I’m so inspired by Gnomio and Juliet that I’ve decided to make up some gnome hats for wee little heads (why kids of course!)
Blue Gnome Poem
There once was a gnome,
who peaked out of his home
and found that spring was a lark.
He covered his head
with blueness not red,
and went out to sing in the park.
Today brought me to Seattle and I had a little extra time for myself, so I wandered to “the Quad” at U-Dub and had a little photo shoot filled with cheery cherry blossoms and the first of the little gnome hats. I’m knitting up as many as possible now so that when the time comes to either bring them to my local boutiques or post them to my online shop, I’ll have enough that you can pick out your flavorites! (Yes, that’s how I intended to spell that. ) Remember, you can always custom order a hat; we’ll just need color choices and size to get started!
I’ve been so inspired by Gnomio and Juliet
that I went and scoured Etsy
for the best of the best creations of Gnomes
. Boy did I have fun! There are so many artists that I never would have known about had it not been for my gnomie inspiration. Wow! Figurines, pissed off garden art, mobiles, sketches, doors, wee little homes, hats and so much more. If you are so inclined, please pop over to the Treasury spot on Etsy
and view or comment on it. I’d love to get enough interest to have these fantastic artists featured on Etsy’s
front page!!! Also, if you like what you see, take a moment to look at the seller’s shops. I discovered so many more lovely items that I found it hard to drag myself away to create the treasury. It’s a good thing Etsy
doesn’t have a low quantity limit on how many favorites you can have!
This morning I woke to the most wonderful news! One skein of my handspun yarn
had been featured in an Etsy Treasury by ChirpandBloom
. For those of you who run your own small businesses, give this a think from the Marketing and PR perspective.
Etsy Treasury: May the Road Rise to Meet You
First of all, what a fantastic way for the treasury creator to invoke that feeling of community than to engage and show off the wonderful things that others are creating. Secondly, an excellent opportunity to make new connections that might bring new business to your store. See, ChirpandBloom
has her own store which has adorable items for children and adults who “don’t want to grow up.” By connecting with me, she might also end up connecting with a mama who knits, but doesn’t sew and wants cute things for her daughter. Think of this action of creating a treasury as you would leaving a comment on someone’s blog, except it’s a deeper way of connecting. The neat part about what she did is that it inspired me to a) tell all my friends, b) post it on my blog (and write about her without her prompting!) c) post it on my facebook page. Goodness perpetuates goodness. Why not go bring more into the world yourself?
Everywhere I go, I find myself seeking out those who are funny, quirky, and “love to laugh”. That’s mostly predicated upon the fact that my dad is a character. We’ll walk into a store and God only knows what he’ll do. The other day, he saw this oversized M&M character that had what he called, “arm holes” and decided that he must put his arms in there. It was priceless. No, actually, the smirk on the cashier and older woman’s face who was pushing a cart nearby was priceless. Growing up in my family, every moment is an opportunity to be silly, make up funny lyrics, and do things that make people think, “Oh my goodness, bwahahahaha”.
His performance as the Mad Hatter in Disney’s Alice in Wonderland
was delicious and the perfect amount of sloppy fun over a cup of tea. Did you know that the voice over of Ed that you hear on the actual video was the recording of him acting out the scene in real life. Can you just imagine what fun it must have been for him to sit and play “in character” for all the sketch artists? Oh, it’s just a dream come true I tell you!
After watching him in all those videos, how can you not love the sweet, silly, and talented Ed Wynn?
All photos in this post by Bonnie King Photography
I’ve had the good fortune to be part of the lives of 2 adorable little boys. Let’s just call them my nephews. These boys are fun, silly, and most entertaining. Before they were born last year, I knit up *nearly* matching Buzzbee hats for them. I spun the yarn (Becoming Art Adventurous Fiber Club) used for the colorful bubbly band portion of the hat. Then, I used a commercial yarn to knit up the crowns and earflaps. These hats have stood the test of baby drool, chewing, being ripped off by baby hands, tossed about, and generally put through the normal rigors of life with babies. The best part? They still look great! No pilling, no dirty look, nada.
The photos shown here are part of whole year of photos @ 1 / month service that the twins parents got as a gift. What parent wouldn’t be delighted by professional photos each month of the first year of your child’s life? The photographer is Bonnie King
. She takes beautiful shots of people in all walks
andages of life
. I was asked to help with the Valentine photo shoot
because the twins Poppa had to attend to the family business. Oh boys! They kept momma and me hoppin the entire photo shoot. We’d barely get one to hold still long enough for 1 photo and they’d take off drooling and crawling. I was exhausted at the end of the shoot and can only imagine what daily life is like trying to keep up with these boys. Oye vey!
Watching Bonnie work was just great fun! I’m amazed at how well organized she was and how many different props and ideas she had for just a couple hours of photos. There were at least 4 settings. Plus, she captured the boys personalities in many amazing and wonderful ways. I’m sure you’ve seen a photo of someone before meeting them, then when you met them in person, you thought, “That’s not how I imagined you.” Well, if that has happened to you, then you know how much of an art it is to capture someone’s personality in a single shot. Bonnie, does that so beautifully. If you’re looking to have any photo work done and are in the south Puget Sound area, I highly recommend looking her up
Ok, I gotta boast on 2 accounts. Aren’t those boys adorable?! And didn’t the hats turn out great? Bonnie’s photo of of them on is just precious to me! Makes me wanna go pick them up and snuggle each one of them until they start giggling.
If you’d like me to knit your little cherub one of these hats, please contact me via
Some of you are just going to shake your heads when you read this post. But, Rainbow Brite definitely “colored” my life. I watched all the episodes, and as a little girl, really enjoyed them. Watching the cartoon now, I think, “I liked this? It’s so slow!” But, hey, I loved the smurfs too and those shows don’t move quickly either. They’re classics.
As I watched the video link above, I realized that I am a modern day adult version of Rainbow Brite. I try to bring color and sparkle to “murky and lurky” places and generally think there’s a trail of color that follows me everywhere. Just look at my fiber, yarn, and fabric stashes or take a look at my living room curtain (a series of indian saris in the most brilliant colors) and you’ll see that indeed my life is and must be filled with color. There was a time when I tried to live without color because it seemed the “right” thing to do. I was miserable, depressed, and not fun to be around. Then, I discovered spinning and happy color filled my life again.
Today, I have a hat I’ve been working on to share with you. It is inspired by Twink, Rainbow Bright’s little buddy. I spun up the yarns on my wheel and had them sitting on a side table for weeks whispering to me, “Play with me… knit me… color outside the lines…” And so, a couple weeks ago, just after Madrona I did pick them up. I started with the lipstick red, which is a Blue Faced Leicster (BFL) from Spirit Trail Fiberworks
. I knit up a hemmed brim. Then, I picked up the Rainbow colored handspun by Tree Frog Knits
in the color Suerte. I knit on that for a while and decided I needed some inspiration. All I could think of was Rainbow Brite. So I looked up pictures and found Twink. Isn’t he cute?!
Since I already had the rainbow stripey thing like his rockin socks going, I decided to make a few rows that looked like his belting. So I added in a few slip stitch over purl rows and voila! Then, to finish it off I knew I needed a star on top. So, I found this great star design byMary Jane, Midge, and Mink
And here’s what lil’ Twink looks like drying (over my bamboo veggie steamer – unused of course).
Yesterday, I fussed about blogging.
I felt that I left you hanging at the end of my SSH seeks FFLP
post. Why? Because I got you hooked into “Ooo what *can* I do with a single skein of handspun?” then left you hanging on exactly how to do it. Rather, I wrote that post for the advanced, adventurous knitter type who turns up their nose at patterns and simply isn’t afraid to frog a project 10 jillion times. It bothered me that I didn’t have something to offer the advanced beginner.
As I’m learning, many of you knitting types (of all experience levels) are not comfortable deviating from a pattern, knitting to explore and try new things, or haven’t been on Ravelry (for shame!). Yes, all this does make me quite sad, the Ravlery part especially so. The Rav has SO much to offer us fiber fiends, from seeing just how a knit up pattern looks (awful on everyone sometimes, I won’t lie) to finding classified ad’s for drop spindles. The down side to this amazing registered-user-only site is that it is not search able from Google. So, unless you’re logged in and looking at the site, you just don’t know what you’re missing. Why does that matter to a novice who would care about “what the heck to do with a single skein of handspun?” Because if you have a skein of anything, you can just pop on Ravelry, put in yardage estimates or even search for the yarnie
and come up with hundreds of options from other people’s projects to existing patterns. It’s amazing and will blow your mind. It blew my mind and I’m STILL trying to find it.
For you home fix it types, imagine having a box full of PVC pipe, PVC T’s, glue, and some PVC elbows. You figure out just what quantities of each you have, enter it into a search engine and out pop several projects that will make use of that exact amount of PVC junk. And, to top it off, you can see photos of the finished projects that other people have made from that same amount of PVC junk. You can decide if you like it; some people may have added “Helpful notes” on how much time it took them or how satisfied they are with their PVC Junk statue. It’s functionality is immensely broad and deeply amazing.
So, if you aren’t able to use such an amazing engine, then you need more guidance on what you can create out of handspun. I’m going to give you a quick little journey on 1 of my project’s today. In the photo above, you see 4 mini pic’s. Number 1 is Hedgehog Fibre
's 2010 summer club merino. Number 2 is the 2-ply super bulky, thick & thin yarn I spun out of that fiber. Number 3 and the unmarked mini pic is the cowl I made up (improvised a pattern) on size 17 knitting needles (how big does that tell you the yarn is?!). I call this cowl “Blue October”. First, because all the colors are just what you’d find on a sunny, crisp, late Indian summer/autumn day when there are still asters in bloom, green grass on the ground and bright blue skies to be found. This particular cowl is being showcased in the Maloney’s Florist
shop in Puyallup. It’s unbelievably soft and super cozy to wear!
If you would like to make your own version of this cowl here are my guidelines:
Blue October Cowl
Experience:Advanced Beginner. Must know how to knit in the round and bind-off. If you do not, please search You-Tube for videos.Materials:
- Yarn = 4 oz of super bulky yarn. Approximately 30 – 70 yards. Exactness not important, you’ll knit until it’s gone.
- Needles = US 17
- Gauge is probably 1 -2 sts / inch
- CO 30 – 40 (leave 4 – 7″ tail).
- Join to knit in the round (do not twist).
- Knit until yarn is 3 x the circumference of the cowl. This should allow you enough to cast off and have a tail to weave in at the end.
- Bind off, weave in ends.
Yay! Happy Cowling! If you make one yourself, please drop me a link in the comments or send me a PM on Ravelry
. I’d LOVE to see it!
I’ve been knocking about favorite British shows & movies with friends lately. Seems the most interest I’ve seen from you, my dear readers, is around the fun things we enjoy watching on “TV” (what ever that may mean for you these days). Here are some of my British Comedy favs. Pray tell, what are yours?
* A Bit of Fry & Laurie
* Black Books
* Men Behaving Badly
* Vicar of Dibley
* IT Crowd
* Hot Fuzz
* The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill
* Waiting for God
* Relative Values
* The Color of Magic
* Going Postal
* Easy Virtue
* Walk Don’t Run (maybe this one is an American film? Still delightful!)
* As Time Goes By
* Keeping Mum
And, as always – here are a few videos to entertain you. WARNING… these videos do show some ADULT HUMOR. So, be careful where you watch.
Here are Richard Coyle and Jack Davenport
Here’s Chris O’Dowd and Katherine Parkinson
in IT Crowd (Gotta love that answering machine.)
This is a hilarious scene from Vicar of Dibley with Dawn French
and her Chocolate Fountain.
And who doesn't love a little bit of Stephen Fry
and Huge Laurie
in Judge Not. This one you must watch to the end!
I bet you’re trying to work out just what those acronyms mean, aren’t ‘cha?
Well, for those who might be seeking someone to keep you warm at night or to take those long walks through the junk yard to find that perfect rear axle, I’m about to disappoint you. SSH is a Single Skein of Handspun who is seeking a Functional, Fun-Loving Pattern. How many knitters out there have looked longingly at a skein of “boo-tiful” handspun and thought, oh what am I going to do with that?! It’s just not enough to make a whole project. Never fear amigos! ~GG~ is here! (note how the tilde’s on my initials look like wings… I’m thinking Hermes, I’m thinking just flown in to save your creative butt… I’m thinking… did anyone get this reference
Anyway – now that we’ve been down that trip to memory lane, yes, I guess you could say that a mini skirt and a skein of handspun might equate to covering just about the same percentage of body only in other areas.
There are many things you can do with a single skein. You can make a headband, flower, pair of fingerless gloves, a hat, mini-scarf, toys, cowl, cuffs for a sweater, collar, kerchief, baby socks, mitts, or hat and many, many more things. What I prefer to do is blend my handspun with some commercially spun yarn (like Jill Eaton Merino or Brown Sheep to name a couple). So, in order to get your creative juices flowing, Here are 9 projects I’ve made out of 1 skein of handspun or less! For the sake of this post, I’m counting a single skein as 2-5oz and 25 – 220 yds, all ranges of yarn weight.
You’ll note that I’m showing you hats, fingerless gloves, a skinny scarf, and a cowl. I knit them on needles from size 3 to size 15! So, don’t limit yourself. What you really need to do is start playing around. Knit up a gauge swatch, estimate stitches and rows/ inch, rip it out, then estimate what you need to make the object of your desire. That means if you’re making fingerless gloves, measure the circumference of your wrist and the widest part of your hands. Estimate the # of stitches/rows needed for a comfortable fit (assume no ease provided you’re knitting a rib or a stockinette and that you aren’t a super, super tight knitter and things will likely work out fine). Then, off you go – start knitting, use a basic pattern book like one from Ann Budd to figure out a pattern. For me, all it takes is a little guidance and then I’m off patterns. I used to get in trouble for not following the instructions of a recipe. Now, I make up my own rules of the game when it comes to creating knitwear. It’s very freeing!