Wednesday, February 28, 2007

We're the Pink Ladies

Over the weekend, my February yarn and swag arrived from Scout...

I had a feeling the go-knit pouch would be one of the swag items at some point (crossed fingers it would be anyway), but the matching yarn was a total surprise. It's called Punk Pink and is just wild! It's a merino/bamboo/nylon blend and is so soft and shiny.

And talk about timing. I was over a friend's house a few days before and while playing with her daughter Emma, the little one dashed to her dresser and brought back a little beaded bracelet/anklet (it's kinda big) that she made and wanted me to have. She's always making me things and I wanted to make something for her. With this yarn, I want to make us matching socks! The question is, what pattern to use? I'll be digging through my patterns but I've never thought to look for kid sized sock patterns before. Anyone have any ideas? She's 8 if that helps. I've got 400 yards so I think I can make some shorty socks for the two of us.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Spinning Dragons

Over the last year or so several of my friends have taken up poi spinning as both a way to have fun and be creative at the same time. I'd seen poi spinning at the luau at Walt Disney World and of course my friends at it, but it wasn't until I actually borrowed a friend's pair of poi and tried it for myself that I knew I had to get in on this!

Flash forward to this January when I got it in me that it was time for the hubby and I to have our own sets of poi. I ordered the poi from Home of Poi (if there's anything to know about poi, this is the place) and in an incredibly short time, we had poi to play with all the way from New Zealand.

My Pink Poi

Now let me tell you, spinning poi is not exactly easy. The basics are straight forward but once it's time to move on, that whole rub head, chew gum, pat tummy mess comes into play. Good thing these things have tennis balls inside or I'd be black and blue from repeatedly whacking myself in the head with them.

I've made it up to this far! (example of what's called a high turn)

Mike & Whittney of candle making fame were so delighted that we'd taken up the poi that they surprised me (Bryan's set is in the works) with handmade sock poi! Sock poi are yet another form these things come in and allow for different types of tricks. Isn't it gorgeous? It's hard to see here but that's a pretty turquoise brocade with Asian dragons on them. Whittney was trying to get the phoenix image in the print to show but it wouldn't lay right. No matter, I think they're still gorgeous. =)

Example of spinning sock poi

Once I get this under control and fairly well mastered... I'm thinking it's time to spin FIRE!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Knitting Like A Crazy Woman

Knit! Knit! Knit!

I'm knitting on the sofa, in the bed, at my desk... You name it, I'm probably knitting there.

The tote bag for the ITE3 swap is almost done. No, it's not a weird green sweater! Let me try to explain what you're seeing (note that everything is laid out funny just so I could get all the colors to show):
  • The large green area is the body of the bag.
  • The two skinny flaps on each side are the small exterior pockets.
  • The dark green panel in the back and the lighter one in progress are the large exterior pockets.
Once the last pocket is finished (only 20 more rows to go), I do an I-cord for the lip/trim of the bag and another for the handle. Then it's off to be felted and filled with goodies! I would have been done last night but I left the bag with everything in it under my desk at work yesterday. Yikes! I have it now so back to work.

M swap partner (she commented over on the host blog) likes it which tickles me silly. When I make this for me, I'm going to vary the colors more. It's a bit too monotone for my tastes.

This is were I am on the purse for the PE2 project:

The colors are working out even better than I'd thought. I hope my partner likes the combination I chose. The only color I'm concerned with is the chocolate brown (which is the main color of the purse). I think it ties the other 3 colors together nicely. Don't you? My partner sent me a list of colors she liked which covers those 3. She said she didn't like neutral colors but I think this shade of brown isn't a neutral; and any other color should made it too LOUD in my opinion.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sign Right Here

While doing a little pre-Spring cleaning this holiday weekend, I found my autograph pants! Yeah, I was one of those funky art kids in high school meaning I couldn't do things like everyone else.

Instead of signing my year book, I had several of my friends "sign" my pants. It was a great conversation piece and is still a wonderful piece of art. And all because I accidentally got black marker on my favorite pants and refused to throw them away. I doodled over the spot and from there it just kept going.

The front and the back of my pants

"Pocket Dragon" by Dave (part of the tail is not shown because this dragon is partially in the pocket!)

"Merman" by my high school boyfriend Ian

"Happy Elf" by Ian's mom

"Protecting Dragon" by James

During college I did something similar to a pair of jeans that had gotten bleach on by accident. Instead of having other's sign it though, I use bleach and a Q-tip to "draw" on the pants and then around that used fabric markers to do graffiti on them.

Come to think of it, I've got some clothes that need altering!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Crafting, Crafting Everywhere!

Saturday my mom came down so that we could have a Craft Day as part of her belated birthday present. This included shopping and eating good food, then going back to my place for some crafty goodness before more food that night (the hubby, my brother and I surprised her with a trip to one of her favorite restaurants, The Melting Pot.) Well.... we got as far as the shopping and eating portion of our day.

We were both looking forward to the day, especially the shopping since my mom knew I'd buy her lots of birthday goodies and it was my first "free day" of the YFC. Well my first purchase happened before I even got in the shower. I was checking email that morning when I saw something from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. Hmm... I figured it was probably a sale flyer. WRONG! It was a heads up that the Rockin' Sock Club was filling up now that it was open to those on the waiting list as well. I called mom with one hand and pulled up the site with the other. I got my order in, confirmed with mom that she wanted in too and took care of her membership while she was reading off her credit card while she was driving down the road to me. WOO HOO! Now to keep an eye on Scout's blog to see when she'll be taking orders for another round of her Indie Swag Club. Yes, I'm greedy. BWAHAHAHA! Can you blame me with such gorgeous yarn out there? =)

Mom arrived and I took her to the Orinoco Cafe for breakfast (a beef empanada and a hot chocolate make a great breakfast by the way) then we started working our way through the LYS trail. Working from farthest to closest, we went to Cloverhill Yarn Shop, The Celtic Knot Yarn Shop, and finally All About Yarn. During the next "free day" excursion I'll take pictures of each shops and tell you a bit about them. We also stopped at 2 machine embroidery/quilt shops and a scrapbook shop but more about that later.

At all the shops we stopped at, yarn and other crafts, there were Super Bowl sales going on. Well, except for Cloverhill. They got the brilliant idea to only have their sale on Super Bowl Sunday. I know they figured lots of women would not be watching the game but I know lots of people who would be, as well as those watching the DIY marathon, having Super Bowl craft parties, etc. Oh the sales they could have had. Mom ooh'd and ahh'd over various yarns but was looking for just the right sock yarn so she didn't get anything here. I picked up the pattern and yarn for my ITE3 partner and the latest issue of Interweave Knits. We would have been out fairly quickly but a woman started chatting with me and proceeded to follow me around the store telling me her tales of knitting and such.

Finally we were off to The Celtic Knot. This fun little store has moved around and moved around trying to find the right home and I think they may have done it this time. Here I picked up the yarn for my PS2 partner with the help of one of the ladies at the store. Trying to pick just the right combination of colors that suited the bag as well as my partner was a bit trying but I think we came up with a lovely selection. Lots of chatting and giggling then we wandered next door...

and into the Ellicott City Sew Vac shop. Though this unassuming shop doesn't look like much at first, it's a sewing/machine embroiderer's haven. Beyond the rows and rows of machines, supplies, and books, you can tell this shop is run by people who love to be creative. Mom went wild over an embellished fleece jacket, I think I might sign up for the Beginning Sewing series. Vicky, the lady who helped us, was charming and funny and seemed to have a great time showing us around the shop. I bought mom a book on fabric wrapped bowl making and then we were out the door yet again! Next stop, Bear's Paw Fabrics. Though more of a quilting shop, here too we found loads of neat classes to consider (the Art Cards class sounds like a blast) and a friendly atmosphere that was most inviting. No purchases this time but we'll be back.

Last stop was at All About Yarn. Here, the store was much more bustling than the others and we ran into other knitters we'd seen earlier who were doing their own LYS trail crawl for Super Bowl sales. I flopped into a chair with pattern books while mom dove into the sock yarn bins. After calling over several times, "What's my spending limit?", she came out with several skeins of gorgeous yarn and handed them over to me. I left with several patterns (The Lucy Bag, Colors Backpack, The Kati Cross-Over Bag, and Butterfly Wings Socks), a second pair of sock needles and DPNS in size3 this time, and of course mom's yarn.

We were hungry by then and need a little nourishment before dinner so we stopped by ZPizza for a slice of pepperoni pizza and a soda, and a chance to look over the spoils of the day. As we were heading back to my apartment, I wanted to stop by a shop that I'd been wondering what it was for sometime (boy do I wish I'd gone in sooner). We went into a fairly nondescript shop called Recollections. WOW! Double WOW! This is not your mom's scrapbooking shop. Yes, you can do the simple stuff here but they also love and encourage the unusual. Creativity and then some. We spent a looooong time in here giggling and playing and the staff were definitely taught to be joyous enablers. LOL! We left with class sheets and promises to come back for classes and crops. Wowzers!

Back at the apartment, we once again went over the haul and killed time until my brother arrived and the hubby had a chance to rest (he'd been putting last touches on his parent's deck he'd built them) before heading off to dinner. Much laughter and a late night was had. Mom crashed on the couch rather than driving home and we had a slow, happy Sunday morning before everyone headed off to the next silly adventure.

My Haul (Minus Mom's Goods)

PS2: yarn to make Jayne's AP Bag

ITE3: Tote Pattern

ITE3: yarn for tote

Belated Christmas Gift from Mom

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Whatcha Makin'? Huh? Huh?

I've been such the craft girl lately.
Two weeks ago I went over to a friend's house for a hand dipped candle making party. Mike and Whittney enjoy making them and haven't owned store bought candles in ages so they thought they'd get their friends in on the fun. Everyone arrived, the potluck dinner was devoured, and then it was time to get messy.
I am totally amazed at how easy and how fun it is to make your own candles! It's something I can easily see doing every once and awhile and having a similar themed event (once I get a house of course).
3 of the hand dipped candles I made:

You really don't need much except for room to make a mess. Ok, that and your pot to keep hot water in, a way to keep the water hot, a container filled with cold water tall enough to dip your candles in, a couple of dipping tubes to put the hot wax in (and something to hold them down should they want to float as the wax gets used up), wax blocks, wax dyes, wicks, and something to weight the wicks down (we used metal nuts).

It may seem like a lot but it's really not, nothing goes to waste for the most part and you get to be creative!

And guess what else I did?

Drum roll please...

After much determination, set backs, lack of time, etc...



Aren't they spiffy? =)

They're now washed and blocked and fit even better. Love my socks! Thanks everyone for all your help and thanks Scout for the inspiration in this lovely yarn (that I have a little leftover to use for something else too!)

I've already got supplies so I can cast on not one but TWO pair of socks next. *giggle* This is so much fun.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Project Spectrum 2.0 Has Begun

Project Spectrum: February/March


White (pretend this is white)


I joined Project Spectrum in order to find new ways to inspire my creativity, especially in my beadwork. So I've pulled out a few bead boxes with white and blue pretties in them to see what might be calling to me.

My eyes fell on a strand of kyanite spikes that I bought in a fit of madness at a bead show. You don't want to know how much they were... trust me! They have been sitting there, glanced at but not used because I've been too afraid to mess them up. What if I don't make anything to do them justice? What if no one likes what I come up with? What if? What if? What if?

Well this is the time to to throw caution to the wind and go for it! I even have an idea of what I want to do with them; now to pull my thoughts together. Results in the coming weeks.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Alphabet Meme

Sneaker tagged by Janice!

The Alphabet Meme:

A - Available or Taken: Taken

B - Best Friend: My mom

C -Cake or Pie: Pie

D - Drink of Choice: Ginger ale

E - Essential item you use everyday: My glasses

F - Favorite Color: Blue

G - Gummy Bears or Worms: I was never a gummy candy person. Give me caramels!

H - Hometown: Babylon, New York. How I miss the place... Today I'm in Columbia, MD

I - Indulgence: Cheese Doodles! Especially those by Wise.

J - January or February: Neither because their both cold months but if I had to pick it would be February as it has Valentine's Day and the hubby's birthday in it.

K - Kids & ages: None.

L - Life is incomplete without: A book in my hand

M - Marriage Date or Most Memorable Date ( and why): Wedding Date 10/31/02

N - Number of Siblings: 1 brother (Roger)

O - Oranges or Apples: Neither. I prefer lemons.

P - Phobias or Fears: Failure

Q - Fave Quote: Today? "You people make my ass twitch." (Meg Ryan as Kate in French Kiss)

R - Reason to Smile: Laughter

S - Season: Summer

T - Tag 3 or 4 People: Anyone willing to play along

U - Unknown fact about me: I really want to become a chef one day or get into some other profession within the culinary arts. Caterer? Food scientist? Recipe tester? Food stylist?

V - Vegetable you don't like: Mushrooms!

W - Worst Habit: Procrastination

X - X-rays: Just 3. Twice for the same pinkie as a kid (different incidents). Neck after a car accident.

Y - Your Fave Food: Chili

Z - Zodiac Sign: Aries

YFC #2 Secret Pal Questionnaire

To my partner in the Yarn Focus Challenge swap, here are my answers to the questionnaire:

1. What type of yarn do you knit with most often?

2. Is there any type of yarn that you would love to try but haven't yet, such as bamboo, banana fiber (seriously they make it - although I've yet to see it in person).
Bamboo, koigu, soy silk...

3. In your opinion what is a luxury yarn?
Something unique; something not found everywhere you turn. Doesn't necessarily have to be expensive, just something special. Hand dyed sock yarn in my opinion is a luxury yarn. A wool/alpaca blend can be a luxury yarn if done in an unusual way (maybe a soft wool yarn with tufts of alpaca sticking out here and there).

4. Is there any type of yarn or fiber content you dislike or would prefer not to receive?
Scratchy acrylics.

5. What type of garments do you most often knit?
Though socks look to be my new most knit, scarves and shawls are what I've knit the most of.

6. What types of knitting books do you enjoy?
Those that are on unusual topics. I'm currently eyeing "Romantic Style" and "Naughty Needles" (talk about contrasts) to give you an idea of what I mean.

7. What is a color you like but rarely or never buy yourself?
Green. I just tend to forget it exists though in the right shades, I think it's a lovely color.

8. If you were pregnant and had to name your baby a fiber, what would her/his name be?
First of all, me? Pregnant? Uhm... no. But if I were to, I think "Cashmere" would be a lovely name.

9. Do you spin?
Not in some while. I gave my spinning wheel to my mom to use but I've recently picked up a drop spindle and am SLOWLY teaching myself how to use it.

10. What is one fiber you've never spun?

11. If someone in your family or a best friend had to describe you in one word, what would it be?

12. Please tell us one odd thing about you.
Only one? Hmm... I have no intention of ever growing up. I like to look at the clouds and figure out what I see in the shapes up there. I get excited when Mickey Mouse waves at me as he goes by on a float. I still make snow angels. I still read cartoons in the newspaper. I enjoy going to the movies to see animated films like Lilo & Stitch and The Incredibles. "No capes!"

13. What was your favorite cartoon when you were little.

12. Do you have animals? If so, please name them and tell us a little about them.
Not at the moment though I want to have cats one day.

13. And last but not least, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
San Francisco

Have fun!