Thursday, December 1, 2011

Craft Fair!

We're at not one but two craft fairs this weekend! Come see us in Santa Cruz at the Monarch Fair at the Civic Center or the Ribbon Street Fair at the Freight Building!

Friday, May 13, 2011

K11 Craft Sale Recap

The Craft Sale at Knit-One-One in Berkeley this past weekend was a success. We had a great spot outside the studio across from Bag It Designs who we met at the Louden Nelson Winter Fair in Santa Cruz last year.

I debuted my single-ply worsted weight hand spuns and they were well recieved. I sold a couple hanks to the lovely owner of Bubbles and Boo who plans to use them in her product photos before knitting something beautiful for herself. I’m pleased they turned out so well, and I think I’ll be doing many more of them in the future.

During the sale, I set up my spinning wheel and answered questions from dozens of curious folks about the mechanics of the spinning wheel. Many were most surprised to find out that my wheel was not antique at all, and that the company that produced mine is still doing so. Though spinning yarn is a craft associated with times of yore(Remember sleeping beauty?), the skill has been passed through families and friends and has grown so much in popularity that many yarn shops now also sell spinning fiber and some even host classes.

Though sales were not as high as we’d hoped, we did meet a lot of lovely local crafters, Hedgerose got commission work, and I discussed the possibility of teaching a drop-spindle workshop at Knit-One-One in the future. While a spinning wheel is a major investment, costing anywhere between $300 and $700, drop spindles sell for closer to $15 and are a great way to start learning without having to make a huge dent in your savings. In fact, that’s exactly where I started in 2007, and since I was given a wheel by my aunt, I spend much of my free time at home consumed by this hobby.

I’m still dreaming about someday making it a full time job. For now, occasional fairs will do just fine.

*This entry cross-posted from

Sunday, May 1, 2011

K11 Craft Fair

We have been included in the Knit one one craft fair. It is the day before Mother's Day in Berkeley.
The fair is from 10-4 at 3360 Adeline Street, Berkeley, CA 94703. There is a lot of free parking and it is close to the Ashby BART. Here is a link to the official website:

We look forward to seeing you there! If there is anything you would like to see there, please let us know!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Steam Punk Convention

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the steampunk convention in San Jose. It was amazing! it was my first convention and what a way to start! I was amazed by how great everyone's costumes were and how all the vendors had such amazing and creative items. There was even a tikki Daleck! Miss Kalendar's tea room was beautifully done and a haven to retreat into. I definitely want to go next year and plan ahead so that I too can have a good costume!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Sweet Pickled Pearl Onions

A few weeks ago I learned to pickle quail eggs from Kitty Sharkey of Havenscourt Homestead. They turned out so well that I thought I might just try to put together something of my own.

I developed a delicious recipe for sweet pickled pearl onions which go well in salad or as a zesty side to sandwiches, burgers and barbecue. Best of all, they are super easy to make and I’ll tell you how!

Peel and trim 2-3 cups of red pearl onions. White pearl onions will work too but won’t be quite as sweet. Though I haven’t tried it, you could also coarsely chop 2 large onions. In a bowl, cover the peeled onions with boiling water and let them sit for 5 minutes. Drain them and fill the onions into a jar or two.

In a non-reactive saucepan combine the following ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.

  • 1 c. white vinegar
  • 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher or pickling salt
  • 1 cracked bay leaf
  • 2-3 large cloves of crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. cracked pepper corns
  • 1/2 tsp. ground clove
  • 1/2 tsp. celery seed
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

Pour the brine over your filled jar(s) of onions without filtering out any of the spices and allow them to soak up flavor for at least 5 days before serving. They will keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 month.

If you would like to keep these for longer follow proper canning process as recommended by a reputable agency(USDA, FDA, National Center for Home Food Preservation, etc.) once you’ve filled the jars. If they are canned, they ought to keep for months and months.

Now, I’m going to go enjoy some of those onions!

*This entry cross-posted from

Monday, February 28, 2011

Real Winter and International Yarn

I've been back for a month and am finally starting to settle back in.

Germany was a perfect winter wonderland. The photo above was taken in full color! Celebrating a real white Christmas was truly special.

I managed to finish all 8 gift projects I had going the night before Christmas and they were splendidly received. Everyone was thrilled and impressed! My aunt, and trip benefactor, even nabbed her husband's scarf within the week and pulled the "communal property card" when I raised my eyebrow at her.

Understandably, I've been pretty burnt out on knitting since then, but I did start creating a pattern with some gorgeous hand-painted yarn that I picked up at a wonderful shop in Berlin. Fadeninsel was located just around the corner from the apartment Boy and I stayed in for 5 days. It is a wonderful little shop which emphasizes handcrafted yarns and local products like Opal yarn which I brought back for Riastiltskein.

Now that I'm home, I've gotten back into several new hobbies. I'll share tales and photos as soon as the projects are underway or complete.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ron Yarn!

Freya went to Germany for forever (ok, about 2 months, but still). She came back recently and is getting settled back and unpacking. She came up to me and said that she had gotten something for me in Germany, while grinning menacingly , which was worrisome, and then she pulled out this! It is Germany Harry Potter yarn! With Ron on it! He is my favorite, absolutely. And it even says Harry Potter und der Halbblut-Prinz! Awesome!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Pattern: Wildhood Cowl

It is pattern time!

Earlier this winter, I did a lot of shawls. Like, a LOT of shawls. I had shawls coming out my ears. I think I knit five slightly different versions of the Swallowtail shawl.

When that was all said and done, I decided I wanted to knit something radically different. So, naturally, I decided on something for relatively the same part of the body, knit with similar yarn on similar needles.

Having looked through the cowl patterns on Ravelry and on Knitty, and not being able to find one I liked, I decided to make up my own pattern. I wanted something slightly lacy, but with enough body that it would keep my ears warm. This is what I came up with!

Unnamed Cowl (seriously, does anyone want to name this for me?)

ETA: WILDHOOD COWL! (Thanks, Naomi. It is perfect!)

Yarn: less than one skein Malabrigo lace. You could, I suppose, knit this longer and use an entire skein.

Needles/notions: I used 24" circulars in size 6 (4.0 mm.); it was a bit of a stretch at times. You could use shorter needles or DPNs easily. You will want a yarn needle or crochet hook to weave in the ends.

k2tog: knit two stitches together
kfb: knit through the front and back of a stitch.

CO 120 stitches loosely. Join, being careful not to twist.

Rows 1: Place marker at the beginning of the row, then k all
Rows 2-3: k all
Row 4: [yo, k2tog] to end of row
Rows 5-9: k all
Row 10: [k2tog, yo] to end of row
Rows 11-15: k all

Repeat rows 4-15 until the cowl is as long as you would like it to be; mine is around 15 inches. Stop at the end of row 13.


Row 1: [k2, kfb] to end of row. You should now have 150 sts.
Rows 2-3: k all
Row 5: [yo, k2tog] to end of row.
Rows 6-10: k all.

To bind off: I used the elastic cast-off found at the end of the Swallowtail shawl pattern; make sure to cast off loosely.

This is long enough to be worn as a hood or as an abbreviated scarf-thing. It's much warmer than it looks! Enjoy, and please let me know if you find any problems with the pattern or have any questions!

(I have mostly been blogging over here of late; I promise I'll do more knitting/spinning posts soon!!)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Annis Part 2

I have casted on (successfully finally) and knit much of the Annis shawl. I am liking it once I finally got over the first few rows. I am knitting on larger needles with fingering weight wool instead of lace. I also cut out 10 repeats, so it wasn't insanely large. There is a user on Ravelry that listed the solution to the short rows with a different number of stitches. I don't want to link without permission, but I found it by searching Annis and then searching helpful notes. I am really loving the short rows. I may have to cast on another shortly. I see why Sarah has become addicted to the shawls.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Annis Shawl

I casted on, knit a few rows, ripped out this shawl so many times over a week and a half, that I think I have gone a bit crazy. I tried to do the pattern as written. I sized up to a bigger needle and bigger yarn. I cut repeats. I managed to get about 5 or 6 rows in and had to rip it all out because of mistakes that were too large to gloss over.The last time that I pulled it out and cast back on, after hearing the frustration as I realized I would have to pull it all out again, Warebeast borrowed it and hid it. Not very well, I found it the next day, but still, maybe I ought to let this one go for now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

I whistle a happy tune...

I am in my first year of teaching in a Montessori classroom. I love the methods, I love the theory, I love the kids. I am struggling, as all first year teachers do. I have read account after account of similar struggles. I have read several books detailing what to do. I have the luxury of a head teacher who is extremely experienced and willing to explain why we do what we do.

Some days are wonderful! The kids show me a new way of looking at life and the world around me. They say funny things and do strange things or just run up out of the blue and give you a hug. I love teaching and would never dream of anything else. Some days are terrible. No one listens, my voice starts to get horse, I get sneezed on, step in puddles in the bathroom in my socks. I ask myself why it is that I started this and remember how untrained I am and that I have no applicable skills.

The weekends are either spent recovering and catching up on all the chores I have left unfinished throughout the week or trying to make up for lost time and catch up with friends that I have ended up seeing less of then I would like.

Some time I wonder if I will ever feel like a real teacher. My head teacher, in giving me advice on effective discipline, told me that it has to come from inside, you have to feel it before the kids will listen and that no one else can help me. My father, a high school teacher, told me to remember that I am the teacher. I think that the kids can tell when I am feeling unsure of myself and run with it.

I was talking to a close friend who is much older than I am and I asked her if you ever really feel like an adult. She started to answer, hemmed and hawed a little bit, but the final answer was no, you get more mature and see that you were a stupid young person, but you never really feel any different. Which is comforting on some level and disheartening on another. I wanted to know that it would all solidify at some point and I would feel "grown up" and like a "real teacher" and I know that at some point, like getting old, I will start to mature and feel more sure of myself, but as my lead teacher pointed out, it won't come from a manuel or advice. While they are helpful, eventually, it all works out ok.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Om nom nom!

I went over to Sarah's (Hedgerose) house and crafted and ate. That woman is an amazing cook. She has a food blog at She made me risotto. I chose not to eat many meats, but I do still eat seafood. She made scallop risotto with a crab broth that was amazing!

I spun some on the fleece from my uncle. I am liking the way it is spinning up. It is a shorter staple than I'm used to, in large part because these sheep were raised for meat. However, I really like the light gray color that it spins up to be and I love that it is from my uncle. It is going very slowly. I broke the belt on the drum carder and haven't gotten a new one yet. I also haven't been spinning as much as normally lately. I got a little burnt out over December.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

What a whirlwind holiday season it was! After the craft faire in Santa Cruz I began the Christmas Knitting. Now Sinspinner was much smarter than I and had started much sooner. She however was going to Germany to see family and therefore had much more than I. I started the socks that Warebeast's mother had commissoned on December 5th and believed that I could knit 5 pairs of socks, 2 hats, a bag, a lace scarf and still keep my job and sanity. This was not the case. I caved on the 23rd and went to Target.
Sinspinner in Germany with the Boy until the 24th, which makes the apartment and the cats very lonely. I hope that everyone's holidays were lovely!