Thursday, September 28, 2006

I can take a shower tonight with hot water!

It's been a long week and I just haven't been home or gotten as much sleep as I'd liked. So I thought I'd make it an early night and stay home, instead of going knitting. Well, it gets darker earlier and when I got home, the storm had already taken out the power. Off to Starbucks I go, cuz there's knitting there, and people, and electricity.
Tonight, I lace my sunflower petals. In case anyone is wondering about works in progress, in no particular order:
Somewhat Cowl (sleeves left), Celeste (knit beaded bag), Anna socks from Rowan, Hopeful to frog, Charlotte's Web, Tubey, Sunflower parts, autumn leaves pattern, Pearls in the Coral necklace, Ndeble bracelet, my Tote Exchange bag, various cabochons, instructions of the pot of flower pens class...I don't remember what else.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Wire in a yarn meter

Why yes, you can put wire in a yarn meter and measure it! I borrowed Amber's yarn meter to measure yardage for the leaves and we weren't sure if it would work. Well, it did!

Here's a preview of the maple leaf.

The pattern will be ready by October 15, 2006 since that's the day of class. If I am actually a good girl, the pattern will be ready a week before that. Yup, I'm working this weekend as crafty beady chick.

A note on the bead soup. Main color + a bunch of other doesn't take a lot of the other colors before the whole thing starts to look too busy. I don't do a good bead soup, maybe cuz I don't normally do bead soups.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Upcoming classes

Class schedule is out for Bead Obsessions. First two weekends of October are filled with classes for me. Time to get to work on the autumn leaves pattern!

I've been using Google calendar for a while. I have my own appointments in there. I also created a Bead Obsessions class calendar so I can see what's going on. What's really cool about Google calendar is that you can overlay multiple calendars and copy events from one to another. So now I can see how classes fit into my schedule! This is a public service. You don't need a google account to view the calendar. The link is here. I'm also adding it to the side bar.

Random musings for the day

  • So, I work in Rosslyn, near the Key Bridge so I can go and run on the Mt. Vernon trail. Today, I decided to do either the 4 mile loop around Georgetown, or the 6 mile loop through Georgetown by the FDR memorial. So, I'm on the VA side, ready to cross the Key Bridge and I thought, "I should've stuck a credit card in my pocket. I'm running past Stitch DC Georgetown and I'm in need of size 1 dpns. Sadly, I only had my id, my metro card, cell phone and $2 on me. I also neded up running the 6 mile loop.

  • I googled myself today. The term I entered was "judyyiu". I found mention of me in the Art Jewelry Community forum and all I could see from the google blurb was "I can ' t say I ' ve seen any free patterns on the web . this girl made her own pattern and sells it . http : / / judyyiu . blogspot . com / 2005 / 09 ..." I've been worried all day that they said something bad about the pattern. Finally I get home tonight and I login and see that someone was looking for a free calla lily pattern and someone pointed them to my blog. What do they say? One of the comments was "I love the calla lily on the blog page. they are so real looking." Yay! I'm so happy they like it!

  • And I am mentioned on this person's MySpace page as a flower beading hero! (Okay, I started googling myself for real) Wow!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


I emailed Woolsworks Ltd. who sells those nifty double point needle holders to inquire about the price. The response was:
These holders are reproductions of those used in the
19th Century and are crafted using time honored period techniques. Each one
is made individually by a tinsmith, no machinery is used. I have 2 sizes
available. The small holds shorter dpn's 5-71/4 inches for 15.50 and the
long holds 8 inch needles for 17.50.Shipping is $2.00.

They do accept credit cards and Paypal.

Tired. sleepy.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Fiddlesticks patterns

Found a place where they're on sale: Busy Hands Yarn. Looks like they're clearing out stock. I want the Garden Shawl.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend Roundup

Another weekend has come and gone. It was a weekend spent at Bead Obsessions. Friday night was Helena's knitting night and a few of us went out to dinner afterwards. Saturday afternoon was the first part of the sunflower class. This morning was the cabochon class. Feeling kind of tired so I've been home on the couch working on the grand dutch spiral. I'm hoping to have it done by this Friday in time for needleweaving study group.

Goals for this week:
1. Finish the grand dutch spiral necklace
2. Finish the cowl neck on the Somewhat Cowl
3. Start on the autumn leaves pattern.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Onto something knitted

I've reflected, I've I have a question.
In the Crystal Palace English Garden Felted Carpetbag pattern, can someone please explain to me what the "Knitted top flaps" are for and how they are different from the "handle fastners"? I was assuming that the top flaps were what I fold down to hold the wooden purse handles in with. But that seems to be the "handle fasteners". So can anyone tell me what I'm supposed to do with the handle fastners? Right now, I don't think I'll be making them unless someone gives me a reason to do so. Thanks!


I found the blogger tag to display "add comments" on the main page. So now that's fixed. Damn hard to find APIs.

What if...

This is one of those "sharing" posts. The following were my thoughts driving with the traffic of 395 towards the Pentagon this morning on my way to work.

Some days or events stand out as a pivotal point in life when you look back upon it. Today was one of those days. For many, Sept. 11th is a day of mourning. For me, I'm thankful that my father is alive.

In 2001, I had just graduated and was moving our house and my life from Westford, MA to Columbia, MD. The move was scheduled for early September because I was off traveling in Europe and Asia all summer. Dad had come to help with the move. He was to return to Taiwan on the 9am United flight.

When flying from Boston to Taiwan, and flying United, you have 2 choices for departure flights. It's either the 8am flight or the 9am flight. Those are the only 2 flights that will get you over to CA in time to catch the last flight across the Pacific. I remember thinking that morning that I was glad I had an extra hour to sleep in. Dad had flown the 8am the previous times he was back.

It was eerily quiet at Logan that morning. We got there 2 hours early and dad walked right up to the check in counter. No problems whatsoever. Usually, the check in line took an hour and they still had to pull him out of line because the flight was departing within the hour. We had a quiet breakfast in terminal C, watching the planes take off. Dad walked in through security and I left to drive home. I think we all know what happened after that.

I had just merged onto 128 from 93N when my phone rang. It was a little after 9 and my dad called. No one knew what was happening then. I couldn't find any news on the radio, and all they knew at the airport was that something happened and the World Trade Towers had collapsed. His plane was the next one on the run way when air traffic control grounded all planes. The next phone call came from my aunt in Taiwan. Funny how fast news travels these days.

But what if dad had been on the 8am flight like he had been in the past? If he had, he would've been one of the mourned in this public day of mourning. This difference of one hour could have also had a very big impact on my life. At that time, I was applying for a TS/SCI clearance for Raytheon into the NSA. That was why I had moved down here.

What happened for real

Because my father was living in Taiwan, even as an American citizen, the Dept of Defense would not approve my application for a clearance. This meant that there was no work for me at Raytheon's Linthicum site. I soon found a job at Raytheon Falls Church and began a Columbia, MD to Falls Church, VA commute. This commute lasted 6 months because it drove me nuts, and I couldn't take it. I moved to DC and eventually ended up in VA. I've met some interesting people that I still know. My job at Falls Church eventually ended up killing my soul and I changed to my current job. Bead Obsessions became my local bead shop and a "happy place". I also was inspired to knit, due to someone I met down here, and met some great people in my knitting groups.

If it had been the 8am flight

Dad would've been one of the people on one of the planes that went into the World Trade Center. I would not have had the immediate relative who lived outside of the country and the clearance would've gone through. I did actually have a morbid conversation with the security officer where he did admit that had he been on the 8am plane, my clearance would have been approved. It would have been unlikely that I moved to DC. I would not know the people that I know. I wouldn't even be such a regular at Bead Obsessions. I may be even more messed up and possibly, completely emotionally dead, instead of the partially dead that I am now.

So while events in life just kind of happen, there are some, when you look back, look like a fork in the road with two very different outcomes. Some you have a choice. Others, you don't. But I am thankful that he was on the 9am flight. He has a story to tell and I still have my dad. I think this was another incident where mom was looking out for us both.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Makeshift ball winder

I own a ball winder and a swift, but I hate the fact that I pretty much have to let balls of yarn hang free when trying to wind a center pull yarn because the ball doesn't fit on the swift.
This morning I experimented with something - an empty bottle + a fat dowel. You stick the fat dowel through the center of the ball, then stick the down in the empty bottle. Set the yarn up in the winder and go. It works on the same idea as the ball winder except with a much smaller center rod thingy. I'll put up a picture soon. Now I'm off to the train station.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Food, yarn, beads, Brooklyn

I'll be heading to Brooklyn this weekend to visit with my two Tims and eat! But, first, I will be stopping at some bead shops for some purse handles and frames, then at Habu Textiles to pick up a few things.
So, I've been surfing for some yarn stores, in case I need needles or something (yeah, that's it), and visited the website of Sarah's Yarns located in Brooklyn. I had first come across this website while reading the Simple Knitted Bodice KnitAlong and had kept them in mind because of their amazing prices for yarn. For a comparison, the JaggerSpun Zephyr 2/18 Lace Weight cones normally sell for about $50. So it disturbed me greatly to read about Tilli Tomas price fixing. Tilli Tomas is the recommended yarn for the Simple Knitted Bodice and it is expensive as all bleeping hell.

I should get to sleep soon.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I came home to Knit Picks Options Needles on my door set. I am a happy Judy tonight. Not only do I get needles, I get to label the plastic holders. Yay!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I've created a new blog for my general rants. It is here. I have also linked to it over on the side bar there. Instead of just a random rant like the previous post, these are actually recurring rants that I have. I figured I should just compile them in one place.

Death of the crocodile hunter

So, everyone knows, and if not, now you do, that crocodile hunter guy died by a sting ray point to the heart. Now, I know this is all courtesy of Fox 10 'o clock news, and just fox news, one should take with a grain of salt, and evening news is another grain of salt, but how many things can you find wrong with the following statement from their 10pm news commercial:
"We'll see who is the most affected by the death of this superhero."

I don't mean to rant. It's just that society is so silly sometimes. Now, back to crafty content.

Oak leaf pattern is a pain in the ass.
I'm also making progress on my bag for my secret pal.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day weekend in Ithaca

This weekend I went up to Ithaca. Partly to see how Tina was settling in and take her shopping and to dinner. Partly, to eat and buy wine. I like to support the Finger Lake wines. I had 2 items on my list...wines, and a fudgy chocolate cake from Wegman's. I had also wanted to go check out Knitting Etc., a new yarn shop. Well, they aren't that new. They just changed ownership and moved.
First stop upon my arrival was Northside Wines and Liquors. This is the main liquor store in Ithaca. And I bought:
One of the bottles was bought purely for bottle amusement purposes. It was < $10 and the bottle was just too cute: IthacaSeptCatBottle
Why yes, that does look like a cat. I think it's a riesling, as that's about all I made out of the words on the label. And if it sucks, hey, at least the bottle is cute.
So, there were 13 bottles. I only picked up 6 at the liquor store. 4 of the bottles are apple cider that I picked up from Bellwether Cidery. I stopped at a couple of wineries along Cayuga Lake. This was the second one. I had originally planned on going to Sheldrake Point and had driven past the Cidery on the way up. At Sheldrake Point, I bought 3 bottles...I believe they are destined to become sangria.
Saturday, I also picked up yarn:
This is all going to become a bag for my Tote Exchange pal. Well, I think there's actually enough to make 2. I'll be keeping the second one if I ever get around to it. This is all anyone is going to see of this until I"m finished and my pal has received the bag. I actually got a lot done over the weekend. It's knit double stranded and I had only wound 2 colors while at the shop thinking that's all I'd get through but the bag knit up a lot faster than I had anticipated.

Finally, I would like to tell you about cake. I have been thinking about this cake for a while, ever since I knew I was going to Ithaca. The first time I had it, it was for my birthday. It's a chocolate cake with a fudgy choclate frosting, pecans around the edge, and some caramel on top. Yes there are 2 Wegman's here in northern VA that doesn't require me to drive 6 hours each way to get to. No they do not have this cake, trust me, I've looked.
Tina and I arrived at Wegman's where I proceeded to cakes and did not see it. So I talked to a guy in bakery who said that why yes, they do still make it and there should be some out tomorrow or Monday or I could always order the cake. I went with ordering so that it was guaranteed to be there. Tina was a little surprised. Hey, I did come 6 hours to get this cake, I wasn't going home without it!

Overall, it was a good trip. I hate the long drive cuz it's long and it hurts my back. I did keep a Thermacare heat pack on my back for the drive back so that worked a lot better. The weather was cool and grey, typical Ithaca weather but SO refreshing from this crappy hot and humid weather we've had. Ithaca is magical and I did think, "Gee, it'd be a nice place to retire!" Can you just imagine me retiring to an artist's life in the land of hippies? Even if I don't retire there, for me, it's a getaway. I am familiar with the area. I have friends there. I can be on my own. For me it is refreshing to be there.

Friday, September 01, 2006

What to pack?

I'm headed up to Ithaca in the morning and I intend to go yarn shopping and start in on the bag. One would think that a yarn shop would have a swift and a ball winder so that you can buy and wind up your yarn immediately, so that you can get started immediately...right? That means I wouldn't have to pack my ball winder and swift...?

Yeah, this is a lot tougher than trying to make sure that I've got clothes.

Saturday Evening Edit: Yes, they had a swift and ball winder! Whoo hoo!

Inspired by others...

And by others, I mean Amber, I will also set my goals.
My project goals for Sept:

  • Start and finish knitting my bag for my Tote exchange pal.

  • Write up the pattern for beaded maple and oak leaves.

  • Hmm...figure out pattern for oak leaves...

  • Somewhat Cowl!

  • Anna Socks!

  • Beaded spiral necklace

Hmm...I think that might keep me busy for all of September.