On my mind today is this Pagewood Farm yarn in various shades of purples and blues. Destined for a shawl pattern.
On my mind today is this Pagewood Farm yarn in various shades of purples and blues. Destined for a shawl pattern.
A lot of trends out there are just...done. So, when I do something that I haven't seen anywhere else - even if it's because I've run out of paint - it makes my heart sing! So, meet the half-dipped Oreo door. Chalkboard paint is pretty "over" except for the important fact that it's fun and kiddos love it. So, I had Mark paint an angled wall on Junior's side but he ran out of it early, so we decided to do just half of Juniorette's door so she wouldn't pin down her brother and pants him for having chalkboard paint. Voila, she actually loved it which is a minor miracle as she loves picking out things for herself!
When we went to Lapland in northern Finland last Christmas I had hoped to get some Marimekko fabric. It turned out to be as costly as it was back home so I gave it a pass. When we got back to Ireland, however, my SIL, Niamh, pulled out this bright green Ananas fabric and asked if I wanted it! Turns out it was a bad run or something and she had gotten it for 3 Euros a yard! My eyes almost bugged out of my head as I turned it to the side and showed her the Marimekko label.
She presented me with a 21 foot bolt prior to leaving Dublin. It's currently draped over a chair waiting to be made into something wonderful, which will be curtains for Junior's room. Pretty lucky fellow, huh?Here it is in bright pink. I don't think he would have appreciated it quite so much in this fuchsia colorway which I posted last year. Fuchsia curtains in his room would have led to war, for sure!
Contrary to what my family might say, I don't paint everything, yet I might have to paint this lovely wooden mirror. I've been on the lookout for a flower shaped mirror for ages. Try it - they are HARD to find. Anyway, I found this lovely one for a song. The problem? It sort of resembles an eye and the graded wood looks like an iris looking at you.
It's not like it's being hung in the bathroom where you don't want a big eye staring at you, but who wants an eye following you across the living room while you're watching HGTV reruns at 2am because you can't sleep? Cree-pee. Any thoughts?
Yesterday was Mother's Day here in the US. As I was eating my Full Irish, served in bed by my lovely Full Irish Husband (minus all the meat and black pudding) I was perusing Craigslist. This elephant table was up for sale, costing almost nothing.
See, the top comes off so you can hide the millions of dollars that were saved in buying this on Craigslist. Or your cigarettes, or whatever else you might like to sneak out after the kids/significant other's/cats have gone to bed. All I know is that on Mother's Day I can get away with just about anything, so I grabbed the chance to own an elephant table on a day when Husband couldn't complain about it!
This was, of course, after Juniorette and Kitcat, fresh from her spaying, wearing her lampshade and sleeping in Juniorette's doll's bed, had fully woken up and were ready to go. I forgot to mention that Kitcat ran away for 5 days, trying her best to get pregnant. Luckily, 30 signs and a $100 reward later we got her back and she's recovering nicely, as you can see and I'm not a grandmother yet!
I also received some mighty fine cards and gifts which I must share with you. Particularly complimentary was this little booklet made by Junior. Let me translate. My mom likes when I: TRASH MY ROOM. My mom sometimes forgets to GO TO THE BATHROOM. Yes, those coffee table sized buttocks are apparently mine with me peeing, much to the kindergarten teacher's delight, I'm sure. Not to mention Husband's delight as he nearly wet his pants himself laughing at this. For the record, both are untrue, ok?
Husband got me this pretty top from Anthropologie. He chose it himself, perhaps subconsciously matching it to Kitcat's postoperative lampshade. No matter, I love it and it was a wonderful Mother's Day!
Hi Public, can you imagine being adopted into this family?! - Kitcat
Why do I dislike yarn organizing, so? It's actually a bit of fun. Most of my yarn is organized by color in a long bookshelf but the last several months have been creeping up on me, as I leave skeins from FOs and experiments in various bags, hidden behind my bedside table or in other small crevices.
I bought a see through white basket and piled it all in by color, the yelows, oranges reds and pinks towards the top. The more expensive yarns at the sides so they woudn't be forgotten. There is some charcoal Anzula, turquoise Madelinetosh Vintage at the bottom but still visible. Some Tosh Merino Light peeks out at the side as does some Tosh DK in Grasshopper and a very bright pink. If you look closely you'll see Koigu KPPM and various other bits of treasure!
Yarn goes so well as a decorative accessory, doesn't it? I still know what I have but it's out of the bags and into the basket.
I really love the result but now I have no idea where to put it! It looks too pretty to put in a hidden corner. Have a great weekend, everyone! More to come from the home makeover front including the weed overgrown front yard.
Has anything ever spoken to you (I mean that literally) at a flea market or garage sale? "C'mon, keep moving, at the end, over here, here I am!" was the one-sided conversation from this chair last Saturday.
Hey (to Husband), it looks Heywood Wakefieldish, try it out. He, of course, found it too low, not his style etc. and retired to the car. A few minutes later I paid the guy $10 (yep, 10 bucks - no bargaining necessary) and followed with the talking chair, handing it to Husband to tetris-fit it into the car.
I located the HW marking while it was upside-down getting a watered down mild vinegar bath and it's cushion covers were in the wash. "DUH!" was the talking chair's only comment. I sent this link to Husband and no complaints have been heard since!
Now to decide on the fabric for the cushion recover. Tempting...oh so tempting. I guess I should ask the chair its opinion on the matter.
It feels great to bolt in one's mailbox at 9am, after dropping off two kids spitting venom at each other over a Lego pizza the size of my pinky fingernail. It took me long enough to get it to its present aqua state!
The first color was a lovely royal blue, even though it looks turquoise here. I tried to get these stencils on it in Sharpie and they looked like stupid clouds. It was going to be Marimekko-ish but oh boy, did it not pan out. Then, Husband thought that randomly drawn Sharpie clouds was the finished product and bolted it back up.
This is the final product. Done. No more. Good enough. I cringed every time I saw it with those clouds, despite the fact that our front yard is probably being considered for a Round Up ad right now, which is embarrassing enough (plans, though - oh, do I have good plans for it!) Now, however, I have feel pride of ownership. Casapinka is a real Cream Puff, once again. I have lots more to show you guys after a particularly wonderful weekend so come back tomorrow!
Let's stay safe with an illegally picked daffodil, growing outside the lighthouse on my peaceful morning walk. Some yarn wrapped around a jar to make a vase. While trying to do more intricate projects, I was sidetracked by no less than: 1. Sobbing from a very bad test grade, 2. A lacerated finger (not mine), 3. A fistful of hair removed during a pillow fight (again, not mine.) This is where I just take some deep breaths and show you something perhaps a bit superficial but in the interest of keeping you all unharmed. You know, lest little fists can come out of the computer screen and remove a wad of your hair.
This is the rooster tin where I keep all of my circular knitting needles - i.e. all needles that I own. If you had told me five years ago that I'd be keeping my needles in a rooster tin, I'd have had you committed. I recieved these (they are three nesting tins) as a gift from my MILand SIL and I really love them. Plus, times change, roosters become pink, and thank goodness for such cheerfulness. Right now, I've made two stinkers in a row. Bad knitting designs. Bad, ugly, things that I want to throw out the window. One just looks ugly on me, the other - well, never mind. I'm going to frog the entire thing and start it over tomorrow but it's an entire month of work down the drain. Sometimes knitting is for the birds!!!
Here are a few things causing inspiration at Casapinka on this cloudy spring morn. Pretty crocheted frames from Ideas Magazine, an easy way to change a wall. Notice I didn't say "change up a wall." Why do people say that, anyway? Hmmmm, is someone a little bit grumpy?
It's back to the water for more knitting. This time it's a cardigan design in Madelinetosh Pashmina in Gilded. Not a color I even have in my wardrobe but was just so enticing on the shelf. Last night Junior and I had a slumber party since Husband was on call and his sister was at a sleepover. We ate waffle ice cream sandwiches for breakfast and stayed up until 1030 watching Kick Buttowski in bed. Such a fun time - especially since I know that pretty soon he won't want to be seen with me. The other day when I tried to kiss him goodbye at school he yelled, "Smell ya later!" and took off. The day after that he donned his best martian voice and said. "Goodby. Fellow. Penisan." Yep, apparently that's a planet now...
"I'll buy you a Meatball Marinara from Subway if you'll wear your raccoon sweater." I did; I stooped to bribing Junior to wear a hand knit item to the recent Rhody Yarn Crawl. We visited Eneri Knits in Charlestown, RI where they had alpacas to entertain the kids. Truth be told, it was the idea that alpaca poop was for sale that fascinated them the most. "You never know who might be there - someone famous." was my impetus for the bribe. I have no idea why I thought that but I did and there was! A famous writer from Knitscene magazine and she put us on her blog, Knitting New England. Go see what a well behaved family I have (careful attention to the middle member) standing in front of the alpaca butts. Feel free to leave a comment there and tell her how I've made all you beige and teal lovers see the pink tinted light. Photo above is of the spring break strawberry pancakes that we made the other day.
I really like these rugs from Dash and Albert.
I came by them via this tutorial on how to lay your own stair runner.
They also sell these really happy tote bags (i.e. knitting bags) made out of their rugs!
I guess you'd have to be careful about dirt on stair runners but they also have indoor outdoor rugs that can be used.
They're very affordable and I don't think my brain is going to quit until I have a go at covering my stairs in some happy stripes.
Today is the first official day of spring break. When we moved into Casapinka we discovered that we could walk to the bay through a neighbor's yard. It's strange because while we knew we were close to the water, we had no idea that there were accessible beaches; we moved here for the privacy and beauty of the area and found out after moving in that we could walk down to the water whenever we wanted! What a wonderland we have found on Naragansett Bay.
One of the wonderful characteristics of knitting is its portability so I put my knitting into a little bag, grabbed a lawn chair and chaperoned the treasure hunters for their adventure. It was a great day to spend an afternoon treasure hunting, tide-pooling and just being carefree kids with no school for the entire week. The beach has lots of beautiful sea glass, parts of storm-torn boats, arrowheads and various other valuables that wash up onto the beach.
Today was sunny but breezy so while I knitted (never miss an opportunity for a knitting photo) the kids tried to make a fire, above, using a couple of rocks and some grass. They took a break to enjoy sandwiches, pretzels and Dr. Pepper while I continued to work on a new knitting design with my Pagewood Farms sock yarn in Violet Fusion. I love the way it shimmers with its gorgeous variegations, just waiting to be turned into something wearable.
I've taken a few days' break away from Casapinka, as I ready my red hot coffee table for its introduction to the world and I ready myself for the flak that comes with anthropomorphizing an un-pink piece of furntire. It is cotillion season, you know, and one - even if one is a table - must be lacquered just so, with all the curves tucked in and modest. As an aside, this caught my eye the other day, pink and multicolored sequins, from Boden Mini. Again, why doesn't this come in my size? Why can't I make a coffee table pink with sequins?If I order it for Juniorette, whom it will fit, I won't be allowed ten feet from it (This morning: May I borrow your fisherman's sweater that your aunt in Ireland made you? DENIED.) so it's really just the stuff of blog dreams. My lacquered indigo living room coffee table,however, is in the process of becoing reality and shall be debuted, if suitable, next week.
I hung my pink yarn photograph in my kitchen because I just love it. In fact, I've put it up for sale and you can buy it here. I also placed one of my printed chairs in there since Husband doesn't like them that much in the living room. The walls are now slightly adorned as I have one accoutrement as opposed to none!
But you see, I have plans. I don't believe in rushing things, or so I tell myself when little is getting accomplished. Next up is to figure out those wooden cabinets. Let's revisit the before photo, just to see how far Casapinka has come in a year.
The walls were grayish beige before although not apparent in this photograph. They are now a bright, clean white. I feel that we have room for an island on casters, with a couple of stools, where people can sit and do homework while Husband and I cook (he's a great cook...a master at curries, in particular.) Husband thinks we don't, although it's natural for him to disagree at any suggestion I make. Any thoughts?
I'm so excited about the arrival of Spring! I feel absolutely energized after Easter. I want to knit, sew, make some more patterns to sell and decorate all at once!
I have pretty mirrors on my radar at the moment, in particular, those for the bathroom. I also have aqua bathrooms on the brain. Such a great color for a spa-like retreat (like mine where everyone uses it despite 2 other bathrooms...think Sponge Bob toothpaste, toilet seat left open, bunny rabbit towels on the floor.) A woman can dream, though....
No wonder I'm dreaming of spa bathrooms: A lot of energy this morning was spent trying to convince Junior that he had to leave his light-up mohawk headband in the car this morning. He wore it all the way to school and tried to wear it into Kindergarten but I staged an intervention. He wouldn't take it off! Do you know how ridiculous, "Take off your mohawk NOW." sounds? He won it in yesterday's Easter egg hunt here at Casapinka. It was even worn to Easter dinner. "It's innapropriate" - Husband. "Pick your battles plus it's funny." - Me
So, there Junior sat eating his mashed potatoes with an earnest look on his face, while his mohawk lit up in red, blue, yellow and orange. I can't imagine a God who doesn't appreciate a six year old folding his hands together and saying an Easter prayer with a light up mohawk on his head. His sister, on the other hand, just rolled her eyes, looked at me and with a world-weary sigh and said, "He's SO immature." Hey, he did eat his green beans and salad. Photo credits: Houzz, Desire to Inspire, House Beautiful, and Houzz.
I really need to take some graphic design classes. I did manage to take the photograph, below, and extract letters from it to make a fun print.
I used a friend's archival printer and I like the result! Once I perfect it I'm going to put some up for sale for all you diehard knitters out there (or just me - but it's nice to think there are others as obsessed as I am!) Have a good weekend y'all. We're having an Easter egg hunt here at Casapinka and I'm putting celery in all the eggs because my kids are just so sick of candy. Wishing...
I have Liberty of London fabrics in rainbow colors on my brain as spring is trying to arrive. Aren't they so pretty and optimistic? I love the way Purl Soho has packaged this pre-cut bundle. Now, if I can drag out my sewing machine and make something worthy of this wonderful fabric I'll be in business!
I've been working on my entry into The Fiber Factor, a hand knitting design competition put on by Skacel, the maker of Addi Turbo (my favorites!) needles. I've been going back and forth on whether I should enter, seeing that we've had a major basement flood and other things in the "Life Goes On" department that pop up and consume energy reserved for design competitions. And I still have to finish my Marimekko mailbox!
Anyway, these photos, which I was about to delete, remind me of one of my favorite kids books, Beautiful, Oops by Barney Saltzburg. They represent of a LOT of unraveled knitting, probably two days' worth. I can't use this project to enter The Fiber Factor anymore, since the deadline is Sunday. The yarn is still so pretty in its own right though, don't you think? I'm still on the fence about entering the Fiber Factor contest - it seems kind of scary and there is a lot of legal jargon involved, including ten pages of rules. You aren't aloud to blog along with the contest, either, which takes some of the fun away. "Will you swatch or will you watch? is their motto. What's a knitter to do?!
I saw these pretty glasses at Anthropologie a few weeks back and had to snap them. We are still cleaning up from the flood and have water pouring through our basement and being pumped out the back. Boy, has it taken a lot out of me. I've been having a lot of trouble with Lyme related bone pain and the energy drain that comes with it. I know this is very boring but I feel I need to air a valid excuse for my lack of ooomph lately. I am , however, making my mailbox into a Marimekko Unikko design and I did just kit out a used clock with a felted sweater, so when my computer gets back into my loving hands (using Husband's PC now...can we count the inconvenient characteristics of the PC vs. the Mac, the latter of which makes my coffee and shaves my legs?) I promise some good pictures and new inspiration. Right now my pink knitting room is coverred with photographs that are hanging out to dry from wall to wall. Trust me, you don't want to see it!
Apologies for the lack of posts. My computer is in the shop and the flood has been a nightmare, with two plumbers, a rooter person, an engineer etc. having to consult on it. In the meantime, as I try to cobble something together on Husband's PC I feel it my designerly duty to inform you that this bedding is at TJ Maxx. A woman saw my Orla wallet that my Mother-in-Law had given me and passed on the knowledge. I peeled out on two wheels in my wagon and made it just in time to get the last Queen size! It's a favorite of mine despite the lack of pink and the perhaps overexposure of it.
Last night I got started on a pretty alpaca wool mix sweater. I'm very pleased with the ribbing which uses twisted stitches. I have a neat idea for this cardigan - I hope that it works out.
Husband and I also watched a couple of episodes of Burn Notice and I'm almost done with the dark red on the squirrel blanket. Next is an ugly pumpkin color that seems to look good when surrounded by its compatriots in the mantel yarn array.
The crapola news is that we awoke to a basement full of water this morning. If it's from a broken water heater, insurance will cover it all. If it's effluent from our recent rain and snow melting, we are out of luck. Our friend, Mark, is currently pumping the water out while we await the arrival of a plumber. It looks like a cyclone hit the basement. Everything is floating around and tipped over (including cat litter - gross!) We don't have heat or hot water now but after those two fires we had, I'm rather used to home disasters. As long as the kiddos are safe I'm pretty good in these crises. Just keep knitting, knitting, knitting....
This is a sweater I'm calling "NotPink" since people are always harassing me about knitting, buying or thinking about pink yarn. This, my friends is magenta. Tosh Dk in Magenta, to be precise. The design starts at one cuff and I ballooned out the sleeve, separated them, cast on to make it reach my waist, knitted across the front, then cast on the same number for the back, knitted it, then joined them back up to knit down the other sleeve. Don't Casapinka's gates photograph well? It was Husband's idea - we'll have to use them again when the current snow melts.
This morning, as usual started out with me comatose. I'm just not a morning person. Being an only child, though, I'm sometimes jolted awake by humorous sibling rivalry situations. This morning, heard one room away. "MOMEEEEEEEEE, she kicked me in my butt while I was putting on my shirt so I threw my shoe at her and she locked it in her safe and now she can't get it ouuuuuuuut! I really love motherhood. As they say, you can't make this stuff up.
Maybe it's the only child in me that finds these things so darned funny. How do you assert any authority by ordering your 9 year old to "Get his shoe out of your safe!" Then there's the predictable loss of the safe combination etc. I finally deposited them neatly at school and made it to the town pool for a swim. It's pouring rain here at Casapinka but at least I have four more blissful hours until Ren and Stimpy get home for another round. I'll tell you the head injury story tomorrow. Wouldn't want to overwhelm ye!
Today I've already frogged half an entire half of a crocheted baby blanket and it's only lunchtime. It was horrible, worse than those mushroom ladies with visible underwear that everyone had on their lawns in rural Maine in the eighties. I had such high hopes for it, too, my blanket. Harvard, Wharton, a tudor in Shaker Heights with an inground pool. Now, it's in the frog pond in Rhode Island. Lucky I can still show you guys a coffee cup.
For being a bonafide knitter, I sure do sell a lot of the crocheted Sprinkled Flowers Baby Blanket off of Ravelry and Etsy. So, I decided to start another crocheted baby blanket although sweaters are what I love the most. I feel a duty to make more crocheted projects that don't look like seventies macrame one constructed while listening to Leonard Cohen at 3am sporting sideburns and smoking aromatic cigarettes.
And I give you the obligatory, small depth of focus picture, as all crafty/design bloggers seem to do these days. Bust out the pseudo 50mm lens (which isn't really 50mm if you have a dSLR but that's geek talk).
Of course, what is a post this month without progress on the squirrel blanket? I am into the red now although I spent most of yesterday planning this crocheted project. I'm not sure why I tackle large projects like this blanket that aren't that marketable. Who wants to knit a huge, colorful blanket with squirrels in fingering weight yarn other than me?! Thankfully, I usually allow myself 3 projects at a time, anymore and I won't finish them. I'm pleased to say that I started off today with a nice, warm swim in our local pool so my fingers should be limber and the yarn flying off the skein today. Maybe I'll be into the dark red or orange by tomorrow! Happy Monday, everyone.
The fair isle squirrels are growing, gradually. You can see how they are bumpy from all of the yarn carried behind them. This is where blocking comes in - steaming or wetting the finished product and then smoothing or sculpting it into shape. Without doing this, you only have a 'half done' project so never forget to block your knitting! Below, is the order of stripes for the blanket. Mine was figured out based on the mantel yarn (see prev post) but another fun way to design with stripes is to use the Random Stripe Generator.
We're off to the swimming pool now, perhaps a trip to Joann's afterwards. Junior and sister seem to hold out hope that I'm going to buy them Tasers so I think some clay or felt might be needed for distraction. I'm not sure where this Taser idea originates but I have to say, I wouldn't mind having a taser to back up my MOM VOICE on occasion.
During a bout of insomnia last night, I stared at the mantel yarn (below) and thought about what kind of blanket to make. I messed around on my graph paper, which can really cause me dis-ease. I always want to love my design but often my thoughts go to "Will I figure something out? Is it the right thing? Will it fit? Will it look like an anteater?" There is absolutely more indecision involved in knitting than practicing emergency medicine - a lot more math, too! Artistic angst can be difficult, no doubt about it.
1. Pick up clothes off the floor and hang, put them in laundry or fold in drawers.
2. Pick up all trash and put in garbage.
3. Pick up toys and put them away.
4. Pick up books and put them in the bookcase
5. Make your bed.
I thought this was great advice so I stopped squirrel sketching and wrote it down.
I doodled and doodled, erased and regraphed and came up with a squirrel motif while figuring out how to make my kid clean her room. Multitasking at its best.
I 'm unsure if the ears should be pointy (left) or not (right.) Big decisions have to be made here at Casapinka - daily. As you can see from the first photo, I began with the light pink and moved onto the dark pink after 3 inches of knitting.
I love the pinks and the whites together. I plan to put the fair isle squirrels on every third color stripe and in white. When I'm done with 20 colors I should have a blanket that is 60 inches long. I'm using size 4 needles so it's not speedy knitting but it's steady and gratifying.
This afternoon has been mellow with the kids doing scavenger hunts and begging me to buy them Tasers. And let's not overlook the satisfaction that comes from one's tights matching one's knitting! KitKat, who is no longer gay, keeps swiping out a paw when the yarn moves over my needles as you can surmise from the photo above. Tonight there is a Yarntaster event at Love2Knit and they will be showing my baby dress pattern which they knitted up in Haikoo Simplicity. I really hope that it does well! I'll continue to show you the squirrel progress as the weeks go on, provided I end up with squirrels and not anteaters or alpacas with goiters.
This is Juniorette's skater dress. She likes to skateboard but definitely has her own style. There isn't much choice in hand knitted dresses to fit 9 year olds who want movement for skating but a bit of panache. I used 3 skeins of Harrisville Highland from Love2Knit to make this dress for her. Since there are no sleeves it takes about 15 minutes to knit, as long as you remember to knit at red lights and stop signs. Always bring your knitting with you.
If only she could stop for 2 seconds without freezing, I could take a clear picture but moving targets are the norm here at Casapinka. It's February vacation week, something peculiar to cold weather climates in the USA, and luckily the heated pool down the way is open for a whole hour and a half today. We're starting to get cabin fever. Anyone else want to drop kick that groundhog?