Sunday, March 13, 2011


"Surprises are foolish things. The pleasure is not enhanced, and the inconvenience is often considerable." - Mr. Knightly

Sometimes Mr. Knightly can be such a fuddy-duddy, He is THE stick in the mud,  the wet blanket thrust upon Emma. I was never a lover of their relationship (not at least until I saw the new movie version of Emma wherein they totally aged him down) He always kind of creeped me out when he said he had held her as a baby... um ewww! I was always more of a fun flirty Frank Churchill fan.

Anyways contrary to Mr. Knightly I think surprises are awesome and I love to plan them (though often I get too excited and spill my guts before it actually happens) My sister-in-law just had a baby boy and I thought I would attempt to make her a football baby cocoon, I have seen a few on ravelry and think they are SO cute, I couldn't find a free pattern online so I made this one up. All the footballs I had seen were crocheted so that worried me a little, I am still learning how to crochet let alone tweak, change and make up patterns. I think it took me 10 tries before I had the bottom figured out, but it was a pleasant surprise that it all worked out in the end. A surprise for me and a surprise for her DOUBLE WHAMMY! Suck on that Mr. Knightly!

It took every ounce of restraint in me not to call my sister-in-law and ask the exact size and measurements of her baby or if the package had arrived yet in the mail. I did my best to guess, trying the outfit on a baby doll of my kids that I thought was about the size of a newborn, and it worked out fairly well. She sent me a picture and the hat looked a little big but that just means he will be able to wear it longer so yeah, I totally planned it that way.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Pikachu DS Cozy

On a whim I thought I would try to make a simple DS cozy for my Brother on his birthday, he ended up liking it more than the actual present I bought him. The pattern is basic and can be adapted with almost any design you like on the top 

any worsted weight scrap yarn (not much is needed)
additional yarn for picture detail
size 5mm (US8) circular needles
Velcro strips
red felt
plastic doll eyes (I bought mine at Michaels)
yarn needle

Cast on 18 st using the turkish cast on method

Knit 41 rows in stockinette stitch

Bind off 18 stitches

Continue knitting in stockinette stitch for 15 more rows

Bind off the rest.

Sew on velcro strips along the inside edge of the flap and the outside of the cozy by the first cast off edge

fasten on the eyes and using fabric glue stick on the cheek circles

Stitch on the design on the top

Weave in all ends.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

novelty knitting

Completely unrelated intro but I was watching the latest version (2007) of Mansfield Park yesterday and it is soo good. Way better than the weird 1999 version with Frances O'Connor. Especially the ending when Edmund realizes he loves Fanny, sigh. It was so well acted I got carried away in the moment and ended up being late picking up my kids from school, opps!

Anyways, I've been thinking lately that knitted gifts are a tricky thing. I can spend hours and hours of time making a gorgeous knitted masterpiece but if the recipient doen't know much about knitting it can be a bit underappreciated. My friend recently made the cutest baby berry hat and when it didn't fit the baby they said "ooh it doesn't fit can you make another one?".....uuuh yeeeah ok it will only take her another 7 hours~! On the flip side I can take two hours make a quick simple kitschy gift and it will be adored and fawned over by everyone in the room. 

As a last minute idea I made a little Pikachu ninetendo DS cozy for my brother, just a pattern I threw together in two hours and he LOVED IT! Way more than the REAL gift that I had bought him. Everyone was so impressed and telling me I should make them to sell and I was like are you kidding me! THIS you are impressed with but you just shrug off the million hour fan and feather blanket I made for my mom, whatever!!

I think when making a gift for someone I'm going to have to take more factors into account. Who exactly is this gift for and will they notice and or appreciate all the time and effort put into making it. Are they worthy of a complicated intricate project or will a simple quickie little thing be loved just as much. These are the questions....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stress Knitting

"There is nothing like employment, active indispensable employment, for relieving sorrow." - from Mansfield Park

I'm stressed.

When I am stressed I bake, I am a stress-baker. I won't get into the philosphy of why, but I'm guessing it's probably something about being in a situation where I am in control. I know in 40 min I can mix this and this and that, throw it in the oven and it will work out. It's not about the eating, although that is an added bonus, it about the process, it somehow relieves my stress.

My grand master plan is to change from being a stress-baker to a stress-knitter.

Right now I knit for fun, stuff for myself, gifts for others, sometimes it causes me stress but that is usually from mistakes made due to inattention. So how does one go about changing their coping habits?I'm not sure if it can be done, but I'm going to try! Everytime I get the urge to tie on my apron I grab my needles and work on my latest scarf creation. I thought a scarf would be a good choice because they take forever to make and they are usually just repetitive knitting, hopefully giving me time to get lost in the stitches and forget all my worries. I will be in control, knowing if I knit this, slip that and pass that one over it will all work out.

I love that quote from Mansfield park, Jane Austen is so wise. I'm thinking and slightly hoping it will be equally as true to say that there is nothing like employment, active indispensable employment, for relieving stress.

I'll let you know how it goes...

Monday, February 14, 2011


I've been too busy to blog lately, busy because I was working on a knitting commission!

Isn't that so cool! HAH!

A friend of mine asked if I could make a couple of pairs of legwarmers for her daughter and I felt so flattered that she thought I was a skilled enough knitter to want to pay me to make something.

It was a lot of work but I am very happy with how they turned out and I think she is too. I made two pairs of legwarmers and I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of one pair :)

This is a picture of the fancier one, it's a spiral lace pattern, so cute! Too cute in fact, now my two daughters want me to make pairs for them too.

Next a quickie project for my brothers upcoming birthday and then it's all about ME!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a Devastating Blow

I will not say that your mulberry-trees are dead, but I am afraid they are not alive.

- Jane Austen's Letters (1811-05-31)

The same is to be said for my shawl/scarf. My long beautiful shawl scarf that took hours and hours to make. I've mentioned it before, the shawl that had the unfortunate incident of losing it's colour when I soaked it before wet-blocking . Well last night I attempted to dye it, hoping to save it by putting a little colour back into it's heart. Not so.

It's too fresh, I don't think I can talk about it yet.

I will not say that it is dead, but I am afraid it is not, nor ever will be alive.

excuse me while I go cry now.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Doggie Legwarmers

These are so adorable and really easy to make. In the picture Roger's legwarmers are all made the same size, but he didn't like the back legwarmers, I think they went up too high. I changed the pattern here to reflect that.

Are you ready for the easiest pattern ever?

Using Red Heart Kids Multi yarn in blue/green and
Size 5mm Needles (US 8)

Cast on 16

knit 38 rows in stockingnette stitch

(28 rows for back legs)

tie in loose ends

sew on velcro dots at the top, middle and bottom of the legwarmers

BOOM! Your done! So simple, quick and great to keep little doggies legs warm in winter.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Doggie Knits

"The next time Pug has a litter you shall have a puppy," she tells her niece Fanny. Lady Bertram can think of no higher mark of her regard. - Mansfield Park

As can I for those who receive an offer of knitted gifts for their puppies from me. I made a few things for my sister-in-laws pup for Christmas and they were a great labour of love. Seriously. The hoodie I made was from the most ridiculous pattern ever, it made hardly any sense and I often had to resort to making it up as I go.

Nonetheless I somehow managed to get it into a hoodie shape, only to be slightly disappointed that by that time (2 1/2 months later) Roger had grown just enough to make it fit quite snug in the chest.

Whatever! In my mind it fits him perfectly and he wears it everyday.

I also made him little legwarmers with matching gloves for my sister-in-law, those were both fun to make, particularly after the horror of the hoodie. All things considered, knitting for dogs is a delightful diversion from the regular and I LIKE IT!

I'll post up the pattern for the legwarmers after this and in the very near future I may attempt to create my own doggie hoodie pattern, one that actually makes sense.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Refreshing indeed

"Miss Eliza Bennet, let me persuade you to follow my example, and take a turn about the room. I assure you it is very refreshing after sitting so long in one attitude."  - Pride and Prejudice

Now most of the things Miss Caroline Bingley say are not quote-worthy, unless of course you are looking for a laugh. She is a bit ridiculous, but nonetheless a genious character created by Miss Jane Austen, for Miss Caroline Bingley is so real. The things she does and says reminds me so much of a few girls I went to high school with. They were SO annoying, I remember thinking I just want to walk by with some scissors, 'accidentally' slip and cut out a chunk of their oh so perfect hair. Anyways the quote above made by Miss Caroline Bingley is so very true, I have just thoroughly experienced it for myself.

All of November and Decemeber were spent devoted to knitting mittens as Christmas gifts. Now don't get me wrong, I still LOVE making mittens, and I was happy with how they all turned out. They were very much admired and appreciated on Christmas morning, making all my late night knitting marathons completely worth it.

However last night I started on a new project (a hat for myself) in the which I needed to learn a new stitch pattern called 'Herringbone' and let me tell you.... it  WAS  refreshing!! I was having so much fun, figuring it out and then clicking along once I got the hang of it. I think I will be making a scarf with the same pattern as well to match my hat. FUN! FUN! FUN!

Learning new stitches, challenging yourself to try something you haven't before is quite refreshing! It's good for the brain and the soul, I look forward to this upcoming new year and the things I will see and learn in it.

my pile of Christmas mittens :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

a Very Jane Austen Christmas

I have to admit a guilty pleasure.... I love Christmas shows! and not just the awesome ones like A Muppet Christmas Carol, White Christmas and Elf. I mean I love all the them, every ridiculous made-for-tv movie/christmas special there is. I have watched tons of low-budget, poorly acted and absurdly storeylined movies, and loved them ALL! With the singular exception of  'Bad Santa' starring Billy Bob Thorton which I know I would despise for a myriad of reasons.

Last night I watched  'Santa Baby' and 'Santa Baby 2' starring Jenny McCarthy in the which she is Santa Claus' daughter. In the first movie she has to take over Christmas after Santa has a heart attack, throwing her back into her old life and eventually causing her to choose her prom king high school sweetheart boyfriend over her selfish all buisness minded city boyfriend, and the second movie Santa goes on a mid-life crisis and abandons Christmas leaving 'Mary' to save it again, with the help of her current and high school boyfriend (who is played by a different less-hot guy)  in the end from a disgruntled elf who is posing as an assistant to help Santa but ultimately trying to take over the holiday!   


Which leads me to my next question....

Why couldn't Jane Austen have written a Christmas Story of some sort?! I mean really, how hard could it have been!!

Or my follow-up question why hasn't anyone else made a Christmas movie set in the same time period at least?!? I am sure I would enjoy it just as much. When it comes to Christmas movies I am not to picky, as evidenced by my viewing choices last night, and evidenced more by the fact that it was not the first time I had seen 'Santa Baby' so I went on watching it last night in full knowledge of what I was about to see.

I'm not sure if there are many people who read my blog with random posts and rants, but if you have happened to come across it and are reading this and know of a Jane Austen Period type Christmas movie, please tell me about it! It would make my Christmas!!

and also if you are similarly entertained you will know which ridiculous Christmas movie this classic quote comes from:


Friday, December 3, 2010

Candy Cane Ornament

I saw an ornament like this and figured out a pattern to make a similar one. It's pretty basic and simple, but those are the best ones to make right?! They go so fast your tree will be bedazzled with candy canes in no time.

What you need:

Size 4mm (US 6) double pointed needles
Red DK Yarn
White DK Yarn
Pipcleaners or other bendable wire (in a pinch I used a coat hanger and it worked but was very hard to bend into a nice shape)

Cast on six stitches with the red yarn

Make a 7 inch i-cord and tie off

Cast on six stitches with the white yarn

Make a 9 inch i-cord and tie off

Stick a pipecleaner or other bendy wire inside the i-cords

Stitch them together at the bottom

Wrap the white i-cord around the red one and stitch together the ends

Bend into the shape of a candy cane

Attach a thread through the top to make a loop so you can hang it on the tree

Sing 'O Chirstnas Tree' very loudly as you hang it on the tree.

The candy cane on the left has pipe cleaners inside to help keep it's shape and the one on the right has pieces from a coat hanger.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the loaves and the fishes

By some small miracle I had enough yarn to finish the mittens!

I was seriously worried and you can see by the small amount that was left I had good reason to be.

To celebrate I made a few knit candycane ornaments to hang on the tree and give to a few friends. They were so fun to make, super quick  and simple. A perfect project to fit in between all the Christmas gift knitting I have planned.  Once I take a picture I will post up the pattern on how to make them.

Winter is just the best, I am loving all these dark cold nights that I have to cuddle up on my couch with a hot chocolate, a good movie and my yarn and needles.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


"The happiness of Miss Smith was quite equal to her intentions. Miss Woodhouse was so great a personage in Highbury, that the prospect of the introduction had given as much panic as pleasure; but the humble, grateful little girl went off with highly gratified feelings, delighted with the affability with which Miss Woodhouse had treated her all the evening, and actually shaken hands with her at last!"

That quote is a little long I know but I dont have time to search for a better one. I am experiencing the same feelings as Miss Harriet Smith was at that moment in the story. 

PLEASURE  because I am almost finished knitting a pair of mittens for a Christmas present


PANIC because I am looking at the tiny amount of yarn that I have left and am worried it is not enough to finish the job!


The pattern said one skein of yarn would be enough, and I only used a teeny tiny bit of it earlier to make some doggie legwarmers for my sister-in-law's miniature pincher, but seriously could the pattern be that accurate!!!!!

Fingers crossed it's not.....

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Mittens are the best thing ever to knit!!!! Seriously I want to make everyone I know mittens, if you are expecting a Christmas gift from me this year prepare yourself... there is a good chance it will be mittens!

Whoever thought knitting people scarves was a good idea?!?

Here are some reasons why knitting mittens is the bomb diggity:

1)  you can finish a really cute pair in ONE WEEK!!! Which is very important to me since it seems like every scarf I knit ends up being a ridiculously epic long project.

2) They are far more useful than a scarf, think about it. If you are freezing in your car in the morning are you more concerned about wrapping a scarf around your neck or putting mittens on so you can touch your steering wheel without you fingers turning into popsicles.

3) Mittens look really professional, making them is sweet because people think you put in SO much time and effort to make them when really it was WAY less time that it would have taken to make anything else.

4) They also look way harder to make than they really are, thereby making you look like a super skilled knitter.

5)  You can sing the song "Three little kittens, lost their mittens..." while you are knitting!

MITTENS ROCK, GO MAKE SOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

and if you want a super easy and beautiful pattern I recommend the basic cabled mittens pattern that a friend of mine found on ravlery.

Sunday, November 21, 2010


The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance." - Pride and Predjudice

I visited a craft fair at a local elementary school this past weekend to check out the fun Christmas crafts and goodies they were showing. I also planned to check out the tables selling knitting wares, to see if my knitting club could hold our own in the craft fair circuit. What I found was quite suprizing to me, there were three tables selling knit/crocheted stuff and they were all rather...blah. That is not to say they weren't nice, everything was carefully made with nice yarns and such... but it was all rather plain. Not one scarf I saw had any pattern to it, it was all just straight knitting. I was thoroughly inspired by their lack of inspiration!

It seemed like most stuff was knit in a span of one month, all basic and straight, with larger gauged yarn that knits up quicker. Probably they only decided to do the craft fair a month or two before it was to happen, so they went for quantity instead of originality.

I am quite confident the twisted stitchers (my knitting club) will be able to do really well next winter, especially since we have a game plan and will start at the begining of the year, making a few cute things every month that we would sell at our table. Who knows, maybe we will start our own little etsy shop too! and we can make signs and pass out business cards with our shop site on them, this is going to be fun! A perfect project to start the new year with!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

crochet shmochet

Victory is MINE! 

I have conquered the crocheted flower baby hat that was an utter and absolute fail when I tried it the first time. Having my Hello Kitty project finished sucessfully gave me new hope. I tried this hat again and a strange thing happened, all the parts that were terribly confusing to me were now simple as cake. (I refuse to use the saying 'simple as pie'... pies are really hard for me to make!)

All I needed was a few weeks immersed in the language of crochet and now it all makes sense.

Also I have a link to a video that you HAVE to watch, it is for Jane Austen's Fight Club and it's AWESOME!

and here is my beauty, I made for my friends new little girl:

Saturday, October 30, 2010

busy as a bee

"One man's ways may be as good as another's, but we all like our own best."  from Persuasion

Halloween is upon us and for the first time ever my little girls don't want to be princesses or fairys! When I think back to our trips to the grocery store when they would wear huge princess dresses because I couldn't get them to agree to normal clothes, it amazes me this day has actually come. This year one of my daughters wanted to be a cat and the other a bumblebee.

I wanted to try and piece together their costumes with stuff we had instead of buying them and was happy with how it worked out. For the Bee I had her wear a black t-shirt and tights with and yellow and black striped skirt and a flower pinned onto her shirt. Then to make it really bee-y I knit her yellow and black armwarmers and legwarmers and they totally MADE the costume. I am so happy with how it all turned out.  I made them on 6mm needles too so they went really fast which is a good thing when you have a ton of planned Christmas presents to get to.

There were tons of patterns online for legwarmers but they all called for different gauged yarn than the black and yellow yarn I already had, so I just made a pattern up myself. Isn't it funny how often that happens? We always think we know best, or at least like think they way we do it would be better.

I will post the pattern I made up later but I doubt anyone will ever use it. Nevertheless I will put it up, so you can read it and think to yourself "Why did she do it that way? My way is better I think I will do it like this..."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Quickie Dishcloths

"Nobody is healthy in London, nobody can be."   from Emma

this quote just makes me laugh.

Maybe they would be more healthy if they used some cute butterfly dishcloths. I whipped a few of these up for a friend of mine who was getting married this past summer. They knit up so fast and easy and turned out really great.

It kind of makes me wish I used cotton dishcloths because they are all so easy to make and there are soo many cute patterns, but seriously cotton dishcloths?! Who uses them! They just end up stinking and I gag thinking about all the microbes and germs stuck in them, and how often do you have to wash them? doesn't it seem wrong to have to wash a washcloth? Who even uses any kind of cloth now that they have invented the scrubber thingy that holds the soap in the handle? that I think about it, it was kind of the worst wedding gift ever, I am the worst! Whatever at least they were fun to knit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hello Kitty

I feel I have let enough time pass for you to mourn the loss of my knitting masterpiece with me.

It's time to move on.

I intend to do that with a splattering of blog posts, I will write every other day until the pain if it all is but a distant memory.

Today's special is HELLO KITTY!

I love Hello Kitty! What girl doesn't? and when I am asked where does she come from, is it a movie? a show? I respond "it does not matter. It's Hello Kitty. She is awesome."

As you may or may not know I have two little girls and they share my adoration for Hello Kitty, so much so that we are currently repainting and renovating their  bedroom from a Princesses Room to a Hello Kitty room.

To continue on with my adventures in crocheting I thought I would try to make a hello kitty purse! I found the pattern on ravelry and it was fairly simple, a lot of single crochets with a few doubles in the mix, a perfect pattern for me to practise the stitches and become more comfortable in the crocheting universe.

It only took me four tries at making the face shape until I had two that were actually the same size and would line up properly to make the purse (the other two have become strange looking potholders) and it all went along fairly easily, with no real big problems or confusions.

I was happy and proud of my first real crocheting accomplishment, but not as happy as my girls were who shrieked and screamed and danced around the room hugging and kissing it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Knitting Depression

There has been a lack of posting on my blog lately and I will tell you why. It's because I've been depressed about my knitting. I finally finished my epic shawl/scarf and promptly ruined it in a matter of hours. Well it was somewhat ruined already, but I had come to terms with the earlier mishap and was happy with it until I further destroyed it more. I can't even put any effort to making this a witty or exciting blog post to read, I've decided I just need to post it all out and then I can get over it.

The first mishap was realized after I was an hour into my second ball of yarn. You will never guess what when wrong because it is something I am intense and obsessive about, something you would never imagine me screwing up because I preach about it all the time. Can you guess, it's not gauge, but close, the dye lots. Perhaps I had aneurysm while I was in the yarn shop, I don't know why, all I know is that as I was painfully knitting along I found that one ball of yarn was slightly darker than the other. BOOOO!!!!!  I was not about to pull out all the work I had just done, and there was no way the store would have any of the same dye lot left so I soildered on. I cut the yarn our halfway, knit my next ball of yarn and threw the darker one in again to make a sort of thick stripe pattern, not very attractive but I could do nothing else. I was not going to LOVE the look of my shawl, but I would like it, the pattern was still really cool and I loved the shawl/scarf versatility of it.

HOURS and HOURS of knitting passed, through night and day and in and out of weeks. Finally I finished it, so proud of my work, I had grown to love it after all the time we had spent together. I was so excited to block it out to straighten out the pattern and make it beautiful. I filled my sink with mild water and gently submerged my scarf into the water. "Whoa!" I thought the water is so blue! So astonished was I that I took a picture of it. All was thought well until I pulled my precious scarf out of the sink. Understanding dawning I realized why the water was so blue, it was all the dye from my scarf just floating away, except for the yarn from the different dye lot, it was as if the colour was leaving the first yarn and soaking into the other. The slightly different coloured stripes morphed into a super dark stripe next to a hideous washed out bleached lighter version. Just gross.

I couldn't even look at it or my knitting needles for days.

There is no happy ending to this sad little tale, I bought some fabric dye and will attempt to put some colour back into my scarf but I have not the littlest bit of hope that it can be saved.