Author Archives: needlestiks n chopstiks

About needlestiks n chopstiks

I love to crochet and knit and I love photography and though I don't love cooking quite as much as the other three, I certainly do a whole lot more of it than the three combined! As far as cooking goes, I care hugely about what I'm feeding my family and that it's healthy, fresh and appealing to all the senses particularly to the eyes since that's half of eating!

Finally Done

no show men's/boy's sock

no-show mens/boys sock

Womens no-show sock / Peds

womens/girls no-show sock / Peds

I’m finally done with those dratted no-show wool-blend, socks that I’ve been trying to knit up for my son per his request. Trying to take notes and making up a pattern is no fun but now that I’m done, I feel very accomplished. One more thing I can knock off my list! In my mind, it shouldn’t have been so complicated but with everything in the world to distract me and all the unravelling I did… I’m just glad I’m done with the pair.

I also included some pictures of a pair of no-show socks for women that I completed some time ago for my daughter but I think I’m going to rework the pattern so that the toe is smoother like my son’s. Here we go again…

When do I get a pair for myself? I guess after I do the family’s first. ha-ha-ha…

womens/girls no-show sock / Peds, view of heel

view of the heel of the no-show sock / Peds

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Our Pets

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my two lovely ladies, Alice and Olivia

I love animals and I love watching animal videos on YouTube. Both my daughter and son are the same way. My husband on the other hand, is not an animal lover and does not care for the cute animal vids at all. So the three of us will snicker and giggle and then, overwhelmed with curiosity, he deigns to look over, only to find us crowded over my iPhone over another animal vid. Hahaha.

What’s funnier about this is that somehow we got this man to agree to letting us have not one but TWO dogs! Admittedly, before we got Alice and Olivia, we had our Choochie (AKA Akuma) a sweet, adorable yet feisty Malti-Poo who had died and left a huge and gaping hole in our hearts, even in the heart of the one non-lover. Even my husband was won over by that little guy.

Six months after his death, somehow we ended up with two puppies. Two, little puppies, I thought I was crazy but our 70ish neighbor didn’t want the two split up. They were sisters and he insisted they stay together. And the kids, they really needed the dogs, something to love that would love them back.

When my son was very young, he was deathly afraid of dogs. In my opinion, a child should never be that afraid of animals. So I started working on my husband when my son was about two about the need to have a dog and when he turned eight, we finally got our Choochinator (AKA Choochie, AKA Akuma -he was only six pounds, by the way). That was a huge stepping stone for our son. He quickly got over his fear of dogs and now, he is crazy for any kind of dog/animal just like his mom and sister.

So now it’s been about a year and a half since we got the two girls and we are all, and by all I mean all four of us, in love with the girls. Alice is the feisty runner, and Olivia is the obedient, bundle of nerves and I would not have it any other way.


My Sewing Kit

When we think of a sewing kit often we think of that little complimentary thing you get at a hotel or even a big box of needles, thread and all kinds of paraphernalia.

complimentary "mending kit" from a hotel

complimentary “mending kit” from a hotel

However, I’ve found that the complimentary thing from hotel rooms is incomplete and for obvious reasons, we can’t carry around a big box of sewing/crafting necessities in our purses or carry-ons when traveling.  And because I’ve always got a project in my purse, I’m always in need of a stitch marker or needles or a thimble or something of the sort.

I’m always on the look out for anything cute or small that will serve more than one purpose. In particular, I’m constantly looking around for a tin with a lid on a hinge and most importantly, a see through top.  I was using Altoid tins, both big and small, but the problem was that I could never tell what was inside so I would have to go through each one to see what it contained.  Very frustrating

my purse sized sewing kit

my purse sized sewing kit

particularly when you have more than one. Also, as nice a size as it might be, it’s really still too large to be truly compact enough to be carrying around in my purse.

Then one day I came across the perfect mint tin at Trader Joe’s.  Unfortunately the company has since downsized their product so the new tin is smaller and can no longer accomodate the bobbin the way you see it in my photo but you can still get it to fit in laying on it’s side.  Enjoy the pictures!

unpacking the kit

unpacking the kit


All Those Little things.

This morning my daughter asked me when I was going to get around to hemming the two pair of jeans she got 3, yes, THREE, months ago. Okay, today is that day. The little things always get you hung up. For the last three months I told her to tuck her jeans into her UGGS but I can’t get away with that anymore. It’s warm now so into the closet went her boots and out come my scissors. I need to get more coffee…

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Oh Frustration

As you might have guessed it was Glorious Spring Break for the kids. Oh joy. From my perspective however, it was more like endless dishes, endless clutter, endless boredom and endless

the start of the toe

the start of the toe

chauffeuring. I adore my kids but I am SO glad that school is back in session and that someone else can be bothered with the buggers! Ummm, if you don’t have kids, don’t listen to this. Kids are great… you should have them… yeah… definitely, I think… yeah…

The down side of all this (did I make it sound like there was no upside? hehehe) was that unfortunately, I could only really devote half my attention at any given time to my little sock project.  When I began the week last Monday, I was about half way done with a no-show sock that I started, at the request of my son, in a wool blend, sock-weight yarn.  But with the advent of Spring Break, I pretty much ended up one week later, exactly where I had started – half way done with the sock. Don’t get me wrong, I did enough knitting to have knitted that sock at least three times over!  Ugh. I just could

a little over half a sock

a little over half a sock

not get it right.  I even thought I had finished the thing and was one row away from binding off when I looked at my work and realized I had to unravel the blasted thing right back to where I had started.

So by yesterday, Monday again, I was a woman on a mission. I was determined to finish what I was beginning to think was a jinxed sock. By the afternoon, my mission was accomplished, even after having worked the thing twice over, again. Done, done, done, I can’t say it enough! Although, I do have to say, it isn’t exactly right, meaning that I think the back of the sock comes up a little too high for my liking, but my son thinks it’s fine.  For this pair, I’m leaving the pattern the way it is. For the next set, I’m gonna fix the pattern. Pictures you ask? Absolutely!  Pictures with the foot model (aka my son) to follow.

finished sock with the beginning of it's mate

finished sock with the beginning of it’s mate


Forlorn Teapot

Well, this morning I got up after not being able to fall back asleep and started to clean up yesterday’s clutter from the sleepover. Yes, kids mean sleepovers, means tired mom, means “I can’t wait for Spring Break to be over”… 🙂

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I saw the teapot that I’ve seen everyday now for the last year, sitting forlorn on the kitchen window sill after the kids broke the lid about a year ago. I didn’t throw the thing out because with or without the lid, it’s still so pretty. Plus, it was from my mom; you know, sentimental value and all.

I went to throw the trash out, saw my rose bush in full bloom, thought to myself, “I’ve got to cut those roses off soon” and went back into the house and stared once again at that sad teapot as I washed a couple dishes.

Right then, I decided to wash the pot, ran outside to cut a few (granted not as many as the bush needed) roses and put said roses in the teapot. No more forlorn teapot and a slightly happier rose bush!

My day is much improved. Especially since I had been thinking I needed more flowers in the house. Happy me, now to finish cleaning the house…


Catching Up

So last I checked in, I was living in Austin, TX. I suppose you might say that I was on a 13 month vacation in the middle of the country. It was a great experience and I feel that we all grew during that time. But I have to say, there is nothing in the world like living in Los Angeles, California. I LOVE LA!!!

We’ve been through a lot since having moved back in the middle of October 2011.

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The kids started school here in our old neighborhood. Garrett rocketed up to the most popular kid in his school and Faith became super popular with the boys in her new middle school. I started and stopped working in a completely messed up high school that had very nearly cured me of wanting to watch any TV as that workplace provided me with PLENTY of drama to last me a few years.

..

In any case, I’ve taken up knitting and crochet again with a vengeance and I wanted to show you one of the first of THREE, yes, three shawls that I crocheted. Well, three of the exact same shawl, to be clear. I wore the thing out while I was at my parent’s house in SF and my mom took it right off my shoulders and so I started work on a new one which my friend claimed. I then started a third one which I’ve managed to keep now for a few months and now that I’ve worn it so many times, I’m definitely not giving that one away…

I recently got a request for a new one, so I’ve started that one just a few days ago. You can see a picture of the shawl in it’s early stages.

It really is a beautiful shawl and it goes with practically EVERYTHING. I’ve actually been wearing it under a leather jacket as well and it looks fantastic! It’s very feminine. You can see that it has a very pretty design. I love the way it drapes and the frilly edges. The added bonus is that you can wear it during spring and even in the summer here in California when the evening gets a bit chilly. The shawl is surprisingly warm even though it has a very loose design.

This shawl pattern can be found in Crochet So Fine, but I only followed the first 25 rows and everything beyond

IMG_4714that I just made up as I went along. I didn’t follow the pattern from that point forward at all so my shawl came out differently than the one pictured in the book. To boot, I used Patons Lace in Patina, a very different kind of yarn than the one recommended.


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