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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Yarn Pron for 2010

The New Year here is still 7 hours away. The sky is rather like a black and white movie. There were a few good days for the visiting Obamas. They had the lovely Hanauma Bay to themselves. So far I have not been stuck in any traffic due to security.

The nice wet weather has made my patio sprout. I have mixed feelings about power washing, fungicides and weed killers, and I rather love the green so there it is. It's part of the ebb and flow of the seasons in my little world.

The mailman's last delivery of the year brought me my Webs order. What a lovely man!

Included in the mosaic: 1. Ultra Alpaca, Redwood Mix 2. Noro Silk Garden lite 3. Plymouth Baby Alpaca, two different shades of red for next year's Red Scarf Project. 4. Madeleinetosh Worsted, Baltic 5. Red Mystery Yarn, destashed by durabledora 6. Beloved Beaverslide, Catbird heather, Christmas gift from my boys.

Catbird heather is earmarked for Central Park Hoodie. Hopefully Chris will be able to find time in her busy life as mom to join Kim and me for a KAL. I really should swatch, sigh. I think I'll do the viking back variation and go for a zipper closure. Anyway that's what the plan is so far. I really love the pocket on Rogue so I'm thinking about a pocket, too.

So I've got my knitting set for the New Year!

As for the store, I may shut down for a while. I learned the hard way one must get the money up front for the special requests, sigh, and I'd rather be knitting:)

Here's to a great 2010!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009, Coming to the End

I started thinking about this post with a list of rants and whines, things that I want to let go with the end of this year. Either my memory is going or the list was quite short. So...I think I'll ruminate on the list of good things and keep it to myself.

I stopped by the folks es house this am to try and catch their psycho cat Kiko in action with her plastic bag. So far all the toys I've brought for her have been a bust, so I thought she would like a nice Foodland bag. But...she only seems to like this bag from Ruth Chris. She's either very snobby or it's that steak smell, or some other cat reason that I can't fathom.

Kiko and her plastic bag
Originally uploaded by acornbud

I took a plunge and decided to decorate my cell phone. Never mind that it's due for an upgrade and I still don't understand how to turn of the speakerphone. I searched high and low for Totoro decal to no avail, so Hello Kitty won by default.
Perhaps for the New Year I can read the manual and figure out the speakerphone thing instead of accosting total strangers and asking them to turn it off. When my techie devices (ASUS Netbook, Palm TX and Razr) die or if they hold out until I turn the six-0(mg)I will get a droid.

In the FO department there is Raccoon the Afghan. I went crazy after falling in love with Sirdar Foxy for the gnome beards and knit this afghan for my 2 year old niece. It was a very mindless knit, starting with 3 stitches, knitting in garter stitch and increase one at the beginning of every row until I was on the 6th skein, then knitting two rows, and the decreasing one at the beginning of every row until 3 stitches left. I follow directions from blogless deborahduck on Ravelry. She used some 30 skeins and made more then one! I'm so not worthy!Size 11 needles, BTW.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Eve

The gang got together with the Gnomes and me to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! Butternut Squash Totoro is filling in for one Chibi who is off in search of a White Christmas.

For you see, it's just the usual green Christmas here in Hawaii.

Unless you count these caterpillars in black and gold munching on the crown flower plant.

I thank all of you blog friends who have enriched my life experience and inspired me with your creativity and generosity. Life long and prosper!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Knitting on Maui

Leaving Oahu I was lucky enough to have a great view of the inside of Diamond Head crater.

One of my un-retired former co-workers went to a CME meeting in Wailea on Maui so I decided to tag along. How else could I enjoy a half price luxury hotel? It was most relaxing!

I got some reading done. I brought along Julie and Julia, but it wasn't as engaging to me as Sookie Stackhouse. I have found them easy, mindless reads. I think I have four more to go to finish the series.

I also knit more Safed Leaves. The sock yarn ones are on size two, STR medium weight. The largest one is left over Fleece Artist Scotian silk on size 7. I lost count on my decreases on one of the small leaves so it's a bit lopsided but that's quite alright.

Another FO is by Nancy Fry, Twilight Bella's La Push knit hat. The Ultra Alpaca was too soft and silky for this pattern so it came out rather small. The Alpaca is very stretchy. It's a free pattern on Ravelry. I will have to make another with a yarn that has better stitch definition..

My second snail hat seems to be the same color as my first one. I thought it was a different colorway. Oh well. It's still a fun knit and of the course Noro makes everything all right!

In between all this knitting, I also had a wonderful Sunday upcountry with friends, touring the lovely castle in the sky he is building on 16 acres and admiring the outstanding sunset over West Maui mountains and Lahaina. I love checking out the amazing fruits and flowers that grow on the side of Haleakala. I also met a variety of cats of kids.

I got to hunt for some Maui specialties...The cinnamon roll French Toast at Ruby's, Krispy Cremes (for the Landcaster, of course) and Guri Guri from Maui Mall where I just also caught this Totoro hanging around.

Four nights at the Kealani and the sun setting over Molokini with Kahoolawe in the background...I love my Hawaiian vacations:)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Felted Bowl and part 2, Snickerdoodle Mystery

felted bowl
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Pattern: from the book One Skein
Yarn: Hand spun on drop spindle, roving gifted to me by the Akamai knitter. Thanks Opal!

Blogless Sandy who inspired me to knit the gnomes, also inspired me to make this bowl and it is the perfect way to use up my little balls of hand spun. The felting evened out that the thick and thiness of my yarn and melded into a very nice color. My yarn is still not very consistent, but it's much less over spun. The bowl still drying, but Totoro is trying it out. I think it will be his new home.

I've been all about the little knitted projects lately. Not much into sewing. I'm comtemplating on yarn for Central Park Hoodie...I'm pretty sure it will be Beaverslide, but what color? Shall I just order the new color cards or just "chance em".

Part 2: What makes a snickerdoodle a snickerdoodle?

Last year I made snickerdoodles for the first time and they spread out way flat. This year they are round and puffy. So what makes a snickerdoodle and snickerdoodle and not just a sugar cookie? Is it the cinnamon? These are maple snickerdoodles. Mine don't look like the Closet Cooking ones. They taste pretty good though, and in the end, that's what really matters.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Red Scarf Project

red scarf mosaic
Originally uploaded by acornbud
I only had 1.2 skeins for Cascade 220 Superwash in this wonderful Cranberry Red when the call went out for more Red Scarves.

Read more on Norma's Blog.

I loved the pattern stitch from the free Hedgerow Mitts (pattern by Amy Ripton, inspired by Jane Cochran)

Longtail CO 24 stitches. (3 pattern repeat + 4 +2).

Set up row: K1(P4K2) across,K4, end slip last stitch with yarn in front (as if to purl)

From here on slip the last stitch of every row as if to purl, and knit the first stitch of every row through the back.
Row 2: (K2, P1, K1, P2) across, end K2, P1, K1
Row 3: (P1, K1, P2, K2) across, end P1, K1, P2

The pattern looks different but nice on both sides.

After a soak this scarf is drapey and very long but relatively skinny due to the size 10 needle.. I spied a mistake! Too late to fix. Chalk it up to “depth” of the handmade vs machine made item, lol.

(I hope this pattern has not been published somewhere, I didn't research it much)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Twisted bangles

Twisted bangles
Originally uploaded by acornbud
I like to try out what I learned in class at least once. In the Beautiful Bangles class taught by Iris at The Bead Gallery, she twisted square sterling silver wire in two vise grips and then formed the bangles. I made plain bangles to learn the soldering part and wanted to try the twisting. The twisting went well, as the blogless Landcaster convinced me his wrenches would just as well for the twisting and that I did not need to go shopping for vise grips (although they had cute yellow ones at Checkers). Alas, my tiny creme brulee torches were not powerful enough to heat up the silver hot enough to solder but a quick trip to The Bead Gallery fixed that. I snagged some bead strands at 25% off while I was there and got to wish Jamie Happy Birthday.

I would give myself a D for the soldering. The hard part is getting the ends to meet correctly and then being quick enough to see the flash as the solder melts and take the heat away. It's a multitasking deficiency, sigh. Lucky for me, the Landcaster loves anything to do with fire and I'm sure I can convince him to do my solderng next time around.

I polished these in my toy rock tumbler with the stainless silver beads and found out that the drop of detergent is really necessary.

(I really need to take a Photoshop class as I just changed by editing program after years of PaintShopPro to Photoshop and I miss my color replacer tool)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Blue Tile Stole, FO

Blue Tile Stole
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Pattern: Tile stitch. Cast on 93 stitches. 2 for selvege, 8 for garter border, 83 for pattern. Long tail CO followed by 6 rows of garter.
Yarn: Araucania Pomaire, blues, 5 skeins
Needles: Size 10
This cotton yarn is wonderful to knit with and soft an cushy against the skin. One skein was a shade darker and it just happens to be the middle one. Since it's in the back where I can't see it, it doesn't bother me one bit;)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

It's a blustery day in paradise and this rainbow jumped out at me to remind me of all the blessings I am grateful for. They are so numerous I got bogged down listing them!

Instead I will just wish everyone and the universe a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!

The newest Totoro wants to wish everyone a great day on his favorite American holiday! (That's Koigu Hedgerow Mitt WIP)

Happy crafting, eating and musing:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Emerald Slug

Emerald Slug
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Pattern by cheezombie on Etsy
Green fractal yarn hand dyeled by Moonlightbaker on Etsy Bits and pieces of Heaven Scent baby alpaca and red Koigu
Size 2 needles.

No mods. Cheezombie knit a cute Christmas slug.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Gnome flickr
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Another Gnome from Alan Dart's pattern. Yarns leftover from my Ishbel. It was hand dyed by Moonlight Baker (Hungry for Handspun on Etsy). I held the yarn double and knit the smallest size. He is knit in the round.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Yer Morning Moon Mitts

The zeal for Tile Stole is winding down. The 4th ball took forever and the 5th ball is neverending. I'm escaping the boredom into those stash yarns I love to knit...Beaverslide (oh you bouncy lovely sheep keeping warm beneath the wide Montana sky) and Noro Silk Garden (how your color changes please and surprise) The Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed and Socks that Rock Medium weight call to me, and I keep dreaming about a Santa from that red Black Water Abbey yarn from the gnome pattern although I don't really need another hat and the sock mojo is comatose. There were a bunch of cute hat patterns in the recent Vogue. I don't think I have a black yarn worthy of the Black water Abbey yarn for Santa's boot. Sure there's the Malabrigo...but it is too soft...decisions, decisions.

Pattern: New Moon inspired Alice Cullen fingerless mittens by Nancy Fry, free on Ravelry
Yarn: worsted weight Beaverslide, Mountain Morning
Needles: 7 and 8 dpns
Mods: I wanted longer mitts so I cast on 36 stitches and K3P3 for 2 inches. Then I K3P1P2tog for one row and continued on with the pattern. I started with knit on cast on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gnomes, Finally Final

The Sirdar Foxy finally came in. It really does make for a more luxurious beard and with only one strand. It's a shame it has been discontinued. The little gnome is really much cuter, imo. I made the beard for the large gnome bigger. I am going to play with the beards a bit, brushing them out, before sewing the hats on. These are so cute, I may just have to keep one for me. But then I can always make another:)

Noro Silk Garden is always a pleasure to knit with. I love the color changes.

Related post

Monday, November 16, 2009

How Crafting Leads to Shopping

I simply adore this Amy Butler Correopsis fabric. It is home dec weight. I found it on Etsy.

Perhaps the sewing mojo is returning. 5 bags are in the works. I experimented with some fake fur and the cheetah bag came out very cute. The sewing is not up to my standards so it will be mine unless my blogless sky goddess sister nabs it.

I hope the charms I ordered and my eyelash yarn for the gnomes come soon so these can finish up some projects.

The tablecloth project is still in the research stage as is the request for bigger bags. I can't seem to remember what stitch and thread to use in my serger and I'm not sure wooly nylon will look good as it's not shiny. But I have some, so that's a plus and so I don't have a reason to shop.

The bigger bags are more of a challenge. Increasing the diameter of the base means I can't recylce junk cds, and it changes the balance a of the bag. My first prototype of a squarish base, came out too large. It may be a nice gift bag if I can find the right size container. (oh my, that's sounds like another reason to shop)

Off to make more stitch markers. I may need more headpins. Oh my! Not another reason to shop!

Have a great week!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Plum Moon Mitts, FO

Pattern: free on Ravelry, New Moon inspired Alice Cullen finger less Mitts, by Nancy Fry.
Yarn: Plymouth Yarn Royal Llama Silk
Needles: size 8 and 7 dpns
Mods: I was one inch short for the bind out so did 11 rows for the cuff rib instead of 12. If I had be less generous with my tails, one ball would have been enough. As it turns out, the 11 rows was perfect for my smallish hands.
I had a little hole at the beginning of the cuff where it rejoins after the thumb bindoffs. I purled the first bind off with the active stitch on the first row of the cuff rib and that closed it up. If I make these again I will use a stretchy cast-on.

I love the way these fit.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Gnomes waiting for their Beards

Blogless Sandy knit a gnome and it was so cute I had to try it. They are addicting and now I have to rest my hands. I got a callous on my baby finger from holding the dpns.

Pattern: Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte by Alan Dart.
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden
Needles: size 5 DPs
I knit these in the round. The large one I just winged and the smaller one I followed JoyKnitCrochet's instructions for the boots. The eyelash yarn Alan Dart used is Sirdar Foxy, now discontinued. I made these white ones from a generic "long" eyelash from China and I liked them a lot better then I thought I would. They are temporary as I envision the large one to have grey/brown beard and the little one to be a redhead. I still have to curl the tails on the hats.

I have all the necessary supplies to spin some yarn. There is the wonderful roving from Moonlight Baker...the book with all the answers (I hope)and the new spindle from the Isle of Wight . I hate to break into the beautiful braids as they are works of art by themselves! I have not tried the spindle yet. It has a very slender shaft, and 4 notches.

The fabric is also in the queue. It's to be my holiday table cloth. If I can only get my sewing mojo back before Thanksgiving passes me by. In fact, I seem to be suffering from some sort of malaise in general and there is so much on the to do list! Perhaps a day of decluttering is what I need.

Everyday, though, I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me. The garden surprises, the turquoise ocean, the misty Koolaus, and those sudden sunsets that are gone in a flash.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bangles and Gnomes

These bangles made in the Bead Gallery's Beautiful Bangle class are difficult to photograph. One is sterling silver and the other copper. The instructor, Iris Sandkuhler is very knowledgeable about the scary soldering process. I learned about some new tools, bangle sizing and shaping, and that koolaid has another use besides dyeing yarn. It is acid enough to "pickle". In soldering that means to clean up the metal after melting the solder in. As an interesting digression Iris shared her adventure to one of the three borax mines. It brought back memories of the old ranger on Death Valley Days and the 20 mule team borax teams. (The back ground is the moss now starting to cover my patio since the wet season has begun.) The borax is used as flux. It helps the solder flow where it's supposed to go. It was a large class and I'm so happy I did not set anything on fire.

Meanwhile, Mr. Gnome is waiting for his beard yarn to fly in from UK. Yes, I could use Lion fun fur or something else, but that paypal button is just too easy.

I used left over silk garden and the beige just makes me feel he is naked. I'll see how the beard works, but maybe he needs a shirt.

Look how big Kiko is.

It is impossible to get her to sit still. She is not a lap cat (not yet anyway) and attacks anything that feet and the camera cord. She would love some real mousies, and is addicted to her laser pointer.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Turchin, FO

Pattern: Urchin, by Ysolda Teague, published in Knitty
Yarn: Opal's Handspun, "Chinese Turquoise", Merino silk
Needles: size 11

I held the yarn double and it knit up tight and small. After a soak the yarn softened up. It is a little large for my head. I may leave it as is or add some elastic around the rim. It's a very fast, clever project. I wish I had Kitchenered on the wrong side, as I have a larger knit looking row at the join. It's not really a very big deal, though. The yarn was lovely to work with.

It was tough to get the colors to show up nicely while taking a photo of myself so I took one at Aloha Yarns today. It is always sunny and happy there and fun to knit with Totoro, Nanea, Sandy and others who come to visit.

I blocked it over a salad plate.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Silver Cuff

I woke up early this am and felt the need to pound some silver. Luckily the Bead Gallery had a opening in the Cuffcake Bracelet class. Shaping a bracelet was a skill I've been wanting to try. Jason and Amanda are great teachers! The bracelet starts with a flat piece of 20 g sterling. The designs could be card stock cut with a die cutter, or a metal stencil. I chose the cute rabbit as I was born in the year of the Rabbit. After gluing them down, the piece of silver is rolled through a press not unlike a pasta machine. After rounding the corners and sanding them smooth, I got to pound the silver into shape with a ball peen hammer on a piece of hollowed out wood. I love this part! The finally shaping was done over an oval bracelet mandrel. I tried antiquing it a bit with a hard boiled egg. It has a natural matte finish. It fits! And it doesn't roll around.

On the knitting scene, I took a short break from Tile Stole to knit Ysolda's Urchin from Knitty using hand spun silk/merino from the Opalescence. It's blocking now so pictures will have to wait. It was a fun, fast knit.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Just the Pomaire Tile Stole WIP

This week I covered a very busy 40 hour week and I tell you it pooped me out. I had some small triumphant moments, some sadness,lots of frustration with the electronic medical record, and met a lot of new people, mostly Navy this week. Such is my life as primary care physician. As a "prn" (fill-in) provider I can look forward to some time off.

The etsy store has suffered for it as there is only one lonely bag in there. I hope to recoup the energy this weekend and make a few more. I'm also trying to visualize a bigger bag. The current style was designed around the recycled cd base. I don't have anything larger to recycle for a bigger base. I don't think I'm ready to give up my 45s or my ancient 78 hula records from the 49th state record company.

Got any ideas out there?

Pomaire Tile Stole WIP is about 50% done. I love the soft 100% cotton.

I noticed the last skein I added left a definite line (not very obvious in the picture but more obvious up close. Now I have to obsess a bit on this and decide what to do. No doubt I'll be lazy and just let it be.

It's a cloudy day, but the trades are back. It seems like typical Halloween weather. Last year it was terrible and I got no trick or treaters. It's usually a very small number any way, but I wonder if there will be more since it's a Saturday. Always difficult to calculate how much candy to get. I've already consumed 3 fun size butterfingers, and that's the problem, heh.

Happy Halloween!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chu Totoro

Pattern: brella's Chu Totoro, free on Ravelry
Yarn: Pingouin Fleur De laine, blue, gifted to me by Paula. White Cascade 220
Needles: size 5 dpns

Mods: I was too lazy to do a continental CO and paid for it in the end. The stitches were tough to pick up and knit. The pattern has some cool shaping for the face and tail.

I'm still contemplating facial reconstruction for chu Totoro. His new bud, Knitting Totoro, feels he's handsome enough so I'll take his opinion into consideration.

I used corn stuffing for the first time. It is rather odd stuff. It packs up densely making it more difficult to sew through with a darning needle. I'm not sure about the carbon footprint of this stuff either. It is manufactured from corn so to me not technically "natural", but perhaps those that have allergies to polyester or wool, it may be a good compromise.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ramblin' Along

Here it is Friday with nothing finished to show. It was a working day...a follow-up visit for "limfnotes" and a "slinter" amongst a bunch of work physicals and colds. I think the appointment center needs some spelling lessons.
I joined my old colleagues at a retirement party for the department secretary. Lucille always had a sunny disposition, worked hard and generously shared her mom's lumpia and cascaron. She will be off to Vegas, playing golf and will keep her weekend job working in a bar. I was nice catching up on the madness I have left behind.

After the glorious iris bloom the other day, I checked out my garden and found I had Desmodium sandwicense going to seed. Yikes! These things stick to ones clothing and were choking out that salmon colored thing my mom likes so much. I exceeded my daily quota of one bucket of weeds (but of course I'm still behind in the big scheme of things)
I have finally admitted to myself that those azalea plants in my front yard are never going to bloom again, because they are dead...just dry sticks with colonies of lichen. It will take more then water to bring them maybe a miracle.

Wednesday, after dropping off Opal's birthday gift and cupcake, I took a leisurely drive along the blue wonder of Makapuu, Waimanalo and Kailua beaches, and ended up at Aloha Yarn to pick up another skein of Pomaire. Nanea was in and blogless Sandy was there knitting...or I should say sewing and stuffing, her Christmas gnome. So of course I was forced to chat a while and squish some yarn. I'm so happy I brought my knitting project along! As Sandy and left, I noticed a great view of the cloud covered Koolau's from the stairwell. It's been cloudy and drizzly everyday on the Windward side.

The spinning book has arrived. I will have to break into that beautiful braid of hand painted BFL once of these days.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Etsy acquisitions and one for the bucket list.

I acquired these two skeins of handspun, indigo Romney wool from SheepAndThreads She grows the sheep and the indigo and spins and dyes the yarn. How cool is that!

I've also acquired two roving braids from MoonlightBaker. She's a master when it comes to colors! Yes, it's roving. And no, I don't really spin. I've just dabbled a bit with the drop spindle.

So, I've ordered this book from Amazon which I hope answers all the questions.

The plan is to spin enough yarn on the drop spindle to ply and actually make a small wearable garment. I have let go the idea that I will be growing my own sheep as I don't think they will thrive here in Nuuanu and the neighbors would complain.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sea Silk Damson, FO

Pattern: Damson, by Ysolda Teague.
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk. One skein. I knit on the tight side and had a comfortable amount left over. I don't know what colorway this is as I purchased it without a ball band. It has teal and dark grey in it with a nice sheen. It held up well being frogged repeatedly. It was once Icarus, a scarf and Damson somehow got off to a bad start with me. It bled a little in the soak, and blocked nicely.
Needles: size 6. I started off with bamboo and finished up with Knit Picks options.
Mods: none

The pattern is well written and once I found my rhythm (I kept putting in extra YOs in the beginning) it went quickly. The yarn is very nice to work with and very soft and silky.

I finished it on a Friday!

I've cast on the lovely Araucania Pomaire, blues colorway #10. I'm just winging it using the tile pattern from Rhoda Goldberg's Knitting Dictionary so it's not exactly the same as Namea's Stolen Moments Wrap in the same colorway.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

After many starts and restarts, I think Damson is finally found it's rhythm. The true test will be when I get to the scallop. Two others on Ravelry used the sea silk. One was two rows short and the other had just a smidgen left. I'm hoping that my tight knitting will allow me to finish this project. Keep your fingers crossed!

I finished 5 bags for my Etsy store, but then my mom came by and snagged 4 of them. She is planning to give them to her golf friends to use as snack bags.

Last week I started yoga. It's seems to be the in thing. There is no music or bouncing around like my previous exercise classes. Alas, I think someone has stolen my triceps and replaced them with wings. The instructor keeps encouraging my arms to lace behind my boldly go where they have never been before. Sometimes I think they are attached in a unique way. The Knitted Brow said yoga will make me that is my goal. I'm going to be taller when I grow up.

Kiko has grown so much. She is sleek and shiny. She is eating all the houseplants and scratching up the screens and furniture. She is an ankle biter. She has also brought my parents great joy. She has endeared herself to my dad (who just turned 90 10/4/09) by sleeping at night and in there bed like she belongs there.