And The Winner Is…

The drawing for the fairy wings.
Drumroll please!





Congratulations, Whitney!

Hey Knitters! HELP!

Yesterday, I cast off the neck edge for Ellette’s vest, held it up, and groaned.  The neck is not drapey – not at all.  It rolls and looks heavy and old-lady-ish.  Not at all what I had in mind for the birthday vest.  I want something flowy and fun and summery.


I stretcehd the neck as much as possible, pulled it in toward the center, stared at it, asked the others in the house what they thought, wondered if I should wait until I see it on Ellette before I make any decision but decided that would sort of ruin the birthday surprise.


The back, at least, turned out exactly the way I wanted it.  The diamond lace pattern is gorgeous.


But the front?  No way! So, all of you knitters and crafters out there – what are your thoughts?  What would you do?  Should I steam block and hope the fibers relax?  Should I rip it out entirely and do a different stitch pattern?  Should I rip back only a few inches and add increases in key areas?

I have 3 days left!  HELP!

One More Day to Enter the Giveaway!

Don’t forget about the beautiful wing giveaway I have for this month.  The winner will be picked at random tomorrow, but you have to follow certain instructions to be entered.



This is a charming set of wings that I want to send out into the world to show my appreciation for all of the wonderful people in my life (including you, reader!)  They are made of a heavy silk-ish fabric with purple chiffon/organza peeking through.  A purple spiral wire accentuates the center of these wings.



They flutter and flap as you move and breeze captures them.  The tie comfortably around your shoulders or by sliding down the back of a dress/bodice for a strapless appearance.


This is the important part!  To enter the competition:

I am giving you three chances to make them yours. Each action is an additional entry into the random drawing.

1) Follow this blog

2) Reblog this post

3) Share this post via a social media site (Facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc.)

Then, leave me a comment on the original post saying that you did one (or all) of these entry requirements and your name will be added to the hat.

If you are already following the blog and would like to be included, leave me a comment letting me know!

Thanks and good luck!

5 Days And 2 Inches

Last night, I seamed the shoulders of Ellette’s vest, picked up all of the stitches for the neckline and started knitting.  These are really long rows now, and I want the neck to be very drapey, which means the band needs to be at least three inches, if not more.


I am also not feeling too hot – sinuses and a little achy – so work has been slow all around.  I can’t seem to focus on any one thing, and found myself just staring at the needles at one point.  There is a lot of tea in my future.  At least the neck does not require lace or counting – nothing fancy for this one, which is good because I probably would have given up in fevered despair.

A Lazy Crafternoon

This Sunday, I hosted a “crafternoon.”  This is a concept inspired by another blogger (and for some reason right now I can’t hyperlink to that blog).  I have been wanting to host a craft party for some time, and I finally set a date and invited people over with no real plan in mind.  The only caviat was that you had to be working on your own personal “craft” at the party – bring something creative, inspiring, helpful, etc. 


I finished and blocked the baby skirt for Jeana and Ellette’s birthday vest.  Then, I wandered around a little aimlessly, so engaged in conversation and laughter that crafting was difficult.


Granted, I was also distracted by my adorable goddaughter – here you see our cat Pyggy being introduced to a tiny human for the first time ever.  He was very curious.


Jeana’s mom worked on the baby bodice for this summer’s impending Renaissance Festival.  I think her outfit is going to be irresistable!  What a lucky girl.


Craft was defined fairly loosely, so people brought snacks to prepare (culinary crafting), music to practice, and someone even took apart my hand crank espresso machine to find out what was wrong with it (what we thought would be a $15 fix is quickly become a $200 one….hmm….)



The kids had a blast, as well.  There were tons of projects for kids to work on – from drawing to beading and anything else they could wrap their imagination around, but they decided that playing dress-up would be the most fun.  We have the perfet house for it, too, because my fairy costumes kind of litter every room.


A different kind of dress-up and craft took place at one point.  My friend Arielle, who is an art student, needed to do a particular type of project in which she needed a live model to sketch from.  Her theme was “urban legends” and she chose the razor blade in Halloween apples, and used Ellette as her subject.  Ellette thought it was mostly fun, until Arielle squirted her with fake costume blood.  It was a rather dark addition to the party, but we all found it interesting.  And then Ellette started glaring at all of us and we couldn’t stop laughing.


There was some knitting, but the most yarny thing happening was Caitlin – the friend every knitter should have – who wove in the ends on my Tech Square Afghan.  I have no excuse not to finish now.  It just needs a couple of embellishments and it’s done.


It was a wonderfully productive, inspiring day and I am so blessed to have so many amazing, talented people in my life.  I am hoping to make the crafternoons a reegular occurance, and maybe even create themes or tutorials for the future.

Another Saturday

My students really like the idea of choosing which trick to photograph for the blog, so we are going to keep up our Saturday posts.

Today, we worked on the silk sling. This is the apparatus my 7-10 year old girls are using for their spring recital. They were all very pleased with themselves today for finally mastering this trick.



That Darned Scarf

Bound off over the weekend and only today managed to throw it in a bath.  The fibers really softened and stretched in the warm water, which is exactly what I was hoping they would do.  It is currently hanging up, drying, and needs a few ends woven in before it is complete.


I am relieved I can finally focus the majority of my attention to other projects – like the vest for Ellette.

Beginning the Countdown

Ellette’s birthday is approaching faster than I would like to admit.  I still maintain that nothing makes you feel older than having children.  They grow so quickly, and surprise you all the time, that you don’t realize how much time has passed until it slaps you in the face with some witty remark by your offspring.

All Ellette asked for this year was a doorbell (for the apartment, not her room) and a puppy (which we do not have the space or finances for at this moment).  My response was to dig through my stash and start knitting.



This is a flowy vest type thing that will have a drape neck to it once it’s completed.  For now, it has a beautiful diamond lace pattern on the back and solid fronts.  That front that looks mostly done – yeah, I have to rip it out because I am not satisfied with the rate of decrease I went with for the neck edge.



It is getting difficult to work on at this point because she is getting wise to what I am making.  She doesn’t know this is for her, thankfully, but now I can only work on it after she goes to bed – which leaves me with a horrible sleep deficit.  I have the last bit of two fronts to do, then blocking, seaming, and picking up and knitting the collar.  I am not sure what to do to the bottom hem, if anything.  I want it to have a nice drape without being heavy, so maybe I will leave it alone.  Or a single crochet edge ro prevent rolling?  Thoughts?

Oh yeah – I have 10 days to finish.  Start the clock.

Exploring Chicago’s Chinatown

This past weekend, Ellette and I began our monthly excursions into Chicago


We had a couple of friends with us, one for Ellette and one for me.  It made the hour long train ride bearable.


And then we arrived in Chinatown, and everyone was excited.


The Chinese New Year just passed, and Sunday was their festival and parade.  The neighborhood was packed but the general feeling of excitment and aniticipation was infectious.image


It was difficult to get really good pictures of the parade.  And it was cold, so standing around with my mittens off to take pictures was not ideal.  I did the best I could given the circumstances.







My favorite was the dragons.  I didn’t get a photo in time, but following the big dragons with the adults working them, there were three little kids in a tiny dragon outfit.  It was the most heart-wrenching thing ever and you could hear the collective sigh and “AWE” from the crowd as they passed.



The streets were so packed, and by the end of the parade we were all starving, it was difficult to find a restuarant without a long wait.  I eventually turned down a street that looked like it had been forgotten by the tourists and found a quiet little place – the Shanghai Bistro – and we ended up being seated right away.  We were sharing our large round table with 6 French tourists, which was interesting and kind of fun


And then the day was over and it was time to go home.  The kids continued to bounce off the wall, energized by excitement and cream cake.  The moms were trying not to fall asleep on the train.  It was a lovely day, and I can’t wait for our next excursion!  Any recommendations?


I don’t usually post on Saturdays, or the weekends in general. This is because all day Saturday is spent teaching 7 thru 15 year olds aerial arts. Sunday is then my resting day, when I sleep in late and laze around all day.

Anyway, I thought it would be nice to share a picture with you of what I do all day. I hope you like it!


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