Jana is a Corporate Ninja, an Immunology geek, and a Rogue Knitter born and raised in the Tdot. She is a heavily tattooed, breastfeeding, baby wearing, co-sleeping, cloth diapering, rainbow coloured clothing mama to Silas Gray. She synthesizes and shares data, connects the dots, and likes to help people make better decisions.
So way, way back in December 2011 I started a blanket. A lovely, lovely granny stripe blanket (using Lucy from Attic 24’s tutorial – found here). I worked on it off and on (mostly off) until we purchase Tiny Cabin. I started dreaming of a space filled with hand made goodies, but was too busy with my holiday knitting to start back up. Well, this past month I picked up my afghan again and just finished blocking it yesterday – 3 and 1/3 years later (oh dear!).
For an afghan, this blanket turned out a little bigger than expected once I’d added the edging (to be fair, this is about 2″ extra in all directions) and blocked the blanket.
I used a 3.25mm crochet hook, which is much too small for the cascade 220 I was using. I ended up with a very dense, very warm blanket (which is nice as I like blankets like that).
I picked 7 colours of cascase – a dark purple, a bright fuschia, a medium blue, a robin’s egg blue, a leaf green, a bright yellow, and a pale gray. I did a 7 row repeat, with random selection of colour (except for one strange section where I did a little ABCDEDCBA pattern for some reason that escapes me).
I sewed ends in off and on, which at least made me feel like I was getting closer to the end. And one evening last week I finished the very last stripe and then sewed the last 28 repeats of ends in (so 56 ends).
Then I got to plan the edging. I was thinking gray to keep from being overwhelmed, but decided last minute that since I had a fair amount of colours leftover that I’d add a little pop in there. I did 3 rows of single chain, chain one to create a tiny pattern and to show the colours off.
And then I ended with a lovely scallop! And despite not paying any attention at all to stitch counts or rows or whether or not my planned edging would, you know, fit the blanket that I’d made I went for it. And despite the fact that my corners aren’t exactly uniform it turned out pretty smashingly.
I’m pretty excited to 1) be finished this project (oh my goodness, finally!) (to be fair I did knit 4 baby blankets last year so that should count for something), and 2) to see this on the back of the couch at Tiny Cabin.
I still have yarn leftover, so now I’m dreaming about crocheting a matching pair of granny square arm protectors for the couch. I want to start them now, now, NOW. I’m going to be good and wait until we head up for May 24 so that I can measure the couch arms so that they’ll fit.
Maybe now I’ll make some progress on the rest of my works in progress…
We did a mini power road trip up to Tiny Cabin yesterday. Our renos are done and we wanted to check them out (plus pay the contractor!).
Our renos were pretty thorough given how small the space is. We had the loft lowered by 10″ (makes it much easier to move around). We had the permanent ladder removed as it was semi-dangerous with a toddler. Instead we had a central drop down ladder installed, which divides the loft space up so that it’s more usable. We had the bathroom changed around – we removed the shower stall and moved the toilet so that we could put in a short bathtub. We also moved the sink from the bathroom to the newly created kitchen space, because who wants to do their dishes in the bathroom? We also put in a tiny kitchen (4 cupboards total and a sink) so that we have a proper food prep area. We had the white bead board taken down as it was totally unstable and instead had pine put up which looks lovely. We also insulated the roof and had pine installed in the loft as well. Our nice contractor even built some proper shelving (now with doors!) on the inside of the door.
So we went from this before, noting that all the stuff there is stuff that the previous owners left behind! The entire loft was full of bedding, pillows, carpets, and just stuff!
To this after. Please excuse the washed out look – the light was so bright in the middle of winter that I didn’t stand a chance!
We brought another load of junk home and still have at least one to go before we’ve gotten through everything we need to (like the 2 carpets and the old bed frame that are resting on the couch).
We’re looking forward to this spring. Our first visit will suck a little bit because it’ll be the final clean up (I have to get the rest of the saw dust swept/mopped up), but the good news is that it is such a tiny space that I’m sure that it’ll go quickly.
There are still a few things that we need to do before it’s totally good to go – like get rid of the godforsaken carpet tiles. Who on earth puts in carpet tiles in a cabin surrounded by hemlocks? We’re thinking that this year we’ll live with the current flooring and next fall we’ll see about getting laminate put down. I’m not normally a huge fan of laminate, but with a toddler running in and out and being sandy and dirty, it’s probably the easiest and best option for me to stay sane/keep clean.
We put together a ‘need this’ list and the next month or so will be spent getting us ready to go. Things like bedding, towels, shower curtains, a dish drying rack, and some small appliances.
We’re almost there!
My husband is a life long nerd – board games, miniatures, Warhammer 40k, and now Magic (again). When we had Silas, we ended up with less time to spend and it’s hard to regularly find an entire weekend afternoon to dedicate to gaming. Jason was feeling a little unlike himself with some nerd gaming going on. And then Magic came back into his life.
Over the last few months, the pile of cards has steadily grown. Card protectors and binders and boxes have magically appeared.
Hey Dad, what are you doing? Huh, huh? What are those things?
Here let me help.
I’m really happy that Jason has found a way to channel his love of gaming in a balanced way. It can be a difficult transition as a parent when you realize that your own hobbies and loves sometimes fall by the wayside because of timing/time commitments/not being baby or toddler appropriate (for example, my spinning wheel is too much temptation for Silas for me to have it out).
I’m really hoping that the new Meeplemart location will mean that Jason will get to start gaming with miniatures again! They are much closer to home (yay for more gaming time and less travel time) and have an awesome space for gaming.
A week or so ago we tried finger painting for the first time and it was a huge hit. I bought a set from the art store to use. We had a lot of fun, but I couldn’t imagine spending that much money all the time so I did some pinterest research. I found a recipe for homemade finger paints and tried them out yesterday.
These were simple and fast to make (like 15 minutes). I spent some money ($30-ish) and bought liquid water colours for various toddler art projects instead of using food colouring (which can stain). But judging from how much I used for this project alone, these will last quite a while and be cost effective in the long run. I really like how vibrant the colours I got were and they washed off / left no staining which was awesome! I’ll also be using the water colours when we make bath tub friendly shaving foam paint.
I’ve added this recipe to my old school recipe box because it will definitely get made again.
Also, thank goodness for Ikea art smocks. Those things cover everything.
Sometime last year I bought three braids of New Zealand Perendale from Maude and Me, two in an orange/brown colourway called Maple and one in a yellow/brown colourway called Mr. Brightside. As soon as I saw them I knew that they needed to be a 70’s hand spun yarn in a lovely 3-ply.
I bought the braids and they languished in my fiber cupboard (if you’ve been to my house you know that I have an entire hutch FULL of fiber), waiting until my Hansen mini-Spinner arrived. I knew that my Majacraft and it’s tiny 4oz bobbins wouldn’t be enough to hold this yarn, whereas the giant Woolee Winder bobbins will hold a massive 8-10oz of fiber!!
For reference, each of the bobbins has about 4.5oz of fiber on it and still has tonnes of room left.
For the people who wonder where I get the time – these singles took me 5 week to spin. Pre-child I could have had this same amount spun up in a weekend at most. I might still get stuff done, but it takes way, way longer.
This past weekend I finally got around to plying these. Man oh man is this yarn full of retro awesomesauce. The orange and yellow and brown work so well together – so, so well. It reminds me of a chevron crochet afghan that my mom made in the 70’s.
And yes, that is snow in the background. Welcome to Canada, where the crazy spinners stand in the cold with no coat/sweater on (I may have been in a tank top) at 9am to take photos of hand spun yarn against a snowy backdrop to make the colours pop.
Because it’s me and I’m not a process person I didn’t bother to count yardage. I did end up with a dk-worsted-ish 3-ply in one massive skein, one medium skein, and one baby skein (where I had a breakage and started again). But one breakage in 12+oz of singles is pretty good by my count!
I don’t have definite plans for this yarn yet, but in my head it would be an amazing crocheted granny square pillow cover. This just might happen if I can finish up some of the top secret projects currently in the queue.