Knotty PineLook at the pretty hat, look at the pretty yarn, nice work huh?  It is knitted from MadTosh Cerise colour which I find very complimentary to my skin.  I do like this pattern, I do, and the finish at the top is unique and everything, but I’m really worried it makes me into a cone head.  You can’t quite see it here, but the whole shape of the hat is a triangle, and I’m not sure I like it.  To finish it originally I washed it, and dried it for 20 minutes in the dryer (superwash yarn) and went to work.  Came home, Mr. J had generously decided to do laundry out of the blue, and had thrown said laundry on top of hat (you don’t check the dryer first, of course not) and then this hat got another hour of drying.  I then re-soaked the hat, pulled it out to shape again, and didn’t put it in the dryer this time.  Therefore it is bigger than it’s post dryer state.  I am wearing it around, and seeing if it will grow on me.  I am planning to use this pattern to make matching cowl, which will not be pointy.

Olympic Pullover FrontWe are having our usually Olympic sport pig-out, and loving it.  Figure skating continues today, and I noticed snowboard cross is starting, we all love the cross events.  So exciting!  Fia was busy dancing away to the ice dancers short routine, Mr. J continued his excellent twizzle judging, and I loved all the twenties inspired outfits.  I am cheering for the Canadians, but also the Russian pair, I like them they have the passion of Russian pairs! Bringing the drama back!  I am almost to the neckline of the front, and I am glad I decided to continue the cable all the way down the front, it is very nice I think!  I was really sad for Patrick Chan, I wanted to hug him and knit him a scarf, he was so sad.

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FO: Insulate! Hat for Mr. J

February 11, 2014

Insulate!!Mr. J has a lovely big hat with fake fur and ear flaps for when it is super, super cold, but his old hat he was wearing when it was only semi-cold was very funny looking and old.  I finally made him a replacement, this wonderful Insulate! Dalek pattern.  We are big Dr. Who fans, so this went over well, Fia grabs the “Dalek” hat and wears it around sometimes.  This was leftover Cascade 128 from the Viking hat I made for Hallowe’en, a very soft choice for hats.  And like the designer says in her pattern notes, at first glance this just looks like a nice geometric pattern.  I remembered how I taught myself to knit stranded like this with one hand, which made this a fast knit.  I’m itching for some more colour work now.

And We’re Off!

February 9, 2014

Cocoon sweater We’re only two days into the Olympics, and I have cast on and almost finished the back of my sweater!  This is the creatively named “3/4 Sleeve Pullover” from the Vogue Knitting Holiday Issue.  The back is very boring, but the front and arms have a lovely cable lace pattern.  I had hoped to get a lighter colour, but this is what the yarn store had in enough quantity.  It is a lovely blue/grey, the mohair in the Rowan Cocoon is silvery and it is lovely to work with.  I have another sweater made with a wool/mohair blend and it is holding up well.  So far our family has been watching some of the Opening Ceremonies, figure skating (of course), women’s hocky, moguls (which Fia LOVED), some sliding sports, long track speed skating.  It is wonderful, we love these winter sports.

Backyard BogganThis winter has been very hard on this winter and snow loving girl, I normally love snow and love winter.  Until February that is.  But this year I was so sick of it in December, and the main reason is the horrible driving conditions this year.  For most of December I was driving to work in blizzards, through multiple feet of snow, ice, accidents all around every day, and extra time to get to work, an hour extra some days.  All that time driving instead of working cuts into my paycheck, plus the stress on me.  I was exhausted at the end of December, and ready for a break.  Every day it seemed I would wake up to fresh snowstorms, and curse the snow.  Until we decided to build a big toboggan hill in the backyard for Fia’s birthday party.  We had so much snow I figured we could get a pretty good hill going, which we did, it has to be over ten feet down to the ground.  We actually dug down to the ground to make it go as low as possible, and then put a big curve into the bottom so that you swoosh around back the way you came.  The far side of the hill has steps cut into so that kids can climb up easily.  This was a huge hit with Fia, who loves to go down face first, which means she is a future skeleton racer!  We were so worried everything would melt too much before her party, that Mr. J and I were hoping for snow instead of dreading it!  The day of the party it was relatively warm, and the kids had a blast.  My nieces who are 8 and 11 have even been over twice to play on the hill.

Fia smilingWe even enjoyed it last weekend when it was -15 oC out!

3 year old cakeFia even says that “3” is her number instead of running around insisting she is six, but I’m still not sure she knows what that means.  For her birthday party we had a backyard toboggan party, which I will talk more about later.  I was very proud of my snowman cake, which is why it is pictured at left!  Isn’t he cute?  He was also an excuse to buy Oreo cookies, which I love so much and therefore never buy.  Fia ate more of the jujubes instead of eating the cake, but she ate more later.  I think this may be the last year I can invite our friends over for her party, next year I may have to have a “friends from school” party which will be interesting.  The most stressful party of her party was the grab bags, what to put in them, how many to buy, age appropriate toys or not, and I wanted the items to be useful and not totally throw away.  I found some felt bags, a light up ball, a car, and paints for each kid.

3 little piggies and their MummyI also managed to finish the pig family!  They only got eyes and noses this weekend, before then they were the poor blind pig family.  They are a hit, and no wonder they are so soft and cuddly.  I am using them as pillows at night when I put Fia to sleep, and I like to cuddle with the Mummy pig as well.  Fia kept finding pigs in my knitting bag, she is still looking in my bags asking if there are more pigs.  The pig pattern is from Debbie Bliss Toys book, and the yarn is Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille, which is impossible to find in Calgary.  Next time I see it in a store I’m going to stock up for sure, I love making toys out of it!