Friday, September 10, 2010

What's this Newfangled Nail Polish?

So I have been hearing a lot about some new nail polish that is supposed to last 2 weeks.  I have been doing nails over 20 years and have seen products come and go and have seen similar products in the past.  Somehow they never lived up to the hype.

Clients have been asking me about what I think so I decided to try it out on myself.  I have nails that will pretty much grow like weeds, most products (gel/acrylic/fiberglass) stick on them well, but as a hairstylist/nail tech and major crafter nail polish never stays on more than a few days.  I mean I bend wire with these nails, shampoo, and remove polish...nothing can stand up to this torture.

Three days ago I quickly (not following any instructions or procedures) decided to paint one nail on my left hand to see how this worked and how it would hold up to my "normal" wear and tear.  Here is a picture of my nail after 3 days....

Yes, I know I need a real manicure...but I was in a hurry!  Since I applied this I have done pedicures, cuts, colors, and bent some wire...I'd say it passed the initial shiny and stays on test.  I am actually considering doing the rest of my nails and I have honestly not worn polish in  years except for special occasions.  My main observation with how it feels is that is reminds me of gel nails.  The first day I definitely felt the product on my nail but now I really don't notice it.  My nail is firmer - doesn't bend when it gets wet - and slightly thicker.  I could definitely see this for a customer going on vacation or someone who can grow their own nails but wants long lasting polish.  I have not tried to remove it yet or seen what the nail looks like after, so I'll have to update you on that.

The number of companies jumping on the bandwagon is growing daily!  The product I am testing in Shellac by CND.  Creative Nail Design is one of the premier nail product companies in the US.  They are the manufacturer of Solar Nails, one of the products that revolutionized acrylic nails.  I learned how to do nails using their products.  The downside is that there are only about 12 colors right now and I know my clients won't all want a french manicure and they like variety.  This product applies like polish, but you have to use special base coat and top coat and cure each layer in a uv light.  I have done gel nails forever, so the procedure is familiar to me.

I started research on the web and found similar products by OPI, Jessica Cosmetics, IBD etc.  I also found some other companies that I haven't really heard of in the past.  They all have similar applications and removal instructions.  I am considering ordering one of the "off" brands and see how they work.

Now here is the controversy...I ran across a number of  forums that discuss these products and their application after you buy them from Ebay, Amazon or any other number of internet resources.  Most if not all of the people in these forums are not professionals and have not been trained to use these products or in nail care.  Do I think that the average person can use these products safely?  Probably.  I remember there was a gel light kit that was sold to home users thru parties back in the 80's.  People bought them thinking they didn't need to come see people like me.  Professionals were up in arms about it, but it really propelled companies to manufacture better products and customers came in to ask for gel nails.  It's the same with acrylics and wraps!  It is MUCH easier to let the pros do it. I also need to state that most of these products - somewhere on the label- will warn that these products are only guaranteed if used by professionals/sold in salons etc.  That means if you screw up your nails doing them at home don't cry to the manufacturer.

It's kind of like hair color...I couldn't begin to tell you how many home jobs I have fixed over the years. 

I'll let you know how it all works out and will probably begin to offer this service soon in the salon

Monday, July 5, 2010

Pigeon Forge TN...a Great Vacation Destination!

So this week we took our first official family vacation!  Yes we have been out of town before, but we usually end up visiting and staying with family.  We decided we needed to have fun with just the three of us and now we really want to make it an annual (at least) thing. We went to  Pigeon Forge.

We did make one little pit stop to visit my Grandma in the Knoxville TN area.  First we went to The Lost Sea in Sweetwater TN.

We had seen signs for this the last visit to Grandma and looked it up on line.  It looked interesting and a way for Terry to "cave" without crawling into a hole somewhere.  It was a great family activity.  This cave is huge and they have handrails and a fairly good walkway throughout.  I highly advise wearing sneakers as there is a lot of red clay dust and pebbles and you walk up and down steep grades in the pathway.  A stroller is a complete waste of time, so wait till the kids can walk on their own (plus being old enough to appreciate the cave helps).  We ended the tour with a ride on the underground lake in a glass bottom boat.  The fish were huge!

I can't say enough about our guide Ashley.  She was very informative about the cave and answered any off the tour questions we asked.  Even though I knew she was using a script, she added her own personality and it never felt like "oh great another bunch of people I have to tell this story to".  Not sure I would do this more than once, but it was definitely worth it.

Then we stopped to eat with my Grandma and Aunt at a Dinner Bell restaurant.  It was convenient for all of us to get there and after checking it out on line, it looked like it would fit our needs.  Grandma likes Cracker Barrel and this was as close as we could get in Sweetwater!  It was a small home cooking style buffet and had a little general store in the entry.  The food was good and fresh even at 4 in the afternoon, they kept bringing out small new portions while we were there.  The waitress we had was really nice and friendly.  My son ordered the "adult" size cheeseburger and it was HUGE! This was no frozen patty slapped on a grill, it looked like they had made the patties by hand.  I added the dessert bar to his dinner for about $1.50 more. There were quite a few guests in and out during our time there, and every one left satisfied.  My Aunt said she would definitely return there with friends and family.  We paid the bill and for five people it was around $50.

We then went on to our room in Pigeon Forge.  I searched on line for hotels and deals (what with it being a holiday weekend) and picked the Quality Inn and Suites across from the Dixie Stampede. (which we didn't get to go to) I joined the Choice Privileges program and got a better rate, but you do have to prepay and it is a non-refundable/no cancellation/no changes type of deal.  The pool was small but obviously recently redone and they provided towels at the pool for the guests.  They could use a few more chairs around the pool for us parents to sit and watch the kids swim until they grow gills.  The room was clean and we lucked out with a first floor room (my husband uses a cane, but I didn't mention it when I booked the room) and it was NON Smoking.  The beds were very comfortable and the linens were very clean with nice fluffy pillows - a must with all the stuff we did to exhaust ourselves!  There was a nice size refrigerator and microwave in the room, which we used.  My only complaint is that at check in we were told there would be bacon as part of the "free" breakfast, and apparently we were not the only guests told that, but it never showed up!  We ate there 2 days and ate our breakfast out 2 days.  I would stay there again, but we are looking at the hotel across the road for our next trip..The River Chase.  They had an awesome slide for the pool and we loved the rustic look.

Our first day we decided to try MagiQuest

I looked it up on line and it is an interactive game where you play using wands and clues.  They have several locations and an on line game too!  I have two "boys" who love dragons, video games, etc so this was perfect for us.  Your first visit you have to buy a wand and the boys got the upgraded ones and we all added special toppers so the price was a bit more than we originally planned, but you only pay for the wands the first time and the returning cost is much lower.

We got the Ultimate Package that included 90 minutes of play, a Mirror Maze, Blacklight Mini Golf and a Lazer Game. It wasn't cheap with the 2 upgraded wands $3 each and the toppers $12 each (I admit I got one too) but we spent about 4 hours there.  We worked as a team to find all the clues and move up to the next level.  Dad and I did the Quest, Maze and Golf, but let Justin use our tickets for the Lazer Game.  We had so much fun!  I also found out that they have a location in the Great Wolf Lodge in Mason OH, about 30 minutes from where we live.  Each location has its' own game running and with our wands we can play everywhere for about $10-12.  I see a trip to Mason in our future.  You can also play on line the first level costs about $10, not sure I'm up for that yet.  I'd rather play in real life with my family.

We needed a break after all of that and chose Bennett's BBQ

for obvious reasons...we are the Bennett Family after all and we love BBQ.  The food was delicious.  We did not use the salad bar, but our portions were more than enough to fill us up.  I got a platter with chicken, ribs, and pulled pork and ended up giving half to my husband.  They had kid friendly food so Justin got the standard chicken strips, no surprise there.  Our waiter was very friendly and we made a big joke out of being Bennetts.  We definitely will return.

We drove into Gatlinburg TN it was packed, and while many people love it we were a bit overwhelmed and glad we were out in Pigeon Forge.  We do want to do the Ober Gatlinburg on our next visit, the tram ride alone would be awesome.  We stopped at this great store and got Terry a cane, I got a beautiful pair of earrings and necklace and we found some straps for our sunglasses for the river trip the next day.

We also somehow ended up at the World's Biggest Knife Store, the things I get talked into!  It was another huge store full of everything you wanted and more.

We checked out some junky gift shops and the Three Bears Store.  We stopped to check out the gem mining (that Terry really wanted to do) and look at the store.  It was huge inside.  We wound our way thru the store to the upstairs where they had the Relaxation Station.  We got lucky that day and got a bargain..15 minutes for only $5 for either the Aqua Massage and the Massage Chairs.  They were great!

This may have been my husbands favorite thing of the day!  We had him worn out from all the walking.  We also got some ice cream and milk shakes and a few test samples of stuff like apple butter and cheesecake.  Yummy.

We were so tired that night I just ran up to the Food City and got us some snacks for the room.  They have a customer card (kind of like Kroger) and oddly enough I have one because my daughter lives in Bristol and I shop there when we visit, however I didn't have it on me, but the lady used the card from the customer in front of me.  We crashed and burned!

The next day we ate at the Red Rooster for breakfast and did the River Rage Tube Ride.  Thank goodness we filled up with protein and carbs!  We needed them for the next part of our day. Now they did warn us the river was down, but we went anyway.  A trip that should be about 1 1/2 hours took me and my son 4 hours...yup 4.  Some of it we spent waiting on my husband to cross the rapids..fall..pick himself up..fall again...walk a few steps...fall again.  He finally just walked up to the road and they picked him up.  I was pretty determined to finish what I started.  Some of the reason for that was to show my son he didn't need to be afraid and he could do it and so could Mom.  The last rapid he fell out of his tube, so I stuck him on mine and let him go telling him to ask grownups for help at the bottom.  I then slowly crossed on my butt so as not to fall and injure myself more. (I have the bruises to prove it)  I could always see him from where I was, and yes, the grownups helped him.  I got to the bottom and we switched tubes.  By the time I could see the end, I was exhausted!  Another nice Dad towed us in most of the way.  I could see Terry waiting and was so glad to get out of the water.  I saw the Dad again and thanked him profusely!  My legs were jelly.  I would do this again, just only when the water was higher.  The staff was great, even offering my husband some medical attention as his leg was cut and bleeding.

On our way back to the room we passed an awesome woodcarving place

I loved this table!  Terry managed to buy a cane that would help in the rest of his trip.  They had fireplace mantles furniture and other carvings that were just beautiful.  We will visit them again.

Showers were definitely in order!  Then we napped and woke up hungry.  We made it a mission to eat local so we tried the Boston Shrimp Restaurant the food was pretty good, but the service was iffy.  If we go back I would get one of the fried platters.  I must mention the was great!  The lettuce was dark green and very fresh.  The broccoli  with my dinner was a huge portion and very well prepared.

On to Go Carts and Mini Golf on the request of the kid!  We rode The Wild Woody, it was so much fun!  We had a coupon so it cost $6 for Justin and I to ride and we flew around the track.  Next time I may buy more points to ride some of the other carts, unfortunately by then he will be big enough he won't need to ride with Mom.

Across the street was the Lost Treasure Mini Golf.  We played the Diamond course and had another great time.  Special note - there were lots of benches and places to sit along the way for a tired Dad!

We ended our day with ice cream from the Mad Dog Creamery right next door.  I got a scoop of Peach and Blackberry Cobbler (drool). 

So the next day we haul our aching carcasses out of bed for breakfast.  We had to try FlapJacks. There are more than one in the area and the food was good, coffee was excellent and service great.  The place was packed.

We headed to Wonder Works.

A lot of interactive exhibits and we felt a good deal for the price.  We avoided the game room and gift shop by using the stroller exit and elevator.  Once you buy your ticket it is good all day so you can leave and come back until they close.  We probably were there 3+ hours and all the kids had fun!

We also stopped at the Mountain Valley Winery.

They offer tours and tastings all day!  We picked up a nice bottle of Mountain Valley Red.  Back to the room for a rest, then we went for dinner at Mama's Farmhouse food was served family style with a daily set menu.  It was all you can eat and it was good, but I don't need to go there again.  It was a little hard for picky kids to have no kid choices at all it was take it or leave it.  Lucky for us the biscuits and ham and banana pudding worked for him.  We then went back for Gem Mining at the Three Bears Store.  It was a deal for $22 (we had a coupon) and we got lots of neat stones out of one bucket.

We headed back to the room to change into bathing suits and swim and also got to see the fireworks display!  Where we were sitting they were right overhead, a perfect ending to a great day and vacation.

On our way back home we stopped at the biggest Bass Pro Shop I've every seen!  Good thing Terry was tired or we'd have been there for hours!

The things I do for my husband!

We are already talking about our next trip...where to stay and what to do.  Definitely Ober Gatlinburg and a helicopter ride.  I also didn't get to shop the craft galleries so I will plan that too while the guys do something else.  The Old Mill area looks promising and would be close to where we stayed.  I can't wait!

I almost forgot...I highly recommend using Banana Boats Sport Performance  Clear UltraMist spf 50.  It proved to be very water and sweat resistant as stated on the bottle.  After 4 hours in the river no sunburns on any of us!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Keratin+ Treatment

Wow!  The results are fantastic and clients are happy with their new hair.  As a stylist I love that I can do a service that leaves the hair in better shape than it was when we started.  Other customers comment on the lack of noxious odors and fumes, and the clients having the procedure done comment on it too!  No gloves or special equipment required!  Now I do have to say you MUST use a 400 degree flat iron while finishing to seal in the keratin.  Be careful because the hair is very hot (I have a blister on my finger to prove it).

This first picture shows Erin before treatment:

She has very curly hair.  To tame it she usually puts it in a tight bun while still damp, that is why it looks smooth on top.  But she has that frizzy hairline all my curly clients hate.  She has tried everything on her hair including trying a relaxer. That ended up with her having frizzy ORANGE bangs.

Here she is after!  Wow!  What a difference.  She kept running her hands through her hair.

Here is my next client.  Karen has very coarse hair that is curly and fuzzy.  Taming this hair has been a challenge for her whole life!
 Here is Karen after a Keratin+ Treatment.

Here is another picture
Karen is a former hairstylist.  The last time she tried to tame her hair was in the 1960's.  At the time she had bleach blond hair and they basically used a perm and combed it through her hair.  She said she watched her curls fall to the floor and she got a "chemical" hair cut.  She ended up cutting it all off into a pixie cut.  She was nervous when we started as she has been growing her hair for awhile now.  By the end she was laughing and smiling and can't wait to show off her new hair DO to her family and friends.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Want Beautiful, Smooth, Shiny, Silky Hair?

I am so pleased to offer the All-Nutrient Keratin+ Treatment.

Keratin "straightening" systems are all the rage now just like the Japanese straightening systems were in the past.  The problem with the Japanese system was that the hair was often not left in great condition at the end of the process...yes it was straight, but not shiny or silky.  I started to hear about Brazilian or Keratin systems awhile ago.  Following my curiosity I looked into them to help my frizzy and curly haired clients.  Most of them contained Formaldehyde, Formalin or Aldehyde.  Not good for the hair, the client, the stylist and other customers in the salon to breathe.  Most systems required gloves, masks, air filtration systems - scary for flat hair!  The FDA has a lot of questions about these products.

I recently was lucky enough to start using All-Nutrient Organic Color and took a class from their head chemist Tony Difraia.  He introduced me to their Keratin+ Treatment.  Wow, the results were pretty amazing.  No fumes, no harmful chemicals and beautiful hair.  I was sold.   This system is so gentle I do it without wearing any gloves.  It is safe for all hair types and can be used over any (yes any) other relaxer or straightener.  It is safe for color treated hair, blocks humidity, protects, repairs and seals hair...who wouldn't want this.  Yes it takes time to have done correctly, but it is worth it.

Today I got to do this service on my first in salon client.  She has coarse, frizzy, wavy red hair.  On a humid day in Cincinnati, her hair lasts about 3 minutes after she walks out the door.  Add to that being a working, single mom who doesn't have the time to spend on her hair.  She left the salon, 3 hours later smiling, running her fingers thru her hair and flipping it around like a model in a hair product ad on TV.

Call me at 513-520-2853 to set up an appointment or just to ask me questions.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

All Nutrient Hair Color

Wow!  First thank you to all the clients of On The Bend for the terrific response to ThermaFuse.  As Cosmo would say...I love it, I use it, I recommend it!  If you haven't tried this product yet, you should!  Manufactured in North Carolina, these people know humidity...and so if they say a product is humidity is.  It smells great and leaves your hair in top condition.  We carry the full line of shampoo, conditioner, styling products and now the Heat Smart Oil.  Response to this product line has been so good, that I already placed another order.
As a side note to professionals in the salon, I love that this company is family owned and operated and they have a commitment to us.   I talked with the CEO last week and he continues to affirm that they will not abandon us and sell in the mass market stores.

 So let me tell you about our new Certified Organic Color line - All Nutrient. Another American made product!  The manufacturing facility is in New Jersey.  I am a long time Wella color user and it took some convincing to get me to change.   I took a class last week and the chemist had a lot to say.... Here are the things that convinced me (yup...gonna be technical now).

This is what makes All Nutrient unique:

Advanced Color Molecular Delivery System
Perfect results - Less complicated - Easy to Mix

- Maximum Pigmentation System provides excellent depth of color
- MicroProtein System - Restructuring while you color (leaves hair healthy, silky and shiny)
- Low Ammonia = Less Damage = Healthier Hair
- 100% Gray Coverage
- Even distribution of color deposit and intensity
- Non-progressive oxidation process (I know you are saying what the heck is that!)
- Easy to mix and use
- Greater conditioning system
- Pleasing, fresh fragrance
-Sulfate-Free Surfactants:
No sodium Laureth Sulfate
No Cocamide DEA
No Cocamidopropyl Betaine
No Parabens

So what does this mean to customer?  It means I am committed to your health and the health of our environment.  I want to support companies that manufacture in the US and hire US workers.  It means that I use products that are held to FDA product standards.  It means that I want to give you beautiful hair using the newest products.

I want to thank you all for your support in the past and in the future.  I will keep looking for products and services to enhance your looks and your life!

To my future me at 859-491-4800. You can always stop in and see me at
On The Bend Salon
1402 N. Ft. Thomas Ave.
Ft. Thomas, KY

Friday, March 12, 2010

I love ThermaFuse!

The product is being unpacked and will be for sale starting March 13th!  You will love what your hair feels like and the smell is fantastic....and it is good for your hair!

We wanted you to know why we wanted to be associated with a company like ThermaFuse...

1.HeatSmart Complex - a revolutionary technology that scientifically improves the health, look and condition or your hair every time you use your blow dryer or curling iron.

2. ThermaFuse products are sulfate-free, sodium-free, paraben-free and 100% Vegan!  They maintain a NO ANIMAL TESTING POLICY!

3. Concentrated formulas make ThermaFuse economical to use..a little goes a long way.
4.ThermaFuse is family owned and operated.  They are located in North Carolina and I can attest to this as my partner has been to the factory!

5. ThermaFuse products are FDA registered for safety and quality control.

In the near future we will be adding a Certified Organic hair color line AND an Organic Skin Care line!  We are researching an organic cosmetic line as well.  We are committed to our environment and the health of our clients.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I love the Newport KY Firestone Store

Well, my 2004 PT Cruiser finally needed more TLC than I could give it at the local quick oil change place.  The brake light came on and there was a vibration in the front end.  We called our favorite Firestone Auto Care location in Newport KY and made an appointment for the blue baby to see a specialist.  I needed 4 new tires, brakes and rotors.  Bummer...I heard cha ching!  Not what I wanted for Valentines day, but it was what I was getting.

The reason we always use this location is the excellent customer service we receive.  The guys at the desk don't make fun of me because I don't know what the heck that thingy on the car that needs fixed is.  They always seem able to get our cars in and out in a day.  We call them to tell them when we are coming, drop off the car, and tell them when we need it back.  We dropped off my car on Saturday at 4:00 PM and at 10:30 AM on Sunday they called and it was ready.

When we got there they accepted all the discount coupons we had printed off the web and suggested we add the lifetime alignment.  Since we were already paying for one alignment it worked out to paying for one more and then never again! (and we had a coupon)  I promise to take the car there at least once a year for this service and get my tires rotated more often.  Cross my heart!

When I fired her up and drove out of the parking lot I was thrilled!  It was like she was brand new again...I even bought some rim cleaner to shine her back up!  I will be interested to see what my gas mileage goes up to.  Yes there is still that nasty bill to pay next month, but I can't complain.  In the 6 years I've owned this car this is the first big work that needed done!  We figured out my maintenance runs about $150 - $200 per year (including this). 

So I figure..I didn't have a tire blow out and cause and accident, the brakes didn't fail (and cause an accident) and now I have a smooth ride again.  I'll take it.

So if you live in Northern Kentucky try the

Firestone Complete Auto Care at 61 Carothers Rd, Newport, KY 41071(859) 491-1400

Monday, January 25, 2010

So Many Bad Hair Cuts...So Little Time

So, by day I am a hairstylist and I always find it funny how many people think I am judging their hair all the time.  I honestly don't look at your hair and think "OH MY GOD!  Does she even own a mirror!"  Not that I don't notice truly horrific hair, but I am trained to look at a person as a whole, and so often hair is a reflection of the persons general attitude about life.  Easy hair - easy going, complicated style - complicated life.

People who spend hours fussing about their hair are often not very fun to be around and they are always late and fishing for compliments.  I mean is JUST hair.  It won't make you a better person, smarter, loved more and if you aren't pretty on the will only help for so long.

Your hair needs to be a reflection of you, but you should not live for your hair.  I know, you can't believe a hairstylist would say this.  I try to talk with you about your limits. Do you own a curling iron and if so can you use one without burning yourself or your hair to a crisp?  In  your dream world I know you want to get out of bed with your hair looking perfect, but that ain't happening.  My job is to take the raw materials that grow out of your head and make them look as good as possible using only the tools you really can use.  This usually means a blow dryer and your hand and if I am lucky a brush.

If you have curly hair, quit beating it to a pulp and wear your curls with pride.  Use products to help with the fuzzies and keep it moisturized.  Straight hair, talk to the curly haired people, they would kill for your hair.  Remember, it is way easier to add the curls than to straighten curly hair.  But you both have nothing to complain about, as long as you have "good" hair.  You know those people.  Not too thick, not too thin, does what they want (within reason) nice color.

For those of you with "bad" hair.  Your hair doesn't want to be bad, it was just born that way!  You need to find a stylist like me that will work with you to maximize your hair potential and teach you how to optimize what you have.  If all else fails, there are alternatives to consider and I know about those too.  My favorite clients are the ones who never thought their hair would look good too, and somehow I wave my magic comb and help them.

And yes, we know most of you cut on your hair at some point in time.  You really can't hide it from us, but we understand.  What you need to understand is that you usually make it worse not better.  So hug your hairdresser today.  She or he must love what they do to put up with all of you (and you know who you are).  I have only fired 2 clients in 20 years.

And for a commentary from your side, check out this funny blog post from the Yarn Harlot.  She was lucky her stylist didn't know how to knit.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Double Pointed Needle Roll

So in my last post I had purchased a set of 15 pairs of double pointed needles.  So I don't lose track of them I made a needle case for them.  I had already made one for my other needles, but I went searching on the internet for some guidelines.

I found this blog by One Potato.   She inspired me to make this one. I made a few changes so I thought I'd write down what I did.

Here is the outside of my needle roll.  I got this great embroidered silk fabric remnant at my local fabric store.  It was on the marked down - marked down table.  It was such a small piece of decorator fabric it would only be good for a pillow...or lucky for me a knitting needle roll.

So here is my inside.  This is a piece of quilting fabric.  I bought 1/2 of a yard and have enough to make another needle roll.  It had an interesting repeat so I made sure to cut the inside lining and the pocket to line up with each other.  It would have been pretty either way, it  was just fun to match it up.

So here is what I did...

I cut the outer fabric into a piece that measures 12 X 18 (inches)
I cut one lining piece 12X18 (inches)
I cut another piece out of the lining fabric 6 X18 (for the pocket) (inches)
I cut two pieces of coordinating ribbon 40 inches long

Now let me start by saying, I wish I had used One Potatoes suggestion to add an iron on interfacing to the inside lining fabric.  It is ok, but I wish it was a little sturdier.  Because my outer fabric is light weight it needs it!  I usually use upholstery fabric and don't need the lining.

I folded and pressed a 1/2 inch on the top edge of the pocket fabric, then I folded it again and stitched it down.  I used a coordinating thread from my embroidery thread stash (over 300 colors).  I then lined up the design and pinned to keep it in place.  This is a miracle!  I used pins!  I worked in a garment factory when I was in my late teens and learned to sew stuff together without ever pinning.  I rarely pin things together prior to sewing.  I stitched the sides and bottom of the pocket piece and the lining piece.

I used a straight edge and pencil and because I just got my needles and they were all in their packages, I measured them and marked my fabric so the pockets would fit them snugly, I then used my straight edge to lightly mark my stitching lines on the pocket.  I left about a 1/2 inch sewing margin around the edge, but I think next time I would leave 3/4 to 1 inch.  I then used my coordinating thread to stitch the pockets.

I folded my ribbon in half and stitched it to the edge of my pocket on the side of the biggest needles. I put my lining with pocket right sides together with the outer fabric.  I stitched the top edge and the sides.  I then stitched the bottom leaving about a 4 inch opening.  I used a 1/2 seam on the sides, but I felt like the pocket was deeper than I wanted it to be so I made that seam about 1 inch.   This worked out nicely with the pattern across the bottom of the pocket.

On my other needle roll, I felt like the top flap needed to be more tapered in, so I tapered this one by restitching the top/sides.  I moved the side seam over on both sides about 1 inch and angled it out to meet the original seam about 3 to 4 inches down from the top.  I trimmed the seams and corners on all sides, but left some on either side of the bottom opening.  I turned the fabric and pressed the whole thing.
 Reminder....your ribbon will be sandwiched between the lining and outer fabric, make sure you don't accidentally sew it into a seam!

To close the opening I top stitched the entire bottom with matching thread on both sides.

I put in all my new needles and  yipee!  They fit

And here it is all rolled up..

 My knitting buddies are loving these and I found a forgotten stash so I guess I need to make some more and put them in my Artfire Store!

Monday, January 11, 2010 review

Well,  I didn't get around to ordering my new knitting needles yet, but several of my friends have.  The shipping was very fast and the needles arrived as described by

My friend Mary Lou got the 6 inch dpns and 9 inch straight needles and loves them.  My friend Holly ordered a set of dpns, straights, and circulars.  She ordered them Friday morning and by Friday night they were shipped.  I expect she will receive them any day now and will post her review ASAP.  My friend Susan ordered the 6 inch dpns and just decided they weren't exactly what she likes.  There was nothing wrong with the needles she just prefers the Clover Takumi needles.  I own some of these and they are lovely needles, but I have a lot of projects going at once and often need multiples of a size and that gets expensive.  So I offered to take her dpns off her hands.

I went to Mary Lou's house to help her with a thrummed mitten project  she is working on.  As a new knitter I applaud her for jumping into this project.  Knitting in the round and adding the fibers and following a pattern.  Way to go Mary Lou!  After inspecting her dpns and 9 inch straight needles, and comparing the straight needles side by side with the Clover needles, I can't wait to get my own set! 

I paid Susan for her set of dpns and need to make a needle case for them now.  The needles seem well made and sturdy.  I compared the size 1's I just bought with the pair I am knitting with and the differences are minimal.  The ones I already had were 7 inches long, they are the Clover Takumi needles.  They are bending just a bit as I knit with them, but that doesn't bother me.  I can't accurately review the new needles until I use them, but the size is etched on to the needles and they feel smooth.  The may be slightly less pointy, but it is a barely noticeable difference.  Having knit with metal, plastic and wood dpns, I like the feel of the wooden ones and the slight give.  If I am knitting with a tight tension the metal ones allow for more slip, but for a small circumference project like socks the wooden ones seem to help me not drop stitches.  So I would recommend you try these needles for the price!

Here are picture of the dpns.  They are individually packaged and shipped in a padded envelope:

Monday, January 4, 2010

It's Knitting Time

So, as soon as it gets cold I start knitting.  I already have made 2 scarves and have 3 different pairs of socks on the sticks.

Here is a scarf I just finished.  I bought a pom pom maker, but decided that it was easier to just do it the old fashioned way and wrap the yarn around my fingers.  This is one of the new styles that is short and is more of a neck warmer, it tucks just inside your coat.

One of the problems with being a cold weather knitter is that I always lose track of my knitting needles.  So today I made myself a needle case.  I found a page with a lot of variables on a theme here is the link to the instructions.

Lucky for me, I have a large fabric stash, so I went to the basement and picked out three fabrics.  I used an upholstery fabric for the outside and two different cottons for the interior, a solid and a print.  I made my fabric roll 17"X20" and have 3 layers of interior slots for needles and notions.  I have pockets for rulers, small scissors, stitch holders etc.  The only problem is I will probably fill it and need to make a second one.  Here are pictures of my creation, I just had to machine embroider my motto " Knit Happens" on it.

 I am ordering new needles from this site
They have full sets of bamboo needles for $25 with free shipping.  I am ordering the dpns and the straight needles.  I bought a pair of size 1's at my LYS yesterday for $12!  Yikes!  I know they are Takumi needles, but they were as much as the yarn for the socks I am knitting.  After reading a review on these needles I figure they are worth the price.

I have been doing a lot of looking around on Ravelry (Facebook for Knitters).  It is a great site with lots of free patterns and I like that I can store them on my profile page as favorites and in my library.  If you knit, you should join this site, it's free and inspiring.

Well, I need to get back to knitting or the yarn will overtake the house along with the beads and fabric.  Stay warm!