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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sew, where's the knitting? And, who took our sun?

It is definitely autumn here. In fact the sun has been lost for a 3 days now, hiding behind the solid mass of clouds. The good news is, it's "chilly". I have been able to wear my wool socks for a couple hours each day now! It's time to get the blanket out of the closet.

One would think the cool weather has caused my knitting mojo to surge, but alas, it remains lost. I suspect it has something to do with my current project, Emily. The linen/rayon tape is just not very much fun to knit with. I'm going to change my needles and see if that helps. When it comes to knitting small projects with Beaverslide, STR or problem.

I figured out the interfacing problem. The vague directions for use say, use a hot iron with a gliding motion. It really should say...use a hot, dry iron, expect some weird stretching and puckering, but continue to iron the hell of it!

I ordered some business cards for my Etsy store. I love them so much I don't want to give any of them away. Sigh, but I guess I have to. I tried them out on two friends who spend little time time shopping on the Internet or crafting. They brought up a good point. My card has little to do with what is in my store right now. I picked pictures I liked:) I enjoyed seeing how they looked professionally printed! Wow, what a difference! I ordered Moo cards and they aren't an American standard size. Perhaps they are metric.

It feels like soup weather. So far the kid and I have whipped up pho and chicken with barley.

I put a couple of bags in the store, one with Amy Butler fabric and one in a lovely woven blue ikat. Coming soon will be University of Hawaii project bags, My Melody bento bag and a couple of Totoros and maybe a cat.

fuzzymittens new book is out. I just ordered her farm animal pattern. The little sheep is sooo cute!

If anyone sees my knitting mojo, please tell it to come home. No questions asked.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How do you know if it's Autumn if you live in Hawaii?

1. The sun goes down in blazing color

2. The Golden Plovers have returned.

3. The average temperature drops from 81 deg F to 79.6 deg F, and the humidity goes from 68% to 71%. Rain goes from .8 inches to 2-3 inches. This is compared to summer.

4. The stores all have Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations up.

5. The oama are getting scarce.

6. Some plumeria trees lose their leaves.

7. Football

8. The calender.

Have I missed any?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Sitting in the waiting room at Kaiser for the ritual boob squishing this am, I picked up a magazine. It was the HMSA magazine. I contemplated the irony of this event since HMSA is Kaiser's biggest competitor in the health plan market in Hawaii. So I started the morning with some food for thought and a new mantra ; gratitude is an attitude from the article "Doctor’s Prescription: A Daily Dose Of Gratitude" (I wonder if that is proper use of a semicolon...I never really understood semicolons)

The mammo was swift and I was left with an hour and a half to kill before the Art Academy opened. That can be dangerous for a shopaholic. Breakfast and coffee even with knitting only took 30 minutes, so using the excuse of looking for fusible fleece I decided to see if Kuni's Island Fabrics was open. Pauline Kunimune was there and it looked like classes were in session. There was no fusible fleece but I picked up a couple of patterns, webbing for bags,and a bargain clearance happi coat for $15.

The Hawaii Craftsmen's 41st Juried Statewide Annual Exhibition is going on at the Art Academy. I got to see May's fantastic Crone Bone in person. There was even a sculpture made of felted cat hair and whiskers. I really enjoyed the wonderful pieces in this exhibit. I just might have to go again.

I'm on a shopping roll. Look at the some of the additional damage.

That's NZ Corriedale roving from Mielkes and Cascade for the Christmas stocking. Now if I can only find my pattern in time. The brown roving is called dark grey. Go figure. I used some polyfil for stuffing and it makes for a much springier critter. I can't decide if I like it as well as the wool stuffing. I also bought fabric...yikes! I was on a fabric diet, but I visited The Calico Cat, and all resolve vanished. Then of course more Beaverslide...OMG! Somebody help me please?

What's a woman to do? Knit some more Totoros and a cat. Sew something for the shop...

(This is a storage roll for double points. Has everyone gone to the two circ method for socks? I'm still hanging on to the DPS, myself)

...and be grateful for the time I have to craft and enjoy all the talent out there in the world, and for all the continuing inspiration from the blogsphere and Ravelry, Hayao Miyazaki and beyond!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Still Retired, and Yup another Totoro, and More Project Bags

Thursday night The Cats went to their new home with May, creator extraordinaire of fantastic and alien forms. Sorry Mokihana!, but thanks for sharing Hawaiian word of the day, "popoki". Sandy, the beadlizard is testing out the Totoro pattern, so there is hope for a cat pattern.

I felt like a chatterbox at the Aloha Knitter's as I was riding high after my meeting with my financial planner. Or maybe it was the cupcake with the pound of frosting from Cake Couture? So why can I be happy after the meeting about finances? It isn't some sick humor on my part to be happy about watching my 401K diminish. Going back to work has been weighing heavily on me. The plan was for me to retire, take some time off and go back to work part time. Truth is, I'm having too much fun not working and I was really dreading it. Jobs are also pretty scarce right now. So the good news was, I'm good for the rest of the year and probably next year! Or at least until we all find out which way the market goes. The word is patience. He also advised me to exercise more, hah! I really tried to say "no" to the knittybird, but she had a coupon, so I confess I ate the Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia cone. And yum, it was outstanding. My resolve when if comes to ice cream is nil.

Emily and the Not so Wispy scarf, are crawling along, but I knit another Totoro, and a couple of strange little rabbits.

The heliconia bag is a swap meet/grocery bag, a slightly downsized version of Amy Butler's nappy bag. Having admired Kim's bag she was so kind to loan me the pattern. Being under 5 feet tall, I didn't want it to drag on the ground. I did not line it or do any pockets. It is still plenty big and I will be able to keep a dog in it, if I ever get a real one.

These two bags are for the shop. The Blue Butterfly bag is 15 x 12 inches, lined with yellow fabric and has a 9 inch zippered pocket, with machine embroidered trim. It says "Transform and be free, butterfly". The second is a black maneki cat small project bag with red lining. I think the new interfacing is going to work out! A double point needle storage roll is underway, with just the binding to go.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Itarsia Knitted Cats, how I wish you could be knit in the round!

Boy I wish intarsia could be knit in the round! I love knitting in the round...anything to avoid seams. I also love starting hats and i-cords using the technique I learned from Maggie at Madrona in Tacoma. Another technique was to ladder up the gap with a crochet hook if too big a gap is formed in the back.

The task was to knit a grey cat. I used the Beaverslide. Oh how I love Beaverslide! Not only do I envision fluffy sheep keeping very warm despite the frigid Montana winters, but I love the way it smells. As I was not with it enough to get the matching cream colored 3 ply Fisherman's weight yarn, I used worsted Malabrigo. The main difference in the cats other the a small alteration in the face pattern, was I doubled the Malabrigo for the bigger cat and it, well, it came out bigger and also the grey on the back got smaller.

The i-cord beginning came in handy for the smaller cat tail, and the base of the bigger cat. There was no way to avoid having up to 3 balls of yarn at one point.

The vog came on strong and hard yesterday. It lingers still today.

I finally used some of the chocolate chips that have been calling to me from the freezer and made some chocolate chip scones. Yum! The boy was happy and took some off to school.

Monday, October 13, 2008


I've updated my shop with the latest and greatest Totoro as well as some medium size project bags. They are lined to deter needles from poking through and have an outside zippered pocked so yarn cannot catch on the inside of the bag.
Here's the cat with yarn one for example.

The small project bag production has come to a halt as I try to find interfacing that doesn't drive me crazy. The first batch used some interfacing in my stash and it worked like a charm. I'm on the third type of the trials and the Pellon Stacy soft flex woven fusible looks like it may work.

On the knitting scene, I've cast on for Emily with the Berocco LinenJeans yarn. It will be mindless stockinette pullover. I've also wound the Fly Dye Hott into a ball and am trying to decide whether it wants to be socks or a bag.
I've morphed the Totoro pattern into a cat and experimented with a standing cat.

Syl is reviewing my Totoro pattern for me. TIA!

It's not wintry here like Zeneedle's neck of the woods, but it's been overcast here the last few days. It did cool down the hike yesterday on the beach side of the the Makapuu lighthouse.

Blogless Miche has hatched baby boy Max. I have yet to see the little botfly. I hope they are adjusting well to baby number 1. As I recall bringing home the little one was magical and terrifying at the same time. No amount of medical school or hanging around the hospital nursery prepared me for the adventure of a lifetime. Rachel makes motherhood look so easy, all the while canning, teaching music and still having such a great sense of humor.

I find this gloomy sky, political times and stock market horror leads to introspection and questions about what now? Jobs are tight and I get that little anxiety and pressure about looking harder for a job. I meet with the financial planner later this week...hope it's not all doom and gloom.

I'm hoping Opal will post some pictures of her acorn beadcaps. I took a scroll ring class from the same teacher, Janice Berkebile. I loved the silver pounding and the final result.

Janice likes the oxidized vintage look. I prefer the sparkly silver look.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Crochet Flower Pattern

I can't remember how I made this flower for Matilde and she has been gifted. These are a couple I came up with instead. My collection of published crocheted flowers is very tiny, so if someone else has come up with these already, my apologies in advance. I hope this pattern is not too garbled for "real" hookers to follow.

Worsted Weight yarn
Size F crochet hook
Button or bead for center

Gauge does not matter.

Chain 3 stitches, join with slip stitch to form circle.
Chain3. DC into circle 11 times, join with slip stitch in chain 3 space.
Chain 5. Slip stitch into 2nd chain from hook. Chain 3. Slip stitch under bar of next DC. (Repeat this step around to last DC bar.
chain 5. Slip stitch into 2nd chain from hook. Chain 3. Join with slip stitch into first stitch of the first chain 5.

second row continue around.
Chain 5. Slip stitch into 2nd chain from hook. Chain 3. Join with slip stitch into top of first DC from first row. (lift up the first petal and it should be plainly visible). Continue around to last DC. Make one last petal and slip stitch into base of first petal of the row. Fasten off.

To finish: darn in end in the back to the center of the flower and around the ring until it is opposite the beginning end. Push then through to the front, and add on the button or bead. Push back through to the back and knot. The ends can be used to fasten the flower to the hat.

These flowers are about 2.5 inches in diameter.

Chain 3. Join with slip stitch. Chain 3. DC 9-11stitches into center. Join with slip stitch in first chain3

(Chain 3, half DC under bar of first DC) around. Join with slip stitch into chain 3.

Chain 3, half DC into top of DC of first row (going under the petals)
Slip stitch into first chain 3 and fasten off.

Finish the same as above. This flower is about 2 inches in diameter.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Trick or Treat Vesper Socks, FO

Yarn: Vesper, Trick or Treat Colorway
Needles: size 3 rose wood DPs. I love these shorties.
Pattern: Sensational Knitted Socks, Chevron socks. I chose the feathered fan pattern.

I have a ton of yarn left. A 44 stitch sock really knits up quickly. The in place after thought heel worked out a lot better then I thought I would in this stretchy, lacey sock. The perfect "air conditioned" sock for the tropics. I liked the bulls eye heel. The yarn is very strong, 20% nylon, and soft and striped up well. The instructions are very clear on the provisional cast on using a crochet hook, and actually unzipped! Yay!

Blogless Big Sister is in town and pretty much cleaned out my bag stash. The latest felted Totoro is drying. The pattern is coming along, but sometimes even I can't understand it so, I guess it is not ready for prime time. I keep forgetting to write down the instructions for the tails and ears. It's a lot tougher to write down a pattern then I imagined. Kudos to all those who are able to write such coherent and easy to follow instructions!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Totoro Knits

Totoro is knitting Mistake Rib scarf for the Skeleton King with stash yarn from the Twisted Ewe. He's a picker and prefers to knit standing up. He considered knitting a Dr. Who scarf, like chotda but settled on the Mistake rib pattern so it would be done by Halloween.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

It's Vesper Time!

I purchased this ball of the famed Vesper in Halloweeny colors from Jill when she was going through the early destash stages. With my swatching woes with Rowanspun DK and my concern with February Lady's round neck line (being an apple and all) I thought to myself, "Why not a sock?" Heck why not go for a pair even? I've picked the Chevron pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks, by Charlene Schurch, in the Ridged Feather pattern. I wasn't quite sure about socks that cast on only 44 stitches, but so far it is coming along well. It will be lacy, light sock on size 3 needles. Hope it works out.

I also started Wisp from Knitty using an unknown yarn from my stash, that feels like it has linen and cotton. Not wispy, but interesting.

With the help of Opal, I've been experimenting with a project pouch. I asked, "How will I use up my stash fabric?" She said, "Make bigger bags." Well big duh! This is the second prototype. I messed up the measurements on the first one and made it unlined (it became the Clapotis transport bag), but this second one is fully lined with an outside zipper pocket. I'm thinking it will be perfect for a project like a shawl. Opal also reminded me that needles can poke through unlined bags. Thanks! The maneki neko fabric was gifted to me by Opal's mom. Wow! I better name this bag the OM bag after Opal and Maureen.

What does make for the ideal project bag?

The second sample I call the Pride Bag. It is longer and fits a skein or two of Lamb's Pride. It will also hide that skein of Red Heart I'm too proud to admit I own. Okay, well I actually have a whole tub full from the Christmas Stocking knit on the Incredible Sweater Machine days. The stockings are indestructible. Oops, now the readers of this blog know I have acrylic yarn. I'm "out".

BTW, I found a very excellent drawstring bag tutorial here. I may experiment with it too.

I put a couple more stitch marker sets in the agates and snowflake obsidian.