Helllooo!

What’s been happening and a special offer!

Time flies when you’re having fun, or so I’ve heard. I have discovered that time flies no matter what you’re doing…unless you’re in labor. Then it stretches out, becomes compressed, goes backwards, and you have no idea what the hell time it is nor do you care. All you want is the pain to be over!

Ok. I wasn’t expecting that analogy. It’s been 32 years for me! I guess some things never go away – like my coffee cups. I’ve uploaded a vignette about my “issue” regarding coffee cups. When does it become hoarding?

As far as my knitting and crocheting goes, I am still working on my temp blanket, and still working on my one pair of socks. *sigh*

The crafts season this year is up in the air, and I believe that’s going to be all online. Yuck. I like being at the fairs, talking to people and recruiting new yarn fans! I also like seeing the mixed reactions to my products – they’re not always complimentary, but they’re always interesting.

And now I’m going to hit you with a double plug – ack! For my olla podrida boutique, graphic designs with a retro flair, use this coupon to receive 10% off your total order on anything in the shop from June 25th to July 24th. You can only find here. https://www.etsy.com/shop/ollapodridaboutique?coupon=BLOGFIND

Bitchin' beach tote!
Who doesn’t love a surfin’ pineapple?

And the same offer applies at my Nittin’ Ninja Grahic Designs for the Yarn Obsessed shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/NittinNinja?coupon=BLOGFIND

Embrace the morning grumpiness!
A perennial favorite!

Thank you so much for checking out the specials! If nothing interests you right now, check in the future and please SHARE. I do update with new designs and ideas on a regular basis, so there will probably be something new next time you visit.

See you in the funny pages!

Selling Like Hotcakes, or an unabashed plug

While everyone about me is doing something constructive with their extra time, I’m sucking on sour persimmons!

Yes, it’s been awhile. My life has been less than stellar, so I didn’t think I would bore you with the details! Everyone is writing about their quarantine time and how they’re effectively handling it by making the most out of the down time.

I have not done this. I signed up for some expensive classes on Coursera and didn’t take them. I mapped out a plan for my overgrown lawn; haven’t finished it. Hell, I haven’t even been working on that many knit or crochet projects. When all of humanity is making lemonade out of the lemons we’ve been handed, I’m suckin’ on the rinds. What gives?

There has been an interesting development in one of my Etsy shops. I have always loved the bear hugging California design. I discovered there’s no copyright, and it’s a freebie. So I downloaded the image, made some changes, slapped it on to some products, and they have been selling like mad! If you want this design, click on the pic immediately below.

Here I am, sporting the beloved shirt. I actually made a local sale while out and about in it!

So, if you know of someone who loves California like I do, if they live here or not, send them this info – please!

In the meantime, I will endeavor to finish one pair of socks – see why I don’t like resolutions made around the New Year? – and I need to show off the quick and easy scarf I made with the cotton yarn I bought in Oahu ~

Yes, I am wearing my bear hug tee as I write, yes, I am tiki-mad and feature tiki designs in my shop, and yes, I am still sporting the quarantine hair!

So what have you been up to?

See you in the funny pages!

Oahu, Snowmageddon, And The Apocalypse – Frig Off!

 

 
Hey, everybody. I hope this belated post finds you healthy and, if not exactly happy, at least not panicked. It’s been almost two weeks since my husband and I have returned stateside, and I have been seriously struggling with how to write this entry. I’m tired of grim; I’m tired of fear; I’m tired and extremely saddened to hear about people dying. I can’t even imagine what those families are going through.

 So…how does one write a light-hearted vignette while ignoring the elephant in the middle of the room? Lets start with crafting – the blog is called Nittin’ Ninja, after all. I did have a few days where I totally ignored anything even remotely crafty, like when I was in Oahu. Understandable there. It’s just when I came back from the island a day early to fight a snowstorm to get home and discover we were without power for three days and all the media shitstorm about COVID-19 had people panic shopping so there wasn’t anything on the shelves. You would think that would be perfect for crafting, but it wasn’t. I couldn’t wrap my mind around anything wonderful or artistic. I felt totally numb.

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We hadn’t even gone home yet from disembarking the plane…
 
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Before shoveling the snow…
 

But…I realized I needed to catch up on my temperature blanket- I was already 8 days behind. I had to keep making my blanket. So I picked it up, and three days at a time, I caught it up – tada! While playing catch-up, I also started work once again on this cute crochet top I had started while in Oahu.

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The temperature blanket that may well have saved my sanity!
 
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The cute shirt as of 03/27 in the morning.
 

And then, to make things feel almost a little more normal – but not really – I received a skein of ooey, gooey, squishy fingering weight yarn I’d ordered before Hawai’i. Yay!!!

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I’d pre-ordered this wonderful skein and totally forgotten about it when I got it in the mail
 

So, still not normal, but definitely better. I do need to mention that while in Oahu I made some new yarn friends.

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OMG – I just remember that I forgot their names!
 
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What – you didn’t think I was going to go into a yarn shop and not buy some yarn?
 

You may notice that there are Christmas decorations interspersed with all the wonderful yarn? The owner, Sylvia Kruse, has merged two concepts here, and strangely enough, it works. Check out her FB page Yarn & Needlecraft Strictly Christmas!I think for the rest of the post, I’m going to do like I did last time and throw some pics out there for you to enjoy and call it quits for today! Aloha!

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On the way to the plane with my hubby!
 
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First-class bathroom! We were able to upgrade both ways! ;-D
 
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I absolutely loved these two attendants, and I told them as much…
 
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…so they very specifically gave me a plumeria to tuck behind my ear when I disembarked! ❤
 
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Started on the plane.
 
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What a spread! (yea, newbie to First Class flying – shut up!)
 
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Whale watching!
 
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I mean…look at that! And the locals are probably so tired of this view!
 
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More Christmas-ey yarn!
 
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Beach…
 
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Drenched after a walk on a trail!
 
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Again with the Hawai’i hair! LOL!
 
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Haleiwa Harbor
 
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Crazy Canadian, Angie! She was wearing a sweater and cowboy boots! Hey, girl!
 
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Mandatory moco loco!
 
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At Dole Pineapple Plantation. Just had to get a picture of the sky, so blue, and the flora, sooo green!
 
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The maze map – we found all the secret stations!
 
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Pearls for my daughter, a June baby.
 
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Fantastic tree in a parking lot – !
 
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And these brilliantly colored feral chickens were everywhere on the North Shore.
 

Mahalo for reading, and stay healthy – please!

Reno, Jimmy Beans Wool, Live Outlaw, and Oahu

What happens when a lazy blogger packs in three months worth of stuff…at least the stuff she remembers!

We’re officially in a countdown to leaving for Hawai’i! Last year we visited the Big Island; this year, we’re going to do Oahu, the North Shore area. I’ll be visiting a yarn store while there, and I wanted to do a live broadcast and possibly an interview with the store owner. Last year, I missed the store owner at the yarn store and that whole thing went kinda flat, so I just took a few pics of the inventory. Lovely stuff, though.

So far, I’ve written a letter asking permission to do all this, so we’ll see.

In the meantime, life, and all its unexpected twists and turns, goes on. Nala my rescue chihuahua, broke into some Valentine’s chocolates just before our overnighter in Reno and we rushed her to the vet. She was given an emetic and barfed her way to wellness!

On the way home in-between bouts of throwing up.

She was feeling better after several hours of napping, but I continued to hover over her to make myself feel better because it sure didn’t do her any good!

You may be wondering why Reno features so prominently in the title, when in fact, Oahu should be the mainliner. Well, if you’re a fan of yarn, and I assume you are if you’re reading this!, Jimmy Beans Wool is synonymous with Reno, and no trip there would be complete without a visit…where I spent waayyy more money than I should have. I indulged in a Namaste Maker’s Backpack, in red, of course, some delicious Peruvian yarn and customized stitch markers. Do I regret it? Nope. Not a smidge. So, yea. We’re good!

Recently, Live Outlaw, formerly Outlaw Soaps, who I work for (or is it for whom I work? *shrug*), moved from the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountain range in Northern California to Reno for several valid reasons, but all I cared about was that they were moving away from ME! Wah! I wanted to check out the new warehouse and pick up some goods. Danielle Vincent, CFO and general badass, gave me the grand tour, and all I got were these two pics! Way too busy chatting!!

A quick plug, if you want to try some truly unique and badass soap, click on the link in the above paragraph. It’s no risk because they have an excellent 100% customer satisfaction guarantee. In fact, there are quite a few 5-star reviews where the customers returned the product but were incredibly happy with the customer service. It’s a win-win. One of the reasons why I work for them – that, and I get free goodies!

Ultimately, it was my continued journey in the Trailer Park Boys fandom universe that acted as the catalyst in getting us to Reno. Pat Roach is touring the West and East Coast of America doing Randy’s Cheeseburger Picnic. Yay! BTW, if you’re not already a fan, you may not get this, sooo, follow the link at your own risk! LOL

So, we actually had fun in Reno, and I suspect this will not be the end of our forays there.

OMG – he wore the hat in a promotional video! Squee!!

And to wrap it all up, I give you a picture of my temperature blanket, in progress until the end of this year ~ ta-daaa!

This is going to be large. Not sure I like my choice of colors, now. LOL!!

See you all in the funny pages!

A Month In And A Month Away

I am really enjoying this temperature blanket I’m making. It’s a little over a month in, since I started it on January 1st. As it shapes up underneath the hook every day, I really want to push it forward. I think the discipline and waiting for every day to do one row at a time is actually a good idea! Unlike other projects that I start hotter than an asteroid entering our atmosphere then burn out midway through, this is a metered attempt. I hope I’m able to finish it!



🏝And we’re about a month away from Hawaii – again! This time we’re going to Oahu and stay in a converted garage on the North Beach. It won’t be the same experience as far as being in a jungle and having all the amenities but I figured we hardly spent any time in that wonderful little cabin. I would have liked to spend just one day enjoying the scenery there, but we had so much to do that we spent most of it on the damn road!

I also need to get started on the design for a scarf. Last year I went to the Bahamas about this time and I was able to go because of one person. I mentioned her last year and I’m going to mention her again. Her name is Danielle Cotton and I want to make her a scarf design that means something to her. Kind of hard. I worry that by the time I finally get around to making this scarf she’s going to be in her eighties and I’m gonna be dead!

In the meantime, we’re going to go see Randy Bo-bandy at a Cheeseburger Picnic in Reno! Yes, you may have guessed this is a trailer park boys related production. I saw him on the cruise last year and he was hilarious! I hope it’s as funny this year.🤩😍

So be on the look out for Hawaii pictures again! I have heard that Oahu is a totally different experience and we’re gonna find out!

A Cute Knit Freebie and a Change of Plans

In my last entry I said January was going to be a month for knitting socks.

That hasn’t happened.

A friend of mine owns Homie Joe’s, a diner right off I-80 that serves tacos, rice, beans, burritos, quesedillas, etc., and they are busy. What’s happening right now is the ski crowd coming up from the Bay area are stopping here to eat. And, according to my friend, they’re always complaining that they forgot their hats.

Of course, no one wanted their pic taken.

You see where this is going, right? My short selling season has been extended! I’m making ok sales, but what I like, is that I’m not tending a stall for 6 hours or longer! I just go in (which I’m planning to do in about an hour), check to see if I have any cashey-money, stock new items, and we’re done!

Love my clever friends!

I am also working on a website for a new client, and working on content for an existing client. I think my little biz may be growing? As for the graphic designs sales, that’s fallen a little flat. May be my designs aren’t that great, or my market is too niche? We’ll keep trying different angles. In the meantime, here is link to my Etsy shop (!!) if you would kindly share it. ❤

Ah, nothing like a plug.

The upside, at least for those of you who follow my occasional posts, is that I have a freebie beanie pattern – woo-hoo!

Super cute, easy, and just in time for Valentin’s Day.

What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

See you in the funny pages!

Early New Year’s Yarn Resolutions

When you want to make a resolution that will stick, turn to your trusted hobbies…like yarn!

It’s that time of year, when the magic of the season is winding down. With one big hooplah left, my thoughts have turned toward the new year and the much-hated resolution time.  I have written about the futility of this practice before, especially when it comes to life-changing practices. It’s great to review your life and make tweeks here and there, but expecting to lose those extra 10, 20, 30 pounds or write the Great American Novel may be a stretch.  For me, those aren’t the kind of decisions made during New Year’s.  What’s your process, if anything?

Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!

So I’m making a resolution that I should be able to stick with. For January, I am going to wallow in yarn indulgence and make nothing but socks. I have drawers full of fingering weight yarn that are stuffed. I have nowhere else to put the fluffy, gooey wonderfulness, so I’m going to do what nature intended, damnit!

Having said that, my first two sock projects are being made with worsted and bulky yarn, in that order!

As for sock building technique, I am so married to the concept of cuff down, I don’t know if I’ll honestly ever try toe-up. I know, there are those of you in Yarnlandia that are die-hard toe-up fans and you’re huge advocates, and that’s ok. I just don’t like the increasing part of it – I’m a decrease kinda gal. My focus, instead, will be stranding or the fair isle technique when possible. I have seen some beautiful works of art intricately worked into a pair of socks, and that is my ultimate goal. To get there, I just need to keep practicing, because apparently, I’m not a natural – but that’s never stopped me from doing something I want to do!

As for my online graphics business, I’m still waiting for the “surge” – ! If you’re old enough to know what I’m talking about, bless you! LOL! And I do appreciate any of you sharing the link. It’s the digital version of “word of mouth”!

This shop is for those of you who don’t like Etsy! I know there are a few of you out there. 😉 https://inktale.com/nittinninja

For those of you who prefer Etsy, or just don’t care! Remember, if you’re not into the product concept, please share it so someone who would like it can view it! https://www.etsy.com/shop/NittinNinja

I also plan to do it this year – I promise! I’m finally going to make a temperature blanket for 2020. Tomorrow, I’m going to battle the post-Christmas crowds and make my way down to Joann’s in Roseville – ugh! – and get my yarns.

These are my temp ranges and colors. Didn’t want to get too complicated on either. I’ve seen some charts that break down the temp by five degrees and have 16 different color variations. I will be using the crochet moss stitch and starting on January 1st. Wish me luck!

So there you have it; some resolutions that will be easy to obtain! Yay! What do you have lined up for the next year?

Crafts Fair Season Over And I Killed My Back!

…but not really. I just forgot to take my wonderful chair with me to Cornish Christmas in Grass Valley last night, so I was on my feet, hauling heavy stuff and starving for about 6 hours. How do those of you who work in jobs where you stand for about 8 hours a day…live? To be fair, I’ve had back issues since I was in my robust teens, and live with some kind of pain on a daily, but DAMN! And since I’m wracked up here, I figured I’d make an entry – lucky you.

These are random pics of the event, and the kindly gentleman with the senior chihuahua dog allowed me to take a pic. I couldn’t resist – look at that little sweetie in a Santa outfit!

I must admit that this is the second year running that we haven’t put up a tree. Mind you, I do have some simple decorations scattered here and there to remind me that, yes, it is the Christmas season, but a tree? Since I’m not buying anything for my husband, and my daughter’s gift was digital, I didn’t want to mess with it. Am I turning into that older person you know who doesn’t decorate for anything because they’re just waiting to die? Shit, I hope not! I don’t feel like it, I’ve just got other things going on – none of which are worth mentioning! LOL

I’m full of piss and vinegar today, so I’m also going to add some eye-candy for the fiber artists out there.

Cool, huh? And now that the crafting season is over, I can work on something of my own. I think I’ll make some socks, and not use the Vanilla Latte pattern that I, literally, always use.

What’s going on with you guys? You about done with Christmas and the holidays?

Of Yarn Crawls, Craft Shows, Re-Imagining, And A Snowy Thanksgiving

Here we are, staring Christmas in the face, and I am, yet again, in the middle of the busy craft season. I started building up my inventory in August, but I think it looks woefully small…again. I should have started in June, but I don’t feel like spending the better part of the year, and my life, making stuff for sale. I like wearing the stuff I make *pout*.

Adopting our newest family member from the shelter!
My new baby and a sweater I knit

Conversely, no one is putting a gun to my head and forcing me to do this. I feel that selling my goods is a way to not feel like a freeloader in my house. Along with my writing gig at Outlaw Soaps that I mentioned a few posts back, I realize that, yes, I am contributing, but it doesn’t feel like enough.

In the spirit of that thought, I decided to up my game with my graphics. Rather than keep them in the limited world of Cafe Press, Zazzle, etc., I have re-imagined my Nittin’ Ninja brand. I now have shops on Etsy, Inktale, and Bonanza platforms. Still working on loading graphics – did not realize how much time it would take! However, if you’re interested, click on those links! If this isn’t your cup of tea, do me a solid and share the goodness, please! This is a very limited niche market, and I’m just trying to spread the word at this point. Thank you guys!

On to other stuff!

After many years of reading about yarn crawls and wondering what they were like, our area LYS finally got it together. Of the 11 participating shops, I made it to only three before I ran out of money!

Map of Sierra Nevada 1st Annual Yarn Crawl
Those three pins look sooo lonely!

As you can see, I will have to pace myself. I had actually planned to hit up at least 6, but there were other events going, such as the Colfax Railroad Days event that happens every year.

While there, I purchased some fiber art from really cool people.

Beautiful mandala work from Bohemian Designs by Silvermoon Regalia (artist not pictured. She had to go take care of her children while her mother and husband manned the shop!)
Local folks having a laugh

Those both pics are from October, and a lot of the merch has been sold and replaced with new stuff – yay!

Taking a break from shoveling a track for the tires on our slanted driveway!
The view from the other side…

And this was Thanksgiving. Three hours of scraping and fighting to get the Subaru up the driveway – but I freakin’ did it! And I still managed to gain weight!?

What’s everyone else up to these days?

Weekend

When two middle-aged women find wooden blocks at a crafts store.

Hey, my knittahs and crafters! Don’t you love this time of year? Yea, it’s still hot, it’s still summer, but August is to the knitting and crafting world like Friday is to the weekend. The anticipation of cool weather means you’ll be able to follow your passion full-goose bozo style!

Southwest Salad at Noodles
Of course we had to eat before exerting so much energy, searching for yarn!

Yesterday, my friend Donna and I went to Joann’s Crafts and Fabric and had a little fun there. I need to remember that not everyone is on the same energy or interest level as myself when it comes to yarn or knitting. There was a class going on, and I just ran right up and said Hey what’s everyone doing? and I screwed up someone’s stitch count.  She didn’t look too pleased; in fact, she looked kind of pissed. I backed off immediately, then laughed when Donna said, We’re gonna get kicked out!  To further that concept, we happened upon some wooden letters that spelled out the word PENTS.  So, you know what I had to do – I switched out the letter T with the letter I.  We giggled like teenagers, snapped a pic, then quickly walked away.  Yeah, it’s fun to be our age!

Being juvenile at Joann's!
tee-hee
Yarn I hope to transform into great art.
Yea, the veritable mountain of yarn I purchased

Part of my seasonal frenzy includes me rewriting an easy pattern for a rolled brim hat.  While annotating my “improvements”, I’ve discovered that I really like to use the continental style of knitting. After 33 years spent using the throwing method, suddenly, I’m switching hands!  Does that mean I’m going to be using the continental style for everything? Or does it mean I’m just working so heavily on the fair Isle technique that it’s starting to feel more comfortable? Either way I’m embracing it and just going with the flow.

Rewriting pattern for Rolled Brim Beanie while making it.  Love the stripes!

Last year, I had written a lot of patterns that I was going to publish; This year, I will endeavor to get all of them out. It happens! In the meantime, I still must edit my Kitchener stitch video. Damn! Does it seem like I have of a lot of pending projects going on?  I’m always so amazed by crafters who have young children and manage to put out patterns, blog posts, and video tutorials on a regular basis.  In particular, I’m thinking of the ladies behind Whistle and Ivy and Repeat Crafter Me; they have little children and they their output is pretty spectacular.  Oh, I know there are many more working moms out there, but those two came to immediately.  They must have very supportive husbands!

On that note, I’ll end this entry.  See you in the funny pages.