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21  Re: Shop the Swap 47 **DO NOT POST YET** in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by lapoli on: January 31, 2011 04:34:13 PM


(1.5 points) 1.6oz Fairie Visit Spinning Art Batt

(1.5 points) 1.4oz Garden Slipper Spinning Art Batt

(1 point) 0.9oz Saturn Spinning Art Batt

(1 point) Fair Isle Handwarmer a la Michael Jackson - knit in 100% wool to ward off werewolves. Or something.  Gnome socks and stack o' batts not included.

(1 point, each) Diaper Soakers - Choose from light green or dark green.  Dark green is smaller than light green, probably would easily fit 0-3months.  Light Green is slightly larger and could probably fit 3-6months.  Knit with 100% wool, never used.  Please lanolize before using.

(1 point) handmade baby booties from katilacker on etsy.  brand new/never worn
the exterior is made of a soft solid green tinted beige cotton with pea green straps and soles. the inside is made of a soft mint green fleece.  a single snap on each strap keeps feet snugly and securely in place. very warm and very soft. the booties pictured are intended for 0-3 months with the following measurements:
Sole: 3.5" x 1.75", Strap length: 6", Ankle Height: 2.25"

(2 points) grace beret.  made from a gorgeous and soft wool/silk blend.  this hat is sized for a larger head and intended to be worn more as a beret/slouchy hat.  beautiful lace design, original pattern here.  please handwash in cool water and lay flat to try. more clear photo coming soon.

picture coming soon -
(1 point) chunky feather and fan cowl.  black acrylic/wool blend knitted into a beautiful, chunky feather and fan pattern.  large size makes it easy to pull snuggly against your neck and pin with your favorite brooch.  

(2 points) Tranquility Yoga Mat Cleanser purchased off Etsy. More details coming soon.

(1 point) Blue Vintage Napkins.  Some holes and/or stains though not more than you would expect with vintage linens.

(1/2 point each) Pink Vintage Napkins, Green Vintage Napkins.  Few stains/holes.

started with: 0 points
current: 4
pending: 0
total: 4

claims from my shoppe:

to sarahj2001 - carnival batt (1)
to sarahj2001 - mardigras batt (1)
to sarahj2001 - berry salad batt (1)
to sarahj2001 - passionate batt (1)

claims to other shoppes:

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22  Meet our Featured Organizer - kaz814! in Talk About The Swap Process by lapoli on: January 22, 2011 08:27:08 AM
Many of you have seen (and contributed!) to the "Great Organizers I have Known" thread.  We love hearing about what makes a swap run smoothly for you and we love all the positive energy that the thread has created.  

In that spirit, we'd like to begin featuring a special organizer for the swap boards.  We'll meet some of our amazing organizers and pick their brains about how they keep on top of everything organizing requires.

Without further delay, let's give a warm, hearty Craftster congrats to kaz814, our newest featured organizer!

What is your favorite thing about organizing?

The Type A part of me wants to say that it's the actual organization aspect (which really, is fun), but really, I think it's getting to know so many fabulous Craftsters.  I never would have guessed that I'd make friends on Craftster when I joined, but I have thanks to getting to know people through swaps and organizing!

Do you prefer a huge swap, or a small one? Why?

I have to admit, I'm a sucker for a big swap.  The first one I organized had 67 swappers and it was madness.  I loved every minute of it, even the insanity of trying to match people up.  Then again, I've organized a couple smaller swaps and the closeness of the swappers in a smaller swap can't be beat.  So can I say both?

Do you like using a co-organizer?

I do!  Well, now that I've learned to actually use one.  Admittedly, I got overexcited the first few times I had a co-organizer and posted everything myself.  Only after it had been replied to did I realize my mistake.  Live and learn, though, and a co-organizer is a fabulous, fabulous person.  I love having someone else to bounce ideas off of and split the organizing duties with!

If so, how do you split up organizing responsibilities?  

Generally, I split the swappers into two groups once they're paired up.  One for me and one for her, so we can both have responsibility for half the swappers.  In other swaps, like the Birthday swaps, one person keeps the spreadsheet up to date and the other keeps track of the claims in the thread.

How do you select a co-organizer?

Well, so far, I've posted in the swap thread when we're approaching 25 participants and I get a wonderful volunteer.  Sometimes (like for Frugal 3), someone volunteers in a previous round and I hit her up for helping out in the next round.  This is how Troublet and I first met and she is an amazing co-organizer!

How do you match up partners in a swap?

I put everyone into little charts that list their username, country, willingness to send internationally, allergies, allergens, generalities about what the swapper wants, what she can make, what she won't make.  Then I spread all the little slips of paper on the floor around me and sort by country/willingness to ship internationally.  Next I figure out who can't be paired with whom due to allergies and then the remaining swappers are sorted by requested crafts to make and receive.  Then I staple the partners together, if it's at the end of the sign-ups, or paperclip if sign-ups are still on-going and I just wanted an idea of how things could work.

Any particular tricks or tips you'd be willing to share with other organizers?

Googledocs are a godsend when co-organizing because then you only need one document that you both can edit.  Also, don't be afraid to send a PM if you haven't heard from someone or even an email.  Communication is key as an organizer!  The more communicative you are, the better the swap will run, in my opinion.  Also, be excited about your swap.  Answer PMs promptly, post in the discussion thread and gallery, etc.  If you're excited, others will be, too, which makes for a really fun experience for everyone!

What would you say is the most important element of making a swap fun for everyone?

I'd say that the most important element is getting to know your fellow swappers, even if they're not your partner!  Having an active discussion and gallery (without going off-topic, of course!) makes the swap really feel like a community to me.  I love asking how a swapper made something that she sent to her partner and hearing how it's being used, etc.  Teaser pics and posts are fun, too, in discussion threads when you don't want to spoil the surprise!  I'd also second (echoing the wonderful pinkleo) the need for communication.  If partners don't communicate and you don't think your partner is interested, then it won't be fun to create things for each other.

Where do you find your swapping AND organizing inspiration?

My life!  I started the Frugal Living Swap (and Frugal Swap 2: Return of the Cheap and Frugal Swap 3: Have Yourself a Frugal Little Holiday) because I realized that so many of the things I throw away can be reused if they're made of different material, which is better for the Earth and cheaper.  In this day and age, the more frugal I am, the better, and lots of others agreed with me!  The other swaps I've organized are due to my interests - I <3 Autumn, How My Garden Grows. I also tend to prefer swaps and crafts that are more practical and aren't just for decorative things.  I've recently started organizing some of the Birthday swaps, which has been a lot of fun and who isn't inspired by the idea of birthday presents?

What was your favorite swap you organized, and what do you think made it a success?

This required a bit of thought, but I think it was the first Frugal Living Swap because I was organizing with absolutely no idea what I was doing.  (I'm lucky I had an awesome co-organizer, donniesgirl, to show me the ropes!)  I've loved all three rounds for different reasons, but the first was where the collection of links to frugal resources and the list of frugal crafts was initially compiled, which was a lot of fun and the swap itself felt like a total group effort to get running.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

If you haven't tried swapping yet, do so - it's so much fun and you meet some really fabulous people! Don't be shy!  It's a great way to try a new craft, push yourself, and show others what you can do.  And if you want to organize a swap, go for it.  There's a bit of work involved, but it's totally worth it when you see a beautiful gallery filled with gorgeous crafts and realize that you've gotten to know a lot of really great people.

Thank you to my various partners, organizers, swappers, and last, but certainly not least, the swap mods, all of whom have made swapping such a fabulous experience for me.  Being chosen as a featured organizer is something I never expected and I am truly honored.  Thank you so much and I hope to see you all in a swap soon. Cheesy

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23  Re: 50 projects in 2011 in Craftalongs by lapoli on: January 20, 2011 03:01:30 AM
Gah, I'm so far behind in this thread!

What interesting earrings, pinokeeo!   

Your hackle looks great, LaughingLark! You're really taking off into spinning, eh!?

I've had what I hope is the worst week of knitting I'll ever have, so I've temporarily given up on touching anything else lest the bad knitting mojo leeches into anything else I've already started.  In the meantime, I kettle dyed up about two lbs of wool last night for one of my projects--the wool roving rug.

I laid these all outside to dry last night and I really hope they're dry enough I can get started!
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24  Vegan Pad Thai (w/ Recipe!) in Vegetarian / Vegan by lapoli on: January 18, 2011 03:05:34 AM

I've recently had to eliminate dairy from my already-vegetarian diet so I've been taking it as an opportunity to explore new recipes.  This recipe is an amalgamation of many different sources, but the results were so delicious that I thought I'd share.  The only thing I'd change for next time is to make double so my husband and I won't argue about who is getting the leftovers for lunch. Smiley

Vegan Pad Thai for Two


1/4 cup soy or tamari sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 T peanut butter
1 red chili pepper, minced

1 lb extra firm tofu
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced
1 bell pepper, sliced (I used a combination of green, red and orange)
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 small head broccoli
small amount of oil for wok

rice noodles

To Make:

1.  Combine the first five ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until blended.  Set aside.

2.  Heat oil in wok over medium to medium-high heat.  Add chopped vegetables and cook until slightly tender. (I tend to start with the toughest vegetables and work my way up--in this case, onions went first, followed by bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage).

3.  While vegetables are cooking, make rice noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.

4.  Once vegetables are tender, add crumbled tofu.  (My newest favorite way to cook tofu!)  Continue to cook until tofu is browned.

5.  Add sauce, stir and cook until heated through.

6.  In a large bowl, combine rice noodles with tofu and vegetables.  Stir, portion out and eat!

This would also be wonderful with fresh cilantro or ground peanuts.

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25  Re: 50 projects in 2011 in Craftalongs by lapoli on: January 07, 2011 03:40:09 PM
AM - Wow! Look at your knitting skills! I'm TOTALLY impressed.  The hot water cozy is awesome!

Myloveasdeep - I love the scrappy afghan.  It's great you got your husband involved.. if only I could be so lucky. Smiley

Shan-E-bear - Awesome fingerless gloves. They look great on you!

Rantyhippie - LOVE the rag rug! I'd like to make one this year, too, and, in fact was just reading some tutorials on how to make t-shirt yarn.  We'll have to compare rag rug notes. Smiley

BethieB - Did you cut out the pieces yourself for the toy?? I love it.. it's very Waldorf-inspired.

I finished my destroyed cowl!!! (#38 on my list!)  I cast on yesterday and finished it just a little bit ago.. even wore it to the grocery store!

Eh. It's a little difficult to get a good photo of it. I'll block it and try again later. Smiley

I'll admit to having not knitted it quite as long as suggested but I'm petite and I thought if I made it much longer, it would overtake me. Smiley

I'll post more details on the knitting board later but I've got a little squirmy guy in my lap who I think may be hungry.. he's munching on my arm.

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26  Re: Shop the Swap 46 **DO NOT POST YET** in ARCHIVE OF SWAPS THAT ARE TOTALLY FINISHED by lapoli on: January 06, 2011 04:36:38 PM


(1 point) handmade baby booties from katilacker on etsy.  brand new/never worn
the exterior is made of a soft solid green tinted beige cotton with pea green straps and soles. the inside is made of a soft mint green fleece.  a single snap on each strap keeps feet snugly and securely in place. very warm and very soft. the booties pictured are intended for 0-3 months with the following measurements:
Sole: 3.5" x 1.75", Strap length: 6", Ankle Height: 2.25"

(2 points) grace beret.  made from a gorgeous and soft wool/silk blend.  this hat is sized for a larger head and intended to be worn more as a beret/slouchy hat.  beautiful lace design, original pattern here.  please handwash in cool water and lay flat to try. more clear photo coming soon.

picture coming soon -
(1 point) chunky feather and fan cowl.  black acrylic/wool blend knitted into a beautiful, chunky feather and fan pattern.  large size makes it easy to pull snuggly against your neck and pin with your favorite brooch.  

started with: 6 points
current: 2
pending: 2
total: 4

claims from my shoppe:

to guacamolly - wool dryer balls (1)
to mimiw - wool dryer balls (1)

claims to other shoppes:

from troublet - glass jars (1)
from zelda.suicide - 6 barmops (3)
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27  Re: 50 projects in 2011 in Craftalongs by lapoli on: January 05, 2011 12:55:29 PM
How cute! I always thought about having a swap journal but I wonder if I'd use it as much as I thought I would?

I finished the boring fingerless gloves! (Project #40 on my list!) I've learned two valuable lessons today:  First, enchiladas do not photograph well.  Two, neither do fingerless gloves.

I'm going to wrap them up, write out a card and stick the package in our mailbox for the postman tomorrow. I hope he'll like them!
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28  Re: 50 projects in 2011 in Craftalongs by lapoli on: January 01, 2011 11:21:41 AM
musiclady - i really love that felt board! i hope your daughter likes it. Wink

redflags - I love your hat! Believe me--sewing a seam is MUCH more involve than knitting with circular or double pointed needles.

always - what a clever idea! genius!

Here's my second project for 2011! I'm not going to post them anywhere on Craftster b/c I'm sure they've been done a million times already.  Cheesy

#37 - Wool Dryer Balls

I guess I went sorta crazy making them, but winding yarn is endlessly entertaining.  I've decided that these will all become part of gift baskets for family and friends this year. Smiley

Here's a picture so you can see the scale of them:

48 more to go!
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29  Meet Our First Featured Member - Striker923! in Knitting: Discussion and Questions by lapoli on: January 01, 2011 03:44:41 AM

If you've spent anytime on the knitting boards, you are likely to have encountered Striker923.  Not only does she post beautiful projects, she's always willing to help out a knitter in need and to pop into almost any thread to admire others' finished works. 

Striker923 was kind enough to answer some questions about how she got started knitting, some of her knitting favorites, and other Craftster projects that inspire her.

How and when did you start knitting?

I started knitting about two to two-and-a-half years ago because I wanted to knit a Harry Potter house scarf.  One of my really good friends, fellow Craftster Kaiser Scissorhands, said, Why dont you check out Craftster.org, they have great resources!  Utterly amazed at the awesomeness of Craftster, I set out to my local big box craft store and purchased size 8 needles, a skein of Bernat Satin, and a book on learning to knit.  Another knitter was born!  Still have yet to make that Harry Potter scarf, ironically enough lol.

What was your first knitting project?

My first knitting project was half of a throw pillow but my first completed knitting project was a striped garter stitch scarf for my husband when he was still my fianc.  They are both lurking in the dark corners of Craftster somewhere.

Do you dabble in any other crafts? If so, which?

I recently taught myself to crochet this past summer and I do occasionally cross stitch.  Ive also done some embroidery and stenciling for a swap, but I can never stray far from knitting because I love it so!

What's your favorite FO?

This is a toughie as I like all my FOs!  But if I have to pick a favorite, Id have to say my first pair of socks.  I used Cookie A.s BFF Socks pattern and Opal Harry Potter yarn in the Ron colorway...cables and variegated (self-striping) yarn, whats not to love??

What's your favorite yarn? Book?

There are so many wonderful yarns out there! My favorite though is sadly discontinued: Knit Picks Essential/Stroll Kettledyed.  Such beautiful jewel tones and I love the slight semi-solid variegation of it.  Mirasol Nuna is a close second, merino/silk/bamboo blend...just gorgeous!

My favorite book is probably Alice Starmores Aran Knitting (New/Expanded edition).  There are some amazing cabled designs and I plan on making my mother St. Brigid for her birthday/Christmas gift 2011.

What's your favorite knitted FO someone else made?

Probably the very colorful, retro cape knitted by Blondiequeen88, just amazingly bright and cozy, and it looks fab on her!

Who are your favorite designers?

Cookie A., Alice Starmore, Kathy Zimmerman and Kirsten Hipsky (Webs in-house designer) off the top of my head, amongst several indie designers.  I tend to gravitate towards patterns themselves, more so than designer, but all of the above seldom design something I havent liked.

What's your favorite non-knitted FO?

My favorite non-knitted FO is probably the Zelda embroidery I did for the Legend of Zelda swap this past spring.  It was my first non-cross stitch piece and while it took me awhile to do, I really love how it came out.  I keep on meaning to do one for myself, but I really cant stop knitting long enough to do it...
What's your favorite non-knitted FO someone else made?

I really, really liked the hand painted tea tray that mouser882 crafted for the aforementioned Zelda swap.  While I do enjoy and drink tea, I would totally buy a proper tea set JUST to have this tea tray, haha.

It's the new year! Do you have any crafty resolutions?

Yay for a new year! I have several crafty resolutions: the first is to really try out new and different crafts, (but I only tend to do that for swaps, so maybe I should participate in more swaps as a resolution?), to knit more socks for me (as I mostly give them as gifts), and I also want to learn and practice a few techniques I havent really done like intarsia and entrelac.  I also would like work more with Malabrigo, try Madelinetosh yarn and find out what Noro is all about.
Normally I dont make new year resolutions (mostly because I set the bar to high so I never seem to keep them), but I have a feeling Ill be able to stand by most of these crafty ones  Cheesy

Thank you, Striker923, for all your contributions to our knitting board community!
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30  Featured Knitting Projects - January 2011 in Knitting: Completed Projects by lapoli on: January 01, 2011 03:23:44 AM
Featured Knitting Projects - January 2011

Woo! It's the start of a new year which means we have an entire year of awesome featured projects to look forward to.  I think January's Featured Knitting projects are all inspiring and hopefully, you'll find them just as inspiring as you begin your knitting journey through 2011!

How are these projects chosen?  First, you should know that you are an integral part in selecting the featured projects! Each time you browse the knitting board and select the "This Rocks" icon (towards the bottom right of the first post), it shows up for us in a handy viewer.  We also select projects that we feel are eye-catching and/or are made by knitters that contribute a lot to our community.

We had a lot of fun and creative projects posted on the board in the last month... Here are some of your favorites!

I'll be honest -- there are some things I'd never think about knitting but this first project has me scratching my head and possibly rethinking my former stance.  This skirt, knitted by kaleidoscope_eyes, is absolutely gorgeous!!! The color, the fit... Awesome work!

preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', '_______________________________________________________')

Need a gift for a baby? A new mama? Look no further than this cool sea life mobile made by arualms!  She started with one pattern, adapted and then went out on a limb (er, 8 limbs!) to find other knitting patterns she could use to complete the theme.  I think it's safe to say that there will be one happy baby after the holidays!

preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', '_______________________________________________________')

We all know of the dreaded second sock syndrome.  The first sock is always the easiest and, by the time you get to sock #2, the momentum of sock knitting is gone.  This also applies to mittens, gloves... anything that there are two of.

Of course, that's MOST people that experience SSS but it appears that mimiw does not only have problems not knitting a second project... she has knit 5!

That's right. 5 Faraway, So Close shawls!  They're absolutely stunning!

preg_replace('/(.{49})/', '$1 ', '_______________________________________________________')

Thanks for everyone's contributions to the knitting board this month! I can't wait to see what the next month brings! Smiley  

Remember to work on those knitting New Year's Resolutions!
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