Wednesday, December 26, 2007

A day late and a dollar short...

Well, at least a day late... and I'm sorry for that. But I hope that you all had a very happy healthy and fun Christmas!! May the blessings of the season touch you and your loved ones for the year to come.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Yes, you can knit with bamboo

Yarn made from 100% bamboo is really rather nice to work with. I discovered this after a custom order was placed for a bamboo hat and scarf set. The recipient is allergic to wool, and the buyer wasn't thrilled with the thought of acrylic. So I recommended bamboo (I knew it was soft, but had never actually knit anything with it) because it won't get heavy when wet like cotton.

I really enjoyed making this set. The yarn (Bernat Bamboo -- part of their new Natural Blends yarn collection) doesn't split, and doesn't seem to shed. It does shred a little at the very ends when being threaded into a tapestry needle (for weaving in all the ends). But otherwise it was a dream. My mom, who helped out by making the hat, loved it as well. It is definitely easy on the hands. And sooo soft, with a nice sheen to it.

My only complaint about this yarn right now is the limited color selection. So far I've only found 6 colors: baby blue, cream, beige (those three were used in this set), pink, lemon, and pale sage.

Here is the finished scarf and hat:

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

It's snowing...

How cool! I was working in my little room upstairs, and had to take out the camera because..... there are fat puffy white flakes falling from the sky!

Perfectly fitting, since this morning I was working on some snowpeople. Thanks to my mom (who knits snowperson bodies and then gets really creative doing the hats and scarves), I have a whole slew of snowpeople to assemble and stuff! This particular group is headed to the Vulcan's Rest in Chesapeake City, MD, where some of my handcrafted items are being displayed for sale. The one wearing a green & brown hat is a bit different. Knit in yarn slightly shaded with pinks & lavenders, this snowperson looks like the sun is glistening off of her snowy body.

If you'd like one of my snowpeople to brighten your home and heart (they are guaranteed not to melt!!), click here to order on my website. You can also purchase in person at either the Vulcan's Rest Fibers, Chesapeake City, MD, or the Mansion House Christmas Shoppe, Bear, DE.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

This BIGGEST wreath ever!

At least as far as wreaths that I've made goes. I just completed a custom order wreath for a person who has a large living room and high ceilings. The request was for a Christmas wreath ..... 30" in diameter!

I'm really pleased with the way it turned out, and wanted to share.


(I was tempted to count how many pinecones it takes to make a wreath this large, and then decided I just didn't want to know!)


What I'm not happy with are the pics. Unfortunately, the wreath is too big for me to get good pics because it won't fit on my door nor available wall space. The light coming in from the window is glaring a bit and washing out the gold/white bow, but I guess you can kinda see what the wreath looks like. Wish I were a better photographer...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

San Diego squares -- update

It seems this week will be a time of updates... This one about a charity knitting/crocheting opportunity.

Awhile back, I found out about a project to knit or crochet squares together to make blankets for the victims of the San Diego fires. There are over 2000 families who have lost everything; what a nice thing it would be for each to receive a hand-crafted blanket, to know that others care.

Well, I began my squares right away, but then got delayed because of three shows, special orders, and Thanksgiving. Now that the dust has settled (basically) on those events, I pulled out the squares to continue working, but worried that maybe I was too late.

So I jumped online and .... the project is still going strong. There are still many blankets to be made. When I visited the Ravelry group to check on the status of the project, I learned they now have a blog about the project. If you have a minute, knit or crochet an 8" square; if you have a few minutes, hop on over to the "San Diego Wild Fire Blanket Project" Blog. There are heartwarming pics of crocheters in San Diego assembling all the donated squares, photographs of the horrible devastation the fires caused, and info on the project itself (numbers, specifications, and address to send squares).

Monday, November 26, 2007

FO update

Today I have just a quick FO (finished object) update. I spent Thanksgiving weekend eating yummy food, hanging out with my husband's family, and knitting up a storm. The result: three finished wraps (and not a moment too soon!):
One, knit with gorgeous brown and orange variegated yarn, has been mentioned in this blog before.

This one, made with Skacel Sofa (I love how soft and yummy it is!) was to be a shrug, but suddenly yelled "caplet" as I began to knit.

And this tiny, soft, furry concoction, is a mobius wrap fit for a night on the town (what with it's splashes of glittery silver and all).

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The world's biggest yarn stash

Unfortunately, it's not mine, although I'm working on it. I can only imagine walking through this room, sniffing a Tess here, fondling a cashmere or angora there..... This must be like where all good knitters go after death!

Seriously, I'm sooo jealous!!! This MUST be the largest stash known to knitter!! My head is reeling as it is; I cannot imagine any more privately owned yarn in one room.

If you click on the picture, you can read what the woman's mother-in-law posted about the stash a few months ago.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Updated info for Mansion House Farms Christmas Shoppe

A few days ago I blogged about a really cute Christmas Shoppe that will be opening in Bear, DE on Nov 23rd.

I just received a flyer from the owner, which includes the shop phone # [(302) 836-8170] and hours of operation (Mon-Fri 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; Sat 8:00 am to 8:00 pm; Sun 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm). There are also some special events planned with Santa on Dec 1st and Dec 15th.

Here is the flyer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

New store!

On Nov 23rd (Black Friday, folks!), a new Christmas shop will open in Bear, DE. And my items will be sold there!!

The Mansion House Farms Christmas Shop is at 2656 Porter Rd in Bear (just off Rte 896). It's at the corner of the Mansion House Farms property in a cute little green and red painted building. The decor inside is very cute and Christmas-y -- with tree lights strung from the ceiling, wreaths on the windows, and iridescent snowflakes hanging in the background.

They will be selling handcrafted items from local artists. Some of my pinecone wreaths, as well as stuffed snowmen and Smileville Bears, will be in the shop. Also a possibility are my scarf/hat sets and some macrame ornaments. I only know one of the other artists so far, but I love the items she makes - fabric covered corn bags (among other things). They are wonderful little "bean bag" like things that you can put in the microwave (they're full of corn that doesn't pop!) and use them to warm your toes in bed, or keep in your coat while you walk the dog.... they are so warm and smell so good!!! Also for sale in the shop will also be homemade fudge and hot chocolate, Otis Spunkmeyer cookies, and other holiday gift items made by local residents.

I hope you'll stop by the Mansion House Farms Christmas Shop, and finish a little of your holiday shopping from the selection they have inside. If you need to call for the hours (I don't know them yet) or directions, call George at (302) 540-1438 or Mike at (302) 528-0051.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Off to show we go!

Just a quick reminder that tonight I'll have a booth at the Olive B Loss Elementary School Craft Fair from 6-10pm. Then tomorrow I'll be at the Holy Angels Craft Fair from 10-4pm. See the links on the left (under show schedule) for more info about each location.

If you're in the area (or bored and looking for something to do), please stop by! I'd love to see you!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Squares for San Diego

Several days ago, a woman posted a question to my Yahoo knitting group about what charities might accept some squares she has been knitting. And in doing a quick Google search to help her, I discovered that a resident of the San Diego area has begun collecting squares of washable yarn to make blankets for all the residents displaced by the recent fires.

And so began my recent obsession with crocheting squares. I dug around in my stash and near the bottom found some partial balls of Red Heart, left over from when I was doing plastic canvas crafts (a long time ago). I've been making squares during every possible free moment (there aren't as many as I'd like, given show preparations, but it's amazing how much of a square you can do while standing in the kitchen waiting for dinner to cook). It's amazing how many you can get from a partial skein of Red Heart yarn!

I will post a pic of the squares once I deplete my Red Heart, or learn of a deadline and stop to mail them in. I don't think there is any sort of deadline yet.

Oh, where can you learn more, you ask? Well, if you're on Ravelry, just look up the "San Diego fire 8" squares donations" group. If you're not a Raveler quite yet, then visit this link.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Hi, I'm Sally Bear

Actually, the title was translated from "ah-goooo, goo-goo-grrrrr." You see, Sally is a baby bear, and really hasn't learned how to talk yet.

She's adorable, though, waddling around in her little white diaper. She's in the process of "potty" training (so that she learns to go do her business under a designated tree), but she hasn't quite got the hang of it yet.

Sally spends every day at the Smileville Bear Bash, a daycamp for the cubs of the working bears in Smileville. Her favorite friends, Tootise and Toby, are twin baby bears, born just a few months earlier than Sally.

Sally makes a great playmate, loves sweets (like honey!), and is a warm cuddly companion. If you'd like Sally to come home to you (or someone special in your life), click here to purchase her on my website.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I know it's hard to consider snowpeople seriously when the weather outside is still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, but the holidays are fast approaching and I need to be prepared.

Today I spent some time making a collection of stuffed knit snowpeople. They are turning out just as I'd pictured... all fluffy and white with little scarves and matching hats. I started out making their noses with orange buttons, but when I ran out of those, I began using orange yarn instead. A little bit of strategic glue and voila! the yarn sticks out from their faces like little carrots. I really like the way that turned out.

The snowpeople will make their debut at the Olive B Loss Elementary School craft fair on November 9th. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 22, 2007

I saw the Yarn Harlot!

The Yarn Harlot, also known as Stephanie Pearl-McPhee (or maybe that should be reversed...), spoke and signed books at the Borders in Marlton, NJ on Friday night. YarnMama and I stopped to listen on our way to Cape May for a knitting retreat weekend with friends. No, it wasn't really "o the way" but who cares, it was the YARN HARLOT for goodness sakes!!

She was wonderful, despite having a cold and a horrible cab ride over to the Borders. Of course she brought THE SOCK. Somehow, in spite of having sat in the front row for this very reason, she missed getting me in the photograph with her sock. She got YarnMama, and another woman who had been sitting on my other side, but not me (only my red and white striped sleeves, which you can see in pics 2 and 3 if you stare really closely).

However, I forgive her. She let me hold her sock, and she held mine (and YarnMama's, too).

Thank you, Stephanie, for coming to NJ!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A closer peek at the newest part of my stash

Continuing with the tour of my yarn purchases at Stitches East, we have some yarn purchased in bulk:

Debbie Bliss, to me, is always a good choice. Each and every one of her fibers feels soooo soft, and the colors are strong and the yarn doesn't pill or split. So, when I found a booth selling bags of her yarn at wholesale prices, I dove right in (literally, as they were all in a little "corral" type thing on the ground!). Came up with two: Cashmerino superchunky in forest green, and Soho in a unique green/pink/black variegated. The cashmerino is for my Mom to use --- she found a neat shrug pattern and is itching to try it.

In the same booth I also came across Laines Du Nord Cocotte (80% wool) in a really pretty green/turquoise. It was the color of this yarn that stopped and called to me. I've never knit with it before, and I'm not even sure yet what it is destined to become, but I brought it home with me nonetheless. :)

And finally, another daring new yarn purchase: SWTC's Gianna (50% soysilk; 50% wool) in a vibrant RED. By snagging the 4-skein bag, I also landed a free pattern for hat and mittens to make with the Gianna. Course I may not get the chance, as my Mom really took a liking to this yarn as well....

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

100% Texas Wool

So it says on the label for Solana, this gorgeous 100% wool worsted weight yarn I bought from Brooks Farm. I love this colorway (thanks, YarnMama, for finding it!). This yarn is so soft, but as we stood in the booth fondling the yarns, I just couldn't seem to find the one that spoke to me. All the colors were pretty, but the one perfect one in which I could find inspiration..... It was elusive, but YarnMama (who has a great eye for color!) pointed out this one, which was half-hidden toward the bottom of the rack. Perfect!

Shepherd's Wool (by Stonehedge Fiber Mill) was another YarnMama find. The people in the booth weren't very welcoming (didn't even say hello), but their yarns were very well priced! YarnMama braved the chilly ambiance purchased anyway. When we were looking at our new stash on Saturday night, I realized that I was a silly, silly girl not to snap some of this soft wool up! So I went back on Sunday, and this time the people in the booth were pleasant. Perhaps they were very tired on Saturday by the time YarnMama and I reached them! Anywho, my color choices were Misty Blue and Milk Chocolate. They are destined to become a striped shawl, based on what I learned in my "Shaping Shawls: Triangles and Trapezoids" class.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's over...... :(

I waited so long for it, and it's over. Stitches East, that is.

It's been a whirlwind 4 days. I'm exhausted. But I learned soo much, and I bought so much yummy yarn! I am desperately itching to cast on some new projects with my new yarn, and practice all the stuff I learned! It's my main to-do for the week, yes it is. Fellow Newark Knitters, expect to see some new yarn on Tuesday night!

Here's a quick "taste" of my weekend, in bad cell phone pictures: :)

the entrance to "mecca"--- a beautiful 5 huge aisles full of fiber and fiber-related goodies!!
YarnMama's & my yarn purchases, spread out in our room

all of YarnMama's lovely yarn (and sock blockers!)

my lovely yarn purchases (minus what I bought on Sunday!)

the Baltimore Basilica

I'm a bit too tired to blog in detail now, but I promise more info on the classes, etc later... maybe in small daily doses. :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It's STITCHES Time!!!

I can't believe it! After waiting for what felt like an EON, it is finally time to pack for Stitches. In my workroom, I have a wonderful mess of needles and yarn on the floor, picking out all that I need for my classes. And then I get to pack clothes and go to bed... and wake up in the morning to set out on my adventure!

I am thrilled that my mom is able to come with me for one day. I pick her up bright and early tomorrow so we can see Baltimore AND see the beautiful yarns. Then on Friday she'll go home, classes will begin, and the Yarn Mama will be joining me for classes and revelry (and Ravelry, too!) and fun. I cannot wait to experience the Yarn Market with several years of knitting under my belt (the first year that I went I was a novice knitter, and hardly even knew what I was looking at enough to really appreciate it).

I'm traveling light so as to have plenty of room to bring back lovely new fibers, so the laptop is staying home (thus, no updates until I return). But fear not, I shall share.....

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

This is the way we bake our wreaths, bake our wreaths, bake our wreaths... early in the morning.

I have no idea what nursery rhyme or children's song goes like that, but I remember is singing it in the mornings with my mom: "This is the way we brush our teeth, brush our teeth, brush our teeth..." What that has to do with making wreaths, I will never know. I cannot explain the strange connections my brain makes, especially when I still feel sleep deprived. (I've figured out why, by the way, but that's a story for another day, maybe.)

I realized that I don't have many wreaths ready for the winter holidays, and so undertook the first step: inserting pinecones into the wreath frames. This is sticky business indeed; all the sap from the pinecones gets EVERYWHERE! And it only comes off with nail polish remover, at least as far as I have learned.

Once the pinecones are nestled into the frames, we bake them for several top-secret reasons! :) Although I love the way they look when done, this step is the stinkiest!! I try to do it only when Dan isn't home, so he won't wrinkle his nose and remind me how much it smells (as if I could forget!). I open all the windows on the first floor (the cats love it and go nuts, trying to sit in each and every window!), and turn on the fans. It'll still take until dark to get rid of the heavy pine-y odor. I wish I could take a picture of the thick smoke that's filling the downstairs right now!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Returning to the Curiosity Shoppe

Yes, I have had the honor of being asked into the Curiosity Shoppe's new current showing, beginning Friday (last Friday, that is) and lasting through the end of November. For now, they are displaying and selling some of my jewelery. It was hot off the jeweler's table, so I don't even have pics to upload; you'll just have to make a road trip out to South Street and see for yourself.

Curiosity Shoppe is located at 527 South 4th Street (which means they're just off South, on 4th).

And.... as far as I know now, they will be carrying some of my knit bears, the Smileville Bears, and some shrugs/wraps for the Nov/Dec 2-month rotation. It'll be a great chance to do some last minute holiday shopping!!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Key West -- the isle of cats and chickens

So I have a piece of advice regarding vacations: Don't plan more than 2-3 meetings, appointments, or otherwise un-missable events for the week that you return. You won't breathe, sleep, knit, or talk to friends/spouse. You will end up grumpy and stretched too thin and feel more than moderately insane, which stinks since you were just on vacation to stop feeling insane.

Yes, I did all of the above. Hence, my advice not to do that. LOL

The trip, though, was wonderful. Dan and I were in Key West for 6 days (although about a day or so was taken up with the actual traveling). We flew into Miami Airport, and drove through the keys on Rte 1, all the way to Key West. We got lucky... the rental place upgraded us to a convertible for no extra charge! It was a great way to begin....

We stayed at a lovely bed and breakfast called the Island City House. They own six really cute cats, most of which were very friendly and loved to be petted by the guests. This lil guy was my favorite. His eyes look soo much like Puss n Boots from Shrek II; the pic doesn't show it that well, but they were HUGE green eyes!

The hotels's cats weren't the only ones; Hemmingway had a house on the island, and kept many cats. I guess his cats had many kittens, for there are lots of cats running the island. And chickens, but history says the chickens were brought from Cuba in the earlier days of the island's history. The chickens are hysterical; they just run wild, cock-a-doodle-dooing where ever they please. No one owns them, per se, and it's illegal to hurt them in any way.

Thursday night, we opted for a sunset sail aboard the Liberty Schooner. The sunset was so-so; half obscured by patchy black clouds and not all that vibrant. But the crew was wonderful, the sailboating was neat (I've never been on one before), and ..... I got to "drive"!! Yes, the captain said anyone who wished could "man the wheel" for a bit. Not only did I do it, but I got to yell commands to the crew while doing so, in order that the sails would catch more wind. My next career? No. But it was fun that once!

Friday Dan and I went snorkeling. It was pretty neat; we saw a lobster, and a moray eel (Dan said most scuba divers don't even get to see them the way we did 'cuz they often hide in caves), barracuda, and lots of pretty colorful fishies. Unfortunately, there were quite a few jelly fish, and we opted to get out of the water rather than get stung. And my pictures didn't turn out all that great. Bummer. It's harder than you'd think to take a picture of a fish when you are being moved about by waves, and the fish are moving in currents below you.

Those are the highlights. In between and afterward there was shopping, terrific seafood, some enjoyment of the late-night scene, and a few beaches. It was a great trip!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I'm ba-a-ack!

I'm back in two ways, actually:

One, quite literal, as I've been in Key West for the past 5 days. It was WONDERFUL, and I'll post more about it later this week when my pics are uploaded and can accompany the short narrative.

The second way I'm back is that my work is back in the Curiosity Shoppe for display and sale. This two-month rotation (beginning Friday Sept 29) the South St. Phila store asked me to focus on jewelry items. So I did (duh). All signs point to my items being in the store for the next four months, though, as my knit bears have already been requested at the Nov/Dec cycle. Yay!

So while I go do things like sort laundry from a week of extreme heat and fun in Key West, you should grab your calendar and jot down Curiosity Shoppe's address (529 South 4th St) and plan to stop by next time you're in Philadelphia. :)

Monday, September 17, 2007

It's Monday again...

and thankfully, I can already tell it'll be a better week than last week. I've been up for a few hours, got my yoga practice in before they closed the aerobics room at my gym for a class, and have a definitive list of the stuff that needs to be done in the next few days. And I have energy (which I was sorely and sadly lacking last week!).

Yesterday was the Newark Community Days Festival. I've never been before, but had a booth this year. I was very pleased with the way vendor set-up was handled. There were to be around 1800 vendors (of different sorts --- some public info, some political groups, and several entire sections of hand crafters), so it easily could have turned into a disaster. But there were volunteers posted at designated drop-off points, willing and able to help carry items to your booth. And there was plenty of space for vendor parking (for free -- thanks, Newark!) in any lot along Main St or DE Ave.

There were plenty of people, but not soo many that they couldn't cross a walk to see something that caught their eye. It was a chilly day, but it didn't keep people from shopping! Actually, I think the breeze helped people remember it's the right time of year to buy warm knitted items ... and Christmas gifts! It was a great day.

Now I'm preparing for (and looking forward to) the next show, at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church. It's October 6th ... just two weeks! Off I go, to make more of all the items I sold yesterday! Also, if you're considering a facelift for your doors for this holiday season, this show will be a must-visit, as I'll have a full selection of fall and winter holiday wreaths available.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Getting to all the wrong things

Ever find that some days you're really surprisingly productive, but not with regard to ANY time-sensitive tasks that you may have on your plate?!

That's how yesterday felt to me. I have a booth at a festival, Newark Community Days, on Sunday. I need to get some things organized for it. I'll be selling some of my hat/scarf/fingerless glove sets (but they all need to have my clothing label sewn inside). And since I designed a new way to tag my items for sale, I need to re-tag every item I'm planning to bring to Community Days. But instead, I did other stuff.

It's not as though what I worked on WASN'T important ('cuz some of it was). I mean, I updated my supply inventory, and worked to finish a crochet purse that I've had on the back burner for awhile now. And I made the eyelet shrug grow another 2.5". Althought updating my stash and FOs on Ravelry probably doesn't fit into "important..."

*sigh* Today is a new day; maybe it will bode better for the imperative tasks (I REALLY don't want to spend Saturday doing that stuff! Our pool is still open and I want to use it!).

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Distracted by instant gratification

Or something like that. The eyelet shawl, which is finally about halfway done, is feeling like it's the slowest project this side of the Mississippi.

So I'm taking a break... of sorts... with several quicker projects. I cast on for a novelty scarf the other night. I'm going to alternate bright blue/glitter and black sparkly yarns. They are both Anny Blatt, and were part of the yarn gifted to my knitting group a few months back. The most fun thing about this project (so far) is that the light bulb went out while I was knitting, and during the thirty seconds it took for my eyes to adjust, I looked down at my lap and noticed that the scarf was glowing. Turns out the blue Anny Blatt has glow-in-the-dark specks in it (the glowy parts are the ones that look cream/yellowy in the pic). Cool!

Then last night I cast on for a custom shrug in Rhapsodie. I'm really enjoying this yarn. It doesn't split, it's soft, it makes big stitches, and the color variations are quite pretty. I chose a simple basketweave pattern for the shrug ... to make it interesting without detracting from the yarn itself. Got nearly 6" of the shrug knit last night while watching old Friends episodes. Gosh how I miss that show!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Stitches East Homework ..... DONE!

Yup, that's right. I'm celebrating, cuz all my swatches are DONE!! And (this is a bonus), I was able to use leftover yarn pieces for the swatches. I had some acylic on hand, and no idea what I was going to use it for; these swatches were the perfect solution. Now I can leave the swatches knit so that, paired with my notes from class, it'll be like having the class whenever I have a question.

What did I need to swatch? Not all that much, I guess. I needed four different swatches for my first class (Friday morning) called Rolled Endings. I'm looking forward to this class, and learning some cool new ways to cast off projects.
Then I needed one swatch on DPNs for my third class (Saturday morning) called Build a Better Bag. Can't wait to learn some tricks for making bag-shaped bags, and having them be sturdy without felting. Nothing against felting, mind you, just a) haven't done it yet and b) don't want to do it on every bag, obviously.

Now I'm ready to start on a custom shrug request. The recipient simply requested the color (orange) and left the pattern up to me. Oooh, fun! I found the perfect yarn at the LYS sale recently: Plassard Rhapsodie in orange/brown/pumpkin. I can't wait to start on it. Now to my pattern dictionary to find a nice pattern to show off the pretty colors!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Smile Creations Crafts's work for sale in Chesapeake City, MD

Yup, it's very exciting. My work is being displayed/sold at a shop called Vulcan's Rest in Chesapeake City, MD. My husband and I were wandering around in Chesapeake City a few weeks ago, and Dan found it (hooray for wonderful husbands!).

In addition to a huge selection of fiber, the owner likes to feature completed projects by local artists, and has thus turned her shop into a fiber and gifts store. If you happen to be there, look for my work. Some items she currently has for sale are:

Knit purses in several styles (pictured is one of them)

Crochet shawls (one in black/multi; one in shades of blue)
Knit jack-o-lanterns (just in time for the spooky season!)
Crochet flower pins - perfect to dress up a shawl, or to embellish a project of your own
Smileville Bears -- Molly (pictured) and Mac

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Of eyelet shawls and potluck dinners

The two things that are most top-of-mind right now: eyelet shawls and potluck dinners.

My current project, a pretty eyelet shawl in pink Ocean yarn, feels like it's finally moving along. I've been working on it for a few weeks now (although I must confess some of my time has also been distracted with other, shorter-term projects), and I've today reached the halfway point. Thanks to having no shade in my backyard, I staying inside to avoid a sunburn and watched several episodes of one of my fave TV shows, 24, while knitting away. Here are some pics of my progress.

As for potluck dinners, the LYS, Stitches with Style, is sponsoring a knit and eat tonight. Who knows what I'll eat -- it's all up to what my fellow knitters bring. But it promises to be a fun night. I made a baked macaroni casserole, which I believe is one of my all-time favorite pasta dishes. So simple, so cheesy, so YUM!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Very unique purses

For all you book lovers, I found a really cool website today. It's called "Rebound Designs." The product: cool stuff made from old books.

First and most prominent are their purses made from hardcover books. The selection is fabulous... purses from the newest novels (think Harry Potter) to the most obscure (calculus texts). And best of all, the bags seem large enough to hold what you need, but not so large they become heavy and cumbersome. When they make one from The Scarlet Pimpernel, I have this feeling I'll be back to buy it!

They also have a line of naughty pins made from phrases cut from old books. Anyone who think that books weren't sexy "way back when" should just read the list of pins. I got a thrill just reading them myself!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Black & White shawl

For all those whose sympathies reached me last week, when I had to frog an entire crochet shawl, I thought I would share the newly completed item.

This time, it is the right length (hooray!) -- about 27" from the top to the bottom point. It hangs just below my waist (and I'm on the tall side at 5' 8"), so I think on the customer it will be perfect!

The customer shared with me that she ordered the shawl for her cruise vacation. The first dinner on board is to be a formal affair, and she wants this shawl to match her little black dress! How exciting!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Homework for Stitches

Yes, I looked at the calendar today and thought "Gaa! It's only 2 months until Stitches East in Baltimore, and I have homework to do!"

I printed up the schedule of classes I'm signed up to take --- I created the list awhile back --- with all the supplies and homework associated with each. Now I need to go find yarn left-overs to work with, and get busy! Since it seems that I just have swatch after swatch to knit, I think working on them in between other projects MAY keep me from going insane. So if I start now.....

Thankfully, only two of my four classes require pre-knitting: Rolled Endings on Friday morning and Build a Better Bag on Saturday morning. My shawl class and my beginner entrelac classes don't require any work at all.

The entrelac has been teasing me, however. Now that I'm on Ravelry (as "Patience" since I'm on only for my personal knitting --- no association to Smile Creations Crafts), I have found lots of projects I want to make in "all" my spare time. One of them is an entrelac wash cloth, believe it or not (check out my Ravelry queue to see it for yourself). Not only does it look cool, but I thought it may be easier than trying to jump into entrelac with, say, the shawl I've been wanting to make for my sister for the past two+ years. We'll see if the bug moves me enough to try it pre-Stitches. Somehow, I doubt it. Maybe the wash cloth will be my first project after Stitches, to get my feet wet before the shawl. I'll keep you posted.

Now, off to find the yarn for my swatches!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Look -- it's Tootsie and Toby, the twins!

The babies of the Smileville Bear Bash play club, Tootsie and Toby can't really talk yet. But they are great fun! They coo and giggle, and drool a little on their matching yellow bibs.

Tootsie, the lavender bear, is the girl of the twins. She has learned to say "honey" and asks for the sweet treat all the time!

Toby, the mint green bear, is the boy. He recently discovered his toes, and think they taste pretty good. He also loves to give his twin sister big bear hugs.

Tootsie and Toby aren't the only baby bears who spend the day playing at Bear Bash.... Sally, their closest friend, is also a very young cub. Stay tuned... she'll be introduced this fall!