Friday, July 27, 2012

FO: Afghans for Afghans

Over the past couple months I have been knitting away at these "mindless" projects for Afghans for Afghans. Their current campaign is requesting knitted hats, socks and mittens in strictly wool. As next semester begins at school and seeing as I just received a huge donation of wool, this organization is going to the top of our action plan list. I will be creating a KAL group on Ravelry for anyone who is interested and I want to expand the scope of Knitting for Peace at University of the Pacific to anyone who wants to help our efforts. Throughout the year I find that I spend most of my time teaching everyone how to knit or crochet. So any outside effort would be greatly appreciated as we can make a bigger impact. A larger impact to not only Afghans for Afghans, but also to the local homeless shelter which we donated a large box of items to last year. Being as I am moving in ten months, I plan to essentially open a new "chapter" at the university I will attend. Until then, please let me know if you would be willing to help us in our efforts by leaving your email in a comment below!

Also a big shout out and thank you to everyone who read my post about Petra Anderson and donated to the cause. It really means a lot to me and you will see the benefits in giving returned to you. Some would call it good karma, but I truly believe in the philosophy that you always receive more than you could ever possibly give. Thank you.

For more finished objects visit Tamis Amis!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Jellyfish Scarf Pattern

Based off of the feedback that I received for the scarf that I made for my boss I've decided to share this super easy pattern with everyone!

This is a fast, simple and beautiful lacy scarf. Perfect last minute gift! (and that's speaking from experience, ha!)

Skill Level: Beginner
Gauge: I didn't make a gauge for this, I cast on an even number of stitches to the width I desired.

Yarn used: 
One Skein- Trendsetter Yarns DUNE Color 06 (90yds)
-another skein might be necessary for wider/longer scarves

Needle Size: 13 straights or desired size for bigger/smaller lace pattern.

Cast on 10 stitches.
Row one: K1, *YO, K2TOG (repeat from *until you reach your last knit two together and one stitch is left on the needle) K1
Repeat row one until scarf is desired length

Once finished cut desired lengths of yarn and create the tassles. Fold a piece of yarn in half, pull partially through edge of scarf using crochet hook or fingers and pull the two loose ends through the partial loop. Pull tightly to create a knot. Repeat until fringe is all along the edge of the scarf.

If you decide to make your scarf wider, cast on an even number of stitches to desired width and follow the pattern.

Please feel free to email me with any questions!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Ready to Believe for Petra

As many of you may already have heard, last Friday morning a shooter entered a full movie theater in Aurora, Colorado and opened fire. He killed 12 people and injured 58 in this horrific tragedy. If you haven't heard about what happened you can read about it on the Huffington Post.

The reason I am writing about this is because it hits close to home. One of my classmates at University of the Pacific was involved in the shooting. Petra Anderson was shot three times in the arm and once in the head that went through her brain. Due to a miraculous brain defect, the bullet traveled through a fluid filled passage instead of vital tissue. Because of this she is miraculously alive.

Her cure is my "work in progress" this week. Instead of sharing my knitting with you, my one a day, my works in progress, I'm sharing this instead.

But her family is facing very difficult times head of them. Her mother was recently diagnosed with terminal breast cancer and they are facing the very real horror of having to decide between treating Petra or continuing her mother's expensive cancer treatment.

While I never knew her personally, I saw her around campus constantly and she is a close friend with many of my friends. Its a very real experience to be so close to such a tragedy. So I am asking everyone if you could please visit this web site and donate whatever you possibly can. As little as $5 makes an impact, whatever you can spare. Forego a skein of yarn this paycheck and help someone out in need, someone with such a big heart and a promising music career ahead of her.

You can make a difference, not matter how small it may seem. Please donate whatever you can to help her family and others that were victims. As Petra's sister says in the video "Our family has been shaken by the events of last Friday but we have not been broken," she said. "We're watching heroes appear everywhere we look."

Please donate at the following website:

And please, please share this on every social media outlet that you can, Facebook, Twitter (#readytobelieve), ravelry, your blog, anywhere you connect with people.

Be a hero for Petra.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday/Yarn Along

When motivation to complete one project fails, see top right hand corner Shaw's cove, then the ultimate procrastination ensues: doing a little of everything.

I really needed a mindless stash-busting project and lately I've been inspired by Ivy at Pumpkin Spins and Evelyn at Project Stash to start a big blanket. A while ago my mom gave me her entire stash of wool (almost doubling my stash) and I've decided to make a large super warm entrelac blanket. Entrelac is mindless and easy in that I don't need a pattern and its enough to keep my interest.

Next, in the top part of the photo you will see the spinning I am doing for Tour de Fleece. Lets just say, there is a reason I'm not the team anchor, lol. But i'm trying, but its not happening. On the spinning note though, some of you may have seen that earlier tonight I posted that my knitting machine was for sell. I didn't think anyone would want to buy it and I already had someone contact me wanting it. So i'm using that money to save up for a spinning wheel! Soo excited!! I can't wait!

Lastly, the white fabric in the hoop is the beginnings of learning how to embroider. For several months now I've envisioned this intricate bag that mixes quilting, sewing, embroidery and applique and the last skill I need is embroidery.

I've got some good projects started now I just need to build up the steam to finish some neglected wips, oh and that shawl! And the neglected Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers that I am still reading!

I hope you all can join Ginny's Yarn Along and Tamis Amis's WIP Wednesdays.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Green Tea Frap Recipe

My idea of a relaxing afternoon is to curl up with a glass of tea, my knitting and some good music playing on my iPod. Lately with the hot weather I have been playing around with copying Starbucks Green Tea Frappuccino and I think I have finally mastered it!

Here is my recipe for a regular blended green tea and the soy non-dairy option (for lactose intolerant people like me!). Yields 3 to 4 servings. (If you want a venti size then maybe 2 servings).


Dairy option:
1 1/2 cups Half and Half (this mimics the creaminess of the base they use)
1 1/2 cups Milk (the closer to whole milk you use the creamier it will be)
3 tsps Matcha powder (I used The Tao of Tea's Liquid Jade 100% Organic Powdered "Matcha" Green Tea)
2-3 tbsps sugar (add to taste preference... you can also substitute Splenda)
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of ice (depending on how much ice you want)

Non-Dairy option:
3 cups Vanilla soy milk (from my experience their soy drinks aren't as "creamy" as the non-soy ones)
3 tsps Matcha powder (I used The Tao of Tea's Liquid Jade 100% Organic Powdered "Matcha" Green Tea)
I don't add sugar to mine because the soy milk is already sweet, but this is completely up to you, you can add sugar at your discretion.
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of ice (depending on how much ice you want)

*if you drink cows milk you can always use Lactaid milk  in place of soy milk and be sure to use the sugar.

Now to making it!

Blend Milk(s), Matcha and Sugar in a small pan on the stove at medium heat. I recommend using a whisk to blend the ingredients together. Stir until there are no longer any little clumps of matcha on the whisk. Heat until the powder is dissolved and then raise temperature until it reaches a simmer. DO NOT LET IT BOIL. Green tea has the highest flavor profile at 70°C(158°F)-80°C(176°F), if you boil it you will negatively affect the flavor of the matcha.

Remove from heat and pour into a large coffee mug. Place in refrigerator until mixture is completely cooled. The regular milk version will likely develop a skim on the surface, be sure to scoop this off before proceeding.

Once mixture is completely cooled, add 1 1/2 cups to 2 cups of ice and the mixture to a blender. Blend until the ice is completely crushed.

Next, pour your blended green tea frap into your favorite peace sign tumbler and enjoy! Be sure to keep it close at hand on any hot summer day while you're knitting!


The "frap" is not as green as Starbucks version, this is called "natural". I don't know what they use in their matcha, but any type I have used has never turned out that green. There is a Japanese brand at my local tea store I've yet to try, if it turns out greener I will be sure to post about it. And Starbucks does not sell their matcha powder to the public, and the concentrate they sell on their website is not the same as they sell in the store.

The "classic syrup" they add to your drink in the store is SUGAR, WATER, CITRIC ACID (E330), PRESERVATIVE: POTASSIUM SORBATE (E202). While the one you make yourself has no preservatives because of the sugar (splenda being an exception). You know exactly what you are putting in your drink. And as I mentioned before, you can make it sugar free if you are diabetic.

You can make a lot of the mixture ahead of time and freeze it in an ice cube tray and blend it up real quick when you're on the go. No ice necessary!

And the best of all, its cheaper! Although sometimes it is quite convenient to take a trip to the drive-thru and grab one... However, here is some food for thought: "The capitalist economic system requires all participants to simplify their thinking and behavior to pursue narrow goals: the most efficient, quick, cheap method, technology or form of organization. It is important to understand that although these goals are easy to understand, they don't really mean anything—they are means to an end, but the end itself (more stuff, more growth at the lowest cost) doesn't really have any ultimate meaning. Capitalism has no internal way to determine whether anything—including, in particular, constant growth and cheapeness—is actually good. In fact, on an ecologically finite planet, limitless growth is not good. Capitalist growth may kill us all if we can't somehow stop it soon. Just having more stuff does not make human beings happy or make their lives meaningful." (source)

Enjoy! Please feel free to leave a comment or email me if you have any questions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday/ Yarn Along

Two weeks have passed and I have yet to make much more progress on the Shaw's Cove shawl. This California heat is not conductive to finishing anything. The green peaking out of the yarn keeper is for a test knit that I keep having to frog. The pattern is turning out to be beyond me, but I think its the pattern to be honest.

I am halfway finished with a slouchy hat that I am making a friend I've known since the seventh grade. When that is finished, I am going to knit her son Rebecca Danger's new pattern "Basil the Boogie-Woogie Brontosaurus". What colors do you think I should use on it?

I need to get some motivation before the Ravellenic Games commence! I am on team Middle Earth (but of course!) and will be knitting Fellowship! The Shawl. I will be using a skein from my stash of Creatively Dyed Yarn's Calypso in a beautiful tonal green. Is anyone else participating?

As you can see, I am still reading Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. I highly recommend it, but then, I may be biased. ;]

I hope you all can join Ginny's Yarn Along and Tamis Amis's WIP Wednesdays.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Storage Idea #2: Yarn Keepers

If you are like me then you likely have several works in progress (wips) going at all times. This post is dedicated to yarn keepers. They also act as small portable cases (because another post is going to be dedicated to those wips in hibernation, in non portable cases and larger portable cases).

 First there are the yarn keepers that hold single skeins of yarn. The knitting bag I use is by Chica Bags and it holds a single yarn cake. There is a single grommet at the top to feed your yarn through. I like this bag because it keeps the yarn clean and the clear top allows me to see how much yarn is left. There is also a little strap on the back that makes it easy to transport.

Next is another yarn keeper that is slightly larger. It is large enough to hold several yarn cakes in it at a time as well as the current project I am working on. As you can see, it currently holds the Shaw's Cove shawl that I am working on. It also has a single hole at the top to feed the yarn through, but as I store my projects inside, I rarely use it. It has a handle as well. You can visit their website Stitchin' Post and contact them to see if sell them anymore. I bought mine almost five years ago!

 Next are the yarn keepers that we've all seen sold at chain stores like Joanns here in the US. This is the very first case I ever bought. It is big and tall enough to hold a skein of Fisherman's Wool in it by Lion Brand. Also it has a hole to feed the yarn through at the top. At the moment I have a crochet color project in hibernation shoved in it. They also sell this particular yarn keeper in a bigger version as well.

Sometimes I store the project I am working on in this as well. However, I tend to use softer bags more-so because I can fit them in a bigger bag or set them on top of my purse. But this is perfect for a fragile project that you don't want to worry about anything smashing it on accident.

Lastly we have the infamous "bag". I think we all have stored our wips in a bag at some point, whether its been a plastic bag or a handmade one as pictured above. This was a crochet bag that didn't turn out as i'd imagined but it works great as a project bag. The handle makes it portable and being handmade, it cost me around $2 to make, so its a cheaper alternative.

There are many bags to utilize for making your wips portable. The few mentioned above just happen to be what I use. However if you look up Chica bags, Lantern Moon or any other yarn keepers you are sure to find one you like. In the future, once my sewing machine is working I also have some designs planned for these types of bags that I plan to sell.

In the mean time, what type of yarn keepers/ small portable bags do you use for your wips?

Friday, July 6, 2012

FO: Baby Sheep Stitch Markers

Yesterday I blogged about how to store your notions. Well in today's post I'm going to share with you notions that my sister made! Introducing the first of many stitch markers to come!

These were absolutely impossible to photograph. Does anyone know what type of lens works best for close up images? I need better pictures for when I post these in my Etsy store! :]

However this is my personal herd of little sheep. I absolutely adore these stitch markers! Also she is designing some crochet stitch markers for all of you happy hookers!

When I finally defeat my current wips and the Ravellenic games are finished I'm going to do some silversmith work and make shawl pins. Also I am still working on those purse handles for knitted items as well as ceramic yarn bowls. So much to do and so little time! My baby (sewing machine) is currently out of commission so the needle cases have been postponed until she's all better.

Also this past week I did finish a bag, "Life's a Beach Tote"... still in the process of writing the final pattern up. I might carry some of these in the store, what do you think?

Make sure you check back this week for more great organization tips and ideas!

For more finished objects visit Tamis Amis.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Storage Idea #1

An issue that always comes up is how to store yarn, notions and all of those extra little things that come with any type of fiber art. This is the beginning of a series of posts designed to give you some storage ideas.

Photo Storage Boxes are a great way of storing all sorts of items. They are uniform in size and relatively cheap (around $4 each), and you can always find them at any chain craft store. You can easily switch the description with the metal holders on the front of each box. Most come in a variety of fun colors and prints.

I don't have a small stash but I do love these boxes to store the small accessories that come with knitting. As you can see in the box on the far right, I use them for the extra notions that accumulate. I have several pairs of circular needles, but not enough to make a case to store them in, so I put them in here. I also store the labels, bobbins, dpn needle holders, gauge ruler, buttons, zippers, safety eyes and other small things in this box. Its a great way to keep everything "knitting" accessory related in one place.

Also, they make great places to store fabric scraps. I don't have a large fabric collection so they are the perfect size for the small amount I do have. I also store the trims in the box that I use to embellish my knits as well as sewn items.

Lastly, they are the perfect size to store the drop spindles with my current works in progress. I don't have to worry about anything happening to my spindle, and I can keep the roving in the same place.

However, I recommend first that if you are like me, and you hold onto boxes such as shoe boxes and makeup boxes, that you utilize these first. Why? Well for starters they are free, and you can purchase a fat quarter of fabric for around $1.50 at Joanns. And it is completely customize-able, and you are helping the environment by re-purposing a box that would otherwise be thrown away.

The above box is from a mascara set I bought from Sephora. The box had no functional purpose for holding the makeup. It was one of those large boxes made purely for display purposes. So I covered the lid in fabric with Mod-Podge and glitter. Then I painted the bottom black. You can't even tell that it used to be a makeup box. And it was made exactly the way I wanted it to look, cheaper... and you will never find another one like it.

So if you are like me, and have some extra boxes lying around, I highly recommend you visit Pumpkin Spin's blog post about Hiding the Stash and follow her technique for covering your own boxes. And if you don't have the time to make your own then the photo boxes above area always a great alternative.

Have you ever made your own storage boxes or used the photo storage boxes?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

WIP Wednesday/ Yarn Along

Happy Fourth of July to everyone in the states!

For this work in progress Wednesday I only have a few things to show. I am still working on the purple and orange Shaw's Cove but I haven't made very much progress on it as of yet. I've found motivation difficult to come by and the pages of a good book all but too inviting.

That being said, I have started a couple of small projects. The first being some more of the Rose Quartz roving.

 The next wip is from Lion Brand's Sock-Ease yarn that the local Joanns had on clearance. Not that the colorways they have appeal to me but when I saw four skeins of marshmallow just sitting there at such a cheap price, I had to utilize the opportunity to test out some dying techniques.

Kool-aid was the inspiration for this dye job, although I'm not sure that I really like the color. In fact, until I knit it up, in wound up form it doesn't look any better than the colorways that Lion Brand carries. Also, Tropical Punch, Pink Lemonade, Mango and Grape smell absolutely horrid mixed together. But it did create an interesting colorway, to say the least. And my cameras refused to take adequate photographs of it. My phone captured the most accurate representation, but that isn't saying much.

Does anyone have any idea what I could possibly knit from this?

Currently Reading: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

I hope you all can join Ginny's Yarn Along and Tamis Amis's WIP Wednesdays.