Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Busy, busy, busy...

On the needles: Armwarmers and custom order scarf
Designed: Untalkative Bunny Scarf
Waiting for: Yarn for projects

All right! Number one thing on the agenda today is...*drum roll*...I am a guest contributor on the blog "Art for Art"! You can find my post here: http://art-four-art.blogspot.com/2011/12/ian-tyson-old-cheyenne-katie-harris.html?showComment=1323186171331#c1725771085579273842 Please make sure to head over and give the blog some love. This is a wonderful project, and I want to be able to continue to share my work with others in a different space. Also, this blog gives me a more academic take on my projects, which is interesting. The project is likely to change, considering that I need to learn more about intarsia before I actually start. And I need to knit a gauge swatch to figure out how many stitches actually need to go into the design. haha The mittens don't have to be finished until around the beginning of June, so I at least have lots of time to work on them!

Quite a bit has been happening around my Etsy shop, too! I've had lots of views, and I've posted lots of items, although I am still lacking in sales. However, I was the "Etsians of Facebook's" Featured Seller last Saturday! http://www.etsy.com/teams/10355/etsians-of-facebook/discuss/9404784/ The topic's closed, but it's still really cool! I've posted lots of hair accessories the past few days, and I have some yarn garland decorations that will be posted sometime this next week. :) One last shop thing is that my legwarmers are currently 15% off with coupon RENEW15 Check them out here: http://www.etsy.com/listing/80110896/15-percent-discount-striped-corset

Classes end this Friday, which will be good. I won't get much of a break over Christmas, however, considering that I need to do lots of reading for my honours project and to fix up my master's application. What I really want to end up doing is getting all of my readings done and then to be able to get some more of my writing done...Approximately 25-30 pages out of the 40. I'm sitting at about 15 right now, which needs to be edited down, but I think that it's reasonable to get about 30 pages done by the end of Christmas break. I need to do this because I want the full week off in February, since my boyfriend and I are heading out to Victoria for a much needed vacation! I'm really excited for it, since it means I can go visit Beehive Wool Shop and bookstores!! And visiting with people I haven't seen since Japan! It's going to be a good trip.

Besides that, not much. I'm getting excited for Christmas, especially since my boyfriend and I are supposed to be going to get our tree this weekend! If it's nice weather, we'll go cut one, and if it's note, then we'll go buy one. However, the forecast is looking good.

Oh yeah, and the other part of Christmas break? I have a whole stack of books to read, and I'll be knitting lots!

On the Christmas reading wish list (starred (*) books are books for honours; this list will likely extend well into the following term, besides the honours books):

*Beauty by Robin McKinly
*Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
*Beastly by Alex Flinn
*Beast by Donna Jo Napoli
Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay
The First Stampede of Florence LaDue by Wendy Bryden
*Fairy Tales and the Art of Subversion by Jack Zipes
Circus Nights by Angela Carter
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

And others. I'll add to this list as I go. Although I definitely need to finish Tigana, because it's a friend's book that I've had since about last February. haha

All in all, it needs to be a productive break. We'll spend Christmas around Calgary, and I have tickets to "Beauty and the Beast" at the Jubilee on December 27th! And then we'll head out to see my parents for a few days. :)

Hope everyone is well, and please make sure to go give the "Art for Art" blog some love!

Take care,

Katie =^..^=

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sneak a Peek at the Activity!

In Design: Scarves (yes, still)

http://www.etsy.com/listing/86092397/shabby-chic-autumn-flower-barrette-brown - Listing for these barrettes!

So, these are what are going to be posted over the next few days. I particularly like the brown flower...And there's two of them! :)  And the headband (last picture) is actually part of a set of four. I figured this would be excellent as a set for a bridal party. They can be more customized if required.

Went home this weekend, since it was reading week. Then wrote three proposals today. At least these short blurb exercises are a good way to practice writing the longer works! And I've gotten really good at them now, since there has been so many this year already!

But at least I've had a breather before the end of the term. I'm still really looking forward to Christmas break, though!

Not much else happening right now. Just figured I would do a quick update and get back to school work and crafting. Or maybe go play some Bayonetta!

Take Care!

Katie =^..^=

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flynn Rider Vest

On the Needles: Advent Calendar
In Design: Scarves

That's right, folks! I made a Flynn Rider vest for Halloween (including under shirt) for my boyfriend~! Here's a picture of us two:

I also made the braid, but the dress is from my grad. :) 

And, of course, I had to almost beat him over the head with my frying pan! 

I am very happy with how this turned out.

Now, what's happening next? Well, I've got more Christmas ornaments to picture, and then I have lots of hair accessories made and just calling my name for me to take pictures, which I'm hoping to do this afternoon! :)

It's started snowing here, which sucks, because now it's cold an there's ice. But at least it isn't a bad as out East...And it gives me an excuse to curl up inside with a blanket and hot chocolate and read without feeling guilty! 

Over two months through the semester, and there's a reading break next week, which I'm really excited for, because it means that I can go home and see my cat and parents and soak in the hot springs! (Whoot!) Well, and work on conference proposals for the 15th...And doing readings. And edit my honours paper for a WIP talk, and get a proposal together for a paper, and...Yeah, my school work doesn't end this semester. And it won't even over Christmas break. Although I will be able to sleep in at that point! And go see "Beauty and the Beast" as the Jubilee Auditorium! (So excited for that!)

I am in the midst of a book for my honours paper right now, but it's taking me forever to read, since it's something I've taking intensive notes from. And, for my children's literature class, right now we're reading Nation by Terry Pratchett! And finally! Someone spoke up in class about the whole "traditional female roles" and said that she felt like they were being devalued all the time. And it wasn't just when women took on those roles, but men, too. Any of the nurturing roles in either sex. I was so glad that someone finally spoke up (and that it wasn't me, because the other girl was much more articulate. If you don't believe me, read the previous blog post where I ranted.)

One good thing about November is that in about a month, we can go get a tree and set it up! I can't wait for it. hehe

All right, it's almost class time, and I need to do some more reading. But have a good day, take care on the roads wherever you are, and keep an eye on the Etsy shop to see new items posted soon! :)

Katie =^..^=

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Contemplation on Being a Female Academic

On the Needles: Advent calendar!
Designing: Name scarf, "Untalkative Bunny" scarf

Warning: This post is not particularly about knitting or crafting, although they do figure into what I'm writing. This is more about my academia, something wild and completely different! I'll make sure to do another actual update soon.

This post has been in my mind for a few weeks now. I've been trying to find the right way to phrase the thoughts in my head, and I am still finding the words inadequate. Yet I feel the need to still write this post, so come heck or high water, I'll write it (even if it is a bit incoherent at points).

I feel as though I need to gloss a bit about myself: I am 22, I'm in my fifth year of university, I'm an Honours student in the English department, I'm a woman, I'm a crafter, hiker, and I love cats. Now, the list I just gave falls into lovely theories about "identity politics" that I'm not going to elaborate on that.

Now, I'm currently in a second-year levelled English course for children's literature (it's really interesting and relevant to my Honours project). A few weeks ago, we had a presentation on "boyhood," as we were reading Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson.

 Just look at that awesome cover!

Now, there are quite a few contentions that I had with this presentation, and I've discussed this at length with my peers in my English class, and my boyfriend, and they have also brought up very good points that I hadn't thought of at the point. So, this whole post is generated from my ideas and theirs as well.

Within the children's literature class (from now on known as C.Literature), we read the texts (i.e. Treasure Island) and essays about certain keywords within C.Lit. "Boyhood" was one of those essays (from Keywords for Children's Literature edited by Philip Nel and Lissa Paul, 2011).

One of the first contentions, which I didn't have at the time, but that my boyfriend did rightly point out, was that the group was made up of four girls. Who have never experienced "boyhood." As he says, anything having to do with gender really should have a mixed sex group, and I think that is a very good point. Even within feminist presentations, there should be a mixed sex group. Granted, this is difficult in a predominantly female class (with about 1:15 (4/60) ratio of male students, which says something, I believe, about English studies and the study of C.Literature).

Now, there exploration and expansion on the essay and its application to Treasure Island was quite good, I will say. What brought the most contention for me is the fact that they were continually comparing it to being a girl, and that everything that, we as girls, or as women do, is "just" something. We "just" are moms.

I have a real problem with this. Now, I'm not a radical feminist; I am also not particularly versed in area of "Women's Studies." I am, however, still a female academic, and in some ways that gives me ways to say this (hopefully articulately).

When I was younger, my mom and dad always got after me for saying that I was "just" something (i.e. this is "just" me phoning to leave a message); they always told me to take more pride in what I was saying, that what I was doing was something I was doing, not "just" something I was doing. From then on, I always take the word "just," when applied to people or their actions, is taking agency (the power to act) away from the person or their actions.

The example that rankled me in class was that one girl brought in the comparison between these two books:

Now, she said that The Dangerous Book for Boys tells you how to skin a rabbit "and a whole bunch of other cool stuff." But that The Daring Book for Girls tells you "just how to knit and balance your cheque book. Not that there's anything wrong with knitting, since I like it." (The Book for Girls doesn't actually have anything to say about cheques or knitting as far as I could tell from the index; I'll get back to you guys about the Book for Boys, since I haven't found a copy yet.)

In that moment, I feel as though she took a lot of agency away from the ability of what traditional women's roles are. I am for the equality of the sexes, but someone also have to learn how to balance the cheque book and clean the house and sew the buttons on the shirts when they fall off. I learnt those things when I was in Girl Guides. And I take pride in the fact that I am accomplished in some of the traditional women's roles.

Taking the agency from the women's traditional roles instantly says that they are lesser, and inferior, and propagates the circle that so many feminists are trying to overthrow. I am trying to argue that these roles are not lesser and inferior, but that they are something that should be seen as a source of pride.

Now, this comes to the other part of why this whole thing has been bothering me, since it is more personal. In many ways, I am uncomfortable being in classes where these traditional roles are placed in an "inferior" position. As a female academic, and having taken the opportunities that I have worked hard for (going to Japan for an exchange, being in Honours, and hopefully a Master's), I am likely to go and become a mom. In which case, all of these things seen as "inferior" will actually be my biggest ally.

This is where this post has sat for quite a few weeks, because right at this point, I have difficulty in articulating what I want to say on this point.

Maybe I'm running in the wrong circles within the university, but I find that many female academics have very negative attitudes regarding traditional femininity and motherhood. So, as I'm sitting there listening to this, I know that I don't subscribe to these views. And that is my choice, and I know it. I have been educated to read not only literary texts but theories and to make critical decisions about what I want to accept and not accept.

I know that a lot of arguments run that girls should go for higher education, and know their choices, etc. And, again, I am for equal rights. If that's what you want. If you want to go become a mom, I think that you should go for it. There is nothing wrong with it. Yes, I'm looking at this from an very privileged, educated position, but after this, I will be a mom. And what I will need there are those things that I learnt when I was young and being raised by my own mom. I will need to use the traditional female roles that I developed being in the traditional female organizations, like Girl Guides.

And I will be happy and proud to pass those traditional skills down to any girls I have. And if they be boys, well, then they'll also be learning these skills. Because that's part of equality, too.

So, that's my contribution for today. This is completely different from what I've posted before, but I hope that you enjoy. As I said, I'll tell you about the crafting updates later.

Take care,


Wednesday, October 12, 2011


On the Needles: Mittens
In the Design process: Scarf and Advent Calendar

So, lots has been happening! Including, a start up of a new subsection in my shop: Christmas decorations! http://www.etsy.com/shop/NekozukiYarns?section_id=10546630

There's going to be lots more to come, too, like a knitted advent calendar, and more painted ornaments, which I'm working on a bit today.

I've rewritten the ten pages for my honours proposal, which is exciting. And now I'm working on my application for my Master's and for funding for said program. Which is exciting and terrifying.

Other than that, been keeping busy with reading. And my boyfriend, one of his friends, and I finally made it to the Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon! Success. Unfortunately, my camera was too cold to take pictures. Oh well. I'm sure we'll be there again.

And now, time to actually do some reading!

Take Care,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First Year Anniversary!

On the needles: mittens
Designing: Name scarf

So, today is the first year anniversary of the blog! I can't believe that I made my first post a year ago. Lots has changed in that time. :)

However, life is still not terribly different, although I'm heading into my last year of school, and I've finally started my Etsy shop!

I've been super busy recently. I've probably read 1,200 pages from the start of school, as well as writing my honours project.

Hence, I haven't been posting much. But I'm still working on things. Like, I just posted this scarf: http://www.etsy.com/listing/83129065/scarf-pink-breast-cancer-awareness-for It's made from Bernat Boa "Chick", with part of the yarn proceeds going towards Breast Cancer research!

And, I've got Christmas decorations in the works. I'm not actually knitting anything, but I'm beading, which I'm having lots of fun with.

I went home this weekend, which was good, and I'll probably be back there next weekend for Thanksgiving, which will be nice. I'll have lots more work next week, though, because I have to rewrite the ten pages for my supervisor by the 14th!

But, my boyfriend and I have been out for a few hikes. Like, Grassi Lakes; we're heading out to Johnston Canyon and the Ink Pots this Friday, so I'm excited!

For now, though, I shall leave it there, and I'll post a more detailed post soon! - And maybe a post with just pictures of Etsy items coming up...I even have Christmas trees!


Monday, September 19, 2011

And So, the End Begins

On the needles: Orange moss stitch scarf, baby hat.
In production: Custom order scarf

OK, so blog didn't slow down quite as much as I thought (actually, this will be a pleasant break from having to think critically about three different courses AND "Beauty and the Beast"). Although I should technically be reading right now, especially since I still have class reading AND 10 pages to write by Thursday (which includes more reading). I won't go into the nitty gritty, but I feel like it's an accomplishment that I cooked dinners last week.

It's cold and rainy here today, which is sad, but OK. I need to concentrate on my readings. And knitting. I need to finish this moss stitch scarf so that I can make a delivery of all three at the same time...And get to visit my coworkers! I'm hoping that I can get it finished this week, because I can deliver it next Monday, or at least next week at some point. (My goal is before Thanksgiving.) After that, I can start on the custom order scarf (which I do need to tweak a bit...I'm having more difficulties than I thought I would). After that, watch out, because there'll be mittens and scarves and new stuff up on Etsy!

I might even be trying to cable in the scarf! And I am working on learning to crochet. I've kind of got it, but then I lost it. But I will persevere, even if all I end up with is dishcloths (for now)!

I found an awesome yarn review site here: http://www.knitpurlgurl.com/ As in, I just found it this morning. It seems like it'll be fun; I'll add the link to the "Online Yarns" as well.

Also, finally looked at this awesome shop in Calgary called "Blame Betty". At least, I looked at their website. I saw them as we were driving through 17th the other day, and I keep hearing about them. Seeing their style, I know where I'm shopping for a grad dress! http://www.blamebetty.ca/

Wednesday I have to stand up in front of my honours class and give a five minute blurb about what I'm actually researching, which is nervewracking. However, I can use it to start the 10 pages that I need for Thursday! I have a general idea of what I'm saying, although it doesn't include anything about the main texts in particular. But I do have quite a bit to say, and I'll ramble on to some measure about the whole thing about there not being much (if any) research in Gothic in fairy tales (beyond the passing mention of "Bluebeard", it seems), and how there is only one book currently about it even in Children's Literature.

It's interesting going back to class, because I am entering my fifth year, and I have been working on this project over the summer. A lot of these people that are in the classes are still so young, it kind of amazes me. Or just don't seem connected to things. I was waiting to speak to my supervisor after our Children's Literature class the other day, and one of the women (she was over 30) had thought that the Disney version of the fairy tales were American. I would say that that's fair, but for the fact that you can see it in their films. Yes, Disney, for a lot of people, is a mega corporation that's destroyed fairy tales. However, (first off, I'm a huge Disney fan, but I can see both sides of the argument), Disney has taken them and made them relevant to a lot of our social concerns today, just as the Grimm Brothers or Perrault did. And Disney clearly states (if you watch in "Cinderella") that this version is based off of Perrault's work.

The thing that seems to happen with a lot of people that bash Disney is that they aren't going outside the box and thinking about it critically. And you don't need to be a post-secondary student to think about it critically. Don't take things passively; even before I entered university, I was exploring the Grimms' fairy tales. And I knew that "The Little Mermaid" was actually Danish (Hans Christian Andersen), which is kind of hard to ignore when you know that her statue is in Copenhagen. Anyway. No, fairy tales aren't only American. There are variants of most of these tales from around the world. I have to say that I enjoy what Disney has done with the visuals for most of these films, and I much prefer their ending of "The Little Mermaid". But I'm also not taking these passively, and I'm seeking out other ways that these tales are told (obviously). However, I've also worked with Disney's version of "Beauty and the Beast" to argue that the Beast is, in fact, reverse objectified, becoming the focus of our ideas of masculine perfection, even more so than Belle being objectified. This is especially apparent which most of the audience also agrees that the Beast is actually better as the Beast than as the Prince. Disney works in getting these tales introduced to a mass audience, which is not necessarily a bad thing, and at least you can take them critically from there.

My argument for this paper is quite different, but I won't get into details here. Although part of it does have to do with Penny Arcade's argument in this webcomic: http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2011/02/28

P.S. Even look at their costumes. It tells you a lot.

/End my side of the debate. For today.

So, on that note, my boyfriend and I also went to check out the "Cut!" exhibit at the Glenbow Museum, which was awesome! And my boyfriend hadn't been to the museum, so we went through most of the other exhibits, too, which was awesome. I still love going to see the geological display (especially all the sparklies).

And Saturday, I went with a friend to shop for her wedding dress, and she found one in the first shop. She looks absolutely amazing in it! I can't wait to see her wedding next year.

I got my card turned over to an "Honours" card so that I can take books about for 4 months (a term) at a time. So I only need to return one book by the 21, and the rest are with me until January! I had asked about this before the summer started, but got a really snarky reply, but then! I found out about last week, which made me happy. So much easier than having to run books back and forth.

Also, one novel down for school: Transmission by Hari Kunzru, which was actually quite good. I think that the discussion about it will be interesting. Hopefully. It's a split level class between senior level undergraduate students and graduate students, so it's interesting to see how it works. It's funny, because one of the girls that I started university with is in the class as well, but as a graduate student, so it's interesting to see how we're actually still at the same level in regards to classes.

OK. I need to go read and actually write my critical works. Having to do how I'm actually meshing together critical theories from Children's literature, fairy tales, and the Gothic, seeing as how there isn't any other literature doing it for me! (Which makes it easier and more difficult at the same time.)

Hope all is well! And one plug for the Etsy shop: I am accepting custom orders. Feel free to message me via the various means of Twitter, Facebook, Etsy conversation, or on here in the comments, and I'll get back to you! I may not be posting as often, but I do spend a few minutes to check everything each day.

Take care!

Katie =^..^=

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Knitting, Knitting, Knitting! (And, actually, Honours!)

On the needles: Moss stitch orange scarf
To Cast on: double knit scarf

So that's the moss stitch scarf. I'm really happy with how it's turning out, and I hope that the lady I'm making it for likes it, too! I decided to do moss stitch so that it didn't cult like stockinette stitch scarves do. And it's a really nice yarn, so I wanted to show it off more than I wanted something really fancy. However, this stitch is VERY time consuming. The only reason I have as much done here as I do is because I watched "Gone With the Wind" last night. haha I knew that production would slow down around school. Although the biggest reason I didn't get as much work done as I should have last week was because I got a pretty bad something or another, and had a fluctuating fever for three days. It's better now, but I'm still recovering. I hate being sick, especially with how warm it was in Calgary last week. But at least it was before classes start.

Speaking of which, I start on Tuesday, and I'm nervously excited about it all. I'm working on my honours' reading right now; I have to have 10 pages, and a revised proposal, written by the 30th! I already have ideas brewing in my head as to what I'm going to say, but I probably should be worrying that I haven't actually read my primary texts yet, just the sources I selected surrounding them. Oh well...It's not like there's any specific sources that say, "Yes, there are Gothic tendencies in young adult fairy tales"; the only thing that comes close to saying this is The Gothic in Children's Literature, which only came out in 2007: 

And I'm almost willing to bet that the biggest push for this was Harry Potter. Seems like there's a lot going on in this book about Harry Potter. Which is fine by me. I may eventually even go there myself. 

In some ways, not having previous scholarship on the subject makes it easier (I don't have to worry that I sound like I'm copying someone), but it also makes it difficult because you can't say "xyz said in ABC that "Beauty and the Beast" contains Gothic tendencies, and that is what I'm building from". Oh well. It also made me scratch my head for awhile, trying to figure out the best approach for my research. Am I focussing more on the fairy tale, or the Gothic constructs? My supervisor was awesome with helping me with my proposal, so I'm focusing on the Gothic, with some fairy tale research to fill in the gaps. 

And lots of reading will occur! Yay for senior level courses, and my honours seminar in which 40 pages is due by April. 

But I'm excited. 

And it'll also be the MA applications this year.

But I'm excited.

(Really, I am.)

Other than that, just getting over this ridiculous sickness, and then life will be good.

Even with all the reading! :) 

By the way, also in the process right now is a chunky yarn baby hat, which I'm really enjoying knitting, because it's super soft and squishy! I can't wait to get it a little bit more finished, and then I'll post pictures. Once I finish this scarf. 

Oooh, and this morning, one of my barettes was put into a curated list by another Etsian! Here's the link:

So happy!

Also, finished reading The Help, which I found really interesting. However, it felt like one of those books that I kept having to tuck away; like it's not something that I could read out in public. Which is kind of ridiculous, but interesting. However, this led to me watching "Gone with the Wind" (Which definitely made me uncomfortable at points), and now I'm reading Gone with the Wind in my "spare" (i.e. not school) reading time. We'll see how this goes. It'll probably take me until April to finish it! 

Take care, everyone. For everyone going back to school (or already finished their first week), good luck!

Katie =^..^=

P.S. I remember September 11, 2001. 

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Crafting Space

On the Needles: Orange scarf, double knit scarf, and black "boa" scarf.

Other crafting in progress: more hair accessories! (Clips and bobby pins)

So, yes, above is what I'm working on now. Yes, I have three different knitting items on the go. But that's so I don't get bored! The orange scarf and the "boa" scarf won't take too long...But the double knit (dk) scarf will take a bit, because I haven't double knit before...And I have to figure out how to put letters into it, too! haha

The bobby pins and clips are some of those filler items, but they're fast and fun, which is what I like about them! And speaking of fun and fast, I was actually able to start and complete something today! It's a choker, which I just posted here:


But here's a teaser picture:

And that is a TAZO tea box lid I'm using as a background. Isn't it awesome? I got it from one of my coworkers yesterday. 

I also updated all the shipping costs and added international destinations!

And, to give you a peek into the whole process, here's a few pictures of my workspace this afternoon:

I was working in the living room today, on the coffee table, because it stays the comfiest the longest. By the way, that's an empty Kirin Milk Tea bottle (yay TNT Supermarket and their selection of Japanese drinks!). Ummm...And the circular pen case is from the Ghibli museum in Tokyo; it has a 2010 Minnie Mouse/Year of the Tiger cell phone charm on it from Tokyo Disneyland! hehe

This is my yarn basket; there's the orange scarf in it's original form. I found these plastic yarn socks yesterday, which I think will be really useful, since it should help keep my yarn from getting tangled! 

And the other set of craft supplies; those flowers are what I'm going to work with for the hair accessories. And there's the black boa. The dark and light blue yarn are going to be used in another project that I'm developing. 

So, now that you've seen the mess that I work in, you can see how my creative process works a bit better. And this is actually pretty organized; it won't be like this for every long, unfortunately...haha

Besides that, I almost came home with a kitten today. Almost. It was really hard to resist the temptation. But I know that I have to wait until at least one more year. I want to be around more when my boyfriend and I get a kitten...And really we can't afford one right now. Soon, though. Ume (the beta fish) will be good for now!

And not much else. I'm finished work at the gas plant for the summer, and I have this weekend off, which will be nice, and then it's back to the university bookstore next week. But I see that I'm only work half days, so that means I can come home and craft more...And read more for my honours project. I have a 10 page paper due by the end of September already! But I'm excited. I've already started writing the paper in my head, so it will translate to paper well.

Until next time!

Katie =^..^=

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


On the Needles: A super fuzzy pink scarf! Almost finished.
Soon to be on the needles: a double knit, custom order, scarf!

So, yes. Another post. So soon, you ask? Yes. But like I said in the previous post, I probably won't have as much time in the school year, so I may as well write as much as I can right now. And besides, inspiration has struck and I want to share!

First, though, the mittens are up on Etsy:

So exciting! These mittens are ridiculously cute! Though if you're looking for something different, please feel free to ask; if you've checked out my profile page, you can see that people have still be requesting custom orders.

Something else to check out (to help promote the other yarn crafters on Etsy) are my two treasuries, featuring a "Stay Warm" theme of knitted items and crocheted items:



And now, the inspiration. I was driving home from work last night, and I saw a whole row of fence posts covered by black birds, with little birds inbetween. And suddenly, inspiration struck! It would make an amazingly cute hat, and it would also be awesome as a scarf, blanket, and other things that are starting to work themselves out in my head. And then I realized how I can do it, and so now I really want to be home again to be creative and write all of this down.

But these won't be started until after I start the scarf mentioned above; it's going to be double knit to a certain name (fingers crossed that I can actually figured out how to get the letters to stay unmirrored). I'm excited about this, because it'll be the first time that I'll have used double knitting!

In other news, my Facebook page got over 25 "likes" so I now have an official username. And, and! I started a Twitter account. You can find me by clicking the "Follow" link over on the right hand side!

Once I have a few more followers and am more established, there will be certain perks to liking or following the blog/Twitter/Facebook.

Tonight, I get to go home and bake and craft and talk to some friends, which sounds like a really good evening to me! And tomorrow's my last day of work, which is sad, but I'm so excited about this upcoming school year! It all kind of balances out.

So, short post, but that's OK. Short, fast, furious, and then you'll have a break in the school year!

Have fun!

Katie =^..^=

Sunday, August 28, 2011

These Posts are Coming Fast and Furious

On the Needles: Log Cabin Toddler Blanket

Well, posts are certainly coming faster, but that's OK. There will be gaps when I get back in the school year.

Anyway. The kid's mittens went live on the shop today! These are just the ones designed for the four-year-old;  I'll be working on taking pictures of the other pair and posting them soon (the two year old's). But you can check out the four year old's now!

I actually entered these mittens into a contest held in Cochrane; the Bearspaw fair. They came out with the results that they have very even knitting! Which I really like.  These were amazingly fun to knit, and I'm happy to be able to share them with you all.

This has been a busy weekend; my boyfriend and I went out to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake! Moraine is soooooo beautiful. And Mike, my travelling sheep, came along:

Yep, Valley of the Ten Peaks. Absolutely spectacular; if you ever make it to this area, Moraine Lake is even better than Lake Louise...And fewer people! 

Plus, these were research photos; I'm looking into somehow involving mountains into my hats. Fingers crossed that it works out!

And with that, I'll head out again. More next time!


Thursday, August 25, 2011

Four Months Until Christmas~!

On the Needles: Newborn Hat

That's right folks! Four months until Christmas, which is unbelievable.

I'm really excited about this Christmas, since my boyfriend and I will be able to decorate the apartment, and have a tree!

With those thoughts in mind, I also turn towards what I'm going to make or buy for gifts. Last year, I made a Queen-sized blanket for my boyfriend and a pair of mittens for his sister (who I drew for a name in the present exchange).

However, with my new perspective on Etsy, I think that a few of my gifts may well be purchased off of there, too. What could be better than being able to shop handmade goods online? And I may not have made it, but somebody somewhere has. A lot better than having to fight crowds at the mall, and most of the items on Etsy are unique and one of a kind in some way. Hey, including mine!

Anyway, even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the other holidays are around then, and they are all fast approaching! It's unbelievable that there is really only four months and few days left in 2011, even.

So those are my ruminations for today.

By the way, there will be a couple new postings, hopefully by the end of this weekend, for mittens! Ridiculously cute little kid mittens at that! Keep your eyes peeled.

Katie =^..^=

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teasers: Beaded and Floral Bobby Pins!

On the needles: one more mitten for a two year old

Yep! Something to fill in the gaps between knitting, here's some teasers for what's going to be posted of Etsy between knitted pieces!

Single floral bobby pins

 Shooting star styled beaded bobby pins

And floral/beaded bobby pins!

All are standard sizes, and will be posted by tomorrow evening at latest! 

And yes, these are to fill in the gaps between knitted items. Knitting takes a lot longer than beading like this (for me), and before everyone's in an uproar about how I could be spending that time knitting, let me say this: these are relaxing. They are easy and give my hands a break from moving the same way that they have been for most of the day. And they're fun! They also give me a creativity break, and I can crack out the hot glue gun. ^^ 

With that said, I'm currently working on the mitten for a 2 year old. I thought I was finished, and had started on something else, when I realized that the two mittens for him didn't match! So it's almost done (again), and then I have a commission for baby booties (one of which is finished) and a hat to go along with them. I love knitting baby things (especially blankets) because I love the yarn so much! I should just start using baby yarn in all of my creations! haha

After that, I need to start on a blanket for a friend's wedding, but I also have a baby blanket in the works. Pictures of the WIP will be forthcoming. This will be an Etsy project, so both of those blankets will be going at the same time. Also coming soon are hemp bracelets! Oooh, and I found bamboo cord, which seems really cool, so I'm going to give that a shot when making bracelets. 

Anyway, I hope everyone has fun! 


Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Etsy Shop is Open!

On the needles: Pair of mittens for a 2 year old

That's right, folks, the Etsy shop is officially open for business! Starting this evening, I have listed items in the shop!

The first is for the stripy legwarmers that I posted a teaser of last week. The second is for the black ear flap toque. There will be more postings as I go along, but right now I'll start with that. They're both listed in the sidebar, which I think is a really cool little application. It'll update with my new items each time I post! So if you aren't watching the shop, you can find them in that sidebar.

However, the direct link to my Etsy shop is: http://www.etsy.com/shop/NekozukiYarns

Other than that, I've been working on more mittens, still. And then this weekend it'll be a hat and booties for a coworker's sister's little one.

Although, I have updated all of my logos to look the same. They are designed, drawn, and coloured by my amazing friend. You can find her on Deviantart: http://starlitdragon.deviantart.com/ So now I'm consistent throughout the sites that I'm known as Nekozuki Yarns!

My boyfriend and I have gotten more or less settled in, though I still need to sort out the craft room. (I have space to have a kind of a craft room!) Which means, in theory, that I should be able to find the yarn and notions that I need, faster! And they will be stronger! And better! (Well, at least I should be able to find them faster.)

Anyway, I'm going to keep busy and out of trouble, and continue the knitting!


Saturday, August 13, 2011


On the needles: mittens for a 4 and 2 year old. (It's the mitten knittin' summer!)

So, here's a few pictures of what I'll be posting on Etsy within the next week!

First off, the stripy legwarmers that I've been working on:

The colours are Paton's Canadiana "Bubble Gum" and "Lime Juice" with a black polyester ribbon tipped in jewelry clamps. They are corset laced, and I used the black ribbon because the colours remind me of a watermelon...So I figured I would add the seeds!

The next is what I fondly refer to as the "Cheetos" shawl, because of the colour and texture of the yarn. I knit it while I was in Japan to have something to do, and I liked the funky colour. It's a simple garter stitch knit that wonderfully shows off the yarn's texture! I don't remember much about the label (It was all in Japanese), but I know the yarn was made in Italy, so that makes this a really unique item! Made in Japan with Italian yarn by a Rocky Mountain Canadian girl. 

A simple knit hat: 

And a quirky scarf made from "Boa" yarn: 

I will post full pictures and links when I make the full posts on my Etsy shop. I need to get out in the proper light for some good pictures of these items before I fully post them on the shop. I need to put my best foot forward with the first listings. And there will be coffee cup cozies, too.

Other than that, I actually picked up a couple of knitting magazines today. Specifically, "Knitting today!"'s August/September issue, and "Interweave Knits"'s Fall 2011 issue. Both of really nice patterns in them, and there are a couple I'm definitely going to take and adapt. I really like to pick these magazines up for the inspiration that they can provide. I might have to consider investing in a couple of subscriptions...Or requesting subscriptions for Christmas! I love getting mail, so that would be perfect.

Speaking of inspiration, after these mittens are done, I'm moving onto another couple of projects. One is definitely going to involve intarsia and a hat and the Rocky Mountains, potentially a Rocky Mountain sunset (although that may come later); the other is going to be a baby/toddler log cabin blanket to put up for sale. If the Rocky Mountain intarsia hat turns out well, that might be something that I enter in for next year's Calgary Stampede contest. I guess we'll see!

Other than that, just getting settled into the new place. There's two bookshelves filled with books, and the yarn will be organized soon (I have a feeling that it will be a never ending process, what with the stash that I've accumulated). And the clothes need to be unpacked. It seems as though it's a rule that I make sure that the books are unpacked first!

Until next time, take care!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

In Transit

On the Needles: 2/2 legwarmers!

So, my boyfriend and I are in transit. We're mostly moved out of one place and into the other; thankfully, we're at his parents place, so we didn't have to move completely out in one fell swoop. But the apartment's really nice, so I'm excited to get set up there! It will mean more transit time for work for August, but that's OK. 

Besides that, not much knitting has happened, because I've been busy with that, and absolutely exhausted. There's been a lot of weather changes lately (yay for Alberta thunderstorms!) and with that, being sore from moving, and being in a different bed right now, I haven't gotten much sleep. But at least the knitting helps keep the stress at bay. 

Either way, I will soon have these legwarmers finished, and then pictures will go up! My friend is almost finished the shop banner, too, which is really exciting. Just a couple more tweaks and it'll be set! 

I'll keep updating as I go along; we should have internet as soon as we actually move in, which will be good.

Take care,


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Elusive Mittens

On the Needles: Stripy legwarmers

So, as I promised, here is a picture of the mittens:

There were 8 pairs in total; five pairs for the women and three pairs for the men, all made from a (slightly modified) pattern made up by the great-grandma in 1949! It was an awesome vintage pattern (i.e. clear and straight forward instructions), and the first time I had knit gussets. I think that they turned out quite well. 

And here is a pair being modeled:

This weekend is another long weekend (it seems like their coming fast and furious this year!), and so my boyfriend and I are heading out to my parents again, which will be nice. Then back into town to hopefully take possession of our apartment! 

Other than that, not much. I have one stripy legwarmer done, and I just need to stretch the balaclava to see if it will actually fit. For whatever reason, even though I kept checking the gauge, the new hat would just not knit properly. So I'm going to try the old one and see if some blocking will fix the size thing, because it's just really snug. 

And now to the packing!


Friday, July 22, 2011

Apartment ahoy!

On the Needles: Corset-style Stripy Legwarmers

Yes, folks, you read the right; I'm making stripy legwarmers for the shop. Only problem is that I had to pick them out the other night. But the ywill soon be finished again! Then on with the hat. Like I said, I wanted a break from knitting the round, though, so this is what's being produced. Maybe if I want a longer break, I'll start that Bright Star Blanket I keep talking about.

Either way, there probaby won't be much knitting happening in the next weekish, because my boyfriend and I found an apartment! (How exciting!) It's massive, and has a huge storage space upstairs beside the bedrooms, and since there's so much storage space everywhere else, I get to take over that part for yarn~! Maybe; I might still put it in the second bedroom with the bookcases. We'll have to see how everything sets up downstairs and upstairs (down is the kitchen and living room; up is the bedrooms and washroom). It's a nice set up, and though it'll be a bit rushed here to get everything organized, I know we can do it!

Mittens will be delivered to the appropriate people this weekend; I think it's a good thing to have, since the weather's still been really nasty.

And I have pictures of the mittens, so I'll post them once I get them downloaded from my camera!

Hope all is well in your world, and I'll update again soon!


Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Mitten Knittin' is Done! (For Now)

On the needles: Corset style legwarmers

That's right, folks! You heard it right here. I've finished the mittens! And they're even washed. And even more amazingly, I finished them almost a whole week before they're needed! This is truly a great accomplishment (especially considering that I finished my boyfriend's Christmas blanket the night before I left. haha)!

Now, I do have one more order (the bearded balaclava), but I'm going to take at least a couple days off of knitting in the round and do some quick, flat, and fun legwarmers for Etsy (hey, I've got to start getting stock together now). Then I'll knit the balaclava. This should all be done within the next 10-14 days, at latest. And then it'll be some coffee cozies.

And then I plan to learn intarsia and also start the Berroco Bright Star...At some point.

The intarsia is all for my scheme of entering the creative contest at the Calgary Stampede next year. Best of all, it's the centennial next year! I got a chance to check it out this year, and there weren't too many entries, which is actually a shame. There were lots under the art category, and quite a few under the cake category, including an awesome Harry Potter one!

This weekend was really good, and really rejuvenating; I got to see the final Harry Potter, which I thought was amazing. Kudos to the team that has put together this amazing decade of films! From cast to crew, this was a task of epic proportions, and I think that they did an exceptional job.

And then I got offered a ticket to the Calgary Stampede Rangleand Derby (the Chuckwagon show), so there was no way that I could turn that down. So I got to spend the day at the grounds, went to the rodeo, checked out the art exhibits, and then got to watch the night of the semi-finals! It was awesome, especially since I hadn't been planning on going to the grounds.

Although it would have been good to have my boy with me. Hopefully next year!

Now, I'm going to go scheme out these legwarmers and start thinking about my entries for next year!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Long Weekend Aftermath

On the needles: 12/16 mittens for the weekend of July 22-24.

So, what with the long weekend, I had big plans to knit a lot.

Didn't happen. But oh well. I got to visit with my mom and my cat and do some awesome short hikes out in Kootenay and Banff National Parks(yay for nature)! And my boyfriend and I saw fireworks on June 30/July 1st, which were amazing as usual. The echo through the mountains makes it absolutely incredible.

Besides that, not much. The weather has greatly improved, and I only have a few more rows on the 12th mitten, which means I can start on lucky # 13 tonight!

With these mittens being so close to being finished, I am getting the Etsy shop rolling. I'm commissioning a friend to design me a logo, which will be appearing everywhere soon. I'm excited to see how it turns out! Then I'll just have to make up some stock and voila! Etsy shop started.

And who knows what I might do after that? Maybe I'll even be brave enough to start some Japanese inspired patterns (seeing as how I was in Japan for nine months...). The only problem with the book I have is that it's crochet...And it's in Japanese. We'll see how this works out! This Friday is the start of the Calgary Stampede! Yahoo! Chuckwagon races will be starting up, and then once the Stampede is over, the summer will be done, as my grandma always used to say. July and August always go faster after the Stampede. It's strange.

How was everyone else's long weekend? Did you finish a project with your days off?

Take care!


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Long Weekend Ahead = Lots of Knitting

On the Needles: 10/16 Mittens (I need to pick it up)

So, it's Canada Day this weekend! And the company I'm working with has an extra day off on Monday, so that means that I have lots of spare time to knit and relax a bit. I'm heading home, and I'm going to get my boyfriend to drive, so I should get at least one mitten finished in that time. I need to get numbers 10-12 finished by this weekend, and then I'll only have two more pairs to go!

After that, I'm going to start putting together some items for the shop. For all my readers, what are you all interested in seeing me produce? So far, I'm planning to make corseted legwarmers, baby blankets, coffee cup cozies (both corseted and uncorseted), fingerless mitts, mittens, scarves, and baby booties (and potentially more bearded balaclavas)! I am open to suggestions and commissions (once I'm finished these mitts)!

I went yarn shopping last night and got some gorgeous Paton's Silk Bamboo yarn in Plum. I'm going to try knitting bell ruffled mittens with it. I can't wait to see how the colour looks full out, because it looks gorgeous as it is now:

It's not as dark in person, though.

And, with it also being Independence Day on Monday, it's a long weekend for most of North America. I'm planning on going home and visiting my cat and family and knitting. What's everyone else planning?

Have fun and for everyone on the roads: drive safe!


P.S. I will soon post pictures of these elusive mittens. Promise.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Long Hiatus

On the needles: 8/16 mittens for order due in July

Need to complete:
-Scarf for backpack
-Bearded Balaclava

(Then commissions can be reopened!)

Well, hello everybody!

Sorry for the long break between this post and last. I had to concentrate on my schooling and life got really crazy in the second term. And it didn't stop there. I changed my summer job for the first time in about five years! A lot of factors contributed to this, but it's working out better. Especially since I got to move back to live with my boyfriend.

Now that I'm more or less getting settled, I will start getting posts up more frequently. I am going to try to get something done every week (give or take a bit).

In exciting news, I am starting up an Etsy shop here real soon. The link is posted above, but I will update when there are listings on my site. I currently have two orders that I need to finish before I can really start pursuing the shop.

In other none-knitting, but exciting news, I am registered in all the classes that I need to graduate, but for my honours, which the English department has to register me in. I'm also looking into my options for a Master's program in folklore/fairy tales. It looks like there are a couple of options.

All-in-all, I'm staying out of trouble and keeping busy. And I promise that I'll try to update more regularly from now on.

On one last note, how many of you have completed a log cabin blanket? That was my last big project, which was a Christmas present for my boyfriend, and it turned into a queen-sized blanket. So comfy!