Friday, July 29, 2005

Memory wire. Use old cruddy wire cutters on this, or special memory wire cutters. This stuff is hard, and will wreck good wire cutters. Use old pliers to bend it too. You can also get memory wire caps that can be glued onto the ends. I never use them, but some people prefer that look. Posted by Picasa

Charlotte progress.  Posted by Picasa

"Whistle while we work..."

Thank you for all the kind compliments and support on my belt design. Some people have suggested I submit it to Knitty. However, since I published the photo on my blog, I can't submit it to Knitty, or any of the other online knitting zines. I will write up the pattern and offer it up on this blog, and my other free pattern blog. More details on that later. The comments on the belt have gotten me motivated to get together a couple of other designs I've been working on. Perhaps one of them will be submitted. Got to get crackin' on that. Has anyone looked at the new Vogue Knitting magazine? In their section on new and fun notions, books, etc. there's a piece on a woman who makes stitch markers and offers up a neck wire (necklace) wear you can string your stitch markers and wear them. Now, I'm not sure how much she's charging for this ensemble, but I figured out a way to do the same thing for cheap. If you go to your local craft or bead store you can get memory wire in necklace size. Cut yourself off a piece, bend the wire ends up onto themselves in a loop, and voila, necklace to put your bead stitch markers on. I also found a set of ear wires that I could put some stitch markers on to make earrings. Love it! In knitting news. My Charlotte is getting longer and longer. I'm into the fourth color right now. I love working on it, but the rows are getting quite long. I'm also up to the stockinette body of the Cold Shoulder. It's not that interesting to talk about, as it is all stockinette in the round. I have been so bored with the stockinette, I started a little mini-project for my daughter. I converted the Lelah pattern to the 12 month size. It's going very fast. I'm going to add straps to it. She should look very cute in it!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A girl's gotta accessorize

I've been busy recently finishing up a couple of small projects. First up is the belt design I've been working on. I continue on my quest to incorporate beadwork and knitting and came up with this belt idea. I used way less than one skein of Noro Kureyon, which is awesome since I have a little bag idea too. I also used some memory wire and beads that I think compliment the color and texture of the Kureyon. Some seed stitch, increases, decreases, icord, and sewing and voila... a fun, funky belt. The cool thing about the belt, is that you can take the memory cord links out of the belt design and have bracelets, like the one I'm wearing with it. I've also finished my afghan square for the Afghan Project in the Memory of John Glick organized by Annie. I used up some leftover Cascade 220 superwash in Sage Green and made up the eyelet pattern as I went along. I like how it turned out. I was able to whip up the square in an evening, which is giving me ideas to make a sampler afghan with all of my leftover yarn. I got a lot of comments about the roving I scored at the TKGA this past weekend. I've been petting it all weekend. To tell the truth, I'm a little scared to start spinning using my spindle. I got a tutorial by the people at Grafton Fibers this weekend, and I've read a lot. I know I should just dive in and give it a whirl (literally), but I've been a chicken. The roving has given me a renewed kick in the pants to get started though.

The new belt design. I have not named her yet... Any ideas? Posted by Picasa

Here's the new belt being worn. I made a bracelet to match. Heehee! Actually, you could take all the links apart and use them as bracelets. Multifunctional accessory. Posted by Picasa

My square for the Afghan project organized by Annie over at Knitty Gritty. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Yarn porn alert! I'm really excited about the cone. There's about 2000 yards on that sucker. I see a shawl in its future. Posted by Picasa

Lookee!!! Roving!! I love it! The middle one is from Grafton Fibers, and the two on the sides are from Carolina Homespun. Posted by Picasa

Michelle's handmade soap and yarn for guessing the project she is currently working on. Some handspun from Elisabeth for a 90s CD! Yummy! Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 22, 2005

Idiosyncrasies, I've got a few

Ok, yesterday was the big monster meme, here's one that airs more of a person's, how shall I say this, quirky side. This was sent to me by Amylovie. id·i·o·syn·cra·sy Pronunciation Key n. pl. id·i·o·syn·cra·sies A structural or behavioral characteristic peculiar to an individual or group. Write down five of your own personal idiosyncracies. Then, if you wish, tag five people from your live gerbil or friendslist to do the same. Ok so here goes... 1) I feel naked unless I'm wearing at least one bracelet. After I had my son I put on the solid jade bangle that my grandparents gave me on my wedding day, and it's pretty much taken care of the weirdness. See, I now can't get the thing off without breaking it or my arm. 2) I eat my burritoes using a fork. Now, I don't cut it and eat it with the fork, I dig into the guts of it and eat the inside, leaving the tortilla an empty shell of flouriness. I should just ask for my burritoes without the tortilla, naked so to speak. 3) Whenever I stub my toe, or drop something on the ground, you will hear me yell or say, "Aiyah!!" It's from my grandmother, and if you read Amy Tan, apparently is an Asian thing. 4) I read the end of the book way before I get to the end. I just can't stand the suspense, and must know right away! Surprisingly, this does not ruin a book for me. 5) I rely on my husband for fashion sense. Before meeting him, I would wear a baggy T-shirt and jeans that didn't fit. After meeting him, I actually began to branch out to cuter clothes. I still rely on him to tell if an outfit looks nice, or to give advice on jewelry pieces I design that I run into trouble with. I think I'll tag, Karen , Renada, Jess, and Elisabeth I also just got back from the Fiberarts Market down at the Oakland Convention center. It was a lot smaller than Stitches West, but my mother and I enjoyed ourselves. I bought lots of roving to spin with, a pattern, and a cone of fingering weight cotton blend yarn. Afterwards, mom and I headed to Lafayette for lunch and to hit the two LYS's that are right across the street from one another. There I got the Rowan mag with the Birch pattern in it, three balls of Crystal Palace Kid Merino, a skein of Cascade 220 and a skein of Kureyon for Black Sheep Bags Madeline Bag. I also received a couple of skeins of handspun from Elisabeth for a CD of 90's music I made for her, and a skein of grey yarn and some handmade soap from Michelle. I'm almost dizzy from the yarny/wooly goodness! Only one was kind of a bummer from the day. While walking to our car at the Oakland Convention Center, my mother and I got approached by a guy that we think was just trying to make off with our wallets. Ever had one of those situations when a person/situation just doesn't feel right? Well, it was one of those. Luckily a security guard came up and the guy ran off, but it was a bit uncomfortable.

I've been double tagged!

Ever played dodgeball and been hit with two balls at the same time? After this would happen to me, I'd stand there a bit dazed, wondering what the heck just happened. I've felt the same way today, but I've recovered and I'm ready to play! Ok so Meme #1 sent to me by Jess. It's a walk down memory lane. What was I doing... 10 years ago? I was just about to begin my senior year at Saint Mary's College of CA. I was living on campus in the upperclassmen townhouses. It was supposed to be an awesome year living with my friends, but it turned into drama central. The good thing that came out of the year was meeting my husband. He was my neighbor. We shared a balcony. We first really noticed each other at the first "dance/party" of the year called Jamaica me Crazy. I was dancing on a table... Everyone was dancing... The rest is history. 5 years ago? I was preparing to change schools. I had been working at a private high school in Oakland but had just moved to the Walnut Creek/Concord area and got a job at a local private high school 15 minutes from my house. We also were putting in air conditioning in our house. Lost a whole batch of wine that year to the heat. We also got our third cat, Hazel. As a kitten she used to nurse on herself and would wrap herself around my head at night. That was also the year that our back fence blew down, and we did lots of other home improvement stuff. Ah the joys of home ownership. 1 year ago? I was hugely pregnant with DD and was set to deliver in a couple of weeks. Being pregnant through the heat of the summer... yeah not cool. I also quit my teaching gig to stay home with the kidlets. I remember being a bit freaked out by the loss of income and structure to my day. yesterday? I was shuttling DS back and forth to his speech preschool. We also tried to walk to our subdivision's park but had to come back home as they are renovating it. I also sold another stitch marker set off of Etsy, and made a few more designs. I did a bit of knitting on my belt design, and watched the reality show "Hooking Up." Interesting show! We also learned that a long-time friend of my husband is getting married. today? I've been doing stuff for DS's regular preschool. I'm on the board. I've also been playing Star Wars with the boy, and dancing with little girl. We've got errands to run today, chief of which is getting money out for the fiber show tomorrow! tomorrow? FIBER SHOW!!!!!! 5 snacks I enjoy: Little Debbie Marshmellow pies, cheddar cheese chips, pretzels, salami, cherries 5 bands and singers for which I know most of their stuff: BonJovi (blush), Depeche Mode, Sting (double blush), Alice in Chains, Metallica. I like lots of stuff, but these come to mind What would I do with 100,000,000? Pay off my house, buy hubby and myself awesome cars, pay off our parents' debts, invest, set up trusts for my kidlets, travel, donate to charities, maybe set up one of my own 5 locations I'd run away to: Ireland, Australia, Carribean Islands, I can't think of another one... 5 bad habits: I have to pick at scabs (gross but have to do it), drink soda everyday, check my email obsessively, throw things on my desk and forget about them, I don't always shut my drawers all the way. Drives my husband crazy... 5 things I like doing: knit, bead, read, watch movies, play with the kidlets 5 things I would never wear: thong underwear (who needs that kind of irritation?), 4 inch heels, knee high boots (I'm a bit bowlegged and that just makes it worse), blush, thongs with heels (what's up with those?) 5 TV shows I like: Anything CSI, Anything Law and Order, Project Runway, Project Greenlight, Deadwood (and Carnivale) 5 Movies I like: I could go on and on here but if forced to choose... Vertigo, Rear Window, The Matrix, Jaws, Braveheart 5 famous people I'd like to meet: St. Thomas Aquinas, Johnny Depp, Katherine Hepburn, Elvis, Shakespeare 5 biggest joys at the moment: My kids, my husband, watching sunsets on my deck, singing songs with my kids, eating ice cream out of the carton 5 favorite toys: swift, ball winder, my new thread zapper(burns and cuts beading thread close to the work), computer, spindles Now I've got to tag three people... Hmmm, I think I'll tag Amylovie, Kate, and Christie! As for the second tag, I'll post the answers to that one tomorrow!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

"Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..."

Things are finally starting to cool down here in No. Cal. which is magnifique! Knitting has been a strictly night-time activity lately since sweaty knitting needles, and sticky yarn don't do it for me. What have I been doing during kidlet naptime instead? Beading of course! My beading roots are in off-loom beadweaving, so I've been trying to incorporate small bits of it in my stitch marker making. The results are the pics in this post. I think I like the ones that use the swarovski glass pearls. The pink ones are supposed to look like spirals, and they do up close. As a bracelet that stitch is very pretty, but I'm not thinking it works in small segments. I've also been trying to design more accessories that combine beading and knitting. Right now I'm working on a belt design. Of course I'm knitting it in Noro Kureyon, so it's hot, sticky, and been tabled until maybe today if it stays cool. I also went to the local hardware store yesterday and picked up some twine and brass washers for another design I'm thinking about. This Saturday my mother and I are going to a Fiberarts Market Show in Oakland. I've saved some of my birthday money and hope to come away with some laceweight, sock, and feltable yarns. Very exciting. We went to Stitches West this year and had a blast. I think this show is smaller, but Grafton Fibers, Habu Textiles, White Lies Designs, and Carolina Homespun will all be there. I'm definitely checking them out. I'd love to pick up some fiber to play with on my spindle as well.

English tea. Yummy! Posted by Picasa

Another design. I think I need to tweak this one. Posted by Picasa

A new stitch marker design Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What do you mean there are no pictures?

For some reason bloggerbot is offline, so I can't get pics up. It's unfortunate as I had a great pic of one of the place settings at the tea house where I threw my SIL's bridal shower. Ah well, another time perhaps. MIL has gone home, and I'm still recovering. Visits from my in-laws stress me out. This visit was even more stressful as I had the bridal shower to put on. Luckily, everything went well. It didn't look good for a while there though. My central A/C decided to die the afternoon before the arrival. Luckily it was an easy fix, and I didn't have a hot house and a houseguest. I shudder just thinking about it. I got to meet a fellow knitter and blogger this weekend. Carrie, who is also in Knit the Classics, happens to live a couple of miles from me. We met up at a local Starbucks for some conversation, and she wanted to see and buy some of my stitch markers. Thanks Carrie! I enjoyed meeting you! In knitting news, I've started Cold Shoulder and am loving it. The Jo Sharp Soho Summer is wonderful to work with. It has a nice sheen, and I can tell it's going to have a nice drape. The color is a bit more orangey red, which I wasn't expecting, but I like it. Charlotte is also going well. I'm in the fourth color transition and the rows are getting long. I used to be able to complete 10-15 rows a sitting and am now lucky to get one or two rows completed. I also agreed to knit a square for The Afghan Project in the name of John Glick that is being organized by Annie of Knitty Gritty. I've got some leftover Cascade 220 to use and am still settling on a pattern. If anyone knows of a nice afghan square pattern that is 8"x8" let me know!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Can't write much right now...

My Mother-in-law is still here on her visit, so just a quick check-in. I finished my son's sweater. You can see a pic below. I think it came out pretty well! It'll be perfect for this winter. I also wanted to post some pics of some lovely yarn I got from a swap I did with Wyldeyez off the knittyboard. I'm getting into the color green lately. My kids birthstones are both shades of green, so I'm beginning to likey! I also got a wonderful package from my Secret Pal. She sent me the cutest Kate Gilbert pattern for a little girl sweater, and lovely lavender wool yarn to knit it with. Thanks Secret Pal! You're the best! I just posted some of my stitch markers on a new site that features handcrafted items. You can find it at Etsy. I have my own store through them called Lovely Lilly Designs. It's exciting! I'm still going to canvas the LYS's though. My sis-in-laws bridal shower went really well. I'll post more on that later. I'm casting on for Cold Shoulder tonight, so more pics of that and Charlotte to come!

Look at all the fruits of my swappiness! Posted by Picasa

Thanks Secret Pal!! DD will look stylish! Posted by Picasa

Stop taking pictures, MOM!!! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 14, 2005

And the winner is...

Amanda L! I went to take my eldest to summer school and came back to find lots of responses, most correct. Amanda was the first person to email me with the correct answers! The answers are 1)Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, 2)Troy, 3)Jaws, 4)Dumb and Dumber. You guys are some serious moviephiles! I'll have to make it harder next time. :)

What project is "Cotton-Ease" worthy and a Contest

Remember that Seinfeld episode with Elaine and the Sponges? Yes, I am beginning to feel that way about Cotton-Ease. What projects are "Cotton-ease worthy." I've been slowly picking up cotton-ease at Jo-ann and Tuesday Morning. A few balls here, and few balls, there and now I've got a nice small stash of it. I have no idea what I'm going to do with this yarn yet. Lot's of ideas have been whirling about my brain, but I've been hesitant to start with any of them. Glampyre's minisweater? Lelah? I just don't know. I also just got in six balls of Austermann's Mayfair yarn to make the Annie corset top. I've got Renada to thank for that. After reading her post about joining the KAL I went to the Modeknit site and found myself hitting the "BUY BUY BUY" button. Don't worry Amy. I'm planning on casting on Cold Shoulder this weekend. My ebay experiment has been a partial failure. I sold one set of stitch markers. My next step is to try out the local LYS to see if there is any interest. I've decided to offer up two sets of stitch markers here as a contest prize. The winner will choose two of the three stitch marker sets represented in the pic. All stitch markers will fit up to a size 13 needle. So here's the contest: the first person who can name all the movies that these quotes came from will win. If no one gets them all, I will award the stitch markers to the person who got the most right by Thursday, July 21st. Email me at tabbytuxedo AT yahoo DOT com or reply to this post. The quotes: 1) "Well, ain't this place a geographical oddity. Two weeks from everywhere!" 2) "I have endured what no one on earth has endured. I have kissed the hands of the man who killed my son." 3) "Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, er... an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution." 4) "Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?" Have fun! I'm off to get the house ready for my Mother-in-law. I'm throwing my SIL a bridal shower this weekend. I'm giving her the bridal jewelry and Chickami I made her. Hope she likes her stuff and the party!

Winner of the contest will get their pick of two of these three stitch marker sets. Only one of each set is shown here. Five markers to a set. Posted by Picasa

My cotton ease hoarding. It's a sickness. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 11, 2005

"Houston, we have a problem."

I've been without internet service for two days, and I'm almost comatose with joy to be back online. Not having the internet has been like leaving the house without my purse. Something's just not right. Something is very wrong. The experience reminded me a little of the time I left all my lecture notes, corrected work, lesson plans, and lunch at home. All I brought to work with me was my purse and car keys. I didn't even have my classroom keys. There are three things to be feared if one teaches high school: 1) having an unzipped fly or toilet paper hanging out of your skirt (fly has happened to me), 2) having a horribly bad hair day and bad breath (suffered that as well), 3) being unprepared in front of 30 sixteen year olds. It was horrible. This weekend has been a little like that. I got service back a couple of hours ago and have been wading through a ginormous amount of email, and blog reading. It seems like everyone posted over the weekend. Now that I'm feeling somewhat caught up. I'm feeling a little more like myself. I even celebrated by eating a Little Debbie Marshmellow sandwich that I keep hidden in my pantry. Sad, I know. I thought I'd give you some WIP shots. After I wrap up the boy sweater I think I'm going to start Cold Shoulder. The yarn is calling me. I can hear it in my closet saying, "Take me out and knit me!"

Just for giggles. I love this pic. Posted by Picasa

My Charlotte's Web... How I love her! Posted by Picasa

Progress on my son's pullover. I'm much farther along now. I've almost onto the second sleeve, but you get the idea. Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 08, 2005

Knittin' and Beadin'

The wirework class I took a couple of weeks ago has really livened up my excitement about jewelry making. I've been making bracelets with wirework elements and really loving every minute of it! I've also made several sets of stitch markers that I'm going to try to sell on ebay. If anyone's interested or knows of someone who may be intersted my ebay name is lovelylillydesigns. The picture below is a pretty good representation of the work I do, for those in the stitch marker swap. I'm loving Charlotte's Web as well. I'm into the third color and am just amazed with the beauty of Koigu. I keep knitting just to see the color changes. The body of my son's sweater is almost done, which means I've got the collar and sleeve island next. I want to finish up his sweater before starting any one of the multitude of projects I've got in the pipeline. For all you mothers/fathers out there, I've got to say having a 11 month old whose been walking for a month hasn't been easy. She's a walking baby, not really a toddler. I can't say how many books I've had to put back in shelves, and how many bruises she's gotten on her forehead. The worst is when the three year old goes in one direction, and the baby in the other. I'm getting gray hair here people... I also want to say that my thoughts and prayers are with those suffering and affected by the bombings in London. I am saddened by all the hate and anger that exists in the world. I don't know how to solve any world issues. I've only got control over my own actions and how I raise my own children. Hatred is not apart of my way, and I can only hope others live similarly.

I've been going wire crazy lately. Posted by Picasa

Some examples of stitch markers I've been making. These sets are going up on ebay. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Bead Stitch Marker Frenzy!

I've been making a couple of sets of bead stitch markers a day to get ready to post some on ebay. It's been a lot of fun, and I've been experimenting with adding wirework in with the bead work. I'm also trying to work out a row counter pin that can be used as a piece of jewelry. I haven't been that impressed with the row counter bracelet design. I'm not sure if I will be successful in developing something different. I'm also working on patterns for a belt and a bag. I guess I'm experiencing a rush of creativity. I suppose that is a good thing since I've been getting some disappointments out of life. I got the one page reject letter from the local Community College for my teaching, and I can't seem to find another part-time/online tutor or teaching position to apply to. Maybe as we get closer to fall there will be more opportunities. Meanwhile, I'll bead and knit away. I want to post my answers to the Bead Stitch Marker swap questions and so here they are! I'm so excited! Do you prefer shorter or more dangling type of markers? I like any and all types. If it works, I'll use and love it. Is there any kind of markers that you would absolutely NOT want to recieve? See answer to the above question. Colors you like most? Love anything in the purple family, but actually I'm grown quite fond of greens, oranges, and pinks lately. Colors you like least? I've learned to love all colors. Each one brings a mood, and can be beautiful. Would you prefer markers for smaller or larger sized needles? I need more markers for smaller needles. Lacework needs a lot of markers. Do you want your sender to reveal themselves when they ship or at a later date? and How would you like to find out if at all? I'd like to know who my sender is when she/he ships, why not? I'm not sure I'd like to find out. Surprise me? I've progressed a lot on my Charlotte Shawl and my son's sweater but don't have any pics right now. I want to get a few more rows and another color change in before snapping a pic. Next post I promise!

Monday, July 04, 2005

More wedding jewelry. Posted by Picasa

"She's a Yankee Doodle Dandy..."

Hope everyone (in the U.S. anyway) is enjoying the long weekend. It's been hot here in sunny California, and I'm trying not to get too burned. I'm out a lot with the kids and even though I wear sunscreen, I still manage to tan. What's up with that? We've also spent every night this weekend watching movies. It feels good to try to catch up on my movie loving. We've seen The Machinist, The Jacket, and Kinsey. All were pretty good, although I'd say that I enjoyed The Machinist the most. Christian Bale looks positively anorexic in it, but it made me think. I've been knitting and beading a lot too which is exciting for me. Having hubby home frees up some time for crafty endeavors. I've started up another blog that I will use to post my free patterns and pics of bead items I will be putting up for auction on ebay. It's called "Craftylilly's Harvest" and you can find it here. I'm still working on sprucing it up, but I've posted the pattern for the felted cuff I made recently. I'm calling it, the "McCuff." I've also completed two sets of stitch markers that I'll preview over on that blog, and a turquoise and red tiger's eye necklace I'm selling. Take a look! I also am almost finished with my commissioned wedding jewelry work. I'm one bracelet away from completing the wedding jewelry for my friend who is getting married this New Year's Eve. What do you think?