Saturday, November 5, 2011

Holiday Hoopla!

So... much.. knitting! Right now, there are a pair of gnome mittens, a pair of green/brown commissioned mittens, a scarf, and a barn on the needles. Not to mention a travel project which are my little hot pink socks... I'll try to get pictures of everything up tomorrow.

Tonight though, tonight will be a special night. Remember the sweater I'll be knitting? The book it came from? Maybe you remember the adorable blonde in all of the pictures... well she designed them. She's going to be giving a lecture tonight for a small group of people and then signing books... I got a seat!

I'm going to be hanging out with Ysolda Teague (and some of my favorite Happy Knits people!!!) tonight!! Catch me, I may faint ;)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

I Give Up.

Work wins. I love my job, I love this blog. I hate that work interferes with my blog. I need more discipline. But to start, I'll blend them. And I think you'll enjoy them!

Like most jobs in retail, we have a guideline for what to wear. Black & White with Closed toe shoes. Colors are fine in jewelry and accessories. Fun right?

In reality I don't wear white, I'd get messy and it shows all of my lingering baby weight. I also spend my shifts on my feet so heels are a nice dream, and maybe if I only wore them for short really short shifts. I paired them with products by LUSH that suit the feel of the look I'm going for!

Outfit 1: Silky Underwear Dusting Powder

Soft and delicate, lots of bows and girlie touches. The dusting powder is a soft jasmine and vanilla with softening cocoa powder in it, it makes me think of Audrey Hepburn. Especially those shoes, do you see those shoes? I love those shoes :)

Outfit 2: Flying Fox Shower Gel

Feminine but with a sexy flare! The heels take this look from innocent to va va voom! The flying fox is loaded with a sweet honey smell (from four different honeys in fact). But it also has a sexier, sultrier jasmine smell to it. It's irresistible.

Outfit 3: Miranda Soap

A comfortable fun outfit paired with a fresh fruity soap. I have a fantastic weakness for converses. I'm in love with them, I love them with shirts, pants, wedding dresses, and bikini tops with shorts. I LOVE them. Miranda is a kiwi and Citrus smell that is creamier instead of being overkill.

Outfit 4: R+B (Revive and Balance) Hair Moisturizer

Distinctly girly without being too grown up. My favorite shopping outift, I love the shoes, I think it's great. The polka dots with the hounds tooth ties in without being too much. R+B is a great go to hair product, it's got a great floral and jasmine smell, it soothes fly-aways, moisturizes dried out ends, nourishes frizz. I use it everyday.

Outfit 5: Bubble Gum, Sweet Lips, & Mint Julips LipScrubs

Comfy, fun, flirty, confident. It's an all black look, but when I wear all black, I feel tall, slender, powerful. I love this outift, I think it would be really flattering, and I NEED those boots! The lip scrubs are fun, but useful, tasty but still surprising. Mint Julips is my favorite, but the holiday flavor Pow Wow is fantastic and is made with (brace yourself) pop rocks!!!

I love my job, I love the personality I get to display. I get to wear my hand-kint shawlettes, work with some awesome people, and really feel appreciated by the company I represent. I'm going to make this work, working and blogging, and mommying and knitting, and finding time to eat bathe and sleep.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I feel really bad about how I've neglected you all this month. Really really bad. It's haunting my dreams... I have all of these posts swimming around in my head, but I feel like I need to earn your trust again.

So I'm going to let you see something. Something in my house. Something embarrassing! Ready?

I was looking for a knitting needle I lost misplaced... and came across this. To the casual observer this is a mess. Really? It's things that people all over the house have been searching for (it's worth noting that my needle WAS NOT there...)

To account for everything-
1. A soda can. Okay, no one was lloking for this, it's just trash. I'm a slob. Moving on.

2. My autographed copy of At Knit's End by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. I'm kind of stunned it was there.

3. Evey's not-autographed copy of Spot's Day at the Beach.

4. A Ball band from a skein of Noro Silk Garden.

5. Evey's copy of The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse- Come Count with Us! That we read no less than an hour ago. I think I'm seeing who's stashing things under furniture now.

6. An invoice from a doctor's office.

7. Evey's stuffed Blue (of Blue's Clues on Nickelodeon) further evidence of who's things end up in this particular abyss.

8. A Ball band from some KnitPick's Palette. Thankfully these bands were unnecessary being that I catalog everything on Ravelry pretty promptly after I acquire it.

9. A Yellow baby's sock. I'm convinced of the culprit.

10. The 2011 Ikea Catalog that Kevin couldn't find for the life of him yesterday.

11. A harddrive from my now-deceased laptop. No joke. It's under the couch.

12. A piece of Paton's Kroy FX sock yarn from making Hexipuffs.

I feel so much better getting that off of my chest!

Please tell me you have something dreadful under your couch/bed/tv cabinet too? I can't be the only one...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

In my haste

It's been a crazy month and I haven't chatted with y'all since the early days of it so let me tell you what's been going on!

Well, I've started working -and I love it!- and that's taken up a lot of my time. When I'm not working I'm trying to get as much time in with the kids as I can. And when I'm not working and they're asleep I'm trying to clean/ knit/ catch up on the blogs I read/ shower! It's a lot! And then on top of it, I've started more Christmas knitting...

My biggest undertaking? My daughter's gift. I purchased Spud & Chloe at the Farm by Susan B, Anderson a few weeks back with the intention of churning out a sheep here, a girl there, a picket fence over a few long weekends. Then someone asked the seemingly innocent question: "Oh! Are you making them for your daughter for Christmas?!" And that was the clincher. I bought all of the yarn I should need (in theory, but I suspect I'll have to order a few rogue skeins) while in NJ -We'll get to that story- and trudged it back to the West Coast with me.

I scored ALL of this at my most favoritest place in NJ! Home Made in Swainton. Julie, who owns it is a doll and goes out her way to help anyone who asks (or forgets what day of the week it is). There's yummy yarns, fantastic fabrics, and a superb studio space. Maybe you remember my post about the quilt-in-a-day class I did there? But moving on...

I've vowed not to knit anything obvious in front of the baby girl. She's pretty smart, and already loves to steal my knitting, heck, my transatlantic is half hers because I keep finding it in her room! I started with the barn, I figure it's committal once that part is complete. You can't give a 1-year old a toy barn with no animals after all. I think I can swing this. I really do, if nothing else it will be a fun story to share with all of you, how on December 22nd in the wee hours of the morning I was cursing and sobbing the words "Spuuuuuddddd, you motherless self-loathing piece of fluff!" No? Maybe just me then.

But back to the part where I was in NJ. I flew out of Portland to New Jersey on Thursday (the 13th) to spend a long weekend with my Mama (and some time with my Papa, Granmom, and some quality time with some lovely knitters <3). We drove up to Fishkill NY on Friday afternoon -stopping at the Garden State Plaza for some retail therapy- and checked into our hotel room. My husband did a great job booking the room and got us an extended stay sweet so it was fully loaded. And then we spent Saturday and part of Sunday at the happiest place on earth!

Handspun from my lovely friend WillyG!

Rhinebeck Sheep & Wool! Now, you have every right to be mad, I was so caught up in seeing WillyG, and Stephen West, and Jess Casey & Eloise, that I neglected to take any pictures... well, I took a few. But not too many bloggy ones. I DID however, score some great fibers to show you all!

Some better, more intimate, one on one shots:

From Blue Moon Fiber Arts we have Socks that Rock~
Hoofle Foofle


Atomic #6

And I couldn't wait to cast on this Hot Flamingo (okay, I lost the band and can't remember the exact name)

 We also picked up a sweater quantity for a sweater for my mom! Does my Mama knit? Nope! But She has a daughter that loves her very very much and found a pattern that calls for bulky yarn, so a sweater she will get. We carefully selected Gaea while we were there but couldn't find three skeins of the same color. So we settled...

One of these is not the same as the others, and I'm going to try like hell to make it hide as well in the sweater! (While keeping an eye out at my LYS for a third of the Midnight at the Oasis)

There was some Sanguine Gryphon, one of which found a happy home with my lovely friend Julia, the other came home to live with my other skein of Bugga!

We also came away with some dashing mini-skeins of Miss Babs! (Thanks Jeff for the heads up!)

Sorry it's been a while, I've been cheating on all of you... with wool!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cheap Sunglasses

Everyone has them. They're my guilty pleasure. My kids steal them and as you can see... they look way better in them! These have been dubbed my "Minnie Mouse Shades" which may be why Evey is so in love with them. They were Clearance at Old Navy and I got them for $6. Awesome right?!

Tell me about your favorite shades!

xoxo Jaqi~

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's a LUSHious life!

Hey y'all! A while back I mentioned a job interview but kept it vague and never mentioned any details. I'm so comfortable in my workplace and the ethics of the company that I would love to start sharing yummy tidbits with you!

I got a fantastic job at LUSH!

Ok, it wasn't quite like this but you get the idea!

Now I have no intention of divulging anything that's deemed confidential, I signed an agreement and have every intention of honoring it, BUT as a long-time customer of LUSH even I don't know close to everything so I figure it would be lovely to share some stuff with all of you. It will help me learn and spread the word!
I don't think this is the store I've been working in, but it's the same setup!

In upcoming "LUSHious" posts you will learn more about the charities LUSH supports, the causes we take a stand on, products reviews and ingredients, and even clips of the manufacturing process. All of this is available to anyone on the internet but I hope that by sharing them in little bits, it's more approachable for the casual reader!

Lush Employees Taking a stand on the Tar Sands in Canada. Learn more @

Today I'll start you off slow, it's a juicy and fun video about the core values of LUSH. I may repeat some of these things in the future but it's a wonderful introduction to the brand. 

Thanks for joining me today!

Fresh, Handmade, from ethical sources that you can really believe in!
I've been learning the ropes at the store and it has severely cut into my time, but if I spend some of my blog-time researching work then it kind of becomes justifiable! Thanks for bearing with me in my absence <3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Sweet Winner!

We're happy to announce we have a winner in our Sweet Giveaway! 

Congratulations Elflyn! I'll be e-mailing you as soon as I receive your prize code!
Remember the great images I was able to make with this awesome scrapbooking software? Here's a refresher!

 Now you'll be able to make great Scrapbook Pages too!

Disappointed you missed the contest? No Worries! You can still use our exclusive promo code! When you Copy & Paste the code "STMMMS64798" in the promo box at Checkout you will recieve $10 off your copy of the Digital Memory Suite AND $10 to spend in the store- a $20 Value!!

I'd like to do more giveaways in the future but what would YOU like to see as a prize?
What would you like to see more of in our weekly features?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Sweet Giveaway!

Hey all! I want to share my excitement with you about our FIRST Giveaway here at 'il filato dolce' this week! Recently I was introduced to a digital scrapbooking software called My Memories Suite.
I do a lot of different crafts and admittedly have a stash of scrapbooking supplies in a closet with the intention of being a memory book for my son but it's hard for me to find the time to get started on it.

I think that's the reason I fell in love so quickly with this software! It's very intuitive, all of the images in my post today and this week will be made with it so you can get a taste of what in can do!

You may remember these images from the Hair Tutorial Link I posted! The digital scrapbooking software allows me to stack different elements like lace and ribbons and automatically resized my pictures to fit the wide variety of layouts!

Now these are examples of pictures I've used in my blog and how the layouts can be adapted for blogging or even promotional things! But I used it to revamp our family portraits too!

Now you may be thinking, "Sure, professional pictures are going to look good! But what about snapshots? The real memory pictures?" Well, you tell me!

Ok, Maybe I DID just want to show off more of my babies)
I'm also pleased to let you know that My Memories Suite is offering a special promotion for all of our 'il filato dolce' readers! When you Copy & Paste the code "STMMMS64798" in the promo box at Checkout you will recieve $10 off your copy of the Digital Memory Suite AND $10 to spend in the store- a $20 Value!!

 We are also giving away a FREE COPY of My Memory Suite to one of you!

Ways to win: 
(Leave one comment for each, letting me know!)
  • Refer a friend to enter our contest!-one entry
Good Luck and Have Fun!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Finished Object Friday: Baby Things.

A few weeks ago, I put out an offer to my facebook friends. I offered to knit some handmade gifts on their behalf for some money to add to my yarn budget. I had one person take me up on this offer. The secretary from my high school, who was always looking out for me in those awkward years, asked for baby items for a new addition to her nieces family.

I couldn't resist!
No, this is not the blob. It is the Baby Surprise Jacket, by Elizabeth Zimmerman. It is genius. It is one piece of knitting, made larger and smaller in key places.

See the instructions under it? Crazy!

Once you are finished you stitch up to seams along the top of the shoulders, add a finished edge and buttons, and voila!

For the yarn I held two colors (Golden Glow & Queen Anne) of Stroll Tonal by Knitpicks together. It made this sweater so squishy and comfy, perfect for baby!

I fell in love with the colors but I felt I needed something to go with the sweater, so I picked the leftover Queen Anne up and whipped up a hat!

I chose the simple and gratifying Swirl Hat! It's by Mandie Harrington and it was really enjoyable to knit.

Aren't they precious? I can't wait to see them on a baby!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Results in Color!

Well, the votes have been tallied and while everyone seemed to like all of my color choices, one was the clear winner!

Happiness in Prairie Lace

I think it's going to look spectacular! And what's more, my favorite yarn shop (as I tell you over and over again) Happy Knits, is having a Knit Along in the month of October for sweaters out of Little Red in the City! So I'm going to cast on with the group, document my step by steps, and share them with all of you!

And in case you wanted a refresher, the cardigan that won is Cria! You can see the full post here.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It's Wednesday so it is oddly fitting that I decide to update you on my favorite in-progress project today! See that? I'm thinking of you! Currently I am working on a few things. I just finished a Baby Sweater and Hat,which you'll see on Friday according to plan. I am also working on a ribbed moebius cowl for a friends class demo out of Madelinetosh Chunky in Grasshopper (Killer yarn!). In addition to these, I'm participation in a Knit-A-Long for Hosta on Thursdays, and my husbands' socks aren't progressing much. To be truthful,I've been sidetracked.

It's the puffs.

How can I resist?

 I knit one, and without thinking I'm casting on the next!

To be fair, I'm not the only one addicted. Hexipuff-mania is sweeping the knitting world! And why shouldn't they?! They're quick, portable, and (nearly) instantly gratifying!

Does this one look familiar? It's from my sailor scarf leftovers! These puffs are going to bust throught the tiny yardages of various yarns I have!

The idea is that you knit them, stuff them, and close them all over the period of a year (they're tiny so it's best not to think about the quantity). Then you stitch them all together at the corners and voila! You have a quilt, it's already stuffed and double-sided so there's no need for backing or to mess with batting!

You can make them as puffy (or flat, if you're that kind of person) as you want! Mine are super squishy so they look a little wonky all by themselves. When they're stitched up you'll see how cute they are!

I probably need 700+ puffs. I don't really mind. There's no deadline. This isn't a gift for anyone but me. I have thirteen done so far. I'm proud of each and every one!

But that yellow and cerulean one is my favorite. Don't tell the others that though.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

So, I've been rather quiet lately, but not without results to share! (We'll get to those...) I've been settling into my new environment. I have a few new knitting groups, a lot of new friends, and it's a great way to learn about Portland! I also have a job interview next week -wish me luck!- for a position I would LOVE. My days typically start off with just me and my kiddos, and every afternoon not long after naptime begins, their Daddy comes home and when everyone is awake we either watch a family movie, or go explore the area, or take care of errands.

The best part? Lots of time to knit! I get my housework done while the kids are up and have uninterrupted time when they nap and then later when they sleep!

And here's what I have to show for it...

NOTE: If you are my mother, your Christmas Gift is below. Close your browser and walk away. Please. Thank-You

Here is my completed Earth and Sky by Stephen West, I participated in the knit-a-long and all that's left on this baby is to weave in a few ends and block it. The yarn is The Fibre Co.'s Canopy in Quetzal, Tanager, & Orchid.

Here are the socks that my Signature Needles have bewitched! They're still moving along, but the Mystery Shawl took over for a bit. My husband is really eager for them to be done, but it's been to hot to wear socks around the house lately anyway.

This is a Noro Striped Scarf, knit with Silk Garden Color 8, which has blues, greens, and purples. I started in two different colors and the stripes should go through all of the alternating all the way! This will be my Christmas gift for my Grandmother, I'm trying to get them all done early this year as you can see!

I've been dying to try SpillyJane's Mitten patterns for a while and this one especially. I wanted to make these last Christmas for my mother, but it wasn't in the cards, so this year she should be delighted with them! I'm having great fun, and every time I start the next row I cheerfully nudge my husband and show him the next bit of gnome-anatomy and wait for praise. ("Look! The beard!" "Wait, Eyes!!!" "Hey! There's the Hat!!")

Last of all, I got sucked in. Perhaps you've heard of the new knitting craze? The Beekeeper's Quilt. Hundreds of hexagon-shaped puffs, or 'Hexipuffs', knit over an extended period of time, stuffed, then quilt-tied together in to a ready-to-use quilt! Each one gives you the gratification of finishing something, and let me tell you, it's addicting. I can share a few with you every Friday, until you are sick of them too, hehe.

If any of my reader's are interested in mini-skein or puff swaps, let me know in the comments and we can get something going!

So like I said, I've been quiet, but I have a LOT to show for it eh?

Also! Don't forget to vote for your favorite color choice in the Cardigan Project! You can click HERE or here, or even here if you prefer!

You can also vote in the poll on Facebook, so if you haven't 'liked' us yet be sure to do so! Afterall, who doesn't want to be 'liked'?