Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
“Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief - oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.”
-from Edgar Allan Poe’s
The Tell-Tale Heart
First published in 1843
Thursday, October 15, 2009
I apologize for the really crappy photos, but something is better than nothing!
I'm currently knitting downward on the body. Another few inches and I'll cast off and begin the shawl collar. I was worried that the collar would take forever, but it has to be better than the monotony of the body. Hopefully it will pay off!
If I'd had more time in my rush to photograph my progress, I'd have put Rena on this:
Next time, I'll have some more of Rena, and my sewing project. It should be interesting, because I've never used a sewing pattern to make anything....
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I'll more than likely do each sleeve separately and there will be a seam in the middle of the back where the two top pieces join. That's how the inspirational sweater is constructed, and It will be easier for me than continuing it in one piece.
By my next post, I will have a lot more of Rena to share!
Friday, August 21, 2009
It's Fossil's Tobie . I figured a lacy sweater in a cotton blend would be a nice easy start to my knitting season. After searching high and low for a durable cotton-blend that wasnt skimpy in the yardage department and didn't contain any wool, alpaca, or silk, I settled on the Lion Brand Cotton Ease. I decided on "stone", a light silvery gray hue. To be honest, using this yarn was my first choice and then I drove myself crazy browsing for better quality (sometimes just means more expensive) yarn. I spent about an entire week debating my yarn order, and then I simply drove to Michael's and bought something off the shelf. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I used Cotton Ease on the Spring Beret that I was knitting (finished now - need to photograph). Anyway, I'm happy with the choice and I'll be the first to raise my hand for the affordability - not to mention convenience - of craft store findings.
What drew me to this sweater was the casual look of the eyelets and rolled collar. I don't plan on making my version quite as long as its inspiration since I'm lacking in the height department. Remember my September Sweater? This will be a lacy, buttonless version. The unique construction is so much fun for me to knit!
So far I am just about finished with a sleeve and because of the sideways design of this sweater, I'll be casing on for the yoke. Maybe I'll have the top half completed over the weekend. Here's a peek of the lace pattern and color:
Anyway, that's it for now. More progress to follow soon :)
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
It's not much, but it was really nice to get back into doing something I love so much. By the way, the hat is the Spring Beret by Natalie Larson, in Lion Brand Cotton-Ease. I am only about halfway into the second pattern repeat, and I am embarassed to say that my fingers were hurting so bad after doing only this much! What a lightweight I've become! Normally I'm a speedy knitter and I better shape up because I already have plans for two sweaters for the fall. As a matter of fact, I'm planning to go browsing for yarn later today.
In other crafty news, I have completed a commissioned jewelry piece for a friend and I can't wait to give it to her. She simply told me she wanted a ring, something in the pink palatte, and let me run with it. Here's couple of shots:
I used brass filigree for the base and a brass filigree adjustable band, both of which I hand-aged to a bronzy patina. I attached a magenta round glass cabachon and surrounded it with amethyst crystals and brass components - a flower and a butterfly. I sure hope she likes it!
Monday, July 20, 2009
I am proud, however, to say that I've been doing some organizing of the crafting madness! Wow, me and organizing. It's been interesting but now I'm ready to get back to work. Hopefully I'll have something fascinating to share in a few days. Oh, and I'm totally ready for fall weather. I've been patiently waiting for some new yarn and knitting wonderment!
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
I had no idea what an undertaking this would be. This has been quite a lesson in vigor for me!For any readers out there who have ventured into the world of Etsy, you know that it's not as easy as you think. Making items that you think will sell for a profit is only the beginning. Sorting through costs and Etsy fees to determine pricing, and then coming up with something creative to say about everything was a little mind boggling. Then comes photography. I will say that photographing my jewelry has been easier than my knits. Nevertheless, it is time consuming!
I thought at first that I would make about 20 pieces before I began listing so that I could have a big selection before offering it to the public. After listing my first item, I realized that there's no way I could sit down and do that twenty times consecutively without going bonkers. So I've listed 7 items so far and I've got much more that hasn't even been photographed yet.
I'm doing some self-promoting here on the blog, though I do feel a little bashful about it! If you would like to visit my Etsy shop, scroll to the bottom of my blog and you will find my mini Etsy gallery.
And don't worry, I have not given up on all things knitted! I promise that there are some great things to come in the future!
Now, back to work ;-)
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
I'm so happy to say that after a too-long hiatus from my creative endeavors, I am back! Albeit without knitting needles. Though I have started the Spring Beret, (Ravelry link) I just can't get with it! I've said it over and over, but it's just so hard to knit in the summertime for me. Maybe my brain has seasonal aversion to it.
After much deliberation and a few nudges from friends and family, I've decided to try to start actually making money doing what I love. It's only a start, but I've opened an Etsy store and have been cranking away updating my stash of materials and putting together some pieces. I think I'll wait to post listings until I have a more substantial collection, but I'll share a peek at what I've done so far.
This charm bracelet is a combination of antiqued brass colored chain and ceramic beads on an elastic cord. The charms are a mix of glass beads and antiqued brass bugs.
This is a simple two-strand charm necklace with a mix of metal and glass baubles. The chain is a gold tone with a matching spring ring closure.
This chunky charm bracelet so summery! Again, it is a combo of chain and lightweight wooden beads on elastic cord. No fussy clasp! Charms include a turquoise nugget, glass beads, and two antiqued brass color charms.
This ring is my personal favorite and I'm going to have a hard time listing it! It features raw brass filigree, which I antiqued by hand using vinegar and flame. The band is adustable and is the same finish as the round base. On it, I attached a bumble bee casted in brass along with a crystal in a brass pronged setting. I may have to make one for myself!
My plan is to offer more than just jewelry on the site. I do have some small knitted items in the works (probably when the weather cools down) and possibly a few home accent pieces. It's just the beginning and I'm really excited so I've been cranking out at least two projects a day.
I'll post more pieces as soon as they are completed and soon I'll be ready to open for business :)
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
I will admit that the lack of creativity in my life has made me feel like I am definitely missing something. Corny as it may sound, my life is incomplete without it and I am in serious need for some needles. I do sincerely want to play with some hand-dyed yarn - I just need to get it started :)
I'm on the left below, with the bachelorette (it was an 80s themed soiree)
Til next time, I'm throwing pennies for some time to get something going!!
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
The muted spring colors are absolutely gorgeous on this worsted 100% bamboo yarn. Stefanie included directions for a scarf with a choice of three different stitch patterns. She also sent a couple of beaded stitch markers and a "Glampyre Knits" magnet. I have it on my fridge holding up the handwritten note she enclosed! I've only knit with bamboo once and it was perfect for warmer weather wear. I'm excited to get this on the needles.
While I waited for it to arrive, I played around with dyeing a couple of hanks of my own. This was my second attempt at dyeing and painting yarn.
Here is a collection of blues and teals on 100% mercerized cotton yarn:
It's not the greatest picture, because the actual yarn looks better in person. I have started a simple linen-stitch cowl and the result of the colors together is a very denim-y look. It's definitely no masterpiece, but it's pretty enough for my second try. I guess I'll get some photos when it's finished.
Next, I figured I would try working with wool. In the little bit of research I did, I read that wool is easier to dye and generally produces better results than non-protein fibers. As a beginner, I would agree that it was a lot easier.
Here is a food-coloring (with vinegar) experiment on 100% wool yarn:
I loved the way this wool came out. It was a lot nicer to work with than the cotton. And since I was using food colors, I knew when the yarn was ready, as all of the dye was absorbed and the water was almost clear. It was a neat experiment. I'm planning to buy some acid dyes and play around with it more over the summer, since I probably won't be doing a lot of knitting. Mobile's summers are not exactly conducive to knitted items, especially not wool!
Since my appetite for colorful yarn had not been satisfied, a bit of perusing through projects on Ravelry turned up these fingerless gloves by dawn76. I adore them! As soon as I found out that the Hazel Knits yarn was available for purchase through Etsy, I bought it! I hoped that the color would be as beautiful in person, and it did not disappoint! Have a look:
My last and most anticipated splurge was something I had my eye on and almost missed out completely. I found a really awesome collection of hand-dyeds called Fresh From the Cauldron (FFtC) on Ravelry. To my delight, one of the limited edition colorways was inspired from the Twilight series! The artist's username is Squibstitcher, and she has an Etsy shop. I didn't know if she was still dyeing any of these Twilight-inspired yarns, and when I checked her store, there were none for sale. I was very excited when I read on the FFtC group page that she was taking custom orders for colors in the series up until February 28, and then the colors wouldn't be dyed again until possibly 2010. I believe it was 2/27 when I contacted her on Etsy and requested three hanks. Thankfully, I had made the cut. All three hanks arrived yesterday and I couldn't wait to take pics.
- The first is titled Bella Swan. I believe these colors are perfect for her character, as blue is Edward's favorite color on her. It is a beautiful arrangement of blues and silver.
- The next is titled Edward Cullen, obviously for his "liquid topaz" eyes. The color is so warm it is just like sunshine in the middle of summer.
- I love all of them, but the third is definitely my favorite, titled Forks, WA. I have always loved green, and these shades of green combined with silver and a touch of gold is perfection!
All three hanks are a merino/silk blend sock yarn. It has a great sheen and is ultra soft. I highly doubt I'd allow any of this beautiful yarn touch my feet. I've never attempted knitting a sock and I certainly wouldn't want to use this to practice. I've no clue what it will be used for, but I had to have it!
Sunday, March 8, 2009
My husband was like, "that looks raggedy", with a confused look on his face, when he saw what I had sewn on the inside of the sweater. Obviously the man didn't realize that it was exactly the vintage look I was going for. Besides, this Queen has her Quirks! Sometimes men are so clueless! Anyway, here's a shot of the tag I made for it:
I played around with it, and I will probably add an applique' or some other kind of embellishment. I need to get some custom tags made...
Anyway, the Queen is ready enough for her debut, and that will probably happen tomorrow at my office. There's no telling what some of the clueless guys I work with will have to say about it (or what their looks might say). Maybe it will be good enough to write about....!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Since my last post, I've delved a little further into the world of dyeing. I think its almost as much fun as knitting! I have a few more color ideas that I'll work on more after I've finished knitting my newest project, which has been inspired by this:
While watching Grey's Anatomy on 2/12, I saw someone wearing the beautiful Sylvan Scene cardigan from Anthropologie's fall catalogue. I hadn't paid much attention to it before, but I knew while watching the episode that I would at the very least try to knit something largely inspired by it. Upon further research - the sweater is sold out online, so I dug around on ebay - I realized how amazingly complicated this sweater is. I thought about what elements of the sweater I liked the most and began the design process.
So far, the things I have knit without patterns have been directly inspired by store-bought pieces, and I have tried to design and knit them in a way that is more or less an exact copy. The creation of this sweater has been completely different. I've had a lot more fun this time with improvising and adding my own details. The finished result may not resemble it's inspiration much at all, but it has been an awesome experiment in how an idea evolves.
At this point, I have knitted most of the body. I will do the collar next, then the sleeves. I am contemplating at this point whether to add a ruffled trim at the bottom hem, both for extra length and extra quirkiness! Here's a sketch of where I'm going with it:
I'm going to block tonight, and hopefully I'll start the collar within the next few days. I'm aiming to be finished with this in about a week. Of course, I do work much better without deadlines.....
Thursday, February 12, 2009
I'm pretty happy with my first hand-dyed hank! I used some inexpensive 100% mercerized cotton, which took the dye almost too good. I was hoping for more muted colors, not pastel, just not so bright. The real test will be how a knitted item turns out. I'm looking through cowl patterns, and I think I've decided to try the Darkside Cowl first. I may wait for my second hank to dry and use it first, since I think it turned out better.
Here's number two, in the same colors, at a different concentration:
I like the way the brown came out better with this one. I've washed it again since this picture was taken, in the hopes that I could fade the colors slightly. I'll have to wait to see if it worked until it finishes drying.
Here are a couple of pics of the process:
I'm already thinking of new colors to use next time!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
It all began last Friday, January 9th. I had to make a quick trip to Target near my office. I do have quite the knack for noticing their conspicuous, red-trimmed sales signs in my periphery. On this occasion, the one that caught my eye was announcing a price break on Stephenie Meyers' ridiculously popular series of novels. While I don't live under a rock and usually consider myself to at least be aware of current trends, I hadn't quite understood all this fuss over a few books and a movie about a forbidden teenage human/vampire love affair. Yes, I have seen the previews for the movie, and I knew books were out there that were probably a lot better than any movie based on them would ever be! But, I was certain that I was too old to ride that train. As a 25 year-old mother of three children, I couldn't possibly be interested in sapppy teenage love anymore, right?
So, I began reading Twilight on Friday evening. I was finished before the same evening hour on the next day! I realized a few moments after closing the book that I was impulsively planning a trip to town to purchase the second installment of the series. Yes, I was hooked! I was truly surprised by the feeling of immediately needing to know what happened next. I surrender!
Anyway, I'm not going to become an obsessive forum-message-poster. And I'm not certain that I'll even see the movie, though I was compelled to check a theater sign and I noticed it is still showing...
Naturally, this newfound theif of my spare time has lead me to intertwine it with another, older (perhaps jealous) theif. When I'm not reading, I'm working on these:
They are Bella's Mittens (ravelry link). An awesome knitter designed these after seeing the movie. Aside from their connection to Twilight, I think these are so cute and I'd probably want to knit them even if I wasn't eduring this current preoccupation with the trend. Besides, it is definitely nice to try something more different - I've never knit mittens before. I thought they would be challenging, but the pattern is so well-written, I'm coasting right through. Another bonus: the pattern is free!
I'm using Lion Brand Wool-Ease, double stranded on US 8 bamboo dpns. The pattern calls for the magic loop technique, but I didn't want to bother learning it in my haste to start them! I must add that working with bamboo dpns is so much easier than their metal counterparts.
Here they are, further along:
If I weren't so busy reading, I'd probably be done now! By the way, I'm already on Eclipse. I literally went to three stores today so I could start it. I'm pathetic! At least I'm not letting my knitting needles suffer too much senseless jealousy!
Monday, January 12, 2009
I'm not exactly thrilled with the yarn I chose. Actually, I'm not thrilled with the way it photographs. It looks so much better in person. Tweed is difficult to knit precise cables, I've found. But after knitting this hat twice previously, I knew that I wanted something a little more casual. I couldn't bear to look at this yarn for another moment without knitting something!
Well, I'm off to bed to do a little reading before I stay up too late. More news soon ~ and hopefully some progress shots!