Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Tams in Hemp Blend

Crocheted with glass blue and soft green "Elsebeth Lavold" Hempathy yarn, a hemp/cotton/modal (plant fiber) blend in pretty spring colors.

Off-white version in Hempathy.

Less feminine but still cute enough for the ladies: Hemp and virgin wool blend in natural, ash blue and muted burgundy

Larger and more rustic: hemp and virgin wool in rust, natural and walnut brown, great for the guys, too

(Just freshly listed at Purple Sage Designz)

I have not advertised my shops in ages, and I am proud of it.
How come, you will ask?
It proves that my listings have a good chance of being found by google searches. I love google.
It's my #1 way of searching for products, and I am glad it works for me as a seller as well.
(Okay, okay, I hate facebook and twitter, am too frugal for paid ads and like to keep my blog more personal... :)
Today I wanted to show off the new tams crocheted with hemp blends. And add a bit of info about hemp yarn as an industrial/commercial material (wikipedia is my best friend).


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Hemp (from Old English hænep) is the name of the soft, durable fiber that is cultivated from plants of the Cannabis genus, cultivated for industrial and commercial (non-drug) use.

In modern times, industrial hemp has been used for industrial purposes including paper, textiles, biodegradable plastics, construction, health food, and fuel,[1] with modest commercial success.[2][3] In the past three years, commercial success of hemp food products has grown considerably.[4][5]

Hemp is one of the fastest growing biomasses known,[6] producing up to 25 tonnes of dry matter per hectare per year,[7] and one of the earliest domesticated plants known.[8] For a crop, hemp is relatively environmentally friendly as it requires few pesticides[9] and no herbicides.[10]

Cannabis sativa L. subsp. sativa var. sativa is the variety grown for industrial use in Europe, Canada, and elsewhere, while C. sativa subsp. indica generally has poor fiber quality and is primarily used for production of recreational and medicinal drugs. The major difference between the two types of plants is the appearance and the amount of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) secreted in a resinous mixture by epidermal hairs called glandular trichomes, although they can also be distinguished genetically.[11] Strains of Cannabis approved for industrial hemp production produce only minute amounts of this psychoactive drug, not enough for any physical or psychological effects. Typically, hemp contains below 0.3% THC, while Cannabis grown for marijuana can contain anywhere from 6 or 7 % to 20% or even more.[12]

Industrial hemp is produced in many countries around the world.[13] Major producers include Canada, France, and China. While more hemp is exported to the United States than to any other country, the United States Government does not consistently distinguish between marijuana and the non-psychoactive Cannabis used for industrial and commercial purposes.[12]

The variety of appearances for cannabis. Only C. sativa (left) is suited for industrial hemp, but it also has medicinal varieties.

Friday, February 26, 2010


I have neglected my blog lately.
Keeping computer time at a minimum these days because
...I need a new mouse, keyboard and printer as my old stuff drives me crazy and makes my "machine" not running smoothly and the surfing becomes a nightmare.
...flare-up of gastritis just when I have a huge amount of custom orders and really can't afford to take sick-time.
...anticipation of spring and yet another little front lurking around the corner with bad stuff like rain/snow
Okay, so I tried to put a little humor into my obstacles and just get over them. I always do.
I made an hour time today to finally get pictures of a new spring project. To cheer myself up and break the monotony of making hats.
Recycled and adorned with crochet: the black linen crochet eco dress (and it was yet another windy day and not easy to get good pictures, hubby said I should model it, and even though it fits me well, I declined as I don't have any vacation tan left:)

I also went a bit window shopping on the net and came across these fab crochet magazines:
Duplet (now I just wish I could read Russian, the pictures alone make me drool).

The Bohemian style crochet is the most elaborate I have ever seen. I can't even imagine how much time will go into a dress like in the cover picture. But I can look, dream and enjoy the mere possibility.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

February in hibernation

(Oklahoma Southern plains scene, typical for February)

This year the wait for spring seems longer than the past years.
Part of it could be because we enjoyed 5 awesome days in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and returned to bland OK country and its long hard winter, rather atypical.

Hibernation is the best word for my state of mind and being. More introverted. Even though I have come up with some fab ideas for spring I don't feel like the "Jack jumping out of a box" surprise thing, trara, look at my new spring collection. No, not yet.

It's still hot tea time, mainly Earl Grey and Spiced Chai, same as around the holidays. Just that I don't care to light my usual evening candle anymore. I would rather get out on the patio:)

Reading is probably a past time I will carry into spring & summer. The best way to change gears and get into "off time" mode (something that online reading would never permit to let me do, it was always semi-business.)

My reading list of the past few weeks is pretty eclectic, just like me, but with a strong tendency of fairie myth tales.

Destined to witness -- Hans J. Massaquoi (Autobiography, Growing up black in Nazi Germany)
The Middle Kingdom (the fairie world of Ireland) -- Dermot Mac Manus
Iny Lorentz -- Die Wanderhure (German novel, middle ages social drama of a fallen woman)
The Fair Folk (short stories) -- ed. Marvin Kaye
Twilight -- Stephenie Meyer

Presently I am reading "Fox Evil" by Minette Walters, a thrift shop find. Mystery novel in modern England.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Another Valentine's Day is coming...

John Lennon gave us that wonderful phrase "All You Need IS Love", besides other quotes that are not as well known.
I personally like this one:

"We've got this gift of love, but love is like a precious plant. You can't just accept it and leave it in the cupboard or just think it's going to get on by itself. You've got to keep watering it. You've got to really look after it and nurture it."

Plain simple words we all can agree on.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crochet hats and music icons...some of my favorite inspirations

Crochet fashion can be baaaaad (literally speaking), but here are good examples of how crochet hats became unforgettable in the music scene.

Stevie Nicks of Fleetwood Mac and her spider net style beanie cap.

Famous dread tams worn by Bob Marley.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Those were the beginnings...flash back to early designz

As I was searching for certain pictures on my hard drive I came across some very old product photos of early designs. When designs became "designz".

(Someone in a forum called the "z" words "ghetto speak".
Some need to shove their arrogance up where the sun never shines.
My bank teller here in Oklahoma thinks it's cute.)

I had 2 different personalities as a clothes maker for several years on Ebay.
The children's custom boutique scene and my alter ego of hippie-esque clothes and hats which grew to be my true love.
This was my first patchwork skirt, sold on Ebay for $19.95...I was so proud when it sold:)
(Even though I made about $5 on it for endless hours of sewing:)

A custom dress top in toddler Retrochicboutique I was making a lot of crochet tops for little girls. A lot of work considering all the hours of work spent on some of the more elaborate creations.

Early hat selling pictures with a very simple digital camera as they got on the market in the early 2000's.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I forgot to post about Candlemas yesterday

Groundhog Day - Mariä Lichtmess (2. Februar)

The American tradition of Groundhog Day has roots going back to Germany and other European countries. February 2 has long been the date of a religious observance known as Candlemas, or Mariä Lichtmess in German. The following Bauernregeln are also related to the second day in February:

When it storms and snows on Candlemas Day,
Spring is not far away;
if it's bright and clear,
Spring is not yet near).

In Germany, the day has also been known as Mariä Reinigung, das Fest der Darstellung des Herrn and Mariä Kerzenweihe. The latter name (Kerze = candle) is related to the English "Candlemas" name and the tradition of blessing both sacred and household candles on Feb. 2. Up until 1912, Mariä Lichtmess was an official holiday in Germany. The Roman Catholic church has celebrated the feast day of Candlemas since 1960.
(My humble thoughts:)
This day is also observed as Brigid and Imbolc.
Many Catholic holidays have a parallel holiday in various mythologies and ancient religions.
Since I consider myself a believer influenced by New Age and psychologists like Jung but raised in the Catholic tradition I don't have a problem with intertwining. There are many names and shapes of holiness, many ways to worship, which cannot be disputed, because how can you dispute faith? We can only be judged by our actions. Do they bring good or evil, love or hate into this world? The scale of our lives' meaning and how well we live our faith.

Winter turns to Spring

The holiday of Candlemas

, also known as Imbolc, falls

on February 2nd. The ancient

Celtic goddess Brigid was

honored on this day, and even

after she was absorbed into

the Church as St. Brigid

, celebrations for her changed

very little from their Pagan


The name "Imbolc" has it’s

name derived from the Gaelic

“oimele” which means “ewes

milk.” This major Sabbat lies

opposite Lammas, and

represents the very beginning

of spring. This festival is for the

Maiden, her renewal and has

strong roots with the festivals

for the Irish goddess Brigid

. The name “Candlemas” is

from the adaptations of rites

for the Virgin Mary that the

European churches held at the

same time of year.

The plough is an integral part

of Imbolc ritual, this being the

earliest time of year in Europe

to begin ground breaking or

preparations for spring

planting. Some cultural groups

decorated ploughs or held

processions around the fields.

Seedlings for early spring

planting can be started indoors

at this time.