Sunday, April 29, 2012

Week and -ending!

Yes. I am still alive. With much computer switch-a-roo-ing, the script that allows me to dump pictures from my camera to my laptop was injured. Now, it is fixed. So I have, not only a "weekending" to share, but a "weeking" as well. Er. Something.

There are many things that I don't have pictures of. Like the elephant I'm working on for Emily. I messed up one of his legs, but attached it anyway. His head isn't stuffed enough. He's missing an arm. But the Beast loves on him anyway.

Speaking of the Beast. Today is his birthday. Oddly, the Elf and I spent much time talking about the births of all the boys. Weird. But.. nice, too. Speaking of the Elf! He's learning to crochet! He finally gets it! We have half of a pokeball each and will finish it up tomorrow. He's so pleased with himself. It's amazing.

And now to the pictures!

These have been done for a while, worn more than a few times, and washed at least twice. Yeah, I'm behind on blogging.

This was my yarn along post that never made it up. I'm further on the cardigan now. And finished the book (which I'd read before). But I've also finished the second book and am now on the third.

I ordered fiber. Glorious fiber. Now if only I could get my left foot and leg to stop cramping with charley horses when I spin..

I spun the last of my Mountain Colors BFL in the "firestorm" colorway. And then I used it to make a horse for the Beast.

I love Linda's patterns. Next up is a black winged horse for the Imp.

And a not-so-much-a-surprise-once-she-reads-this doll for a friend. I'm good at taking hints, even when they aren't really hints. Basically, tell me you like something that I'm capable of making and on a good day (or mediocre - or possibly even a bad one) I'll totally jump on the chance to make you smile. It's what I do. I like it. Getting to the post office, however, is not so much my specialty.

Oh! And I did end up ordering from The Bulk Herb Store. Thank you everyone who gave me your two cents. The herbs arrived quickly and are already being enjoyed. In fact, I've already placed another order with them - because I'm crazy like that.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Has anyone ordered from The Bulk Herb Store before? I need some things that I can't find locally. I really wanted to use Mountain Rose Herbs but their shipping costs just kill me.

I ordered some fiber from a place I'd never heard of. It's only been a couple of days, but I haven't heard from them. So I guess I'm getting mildly paranoid about which new places I try out.

Thanks in advance for any and all feedback on this!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Yarn Along

Joining up with Ginny for the Yarn Along. I almost didn't make it today. It's been crazy over here. My body is exhausted but my brain in in overdrive. It won't slow down. I have so many ideas. So much that I want to do. But! All these thoughts and ideas are jumbling together and it's leaving me confused.

At any rate.

I'm working on pockets for Lori. I'm also working on an elephant test knit for Emily. B, the Elf, and I are all reading House of Many Ways by Diana Wynne Jones. It's the third "Howl" book. So far I'm quite enjoying it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Crafting on

I am tired. Fatigued. Exhausted. Why my children cannot all sleep at normal hours is beyond me. At any rate, I'm joining up with Nicole's {Crafting on} link doohickey.

Here's what I've been up to:

This is a special doll for a special cat loving little girl. This spunky lady even has several changes of clothes. Tonight she'll be on her way to her new home!

This is about two ounces of yarn that I spun from Mountain Colors BFL in the "firestorm" colorway. I think I love it. I'm still massively pre-drafting, though. I haven't quite gotten the rhythm down to where I feel comfortable drafting from a huge clump.

This is the first "real" yarn that I spun on my new wheel. This is the fiber that they sent for me (Village Spinning and Weaving is awesome). Before I had been trying to use wool that really should be used for felting, not spinning.

This was my table this morning. I finally got around to giving this little merchild a face and hair.

Now she looks like this! Of course, I only managed a blurry picture of her front. I'm a little sad that for decency sake, she needs a top. I'm no good at mermaid tops. Perhaps I'll make a fabric vest this time. Hmm.

Of course, the shot of her back is in focus. Because I'm slick like that.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Mason Jar Cozy winner(s)!

Both of the littles wanted to pick a name from the hat. So I'm going to give away two cozies (also, because I'm late with this and feel guilty - I've become a bit addicted to my spinning wheel).

The winners are...

Congratulations Tracey (drawn from the hat by the Imp) and Natalie (drawn from the hat by the Beast). I'll be sending you emails shortly to request you addresses!

Thank you everyone who commented!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yarn Along and the latest addition!

Joining up with Ginny today for the Yarn Along.

I'm still working on those longies. They've taken a back seat to all the other crafting that I've been doing. I am really loving the way the colors are working together, though. As for reading, B and the Elf finished Howl's Moving Castle so now we've moved on to the second book: Castle in the Air.

And now! My glorious new spinning wheel!

Yes, you should be glad I didn't also take pictures of our UPS guy carrying the box down our driveway. And don't think it didn't cross my mind!

It came with a "free gift with purchase" option. I chose these: 8oz of fiber, spinning wheel oil..

and a niddy noddy! The Beast is especially excited about this one, apparently.

The excitement was too much. The Beast took a nap while the Imp, Elf, and I unpacked the pieces. Here they are wrapped and unfinished.

And here they are all nice and polished with my homemade beeswax polish. Obviously the wooden car didn't come with it though it does seem quite happy among the pieces. By this point, the Elf was already in bed and the Imp was headed that way.

Let me say this, the directions that came with my Kiwi were.. subjective at times. It also didn't help to have a nearly two-year-old "helping" and sitting in my lap. I will admit that I had to take apart several pieces in the end because I'd put them together wrong.

The Beast was the first to use my new wheel. He got the hang of it extremely quickly - and only pinched a finger once. Of course, now I can't keep the toddlers off of it.

And here's my first yarn on the Kiwi! I was "helped" by little hands a lot with this one. The fiber was also more suited to felting (which is what I originally bought it for) than spinning. But it's good enough for me to practice on, I think!

I'm still kicking around a few names - yes, I'm going to name my wheel. I am, indeed, that crazy.
There's still time to enter to win a crochet mason jar cozy! I'll pick a winner tonight!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Crafting on!

I'm linking up with Nicole today for {crafting on} Tuesday. This is how I've kept myself busy while waiting for my spinning wheel to get here.

I've made more doll shirts in the last week than I ever hoped to. I'm not a fan of sewing clothes - big or small. Evidently, I'm also not very good at it. Here's the kicker - these are all "prototypes" and none of them fit the intended doll. I think I've finally gotten something close to fitting. But sheesh! First I went with the trusty pattern by Adirondack Patterns, but it wasn't working for this particular doll (she has a lot of hair and nothing wanted to fit over it). So I've looked around, found nothing, and had to make it up as I go. I've never cut, folded, pinned, ironed, and sewn so much in so few days.

And another mermaid tail. It's a bit bigger than the other two and isn't a totally natural yarn, but I think the sparkly bits and the colors are just too perfect for a sea lady. Don't forget to enter the giveaway at This Cosy Life for a chance to win one of my mermaid dolls.

There's also the giveaway on my blog for a crochet mason jar cozy. I think I'm going to write up another tutorial for a to-go cup cozy soon, too.

And yes, there will definitely be pictures of my new spinning wheel when it gets here this evening!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mermaid Giveaway!

Happy Monday, everyone! Head on over to This Cosy Life for a chance to win this lovely mermaid!

I started another mer-tail last night - so be on the lookout in the next few days for more mer-baby goodness. But today will be all about clothing for a sweet cat-eared girl!

Sunday, April 8, 2012


This is how I spent my *entire* weekend. Okay, well, most of it at any rate.

Meet the newest addition to my shop! I'm so please with myself for being able to crochet with the suri/merino/bamboo yarn. That fuzzy stuff always gives me trouble. I had wanted to make him a shark. After six tails crocheted and ripped apart, I gave up. I even tried a dolphin tail. Bah. I apparently still don't understand the basics of making shapes. But he's done! And I'm happy with him. With any luck we'll have another mer-baby soon!

Don't forget about the jar cozy giveaway - I know it isn't much. But please do enter if you're inclined.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Jar cozy.

So. I have a lot of yarn. Much of it is scrappy or I don't have anything that *quite* matches. I've decided to make some mason jar cozies. This is not a new idea. This pattern is of my own devising, but anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of crochet and a hankering to cover a jar could have figured it out as well. That said, I'm going to give one of these away - the one I make in this post, actually. I'll also stick some in my Etsy shop. Just because.

Here's how I do it:

You need a "k" hook, worsted weight wool, stitch marker, and scissors. I have two k hooks - one just says "k" the other says "k/101/2-6.50mm" I have no idea how crochet hooks are labeled. I use the "k" hook - it's larger.

To begin with, we're working with two strands of yarn held together. I start with a magic circle using six single crochet stitches. This is the bottom of the cozy.

For the next round, increase in each stitch. That is, make two single crochet stitches in each stitch - leaving you with 12 stitches.

For the third round I single crochet in two stitches and increase in the third. I follow that pattern all the way around. This gives me 16 stitches. The fourth round will be single crochet in three stitches and increase in the fourth - giving you 20 stitches. And for the fifth round, single crochet in four stitches and increase in the fifth, thus arriving at 24 stitches. This is the magic number I've come up with. Except that it really ought to be 23, but we'll get to that.

Okay. So you have your 24 stitches. Now you'll be single crocheting around - but only in the back loop! Stop at the last stitch before you hit your marker. We have to decrease (to get my more magical 23 - hey, prime numbers are fun).

For the last stitch, go into the back loop and grab your yarn like you're going to single crochet. Pull it through. Instead of yarning over, go into the first stitch of the next round (both loops, not just the back), grab your yarn, pull it through, yarn over and pull it through all the loops. You've just decreased. Woo hoo!

Now it's smooth sailing. Single crochet around and around and around until your cozy is the height you want. I check mine by slipping it onto an empty jar.

Once you've gotten the height you want, slip stitch into the first stitch of the next round (I generally slip stitch into the first *two* stitches) and then finish off. Weave in your ends and enjoy a tasty beverage.

This cozy used roughly 70 yards. I think. I've lost the tag to the yarn so I'm guessing based on other wools that I regularly use. Oh. And they fit standard Ball pint (16 ounce) jars.

So! Anyone who would like to win a mason jar cozy, leave a comment and I'll pick a name randomly on.. hmm. Wednesday night - since I'll be too busy Tuesday putting together my new spinning wheel!


This week has been so up and down. I'm dizzy from the craziness of it all. The things that are getting me through right now are:
- my spinning wheel shipped and should be here Tuesday!
- mint-tarragon soda! I made more syrup last night. (just over 1.5 cups liquid to about .75 of a cup of sugar - I haven't tasted it yet, but it may be too sweet)
- pretty knitting (see below)

The weather has been crazy. Rain and wind and overcast skies with a slight sprinkling of sunshine. So we've been cooped up. Here are my zombie boys.

I'm stocking my shop today! And then (hopefully!) taking some better pictures of the mermaid to email off for a giveaway - I'll post details when it "goes live."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yarn Along - longie style!

Joining up with Ginny for the Yarn Along.

Okay. I have a "dark secret" - are you ready? I play video games. Not obsessively. But, I do enjoy them. Recently I've gotten into the first Assassin's Creed game (I won't bore you with the details). It's roughly about the Crusades (which I am fascinated by - with no personal interest in the religion aspect of it). So I'm rereading some yummy historical-fantasy (that's historical-fiction with some magical elements thrown in). It's, duh, set in the Crusades. Devil's Bargain by Judith Tarr was the first of her books that I ever read. She very quickly became one if my very favorite authors.

Knitting? Longies, of course! I'm using some Shepherd's Wool that I bought from a local yarn store and two lovely stripey yarns from the destash box I bought from Emily. I'm super excited!

These longies I just finished last night. They are superwash - so not the best for longies. But I had six (or so) balls left after making the sweater. And honestly, I didn't want to look at it for another sweater's worth of knitting. Not sure what I'll use the stuff I still have leftover for, though. Anyway! The Imp requested pockets in his longies. He's my scavenger - always picking up acorns and rocks (and promptly dumps them in the Elf's pockets). He decided on just the one pocket, though.

Yesterday I washed a stack of longies (that's what I was doing instead of "Crafting On" with Nicole). Today I noticed that one pair had two wee holes in the back - obviously a needle felted patch was in order (I offered another pocket but the Imp declined). And what better way to decorate a patch than with a little white Totoro?

Monday, April 2, 2012


Oh the weekend. What a crazy place it has been.

I finished spinning the blue roving - it actually looks like yarn! And feels kind of like Malabrigo. Not sure what in the world I'll use it for - 25 yards (give or take) of worsted merino yarn in bright blue.

So I'm obsessed with the idea of spinning. I have been for a very long time. I dream about it, I talk about it, read about it, watch videos about it. B finally caved and bought me a spinning wheel! We ordered it yesterday. Very soon this will live at our house! I'm so very excited!

In other consumer news, a lovely box of wooly goodness is on it's way to my house today! It was so funny. I mentioned to the Elf that a box of yarn was coming for me today. Intrigued he asks, "What color is it?" Imagine his face when I tell him that I have no idea. Yes. Priceless. If he didn't think I was crazy before (unlikely), he certainly does now.

(The box arrived! Check out my loot!)

Friday I made syrups. It feels like summer here already. I think Spring was a dream (okay, it hasn't hit 97 degrees yet, but still). So it felt like soda weather. The mint-tarragon syrup is long gone. Yum! Today I'm savoring some delicious lavender soda. I'll need to put some more cans of seltzer water into the fridge. The best thing about this soda (besides knowing the contents and not feeling bad about any of them, of course) is that no one else cares for it much. That makes it mine! All mine!

Sunday we met up with B's father (whom we hadn't seen in six or seven years). It was less awkward than I feared. The Imp seemed quite taken with him - jabbering on and even letting him carry him through the woods.

I'm on the second leg of the longies I posted on Wednesday. I'm still not sure how I want to do the pockets but the Imp is super excited about them. I'm hoping to finish them today. You know, it case the big box o' wool inspires something I have to make right away!