Monday, November 4, 2013

October Obsessions

Halloween 2013

I know I say this about every month, but October was seriously a busy, busy, BUSY month.  My little Munchkin turned 5 years old and had his very first birthday party with his friends that he has met through school - unlike previous birthdays in which it was all family and mine and the Mister's friends, since he had always started playgroups and preschool after his birthday.  Then I literally dropped off the face of the planet to get my butt into high gear and prepped up for Knit City.  Needless to say, this month's Obsessions list might be a little lacking...a lot of it has to do with Knit City!

But I promise, November is the month that I get back into the business of blogging and knitting, and of course a few shop updates!  I'm determined to get my knit on after having to hold back for so many months!  I had predicted that I was going to have a massive case of Starteritis when Knit City was over, and sure enough, I've got about 5 projects cast on with a bunch more just dying to get onto my needles.  Oh yeah.  I'm getting my knit on, baby!  Not even the tendonitis in my wrist (from wielding a rotary cutter for so many months!) is going to stop me from churning out knits like no tomorrow.

Anyhoo, before I start ranting about all the knits I want to knit, I better put up the list of the few things that I obsessed over throughout the month of October:

1. Knit City

Image/permission via Knit Social

Oh man, where do I even start with this one??  The awesome ladies of Knit Social, Amanda and Fiona, did another fantastic job putting together this incredible event.  The atmosphere of Knit City was electric.  There was just so much positive energy and creativity in the air, so many talented people milling around, and so many gorgeous knits...it was hard to not get caught up in the knitterly vibes!  I don't want to say too much about Knit City, after all, I do plan on posting a recap of the event on the blog!  But I will say, even if I didn't sell a single project bag, I'm SO happy that I was there to meet so many of you in person and so many wonderful fibre enthusiasts!  ♥


2. SewQuiet 5000 Servo Motor

Sewing Machine

A few weeks before Knit City the clutch motor on my industrial sewing machine decided to die.  I panicked.  Actually, that's an understatement.  I don't think there's even a word invented yet to describe just how I felt the moment the sewing machine technician confirmed to me what I already knew - my sewing machine was dead.  I was hoping it just needed a belt to be changed or something easy like that but after some smoking, a horrid burning plastic smell, and then the tell-tale sign of just not working when turned on, I knew it had to be more than a simple swapping out of rubber parts.  

Enter: a new motor.

Long before my motor died I was already dreaming of upgrading my machine but knew it would have to wait until I had enough funds to do so.  I guess that cliche of being careful for what you wish for is true!  But WOW!!  Am I ever glad that I did this upgrade sooner than planned!  My new motor, the SewQuiet 5000, is such a dream!!  It has made me fall in love with my sewing machine all over again!  Would you believe me when I say that I'm actually wanting to spend more time at my sewing machine??  Cause I do!  I kid you not, this motor makes not a single noise.  Unlike my old motor, which sounded like a jet was about to take off and made the walls and anything on or by my machine vibrate, this new motor is SO quiet that I need to keep my lamp plugged into it so that I can remember to even turn the machine off when I'm done!  I can literally hear the needle piercing the fabric with each stitch.  My old machine?  Yeah, all you can hear is that motor whirling away like you're stuck in the engine room of some old clunker of a boat.  Because my new motor is "oh sew quiet' (pun intended!), I no longer worry about sewing late at night until the wee hours of the morning and being a menace to my neighbours!  Oh sewing machine, how I love you sew!  

Ok, no more sewing puns.


3. Hand Knit Accessories

Windschief & Son

It's that time of year that all knitters love: Autumn.  When we can bring out every single beloved warm woolly from out of the closet to keep out the frosty fall weather.  Yay!!  Nothing could be more cozier than being swathed in woolly goodness while sipping a cuppa and taking a moment out of your day to do some knitting.  Or being bundled up in hand knits while picking pumpkins from the local pumpkin farm and then having a hot chocolate break shortly after.  Mmm...fall.

But in the last few weeks as I've walked the Munchkin to school, I noticed that I severely lack in hand knit accessories.  I'm well stocked in the pullover and cardigan department, and yes, I've got a nice selection of shawls and cowls to chose from but my choices for keeping my head and hands warm?  Absolutely and embarrassingly limited.  As in I have one pair of mittens and maybe 2 or 3 hats that look somewhat decent on me.  I'm sorry that I bring such shame to my fellow knitters!  And every time I walk the Munchkin to school, I'm always cursing under my breath about how I really need to knit up a pair of either mittens or fingerless gloves, and when we're running late I'm frantically searching for a hat to stuff my unwashed and overly tangled up hair into.  But here's the thing; I'm not so much a fan of mittens because I can't use my phone and when I'm around the kiddo I find that I usually need to use my fingers to zip something up or to pick up a tiny piece of Lego from off the ground.  Not things you can easily do with mittens.  But I'm not really a fan of fingerless gloves either as my fingertips just end up freezing anyways.  Convertible mittens to fingerless gloves?  I tend to destroy them because the flaps always get in my way or in my haste I end up ripping a hole in the mitt from trying to put mitten part back in place.  I'm hopeless!

But while I contemplate how to remedy all this, the Munchkin made a request that this knitting mama has been dreaming about for ages: he's asked me to knit him a red hat!!  You can bet your Signatures that I tossed the stash to find the perfect red yarn for him (because I know some of you will ask: I didn't have a skein of red yarn in the stash that wasn't part of a sweater quantity, so I went to my LYS and picked one up...don't judge!).  The Mister claims that if the Munchkin gets a new hat, then so does he (and yes, I also picked up a skein for his hat too).  Ahh...I love fall!


4. Hand-held Milk Frother

Image via David's Tea

Eons ago when I first started working at Starbucks I had nabbed myself a Barista espresso machine for an insanely cheap price.  I have since worked it to the bone and it will pump water no more.  Oh well.  I don't really miss it all that much since I rarely used it to make espresso, preferring drip coffee to get the most caffeine out of my beans.  I had mainly used the machine to steam milk and apple juice (mmm...Caramel Apple Spice...).  Even then I rarely used the machine and yet it took up precious counter space that we really didn't have much of to begin with.  Brett was pretty happy when the machine died, thinking we'd get that space back, but we didn't because it was quickly replaced with my Kitchen Aid mixer.  I wasn't sad when the machine died, but I did go through foamy milk withdraw.  

Until recently.  When I picked up a hand-held milk frother.  I've been making extra foamy Earl Grey Tea Lattes and cafe au laits like no tomorrow!!  I honestly believe this is what kept me going during that last week of late nights of sewing project bags!  Who knew something so tiny could make such a difference in my crafty life?  I foresee the rest of fall and all of winter to be filled with frothy milk laden beverages.  I can't wait!


Well there you have it.  My October.  I'm sorry if it's a little on the lacklustre side.  Fingers crossed that November will be way more blog worthy!  So what was an October highlight for you?  

♥ Happy November!  ♥


2 comments:

  1. Hey, found your blog from the Journey blog tour and then read your review of the Imperial Stock Ranch since I just finished knitting with it and have mixed feelings. (I liked it more than I thought based on the feel but mine had some knots and then broke really easily when I was pulling the yarn through the last few stitched at the top of the hat). Anyway, I was wondering how your little milk frother worked out. I've been making a lot of chai's and miss the milk froth that starbuck chai's have. I tried a hand mixer with a whisk, but it didn't work out. Did you get some good foam?? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lindsey! I hope you give Imperial Stock Ranch another try. I've knit a fairly large swatch and then the Cuffs and had no issue with the yarn, but completely understand the mixed feelings you may have - as I feel the same way about another rustic "lofty" yarn that is quite popular.

      As for the milk frother, I have to be honest. I absolutely LOVED it for a month and a half and then got annoyed. It runs on 2 AAA batteries, which I find run out of juice pretty quick. I suppose you can always buy rechargeable batteries but even after a few weeks I did notice that the frother didn't work as well as it did the first week (which produced great foam!). I also noticed that since I use almond milk, my frothing results were MUCH different than regular cow milk. AND the hotter I made my milk, the less frothing the frother would do. I've tried the IKEA version (which is also substantially cheaper than the DT one!) and it had the same results but didn't make you feel crappy for dishing out that much money on something that will eventually annoy you.

      I've tried the hand mixer with the whisk too, and yeah...didn't work out. Have you tried just the hand blender part? I've tried using that so that the blade is just skimming the surface, and have to say the foam wasn't too bad!

      But overall, now that I've had time to thoroughly use the frother, I'd say save your money! This kind of item is definitely one of those "you get what you paid for" things. :( I hope that helps you out!

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