Tag Archives: etsy

Week #1 of 52 Week Challenge & Some Finished Objects


First Glove….From a Chart!

First Glove….From a Chart!

Oh how my hubby had no idea what he was doing when he picked out his favorite pattern out of my newly acquired book. 60 Quick Knits was a Christmas present this year from my dad, his adorable opinion on knitting is that it all should be quick! I am actually really enjoying it so far, just remember to check Ravelry for errata – I have found a lot of entires that were just a little off. So this is the Cabled-Cuff Mitten Pattern, knitted with Patons Worsted Wool. So where did I learn something new this week? I learned (try not to gasp) how to read a chart!

~ You Couldn’t Read a Chart Before this Past Week? ~

Well, no. I have no problem following a chart in the round, at least in the past few months – but a chart knitted flat – akin to bamboo shards under my fingernails. I hated the idea that one symbol having two meanings, I just couldn’t understand why on earth they couldn’t just make a “knit as written” chart.

When they hubby pointed to the mittens that he liked the best, I saw that flat chart and cringed. I’m not gonna lie, the first 7 rounds were….difficult. I pushed through and by the end of the first repeat I finally understood the purpose. I was getting the hang of it after the second repeat and by the third I was gladly going left to right, right to left and realizing that there was a ligament reason for making a chart this way. Final thoughts – YEA FOR FINALLY BEING ABLE TO READ A CHART!

~ How About Some Finished Objects! ~

Christmas, birthdays, New Year’s …. blah blah blah…. has slowed my FO list down quite a bit. However, I still feel like sharing.

It may not be super interesting to look at, but this is a custom order for a new customer. Her sister-in-law went to school in Jamaica where her school colors where purple and gold. I took one of my stitch dictionaries and found a way to combine a standard rib with a zig-zag. I know that it would show better on smaller needles and s solid color, but it actually turned out really well. I added a slip-stitch border to keep the sides nice and clean and she was very pleased. *Dramatically wiping my brow!*

SInce WordPress isn’t letting me preview the post – and I cannot remember which order I put these in – please just roll with me.

  1. The three (rather boring/ rather repetitive) things I have been commissioned to do this week is  20 dishcloth – 10 Christmas Colors and 10 Pink (these are not done yet).
  2. Another Christmas Stocking – which is actually quite nice, but you’ve already seen a gazillion pictures of them. Sorry friends and neighbors.
  3. AND of course, a few ruffles. I have an order for 5 OSU Buckeye Ruffle Scarves – all done *insert deep sigh of relief*

Yea Cabes and Bobbles!

Yea Cables and Bobbles!

This is yet another concoction of the genius that is 60 Quick Knits – with some big changes on my part. The pattern is the Bobbles & Cables Cap by Suvi Simola and is a decent pattern. I changed the 1. The cast-on 2. The bobbles (which I made bigger) 3. The cable progression was continued another round 4. and I slightly felted the hat when I was finished (no pic of that yet…because I suck).

I made the hat larger and longer to felt the pattern because it does wonderful things to bobbles and finicky cables. It tightens everything up and gives is a delicious fit. I made the cap with Ella Rae Classic Superwash in Kiwi and chucked in into the dryer. The result? Pretty amazing – slight felting give the hat a denser feel and makes the bobbles seem more natural and less like a hanging hemorrhoid 😉

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

I need a Post-Felt Picture….bad Rachel.

Okay friends and neighbors, that’s all for me today. I will be back with more on my sock stashing, thanks to Knitting Sarah and her #sockswithsarah year-long Sock KAL. I am working the instep on my fourth pair of socks – pretty epic! I need to finish those mittens (yea for reading charts!) and I’ve unearthed my Fiori Autunnali and my Jayashri Pullover. Until next time – remember, if the gimp can try it you can too! 🙂

Happy New Year & Hello 2014!


Howdy friends and neighbors, it seems a new year has begun and that means big plans to fill the next 365 days! Oh the plans I have, not resolutions so much as grand plans for all the things that I want to get into in the next 52 weeks. Let’s see the list shall we?

  • Find a year long KAL – any suggestions would be helpful by the way.
  • Join KALs to meet even more amazing online knitters
  • Finish a sweater
  • Finish that lace beaded lace shawl.
  • Find that perfect sock formula
  • Stash bust 50% of my stash
  • Actually spin things I want to share on the internet 😉
  • Try my hand at designing more intricate things 
  • Try weaving – it looks like fun!
  • Keep all my social media up to date. aka Ravelry, Twitter, Facebook,  Flickr (my personal favorite), Tumblr and Instagram
  • Be so much better about updating my Etsy store
  • BLOG MORE!

But here is the one I am really, really excited for….

~ 52 Weeks of New Experiences! ~

I never make New Year’s Resolutions – they usually lead to disappointment. But this year I want to try something new, I want to try 1 new thing a week (or a total of 52 new things in a year). This can be knitting related or anything else my mind dreams up. Life is too short to not keep learn and trying new things. I already know what I want to do for week 1, which is really exciting!, but I am going to have to keep reading blogs, books, magazines and anything I can get my hands on to keep expanding as a person.

This is going to be a very full year indeed. So now I beg for your input friends and neighbors – what knitting are you doing this coming year? Heard of any good KALs? Seen something that tickles your fancy? Please share! I am here and sooo ready to listen!

 

Knitting Panic Monster & Finished Objects


Max admonishing me for not knitting my sock.

Max admonishing me for not knitting my sock.

I was sitting in a waiting room today, mindlessly knitting on a project when it struck me….I appear to be suffering from knitting ADHD. Usually, my best brainwaves happen in the shower – years of showering in the dark, preparing to make my body think it is nighttime and thus time to think, removes all the fuzz from my brain. But sitting in this waiting room today it just hit me: I am afraid to finish my big projects because I am afraid I am going to muck them up.

This is silly. My Panic Monster may be in fine form lately but I refuse to be beaten by the means of that little bugger. So going home I told my husband I was going to finish two projects today – turns out I finished three. 🙂

Sock 1 of 2.

Sock 1 of 2.

So this is the first sock of my third pair. I am no longer really following a pattern – just taking bits and pieces from a lot of patterns to find something that I like. Despite doing the toe decreases a little wonkily the sock fits like a dream! I also really like Patons Jacquards – this on is the Aqua Jacquard, and working with size 2.25mm needles really isn’t that scary.

The Boneyard Shawl is FINISHED!!!!

The Boneyard Shawl is FINISHED!!!!

11474926796_8640bc545cThis, friends and neighbors, is my finished Boneyard Shawl! It is a free pattern on Ravelry by Stephen West (he was the one who designed the Dustland Hat, which is awesome) and I love it! I should be embarrassed to show a picture of it before it’s bath and block, but I am so excited that I finally finished it. I did the Russian Lace Bind Off for Cast On, Bind Off which is gloriously stretchy, and the yarn is Bernat Mosaic in Aura. I don’t really like this yarn to be honest, but the color progression is lovely, so I will forgive it. Again, it was another long-term project that was languishing in my cabinet, just waiting for me to put in a couple of hours and finish it.

My Design!

My Design!

This super bulky, cabled cowl is one of the first of (hopefully many) my designs. I geared up my noggin, picked up some sticks and string and let it rip 😉

It was knitted on size 15US needles with Lions Brand Hometown USA in Little Rock Granite. It may be acrylic yarn but it knit up really nicely, and more importantly handles the two cable needles and 9 stitch cable really well. The only problem I’ve encountered is the seaming, everything lines up perfectly but there is that little row where the sewing shows – if you’re looking. Which…I am.

I would really like to write-up the pattern but don’t think I should until I figure out the seam – what would be the point of putting it out there without a way to finish it seamlessly? Hmm….I find the whole thing a little baffling.

One day, three projects and I feel like attacking everything in my knitting cabinet. I was fortunate that my WIP cabinet is in our den, if it was still in the basement the burst pipe would have taken all this work. Now I just have to tackle that sweater….and with that friends and neighbors, I will leave you with my thoughts on that!

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Good News, Bad News & Oodles of Photographed FOs


Max - maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Max – maxing and relaxing with some yarn.

Alrighty friends and neighbors, this is how I’m gonna try to put weeks of blogging into one post. First off, let’s get the bad news over with – bad news will be in red and good news will be in green (Christmas-y huh?). So, let’s begin.

GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS

  • Gloria, my amazing niece, is in the top 10% of students in the midwest and will be sitting for a ACTs in January – she’s in the seventh grade!!!! 🙂
  • I broke my tailbone. BUT the snow has been beautiful!
  • Trevor’s Dad has cancer. BUT the treatment is doable, and his crazy hair from the treatments makes him look like Bill Murray.
  • My special stash was ruined when a pipe burst. BUT I still have loads of yarn to play with.
  • I had to get a second job. BUT I was able to get a second job in this economy and at this time of year.
  • Trevor and I shared our 11 year first date  anniversary! 🙂
  • Orders seem to be slowing down. BUT I had my first Etsy store sale.
  • I’ve broken four pairs of needles. BUT I can rewrite patterns for straight needles, something I had never had to do before.
  • 2014’s money may be worse than 2013’s.  BUT I married Prince Charming and we can survive anything.
  • I lost my LYS. BUT I have found a new yarn store. It’s a drive and I won’t be able to go often, but everyone that works there is lovely!
  • I’ve been avoiding blogging because I don’t want to lose my online knitting community.

I guess it is silly not writing, but it feels like my projects (or my yarn) are really that special to blog about. Since the incident at the LYS my knitting mojo has been….none existent – I am constantly doubting my ability and my finished product. Again, silly. It is time to take a breath and move on. Get back to blogging and back to sharing with the amazing online knitting community. Who knows, I may even have a pattern to share soon!

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FINISHED OBJECTS!

I don’t know if this is everything, probably not but this is the best way to catch up with all the things I’ve been finishing. The scary part is that there are multiples of several of these project – I will spare you several duplicate photos and do one pic of each. I hope you enjoy.

I actually feel like I haven’t really knit that much in the last month, not until after I got a good look at the photos. I think for next year I am going to do the Knitmeter to see just how much damage I can really do. I think that is it for me today, I have bared my soul and now it’s time to get to knitting. I will be back, getting over this insecurity is something you just have to push through – no other way around. For anyone reading this, thank you for sticking with me, it means the world.

Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

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I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

The Scarf That Had Identity Issues – Free Pattern!


  • Written by: Rachel Folk (kinda)
  • Editing and Written Pattern by: Trevor Folk

So I showed progress on this scarf…um…last week? Anyway, the more I worked on it the bigger it got. I know, I know – it’s supposed to get bigger but this scarf seemed to get wider as well.

This is how it started:

So Far...

So Far…

And THIS is how it ended:

Chilling on my couch.

Chilling on my couch.

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Yowzer boss!

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Max’s Front Window Perch

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Yup. It’s THAT big!

By the time I bound off I didn’t know if it was 1) a scarf 2) a table runner or 3) a decorative couch cover. It was gorgeous by they way ( I used two strands of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda) and I was really enjoying looking at it on the back of my couch.

Luckily my Mom fixed the situation by calling it a “drape” and took it quite literally off my hands. She had it in her car so fast I didn’t even get a picture of her wearing it. She has pure black hair (and since her hair color is real she has natural blue highlights) and it looked stunning on her – I should have gotten a picture dagnabbit!

I thought about seeing if I could actually sell a pattern, but since I can’t seem to work out the logistics of sizing I will share it for free. Knit at your will, sell the completed projects on Etsy – I don’t really care. I figure the pattern deserves to be out in the knitting universe.

** The Pattern **

  • Needles: Size 15US (10mm) Straight Needles
  • Yarn: 2 Packages of Caron Simply Soft in Pagoda (2 strands necessary if you are hoping to achieve thickness) – (why does everything knitting related sound so dirty?- TF)

Cast On 36 Stitches

Set Up: Knit Four (4) Rows Seed Stitch.

  • Row 1: K1, P1, K1, P1. Knit to last Four (4) stitches. K1, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 2 and all Even/Wrong Side Rows: P1, K1, P1, K1. Purl to last Four (4) stitches. P1, K1, P1, K1
  • Row 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K2, SSK, K2TOG, K4, (YO, K1)twice *;  repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches. K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 13: REPEAT ROW ONE (1).
  • Row 15, 17, 19, 21, 23: K1, P1, K1, P1, K1; *K3, YO, K1, YO, K4, SSK, K2TOG *; repeat from * to last Seven (7) stitches; K4, P1, K1, P1
  • Row 24: REPEAT ROW TW0 (2)

Repeat rows 1-24 until desired length (Rachel went till she was almost out of yarn and cursing -TF). Do Four (4) rows of seed stitch and BO (bowl obstruction? -TF) loosely. 

******** ******* ****** ***** **** *** ** *

So there you have it friends and neighbors, from my noggin to yours. I want to give a big round of applause for my husband who is putting up with me. (You’re welcome -TF). I also wanted to add that I am reading all of your wonderful posts but not commenting as much as I would like. No worries, Dragon Speak will be back eventually. I hope you like the pattern, it is the very least I can do to share because all of your blogs are making me a better knitter, spinner, crocheter and person.

Man that was cheesy – I’m out. 🙂 (Do people still say “I’m out?”. -TF)

Multiple WIPs to Combat Hand Fatigue


I was able to pick up my needles this week but quickly realized that I was going to have to find a sweet spot to appease both of my hands. This gave me the best excuse to cast on several projects, I mean, I have to keep my hands happy!

I have found that different types of needles, different needle sizes and different types of yarn are the best way to keep my hands from feeling any fatigue – also, I never get bored working on one project. Pretty awesome in my book, maybe this whole arthritis thing isn’t so bad after all! 😉 So here is my WIP run down:

Size 2US DPN – Sock Weight Yarn – Patons Jacquard & Stripe Socks #104

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

What a finished pair looks like. It smells like victory though!

I casted on another pair of these immediately after I finished the first, I am only on the ribbing so no picture yet, but they are fantastic to knit and easy on both hands.

Size 4 Circular Needles – Lace Weight – Fiori Autunnali Shawl

What it looks like finished - photo courtesy of  teresat2 on Flickr

What it looks like finished – photo courtesy of teresat2 on Flickr

This pattern is from the Craftsy Class New Directions in Lace. It is an incredible early Christmas present from my Mom – and there are beads! I am still a bit daunted by how much work it is going to take to finish this beast, but it’s just so pretty I don’t care. Romi Hill creates the most beautiful work and her class is so full of information I’m surprised it didn’t cost more. If you like lace, like learning, want to try something new and work with a stellar pattern – go sign up for this class.

This is where I am in the pattern:

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Yes. I am scared to take off the belly button cast on.

Size 5US Circular Needles – DK Weight Yarn – Jayashri Sweater

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

Jayashri Pullover from Knit Picks

This is the kalallnight that Stacy over at Musings and Motion and I are making. The pattern is available from Knit Picks and if you still feel the urge to join feel free! I have a feeling that Stacy will finish way before I do and I wouldn’t mind the company! Here is where I am so far:

jayashri sweater - week 4

Size 7US Circular and DPN – Worsted Weight – “Hat on the Brain”

I have gone on a mini design kick trying to make a bunch of different beanies. I am trying to have a very styled brim (usually combinations of stitch dictionaries) and working my way through a list of hat decreases. I just finished the one last night, the rusty orange beanie above ↑ so I will need to cast on another one today.

Size 8US Straight 7″ Needles – Worsted Weight – Looped Loop Cowl

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Courtesy of Ravelry. © lavidaloca

Here is a super fun cowl by Kirsten Johnstone that I just had to cast on – despite the fact that straight needles make both my hands hurt and the pinkie on my right hand usually gets rubbed raw ( you know, since it just lays there and doesn’t move…man…that sounds super dirty ;)). Anyway, I had to give it a go and here is the progress:

Total length needs to be 44" - still a bit to go.

Total length needs to be 44″ – still a bit to go.

Oh! For fun, here is Lucy Neatby showing the coolest provisional cast on I have ever done.

And finally….

Size 15US Straight Needles – Two Strands DK Weight – Eyelet Scarf

This was another attempt to create something out of my own noggin….and some stitch dictionaries. I am trying to combine different variations on eyelet patterns so it looks swirled. I started it before I hurt my left hand so I can only work on it maybe 20 minutes a day. The color is beautiful though so I don’t mind looking at it everyday.

So Far...

So Far…

So that’s the low down on my WIPs for Wednesday. I hope you’ve enjoyed my ranting and hopefully I have given you an excellent excuse to cast on more projects – you must think of the health of your hands!

So friends and neighbors I am interested to hear, if you would like to share, how you combat both boredom and hand fatigue. I was once a fairly monogamous knitter (no more that three projects going at a time) so this is all new to me. Feel free to share – I love to listen!

All Night KAL – Week 4 – Time for Body Work


jayashri sweater - week 4So despite the rather poor photo quality (I like browns in my house, obviously) the Jayashri Pullover is coming along quite nicely! I finished the decreases and now it is on to either six or seven inches of straight body work.

This should be the easiest part of the sweater, just mindless knitting in the round allowing some length to accumulate. I am a little worried about the bust increases, it is something I have never done and I have a rather ample bust. For now though I am just going to enjoy some straight up mindless knitting.

I am worried about the time factor this week, because this week looks insane! I have loads of ruffles that need done and two adult female from my Etsy store to do. I also have to go to work, feed myself and my husband (and the cat if he is good) and sleep. I’ve been keeping a pretty good pace and I suppose that one good day would keep me going, I just haven’t figured out where to put that yet.

Hopefully there will be nothing but good news next week and lots of extra stitches to take pictures of. Maybe, if I’m good, I will even remember to take the picture against a lighter background. Who knows? 😉

Not much to look at yet friends and neighbors, but it’s getting there. What I am wondering is how do you not get in a garment making rut? Is the seemingly endless amount of stitches like second sock syndrome? And most importantly, does working on a long-term goal make you have a serious case of startitis (thank you Knitmore Girls), because I have a million things I am dying to cast on in my Ravelry queue right now!

Hope you all have lovely days filled with good food, good friends and error free projects!

 

 

Where Would I Be Without You?


If this doesn’t warm your heart, then I don’t know what will!

Trevor and Alissa and Yarn

 

For those who don’t know, I am incredibly arthritic in my right (and dominate) hand. When the great Ruffle Scarf Endeavor started I was okay with the knitting, not okay with pulling all the yarn apart. By the end of the night my hand was a ghastly purple bruise, even with ice and Advil the swelling was hard to control. My Etsy Shop had never really done any business until the ruffles, and since I was helping to contribute to our household I never said no to an order.

After a while though my hand was a mess, I couldn’t hold utensils to eat and my knitting was slowing to a snail’s pace. Well, here came my incredible family to the rescue. It started with my husband. Trevor started pulling apart yarn and placing them in the reusable bags we use to grocery shop. My hand was starting to heal but still lagging, and I felt pretty darn guilty for asking him to help.

Then, miracles or miracles, my niece…my Gloria…wanted to help as well. She’d come over after school and just pull yarn without ever being asked. It seemed natural to her to just hunker down and help. That’s just how she is. Before you know it, I was back to full knitting ability and my hand almost looks flesh-colored again!

Trevor and Max and Yarn

If I’ve ever lamented over anything, and I mean anything, then it was because I didn’t realize just how lucky I am. Being rich would be nice, no doubt about that – but I would never trade it for these moments, these amazing people in my life. Somehow I am lucky enough to have my two favorite people (and my favorite cat) helping me to do what I love, arthritis be damned.

Seriously friends and neighbors, does it get better than this? ♥

All Night KAL – Week 3 – I Need More Spare Time!


So the progress on the Jayashri Sweater continues, very slowly. It’s been a really busy week; several custom orders have come into the shop (yea!), along with several (28 – yes, twenty-eight) ruffle scarf orders. If you don’t take into account having 1) a job 2) a husband and loving niece and 3) social life, well then I guess I would have my pullover finished by now.

Wanna see some progress? Because I really want to share!

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I am still keeping a very vigilant count of all the stitches that go into this wonderful pullover, it appeases my OCD as well as my genuine curiosity about how the garment is coming together. I am getting to the decreases that are written in the pattern for the waist, decreases aren’t a problem and I can see (both on the picture of the sweater and in my head) about how this supposed to turn out. It is the short rows and increases for the bust ( of which mine is….ample) that I am a little worried about. I am watching the Short Rows Class on Craftsy to get a better understanding of how these stitches are worked and it has done wonders to bolster my confidence. Of course I am saying this before I’ve actually worked a single row. 🙂

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It is a bit daunting to put your first attempt at anything on the internet – especially when you spend every minute of your spare time seeing other bloggers amazing, flawless work. Perhaps it will be a way to motivate me to spend the extra time to learn the construction of a garment – I mean, who wants to fall flat on their face in front of such amazing talent? Either way it goes I am just remembering to breath and enjoy the knitting.

So friends and neighbors it’s question time! What was your first handmade garment? Did it end with smiles or tears? Is there any advice you would wish to share?

As always, it is a pleasure to blog with such great company! ♥

 

Custom Order Progress Update! Three Very Ambitious Hats!


I feel so lucky to be working on this custom order. You know, having quoted such a low price (all my fault) has really taken a lot of the pressure off. Which is strange, because this is some of the most intricate knitting I’ve done it a while. Wanna see? I wanna share!! (the last one may be my favorite!♥)

** Fancy Cables for a 3 Year Old **

 

9879546385_b0428e52fe_oThis toddler-sized cabled hat was…ridiculous, but in the best way possible! Every section has a new cable to look at, which as a knitter is always a bonus for me. The yarn may be 100% acrylic, but a little guy is going to be wearing it, so my guilt is minimal. Also, despite the rumors, after it is washed – it really is much softer. Plus, I’m only charging $5.00 a hat. 🙂

 

** RIBS AND CABLES TO GROW IN TO **

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This is probably the least interesting of all the hats I’ve been making. Following the same idea I followed with the Honeycomb Hat, I picked a rib stitch and a cable stitch and let my needles fly. I even used the same decrease. There is an odd sense of satisfaction with creating something all on your own, although I am sure some other knitter has already done it. Either way, it is another hat off my needles.

** THE BABY HAT I WOULD MAKE FOR MY (IMAGINARY) BABY **

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There are a million reasons that I am in love with this patchwork knitted hat. I love the color changes. I love that all eight panels are different. I love the little fluff at the top of that hat that you get with a simple running stitch. More than anything I love how this hat told my knitting story.

You start with the garter stitch, the first thing you learn as a knitter. Moving on to stockinette and then seed stitch. These were my go to’s for probably my first whole year of knitting (I had a limited imagination, as well as very limited time to learn). The next panel is actually the wrong side of twisted ribbing, the first thing I every really messed up as a knitter. The whole hat was inside out and I didn’t notice! So I went back and learn the basic rib stitch to allow my confidence to grow back. After getting a handle on how knits and purls changed texture I added the basket weave stitch to my go-to dishcloth pattern. With my confidence reignited I went back to the twisted rib stitch, this time correctly! To finish it off was learning the basic cable – and it’s all history after that.

I will fully admit that this hat made me cry a little. Goofy, I know. I just imagined myself pregnant, knitting a hat like this to bring Trevor and I’s baby home in. I don’t know if that will ever happen (although I am a bit of a pessimist where this is concerned), but a hat that shows knitting progression just felt like life progressing. The thought that our lives will progress without a child can quite literally take my breath away. However, I will gladly take giving it to someone else, letting them bring home a baby in a hat made with unconditional love.

End of diatribe.

Well that’s it for me friends and neighbors, although I may have blown my blogging load and it’s only Monday! How about you, where are you getting your knitting/blogging inspiration this week?

My First Custom Order!


First, here is are the pictures of that adorable baby hat I whipped up for my Dad’s friend.

Secondly, here is a the finished product of my Baby Sophisticate Sweater. I am super proud of this little guy – I cannot wait to gift it!

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Progress…

Finished!

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You’ve heard it here first friends and neighbors, I have received my first custom order! Best part, it is not a “custom order” for ruffles! I have been presented with the opportunity to make five hats and two scarves in whatever fashion I want! It has been so exciting so far, I’ve been in every stitch dictionary and design book that I own – or my local library can provide.

There is never a downside to an order, but there is a way to self-sabatage your business. I quoted the lowest price that I could think of (thinking that they would say no! you are far to talented!). Seriously, what goes through my head, I’ll never know! Either way, this is the first opportunity to really knit my heart out and show off what I can do.

The hats are for three children: ages six, three and 5 months. The hat and scarves combinations are for two adult females. This is what I’ve done so far. I created a hat for a three year old from a circular needle stitch pattern book complete with the easiest hat closure possible.

By the way...it's actually purple.

By the way…it’s actually purple.

I am thinking of putting the pattern on my Ravelry page, but it just seems like that pattern would be a little to obvious. So I will see what you think! Here is the pattern:

** FREE PATTERN **

→ For worsted-weight yarn – going down to baby weight you will need to find the correct gauge (for me it was increasing by 32 stitches and going down a needle size).

→ CO 88 stitches (any multiple of 8 will work) on size 6US (4mm) needles – 16″ Circular
→ K1, P1 across for 8 rounds.
→ Switch to size 7US (4.5mm) 16″ circular needles.

Repeat the following 12 rounds three (3) times. (this was how long it took me to get my height)

  1. Knit
  2. Knit
  3. Knit
  4. Knit
  5. *4st. Left Cable, 4st. Right Cable* rep. till end of round. (front to back cable pattern)
  6. Knit
  7. Knit
  8. Knit
  9. Knit
  10. Knit
  11. *4st Right Cable, 4st. Left Cable* rep. till end of round. (back to front cable pattern)
  12. Knit
  • 4st. Left Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold front, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.
  • 4st. Right Cable – 2sts on cable needle, hold back, knit two stitches from left needle, knit 2sts off cable needle.

→ Switch to DPNs when needed.

  1. *K2, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  2. Knit
  3. *K1, K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  4. Knit
  5. *K2tog* rep. till end of round.
  6. Cut 12″ tail and sew up remaining stitches tightly to avoid a hole.

Simple! Too simple to put on my page though? I dunno – child sizes with worsted weight yarn is almost always between 82-92 stitches and the cable is just following a book. Well, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

So along with the KAL, I have a custom order and tons of ruffles. I’ve gotta say, I am really in my happy place right now! What about you friends and neighbors? What gets you into your happy place?

Busy as a Bee….on Crack!


This post may be pretty photo heavy, there is no better way to show the progress I’ve been making. It’s been a bizarre (and OCD riddled) couple of days. Someone tried to break into the house on Thursday, I am going to write about that soon but I just don’t feel mentally up to it at the moment. On the plus side it has given me OCD focus on knitting and kept me from getting any real sleep. So, here we go!

** Questing for Finished WIPS **

Warm and Fuzzy Fingerless Mitts

Warm and Fuzzy Fingerless Mitts

I actually found these at the bottom of my WIP bag (oops) and finished these first. They are the Staghorn Mitts by Tera Johnson. I love this pattern and this cable! They were nice and easy to knit up and with Patons Classic Wool they’ll be wonderful for winter.

The Vermonter Hat

The Vermonter Hat

I thought this hat was going to be my first original design, but it turns out that someone already came up with the same thing – and did it better. The Vermonter Hat is by Abi Gregorio  and is so similar to the Etta Hat I’ve made a million times – thus thinking it was an original. Made with Lion Brand Hometown USA it knitted up in about 2 hours. Way to go Abi for getting there first – wish I had beat you there! 🙂

I love this scarf and have made it a quite a few times! I call it my Year of Magical Thinking Scarf – thinking of Joan Didion’s novel of how things just keep changing over and over. It’s just one skein of Red Heart Magical done in seed stitch. I started this in (oh my) February for a Christmas present and now it’s done!

As for the rest – well – I added another 8″ to the Fault In Our Stars Scarf and casted on my socks.

**  The Hunger Games (Cowl) are Catching Fire **

Here is where I broke the WIP diet and started the Katniss Cowl!! Here is the progress thus far – at least until I get a new pair of needles! Can I just say real quick….Lolly of Lolly Knits, you are lovely and amazing!

So that’s it for me right now. I will just have to find a few things to work on until those needles get into my rather greedy hands 🙂 So friends and neighbors, what have you been up to lately?

I Just Don’t Think I Can….


Knit another (censored) ruffle scarf!

I know I am complaining and whining for no good reason, I really am self-aware enough to know I sound like a brat. The scarves are getting my name out there, they are bringing in extra money that we desperately need and people really like them.

Honestly though, after I hit 50 I just started to stare at the yarn with wild contempt – like it had killed my dog wild contempt. The knitting I’ve gotten used to, can even do it fairly quickly now but it is the pulling apart of the ruffle yarn that kills me. It takes me about 40 minutes to unfurl 30 yards and is killing my hand. Knitting I am used to, pulling apart miles of lace I am not. Not to mention the tedium – I just want to purl!

I am whining again…I CAN’T HELP IT! My Mom has been selling these things like hotcakes and my husband is so happy for the extra fundage – there is no way I would dream of complaining to them. So sorry friends and neighbors, but I needed to vent.

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** On the Plus Side **

I gave away a few knits today – which felt wicked awesome! My Grandmother received my first lace shawl (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture!). My niece got her Link-like Hat and my Mom received a boatload of OSU Buckeye Flower Pins and a cowl I was making before the orders got too crazy (Oh no! I didn’t take a picture of it finished! I suck!). I (censored) LOVE giving presents!

Another awesome thing I got to do today was mail out the Surprise Mystery Box for whatimuptotoday – winner of the 100th post giveaway! Oh – I cannot wait to see what she thinks of the goodies!!!

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** Moving Forward **

So I’ve had a few ideas of what to do with my blogging time (which I am really, really missing right about now) with no new knitting to blog about. So again, I am asking for comments, questions, considerations and suggestions. To start basic though, here are a few brainwaves I’ve had so far:

Also: Seriously thinking of starting this Knit Along the second or third week in September – any thoughts?

Jayashri Pullover Pattern on Knit Picks  (Finished Bust Measurements 34″-62″)

And The Winner Is….


Drumroll please….(insert drumroll in your mind here)…..!

whatimuptotoday Congratulations! Please PM me and we will work out the details on how you would like to receive your wicked awesome mystery box!

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As promised, here are the list of applicants and their stores, their favorite stores and of course their favorite craft!

Before you dive in there are a few things you should know:

  • All the links to the bloggers are listed at the bottom.
  • All the links to their stores and their favorite stores are at the bottom.
  • That each and every on of you are freaking awesome.
  • That I am so thankful to all the people who took the time to share their love of small businesses. You are a community of amazingly talented people and to share what we know only spreads the word. The more we try to promote the lil guys trying to make a go of what they love the better the world will be! (in my ever so humble opinion!)

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Musical Butterfly
1. My passions – at the moment, all things DIY wedding planning! Usually its knitting and sewing, and I’ve just started with a bit of crochet :)
2. I had an Etsy page a while ago, but its not active at the moment, maybe next year when I have more time to make up stock!
3. My favourite small business is Stiletto Studio (www.stilettostudio.co.nz) but I’m rather biased because my sister runs it! As for online stores, it would have to be Felt.co.nz, and Vintage Loft in particular – http://felt.co.nz/shop/tasha
4. I’ve already bought a few things from Vintage Loft and I have my eye on several more – she has great creativity, and I love that many of her things are matching! She’s also pretty flexible with regards to changing settings if needed.

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Christen Mattix
1. My passions – knitting a half mile line to the ocean and blogging about it!
2. My etsy page – christenmattix.etsy.com
3. I most admire mooreaseal.com.
4. Simple design with a bohemian twist supporting compassionate causes.

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Sara Crafts

1. My passion is most definitely knitting.2. I’m don’t have a shop.

3. I love the shops JewelryMORIAH and knitshearbliss

4. MORIAH’S jewelry is sweet and simple. I especially love her sparrow pieces. Knitshearbliss makes fabulous little wristlet project bags- perfect for on the go knitting!

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Polka-Dots & Sparkles

Favourite etsy shop???
Oh that is difficult. Not too much effort but difficult to narrow down.
I love yarnvszombies – kiki’s colour combinations and inspirations are always just too awesome for words

I have 4 bracelets and 3 more on the way and 2 rings from sugar pop boutique.

Hungry Designs has the most awesome brooches.

And…. And… And….

I am an etsy addict. Here are more of my favourite things. http://etsy.me/15DLP2x

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Nadine CreatesMy passion is crocheting. I keep a hook and yarn with me at all times.
My shop is in my blog nadinecreates.wordpress.com I have decided to let people email me if they are interested in a piece I have in my gallery.
My favorite shop isn’t a shop. It is http://www.crochetconcupiscence.com/ She does sell her book Crochet Saved My Life there.
What i love about her shop or book is that she promotes crochet in a positive way. She also explores crochet that is outside of the ordinary and give me inspiration.

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A Tangled Yarn1. Knitting all the things is my passion (ok maybe obsession…)
2. My etsy shop is small but mighty, A Tangled Yarn https://www.etsy.com/shop/ATangledYarn
3. My fav drool worthy shop right now is Knitcircus https://www.etsy.com/shop/knitcircus
4. This shop has some beautiful gradient yarn that makes my heart skip a beat!

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vuchickens

My passion is knitting… and chickens… and sometimes knitting chickens. I don’t have a shop, but I may someday if I start coming up with more original designs.

My blog is http://vuchickens.wordpress.com/ (I just published my 100th post as well!)

My favorite Etsy shop is Claire Garland’s:http://www.etsy.com/shop/knittedbabe. She inspired me to starting knitting toys, which I’ve become obsessed with, and I think she’s a brilliant designer. I’ve bought quite a few of her patterns, and she even inspired me to learn to sew! (But I still prefer knitting… the needles aren’t as dangerous.)

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A World Created

1. First and foremost, CROCHET. I’m in love with it and its endless possibilities. And I love that it can be used in my second passion, which is making jewelry. I may eventually fall equally in love with knitting, if I can ever completely master it.

2. https://www.etsy.com/shop/AWorldCreated

3. LoveFuzz https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveFuzz
I love this shop because the owner takes simple crochet beanies, hats, etc, and embellishes them with unique and beautiful embroidery. I love the look of just about everything in this shop.

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The Knitterly Hooker

1. My passion is knitting and photography. I’m aspiring to design knitwear and I have ideas I just have to start.
2. My shop is relatively new and small; it’s called WoolSeamToMe (www.woolseamtome.etsy.com). It’s more of a hobby right now… We all have to start somewhere right?
3. My favorite Etsy shop is Remember Wynn (www.rememberwynn.etsy.com).
4. I like the shop because of the personalized labels for handmade crafts to give it that special and professional touch.

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Craftmaniac Mommy1. I’m passionate about so many things! It’s hard to narrow down…Yarn (knitting and crocheting), pretty packaging and soap
2. I have 2 shops (is that greedy? lol)
http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaitriDsigns and http://www.etsy.com/shop/sidedoorsoaps
3. My fave etsy shop??? sooo hard but right now is http://www.etsy.com/shop/legoods.
4. I’m a sucker for washi tape, cute packaging materials and have been building my shopping list to upgrade both my companys’ packaging. I window swoon at this shop almost daily!

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feelgoodknitting

1, My passion: Primarily knitting. I also can and do crochet, spin, and dye, but mostly knitting.
2. My patterns: Feel Good Knitting, http://www.ravelry.com/stores/feel-good-knitting
3. My favorite Etsy shop: Tough call. Probably Butterfly Girl spindles.http://www.etsy.com/shop/butterflygirldesigns
4. WHY you love this store: They’re just so pretty! Droooool.

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whatimuptotoday

1 Knitting first, crocheting second.but really card making is 1.5. Sewing comes after crocheting.:-)
2 no biz of my own. :-(
3. my favorite Etsy shop is the quirky One Woman Studio – Julia makes lots of fun things, but I love her recycled feed bags. She doesn’t do them on the cheap, they are well constructed and creative. Many copy her, so I try to support her.
4.) Oops – answered above. :-) Never could follow instructions. :-)

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Musings and MotionI love knitting, sewing, running, and teaching.

I don’t have a shop,

but my cousin doeshttp://www.etsy.com/shop/BlissfulThinking09?ref=ss_profile She makes beautiful leather and silver jewelry and her profits go to mission work.

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Superfox Rocks

1. Passion? Knitting and staring at yarn :)
2. My Etsy store is http://www.etsy.com/shop/superfoxrocks
3. My favorite Etsy store? http://www.etsy.com/shop/theberrypatch I love her use of color, quality, and I’ve ordered a lot from her and it’s always been beautiful and well done. The customer service is top notch as well!

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Awesome Sauce & Asshattery– I am a pattern-allergic sewing geek & my weapons of choice are a retro machine & upcycled/thrifted fabrics. I shan’t clutter up your comments with my insane amount of business-y links – they’re all on the sidebar of my blog =O)- I have 2 lurvly lassies that I’d like to introduce: Bekka of http://bellemonde.storenvy.com/ – her crochet is simply divine! & Anna of http://riusocreativo.blogspot.de/p/le-mie-creazioni.html– funky accessories all created from upcycled & recycled materials!

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littleblackdogsa

I love to knit, crochet, make beaded jewellery and toys. I love my family, I also love my cats and dog.
I make goodies for other people, but only when asked.
My fav. Etsy shop is Skermunkil – currently not very busy on Etsy, but we have a monthly “neighbor-goods” market, where she sells her goodies.
Why I love her? she makes awesome jewellery, that is the perfect gift for any of my friends.

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Darlene

My Bliss is Knitting and finding 1 store that I love on etsy is hard but for today I picked Papercatz (http://www.etsy.com/shop/papercatz?ref=l2-shopheader-name) she has great stuff and very friendly packaging.

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Pam

My passion: all things fiber…knitting, spinning, weaving

My Etsy page:http://www.etsy.com/shop/PimlaOriginals?ref=si_shop

My favorite Etsy store:http://www.etsy.com/shop/SmartGirlBookPurses?ref=l2-shopheader-name Why I like this store: I love how she takes beautiful books and makes them into cute, clever purses! She even sends the text of the book with your new book purse so you can read the book, too!

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El Petit Taller

My biggest passion is sewing and quilting (followed by knitting, embroidery, crochet…)

My Etsy page is http://www.etsy.com/shop/ElPetitTaller

And this is so difficult now… there are so many lovely shops I like!
I’d go for one of my first purchases and also because she’s become kind of special. Berry encouraged me and helped me with a few tips to open my shop back in October 2012, and ever since we’ve kept in touch. Her shop is https://www.etsy.com/shop/moxiebscloset

and she makes really (but really really) well made lovely handbags. Her choice of fabrics is really nice and she will always accommodate your personal requests.

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Rainbow Junkie Corner1) I suppose my greatest passion of all is designing things because my head works so much better than my hands but I also like turning my designs into objects and these days that mostly means crochet.
2) N/A
3) I think my favourite small business site would be http://www.woolhogs.co.za
4) I like it best of all because of all the lovely yarns they sell but they have loads of other items and bring together a lot of other small business designers.

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Lolly Knits

1. My passions are many! But in relation to my online persona, knitting, spinning, and writing!
2. I don’t have a shop because I don’t have time :P
3. My current favorite online shop is Mad Color Fiber Arts, http://madcolorfiberarts.com/
4. I particularly adore their spinning fiber, because it’s soft and wonderful and dyed beautifully. I got some at a fiber festival that looks like a pretty watermelon!

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JSletto Designs
1. I love to crochet the most and sew / quilt, making jewelry and art using acrylic paint, and I love to take pictures and blog about them all. haha.
2. http://jslettodesigns.wordpress.com is my small business website.
3. http://www.etsy.com/shop/preciouscraftz is one of my friends etsy business
4. I have known this friend since 2008 and she has always been a wonderful example of her hard work and dedication to her craft and I look up to her. Besides, she makes really cute stuff!

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Moby Knit

I am a knitter through and through. I daresay it’s an addiction. :)

I don’t have an Etsy shop, but I’d totally love to. It’s on my to-do list.

My favorite Etsy store is Pantera Pens. (Can’t figure out how to link on my phone. Sorry! )

I love this shop because I have this thing for fountain pens, and his pens are just gorgeous. Plus they’re really well made.

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Rogue Threads

1. Tatting and Crochet
2. Have my facebook page but not really a business page yet.http://www.facebook.com/RogueThreads
3. Fave Etsy is TotusMel
4. I absolutley love seeing all the new tatted items she does. I love seeing tatting as more than doilies and edgings.

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Spynner51. My passion(s): fiber play (spinning, dyeing, weaving, knitting, crochet, macrame, in any and all combinations); making music (mountain dulcimer, bodrhan, bowed psaltery), writing poetry, with occasional dives into paper art and other experiments.
2. No business website (yet; plan to do Etsy in a bit) but you can find out more about me athttp://thetuneweaversweb.weebly.com/
3. For yummy soaps and other surprises I love http://www.goodiesunlimited.com/
4. Great customer service and wonderful products: yummy soaps, “miracle goo” (aka Everything Balm) and Wood Beams (furniture cream) are my faves but there’s lots more to like. Everything is hand made from her own recipes.

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knitrun4sanityGosh. Looking at the number of replies you are going to be one very busy person over the next few days. I have yet to list anything in my shop so will not share that with you. My main craft is hard to declare …can i cheat and say crochet jewellery? I have to be honest …I spend more time on blogs and tend to by from them but I would like to mention claireabellmakes as she is very supportive to me, has built her shop and blog up over the same ti

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Quick Links to All the Fabulous Bloggers!

  1. Musical Butterfly
  2. Christen Mattix
  3. Sara Crafts
  4. polka-dots & sparkles
  5. Nadine Creates
  6. A Tangled Yarn
  7. vuchickens
  8. A World Created
  9. The Knitterly Hooker
  10. Craftmaniac Mommy
  11. feelgoodknitting
  12. whatimuptotoday
  13. Musings and Motion
  14. Superfox Rocks
  15. Awesome Sauce & Asshattery
  16. littleblackdogsa
  17. Darlene – (no blog?)
  18. Pam
  19. El Petit Taller
  20. Rainbow Junkie Corner
  21. Lolly Knits
  22. JSletto Designs
  23. Moby Knit
  24. Rogue Threads
  25. Spynner5
  26. knitrun4sanity

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Quick Links to All the Fabulous Stores!

  1. felt.
  2. Stiletto Studio
  3. Christen Mattix
  4. Moorea Seal
  5. JewelryMORIAH
  6. Knitshearbliss
  7. Yarn vs Zombies
  8. Hungry Designs
  9. Nadine Creates
  10. Crochet Concupiscence
  11. A Tangled Yarn
  12. Knit Circus
  13. Claire Garland’s
  14. A World Created
  15. Love Fuzz
  16. WoolSeamToMe
  17. Remember Wynn
  18. MaitriDsigns
  19. Side Door Soaps
  20. Le Goods
  21. Feel Good Knitting
  22. Butterfly Girl
  23. One Woman Studio
  24. Blissful Thinking
  25. Superfox Rocks
  26. The Berry Patch
  27. Belle Monde Handmade
  28. Riuso Creativo
  29. Shermunkil
  30. Papercatz
  31. PimlaOriginals
  32. Smart Girl Book Purses
  33. El Petite Taller
  34. Moxie B’s Closet
  35. Woolhogs
  36. Mad Color Fiber Arts
  37. JSletto Designs
  38. Precious Craftz
  39. Pantera Pens
  40. Totus Mel Tats
  41. Goodies Unlimited
  42. claireabellmakes

Sorry for Going AWOL!


 * * Quick Reminder * * 

You have until Wednesday the 21st (my hubby’s birthday ;)) till 11:59am to enter the GIVEAWAY! Click →HERE← to enter!

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 * * I Have Been Negligent! * *

Oh friends and neighbors, I am so sorry for dropping a giveaway in your laps and then disappearing for days – this is the first time I have ever done that. You know, if there wasn’t a natural disaster occurring that is 🙂

I would love to give you a really good excuse like 1) I worked 60 hours last week or 2) I have almost 40 orders for ruffle scarves or 3) I was at the Mid-Ohio Fiber Fair and lost in a great euphoria of fiber and yarn or 4) I was crazy busy getting ready to get Trevor ready for work, which starts tomorrow.

But honestly it was a bit of laziness. I should have been able to keep up with reading all your wonderful posts and promoting the giveaway every day but I was just so burnt out that I felt kind of foggy all the time. I like to put a piece of myself in my posts, and all my pieces were just a little too tired to do it justice. For that I feel a bit guilty – okay, a lot guilty. Hopefully this week will slow down enough that I can give all of you the attention your blogs deserve and make a post that won’t bore you to tears.

It’ll be a busy week! The giveaway ends Wednesday at 11:59 and Thursday a post announcing the winner and listing all the wonderful shops and small business will be listed for your viewing pleasure. I am so excited to see how it turns out and who I am going to get to make a care package for! After that it on to more ruffle scarves!

Cannot wait to catch up with every single last one of you, I’ve missed you through my haze of ruffles! 🙂

Just When I Thought I Was Out….They Pull Me Back In!!!!


First off, I want to thank everyone that has responded so kindly to my 100th post – you guys are just too cool for school! 😉 Don’t forget you have until Wednesday the 21st of August to enter the GIVEAWAY! Click →HERE← to return to that post and share your love of small businesses.

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I am going to have to be a lean, mean, knitting machine because guess what friends and neighbors – I got my first order today! I was so overjoyed to see that there were over 15 orders in my inbox that it didn’t occur to me what they could all possibly want. Should I let the Dramatic Chipmunk prepare you for my revelation?

RUFFLE SCARVES!……28 MORE RUFFLE SCARVES!!!!

I hope you all won’t get tired of me, blogging about my struggle with the great ruffle yarn. I have to say that it is great to be bringing money home from my knitting, giving Trevor a little extra cash could never be a bad thing.

So onward I go, putting aside the adorable baby hat and jumper to get down and dirty with some ruffle scarves. Keep in touch, please try not to get too bored with me and remember – while I am working with the ruffle yarn I am dreaming of all the amazing things I am going to do when I am done!

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Too Funny Not to Share


A little giggle is good for your health! 😉

Oh – and don’t forget to PARTICIPATE IN THE GIVEAWAY!!

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♥ 100th Post GIVEAWAY! ♥


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When I started this blog I wondered if I would last a week, now here I am several months later getting to share my 100th post! I am going to say thank you a million times over at the bottom of the post, but let’s get to the good stuff shall we? Time for the GIVEAWAY!

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The rules for this giveaway are pretty simple actually, as much as I would like to use this post to up my numbers, I decided to go a little bit of a different way. So, here we go:

  1. First of all, list YOUR passion (knitting, crocheting, writing, art, etc.).
  2. List YOUR Etsy Page -or- small business website (if applicable).
  3. List YOUR FAVORITE Etsy Store Page -or- any small business site (a link is preferable, but I can look it up).
  4. Tell me a bit about WHY you love this store.

That’s it friends and neighbors, easy as pie. I want to be able with my 100th post to highlight all the talent out there in the our community. I want to shed some light on all the small businesses out there that are just trying to make a go at something they love.

The drawing will be up for one week (thus ending next Wednesday the 21st) and on Thursday I am going to announce the winner AND an entire post with links to your stores and your favorite stores. If it kills me I am going to promote all the hard-working folks out there just trying to make a name for themselves.

And for all your hard work?

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** A MYSTERY GOODIE BOX FULL OF THINGS SUITED TO YOUR CRAFT/PASSION**

Within my budget of course, but you would be amazed with what I can do on a shoestring budget. The winner’s tastes and treats will be centered around the information you provide me – you won’t be disappointed!!

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I guess I am not totally beyond shameless self-promotion, but I want to reiterate that doing the following WILL HAVE NO IMPACT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE DRAWING – THIS IS JUST OUT OF YOUR KINDNESS AND YOUR INTEREST IN….WELL…ME.

  • Follow me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllNightKnits – All Night Knits
  • Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RachelFolk4 – @RachelFolk4
  • Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/allnightknitter – allnightknitter
  • Follow me on WordPress: Below ↓↓

I know somewhere in my mind that I will never get the following I would get if this is mandatory, but I just to want to roll like that. I hope that I have proven myself worthy of your following – that is the best thing I can hope for! 🙂

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When I started this blog I was floundering. Trevor and I faced the tremendous weight that I may never be able to carry a child and the thoughts were all consuming. We both have parents that are ill (my Mom with COPD, Trevor’s Dad with alzheimer’s and Trevor’s Mom with Diabetes) and the weight and worry that we 1) couldn’t fix it and 2) couldn’t make them grandparents was crushing me alive. It was hard to even take a breath; all my close friends are pregnant or new parents and I had never felt so alone in the world.

Then came this blog, this blessing. I know it sounds like I am laying it on pretty damn thick, but I wonder if I’m doing it any justice. With you I have shared my family’s history, some of you know who my GG is just by name and through you she still lives on. I have shared hilarity (my neighbors bumping uglies) my fears (my Panic Monster) and my simple joy of knitting.

Every day I am inspired by all of you, your posts have pushed me to try new things, learn new things and I have become very close to some of you – as close as the internet will allow. I guess you can say that you, my very own version of the constant reader, reminded me how to breath again.

So thank you, thank you so much.

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One more quick thing. If you feel like this blog is serving a bigger purpose than just a giveaway then please re-blog this post. The more people who see it and respond to it means the more small businesses that will be highlighted. I am just one little person who really wants to make a difference – if you can, please help!

The Great Ruffle Scarf Conundrum


If you remember from last Friday, I had decided to cast of (haha) the idea of making ruffle scarfs in an attempt to make money just for the sake of making it. I thought filling my Etsy store wall to wall with ruffle scarves might bring me a profit – but I was missing “real” knitting. So after a very rejuvenating weekend of knitting whatever I wanted – including another ruffle scarf for my grandmother, go figure – I was feeling like myself again.

Till Monday came around….

Monday morning I received a very excited phone call from my grandmother, she loved the scarf. Fantastic! I love giving presents that someone is going to use and love. Good times. She quickly handed the phone to my Mom, who was there visiting, and my Mom asked how much I would charge per scarf if she bought the yarn. I named a fair price and figured I was in for making two or three more scarves.

Holy crap Batman….I was wrong.

28 Skeins of Ruffle Yarn.

28 Skeins of Ruffle Yarn.

There are 28 (TWENTY-EIGHT) skeins of ruffle yarn in the bin that showed up this morning, along with my very enthusiastic mother. I am going to take this as a good thing – if I don’t I will be contemplating how to stab the yarn to death with my knitting needles. So here is a rundown of what I’ve learned about ruffle yarn so far.

  • Patons Pirouette – This is my favorite. It is the easiest to work with and knits up the fastest. I also like the different types of layering (sequins, metallic floss, even roving yarn) that creates a great deal of depth.
  • Premier Yarns Starbella – This is my second pick for ruffle yarn. It takes a bit longer with a little less effect and the yarn twists a great deal. I think I spend more time untwisting than I do knitting.
  • Red Heart Boutique Sashay – Is my new least favorite yarn to work with in the world. It has a weird, super synthetic silky feel – but not in a good way. The yarn wants to splinter so badly that you really have to take your time. It twists far worse than the Starbella and the scarf, following the instructions, is too long. Frankly – it is like knitting with fish net stalkings that had a long night on a very busy hooker. I hope I have made my point.

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With that said I would never turn down the opportunity to bring some money into the house, even a little goes a long way with two people who know how to budget. So I am on a ruffle pilgrimage and so far have made four scarves in two and a half days. Wanna see some photos?

** Patons Pirouette **

** Premier Yarns Starbella **

** The Evil Red Heart Boutique Sashay **

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So there you have it, four down and twenty-four more to go. I have a horrible feeling that there will be more ruffle yarn in my future but for now I am going to take it in stride. I am timing myself so that I don’t work with this yarn for more than 75 minutes a day, this seems like a good amount of time and I can still work on my other knitting and spinning endeavors.

So, friends and neighbors, what gets you through a project that makes you want to pull your hair out?

 

Can Trying to Sell on Etsy Deminish the Love of Your Craft?


In my ever so humble opinion, the answer is overwhelmingly yes. At least at the moment.

I don’t think I am alone when I say that I check daily (okay, multiple time a day) the stats on my Etsy store, my Facebook Page and even the stats on my blog. Every day though, I am left wanting. Still no sales, still not enough followers – thus not enough people seeing my work – and as for the blog, that’s a whole other thing.

My blog, my happy place, is doing very well. I wouldn’t dream of changing my community here on WordPress – I don’t long (that much ;)) for numbers in the thousands. However, I received an email from a fellow blogger that suggested, in lieu of my 100th post (which will be here soon) to try to use it to get more people to follow me.

Your 100th post is a great time for a giveaway, and giveaways mean exposure! Make them work for it – make them follow you on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Etsy, whatever. Make them be exposed to your stuff day in and day out- maybe then you’ll make some money! Good luck with that – just make sure what you are giving away doesn’t suck!

Wow. I know that the email was well intended but….wow. I have been happy just letting it smooth it’s way all by itself, the whole “build it and they will come” theory. Apparently, that is not how this works. More apparent is the fact that I don’t really like it.

I also don’t like knitting the things I have been knitting. In the hopes of making some money or getting more attention for my pages I have been working on things that are not on my priority list. I want to finish my shawl, I want my sock to find it’s sole mate ;). I want to try double knitting, learn to crochet, play with new knitting books and practice my spinning. Is there a way to do both? I see that there are some knitting stores that do very well and some that are just like mine, something akin to a frozen tundra. What is bothering me at the moment is the overwhelming feeling of failure – something my Panic Monster thrives on.

So what is a gal to do? Do I put aside the projects that I think will sell to focus on things that bring me happiness? Do I shut up and do what I need to do because it has been over two months that Trevor has been employed? Do I crawl into the fetal position and start eating my own hair? What? Seriously…what?

There has to be some happy medium, some place where I can remember how much I love knitting and still make things that people may want to purchase. I guess I am just still really new to this, usually when I knit it’s because a) the pattern demands it b) it would be perfect for…(fill in the blank) or c) this would be teaching me something new.

So maybe I will take the weekend and try to remember why I love knitting so much – do an internet blackout, or at least stay away from anything that is going to make me feel like such a damn failure.

So, friends and neighbors, what is a girl to do? ANY HELP WOULD BE MONUMENTALLY APPRECIATED!!

A Knitter’s Dream Garage Sale!! GOODIES!!


Okay, it may be yet another day and the lace shawl is still on my needles but I have a good reason – well, three good reasons. The first being that I am over-thinking this so simple a beginner could do it pattern so much that I keep making mistakes. The second is that I was slaving over my Etsy Store, worrying about selling anything. Ever. The third is that I hit the mother-load of all garage sales today!

We were just driving back from my parent’s house when we saw the garage sale sign. Now normally I am not a garage sale kinda gal, more because I am always afraid to leave my car on the side of the road than anything but something caught my eye. “TREVOR! SPINNING WHEEL!” I screamed and he found a safe place to stow the care and on we went.

Arriving at this sale was like arriving at a divorce court. A married couple, clearly quite angry with one another, were bickering like small children. What I gathered from my eavesdropping (I have now shame) is that she decided to take up knitting about two years ago. When she did she must have spent a fortune on everything she bought – and she bought everything! Drop spindles, fiber, yarn, spinning wheels (yes, wheels), needles and memorabilia for her “craft room”. Then, well, she never touched one bit of it. The husband had simply had enough and just wanted the room back. Thus, friends and neighbors, my goodies!

** My First Ball Winder **

My pretty new ball winder.

My pretty new ball winder.

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It’s an actual Standwood!

My first ball winder cost $2.00 (retail on Amazon is $59.87). I could have cried I was so excited to see this. The two spinning wheels (each costing a mere $15.00) had both sold, but the winder was mine! I learned the hard way that I am going to have to buy a swift, as you can see below, but who cares!

** My First Purchase of Fiber **

I have actually only spun one hank? skein? load? (what the heck to I call a pile of wool?) before so I was hesitant. They were selling drop spindles for $1.00 (I bought another one) and the two sections of wool cost $0.50 cents. FIFTY CENTS!

Fifty Cents! Now...what to do with it?

Fifty Cents! Now…what to do with it?

** Knitting Antiques Anyone? **

These two of these three pieces came out of an old factory in Ohio. The two spindles were from a plant the made wool in Southern Ohio during the first World War. The cradle is an antique she found in a store. You open it up and put your center pull ball in and close the sucker tight, then proceed to hang it for easy access. Total price, $1.00. AWESOME!

What an incredible day, so many good finds! Now I just need to figure out how to spin the fiber into pretty yarn (advice is appreciated) and untangle my newly purchased Cascade yarn. Oh – and price a good swift (also, advice is appreciated!). I am feeling so good, how about some flamingos?

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Just in case the slideshow doesn’t work – I’ve never tried it before and the pictures are just so fun!

Last Night I Dreamt of Ruffled Scarves Again…


So with – nope not gonna tell you how many of these things I have made – ruffle scarves under my belt I can finally say that all the ruffle yarn has been stash busted! Of course, I think there is actually more hiding in the bowels of my stash somewhere, a gift from someone who didn’t know what a pain it is to work with. The scarves are fun, frilly, ruffley goodness though.

Friends and neighbors, let’s go look at some pictures courtesy of Flickr, Instagram, Phototoaster Photoshop and of course my trusty Canon!!

** Monotone Ruffles **

9366397153_4fd24698f0_zThis is, of course, the ruffle that started it all. A gift from a friend that turned into something that reminds me of The Great Gatsby a bit. I do love how this stupid  scarf looks.

It is so airy and flow-y, feminine and girly, delicate and gentle. Basically, it is a bad ass scarf.

If it sells, I will gladly make as many of these as needed – but I just doesn’t feel the same way I do when I am knitting. Time will tell!

** OSU Buckeye Ruffle Scarf – Shades of Gray, Red, Black and White **

9369215040_5941a2ab7e_cAfter the first ruffle scarf in monotone colors were made, I received a lot of questions from fellow Buckeyes about whether or not this could be done in our football teams colors. We bleed scarlet and gray here in the Buckeye State and everyone want to wear the colors with pride – at home, tailgating or at the game. It’s like a state law.

So after visiting a few more yarn shops I found this beauty waiting to come home with me. I can’t say I was super excited about working with this yarn again (it doesn’t really feel like knitting – more like unraveling a ball an errant yarn) but the idea is to bring people into the shop right?

After a few curse words mumbled under my breath I gathered some momentum and pumped out a few of these bad boys. Football season is not all that far away – gnarled fingers crossed!

Two Attempts at Book Reviews


There will be more pictures soon of all the goodies I have been knitting – I have been far more productive than normal here recently. I need to take pictures and update my Etsy store, but all I really want to do is knit….and read.

I am horrible at book reviews. Second only to reading books I love to discuss them, which typically means I am giving away the ending, spoiling it for readers everywhere. I have been pondering how to go about this weakness, how I can give you a glimpse of what enthralled me with the book without ruining the story? So, friends and neighbors, here it goes.

** Double Feature by Owen King **

You may enjoy this book if the following scenarios tickle your curiosity.10001

  • Seeing a movie where a male satyr having sex with a tree.
  • A pyromaniac ruining your life one match at a time.
  • A father that is way worse than your own (or at least I hope).
  • A sister who maces people at random.
  •  The quirks of actors and swords.
  • Anything involving fake noses or Orson Welles.
  • A complicated family life that is both sweet, annoying, heartbreaking and hysterical.
  • Fears of being crushed to death by a very large man’s thighs.
  • My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars

Okay, hopefully I still have your attention and haven’t ruined anything for you yet. Let’s try another shall we?

** The Execution of Noa P. Singleton **

Here I am going to lay out what I really liked about the book.

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

The Execution of Noa P. Singleton

  • The writing, while a bit stunted and jumbled, still propelled me to continue on. Lackluster writing usually puts me off a novel, but it was easier to overlook because I wanted to see what would happen next.
  • At some point in the novel I wanted to 1) smack 2) hug 3) cry for and 4) condemn each and every character.
  • The plot development is slow, but in a really delicious manner. There is no rush, which (for me) was how I imagine sitting on death row would be like. Why rush to the end when you know it’s coming?
  • While I didn’t particularly “like” any of the characters I was still emotionally invested in them. Again, this is something rare for me.
  • While the last few chapters were both equally surprising and slightly odd – I didn’t mind it. It seemed to fit with what the author was trying to get around – in a very roundabout way.
  • My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 Stars.

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So there it is. I have been reading more and more blogs that review books since the Read-a-Thon only to find myself envious of their ability to give a complete and compelling summary without disrupting the elusiveness of the story. I am tying to figure out how to approach review books for this blog – or even if I should be reviewing books on my blog. I love reading more than I love knitting – it has seniority in my life.

So friends and neighbors – honestly – what do you think? Any constructive criticism (or out right criticism) would be great. I want to share my love of reading the way I share my knitting and photography. What could be better? Did you like one style more than another? Should I abandon all hope and stick to knitting? Bring it on – I’m ready! 😉