Dale & Dolly – Taming the Stash Pt. 1

Tuesday is comics day at woolandchocolate!

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  


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My latest sewing adventure has ended and I am thrilled with the results!

The pattern is Simplicity 2588 and the fabric I used was 3 yards Joel Dewberry Fabric- Aviary II Collection – Sparrows – Bark. (I don’t usually blog about sewing, so that sentence felt very awkward. How does one describe fabric? Is there a format?) I got the fabric from this Etsy shop. And, hey! I found out that fabric shopping is almost as fun as yarn shopping! Who knew?

I changed only one thing – I replaced the fabric belt with an old faux leather belt that came with a pair of pants and has been sitting in the back my sock drawer for years and years. It works perfectly.

This dress was inspired by a dress that I can’t afford, found here. I like mine better, but I still want that one, too. Ha! Amazingly, as expensive as it is to sew your own clothes, my handmade version of this dress dress cost me about half of the price of store bought one.
Disappointingly, The Man doesn’t like it. I don’t know about you, but I dress for my man and I want him to like what I am wearing. It is very discouraging that he hasn’t really liked any of my homemade dresses so far.

But, I really like it. A lot. A really a lot. Oodles and oodles a lot. So I can’t wait to wear it to my cousin’s wedding in two weeks.

Next I am going to try to sew some corduroy pants for The Boy and a dress for each of the girls to wear to the wedding. In two weeks. We’ll see if I can do it….

… in between all the spinning and knitting that I also want to do….



The Perfect Coffee Mug For Me

We have cement floors, lots of kids, and a klutzy mama. Add these things together and you get a lifespan of about three to six weeks for all glasses, jars, ceramics, and coffee mugs (which is why my knitting bowl is kept out of reach, but this post is not about that).

I have gone through many “favorite” mugs. I had a really cool knitting one that said, “just one more row”, and one from my sis-in-law that had knitted flowers all over it. I had a brown one that lasted almost a year and I used it everyday. Alas, we have broken them all.

I was looking for a replacement and found some awesome knitting themed mugs, but there was no way that I would spend $15 on a mug that might get broken the very day that it arrives. Besides, I try to be a nice mom and act all nonchalant when a kid shatters a treasured dish, and that would be very hard if it was so precious.

Enter Pinterest, that glorious collection of DIY projects, and I learned that one dollar store mug + a Sharpie + 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven = really fun mug that will make me smile while it lives, but not make me cry when it dies.

I played with a few ideas, but finally landed on that phrasing. It is quite accurate.

The irony is that I bought five mugs at the dollar store last week, and we are already down to three. I am responsible for both of the casualties.

If you are going to try this, I will tell you that it isn’t really permanent. A good scrubbing takes it right off, but who gives the outside of their mug a good scrubbing? Oh, and I don’t have a dish washer so I don’t know if it would hold up in there, either. But, I figure, when it washes off, I will have the opportunity of making it better, funnier, or more witty. It is a never ending pick me up.

Now I am off to caffeinate and get to my spinning.

Bragging on the Bookworm

We have had such encouraging responses to our comic strip, so The Bookworm and I want to show you some of her “real” art. The comic strip is fun, but I think you will agree that her talent really shines through better in the following examples.

She has been taking art lessons for almost a year, now, and has totally blossomed into an amazing artist.

She draws the most beautiful things, and I need more walls to hang them all on.

At twelve years old, I think she is amazing!

Here is one she sketched of The Dancing Queen, who really loves posing for her.

I guess the art lessons are paying off.

She has even been featured in an art gallery already!

That’s my girl!



Dale & Dolly – The Evolution of a Yarn Snob

Tuesdays are comics days at woolandchocolate!

“Dale and Dolly” is the collaborative work of The Bookworm and I. After I sketch out my idea in goofy little stick figures and scrawled lines of dialog, I hand it over to my twelve year old daughter who works her magic. Her attention to detail and sense of humor make this comic strip what it is and I give her all the credit for this amazing series.  

What I’d Rather Do

According to Ravelry, I have five unfinished projects in the works.

1. A test lace shawl
that I ran out of yarn for and cannot finish till I get more (don’t worry, there is more. I just have to get it).

2. A crochet project
that I am not really all that interested in working on. Ever. (I will, I am just not interested)

3. A sweater for me
that has a lace panel where I messed up somewhere and don’t even want to contemplate the ripping that is required to fix it.

4. The mitten garland
that doesn’t have to be done until December.

5. A gorgeous silk lace shawl
that I have no reason not to knit, but I haven’t picked it up in months.

All of this means that I have nothing to work on.

Normally, I would happily cast on two or three (maybe more) new projects. I have tons of yarn and lots of empty needles and the queue is full.

But, I am really enjoying my new wheel. I would rather spin than knit.

This scares me a little. Will I ever knit again? Have I lost my knitting fervor?

Probably not. Because I keep dreaming of the things that I will knit with the yarn that I am spinning. Maybe I just lost the desire to knit with any other yarn than my own?

For now, I am spinning this lovely merino/silk with which I hope to make a breathtaking Wingspan.

Knitting is still pretty cool, but for now, I’d rather be spinning.

Knitting a Rainbow

Three things I learned from knitting this pair of socks.

1. You can’t stay blue when you’re knitting a rainbow. Try it. I dare you. Just staring at this riot of color is an amazing mood enhancer. And they make me happy when I wear them, too. Feeling blue? Knit a rainbow.

2. Don’t let too much time pass before knitting the second sock. Especially if the pattern is all improv and you aren’t taking good notes. It’s a bad idea. Ask me how I know. How do I know? Oh, I am so glad you asked. I was knitting the simplest of sock recipes with a very basic stitch pattern and I had to rip the second sock out twice because it wasn’t looking quite right. But now they are identical. Mostly.

3. When you have fat feet, 50 grams of sock yarn isn’t enough, even if you are only doing short-legged socks. Hence the yellow toes.


Another pair of socks for the sock drawer. It is still funny to me that I am knitting socks now. I never thought I would. I am so glad that I do.

Socks of my own design in Shibui Knits Sock Spectrum. Rav project page here (where I did eventually write down what I was doing).


Topping the Tots

I may be in a rut. I just can’t think of a better use for this handspun yarn than this.

It may be a rut, but it sure is a cute rut.

And the kids are loving it.

Look how happy The Fraggle is.

Oh, and with that same ball, I also topped The Princess quite smartly.

She likes hers, too.

The patterns for both of these hats are easy – just start knitting and see where it leads. Knitting is so fun, isn’t it?

Yarn Rav page here. Fraggle Hat Rav page here. Princess Hat Rav page here. You know, just in case you’re interested.