Google+ Beverly Is Yarn Crazy!: 2011

Friday, December 30, 2011

Puff Stitch Hat

My most recent finished project is a Purely Puffs Hat designed by Sarah Arnold.  This is a super easy, super fast project to do if you need a gift fast as it is worked with 2 strands of yarn held together.  This gives you more color options than just what a single strand of yarn offers.  If you have a yarn that is a bit too loud in color, you can tone it down with a solid mute color or you can make a dull solid color more vibrant by combining it with something more exciting.  I really am pleased with how this turned out and how wonderful it was to crochet, so I know I will be making more!  Happy Creativity to you all.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Favorite LYS

I used to live in Waterville, Maine and they are blessed with the most amazing LYS (Local Yarn Shop), the Yardgoods Center.  I am like a kid in a candy store when I get to go there.  It isn't local for me anymore, unfortunately, but today I was in Waterville for an appointment with a specialist and you know I had to go visit that LYS!  They were having an awesome sale ... look what I scored!

1. 2 skeins of Lambs Pride Bulky in periwinkle colorway
2. 2 skeins of Regia sock in the partie colorway
3. 1 exceptionally squooshy skein of Plymouth Ampata - Baby Alpaca (no colorway listed, but it is a lovely twist of natural beige with natural cream)
4. Finally, a skein of Cascade Yarns Epiphany in an emerald/teal colorway,  my description since no colorway was named.  (60% Royal Alpaca, 20% Cashmere, & 20% Silk= 100% YUMMY)

Thank goodness that I had an appointment forcing me to leave, or I would have bought out the entire shop!  Happy Creativity to you all :)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

River's Edge Fiber Arts has colorways that I love.  My favorites are always greens, blues, and purples, but there is more to choose from than just that.

This Michigan fiber artist is having a shop grand opening special.  Through January 3rd, 2012 use coupon code REFA15 at checkout to receive 15% off your order.  Now you know what to do with all that cash Santa left in your Christmas stocking.

Happy Creativity to you all!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!!!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!  I hope today finds you and your loved ones enjoying your time together.

I'm sorry that I haven't posted for a few weeks.  I'm sure you have been as busy as I have with all the holiday hooplah and preparations.  I have been busy crafting so I will try to get some pics up in the next few days of some of the projects I have completed.  Until then, be safe and may all your days be crafty ones ♥

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

Hectanooga Pattern Shop has hundreds of patterns and they are having a sale!  You can purchase your choice of any 6 of her patterns for only $19.88!  Don't you just love the sweet hat on this baby.  Rush on over and check out what she has to offer.  I bet you find some patterns to love.  I know I did.

Happy creativity to you all!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

New Free Pattern

In case you haven't noticed, I added another page tab to this blog.  It is beneath the header that you will find a HOME tab and a MY FREE PATTERNS tab.

Under the my free patterns tab I have added a new free pattern that I designed.  I have called it Team Colors Reversible Cabled & Ribbed Scarf.  The colors pictured to the right are for Iowa State University.

The pattern has a long name, but it is an easy knit.  If you haven't done reversible cables before, they are wonderful.   The trick is using ribbing in the cable, so there isn't a stockinette side and a garter side.  Just ribbing on both sides.  The pattern uses a bulky yarn so it knits up fast and is super warm.   So check out the new Free Patterns Tab and try a reversible cable.  Please, contact me with pics of your teams colors too!  Happy creativity to you all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tuesdays Temptation

Fabulous fibers, yummy yarns, and sparkly stuff can be found at Julie Spins.  Click your way over to peruse her wares and you will find this glistening hank that I want so much!

I love her colors and she doesn't over do it with the glitz.  To me it looks like a light sprinkling of star dust has been applied to it.

Please take a moment to show her some love.  Also, I hope many of you will leave a comment on this blog to let me know of any other sellers who should be featured in this weekly segment on my blog.  Happy creativity to you all!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

On The Needles and Wheel

Wow, I have been busy!  This week I received two custom orders through  my etsy site, so I am knitting like there is no tomorrow.  The hat below is part of the first order.  The colors are for Iowa State University.  The hat is a basic k2, p2 ribbed hat in Plymouth Yarn Encore Chunky.  I am working on a reversible cabled & ribbed scarf to go with it before I start on the coordinating mittens.
I have been taking 15-30 minutes per day to get back into the habit of spinning everyday.  My beautiful sister and her handy hubby switched my wheel over to double treadle for me and it has made spinning even more of a pleasure.  

The fiber is from Highland Handmades in her Neptune colorway.  The content is 50% SW merino and 50% tencel.  It is spinning like a dream!
This is a picture of the single, spun on my Ashford Traditional.  I think I will be 2 plying it and putting it up on my Etsy shop.

Lastly, I would love some ideas of what to feature in my Tuesday's Temptation.  Do you have a shop or know of a deserving shop that could use a little love and attention focused on it.  If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.  I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

While wandering through Etsy, I saw this and I want to know how to make it.  I am intrigued and inspired.  I hope you will be too.

The artist is Radlana of Warm Hands.  Her designs are simply amazing and imaginative.  I hope you will go investigate her shop.  I know she has me investigating felting techniques.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

On The Needles

I was awoken by sirens this morning.  Once I calmed down and realized that it was from the KoC (Kingdoms of Camelot) game that I play on Facebook, I nearly threw my laptop across the room.  Gaming addiction is a very sad thing.  

Once I lost about 250 thousand heavy cavalry in the game, I settled down to some serious knitting.  I had ground to make up after a big boo-boo yesterday.  Somehow, I knit my thumb gussets upside down...Silly ME!  When I realized it I had already been knitting for over an hour.  

I am thrilled with being able to knit the mittens 2-at-a-time on circular needles.  The pattern that I designed means that either mitt can be left or right, and will be double thickness.  If you are interested in making a pair of mittens you can purchase my pattern or other items through a link on my Facebook page.  I will post a picture of this pair of mittens once I finish them.  I hope that will be tomorrow, but who knows what kingdom I will have to defend tomorrow!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday...Stop The Insanity!!!

Shoppers pepper-sprayed in California!

Shooting outside a California Walmart, 1 wounded.

Reports of gunfire at Cross Creek Mall, in Fayetteville, NC.

These are just a few of the many incidents reported in the national news today.  Who thinks this is fun?  Why is big business permitted to instigate this feeding frenzy?  Do people realize that their children see them acting like this and think it is normal or even desirable behavior?

I know that this blog is typically about my crafts, but I am so upset to think that anyone I care about might think that they should either risk their life, or commit a crime to get me or anyone else the "perfect gift".  NO!  I don't need any item in the world that much. No one should need a big screen tv, laptop, or gaming system that much.  Where are our priorities?  Have we forgotten what this season is really all about?

I must be getting old. I remember Christmas shopping as fun, not dangerous.  It didn't involve adults having tantrums or committing criminal acts.  Holiday shopping was local, and involved thoughtfulness about the people you were going to give gifts to.  It was the thought that counted, not the number of gifts or amount spent.  I knew I was going to get the hand knit mittens from my Grammie every Christmas (no surprise there) and I was taught to be grateful, say thank you for all the hard work and time that she put into making them.  They probably cost less than $2, but they meant something to me.  Why isn't this being taught to our children now?  

I'm sure that someone will tell me that Black Friday's insanity doesn't preclude children being taught appreciation of what they get, but I just can't agree.  The violence is becoming the norm.  Everyone seems to be desensitized to it and thinks "isn't that a shame", even as they make plans to participate in the insanity.  I observe on television that people are out there with their children, putting them in harms way and teaching them this so-called "competitive shopping". 

Let's try something different.  How about we all go to local small stores and casually shop while we really think about who we are buying for?  Lets make some of the gifts with our own hands or better yet, with our families!  If you really need some savings, don't pile the gifts so high.  Who says more gifts equals more love?  

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Snow + Knitting = Tranquility

This was the scene at 9:00 am this morning and the snow has been accumulating ever since.  I love to watch the snow fall while I knit.  It is so peaceful and reminds me of how much comfort and warmth my handmade items bring to others.

Currently I am working on a new design. It is a cabled hat, that I will eventually post for sale in my Etsy shop and on Ravelry.

I would really like to be spinning on my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel while I watch the snowfall, but I "tweaked" my back yesterday, when I reached a little too far for a pair of scissors at my knitting group.  So, my heating pad is keeping me company while I knit.

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S.A.   I am grateful for so many things:  my incredibly supportive family;  my significant other, Ray ♥;  and my greatly improved health.   I hope that all of you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day in your homes with people and fur-friends that you love.  Please leave me a message about what you are grateful for and about your holiday preparations.  Above all, stay safe!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

OMG, omg, omg....I love this shop.  La Tea Da Designs is simply amazing.  I could browse all day there and totally destroy my budget while I was at it.  She offers spinning fibers, spindle kits, yarns and handmade items too.

I am having a difficult time deciding what picture(s) to feature for the shop because everything is so amazing, so I am just going to let you know that you MUST go see for yourselves.  Hurry!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Wreath Making Class

I have had a wonderful morning!  I went to our local Agway store and took a wreath making class.  I met some wonderful, talented and creative people and had a fantastic time learning how to wire the fir, pine and cedar tips to the wreath form.  Now the wreath pictured below hangs outside my apartment :)
Yesterday, a dear friend, Jo, gave me a wonderfully thoughtful gift.  She gave me some of her home made cranberry sauce that she has jarred plus, a new coffee mug.  I will save the cranberry sauce for thanksgiving, but the coffee mug was pressed into service this morning.  It will be my favorite and I will think of her each time I use it. Thank you Jo!!!
I wish I knew where she got it, because I know several people who would love to have this mug!  Happy crafting everyone!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation!

I was perusing the treasures on Etsy and became fascinated with the ceramic yarn bowls.  I personally tend to work from center pull balls of yarn, so, with my current economic standing in mind, I wasn't inclined to invest in the beautiful works of art.  On the rare occasion that I work from a non-center-pull ball of yarn, I have a DIY containment system.  It isn't display worthy, but it is functional.

Then I came across the lovely combo at the right. The yarn bowl is made from yarn!  Perfection :)  Also, the crafts-person has cleverly included needles and a ball of yarn with a surprise in it for the lucky recipient.  What a wonderful gift this would be for either a new knitter or an experienced one.

Also, you will find a myriad of other creative and imaginative gifts that are irresistible.  I have favorited the shop and will be back there frequently, I am sure.  Please take a moment to check out Green Mountain Wee Woolies and show her some love. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cabled Gaiter

Do you hate cold drafts on your neck?  This cabled gaiter is a quick knit in bulky weight yarn with a crocheted edging.  Also, this is a wonderful way to show off some lovely buttons you have collected.

I have this pattern available for purchase on Ravelry or my Etsy shop.  If you are not a knitter, then please contact me to set up a custom creation!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Self Promotion

I guess it is time to do a little self promotion.  If you look at the right side of the blog you will see that I have added a mini Etsy shop to this blog.  It features items that I have made and will soon have some of my original patterns for sale.

You can also go directly to the shop by clicking:  Beverly Is Yarn Crazy

I am open to any advice that other bloggers and Etsy sellers may have to offer.  Please leave helpful comments!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Baby Booties

I love patterns that use up my little bits of leftover yarn.  These crocheted baby booties used very little sock weight yarn and worked up super fast.  The pattern is by Karen Gilson and is called Granny's Love Booties.  There are several ways to combine little bits of different colored yarn to achieve many different looks.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

OMG...Check out to glam on etsy!  I love, love, love the stitch markers.  They are simple and beautiful at the same time.  The prices are too good to pass up. 

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pigtail Hat

In the cold of winter, a hat is a necessity, but it can be a disaster for your pigtails, ponytails, etc.  Well, Rebecca Dovi has a solution, the Piggle.  This stretchy, lacy hat with openings for pigtails is genius.
The pattern calls for a dk weight yarn, but I used Caron's Simply Soft.  So I made the following modifications.  I substituted size 5 dpns and reduced the cast on to only 80 stitches.  I worked 6 rows of ribbing, then worked 5 repeats of lace pattern. Inserted pigtail holes per instructions and worked 2 more lace repeats then began decreases every 10 sts. It is perfect.  Because the lace rib pattern is so stretchy, it will easily fit a wide range of heads.  I need to make at least one more of these, in purple.

If you are new to lace knitting, don't be intimidated.  This pattern is only a 5 stitch - 4 row repeat. It is simple to memorize and execute.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Lacy Fingerless Mitts

I loved knitting up this super simple but lovely pattern:  Lacy Fingerless Mitts designed by Rosemary Falk.  The top photo shows it on my hand, and I have large hands so it is over-stretched.  The 2nd photo is on the hand of a person in  my photography class and it fits her much better.
The yarn used is Premier Yarns Serenity Sock.  It is a 50% wool, 25% bamboo and 25% polamide blend and I love working with it.  I have made several pairs of socks with this yarn and find that it is not only super comfy but very durable.
This bottom (blurry) photo is of my latest shipment of yarn from Joann's.  More of the serenity sock yarn plus several skeins of Caron Simply Soft for some childrens projects.   It may be last shipment for sometime, because I just learned that a yarn shop is coming to Dover-Foxcroft, ME!!!  I am so happy that Sister X Two will be opening a shop on Main St around November 16th.  All you locals mark your calendar and make their grand opening a huge success!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Are You a Thrifty Fiberista?

I hate to say this, but occasionally I find knitting and crocheting to be expensive.  I mean, I can buy some man-made fibers that are adequate and cheap, but I really crave working with natural fibers and that can be prohibitive on a fixed or limited income.  Also, acquiring all the notions that can be so handy to have can be quite an added investment. In the past I have gone to thrift stores and the like to purchase used needles and hooks, or wool sweaters that I unravel for the wool. 

A while ago a wonderfully talented and beautiful friend, Heather Kinne of Highland Handmades and host of The Fiberista Files, told me how she snips straws into little stitch markers!  I love thrifty tips like that.  Do you have any thrifty tips that you would like to share with me and any of those who read this blog so that we can all be a bit more thrifty?

I will share one of mine to get us started.  I like to save the little ends that I trim off after weaving in the ends on my projects and use them as stuffing.  I just save them all up in a resealable bag and when I get ready to use them I stuff them in a section of old pantyhose so they don't poke out through my knitted or crocheted project.  I hope some of you will comment on this blog with your thrifty tips!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

Some of you may already know that I have a sensitivity to metals, so I don't wear much jewelry.  One of the things I do love though, is shawl pins.  They are useful, beautiful and won't irritate my skin.  My personal preference is for simplicity, but I do admire the bejeweled ones too.

This week I saw one that looks perfect in design and in its simplicity too.  I hope you enjoy it and the other ones that are featured at Jenny Buttons.   I am torn between the shawl pin above or the stitch markers on a wearable pin below.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Tuesdays Temptation

Drop spindles are a guilty pleasure of mine.  I love to collect them even if I don't use them nearly as much as my spinning wheel.  They can be such lovely decorations, gathered together as a bouquet in a vase.

This week I found this lovely spindle that drew me into a world of pretty delights.   I want it!  There are many more lovelies for you to check out at Zebisis Designs.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Harlot To The Rescue!

I was cabling along, minding my own business, when to my surprise I discovered a cable that meandered in the wrong direction about five (yes that is 5) rows back.  Ok, I have frogged 5 rows of multiple cables before.  I can handle this.  Take a sip of tea and breathe.

There must be another way to fix this, right?  I can't be the first person to cross a cable in the wrong direction.  This wasn't even the first time I had done it on this project!  Fortunately, I had caught the other misdirected cable crossing after just one row. 

Google is my friend.  Google will guide me to what I need to know.  So, I type in "fix a cable" and after I get a multitude of sites for fixing tv, dvr and computer cables, I realize that perhaps knitting should be mentioned in the search somewhere.  Google: fix knitted cable.  Okay, lots of results: videos-part 1 & 2, more videos, how-to, ...Yarn Harlot!  My knitting hero has help for me! 

I will not try to rewrite what she has so perfectly demonstrated and explained with humor and finesse.  I will just tell you it works like a charm!  I am back to working my project, cabling along, minding my own business.  Take a sip of tea and breathe....

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fingerless Mitts

It is that time of year again.  When the promised arctic temps of the coming winter begin to whisper to us through the autumn leaves.  The arthritis in my fingers begins to ache a bit more persistently.

If you have to spend hours each day at a keyboard (or with a crafty implement in your hands), you may enjoy the comfort provided by fingerless mitts/gloves.  They enable you to be able to type but still warm the rest of your hand in the often drafty offices so many people work in.  Heck, they are just cute!

The cream colored pair is crocheted in a wool/acrylic blend.  The pattern is Mme Defarge's Fingerless Gloves by Kimberley Way.  It is very quick to work up and the lace makes it stretchy so it will fit many different sized hands.

The rose colored pair is knit in Caron's Simply Soft. The pattern is Braided Mitts by Tera Johnson.  This pair is warmer as there isn't any open work.  They knit up quickly and I believe there is enough left in the skein for a cowl to accompany the mitts.

Now I think I will try my hand at designing a pair of these useful and attractive accessories.  What are you working on?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

A Knitted Hug

Who doesn't need a hug?  This pattern is a quick knit with bulky weight yarn, Lion Brand Hometown USA, in the Charlotte Blue colorway.  The pattern is HUG by Sarah Pasternak.

I think it could use some bling so a bracelet and ring are planned before it is gifted.  Don't you want one, or several?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation

Hey all!  Sorry I missed last week, but I have a wonderful book for you this week.  It just arrived in my mail box and I am already enamored with it. I am sure that you will be too.

Cowl Girls: The Neck's Big Thing to Knit contains 41 designs and I want to make 40 of them!  Cowls, gaiters, balaclavas, and more grace the pages of this incredible text.  Also you will find tips on how to convert from B&F knitting (back and forth) to ITR knitting (in the round) in case you have a favorite stitch pattern that you would like to incorporate into a cowl.

I must admit that I am partial to cowls and gaiters.  I much prefer them over scarves.  Scarves dangle in my way, get caught on things or have to be repositioned over and over.  My cowls and gaiters stay right were I put them and provide amazing warmth which is very important during a Maine winter.  Equally important is that they are small to mid size projects that work up quickly, so if you need a last minute gift that will really be appreciated, think COWL.  

With all this going for it, I imagine you have already clicked the Amazon link to get a copy for yourself.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation!

I love all the accoutrements that go along with my chosen crafts.  The multitude of bejeweled or comical stitchmarkers, and the other inventive implements that can assist in the creative process are frequent purchases of mine for my own pleasure and for gifts.

If you too like to collect these little pleasures in your totes, please proceed immediately to the Wine Makers Sister.   There you will find fabulous stitch markers, hand carved stamps for knitters, plus knitting themed mugs and note cards. There are even things that have nothing to do with knitting.  Imagine that! (I ♥ the mitten stamp.)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Super Quick Project

This Bobble Necklace pattern is free from Lion Brand.  It is a very quick crochet project.  I sewed on glass beads as an after thought and I think that if I make it again, I will add them as I work.  I think that the necklace needs a little weight at the bottom.

This is a great beginner project and wonderful for kids.  It doesn't take much yarn so it is a wonderful way to use up those leftovers in your stash.  Make them in several colors!  Have them on hand for the little ones "dress-up"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Rehab Socks

While I was incarcerated in the nursing home for rehab from my hip replacement, knitting occurred.  It was not easy at first because I was heavily medicated, so there was a lot of frogging too.

I love wearing these socks.   Coquette by Melissa Morgan-Oakes was a very easy toe up sock, with a repeat that was easy to remember, even in a Vicodin haze. 
The pattern can be found in her book "2-at-a-Time Socks " which has become one of my go to books for socks.  I highly recommend that you get copy if you don't have one already.  Knitting both socks at the same time was a revelation to me.  No more 2nd sock syndrome!  The binding is spiral, which is THE ONLY BINDING that any craft book should have.  How are we supposed to hold a book open while our hands are busy crafting?  Plus, once you are hooked knitting 2-at-a-time, you can get her sequel to do them toe up.  I did!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday's Temptation!

Yes, the weekly installment of Tuesday's Temptation is back.  Today I would like to direct your attention to Plover Designs

I am enamored with the unique shawl pins that are offered there.  I love to adorn my shawls, scarves and sweaters with bejeweled loveliness and if it is so unique that is starts a conversation, all the better!  Please take a few minutes to click on over to the Etsy shop and check out all their designs.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Julie's Tat Covers

 Recently, I had to spend some time in a nursing home rehabbing from hip replacement surgery. I can't say enough about the amazing, caring staff who got me through my recovery. I was there for 3 weeks after the first surgery and 4 weeks after the 2nd surgery and I was just a bit cranky towards the end.

One of the staff members, has a gorgeous butterfly tattoo on her forearm and the facility policy is that she has to cover it at all times. This just seemed so wrong to me, so I decided to make her some pretty covers for her tattoo.
  1. The upper left corner picture is Pine Forest Wrist Warmers by Maria Thorgren-Hansson.   
  2. The upper right corner picture is  Sparkle Flower Wristlets by Carrie
  3. The lower left corner picture is  Spokes Cuff Bracelet by Mercedes
  4. The lower right 2 pictures are Julie Cuff by Robyn Chachula

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Spiral Bead Crochet

I recently received a wonderful new book in the mail, Tapestry Bead Crochet by Ann Benson.  It is full of incredibly lovely projects and I chose what I perceived to be the most simple to do, spiral bead crochet.

If you look closely at the full picture of the bracelet you can see the difficulty that I had in the beginning, but once I established a rhythm, the project was easy and very fulfilling when completed.  I have also made a necklace to match but I need to get a clasp for it. 

I look forward to wearing this set on many occasions.  I can see how this will not only make beautiful jewelry, but I will be using this technique in the future to make purse handles.  

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm Back!

Hello...hello...hello!  Is there anyone still out there?

In my distant last post, I briefly explained that I was ill so I couldn't post that week.  What I neglected to mention was that I was trying to get well in time to have hip replacement surgery.  The surgery on my left hip was done on March 1st and after 4 days in the hospital I went to a nursing home to rehab.  3 months after the left hip, I had the right hip done and spent another month in a nursing home.  I have just completed all of my out patient physical therapy and it is time to get myself back to what is important.  YARN!  Yes, projects were completed in the interim, but I miss sharing my yarny experiences with all of you.  (you are there aren't you?)

Now, I would like some feedback on a subject, please.  I am considering starting a WordPress blog.  I would appreciate any advice from other bloggers.  Is this advisable?  Should I try to move the content of this blog there or leave it here and just link to it?  Should I just leave this as it is and forget about WordPress?  Is there anything else that I really need to know that I don't know enough to know that I don't know?  Any thing you can constructively or amusingly share with my will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sorry, No Temptation Tuesday this week

Hello Everyone. I'm sorry that I missed out on Temptation Tuesday. I went to the doctor's office instead, because I had been experiencing severe dizzy spells. I was informed that I have Viral Labyrinthitis. I have to wait for it to run its course and I was given some meds to relieve the vertigo in the mean time. I am still dizzy, but I the meds make me sleep so much that I don't notice the symptoms.

I will post again as soon as possible. Typing this is making my head swim. TTYL.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I like to tip-toe through Etsy more than I probably should and while there I come across some interesting items. An added bonus is that I keep PayPal in business. Hey, in this economy we all have to do our part.

Today my Etsy search was for knitting patterns. I didn't have anything more specific than that in mind when I came across For A Song. It was the sweet baby pictures that drew me in, and then I realized that the patterns were just what one of my nieces had discussed with me for photography props for her business. How am I supposed to resist this?
I ordered a cocoon pattern and a pixie hat pattern. A big plus is that she gives permission to sell what you knit!!! If you don't knit, she sells some of the items all knit up for you. Rush on over to For A Song and get what you need for the most adorable baby pics ever!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

You Deserve A Happy Place!

Recently, a dear friend of mine told me she was having trouble getting motivated to work on her crafts because it took so long to set it all up and put it all away afterwards. She loves to do mosaics. I can only imagine that the set up process is much more involved for mosaics than any of my fiber related interests, but in the past I have said that it would be too much trouble to find my needles and the right yarn, only to knit for 15 minutes. So I do understand her quandary.

Around the same time, Sheri at The Loopy Ewe asked her blog readers to tell her about their knitting nooks. I had just rearranged and reorganized mine in an exhaustive effort (with the invaluable assistance of my beautiful sister) and proudly described my Knitting Nest, as I called it.

These two seemingly insignificant events got me to thinking. If our hobbies bring some measure of joy into our lives, don't we deserve a little dedicated happy place for them? I'm talking about a space that makes it convenient and easy to practice the creativity that our souls desire. If you knit and are one of those rare ducks who doesn't require a huge stash, then a comfy chair with a basket next to it may be all you need. The point is, it is there waiting for you to partake of the relaxation and creative outlet that will enrich your life. You deserve this place.

I live in a very small apartment. I have what I call my knitting nest. The center is my motorized lift chair, with a Seraphina Shawl draped over the back so I can pull it over me. The side pocket of the chair contains remotes and a pouch of knitting accessories (scissors, various kinds of stitch markers, a crochet hook, yarn needles, etc). The right side of the chair has 2 side-by-side book cases. One is filled with craft books, binders and magazines. The other bookcase is the nerve center of my world. The bottom shelf holds a multitude of cords and power strips. Next shelf up holds my laptop, camera, cellphone and all chargers. (A coaster is nestled in there for my tea cup.) The top 3 shelves hold yarn for my planned projects. The very top of the bookcase, displays my spindles and my button collection. Clamped to the bookcase is an Ott light. On the side of the bookcase, I have attached hooks to hold an assortment of project bags with WIPs for quick access. Next to that is the spinning wheel. On the left side of my lift chair is a project basket to work out of, my Namaste needle binder and my large, kidney-shaped lap desk leans there at the ready. I have to admit that there is a closet full of yarn and fiber storage too, but let’s not go there.

Please, take the time to set give yourself a space that is designed for the activity that you love. A place that facilitates your creative outlet. You are worth the effort. You Deserve A Happy Place!

Friday, January 21, 2011

In a Jiffy!

For the past several years I have become enamored with fingering and lace weight yarns. I am drawn to them. I spin them. I crave them. I buy them, and buy them, get the point.

Recently I have learned the joy of bulky weight yarns. The speed with which a project can be completed. INSTANT GRATIFICATION! The following clutch and coin purse are done in Lion Brand Jiffy in the Blossom colorway. One skein created both projects in only a few hours. The pattern is the Quick and Classy Cabled Clutch ( link) by Sarah Marie Fuchs. The pattern can be found in the book, One-Skein Wonders: 101 Yarn-Shop Favorites. I love this book for quick gifts.

I placed the decorative button on both the front and back of the clutch over the black 3/4" grosgrain ribbon. The handles are 1/4" wooden dowels. I have not yet lined the purse and I am not sure if I will.
The coin purse I improvised, so I thought I would share the simple pattern for this Easy Peasy Coin Purse. It easily holds coins, cash, debit card and my license.
  •  make a 3 inch chain
  •  sc in 2nd chain from hook and in each ch to the last ch, 3 sc in last ch, sc up other side of chain to beginning ch 2 sc in beg ch, sl st to 1st sc.
  •  ch 1, sc in each st around to beg, sl st in beg sc
  •  repeat previous rnd until piece measures approx 2.5".
  •  working back & forth on one side of piece only, sc from one end to the other, ch 1, turn.
  •  sc2tog, sc to last 2 sts sc2tog, ch1, turn
  •  repeat previous row until only 3 sts remain, ch 5 and attach to other side of point for a button loop.  Sew on button, weave in ends and enjoy!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


OMG, isn't this stunning? I am a big fan of turquoise. I wish I owned more turquoise. I wish I owned this bracelet!

Epona's Jewels has some of the most beautiful creations I have seen on etsy. I have spent hours (yes hours) clicking through the images of her jewelry, stones and beads. I would love to make some stitch markers from the beads below and that is just the tip of the iceberg of all she has to offer.
Click on over to Epona's Jewels and you too will find that your paypal account will become a frequent flyer on her site.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Off The Needles

This hat I made for a hospital charity sale. The pattern is Lace Baby Beanie designed by Lora Jenkins. It was a fast, easy knit and used very little yarn. I made it with some left over acrylic sport weight yarn, but I don't remember the brand. It is displayed over the end of a Super Saver skein of yarn, because the small size is too small for my styrofoam display head.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I love my Spindolyn! I think everyone should have a few of these incredible spinning tools. You can find Spindolyns at Knitting Any Way. There you will find a plethora of information about Spindolyns, quill supported spindles. This is my preferred method of spinning when I am away from my spinning wheel.

I own the castle style base and I have both the tenor whorl and the soprano whorl. Now she has come out with a mezzo whorl that I am sure I will have to purchase too. There are 4 different bases available and all the bases work with all of the whorls.

I love my Spindolyn so much that I made a bean-bag cozy for it. It adds more weight and stability to the base by widening the base, plus inside it is a resealable bag filled with rice, wrapped around the castle base. The pictures below show the castle base nestled in my cozy supporting the tenor whorl on which I have been spinning some fabulous angora fiber that I got from Heather (boutrosbabe) at Highland Handmades.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Wow! Was I surprised when I saw the date on the last post. I bet you can guess that I was thinking of new year resolutions and suddenly my neglected blog entered my mind. I would like to say that I am going to post at least once per week this year, but more realistically, I am hoping I will at least post once per month. Please nudge me if I get behind.

This past week my sister came over to my apartment to help me reorganize and rearrange my craft area. My apartment is very small so it was beginning to take over the place. Once we unloaded all my stuff, we moved a shelving unit and found black mold. UGH. The unit had been against an exterior wall and apparently it had blocked the heat from getting behind it, permitting condensation to collect on the wall.

For 3 days I had everything strewn around my living room, while I bleached the wall. Then maintenance came over and cleaned it too. Next they put a sealant over the area and finally they repainted. My living room has now been rearranged so that nothing is against the exterior walls. I purged a lot of acrylic yarn and some other craft items that hadn't been used in a long time. For me, purging meant that they went to my sisters craft closet. LOL.


During this process we discovered a plethora of UFOs and WIPs. I think I startled my sister with the number of them. The decision now is whether to frog or finish the projects. Today I have frogged 2 of them. There are 3 projects that I am still undecided on and 7 projects that I am determined to complete before I start any more new ones.

Do you have any crafting related resolutions?

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