Emptying out the basket

It’s that time of year when I start thinking about emptying out the WIP basket and finishing things off.

With Christmas break quickly approaching my mind has begun to wonder about possible new projects to cast on but some things must get finished before that can happen.

I currently have 6 active WIP’s on the go with about a 3 week time frame to finish. I’m NOT go to finish them all lets face it and I’m not turning this into a race, we all know Christmas is stressful enough so I’m going to pick away at my WIP’s and hope to get something accomplished before I pull any new yarns out. (I do have some exciting projects planned though but I’ll save that for another post)

Number one on the list is a new WIP that I just started last weekend. My mum asked if I could knit my Nanny a shawl for her birthday which falls right after christmas. She thought something similar to the Miss Dashwood shawl I knit for her at the beginning of the year would be nice. I am not a huge fan of knitting the same pattern twice, although I definitely would if it came down to it. Mum and I looked at many shawl patterns and she just kept coming back to Paulina P’s designs, mum knows what she likes.

She chose Miss Bennett by Paulina Popiolek another that was on my list to knit.This design calls for fingering but my version will be slightly larger with a sport/dk and a larger needle.

Speaking of mum knowing what she likes…. I took her to my LYS to pick out some yarn for said shawl. She headed straight for the Tosh, Pashmina at that!! Dang mum’s got expensive yarn taste! We walked away with two skeins of Madelinetosh Pashmina in the Escoteric colourway.

A beauty huh?

I was rather intimidated before starting my last Paulina P design but I think I’ve got the hang of her style now and hopefully it will go off without a hitch!

I think by the time I’m finished with the knitting it will be very hard to part with…..

Rainbow Art Party

Today was my sweet girls 5th birthday party!

Where has the time gone??

This is the second year we have had a birthday party with T’s friends and I’d have to say this one was A1!

T wanted to do a rainbow party and it was pretty easy for me to add art into the equation. Any excuse for children to create and I am there!

I made a bday wreath for the door.  I got the idea from my friend Lacey who made one several years ago for her oldest. I’m pretty sure she used smaller balloons and a TON more than I did but this mama was in the “get’er done” mode. So it’s just balloons pinned to a12″ straw wreath which you can see due to the angle I took the picture. I added a few curly pipe cleaners that I wound around a pencil and bob’s your uncle an instant party wreath. *Now I just need to work on buying a wreath hanger instead of tying it up with washi tape :)  I am resourceful if nothing else!

I bought a bulk pack of canvas from Michaels so each girl had a 12×12 canvas to paint and take home. Instead of making a picture I gave the girls strips of thin painters tape. They choose where to put the tape before the painting began.

Once they had finished painting and BEFORE the paint was dry we peeled the painters tape off and created a really cool mosaic art piece.

We also made stretchy bracelets with rainbow beads and beads with letters so the girls could spell out their names.

We had a slight problem making the knots stay put in the stretch elastic so here is a little help if you plan on doing this. Knotting Stretchy Bracelet 

The last activity was a treasure hunt in the backyard. These are always such fun and it’s definitely a highlight of a homemade birthday. Watching them run around pondering and searching for each clue is so much fun.

T opted for sandwiches, fruit and veggie for her party, so much better than pizza that they only take a few bites out of. They ate their fill of fruit and veggies, watermelon being the favourite, and then it was on to the cake. * I love chatting with kids while they eat. There are always some cute stories shared, opinions, likes and dislikes.*

Lastly lets talk about the cake. The cake is probably my favourite part of the birthday party. I’m definitely not the best birthday cake maker in the world but the kids think my shoddy creations are great *right now anyway* so I’m just going with it.

This year I wanted something pretty simple. I made a white cake and separated the batter into several bowls, each bowl being a different colour of the rainbow.

I baked the cake a week ahead of time and froze it until the day before. *Definitely key to my sanity come party day*

 I frosted it with white frosting, added stripes of smarties and volia.

Now would you like to hear the story of the smarties?? *groan* T and I picked up a bag of smarties at the store the week before her party. I had originally thought skittles but T discovered that smarties had ALL the colours of the rainbow plus pink and the skittles did not. We came home with smarties but when I was decorating the cake the morning of I ran out. Some stripes weren’t completed so I ask Moose to go to the store and pick up a bag of smarties.

Rule #1 NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specfic!

I told him it was a BAG of smarties and they were on the top shelf in the candy aisle.

Rule #2 Even though you state EXACTLY where the product will be NEVER ask a man to go to the store for something specific!

He comes home, 15 mins to spare with a bag of other food and a clear plastic bag of BULK smarties lookalikes……

*cue steam rolling out of my ears*

They weren’t even the same colours!!!!

RULE # 3 No matter how specific or simple your instructions may be just go to the store and get it YOURSELF!

So the cake wasn’t what I had planned but I made it work as best I could considering what I had to work with.

The kids didn’t seem to notice and it still got eaten. There was one girl that picked all the smarties off and didn’t eat them….what is that? If I could eat smarties I definitely wouldn’t be leaving them on my plate!

Quite possibly my best party brain wave was asking NOT to bring presents. Instead we asked that each child bring a few dollars so that T could pick something from the World Vision catalogue for a family. So much better than being unloaded with tons of toys when the girl just wanted to have fun with her friends. She was excited to be able to purchase a piglet, 2 hens and a rooster!

We love you birthday girl!

So happy to be able to bring your rainbow party ideas to life but I won’t mind at all if you want to stay 5 for an extra year, you are growing oh so fast!!

PARTY!!! Wait what?? Party’s over?? Oh man!!

~ Molly~

Miss Dashwood

At the end of last year my mum asked me if I could make her a shawl. Mum NEVER asks me to knit her anything so of course I immediately said yes.

She wanted a shawl to wear with a new dress for a special occasion *last week* one that she could pin around her shoulders but also one that she could use as a layering piece over her jacket too.

I knew just what I wanted to knit her but I showed her pictures of a few different options so she could decide. She ended up picking the shawl I wanted to knit her in the first place, SCORE!

Pattern: Miss Dashwood by Paulina Popiolek

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino DK in Vermillion

Mods: My only mod was to go up a needle size on the body because it was coming out too dense for my liking. I also used a dk weight instead of sport so this might explain why it was dense. I wanted this shawl to be big!

My Rav Project page

Paulina P is an epic shawl designer in my opinion! I have long admired her designs and vowed to one day knit one of them. She currently has 53 patterns on Ravelry, a must see really! I was really glad when mum chose Miss Dashwood, my favourite of all her designs so far.

I must admit when I first read through the pattern I was completely intimidated and started to question whether I had the skills to knit this shawl at all. The border was knit first and then the body of the shawl is added after the fact and worked up. An interesting technique and one that I actually enjoyed once I got through the miles of border.

When you broke down the sections and knit bit by bit it was really actually rather simple yet creates a stunning shawl that looks very intricate.

The yarn was a hard decision. My mum’s dress had lots of colours in it so when she chose the redish pink for the shawl the hunt was on. I asked a couple of indie dyers if they could dye something for me and scoured LYS’s. It wasn’t until I actually took the dress to the store that I realised I had something in my stash that would work perfectly I just needed any extra skein. I bought the yarn in my stash at  Knit East back in September not knowing what I wanted to make with it and thankfully finding one more skein at my LYS  completed  the shawl.The colour of the shawl has a bit more of a pinkish tinge than red. It is shown more accurately in the outdoor shots when I am wearing it.

Since working with so much of this yarn on one project I have come to terms with the fact that although I love Madtosh’s colours I do not enjoy working with the single ply. I find it splits easily and doesn’t necessarily suck up the dye through the entire skein. Lesson learned! I will use dk twist in the future like I did for this shawl.

One Popiolek shawl under my belt with many more to choose from.

I wonder what will be next!

Demolition

Things have been a tad busy up on the Ridge.

For the last week and a half I’ve been busy doing something  I really enjoy……

Ripping and Tearing!

We’ve started phase one of renovations on our house. It will probably take all summer to complete working at it when we can. I’m very excited and can’t wait to see the end result but its going to be slow going as we piece things together.

The first thing that needed to get done was to tear things down.

This week I removed two small decks and a porch off the front of the house by myself.

 *Ice cream breaks included*

Thankfully Moose was home to help rip off the side decks because they were stubborn, and we wanted to save as much wood as we could for a future project.

*The Tiny Carpenter at work*

Everything needs to be off and cleared out by Monday morning because we have a rented toy coming that’s going to get some major play time this week.

I’ll be checking in when I can to show you the progress. I still have WIP’s and FO’s to share too so hopefully I’ll be able to find some time to throw those in as well.

Splitstone

Pattern: Splitstone by Alicia Plummer

Yarn: Cascade 220 in colourway 9456

My Rav Project Page

I finished my test knit for Alicia and I couldn’t be happier with this.

I’ve been hoarding this colour of Cascade for something special. It’s such a beautiful blue with a bit of a purple undertone. I assumed it would eventually become something for T but when I saw Alicia’s vest I just knew it would have to be a Splitstone for me.

One thing I enjoy so much about Alicia’s patterns is that I never have to lengthen ANYTHING. She has the long torso down to a science!

We took these pictures during a snowmobiling trip through the woods. We had a little bonfire on the trail and toasted marshmallows before I striped off the snow pants to get a couple of quick shots.

Splitstone has already been getting lots of wear but I’m HOPING I will be able to put it away for a few months to enjoy some warmer weather….

The snowfall this morning doesn’t leave me with much hope though.

Camping- Fall Brook Falls

Hey everyone its me Boss!

Last month mum and dad picked up this wicked trailer to go camping in and I think its totally awesome!

In fact I think its sooo great that I try my best to keep Moolee out of it….. *she’s the boss though so it doesn’t always work out in my favour.*

So this is our camper, a 1970 Prowler!!

We took it out for our second trip *mum will tell you about the 1st trip some other time* last weekend and it was so much fun.

We headed out on a short hike to Fall Brook Falls, home to the province’s largest waterfall.

It was a slippery trek getting to the Falls with all those beautiful leaves on the path,

but I led the way and of course had no problems.

The pictures don’t seem like much but….

when Uncle Neill got up close you could really see how huge it was!

I of course had to go inspect it myself!

I let T tag along too.

I was glad Dad’s Aunt and Uncle could come with us.

They are pretty cool and I like hanging out with them.

I went for a nice dip after all that hiking…

Molly the garden gnome of course stayed with Dad!

Such a beautiful part of the province that I can’t wait to sniff  I mean discover more.

More camping adventure’s coming up…

Preschool

Today my not quite 3 year old started Preschool.

Although sometimes shy T takes after Moose by having a very laid back attitude and had no problem marching right up to those doors like she’d done it every day for the last year.

A stop for a quick picture and then it was down to business…..

She made a bee line for the cars of course!

I’m excited to see her grow and make new friends with all the adventures she will be having at Preschool this year!

Farrah

Finally!!

Farrah is finished !

Pattern: Farrah from Berroco Glint #306

Yarn: Berroco Glint Colour 2901 Goddess 7 balls

Mods: no mods other than to add one row to the neckline with a couple of decreases so it wasn’t so wide.

The only issue I had with the pattern, and I wouldn’t really say its an issue but I used 2 balls less than what was set for mum’s size. It doesn’t seem like a lot but its almost $20 difference in the size of the sweater.

I have six balls left over from the kit that I plan on selling too if anyone is interested. You could definitely squeak out a 32 with that.

 This was a simple soothing knit with lots of stockinette and some yo’s to keep your attention.

If I hadn’t have gotten caught up in all those test knits it definitely would have been done long ago!

Such a simple sweater that makes a great statement.

I think I’d fancy this one in brown tweed for myself.

It suits mum perfectly and I think she’s already thinking about what she wants me to knit for her for Winter.

It’s pay back for all those hand knits she knit me growing up and I don’t mind a bit!

I wanted to share a bit with you on how this sweater was knit.

Here’s a look at it blocking before I started seaming.

You begin by casting on at the bottom edge of the back. The back is then knit, increasing for the sleeves when you get to the top.

The sleeves are then knit leaving an opening for the neck and decreased back down to finish off the front.

It’s the first time I’ve knit a garment like this and it was pretty interesting.

 and with the resident blocker!

Ice Cream

We took T to the park recently for some play time.

She enjoyed the swings,

the slides,

but most of all…

we enjoyed some much needed time with Daddy!

 On the way home we stopped at our favourite Ice Cream Shop!

Moose and I have been frequent visitors to Sully’s for years.

In fact way back when we first met and were dating we always went to Sully’s.

It’s set up in the old train station in town, run by students and have a wonderful charm to it.

There are some benches outside where you can sit, enjoy your ice cream and watch the world go by.

The street in front is a pretty busy spot so there’s always something interesting to see.

Of course our ice cream was pretty interesting too!

I ended up trying a new flavour that day, Pecan Brittle Delight…. delicious!

There’s nothing like a cold  ice cream on a hot day!

But it tastes better when its enjoyed with family.

Weekend

What a great weekend!

I finished THREE knits!

 It feels so great to have some needles cleared off, but I still have a few projects left to go before I will be satisfied with the current state of my WIP’s!

I had my first REAL smore!

Enjoyed toasted marshmallow’s and hanging with visiting cousins.

Of course there was fun on the 4 wheeler,

and playing around with sparklers too!

But most importantly….

 We got to spent some quality time with Daddy!

That’s the kind of weekend we like best….

Right Moolee?