Monday, December 15, 2008

New E-Zines I Love

Just had to pass on two new e-zines that I think are fabulous:
The first one isn't really new, but it's winter issue is up: Knitty. Check out these fun projects.

Aren't these hilarious! I would love to make a pair of these for Christmas for someone, but, alas, there's just not enough time in the day! Maybe next year...

I think this sweater and matching wrap are really fun. Not sure about making all those bobbles, but they do add an interesting dimension.

The 2nd zine that you should check out is Twist Collective. This new magazine (it's on issue #2 right now) is filled with really wonderful designs, mostly by well-known designers like Pam Allen, Norah Gaughan, Fiona Ellis, Veronik Avery and more. Here are a couple of my favorites from this most recent issue:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Busy Times

The holiday season in a yarn store is crazy busy - even this year. Despite the economic downturn in the country, our store is doing great. I don't know if it's the change in location or the fact that people are staying home more, so they need things to keep busy (aka, hobbies). Thanksgiving was a blur, because 3 Kittens had a sale the next day and over the weekend. I haven't recovered yet!

I have been working on projects as I can:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Wool Bamboo Wrap Vest

I've been very remiss in blogging for several months now. Just no time. I'll give it another shot though!
I'm currently working on the Wool Bamboo Wrap Vest from Curvy Knits 2 by Classic Elite. Here's a photo from the booklet.

I'm doing it in a wonderful, deep red. I love Wool Bamboo - it's the perfect yarn in my book. There's no splitting, no pilling. The hand is wonderful. And the color is rich. Love it!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Kristin Omdahl

I had the pleasure (or excitement...) to meet knit and crochet designer Kristin Omdahl at The National Needle Arts market earlier this month in Columbus, OH. I actually met her on Sunday afternoon of the show, but didn't get to talk to her much until we were both stuck in the airport waiting for our flights. (Kristin had to hole up in Columbus one more night, while Cis and I got out about 1-1/2 hours late.)

Kristin is the designer of the Infinity Wrap that I completed earlier this year. She has had numerous designs published in Interweave Crochet among other publications, and she has a book coming out later this year!

In addtion, she seemed like a genuinely nice person (as most people I met at the show were). I'm hoping that maybe if she does a book tour for her book, we can convince her publisher to send her to the Twin Cities so she can come to 3 Kittens. Wouldn't that be fun?
(By the way, Kristin designed and whipped out the broomstick lace top she has on in the photo the weekend of the market - Friday-Monday!)

Sunday, June 08, 2008

TNNA Market

Do you remember last year at this time when I bragged about going to the Needle Arts Market? Well, I'm here again! It is so much fun - although very exhausting. Let's see, who have I had the honor to meet at Market? So far: Jess and Casey from Ravelry; Nicky Epstein; Melissa Leapman (who we had dinner with last night - what a lovely person); Maggie Jackson; Kristin Omdahl; the Crochet Dude, Drew Emborsky; Sandi Weisheart of Knitting Daily; Kristin Nicholas; Iris Schreier of Artyarns; Pam Allen of Classic Elite Yarns; Amy Singer of and Big Girl Knits; Robyn Chachula;and Annie Modisett. O.K., the conversations haven't been deep and in-depth (except with Melissa) because it's hard to talk much when you're bowing low to the ground at everyone's feet!

At the Retailer's Luncheon on Friday, we all got to hear Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, the Yarn Harlot, talk. She is soooooooooo funny! We were laughing the whole time. Did you know that there are twice as many knitters than golfers (in the U.S.? the world? I can't remember), but if you go into an airport how many knitting magazines can you find? Zero. Golf magazines? Usually, between 3 and 10! Yet, you can't golf while you're sitting on a plane... She was great. Unfortunately, I couldn't stand in line to wait for her to sign her new book.

It's getting late, and I've got another class tomorrow morning, so I better sign off. More in a day or two!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Punchneedle and Teachers

This is my last year making teacher gifts for my kids at school. My youngest son is "graduating" from 5th grade on Monday. Once he moves onto Middle School, I won't make teacher gifts any more. I've traditionally potted up some plants - sometimes with my kids painting the pots; however, this year I decided to make some decorative tops for boxes with punchneedle. Here are my creations:

Have I ever mentioned that I love punchneedle???

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I've been finishing lots of knit and crochet objects lately. Unfortunately, I've been spending more time putting their photos on my Ravelry page than on this blog... Anyway, here are some photos for you.

First, Amigurumi - all from Ana Paula Rimoli's Amigurumi World:

Second, a crocheted 'Drool Baby' bib from Needle Noodles:

And, finally, my Mobius sweater by Norah Gaughan:

I'm desperately working on a couple of punchneedle teacher gifts and a needlepoint pillow for my buddy Ann. All three of these projects need to be done in the next few weeks in order for the finishing to get done in time for the end of school and Ann's birthday. SIGH! I don't like deadlines too much, but it's probably for the best, because they will get done!!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I went in for a sleep study this past Tuesday to try to figure out why I am tired/sleepy all of the time. It was quite an interesting experience. I went to a HealthEast facility in Maplewood, and the rooms were fabulous! I expected a hospital-type room with hospital beds and cramped quarters; instead, what I got was a nice hotel room with a double bed, a nice easy chair and a flat-screen t.v. I arrived around 9 pm, and after changing into my p.j.'s, I had about 20 wires attached to me to measure my breathing, heart, brain waves, oxygen levels in the blood, etc. I thought I would never get to sleep with all of that stuff attached to me, but, really, I didn't have any problems. I did wake up more than I usually do, because the techs had to come into the next room and fit the person in there with a CPAP machine to help control sleep apnea (at least I think that's what was going on).

I was lucky - no one came into wake me up and put me on the CPAP, which I knew meant that I didn't have sleep apnea. Unfortunately, the doctor I met with in the morning couldn't pinpoint anything from the sleep study that was causing my tiredness - no apnea, no problems with REM sleep, no unusual leg jerks, etc. She basically said that I just need to get more sleep. Currently, I get between 6 1/2 and 7 1/2 hours a night (and 8 - 10 hours each weekend night), but not at the times I would really like to get my sleep - I'm trying to go to sleep earlier than my personal circadian rhythms dictate by about an hour and I'm getting up a couple of hours earlier than I would like.

I still think there's more to the big picture than just needing more sleep. My next step in the sleuthing process is to get a physical, including a more thorough thyroid function test than the typical test that I've had several times. Hopefully I can figure out how to fix this. I hate being tired all the time!

Requisite crafting component: Me in my Noro Taiyo hat #2.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yarnover 2008

I was at the very fun, highly motivational, incredibly awe-inspiring Yarnover today! The Yarnover is the Minnesota Knitters' Guild's annual one-day workshop. It's loaded with classes taught by many of the superstars of the knitting world: Sally Melville, Joan Schrouder, Melissa Leapman, Chris Bylsma, Beth Brown-Reinsel, Lucy Neatby, etc. Plus, there is a market of local and not-s0-local vendors. Of course, 3 Kittens had a booth, so we were there by 7 am unloading cars and setting up our table, and we didn't start breaking everything down and packing up until 5 pm. It was a long day!

I was lucky enough to take a class in the morning from Sally Melville. She's a fun and energetic teacher who makes sure that everyone in the class gets the help they need. The class I took was called "Stripes and Stripes that Aren't." The first half of the class was all about stripes - whether to cut the yarn at the end of each stripe or carry it up along the edge (carry up); how to line up stripes from body to upper arm on a set in sleeve; how to do stripes so it doesn't make you look heavier (make sure that you don't do the following: have wide stripes and [not or] have stripes that match up and have high contrast between stripe colors); how to weave in ends as you work, etc. The second half of the class - and where I got most excited - was basically on slip stitches and how to carry colors up your work from your previous stripe color (clear as mud, I know...) Now, I've worked with slip stitches before, and I could have figured most of the info out on my own, but one of the best things about it was having Sally show her garments from her Knitting Experience 3: Color book and talk about the design process and the use of these stripes that aren't in garments - I came away with two garments I want to make. Which, of course, means that I will be buying the book at the store tomorrow, and seeing if I can use my Fiesta Rayon Boucle for one of them.
Luckily, in the process of the day, I just about finished my last sleeve for my Mobius. I think I have about 5 rows to go. Then I can put it all together, block it, and maybe by the end of the week, I'll be able to wear it! I also almost finished my Regia Bamboo socks - just the toe shaping left. I haven't worn knit socks in a long time, so I'm excited to get them done. No photos tonight, because I don't have my camera. You'll have to wait until tomorrow...

Also, I had a great experience being one of Franklin Habit's 1000 Knitters. I had no idea that he was going to be there, so it was a thrill to be photographed by him (you can see what a good photographer he is in the self-portrait at right). If you're a listener of the Cast On podcast, you'll know Franklin by his funny, funny essays. At first, I couldn't find him - he was not in the room where all of his equipment was set up, and I went back to the market. But, as I was walking back to the booth, I heard his distinctive voice and went towards it. He was quite generous to allow me to come to the photo shoot even though I didn't have an appointment. We chatted while he took the picture, and I got maybe 6 rows done on the 1000 Knitters' scarf. I was pretty soon after Lucy Neatby. I did my section in plain ol' garter stitch - Lucy put a nice big, on-purpose hole in her section. That's why she's the designer - she's creative...
All in all, I had a great (albeit exhausting) day. Next year, Lily Chin will be the keynote speaker, so it should be another great event!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

California Dreamin'

Not much to write about lately, so I haven't. I did go on a short trip to California with my husband last weekend. Flew into LAX, then drove to Claremont to have lunch with an old friend at 3 Forks, which was lovely because we got to sit outside and the food was delicious. We then drove to Palm Springs to visit cousin Janie. We dined at the famous Smoke Tree Ranch

and the next day we visited the Indian Canyons park which was fascinating - desert, except along the stream beds where there were, of all things, palm trees.

Then for our last night we drove to San Diego and spent the night at the Loews Coronado Beach Resort, which was lovely but too short of a stay to really enjoy it.

I needlepointed on the plane trips and in the cars I worked on my Regia Bamboo socks and the collar for my Mobius top.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I've started and ripped out a little Noro Taiyo crocheted hat twice tonight... SIGH!

I returned from my vacation - which was lovely, despite getting a head cold.
I'm happy to say that I worked on all seven projects I took with me. I even finished two of them: the whale I posted last week and my Celestine Crochet:

I think the Celestine is fun, but oddly shaped - some of the points are way big and some way small. But, it would still make a great baby toy. I put two jingle bells inside to make it even more appealing to little ones.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Humpback Whale

I'm in sunny Florida for Spring Break with my family. We're staying near Seaside, the cute little town where the movie The Truman Show (with Jim Carrey) was filmed, at a resort community called Watercolor. This is our 6th year vacationing in Seaside and Watercolor. We've rented houses in both communities and have enjoyed both of them.

I brought 7 projects to work on!! EEK! Of course, they're all small... I've finished the first one, humpback whale I purchased from edafedd on Etsy.

I made this whale for my sister-in-law, Kristin, who is a marine biologist whose specialty is humpbacks. She loves her little whale! She says it's a pregnant female, because she's much bigger through the belly than a non-pregnant whale would be. Edafedd also has patterns for a manatee and a narwhal. They're really cute and life-like.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

More Amigurumi

I'm still doing the crochet Amigurumi thing. Here are my current two projects:

This is Celestine Crochet, a free pattern from Berroco. It doesn't look like much now, but I think it should get finished today or tomorrow, then it will look like a dodecahedron (no, I didn't know how to spell that... I had to look it up!). It's being made out of Regia Stretch Crazy Color.

Well, it doesn't look like much yet, but it's going to be a Humpback Whale. I bought this pattern on Etsy from edafedd. There are hundreds of crochet patterns on Etsy. I bought a sushi pattern last night for someone I know (no names, yet). And, there was a cute little pattern for baby bibs that have an amigurumi feel, so I bought that, too.

BTW, I'm now on Ravelry, and I would love to have other Ravelry members look at my stuff and join my friends list. So check it out! My user name is k5tog.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I'm falling down on my commitment to post once a week. SIGH! I joined Ravelry yesterday, so maybe that will give me some incentive. Anyway, thought I'd post a photo of a finished object, just to show that I have actually accomplished something!

This is the piece I worked on while recovering from my broken leg last summer. Of course, the stitching was done before Christmas, but I got it back from the finisher in February. So here it is in all its glory. I love what the finisher did with the little embellishments at the top. I love it!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Amigurumi Madness

On Wednesday, we received a shipment of a new release book, Amigurumi World by Ana Paula Rimoli, and I've been going crazy ever since!

The cup was the most fun to make! I absolutely love it. I made the cup out of Needful Yarns Kim, the turtle is made out of Classic Elite Pebbles, and the daddy Lion is made out of scraps of Cascade 220 and Ella Rae Classic. I have yarn to make several other of these fun little guys, so you may see more photos in the days to come.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Oops, I Did It Again!

So much for my New Year's Resolution of posting at least once a week! SIGH! But, at least I am knitting, crocheting and needlepointing. My most recently completed project is a crocheted "Pidge" that I designed as a give away pattern for the 3K Club at 3 Kittens:

It was a very quick and simple project. It took 3 skeins of Mirasol Sulka and a wonderful button made by Eric Salverda (a teacher at my children's school, my son's football coach and the dad of one of our employees). We originally received our first Pidge pattern from Misti Alpaca and used that as our 3K Club Perk during January. It was so popular that we got a second design from them for another knitted Pidge, and I made this crocheted one up for all of the people who wanted to crochet one.

I've also been stitching away on two needlepoint canvases. I don't have my camera with me at home, so I can 't take a photo of them in progress, but here are the two designs I'm working on from Maggie Co

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Needlepoint Fun

I've been doing a lot of needlepoint lately. Knitting, crochet & punchneedle are sidelined for a bit - except when watching t.v. when the knitting comes back out. I've been working on a Blackberry holder for a while out of Soy Luster, a 100% soy floss:

This project has not been always fun, but I'm into it right now, and it's going quickly.

The fun project is this one I'm making for a friend:

I'm changing the floor tile color (the gold) to something else, but I'm waiting for the background color to arrive from a special order before I choose what to use. The gold just competes too much with the dress, so I want something more subtle... Eventually, this will be a pillow.

I've got several knitting projects still going: my Einstein coat, a child's sweater, my 8-year afghan, etc. In terms of crochet, I've got two projects going - my toe up socks and a Louet Kid Mohair sweater from the cover of the Fall Interweave Crochet. I completed a series of snowmen with punchneedle, but I'm trying to decide if I should make one more. One snowman has a floppy hat, one has a stocking cap, one has a cowboy hat, and I'm thinking of making one with a sombrero.

Monday, January 07, 2008


O.K., I'm not really big on New Year's Resolutions, but I have one this year - post on my blog at least once a week! Good, eh?

I had fun over the weekend taking my daughter and her friends to a Tarot Card reader. I thought I would knit through each of the sessions, but I ended up taking notes for the girls (ages 14 - 15). It was really interesting. So interesting in fact that I ended up getting my cards read as well! I'm supposedly going to have a very good year. Both my daughter and I received similar "messages" regarding having a vacation near water and about someone in our lives who is going to be working longer and harder this year and will need our support. Interesting, since she didn't even know that Emily was my daughter (we never told her whose Mom I was - although maybe she looks a little like me...).

We are planning two vacations, one to Watercolor in March and the other to Australia (!) during the summer. I can't wait for either of them...

I've been knitting and crocheting and needlepointing up a storm these days. Here's a photo of the Infinity Wrap by Kristin Omdahl from the most recent Interweave Crochet magazine, modelled by Tiffany, one of the employees at 3 Kittens: