Monday, April 25, 2016

Jimmy Beans Beanie Bag October 2015

Back in October of 2015 I decided to start recievng the monthly Beanie Bag from Jimmy Beans Wool. Each month for 10 dollars you receive a very cool cloth bag with a metal zipper.  In each bag you will find samples of the yarn that they sell.  There are usually at least 4 samples of 15 - 20 yards each.  Along with that you normally get some kind of extra surprise and a pattern that will allow you to make something with those samples.  I think that this is the smartest idea ever.  

It is great for Jimmy Beans Wool because it gets a little bit of the products they offer into your hands every month to let people know the wonderful yarns that they carry.  It keeps their name right there in front of you at least once a month so that you don’t forget about them..  Lastly it is so much fun that you want to tell your friends about it.

I the consumer get a neat little bag full of goodies.  A chance to try new yarns. A chance to try new techniques.  And most of all a quick small project that I can complete in an afternoon if I want to.  

For October their first ever Beanie Bag contained samples of Mrs. Crosby Satchel, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, Cascade Heritage Silk, and Baah LaJolla.  It also included a couple of very cool stitch markers, a sample of wool wash, and some very pretty buttons.

The patterns were for some lovely wrist bands that work up really quickly.  The knit pattern was called The Horseshoe Lace Cuff and the crochet was done in the Heritage Silk and simply called a Crocheted Wristlette.

Out of all the yarns I think that I preferred the Mrs. Crosby Satchel because when you work a lace pattern in a single ply it is just sooooo soft. That does not mean that I did not like the others,  they were awesome as well, I just preferred the single ply.  The Horseshoe lace pattern was actually one of the first lace patterns that I had ever worked and found that it is really so easy.  Since then I have no fear when it comes to lace and understanding the patterns whether in chart or written form.

This is just so much fun.

Thursday, April 23, 2015


One of the really nice things about living in Southern California is the ability to go to the beach, watch the waves, feel the sea air on your face, AND KNIT!!!!  I have reached the point in my crafting career that I actively seek out lovely places to sit and knit. 

My daughter was bugging me all of spring break to go to the beach and I kept reminding her that the water was just too cold for her to want to be in it for very long.  So after awhile I realized that she could deal with the water and I could knit.  It turns out that she was able to handle the cold water temperatures, boogie board, and even made a couple of friends.  I started making a cucumber.  The cucumber is done now.  The car is vacuumed of the excess sand.  The boogie board is put away.  However, I think I will be the one pushing to go to the beach next.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

My Work

It has been so long since I posted.  The last few years I have been quite busy teaching handwork.  It is one of the most rewarding opportunities of my life.  I presently am working as a substitute Handwork Teacher at my daughter's school and find I look forward to work every day.  That in my opinion is what work is supposed to be.  Working everyday with Middle School kids reminds me of my own days at that age and helps to keep my spirit young.  Working with my hands helps to keep me interested and excited about the art and craft of Handwork.  Hoping to have more posts soon.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Beeswax Candle Dipping

India's class had a chance to do some candle dipping before the Holiday Break.  She enjoyed it so much that she insisted that she get a chance to do it at home during the break as well.  I did not have a lot of wax nor did I have a deep can but I found that a soup can will make a long enough candle.  I heated up the wax using a double boiler method on the stove.  Once it was all melted I kept just enough heat under it to keep it from cooling down.  I then pre-dipped the candle wicks first in order to make them firm.  This involves putting the wick in the wax and then stretching and holding the wick until it cools. Doing this first will make the candle straight.  Not really a good task for kids.  Then once the dipping starts you just dip in the wax.  Then dip in cool water.  Wipe with a cloth and repeat.  When the candle is a size you like you just cut off the bottom evenly to make it stay in a holder better. 

This is a quick project that yields beautiful results.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Saint Lucias Day

India had been bugging me for years to get to dress up for St. Lucias day.  So finally this year I got a small table top wreath from Trader Joe's.  Hot glued 3 Tea Lights into it and voila you have a St. Lucias crown.  We used an old ghost costume and tied a red bit of yarn around the waist.  India happily left some treats at our neighbors doors while she walked around our apartment structure.  Emile and I completed the procession by following closely behind to make sure nothing caught of fire.  You would never know we aren't Catholic.

Monday, May 7, 2012


On Saturday, May 5 I got the opportunity to demonstrate lace making at the Victorian Fair at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in City of Industry California

It was a wonderful day with lots of sunshine and gentle breezes.  We were positioned on a lovely tree lined promenade and as all of the visitors passed I had lots of people stopping by to ask questions about the lace I was working on.  I had chosen to do a very simple insertion in Torchon Lace.  Mostly made up of half stitches with a rose point ground.  This enabled me to work confidently while answering questions throughout the day.  It was interesting that one of the main questions I received was that people wanted to know "exactly" when and where bobbin lace started.  I don't believe that it has a specific location or date.  Like so many other things it just developed.  Its development was mainly along trade routes and primarily in Europe.

While I was there, Emile and India got the opportunity to visit the homes and actively participate in all that was available to them.  India made some crafts, they watched a fashion show, ate snow cones and had the most amazing ice cream bar on a stick.  It was a great time for me to work on lace and a great Daddy/Daughter Day for them.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Of Queens and Crowns

Now that my daughter has gotten settled into her first grade class her teacher has asked us to create some capes and crowns.
I volunteered to complete a felt crown that had already been cut out.  I used gold lame under some cutouts and used blanket stitch around those cutouts and the outer edge of the crown.  For the blanket stitch I used a gold thread that needed a lot of TLC but the time was worth it for the effect.  Then I decided to use Mother of Pearl beads along with a center blue seed bead to complete the decoration.
One of the nice things about Waldorf Education is the use of Royalty archetypes throughout the stories and class play.  This is not like the "Little Princess" Tiaras that so many little girls wear or the Burger King Crowns.  The use of crowns and capes and Kings and Queens in Waldorf Education is about presenting children with the idea of creating a noble view of their behavior.  Kings and queens and knights behave with honor and take care of the people in their kingdom. 

To behave with honor and a noble nature is what we should all aspire to.