Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Donation Update 3

I made the last donation tonight from sales of Let's Go patterns.

I'm really happy to report that the total sales in the month of December from the 2 Let's Go pattern was $486.
After the previous donations,there was $86 left.  I rounded it up and made another donation of $100 to Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation.

In addition to this donation, earlier this week I also made personal donations to 2 separate groups that are non-local, but I'd been donating to in the past: $35 to Furever Shih Tzu and Companion Dog Rescue, and $35 to Kritter Kamp Rescue.

Total donations to local animal shelters and rescue groups from Let's GO pattern sales: $500

  • Nevada Humane Society - $150
  • Nevada ASPCA - $50
  • Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation - $200
  • Dog Town Rescue - $100

My personal donation to add just a tiny bit to the bucket:

  • Nevada ASPCA - $25
  • Furever Shih Tzu Rescue - $35
  • Kritter Kamp - $35
With all your amazing help, I'm able to end the year 2014 with a little warmth to the furry ones. Thank you! from the bottom of my heart. 

Circular Needles Organizer

Like many knitters, I struggled with organizing my circular needles.  Over the years, I'd accumulated a small collection of circular needles.  They are the only needles I ever use.

I never found a way to store them satisfactorily other than ziplock bags.  I put them in sandwich size bags and labelled needle size with permanent markers on the bags, and put them all in a gallon size ziplock bag. I like ziplock bags so much that I use them for all my project bags too. I love that I can tell what's inside the bags and that they're waterproof.

But it's kind annoying sometimes that I have to dig through the gallon size bag to find the right size needles. So, I'd been wanting a better organize. Finally, I got my acts together and sewed up couple of them yesterday.

I bought some clear vinyl (gauge 8) from fabric store and used my serger to serge up the vinyl cases. Found some tips online to tape under the presser foot using scotch tape for better vinyl sewing.  Each page has pockets both front and back.  The top of each page has overlapping flap to keep the needles from falling out.  Pockets on the inside of fabric cover for storing I don't know what, maybe the few double point needles that I use as cable needles.

I put masking tape on the edge as tabs that mark needle sizes of each page.  I can remove them later and sew on something more permanently.

I really love my new organizers.  Good size pages/pockets in see-through plastic, just the way I like it.  And now I don't have to dig out small bags, or pour everything out to look for the right size needles any more!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Winter Break Sewing Begins

Winter break is finally here.
I have to admit the last 3 weeks of the semester was really trying for several reasons.  Worst of all was the scheduling of classes. Long days with 3 classes back to back (2.5 hours long of each class) was really getting to me.  To have something to look forward to, I promised myself a pair of cowgirl boots when I make it to the end.  And I did make it.

Living here in Nevada, how can a girl not have a nice pair of cowgirl boots?

As soon as the semester was over, I bought myself a lovely pair of Ariat Heritage.  It's so comfy and the openings of cowgirl boots are the best for a wide calves.

Well, to go with the boots, I thought I'd make myself a coat and some mini skirts to wear over leggings.
I ended up with 2 coats.  I'd been wanting to make one for a year, but I was always lazy, even though I'd already bought the fabric.

The red one was actually made as a prototype.  I drafted the pattern, and used the red wool as my muslin since it was from the bargain bin of Hancock Fabric.  If I remember correctly, I got it for less than $6 per yard.  I figured if the prototype works, I'd have a nice coat. I used micro-fleece as lining as I'd always dreamed of doing.  The fit came out good, roomy like I'd planned, But the collars were a bit funky even after a few tries. But all in all, I'd totally wear it. It took 2 days to finish it.

After the prototype was done, I made the coat that I always wanted with a nice wool that has saddle stitches decoration.  I believe I bought this wool fabric from Hancock Fabric as well when it was on sale.  I always had this design in my head when I bought the fabric a year ago.  I knew it has to be a hoodie, not one of those wimpy detachable one, but a real hoodie.  It is lined with aqua color of micro-fleece.  Roomy fit to wear over layers. I even took the time to make the front facing and the hem facing. It's got pockets made with the oh-so-cuddly micro fleece too. I so love this coat. It is exactly how I always dreamed of.  It's so cuddly with the fleece lining that I totally don't want to take it off.

Then I got on a skirt making binge, starting with a yellow stretchy knit that I folded into crossing bands. It's short, but I'm wearing leggings underneath it. Very fun little project.  It was inspired by some skint I saw on Pinterest a while ago.

The next one was paneled denim, and I added the "ode to knit" decoration.  Just had to.  I sew strips of stretchy knit onto the 2 sides of the slit, then hook up the stitches.

The last skirt was a wool blend, simple box pleats at the front.

I'm pretty happy with how they all turned out.  I made all the patterns myself. Well, I didn't cut out any patterns for the skirts, just drew the designs and schematics on scrap papers and proceeded with cutting the fabric.  Nothing earth shattering but I'm pretty pleased with the results.

All fabric came from my stash.  The only thing I had to buy was the buttons for the coats. The t-shirt was something I made last year.

Yes, all these sewing done in one week.  I couldn't help it.  That's what winter break is all about, doing my own projects. And I'm honestly the happiest when I'm working on my own projects.

Since I now have a pair of cowgirl boots, here's a little confession of being a poser: I'd never ridden or horse, other than the merry go rounds.  I've been on camels in the Sahara, but never been on a horse.  And Paul's aunt breeds horses in Conneticut!  Maybe one day.  I sure hope so.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Donations Update 2

Thank you all for helping out with donations.
Here is the latest, So far, The pattern sales from "Lets Go for a Walk/Stroll" raised total $410.  
The second round of donations were sent out today.

$100 to WARF (Wylie Animal Rescue Foundation) in Incline Village, Nevada - It's a small group of volunteers that dedicated to rescuing companion animals.  They rescue animals that are in imminent danger of euthanasia, usually directly from the euthanasia holding rooms of local shelters.  

$100 to Dog Town Canine Rescue based in Carson City, Nevada.  It's a non-profit organization focused on rescue dogs forgotten and forsaken by humans.  

$50 to Nevada Humane Society in Reno, Nevada.

Add today's $250 donation to the first round of donation of $150, there is still $10 balance to be donated. Let's hope by the end of month, we'll have more to add to that.  

I couldn't have done it without knitters support.  And I know many of you may not have purchased the patterns but you chose to help with my donation effort. I want you to know that I truly appreciate all of your help. Thank you!


As to what I'm up to since winter break began, I've started sewing a jacket.
First I drafted the pattern.  Then I sew up the jacket using a very inexpensive wool fabric I got from Hancock Fabric last year on my way back from San Francisco after Christmas.  It was in the bargain bin and super cheap. So I decided to use it as my muslin, and if the prototype worked out well then it's wearable.  The biggest problem I had was the collars. They didn't sit right  After many alterations on the collars still looked a bit funky, but that's OK, it's a like-able funky, or so I tell myself.  I used micro-fleece as lining, the way I always dreamed of a coat/jacket.  I'm working on a second one, I want to add facings to the lapels  and hem, but not sure if I want to do the extra work. We shall see. 

Taking a short break on knitting, because I miss sewing.  It's something I feel like my sewing skills simply slip whenever I stop sewing for a while, so in a way I'm just trying to keep my skill tuned. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Let's Go for Another Walk

I made another "Let's Go for a Walk", this time using Naturally Harmony 10 ply.  I totally LOVE this yarn, singly ply but sturdy, woolly but not scratchy.

I finally was able to take some photos of it when I wore it for my walk this morning in the woods.

It snowed last night.  The past "monster storm" had predicted 1 to 2 feet of snow, and we got 0 inches at the lake level here by the time the storm was over yesterday afternoon.  There was more snow on mountain tops, but still, a lot less than what was expected.  We saw the satellite map and the storm front seemed to stall over the mountains west of us.  It just couldn't get over the the crest to come to Tahoe Basin, I remember hearing comment saying it was partly due to the gusty wind. But last night, surprisingly after the storm was officially over, we got about 1/2 of an inch of snow, I guess it was better than nothing after all.

We went for a walk this morning through the meadow and creek next to our house.  Today is Paul's birthday, so he was happy to start the day with a walk in the snow.  And I got a chance to take photos when I was actually going for a walk.

And I'm very happy to report that so far this month, I've raised total $352 for animal shelters, that's $200 left after the last donations.  I'll make the next donations probably next week.  So happy many knitters are helping me with this donation drive. Thank you.  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Where is Winter?

It snowed last week.  It was enough for my car to slide a bit driving over summit. It even snowed all the way down to the valley.  But today is gorgeous.

Jake's Peak above us

Emerald Bay below us
Heavenly Ski Resort across the lake

Paul and I went for a short hike. Instead of hiking up behind our house on the east side of the lake like we always do, we decided to drive to west shore and hike around Desolation. It felt like a trip, though only 20 minutes drive away from where we live. At first I wanted to go to Angora Lake, but the gate was closed.  So Paul took me to the base of Jake's Peak.  We started on an unmarked but obvious trail, but it kinda disappeared among the loose gravel and manzanita bushes.  We bushwhacked our way up the hill.  Then as we were heading straight uphill in the loose gravel that was like sand, I literally could not move any further. It was like a cartoon of fast moving legs going nowhere.  After 20 seconds, I said to Paul that I felt like I was on an elliptical machine, legs kept on moving fast at a stationary point and I couldn't stop moving because I'd slip down hill.  It was hilarious.

That was what so fun about today's hike.  We didn't see a single person during our hike.  The weather was gorgeous, more like Autumn than Winter.

After we got back to where we parked, Paul saw an Incense Cedar a little up the hill that he absolutely had to check it out because it could be the largest Incense Cedar he'd ever seen.  Then it was a nice surprise when we walked around to the back side.  It was hollow with burnt out center. 
Paul said when he was a ranger for the Forest Service, people used to ask him if the Incense Cedars are Sequoia. He also had people telling him they saw brown bears. He'd tell them we only have black bears around here, but the people would insist the bears were brown so they couldn't be black bears. 

We also spotted some Sugar Pines.  It used to be the most common trees here in Tahoe Basin until mid 1800's logging boom around Tahoe due to the discovery of Comstock mining at the nearby Virginia City. Sugar Pine was so excessively logged for mine shafts.  It's now not that often one can spot Sugar Pines.  

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fairisle Hoodie

I just finished a hoodie, and I'm in love with it.
It has fairisle on the hood and on the cuffs.  I decided to make it zip up with zippers because it's my favorite way to wear a cardigan. The yarn I used were Ornaghi Fillati Super Sport in various colors. Total 4 colors used for the sweater.

Everything was knitted top down in round, then steeking at the end.  It came out a bit roomy with 3" positive ease, but I like the relaxed fit.
It's a rather casual look. Nothing earth sharttering, but nice way to work with colors without going crazy.

I used I-cord for the front edging. Picked up stitches after steeking was completed for the I-cord.
The only sewing was the zipper.

This is totally my style of clothing!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Donation Update 1

Thank you all for purchasing the 2 patterns (Let's Go for a Walk, and Let's Go for a Stroll).
Usually when a pattern releases, the biggest selling days are first day or two.  I was hoping for a little amount, but it came out better than what I am used to with my usual pattern sales :)

So far, the Let's Go mini collection made 29 sales, and 11 sales for the Hat and 17 for the Mittens. These brought the total amount to $286.

I decided to send out my first donations after yesterday seeing a report on local news about Poppi, an injured poodle found by the roadside, who needs a leg amputated, and she is already blind on one eye.  So I sent $50 to Nevada Humane Society, a no-kill shelter, specifically for Poppy.


In addition, I made another $50 general donation to the same Nevada Humane Societ..
Then, I made the third donation  of $50 to Northern Nevada SPCA, another no-kill animal shelter in this area.

That brought the total of donation to this day to $150.  I am personally covering all Paypal fees on pattern sales and fees to make donations online, so 100% what knitters pay will go to animals.

After the above donation, I saw a senior Shih Tzu named Jerry Garcia that is on the website of Northern Nevada SPCA,  I'm still recovering from loosing Cody (both emotionally and the financial debt we incurred) that I am still not ready to adopt. I feel so terrible, really, really, terrible, that my heart is not big enough to provide a home for him at this time.  The one small thing I could do was to make a tiny personal donation of $25 (not from the pattern sales) for him.  It's not much, but...

Jerry Garcia

Thank you for all your help to make this possible.  We still have $136 left from the first wave of sales, and hopefully, more to come.  I will report back on next donation.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Let's Go for a Walk!

How I miss saying that to Cody, "Let's go for walk!"   Going for a walk was his favorite thing in the world, even more than getting treats.

Holiday season is approaching.  As I was knitting away my cardigan (I'm really loving it,) a thought came to me that I shall make couple of accessory patterns for the season to help out ones that cannot help themselves, the abandoned, neglected, and abused animals.

I wish I can win lottery someday, so I can donate a lot more to animal rescue groups.  The people that do the really important work deserves our thanks and support.  Since I don't have the habbit of buying lottery tickets, the chance of that is rather slim. In the mean time, during the month of December, I'd like to donate 100% of the sales of these 2 patterns to local animal rescue and shelters.

The first one I made is called, "Let's Go for a Walk."
It's a hat with cables I designed.  It's kind of a tall Pillbox style hat with folded over ribbing.  I first made the ribbing only 2", upon finishing the hat, I decided it looks much better with longer ribbing to be folded over. So I picked up stitches along CO edge and added another 2" to the ribbing.  The total 4" length is in the pattern.

Then I made a pair of mittens to go with the hat.  It's called, "Let's Go for a Stroll."
The cable design was varied a bit from the cables on the hat to adapt to the size of mittens.
I used double moss stitch for the border and the palm side.

Both turned out even better than I expected.
I was able to knit both in one week of marathon knitting. I am hoping to raise some money for little donation local rescue groups and shelters.  I have not decided which ones. Right now I'm looking at a group that rescue dogs and cats, also there is a no-kill shelter nearby.

The patterns are are now available as a set for $6.00, or $4.00 individually  at my Ravelry store.