A Long Hiatus

It has been a very long time since I’ve updated this blog. During that time I’ve been busy working on the most complicated and tiring crafting project I’ve ever undertaken. And any day now I’ll finally get to meet the result.

pregnancy silhouette

(Photo credit to Natasha McCarthy of McCarthy Photography and Design)

Finally, after many months of having no urge to craft I’ve been struck by the crafting bug, and now I have the best possible reason to create.

There are lots of projects to come, but the very first thing I made is this pair of crocheted shark booties. I bought the pattern from Janine Tsakisiris on Ravelry.

These are insanely adorable and were quick and easy to make. My husband used these to announce to his co-workers that we were expecting by placing them on his desk at work and waiting for people to notice.

crocheted shark booties

I hope you like them too!

True Love

I bought a sewing machine. I’m not sure this will turn out to be a good life decision. I’m completely obsessed.

I now start every day by groggily rolling out of bed due to staying up too late sewing the night before. I curse the fact that I have to go to work because my job is seriously cutting into my precious sewing time. I spend all day at work desperately trying to focus on the tasks in front of me and not my next sewing project.

I rush home after work and immediately dive into a sewing project.
Dinner? No problem, I’ll send the husband out for subs, scarf one down, and keep on sewing.
Housework? Okay, so I didn’t do much of that before. No real change there.
Video games? Yes, even the time suck that previously ate the most hours of my life has almost completely disappeared from my world.

My iron has never seen so much use, there are thread pieces all over my floor, and my back may be permanently curved from hunching over my sewing table all day, but I’m in love. And true love sometimes requires sacrifice.

Janome Sewist 525S

Here’s my new baby. She’s one of the Janome school model machines. There’s nothing fancy about her, but she does everything I need and more. I’ve named her Suki which is the Japanese verb for “to like” or “to love”.1

I really will try to start posting some of the items I’m making. But let’s be honest, that’s just more time I’m not sewing 🙂



1 According to the Internet, which is always correct, right?

Pumpkin Passport – July

I’m finally caught up!

Wouldn’t you love a camel ride past a pyramid? I’m sure in reality it’s hot and smelly, but in my mind it seems like the greatest adventure ever!

Cross stitch scene of a girl riding a camel past a pyramid

Now to get caught up on some geek-a-long knitting. If only I can pull myself away from Pokémon Go long enough…

Pumpkin Passport – May & June

I’m working hard to get caught up on the Pumpkin Passport stitch-a-long by Frosted Pumpkin. I’ve fallen a few months behind but am almost back on track.

Here are May and June’s installments – Greece and Russia:

Cross stitch scenes of Greece and Russia


That means I’m half way there! I’m almost finished July and if I can get a bit of stitching time in today I’ll be fully caught up!

Frosted Pumpkin recently released two new stitch-a-longs, one is Halloween themed and the other is a trip through six national parks. I’ll admit I’m rather tempted by the Halloween one, but between this project and the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long I think my craft-a-long quota is maxed out. But it’s always so hard to pass up these adorable designs, so I may end up caving after all.

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 6

Here are two more squares for my Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long blanket.

Front of double knit half life square

Front of double knit 007 square

These squares have a few things in common:

They are both from game franchises I have never played. (I did recently install Half Life 2, although I haven’t made it to playing it yet. But that must count for something!)

They are both knit with orange yarn. (Obviously)

And most importantly….

They are my first attempts at extreme double-knitting! And what is extreme double-knitting you might ask? Check out the backs of these squares:

Back of double knit Half Life 2 square

Back of double knit 007 square

That’s right, no backward symbols here! Instead of being a mirror image on the back like the rest of the squares so far, these look “proper” from either side.

The basic concept of double-knitting is to always carry two colours of yarn and knit with the colour that should show on the facing side and purl with the other colour. In extreme double-knitting this rule of making sure you work a stitch in each colour is thrown out the window, and each stitch is made in whatever colour is needed to make the pattern work on both sides. This means you could have many stitches of one colour on your needle while the other colour of yarn is simply carried along between the two layers of fabric.

Which for me, really means having to pay way too much attention to chart reading, and a slew of tension issues. But I think they were worth it in the end.

I learned how to extreme double-knit, and more importantly, how to create patterns for extreme double-knitting, from Alasdair Post-Quinn’s Adventures in Double-Knitting class on Craftsy. I absolutely loved this class and highly recommend it if you have any interest in learning the double-knitting technique.

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 5

Double-knit portal symbol

When I first sat down to start writing a blog post about Portal I could not figure out what to say about this quirky, strange puzzle game. So, of course, I immediately abandoned the blog post and went and played through all of Portal and half of Portal 2. How could I not?

For those unfamiliar with the game the premise is incredibly simple. It’s actually a first person shooter style game but the gun you are given does only one thing – place portals. One blue portal and one orange portal to be exact, and when you step into one of your portals you come out the other. Equipped with nothing but this gun you work your way through increasingly difficult, obstacle course style game levels.

Portal is a great game and one I think everyone should play. It’s unique, dark, funny, and yes, at times exceptionally frustrating. but that just makes it more satisfying when you finally make it past a tough spot. To me it feels more like a proof of concept than a fully developed game, but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable, it just means that even if you’re as bad at puzzle games as I am you can likely play through the whole game in an afternoon.

Portal 2, however, is absolutely phenomenal. With more way more puzzles including many new and intriguing components, hilarious dialog, and a variety of settings, this game provides many more hours of entertainment. It also has some of the most fun co-op gaming the husband and I have ever played. And, once you’ve finished all of the Valve created content there’s a full level editor for creating your own puzzles, and hundreds of thousands of fan created levels to play. Oh, and the best part is that you can often pick up both games on a Steam sale for less than $5. So really, why are you still reading this instead of playing Portal?

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 4

Time to start posting some Geek-a-Long squares! I have been spending almost every spare moment double-knitting to try to keep up with the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long. I’m a fairly novice knitter, new to double-knitting, and have done very little colour work, so these squares are taking roughly 15 hours a piece. Yes, I’m that slow. Yes, I have to frog my work that often. But it’s completely worth it in the end, so on to the squares…

Here are two game series I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never played. First up is Rayman.

Double-knit Rayman

I’m going to give myself a bit of a pass on this one. The Rayman series didn’t hit popularity until after my childhood video game stage and before my adult video game stage (there was about a 10 year gap in there where I actually did proper human things like go outside… gasp!). Since Rayman really wasn’t on my radar, of course I haven’t played any of the games. Rayman Legends is on my Steam wishlist if that counts for anything, but even during the last couple of Steam sales it didn’t make it to the top of the buy list.

Mario Kart, I sadly have no excuse.

Mario Kart double-knit star

There is no logical reason for why I’ve never played a Mario Kart game. As a kid I must have played every other Mario game for the Super Nintendo. I also spent many hours playing F-Zero, so the issue clearly isn’t an aversion to racing games. As an adult I’ve logged quite a few hours on the Wii and DS and Mario Kart appears on many “best games ever” lists for both of these systems. I know multiple people who when asked what their all-time favourite game is will reply with Mario Kart without even a moment of hesitation. I’m really feeling like I should immediately run out and pop my Mario Kart cherry. But alas, there’s just too much knitting to do!

Pumpkin Passport – April

It’s completely ridiculous, but between the Pumpkin Passport and the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-long, I have been spending so much time crafting lately that I haven’t had any time to actually photograph or post what I’ve been working on! Time to remedy that.

The April installment of the Frosted Pumpkin Pumpkin Passport takes us to Switzerland. Okay, I’ll admit it, I know nothing about Switzerland, except that my boss has gone there to ski a couple of times, and she always brings back excellent chocolate. And really, what more do you need in a country than excellent chocolate? Maybe the cutest sheep in the world, but Switzerland happens to have that too.

Switzerland cross stitch - Frosted Pumpkin Pumpkin Passport April

2016 Geek-a-Long Update 3

Tetris is probably the first game I ever loved. I spent many, many hours with my trusty Game Boy and this game. And I was actually good at it! I love video games, and I play a lot of them, but there are very few that I’ve ever been able to brag about my skill at. In fact I think Tetris and bilging in Puzzle Pirates are about it. Sadly, it’s been quite a few years since I played either of these games, so I’m thinking I probably shouldn’t be bragging too loudly anymore.

I choose to knit my Tetris square in green since it reminded me so much of the original Game Boy screen colour. I’m really happy with how this square turned out, and love that the Llamas were clever enough to make the score reversible. I am however, a little saddened by just how bad this Tetris player is at the game. And it does make me a little nostalgic for the days when puzzle games didn’t require you to pay real money, wait a day, or spam your friends to play the next level…

Front of double knit Tetris square

Back of double knit Tetris square

If you still haven’t checked out the Lattes and Llamas Geek-a-Long you really should. It’s been  an absolute blast so far.

Crochet Baby Blanket

Most crafters love making items for other people. I am clearly not most crafters.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love that moment when you give someone a hand-crafted item and they truly love it, and they appreciate just how much effort goes into a handmade work. It’s all the moments leading up to that moment that I don’t love. The stress that comes with working on a deadline, the worry over whether the recipient will like the gift or if it will just get tossed in a closet never to be seen again, and the constant feeling that whatever I’m making isn’t good enough – if I can see all the flaws then clearly everyone else must be able to as well!

And yet, despite all these feelings, when I’m horribly sick, swamped with work, and have less than three weeks until a baby shower, I’ll still end up deciding that making something is a good idea. Because even though I spend the whole project grumbling to my husband, asking why I always do this to myself, swearing that I will never do this again, and cursing myself for thinking that crafting on a deadline is ever a good idea, deep down I know I will make the same decision again… and again… and again. Because at heart I’m a crafter, and that’s what crafters do.

On the plus side, I’m not completely deluded, so at least I picked the fairly simple rainbow granny square afghan from Stacey Trock’s Modern Baby Crochet as the project. There’s nothing better than whipping out piles of granny squares while watching movies on a Saturday afternoon. Granted, washing, blocking, and joining all the silly things wasn’t my favourite task, but making the squares was fast, so even with my crazily short timeline I had well over a week to deal with the finishing.

Crocheted granny square rainbow blanket

Stacey’s version of the blanket used grey instead of white for the joining colour – perhaps a more baby friendly (i.e. less stain apparent) choice – but I needed the yarn in my hands immediately, so I had to settle for whatever Micheal’s had in stock. Frankly, I was thrilled to find all the rainbow colours I needed in a single brand of yarn1, so no complaints. In the end I like the fresh and modern look of the white, and I did use a machine washable acrylic, so hopefully it holds up okay. Of course I’ll continue to worry since that’s what I do about items made as gifts.

Luckily, I think the recipient (my co-worker, who is expecting her first baby to arrive any second now) truly appreciated the blanket. Hopefully when her little baby girl finally decides to join us, she will as well.


1The yarn was the Michaels exclusive Loops & Threads Soft & Shiny. Sadly, I believe it has been discontinued. It was actually a fairly nice acrylic to work with and the final blanket was unbelievably soft. If it hadn’t been a gift I might still be rubbing it against my face.