Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy New Year

Auld Lang Syne
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Happy Holidays!

I'll be gone until after the holidays.

Wishing you Joy, Peace, and loads of yarn

Your Christmas is Most Like: The Muppet Christmas Carol

You tend to reflect on Christmas past, present, and future...
And you also do a little singing.

Friday, December 15, 2006

My finishing tips

I haven't been very good about posting recently. I'll blame it on the upcoming holidays and this envelope...

...which is blurred on purpose. Surfice it to say - I'm swamped!

I haven't blogged about all the knitting I've been doing recently (loom mostly). So today, I will....well, actually about the finishing part of knitting.

I have a few "rules" that I try to follow since sewing in any form intimidates me.

1. Cutting a long piece of yarn for seaming is not necessarily the best. As you're sewing the pieces together, the yarn can fray and tangle if it's too long.
2. Refer to a good reference on which finishing technique to use for different edge types. I like this one which I blogged about here.
3. It's OK to seam in stages. You don't have to wait until absolutely every piece is knitted.
4. Do not hurry through the sewing process. As soon as you start feeling impatient with it, go knit awhile and come back later!
5. Never do seaming late at night when you're tired. Murphy's Law is that it will be a botched seam and need a re-do!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Creative Friends

Sunday I had a wonderful surprise. My friend, Janet, stopped by Michaels to see me. Just seeing her was a pleasure (and she looks great)! In addition to the joy at seeing her smiling face, she brought a gift for me.

She is very creative. And what makes this gift so very special to me is that she put thought into it. She took the time to know my joys (ok, obsessions hehe) and used that knowledge to create a special something. Sadly, that seems so rare in our "oh what do I get for _________ " society.

I feel I'm truly blessed to have such a friend. Thank you, Janet!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Google Meme

This meme was found on Denise's blog and I think it's pure fun!

Do a Google search with your name and the word "needs" then run a search. Put the results of the first 10 sentences that start with "(your name) needs " on your blog. Here is mine -

1. Kathy needs lungs (Well, yeah)
2. Kathy needs to give herself some credit. (I'll buy that)
3. Kathy needs to fly commercial until she can afford to do it right (do what right?)
4. Kathy needs her gays more than ever, now that she and her husband have filed for divorce. (happily married)
5. Kathy needs to believe the man in her barn in Jesus, and holds true to that belief even after he's led off by police (excuse me?)
6. Kathy needs advance notice to ensure she can find and reserve a room for you in a timely manner (even then you may not get a room reserved)
7. Kathy needs to really reconsider her menu prices (what menu?)
8. Kathy needs a protector and Lester needs someone to protect. (who is Lester?)
9. Kathy needs a night off! (This is soooo true)
10. Kathy needs a hug (perfect!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

More bragging on students

I just love it when a student falls in love with a technique or pattern I've taught. This brag time is dedicated to Sayy Pauly (who doesn't have a blog that I know of so I can't link to her).

This particular bead class was held two Sundays ago and she fell in love with Swarovski Pure Allure crystal beads - like the rest of us.

Here are three cuff bracelets that she created from the pattern

Really beautiful!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Brother Odd

Oh no! Not another "non-knitting" and "non-beading" post!? Yep, sorry.

Today is one of the days DH and I love. The day that Dean Koontz releases a new book. This one is the latest Odd Thomas book, called Brother Odd. If you like to read fiction (thrillers that are a little on the strange side) and you haven't given his books a try, do. I started reading his books about 20 years ago, and haven't missed one since.

And, I believe it's my turn to have the book first! Whooohoo!

Now, back to your knitting!

Friday, November 24, 2006


I'm taking a break from working on Michaels bead class projects and straightening craft supplies (what a job!) to read some email that was back logged. And in it was a gem that's worthy of sharing with you all (thanks for sending it Christine!).


UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a
woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in
her menstrual cycle.

For example, if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged
and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating, or menopausal,
she tends to be more attracted to a man with a spear lodged in his
chest and tape over his mouth while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Notes on the Refrigerator

I'm spending a few peaceful moments reading a couple of my favorite blogs after grocery wars shopping today. Off. The. Wall. Crazy!! To go shopping the day before Thanksgiving. I guess I need a reminder every few years because I knew this (really!) Desparate housewives are shopping today!

Speaking of groceries reminds me of Denise's post over at Knitchat about Notes on the Refrigerator. I really liked the idea! So here's mine.

It's not cute or cuddly...but really and truly needed. A calendar to try to organize my time. Just the thought of organizing my time is "roll on the floor" hilarious! I'm notorious for disorganization and have come to accept my lot in life.

Just for the heck of it, here's the rest of the picture of the fridge. We're talking loads of notes.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Tabi Sock pattern available

Whew! It's been a wild and busy month. In betwixt the secret project I've been working on (which I hope to announce some time soon), I've managed to finish this little loom knit pattern -

- for TABI SOCKS to wear with thong type sandals. Go ahead - give it a try!

More coming soon.....I hope!

And since I will probably not get a chance to blog before turkey day -

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Chocolate Fashion Show

I never realized that fashion and chocolate went together. Click here to read the article. Gives new meaning to "looks good enough to eat."

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


I'm hooked on Lost. Love it...gotta watch it. And now we have to wait until February for a new episode. Meanwhile we can wonder who Kate will kiss next! ;-)

If you like teasers (spoilers), here's a link to Lost teasers

Jorge Garcia AKA Hurley presented the top ten on Letterman the other night.

Top Ten Signs You're Obsessed With "Lost" presented by Jorge Garcia

10. After each episode, you do an all-kitty reenactment in your basement

9. You refer to your in-laws as "The Others"

8. While visiting New York, you stood over every manhole and screamed, "Good God -- a secret hatch"

7. You're halfway to your goal of licking every cast member

6. Your friend phoned during "Lost." Next day you beat him to death with a hot poker

5. You pitched NBC a show about 12 people stranded backstage at "Saturday Night Live"

4. Co-workers affectionately refer to you as "That loser who's obsessed with 'Lost'"

3. Renamed dental practice "Flost"

2. Your wife is getting sick of playing the bedroom game "Find the castaway"

1. You sat through all ten of these lame jokes

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Veteran's Day

I served in the USAF during a non-war time period. For a portion of that time, I was stationed overseas and saw first hand how lucky we are to live in a country where we can complain about our government without punishment, and where we have the right to vote in hopes of changing what we can.

Thank you to all who serve to protect that right, and to family members of those that are serving.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Bead crochet

I love doing bead crochet. It is quite possibly my favorite beading technique as it goes so quickly (once the beads are strung). Almost 3 weeks ago, I had the pleasure of teaching a bead crochet class in which two of the students fell in love with it too.

Linda sent an email with her finished rope attached and with her permission, I'm showing it off for her!

This was the rope she started in class. She sent the pictures to me less than a week later. The stitches are beautiful! She really took to this technique like a duck to water! C'mom...tell her how great she did!!

Way to go, Linda! ;-)

Friday, November 03, 2006

Power tools and sock loom

Whoa, I have been busy! I didn't realize it that it has been over a week since I last blogged. Loads of fun going on these days - and yes, I am in a daze.

One of the goodies I experimented with in October required me to play in hubby's workshop with power tools. Note the emphasis on those words. I do not have a lot of experience with tools that have moving parts. A mixer with more than 3 speeds sends me running for the manual!! So this was a major adventure for me.

The first thing I learned was that one power saw doesn't necessarily do the same as the next one. And each one has a different name. I immediately realized I was out of my element and asked dh for help!!

You see, I had been biten by the "make a sock loom" bug. It's a terrible illness that sends you into a frenzy of researching loom gauge, peg size and spacing, wood grains, diameters, circumference, negative ease, and makes you wonder about your santity. So after a couple of weeks of studying, I swatched some sock yarn and measured feet. Then dove in head first. What the heck!? Socks made on the loom will fit someone I know!!

Hubby came to rescue with explaining the many, many, many, many (sigh)....planning details once I told him what I wanted. Between the two of us, we came up with this

Looks a little like the drawings of Leonardo da Vinci but it is actually the sock loom in the pre-drilling of peg holes phase.

I'm so proud! I did the measurement and the drilled the peg holes. Then turned it over to dh for the cutting. I did the sanding and some of the hammering in of pegs. DH, who loves me very much, did the rest of the hammering in of pegs and even varnished it for me.

And here is the results.....

It is very slow loom knitting as the pegs are so close together. But I'm using real sock yarn and the stitches are LOVELY! I'm a deliriously happy sock addict! ;-D

Monday, October 23, 2006

Knitty's new hat pattern

Now you can look like this

everyday with very little effort!

Knitty just released their latest newsletter which includes the Desperate Housefrau pattern. Will I make it? Doubtful...but OH! I love this design...simply fun!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

There's no place like my home

I love living on our property. It's a home, a source of interest, and an art gallery all rolled into one.

We are a close-knit family (hubby, daughter, two dogs, and myself) and together, we make our house a home.

We live close to Totem Pole Ranch. They lease their land out for events and movies. Today I noticed trailers, caterers, tents, supply trucks...all that jazz...were setting up. It must be a movie shoot 'cause there were small buses with "Star Bus" written on the side (gee, ya think? What was my first clue!?)

We left for our day and found the movie location less then a mile from our driveway.

Sorry for the awful picture but as we were running late, I couldn't stop. My darling daughter took the picture while I drove. ;-)

Since I decided to post the pictures about the movie (or television?) shoot, I decided you should also see what we found so attractive about our place when we first saw it. The fact that it's outside city limits was a deciding factor. And the beauty of the mountains surrounding us made it attractive. Then there are the howls of the coyotes and the lion roars coming from Cougar Ranch. But what makes this place so special is the artist touches left by the man who built it. His death was the reason his wife put the place on the market. He wasn't a famous artist but he had a wonderful imagination.

Here's a little tour of our outside art gallery. We'll start from the road where our mailbox is.

The first piece of art anyone notices are the "eyes."

If you look up to our little hill while still on the road that runs in front of our property, you'll see them.

When you leave the road

to come up our drive way (which is a quarter mile long)

you'll get to see some "wildlife" ;-)

A cricket,

a dog,

a spotted pig,

a worm (actually several but they all look the same),

and an owl

which is at the top of the driveway.

Along the walkway that runs between the house and garage, you'll see 4 paintings...caricatures...which we love!

(excuse the reflections...the paintings are covered with plexiglass)

Now you know why I think there's no place like our home!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The need to bead

In between loom knitting projects, I brought out my bead loom to weave a fall necklace. Beadweaving is a passion of mine. Here's the result

The "leaves" are 3 dimensional (I love adding 3D to my beadwork).

I hope everyone has a great day!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Designing minds

Before I get to the "meat" of this blog post, I'd like to give a little background of why this is on my mind today.

I'm a member of a loom knitting group on yahoo. It's a large group that produces more postings then I'm able to keep up with so I don't read or post often. But I did manage to check on Sunday night (I think it was). There was a question on how to do a technique that is in one of my patterns. No one else had posted the info on how to do the technique, so I answered. I also added that since I don't check the group postings often, they could email me directly - this is because I might miss a question posted directly to me. From this, came a discussion about why I (or any designer for that matter) should charge for patterns. These few felt that since we were all member of this group, we should share with one another. (I'm not sure how the discussion went there, but it did.)

Rather then fuel the discussion on that board, I'm taking the liberty of posting my thoughts about it here. If you prefer not to "hear" my thoughts, stop reading now!

My first thought was that these few people must be the same ones who corner doctors at a party and ask for free medical advice. But since my Mother always told me that my smart mouth could get me in trouble, I will not comment further about that.

My next thought was...Gee, these people must donate their time at their work place! If being a part of a group means we should share our expertise, then it only makes sense!! Oops, I believe that's my smart mouth again.

Seriously, perhaps these people just do not realize what goes into writing a pattern. So I would like to take a little time to explain it.

First comes an idea, a vision, whatever you want to call it. I also have the ability to visualize some of the "how to" - so I work some of the mechanics out in my head.

Then comes the drawing, the swatching (in fiber designing), the measuring and math to determine how to get there from here.

With the knitting loom, also comes the "how in the world do I make that happen when I'm limited to the amount of pegs on this thing!" So there are times when I take a piece of paper, cut it up and fold it, bend it, tape it together, see how it might work. (Similar to making a sewing pattern.)

Then comes some fun time - the actual knitting. Most of the time, this also involves a lot of frogging when the vision and the actual piece do not match up.

Once you're lucky enough to have it all come together, you then have to come up with the words, diagrams, charts, explain to someone else how to do the same thing. I'm better at teaching it so I struggle with this part.

All of this takes days! Weeks! I have one pattern that I'm still working on and it has been almost 2 months Of course, I haven't worked on it daily...probably only 3 hours per week but still when you think of how little the charge is for the pattern, it will work out to LESS THEN 1 cent an hour. Would you work for that? Of course, not. But since it pays for more yarn, and I'm addicted to doing this stuff...

Tell you let me know what your expertise is, and if I want or need something you provide, we'll barter services (products).

BTW, here is another thing you can do with the loom -

For those who may be too young to know, that's a peace symbol.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Knit Lites

I admit it! I'm a knitting needle snob. I love my bamboo needles. They've been with me for almost 25 years. So when Michaels (where I teach knitting) got the Knit Lites needles in stock, I found them silly and (horrors, of horrors) made of plastic! Plus the cost is horrendous. For the same price, I can buy Addi Turbos (not plastic wonders).

Well folks, during today's yarn event at Michaels, I demo'd these needles (in addition being the knit doctor). I've changed my attitude about them. I think they will become a great knitting aid to we who are (cough, cough) getting older. I mean, I now have to have bifocals. (Hey! It happens!) And I'm finding that as my prescription gets stronger, it's more difficult to see stitches of dark colors. Those little lights really do help! I just wish they weren't made of plastic (sigh)

(Cartoon "borrowed" from Lion Brand)

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Taking pictures

I've been unhappy with the photos that I snap of my finished designs. They look like home photos....yeah, I know I take them in my home but I would like them to look like they came from a studio. This became an issue for me this past week. So I had to spend time building a light box

I had a "build a display" type of thing left from the days when I sold my finished pieces at craft fairs. Main pieces look like this

with connectors so that the display can be shaped to meet your needs. This is what I came up with

It's lined with fingerpaint paper which has a shiny side and turns out pictures like this

I added a sheet to the inside to get a draped effect in the background for this photo

And for a black background (for bead projects especially), I inserted a black posterboard into the light box with the cuff on the display hand. It turned out "OK" since the display hand shows dust particles in the light ... have to work on that one ... but here it is...

Here's another way to make the light box. I just may try this one too...when I have more time.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Accessing my website and some fun links

If you try to access the old web site and have problems with any pages, please let me know. Yahoo helped me by moving the files to the new domain. So essentially they made more work for me as I have to check all the pages before uploading the new files. Oh well, at least the domain name is "official" now. ;-)

I'm hard at work on the website and a couple of other projects. No pictures but I will leave you with some fun!

How would you like to knit a slice of cherry pie? Or a
cinnamon roll? No calories in these!

Are you a cat person? Here’s a place to get a dose of kitty-hood everyday – Daily Kitten I love it. ;-)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Score! and website

Twice a year the local branch of the Los Angeles County Library has a Friends of the Library book sale. All members of my family are avid readers and these events are special to us because we find all sorts of books that we might never buy otherwise. We hit the sale, armed with bags and anticipation of "what will we find this time?". Among other topics, I always look for knitting or crochet books/magazines but normally there aren't any. However this year I scored!

Someone evidently de-stashed and I benefited. All of this for about $10!

I felt so good about all the money I saved that I finally ordered the sock loom I've been drooling over. Then rushed to tell hubby what he was getting me for Christmas!

Website news - I had planned to have my new website,, up and running yesterday. But Yahoo is having problems of some sort getting it "propagated" (don't ask me to explain that term 'cause I don't know! I'm a knitting/beading geek - not an internet geek).

I called the customer support service of Yahoo yesterday morning and spent over an hour with a helpful rep - really suprised me that there would be one that actually is helpful! Problem was, she didn't know why either and had to call in technical support. Technical support needs to call me back and I'm still waiting (they probably do not work weekends - figures).

Humerous story - technical support had the customer service rep on hold for 30 minutes. Evidently even if you work there, you still stand in line for help.

So the launch of the new domain is postponed until technical support comes through. But it will be worth the wait. I have new patterns ready to go and the new domain does not have the "time out" problems the current one has (well, it's about time I did that!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Finding pleasure is the little things

We have a lot to learn from dogs…like how much fun making the bed can be.

When I make the bed, I have help! Cagney (the short guy) and Bogart (tall and lean) love to be on the bed while it’s being made. Part of the pleasure is making sure I fluff the pillows just right by making a grab for them.

They also make sure I tuck the sheets in fast by nipping at my hands as I’m working. Then there’s the last minute “tussel” over who gets to pull on the blanket while I’m straightening it.

And the mad dash for getting under the check for anyone who might still be sleeping I suppose.

Whew! Well done guys!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Busy, busy!

Class preview was great Saturday! Sunday was filled with demo's and knitting classes (the needle kind). I'm working on new loom patterns and trying to type the old ones. (pssst....Did ya notice? I hate paperwork!)

Here's something to help decorate the blog for Halloween!

Your Halloween Costume Should Be


Trick or treat! Send chocolate!!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Another book that mentions of loom knitting

I periodically have to drive myself crazy trying to find look through all my craft-type books for something I remember seeing but unsure which book it was in. Not an easy task as this bookshelf is nothing but craft-type books (plus remote control car hehe).

(The black board you see in the bottom left of the picture is my loom knitting display board that will be heading to Michaels tomorrow.)

While pursuing Better Homes and Gardens Stitchery and Crafts (1966), I found a reference to loom knitting!

The instructions cover double-sided knitting and give loom design credit to Mildred Koch. The loom has a stand (of sorts) which I like - nice idea!

If you're in the Lancaster/Palmdale, CA area tomorrow (Saturday, September 30th), stop by Michaels to say "HI!"...class preview from 1 to 4 pm. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Glitz and Glitter

Did you know that yarn has to age before it can be used? Well, of course not - but don't tell my husband! He sometimes asks whether I'm a knitter or a yarn collector. He has a point...sorta...I do have yarn in my stash that I purchased 10 years ago.

Some of the collection includes this Christmas Glitter yarn.

A few years ago, during an after Christmas sale at Michaels, I picked this yarn up in red, white, and varigated Christmas colors. The yarn has a strand of silver metallic "yarn" that runs through it and when it catches the light, it glitters.

I'm using the red to make a Christmas hat and matching scarf.

The brim of the hat uses Paton's Cha Cha in white.

I started the hat during a class demo at Michaels last Sunday. The yarn caught the eye of one of the customers and she asked where to find it. I had to tell her that we no longer sell it....but I had a suggestion of how to replicate the glitz and glitter of the yarn. This knitter loved the suggestion, so I thought you might like to know too.

Purchase a spool of DMC Metallic Thread

...or DMC's Light Effects Thread

Hold a strand of the thread with your yarn while knitting. You'll get the same effect.

I hope this little suggestion is helpful to you too.