I'll be back.

Hello old and new friends. My blog has been inactive but I am still around. I loom-knit, weave and have picked up the sticks to needle knit, too! My patterns page links to Ravelry and I will answer questions about those. Maybe someday I will be back to write more. We will see where life takes me.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Christmas is looming

My flowering Christmas cactus is just one of the little reminders in the house that the holiday will soon be here. If that isn't enough, the piles of yarn and scattered looms make it all the more obvious.

Christmas cactus

Smart knitters start their gift-makin' in the summer. I say "Nah, I'll make or find something else instead of a loom-knit this year." But then I think of a nifty idea or find a perfect pattern — and it's November.

I was already prepared to knit two Christmas stockings to match my husband's. I've been deciphering my scribbles from last year, charting our names and seeking colorwork inspiration from my books. Between caring for and playing with CB, I finally cast on the first one last night. (OK, I cast on like 3 times because I kept making silly mistakes due to distraction.) Will I have them both done by St. Nick's? Maybe. By Christmas? Definitely. I also hope to write a tutorial for my loomy readers, complete with charts!

But my crafty cranium must have thought my plan above wasn't enough of a challenge. I thought up and test-knitted the beginnings of a cute loom-knit gifty PLUS I bought a pattern by Bethany to make something for our family exchange. Both remain somewhat secret for obvious reasons. But here's what my craft table looked like yesterday ...

Christmas knitting

Oh, and I also just added a "quick knit" gift to my queue for a December baby shower. What is it about Christmas that makes me just a bit crazy?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Costumes are a 'rap!

The 'Guise has been guessed! My husband will be the happy-rapping Parappa. I will be his crush Sunny Funny. And CB will be bandmate friend Katy Kat. (But I'm also calling her a catnapper.)

The characters stem from the video game "Parappa the Rapper," a PlayStation rhythm game with goofy lyrics.

Parappa the Rapper costumes

Ribbit, ribbit 
I can't hold it 
Last toilet I had, I already sold it. 

In the rain or in the snow 
I've got the funky flow 
But, now I really gotta go. 


Every single day, stress comes in every way 
I ain't got no time for nobody 
My style is rich, dope, phat in which 
We'll make a cake that looks rich 

Crack crack crack the egg into the bowl 
M-I-X the flour into the bowl 
Crack crack crack the egg into the bowl 
M-I-X the flour into the bowl 


Watcha gonna do when they come? 
 I gotta redeem! 
 Whatcha gonna do when they come? 
 I gotta relieve! 
 Whatcha gonna do when they come? 
 I gotta recieve! 
 You gotta do what? 
 you gotta do what? 
 I gotta Believe! 

Parappa the Rapper costumes

Congrats to Bethany, Zoe and Mindy!! They will be getting goodies from my crafty stash that includes T-pillows, loom knits and of course, yarn. Thanks so much to everyone who followed along. This was a geeky one to guess that I'm sure required lots of Googling.

Parappa the Rapper costumes

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Something lacy is looming

My looms will soon embrace some lace knitting. My sister, Trisha, is getting married this spring and I get to knit her a pretty shawl for her shoulders. Her colors are like a clover green and blue hydrangea. She is leaning toward green for her shawl so I'm studying my stash.

I like the bright greens of this one ...

12ply Frizz Tiaga

And the sheen of this one ...
Ray of Sunshine in Tiaga

Both yarns are actually the same colorway — Tiaga — but they each pick up the dye just a bit different. Neither have wool, which would give me a little give on the looms, so that worries me just a little. I must knit loose!

Some runners-up (one of which might become a matron of honor shawl for me) ...

Creatively Dyed Yarn
Creatively Dyed Yarn Tradewinds in colorway Fig ... from a Stitches Midwest trip

Hand Maiden fine yarn
Handmaiden Fine Yarn Swiss Mountain Sea Sock ... my husband's splurge for me during our Canada trip

To help me on my lace-knitting bender, I just picked up an e-booklet, Loom Knit Shawls: From Simple to Sublime by Renee Van Hoy. I've always adored her lace patterns and now I get to jump right in. The instructions are written in a nice, clear manner. The pattern I am choosing is a perfect match for my sister and she will see why — in June. ;-)

But first I have to clear my 1/2-gauge CinDWood loom. I must decide whether to finish or frog this work in progress.  And I have my costumes to seam and two Christmas stockings to knit, but really's who's counting?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Frogging the dog ...

CONTEST CLOSED --- THE COSTUMES AND WINNERS WILL BE REVEALED THIS WEEK!! Thank you so much for following my blog. :-)

Costume WIP

and tailing the cat ...

Costume WIP

Guess the 'Guise #11
• "Come on now, why don't cha follow my words
Because we're almost done, I'll make it easy at first."

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kiddie-size loomin'

You've been living under a ball of yarn if you haven't heard about this book. Bethany Dailey's Loom Knitting for Little People has made it to the Internet bookshelves! It's packed full of fun knits to make for kids young and old.

Loom Knitting for Little People

As the book designer, I had a mostly easy job putting together the well-written patterns by Bethany, gorgeous photos by Christina A. Flores and editing by Jennifer Stark. The project was a first for all of us so we learned a lot as we worked along. Putting together a 113-page book is no small feat! 

Loom Knitting for Little People

But every revision, redesign and rewording was worth it. Bethany has self-published a book that reads as professionally as any other knitting book out there.

The patterns are divided into Wearables, Accessories and Play Things. Plus the Knitty Gritty section explains all the techniques in depth. Projects range from beginner (Pom-Pom Hat) to moderate-advanced (2-Piece Hooded Vest).

The Crazy Caterpillar pattern is a great, low-commitment way to try several new stitches. Your swatches turn into a cuddly creature! The Pair of Lacy Trims can be applied to any project you wish. I know I have a baby blanket just waiting for a finishing touch.

Some more of my favorites … 

The Jester Hat along with that Crazy Caterpillar are both on my to-knit list. They only look intimidating until you read the simple step-by-step instructions. 

The yarn used in this project helps an organization called KidKnits. The nonprofit buys merino wool yarn hand-dyed and spun by widows in Rwanda, which helps support families there. They also sell kits that include a 36-peg round loom.

Koby is a kitty that would win any child's heart. It might take me awhile to jump onto a project this large since assembly has always been my least favorite part of knitting. But someday, I will give in!
A few months ago, I test-knitted the So Cool Cap pattern. Go on back to that post to read all about it. I can't wait till the cap fits our CB.

A total of 33 patterns fill the book's pages with lots of photos and illustrations. If you haven't already added it your loomy library you can buy it from CreateSpace (more proceeds go to Bethany) or Amazon. Happy looming for you lil' ones! 

Bethany A. Dailey: Web site, Facebook
Christina A. Flores Photography: Web site, Facebook
Jennifer K. Stark: Web site

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Petal to the metal

A few days ago, this post was going to start with ...

Knit, sew, crochet, frog, knit and sew some more.

But now that sentence ends with ER visit. So I've been a bit absent(minded) the past few days. But I'm back so let's get on with the guessing contest! I'll have plenty of time to finish the costumes by Halloween while I recover.

We have a little petal power going on for one costume.

Costume WIPs

Costume WIPs

And the blue kitty got a lil hairball.

Costume WIPs

Kitty Kat doesn't quite stay on CB's head so the feline is getting a brim extension by the way of crochet.

Guess the 'Guise #10
• The costume not shown will soon be a 'rap.
• Our trio plays at the 'Station.
• They gotta keep the beat!
Previous hints

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Bees bring me to my knees

I understand the business of bees is important. But they — and their waspy relatives — makes me run away like a little girl when they visit our yard. So I have to say I'm a bit happy to see what was once this ...

Bee on Hawthorne tree flower

Hawthorne tree blooms

Is now bee-free ...

Hawthorne berries

Still, a straggler visits a toad lily.

Bee on toad lily

The big furry bees actually don't bother me too much. As long as I let them "eat," they let me pass without a sting.


Sedum and Mr. Bee

The sedum has since dried up for the season. Bees be gone!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

'Guise prizes

Are you getting closer to guessing the 'Guise yet? If you need a refresher, check out the previous posts from my Blogtoberfest. You can guess as much as you want but you gotta get all THREE characters right to be victorious. Let's check out some of the prizes!

Crazy/Chic T-pillow

Crazy/chic pillow t-pillow
Halloween-esque pillow made from an upcycled t-shirt and remnant fabric. 

Crazy-Chic T-Pillow back
Stuffed with a plush 16x16 insert. Hidden zipper opening.

Glow-in-the-dark alien wristbands

Glow in the dark!
I'll toss in a couple wristbands from my glow-in-the-dark collection.

Glow in the dark!
Fun for parties in the dark ... or trick-or-treating!

Speaking of parties, I will have the loom-knit costumes ready to rock by Saturday. But you can still guess all month long. Here's one more hint for you ...

Guess the 'Guise #9
• Flower power!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rule of threes

Three days of missed posts means three contest hints (plus a WIP pic) for you!

Costume WIPs

Guess the 'Guise #8
A hint for each character ...
• I gotta believe in the rhythm.
• I have a sunny disposition.
• I meow at the mic.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Ears marked

CB took lots of catnaps yesterday, already true to her costume in progress.

Costume WIP

Nope, I didn't just give it away. You'll have to guess the specific character for each costume. And there's one more embellishment to top off this one — plus a tail.

This next hat might be a bit ruff to guess off the cuff.

Costume WIP

This guy still needs to get "patched." But I will come back to both of these after I make way on the third costume for me. See what colors remain and learn more about the contest if you're new here.

Guess the 'Guise #7
• Are you game?
Previous hints

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Red Parka weather

Fall is rolling back in again. A crisp cool is in the air — but not so cool that we need a working furnace (thank goodness).

Autumn Blaze maple
Red is barely touching on our young Autumn Blaze maple (right) while its older cousin blushes a bit stronger.

So it was only fitting that a Blogtoberfest blog called Red Parka Diaries caught my eye today. (Even though it's technically spring for this blogger in Australia.)

Jen is crafty gal who appears to enjoy quirky art and photography. After reading about her recent adventures, much of her life is what I'd like mine to be like at age 34, too. The saturation and unique crops of her photography catch my eye. And her whimsical illustrations make me smile.

This art print reminds me of my sister Trisha, who collects elephants. Girly is getting married this spring and I have a shawl to knit for her. And I got some gorgeous yarn to play with yesterday. But more on that will come later. For now, I have a baby hat costume to finish!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crafty consuming

Someday I will master how to put a car-seat carrier in a shopping cart. And hopefully that day will come before CB grows out of hers. The babe and I shopped at Joann Fabrics today for a few more costume supplies.

Costume supplies and WIP

The orange hat requires a patch. And since I can't find the perfect one for the perfect price online, I will attempt to make one. I get to play with puffy paint and googly eyes! Meanwhile, the blue hat has barely budged an inch but I will knit, knit, knit as much as I can tonight.

Guess the 'Guise #6
• We walk and talk but human we are not. And we don't fly like duck, duck, goose but we are girl, girl, guy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Bottlefuls of root beer

Something delicious is bottled up inside ... our laundry room. We learned to "brew" our own root beer today.

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

Bottling Root Beer

The bottled beer requires a warm place to carbonate for the next week. So we'll be running the dryer almost every day to keep them cozy!

Warm weather, a cool day

When our furnace broke last week, I was a bit worried about staying warm during the crisp fall nights. But summer unexpectedly returned and now I'm aching for our A/C instead. Apparently our furnace fan is necessary to cool the house — something I should probably know as a homeowner.

I still took advantage of the gorgeous day and carted CB out for ice cream. She slept in the stroller. I enjoyed the fall color. I called dibs on her share of the ice cream.

Fall leaves

We further heated the house later by baking two pizzas — an experiment (homemade zucchini deep dish) and a backup (Digiorno). Toss a lot of mozz on veggies and I will call it delicious. After sweating it out upstairs, we moved to the basement for some natural cooling. Between my attempts to put the lil miss asleep, I was set to knit.

Knit or ice cream?

But then I remembered the ice cream saved in the freezer. And it's not just any ice cream. It's the stuff that's really bad for you from a devilishy-delicious local ice cream shop called Brain Freeze.

Knit or ice cream?

Of course the ice cream won. Did you really ever doubt that?

Knit or ice cream?

I'll be back on the costume catwalk next week with more hints and pics for Guess the 'Guise. Stay cool — or warm — wherever you are!