Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Loads of inspiration for YOU, today.........

I know, it is my second post......but, saw some interesting things on the web today and wanted to write about them...... Knitted bags and they look so easy to replicate... or as a stepping off point to your own design. I like the leather touches and the linings are quilted fabric.

They are from JUICY COUTURE...a hot designer, these days. I visited one of their stores in santa barbara, CA.

The farthest one is called the jane bag @ $275 and the closest is the renee bag @ $395. Can you believe those prices.

Looks like BIGGGG needles and some lion's brand fishermans wool...or your own handspun bulky...and you have it made! I think a bag would look fabulous in some great natural grey homespun yarn....I just might have to indulge... :-)

yes, I know, focus on finishing up those UFO's or at least 2 before starting another new project.....but, with such great inspiration...............what is a girl to do?????


The next thing I happened upon was on Neiman Marcus's site.........yes, I know, pricey, pricey.......but, I love NM....have always loved it.....even have a characture statue of myself in my home....and I am holding a NM shopping bag....

They have a video today of the dior runway show...john galliano the designer, commentary throughout. I loved one of his statements....where he said, fashion is inspires us to matter what fashion we can afford.

This video is very inspirational...not just because, he makes some great comments about how we think of fashion and its inspirational value........but, for the fur trimmed capes and stoles and suit jackets. Take a look!

It got me to thinking about all the fun fur yarns out there....that are not that expensive. How easy would it be to update one of your old suit making fun fur sleeves or cuffs to slip over the suit sleeves or trim the edge of a coat, or skirt or how about a great muff to keep your hands warm this fall?

Or how about, updating one of those ponchos you made last season....with some fur edging????

He said, the look he was going for was 40's glam. Monochromatic gold fabric, gold fur........take a look.........go ahead, you know you want to!!!! ...and remember to wear a bib.....or grab a tissue....the collection is gorgeous this year!

If anyone does make something from this inspiration, I would love to post the photos on my send them


Check out the colourlovers can sign up....and design your own palettes,experiment,see what colors are hot and are not, what others think are great and also some inspirational photos of autumn colors....if you sign up, you can use the site to keep your own palette is really, really neat!

I was so excited to find out about this color site....and all its color palette tools. My mind is spinning from the color possibilities.

Anyway, it is an absolutely lovely day in bucks county...and I want to go outside and knit, and knit, and knit...and who knows, I just might have a finished off project to photo by the end of the day....working on
a short sleeve top and the nicky epstein flower scarf..........

wishing you all a day filled with wondrous inspiration............
smiles to you,

Its morning and I am still not in bed........

I spent the day visiting my cousin, who has been in florida for months. We ate at Pat's steaks... The CHEESESTEAK, was good...very good. I still think they make the best Philadelphia cheesesteaks around....smothered in cheez whiz, onions and hot peppers! I .........which, makes it authentic and calorie rich!
Here is the recipe for their Philadelphia Cheesesteak....YUM!!!!

It was a beautiful day. Then I drove to Delaware to wine shop, I love this wine warehouse on Naaman's road. Lot's of good deals. Then on to Sam's club....for staples...toilet paper and whipped cream...LOL!!!

I love to have whipped cream in my morning is my treat. It keeps me sane....and surprising low calorie. It also makes your coffee taste like dessert, if you are feeling deprived on your latest diet.

No knitting done today....I am upset about that. I feel so out of sorts....without Max driving me nuts. It is funny how you really miss the squeakiest wheels in your life...why is that????

Then I decided to do my tarot cards...for FREE on Here is a link...

Get FREE authentic Tarot Reading

NOW, what was the first card to come up.......the DEATH card...which, indicates big changes are afoot. I can not take anymore changes this week...I need sleep, I need my knitting needles, I need some quiet time.....

It is tuesday and I am exhausted....and thinking will I make it to the weekend?

Is it any wonder that I am not sleeping??? I think I am going to find some sticks and string and knit til I drop off to sleep....just hope you don't read about me in tomorrow's news.....woman fell asleep and bludgeoned herself to death with knitting needles after getting the death!!!

Just wondering if I should go and count sheep or find my knitting needles...hmmmmmmmmm...wonder what I will work on?....which, UFO will make progress this morning?......stay tuned....

Wishing you all a knit filled day...or at least a minute or click those needles.......
smiles to you,

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

tears, tears and more tears..........

Mr. Maximillian Thurston the Third.....has passed away, just shy of his 12 birthday. We will miss him.

He was a full sized male yorkshire terrier, (hence the big name) something rarely seen in this era of pocketbook sized puppies. He was 12 lbs and loved to eat and eat.
He would jump up and down when he knew his food was about to arrive. He was a tough guy and liked to spend his days chasing after squirrels and rabbits. He never did catch one, which was his life long ambition....but, he sure did try hard.

His favorite foods were whipped cream, ice cream and ham....any day with one of those was a bit of heaven for max. He had a tough life, because it always seemed that everyone he formed an attachment with, passed away or left him....until he met his best friend, koko bear and I.

We stood by him, even though he was a difficult sort of guy....because he gave great kisses and was very loving. We will miss him. Koko is having a rather tough time of we are spending lots of time together and are searching for just the right new friend for her.

So we are on a search for a new shih tzu ....which is my favorite breed of dogs. They are so flexible and easy to train and do the funniest things.

I have handspun both of these dog's hair, into incredibly soft yarn. Max's was the best, as soft as cashmere, but warmer like angora. Spinning your dog's hair, is a good memory, because with good care you will have a remembrance of your pet, which will be comforting. It is also the reason, I first took up handspinning,when I learned 9 years ago, that my first shih-tzu was dying. I wanted to spin her hair into yarn and knit something to remember her. ( I do this on a commission basis, contact me by email if you have interest in this service. )

I still have this yarn and her friend spekkie's hair and max' I think I might make a throw out of all their dog hair yarn. I am still in the designing phase. If anyone has done this, I would love to see photos of throws you made out of dog yarn.

It is so hard to lose a dog that you love, but I think about something that a friend told me, "dogs come into your life, to teach you a lesson....and when that is done, they leave, either by death or they go off on a journey to meet someone else that needs help."

Max taught me, through the years, is that it important to wake up each and every day, and try your best and to do it with love. Be kind and loving to everyone that you meet, because they may have had a worse day than yours. We will miss you gentle friend, rest in peace.

For everyone that has lost a beloved, I wish you peace in your never really DO get over the loss, you eventually learn to live with the grief, with more grace, each day that passes.

So koko and I spent the weekend, resting and knitting and spinning. We accomplished a lot side by side this week.....

I spun all this yarn to the left. The gray center pull ball was spun to finish the last 7 flowers for the nicky epstein scarf. I have 33 flowers in all. I decided not to use the white angora, because the contrast was just too strong. Depending how this one turns out, I am thinking of making one for my aunt's birthday in winter whites, using all different yarn textures.

Nicky Epstein flowers, flowers and more flowers!!!!

I also finally took photos of the two scarves I finished a week or so ago. The first one is made out of blue, Coats and Clarks TLC yarn. I will eventually have this pattern for sale. I just have to finish writing up the
5-bobble tassle instructions....and it will be available for purchase.

The second scarf, is made with lion's brand fun fur and hand dyed yarn that I received from a dye swap. The inspiration for this design
came out of an old pattern book my great aunt gave to me from 1932.
sorry about the last photo,it is not very clear. Here is the scarf recipe, for anyone that is interested. It is called the Pittsburgh Scarf after my aunt's birth place.

US #9 knitting needles
1skein of Lion's Brand fun fur (MC)
1 skein of a contrast wool yarn worsted weight. (CC)
Pick any colors that you like. I carried the contrast yarn up the sides, because it got lost in the fun fur fluff.
It is your choice whether you want to do this. My scarf is 5 1/2 inches by 5 ft. If you want a longer scarf you
will need to buy additional skeins of yarn.
To make scarf:
Cast on one st with the fun fur. Knit into the front, purl into the back and Knit into the front again, 3 sts. Knit every row, Increasing one st at the begining and end of every other row until you have 23 sts on the needle.
Attach (CC) and begin pattern as follows:
Rows 1-3 Slip 1 knitwise, Knit to end.
Row 4 Knit 1, *YO, Knit 2 together*, repeating from * to end of the row.
Rows 5-8 Repeat Row 1
Rows 9-10 Change to (MC), Slip 1 knitwise, Knit to end.
Row 11 - Knit 1, * Knit into the next st, wrapping the yarn around the needle 3 times* , repeating from * to end of the row.
Rows 12-14 Slip1 knitwise, Knit to end. Cut MC yarn.
Rows 15-18 With CC, Slip1 knitwise, Knit to end.
Row 19 Repeat Row 4
Rows 20-22 Slip1 knitwise, Knit to end.
Row 23-24 Change to MC, Slip1 knitwise, Knit to end.
Row 25 Repeat Row 11.
Rows 26-28 Slip1 knitwise, Knit to end. Cut MC yarn.
Repeat rows 15-28 until scarf reaches your desired length ending with
Row 22, CC. Cut CC color and attach MC.
Decrease one st each side every right side row till one st remains. Bind off. Block scarf.

I threaded large glass beads onto the cast on and cast off ends for my tassels. You can use any kind of tassel that you prefer.

This scarf is a quickie project and makes a great gift. It is light and airy and can be made using one color yarn.

This pattern is copyrighted by konoponop designs, feel free to use it for personal
use and to send your friends here for the pattern as well.
that's all for today folks..........Happy, Happy Trails, DC

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I should be in bed sleeping, BUTTTTTTTTTT......

I have been sleepless ever since I realized how many unfinished projects, I have sitting around. I am annoyed at myself.

The good news....and yes, there is always while, attempting to finish the nicky epstein scarf, I decided I did not like one of the yarns I had first selected, so I went in search of other yarn from the stash and did not find a shade of grey that I liked. What I did find though, was some grey roving that I had carded some years back and never spun...........


guess what I did.......I spun and spun and spun.......and spun some more. I finished 374 yards of spun grey singles from a beautiful coopworth sheep and I found some sorted fleece that was an even better grey and finished carding that up this evening and am in the process of spinning that into singles. I already made 4 more flowers with the sample of the latest singles and am pleased.

I have not spun yarn for quite awhile........and IT FELT GREAT!!! It was incredibly relaxing. If you are a true fiberholic, and you have never spun a fleece....DO is worth your while.

I also will make up some novelty yarn from the nubs and short hairs that I pulled out of the fleece and already carded it up with some scrap yarn that I chopped up. Will take photos tomorrow.

I also finished another project last night, that has been in the works for a year....old bottles that needed cleaning. I had them soaking so long.....I had forgotten about them. I found them and decided to finish them up. I am happy to report that they are done, except for 8 which, still need more soaking to get really clean. What a relief!!!!

I have decided to be a better working artist, I need to have more self discipline. I am lacking...and suffering from a bit of creative mind works faster than my is an ever present I have worked out a deal with work on UFO's for at least two hours per day, to catch up. I hope I can keep to this schedule. So far I am doing good. I even got some dreaded house work finished this week.

Now, I have to get more disciplined with writing up my patterns. I hate doing that.

I also have been taking some free online courses that american express is sponsoring at
Ilearn. The first course I took was on being a more effective communicator. It was pretty good.

Now I have signed up for a course on web design, since I would like to set up my own website and know nothing about it. This blog has been a big challenge.

Lastly, some inspiration. A friend sent me a photo of his night blooming sirius plant. This is really beautiful. I want one of my own.

wishing you all a wonderfully creative day,
smiles to you,

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I got motivated to clean..............

my UFO closet..........and then I GOT DEPRESSED. First the good news...I recovered the following items :

* 2 knitting susan bates "knit cheks" - for measuring stitch and needle gauge. good news- I've been looking for them all year. bad news - no excuse for not doing a gauge swatch.

* tape measure - good news- I needed one. bad news - no excuse not to take my body measurements.

* 6" ruler received from . good news- it is nice to have. bad news -I am thinking about all the great yarns they sell on that site...and I am on a YARN DIET this year and doing well thank least I was....LOL!!!

* set of blue aluminum straight knitting needles......good news- I was looking for them. bad news- they are free to start a new project when I should be finishing up my UFO's

* 3 sets of double pointed needles in sizes 3, 4 and 5. good news- I do not have alzheimer's...I knew they were in this house somewhere. bad news- I found 1 dp plastic size 3 and 2 size 2 dps that are missing their mates.

*1 small scissors which is already being put to good use, no downside.

Here is the guilty list of UFO's uncovered:

1 shawl or poncho in fun fur and ribbon. Not sure this deserves to be finished. Possible FROG. (2005)

1 baby sweater, designed by me out of my handspun yarn and a partially finished baby hat. I was able to locate more of the yarn that was needed to finish this, so I will do it, soon. (2005)

1 partially made white summer cotton sweater, second sweater to proof the pattern I wrote. Must have gotten side tracked, because it is nice. I like the finished sweater and wore it several times this year and got compliments. (2005)

1 partially finished sock, in noro silk garden. First sock. I guess I got tired of making socks...right before everyone else seems to have decided to knit them like crazy. (2002)

1 lilac cardigan out of patons grace from the spring vogue of 2004. back done and one side.

1 berger du nord mohair sweater. this is the worst calamity of them all. I think this originates back to the early 90's. I knit the back, the sleeves and almost finished the front when I discovered that I had missed the first and last row of the graph on the back and sleeves and not the front. I quit, because I could not decide what pieces to FROG!!! UGGGGGGGGHHH!!! This sweater is knit on number three needles. I am going to put this one at the top of the heap.

This is the case of a sweater turning UFO, because of perfectionism, when the truth is it looks perfectly fine with those two rows missing and easy to rip out the front and finish it off.

That is 6 items found in one closet....ONE CLOSET!!! I was disgusted.

In my bedroom basket there are 10 projects waiting for completion:

- free-form jacket. almost complete and then assembly. (2002)

- nicky epstein 3 bobble sweater. all bobbles done, with the front started. (2007)

- the green softball sweater that I designed with blue heron yarn. One sleeve to complete. bottom peplim to finish designing. write up instructions and block. (2007)

- red scarf, free form from several different red yarns. (2007)

- nicky epstein anniversary flower scarf. 23 flowers finished. binder complete. finishing up remaining flowers hopefully today and to be sewn and blocked. (2007)

- v- neck tank from knitters spring 2005. front is half finished. back complete. (2007)

- white crocheted cardigan. shell pattern. fronts and back done. sleeves to be finished.(2007)

- blue crochet bikini - cups finished. bottom is 3/4 finished. started in 2006.

- blue shawl with various blue novelty yarns. (2006)

- red, fushia and orange side to side cardigan, my own design. front and back finished. one more front to do and sleeves. I have no idea why I stopped this project. ( 2001)

This brings the grand total bedroom UFO's to 16 projects. I freaked. Then I got depressed. NOW, I am knitting like a fiend. I plan to finish the bedroom floor items first. NO NEW PROJECTS FOR ME, until these items are finished or frogged and patterns written up.

I know that I have a few more UFO's lying around this house in other closets. I am not looking until I finish what I have. This is an exercise, that I have been putting off and made me realize,that I have not completed many projects this year, because I start and do not finish. I am wondering now, if this is an analogy to other areas of my life. I will be thinking this through as I SIT DOWN AND KNIT....because, I am going to make every reasonable effort to finish up what I have started.

I realized that this year, I finished 4 scarves, 3 soap socks and only one sweater and one tank but, I started 13 projects in total. I think my new policy will be that I will only ever have three projects going at once, in the future. The more unfinished projects you have going, the less likely you are to finish any of them.

Maybe I should stick to buying just one ball of yarn and knit swatches. At least I would finish them. Are dishcloths in my future? soapsocks? scarves? hats? Is this the reason for the popularity of these items?


Use an over the door shoe bag for organizing all your knitting needles and gadgets in one handy place. I bought mine at a dollar store. Nothing fancy. It has 20 pockets. I labeled one pocket for each of my needle sizes 0-19. The remaining pockets store my gadgets. I can always find my needles and gadgets fast, this way.

My inspiration for today is this stella mc cartney coat dress designed for neiman marcus's 100th anniversary and listed as a must have! It looks like an easy to knit item as it is entirely garter stitch on very bulky needles.

The dress description is : "Gray mélange.• Stand collar.• Elbow sleeves. • Button front.• Gathered skirt.• 80% fleece wool, 20% cashmere.• Dry clean only.• Made in Italy." and it retails for $1295.oo.

If you click on the dress description link above you can see other views of this coat dress. I love it...and would love to knit one up for myself.... but...I am focused and trying to remain focused on completing my UFO's before beginning another new project....still a girl can dream...can't she????

wishing you all a pleasant knit filled evening,
smiles to you,

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

best crochet books list

I just started a best crochet books list and a best freeform crochet and knitting books list on , feel free to add your own selections to the list. I was a bit dismayed to learn there were lists for knitting books but not for crochet. So I started one. Please post your favorites to the list. You may also vote for your favorites.

Is knitting more popular than crochet? Why is that so? Fashion runway styles would seem to indicate that crochet is more popular. Are knitters just more vocal than crocheters?

What do you think, feel free to post your comments. I have always done both. My preference changes with my mood or the garment that I am creating. Crochet is more sculptural and easier to create garments without patterns and more suited to the freeform working I enjoy.

I continue to work on the nicky epstein scarf. I made two flowers and started the scarf border.

She suggests 47 repeats for the scarf border but, I think that I will do more. I have finished 30 repeats, so far. It seems too short the way the pattern is written. Here are some photos of what I have accomplished thus far.

I am happy with the yarns I selected to substitute. I am using a pale gray berger du nord mohair, from my stash. Sorry, I lost the label. I chose bead colors to coordinate with the yarns, rather than use all crystals suggested. I am also using a few different bead styles, which will add to the interest of the finished scarf. The pale blue flower is angora and the gray flower is llama. I like the look of the angora.

I am working on the scarf and alternately cleaning the master bath. I wish I still had a maid. Cleaning stinks....but the dust was starting to blow around....and there was orange stuff growing on the shower....LOL!!!

My UFO project is lingering. I have not finished any new UFO's but, promise to work on one of them this week. What is it about UFO's that make them so unattractive to finish off. So far everyone that I have finished, I do like. I am starting to believe that my hands just will not work as fast as my attention span lingers. Perhaps this is the reason for the popularity of the scarf. I have finished two scarves last week. Start to finish.

When I think back at all the detailed sweaters I made when I was younger, ONE AT A TIME...I wonder what happened to that goal oriented young woman. Did she disappear or has she just taken a long deserved sabbatical?

wishing you all a wonderful evening,
smiles to you,