Monday, March 31, 2008

Showing Some Sleevage

Okay, maybe my sense of humor hasn't matured past that of a ten year olds, but that title makes me laugh.
I'm a few rows short of binding off the sleeves on the Child's Classic Ribbed Cardi. Then I'm onto the sewing up and finishing.



Have you noticed that every single picture I've taken of this project has appeared a different color? I think this one is the closest to real life so far.

And in a classic move known by bloggers everywhere who lack exciting news to share, I give you some cool links I've recently found:
  • Fashion Fabrics Club has a HUGE selection of fabrics at amazingly low prices. I have not yet ordered from them, so I can't vouch for customer service, etc.
  • Free sewing patterns from Burda.
  • If you use a digital camera and rechargeable batteries, the day will eventually come when the batteries need to be replaced. This site takes the confusion out of purchasing appropriate and quality ones.
  • Speaking of photography, if you love black and white (and who doesn't), you could piffle away some time here.
  • A useful resource for looking up knitting and crochet standards, from garment sizing and needle sizing to yarn care symbols and tips for new designers.
  • Every knitter ought to have a pet lamb, don't you think?
  • Martha never seems to run out of good ideas.
P.S. Thank you to everyone who took the time to participate in the Contest Of Kindness! Comments will be closed in a few hours. A name will be drawn and announced within the week, and the winner will be notified.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Update-o-rama

While wandering the web, I found this site: Help Others.org. Not only was it fun to browse, but I found and promptly ordered my very own Smile Cards.



They're free and you can even print your own out instead of waiting for snail mail. My printer is currently out of commission. In reality, you don't need any cards in order to do nice things. These appealed to me not only because carrying them in my wallet will be a reminder, but also they encourage others to pass it on.

While perusing Ravelry, I found that I'm not the first person to hold such a contest. The Loopy Ewe held one like it this past December. I've never shopped there, but am familiar with them from listening to the Lime & Violet Podcast. And another blogger, inspired by The Loopy Ewe, did the same. If you like reading inspirational stories, and I confess that there was a point in my life where I devoured every Chicken Soup For The Soul book I could find, go read the great comments on her blog.

To reply to some of the comments already left:
Samantha said, "If I win, I'm going to do something similar on my blog!"
I had been thinking about suggesting that when I decided to have the contest. My only hesitations were that I didn't want anyone to feel obligated, and what if the winner didn't have a blog? But since you spoke up, I have to say I think it's a great idea. =) And I don't think winning this contest is a prerequisite for doing so. If any of you decide to, let me know so I can come participate.

Black Sheep Knitting Guild was thoughtful enough to enter her friend for multiple acts of generosity.

And finally, warning: mushiness ahead-
Anyone who knows me very well, knows that my favorite sort of people in the world are children. They posses some of the most endearing qualities, and in my opinion, are some of the most deserving of kindness and generosity. So when I read Aunt Kathy's comment - "I have also started making blankets for a NASCAR charity Victory Junction Gang, every camper goes for free and leaves with a blanket and a teddy bear. They are all terminally ill children, it's a wonderful charity.", my eyes started to feel a little teary. But I also felt inspired. That is exactly the kind of charity that would interest me. So thank you for bringing that one to my attention.

Whoever said, good deeds come back to you ten-fold, had a penchant for underestimation.

For the knitting portion of this post, I'm happy to say I've made some progress. And I have some pictures to prove it.


Two completed fronts sitting atop the completed back of the Child's Classic Ribbed Cardi


The buttons I picked out yesterday

I've cast both sleeves on at once, and will be knitting more this evening. I'm feeling antsy about finishing this sweater and The Minisweater. Both have lingered on my needles long enough that I'm starting to feel bored with them. I want to get a move on before boredom turns into downright apathy. Also, there may be one other teeny tiny reason. See this?


The right hand corner on my Ravelry profile page

I currently have 215 projects queued and that list keeps growing. And um, see where it says "97 faves"? Well my favorites are actually more queued projects, where I liked one persons version of a project way better than the one displayed on the main page. So I'm finding that having 312 potential new projects swimming tantalizingly before me is sort of motivating towards finishing up my stale old projects. By the way, I'm curious..........I can't be the only one with such a large queue, right?

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Contest Of Kindness

It's happened four times now. I've come out my front door to discover that someone has shoveled the snow off of my porch steps and walkway. No one in sight, no indication left behind as to who was responsible. I've called friends and neighbors to ask if they knew anything about it. No one has a clue (or at least they're not telling me). I feel like I should say thank you. I very much want to say thank you. But how do you do that when you don't know who to thank?
Every single time it's happened, it instantly brightened my day. I was so touched that someone would take the time and effort to do something kind, and then not expect any recognition for it. Two out of the four times, I was having a very stressful day. The kind where you (even if just for a moment) start to question the basic goodness of humanity. Walking out my door and coming face to face with such a simple but thoughtful act, completely turned my mood around.

Now, if you've been on this earth awhile, you may have noticed that like breeds like. In other words, from polar bears spring forth more polar bears, horses produce more horses (bear with me here, I do have a point), when someone does something nasty to us, we tend to want to retaliate with some nastiness of our own. When someone does something nice for us, we tend to want to go and put some more nice into the world. And that brings us to the point of this post. As my way of saying thank you to an anonymous person, and to pass the good along to others, I'm going to have a contest. Here's how you play - go do something nice for someone. It's that simple. Is there an old man who lives alone in a house not far from yours? Invite him to coffee. Have you been stressed out and so busy that you really haven't spent any real time with your kids lately? Set aside a half hour and play whatever they want to play. Do you know a struggling single parent? Anonymously place $10 in their mailbox. Call up the local animal shelter and ask if there are any supplies (pet shampoo, food, etc) that they could really use. Knit a pair of mittens and donate them to the retirement home. Leave your husband a note stating 10 reasons why he's wonderful. Take your mom for a pedicure. Buy a book from a friend's Amazon Wish List and mail it to them. It could be anything. Use your imagination. It can be as small or as large as you'd like. It doesn't have to cost money. It doesn't have to be anonymous (but bonus points if you can manage that).

And once you've done that, leave a comment in this post telling us about it. Comments will stay open until March 31st. I'll then place the names of everyone who's participated into a bowl, and draw one. You can enter more than once if you'd like - if you do five good deeds, your name goes in five times. The prize? You can have any one thing from my Etsy shop free of charge. Anything. It doesn't matter if it costs $5 or $50. I'll even pay for shipping. I add new things weekly, so your choices will continue to grow as the 31st approaches. Two more knitting needle cases in progress, that'll be going in the shop tomorrow:



In knitting news, here's how far I've gotten on the Child's Classic Ribbed Cardi:


One completed back, two fronts knit up to the armholes.

I've been stalled at this point for over a week now. The pattern in the book only goes up to a size 4 years, but I'm making it to fit a 6 year old Sophie. I had to recalculate the raglan slope on the back, and will have to do the same for the fronts and sleeves. It's not hard, but reaching that point on the front caused me to just set it aside for 'later'. I'm going to sit down with it tonight and get back on the road to progress.

**Comments are now closed on this contest**

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

It's Like That

Do you ever meet a new person, and the more time you spend with them, the more fond you grow of them? You start thinking thoughts like, "Why didn't we meet sooner?" Well that's how it is with me and felt these days. The first time I really worked with it was a few months ago when I made the felt drink coasters. I then had a little obsession with baby shoes. And now I'm making mice, fish, and little sheepy DPN cases.





I've added those to my Etsy shop. Speaking of Etsy, I just got a shop makeover that I'm very happy with, from Springcart Designs. I described the type of look I was picturing in my head, and she did a great job of translating that into a new banner and several matching avatars. And she was very friendly and accommodating throughout the whole process, which won even more points from me - I'm huge on customer service.

As for knitting, progress has slowed on my personal projects due to general life distractions and the time I've been spending on my shop. I haven't touched my mini sweater in quite some time. I did finish the back of the Child's Classic Ribbed Cardi, and am nearly done with the two fronts. Also, I did an interview on Ravelry.