As knitters and crocheters we have all been taught to swatch.  Weather or not you keep your swatch is up to you.  As a designer I like to keep my swatches because I can compare yarns and stitch pattern combinations.  Some are pretty, some are funky and wonky, but they are all still special in their own way.  So what do you do with all those swatches?

I have had a project in mind for them for a while now.  I takes almost no time at all.  I’m not really sure why it took me so long to do this.  All you need is a frame with several spaces for photos.  Not large spaces, smaller than 4″ (since that’s usually the size of a swatch).  Then place your swatches in the spaces where the photos would go (fold where necessary so they dont overlap).  You can also knit up swatches for this project with leftover yarns if you like.  And voila! There you have it, knitted art!  Perfect for a living room or knitting studio!  

At the beginning of the year I made myself some goals for 2012.  I put them on my blog so that I could hold myself accountable for actually reaching them.  Here is my list of goals and my progress on each one:

1. Learn to bake bread- no progress, but hopefully before the end of the year.  There is still time!  And luckily this is a task that shouldn’t take a day or two.

2. Learn to quilt- no progress, but I did buy all my fabrics and get my sewing machine out of storage. Ah ha! Here are my fabrics.  I purchased most of them from Sew Modern.

     

  

Here are all of the fabrics stacked up together so that you can see all the colors and prints in action.

3. Begin to learn Italian- nessun progresso (that’s Italian for no progress)!  But that’s okay I have plenty of time before I move to Florence, Italy.

4. Get my butt into shape- So for I bought an adult tricycle to get around (but it’s been raining lately- a great thing!!!) and I have lost 20 pounds (50 pounds to go).

5. Publish an E-book or a book book- HA! What an unrealistic time frame I gave myself! Maybe in 2013 or 2014.

6. Get organized- Believe it or not I didn’t own a desk before.  Now I have a desk a file cabinet, drawers, almost everything in my life has a place! but of course there is lots of room for improvement.

7. Learn how to plan things ahead of time- I have made so much progress on this.  Even my blog posts I schedule 7-10 days ahead of time! But this is a constant battle for me- procrastination is in my blood… its what I am made of… my very essence.  Fighting it is like fighting my DNA… it’s freggin hard! So I’m working on it and making progress.

8. Eat healthier and more vegetables (get a CSA box)- Got my CSA box! And I LOVE it!!!  I now receive the “more veggies only box” every other week.  They stay fresh much longer because they are local and don’t spend two weeks on a truck.  So not only am I eating more vegetables that are local, organic and in season, but I am getting way more creative in the kitchen!  BTW- Let me know if you are interested in Farm Fresh to You – I can get you a coupon code for $10 off your first box!

9. Eat out only 1-2 times a week- Well, ever since we got our CSA box I feel an obligation to use everything in the box.  May no vegetable go to waste! So naturally we are eating out much much much less.  Also now that I’m not working a full time job I’m not exhausted when I come home and I have a ton of energy to cook for dinner. Also all the veggies we eat give me energy, and the weight loss gave me more energy.  Its cyclical! So now we are down to eating out about 1-4 times every two weeks.

10. Plan a vacation to Europe & New York- Nothing on NY front… but I am thinking about it for the spring.  I did go to Barcelona in the summer. Sorry I didn’t blog about it… but it was right in the middle of the Olga’s Vest KAL and there just wasn’t any Barcelona blogging time… but I have to say- my sister and I had a blast!!!!!  But why don’t I share a few photos for fun?

     

From left to right: La Padrera, Parc Guell, La Sagrada Familia.

 

     

From left to right: Me shopping at All You Knit is Love wearing my Janna’s Tunic, a random yarn bombing in the Gothic Quarter, my sister polishing off a bowl of very Spanishy nachos and washing it all down with a hearty pitcher of sangria.

11. Self-publish between 8-10 patterns with about 5-6 garments- Hmmm….. well… this was definitely a tough one!  I self-published 11 patterns this year and 6 of them were garments.  So booyah! Got that one in the bag!

12. Finish all UFOs older than 3 years- HAHAHAHA! What a pipe dream! I did finish one UFO… and then I published it…. can you guess which one? Here is the link to the pattern… I published it :)

13. Knit another Blanket (maybe TDS)- Didn’t do TDS, even though I still want to.  I even have a the perfect yarn picked out, Manos Del Uruguay Wool Classica.   TDS my size! Even  though I didn’t knit a blanket, I have crocheted one and started piecing it together.

     

14. Make my own pair of pajamas- Yeah right! Another pipe dream.  Got the fabric, got the machine out of storage….  now I just need to relearn how to sew, follow a pattern, and remember how to use my machine…. aaaah! Overwhelming.  One of these days I think I’ll go to the Sewing Arts Center and take a class.

 

I’ve been in a purging mood lately.  I’m just trying to clear out all the clutter.  About a year and a half ago Rory and I moved in together and in my laziness of unpacking my stuff I ended up with a chest full of homeless random objects.  The other day I dumped everything out and decided to keep almost everything.  But I cam across this little cotton hankie… not sure where it came from, or if it’s mine… or his… but it looks new and unused.  So it’s mine now! Haha!  I’m sure its mine… don’t remember it though.

I thought, what the heck am I going to do with this hankie?! Ah! Craft project!!! I recalled this little project from the Purl Bee and thought… “Hmmmm, that might work.” But I decided to take it to the next level.  Believe it or not, years ago, my first real crochet project was to crochet around some photographs I took.  I thought I could combine this Purl Bee project and this photography project and crochet around this lonely hankie.

So first I steamed the heck out of it… since I don’t own an iron.  Then I poked a bunch of strategically placed holes into the edge of my hankie using the pointy end of a seam ripper.

     

Then I browsed some crochet books I have in my “library.” I found an edging in the book Around the Corner Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman.  I used DMC Pearl Cotton 5 (you can get that from Joanns) and crocheted away! Of course I made a few modifications (you know how I like to follow directions).  They changes I made were: I didn’t make the peaks as tall as the book and I didn’t do the second round of peaks.  It didn’t take very long… just a couple hours of TV.   But in the end this is what I have to show!  Vuala!!!!

     

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

My idea of a perfect Sunday is sleeping in a little, making a nice healthy breakfast at home, going to the flea market in West Hollywood for a little shopping, going over to Joan’s on Third for lunch and then heading home to veg out on the couch knitting and movies for the rest of the day and maybe eating a cupcake or two that I just had to take home from Joan’s.  Last Sunday came pretty close, Rory and I headed over to the Melrose Trading Post…. but I had something particular in mind that day.  I was on the hunt for a plant stand!  And we found one!!! For $10!!! What a steal!!! How does all that excessive punctuation make you feel?!

Here is what we took home that day:

 

Now, as you can imagine I wasn’t totally in love with this paint job…. or lack there of.  It looked like someone sloppily smeared on some gesso and called it a day.  So I headed over to the hardware store and picked me up a quart of French Quarter Yellow paint, in the eggshell finish of course and then headed home.  I spent the next few hours painting the plant stand.  The hard part was getting into every nook and cranny of the knobs… and then I had to work a second and third coat of paint.  But it was totally worth it.  Here is what I ended up with:

 

Pretty neat, eh?!

I put this in the corner of my kitchen and arranged all my happy little indoor plants along with my sheep collection.  I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

 

Now I want to find another stand for the out door potted plants…. I guess I’ll just have to make another perfect Sunday sometime soon :)

Remember last year when I went to the Renegade Craft Fair?  I titled the blog post part I of II… well finally after many months of waiting I am posting part II.  Why so long you ask? Ah! Good question!

The very last vendor I met at the Renegade Craft Fair was a company called Metalcast Kits.  They specialize in casting customized belt buckles.  What?! Yes! The possibilities are endless.

 

 

 

After seeing a few of the buckles on display I was sold! I thought I’m going to make a ton of these- all knitting themed!  Well after I got home I realized how difficult of a task it was to get even one done… I mean c’mon it took me about eight months just to finish carving out my buckle.  After many sketches and scrapped wax pieces (good thing they gave me extra), I finally came up with this:

 

 

Now coming up with the idea was pretty easy- P2tog, that’s my license plate number.  But carving out every nook and cranny of this piece of wax was going to be the hard part.  I had no idea what ind of project I had gotten myself into.  Because of the complexity of the design it took me FOREVER, plus one day!  But I don’t regret it one bit because this is what I have to show for my hard work:

 

 

I love this thing!  Hopefully you’ll catch me wearing it around.  The belt I have for it is too big right now- so I have to wait until I find another one that’s smaller.

If you missed the Renegade Craft Fair last year, not to worry.  It’s coming again and pretty soon too.  Right before the holiday season- so it will be perfect for getting some really great handmade gifts!  It will be in the Los Angeles Historic Park on December 8 + 9.  If you don’t live in LA, they travel around from city to city- usually the vendors aren’t the same they are more local to the area in the city which they are exhibiting.  But sometimes they do make the trek far far away.  The point is, you never know what you’re going to find there.  Plus- they have food trunks… YUM!

If you’re not on the mailing list then you missed the newsletter with the 3 day sale!  But don’t worry! You can sign-up for the newsletter here.  I am having a mini-sale! Only three patterns, only three days! Now it’s only two days!  Save 15% when you use the Ravelry coupon code FallAccesoriesSale!!! on Olana Slouch, Walt’s Tangled Cables, and Bumble Stripes now through Sunday, October 7th, 2012 by 11:59pm Pacific Time.