Thursday, November 29, 2007

Pokey Little Puppies

Look at the cute needle felted dogs my friend Jill found on Etsy. The artist makes each little one of a kind pooch from photos of your pup. Aren't they precious???

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

I Took the Pledge!

Hiya! It's been a busy month, huh? There's always so much to do to prepare for Christmas! This year, I'm shopping the easy way. I took the Handmade Pledge, promising to buy or make handmade gifts for my friends and family. I also requested that only handmade gifts be purchased for me. Yep this year, I've been browsing Etsy from the comfort of my own pajamas. It feels good knowing I'm helping another artisan and purchasing a one of a kind gift!

Sterling Silk & Silver

This yarn has caught my attention. From Kraemer yarns, Sterling Silk & Silver is composed of 63% superwash merino, 20% Silk, 15% nylon and 2% Silver. Yes, Silver. Real silver. It adds just enough sparkle and panache and I love it. These can be knit into socks, shawls or just about anything. It is a relatively tight twisted yarn and is approximately 420 yards on a skein. It is spun in the USA in Nazareth, PA. Currently, only available in 2 colors - White Veil and Tuxedo. Perfect names for this decadent yarn.

My husband who does not get excited about many yarns - only really one other line in the past - saw these bags sitting in my office last night and said *wow*. He especially loved the Tuxedo and wanted to know all about it. Imagine that. I was thrilled to chat with him about it. I believe I caught the sparkle in the photos if you go to The Yarn Grove and click to enlarge the photos.

Currently *not* OTN, is a shawl pattern named Cozy from which I have ripped out (feels better saying that than frog because I was so annoyed I screwed it up so many times). No fault of the pattern - just the knitter. I cannot knit, talk and watch tv at the same time when I am working a pattern. Every single time I came to the next pattern row and had the wrong number of stitches. Poof! It's gone now...

OTN now are simple little gifts. I need to knit up some little projects for certain peeps for holiday giving...

What's on your needles? Still whipping up gifts ?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Black Friday

All week, I was resolved to stay in my warm apartment on the day after Thanksgiving, eating leftovers and watching movies, but at the last minute, Chris and I decided to brave the chaos and experience Black Friday. We left around 8:30 and hit the mall, then ate a quick B-fast at Atlanta Bread Co, then headed to Circuit City, Old Navy, Kohls, Home Depot and Hobby Lobby. We got lots of great deals, finished up our Christmas list, AND got killer parking spots at every store! As you can see from the picture, it was an exhausting day- I guess the pets felt it too!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Craftster Contest

Hey everyone! I hope your turkeys are thawing and your fat pants are ready! This year, Chris and I will attempt to roast our first turkey...well just the breast anyway. Chris wants to be in charge of the bird, so I'm making mashed potatoes, green beans, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Can't wait!

In other news, is hosting a contest called "Super Ugly to Super Awesome." Contestents must purchase an incredibly ugly object from a thrift store, and turn it into something awesome. I'm thinking about unraveling a horrible sweater and recreating it into a cool tree skirt. Or perhaps reconstructing an outdated blazer into a cute cropped jacket. Anyways, its always fun to look at the entries.

Well, my lunch hour is nearing its end, and I must get back to the grind. Have a wonderful and safe holiday everyone!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

For the love of Lace...

Finished my Branching Out scarf. Loved this pattern. It is on the blocking board right now and I would love to hear how some of you block your lace. I have read hints before but I don't like the little nubs along the side of this that are sticking out. Probably where my pins were? Anyway it was a fun lace knit for me. Again, this was knit with Nature's Palette Lupine and the true color of this is so hard to capture but it is gorgeous.

My next project? Well, I'll have to wait for the UPS man to bring it. I have ordered gobs of the new Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver yarn in their only 2 currently available colors. White veil and Tuxedo. This yarn has actual silver in it. Gorgeous stuff. Generous yardage - approx. 450 yards per skein. I think I might be feeling adventurous and start a shawl or wrap...

Another new yarn is coming in the New Year as well. I have had several customers requesting this one and if you don't already know - you too can win free yarn. Yep, free! If you suggest a yarn you would like to see in The Yarn Grove and we begin stocking it, you get a free skein of that yarn! (if there are multiple requests for the same yarn, I will put all names in a bowl and draw a winner). It's that easy.

I survived the football game Sat. night and arrived back home Sun. am around 2:30am. It was fun and I had a great time with Orange Boy. Some losses are harder than others and this was one of those. We lost 20 v. 17 to Boston College and it was a tough one... But there is still a small flicker of hope that we will go to the Peach Bowl here in ATL - but just a small one. The right teams have to win and the right teams have to lose...

Cheryl did marvelous at her first Vintage Marketplace on Sunday. She was even interviewed by and published in the Chattanooga Times! Way to go, Cheryl! She really knows her vintage stuff (for my lack of better wording this early in the am).

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I will probably be silent here for several days because my baby girl is arriving this afternoon! This morning, as my Branching Out finishes blocking, I will be starting my holiday preparation - veggie lasagna - one of her favorites with fresh ricotta cheese from non other than Trader Joe's. Tomorrow is a fun filled day too - she gets her haircut and highlights -. Then a little shopping and just hanging out... Sometime between now and Sunday is our holiday kick-off with the viewing of Christmas Vacation movie with Chevy Chase. Honestly I can say I have seen this more times than I can count and can quote it. It still makes me laugh... Now, my thanks to all of you, my family and friends....

added comment: Last night on the local ATL news, a couple had 2 dogs(yorkies, I think) stolen from them while moving into their new home. Which brings me to my soapbox: Last holiday season, there was a heartwrenching story on the news about a local man and woman here in ATL who had left their 2 dogs in their vehicle while they went in to shop at a local department store. When they returned about 20 minutes later, their car was there but the dogs had been stolen. Police believed that the thief/thieves were after the dogs to sell. These 2 dogs, however, happened to be 8 years old. This couple was devastated. I cried with them. I have not forgotten that story.

I go to the post office daily - sometimes twice a day. I see people leave their little critters in their vehicle to run inside *all* the time. I did approach a lady the other day who had left a cute little white dog hanging out the window. I told her about last year's story. She told me she never even thought of that *and* thanked me for the awareness. Protect your animals. Don't leave them unattended, especially during the holidays when police say theft of animals is even higher, even if you have a name brand dog or not... And give yours an extra hug today...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Hit the Road

Well tomorrow at 5am, I will be on my way to Chattanooga for The Vintage Chattanooga Marketplace! I've got 6 rubbermade tubs of clothes, 1 disassembled mannequin, 85 coat hangers, 2 clothing racks, 1 table, 2 baskets of vintage patterns and a baker's rack crammed into my car. I'll be glad if I can make it in one piece!

My husband, "Orange Boy", and Jane are at the Clemson game. Clemson is winning by 7 in the 2nd quarter, so fingers crossed, the team will stick with it until the end. Jane sent me a picture via camera phone of her bundled outfit- I sure wish I could upload it to this blog!

Well off to bed. Gotta get up at 4am...ick!

Friday, November 16, 2007

A FO and the Michelin Man...

FO: One finished scarf - poof! - done. This was the one I was working on - plain garter stitch with my hand dyed from Koolaid Thirteen Mile Farms worsted weight (marvelous) and the left over Woolly Boully Red Robin: Bird, Nest and Eggs from my Chevron Scarf. I added the pom poms because I had just enough left of the Thirteen Mile yarn and only 7 inches of the Woolly Boully. This shall be a gift.

Michelin Man: That would be me tomorrow night. At the Clemson v. Boston College game. It's a biggie. It will determine whether we go to the ACC championship game in Jax FL or not. I'm going with Orange Boy who, of course, holds season tickets to Death Valley. We will tailgate with some of his buddies and kick-off is 7:45pm. Speaking of Death Valley, his tickets are very scenic - meaning they are waaaaaaayyyyy up there which means I will be wearing layers upon layers of clothes and may not be able to move. Cheryl will not be able to be here because she is in a vintage clothing market show this weekend with all her wares and I know she will do fantastic...

For starters - long underwear, jeans. Long sleeve t-shirt, College sweatshirt, orange quilted coat, orange/purple scarf (borrowed from my darling Cheryl), fleece non matching gloves (the only knitted ones I have are fingerless and that won't get it tomorrow freezing night) and my O~Wool Sideways hat with flashy bauble. Oh yeah, and my new football bag (perhaps you remember my ebay meltdown in which I was bidding on something and secretly hoping I didn't win - well guess what, I won) which will conveniently and easily handle my knitting needles and yarn. I'll hopefully bring back pictures...

Get those needles clickin'. Time is tickin' for those homemade holiday gifts. Have a fabulous weekend...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Lace ... oh boy what have I done...

Yep, I am loving it, my friends. This Branching Out is going to branch me out into more lace, I can see now... For the sake of boring ya'll, I won't take a picture of the growing Branching Out Scarf. I'll be looking for my next project. Any suggestions from more experienced lace knitters?

Yesterday I spent baking in the morning. Christmas cookie baking. Yes, already. These are called Mexican Wedding Cookies - why I have no clue - and is a receipe that has been in my family for longer than I have been alive. They have been known to keep up to a year but in my house in order for that to happen, I would have to hide them. Of course that is exactly what I have done. I made 3 full batches of them - each batch yielding about 4 doz - and they won't even be really good until next week. After they sit a while.

Which brings me to next week. Tuesday to be exact. My baby girl is coming home! Yippee! I cannot wait to see her. She will be winging in here from Key West at approx. 4:16pm which is currently 6 days and 2.5 hours from now. But who is counting... She will be here for a few fun filled frolicking days. We'll have a blast and of course I will be making the best - you better believe it - vegetarian Thanksgiving meal this side of Seattle. My mom will make a turkey for herself and my hub ( I do not eat turkey) but I am still working on the rest of the menu...

And speaking of husbands ... let me share with you... The other night I was in husband's chair knitting and he was upstairs. Figured he was working in *manland* (his almost finished room with 33 remote controls, a big honking tv that I couldn't even begin to turn on, and other man devices). I heard water running. Hmmm, wonder why he is in the shower. Maybe got paint on himself? Keep knitting... Water still running ... Since we are in a severe drought here in GA, we all pay lots of attention to water consumption. I went upstairs only to find the water in his bathroom sink running. I shut it off - he has done this before. I tell him about it and he says, "man, I do that all the time". I said, glad there wasn't anything to stop up the sink!

Next am - he goes to work - I go to take shower and notice that in his shower stall there is one of the bathroom rugs, 2 towels and last night's clothes. Hmmm. Why are they all wet? Well, I find out that he had left the water running in the same sink while he took a shower and *this time* it overflowed. Yep. . I smiled while I called him a funny name...

Monday, November 12, 2007

This could be trouble...

Lace. And this is just the beginning. I am knitting Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence (whose patterns I *love* anyway). I am knitting this on Size US 8 and am using Nature's Palette Fingering Weight, Lupine. It is so hard to get a good photo of this color since it leans towards blue when I photo it but it is gawgeous.

This is a fun pattern for me. Now since it has more than 2 rows, I would not be able to knit it in a crowd ... like at my Noble Knitters group ... and lots of my friends there are knitting lace. Now I get it. One problem I have is that I keep tugging on it to visualize what it will look like when it is blocked. Can't wait. This is one project I haven't been able to put down for long...

How about you? Do you knit lace? What was your first project? Normally when I start something new - it is huge. Not something small like a scarf. I am loving this...

Friday, November 09, 2007

Scarves ... and more scarves

I can't walk and chew gum - thus I cannot talk and knit at the same time. Apparently I've been doing a lot of talking lately because I decided to cast on a plain vanilla garter stitch scarf. However, I am using up Woolly Boully Red Robin: Bird Nest and Eggs (left from my Chevron scarf) along with Thirteen Mile Farm - Worsted Weight yarn which I just happened to spill some Raspberry Blue Kool-aid on (oops - how did that happen). I'm dangerous with Kool-aid. I start looking around for any and all yarn that I can color.

I love this Thirteen Mile Yarn. Made from organic fibers in Montana, "it is the elasticity of well-processed, minimally-altered natural fiber" that I absolutely love. If you want the sheep in your living room with you, this is the yarn for you. Wonderful stuff. A little vegetation in my yarn doesn't bother me at all. Also their roving is super soft and ready to take dye. I think I will leave that to someone who dyes with non-Kool-Aid.

Finished my Chevron Scarf and it is gorgeous. It too was a hit at Marketplace last weekend and several people wanted to buy it. I did manage to convince some of them that they should knit it themselves. I loved this pattern and would knit it again. You can find it in Last-Minuted Knitted Gifts book. I also cast on Branching Out by Susan Pierce Lawrence which I found on her website and then realized it was in sometime ago. I am venturing into lace and I thought this was a good place to start. I love Susan's patterns .

The other scarf pictured is the Candy Scarf which comes in a kit. It is from HandPainted Knitting Yarns and is adorable. This was a sample we got from them for our show last week and I can say, it was a hit! Great gift to give just like it is or knit it up yourself .

Seems as though Orange Boy is coming in next weekend for the Clemson v Boston College game and I'm going with him. Already planning my outfit because his season ticket seats are way up high, it's a night game and it will be cold up there in outer space. I'm going to check into seeing if I can hire a helicopter to just drop me in there by a line... I think that would be a hoot...

Wrap your arms around your gift lists. I've already started. Gonna mail order some stuff this morning too... Lists work well for me... If I don't forget 'em.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lily Purl & Marketplace

Marketplace was great and we met so many new knitters, crocheters and just wannabes. It was also nice to see friends from last year as well. We had a table set up in the middle of our double booth with several samples of different yarns and needles so anyone could test knit, sample or just plain rest their feet!

Congratulations to Joy of Gainesville GA who won our drawing which was a ball of sock yarn, Cat Bordi's book: Socks Soar on 2 Cingulars and 2 - 24" Hiya Hiya bamboo circulars, size 2. These are so new I do not even have them up in the shop yet.

Lily Purl was also a hit. Cheryl had sent Lily Purl a Suzy Perette Vintage Leopard dress (fake fur of course) with a cool patent leather belt and pearls. She was all decked out and invited a lot of people into our booth. After Marketplace however, Lily Purl was delighted to be able to go back to her SockWalker(tm) form...

The holidays are coming fast and furious. I'm currently knitting a plain old garter stitch scarf with a hand dyed skein of Thirteen Mile Yarn (koolaid dyed by me) and leftover Woolly Boully Red Robin: Bird, Nest and Eggs... It will be a gift.

Tonight is Noble Knitters. I've missed them for 2 weeks and can't wait to hear all the loot some of they got from SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Festival). Next year - I'm there!

As for your holiday gifts. Are you in panic mode yet? I'm just curious. Would love to hear from you.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Craft Swap

Here's my finished entry for the Free People Craft Swap. The theme was Fairies and Fairytales, so I made this "Woodland Fairy" make-up tote. I lined the bag with a vintage linen with little owls all over it. My partner just happens to be the gal who writes the Free People blog and coordinates the craft swap- no pressure! I really hope she likes it...and I can't wait to see what she send me!