Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Exploring Ravelry & Casting On Christmas Presents

I finally got my invitation to Ravelry. Ok, I know. I'm sooooo behind the curve. I have a ton of excuses by I'll spare you. Needles to say, I've been totally absorbed in knitting and Ravelry. I've been filling in all of my information and taking tons of pictures. So, today, I'll just share some of the things I've got OTN.This is my friend Vee Vee's sock. It's going to be huge. He wears a size 13! I'm knitting on size 2 needles so it's going to take me a while. Also, he wanted the toes and heels reinforced so I doubled the yarn and gave myself hand cramps. Ugh! They're really beautiful, but I'm looking forward to doing a smaller project soon. Unfortunately, this was my first short row heel and I continued short-rowing (is that the right phrase) until there were 20% of the stitches for the heel left, as I thought the instructions were telling me to do. Well, it turned out that it was probably meant to be "continue short-rowing" (there's that funky phrase again) until there are about 20% of the TOTAL stitches left. I'm dreading ripping out those double yarn stitches and doing half of the heel again. I think I've discovered a carpel tunnel in my wrist. Or is that not an object that protrudes from your arm? Oh, wait...that's a dpn...nevermind. Ow!

Now, here is that single, pitiful lonely sock that I just kinda made up as I went along. I am so fully in love with this sock, I just want to wear it now. But without it's mate, it refuses to be comfortable. So, I've begun to knit the second sock and whenever I'm not busy...OK, OK I'll make myself do these and then I'll give them as Christmas presents. Pout. That way, I'll have enough motivation to finish them...but I won't have them.

I swear, after Christmas, I'm knitting only for myself.

Isn't this lovely? These Cheveron socks, I cast on for my mother. I think she'll like them. It's a truly fun pattern, but I'm a little afraid of the provisional or "after-thought" heel. I guess I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. The pattern for these can be found in Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Update & Back In Business

In other news, I've separated from "The Man" and moved into a very small little place about an hour away. There's barely enough room for myself and the wonder dog's crate. But we're keeping up with our fashion experiments. Unfortunately, the wonderdog tends to be more involved than she'd like to be merely due to proximity.

I hired my mom to take care of the business books and she's gone Etsy nutz. I should have known that Etsy would get under her skin. We now have several shops and are expanding as we speak. Check 'em out!
South Paw Creations
We've got one for grown up clothing, one for kids clothing, one for supplies, and one for all the items that we can't figure out their particular category. Then there's also my daughter's shop and my mom's quilted items too! Really, with Christmas comming up we've got something for everyone. I'm stoked.Since she's been in charge, sales have doubled and we've been in 4, COUNT EM! FOUR, treasurys!
Now I just have to clear off a small space to sew and I'll be able to contribute more. But first things first. HALLOWEEN! and costumes, costumes, costumes.....pictures to come.

Stitch N Bitch

Last night was our first ever Knit Night. 16 people RSVPd! I was over whelmed at the response. There was no way I was going to fit all those people in my tiny little place so we moved it to a friends house. All went well. You know something? I didn't knit one single stitch. LOL. But several people went home with new scarf projects and one woman was even inspired to buy some sock yarn! It felt great teaching people to knit. We talked about "the face" and how you couldn't possibly be doing it right if you weren't making a horrible concentration face. We also decided that knitting was now "in."

So, in preparation for last night's party I went through all my yarn. I thought I couldn't possibly have that much yarn. I was wrong. Here's a picture of only the yarn that I don't have ear-marked for projects. AK! I think these things are mating in my closet and multiplying! I have to make some scarves and sweaters, or something to use up all of the bulky yarn that's taking up so much room on my dining table.

Lately, I've been concentrating on socks. For some reason I've fallen in love with them and I've done nothing else. The sock on the right was done without a pattern. The problem now is that I can't remember what I did to make it look this way and I've got a drastic case of Second-Sock-Sindrome going with these now. So...I went and started the Pomotamus socks from Knitty.com. Pomatomus This is an amazing pattern. But those crazy people on the knitlist who are knitting them two at a time are into sick self-torture!!! No offense intended.

Also, here's a tip fr the day. Those plastic sleeves that the circular needles come in are perfect for storing your dpn's. (grin)

And my question for the blog-o-sphere: Has anyone ever used rosewood dpn's? I picked these up because I loved the look of them, but I haven't tried them yet. Do they break more easily? They sure are beautiful and they have a wonderful texture. I can't wait to put something one them...like I need another project.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Treasury! Treasury! Treasury!

DeChon Designs made it into our first ever tresury on Etsy. I tried to get a picture of it on the blog but I wasn't quick enough! Phew! Those things go so fast!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Please Stand By

DeChon Designs has MOVED! Our new location will not affect this site. Our workshop has moved to a new city however, and the relocation will mean some down time for new items in the Etsy shop and delay new posts for the blog. Please check back often as this hiccup is not expected to last very long.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More About Socks

Tomorrow is back-to-school day for my daughter and I'm very excited. Although it means that we'll have to get up earlier than God Himself, and since it's a new school she's all fah-clempt about being new, I think that this year is going to be a good one for her.
School also means, new school clothes! This year, no school uniforms!!! Yay! It also means that I can make new clothes for her. She's always been my perfect model but recently she's been more and more un-into what mom makes. Although, these socks seem to be OK so far.

I also make some socks for my step daughter but I underestimated the size of her foot and I couldn't get the darn thing back off. With a sigh, I frogged the sock off her foot and I'll start it over either with more stitches or with a bigger needle.

Here are some pictures of socks I've finished for myself and a scarf I've started for my dad too!

The tan socks are my very first pair and I'm totally n lo9ve with them. I made them on very large needles so they're not super comfortable. They're also made of cotten so they don't stretch very well. Also, I didn't use a stretchy cast-on so the ankle is all floppy; but I couldn't be happier with them. The deep red pair is the first pair of wool socks I've made and those are my complete favorites. With every wash they get softer and softer. I got that yarn from Etsy (Kindred Spirits Yarn) and it's hand dyed!

Monday, July 30, 2007

All About Socks

I recently bought and listened to the Yarn Harlot's two books (At Knit's End: Meditations For Women Who Knit Too Much & Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off) from Audible.com. WARNING: If you are without a hobby, and love funny stories, put your credit cards in a bowl full of water and then leave them in your freezer for the entire listening/reading portion of this experience. Knitting is extremely contagious and wool has addictive fumes that will melt your credit cards right out of your pocket. In these two books, Mrs. Pearl-McPhee has awakened my inner knitter and created a monster. I've been knitting for a month straight! I'm a seamstress, not a knitter! What am I doing? I'm now addicted to socks? Sheesh! Like I don't already have enough projects.
Here's how bad it's gotten. My husband and I decided that it's time for me to go back to school and he made a comment that if I go, I'd have to put down the knitting. You know, for a second there I actually considered bailing out on graduate school. Ha ha. One day, I almost stood up a friend for dinner so that I could rush home and check my mailbox for some new yarn I'd ordered. Good grief!
But, I love love love knitting. I love socks especially. I love self striping, happy colored socks. I love plain black dress socks. I love patterned socks. I love knitting, toe-up. I love knitting cuff-down. I even love kitchner stitch (that b*tch of a weaving nightmare that allows you to finish the toe invisibly).
In my head I know that I've got to eventually put the knitting down and get back to my business. I know that I've got to put it aside and study for the GRE so that I can get into grad school too. But I've fallen in love with hand-knit socks. Truly and whole-heartedly.
I've joined en email list or three. I've volunteered to knit socks for soldiers. And I'm planning a knitting party to teach my co-workers how to knit! I'm just in heaven! (sigh)

Update: Nikki the wonderdog has been de-furred. She's traumatized and very miffed at me right now. She wouldn't let me pet her for about 4 days. These days, she's sketchy about her tail too. I feel very guilty but it had to be done. For Pete's sake! It was 120 degrees here! She couldn't go out for a walk without foaming at the mouth. Ok, ok. I didn't have to shave her tail. My bad. I got over-zealous with the clippers.

OK, you can say it. I'm just an evil doggy mommy!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Embarrassment of Honesty and the Gratification of Acceptance

Last night I had a friend over that is also a seamstress. She needed a favor and while I performed said sewing task, she began to look into my mess. It was horrible. There was stuff everywhere.

Now usually, I tell myself that my crafting, jewelry-making and sewing stuff everywhere is a sure sign that I am busy and a consummate professional. Whether or not the clients believe this bunk or are just too polite to call me the slob that I really am, no one knows.

With this guest, I had no excuse. Being a person who sewed full time and in addition a person who made a living from her craft, she (in my mind) could see through my excuses right into the compulsive packrat-ish center of my soul.

“Wow,” she exclaimed. “Neat!” she crooned, and “Oh, how fun,” she sang as she poked and plodded through the horrible pile of toys and goodies (otherwise known as sewing crap) that was heaped several feet high on my sewing table.

As time went by, and I began to talk to her over my shoulder, I felt better. I’d accustomed my self to the fact that she’d already seen my biggest faults and that there was nothing I could do about it now. Somehow, I felt like she knew; like she understood the need for a pile of fabric or the compulsion towards ribbon and bows. I really didn’t mind her exclaiming about my stash and discovering long lost treasures in my drawers.

In fact, I felt like a kindred spirit had entered my own little world. I’ve never had that feeling before. It was so strange. It was like I’d stepped out of the mirror, into my opposite world and I was talking to myself about all of my things that I loved so dear.

She then began to tidy up and organize. Normally, I would have been mortified. Anyone touching my baubles and treasures would have sent me over the edge. On top of that, anyone moving my lovely trinkets would have been verbally decapitated. But she, being my mirror self, didn’t phase me at all. I just knew that I’d be able to find whatever I needed when she was through...and I was right. So, she cleaned and I sewed, and the world was centered and good.

Funny, I’ve only ever met this person once before in my entire life...but I like her...maybe there is a fairygod mother.

Ever had that feeling before?

Friday, June 22, 2007

Nikki the Wonder Dog ate Citrus' Head.

Yes folks, we've had an accident. Nikki snacked on Citrus. I don't know if it was out of jealousy, boredom or because Citrus has such a smart mouth and Nikki just had to shut her up, but Nikki won that battle.

It was really greusome. I walked in the door and there was white matter every where! And there, on the floor of my own bedroom was the limp, nearly lifeless body of the beloved Citrus - one eye staring up at me in helpless wonder, as if to say, "you mind gettin' this dog drool outta my hair?"

Citrus is not lost however. She's on life support. I'll be performing a complete head transplant later on next week. It's the first one I've ever done and I'm nervous, but I'm confident that I can utilize my skills as a stuffy surgeon [read "seamstress"] and my past experience with a full bear head reconstruction. Granted, Citrus will never be the same, but maybe I'll add some extra stuff and make Citrus even better. Kind of like the bionic-stuffed animal.

Please pray for the orange bear. And pray for her family. And pray for her assailant.

Be on the lookout for this bearded bear bandit! She's considered armed to the teeth and dangerous to anything filled with fluff.

I'd post pictures of Citrus in her current condition...but they're too grizzly. I'll keep you all updated as to her recovery status in the days and possibly weeks to come.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Blue Eye Jewelry is Here!

Introducing the newest and youngest member of the team, at DeChon Designs Studio - Blue Eye! She's my step-daughter and she's shown an incredible knack for designing, constructing and photographing jewelry. I've decided to buy her jewelry and sell it in my shop. She's a natural!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I've Been Busy

In my shop I sell nurse hats. I got the pattern from a friend of mine that asked me to reproduce her favorite hat. The difference between this hat and others is that it has an adjustable elastic band in the back. They're fairly easy to make.
She brought me this adorable fabric and asked me to make more, and said that she would sell them for me.
I'm excited. I went through my stash of 100% cottons and found these other cute fabrics - ballerina hippos, monsters, frogs and stripes. I also found this great wholesale place for sewing notions too! http://www.wbcindustries.com/leather.html So I've ordered elastic and more cordlocks and I plan to make 100 or more hats! They sell for $10.00 each! Let me know if you'd like one too! I like to wear them around the house to clean in. They keep my hair out of my face and they're colorful.

The other project I've started on is the next in my "list of things to do." I bought this exquisite pattern from a seller on Etsy and at a Going-Out-Of-Business sale at a Hancock Fabrics here in town, I found the perfect fabric for it. It's either silk or rayon and very lightweight. I'm not sure if the wearer would need a slip with this dress. I'll have to stand the dummy in front of the window after I've got the skirt on the dress to find out. If it's too sheer, I'll put in a black or blue skirt, already attached. This dress will also feature my first attempt at covered buttons. I think they turned out great! Also, since my button-hole-er is broken on my machine, the button holes will be lined, very chique, very couture.
While I was making this dress, my daughter really wanted to help out. Well, since I'm going to sell this dress, I decided that she could make something of her own. Arizona is very hot right now and this fabric is super light and slippery cool, so I told her that we'd make pijama bottoms for her out of some of the remaining yardage from the dress.

I was so proud of her. She traced the pattern, cut it out, pinned it, sewed and serged the edges. That's a very large committment for my flitty daughter. But we had to laugh, because her seam allowances were so big that the shorts came out WAY too small for her. She tried to put them on anyway and looked like a stuffed sausage. Even my husband was giggling. So....Citrus the bear got new pijama bottoms. Citrus is the bear we made together when she wanted to go to Build-A-Bear workship and I wouldn't let her. I just couldn't see spending the money on a pre-fab bear when we could make a bigger, better one all by ourselves. Citrus is not for sale. I can make teddy bears, but only on special occasions and for good causes. Don't get me wrong. I like to make stuffed animals. But if I don't draw the line somewhere, I end up making bears, curtains, car covers, plush photo albums, and whatever else anyone asks for.

On another note: I have new items in my shop! Check it out!

Friday, May 25, 2007


Is this what you think of when you hear the word chainmail?

Let's do some Word Association:
Chainmail = Midevil
Chainmail = Knights
Chainmail = Dragons
Chainmail = dainty jewlry?????

Yes! Chainmail is now an artform that is on the rise. Take that same ancient pattern. Make it with something 14K or colorful and you've got a whole new genre of jewelry making magic! Look here:
and here!

Please visit Red Panda's Etsy Shop for these designs and more: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=22621

I've become obsessed! Did you know that there are Roman patterns, and Chinese patterns? I'm thinking about useing chainmail on jeans, purses and jackets. What do you think?

BTW - if you really want midevil protection against dragons...get it here: http://www.ancient-weapons.com/products/chainmail.html

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Salty Step-Wife

I wanted to share about the most wonderful website. It's called "Life In A Blender." It's for parents, both biological and step-parents. It's absolutely a life saver. When I first married my husband and moved into his house, I was at odds end with my own life. I suddenly had three children instead of one, my house was not my own, and my child was to be shared. I made all of the typical mistakes. I tried too hard not to be the "evil step-mother." I over compensated for the perceived lack of attention to my own daughter. I tried to "blend" our family and exclude my step-children's other family. Then I found this place...where everyone understood; where they told it like it was. Where they let me vent and patted me on the back. It really helped me move through that period of transition in my life and now I give advice to others. I have a new family and a new group of friends. Here: http://www.lifeinablender.com/ on the message board.

Someone recently asked me for this post that I made after an epiphany. I've been asked for it other times too. I'll post it here so that I can refer people back here too.

Loss is loss and grief is grief. People think that there are different kinds of loss or different levels of loss.I've learned through training, and counseling that loss hurts. And the amount it hurts has no relevance to the amount of time it takes to be able to cope. Notice I didn't say, move on.She has lost her family foundation. Whether it was good or bad doesn't matter. Like the death of a loved one, that kind of pain never goes away. Some days are relatively easy for her to deal with and some days are harder.Liken it to a physical wound. A paper cut is small and takes forever to heal if it's in a peculiar place. It also hurts like the dickens! A surgery incision is usually much larger, requires stitches and leaves scars. Does it hurt more? That's subjective. You are the salt. Just your presence hurts. Doesn't matter if the wound is large or small. Doesn't matter if the wound was self-inflicted or not. Doesn't matter how long ago it was inflicted. Chances are if she's reacting negatively towards you, the wound hasn't healed. For some women it never heals. They just get used to the pain. (And we label this as "moving on.")My SW isn't scabbed over yet. Neither is yours. And my SW (step-wife) picks at her wounds too. So it may take her longer. I (as salt) try to stay away from her and only flavor my DHs (dear husband) and SKs (step-kids) life.You can't help being salt. She can't help being wounded. Just don't rub it in if you can help it.It's virtually impossible for someone who is wounded to see the wonderful flavor of salt. It's presence is always going to be a threat to their wounded heart.

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