Monday, January 13, 2020


Since I’m traveling this week I thought I’d give the new iPad blogger tool a little trial. Picking a photo from my iPad which does not synch with my phone photos so that to begin with is a little awkward....

New makes and a maker's plans

I finished up last year with a shawl for my daughter Lucia which was knitted entirely while on a South American cruise.  It was gifted over Christmas and I didn't take a photo....

While on the same cruise I finished this, a bead embroidered pendant which I will teach later on this year.

Turns out there is a lot of time on a cruise so I also made these bone baby earrings designed and kitted by Kinga Nichols.  They are very fun to wear.

 This is my finished Fintry in Malabrigo Rios, color ochre.  A departure for me but I love it.

A close up of the Fintry lace parttern.

 I finished up this hat in November for December gifting.  The yarn was a left over unique sheep gradient and the pompom snaps on so there is also a white one.  This little one really appreciates a hand knit.  Pattern was found on ravelry, but the only similarity to the pattern I chose was the cast on and rib sequence and even those I changed.  I did an every 6th row cable to add interest, and changed the depth before decreases from 9 to 6 1/2 inches.  It fit perfectly!   She even stealthily tucked the spare pompom underneath for a quick change!

 This was a knitters gift from our son the perfect on the go knitting bag!  I love it, it's very very comfortable.  Easy to pull out a sock and work on it wherever.  The bag came from Uncommon Goods.

 This knit happened in January... Purl Sohos no purl scarf, a free pattern on their website.  The rib pattern is outstanding and it was a fun, very meditative knit.  My poor husband was desperate (cold enough) to wear my pink and green Stephen West Smock It shawl one night in San Francisco.  I decided before NYC in January he should have his own scarf.  This was 100% cashmere that I found in my stash.  It was not a very well plied or particularly soft cashemere and I have no idea why I had it, but the color was perfect and he reports it to be warm and comfortable, so that's good.

Becasue I am always dreaming of snow I decided to make a second Cindy Holsclaw Bead Origami snowflake.  This one is reversible with blue on one side and dusty coral on the other.  I'll be wearing them this week in New York City hoping that I get to see snow!

One last make, this one from the kitchen.  My mother was a good cook and every year she made fruit bread with citon and raisins and in her version, red and green dried maraschino cherries (I waited too far past Christmas and they were not to be found.)  I had her recipe and had tried it before, but it literally just has the ingredients and the oven temperature, no directions at all.  But I have a new little helper in my kitchen, a Thermomix and I decided to give it a go.  I had been successful with pita bread and pizza dough, so why not.  Well this is as close to my Mom's as I've ever accomplished, so I'm calling it a success.  Next year I'll get all the right fruit and try again.  The secret ingredient is cardamon seed.  Makes the house smell heavenly and makes me just a bit nostalgic for my New England childhood.

Yesterday I cast on Volition which is a knit along sweater class from Patty Lyon that started in September.  I had too many other things on the agenda to get properly started then, so yesterday I decided to get it cast on.  It's a very interesting construction with lot's of new to me techniques.  There is video support of each technique and construction tips and I've downloaded them all to my  you tube for watching on the plane this week.  

The very exciting thing is that we are traveling to Vogue Knitting live in NYC.   I went to the first one ten years ago!  I'm a tad overwhelmed as I've been watching knitting vlogs and paging through Stephen West's latest shawl book and I am not entirely sure what special thing I want to make next.  I'm trying to sit quietly with the various designs that are calling me so I can make a decision and make one purchase of special  yarn to make one special design.  So far the word that keeps coming up for me is color.  I would like to do something with some bold color work.  I suspect that is a  Stephen West influence, but also the Kristy  Glass interview with the inventor of the Freia gradient.   I've also been thinking about technique and the Fruity Knitting interview with Nancy Marchant and her Brioche lace.  A lot to think about it!  What are you knitting?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Still making

Not too much in the way  of finished stuff at the moment but I continue to knit, sew and bead.

I did make a Marcy Tilton shirt out of a white fabric and it's a pretty good 'go to' white shirt, because everyone needs a good white shirt, right?

Then there's this beautiful shawl which I did not make.  Every year at the Colorado Bead retreat artists donate pieces to be raffled off and the proceeds given to charity.  This year a beautiful shawl was donated by Melody Cross.  Exactly my color and with crystals in lilac shadow.  I was totally enamored and I put all my raffle tickets into that one bucket and.......I WON IT!  That's never happened to me, seriously, not ever have I won something like this that I wanted to badly.

Melody even included a shawl stick which she beaded to match. Pattern is Aello by 

Here I am modeling it over my Ranunculus, so you can see it was made for me!

I was gifted a sweet pouch at the Colorado Bead Retreat by Julie and it's my new favorite sock bag.  It carries everything I need to make socks which is good because I am on a quest to made the perfect sock.  Maybe pair five will be that.

I’m working on perfecting techniques and finding the one I like best. All top down with rolled cuff, pattern

How I Roll

by Mara Catherine Bryner.
64 stitches around on shorties, size 1, except for sock four which is on size 1.5. First one, stockinette heel flap, turned heel gusset and Kitchener toe. Sock two and three after thought heel and barnntoe. Sock four, slipped stitch heel flap and barn toe. I think I like fours heel flap and ones toe....sock five will try that combination.

This is the Celebration kit by Sherry Serafini which I bought in Colorado.  I've finished it now and it's perfect!

Progress continues on my Skylark Cardigan.  I've finished the back and two fronts and now I have cast on the sleeves which I will work simultaneously.  I want to wear this on an upcoming trip so I have some deadline knitting to do.

Happy Making to all my maker friends out there!  This weekend I'm off to assist at the Beaders Dream Retreat in San Diego.  

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Blogger app post

I decided to look into blogging on the iPad again since it’s been a couple of years, so I’m trying out a new app.

First up
A photo from my recent airstream travel, Emma wood state Beach. This is Gertrude, the airstream mascot that travels everywhere with us.
This is Willowkiss, a simple beaded pendant. You can find the tutorial here.
This is my new favorite shawl,smock It by Stephen West.
And this is my peace heart, metal work by friend Tracy Stanley.

Travel makes

Interestingly I find travel to be a very productive making time.  Especially this kind of long, leisurely airstream trip with short distances on the road and long stays in between.  It is so relaxing and I find lots of time to work on projects.  I do leave the sewing behind, so it’s knitting or beading that come along and I’ve done plenty of both.

I finished 

A Metal heart
A pair of earrings
A faerie locket
Two peace signs
One pair of socks and one sweater
A beaded tape measure kit 

I’ve worked on 

A shawl
A second sweater 

I bought yarn for one new sweater

This is the Faerie locket.  I'll teach it at the Colorado Bead Retreat next week.

This is a reversible peace sign.  It has been too long since I made one.   The embellishments are freeform but there are photo ideas in the pattern.  You can find the pattern here.

 I made a pair of earrings to go with my new Johnny Was top.  I had the opportunity to stop at Creative Castle in Newbury Park so I took my shirt in and found the perfect colors.

This is my Ranunculus by Midori Hirose in Kestrel linen by Quince and Co.  The color is  Hyacinth.  I am using a 16 inch needle for the sleeve.  I made it cropped as per the pattern but decided to order more yarn and make it longer.  If you're tempted, look for instructions on joining the two ends of Kestrel together.  There are several ways, but I found this you tube to be the best explanation.  I've used it and am very happy with the result.  No ends to weave in either!

Here's what the yoke looks like.  I'm happy with it, but I will make it longer.

Here's my tape measure.  Pattern is from Paula Gething of On a String and cab is from Touch of Glass.  Everyone needs a fancy tape measure, right?  Check out Paula's Etsy shop.  Many pretty 
things there!  

I also made this dress for this little cutie, grand daughter Bella.  She loves rainbows!  If you have someone who loves rainbows I purchased the fabric at Birch in Paso Robles.  They have an online presence as well at  Since I dono't trave with sewing machine, I finished this up before leaving, but I did deliver it on this trip!

This is a heart I made for my daughter Casey at her request.  Metal work is from Tracy Stanley.  If you're interested in one, pm her on facebook.

So now what am I doing?  I have a second sock cast on.  I'm working on fixing my Ranunculus, I'm knitting on my Skylark sweater, my Fintry shawl and beading a Geometric Beadwork piece.  Those should keep me busy for a bit.  I've also had a request for a pink hat for another wee one who appreciates a Grandma knit.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Makes

Well I've been beading, sewing and knitting, and not blogging.  So let me show you what I've been up to.   We'll categorize the various disciplines....I am all over the map and never quite sure what I'll feel like working on for a given day.

This is a pendant that I made reversible, but truth is I don't love the coloration on the reverse side, so it's kind of a moot point.  It's in process here waiting to have chain added to the bottom.  I did finish it up when I got home.  I was beading this one while at the Albuquerque balloon fiesta this past October.

Here are a sweet pair of earrings using the same technique but 1/2 the square and much daintier.

Early November I made a trip to New York to surprise my friend Miriam at a class she was giving.  The two beautiful components on the bottom are her design and the appetite stone came from Beads by Blanche.  I bead embroidered it and finished off with some chain.  There are matching earrings with no photo handy at the moment.

I love these new Tierra Cast drops so I made up a pair of CRAW cubes using 4mm pearls and crystals suspended from chain.  Easy and elegant and I love how the drop adds such texture and drama.

Next on the earring front I used the hubble bezel from my Bella earrings and changed up the bottom with a CZ drop and some straight chain.

Finally on the earring front, inspired by a kit I bought from the great Sherry Serafini, and using what I learned, I made some bigger and bolder earrings.  I love wearing these ones.

Moving onto knitting.....While air streaming the Oregon  Coast this year I tucked into a sweet little yarn shop in Cannon Beach.  I purchased this Urth yarn and did a hitchhiker with an added row of eyelet, a great knit and so fun to wear.

Finishing that up I began work on Michele Hunters Building Lace with nine different lace panels.  I used Rylie, a linen alpaca blend which is so soft, and just the right amount of weightiness.  Over 60,000 stitches later, with the addition of size 6 beads on every panel, and seven weeks of time, this one is finished and has been worn.  It's a dream.  The pattern has a lot of information, so if you've wanted to try lace and were intimidated this is a great pattern.  Michele's website also has a lot of video assist tutorials for the various techniques you'll encounter.

With Building Lace off the needles it was time to cast on this years Project Peace Cowl from Christina Campbell.  I'm using Lazer Sheeps sport weight in Dove Grey from my LYS South Park Dry Goods.

Then there is sewing....This is a tunic by Tina Givens in a white linen, it's ok.....

Then another Tina Given jacket, called Peplone.  This time I had help.  I found myself a sewing teacher and am beginning to learn things to help make truly wearable garments.  The patch on back I did by collaging some royalty free images I liked and then printed them on organza. It's a product called ExtravOrganza by Jacquard.

It's pretty wearable and I like it a lot.

This is my prototype of a lined jacket Clare, by Closet Case.  It came out pretty good (with lot's of help).  I've since done one in a rose gold metallic brocade from Mood.  It's my best garment yet, but I don't have a decent photo.  I will share soon.

My last show and tell for sewing are these potholders.  The first one is from a panel of fabric from the ghoulies series, and the second is a set I made grand daughter Sam for her first grown up apartment.  My mother in law always made potholders until she became too ill and so I had a big potholder void. You just cannot purchase a potholder as good as one you can make.

So that is almost all my makes for the last half of the year in one place.  I also finished Mark's sweater vest, but alas no photos of that either.  Now off to finish up a new beaded pendant for teaching next year at the Heart of Texas Bead retreat in June next year.  Yes, I am retired.....but I still enjoy seeing my bead colleagues and students so I accept 2 to 4 engagements per year.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

A new gypsy jacket

When I left you last I had the idea to make a new gypsy jacket in white linen.  I cut it out and stitched together two days before leaving on a 12 day trip to Spain.

When I returned I had exactly 5 days to get ready for a 6 week trip in the airstream.....So what did I do, I sewed.

I am sad that I will be missing my machine, although there is knitting and beading to do, both more portable.

While in Madrid I bought a pretty watercolor fabric and also a sheer polka dot embroidered fabric.

This was my first gypsy jacket.  It was short and I decided to make this one longer.

My white linen was too plain and I wasn't liking it.  I did play around with printing out a design that I did using adobe draw on the iPad.  I printed it out on extravorganza a sheer printable fabric from Jacquard.  I liked the results but still thought it was too plain.
I decided to use the polka dot which meant cutting off the bottom piece and then reattaching it with the polka dot as an overlay.  I liked it but it still needed something, so I went off in search of lace trim.  I wasn't able to find a matching cream color that I had already used so I decided to go for contrast.    Truth be told I don't really love it, but it's stitched down good now and so I think it's a garment that I'll wear at times but not a favorite.  Sometimes I wish I were less impulsive.  Had I sat with the decision longer I think I may have appreciated the white linen and perhaps a different piece of artwork.  Or maybe I would have dyed it, but oh well I am impulsive and fickle!

All in All I created a wearable garment and my skills are improving.  This pattern is by Tina  Givens

And now there is packing to be done!  I have to wind yarn to finish Mark's vest.  The back is about 1/2 away from being done and fits perfectly.  I'm finding it an easy knit with beautiful yarn and it will serve me well while traveling to have a mindless knit on the needles.  Next up is Georgetown, a cardigan in a fuchsia donegal tweed.  I need to wind the yarn for that.   Susan at South Park Dry Goods took all my measurements and worked out the numbers so once the vest is done I'll be ready to start.  I also need to figure out how many and which beads to bring.  I have a project that needs inspiration, design and development by September.  I have some Gaudi photos I think I'll use for inspiration.