Wednesday, June 22, 2011

We've Moved....

It just made sense to put the blog and website The Knitter's Restaurant can now be found at

Monday, June 20, 2011

Some Steps Down the Road

I am slowly moving back to working in my office. For one thing, the computer connection is faster than the laptop - which is freaky considering how much older it is. Two, it's my office and I want to get away from using it as a yarn hoarder area and get back to using it as an office where I can be more isolated and concentrate on what I need to do. Third, well, I don't need a third, but Mr. Honey uses my laptop when he wants to go on line. He won't upgrade his laptop with the necessary equipment to use the wi-fi going through the house so he uses the laptop sometimes when I am using my laptop but not right in front of it. My going back to my office will bring some guard against resentment. And banishment - his, not mine.

OK, so you want to see it? It is almost a scarf that would not end and it's not as long as the pattern called for. The pattern says to make it 140 inches long - I'll wait until you divide that by 12 and get more than 11 feet long and then wonder who thought that up. This is made with Cascade Magnum, a hefty hank with a hefty price of $20. This is two of them and is a little over 70 inches. It would take two more - $80 as a base price if it were sold without any thought of making any money on it. Warren Buffett might do that but no one else will.

Coincidentally, we met someone new at the Sunday knit get together. Jean joined us for the first time and she is working on the scarf with the fiber the pattern calls for and she's doing the entire length. She is also doing the Master Knitter's course from the Guild. She's brave on both counts.

It is stunning in the picture and stunning in person. I have to put it away because it is all wool and susceptible to all that can happen to wool.

The thing that is on the needles now is a snake. A snake from a book of knit toys. It's a book with some fun patterns and I am going to be able to use up some of the stash because it's a long snake...and I can make it longer if I want to. Great fun!!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Here She Is!

Ignore the big person, the star is nestled in his arms. This is my nephew, Mike, I got him when I got Joe. Not complaining - he's quite the guy.

That little sugar plum is Bridget, his third child, second daughter and hereby declared to be my sweetheart. I love Megan (his eldest) and Jason (his doppelganger) but Bridget is going to belong to me. I think it was sweet of them to have a baby for me - a baby they will pay for, provide for and keep - but who belongs to me. Mazel Tov to the happy family and I will be over soon to get my baby (and bring her back when she needs changing.)

In knitting news, I am almost finished with the 'leaf' scarf. I started it a few months back and put it away because it uses size 13 needles and Cascade Magnum yarn which is really bulky and untwisted. It does work up quickly but it also works up heavy. The scarf in it's original pattern is more than 10 feet and I will do that but with a less expensive yarn - not to mention a lighter weight. But it is beautiful and I look forward to the photos. I don't want to spoil it with a teaser. OK, I don't want to mess with it until I have to; that thing will hurt a small child if it falls on them.

I know this will cause some of you to cringe but it's just six months to Christmas. I am using some Etsy guides to improve my store and traffic and this is the time to start thinking about and working on holiday gifts. It makes sense, especially if you are in one of the crafts that require some time. I was going through some books to find something I could point to and say 'gift' and the first thing I came across was an afghan that I started to make a while ago but I am going to start over with a nice chunky weight fiber. I went to the even better organized yarn stash and found I have a ton of this particular fiber so away I go.

Tomorrow, after church, I get to spend time with a couple of my peeps at a new place to knit. I should be able to work on the afghan because it's done in squares with a relatively easy cable pattern. Should be fun!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Princess and Prince of Piece(s)

You all know I love me some Mr. Honey but one of the things that keeps this thing working is that I don't work with him. We used to work for the same company but we very rarely crossed paths - though we crossed long enough to catch each other - but if I had to work with him on a day to day basis I don't think it would be the best thing for either of us.

However, Kenny and Renee seems to make it work. They run the shop The Pixel Prince together and they don't seem to have tired of each other. Now grant it, they haven't been married that long so they are still in the 'You're pretty." "No, you're pretty." "OK, but you're prettier." phase of
their relationship but it works for them and I want them to be happily married and working together decades from now.

The duo makes buttons, magnets, notecards and more. I, for some reason I cannot explain, love maps of the world and they have several of them for sale. They are of a cute size but I want a really
big one. I have absolutely no place to put it even if I had it so it remains a dream for the moment, but if I find myself with some spare wall space, I am going to get my wall map and I am going to ask them if they can make a big one for me.

The couple have been on Etsy since 2009 and already have more than 1000 sales. If you ask them the secret of their success -
Renee says they love having satisfied customers. They combine that with great customer service and persistence and the creative outlet it provides and you have yourself a business that generates lots of customer contact.

This would be a great shop to go to if you want to buy a little something for a whole bunch of people. You can get 25 customer made keychains for just $42. Think of that for family reunions or weddings - what a great wedding favor, huh?

Check out the shop and have a laugh at some of the buttons and if you have a mind to, let the happy couple know you stopped by the shop by liking an item or two. It's a fun shop and a fun time.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Three Graces

A knitting update - I have put a sign up box for my mailing list - I don't expect knitters to sign up - it is more for folks interested in designbcb - buying knitted items. There will also be discounts and giveaways and more information. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please have them sign up.

Also, there are more hats coming off the needle and I am averaging one new per day in the shop. I am up to seven sales for the year - which is really poor - but they've all come in the last six to eight weeks. I've been looking at the stats and the traffic to the shop is up over last year and the last months but it's still a little low on weekly and daily tracks. I think the new pictures with the wigs has improved the look of the site and also because there are items being placed or renewed on the site everyday brings the shop higher in searches.

As you can tell, I've been concentrating on the business side of things. Hopefully, business will pick up.

These are the three graces.
My nieces. My brother's daughters.
Eboni is the eldest and I met her when she was two years old and she's a lot nicer than she was then. To be fair, we were new to her and at two years old she didn't want to be around a bunch of new people. Erica shares my middle name and a bunch of other qualities - one thing she has that I don't have is a brain - the girl got a free ride to ASU and just finished or is almost finished working on her Masters' - just like her sister. Anesha is the youngest and I just met her. My brother insisted I met her at some point during my engagement/wedding thing but considering she's thirteen and we've been married fifteen years, I'm thinking that wasn't possible. Then he said I must have met her when I spent three months in AZ before and after my father's death - Nope. Managed to miss her. But not this time we had just enough time to take the picture. I will get to know her better the next time we are in the same place.

Beautiful little women. They and the two other nieces not pictured. Generation next for the women in the family is in good hands.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bridget

I would place a picture of the birthday girl, who's birthday was actually on Friday, but I don't have permission from her Mommy or Daddy. Though she did send me a photo of Bridget next to a photo of Jason on the day he was born to compare how much they look alike. But to be fair all babies look like big wrinkles when they're born. In our family it's just a question of a light wrinkle or a dark wrinkle depending upon which branch of the family tree is bearing fruit.

They say we regret the things we have not done and the birth of a baby does make me regret in small measurement that we didn't get a new one of our own. But Mr. Honey does not know the meaning of regret and has never waivered from his non-desire for babies. He is a great father and an outstanding uncle but he is happy not to have walked down that road.

I watched a movie last night called 'Mother and Child'. I don't know if it was a movie that was shown in theatres - it had the star power: Annette Bening, Naomi Watts, Kerry Washington, Samuel L. Jackson, S. Epatha Merkeson and Jimmy Smits and Amy Brennaman. It turned out to be a powerful movie about three women and their experience with motherhood. If you have Starz look for it in the movie demand section.

One woman had a baby when she was 14 and her mother had the baby put up for adoption. One woman wants to have kids and she cannot so she is looking at adoption and her husband is with her except when his mother interferes. He leaves her because an adopted baby is not a baby of his own. The third woman was put up for adoption and leaves a very isolated life except she has a POV that is not entirely respectful of the rules. It's a pretty obvious movie but it doesn't stop Annette Bening and Kerry Washington from giving outstanding performances.

Bridget is born into a loving family. She has an older sister who is eager to have her around and an older brother who would rather have a football but can adjust well enough to having a sister instead. My nephew and his wife wanted a family and have gone through some trials in order to bring these little cherubs into the world and they are fun and cute kids who we don't see often enough.

I am happy and excited for her parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. She is the fifth grandchild and the second girl. It's still a little weird seeing the little boys and girls I watched grow up have children of their own but that's the way it's supposed to be, isn't it.

Happy birthday, Bridget and welcome to this crazy, wonderful family.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

So we are disappointed, disgusted, not surprised by another politician. Every step we take forward we go two steps back and because we want quick, simple answers people are looking for a quick solution there are folks saying to resign. Not every offense is a death penalty. He was stupid and piled the stupid on but it isn't a resignation offense. I don't think the congressman in NY should have resigned but that was his call...wait, what is it with NY Congressmen?

Never mind.

I've been really busy: I've been learning a new program for photo editing, knitting up a storm, studying other folks shops to g
ain some new insight to my shop, knitting some more. The first phase of the yarn sort is done - and the weather in Chicago has turned to stymie. This is a sample of the soap saver sacks I made. How many did I make? I think there are seven. They were quick and they were fun and I needed a variety of them. They are, of course, being sold in the shop.

I was busy making caps (hats, tams, lids, rasta, whatever you want to call them. There are a
plethora of them around the living room. I made this one last night and because was a little afraid of running out of the skein I eliminated about three lines of the instruction and I like it better than if I followed the directions to the letter. (Let this be a lesson you - sometimes less is more.)
I've been putting things up in the shop as the first thing to do on my work list. The first thing used to be write a blog post and that has to, sadly, go down a peg because as much as I love writing to you - it's ain't a money maker and mama will eventually need new yarn. OK, Mama won't need new yarn for about a decade but you know how these things go, once there is a dent in the yarn stash it's going to disappear at an alarming rate - I hope.

There is also still an afghan being worked and some stuff that has yet to be photographed. Believe me when I say there is a lot. I am keeping track of what I have going on and I am almost at 100 items and June just started. This is also counting a set as one item. individually, way over 100. This is the first time I am not thinking I won't have enough for the craft sales starting in October.

There is still much to do and we have baseball games to go to! I have also been watching my Cubs tank feeling hopeless. Cubs fans have learned to find that silver lining but this year is really horrible.

I hope your spring is going well. Yes, with all this heat it's only spring. Summer doesn't get here for another month - looking forward to what that will be all about.

I am going to go enjoy some cool cantaloupe - I loves me the spring and summer fruits!!

Monday, June 6, 2011


I like color. I like blocks and splashes of color. A hint here and a surprise there I am so far from being a fashion maven that it isn't made by Dabanga, an artist from Mozambique who has a shop on Etsy: Dabanga on Etsy . It is a little block of color that I am so fond of. I can see wearing these with a black dress and having them provide the focal point and interest.

Dabanga has been making jewelry for about twelve years, though she's only been on Etsy since 2009. She likes working with a wide range of materials: pe
arl,leather and even copper and from the looks of her items, she certainly knows what to do with them.

Look at this e
arring. Is it not gorgeous? It was arl, leather, copper - this is nice. It's more than nice. I enjoy the little extra added to her pieces to move them out of a comfortable symmetrical look to pieces with a little added something.

She says that making jewelry is the equivalent of putting music and lyrics together. I get that. I feel the same way about my needlework. There are words and music flowing through the instrument of needles and hooks and the yarn. Sometimes if I really working in the quiet, I can hear it.

I love how the color or the shape moves the piece. I have a fondness
for simply elegant things - probably because I'm such a goof but I like simple, clean lines and Dabanga's pieces are elegant drops of color.
I firmly believe that we are given many gifts and that one of the greatest gifts we can give in return is using what we are given for the betterment of the world.

The changes don't have to be big or dramatic. It can be simply loving making beautiful jewelry pieces - running elements in your hands and using instruments to create little masterpieces that will find their way to someone's wrist or ears or neck. Dabanga is a talented artist and her creations show an elegant spirit and fine hand. I have to admire that.

Visit her shop for more of her jewelry and let her know it if you appreciate her work. All Etsy pages have a contact link. I'm sure she'd be happy for your feedback.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

15 Years In the Making

This is the first item made with my anniversary yarn - well, it's the second, the first thing I frogged because I didn't like it. But this hat I like a lot and I made it this morning (read late last night) while watching Prince Caspian. Get this: I started it at the beginning of the movie and I was done before the end of it. It took less than one skein of yarn. And the skein was 197 yards.) The fiber is
Universal Worsted Weight LP. It's self-striping - didn't know that. The photo doesn't do it justice. I showed it to Mr. Honey and he said, "Hey, that's really cute!" It looks like it's a color pool but it really isn't the color rows are close together. I really had no idea it was self-striping. Really pretty. 15 years because we've been married that long - get it? OK, no said I was a comedian.

In the interest of full disclosure, I stopped writing this post to go watch something on the t and v and while I was doing that, I comp
leted another hat. I am beginning to think my progress relies on the that particular bit of media and that frightens me just a little.

Remember I told you a while back I joined Crafter's Choice? I joined because I got 4 books for 99 cents which turned out to be four books for $11 because they put the price of the books in the shipping. Still, it was a good deal and I was going to fulfill my obligation of buying one book and then get out. Well, I hav
e fulfilled that obligation by purchasing three books. There was a deal. I could have purchased the one book for $12-$15, 2 would have cost me $30 and three cost me $33. So, I purchased three and am waiting for them to arrive. Once they are safely within my walls, I will cancel the membership and be done with it. I will also tell you what the books are when I have a chance to look at them!

I have a prayer shawl and an afghan on the needles. I also have in my head the second Sit and Knit for the year. We will be making caps for patients and the Cancer Treatment Center of America - Chicago. I do have a great book called Craft Hope. I find this book very inspirational and it has given me some ideas and starting with the caps is a good one. I will be spending some time getting that idea together for a fall Sit and Knit so we can make holiday caps for the patients. My goal is to have 100 caps done on the day because the center goes through 100 caps a week.

It's windy today, but it's beautiful - go out and take in the air.


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