Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I Answered Kyle's Mememe

From Kyle Knits.
01. Can you cook? Yes, and I love to do it. My 265 pound son is a living testimonial to the quality of my creativity in the kitchen!
02. What was your dream growing up? I am living it.
03. What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could sing R & B like Chaka Kahn.
04. If I bought you a drink what would it be? Iced tea (plain, no sugar, lemon or fancy flavorings)
05. Favorite vegetable? Romaine lettuce.
06. What was the last book you read? Confessions of a Concubine
07. What zodiac sign are you ? Cancer
08. Any tattoos and/or piercings? Just ears.
09. Worst habit? Too embarrassing to admit.
10. If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride? If I knew it was you.
11. What is your favorite sport? Tennis.
12. Negative or optimistic attitude? Optimist.
13. What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me? Talk about knitting and laugh.
14. Worst thing to ever happen to you? Smashed a kitten in a door by accident.
15. Tell me one weird fact about you. I count bicycle riders while I am driving.
16. Do you have any pets? A black bulimic cat named Figaro.
17. What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly? I probably wouldn't answer the door.
18. What was your first impression of me? Impressed with your knitting.
19. Do you think clowns are cute or scary? Neither.
20. If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be? Make my hair longer.
21. Would you be my crime partner or my conscience? conscience.
22. What color eyes do you have? Brown
23. Ever been arrested? Once.
24. Bottle or draft? Tea Java and water are the only things I drink that come in bottles.
25. If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it? Save it.
26. Would you date me? My husband wouldn't let me.
27. Where's your favorite place to hang out? My den or my bed.
28. Do you believe in ghosts? Absolutely.
29. Favorite thing to do in your spare time? Knit.
30. Do you swear a lot? Hell yeah!
31. Biggest pet peeve? People who don't say please and thank you. Especially kids.
32. In one word, how would you describe yourself? Creative.
33. Do you believe in/appreciate romance? Absolutely. Especially romantic ghosts.
34. If you could spend 12 hours with me and ask/do anything you like, what would it be? Go to a knitting event like Stitches.
35. Do you believe in God? Absolutely.
36. Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same? sure.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hot Hands!

I have been making "Hot Hands". A new pattern for my collection, and intended to be kitted with Hacho by Mirasol and to retail for about $12 for the kit, I decided to make up each size to make sure you could still get an entire pair of Size Large from one skein. You can, but there's only a tiny bit to spare. Like a few yards. This means that if you buy this kit and are making size Large
a) You might run out of yarn if the skein is a little short or you knit at a slightly different gauge than I do.
b) You will feel very tense towards the end of the project, worrying about whether there will be enough yarn.

It's a yarn dilemma! I don't want to add another skein because
a) I like the reasonable price
b) Small and Medium are okay with one skein
c) Large might be okay, too.
d) Why charge for an unused almost entire skein?

On the Designbiz list, I received a suggestion that I wind off a little extra from another skein and just add a little extra to the price.

I don't like the labor involved in winding off yarn. Especially since most people won't even need it. So the price goes up unnecessarily.

I saw this in Knitty for the pattern 'Fetching':
"Yarn note (from Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran is beautiful and soft and comes in gorgeous colors. The cool thing about these gloves is that you only need one skein to make a pair. However, you have to be willing to unravel your gauge swatch to do this, because one pair takes an entire skein with less than a yard of yarn left over. If you feel the need to keep your gauge swatches, you will need to buy two skeins"

That's fine if you are just buying the pattern. But it doesn't solve the kit dilemma.

So far I have made a couple pairs in every size. There is a discrepancy in how much yarn is left over. So far, there has been enough to finish every pair I've made, but maybe that's just me.

What to do, what to do?

I tried making up a pair in this gorgeous handpainted yarn from Urban Gypz that I bought from the Loopy Ewe. The colorway is called Rainy Day Blues and it is scrumptious. Gauge slightly different than Hacho, but lots left over!!! As well there should be. This gorgeous yarn costs $25, I think. I bought it with a special friend in mind and she will be getting these for Christmas.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Funky Pink Wrap

I am finally beginning to put pieces into the eboutique at I would much rather make them then photograph them and my least favorite is working on the computer, but it must be done, and I am the woman for the job.

It's a good thing that the deadline for Stitches West is approaching. Because of that deadline, I am forced to work on the yarnartists website in my system of productive procrastination. There's a twisted logic to it. Always have a second business so you can be productive while procrastinating over deadlines.

If you want to peek at, I would welcome feedback.

This wrap combines about 25 different yarns, mostly PINK. It has pieces of pink pearlized shell and carved shell flower embellishments. Very snuggly.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Few Flowers

Here are a pair of Flower Socks I made for my sister for Hanukkah. The yarn is Claudia Hand Paints Plumicious and is available from me as a kit with the pattern and the beads right here! The sock blockers are from Loopy Ewe.

And while we're talking about Loopy Ewe, what's up with that site anyway? Why do I feel COMPELLED to order yarn from them? It's not like I NEED more yarn. It's not like I USE the yarn I buy from them. I just find I MUST VISIT the site and order yarn on a regular basis! They just have the absolute best collection of hand dyed sock yarn under one roof, so to speak!

Here's another pair of Flower Socks I made from some Knitpicks sock yarn. This color is no longer being sold. Maybe these are for me, since they contain my favorite color combination - pink and turquoise. (in this case, coral and turquoise)

I wish I could show you my new handbag pattern. How about a tease?

That's all I'm sayin' for now...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Some Holiday Projects

Finally I am ready to share a couple of things I have been working on.

Gefelted Fish - a sample for a class I will be teaching for the Pomegranate Guild in February. They caught me at a weak moment and I so loved the title they had already picked that before I knew what hit me, I said yes.

A knitted and crocheted skirt for my niece, Aimee, in her favorite colors.

And finally, a vest for my very special someone for his birthday. Inspired by the cover of Sally Melville's Color book, but beyond that, there is nothing at all similar in the construction or the purpose.

I hope he likes it. I'll report back on his response.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What I Got Today

I know this is backwards but I am saving time and using Photo Booth instead of my camera and apparently, it sees me like a mirror instead of like a camera.

This is the newest version of Creative Suite. I use Photoshop and InDesign for all my patterns and of course, Acrobat for my pdf files. I recently purchased a really cool interactive pattern from that genius, Carol Wulster.

To my chagrin, it wasn't fully functional in the version of Acrobat that has served me just fine for several years!

Time to upgrade. I was 'talked into' getting the upgrades for Dreamweaver and Flash, while I was at it. Now if only I could actually figure out how to use Dreamweaver!

The other (backwards ) picture is my dear copy of Pineapple Lace.

What a fabulous book! I love all the old doily crochet books, but some of them do not have charts and I can't abide the line by line directions written out. They make my eyes cross and I start feeling dyslexic.

Charts, on the other hand, make crocheting such a pleasure. And this book is pure pleasure (although if you are a written out kinda crocheter, it's in there, too)

Whenever I find a paperback book I know I am going to use to death, I chop off the covers, laminate them with my lamination machine (left over from when I was an art teacher) and have Kinko's spiral bind it. A $5 upgrade that makes sure it will last forever. Plus it opens flat, so it's much easier to work with.

Yes, but what am I knitting, you may ask! I can't show you yet. I've been working on NEW PATTERNS. Yeah! 4 or 5 new patterns. I will be debuting them here when they are done. My objective is to have them printed and ready to go to Stitches West in February.

I know that gives me lots of time, which in my case is dangerous as I am "La Procrastinator Extraordinaire" and will start 3,000 new projects if the deadline is not breathing down my neck. Now you know one of the secrets of my prolific-ness - procrastination on meeting deadlines.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Another Week, 3 More FO's

It has always bothered me that the neighbors could see silhouettes through our bedroom window at night. I saw this screen at Aaron Brothers and thought it would be perfect for my booth at Stitches West in February. My plan was to print out 8x10 photos of some of my patterns and put them into the frames. When I saw that the one I wanted (black) was on sale for 50% off, I whipped out the Mastercard.

Back home, set up in the bedroom, I realized that it would solve my window problem and fit in to my decorating scheme perfectly.

Using my Joann's coupon, I purchased some scrapbook paper in colors that worked with the colors of the room, came home, cut them to size and voila! The solution to the window problem, and I can still use it for Stitches West!

See, watching HGTV endlessly will eventually rub off!

But home decor is not all I've been up to. My friend, Angela Best, who I 'met' on Ravelry, has this terrific design in Stitch and Bitch Crochet, called Short 'n Sweet. I used Shine Sport from Knitpicks, which is a really nice, drapey yarn that I am currently quite fond of. And at $2.49 a ball, you can't beat it with a stick!

I made this little shrug in a day and a half. It will be a Hanukkah present for one of my nieces.

And no, I am not tired of making the Heartbeat sweater yet! This one is called Summer Melons because the yarn is so melony and delicious and cool. I had an uncontrollable craving for rainbow sherbet while working on this one.

And yes, I do sleep, in case you are wondering. But not very much.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oscar, I Wanna B U

Probably I don't really want to be Oscar de la Renta. I just want to get $2,450 for one of my crocheted freeform pieces!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ravelry Ads

Ravelry has opened to beta testing advertisers. I created a few.
Click on the ad to go to the page on my site.
Here they are:

It's a great opportunity to be able to advertise on Ravelry. I am so impressed with the way the site is developing. It''s creators deserve every success!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Shruggity Shrug

A trio of shrugs completed for the Crafts Show.
This first one is called Blue Lagoon and is a combination of knit and crochet. I love this style and am working on writing the pattern for my pattern line. You all know how much I love writing patterns and how easy it is for me!!!

Much as I don't like writing patterns, I DO LOVE to make things. So I made another, this one in a size small, and it is called Fire.

And this last one is by the brilliant Annie Modesitt and was in Interweave Crochet last spring. It is called Lacy Leaf Cacoon. I used Knitpicks Shine Sport. If I were to ever make this one again, I would change the armholes and widen the sleeves a bit. Great pattern but lots of errors which won't bother you if you know what you are doing but would probably be quite confusing to someone new to crochet.

I couldn't find a button in my collection that was just right for this pattern (didn't like the crochet button included in the pattern) so I started going through my jewelry and found a red rhinestone ring Eden gave me for Valentine's Day when he was about 6.
I just spread apart the sides of the ring and voila! You do have to put the shrug on over your head, but a small price to pay for the perfect closure!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Sunrise Handbag

Some Handbags and a Sweater

Just a few of the 27 handbags I completed for the show.

This one came out majorly too big. I am calling it a Mini Cooper Cozy. The pattern was one I found on Ravelry, called Inga's Haekelbeutel and the pattern is free here. I recommend not making your squares any larger than 4". A very clever pattern!

This one is felted and features buckles and an embellishment from my buddy, Lauren, at labeana. I am keeping this one, in fact I already transferred my stuff into it. I made up the pattern as I knit and have absolutely no idea what I did.

This last one was named Cinnamon and Spice and was my absolute favorite of the show. Of course it sold.
Interestingly enough, the first thing I sold was this:
Heartbeat Sweater, which has been, without a doubt, the #1 favorite of all on my Ravelry project page. Jill, your check is in the mail!

Contemporary Crafts Market is Over

And wow! it was intense. On Thursday Sharon and I set up our booth. It took practically the entire day and then when we thought we were finished, a friendly neighbor with a lot of experience came over and critiqued our set up, which caused us to rethink the whole thing so we started all over again and came up with something so much better. You can't really see my entire display from the angle of the first photo - wish I had noticed that before today when I could have had another photo taken!

I had entirely too much stuff. I had actually never seen everything I had collected all in one room before and I was rather amazed to see what I had accumulated. On Sunday, I removed about 1/3 of my inventory and it was much better - people could actually focus on individual pieces.

I think the show was a successful first attempt for both of us, and if I do the June show, I have a lot of ideas on how to make it even more successful.

But right now, I need to attend to all the things I put off over the last 2 weeks and then I need to sit down for a minute or a week and just .... knit!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Revised Pattern

This is the new Crocheted Beaded Belt pattern. I revised it to include a detachable i-pod or i-glass cozy. This makes the belt more useful and uses exactly one skein of fingering weight yarn.

I was inspired to make this revision by Ellen who will be kitting the pattern with her beads and Apple Laine yarn for sale on her site, Earthfaire

She is a great descriptive writer. I find myself drooling over my own patterns, the way she describes them! I also love her bead choices.

My intention is to sell kits on my site, too, but the first thing I am going to do when this show is over is get the downloadable versions of my patterns onto my site.

Yes, it is only one more day to prepare, then we set up for the show on Thursday, which starts Friday and will be over Sunday night at 6 PM. I honestly have no idea what to expect (other than that my feet will be hurting and I will be very tired after 3 days of working the show) I am hoping for the best, but prepared to be happy with whatever happens.

One thing I am very grateful about it that the show is local so if I have forgotten anything, I can just run home to get it. And I get to sleep in my own bed at night!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The 7 Deadly Spins

As a result of some of my patterns being sold by Ellen on, some lovely people and opportunities have been coming my way.

Here is one some of you may want to check out - The 7 Deadly Spins! Kelly Eells of Liisu Yarn came up with a brilliant idea! A bimonthy yarn club based on the Seven Deadly Sins. You can read more about it on her blog (linked above) I won't tell you which S(p)in I have been asked to represent, but let me tell you that it suits me perfectly! I haven't had the pleasure of working with Kelly's yarn yet, but have heard people praise it and can't wait to get my hands on some. I will report back to you as soon as I get some.

I want to thank everyone who left positive and encouraging comments after my last post. Knitting at home all alone makes one feel so isolated sometimes and it is much appreciated when someone takes the time to pass along some good energy. Thank you so much!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Why I Haven't Been Blogging

1. Life has been getting in the way. Too many little (and big) distractions - all personal and I'm not going to write much of anything personal any more (see #2)
2. The main reason I haven't been blogging is because I received via a third party, a very negative comment about my blog and quite frankly, I just don't have my heart in it any more. I've always thought of myself as somewhat a rebel, but I just don't feel like putting my neck on the chopping block any more. Maybe it will come back someday, but for the time being, I am very happy just sharing my work in ravelry where narrative is relegated to descriptions of projects and can easily be kept on the subject of knitting, crochet, and yarn.
3. Getting ready for the CCM show in a couple of weeks. Gulp. Very nervous.
4. Preparing a new website to sell my finished, one of a kind pieces.

That being said, I am still as prolific as ever, just don't have photos to post. But here is one project I will show you:

Fat Bottom Bag from Stitch and Bitch Happy Hooker.
Yarn is Noro Kureyon. Lined with silk Chinese brocade.
Handles from labeana (love her work so much)

I think what pissed my off about this 'person's' comments the most was that she had read my blog throughly and did not make ONE COMMENT about my work!!! Her criticism was entirely personal.

Okay, blessings to her and all that. And if she's reading this "I hope you're happy now!"