Saturday, April 28, 2007

International Shipping

I have noticed that I've recently gotten a few hits on this blog from outside the US. (I'm a bit amazed to have gotten any hits--let alone ones from other countries.) And, in case anyone went to my Etsy shop and noticed I do not offer international shipping, I wanted to post about it. I am planning to offer international shipping in the near future--even though I'm slightly terrified of doing it. The USPS is changing all of the shipping rates on May 14th and, as I can't really seem to understand the changes without the handy rate calculator (which I assume will be updated then), I am waiting until after that to begin offering international shipping. Another reason I am waiting is that I will have to also change my US shipping prices at that time and I so do not want to have to change each listing twice. If you're interested in buying from my shop right now and you aren't in the US, please contact me and I will work out international shipping charges on a case by case basis.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Yellow Dye Again

Well, no one took advantage of my birthday sale--not much of a surprise since I've just started this blog and haven't really publicized it at all. However, a very nice Etsian sent me a convo to tell me that she saw my post and wish me a happy birthday. That was very sweet.

So, I posted a while ago that I had gotten my yellow dye to dissolve and not separate which is true, but... it did fall out of solution by the next day.

It was pretty, though. I thought it looked a bit like dandelion seeds in the dye. I decided I better try heating it again since I didn't know what else to do. It took a while, but it worked. I have since discovered that yellow dyes in general don't like to stay in solution, so it wasn't me--just normal dye behavior. Luckily, I haven't yet thrown out the first batch of yellow I mixed, so I will try reheating that and see if it is salvageable as well.

But now I have yellow yarn (well, yarn with yellow in it) which is far more exciting to me than it should be. I did list some yarn today on Etsy, but not the yellow. I will be listing that shortly.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday and because of that (and also because I know no one reads this blog anyway), I am offering 33% off one item in my Etsy shop to anyone who mentions my birthday in the seller's notes at checkout. Don't pay immediately and I will send you a revised invoice as soon as I can. If you buy more than one thing, I will take the 33% off of the most expensive item. This sale will end at 12:00 am EST. I will be gone this evening, but when I get home, I will check for sales and send out revised invoices. Oh, and if you know me, please still feel free to get in on this sale. Someone should and I don't know who else will be reading this.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pile of Promos

I have been working for days on a bunch of promos for my Etsy shop.

Octarine is a wonderful Etsian who puts together and sells in her shop promo bags of Etsy stuff (at no profit to her, no less) from whoever sends it to her. She calls it "All Things Etsy" and apparently the bags sell quite well. (She also makes lovely jewelry--I especially love the glittery resin pendants.) I decided I must get in on this since I need to get the word out that I exist. So, after much pondering, I came up with something I could use as a promo... crocheted flower keychains made from my handpainted sock yarn and attached to one of my home-printed business cards.

I thought they would be cute and simple and give at least an idea of what I do. Well, I'd never tried to crochet so many of them at once--I wasn't sure I'd ever finish. But I have finally made fifty of them and I will be sending them off--with a similar pile of business cards--to octarine tomorrow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Learning to Tat and Reshoots

I've been trying to learn to tat for a few weeks now. Every time I got too frustrated, I just put it down and went back to it later. I couldn't manage to get the stitch to flip, which is supposed to be the hardest part of tatting. And then yesterday, it all clicked and now I can tat. Yay me!

I have only learned the double stitch so far and I'm really not very good at it yet, but I am so thrilled that I finally managed. I was starting to think I was never going to get it, but of course, I always think that. I was so convinced I would never be able to knit that I was on the verge of quitting forever when that clicked for me. (Not that I'm a great knitter now--which is why you don't see any of my projects on this blog. :) ) At least I don't actually give up.

When I was taking the picture of my tatting, I finally decided to reshoot one of my hairpins from my Etsy shop.

I always take all my pictures on a white background and when I did this one--since it wouldn't really show up on white--I just grabbed a piece of cardstock and took it on that. The cardstock was purple and very glaring. I think blue suits it much better--it is a cloud after all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Dye Success (and Some Sock Yarn)

I got my Yellow Sun dye to dissolve and not separate, which feels like a huge victory to me. I started over and used a lot less dye and heated the water in the microwave (which I have not been doing, thinking that hot tap water was good enough) and voila...

(And I took the label off the jar this time to appear a bit less tacky.) I'd been thinking that dyeing should be more complicated than it is and now I feel like the world is behaving more normally, since mixing the dye became at least a bit more difficult. I think I might have to throw away the first yellow dye that I attempted to mix, though. Maybe I'll try once more to fix it. But now I have yellow dye and I am happy.

I also listed one of my new sock yarns on Etsy today.

It's very bright and seems maybe a bit more spring/summery to me than my others. I tend not to pay much attention to what colors are seasonally appropriate for myself, but I know other people do, so I am trying to be more cognizant of it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Wallets and Dye Problems

I'm starting to list the new wallets on Etsy. This one was listed yesterday:

I won't be listing them all in a row, since I like to try to space out listings of the same types of things in order to have a listing high up in different categories. But I am working on it. I decided that these should be a bit more inexpensive than the larger ones, since they appear to be easier or cheaper to make.

I did do some dyeing yesterday even though I have been having quite a bit of trouble with my new yellow dye.

As you can see, it decided to separate. (And yes, that is an olive jar--I reuse.) I don't know how well you can see it in the picture, but it also refused to completely dissolve. I have looked into the problem and discovered that the separating is a common problem with Jacquard Yellow Sun dye, which is what this is. So I tried some of the fixes I found online--no help. I think now I am going to try starting over with less dye and more water and see if I can get it to work. I'll post about how it goes.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Wallets and Hats

Well, I finally have new wallets almost ready to go. They are crocheted and felted--now they just need buttons and snaps. And picking out the buttons is half of the fun of making them.

I made them quite a bit smaller than the old ones and I really like them better. They just seem so cute now. I don't think I'll make any more in the old size. I listed the last of the large wallets on Etsy and will hopefully be getting some of these up in a little while.

I will be ordering some more Bernat Cottontots yarn this week because my mom wants to special order some of the bucket hats. I have been avoiding figuring out more sizes, but now I'm going to have to. She wants one 3-6 months, one 2 years and one 4 years. So, I guess once I do that, I'll be able to list some in those sizes. Which is good.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Yarn and More Yarn

Yesterday, I got a box of yarn (and two colors of dye) from KnitPicks. I so love getting boxes of yarn in the mail.

This is the Palette yarn I got--although you can't see all of it because some is hiding in the back. It's the yarn I use to make my wallets. You may notice that they seem to be mostly pastel colors. This is because I realized that I didn't have any pastels. Now, I may not be a pastel person, but I know other people are, so I thought I better buy some. Also, I have been reading that some of these colors are in for the spring, so better to sell things with, I suppose. Just because I can't keep up with what's popular doesn't mean I shouldn't sell it. :) And, lucky you, you also get to somewhat see my light box, since it's not really meant for taking pictures of large things and I could not manage to get the yarn to be smaller.

I also bought some more Bare sock yarn to dye. And, as I said at the beginning of this, two new colors of dye--yellow and turquoise. It seems to me that the superwash/nylon yarn is more popular than the merino, so that's what I got. (Not that I'm basing this on my sold yarn--can't really decide that on one skein.) I also think the superwash is just more practical.

What all this yarn means is that you should hopefully shortly be seeing new wallets in the shop. I have decided to make them a bit smaller because they feel a bit unwieldy to me. And you should also hopefully shortly be seeing new sock yarns as well.

Monday, April 2, 2007

New Products

Since I started my Etsy shop, I've mostly only offered felted things. I'm not really sure why that is except maybe because I really enjoy felting. (It's kind of fascinating to see something start out as a shapeless crocheted mass or a blob of wool and end up being sturdy and shapely.) I've meant to have different things since the beginning, but I just haven't. Well, all that has finally changed. I am now selling crocheted summer baby hats and crocheted iPod cozies. The ones pictured and others are available in my shop. And I'm still making them, so there are more to come.

The hats are again made from Bernat Cottontots, which makes them very soft. The cozies so far have been made from leftover merino wool and vintage buttons, but I could make them out of almost anything, I imagine. I've never really been a cozy person, but making these is changing my mind. They are just so fun.

Now if I can only manage to list something that isn't fiber related...

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Baby Blanket Bingo

A few weeks ago, I made a blanket for a friend's one and a half year old daughter. It's a plain crochet ripple blanket made in Bernat Cottontots yarn (which I love for baby things even though I'm not insanely fond of the colors it's available in), but I thought it came out quite nicely. The munchkin seemed quite fond of it, so that was gratifying. (And completely unexpected. What kid is interested in a blanket?) Her mother seemed to like it as well. I didn't manage to get a decent picture of it unfolded, unfortunately, but here it is:

I enjoy making baby blankets, but I think I'd have to charge so much for them that I wouldn't even want to try to sell them. I should really at least try to figure out how much I'd have to charge before I decide, I suppose. I'll have to think about that.