Friday, June 22, 2007


This has been a surprisingly difficult decision, but I am moving my blog over to Typepad. You can continue reading about me, my family, unschooling and sewing over here

Purple Kappa

I wanted to be able to respond to comments and blogger doesn't offer such a feature. Also, when I first started this blog, I had intended it to be a knitting blog--hence the title. Now that I hardly ever knit anymore, and rarely am intoxicated, I wanted to create a different sort of blog. It's kind of odd, starting over. Rereading this one, there is a log of good stuff here, I am pleased I was able to maintain this. But I am enjoying the new space and hope you will join me over there.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Toys to Sew

I was pleased to find Toys to Sew at the library last week

It has dozens of adorable toy projects, but the cloth doll patterns in the first half of the book aren't really my style so I had been resisting buying it.
Little houses--I think this is my favorite

Isn't the fabric used to make this great?

I like how the sections of the shell were pieced so they can purposely fray

The embroidered accents on the dinosaurs are a nice touch

Monday, June 18, 2007

Summer Days

Shark Attack

Studying Japanese while sitting on the porch (didn't get much done, just a few paragraphs)

Cold soba noodles with cucumber, seaweed, pickled ginger and wasabi

A fairy has moved into our garden

The summer so far has refused to indulge me in one of my favorite things--thunderstorms. I keep getting little teasers, but nothing truly spectacular. Today is no exception. It must be nearly 90 degrees, just a few puffy clouds and haze. We played outside for a while, then sought refuge inside in front of the fans.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

LIttle Red Rodent Hood

I was actually holding this book in my hand yesterday, ready to buy it

But the line was really long and I had a four year old about to have a naptime meltdown, so back to the shelf it went. I'll pick it up on the next trip to the bookstore, we go often enough it won't be too long a wait. And it's probably best to delay the purchase, I already have enough projects going on right now as it.

This is going to be another dress for Ivy. The embroidery was inspired by a Japanese pattern for little red riding hood, but this is a mouse--Little Red Rodent Hood. She's friends with the wolf and intends to share her basket of goodies with him, so doesn't have to worry about any danger on her way to grandma's house.

This little guy needs a face.

The pattern is from this book. Still not sure about amigurumi yet. I always think it's going to be some quick little project and then it takes me the better part of a week to finally complete something. But it's the sort of thing I can work on while watching television, or take with me and work on in the car, or while the kids are playing at the playground.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hedgehog dress

New dress for my Etsy shop. Linen bodice lined with calico, calico skirt

Detail of the embroidery

Available Here

I was reminded of a funny story tonight. Coming home from Niagara Falls, we got a bit turned around in Buffalo, in a not-so-great neighborhood. We turned down a side street, and then turned again. Right on the corner was a house with a bunch of teenagers on the porch, one of them yelled something at us as we drove by. Probably something rude, I thought, especially since we were driving a shiny expensive (rental) SUV. Teenagers. I am mulling this over in my head as Brian continues up the street when I notice the signs and suddenly it all makes sense. "Wrong way! He was yelling wrong way! Pull over!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Parade the Circle

Every year we attend Parade the Circle and every year it gets more and more crowded. At least this year the weather was perfect--blue skies, sunny but with a breeze to keep everything cool.

These are anemones, part of an underwater procession

Giant griffin puppet. His legs were attached to long sticks and jointed so it could look as though he was actually walking, his wings flapped and his beak could open and close.

Anyone can participate in the parade, there are children, people in wheelchairs transformed into wonderful costumes, a huge variety of performers. There's music and food and it's just a lot of fun--although I grumble about the crowds every year. We used to get food from the many different stalls but it's expensive and the lines are always very long so now we bring lunches.

Here is Ivy, decked in her finery and dancing to some steel drums. She's wearing a monkey headpiece from a Halloween costume and a sequined choli and skirt from India.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Thunderstorm and Amigurumi

Bah. About an hour ago the skies got very dark and it seemed as though a perfectly lovely thunderstorm was going to come sweeping through. I could hear distant thunder and even smell the rain. But before even a drop of rain fell, it all must have blown over because it's sunny and blazing hot again.

Ooh, wait, maybe there still is hope. The wind is picking up again and I see more dark clouds.

I was out a little too late with friends last night and now, despite several cups of coffee I just don't seem to be able to get moving. We've got a pretty busy weekend ahead of us so I think I am just going to declare today a lazy day. Ivy's been talking to me non-stop since about 9AM...

Well, it's an hour later now and we did get rain, it cooled down nicely. Ivy occupied herself with a book for a while and I was able to work on a project from my new book Fun Cute Amigurumi ISBN 4415102859

Amigurumi is something it's taken me awhile to get interested in, not sure why. But look how cute these are!

I'm working on the cat in the basket for Miranda. I also like the little school pig with his yellow hat and randoseru--a backpack traditionally used in Japan by elementary schoolchildren.

The kappa and the cat dressed like a ladybug are also future projects.

And I love these little bears!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


When we bought our house it was late Autumn so we had no way of knowing what sort of flowers might have been planted. Turns out that the previous owners didn't do much gardening, so other than a rose bush and the small magnolia tree in the front yard there weren't any surprises. I kept hoping maybe a lilac bush or some lily of the valley would appear, but no such luck.

Between our house and the one next door is an old chain link fence. It was covered with what looked like dead vines, although I could see some green at the bottom in early spring. I cut most of the dead vine away, thinking how nice it would be if it was honesuckle. It's been growing and growing and new green growth nearly covers the fence. A few days ago blooms started to show and hurrah! It is honeysuckle!

If you've never tasted the nectar, you need to carefully pull off a blossom leaving the green bit at the bottom intact. Gently pinch off the green part and slowly pull the long stamen through the body of the flower. You should be able to pull out a tiny drop of nectar.

We were able to get some up with roots intact mostly intact to plant in the front yard. I think it would be wonderful if we could get it to climb a trellis and be able to sit on the porch and smell the wonderfully sweet fragrance. We're also trying to root some indoors to transplant as well, in case the first batch doesn't take.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Shiba Wanko no Wa no Kokoro

New book from Yesasia, Shiba Wanko no Wa no Kokoro ISBN 4592760972

"Shiba-wanko, a Shiba-inu dog, and Miike-nyanko, a calico cat, live together in a classic Japanese-style house with the traditional Japanese alcove called a tokonoma . Shiba-wanko is a very gentle and hardworking soul who does all of the cleaning, laundry and cooking in the house. Miike-nyanko is a different type all together, being rather temperamental and not very good with housework. Together, these two learn the manners and customs associated with events such as the proper Japanese way to treat one's guests, preparing for a Japanese New Year and how to enjoy the kimono, the traditional Japanese costume. Each chapter covers a specific topic which has to do with living in "Wa" (the Japanese-style spirit of peace and harmony) throughout the changing seasons." read more at Japanese Children's Books

This one is Enjoying the Seasons. The pictures are just lovely. I've been wanting this book for a while, but kept putting off ordering it since there were more "practical" books I wanted to buy. I'm glad to finally own it!

If you click on the images you can see larger pictures.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

New projects

Here are a few things I've been working on:
detail of the embroidery on a few dresses for my Etsy shop:

Some adult-sized room shoes. I get a lot more satisfaction out of making the small ones for kids and don't know if I will continue making these large ones.

I'm rather looking forward to the next few days being rainy. I'm all caught up on laundry, the house is reasonably clean and I plan to spend as much time sewing as I can.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Niagara Falls

We went to Niagara Falls last weekend. Brian was meeting a group of friends, so we all stayed at the same hotel, right by the Falls. It was fantastic to be so close, but if we ever go again, I think I would rather stay somewhere like Niagara-on-the-Lake and just make Niagara Falls a day trip. Little too much touristy carnival for me, but the girls had a wonderful time. The first day I was reeling a bit at the food prices--Brian kept saying don't pay attention, we have to eat, but man, I can skip a meal when it's 8.99 for a Burger King meal combo. In fact, when I consider the meals I skipped, it about evened out my Cotton Time purchase.

Here we are on the Maid of the Mist, in our lovely souvenir raincoats

In the ferris wheel, looking over the Falls. Brian took them up while I waited on the ground because 1. it was 9.99 each for adults to ride 2. Man, that thing was high!

My haul from the Pacific Mall/J-town venture:

There are three fruit bento, a really cute hamtaro bento for Ivy, some sauce containers, a little cutter to make hot dogs shaped like crabs, monkey bowls and mugs, and two Hello Kitty chopstick/utensils sets.