January 24, 2011

I Heart Slippers

 How cold are your toes?  If you're currently in Ontario, my guess is pretty darn cold.  The old mercury dipped down to -34'C last night - Brrrr!  I am so, SO very thankful I completed my slippers a few days ago.  It's been heaven.  On my feet.

Have you ever felted wool?  It's quite easy.  I used a pattern from French Press Knits (you can see the pattern for purchase on the upper right) and I'm so pleased with the results!  I've never felted anything before, so I was a little nervous...

Above is what the slippers look like pre-felting.  I liked knitting them because I didn't have to worry about 'perfect' stitches...all is forgiven during the felting process.

Felt is simply matted wool.  It's important to use only 100% wool for felting projects.  Any yarn with the tiniest bit of synthetic material will not work.  After the slippers were knit and sewn together... 

...they were popped into a pillow case and tied shut.  Then, the little tootsie warmers were tossed into the washing machine on the hottest setting.  It took about 35 mins to felt the slippers and 20 mins for the straps.   I have a top loading machine, which works best for felting.  The pattern suggested adding tennis balls or old shoes to increase the amount of agitation.  I had neither....but I did have rubber dog toys :)  Front loading machines will work, but I am told it takes longer. 

Here they are drying!  I stuffed some rags in them at first to hold their shape for a few hours.  Then I decided that I wanted my slippers to be shaped like feet, not like mushed up rags...so every few hours I'd put them on my feet and walk around in them.  It took 3 days for them to dry completely. 

 Once they were completely dry, I sewed the straps and buttons on. 

I heart slippers!  You know what else helps to stay cozy?

Baking some banana chocolate chip muffins.  *Insert Homer Simpson-esque Drool*.  I'm in love with the recipe from Canadian Living.  Actually, I'm in love with 99% of the recipes from Canadian Living.  If I'm looking for a recipe, I search there first!

Happy Monday!

January 17, 2011

Give a Hoot!

I've decided that I absolutely MUST get an owl hat done for Rowan (great name for a UK yarn brand!) before winter is over.  It's been something I've wanted to complete for months, but *surprise!* I could never find the time.   Seeing this hat posted on a fellow blogger's site reminded me of this coveted project.

Great hat, eh?  I'm mostly knitting these days, but I liked the crochet patterns better.  Better dust off the crochet hooks!

In my search for the perfect pattern on my favourite knitting/crocheting site, I discovered that I can adorn MUCH more than my child's head with owls....  


And there's so much more!  Mittens, coffee cup cozies, bibs, bags, and on and on and on.  500 pages of owls!!  So far, Rowan has only one owl in his room...

 ...not for long!  One things for sure (get ready for a gratuitous pun), these next few days will be a HOOT! 

January 14, 2011

The Flannel Zoo

This post use to contain a bit of information regarding some simple plush toys I made for my son.

However after receving this letter:

I am forced to take the info about them off my page.

KidsII claims a patent for any looped ribbon sewn between two peices of fabric.  It makes me wonder how many people work in their legal department, and how many hours a day they spend sending out infringment letters to the many mothers in blog-land who have made these types of toys for their children.

January 10, 2011

The Yarn Obsession

Whether you knit or crochet (or both!), you need to know about Ravelry.  My sister-in-law introduced me to this wonderful place a few months ago and I'm thoroughly addicted.  After creating a *free* account, you can search for thousands of patterns using the 'pattern browser', a genius filter method that lets you find the sort of project you want quickly and easily.  You can even type in the yardage and yarn weight you already have to help find a project for all those extra bits of yarn that accumulate so quickly.

 1. Elefante by Susan B. Anderson
 2. Ruby Bear by Michele Wilcox
 3. Perfect Baby Booties by Ruth Bennett

Above are just a small sample of what I've found on Ravelry.  The baby booties are one of my favourites.  We have cold floors, and I wanted Rowan's feet to be a little warmer while jumping.  I added some dots of fabric paint (not shown) to the bottoms of the booties so they're a little less slippery.

Alright, for all you non-knitters out there, I promise I'll have a different post next time!  I finished a sewing project a few days ago, but I would like to wait until the Birthday Girl receives it before I post it.  I also foresee some spray paint and picture frames in my future :)

January 6, 2011

The Super Cozy Sweater

I forfeited a good night's sleep to finish this sweater, designed by Marie Connolly.  I had started it in October but it was put on hold while I completed my Christmas knitting and crafting.  Last night, I had serious doubts that it fit and thought I might have to *tearfully* pack it away for another child. 

Hooray!  Not only does it fit, there's still room to grow!  I love the size of the collar, it has 'ski chalet' written all over it.  This will definitely come with us when we venture to Winterlude in Ottawa next month...if it still fits.  The collar will certainly keep the little tyke cozy on the Rideau Canal.

I also made some wonderful Lemon Cranberry Bread yesterday.  We had some unused cranberries from our Christmas turkey stuffing, and they were begging to be paired with something citrus.

What's on for the rest of the day?  Well.....

BREAD!  I'm a gigantic fan of Peter Rienhart's.   He's a bread genius.  I have his book Artisan Breads Every Day.  It's got everything - bread, crackers, pizza dough, bagels....cinnamon buns.  If you want to get into bread baking, this is the way to go.  I'm not going to post his recipes because frankly....it would take me way too long.  Not that the recipes are hard or take a long time, he is just very thorough with his method writing.  I made the dough yesterday, it sat in the fridge overnight (and can stay there up to four days!) and today I'm going to bake it.  Yum!  I'm also hoping to complete a little birthday present for a soon-to-be 4 year old.  We'll see how much co-operation I can extract from Rowan today :)

January 4, 2011

My First Little Sweater

My very first post!  I feel as if I should be smashing a champagne bottle against something...
I thought I'd start a blog in the new year.  As you'll read on my 'about' page, I'm a little bit of a flaky crafter.  I love starting projects; so much in fact that I have a hard time finishing one before starting another.  I thought that if people kept tabs on me, I'd make an effort to commit.

I completed this little sweater for my son, Rowan, a few months ago.  It's also doubling as my blog title photo because the colours are wonderful.  During my pregnancy I knitted quite a few baby items, but since we were keeping the gender a surprise, I didn't venture into any colours except for red, green and white. 

I love the stripe up the sleeve.  It's so cute, I think I may knit him another for next winter.  I used the pattern in Marie Connolly's book 'The Expectant Knitter'.  I've knitted quite a few items from it, definitely worth the purchase!  You can also purchase the pattern on Ravelry, just search for her name.

I had some yarn left over, so I thought I'd knit a cozy hat.  Rowan is trying it on for size before I finish it :)