Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A survey.

This is from Crazy Aunt Purl, and I haven't done one in a long time.

Four jobs I’ve had:

* Cashier at a Save-A-Lot grocery store ("We Don't Waste Money on Advertising or Any Sort of Cleaning Supplies, and We're Passing The Savings and ########### on to You!")* Waitress at the Silver Lake Restaurant.
* Work-Study at the college library.
* Pizza Hut waitress. This is depressing.

Four movies I can watch over and over:

* All the Muppet movies except for Muppets Take Manhattan.
* The Philadelphia Story
* All the Harry Potter movies
* Toy Story

Four places I have lived:

* Perry, New York
* Warsaw, New York
* Batavia, New York
* Fredonia, New York

Four television shows I love to watch:

* House
* Blind Date
* Family Guy
* American Idol

Four places I have been on vacation:

* Susquehanna, PA
* Cape Cod, MA
* Someplace in New Hampshire
* Boston, MA

Four of my favorite dishes:

* Broiled eggplant and spaghetti with a rich marinara.
* Roast chicken and stuffing
* Summer tomatoes with salt, pepper and fresh basil
* Cheese and crackers

Four websites I visit daily:


Four places I would rather be right now:

* At Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival.
* Drinking a glass of wine at 41 West.
* Making dinner with a good friend.
* You are not allowed to know about this one. Heh.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The closest I get to Rhinebeck...

For all those in the Western New York area, the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival is this weekend, September 16 and 17th. My dearest pal Heather, her dear pal Joe, and possibly my kid sister, as well as I will be heading there on Saturday to develop a bad case of hives, pet sheep, and no doubt purchase some fiber. It's a grand time, sheepdog trials and everything. So see you there!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

More stuff!

Hey, check this out! I made the potholder, coasters, pillow and framed thingie on
this page!

And a big HI! to my old friend Melissa who's been commenting--we've been pals since infancy (seems like it!), lost touch for ten years, and now we go the same college--the world is a big circle indeed!

Monday, August 21, 2006

I have been making stuff!

Really, I swear! But my camera is broken--but you can see the pics other people took here:

Hairpin lace scarf, owl coasters and Wool Monster:

Flower scarf and wool doggie:

Monday, July 10, 2006

Mmmmm, cake!

I put new stuff in my Etsy.Go see! Here's a teaser:

Also, I don't know how many artists read this blog, but I'm looking for someone to collaborate with who can do a nice sketch of a red fox? Know anyone who wants a small commission? Leave a comment!

Monday, June 05, 2006


Know what I've concluded? When you think you want to do a project, let it stew for a week or so. If you still want to do it after that long, you'll finish it. Here's a few I'm thinking of:

A Pointy Kitty ( only modified to look like Bowie. I'm concerned it might turn out lionish, but I'll be careful.

Finishing my Vintageous sweater I'm designing. I've been so wrapped up with swaps! I got some wonderful stuff--the crowning glory was the handmade stuffed Librarian from the Discworld books!

I got this from Craftster Bucciboo, whose sock monkey Etsy shop is here:

Monday, May 29, 2006

Hey, look! Crochet!

A little strawberry amigurumi I made up...he is so cute he makes me barf cotton candy.

It's nothin' the round:
F hook, baby yarn.

ch2, 4 sc in 2nd ch from hook.

2 sc in each sc.

2 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next sc.

Continue like that , doing one more sc between increases until it's big enough, (I did it until 4) then sc even til you want to start decreasing, and start with 4 sc between decreases.


Ch6, join to form a ring. In ring, ch2, dc, tr with a picot on top, dc, ch 2, sl st in ring.Do that 5 times.

I used I-cord for his appendages, which is made with double pointed knitting needles.

I also have a couple new bags in my Etsy shop. I used the Jordy bag technique for the lining and the square bottoms....I am so in love with the peach. i didn't use a pattern for the bag..there are lots of cabled bags out there, but if you really love this particular one, let me know and I'll post a pattern for it.

This is a square-bottomed knitted bag in red acrylic, fully lined with sturdy fabric, a crocheted button flap, a bodacious cable running down the middle and a cute little owl friend in the corner!

Knit in white acrylic yarn and fully lined with vintage fabric. It is 8"x7" and has a bodacious cable running down the middle, a sturdy crocheted button flap, and the Lucky Wings tag on the inside.It has a square bottom. The best part is Miss Georgia Peach hanging out in the corner!

Oh, and the whole point I was posting was to show you a picture of my cat...I ended up calling him Bowie. Because I love David Bowie, and one of the most important things about names is that you have to enjoy saying them. There's a staaaaarcat, sleeping on the couch.....he is such a lover. Every morning at about seven he wakes me up licking my face. He eats like a bird, which worries me, so I got him special food for older cats. I hope he gains weight soon, I can feel his bones under all that fur...and naturally he likes canned food best. He'll eat a whole teaspoon of that at a time. I'm used to cats who gobble like tomorrow isn't coming...

Bunny Slipper Corrections

Can be found at: Scroll down to the bottom, the errata file for Happy Hooker is actually a PDF file...

Friday, May 26, 2006

More swappage

I designed the crocheted squirrel and owl--if there's a lot of interest I could write up the patterns. We also have a jordy bag, a picture frame and a squirrel Nutkin pin. I'll post pictures of what my pal sent me on Monday--it's nifty!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


I've had a bunch of Craftster Swaps going on lately, here are some of the things I created:

For the Suzy Homemaker swap, my partner wanted art and a cute apron. I wasn't sure I could manage an apron at first, because my sewing machine is broken. Then I remembered that I had several circle skirtsI made that came out a little too short. I cut one up and added a bib, trimming and some smiling felt cherries and voila! My partner said she loves it so much she's going to wear it as clothing!

I also attempted a painting based on some vintage fabric I have:

For the Goldfish/Koi swap, which I organized, I made my partner a zippered pouch (my first zipper!) a glasses case out of a felted sweater, and a little fishie magnet.

I also finished up a sweater I designed myself; no pattern, I forgot to write it down and now I forget.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Help me name my cat!

The new love of my life is this furry gentleman here.

It's about a year since my little kitty Cricket passed away in suspicious circumstances, and today I adopted this guy from a local shelter. He was there because his owner tragically passed away due to cancer. Most of the cats there have been abandoned, but at least he had a legitimate reason for being there. He had my heart from first purr. He's a big guy,seven years old, and oh so juicy and squeezable. This is his shelter picture-I found him on Give me a few days and his pictures will be looking much happier and showing off his gorgeous fur. He bears the unlikely moniker of Scramece. I have never even heard of this word. Could it be some kind of Italian or Yiddish slang? Current contenders for his new name are Chester and Rufus...any other suggestions? What does he look like to you?

Monday, May 08, 2006

Red Bobbles and Minty Fresh

Here's two shrugs I designed myself. Not that they're anything real innovative, but I like them.The pattern for Minty Fresh is up!
The red bobble one was inspired by Stephanie Japel's Forecast..I liked all the bobbles but have a short attention span. I didn't use any pattern, I just did my favorite 3/3 cable with a 3 stitch bobble by each cable twist. It's the standard make a rectangle and sew up the sleeves thing, but I did the sleeves on circulars instead, then switched the straights and put a garter stitch edging on by knitting 3 at the edges. I used US 11 needles and recycled red bulky acrylic. Unfortunately, it attracts fuzzies magnetically.

The green one was a little trickier. I do have the pattern written down, but as you can see, it was done in three pieces, seamed and the sleeves done on with circulars. I did a seed stitch edging by picking up collar stitches, and cap sleeves by doing some short rows. The coolest thing about this is that it took ONE skein of Aunt Lydia's Baby Denim, with enough left over for a headband! I used US 9 needles. I made a mistake on the fronts somehow, one side has a longer ribbing section than the other. I was in a hurry and not paying attention. I'm happy with it anyway.

Pattern for Minty Fresh:

This is a try-new-techniques pattern for me. You do short rows, increasing, ribbing, seed stitch, dpns and picking up stitches. If you've never done these things before, practise first. They can be a little tricky.

Materials: 400 yards worsted weight cotton. I used Aunt Lydia's Baby Denim. US 9 straight needles, Smaller straight needles for the bottom ribbing, US 9 29" circular needle for the neck, and 5 dpns for the sleeves. gauge: 10 st = 2.5 inches

This is a 34" bust. I don't really know how to make it bigger off the top of my head, but I'm sure you can figure it out.

Right Front: (starting from the top)
Cast on 15 stitches on straight needles. Knit in stockinette stitch for 5". End on a purl row. Next:

1. Knit, increase one stitch at beginning of row.
2. Purl.

Repeat these two rows 4 times. AT THE SAME TIME, when piece is six inches from beginning, cast on 20 stitches on opposite end from increases and continue as before. After all increase rows are done, knit in stockinette for 2", then change to 2/2 ribbing for 4". Change to smaller needles (I used US 3) for 1". Bind off.

Left Front: Reverse all shaping.

Back: Cast on 70, knit in stockinette for 5". Do increase rows 1 and 2 as for fronts on BOTH sides of the back. Continue as for front, but don't cast on those 20 stitches.

Seam up the back and front.

Sleeves: Pick up 72 stitches around armhole on 4 dpns. Knit in stockinette in the round for 1". Change to seed stitch for 3 rows. Here come the short rows:

On top two needles only, knit in seed stitch until you reach the third needle. Knit 1 off the third needle, wrap and turn. Knit back over the top two needles until you get to the first needle. Knit one stich off the first needle, wrap and turn.
Continue knitting back and forth on the top two needles, knitting one more stich before turning each time, until you are knitting three stitches before turning. Bind off.

Pick up stitches around the neck opening on the big circular needle. Try to pick up one stich in each stitch. Knit back and forth in seed stitch until your border is as big as you want it to be.

Buttonholes: With straight needles, pick up stitches on front opening. Work in seed stitch, after two rows, decide where you want the holes to be. When you get to those spots, do a yarn over, ktog where the holes should be.

Sew on buttons, weave in ends and you're done!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


I really, really hate copyright. I understand perfectly well that no one wants their original idea to be used for someone else's credit and monetary gain. Stealing someone else's idea for profit is evil.

I don't mind if you make an army of pigs, frogs and whatevers from my patterns, because your work will be going into them. Please don't just sell the patterns themselves, though.

But what I hate is that since we have project-sharing forums like craftster, and sites for selling homemade things like Etsy...everyone gets inspired by everyone else's irresistible ideas. Then someone yells THIEF and the crafting community turns sour.

One person on Craftster did say something that made sense, though: Whenever possible, bring something new into the world. You are a special, unique bundle of experiences and the things you create should be unique to you.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mousie, an Owlet and his Tree

I love making toys so much!
I found the owl pattern on this Craftster thread: Did I ever mention that I spend about four hours a day on Craftster? I had a big paper to write the other day, but I kept checking Craftster every few sentences. It's killing my GPA, yet filling my life with joy. I'll keep it. =)

Anyway, this owl is extremely wee-he's only an inch tall. I want to make bigger ones, but I didn't want to waste a bunch of fabric if I muffed the first try. Plus he might go in a diorama.

I freehanded the tree; it's actually made of four trunk pieces, so it's totally 3D. I based it on a picture of a white oak tree in my dad's circa 1950 encyclopedia. Yeah, it totally looks just like it..

Then here's a little mouse. I came up with this pattern myself. It's three teardrop shapes sewn together with a triangle for the bottom. Cute, isn't she? I love her daisy corsage.

Monday, March 27, 2006


I tried a Craftster swap again. I've been a little wary since my last experience. The thing about swaps is that if one person puts their whole soul into the project, and the other person doesn't, it ends up being a really slimy memory..but hey! For gnomes, I will give it a another try. Today is the send-off date and here's what I made:

It's a Jordy bag, made from this genius tutorial: I used some kind of stiff denim for the outside, and some vintage cotton from my local antique store for the inside.

Then the gnome: Found on Google, I admit it. I am not so confident in my crafty skills to think I can create a decent gnome. Maybe if I was more artistic in the painting kind of way. And I can't help thinking that all the crocheted and knitted gnomes out there would be disappointing to someone who, like me, holds the gnome from Amelie to be the pinnacle of gnomehood.

So I did an iron-on transfer onto yellow felt and patched him on there. I freehanded the crocheted mushroom, and used my favorite yarn, that green Lamb's Pride, to do the grass in a lazy daisy stitch.

I made a little keychain, too, because my swap partner specifically requested one. The strain of turning the felt inside out is starting to make the transfer flake already, though. I feel bad I couldn't do something more permanent.

All in all, I'm very pleased with it, and I hope my partner is too.

Oh, and check this out: nifty Japanese knitting and crochet patterns with charts.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


I'm on spring break now, so I can put up a few things...first off, though, I'd like to apologize to all the crocheters who had trouble with my Fluffy Bunny Slippers pattern in the Happy Hooker book. If there's one thing I'm bad at, it's math, but I should have checked it five times to make sure it was absolutely correct. I'm sorry.

Here's the Frivol hat I knitted. The pattern is brilliant! It's all done sideways, and you use short rows to make the top. I find that most new knitting techniques I learn are unintentional. I learned short rows by jumping in to a project. I don't usually say to myself, "Today I am jolly well going to knit cables," or anything. It's less scary this way. I used acrylic yarn for this one, since I wasn't sure how I'd do on it, and size 9 needles. Genius pattern. It makes my budding inner knitting snob cackle with glee over the clever design.

Short rows on top:

Here's a few animals I made, too. I was a little burnt out on the knitting. Happily, I know a two-year-old who will love them. I used a felted wool sweater and this Japanese pattern for the dog, which I found on Craftster.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Stuff for trade!

I've given up on that sweater idea. It seems like the more involved I get in preparing for a project, the less likely I am to actually do it. DK weight yarn will never be a sweater for me. I'm not sure if I want to store it away against a day years from now when I may have more patience, or sell it, or trade it. Does anyone want it? 10x50 gram balls are exactly what's in there, I think, the original packaging was opened by me but not used.
I'm also ready to trade my Loopdloop Teva Durham book, Scarf Style, and Knit and Crochet with Beads by Lily Chin.

I desperately want that Interweave Knitscene magazine!!! Does anyone have it who wants to trade me something? I NEED it! I need to make those red socks and the slippers!

I'm currently working half-heartedly on this pattern:

I'm using Andes mint colors, and I'm pleased with the results, although it's slow going because the pattern is so repetitive.

I'm also making a tie-front shrug from Knit1 magazine out of my gift Homespun. It wanted ribbon yarn, but heck, it's the right gauge, all in garter stitch, and all the pieces are rectangles's like pudding. The Pudding Shrug.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Free Crochet Patterns! Lots!

Look look everyone, Go here!

Free Crochet Patterns for Toys

I figured out what I'm going to do for my sexy sweater. I'm going to use this Bernat free pattern:

However, I'm only using it for the shape. It will have no fluffy collar or anything. Then I'll add belt loops and a sash sort of thing to go through them at the bottom. Mmmmm, pretty. I wish the neckline was lower. I'll have to see if I can do that.

Yarn for a sexy sweater

It was one of those moments you dream about. My dad came home from work and said, "I've got a bunch of yarn here my coworker wants you to have!" There are three skeins of nice Homespun, some seafoam baby yarn (bleagh), some hot pink Plush, and THIS:

The color name is Vellum. You can tell just by looking at it that it's high quality stuff, and I have got to find the sexiest sweater in the world to do it justice. If anyone has any suggestions as to which sweater that might be, please tell me!!! If you don't, my homework will probably be brushed aside merrily until I find the pattern myself.

I finished my scratchy wool breakup scarf. It is a beautiful scratchy scarf. I used the raspberry stitch which is sort of like a bobble stitch but nowhere near as difficult, on size 13 needles. It didn't come out too long, but it's lovely and I'm going to do my best to wear it. Ever since all the arguing started I've been CRAVING something like this to knit. I can't think of a healthier alternative to violence and drunkenness in the aftermath of breakups. I love knitting.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

the art of the commonplace

I have pictures of stuff for you.

First of all, the Corset Belt from the new Happy Hooker SnB book: I used some incredibly stiff and nasty vintage acrylic yarn I had lying around. I should have used Lamb's Pride, because the ruffle is too stiff and it looks like a skirt. Lovely pattern, though. It took me about three hours to make.

Here's a cabled hat I threw together on impulse. I've gotten so many compliments on it! I used a US 11 circular needle and wool yarn from Muench. I based the pattern on a basic hat pattern from somewhere and a Cable Rib pattern from my Better Homes and Gardens Needlecraft book. Crazy Aunt Purl's hat recipe came in handy for the mysterious decreases, too.

I got this next idea from
It's a simple circle of ribbing done of double-pointed needles in Sugar and Cream cotton, Lamb's Pride, and random acrylic. I cut off an uncomfortable watchband and sewed the clock to the ribbing-very comfy!

Here we come to the villain of our piece. Remember my Amelie sweater from Well. I got gauge. I swear I did. However, when I unpinned it from blocking, it was so small it won't even fit over my arms. I am befoozled. Shoe for scale. Too bad the colors are too sober for a three-year-old....

Here's a happy item: I made this for my Etsy shop. I call it the Lotus scarflet. I copied the flower design from my bedspread pattern. I used Berocco Softwist in Ginger, US 10 needles, and seed stitch to make the scarflet. The flower pin is made of felt, embroidery floss and sequins.

Last of all is my next project: handspun wool yarn in greens and blues that I got at the Finger Lakes Fiber Arts Festival last September. I've been saving it for a special occasion, and since my three-year relationship just ended in horribleness, I think a lovely repetitive scarf in this yarn is in order.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

My book is on fire

It's Finally OUT! I'm a published patternmaker!

Of course, my copy hasn't actually arrived yet...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Crochet. Because this is a crochet blog. Yes.

Look! I'm going to distract you from the sewing tangent I'm on with something I crocheted! Er, and knitted.

It's in the Etsy shop so you might have seen it already, but I crocheted the flower in a very typical Irish rose pattern...the reason it's cool is because it's made of all these bits of really cool handspun mohair and alpaca. Natural fiber just looks so REAL. Acrylic yarn has one shade and that's it-no color nuances. It took me a long time to figure this out, and lots of miserable projects, like my attempted Teva Durham Leaf Lace sweater in Lion Chunky. It was awful.

So, the Happy Hooker crochet book is coming out February 13! I hope my copy gets here really soon. I am having a creative block..I have tons of ideas, and I can't wait to get home from school every day, I attempt them and they do not work. I made a white deer today that is so fat I'm considering calling it a sheep. And that just does not satisfy me. Sheep are lovely, but I had this vision of a slender white deer with a wreath of bright flowers around her neck. I dream about this deer at night. I need to create this thing and it does not want to be created.

I hate February. Valentine's Day is next week and I am not even excited because there is no sunshine and I am depressed. Because of the lack of sunshine. So I don't feel lovey dovey. I hate February.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Etsy is Up!

Thursday, February 02, 2006

I'm going into business!

I just opened my own Etsy shop! I've been working on a project I haven't talked about at all, wait til you see! I've been perfecting it for awhile. I had this toy deer when I was little, one of those vintage ones with the hugely disproportionate head and eyes. You know,the ones that should be really ugly but actually are so cute that they cause grown women to spew forth language usually associated with newborn human beings. My deer has long since degenerated into a pile of sawdust filling and rags, so I've been working on a pattern and producing a new generation of deer for all of you. I've decided that the purpose of the Etsy shop is not to make money (although it would be nice) but to provide a way for me to create all the pretty things I want to without having to worry about whether I can use it, have room for it, etc. I can make anything I like, and then it can go live somewhere else. I will be putting items in the store tomorrow, so go have a peek!You will die of cuteness.

Friday, January 13, 2006

I bet you'd say, what can make me feel this way...

My girl, my girl...

Meet my Cherry Blossom Fortune Cat! Remember when I posted the link to this pattern back in the day? I finally got around to it! I used Cascade 220 and US8 dpns. I embroidered the wee blossoms with some angora yarn. She's only half felted because I liked her shape after one cycle.

Notice the orange snow fencing in the background? It's January in upstate New York, and normally we'd be unfreezing the cows with hair dryers and digging out our cars every morning at 5 am...but here's what we've got:

I wound up some very sticky handspun mohair and angora and other sinfully delicious yarn on the front porch today. I received a box of goodies from my aunt in Colorado, who bequeathed her stash to me. How lucky am I, huh? Of course, that was before Christmas and I'm just now having the time to play with it. I haven't had one intelligent thought all vacation. I go back to school on the eighteenth and tackle Shakespeare...As my dear buddy Heather said, "Better make my hat one inch bigger than my head, in case I learn something."

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