Tell you what I’m gonna do now

Honey, Shakin’ is the greatest thing

It’s Spring and I’m ready to get back out to my 3-season studio but MAN that space was a mess after a winter of neglect!

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I spent all of last weekend rearranging the areas of my studio and cleaning out lots of bits and bobs that I don’t need anymore.

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I have my cozy yarn corner where I can sit at my desk when doing the tech work of design and pattern writing and settle down in my comfy chair when making samples. (Not all of the yarn had been put away yet when this one was snapped – it has doubled since!)

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And now I have a great sewing space with my sewing machine and serger on their own table, a bureau and cabinets full of fabric and a BIG table for laying out and cutting fabric (again, it hadn’t quite been assembled when this pic was snapped, it occupies that large open space to the left) which also doubles as a great space for blocking crochet and knit pieces.

I have a feeling I’ll be spending LOTS of time out there this year.

I’m fancy free darlin’

;) – So who shall I start with

New Summer patterns are up at Webs!

Math for Kathy, Hill Log Cabin blanket, Bartholomew’s Cobble vest and my favorite, The October Mountain cardigan.

This sweater went through SO many changes from idea to garment but I am thrilled with how she came out.

Rav links are all here.

I’m also really happy to finally show you my current favorite sweater. Kirsten was designing this as I was getting my feet wet with spinning. I decided to spin my own yarn so I could make one. I spun up 8 oz of Kangaroo Dyer Merino and 8oz of Louet Merino and Silk and plied them together.  I love the color!

I knit and knit until all that was left was scraps of yarn for seaming and sewing on the buttons.

I am over the moon for this sweater and I wear it all the time, I’m wearing it now.

I’m hip deep in Fall design work now but I reward myself with mini spinning breaks. The bag of sample nubbins that I got at the 2011 MSWF from Into the Whirled is filling this need perfectly.

Alright, I’ve got a pattern to get typed up and a class to finish packing up supplies for. Next time I’ll have a garden update and a free pattern for you :)

Toots

Drawing lines above my head

;) – But the fan keeps spinning over me

Life has been SO busy here the last few months, well its been busy for my hands. I have not been without a hook or needles in my hands in weeks, and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it anytime soon – not that I’m complaining.

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I have a series of crochet workshops at WEBS this summer, plus a year long blanket class, my summer run of Crochet 1 and a 6 week tutoring session, and all the samples needed to be done by early May, to be put on display in the store, photographed for the website, and available so potential students could see what they’d be making. Then it was time to start on the samples for Fall classes!

potholder in 2 sizes

Somewhere in there my kids finished up school, I attended 2 baby showers – with gifts that HAD to be handmade, my sister’s 30th birthday party with her handmade gift, my 13th anniversary slipped by, I participated in a hotpad/potholder swap ( I needed 5 – I made 12), weekly trips to the farmers market started, we got to meet the 2 chickens that will come home with us sometime this month, jam making, pickle making and I was asked to take over the Friday afternoon drop-ins at WEBS

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Just to see how high I could pile it, I wrote 2 patterns. This one from last week and one more. The potholders that I did up for that swap were my own creation, based on a inspiration pic I’ve had for a couple years, and now you can make your own. The pattern is up in my Etsy shop – have at it ;)

Toots

Now I know all the wrong turns, the stumbles and falls

;) - Would I know?

(Seriously this is my favorite song right now. just click the link, it’ll open and play in a new window. Oh and get tissues.)

I got the best belated birthday box yesterday and it came with an awesome and totally unexpected and overdue surprise. Seems my gift was arriving at the same time as hers. Ms. Marti and I have been blogger buddies pretty much since I started and every once in awhile we ship little boxes off to each other (I have one halfway full for her at the moment) I have watched her get married, buy a house and move all the way across the country and now she and her Mounty have welcomed a little girl. So how floored was I that she though of me in the midst of this dreary winter and her uber long pregnancy! 

New purse and minibag – minibag comes with stitchmarkers!!!

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I am making a purse from this!!!! 

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and something wonderful from this

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and I cannot stop wearing this.

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Maybe its the impending arrival of spring, maybe the impending arrival of my 13th wedding anniversary, maybe the impending arrival of 4 babies (well 3 now, one is already here ) in my life in the next 5 months, maybe the one-car crunch in our home this winter that has had us spending much more time together and appreciating the little things, but I’m like, stupidly in love right now – with everything. I’m just happy. happy happy. I hope you are able to find some of that this year cuz man, its awesome!

 I am the luckiest.

Toots

Dip trip, flip fantasia

;) - With the razzle dazzle star I might be

Oh, Patrick and I just came in from a sap run and I’m cold. Not that its really cold out, maybe 40ish, bracing is perhaps a better word, and now I feel the cold leeching away from me in waves and I feel colder for it. I don’t feel warmth soaking in I feel the cold being absorbed away. Its a very strange feeling.

Today I got to the halfway point on the shawl collar of my sweater, I only have 10 more rows and then I can start the sleeves. I should be done by the end of March!

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A barter was proposed and accepted this morning at Webs. I will make this:

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in this yarn – Storm

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and I will get some of this in return.

Oh holy carp how cool!!

I’ve also been working with tiny crochet and beads. See tiny…

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see beads…

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Toots

Then light me a smoke so I can sing some jazz

;) – but I guess I need another plan

Its Thursday, which just happens to be my favorite day of the week, has been for years and No, I don’t have a particular reason.

I’m working on a sweater that I’m lovin’. A couple more inches and I’m off to sleevesville.

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I’m playing around with beads. Are beads a spring thing? Are you working with some?

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I brought this home on Tuesday after successfully hiding it for weeks so no one else would get it! It is a cone of almost 2000 yards of Inca Alpaca and I call it the alpaca baby, I cradle it and dream about its future.

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Oh and its syrup season around here. Though we are only producing for ourselves this year – next year we’ll be open to the public. Here’s the rest of my family on a sap run.

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I’m kinda glad I don’t have to slog through the mud this year to boil everyday. Speaking of mud, check out what Kristin is living with.

I love New England.

Toots

You grow up and learn that kinda thing aint right

;) - But while you were doin it-it sure felt outta sight

I have had SO MANY post in mind for you in the past 2 months and as the days go by and I move further from the initial idea of the post I find myself losing interest in it. Silly me. I also have had plenty of projects that I couldn’t post about because the recipients stop by here occasionally or because they are out for publication. What does that leave me with? Humdrum daily life, thats what,  and as exciting or interesting as that may be to me in the moment it doesn’t always translate so well for the blog. So I’ve decided to give you a bit of a pic heavy post with minimal details of recent completed projects and I’ll save the funny one for last, trust me.

Also, my blogiversary slipped by on March 1 and I know I talked about a contest but I just haven’t had the energy or attention for it. This summer we’ll do something fun. I have a collaboration project in the works and I’ll pull a little something from there for you. 

On to the pics!

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This was a hat idea I cooked up last summer and as I made it in January a mitten idea snuck in. I’ll have more details soon, like when the pattern becomes available through WEBS!

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I whipped up a granny scarf for myself, which has become a class for this summer, and I made this awesome silk cowl for my MiL. With some tweaking and a slight fiber change, this will also become a pattern for WEBS. She loves it :)

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My sister’s baby shower was Valentine’s weekend and I was working furiously to get everything done that I wanted to for her. This is The Wool Eater blanket by the lovely Sarah London – its a free patern! I worked it up in the colors of my new neice’s room, but my sister decided that at 3×3 it was the perfect out-and-about blanket. And lest you think I am the only crafty one… that little felt birdie was my sister’s gift to everyone that came to the shower. The night before we (me, sis, and her long-time friend Marissa) stitched up the ones she hadn’t finished yet and tied them onto little bags of color coordinated peanut m&ms, her pregnancy candy craving. 

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I was asked by my sister to make a chicken mobile and it took me a long time to figure it out. She and I have always had, what most girl children of the 80′s have, an affection for rainbows. Once I had that in mind I worked up the chickens and as I worked on them one day someone commented that I would damage my poor soon-to-be niece by making her look at chicken asses for the first years of her life. That’s when I decided to add the little shapes to their butts, this way its education chicken ass that she’s seeing.  This past fall I had found 2 great pillow cases and I just waited till I found the right pattern. Nothing is cuter than babies in kimonos, and yes, that is my homemade bias tape.

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I’ve been working on a block of the month crochet blanket, for another class and those colorful grannies are the fill-in squares, 12 blocks does not a blanket make. I also started the winter ’09 round of my Crochet 1 class and I spent an afternoon working up little practice patches for the students. Starting each student group with these has become the key to my success with that class. And somewhere in there I got sick and needed good food that was just for me. Homemade carrot soup and pumpernickel bread anyone? Oh it was so yummy.

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I’ve been working up some miniature crochet motifs for a jewelry class this summer. Yeah, that is a dime. Even I can’t beleive I made these. 

The Hubby is out on a man-date tonight, watching the Watchmen with some friends, I saw it last night. 

um…. if you get this film and the GN, then I need not say anything to you because, well, you get it. If you don’t then I can’t help you. Seriously. 

Rorschach. oh boy. If ever there was a tempting, mysterious, broken man in comics/sci-fi that a comic geek-fan-girl would love to fix, for me, it would be you (the shadowy pre-teen echo that is left in me screams that I have to include Snake -Eyes here).

Ok, I’m off to finish watching seaon 4 of Spooks, thats MI:5 here in the States. Oh Adam Carter, would that I were an imaginary beatiful British spy girl and we could make beautiful British spy babies together. Woof.

Oh yeah, I promised funny, huh?

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The girls had schol friends over during winter break and Re decided to teach her friend how to embroider. Re has a little mushroom pincushion and said her friend would need a pin cushion. So I let her little friend pic our felt and I sewed one up for her. It wasn’t until I looked at it in pictures after she left that I saw its particulat resemblance to, well, a penis.

bad, bad, me

Toots

You’re all around but I haven’t found you

;) -Doesn’t matter what I tell myself

I have never felt less productive than I have in the last 2 weeks. Being down to one car,  having to deal with insurance adjusters and body shops for the other and having to ferry my husband back and forth to work, 45 minutes each way,  everyday, has nearly diminished my “me” time. I am also now doing the grocery shopping, something the hubby has done on his way home from work Monday evenings for almost 2 years. I loathe grocery shopping but when given the choice between doing it myself during daylight hours or waiting until just after dark at dinner time with the hubby and both girls in tow…. I will loathe alone, thank you.

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This weekend was a nothing weekend for us, the first in what feels like months. No plans for anything. ahhhhhh

Yesterday morning my buddy Annie and I headed down to Webs for one of the Lily Chin workshops – Short Row Bust Darts. What an awesome class! Seriously, your sweaters will never be the same. Especially if you wear anything larger than a 34B :) Annie and I then hit Esselon for lunch and I returned home to a pair of children mid Star Wars marathon and a husband heading out to his shack. Heeheehee.

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So I whipped out the sewing machine, cranked up the iron and got ready for a bout of sewing goodness. Trouble was, the iron wasn’t “cranking”. Irons don’t work so well if there’s no heat emanating from them. Hmmm. Could this have anything to do with the strange little puddle of water I found under my ironing board last weekend? Yup. After a casual, “Girls, did either of you see anything happen to Mamas iron last weekend?”

Saebra replies, “Oh yeah. I knocked it on the floor but put it right back!”

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Twenty five minutes later, one trip to the small appliance aisle of the grocery store and I have a new iron cranked and ready to go. I got all my fabric ironed and cut and then I fizzled out. It was dark and almost bedtime for the girls so I packed up for the night.

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This morning I got right back into it and I now have 32 yards of homemade 1/2 inch, double fold, bias tape for a pile of projects that I can’t show you yet. I started with a fat quarter of each and ended with just shy of 4 yds of bias tape in each pattern. I’m thinking I might make some more and offer it in my Etsy shop. Idn’t it purty?

I’m off to do some more sewing before dinner and then I’ll be tackling a crochet project that is almost done and needs to be!

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Hope you had a great weekend!

Toots

I’ve got my hands up, so take your aim

;) – oh it hit me like a steel freight train

So I’ve been assesing my do-ability for 2009. How much of what I have lined up for myself can I reasonably expect to accomplish in the next 11 months? I’m going to take it month by month and try to give you updates.

With that in mind and some delightful visual encouragement from Kathy I organized and trimmed the fat from my project lists. First I tackled the much easier and  incorporeal portion of my do-to-with-yarn list: my Ravely queue. I trimmed over 300 projects from it, I had 21 pages of patterns that have been whittled down to 7. I kept only the projects that I actually have yarn set aside for, that have a technique or stitch pattern that I want to try or that were written by friends.

February. Hmmm

Already begun…

 - 1 blanket (I gave myself 9 months on this one and I have 5 to go SO I’m good here)

 - 2 Twilight projects I still can’t talk about but are mostly complete.

 - 1/2 a sock to complete a pair

 - 1 top-down cardigan-type sweater at the shoulders (test knit)

 - 1 sock to complete Pat’s birthday pair, I already finished one. (bad wife, he turned 34 on the 18th)

 - 1 3/4 mittens for Pat’s birthday. (even badder)

 - oh and a hat for Webs

Not bad, 8 bits. Thats awesome for me!

Yet to do…

 - 3 -5  projects for my sister’s baby shower – my new neice is due in March. – 2-3 of these will be sewn

 - 2  projects for Aurelia’s 8th birthday – these are sewing

 - 2  projects for my buddy Marti -heeheehee – maybe some sewing here.

 - a project for my Mil’s birthday in Feb.

 - 2 design ideas that I’m working on in swatches and trying to hammer out basic measurements so I can cast on.

So, 12 maybes in the next 30 days plus the 8 already in the works. I promise to keep you up to date though I have to say with all the running around I have to do right now (the Beetle is our only car, the wagon experienced total systems failure 2 weeks ago) I’ll be happy with 10 finished projects at months end.

Toots