Liebster Award!

I was surprised to wake up a couple of days ago to find that Sharon of Creativity and Family had received the Liebster Blog Award and had nominated me to receive it also. For those of you who don’t already know what this award is, it is one that is designed to recognize and draw attention to smaller bloggers (in terms of the number of followers) who produce sites that you (the nominator) find helpful/entertaining/meaningful and would like to share with others. At the end of this post I will pass the baton to some of the sites that I follow and really enjoy. Sharon, thank you so much for nominating me. I’m really flattered that you thought of me.

As part of accepting the award I am asked to answer some questions that Sharon sent to her nominees in her original post. I get to pick 5 or more of her questions. So, with no further ado, here are her questions that I have selected and my answers.

  1.  What is your favorite crafting tool?

My knitting needles!! I have gone through a lot of needles in my time, but my absolute favorites are now Chiaogoo lace tip needles. I have a set of interchangable needles that I bought extra tips and cables for, several sets of cable needles, and and a set of double-pointed needles to match them. If I am just knitting a sock or mitt I use my Kollage Yarns square double-point needles. I love them so much I bought a set (or two) in every size I commonly use. I have zip-up Chiaogoo cases for them that I treasure.

Knitting needles
It really is the little things that count. I love these needles!! The cables of the ChiaoGoo are wonderfully flexable and the square needles are so easy on my hands I can knit for hours without my hands tiring.

2.   What is your favorite craft book

That’s a hard call. I went to the book shelf and hunted for the book that was the most worn and tattered. Here it it.

This book is my go-to source for patterns when I need to make a hat, or mitten/glove. It is especially nice as it helps me use my handspun yarn.

 3. Do you have a project that you have made time and time again?

I have made the same sock pattern so many times that I have it memorized! It is the Chouwa sock from the book Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner. No matter who I make this sock for, it fits!! I tried to make my sister something else last year and she just demanded another Chouwa. So there. If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it. 🙂

 4.  What is your favourite handmade gift that you have received from somebody else?

My cousin Cathy sent me a handmade quilt that I just treasure and use everytime I stay over at my son’s house. Next time I get hospitalized (knock wood) I’m going to have it brought to me because it makes me feel so happy!

5. Where do you sit to do your creating?  If possible could you share a photo?

This is the knitting chair! It is so big I can sit cross legged in the chair and during the winter I snuggle under a blanket while I work. Notice the nice big (cat-suitable) arms; the cats still insist on sitting on me (chomping yarn) or on the leg rest while I knit.
Sewing table
This is the sewing table and off to the right is the cutting board. Cats sit all over all of this too.

 6.   Have your creative hobbies changed over the years or do you stick to the same ones?

Knitting has been a constant for me ever since I learned around 8 years old. I’ve added in spinning, weaving, quilting, card-making and some bead work over the years, but the vast majority of my time is spent knitting. My spinning wheel resents this…

7.   What do you store your wips and take out projects in?

I live it fear of wool moths. Every time I attend a workshop lately I am warned that there are, indeed, wool moths in Colorado. I have a lot of fiber coming through my house…

and I wage a constant war to keep the animal fur in the house under control.
Storage box
I now store all my projects in these plastic snap top storage boxes. There is enough room in there to include scissors, patterns, extra needles, etc.
It’s really easy to stack and store them too!

That is it for my questions. It is now my great pleasure to nominate some of the blogs that I follow and enjoy. Please don’t feel obligated to accept the award, but if you do, there are some requirements that I have listed below. I hope that you will because I like your blog and I think that other people will to.

alexand knits

That Girl  at (Not) Another Lupus Blog

joeylynne28 at Tubie or Not Tubie

Princess Yarn

Orange Smoothie

Teal Brick Road


Knit Jubliant 


As an award winner you must:

  1. Acknowledge and accept the Liebster Award by leaving a comment on the blog where you were nominated.
  2. Copy and paste the Liebster Award medal (logo) onto your own blog.
  3. Link back to the blogger who awarded you and give thanks.
  4. Answer the questions put to you by the person who nominated you. This is a great way to get to know the people behind the blogs. The number of questions have vary from 5 to 11 depending on who is asking.
  5. On your blog nominate and link to your 5 favourite blogs (or more) that you enjoy but have a small readership (the rules have varied from less than 200 to less than 3000 readers). It could be that they have only been blogging for a short time or have a niche interest but are worthy of gaining more attention in the wider blogging world.  That means the blogs of large, commercial enterprises are not eligible for nomination; nor are blogs that are well publicised in a variety of media and established with tens of thousands of followers.
  6. List your questions for your Liebster Award nominees on your blog.
  7. Inform your nominees by leaving a comment on their blogs.

Some of the blogs that I nominated are written by people with serious crafting addictions (and not enough time to get to all of them…), others are blogging about their lives with serious medical conditions, and some blogs are by people with both of these things going on in their lives. 🙂 I tried to make questions that will fit the bill for people in either group; pick 5 or more of the questions that appeal to you.

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. Why did you chose the name of your blog?
  3. What are three of your very favorite books?
  4. What are the biggest challenges in your day-to-day life and how do you deal with them?
  5. What does your work (crafting) area look like? Pictures, please!!
  6. Are you hoping to make gifts for Christmas this year? Share!! (Please do this one. I need ideas…)
  7. What is your favorite (handmade) gift that you have received from somebody else?
  8. Where do you get your best ideas?
  9. Where do your creative energies go? What craft or activity is the most important to you?
  10. Have your creative hobbies changed over the years or do you stick to the same ones?
  11. What makes you the happiest?

FO Friday: Conflicted Mood Socks Are Done!

Yep, you got that right. These socks are knitted in a pattern called Chouwa, which evidently means “Harmony” in Japanese. The colorway of this yarn is “Malice”. Huh. The year is starting out in an interesting way. Anyway, my feet are happy, and that is all that matters since this is another ice-encrusted day in Colorado. I’m looking forward to the big warm-up tomorrow, but I’ll still be wearing these socks. I might even sleep in them.

They are done and my feet are happy.

Happy Friday everyone! If you’re a crazy midnight knitter like me, remember its the second star to the right and knit on till morning.

WIP Wednesday: Socks, Mitts and a Shawl

Yep, it is cold out there. I was thrilled that the driveway finally melted dry yesterday only to discover it covered with an inch of snow on top of a bulletproof layer of ice this morning. The trees had inch long hoar frost! Beautiful, but a little dicey taking the trash cans to the bottom of that driveway.

What a great day to knit. I decided that I absolutely needed to try to make a lace mitt on cable needles, so risking my life on the driveway I headed out to the LYS briefly to get two 2.25 mm red lace ChiaoGoo cable needles. I scored 16″ needles and headed home (with a side trip to IKEA on the way back to score some cinnamon rolls…) to cast on.

Yarn and Needles
It’s a start! I am tired of my mitts falling off the double pointed needles so I am going to try to make a pair using 2 small cable needles. Right now it is really confusing…

OK, it’s only the start, but they make me happy. The yarn is La Jolla by Baah Yarn. I once lived and worked in La Jolla (California), so it makes me really happy to knit this yarn. To make it even better, the colorway, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” is a special dye job for the owner of Colorful Yarns.  Can you tell Tiffany’s favorite color is purple?

The end is in sight. I need to stop going on knitting detours and get these done!

Now that I have cast on a mitt and gotten far enough along to see how to do it, I need to get back to the socks that I am working on right now. I’m almost down to the heel flap on the second sock, so I really do need to buckle down and get them done over the next couple of days as there is more snow coming at the end of the week. Woo-hoo! Knitting weather!

This yarn is 20% cashmere. It sure would be nice and warm to wear.

There is one more project that is slowly chugging along. It is a small shawl that I started during a trip in the car over the holidays. It’s mostly garter stitch, so it is an easy knit. Now that the new season has started on television perhaps I will get it cranked out in the next two weeks, too. No promises, as I am also itching to get started on my New Year’s resolution January sock. I’m looking at a skein of red yarn in my stash and thinking how nice it would look on my knitting needles… The red would go really nicely with my fabulous Hitchhiker shawl…

Sock pattern: Chouwa by Judy Sumner (in the book Knitted Socks East and West) Sock yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock, colorway Malice.

Shawl pattern: 3S Shawl by Amy Meade. Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20

June Beetle Socks

It’s the end of June. The weather is always interesting in Colorado, and I’ve spent the month working outside on landscaping projects and gardening in the late morning and early afternoons.  As the afternoon wears on I usually need to move inside to escape thunderstorms, and if they are bad enough I end up watching weather updates on the television while knitting.

Early in the month I saw a June Beetle in the garden. I haven’t seen one of these guys since I was a kid in Southern California when we would catch them, tie threads to their little upper bodies, and then fly them around like little pets. I was still thinking about the beetle when I cast on this yarn to make some new socks.

This yarn is mostly blue, but it has some green in it too which reminded me of the beetle. The yarn is from Hedgehog Fibers, which is an independent yarn studio located in Ireland. I decided to knit a sock pattern called “Origami” which uses a lace pattern that is Japanese in origin. The pattern comes from the book Knitted Socks East and West by Judy Sumner.

Origami folds in sock.
The pattern makes the leg of the sock fold into a strange shape.
Lace sock.
The lace opens up once the sock is on.

As I knitted the socks and watched the thunderstorms bloom and thunder across Colorado on the weather radar I pondered the international connections open to me and other knitters. How fun this is! I made socks of Irish wool in a Japanese pattern to fit my fat little Swedish-American feet while watching thunderstorms in Colorado in a color that reminds me of my childhood in California. What a time to be alive.

Finished socks on feet.
Socks made with Irish wool in a Japanese pattern on my Swedish-American feet.

June is almost gone, the weather is beautiful and summery outside, and my socks are done. Time to go back into the garden to show them off to that June Beetle.