Monday, May 26, 2014

(Just Another) Melange Monday

Hello everyone - it's Memorial Day here in the United States, and of course it's Monday, so time for melange.

The Presidio, San Francisco, 2007
photograph (c) Voie de Vie
In honor of the holiday, I point you toward The Legacy Project, started in 1998 by Andrew Carroll. It's an attempt to document the country's memories of war through the letters of those who served. In the more than 13 years since it's been in existence, the project has compiled enough letters to launch four separate books, live exhibits, two television specials and an online collection. Definitely check out the online collection - but be warned, war is hell.


I continue to be elbow-deep in projects for publication later this year. It's difficult to work on things and not be able to share them, so the best I can do currently is share the fiber I'm working with. This week, it included the below two skeins:

Anyone who's been reading this blog for a while knows how much I love, love, love Kureyon, and this colorway (#95) did not disappoint. The sticky quality of Kureyon's wool is just as big an appeal as the amazing colorways. Look for the project associated with these yarns to be published in early fall.


Finally, I leave you will a snapshot of a very moody, yet cool Pacific Northwest sky. Memorial Day weekend is always a weather crapshoot here in the northwest corner, and this weekend was definitely more of the same. Nevertheless, we managed to have sun two of the three days, so hopefully everyone had an opportunity to get their bbq on in between the showers.

Not too shabby - I'll take it!

Monday, May 19, 2014

(Just Another) Melange Monday

Hello everyone - it's Monday, time for melange. Today, however, I'm going to finish up my blogging from last week's Knitting and Crochet Blog Week V. I am sorry that I only got to day three's entry this year, but it's been busy for me (which is a good thing - no complaints!). I always like the topic prompts, so I thought I'd share what I would have written on the last day (where will you be next year?) if I had actually gotten to it on Sunday.

During last year's crafty blogging week I wrote that I would not prognosticate concerning where I would be this year, except that I'd participate in the 5th annual blogging mayhem. True to my word, I've done just that. I have found that it's getting more and more difficult to find the time to read other blogs that I don't normally follow because I have become rather busy, and that (the lack of blog reading) bums me out a little. It's all a trade off - I love the design work, but it has come at the expense of the amount of time I spend online, especially reading blogs. Again this year, there have been some great bloggers out there that I would love to have spent more time reading, but just didn't get the chance. I really want to thank everyone that visited my blog and took a little of their own precious time to read what I had to say. It truly is appreciated. I especially want to thank Eskimimi for once again coordinating this whole event in the midst of her own hectic schedule (what with her upcoming nuptials and all). Additionally, I'd also like to give a shout out to Kathryn at for including some of my photos on her Pinterest board from last week's event - milles mercis!

And where will I be next year? I honestly have no idea, but I will tell you that the second of half of this year is going to be big for me. I have no way of knowing the ultimate impact of all my projects, but just know that there are a lot of irons currently in the fire. I will say that the deeper I get into unknown territory, the scarier it feels, which I think is a good sign. At least that's how I'm viewing it, because the fear also helps to clarify, if I just remain still and focused. Still and focused is definitely where I'm at.

Of course, my hooks and sticks are there with me. A gal needs friends.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

5KCBWDAY3 - Fun With Photos

From Fleurs et L'eau - Printemps/Ete 2013

From Romantique - Autumn/Hiver 2013

I decided that for today's entry, I would go fairly simple and try one of the new-to-me online photo editing sites.

Both of these collages were created at Pixlr. I have never used the site prior to making these collages. Pretty much without reading any how-to's or FAQ page, I whipped these up in about 15 minutes.

I could become a collage maven in almost no time flat, given the ease with which I put both of these together. So much more intuitive than Picasa, although there are other features at the latter site that I like, so having more than one photo manipulating resource in my arsenal is a good thing.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5KCBWDAY2: In Which A Design Attempts a Dating Profile

Intro: Beautiful, blingy necklaces looking for Mr. Right in (hopefully) all the right places.

Me: Long and short, crochet, colorful. Irregular and irreverent, yet willing to hang onto your every word (and potentially your neck). I have a spine of steel, the bling of silver-lined beads, amazing memory, and a mind of my own. I pay homage to the past but am ready, willing, and able to forge my own future.

My Interests: Looking good and being stylish, ready to attend a great conversation-filled dinner party on a moment's notice (and if it's in a foreign destination all the better - I can be part of a small overnight bag, like, pronto). I'll drink a good cosmo in Manhattan, a gin and tonic in London or wine pretty much anywhere in France, yet you'll never need to carry me home. I yearn to shine bright alongside you, never a step in front or behind.

You: Must love travel, the outdoors (both city and country) good design, art, conversation, music and animals (preferably the kind that will provide me with yarn). Those who expect me to knit them socks please do not respond. Please be thoughtful, funny and open to new possibilities (or at least a new-to-you cuisine).

Outtro: It's taken me a little bit to get here, but I'm comfortable with who I am. You be too ... and let's live a long, beautiful, blingy, game-free (but always fun and never boring!) life together. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

5KCBWDAY1: My Projects Are Talking to Me, and They Have a Request

Dear Denise:

It’s been a few years since we’ve written you a letter  but we’ve been busy, as have you been, we’re well aware.

La Peinture Blanket, from the
Summer 2013 issue of
Crochet! Magazine
Initially, we want to thank you for adding to our numbers! La Peinture Blanket is a wonderful shot of color – boy, we needed some sun glasses when she arrived on the scene. We were so thrilled to see how much time and care you took in picking the yarn colorways and then putting them together just so. You studied and studied that painting of yours every day, with no help from us (boo hoo). All we could do was lay there all neatly folded on the back of the futon. We were patient with you, and our patience was rewarded.

Additionally, you not only gifted one of us to a pregnant Ravelry friend, you then took a turn for the dark and green and added the Froggy Swap blanket to our ranks. As with the NYOBE Water Round blanket, we were pretty pleased with all the block swapping – the colors are coordinated not only within the blanket, but with different paintings you have. (We note the theme forming.) Since we’ve been overloaded with work, Froggy Swap blanket couldn’t get here any moment too soon (since you know La Peinture isn’t doing any work – she just sits there looking fantastic most of the time).
My Froggy Swap blanket, made with
blocks swapped with other
Ravelry crafters

Now, as we’ve written before, we know how much we keep you and George Bailey warm, and we’re incredibly happy to do so. We also appreciate the wonderful digs we have in which to do our work. But you know, we’ve got to tell you that while you make us look good, we make George Bailey look cray, cray adorbs. Our blues and light greens and pinks and creams do nothing but show off his assets to great effect – and don’t you think for one instant that cat doesn’t know it. We mean … like … really.

The handsome and talented George Bailey, looking
oh so fine thanks to us, your blankets extraordinaire

My Cotton Mod on Mod
in the making
We also provide some wonderful craft still life possibilities. Just look at all those stacks of color! Happiness is the truth, eh?

We end this latest letter with a request: for all we do for you, we hope you’ll get on the stick and finish the two blankets in the oven for us. They have been gestating now for almost the last two years, and that’s quite a long time, wouldn’t you say? It’s not like they’re alpacas or anything. Sheesh - get a move on! We want and need more worker blankets in the stable, ok?

Your trusty, stylish, hard working blankets:

Tunisia Bed Cover
Impressionistic Pinwheelie Blanket
NYOBE Water Round Blanket
Cotton Mod on Mod Frenchtravaganza
Froggy Blanket

 And the two still in the oven:

Friday, May 9, 2014

Craft it Now, Anyone?

Craft It Now, edited by
Shannon E. Miller, KP Craft,
2014, list price $22.99,
available on Amazon here
Happy Fee-Fi(ber)-F.O. Friday, everyone. I'm thrilled that I can (finally!) blog about my included designs in F+W Media's Craft if Now book (I didn't receive my copy until this past Monday). I find it's always better to write when the publication is in hand.

Edited by Shannon E. Miller, Craft it Now is a general craft book encompassing a wide variety of crafts. The goal? To provide a compendium of quick projects anyone can make in a few hours or a few days. Shannon knows that a crafter always has long-term projects on the go - this book aims to fill the oh-I-need-to-make-something-right-now! gap. Most projects have no more than 6 steps from start to finish, and only one or two of the more than 100 projects have more than 7 steps.

Some of the projects (like my two designs) are made with new materials. Other projects, however, utilize materials already in hand that you may be looking to upcycle/repurpose. I find this one of the strengths of Craft it Now. I especially like the Polka Dot Coasters as well as the Broken Jewelry Pendant project (p. 51) for precisely this reason. Additionally, there are several great card projects that would not only be great projects on their own, but also springboards for a DIYer's further creative ideas. And finally (before I get to my designs!), there are two different polymer clay button projects that, if you're a button fiend like I am, you will definitely want to try.

The Weekend Scarf, p. 33
There are several knit and crochet projects in the book, of which two are mine. The first, The Weekend Scarf, is a light, ethereal project that can easily be made in a weekend. The two-row pattern is easily memorized, and made in Rowan's Kidsilk Haze Glamour in the trance colorway. The subtle bling and fringe make this scarf elegant - a perfect gift.

And, speaking of gifts, my second design is a pair of Thank You bags. Again, these are made with an easily memorized pattern and luscious yarn (Neighborhood Fiber Co. Penthouse Silk in the Victorian Village colorway) and, topped with seed beads, are bound to make the recipient ooh and ahhh. These are also great stash-buster items - they can be made with almost any weight yarn and would be perfect to have on hand for wrapping that last-minute gift.

Thank You bags, p. 114
I'm thrilled these designs are included in this collection. There's something here for just about everyone (including projects you could make with the tweens/teens in your life), so I hope you'll seek out Craft it Now.

Definitely head on over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder to see what's up on the farm. Wishing all the mothers out there a great Mother's Day!

Don't forget, the blogging madness that is Knitting and
Crochet Blog Week V starts this coming Monday! Go to for the daily prompts and tags.

Monday, May 5, 2014

(Just Another) Melange Monday

Hello everyone - it's Monday, time for melange.

I was recently picking up a few things in my local whole foods co-op, and I stopped by the magazine rack to check out what was currently on tap. I was instantly drawn to the above cover, the spring issue of Tricycle magazine. It shows a portion of one piece of Jakkai Siributr's textile art, Red Buddha. If you were to see this cover up close, you would instantly notice that a large portion of this piece is made up of crochet motifs, mixed with other found objects. It is absolutely stunning. (And, if you're interested in reading a quite different take on the annual Burning Man festival, definitely check out this issue - it's a fascinating spin on what happens in the desert sand every year.)


I am a big fan of foreign films. While I normally gravitate toward French films, I will peruse all of the foreign language film section of my library to see what might look intriguing. I've come upon a foreign film distributor,, and have been exploring their releases found in the stacks. The most recent I've seen, 2011's The Piano In A Factory, is simply superb. Ostensibly about a father's quest to provide his daughter with a piano, it's in turns comic, poignant, and quite visually appealing (in an industrial communist blue collar sort of way). Initially, watch for the story. Then, stay for the cinematography. And the costumes. And the music. And all the bicycle riding.


Finally, I leave you with more of the current fiber on the hooks/needles. I cannot seem to get out of the way of projects lately (always a pleasant state of events). I must tell you how much I love the Dream In Color Wisp in a new-ish colorway, Rose Anguish, that I recently received. On the DIC Wisp page, they show the colorway on a different base, which is nice, but in Wisp is so delicate. Just yummy. 

I quite like my yarny life.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Let's hope that everyone's upcoming
blogging adventure is free from Clerk #10.
Dear Clerk #10:

I sincerely hope you are having a better day today than you were last Saturday. I was only attempting to pay for the postage due on my rather precious box of completed crochet designs with both my credit card and cash. I've done it before (like, many, many times) in the past with no problem, but I guess it was just beyond your rather limited computer abilities. I didn't necessarily appreciate (1) having my head figuratively chopped off when I initially told you my mixed method of payment, (2) didn't appreciate your continued rudeness when I went back to the window to see if I could straighten out the transaction since you shorted the post office, and then was in complete disbelief when you just automatically gave me back change without listening to what I was saying; and (3) then you compounded all of the above when I (not usually a glutton for punishment, but I couldn't keep money that wasn't mine) went back a final time and you put a new tracking number on my precious box, yet you didn't issue me a new receipt AND still didn't collect the correct amount of money for the transaction because you were just fried.

Now, clerk #10, I hope you will do yourself, me, and the rest of the post office-visiting public some good by finding another job that might better fit your skill set, because working a computer that collects funds is, I think we can both agree (whether willingly or otherwise) above your pay grade.

Please know that I intend to do both of us a favor: should you be one of the clerks behind the counter in any of my future trips to the post office, I will pleasantly but firmly refuse to walk up to your station. It's the least I can do.

Oh, and your superiors could also thank me for attempting to ensure that the post office actually collects the funds it rightfully has coming to it, because we all know how flush with extra cash the U.S. Postal Service is.

Currently on the hooks/needles - I haven't met a
skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co. yarn I didn't like.
A designer who actually gives a s&%^$

An update on my Amber Bling Bag test: I have two testers currently working on the bag, but would like a few more (some additional pairs of eyes can always help). If you'd like to do a quick pattern test for a good cause, head on over here.

Now do make certain you make it over to Andrea's at Wisdom Begins in Wonder where yarn and all good things fiber-related are always front and center.