Saturday, January 31, 2015

January FO

As promised, I have taken pictures of my FO (finished objects) this month for you guys. Some of the photographs are less polished because I took them in a hurry before giving the items to their new owners...I will attempt to be better about taking nice photographs of everything before it leaves my home. That will be the goal for February!

Baby Alpaca Yarn and P-size hook
   Early this month I dropped by the local yarn store (LYS) for materials for a specific project. A friend wanted to commission me to make her a newborn baby cocoon for a photo-shoot after her baby is born this summer. I told her that I would give it to her as a baby shower gift; I wanted to be able to choose whatever yarn I liked from the store without worrying about adding the additional price to my commission. I'm so glad I did! This yarn is by far to softest I have ever had the pleasure of working with! Here is the webpage for the yarn on the manufacturer's website if you wish to take a closer look. It was pricey, about 6x the price of the yarn I use most often, but it is definitely worth the extra cost. Plus, it only took half a hank to make the baby cocoon, so I had a lot of extra yarn to play with.

Addy my Adipose plushie is modeling the finished cocoon in the photograph I took. I checked out average newborn size on the internet and measured items until I found one that was close in size; Addy was the winner! Plus she makes for a ridiculously adorable model. :P

Finished baby cocoon.
   As I mentioned, the cocoon did not take very much yarn. I originally bought two hanks of the alpaca yarn; it is good to have extra in the same dye lot before you start any project. I ended up with a hank and a half left over...and I did not want to stop playing with the yarn. So, using the same stitch and hook as the baby cocoon, I made a hat for myself. The plan was to thread some ribbon through the holes, or attach a bow to the side depending on the day but I have to do so when I wear it. I did notice, however, that the inside and outside give very different looks. I've been wearing it inside out because I like the striping effect. 

Outside of alpaca hat.
Inside of alpaca hat.

   My brother had a few extra days of vacation after Christmas and spent a day hanging out with us before heading back to Michigan. He told me that he had planned on buying me some yarn for Christmas but was unsure what kind. We ended up going to Walmart for a few items so he told me I could pick out a skein of yarn and he would pay for it. I ended up with a skein of "Boutique Unforgettable" by Red Heart. Normally I cringe a little bit at the mention of Red Heart, but every yarn has its use and this yarn is much nicer than the "Super Saver" line. The Boutique line from Red Heart has a variety of novelty yarns and this one has a slight bit of slub in it that worked up nicely.

   When I picked out the yarn, I wanted a knitting project to carry with me and I was excited about trying out a new yarn. I was also a little worried about only having one skein and I've been told that knitting takes less yarn than crocheting for similar items. I grabbed some needles and started a stockinette scarf. Last year I was working on an Enterlac knitted blanket and taught myself how to knit stockinette without having to turn my project around every row. (The blanket started getting heavy and my arms were tired of the constant turning.) Also, this technique allows me to knit by feel and I don't have to look down at my work all the time. It's great for basic projects and I can now multitask while knitting. :P

Stockinette scarf. It needs some serious blocking before I sell it.
  When I was done knitting the scarf, I had some leftover yarn and wanted to try knitting a hat. I found a basic hat pattern on Ravelry and started working. Unfortunately, I do not have the appropriately sized circular knitting my gauge was too big for the hat and after a few hours of knitting I ended up keeping what I had started and turned it into a cowl/neckwarmer. I probably should have given it more volume, but I like the way it turned out. It should probably be blocked as well, but I probably won't. I like the personality of the yarn and I'm not sure how blocking this project will affect that. (AKA I am lazy and will only block things when I absolutely must.)

Hanging view of cowl/neckwarmer

   Last week, a coworker saw me wearing one of my crocheted headbands and asked if I would make one for her daughter. She requested a flower, which I am normally not fond of doing but I agreed. I brought some yarn with me to work Tuesday so that she could pick out the colors she wanted. She was shocked when I brought in the finished headband Thursday. They really don't take any time to make, plus I had family dinner night Wednesday and my mother-in-law sewed the flower on for me. (I don't normally add flowers because I am not as comfortable with my sewing skills and I'm always afraid that the project will come apart down the road.)

Top view of headband.

Side view of headband.
  So, that's what I finished this month. I've also woven some bookmarks on the table loom, but I am leaving them on the loom until I use up the warp to prevent additional waste of the warping thread. I should have pictures of them by next month's post. :)

Monday, January 26, 2015


    I don't know if I told most of you guys or not, but my husband changed my Facebook password for me near the start of the new year. I made him an admin on my artist page so I can update there when needed, but I am attempting to break my addiction to Facebook. You'd be amazed how much you can get done when you aren't checking your newsfeed every 15 minutes. I am getting a lot more done around the house and I have been knitting more often, but I haven't been posting pictures of my new work on Facebook because I'm not on my personal page.

    I mention this to tell you that I'm going to start posting a photo album at the end of each month to show my recent finished projects. Now that my house is mostly organized (and I am not wasting time on Facebook) I don't feel so overwhelmed and I am starting to get into a true working rhythm. There have been several times when I have made promises about such things in the past, but I should be more successful this time. ;) I have made 5 pieces since we started this little experiment, I have started a new project on the large loom, and I am halfway through knitting another scarf. So there should be a lot more pieces to show you this year.

    As far as the business side of this goes, I was not successful at craft shows in 2014; our theory is that I was going to the wrong kind of shows, but I learned a lot about setting up my work. My plan for now is to just make items until I run out of space to store them and then take everything to the Flea Market at the TN State Fairgrounds. I don't plan on updating the online store or pursuing online sales. I thought about deleting it, but I might do something with it in the future. It's still there, but I'm not focusing on it for the time being.