Wednesday, September 1, 2010

travelin' blues

Before we left, the packing was what gave me the blues. Now that we're home, well, I'm missing the good company of my sister and her family. But while we were there, the only blues I noticed were the glorious ones provided Nature.

::: Spencer Spitt, Lopez Island, WA :::

::: Shark Reef, Lopez Island, WA :::

:::Bay view, Seattle, WA :::
It was a great vacation. We took in some real beauty: companionship, nature, and real, fresh crab! Thank you to my sister and her family for spending their week with us in their town(s), it was really a dream of a vacation!

Friday, August 13, 2010

this moment

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. (inspired by SouleMama)

Monday, August 9, 2010

bee season

Do you see that sweet bumble bee feasting in the sunflower below? He must have been completely drunk with pollen, he's hardly visible because he's covered in it! {This is a photo from last summer since this year's sunflower crop was enjoyed as salad by the deer. A few of the stalks which were left over from the deer's feast have sprouted some blossoms, but they're stragglers, late bloomers. Ah, well.}I have a thing for bees. Their buzz is among my favorite sounds, along with the sounds of the breath of a sleeping child, rainfall, chirping crickets, wind in the trees, laughter, waves.... I like achieving the point of quiet at which a bee can be heard.

I also have a thing for stripes.

Bees + stripes = happiness!These are my Skew socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Bee Stripe. Socks only a bee-loving stripe-crazed knitter could love because they are busy in a dizzying way! Do they ever make me smile. I can hardly wait to sport them in my clogs this fall, but I will be patient as there is still a bunch of summer to enjoy.This pattern is genius, really. Mind bending. A leap of faith. Blind following is required. And the reward is plenty. Not entirely unlike the life of a bee, right? I really enjoyed knitting these and will probably make others. I highly recommend it to you! How are things with you? Bearing the heat ok here in the northern hemisphere? Just warming up down under? I'm wishing you well from my part of this wonderful internet bee-hive. Buzz... buzz... buzz...

Sunday, July 18, 2010

signs of summer

::: fireworks :::
::: veggie patch :::
::: water play :::
::: watermelon :::
::: flower garden :::
::: baseball :::
::: sunflowers :::
::: sunflowers :::
::: sunflowers :::

Saturday, July 10, 2010

for the love of handwork

I once had the pleasure/honor of participating in a workshop led by Renate Hiller. I could not take my eyes off her hands while they worked and could have listened to her speak all day.

Just the other day, as I sat crocheting pool-side, I noticed several children watching me as they walked by. I love to catch the expression on their faces as they watch. (They usually just watch my hands so I can look at their faces without making them feeling self-conscious) Rarely do we make eye contact, although I know that there is a connection made and it puts a smile on my face and in my heart.

will knit for honey

Early in the spring, a friend asked me if I'd be interested in knitting a baby sweater for pay. I'd not knit for a fee before, and to be honest I wasn't sure if I wanted a knitting "job". So I asked her to tell me about whom I'd be knitting for. Well, to make a long story short, a friend of her husband has a friend who just had a baby boy. The baby's father is a musician (as is my friend's husband and the intermediary friend) and the baby's mother is a bee keeper. Right about there in the story is when I decided, "yes, I will knit the sweater," and that I would rather have honey in trade than money. Phew! - uncomfortable money-related situation avoided. Hooray! - a yummy feel-good tale to tell.I knew almost immediately which sweater I would knit: ribbon-tied wool vest from Simple Knits for Cherished Babies. This sweater is an all-time favorite of mine. I have knitted solid versions and speckled Koigu versions. I love the way the sleeves cuddle a chubby baby bicep (can you call it a bicep on a baby?) and the way the baby's belly fills up the front. Since the front and back neck-shaping is the same, if one omits the ribbon at the neck, the sweater can be worn forward or backward (and the neck opening is wide enough for baby's head without shoulder buttons). The only design request was that the sweater be bee-striped. I used Dale of Norway Baby Ull which I ordered from I'm especially happy with the yellow for its golden hue as opposed to a lemon-y shade; to me, it had to be a golden yellow to be bee-appropriate.
Part way through the project, a silly image of me sitting with the knitting and a sign propped up against me which read "Will knit for honey" popped into my head. I remember as a young girl, seeing people out of work, displaying signs which read "Will work for food". Thank goodness I do not need to knit for food (or money) and not intending to be insensitive here, of course, but the image of me with my sign did help me glide through my first knitting "job"!

[other details on my Ravelry page]
[oh, and the child's clothes hanger is from Small Object]

Are you having a good weekend? Except for a baseball-related black-eye, we are. Go Netherlands! Hup! Hup!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

tip toe

Hi. This is me, tip toeing back into this "room", my happy blogging place. (I prefer, for myself, a quiet, unassuming entrance to a room.) So much has been happening around the woolnest, the good and the not so, as usual. Here's a bit of the good...These peppy little socks are Turkish Bed Socks by Faith Munson for Churchmouse Teas & Yarns. The yarn is from Twisted Hare Fibers and initially produced blocks of red, blue & green which would have been great in a regular sock but wasn't working for me in this anklet. So I did stripes of 3 rows except for the sole below the heel. I modified the pattern to avoid seaming (and wrote the mods on my Ravelry page). They are a happy pair of socks and make me smile. I've since knit another pair for a friend but did not take a photo before gifting. There will probably be more; they look great inside my clogs! :)Little Hana socks here, just for fun! I'm glad to be back. I hope things with you all are fine and as you like them. I'll see you again on Saturday, ok? xoxo

Saturday, May 15, 2010

as promised

I am happy to present Hana's Jump Rope Dress!!! She loves it and wore it all day today! She reports that it does improve one's rope jumping "a lot, Mom!"Most of the time, when I choose clothes (to buy or to make) for Hana that are simple, stretchy, and colorful. However, when/if Hana chooses, she goes for buttons, belts, and bling (I can usually talk her down. ;) With this dress, we have found perfect compromise! There are many great details to this pattern, and they're all worth the extra work and time (and they're all explained beautifully in the instructions). Most important in Hana's view, the belt/sash; I think it makes her feel a bit grown up. The button tabs on the sleeves and pockets are just a sweet way to add detail and another yummy button!Here are one pair of the gauchos I made from an old t-shirt of mine. I turned an existing pair inside out and traced the silhouette of one whole leg/side onto the fabric. I used the hem of the t-shirt as the hem of the pants. This particular t-shirt was very boxy, so I was able to create a very full leg style without seams on the side (I love that for kid's clothes ~ I'm not sure why). I turned over the top to make a casing for elastic. Ta-da! Pants! I had two of these shirts, this pink and a dusty orange, so now Hana has two of these pants. Woo-hoo! She really likes to layer these (I like it too); she's got leggings on too in the picture below, and if you look closely at the first picture of her dress, you can see these pants peeking out. She wore all this all day today! She cracks me up! Hopefully, I'll have more to add tomorrow. There was no sewing today. Lots of playing and lots of sunshine though. :)

Friday, May 14, 2010


Ooooh, look! Knitting!This little dress is for our son's former teacher-of-eight-years' granddaughter's first birthday. (Is there a gramatically correct limit to the number of possessives one can use in a sentence?) It is a modified version of Magda by Tora Froseth (detail in my Ravelry). Now there is a serendipitous story about the yarn. I bought it from HandsandNotions, an Etsy store (suprise, suprise!) in February '09 thinking the colors would be sweet for the baby girl who was expected in May. When May rolled around and baby Isla (eye-la) arrived, I had been inspired to knit her a pair of booties and vest of other yarns; the inspiration for this yarn had not yet struck me. The skein of sweetness sat on the shelf waiting. One day I was looking at the tag with its details, wondering about yardage when I noticed that Faun, the artist behind the yarn, calls this colorway Isla! Isn't that a wild coincidence?! I guess it was meant to be!So, did I distract you? Did you forget for a moment that I'm supposed to be blogging about Kids Clothes Week Challenge? Kids Clothes Week Challenge?! What Kids Clothes Week Challenge?!

Just kidding! I've been sewing or performing sewing-relating tasks for at least one hour each day since Monday, however until today, the weather here has been dismal; rainy, grey, windy, and chilly. Not photo-shoot friendly by any means. (And the disassembled dress parts were not inspiring a photo-shoot just laying there on the table.) Today was a beautiful sunny day, but we were either busy away from home (picture day at dance class!) or working/watering the garden when we were home, and I simply did not think to bring the camera outside. Tomorrow promises to be another beauty, so I'll get some pictures for sure.

So far, I've finished the knit gauchos made from repurposed tees and the Jump Rope Dress. One of our errands today was to the fabric shop for buttons. {I feel very virtuous for not needing to stop at the fabric cutting table for new fabric acquisitions; it was hard.} I underestimated the amount of time the sewing would take; there are a lot of sweet details to the dress, and the details took a bit of focus and sometimes when I reach the end of the day which is when my sewing times fit in the schedule, my buckle-down-and-focus-energy eludes me. So it took me four evenings, but I'm very happy with the way the dress turned out. What else will I finish from my List? Time will tell, but since pj pants for the Boy are super quick and the Ice Cream Dress is already cut out, I have a fighting chance at those... Please, stay tuned!

Monday, May 10, 2010

kids clothes week challenge

I am participating in Kids Clothes Week Challenge! This should be fun. So far, I've made two pairs of knit pants for Hana from two t-shirts which I don't wear anymore. I used a pair of existing pants as the pattern, and I'm happy to report that they turned out well. I'll post pictures later this week.

I've cut out two new patterns from Oliver + S: the Ice Cream Dress and the Jump Rope Dress. I really enjoyed sewing the Birthday Party Dress for Hana over the winter, so I'm looking forward to these projects. Whenever I've used an Oliver + S pattern, I learn a new technique or tip. Did you know that I have a jig that I dance whenever I learn something new? It's called "The I Learned Something New Today Dance" and I sing the title to the tune of Camptown Races complete with "Doo dah! Doo dah!" Some of you may have been lucky enough (!) to have witnessed this. ;-)

Any way, here's the list for the Challenge:

* knit gauchos/pants for Hana

* the Ice Cream Dress for Hana

* the Jump Rope Dress for Hana

* pj pants for Koji (two pair if I can find "acceptable" prints in flannel ~ he's a teenager ~ tough

* a slip for Hana (if time allows)

All this thinking about sewing has really got me itching to sew for myself, but I'm going to try to focus on the kids stuff this week!

Are you sewing along? What are you making?

Friday, May 7, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment that I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


In my last post, I captured a highlight of last week: rollerskates! Good ol' 4-wheelers! (I learned they are referred to as "quads" in the sporting goods world.) Oh boy, are we having fun with these!So, what I wanted to tell you more about was Hana's new sweater. I purchased the yarn online at The Knitting Garden. Buying yarn from Elizabeth is always a pleasure, and the yarn is the softest that I've ever knit (that's saying a lot!). The style is simple; sometimes with all that is going on with her other clothes "stylistically" (ahem), a simple something on top is nice (necessary!) She has worn it everyday that's been cool since it's been finished! She reports that it is soft enough to wear with short sleeves; she's happy that the cuffs don't need turning; the buttons are easy; "I love my new sweater, Mama!" And for that sweet comment, she's probably going to get a variation of the cover sweater come autumn...
I'll tell you about the skirt too. It's a Lazy Day Skirt from wonderful Oliver+S. This pattern is a freebie from the blog (over in the sidebar). I've made this skirt a bunch of times, always with easy success. I've taught to friends with happy results every time. The main fabric I used this time is from CottonBlue at Etsy. CottonBlue is full of beautiful Japanese fabric & zakka (= useful goodies). Each of the little matroyshka dolls is a bit different from the other; one holding flowers, one with a bird, one with a flower in her hair, one with a bundle of hearts. I really like prints with a bit of a story to tell, sometimes if the mood is right Hana will spin a little tale from what she sees in a special piece of cloth. The pattern teaches a clever hem technique which calls for ribbon. If I don't have a ribbon that I like with the fabric, I fall back on this huge roll of chambray double-fold tape I made thinking that I was making double-fold bias tape (much grumbling upon that discovery). The tape has turned out to be very useful, so it wasn't a complete loss. For Hana, I can still get a below-the-knee length skirt from a half-yard of fabric and a half-hour of sewing time! Truely a happy bargain.
Have you heard about Kids Clothes Week Challenge? Meg of Elsie Marley is sponsoring a challenge/sew-along for the second week in May. The challenge is to commit at least one hour each day to sewing some kids clothes! Awesome, right? I want to play!!! Wanna'?!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A single, special, extraordinary moment. A moment that I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.

side by side

Even though I've been absent from this writing spot of mine, I've had it on my mind. I'd been very focussed on preparing for the workshops I taught at our school's Years of Wonder conference, and that preparing was mostly mental pep-talks like, "No problem, an hour-and-a-half is enough time to instruct a simple knitted body for a small doll, assemble the doll, and discuss the construction of the doll's head!" or "Sure, you can make a dozen little doll heads and give them wigs even if you wait until ten days before the workshop!" or (this is the best one and the most telling) "Yes, I can teach another workshop on a wetfelted play-mat in an hour-and-a-half. Thank you of thinking of asking me." To be honest, sprinkled in the mental chatter was the occassional, "What were you thinking?!" but I did know in my crafty heart-of-hearts that I had it in me, I just needed to exert some major power of will (talk about inner work!).

So, throughout all that mental banter, I also told myself, "Take note of these thoughts. This is part of the process. Give the thoughts their due." And so I did allow the banter. I honoured the process. I thought you might like to hear it and then see some of the results (click to enlarge):

There were sixteen terrific women in the wetfelting workshop! Thanks to the soap and the participants' lively chatter and laughter, the room smelled and sounded heavenly. Their enthusiasm and desire really carried us through what was a rather ambitious project for an hour-and-a-half session; many of them had not wetfelted before! I always worry about being a person's first lesson, I feel it is a big responsibility. All of their efforts turned out beautifully! Just imagine all the stories that will play out with these wonderful pieces as scenery...!

The doll-making workshop was equally successful, but we were a bit rushed at the end, and I had left my camera in the room where the felting workshop was, so sorry, no pictures. Enthusiasm was high though; a few knitters learned to purl; everyone finished their dolls; one knitter made two dolls (!); there was even a very friendly competition going on between two friends! Just hearing them say that their young ones at home would love this doll made me smile (actually, I'm still smiling). The two samples that I made have already made their way into Hana's play here at home, so I'll try to take some pictures to post over the weekend.

So, thank you for indulging me and my process. It's nice to have a place like this to lay such things out and take a good long look. Thank you for reading here and lending me your ear, it means the world to me. This song kind of sums up how I feel about my blog and the friends I have here; this one's for you!

Friday, April 23, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single moment - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

I hope your Earth Day was beautiful!
best ~ Annri

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

keeping my eye on the prize

Here are the bundle of doll friends which will come to life at the Years of Wonder Conference at the end of the month (after-dark photo). I will be teaching the hand-knit body (see the little green guy?), securing the head to the body, and some ideas about facial expression. As the workshop is a short 90 minutes, an entire doll was not an option, but with some more prep work on my part (skin & hair), each student will be able to bring a doll away! The dolls are resting on my "dangling carrot", a stack of Hope Valley by Denyse Schmidt. The fabric is waiting patiently, trying not to tug at my skirt hem too often, to become a quilt! I haven't made a bed-sized quilt before and am a bit nervous. There is a lot of good advice being proferred, so I'm going to forge on... that is, once the workshop is tucked away. Why is it that what I'm sure is going to be a fun & inspiring workshop becomes such a hurdle, and the other tasks waiting in the wings look so enticing?! Sorry, that's not me complaining, just noticing the internal conversation again... :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.

Monday, April 5, 2010


I've been away from the blog, yes, but not away from town. Rather I've been all about town with my family, sisters, brother, nephew, parents, and friends. My sisters were both in town at the same time, by coincidence! It was the perfect excuse/reason to step away from the computer desk (lovely as it is) and enjoy the people who bring out the best in me, my family.

I've already started re-grouping by mopping the floors, the whole house needs a good once-over. I'm teaching a workshop at a conference in a few weeks and need to begin preparing in earnest. The yard, full of happy birdsong, is beckoning too!

So, in as much as I was "away", I'm back now. How've you been?


Friday, March 26, 2010

Chases Rainbows

Maybe that would be my Native name. It seems to fit. Hexagon Pincushion, (and on my Ravelry page) I was a girl possessed. Oh, to know what lies at the end...

{this moment}

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember. This is my contribution to Amanda's {this moment} photo project.