Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Holiday Open House!

Exciting Announcement!!!!!
Bridgette of Farm Girl Fiber and I are excited to announce that we will be racing back from Arkansas Sunday morning in order to join some other lovely and talented local crafters and artists for a holiday open house! If you are free Sunday afternoon, please plan to join us and jump start your christmas shopping. We are so glad to be a part of what should prove to be a really fun event.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Production Day & Giveaway!

There is less than a week until the Arkansas Fiber Arts Extravaganza. Even though my stitch markers didn't move well at Indie Emporium, I have high hopes for them this coming weekend. This audience will be completely different, for starters. This time it is a fiber specific event and the people who are coming should actually know what they are!
Despite not being very down in inventory, I decided to have a production day to add variety to my stock. It started out as me thinking, oh I'll just make a few today while I have some time.
Then I got going and decided I was having fun, so why not have some Chai and make some more.
Riley helped by pushing me off the sofa more than once. Ripley did too, but I didn't catch a picture of him doing it.
By mid afternoon I had opened new beads, fixed myself a tray of grapes and cheese, finished off the chai and was grooving at a pretty good pace.
By the time I needed to get up and get going for my evening plans I had made 15 new sets, which totaled 77 individual stitch markers. I have to admit, I still LOVE the giant pearl sets, the last couple of those sets got me a lot of compliments. And I like the clear bead sets for their clean looking style, although they are hard to photograph.

I am very excited about this coming weekend. I hope to sell lots but also to meet some great new fiber people. These events are always so much fun because of the sense of community among spinners and stitchers. I hope if you are in the area that you join us.

In honor of my super stitch marker production day, I am giving away a set of markers this week!! They are a set of medium markers with amber beads. They will fit up to a size 15 knitting needle comfortably. So here is how you enter:

Leave a comment telling me your favorite thing about fiber or craft shows.
Easy.

For additional entries you may:
Become a follower of my blog and leave a comment saying so
Blog or tweet this giveaway and leave a comment telling me which. If it's a blog, leave a link to the post.
Post about this giveaway on facebook and leave a comment with a link to the post.

Leave a separate comment for each entry, max of 4 entries per person. A winner will be chosen using a random number generator. Contest closes Wednesday night and winner will be announced on Thursday.

:-)

Our Hodgepodge Christmas

Friday morning we got out the tree and all the trimmings. I love decorating for christmas! We got about as far as setting the tree up before it was time to head out for a bit, so the tree sat there waiting, like a blank canvas. Every once in a while I think that maybe one year I will do a theme tree and coordinate everything. Maybe all old fashioned ornaments this time. Or all handmade. You see, my family has a tradition of exchanging ornaments every year so I have ended up with a very random assortment. They range from things I made as a small child to things made for me and eccentric store bought items. There are teddy bears and angles, snowflakes, nutcrackers, stars and bells. There are wizards on broom sticks and santas on skis. And so I sometimes think it might be interesting to set aside all the silliness and have a "plan" for the tree. But then I start unwrapping ornaments and I remember when I got them or who gave them to me or what phase of my life I was in when a particular ornament was gifted. There are ornaments from old friends and teachers and ornaments that commemorate milestones or accomplishments. The warmth and love in those ornaments is really the true essence of Christmas, so despite thinking about things like coordinating and having a plan, every year I am truly happy to hang my hodgepodge of ornaments and create a tree that is unique. No one else has a Christmas tree exactly like mine. And now my husbands story has joined mine on the tree. The ornaments my family gave him as we dated are there. The ornament my sister-in-law had made to commemorate our engagement sits front and center. And the ornaments we have given each other mix in through the years of ornaments on the tree. And every year the story on our tree will grow and change. And every year it will be a thrill to unwrap those ornaments and remember all those Christmases past.I love our hodgepodge Christmas tree and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Quadrants

Pattern for Quadrants

Materials: 150-200 yards super bulky yarn, like Lion Brand Hometown USA
Size 13 US long circular needles
4 stitch markers, 1 of which should stand out from the others.

Cast on 120 stitches using your favorite stretchy cast on. Place a marker every 30 stitches as you cast on, reserving the marker that is different for the beginning of the round. Making sure no stitches are twisted, join into the round.

Pattern round 1: k30 (to first marker), (p1, k1)x15 (to second marker), p30 (to third marker), (p2, k2)x7, p2 (back at beginning marker)
Pattern round 2: k30, (k1,p1)x15, k30, (p2,k2)x7, p2

*basically the first section of 30 stitches will be stockinette, the second section will be seed stitch, the third section will be garter stitch and the fourth section will be 2x2 ribbing.

Repeat these two rounds until the widest section (should be your ribbed section) measures approximately 5.5 - 6 inches, or desired width. Bind off loosely.

** The stockinette section WILL roll. Even if you block it. If you prefer to eliminate the roll, you may do two rounds of 1x1 or 2x2 ribbing before and after the pattern rounds, OR you can do 3-4 rounds of garter before and after the pattern rounds.

Happy cozy knitting!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for some many things. First and foremost is my family, especially my wonderful husband. I am also thankful for my two sweet puppies, fantastic friends and great food.

Here is my contribution to the thanksgiving feast-ivities:
They are a healthier version of candied sweet potatoes. They were first boiled in apple juice then cooked with a light orange juice and maple syrup glaze. Yum!

That is my cousin and his family's new puppy! Her name is Remmy and she's the cutest little thing. She was so exhausted after running around all day meeting new people. They've only had her about a week.

I also managed to knit today. See:
I actually finished a commissioned cowl. The color was the only thing the client really specified, so I had fun with it. I'm calling it Quadrants and I'll post the super easy pattern soon. Hopefully tomorrow.
I need to get a picture of it on someone so you can really see relative size. Its a super soft and fluffy yarn and should be cozy wrapped twice and SUPER cozy wrapped 3 times. I need to block it because one section rolls. It doesn't really bother me that it does though, so hopefully it won't bother the recipient either.

Tomorrow morning we will pull out the Christmas decorations! I am not a believer in Christmas before Thanksgiving, but starting the day after is a heck yes. And we already have presents to put under the tree! I have to wrap them first, but it's awesome that we already have a few. :-) It's going to be super cold in the morning, so wish my luck in getting the husband in to the attic!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Baby Shower Hat

I don't usually start and finish the gift at the baby shower, but that is what I did on Sunday. It has been a very busy month and with relatively little warning, I needed to attend a baby shower for a friend who lives out of town. I wanted to make her something but just couldn't find the time. So I bought some cutesie things, but then made this hat at the shower:
How, you might ask? Well, I made the La Petite Fluer hat, which is a free Ravelry download. It is super fast and made on size 11 needles. I held together 3 strands of dk weight yarn, 2 in different shades of pink and one white. This hat is super stretchy and the 3 colors add a lot of dimension. And the whole thing, start to finish, can be done in about an hour and a half, and that includes time out to eat snacks and cake and weaving in all your ends. So really, I'd say its a one hour hat if you are able to focus.
I did not make the flower that the hat pattern has a link to. I thought it was pretty enough on its own. But I do think it would look cute with the flower as well.

I definitely think I will keep this pattern in reserve for the next time I need a super ridiculously fast baby hat. Heck, maybe I'll measure my gauge sometime and adjust the cast on for a toddle or child's hat. :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Affair of the Heart

Today I hit up Affair of the Heart with my mom. We had a great time seeing all the cool doodads and riffling through the occasional antique booth. There was a lot of super-sparkle there again. The kind you see on the eccentric older women or the creepy bleached out rhinestone cowgirls. But in amongst all of that insanity there were definitely some worthwhile finds.I figured since I went back to this one particular booth 3 times to look at this cameo necklace that I might be sad if I didn't buy it, so I did. I also ran in to SheezKrafty at that booth, I think it was my second time over there. I went back to a booth full of TONS of hair dooeys to get that little black lace bow with the black feathers. So cute. Here comes my sadness though, one of the other hair bows I bought is already missing! I hope it just fell out of my bag in mummy's car, otherwise I am very sad. It was a flower and feather combo and very cute.

I also picked up a couple of dresses today. The grey one I bought really early in the day. Its fantastic and can go office or party. I wiggled into it right there in the booth and fell in love! I am so glad I bought it. And then late in the day, almost at closing I found the cream and lace dress. LOVE again!!! Some tights, some boots, long sleeve t-shirt or sweater and it will be perfect. (in the spring it will be perfect all on its own) And yes, there in the bottom right you can see I was enjoying a slice of leftover baby shower cake while examining my purchases.

Oh, and I did find time to knit today too! Mum and I went to a baby shower for a long time family friend and I made a hat during the shower! The only picture is on my phone, but eventually I will get it uploaded. I carried 3 strands of yarn together and used size 11 needles. It was a free pattern I found on Ravelry and I can't for the life of my remember what it's called right now, but when I get to posting the pic I will try and post a link to the pattern too. Anyhow, I carried a light pink, a medium pink and a white all together at once.

I think after such a busy day I deserve to go to bed early with a good book. I am not sure if the 4 legged furry children agree with me on this subject, but I believe I shall try and persuade them.

edit: Dad found the hairbow in the car! Sooooo happy it's not lost!

Miss Violet Lace


I saw the review for this awesome etsy shop on Little Chief Honeybee. I went and looked and now I covet. How fun would it be to change your hairstyle so easily? I also think they have some very awesome and attractive wigs for those who might not have hair of their own for one reason or another. I think if I was to buy a wig I would want one either super long or super short. Definitely go take a look at their wigs, there are pages and pages of them on their etsy site. Also, hop on over to Little Chief Honeybee and take a look at the contest in this post. It's one heck of a prize package! As obsessed as I am right now with little hair doodads, I am sure I could get totally obsessed with hair if I let myself.




A Knitterly Baby Shower

Yesterday we showered little Robert Patrick Garza with lots of love. And knitting.

We started out with some light snacks.
The Spread
Ok, I admit, my idea of light snacks might be different than yours. The need to feed, or over feed, people is a genetic inheritance, so it's not my fault.

Pretty packages covered the fireplace
And my first ever diaper cake served as centerpiece to the coffee table
Diaper cake

Kellie received some fantastic gifts.
Bunny
Cute bunny. Most of us started knitting while we still though Kellie was having a girl. Oops! But I think toys can be any color you want, so the bunny is still perfect.
Blanket knit by the amazing Megan
Amazing blanket by Megan. Megan dyed the yarn for this blanket herself. I think the colors are fantastic. In Megan's own words "The yarn was an “overspun” lot from the mill that Knitpicks uses. It’s close to the Merino Style DK. I hand dyed all of the colored yarn. The blanket is just 2 rows of color and 1 row of white (I think) in stockinette stitch. The edging is from this shawl. The booties are Saartje’s Bootees, and I dyed some leftover Cascade Pure Alpaca I had lying around. I used size 1 needles and made the larger size booties"
Burp cloth I found at a craft fair that screamed Kellie to me.
Booties!
Booties!
Blue satin hat knit by Somer
Blue satin hat. Just a basic 1x1 rib pattern that I hope will be stretchy enough to fit him for quite a while. Right now it would be a slouch hat on him, but he will grow into it.
hats and more! The blue green hat was knit with Farm Girl Fiber yarn. This whole spread was from Sarah. I love the little black/grey set. Its really cute and soft. I believe the yarn was Happy Feet. I'm sure she'll correct me if I am wrong.
Gifts!
It was really quite the impressive spread. And we all had some much fun watching her open the gifts. :-)

The cake was fan-freaking-tastic
Cake
It came from Yummy Cakes, a fabulous local group full of awesome.
cute little tiger on the cake
The cake was lemon and absolutely perfect.
yum
And it went great with the blue raspberry and lime sherbert punch
Kellie and I
Kellie and I at the end of the shower

Since I have probably already overwhelmed you with enough pics for one post, I will follow up later with tons of shots of baby cuteness!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dream in color Giveaway

Blue is my absolute favorite color. Always has been my entire life. And there is a skein of deep blue Dream in Color baby being given away here. Now, of course, I don't actually want you to go enter the contest because I want a better chance of winning. ;-P

Speaking of blue I am getting ready for Kellie's knitterly baby shower this morning! I can't wait to see all the wonderful things people bring. I know that my gift will be totally unimpressive compared to all the cool things everyone else has knit, but I did make my first ever diaper cake this morning and cook ridiculous amount of food. (I really want to dig in to the blue frosted sugar cookies RIGHT NOW, but I might not stop eating them if I started and they are so pretty I want to still have them for the shower).

Back to the cleaning and prepping!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Read More Books

This contest for Read More Books wall art from Weather and Noise got me thinking about books. I read a lot. I love having books around. I would rather buy more book cases than get rid of any of my books, whether or not I ever intend to read them again. If I was rich and had a giant house, it would have a library with tall wooden shelves and big comfy chairs and a cozy fireplace. And in that house would be an extensive knitting library. It's not that I don't love the availability of patterns and helpful hints on-line, but I love having the books to hold and flip through. I like to work my way through my knitting library sometimes, flipping through every book again to remind myself of all the treasures in them. The beautiful handknits that are lovingly photographed can distract me for hours. Almost as much as actually knitting. I think a good half of my Christmas list is knitting books.

So here is my question; what is your favorite knitting book and why? There are some I love for the patterns, others I love for the photography, still other for the quickness. So tell me about your go-to books. I think I will start reviewing the books I have slowly and new ones as I get them, but first I want to know what you love.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Exciting Happenings

Two exciting things are happening this week. First, SomerKnits will now be carried at Vi's Salon in Tulsa. The salon is on Sheridan between 71st and 81st. They will be carrying a somewhat different inventory than the website, so be sure to check it out sometime.

Second, I am super excited to be hosting a knitterly baby shower this weekend. One of the Tulsa Knitters has herself a beautiful baby boy and we have all been furiously knitting away. I expect to see great things at this shower and get some fantastic pictures, so next week expect to see some knit baby love. The best part is that it is also a Meet the Baby shower so the little guy will be here in person! Maybe he'll even do some modeling of his new stuff! Cuteness will abound!

So it's going to be a busy week here for me. I hope to get time to post more next week. Hopefully you all appreciate the heads ups on the various giveaways and new blogs I have started following. Expect a contest here sometime in the near future.

GreenerMe

Today over on the Sunshine and Carousels blog there is a giveaway sponsored by GreenerMe. The prize is a black and white paisley print thank you card set. It's so pretty. I am a sucker for stationary though. I have ridiculous amounts of blank notecards and stationary. I am a big fan of snail mail though, so I do use it all as often as possible. Anyhow, hop on over there and check it all out.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I'm just gonna keep em coming

Another contest! This one is for a pair of cupcake earrings from Hollyrocks. Holly is a Tulsa maker and was at Indie Emporium. If you haven't seen her stuff before it is adorable. I am a sucker for hair stuff, so I generally love her button bobby pins. I have an awesome one that is a black flower with a turquoise center. Go and check her out.

Another Contest and new blog discovery

Hop on over to the Sunshine and Carousels blog again and check out this giveaway. You will also discover a fantastic new etsy store and blog in the process. Even if you don't win the cool print, you'll have found something cool.

There is also a giveaway that Sunshine and Carousels is doing here, on the sponsors blog, good day sunshine. She is giving away a cute headband this time.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A break from Knitting

I'm not really taking a break from knitting, I was just knitting 5 minutes ago. I am, however, giving you a break from reading about knitting. Instead, I will let you look at pretty pictures from the lake.
Samson

Sophie

Sunset

Me and Ben

It was cold but nice out by the lake and the guys got a lot done. I meant to knit in the car on the way to and from but instead I slept. And slept and slept. The car does that to me.

Now for my other non-knitting related topic. I have been reading a number of new blogs lately, and I have mentioned a couple of them briefly because of contests I thought people might be interested in, but I just wanted to take a moment to mention them again. There are some really great creative people putting tons of inspirational stuff on the web and these people are definitely part of that awesomeness:

First we have:
Photobucket

Not only are her accessories adorable, her photography is fantastic. I wonder if she could be bribed to photograph my next set of knitted accessories. Regardless, she's refreshing to read and through her blog I learned about the next one:


I haven't been reading that one long, but so far it's fun. And you have to love the sheer number of pretty pictures. I may not like every style she posted today, but I saw lots of great ideas there and looking back at past posts I know I can expect more great ideas from future posts. These are the main things I look for in a blog: ideas, inspiration or feeling. I think this one has it all.

Next, if you haven't visited Weather and Noise yet, you really should. I wish it was still warm enough to wear the two very sexxy dresses I found in Christine's clearance bin at Indie. Oh well, I guess I will have to be patient until next spring and then nag Ben into taking my somewhere fancy enough to wear them. :-) The coasters and bobby pin, however, have already seen a lot of use. I absolutely love them.

SheezKrafty is another one I know I have mentioned before (remember the AMAZING necklace I traded a hat for at Indie Emporium?). And it turns out that she and I have an its-a-small-world connection, which is fun. So go check out her blog and shop her pretty stuff. :-)

Ok, I think that is enough new stuff for today. It should keep you busy for a while.


Saturday, November 13, 2010

So pretty

There is a $30 credit to Sunshine and Carousels up for grabs. Go take a look here!

I have discovered some really fantastic blogs lately. Seriously, take the time to read a little when you go over to enter the contest.

Friday, November 12, 2010

sunshine and carousels: Holiday Giveaway

Her stuff is amazing, so you should go here and check out the awesome giveaway:

sunshine and carousels: Holiday Giveaway

Personally, I own two of her hair barrettes and I have covetous feelings about a few more of her pretties. You should check out her etsy shop after entering the contest!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tiny Pumpkin

My sister-in-law teaches preschool. A couple of times she has mentioned various knitting toys that would be cool to have for the class room (a dozen apples, finger puppets, etc). As a quick break from all the hats and cowls, I decided to cast on for a tiny adorable pumpkin for her. I actually made the pumpkin immediately after Indie Emporium, before I started in on the special order. The pumpkin was super fast to make and came out really cute. Now, I admit that I have always avoided knitting toys. I guess I just figured that with all the little parts some of them had that there would be a lot of finishing work, so I really would never finish them. And I think that might actually be true of knitted dolls and other things with arms and legs, but the pumpkin was easy. So I think for now I will probably stick to fruits and vegetables, maybe that way when I am inspired to more complicated toys I will have it ingrained in my brain that toys are easy. Because it's all about your attitude, right?

I have actually been getting better about finishing things. I have been weaving in ends as I go and not just leaving them in a big pile for later. I am actually finding my self ridiculously satisfied when I do that, so I suppose that is my motivation to keep it up. It's nice not to have to go back to a huge pile of mostly completed projects and spend an entire day weaving in ends. My goal is to not be weaving in ends on christmas eve unless I suddenly decide to make something last minute. But no piles of ends!

btw - I do have a good start on Christmas already, but I won't be posting about any of the particular projects. I expect that I will have a lot to write about the last week of december when I can finally post pictures.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Special Order!

I don't always take special orders. I generally knit what I feel because I enjoy that the most. But I took a good size special order at Indie Emporium about a week and a half ago and I even enjoyed making it. But some of my "doing what I feel" came out even in that.

First up was a seed stitch cowl and a pinch hat in black. The customer did not want any embellishments on the hat, so its plain-jane but I think the simple look comes out very classy. The cowl is long enough to wrap twice loosely and three times for super-snuggly warmth. The seed stitch shows up nicely on this bulky but super soft yarn.


Next up was an off-white set. Once again she chose the pinch hat design free from any embellishments. I had grown weary of seed stitch on the black cowl, however, so I ended up doing a swirl design on the cream colored one. I am hoping that she likes it once she sees it! If not, it will be back to the seed stitching for me and that one will end up for sale on my web page. This cowl is also long enough to wrap twice loosely and three times for super-snuggle.

So there it is all together. Both sets are super soft and I am very happy with them. Now, time to call the customer!