Thursday, April 27, 2006

I need Purple!

Do you ever feel like if you don't have something NOW, that you'll shrivel up and the world will stop turning? Sometimes I feel that way about chocolate, but today I feel like that about PURPLE. Yes, a color. I really should be experimenting with something Project Spectrum-ish, since I am a member. But I just need some purple today. I have no idea why. Right now, I have a deep, dark, mysterious purple, a medium pink purple, a medium blue purple and a light lilac purple waiting for the dyepot. They just have to wait until my two skeins of Peace Fleece Pumpkin are done simmering. I love it when I suddenly feel inspired by color. I love seeing the results when I'm done. I think the lilac bushes that are blooming in my yard today are responsible for the deep-seated need to create something purple. I'll let you know how the purple adventure turns out.

In the mean time, I think I'm off to spin up some Hydrangea roving. It's for sale in my store, but has been tempting me to spin it for the past 3 days. I might just give in. I love the feel of wool through my fingers...the process of forming and crafting it into something new, something soft, something beautiful. Handspun is such a joy to knit with too. It's always doing something a little unexpected. Not overt, but lovely, subtle shifts that make the knitting interesting in spite of the miles of stockinette. Sigh. I just love textiles and fibers. Early in our marriage (and just before) Mr. N used to call me the Textile Princess because of my strong affinity for all things fibery. I really don't discriminate. Embroidery, sewing, quilting, crochet, knit, yarn, wool, name it and I love it.

Crafting brings me joy. There are times when inspiration runs dry, but also glorious spring days where I feel I'll never be able to create all the ideas I have simply because there is not enough time.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Toddlers and Turtles

I've been purposely not posting to leave Tether Part II up there for Knitty readers. "Hi, Knitty readers!!" But I miss blogging. I've been crazy busy lately. The Twinkle Twins birthday was yesterday. We had their party on Friday & it was huge: 50+ people. More than half of those people are close relatives - immediate family of either Mr. N or I. Mr. N's family arrived on Thursday and left Sunday. In between we threw a huge party and put a railing up on our deck....I'm exhausted.

My little girls have gotten so big & I don't recall them growing up. Even little X is nearly 6 months. It seems like he's still brand new. Being a mom is so bittersweet sometimes. I want my babies to grow and learn and become, but a small part of me pines to keep them little forever.

Before the insane lasagne making and cake baking (Did I mention we had a dinner party and that I made all the food?) I did manage to get a bit of spinning done. Phunky Turtle is a conglomeration of things. It's a three ply yarn: one hand spun single of Ile De France (from High Prairie Fibers. Yes, I've sent you there before, and I will keep sending you there because it's a lovely store and she lives in my state....), one ply handpainted and overdyed haloed mohair yarn (commerically spun), with another ply of bright turquoise cotten crochet thread. It turned out nicely. Decent yardage and it's very squishy. The Ile De France is carded and it's nearly frothy with tons of squish. The mohair is um, interesting. It was supposed to be Pumpkin, but somehow brillant blue dye adhered itself to my dyepot and transferred onto the yarn. So, I added some splashes of bright colors that I had leftover from and Indian Corn dye and then overdyed it yellow. It was a fairly dirty gold, with bright patches of color, but it worked. The aqua thread is plied unevenly throughout with crossover wraps at intervals up and down the skein. It's not sold yet, so I may get to keep it. I have no idea what I'll do with it though. It's bulky. Two worsted weight yarns plus the crochet thread gives it lovely substance. It's not terrible heavy though, because the handspun single and the mohair are really light and airy worsted weight yarns.

On a completely different note, I have 50 coffee clips on their way to me from Hawaii. They'll be up on my main site, in case you'd like an inexpensive (but very functional!) clip for your own Tiny Tether. Post from Hawaii takes a while, so it may be as long as two weeks before they're here. You should have seen me blushing when I wrote to them asking to purchase 50 coffee clips, no coffee. They were so sweet and accomodating. I love their coffee too. I first had it on my brings back memories of our fancy free days before kids. It really wasn't that long ago. Next month is our 4th anniversary. It's amazing how fast having children ages you.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Tiny Tether Part Two!

Wondering about that red Tiny Tether on Knitty that doesn't appear in the pattern? Wonder no more! Here is the second half of the pattern. While it's gender neutral, it will satisfy those manly customers who find the flower a bit to feminine. (X has been wearing the blue flower tether since January....I love flowers!)

Please use caution when using the tether for small children. The clip and hair elastic could pose a choking hazard if detached from the tether.

Bobble Tether:
Work i-cord as described for the Flower Tether.

As you knit the cord, insert a bobble when the mood strikes you. If you want a wider cord, cast on more stitches. Placing bobbles on the first and last stitches requires a good deal of fiddling to look right. If you want to avoid the fiddling, create an appliqué bobble and sew it into place.

Small Bobble:
Using the CC of your choice:

In same stitch, knit into the front, back, and front of the stitch. Turn. 3 sts.
Purl across. Turn.
Slip all three bobble stitches onto the right needle and pass the 2nd and 3rd stitches over the first stitch. Drop the new color, cut a 6 inch tail, and continue knitting with the MC.

Large Bobble:
Using the CC of your choice:

In same stitch, knit into the front, back, and front. Turn. 3 sts.
Purl across. Turn.
Knit across. Turn.
Purl across. Turn.
Slip all three bobble stitches onto the right needle and pass the 2nd and 3rd stitches over the first stitch. Drop the new color, cut a 6 inch tail, and continue knitting with the MC.

Applique Bobble:
Using crochet hook, pick up one stitch.
K front, back, front, back, front. 5 stitches.
Row 1: Knit across.
Row 2: Purl across.
Row 3: K2tog, k1, k2tog.
Slip all stitches to right needle, pass 2nd and 3rd stitches over first.

Cut a tail long enough to use to whipstitch bobble to cord. Thread tapestry needle with yarn tail; make a running stitch around outside edge of bobble. Cinch down and sew in place on cord. Weave in ends.

When your cord is the desired length, bind off leaving an 18 inch tail. Cut two 20 inch lengths of contrasting colors. Tie these at the base of the i-cord, near the MC tail. Braid for about 3 inches. Using these three colors, wrap the elastic band as for Flower Tether and tie off. Trim the ends close to the knot.

To finish, make three Appliqued Bobbles near the base of the braid. Weave in ends. Attach clip as for Flower Tether.

To use your tether, pass the elastic loop through the handle of the pacifier. Pass the clip and the entire tether through the loop and cinch down. Wah lah! You’re done.

Friday, April 07, 2006 - coming soon to a screen near you.

* I typed this entire post one handed, while holding X.

I had an email today from Amy (as in Knitty's editor Amy & co author of Big Girl Knits). I am in this upcoming issue despite my fears of being overlooked & it should be out very shortly. The excitement is pulsing in my veins. Someone else likes my work! Woo hoo! Mr. N tolerates the crafts.....and that's all I'll say about that. On a less exciting note, I have not been spinning or knitting much. Today I went in for an urgent eye appointment, due to ongoing eye irritation. Since Sunday I've had severely red eyes that soon became light sensitive, and when I couldn't read the computer screen overnight, I decided it was time to seek help. Turns out I have an eye virus. I didn't know you could get eye viruses. Apparently, my eyes are much abused by said virus and so I have drops to put in every two hours and I had to throw away my contacts. That meant digging out my 5+ year old glasses that I never wear, tightening one of the lenses back in and lots of style for me. Frumpy librarian is in, right? Who am I kidding, really....I am a spinster! Follow up appointment on Monday to see if I can go back to contacts & my regular eye exam the week after. I have my eye on a fetching pair of stylish black frames studded with tiny black rhinestones. It's all about the subtle bling, ya know? The latest Rumple creation has subtle bling - or mostly overt bling. It's only subtle if you find yourself mostly blind in one eye overnight. It's my first true bulky creation & I loved it. It's a candy stripe - thick single, not plied. I added big nubs of both grey & colored roving with Angelina carded in. Then there are the nests of both grey & colored wool with lots of Angelina carded in. Plus the nests of sequins, too. I loved spinning with minimal predrafting and almost no actual drafting. Zip, zip, spin, done! More pics below of the Rumple creation. I did type out all these details twice, but the Blogger Monster ate both posts.

In fact, it has eaten this post twice & I am not tempting fate anymore by attempting to post pictures of it again. Off to fun & adventure for me. We'll chat again soon.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I hate blogger today! Arg!

It has eaten my post twice today. Very frustrating. For now, a photo odyssey with no words.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

I might die this week....

The new Knitty comes out this week. "As close to the first of the month as possible" of this month. It's killing me. I am an avid Knitty reader....and soon to be pattern writer. Here's the email I got from Amy (the editor) a couple months back:

You're in!Congrats and thanks for a great pattern.

Watch for an e-mail from Mandy Moore when it's time to proofread your pattern.

Thanks for being part of Knitty!

Best, Amy
[editor, Knitty]

Now in all fairness, I heard back right away after the submission deadline. I was thrilled to bits! But Miss Mandy Moore has never emailed me. Now that the release date is so close I am beginning to doubt myself.....the "What if they don't publish it after all?" thoughts are tumbling around fast and furious. I'm trying to console myself with the acknowledgment that my pattern is simple & therefore needed no real technical overhauling.

But what if.....