Category Archives: Goodies

Episode 15— 2008– NO FEAR, Books! and my ‘design’

Episode 15 is ready for your enjoyment!

All subsequent regular blog posts are now at the New Blog!! The House of Wool Repute!!

Lace designing books

Creating Original Hand-Knitted Lace, by Margaret Stove

Knitting Lace Triangles, by Evelyn A. Clark

My Sources of Inspiration:
Evelyn A. Clark

Miriam L. Felton




Change can be a good thing…

Well ladies and gentlemen it is time for change yet again.

First off. BeanKnits and Spins is still being hosted at Podshow but from here on out I will be posting show notes and related photos here on this blog.

But, there’s a bigger change in store. I have joined forces with a variety of knit-and/or-spin bloggers at The House of Wool Repute!

At HoWR, as I like to refer to it, you’ll not only find me, but also some of my favorite fiber bloggers(and maybe yours, too!) Is there a blog you used to love but hadn’t read because it stopped being updated regularly? You might find her there. Or is there someone who never blogged before you’d like to hear from? She’s there too. I’ve had 3 great years blogging independently, and someday I might again. It took some time to decide if I really wanted to keep this site going and post there as well, but I finally made up my mind.

If you’re not interested in all the other posters at HoWR, then you can simply seek out posts written specifically by me. But why do that, when you can get all the fun without having to read several different blogs? Keep in mind some participants will keep up their own blogs as well.

I’ve done an intro post there but stay tuned for my real debut!, with Central Park Hoodie almost done and some spinning pr0n.

I don’t want to get all philosophical and shit, just wanted to let you know I AM alive and that you can still read my blather.. 🙂 So go check out The House of Wool Reputed and thangQ so much, for reading BeanKnits and Spins.

Ladybean(aka Tamara)

P.S.: Keep an ear out for some excitement on the next BeanKnits and Spins podcast! I’ve added a new favorites session: Books!, in which I’ll talk about two great books I just got and what I’m doing with them…(think LACE). hee

OMG! NO you didn’t!(Yes, they did!) :)

It has been said many a time, but it bears repeating: Knitters/fiber crafters are some of the most caring, and generous people I’ve ever met. If you asked me how to spell the word ‘friend’ it’s kklmstv(each letter is a seperate link). Those are the first letters of the names of some very special people. The people who gave me THIS for my birthday!!:

OMG!! They really did it! I’m floored. I know I mentioned my wanting to get a set of the Harmony needles to replace the bamboo needles whose cords annoy the hell out of me. But I never expected anyone to actually get it for me. They all went in and did the knittyest thing! I got this hilarious card too:


Karen came up with a clever way to display all the names: It broke my heart. 🙂

I know I looked a fool dancing and giggling in the street, but girls, consider yourselves hugged tight! I don’t know what to say, Thank you is not enough.

My poor brain was aswim with ways to start NEW projects, but I’d been neglecting Icarus(stay tuned for a new podcast discussing my knitting disaster!), so I simply transfered it to my new needles! I’m using the size 5US tips and the 32″ cord. I do intend to get longer cords and some of the metal tips, but for now I’m in needle heaven!

This is the needle in Icarus. You’re looking at the purl side.

That’s it for today. The earth has made yet another revolution for me today, and I’m gonna chill out as much as possible!

To everyone sending me birthday wishes, Thank you! I love ya!

She shops.. she SCORES!

That, I most certainly did.

Yesterday, Karen and Tania and I set out to the NJ Sheep and Wool Festival (Garden State Sheep Breeders Festival)l and had some good fun.

NJsheepwool 001

We landed here a little before noon, I think. I was operating on 3 hours! of sleep so forgive any errors. 😉 There were the usual staples; fiber vendors selling all manner of sheep, alpaca, rabbit and yak(fiber and livestock in some cases!); food vendors(not so much actually), and ready-made knit and woven crafts, as well as sheepherding demos and fleece and skein contests.

I’ve got a scad of pics for you right here(I know that’s what you really want 😉 ).

The other highlights of the festival were spinning on a Majacraft Little Suzie( that girl can GO!) and this: a little video I took of some ducks.

What I really wanna tell you is about that set of Denise Needles you see in the flickr set.

SCORE!! dude score!

The girls and I had heard about a lady not too far from the fairgrounds selling out her shop from her home. We did our deeds at the festival and ran straight for it. All kinds of yarny goodness, a bit of fiber(though nothing out of the ordinary–there was even an old Louet wheel!), a stack of back issues of Interweave Knit or Crochet, Knit Simple, you name it, and other non-craft related items..
And then I saw it… The Denise set. I looked in and at a glance all that seemed to be missing was the end caps and upon futher inspection(like, this morning? lol) I noticed the stitch holders are gone but damn if I didn’t get a hot deal.. All this for the sum of $3.50USD!!! Yes, you read that right. Mind you, the kind lady quoted it at a $1 but even I felt cheap too go for that so I offered $5 and we settled on $3.50!! I still can’t believe it! Granted, in the past I have mentioned that I wasn’t too thrilled with the Denise set but, I still have the long 50″ cord and right now the KP Options sets are just not in my budget right now. Maybe next year.

I was on a tight budget for this trip(it was last minute so that kept me from really binge shopping), but still managed to come home with some treats. Karen, ever so generous, had brought a box down with her and I got to take home the fibery goodies you see in the picture set. Go look! 😀

I’m gonna go play with it right now. See ya!

Shiny, shiny, pretty pretty…

I’m still out here. Making progress on one thing or another, casting on for new stuff ;), and doing a different craft: Beadwork. I’m not sure if row markers and stitch markers qualify as beadwork, but since they have beads on them, that’s what I’m calling it.

New row markers

I got a bunch of beads from Fire Mountain Gems a few years ago, to make my own beaded markers. I keep losing the things so I figured I might as well have a ready supply of fixings for the task. Shiny, Shiny. I believe these are called “Cat’s Eye” beads? Correct me if I’m wrong. I have fun making these. And I’ve come a long way. My first markers weren’t so pretty and would snag on stuff. But I’ve learned to get headpins or eyepins to make these things.. I also made some non-dangly stitch markers but they got glue all over and are not as pretty so no pics.

On the WIP progress tip, here’s a shot of the VLT #1 scarf, about 1/4 through the 6th repeat. I’m aiming for 7 repeats total before doing the second border. It’s coming out pretty, very little hassles(though I’ve tinked a time or two since the last post), and it’ll block out big. I’m thinking of doing a gradient immersion dyeing technique with this scarf.. what do you think? 🙂 Oh, and don’t worry about that yarn mess on the side there; got that covered.


And you know it: I’ve cast on for another scarf, this time a thicker one for the cold weather. It’s really a bit of an experiment. I was chatting with someone on Skype and she mentioned a scarf where you start out alternating a descending number of stockinette rows with an ascending number of reverse stockinette rows until eventually you wind up with nothing but reverse stockinette. I think that’s what she said :)) Welsh Millie if you’re out there, Thank you!!

I kinda didn’t remember everything she said and took off with it. After I ran out of stockinette I just did garter stitch for a while. Now I’m on my way back down to the nothing but stockinette. I’d do this again in a heart beat and I’ll have had a chance to see where I farked up so I can do it better next time. Also I wasn’t sure what she did with any of the edgings so I have stockinette curling up on me and the sides are all wonky.

" progress

And a close up: "PurlBump" Closeup

That’s part of the rest of the Brown Sheep mill ends I got last year from SheepShed Studio. This will get dyed too. I think when it’s all said and done it’ll go to middle child. I’ll probably fashion a hat and mittens to match.

That’s pretty much it for now.
Catch ya later, gaters!

Miss me?

I’m back got dammit. Hurt up and recovering but back. Just give me a little time. Surgery went well, and according to the doctor, everything in question is benign! I did lose some blood, and being anemic just makes that worse, but nothing along the lines of needing a transfusion.

Spinning by wheel(my preferred method) is still out for a bit so I might have to feed my crafting insanity with some new crochet(yeah, you read that right!) projects. I am also stewing up some sewing, though not a whole lot, as I don’t have a huge fabric stash (yet 😉 ) and pressing the pedal is tantamount to treadling a wheel. At least when I need to rest I can stitch or hook away while sitting up in bed–no feet needed.

The Gift of Friendship is truly that, as while I was recuperating in the hospital I got some lovely and exciting gifts from knitting friends. Among them were a beautiful bouquet of flowers(damn, why didn’t I take a pic!?) and “Teach Yourself Visually… Handspinning”! Thank you ladies, so much for your generosity and kindness. You made my heart smile! I’ve browsed the book and will do a more involved review in a future post.

I did manage to eek out a dress before going into the hospital:

wrap dress 003

This is my rendition of the One-seam Convertible dress, as found here. Keep in mind it’s not HER pattern but rather her interpretation of such type of dress and showing us how we can make our own. ThangQ Rowena!!
It’s been a long time since I sewed clothing for myself and after seeing the many dresses made from her tutorial I had to give it a shot. I cut my head out of the pic because I was tired and deranged looking.

The dress(or rather my skills in making this dress) need improvement. I’ve since picked up some tips on how to get better coverage for an undergarment, and I also learned a little more about fabric stretch and how it can really fark up a pattern 🙂 I had another RagShop coupon to use so I just grabbed what I liked. I need to slow down next time I go fabric shopping.

As for knitting, speaking of the Gift of Friendship, I took the scarf with me so I could work on it while in my hospital room. No, I’m not crazy taking lace to work on while on strong pain meds; the pattern is easy enough to remember that you can tell when you are in the repeats so as not to make a mistake. I spent more time zonked out than knitting anyway, but managed to put some miles on it, so it’s definitely longer than the last time you saw it. I probably won’t photograph it again for the blog until it’s done.

In the meantime, I’m also making progress on another pair of plain socks. Gotta use up that stash! Koigu PPPM in a color I don’t remember. Bought this way back in 2005 when I was full of that shop called Purl. I tried knitting something with it before, so I’ve since lost the ball band. (I need to stop DOING that!).

Well that’s it for this one. On with recovery!

ETA: OMG these pain meds must be better than I thought! Where’s my brain? To all the blogging, crafting moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day!(US)

It’s Butter! (Park… heyyyyy)

I don’t know what possessed me, but last night I made butter. Yes, butter.

Home made butter

I’d heard of other people doing it, so I bought some heavy cream a few days ago and just went with it. Apparently, all you have to do is shake the hell out of the cream and it eventually clumps into butter. Who knew? I started shaking the container it was in. That didn’t work. I emptied some out, thinking there wasn’t enough room in there; that didn’t help any. Then I had the sense to actually use a glass jar and between me and one of the kids, we finally got the stuff to clump. After a few rinsing sessions, we had butter. And boy is it good! I learned a bit too late I could have used the food processor so next time I do this, that’s what I’ll use. And I’ll think ahead and salt the cream instead of trying to salt the butter afterwards… I gave a bit to hubby on some bread and he couldn’t tell it wasn’t store-bought. Woohoo!!

Today was even more fun!


I grabbed a little one and we set out to spin in the park with Karen .

We had a good time too! People gathered, stared, asked questions and some wee ones even helped turn Karen’s wheel! 🙂 It was too cute. Some old lady walked up and asked me all kinds of questions, and then pinched off some of my roving and walked off with it!! WTF? *sigh*…


I got to work on the rest of the St. Patty’s Day ‘haggis’ roving, merino 64s I dyed back in March, and then I took a little break and worked on a mate to a sock:

I finished it while in the park. I’ll post a pic and stats hopefully in the next blog post.

As we were leaving, we were serenaded by this little guy, dropping little bits of whatever he was nibbling on, onto us:

Little friend

Well, at least it was food, and not something else. Hee. I even got a little Saturday Sky in there, as it was nothing but clear, blue.

All in all, today was a great day. Can’t wait to do this again.