Thursday, May 3, 2012

spring has sprung: strawberry rhubarb pie

So, it turns out that I can't bake jack shit in Vancouver without burning it. Nevertheless, very excited to cut into this fresh strawberry-and-rhubarb pie tonight! Used smitten kitchen's recipe, and her trusty pie crust (which can never lead me astray [which may or may not have something to do with the double shot of Vodka in it]).

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

more yo-yos

In the post-traumatic stress of the hectic weeks behind me, I had a wonderful time working with an incredible group of girls on a magazine project, where we conceived of a magazine and overall brand, and, after five weeks, presented a twelve-page sample, business strategy, etc.

What made this crazy creative process super-fun was that our magazine was about craft culture. To swagify ourselves and our audience at the final panel, we made more yoyos!

The cover for our magazine is below. Though this blog is still about handicraft, you may see me sneaking in some InDesign work now and again!

manly-man man mittens

After the mittens I made for Lauren J, I was on a bit of a post-mitten adrenaline kick. A friend of mine in Vancouver asked that I make him mittens as well, and after not seeing any patterns for fliptops I liked, I adapted Ysolda Teague's Snapdragon pattern for man hands. Obviously, olive green alpaca and dope steampunk buttons were called for.

These pattern notes are not great: I wrote them down haphazardly as I knit. If you're having trouble, feel free to send a note my way!

Man Cubed Mittens
5 US size 6 dpns
Berrocco Ultra Alpaca Yarn, one skein (or any worsted yarn of your choice)
Tapestry Needle
Waste yarn.
Two buttons.
Stitch Markers (if desired)

Mitt (make 2)
CO 44 sts (I do the one handed cast-on over two needles to make it nice and stretchy!), join in a round.
K2, P2 for 20 rows.
K another 16 rows(ish, for the length of the thumb to the wrist)
Next row, m1, k to end.
Next row, k even.
Next row, m1, k1, m1, k to end.
Next row, k even.
Rep last two rows, making 1 at the beginning and end of the newly made stitches (stitch marker might help with this) and then knitting even, until you have 11 new stitches.
Transfer these stitches to waste yarn, CO 2 sts, and then continue knitting.
K 3 rows, and do a double-decrease of your choice to lose the two extra stitches that you cast on. You should be back to 44 stitches.
K 4 more rows.
K2, P2 for 8 rows, then bind off in rib.

From the two CO stitches you made after holding the thumb stitches with waste yarn, count 20 sts across.
For right mitten, insert tapestry needle threaded with yarn before the first CO st and pull through to the inside.
For left mitten, insert tapestry needle threaded with yarn after the 20th st and pull through to the inside.
For both mittens, using the point of a dpn, insert from the front to the back in the centre of the rightmost st, catch the yarn around the needle, and pull to the front. (This will take a couple of tries, but makes the topper's join practically invisible when worn over the fingers).
After joining the 20 sts in this manner, CO 24 more sts (you might have to do this purlwise, backwards, but it will turn out the same.)
K2, p2 rib the "hanging" stitches, and k across the "attached" stitches, for 7 rows.
K 11 rows.
Rearrange stitches across four needles so that they all have the same number of sts, if not like this already. You should be starting at the rightmost side of the joined edge of the topper.
SSK, knit to last two stitches of needle 2, K2tog. SSK, knit to last two stitches of needle 4, K2tog.
Knit next row even.
Repeat last two rows until 24 sts remain, then decrease every row.
When 4 sts remain, cut yarn, thread through four live sts, and pull tight.
Pick up three sts near the top, complete a 16 row icord, and kitchener stitch it together on the other side.

Put held thumb sts back on needles, and pick up three more (the two cast on sts, plus another.)
Knit around, decreasing twice. 12 sts remain.
Knit 16 rows or until thumb is as long as your own thumb.
K2tog around, 6 sts.
K2tog again, 3 sts.
Cut yarn and thread through three live sts, pull tight.

Sew buttons where your icord loop hits the wrist, and enjoy!

NOTE: I would like to extend my thanks to Sarah Stanfield at Ysolda Teague, who kindly looked over this adaptation and sanctioned its posting on this blog.

Monday, January 2, 2012

bubbles times infinity

I had two balls of Rowan big wool lying around that were a gift - watching the thermometer drop was more than enough incentive to knit up this quick, chunky cowl - Alyssa Heath's Blue Bramble Cowl. At the last minute, I twisted one end before the graft bind off and made it an infinity loop cowl.

So easy to wear, so enjoyable, and the bubble stitch looks great! Not bad for three nights of knitting!

LJ's christmas mittens

When I first moved to Vancouver, one of my closest friends, and nameshare, Lauren, followed soon after for a visit. We did a bunch of touristy things together and really had a blast. Here's a picture of us in Whistler-Blackcomb, in an inukshuk.

When I drew her name for Secret Santa, I knew she deserved nothing short of handmade beauty, and sought to make Ysolda Teague's Snapdragon Fliptops. She, like me, loves purple, so I picked up a beautiful plum colour from Berocco's Ultra Alpaca.

My favourite part, though - even more than the gorgeous pattern and colour? The buttons, which I picked up from a button-only store in Gastown; the aptly named Button Button.

It was not easy giving these babies away, but no one deserved them more.*

*I know this sounds like a very roundabout way of saying that I gifted mittens to myself. I assure you, reader, that my friend's name is also Lauren. I also assure you that this has stemmed multiple in-jokes that perhaps only we find funny, especially the notorious, "Hello Lauren J, it's Lauren P calling" answering machine message. It doesn't look so funny written down. I suppose you just have to be there.

Obligatory jumping photo.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Hello, all!

I apologize for my long absence - since my last post, I have moved to the beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, and have been back to Toronto, besides!

I have been crafting, but have neglected to post anything. I am going to try and post all of my knit goods and back date them for your viewing pleasures before I head back to Vancity, where surely my wonderful but busy Masters of Publishing program will suck my life away again.

Cheers, and I hope your Christmases/Chanukahs/Eids/Kwanzaas/Festivuses were excellent, and that your New Year will be too!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

a hat for dad (that didn't come from a beer box!)

This year, I decided to give my Dad something handknit for Christmas - he's practically impossible to buy for. Still on a Noro kick from making my chevron mittens, I went for Brooklyn Tweed's Turn a Square hat - a pattern I've always admired.

With good reason - the hat knits up quick and is a pretty safe way to introduce some colour into your knitting (and your overly sartorially cautious aka obtuse giftee AKA my dad). I used a dark brown base colour in dependable Cascade 220 and a blue-red-green-grey Noro Silk Garden.