Monthly Archives: August 2011

Facebook News: Juror held in contempt after friending defendant

A Texas juror was held in contempt of court after trying to friend the defendant on Facebook during the trial.

Knit One, Cherish Too!

Knitting Madness

I've been going crazy these past few weeks with all the projects I'm taking on.  We lost the camera (found it this evening), so no pictures for this entry...  The good news is, I finally accomplished making my first set of handmade knitting needles.

You wouldn't think that making knitting needles would be a tedious process, but it is.  It mainly involved sanding the points with high grit sandpaper so as to not snag the yarn.  The other thing to keep in mind is the finish.  I'm testing a few different ideas.  I stained a needle, varnished a needle, and high glossed a needle.  These treaments are drying, but once they're dry, I get to spend more time buffing the finishes.

I am dedicated to bringing back the old standard of quality handmade items.  It's important to keep up with artistic traditions while bringing a contemporary or modern-time feel to designs.  The fun thing now is that I get to learn woodworking, something my late grandfather did in his spare time during retirement.  I feel as though I'm passing on a tradition.  As a result, we invested in a lathe to do more intricate designs on knitting needles and my husband got a power saw since he's a little jealous of my growing tool collection.  :)

Amidst all of this planning, I managed to finish a pair of socks, travel to some of my local yarn shops, and bake a few apple pies (we visited an orchard last weekend).  All in all, I feel like Cherished Moments is coming together nicely and within the next month we could have more things going into Etsy, which was my goal all along.  Wish us luck!

Coming Soon
Pictures of handmade knitting needles.

An Order to Chaos

Current Projects
  • Peanut's Fall Sweater: I was able to complete Peanut's Fall Sweater, which is known as "Sweater with Ribbed Yoke" by Debbie Bliss.  It seemed as though the collar took the longest, but this sweater actually looks incredibly cute on my son (unfortunately, he wouldn't pose for any pictures while he tried it on).  This sweater involved a lot of ribbing and faux cables across the top of the front and back and also at the top of the sleeves.

  • Pink Swirls: I picked up a book called "Socks a la carte 2: Toes up!" while on my Yarn Trek.  I decided to start a pair of socks, as mentioned in my previous post.  I was also able to finish this pair while visiting my parents at their bed and breakfast.  So far, I've gotten pretty positive feedback on this pair, so I definitely will be making more pairs of socks out of this book.
  • Autumn Leaves: Yes, I started another pair of socks using a leaf pattern out of the book.  I am using Berroco Sox Metallic to complete this pair.  So far, I've been able to get a bit better at casting on a toe-up sock and it's turning out great.  Hopefully, I'll be able to finish these quickly and post pictures soon!
  • Falling Leaves:  Continuing with the upcoming "back-to-school" and fall season, I designed a jumper using Sirdar Snuggly yarn.  It will be multicolored with a border containing leaves.
Knitting Madness

It's absolutely crazy the number of projects that have decided to take on in order to get my etsy shop officially up and running.  Some of the things you will see on there soon:
  • Handmade knitting needles
  • Handmade stitch markers
  • Socks
  • Children's clothing
Keep checking back to monitor our progress!

Asian honey may contain chloramphenicol or lead

Honey Laundering! Seriously, though, be sure to buy your honey from local sources and read labels to make sure the packaged food you are buying doesn't contain honey, especially if you have small children. Honey imported from Asia may contain chloramphenicol (an animal antibiotic banned by the FDA in food) or lead.

Toe-up Socks

While on my Yarn Trek, I came across a book for knitting toe up socks: Socks a la carte 2: Toes Up!  As much as I love to knit socks - and I even have my own master pattern - I have never done a toe-up sock.  Probably out of fear of the unknown...  Using the figure-eight cast on, I attempted (and failed) to start a toe-up sock a good 20 times until I gave up that day.  Even with the pictures, it just wasn't working.  Thanks to the group Sock Madness on, I was able to get a few hints on how to do this cast on and make it look good.  Here's what I learned:
  1. When doing the cast on, include the slip-knot stitch as your cast on stitch.
  2. Knit a few rows - I knit a total of 2 - on each needle once you've done the cast on in order to make sure that the cast on was good.  It also creates a good-looking toe point if you're using variegated yarn.
  3. The book tells you to distribute the stitches a certain way for a lot of the different toe patterns.  For the double-up toe, slip 4 of the sts of one of the needles onto a third needle and then you should have the sts distributed. You'll have to knit the sts on what would be needle 3 (N3) in order to get to the beginning of the round.  Then and only then will it work.
Knitting Madness
Yarn Trek took a total of four days.  On days three and four, Peanut and I visited four more shops.
  • Grafton Yarn Store  The shop is absolutely awesome!  It's in an older building and set up very well.  I got more baby yarn, picturing a back to school/fall colors jumper.  The owner was very friendly and invited me to join her Ravelry group to follow sales, etc. 
  • Main St. Yarn Shop This took a while for us to get to from our hometown, but it was definitely worth it.  I got some good business start-up advice from the owner, who was actually willing to talk to me about owning a yarn shop.  I also picked out some yarn that I plan on using to design a few fall items for my etsy shop.
  • Xpressions Beads & Yarn This was a little bit of a smaller shop, but it is equally devoted to yarn and beads.  You can purchase items on their website, or email the owner and put in a special order.
  • Fiddlehead Yarns  Another quaint shop, but it is much larger than it appears.  There is even another room off of the main shop, which I assumed was for classes and/or private knitting. 
Coming Soon
Handmade knitting needles!

Make-Believe Until You Make It

You know the old saying, “Fake it ’til you make it?”

I’ve gotten distracted by the three million other things I have to do each day, along with temptations like lounging with a good book or summer television, or just the sheer bliss of sitting on the couch with my dog and my knitting. Because, of course, one of the “advantages” of making my living with a day job is that while I might be tired when I get home at the end of the day, it affords me the luxury of not having to write–and therefore making goofing off far too easy. If I were depending on my writing to pay rent and food, I’d have more incentive for diligent behavior.

But all the while I’m sitting there happily curled up with a good book (written by someone else and therefore stress-free), my conscience is nagging me.

“You can’t be a writer if you don’t write.”

What do you do when you don’t FEEL like writing?

Do you know the trick to getting a good photo of yourself? You don’t just smile with your lips, you smile with your eyes. If your eyes don’t have that certain warmth, that indefinable twinkle, your smile is going to look fake, as if it had been plastered on. So what you do is, as the photographer is aiming the camera, you think of something that makes you want to laugh. Or you remember what it feels like to want to chuckle–your eyelids crinkle, your lips twitch with a smile, and your cheeks lift ever so slightly. Most important, everything about your face warms, lightens, brightens.

The best part is that you can fake this. If someone is pointing a camera at you in one of those forced moments where you have to stand next to someone else and smile for posterity–trick yourself into believing you’re happy to be there. Think about making your eyes look warm, happy, friendly and there you go … suddenly YOU look warm, happy and friendly. It’s all in the eyes. And in the convincing yourself that at that moment, you’re happy.

You have to convince yourself to act the way you want to be.

When I was a kid, this was easy. Nothing easier! I pretended things constantly, all day long. I didn’t just ride my bike–I was actually riding a beautiful stallion with a flowing mane and smooth gait. (Side-saddle, naturally, like a princess. I got remarkably good at riding my bike side-saddle, pedalling with only my left foot, using the toe to help pull the pedals upward.) I had imaginary friends keep me company in boring classes. They’d even walk up to the teacher’s desk during tests and peek at the answers for me. I didn’t just go for walks, I went on adventures like Frodo Baggins.

I was very seldom just my own, mundane self when I was a kid. Everything had more savor when I brought my imagination along. It was a life-saver during boring things like grocery shopping with Mom or stupid assemblies at school. And if I pretended I had magic powers to help me clean my room? It made the cleaning that much more fun.

So, why not pretend to be a “real” writer?

I finally decided that I was going to need to take extreme measures. I was going to have to take definitive, mature action and force myself to write.

I was going to have to Pretend.

What, I asked myself, would a “real” writer be doing? Would she be coming home from work and goofing off? Or would her computer be pulling her toward it constantly, like a planet pulling its satellites? During her boring day at the office, would she be browsing the internet looking for distraction? Or would she be taking every possible minute of spare time to surreptitiously type away at her article?

I decided that I was going to Pretend, just like when I was a kid, but this time I was going to pretend that I was a dedicated, driven, diligent writer. How could I let myself be distracted if a Real Writer wouldn’t? She wouldn’t have time to goof around, so why should I?

In other words, I was going to make-believe I was everything I already want to be … just, without the publishing credits I don’t have yet.

Fantasy and reality have more in common than you think.

The amazing thing? It worked. It turns out that, unlike a child pretending to play piano and just generating dissonant noise, it’s hard to pretend to type without actually producing, well, words. And producing words is what writing is, isn’t it? The more that I pretended to be this successful writer who just happened to have an inconvenient day job, the more I found myself wanting to write. Like a kid playing Detective who stumbles across a real mystery (one of my favorite kinds of books when I was younger), I found myself stumbling across interesting phrases, intriguing ideas. The characters in my novel sat up, yawning, and suddenly started calling out ideas about what they wanted to do next. My non-fiction became more engrossing and invigorating.

The best part? This little trick works for all sorts of thing. If you fake something convincingly enough, you might just find yourself doing it for real.

Oh, and while I was at it? I pretended that my Real Writer had great handwriting and perfect posture, too. I mean, why not? You never know.

New Design…..

I'm pretty happy with some of my new ideas. But still am working with getting some grassy green (which of course tends to burn off by cone 5). I want to try brushing on my clear glaze as well. Even though I have thinned it down it still can be milky at times.

I know why I do sheep...but where are the chickens coming from????

Knit Trek: On a Mission to Find Local Yarn Shops

  1. The new website has officially been launched.  It's only a skeleton, but as the portfolio and designs build, we'll have plenty more going on. 
  2. Our shop is up and running as well.  There are two listings so far that include our handdyed sock yarn.  Keep checking out cherishedmomentswi on for new designs and yarns!

Knitting Madness
This weekend I decided to set out on a trek around the southeastern portion of our state in search of local yarn shops.  I figured, it would be a great idea in order to find out a little bit more about the craft business and also to find new and fun yarns.

  • The Knitting Knook (  This was the first stop on our trip.  Peanut immediately fell in love with the fact that the yarn was all out in the open.  I liked the set up of this shop because it was cosy and inviting.  The shop itself is in a house that is shared with three other businesses.  It was interesting to see the different kinds of yarn, but I also recognized a few from magazines: Manos del Uruguay and Debbie Bliss yarns!  This is definitely a place that I'll be visiting again.
  • Ruhama's Yarn and Needlepoint (  Next stop on the tour was Ruhama's.  This was by far my favorite shop of all that I had seen.  Located in a suburb of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this yarn shop was the most organized.  The store's yarns were organized by weight and there were signs that gave a lot of information about each individual yarn.  I spent the most money here, as I found an interesting set of soft yarns for some baby clothing designs.  I will probably be coming here most often.
  • Cream City Yarn (  I think Peanut enjoyed this particular shop the most.  We watched one of the women wind yarn into a cored ball a few times and then searched the shop for more fun yarns.  There was a significant stash of Cascade Yarns, which I haven't seen anywhere except online.  The woman who was winding yarn invited Peanut to play with yarn ball winder when she was finished and also led him to a secret stash of toys by the baby yarn.  A great atmosphere here and modern feel.  LOVED IT!
  • Knitch ( The last stop on our tour was Knitch.  It's located in a small town in between Milwaukee and Madison, which meant it also had a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.  I checked out this store a little bit faster than the other shops, mainly because Peanut was starting to get sleepy.  I found some Baby Cashmerino yarn, which I quickly bought in order to make yet another vest design for the holiday season.
I orginally did a google search for a lot of different yarn shops, but found that half of them had closed.  There was also one place that was listed as a yarn shop online, but it turned out to be a quilting shop that had a tiny room of felted wool.  While it was disappointing to find that some places no longer existed, I was glad to have done the work and now I have a few more resources to go to for yarn.