I was wrong about gauge for Wil's hat so I had to rethink the yarn combination for the cozy ears (I know the pattern looks awful in that picture, but I've seen it knitted and it looks great, I promise).
After faffing about with multiple skeins and swatches I've finally settled on thisthe 4 ply and 8 ply both dyed in shades of gray, black, blue, and a hint of violet and teal. I think they go well together. I think. Anyway, I've cast on and I can always rip back if it looks really awful.
Yesterday while Wil slept I also finally strung the ceramic beads I got while we were away on the craft retreat. I'm not generally one for plain strings of beads, but as I was headed off to work last week it briefly crossed my sleep deprived brain that my outfit would benefit from something chunky and plainish at the neck.
So I hunted around for the beads I'd shoved somewhere and not recovered since my post retreat injury and spent 5 minutes stringing them on nice heavy cable (being ceramic they weigh a bit). Aren't they lovely? I think they will go with everything I have. I also have a string of $5 red beads which I love that I'm planning to do something with too.
Now that I have this glorious dedicated studio space (no the novelty isn't close to wearing off) such little jobs are just that - little jobs. No wading through all of my junk to find bits. No 30 minute clean up to find a flat surface to work on. No need to pack everything up the second I am done. Grab the box of jewellery tools and sit down and string. Five minutes later, new beads.
I'd also like to jump on this bandwagon. Now personally, I am not too fussed about my own copyright. Pretty much most of the things I design I make available to others for free and if asked give permission for my stuff to be made and sold at fetes and markets and for fund raisers. And being thoroughly post modern I do think there is only so many variations on a theme and claims to originality are generally exaggerated.
But in this I really share Hilary's outrage. A reasonably sized commercial operation has simply used the work done by a small scale cottage designer and had it mass produced. Given there is a history of copying by this company (I actually had one of the rip offs of this design produced by them) I think it is stretching the friendship. So I hope at the least you will choose to spend your toy dollars on something other than these.