Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Voodoo Scarves

Anywho, I've been busy knitting away since meeting the Berwyn Knitting Guild (now the Berwyn Knitting and Crochet Guild).

I started doing some stash busting because I want new yarn, damn it!

This is a super easy design and though my husband thinks these scarves look like Swiffer pads, I actually think they're kind of cute. If I didn't have so many I wouldn't be donating them to charity.

That's right - I went to a Jaycee meeting. And found out about the winter gear drive. And decided I'd do some stash busting and knit some stuff to donate, plus get rid of some of my older creations that I don't necessarily want to keep around because I want the chance to design new stuff.

So here's the Voodoo Scarf pattern, without further ado:

US Size 50 knitting needles (aka "Speed Stix" or 25.00 mm needles)
6 skeins of Patons Voodoo


Take three skeins of Patons Voodoo and holding as one, cast on five stitches.

Knit garter stitch until complete. A typical adult sized scarf will be about 2 skeins long, because they make these ones darn skinny. Good thing that they were at the Dollar Tree.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Continuing on - More Stuffie Clothes!

So I also added another stuffie to the swap package to replace her little lost frog. Okay, so the one I added is not little :-)

But he's SO cute! All he needed to make him perfect was a cute little bow tie. And I couldn't find one without all this ridiculous sewing. Okay, if you want a perfect bow tie, you really do have to sew it. But since I was looking for cute, not perfect, here's how it ended up:

And since I'm really nice, I even wrote out a pattern of what I did!

Starting with the right side of the bow, chain 8 and then make 6 treble crochets into chain #4. Slip stitch and secure into chain #1. Slip stitch up the outside of the shape to chain #4.

Then, chain 3 and single crochet into each chain on one side, and then stick your hook and loop through the other side and single crochet into each chain on the other side.

To make the left bow, its a bit different. Chain 4, and do 3 treble crochets into chain #1. Then, make 3 treble crochets into the last single crochet instead of the chain.

Next, you're going to create the strap and its security. Single crochet in a box shape around the "ball" in the middle of the tie. After completing the sc box (you should be on the bottom of it), chain 20 (or the appropriate neck size for the animal). Single crochet back to the bow tie. Make sure to single crochet into the bottom depending on where you started. Anchor a single crochet into the top of the box and slip stitch into each single crochet until the end of the strap.

Secure the strap to the bow by single crocheting into the top corner of the box, and then single crochet into the bottom corner. Fasten off and you've got a cute bow tie!

Elephant Earmuffs

So I've been very busy. My friends know I swore off swapping for a couple months, and then...

Anyway, I angeled for a really nice gal who's stuffie was whisked away from her in Little Visitor. I guess its part of the risk, but what a shame!

Anyway, I decided to make her a stuffie and buy one for her, and I think I assembled a nice package for her.

Part of the package was this adorable little elephant that I named Aliya (Sri Lankan for Elephant) - created from Romansock's cute little Pocket Elephant pattern:

But an elephant lives in the jungle! What was she going to do in Michigan? So I made her some winter gear!

These are her earmuffs, because I imagined an elephant would lose a lot of heat through her ears!

So if you'd like to make some cute earmuffs for your elephant, here's the pattern:

Start with the left side and chain 7. Do 9 treble crochets into chain #4. Slip stitch from the last treble crochet into chain #1.

Then, create the middle of the left side - single crochet back to chain #7 on the half moon side. In effect, this is what you are creating:

Then you're going to chain 7 and repeat. The only difference is you are going to anchor each treble crochet onto the single crochet stitches in the middle with a slip stitch.

So in effect, the instructions look like this: Chain 7, create treble crochet in chain #4, slip stitch into single crochet row, create treble crochet from the top (where you just slip stitched) and anchor into chain #4 with a slip stitch, and repeat until you have 9 total. When you're finished with the last treble crochet, anchor it with a slip stitch to the end of the single crochets.

Then you're going to create the brace at the top of the earmuffs. This one's easy - chain 10, single crochet 10 stitches, and chain 10 into the single crochets so you reach the end of the line.

Now this is where it gets a bit tricky. You're going to repeat the same steps you did to make the first muff but you need to make sure that you face the bottom/foundation chain to the middle! If you don't, you're going to end up with a twisted muff on the right side. And don't feel bad if you have to try it a couple times - even I had to and I designed the pattern!

(In case you forgot or prefer the shorthand, here's how to make the muff: ch 7, 9 tc in ch 4, sl st ch 1. ch 7, *tc in ch4, sl st to sc #1, tc in sc #1, sl st to ch 4* Rep * until 9 tc, sl st ch 1. (make sure to face bottom chain to the inside!).)

This pattern is also registered in Ravelry (look for me as cfbandit).

Friday, October 26, 2007

Funny Email...

Yesterday a friend of mine sent this out. What a hoot! While I'm not a dedicated Cubs fan, I do live in the Chicago area so I pay some attention to what they're doing on a yearly basis.


Just to keep everything in perspective .... twenty major events that have occurred since the Chicago Cubs last laid claim to a world series championship...

1. Radio was invented; Cubs fans got to hear their team lose.

2. TV was invented; Cubs fans got to see their team lose.

3. Baseball added 14 teams; Cubs fans get to see and hear their team lose to more clubs.

4. George Burns celebrated his 10th, 20th, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, 90th and 100th birthdays.

5. Haley's comet passed Earth ... twice.

6. Harry Caray was born....and died. Incredible, but true.

7. The NBA, NHL and NFL were formed, and Chicago teams won championships in each league.

8. Man landed on the moon, as have several home runs given up by Cubs pitchers.

9. Seventeen U.S. presidents were elected.

10. There were 11 amendments added to the Constitution.

11. Prohibition was created and repealed.

12. The Titanic was built, set sail, sank, was discovered and became the subject of major motion pictures, the latest giving Cubs fans hope that something that finishes on the bottom can come out on top.

13. Wrigley Field was built and becomes the oldest park in the National League.

14. Flag poles were erected on Wrigley Field roof to hold all of the team's future World Series pennants. Those flag poles have since rusted and been taken down.

15. A combination of over 40 Summer and Winter Olympics have been held.

16. Thirteen baseball players have won the Triple Crown; several thanked Cubs pitchers.

17. Bell-bottoms came in style, went out of style and came back instyle; disco did the same.

18. The Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox and Florida Marlins have all won the World Series.

19. The Cubs played over 14,000 regular-season games; they lost the majority of them.

20. Alaska, Arizona, Hawaii, Oklahoma and New Mexico were admitted to the Union

There is such a thing as TRADITION! :)

Monday, October 8, 2007

Garage Sale-ing for Swapping

So I was getting a little worried until I heard from my swap partner today that she was sending my package. I seem to have a higher than normal incidence of flaking.

We've been having a problem with people, not flaking, but with just not doing their jobs over at my yahoo group exchange. In fact, my exchange may be held off unless people can get their act together.

This isn't difficult. All they have to do is add the date the send and the date they receive to a table in the yahoo groups.

Yet for so many, it is so difficult. Sigh. So I'm going through the rules and switching things as I go. At least I've had very good organizers in the past, so I'm trying to be one.

People will do what they're supposed to do someday. Yeah. And I'm gonna be the Pope, too. If you're going to dream, you might as well dream big.

(that's my new beaver Chewy playing in a playpen I bought at a garage sale for the "Bargain Hunter" swap over at craftster)

Renegade Craft Fair: A review

So I've been meaning to post this forever and haven't. I FINALLY made it to the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago.

I was EXTREMELY interested in going because I heard it was, like, the coolest show EVER. And the last three years something has always come up the same damn weekend. So I made it a point to go this time.

I have to say I felt very hip because I went home from the St. Peter Barn Sale in Geneva and switched to my scooter from the car. Thought it'd be easier to park that way.

So I went around. I was hoping for some kind of map, but didn't get it, but that was really okay because I knew it was going to be a low-budget kind of thing. Or so I thought.

My initial impression was Wow! This must be way cool because there are a ton of people here! Dogs, cats on leashes, people - in every kind of dress imaginable.

Then I started looking. I was really interested in finding a hat and scarf for my swap partner, something cat related for another swap, and some useful and interesting little things I could give as gifts for the holiday season.

While I was initially impressed with the very cool stenciled and screenprinted shirts and aprons, after awhile it was kind of like, same ol', same ol'. I'm really wondering why the heck there was so much screenprinted stuff there.

Some very cool stuff I saw: aprons by the Craftyscientist, everything by the Recycling Artist, Emily Kirschner, and the cute little alpaca toys by a couple of girls whose company is escaping me right now. There was also a great booth that I bought some wool roving at - small pieces that were just the right price for someone who's very new to spinning and wanting to try it out.

Emily and her partner's booth was awesome like always. One of these days I'm going to fork over the money and get one of her awesome large totes - they have to be way stronger than those polypropelene bags being sold at the grocery store right now. And her service skills are AMAZING. She or her partner managed to talk to everyone in the booth, even though you had to wait to pay. That was very cool.

The cute little cat toy below is what I ended up sending my swap partner. A little piece of the Midwest for someone in Cali :-)

What I was really impressed by was the fact that these were not just booths, they were little slices of a crafty world. Almost all of the vendors did more than just stack stuff in their booth. While I couldn't afford those little alpaca toys (that looked like little alpacas), I highly enjoyed their booth - covered in grass with the alpacas looking like they were eating and sleeping and playing in their natural environment.

This was by far one of the funniest booths ever and probably the reason I'll go back with my DH.

This was a "robotic" postcard vendor. You'd go up to the booth, spin the dial and "it" would beep and talk to you and then vend a card - with things like Chicago, the craft fair, etc. as the theme.

I must have sat there for half an hour. Lord, I'm easily entertained. HAHAHA! :-)

Some very nasty stuff I saw: WAY, WAY, WAY too much screenprinted stuff. Its the fad of the year, apparently. $60 garter stitch scarves. Come on! I know we have to make a living after all - I would have been willing to pay $25-30 for a basic one to save my time, but they didn't even look like they were made of wool!

Some of the vendors had extremely crappy service. I walked out of one while waiting to talk to the vendor about her wool yarn from Michigan. I wanted to know more about it and how much it was, and would have been willing to pay for it because I'm very connected to that area, but she was talking with her friend and didn't want to pay me the time of day.

That was my biggest disappointment of the day. Even though there were all manners of people there, there was a certain crowd that Renegade seemed to be meant for - namely, size Small or Medium blond haired girls with tiny dogs.

There were a great deal of people there between sizes 12-24 that would have loved some of the stuff there and almost everywhere you went, sizes ended at M. What's up with that? Do these craft vendors know they're killing off 85% of their market? Plus, I was dressed "non-crafty" - button down and jeans, and I would walk into a booth at the same time as a size 6, girl wearing a screenprinted shirt and I would be ignored, while the vendor would fall all over themselves to treat their other customer well.

Heck, I brought $100 with me and spent $15. Yes, that's right. 15% of what I brought. I was that disappointed with the services of the vendors.


Will I go back again? I think so. I'd especially like to take my DH with me and see what he thinks. Especially if Carlo Rossi is there again. That was too funny - sample the Carlo Rossi and decorate a jug of wine. It was quite popular :-)

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Ravelry, or how I've forgotten how many projects I've done

So, the new buzzword in the knitting community is Ravelry. I finally climbed the 20K + waiting list and got in and have been amazed at just how awesome it really is.

Worth every bit of the hype? Absolutely! Want to know what a particular yarn looks like knitted up? Just search for it and hundreds of projects pop up. Looking at a pattern? See the comments everyone else made about it - and the potential yarn substitutions.

But the most amazing part, at least to me, is the part where you enter your projects, past, present and future. After going through the Yahoo group photos and the photos from my blog, my flickr account, my photobucket, my 360 and craftster, I've realized how many projects I've forgotten that I did since I give so much of my knitting away.

So I've just been overwhelmed with entertaining memories of my old projects. This weekend I'm going to try my stash - which will so help me predict what yarns I'm going to need in the future. I'm sure DH will appreciate that!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Are you a vegan?

So off my blog, on most of the crafty lists I've gotten lots of questions about my list of favorite links.

Several of them are for vegan cooking blogs and so the inevitable round of "are you a vegan?" questions began.

The answer? No, I'm not a vegan. I've been against it since I attended Ithaca College back in 1999. The people there are crazy obsessed.

Now, does that mean I hate animals? No.

Does that mean I devour meat only like a carnivore? No, not really. I'm a big fan of turkey and chicken, but I don't eat pork, lamb, veal, most pieces of the cow, etc.

Does that mean I'm a closeted vegetarian? Nah, not really. Its more of a budget thing - my husband and I are just starting out in the world - we can't afford it and we've grown accustomed to it.

Do I eat a lot of vegetables? Yes, yes I do! I love almost all of them except okra. And tomatoes. But tomatos cross over the list into the "I hate almost all fruit" category.

Do I eat fish? Absolutely! Its my favorite food that's not a dessert item :-D

Am I adamant about not eating so much meat? No - I eat it when I like. Like last night, DH and I had steaks for a once in a while treat. And the occasional Arbys enters my diet. I feel its better for the environment that way - if we all ate a little less meat, there would be more resources for the animals that should be living in peace here -- and instead who are living in hotel parking lots and darting across freeways.

Hopefully that makes sense to most of you. I don't feel I need to fit into a particular category dietetically. Plus, those vegans are crafty people - check out Hannah's Bittersweet blog - she's not only a vegan but also has tons of Little Visitors she's made. And she's a great writer :-) = something I aspire to be someday.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Kitty Kat Hat

The Kitty Cat Hat!

Someone asked if it was doable on the loom, and here it is!

Base Pattern: Ro's Earflap Hat

-Used maybe 1/4 skein of Mainstays yarn and 1.5 skeins of "knitting" fun fur in tan.
-Added ears.

New Pattern:


Cast 6 pegs onto a green Knifty Knitter. Do 4 rows back and forth.

Here's where it gets a bit tricky:
E-wrap peg 6 (go from left to right, leftmost peg is 1 and rightmost is peg 6) and knit off. Move the loop on peg 6 to peg 5. Ewrap and knit off all pegs back to peg 1. Do another row of e-wrap (pegs 1-5).

Continue this process until you have two pegs left with loops on them. E-wrap two rows, move the loop on peg 2 to peg 1, knit off. E-wrap peg one again and knit off. Send the yarn through the loop and knot off.

Repeat this process 4 times to make 4 "ears".

Take a pair of ears and whipstitch together the sides NOT the bottom. Repeat for the other pair of ears.

Lastly, whipstitch the bottoms of the ears to the hat. I recommend doing it on each side so the ears remain stiffly out.
The ears are way customizable: for a rounder ear, halve the amount of ewrap rows at the beginning and end. for a more even triangular ear, do continuous decreasing rows instead of an e-wrap row in between. do an inside and an outside ear pair - pink on the inside first ear, fur on the outside second ear.

This hat fit me even with a large head, so feel free to customize it!

Oh, and I mustn't forget to credit my model, Siam the cat.

Friday, August 31, 2007

He he ... this is funny!

Funny Sign

I would have posted the image up but it might be offensive to some people. Being on their side of the fence, however, this is darn funny stuff!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

e.g, i.e., who knows?

Apparently, these people do:

Daily Writing Tips

A great brief explanation of why you should use one or the other! You should listen!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Diabetic Baking!

Well, this topic seems to be everywhere this time of year as people are starting to get ready for the holiday madness.

I think this is one of my favorite new blogs as it takes the ingredients that I know of and goes one step further to actually create new diabetic friendly recipes that taste good. There's nothing I know of that infuriates me more when we diabetics have to eat a "special" meal. In other words, feed everyone crap so they get overweight while giving the diabetics the healthy food!

I think most of the people that know me know that I'm pretty liberal in what I eat - a little vegan, a little junk food, a little candy here and there, plus the normal stuff modified to be healthier, like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. I happen to really like sushi, too, and have a weakness for potatoes and ranch dressing, but I try to find ways to work that into my diet.

Not that my blood sugar is perfect or anything but I am trying. Hopefully that counts in my body for something. I've been trying to deduce what causes my high blood sugars lately - crackers seem to be a big problem. The dance classes I've been taking seem to really be helping my blood sugars fall - DH and I are practicing 40 minutes a night.

I'm trying to cut back on the caffeine too but it appears as if I'm increasing it more as the sleep I'm getting at night seems to get less and less. I seem lost without my morning cup of coffee at work anymore. Anyway...

That's my little rant (trying to control myself) but I'm going to follow this girl's blog closely.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My favorite art tool ever!

I was reading some othe Knifty Knitting blogs and discovered this post. How awesome is Don Marco? He creates art with CRAYONS. Yup, you heard right - CRAYONS. I love my crayons - use them all the time in fact, but I don't know if I could ever do this!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Back to work...

So I'm back to work and getting going on what else? Photos of the construction site I was at this morning.

I was up too darn early to get anything real done today anyway. So I've been doing other things - cleaning the work fridge, editing photos, creating marketing pages.

I'm working on some neat legwarmers for my Disney angel package. They're turning out well, I should have them done in time. My other crafts...well, not so much. I was going to do a knit Mushu the dragon but couldn't find a pattern. I tried cross stitching again (something I haven't had patience for in ages) and threw it down after the first twenty four stitches because it just takes too darn long, and started to embroider it before I came up with a better idea.

The other craft I had planned to do, bottle cap clips, well, the Gallery Glass that I had bought for it still hasn't turned clear! Grr. I'm going to use it on the bottom as a cushion instead of clear on top. Oh well.

Anyway, here's Swink (my little visitor) at the construction site this morning.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Please help Batavia!

Batavia's not too far from where I live and they have some awesome businesses.

Please vote for them to help their small businesses renovate their interiors just like the town is upgrading its exteriors!

Small Businesses, Big Dreams

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dollar Store Exchange / Life in General

Well, this exchange has been interesting. My partner is from the Netherlands, so I'm making her a couple things and trying to send her a bunch of unusual stuff from the US.

Mom and Dad want to go to Michigan later this week, so I'm taking Thursday and Friday off of work. Hopefully I'll get to stop by the Library of Michigan!

I got to see the puppies this weekend. My goodness, they're little ladies now! Nearly nothing remains of their cute baby faces, and in their place is soft, muscular adult ones. I'll have to update my pictures!

I'm trying to learn how to do that "picture from a photo" trick that everyone seems to do in photoshop. I think it'd make an awesome blog header!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Socks. What's up with that?

I made a post over at craftster because lately it seems like socks are EVERYWHERE.

And yet, I just couldn't give a damn about them. I like the stitchwork, the lace, but it just doesn't seem worth the effort to me.

Legwarmers? Sure, people actually see those. Slippers? Great, and comfy! And knitable on needles and looms.

But socks? I just can't see the time and effort involved in doing something on size 1,2,3 needles with a lot of complication to them.

I do realize that they do work up fast for a lot of people. But it seems like I could just do a cute cloth, handkerchief, headband, amiguriumi, or something better with my time!

I have to say, this is what makes them sound a bit intriguing, but then my mind decides against them:

A post by iameannis at craftster in response:

"If you are at all an impatient knitter, socks are the greatest project.
If you are new to knitting, socks are a great way to master a bunch of techniques: increasing, decreasing, picking up stitches, customizing fit, using dpns, ribbing, cables, lace patterns, kitchner stitch. It's also fun to play around with how you knit them (two circs, magic loop, toe-up, top-down, etc.)
Socks are kind of like the knitter's Choose-Your-Own-Adventure pattern."

What got me was the:

"Socks are kind of like the knitter's Choose-Your-Own-Adventure pattern."

That's what I love about knitting - some simple items that you wear can be changed in an infinite number of ways. But why apply that theory only to socks? Why can't other items be just as quick and fun?

Socks. I just don't get it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

My Crafting Organization Inspiration

Check this out:

Unwind: I've been Organizing

That's what I want my craft area to look like. Sigh. Oh well. At least this weekend I'll get to pick up the rest of the hat boxes from my mom. I need some more to put yarn in :-)

Swapping - what's the big idea? - Craft pr0n image heavy!

I've been asked this question a bunch by my friends and family since I'm involved in the KKEXNMORE Yahoo group, which swaps loomed/handcrafted items, AND I've been involved in several swaps.

Personally, I'm thrilled to get mail. Any mail. It doesn't matter if I'm getting postcards for selling my non-existent ugly house, I just like to get stuff. But the best mail is by other crafters - you know how much work they put into it! I've gotten a few bad ones here and there. But overall, I've been thrilled with what I've received.

Anyway, for your viewing pleasure, some pics from the various swaps I've been in:

I have a disease, round 2, where you named a disease and your partner crafts items for you based on it.

Little Visitor, where a small creature comes to visit you and you send one in return"

Disney Round 5(minus my dalmatian LOL), where you named your favorite movies and crafted items based on them.

Afghan Squares All of the afghan squares I made for the friendship afghan exchange at KKEXNMORE can be seen here.

Christmas Stocking Exchange

Crafts and Harry Potter

If you see this, take some time to go to Plaid Online and contact them regarding the Harry Potter stamps. I totally want to get some!

Anyway, here's a pic of me at the HP book release party. I brought my "Little Visitor", Scorch the dragon and the Owl from an HP swap.

The scarf I wore was what caused the most commotion. I had TONS of teenage knitters come up to me and ask me how I made it, except I didn't make it - it was a Craftster swap! The "Luna" radishes also came from the HP swap. I was paired with a VERY good crafter!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Foodsavers...worth it?

So I was looking at these online after purchasing one for my mother a couple years ago. I'm thinking it might be worth it for DH and I to get one. We still haven't quite got the knack of cooking for two, and I hate for things to go into the landfill purely because we can't cook little enough.

So I keep pondering. I've heard from my freezer OAMC group that the canisters are lifesavers and save quite a bit of money (and hence, make the purchase price easier to swallow). We don't have a large freezer, but I'm thinking a bunch of little canisters would be pretty nice and organized in the fridge. And then we wouldn't lose our Costco purchases of staples like frozen edamame, mixed vegetables, meats, etc.

Here's the canisters - they're like, $22. Not bad, I bet I could find them on eBay or Amazon for less.

DH comes home tonight so I think I'll ask him about it. I'm really digging this idea of doing a lot of cooking in advance, and then using the fruits of your labor as you go throughout the week.

That poor little coyote!

Check this out:

The Lincoln Park Coyote

Watch the video, and you tell me who's smarter :-)

They should give him some food, humanely catch him and set him free somewhere good for him.

Poor little guy. He's not hurting anyone, and they're harassing him like this. Coyotes typically don't bother people, but officials use that as the reason to bother them. If we stopped putting up 7-11s and Old Navys everywhere, maybe the coyotes would stop losing their territory and "bothering" us.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

New blog

Okay, so I've had it with Yahoo 360. Its hard to use, people have a terrible time finding it, and I want something I have more control over. And most people don't know me by roostercf (of which I would tell you why I chose it, but that would be a LOT of personal info).

All of the existing posts will stay there, so if you'd like to see my older projects, please check it out. I'm still going to use my 360 as a good way of keeping track of my friends and for Yahoo groups, but I'm going to try to start blogging here.

Anyway, if you want to see it the address is:

Yahoo 360