Posts Tagged ‘ravelry’

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!

Advertisements

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!

Learning new things!

September 8, 2008

I’ve learned to spin!  I went to the Michigan Fiber Fest and bought a learn to spin kit!  It was a wad of roving that came with a simple wooden spindle and directions.  I supplemented the directions with youtube videos and came up with this as my first attempt at spinning:

I kettle dyed it as a single before plying.  It was fun and I like how it turned out, but my second attempt was far superior:

I’ve done some more since then.  The rest of this roving turned out nice too.  I spun it into a very fine single that I’m going to make something small and lacy with.  I also bought some top from the festival and it’s not spinning up nearly as nicely.  It’s quite thick and thin and not drafting smoothly.  It’s certainly a challenge and I know that taming this top will make me a much better spinner.

What I’ve been dyeing!  Some laceweight, fingering, worsted and some handspun (not by me).  It’s working its way into my Etsy store, so look for it!

My other new skill:  machine knitting!  Yay for machine knitting!  I found an Ultimate Sweater Machine on sale at my local Meijer’s and snatched it up.  It sat in the box for a few days while I worked on other things, but it’s out now and I’m a machine knitting fool.  I knit all the practice yarn first, then I knit up a sample of one of my handdyed yarns.  It would’ve taken me an hour to knit it by hand, the USM took 15 minutes with all the set-up and finishing.  I love this thing.

I’ve been working on a pair of socks for the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous group on Ravelry.  The September Sockdown specifies either orange socks or a Cookie A pattern, with a mystery pattern available to knit in orange as well.  I chose to knit Monkeys by Cookie A in some of my own handdyed that’s orange and green with more orange than green.  They’re turning out awesome:

That’s all for this time, stay tuned for details and pictures of my Estes vest and more handspun adventures!

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!

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!

War Stories and Salmonella

June 14, 2008

First, a letter to my current nemesis, salmonella.

Dear Salmonella,

You’ve ruined my day, but you will not get the best of me.  By rearing your ugly head in my beloved tomatoes, you’ve forced me to eat bland Subway, tasteless Taco Bell and unappealing salad.  I’m not afraid of you, but many are, so until I can go to the store and buy my own tomatoes, screw you salmonella. 

Love, Me

And now the war stories.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any good ones this time.  All I can say is that battling summer thunderstorms in a little prop airplane is a lot less fun than I’d hoped it would be.  My last airplane was a jet that was able to climb above most of the storms, minimizing their impact, but now I’m right in the middle of it, trying to find the best way to pick around the worst of it.  The learning curve has  been steep, but it adds to my experience every time.

My Etsy store is currently slow.  No sales since my showcase last weekend, but I’ve got another one booked for Sunday, so hopefully this one will be better.  It’s a more visible location this time and I’m hoping for at least a few more sales.  I just listed some fun new things including these rock star earrings:

I’ve also listed a set of stitch markers and some sock yarn.  I currently have some really pretty stuff on the drying rack waiting for me to get home.  (I’m working… again, until Sunday.)  I’ll have that skeined up next week and in my shop. 

I’ve finished my Pi Shawl!  It just needs to be blocked, but since I’m impatient, I’ll post a picture anyways because it’s so pretty.  It went much quicker than I thought it would and turned out much prettier than I imagined.  I’m now working on some socks for Haney that have been in a time-out for a while.  The heel flap wasn’t behaving, so I put it away for a couple  months and think I have most of the kinks worked out now.  I’m also working on a pattern for a cute and simple iPod cozy.  I’ll post that here on my blog when I finish it.

I’m still working on good ways to market my Etsy store.  I have a book that I need to start reading more seriously so I can incorporate as many of the techniques as possible.  I’ve been trying to post on Ravelry, but I’ve been so busy that it’s hard to do so with any regularity.  I’ll keep trying new things and keeping what works and trashing what doesn’t. 

That’s all until next time.  Bye!

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!