Dec 11, 2008

2009 Goals & Come See Our New Shop!

If you make a list of items you intend to work on, strive toward, and (gasp!) successfully accomplish within a certain time frame, but you do it in December - can you avoid calling them Resolutions? Well, if it's your blog, I would say the answer is yes! :)

The following "2009 Goals" are all related to my craft. The Life List is a work in progress...don't ask.

I may or may not come back and update this, but here is what I've got so far (with some knit pics mixed in to add some color):

Reduce my carbon footprint:

  • Print patterns only when I'm ready to actually make an item; this is one of the lynchpins to my ultimate goal of keeping a cleaner more organized work and craft space (somehow the craft bleeds over into the work area quite consistently, go figure.)
  • Use more naturally made and animal fiber yarns; I really don't know the science here, but if a yarn is 100% plastics-based and flammable to boot, I'm open to all options that will justify me replacing it with a woollier or furrier alternative.
  • Get at least 3 more sweaters from Goodwill to unravel and re-fashion into something great.
  • Go one full quarter without buying a magazine, pattern booklet, or knitting book.
  • Go one full quarter without printing a pattern; naturally I can make things by viewing the patterns on screen, but similar to Goal #1 this will mean less paper stacked up around me - and perhaps more FOs will be piled up around me instead?

Berkshire Ribbed Neckwarmer 011
Find my style:
  • Select projects from each of these categories to knit for myself: socks, sweater, hat, shawl/wrap/stole. The intent here is to find just the right fit and style for my body type and my (sorely lacking) fashion sense
  • Swatch, knit, repeat

Red Berry Beret

Branch out:

  • Learn and try at least 5 new techniques in knitting and/or crochet. I anticipate that this will go hand-in-hand with the previous Goal of finding my style
  • Attend a workshop or class through my LYS or a store I find while traveling.
and of course...

Grow the business for my new Etsy Shop - Taaa Daaaaaaa!!

A joint venture with my girl Tangodiva. Think outside the brand - buy handmade!

That's as far as I've reached in the thinking process. I'm sure there will be more to come because overachieving with list MAKING is one of my specialities.

Your turn!!

Dec 6, 2008

Cruise Vacation - The Recap

Wednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten (11)

Hello!! ~ insert frantic waving ~

We've been back home from the vacation for a couple of weeks and I STILL feel like I could pack up and do it all over again. Thankfully (pun intended) after we landed home I got right on a plane for 2 days of work travel, then home again for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving was very quiet for us this year, and that suited us just fine. We are traditionally all in the turkey feasting and family gathering and over eating and random napping. No one can do triple servings in a kitchen like me and my momma! Not this year though...we spent such a lovely time with both grandmas, pops, an aunt and some family friends that we felt pretty well caught up on the family gathering part. As for the overeating and random napping? Check, and check! Got plenty of that in too on the cruise.

Here is a smattering of the vacation photos (trimmed from the 499 I stuffed into the camera). There's a slide show at the end if you feel like pouring a cuppa' and taking a saunter through the journey with us.

Monday Nov 17 - Puerto Rico (2) Tuesday Nov 18 - St. ThomasWednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten

Our shore stops were in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas (my favorite), and St. Maarten. As you probably know, when you arrive anywhere via cruise ship, your experience of the destination spot can be somewhat "canned" - all mapped out for you from the minute you disembark until the time you set sail again. That is,of course, if you're NOT traveling with MY husband. We've cruised three times now, and not once have we gone the traditional "excursion" route. Hub loves to find local people, chat them up, and score some sweet tips and deals on tours, where to eat, and where to shop. Our experience is all the richer because of it.

One of the biggest pleasures I had was seeing the girls in a constant state of wonderment. We are so blessed that their stamina and their charm allows us to take them ANYwhere and we can be confident that they'll have a good time, and spread the smiles. It was really a treat to expose them to so many new things.

Wednesday Nov 19 - St. Maarten (20)
The "get up and go whenever you please" factor of homeschooling totally rocks!

A close second on the Lasting Memory scale was seeing my mother-in-law go from someone who hasn't left her home state in 30 years to someone who now calls me every other day to ask what I've found out about our NEXT family cruise (watch for it, December 2009!). She so thoroughly enjoyed herself that she came home and was on a veritable CAMPAIGN to get every last family member within 100 miles to start putting their pennies together so we can all set sail together next year. Cuteness!

Thursday Nov 20 - Day at Sea

If you think you might be into round-the clock service of fresh, delicious food, twice a day turn down service in your room, back-to-back days of island hopping, first class workout facilities, super service staff, and freedom to do everything or nothing for days on end - try a cruise. And if you do...I want to hear about it because apparently, it has now become our annual family tradition, and I'm always open for some great travel tips :)

Click right here to be linked to a slide show with many more pictures!

Nov 14, 2008

Toodles...Back in a Bit

This one...
Adachi's NeckWarmer for Mizan 003

This one...
Terrific Topper - Handknit Beret

This one...
Cranberry Cowl 1

And this one too...
April 2007 004

...are getting on a big ship and heading to some islands for several days.

Have a great week!

Nov 5, 2008

A Thank You Card for America

You were right, Sam

Some of you know that I'm not an American citizen, but I have lived here for more than half my life, and I'm proud to call this home. I know the importance of contributing all I can to be part of what makes this country a great place to live. I have my reasons for not yet pursuing citizenship, but that's potentially a topic for another day. I will say though, that my Permanent Resident status had me completely GLUED to the election proceedings last night. I was certainly as nervous/anxious/excited as many of you. Naturally I felt a significant (and maybe obvious) investment in the outcome, but there were many other factors that added to my feelings last night. Here are just a few of them -

I live in Florida, a battleground state with 27 electoral votes to contribute to the winning candidate. Yes, the state of hanging chads and cheating scandals. In my particular neighborhood there was a hate crime against a neighbor not 3 streets down from me who displayed an Obama/Biden lawn marker. My daughters are now old enough to understand so much more of what we tell them about the world around us; about it's history, it's progress and how the meaning of that story becomes more and more important to their own futures. I'll tell you - my heart was fit to burst with gratitude last night when I woke them with the news.

And lastly - I can appreciate the fact that Barak Obama is now our President-elect because of what it took to get him that title. It took MORE. More registered voters, more campaign time, more open-mindedness, more discussions, greater access, more organization, more funding, more hope, bigger issues, more crises, more interest, and a broader historical foundation on which to rest this victory.

I know that some of you may not have supported him, and some of you may not even have voted. We already have our common bonds, I know that through my messages and conversations with you, so I am not hear to judge any of that. If you voted in this election - THANK YOU. If you encouraged/reminded/took someone to vote - THANK YOU. If you had open and honest discussions with anyone - friend, family, or stranger - about the issues that surround us - THANK YOU. What I saw last night is that every bit of that counts.

This election was not just about what one man was willing to do to become leader of this country. To me, it was much more about what WE are willing to do for ourselves and for each other to make the changes we so desperately need.

Nov 4, 2008

From the Mouth of Babes*

*a recurring feature here at The BBC

Setting - At room...the girls are watching a science video about the body...

Adachi: Mommy, what are kidneys?

Me: Kidneys? Hmmm...Well, they are organs inside your body that help you to eliminate waste. That's the stuff you don't need for nutrition.

Adachi: Oh. I'm glad you told me that.

Me: Why is that?

Adachi: Because I thought they were parts of our legs.

Get it?

Kid. Knees.

Yeah - I keep telling you guys - I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

...and she knits too!

Nov 2, 2008

To Everything There is a Season

...and at least one "thing" this season appears to be Knit Sweaters!

I've read a lot about what others will be doing this month - some will be focused on a month of daily blogging; others will tackle a novel; and still others will start and finish, or reclaim from the WIP pile a sweater of their choosing (NaKniSweMo on Ravelry).

I was chatting with my knit buddy lunabella today about my recent itch to join the masses and cast on a sweater as well. I love the idea of a hand knit sweater. Heck - last year I even finished one...

CPH - Front Closure

But the fact is, I've already got a pullover style top that's been haunting my WIP basket for months - no exaggeration. That's right - my Jaden is still unfinished.

Jaden WIP Jaden WIP

In my rational mind - separating the fronts of a sweater and giving it a neckline should really not give me this much pause, but sadly I have found about 17, 000 excuses not to continue knitting on this project. I love the yarn and the color, and the style will suit me even better now that I've shed a few pounds (more on that in another post). So why the stalemate??? Believe me, it's not for lack of knitting mojo - I found plenty of stitching time over the last couple months to finish things for the Craft Show and to even begin and get most of way through these:

Girlfriend Socks

The shame of it is, I can't blame this UFO on a lack of time either. Since I last wrote here, I have taken 2 5-hour plane trips to the west coast and spent 9 days away from home mostly alone at a conference - including a 4 hour train ride each way. Uh huh. No excuse. Even a cumbersome project like a pullover could have been stuffed into my carry-on any number of times.

So maybe National Knit a Sweater Month will be my motivation. I can certainly use something long-sleeved and girly in my wardrobe over the next couple months, all that's left now is the knitting.

How about you? Are you taking on any of the November challenges?

Sep 23, 2008

What Won't We Do for Them?

(awaiting discovery under a pillow tomorrow morning)

Hello again Adachi,

I see you have lost another tooth! That makes four now - thank you very much! What a big girl you've become. I know it may feel funny for a little while with all that space, but you will get used to it. You are as beautiful as always.

Thank you for the wonderful picture of yourself. You are really quite a good artist!

I cannot do a drawing of myself as good as yours, but I have left you a picture of my wand.

You asked about my name. I don’t have a name like boys and girls do. I have always just been called The Tooth Fairy.

Be kind to your sister and keep up the good brushing!

The Tooth Fairy

P.S. Please tell Mizan that her turn will come too someday soon!

Aug 20, 2008

Stitch Rock 2008

I posted this while in the air (again), tens of thousands of miles over Middle America. On my way to Nebraska; Omaha to be exact. Nebraska is one of the few states I haven’t yet traveled to on business, and to be honest, I never expected that I would. I had some vague sense that this is one of those primarily residential areas of America. Just families, raising kids. I’ll admit, the vague notion does include some farm imagery, corn fields and what not. Funny how we can make a judgment about a place having never been there. As though the name or isolated stories that take place there can tell you all about an entire state and it’s people. I also suspected that this BrownBerry would stick out there quite easily. You can’t judge a state by it’s travelers either though (I’m the only BrownBerry on this plane), so I don’t find that daunting either.

It will be interesting to see what I see once I’ve landed and looked around a bit.
I did find out there is a Yarn Store within 2 miles of my hotel, but I think I’ll have to cool it on the souvenir yarn for a bit. I kid myself into thinking that the work trips will come few and far between and that I won’t be stockpiling the yarns again. Four trips in the last two months has proved me wrong (and the stash is bulging once again).

Lately I haven’t posted many projects, but they have been falling off the needles (and hook) bit by bit. In a moment of
insanity brilliance I signed up to be a vendor at Stitch Rock . This celebration of the handmade takes place the first Saturday in October in Delray Beach, FL. Like most good ideas, they are made better when shared, so I’m fortunate enough to have a partner in crafty crime on this one – none other than the indelible Tangodiva (go visit her here or here). She is making the most fabulous hats (yes Miss T, the people will buy them!!). As for me, well….I’m just making stuff. Seriously. I went into this with only a loose plan that I would make some accessories. My good friend Sarah has often encouraged me to just start the designing process, no pressure and no specific plan. Think, create, fudge, fiddle, re-create, rip, repeat. I must say this has worked well for here [again] and [again]. So I’ve been trying it. I’ve flipped through pattern books and trolled Ravelry ad nauseum for inspiration, and my friends – I do believe the bug has bitten me hard. Here is a sampling of the things I’ve come up with so far:

Stitch Rock Samples

We’re selling under the name Dreads & Curls Designs & Creations

Only 2 months to go (eeeep! The time is flying whoosh!) So I must really get on the ball to build up a sensible inventory – we’ve got a big table to fill. This craft show is part one of a two-part plan I have to start selling some of my original creations. More on part two after the show…

May the fiber fairies be in your corner this weekend! MWAH!

Aug 13, 2008

It's the Little Things

  • A yarn ball with the yarn end sticking right out the top so I don't have to dig for it
  • A husband who never ever complains about spending 85% of his time with 2 people 1/8th his age and just over 1/2 his height
  • A job that almost never requires that I sit in a cubicle
  • Instant Messaging
  • A mother/sister prayer team
  • Paid time off
  • 2 people 1/4 my age and 1/2 my height who were born with a surplus of creative energy
  • Second chances
  • A contacts address book that is nearly full
  • Just the right yarn for just the right project at just the right time

Your turn!!

Jul 21, 2008

It's Cold Out There Somewhere

Go me a lazy knitter, I can take it.

Clapotis 4 - Pattern Close Up
Yarn - Plymouth Sunsette, Color 111, 5 3/4 balls
Needle - US Size 8 KnitPicks Harmony Wood needles

I'm not ashamed to admit that I cast on this 4th Clapotis for two primary reasons

1 - I can now almost knit this pattern in my sleep (and what with the benefit of that particular kind of multitasking I find such an idea very appealing)

2 - The yarn spoke to me and said that it wanted to be a buttery soft, drapey, subtle but stylish elongated wrap for multi-season wear.

Clapotis 4 - All West Indians pose like this
Mods: Removed 1 increase repeat, 2 straight repeats, and 1 decrease repeat
The "Rule of Fifths" post on Ravelry was a huge help in re-sizing this

Okay. So it didn't actually SAY that. But it did shout a resounding "H-E-double-hockey-sticks NO!" to the other 17 things I cast on with it. So my go-to pattern of choice won by default.

I'm not too mad about that...

Clapotis 4 - Close Up
Mother of Pearl Shawl Pin from SnokistFarmGirl on Etsy

Clapotis 4 - Scarf Style

Besides...according to my Ravelry trolling, this is nowhere near pattern addiction. The wonderful Kimberly (aka somebunnyslove) just finished her 14th Clapotis earlier this year. [ravelry link]. I'm not sure I'll squeeze that many out of my own stash...but then again...

Summer is here in all it's blaze and glory (and bug biting splendor). I hope you're finding time to get your daily dose!

A bientot!

Jul 9, 2008

They Like Me, They Really Like Me

Well...okay...they liked my knitting - but that's an easy way into my good graces too :)

See my KnitScene Magazine debut at this link.

Have a great rest of your week!

Jul 5, 2008

This Life is Not Yet Rated

I had one of those completely unpredictable moments down at the city library today. The girls are in a Saturday program for Creative Dramatics (think moving sculpture exercises and Styrofoam props). After their one hour session, I make a point to take them to the restroom before we leave because (a) when they are with me in public places I turn into a frantic germaphobe, and (b) we live a long way from...well..everywhere, so stopping to "go" first is just part of the routine.

The ick factor of public restrooms is very high in my opinion, and though the girls are getting to the age where they can do most things by themselves, I still get into hover mode in the loo - I just can't stomach the thought of a misplaced hand touching something I don't dare think about. Of course, if we all thought this way, maybe these public places wouldn't be the heebee jeebee haven they are now...but I digress.

What struck as me as so amusing was that I had a very distinct moment in there today, some variation of which has probably happened a thousand times, and seemed perfectly normal, so it almost went by without my notice. Picture this...

On my left arm, I had my backpack dangling by a single strap. It's dangling somewhat perilously because it's crammed full of all the Just in Case items I take whenever we do outings. With it's weight, I'm willing it to stay on my shoulder because if it touches the floor in there, well then mommy will just about lose her marbles. In my left hand, I have a bag of the DVDs and books I've collected while waiting for the girls to finish the workshop, just enough to keep in them entertained in case we never make it back to the library again - or at least enough to hold them until next Saturday. At the same time, I'm using my left hand to turn the very stiff metal tap/spigot thingy on the sink and holding it in the on position (because you have to to keep the water flowing) and cheerleading my youngest through washing her hands. "Scrub the you're not done yet...that's it honey...between your get some more soap...". The soap dispenser is rusty and old and so with my right hand, I am jamming the spout back and forth so that she can get the very necessary second helping of soap.

The only reason my right hand was free at that time was because I had just finished doing a one-handed lining job of the seat in the stall that my oldest is about to use. Not having both hands to work with...I have to do the lining job twice. And I tell her to just squat anyway...after all, that lining can't be trusted. While my little one takes her sweet time lathering up...I find that the stall door where my oldest is about to perch, doesn't actually lock properly. Thank goodness I have a foot free! My right leg and foot work perfectly as a door locking mechanism. And why shouldn't I be able to hold the door closed with my leg to protect child #1, balance on the other leg, keep a backpack on my shoulder, keep the library materials in the bag and off the floor and keep the faucet going so that child #2 can scrub the ick off her tiny hands?

Had anyone walked into the restroom at that moment and looked at me with well-deserved concern, I'm almost sure I would have smiled and said, "This is motherhood. By definition, it's a physical comedy."

Jun 26, 2008

I Like to Knit and... books.
I've recently discovered that if I sit in the bed cross-legged I can put an open book under my feet and read from the pages. Yes those lines in the corners do get a little bit tough to see, and I have to do some real maneuvering in order to shift the toe-sies around and expose the words there, but that's just a minor inconvenience to allow me to enjoy what used to be my favorite hobby and combine it with its most recent replacement. blogs.
It has been said that necessity is the mother of invention. Well, someone already invented the handy dandy tool we call the computer mouse, and then someone else went and upped the value of it by adding this nifty little rolling ball thingy on top! Naturally I use mine all the time to scroll through pages of things that I have to read; but imagine my glee when I realized that if you press on it and then move it ever so slightly downward, it will automatically scroll through a page FOR you! Using this new little trick I'm able to sit, and knit, and roll on down through the wonderful things that you all have to say. Gleeeee!

...look at pictures.
Like many of you, my obsession with photography of my knitting warranted that I get some more storage space. Enter Flickr! What a great site... imagine that they anticipated the needs of we the Fiber Fanatics, and made it so that we could upload umpteen photos of any object we please and then come back later to add just. more. I have tons of fun browsing over there. And using the tag search and slideshow features allows me to sit, and knit, and covet all the beautiful photographs of what ever it is I feel like viewing (ooooo - lace!). Full screen mode baby - a feast for the eyes.

...listen to podcasts, music, and stories.
I know I'm not introducing any of you to something new on this front. Between iTunes and Yahoo Music and online streaming radio there is no end to the amount of audio stimulants one can indulge in during stitching time. I count myself very lucky to live in a county where the library system provides free audio book downloads online - and it's a great selection of titles too! Check your local system; if you can't audio books online, I bet they at least have some great stuff on CD for check out. on my tan. :-P
When the weather permits, one of my favorite places to sit and knit is out on our back screened porch. Getting some outside air, listening to nature's orchestra, and often keeping an eye on the girls as they play. It's a wonderful combination of stillness and activity all at once. And the view? Well thanks to my live-in gardener it is really quite something.

Back Yard Views

Now all this might make you think that I just crave simultaneous activities because I just can't be satisfied with one thing at a time. That I just have to be constantly multitasking , and that I will find any excuse to drift around from one distraction to another. Well that's just not so! Why just the other day...

Jun 19, 2008

You Say Compulsion, I Call it Passion

Ok, I admit it. I can be a bit compulsive sometimes. I find something I like, and I just dive right in. If that something requires an investment of time? I give it every spare minute I can scrounge up. If it's something that requires supplies (oooh...lemme seee, like say yarn in all colors, weights, and fibers) I get them...I get them by the tub load. And like any compulsive behavior, the collection of "stuff" that comes along with it is usually directly proportional to the degree of compulsion. It goes a little something like this....

I think I want to learn to crochet. I know! I'll go to the library and get a book. Now that I'm in the aisle with my 9 books on how to crochet, maybe I should just flip through these knitting books and see what that's about. Perfect. Now that I've checked out these 18 books on knitting and crochet, I should really make something. A starter project. First I'll need yarn and needles of course. Hmmmm....This yarn is pretty inexpensive. I just know I'm going to find a use for these 14 skeins of acrylic though- how can I beat this price? It'll be used up in no time.

Acrylic Stash Close Up
Acrylic Stash, circa 2007

Now for needles, I should probably just buy a few of the standard sizes. Oh joy!! This little container is PERFECT for these needles that I now own in duplicates of each amd every size available. Bring on the projects - I'm all set!!

Since I haven't crocheted before, I should probably start out simple. Let's see...I'll read through these 9 books and pick the first project that looks reasonably simple. Ahh yes, maybe this...

First completed crochet project, circa 2005

Knitting probably won't suck me in as much. Maybe I'll try just one project. But I better get some more yarn in case I can't find anything suitable to knit with in my stash.

Stash 027

Theeeeere. That should do it. Oh I'm so excited about all my options now. I really should share this perfectly manageable, non-obsessive, completely harmless little hobby I've found with a few other people. Oh, I know! I should start a blog. And on it, I should post my pictures. Better get a Flickr account for that. Can't wait to post this latest project out there, won't my buddies on KnitU, and over at KnittingHelp, and the ones on Ravelry, and my darling friends at Monday knit night be so proud??! I can't believe how well I'm keeping this all under control!

Geez...I can barely make room for this Rubbermaid tub of yarn in the closet now. Hmmm. Maybe I should clear out some of this fabric stash and move this scrapbooking stuff into another room. Nah - best I just get some stackable shelves; we hardly ever use this as a guest room anyway. It should all fit just fine. Besides...once I have my own yoga studio/yarn shop/community center/photography school/catering business, I'm going to want somewhere that I can come to and relax among my small, simple treasures. It's a good thing I'm so content now with this pastime; I want for nothing more. Oooh look! A handcarved spindle....

To be continued? ;)

Jun 12, 2008

This One? She's Alright by Me

My oldest is, and has always been, a very observant child. If there is one major thing that homeschooling has taught us, it is that the things children learn from watching and listening far outweigh the things they learn from books and direct instruction.

That didn't stop me from being blown away at my 6-year old's effort to support the preservation of the romantic spark between her parents. One morning she came to me and said "Mommy, I have something for you, but Daddy has to give it to you". At which point she tugged me by the hand to where Daddy was, told me close my eyes, and then said "Now Daddy, give this to Mommy - Mommy open your eyes!"

Love Note Side 1

"Now turn it over Mommy!"

Love Note Side 2

My dear readers, there are many many days that I get reminders like this one that it's VERY cool to have these particular daughters. Very cool indeed.

Jun 6, 2008

Wool Gathering

Every now and then, my inner tree hugger nudges me to be a bit more conscious of my consumption. We all want, need, and get things at various rates in life, but at some point, you do try to carve out some kind of balance. When I think about my yarn buying habit, I know that I have already come close to exceeding how much I can actually use up before my children start to need tuition, but I find the temptation to buy much harder to resist at times.

To counter these urges, I try to implement the three R's. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.
Reduce my stash to a reasonable amount (so that I can have the joy of filling it back up again).
Reuse yarn and materials from sweaters that I can get at my local Goodwill.
Recycle said yarn into a sweater that once cost someone $60, but last Saturday cost me $2.79.

Have you seen this great tutorial on reclaiming yarn from previously knit sweaters? How about this one? Using the techniques that these thrifty knitters outlined, I turned this Gap Sweater...

Tweed Wool Sweater - Before
Sweater Deconstruction - Snip. Rip. Repeat!

...into these yarn cakes. And now who knows what they'll become!

Recycled Yarn - Wool
Woolly, tweedy, mounds of potential (color is truest here)

I highly recommend this folks. In fact, the prospect of getting those 1200 + yards so cheap and easy kept me from going to a 40% off sale at my LYS. Now that's just economically savvy! Right? Yeah, yeah I know. When I run it past the hubster, I'll try to make it sound a wee bit more convincing.

Save a sheep! Unravel a sweater!

May 31, 2008

Oops, I Knit it Again

May I present, the Clapotis v. 3.0:

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool

Pattern - Clapotis by Kate Gilbert (I'm sure you find it funny that I even bothered to link that)
Yarn - KnitPicks Wool of the Andes in Chisholm;
Needles - KnitPicks Harmony, Size 8 (5mm)
Shelf life - Started 4.26.08; Bound off 05.30.08

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool
Pattern Modifications:
I knit 2 additional repeats in the straight section (that's 24 more rows, about 4" added)
To compensate, I knit an extra repeat in the decrease section as well.

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool

Do yourself a favor and get some of this yarn. Hand-dyed, RICH color at $1.99 per 110yd ball. Who doesn't love a bargain?
Also, if you're thinking about making a Clapotis and would like to have the row by row chart I used (with or without stitch counts), send me an email and I'll be glad to share that.
And the needles?? Like BUTTAH...I find any excuse to knit something on 8's now. I have managed to fight temptation so far, so I only have this one set of size 8 Harmony tips to try them out. Santa will undoubtedly bring me the rest of them though since he apparently knows my credit card number by heart.

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool

This is the second time I'm that I'm knitting this wrap as a gift. My mother-in-law always compliments my knitting and asked about it while I was working on it at our Memorial Day lunch (yes I was knitting wool outside in the afternoon in Florida - hush!). She said she loved the colors, and could really use something like that when it gets cold here (hush!). Something to warm her when she's outside waiting for the bus. What more motivation could I need?? After all, considering the gift of a lifetime partner she gave me - this is but a small token. She'll get it this fall just as soon as the temperature starts to dip, or maybe I can hold out until Christmas to gift it to her. Handknit love makes the world go 'round :)

No question that I love this pattern. The only real question is....what yarn will I knit it in next?

Finished Clapotis 083107 010
v 1.0 - Auracania Atacama Alpaca

Aunty's Clapotis
v 2.0 - Cascade 220 Paints

Clapotis #3 - KP Handyed Wool
v3.0 - KnitPicks Wool of the Andes

Many humble thanks to hubby, my oh-so patient photographer who never lets this FO showcase thing get old.

May 30, 2008

Receiving is Pretty Good Too

You know the saying that it is better to give than to receive? I firmly believe in that, and like many of you, I get a whole lot of joy from giving. I mean real grin-a-kool-aid-smile kind of happiness. In fact, I'm such a fan of giving, that I started a whole blog adventure about it. One of the things I like best about giving someone something out of kindness is that moment when they realize that, at some point, you stopped alllllll the other things going on in your life to think about them. And then you didn't just think about them, you acted on that thought. You put your feelings into something tangible. In the case of giving something handmade, you put your time, your energy, your creativity and a little piece of YOU into that gift. And when you see that they appreciate it, or that it does them some good - man oh man. It's hard to beat that warm and fuzzy.

Well it's by that same token that I would now like to celebrate the wonderfulness of receiving...Yesterday I received two packages and you can just guess what was in them....

Mmmmm hmmm - some of my favorite stuff to give AND to receive. Yarn! This gorgeous, colorful, Knit! Me! Now! kind of yarn.

Briar Rose Grandma's Blessing

This one is Grandma's Blessing from Briar Rose fibers.
I received this as a Thank You from Kim - the wonderful organizer of the Hope Lodge Charity Blanket Knit-a-Long. I told her that being a part of something so meaningful was definitely thanks enough and I took that as my gift when I took part. But this squishy lovely bonus?? Why thank you very much, I receive it humbly and with much gratitude.

This next one is a yarn I've heard about for a long time, and never actually tried (I believe that counts as a double gift - new yarn, new yarn knitting experience).

STR from Stash & Burn

This came in the mail from one of my all-time favorite podcasters, Nicole. Get this - I actually won this as a prize for knitting from my stash and decreasing it by over 1000 yards in April's Spring Cleaning Challenge [ravelry link]. In fact, I think knitting from our stash is a gift we should all give ourselves more often. And adding back to the stash through the kindness of others like Nicole and the lovely Ceylun (our challenge administrator) - now that's just good receiving!
Oh what to make??! Send your suggestions pleez! I welcome them.

Sigh...I'm happy as a lark. (Why don't people say that anymore? It's just so fitting.)

May 28, 2008

The Post That Almost Wasn't

Hello my darlings!

This is the post that almost wasn't because I actually found myself hesitating about whether or not I should come out here - to my own blog - to post something. Now you may wonder, why in the world would you have to ask yourself that, Marce?

Well... I view this blog like many other things in my life - I have a great deal of patience with everyone else, but I am a perfectionist with myself. So even though this is my own private space out here in blog land, and even though I am the master of all most of what goes on here, I really wasn't sure that I was comfortable coming out here to post until I was absolutely sure of what I would talk about. Seems strange, right? The thing is, sometimes I am actually conflicted. I ask myself, should I come out here and post some things I think you might want to read about? Or should I come out here and just write the things I want to talk about? Much of the time I am so lucky in that those two things are actually one and the same. But in the last few days, I've come to a realization. I've realized that ( in my mind) I have really strayed from my original reasons for creating this space.

My original reasons included finding a creative outlet (check!); encouraging myself to write more often (check!); and connecting with others who are doing the same (a very grateful check!). But sometimes I find myself actually NOT posting even though I want to. Not because I don't have something to say-if you know me you know I ALWAYS have something to say - but moreso because I wasn't sure if I had a "complete" post ready. And that kind of thinking bothers me a little bit. This is my personal space, and because it's personal it should reflect my personality. Part of my personality is that I don't always have everything put together before I leap. I get by on ideas, plans, conversations and many things that are unplanned and not quite fully formed, but still oh so good.

So once again, you my darling cyber friends have come to the rescue. I spent the last few weeks visiting many of your blogs. Lurking on some, commenting on others, and e-mailing with some of you that I haven't talked to enough in some time. What an enlightening and refreshing experience! I learned by stepping out of my own writing space here and by stepping into yours that this blogging thing isn't about perfection, it isn't about being always precise or prepared, and it certainly isn't about only writing what others want to read. It's about keeping the personal in a personal blog, and it's about just plain old sharing.

As with all great epiphanies, I'm sure that this will be at the forefront of my mind for a good long time (three solid days at least) and then it's urgency might start to fade. But until that time I will make a greater effort to not wait until I have all my photos lined up, or all my project notes listed out, or all my links ready and set to go. If I have something I want to share, I'm going to just come out here and share it.

Just like I did today.

May 4, 2008


Yes, I know I said I'd be away for a while...but, you know what they say - sharing is caring!
Just a little sunshine and warmth from us to you...All photos get bigger if you click 'em.

Hard at Play Snuggle-iscious

Memory Bits Gettin Jiggy

Castles in the sand This is how we do it

Mr Sandman Clapotis 3