29 February 2008

Breaking News at Scout's!

Scout has set March 10 as the date the lottery opens for round three of her sock club! Get in there quick if you want to participate; they go fast. And her yarn is delectable. Have I mentioned how much I love knitting with it? And how gorgeous the colors are? I admit, though, that I didn't knit socks with it. I'm still a sock hold-out. ;) Go! Mark March 10 on your calendars and sign up!

This has been a public service announcement. I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

28 February 2008

Stitches Report, Part I

Well, like the often times forgetful person I am, I forgot to take my camera with me! Luckily for me, others didn't forget. :) That's why I can show you this picture of my friend Alison and me, taken by the amazing Ann Rubin of afghans for Afghans.

Alison and Ann are two of the most truly kind people I have ever met. They are an inspiration!

And here is a picture of my very favorite alpaca laceweight yarn from the Foggy Moon Fibers/Royale Hare booth (where I was hanging out):

Left to right, the colorways are Pacific Amber, natural undyed, and Cazadero Mist Lite. Mmmmmmmmm. I special ordered a larger hank of the Pacific Amber so that I can design a gorgeous stole in this absolutely delectable color. It is truly gorgeous. Karen of Royale Hare also dyes silk and wool top in this colorway. It is truly to drool over! I almost fell down the spinning rabbit hole just because of the silk (in lime green too)! ;) I know I will succumb sooner or later, especially since my husband has offered to make me a spinning wheel! What's a girl to do?!

I'm still digging out (behind as usual!!!) but more reports to come! Plus an answer to Lorraine's question about what I bought. It may surprise you!


24 February 2008

Monday's Musing

I had a great time at Stitches and loved meeting all of you who stopped by! You all completely made my show! Thank you. :) I'll have a little bit of a report later on this week!

But today, here's something I try to remind myself of regularly (especially when I'm cranky!):

"Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?"
- Dennis and Wendy Mannering

Have a great week everyone!


20 February 2008

Stitches (West)!

I'm headed there! And other than wandering about and fondling fiber, I'll be in the Foggy Moon Fibers/Royale Hare booth (739, 838) at 8 pm Thursday, and 11 am and 2 pm Friday and Saturday to meet anyone who wants to come by and say hello! Hope to see you there! :)

I'll also have some wares at
Purlescence (booths 1031, 1033, 1035) and Full Thread Ahead (booths 621 623 720 722). And best of all? I get to meet baby Elinor! I can't wait!

18 February 2008

Monday's Musing

In honor of President's Day and of my elder son's hero, George Washington:

"In executing the duties of my present important station, I can promise nothing but purity of intentions, and, in carrying these into effect, fidelity and diligence."
- George Washington

And, from all that we have read about him, I do believe he actually meant what he said. What more could anyone ask? Washington was truly a great man.

Have a wonderful week, everyone!


15 February 2008

Friday Eye Candy, Spring Edition

Daffy Down Dilly
Has come to town
In a yellow petticoat
And a green gown.
- Mother Goose

And a flowering plum, for good measure!

For my cold friends in need of spring. :)


13 February 2008

Happy V Day!

In honor of the day, I have free shipping over at Designs by Romi through V Day! Enter coupon code 6DJM293 at checkout. Back-orders placed through the 14th will have shipping refunded.

And also in honor of the day, I give you my first penannular style pin, a heart!

A penannular does not come apart; the prong slides around on the pin, so that it can go through the opening in the bottom. Once you have put the pin through the material (knit, crochet or coarse hand woven), you slide the pin around into place to lock the prong in place.

And a new finish! The heart penannular is available in nickel, matte or brushed. Yes, brushed nickel! Over the next few weeks I'll be adding it as an option on all the elements pins. Here is a comparison of the finishes that will be available for all the elements pins: polished copper, polished sterling silver and brushed nickel.

I am so excited; I love this finish! So please to forgive my gushiness!

At the moment, I only have two pins available in it, but you can special order any elements pin even before I get it up on the site. Just email me! And of course, special orders placed the 14th ship for free. :)

Have a great day!!!

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The Other Woman

Got your attention, didn't I?! But first, Galaneia asked this question about the Ice Queen pattern (sorry, I don't know how to contact you!):

"The instructions say to cast on 156, but also says that the pattern repeats 6 times per round. The chart is 24 stitches across at the base. 156 doesn't divide evenly by 24, 156/6=26. Is there something I'm missing about the pattern? I'm feeling very confused."

The first row of the chart is a decrease row, but it is difficult to tell unless you count the number of decreases and the number of yarn overs. For each repeat, there are eight decreases, but 6 yarn overs, hence a decrease of two stitches per repeat. So you start with 156 stitches, but end with 144 stitches (which is what the chart shows for that first row). Hope that helps!

And now...on to the Other Woman.

After being decidedly in the minority around here, I've recently acquired a confidant. Or so I thought. Really, she has completely stolen my husband's heart away. Here she is:

He named her Felicity, and then her other side came out:

So now her name is Felicity Diva, or FeliciDiva for short. She is a Rhinelander, but is brindled rather than having the markings to be a show rabbit. In fact, only one or two of each Rhinelander litter does have the proper markings. She's what our local breeder calls a harlequin Rhinelander. Did I mention that she's totally adorable? And that she's stolen my husband's heart? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that she grooms his eyebrows when he holds her. That's hard to resist, you know.

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10 February 2008

Monday's Musing

I recently got one of my favorite children's books, The Little Prince, from the library. I think I wanted it more for myself than for the boys! But they were a good excuse. :) I was struck by this quote:

"It's a question of discipline," the little prince told me later on. "When you've finished washing and dressing each morning, you must tend your planet." ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943, translated from French by Richard Howard

I think everyone should read that book.

Have a wonderful week!


08 February 2008

Friday Eye Candy, Jewelry Edition

Well, the recipient of Ms. Purple Ice loves her, and that makes me very very happy! Thanks everyone for all your kind comments!

I have been busy. Very very busy to make up for lots of lost time! So I have just done a major shop update with all sorts of new goodies. :) We have a bee shawl pin, inspired by the fabulous Knitspot Anne's Bee Fields Shawl and Honeybee Stole.

And here's a sterling turtle on a rosewood stick (there's a ladybug too!) that reminds me of turtlegirl every time I look at it (wonder why?). ;)

Then we have a miniature dragonfly pin in sterling and fine silver (fine silver has a higher silver content than sterling).

And an entirely new kind of pin for me - it is one piece and I love these!

They stay put really wonderfully well and are super super light.

That's in addition to a whole passel of new sticks and a few new simple pins!

And in sterling ball of yarn news, I am out of pendants (you can backorder here) and have only four three pairs of earrings (scroll down on the linked page to order them) left. I'm ordering more supplies! Honest!

Have a great weekend all! :)

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07 February 2008

The Ice Queen Cometh

Well! Purple Ice is finished and sent off to her new home.

I love the way she turned out. The black currant flavor color of ksh is one of my very very favorites and I found the perfect beads at my local bead shop.

Pattern: Ice Queen (by me) from Knitty, version A stockinette with version B chart
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Black Currant, one ball plus 2 yards (arg!)
Needles: Addi turbos size 5 and 7 (I used the smaller needle size from the garter stitch version, even though I knitted stockinette, to tighten up the gauge a little bit because my friend has very short hair and I wanted it to be a little more snug)
Measurements before blocking: length measured to bottom of scallop: 18", circumference at top: 23"
Measurements after blocking:
length measured to bottom of scallop: 22.5", circumference at top: 20"

Hopefully, my friend will enjoy wearing this one!

I've noticed that in threads and on blogs, several people have talked about their Ice Queens being too short and/or running out of yarn. We'll tackle the length issue first!

My guess is that the problems with length are most likely due to one of two things: blocking, or lack thereof and/or using a different fiber for the project. Above all else, it is absolutely imperative to block your finished Ice Queen. Those of you who may not have knit lace before will be used to being able to wear sweaters and hats and scarves without blocking. Sure, they look a little bit rough, but they still look good! Well, lace is an entirely different creature. When you take it off the needles, it is not ready to wear. The looser the gauge, the more it will need to be blocked to achieve its finished measurements. Ice Queen will seem much too short. But a nice wet block will fix you right up!

To block, fill your sink with cold water and add a touch of wool wash (doesn't need to be rinsed). Submerge the lace and swish gently to get it thoroughly wet. Remove from water and gently squeeze to remove excess water. Lay lace as flat as possible on a large dry towel and roll towel. Squeeze. Here is the part where I confess that I always walk on the towel to get all of the water out. Works like a charm! Lay out gently and pull length. It will also become narrower. This is good. You want it to be narrower so it will be a bit more snug. Ice Queen does not need to be pinned, only patted into shape. This is what it looks like laid out to dry:

It will dry fairly quickly. The whole process takes about an hour, perhaps a bit more when the air is damp. Not much time for a great result!

The other possible problem in regards to length is in using a different fiber. For instance, merino is very springy and will not hold a block the same way the mohair/silk blend does. If you use a different fiber, please be sure to swatch and block your swatch! There is a good chance you will need to knit more chart repeats, and therefore need more yardage.

Second: running out of yarn. Heh. I ran out of yarn on this one with ten stitches left to bind off!

But this is how much yarn I had left over from the blue Ice Queen shown in the Knitty pictures.

Huge difference, eh? I thought running out of yarn was due to differing gauge among knitters, but I think it may have more to do with different dyes and/or the amount of moisture in the air when the yarn is being skeined. It is measured by weight and not yardage, so it really wouldn't take much added moisture to throw a 25 gram ball of yarn off by several yards. I am in the process of measuring the amount needed to do a picot bind off on both top and bottom, at the request of a sadistic helpful Ravelry member. And then I'll post it all over the place. :)

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03 February 2008

Monday's Musing

To all my friends, cyber and non-cyber:

"A single rose can be my garden...a single friend, my world."
- Leo Buscaglia

I so appreciate your friendship!

Have a wonderful week! :)