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.
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.
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!!!
So, still not normal, but definitely better. I do need to mention that while in Oahu I made some new yarn friends.
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!
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!
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.
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.
…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?
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*.
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!
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.
Those both pics are from October, and a lot of the merch has been sold and replaced with new stuff – yay!
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!?
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!
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!
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.
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.
What happens when I die-hard yarner doesn’t participate in World Wide Knit in Public Day?
I had every intention of knitting in public on June 8, 2019, even if it was just in the damned park by myself. I didn’t realize until it was too ate that I had scheduled the Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch for a roadtrip to Truckee on that exact day. When I did find out what I’d done, I put public knitting on the itinerary.
That didn’t pan out; however, I did my part for the yarn industry by purchasing my first organic linen yarn and pattern by Quince & Company. The shop? Atelier in Truckee, California, a great place with art supplies and books in the front and yarn in the back.
All in all, I don’t feel too bad for not knitting publicly. I do it twice a week at the local Starbucks so I feel like I do my yarnly duty all the time. Besides, this was fun also. We’re now trying to figure out another venue for our next road trip, perhaps next month?
What did you do for World Wide Knit in Public Day?
As I pack up my minivan for the last show of the season, I am loathe to admit that, yes, I am glad that it’s over, and yes, I’ll be doing it again! I went all out this year, purchasing a canopy, lights to illuminate my wares for night time shows, a cool pink chair that has a lot of gee-gaws, including a fold out side area for my lunch, electronics, etc. I am pleased to say that my endeavors were able to cover the costs of the purchases I felt necessary, even though the money earned managed to disappear in the general household fund. How does that happen?
Anyway, with all this industriousness, I was able to write up a few of my own patterns and will be sharing them as soon as I can. The first one I have is very popular and doesn’t stay around long.
California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat
I named this hat after the California Quail because it’s little curved crest reminded me of the bobble stitches on the hat.
This pattern is worked in rounds with joins. When joining, sl st to the first st, and work first st in the new round in this spot. Here is a link for the method. It reduces the gaps when joining, giving the finished work a much neater look.
Yo = yarn over
Ch = chain
St(s) = stitch(es)
BLO = back loops only
Sc = single crochet
Dc = double crochet
Tr = treble crochet
FPSC = work single crochet in the post of the stitch directly below from the front
FPDC = work double crochet in the post of the stitch directly below from the front
1 skein worsted weight yarn
Crochet hook size I or 5.5 mm
Bobble stitch: work tr EXCEPT leave the last two loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat, leaving three loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat. There should be four loops on hook; yo, draw through all the loops.
With I hook (5.5 mm), ch 20, join with sl st to first ch to make a circle.
Round 1: ch 1, 24 sc into the circle. Ensure the sts are lined up so as not to twist them; join
Round 2: ch 2, dc in each st = 24 dc
Round 3: ch 2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next st* around, join = 36 dc
Round 4: ch2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next 3 sts* around, join = 45 dc
Round 5: ch 2, *2dc in first st, dc in next 5 sts* around, dc in last 2 sts, join = 53 dc
Round 6: ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row
Round 7: Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, *work 2 dc in first st, dc in next 6 sts* around, dc in last 3 sts (the last st will be half hidden because of the unusual join at the beginning of the round – don’t despair, it’s there!), join = 61 sts
Round 8: ch1, sc in BLO around, inc. 3 sts evenly, join = 64 sts
Round 9: ch 3,*Bobble stitch, 3 sc* around, join with chain on top of first bobble cluster
Round 10: ch 2 , dc in same st as the join, dc around, join
Round 11: ch 2, FPDC around, join
Round 12: ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row
Round 13: Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, dc around, join
Round 14: ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row
Round 15: Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc around, join
Round 16: repeat round 9
Round 17: repeat round 10
Round 18: repeat round 11
Round 19: repeat round 12
Round 20: Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc in BLO around, join
Round 21: ch 2, dc in BLO around, join and end off.
Optional earflap extension variation:
Row 1: Using last round as reference, DO NOT CUT YARN. ch 2, turn, hdc 30 BLO. Check at this point for position and comfort; if you need to go further, add a few sts at a time, if less, remove a few sts at a time. If more length is needed, repeat the row as you see fit. If you like what you see, follow next step.
Finishing: sl st into next st, turn, sl st across the row plus one. End off. This should round out the squared edges and give the hat a less “home made” look!
I don’t know about you, but when I’m feeling a bit down I find a good laugh helps a lot. I understand this sentiment is shared by virtually everyone, but the last several days, I’ve rediscovered just how true that is. I finally had to give up the ghost on my old Xanax stash as it had been prescribed back in 2007. Aware of the addicting properties of the drug, I’ve always been very careful how I took them. Even with the current opioid hyper-awareness – scare – witch hunt – what-the-fuck-ever! my doctor prescribed me several to help me get over a few things in my life. He said that opioid addiction was one of the things he wasn’t worried about with me. I definitely wasn’t on my toes, because normally I would have responded with, “So what does worry you?” *sigh* Most likely, it was a good thing I didn’t pursue that. Anyway, he’s a good doc and also a good chat, because he made me laugh during the course of our visit, and when I did, I literally felt some tension go away. Nothing in the world like that, so I thought I’d throw in some funny yarn memes to help spread the goodness!
For many knitters and crocheters in the northern hemisphere, September 22 is an auspicious date. Having taken a hiatus from the beloved craft because of the heat, September usually brings cooler temps, for some, only slightly, but it’s enough. Out come the hooks, the needles, patterns and yarn, and the crafting season is on!
I found this particularly cool crochet hat pattern while perusing Pinterest – of course! Originally designed in conjunction with Lion Brand yarns, Jennifer created this pattern for a Stomp Out Bullying campaign. I found it a bit too late to contribute, but I still had to make it. This is for a good cause, and even if we can’t send the hats in on time, we can sure spread some love.
Meanwhile, some lucky child of my friends’ will be getting this hat!