Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Inspired by Nature KAL

OK, I've been talking about these knitalong things and I realize that many of my customers are knitters, not computer geeks (like I am, lol!), so ya'll listen to me and think "yeah, yeah, whatever, show us proof that this is so great". Combine that with I don't blog enough(see previous post) and I have decided to try to post about whatever I'm working on in order to illustrate how much inspiration it can be and to help organize myself.
Who's snickering? Oh, never mind.......it might have been me.
So, first up is the Inspired By Nature KAL. The idea is pretty straight forward; find something pretty that reminds you of summer and translate it into something knitted.
Now, Bakersfield isn't noted for it's gorgeous weather, right? So I had to do some thinking. One thing I really enjoy is the return of the humming birds to the feeder on my porch. After a number of attempts I gave up trying to take their pictures (do you know some people teach these amazing jewels to eat out of their hands!?!?!?) so I found these and am using them as my inspiration. I also don't have the time or inclination to garden in this weather-sigh. So my idea is to make a knitted, beaded purse in flower colors with the flap and strap in the leaf/stem colors and will then do a beaded hummingbird scrumble as part of the flap.

So I hand dyed some BFL Ultra! in flower colors and (Bonnie) strung the beads.
It is now cast on, thanks to Joey's help, and I will be working on it this week. Stay tuned.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Feelin Hot! Hot! Hot!

Welcome to the wonderful Bakersfield summertime. The only good thing about how fast time is going is that summer will be over soon. So time and heat are the topics de jour for this and upcoming entries.
Ok, Ok, so I don't post enough!

I tried to join an interesting sounding group on line and they wouldn't let me because I don't post often enough. So shoot me already.

Having said that, it has been awhile since I posted so where do I start? Maybe where I left off? (Duh....).
If you have been in lately, you'll notice that the "Rings" design has returned. Like a boomerang. Evidently, they meant that they would receive designs up to June 10, not postmarked up to June 10, so they sent it right back. Without even looking at it. Sigh. Someday I'll learn not to procrastinate. My excuse (here I go with the excuses again) is that I'm busy. Actually, I probably need a keeper. No, make that definately. Anyone want to be my keeper?

Anyhoo, I'm going to write up the pattern and put it up for sale. We'll also do it as a workshop in August, maybe with your own hand dyes?

Speaking of hand dyes, this is the Chevron purse that we will be doing on
July 13. The top one is out of Kureyon, the unfelted one is out of Tierney's first hand dyed.We'll have it up once she felts it.

This pattern was written by a lovely young woman named Emilee who has offered it as a free pattern and has graciously granted us permission to use it. Check it out at http://emileeknits.wordpress.com/2006/10/08/chevron-bag-free-pattern/.


Hate to tell you guys, but it is time to start Christmas presents (this is the bad thing about how fast time goes- 182 more shopping days till Christmas!) so we are again presenting Christmas Starting in July. To that end, we will be offering a number of quick, fun, sometimes sparkly projects suitable for decorating or gifts. The purse mentioned above is one and on July 6 we'll be showing ya'll how to create The Quick No Pattern Bag. Quick. No Pattern. Really. Lined and everything. You don't believe me? Trust me. Have I led you astray yet? No, really? And a big thank you to Gail M for the idea for these bags. Come see me. I will give you a token of my appreciation. I'm nice like that.

And check out this KAL http://christmaskal.blogspot.com/. They are offering motivation to make up your list, checking it twice, going to find out.......um, well, you get the idea.

Here is a gift that will help you beat the heat; a crocheted Scrubee around a bottle of yummy body wash. Every other Sunday we will be doing crocheted gift projects including amigurumi and a "mystery" crochet-along that will be super for using scraps. The scrubee is slated for July 1. Very quick and easy, even knitters can do it. Yeah, you. I know, I'm getting bossy. Must be the heat......

Most of you have heard about the various swaps I'm involved in. This is my first received package. 2 (count them, 2) skeins of Super Merino from Artyarns, a totally pampering collection of Beauticontrol spa products and a coordinating margarita glass (see, the products are called Margarita, get it? No, I didn't fall off the wagon.....yet). Just kidding.
This getting gifts in the mail just because someone tells you to send something is awesome but even better is getting to know your swap partner and putting something together to send them.
So, keep your eyes open. I will have the new class schedule up in the next few days and I am going to start a mystery partner swap in the shop. Should be fun!

Last, but not least, cute pet update. Sh**head now has a name-Joey. My husband named him after the character on Friends- seems to think he has the same kind of attitude, large appetite and none too intelligent.
I have lots more to say but have to get ready for work, damn it all!, so I will get some more info out to ya'll in the next few days.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Down to the wire......

Here is a picture of my design for CTH's contest. I'm calling it "Rings of Supersock". LOL! This was so much fun to make but talk about being down to the wire!

If Cheryl at CTH doesn't accept it, maybe I'll enter it at Knitty.com. What do you think?

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Shibori Redux

OK, I promised an update on the maiden shibori project. Remember what it looked like the first time we manipulated it? Here's a refresher.

Well, by the time I got it home, a number of the stones had already fallen out and the new kitten (sh**head is now in the running for his name) got another 2/3 of them out. And it hadn't even gone into the washing machine yet! So.... I had to re-think what to use to shape it. So decided to try ping-pong balls (not tennis balls as I was saying. Come on, know what am I thinking!). Here is the pre-felted and post-felted results, again with sh**head and Precious (our deaf kitty)'s assistance.

I will have it in the shop by tomorrow afternoon. And we have great plans for the next one. We are going to knit it first out of a natural color, graduation dye it, embellish it, manipulate it, then felt it. We are going to use an ocean theme. Stay tuned.

Below are pictures of this weekend's projects. On the right is the beginning of the Puzzle Pillow Blanket (thanx to Angus for modeling it) and on the left is the newest incarnation of the 4 Season (Summer) Wrap.

And these are my latest dyeing projects. As they are gifts for 2 of the swaps I'm in, I can't say anything else, but Damn! I'm hooked on the dyeing. Need more fiber!!!!

Tomorrow I will post pictures of my CTH design project before I ship it off then I will get busy on some KAL projects. Hope you join me!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap

I have joined the Knitters Virtual Vacation Swap. This is the questionaire and my answers:

1. If you could visit any state in the US, which would it be and why?

Florida. One of my favorite friends lives there and they have beaches and Disney World, oh my!!!

2. If you could visit any country in the world, other than your own, which would it be and why?

England. I am fascinated by their ancient history, would love to see Stonehenge and visit the country side, not so much the cities, as everything looks so green and I love Blue Faced Leicester.

3. Have you ever driven across several states/providence/countries?

Yes, both my father and my husband were in the armed forces, so I have driven across states and countries.

4. Have you ever visited someplace you consider exotic? Where was it?

Hmmm....Would Paris,France count as exotic? I lived in Japan, but it was when I was 3 months old so I can't count that.

5. What was your favorite "travel" vacation? Why?

Bavaria and the Black Forest. It was beautiful, we got to see Neuschwanstein (Sleeping Beauty Castle) and other ancient, historic sites. I luv ancient history!

6. Have you ever played tourist in your own home city/state (if international, country)? Explain.


7. Are you a museum visitor, beach comer or an amusement seeker?

Depends. If there is an ancient history museum, I'm there. I luv the beach so I would be there also. What do you consider "amusement"? I enjoy Magic Mountain and Disneyland and would luv to visit Disney World. Otherwise, what category would "shopping" fall into?

8. What's your favorite type of yarn?

Anything hand dyed/frou frou like Prism and Great Adirondack.

9. What's your least favorite type of yarn?

Anything acrylic.

10. What items do you like to knit/crochet?

Almost anything but never twice. I especially enjoy modular/mitered projects.

11. What do you pack, knit/crochet wise when you go on vacation?

Something that has a lot of mindless knitting as otherwise it wouldn't get done. That way I also have an excuse to purchase something new in a new shop!

12. What other crafts do you do/would like to do other than Knit/Crochet?

Most anything with fibers. I cross stitch, needlepoint, dye, needle felt, bead, shibori, polymer clay and sew.

13. Are you allergic to anything? (Yarn wise or treat wise)


14. What is your favorite color? Least Favorite?

My favs are greens and purples. My least favorite is black.

15. Sweet or Savory (Treat not personality)?

Both. I need 12 Step programs for ice cream (oh....Cold Stone, begone!) and cheese.

16. Anything else we are forgetting to ask that you think your partner desperately needs to know?

I am a cat lover, horse lover, dog lover and I like anything fantasy/sci fi or new age.

This should be fun!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Warning, Warning........

I'm warning ya'll- it is true that time goes faster & faster as you get older. It is kinda like getting sucked down a drain, it just spirals inward. At least that is my excuse for not having blogged for a few weeks. And I'm sticking to it.....so I have some catching up to do.

First of all, I've been tagged. So here are 8 random facts about me;
1) I've lived in 6 states and 3 countries.

2) On my first birthday we traveled from Japan back to the US and crossed the international date line. So I had my first b-day twice. Therefore, I have had one more b-day more than my actual age.

3) I really, truly have no idea how many UFOs I have on needles. And I really don't care.

4) My college degree is in anthropology but my real job is in the mental health field. It is a God thing.

5) I have only been married once, it is 20 years this month and I was 32 before I got married.

6) I knit Scottish style (sounds much better than "crotch knitting"-thank you Bev).

7) I currently have 4 cats, 3 dogs, 2 dog-cats, 1 horse and 1 husband. Hallelujah!

8) I have never knit a wash cloth.

That is probably more than you ever cared to know. I'm supposed to tag 8 people but I don't think I know 8 people who blog that haven't already done this. I'll have to think about it.

Second, I came across an interesting self-test. It is called the Harry Potter Sorting Quiz and I am a Gryffindor. Cool! The link is in the sidebar. Have fun.

Now, on to things fiber related. These are from our first dyeing workshop.

Moya dyed several wools she had spun, then dyed some rovings that she spun afterwards. Very nice. She is already planning on coming to the next workshop on June 24. She even bought her own crockpot!

I dyed a number of fibers together to coordinate them.

We are going to use them to design a quick knit kimono cardigan. Look for this in kits in a few months.

This is a merino/bamboo blend that I dyed to coordinate with some Schaefer Laurel to start work on a scrumble project. This will be on the calendar next month.
Last, but not least, are some cute pet pictures. A new kitten, as yet unnamed (Mighty Mouse? Pain in the A..? Cute Boy?). Mi-Kis in a Pi bed. And Mi-Ki Antoinette.

Darling, aren't they? It always brings a smile to my face.
I will post tomorrow about the shibori project. And check out the KAL buttons. There are some great ones to join, especially the Summer Squares KAL as they are quick knits, use up stash and benefit a charity of your choosing. Think about joining them at http://summerofsquares.blogspot.com/. What's not to like?