Presenting…the Chicken Skodie!

chicken-skodie-3I do love the hood/cowl combo, so I decided to make another version of it -the chicken skodie! I don’t know about where you live, but chickens are real popular in my neck of the woods, so I thought, eh, why not?  Quick and easy to make like all the others, this will be someone’s favorite winter accessory.  Free for your use, if you do make to sell, just link back to me.

Enjoy!

Pattern

Knitting – machine or not?

Doesn't look like knitting

Doesn’t look like knitting

I made the mistake of signing up for a machine knitting group, thinking it was a regular knitting group.  I have just unregistered, but it got me thinking.  Again.  Am I knit purist or snob?  I don’t think using a knitting machine can be rightly considered knitting.  Is it even a craft?  I’m not dinging the people out there who love to do this.  I know it’s a lot faster to finish a project than hand knitting, but I also know it’s limiting.  I had purchased a machine about three years back because I thought for a minute that I wanted to crank out my own sweaters.  Then I went on YouTube and looked at some how-to videos.  It doesn’t appear to require a whole bunch of…technique.  Is that what a makes a craft?  Practice?  Discipline?  Does it take any of these things to use a knitting machine?  I have no idea, as my foray into the world of semi-automated knitting was short lived.  I didn’t even open the box; I returned it immediately.

Ah. There it is.

Ah. There it is.

I think it depends on why you’re using the machine.  My idea of making my own designs and then making the garment was valid enough; however, while waiting for the machine (I ordered it online), I realized that my passion was not for cranking out mass amounts of sweaters, but the act of knitting itself.  Feeling the needles in my hand, the yarn that seems to automatically wrap around my right hand fingers for tension, holding my mouth a certain way as I fight with a particularly difficult cable, the whole throwing vs. picking technique, continental vs. English, the mobility of it while you tote around your latest pair of socks, sitting around a table with other knitters while talking about knitting! – that’s knitting.

I would like to hear from both sides!  For those of you who use machines, do you use them exclusively or do you mix it up with hand knitting?  For those of you who hand knit, why did you start?  Was it a yarn thing, the finished product thing, a family thing…?  Let me know.

Seasonal Cash Idea for the Crocheters

shopping-card-of-moneyHey, everybody. It’s getting to be that time of year where some of us need a little extra cash. I discovered a decent consignment shop where I take my work and have someone else sell it.  The cut is a bit higher than I would like, but this shop really moves it because there’s a bunch of foot traffic. You pay for location no matter what, huh?

The finished product from my pattern

The finished product from my pattern

Anyway, I have found that my Foxy Hooded Cowl is a big seller.  As a crafter,  what makes this particular design so attractive is that it’s not tremendously expensive to make, is quick to work up (usually no more than three hours) and it’s just so darned cute it won’t sit on the shelves long.  You actually feel like you’re making some money, versus just paying for the materials!

Does anyone else do this on a regular?  What are your big sellers?  Do you mix up crafts?  Let me know!

Cold and Flu Season

As I sit here in the perpetual twilight of my house that is a Northern California winter, clacking away on the laptop, I let out a deep, bronchial

Oh, yea. I feel pretty.

Oh, yea. I feel pretty.  And yes, I have a great RBF.

cough that seems to reach back 10 years.  Oh, yea.  Hurts so good…  As the title suggests, this is about being sick.  Kinda.  Not really.  It’s just a segue.  But read on anyway.

I expect one cold a year, and this one is early.  They normally show up around January or February, so whatever this is, it was in a hurry.  Probably trying to run its rounds before the upcoming election.  (Ha!  Can’t get around that impending disaster about now.  And I also can’t shake the feeling that we’re being played to, and that the actors cast for their particular roles are not very good.)

So back to me, because this is my blog.

Have you ever started a project, let it set for years, brought it out, put it back and let it molder for another few years, and repeated that cycle?  Oh, you haven’t?  Well, bless you!  Because this project has loitered around my consciousness for close to a decade.  Sometimes it’s in the forefront, where I believe I’ll actually bring it out to play, the other times, it sits dormant for years, and then I’ll see something that reminds me, Oh, yea.  I need to work on that.  In an effort to get the damned thing done, I’ve brought it out of its hiding place in the upstairs closet, put it next to the stove in the family room and waited for inspiration to strike.  This ploy has worked a bit.  I’ve brought out my paints and dabbled here and there.

Like my knitting and crocheting, I prefer to work on my projects in a linear fashion, i.e., one project at a time, and if I’m stuck on one particularly difficult task, everything gets backed up.  So for close to 10 freakin’ years my painting groove has been backed up.  Must not be a serious thing for me, because you’d think I’d move on.  Honestly, I have sneaked in a painting or two since…actually several.  They went to a good friend of mine, Miss Pamela Fein (images not available), and my mother, who usually gets any decent* painting of mine.  Ok.  You got me.  I have been painting a little on the side, but I feel like this unfinished still life has been choking me and needs to be done.  Now.

Which brings me back to the sickness.  I’m over the worst of it, I hope, because I’m starting to drain.  I don’t feel like dancing a jig or going out to the costume tonight (damnit!  My husband and I were going to dress up as Bob and Linda Belcher.), but I do feel like…painting.  Being sick has forced me to stay indoors, where I would usually knit or crochet, but not today.

You may be asking yourself, Glenda, why are you telling us?  I would initially shrug my shoulders and play ignorant, but in all honesty, I think I need a boost.  What’s your long-running project that you finished?  What was it that made you think, Ok.  We’re done with having this hanging around, let’s finish it!  Was it writing?  Painting?  Crafting?  Woodworking?  Tell me!!  I want to hear your story.

See? We're almost there. Kinda.

See? We’re almost there. Kinda.

*Don’t judge!

Halloween Purse Pattern – Free until midnight of September 29th!

Front

My Halloween Purse poll got such a nice response, I decided to write a pattern for it.  Be warned – you will need a sewing machine.  Follow this link:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/halloween-purse

and use the code “halloweenfreebie” to download the pattern for free until midnight on September 29th.  Don’t forget, if you like the pattern but would like to use it past Halloween, just change the colors.  It’s a versatile, sturdy tote that will get you compliments – this has been field tested!

Enjoy!

Front

Front

My First Knit Blanket

So easy to make.

So easy to make.

With the days getting shorter, the leaves turning color, and here in California the rainy season has started, it’s easier to stay productive with

One day this little strip will grow up to be a comfy throw!

One day this little strip will grow up to be a comfy throw!

the yarn.  While I was making the Halloween Purse, I got a special request for some minion hats for Halloween.  Didn’t have a pattern, and since it was for my niece’s daughters, I threw in the pink.  Real simple.  And now, I’ve taken up my very first knitted blanket project.  Knitted, not crocheted.  I’ve made plenty of crocheted blankets because it just goes faster, but this is thicker yarn and I’m hopeful it will be done before Thanksgiving.  We’ll see.

 

Halloween Purse Finished

Gorgeous back

I just love Halloween. The change of the weather, the beautiful foliage and the giving out of candy to cute trick-or-treaters all go to make this my favorite holiday.  Because I’m such a fan, I decided to design and make my own purse to reflect this.  I used a spiral square to get the most effect for the colors, and I found a Frida Kahlo/sugar skull material for the lining.  The crochet portion went quickly, but the sewing portion was a nightmare – of course.  I must learn how to use this machine if I’m going to continue making things that require stitching!  Anyway, I was disappointed in the interior, but overall, I’m glad I did it and I’m going to use it until Halloween!!  Below is a poll – please answer!