Monday, March 26, 2012

Tennis socks, anyone?

Corduroy Roads Socks

The socks are finished just in time for a return to more normal March temperatures. No matter, so long as the courts aren't covered with snow, Mr. Coco will be out playing with his tennis buddies.

He has approved these socks. They are snug-fitting so they won't bunch up under his foot and cause irritation.

They have the corrugated ribbed heel flap which provides cushioning for the heel and we made the heel flaps a little deeper than normal so they protect his heels completely.

Next up.....Corduroy Roads Socks for us even though we don't play tennis.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Springtime in the Kingdom

Here's what the sunrise looks like in late March 2012 here in the Kingdom. 
Worth getting up for, wouldn't you say?

And here's our project du jour....

Cookies for a sweet little girl who's turning three very soon. We haven't had time for cookie decorating lately so a couple of springtime birthdays make a very good excuse to dust off the cookie decorating supplies.

As well, we can show you now, because she doesn't read our's a Duetta that we made for her. It's probably not the kind of gift a three-year-old will appreciate but we hope it will fit her. We do have a more kid-friendly gift for her to open but we're dying to see how this fits her.

The Duetta pattern will soon be ready. 

Thursday, March 22, 2012

We wish to thank the Academy...etc., etc.

Remember that little jewelry contest that we entered? The one at Well, we're really happy to announce that The Ice Queen bracelet won 2nd prize!!! And the prize is a gift certificate for $75!! That's a lot of beads! Thank you to each and every one of you who voted for our design. We have loads of ideas for more bracelets and even some necklaces and earrings!
Ice Queen Beaded Micro Macramé Bracelet ...... SOLD

As if on cue ... our resurrected amaryllis bulb has burst into bloom. Mr. Coco truly has the green thumb. Cassie and Grandma Coco just try to stay out of the way.

What a great week it's been with unexpectedly summery weather, 2 fun contests and now, this beautiful flower. We've been working on some secret stuff, too, that we will soon be able to share. We're not very good at keeping secrets. It's so hard!!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Guest blogger today

Hi! Cassie, here! And do I ever have a good project for you!!!

I have observed that you knitterly crafty types seem to have an inordinate fondness for project bags. You keep a skein of yarn in one, a sock in another. You seem to think this makes you organized. Well, that may be.......

The Little Lady keeps bringin' me bags and bags of treats. (I have her well trained.) Ever since I first saw these packages I knew they'd make a wonderful project bag for her. I've been doin' my darndest to empty those pretty little pouches. It's a dirty job but as they say, someone's gotta do it if you're gonna have a project bag. If you aren't lucky enough to be owned by a cat, you may not know what I'm talkin' about. They're foil and they're bright and shiny and generally have handsome cats printed on them. Inside, they're full of deliciousnesssss.

When I took an inventory this morning, I was pretty sure we had enough.

Yup!! Lots!!

Now, ya just have to arrange them for the front and back of the bag. This is pretty much what I like to call a grab and chomp operation. (You may know it by the term "slash and burn". To each species, his own lingo, I say.) I overlap the edges of the bags and then zig-zag them in place.

I use RED thread 'cuz I love red!!! Do what makes ya happy!

Gosh, this project smells great!!

Lookin' good!

Once I have the front and the back of the bag assembled, I ziggedy-zag over the top edge and don't forget the ribbon handles! I figure I ought to warn you, it's best to add the handles at this point when everything's flat.

The sides are next. Just overlap enough bags to get the right length. Easey-peasey!

Find the centre of the bottom of the bag and line it up with the middle of the side.  Stitch across the bottom of the side. Stitch the sides of the bag from the top down and, in true feline fashion!....don't worry if there's a bit of a gap. We cats don't sweat the small stuff!!

And's all small stuff.  :)

Finally.......Voilà!  Here's the finished bag. Hope the Little Lady likes it. 

So, this is Cassie signing off....... Wishing you a day full of treats!!!

Oh, and while I have you here......Hi to Lulu and Lucy and Marissa. 
Hello to Polly. Yo, Mortimer! 
and a big cyber MeeeeYow to all my other feline friends, too numerous to list. 
Psst! Remember....Stay calm. Be brave.Wait for the signs. ;)

....... and Cassie, too!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Winning and losing and trying again

Well, all the votes are in and counted in the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Camp 2012 T-shirt design contest and ... sad to say, we didn't win. :( However, we are Winners by any definition because we had such great support from all of you who voted for our drawing. We were very touched that so many supported us and we had a great time. AND in the end, Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts has decided to send each of us finalists a skein of sock yarn. Totally unexpected!! And very, very sweet.

So, what's next, you ask?

Oscars Challenge 2012
sponsored by

Ice Queen by Cheryl Coville

We buy a lot of beads from BelloModo. They have a great selection and they only charge one dollar to send an order (of any size!) to us in the Kingdom (Canada). They're sponsoring a challenge where they invited everyone to create a piece of jewelry that was inspired by the Oscars. 

Ours is inspired by Gwyneth Paltrow's fabulous white dress, cape and cuff. We thought we'd like to make a cuff. We worked 2 identical beaded micro macramé bracelets and wove them together as we went, finishing by connecting them at the button end. There are 2 loops and 3 antique buttons. 

We think it turned out pretty well. It's (lucky) #13 on the BelloModo blog and, just like the T-shirt graphic contest, anyone can vote. If you're curious, please click on over and choose your fave.

As well, this piece is an orphan right now, in search of a home. $30. Email us if you're interested. (Big Cartel turned out to have one teeny, tiny problem ... the free version doesn't allow inventory control so theoretically (at least), several people could all buy this bracelet before we knew to take it off the shelf. :( And since they're one-of-a-kind bracelets, that just won't work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corduroy Road Socks

When we were little we remember endless Sunday drives on dusty country roads. Remember the Sunday drive? Back before the energy crunch. The unpaved rural roads of our youth had a curious bump, bump, bump quality. They were called "corduroy roads" and were constructed in an ingenious manner......logs laid across the road bed and covered with gravel or dirt. They kept the roads from becoming muddy sink holes in the spring. If the light was right, you could even see the rolling ridges that looked very much like corduroy.

We thought of those roads when we began to plan these socks because we thought we'd like to use corrugated ribbing for the tops and that ribbing looks for all the world guessed it.....corduroy.

These Corduroy Road Socks will be for Mr. Coco who needs some new socks for tennis, now that the tennis season is just about to begin. (We saw several robins in our yard this morning as well as one red-wing blackbird! Spring is close!)

Now, you may wonder about wool socks for a summer sport, but we've been assured there's nothing better. Wool keeps a foot dry and cushions it inside the shoe. Durable and comfortable, it's a good choice. The only difference in a tennis sock is that it must be close-fitting (so it doesn't smoosh around inside the shoe) and it must be short in leg length. No problem! Snug and short mean fewer stitches around and fewer rows in total and that means they're quicker to knit!

We have lots of wool to choose from but for tennis socks we like a cushy wool. We chose Patons Kroy Socks 4-ply. We're using FX in Camo Color as the main colour and Gentry Grey for the contrasting colour. We like our 3mm wooden needles, 5-inch-long Brittany Birch needles.

We used our absolute favourite sock cast-on, the Tubular Cast-on and worked a 2 by 2 corrugated ribbing for 2 inches. This Patons FX is very, very soft. We notice it's made in Turkey while the other ball which is older was made in Slovenia (and not quite so luxurious). We think we mentioned before that we had bought some Elann wool that was made in Turkey that was particularly soft while a second ball of Elann sock yarn made in Italy was quite noticeably not. Curious, no? (Note to self: Look for Turkish yarn in future.)

Corrugated ribbing is slightly less elastic than regular ribbing because of the floats. You can see them in this picture. We worked hard at keeping the floats nice and loose and even.

We switched to stockinette for the leg. We're just about to start the heel flap. Stay tuned. We're still obsessed with the heel flap. Grandma Coco thinks it's the most neglected part of sock anatomy yet.

We're linking up to the Needle and Thread Network this week for WIP Wednesday. There are a couple of other knitters on board although we're not sure if any will come out to play today. But there's lots of talent over there so be sure and click on over and see what everyone is up to.

~ Cheers!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Yo, ho, ho and a barrel of rum!

Arrrgh! Whatever your beverage of choice, you're gonna need a mug, matey.
Copyright © Cheryl Coville 2012

We've stocked the shelves of our Zazzle store with knitting pirate mugs. 
You can customize it, if you'd like, by changing the style of mug 
 maybe choosing one with a coloured interior and a matching handle.

You can even add someone's name to the other side.
(If you have any trouble with that, just ask and we'll make one up for you.)

Here's the direct link to the mug:

Here's how it works: we upload our drawing to the Zazzle site and you deal with Zazzle to order your mug. 
Zazzle ships out your mug and we get a royalty payment for the use of our image. Simple.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shiver me timbers!

Our entry in the T-shirt design contest - Copyright © Cheryl Coville 2012

Aaaarrrrrgh, mateys! The Yarn Harlot and Tina of Blue Moon Fiber Arts are organizing another sock camp. This time the theme is Pirates! They're calling it Camp Cast Away and they're running a T-shirt design contest over on  Blue Moon Fiber Arts blog for the design that will adorn the camp T-shirt.

We like to draw pirates and drawing knitting pirates is even more fun!! so we entered!! and guess what??? We made the list of finalists!!! And the best news? Anyone can vote for their favourite!!! Grandma Coco would just love it if you'd head on over and vote for our design. It's number 4. Of course, once you get there, you might like one of the others better and that's cool, too. We won't make you walk the plank or anything.

~ Make haste, mateys! You only have until Monday!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Good deeds and telephone scams

Grandma Coco just returned to the Kingdom to find a message on her telephone answering machine. What? You're surprised she has one? Of course, she does. She's a Modern Woman.

The message wasn't for her. It was for someone else, obviously left in error. In the past, Grandma Coco, being a nice person has returned the call to explain that the terribly important message didn't reach the intended recipient. The last time, it was some poor little girl who was too sick to take her shift at McDonald's and was trying to find a replacement. We felt good we had helped out.

This time......the phone number that was left started out 1-876-(and seven more numbers). Immediately, we thought, "Oh, no's a toll-free number. We can be helpful and do a good deed at no financial cost to ourselves." Most other people we know would think the same thing.

Some little niggling concern was wiggling around in our that really a toll-free number?? There are so many now and we are so tired of the struggle to keep up. We googled.

1-876 is a Jamaican area code. IF we had been nice guys, we would have been dialing long distance to Jamaica. Folks, we're just not that nice.

We're pretty sure it's a scam. We just can't figure out exactly how that scam would work. If anyone knows, please enlighten us in the comments. Please.

And for everyone who finds this message on their machine.......please, be careful. It's a jungle out there.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Nothing to see here

We're back to stealth knitting and secret projects. We've even been drawing stuff we can't show just yet. Makes for a boring blog. Let's see....what else is going on?

Oh, yeah. Mr. Coco's a genius. Guess we all knew that already. But here's proof...

In the fall of 2009, our cousin from the Big City gave us an amaryllis bulb which flowered beautifully a little over a year ago. No great surprise there but he tucked that little bulb away and did his magic Mr. Greenjeans voodoo with it and look! It's growing taller every day.

Thought you might like to see what we see when we look down when we're working..... our cohort in crime, Cassie! She likes to curl up on top of the secret knitting so no one can get a glimpse. Good work, Cassie!

~ Mum's the word!