Saturday, March 28, 2009

Block Head

I finished another one of these berets.

Here's how I block them. I don't know that my technique is 'correct', but it seems to work pretty well.

I fill a spray bottle with water and grab one or two hand towels.

I fold the hand towels so that they approximate the desired shape of the hat. Then I place one or two towels inside the hat so that the hat is filled up, without any gaps.
I spray the hat generously with water and leave it to dry.

I like to block my hats this way so that they have a nice shape when they sit on the head.

If you have favorite technique for blocking hats, please share!! I would love to hear about it.

Instead of making the hat all one color I used a contrasting color for the brim and the top of the hat. Partly planned and partly out of necessity, one skein of Manos is not enough to make the entire hat.

The dark blue yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky. I used seed stitch instead of the rib stitch.

The variegated yarn is Manos Del Uruguay Heavy Worsted Wool in 'Autumn'.

I didn't want this hat to be as big and floppy as the first one, so I knit only 4"( instead of 5") of the stitch pattern.

P.S. The title of this post does not refer to my lovely model.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Sweetness and Light

I am very excited.
I received a custom order through my shop from a bride-to-be. I feel so honored that she asked me to make the earrings for her bridal party.

And these are the luscious lovelies that I am going to use.

AA Lemon Quartz briolettes that are so yummy looking I can almost taste them.

Lovely Mystic Quartz cubes in one of my favorite colors. The deep blue/violet of these babies reminds me of tanzanite.

So sparkling. The faceting on these stones makes the light that touches them dance.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring to Mind

Ever since I discovered Project Spectrum my brain has been on overdrive. Plotting and planning. Seeing possibilities everywhere. Ideas springing up like daffodil leaves and crocus buds.

While cruising the internet drooling over some new patterns and yarns, a truly wondrous thing happened. A long forgotten UFO (unfinished object) sprang to mind.
Hmmmm, A hibernating project + Springtime = a novel idea. Finish the unfinished object.

The back has long been done. I am now knitting the the front.

I absolutely fell in love with this Noro yarn, Sakura. I have so much fun watching the color changes flow from my fingertips, trying to guess what color is coming next.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dinner, Done!

I don't usually like frozen dinners, certainly not enough to write about them.
But these new dinners from Kashi are very good. The Mayan Harvest is my fav so far. A wonderful balance of sweet and spicy, creamy and crunchy! I've been eating quite a few lately and haven't gotten tired of them!

I find these are just perfect for me as a main or side dish when the rest of the troops are off on adventures and it's just me and the 'party animals'.

Want to try one for FREE? Kashi has a coupon. Just follow the link :)

P.S. I also like the Tuscan Veggie Bake. Now off to try the Lime Cilantro Shrimp.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Out of the Box

I find a lot of comfort in the status quo, but I also appreciate the learning that comes from challenges.

Challenge #1: Create an ACEO
I can't draw or paint, not even stick figures, so when I saw that my BBEST etsy team's monthly challenge was to create an ACEO I turned to what I know - 2 sticks and a ball (of yarn).

Coincidentally, I stumbled upon SupaCindy's blog which led me to my next challenge.

Challenge #2: Project Spectrum

Started by a knitter*, but not limited to knitting, Project Spectrum participants create art according to themes that change every few months. For March/April the color is green and the materials are stones, gems, rocks.

Challenge #3: Stash Only!!!
I don't know why but every time I start a new project I almost always seem to need to buy something new/more. Not this time :)


I hand-knit a 2.5" x 3.5" 'card' using two shades of green yarn and a metallic for a bit of glitz and glam.

I wanted my ACEO to be more than just a pretty face so, I made a pin. Hand-formed of brass wire and embellished with a green turquoise stone and copper wire decoration.

But wait! There's more.

I love dangles and charms and wanted to add some to the pin. I thought it would be even better if the charms were removable so they could be worn as a necklace. And so they are. A lavender chalcedony and a coin pearl are strung on a handcrafted cord and attached to the back of the ACEO.

This is my very first ACEO. I hope it meets the recipient's expectations.

*Thanks Lollyknitting!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Shawl, scarf, sweater, bag, hat! Whatever your little knit/crocheted heart desires.

I just added these new pins to my etsy shop.

Hand-formed brass pin adorned with artisan lampwork beads in a gorgeous blush pink color. I love the soft glow of these babies. Capped off with two gold vermeil 'petal' discs.

Handformed sterling silver pin adorned with a large blue/green Turquoise bead.

Hand-formed Sterling silver pin adorned with Hilltribe silver beads.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a Wrap

My latest lunchtime love.
A turkey wrap.

1 Ezekiel Sprouted Grain Wrap
1 1/2 TBSP Baba Gannouj (Roasted Eggplant dip)*
1 1/2 TBSP Hummus (Chickpea dip)*
2 oz Roasted turkey breast
1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried

Spread baba and hummus dip along one edge of the wrap covering about a quarter of the wrap surface. Place turkey on top of the dips and spinach on top of the turkey. Starting at this edge begin to roll the wrap tightly into a long tube shape.

I like tomato soup as a side. This is Amy's Low SodiumTomato Soup, spiced up with a sprinkling of dried oregano and turmeric. I don't need to eat low sodium and I'd like to keep it that way. With the added spices I don't miss the extra salt.

P.S. - Avocado slices and/or sundried tomatoes also make tasty additions to the wrap.

*I used Sahara Cuisine brand.

Friday, March 6, 2009

In the Bag

Croc and fur (faux of course), flowers of silk, bamboo: these are just a few of the favorite materials that go into making Designs by Nora's unique bags.

Add one of her pairs of sweet earrings and you'll have a fresh chic look.

Want to know more? Visit her blog. I especially like her 'Question of the Day' feature.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I have a love/hate relationship with Spring.

Day after day of damp, muddy grayness bores down like an endless tunnel of gloom.

But then there are are the hints of hope. Little glimpses of life that promise color and brightness. I have planted hundreds of Spring bulbs over the years and the eager anticipation of seeing their lovely little faces makes Spring a surprise package that is worth the wait.

So maybe I should describe Spring as a love/love/hate relationship. The delight seems to outweigh the gloom.

Like surprises? The photos are links :)

P.S I like to make recipes using Spring fruits.
I'm thinking this Spring Fruit Pudding sounds super yummy. I'll write a post when I get around to making it.
If you try it, please let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.