Monday, January 28, 2008


Here it is! My first real FO for 2008 (I made socks earlier, but had to frog them). I absolutely love this sweater!

The Katarina design is great. The slightly belled sleeves are flattering and comfortable. The lines of the garter neck and fronts make it cozy without being overwhelming. And I had forgotten how the simple beauty of garter stitch can enhance garments.

The yarn worked out great, too. The natural brown wool with the little silk nubs give the sweater a hand-spun look and feel. No one could ever guess this yarn was recycled!

I probably will make another of this design in the future. Possible variations would include: lengthening the body another inch and adding another half-inch to each front (prior to the ribbing). I'm thinking it would also work well in a linen yarn.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Happy Little Teapot

Last September I discovered several new favorites at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. One of them was Tea Time Garden. Bonnie has several delightful blends of green and black teas that I fell in love with. She also sells Tisanes (herbal blends) that all smell so good.

I just received my new order from her shop. After a postal service glitch, Bonnie made it right and sent me my order via Priority Mail. I loved her attitude and willingness to take care of her customer. When she learned there was a problem, she immediately made sure I got my teas. And look at those samples and cute little Origami crane she included. Thank you, Bonnie!!

So if you're looking for a great pot of tea and excellent customer service, I highly recommend Tea Time Garden! Give it a try!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Spinning Bob

During a conversation about our pets recently, one of the teachers at school mentioned she has a female Miniature Eskimo dog named Bob. I asked if she had ever saved her hair. Of course, I got the expected response of "?????!" I explained that some dogs' hair spins up to make beautiful yarns and I would love to show her. I asked her to to just save some up as they groomed her and bring it to me when they have a bag full.

So last week, Bob went to the groomer. My friend's husband, expecting a strange response, asked the groomer to save Bob's hair. The groomer asked if it was for yarn! (I love it!) So Bob's mom brought me this! It was already very clean -- they had obviously bathed Bob prior to the brushing. It spun up very well, with little prep necessary. The result was a nice little 43-yard skein of soft, fuzzy white yarn.

When I took it back to school, another teacher who knows Bob well, was grossed out by the idea. I reminded her that sheep are not at all clean animals and yet we wear beautiful wool sweaters all the time. She didn't buy it. She said it bothered her more because she knows Bob personally!

But Bob's mom seem pleased with it. I encouraged her to save more of the hair so there would be enough to make something special for her. If not, I think a pair of mittens with "Bob Cuffs" might just be perfect!

A side note: when I opened the bag at home, I had mixed reviews from my pets. I expected Ashes (my 15-year-old kitty) to make a fuss at the smell of another D-O-G in her house. But no. She just sniffed it and turned her back on it.

Latte, on the other hand, seemed to just know there must be a puppy in that bag to play with! I couldn't keep her head out. So funny!!

(Notice the Bob fluff on Latte's nose!)

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Button, Button

A number of times recently, I have had my project all finished except the buttons. Then the hunt begins. Good, affordable buttons are getting harder and harder to find. There are fewer fabric shops around. And their selection is often lacking. More than once I have set my project aside due to "lack of closure." I have also been known to purchase buttons first, then design the sweater, or what have you, around them.

A couple of yarn shops in my area have some nice buttons, but I've also had difficulty finding the right size or quantity. Then there's the price...those lovely little tokens often cost more than all the other materials put together.

Shopping online hasn't netted me much either. I spotted a couple of Etsy shops that had some fun buttons for sale. Then the shipping costs were almost double the cost of the buttons, themselves.

So, here's one of my solutions. Since I'm already out in thrift shops and yard sales watching for sweaters to recycle, I'm now checking lots of other garments for buttons! Occasionally I find a rather ugly jacket or sweater that has terrific buttons. I feel no guilt in purchasing that item, stripping it of the buttons, and either re-donating or recycling the fabric. The example shown below was an ill-fitting, poorly made sweater. And yet, it had a zillion (not quite) colorful buttons around the yoke, cuffs and bottom! Aren't they pretty?!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

New Year, New Project

Like I really need a new project! But it's been a couple of years since I made myself a sweater. So, in the spirit of the new year, and goal setting, I cast on for a new sweater.

I've had this yarn for a while waiting for the right design. It's formerly an Eddie Bauer sweater of 76% wool/24% silk in a natural brown. At about DK weight, it should make a nice indoor garment.

Katarina is by CocoKnits. I love the simplicity of the shaping. It looks like it will be pretty flattering for a variety of body shapes. I'm casting on for size large.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Happy New Year!!!

In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship, never in want.
~ an Irish Toast