Photo fail

Sadly, I can’t seem to upload photos today, so my imagined post isn’t going to happen today.  Instead I’ll show you a few photos of one of my favorite little shawls, the Simple Yet Effective Shawl by Laura Chau.  I knit this up in yarn that was dyed by one friend, overdyed by another friend, offered up at a Stash Exchange, claimed by me, then finally knit up by me.  And I love it!  It can match with black, burgundy, certain blues and purples….  It’s one of my favorite pieces.  And the pattern was super easy and fun to knit.  I’m tempted to use my recent pink/brown/white handspun on another of these.  I like wearing these shawlettes; they are easy to wrap around your neck over or under a variety of jackets or shirts.  They warm your neck or upper chest when there’s a bit of chill in the air, and you just need a little something extra.


Oops! (giggle, giggle)

I’ve been working on what might be my biggest spinning project yet, about 13 ounces of Rambouillet, which I bought at Meridian Jacobs Farm a few years ago.

I divided the huge amount of roving in two, using my handy digital kitchen scale.  Last week I finished up one half, and I was surprised that it only filled one bobbin, considering the huge amount of roving.   I usually fill up a bobbin with much less fiber than that!


No matter, I continued on to the second ball.  However, as the second bobbin was almost full, I still had this huge ball left.  Shouldn’t it be running out by now?



Far left: bobbin #1, pretty much full. Bottom: Bobbin #2, almost full.  Top: huge ball of roving still left to spin.


A-ha!  Inside my spinning wheel bag I found what was left of huge ball #1.  I had assumed I was done with huge ball #1, neglecting to check for more!  When I fill up bobbin #2, huge ball #2 should match huge ball #1, more or less.  I’m right on track, after all.  Silly me.

Knit Night!

Tuesday is my favorite day of the week.  Why? Because it’s KNIT NIGHT!  I get a few child-free hours out with friends, where we hang out and knit and chat.  I look forward to Tuesday like most people look forward to their birthday, or Christmas, or a vacation…

Tonight these four Hogwarts-themed bears and one blue guy went along to Knit Night with me, but they went home with a friend to be mailed off to the Mother Bear Project in Minneapolis along with some of hers.  It’ll be nice for them to get to know each other on the trip.

I also made some good progress on my Chasing Snakes socks.  The red is so much nicer than it looks here.





Is it Monday already?

The weekend can really fly by….  We had a fine one here, with a trip to the library, 


a nice visit to a (still to to us) park, 


and a great afternoon with good friends, friends who are really good at feeding people.  



I made some decent progress in my current spinning project, which is about 13 ounces (if I remember correctly) of Rambouillet.  It’s the most rustic roving I’ve ever spun.  It’s so full of vegetable matter that I don’t even stop to pick all of it out or I’d never finish.  The singles are turning out mostly fingering weight, which is my default weight for spinning, but there’s a lot more thick/thin than I generally spin.  It’s fine with me, part of the fun in spinning is making original yarn, stuff you don’t find in stores.  I don’t know what I’ll do with such a huge amount.  My idea was to stripe it up and make a cardigan, but I don’t know if I want such a rustic sweater!  So we’ll see.  Maybe it’ll ply nicely and fluff up to some gorgeousness when I wash it.  Who knows….?


Querida it is!

Thanks for the input, I’ll name the Q bear Querida!  

Sadly, I’m still having trouble with my photos.  I hope to work it out soon.  I didn’t have much of a post in mind for today anyway, because I’m THIS CLOSE, I mean like ten minutes away from finishing a super secret project.  It’s one of those projects that isn’t actually that much fun to work on, but the finished item itself is super awesome.  Have you made projects like that?

For lack of a very interesting post today, I’ll show you my favorite sweater that I’ve knitted for myself.  This is my Central Park Hoodie from Knitscene.  I used Berroco Ultra Alpaca (worsted weight), which I would not use again for a cardigan that wants more structure than Alpaca can offer.  It is just a tad too drapy and the hood really pulls the sweater back.  Wait a minute, I thought I said this was my favorite?  Yes, in spite of my complaints, I do love it and wear it a lot.  This photo is from the first day I wore it out, which was about 4 years ago.  Wow…. 4 years ago??  Time really does fly.  




And here’s a bonus photo of an alpaca, because I found it while looking for my Central Park Hoodie photos.  This was taken at Black Diamond Alpaca farm in Brentwood, CA.   I like the lazy one lounging in the background.

A bug in the electrical system

I’m having trouble with my photos today, so I can’t show you exactly what I had in mind for this post.  I will, however, share with you a gratuitous sunset photo of San Francisco, because it was just so beautiful this evening:



For honesty’s sake, I will tell you that isn’t real fog.  It’s made by a fog machine.  But it’s still pretty cool, right?

I would also like to share with you this bear that I put the finishing touches on this evening.   I’m naming my bears in alphabetical order, and I’m on Q with this Slytherin-themed bear.  Between the names Querida (dear one in Spanish) and Queenie (my daughter’s idea), which do you prefer?  I’m pretty sure that there weren’t any Q-named wizards mentioned in Slytherin House….

Next week I’m mailing off 5 bears to the Mother Bear Project ( with a friend, and we can also hand deliver 3 to Stitches West, so I’m right on target for that.  The two of us are doing great on our 2014 goals of knitting 14 bears (each).  Yay!!!


A blast from the past

From late 1999 until the Fall of 2005, I was living and working in Japan.  I did a fair amount of drawing and painting during those years (Oh, I can’t believe how much TIME I had on my hands before having children!!!), and I was especially fond of colored pencils.  

I was/am also quite fond of plays on words, and one day while taking the train to Shinjuku, I listened to the announcement warning against forgetting things on the train as you exit.  In Japanese, there’s one word to describe a forgotten item; “wasuremono.”  “Wasure” comes from the verb “to forget,” and “mono” means “thing.”  

But “mono” also means “monkey” in Spanish, so as I looked up at the luggage rack, listening to the announcement over the intercom, I imagined a monkey that someone might have forgotten on the train, a “forgotten monkey,” “wasuremono.”  There are a lot of words that are formed with verb +”mono” in Japanese, and my mind whirled with ideas for silly little drawings of monkeys.  This began my series of colored pencil drawings of kotoba asobi (play on words) between Japanese and Spanish, some with the monkey as the thing, some with the monkey using/doing something.    

My friends and students were very helpful in coming up with more ideas for me, and I had a blast putting them into drawings.  Eventually I made postcard prints and sold them at Design Festa, a huge art event in Tokyo.

Today I thought I’d share a few of my “mono” pictures with you!  


Araimono = dishes (to wash)

Arau = to wash, mono = thing



Iranaimono = a not-needed thing

Iranai= don’t need, mono = thing


Kanamono = hardware

(no verb that I know of)



Yakimono = grilled food (like yakitori, yakisoba)

Yaku = to grill/fry, mono = thing




Full-time momming plus crafting = ??

Being a full-time mom of 2 can be pretty interesting and a lot of fun, but a lot of the time it’s exhausting.  I spend the entire day taking care of the little ones, and by the time I get them off to bed, I’m tired.  Sometimes I’m exhausted.  Sometimes I’m completely spent.  Sometimes I fall asleep while getting the little one to bed.  After dragging myself out of his bed, I generally power through to enjoy a few hours of My Time.  Sure, it would probably be a good idea to go right to bed and get some rest, but if I don’t get in some craft time, I get cranky.  There’s so little time in the day to do things for myself, so I usually power through, get a second wind, and get in at least an hour or two of knitting, spinning, sewing, or whatever I happen to feel like doing.

Well, that’s not at all what I sat down to write, but there you go.  I’m in the moment.  :0

This morning I was looking at Facebook and was very excited to see that there was an article about the Mother Bear Project in the Huffington Post.  It goes into detail about why Amy started the nonprofit and who exactly the hand knitted or crocheted bears are gifted to.  It brought me to tears, and I think it’s enough content for the blog today (did I mention that today was a particularly exhausting day?  It was a good day, though).  Check out the article! (Sorry for the clumsy link, I’m still learning how to link things!  Please accept this photo of a cute bear as my apology)

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Now I’m going to spend a precious hour or so spinning!  I’m looking forward to showing you some progress!

Symphony and knitting

Well, the sewing project end up so great, but that’s for another day.  

Today started with chaperoning a field trip to the San Francisco Symphony!



It was my first time to the symphony!  This was a special short program for children, so it was engaging and lively, and it was very well done.  The conductor spoke to the children and explained this and that, and at 45 minutes, it was just right for a kid’s attention span. 

And later on was knit night, where I finished the gusset decreases on my Chasing Snakes sock.  Every other row is plain knitting (or a version thereof), so it goes pretty quickly.  When I knit on it, that is.  Now that I’m past the heel and gussets, it’s back in the category of Easy Knitting, so it will likely get more attention.  



Red is hard to capture, especially at night.  It is a lot prettier than it shows here.  

Notice my crazy twisted needle/cable?  I’ve been knitting socks with the same size 0 Addi Turbo since the fall of 2008!  I’ve used this same needle almost exclusively for my sock knitting, which to date numbers over 41 pairs!  Wow, I’d never counted until now.  That’s a lot of socks!  :0  

Really ready this time?

Last night I was all set to get started on a sewing project from my newest pattern book, or so I thought!  It turns out that this is the type of pattern that you have to transfer onto craft paper (or something similar) with tracing paper and a rotary cutter.  I didn’t have any of these things, so today was a shopping day.  And now I think I’m ready!  Wish me luck!