Sunday, December 31, 2006

Never put away your knitting...

This post had a title "Emelia finished!" but unfortunately I had to change it, grrr....

I finished Emelia choker for my friend Anna!
Yes, I have.
I finished it, blocked it nicely and then I had a good look at it when I wanted to sew on the buttons and weave in the ribbon...
I knitted the first half of it about two months ago. Then I had million of other projects and put it away for a while, and recently I decided to finally finish it. And I totally messed it up!...
Emelia consists of three different charts to follow while knitting, and as I repeated the first and the third ones correctly, I did something strange in the middle part - the half I knitted two months ago looks very different than the half I knitted recently, I picked up stitches in a different way somehow and they look as if I followed some other pattern...

So now I'm knitting another Emelia and this time I'm not going to leave it for such a long time unattended and hope to make it look the same throughout the whole project.

And I wanted to show you our latest purchase - this is the Christmas present from Robert's father and mother (and we had to add just a little bit of money) - our new camera!

It's Fuji FinePix S 5600 and I hope to get better photographic results from this one than from my old Canon PowerShot 60 (which is allright but it has smaller matrix and fewer functions).

Now I'm off to prepare myself for the New Year's party (we are having a small gathering of friends at Anna's flat tonight), so have a great time this evening and happy New Year to you all! See you tomorrow with my New Year's resolutions!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

I survived!

Yes, I officially survived Christmas time! ^^ With lots of eating, meeting with my extensive family, visiting, ect, ect... We are back home with tons of food we got from my mom and my two mothers-in-law, everybody liked their gifts and all's well that ends well. *^v^*
And I even did not have any arguments with my mother, whoa!... (well, she tried to start a row on Christmas Eve, just as we met at the door, but I ignored it - I squashed my answer in my mouth... - and the rest of the evening went rather smoothly).

I should add one more button here because I not only bellydance, I also swim - we went to a swimming pool today to loose some of the Christmas food fat! ^^ I swam 16 times across the 50-metre pool, then we went for some bubly recreation in jacuzzi, and then we went outside to an open air pool - that was fun! ^^ Water was 26 degrees C hot, but the air was about 3 degrees C, so we had to hide under the surface of the water all the time and I felt a bit like in the Japanese onsen, yikes! ^^

As far as bellydancing is concerned, I'm a bit worried that my dancing group may possibly be dissolved after this term. We started with about 25 people, and for the last month there were 5 or 6 people coming to classes... This is the intermediate level and more work has to be put into it this term, the steps and moves are a bit more difficult and we practice dancing with a veil, so obviously not everybody who enlisted for this group are willing to make a bigger effort. Our teacher is also sad because if this happens she will have to start the beginners group again, and teach simple hip drops, which is a bit boring for her.


I already started the scarf for Anna but I ran out of colours in my stash so I'll have to buy some more. In the meantime I dug out some Regia sock yarn

and started the more or less mindless socks knitting that I can do while watching tv. ^^

I like the regular stripes and it seems that there will be enough yarn left after finishing a full sock to knit a short anklet, too. ^^

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Knitting like crazy!

OMG!... Last minute knitting is not the best idea in the world!... My wrist sinew hurts like hell (injury from last year from my jewelery course that renews every time I overdo it with my hand...) and I'm going to put the stiffener on my hand any minute now (as soon as I wrap all the gifts! ^^).
I'm not sure whether you're going to believe me that I've knitted all this since last Wednesday, but it's true *^v^*.

Kendra, I sound to be busy all the time because:
- my time management is terrible... I start many things and then finish them just in time, so I have to rush with everything,
- I sew and knit as my job, so I always think that I should make one more item either for my gothic shop, or the on-line galleries, so I'm always engaged in new projects (and lots of old ones...).
But I'm planning to do nothing in the next three days and give my hand a break (which I'll probably fail to accomplish, but anyway, that's the plan! *^v^*).

I promised pictures with my knitting, so here we go:
Commissioned gifts for my friend's nieces (they are 3, 4 and 5 years old), three sets of a hat and a poncho, one blue one and two pinks ones (my own pattern, matching the hat):

Yarn: YarnArt Baby (100% acryl)
Needles: 5mm
Christmas gift for my Mother-in-Law I (Robert's mom) - Liesel wrap:

Yarn: Opus Tiftik (5% mohair, 95% acrylic)
Needles: 5 mm
Surprisingly quick and easy pattern, although it's lace. ^^ I added more repeats of the pattern.
Christmas gift for my Mother-in-Law II - Irish Hiking scarf:

Yarn: Oliwia Plus (25% wool, 75% acryl) in caramel
Needles: 6mm
I love this pattern! Very quick, and I'm definitely going to knit one for myself, only wider (kind of wrap), and in other colour (green probably).
Christmas gift for my Father-in-Law - Fingerless Cabled Gloves:

Yarn: Schachenmayr Nomotta Alpacana (35% wool, 35% acryl, 30% alpaca)
Neddles: 4mm
I love this patterns, I've knitted them for my husband before in black - nice quick and easy desing.
Christmas gift for my Grandfather - a scarf (simple elegance for an older gentleman):

Yarn: Linate Yeni Cetiklik (90% wool, 10% acrylic)
Needles: 7 mm

Plus (what I knitted some time earlier) my mom will receive green Ella shawl (as if she deserves...), aunt Basia will receive the Lithuanian Socks from Nancy Bush's book.
That's all I managed to knit this year for Christmas gifts, wow!
And, can you believe it?... I finished the second of my OPAL socks!!! ^^

They are totally different in the pattern changes, but I don't care - I love them very much! ^^
As for my knitting plans for the nearest future (yes, I'm already thinking about new projects, am I crazy or what?... ^^) - I'm going to finish Emelia choker, which is the belated birthday present for my best friend Anna (I only need about 2 cms of it to finish) and I want to knit a long colourful scarf for Anna as a New Year's gift, because I know she's been dreaming of such a scarf. I'll be also knitting a sweater for my husband. And several more new things, as always! *^v^*
I'll leave you with my tree! ^^
Merry Yule/Christmas, everyone! *^v^*

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

No snow for Christmas...

Well, I've checked the weather forecasts for 24th, 25th and 26th December and there is now snow planned for this period here in Poland. Or low temperatures, only about 6 or 8 degrees Celsius above zero. And you call this Winter?... White Christmas, huh!...

Thank you, Helene and Lobstah, for your words of consolation to my last post - I feel better now after a few days, and I even talked to my mom - she called me and talked about Christmas supper as if nothing happened between us, that's the way she deals with situations like that, especially when it's her fault (she yelled at me once that I hadn't answer my cell phone all weekend when she called but then it turned out that she was out of credits on her phone and didn't connect to any numbers, you might think I got a word "sorry, it seems it wasn't your fault" sentence... no way!).
And yes Helene, I am an only child, which in fact I like very much ^v^, but my mom often talks about the regrets that she never decided on a second child. Well, what's done is done (or rather "isn't done" ^^), and there is no way of changing it now.

Off to some craft news:
In the January editions of womens' magazine "Claudia" (which is at the newsagents' from the middle of December) there is an article about the lady from the folk gallery I'm cooperating with, Magda Wojdyna, and her on-line store!

I scanned part of the article so you could see her - she is on the right, the blond one, with her older daughter who helps her with the on-line part of the shop (she has two daughters).
That's fabulous because the more publicity she gets the more people may be tempted to check her store and see my products, and maybe buy them for Christmas presents, yikes! &^v^&

I'm still knitting like crazy, but I can see the light at the end of a tunnel ^^ - I'll be most happy when I've finished the commisioned baby hats and capelets for my friend (she ordered three sets of hats and capelets, all exactly the same, so you can imagine that I feel like working on the factory line... and I can see pink everywhere... @_# ). But other gifts are coming out very nice, I've got mittens for my Father-in-Law ready (thanks, Kimberly, for the pattern! ^^), scarves for my two Mothers-in_Law growing everyday, still to come scarves for my uncle and Grandfather. Photos in a couple of days.

Friday, December 15, 2006


Thank you very much, girls, for your encouragement on selling my creations! ^v^ Following your advice I'm going to start and Etsy shop and see how it goes. Probably in January though because now I'm frantically finishing commisions and Christmas presents for the family (photos soon! ^^)

Talking about Christmas...

If you love Christmas you may want to stop reading this post, because it's going to be a very personal story of a girl who hated it from the early childhood.
(and I'm not talking about the religious aspect of it, because it doesn't concern me at all, I'm talking about the family part of this holidays)
When I was a child Christmas for me was always the time when I had to sit at a table with a huge family and eat lots of food, and I always got some educational presents like books (which did me good because I fell in love with reading and this love affair continues up till now, but when you are 6 or 7 years old and you open your gifts and see books when at the same time your cousins get dolls, Legos and fancy clothing, you're not happy at all...). ~

When I grew up and had a boyfriend for some years (my current husband), we had to spend each Christmas separately with our families because my parents thought that Christmas is a family holiday - the time when you meet with your family, not some strangers (and I wasn't allowed to leave the table and visit Robert's parents). And the ritual continued - long hours at the table, which legs were wobbly because of the amounts of food my mom prepared for the holiday meals (do you know this Polish proverb: "zastaw sie, a postaw sie"? it roughly means: "morgage yourself but show everybody that you CAN AFFORD a lot", and it's mainly used while talking about Polish cooking and partying habits...). Not to mention the gift problems - my mom always seemed unhappy about what she got from me, as if she always expected something more or different, I could see it in her eyes, when she unwrapped the presents.
(BTW, do you remember the story about the beautiful elegant green candle I gave her this year in May as a name's day present "What is it? Oh,... [dissappoined look and sigh] a candle?... What's it for? [sheepish look in her eyes] I don't use candles. [my gift unwrapped went onto the cupboard shelf]"? She haven't even pulled down the cellophane wrapping, it still sits exactly where she put it 7 months ago...)

Then I got married and there was no excuse for me and my husband not to spend holidays together, so another problem occured - we always had to visit my family FIRST, irrespective of the fact that we also wanted to visit Robert's mom and his father (they're divorced and have separate lives and homes). On the smallest suggestion that this or that year we could first meet my Inlaws my mother got into a neurotic mood and a huge arguments started right away - "You don't respect me at all! I always spent Christmas with MY mother! Do as you wish! Don't come to me at all! We don't have to see each other at Christmas!" ect .

And it brings me to this year and another source of stress for me - this year Robert's father decided that because our families do not know one another they are going to organise Christmas supper and invite Robert's mother and my parents to their apartment. My husband's mother thought about it for a minute and decided that it's a good idea.

It wasn't the case with my mom...

She hates going out and spending time with strangers, she practically goes nowhere apart from some local shopping and for a walk with her dog. Really. And now she's been faced with a threat of spending a whole evening with some strangers!...
I couldn't get the answer from her for three days, (and it was polite to give some answer asap, either yes or no, because with a holiday supper some preparations have to be made, like shopping for more food, Christmas gifts for the guest, ect.). At first she gave this idea a quick thought and said "No, we cannot go because of...(some imaginary reasons)", but then I told her to ring Robert's father and explain why she isn't coming - this gave her even bigger fright - she was supposed to ring a stranger and talk to him, and invent the unexistent arguments!... My mother is all about the appearances that MUST be kept at all cost, so she couldn't do it! She said she'd think about it more.
Finally after a huge argument with me including many grievances and bitter words from her side, she agreed to go (appearances again - she couldn't be perceived as a person who didn't want to come...).
Now, she' s unhappy because it seems that I dragged her into the unpleasant way of spending Christmas evening and I didn't let her stay at home and I didn't agree to invent some reasons for her not coming to my Inlaws, I'm unhappy because I'll have to spend a whole evening with her at my side, artificially smiling and probably talking about the children we still don't have, my father's unhappy because he would also prefer to stay at home, eat some food and go to bed early (plus mom is now angry as a bee and he has to live with her under one roof for the next week till Christmas, when her mood is probably not going to change much...).

Have I told you that my mom is not going to say a word to me for the next week?
(which is, in fact, a plus in this situation! ^^)

I am fully aware that I am not what she wanted me to be - I don't have a career in business, my husband neither, we live in a small apartment and spend time in a different way then just watching tv and reading gossip magazines (what she does), we don't (and probably won't) have children, we don't care for money, cars, stuff, we have hobbies, passions which she obviously lacks of. I am a big disappointment to her. She doesn't want to admit it but all the time she tries to change me bit by bit, and gets only more and more frustrated when it doesn't work. She never praised things I've been making all my life, or she could say straight in my face "It's ugly!", instead of maybe softer way of expressing it like "I don't like it much." Even if she did, it was a quick and meaningless "that's nice", which didn't carry any emotional feel to it. She never believed in my choices and always was very surprised when they turned out right or somebody else praised me. I am aware that the way she is now is a result of her life and all different events during her 58 years of living, pleasant and unpleasant, but why the heck does she have to blame it all on me?... A child is not a clay doll that can be formed according to our views and stay like this forever, it's not a toy.

I can feel that I cannot take all this anymore - sometimes I feel like I am a grown-up in this relationship and she is my child, a very spoilt child who doesn't talk to you and stamps her foot or stares in the window silently when you start talking about some important things between mother and daughter. Either I'll stop talking to her at all or I'll go crazy soon!

Please forgive me this personal musings, but I had to let it off somewhere...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


I talked to the owner of the folk gallery that is selling my stuff and I got really angry...
Not with the lady, but with the situation on the market, to be precise - in the on-line hand-made products galleries.
She politely but firmly asked me if I could lower my prices on the wristwarmers, because she thought that they wouldn't sell at the given price (plus her 40%).
I spend about three hours on making a pair of such wristwarmers (knitting, then matching and attaching different bits and bobs to make it look cute), not to mention the cost of a yarn and embelishment, so I think 15 USD is not such a terribly high price for it. Is it?...
The market is spoilt by the cheap mass-produced crappy stuff from China and people do not value hand work anymore, they would like to get everything for free. And on the other hand artisans do not value their time and ideas, because it's common to see the long complicated scarves on sale for about 8 - 10 USD - where is the payment for the maker, I'm asking, when it is only the price of the yarn itself?!...

I have two solutions:
- either lower my prices and almost "give away" my products, but it will only bring me frustration and won't pay back for the materials I'll use
- or give up making things for sale and concentrate on knitting/sewing for myself, my friends and on commissions

From the two above I will choose the latter, because I'm not going to be told how much I should charge for my work - this is my time, my creativity and I can always direct them into something else.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Look, look! ^^

Last time I wrote that "I cannot leave everything else and just sit and make more cell cozies..."
It seems I can. *^v^*

On Saturday and Sunday I've been finishing cell phone cozies and wristwarmers for the folk gallery, and I got a little bit carried away... I made 14 cell cozies and 8 wristwarmers (in fact I knitted more wristwarmers, but I didn't manage to finish the embelishments for more of them).
This morning I struggled to catch the daylight and take good photos of them all, the sun sets so quickly this time of the year...

And two of them on my wrist:

Have you seen new Knitty?
There are some interesting pieces to knit. I prefer:
- Calorimetry headdress
- Binary scarf
- Corazon mittens
- Tiffany mittens
- Piggle hat
and most of all
- Eiffel blouse! (I might even knit this, you know, this would be my first "serious" piece of knitting - a whole sweater! ^^)

Happy Monday, everyone! *^v^*

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I want to share with you the sunlight that appeared suddenly across my bedroom, just for a short moment, and I managed to catch it with my camera! ^^

This is my desk with a computer on it, and lots of other stuff as you can see (Stitch&Bitch 2007 calendar, for example, huge heart-shaped lolipop with "Love" on it, partly eaten, ect ^^), and on the wall there is a painting I got as a birthday present from a friend many years ago - I love this picture and this is the first thing that I look at everyday in the morning. *^v^*

I got a call from a lady from a folk gallery I'm selling my stuff in, and she said that almost all of my cellphone cozies sold out and she wants more, and as quick as possible!... I am of course very glad that people liked my creations but I cannot leave everything else and just sit and make more cell cozies... I promised her several pieces next Tuesday so today I've been cutting fabric, sewing lace, ect... Busy, busy... ^^

I also set up dates for my naalbinding course in January - I hope the gallery will start to advertise it soon on their website.
I prepared a photo to illustrate my course - what do you think? *^v^*

And I officially started the Winter season - on Sunday I took out my big red Winter coat from under the bed, gave it a wash and first wore it on Tuesday.
I still don't have Winter gloves, and I hope to finally knit the Norwegian patterend ones soon... ^^

Monday, December 04, 2006


I got myself some funky jewelery! ^^

These are the wooden beads painted and on a string of an elastic.

I had a busy weekend: on Friday we went to my Father-In-Law for a party and we had a lot of delicious food! ^^ (my Mother-In-Law II is a kitchen genius!).
Then on Saturday we met with some friends because it was my husband's birthday, and we went to an Indian restaurant called Tandoor Palace (if you're ever in Warsaw I highly recommend it! ^^). Wow, it was great! Indian food is our second best just after the Japanese food. We started with some samosas and fish pakoras, and with delicious salty lussi, then we ate tandoori lamb and chicken sizzlers with garlic naans, I really really want to go there soon again! *^v^*
We finished our Saturday evening with drinks at the nearby pub, with some nice live music.

And on Sunday I was finishing some products for my Atelier Bizarre shop.

A skirt:

Two more belts:

And something totally new - the wristwarmers of my design:

And my husband started to make a new medieval Russian shirt for himself, he cut out all the parts, sewn some of them and started embroidery around the neckline (pattern of his design based on the historical sources). Here is the sneak preview:

Happy Monday, everyone! ^^