Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Review - Fresh Fashion Knits

I was given this book free by Knitcircus magazine to review.  They only publish reviews of books that are liked by the reviewers so won't be publishing this review.  I decided to publish the review on my own.

Fresh Fashion Knits
Designs by Sarah Hatton
Edited by Kate Buller
2010 Rowan Yarns, 120 pages
I was really excited to be able to review this book and couldn’t wait for it to arrive.  I had visions of knitting madly from this book and filling my closet with fun, modern, knitwear.  When the book finally arrived I eagerly dug in and unfortunately found much of my enthusiasm almost instantly quelled.  Most of the models in the photos looked like they weren’t having any fun.  For me, and most other knitters I know, knitting is a fun activity and I feel that the models really should have reflected that.  For the most part, they look bored, that is a really big turn off to me.
As for the patterns, the cover of the book states “More than 20 Must-Have Designs from Rowan’s Studio Collection.”  It’s true, there are more than 20 patterns, there are exactly 21.  As for the ‘Must-Have’, that is a matter of opinion.  I found seven, maybe eight that I can see myself knitting.  If I were looking at this book on a store shelf I probably would put it back in favor of a different book because the patterns in here that I do like aren’t all that different from patterns I’ve seen elsewhere.
The bust size range is from 32-46”, however only 13 of the patterns go up to 46”, the rest stop at 42” and one even stops at 40”.  The patterns are well written, knitters with intermediate skills should have no problems with any of them and advanced beginners should be able to handle most of them.  Some sewing is required for side seams and setting in sleeves.  The book also references the Rowan website, which has additional free patterns as well as tips and techniques for knitters.
I am not in love with this book, but it is definitely not the worst book I’ve seen either.  I also love Rowan yarns so I will be checking out their other books in the future, even though this one wasn’t an instant hit with me.

Friday, October 01, 2010

It's October, Join the Army!

The Army of Women that is.

October is breast cancer awareness month.  In honor of that I want to take a moment to mention a group I joined a while ago that I hope you will take a moment to join too.

Army of Women

The mission of the Army of Women is to match women of all walks of life who have had, or have never had breast cancer with breast cancer researchers.  If you sign up you will get the occasional email regarding new research studies that are beginning and what sort of research subject the study is looking for.  If you fit the study and are willing to take part you can sign up to be part of the study.  Joining the Army of Women does not obligate you to do anything.  If a study fits you but is not convenient for you  that's fine, it isn't required that you take part.  No one will call you or email you to guilt you into anything.  You will also not be harassed for money.

So please, take a moment and consider joining this group.  It is very important for all women everywhere that we find a cure for breast cancer.

Thank you.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

I'm Back!!!!

Did you miss me?
It's been a while but I'm back and hopefully won't be disappearing for such a long stretch again. I have Fibromyalgia, I was diagnosed last year but this spring and summer were particularly bad as far as flares and fatigue go. This meant I had to let some things fall by the wayside because I couldn't do it all, and my blog ended up being one of those things.
Now I'm on a new med that doesn't do jack for the chronic pain issues but at least my head is a bit clearer and the fatigue is a bit less. So I am trying to get things back on track and hopefully you'll see more of me :)
So, wanna know what I've been up to while I've been away? Since I'm unable to work outside of the home I have been tending my rabbits and learning how to dye yarn. I opened a new Etsy store Heather Designs to sell my work.
Here's some of my hand dyed yarn -
And a set of my stitch markers. So, that's how I've been keeping myself occupied. Stay tuned for more rambling, yarn, bunnies, who knows what. I sure don't. :)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bunnies - Days 9 and 12

The bunnies have been growing quickly.
Here they are on day 9.

And here they are today which is day 12. They just started opening their eyes today. The literature says they should have opened them on day 10 but rabbits can't read so they didn't know that and I forgot to tell them. Oops :) I'll try to remember to tell the next litter. Right now their eyes are just open to little slits, they are just as reluctant to open their eyes as I am in the morning :) Soon they will be fully open and they'll be crawling all over the place. Soon I will move them to a different cage with a solid bottom so they can move around freely and exercise their little limbs.

Baby bunnies are way to much fun, but today may be the last group shot I get. They are getting more active and wrangling them was a challenge. They have no idea what an edge is and seem hell bent on hurling themselves off of them at every opportunity that presents itself.

Be sure to keep checking back for more pictures as the bunnies grow. :)

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bunnies - Day 6

Here are pictures of the baby bunnies as of Thursday Feb 25, 2010. They are getting so big, their eyes are going to open soon. I don't know exactly how old they have to be before their eyes open. I could look it up but I would rather be surprised when I go down one morning to check on them and find them looking back at me. As you can see their eyelids are getting more definition to them which means it won't be long before they open.
Stay tuned for the next installment of bunny pictures!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


In October I got four Angora rabbits to raise for their fiber. Back in January I decided to breed two of the rabbits and on Friday Feb 19th Pearl gave birth to four kits. Here they are on their first day of life. There are 2 gray, 1 gray and white, and 1 white. The white one I am keeping and may name either Button or Puddles. Puddles because it pee'd on me one of the times I held it and Button because it is just cute as a button. Here they are on Feb 22. The ears are starting to unfold and the hair is more obvious. There are still four, if you look between the butt of the gray one that looks black and the gray and white one you can see the body parts that don't belong to either kit. Thats the fourth kit who was not happy about being uncovered and kept burrowing under the littermates where it was warm. And here is a close up of the white one taken that same day. Stay tuned for more pictures as they grow! If you are interested in purchasing one of the bunnies when they are available be sure to contact me soon. With only three available they will go fast.

Monday, January 25, 2010

One World One Heart 2010

Welcome to One World, One Heart 2010. Photo We are a group of bloggers who may never meet in person but are banding together via the internet to help make this world a little smaller by forging more connections between us all. It's been a year since the last OWOH blog fest and while chronologically that isn't a lot of time, a lot can happen in a year. This year, I went from having controlled rheumatoid arthritis, to having out of control rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, a spinal deformity, and an as of yet undiagnosed chronic regional pain disorder. It sucks, but I deal with it and I refuse to let it get me down. There are days that is harder than others because there are days where all I can do is lay on the couch with my heating pad watching daytime tv, and daytime tv is REALLY mind rotting. So, to save my brain and my morale I decided to teach myself to knit. I got myself a book and learned the basics. Then I took a few classes on lace and sock knitting and I've been off ever since. I have even turned my other skills to help with my knitting and made my very own stitch markers. And these will be my give away for this year's OWOH blog fest. There will be three chances to win a set of 5 of these hand made stitch markers.
The first way is to simply leave a comment on this blog. Be sure to leave your email address or your blog address in your comment so I can get ahold of you if your entry is selected as the winning entry.
The second way to win is to sign up for my email mailing list. I don't send out many emails so you won't get a ton of spam but you might get one or two emails a month. Just mention in your comment that you would like to be added to my mailing list, include your email, and you will be entered into both drawings one and two.
The third way to win will help those in Haiti too. Go to my Etsy or Artfire shops and buy something. In the comment to seller section put OWOH Haiti and 50% of the sale will go to Doctors without Borders for their work in Haiti.
This journey ends February 15th at noon and the winners will be announced that evening. Thank you for reading my blog, and good luck!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

10 Rules of Basic Etiquette for the Non-Crafty

Since learning to knit I have come across a lot of people who either don't know, don't care, or don't value the time and skill that goes into hand making something. A group I'm in on Ravelry has been coming up with a list of knitting faux pas that non-knitters do to knitters frequently. One of the members, Siovan12 wrote up this list and I loved it so much I wanted to share it with you.

10 Rules of Basic Etiquette for the non-Crafty:

  1. Just because I am crafting in a public place does NOT mean I am fishing for compliments, comments, advice. etc…. I am minding my own business, how about you minding yours. Plus, before you decide to help yourself to my personal private space, from my crafting supplies, equipment etc. please pass me your wallet. If your gonna snoop in my personal belongings I get to snoop in yours.

  2. Do not rubberneck my crafting project from two tables away or over my shoulder for 10 - 15 minutes watching me, then have the audacity to ask me “Did you do that?” You will get the “Nope. My invisible friend Matilda did it, but doesn’t like to feel like a freak so I fake it for her.” Plus do NOT crowd me, most crafts have sharp ended tools and I am not adverse to jabbing you with one so you get my point.

  3. When gushing “I could never do that” be honest with yourself and the crafter in question, finish the sentence with “because I do not have the patience and I am a abject moron.”

  4. All Family & friends, if I ever chose to create something for you it is an honor. It is NOT like going to the store and just picking something up. Creating the gift takes time, forethought, pre-planning, and time management. Keep in mind socks are NOT simple, neither is a scarf or a hat, they are basics where we learn and try new design and pattern ideas. Be very honored when we feel a practice piece is worthy of gifting to you.

  5. NEVER EVER gift yarn, notions, patterns expecting it to be used for you. Do not hint that I make you something. Ask me simply and straightforward. I may or may not make it for free if you buy the yarn, or may charge you for my time… either way be proud and humble to think I would even consider doing it for you since you are too lazy to learn to do it for yourself.

  6. If gifted with a handmade crafting item, thank the creator profusely even if you never want a hand made gift from them ever again, then state its beautiful and I’ll cherish it but handmade is really not your thing. This gets the giftee and the creator off the hook for more gifts that can be appreciated better by someone else on the creators list

  7. If you are the recipient of a handcrafted item and decide within 2 years its not the thing for you, offer it back to its creator before selling it or regifting it to someone else. Its insulting to ask about a piece made for you to find out you donated it to goodwill, I got $5 at my garage sale for it, or hear from you “oh, that grey sweater. I gave it to my ex-boyfriends girlfriends best friend because it just wasn’t me.”

  8. If the hand crafted item is wearable then WEAR it, if it is decorative USE it. If you are so overwhelmed that you want to take care of it so it won’t get destroyed FRAME it. If you choose to do none of these things give it back to the person that made the item because you do not deserve it.

  9. Do not blame the creator if a thing you have bullied them into making for you does NOT turn out the way you want it. If you are so damned picky take the time to learn the craft and make it for yourself.

  10. We craft because it relaxes us, we enjoy it, we can take our time and be proud of what we are doing. Selling our creativity for profit will stress us out, put us under deadlines, and generally make us want scream. That is why it is a hobby and not our JOB so quit pestering us by how much money we could make yadda yadda yadda.

I hope you all like this and if you are a crafty person feel free to take this and pass it out to all your non-crafty friends. If you are a non-crafty person, please remember these rules when dealing with a crafty person. Especially a knitter, we have two pointy sticks and we know how to use them. :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Cubic Zirconia beads at

I was recently asked if I would like to try out and review some new cubic zirconia beads from As I am a bead junkie I can never say no to the opportunity to play with some new beads so I jumped at the chance.
I ordered some 6mm coins (cz-cry-cn6), 5x7mm ovals (cz-cry-lov7), 10mm stars (cz-cry-str10), 5mm stars (cz-cry-str5), and the 5mm princess cut post earrings (cz-ear5-dia). I combined these with some peacock pearls and 2mm sterling silver rounds that I already had in my stash and came up with this.
I think it turned out rather well. And if you are interested in purchasing this set you can see it on my ArtFire store soon.
Now for the review -
The cubic zirconia beads are much nicer than most of the 'crystal' beads coming out of China these days but they are still a far cry from Swarovski crystals. They don't have the same fire and the holes are not polished like they are in the Swarovski crystals so you have a big frosted tube in the bead instead of a polished hole.
The quality assurance, while better than most of the Chinese beads that are out there is not perfect. I did have some crystals that had a slant to the hole so that it went thru the bead at an angle front to back. Not everyone may find this to be a bother but since these beads are priced per bead I do expect a higher quality than what I received. The coin beads for example were $1.06 each so its a pretty expensive bead to have that sort of flaw in it.
I do have to say that I really like the earring posts I got. The cz in the post has a lot of sparkle and makes for a very attractive earring. I do wish the earring posts came with the nuts on them but that isn't a huge deal.
All in all, my recommendation is that while has some really beautiful items, I would buy the Swarovski crystals they offer instead of the cubic zirconia beads. On the upside though, I do recommend the cubic zirconia post earrings. They are really pretty and have a lot of fire for the price.
Legalese -
I received the products mentioned in this post free of charge and am honestly reviewing them. I have not been paid or otherwise reimbursed for my time, talent, this post, or the supplies that came out of my stash to create the pieces shown in this post.