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!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Blog Block

Ever have "blog block"? You know, when you sit at your computer, and you can't think of anything to blog about. So you check email and come back to BlogSpot, and still can't think of anything to blog. So you add a link, and then go follow a few links to see what everyone else is up to, and... if you're lucky by now when you come back to your shiny new blog post window you've got something in mind.

However, if you're me, for the past week, you still don't have anything to say. Oh never fear, I'm knitting and crocheting, book-keeping and catching my inventory system up to current... I'm just not blogging.

*sigh* Guess I've got the blogging blues.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

The crochet frog visited me this week

And it wasn't pretty!

I received a special order for a black and white version of the shawl (pictured below), due for a black-tie affair at the end of the month. The customer asked if it could be about 4 inches shorter than the one she tried on, since she is slightly vertically challenged.

So I say "no problem!" I have the yarn already, and I had a long trip ahead of me -- a friend was married in NY City on Monday night, and I took the train to avoid traffic. And so, I crocheted the shawl and listened to the sounds of various screaming children on the train. Between train rides and a few hours in Urban Square Park, I managed to finish the shawl.

"That seemed quick," I thought to myself. But knowing that a steady rhythm can make things go quickly, I thought nothing of it. After all, it did take all my travel time, and there was a bit of it.

But alas, when I reached home (and was awake enough to compare the new with the prototype), I realized that the black and white shawl is about 16" shorter (not the requested 4")!!!! I can't figure out what on earth I did wrong. I must have just started out with too short a foundation chain, and not noticed, what with all the distracting train noises. So yes, you guessed it, the entire shawl was frogged. I'm not sure which is more annoying.... having to re-do a project that I was sure I finished, or having it take 2 hours to wind the ribbon yarn back onto the spools so it wasn't twisty. :(

Sunday, August 5, 2007


I have a very interesting knitting commission. A friend of ours has a dog which has destroyed every dog toy, including those that are marketed as "indestructible." At dinner tonight, he asked me if I could make something that could stand up to Lola's teeth.

I have two thoughts so far: 1) knit with wool and felt it and 2) knit -- tightly -- with heavy/rough rug yarn. Rug yarn worked for a cat toy, so maybe that's the way to go. I've not tried felting yet, but I was just reading about it in the latest edition of KnitPicks' newsletter and thought perhaps that could work as well. I may try the felting first, simply 'cuz I've got some Lion Wool on hand....