Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blog Title #1054a

Ya, since moving to blogger, coming up with daily titles gets old...

Anyway, I just put up an other tote bag on Etsy. Still no sales yet. I'm hoping that I'm not wasting time and money.

So anyway, let's talk about what I'm working on.

I have two projects that I'm on the second sleeve. Why can't I just get them done??? The crochet shrug/cardigan is well into the second sleeve and Matt's Because I Love You sweater is half way thru the increases on the second sleeve. Neither project has a lot of finishing after the sleeves are done... so why is it so hard to just focus on them??

Maybe 'cause I'm easily distracted. I ordered a couple of books from Amazon.jp yesterday and I pulled out one of my Japanese crochet books... to work on this shawl:

The thing I looove about Japanese crochet patterns? They're 100% charted. No written directions at all. I find written crochet directions extremely difficult. Okay, I just like pictures. It's easier for me to see where the stitches go when I have a graph than to explain to me verbally what I'm supposed to do.

So I made two motifs yesterday (well, actually 3, but my first one was too large, so I went down a few hook sizes). I'm using a beautiful hand dyed lace weight wool gifted to me. It might not have the same drape as the silk Japanese one, but the red is just stunning.

So while it's stunning, I must try to finish up one of these "almost" done projects. So off to concentrate on the crochet cardy sleeve!

Keep on Knittin'!

Monday, January 29, 2007

There is Actual Knitting Content...

but you'll have to look for it.

I got Matt's crochet beanie done:

I would say it was a resounding sucess. He wore it yesterday and it was just right. Thin enough to fit under his bike helmet, absorbed the sweat nicely and it didn't felt to his hair (heehee).

I like it so much, I started one for me:
The sock yarns really do work well for this. That's Fearless Fibers superwash sock yarn in the Sublime color way. Yummy! I've added an eyelet row every 10 rounds just to keep myself from getting bored.

So that's the crochet content for the day (and the only photos).

I spent all day yesterday with the tote bags. I'll have an other tote to put up on Etsy later today (waiting for decent light for photographs). This will be a knitting themed bag (with kitties!).

Now the knitting content!

I've divided the Sitcom Chic for the armholes and cast on the first sleeve. I then went looking for my size 8 dpns. I either don't have any or they're in a project (tho' I haven't the faintest idea what project I have that would require size 8 dpns). So it's been put on hold until I can pop out and get a set.

Matt's Because I Love You sweater is progressing niceley. Second sleeves are tough. Especially when they're boring, say like in a 2 X 2 rib... but it's getting there and I think it'll be done in time for Valentine's Day (which is very appropriate, eh?).

So I've got a few errands to run today (and it's messy out... so I won't be taking the new car. Sigh) and I hope to work on some totes!

Have a super great Monday!
Keep On Knittin'!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Not much here...

Not much to report here...

I'm still on a crochet kick and decided to do some quick charity hats while the mood struck me:


The bottom one is still in progress.

Pretty fast and easy. Matt asked for one (the tan and cranberry is too girly for him... I mean it actually has a color in it!) but he wants it for when he rides. That makes some issues. I can't use anything that will felt. So no alpaca and no pure wool. I don't want to use acrylic, as it will get wet while he's riding (he's been known to sweat a bit) and acrylic just wouldn't be warm once it got wet. I did a little stash diving and I'm thinking sock yarns might be the best solution. I dug out some Opal Cotton in colors that he can live with (browns and denim) and I'll see how it works up. The combo of cotton and wool might work really well. The cotton might absorb the moisture and the wool will keep his head warm. We'll see.

Speaking of stuff for Matt, proof that the Because I Love You sweater is progressing:
One sleeve done and the second under way!

Not much will get done today crafting wise. We have dinner guests coming tonight (and the house is a complete mess). So I'll be cleaning/cooking today. At least I'm not going out in the freezing cold!!!!

Keep warm!!!!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Open For Business!

Yep, I spent yesterday morning finishing up a tote bag and decided to go ahead and get them up on Etsy. The rest of the day was designing my Etsy shop (then I decided I liked the way it looked, so did an update here as well..plus it was time to change out the fall theme).

I'm still not 100% sure about my pricing. I tried to figure in material cost and time, but the problem with crafting is that the time put into it rarely is reflective in the price. I'm also still working on getting decent photographs (as always).

As a matter of fact, Matt wore the Silver Creek Gansey to work on Monday (and yes, it looks great on him... me, not so much). A woman complimented him on his beautiful sweater "where did you get it?". When she found out I made it, she immediately asked "how much does she charge?". Matt's response "more than you're going to want to pay".

So two bags are up for sale, and I hope to add a bag or two every other day or so. I know that I'm always looking at the Time Machine for newly listed stuff when I shop Etsy (plus the occassional "knitting" or "yarn" search).

Right now I have "generic" bags up, but I'll be adding some themed fabric (specifically knitting themed) soon.

As far as actual knitting? Well, Matt's Because I Love You sweater is progressing nicely... the first sleeve has less than an inch to go! Woo-Hoo!

The crochet cardigan is stalled a bit. I did start an other crochet shrug from the same booklet, but I'm not sure it's me. I enjoy doing crochet, but I guess when I come right down to it, I struggle with how the projects end up looking. I love my Delicate Summer Jacket, so I think I just need to find the right crochet project.

So I guess I'll do some sewing this morning, then some knitting this afternoon... oh ya, and I still haven't vacuumed.

Keep On Knittin'!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Sorry to be MIA

But I was busy today.

Full post tomorrow (I hope!)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Clever Monday Morning Title

Yet an other busy weekend.

I taught a finishing class on Saturday at Olde Peddler Wools. I had 7 students and we covered a lot of material in 2 hours. It was a lot of fun and I never got a question that I couldn't answer. I know that I'm a cocky knitter (gauge? we don't need no stinking gauge) and sometimes it comes back to bite me, but I didn't realize how comfortable I am with my knitting until then. When asked a specific question, I can answer it confidently from my own experience (usual disclaimer involved... there are no knitting police and everyone has their own preference. I always say this is what I do and I try to explain why). I learned some things about the teaching process and I'll try to apply those to the Fixing Mistakes class I'm teaching next month.

I think that's why I like knitting... I don't know everything (still need to work on that crochet steek...) and it constantly keeps me challenged. While I might get bored with a specific project, I am constantly learning things about knitting.

Which is why I spent all weekend crocheting (heehee).

The Granny Rectangle Afghan is done (no picture as Matt borrowed my camera and I have no idea where it is. Probably with his glasses, wallet, keys, heart rate monitor watch... or what ever else he lost this week). I worked until I ran out of yarn. I probably had enough yarn to do one more round, but wasn't sure about how much my border was going to use. It's fine, yes would I have liked it bigger... absolutely, but that one extra round still wouldn't make it as big as I would've liked. Either way, it's a pretty afghan and is more "lapghan" than afghan. A nice "use up stash" project.

I have the second sleeve underway for the cropped crochet cardigan. I hope to have it finished up today. I want to get some things done, as I feel like I'm juggling a lot of projects right now and I feel very scattered. Oh and I really really need to get Matt's Because I Love You sweater done.

There's just never enough time!!! So I'm off to see how much stuff I can get done. (hmmm, why can't he lose the vaccuum???)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Mostly Crochet Today

So it's cold plus I have a cold, so there's really only one thing to do: crochet an afghan: A nice Granny Rectangle. Simple, fast and cozy. Already thru three skeins of Homespun (which I can't knit with, but makes for fast cozy crochet afghans).

I did finish up the first sleeve on the crochet shrug cropped cardigan.
I haven't made up my mind if it's "me" or not. I'm afraid that I'm in a weird age for it... too old for it to be "hip" yet not old enough to be "70's hippy". I'll finish it and see what I think. It might be lovely in the summer as a light jacket...

The knitting isn't picture worthy. I worked a bit on the Jean Frost Cardigan. The Sitcom Chic is still just shy of dividing for the armholes and Matt's Because I Love You sweater is still at the first sleeve (but it is progressing).

I took my tote to SnB last night for some feedback. The straps are a smidgeon too short (especially if you have a coat on), but that'll be easy to correct on the next ones. Now I've got to work on my photography to get good color representation:
That's with decent natural light, but it seems washed out. I know that having a good color representation is important. I don't want people to order a bag and it to show up in a completely different color than what they thought it was going to be.

Off to do some laundry (it just never ends) and do some art work for Matt's racing team. I'm hoping to get some sewing done today. If not, I've got lots of knitting and/or crocheting to work on!

Keep On Knittin!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Still Here...

Still suffering from a headcold and a busy schedule.

The Crochet Cardigan is stalled (just due to time constraints) but the first sleeve is almost done.

I got quite a bit done on the Sitcom Chic last night while we watched Emmanuel's Gift, a truely great documentary. Just enough subtitles to make crocheting hard, but st. st. is perfect. I have about 1" to go before I can start the sleeves.

I got my first tote done. I also did a cost analysis and I need to find cheaper supplies. For me to recoup my investment, I need to charge more than I want. So I did some searching and have some interfacing coming which will save me over $4 a bag.

I'm not sure if I'm going to sew today. I need to do some laundry and we just got back from getting grocercies. It's a good day to snuggle in with my knitting (or crocheting) and try to keep warm.

Sorry about the lack of photos (again). I'll try to have some for tomorrow...

Keep on Knittin'!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Achooooooo!!!!!

A truely quick post (ya, I know I say that a lot).

I'm feeling pretty icky today so I'm not bothering with the photos.

The crochet cardigan is zipping along. The body is done and the first sleeve is at the half way point. I might have it finished by tomorrow (or even today depending on what I decided to work on).

The Sitcom Chic is also zipping along. I can't watch TV and crochet... ah, but st. st. is perfect for playoff football! I have maybe 2" of to go before I hit the sleeves.

I'll brew a pot of tea with honey, snuggle in with my box of tissues and see what I can get done... and not think about the really hot boots I tried on on Saturday that I have absolutely no purpose in owning....

Keep On Knittin'!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cloudy Sky

It's really overcast this morning, so I'm stuck with artificial light photos...
I guess at this point I really can't call this a shrug anymore. So we'll call it a cropped cardigan. It's moving quickly now that I've divided for the armholes. The right front is done and I'm moving along on the back. Hopefully the sleeves will go quickly, too!

I finished up the increases on the body of the Sitcom Chic, so now it's just a matter of back and forth st st. Isn't that exciting!!!


That's about all I worked on yesterday. The Basketweave socks in Fearless Fiber yarn is progressing, but as with all second socks, at a much slower pace.

I have no idea what I'm going to work on today. Whatever strikes my fancy, I guess! Maybe I'll have a finished project for Monday???

Keep on knittin'!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Busy Week...

Yet not much to show for it!

I have yet to work on the totes this week.. so it looks like the Etsy shop won't be opening this week... I'll keep ya posted.

This is why I love the idea of Etsy... unlike doing craft shows where I have to have a lot of inventory, I can just add to Etsy as I get stuff done. Less pressure and I get to do what I want when I want. Having done the craft show thing, this is much more my style.

The crochet "shrug" (which is now a cropped cardigan) is ready for neck and armhole shaping. It's going to go pretty quickly at this point. I have to say that I'm really enjoying crocheting right now. It's a nice break from my usual knitting.

I'm just about to do my last increase on the body of the Sitcom Chic, so that's moving well too.

I also did take the sleeve off the Because I Love You Sweater and restarted it... cuff up. Even tho' I'm making the next to smallest size for Matt, I decided to do the largest sleeve to compensate for his upper arms.

I do plan on sewing today, but again, I have some chores to take care of (I really want to get the Christmas decorations down. I wanted to get them down over last weekend, but it was a busy weekend for both of us, and we just didn't get to it).

So lots to do! Never enough time to do all that I want (and I gotta stop looking at new projects!!!!)

Keep on Knittin'!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Crochet Is Addictive

The Crochet Shrug is moving aong very very quickly. If I wasn't lengthning it, I would be way past the V neck shaping.

I have to admit that while I love doing crochet, I find it really hard to find patterns that I like done in crochet. I'm very picky. One of the keys is the weight of the yarn. The heavier weight yarns look like afghans when crocheted. I was thrilled to find a handful of crochet patterns at Dreamweaver Yarns that I love.

I'm in search of yarn to make this right now:
The pattern calls for Rowan's Wool/Cotton and Kidsilk Haze work together. I know I'll have problems with the Kidsilk, I would prefer a cotton. I did try Elann's Sonata (a perfect crochet yarn), but my gauge is way off so I either have to make a different size (a serious consideration) with current gauge or find an other yarn. I'm leaning towards just changing the pattern.

So no knitting for a few days, and I ended up not sewing totes yesterday. I did check the Because I Love You Sweater on Matt last night and I was right.. the armholes aren't deep enough. While a woman's size works well with Matt, I have to remember that he needs deeper armholes than most women. So I'll frog off what I got done and start again. I may even do them traditionally: casting on the cuff and working up. Might be easier in the long run.

Off to do some crafting! Lot's to do... and a little of everything planned for today!

Monday, January 08, 2007

A Quick One (sans pictures)

It's a completely miserable Monday morning here. Dreary and rainy, and the temps will drop as the day goes. It looks like our upcoming week will be a rollercoaster of changing temps.

So my first class went okay. I had two very eager students. We're making the Taste Of Aran Afghan. Darlene and I had hoped that we could do it in 12 months (two blocks a month), but I think that's too much for the students. So we'll just do one block a month for 20 months.

The rest of the weekend was spent working on totes. My biggest problem with them is the amount of interfacing I'm using. I like the feel of it, but since I interface both the bag and the lining, I'm going thru more than I expected. Of course that also effects my cost. I don't want to change how I make them, as I really like the way they're working out, but I've got to find a more affordable sourse for fusible interfacing (meaning, I need to look into wholesale... meaning a tax id number... meaning I have to charge sales tax in PA... meaning more paper work).

I did start yet an other project! Woo-hoo! Eight days into the new year and I think I've already started 4 projects! That might be some kind of record, even for me!

I bought a bunch of crochet patterns last week from Dreamweaver Yarns (ya, a good source for crochet patterns). This is the one that I worked on this weekend:


I'm lengthening the body a bit so it hits my waist. I love how fast crochet is!!!!

So today, I'm going to throw on some loud hard rock and sew up some totes!!! I'm hoping to have my Etsy shop up by the end of the week!!!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Class Prep

I teach my first class tomorrow. I only have 2 students signed up, but since it's a block of the month class, we're hoping that more join in as we go...

I'll also be teaching a fair isle class later this month... since I knit soooo much fair isle (heehee)

I'm working on the shop/class sample right now:
The pattern is Cabin Fevers Starry Night Purse. A perfect project for beginner fair islers. Uses traditional fair isle and there's only 3 colors in the whole project. It's small (the purse is only about 6" wide). I should have the knitting done today... I'm not sure about handles. I might just do a twisted cord rather than I cord. We'll see.

I'm off to meet some friends for coffee this morning (instead of fitness walking at a local park... I'm a weenie and won't walk outside in the rain. That's why I have a treadmill!)

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Finally!

And there was great rejoicing!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Too Many Cardigans?


The Jean Frost Cardigan is moving along. I usually struggle with shaping in lace, but this lace pattern is a no brainer and it's moving along nicely.

I will say that there is an "official" name for this cardigan: "bobbly-pointed edges". Which has two problems. One, I decided not to do the bobbles (since they're right at the widest part of my hips... don't need extra fabric there!) and it's a really stupid name. I realize that The Jean Frost Cardigan isn't much better... espeically if I make an other cardigan designed my Jean Frost, but what else to call it? Hmmm... let's see. I'm using Cotton Ease in Pistasio. The Pistasio Cardigan? Any other suggestions welcomed! (and don't forget that I'm a huge Surrealist fan... "Early Morning Frost Served with Pistasios on Laced Cables")

Anyway, The Sitcom Chic is also moving along:
I really do love the way the Cara Mia knits up. It's so soft and "squishy".

That's about all I did yesterday. I did look at the new Cotton Ease pattern on the Lion Brand site (it's a crochet "matinee" pattern...the link requires registration on the Lion Brand site. hrumph). While I love the shape, I don't like the weight. Crochet is bulky enough and using a worsted weight yarn and hdc makes for a pretty bulky cardigan. However, I really love the shape. I might play with some crochet stitches and a smaller yarn to see if I can come up with something that I'm more likely to wear.

And no, there's no such thing as too many cardigan.

Keep on knittin'!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Hello 2007!!!

I hope everyone had a great holiday... ours was pretty relaxing:

Today we're back to the old day to day grind. I'm thinking I might head to the gym around 5:00 this afternoon... I'm sure it won't be busy. (okay, let me be honest: we joined the gym several weeks ago and I still haven't gone once. However, it's inspired me with my home workouts. So I'm paying a monthly gym fee to keep me motivated to workout at home???)

Actually, while I'm not a huge fan of New Year's Resolutions, I do usually try to get a little better organized at the beginning of the year. I do have some things that I need to prepare for.

I'll be teaching my first knitting class (to strangers) on Saturday. I need to get a little better organized and have some kind of lesson plan set up so I don't come across like the unorganized scatter brain that I am...

The other thing? Yes, I'll be starting to sell totes on Etsy. I'm still in the planning and research phase, but I should have some totes up for sale in a few weeks. They'll be a good size to carry knitting projects around in.

As far as knitting goes? Hmmm... I'm sort of jumping from project to project a bit right now. The Jean Frost Cardigan is moving along fairly well... just about to the armhole shaping for the left front. I've also been working on the Shelia Meyer Cardigan... which is a bit boring right now, but once I'm in the cable section, it's going to be a fun knit.

I did cast on a new project. Our SnB group wanted to start the tradition of casting on a new project for the new year in memory of all the knitters before us. Susan said she was going to do the Sitcom Chic and I thought that sounded like a great choice, so we're doing a little KAL for it! So it's cast on in the Mulberry Cara Mia. It's a lot of st. st. but I so love the Cara Mia that I'm enjoying it.

Well, I guess I should go sort laundry, decide what to have for dinner and maybe even vacuum or something. Or I could just knit....

Keep On Knittin'!