Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Take a break so I talk about my beading

So...type type type type type. It's okay. Beading? No. Knitting? No. I just shouldn't do any gripping.

I worked on some cabochons tonight but my hands started to hurt. Just that gripping motion. I am a little upset about the cabs that I had bought at the last gem and jewelry show can't be found and I don't remember what I've done with them.

To answer questions on whether I sell my jewelry or not, presently no, but I hope to. Or even that I need to so people stop nagging me! :-) No, but really, I'd like to.

I spent a lot of last year occupied with the fiber. There was definitely a lot of fiber obsession. This year began with a need to bead. I think I was away from the beads too long. I'd like to design more patterns for flowers. I'd like to create more necklaces, at the very least for myself because I'm tired of looking at the same ones. After a year of talking about getting my beady wares out there, I will definitely try to do this year. That red cab necklace from few days back, that will be on the market before the end of the year, yes I know it's only January. I've got another one in the works that's a darker more muted color. I really don't think I wear that particular shade of dark. I tend to stick with the dark blacks and greys. I may start listing them over on the designs site, but throw a few items out onto Etsy. Some flowers in my house as well may go on Etsy.

But for me, this is a big step, putting myself out there. One thing is just to not be afraid to say, "Yes, I made this and yes I sell these, take a look." Another is being a little nervous when I place a certain value on a piece and the reaction is, "That much?!?" One last hurdle is the whole creative process for me. I would say that part of this leans more towards art than craft. I do this for my own enjoyment and I do what I do according whichever muse is inspiring me. I can't crank out pieces one after another. Every stone is different, inspiring something just a little bit different. Look at that red cab. Compare this and this. I had honestly intended to create a second near identical one. But the muses were telling me different. And right now, I also have some physical limitations preventing that. I'd love to be able to consistently bring out pieces, but sometimes, you just need that inspiration, or the swift kick in the ass, to get a move on and do it. So I guess we'll see how it goes.

I'll end this post by saying: If those of you reading don't see more than one piece of jewelry be listed somewhere (anywhere) by the end of March, feel free to really yell at me then.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Non Knitting 1

I can't believe I'm watching horrible American Idol auditions while I wait for House.

I've decided that since I really shouldn't be knitting or making flowers or spinning, I'm going to try to do knitting and beading related stuff that involves as little knitting as possible. Some items on my to do list:

  • Chart out the Flower Meadow Shrug since I was having such difficulty with the written directions. - Done. I did this at lunch.

  • Top down raglan calculator - As a good little software developer with bosses who believe in being lazy...cuz it makes for a better developer...I looked first to see if something like that already exists. Well, it does. Please see link below and I will be adding to the side bar as well, so... - Done

  • Get the Simple Knitted Bodice pattern, start swatching with Silky Tweed and alter the pattern. The pattern calls for worsted weight and I think the Silky Tweed is using DK.

  • Write out the Phalaenopsis Orchid pattern

  • I'm going to attempt to do quick tutorials for Sweet Life Knitters on chart reading, reading your stitches and fixing some simple mistakes

I think I need to add to this list. I want to avoid major knitting and beading until Monday. Though, I will attempt some more jewelry and see how my hand feels about that.

Custom Knitting Graph Paper - plug in your gauge, go, and print! It's simple and quick

General sweater generators - Yeah, I'm so not reinventing the wheel.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Alpacas and beads

Tomorrow night (Jan 30, 2007) at 10pm EST on the Discovery Channel, the episode of Dirty Jobs with the Alpaca Shearer is on tv!

In other news, since I can't really knit, spinning hurts a bit, and beaded flowers might also hurt, I've been doing some beading. My officemate Svitlana will be happy because she'll get to see more necklaces and jewelry pieces. I've got this piece mostly finished. I just need to get a clasp. Gold or brass or maybe even copper clasp. No silver since silver won't go well with this:

That's a glass cab in the center. The strap is a spiral rope made with size 8 hex beads. I love the hex beads.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Back to fiber

I really wanted to keep the orchid up top for a couple of days but I seem to have things to babble about. I realized that I need to get spinning on some fiber since the drafting and plying class is coming up in a couple of weeks and it takes me at least a week to spin up an ounce of fiber. That ounce of fiber will fit on one bobbin. I need at least 2 bobbins...eeek! In other news, I have also started on the Flower Meadow Shrug. Knitting is slow going but I'm progressing quickly since there aren't all that many stitches and it starts off with a lot of short rowing.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Phalaenopsis Orchid

First up, I went to Springwater today and bought some fiber. There's a 3 oz ball of merino that I'll be using for the drafting and plying class. There's a 15 oz ball of painted merino. They are so soft.

Okay, but really, this post is about:


Amber's mom, Anne, was in a really horrible accident at the beginning of January. She is very lucky to be alive and have as few injuries as she did. When I heard, I thought, "She needs flowers!" Then I realized that I don't really give people real flowers so I thought to bead something. When I asked, Amber said her mom likes white orchids. Well, I've been wanting to make a more life like phalaenopsis orchid and well, they don't tend to live at my house. So I've been working on prototype orchids and last week, I found a shape that I really enjoyed. I began working on this plant this past Saturday and assembled the stem and planted Thursday night. The pictures have all been hidden until I was able to give Anne the orchid.

To say that I've been giddy since Thursday night is an understatement. I'll have flowering orchids year round! I am very very happy with this. I've taken many notes on how this was made and I plan on writing up the pattern. I just wanted to get this made, see the final project and present it so that she has something pretty to look at everyday while recovering.

I was able to stop by and visit with her today and she was up an knitting an intarsia sweater. Recovering, but still hurting. She also really loved the plant. At one point, the afternoon sun shone through the window right onto the orchid and Amber was able to get some pictures. These will be in her flickr account.

Technical Details:
All beads in this orchid are from Toho. The petals are white with yellow. But! To really have completed this, the two larger white petals are made with opaque white beads (Toho 41). The 3 back petals are made with frosted white/clear beads (Toho 1F). This subtle difference in beads added depth to each flower. Along these lines, I also used two shades of yellow, even though there really isn't a lot of yellow. I used Toho 175 and 175F. The leaves are made with Toho 1046. There are 8 flowers, 3 on one stem, 5 on the other. There are also buds of different sizes, and 4 leaves.

This last picture, I took Thursday night. I was trying to find a place in the house to pose the orchid for my "portfolio" shot but couldn't think of one. Instead, I found the table with the orchid. Where the beaded one sits usually sits 2 pots of African Violets.


Friday, January 26, 2007


  • was finally able to switch over to blogger beta, new blogger, whatever you want to call it and add tags!

  • am still in the process of tagging all my posts, most recent ones being tagged first. I've got 2 years worth of babblings. Major categories (Beaded Flowers, Knitting, Fiber) are there

  • got me some Moo cards. I've liked this idea as a personal calling card after seeing Amber's set. There are beady things on them which will come in handy for teaching!

  • Managed to pick up stitches on the second Monkey sock. I knit 2 rounds tonight and that was about as much as I could do:


    But in the mean time, I have lots of beady and fibery things to keep busy with.

  • Continuing to spin and fondle the suri alpaca/mohair blend.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I love the hockey reference

Sock Madness - based on the NCAA basketball's March Madness which I really don't give a rat's ass about. There's a post whose title caught my eye in bloglines because as a somewhat knowledgeable hockey fan, "Adams, Norris, Patrick, and Smythe" were the four divisions of the NHL. There was no Northeast, Southeast, etc. Hmm, those are the only 2 of 6 I remember. How sad is that? Anyways, I was just surprised at the hockey reference.

My March Madness lasts about 3 weeks and goes into April. My March Madness also involves me holing up in my house watch hour after hour of hockey on tv. Then I am hungover on Monday and Tuesday, without having touched a single drop of alcohol all weekend. My birthday actually kicks it off this year. I can't wait.

Pictures to come this weekend. No, not of hockey. But of pretty things. For now, no bead, no knitting, but I'll do some spinning and go to sleep.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Today's Updates

I'm hungry, damn it. Okay, besides that, I spent a lovely evening at Bead Obsessions making:

My very own beaded spinning wheel oriface hook

I also managed to take a better picture of the red calla lilies at the shop. Patricia had a piece of fabric that was white so we took a nice picture:


Those are the cherry amber red (Toho 2153) and the stem is Toho 37. I shaded 2 of them. On our way home, Amber ran into some car trouble. Fortunately, I had some jumper cables in my trunk and Patricia knew how to use them.


And since my hand has been hurting and I was working on orchid today, I decided to come home and spin and test out the oriface hook. First, the oriface hook fits! So, the bobbin was spinning funny and then I finally looked back at the instructions and realized that I had the bobbin on backwards, so when I flipped it over, it just didn't work. I was spinning this multicolored dyed wool stuff of unknown origin that had vegetable fiber I kept picking out on it. I decided to put that away and start spinning some nice black suri mohair blend I had bought at My Favorite Yarn Shop on the the bead/yarn crawl with Helena earlier this month, which I could've sworn I had blogged about...but I guess not :-( Wowee. Again, what a difference the fiber choice makes while spinning. I have Spinny going fast and this baby is nice!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Beading 2007


Beads are size 11/0 Toho 1046. These were meant for some peony leaves but I've discovered that they're a great shade and finish for some orchid leaves. Patricia, if you're reading this, I see another order for another bag of the 1046 sometime this year!

I'm hoping these leaves will be planted by Wednesday night. I was working my way through the flowers on Saturday and have done some lacing and made more petals today...but I'm out of beads again, in my house where I have a bazillion kilos of beads. But no, I don't own the opaque white beads I'm using. I have not found a good use for opaque beads, until possibly now. Yes that's, I hope to have this 2 stem, 8 flowers orchid with buds and 5 leaves made and planted by Wednesday.

So, beading came before the fiber and I was heavily distracted by the fiber last year. Flower beading readers, don't worry, I'm back. Plans this year include a phalenopsis orchid and large (LARGE) peony and bells of Ireland arrangement for the Del Ray Artisans bead show, and working my way through Donna DeAngelis Dickt's 3 orchids from the 2006 flower seminar. I am so working through many phalenopsis orchids, pattern and class to come later this year, since I lugged back a good kilo of bright colors from NYC for this specific purpose. And I'll have some nice Christmas presents for people when I'm done. Between the knitting of the shawls/scarves and the orchids, I should be all set for Christmas! This is starting out a beading year. I must work through my (bead/fiber) stash!

So, I will end today's blabberings with words from a Liz Phair song. It was on my playlist while I was at the gym today. The song is "Extraordinary":

I am just your ordinary average everyday sane psycho.


  • I've been doing good with the exercise and food. I have a test coming up...a trip to Ithaca

  • I think this looks interesting. Color me intrigued.

  • I am knitting slowly so I don't kill my hands. Had a good morning at Wegman's. I'm not working the heel flap and a few more rows to go before I turn the heel on Monkey #2.

  • I like bagels and lox :-)

  • All calla lilies are present and accounted for at Bead Obsessions

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Monogamy is not for everyone

Because sometimes, your hands hurt and if you only stay with that one thing, you end up with hurty hands that eventually don't function. I think the size 2 needles are going to kill my hands soon. I also think I'm going to break down soon and either finish up the Flaming Moth or start the swatch for the Flower Meadow Shrug. I might have to put Monkey #2 on hold for a few days while my hands work with larger sized needles. If the 6-8 needles don't work, I might go make my second felted bag on the 13s. At least now is about bed time and I can go to sleep so I can get up early to go to the gym, then for a yummy brunch and knitting at Wegman's. I love Wegman's!

A little bit of crazy, a little bit of wow!

knotnotwar 1,000. That looks pretty cool. I haven't checked out the actual pattern yet. You RSVP to do this by March 1 and the donation deadline is May 1. Now...that is a bit of a time crunch and I have a lot to do before then...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

One monkey



I still need to weave in the ends but otherwise, I've got a sock. My foot is really warm! I still marvel at the wonders of knitting a sock! Tomorrow, I start on the other sock. Then, after that I'll be starting on the Flower Meadow Shrug. I bought the pattern and yarn from Lisa Souza at Stitches East. Not only am I trying to be a good girl in terms of fiber and bead buying, I'm trying to stay monogamous to my knitting projects! And somewhere in here, I'll finish up the Flaming Moth because I got my yarn from Lisa Souza! Still waiting on the Sock! yarn part of the order.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Weekend fun and more orchids

Saturday was spent doing a lot of spinning. Sunday was spent teaching intro to French Florals. Monday was spent day tripping in NYC on a bead and yarn crawl. I bought A LOT of beads... I also bought some yarn. But I need to take a break from the knitting because my hands are getting tingly.

Monkey while at Knit New York.

We introduced a newbie knitter to the joys of a yarn swift and ball winder and had many people come out back to find what the laughter was about. I'm exhausted so I left work at 5:30 today to come home, eat, do some beading and sleep. Beading consisted of finishing up the orange orchid here:
The orange is prototype 2. The white was prototype 1.

I think that I am actually happy with the result of prototype 2. The petal proportions are about right. I think I'll stare at the lip a little more to see if I like it. Also, those silver lined orange beads are a much better improvement over the pearl white. I think I also need to do some shading.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

From fiber to yarn

Just before Christmas, I began spinning up some Romney that I had bought from Spunky Eclectic. I have been spinning a little bit everyday. Yesterday, Amber, Amber, Nina, and Helena over for a Marathon of "House" and spinning and knitting. They knitted, I spun. And I spun and I spun the Spunky Eclectic. When I finished off the fiber, I plied, and plied and plied and produced:


Then I set and hung them out to dry in the bathroom, hanks of beads being used as weights:


And then there was the finished handspun yarn. I'm quite happy with it! My wraps per inch tool is telling me that it's about 24 wraps per inch which places it just a little thinner than fingering weight. Lace weight is supposed to be 35+ WPI so i wonder what's in between. What do I plan on using this for? I think something out of Victorian Lace Today.


Saturday, January 13, 2007

1 finished Wing o the Moth

Pictures courtesy of Amber.


Pattern: Wing o the Moth

Yarn: Knit 1 Crochet 2's Doceur et Soie in Cafe au Lait. It took almost 4 balls.

Needles: KnitPicks Options, size 6.

I made this for my coworker's baby shower and it is the most amazing yarn!

I can't grow orchids

Really. This poor little baby:


I bought at Whole Foods last night. If it's lucky, it will live for another year. Most likely though, it will be dead within 6 months. My main purpose in buying it was so that I could have a model:


to attempt to make this:


which is Prototype 1...which I'm not all that happy with. The lip is awful and the general shape is too round. Also, those beads, I really think those pearl white beads are only good for daisies. Yes, I'm very critical of flower designs.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

I'm so bloody tired

Why? Because I finally went to bed close to 2am last night blocking:


Also for your viewing pleasure, some close up shots:


What now? In knitting, I'm working on Monkey with the Mama E fiber. I'm also working on more calla lilies for Bead Obsessions and find myself with the urge to bead many many flowers. So hopefully, more pictures of stuff to come!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Bad pictures of a pretty calla




This one is going to Bead Obsessions on Sunday.

Current project status

  • I'm working on some calla lilies for Bead Obsessions. I'm bringing the first one over on Sunday and I'm going to make a couple more for an arrangement. The class is on February 10th.


  • Flaming moth is still sitting around since I'm still in Lisa Souza's dye queue.

  • Doceur et Soie moth is being worked on. I hope to present it next Friday and show it off next Thursday night at SLK. This means that it needs to be blocking by Wednesday night. I'm going to be a knitting fiend the next couple of days.

  • Leaf Litter - I'm almost done spinning the first 2 oz. Remember I started this just before Christmas? I've been doing this a little bit at a time at a really thing thread. It will be plied to probably something like light sockweigh after it's been set.

  • I just cast on for Cookie's Monkey sock pattern.

  • And of course, I have lots of other knitting and beading stuff. But hopefully, some pictures to come!

Adding to the confession

Based on my weight gain and body fat percentage...I put on about 5 pounds of muscle and the rest of it was fat. That's pretty amazing for someone who completed a marathon this year, eh?

Why am I posting this? We have an obsession with weight and appearance. But this is another case of "You can't judge a book by its cover" where I sure as heck don't look like I weigh close to 160 pounds. Most people assume I weigh a lot less. And now you're all going to hate me more when I say that this is also when I give thanks to my parents and ancestors for my genes.

Am I satisfied with my appearance? Yes, except for the fact that my pants don't fit and if I'm not careful, I'm going to have to buy new pants.

Why do I feel the need to lose weight? Because 27% body fat is way too high for me. Ideally, I'd like to be back running at about 20% which based on current calculations puts me at 145 pounds. 20% used to be around 140 pounds. I remember how the body felt then and it was great and running smoothly.

Do I care that you all know how much I weigh? Not really. And you all probably all hate me.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Confession Time

I don't look it, but I do.

Height: 5 ft 6 in

Weight: 158 lbs

Body Fat %: 27.2

If I can get back to 140, then I would've lost all the weight I've gained in the past year and be back at about the 20% body fat that I'd like to be at...which is where I started in the first place 2 years ago. The scary thing is I did train for the marathon last year.

Monday, January 01, 2007

This year...2007

I want to...

  • Learn to have some self control in terms of managing my money. Although, I think I may have had enough with the beads and fiber for now. I feel like buying more at times...but I also don't know what I'd do with some of it until I've knit through some of it, which brings me to...

  • Work through some of my yarn stash. There's a lot of things I have in mind for the yarns I have but I haven't had a chance to get to them. I even want to make socks, and eventually a pair for myself!

  • Get rid of the 20 pounds I put on last year. How does this help? Well, I can spend a lot of money on food, and that's because I can eat a lot of food. I may not look it by looking at me, but trust me, I can eat a lot of food.

  • Run another marathon. I hope this will help with the lose 20 pounds goal. I hope because I did run a marathon last year...when I gained the 20 pounds...

  • Be more open with friends. My conclusion on this first day of the year is that my friends keep me human. They remind me of how to feel. They keep me from going to the dark side, where there is no feeling, and that would be bad.

  • Design more floral patterns. I've strayed from that.

Spinning into the new year

Literally. See:


I was playing catch up with Spinny. The fiber itself has all the different colors and for a while, the thread being spun up was mostly yellow. It's really kind of amazing how you can anticipate the final outcome, and at the same time, not. I'm thinking of making a scarf out of Victorian Lace Today with the spun up stuff.

So happy new year everyone! It's been a long year and my head is still spinning. Yes, there are a lot of things spinning in this house. For a long time, I was very unsettled. It didn't help that I was moving every 2-3 years. But I think I have finally settled down long enough in one place to be comfortable. It's a nice feeling. I'll have a goals post coming up here in the next couple of days. It's like New Year's resolutions.

My trip to Florida was awesome. We saw a couple of really fluky goals (in our favor). One of them was when we were on a line change and were just dumping the puck into the Maine zone. Bishop (Maine goalie) was out of the net so it was WIDE OPEN, and the puck hit the boards, and bounced into the net and bounced out again. We were all screaming but I at least wasn't quite sure if that was a goal or what. The Cornell guy standing closest to the puck wasn't sure either cuz the puck had bounced out of the net towards him and he was looking around unsure of what he should be doing. And then we all realized that the ref had called it a goal and we all started celebrating. But we did lose to Maine in the end. I got to meet some more of the online posters and caught up with some old friends. I spent a good 48 hours either drinking, or recovering from the drinking. And now it's Jan 1st and I must go back to the very disciplined going to the gym today.