Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Purses Everywhere

There are pros and cons to the way I work. I tend to start several projects at a time and work on them as the mood strikes me. This allows me to start things as I am excited about them and doesn't force me to work on something just because that is the project going right now (which never works for me). I find that not forcing any one piece of work makes for a better (and quicker) end result - at least that is what I keep telling myself anyway. Just about the time I am ready to scream because I haven't finished anything in SO LONG, I have 5 things all finishing one right after another, and I have to say, it is quite gratifying. Of course, it doesn't bode so well for blogging - I am still working on the process.


I made these felted bags for a woman in MI - a VERY PATIENT woman. They ended up a bit different than she asked for, but as I worked on them my functional and artistic sides had a meeting and out voted me 2 to 1. The handles and attachments are different - they seemed a bit more appropriate texturally than the acrylic ones.

I also opted to line them. Not only did it give a more finished look, it gave it more structure and stability - particularly to the bottom. Now the lining will hold the weight instead of the wool (which will stretch).

Now, if you have one of these purses and it was made without a lining and it has stretched, you can reshape it. Completely wet the bag, roll in a towel and squeeze lightly to remove excess water and re-block it. I somehow didn't think sending instructions with the bags was quite appropriate though - call me crazy.


SO with the bags all done (and yes there are more already started - and one in my Etsy shop too), I am trying to clean the house up to get ready form the New Year. The Chinese have a custom during their New Year (later in the year) that I like to follow. They clean the house and "sweep out the past ill fortune to make room for future good luck". Whether it is ill fortune, bad energy or bad luck, I say good riddance. And, if you don't believe in ANY of that, well, a good house cleaning never hurt anyone and if China saw the state of my house lately, they would move their New Years up too, just to make sure I got it all done.
Of course, no post is truly complete without the obligatory kittie picture - and this one couldn't be more appropriate...
Because "The Boys" always have to be involved with what I am doing every minute of everyday, as I was taking the trash out, Hanz had to get in and inspect my can and liner to make sure that it was clean too. You know what they say about "everything in its place" - I think it is now, I just need a lid to keep him in there!
I wish you all MANY BLESSINGS this coming year!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A gift to you...

20% OFF
all store purchase through the end of the year.
There is not a lot of new stuff in there right now but if you have been looking at it, now is the time to treat yourself. Keep an eye open too...
I have some new things going up for the new year. If they happen to make it up before the 1st, they are 20% off too.

I pray that your holiday season is happy and safe and that balls of your favorite yarn dance in your dreams like sugarplums.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The things kids keep from their parents.....

I have a pellet in my butt cheek.

It was middle school, circa - ok, never mind when, - EVERYONE had BB guns and pellet guns that they got for Christmas. Everyone except me. Now, THAT didn't bother me so much, I got a stereo just like I had wanted but was too afraid to ask for - Santa just knew. What bothered me was that my mother told me I couldn't play with or around them at all - meaning I would have to play by myself because the whole neighborhood was "hunting each other". I am sure that I am not the only one to have gone through this - my mom wanted me to be safe and knew that no matter how careful you are, kids have accidents.

The pellet in the butt was not an accident. Against my mother's discretion, I was running around with everyone else - I figured that I was behaving because I didn't actually touch any of the guns. My friend came up behind be, put the gun to my hip/butt cheek and said "Hands Up, Too Late" and shot. No one expected blood, they were bouncing off everything else - of course they weren't holding the gun up against everything else.

Now, when your mother tells you explicitly not to do something, you do and it all goes wrong, you do everything in your power to NOT tell. Well, I didn't. That was 15 years ago and I still haven't. It healed, the scar is gone but the lump is still there. But, even after all of that, I wouldn't trade the fun of that day. I think my friend got the worst of it after being bombarded with pinecones.

With Christmas approaching, I can't help but think of those days and how much fun we had... if only we could have that kind of fun without the injuries.

WAIT! WE CAN! Introducing the Mini Marshmallow Shooter!!


Made with lightweight PVC, this shooter fits mini marshmallows only. Even if you were able to fit something else in there, chances are, you wouldn't have the air pressure to get any distance (I tried). This said, the marshmallows go 15 to 20 feet on the average puff of air. Since the marshmallow loading hole and the blowing hole are different, there is no chance of inhaling the marshmallow by accident.

This shooter also has extra ammo storage in the handles - just twist the handle off. These can be used individually or


insert the handle into the loading hold and you have AUTO FIRE! All of the marshmallows come out at once.



Voila - BB Gun for Christmas without the trip to the hospital (or lying to your mother)!



Now originally, I had intended to offer these on my Etsy site but finding boxes big enough proved to be more difficult than expected. SO, I am offering them HERE ONLY and to only San Diego readers (unless someone from out of town wants to pick them up). The $12 price includes delivery. If you want them for Christmas, they MUST be ordered by the 20th, however I do have them available for immediate purchase now. I can also take your order and hold them for delivery as late as the 24th if you have prying eyes peeking for presents.


Get your kids outdoors this year. Have some old-fashioned SAFE fun. Oh, and by the way, your husband wants one too!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Who wound the clock too tight?

Where did November go??!

When you live in Southern California, the winter holidays are a strange thing. Your first sign that the holidays are coming is 90 degree, arid heat and wild fires. Talk about 'chestnuts roasting on an open fire'! The annual craft show start about the same time but who wants to think about Christmas in a tank top? Half of the leaves falling from the 10 deciduous trees in San Diego are still green.

Thanksgiving back East when I was growing up was a toasty warm kitchen with great smells. We wait to change the screens in the storm door to the glass until a few days after Thanksgiving so that while we are cooking, we can have the cool air keep it the perfect temperature. In CA, we don't have storm doors, but even if we did, it would let the necessary air conditioning that is running full blast on T-day out. It is all a bit surreal.

Because of all this, the holidays always seem to sneak up on me. The past few weeks I have been busy with shows and I turned my calendar page on Sunday to see Turkey Day and had a bit of a panic attack. Growing up I had a wind up alarm clock. If you wound it too much, it would run fast, waking me up an hour early for school. This, of course, I wouldn't realize until I was waiting for the bus for WAY too long in the cold. I keep hoping it is a big joke. Did someone wind the clock too fast or press the fast forward button on life?

I HAVE done a lot of knitting (and made quite the mess of my apartment). I have done several show and put new things in my store. It is funny how things work out sometimes though. I am going away for T-Day for the first time in a LONG time. I worried at first about the work time lost on all the projects I am juggling. I thought, "How much yarn can I bring without appearing rude?" I think now though, that this is one of those times that God sits back with a smirk... We think we know what is best for us. We plan and plot our lives. The truth is, He gives us what we need when we need it. It IS time for a few days rest. Yes, there will be knitting, but I won't be hiring a Sherpa to help me carry it all.

By the way, this is also the first time I am leaving "The Boys" so I had to get a picture online that I can look at occasionally to see their beautiful furry faces. It is also the picture I will pull up on my computer while I clean up the mess they make while I am gone (because they are mad I left them) so I can remember why I love them.
Check out the new stuff in my store and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Work with what you have...

In the face of the ever worsening economy, what is a fiber artist to do? Well, if you can make new, renew!

"The Man" brought me some shorts that have seen better days. Now, unlike most of us, since he works for the government, he is not hurting financially. However, like most men, he won't throw out his favorite shorts until the last of two strings holding it together breaks (and I imagine even then, he will ask me to "do my magic"). Growing up with no money, with a mother that was born during the depression, I know how to do that kind of magic. Just take it as a challenge.

While this is a normal occurrence in my house - people bringing me things that look like rats have been chewing on them - I don't think that it is that unusual to have things like this "hiding" in your closet (worn out clothes, not rats!). Things that you can't throw away "because you love them" tend to get pushed to the back of the drawer or closet. Isn't now a good time to pull it all out and do something about it?

My friend Jeff asked me today what I was working on. When I told him about "The Man's" shorts, he proceeded to pull out a stack of pants that needed to have the hem let out and several shirts that needed buttons sewn on. I also snagged a pair of jeans that, I think, still had the rat living in them. They are work pants and the others that I saw had mis-matched patched all over them - I refuse to allow him to be seen like that when I can do something about it!! So the are also on my pile to properly patch.

So I can't go out and buy any yarn, but there is ALWAYS some kind of needle craft waiting and probably in your own closet!

~Enjoy!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Face Off

As most of you know, my world revolves around "My Boys". I treat them like children (spoiled rotten teenagers, actually) and I am sure that there is some psychological abnormality about it - I don't care. The one thing I DO deny them is access to the balcony...

a.) when I am not home and

b.) early morning and dusk. Now this is because cats are cats and while mine are not the brightest bulbs, instinct makes them even stupider.

My apartment has big windows on the courtyard side. These frame a nice amount of trees and bushes, all of which attract humming birds. On the other side of my apartment is the balcony which has a dwarf lime tree and a blueberry bush that also both attract hummingbirds. Now, allowed, "The Boys" would be diving off the balcony trying to catch the birds - they don't know what to do with them once they catch them (we found out with 2 morning doves at the last apartment) but they (meaning Franz) are good at catching them. This being said, I keep them in during active hummingbird times, a fact that the local hummingbirds have figured out.

It seems that then "The Boys" are behind the screens the hummingbirds like to mock them. I couldn't figure out why my usually passive bird watchers would occasionally try to go through the screens. It turns out the hummingbirds are coming right up to the screen to get right in their faces. Until the other day, I haven't been able to catch this on "film". I now have proof.

On this particular day there was not one, but THREE of them outside the window. I could only get two of them in the shot as one was not as bold as these, but I officially gave "The Boys" treats for putting up with this torment. From the excitement Hanz was not producing, I have a feeling it is a normal thing. POOR BABIES!! Why don't they sell hummingbird flavored treats? They sell lamb - like the average house cat could take down a lamb! They should sell flavors like hummingbird and goldfish and field mouse - this way we could properly reward our babies for not eating what they see but can't get to.
On the knitting front, FINALLY my cold streak was broken and I made some good sales at my shows. I know, I understand, that the economy is now at its finest, but I take it personally when I have a show and don't sell anything. I made up for it this weekend and for all of you who participated in that - I thank you.
I have some new products coming out in the next 2 weeks so come back and visit!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Autumn is here!

Well, no matter where in the US you live, there is no denying that Fall is here. In most places the leaves are doing their annual show and summer clothes are being packed away in leiu of warmer gear.

Here in San Diego, we have little of that. Deciduous trees are few. And, while we might pull on a sweatshirt in the evening, flip flops are year-round footwear. What we DO have is cool air and warm Santa Ana breezes that leave a distinct Autumn smell in the air that rivals that of any cooler weather Autumn display.

Autumn here also means Craft Shows. Much like deciduous trees, these are few and far between so October and November are exciting months for those of us in love with fiber - or any kind of craft for that matter. Deb and I will be at a few of these, the first of which will be this coming weekend.

The Bonita Optimist Club will be holding their Fall Craft Show on October 18th. It is being held at Rohr Manor at Rohr Park, 4548 Sweetwater Road, Bonita, CA 91902. This show was FABULOUS last year and promises to be again this year. Since I know that most of you will have to make a bit of a hike to get there, I am offering a free gift to anyone who comes and mentions this post. I hope to see you there!!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Smack on the hand

Boy! What a blogging slacker I am! You'd think I had a real job!!

Well, I HAVE been working away here - needles of some sort going EVERY day. I have just been neglecting YOU, my friends. It is a good thing I give good Christmas gifts - right??!

Let me show you a bit of what I have been doing lately!

My friend Charmin bought an older boat recently and given that she still lets me spend a lot of time with her boyfriend - my best friend - I offered to do some slip covers for the 'indoor' seat cushions. The back rests are a blue Hawaiian floral pattern. The seat are a sturdier solid navy. I think her choice in fabric is just awesome. The back rest cushions have straps that snap to hold them in place so I reinforced the area and did a large button hold to accommodate the straps. I also wanted her to be able to take them off and wash them. We decided on snaps as a closure. One end just folds over and snaps closed. Since the cushions are custom fit to the boat, you shouldn't be able to see them. I still have one more cushion to do, I will try to get some finished and in place photos for you.

You may have already seen the ghost earrings up in my Etsy store. I tried to wait until October 1 to put them up, but I got too excited and put them up early. They are made with reclaimed yarn and matte glass beads and knit on US000. If I get enough interest in the pattern, I might be persuaded to write the pattern up, although I don't know many that enjoy knitting on US000 as much as I do. If you would like a pair (and don't want to brave the US 000's), email me directly and tell me that you read about them on my blog and I will give you $2 off.

As the heat here continues to oppress and the weekend's MiraMar Air Show looms (this weekend), I have a feeling that the windows will be shut and A/C will go on, allowing me to do a bit of sewing. As it requires much more movement than knitting, I have been putting off some of the projects I know I should be doing. With the A/C on, I should be able to get it done without melting all over the fabric!

Look for some knits and bags and needle and hook holders in the near future - and no, I won't tell you more than that!! You will just have to come back and take a look.

Until then.... ~Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Bra Making Class

If you are one of the many San Diego locals that sews, lend me your ears! San Diego Continuing Education Program is offering a FREE class for bra fitting and construction. This is a class I have been wanting to take for a long time. The unfortunate part is that they cancel the class if not enough people sign up. If this is a class that you have even considered taking - take it now! I will personally bring cookies to every class! You can email for more information here: jgibsonh@sdccd.edu

Hope to see you there!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Are you ready?

After last year's devastating fires, it brings to mind how much we have to lose. Obviously, when we are evacuated from our homes, we take our children, our pets, our yarn and (sometimes) our spouses. During the waiting, we wonder, "what did we forget?". When all is said and done, MOST of it can be replaced. The one thing that everyone has that can't be is their photos - their family albums. Will you remember them all? Are you like me and have too many to fit in the car?

My best friend of many years has an answer. Jeff started fotoHERO last year. He can scan those photos, albums, home movies - all of your memories into a digital format. Chances are your latest pictures are already there, so you know how much easier it is to store and transport. Doesn't it just make sense to have it all together?

Once they are in a digital format, they can be put on a DVD, shared with family members (maybe a good Christmas gift as well!!), put in a safety deposit box, or just put in a place where you can pick it up quick. I was displaced by the 2003 fires and since then, all of my important things are in 1 box - an antique champagne case - so if I need to leave in a hurry, I take the box and The Boys and go (and yes, a few of my favorite yarns reside there as well).

The fire season is upon us. Don't wait - give him a call.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Can you hear the whip?

Sadly, not much knitting has been happening here. My favorite thing to do (beside loving on "The Boys"), just takes too much time.

I have been cracking the whip and working away at things for my Etsy Store and knitted items just take too long to be cost effective. That is not to say that there won't be any knitted items in there..... My shawl is creeping, ever closer, to the "For Sale" category. I also have some Halloween treats going up October 1. In the over all scheme of things, however, there won't be a lot of it - at least not for now.

What I DO have going up on my site is more DPN holders. They are showing up a bit slow due to the gloomy weather "raining" on my picture plans, but they are made and waiting for some sun. I also have a few new things, again waiting on the sun for photos. I DID squeak out a few mediocre ones in between the clouds. Here is just a little tease...





~ENJOY!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Finishing and Frogging

Well, while I have been a bit quiet here in Blogland, I HAVE been knitting. I FINALLY finished up the shawl that I have been working on for about a year.


Cozy (Free from Knitty.com) by Danielle Schoonover
Hand painted Cashmere bought on sale from HipKnits but lost the ball bands long ago (they are in that safe place that I can never find)
Picture courtesy of my sweet friend Malachy


I have to say I LOVE this stitch. I love the yarn. But after looking at it for the past year, I am not sure I will be wearing it any time soon. I am even considering selling it. It came out beautifully with only one noticeable mistake (noticeable to me). We'll see how I feel after a month or so - or make after the temp comes down under 80!!


I also had a frogging episode.

This sock that I made out of the yarn that I bought on my trip to Oakland got all the was down to the ball of my foot before I just couldn't take it anymore and frogged it. little things here and there were bothering me. It seemed like the only thing I was truly happy with was the cuff - so that is where I frogged back to. I never did take a picture of where I was, but I took notes of the changed I want to make and I think I know what I need to do now.


I have also decided to make these for The Kid. I think she will get more use out of them. I rarely wear socks - or closed toed shoes for the matter - and when I do, you can't see the socks. She wears tennis shoes (or sneakers depending on where you reside) everyday and crocks at work. Also, since she has tiny feet, women's size 6, I should be able to make a matching pair for my new nephew out of the same ball. Christmas is coming and unlike years past, I will not be done with Christmas presents in September. I am already stressing.


On that same note, a lot of you who read this got an email from me a month or two ago requesting measurements. If you have not sent those back to me (and with the exception of Adrian, you should all be blushing right now!!!) I say this: If I get to your present and you haven't sent them, I don't want to hear any whining if I guess wrong on your size. AND, unlike most presents, I WILL be mad if you don't like it and I WILL ask you to wear it anyway!!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN FORE WARNED!




Friday, August 22, 2008

I got it!!!

OK, I this I got the only one shipped to this area! The man behind the counter tried his best to suppress his laugh while I nearly passed out from excitement when I picked it up. Had I known how AWESOME this book was on the INSIDE I might have needed help out of the store!

I have always loved Wendy's patterns. (Yeah, we are on a first name basis since I have read her blog for so long. Now, SHE doesn't know this, but since I doubt she will be reading my little blog here, I guess I am safe - right?) I have always loved her patterns. She somehow takes all the BS out and adds all the great finishing that makes great pieces great. So purchasing this book (even though I am unemployed AGAIN) was something that HAD to be done. I just KNEW that it would have patterns that would have me in yarn debt until the end of this decade, but I will own that debt happily and well dressed.

What I didn't know about this book is that it has ALL the information that I have been griping that no one has ever put into a book. While there is no debating that Elizabeth Zimmerman is the GURU of knitting, I have been looking for a little more "coolness", a guide to a new century of knitting. I am not a new knitter. I don't need instructions to knit and purl. New cast ons and techniques are always appreciated - don't get me wrong. But the last thing I need in ANOTHER book are the ABC's of knitting. I want the LMNOP's. THIS book had it. THIS book had L-Z! It gave me patterns with suggestions to "make it my own". THIS book gave me direction to do basic pattern making. THIS book gave me the belief that I CAN knit creatively and maybe even be a little "cool". If I wasn't already in awe, I am now. Get this woman a tiara - she may not be The GURU of knitting but she is definitely SOME kind of royalty!

All I can say is - ORDER THIS BOOK. Do not pass go, go straight to your favorite place to but books, because I am not sharing!! OK-- Meagan I will share with - but only because she is doing the fair isle for me! This book is worth EVERY SINGLE CENT.

~Enjoy!! (I already am!!)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

It's OUT!!


Wendy Bernard's (Knit and Tonic) book is FINALLY OUT!!! I cannot WAIT to get this!! My friend Meagan has already agreed to "help" me make the cover sweater. I say "help" because, as I have said in past posts - I don't fair isle. Meagan LOVES to fair isle. And is REALLY GOOD at it.


I have been waiting (not so) patiently for this book to come out. I have been reading Knit and Tonic since I just started knitting. I feel some kind of a kindred (and somewhat sarcastic) spirit when I read her. I envy her writing most of all. She says what I think with a grace that I never seem to find. I just seem to blurt it out poorly and offend people (even when I am saying something nice!). She is real and says real things and I like that. What I wouldn't do to spend an afternoon knitting and drinking margaritas with HER!!


Beyond that - I LOVE her patterns. She has style (although, if I were thin like her, my style would probably look better!) that is cool but doesn't make us old farts (my birthday is weighing on my mind today) look like we are trying to be younger than we really are. Unfortunately, I don't see her book available at any local stores - if you know where I can pick one up (do I really have to wait for the MAIL??!) in San Diego - let me know. AND pick one up for yourself - it will be a purchase you won't regret. She is AWESOME!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Charity Knits

I have been knitting furiously trying to make a deadline on some charity knitted dog sweaters. 100% acrylic (which I will NEVER do again - I will GLADLY admit to being a yarn snob!!) so that they can be wash- and dry-able. Since I really do not like little yappy dogs, I wanted to make some coats for slightly larger pups, although in my hesitance to knit anymore than I had to, I did not swatch. YES, I KNOW, we have hit this subject again and again - will I ever learn? Probably not. Do I care? In this instance no. They will fit some dog somewhere.

SO, what did I end up making?

I call this College Stripe.
I used the pattern Cosmo's Coat by Laurie Lee (Ravelry Link)
in Vanna's Choice Solids, Brick and Navy

I think that so many of these little dogs are dressed up in cute little sweaters... I tried to make something a little more masculine. If I HAVE to cater to the yappers, I am at least going to make something I like - no fluff here!! I followed the basic pattern with the styling and the underside ribbing as the only exceptions. I added a red stripe in the top and bottom ribbing and a wider stripe at the rib cage, just under the arm holes. I also added ribbing between the legs from the arms to the belly to add some stretch room since I don't know who this is going to. I couldn't take measurements so a little extra wiggle room, I thought, would be a nice addition.
The next I called Racing Stripe
I used the pattern Italian Greyhound Sweater by Gracleb (Ravelry Link) in Vanna's Choice Solids Brick and Navy
Again, I wanted to do something different. My friend Anne has been looking for a sweater pattern for her Italian Greyhound and I found this for her and figured I would try out the pattern while I was making dog sweaters anyway -because how often does that happen?? Since I was trying to use up the yarn that was donated
to me and I had 2 Bricks and 1 Navy left, I figured I would switch up the colors and how funny would it be to have racing stripes on a greyhound (even if he is a mini!) Anyway, this would be the one where the swatching goofed me up. This will probably fit a small regular greyhound! It came out quite large which would explain why I kept knitting and knitting and was STILL not done one time!! It did come out awfully cute though and I learned a few things along the way.
The most IMPORTANT thing I learned? That the next charity sweaters will have to be made out of cotton. NO MORE ACRYLIC!! I can't make me!!




Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cursed

CAN'T...........KNIT.........FAST............ENOUGH!!!!!!!

I understand that time seems to speed by while I am knitting - it is the whole "time flies by when you are having fun" thing. But I never seem to get half as much done as I need or expect to. I must be cursed.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CRAFTYLOCA!!!

My sweet friend Corinne over at Craftyloca is another year older today, although, to tell the truth I think she lies about her age. She looks far too fabulous to be ... how old are you this year? 29? And, whose kids are those? I have 1 and she gave me far more wrinkles than you have on the palm of your hand! And, girlie, the energy level is a DEAD GIVEAWAY! NO ONE over the age of 30 has that much energy without a crack habit.

SO, Craftyloca, whatever you are doing, keep it up. (And, share it with me or next year I will tell them your REAL age!!)

All of my love to you on your birthday. X

Monday, August 4, 2008

The things that kids "forget" to remeber.....

When you have an 18 year old, there are things you just know to expect them to "forget".... to tell you that they needed a signature today on something after you have left for work... to fill the gas tank when they use the car.... that their aunt is pregnant....... WAIT! WHAT?! I get a text message on Sunday "Tita had her baby" and no one bothered to tell you Tita was EXPECTING a baby, you have to stop and say "Uhm, back up." Now, the text messaging.... OK, at 18, sometimes that is the only communication you get - this is the case with "The Kid". But, this is the aunt who spent every cent she made on her and every free minute with her when my daughter was little and she was only 18 herself. This is the aunt that still spends enormous amounts of time with her - not some aunt she never sees. You would think that at some point in the past 8 months, it would have occurred to her to mention it.

Now an additional down side to not knowing, is that I had NO TIME TO KNIT for my new nephew. It isn't like I only knit occasionally and could run out and buy a gift and feel guilty in private. I knit every day and they know it. This is a woman who I owe an endless debt to for what she has given to my daughter. SO, that being said, these will be the first of MANY baby gifts to come.
Crocheted Baby Sneaker Booties From Sue's Crochet and Knitting
I used scrap white acrylic and scrap blue cotton (no idea where the labels are)
I added the little stripes down the side to make them a bit more "sporty".



There will probably be A LOT of shoes to come. Since they live in Miami, there aren't a lot of knitted items they would need. I may throw some sewing posts in too - I hope you all don't mind.

Over the weekend, while I unpacked, I rewarded myself with knitting (after the booties were done obviously). I also made this:

It is just K4, P4 in a approx. 12" x 12" square and folded and sewn down in thirds.

In an effort to "green" my house, I have stopped buying sponges (among other things) and I need washcloths for dishes. Now, there are a few of you that will have a few comments about this as I am not a "wash cloth knitter". Some people LOVE it - they like that it is quick or they like to practice new stitches. Well, simply put, I don't. This was a purely functional knit - nothing else. SO, those of you who are smirking right now (and you KNOW who you are - CORINNE - by the way, I haven't seen a blog in a while) YOU HAVE NOT pulled me over to the "wash cloth knitter side" any more than those thinking that they have pulled me over to the "crocheter side" just because I did the booties. I am allowed to blur the lines of "Knitter" every so often and still be a "Knitter".

Well, just so that you know that it is REALLY me, with the crochet and wash cloth and what not, here is the gratuitous "Baby" picture:

Friday, August 1, 2008

Picture of the Day

Is it bad that this picture gets me excited?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Laziness does not become me

...or my socks. So after 2 attempts to wear my Anastasia socks, I have determined that I need to (once again) pull the top out of that one and (once again) re-knit the same part on one needle size up. It is not only smallER, it is indeed TOO small and my fat ankles are not amused. (Yes, ankleS... I tried the sock on BOTH feet hoping one would miraculously be significantly smaller than the other - DUH!)

So folks, I offer you this piece of wisdom: WRITE IT DOWN. All of it. Anything you do. WRITE IT DOWN. If you put it aside, if you need to change something, if you want to REPEAT it, you will need to know what you did in the first place. Learn from my mistake.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Called Out

OK, so I have been called out. Blogging has NOT been one of my priorities lately. It is not that I haven't been knitting, it has just been a whirlwind of activity and chaos and in an effort to not sound like a bumbling idiot, I chose to save my posting until I could sort out my thoughts.

My friend Adrian who, by now, is known for her baby hats, has out done herself with this stunning bundle of grapes hat. If the twisty vine was not cute enough the leaves were just the perfect touch. She never does anything half way and thinks of everything.


I worked on this great pattern that I will probably do again. It is just enough pattern to keep your interest but not so much you can't watch a movie at the same time. (Of course, I recommend writing down your stats AS YOU DO THEM so that when you realize you have made one significantly longer than the other and you frog back, you don't guess the wrong needle size and redo half a sock again on too small of a needle. ah-hem.)


Anastasia Sock Pattern by "Pepperknit" in
Austermann Step, Laub, US 0 (US 00)

Now, I have used this yarn before and while I have never made a serious attempt at matching up the stripes, I somehow think that my attempts would have been in vain anyway. They could probably get a bit closer, but this yarn is definitely not for those who have to have their stripes perfect. I do really like the variegated and stripes mixed. The colors are even growing on me.

You should definitely check out Pepperknit.com , she has some cute free patterns that are very well written.

That's all for today.. I have more but since I have been such a slacker, I figure I will string you along to make you come back!







Monday, June 30, 2008

WHERE DID JUNE GO??!

Has it really been an entire month since I shared with you? And have I been so completely unproductive that I STILL have NOTHING to show you??! It is not for lack of knitting. I HAVE been knitting - really I HAVE! Just nothing to share yet. SOON!

In the interim, I will share a few things that I saw today at Whip Up. Have you checked them out? They are on my side bar. Sometimes they are just OK but others, like today and last week, they are just a wealth of interesting things to search and create.

Last week they did a whole 2 part thing on slippers. That kept me surfing for more than a few hours! Then a few more DAYS of creating - you will see later this month what I came up with. I have made one of the patterns for baby shoes out of recycled angora sweaters (you have to come to one of my shows for pictures!!) It is a great sewing pattern - very easy and ADORABLE shoes!

There is also a link to this pattern:
"A charitable pattern from Designedly, Kristi. Inspired by her mother’s experience with two Seeing Eye Dogs™, this sock pattern celebrates the independence and freedom assistive animals bring to their owners’ lives. 100% of the profits from the sale of this pattern will be donated to an organization furthering independence for the visually impaired." You know I always appreciate the little details and the thing that really made this pattern for me was this: If you follow the paw prints to the cuff, you will see "Guided by Love" beaded in braille. The pattern is only $5.50. You know I don't buy many patterns but the cause was such a good one, I couldn't help myself. I will post pics as soon as I finish them.
Even if you don't want the pattern, go check out her website, she is very interesting and also does some beautiful spinning. Enjoy!

Friday, May 30, 2008

FREE COFFEE!!

OK, now that I have your attention...
Sunday, Crafty Sunday! San Diego Craft Mafia is Hosting Monthly Craft Shows the First Sunday Each Month! Join Us on June 1st!That's right! Satisfy your craft craving each month and meet some of San Diego's finest DIY'ers.Where? Filter Coffee House4096 30th St., San Diego 92104When? June 1st, 2008 from Noon to 5 p.m.The vendors for June include:Alexis Archibald, Belle Pepper Couture* , Emily Grace: Handmade Jewelry & Crafts, goldiesknits, I's Ha-lo Halo, Jewelry by Jolene, Lynn's Rags, Made With Luv*, Old Cake Paintings*, PYP by SKS*, The Wee Set** NPCM Member
As you probably already know, GoldiesKnits is my crafting cohort (which is why you don't see me on the list). You can see us at Filter on Sunday. Come say "Hi!" and tell me you read my blog and I will buy you a coffee. That's right, I am not beyond bribery.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Spoiled in the Swap!

So, I did my very first swap recently and I have been spoiled beyond belief by my partner!!! It was a "tea and knit" swap and my partner went above and beyond!!
Now, I have a friend who does swaps on a regular basis and I have never heard her get as excited as I was to receive this so I am guessing that not everyone puts this much thought it their packages.
Now, this was a "tea and knit" swap so I sort of expected a few things...
tea...
and 'knit' and a few treats (which were an awesome flashback to my childhood since my swap partner is from 3 towns away from my home town...

and some more tea and knitting treats (those are stitch markers and a mini sock key chain in the ties!!)....


but then I ALSO got everything you need to make an awesome coffee...


lotion, powder, lip balm, a journal and homemade soap!!!

Now, if all of that wasn't enough, she made me a drop spindle and sent me the perfect color roving too!!!!!
I am just overwhelmed by her generosity and thoughtfulness!

Now, if all this wasn't impressive enough, she did all this WHILE preparing for an upcoming surgery for her son and taking care of 2 other children and her husband! I can't tell you how impressed I am by the sheer strength and determination she possesses that it takes to do what she does on a daily basis - AND she still makes time to do for others as well! I wish I could go "babysit" for her for 2 hours so she could take a nap (I am tired thinking of her schedule!!) Since I can't (I live on the opposite coast), I figured I would point you in the direction of her online store. All of the profits go toward helping pay for her son's ongoing medical expenses. For all of you sock knitters out there - she has a pattern up there and the cutest mini sock earrings!! Check it out!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Boys!


It seems so long ago since I first saw this picture on craigslist. How could you not want to scoop them up?!



Now, 2 years later, they are just as cute and just as lovey, just not so easy to scoop up! One is a lap full, the other hangs over, but still wouldn't trade them for anything. (Except maybe to have "The Kid" closer - even if she isn't as lovey and won't sit on my lap anymore. She IS just as cute though!)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Directions to the show

Just in case you have been trying to get directions to the show and having trouble down loading it, there they are:

City Farmer's Nursery 4832 Home AvenueSan Diego, CA 92105
619-284-6358 www.cityfarmersnursery.com Saturday, May 24, 9 am-4 pm

It's located at the base of Euclid Ave. as it merges with Home Avenue In City Heights. If you are on University Ave. turn south on Euclid at the corner where the Tower Bar is and go to the very bottom of the steep hill and it's on the right hand side. If you take the 94 turn off onto Home avenue and go north and it will be on the right hand side where Euclid goes up the hill. It's the only nursery for miles around!

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Art in the Garden

Come see me on Saturday!!
Saturday, May 24th 9am-4pm
Each year we have around twenty local artisans (from eight year olds to octogenarians!) display their homemade wares in and around the nursery. From beading to knitting, painting to gifts for your home, this is a unique and lovely way to celebrate spring, support artists, and enjoy the sunshine. This event is completely free to participate in and if you’re interested in having a table, the deadline for artists to secure a spot will be Monday, May 19th. Please contact us at (619) 284-6358 or email us (your name, phone number, what you’d like to sell) at events@cityfarmersnursery.com.

This year, there will be a special addition to Art in the Garden: a charity art sale benefiting the Farmer-Veteran Coalition. The coalition works to provide both viable vocational training and a therapeutic experience for deserving young Americans—our Veterans--while addressing our country’s critical lack of young farmers and the publics' growing demand for greater local food production. For more information on the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, check out www.farmvetco.org.

For more information on this event and others at the City Farmer's Nursery as well as directions. Hope to see you there!!!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Summer Finishing Sale!!

Well, the heat has hit with full force here in San Diego. With 90+ degrees in many parts of the county, the last thing on anyone's mind is finishing those Winter sweaters. (OK, so maybe 90+ isn't so bad for some of you, and maybe we don't really have a "Winter" compared to the rest of the country, but when you are paying $900 for a 150 sq.ft. apartment under the justifications that you are "paying for 'location' and that it is a 'sunshine tax', I want 50-75 degrees damn it! )
If picking up that lovely Alpaca cardigan that you have been toiling over sends welcomed shivers down your spine or sewing seams on that super bulky sweater makes you wonder if it wouldn't just be easier to donate it to so Eskimo tribe in Alaska, now - right now, you want to contact me. Pick up the phone and pant into the receiver, I'll understand. Email me "HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH"- I speak "melting". Note: DON'T DRIP ON THE KEYBOARD (I can't fix that for you).
Right now, I am taking 25% off all finishing services and zippers are the same price as buttons (as long as you provide the zip - if I provide it, it is regular price)! This sale runs through the end of the month. If you have a project that is not quite ready but will be in the beginning of June, call me now and you will get the sale price.
We all know you won't do the finishing once it gets cooler. In September you will be getting the kids back to school. October, you will be making Halloween costumes. November you will be making Christmas gifts. December you will be rushing around buying Christmas gifts to replace all the presents that you didn't finish in November. Let me help you out now, before the humidity in July kicks in. (at which point I will either charge you double or say mean things about you while I melt all over your Manos!)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Basic Baby Hat

For any of you who have ever taken my baby hat class, you already have this pattern. However, it occurred to me that people who don' t live in the San Diego area, don't have that option, so I will be putting my patterns up on my side bar (I know, it is about time!) Since I don't have a baby to show this off on (mine is 18 and the closest thing I can get to a picture is of her feet(see yellow socks)), please excuse my "model".
Basic Baby Hat

US Size 10 DPNs (Double Pointed Needles)
(or whatever size you need to obtain gauge)

Bernat Softee Chuncky Yarn (or another Bulky weight Yarn)

Gauge: 14 sts x 20 rws = 4" x 4"

CO 56 stitches using a long tail method
(or 1x1 rib method).

Divide stitches evenly between needles
(14 per needle if using 5 needles).

Join needles ensuring that the not to twist.

Work in 1x1 rib for 2" (if you used the 1x1 rib cast on, make sure you start with a knit stitch).
Continue in stockinette (all knitting) until hat measures about 3.25".
Decrease for the crown as follows:
Decrease round 1: (k2tog, k5) repeat to end.
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: (k2tog, k4) repeat to end.
Round 4: Knit
Round 5: (k2 tog, k3) repeat to end.
Round 6: Knit
Round 7: (k2tog, k2) repeat to end.
Round 8: Knit
Round 9: (k2tog, k1) repeat to end.
Round 10: Knit
Round 11: K2 tog
Cut yarn and pull through remaining stitches.
Pull tight and weave in ends.


And it has been far too long since the last obligatory cat picture.
Of course, he must be a teenager too... see the "Do you SEE what she DOES TO ME?!" look? When he starts paying for his own food, I will stop making him model for me.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

My Etsy Store is now OPEN!!!

FINALLY, after almost a YEAR, I have finally, officially opened my Etsy shop! You can find a few of the items I have on sale in my sidebar. Click the link at the bottom to go directly to my site and see ALL of them. I will be adding items weekly - there will be some knitted items next week - so bookmark me! I also do custom orders so don't be afraid to ask! Shoot me an email!
It is funny how we allow life to hold us back from the things we really want in life. I have wanted to do this for SO LONG. It was RIGHT THERE! And I didn't get it done. Well, I finally got past the "hard part" (at least for me) - I struggle when I haven't done something before. For some reason, I feel the need to see things being done first.

A HUGE THANK YOU to Deb for taking the time, on one of her rare days off, to hold my hand. I am such a baby! If you are in the need of some very cute pin cushions, stitch markers, tea bag holders (SUCH a GREAT idea!!) or felted tea pot cozies, go check her site out. If you don't see any of these things over there, shoot her an email, she'll send you some pictures - I took up her posting time and she hasn't had a chance to list them. She has such great stuff!
Well, off to produce! I hope you all have a good weekend!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I will be out in public!!!

I know that many of you have been having "Lisa Withdrawal" over the past few months. Since I moved and don't have to drive to work, I no longer want to drive anywhere and it is rare to see me unless you come to me. Also, since I have been sample knitting for a yarn distributor, on yarn that isn't out yet (yeah, don't you wish you were me!!) I haven't been able to show you any of my work. My posts have been lacking, I know.

If you live in San Diego, you DO have the opportunity to see me (and my work) at Sunday, Crafty Sunday at Filter (formerly The Other Side Coffee House) in North Park. Here's more information. For those of you who have already seen them, I will have TONS of my DPN holders. If you mention seeing this blog, I will give you $2.00 off. My "partner in knitting crime"will be there also. For a preview you can check her out here , here and as always on my side bar. You may wonder why I only have one of her sites linked on the side bar... Monkeys freak me out. Well, there you go. No post complete without pointing out, once again, how strange I am. Thus the name.

Hope to see you there!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

RIP MAGKNITS

One of my very first "haunts" for free patterns has ended and I can say that I, for one, am very sad to see them go. MAGKNITS has repeatedly published some of my favorite patterns and was a place that I looked forward to visiting every month. I have know for a few months that the editor had a drain on her time and well, when you are not getting paid, and you have to make cuts....

What has REALLY made me sad more than that though, is in the explanation on the site. They have been getting complaints in recent months. COMPLAINTS. When someone gives you something for free, you thank them. If they give you something exceptional, you rally behind them. If you don't like it, smile, say "thank you" and don't look back - you don't COMPLAIN.

Today's feeling of entitlement SICKENS me to the point that I don't always doubt my 'hermit' ways. I tire of the whining and complaining from people who don't contribute yet are unhappy with what they receive from society - as if society was placed here for the sole purpose of providing for THEM.

I would like to say "THANK YOU" to Kerrie over at the former MAGKNITS for her dedication and phenomenal publication. You WILL be missed.

Friday, March 28, 2008

How do you like YOUR socks??

Well, the "never ending move" is progressing slowly. I am bravely decreasing my "stuff". And, that is all it is - isn't it? We can't take it with us. So why am I struggling to let go of the acrylic that I don't remember buying (and am not sure why I even allowed it into my house??)? Some of this stuff is so bad that I am wondering if the school I am donating to will press charges for some kind of abuse. And it isn't just yarn! Why do I NEED the "Cat wheel O'Fun" (the manufacturer named it - not I) when clearly even the cats think it was named while someone had a little too much cat nip? The book I am reading calls me an "Accumulator". I don't throw anything out that I MIGHT need later because - what if I can't afford it later? What if I can't find one later? What if I give it to someone and they throw it away and waste it?


So, in my cleaning process, so I don't have to "get rid of my stuff", I am trying to knit faster (yeah, right - I can hear you say it from here). I DID knit these:

While trying to teach a toe up short row class. So, I did one toe up, bound off and realized how much I hated the bind off I was using compared to the ribbed cast on that I have been teaching in the Cuff down classes. I then knit the second toe down (short row heel and toe). As I started to undo the first sock's bind off so that I could frog it, I decided to get onto the Internet and search for a better cast off for socks. After all - I am not the first on to knit socks. People have been doing this for years - there HAS TO be a better way. Ask and ye shall receive: A VERY well done tutorial describing a stretchy cast off. So well in fact I didn't frog sock #1. I used this cast off and will just live with the knowing that my socks do not match (technically speaking). Otherwise, I love them - stretch, colorful and fit perfect on my skis. And, just in case you were wondering... That large white glare between the sock and pants, THAT would be why all my socks stop there - I refuse to adjust my socks to fit my 11" cankles. No one sees them but you - my faithful readers. Chances are if you can put up with the rants, the ankles are nothing.

Friday, March 7, 2008

The funniest thing I have seen in a long time...

I was over at Glenna's site and a few posts back she had this: http://crazyknittinglady.wordpress.com/2008/03/05/they-have-a-plan/

Tears rolling down my face funny. If you have a cat, or even know cats, you will understand. I think Simon's cat's name is "Hanz".

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Moving again

Alright, so moving 3 times in 13 months isn't THAT bad right? And it isn't IMPOSSIBLE to get 2500 sq. ft. of furniture and stash to fit into a 150 sq. ft. apartment, I'm sure. The lesson learned with these questions -- don't EVER give up your independence. Once you have it, hold it tight and dear to you like that favorite hank of fiber that was gifted to (that you would never be able to afford) and that you are now too afraid to knit because, well, then it wouldn't be fiber any more it would be something else and then it would just be inappropriate to sit and pet it. But I digress.

I look now at the stash I have accumulated - literally MANY 18 gallon tubs FULL - should I have recognized long ago that I was out of control? Or did I subconsciously think "if I collect enough I can build myself a little "stash tub hut". " ? The comforting thing is I will never freeze to death - not with this much wool. So, I sit and contemplate what needs to go so my apartment doesn't look like a storage unit (I am told the storage unit look is "out"). Is it wrong that I would rather part with my furniture that even one ball of fiber? I mean, if pressed, I might find something acrylic in there (from before I knew better) that I could part with after a short mourning process. But I know as soon as I do, the phone will ring with news of a pending birth and anyone worth their weight in stash (and believe me - I am worth A LOT of stash) knows you don't make baby items out of anything that can't be washed and dried 2-3 times a day! SO, I think the dining table is going - given how much stash I am worth, I probably don't need it anyway. Now, if I can just get the cats to use the toilet I can get rid of the cat box!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tagged

So Marnie tagged me with the Seven Things meme so here goes....

1. I was cute (and quiet and SHY) when I was little. BOY, am I glad I grew out of THAT! And, YES, they had color film back then.

2. Until I had my daughter, I wanted to be a singer or play trumpet or baritone in the Navy Band and/or the Boston Pops (and really thought I had a chance - it is amazing how children bring reality to you). Since then, I have not played a note or sung in public.

The first "real" song I learned how to sing was "Feelin' Groovy" by Simon and Garfunkle, (which I still know the words to) and I would sing it doing the Cher hair flip around the shoulder. (If you are laughing - just remember, you are old enough to know what I am talking about!) By the time I graduated high school, I could play all basic wind instruments except bassoon and oboe (weird reeds). Even weirder, all of the guys I played with in high school STILL PLAY and currently are in active music groups.

3. I have moved over 40 times in my lifetime spanning 7 states and 2 countries.

4. I scrub floors on my hands and knees when I am angry. Family trait - we all do it. (Yes, OCD is genetic.)

5. I had a Pooh-Bear that went everywhere with me. My mom would make matching sweaters for the two of us. The one I remember the most was a bright blue sleeveless vest with a big ladybug duplicate stitched on the chest.

6. Part of the reason I knit is because I can't sit still if I am not doing something. I wiggle like a 3 year old on a plane. Imagine the stress that could have been prevented if my mother had taught me to knit instead of knitting for me! (Of course, I still would have wanted my matching sweaters!) And, by the way, she embroidered the flowers on the sweater I am wearing above.

7. My favorite thing in the World is to get random gifts. Gift for no reason at all that tell you "I was thinking about you even when I didn't have to".


I actually had one THROWN at me on Saturday. My friend Corinne made me this great coffee cozy that really does keep your coffee hot longer. And, bonus, it fits on my mug at work.


SO, in the spirit of sharing, I hereby "tag":


GeorgeAnne - who just found out what a meme is today

Corinne - who never ceases to amaze me with the random facts of her life

Karla - who SEEMS quiet but I am betting has a feisty streak

Gena - who has just finished the most BEAUTIFUL lace shawl - go check it out!!!

Glenna - who I believe is dubbed "Crazy" Knitting Lady because she never knits anything easy (i.e. "Crazy" Talented). And, who, by the way, has a BEAUTIFUL baby girl Beatrice that I would love to set up with my boy Hanz.

Lenealve - one of the most intriguing writers I have read with descriptions of Finland so real that you will want to go put on a sweater. And she is just as talented with her knit technique and design.

rules:

1. link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.

4. let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.