Monday, February 25, 2008


As many of you know, Ravelry (a website for knitters) is technically still in the beta-testing stage. To participate, you sign up on a waiting list to be accepted as soon as there is a spot.

I received a spot last October, but was too busy to do much with it until recently (not that I'm any less busy now...).

Well, I finally started working with it: looking around, fleshing out my profile, that sort of thing. I'm still in the beginning stages, but have added a few recent projects and listed a bunch of my knitting books in my Ravelry "library" (currently you can only list the ones in the Ravelry database). Maybe someday I'll start listing my stash... whew... that's a big project! I can see how having all this information would be really helpful to a future knitting swap partner.

My name there is winemakerssister -- come visit me soon!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Houses & Homes Treasury

A few days ago I set up this Etsy treasury. Of course, the theme is Houses and Homes (as you can tell by the photo and my title). I love all the little home-themed art.

The good news is that the treasury made it to the front page.... and the bad news is that I missed it. I only know it happened because of the comments -- people congratulating me for making it on to the front page.

Ah, well. It's nice to know that the Etsy folks liked it enough to highlight it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Package In, Package Out

I finished up my package for the Hot Cocoa swap last week and sent it off in the mail. It was very fun gathering all the bits and pieces to include.

Of course, the package had to include hot cocoa. I got some yummy cocoa at Whole Foods Market. And I included some gourmet marshmallows to make her cocoa extra special.

My partner is allergic to wool so I sent Mission Falls 1824 cotton in a range of bright, spring-y colors. She said on a questionnaire that she'd always wanted one of Elizabeth Zimmermann's books, so that went in as well. And a package of the hot cocoa stitch markers I developed for the swap.

The big part of the package (especially in terms of time) was a knitted stuffie to help her beat the winter blues. My partner has a daschund, so when I saw this pattern, I knew I had to knit it for her.

As my first knitted stuffie, it was maybe a bit overly ambitious. It took longer than I expected, but that was partly due to the fact that it's a pretty big dog (probably the size of a large daschund puppy) knitted on size 1 needles (what I needed to use to fit the gauge). But I was pleased with how it came out. I left it up to her to name the puppy... although someone suggested "Cocoa." Good idea!

My swap package from my partner came a day after I sent mine out. What an incredibly thoughtful and generous package! Thanks so much, Brenda.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

If Money, Time, and Skill Were No Object...

Cross-posted on winemakerssister and Scavenger Hunt blogs.

A current contest on the Scavenger Hunt swap blog asks the following questions:

#1 - If your knitting skill and the money to purchase the necessary yarn were no issue, what one pattern would you knit?

I'm going to add unlimited time to the mix.... why not ask for it all?

I think I'd make Annie Modesitt's cardigan from Vogue Magazine Fall 2005. It's quite amazing. Perfect for a star-of-the-party sweater... occasions when you want something fabulous. It's made with Lorna's Laces, which is fabulous yarn, but I'd maybe prefer it in cashmere or some sort of silk/cashmere/alpaca blend. Soft and yummy, but in really gorgeous colors.

#2 - What is your favorite blog ?(doesn't need to be knitting related)

I don't really have a favorite blog -- I like to visit lots and find new ones. Orangette is a fabulous blog about food. Polka Dot Creations is mostly about polymer clay (but lots of other things as well). I love her post on how she develops her colorways. And I like the Purl Bee very much.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Dreaming of Spring Gardens

These notecards bring together many things that I love. Gardening and garden catalogs. Botanical illustrations. Art from recycled materials. Sewing on paper.

They're a tangible example of a gardener's heart at this time of the year.

And they're made entirely of illustrations from recycled seed catalogs.

Buy them from my Etsy shop then send them out into the world to spread hope for the green to come...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Longing for Spring

Well, the Hot Cocoa Swap is winding down (although I'm still finishing my little knitted beastie for my partner).... so you know what that means? Time for another swap.

This swap is right up my alley. I'm a gardener, and at this time of the year I start longing for spring.

Interested in signing up? There are still openings. The sign up continues through February 14 or until there are 40 participants. Click here and follow the instructions.

And here are my answers to the questionnaire:

Do you knit or crochet? How long have you been at your craft?
I knit... and crochet just enough to finish my knitted items. I taught myself to knit when I was little. I knit a bit then set it down. I picked it up again when Tommy was a baby.

What are your favorite yarns/fibers?
I like natural fibers, especially those that are soft to the touch.

What are your least favorite yarns/fibers?
Novelty yarns (like eyelash), synthetics, blends with synthetics.

What are your favorite colors?
Red, dark red, any kind of green including teal (except kelly green -- not fond of it), most blues.

What are your least favorite colors?
Pastels, muddy yellow.

What ‘warm weather’ project are you looking forward to making this year?
I'm not sure. I guess I'm not thinking ahead that much right now.

What are you favorite scents? Least favorite?
My favorite scents are light, clean floral scents such as lily of the valley. My least favorite are heavy, perfumy ones. I love the scent of herbs, especially rosemary. And lemon.

What is your favorite flower?
That depends on my mood and the time of the year. I love all old-fashioned garden flowers.

What are you favorite spring time hobbies/activities?
Gardening. Art is my hobby year 'round....

Do you have a garden? If you do, tell us a little about it. Do you like to plant flowers or vegetables?
I have several gardens. There's sort of a cottage garden around the front of the house. Then there's an official garden in the back. It's planted with all sorts of vegetables, herbs, and flowers for cutting.

What are your favorite sweets?
Dark chocolate... really any good chocolate (except white, which we all know is not chocolate), maple.

Do you collect anything?
Yarn and fabric (don't we all?), cookbooks, vintage sewing goodies, vintage buttons, bakelite, retro (depression era, Eames era) kitchen stuff, Fiestaware and other depression-era china.

Do you have any allergies?
Smoke. Nothing else that will affect this swap.

Do you have any pets?
A Golden Retriever named Winston, four kitties.