March 30, 2010

Newborn Set


I had an order the other day for a 5 piece newborn set. It was for hat, mitts, booties, sweater jacket and diaper cover. We decided on a neutral cream colour. So far I have the hat, mitts and booties finished, the cream colour is rich and adds a touch of an antique look to the set. I am working on the sweater right now and it is coming along nicely. I have really enjoyed working on this set, everything is so tiny and pure. Kind of gets my biological clock ticking again!


The pattern that I used for the hat and booties is from the Lion Brand free pattern archive, and the mittens are from my own pattern just made smaller. I Can't wait to see the finished set!

March 28, 2010

All They Need Is Love




Well my little guy finally talked me into opening up some of my Beatle: Yellow Submarine collectibles last night. I use to collect all kinds of Beatle memorabilia but stopped about ten years ago, these figures were probably one of the last items that I collected.




After watching the movie Yellow Submarine he fell in love with "The Beatles". Since then I was organizing my office and came across these figures, 16 in total. They are about 11 yrs old up until last night they were still in original boxes. He would sit and admiring them in the boxes and would look up at me with his big round eyes saying "Please mom, please" so after tearing on my heart strings for some time now I just figured that these little characters will be much better off loved by my little boy then collecting dust on a shelve somewhere. All they need is love!

March 27, 2010

Minky Baby Blanket




I have always wanted to try my hand at making a minky blanket and yesterday I completed my first one! It was really easy to make it didn't take any time at all to prep and put together. It's funny how intimidating a new fabric can be when you haven't had experience working with it before, lol. All I did was measure out a square, any measurement will do...just depends on the size you would like. Stitch the wrong sides together, turn inside out, top stitch and you're done! These are great for baby gifts and sew up really quickly.

March 26, 2010

Spring=Growth


I love spring, everything is new again. The love the fresh warm breeze, the birds singing, and flowers starting to peek their heads out of the wet earth.

I just placed my order of seeds for this years vegetable garden. This is always a hard decision, I always want to order anything and everything. I have probably gone overboard again this year and will have plenty to give away to family and friends. I have decided to completely start fresh this year, preparing to dig a larger area for my crops.

This years crop will consist of:

Peas
Beans
Pumpkins
Large and Cherry Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Radishes
Eggplant
Zucchini
Carrots
and whatever else I can squeeze in the ground that will produce a sprout!

I am patiently waiting for my seeds to come so we can get a head start indoors. My son will probably get a big kick this year by participating, he will love to get his little fingers in the dirt...help water the crops and pick off the fresh produce. We will grow organic as always, trying to keep those nasty chemicals out of our bodies and our earth.

What will you be growing this year?

March 24, 2010





This morning consisted of applying labels to some items...sipping coffee in the sunshine...and listening to the birds sing outside my garden doors...

March 22, 2010

Old Is New Again

His favourite band


A Quiet Place

Lots to read



Magic



Quilts from generations gone by




The baby quilt I made for him



Old is new again



Well, I am almost finished my little man's bedroom...just need to add some 12" baseboards and it will be complete. The floors are finished and look beautiful, the dark stain really brings out the old character in the oak. The neat thing is that his bedroom use to be my bedroom growing up...not too many people can say that I'm sure! Lots of old memories...and new ones to be made.

March 20, 2010

Project: Decorative Pillow and A Huge Sigh of Relief



Here is my decorative pillow, I have actually had this done for time time but until I received my new camera I was not able to take a photograph of it. It is a little lumpy, I'm guessing I have too much stuffing in there at the moment. I still have to close up the seam where I placed the stuffing inside so will try and flatten it down a tad. All in all is was a fun project, and great for using up bits of material that you do not have a lot of!



So about my new camera...well I just got it yesterday, of course the silly UPS guy/girl leaves it sitting on my front step which I think is really silly considering the price that I paid for it and the location of where I live, on a busy street near the downtown core with lots of people walking past my house at any given time. Thanks to all it was still there when I returned home after having my son at the park!


Unfortunately my memory card from my other camera did not fit this new camera so I had to dig out an old one from about five years ago. To my amazement it had over a hundred photos on it that I had forgotten to get developed!
Most of the photos consisting of the LIVE8 concert that took place in my city! I went camera crazy at that concert having some *GREAT* pics of Neil Young, Bruce Cockburn, Bryan Adams, Gorden Lightfoot, Jann Arden, Jet, only to name a few. Also on there were some pics of an ex boyfriend (which I deleted right away, lol) and some photos of a pet bird I had "Richie" God rest his soul, he was a true best friend! Needless to say I was ecstatic to find these and spent a good part of the evening searching through them and reminiscing.
Then...later that evening I decided to get out my cameras manual and start playing around with the features...flipping through I came across a page that said to format my memory card to my camera, thinking that this is something that needed to be done I started pressing buttons proceeded ahead and then took a few more photos (just testing it out, 20 0r so) didn't see a change then went back to review my pics from earlier and found that when I formatted my memory card it actually erased all of my pictures that I had existing on it!
Ahhhh, I didn't know what to do, by this time it was like 1 or so in the morning so I said a couple of foul words rolled on my side and tried to go to sleep...went to sleep, woke up at 4 or so tossed and turned fell back asleep at 6 then woke up at 8 stumbled down to my laptop and started searching for modes of recovery to help get my pictures back.
It took a few trys at "free" downloads...free does not apply to me getting my pictures back it just applied to me downloading the program to view my photos...which were there to view thank God! Unfortunately each and every program I tried wanted $40-$50 dollars so I could get my silly photos back, that were MINE to begin with!
Finally I messaged as many people as a knew telling my sob story and after a few trys my Uncle came back to me with a site that downloaded and recovered my photos for FREE!!! It is called "Pandora Recovery" if you are ever in need of recovering deleted photos from a memory card among other things that are deleted this site can do it! It is a life saver and gave me a huge sigh of relief! Once again too it doesn't cost a cent.
I did however lose a few photos do to the fact that after I formatted the memory card I continued to take 20 or so photo which did over write the ones I had on there originally...but I will not complain I am just happy that I recovered the ones I lost. All said and done, I have a new camera, my old photos back and can now breathe a big sigh of relief thanks to new technology, mind you had I just taken the photos with film I wouldn't have came across this problem to begin with! Sighhhhh...:)

March 19, 2010

Easter Chick




I found this really cool design on http://www.pompomemporium.com/ just in time for Easter. Adults and children alike will get a kick out of this fun little chick that is hiding a creme egg inside. It is a quick knit so you can make up a bunch for the whole family!!!

To make a chick you will need...
Small amount of yellow DK yarn


  1. A pair of needles UK size 3.75mm / 9 / US 5


  2. Small amount of stuffing for the head


  3. Small piece of felt for the beak


  4. Chocolate egg, plastic or hard boiled!


Body:


Cast on 26 stitches.




  1. Row 1: K1, increase 1, K to the end.


  2. Repeat first row until you have 36 stitches on the needle (10 rows)


  3. Knit four rows. (14 rows)


Shape the tail:


  1. Row 1: K3, bring yfwd, slip next stitch, ybk, move slip stitch back to left needle. Turn


  2. Row 2: K3 to end


  3. Row 3: K2, bring yfwd, slip next stitch, ybk, move slip stitch back to left needle. Turn


  4. Row 4: K2 to end


  5. Row 5: Cast off 10 stitches, K to end


  6. Repeat last five row for the other side to shape tail.


  7. You will have 16 stitches left in the centre of your knitting.


Head:






  1. Rows 1-4: Knit


  2. Row 5: K1, K2tog, K to last three stitches, K2tog, K1.


  3. Rows 6-8: Same as row 5


  4. Rows 9-10: Knit


This will leave you with 8 stitches. Cut the yarn leaving a length 30cm (12") long.Thread a needle with the 30cm length and run it through the 8 remaining stitches, pull them tight. Continue with the yarn to sew up the head, back and side leaving a hole big enough to insert an egg. Stuff the head lightly. Insert the egg, this will give you the body shape making it easy to see where the neck should be. With a needle threaded with the yarn, do a running stitch to cinch the neck (not too tight) fasten off securely. The eyes are french knots made from black yarn. Sew on a beak made from red felt and your done!!!

March 17, 2010

Funky Socks


Here are a pair of some funky socks I knitted recently. The pattern can be found in "Vogue Socks" they were really easy, knit on straight needles in one piece and just sewn up along the sides!

March 16, 2010

Hats off to Elizabeth Zimmermann



Elizabeth Zimmermann

Elizabeth Zimmermann (1910-1999) was a knitter known for revolutionizing the modern practice of knitting through her books and instructional series.

Elizabeth advocated knitting in the round using flexible circular needles to produce seamless garments and to make it easier to knit intricate patterns versus using straight needles (thank goodness!)

She also advocated the Continental method, claiming that it is the most efficient and quickest way to knit ( the only way I know how). Most English books on knitting today are in the English or American style. Elizabeth Zimmermann helped to re-introduce continental style knitting to the United States

Always knitting she developed the ability to knit while on the back of her husbands motorcycle! I'm sure that would have been a site to see!!!

Zimmermann was the first knitter to be honored with a full obituary and article in the New York Times. Her motto was "Knit on with confidence and hope, through all crises." She is a true inspiration to me and many others, who knows where we would be today with our knits if it wasn`t for her!



March 14, 2010

Free Pattern: Toddler Longies










Toddler Longies Knitting Pattern

These are the cutest little pants, they can be used as a diaper cover or for cozy warmth on a chilly winter day. These will fit a child about 2 years old but can be easily altered.

Yarn used: 100% Acrylic yarn

Needle Size: Circular and double pointed needles US size 8

Gauge: 17s = 4”


Cast on 80 stitches to circular needles

Knit one inch

On the next round you will be creating the holes for the drawstring:

K36, K2 tog, YO, K4, K2 tog, YO, K36

Knit till length is 8” long or until desired length is reached.

Cast off 5 stitches in the front middle and back middle.

Knit each leg 7” with your double pointed needles or desired length.

You can change to an alternative colour for the leg cuffs if you would like and knit about 1 ½” to 2” more.

Bind off.

Knit an I-cord for the drawstring and you are done!

Sew in between the legs together and sew in all loose ends.

Note: You will need to fold the waistband inside about 2” and sew inside to hide the drawstring. This is easily done if you place your drawstring inside first then fold waistband inside to sew, be careful not to sew drawstring too! J

Copyright 2010
Please do not copy this pattern in any form. This pattern is for personal use only.
Designed by Jen Gontier
HipKnitIzed

March 12, 2010

10 Tips On Going Green




Go green , Plants


Houseplants have more advantages for your home than just looking pretty. Houseplants can actually filter the air in your house and rid it of pollutants.

• Keep one houseplant per every 10 square yards to help keep the air clean in that area

• Use a general mixture of plants to try to filter out as many pollutants as possible

Different plants are good for different pollutants, for example:

• Philodendrons and aloe plants are especially good protection against formaldehyde

• Gerbera daisies, peace lily, and English ivy are good protection against benzene and trichloroethylen


There are many problems and tasks that can be solved by using home remedies or other natural solutions. Avoid environmental issues by skipping harsh chemicals in detergent and other cleaners, and make your yard a safer place by using natural pest remedies. Make your own cleaners. Rather than buying cleaners, detergents, and other products with harsh chemicals, make your own with simple ingredients you have lying around the house.

For example, combine baking soda and vinegar, and flush with boiling water, for an effective drain cleaner; use lemon juice to remove mildew; and use corn starch to deodorize carpet.


When throwing away garbage, know what is recyclable, consumable, and able to be composted. Also, when you purchase food or other items, be conscious as to how much waste it will produce. Separate your garbage, and be aware of what is toxic and should be disposed of with specific care.

• Have different cans or containers for plastic, paper, and non-recyclable items to make recycling easier

• Buy food in bulk to avoid excess packaging

• Avoid producing waste as much as possible by using reusable coffee cups, water bottles, pens, and razors

By being conscious about the waste you produce, you can reduce your footprint on the environment.


Part of green living is, of course, recycling; sometimes, though, reusing items can be just as effective as recycling. If you put some thought into what you're throwing away, you may find that some of your trash is your – or someone else's – treasure. Some simple ways to reuse:

• Since plastic grocery bags can't be recycled, take them back to the store and reuse them.

• Don't throw away old books; donate them to libraries or school programs

• Get creative! Make art out of old fabric, office and school supplies, or books; if you're not the creative type, find an organization that collects such materials for artistic purposes

• Rather than throwing away plastic containers that take-out food comes in, wash and save them to store leftovers, vegetables, or other food in

• Go through clothes and shoes periodically (every month or so) and donate items in good condition that you don't wear to a charitable organization

• Old appliances like refrigerators – even ones that don't work – can often be donated to charitable societies and refurbished for further use


Green living isn't just for home. You can follow a few simple suggestions and make your workplace more environmentally friendly, as well.

• Reduce paper. When printing, use both sides of a piece of paper in order to conserve. Keep a scrap paper pile for misprinted or unnecessary documents to either print on or write on. Try to reuse envelopes as many times as possible to cut down on waste.

• Reduce your waste. Bring your own coffee cup or water bottle to work to avoid buying Styrofoam or paper cups and throwing them away every day. Also, bring your lunch in a reusable container rather than a disposable paper bag.

• Be conscious of your supplies. Some office supplies are better for the environment than others; for example, try to use paperclips rather than adhesive tape, and use crayons or colored pencils instead of solvent-based markers.


Be aware of what you put into and on your body, and you'll be living a greener – and healthier – life.

Food: buy organic meats, produce, dairy products, and eggs, and you'll be reducing the number of pesticides and genetically modified food that you eat.

Beauty Products: many beauty products such as soap, lotion, shampoo/conditioner, and cosmetics are made with artificial fragrances and chemicals. Look for beauty products that are all-natural, made with herbal and flower extracts. Also look for beauty products that are packaged in recycled or recyclable containers, and that have not been tested on animals.

Clothes: buy clothes made with natural fibers, such as cotton, hemp, and wool, and made with all-natural dyes (such as vegetable dyes or herbal dyes). By wearing all-natural clothes, you'll be helping the environment by avoiding cloth that required a lot of energy and waste to produce, and you'll be helping yourself by avoiding irritating and uncomfortable synthetic fibers and unhealthy chemical dyes.



Being green all year round is important, but you should also be environmentally aware around the holidays. There is perhaps no time of year where more waste is produced, with wrapping paper, Christmas cards, and gift packaging. Be aware of the waste you're generating and try to reduce it as much as possible. Some suggestions:

• Instead of using metallic or glossy wrapping paper, which are toxic when burned, consider using fabric bags or recycled or recyclable paper

• Newspapers, old paper bags decorated with stamps or other artwork, old maps, blueprints, and kid's artwork make colorful and different wrapping – and serve to recycle paper that may otherwise be thrown away

• Consider using baskets, flower pots, dishtowels, or kitchen containers for “alternative” packaging items

• Buy sturdy gift boxes that can be reused year after year

• Choose gifts that have as little packaging as possible

• Use rechargeable batteries instead of regular ones for kids' gifts that are battery-operated

• Consider sending Christmas postcards rather than regular cards to reduce waste


Buying locally produced meat, produce, and dairy products helps the environment in many ways, and also helps the local economy. Consider shopping at farmer's markets or looking for foods labeled “locally grown” in specialty stores. Why is buying locally a good idea?

• Since food has less distance it must travel, it doesn't need as much packaging or preservatives, reducing the waste produced and making the food healthier.

• Food is often fresher, having been harvested recently and not having to travel great distances to its destination.

• Local growers are usually smaller operations than “superfarms,” and are less likely to use mass growing techniques, chemical fertilizers and pesticides, and treating their animals more humanely.

• You are purchasing directly from the grower, putting more money in his pocket and avoiding “middlemen” like distributors and shippers.

• You are putting money directly into your local economy by supporting local farmers, which will help all businesses overall.



Being conscious of various places in your home that can help or harm the environment is an important step to living green. Here are some ideas for keeping your home in good repair in order to reduce water and energy usage:

• Make sure all toilets and taps are in good repair and don't leak. A leaky faucet or toilet can waste massive amounts of water every day.

• A programmable thermostat can help regulate the temperature and use less energy, automatically turning up the heat in the morning and turning it down at night.

• Install plastic window energy conservation kits to reduce the cold air coming in from the outside. You'll be able to set your thermostat lower and save money and energy while heating your house.

• Make sure you turn off lights, air conditioners, radios, etc. when you leave the house.

• Use compact fluorescent light bulbs rather than incandescent light bulbs.


Living green does not necessarily mean going out and buying a hybrid car; you can reduce your energy and gas consumption without having to buy a whole new vehicle by being a conscious driver.

Combine errands: As much as you can, combine your errands to reduce the amount of driving you're doing overall.

Carpool: The fewer cars on the road, the better. See if you can ride-share with people that work with you, or even people that work around you. You'll be saving on gas and reducing pollution at the same time.

Use human-energy transportation: When you're just running out to the grocery store for a few items, try taking your bike or walking. You can carry a large string or cloth sack, or a backpack, to put your groceries in to carry them back home. You'll also be doing something good for your body!

Take the bus: While not all cities have extensive subway or train systems, almost all cities do have a bus line.


These are just a few tips on going Green, I hope they will help you as much as they helped me. Remember you don't have to do all 10 even doing 1will have a huge impact on our earth and your pocket!


March 9, 2010

Hand Felted Baby Mary Janes

Before Felting

After Felting



Theses baby Mary Jane's were made using my simple Mary Jane's free pattern that you can find in my archives from last year: September 2009. I made these ones a little different by using 100% wool and hand felting them with hot water, soap and being somewhat abrasive (check out my how to felt your projects for a step by step tutorial). I loved the way they turned out, they have a real earthy look to them. I think they are just right for the spring season and would make great gifts for any Easter babies!

March 5, 2010

Whimsical Baby Ball







Well here it is...I have to say I absolutely love this! I was checking out Raverly and came across this ball and thought this is a must knit. So while waiting for my yarn for my bag handles I created this little bundle of fun. My son loves it! It is really great for all ages including babies and children. You could even give it to your dogs, even though it may not last very long, lol. Make it smaller, put a bell inside and give it to your cats, if you make it larger like the one I did you could even hide a little gift inside or money at Christmas. Love it, love it, love it!!!


Look for it on Raverly under "Gevlochten Bal / Braided Ball"
by Marleen Hartog
It is a free download...you will enjoy it!

March 4, 2010

What Could It Be???




Hmm...I still have to make two more strips and put them together. Any guesses?

March 2, 2010

Cabled Bag

Well, I have my cabled bag on hold right now. I have the bag finished but ran out of wool to create the handles, since my local craft store was all sold out I have to wait for the order to come in. Surprisingly enough I think this is the first time I have run into this problem. I usually buy too much wool to begin with and have tons of it left over for other projects.



Last night I was playing around with my sewing machine and created a couple of infant baby bibs they were pretty easy to make and fun. I made then double sided so they are be worn either way. I have decided to go with snaps versus Velcro, I just think that snaps are more durable. I am hoping to have some photos to post soon, my camera seems to only be working when it feels like it...probably time to invest in another. I have always taken my camera for granted, now being without it I don't know what to do. As a blogger it seems that I need to be taking pictures pretty much daily to keep up with my posts. I will post some pics as soon as my camera lets me!