Thursday, November 29, 2012


That's the new location - come on over and say hi! I'll keep this blog live for reference purposes, but won't be posting anymore (Damn picture limit...)

To make it more enticing to move - I'll be continuing the birthday month giveaways into December - you'll have to keep checking to see what's up for grabs!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

pajama pant winner

Thanks for all the birthday wishes! I had a very low key kind of day, which is exactly what I wanted. I'm not a big birthday person.

I wish I could show you the pictures of the winning draw - I had all the names, then picked at random - the first name picked out was Nancy, but she recused herself, as she just won the knitting sheep project bags. (I'll make it up to her later with something else...)
So I reached in again, and drew out...

Sel & Poivre!

Congratulations Marie! I just need you to send me your choice of fabric, as well as your waist, hip and inseam measurement. Either yours, or your chosen recipient - I know Knit and Purl Mama wanted them for her eldest son, (sorry Robyn - I almost wish I had drawn your name for Sean!) and Nancy may have stepped aside for her daughter. Myself, I would be selfish and keep them for myself, but it's up to you!

There may be a bit of a gap in posting while I set up Curlerchik 2.0. Hopefully I get another seven years out of that one.
I think I will keep up some of the giveaways into December - just to  make it worth your while to follow me to my new home! I've got some more bags to give away, and who knows, there may be more jammies up for grabs as well!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

At a loss

So I'm at a loss as to what to do about the blog. I don't want to pay for storage - if it was reasonable, I probably would, but because of when I started this, it will cost me a minimum of $4.99 PER MONTH. They don't have the $10/year option available for me. $60 per year is not a lot of money, but it's the principle. I just don't want to do it. (that's enough to pay for a couple of skeins of good sock wool!)
But, I do want to continue blogging, and adding pictures to the posts. (it would be pretty boring without them.) So, what I'm thinking is to start a whole new blog - Curlerchik 2.0 so to speak. I'd have a note on this one directing people to the new one, and a note on the new one, directing people back here if they want to check the archives.
What do you think? Would you move to the new place with me?

Friday, November 23, 2012

pajama pant giveaway

okay, since today is actually my birthday, time for a larger than normal giveaway. How about a pair of pajama pants, since everyone knows I love me some hand crafted pajama pants!
And, you can have your choice of fabrics. Note - all fabrics are 100% cotton, prewashed and dried, so there should be minimal shrinkage.
there's wintery birds (with a Angry Birds kind of vibe...) I love this fabric:
Then, if Christmas is your thing, there is this Christmas polka dot fabric - this is flannel, as opposed to plain cotton - definitely snuggly and warm.
The next two fabrics are shown here - unfortunately, not very well. Even with two cameras, this picture didn't come out so good. The fabric on the left is also flannel - a lovely shade of coral. The fabric on the left is for anyone who is not a fan of cotton pants - I know there are people like that out there. It's a satiny, polyester jacquard in a silvery grey.
If you love a maple leaf, or perhaps the Toronto Marlies, this would suit you - royal blue fabric with white maple leaves. (to be honest, this was originally for my nephew, who was playing in the Marlies organization, but then he was drafted by the Peterborough Petes.) again 100% cotton, prewashed.

Leave a comment on this post, telling me which fabric you would like, by Sunday at noon, and I'll draw a name from those comments. Then I'll be in contact with you for sizing info (I'll need, waist, hip and inseam measurements), and in a week or two, I'll mail you off a pair.
This is my way of thanking everyone who reads and comments here - I certainly don't write this for glory or comments, I do it because I like to. Most of my friends and family don't really get the knitting and sewing, so this is my outlet to find people of a like mind.
Plus, I'd rather give stuff away on my birthday - I am not a big fan of being the centre of attention, so today is not among my favourites of the year.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Second giveaway winner!

***Off topic for a bit - I have a problem. According to Blogger, I can no longer post pictures, because I'm out of space. I could buy more space, but I'm not going to do that. I do have pictures on tomorrow's post, because it's already saved. I'm trying to figure out if I go back and delete pictures from ancient posts, will I gain more room...
Anyone have any ideas? I don't want to pay for the blog, but I don't really want to stop blogging either...
Maybe I just start a new one, and link back to here?

But, now to the giveaway. (You' have to take my word on this - there are pictures of the process...)

All the names... (and I checked this time - all the names are there...)
Same silver tin...
and the winner is...


Totally by fluke, and seriously not influenced by the cookies she brought to Knit Night last night. Saves me postage, as I will just bring them to Knit Night next week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Second bag giveaway

The first giveaway seemed pretty popular, so I have another set of bags to give away. You've seen this fabric before - knitting sheep! I made myself pajamas from it, and these two bags from the leftovers. Same construction as the other bags, but these two are a little smaller. Still good for a small project, and oh so cute! Trimmed with a red ribbon drawstring to pull the red out of the print.
Leave me a comment on this post only before Wednesday midnight to have your name entered in the draw. I'll draw names Thursday morning.
There are still more bags and things to giveaway, so keep reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

what's keeping me busy these days

With Christmas approaching, and it being our year to host the entire family (14 to 20 people, maybe more), I'm starting to think about decorations. Just think, mind you, my house is still quite decoration free, and will remain so until December.
But that doesn't mean I haven't started gathering ideas and stuff.
To be honest, I started this right after last Christmas! When Fabricland clears out the holiday themed fabrics, I stocked up. The green brocade is tablecloth fabric. I measured out my tables and hemmed it to fit. They look perfect -tailored and festive. Then I bought some co-ordinating printed cotton and spent last weekend hemming napkins. You see, I grew up with a Dad that worked in the home fashions industry, and my brother still does, so I have an inbred aversion to paper napkins. It's cloth or nothing! (Drives my MIL crazy...)
I've also started a new wreath. If you follow Mason Dixon Knitting, you probably recognize it. (Go here to see). It's a beautifully simple design (that I am tweaking), and a good cause, so I bought the pattern. The tweaks are simple - I don't have the recommended yarn, and am not fond of chunky yarns anyways, so I dug into my Briggs and Little stash, and found a lovely rich brown, and assorted reds, creams and greens, in assorted weights of B&L.
So, I started one. I added stitches to either side to ensure it would fit around the wreath form, and it's knitting up pretty quickly - it's a simple cable pattern, so I don't need to refer back to the pattern, so I can pick it up and work any time I have a few minutes.
I love the fact that my house will have touches of knitting and sewing scattered about. Especially since most of my husband's family still thinks all the knitting is a little strange... It will be a good thing for them to see how pretty and useful it is.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

sewing up some Christmas gifts

...and actually a few birthday gifts...

my MIL was complaining about her hanging towels this summer. You know the ones - hand towels cut in half, then a knitted or crocheted topper is added so you can hang it off your stove handle and wipe your hands.
I love them too, but I hate the toppers - sorry to those who make them, but they are too long, and just not my cup of tea. I want the towel closer to the top of the stove, so I can reach it quicker. I usually end up just having another tea towel there, but never remember which one is for pots and pans and which os for hands, so they both get dirty quickly.
Then I saw this tutorial on line and filed it away:

I liked it a lot, and decided to make up a few as gifts (and for myself). Of course, me being me, went completely overboard, and made 16 of them.

Some are for my MIL, some are for my mom, some will be for the cottage, and some for my best friend's cottage.

Hers are the red ones with the cocktail potholder. I'm keeping the blue ones (the towels are nice and thick), the florals are for my Mom, the watermelons will be for the cottage, and the beige ones with blue dragonflies are for my MIL's birthday this month.

Her kitchen is beige and blue, so they'll be perfect. I changed up the tute a bit - instead of gathering the towel, I pleated it for a more tailored look (I'm not that big a fan of gathers). Plus, I used rectangular pot holders (because that's what I found), so it's a more squared off look. I found some of the large buttons I needed in my button stash, but some I went to Fabricland for. (and came back with 4 cuts of fabric - I am so weak...)

They button over they stove handle nicely, and the towel is now only a few inches below the handle, rather than almost a foot.
(ignore the spills down the side - I was making spaghetti sauce...) You can see the old green one I had with a crocheted topper (a gift, I didn't do it) The blue towel is now much easier to grab when needed.

I'm quite happy with them - super easy to make and wash, and easy to colour co-ordinate to any kitchen.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


So I listed all the commenters names, and cut them up...
folded them all up... (why yes, I do have toys all over my desk...)
put them in a container (why yes, we do distribute Gogo's Crazy bones - this silver tin was handy and made a good container...)
reached in...
and grabbed...
Acorn to Oak! Winner! email me your mailing address and I'll get the bags in the mail to you.
Stay tuned for more giveaways. I have more sheepy type bags, as well, I have more gift-bag types of fabric bags as well. With the season of gift giving approaching, I thought these might be handy... But that's not to say you can't keep your knitting int hem as well!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Finally done! (but well worth it)

I finished the duplicate stitching, and to be honest, it wasn't that bad. I spent years doing extensive cross stitch, so this wasn't a whole lot different. And it looks so much better than intarsia would have.
I know my nephew will love it - it's slouchy and comfy, and he's my brother's son, so from the side of the family that loves the hand knits. he and his brother and sister all make requests, and wear the hand knits. (I love these kids!) Plus, the hat is merino and cashmere! What's not to love?

I've got socks on the go (also a cashmere blend, from Tanis) for my younger nephew, since he's still wearing the Tiger hat I made last year, and doesn't want a replacement. I was going to knit him a school themed hat, but he's not that fond of school, so I decided against it. He does love the sock, though.
I think the blue velvet hat may be for my niece, but we'll see what else may come up. I haven't talked to her for a while (she's away at school at Brown), so we'll see if she has any requests.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Giveaway #1

I did promise giveaways this month, and here's the first. How about a couple of small project bags? Great for sock projects or small lace things.
And the sheepy fabric! Way too cute.

and easy to win - just leave a comment on this post. I'll draw from all commenters on Wednesday (note I said commenters, not comments! multiple comments won't help your case, :)

The sheepy bag is small and tall - the cloud bag is a little wider, but not as tall. Both have french seams for a clean inside, and square bottoms so they sit easily. Ribbon gathers the top to keep everything inside.

If you don't win this, there are other project bags on the horizon, as well as some pajama pants - in your choice of fabric - wintry themed or not. I'll show you the choices soon.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

I got a new toy!

We had a bunch of AirMiles sitting around, and since we usually use them for merchandise, (we use Aeroplan for flights), I started looking around. And we (I) decided that while my little point and shoot camera has been great, and an absolute workhorse, I miss the SLRs I used to use, back in my film days. (I have a whole portraiture setup, and used to spend a lot of time with my cameras - now I have a lot of equipment sitting in a closet...) So we cashed in some of the AirMiles for this:

It's a Canon Rebel EOS T3i. Just enough camera for what we want, and room to grow it. I'm going to dig through my old equipment - some of the accessories will be compatible - but most of my actual cameras were Olympus or Nikons, so the equipment itself won't be useful. (Really must think about putting that stuff up for sale!).
The 18-55mm lens is okay for portraits, but next up is a zoom lens for cottage action shots, and the optimal 100mm portrait distance that I like.
I'm trying to carve out some time for playing around with it, but time is a commodity that's hard to come by right now. Between my regular life commitments, there are a few other family things popping up right now that is making it difficult. Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right? That's what I have to keep telling myself, anyway...

Monday, November 05, 2012

I love my nephew, I love my nephew...

But this duplicate stitch may be the end of me...

Friday, November 02, 2012

Still knitting socks in my spare time

I still keep an in-progress sock in my purse for those times when I have a few minutes. Car knitting, basketball games, swimming lessons... Since most of my sock gift recipients are men, I usually end up knitting manly type colours and fibres.
This current sock is a departure from that. This is really more female oriented colourway, or could possibly work for some guys I know that are a little more adventurous in their sock couture.

It's Tofutsies sock yarn - a fun fibre combo - 50% superwash wool, 35% soysilk, 22.5% cotton and 2.5% chitin. Chitin is a fibre from shrimp and crab shells, and it's naturally antibacterial. Whatever, it's a lovely fibre to work with.

Thursday, November 01, 2012

it's the start of my birthday month!

Normally, I don't care much about my birthday - it's just another day as far as I'm concerned. I don't go for a lot of pomp and ceremony, and really kind of hate being the centre of attention. But since I turn 50 this month, I've been told by friends to get over myself and just enjoy.
So, fine. I will.
And just to ensure that everyone enjoys, I plan on random giveaways this month. Every now and then, I will be giving knitterly stuff away. Possibly yarns, possibly finished goods, Possibly even non-knitterly things. (sewn bags? maybe a custom pair of pajama pants? (I'm thinking of that one for my actual birthday day...))
You'll just have to keep checking to see when things happen...

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's Halloween!

And we're in the midst of a Frankenstorm... We've got the remains of Hurricane Sandy, a cold front, and Full Moon tides. (Okay, the tides don't affect us much this far inland, but basically, we have a ton of rain and crappy weather coming.
So we've severly scaled back our usual Hallween decorations - soggy spider webs are just not attractive. Or scary.
We'll do our best - we'll have the inside decorated around the door, so at least it's SOMETHING. But Halloween on a Wednesday just doesn't allow for much time to decorate.
Just getting home in time to see the little ones is an effort.
Pictures of the mummy to come - he has a Halloween dance at school this afternoon, so hopefully the hand sewing survives...

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The hats continue...

The bottom one is now finished (the knitting part at least). I still have to duplicate stitch the Peterborough Petes logo on the front.

I can hardly wait...

I still have one more blue stripey one to make, and possibly a couple more. But I am getting a little sick of the hat knitting. I may take a bit of a break after this next one...

There is lace calling my name...

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween update

The mummy lives! Well, the costume finally does, at least. We decided on this costume a while ago, and I thought it would be a quick and easy one, certainly compared to the last few years (Assassin's Creed, Robin Hood...) No such luck - this was probably one of the most labour intensive costumes I've made. Probably because I'm an idiot, and put as much effort into these as I do clothes...

But he's my kid, and I like to do things for him. I started with the coveralls - simple Tyvek painters coveralls with a front zip. Then muslin. I bought 4 metres, and had the boy rip it into 4 inch wide lengths. Then we tea dyed it all. Dumped all the strips into a bowl then covered them with leftover tea and coffee when ever I had some. Tossed the strips in the dryer to fray them up and age them even more.

Then it was a case off sewing them to the coveralls. I ended up hand sewing them, so I didn't worry about precision. I also had some cheesecloth that I cut into strips and haphazardly tacked on as well.
The part I'm quite proud of is that it's completely removable and reusable.

I used Velcro dots to secure the pieces that cross over the zipper. (and there are scarf like pieces around the neck to hid the join of the hood. Even the face parts Velcro across the nose, forehead and chin.

The best part? The boy loves it. I'll get modeled pictures after Halloween.

And the funny part was the fact that we had to remove the mummy covered mannequin from the corner of the kitchen. Even though I KNEW it was there, it freaked me out every time I came into the room. EVERY TIME...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


2x2 ribbing is not hard. Knit 2, purl 2, repeat. Simple right? You'd think so... So why do I screw it up pretty much EVERY TIME?? Geez...

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dream Stripes REALLY done!

So blocking worked it's magic on lace once again. (I love how this always pleases me...)
I love the combination of stripes and the lace edge on this - I also love how much the MadTosh fingering weight grew, and I didn't really stretch the lace like I've done in the past.

(sorry - I forgot to take my usual before and after measurements)

the points really got, well, pointy - and again, without a huge amount of stress.

I'd like to thank our pumpkins for stepping in to model, as my mannequin is otherwise in use right now...

The blocking pictures really show the actual colours fairly well on this. Who would have guessed that fluorescent lights would show the real colour better than sunlight?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

the hats have begun...

I got a huge box of merino-cashmere wool from KnitPicks, most of it slated for Christmas gift hats for nieces, nephews and friends. And when faced with so many colours and options, how was I supposed to do them one at a time?
The cream, maroon and black one is for one nephew who has been drafted by the Peterborough Petes of the OHL - I was going to knit in the logo by stranding it, but the floats would have been huge, so I decided to duplicate stitch the logo on after - but first I have to rip out the whole thing and take out about 40 stitches - I'm not sure what I was thinking...
The middle one is for another nephew whose school colours are royal and yellow, and the blue, blue and yellow is for the girls at the cottage. I need another one of these, and I will relocate the yellow stripe to make it a little different.
Then there's the black and gold, and the red and white...

I may have added yet another one to this pile...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dream Stripes done

I finished up the knitting of the Dream Stripes shawl. While I really love this pattern, it is a case of "you get what you pay for" It's free, and it's not the best written, or best laid out. But it is oh so pretty!

And once it's blocked, it will be even more stunning, I'm sure. That's my goal for this week - get this thing blocked.

I used two colours of MadelineTosh fingering weight - a mottled light blue, and a very dark blue (there are actual colourway names, but I can't find the ball bands right now. I used about half of each skein, so still have lots of both of these blues - they will be put to use somehow.

The colours above are a little more saturated than they actually are. The dark blue is pretty close, but the lighter one is closed to a slate-ish, grey-ish blue. This shawl will be a Christmas gift for our cottage neighbour - her girls both go to a school who's colours are double blue, and Nancy is very involved with the school, so I thought this was a nice tie in.

Monday, October 15, 2012

They're ready for Hogwarts!

2 friends of my son are ready for Hogwarts! They asked if I could make them school robes -

they had bought the badges, so it was easy to whip up the robes and add the colour in the lining.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of these costumes!

The best reward of course was seeing the boys' faces when I brought over the finished robes.


Now on to my own kid's costume - Mummy is about to make a mummy...

Friday, October 12, 2012

still loving the dots!

My POP blanket is still going strong - 60 blocks and counting.

I still crank out a block every now and then, when I need a quick fix of knitting, or I have a spare hour (or less).
I'm still not sure how many blocks I will make - I'll really have to lay them out and see how big it will be before I make any decisions. I'm having fun making them, and this was never a project with a time limit, so I'll just keep making blocks until I tire of them.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Halloween comes first

I know I've said I've started the Christmas knitting, but the Halloween sewing has to come first...
I've been asked to make a couple of costumes for some friends - and on top of my son's costume, I'm going to be a bit busy.
Son has decided on a mummy - we're going to go a step further, and make it a costume he can get in and out of, rather than wrapping it directly on him as a one time thing. So we start with the paper painters coveralls, and wrap those. Of course, first we have to tea-stain the coveralls and the wrapping, and abuse the muslin I bought for wrapping, so it looks old and like it was dug out of a pyramid. My son is all about authentic looking...
Then there are the two Hogwarts robes I've been asked to make - One Gryffindor, One Slytherin. They bought the badges, but the robes were over $200 each. So they pulled the puppy dog eyes on me and I caved. I've got to stop doing that...
This pile of fabric will be the robes.

We matched the trim colours fairly well to the badges.
I'm hoping there are no last minute requests - but knowing the boy's friends, if it's anything like last year, there will be some last minute costume making... and as much as I complain... I love doing it.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Dream Stripes

More Madeline Tosh - this time in fingering weight.
It's going to be Dream Stripes in two shades of MadTosh fingering in Thunderstorm and Mourning Dove.

One word.