Tag Archives: stuff to do while doing other stuff

Busyness: why I shouldn’t go to Michael’s

I shouldn’t go to Michael’s because there is always a sale on something that I didn’t think I needed until I saw it. But then I see it and I have to have it, and I can justify it because it was on sale.

An example: when getting the embroidery floss for the Prank Craft , I found out that Bernat’s Baby Blanket yarn, which is this great chenille-feeling super bulky, was 30% off. And it comes in super-cute variegated colours. And there was an easy-looking pattern on the label. All these things came together, and I thought to myself, You know, it’s a shame that you haven’t made Baby Bear a blankie of her own. You make blankies for everyone else’s babies, but not for your baby. What is up with that? I bet she would love a snuggly chenille-feeling blankie in Peachy.

20 minutes later I am walking out of Michael’s six balls of Bernat Baby Blanket richer, trying to ignore the fact that the bunny blanket is waiting patiently to be completed before its August deadline.

Fortunately for the bunny blanket, Baby Bear’s project is whipping up nice and quick:

cuddle blankie

It is indeed an easy pattern: corner-to-corner seed stitch. I still managed to screw up a couple row (don’t knit and watch Criminal Minds, apparently), but the yarn is really forgiving and doesn’t show.

The pattern can be found on Yarnspirations, the new site for the Bernat/Patons/Caron/Phentex family of yarn brands. I hadn’t realized that they had put all their brands together under one site and do I ever appreciate the redesign. Much more user-friendly, and nicer to look at to boot.


Magic beans

Our back garden is fascinating: when you dig in the soil you get the worst stuff coming up, like bottle caps and rusty nails and cigarette butts. But the plants cannot get enough of it.

Check this peony:

growing like WEEDS

growing like WEEDS

I had been concerned that it wouldn’t come back, but nope! Came back bigger and better than before.

Because I’m still a fairly lazy gardener, I like to set myself up for success and plant things that are known to be easy to grown. To whit, scarlet runner beans. But I still can’t get over how awesomely fast they grow.

last week

this week

this week

No skill, planning, effort, or even healthy-looking dirt needed. Giant’s castle and golden-egg laying hen, here we come.

Busyness: knitting

I have been knitting since I was ten. My grandparents taught me and my brother and sister and cousins to knit (we were all visiting and it was raining). I have improved, gradually, to the point where I can look at a photo of something and know how it was done, read a pattern, and figure out how to substitute various items to get the same result.

I like knitting because it is a (fairly) low effort for a big result. Many of the things I make are gifts and people are generally quite pleased to receive something hand-made (as long as it doesn’t look too hand-made). It is something that I can do on the subway, in a car, on a plane, on a train, while I watch a movie, while I’m hanging out with my daughter while she plays – all very portable and put-down-able. Also it will be a good skill to have in the post-oil apocalypse, just putting that one out there.

A recent favourite project is this little headband:

Headband for a baby, because babies care about this kind of thing

Headband for a baby, because babies care about this kind of thing

This particular pattern is from Baby Knits Made Easy, a very nice pattern book with a variety of projects for the littles. Not only are the patterns easy to follow, the book itself is lovely: lots of white space, nice layout, and great photography. The different pattern groupings are a little weird but that’s what a table of contents/index is for.

Predictably, this was the result.

Predictably, this was the result.