Saturday, March 31, 2007


I just signed up for the Knitters Treat swap. Woo Hoo! My first swap. This will be fun! And... the organizers are from Dublin. International, baby.

Knitters Treat Exchange Questionnaire

1. What's your favourite type of yarn? - I love any natural fibers - wool, alpaca, silk, cotton, bamboo, etc. - anything from a hand-dyer or LYS is especially nice!

2. What's your least favourite type of yarn? - acrylics and novelty yarns that have a lot of stuff hanging from them.

3. What's the first thing you do when you visit a new yarn shop? - I usually try to get the lay of the land and then start at one corner and work my way through the entire shop, fondling yarn as I go. I typically don't beeline to any particular area. All yarn is yummy!

4. What other crafts do you do / would like to do? - sewing, gardening, cooking, crochet, ceramics, beads

5. What magazines do you currently subscribe to? - Sunset, Seattle Magazine, Dwell, Bon Appetit, Interweave Knits

6. Put this type of magazine in order of preference:
Knitting / Crochet / Other Craft / Food / Home / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip / Garden

Home / Knitting / Food / Garden / Crochet / Other Craft / Fashion / Celebrity Gossip

7. What items do you like to knit / crochet? - Wow - anything. Sweaters, accessories, stuffed animals, socks

8. Are you allergic to anything? - Lucky me - nope!

9. What do you like to* smell of? - My favorite scent is "Linen" - I don't know how to describe it. Clean, maybe? In general I tend to lean towards lighter, flowery or citrus smells - lilac, jasmine, etc. over musky smells.

10. What's your favourite way to relax? Knitting, reading, playing with friends, spending time in nature - or knocking around in a city. I'm pretty chill any time I don't have something due or have to be somewhere at a certain time.

11. You're stood in front of a Victorian style sweetshop, an Italian cafe, an old fashioned bakery and a dainty tea room. Where do you go first? Old fashioned bakery

12. What do you come out with? Custard tart with fresh berries

13. Where do you go next? Italian cafe - for a latte. When I'm at home I'm a tea drinker - however dainty and me don't always play well together.

14. Any other words of wisdom for your pal? Today is the first day of the rest of your life!

Monday, March 26, 2007

A few days ago Lolly asked her readers about their favorite acrylic yarn or acrylic yarn project.

This was my response:

"I started off as a yarn snob from the get go - yet I’ve really grown to appreciate some of the acrylic and acrylic blends out there. My LYS (and employer - Hilltop Yarn East) just received some Dark Horse - I haven’t given it a go yet, however it feels quite soft - and not squeaky.

A few years ago I purchased a knitted hat from a local artists’ co-op. I gladly shelled out 38 bucks for it - so soft and the colors blended together so subtly and lovely. And it fit perfectly. A few years later when the LYS decided to carry a few choices of Lion Brand did I realize it was Homespun. I always appreciate giving my business to knitters… but $38 for a single rib stitch Homespun hat? Oh my! Yet, even armed with that knowledge I still loved and treasured the perfect hat.

Regretfully, I lost the hat in a hat-on-the-lap-in-the-car / get-out-of-the-car-not-realizing-the-hat-is-on-the-lap episode (I went back and searched for it.) I sort of forgot about that until now. Perhaps it’s time to get myself a ball of Homespun and start fresh! The blue/grey/teal colorway is perfect for Project Spectrum!"

Here's a picture of that hat - taken from a time before I knit (note the crappy fleece scarf...) BTW - I cast on for my very first scarf on that trip - made from Crystal Palace Labrador in a light blue color. I still wear it!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

old project, new life

I found this UFO mixed in with my stash.

I frogged it and started the project over - same yarn, same pattern - just new. I didn't even look closely at the previous work. I knew I must have made some MAJOR mistake to have set it aside during the interesting lace part. Usually projects get cast aside in the relentless several inches of stockinette part of the pattern. (Yeah, I'm definitely a process knitter...oh no, I'm in that relentless stockinette part of the pattern now!) Sadly, I fear Soleil will be too small - I am 1/2 stitch off gauge - I must be knitting tighter than when I did my swatch - the first time around I was right on...I think... damn, maybe that is why it got cast aside...

This pattern (Knitty - Soleil) is designed for zero ease and my chosen yarn, Hempathy has no stretch whatsoever. I can't decide if I should just knit 'til the end and hope for the best (my sister is tiny - she could be the recipient) or frog and go up a needle size. On the bright side, I am LOVING this yarn - the color, the texture. What to do, what to do?

In other, more exciting news, I have a shipment of stitch markers ready for Hilltop Yarn East.

This is one of 10 unique, yet repeatable sets that will be offered. (If you are interested in some of your own, contact me directly at: dadsmonkeyshine AT hotmail DOT com.) I had a blast making these. The components are sterling silver (the rings are soldered together - no snags!) with a combination of Swarovski crystals, glass beads and sterling findings. I gave each of the gals at Hilltop East as set of these for holiday gifts and Becky (the owner) liked them so much she asked me to make some for the shop. And Hazel Knits? Well, you'll just have to wait and see what else is in store there... (sorry about the flash - it really washes out the nearly perfectly matched logo stripes! Note to self - build thee a light box!


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Vintage Owl Ribbon

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Rainy day project

After reading this post on Unwind I decided to do a little sprucing up in my craft room as well. I had been thinking about making wall hanging needle organizers for a while and this was just the kick in the hiney I needed.

First, gather materials...
circular needle wall panel

I knew I wanted the panel to be a chocolatey brown color. What I had in mind was some suiting wool. However, nowadays the ole' pocketbook is a little thin. We've had these super-long un-hemmed curtains from Ikea hanging in our bedroom for while. The scrap from the bottom is a perfect size for the base.

Next, measure the pockets...
circular needle wall panel

Add a little trim...
circular needle wall panel

Right before the trim was added things got a little wonky. I decided to freezer paper stencil some gold numbers for the needle sizes right on to the fabric. Whoops! - serious operator error. So the trim moved from the center of the pocket to the bottom of the pocket. I'm as flexible as a wet noodle!

Stretch across some canvas stretcher bars, center and staple...
circular needle wall panel

Add some shrinky-dink numbers...
Oh, crap! That's not shrink-paper! These were in the oven for some time without nary a curl or size reduction. I guess my shrink-paper instructions somehow got mixed in with some gloss photo paper. I think I kinda remember running out, now...

Finished with temporary photo paper labels...

Much better! I made check-out-cards for the WIPs but they looked way to cluttered sticking up out of the pockets so now they will nestle inside the pocket without showing on the top.

Now on to organizers for the straight and DPs.

Saturday, March 03, 2007


This was one of the gifts from the fellas at FPC on my last day of full-time work.


This is a 3 liter bottle, otherwise known as a Jeroboam. (The bottle on the right is there just to show scale.)

Thirsty anyone?