Blog, Projects

Having some fun

One of the problems with trying to have your own business, is that sometimes it can get overwhelming and just not feel fun. You can feel like you are bogged down or stuck. That happened this past weekend. I started to feel very stuck. I was overwhelmed by everything going on. My sales have been in the tank, which can be very common during the summer, but it’s still really tough to deal with. So, as I usually do, I start thinking about plan B. That usually involves the thoughts of what I can do to make money via online sales. Perhaps I SHOULD look at getting into Lularoe (which I debate about every 3 months, even though I just don’t have the mental stuff to do it…just really not something I am good at), or perhaps focus more on the Young Living sales (which I might still push forward with), or search for something else. Then I remember that I’m just not the sales type. Which is funny, but I’m not. I need to work on this more, because obviously it would be beneficial for more things.

I ended up going back to the thoughts of my dormant Etsy shop. I thought, what can I put on there that could be good. I settled on keychains. A very specific thing, that I can make varieties of. Just keychains. Keychains with wood burned tags. Keychains with stuffed critters. Keychains with beaded creations. All keychains. I might add stuff later, but for now…keychains. haha

I started working on my prototypes this weekend, while I wait for some yarn to come in for these. Now, the stuffed critters will have safety eyes, but are still not for kids. They are specifically for keychains, and not for play, but are still super cute. 🙂

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These are the three I have worked up so far. The kitty still needs whiskers, and his tail to be attached to his body. I don’t want to have a dangling tail that would get all tangled up. And the other two are getting some kind of mouth. I just need to dig out the embroidery floss to take care of that. 🙂

Stay tuned for these little guys to be released. I have a bunch more options for critters as well (shark, bat, dolphin, a hug), but I need to get the right color of yarn first. 😀

Thanks to this helping to clear my head and give me some direction, I will have some designs coming down the pipe. I have a couple things that are finishing up testing, and will be released around the 15th. I also have my Scarf of Many Colors that is scheduled to go to the editor on the 12th. That should mean I can start testing of that the following week. Right now the scarf is blocking, and should be dry before too long, so I can get proper pictures. 😀

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Thanks for reading!!

Blog, Projects

Making Plans

We have been waiting for someone to come and look at a couch/recliner that we have up for sale, so I took the down time to do some planning. It’s good to do that every once in a while to make sure I know where I am heading. This time, it wasn’t all about patterns, though. I am working on getting some products up for sale. I’m not 100% sure how that is going to work. If I can get it to work on here, then they will absolutely be listed here, but if not, they will go up on Etsy.

I was trying to decide what would be the first product listed. Part of the problem is getting myself going. I spend so much time working on my pattern designs, that I don’t do much else. I need to be able to balance my time a bit better. To start with, I have decided to make a bunch of keychain items. I already have some wood burning items I have been wanting to do for that. I am now expanding into little crocheted toys that will be on keychains. I have about 8 different designs that I am working through to get them the size that I want them to be.

To start my day, I cleaned up my desk, but you would never know it now.

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I’m playing around with yarn I currently have on hand, but I do have a bunch of specific colors coming to make what I am planning. I have to find my keychain hardware though. I know I bought some. lol I also bought craft safety eyes a while back, and have no idea where they are. But, I know I don’t have near enough, so I went ahead and got some more. My original craft room is still in complete disrepair, so the eyes are probably down there…somewhere. hehe

I better get myself back to work, or I will never get these going. Thanks for reading!

Blog, Projects

New Things

Goodness I have been busy lately. Most of it has been things behind the scenes that isn’t visible. Over the past year I’ve had the debate raging in my head of where to go next with my designs. Do I open my own store? Do I go back to Etsy? Do I keep going as normal? Then Craftsy changed things up, and all my stuff was gone from there, and I was pretty annoyed at the idea of uploading everything again. That made the debate go even more. So, the decision was made to go ahead and set up a store on here.

Once my choice was made, it was all about dealing with the logistics. Tax numbers needed to be obtained (that was being taken care of by other places). Once I was legal all over, I could start the store for reals. I listed everything and was all set. But, now what? At this point, I am looking at making sure I have some sort of advertising campaign going.

Of course while I was doing all this, I needed to make sure that the designs didn’t fall through the cracks. No point in having my own store if I have nothing new to put into it. Right now, I have three projects in testing. That means August will be busy with launches. 😀 Here are some pics of what is coming down the pipe!

Socks:

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Hooded Cowl:

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Scarf:

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And a sweater (about to go to editing and also get a proper photo shoot):

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I also have a couple other things in progress. One is a scarf made with mini skeins:

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And a Game of Thrones inspired snowflake shawl:

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I can’t wait to get these all out to everyone. 😀 I think I need to do a brain storming session soon, though. I’m hoping to get these latest in progress items finished in the next 3 weeks to get them all out for editing. 😀 I will be sure to post in the patterns page when these each launch!

Projects

Slowly getting things done

Hello!! As I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve started a new endeavor. I’ve started selling essential oils. I’m just getting started, so you might get a few more posts over there compared to normal. Sorry about that. But, I assure you that while that is also one of my businesses, the crafty stuff is still number one. So on that front, I’ve been working hard to get things done. The design stuff is in the off-season, as I mentioned last time. But, ti’s only off-season when it comes to releases. I actually have two things still on the go. Other than that, let’s see what I have done.

First, here are mittens that will be going into testing in the new year. These are currently called Speckled Mitts, but we’ll see if that name sticks.

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This is really the only finished product right now, but that’s okay. I’ve been pretty busy. I will hopefully have a finished pair of socks this weekend. Oh, and I’ll have a post shortly regarding a test knit I just finished for YONY. Watch for that soon!

Projects

Where has 2018 gone?

My goodness, this year has flown by! Thankfully there are still 2 months left to go before the end of the year, but for me, it’s now entering my “off” season. This means that I am doing very little in terms of designs. I will work on creating them, and knitting them, but no new testing will begin until the new year. I do have a shawl in testing right now, though! More on that in a moment. With the holidays coming up, people are very busy with their own stuff. They are knitting gifts, making other gifts, getting ready with decorations, preparing for get togethers, and so on. They are way too busy to test knit things for people. And since my next test is going to be a sweater, I need more than one person to test it for me.

So, first off, lets talk about that shawl. This is my Chocolate Cupcake Shawl. I have given testers an end date of November 30, because again, with the holidays and things coming up, I didn’t want people to feel rushed and crazy. So, that will get a release just before Christmas. It’s designed to use a fade yarn. I chose Freia in a sport weight, and went from light to dark in one ball, then dark to light in the next. It gave it a great fade throughout. The other nice part, is that the repeat is able to just go on and on, for as long as you want it to. That means it’s very customizable.

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The other thing I have been puttering on is a bullet journal. I’m very knew to this, only two weeks in. And it’s pretty epic. lol I don’t know where this has been all my life! I like to have things written down and accountable, but at the same time, I don’t like to be confined by a regular schedule. When I sit there and say Wednesday I will do X and Y, I get bummed when I can’t do X and Y, and then my agenda looks all scratched up. lol It’s also not good when you have no idea when an RA flare will hit. But, I have the bullet journal set up to write down actual scheduled items, but I also have a running to do list that I can mark complete regardless of when I do them. And if I don’t finish them? I put this little arrow next to it to say look at next week, and add it to the next to do list. It takes a lot of the stress away. And I get to putter on it and make doodles, which is always fun. One of the things in my bullet journal is weekly blog posts. So, I should be able to get caught up on everything soon. I did make some fingerless mittens that have been sent off to a friend to keep her fingers warm. 🙂 These are also my own design, and I’ll be putting these up for testing at some point. I’m not sure if I’ll wait until January, or go ahead and post them now. It could be a great Christmas knit, so I might end up putting them up and seeing how it goes. I know it breaks the winding down phase of the year, but they are finished on my end. I do have to get them tech edited, though, so that might be an expense to save for next year. Untitled

Projects

Finished projects

I actually finished something for myself, that isn’t my own design. Before Christmas I decided to join the Miss Babs Knitting Tour for 2018. I kept missing it in the past, but this time I managed to get in. 😀 I was very excited. First up was a lovely wrap called Opaline Wrap and it is by Ambah O’Brien. It is so pretty! It had just enough change to keep it interesting, and definitely kept in the “one more section” category. Sometimes it was hard to put down. It was so easy to remember where I left off, though, when I did have to put it down. I mean, I had to eat and sleep eventually, right? I still need to block this, but it is 100% done, with even the ends woven in. 😀  And I love it. I can’t wait for the next shipment for this. It comes every quarter, so I should get the next one in June.

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I have also been working on some gifts. This is one of the gift pairs that I completed. They are waiting for a wash and light block. They are my own pattern called Leaves Galore. I also have another pair of these on the go for another gift pair.

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Then there are these guys. They were a test knit that I finished not that long ago. They are a bit too big for me, which was all my fault. I have been loosening up my gauge more than I thought the last few months, so I was off with these socks. I’ve been working on tightening my gauge again to have it where I need it to be. It’s getting much better. These socks were so fast to knit, and match a hat pattern that the designer has as well. These are Angels Flight Socks, by Jessie Ksanznak.

And I almost forgot my Worsted Boxy by Joji Locatelli. Honestly, there isn’t a single pattern by Joji that I don’t like, and I am trying to make time to knit through them all. This picture makes it look like it should be for a T-Rex. lol But, it designed to be an oversized body, which means you only need about 6″ of arm. It is so comfortable, and I wear it a lot. I probably should have gone up one more size to get the arm length right, since this comes just below my elbow. But, as a knitter, that ended up being the best possible length.

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And of course, we have Jesse’s Girl by Kate Oates. I love this sweater. It hasn’t been cold enough for me to wear it a lot, but I absolutely love it. I went with Miss Babs yarn for this one, in this light dusty pink color, and it’s so pretty. I did change the neck a bit, because it was lower cut than I would like. Sometimes the “girls” have issues with necklines that are too low. But, I just added a bit to the front to bring it up and that seems to do the trick. 😀 It has been cool enough, that if I’m out for a bit, I could probably wear a tank top with this sweater and it would be awesome. I’ll have to remember that if it cools off again.

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Phew! I think that is it for the most part right now. I know I have a couple more things, but I can’t think of them and I didn’t put them into Flickr. lol Hopefully I’ll have another post soon, that isn’t so long!!

Projects

Finished Gifts

Now that the gifts have been opened, I can post about what I made my parents. Mom requested a vest, so I cast on Gamine for her. I used Madeline Tosh Vintage in the Arctic colorway, and was so happy with it! It’s a heck of a knit, with a ton of pattern, but is so nice. I absolutely loved the pattern.

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My dad wanted warm gloves, so I ended up designing something for him. So many patterns just weren’t working out for me, so I decided to make something that seemed to fit what I wanted. Problem number 1 is that knit gloves are not that warm. The wind will go through the holes from the knit stitches very easily. My solution was to double the knit. I knit 4 gloves, and then put them with their wrong sides together. After stitching them in a few places to hold them together, I crocheted an edging to hold the wrists together and not have them looking ragged. I think they turned out okay, but it was not an easy endeavor. It took me a couple months of fooling around with them and knitting and frogging to finally get them to a stage that they A) looked like gloves, and B) would fit. It would have been easier if he had wanted mittens. hehe

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Now I am on to socks for myself. I needed something else to work on, and ended up with a case of start-up-itis. I am making Take Five socks in my November 2017 sock club yarn from Into the Whirled.

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Thanks for reading! I hope you have been enjoying your holidays, and that 2018 fulfills all your yarny dreams!

Projects

The planning stages

One of the things that makes the end of the year even crazier, as if getting Christmas knitting finished isn’t enough, is the planning for the next year. I have two separate lists…maybe three…that are going for next year. First is the personal knitting. There are things I want to make in my free time, and I tend to set some goals there. Second is my business knitting. It’s good to get a few things planned out, so I can hit the ground running. The maybe third is a gift list. I like to get a running list of gifts that I want to make for people this year. That can be for Christmas, birthdays, or just surprises. For example, I have plans for making socks for a couple folks next year.

To start the year I have plans for a log cabin style blanket. It is already mapped out, and I’ll be starting it after the holidays are done. The pattern is mapped out, but I still need to do my gauge swatch to see what I need for stitches and things. I also haven’t quite decided on needle size. I do, however, have the yarn!

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This is a pile of Brava Worsted from Knit Picks. There are 4 colors here, and I have a fifth down in the craft room that is all set to go. I also have a couple skeins of Cloud Alpaca in there (also Knit Picks), for a cowl that is not planned out yet. The needles are for socks, because I am always short on the 2.25mm and 2.5mm needles. hehe For now, I am off to get some work done on this scarf for the Celtic Cable Scarf/Cowl pattern that I really need to get out by year end this year. 😀 I am about 1/3 of the way through, but I keep getting distracted by other things. I’m so terrible for that this time of the year anyway.

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Thanks for reading!

Projects

House projects

As you can imagine, projects can cover a wide gambit of topics. For me, it’s usually knitting related, but I am a general crafter, so I also do ceramics painting, wood working, crochetting, needlepoint, etc etc. I also do work around the house. J and I decided this past summer that we would do some renovations around the house. The first step was getting a contractor in for the big stuff that we just didn’t have the time for. That meant the contractor would take care of the kitchen and master bathroom.  We did the design for both, and they carried out the vision….with my overseeing and ever watchful eye. Those projects took way long than they should have, and here we are 2 months after the actual work completion, and the contractor has not collected his final payments on those jobs yet.I might regret using a contractor just a bit. sigh Oh well. Anyway, the rooms turned out really nice. We are really in love with our master bath. I can’t get it into a single picture, though, so here it is:

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As for the kitchen, it now has function and flow, which it was lacking before. We added the peninsula to give extra storage, and a place to use for baking. It has been awesome! (Just ignore all the papers and junk collecting on it right now. lol I’ll be cleaning later today. The pics are pre-junk, so we’re good. hehe)

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We are apparently gluttons for punishment, because at the end of November we decided it was time to tackle the remaining two bedrooms upstairs. We knew it would be a lot of work, but we were up to it. We set aside two weeks to tear up the carpet and padding, and all the staples and tack strips. Then we had to put down new plywood on the sub floor. Of course, all the baseboards had to come up as well, seeing as how the building installed them right on the sub floor. facepalm From there it was all about drywall repairs and painting. The rooms turned out fantastic! I don’t have pics of J’s office, but it looks really good. I do have pics of the other room, which is now the Studio. We can use it for anything artistic, so it has computers, art supplies, ceramics, etc. We finished on the 13th of December with the electrician coming in to install an outlet and the ceiling fans, so we could get the furniture for the rooms built and installed.

My work space:
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J’s work space:

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Since these pictures were taken, we installed lights on the wall above each desk for better lighting. The ceiling fans have a single edison bulb, which gives a soft light, but not near enough to work by.

I have already used the space to do some design planning. Before the end of the year, I will be making a post of what is coming up for 2018. I’m still planning it all out a bit, and trying to decide on my main goal, but I do have a design started that will be following next years theme, which is color. I wanted something large for a theme to keep it being something I could be inspired by. Color will include anything and everything. The current design is a log cabin style blanket. I also have thoughts of a double knit project and fair isle projects or other color work. It will be a colorful 2018!

Projects

Christmas gifts are done, on to me presents!

Yes, I have finished my Christmas knitting. Now, before you get jealous, I will put in the explanation that I really only made two gifts. I seriously limited what I am knitting for people. I have a gift for each of my parents, and that is it. 😀 I do have a WIP that I am working on for J that is partly done, but it’s not a Christmas present, since he knows I’m doing it.

With that being said, I finished a scarf for myself. I decided to try Tunisian Crochet, and see what it was like. I picked up some Tunisian needles and found myself a pattern on Ravelry. I ended up choosing the Tunisian Resolution Scarf. It’s a fantastic pattern! It is just complicated enough to keep my attention, yet describes everything with pictures, so that even a beginner will understand. So, back and forth I went until it was super long….like down to my knees long. I love it. I did the basic width that the pattern described, since it doesn’t get all that cold down here for me. But it’s also long enough that I can wrap it around my neck twice and it’s still a good length.

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Other than that, I am working on one of my designs that will be coming soon. It’s a cabled cowl/scarf. It has been tested, but I need scarf pics, so I am plugging away at finishing that. Also, I’m working on my double knit blanket still. This is the Grand Quest Blanket, which I got through the compilation. It’s fabulous! Here are some of my squares so far:

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This is only two of the squares. There will be 20 total, and they are fully reversible. I love them! It goes with the same group of patterns as the scarf I finished ages ago: Untitled

Now that I have updated what is going on with my projects, it’s time to get back to working on them! Thanks for reading!