It's on.

So I taught a Wine & Weave a few evenings ago (SO. FUN.  Local folks, hit me up and I can price one out if anyone's interested--grab a few friends, and I'll come teach how to do a boho wall hanging), and decided then to actually get my act in gear and open an online shop for weavings and custom pieces.

The pic below is from setting up for the weaving party. Everyone made such gorgeous pieces! Even the self-proclaimed non-crafty ladies!  I was so proud! (And yes, I did proclaim at the beginning that it was :so easy:.  BUT IT IS!)

table set up, ready to weave!

table set up, ready to weave!

And yup, Kumquatmay Studio is officially open for business!  (link also in the nav above!) (Did I bury the lede? I'm good at that.)  Go on over to Etsy and like my stuff and spread the word.  I've only put up a few listings so far, including custom pieces, since I need to photograph the rest of them.  But there's more where them came from.



Wow, I am truly a slacker

I haven't posted since February?  And now it's end of May (and brutally hot out to boot)?  SLAAAAACKER. I guess technically I've been doing other things, just not here, exactly.  But still. I need to get into the habit a bit more.

Anyway, want to see what I've made recently? I've got some knitting on the needles that I really need to finish up, but have been doing some bigger weaving projects.  If you follow me on instagram, you've seen these all before.  And I finally figured out how best to photograph them, so you can see in reverse order, the improvement in the quality of pictures. 

Oh, and did I bury the lede there?  I'm taking commissions! If you are interested in a hanging, shoot me a note and let's chat.


A commissioned weave of about 20" across.  The mister took one look and said "I LOVE the Elsa braid in the fringe!"


a commission that just went to its new home.  They'd requested a palette similar to the following weave.

this one really needs its own blog post.  For the school auction, as a classroom project, I went into the classroom and each 2nd grader dyed his or her own mini skein of yarn with food coloring and kool-aid dyes, and then I wove all their yarns into a large (30" across! prob 45" long with the fringe?) tapestry. 

8" round weave, done with the leftovers from the big one for the school auction.  This one I gave to the teacher for the classroom to have.

all roving little weave, maybe 10x8?

this one I made a while ago.  But he sure is cute, no? We are being mean queens here.

starburst blanket

While the political world is burning, I need to do some non-political stuff, lest I rage-stroke out while calling every goddamn one of the congresspeople--and I mean every. damn. one.

finished blanket!

And so, I present the granny square blanket.  I'm not normally a big crocheter, but after a holiday season where I crocheted three mermaid blankets and one shark blanket for various children (it's way faster than knitting, and I needed to knock those babies out), I was left with a bunch of leftover yarn.  Combine that with the need for distraction, and the fact that the crochet hook was downstairs and my knitting needles were upstairs . . . Voila! A granny square starburst blanket was born.

The white, aqua, and grass green were left over from the littlest little's mermaid blanket, the dark blue and mint green were left over from my niece's mermaid blanket, and the grey was left over from the biggest little's shark blanket. 

Of course, because I didn't have enough of several colors, it also required me heading back to the store no less than three times.  Planning ahead! One day I will do so.

stacks of squares

I'd originally thought the blanket would be all the blue squares, but after finishing 24 squares, I realized that not only was I was out of the aqua, so were the stores.  Luckily, I had the grass green, and so switched to that for another 24 squares. 

The pattern is a pretty straightforward starburst granny square.

I used a magic loop beginning, chained 3 into that for the first double crochet, then double crocheted 11 into the chain (for a total of 12 dcs), slip stitch to attach and finished off, pulling the magic loop tight. 

center circle, 12 dc into a circle

beginning round 2, clusters of 2 dcs

Second round was the mint green.

In one of the spaces between the double crochets of the white round, I chained 3 for the first dc, then another dc into the same space, then 2 dc into each space around (a total of 24 dcs), slip stitch to attach, and cut yarn.  

final round 2

Third round, dark blue.  

Chain 3 for the first dc into one of the spaces between the 2dc clusters of the round before, then 2 more dc into the same space, then 3 dc into each space between the clusters of the previous round. Slip stitch to attach, cut yarn.

round 3 in progress, clusters of 3 dcs

round 3, finished

Fourth round, either aqua or grass green.  Now you make the rounds into squares:,

round 4.  Corners!

  • ch 3 into a space between the clusters, then 2 dc into the same space
  • 3 dc into the next space to make a regular cluster 
  • 2 dc, chain 2, 2 dc into the next (3rd) space to make a corner 
  • 3 dc into the next (4th) space; 3 dc into the next (5th space) 
  • Another corner into the next space (6th) 
  • Regular clusters into each of the next 2 spaces (7th and 8th spaces) 
  • Another corner (9th space) 
  • 2 more regular clusters (10th and 11th spaces) 
  • Last corner (12th), slip stitch to your beginning and fasten off

round 4, finished.  Note wonky square.  

The last round of clusters is grey, and it helps square off your somewhat wombly square by using half double crochet clusters on the sides, and double crochet for the corners. 

round 5, even out the wonkiness of the square with hdc and dcs.

  • ch 2, 2hdc  into first space; 3 hdc into each of the next 2 spaces (this is one flat side)
  • 2 dc, ch 2, 2 dc into the corner space
  • 3 hdc into each of the next 3 spaces
  • another dc corner
  • another hdc side
  • another dc corner
  • last hdc side
  • last dc corner
  • slip stitch and then...

round 6, the sc round

At this point, I could have done another round around of dc clusters, but I worried that would be too much grey, so I ch 1. I decided to single crochet around each square (using 3 sc into each corner space to turn the corners), slip stitched to join and fastened off. 

finished square, not blocked

I wove in the ends as I went, because I hate nothing more that 1) weaving in ends in crochet and 2) doing it all at the end.  By weaving them in as I made the squares, I was able to secure them a bit by also working the next round over the ends as well as weaving them into the work.  I've had a granny square blanket come apart because ends worked themselves out and never again. 

For ease of use and maximum mindless distraction, I did all the centers first, then all the first rounds, etc.  Except for when I ran out of aqua--I finished all the aqua ones with the grey, and took stock of where I was.

Layout is always tricky and where I am no good.  So I asked the internet whether they preferred rows/columns of the two color or alternating.  Unfortunately the internet was split, so I made my husband decide.  He went with columns.  Thus, columns.

alternating squares (also, clearly I was not yet done with the green ones)


I joined the squares together by flat slip stitching through the back loop of the edging.  I held the squares to be joined together, wrong sides together, and then put the hook through the back half of each of their edge loops.  I'm not explaining it well, naturally. Luckily Craft Passion has a great tutorial.  

halfway joined.  the squares are all slip stitched together in vertical columns, and are halfway attached by rows (from the bottom up)

If I hadn't done the sc around the edge, I probably would have used dc clusters to join the squares, as that's my preferred look.  But I was running short on grey, and was not about to rip out that last line of sc around the squares at this point. 

Finally, I did a border around the whole thing of hdc, then a round of sc.  

And done!

Back to yelling as loud as I can, as often as I can, at my elected reps.





Swatchin', again

madelinetosh vintage in chicory, which I like better knitted up than in the skein. Uniform (rav link) by Carrie Bostick Hoge, aka (planned options? shorter, no shaping, fitted sleeves and shaped collar, inset pockets).




love love love these interchangeable karbonz needles by knitter's pride by the by. (Hate the spelling, though.)


we have returned from vacation! Cape Cod is beautiful as always, and I wish yet again that we had more time up there, and that Massachusetts was magically an hour and a half from New Jersey instead of minimum five hours (when driving with only grown ups who can suck it up and not pee already . . . oh and blessed by the traffic gods) to seven or nine hours (when driving with small, awake, children who are not easily placated by the magical technology of DVD players in the car and just want to GO GO GO GO NOW NOW NOW  at the top of their tiny little lungs). And speaking of small squirmy children . . . 

The littlest little enjoyed his time at the Cape, and furthered his obsession with bunnies (and Paw Patrol. Ugh.). His attempts at hopping are hilarious, and really just turn out to be stomping, or stomping REALLY FAST. And he alternates between shooting "BUN!" and "JOR!" when he spys a rabbit, either in real life or as a picture. The JOR is short for George. You see, for whatever reason, my family has always called the many many bunnies hanging out by the house on the cape, "George". Don't ask, even we don't know. Sometimes he's looking for the mama bunny, so it's "BUN! Mama? BUN!" As one does. 

A few years ago we picked up a great close up photo of a George from a local Cape photographer, and hung it up in the house in the room where the kids sleep.  But now that we are back home, there's only the picture of a bunny on the littlest little's favorite cup and man is he bummed by that.  

And last night he requested a bunny of his very own, by trying to snuggle the cup and take it to bed. I asked him if he missed the Georges, and got a very enthusastic "YEAH."  I asked if he wanted to snuggle the bunny: "YEAH!"  I asked if he wanted me to make him a bunny of his very own to snuggle, and the kiddo practically bounced off my lap with a big "YEAH! BUN! YEAH!"

So bunny softie it shall be.  Keep in mind this kid already has a collection of about fifteen animals in his crib--most of them cast offs from the biggest little who really could care less about stuffed animals.  The little one though?  Carries his baby doll around snuggling her, and gathers up as many animals as he can hold like Navin Johnson with the thermos.  "All I need is baby Boo.  Baby Boo and this kitty.  Baby Boo and this kitty and this hedgehog.  And this Plex.  And this chair. . . " 

I've flipped through my knitting books, including the EXCELLENT Susan B. Anderson's Itty Bitty Toys (affiliate link), for bunny patterns.  I've made her Elefante (ravelry pattern link) for the biggest little a while back, to great success.  And she has a great pattern sense. 

I like her sock yarn bunny a lot, probably the larger version, but would probably make the arms a bit shorter. I also like Ysolda Teague's bunny--very cute face.  Bunnies are weird for softies, I feel like a bunch of them skew a bit too pointy and lean for my tastes--I think it's the shape of the snout.  I want something short, stubby, and cute--amigurumi-esque but also still recognizable as a bunny. But as I learned with Elefante and Grumpasaurus, placement of the eyes is crucial--too close and they look evil; too far apart or too big and they're too old school "cute."  The big cuddly bunny from Purl Soho is almost too stylized for me, but damn it's cute. This bunny in a blue dress (aka Miffy) is pretty cute, but I'd ditch the dress and go straight up nakey bunny.

And then we get into yarn choice and color.  Grey and white? Grey and pink? Brown?  My default yarn for this type of thing is a Cascade 220-esque (sturdy, worsted weight wool with good stitch definition and soft but pleasantly wooly), but maybe a furry/chenille type of thing would work well?  But would it drive me batshit?  (hint: YES IT WOULD)

Or do I go full on "creative" and avoid the realistic colors?  Stripeys? Tell me interwebs what to choose!




A wee tumbler

remember what I said about shrinkage with clay? Well this one I knew was going to be wee. 

a tiny tumbler. Probably good for bourbon, right?

I normally lean toward pieces with feet, glazed in something with a bit of blue, and this piece has neither. I am pleased with the balance, both shape and weight wise, but also with the glaze.

ok maybe a little bit of blue

The first dip of glaze is cream, which is a soft semi matte, with a bit of a velvety hand to it. Interestingly it broke a bit reddish brown (shino-y) where it was heavy. Then I dipped the room in moss, which alone is a complex brown-green semi matte. Through the magic of chemistry, not only did the overlap come out glossy and somewhat translucent, but it ran a frosty baby blue at the lightest application.  

Glaze is not like paint where red and blue pigments make purple. The components of glaze change chemically in the kiln as they melt and attach themselves to the clay body, and when you combine two glazes they interact with each other as well. Even there color of the glaze when dipped doesn't necessarily correlate to the color when fired. So instead of red plus blue equals purple, it's more like bathtub plus lunchbox equals telephone. 

the inside. Totally bourbon, right?

Another little project

back in September, i bought a few skiens of Noro Silk Garden, theoretically to do mittens with.

Well, nearly seven months later, i finally started (and finished) them. 


matching not matching mittens

matching not matching mittens

These are two separate colorways of Noro, which has a built in long color change stripe. I knit two rows with each skein, carrying the unused yarn up as I went.

There are many mitten patterns around, and I generally use my fairly standard made up mittens recipe:

For heavy worsted, on size 5 double pointed needles, cast on 36 stitches, knit in 2x2 rub for a while. I like long cuffs, so i did a few stripe repeats here. 

Switch to knit, and knit about an inch or so. Then begin the thumb gusset by increasing one stitch on either side of the first stitch of the round every other round until you have 13 stitches for the thumb. (Here, I actually did a slower increase of every 4 rounds, which pushes the ribbing farther down the arm).

Put the thumb stitches on waste yarn, cast on one stitch over the gap and work until you're about half an inch from the tips of your fingers. Decrease at 6 points around (divide stitches evenly over three needles and put your decrease points at the middle and ends of each needle), every other row until half your stitches are gone. Then decrease every round until you're left with 6 stitches. Pull the yarn through the 6, and fasten off.

Finish your thumb. Put the held stitches on the dpns, and join yarn. Pick up three stitches over the gap and knit until just below the length of the thumb. K1, k2tog around. K plain. K2 tog around and pull yarn through and fasten of