Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a needle was stirring, because THE SOCKS WERE ALL DONE!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008





All I have left is a pair for myself, and I am really done. Really, really done.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Hah! Really, one more pair to go!

My Dad's:

Half of one of LazyHusband's socks to go, and a pair for me, and I am D-O-N-E done! Which means I'll probably fall and break my wrist tomorrow at the grocery store ;)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Things are coming down to the wire

Okay, so I have a week to finish socks for my father, socks for my husband, socks for my daughter, and socks for me. That's doable, right? groan
And yes, the sidebar is right - I do have THREE PAIRS OF SOCKS on the needles right now. Good thing I've got one pair of worsted, one of fingering, and one of lace-weight yarn, so they all take different size needles. And don't even get me started on the logistics of trying to work on these without the intended recipients seeing their own socks (which is why I've got three pairs going at once, so I have a project appropriate for every spare moment of the day).

Monday, December 15, 2008

Going out of business?

Okay, so if you're at all crafty you have probably heard about this, but it could stand to be repeated here because it WILL impact my business.

The government has recently passed a rather poorly-thought-out law,the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act, which goes into effect February 10 2009. On the surface, it sounds good, requiring additional testing of children's toys and equipment to reduce exposure to lead and other harmful substances. Great! I'm all in favor of not poisoning our children.

The problem is, this applies to EVERY toy and children's item, not just those manufactured by large companies or places with histories of problems in the past. And the testing has to be done by an official third-party testing facility, which can charge hundreds of dollars for one test.

So, for example, the tummy time quilts I make to sell on etsy for $18-50 would have to be sent away for testing to make sure the materials and design are safe for kids. Every quilt is made of a unique blend of fabrics and a unique design, so testing one quilt won't apply to all of them. And pretty much every etsy artist who makes things for kids faces the same problem, unless they are large enough that they are mass-producing items (which includes maybe half a dozen etsy folks ... the rest of us make very limited runs of whatever we make). We're stay-at-home moms, crafty parents, owners of small businesses, people who just like to make little stuffed animals. And we're pissed.

Come February, we're going to have to make a choice - quit selling children's items, or be non-compliant and risk major fines and legal entanglements. Personally, I plan to quit selling kids stuff - the most profitable and popular part of my product line - rather than risk getting caught. And I know a lot of etsy folks feel the same way. So next Christmas, good luck finding handmade children's items that don't cost an arm and a leg ...

Unless we can modify the law. If you'd like to learn more about the topic and find a list of ways you can support artists who would be put out of business by CPSIA, pop on over to the round-up on Cool Mom Picks. Write your congressman and senator, contact the folks at the CPSC, sign the online petition, add the button to your blog.

Please take the time to look into the issue and add your voice of support, if you can. Thanks!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

May be my next venture

I made these legwarmers for all of the kids in LazyKid's dance class, and they loved them. And at her dance recital tonight I had probably 10 people ask me where I had gotten them ... so I guess I'm going to call the dance studio tomorrow to see if they'd be interested in carrying them with the other dance merchandise they sell in the lobby. Might be a fun little sideline, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Parade of socks

We exchanged presents with friends last night, and the socks I made for the kids went over well:
Let's not discuss what it takes to get a three-year-old, a six-year-old, and an eight-year-old to hold still long enough to model socks. Let's just say there were brownies involved and leave it at that, shall we?
I even managed to finish the socks I was working on for their mom, although not until late late late in the evening. Good thing we were spending the night ;)

And I totally dropped the ball on the socks for her husband, which shouldn't take very long but are only a couple of inches along at this point. So far that's the only delinquency in the Season of Sock Madness, though, so I think I'm doing pretty well.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Knocking them out

Finished two pairs of kid socks and one adult sock. Only 2.5 pairs of adult socks and one pair of preschool socks that HAVE to be finished well before Christmas, and then socks for the three of us that I'll be happy to finish by the end of the year.

I might make this after all, especially if that weird hard painful place on my thumb doesn't get any worse.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Custom order - finished!

What happens when someone wants to cross the Irish Hiking Hat with an Andean earflap hat? You get this ...

All details (tassels on braids, pointy top, color scheme) dictated by the customer, so I mainly get credit for figuring out how to combine three or four separate patterns and get one hat. Plus, I learned how to make a fleece lining for the hat, so between that and the really thick wool of the hat itself, the wind and snow don't stand a chance against this sucker.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Boy, I bet my sister-in-law is glad she got a pedicure before she came home for Thanksgiving :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Doing the happy dance


The socks that I need for tomorrow were finished last night!

And I'm not starting any more socks until our car trip on Sunday!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Shameless cross-promotion

One of my friends has an etsy shop that hasn't had its first sale yet, despite her attractive products and reasonable prices. Check her out, and if you buy something, tell her LazyMama sent you!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hah! One more pair to go!

Socks for my mother-in-law.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My daughter the artist

Yeah, that's pretty much what a "yarn store" looks like when she gets done with it, all right.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Binding tutorial now up on my new flickr account!

Check it out:

Should take you to a set where the descriptions of the photos tell you how to do a standard quilt binding in 10 easy steps.

Feel free to leave feedback here or there - I'm always anxious to improve my work!

Tummy Time on the Prairie - done! (except for the pattern)

This is a 30"x30" tummy time activity quilt. Currently the actual quilt is for sale in my etsy store, and I'm pleased to announce that KITS for this pattern will be up later this week, if the horrid illness that's crippling my daughter's lungs doesn't strike me down, too. Yeah, like it's going to pass me by! That would be a miracle ...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

More socks

WIP: For my newest brother-in-law, knit with tiny sock yarn on size 1 needles, so it's going to take forever, but at least the pattern is cool:

Finished remarkably quickly: socks for my father-in-law, knit from Wool-Ease worsted weight on size 5 needles, so it took less than a day of knitting to finish each one (huzzah!)

Not a sock, but it's made of sock yarn: a sweater that I've decided I dislike enough to frog it before I get farther than the 6" of the body that I've already done. Darn, I like the stitch, I like the yarn ... I just don't like them together. Oh, well - I guess I can make a boatload of socks with the five skeins of this that I now have without a project in mind ;)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Work and play

Yeah, so my mother's socks are in the can.

Pattern: Jaywalker, by Grumperina - sort of. I did plain feet, then jaywalkered the legs.

Yarn: Cascade Fixation Spray Dyed/Effects (a cotton sock yarn) in Colorway 9939.

Needles: US 2 dpns

It's a fun, easy pattern that yields a nice firm sock. I'm not sure how well it would work for the whole sock for those of us with giant ankles, but the leg-only approach seems to fit well.

Now, about work. I've been making little diaper bags using panels from the "Peek A Boo" line by Amy Bradley for Moda fabrics. They're super-cute, but I don't have any photos yet. Hopefully tomorrow, if LazyKid will cooperate and watch some Sesame Street for an hour or so :)

Monday, November 03, 2008


1. I decided to make people socks for Christmas presents. Wait - actually, I decided to make EVERYONE socks for Christmas presents. Each pair takes at least 16 hours of knitting time. If I make one for every person with whom we normally exchange gifts, that's 15 pairs of socks. WTH was I thinking? I'm going to be knitting like a maniac from now until 12:01am December 25th. On the positive side, at least I have an excuse to try out some of the 14,000 sock patterns I've favorited on ravelry.

2. When did it become impossible to find the end inside the ball of yarn? I like to pull from the center so the ball doesn't roll all over the floor gathering cat hair, but I'm on my second completely disasterous skein situation. Usually you can reach a finger inside the ball, pull out a small chunk at the end of the skein, and find the end. But recently when I reach inside I end up pulling out a tangled mass of spaghetti that's the size of a lemon, and I still can't find the end. So I either have to reroll the whole skein, or just pull from the outside. Until I get my ball winder, I'm letting that puppy roll around on the floor. Friends don't mind a little cat hair in their socks, right? It just adds extra insulation ...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Look how awesome my customers are!

Jessalyn from Junebug Creations bought my South Sea Squares quilt pattern a few months ago, and look how darling hers turned out!
(photo by Jessalyn, used with her permission)
This is my favorite part about pattern design - seeing how other people interpret my designs in fun new ways! Of course, I could just be partial to this quilt because I love the sock monkey fabric ... but come on, it's a quilt cute even if you don't have the sock monkey fabric obsession I have!

So come on, Lazy Mamas! Show me what you've made ... hmmm, do I smell a contest abrewing?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Look! Pattern development!

Yeah, so with all the mermaid tail production and sock knitting and vacationing, it's been a little while since I've introduced a new pattern to my shop. I've got a new one on the machine now, though, and once I get it written up I think it will be pretty popular. Here's a taste:

It may be a few days before it's available, though, since I have Important Things to do, like go to the observation class at Lazy Kid's dance studio.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Pimpin' my homies

The Cleveland Handmade etsy team has an orange-and-black challenge going, with voting continuing until Sunday, October 26, so stop by the site and pick your favorite. Sign up for the mailing list at the same time, and you're entered to win a gift certificate good at any of the participating shops. Just in time for holiday shopping!
Oh, and in case you were wondering, yes, I do have an entry - the Halloween Hexagons quilt. I can't decide whether I like this view better, or the view they used for the ballot - I guess it doesn't really matter, does it?

on the needles

Yup, the Christmas rush has started already.

My goal this year is a pair of socks for everyone we exchange gifts with, which means two boys, a preschooler, my parents, LazyHusband's parents, LazyHusband's sisters, LazyHusband and Lazy Kid. That's a lot of stockinette.

Depending on how tight on time I am, I may count the socks for LazyHusband and Lazy Kid as already done, and really early, too!

But I've got my mother's socks on the needles, using stretch cotton self-striping sock yarn, and using the Jaywalker pattern for the legs (just plain stockinette for the feet). I've got the first sock finished, and dove right into the second sock ... only to find out that the striping width varies from one end of the skein to the other, so that when I started the second sock pulling yarn from the outside of the ball, I got wide stripes, but the first sock (from the inside of the ball) had thin stripes. So I frogged the second and dug around to find the inside end, started the sock again, and the stripes were thin. Huzzah!

And I have yarn for my mother-in-law's socks, my father's socks, and a pair for me and Lazy Kid to match. I probably have enough scraps left to do the boys' socks out of the leftovers from LazyHusband's socks, and I'm waiting for inspiration to strike before I buy yarn for my sisters-in-law. Plus, one of them lives in San Diego - not much sock-wearing going on there, unless I make her a pair of tabi to go with her flip-flops.

For some reason, I also decided it was a good idea to try the Liberty blanket in Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines, which is 4'x5' and done in an intricate Fair Isle pattern that has a pattern repeat of like, um, 60 rows. And the yarn is sticky enough on the needles that I'm getting carpal-tunnel from trying to scootch the stitches along as I knit. I've taken to grabbing sections of it with my teeth to pull it along ... so now my lips are chapping, too.

What the hell was I thinking? At least it's just for me, so if I have to stuff it in the back of a closet for a while to regain my composure, nobody's going to miss out at Christmas. Besides, the first five rows of the pattern look really nice ... and I've only made like two errors that I know of, neither of which will be noticeable once I'm done. Right? Right.

Cowl-ly goodness

And here's a closeup of the stitch pattern, since nobody seems to have included that anywhere with the directions. It looks pretty cool, but since it gets all bunched up when you wear it, I'm not sure it's worth the effort.
Again, that's "Abby," by Amy R. Singer, found via Ravelry on, made using some laceweight blue alpaca that I got for free (thanks, petite!).
Also, compare the first photo background with the previous photo backgrounds, such as you'd find here ... we painted our bathroom teal! Yay! I love it, but it does make for a somewhat more cave-like photo.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I looked down last night, and LazyHusband, LazyKid and I were all wearing socks I had knit.


This winter I'm going to try for an extended family portrait with all of us - including grandparents - swathed in toasty handknit socks.

LazyFamily, you've been warned!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Tinker Toy swift

Success! I made a variation of the Tinker Toy swift (tons of versions available online - here's one I used as inspiration) and used it while I hand-wound one of the Ranco skeins I got in Blacksburg. It worked great - nice and sturdy, exactly the right size for my skein, and it went together in less than five minutes.

Also, it didn't cost $80 like some umbrella swifts can.

Plus, LazyKid helped assemble it, and LazyHusband was supremely impressed that it worked, even if he still doesn't get why I need to wind my yarn into balls in the first place.

Now, if I can find a set of K'Nex, I'm totally making myself a ball winder. That'll be another $40 saved, since technically buying a set of K'Nex is a "toy" purchase, not a "yarn" purchase, right? Even if LazyKid can't use them for another couple years? Right?

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Back from vacation, with two projects finished

When I wasn't wandering around looking at stuff like this:
... I was knitting. A lot. Like for hours on the plane, for hours every night after we hit Lazy Kid on the head with the sleep hammer, for hours while we drove from Denver to Colorado Springs and back. I get a lot done on vacation, have I mentioned that?

First project I finished in Colorado: Socks for LazyHusband

And since I haven't bothered to link to it before, here are the instructions I use for toe-up socks. These were made in "Forever" by Lane Cervinia in color 61, on size 2 DPNs. They were a lot of fun, as the pattern in the yarn changed so frequently that the miles and miles and miles of plain stockinette stitch wasn't nearly so mind-numbing as it could have been. Because hubby has size 13 feet which are about the size of waterskis, so trust me, there was plenty of stockinette. Plenty.

The other project I finished I can't show you yet - it's not blocked yet, as I just finished it four hours ago as our plane was taxi-ing into the Cleveland airport. It's a lace cowl, "Abby," by Amy R. Singer, found via Ravelry on I made it using leftover alpaca yarn from the "Eve" sweater I did last winter, and the yarn was every bit as hairy and somewhat itchy as I remembered. Here's hoping it will be cold enough when I wear it that I won't notice :)

More from vacation, including a review of an awesome yarn store, and a tribute to a ridiculously expensive cashmere scarf kit I couldn't bring myself to splurge on, and I've been kicking myself ever since.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sewing for Lazy Kid

Child's Sock Pattern by Lucy H. Lee, found for free via Ravelry. Knit from Soxx Appeal by Knit One, Crochet Too, I think the colorway was Purple Haze. Fun, fast knit, even if they are done on size 2 DPNs. Gah.

Next up: A bean bag chair with a secret.

It's filled with all of Lazy Kid's stuffed animals, which she never uses for anything, anyway, but won't let me throw out. Hah! Now the kid has a place to sit when she watches videos in my studio, and I have extra room to store toys she actually uses. Not bad for coming from a free pattern and using up stash fabric ... even if I did have to use pins to sew on the bottom and top. Pins are evil, have I mentioned that recently?

Now, if you'll excuse me, I just realized that I have a vacation to pack for, and NO SUITABLE KNITTING TO TAKE WITH ME. The horror! The horror! Must buy more yarn!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Happy fall!

Now go buy something to decorate your house, like my new Halloween Hexagon quilt!
Or make something, like a crocheted Zombie Bunny!
Or get a treat bag for YOU - forget the kids, mommies need candy, too!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

What I would buy for my husband ...

... if only I had sold a few more things on etsy this year. It would look awesome on the wall in his office.

Go check it out, and be amazed.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Newest finished project - socks for ME!!!!!

Pattern: Kaibashira by Chrissy Gardiner
Yarn: Soxx Appeal by Knit One Crochet Too in 9260 Raspberry Sundae
Verdict: Hell, yeah! I love these socks. I love this yarn. I love this pattern. It's 75F outside and I still want to wear wool socks, that's how great they are. Seriously, I can't wait to start another pair for myself once I finish a couple of Lazy Mama projects that are on the needles right now. The only thing I might do differently is the cast-on scalloped edge. I think ribbing might work better to help them stay up ... but then again, that edge is pretty cute.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Show a Clevey some love

The Cleveland Handmade etsy team is doing a series of interviews with featured artists in the NE Ohio area. The first one is SaraKate, who makes really cool purses. You can check out the interview here, and her etsy shop here.

Way to go, SaraKate! You've got much more interesting answers to the questions than I'll come up with ;)

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Attack of the (formerly) UFOs

After a brief family meeting, it was decided that I would take some time this weekend to get started on my holiday etsy shop sewing, since I've got Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas all looming on the horizon. My first goal was to clear out some of the UFOs that have been hanging around, clogging up the cutting table and taking up space in my brain.

So, in roughly the order they were completed, here's the list of the FOs from this weekend:
  1. SWAK blanket as a gift for a friend.
  2. Two custom mermaid costumes.
  3. A school bag for Lazy Kid, who starts "real" preschool tomorrow.
  4. Some throw pillow covers for Christmas, made from redwork patterns I got here. Sorry for the embarrassingly bad photo, but I was in a hurry. Notice I've got two pillow covers but only one pillow? Waiting for a sale at Joanns to get another one ...
  5. Two eyelet lace SWAK blankets for the shop.
  6. A Halloween Hexagon quilt from stash fabric, which is all basted and ready to start quilting.
  7. Three madras plaid homespun SWAK blankets for the shop.
  8. A swirly wool toddler/child hat that I'm insanely proud I designed myself. See how the stripes swirl and decrease toward the top of the hat? Brilliant!
  9. Pieces for the next baby quilt for the shop cut out and ready to start piecing.
  10. And, if I stop typing and get my butt in gear, I may be able to finish my first pair of winter socks of the season, which are about 3/4" from the toe decreases right now.

So I'm going off to watch football (yawn) and knit furiously fast. Hope your weekend was equally productive!

Before and after

This is the inside of my sewing machine.

This is the inside of my sewing machine after I sew a bunch of quilts, mermaid costumes, pillows, and other stuff without bothering to do any cleaning.

This is the pile of stuff I picked out of the inside of my sewing machine.

The sad thing is that I sort of let it collect on purpose, because it's more rewarding to fish out a huge pile of stuff than it is to pull out tiny bits of fluff. I am a sick, sick woman.

Sunday, August 31, 2008