22 February 2010

The Year of the Elephant

Another year, another birthday. This year I went out for a family dinner at an Indian place up on St-Laurent. It was super filling and super yummy. I ate a whole bunch of naan due to it's high deliciousness content. After dinner we hung out at my apartment and had a DQ ice cream cake—a tradition in my family. I haven't had an ice cream cake for many (too many) years so was super happy that they found one. So so good. And check out the awesome My Little Pony on top (yes I'm really a 5 year old girl inside stuck in the 80s).

One of my Christmas presents from my parents was an elephant cream and sugar set. So for my birthday they bought me the matching tea pot. Here's the herd in it's natural habitat. They already look super comfortable don't they? What I really love about this tea set, besides the elephants, is that piece is a slightly different kind of elephant. The tea pot is clearly very Babar, the creamer is all psychedelic Dumbo elephant and the sugar is, well like a real elephant.

Continuing the theme of fabric gifts from Christmas, I got a lovely array of fat quarters from Mr. Peabody and Ginette featuring the new fabrics they've got in recently. I super love all of them. The graphic designer in me especially loves the grid and dashed lined fabrics. I see some embroidery in my future.

And finally a copy of Piecework. Their historical knitting issue as you can see from the cover. I'm super stoked about it. My favourite Interweave articles are the historical knitting ones. They always focus on the coolest stuff.

The best part about it being my birthday is I get to host the leftover cake. I've been having a slice here and there since last week. Yum.

9 February 2010

Flopsy Charity Bunny

Every year where I work has a fundraising auction raising money for Centraide/United Way. People bring in movies/cds and clothes to sell. But the more interesting items are services by coworkers, such as making your morning coffee for a month, or an afternoon of golf lessons. For a couple years now, I've volunteered my services as a knitter in the form of a smallish custom knit item like an accessory.

The first year there was quite a fight over it and it became kind of messy. In the end it went to my coworker Maria who asked me to knit a scarf for her daughter. So I made the Jelly Bean Scarf

I was on holiday when the auction happened this year. But it turned out that Maria won my knitting again. And again she asked for something for her daughter but left it up to me what I wanted to make. I had originally planned on making bunny slippers and had settled on the Fluffy Bunny Slippers from Stitch 'n' Bitch Crochet: the Happy Hooker but I had issues with the pattern, adapting it for a smaller size and couldn't really find accurate measurements by shoe size.

Then it occurred to me. I could knit a bunny toy instead of slippers. I cast on friday night and by Saturday morning had all the pieces knit and was putting them together using the batting leftover from my Hawaiian Appliqué pillow kit from the class I took in Maui. I had enough for all parts but one leg and so had to pause until I could get some more from Mr. Peabody. I put together all the pieces I could while waiting for the extra supplies.

I also borrowed some green yarn from him to make the dress. The dress ended up being knit two and a half times. The first time, I knit it as written in the pattern. The resulting dress had almost an inch of overlap in the back. I contemplated just going with it and making it work but it was just too bulky and the rest of the bunny turned out so perfect. So I took it all out and cast on a second time with 15 less stitches in the body.

I tried it on the bunny when I got to the bib and found it was still a bit loose. But instead of taking out the entire dress and reknitting it again, I chose to take it back to the decrease round and worked 2 stitches in between decreases instead of 6 as stated in the pattern. I'm actually quite happy with this small design change as it makes the dress a little poofier.

This is only my second time knitting a toy. I made a dog way back when and stuffed it with scrappy red acrylic yarn. I tried my best to get everything on straight. The head is a little bit cockeyed and one ear is a little floppier than the other. But I figure it gives the bunny more character. The best part is the yarn I used, Tongue River Sock Yarn, really has a great feel. Like it's actual animal fibre, which to be fair, it is.

Thus far the bunny has been very well received by my coworker. Currently she has her on display on her desk waiting for an appropriate time to give it to her. I'm excited to find out what her daughter thinks and ends up naming her though Maria has said she wants to convince her to name the rabbit after me so that she'll remember who made it for her. I'm flattered, but I think toy names are too important to be influenced.

8 February 2010

Les courtepointistes

I think it's probably time that I mention how Mr. Peabody and I have caught the quilt bug. Maybe I said it before, but we've REALLY got it. And we've even started our own little quilting bee. Our name is les courtepointistes (courtepointe is quilting in French and is some kind of play on a musical movement or something).

So far it's me, Mr. Peabody and occasionally one of his students, Louise. We've got our communal projects. We've had several "meetings." We even spent an evening watching many episodes of Fons & Porter: Love of Quilting. And now Mr. Peabody has been giving posting access here, so I won't be the only one rambling.

Welcome Mr. Peabody!

Oh and that's just some pretty fabric that I really love and have no idea what it's called. If you recognise it, please let me know. I'd love to have more of it.

4 February 2010

Baby girls are more fun to knit for

A few years ago, it seemed like something was in the water and everyone got pregnant. Maybe it's more like the people in my life hit that age where the clock starts ticking. But in the face of so many babies to knit for I decided to get started and cast on.

Having come across the super cute Little sister's dress by Tora Frøseth and having a suitably modern girly ball of Jaeger Trinity in my stash, I decided to cast on.

Five days later I had a basically finished tiny garment. I only had one ball of Trinity, so ended up making the dress a tad shorter than written. Then it turned out that all the babies to be turned out to be boys and I lost the motivation to finish off the tiny dress.

And so it sat for almost 2 years until it was baby time again. Friends of friends are expecting a baby girl in February. Everything's planned down to the name. Even her nick name has been decided. She'll be known as bébé chat (baby cat).

I took my almost finished baby dress out of the basket and to Effiloché to pick out some buttons. It took a while to find the perfect ones. In the end I had to give up the dream of having the super cute flower buttons.

So here's a dress for a bébé chat:

Pattern: Little sister's dress by Tora Frøseth
Materials: 1 skein Jaeger Trinity colour 431
Modifications: Reduced the length due to lack of yarn
Start Date: August 10, 2008
End Date: August 15, 2008
Buttons and ends woven: January 30, 2010

The buttons that I ended up with are just perfect.

I have no flower button envy. And there will be more baby girls in the world.