March 30, 2012

Nerdy Nail Polish!

OMB I'm so FREAKING HAPPY I Managed to score some nail polish in Nerd Lacquer's last update. In total, I got 6 different colours. Today, I used "I Think You Call Me...Sexy". I'M IN LOVE

I don't know if nail polish falls under the coupons of Fashion on the Ration (I should check on that). If it does, I guess it's a good thing I ordered these before I started!

I'll show off the other 5 colours as I use them :)

March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday - March 28, 2012

Recently, I've been working on so many things that I haven't been in love with, so I'm really glad to be finally knitting this sweater. I don't know if it's the super bright and cheerful yarn, or the tininess of it, but it's just so happy making!

This lovely yarn is Twisty String by Younger Yarn. All her yarns are super soft and squishy, and I'm a super addict (I have a crazy amount of her stuff in my stash).

This wee sweater is just zooming along and I should be done in no time!

March 27, 2012

Challenge Accepted: Fashion on the Ration

I don't know if I've been watching too much Project Runway (I recently started to re-watch it all from the beginning), or reading too many sewing blogs, but I've been itching to start some serious sewing again, which is a good thing, as my wardrobe is in need of a major overhaul.

There are a number of great challenges out there, the Wardrobe Re-Fashion challenge, the year of not buying new clothes, and the one I find the most inspiring, the Fashion on the Ration challenge. Because this last one inspires me most, I will be shamelessly copying Cargo Cult Craft and embarking on my own Fashion on the Ration adventure.

For the next year, I will use the 66 clothing “coupons” allowed to buy new fabric and clothing as needed. I will be using fabric from my stash as much as possible, and will upcycle clothing where I can. My mantra will be "Make Do and Mend".

Ideally, I'd like to create a completely wearable wardrobe, which means I need to make sure everything in it fits me properly, and is appropriate for my figure. I also want to make sure it reflects my own personal sense of style and who I am. It should include pieces I can wear for work, for fun days/nights out, and things that straddle both worlds.

To keep myself accountable, I will regularly post updates on my progress, and document my successes, failures, and any obstacles I encounter. I may lose my mind somewhere along the way, but that will just provide more entertainment for you, the reader.

So, here I go, my journey begins now, March 27, 2012 and will carry on through March 26, 2013, or until I have a nervous breakdown, whichever happens first...

Ready? Set? Sew!

Coupons Used: 0 - Coupons Remaining: 66

Projects Completed:
Nothing Yet

Items Purchsed:
Nothing Yet

March 26, 2012

Why are people such jerks?

Yesterday was supposed to be just another Sunday, full of plans to enjoy my "lazy Sunday" and do a bunch of sewing (which I was really looking forward to). Except, I woke to find that some asshat decided they really wanted my gym bag and smashed the window of my car to get it.

Apparently, my gym bag wasn't worth it after all. I guess they opened it up to find a pair of runners, pants and a t-shirt, and decided none of these things were of value, and tossed my bag about 30 feet away. At least I got it back, I guess. Except now I'm out a few hundred dollars to get the window fixed. Thanks, jerks, I appreciate you liberating me of the money.

So, yesterday's urge to sew was killed and I spent the day squishing this instead, as the colour helped to cheer me up.

March 25, 2012

Oops, I'm a little behind

It appears I've missed a couple updates. I'm just going to go ahead and pretend it's because my life is super fabulous, exciting, and terribly busy lately...

St. Patrick's Day has come and gone, and while we didn't have our trip to Boston as we'd have liked (BOO!), we did have fun. My best friend's birthday is St. Patrick's Day, so we found a place for a bunch of us to gather, that surprisingly wasn't insanely busy (like most places are in Toronto on St. Pats).

Despite it not being as busy as we expected, it was very loud. Talking over the noise of the crowd and the music caused me to lose my voice for a few days, which was entertaining in itself.

As far as crafting goes, I've been all over the place. I've had days where I needed to work on ALL THE THINGS, and days where I want to do nothing at all. I think it's all part of the HPKCHC end of term burnout. Rather than getting myself worked up over the things I haven't finished, I've been reassessing my crafting goals and needs (summer is coming and new clothes must be made!). In doing so, I think I've come up with a new, and totally doable plan of action, at least for the month of April. Oh, and I spent a lot of time re-vamping my blog. Looks pretty, n'est-ce pas?

What have I finished lately? Well, let me show you:

It's not as much as I'd normally have done over a 2 week period, but that's because of both the crafting ADD (the WIP pile is insane) and the days where I just didn't feel like doing anything.

The plan for this week? Hopefully I'll be turning the yarn shown below into a cute baby sweater.

Have a great week!

March 23, 2012

FO Friday - March 23, 2012

This week I have not one, but two FO's to show off! They are both hats, knit from the same pattern (Rikke by Sarah Young). Both hats were knit using the delicious Smooshy Sheep yarn from Alina Shea Creations. If I could, I would make everything in this yarn!

Please pardon the darkness of the pics, I didn't have a chance to take these out for proper daylight "glamour shots" yet.

March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday - March 21, 2012

Last week I had pondered finishing the WIP showcased (which I did) and knitting another one in time for St. Patrick's Day (which was this past Saturday). Well, I didn't start the hat, and I'm glad, as I wouldn't have had time to finish it due to some custom orders I had received, and it was way too warm to wear a hat (which is odd for the middle of March).

This week's WIP is actually a SIP (spin in progress). This is yarn three of four that I need to finish and submit by midnight on Saturday for the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup on Ravelry. I'm cutting it very close as I slacked on this and left myself very little time to get the final two done.

The yarn I'm working on right now takes longer to ply than a normal yarn as it is a coil yarn, and the orifice1 on my spinning wheel is too small to fit some of the larger/chunkier coils through it, so I have to ply it on one of my drop spindles. The one I chose to use for this project is a gorgeous Yorkieslave Artworks spindle, which is appropriate as the batt I spun for this yarn is also a Yorkieslave Artworks batt.2

It's slow going, but I am seriously hoping I can get it finished tonight, so it can have it's bath and dry, and I can get the fibre for the next yarn prepped (and maybe even get started on it).

1. Yes, I giggle every time I say/write/read "orifice". I'm comfortable with my immaturity.
2. I guess we can safely say I'm a fan of her work :)

The Dementors Are Breeding

It's been crazy foggy in the mornings here all week. This reminded me of the Harry Potter books, when Fudge says that the Dementors are breeding and thats what's causing the cold misty weather.

I wanted to get the exact quote, so I googled "the Dementors are breeding" and the search turned up all kinds of hits of people musing about whether or not Dementors have sex, and if Dementors have the right parts to have sex with... and I won't say anymore as it went downhill from there.

The internet is a wonderful place, isn't it?

Anyhoo, this is what it looked like by where I live this morning.

March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday - March 14, 2012

Another Wednesday, another WIP. Seems the WIP pile is getting bigger and bigger these days. Today, I present what will eventually be a squishy and soft hat.

The colour of the yarn was hard to capture with the lighting in my office, but it's a super rich, burnt orange with flecks of black throughout. The yarn was dyed by my friend Shayla of Alina Shea Creations on her Smooshy Sheep base. This yarn is seriously the best DK weight yarn I have ever used. I finished a hat a few days ago with the same base, and loved it so much I had to start another. I can't recommend it enough!

I'm hoping to have this hat done by tomorrow, so I can knit another in kelly green to wear for St. Patrick's Day. Maybe I'm being a little too ambitious...

March 13, 2012

Dude, where's my neighbourhood? (alternate title: Gentrification is Bullshit)

It's finally happening. The Silver Snail is moving out of it's Queen West digs. We knew this day would come, as news broke last April of the building being sold, but it's still incredibly sad. The Queen West strip has finally lost the last of it's je ne sais quoi, with it's transformation into an open air mall pretty well complete. Mr. Social and I were trying to figure out how many of the unique shops we both know and love are left. The sad news? We could only come up with three.

This has sparked an interesting conversation between Mr. Social and I regarding how counter-culture, or the lack thereof, has made a huge impact on our little corner of the world.

The late 1940s-1960s had the Beat Poets/Beatniks hanging out in (the now long gone) Gerrard Street Village

Circa 1966. Gerrard Street no longer looks like this

The 1960s had the Hippies smoking marijuana and talking of political and social change in Yorkville (esssentially the exact opposite of what the upscale neighbourhood is today)

Circa 1968. A far cry from the ultra expensive shopping district and celebrity hangout it is today

The 1950s-1975 had Rock & Roll clubs on Yonge Street, which gave way to strip joints and shopping malls (The Zanzibar opened in 1960 and is still operating today)

Okay, so I think this pic is from the 1980s but it has SAM THE CHINESE FOOD MAN!!!! Oh, and the Zanzibar

The late 1970s-early 1980s had a vibrant local punk scene spring up in Toronto, with bands playing at venues like Crash'N'Burn (now an office building) and The Horseshoe

At the 1978 punk rock show at the Horseshoe Tavern that came to be known as the Last Pogo, the crowd gathers under the marquee after being kicked out by police

The late 1970s-1980s had Queen West transformed by local students, including those of nearby OCAD, and the area developed an active music scene which was one of the dominant centres of Canadian music in its era

515 Queen Street West over the years

The Big Bop, before and after (not including current reno)

Which brings us to my Queen West, the Queen West of the 1990s, which looked something like this:

Looking back on the Queen West of the 1990s, I can see how it was shaped by the counter-culture of the time. In the early 90s, you could really see Grunge and Skateboarding culture. The mid-90s still kept the Skate culture, but you could also see the Indie Rock, new wave of Punk Rock and Rave cultures come through. All through the 1990s this was home to the Goths. All this in this one little stretch. It was home to indie shops carrying unique items, great little restaurants and a variety of venues for live music.

So what changed?

Well, as far as I can guess, the lack of any kind of counter-culture right now is why this once vibrant stretch has become a haven for corporations, and why there is no one area in Toronto that people are flocking to. The same neighborhoods that have been "in transition" or "up and coming" for years still carry the same status.

What was once counter-culture has devolved into various "scenes", which no longer have neighborhoods to call their home. The scenes have moved into venues scattered throughout the city, which are also disappearing one by one as "gentrification" continues and corporations take over. I mean, look at the Big Bop, what started in 1876 as a Masonic Lodge with ground level shops, it became the Holiday Tavern in 1948 and then the Big Bop in 1984. What was once a haven for music and counter-culture of all kinds, closed it's doors in early 2010, and as of January 2012, is a Crate & Barrel.


March 9, 2012

FO Friday - March 9, 2012

I've been spinning for a little over a year now, and for a while I've had a particular yarn I spun in my stash with no idea of what to do with it. Until a few days ago when I came up with the idea for this:

It's a Polymorphic piece that can be worn as a hat or a dread tube (just hang your dreads out the end instead of pulling it shut with the drawstring), or as a nice warm cowl:

I really enjoy the multi-functionality of this piece, as well as the way it shows off the handspun yarn. Not bad for 4 evenings worth of work :)

March 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday - March 7, 2012

I have more than a few WIPs on the go right now. For example, I'm still working on the Diamond Gansey Socks for Mr. Social, as well as the Gryffindor Scarf from last week. But I figured you wouldn't want to see the same things again.

This week's WIP is another Baana. I have made 2 of these before. One for myself, (which I loved dearly and, of course, lost somewhere) and one for Mr. Social.

To be honest, this is not an exciting knit. Linen stitch is incredibly boring. What keeps bringing me back to this pattern is how well it works with variegated yarn. I love to see how this pattern breaks up or creates pooling. It's just so different every time. The yarn I'm using is Nerd Girl Yarns Come Hither, which is a gorgeous Merino/Nylon/Cashmere blend. If you haven't had the chance to use Nerd Girl Yarns stuff yet, I highly recommend you get some right now. Go on, do it. You know you want to.

March 6, 2012

More Nerdiness

What has two thumbs, more Dr. Who fabric, and big plans? This girl!

March 5, 2012

Spinning, grown-up things, and not so grown-up things

So, it seems that not only has my crafting ADD struck again, but it's spread to non-crafty pursuits as well. This week, I had planned on finishing up some projects that have been sticking around for a while, but I could not resist the siren song of my spinning wheel. So much for sewing and knitting this week!

I received a really interesting fibre batt in the mail that I was really curious to see how it would spin up. The colours are not ones I'd normally choose for myself, but I find that more and more spinning has been taking me out of my colour comfort zone. I'm so glad that I took the chance with this batt because I'm totally in love with the results!

Next up, I set to work on some beautiful fibre I bought ages ago from Hilltop Cloud. A gorgeous merino/alpaca/sparkle blend, it was just asking to be made into yarn.

The next fibre I initially picked up to spin for a handspun swap. I had the perfect idea in mind, until I discovered my partner was not a fan of art yarns. So I had to rethink what to spin for her and was left with a beautiful batt for me. I spun up the batt as evenly as I could and plied it with some white merino that was spun mostly even, but with super thick sections. I plied these two together and ended up with super pretty and fluffy art yarn! I love how it looks like clouds, or marshmallow fluff, or something.

I'm sure you're asking yourself why I spin when I have crafting ADD. It's simple, really. Spinning is as close to an instant gratification project as it gets. A simple, single yarn takes just a few hours to spin up, then it just needs its bath and to dry. A two ply can be started and finished the same day if I do it on the weekend. With knitting, unless I'm making a simple hat or something, a project can take anywhere from a few days to months. This week was all about the instant-grat stuff for me, so spinning was the logical choice.

In non crafting related news, I decided one night that as a (mostly) responsible adult, I tend to make healthy, grown-up decisions when it comes to food. So of course, I decided this means that once in a while I get to be ridiculous and have brownies for dinner. Mr. Social wholeheartedly supported this decision. I got to bake (first time in a long time) and to make brownies for the first time ever. This was a delicious decision on my part.

I forgot to take pictures, but they looked something like this....but with pecans

Of course, I had to compensate for such a childish act by spending the next day doing the following grown up things:

- 6 hours/4 loads of laundry
- making a giant pot of chili to make sure we had grab and go lunches in the freezer for the week
- doing dishes
- other assorted cleaning

Basically, I re-learned that sometimes, being a grown-up is awesome, other times, it sucks. But at least I have pretty yarn.

March 1, 2012


So, I was hanging out on Ravelry1, catching up on some posts and browsing people's projects, when I was pointed in the direction of something amazing...

A user by the name of "flintknits" crocheted an Amigurumi RuPaul Doll2.

pictures taken straight from flintknit's project page

pictures taken straight from flintknit's project page

pictures taken straight from flintknit's project page

This doll is just so sassy! It's too perfect!

I think I'm in love ♥

1. For those of you not in the know, Ravelry is an online community for knitters, crocheters, spinners, weavers, etc

2. Here is a link to her Ravelry project page

Monthly Planning - March 2012

Making a plan for the month really worked out well in February, so I'm having another go at it for March. Here goes nothing:

1) Finish Diamond Gansey socks for Mr. Social (you read that right, I'm still not finished these)
2) Dr. Who messenger bag
3) Dr. Who mini-satchel
4) Godzilla messenger bag
5) iPad covers
6) Hippie Hat
7) KAL socks
8) start planning sewing of summer clothing
9) green baby sweater for shop
10) Pink/white/grey shawl/scarf thing for shop

And since I did so well at it last month: