Thursday, October 18, 2012

Uncertain

I don't know how I feel about this...

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Sneak peeks...

What could it be? I can't even show the finished projects until they are in the hands of the recipients. Element of surprise :)

It's blue with white trim. Weird guesses from friends? Knitted underpants. I surely hope not.


Pink and sparkly?

Cables and flatly knit. hmmm.

Random shape?


Saturday, October 06, 2012

Under a blanket of blue...

Remember the blanket I blogged about before?


Under a blanket of blue, just you and me beneath the stars, wrapped in the arms of sweet romance, The night is ours

It's finally done. Seems impressive that it's done, but it's been about 1.5 years since that blogpost. My coworker calls this blanket "badass". I think it's a hilarious description for something soft and warm. It's like describing a rose as "totally ninja".

The kicker was that I actually ran out of yarn, went to the store, and they did not have the same color. I have a thing about keeping things perfect, and having it exactly the way I want...but I had to let it go, and bought the closest color. I added it to the beginning and end of the blanket. It turned out pretty nice.

So letting go of control? Sometimes things turn out better, and most definitely unique. I'm known to rip apart rows and rows of my knit/crochet projects because I twisted a stitch earlier in the project. My hubby suggests that I actually intentionally insert a mistake in my future project to get over that feeling. mistakes are okay. Intentionally making a mistake just feels so against my grain.

This blanket was made so that we wouldn't have to share an older crochet afghan I had made. Share is the nicer word for tug-o-war. However, it hasn't really worked out that way. Hilariously, we both now tug at the new blanket, or hubby just uses both. Crack.me.up. In reality, I must confess, this blanket was made for him. :)


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Quack!

Aren't these hilarious but cute baby booties? Well, that's what they are if you can't tell from the work-in-progress photo.

They're actually quick to whip up. I can crank one out on a Saturday. If you're planning to try out the pattern (found here: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEss10/PATTduck.php), I should warn you that having experience with toe-up socks is a plus. I haven't knit toe-up socks before (only cuff-down), and at points in the pattern, I actually said (aloud), "WUT?" I was able to quickly figure it out though.

Excuse the yarn ends sticking out all over. I hate weaving in the ends and will leave it until I have to.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Spinning - Maybe I won't suck this time

I haven't been crafting a lot; thus, I haven't blogged since November of last year. There is no excuse for it really. I got swept up by birthdays, Christmas, New Years, vacation, and laying on the floor lethargically because I was immobilized either by my happy food belly or fitness routine.

However, Spring is near and I'm starting to get crafty urges. Although intense indoor crafting would make more sense in the Winter, there is actually very little daylight resulting in me uncomfortably squinting at my knitting by a lamp.


Oh, aren't you lovely!

I started on another crocheted throw as the hubby and I yank competitively at the only one we currently have. Actually, at times we race to the couch to get it first. We do have the fleece throws. You know, the ones you can get at Ikea for super cheap. However, they're not that great at trapping heat. So I went to Walmart, and bought a humongous 1000g ball of turquoise acrylic goodness. No scolding about acrylic please. I am not going to handwash and air dry a wool blanket. Here's what I've got so far...


In other news, my practically-a-sister gf and I spent Friday together. This typically means we eat McDonald's, go to yarn stores, do impulsive shopping at Walmart, swim, yoga, paint our toes, knit, watch horrible movies, or BBT (aka bubble tea) our faces off. We did knit this past Friday, where she spent 40 minutes learning and doing a new cast on method...which she then promptly ripped apart. Oh, Melody.

We had stopped by Baaad Anna's on Hastings to use a gift certificate I received from a friend for my birthday. Leora, you are an enabler and it's awesome. At Baaad Anna's, I was baaad blublu as I loaded up my arms with roving and skeins of Noro.

Roving? Why, yes! After chatting with Leah (my internet-crafting-and-random-humour buddy) and seeing her gorgeously handspun skein, I decided to give spinning another try. I had tried spinning before, but was using a short fiber which resulted in my craptastic looking yarn. So I picked up some roving with longer fibers from Baaad Anna's.

Yes, you are yummy!

The hubby had commented that it looked like treasure troll hair when I had pulled out a tuft of it. Blasphemy!

I created a leader and started spinning on my bottom whorl spindle.

 
 I'm much more consistent this time around, but it's still thicker and thinner in some places. It's still going to be "specialty yarn". We shall see what happens!

Here is some yarn pr0n for you. Noro!

Happy Crafting!
Blublu




Sunday, November 21, 2010

About face! A Renovations Update blog

I've been living in this house now for 1 year and 3 months and have only posted once as to how the the hubby and I have been doing with the reno's. So here's a little entry journaling our adventure in updating the house.

The Dining Room

Here is the before of the dining room.

BEFORE:


Now, it's not a true "before" picture as the hubby and I had already switched out the grotesque light fixture after the picture was taken. Cardboard piano box in the corner is to add to the beforeness of the situation. It's akin to those infomercials with the tomato slicer. You know, when they show you a clip of how your world was before this miraculous tomato slicer. It's a clip of someone not knowing how to use a knife to cut a tomato and they end up smooshing the entire tomato into the cutting board. uh. user error.  ridiculous. *blank*

Oh right..reno's...note the wall color (or lack of), and the framing around the door into the kitchen.

AFTER
Here's the after picture.
A list of what we've done: 
  • Painted the feature wall a yummy chocolate brown and the white walls a lovely shade of olive-tan. 
  • Added picture rails to the wall so that we could hang up art without damaging the walls
  • Rug!
  • Added one of our antique chairs to the corner. We like sitting here and watching people on the street. 
  • Put up sheers, curtains, and that thermal curtain stuff
  • Antique white table with antique sewing machine in the corner
  • Changed the framing on the door to the kitchen
  • Note the crown molding and the baseboards
  • Abducted my brother's fish and he now lives on my piano (muahaha)
  • Abducted my mother's myrtle plant, and it now lives on the dining room table
There is a bit of stuff in the dining room. That is, the sewing table and the piano. However, that stuff might get moved after we renovate other parts of the house. Dig the art?

Here's a close up of the picture rail. Picture rail is basically molding with a very specific shape. You then hang hooks on it, and then hang pictures on the hook. Simple and actually a very classic feature.

The Living Room

I actually do not have a very decent picture of what the living room looked like before I changed things up. Actually, I do. But I am sure the friends in said picture would not want their faces plastered up all over the internet. Oh what the hades! I'll just blur out their faces.

BEFORE

This is the before picture. Note the crappy window fixings, and the colourless walls.

AFTER

This is the after picture. Sorry for the darkness. Those windows let in a lot of light which is difficult to capture on film.

Things we've done...
  • Added molding to the windows
  • Baseboards and Crown Molding
  • Adding sheer curtain, thermal curtain, and curtain curtain
  • I've made a cushion :P
  • Painted the walls
This is a close up of the molding before on the window. That is, there's no molding and it's all about really gross horizontal blinds.

Here's a close up of the molding around the windows. Hubby actually had to saw off the ledge on the bottom of the window to get this all to work. Still not 100% complete. Needs a bit of wood-filler and touch up.

 The Other Side of the Living Room
I'm sure you all remember the before picture from a post earlier...
BEFORE


Since then, we've added three photos to one of the walls. (In addition to all the other stuff we did back in who knows when).
AFTER
Ignore the Art propping against the wall. It's being returned as it didn't suit the feel the hubs and I were looking for.

A close up of the photos will show that it is a baby picture of me, an adolescent photo of my hubby, and a wedding photo of us both dancing in a random moment. Picture rail again!


The Reading Spot
We have a little reading spot inbetween the dining room and living room. See below picture.
See the antique chair in the foreground with the bookshelf? That's the reading spot. Atop of the bookshelf is one of the hubby's most favorite things. Take a gander...
A happy pair of solid wood pigs. I really like the curtain rod ends in this shot :)

Next Project
The next project is our staircase which was left in a state of disarray when we moved in. The previous owners had taken out the handrail, and there was a crappy install...I can't even get into it because it's such a mess.

Am learning that reno's should be taken one project at a time. Hubby and I take the time to discuss features to add to the house and whether it will be suitable for the look and feel we want. We discuss design down to curtain rod ends, style of handrail, size of art, etc. However, the major theme is to keep things as minimal as possible to create open spaces while creating a warm lived-in home.

Will let you know how the stairwell goes!



Monday, October 18, 2010

I am around!

I have disappeared for an entire season! What have I been doing for the past 3 months?


I was getting my perma-tan in Mexico! (Seriously, that tan lasts about a year. After a year, I go back and get another one). It was an awesome trip that included swimming with the dolphins, horseback riding, snorkeling, and kayaking. The kayaking (1.5 to 2 hours) made me seasick as the waves were very rough, but I slept it away once I got back to the resort.

The hubby was afraid that I would throw up in our kayak. He's the type where others puking induces him to puke or feel nausea. If anything, I would let it all out in the open ocean, but you can't really puke if your stomach is empty. Puke puke puke. There is a lot of "puke" in this paragraph. If hubby is reading this, it would surely make him ill.  Know what would make me nauseous? Scrolling too fast up and down the page, that's what.


Also went for a hike with the colleagues in my department (plus hubby and friend). Upon seeing my photos on FB, one of my other coworkers commented, "I think it's cute that your department goes on nature walks!" Lady, this was no nature walk, it was a 4 hour hike and I had to scale down a tree via some rope and step through creeks. Haha! That and Hubby had me get on this suspension bridge while he rapidly jumped up and down. That was fun for 2 minutes before I started freaking out.

When we found our waterfall, we drank its cool, crisp water, and hoped that we would not get beaver fever.

I'm sure others at work can confirm that we are no madder than usual.



In crafty updates, here's the pic of the blanket I promised to post 3 months ago. It is complete and I find the colors quite suitable for October.

I best be getting that to the baby. It's all of a sudden deceivingly cold in Vancouver. It's sunny out, but you will surely freeze your buns off.

I had to wear my wool jacket the other day as it was cold enough. However, other Vancouverites begged to differ as they ran about the city in their cardigans and sandals -- they are in denial about the cold. Listen,  I was born and raised here, put your jacket on before you catch a cold or I tell your mother.


I'm still working on that rug. I took a picture before I continued working on it. I have finally attached the second canvas. Am closer to getting it done but I must hurry as the floor is freaking cold and winter is creeping up on us. 

I currently have it laying out on the floor so that I can run down the hallway from the bedroom and stand on it to give my cold feet some relief.


 I am also working on a secret project that I can't talk a lot about as it is a gift. But it is in a fabulous purple and knit with a diamond pattern.

My friend is coming home for Christmas early. Basically, this week and I am knitting this thing everywhere: at home, on the train, during lunch, etc.

My friend Mel came back from Hong Kong and presented me with 6 skeins of silk-cashmere-wool blend yarn. Bwahaha. Enabler.

It's in a fabulous green color and I'm not sure what I'm going to make yet but it'll be awhile before I have time to knit something for myself. For now,  it will live happily under my bed with my stash.

That's the update, y'all. I promise to not wait another 3 months before I update again!

<3blublu

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Purrrrrr!: The sound emanating from me and not the sewing machine.

I waited two LONG weeks and my sewing machine motor finally arrived! I attached the motor, and out of sheer excitement, I didn't even know what to sew first and ended up occupying myself with unrelated hobbies. Yeah, that's how I operate.

I was planning to figure out the tension issue yesterday, however, ended up consuming gin & tonic (concocted by my father-in-law) and was much too playful and buzzed to be fidgeting with heavy machinery -- it weighs about the same as an elephant. I ended up bantering about random things with my father-in-law who also had a gin & tonic. My husband (sober) watched in dismay. Then I ended up working on my rug and watching reruns of Frasier and That 70s Show.

I was able to figure out the tension on my sewing machine this afternoon...did you hear that? MY sewing machine. *heart flutters* I'm all ready to go! Only thing, can't start any projects yet; am lacking in the fabric department.  Want to hear that machine purr? I've uploaded a video! This is my nerdiness at its finest, thankyouverymuch.

video


Purrrr! Oh my heart strings!

Here's my rug progress! I am a quarter done of the entire rug. This is just half the canvas! Things are just moving along! My husband took one look at it and declared that this piece of artwork was going on the wall. I died inside. It.is.a.rug.  The way I feel about it is probably about the same way animal activists feel about giving pet dogs dye jobs. Watch it end up on the wall. Ha ha. *sigh*


Because life isn't complete with yet another project, I started a cable twist scarf.
No cable needle necessary, thank goodness. There's no use slowing me down!
 
I did also finish that baby blanket I was working on. Need to take pictures. Maybe next time :)

I'm still trying to understand my fascination with having a million projects going at once. I know I like the feeling of mastery; thus, the many different hobbies. 

Off to yoga I go now!

Happy Canada Day!!!

blublu

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

...and you maaaake me feel, so shiny and new!

My friend, M, came over and helped me scrub down my machine. No longer is it covered in caked-on decade-old grease. We brushed away all old lint. There was some caked on thread-grease gunk on the feeder feet.  My husband had to take the machine outside, and turn it in all directions to get miscellaneous dirt and dust out of it. Not an easy feat as it weighs like 2039480928 pounds.

If you remember, this is the before (Sorry for the crap lighting).
Here it is all tidied up!


It's like an entirely different machine.  Here are the knobs.

I've just figured out that I am definitely the easiest person to shop for. "Here's a pack of sewing machine needles, blublu!" or "I just stumbled upon this skein of virgin wool and thought of you!" or "This fabric would look great on you!" My, that would make anybody a bag of awesome in my books.

Monday, June 07, 2010

You're vintage, Brother!

Long time no blog! Why? I was in Los Angeles on a business-turned-pleasure trip. Despite being filmed, overeating, and having an entourage, the only pics I have are of my husband and I at the Observatory. Complete geekery at its finest!

 Above: At the Observatory

In other news, I finally found a sewing machine that fits my criteria 100%. I wanted one that was all-metal construction and capable of a zigzag stitch. Sounds simple to find? Hardly! They don't make all-metal machines anymore (at a reasonable price). Voila! Here it is!

 Above: You're vintage, Brother!

This thing is heavy! It's a vintage Japanese sewing machine. Quite the sexy beast! How much did it cost? Free! Craiglist is awesome. It's missing a motor, and I need to replace the needleplate (because I do not like the one on the machine currently), a lightbulb, and this rubber ring that touches the control wheel.

I've found the needleplate online. I suspect any ol' sewing motor will do. The motor sits external to the machine, which makes my life easier, I suppose. I spent many hours of my day googling for information about this machine.

This is what I know...

*It's a Brother, Model 280
*Made in Japan
*has J C 1 imprinted on the bottom of the machine

None of this information was found via Google. *head to desk* However, I did join a Yahoo Group "Japanese Vintage Sewing Machines". Apparently, there's a lot of history to this machine, but I still feel as though I don't know much.

Well keep you posted on how the repairs go!

In other news, made Orange Glazed Chicken Curry with Cilantro.

Indeed, I made this Indian dish in a Wok. This suits my marriage perfectly, thankyouverymuch. If you would like the recipe, you can find it here.

Signing off,

Blublu

Sunday, May 16, 2010

I pimp...err hook rugs.

My entire weekend was comprised of working on my rug. Yes, I started my rug project. No, I didn't finish that baby blanket. I intend to ask the expectant mother to not be selfish and to hold it (i.e. the baby) in until I'm good and ready for the kid. I kid (no pun intended).

Actually, a little lie. I didn't spend the entire weekend working on my rug. Some of Saturday morning was spent walking 3km to yoga class, then attending yoga class (killer camel pose), and then walking 3km back. On the way back, I decided to take a shortcut, which ended up being a dead-end. I had come to the chain link fence of the quaintest and one of the oldest cemeteries ever. The owners of the houses next to this chain link fence were in their yards doing work. They recommended that I hop the fence. "Just climb on over. It's not private property or anything!" I'm sure the corpses disagree.

Well, you know what? Why the hell not? Who do I think I am with a Lululemon yoga bag, and Blenz MatchaChillo in hand. A yoga yuppie? No! So, over the fence one-handedly I went. BTW, I thought I'd stop with the shortcuts in my neighborhood since getting lost during a run and having to go 9kms --not the case. Worth it though. Discovery is amazing.

Anyhow, WHY do I always digress?  So the rug...I worked on it for MOST of Saturday. As of this morning, this is what I have...

Looks impressive, but that's only a very small part of the rug. The canvas shown there is just HALF the rug. I think I have to fill over 660,000 little squares in the grid. Each blue square shown is 100 tiny little squares. This rug won't hook itself, you know? I have to hook it. OMG, this makes me a rug pimp.

My friend Ric was awesome enough to help me with the design of the rug. I had found an image I liked and it wasn't in the right proportion so he helped me extend the design. Curious what the design is? Too bad, you'll have to wait and see the finished rug! Oh the suspense!

In other news, the hubby got a free lawnmower from our mortgage broker's boss, the Prez of the mortgage company. Yah, I'm not sure how he's always able to swing these things, but it's pretty funny. The hubs mowed the lawn for about three hours. The neighbor commented (she always comments), "So you finally broke down and got a lawnmower!"

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Off the Air

I am done my cushion case. YAY! I slaved away at it yesterday evening and it is finally done. Oh glory!

I celebrated by eating a sizeable amount of Nutella. This was imperative. It's either have a lot or none as hubby would have hoarded it and eaten it all, jar included. We had gone to the supermarket and I had picked up a large bottle from the aisle. Then hubby spotted me with it in hand and said, "No way! No more Nutella in the house!" Calories calories calories.

"I didn't get to eat any last time! You had like the entire jar!"

He: Ok, fine!

When I got home, I told him I was taking it to work and hiding it there. He demanded that I keep it at home and that we share. hilarious.

Wait, right. So the pillow case...

I call it "Off the Air" because it reminds me of those striped lines on the telly when a channel goes off the air after a long day of broadcasting. You know, after that 4am episode of Rhoda. Yes, I haven't watched TV in awhile. Why do you ask?

The back of the pillow I made with regular ol' gray:

Looks sorta like when you turn off your television

Yay tunisian stitch!
 Am now one project closer to that rug!

:)
Blublu

Monday, May 10, 2010

Shame shame!

This post is all about the shame of unfinished things.

Last weekend, I had gone out to purchase rug supplies. Oh yes, I am going to make my own rug because I am fickle about colour and currently there is no rug out there (that is reasonably priced) that prevents my whining. Why yes, I AM feeling a bit Little-House-on-the-Prairies with all this crafting. But, you know what stands in the way of my rug making? My unfinished objects. They'd be my Nellie Olsen.

 I decided that I needed to tackle those unfinished objects before I even think about the rug. How shameful of me to leave them for weeks (ok. months) on end. There is something so evil to me about seaming and sewing knits...only because I'm lazy in that department.

I first tackled those eyeless fish hats. They were blind and swimming aimlessly in my knitting basket.

I presented my brother with his hat, finally. I mentioned to him that it wasn't washed yet, and gave him instructions. He promptly handed it back to me, "You waaaaash it!" Brat.



I also finished sewing on buttons and a label to that baby sweater I was working on.

I also gave my mother her beret this weekend. She laughed because it was hot out. I suppose I could've hid the shame of this by giving it to her next winter.

Still outstanding is my baby afghan and Tunisian crochet project...then I can tackle that rug; that is, if people can hold off on birthing babies for just a moment! I want to make a dang rug!

In renovation news, I am in the midst of figuring out drapes and curtains. Number of Home Depot trips today for the hubby? Two. Number of trips to Walmart for the hubby? Two. I luckily eeked by with just one trip for each.

My backyard is a mess. My neighbor commented, "Shame shame." I am unaffected. Poor lady. Dandelion seeds from my yard are blowing into her garden. However, she's been sneaking her garbage into our garbage can. That sorta balances things out, right?

Other activities this weekend:
  • Ran a little bit over 7.5km. 
  • Played the piano. 
  • Spent the day with my mum (which my brothers promptly crashed). 
  • Went with hubby to have dinner with my Father-in-Law (who loves to give me more rum than coke in my Rum & Coke -- because I'm fun!).
  • Updated the website: http://www.blubluberries.com
  • Visited a garden store and Jysk
Have a great week!

blublu

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The stash has been found, I repeat, the stash has been found.

Sunday afternoon, the hubby is pulling throws out of our antique apple basket when underneath he finds a stash of yarn.


Above: Under the throws, he finds a part of my stash.

He is staring at the yarn at the bottom of the basket. I am tossing the throws back into the basket, "Shhh! Put the blankets back before the hubby sees the stash!" He looks at me incredulously and laughs. "I AM hubby!"

He looks over to my works-in-progress basket by the piano which is also overflowing with yarn, and smirks. The picture below is actually after I've emptied out some of the yarn. So imagine it overflowing and ridiculous. (Ridiculously cool! Hellz to the ya!)


Under the bed, we have two large Sterilite 62L containers holding my stash -- also overflowing. The  picture below shows the container we use for yarn stashing (times two) -- they're pretty big!
 Above: Underbed storage container, I heart thee!

Later on, we are out grabbing some dinner and are having a casual conversation.

"I think I need another one of those underbed storage containers!" I say smiling.

"We don't need another one, do we? Your stash seems fine with the storage we have. Do we even have room under the bed for another container?"

"Yea, we have room underbed for another one. My stash at home is trying to escape the underbed containers - overflow! But what about the stash at work that needs to come home?"

"The stash at work??!"

He got wide-eyed. He sorta looked like this: O_O.

I would describe it as bewildered. Not understanding my psyche.Yet, he was understanding of what he couldn't understand.

After dinner, we went ahead and got me another underbed storage container. Yay! Now there are three. Yes sir, yes sir, three bags containers full.

 Above: Missing the work stash.

Needless to say, no more yarn purchases for blublu for awhile. Not until I knit down the stash. 

Final thoughts on the matter: I <3 hubby.
In other news, I've picked up the Tunisian Crochet technique. It's the love child of knitting and crocheting. Whoever says the two techniques should never be mixed is nuts, especially when you see how great it looks!

The technique uses a long double ended crochet hook (or alternatively, a hook with a cord), there is a knit and a purl stitch, the work above curls like stockinette stitch (as it's all knit), and it is also one of the few ways in which I will tolerate variegated yarn.  Most other times, I think variegated yarn just looks like a clown puked a rainbow on a skein of yarn. Not pleasant.