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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Totoro Tuesday

We are taking a break.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Catbus Tuesday

The catbus is one of the coolest things. The Totoro ride around in the catbus and all that flying around at night creates the wind. I don't think there is a limit as to how many Totoro can fit in one catbus. It is a very plush and intuitive ride. It always takes you exactly where you want to go, even if the place is where the lost baby sister is. It has mice for headlights.

I don't have very many catbuses in my stash. It's all about Totoro, you know.

I'm still looking for a topper for my tree.

Pattern: Michael's Crochet Christmas Tree
Yarn: Plymouth Encore
Hook: size H

I added a crochet chain for a silver/white yarn and eyelash yarn from stash. I used one strand of mini-lights. I wish I had two of them. Blogless Sandy gave me a whole mess of felted acorns. Thanks, Sandy! They were perfect for my tree.

The Ginger Totoro were a little overcooked, but tasty. I'm going to try and frost the next batch with some Royal Icing. After reading up, I am a little paranoid about the Salmonella so will go with the meringue powder type.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Tuesday and more Totoros!

Here are 3 Totoro cups. The first is Noritake and has the usual beautiful and intricate designs. I so love the Japanese attention to detail! The second is a mug. I can't remember where I got this one from. Maybe I'll see if my coffee tastes better in it. The last is fan art created by placidrain.

The latest gray Totoro are helping me write my pattern down. I'm trying to use Excel and used ChemKnit's tutorial as a starting place. Let me say, my Excel skills are rudimentary at best and I'm in awe of those who can actually make Excel do complex math! It's really an amazing thing, but then I digress. I found two free fonts to try out...Aire River Knitting Font and David Xenakis Knitter's symbols. The trick is to have a grid that actually fits the font and double digit numbers and still print out on one page. I tried the trick of zooming the excel page and doing a page capture but the numbers and symbols went all wonky on me. I can tell this is going to be painful and long, lol.

The bigger gray Totoro is a mystery yarn, and I'm not sure it will take to needle felting of the facial features. So for now, he is blind and will only show his back side.

They are sitting in front of 1290 yds. of redwood mix Ultra Alpaca which I finally wound into cakes. I'm not sure what it will be. I'm feeling pullover with cables for Madrona. Tacoma is chilly in February.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Totoro Tuesday

Thanksgiving flew by! We cheated this year and got the turkey dinner from the big box store. The turkey was very good, imo. Dad actually got dressed for the occasion and said he had a good time, so I am grateful for that.

I found a cute, free acorn and leaf pattern for my Totoro. I used size one needles and left over sock yarn.

There was no left over turkey for the bento box.

I have not used my Totoro utensils, either. I like the little chopsticks.

I managed a couple FO's.

Pattern: Monkey Socks, by Cookie A
Yarn: Lorna's Laces, colorway Roadside Gerry
Needles: size 1
Mods: I did 5 repeats instead of 6 for the leg.
When I saw this combination on Rav, I knew it would be the perfect combo. I hope they fit my niece up there in the frigid north. I really enjoyed working with this yarn.

Pattern: Jacques Cousteau Hat, by Minusta
Yarn: Silja Sock Yarn by Gjestal
Needles: Size 3
Mods: none

This hat is nice and stretchy. It is very pointy at rest, but rounds out nicely when worn. The pattern is very easy to follow. I made the larger size. I may make a worsted version in the future.

I had a very productive earring day with the blogless muffy multitasker. My favorite are the "package" earrings. I'll have to go find some little Swarovski cubes to make a couple more.

And last but not least...dum dum dee dum!!!!

My Majacraft Rose. She suffered a little travel damage, so replacements are on the way, but she still spins wonderfully. I just couldn't wait.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Originally uploaded by acornbud
I am so much to be thankful for on this glorious day. Wishing everyone life's bounty!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thankful for Totoro

Thank you Mr. Hayazaki for creating Totoro! Without you, I would have no Totoro's to count.

In this photo are 2 wallets, 3 totes and one camera bag. I use the camera bag and love that fact that it attaches with a carabiner. They are such cool gadgets, imo. Most of these bags were gifts. I do use them occasionally. So far the wallets have just stayed in stash, but I'm tempted to use the one on the left. I'm thankful for friends and family, who put up with me and enable my Totoro habit!

On the knitting scene:

Invisibility Clapotis continues to languish. I may have to mark it hibernating. The only good thing about Harry Potter #7 being divided into two movies is that I may yet finish this scarf in time for the second installment. Otherwise it's just plain torture to make me wait.

Btw, she who rarely blogs and I went to see it last night. The theater was very uncrowded for the 6:30 pm showing. Chris sported her Griffindor scarf. I won't say much about the movie for fear of spoilers. I enjoyed it and have started re-reading book 7.

Grover Hat was well received. This smile says it all! It gave this crafter great joy!

I rarely repeat a pattern when it comes to garments but Gnome #5 has joined he buddies. I love this Alan Dart pattern, especially the small and medium sizes. I knit them in the round as I dread seaming. This ball of Kureyon 264 had quite a surprising array of colors.

Stogie Blue Crossed Slouch is my first wearable garment made from my hand spun. The pattern Star Crossed Slouchy Beret by Natalie Larson from Strands of Me worked well. I used size 9 and 11 needles.

I hope everyone's Thanksgiving plans are going well!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Totoro Tuesday Comes Around Again!

2/3 of these zippered Totoro's have a bag in side. I don't have the heart to use them as they may get dirty. I think the other one is a coin purse or maybe a cell phone bag. The softee just sits on the acorn, looking charming. It was a dark and dreary morning, and the lighting was suboptimal.

Blogless Sandy gave me some black, single ply wool so I made a cat. The model, Kiko, has a habit of stretching out, often on her back when she is relaxing. It's quite unlike any other cat I've met. The real Kiko only has a tiny white spot on her chest has the strangest green/yellow eyes.

It's been awhile since my boys were toddlers and they never watched sesame street. They were Ninja Turtle kind of guys. A FB friend was talking about her son's love for "Gro Gro" and it became a bit of an obsession. After doing a web search, I discovered that Grover is NOT related to the other blue guy and has pink nose. The hat is modeled by a Care Bear their grandmother made for the boys.

Pattern: Blue Fuzzy Monster Who Likes Baked Goods Hat

Needles: 10.5 circular and dpns, size 3 for eyes and nose
Yarn: Red Heart worsted and Nohea eyelash

Saturday I went to a baby luau for one of my former coworkers. The tradition here is to throw a big feast for the first birthday. Guess back in the day it was cause for a big celebration as infant mortality was high. The food was great, and the music too. Wouldn't you know my camera battery would die before the baby woke up! I did get one shot of Heeia Pond.

My blogless card-making partner has returned from her log cabin building on Camano Island and we had our Thanksgiving card day. I was quite happy with the results! Next up will be Christmas tags.
Tomorrow I'm participating in a succulent wreath class at Wahiawa Botanical Garden. It should be fun!

And finally, the big news. My spinning wheel order is being processed by Majacraft. I decided on the Rose because of it's more classic look. I hope it gets here from New Zealand before Christmas!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

FO, Mystery Sock KAL 2010

mystery KAL 2010
Originally uploaded by acornbud
Finally done for Socktoberfest, Kirsten Kapur's (Through the Loops) Mystery sock KAL, 2010. Thanks, Kirsten!
Yarn: Shaeffer Anne

I did two at a time magic loop. My sock mojo is low, and the one 3 stitch twisting row did me in. I missed on twist row on the leg, but decided to knit on. The yarn has a bit of a halo. I love the colorway. I frogged a scarf for this project and have a ton of yarn left. It's just a bit scratchy for a neck, imo.

I love my red socks:)

Monday, November 08, 2010

Maui GF trip and Totoro Tuesday

I spent 4 days on Maui helping to celebrate a friends 50th birthday with 10 other women. The weather did not cooperate for the zipline and hiking, but we had a lot of fun shopping, eating, and talking. The estate we stayed at was nestled on a hill near the ocean and was the perfect place to gather for meals, and catching up.

We went back to Makawao more then once to shop and stock up on yummy pastries from Komodo Bakery. The cream puffs were wonderful and the apple pie out of this world!

The Alii Kula Lavender Farm had harvested the last of it's lavender and it was being stripped from it's stems when we got there. The fragrance was heavenly. The grounds have a spectacular view of West Maui and many other flowers such as the protea and gazania were in bloom. I love visiting this place.

We had several memorable meals out. La Provence Kula is a family run French Bakery and restaurant in Kula. Get there early if you want the best French pastries! I had a lovely crepe for lunch with spinach and mushrooms. Haili'imaili General Store
has a great menu of fusion selections, tasty and plated beautifully! I had the mahi burger with slaw.

On our way back to the airport we had lunch at Flatbread Company in Paia. We shared several salads and pizza's and there were all unique and tasty.

One of my favorite stops was the outside stand of the Upcountry Specialties Farm. The Fuyu Persimmon are in season.

Totoro did not go to Maui with me. Maybe next time.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Tuesday Totoro

I hope everyone had a nice Halloween and has less candy leftover then I do! I spent most of the evening at Ala Moana Center. The kids went store to store for candy until the stores ran out. My favorite costume was the spam musubi. I wish I had a camera, duh! He had Japanese style headband on that said Spam and had little spam cushion strapped to his white top with a black "nori" belt. Somebody's mom (or dad) was very creative!

This is a 2007 decorative Totoro plate made by Noritake. I love the details on it and I even love the box it came in. Mei and her big sister are with Totoro in the center and the cat buses go around the rim. The colors are nice and happy!

(Sorry for the funny picture formatting)

I knit Thursday at Aloha Yarns and blogless Sandy brought her vegies for a photo shoot. The cucumber is not done yet. The patterns are from Hansi Singh's book, Amigurui Knits. The patterns are very clever. I especially like the way the top of the eggplant is attached in a very lifelike way. Sandy used Cascade 220 for all the vegies.

My two wips, the fingering, scarf version of Clapotis and the Socktober, Through the Loops KAL are struggling. The magic loop is doing me in on the socks. I was only able to finish Carrot Cat. Totoro is not impressed, but of course he is too polite to say anything.

I fared a little bit better on the spinning scene, and finished half my BFL. The other half is in the works. I have decided on The Rose spinning wheel by Majacraft. The dollar is taking a beating overseas and I hope to buy before the prices go up even further! I've enjoyed Opal's (formerly Keohinani's) Lendrum. It is a very pretty wheel, made of maple and has been good to me. I still have a long way to go in making consistent yarn but it's getting easier.

I seem to have fallen off the yarn diet. I got two skeins of Cascade SW for next years Red Scarf Project and this lovely ball of Kureyon for another gnome. After reading zknitter's praises of Malabrigo SW, I ordered some for myself and can't wait for it to get here!

My yard is full of iris. Today it was the purple ones. They only last one day. I haven't been able to capture all of them in a picture that does them justice.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Carrot Man

Carrot Man
Originally uploaded by acornbud

From sheep to carrot man! I had a vision for Carrot Man, but this wasn't quite it. But Totoro is quite happy about meeting him.

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Blustery Totoro Tuesday

I'm having a lazy day's blustery and cloudy outside and I have a few aches from the flu shot. I can't really blame the flu shot as I have aches and pains all the time anyway, but it's nice to think there is a reason for my general sloth. I'm just short of bonbons.

Totoro wind up toy
Originally uploaded by acornbud

This little guy does not hop for long but he makes me laugh. I'm easily amused.

The little pile of wool locks from some unknown sheep blogless Sandy gifted me is now ready to be knit into carrots or pumpkins. One skein was spun and plied on my drop spindle and the larger skein was spun on a Lendrum and plied on a drop spindle. I still some really tight twists in there, despite cooking this with cake dye in a crock pot and snapping it over and over.

I tried pouring the dye over the heated up yarn and it did not go all the way through. I flipped it over when the water was clear and added more dye. The color was all sucked up. I tried adding some red and brown in areas to see if I could get some variegation but I was too chicken to add a lot so they barely show. Processing the wool was a fun experiment!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Totoro Tuesday Already!

It's been a busy week. Here it is Tuesday and no Totoro photos and currently not enough light, so I'm going with some scans. I think the thin plastics with pictures on them are for writing on a desk. The book was from the Ghibli Museum in Mikata Japan. (one of the high points of my Japan trip!)

The Hawaii Internation Film Festival is on and is keeping me busy. The Festival is celebrating 30 years! My favorite movie so far has been Railways. The Japanese country side is very beautiful as seen from trains and reminds me a My Neighbor Totoro. The story is about a 49 yo man who changes his life and follows his bliss. Monga was a gangster movie with lots of very young handsome Chinese actors, just like the announcer said.

Spinning Party was a lot of fun!. I'm reading up on wheels have narrowed the choices down to Majacraft Rose or the green wheel Suzie Pro. My spinning buddies both have the Suzie Pro. I must say it spins really well, but part of me is attracted to the more traditional looking wheel of the Rose.

I finished my first 4 oz. of fiber on the Lendrum. The superwash BFL was dyed by the talented moonlight baker of Hungry for Handspun on Etsy. She also makes wonderful soap. I started a little project but didn't have enough yarn...I can see why Opal doesn't think one should buy only 2 oz of fiber. 4 oz is barely enough for a project. My yarn is bulky or aran weight (by the eyeball test) and lumpy. It's not the fiber's fault, lol.

Monday, October 11, 2010

In search of "boo" and Totoro Tuesday

It's been a rather dry summer so I have to water plants once in a while. The last two times I did, it rained the next day. I can't imagine the torrents that may have been if I'd washed my car, too.

Here in Hawaii, there is no Hobby Lobby, Joann's or Michael's. When the coveted Ben Franklin 40% off coupon comes it, it seems a shame to waste it. I obsessed on the spider web embossing folder but the closest Ben's was out of it so I settled for a 12x12 storage container for paper. The next day I tried another Ben's and the folder was available! I get home and went in search of "boo" without success. I must have destashed my Halloween stamps in a fit of organization lust. Luckily Halloween was 20% off at Fishers today.

Life seems full of coincidences sometimes and it makes me wonder. I suspect I'm not really a rainmaker and that the sale had nothing to do with my lost boo.

Totoro decided to dress up as candy corn for Halloween.

(Totoro is a decorated cutout from the 2010 Totoro Calendar)

I like the Lendrum Spinning Wheel Opal loaned me. It's maple, folds, and is easy to adjust and set up. It also comes with a bag. What I don't like is threading the yarn orifice with the crazy hook. I filled one bobbin full of Candy Corn superwash BFL, dyed by Moonlight Baker. After reading up, I decided to spin this to make long repeats, then proceeded to split the roving in half the short way instead off length wise. Live and learn, lol. I'm sure it will still be pretty. I could chain ply it, but I'm not inclined to try that yet.

This is a mosaic of 3 Totoro puzzles. Totoro playing his ocarina in the tree was a challenge to assemble. Luckily no pieces where lost in the long construction phase.

Oops, I almost forgot my WIPs

TTL Mystery sock KAL for Socktoberfest, in Schaefer Anne.

White Caps Fingerless Mitts