Monday, April 30, 2012

Contest Winner + Etsy Shop + Random Updates!

Hey all! I can't believe I am posting so soon after blog week when I said I wanted a break. But then again I do have a contest winner to announce, plus a few other things I want to talk about that didn't fit into any of the categories for last week.

Announcement 1:
Thee winner of my contest! I put the names of all the commentors into a container and shook for awhile and then drew a name. And the lucky winner was....

YAY! I will be contacting you (through ravelry) about prizes and such. 

Announcement 2:
Updated Etsy shop. For those of you who purchased my stitch markers a while back, or anyone who may still be interested, I have FINALLY set up at Etsy shop. I want to introduce you all to The Knitting Artist on Etsy. I don't have much listed yet, but I plan to add a lot more in the near future, including a few knitted things. As of right now, it all goes to Relay also :) If you already ordered a set or 2 of my markers from me way back I wanted to thank you again, and was wondering if you could favorite or comment on my shop (if that's even possible without making a purchase through that shop) just to get the word out a bit. 

Announcement 3:
Blog Award! I would thank Aubrey at Rural Pearls for the Versitile Blogger award. I am not going to take the time right now to nominate others, because I am in a bit of a rush and a lot of you already have this award anyways, but I just wanted to shoot out a thank you to Aubrey and also tell everyone to check out her blog, it's really fun to read, usually full of cute kitty pictures!

Announcement 4: 
More spindle art! I am working on ways to market my spindle art and have finally hit on something. I am creating postcards (to sell on my Etsy shop) with the spindle drawings. I really like the way that the charcoal looks but since these are for sale and it smears easily, I am sticking with ink for now. Below is a sample, I will be sending out a set to the contest winner as well as selling these on my Etsy shop. Right now they are just on basic cardstock with a basic post card layout on the back. Any advice on how to market or make them better would be greatly appreciated.

Announcement 5: 
I am still hunting down a pattern for that Blue Heron Bamboo Lace I showed you a week ago. I am now debating between a couple on the original list (Gretel, Hanna) as well as Monet ( I have someone sending me this mag, I really want to make this!) or attempting to design my own (I really want to do feather and fan) with the math I found here. I know in the end it's my project, but does anyone have any opinions on this?

So that's pretty much it, I have a ton of art work to get done this week, so I am will pretty busy. But by Saturday I should be home free. I turned in my prints for Printmaking today and my teacher said he wishes I was a print major. That made my day :)

Oh and so did this photo of my friend's baby with the bunny I made her back in September!

Have a great week all!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - Finding Balance AKA My Current Projects

I'm in a bit of a hurry and since it's the last day, I don't have time to find a list of blogs to share, sorry guys :(

So today is the last day of Knit and Crochet Blog Week, and I really did enjoy reading and posting all week. It was a bit overwhelming but I managed to do it successfully. Congrats to all of those who did the same.

Today we were supposed to talk about balance, as in how we balance our crafts.  I don't crochet, and I really don't plan on ever doing so, but I do both spin and knit and I somehow manage to balance my time between them both.  I don't do each one each day, it's more about what I'm in the mood for. Some days I just want to spin all afternoon, others I just want to knit.

On the knitting front, I am currently finishing up the 2nd of 6 repeats on the cuff of my Springy Orange Socks. I am really excited for these socks. I am doing them 2aat and yet I'm not having any troubles with tangles or the pattern. Overall, I am really proud of these so far and cannot wait to bind them off and wear them!

I feel like lately I haven't been as interested in knitting as I have spinning, so I haven't been balancing the two very much. However I am finding pretty good balance within my spinning, for the Merino/silk blend I am spinning right now is making a beautiful balanced single. I plan to make this a 3-ply when it's done!

What really made me happy was my camel down. I finished it a few weeks ago, just never posted it. I did decide to leave it as a single and after soaking and stretching I managed to make it a very lovely single ply yarn. It will be perfect for some small lacey project later on.

Going back to today's subject of balance, I really think I am doing a good job. Balancing a job, school work (a lot of art studio time!) and somehow finding time to knit, spin or both is a bit of a challenge, but I always seem to pull it out in the end.

I hope you all enjoyed my blog this week. Don't expect another post for a little while, I'm a bit burned out after this.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDAY6 - 2012 Resolutions Revisited.

First off, a list of blogs for yesterday:

Sarah Apple -- IVY you will appreciate this one a lot!

And today:

Thanks everyone for the nice comments about yesterday's post, it was really fun to write!

Ok so this is probably going to be a pretty lame post, but honestly I am a bit worn out. School is coming to a speedy close , as is knitting and crochet blog week, and I'm losing some steam. 

Today's topic is to talk about our skill sets and expanding them, so I figured it was a good excuse to look at the fiber resolutions I made back in January and see how bad the damage on lack of list following there was. Turns out it wasn't as bad as I thought. :/

2012 Fiber Resolutions:

  • Try (and hopefully succeed) in at least color work type project, weather it be fair isle, intarsia, etc.  Funky Watermelon Hat :)
  • Finish my first full sweater successfully.  Effortless Blue Cardigan
  • Conquer something lace with minimal, barely noticeable mistakes. Like socks or a scarf or something smaller.
  • Felting. I don't like how it looks, but I want to try it just one, to say I did.
  • Thrumming. The new craze going around, where you knit roving into your work so the inside has pieces of roving to keep whatever is inside warm. (ie: thrummed items)
  • Toe-Up 2 at a time socks. I just learned toe up this past week and love it! I also know how to 2 at a time, but am not the biggest fan because of having to keep things from tangling, but I'd still love to try the two together.
  • Blocking and finishing. Every sweater makers best friend.
  • Try different cast on and bind off techniques, because those always come in handy.
  • Write more sock patterns!
  • CONQUER MY STASH! I have collected so much this year that I'd love to knit it down a bit before investing in much more. (Unless it's for a special occasion project).
  • Spin something besides wool. I have some bamboo in my stash that's calling my name. - Bamboo singles are done, I just have to decide what to do with them.
  • Make a more even yarn when spinning. I am still having a lot of spots with thick and thin I'd like to get rid of
  • Dye bare yarn. So far I've only dyed roving, but I'd love to try dying sock yarn or something white like that.
  • Attempt different types of plys. I am not sure if you can do much more with a spindle, but even more 3 and 4 ply yarns would be nice.
Wow, I've conquered 3 things on the list. I am working on a couple more at the moment, but looking at this list there were a few things I put on it that I honestly have no desire to try, such as the thrummed items thing, or felting...blah.

However I would like to unofficially (as in if I don't do it no harm done) add a few things to this list:
  • Attempt to design my own large garment pattern...thinking about a tank top for that summer yarn I purchased?
  • Set up a booth at either a craft show or farmer's market, or figure out how to navigate Etsy, because I want to sell more of my products.
Honestly, even though the year is almost half over and my list has minimal progress on it, I feel like I have still succeeded fairly well so far this year. I finished TWO cardigans, the 2nd being easy but a great way to learn the basics. I've figured out what I want to do with my art and how to put knitting into it. And I've met some amazing bloggers! 

Overall, these first 5 months have been a success, whether or not the list shows it or not.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY4 - Dishcloth Mania

Random Blogs for the Day:

(oh and by the way, my contest is still going on until Sunday!)

Once again, today's topic was a bit of a push for me. I really am a knitter for all seasons, because I tend to knit depending on the season I am in. I wish I could be reversed - knit winter in summer and summer in winter - so I have the stuff to wear that coming season, but that'd drive me crazy. Anyways though I spent the day trying to think of what I really wanted to talk about with this topic, and realized that I could mention my dishcloths, since they are a versatile project.

As many of my regular followers now know, I am heavily involved with Relay For Life. I made stitch markers that I was selling (and still am....) to raise money, but before that I was on a dishcloth mission.

My aunt, who lives nearby, had suggested that I set up a table at the local Farmer's Market. We had planned to do this last summer, but this never actually happened. Between Scotland and summer school and not enough product it just didn't work out. I will hopefully get the chance to set up this year though, if I can wake up early enough.

Back when this plan surfaced the idea was to think of thinks I could knit to sell. The first thing that came to mind was dishcloths, since it was farmer's market, they are small and easy to knit, and the yarn is cheap. I started knitting them back in March of last year, and have been working on and off ever since.

The great thing about dishcloths (and how it relates to today's topic) is that they can be knit at any time, anywhere and any season. I made about 10 that first week I started since it was Spring Break. I made a bunch this summer during my breaks at work, and also have been making them off and on this previous fall and winter when I didn't feel like anything else. I have learned so many amazing stitch patterns and gotten so many done in the process.

The other nice thing is that I haven't had to buy hardly any of the yarn. If you haven't heard of the Random Acts of Kindness board you should check it out on Ravelry. I posted on my wishlist a few times about my dishcloth mission and have since gotten many skeins of cotton sent from amazing ravelers all over!

(there's a lot more than what you can see in this photo)

So looking back, I guess you can say I'm a knitter for all seasons, because I have a great project to do during any season!

Happy Thursday! Knit Night Tonight!


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3kcbwday3 - Thursday Nights at Wildflower

Random Blogs for the night:

You know, by the time this week is over I am going to be a bit burned out on posting and reading blogs! It's been taking so much of my time this week!

Today's topic is to discuss our knitting heroes. This was a really hard topic for me to decide on. I originally was going to go on and on and on about my amazing pen pal, but I do that a lot already and many of you read her blog anyways. Then there's my mom, who crochets and loves to make blankets, and my aunt, who is an off and on knitter. None of these seemed to fit though.

So instead I am going to take the time to tell you about some really amazing ladies I get to see every Thursday night! I am lucky enough to have an amazing LYS here in town (Wildflower!) and said LYS has an open knitting night every Thursday from 6-8 PM. It's meant to be a way to get out and knit, meet new people, get knitting advice and just have fun!

I personally started going about a year ago. I was really hesitant at first because I am so young compared to the majority of the regulars that do go, but within the first few weeks I was getting to know people and able to join in on the conversations as well as  pick up some great knitting tips along the way.

Let me tell you, the ladies that I usually see are one amazing bunch! They are always working on something exciting and interesting; in fact a few have a new project every week. It makes me envious to see that they are able to get so much done, but then again, once they leave work they really don't have much else to do. I hope I have that choice someday too.

I honestly believe that without Wildflower there are a great many knitting skills I would not have. I know I wouldn't be doing socks, which is a skill I learned at a class I took there. I also doubt that I ever would have decided to branch out and knit my tank top last summer, nor my sweater this fall. The ladies there are so into knitting garments that it rubbed off on me and now I can't stop!

So, anybody out there in blog land have LYS's or knitting groups you absolutely love to visit? A special group of ladies who keep you grounded and help you in a knitting pinch? I'd love to hear!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3KCBWDAY2 - Art and Fibers!

First off, my 5 random blogs for the day :

Ok, so today's challenge was to incorporate your craft into an interesting photo. I gotta admit, I had a very hard time deciding how and what I wanted to do for this. In the end I decided to incorporate some of my current drawing homework (which I will discuss in a later post) into it.

Pair that with my current spinning project and you have a work of art!

 Sorry it's such a short post, but it's been a long day and I don't have much to say about this. I can't wait to share what I've been drawing with you all, I know you will love it!


Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1- Colorful Journey Through the World of Socks

Edited to add:
I am going to do something at the beginning of each of this week's post. I will be listing 5 random new blogs I found via google and the tags for the day! Here are 5 random blogs from today's theme:

Yes, I am participating in Knit and Crochet Blog Week 2012. I hope I can make it all the way to the end, as my class stress load is getting a bit intense. Also, if my grammar and spelling is a bit off this week, it's because I chopped open my finger in print today and have to leave it bandaged all week. Alas the life of an art major. :(

Anyways, the theme for today was to discuss color, and after reading several of my followed blogs this morning I realized that we all have a color we like to use, but when it comes to socks we let loose; it doesn't really matter if the color goes well with us because it's just socks! I myself am the same, and with that being said, I am going to take you guys through my history of sock knitting (which is actually close to where my knitting history starts!) and the colors I picked for each pair.

Although my ex-boyfriend is primarily to blame for getting me back into knitting, I think it's learning to knit socks that really made me interested in knitting and the things I could do with it. The first pair I ever knit was these:

This was a pair I knit in a class on how to knit socks. The yarn is Dream in Color, and although you cannot see it here, the reason I picked this yarn was the subtle use of navy, brown and teal to create a very pretty fabric. As it was my first pair, they were done worsted and are a bit big, but perfect for bedtime in the winters. I just wanted to say that if I had never taken this class I don't think I would be as an accomplished knitter as I am today, for before socks I only knew scarves and had never stepped foot in a yarn shop. Safe to say it changed my life.

The next pair is one I can't even wear, as the heals are off enough to the point where my feet hurt when I wear them .  I wish I could though, because I love the color of Mini Mochi -- I'm really attracted to purples, greens and blues, and the stripes in this were just something I couldn't resist --  that I picked out, as well as the pattern, which is one I made using my Socks ala Carte book. They were also my first non-worsted pair of socks. I have yet to knit short row heels since this incident, it just scares me to think about spending that much time and getting a pair that I can't wear!

My first wearable pair of fingering socks came in the form of Sunday Swing, and pattern that is spectacular and is completely covered up by the color vargations in this yarn. The yarn is Farmhouse, Fannie's Finger Weight, in Surf. I remember when I bought this yarn -- at the time it was the most expensive yarn I had ever purchased but I just could not resist. The color way was gorgeous and so much fun! I still have half of it left, so maybe I will make another pair with a more fitting pattern someday.

Where do you go after you master one-at-a-time fingering weight socks on dpn's? Well two-at-a-time on one long circular of course! I took a class last summer at Wildflower and learned  how to knit 2aat socks, which is where this pair came from. I had not intended to buy new yarn for this project because I had some other in my stash, but I just could not resist (again!) the colors of the Berocco Sox.  The oranges and reds and browns meshed so well together and the it was color I had yet to make socks with, so why not? In general, I love this pair to death.

Up to this point I had been focusing on cuff down socks, toe up just sounds scary and complicated, something I didn't want to get into. But this previous Christmas break I caved: I really wanted to be able to try on my socks as I went! And that leads to this pair, done in Zitron Trekking 6ply. I bought this yarn over a year ago on clearance because I wanted more worsted weight socks. It was the only color they had, so it's not like I picked it for a specific reason or anything. But after I knitted up the socks, I realized what a gem I had. The colors remind me of fire and they go so well together! The orange and yellow especially meld well. This is definitely one of my favorite pairs to wear!

That brings me to my most recent completed pair, done in scraps of Berocco Vintage that I had previously used in other projects. They were done toe-up and in creating these socks I learned how and where to increase as you go up the leg, for these are knee highs! It's funny how each yarn was intended for a different project, yet when put together they all look great!

My most current sock project is a pair of 2-at-a-time cuff downs in a really pretty orange. When I got this yarn I was really excited because it was such a pretty summer/spring color and a nice change from the blues and purples I am used to. The pattern I picked also works well with this yarn.

And here is all my stash sock yarn, waiting to become socks.I can't wait to knit with each and every one of them.

I am really glad I got to share my sock stories with you today, whether you are an old friend or a new reader. I love sharing my knitting adventures. Stay tuned for tomorrow's post, I have some pretty cool ideas if I can pull them off!


P.S. --> I'm obsessed with cats and don't live with mine (they are back home) so I can't always get pictures. I may start posting funny cat pics at the end of my posts if that is ok with you guys :D

(Today photo courtesy of: official ultimate LOL cat thread )

Friday, April 20, 2012

Planning for Summer

Hey all! Thanks for all the nice comments on my last post/contest. If you still want enter, go here.

So last night at Wildflower there as a cash and carry trunk sale. For those of you who may not know what this is, it's basically a night when a yarn rep comes through town with lots and lots of yarn that the store does not carry, giving us a chance to do a bit of shopping. The selection this time included many yarns by Blue Heron and Pagewood Farms, including this beauty:

Blue Heron Bamboo Lace, colorway Chesapeake. There are 1260 yards of this luscious bamboo lace weight yarn, and although it was a bit out of my budget, I knew I could make a pretty decent top with just one skein of this beauty, so I couldn't pass it up!

After I got home last night I started hunting for patterns to make the ultimate summer top/sweater/cardigan/tank whatever.  After much searching (which still isn't technically done) I have found the following:

Finchs Wings. -- Really like but not sure where to get the pamphlet

So I was wondering what you all thought? Any suggestions? Patterns not on my list?? I would love to hear what you guys think. It'll be a few weeks before I even consider casting on. I am wanting to finish up my socks and also get my school work figured out. T-minus 2 weeks until finals!

I hope everyone had a great week and Happy Friday!