By the way, I have an update on my struggles with the Lion Brand Olivia's Shrug that I tried to make out of Berocco Pronto back in January. Lion Brand apparently surfs the blogs like the rest of us, because Jackie Smyth from Lion Brand called me at the store on Tuesday (Monday?) all worried about the fact that I had such problems with the pattern. Although, I still don't get how the pattern as written can work, she seemed to think that it was more of a beginning crocheter's problem rather than the pattern's problem because they've had two crocheters make the pattern as a test since my blog entry! In addition, she's ordered the original shrug from their archives so she can check it against the pattern. She thought that possibly the difficulty with the pattern could have been the heavier nature of Pronto (although I was getting gauge), and offered to send me free the yarn called for in the pattern so I could try it with that. I'd say Lion Brand doesn't want any bad publicity out on the net... But I also feel like this is a company who cares what people think about them and how their customers feel about their products, be it yarn or patterns. That's good customer service in my book... I told Jackie that I would be willing to try completing the shrug again, although I'm not taking them up on their offer of some of their yarn, simply because I wanted to find a pattern to make out of yarn I own. I'll keep everyone posted.
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Monday, February 26, 2007
I was able to spend quite a lot of time knitting this weekend. I finished knitting and felting the Fiber Trends squirrel and a funky chicken from Sandesgarn's Toving Tema 11.
I'm not completely happy with either of them - although I'm sure they'll both look better with eyes and other embellishments. The squirrel's tail actually grew in the felting. It's knit with one strand of Lite Lopi and one of Naturally's Temptation. I'm hoping that once I stuff the squirrel with regular batting (he's currently stuffed with plastic bags while he's drying), and I sew up the tail & attach it a bit more up his back that it will look better. The chicken is just goofy - in a cute kind of way - but the pattern called for stuffing it with batting before felting (along with a small baggie of dried beans to weigh down the bottom). I didn't know how much batting to put in, and now that it's felted, I can't move the batting around, so there are some spots that don't have enough batting. Plus the beans migrated up a bit. I may do another one in a different color and leave an opening in the bottom so I can stuff it afterward.
Now it's on to a crocheted scarf in the Macalester College colors. I had to chain 449 stitches last night! Egads! How do you keep track of so many chains. Maybe locking stitch markers every 50 stitches...
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Does anyone else have any great ideas for a small tote? Sheryl Lange has designed a smaller version of the Kaliedoscope Tote, but she hasn't gotten us the pattern for it yet. I think that would be a great small project bag.
Friday, February 16, 2007
In the last three days, I've driven over 350 miles. Between work and AA/NA meetings for my son and picking up the kids from three different schools (none of which have bus service) and picking up my son's friends, I haven't had any time to knit - except for the meeting yesterday for parents of students who will be moving up to high school next year. That was almost a whole hour of working on the sleeve of my Sunrise Circle Jacket! I'm getting closer. Tonight I hope to work on the Fiber Trends felted squirrel.
Tomorrow morning, we have another crochet class for our employees. We're making the Ella Scarf, so we can be ahead of the classes our teacher will be offering to the public.I'm just taking scraps of yarn, because I don't think I really need another scarf. Plus I have lots of other crochet projects to do...
mzmouse - Thanks for visiting my blog and my store! I'm glad you enjoyed the changes we've made at 3 Kittens. I'm sorry I wasn't there so I could have met you in person. Generally I only work during the week 8:15 am - 2:45 pm. Occasionally, I am there on a weekend day, but usually not for very long. Too many other responsibilities - although I would love to be there more often! If you're ever there during those hours, ask for me - I'd love to meet you.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
In clockwise order from top left:
- Ainsley, Cathy and Janine - three of our wonderful employees
- Employee Sharon K's wonderful log cabin afghan (pattern from Cottage Creations)
- One section of our worsted area
- The sign behind our check-out counter that says, "Your husband just called and said it's o.k. to buy anything you want"
- A lampion from Lantern Moon
- A needle and tote rack with our felting room in the background
- Center - a photo of the outside front of the store
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
No work for me today... sigh! But the computer - which did have a virus - is back at the store, so I'll jump right back in tomorrow.
I started work on the Fiber Trends squirrel last night with Lite-Lopi and Needful Yarns Temptation for the tail.
I also swatched some SWTC Bamboo for a crocheted short sleeve sweater. But earlier I swatched some Louisa Harding Grace Silk and Wool for a long sleeved tunic from Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet: The Happy Hooker. I should do the tunic, because if I get it done in time, I can take it to Tucson in March when we go down there for Spring Break. Here are the swatches:The swatch on the right is too small, so maybe what I should do is swatch it up with a larger hook and see which one I like the feel of working with better...
Monday, February 12, 2007
That sleeve looks really wide. I hope it's o.k. I've started on the right front, but since I didn't have all that much to do at the store today, I ended up bringing yarn home... My 9-year-old son has been begging me for a Fiber Trends Squirrel so I brought home Lite Lopi and Needful Yarns Temptation for that. And, he also wants some Felted Clog Slippers (also Fiber Trends) and that yarn found it's way in my bag too (this time Ella Rae Classic). Luckily neither of those projects will take very long.
Sunday, February 11, 2007
I don't love the colors, although they are somewhat spring-like, and the Dolce Mohair does stripe beautifully. I will block it tonight along with a couple of swatches I made for the store.
O.K., onto "Other Things." I've been really struggling lately with my food issues and weight. I know - I did just complete a marathon, but frankly I was appalled with the photos of me running when I saw them. I looked gigantic! I know that if I lost 30-40 lbs I'd be able to complete the next marathon much faster. But, I just can't seem to get going on any kind of weight loss plan right now. I signed up for Weight Watchers online a few weeks ago, which is how I lost weight the last time I tried. And, while I know the program works, I just can't seem to stick to it right now. I also tried giving up sugar - but it only lasted 4 days, then I caved. SIGH! I want to lose weight, but I need somebody to motivate me - I need a weight loss buddy. Any takers?... The other thing that's getting to me is I really don't feel like exercising right now. I did run a couple of miles this morning, and I hope to be able to run a couple of more times this week and go to at least one karate class. But, 3 Kittens calls to me. I'd much rather be there right now than taking time to exercise. I know that's a huge trap waiting to ensnare me - and my foot's already part way in the rope. Exercise gives me balance and calms me. Work, while really enjoyable (God, I love going in every day!), is very stressful, and I need to eat well and exercise in order to combat that stress... So right here and right now, I'm committing to running 3 times this week and attending karate once. Plus, I will follow Weight Watchers religiously this week. One week's not so hard - then I can reassess.
I've had my say. I've made my vow. I'm sticking to it!
Saturday, February 10, 2007
We had a great staff meeting at the store this morning. I let everyone know that I had ordered the POS system and that we hope to have it up and ready to go in March sometime. In addition, we talked about all of the great classes we have coming up (visit the 3 Kittens Classes page for more info and photos of the projects) and the wonderful needlepoint trunk show we have right now (Once in a Blue Moon canvasses). During the meeting which my partner Cis was leading, I was able to finish knitting a swatch of Dale Stork for the shop - on sizes 0, 1 & 2 needles - EEK!
I'm having so much fun making things lately - I love the energy and creativity that I get from the store - the fibers, the projects, the patterns, customer and staff ideas, etc. I'm being much more productive with my fiber arts than I have been in years. And I love it!
Friday, February 09, 2007
Here's a photo of the Olivia's Shrug from the Lion Brand website, made out of Berroco Pronto. O.K., so either I didn't read the pattern right (although I've looked at it & re-read it a million times) or the pattern is written badly. As you can see the back is very long and the front is nothing but the collar. Nowhere in the pattern does it have you make anything more than the collar - as a matter of fact, the directions for the "Front/Collar" are only 5 rows long for the Medium size. It's so disappointing! However, it really didn't take long to do, so what I think I'm going to do is rip it out and make the back only as long as the front, and I'll make the sleeves longer (their mid-forearm length now). Plus, I'll make it in the Large size, because it's too small for me (my daughter is modelling it -under duress - in the photo). Then I'll have a true shrug - although not the one pictured at Lion Brand's site. Can't decide if I should notify them of the goofiness of their pattern. We'll see...
Thursday, February 08, 2007
I hope to post later today photos of my shrug (disaster!) and the left front of my Sunrise Circle jacket (success!). I just don't have them on my camera right now...
Saturday, February 03, 2007
He's still unstuffed and has no eyes. You can see in the 2nd photo how the mohair didn't felt as I expected. One of my partners at 3 Kittens Needle Arts, Cis, came into the store this morning with a couple of felting disasters, and I had to commiserate with her because neither of us followed our own advise: 1) always test swatch with yarn you haven't felted with before, and 2) check your item(s) often during the felting process so you don't over-felt. She had a hat that was itty-bitty - even for her small head -- and a teensy moebius bowl from Cat Bordhi's 2nd Treasury of Magical Knitting. The moebius bowl was cute and usable anyway, but I don't know what she's going to do with the hat!
Yesterday, I ended up ripping out the WHOLE bloody shrug from my previous post. I realized that the sleeves were way to short, and the number of shell stitches that I had in the back was one too few. I had known that before and thought I could get away with it, but I decided to redo it all since I was ripping out the sleeves anyway. I'm almost back to where I was when I ripped. Thank goodness for bulky yarn and the speed of crochet!
I'm thinking about joining a blog ring or two. Anyone have any experience with those to help me decide which to join? Thanks!