Posts Tagged ‘Knitting’

Easter Kitties!

April 20, 2009

Presenting the kitties all decked out for Easter.  Rocco (who I’ve recently nicknamed ‘Tigger’):

And Ranger (new nickname ‘Flopsy’):

They are currently taking turns ambushing each other and being generally cute in a naughty kitty sort of way. 

I’ve been busy knitting and dyeing lately.  This what I submitted for the April Phat Fiber sampler box.

50 mini-skeins of 100% organic merino wool in an earthy colorway to go along with the ‘Green’ theme.  I have more available in my Etsy shop,  Sneaky Pig Yarns.

I’ve also been very busy knitting and am participating in 3 swaps for blankie yarn for the sock yarn blankie.  I have dubbed mine ‘The Never-Ending Blankie’ because I think it might take a while, especially since it’s not of high importance.  I did finally get around to blocking and photographing my Icelandic vest.  I love how it turned out, but will use softer wool next time.

I also made a new running accessory set to house my Nike+ sensor and iPod.  The yarn came from my January Phat Fiber box and the pattern is one I dreamt up all by myself!

I bought a new spinning wheel!  I went to The Spinning Loft in Howell, Michigan for a new spindle to spin laceweight yarn on and came out with a spinning wheel.  It’s a Kromski Prelude and she’s the prettiest thing I’ve ever seen!  I’ve tentatively named her Greta, but we’ll see if it sticks.  I also came home with 8 oz. of top and 1 oz. of silk hankies.  I’ve fallen in love with the hankies!  I dyed them in a Mardi Gras inspired colorway and am actually proud of my first completed project on my new wheel!  The ounce of hankies produced 300 yards of pretty, shiny yarn.

That’s all for this time, thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you soon!

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Happy New Year and GO PHAT FIBER!!!

January 17, 2009

Hello again.  It’s been a while since I’ve been busy with the holidays and getting samples ready for the Phat Fiber sampler box.  Work has also been pretty busy, but is slowing down a bit now. 

Congrats Jessie and Phat Fiber!!  The boxes with all the pretty samples sold like hotcakes and now all our lovely samples are out in the world!  I’m already getting more followers on my Twitter feed and I got an order just today from my shop.  Not sure if it’s related, but the timing is right!!

Now for the pictures of my yarns knitted up as promised by the inserts included in my Phat Fiber samples:

This is a set of beer cozys made for a Ravelry swap.  The green one is a commercial yarn (Plymouth Galway), but the other two were both handdyed by me.  The varigated one can also be seen by scrolling down to the Monkey socks a few posts back.   If you continue to scroll down, I also have some other sock yarn knitted up into shorty socks.  This is the same colorway as I included in some of the Phat Fiber samples.  I believe these are all the samples I have knitted myself, but I’ll try and track down more and include pictures next time.

Here’s what I’ve been busy knitting:

A hemlock ring blanket:

   

A hat for my bro:

 

And felted beer cozys: (Before)

And the Afters:

All were gifts except for the multicolored one with the yellow ‘S’ on it.  Everyone loves them!

On the needles right now:  the Estes vest (still, but I put it aside for holiday knitting), a Lopi vest (just needs blocking!) and a lace scarf from the most amazing lace yarn I found on a recent trip to Canada.  It’s 70% bamboo, 15% cashmere, and 15% bison.  It’s heavenly.

That’s all for now.  I’m off to meet a friend I’ve been trying to meet up with for almost 3 weeks now.  That’s how busy I’ve been!  Bye until next time!

Holiday Knitting Marathon

December 8, 2008

Well, it’s been a while, but I have much to report.  I’ve been adding items to my Etsy store, working on my holiday knitting, and fighting a losing battle to keep the kittens out of the Christmas tree.  I’m slowly adding yarn to my store as well as dyeing up more to keep adding more.  I’m also contemplating what to send to Phat Fiber for them to include in the January sampler box.  Work has brought even more excitement, having to fly around in the winter weather. 

I guess I’ll start with the knitting group I almost made it to.  First Saturdays from Ravelry meets at a different area LYS on the first Saturday of every month, so I got up Saturday morning with the intention of going.  I got to the gas station on the corner and seriously considered not going because the roads were pretty snowy, but decided to press on.  I made it about halfway there and was called into work.  Plan foiled.  I was hoping to go and work on my Autumn Druid mittens by Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed, but it was not meant to be.  This project is as of yet unphotographed and progressing very slowly because of more important holiday knitting.  Speaking of which…

I finished my second tea cozy ever!  It’s an original design and it’s going to my grandma for Christmas.  I made it with my own handspun and when all was said and done, I had about 6″ of yarn left over.  Here it is:

Pretty, huh?  I finished this yesterday morning after I got home from work.  Her teapot is a little smaller, it was a little tight on mine, so it should fit well!

My Tea Swap from the Odd Ducks Swap group on Ravelry is finished.  I got a lovely package from NYC and my package went to California.  I managed to erase the pictures of the package I received from my camera before I downloaded them, but here’s a picture of the package I sent out:

It was an uphill battle keeping the adorable kitty toys from disappearing as you can see from this one:

Rocco seems to like to get into those sorts of things.  He also really enjoys curling up in my knitting:

He’s also really enjoying my Hemlock Ring Blanket, which is in progress to be a Christmas present.  I’ve run out of room on my needles, so I’m planning on a trip to the LYS tomorrow to buy a longer one.  I only have about 15 rows left, but about a million stitches on the needles, so it might be a little slow.

That’s all for now, I’m going to be busy with my Christmas knitting, work and car shopping, so I’ll be back soon with lots of pictures and things to talk about!

Incoming!!

October 9, 2008

I’ve decided that I really miss having a kitty around, so I’m in the process of adopting a pair of kittens from the Kalamazoo Animal Rescue.  They’re the cutest little things and I can’t wait for them to get their little man bits disabled so they can come home with me!!  I wish I could show you some pictures now, but both are still with their foster families, but very soon I will share the cuteness!!

Since I don’t really have any good knitting pictures, I’ll show some spinning pics and then update my knitting projects.  Here’s what I did with the other batch of roving I got from the Michigan Fiber Fest when I bought my learn to spin kit.  It’s going to become a teapot cozy for my grandma’s 80th b-day.

Since I was having so much fun spinning, I bought some more roving from etsy seller Freckle Face Fibers.  The stuff is soft and easy to work with.  I’ve only spun about 1/4 of it (about 1 oz.), but I love how it’s turning out.  This bit of it will be used to make a present for a swap partner. 

My current knitting projects include finishing up my Monkey socks (just closing up the 2nd toe), starting the finishing on my Estes vest, finding more yarn and finishing my Snakey scarf (not sure the exact name of the pattern, but it’s a 1×1 rib knit in a modular fashion.  Very cool.  I’m also knitting a Christmas stocking for the October sockdown that the Ravelry group Sock Knitters Anonymous sponsors.  Every month the challenge is different and when you complete the challenge, you’re entered into a drawing for prizes.  Super cool!!

Well, that’s all for now.  I’ll be back soon with pictures of my new kittens and my knitting projects!!  Bye!

The Grand (Re) Opening

August 7, 2008

I’ve opened and begun to stock a new store!  This new store is also an etsy store and focuses on just my knitting items. Yarn, stitch markers, needle holders (coming soon!), things like that.  But more on that soon. 

First, what I’ve been up to with my knitting.  I managed to reduce my stash by 880 yards with the Stash ‘n Burn July challenge including finishing my Sheldon finally!

He’s already making new friends!  (That’s my sick kitty, aka Roxy.)  I also finished a couple other projects including the Petal bib below.  I’ve also been knitting samples for my shop so that people can see how my yarns knit up.  It’s been fun, but a lot of work. 

Back to the new store.  I’ve opened up the new shop for better focus on what I’m doing.  A couple of the items were transferred from my old store and some are new for this store.  I’m going to try and dye tomorrow to fix a few issues I had with my last batch.  I fear I used too much acid, but I think I’ll be able to save it and have it listed in the coming days.  I’ll be posting a picture of my latest yarns soon, or come check out my store! 

On the flying front, the only memorable event was more of a non-event.  We were in Ft. Wayne, IN at the end of a long day ready to go back to Detroit and be finished.  The right engine started without incident, but the left engine failed to catch fire.  Two and a half hours later we had new igniters and were on our way.  They’re similar to spark plugs and have the ability to turn a perfectly fine evening into a royal pain in the behind.

That’s all for tonight.  Come back and visit soon!

“No joyriding and Wisconsin is off-limits”

July 25, 2008

These are actually rules governing the use of the crew car in Iron Mountain, MI.  Sometimes when we fly to small, out of the way places, the hotels we stay in don’t have airport shuttles.  In these cases, either the company or the hotel provides us with a car (or early 80’s conversion van) for us to get back and forth.  It’s also available for excursions such as food-seeking and buying new deodorant because yours melted.  I went on one of these food-seeking missions this evening, but it soon turned into a joyride towards Wisconsin.  Honestly, I just wanted to check out the area and see what was up here in the middle of the Upper Peninsula woods and before I knew it, there was the “Welcome to Wisconsin” sign.  I turned around before I got there, not because I didn’t want to break any more rules, but because my food was getting cold.  I’m now anxiously awaiting for the sun to retreat so I can go to bed.  This airline life is an exciting one!!

I’ve been dyeing again finally!  I dyed much yarn on Tuesday before starting work on Wednesday, so I’m pretty excited to get home and see the dry results!  I ordered a sock blank from Knit Picks which I painted with loads of different designs to test knit with the intention of making my own blanks and selling both dyed ones and un-dyed ones.  I also wanted to spy on the exact dimensions/gauge/stitch counts also for replication purposes.  I’ll be showing pictures of the dyeing session once everything is reskeined/test knit.

I finally knit a sample of my handpainted yarn.  It’s a pair of socks, but I only have a picture of the first one.  The second one is done except for kitchenering the toe and weaving in the ends.  You’ll have to check my projects page on Ravelry to see both, but here’s the first one:

This pattern was from the Pattern-a-Day Knitting Calender from 2007.  The socks fit really well and they were quick!  The best part is the 200 yds I burned for the Ravelry Stash and Burn July challenge!  I’ve also been working on Kureopatra’s Snake, a super-awesome entrelac scarf, but I fear I may run short on yarn and have to track down another skein.  The stash-busting has been fast and furious, I just hope I can keep it up. 

That’s all for this time.  The sun is getting low and I want to be in bed by 9.  Thanks for reading!

Knitting heavily and treading lightly

July 15, 2008

Since my sales are not good, mostly because my marketing is not good, I’m reading a book.  This book is helping me develop a focused marketing plan that will hopefully generate better sales.  I like books because you can learn anything from a book, including developing a tagline.  And what better tagline for my eco-friendly knitting shop than “knitting heavily and treading lightly”.  This book has also refocused my efforts and made me realize that I need a second shop dedicated to my knitting supplies.  My current shop is just a collection of unrelated items with no cohesiveness.  This shop will stay open as such and my new shop will be focused strictly on yarn, stitch markers, and needle cases and such.  No finished knitting, no candles, no earrings, no random supplies.  Just knitting things. 

This new shop will be open once I build up a little bit of stock.  I have some that I’ll transfer from my old store, but I need enough to keep updating my shop for a while.  I’ve ordered some undyed yarn that should be here in a few days, and I’m planning on dyeing next Monday or Tuesday, so I should be able to start the transfer soon. 

I’ve been knitting up a storm!!  I talked in my last post about the UFO challenge, and I’m making good progress.  I finished my Petal Bib from a book called One Skein.  Turned out really nice and is in the hands of the recipient.  Made from organic cotton yarn.  I also realized that I still don’t like knitting with cotton.  One of these days I’ll actually walk away from the cotton project.

I’ve also been progressing on the BF’s socks.  Magic loop socks are really slow!!  Everyone raves about how great it is, but I like to see progress and it’s hard when you’re doing both at once and it’s going half as fast (seemingly, but I know I’ll be happy when they’re both done.)  I’ve also finished a pair of socks I’ve had sitting around for a few months and started another pair I’ve been meaning to knit.  I’m almost to the toe shaping of the first one and I just love how they’re turning out.  I’ll hopefully finish the first one tomorrow and get started on the second.

The flying has been going pretty well except for all sorts of unforecasted fog and other crummy weather.  I guess that’s good because it keeps me sharp and on my toes, but it would be easier if the first officers were also sharp and on their toes.  I knew I was going to be flying with new and inexperienced pilots, but it becomes really stressful in a high workload situation like a missed approach.

That’s all for this time.  See you soon!

Airshows and Thunderstorms

July 3, 2008

I’m back this cloudy 3rd of July after a short break which included aircraft simulators, a trip to Alaska, and cleaning up after a gnarly thunderstorm.  I’m still in heavy research mode with my Etsy shop and am about to place an order for more supplies.  Comparing prices between suppliers is a royal pain and it’s even harder knowing what kinds of yarn will sell the best.  I know that I want the most environmentally friendly ones, but people want superwash.  I don’t do superwash, so I guess my market is significantly smaller and I need to reach out to my potential customers more aggressively.  I’ll let you know when I figure out how to do this.

Last Saturday, I was lucky enough to get to the Arctic Thunder airshow at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, AK.  Pretty sweet show, I’ve posted some pictures on Flickr here

New in the store:  organic cotton face scrubbies! 

I also have an iPod cozy in the works as well as some new yarns and stitch markers.  And once I get my new shipment of supplies (that I’ll order today), I’ll have even more new and wonderful things in my shop. 

One of my Ravelry groups has monthly stash-busting challenges.  For those that don’t know, knitters have a collection of yarn that hangs out, waiting for a project.  Some have a lot, some have a little, but all of these collections are known as “stash”.  I have what is considered a fairly small stash.  It’s cute and I like it, but I’m also excited to see what projects my stash will become.  This month’s stash-busting challenge is to finish your “UFOs”. Those pesky UnFinishedObjects sit around, weighing heavy on the knitter’s mind.  I decided to accept this challenge and have so far finished 3, yes, 3 projects this month.  Actually, I finished them yesterday.  Yayme!!!  To be fair, they were all very close to completion and just needed some minor finishing, but they are officially done!  The next few won’t go so quick.  I have a pair of socks that I started working on the gusset last night, I have a second sock that’s only about 1.5″ completed, and a sweater vest that I’ve had on the needles since November.  Yikes!  I’m hoping to finish all 3 this month as well as put the finishing touches on a knit toy that’s been sitting in a bin for over a year because I didn’t understand the directions.  Luckily, with the new knowledge I’ve gained through the year, I am now confidant that I can tackle and finish this project. 

That’s is for this entry, hope everyone has a great 4th of July and holiday weekend!

Selling and knitting groups

June 8, 2008

More sales!  After a promising start with a sale on the 3rd day, things went stagnant.  I was listing 1-2 items a day, but no sales!!!  I tried swapping pictures, listing more often, listing less often and shameless plugs on Ravelry to no avail.  But last night I was cruising around Etsy, picking out things I’ll buy when I pay off my sick kitty, and I found the showcase feature!  For $7, you get your thing pasted on the top of whatever category you choose.  I’m thinking, what the heck, it won’t hurt much and I might be out 7 bucks, but who cares!  So I paid the 7 dollars and got my showcase.  After a steep learning curve as to what exactly shows up, I got a sale and the lady bought 3 things!  Yay!  Three of my stitch marker sets, gone!  (And I was a little concerned about one of them because although I love them, I wasn’t quite sure others would.)  So sales #1 and #2, out of the way. 

I do have some pretty cool yarn listed right now:

yarns

Above is a skein of 100% merino sock yarn, and below a skein of 100% merino worsted weight.  The bottom one is darker because I used a natural colored base yarn instead of white.

And a couple of my favorite stitch markers, available from my shop if you’re quick!

 

And now for some other news and whatnot.

I was social today!  I met up with a knitting group that I found on Ravelry today for the first time.  Super-nice group of ladies that I’m looking forward to meeting with again soon.  We met at a yarn store in Jonesville, MI called Knits & Knacks which is awesome!  Great selection of all sorts of yarny goodness.  Times like those are when I wish I had much $$ so I could buy tons of yarn.  Unfortunately, that’s not green, so I guess it’s good I’m poor. 

Sick kitty is still improving.  I can see that she’s beginning to put some weight on and is eating much better now that she’s on dry food.  More blood tests in 3 more weeks, so we’ll see then.

Work tomorrow.  Boo!  I guess since I haven’t been in almost 2 weeks it’s time to go and be a little productive.  Lots of time sitting around airports with this trip, but that means lots of time to knit.  Maybe Haney’s bad socks will start progressing again.  They’ve been in a time-out for a couple months now, but I think I’ve had enough time away to start working on them again.  My Pi shawl is almost finished, I’ve got the edging about half done, just need to finish the other half and then block.  Pictures soon!

That’s all.  I’ll be back after my trip with amusing war stories!  Bye!

Store’s almost ready!

May 21, 2008

I’ve gotten the word that my graphics and possibly my website are ready for action.  I’ve hired my sister to work on these since I have absolutely no clue and she’s informed me that they’re ready and I’ll have them in hand this weekend.  Yay!  I’ll work on my store this weekend and hopefully start putting items in it.  It’s kinda silly, but one of the techniques for selling things on Etsy is to list items slowly.  My plan is to put 3 items in my store initially and then an item a day as much as possible.  (Pending what work does to me and when I’m home.)  So this is very exciting.

My first items will be some stitch markers and hand-dyed yarn.  I’m wrestling with whether or not to list some super cool yarn that I’ve dyed with food dyes.  I think they’ll sell if priced right, so I’ll probably do it, especially since that’s what I really want to focus my store on.  I spent a couple hours last night assembling some really cool stitch markers, pictures of those soon.  I’m also wrapping up my custom job which is taking longer than expected because of sick kitty.  I’m hoping to have it in the mail tomorrow. 

Sick kitty is getting better!  She’s eating better and becoming more and more social.  Sick kitty has been stressing me out for a couple weeks now, so I’m finally able to relax a little. 

I haven’t been to work since I wrote last, but I do have a funny story from the last time I did work.  I was flying with a very new and inexperienced flight attendant who was shocked by the looks the passengers gave her when I was on the PA.  They looked at her as if she was supposed to be talking, but she was just sitting there, looking out the window.  I’m always amused by this because people expect the girl voice on the PA to come from the flight attendant, not the pilots.  It’s especially good when the flight attendant is male.  So next time you’re on an airplane, don’t automatically assume it’s the flight attendant when you hear a female on the PA.

And lastly, I’ve been knitting!  I kinda put it off while I was researching and working on the business, but I really needed something to relieve the stress of sick kitty, so I cast on for Elizabeth Zimmerman’s PI shawl.  I’m using some fingering weight merino of my own coloring and it’s coming out really well.  I’ve made it past the last increase and with 500+ stitches on the needles it’s slowed to a crawl, but it’s still progressing and I’m estimating completion by the end of the weekend.  Pictures coming on that also.