Friday, December 10, 2010


This kind of made my day yesterday. I was going about my normal day, when I got an email (actually a forwarded PM) from someone who found my Leia hat project on a knitting site and wanted to let me know that the picture of the hat was currently on the front page of CNN. What!? I was kind of useless for the rest of the day.

The pic isn't on the home page now (I did get a screenshot (below - click to make bigger)), but the article is up (hat pic is in the slide show) and it's a really great article about Katie and all the support she's received. Totally worth a read.

The pic was also used on the Cake Wrecks blog in one of the funniest entries ever, Star Wars: The Next Generation. (Imagine trying to work out the plot of the Star Wars saga based only on how cakes were decorated.)

Today is "Wear Star Wars, Share Star Wars" day. Details on the Facebook page.

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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Brownie Pop Display

This summer, on another blog, I wrote about my experience making brownie pops (and the steps I followed). One thing I've struggled with is exactly how to serve/display the pops.

Because I make the pops the most basic way (add the sticks while baking), the bottoms are rounded, so the pops really need to be served brownie end up. I haven't had the patience to go through the steps needed to invert the process. Maybe the next time I make these, I'll give it a go.

A few weeks ago, I made some pops for a bake sale. Once again, I had to figure out how to display the pops. Somewhere online, I saw a picture of the pops displayed in a flower pot. I liked the idea but, to my surprise, the huge craft store I visited (the only one on my way home from work) had only terracotta pots, which I did not to deal with.

I found a planter that I liked, and a foam disk fit inside. I weighted it down with a bag of pebbles. It was almost perfect - I'd like it better if the foam was up a little higher, but for a practically out-of-the-box solution, it worked okay. (Sadly, they didn't sell well, so I'll stick to making them for parties.)

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Sunday, December 5, 2010

Pretty Tape, part 2

tape2Continuing from this post.

My order (placed on Tuesday) from TapeSwell arrived on Friday. So already, I'm impressed. The shipping was a little steep, until I considered the weight of the tape. And, like I said, the discount coupon code (link in previous post) helped make that easier to deal with. Since it arrived in 3 days, I have zero complaints.

This was a 2-roll combo pack. If you don't need the canister, order the rolls separately. (This was on sale, so it was worth it to pay just a tiny bit extra for the canister). In fact, if they're not on sale, I wouldn't buy the combo packs unless you're really bad at math (2 rolls of tape + empty canister = $16; combo pack, regular price = $20)

tape3I was pretty impressed with the packaging. The 2-roll set was in a clear drawstring bag (reusable), and the single roll and 2 blank containers were packed in a second bag.
tape1The test
As stated before, most of the decorative tape I've purchased isn't sticky enough. Most of it has required a strip of clear tape over it, so it may as well have been a strip of scrapbook paper. What I wanted was a tape that would add a bit of interest to my packages, but just stick on its own. (Not so much to ask.)

The Result?
So far, so good. I used 1 strip of the Faux Bois tape on the top and the bottom of the box (to ship my POS cell phone back) and waited several hours. By that time, most of the other tapes would already be lifting at the ends, and there is no indication that this will happen. I can't give rave reviews until I've used it a few times, but I'm cautiously optimistic.
Just for fun, I gathered up all of my packaging stuff. It doesn't all quite fit, so it has to be piled on top, but it's organized as neatly as possible (click on the pic to go to Flickr and see notes):

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Saturday, December 4, 2010

An Open Letter to LYSOs - Promotional "Goody Bags"

After the very disappointing goody bag I received some time ago at an LYS which shall remain nameless*, I started thinking about how many other cool things they could have done without a huge outlay of money. A lot of these would have the store's info. on them, to reinforce shop identity.

Back story: Some time ago, I attended an event at a Local Yarn Store (LYS), Around the same time, friends of mine attended several. At each of these, some kind of "goody bag" was promised. To keep this preamble short, let's just say that our combined experiences were less than positive: a couple of the stores had nice, or useful, bags, but the rest (and my experience matched this), appeared to be a way for the stores to offload all kinds of crap that hadn't sold. (And for good reason.) While talking about it with one friend, I started telling her about all kinds of ideas I had to create promotional hand-outs for my imaginary LYS (many of which were ideas I implemented for my Etsy shop when it was active). I realized, of course, that with the economy the way it is, the costs of the bags needed to be low. They also need to remind people where the goodies came from (something that the goody bag I received did not). The cost for these could be kept low, with time being the biggest investment. With planning, they could be worked on well in advance of an event. 

Goody Bag Ideas
Business Info is very important. Make sure that, at minimum, your store information (logo, website, address, etc.) is in/on the package at least twice: a business card with a stitch marker tied to it, a stamp or sticker on the bag, or a tag stapled to the top of a mini goody bag. If the bag is good, you do not want people forgetting where it came from, especially if they're hitting several stores in one day (shop hop kind of thing).

Cute (or clever) packaging is both fun and (in my opinion) essential. Size is not as important as quality. Doesn't have to be a big bag, or even all that fancy. Cute, clever, useful, memorable (in a good way) are the adjectives we're going for.

  • Get creative. A store I used to shop at (until the owners retired, happily) used (new) flat popcorn bags with their store info. stamped on it. These were used for small, flat items, but would make cute goody bags as well (fold over and seal with a label that has all the store info. on it). Mini shopping bags (3/$1 at the dollar store, probably less somewhere in bulk). That kind of thing. Chinese take-out containers totally rock. They're not cheap in small quantities, but I'll be a hundred or so at a go would garner a nice discount. Add a tag and shredded paper and you've got an adorable package.
  • Other packaging. Clear cellophane treat bags (sold in packs of 100 or so) with an easy topper, folded and stapled = adorable and memorable. Stick a couple of small, cute, USEFUL goodies in there, with a business card, coupon, etc. 
  • Not new, but always handy: needle index cards. Very easy to make. I used these as freebies with my first sales on Etsy, along with other things. Business info on the front of a business card, needle index on the back. Consider a crochet hook card, too.
  • Stitch markers. Shown here are a couple different kinds I've done for promotional use. All were original ideas of mine, although I'm sure they've been used by other people, coincidentally. (Great minds think alike.)
    A: simple marker in the acorn/gumball capsule with a tiny tag (acorn shaped) upon which was printed my shop's URL.
    B & C: Shrinky-dink markers. I've done 'nekkid guy' and some hand-drawn ones of my sheep character and an acorn. Some special materials required, but you can make tons of them with 1 package of good shrink material, permanent ink (contact me for specifics), a hole punch (1/8") and some jump rings. I punched 2 tiny holes in business cards and tied the mini acorn/sheep markers to the cards with string or thin ribbon.
  • Samples of things available in the store. This one might cost a bit, but not being an LYSO, I'm not sure how easy this stuff is to get, or how expensive. Eucalan sells samples of their wool wash in little one/two use packets. At the time I inquired about the price, I thought it was pretty reasonable. I don't know how much Gloves in a Bottle samples run, but I do know that after trying a sample, I went back and bought a bottle.
  • Samples of yarn. Divvy up a couple skeins of sock-yarn into several-yard mini skeins. One person at an event balled up samples, stuck them on a lollipop stick and wrapped them like suckers (cute packaging makes SUCH a difference).
  • Patterns. Most patterns that are available for free online have a statement that they are not to be copied and distributed by stores. Perhaps a designer would be willing to release a version of the pattern with permission on it for a particular store. I shouldn't have to say this, but just in case: it's not okay to buy 1 pattern and pass out copies, or to reprint tons of copies of free patterns if the designer hasn't given you permission to do so.

    I've done this with my Emergency Yarn Ornament pattern: the store in question can print out and distribute that document, with my blessings. It has their logo on it, plus all of my info. Nice partnership. I think it would be a really cute goody bag to get a small (empty) glass - or plastic = ornament and the pattern together, so the recipient could make one right away.
  • Other notions: mini emery boards, whatever oddments knitters/crocheters like to have in their notions pouches. It would be cool, although I don't know how expensive to get mini boards with a store logo. That or a small needle gauge if that can be done inexpensively.
  • 1" badges/pins (flair!) Individually, they're not cheap, but in bulk they can be a deal (even Cafe Press gets reasonable with 100-count bags). Some pro-yarn sentiment (just one more row) or something, on a pin.
  • Doorprize kind of thing. Let it be known that in one random, unmarked bag, a coupon for something special (class, %-off coupon, gift certificate, etc.) can be found. (Only worth it if the volume of bags given is high.)
  • Moo Sticker BookStickers with yarny sentiment (something with store logo is not a prize, but an identifier to put ON the bag). Make your own or see if there is an inexpensive source for ordering. makes fabulous books of stickers that can be used on packages or cut up to give away.
  • Pens or pencils with store name. Kick it old school. Everyone needs a pen or pencil in their knitting bag.

Successful promotion gifts I've heard of. These were memorable enough that people mentioned it positively to friends:
  • Pricier gifts, available when a certain purchase limit was met. One store gave out tape measures (with store logo) when people spent a certain amount. Another gave out a tote bag (again, with store logo).
  • Coupon redeemable at a later date. Certain %-off, usable in the next month, encouraged a return visit.

*I'm going to avoid giving any information that could identify the store in question, because this is not about a single store.

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Friday, December 3, 2010

May the Force be with Katie (& with you, too)

If you're a self-proclaimed (loud & proud) girl geek, you may already be familiar with Katie's story. If not, in a nutshell: at the tail end of Anti-Bullying week, Katie's mom, Carrie, wrote about her daughter's recent experience of being teased at school for - gasp! - carrying a Star Wars water bottle. (Doncha know? Star Wars is for boys?!)

Carrie asked her female readers to chime in if they were Star Wars fans, too, so Katie could see that the boys at school were misinformed. It kind of snowballed. I read about it after someone posted a link to the epbot blog (which I read, but was behind on) entry Geek Girls, ACTIVATE!! Since Carrie's blog was tough to comment on (I tried & tried), Epbot's Jen (also of Cake Wrecks fame) invited people to comment on her blog instead.

As of this date, the Epbot entry received over 3,000 comments. Carrie had to create another entry in her blog to handle all the comments (over 2,000 in the combined posts). Katie's story even has it's own Twitter hashtag (#maytheforcebewithkatie - still active).

Katie hass read many of the blog comments, or maybe all by  now (that's a lot to keep up with) and they'll all eventually be put into book form. She's worn a Star Wars t-shirt to school and is, of course, back to carrying her water bottle. (More updates on Katie - An Ordinary Story with an Extraordinary Response. -- check it out for info. on the Dec. 10th event "Wear Star Wars - Share Star Wars.")

So, what's with the pic? Well, I immediately wanted to comment on the original post, but was unable to get my login to work. I had a picture I wanted to share with Katie anyway (one of my niece ("K") dressed as Leia for Halloween a few years ago), so I tracked down Carrie's email and sent a little note along with it. On a whim, I offered to knit a hat for Katie, too. They accepted my offer, and I got to work. My niece even got into the act after she heard about Katie and helped me knit a bit of the hat on Thanksgiving. I mailed it off on Monday of this week, and Katie got it yesterday. Word is, she wore it to school today, with Storm Trooper tattoos on her arms. (Pic by Carrie Goldman, used with permission.)

Follow-up on Carrie's blog: Adopted by the Geeks and Nerds.

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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Pretty Tape, part 1

The first thing you need to know is that I have a thing for stationery. This includes office supplies of all kinds, pens...and tape.

I love sending packages to people and one of the highlights of the experience is adding a row of fun, patterned tape to keep the envelope/package closed. Note: from personal experience, I don't recommend using the pirate/skull-and-crossbones tape on the exterior of a package being sent via US mail. The last time I did this, the package eventually showed up, but it took waaay longer than it should have!

Some of these pics are a little old - I just went with what I had on Flickr - some of it had to go. As fun as some of this tape looks, it's not really usable. It doesn't stick well at all. (Pout)

I recently discovered a company that sells some tape that looks promising: TapeSwell.I immediately ordered a couple rolls of tape and a couple of their canisters. The canisters are way cool -- the small ones will either hold a roll of tape, or can be decorated with a length of the tape. (I'm also a sucker for all kinds of packaging!) I found an coupon code online at RetailMeNot (a place I check before I order anything online), and saved almost half the shipping. (I imagine that 3 rolls of packing tape might be a little heavy.) I'll come back & share the results. Will it stick, or not?

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Care Tags

caretagQuick Lunchtime Post.
I made these care tags a couple of weeks ago to attach to hand-knit gifts, and thought I'd share. They're still a work in progress - I want to add a "for:" line in the next set - but I'm pretty happy with them.

The images were snagged from a nice PDF of  care instructions. Since PDFs can be resized, I set the magnification very high, then used a screen capture program to grab each image. In Photoshop, I switched them from black to white, and made them transparent.

I've been printing them out (6 to a sheet) onto cardstock, then punching a small hole in each and using some of the baker's twine (that I'm never going to run out of) and a tiny safety pin to attach the tag to the knitted item.

PS. I'm not sure I'm back to posting regularly, but I do have a few topics, so I'll be around for awhile.

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Monday, June 21, 2010


Hi, all. I thought I'd officially announce that I'm taking a break from the blog. (As if my absence since March wasn't already saying that.) There's a lot going on in my life, but:

  1. There's not a lot that's all that interesting to blog abou
  2. The stuff that is interesting to blog about has to stay confidential for now, or needs to.
I'm going to try to post at least weekly on my Halloween blog, but am going to take a break from this one for awhile. Thanks to everyone who has been reading, here and on LJ, all these years. I hope to be back when I have something fun to share.

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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Redux - Play Food: Felt Cherry Tuturial

Shamelessly reposting the occasional tutorial from my old blog. About three years ago, I had some kids in my life that I thought would get a kick out of play food. I gathered up a bunch of felt, embroidery floss and poly-fill (etc.) and made up quite an assortment. Following are the steps for making my favorites, the cherries. (Inspired by the second section on this page.)

Materials: Felt (I used a wool/poly blend in a splotchy red/black), .5 mm brown leather cord, embroidery floss, needle, scissors & filler (e.g. felt scraps, polyfill, etc.) Note: I really recommend felt with some wool content.

Play Food: Felt Cherry Tuturial
Top row, left to right:

  1. Cut 2 circles (1¼ - 1½") for each cherry.
  2. Don't cut the leather cord yet. First, tie a double knot about ½" from the end (don't need to be real precise - just need to have something to grab and pull), then about 2" from that, tie a single knot and pull TIGHT.
  3. Cut close to the second knot. This is the tip of the stem.
  4. Cut about a 15" length of embroidery floss and separate. I used 2 strands. Thread needle and tie a knot. Insert the needle through the first knot in the "stem" and push the needle through a single layer of the "cherry." Pull thread through. The 2 knots will be hidden inside of the cherry.
Second row:
  1. Lay the second layer over the first. Start sewing by stitching very close to both sides of the stem, then continue around the circle, using a tight whipstitch.
  2. Continue stitching until you're just a little past the halfway mark. Stop and stuff the cherry with felt scraps or polyfill. Sew shut.
  3. You could be done now, or you can take another step and SQUISH the cherries so they look a little rounder. Tip: if your cherries have some wool content, then you can mist them with a little water prior to the SQUISH, and they should dry in a somewhat round shape.
My method: I cut out a few sets of circles and followed all the steps up to sewing past the halfway mark (partway through step 6), assembly-line-style. I cut short pieces of floss on purpose: so I could just stop sewing and pick it up again later, without wasting a lot. Then, once I had a bunch, I'd stuff them and finish sewing them up.

For fun, I used parts of a felted wool sweater to make a huge, catnip-stuffed cherry for our cats. It was quite a hit. (Craft felt is not recommended for cat or dog toys, regardless of what they sell in stores. Take it from someone who has had a cat ingest and poop out an entire toy.)

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

Patience is hard

vivid cowl button detailBack in my early days of blogging I was pretty quick to rush to the keyboard and report whenever a company had pissed me off. When I moved over to Blogger, I decided that I'd be a little more patient and hold back when it came to reporting my frustrations. Now, I still get annoyed and do my bit by "voting with my wallet;" I'm just a little more restrained when it comes to what I'll share. Oh, the stories you have all missed! (Pic is because there has to be a pic, right? Also, the buttons on the cowl are from the store I'm about to rant about, from a previous trip.)

I think of myself as a fairly easy-going, responsible consumer. But I won't beg a store to take my money, and I will reward poor customer service with my one-woman boycott for months (or years, in the case of Target, and that ain't easy!). On the flip-side, good customer service will gain a store/company/chain repeat business. (Oh, JetPens, I am SO coming back and ordering more!)

The economy in Michigan is not good right now. Stores are closing left and right, there are near-empty malls & shopping centers everywhere. Many people have less money to spend. So why on earth would a store allow their employees to turn customers away? Especially when they have a competitor in the same shopping center!?

One sacrifice we made when moving to the country is the lack of local shopping. The only grocery store nearby is scary, so we have to drive several more miles to a Meijer. It takes John over 3 hours to do the grocery shopping at 2 stores (1 fruit & veggie market, plus Meijer or Walmart). There are no book stores, no yarn stores. There aren't even any craft stores. It's inconvenient, sure, but we traded for space. And more quiet. I was pretty excited to realize that I could get off a couple exits early on one route home from work and, just a few miles out of the way, I could stop at a JoAnn Fabrics, sort of on the way home. (It's not LYS, but I'll take what I can get!)

I'm not a "customer is always right" kind of person. I don't make unreasonable demands. What I do want is to be able to pick out my items, pay and leave. Imagine my surprise when I got to the register the second time I stopped in at that store and as the cashier started ringing me up, she was interrupted by a senior staff member and sent to another part of the store to help another customer. I was left standing at the register with a pile of greeting cards, yarn and other crafty "necessities."

Help a customer? What was I?

I know some people would have picked up all their stuff, and gotten back in line or even demanded that the woman who sent the cashier away ring them up. But that's not how I roll. I don't beg people to take my money. So what was I? Not a customer anymore, that's for damn sure.

What cracks me up is that there is a Hobby Lobby just a few doors down from that JoAnn! Must be nice that they're doing so well they can send people away. (I'm not a huge fan of HL, because of the music playing, but I can tune it out well enough to grab what I need and get out.)

That all happened a couple of weeks ago. Two weeks ago yesterday, to be exact. Two weeks ago today, I fired off a letter to corporate and haven't heard "boo." (I win the bet I made with myself.) I decided to wait and see if they responded before I blogged about it (I immediately posted to Facebook, naturally). Of course I haven't been back to that JoAnn. Well, not any JoAnn, but I'm not going to say I'm never going back to any store in the chain. That one, though? Nope. And since it's the only convenient one for me to go to, that does mean they'll lose a good portion of my disposable crafty income.

I bought what I needed at the drugstore, Walmart (yes, Walmart. This is the country) and Hobby Lobby, or went without.

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Saturday, February 6, 2010

Good Auntie: Candy-Dipped Pretzels

pretzels packedI'm trying something new this year. Now that we're living out in the country, we don't see my family very often - mostly birthdays and major holidays. I thought it would be fun for my niece & nephew to get regular mail from us: packages, cards, etc.

So, back in January, I started sending mail to the kids. Vaguely remembering being a kid, I figured that what arrived isn't as important as the fact that they're getting mail, so I've made liberal use of my "swap basket"; a large metal basket into which I toss things I find on sale that look interesting or things I might have received in a swap that I couldn't use. Of course, now that these packages are planned, I'm always on the look-out for more things to add to that basket!

For Valentine's Day, I made a batch of acorn brownies and sent those, along with some themed goodies. Except that I got into the whole thing a little early and had to send it a couple of weeks ago so the brownies wouldn't get stale!

I mailed a letter last week, and Valentine cards today. I woke up this morning, knowing that I had to make the candy-dipped pretzels I'd been thinking about doing off & on since I got a canister of pretzels along with a dish (I bought on clearance). I already had all the other ingredients. And today was the day. This is so easy! You need about 3 ingredients, some paper plates & bowls, a double boiler (or facsimile (see below for mine)) and some wax paper. Doing it this way (with disposable bowls & plates) made for very fast clean-up, too (about 90 seconds).

Candy-Dipped Pretzels
Ingredients: mini-pretzels, candy melts (I used <1 cup of white melts to make approx. 3 dozen pretzels), sprinkles (optional)

Other "equipment": double boiler, paper bowls & plates, plastic spoon, wax paper, treat bags & tape (if not self-sealing)

pretzels sortingFollowing package directions, start melting the candy. My double boiler consists of a small saucepan and a stainless bowl that sat on top - in enough to keep in steady, but out enough that it didn't get stuck). Inside the bowl, I added a paper bowl and a couple handfuls of candy melts.

While the candy is melting, sort your pretzels. Put the unbroken ones in a bowl and set the broken ones aside (these can be eaten as is, or broken up even more and added to some leftover candy and spooned onto wax paper (ever had a Pretzel Joy?)).

If sprinkles are desired, pour some into another small paper bowl. Not too much -- you won't use as much as you think -- enough to cover the bottom of the bowl about 1/4" thick.

Lay squares of wax paper on plates/cookie sheets. You won't want the pretzels to touch much once they're dipped.

pretzels dipping candyTurn the heat down a bit, so you can comfortably work near the heat, then dip the pretzels into the candy, covering 1/3 - 1/2. (Note: When I took this pic, I'd already dipped several pretzels and had to add a few more melts.)

If you're not adding sprinkles, skip the next step.

pretzels dipping sprinklesImmediately dip the candy-dipped pretzel into the sprinkles, moving it a bit to grab more of their colorful goodness.

pretzels settingPut the pretzel on the wax paper and pop in the fridge to chill for at least 10 mintues.

When you've dipped all the pretzels, try breaking up the remaining pretzels even more (not quite crushed) and stirring them into the remaining candy (unless it's a lot and you want to refrigerate it for later use). Spoon mounds of the mixture onto wax paper and chill.

pretzels wrappedIf you're serving them, store in a container with an airtight lid. They should be okay for as long as regular pretzels would be if stored that way. If you're giving, package up. I stuck several (all "facing" the same way) into a treat bag and taped it shut with some fun Japanese tape that has fruits & veggies on it.

pretzels container done2_nonameI also took advantage of the container the pretzels came in and made a spiffy gift box, by punching a circle for the top and cutting a strip to go around it out of heavy-duty scrap-booking paper and gluing in place. I made a label using photo paper and faux-matted it with the same paper from the lid.

It's already boxed up to be mailed next week, along with some stationery supplies, in case the kids want to send mail back to their old auntie, or friends, etc. I made return labels for each, found fun patterned paper at the dollar store, and am sending a box of envelopes to share.

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Saturday, January 2, 2010

With a little help from a friend

We had a rocking New Years! Okay, not really. It was lovely, though. And productive. My good friend Anita came on the afternoon of the Eve, to hang out, help me clean my craft room, spend the night and ring in the new year. It was fab! We got to celebrate without worrying about being on the road at the same time other revelers were doing the same. We actually had booze in the house, but totally forgot about it. We didn't even ring in the new year. We were exhausted and the clicking over of the calendar happened while we were preparing for bed. (Poor Anita. Some day, we'll have a guest bed of some kind. (She was prepared and brought an inflatable mattress.))

What we did was spend a bit of time in the craft room, then return to the living room to watch something. Then back to the craft room. Anita got to watch the first few episodes of Firefly (I knew she'd like it). We also watched an early MST3K episode: The Crawling Hand. (Next morning, while John slept, we broke out Unconditional Love, best viewed under those circumstances. It's terrible and wonderful, and I was glad to get to watch it with her.)

Have I gone on about the diet here yet? Well, doesn't matter. It's boring. Effective (for lowering blood pressure and losing weight), but boring. So, for holidays, we allow ourselves a treat. Like a regular meal, the kind that other people eat. John made a superb roast beef pie, with onions, potatoes, corn, carrots and a bit of salt pork. Swoon. We also had popcorn, for the first time in months. After a tiny slice of the pie for breakfast on the 1st, we were back to the regular way of eating.

While we haven't painted anything yet, we have gotten most parts of the house organized. The exceptions have been the entry room (large room with no purpose yet, so stuff kind of accumulates) and the craft room. The latter because our basement kitty, Lily (Cass & Charlie's mom), selected that as her hiding place and freaked out if we went in the room too often. So, I didn't use it much -- just dashed in when I needed something -- and left her on her own. She passed away a few weeks ago, and I decided to get the place cleaned up and organized.

Yarn storage reorganized for 2010I don't have pics of the whole room yet. It's not going to be an impressive room for a long time, if ever. Right now, there are boxes, totes and baskets on two large sets of utility shelves. It gets the job done. But we did get the yarn area reorganized and it's acceptable for viewing. (Click on the image to see notes for all the cubbies.)

Up on the top shelf is large basket that is now full of projects waiting in the wings: yarn and pattern, bundled together. As mentioned in my last post, I'm determined to knit more for me. The last project on the needles (that isn't just a random scarf project-in-progress) is a pair of large, very warm (thrummed) mittens for John. I expect to finish those this weekend. (They match a hat that I'll show in a bit.)

After that, I'm going to knit up a pair of mittens for me, and line them with some felted cashmere. Then, a cowl or scarf (haven't decided, but probably the former, since it's COLD and I would like a matching set (the yarn choice unifies, regardless of pattern)). Then, on to the project basket:

  • My nephew got me some yarn for Christmas that he picked out all by himself. It's a lovely olive color. I'm probably going to make these Ballet-Style slippers. (Got a second ball, in case I don't have enough yarn.)
  • Baby gift (obviously not for me): Right now, Baby Sophisticate is the front-runner.
  • Using some recycled cotton/cashmere yarn, Mitts of the Dystopian Future (Rav link) are destined to be mine.
  • These Delovely cabled fingerless mitts are intended for a gift. I've earmarked my two skeins of Silky Cashmere (actually picked out the yarn first, then had to find something that would do).
  • More slippers: I was recently shocked to discover that I love Mary Jane-style shoes and slippers. These Mary Jane slippers are in the queue, but with a closure like these (I can't crochet, or I'd just make these). The more I think of it, the more I'm inclined to using this pattern for my "nephew yarn.")
  • Socks for John and me are also on the list.
emergency knitting kit #1I also put together a couple of emergency sock-knitting kits, one for each car. Pictured here is one kit; the other is on Flickr. Each contains a ball of yarn, appropriate circular needle (for Magic Loop), corresponding pattern for the combo, and accessories like stitch markers, yarn cutter or scissors and darning needles.
Finally, a brief knitting update. Still some Giftmas presents that haven't been received, so here are a couple of hats that I did for John. One is a replacement Jayne hat, and the other was part of his Christmas gift (as are the thrummed mittens I'm almost done with). Detail will be with the image, on Flickr:

Replacement Jayne hatfleecy-earflap-hat1

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