Monday, November 15, 2010


For the loyal customers who follow this blog and keep in contact on Ravelry, I apologize for being so absent in the running of my business. I haven't dyed in probably two months and I know my site is looking pretty empty and sad. But there is dyeing to be done!! I've been living without hot water for over a week and today the gas company is supposed to come (finally) to fix that. My job is a 90 minute commute (each way) and I'm just dead by the time I get home. But my skeiner should arrive this week and I plan to rig up a way to hang yarn out on the little patio over the weekend and get at least a few new ones dyed - if you've got a special request for what to do first please send me a note! Very soon you'll hear me say I'm back...and in the meantime I'll just fill you in on the move.

Love Love LOVE the house and the area in general. I'm learning my way around and my two girls are loving being the center of attention without any competition from alpha cat Bailey. I miss Bailey though. Nelson, aka Sir Barfsalot, is with the soon-to-be-ex and it's really nice to be able to walk around my house barefoot without worrying about stepping in his latest mess. I would have loved to bring Sofie and had 3 girls but she and Nelson have never been apart and at the age of 9 they should never be separated. Even if their dad does lock them in the bathroom for hours at a time.

Anyway, I know where the dyes are, and the pots, so I'm good. Just need hot water and some time. Stay tuned...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

How to Catch a Cricket - by Katie

I am the cat who refuses to give in to the diagnosis of kidney failure. I just refuse. In June 2009 Dr.Heit told mom I had end stage renal failure and would probably not live another 3 months. HA! Here I am. 18 months later and I'm doing just fine. And I have moved to Arizona with my mom and...well...other cat I don't like much...Chanel. She's just a prissy-butt who doesn't dare tarnish her tiara by actually doing anything other than sucking up to mom. But that's okay...I get my share of lovin'. And I got all kinds of praise last night for making sure this cricket didn't get over to the sofa where mom was sitting. She's afraid of anything with more than 4 legs and I just don't get's yummy stuff!!

So first of all, you have to trap the cricket and make sure it knows who's boss. I scared him into submission because I'm so much bigger than he was. HA!

Then you slap it with your paw and stick it with your claw - this makes it so it can't move so it won't try to run anymore and jump away!

Chew carefully, and enjoy. My tummy is happy. And Mom is too.

I apparently will not get the opportunity to do this again in the near future. Mom called somebody called an exterminator who sprayed smelly stuff around the baseboards inside the house. It didn't smell too bad but it didn't smell too good either. Then he went outside and he sprayed really stinky stuff in the garage and all around the outside of the house. Mom said she didn't want crickets here because scorpions love them and she would move back to CA if she sees a scorpion. That wouldn't be good. I laughed when she said "If I see a scorpion then the soon-to-be-ex doesn't look so bad."

I better get off the computer now before Mom realizes I posted to her blog. Must wipe my paw prints off the keyboard too. BYE!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Getting here Part I

My friend Corliss flew in from Portland to help drive the truck. We left Friday morning, 11/5 and when we were on 580 not quite to I-5 we encountered this scene. It was a rollover accident involving a van of 8 people. Two were injured badly enough to be airlifted by Med-evac helicopters and we had front row seats. Unfortunately one person died at the scene. We were the first vehicle to be pulled to a stop at the scene so they could leave room to land the helicopters.
Med-Evac helicopter #1 arrives and lands on freeway

I believe there were 5 fire/rescue vehicles, at least 7 Highway Patrol, and 4 or 5 ambulances.

This ambulance, one of 5 I believe on scene, carried away 2 people who had been injured.

Helicopter 2 flying off with injured person

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So sorry for being away so long...

Wow. What a difference a month makes. On September 25 I had a family issue that led me to begin questioning what I really wanted from my life, however short or long it may be. I realized that I need to be with Jillian and her family, rather than drifting into a non-existence with my husband. We have grown apart and we keep trying again but we keep having the same result...probably because we never do anything different!! Anyway, I made the decision on September 27 to move to AZ, look for work and a home, and proceed with my life in a much better mind set and in a much better situation.

And here I am. One month later. Today I was offered one job, which I accepted, and then called by both of the other HR departments for the other 2 positions I'd interviewed for and set up for testing and further interviews. And then I got the call from the realtor that I also got approved for the house I'd fallen in love with.

My new birthdate, or I guess "re" birthdate? 10/28/10. A very good day for me. I accepted the position offered, and also accepted the testing and 2nd interviews. Which one is the right one for me will become apparent I am sure in pretty quick time.

In the meantime, this is my new house! It's having some work done as the prior owners did some damage on their way out, but by the time I move in it will be perfect. And Katie and Chanel will move in with me and I just know they're going to love scampering around in their new living space.

Front Kitchen Window - Chanel and Katie will LOVE this!

Built-in storage in the garage

And a work area in the garage - how cool is that??

And the living room...TV will be against that wall

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Green Socks Month

The Solid Socks group on Ravelry features certain colors each month. For October, the chosen color is GREEN!! You can get $5 off any full size skein on my Artfire site by using the coupon code GREENSOLIDSOCKS at checkout. You don't have to buy green solid yarn to get the discount though :) Coupon is good through October 15. Here are a couple of samples of Lucky Charm, a true Christmas-y green.
Mousse (silk blend) - Lucky Charm

Ice Cream Sundae - Lucky Charm

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Remembering 9/11

I didn't know anyone personally who died on 9/11, but like everyone else I remember exactly what I was doing when I heard the news. I cried for days over this horrendous event. Now some idiot who calls himself a man of God thinks it's a good idea to burn the holy book of the Islam people. Are we not a nation of religious freedom? Is this not what brings about most wars? I'm not religious. I'm actually not in favor of organized religion in general. But I also believe that we are free to believe as we wish to believe, worship (or not) the way we wish. All of this is just a small part of what makes America great. A mosque near where the World Trade Center once stood? So what? The people who will go to that mosque are not the people who flew those planes. Islam was not responsible for the events of 9/11 - idiots were responsible. Idiots who did their dirty deeds in the name of Islam. Let's not forget that.

And in the spirit of American patriotism, I created a treasury on Etsy of some of my favorite red/white/blue items. Check it out here.

And wave the American flag and promote that you're proud to be an American. And if you're not an American that's okay too :) Be proud of your country and show your patriotism.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

New most popular flavor?

I did a version of Witch's Brew, but left out the black. It started as an accident, but I thought it looked super cool so I went ahead and listed it. Now I can't keep it in stock! More is headed for the dye pot on Monday, but here's a look.

And be sure to click the handmade pledge - think artisans first for unique items for yourself and for gifts! We're just trying to make our own place in this crazy world :) Take the handmade pledge.

And my last thing for today: I started a MBA program...what the hell was I thinking? This stuff is not easy so if you really love doing algebraic equations and think it's fun to do all kinds of math problems, wanna do my homework for me? Egads...took me 3 hours yesterday for one stinking homework problem. But it's done. Submitted. And hopefully not all wrong. Uneven cash flow stream? Does this stuff really get used in the business world, or is it just busy work for grad students?

Have a great holiday weekend y'all. I'm planning to knit knit knit today!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My very first sale!!

Back to school in style!! Use code BACKTOSCHOOL on Artfire from August 16 through August 31 and get $5 off every full size skein priced $20 to $22. NO LIMIT to how many, but limited to stock on hand. If you don't see the flavor you're looking for, send me a message. I may have it and just don't have it listed, although I am trying to make sure everything is represented.

NOTE: This sale is only for goods purchased on Artfire, NOT on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Knitting Projects

I'm working this month on completing some projects that have been snoozing for way too long. This top I started last June is super cute, but because I added length I ran out of yarn before I got to the sleeves! So off to the yarn store I go for more...

And Jillian's Christmas present, her ruffle socks made from Chrissy Gardiner's Sydney pattern in my Ice Cream Sundae in Sprinkles.  Cute, eh?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Project Bags!

I've wanted to create a line of sock-size project bags and working with a friend I've managed to do it. These are 9x9, perfect for socks or other small items in progress, and fully reversible. Tie the drawstring around your belt loop or handbag handle and you can carry hands-free!! Totally cute. Enjoy!



Saturday, July 31, 2010

Show Your Team Spirit

I wanted to do NFL colors last year but never really got around to it. So now I've got some team colors!! One is Ohio State and one is Arizona State, not NFL but there might be some NFL teams out there that share these colors...I give you:

Galactic Gumdrop (silver/gray for the Raiders), 

Packers Punch (green/gold for the Packers as well as my own Oakland A's),

CherryMallow (scarlet red/silver for Ohio State),

Caramel Appletini (burgundy/gold for Arizona State)

and last but not least, 
still to be named navy/silver for the Dallas Cowboys...
needs a name still. Top of the list right now is Midnight Champagne...your suggestions are welcome! Blueberry Cheesecake just came in from facebook...keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The finished Mystery Socks!!

I've never finished a pair of mystery socks before, so this is a first for me. These were a LOT of fun, but I can honestly say I'll be working single stranded for awhile. Back to my own latest design and the bag of projects I'm currently working on. So enjoy a little eye candy...4-season socks designed by Chrissy Gardiner.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

July 25 - A Great Day to be Born!!

July 25, 1988: Lissa comes into the world at 1:19 a.m. after 8 hours of induced labor and that's all we're gonna say about that. Today she turns 22, and the celebration was on first with balloons, one of her favorite things. Today she didn't play with them the way she used to, and I was told she has grown to be quite afraid of them when they pop so now she treats them with a little more respect.

Next, it was time to go into the pool. All of the kids were in their swimsuits and ready to go, but Lissa got a little bit shy about coming out with her swimsuit.

And this was one of the yummiest cakes ever. White cake with rich chocolate filling and a whipped cream frosting. Super yum. And of course there was ice cream, Rocky Road and Cookies 'n Cream. What's YOUR favorite flavor?

So if your birthday is July 25, as Lissa's is and my good friend Jane's too...I hope you had an absolutely wonderful birthday! And if you're looking to decorate your walls, let me recommend Jane's beautiful landscape and nature photography. She's even running a sale this month in honor of her own birthday. We support small business here!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Yay for Small Business America!

On Wednesday Lisa and I went to lunch in downtown Benicia. We didn't know where we were going to go so we just agreed to meet "somewhere" on First Street. As luck would have it, I went to one end to wait and she went to the other, so talking to each other on our cell phones we met in the middle. It seemed appropriate that the restaurant that was right there be "the one". It was Capitol Cafe, a newly established little home cooking place that has only been open for 3 months. And omigosh is it ever worth it. Great food, great service, and the owner Christine came and talked with us about the perks and problems of opening a new business. Things like getting a review in a paper but one of the other cafes, one that has been around much longer, was given credit in print. If you're up here in Solano County, be sure to head to Capitol Cafe on the corner of First and G in Benicia and have some great home cooking!

Today I went over to Kaiser in Vallejo to pick up our prescriptions. We ordered 3 month supplies of all of our meds since we are going to lose our coverage on August 1. Scary. But that's another topic for another day. At this Kaiser on Fridays there is a farmer's market with all kinds of yummy organic fruits and vegetables, as well as freshly prepared foods and freshly baked breads. About 2 months ago I was there on a Friday and the lady who was selling her homemade Mexican food had given me enough sample bites to fill me up for lunch and her food was so good that I bought something like $42 of food from her - the plan was our weekend meals would be this lady's wonderful enchiladas and salsa. Well, when I got home I couldn't find the bag with that $42 worth of food. Anywhere. It was after the market would have closed and so I just hoped that whoever found it needed it worse than we did.

So today I walked by her booth and struck up a conversation and mentioned I'd bought this wonderful food from her and then lost the bag somewhere before getting home. I couldn't afford to replace it today so I wasn't going to buy anything, but I'll be damned if she didn't say "that was you? She not only remembered me, but I'd left the bag at the bread man's booth next door to her and he didn't see it until I was long gone. She said if I'd paid with a check or a credit card she would have had my number and would have called me, but since I'd paid cash she had no way to reach me. As she was telling me this, she was filling a bag with exactly what I'd purchased that day, including remembering which salsa I'd liked, and handed me the bag. Now that is the way to build a business and inspire customer loyalty. So again, if you're in this area, her company is Mi Fiesta and the address is Broadway St. in Vallejo. She's at the Farmer's Market at Kaiser Vallejo every Friday from 10-2 and probably does other Farmer's Markets as well. Tell her the forgetful lady who left her food sent you :)

I am so happy to see small businesses forging ahead and pushing for success. I'm doing the same and if you're running a small business whether it's a little cafe, a home catering business, a photographer (Janiefer), a yarnie such as myself, or whatever keep it going. It's the foundation of this great country of ours. All politics aside: we're in this together and everyone deserves to succeed and have a warm place to sleep and the necessities of life. Such as good food prepared by ladies who love to cook.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Katie Kat and that damn elusive tail - Part II

Okay so I posted this yesterday then couldn't get the video to upload. So here's the video. Everyone in the world can post a video to YouTube, but not me!! I tried uploading it to YouTube, Flickr, and directly here and all of the uploads failed. So I took another video this morning using my phone and was able to upload it to YouTube. If I can get another one I'll do it with my camera, which has a much better resolution.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Katie Kat and that damn elusive tail

Katie is my little tortie who was diagnosed with end stage renal failure and given only 3-6 months to live. That was June 1, 2009. Today is July 21, 2010 and she is showing signs of going nowhere. And chasing that damn tail she can never quite catch. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Unemployment, Underemployment, and...what's next?

I've got so many friends and loved ones who have lost their jobs and have been trying to keep their heads up and stay afloat. I want to pursue my yarn business full time but it's just not supporting itself, so I've been looking for a job myself. It's quite discouraging to have the experience and the education and still be unable to find anything.

But things are looking up...a little bit. A good friend who lost her job as AP manager for Longs Drugs (when CVS took over Longs and fired everyone in the Longs main offices) has been unemployed since April 2009. She's done a couple of temporary gigs but those have no benefits, no paid time off, and generally no recognition. She was offered a perm position with the company she's currently temping for, and she'll take a $25k salary reduction from what she's making as a temp and what she was making at Longs. But it's better than nothing, yes? Quite a blow to one's ego but at least there are benefits and paid time off.

So I look at this with hope. Hope that in a short period of time others I know and care about (including myself) will find the opportunity to help the economy begin to turn around. Our elected officials did the right thing today by extending unemployment benefits to those who have been unemployed for a long time. It's a start. Now we need to get all of those people back to work. Including a reluctant me. Crafts Meow won't support us. Yet. But with my loyal customers spreading the news of this product, it should.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Template change

I have changed my background template...yet 50-something-eyes are beginning to have a hard time reading. Imagine that! Hope you like the new light background. Time to go get my hair I think!

Sunday, July 18, 2010


I found this pattern on Ravelry and knew I absolutely had to do it. So it jumped to the top of my ever-expanding queue and once I went stash diving and found this lovely yellow yarn it became a must do. I currently have cast-on-itis. But that's one of the great things about knitting as a hobby - there are no rules! If I want to have a whole bunch of projects sitting here in process then I will...because I can. This one I'd like to wear before summer is over but if I don't get it done in time then it will be summer again next year. And since the pattern is called Valencia, I will have to do it in orange as well!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

July Mystery Sock after Clue #2

I'm half way done with my first ever Mystery Socks that I will actually complete!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

July Mystery Sock

I've never completed the mystery sock when presented in Ravelry's Sock Knitters Anonymous group...but I am determined this month to finish. I've finished with Clue #1, using Ice Cream Sundae in Banana for my MC and Kamikaze for CC1. When Clue #2 is released I presume it will begin gusset increases, which I find so much easier to do toe up than top down. And the toe pockets hold the yarn bobbins really well!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Just listed today

Finally had some time to upload some new listings. Trifle in Kamikaze, a rich beautiful teal semi-solid, and for those who have been asking for silk, take a look at Mousse. A few flavors are up now, with more to come in the next few days.

Trifle is 100% superwash BFL wool, and Mousse is 50/50 superwash merino wool/silk. Super yum!

I am busy preparing for Stitches Midwest, to be held August 19-22 in Schaumburg IL just outside of Chicago so if you're going to be in the area I'm bring LOTS of yummy stuff, including everything from the Etsy site!

New book!!

Chrissy Gardiner is putting together a new pattern book featuring 25 (or more) indie dyers such as myself. The book is set to be released in July at Sock Summit 2011.

Here is a link to the site. I urge you to sign up...what a great opportunity to obtain some of the patterns pre-release, extra goodies, and when the book is in print your copy will be signed by this very talented designer!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The latest addition to the flavor line

is Cantaloupe Freeze...some of the best ones start out to be something else and then decide that's not what they want to be. Such is the case with this one. It was supposed to be Peach Smoothie, a nice soft peach color but the yarn said nope, it wanted to be darker. It reminds me of the flesh of a cantaloupe. Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

New Listings

So the dye pots have been hot and lots of stuff coming out. Spin-a-Yarn, a wonderful little yarn store in Vacaville, is carrying Crafts Meow yarn and selling it quite well. I'm taking a new supply over there 3/10 so if you're in the area stop in and say hello! She's requested jeweltone and pastel semi-solids but I'll take a few variegated pieces as well.

New Etsy listings include pastel solids for the Solid Socks group KAL in April on Ravelry - join in the fun! And the Blankie group is buying up Kiddie Scoops almost faster than I can make them.

Cantaloupe Freeze is the newest semi-solid and will hit Etsy tomorrow after I get it photographed. And a new one I think I'm going to call Punkin Twist will be up too. Go on over and take a look...I'm much better at keeping Etsy up to date than I am this blog :-).