

Back pocket progress, step-by-step
Lauren's tutorial on the double welt pockets made these a breeze to do! Although, I probably should have listened to her about he depth of the back pocket. It's so wee! It might hold my metro pass, but nothing else, so I'll be adjusting the back pockets on the next pair.

So that's where I'm at now. I should be able to squeeze out some sewing time later on this week. If not, I'll be getting things done over the weekend.

How's your progress been on your Thurlows?

November 5, 2012

Spinning for a BFF, Take One

Not long ago, my dear friend Pacasha, who I've known after meeting on Ravelry (her blog can be found here), asked my if I'd knit the BFF cowl with her. I was so honoured that she asked me! So of course, I jumped at the chance!

The BFF cowl is kind of like those best friend necklaces that were all the rage in the early 90s, where you kept one half and your BFF kept the other, except in this case, you knit one half and your BFF knits the other, and you each end up with a scarf! Pretty neat, huh?

Anyhoo, after much hemming and hawing over my ridiculous yarn stash, I decided I should spin up a yarn to use for these scarves, as it'd make it extra special and much more one of a kind.

I started with some handpainted Alpaca top from Spunky Eclectic (in the Diet Coke colourway) and some Merino/Seacell/Baby Camel spinning fibre from Hilltop Cloud (in the Scarlett colourway) and went to town. Since this scarf is going to be extra special, I was so glad I picked out some of the more luxurious fibres in my stash. I spun it up a little more than slightly thick and thin, as that always yields my favourite results, and ended up with gorgeous results.

It's crazy soft, and the colours are perfect, and despite the fact that it wasn't picked up in the picture, has the perfect amount of sparkle mixed in. The problem? I need at least 360 yards and ended up with 168.


Not enough yardage means I need to spin again! I'm diving back into the fibre stash and will report back with the results soon :)

November 2, 2012

FO Friday - November 2, 2012

With all the excitement of Hallowe'en behind us, it's time to look ahead to Giftmas. I'll admit, I'm woefully behind on my Giftmas gift knitting, but at least I've got a bit of a start on Giftmas decoration knitting.

As you well know, I love knitting mini things. This includes mini-socks.

Slytherin minis

These are just so perfect for decorating your holiday tree/garland/wreath with, and are a seriously super fast, instant gratification project, not to mention the wonders it does to decrease your stash of sock yarn leftovers!

November 1, 2012

From one holiday to another

Hallowe'en has come and gone, and I'm a little bummed. Why, you ask? Well, Hallowe'en is my favourite holiday of the year. It's made of awesome. Costumes? Check. Candy? Check. Reason for a party? Check. Adult beverage of your choice? Check. Check. Check. But this year I had to be sick and miss the whole thing. I was too sick to make my costume (sadface) and too sick to go anywhere to see other people's costumes (double sadface).

Since I don't want to leave you all without something costume-y made by me, here's one of my faves from a few years back:

Now that Hallowe'en is over, it's time to look ahead to the next big holiday. No, Americans, not Thanksgiving, the real one already happened :P. I'm talking about Festivus.

It has become tradition that every year Mr. Social and I host a Festivus party where we invite our nearest and dearest over for food, drink, appropriate holiday inspired horror movies, and to keep things festive, Ugly Sweaters1.

Being who I am, and putting near impossible deadlines on things, I like to kit my own ugly sweaters. This was the one from 2 years ago:

Less "ugly" and more "festively inappropriate"
This year I'd like to knit myself a new one. I've found a bunch of patterns that I'm not sure I can bring myself to knit:

Christmas Cardigan Sweater or Vest by Susan Chastain
Christmas Pullover also by Susan Chastain (she sure loves Christmas)
And a personal favourite:

12 Days of Christmas (S. W. A. K.) by Keely Stuever
As for what I'm actually considering, I've narrowed it down to two patterns:

The aptly named Jumper with raglan sleeves and reindeer pattern on yoke by DROPS design, or the less ugly and more charming Majestic Moose by Andi Satterlund. I feel like the reindeer yoke one is more appropriate for the ugly sweater party, however I'd probably get a lot more use out of the majestic moose one on account of it being kind of cute.

What do you think? Which should I make?

1 White people like Ugly Sweater parties dontchaknow

October 29, 2012

And it begins: The Thurlow Sew-Along!

Today's the big day, folks! The day we begin Lladybird's Thurlow Sew-Along!

I was supposed to whip up my muslin last week, but an unexpected evil cold completely incapacitated me, so I was unable to even stand long enough to cut out the pieces. So, I'll be sewing up a wearable muslin for the sew-along, and then I'll take the information I glean for this to make the trousers I had actually intended.

This is where I'm at so far, I have everything cut out and ready to go! First step will be front pockets. I will get to work on them tonight, provided the "frankenstorm" doesn't interfere with our power. I promise to keep you updated with my progress every step of the way :)

Happy stitching!

October 24, 2012

WIP Wednesday - October 24, 2012

Try to deny it all you want, but WINTER IS COMING.

The view from my friend D's place in Calgary (yesterday)
Thankfully, there's no snow in Toronto yet (it's not even Hallowe'en!). However, all week the temps have been going up and down, and it's generally pretty damn cold when I leave my office at the end of the day. Not cold enough for a winter coat just yet, but my hands have been freezing. Of course, this means it's time for some new mitts!

This is the first of two pairs I have planned. These will be fingerless mitts but super long, so if I get around to making a cape my arms will be covered. The next pair will be full on mittens (possibly flip top, I haven't decided yet) for the winter. I'm using yet another gorgeous yarn from my stash of Nerd Girl Yarns, this time it's the True Blood colourway on her gorgeous Heart You base. Dreamily soft merino! Mmmmmmm.

Do you have any projects planned for the colder temps?

Check out more WIPs at Tami's Amis

October 23, 2012

My current obsession... capes. And to be honest, I have no idea where this came from as even just a few weeks ago I thought they were tacky and impossible to pull off. But now I find myself lusting after them!

I imagine that they probably aren't the warmest option when it comes to cold weather outerwear (I probably wouldn't wear one in the winter), they also probably aren't the easiest thing to wear, but they are seriously cute, and that's what matters, right?

LOVE the zipper on this one!
So, thinking ahead to spring (unless I can settle on one soon) I think I need to make one of these. However, an initial pattern search with the "Big 4" comes up a little flat.

Seriously Vogue? Seriously?
There were a few that I found that were almost what I can see in my head, but I think I'm going to go searching some of the indie designers to see what I can find before I go with something almost right and tweak it.

Simplicity 2285 is close, but it needs a GIANT hood
What do you think of capes as outerwear? Impractical or awesome?

October 19, 2012

No-Sew Mojo

The past week has brought me a serious case of No-Sew Mojo, meaning I've been paralyzed with too many sewing ideas, and unable to start any. So instead, I've been knitting. Then along comes the realization that Hallowe'en is LESS THAN 2 WEEKS AWAY and I don't have a costume! I gotta say, that has driven the No-Sew Mojo away!
Sorry for the crap pic

Can anyone guess what I'm going to be?

What helps you banish your No-Sew Mojo?

October 18, 2012

100th Post!

OMGallifrey guys! It's my 100th post! AND it's my birthday! Happy birthday to me!!!

If you make/get me this cake I'll be your BFF forever
It seems like I'm all excited about my birthday, but in actual fact, I'm not. I'm not all afeerd of getting older or anything, I'm just not big on celebrating my own birthday (I love other people's birthdays). Or maybe I'm just tired. I've been exhausted all week and doing my best impression of Brittany S. Pierce with über-delicious Pumpkin Spice lattes.

So, what do I have planned for today? Well, I think that I will be working on my cherry dress tonight. You see, I made this dress a couple years ago and discovered that it no longer fits. It's too big! .:happy dance:. I'll be adjusting it so that I can hopefully wear it out this weekend when I go for birthday cocktails with friends. If I can't finish it in time, well, I have another me-made creation I can wear, which hopefully means I'll get some pics of it to share with y'all.

In the meantime, let's have a look at my Olde Timey Tractor dress. This dress is super comfy and it being made of cotton is perfect for warm summery weather, but I feel like quilting cotton and this pattern (Simplicity 2886) just weren't a good match.

This fabric is just a little too stiff for this dress. From the front it looks alright, but from the side the way it hangs makes me look... preggers...

Queen of the Castle!

I think if I made this dress again, I'd definitely use a drapier fabric, as well as modify the neckline a bit. I think that this one, on me anyway, is a little dowdy. Or maybe it was the fabric. Who knows? At any rate, this dress won't last too long in my wardrobe, despite it fitting perfectly when I made it, it's too big now! Hurray for weight loss and a perfect excuse to make shiny new dresses!

October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday - October 17, 2012

This week I'm working on another Wooly Wormhead pattern, this time it's Everglade. I've actually knit this pattern before, and was really pleased with the results.

I had tweaked the original so it would be super slouchy but i turns out that yellow is just not my colour. (I don't know what I was thinking). So, I'm making another one, but I'm unsure yet again of my colour choice...

I almost never wear green.... and I'm also wondering if the green is just too obvious with the leaf pattern.


Check out more WIPs at Tami's Amis