Thursday, November 1, 2012

Halloween 2012

When we moved here to MI, I vowed to get my Pinterest on and actually make some of the projects I'd been pinning.  My Halloween board overfloweth, so that's a good one to start with.

Thankfully, one of my boys asked to wear a costume from a couple of years ago, so the parrot trick-or-tweeted again :0)

The other one, though!  We vowed after last year's mega construction project, we wouldn't make any more elaborate costumes.  He was inspired by a souvenir wooden sword he bought from the Jorvik Viking Center in York when we were there in the summer, and asked to be a knight.  Pinterest turned up a couple of inspiration images and we were off - cardboard, duct tape, spray paint and printed fleur-de-lys and it was all completed in a (k)night.  Hallelujah!

Have you seen the Pin showing how to make a wreath circle with insulation foam from the plumbing aisle?  Well, I tried that.  Cut the length I wanted to make a circle and duct taped the ends together.  All well and good, til it started sagging.  Ours was wrapped in black fun fur and decorated with white styrofoam balls with googly eyes glued on.  It drooped right into the shape of the glass in our front door, so I guess that wasn't too bad. I'll be investing in ready made wreath circles in future.

Someone from school was obviously also getting their Pinterest on.  Here's a little ghostly guy who arrived home from a class party yesterday.  I kind of like him :0)

How did y'all's Halloween projects go?

Saturday, August 18, 2012


A quick post from me with some highlights of our summer so far (it's not over yet, right?!).  

I knit Carrie's beautiful and very simple baby girl cardi pattern, Lilliana.  The yarn is Miss Babs Yowza What a Skein in Spruce.  You'll be seeing more of that yarn - I bought 3 skeins and that was enough to knit a cardi for me, one for a baby and a whole Honeycomb Cowl too!

In fact, I knit Lilianna twice.  Here she is in some scrummy Madelintosh dk, colourway Cream.  I modded a little bit, giving this one slightly longer sleeves - the baby lives in Boston, so I'm sure she's getting cold already.

Not exactly a highlight, but excitement nonetheless.  We spent some time in the Emergency Room this summer.  A Boxer's break to one brother's hand when they crashed their bikes head on into each other.  Then three weeks later, an unexpected allergic reaction requiring shots and breathing treatments.  Poor love!
Someone had an Olympic Birthday this year.  We had fun with these decorations and games.
Can you guess where we had our summer holidays?  Here's a clue :0)

Yes, this building does say 1352.  And that's not its street address!  Loved the bunting everywhere this summer.  National pride :0)

Pensive Gorilla.....
Roald Dahl's writing shed, installed in his very own museum.  LOVED this place.  Beautiful village, too.

The Angel of the North.  See the crowd of people by its feet?  Loved this giant piece of art.

SO many good times, places visited, memories old and new this summer.  Brilliant!

And now we have a new adventure to look forward to.  A year in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  Bring it!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Oh no, not another one!

People, you know I have the blanket love?  Well, have you seen this beauty on Rav - POP Blanket ?

Mama Mia, I'm in love.  So colourful.  So portable.  So Noro!  Can I resist?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

On Wreaths and Things....

A few weeks ago, I made this awesome wreath in art class.  When DH heard what the class was, he said, just make it colourful.  So I went with the rainbow.
The fabrics are all from A Verb for Keeping Warm's fabric club, collected over the past year, and the buttons were raided from the teacher's vintage button box.  I was spoilt for choice.
My favourite is the little wooden button in the middle of the red mushroom fabric.  It's set inside a lovely textured blue button.


Update on the BeeKeeper's Quilt.  I've made 49 flowers, that's 343 hexes.  Phew!  And this is how it's covering my bed so far.  Quite a way to go before I even hit the halfway mark.  The summer is coming up though, so plenty of time for knitting small things :0)

I'm still playing with the layout and here's the latest variation taking into account all the suggestions I've had.  Diagonal strips of alternating yellow and grey.  The Grey and yellow strips in the centre are arranged with 3 different alternating yarns (can you tell?).
Each full skein of yarn is making 5 'flowers'.  I'm toying with ordering more of some of these yarns, so that I can do full strips with only one colour.  Each of these longest strips takes 15 flowers, possibly 16 once they're sewn together.  I'll need about 5 of the longest strips.  What do you think of colour blocking the flowers like that?


Lastly, I wanted to show you my favourite piece of art from the Grand Rapids Art Museum.  Each of the squares is a white tile with a grid penciled on it.  Inside each of the grid squares is a dot of paint.  Some of the tiles have large dots, some small.
I love the simplicity of this piece and yet, when you take the time to look closer, it is actually very complex.

Happy weekend y'all.
Disco xoxo

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Exciting happenings :0)

1. I got my hair dyed! I am beyond giddy about it.2. Matt is now officially a British citizen. Although he says he's mostly American. I rejoice anyway.
3. Less than 5 weeks til our trip home.
4. Last night I finished procrastinating on my Wood Hollow Vest, ripped back 8 rows and carried on knitting.
5. A whole 5 lbs lost to the tonsil recovery.

Just SO many things to be excited about :0)
Happy Tuesday peeps.
Disco xo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Michigan Knitting

My DH has been working a lot in Grand Rapids, Michigan the past 6 months or so. Travelling and spending almost every weekday there. So, we decided that's where we'd take our Spring Break. Why not, right?! We've had enough Florida sunshine to last us a lifetime!

He and I drove his car up there a couple weeks before, so I had an idea of what the weather could be like - somewhere between cold and hot. I think maybe this year is not a typical Michigan spring. So, the boys and I packed for every eventuality - shorts and long-sleeved pants (as they call them), t-shirts and winter coats.

Just a week or so before that, Marcy sent me her new pattern, Waterville Hat. I had just taken a class on stranded knitting with Candace Eisner Strick, so was super keen to practice. I used the yarn leftover from last year's Monkey Bones Hat and got straight to work. I was able to finish in time to wear the hat when we arrived in MI, where it was pretty cold and a bit rainy too. Here she is.....
And a close-up of my stitches. A bit uneven, but they've since smoothed out with blocking.
The top of the hat decreases rapidly and cinches to close. This gives a pretty good fit for my big ole head.
I am absolutely in love with this hat. It fits me so well and is warm as toast. Thanks Marcy for another great design. I think I'll get a lot of wear out of this, especially with the neutral colours I chose.

This wasn't the only knitting I got to wear in MI. I finished a Honey Cowl for myself. I swear this is the best pattern ever and will likely get the most wear next season. It is just the right size for wrapping twice and the yarn is comfy like nothing else - Madelintosh Tosh DK in Thunderstorm, which is a grey/blue combo.
While in MI, I ran out of the yarn I'd brought to make "hexi-puffs", so sought out a LYS. The boys and I spent a very pleasant time in A Grand Skein, petting yarn and their English Angora bunny. Matthew was particularly smitten and picked the poor thing up til his heart was racing (I saved him, don't worry).

They had some of the precious Madelinetosh, so I snagged two more skeins in this very rich red called "Tart". It'll become another Christmas Honey Cowl and I will love every minute of knitting it :0)
Happy weekend, peeps.
disco xo

Monday, April 16, 2012

Tonsil Socks

These poor things shall forever be known as "the tonsil socks". Or maybe "the lack of tonsils socks" would be more appropriate. I've been laid up the past week after having my tonsils removed. Every bit as painful and challenging as everyone says it is. Thank goodness we live in an age of pain meds, right?!

So before the surgery, I decided I wanted something super easy to knit. What better than a pair of toe up, plain socks, knit til you run out of yarn. I've never made a plain pair, can you believe that?

Can you guess the yarn?
It was the lack in consistency of each colour that gave it away wasn't it? Should've known better. I knit the first sock (on my right foot, left side of photo) til I reached what I thought would be the halfway mark, you know, where the colour I started with appeared again. All was acceptable (a bit more of a green toe is within my tolerance) until there was a knot in the yarn. It looked like they chopped out a big section of the grey.
Oh well, a pair of Noro socks wouldn't be Noro without the mis-match, right? I can deal, no-one will ever see.....

So here's the neat bit about these socks. I used Candace Eisner-Strick's technique, detailed in her book Strickly Socks, for constructing the toes and heels. It is so easy as to be memorable after doing it once (just what I needed!). Can you believe these toes.......
are constructed in exactly the same way as these heels?
All in all, I'm pretty pleased with these. They're warm and cosy and will be good under jeans in my Birks next fall/winter. Or even this summer in England ;0)

Now excuse me while I go take some more Tylenol!
Happy Monday
Disco xoxo

Friday, March 9, 2012


I really have been getting my hook on lately, what with the bunnies, and now these cute little ninjas, bound for Easter baskets. The pattern is here (scroll down a bit)I kind of like these quick projects. They're good for learning how to crochet. And a great excuse to drink wine!I'm off to the Charlotte Knitting Guild's weekend retreat today. Candace Eisner Strick will be teaching us how to knit edgings (backwards no less!), her Strick-ly sock knitting technique, and colourwork. Miss Babs will be dropping by with some of her lovely yarns too. The excitement is killing me!
Happy Friday y'all
Disco xo

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring has sprung

The magnolia trees are blooming, the peach trees are about to, and the other trees are all looking fuzzy round the edges. Last week we had an 80 degrees day and my boys wore short pants and short-sleeved t-shirts. We played in the park after school. The monkey bars are still favourite :0)

Do you ever read Attic 24? Lucy is an avid hooker and is a big fan of bold colours. Her blog never fails to cheer. She inspired me to buy this pretty hyacinth for my kitchen. It even came in a bright yellow pot, much nicer than the usual brown. The smell is amazing,
and I love the little green edges of the petals.Happy Thursday
Disco xo

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Honey Cowl

I'm on the bandwagon again. The Honey Cowl by Madelinetosh has been high on the popular patterns page of Ravelry for aaaaaaaaaaages! Not for no reason.

I caved a couple of weeks ago and bought 2 skeins of Madelinetosh dk from Eat, Sleep, Knit, in a beautiful dark navy blue called "ink". The yarn arrived in only a couple of days (great customer service and the shipping charge was downright cheap too) and I got right to work on the cowl. It took only 3 days to knit up those two skeins into this beautiful, squishy, comfy cowl.
The stitch pattern could not be easier to memorise - only 4 rows, 2 of which are knit, the other 2 are only 2 different stitches.

This one should be landing in England right about now, to my friend Maria, who's only been asking for a scarf for about 6 years!!!

And I think I'm going to make a couple more. I may have more yarn on the way already. Eep!
Disco xo

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sock Drawer Reflection

After blocking and photoging them, I went to put away the Blathnat socks I showed you yesterday. It occurred to me that I wanted to share with you my handknit sock drawer.

It is such a beautiful sight to me. Full of positivity. It's a reminder of friends. Friends who've designs I've knit, who've gifted me pretty yarn and provided encouragement in knitting and in life too.

Also, a reminder of growth. In my knitting skills and outlook on life. The first socks I knit are those cream coloured ones in the top right corner. I knit them in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. A really dumb yarn to make socks with, but they are very comfy cosy house-socks nonetheless :0)

Making those first socks was a challenge. The thought of turning a heel had my heart racing. But stitch by stitch, I did it. And so life goes, challenge after challenge is overcome.

I give you, the pretties......
disco xoxo

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blathnat Socks

These are Irishgirlieknits' Blathnat socks. They were the January mystery socks in the Sock Knitters Anonymous group on Ravelry.They start out with a super pretty cuff in a leaf shape. This pulls the top of the sock into v-shapes and makes for some interesting knitting.
One of the mods I made to the pattern was to incorporate Cristi's double gusset heel decrease. I absolutely LOVE this decrease. It leaves the patterning on the top of the foot clean against the stockinette sole and gives a wonderful fit against the arch of the foot. I've said it before, but it bears repeating - this is GENIUS. If you haven't tried it yet, please do on your next sock.I messed up a wee bit by not following the pattern, and did a standard stockinette toe. I should've kept the reverse stockinette going. Next time.
The yarn I used was Cherry Tree Hill Supersock in colourway Loden. It is a thin sock yarn, with what I think is a pretty tight twist. It wasn't as soft as Socks That Rock to knit with, but it's made what looks to be a hard-wearing fabric. Time will tell.

Altogether this was an enjoyable knit. I really like mystery sock knit-a-longs. A clue each week is about the right amount of sock-knitting I want to do.

The pattern is still free, through 29th February, so if you haven't already, do rush over to Ravelry to download a copy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

BeeKeeper's Update

So, now we don't have a guest room for this quilt to hang out in, it's becoming a quilt for my bedroom.

Progress so far is 32 "flowers". That's 224 hexis. It is about one fifth of what I'd need for our king size bed - I'm too afraid of the large number to calculate exactly. Maybe this'll end up as a throw, slung over the bottom of the bedframe. I'm keeping on keeping on, so we'll see how things go.
I have plenty of yarn yet to knit up and I'm not bored at all. Quite the reverse in fact :0) Most days I'll pop out at least one hexi - what else is a girl to do in the car line at school?! Slow and steady wins the race.

I figured out I can get 5 flowers out of one skein of yarn, leaving enough for maybe 2 or 3 more hexis. Perhaps I should mini-ize the leftovers and destash them to other beekeepers.

I took someone's suggestion of striping the greys and yellows vertically. The flowers are sewn together, although not sewn to each other yet. I want to wait until I have more, so I can play with colour placement. Maybe in a little while, I'll start sewing 2 flowers together - it'll be a heck of a job if I leave it til the end.

How do you like it so far?

Disco xo

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A New Occupant for the Guest Room

So, in this post, I told you about our lovely, newly-decorated guest room. Well, no sooner had its 1st guest occupant departed, than it had a newer, more permanent bedfellow.

Matthew has been asking for his own room since we moved into this new house in April. I always thought he didn't really, and that he'd miss Teddy. Turns out I was wrong and he really did want his own room. Like really, REALLY wanted his own room.

Like willing to give up his thumb, want his own room!

We had already been told by the dentist and by his speech therapist that the thumb needs to go if he's ever going to have straight teeth or no lithp. So, the time had come. The deal was, give up the thumb and you can have the room.

I made these little thumbkins a good while ago, and both boys had been having some success with them. They do tend to fall off in the general thrashing around of the night-time, but at least they help with the daytime and falling asleep sucking.
Now, we (mostly) have no thumb-sucking, and my lovely grellow room has Pokemon posters on its walls (quiet sobbing).

But what of the grellow blanket in progress?.........

Disco xoxo

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Did you see Jo's post last night? It made me smile, 'cause look what I spent yesterday making...One turned into....Then this morning, a veritable parliament.....I couldn't help myself. They take no time at all to crochet, the time is all in the addition of eyes, beaks and tummies. The boys have asked me for 'some' for their rooms, so I'll be making more. I think a production line is the best way to go if making many of these hooters. I can't be going through the whole button stash for each individual owl.

Pattern: Austin Owl
Hook:3.75mm/US F5
Yarn: scraps of worsted

Happy Weekend
Disco xo

Sunday, February 12, 2012


Meet Juan. He's Hubbs' little helper in her Spanish class and the kids love him. She asked me to knit him a sweater with his name on it, so I turned to Monkster's Sweater, a pattern I've made before that's designed to fit a Build-A-Bear.
I used some Mission Falls 1824 wool I had on hand and got to work. The sweater knit up super quick and is a perfect fit. The name was duplicate stitched on after finishing.
I think he looks quite dapper :0)
disco xo

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Card Swap

It feels like a thousand years ago that we used to do swaps on the Knittyboard. Remember the Knittyboard?

I started my BeeKeeper's Quilt last fall and joined the Tiny Owl Knits group on Ravelry. They seem to have some pretty manageable swaps, so at the beginning of January I signed up for the Card Swap - send a different person a card, once a month. Very do-able.

Here's the card I received from my 1st pal, along with a mini-skein for my BeeKeeper's and some herbal teas, yum!

It sure is nice to get a surprise in the mail and now my office is just a little brighter too :0) Thank you Sparrow :0)

Disco xo

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cheering Things Up

Q. What should you do if your dishcloths start looking like this, and you need a bit of cheering up anyway?A. Get out your Mason Dixon Knitting book and cotton stash and whip up a few of these babies.....
I'm enjoying my first cup of tea since Tuesday. I've been busy helping to run our school book fair and was not prepared for how busy it would be (or how much $ I'd have to count and bank at the end of each day). It is heart-warming to see our youth so keen on reading. And buying invisible ink pens!

Happy Friday y'all.
Disco xoxo

p.s. thank you all for your condolences, good wishes and thoughts for our David. Each means a lot and is a great comfort. xo

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things

Today is a month since my younger brother David passed. He was 39 years old and died of a heart attack, the day I last posted here. A tragedy and a waste. He was funny, smart and loving.
Happy times on the beach with our Mother

Last weekend Tommy and I travelled to the UK for his funeral. We arrived on Saturday, David's 40th birthday. We visited with him in the Chapel of Rest. I cried to see my baby brother's purple lips, they'll never smile again.

The funeral brought familiar faces. Family I hadn't seen since the last funeral (I guess we've reached that stage of life) and friends I hadn't seen in the 25 years since I left our hometown. David's schoolfriends that we knew as 4 year-olds together, never changed, laughing and telling stories of outrageous childhood deeds.

David and I, ages 19 and 21

The past month has been difficult, heart-wrenching and spent in a brain-fog which has seen me, metaphorically, staring blankly out the window, just cruising through the tasks of daily life.

My knitting has been slow and contemplative. A pair of socks, "hexipuffs" and dishcloths. A thought with each stitch, slow and steady.

Now, I am getting back in the swing of things at home. Leaving my house to shop, exercise, do my school PTO duties and visit with friends. As they say, life goes on......