30 November 2009

2009 FO Contest Extension

The 2009 FO Contest has been extended through the end of January due to some recent changes in my moving plans.

The thread for submitting your entries is here.

30 September 2009

2009 FO Contest

2009 Finished Object Contest


Knit, crochet, or weave all that Joy of Life yarn up into finished projects.

  • 1 lucky fiber artist will win the Grand Prize which will include 2 KIP bags by ruddawg (1 mini, 1 small -- in the same print as the ones from the August drawing), 1 skein of Joy of Life Cozy Toes & 1 skein of Joy of Life Merino.
  • 2 fiber artists will be drawn at random from the remaining entries to win 1 skein of Joy of Life Cozy Toes.
General Rules (Drawing & Contest)
  • Each FO must be a minimum of 50 yards.
  • Pictures must be posted somewhere (projects page on Ravelry, blog, crafting site forums that are accessible to me).
  • 1 entry per FO.
  • 1 entry per blog entry (or crafting site post) with pictures and reference to my shop.
  • Projects must be completed by December 31st at midnight Pacific time.
Contest Rules for Grand Prize

I will post a thread on Ravelry where you will post -
  • 1 post for each FO
  • 2 pictures of each FO
  • details about yardage, pattern, etc.
Voting will decide the winner of the grand prize by -
  • most love button clicks
You will have the first week of January to get your posts up, and then there will be one week of voting.

Details on where to post and reminders of deadlines will be posted here near the end of December.

27 September 2009

Benefit Auction for Prune Belly

Starting tomorrow, Claire of The Mom Claire blog is hosting a benefit auction for Prune Belly Syndrome, a devastating illness that kills 20% of infants before they are born and 30% within two years due to kidney problems. I hope anyone who wasn't able to donate to the benefit will go over and check out the auction items.

I've donated these earrings:
(freshwater seed pearls, sterling silver, and silver plated brass.)

21 September 2009

Prizes from August

Well, I just got back from my 2 week vacation to see my family in Minnesota, and I realized that I don't have pics up yet of the prizes that roccermom and soapturtle won!

So, here you go:

Each contained - 1 skein of Joy of Life Cozy Toes sock yarn, 1 mini KIP bag by ruddawg, 1 set of stitchmarkers by jlyarnworks, 1 mini sock blocker key chain by RedB, 2 buttons by BarrelOfMonkeys (both are shown with a knit & a crochet button, but I substituted a Crafty Gal button for the non-crocheter).

(Larger pics on Flickr)

Warm Tone Prize - Winner = Roccermom.

Cool Tone Prize - Winner = SoapTurtle

02 September 2009

August Drawing

August Drawing Winners!

Congratulations to Roccermom (warm tone) & Soapturtle (cool tone)!

Congratulations Ladies! Your prizes will be mailed out shortly!

To those who didn't win:

I'm planning another drawing and I will have details when I come back from vacation -- the basics though:

Start knitting up that JoL yarn! The drawing will be for every Finished Object from 2009, whether knitted, crocheted or woven (minimum approx 50 yards). There will be extra entries for such things as blogging about your FO. Details to come later.

31 July 2009

August Drawing at Joy of Life

Every Skein Purchased is Another Chance to Win!

August Golden Birthday Drawing

$80 worth of Prizes!

This year I'll be turning 28 on the 28th of August -- my Golden Birthday. To celebrate this milestone, I am hosting a drawing at Joy of Life this month.

Every skein you purchase from August 1st - 31st will get your name in the drawing for one of 2 KIP bags by ruddawg pictured above in a summery peridot (modern birth stone) and carnelian (ancient birth stone in some cultures) print. Each bag will have a full skein of Joy of Life Cozy Toes
Superwash Sock (450 yards) and some other fun goodies for the fiberly inclined.

You may choose whether to enter the drawing for the KIP bag with warm tone contents or cool tone contents. Simply indicate "warm" or "cool" in your comments field when you place your order.

NOTE: If you buy multiple skeins I will allow you to split your chances to win between the two bags, but you can't win twice. If I happen to draw the same name for both bags I will allow the winner to choose which they would prefer - warm or cool. and then draw again for the other.

01 July 2009

Demeter Vest

WIPs Wrestlemania FO #1
Demeter Vest

shown over long-sleeved brown tee

Finally finished! Today I wove in the ends and blocked my Demeter Vest. The pattern is basically the Demeter Camisole from Sensual Knits worked in Noro Kureyon Sock. I made some modifications though, due to the striping yarn. Firstly, I changed the neckline by working straight across, back and forth. The cute little split in the original version was going to wreak havoc with getting my stripes to line up.

shown over long-sleeved black tee

Then on the bottom lace edging I originally thought I could make it come out half black / half purple so that the fact that it's worked sideways wouldn't show in the stripes too much. However, the stripes weren't long enough for that and it was coming out colorblocked. I frogged and went with 2 repeats of the lace pattern from Marigold Socks then 1 row knit, 1 row purl, and a purl bind off. This gave it a nice wavy, lacy edge.

detail of edge

23 May 2009

Free Bead Pattern

I wanted to share this chart that I created recently for a square stitched Hello Kitty. I sewed mine onto a felted bookmark as a gift for a Hello Kitty enthusiast, but you could extend the red or repeat the chart top to bottom until it is long enough for a bookmark. Or you could extend the chart left to right until you have a good length for a cuff bracelet.

The color numbers refer to Miyuki seed beads (NOT Delicas). These are merely suggested colors -- the colors that I used. You can easily replace these with whatever your color preferences are. I do suggest that you stick with Japanese seed beads and not Czech though, as Czech tend to be more irregular in size and are therefore not as conducive to flat beadwork.

Here is a picture of my finished product:

21 May 2009

A contest!

Skeins Her Way is having a giveaway for some of the new Spud and Chloe yarn... so head on over and leave a comment!

20 April 2009


Well, I've been asked by one of my best friends from back in Ye Old Minneapolis to talk a bit about reality today. So, for any of you just re-tuning in on my life, here's the skinny.

Moving, moving, moving! I'm not going to get too detailed here lest I bore some of you to tears. So, my husband is in Law right? So, he has a Canadian education and can't practice in MN without going back to school, and he went and took the NYBar while we were still exploring our options. And passed. That's the basic background.

We left MN at the end of last August, went to NYC where he got sworn in and had a two week "vacation" while we explored housing options, since the times we had come out before everyone who was supposed to show us apartments canceled on us. After really not having any luck, since Will hadn't been working in the US long enough, we decided to fly up to Canada to visit family on the Canadian west coast.

Flew to Vancouver. Visited family. Drove to Salt Spring Island. Visited family. Drove to Squamish. Visited family. By this time Will has had an offer from a lawyer in Revelstoke (where his immediate family is building a house and moving too) to be an articling student. For those of you who don't know, Canadian law graduates have to do one year apprenticeships called their "articles" as well as passing the Canadian Bar before they can practice.

So, to make this shorter, we end up moving to Revelstoke. Then Will had to go down to Vancouver to do his PLTC and Canadian Bar Exam -- all of this takes 10 weeks -- starting in Feb. We have *just* moved back up to Rev. We are currently staying in the place we were before for 2 weeks until other people have moved out of where we will ultimately be living.

I have gotten so good at packing. REALLY looking forward to being settled finally in a few weeks. Hopefully won't be moving again before next spring.

In other news, (which you may realize if you've looked over my blog) I am an indie dyer! I am dyeing and selling yarn to keep myself busy up here. As well as doing hobby knitting/crocheting/beading and taking care of housewife-type things.

31 March 2009

Pay It Forward!

The first five (cinq) (cinco) (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:
Totally ganked from Andey's blog.

1. I make no guarantees that you will like what I make. (No refunds… no exchanges!!!!)
2. What I create will be just for you, with love from me.
3. It’ll be done this year (2009).
4. I will not give you any clue what it’s going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be weird or beautiful. I may even create something totally unbelievable and surprise you!! Who knows? Not you, that’s for sure!
5. I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.
6. In return, all you need to do is post this text into a note/post of your own and make 5 things for the first 5 to respond to it.
7. Send your mailing address if you don’t live close to me! Feel free to email your mailing addy to writers_muse @ msn.com.

IMPORTANT: This offer is null and void if I do not see you post your own note to pay this forward.

Whoops! Correct email address present now ;)

23 March 2009

Felted Fingerless Gloves


A friend of mine on Ravelry came up with a great idea: Buy old 100% wool sweaters from thrift stores and upcycle (via felting and sewing) them into fingerless gloves and card caches.


From her site

"All of my fingerless gloves/armwarmers are made from repurposed merino wool, angora, cashmere or lambswool sweaters. Because they are felted, the fabric is soft, warm, sturdy, and will not fray."

So, I finally succumbed recently, bought a pair of the fingerless gloves for myself annnnnnd....

I LOVE them! I barely ever take them off, and I'll definitely have to buy another pair for the days when I want shorter ones. They're super soft and toasty warm!

15 March 2009

The Latest from Joy of Life

Just getting pics up of my last 2 batches of hand-dyes. I've sold a few but most of these are still available in my etsy shop: Joy of Life.

Cozy Toes - Rose Garden

Cozy Toes - Atmosphere

Cozy Toes - Terrarium

Cozy Toes - Briar Rose

Cozy Toes - Dragonfly Wings

Cozy Toes - Blackberry Picking

Cozy Toes - SuperGirl

Cozy Toes - Lilacs

Cozy Toes - Scuba Dive

07 March 2009

An Enigma Wrapped in a Shawl

I organize a 2 month increment KAL/CAL in Bubbo's Pants on Ravelry and for March/April we decided to do lace. This is my first major lace project, so on recommendations from others I picked something with a short repeating chart. I decided to do the Woodland Shawl because I've been dying to knit up my Enigma (a yummy color that reminds me of Butterscotch and Vanilla pudding swirled together) from Andey Originals, and I felt that the color went really well with a leafy pattern.

So far, I'm really enjoying this pattern. The chart is short enough that after I do one repeat on each row, I don't have to look enabling me to watch tv shows online while I knit. I definitely recommend using the chart link she supplies. Also, if you're a beginning lace knitter like me, I found it very helpful to copy/print out the chart and then write down the setup for each row. The pattern undulates so before you start the chart on each row you have a few setup stitches. I just found it easier to have it all in one place.

01 March 2009

Latest Hand-Dyes

So here's my latest batch of hand-dyed yarn...

Cozy Toes - SuperGirl

Cozy Toes - Holy Crap! Bubbo's On Fire!

Cozy Toes - Orange You Glad?

Cozy Toes - SeaMist

Cozy Toes - Peach Blossom

Cozy Toes - Violetta

Alpaca/Wool 2ply - Vintage Valentine

Alpaca/Wool 2ply - Dragonfly Wings

08 February 2009

It's Official!

I'm a Yarnie -- an Indie Dyer!

I opened up an etsy shop and sold my first batch of yarn. You can find me here: Joy of Life.

Here are some of my recent hand-dye...

Cozy Toes Lite - Holy Crap! Bubbo's on Fire!

Cozy Toes Lite - Ocean Deep

Cozy Toes Lite - Spring Rose

Cozy Toes - Seafoam

26 January 2009

Django Socks by Cookie A.

Well, I finally feel like I'm making some progress on my Django socks. I had to rip the cuff twice -- the first time because it was too big and the second because I made a mistake right at the beginning of the cabling. Now that I have finished the cuff and a full cable repeat on the leg I can say that this pattern is truly beautiful. The pictures of the yarn make it look like the cables don't stand out that much but it's just the way it photographs. I'm really enjoying this pattern -- the charts for the cabling are really clear and easy to follow and after half a repeat it becomes sort of intuitive.

Front of Sock

Back of Sock

25 January 2009


Ok, this is a little late in coming, but the morning after we had the swap I found out my grandmother had died. I'm just now starting to get back to reality and my blog.

I just got done with an awesome swap (if I do say so myself, as organizer) in Bubbo's Pants on Ravelry. It was a Swaptabulous Pantascular Swap. We set a price limit and all of us filled out little surveys on our likes and dislikes. We used Elfster for the names drawing, and it worked out really well. I have a couple ideas on how to organize better for next time, but I think it went pretty well for a first time swap.

Ah, but now! On to the goodies!

Here is what I got from my swap partner -- the fabulous deedeeknits!

Super cute stitch markers from SummerStar Creations on etsy. Unfortunately, this picture does not do them justice. They are opaque and glossy and sparkly and a super pretty blue!

1 skein of Andey Originals yarn in Enigma! Yummy tan/gold colorway.

A cute little printed tin with matching stationary, also stationary with my name!
My favoritest, most missed US snack: Cheez-Its. They unfortunately are already gone. Yum.

Also, some Black Cherry Kool-Aid to use for dyeing yarn! Unfortunately Canada is not so great on the variety of colors of Kool-Aid. Although, we do have Magic Cherry which I've heard is pretty rare.

So, "yay!" for swaps!

16 January 2009

Django Socks

I'm now working up the Django Sock pattern -- I'm calling them my Good Morning! socks. Worked the cuff to the end then realized that it was going to be too big. Frogged, CO on smaller needles and we'll see how it goes this time. I've wanted to make this one for quite a while because the cabling is sooo beautiful and follows the contours of the foot. I was a little intimidated by doing top down socks, but we'll see how that goes.

Working the pattern in Araucania Ranco Multi in blues, which is slightly more periwinkle than the picture shows:

14 January 2009

Epic Fail!

I'm designing some colorwork socks right now, and do you think I swatched the colorwork? no... I swatched with one color and then planned up a few sts which resulted in:

Epic Fail!!

they were too tight. The yarn is now in time out... I'm going to restart these after I'm done with the KAL/CALs I'm currently involved in.

13 January 2009

Soap Saver Recipe

You can use any sport/dk or worsted/aran weight cotton or cotton/linen blend yarn for this. Once you have picked your yarn you can determine hook size. For example, on the tan soap saver pictured I used a worsted weight cotton and a 4.5mm hook. This gave me a very dense scrubby fabric. On the yellow one I used a larger hook to get a softer fabric. Choose your hook based on your tension and the effect you're going for. Just keep in mind that you want it to dry out between uses so if you go for super-dense you may want to make it a bit bigger than the bar of soap.

Chain until it is a couple stitches longer than the long end of your bar of soap.

1. HDC in second chain from the hook and once in each chain across
2. Make turning chain and hdc once in each stitch across.
repeat row 2 until you have a rectangle that covers the bottom of your bar of soap

Now we are going to switch to crocheting in the round.
Rd1. place stitch marker on your last hdc. *Now hdc down the side of your rows, one stitch for every row.*

When you get to the corner turn so that the bottom of the chain is up -- hdc across this row once in the bottom of each chain.

Response to a question: When you initially crochet across the chain row you are (most likely) crocheting into either one of the loops, or the little bump on top of the loops, depending on your preference.

Once you get to this point in the pattern, I'm asking you to turn the piece until the un-worked loop(s) are facing up and crochet into the remaining loop(s)

Please let me know if this helps or if you have more questions -- that was my very first pattern.

When you get to the corner repeat from * to *. Check to be sure there are the same number of stitches as on the other side.

Continue to stitch one hdc in each stitch until you come to your stitch marker. Check to make sure that you have an even number of stitches around. If not work one inc. in last stitch of round

Rd2. Now we begin the moss stitch. Starting in the stitch where you placed your stitchmarker, +work 1sc, 1dc in the same stitch, skip the next stitch+ repeat from + to + across row.

repeat rd2 until your soap fits inside with 2 rows sticking up over the top.

OPTIONAL -- If you'd like to put in a little bit of mesh to show off nice handmade soaps, you'll need to insert the following at whatever height you wish. When you have gotten to the part of your soap saver where you would like to insert the mesh:

MeshRd1. hdc across all stitches
MeshRd2. ch4 (3 for dc, +1ch), * skip 1 st, dc in next st, ch1 * repeat from * to * across. slip st in top of beg. ch 3.
Do this for 1 or 2 rds then work moss st across top by working sc, dc in dc from prior row and skipping chst

Final Rd. Work 1dc in each st across. Slst in 1st dc to join.

To make your drawstring there are 2 methods.

1. cut 3 strands that are about 1" - 2" longer around than the top of your soap saver tie them together by placing a not near one end, braid them, then tie the other


2. make a chain about 1" - 2" longer than the top of your soap saver measures around, tie a knot on each end and snug it up against the chain. trim ends.

Finally, thread thread drawstring through dc round, tie ends in a knot close to the other knots, fill with bar soap.