Tuesday 10 November 2015

Cablelicious set

After a lot of careful consideration, and one too many threats of redundancy, I quit. Yip, you read it right, I decided to take some time out and decide if Software Project Management is really what I want to do with my life. Sadly, the answer turned out to be no - but that could just be the fact that I was wearing so many different hats, and PM was not taking up the majority of my time. My biggest frustration was acting as technical lead, pre-sales consultant, account manager, web site designer, content manager, and first line support(and last resort when everyone else was on leave), all roles I was reluctantly dragged into out of a feeling of obligation. This year is the year I say NO MORE! No more people pleasing. Time to restore the joy in my life, time for me.

What this means for you: hopefully I get to post more. Probably. I might bounce ideas around of projects I want to do, or designs I'm working on. Most likely my posts will revolve around what I'm getting up to with my new Etsy shop. With Christmas fast approaching, I'm busy knitting up a storm for the family. I've decided to give the girls all a set of boot cuffs and matching hat. Two sets down, one to go. I may offer these on Etsy, once I've worked out exactly how long a set takes to knit. I keep forgetting to time it. I may even take my design notes and actually write up the pattern and put that up. Got to brush off my pattern writing skills first - nobody else will have a clue what my notes mean otherwise.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Chasing cats

I'm playing around with an idea for a new product. I was thinking a knitted ball with a small bell inside would make a great baby toy. I played around with a design and whipped up a sample, sans the bell. Once I'd stuffed it I started to wonder about small hands pulling at it and what the effect would be.

I figured that a trial run would be in order, and since I don't have a small child of the human variety running around, I went with the next best thing. Well, he might as well be our little baby - he gets treated like one. Yip, I gave the ball to Milo to play with. I can report that it was a resounding success as far as he's concerned. It's become his new favourite toy. I'll let him test drive it for a little while to see how well it holds up to being tugged at, clawed, and chewed. At this rate I might market it to cats and dogs too.

Wednesday 4 November 2015

Demanding daughter's knitted hair bows

With the kids finally moved out, I've been getting a little more 'me' time in between all the crazy busy work. The perfect thing to occupy these hands during this downtime has obviously been knitting! Duh! However, just when I thought I wouldn't have any demands on me to fix this and make that, my daughter came to visit. Her demands are usually made about an hour before she needs something for a party she's going to.

She happened to pop in while I was knitting a men's bow tie, for an upcomming formal event. She decided that she wanted bows as a hair accessory. Natuarlly she wanted one in about every colour she could think of, and all done before she left. Thankfully she didn't have too many elastic bands in her handbag. Phew!

So I grabbed some needles, and rummaged through my yarn stash under close supervision. We ended picking out grey, turquoise, black, and purple. I cast on some stitches (about 10 I think) and started knitting away for about 6 inches, then did a 3 needle bind off. I made sure the bind off edge was in the centre of the bow, pinched it in the middle, grabbed an elastic, and then wound some of the yarn around them securing the bow to the elastic.

Just when I'd done all the bows, my darling daughter found another elastic band hiding in her bag. So you can guess what happened .... another bow had to be made of course. This time in maroon. Imagine my surprise when a few days later I found she'd worn her hair bows as part of her Voodoo doll Halloween costume.

I have to thank her for the inspiration. I ended up making some hair bows for my Etsy shop, matching the bows with coloured hair elastics and knitting a band around the bow and elastic, finishing it off with Kitchener grafting.

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Recycled dish scrubbies

It's been a while since I've posted anything. I recently joined Pinterest, and I love that it sparks all these creative ideas, but sometimes I spend far too much time on it looking instead of doing. There are days I wish I didn't work full time, just so I could make stuff instead, but it's what pays the bills so I'll have to settle for fitting things in that are quick and easy to make. This is one of those things.

The original Knitted Dish Scrubbie tutorial calls for cotton worsted weight yarn and medium tulle. I took a look at what I could find lying around and decided I could re-purpose some items. I came up with some cotton twine I found in my kitchen drawer. The kind you use to wrap around a beef roast to keep it rolled up. I then saw I had some onions still in the netting bags they came in.

The only preparation I had to do was to take a pair of scissors and cut the netting bags into a long strip about 1cm wide. I grabbed the nearest pair of knitting needles, cast on 15 stitches with only the cotton string, and then knitted the netting along with the cotton string in plain old garter stitch for as long as I had netting available. I knitted one more row of only cotton sting before casting off. Turns out I had just enough string to make two scrubbies. I ended up with 26 rows, giving me a scrubbie measuring 8.5cm wide by 8cm long.

They took about an hour to make last night, and I feel good about recycling the netting, which would normally end up in the bin for landfill. They feel really firm in your hand, probably because the tension is really tight. They are rough enough to take the grime off, but will not scratch your non-stick pans. The good thing about them being 100% cotton is that you will be able to pop them in the dishwasher to clean and they won't shrink. Here's a close up to inspire you to rummage around and see what you can do.