Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Chinese Zodiac....Roll Call!

This year, Chinese New Year falls on February 19.  Our current year is the Year of the Horse.  Next year, it becomes the Year of the Goat.  Stay tuned for a special Chinese New Year project from Turtlekeeper Designs!

When I was little, my mom would save us Chinese calendars with cute little pictures of the zodiac animals.  I loved collecting these.  I would cut them out and stick them around my room.  My mom would remind me that the animals are presented in a specific order.  Most people are not aware that the order of these animals comes from a tale passed down from long ago.  There are a few variations to this legend. This is one interpretation via YouTube!

This is the story: as written by Mia Roberge of Prezi.
Long ago, in China, the Jade Emperor decided that there should be a way of measuring time. On his Birthday he told all the animals that there was to be a swimming race. The first twelve animals across the fast flowing fiver would be the winners and they would each have a year of the zodiac named after them.... 
All the animals lined up along the river bank. The Rat and the Cat, who were good friends, were worried because they were poor swimmers. Being clever they asked the strong Ox if he would carry them across the river... "Of course," said the kind Ox, "Just climb on my back and I will take you across."  The Rat and the Cat quickly jumped up and were very excited when the Ox soon took the lead in the race. They had almost reached the other bank when the Rat suddenly pushed the Cat into the river! He was left to struggle in the water. Then just before the Ox was about to win, the Rat jumped off his head and finished first.
The Rat was awarded the first year of the Zodiac, while the poor Ox was tricked into second place...  
Shortly after, the exhausted Tiger clawed his way to the river bank to claim third place.  Next to arrive was the Rabbit, who hadn't swum across at all. He had hopped across on some stepping stones and then a floating log which carried him to the shore. 
Just then the kind Dragon swooped down the take fifth place.  "Why didn't you win the race? Surely you could have flown across the river.", the Emperor asked.  "I was held up by a poor little Rabbit floating on a log in the water, so I blew a puff of wind to help him across." the Dragon replied. 
The Emperor then heard the sound of horse's hooves. Just as he was thinking the Horse would be the next to arrive, a sneaky Snake wriggled out from around the horse's hooves. The Snake then took sixth place while the Horse had to be satisfied with seventh...   
Not long after, a raft carrying the Goat, the Monkey, and the Rooster arrived. The Rooster had found the raft while the Goat and Monkey had pushed it to shore. The Goat took eighth, the Monkey ninth and the Rooster tenth place. 
The next to finish was the Dog. He had taken a bath because the water had been so nice. He was eleventh place. 
With only one place left, the Boar quickly came into view. He had stopped to eat and then had fallen asleep. The last spot was taken. 
As for the cat who had been pushed into the water, he finally got to shore but it was too late.  Feeling very cross with the cat, he vowed to get revenge.  Ever since then, cats have never been friends with rats.

~ ~ ~
Enter your birthday here to find out what zodiac sign you are :)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Purple Girl

It's funny how when you have kids, there is no doubt that they can be as different as night and day from one another.  This can even show up in knitting-related ways.  Let me explain!

My kids are four years apart.  A few years ago, I spent quite some time selecting yarn with my older daughter and knitting her a dress and even though she seemed interested in it while I was knitting, she really didn't want to wear it.  So my little one took over and wore the dress:  

The pattern is the Sugarbubbie Halter Dress by Tina Good on Ravelry.  I think it was the disappointment of my child not appreciating my knitting for her that subconsciously prevented me from embarking on another larger project for them in these two years.   

Fast forward a couple years, I decided to give it another go.  My little one adores purple.  Everything she buys/makes/owns has to be purple.  So I selected a basic pattern called Like Sleeves by Yumiko Sakurai on Ravelry.  I wasn't sure how it would turn out so even though I have some yummy yarn coming to me from Plucky Knitter, I used some Cascade 220 that I had in my stash.  I love this purple.  It is called Iris and it has specks of pink throughout the purpleness.

She couldn't wait to put it on!  I tried it on her several times as I was knitting to assess the fit and she was happy to put it on, all tangled up attached to my ball of yarn and tight on the needles.

When I finally finished, she was so excited that even though it was not completely dry from blocking, she had to put it on:

She's been wearing it and thankfully, it is just the right time of year for wooly goodness.  I love seeing it on her.  Even though I'm not the one wearing it, it sure makes ME feel happy and warm!!

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Northern Collective December upload

It's time again for another amazing The Northern Collective upload!  Tomorrow night at 6 pm EST, get your clicking fingers ready to do some shopping.  23 talented artists (myself included tee hee) will be bringing you some pretty great items to spoil yourself with or to buy for gifts.  

This image below features a small selection of those items:

Below are the items I am featuring in my part of the shop.  They include: (clockwise from top left)  Heartbeat Fingerless Gloves, Rainbow Charcoal Doll Boots, Rainbow Wurm Hat (for kids/adults), Pastel Rainbow Hoodie Sweater (for 15" Waldorf Dolls), Crocheted Snails, the Deathstar.  All of these items have been crafted from 100% wool (the Deathstar is stuffed with Polyfil).

The previews are all up so here's your chance to go bookmark your favourites and get ready to do some shopping!  The listings come live Tuesday December 2 at 6pm EST.  The link is