twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Busy, busy. Happy, happy. June 24, 2009

Filed under: jewels,knitting — kathy @ 9:32 pm

I love to be busy. I hate just sitting and doing nothing. I think I must drive CR and BugBug crazy sometimes. I cannot just sit. My hands cannot be empty.

I believe the germ of this came from the days way back when I worked for T.G.I.Fridays (waaay back during college when they were privately owned and had that menu that was like a dictionary. Remember that? We took 2 full weeks of training to learn that menu and a 25 page essay exam at the end of those 2 weeks to secure the job.), when one of the top rules was, “never walk through the restaurant with empty hands.”

To that end, I’ve been working hard on some new jewels:

the beginning of something really different for me

the beginning of something really different for me

This is a newish style I’ve used for small things, like earrings, but finally decided to expand into a full-fledged neckpiece. Since this shot has been taken, the little moonstone briolette  at the bottom has been replaced with a super flashy and big ole juicy, gemmy labradorite. I absolutely love labradorite. I think it’s my number one favorite gemstone to work with.  Anyway, this piece is actually pretty different now, and I’ll be taking some new pics tomorrow after I oxidize this puppy.  And I have lots of sketches of new goodies to make. Top of my list are my shawl pins, and special “yarn” necklaces. More to come on that!

"Biscuit Blanket" by J. Fleckenstein

"Biscuit Blanket" by J. Fleckenstein

Meanwhile, I happily finished a special giftie for one of the many brides-to-be in my life. I really enjoyed this pattern, the “Biscuit Blanket” by J. Fleckenstein of “I live on a Farm” (see my favorite stores/blogs right), and love love love the KnitPicks Simply Cotton Organic Yarn (link below). I used nearly the entire skein, with a comfortable amount left over. I must note, however, that I used a size 5 needle with this yarn, which was close to what was indicated for the pattern; however, the ball band suggests size 7 or 8, and IMHO, that’s way too big. Even at the smaller size, this yarn was soft and even a little drapey. I plan on getting more to make a sweater for Bug, but I sure won’t go above a size 6 needle, no matter what. Here’s the yarn link:

I took an idea from another Raveler and put the biscuit recipe on a pretty card, and tied it to a pretty bottle with a cork stopper that I’d filled with the dry ingredients. I loved how it turned out! I was so excited that the little card I had mounted the recipe to matched the wonderful Kaffe Fassett “Paperweight” fabric I used to cover the cork stopper and satin ribbons!


I hope the bride-to-be likes it! I sure think I’ll make a few more, and one for me, too. 🙂

Well, tomorrow will continue to be busy. More jewelry-making, more knitting–I think on my Something Red…or my silk shawl.  I can’t wait to wake up tomorrow!


Having too much fun to knit… June 20, 2009

Filed under: knitting,laughter — kathy @ 11:30 pm

My Sister and her youngest of 5 left today after only 3 days of fun and being in perpetual motion. I truly forgot how much energy a kiddo of 2 and 3/4  can be.

Believe me, she means business.

Believe me, she means business.

My little niece is absolutely adorable, but needless to say, I now understand that while my Sis has tried to take up knitting so we can hang and knit together over lattes when I visit, she’s never gotten past the first few inches of any project.  She hardly has a moment to even sit down or put a bite of sandwich in her mouth, much less pick up a pair of pointy sticks and make fabric.

She is extremely creative, however, and does make adorable hair bows for little girls. Hopefully soon I’ll have a link to her online shop so you can see them.

And anyway, it’s not important that she learns how to knit for us to hang out, eat naughty things, and laugh our heads off about whatever pops into our minds. 

I did manage to get a wee bit of knitting in: a few more inches of my “Something Red” as well as most of my “Biscuit Blanket”. But I accomplished that after everyone had turned in for the night.

In fact, I packed up my knitting to cart along with us (though it didn’t get taken out) on our trip to one of my daughter’s favorite places she calls The Magic Tree. This tree is an ancient California Live Oak tree which grows out from a deep depression in the ground at one end of a local nature DSCN0007preserve. Standing outside its canopy, it looks like an enormous holly bush, but from within, it seems like you’ve stepped into the great hall of some faery’s castle.  The huge branches arch over your head and sweep downward until they rest on the ground, like great winding rivers of wood. It really is a very cool place. Which is alot for me to say.

You see, I am not much of nature person. Well, that’s not entirely true, because I absolutely love animals, adore thunder showers and sunsets and stars, and I swoon over flowers. I think my problem with nature and why I don’t relish spending hours on end hiking or hanging out in it, comes down to three big things: Insects, Sweat, and Dirt. Heck, I don’t even mind all the dirt too much. It’s the bugs. And the sweat. And hey, those two don’t play too well together.  Please don’t try to talk me out of this point of view. CR has tried numerous times. Doesn’t work. It just makes me Grouchier. And camping…bah! The ultimate horror to me.

But I was willing to overlook my adversion to these little nuisances in order to take my Bug, my Sis and little Miss Pooky on a bit of an adventure on their second day here. So we went to the tree.

For a better idea of the scale of this tree, check the shot above.

For a better idea of the scale of this tree, check the shot above.

And then we went to this little teaching farm, which delighted the lamb loving, fiber nut in me. (There were two of the most adorable little black lambs, but they ran off into the shade and sadly, I never did get a decent photo of them. But dang, were they ever cute!)DSCN0043
We all had a delightful, if tiring day, even if the little goat tried to climb through the fence and into Pooky’s lap as she was sleeping in the stroller. Luckily it didn’t wake her up. DSCN0022
I’m really sad to see them leave. Really, really, really.
But we’ll see them again soon! Thank heavens for airplanes!
By the way, I hope you all have a mahvelous Father’s Day, whether you’re the Father who’s relaxing, or the Mother making sure the Father is getting the royal treatment. Perhaps your kids should take him to The Magic Tree… 🙂
shot taken by my Bug

shot taken by my Bug


Rejoicing in summer freedom… June 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — kathy @ 11:30 am

Last day of school was yesterday for Bugbug. And for me too! Lucky, lazy me. And even though I have so much “stuff” I want to accomplish, including a new line of knitting jewelry, I think I’ll take a wee bit of time to kick back, pull out my knitting, and work on this:DSCN0032

And this:ballettee2

And this, too:somethingrumraisin2

So for the next few days, my Bugbug and I will sit out on the couches under the maple trees in the backyard with our balls of yarn listening to Loreena McKennitt and watching the cat.  My fingers will be nimbly working away, and my mind will be composing  dialogue for Lily and Ryence, as well as designing new knitting jewels…I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day.


Stick a Pitchfork in It! June 3, 2009

Filed under: knitting — kathy @ 5:23 pm

Well, finally, the Demon Hat is finished! One day before CR’s (Captain Romance’s) birthday–just in time! 

My darling BugBug in The Demon Hat

My darling BugBug in The Demon Hat


Yep, I sucked it up, narrowed my eyes (and brain) and just figured this dang thing out. No bit of merino is going to get the best of me. Especially when it’s one of the few presents I got for him. And to be fair, once I really figured out the right way to do those exasperating 2-stitch cables, I was actually okay with the project. Now I won’t go so far as to say it was “fun.” Fun it was most certainly not. But I got through the sucker.

If I had time, I’d block it–in Holy Water– of course! LOL

But I don’t think it’ll be necessary as CR’s head will stretch the hat out plenty.  In fact, I’m a little worried that the Demon Hat might be a wee bit small for his cranium. Just like the “Mount Whitney Hat” I made for his birthday last summer when he was just about to go climb Mount Whitney. 

In fact, here’s what that hat looked like:

The Mount Whitney Hat (also known as the Maltese Hat)

The Mount Whitney Hat (also known as the Maltese Hat)

Oh well, I’ll just have to tell him this new hat is meant to be a skullcap.

At any rate, I think he’ll like it. He bikes to work so often that it’ll be good to keep his little ears warm in the Fall. At least the tops of his ears.

I must say I’m glad I ordered the shipment of Portillo’s Italian Beef from my dearest, beloved Chicago as an extra giftie.

Now I’m free to finish those 5 other projects I have on my needles!!

I think I might begin to contemplate adding some bust darts to my Something Rum Raisin ( Something Red).  I really love that pattern.  I hope it loves me back. I don’t feel like dealing with demons again.


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