Happy First Day of Winter: Time for Mittens

It's the shortest day of the year and quite frankly, feels like the coldest. I know it isn't actually the coldest, but it's seriously chilly here. I'm really not a fan of the cold. Days like today, when I'm out freezing in my down parka, are the days when I dream of someday living in California. I envy my parents and their desert living.

The onset of winter and cold means that I need to start knitting some mittens. I lost a mitten last winter and have been wearing fingerless gloves since then. They were knit for use in a cold library, not really outside weather. With all the stuff I've had on the go, I haven't had time to start a pair of mittens until now. I also couldn't decide what kind of mittens to knit. My last pair had a cable and were knit in Cascade 22o. They were good, but it is time for a change. And then I saw these:

katespade_mittens

They're the Kate Spade alpine norwegian mittens. I can't really afford them (although...I just noticed they're on sale now...), but as a knitter, I can never justify buying anything that I know I can knit myself.

Mine are being knit up as a solid purple in Lion Brand Vanna's Choice (acrylic) rather than lambswool. I usually use Kris Percival's Warmest Mittens pattern from the Knitting Pretty book (which was my first knitting book) as my base for any mitten I make. It's a good basic pattern and it's free. I might make another pair in a slightly more luxurious and natural fibre once I figure the pattern out exactly. Until then, I'll just be happy to have mittens that cover my entire hand.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Sunday, December 21, 2008 0 comments Links to this post  

My albatross in pine

Four years ago, my parents brought us up a desk set from Texas. This desk has never really worked out for us. Too big, not big enough, et cetera. After trying to use it for school and then unsuccessfully trying to sell it as a set (desk, hutch, bookshelf and filing cabinet), I had the genius idea to use it as a craft/sewing desk. This is what it looked like when I first set it up:

craft desk

There are no photos of what it looked like after that, because that would be embarrassing. It was a giant collector of dust and junk.

The idea had been to do something like this:

a good idea

ReadyMade always has such good ideas, but I'm not so good with the follow through on them. Somehow, I completely forgot how pegboard worked. I used this crazy spray glue and glued it directly to the back of the hutch portion of the desk. Looked good, except...all the holes were blocked! Drilling didn't really work out. It was difficult to get through the back of the desk (the wood just splintered) and I didn't have the patience to drill through every hole. So the genius organizing idea never happened.

I should have known. The desk was trouble from day one.

As I mentioned, the desk came from Texas. I am not from Texas. My parents were driving through on their way to Canada from California and had stopped to visit friends in Dallas. This friend had purchased the desk when she lived in North Carolina and was going to get rid of it. My mom said, "No! Don't! It's a great desk!" And they rented a U-Haul and brought it to Canada for us, seeing as we didn't have much furniture at the time.

Things were shifted about the truck and U-Haul to accomodate the desk set. When my parents arrived in Canada and opened the back of the U-Haul, they discovered that because things were no longer packed as well as when they left California and had spilled out from containers and boxes.

The boxes of fresh dates had broken open and spilled everywhere. The worst was that somehow, the jostling of one container led to a bottle of clear nail polish breaking off at the neck of the bottle (WTF?), spilling all over the container. Which wouldn't be so bad except that a jewelery case with my mom's pearls also popped open. By the time this was discovered, the pearls were dried into a shellacked mess. We salvaged some, but the necklace was ruined and my mom was heartbroken (they had been a gift from a good friend).

This should have been a sign. An omen. A warning that this desk was trouble. Alas! We took it in and tried to use it. It has been moved around our apartment so many times that I've lost count. And now it is back in the living room, waiting for someone to come by and give me $25 for it. I'm keeping the bookshelf and hoping that he'll take the filing cabinet (with the drawers that would never stay shut because my floors are hopelessly slanted). I swear, if this guy doesn't show up this evening, I'm going to use the damn thing for firewood (it's really quite heavy and made of solid wood, not pressboard). Well, I would if I had a fireplace.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Thursday, December 18, 2008 3 comments Links to this post  

hot chocolate and knitting weather

Honestly, this is what the Environment Canada forecast is calling for at the moment:
14. the forecast calls for daggers

What is that? daggers?

It's pretty icky outside. Not the worst I've ever seen, but enough to make me want to stay inside. And since the weather's plan is to turn into this:
15. snow and rain - just in case one isn't miserable enough

I think it's safe to say that today is a day to stay in with a cup of hot chocolate, my knitting and Twilight. (which, FYI, is not all that awesome. I'll still go see the movie because it's fully of pretty people, but I'm not sure it'll sustain my interest for an entire series of books. There is much better YA lit out there). My only wish is that I could read and knit at the same time.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

my first blogiversary was ... last month!

oh man! I completely forgot when I started blogging and it appears that I'm almost a month past the anniversary of my first post. boo. Although, to be fair - November is a rotten month Chez Pineapples. It's usually killer busy with school. As well, I believe my first blogiversary coincides with the birthday of Mr. P. He supports blogging, but I think he'd take offense if I skipped his b'day for my blog.

I'll have to come up with something awesome to celebrate and mark the occasion. something adorable and free for you? perhaps! stay tuned.

my birthday cake!

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Monday, December 15, 2008 1 comments Links to this post  

Due South: Sgt. S. Monkey, RCMP

Step aside Paul Gross! Here is the latest addition to the RCMP:

Due South: Sargeant S. Monkey, Royal Canadian Mounted Police

The monkey was sold to a friend (the excellent illustrator, Rhonda Mulder) at the Halifax Crafters Handmade Holiday Market and she made him even awesomer by crafting his delightful red serge. I believe this monkey is officially a Cornucopia of Awesomeness.

More to come about the Crafters market...I just had to share the Mountie Monkey tout de suite! It's nice to see what happens to the monkeys after they are sold and head off into the world. They take on names and lives that I have no idea about. If you have ever purchased or were given one of my monkeys and want to share their story with me, I'd love to see a picture of them in their new homes. Especially since I am horrible at remembering to take pictures of my monkeys before they are sold.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2 comments Links to this post  

Friday Panic: So much to do, so little time

AUGH!

I'm covered in paint and surrounded by monkeys, but not quite ready for the Halifax Crafters Holiday Handmade Market - which is tomorrow! Not acutally letting you see the corner of my living room that has been carpet bombed by craft, this is the scene Chez Pineapples:

15 monkeys:
monkey stock

(I'm kind of hoping I'll manage one or two more by tomorrow morning).

Some paintings:

monkeys

luck cat

(fyi: I'm no artist. I taught myself to paint, so I like to think of myself as a "folk artist". Like Maud Lewis, only sillier).

and signs that refuse to work out:

third time is not a charm

I've used all the white foam board I own and I'm not sure how to remedy this. It will probably involve a last minute trip to Loomis and Toles (I know, it's Deserres, but I just can't shake the old name).

And there are still tags to make, bags to figure out, possibly ironing the hankies to add to the collection, a float to be gotten,and a cat to kittysit (which requires getting house keys). I think I may send husband to feed kitty tonight and I'll just head over the the house to stay overnight tomorrow (it's in the same neighbourhood as the craft fair - quite convenient).

I think I'll take a nap and then face this mess with a clearer head.

Posted byHello Pineapples! on Friday, December 05, 2008 1 comments Links to this post