Saturday, January 29, 2011

Have Migraine - Will Knit...

Day two of the sinus migraine. Ugh!!!! I had surgery for these 21 years ago - due to sinus infections as a child, the sinus passages on the right side were growing closed - literally I was only breathing out of half of my nose. A little OP surgery and "Bob's me uncle" (which he really is) and I was good as new. Well, as fate would have it the sinus headache returned yesterday full blast!!! It's back today in a somewhat subdued version, but still just the pits to deal with. However, the pain has allowed me to focus on the important task for this weekend - knitting a square for my Baker's Dozen group. Thought I would have it done and sent earlier this week, but no go. It seems that knitting is helping to put my brain and the rest of my body into a gentle numb state - when I stop the headache returns with less ferocity. Have I found a non-drug cure for a sinus migraine??? More testing needs to be done and hopefully I'll finish my square in the process.

OK- back to the knitting therapy....or as they say in the medical world - clinical testing....

Peace and joy to you all......
The Green Girl

Thursday, January 27, 2011


Hello one and all - This blog post is the Green Girl's 100th posting. I think that's worth a little celebration. Considering that I never thought I'd get past 10 or so, it's a real milestone. Hurrah!!!! However, it must be said that this blog would not exist if not for the outpouring of support that I have received from all of you!!! My sincerest thanks!

So, what's new today, eh??? Well, it is snowing outside - I am watching it fall and cover the ground in a soft beautiful white blanket as I write. I am fully aware that snow is not the friend of many, but for me it always a reminder that things can be cleaned and refreshed. Snow and I go way back - even as a small child I would throw on my many pairs of pants and sweatshirts, coat, boots, mittens, scarf and hat at the first sign of flakes. The snow always seemed to bring a sense of fun and adventure. I am always up for a good adventure. I may not run outside to play in the snow nowadays, but I always go out and stand for a moment and let the flakes fall softly on my face - then I come inside and get a cuppa tea and the knitting. See, there's still fun and adventure when it snows.

One of my latest adventures has been the "Wall." The wall of IKEA Expedit cubes to house and organize my stash, books, and misc crafty stuff. I'm not sure the organizational adventure of arranging everything is over, but it's all off the floor and in the cubes now. Hurrah!!! Now when I look across from my desk I can see my knitting reference books, I can look at the stash bins and see the cards telling me what's in the bin (bins not yet marked in picture.) It feels good, a step in the right direction, it feels like home, a studio that I have dreamed about for years. I could live in this room if DH would bring me food and add on a loo.The cubes continue across the wall and go from floor to ceiling.

Well, it is time to move onto writing the Knitty Scribe blog - this weeks selection will be of great interest to all of my loom knitting  cohorts. Check it out!!!

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Zippty Do Dah.....

I suspect that many of you have read forums or articles that talk about, "You know you are a Knitter when...." I know I have read several, some pertaining to a specific knitting goddess, some are just general ideas - you get the picture.

Then there are the numerous groups that discuss knitting organization. As you may have read in a previous blog thread, I'm on that adventure as we speak. How to organize your stash, your books, your needles and all of the sub-topics of each of those main ideas. This discussion could go on literally forever and I think in some ways it may as many knitters seem to organized people, or at least people that try to be organized. I think that in an art form where you have to track so many little bits here and there, organization is something that is thrust upon us if you are not an organized person to start. Controlling the  stash alone should require most knitters to hire part-time help. I've come to the conclusion that every knitter is at minimum a tiny LYS (local yarn store/shop) and at most a very large LYS. I'd love to see a pile out on a hillside with all of the yarn from all the stashes in North America alone. I know my fellow knitters to the north in Canada could rival those of us in the states easily. And I have limited the geographic area because I do not think there is a hillside large enough to hold all the stashes of the world.

Now, as I have been working today on my own organizational plans, I took a moment to read through some of the forums that I track on Ravelry. It just happens that one of those forums is dedicated to organization. I realize I didn't have to tell you that, as I gave it a pretty big lead, but what the heck maybe something was distracting you for a moment.

In one of the threads someone commented on using the zippy bags that fresh linens come in as a knitting project bag. I had to laugh at myself as I have three such bags awaiting their knitting prize as I write. I use them all the time - they are the perfect size and easy to grab and go. Then this idea popped into my noodle:

"You know you are a knitter when: You think that you are getting two items for the prices of one when these bags are involved in the packaging of another product and you think the zippy bag is the better of the two items because it can be used for knitting."

As all knitters know, this goes to the idea that knitters are always thinking about knitting, dreaming about knitting, doing the knitting.... It never ends- it's just good stuff - and it fills us all with peace and joy....

Go fill your day with your own kind of peace and joy....
The Green Girl.

Monday, January 17, 2011


It is gently snowing today, the weather forecasters in Chicago are saying that it will change to a "Wintery Mix." What is a Wintery Mix?? Sounds like the name of a box of chocolates, that could be good, well done weather folk for your ingenious name for some weather oddity that I am unfamiliar with (at least I think I am, we'll see what it is when the weather changes.) It was like living in Seattle when they would say we had "Filtered Sunshine" aka gray skies in which you may see the shadow of a yellow orb in the sky at some point. Really it was just a gray day, but "Filtered Sunshine" sounded so much better. There was hope of seeing the sun and that made the day more tolerable. Whew, just got off track big time there as the weather is not the reason for today's post. Today I am locked up in the studio. I need to get a lot done and start taking on the techie challenge that I have imposed upon myself for 2011. Muse has been warned not to start dancing and sharing her ideas with me. No time today my dear Muse - you either start cleaning or organizing, otherwise head over to the cafe' for some lunch and then take a good long nap.

Pre- Organizational mess when I started ripping everything from storage.
I am basically an organized person, but I have found that with an actual business I need to kick that into high gear. My studio is now ground zero for Oz Dust Designs and the Green Girl (charity arm of my business). 2011 is promising to be a big year and I'm going to do everything I can to help it along. So, start at the beginning and proceed as I wish to continue. Got it!!!

Self-imposed lock-down - not coming out until:
1)Space is clean
 2) Books are re-shelved and recorded in my new Excel Spreadsheet.I worked on categorizing the spread sheet over the weekend and getting the books, patterns, etc... into groupings. The piles are all over the floor, but I'll shelve as I record each set into the spreadsheet. DH is a top-notch, world class, database creator and has offered to create such a database for my business, but I declined or rather put that on hold for a just a bit. This spreadsheet exercise is something I need to go through for a learning experience and to wrap my head around that things that I really want to track and record. I believe this will really help me in efforts to create my website, which is an ongoing project on this list.....

End list for today..... Now able to eat and sleep....

I have a deadline of March 1st for getting my website completed and up and running. I don't have any friends to jump in and give me a hand on this so I have taken a Dream Weaver class and plan on doing it myself. I have created a couple of small sites in the past, so it is not a totally foreign thing for me. However, this is not going to be a small project and I believe there will be lots of de-stress knitting going on throughout the length of said project. I am going to do one really smart thing and hire my cousin's wife (fabulous graphic artist with own business for years now) to create my logo, etc... 

Yesterday I sat down and sketched out two new designs. Both are hush-hush for now (Muse is under a gag order as well.) However, the bigger news in that last bit was that I sketched the designs. You see, I don't draw, not good at it in the least. I'm thinking about taking a drawing class this summer - there is one offered that will meet my exact needs. I realize I don't have to know how to draw, I've been designing for a while now and I've done okay, but it seems that more magazines, etc... want to see a sketch of your idea and I suppose it helps not hold all the details in my ever more muddled brain. My sketches from yesterday are fine for my personal use, but I'd wouldn't want to send them off as a professional sketch. I do not ever expect to be Vincent van Gogh or Marc Chagall (my favorite artist,) but I should try harder in that arena. Keeping my fingers crossed on this one, hoping that perhaps I got a tiny twinge of my father's abilities. He was quite the sketcher when I was little. Unfortunately he stopped after he left the US Navy - I wish he were around now to give me pointers. But, once again I shall begin as I wish to proceed and practice, take a class and in the end hopefully be able to draw so that people can tell it's a scarf, gloves, etc and not a five year old's art project (I love those projects actually. Would love to paper a wall with them.) Muse!!! I asked you not to put ideas in my brain today- be gone with you - for pities sake!!!

So, lots going on this week in Ozland. What are your BIG plans for 2011??? Remember to check in later in the week at the Knitty Scribe blog for the latest book and blog review.

Peace and joy to you....
 The Green Girl

Friday, January 14, 2011

Yo-Yo's Re-Imagined

I did it, I did it, I really, really did it!!!! Can you tell I'm quite chuffed with myself. If not, I am!!! I guess it's like riding a bicycle, you don't forget a skill that you've had most of your life. Although I have not crocheted a full item in numerous years, the technique came back to me and I think the re-imagined Nicky Epstein Yo-Yo Scarf  has a pretty good vibe.  I'll be showing it to my friend, Kim in the coming week, hopefully. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it is what she has imagined for herself.

The part that Kim wanted redesigned was the attachment points. She, like many of us hate the weaving in at the end of a project. Nicky's scarf had three attachment points for each element. Man that's a lot!!!  Anyway, I came up with a version that only had 5 total attachment points. Here's how it happens:

Yo-Yo Scarf Re-Imagined:
44.5 inches long - 6 inches wide
Size I crochet hook or size to make a 2 inch flower from side to side with following pattern.
Patons Shetland Tweed Chunky yarn - 2 balls - you will have some leftover. Size 5 Bulky yarn of choice.

Each element is a crocheted circle. I used plastic rings as my center points in order to give the scarf more shape and form. The rings do not deter in the flexibility of the scarf, but they do keep the scarf from being bunched up and tangled.
If you chose to use the plastic rings (found at any craft store - boxes of 15- quite inexpensive) you will need - 60/1 inch round plastic rings.

Circle: Take one plastic ring and cast on 12 slip stitches around the circle. At last slst, chain 1. *Single crochet around the first six stitches. Grab the next ring and connect the two elements with a slst and make 11 more slsts on the new ring for a total of 12 slsts.* Repeat until you have connected 18 circles. At the last circle continue to single crochet around the full circle. As you get back to the beginning of the circle, make a slst in the chain between the two joined circles, then pick-up your single crochets at the 7th slst of the next circle. Continue in this manner until you have finished all the circles in the row. Make three rows of  these connected circles.  You now have the full length of the scarf completed.

Triangle End Cap: The end caps contain three circles made in the same way as above. The only difference is the shaping.  After you attach the second circle to the first you go ahead and complete the single crochets and that will take you back to the joining point between the two circles. At this point make a slst at the join and attach your third plastic ring. Work the entire circle through the single crochets and you'll be back at the join again - make a slst in the join and pick-up the single crochets in the first circle and finish off the last of the first circle single crochets. Make two of these end caps.

***Note - make sure you don't twist your circles as you go or you'll have a bear of a time making it lay flat.***

Weaving Together: Lay out all three of your long pieces with the back side facing upward. Take a 2-3 foot piece of yarn and thread a tapestry needle.  Starting in the middle of the first circle, *weave your yarn around the inner plastic ring, working half way around the circle, connect the yarn through to the next circle, looping the weave twice through the two circles for strength.* Continue from
* --* up and down until you get about six inches of yarn left and weave that through the inner circle of the circle you are working with and snip the tail (this is woven in enough that it will not come undone with regular use.) Continue in this fashion until you attached all the circles. Do the same thing to attach the end caps.

Block as you see fit. Wear in peace and joy!!!
Completed Scarf pre-blocking

Feel free to drop me a line if you have questions as I wrote this rather quickly.

Peace and joy to you all....
The Green Girl.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Do you like a good challenge? I would say that on most days, I have the ability to take on a challenge and to get lost in the adventure that it brings. That day would be today of course.

Challenge: Translate Nicky Epstein's Yo-Yo Scarf from it's original knitted version to a crocheted version with fewer individual finishing steps in order to keep my good friend, Kim from stabbing at her pillow with her crochet hook.

To be honest this just started as a simple request from Kim to help her figure out a way of connecting crocheted circles without having to sew each element together and weave in way more ends than anyone should ever be asked to count. It just so happened that Nicky's book, Signature Scarves was coming to me this week - it will be review next week in the Knitty Scribe blog. I admit that it was I that turned this simple request into a full-blown challenge of my crocheting abilities. Yes, dear knitters, the Green Girl can crochet with the best of them. I crochet less than I have in past as knitting became my addiction of choice a long time ago, but I still have skills when it comes to being a hooker. You know what a hooker is right, I know you do, don't gulp in the air and make a shocked face, it's just a silly nickname for a crocheter. Anyway, I dusted off my hooks and grabbed some leftover yarn and started to figure out this puzzle.

I admit, I had to stop and grab a cuppa tea this afternoon and take a Tylenol. The stress headache was interfering with my zen-like ability to turn yarn into something that I might actually want to wear.  Then as I turned my head I heard SNAP, CRACKLE, POP.... No DH was not eating krispy cereal, that sound came from my neck and man oh man did it feel gooooood..... A little self-chiropractic can work wonders.Whew!!!
5 connected circles at the half-way point

Then I put on a little JT (James Taylor for the young and uninitiated)  and there came the zen like flow once again. And so did the answer to my challenge. There is no way to connect all these little circles with no tails, but I can decrease the number by over half if I crochet half a circle at a time connecting them as I go and then crochet back to finish the full element. Make the strand as long as I need it to be for the length of the scarf, make three of these lengths, and two end cap pieces. Like I said there will still be some attaching, but not nearly as much. I think this idea will work for the knitted version as well and I intend to give it a try after I have finished helping my friend get this to be what she is envisioning.

Challenge complete -challenge won - good day all around!!!

Peace and joy to you all......
The Green Girl

Monday, January 10, 2011

Under the Weather....

I have been wondering why I just didn't feel like writing for the past few days. In reality, I just haven't had the umph to do anything really. On Saturday, DH and I went to IKEA to get a couple cube dividers for my Expedit storage system in the studio and I felt like I was going to pass out so I let him check us out and I sat in comfy chair. It was like the lights in the store were blinding me. I never did become ill and felt much better after a little vanilla ice cream on the drive home. I am of the belief that ice cream can and does fix most ills in this world - kind of like chicken broth, but so much yummier.
   The rest of Saturday came and went, we went to a dinner party at a friends house or as we call it "the gang." Yes, dear readers, the Green Girl belongs to a gang. When we moved from Seattle to Chicago, two couples that are slightly older than us, but with hearts and spirits of people in their twenties, put their metaphorical arms about us and made us part of them. In other words, part of the gang. It's really quite a lovely feeling. Anyway, we had a lovely time with the gang, I felt fine, DH felt great, the evening was fun for all.
    Now we arrive at Sunday, still going good, but just not completely morphed into the present. So, I did a little laundry, call me strange, but clean underwear is a must. DH and I put together my storage dividers, I cleared a little space, started a new hat (red cashmere - slouchy hat) in which I am making jewelry tassels (pics to come at completion.) I thought I was getting a lot accomplished. I made a yummy taco salad for our dinner and that's when I knew something really wasn't right, I had a portion size for a three year old - literally 3-4 mouthfuls and I was done (I normally have to fight off DH for this salad as if I do say so, it rocks!!!.) I didn't feel sick, just couldn't eat. DH on the other hand ate the rest of the salad minus one portion that he said he wanted for breakfast, today. Rock on - eat what you like. As we settled into the sofa to watch a bit of tele, I started knitting, but as you can see I didn't get much done, the tummy had decided to rebel. No actual sick-up (is that too much information?) but I felt like a truck had hit me square on. Then there was not a lot of sleep as I noticed DH was getting up and down all night. This is not normal behavior - in 29 years of marriage, DH has been sick exactly 6 days and 4 of those were from an appendix that went south.
  Monday dawns and DH gets up to go to the gym as is his normal routine, so I'm thinking everything is good. I snuggle down into the blankets, throw them over my head and finally drift off into a dead clam sleep. Then I notice someone is getting in bed next to me, I am hoping at this point that it is DH as there are no other living creatures currently abiding in our home. Sure enough it was DH. Then I thought to myself in my sleep induced haze, what's he doing, he never goes back to bed after the gym. Then he says, I'm sick!!! Feel bad - ach - etc.... Well, that's all she wrote. He has been asleep again for 3 hours - in biological terms, our homeostatic conditions are not in balance. I have decided to fight on, write this blog and then give in to a nap myself. I think it is probably a good day to be under the weather as we are suppose to get snow and it is bitterly cold outside today. No reason I can think of to go outside.

    Here's wishing you all complete wellness. I doubt my germs can be transferred through an electronic medium so you should be safe.

Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl

Monday, January 3, 2011

5-6-7-8... Who Do We Appreciate.....

Welcome to 2011 everyone! It's starting out as one heck of a great year and I intend to keep cheering it on. Apparently, I did something last year to tick off the 2010 deities and paid and paid and paid for it, well not this year. This year is going to be great - productive - birds singing - muse dancing -and many other good things as well.

So, to start the year out right I have a new blog - The Knitty Scribe, dedicated to reviewing written materials in regard to our art of choice - knitting. The Knitty Scribe does not judge, but informs the reader of what's available for them in the vast world knitting materials. I mean I have a huge knitting library and it still pales in comparison to what's actually available. The Scribe will hopefully help fill in some gaps for those that are as crazy for reading about their passion as they are in doing the knitting itself.

I have also started on an new collection - a mix n' pick scenario for making scarves - choose an end design and a mid section from different pieces and let the knitting begin. A way to let the knitter mix and match her favorite designs in the series and come up with unique and lovely gifts for self and loved ones. I've been thinking about this idea for months and months, but due to life (you know ticking off the 2010 deities) I decided to start fresh in the new year. I have one end piece designed and tested. Stay tuned, more to come....

DH and I started the year off with a lovely anniversary  ( our 29th) and have been invited to two social events in this first week of the year. Our calender hasn't been that full for months, I hope I still know how to act in a social arena. DH also has two more interviews this week and we are awaiting the final decision about a job that he is being seriously considered for from an interview at the end of 2010 (we are not suppose to be concerned if we don't hear before the 17th of January according to the HR department - all I can say is fat chance - we've both had our ears turned toward the phone all day.)

 So, what wonderful surprises has the new year brought your way in the first three days??? Go ahead, leave a comment and spill the beans. The muse can't wait to hear and neither can I.

Peace and joy to you all...
The Green Girl