Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Where are the WIPS?

See this? Great for storage. Holds lots of yarn, stackable, has clear sides so I can see the contents. Great. It is one of three that lives in my walk in closet where the stash resides. (Don't kid yourself, my entire stash does NOT fit in three 20 Qt. bins.) As well as this works it is simply not meant to live under my coffee table where it has been doing double duty as a project catch all. Not very pretty.

Now this Lantern Moon Rice Basket, is pretty but just not practical. It is too inviting to the cats so it must live up high where it is harder to get to. The plastic bags my WIPS live in sticking out of the top are also not all that attractive...

I also tried these cubby holes. The problem here was too much space. Yes, I know that is hard to believe. However, I found myself putting the next projects I was considering on the shelves and then going on to different ones! So, those projects-to-be are going back in the stash closet where they belong. The cubby holes have been reallocated as book shelves. Goodness knows I have plenty of books!

So what's next? This!

Looks like a picnic basket and is the exact color of my coffee table. Fits underneath with no trouble. It is just big enough to hold several live projects, lined to prevent snags, pretty, and has a cover to keep out the cats. Yipee! I hope this is it. Can I maybe, just maybe, stop looking for the perfect WIP container now? Fingers are crossed.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Scattegories - Wanna Play?

Mini-contest over on Lora's Blog!! She is in a beading mood and has decided to put all our names in a hat for one of her beautiful beaded Face pins. How do you play? Follow the directions below, post the list to your blog, then leave a comment for Lora on her blog. Good Luck!

SCATTERGORIES ... and it's harder than it looks!

Here are the rules:
* Use the 1st letter of your name to answer each of the questions.
* They MUST be real places, names, things ... NOTHING made up!
* If you can't think of anything, skip it.
* You CAN'T use your name for the boy/girl name question.
* If your name happens to start with the same letter as mine, sorry, but you can't use my answers!
My name: Gigi
1. Famous Singer/Band: Grateful Dead
2. Four letter word: Give
3. Street: Grand Avenue
4. Color: Green
5. Gifts/Presents: Grins and Giggles (tee hee)
6. Vehicle: Gremlin
7. Things in a Souvenir Shop: Gum Drops
8. Boy Name: Gary
9. Girl Name: Grace
10. Movie Title: Godzilla
11. Drink: Grand Manier
12. Occupation: General Manager
13. Celebrity: Grace Kelly
14. Magazine: GQ
15. U.S. City: Greenland
16. Pro Sports Teams: Giants
17. Fruit: Grapes
18. Reason for Being Late for Work: Got up late
19. Something You Throw Away: Garbage
20. Things You Shout: Great!
21. Cartoon Character: Gaston (Beauty and the Beast anyone?)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Secret Project

This post is a bit late, but here's the saga! =-D This project was long in the planning. In fact it began around February when I lucked into Jan Eaton's A Creative Guide to Crochet on my first visit to the wonderful The Yarn and Fiber Company. I just loved the projects and thought, that since Ericka has an affection for crocheted lace, I'd absolultely have to give it a go. She was getting married soon. The question was, what yarn and which project?

Not long afterwards, Gina started a secret project for Ericka, a beautiful shawl (scroll down on Gina's blog and you will see its red loveliness). That was the key. I'd make a purse to match! If you look at the shawl, you'll notice they do not match. Why? Well the shawl yarn was too heavy looking. I accosted Heather in hopes that she could dye some yarn to match the shawl, but it was not meant to be.

That was when I remembered. I'd seen some Pima Cotton by Tree Frog when our group visited the Yarn Sellar back in March. I'd grabbed a skein with the idea that it would be a good back up. Yipee! Problem solved. It was a neutral natural white and should work with the dress. So, I started to crochet. Life was really good until I realized, one skein would not be enough. Sigh.

A call to Maine and, lucky me, the Yarn Sellar still had the same dye lot on the shelf! Enter the intrepid hero, Melissa, who stopped in and grabbed the yarn for me on her way back from visiting a friend. By this time it was July and I was running out of time! Some quick stitching, miles of braiding (from which I earned myself a blister - love ya Ericka), some weaving, and some knots then it was done in time for the wedding shower! (Of course I forgot to take pictures, so the one above was lifted from Ericka's blog.)

Much love and joy to you Ericka and Chris. Looking forward to the impending wedding!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Sometimes it's the yarn and sometimes it's a pattern that inspires. Approximately a year ago I came across this (click for big):

I knew immediately that I wanted to make an afghan. It would be for me so I was willing to invest in the quantity of wool that would be necessary. Hey if you cannot splurge once in a while, what's the use, right?

So, I dug through my stitch dictionaries. I looked at patterns to see what stitch combinations were being used. I swatched, frogged, swatched, frogged, swatched, frogged (well, you get the idea). This afghan was going to be something I kept for the rest of my life so it had to be just right. The yarn had to be shown off to it's best. And if I could find a stitch pattern that didn't eat yarn, that would be even better. The yarn was going to sit there and taunt me until I found just the right stitch pattern to show it off. I was NOT going to give up.

Know what? The moment I gave up trying to find a stitch pattern that would conserve yarn, I found the right one. A pattern I'd used before. One I love that really shows of the long color repeats and provides texture. I have capitulated. The afghan won't be as large as I would have liked (maybe blocking will help me eek a bit more size out of it), however, it is just lovely.

Every time I pick it up to stitch, I smile. Mission accomplished.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

And Now for the REST of the Story...

First, I'd like to thank all of you for your lovely comments and commiserations on the last post. I'm having a blast tooling around in my new slick silver car. Just loving it! Silver lining indeed. =-D

So, here's the story...Last post I introduced Miss Elizabeth, then left you hanging. Well, here is the rest of the story. Miss Elizabeth is actually Elizabeth #2. The first Elizabeth was one of many, many bears created by my Nana. Never did I visit without seeing a cadre of bears sharing her living space. Why so many? She made some for family, some for sale, and some for charity! Occasionally grandchildren such as myself were allowed to pick out a bear or two to take home. Miss Elizabeth was one of the last two such bears I ever owned. Unfortunately, after keeping them for years and years, I succumbed to a moment of idiocy and allowed Elizabeth and her sister Zebratta to go into a yard sale. Dumb, dumb, dumb!

My sister has been claiming for years that she once wrote down the pattern as our Nana knit away on a bear. She observed each step and carefully recorded it. We had practically given up hope of this record ever resurfacing. Not long ago, however, I got a call:
"You'll never guess what I'm holding."
- long pause -
"No. You found it?!"
"Yes! I found the bear pattern!" Insert much squealing carrying on... Before the call was over my wonderful sister promised to recreate Elizabeth.

Miss Elizabeth's knitted pieces were all complete and ready to be assembled by the next time I saw my sister at the 2007 Pops by the Sea. (It was awesome - go next year if you get the chance. We sat in the cool shade of that big tree you can see on the right in this photo.). I got to insert the first bit of stuffing and consult on plumpness and the location of certain features. A fascinating discovery was how the pattern had evolved over the years. The bears from my sister's childhood were smaller, wore pants, and had suspenders! I suspect the growth and simplification of the pattern were a response to our Nana's advancing age. Larger is just easier to create with older hands and eyes. =-D So, we altered the pattern to reflect my childhood memories. By the end of the day, Elizabeth was ready to make the trip home. My sister gave her the first hug then handed her over. Squeeeeee!I have discovered that this Elizabeth is not shy. She has made herself right at home. Here she is mugging for the camera with one of my cats Peneenah.And here she is exploring my WIP basket. She just dove right in! After rummaging around for a while through the projects she found one that is almost done.
This scarf is the product of an experiment with stitch pattern and a killer deal on a skein of yarn at the Chain Link conference. All that is left is to find some coordinating yarn to create fringe. Luckily, cold weather is quite a ways away so I have time!

Miss Elizabeth is just the first of many bears that will be knitted. My Nana's skill, memory, and the joy she brought to others with these little bears will now go forward emerging from the needles of her granddaughter. Thank you KnitOwl for bringing the bears back to life and recreating one of my sweetest childhood memories! Love Ya!

Friday, August 10, 2007

For the Love of Rain

I've always had a soft spot for vigorous thunder and lightening storms. Jags of lightening across the sky or lighting up the entire landscape while I'm warm and dry inside are fun. Recently, however, I got to experience the down side:

Yup, that's the parking lot. At it's high point the water had crawled half way up the door of my car! The water liked my car so much that some of it decided to stay:

Determination? Total loss. Sniff. Bye-bye car. =-( I was just 11 payments away from being loan free. Ah, well every cloud has a silver lining:

I'm loving my new silver beastie! Next up, the story of Miss Elizabeth...

Now that the car saga is almost completely resolved, I'm off to catch up on my bloglines...89 posts!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Destashing Snuggles

Five skeins (or partial skeins) and three snuggles! The bottom right was my return to the ripple pattern. I have tried it in the past and found the depth of the v's that compose the ripple didn't stay crisp so that the far end was much straighter than the starting end. This one, however, doesn't have the problem. What did I do differently? This is bulky yarn! So, I concluded that to keep a sharp "v" the hook needs to be the right size for the yarn or one size smaller. I'll have to try some more ripples to see if my theory holds up!