Saturday, December 29, 2007
I have to say though, I think I'm doing remarkably well considering I don't have a pattern. Mine looks a bit squished compared to the original (the center portion), but once blocked, that will stretch quite a bit.
Thursday, December 27, 2007
Back at the end of October, I was commissioned to turn a 15" doily into a 4 1/2 foot tablecloth...with no pattern to guide me. But you know how I love a challenge!
Here is the original doily. This woman's grandmother made it, but she has since passed away. In their family, it was tradition for the grandmother to make the bride a crocheted tablecloth as a wedding gift. This woman's sister just got married and has no tablecloth.
Here is my progress as of a couple weeks ago. I've added a couple inches since then, but haven't taken pictures yet.
The stitches look thicker and there are two reasons for that. The first is that the size thread that was used doesn't appear to be around anymore...it's thinner than size 20, but not quite as thin as size 30. Size 20 seemed closer, so that's what I went with. The other reason is that I believe it needs to be blocked. For my non-knitting/crocheting friends, that means it needs to be wet and stretched into its proper shape. That will open up my pineapples to look like the original. I will probably block it midway just to know that my measurements are correct. I'd hate to crochet it to 4 1/2 feet and block it and it ends up being 5 feet! Better to block it around 3 1/2-4 feet and see what happens.
I have no major plans between now and New Year's, so I'm hoping to get a significant chunk of this project done. Today will be spent mostly working on it...tomorrow too probably. I've already spent about an hour and a half on it today. I plan to take pictures later tonight or in the morning to share with you.
Monday, December 24, 2007
But the big project was Mr. Yarnworks' fingerless gloves to take with him to Iraq. When the days are 120 degrees, the 70 degree nights feel outright chilly. These were made with Knitpicks Essential in "Fawn." We even tried the burn test to see if the 25% nylon would melt it. Nope. It self-extinguishes like any self-respecting wool. His hands are at least safe from the yarn grafting to his hand if he finds himself in any trouble over there.
I have not tucked in the ends yet. My excuse is that I want to make sure they fit first. Yep. That's my excuse. Yes, I know I'll eventually have to do it. Yes, I know time will be limited from the time he opens the gift and the time he leaves. Yes, I know I'm asking for trouble.
Mr. Yarnworks is home from Camp Shelby, Mississippi for a quick visit before his official deployment to Iraq. He's been gone 2 months for training so far, so we're thrilled to get another dose of him before he leaves again...this time for a year or more.
Big Sister is VERY excited about Santa. This is the first year she really seems to get it. Baby Yarnworks just thinks everything (tree, lights, ornaments, presents, treats) is rather cool and will probably be crushed when it's all wisked away shortly after Christmas. Hopefully the remaining toys will make up for the loss.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Got it? Great!
Now, cast on 60. Or a multiple of 6 on size US8 double pointed needles to fit the head of the hat recipient. Be sure it's a child. A young one. Think back to your first memory. How old were you? Great. Now make sure the child getting your hat is younger than that. We want to make sure they won't remember the ridicule of wearing your first spinning attempt.
Divide onto 3 needles (20 stitches on each).
Join in the round, taking care not to twist the stitches. There's enough twist in the yarn. We don't need more twists. Trust me on this one.
K1, P1 rib for 6 rows.
Continue in stockinette for 20 or so rows.
Begin decreasing 6 stitches per row.
Dec. Row 1: k8, k2tog around (54) Dec. Row 2: k7, k2tog around (48)
Dec. Row 3: k6, k2tog around (42)
Dec. Row 4: k5, k2tog around (36)
Dec. Row 5: k4, k2tog around (30)
Dec. Row 6: k3, k2tog around (24)
Dec. Row 7: k2, k2tog around (18)
Dec. Row 8: k2, k2tog around (12)
Dec. Row 9: k1, k2tog around (6)
Pull yarn through remaining loops and pull closed. Secure.
Have leftover handspun? Try crocheting or knitting a flower to accent the hat.
Now I've picked it back up and something has "clicked." I think I'm *finally* getting it. I've made a hat! Pattern forthcoming...
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Mr. Yarnworks is still in Mississippi mobilizing to head over to Iraq, so the day was spent with friends. I have better pictures, but I feel this one best depicts the meal. G* finally getting her appetite back after being out of action for awhile. J* quietly enjoying her vegetarian fare. Big Sister licking her finger (or her plate or her sister's finger or plate). The gentleman is a new friend of G's that I just met yesterday. Very cool guy. He even did the dishes after the meal! I keep inviting him over to my house, but somehow he thinks Mr. Yarnworks might take issue with that. *sigh* Meanwhile, Baby Yarnworks was napping, which altogether made the meal more enjoyable. She joined us towards dessert. She LOVES pumpkin pie!
The girls with full bellies...
Friday, November 23, 2007
You buy yarn and stitch markers for your winter knitting!
JL Yarnworks will be adding these beauties (and more!) throughout the day. Get your items quickly before they sell! Stop back to add to your shipment. If you purchase multiple items throughout the day, I will send you a revised invoice combining shipping or will refund the difference.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Let's start with the happy news, shall we? First, I launched a new product line to go with Cat Bordhi's new book. Then, this product line got some great reviews from Wendy Knits and Judy Becker (of Magic Cast-On fame). The next thing I knew, I had more orders than I could dream of! I sold something like 250 sets in one week! Wild! I loved every second of it, but was relieved when I had time to sit down with my kids again. And was exceptionally grateful to these fine ladies for their kind words, as they have helped pad my business account so that I can launch some new products! I can't wait to show you what's been on the drawing board.
As sales began to dwindle back down to normal, I finally had a chance to catch my breath. But it wasn't long before bad news struck.
On September 28th, I got a call from my mother. My dad was in the hospital. No news about his condition, but we've been worried about him for awhile. I saw him last July when he came for a 2 night visit. Here he is with the munchkins at Falls Park here in Sioux Falls.
Walking around the park wore him out. He had trouble catching his breath. It was our only real outing during his trip. He'd also had other health concerns that I won't get into here, but when he'd been to the doctor two years prior, they weren't able to find anything wrong.
Isn't it beautiful?
And this, ladies and gentlemen, is why I miss North Carolina. This is Dad's house. Can't see it through the trees? Exactly!
The trip itself was bitter-sweet. I hadn't seen my brother in over 6 years. He's a goofy thing, but I love him.
He headed to Mississippi on October 28th. I hear from him almost daily, though he's always too tired to talk long. He's doing well. The whole unit is hard at work getting ready to deploy. He's been very pleased with this unit. Everyone seems to have their act together, all the way up the chain of command. Much better than the last time he deployed!
My little penguin was NOT happy. Not one little bit. She wasn't happy being held. She wasn't happy on the floor. She wasn't happy in her high chair. She was just intent on being unpleasant. So she and I stayed home (she went to bed early!). My friend, T, picked up big sister to take her out with her daughter, big sister's best friend. It ended up working out well, but I was disappointed to not be able to take little sister out for her first trick-or-treating. (We stayed home last year since she was so young.)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
Moving on, a helpful tool Cat suggests in this book is a set of letter stitch markers. She will often tell you to knit up to a certain point near one of these letters so that no matter what size sock you're doing, you know exactly where she wants you to be in your sock.
Funny. I make stitch markers! I think I can handle this nifty little aid. And now, they're available to everyone else who may need a set (or 3) as well. I have a dozen different letter styles and matching number sets in the JL Yarnworks store right now. Here are a couple of samples.
Of course, I never work alone.
Baby Yarnworks can now climb onto the table. She's much more helpful up there. You absolutely cannot flip over boxes of beads from the floor. No ma'am. What help could she possibly be from down there? *sigh*
Monday, August 20, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I've been known to say that there are two main types of friends in a person's life. There are friends that are just really really good acquaintances. You may have one or more things in common (kids, hobbies, employment, etc), but if you lost touch for a year or more, you probably wouldn't bother trying to get back in touch with them. If you did it would just be weird, mechanical, awkward. Then there are friends that you may have nothing in common with, but they just know your soul. You could call them at 3am bawling and they wouldn't bat an eye and they'd have the exact words you needed to hear.
I'm blessed that I've had these soul-friends in my life. But I realized when my husband deployed for Iraq from December 2003 until February 2005 that I had no local soul-friends. Granted, soul-friends know no distance....you can (and I did) call them after years of being out of touch and they still know exactly what to say, because your soul doesn't change with life experience. Your soul is static. It may take awhile for your life and your soul to mesh in perfect harmony, but your soul is always the same, leading the way.
So, back to having no local soul-friends. I was used to Mr. Yarnworks' deployments back then. This was the longest though, and my first with a child. I did great the first several months, but towards the holidays of 2004 I began to lose faith in myself. The extended family must have lost faith in me too because we began to argue when they should have been arguing with Mr. Yarnworks. My own extended family was miles away and so were all my tried and true friends, and my soul-friends.
We moved from North Carolina to South Dakota in 2001 when my husband got out of the Marine Corps. Even after 6 years and with the birth of my two children here, South Dakota doesn't feel like home. I miss North Carolina in ways I could never describe that don't have anything to do with friends or family. Those are just the icing on the cake. So with my husband overseas, I felt trapped here with our oldest daughter. She was only 11 months old when he left and was great company, but without a steadfast support system in place, I felt like I wasn't as good a mother to her as I could be.
It was then that I learned who my true friends were. A couple local friends came through for me in ways I can never thanks them enough for. Sharing Thanksgiving dinner with us and getting us out of the house even when I sometimes didn't feel up to it. They know who they are and I truly hope they know how deep my gratitude is. And I spent hours on the phone with friends who are now scattered across the US.
Now as a second Iraq deployment looms and there's a second Yarnworks child in the mix, I find myself wondering how I will survive another year and a half (or, God forbid, indefinitely) without my husband and soulmate who not only knows my soul, but puts up with my cooking! :)
This week, yesterday in particular, a couple of my friends decided to hold up big figurative neon signs that that screamed "We love you and we will help you through anything!" One was with me through the last deployment. One is a new friend who I truly believe already knows my soul. She is strong and disciplined and gracious and beautiful and her soul shines, an enhanced reflection of my own. I think I'm going to be okay.
Friday, July 27, 2007
I have beautiful variegateds...
My signature Showcase Yarns...
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Here is the alien pattern already listed for sale in my shop. You can tell that Big Sister looooves her alien!
Here is the forthcoming pattern. I hope to have it listed tonight if the girls behave. If not, tomorrow for sure! It's a little more complicated, but can't you just see a little music button in its belly playing a lullaby? I think I need to whip up a few more for upcoming baby showers.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
First, I had an order for 600 ladybug stitch markers. Yes, 600. This is what 600 ladybug beads looks like. They're about an inch deep.
I've also had a couple other custom orders keeping me busy. Not too shabby for the time of year when many knitters put down the wool for the summer. Hopefully June will keep me just as busy. Er, not so busy I won't blog. Um. Swear.
What's my other excuse? Rainy days that cause my children to create new brands of mischief. My oldest is scary when she gets into my makeup. Literally! Night of the Living Dead or what?!? She darkened her eyebrows with dark lip gloss then coated herself and her nightgown (so thick you couldn't see Barbie on the front anymore) in powder.
This picture isn't quite as good, but I posted it for its sheer irony. People like Sylvia Brown and such claim that when you photograph "orbs" that they're spirits or guides or who-knows-what. Here, when my daughter is looking like a spirit herself, are 3 "orbs" floating near her. (My photography friend....photography degree and all....says that "orbs" are created when the flash reflects of dust in the air. I'm guessing all the powder on her body would put a few particles in the air. I love the orb theory and all, but I'm a science geek first and a wanna-be ghost hunter second.)
There has also been much knitting. Knitting instead of blogging? *hangs head* Yes, it's true. I'm almost done with some socks done in Sockotta and I'm still working on the above daughter's bright striped kneesocks. I will post pictures soon!
AND! Last but not least, I now have products for sale at The Sweet Sheep in Canada! This is a wonderful online yarn store run by Michelle who has been absolutely fabulous! If she's this wonderful with her vendors (who she pays), I know she's doubly as wonderful with her customers. I highly recommend you take a peek at her site. Good stuff folks! If you're looking for my goodies, so far everything I've sent is under "Stitch Markers" and then under my vendor name.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, my sister-in-law announced that Mr. Yarnworks' entire family would be decending on us on her birthday to help us celebrate. I panicked. Between family and friends we were looking at potentially a 30 person guest list! Sure, not everyone would be able to make it, but that's still quite an ordeal for such a little girl! After a few panicked days, Mr. Yarnworks had an idea: Let's celebrate at Grandma's house! Genius! So my sister-in-law picked up the cake and ice cream and we packed the girls in the car this morning for the 100 mile jaunt.
We stopped midway for lunch. Baby Yarnworks was ready for some food!
We finally arrive after an hour or so of Baby Yarnworks crying and Big Sister yelling at her to shush. *sigh* Please tell me that this gets better as they get older? Yeah. I know. I'm doomed. Anyway, everyone was all smiles. Here is Baby Yarnworks with her 20 month old cousin and Grandpa.
And the cake... (Thanks Sis! It was perfect!!!)
And the...erm..."cutting" of the cake...
You know, she's going to get used to this whole Princess thing and be just as spoiled as Big Sister.
We visted for a couple more hours, Mr. Yarnworks helped his dad with some manly outdoor project, and watched as Baby Yarnworks broke down the flowerbed fence to get to Ma's tulips. At least she knows what she wants, right? (Sorry, no pics. The camera was much too far away and Baby's foot was stuck in the fence. Priorities. *sigh*)
So my baby is almost a toddler. I think to be an official toddler she needs to be able to toddle.... but we're close!