Friday, December 17, 2010

A Penny Knitted

... is a penny earned.

I have to thank my friend Laura for the inspiration for this post. I recently made a cowl using The String Theory Scarf pattern. You knit and purl for ages and then at the end, you purposely drop stitches to create a string scarf. I had posted pictures on facebook and Laura asked me how many stitches did I drop. I did the math. I dropped 7,000 stitches of the 10,500 stitches that this cowl consisted of. Let's say that again- ten thousand, five hundred hand knit stitches.

So next time you're admiring something hand knit for sale, then exclaim at the price, please think of this post. Let's do some more math. Let's pretend we would sell a scarf like this for $60. The yarn cost $10. So now we have $50 left. At 10,500 stitches, you would be paying the knitter .48 cents per stitch. Less than a half a penny a stitch! And usually when one does sell their art or craft, you have to pay the fees (ebay, etsy, craft fairs, etc...) on top of that which means they get less that that half a cent.

Please pay artists what they are asking for. Do not haggle, do not barter. Please support your local artists.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Callista and Sabrina

Two sweet girls, two sweet hats.

I'm finally getting around to doing something I've wanted to do for awhile. Concentrate on producing more adult knits. I've also been wanting to design and sell patterns. I started this week! I bought some of Knit Picks City Tweed yarn and fell in love. It's soft and the texture is amazing. The two yarns inspired these two hats. I love collections that are named after people (I'm looking at you John Fluevog) so I named these two hats after my darling nieces.

Callista was made from colorway Tahitian Pearl. Pattern for sale here.

Sabrina was made from colorway Morning Glory. Pattern for sale here.

Both hat patterns are also available for purchase on Ravelry. I purchased the ribbon from The Tangled Lair.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Superstars

The family that costumes together, stays together.

I had a lot of fun this Halloween doing costumes. Originally, Bailey was supposed to be Ash from The Fantastic Mr. Fox. But when we went to our local Goodwill for dress up clothes, he found a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume. Being a 4 year old, that was that! So the only thing I had to do was make him a blue mask- which I did out of felt.

I made Silas a little gnome costume. I knit the hat and the beard. I just whip stitched the beard to the hat so now I can remove it and Silas can just wear the hat. Although babies with beards are pretty cute. I bought some fleece and quickly sewed together a tunic and belt.

I made myself a Marge Simpson costume. I crocheted the wig/hair, then stuffed it with a balloon and bubble wrap. I knit my necklace and used some green fleece to make the dress. And I bought a yellow long sleeve shirt to keep me warm while trick or treating.

My husband went as Ace Ventura Pet Detective. I found the shirt at another thrift store and quickly made him the pink tutu. Love it!!

Lastly, I helped my brother-in-law with his costume. He wanted to go as his brother- my husband! I snuck out some clothes, a hat and shoes. And I found a moustache for him to wear. So funny. I love Halloween!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Blue Ribbon Winner

... this ain't no Pabst

Chronilogically, this post should have come sooner. But the Eugene Celebration kept me busy until now. Earlier this year, I knitted my first shawl. I chose Gail (Nightsongs) by Jane Araujo. I find lace knitting easy enough (as long as you have the time to concentrate) but shawl construction was a bitch. Completely unlike anything else I've knitted. I forged through after finding some help on Ravelry.

I knitted it as a part of a knit-along with my favorite Ravelry group, Knit Knack. It turned out so well (love Malabrigo!!) that I decided to enter it in the Lane County Fair. I had never entered anything before.

To my shock, it not only placed but I freakin' won first place!!! Because I make money on my knitting, I had to enter in the pro-class which makes the win even more stunning. I am so happy and definitely plan to enter knitting in every year.

Me trying to take a picture with my shawl and the little bub completely stole the frame! I don't mind. ♥

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Eugene Celebration

Chickens and Meter Cozies??

This weekend Eugene had their annual Eugene Celebration. What does that mean to me? Well, this year my family (and my hens!) walked in the parade Saturday morning. We walked with the Eugene Friendly Neighborhood Farmers in conjunction with The Backyard Farmer. We are trying to raise awareness of urban farming and backyard hens. Also Eugene recently suspended their two hen limit. So we marched in support. I knitted the boys cute chicken hats and we pulled the gals- Ramona, Fanny and Popcorn in a wagon.

About 30 of us farmers showed up with 25 chickens. It was a lot of fun!

This past week also coincided with my knitting group's one year anniversary. We decided to yarn bomb parking meters by knitting them cozies. I contributed two cozies. A rainbow fish cozy (which I installed on the meter directly in front of a sushi restaurant!) and a Pac Man cozy.

You can read more about it at the Knitting is Knotty blog and you can see more pictures on our flickr page.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Miniature Knitting Adventure

... no trick photography here folks.

I remember shortly after the movie Coraline came out, I saw a video on how all of her clothes were knitted. I had never heard of miniature knitting until then.

I knew then that one day I would try it. I had no idea what kind of needles to buy and even where to find them, and the idea quickly got lost.

A couple weekends ago, I attended the Black Sheep Gathering and found some needles for sale! I remembered I had wanted to try it and snatched up these needles. Size 7/0- .65mm!! I used 3 strands of DMC 6 strand embroidery floss. I wanted to knit something very simple. A square. But I also wanted it to have a bold color contrast. The Swiss flag seemed perfect.

Miniature knitting is crazy. My fingers felt HUGE and I felt like I was going to snap the needles. However, I definitely plan to do this again and with something a bit more complicated. A hat? A sock? We'll see. Stay tuned.

Swiss Flag: Gauge 19sts= 1 inch and 23 rows= 1 inch

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Daily Dose of Fiber

...because we could all benefit from more wool in our diet.

This last weekend, Eugene hosted the annual Black Sheep Gathering. A three day festival of all things fiber. Alpacas, sheep, angora rabbits. Spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting. Wool, cotton, silk, tencel, bamboo, banana fiber and even possum. Yes, possum.

This was my third or fourth time going and I went with Mary and it was her first time. It was fabulous. There was so much to look at. There was so much to feel! Signs everywhere exclaiming, Touch Me! And we did. So soft. The best stuff was at an exotic fibers booth. It was a silk/yak blend. It was a dream.

The textures were overwhelming, the colors even more so. Hand dyed roving and yarn everywhere. It was so hard to choose what to buy. Mary went home with some Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock in colorway Boobie 2. I got some undyed alpaca roving, some fabulous silk/merino roving from Capistrano Fiber Arts and lots and lots of silk/wool roving from Blue Moon. Many things to keep me busy.

Next year, I hope to be more prepared and sign up for a class or two. This year I was too late and really wanted to learn how to dye yarn and roving with mushrooms. So cool!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

You Spin Me Right Round, Baby

... right round like a spindle, baby

I recently bought a used spinning wheel from my friend Morgan. I have a drop spindle that I would say I'm adequate at best. Mostly I just haven't committed the time to it, thus creating super chunky sluggy yarn. However, over the excitement of a spinning wheel, I have devoted lots of time to it! So much fun! Morgan threw in some roving along with the wheel- check her shop, it's chalk full of awesome fiber.

I not only spun it, I plied as well!! My first time using the wheel and I have to say, I didn't do it half bad. I call this yarn Big Top because it reminds me of all the colors of a circus. It's a super bulky weight and just plain fun.

Next, I had to find a pattern for it. I came across this gem, Buttonhead on Knitty by a fellow Oregonian Lee Meredith. This hat is awesome. Trust me. I knit a lot of hats and this one rocks. First of all, the pattern is specifically made for handspun yarn. And you can use any weight of yarn. And you can make the hat slouchy, beret style or cloche fitted. AND since it uses a button closure, it can fit any size of head. Have I mentioned how much I love this pattern?? I ran out of my Big Top yarn right when it was time to do the hat band, so I used some left over pima cotton yarn I had used for a baby sunhat. It's perfect. Finished it off with sea shell buttons. I love my hat.

My next spinning endevor? SILK! My good friend Mary and I went to a little heaven on earth called the Eugene Textile Center. It was both of our first time there. What the heck were we waiting for??!! We came across silk roving and couldn't resist. It is fabulous. Feels like you're petting a cloud. I bought an ounce and spun it up. I found it more difficult to spin than wool, but I love it all the same. Since I only bought a small amount, I needed to find a project that 1- looked good with the silk and 2- was a small enough project to only require a bit of yarn.

I found Amelia by Erin Ruth on Ravelry and it's perfect. It only took me an hour to knit up, feels so good against my neck and is very flattering. It also didn't take all the silk yarn. I will definitely be making more of these collars and buying more silk. I love the color of the white silk, but I think next time I'll experiment with dyeing it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alot of Fun

... and fur.

I'm part of an amazing knitting group on Ravelry called Knit Knack. A short while ago, they hosted a competition. Inspired by Allie Brosh who is the author of the blog Hyperbole and a Half. In April, Allie posted The Alot is Better Than You at Everything. We all laughed and raved about it and then set about to see who could create the best Alot. This was my entry and I was lucky enough to win! And now I'm sharing it with you. Please check out the other way awesome entries here and here!

I should mention that I've never written out a pattern for someone else's eyes. Usually, my own patterns are scribbled on the back of receipts and only make sense to me. That being said, if you find a mistake or need clarification on a step, please let me know. I'm new to this.

What skills do you need to make the Alot of Fun? Knitting in the round, magic loop, short rows, increases, decreases, kitchener stitch and just a wee bit of crocheting and embroidering.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Super Mario Postcard

I can't draw, but I can knit.

Wasn't sure what to title this post. A lot of things are going on here. A knitted postcard. Super Mario Bros. Art. Texting. Friendship.

My very very good friend Kira teaches high school art in California. We've known each other since high school. She recently found some notes that we had written way back then about how mature we were. haha! Well, it gave her the idea to start corresponding with me through snail mail. Kickin' it old school so to speak. It's been so wonderful receiving letters and writing them. I urge you to do it more.

Kira draws these fantastic pictures on the back of her envelopes. So inspiring. I look forward to getting them just to see what she's drawn next.

She told me in her last letter that a student saw her drawing on one and asked, "Why don't you just text her?" What is that saying? Youth is wasted on the young? Sheesh! Well.... this is why you don't just text me.

I can't draw, but I can knit. So what better to do than to mail a knitted postcard? I saw this technique on an Etsy DIY a year or so ago. Instantly fell in love with the idea but hadn't yet done it. Well, since we're talking old school, I knew I would knit something Mario related. I came across this pattern for a hat and adapted it for the postcard. I knit it intarsia and fair isle. Eeek! Look at all those ends I had to weave in.

I didn't want to ruin the surprise so I waited until she told me she had gotten it before I posted this. She loves it and that makes me incredibly happy. Why don't you just text me??? Because you never know what I might knit for you.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The kind of day I've had.

Beware of bitch.

I had to make this sign and put it up today. This is what happens when you get a sunny, beautiful day in Oregon. They all come out and start knocking on your door.

I live in the first house on the corner of a cul-de-sac. We're constantly getting people at our door wanting to sell something, wanting to share something, wanting anything. We put up the generic No Soliciting sign and it's not doing the job.

I show them the sign and tell them not to solicit here. They insist they're not selling anything. Which is true for a lot of them. But that still doesn't mean they're not soliciting. It got to one point that I kept the dictionary by the door so I could read them the definition. Now I've just made the darn sign hoping it'll keep them away.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Rainy Day Spring Sweater

Great for baby showers, great for procrastination.

My sister is due with her first bebe very shortly and the shower is this weekend. Wow Maiya. Way to wait until Monday to decide to knit a baby sweater. Found this Mossy kids sweater on Ravelry. Perfect for a boy or girl. Perfect for my Cascade 220 superwash. Perfect for the time crunch.

Knitted up super quick and I love the zig zag. This would be a great project for a beginner- especially since there is no seaming. It's all knit in the round. I made it short sleeves because I wanted a lightweight springtime sweater and also because it looked like my skein wasn't going to have enough for full sleeves.

After I finished knitting it, I dyed it the perfect color of minty green with food coloring. Now to add some buttons and send it off priority...

I'd also like to add that just by showing the photos of the same sweater side by side, you can really see the difference blocking makes. Remember to block your knitting people!

Monday, April 26, 2010

I didn't have a bandit hat...

...So I modified this tube sock.

I love the Fantastic Mr. Fox. Even more, I love the character Ash (really, let's be honest. I love Jason Schwartzman.) Back on topic, my dear friend Mary made a joke about us needing bandit hats during our last yarn bombing. She joked that we needed tube sock bandit hats like Asher wore in the movie. A fleeting thought. A simple joke. I, of course, couldn't get the damn idea out of my head. I needed to make that hat. Already have my Halloween costume planned. Getting to be warm- no need for winter-like face masks. I really had no functional use for this mask. But still, I needed to make it.

After watching the movie, again I started to cast on. I've been asked for the pattern. I rarely write down my patterns. My patterns are more like recipes. I just knit a bandit hat with a mouth. Make sure to stripe the collar (I had to frog this part back. I was done with the ribbing, I looked at a picture of Ash and realized I had the striping part all wrong.) And when you start decreasing down the crown, stop when you have a good sized tube and start knitting a sock. Then knit some fox ears and sew them on. I stuffed the sock a bit with some polyester toy stuffing to help it keep shape.

It fits me and my husband Brandon better, I had made it adult size. But Bailey, my 3 year old pretty much has claimed it as his own. It looks like he has his Halloween costume squared away.