Monday, August 25, 2008

A Gnome, a Cowl and a Necklace

I thought I'd share a few pictures of some of the things I've made recently.

I made this little gnome for my friend Emily's birthday because she's really into gnomes right now. I'm not really a gnome person but I almost kept it because I thought it came out so cute. I used a free pattern--Simply a Gnome--which is available here.

This is a cowl I made from another free pattern. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do with it yet--I just felt like making it. It's made from my yarn--Grasshopper Handmade Superwash Merino Sock--in the colorway Silflay.

I've also come up with a new necklace design for my Etsy shop. It's a felted cord with glass beads added in randomly before felting. You can wear it wrapped around your neck up to four times. I really like these--hopefully other people do as well.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

New Semi-Solid Colorways

I've been working for what seems like forever on perfecting a technique for semi-solid colorways and I believe I have finally done it. I have three colorways so far and I'm working on several more. All of the yarns are dyed randomly so they should not pool.

This is Tangled Up in Blue:

This is Elphaba:

And this is Collective:

They are all available in Superwash Merino Sock yarn in my Etsy shop right now.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Artist of the Month Yarn and Interview

My yarn and my Artist of the Month interview are up at yarn4socks today. Yay! I'm unreasonably excited. I'm working on a bunch of new yarns, including a new line of semi-solids, so I'll have lots to share very soon--but for now I just wanted to let everyone know about my temporary fame.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

New Fiber Flower Choker

I recently had a request for a fiber flower necklace, so I played around a bit and came up with this.

It's a crocheted flower on a crocheted and then felted cord. It fastens with a snap underneath the flower. I'm thrilled with it, so now I'm working on more for my Etsy shop. It's been a while since I made any new products for the shop aside from yarn--which makes this even more exciting for me.

My yarn is going to be available at Yarny Goodness starting very soon. I'm mailing my first shipment of yarn today, so look for me there. It's great to be getting my stuff out there more. I'm trying to expand my business a bit and this is one of the ways I'm doing it.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Yarn4socks Order Finished

I have finished and shipped my order for yarn4socks. Yay me. I will be featured next month, but don't worry, I'll make sure to remind you about it then.

I've been putting all of my time into that order, so there is pretty much nothing new in my Etsy shop--time to remedy that. I also have two new yarn bases to try out. So I guess I need to get to work.

I have a small FO to show off. The pattern is called Blanket Buddy and it comes from the book 101 Designer One Skein Wonders. I made it out of Berroco Comfort, which is lovely soft yarn, but I found it a little splitty and hard to work with--although that may be because my knitting is not that good yet. I'd definitely use the yarn again, though.

I made it for Wyatt because he is apparently very into these kinds of toys right now. It came out a bit wonky, but I still think it's pretty cute. And it was good practice.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Busy, But Still Around

Yes, I am still alive. I've been uber busy for the past few weeks--working on my yarn for yarn4socks and a custom order, making some little crocheted toys (which I will show you in a minute) and one other thing...

I believe I neglected to mention that Chris and I got married on April 1st. It was really no big deal--we only did it so that I would be covered under his insurance (hence the April Fool's Day wedding). We've been together for 12 years now, so it really changes nothing for us. But my parents were very excited and insisted on throwing us a party--which was about a week and a half ago. So that was the one other thing I've been busy with recently.

I've been making lots of crocheted toys recently--I don't know why, but it's become somewhat of an obsession. And, of course, I can't be bothered to make something with a pattern, so it's a bit of trial and error. But I've made a couple of fun ones lately. Here is my flying saucer:

And the 'nake I made for my nephew from some hand dyed yarn gone wrong:

I'm pretty happy with both of them although the flying saucer has gone through an improvement or two since I made that one. I'm now working on making both of them in felted versions and when I get those worked out, I may try writing up the patterns for sale.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Two New Colorways

I've put two new colorways up in my Etsy shop in the last week or so. This is Off With Her Head:

And this is Last Night:

Off With Her Head reminds me of candy canes and therefore, Christmas, but I decided it wouldn't make everyone feel that way so I listed it now. I hope I was right about that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

A Few Small Updates

I'm not sure how I managed to forget to mention this, but I will be the Artist of the Month for August at yarn4socks. I'm super excited--this will be my very first wholesale order and it's great exposure. I'm frantically trying to come up with a few new colorways before the order comes in. And, of course, trying to hurry is making it pretty much impossible.

I finally managed to deliver Wyatt's blanket to his mom--the one I didn't really like and thought she wouldn't like either--and she loved it. (His dad has not weighed in yet.) So I guess I was worried for nothing. I still don't love it, but I'm glad she does.

I finished the baby blanket I was making in my last post a few hours before the party. Yay! I didn't manage to get a picture of the entire blanket because of the last minuteness of the whole thing--which is unfortunate. The parents didn't open the presents at the party, so I don't yet know how they liked it, but I was mostly over my concern about that one. (Probably because I liked it so much.)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Racing to Finish

I am working like crazy to finish a baby blanket that needs to be done by Saturday. I started it late last week because the yarn I ordered took extra long to get here. So now I'm hoping I can manage to finish it in time. It took much struggle to figure out what I was going to make (which seems a bit silly since I ended up using my go-to ripple), but I really like it and I hope the parents will too.

It's crocheted from Lion Brand Cotton Ease yarn, which is a cotton-acrylic blend, so it's lightweight but sturdy and it feels like cotton. I know they are unusual colors for a baby blanket, but I wanted something modern looking because I think that's what the baby's parents would want. I love it and I'm thinking of making something in these colors for me.

I also recently finished a small hand towel for Towel Day which was Sunday.

I am a huge Douglas Adams fan (especially the Hitchhiker's Guide), but I am ashamed to admit that I only heard of Towel Day for the first time a month or so ago. So I joined a towel KAL/CAL to make a towel for my very first Towel Day. It's knit from dishcloth cotton and I'm not in love with it (in large part because of the ugly pooling), but it came out okay. I hope everyone can see the 42.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Yarny Shopping

I've been buying a lot of yarn (and yarn related items) lately. I just got a giant box of yarn from Smiley's last week--which included tons of Red Heart Bright and Lofty for $0.77 a skein (love it for kid's blankets) and some Jaeger Roma (currently becoming a tank--more about that later) plus some. And yesterday I got my very first order from Webs and my stuff from the Ravelry Mini-Mart.

Webs is having their annual sale right now so I decided to get some yarn for sweaters since I really want to start making wearables. I also bought a few skeins of yarns I want to try and some cotton/tencel for another tank. I'm super happy with my yarns--the pea green is going to be a cardigan and the burgundy a v-neck pullover (unless I change my mind before I make them, that is).

My pint glasses from Ravelry are wonderful--Chris and I used them last night. I thought I would fortify myself by having a beer in the "frogged" glass before I had to frog a couple of inches of my new tank. (I also ordered a "disagree" shirt, but received a "love" shirt instead, so I will show you that once I get it worked out.)

My newest project is Interweave Knit's Summertime Tunic in sage Jaeger Roma. I love this yarn even though I'm not madly in love with the color. I'm just sorry I didn't order more.

My knitting is still way more uneven than I'd like, but I'm trying to get past that and just make something already. I hope I will succeed and actually finish it, but you can never be sure at what point my perfectionism will take over and I will be forced to frog. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

New Colorway - Boat Drinks

I listed a new colorway called Boat Drinks in my Etsy shop over the weekend.

Most of my sale yarn is gone now--I had quite a run on it. I do have a few more skeins of sale yarn to list still. And I may have a few undyed skeins around that I could dye up and sell--when I get a chance. I'm working hard to fill up the shop with new yarn, so I will try to fit that in when I can.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Wyatt's Blanket

I have finished Wyatt's baby blanket (a while ago, actually), but have not yet gotten the chance to give it to him. It's based on a block pattern from the book 200 Crochet Blocks by Jan Eaton. I just basically expanded everything to make it baby sized instead of block sized. The colors are the same colors that are in Wyatt's bedding.

I'm not in love with it. It's okay, but I guess not what I would have chosen. And I'm concerned it didn't come out the way Emily (Wyatt's mom) expected. I hope she likes it.

As promised, here is a picture of how the blanket was originally turning out.

Chris and I both thought it looked like a hideously ugly flag. So I had to frog and start again at the brown.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Books and More Books

My birthday was last Saturday (not this past Saturday, but the one before that--April 26th) so Chris and I went used book shopping to buy me lots of birthday books. We already have piles of books that have no where to live, but you can aways find room for more, right? We seem to think so anyway.

First we went to our local library which was having a bag sale--all the books you could fit in a paper grocery bag for $3. (We insanely overfilled ours and gave them $6.)

These are some of the more entertaining ones:
The New Complete Hoyle--published in 1956,
The Wonderful World of Science - Book Five--an elementary school textbook published in 1941,
Polly's Homemaking Pointers--1965--love these hilarious/scary old homemaking manuals,
Stitch By Stitch--published 1986
and Creative Needlework--published 1974.
(There were about 15-20 that I didn't take a picture of.)

Creative Needlework has some really fun projects and what Chris and I agree is the pretty much the best picture ever taken. (You might want to click the photo for the larger size to really get the full effect.)

Then we went to several used books stores and got probably 20 more books. Mostly fairly old sci fi paperbacks, as evidenced in the photo. (Including a couple that I believe are out of print.)

All in all it was quite a gratifying haul of books and it made for a happy birthday for me. And after all of the wonderful book buying, we went out for dinner with some friends for the best Indian food ever.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Lots of Yarny Stuff (and a Sale)

I have a new sock yarn base (which I love) which I think I've mentioned before. I have just started dyeing it and I have decided to put all of my older sock yarns on sale for 25% (or more) off. So check it out in my Etsy shop.

I also have a brand new colorway called Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me which was just listed in the shop today (but is on the new base yarn and so is not on sale).

I also listed another new colorway a couple of weeks ago which I never mentioned here called Browncoat--I think it's my new favorite colorway of mine. (That may be partially because of the name, which is a reference to the canceled tv show Firefly and the movie Serenity.)

It sold today, though. I will be trying to get a new one in the shop this week--dyed on the new base yarn no less.

I took a picture of a few of the newly dyed yarns to show off.

From left to right they are: Nightswimming, Valentine Michael Smith, Superhoney and Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me. The Superhoney looks a bit washed out next to the others, but it doesn't really look that pale in real life.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Punch Needle Embroidery (or I never met a fiber craft I didn't like)

So I'm learning a new craft... punch needle embroidery. I've been wanting to learn for a while--since I saw patches that people had made. There were kits on clearance at Joann's so I picked one up. It's quite fun and so simple. This is my first attempt.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Last Minute Taxes

I just finished my taxes for my first year of being in business. Whew. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, eh? (For those of you not in the US, our taxes are due tomorrow.) I had more trouble than I had expected and ended up buying Turbo Tax today. Once I had that, I zipped right through them. I think I need to completely change my record keeping system. And now that I've done my taxes, I have a better idea of how to set up the spreadsheet I'm using to keep track of things. I can't possibly have a worse idea. So it turns out I had a small loss last year, but it was less than I was expecting so I may even make a profit this year.

On a craftier note, I am very nearly done with the crocheting of little Wyatt's blanket. Then I just need to weave in the ends (blech!) and hand it over. I'm hoping Emily likes it. I'm not sure she will--it looks very 70s to me (which I kinda like) and I don't really think that's her style. I don't actually know how I feel about it myself yet. But it's almost done and that the main thing.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Of Yarn and Blankets

I got a box of yarn in the mail today and for once, most of it is for us. I'm going to be making the Babette Blanket as soon as I get a chance to get started on it. I decided to make it in Knit Picks Palette after perusing Ravelry and seeing what other people were using. I didn't want to make it from acrylic, but I also didn't want to spend too much on it, so this seemed like the perfect solution. (Although it's actually quite a bit less than I would have spent.)

I'm using mostly the heathers since those were my favorites--there weren't quite enough, so I had to add a couple of other colors. I'm very happy with the colors I chose, though--I think it should come out well.

As for things not coming out so well... The baby blanket I mentioned in my last post did not work out at all. Emily and I had both felt a little concerned about the green next to the brown and orange and we were right to be concerned. It was coming out hideously. So I partially frogged it and ordered some yellow yarn to replace the green. Hopefully it will go better this time. When I get some of it done again, I will post pictures of both. I don't want to post the before picture without the after, though--it's that bad.

Monday, March 31, 2008

New Crockpot Dyed Colorway

I've finally listed that new colorway I gave a sneak peek of last week and here it is:

It's called Silflay and I'm quite happy with it. I have several other Crock Pot dyed colorways in the works. I love dyeing in the Crock Pot and I'm sure I will do much more of it.

This yarn is for a baby blanket for my friends Emily and Jon's baby, Wyatt. Yes, he is 6 weeks old and should have his blanket already. But it isn't completely my fault. I was waiting for his mom to tell me colors and a style for the blanket for quite a long while. Yes, I have had that information since before Wyatt was born, but I had some trouble dyeing the brown (as evidenced by the yarn I had to buy in brown) and I just haven't gotten around to it. I hope to start the blanket in the next few days and have it done very soon.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Dyeing in My "New" Crock Pot

I finally decided that I absolutely had to have a crock pot to dye yarn in, so we went out today to purchase one. We planned on ultimately going to Sears, but checked at the resale store to be sure they didn't have one before going there. And they had one--for $5.99. I was planning to spend about $20-$30 on one, so this was amazing. It's a Rival Crock Pot--probably 4-5 quarts, which is the smallest I really could have used, but it works. I'm using it right now to work on a new colorway.

You can see a little sneak peek of it through the steam--and you will see it hopefully (as long as it comes out the way I'm picturing) here and in the Etsy shop in a few days.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Kool Aid Dyeing

Last weekend, a friend's little girls, Anya, Kaia and Lily, came over and spent the weekend with us. While they were here, we did some Kool Aid Dyeing. Unfortunately, our kitchen is way too small for all three of them to dye at once, so we took turns. I had a hard time choosing which of the super cute pictures to use--I apologize for using so many. Couldn't be helped, though.

This is Anya:


And Lily:

(By the way, the gloves didn't get that blue from the Kool Aid--those are the gloves that I use to dye my hair.)

Here are the yarns hanging up to dry--from left to right they are Kaia's, Lily's and Anya's:

And here are the girls with their yarns all wound up in balls:

They did such a good job with the dyeing, especially for their first time--the colors didn't get muddy at all. I hope to try this again with them sometime when we have more space and can all work together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


I listed a new colorway in my Etsy shop last week--Nightswimming.

This is a lace weight yarn, but it can be dyed on any of my base yarns. However, I am in the process of getting a new fingering weight base yarn and will be discontinuing all of my other fingering weight yarns. I will not be ordering any more of them, so what I have is it. The new base yarn is a superwash fingering weight merino. I hope to eventually add at least a superwash/nylon fingering weight yarn, but for now, I will only have the one.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Free Pattern for Amigurumi Mushroom

A while back, I posted a picture of a crocheted mushroom I gave to my mom for Christmas. I had so much fun making it that I made a few more and now I've written up a pattern in case someone else wants to make one. This is my very first written pattern (usually I just make notes for myself) so I hope I did okay. Please let me know if you find any mistakes. And I'd love to see pictures if anyone makes one. :)

Amigurumi Mushroom

worsted weight yarn in one or two colors
G hook (or any hook that gives you a tight gauge)
stitch marker
yarn needle
contrasting color yarn (optional)

not important, but should be crocheted tightly

Pattern note:
This pattern is worked in spirals--do not join at the end of each round. Use a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of rounds and move it after finishing each round.

Two color mushroom:
Color A - tan worsted weight merino wool
Color B - red worsted weight merino wool


Rnd 1: Using color A, make 6 sc into magic adjustable ring.
Rnd 2: 2 Sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Rnds 3-9: Sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Cut yarn and fasten off.


Rnd 1: Using color B, make 6 sc into magic adjustable ring.
Rnd 2: 2 sc in each sc around. (12 sc)
Rnd 3: *Sc in next sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (18 sc)
Rnds 4-5: Sc in each sc around. (18 sc)
Rnd 6: *Sc in next 2 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (24 sc)
Rnd 7: *Sc in next 3 sc, 2 sc in next sc: repeat from * around. (30 sc)
Rnd 8: *Sc in next 4 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (36 sc)
Rnd 9: *Sc in next 5 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (42 sc)
Rnd 10: *Sc in next 6 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (48 sc)
Rnd 11: *Sc in next 7 sc, 2 sc in next sc; repeat from * around. (54 sc)
Rnd 12: *Sc in next 7 sc, sc2tog over next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (48 sc)
Rnd 13: *Sc in next 4 sc, sc2tog over next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (40 sc)
Rnd 14: *Sc in next 3 sc, sc2tog over next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (32 sc)
Rnd 15: Sc2tog around. (16 sc)
Rnd 16: *Sc in next 2 sc; sc2tog over next 2 sc; repeat from * around. (12 sc)
Cut yarn and fasten off.

If you would like a face on your mushroom, embroider it now with the contrasting yarn.
Stuff cap and stem with fiberfill and whip stitch together.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Two New Colorways On Etsy

I've listed two new colorways on Etsy in the past week.

Honah Lee:

and Superhoney:

These can be done on any of my base yarns just like all my other colorways, so if you want something in a different yarn, please just let me know. I am currently trying to decide on new yarn bases, so these will be changing shortly. And I think I'm going to pare down to only 3 or 4 different ones--for now at least.

In vaguely related info, I recently bought Photoshop Elements to try to make my pictures better. I have been using iPhoto, which has worked fairly well, but I'm starting to feel like it's not quite good enough. I haven't quite figured out Photoshop Elements, so if anyone has any advice for me, I'd really appreciate it. My main problem is that the colors on my photos often don't turn out properly. I am already using a (homemade) lightbox, so the only thing I can think of is to fix the pictures in editing. And even with Elements, that seems to be much harder than I had anticipated.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sadly Neglected Blog

I have been neglecting this blog as of late and I sincerely apologize to those of you who read it. I have lots to post about, so I will be trying to be a little more regular about it.

For today, I'm just going to give you a photo of a recently finished baby blanket.

I made it for Chris's new nephew, who is due in just a few weeks. It's made from Bernat Cottontots using this pattern. I made a ripple from Cottontots for this baby's brother and wanted to make a similar (but not exactly the same) blanket for him. So this is what I decided to make. I'm pretty happy with it.

Monday, February 4, 2008

More Knitting

I have been doing lots of knitting lately, so I decided it was time to tackle mittens. After a few false starts (I didn't like the way the original yarn was working up and then the mittens were way too small), I managed to make myself a serviceable pair of mittens.

I made them from a pattern I found on Ravelry (how did I ever live before Ravelry?) called Warmest Mittens and my hand dyed yarn. (I added a few rounds to the hand and the thumb to make them longer and now the thumbs are too long--whoops.) When I picked up stitches for the thumb, I made fairly large holes, but I think I sewed them up pretty well. I wouldn't give the mittens as a gift, but they're definitely wearable.

I also discovered while making these that I really like working with double pointed needles. Odd. I had only used them in the past to finish hats worked mostly on circular needles and I thought I hated them. I had been avoiding patterns using them and while I really want to learn to knit socks, I was afraid to try them--mostly because of the DPNs. But now I think I'm ready for socks. We'll see.

I love wearing mittens that I made--I think I'm more excited about these than I have been about anything I've made so far. I'm not really sure why that is except that maybe I thought mittens would be too hard for me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Yoshimi Colorway

Yesterday I listed a new colorway in my Etsy shop. It's called Yoshimi. I think I may make myself something out of it and I don't even like pink. (At least, I didn't used to like pink--I think it may be starting to grow on me again.)

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tiny Baby Gifts

I went to a baby shower last weekend, so now I can finally show you the gifts I made for my friends Emily and Jon's baby. (He's due in the middle of next month, so it shouldn't be long now.)

I actually started these way back in July when I found out they were expecting. The hat is my own pattern and the booties are from a pattern in an Annie's Attic booklet called Precious Baby Booties. I love how tiny baby stuff is--it always seems like it's actually too small to fit a human being.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Baby Gifts

So I made a hat for my friends' son, since I made one for their daughter.

It's a helmet hat made from this pattern. I changed the ear flaps a bit since I thought they were too small the way they were. I'm mailing the hats and the blanket I finished for him ages ago today. Finally.

I'm working on another knit pattern. I seem to be actually enjoying knitting for the first time recently. I never thought I'd get to like it. I'm making a pair of baby booties for one of the babies that will be arriving this year.

They are made from this pattern and my hand dyed merino superwash. The picture does not show the yarn color very well--it's brighter (and prettier) than that. The booties are going okay, I guess. I really love the way the yarn is working up, but I can't do a ssk to save my life. They are very loose and, I think, look bad. I will try to post a picture of what I'm talking about later on.