Monday, August 1, 2011

Seeking 44 sales in my etsy shop

I want to reach 200 sales in my etsy shop this month. I just got one sale this morning, 44 to go to reach 200!

I'm having a "buy anything from my etsy shop, get 2 free knitting patterns free" (pdf delivery, excluding the shop keepers Knit Stitch Graph Paper bundle).

My Knit Stitch Graph Paper product is something my husband & I worked on together. I wanted graph paper that looked like a knit stitch. I scanned a stockingette stitch scarf and gave him a print of the image. He created the final product. Here the logo:

Here's some pictures of my 6 section hats:

Game Winning Home Run:

 Hyacinth Bucket Hat:

 Elementary Deerstalker hat, one in safety orange and camo, the other in brown, the last in green:

Monday, July 18, 2011

What is Skein Snake?

Several years ago, I invented Skein Snake:


It's a zippered skein jacket that you place around a skein of yarn. Why would you want to do that, you ask. Well, at the time, I was working with a lot of linen and hemp. I kept hearing that these fibers soften with washing. I wanted them soft while I was working with them. I have heard of the usual method of washing a skein, a million safety pin in a pillowcase, which did not appeal to me. The lightbulb of inspiration clicked on and I sewed up a prototype, zipped it around a skein of linen, tossed it in the washer, then the dryer and PRESTO - soft linen yarn. AND pre-shrunk!

I thought this would take the Knitting & Crocheting world by storm. Thus far, it has been more of a couple of sprinkles. I plan to put the pattern on Ravelry in the coming weeks and see if there is more interest in folks trying to make it themselves. Here is a slideshow of how it works:
Skein Snake 01
Skein Snake 02
Skein Snake 03
Skein Snake 04
Skein Snake 05
Skein Snake 06
Skein Snake 07
Skein Snake 08
 Skein Snake 09

Patterns to make Skein Snake yourself as well as finished, ready to use Skein Snakes for sale at

The colors I made the Skein Snakes with came about because of a favorite song from my childhood:

Where have you been all day, Henry my son
Where have you been all day, my beloved one
Woods, dear mother, woods, dear mother
Oh mother come quick 'cos I feel very sick
And I want to lay down and die, die, die, die
Die, die, die, die

What did you do there, Henry my son
What did you do there, my beloved one
Eat, dear mother, eat, dear mother

What did you eat there, Henry my son
What did you eat there, my beloved one
Eels, dear mother, eels, dear mother

What colour were they, Henry my son
What colour were they, my beloved one
Green and yellow, green and yellow

Those eels were snakes, Henry my son
Those eels were snakes, my beloved one
Yuck, dear mother, Yuck, dear mother

What colour flowers d'you want, Henry my son
What colour flowers d'you want, my beloved one
Green and yellow, Green and yellow

Oh mother come quick 'cos I feel very sick
And I want to lay down and die

The Skein Snake logo was designed by DH, based on an oroboros and snakes that were in "Ouran High Host Club", a japanese anime.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pivoting I cord stitches

I am very fond of the finished look of garter stitch edged with I cord. I think it is the influence of my Home Ec teacher, Mrs. Ashlock. She graded on the outside & inside of the finished garment. I learned to love finished edges in sewing and carried that over to my knitting.

Many of my garter stitch patterns have a method that I call "pivoting". This is necessary for the I cord edge to flow along all edges of the finished item. Simply put, you are reversing the order of the first and second stitch. The first stitch will become the second and the second will become the first. Pivoting is the method I have found easiest to accomplish this. Here is a photo tutorial:

In this photo, the I cord stitches are slipped purl wise to the right double pointed needle. You can also use a cable needle.
2 I cord st on needle

In this  photo, the 2 I cord stitches on the right DPN or cable needle are halfway through the pivoting. Pivoting is done clockwise.
 2 I cord st being pivoted around, at halfway point

Here the stitches are pivoted around, the order is reversed. In most cases, you will put the yarn back, slip the 2 stitches back to the Left needle and continue as instructed
2 I cord st pivoted around, stitches are now in reverse order

One of my free patterns, Giving Heart , is a free download that uses this technique, if you want to practice it. I would love to see more projects of this pattern on Ravelry!

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Butterfly Silk

Butterfly silk butterfly with bead head 2

This is the larger of the two butterflies in my pattern "Butterfly Motif". It is knit of 2 ply Bulky Silk yarn from White Rabbit Fibers ( , custom dyed by Fun House Fibers (

For fun, I added a bead. I am new to beading and found that if one does not have adequate lighting and magnification, one should not try to work with thin black thread.

The pattern is available at for $1. I also have a kit with the pattern, yarn for one butterfly of both sizes and some beads for embellishments at

Almost finished with "Stone River Shawl". Pictures soon.Lots of blocking in my future!

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

See the dog and butterflies

I've been working on my July "Art Nouveau" Phat Fiber Sampler Box pattern, having finally settled on a butterfly theme. The song from Heart "Dog and Butterfly" kept running through my head. I liked this version on youtube:

Here is DD's dog, ears in flight, seeming ready to take off:

Chewfa with ears in flight

And finally, some knitting:

Butterfly of purple tonal sheeps egyptian cotton better

DH made the suggestion that transformed this pattern from moth-like to a lacey butterfly. He is so smart.

The Dorable KAL is entering week 3. Giveaways continue.

Dorable hanging on hanger to show shape

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Durable Pattern is ready

Durable is a garter stitch variation on Dorable, replacing the mesh, lacey center with garter stitch. The eyelet and garter stitch borders are the same for both patterns.

Durable Diamond back with two points folded lengthwise
Hex, triangle and diamond durable
Triangle Durable tied in front

Triangle Durable wrapped around neck
Hex green durable wrapped in front, ends over shoulders

Durable is available on Ravelry for $3:

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A short pause in knitting for some cooking content

Gochujang peanuts
Surprise - This is not baked beans!

I love to cook and come up with my own recipes. DH loves boiled in the shell peanuts. I had not encountered this delicacy until we went on a trip to Florida soon after our wedding. There were boiled peanuts stands everywhere once we reached Louisiana. I did not care for them and he got to enjoy them all.

Because his enjoyment of meals drives me to create new and different things as well as old favorites, I was always on the lookout for a way to make boiled peanuts a dish the entire family could enjoy.

Watching Korean dramas had opened a door to a cuisine I had only experienced through kimchi previously. I started buying gochujang (fermented red pepper paste) by the 3 kilo tub (that's over 6 pounds!) and using it whenever I wanted some spice on anything - eggs, pizza, cheese sandwiches.

Mulling over the boiled peanut question, one day I decided to try to boil shelled peanuts (the kind you might use for peanut brittle) with gochujang. About 1/2 cups or so to 1/2 pound of peanuts with enough water to cover the peanuts, brown sugar is optional, if you want it, add about 1/4 cup. The salt content of the gochujang kept the peanuts from becoming too mushy, I cooked until the peanuts were done and the sauce was reduced to a nice thick sauce, not quite a paste.

This is now DH's favorite banchan (side dish). I like it in bibimpap as well as alone. I've even reduced it down, adding double the sugar and made a spicy peanut cluster candy. Dipped in dark chocolate, it is yummy!

If you're looking for authentic Korean recipes, check out Her videos and cookbooks are great!

Back to our regularly scheduled knitting. Check out my group on Ravelry and join the Dorable KAL - you could win the giveaway on June 8:

Dorable KAL

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Join the Dorable KAL!

I've created a Ravelry group for a Dorable KAL:

Buy the pattern (or wait to see if it's in your June Phat Fiber Sampler Box). There will be giveaways! Join in the fun. If you aren't on Ravelry yet, it's free, so sign up today!

Dorable with heart label wrapped as shawl knot in front showing right shoulder

Also working on a garter st center version of the Dorable that I call the "Durable". The pattern will have 3 shapes - elongated hexagon,  triangle and diamond. Here is the Durable Diamond in progress:

Durable Triangle of Interlacements Oregon Worsted Stripe, first half

Many thanks to the fiber partner, Interlacements for this terrific yarn. Check out the website:

Here are some previews of the Durable Diamond (knit of an ebay purchased wool on cones "Lemieux", made in Canada):

Durable Diamond showing edging detail

Durable Diamond wrapped wo pin

Durable Diamond pinned in front folded lengthwise as vest front

Durable Diamond one shoulder secured with pin

Durable Diamond back with two points folded lengthwise

Durable Diamond as long pointed cowl

Pattern for the 3 versions of Durable coming soon!

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Project bag, Pink Prototype, Phat Fiber June Pattern finished. Phew!

Pink prototype and new project bag johnny cupcakes back of project bag

I bought the Johnny Cupcake bag, it's now my new knitting bag. Featured with it is a Pink Prototype on ChiaoGoo Stainless Steel Size 10 32" circulars and my stitch markers
I will give away the secret to making these stitch markers - a barrel cord lock from

and a loop of gift elastic from

The Pink Prototype is my knitting doodling for the Phat Fiber Sampler Box pattern for November. I was trying to make something different, but serendipity moves in mysterious ways and I realized that this was my November pattern.

My June Phat Fiber Sampler Box pattern is ready. Many, many thanks to my fiber partner Funhouse Fibers, :

Dorable with heart label wrapped as shawl knot in front showing right shoulder

Dorable with heart label close up of edge and mesh

Dorable with heart label close up of wrapped around neck

Dorable of Funhouse fiber yarn center mesh and edge eyelet close up detail

Dorable of Funhouse Fiber detail of point and mesh

Three yarns- Funhouse Fibers "Slither Silk" Hand painted yarn fingering weight, 437 yards, 50/50 Superwash Merino/Silk, Cascade Yarns handpaints, and 50/50 Superwash Merino/Tencel 420 yards from WC Mercantile, dyed by me. Each shawl uses one skein of fingering weight yarn, approx 420 - 430 yards:

Dorable 3 versions Funhouse fiber WC Merc Merino and tencel and Cascade handpaints

Plymouth Yarn Mushishi 95% Wool 5% Silk, purchased from WC Mercantile. This version is larger, knit on Size 10 needles, I used every inch of the skein. It's a generous 250 grams and 491 yards. It makes a lovely prayer shawl. The tassels help to keep the shawl on the crook of the elbow.
Dorable Prayer shawl of Plymouth yarn Mushishi from WC Mercantile front

Dorable Prayer shawl of Plymouth yarn Mushishi from WC Mercantile side

The theme for the June Phat Fiber Sampler Box is "Science Fiction". My inspiration for the shawl was Robert A. Heinlein's novel Time Enough for Love.

The pattern is for sale on Ravelry -
for $1. The pattern includes instructions for 2 sizes. The smaller uses one skein of Funhouse Fibers yarn (or equivalent), the larger uses one skein of Plymouth Yarn Mushishi (or equivalent).

Take care and keep your yarn dry.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Online fraud, lightening strike, meeting a Rav buddy IRL and prom

The week ended on a great note:

Natalie and date standing

Natalie and date seated

DD's prom dress finished just as we needed to leave to meet her date for dinner. Date's mother and I said in unison "They look so cute together". They were adorable.

Waiting to drive them to prom, we stopped into a cheap food place for a bite. We saw a woman with this logo on her t shirt:

This is a Johnny Cupcake logo. I thought it was an Eddie Izzard reference - Cake or death. Turns out the lady was the caterer for desserts for the prom. She described the spread of desserts she prepared. I texted DD to not eat dessert at the restaurant.

The prom dress almost wasn't finished in time. We had a big lightening strike on Wednesday that took out computers, modem, network cards, phone lines, our hot water air pot, several electrical outlets and made the TV look really weird. Many $$$ later, we are back to almost normal. The printer still doesn't work right and the network sometimes goes all wonky.

On Monday last, I found a lovely person had stolen my credit card to get him or herself some computer equipment from I informed them, the bank and the police. A fun couple of days working through that.

I'm almost finished with my June Phat Fiber Sample Box pattern. The theme is Science Fiction and I took my inspiration from Robert A. Heinlein's "Time Enough for Love". Here is an early prototype of the pattern:

Dorable prototype stitch detail

I'm working with Miki of Funhouse Fibers on the June pattern. She created some beautiful colorways just for the design.

I met up with Leilani, a fellow Phat Fiber Sampler Box contributor and Ravelry buddy, on Thursday. Geekery ensued as she, myself, DH and Katie of WC Mercantile compared movie quotes and talked about our favorite SF TV shows, movies, books, actors, etc. Leilani volunteered her little dog, Snip for this costume:

Doggie Crane Costume  three quarters facing right

Yes, it is a doggie Crane Costume. Everyone had a great time with the Crane of Holding, pictures soon. Some yarn from WC Mercantile had to come home with me. That happens a lot.

Take care and keep your yarn dry.