Monday, November 29, 2010


For those of you who know me best, you know I have three passions in life:

• Chocolate
• Yarn
• Cats

Try as I might, I have not been able to combine all three into one big box of delicious loveliness! I came close last year when I knit the Darkside Cowl combining a silk/cashmere blend in the "chocolate" colourway. Mmmm....chocolate.... This combination of yarn and chocolate was most satisfying!

So last week, with the awesome help of Deborah Knight, CMO at Yarnmarket, I was able to combine yarn with a feline!

Many of you have met the adorable and beautiful love of my life, little Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch.....

Well, I'm absolutely delighted to announce that Sandi Pandi is now available as yarn!!!!!!!! Her Fabulous Feline Yarn has just been launched!!

OMG!!!!! Can you believe it? We're totally ecstatic!  Who's a good girl?  Who's a good girl then??

My Little Miss Canada!! Sandi doesn't fully understand what all the fuss is about, but she likes the extra attention. I knew my little girl had star potential!

Last year, as part of a competition, I sent her glam shots to Yarnmarket. Sandi didn't win any prizes at that time, but she did win the hearts of some voters, and the powers that be :-) Deborah told me she'd keep Sandi's photos on file for use in future yarn.

And lo and behold...a year later, this most wonderful news! Whoooooooot! Sandi will be forever immortalized in yarn! A celebrity in the Webb family!

Here is Sandi's winning photo:

And following are the details of the yarn from the Yarnmarket website:

"Felines Chunky" Yarn
A Yarnmarket exclusive! This high quality chunky yarn is made with sumptuously soft 100% merino wool that provides outstanding stitch definition. For an interesting twist, it's been hand-dyed by Iris Schreier of Artyarns to capture the many colors of cats. From tabbies to tortoise shells, we know how much cat lovers adore their feline friends, and we're certain yarn lovers will want to knit an original creation to match their own Fabulous Feline. Each color is named after an actual pussycat whose photo was submitted by a knitter.

Product Information
Brand: Fabulous Felines
Yarn Name: Felines Chunky
Fiber Content: Wool
Ball Weight: 100g
Yardage: 110yd
Texture: Plied
Yarn Weight: Chunky
Gauge: 3.5 stitches per 4.0 inches/10cm
Needle Sizes: 10.5 US
Care: Machine Wash &; Dry Flat

And here is the Sandi Pandi colourway from the Yarnmarket website:

1117 - Sandi Pandi Smooch Pooch

Last week Yarnmarket ran a contest on their blog, Shear Bagatelle. The contest was open to the public, and their goal was to correctly identify where Sandi Pandi comes from. Enthusiastic readers nailed it in three hours!! Totally amazing huh? The final winner, Michelle, from Portland, Oregon, won a skein of Sandi Pandi's Fabulous Feline Yarn, and a few other readers scored Yarnmarket fabric bags. Congratulations to you all!

A heartfelt THANK YOU to Deb from Yarnmarket, and all her amazing staff for this fantastic honour!  Sandi also says:  "meow, meow, meooooooooooooow".  Loosely translated this means, "feed me, feed me, feed me nooooooow", but I think she really meant "thank you for this purrrrrfectly fabulous yarn".

ETA:  Here's the Yarnmarket blog blurb.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thwarted at Every Turn!

So, in my last post I had a sore thumb, and although I couldn't spin or knit, I figured I could set up my old faithful sewing machine and run a few lines with her.

I've had a couple of knitting project bag designs swirling around in my head for a few months. Given my thumb injury, I used the knitting/spinning downtime to get my designs on paper.  Following an hour or so of sketching, cutting, taping, and re-designing, I was ready to put fabric to the metal!

But what was this?  My automatic needle threader was on the fritz!  Darn!  I hate having to manually thread the teensy eensy tiny little needle.  Since I'm blind as a bat, I had to remove the needle, thread it, and then re-insert it!  Painful.

Nevertheless, I churned out two project bag prototypes.  One was carefully filed under SC, and the other required some further tweaking.  Armed with my amended pattern and gorgeous fabric, I was ready to sew some bags for my badly neglected and stockless Etsy Shop!

La, la, laaah.  La, la ... SNAP....!  Oh for pete's sake what now?  In my right hand I was holding my reverse stitching lever!!!!!!  Argh!  It had snapped off high up in the belly of my sewing machine.  Why are the Gods against me?

I made a few calls and finally tracked down the only Singer Repair and Service Centre in London.  Of course they are located on the other side of the city and their hours clash with my working hours.  I did speak to a sales clerk though, and following that conversation, I knew what I had to do...


The parts, labour and service was going to cost half of what a new machine was worth!  Plus I had to get the machine over to the Service Centre and then pick it up again!

I googled sewing machine sales in the London area, and found a store in Arva - North End Sewing Centre.  Seems it was my lucky day.  They had a Bernina Bernette 92c shop demo model for sale at 45% OFF!  This machine does more than I really need, but because of the sale, it was the same price as a lower end Bernina.  So, I took it for a test drive...

Key Features
- Adjustable and Second Spool Holder
- Free arm and Full Length Stitch Plate
- LCD display
- Quick Reference Guide with Graphics
- Improved Hook System
- Automatic Buttonholes
- Two Thread Cutters
- Optimum Sewing Light
- Automatic Needle Threader
- Reverse Sewing Button
- 150 Stitches including alphabets

My purse was shaking, my credit card coughed and gurgled as I handed it over to the sales clerk.

As my shiney new Bernina was lovingly wrapped and put in its box, I couldn't help but whimper with the thought of NOT getting that lovely new spinning wheel for Christmas afterall...

I've Got an Oweeeeeeee!

Silly girl....what was I thinking?  Well, obviously I wasn't too smart!!  Yes, I should have known better - blah, blah, blah..... [sob, sob]

-----enough of the scolding------

My thumb hurts :-(  And the cold makes it hurt more.  And I've got things to do.  And I don't have time to have an achey thumb!  And I need a cuddle [sniffle, sniffle]....or chocolate at least!

-----enough of the pity party------

As you all know by now, I'm cranking out the knitting projects at a furious rate.  Christmas is only ONE MONTH AWAY [gasp].  My knitting motorway has been quite smooth despite the congestion and occasional bit of knit road rage.  Yes, there was the odd little bump in the road, a little detour and backtracking here and there, but all in all the road was clear.

Until the slick conditions yesterday!

I thought I'd enjoy a knitting layover, and pick up the hand-spinning instead.  Afterall, I needed some handspun for my next project - Turn a Square by Jared Flood.

-----bit of background info-----

When I was at Little Red Mitten earlier this month, I picked up some wonderful Zen Yarn Garden Superwash Merino Roving (4oz).  The colourways are gorgeous - hot pink, black, gray, burgundy, smoke and mauve.

And when I was at the Woodstock Fleece Festival last month, I picked up two skeins of fabulous 100% Black Welsh Mountain Sheep Wool (3ply aran weight) in the black and the gray colourways.

So, yesterday I dug out my lovely little Jenkins Turkish Spindle, and spun and spun.  I reckon I spun almost half of the roving, and enjoyed myself on and off for probably 5 hours.  Truth be known, I couldn't put the darn spinning down!

And now I have a big oweeeeeeee!  My spinning thumb is so cramped up and so achey, I just wanna cut it off [boo hoo].  See beginning of post....silly girl.....  As I lay in bed this morning, lamenting my poor sore thumb, there was a moment of weakness when I fleetingly considered using my other hand for spinning! [smack, smack]!  See beginning of post....silly girl....

So now here I sit, unable to spin, unable to knit, barely able to type!  But all is not lost cos I can still use my sewing machine!!  And that's just what I'm gonna do!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

I'm Ready for the White Stuff

Well, not really.  I'm never "ready" for the white stuff!  It's pretty though around Christmas time when all the houses are decorated with lights.

Trouble is that the white stuff brings with it the kind of cccc...old that chills me to the bone.  And having poor circulation [thanks Mum] means that the extremities suffer - ears, nose, hands and feet.

By far the worst problem is my feet.  Thank goodness I'm not six feet tall!  No matter what I do, I have cold feet.  And once my feet are cold, that's the end of me.....I'm frozen.  I own all the proper winter attire to combat cold feet, but none of them work as well for me as my heated "slippies".  Mmm....heated slippies....

In an attempt to keep my hands warm this year, I just finished knitting myself a pair of mittens.  These are no ordinary mittens.  I've basically taken two alpacas, stuffed one into each mitten and called them "Thrummed Mittens".

Soft doesn't even begin to describe these babies.  I just want to cuddle them all day!

I bought the alpaca yarn and 4oz of alpaca fleece at the Woodstock Fleece Festival in October this year.  I dyed the fleece with Kool Aid using Strawberry, Cherry and Grape.  Since there was so much fleece, I decided to use my Turkish Drop Spindle to make about 25 yards of yarn to knit into the cuffs.

Voila, I present to you:  Alpaca Yum Thrum Mittens:

Sandi is undecided about my Alpaca Yum Thrum Mittens

Finished Alpaca Yum Thrum Mittens

Inside my Alpaca Yum Thrum Mittens

You people may laugh, but my hands are gonna be warmer than warm....they're gonna sweat by crikey!  LOL!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Every Year - Same Thing

... No matter how early I start the Christmas knitting, I'm scrambling to finish my projects by mid November.  And where's the joy in that?  The added agony is that I must finish the knitting in plenty of time for Canada Post and Australia Post to deliver my yarnie goodness in time for Christmas!

Can you believe that I started knitting Chrissie projects in ... [just checking] ... July!!

Note to self ... there are special places for people like me ....

So, massive knot in back of neck, aside [I wonder whether I have knitter's knotty neck syndrome?], I feel like I've knit a mile a minute during the last three weeks.  This morning I cast on the second Easygoing sock for Mum, thus completing the knitted gifts that are Oz bound!  Yay [reads:  freakin thank you God YAY!!].

Hopefully my family won't take a sneak peek at this blog....cos I'm blogging the FOs (finished objects).



Dad's Mistaken Alpaca Sox

Cougar Cap (for Jaycee)

Whale Cap (for Karlia)

Tease's Cell Phone Cozy

Emily the Tiger (for Emily)

And because I'm truly MAD, I attended the first of two classes last week (taught by Joan from Little Red Mitten) to knit the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman.  This one is pretty mindless knitting, and there's no deadline for completion!  I'm using Viking of Norway SportsRagg yarn in variegated royal and dark blues.
Seneca, by Jared Flood has been on hold for a while now.  Poor Seneca.  I'm hoping to get back to her in a few weeks!
More Christmas knitting that is!  That lot up there, plus a whole whack of other projects, is Oz bound.  There's still the Christmas knitting for my Canadian family.....including three spoiled cats [whispering - and if they are good little kitties, Santa might bring them some felted catnip toys!!].
Now I'm done....LOL....