Sunday, March 25, 2007

The Yarn Stash That Shouldn't Be

Call my schizo, but for someone who hates the idea of a having a yarn stash, I just couldn't seem to keep from buying yarn this week. I have to blame it on the sales! Yea, that's right. I can blame it on the sales. The deep discounts is what did me in. Plus the little extra cash I had in my pockets that was itching me to death. Actually, it was more like a burning sensation right through my pockets. While I'm at it. Maybe now would be a good time to say that I also bought two books in addition to my Knit Simple magazine.

The Lily Chin book, Couture Crochet, I viewed sometime ago and passed on it because none of the patterns really caught my eye. I went back and got it this week because I thought it would be a great technique book to have in my library. She also has a section on making your own patterns which I would really like to learn how to do. I purchased this book at Borders on Thursday while killing time.

The second book I bought (today actually) is Amazing Crochet Lace by Doris Chan. I love love love lace knitting and I really love the way crochet lace looks. This book has great patterns and lots of great pictures. I'm really excited about making a few of the patterns.

I purchased this book at a LYS called The Knitter's Studio in Los Angeles. This is the first time I had been to this store and I was happy I went. It's a smaller storefront with a larger class area in the rear. They had really great yarns like Colinette, Rowan, and Debbie Bliss to name a few. I bought a couple of balls of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk blend in a pretty lavender color and a ball of Rowan Felted Tweed in a pretty brown blend. I plan to make the "Truffle Clutch" with this yarn.

Late last week while enjoying the great spring sun and moderate temperature I visited another first-time LYS called "Liscat." This store is great! When I walked in and met Katrina (owner) I felt right at home. She is very lively and sweet and extremely talented in both knit and crochet. Her store is full of great yarns with a great selection of different fibers as well as lots and lots of creations she's made herself. I liked her store so much I took a friend back 2 days later and if I would have had time I would have stopped back by today to buy more yarn. She's having a great 50% off sale in preparation for her new inventory and her move to a new 2,100 sq ft space at the end of April. Can you even visualize a yarn store that large? Oh, it's going to be hell for me. I don't need to look at that much yarn at one time, especially when I can't afford to buy a whole bunch at once. Extra cash is not a regular occurence in these parts.

At Liscat I spied this great airy shrug that I wanted to make. Katrina generously gave me a copy of the pattern, Kid Merino Lacy Shrug, from Crystal Palace and helped me select a good yarn for it. She stressed that it was one of those patterns that could be made with practically any yarn. I chose 4 balls of Sandnes Soft Mohair and Garn Muskat. I've been knitting it up ever since. Below are pics of the yarn and what the pattern looked like when I started.

Lastly, I also bought yarn from Wild Skein on eBay. When that arrives in the mail I will most definately post pics. This week I also plan to post pics of some felted purses I've finished as well as the great Henna treatment I did to my hair. I'll keep you all posted.


Saturday, March 24, 2007

Frogs In the Yarn

For a couple of weeks now I have been working on an in-between project. You know, one of those projects you work on when you are tired of the others. Mine was a crochet skirt called "Pineapples & Shells" I found in the pattern book, "Skirts!" by Darla Sims. It's the green one seen here on the front. My plan was to complete the skirt and then add a nice tank top/shell to the top and make it a dress. I decided to work it up in Lions Brand Microspun in black and turquoise. I wanted to try my hand at tapestry crochet with the pineapples being strung in the turquoise.

Microspun is a very fickle yarn. IMHO, it doesn't guage well. It's also very easily split. It is pretty fast work up though once you get past it's issues. Let me just add here that I'm a shameless yarn snob. Okay! Back to the topic. Anyhoo, I decided to frog it because I was so smitten with the "Pink Persuasion" dress in this month's Knit Simple magazine. I thought, "Hey! Why not frog it? I'm bored anyway." So I did. I think I'm going to alter the pattern though. It's too much air between the middle and the base. I only need once section of netting. I can't wait to work it up.

I have to say that this issue of Knit Simple had a few good patterns to consider. I'll have to revisit it once I'm finished with all the other projects I'm working on now.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Itching Fingers

So last night I got beside myself and was a little restless in the crafting area. I couldn't get enough of projects and decided to deplete the little bit of yarn stash I do have. As I see it, it's a waste of space to just have it sitting there when I could wear it or give it away. Besides, I plan to buy some new yarn this weekend and I already used the eBay gift certificate my mom gave me for my birthday on yarn to finish a few projects I already have in the que.

Look What I Can Do!

All winter I kept saying that I wanted to make myself a hat. I had made one for my friend Rae and needed one desperately for those, "I don't want to comb my hair" days. I found this really cute pattern called "Durango" on YarnCats blog. She has a whole series or really great hats and projects she's created. She also provides the patterns for free! If you like the hat, I strongly recommend you visit her site. The flower patterns are from various other sources. FYI, I did add on about 5 additional rows to get a longer hat. The original pattern was sufficient. I just wanted mine longer to give a kind of cloche effect.

The materials for this hat used were:

  • 1.5 skeins Plymouth Yarns Sunsette, green color (no name)
  • Remnants of various yarns from stash including Colinette, Red Hart Camo, and Gallway Wool.
Remember how ambitious I was about finishing the Fat-bottom Bag quickly? Well as you can see below, it's still in production and I obviously didn't make my deadline. I got the grand idea to enlarge the bag to a more realistic size. I don't like really small cutesy purses that only hold lipstick and a small box of Altoids. I like them larger but no so large that they can be called "pocketbooks." Remember how your mom used to wear a pocketbook? She would have everything in that bag from tissue paper to a brush, and even air freshener. Ahh, good times good times. Then again I have been seeing some great big bags lately.

So anyways. This is my current progress on the bag. I added 12 extra rows, including a couple of double crochets to expand the bag width-wise and 6 extra stitches to give it about 1.5 more inches in height. Well guess what? I ran out of yarn doing all these dang 'ole modifications. Alas, this is what I had to reorder on eBay using my gift certificate. I can't wait until it gets here. Until then it will just have to sit on the right end of my couch resting. Just so you know, the right end of my couch is my progress bin.

Talk to you soon beloveds!


Happy Birthday to Me....(Recap)

OK! So March 19th was my 31st birthday! Shall I say it was a GREAT day! My loved ones really showed me some love. I can't complain, these folks know how to do it up when you threaten to come after them in there sleep. Just kidding! Actually my birthday is normally celebrated for an entire month (didn't you know about us spoiled ones?), but then again aren't all March babies.

On this blessed day, my hair turned out gorgeous, my clothing was a size smaller, and my spirits were continually uplifted. Thank God for birthdays! As you get older and remain single with no kids birthdays are all the holidays you really get to enjoy for yourself.

Extra special love to my beloved March babies: Reina, Rae Ann, Daniel, Lolieta, Bonnie, DeAnn, Tony V, Albert, and Yolanda! May God bless us for another beautiful year.


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Miss Jessie Miss Jessie

So since this blog is about HAIR and k&c, i should probably tell you's all about some of my hair exploits. LOL. I was lucky enough to get in on the "Ms. Jessie's Giveaway" sponsored by Motown Girl. She was giving away 2oz samples of select Ms. Jessie's products. I chose the Curly Pudding.

For years I have been hearing rave reviews, opinions of styling costs and ownership quirks aside, about how good the products were. How they really defined and softened nappy curls/coils, and how effective they are at turning our "kinks into curls," yadda yadda yadda. Oh, the mystique surrounding these products is heavy. Over the years (2 years fully natural in August, 4 years contemplating in November) I have wanted to try these products but I just couldn't stomach paying $58 and now $38 for them. I'm not cheap by no means. I just didn't want to be disappointed nor did I want to become a product junkie AND be out half a c-note.

I paid the shipping for the product last week and got it in about 4 days. Kudos to Motown Girl for such fast shipping. I condish washed on Wednesday and then put some Curly Pudding in while wet. Since I use Giovanni Direct-Leave In as my staple, I didn't see a noticeable difference in the definition of my tiny coils. I wasn't deterred though. That evening I decided to do some dry medium-fat twists and rolled them on sponge rollers to set overnight. The next morning I unrolled and untwisted and this is what I got:

... a puffy frizzy mess. My hair was shiny and defined when I took the rollers down. But baby! When I went outside to take these pics, my hair pouffed and became crispy-like. I can't say that my hair was dried out, but it did become crispy, as if I had too much gel on it.

That night I retwisted it (without adding more pudding) and wore it up in a twist pull back. The twists seemed to expand and separate. It also was shiny but not silky. Which is what I'm normally used to with my twists. To sum it up, I think I may give the remainder of my sample to a friend who is considering the natural life. She has curlier hair than mine and it may work well for her. A couple of kudos though. It sure smelled good and the consistency was nice. I'm sure it works great for some, but it's just not for me.


Friday, March 16, 2007

Fat-Bottom Bag & The Yarn Lady

I had the pleasure of going with my new friend Rhonda to a number of shops today. We made a day of hitting consignment shops in Corona Del Mar and Laguna Beach. Slipping in and out of posh stores with their barely worn garments of the likes of Pucci, Blahnik, LaCroix, St. John and the venerable Gucci. I loves me some Gucci, but I was very happy that nothing struck my fancy so much that I would yearn to whip out a credit card to take it home with me. I've been avoiding shopping since I'm now on a budget and the only reason Ms. Rhonda got me out today was because the original plan was to hit a new LYS called The Yarn Lady. I'm so happy we made these detours on the way. I really enjoyed our trip and the great company.

I'm a bit of an oddity in the knitting/crochet world. I don't really have a yarn stash, nor do I aspire to. I like to buy yarn for projects and finish the projects. I hate remnants, which I guess stems from my sewing days. I like to buy the amount of yarn needed, work it, and move on. Maybe it's because I don't have a lot of storage space or because I can't justify buying yarn to stash on my budget. I'm also a bit of a minimalist in my design aesthetic. Everything needs to have it's proper place and not look messy or bleed onto other things. But look what I bought today! 3 hanks of Berrocco Cotton Twist in a sunny yellow and 1 ball of Tahki Dream in a creamy light green. I plan to make the Fat-bottom Bag (seen here on the home page) by Julie Holetz, from the "Happy Hooker" book with it. I will be enlarging the bag and doing a slight color variation, but I can't wait to see how it will turn out. I expect to hook it up starting tonight and hopefully have the needlework done by tomorrow. I then will have to go out and find a nice lining for it and some great handles.
Wish me luck! I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

And So It Begins...

I for one would never have thought that I would have a blog. I was too interested in reading the musings of others in theirs. Well the blog bug has finally bit and I'm jumping in feet first with great excitement to be able to share the happenings of my life.

As my profile says, this blog will include a lot of info about my knitting and crochet projects and the goings on in the string world, as well as information on natural hair care, my journey, what I've learned and were I plan to go. Me and my hair that is. I hope to also just share in the serendipity that is my life. Some boring, some blase, while others most definately comical.

I hope this can be a place of exchange and sharing. So jump in with your comments. The lemonade is free and so are the laughs, but you must bring your own comb and sticks!