Monday, December 24, 2007

South West Trading Company is offering my humble little Christmas Tree ornament as a free pattern. Of course, I'm barley writing about it now, but since I do not have very many people visiting this blog anyway, there is a good chance that whoever is reading this already got an email from me anyway. :-) :-)

This little tree is made of SWTC's Inspiration yarn. It is the most yummy yarn that you can work with! I made a couple projects for the company with this yarn and just got hooked. This yarn has Alpaca in it - which should already explain a lot, and I guess is a bit fancy for an ornament, but you know what? Even if I hadn't designed it for SWTC, I would have spent the money on this yarn anyway - I'm worth it, and so if my family. Why not have an ornament that you can cuddle for a bit before hanging it on the tree? :-) :-) :-) This size 3 beads were an adventure and a half to get. I love working with this size since I stumbled on some from my former bead shop when we lived in CA. I found that it looked beautiful on the larger yarn and were perfect for that extra little accent that larger beads can give. Though I still love my smaller seed bead work, the larger beads do not take over the project like I tend to make my smaller bead project. :-) The smaller buggers tend to be like those wild parakeets in Australia - they hand around in these huge flocks and almost block out the sun when they're in flight. :-) Okay, so my beads do not block out the sun, but just like the parakeets, they're small and they like hanging out with LOTS of their buddies. :-) :-) :-)

So while in CA I was able to find size 3 seed beads pretty easily - and I'm sure Joanie will not mind the plug for her: Bead Asylum in Newark, CA. You can look her up in the yellow pages and get a map on how to get there. I was also able to find some at an awesome little shop that was suggested to me a couple months ago - Creative Destinations in Mesa, AZ. But the little beads that are pictured in my tree above were from All Strung Out in Cocoa Beach, FL. Three mini tubes were all that were used to create the little ornament above and the ladies that I worked with there are just the nicest ladies ever. You know, I've been to so many bead and yarn shops over the past years, and I have to tell you that I do not run into many shops that I don't like. :-) :-) Sure, there is one or two that I can totally blast in this blog, but I'm not that kind of person. My negative experience one time may be someones treasure chest bead/yarn shop and one bad experience should not influence anyone else's in my own humble opinion. Find your own treasure chest shop that you love to visit and hang out - I just gave you three potential shops so if you're lucky enough to be in the vicinity, go and check them out. :-) :-)

Okay, enough on that...

I'm working on some other little projects here that I hope to have completed and submitted by the beginning of the year. I'm not sure how or where they will be published, but I do know that they will get out there somehow. :-) :-) I've also submitted a few proposals for the Knit and Crochet show for this summer - who knows, if I'm lucky maybe I'll get back into teaching again. I'll keep you updated - the few that actually read this blog. :-) :-) :-)

Take care,

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My necklaces finally made it! They're finally published and about to be released in the Feb 2008 issue of Knit 'N Style magazine. :-) I scanned the page with the pics and I'm almost embarrassed to say that there is actually a pattern for these little guys. :-)

This is something that I'm starting to have a lot of fun with - playing with jewelry - I have always loved to play with beads so adding a pendant and a couple of findings makes it seem natural. :-)

I'm working on some other designs now for SWTC with a new yarn that they're coming out with called Terra. The colors are up on the website, though the yarn has not made it in the warehouse yet. :-) I'm so anxious to get some in my hands to play with!

Of course, I also have all of these other project that I need to finish first - working on some crochet edges with Tofutsies, a karaoke project that is so much fun that I'm sad that I didn't think of it first. :-) I also have a small little purse made with Phoenix that still needs to be completed before I can really start anything else! Hmmm, I forgot about the other necklace I've started in Love... and a badge holder that I've swatched up in Craft. Oh! So many idea and not enough time!!!! :-)

So, I guess that means I need to get my booty off the computer and in my craft room! :-)

Take care

Monday, September 24, 2007

More Pictures!

Okay, so here is yet another crochet pattern of a purse made out of a ribbon yarn called Phoenix. This is a really fun yarn to play with and I just love the way the texture of the stitch just pops out. I suppose that any ribbon type of yarn would do the trick, but most of the ones that I've seen are variegated, and this stitch really does need a solid color. The other cool thing about this pattern is that it uses one of those annoying cds that you get in the mail and end up throwing away. Well, this little purse has a cd at the bottom for extra support and to help give the shape. I've heard it called the Hershey's Kiss purse - and if you could see the whole purse standing up with it's little cinched top, it kind of would have that kind of shape. :-) Just like my other crochet patterns, this is one of those patterns that I'd love to have other crocheters try out because I think it's such a fun stitch... but how many crocheters do you know that would pay more than $20 for such a small project? Yeah, even if you know some, I bet I know more that wouldn't. :-) :-) But I'd be willing to teach any knitter how to crochet - and even if they consider themselves a total loss for crocheting, I'm sure I could find a way to teach them. :-) :-)

Here is one of my first knit designs... and of course, it has beads! I LOVE working with beads! The purse is made out of my favorite - Pure - and size 6 gold beads - giving it the name of Hearts of Gold. :-) The pattern is actually very easy because it is not difficult to add beads to knitting in this way. :-) All you have to do is follow a chart for a bit - because the shape has some logic behind it, it is easy to learn it too. :-) Now, for bead knitters... I don't know very many, but the few that I've met are as crazy about beads and adding it to whatever touches their hands like I am. :-) So, if this pattern to get out to a bead knitter, I hope they enjoy making it and I'd love to see their project.

Here is another of my early knit patterns. It's a super simple to make bracelet that you can embellish any way you want... with buttons, beads or other knitted embellishments. This was a really fun pattern to make. My mind was going a million miles a second with ideas on what to try next! The pattern has four different ideas with pictures of each, and I'm sure that you'll be able to come up with something just as fun yourself. :-) If you do end up making something different, please email me your pictures! I'd love to see them.

Take care,

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I haven't been forgetting

My fingers have been busy with more ideas - working with some wool/soysilk stuff called Karaoke. This is the first time that I've been truly able to work with wool and not break out in hives or get such an itchy nose that it turns red. :-) I've also been busy with other designs and got some pictures!

This is my purse and hat set. It's crochet and called Arizona colors. It's made out of an awesome bulky yarn from SWTC called Gianna. I really enjoyed working with this yarn. It's really soft because of the soysilk and because it's bulky, this set can be made in only a few hours. :-) The bummer about this set is that it takes 3 different color balls of Gianna to complete. I know that this would be a really enjoyable pattern for crocheters if the majority were not so darn cheap to buy the yarn. Like any SWTC patterns, they are free when you purchase the yarn from your local yarn shop. But there are so few crocheters that are willing to pay the price that a high quality yarn like Gianna costs. I personally know that a lot of my personal friends would gladly pay the price for the yarn to get the free pattern, but there are far a few crocheters that would do that.

Oh, this was such a fun pattern to design! I absolutely love the yarn - called Love from SWTC's Vicky Howell collection. Also in crochet, this purse is made in two stages - you crochet the base in the white color - which is what you see peaking through, then you make and attach the peach color. The flowers are then made and sewn on separately. Even an avid knitter with some limited crochet experience should be able to make this! The cool part about Love is that I have noticed that it has almost the exact same drape in crochet than in knitting. Of course knitting will always be superior for drape, crochet, in my humble opinion, will never match the drapy drape that knitting provides. But on the other hand, this purse has that wonderful drape with the sturdiness that makes crochet so awesome for little bags like this. :-)

This pattern actually hurt my eyes after a while! :-) :-) The zebra pattern, when turned at a certain angle, can really play with your eyes. :-) I'm sure it would not do that if the two colors were a bit closer, but I just love the two contrasting colors together in this pattern. This pattern is also crochet - but a crocheter will never be able to get the same awesome fabric in any other yarn. This yarn is called Pure - 100% soysilk that is the most cuddly soft yarn that I've played with in a while. I know I say this about a lot of SWTC's yarns, but this has got to be my absolute favorite because unlike the other yarns, this just gives me such a cuddly warm feeling when I work with it... it takes me to that meditative state much faster than the other yarns. :-)
Well, I really need to get some other work completed here, so I'll have to save the other pictures for later. :-)
Take care!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Taking it easy. :-)

I've been slowing down - a lot! - on my designing after last month's hectic work load. :-) Not that I'm complaining, because I had a lot fun. :-) I've been working on some fun hats with the last bit left of the Pure yarn, and finishing up a purse made out of the SWTC mystery yarn. :-) It's been nice to go to bed early with my son - since he usually wakes me up around 5:30 am - and I just love to cuddle with him when he's in his 'almost completely asleep, but still a little awake' stage. That is the only time I can cuddle with the little bugger! :-)

So, since I'm almost done with these three designs, I've been thinking about trying out that awesome sparkly yarn again - but this time in crochet. I found out what that yarn is called too... it's called Yang. There is a similar yarn but without the sequence called Yin that I'd also love to play with... but don't have any (yet). :-)

I hope that the next time I go to SWTC that I get the opportunity to either play with another new yarn called Las Vegas, or a chance to finally play with a Tofutsies ball - since this yarn has gotten so popular I'm not sure if my non-sock designing hands will be able to obtain some. I'll just have to see. :-)

Well, back to work! :-)


Monday, June 11, 2007

New type of baby seat

My silly son decided that he liked the cone of yarn that Jonelle let me borrow as a new seat. While I was working on a project he came into my craft room and just plopped himself down and started talking to me as if it were completely normal. :-) He's here making his 'funny face' for the camera. If you can see the yarn, can you see the beautiful sparkleys in it? The yarn was so fun to work with. I made a small wrap with huge needles and it took almost no time at all. :-) I want to try making something similar with crochet. I don't want to post any pics yet of the wrap - at least not until I get the okay from SWTC... but you can keep an eye out for the yarn at their website - and you can sign up for their newsletter while you're at it too. I can't tell you when the pattern for the wrap will be out either, but I'll keep my blog updated with any info as I learn it myself. :-)

Take care,


Saturday, June 9, 2007

Knit n' Style is publishing my designs!

Wow, it's been a while since I posted last. My whole month of May was so busy! Hardly got any sleep, my son went to Grandma and Grandpa's a whole lot and my poor house still hasn't recovered from being neglected. Anyone want to come over and help me dust? :-)
Okay, I was working with SWTC again getting some quick project ideas going and from what I can remember, this is what I made:

10 Ruffle and Crochet Loops bracelets along with written patterns for each of the different finishing ideas and closures
1 Crochet necklace with beads
5 Knitted necklaces with various finishes and their matching rings (both knit and crochet)
9 Small bobbles to hang off of those cool little metal bookmarks in both knit and crochet
1 Small wrap in one of SWTC's newest yarns with these cool little sparkles in it :-)

I had so much fun playing with these ideas... and even though the projects are really quick to make, it's amazing how much design time is used on these little buggers. I had to make various of these project and made little minute changes each time in order to make sure they wore well, didn't look too small or bulky, or didn't change shape too much with wear.

My family had to almost kidnap me to get out of the house to watch Spider-man 3, but I went - wearing about 6 of the different bracelets that I was testing the designs! So, it either looked like I was wearing the strangest arm brace in the world, or it looked like I had some kind of weird growth on my wrists - and all the way up to just below my elbow. :-) I got some strange looks, but I really didn't care - I was working and loving every minute of it. :-)

I'm now working on two projects - a hat that is made with a similar stitch as some my of crochet bracelets, and a little purse with some really cool 'mystery' yarn that I was asked to try out. Remember all of those cables that I was playing with a couple months ago? Well, I finally put that practice to use. :-)

Oh yeah, before I forget, I got an email during the time that TNNA was going on... Jonelle informed me that my silly little necklaces are getting a two page spread in the Knit n' Style Magazine!!! The bookmarks are suppose to make an appearance as well. The issue is due out in late October - so it's a little while from now... but I'll keep you all informed as the time gets closer. :-) :-)

My little bracelets are also being distributed as free patterns (with yarn purchase) at yarn shops that carry SWTC yarns. :-) I'm not sure when they will be available, but I'm sure that you local shop will be informed when they do become available. :-)

I can't believe that my designs are starting to appear! Yarn shops, magazine... wow, what's next?

I have to be honest here about what I'm feeling as I have of all of this happening.... though I still get teary eyed about no longer being able to work in accounting, I think the tears come more from the awesome experience and opportunity that I'm being given. I never knew of a yarn company picking up and mentoring a no-name designer with a few ideas but such little experience. I consider myself so blessed have gotten to know Jonelle, her family and crew at SWTC. I am learning so much and hope that in another year or two that I'll be able to understand this industry well enough to really start working on getting my designs out and hopefully be able to start teaching again. :-) I'm just starting and can't wait to see where this ride is going to take me. :-) :-) :-) :-)

I hope that for my next post that I'll have some pictures of my designs. There was a snippet about two of my designs in Jonelle's SWTC newsletter, and one of my ruffle bracelets is on the SWTC website ( under the patterns section, Vicky Howell collection yarns. It's funny how different the project looks with professional photography. :-)

Anyway, I better get myself back to work.

Take care,

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Playing with stitches

I've been playing with knitted cables... all kinds of cables. My knitting is not as strong as my crochet, but I want to learn to master those scary little terrors and I've actually been having some fun! :-) I try to catch reruns of this show called Knitty Gritty and saw an episode with the talented Lily Chin who was showing how to make an heirloom baby blanket with these awesome looking blocks. She described how to make one of the blocks with a little cable that is actually reversible! I have found myself quite addicted to these and even though I tear out more than create - because those gosh darn little needles keep slipping off and dropping stitches to the cast on row. I just have to get used to holding on to three needles - two regular ones plus the cable stitch holder thingy - with two hands. I feel that I need to grow a third hand to help me so that those stitches don't jump off. :-)

I've also been playing with color.... oh boy have I been playing with color. If I never play with black and white yarn it will be too soon!!! I found some cool looking stitches in a couple of my stitch books that I'm playing with - but on my some of these are hard! How the heck do I make a k1, p1, k1 in the same stitch!!! I usually tighten up so badly that by the time I get to that last k1 I'm about to break the yarn. :-) Well, like any learning experience, practice will make these easier.... I hope. :-)

So, going back to crochet - I'm finishing up some designs that I should have finished documenting a few days ago. Instead I'm playing with stitches! But they really are almost done and I'll be glad to see those prototypes disappear for a while. They are made in black and white stripes!!! I've been working with so much B&W that I think I'm color blind now. I accidentally put on a black shoe and navy blue shoe on this morning! Then I dressed my poor little son in a red and blue t-shirt with green socks! My brain is getting a little crazy so I guess I need to take a little bit of a break and design in different colors! :-) :-) :-)

Okay, back to the grindstone.
Take care,

Thursday, April 5, 2007


I finally finished my little beaded knitting purse! I sewed on the straps last night and wrote up the pattern. Oh my! The fabric feels so good! Knit fabric already feels really soft, but when you add beads, that bit of weight makes it feel slinky like... and really delicate. I love the way beaded knitting fabric feels - even though I bead crochet way more. But this little knit purse will hardly hold anything because it will stretch - which is my experience with knit purses unless it's felted. I guess that's why I like to bead crochet more for my purses. I think I'll try to make another version in crochet and see how it looks.

This is so hard to design something but not be able to post pictures. I have so many little purses that I've been having so much fun with and not being able to really share them with anyone is just about to kill me! :-)

But I do promise that once these little treasures start getting published that I will share as much information as I can. :-) I wonder now how long that process takes? That and so many more questions from this designer newbie. :-)

Take care

Friday, March 30, 2007

I can't see!

Oh my! I've been working on a little beaded purse design in black yarn and gold beads. It looks awesome (if I don't say so myself :-) but oh my! My eyes are so strained that it's hard to continue. I've been trying to do most of the work in the day light, so that hasen't been too bad, but as soon as the sun passes to the other side of the house, I'm stuck squinting and guessing. :-) I actually can't wait to take it to the company that I'm designing it for to see if they like it. I'm going to have to keep my fingers crossed and hope that they not only like it, but they won't ask me to make it again because of the mistakes that I made in this one. I mean, the mistakes aren't totally obvious, but to a trained eye they may.

Last night I went to a book signing at Tempe Yarn and Fiber for the new book by Jonelle Raffino called Purls Forever. I finished reading the book and I loved it! It's not like any other knitting and crochet pattern book - this book has all kinds of really cool stories on how knitting and crochet bonded so many generations of women. Jonelle talks about her great grandmother, her grandmother, her mother, herself and how all of their knitting and crochet has also influenced her own daughters. :-) How cool is that to have such a fun tradition passed down so many times. Since I did not grow up with any grandparents close by (they all live in Central America), I love to read about that special bond between grandparent and grandchild - especially when they are fiber freaks like myself. :-) :-)

Okay, my eye can't handle the computer for much longer so I better shut up now. :-)

Take care

Monday, March 26, 2007

How do you like?

Okay, I've been thinking of trying the self publishing route for this little crochet project. For anyone that has never crocheted with wire, this is the ideal project. It's easy and quick, and most people can complete it in an afternoon. :-)

I taught this class at a conference for the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) called Chain Link i 2003. It just happened to fall on the afternoon before the big banquet, and so many of my students came running up to me as we were going in to show me thier new little necklace bag and matching bracelet.

There are a few things I need to take into consideration for this little project. Do I want to invest in beads and wire to make this as kits? Because if I ask a yarn shop to carry this in their shop, and they don't have the materials for an interested customer would need, then my pattern may not sell, will it? This is something that I need to seriously consider because the initial investment may be more than I want... plus I need to make sure that it will even be profitable for me.

Well, it's just an idea that I've been playing with. Who knows, I may do nothing with it and just try to teach it again for the CGOA.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I love new yarns! :-)

In the past month I have been playing with yarns from South West Trading Company ( and I have to say that I'm getting quite addicted to the how incredibly soft this stuff is. I've been working with Love, Rock, Pure and Gianna. I think my all time favorite is Love - it's 30% Silk and 70% Bamboo. No wonder it's soft with that silk in there. I made myself a top out of this and love to wear it! It feels really good against the skin and I am very tempted to make myself another top. :-)

I made a little purse out of Rock. This has a little bit of wool and hemp - but I think it's the hemp that makes it a bit "scratchy".... well, compared to Love! I still prefer the feel of this yarn over some of the acrylics that I have in the closet. :-) Even the "softer" acrylics don't feel this good. :-) Well, that is my opinion and it will have to take 'feeling up' a lot of softer acrylic yarns before I can find anything that may compare. :-)

Gianna is a bulky wool blend that is probably one of the most fun yarns that I've played with in a long time. Well, it's been a long time since I've purchased new yarn, so I don't have much to compare. If you ever want to make a quick project, this is the yarn to use. I was able to make a petite purse for use as a dressy purse out of a ball and a half. It's not super tiny, but enough to stick your wallet, keys, cell phone and maybe even a coin purse. :-)

Right now I'm playing with Pure - this is 100% soy silk and I can't really describe the feeling of this yummy yarn. It's a bit 'sticky' like some cottons, but will not injur your hand while crocheting or knitting with it. I just can't describe this yarn, but the finished project feels wonderful! :-) I've made a hat, scarf and bagpack/purse with this. I'm swatching another ball too see if I need to use smaller knitting needles since I've become such a lose knitter these days. So far my gauge is still really loose and I'm using needles two sizes smaller than suggested. So, as soon as I complete the repeat of the pattern I'm using, I'll switch to an even smaller set of needles and continue working. It's a good thing that I like to swatch because if I didn't, I'd be in trouble!

You're probably asking why I'm working with so many yarns from SWTC - I'll let you in on a little secret... I'm making designs for them and hope they will take a few. :-) So far, three are being considered and I'm just waiting to see if they send a contract for them. If they don't accept them, I'm not afraid to try some other outlets. :-)

So, that is why I'm also not posting any pictures. But I will let you know if (and when) these little designs I'm working on come out. :-)

Take care,