Friday, December 31, 2010

Mid Blizzard

Yeah, it's snowing.

Year Enders

I imagine I'll have some snowish pictures come daylight (and even more as the day goes on, since we're slated for another 10+" today, and we're smack in the center of another Blizzard Warning). But in the meantime, here are a few last pics of 2010.
 I can finally post pics of my sister Terri's Christmas presents. I designed some personalized knitting fabric in her favorite color through Spoonflower. I made her a pair of slippers, a zipper box, and a roll-up knitting needle case. Terri reads the blog (she signs herself as #4 in the comments), so I had to wait to show them off.
 Super Hero Boy (who might be Skateboard Boy, or Pokemon Boy by now- he's in transition), finished coloring the large robot of his cut-color-sew set (designed through Spoonflower). I got it sewn and stuffed and it's ready to send back to him.
 Frog Girl got the vest and bag colored from her Spoonflower doll set, so I sewed them together for her.
 She still has to finish the skirt. Bee Girl and Ladybug Girl are almost done with their vests. I love the Op Art look of their coloring (I opted for solid colors on my set- how boring).
 Speaking of Grandgirls- they decorated a Gingerbread house yesterday. Pretty good, if I say so myself.
 And I finished another pair of leftover socks for the Big Tub 'O Knitted Things.

I think these are my favorites so far.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thursday Tab- Saalfield/Artcraft Flower Girls #1744

Paper Doll Friend Lorie has shared another wonderful paper doll with us. I had never seen Saalfield/Artcraft #1744 Flower Girls before, but I have fallen in love. The artwork is delicate and beautiful, so different from most sets of the era. Speaking of era, this book is undated, but given the styles, and the fact that the dolls are named Brenda and Phyllis, I suspect it was drawn in the very early '60s (though this book may be a later reprint).

Thanks for sharing, Lorie!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Creativity runs in my family. I can't take any credit for it, it started long before I came along. My father, and his father before him, were the original story tellers, and my dad can still make you roll on the floor with laughter.

My mom was a crafter, and my earliest crafting memories are of her decorating our house for Christmas with Glass Wax stencils, drawing paper dolls for us, knitting and crocheting (not to mention making lovely doll clothes by hand). She started us on the road to creativity by insisting that we design and make things for our Grandmothers at Christmas.

It would be far more surprising if some of that creativity didn't pass down to the later generations. And it would be odder still if I didn't Shamelessly Promote these wonderfully talented people who just happen to be related to me.

My son Curtis, is a writer and artist. His first book, an interactive children's story, will be available in February as an iApp (greater love hath no mother- I actually am switching to an iPhone just so I can buy it, after studiously avoiding iAnything so far. Well, except for joining iTunes to buy Crystal Bowersox's AI performances last year). Curt also writes a beer blog, called Hop Head Said, for Ventura County, which is all about events and potables in that SoCal vicinity.

But my Blatant Son Promotion today has nothing (well not much) to do with those activities. Today, I want to let you all know that Curt has added some wonderful note cards to his store. He has a lovely assortment of photos and prints available- all beautiful (natch), and carefully produced (duh), and reasonably priced (woohoo!).  Cruise on over and take a peek.

But it's not just my children who are striking out in the arts- my niece Tiffany Hein has a small country crafts business called Whimsical Details. She doesn't have an etsy store yet (one coming soon), but Whimsical Details does have a facebook page, if you care to check it out.

Tiff lovingly crafts lots of wonderful items, including these custom necklaces:

This one is for me, her favorite Auntie. The front is adorable

and if anything, the back is even adorabler. Tiff will make up these necklaces to order, with any initial, color, and, of course, personal preferences on the back.
She also made me these great concrete (cement? I can never remember) bricks. They're the size and heft of regular bricks, but she can customize the sentiment or phrase. These are staying inside for the rest of the winter, but come spring, they'll become a permanent part of my flower garden.

Now that the USPS has those wonderful flat-rate shipping boxes, sending chunks of concrete around the country is totally doable for a reasonable price. Tiffany makes and sells lot of other great items. If you want to contact Tiffany for custom orders or information, you can find her on Facebook, or via e-mail  at

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Day After the Day After

Even though I started my holiday prep late, I finished with time to spare (going Frugal helped). The Big Meal was as easy to put together as possible (our recent tradition is heating up a smoked turkey- absolutely delicious with no chance of ruining it). We had wonderful family time with the SoDak branch, and lots of quiet time too. Still, I was worn out yesterday, and did nothing much but knit and finish reading Stephen King's Full Dark, No Stars (very good, but very dark).
I completed Leftover Socks #2 before Christmas. Evidently, I am drawn to green and gold yarns- I have lots of leftover balls in these shades. This pair is slated for next Christmas- it's good to get started early (especially since The Big Tub O' Knitted Things is nearly empty).
I also finished Leftover Hat #2. These yarns are bits and pieces of old Knit Picks 100% Merino sock yarns- I don't think they even make this yarn any more- all of their current sock yarns are superwash with nylon. (The styrofoam head is child-sized, btw- the hat fits me perfectly).
 I love the spiderwebby look of the crown decreases.

The colors pooled a bit on the brim, but it still turned out very pretty. At this rate, the BTo'KT will fill up nicely.

I firmly hinted to my knitting sisters that no one ever knits for me. The hints took- my sister Terri made me these two lovely scarves (I'm going to have to make corkscrew scarves for The Grands- they were quite taken with it). The sparkly fuzzy one is very thick and warm. Both are gorgeous!
And though my sister Sandi told me that I would laugh and put these away in a dark corner, never to see them again, I love the leg warmers that she designed and knit just for me. Sandi rekindled her love of knitting while we were at SAFF last October, and she's been knitting, and designing Fair Isle, ever since. I may not wear them much (my ballet days are long gone... ho ho), but I will love them forever.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

ASCII Greetings

★Merry★ 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★Christmas★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門| ˚And a Happy New Year!!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Thursday Tab- Saalfield #2426 The New Shirley Temple, 1942

The New Shirley Temple, brought to you by puberty. Also by Paper Doll Friend Lorie.

This absolutely gorgeous set was published by Saalfield, in 1942. Shirley Temple would have been about 14. The adorable little girl roles of her childhood were gone by then, and her acting career was nearly over.

Thank you Lorie, for sharing this wonderful paper doll with us!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hats and Hos

I finished the leftover hat.
And I am delighted with it.

 Stats: Size 2.75mm needles, 140 sts, 4 rnds K1P1 ribbing, 5 1/2 inches total for brim, Decrease every other rnd for crown, beginning with *K 12, K 2 tog*. It's 8 1/2" wide laying flat, 8" long, and it used 1.3 ozs (38 gr) of  leftover fingering weight sock yarns. Gauge: approx 9 sts=1", 10 rnds=1".

It'll fit most Youth-Medium Adult. It's a perfect fit on me, though it's a bit tight and short for The Hub. For him, I'd CO 150 sts and work the brim 3/4" longer, and then begin the decreases thusly: *K13, K 2 tog*.

I went through my leftover self-patterning sock yarns (I often have almost 40gr left from 100 when I knit a pair for myself), and wound some of them into balls whose repeats start and end at the same place (the two skeins start at the same spot in the repeat). Above is at least two pairs of socks. Matching socks! or Gloves! The last bits and partial repeats from each yarn went into another bag for more hats.

Side Note: I have not purchased yarn in 15 months (yarn sent to me for book projects doesn't count), and I STILL have not made a dent in my stash. It looks every bit as big as it did, lo these many months ago. I am still stumbling across whole bags of yarn that I forgot about. At this rate, I won't be buying yarn for another 3 years.

And a Ho Ho Ho to you all! (of course, that's the kind of Ho I meant in the header.)

P.S. The Hub is a Jolly Fella, he just has a no-smile-for-the-camera policy that he seldom violates. Though I did catch him at it. Once.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Clarification for The Big Book of Socks- as for

This has come up several times in the past few weeks, so I thought I'd better post a clarification (and it'll go permanently to the right, with the other Big Book of Socks information).

When you come upon instructions that say knit as for, referring you to a different pattern for the next step (in this case, to the 40 stitch flap and gusset heel), knit that portion of your heel as you would for the referred pattern. In other words, knit it in the same manner, using the same short-row technique as in the referenced instructions. Knitting "as for" does not mean that you are to use the same number of stitches (which would be impossible, since only the 40 stitch heel uses forty stitches). Work the first two rows of your listed heel instructions, and then continue in the same manner as the 40 stitch flap and gusset heel (in other words, work one more stitch on each row, before doing the decrease and turn), until you have worked across all of the stitches.

O Hai, Winter!

There you are.
We've had below zero temps (though nothing terrible. I think -6 was our coldest) (that's F, btw), but not a lot of snow. That lack is being remedied even as I type. I'm glad I don't have go to anywhere today.

The recent cold and snowy weather gave me the perfect excuse to open the last bottle of the '05 Cinnamon Apple Wine. We haven't made any of this wine in the interim- I think I need to start a batch.

In a departure from my recent Holiday Baking Failures, the Cranberry Hootycreeks came out perfectly. And the name makes me giggle.

I finished the leftover socks, and love them. Luckily, they're not my size, or I'd be tempted not to wrap them up. 

I generally use my leftover yarns in patchwork socks, but there comes a point in every ball of yarn where even I have to admit that what's left is not sock-worthy (at least for someone who is anal about matching pairs). Those bits and pieces are set aside for hats. This simple beanie is being knit on size 2.75mm needles, and 140 sts. I'll knit 5 1/2", and then decrease (*K 12, K 2 tog* for the first decrease rnd). It's definitely going to be one-of-a-kind.

And today, I start the actual rewrites on my MG (as opposed to thinking about them for the last couple of weeks). Wish me luck.