Sunday, November 26, 2006

Acid Trip

I do believe I was experiencing an acid flashback while dyeing this skein...



I almost quit my job, braided my hair, bought a Volkswagon and went on the road following a Grateful Dead tribute band, selling veggie burritos and hair wraps...nawwww...sleeping in a parking lot with a bunch of smelly people for weeks on end, isn't my idea of fun...anymore.

I'm so tempted to make a pair of reeeeeally funky knee-highs with this stuff. I have 1120 glorious yards of it- I just love Kona Superwash- it's so soft! If anyone has any great knee-high patterns, please feel free to let me know how to find them! Muchos gracias!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Scrabble

I was so excited yesterday when I got this Scrabble/gameboard fabric in the mail! Isn't it awesome!




My sister-in-law made the suggestion, (i.e. threw down the gauntlet) that I make up some Scrabble bags for a few Scrabble junkies in our familia, so I took her up on the challenge and ordered this great fabric off of eBay. I opened the package and was grinning from ear to ear because this fabric is just too cool, and this is coming from one who doesn't even play Scrabble. Then...(cue in dramatic music or the music from any fight scene in Rocky) ...I unwrapped the cellophane and BAM!! Punched in the nose by stink! This fabric reeks of smoke. Oh no!!! I don't care if a person smokes and I really don't care what they smoke, as long as they do it FAR FAR away from my fabric or fiber, damnit!! Cardinal rule numero uno...If you're going to sell fiber, fabric, etc. etc. etc., it's a good idea to do your smoking ELSEWHERE!! Can you tell what one of my pet peeves is? I'm the worst...I used to smoke, so now I pull out my "don't you dare smoke around my fiber" rant whenever the need arises! I rarely bitch and moan here, but mannnnna! Come on...It's currently soaking as I sit here whining :P

OK, now on to the good stuff! I have finished some more yarn, a few more holiday themed colors. The Grinch has suddenly become festive...hmmm...I'll have to look into that more later...Hey, how about a Grinch colorway? *grin* Here's a sample of the sock yarn I just finished:



I've also had a hankering for lace weight yarn, so I dyed a few of those as well...I l-l-l-love the blue/black one one the left and the pink one is so punk rock! Well, OK, punk rock goes to the fair...




I also bought some kick-ass fabric at JoAnn's today and am FINALLY going to start on some sock bags for knitting projects and some needle rolls. Definitely a work in progress :) If you want to take a peek at the yarn, feel free to click here :)

Happy weekend! I'm off to dye some Kona superwash and give Eli more peanut butter :)


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving From South Beach...


Doing it Miami style! *grin*

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hooray for Freecycle and People Named Lynne

What's in the suitcase you say?




This!!!




34 skeins of Cashmere Yarn-woo-freakin-hoo!!! (on the right side), 16 skeins of fisherman's wool, and a whole lotta great cotton in blue, white and peach (dishtowels anyone?) I recently signed up for freecycle.org, because I've heard nothing but good about the site and boy, is it good! One benevolent spirit, we'll call her Lynne, posted a bunch of sewing supplies, fabric, lace, yarn, etc. that she was getting rid of, so I immediately sent her a few emails expressing my extreme interest in the stuff. I'm sure you have figured it out, but...she picked me!!! I was so happy, excited, elated, and I was even more excited when she called me later to tell me that she also had a spinning wheel (OMG!!!), a table loom, and a suitcase full of brown cashmere wool- Wow!!! I was so blown away by her generosity. Alot of the material will be made into blankets and warm things for The Dulaan Project . If you haven't heard of this, check it out. This is an excerpt from their site and a picture of a sweet little girl in one of the Mongolian ophanages:




"The Dulaan Project is a cooperative effort of Mossy Cottage Knits, Flagstaff International Relief Effort (F.I.R.E.) and Kunzang Palyul Chöling (KPC) Buddhist community. It provides hand-knit items and fleece blankets to the impoverished people of Mongolia, where it rarely gets above freezing on winter days, and where the temperature can often reach -40°F at night. To survive, many of the homeless live in the heating ducts below the nation’s cities. Our goal for 2007 is 12,086 items, one more than last year."

The cashmere yarn, well, that will be staying with me. I'm going to use that for my dragon shawl...How perfect is that?! I love it when the universe comes together. I've found that the more one selflessly gives, (cashmere being exempt from this theory, of course!) with no expectation of receiving anything in return, the more the universe provides what you really need. It's quite amazing. Whatever philosophy you subscribe to, whatever God you believe in, it doesn't matter...just make sure you give something back and keep putting out the positive energy into the universe.

OK, OK, I'm done philosophizing (is that a word?) A BIG thanks to Lynne! Go check out her blog- she's a reeeeally cool person and she has some great handmade quilts on her site!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

A Quick Hello!

Hello! I've been running on over-drive for the past few days now, but I need to stop for a moment to give a big Thank You to my Sock-ret Pal, Charlotte! I got home the other day to find this in the mail:




WOW!!! I couldn't get over it! It's a GORGEOUS, totally cool lace shawl pattern, which is the perfect project for a dragon lover like myself. I have been coveting this pattern ever since I saw it, and it just so happens that Charlotte is in a spinning group with the designer, so she not only sent the pattern, but had it signed personally to me by the designer Sharon Winsauer of Aurora Alpacas. (I hope this is the correct link) Thank-you, thank-you! This going to be my next project once the holidays are over and the craft fair is under my belt.

I also recieved the rest of my Knit One Crochet Too Tartelette ribbon yarn in the mail from Anjte, the owner of THE cutest yarn shop in Maryville, Tennessee, The Knitting Nest. I was so happy she still had it in stock, because I made the classic mistake of not buying enough for a project. I lucked out this time...Another lesson learned and another project for a later date:)




Today, I'll be dyeing another 10 skeins, but here are five that I just finished winding. I'll be posting them later on Etsy, but for now they're lounging in the morning sunshine, soaking up some good energy:) I'm partial to the Yule/Christmas one on the left. It's actually a little bit darker than the photo shows. I think I'm going to make more of this colorway for the craft fair.




Well, back to work for me. Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Newsflash!! I'm So-o-o-o Excited...


I just got home and was checking my email and was surprised to find an invite from the girls at the Miami Craft Mafia to be one of their vendors at the 3rd annual Black Sheep Craft Fair on Dec. 17th in Dania Beach, Florida !!!!! Heck yeah!!!! I have approximately one month to hand dye/paint 100 skeins of yarn, come up with a sock pattern to give away as a freebie, make 20-30 sets of stitch markers (Jack has graciously offered to help with these), finish my logo, print up business cards, sew 10 needle rolls and 10 sockyarn bags, and put together 5-10 complete sock knitting gift baskets (yarn, needles, stitch markers, pattern, sockyarn bag). Hmmm...can I do it?

I have the utmost confidence that I can do this...now...let's see how I'm doing two weeks from now, when I'm ripping my hair out and cursing the heavens. This will be my first "real" arts festival and I'm a bit nervous, because I'll be rolling with the big dogs in Miami! Time for me to get off the porch :) Yes I know that sounded reeeeally corny, but I couldn't help myself.

Oh, and Em, yes I knew that was you over at Etsy *smile* Thank you so much. It was a nice surprise to "see" you there! I sent you your discount, so check your email :)

How Low Can You Go?

It was amusing to find out that I'm the lowest common denominator...Three cheers for being the bottom of the barrel!! :) All things aside, it's pretty right on- I've never been further West than Colorado and I've lived in Florida for the majority of my life. Thanks Meg, for letting me borrow this!

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland

Boston

North Central

The South

The Inland North

Philadelphia

The Northeast

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

Monday, November 13, 2006

Birthday Boy

Jack brought it to my attention that today is Robert Louis Stevenson's 156th birthday. He still looks remarkably well, don't you think?



Happy birthday Bob!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

A Spin Around the Neighborhood

Before Eli and I went on our walk this morning, I decided to take my camera along with us to capture some of the beautiful things in our neighborhood and convince myself that it's really not that bad where we live. If I keep telling myself that maybe I'll believe it? :)

I think this fence is so pretty with it's pink bloom. I'm not sure what the flower is, but it's quite eye-catching.




Here's a close-up of the flower. There's a bee in there somewhere, but my camera's not sophisticated enough to catch it clearly, so here's where your imagination comes in handy.




There's also this house and it's ENORMOUS aloe plant from outer space that absolutely amazes me. Note the Beware of Dog sign. Well, I secretly believe that the plant ate the dog, because I've never seen any sign of a one living here!!




This is a picture of the lovely shadow people who like to go on walks with us. Note the shadow baby's mullet!! *grin* Actually, I found it somewhat unsettling purposefully taking a picture of our shadows. It was weird...hmmm...




After we got home from our walk, I got the itch to do some spinning, so I pulled out the ball that I have finished, the roving that I am going to start on to compliment it, and my drop spindle. Now I'm patiently waiting for little man to go to sleep, so I can play...now where did I put that Children's Nyquil? KIDDING!!


Friday, November 10, 2006

Voting and Shopping...hmmm...

OK. Two posts in one day...somebody stop me!!! hehe. Two things.

1) I bought this little doo-dad to include in a package for my Sock-ret Pal. I think it's freakin' hilarious, but that's just me. Would you be offended or happy to receive this candy pooping sheep from someone you really don't know? It suits me just fine, and I would be rolling on the floor if someone sent me one of these, but I'm not sure, so I'm taking a vote. Help!! (to me, the only gross thing in the picture is the dirty window in the background--Eee-uuuww- sorry about that.)




2) A few of you loverly ladies out there have requested info on where to find my yarn. I don't sell it- I hoard it- It's mine, all mine. hahahahaha (evil laughter) Just kidding of course ;) I have a shop on Etsy (WhiteWillow.etsy.com) that I'm trying to establish, which is proving to be tougher than I thought and I also occasionally list on Ebay. I will be more than happy to offer anyone participating in the Sock-ret Pal Swap or the SP9 Swap a 10% discount plus free shipping. Woo-hoo!! I also do custom dye orders. If there's something you want made specifically, (ahem...Em... :) I can do that as well. OK, OK. Enough advertising :) Etsy will be down this weekend for some kind of update, but I think they will be back up and running on Monday. Below are some pictures of my most recent lovely's.





Have a great weekend everyone!




And don't forget to vote!! *grin*

A Look at North Wales

This post is especially for my mom. Here's a bunch of links for interesting things to do in North Wales. If I miss something good, everybody, please feel free to comment me and let me know!

Dolwyddelan Castle is verrrry cool.

How about the Legend of Beddgelert? This one always gets me...

How about a 12th century monastery, The Penmon Priory on Anglesey.

There's also an early 19th century castle where they filmed Prince Valiant in 1996, Gwrych Castle.

Here's a general info site on Snowdonia.

A little about Betws-y-Coed and the Fairy Glen.

A good historical fiction read, one of the best I've read in a lonnnng time: Here Be Dragons, by Sharon Kay Penman.

Well, there's a start. It should give you something interesting to look at. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A Good Day :)

It's been a few days since I've last been here. I've been very busy doing yarn stuff and sewing. I'm finishing up a few more skeins right now and then I'm calling it a day! Whew!!

Anyway, to make a long story short, it's been a great day. This morning, I tried on my pre-prego size 2 jeans and they fit!!! Then, I reached into the back pocket and found three dollars (woo-hoo!). A few minutes after that, my mom called and proposed her holiday/birthday gift for me this year- we're going to Scotland, Ireland and England !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yippee!!! Yay!!! Wahoo!!!!!!!

Can you tell I'm happy?

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Wow- Thank you so much!!!

So, I was just sitting around today, not doing much, trying to decide which project I was going to work on when the postman did a little rat-a-tat-tat on my door (that's supposed to be the sound of knocking, not gunfire) and delivered into my hands this loverly package. Of course I required help from my assistant in opening it!




And then he helped coax it out of it's packaging for me...notice the gentle coaxing :)




And wallah!! This is what we found...




Thank you so much Charlotte, my Sock-ret Pal extraordinaire. If I could give you a big hug right now, I would. The thoughtfulness of this package was right on the mark. It comes from my hometown area of the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York, which I find myself missing this time of the year. There was a GORGEOUS hand dyed skein of superwash sock yarn called "Crush Season" and a delicate set of stitch markers that are very elegant looking. The yarn and markers come from Eve at Simply Divine Fibers & Yarns/Spinning Karma. She included a letter with the package on behalf of Charlotte that was very kind and gave a nice description of the colorway:

"The name used for the colorway 'Crush Season' reflects the fall colors seen in my corner of the Finger Lakes Wine Country in NY State. At roadside stands and outdoor markets, the usual produce can be found along with grapes in a wide range of colors. I hope you enjoy what Charlotte picked out for you."

Big hugs and kisses to you! Now I need to find a pattern for this yarn. I am one of the last remaining sock knitters on the planet that has yet to make some Jaywalker's, so I'm thinking that's what I'll do...I'm off to JoAnn's to get some more DPN's...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Winter Envy

OK. It's official. I'm tired. My manic episode has passed :) I'm still working on the to-do list, but not quite with the full-on zest, zeal and militant determination as before. I finished up some more yarn and I'm starting to covet certain skeins, which I really shouldn't, because they will be going out the front door shortly, to many fine homes, I'm sure... *sniff, sniff* Maybe I'll put one aside for myself. I'm really partial to the pink one...




I'm also suffering from a slight case of winter envy. I'm hearing about everyone enjoying their wooly creations, socks, sweaters, hats, etc, and I'm jealous!!! Sooooo... I put on my Florida footies that my oh-so-fabulous Sock-ret Pal Charlotte made for me (shown below) and I'm turning down the air conditioner, damnit! Maybe I can pay some neighborhood kids to stand on my rooftop above my living room window and drop shredded toilet paper as a sort of mock snowfall? I can also stand in front of my open freezer and eat a York Peppermint Pattie, or am I supposed to stand on my living room table and pretend to ski? *grin* Remember that commercial?



My neighbobors must wonder why I'm always out in the frontyard taking pictures of my feet..."look, honey. She's at it again." They just wouldn't understand, would they? :)

Here's a nice picture (minus the background clutter) of Eli and I having a milk and cookie moment last night. Good times.




Btw: Thank you to everyone for leaving such nice comments. I really look forward to reading what others have to say and I am enjoying meeting some great people through the two swaps that I am in. *awwww...tear....* :P

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Productivity Rules!

Why yes it does. It's been a very full two days for me. I've been given a jolt of energy, and I am riding the to-do list wave! There is something so gratifying about crossing things off of your list. Yesterday I sewed some buttons on a few shirts, finished hemming curtains for my mom and put them in the mail for her. I also headed down to the local yarn store to pick up a treat for myself- this is what I left with:




There is a skein of Lorna's Laces Sheperd Bulky in Irving Park that will be making it's way across the pond shortly to my Secret Pal in Scotland. I also picked up three balls of Mission Falls 1824 wool- 100% superwash, which will be used to make these nifty mosaic gauntlet gloves which will also be making their way to Scotland. I found the pattern in the Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts Issue, which I highly recommend. There's a plethora of great things to make and give- socks, scarves, a gorgeous felted bag by Nicky Epstein, just to name a few. They also make mention of the book, Knitting for Peace. I have found the charity that I will be sending my first batch of preemie hats to. The project is called Caps to the Capital. Here is an excerpt from their site:

"After Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers 2006 report highlighted simple, low-cost practices that could save newborn lives — like warming their heads with a knit or crochet cap — Save the Children received numerous calls and e-mails from Americans around the country wanting to organize their friends and family to knit and crochet caps for newborns in developing countries.

People also asked what more they could do to help newborns in need. As a result of their enthusiasm, Save the Children has partnered with the Warm Up America! Foundation to launch Knitters and Crocheters for Newborns: Caps to the Capital.

Four million newborns die each year within the first month of life — half within the first 24 hours of life. The United States can lead the way in saving these young lives by increasing funding for critical health programs for mothers and newborns.

These babies need more than caps — they need your voice, too.

We are asking knitters and crocheters around the country to take three simple steps to let America’s leaders know they care about saving newborn lives around the world:

Make a cap
Write the President
Unite for newborns"

There is a deadline, so if you are interested, it's time to get a move on! There is an action kit that can be downloaded and a bunch of info about what they are doing. There's even a map that shows how many hats have been sent in from each state so far. Check it out!

Yesterday I also did some dyeing. I picked up my weapons of choice...




...and this is what I ended up with...




I also have to throw in a picture of my guys dressed up in their jack-o-lantern shirts. Awwwww :) Aren't they too cute!?




I hope everyone had a great holiday yesterday and ended up with more candy than you gave away!! (This message sponsored by the American Dental Association) :P