30 September 2007

Monday's Musing

We have Wordless Wednesday, Friday Eye Candy and Saturday Sky. So I've decided to start a little tradition of my own: Monday's Musing! A little food for thought for the week ahead. Something to spur everyone on, or make us all stop and think. Join me if you like! There's a button in the side bar even. :)

So...here's today's musing.

What would you try if you knew you could not fail?

I don't know who wrote this originally; it's been paraphrased all over the place. But I love it! Try it. You'll be surprised at what you think of. :)

Have a great week everyone!

Oh! And don't forget to enter my contest! You know you want to. ;)


28 September 2007

Friday Eye Candy Contest

This image, photographed by my husband and digitally processed by me, was for a client providing wines at the Academy Awards. Cool, eh?

For my fellow graphic design geeks out there: I set it up to print four color process plus a double hit of a spot red on uncoated cover stock. :)

So here's where the contest comes in. Tell me (in a comment only please!) where this image was photographed. Everyone who guesses correctly will be entered into a drawing and I will choose a winner at random. I will give you one clue, which may or may not be misleading (you never know with me!): the digital processing on this image consisted of adding and adjusting coloring and noise.

You have until Wednesday, October 3 (aaaaaack! next week is October already!) midnight PST to enter the contest. The winner will receive this shawl stick:

Hey! What are you waiting for?! Get commenting already. ;)

Have a great weekend everyone!

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26 September 2007

Major Skunkitude

Yep. That's what my four year old son said today as we were driving down the freeway: "Ewwwwwww! Major skunkitude!"

For the uninitiated, that means he smelled skunk. Heh. He has a way with words. Yes, he does. :)


23 September 2007

Non-Friday Eye Candy

So this weekend I slipped away and visited my dear friend Susan (aka Chicken Mama) on her little farm. It's not a long drive (only 20 minutes!) but sometimes it seems like a world away when we're both going crazy. And true to her nickname, she had just indulged in retail therapy: baby chicks! I love her idea of retail therapy, I must tell you. :)

I got to sit and chat with one of the most wonderful and kind people I've ever met, be run over by big dogs in search of petting and watched by the ever curious cats. And, of course, visit the chickens. It was only a little over an hour, but it was a wonderful mini vacation.

And look what she sent me away with:

Aren't they beautiful? And yes, the one in front really is green. :)

Have a wonderful week, everyone!

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20 September 2007

And Another

Does anyone know of a generator that comes up with clever titles for blog posts? I could use one about now while what's left of my brain works tries to work on other stuff! ;)

Anyway, onward! As a little addendum to this tutorial on a provisional crocheted cast-on to knitting needle, here's what I do when I pick up the stitches. I had a few questions about it!

I begin by picking out the end of the crochet chain and unravelling the extra stitches, right up to the first stitch in the working yarn.

Then I begin carefully picking up the live stitches one at a time as I unravel the chain.

This is particularly important when you are using a slippery yarn or a really grabby one, like kidsilk haze.

It is time consuming, yes, but no stitches are dropped!

In other news, well, we're all working our hoo-hahs off over here. I haven't been able to do any recreational knitting (or crocheting) at all, so there's nothing to show! But I will say one thing: #1 Son's online school program is completely amazing. I recommend it to anyone who is interested in home-schooling. Wow.

Be well, everyone!

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16 September 2007


Thank you all so much for the kind words about Muir! You guys rock. Big time! :) I hope everyone enjoys knitting it!

I've gotten a few questions about Tsuki by Artfibers, the yarn I used. So here's the scoop! Artfibers is a store in San Francisco that dyes their own yarns, and those yarns are not available elsewhere, as far as I know. That being said, there are many other yarns that can be substituted and that you can fondle at your local yarn store. Here is a picture of some possibilities:

From left to right are Habu silk/mohair (A-32), Rowan Kidsilk Haze, Madil Kid Seta, Colinette Parisienne and for comparison, Artfibers Tsuki. These are all silk/mohair blends, but Tsuki and the Habu have a higher silk content than Kidsilk Haze, Parisienne and Kid Seta. The picture doesn't show it very well, but Tsuki is a little less fuzzy than the others with higher mohair content. Kid Seta comes in a color that is very close to the Tsuki that I used: color 470. It is an olivey green. The Tsuki, however, has color gradations, because of the method used to dye the yarn. The silk and the mohair take the dye differently and the resulting yarn is almost, but not quite, solid. It's a cool effect. The Kid Seta is perfectly solid, but with the sheen of silk.

For those of you who like a little fuzziness, but not as much as you get with mohair, I recommend laceweight baby alpaca. It has some halo and is wonderfully soft, but it is much much easier to rip.

I've also been asked about needle size. I used US 6 needles, and I knit lace very loosely. I suggest swatching if you are concerned. :)

Here is a tutorial for one way to do a provisional cast-on. It is my favorite method.

And I know there have been problems printing out the chart. There's a pdf here that should work!

Ravelry users can queue Muir here.

Now...who is da bomb? My Secret Pal, that's who!!! Look what she sent me!

Eeeeeeeeeeee! Thank you Secret Pal! I heart this book. I've been drooling in my spare time. :)

Now it's back to work with me, and another apology for dropping off the face of the Earth and not coming around visiting lately. Have a great week!

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13 September 2007

Cover Girl!

Eeeeeee! The new Knitty's up and my stole design, Muir, is in it! Go! Check it out! It's a great issue! :)

Edited to add: several people have told me they are having problems getting the Knitty chart to print on one page, so I have posted a pdf version of the chart here. Enjoy! :)

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12 September 2007

Too Cute to Miss

Go. Look at this! Is that not adorable and wonderful??? Stories like this make me smile. :)


11 September 2007


A moment of silence, if you please, for those who lost so very very much.

07 September 2007

Friday Eye Candy, Evening Edition

Here are a few more clues as to the nature of the stealth crochet.

Silver plated colored copper wire from Artistic Wire:

and more colors of silver plated wire from Artistic Wire:

metallic braid and silk from Earth Faire:

more metallic braid from Earth Faire (and if you didn't click through before, do it now and look at all the pretty sparkly stuff!)

And here I would like to pause a moment to thank all of the suppliers and manufacturers with whom I am having the pleasure of working, while in the throes of designing pieces for my book. Your kindness and generosity are very very very much appreciated! Thank you!

On the home front, we have done something a little different with the homeschooling this year for #1 Son. We enrolled him in California Virtual Academy, which is a fully accredited online charter school. He started this week, and wow! What a program! They send a computer and printer, school books, art supplies, music supplies and teacher manuals - all to use gratis. Yes, for free! Can you believe it?! Today was our first teacher meeting where he had an assessment of his reading and math skills. He did so well! After he read and understood the 7th grade level paragraph, the teacher stopped and went to math. He aced that one, too, coming in at the fifth grade level. So although he just started third grade, with this program it is possible for him to skip ahead in certain areas and go at his own speed. In this case, we will accelerate him through the 3rd grade math and 4th grade reading rather than skipping it all, so there are no holes in his education. It is very very cool. And we were so proud of him! Our little cutie-pie, being only 4 and not having a birthday until March, cannot yet enroll because it is a public school - he does not meet the cut-off age. He is very very disappointed.

And yet another sad good-bye: Madeleine L'Engle, whose book A Wrinkle in Time will always be one of my very very favorites. Farewell Madeleine. You will be sorely missed. Thank you for everything you gave us.

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06 September 2007


Goodbye, Luciano. Thank you for all of the beauty that you gave us.

May you rest in peace.


03 September 2007

Gal with a Hook

Never let it be said that this is not an equal opportunity blog. As evidence, I present my latest acquisition: a set of steel crochet hooks.

Yes, there has been stealth crochet happening in this studio, as well as stealth knitting!

And more importantly, I want to thank all of you so much for leaving comments, even though I have been so ridiculously busy that I haven't been able to visit you very much. You all rock! And it's so awesome to read comments! You all regularly make my day. :)

Back to hookin'.

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