A new batch of Noro Kureyon arrived this past week. Beautiful Kureyon 170 which I have used before and 207 which is new to me, but right up my alley colorwise.
Two new Black Sheep Bags felted bag patterns are in the works! Now if only my washing machine worked. . .
I have actually been knitting -- here's proof! On a recent mini-vacation (family reunion actually) I knit this Sophie from Noro Kureyon scraps on the car ride. I've only made Sophie's out of Cascade 220, so I'm looking forward to throwing this one in the wash to see how it will come out.
I've also been working on the "Bigger Booga Bag" for a while now. As you can see, I stalled out on the i-cord. This week's goal is to finish it up and write up the pattern so that I can make another one (to test the pattern) and get it published -- finally.
I also have a big project that I'm contemplating. More on that when I have something finalized. It's kind of a big undertaking, so I want to make sure I'm prepared to make the time commitment before I go ahead with it.
Colorful Noro Kureyon 75 -- yes, I've finally picked up the kntiting needles again! I'm working on the "Bigger Booga Bag" and enjoying this colorway quite a bit. I've finished knitting up the bag portion, but I need to get to work on the handles. I'm trying to decide exactly what I want to do with them. I have an idea brewing. . .
Last Theo Chocolate bar review first. . .
Ghana 84% Cacao -- package says:"The Fair Trade Certified cacao used in this single origin dark chocolate bar is from the fertile growing region surrounding Kumasi, Ghana. The perfectly fermented and dried beans yield slightly floral notes over golden and round chocolate flavors." My thoughts: This is the darkest bar of the bunch -- almost no sweetness at all, just pure chocolate heaven! Oh -- and that round chocolate flavor I talked about in the Ghana Panama Ecuador bar? Well, I guess this is where it comes from. You can definitly taste the parts of that bar that come from this chocolate. I'm getting a bit of tanginess that probably comes from the fermentation of the beans -- really nice! And considering that this is 84% cacao, there is not much bitterness and no harsh flavors at all.
After trying these four bars, I would highly recommend doing a tasting of your own! It's so much fun to see how different each chocolate tastes and I think I would end the tasting with the Ghana Panama Ecuador bar -- my favorite of the bunch -- so that you can see how the different flavors blend together.
And for people who have asked where you can get these -- they are starting to show up at Whole Foods and you can also order them from the the folks at Theo Chocolate.
In other -- believe it or not knitting -- news. . . I've started work on a new bag. I get *tons* of requests for a Bigger Booga Bag, so I'm working on a new pattern for one. It involves more than just sizing it up since it needs more stability as the size grows. Stay tuned for progress pics -- I'll have some soon!
It's time to lay it all out. Well not all. . . I know I have more wip's than I'm showing here, but these are the ones I'll probably finish. (Well mostly. . .)
Keepsake Shawl knit in many colors of Koigu. I started this in 2004, I believe and I came up with a great system for knitting it so that I could just pick it up and remember exactly which yarn to use and which row I was on. So why does is sit? Who knows. I really want to finish this one up, so I think I will make it my #1 knitting priority.
Ingeborg, oh Ingeborg. I started you back when the knit-along began. Was that 2004 also? And every winter I pick you up and get re-invigorated . . . for about 15-20 rows. Maybe this will be they year that you get finished!
Trekking socks started for the "Trek along with Me" knit-along. I never did take a picture of me trekking along. Is it still going on? I'm *awful* with knit-alongs (see Ingeborg above) and should never, ever join them. These socks will get finished though. I love Trekking yarn! It just takes me several months to finish a pair.
New felted bag design I'm playing around with. It's a smallish bag and I'll finish it up in the next week or two.
What is this thing???? Why am I making it? Okay, this is the Amineko and I decided to make it with Encore from the stash. I should have gotten a different yarn. I didn't really want a red cat and I don't really care for this yarn, so I never work on this project and the featureless head is all that has been made. Time to rip this one out and start over with a new yarn, I think. This was my only crochet project in the works and it's a failure. Ugh!
Oh! My quilt! I love these fabrics and want to get back to work on this soon. The last month has been so busy and I really need time when I want to quilt, so this has been neglected. I know that cooler, quieter weekends are on the way though, so it will progress!
Mountain Colors woven scarf. I love how the weaver's wool from Mt. Colors is sort of striping, sort of not in this scarf. A free hour or two and some good podcasts to listen to and this will be finished!
I'm still making good progress on that lovely pink fiber from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The third bobbin is well on it's way to getting filled up and then it's on to plying. I have no doubt that this will be finished up very soon.
Paradigm Lost cross-stitch sampler. I often want to work on this but there are several impediments to my progress -- First, I don't have good lighting pretty much anywhere in the house and I really need it to work with this dark thread on linen. Second, it's in a small basket, so I have to keep it stored off it's stretcher bars. So I can't just pick it up and stitch a bit -- it requires set up time. Third, my eyes get tired at night and that's usually when I find time to craft. Hmmm. . .
Elsa Williams Jacobean Crewel Embroidery. Not sure why this has stalled, other than the fact that I have so much going on.
I realized that I haven't listed the Kumihimo braid I'm working on either. And I'm sure there are other things. Maybe posting photos of my wip's on a regular basis will get me excited about them again. It seems to have worked. I'm already looking forward to getting in some rows on the Keepsake Shawl!
In other news, guess what tomorrow is. It's not my birthday, or wedding anniversary, but it is *an* anniversary for me. . .
Well, I scored a beautiful button on Saturday when Theresa & Bonne Marie took me to this great trim shop called Soutache (no website I'm sad to say, but here's the location). So I finally found a bit of time to sew on the handles and the button and snap a photo of the entrelac bag which will be named the Dorothy Bag (after my mother-in-law). I still need to take nice pictures out in the garden in hopes of getting something that will be good enough for the cover of the pattern. And speaking of the pattern, I need to do the final edit and get that off to the printer.
I had hoped that this all would have been done by now but my other business fell apart -- or the website did. My current web host has been having major server issues and their customer servie has been awful. They were purchased and the new parent company basically wanted me to purchase *their* product. I didn't want to. They are letting the old platform go to wrack and ruin, as they say. So the only option was to find a completely new ecommerce solution and completely rebuild my store. This has been taking up every free moment of my time for the last few weeks -- I'm wearing myself out with the whole thing. It's a bit stressful.
But the end is in siight. My new store should go live sometime this week if all goes well and I can get the evil company to release my domain name so that I can attach it to my new store. I have more data entry ahead of me, but I have a massive amount done and I'm feeling good about the new company I went with. I can't wait to put this behind me so I have energy for crafting and Black Sheep Bags things (like getting the Dorothy Bag out!) and time to enjoy the weather which has taken a turn back for the better again!
(Insert big sigh of relief here.)
Yesterday, while Theresa was weaving in all those ends, I was finishing up the handle so I could felt the entrelac bag. And I have to tell you, the most amazing thing about entrelac felting is how incredibly flat it gets! It's like blocking lace, for goddnes sakes! You throw this lumpy, textured thing into the washer and this super flat, stained glass looking bag magically comes out. So much fun!
As I feared, I ran out of yarn before I could finish the handle -- that was 5 skeins of Noro Kureyon and it wasn't enough! -- so the pattern needs a bit of tweaking before it's ready for publication. That means I will be knitting another bag to test the changes. And fortunately yarn arrived yesterday:
Ooooh! Noro Kureyon 164! I've been wanting to knit with this colorway for a while. Green and brown are my colors and there is just a hint of orange and blue thrown in for good measure -- should make for a nice bag. I'm thinking this will be my MS&W project. I got the yarn from Linda who also sells my patterns and will be selling the new entrelac pattern when it's available!
And while Theresa was weaving in even more ends on Liberty, I decided to get started on my cross-stich project. Here's what I'm working on:
It's called Paradigm Lost by Long Dog Sampler. I talked about this on my podcast (Episode 3 -- Embroidery) so I won't go on about it here.
So thank goodness Theresa came over, or I may not have done any crafting this week!
In other news, Freecia wanted me to let you all know that Vickie Howell (who was a guest blogger here a while back) will be signing at the Knit and Crochet Show in Oakland (Oakland Conference center attached to the Marriott), Saturday April 22nd, 2 pm at the Full Thread Ahead booth. And Freecia says that the Maker Faire is only about 30 minutes away, so make a day of it!
Me? I'll probably be going to the Sandwich Antique Show this weekend as long as the weather holds!
I've been knitting nearly every night for the last two weeks and this is what I've been working on. It's a new Black Sheep Bags design and I talked about it a little bit in my first episode of Stitch-Cast. It's an entrelac bag and I'm knitting it with Kureyon in colorway 170 which I am *loving*!!
The first bag is almost ready for felting, so there may be a picture as soon as Friday. I'm enjoying the entrelac and I'm already thinking of knitting up a second size of this bag. Even though it looks complicated, it really is mindless TV knitting. I'm having fun with this design :)
Of running out of yarn?
As you can see, I'm all out of yarn. This bag is simply not finished yet though. I thought for sure that three skeins would be enough when I started designing it. You know how that goes. Ugh!
So, I beg of you! If you have a skein, or partial skein, of Cascade 220 in colorway 8012, lot no. 5473 that you no longer need -- please email me.
I'm going to go off and sob quietly now. . .
And I have been knitting a little. This is my first attempt at a Baby Booga Bag. I actually knit it back in August on our way to a funeral in Ohio. It's made using scraps of Kureyon and Cascade 220 -- hence the stripes. I altered it a bit and I'm kntiting it with plain old Kureyon now. I believe the Baby version will take two skeins.
Next I'm thinking of doing a "Big Booga Bag" pattern. Then I may package them together with the regular Booga Bag and sell a special edition version of the pattern that includes all three sizes. Either that or make babies of some of my other patterns and put together a baby bag booklet. (Pete says everything is cute when it's small, so he thinks it might be a good idea.)
And I have plans for a big project bag too. I just need to find time to sit down, work out the numbers and start the first attempt. (It always takes more than one attempt!)
Let me know what you are looking for in a felted bag project! I'd love to hear!
Sometimes when I'm feeling uninspired, I need to take a step back and try something new. The sewing and crafting I have been doing has really changed my attitude! In fact, diverting my mind from knitting has helped me to come up with a few new bag designs. That's the first one that I'm working on. It's based on, believe it or not, this tank top that I designed for Maddie last year. Hopefully proto-type #1 will be finished this week!
In other news, I deleted my daily blog reads list because I have been using Bloglines and hadn't clicked through the links recently. Imagine my surprise when one of my readers clued me in to the fact that a blog that used to be a knitting blog had changed into a porn blog!?!? Oops! So I took down the list and will be trying to get a link to my Bloglines subscriptions up in the sidebar soon.
Finally, if you are a slacker like me and haven't contributed to Claudia's MS Ride yet, please think about it! I finally did it today, with only 5 days to spare!