Monday, June 30, 2008

I LOVE bartering!!!!

I had my first experience bartering with a fellow etsian (esty store owner) the middle of June.

So, when I saw the little sock project bag above that I just HAD to have, I decided to ask if the owner would be interested in trading for something in my shop! She said yes! I'm so excited and can hardly wait for my new sock project bag to arrive!

In college I had cats and I loved them dearly. They both lived to be 17 years old. I miss them, I don' t miss the litter box. This little bag will allow me to have my kitties without the weekly litter box changing (but I don't mind daily stall cleaning!? hmmm).

I'm in a swap for hand dyed sock blanks, so this little bag will be the cutest little thing to stor emy socks in progress!

Anyway, stay tuned for a product review on this little bag!

"The Baby'

While outside taking pictures of my new lanyards for my store, I was being watched by "The Baby " (aka: Sox). I couldn't resist taking a picture or two to share with you all here, after all, maybe one day, I'll find someone to spin his & Willow's undercoats into yarn for me and then knit it up into something "way cool".

To get a better idea of how small he really is (though the above picture makes him look like his head is super huge!) I backed up and took a picture of him behind the fence. The top yellow string is just under 36 inches off the ground!

Okay, time to get back to listing things in my store!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Pattern from hell

I've decided that I will finish this bleeping "Buttery Yellow Summer Sweater" and get it off my needles ASAP!!!

I hate the pattern. Okay, I don't hate the pattern, I hate that there are so many errors on the pattern that it's caused me to do more frogging than knitting! I contacted Cascade Yarns, which is where I got the pattern, asking for Errata and they rudely told me that designer was no longer associated with them and to go to my LYS for help!? Hu? Then remove the pattern from your web site because it is bad news! I knit a section, realize it is incorrect, frog it, when I can't figure out what the error is I have to make a trip to my LYS (which is not convenient for me unless I'm at work), and knit on. I've been working on this since prior to my accident, so that would be 7 months. I try to give myself slack as there was a month or more that I couldn't knit without extreme pain in my reconstructed shoulder. Okay, I'll give myself that. BUT! Ugh! That doesn't negate all the errors on the pattern, and all the frogging it has caused me to do!

I have started working on the arm holes and am on the back, going from knitting in the round to RS/WS knitting. It no longer looks like a tube top or miniskirt! Soon, soon it will be off my needles - it is the first garment I've knit that will require piecing, oh joy!

Yesterday was far too hot for me. I took a quick trip to the barn to ride, but it was so hot there, I brought my horse in, fed her, hosed her off with cold water, put sunblock on her nose (she has gotten the worse sunburn I've ever seen!) put her back and drove home.
Before and after the barn trip, I spent most of my time knitting with a new sock yarn (I should have been knitting on the above sweater). These are my 2nd pair of socks (I'm not counting the sock I ripped out that I mentioned in my previous post). I'm liking the yarn's self-striping pattern, but I'm not too crazy about the colors. Why can the colors look so lovely when in a skein, but totally different when knit up?

I also dropped more money than I care to admit ordering from KnitPicks; after all, free shipping for orders over $50 orders (when their shipping is so cheap to begin with! LOL).
I want to give dying a try and they have these cool sock blanks that you dye and knit two socks at one time (check out "Finally finished" under "Tina's Blog" under My Blog List). So I had to also order the correct needles, in two different sizes as well as two different materials so I can decide which one is my favorite, Nickel Plated,or Harmony Wood. Then there was a sock pattern I fell in love with and had to have the "correct" yarn for them and - the order kept growing!
There is a pair of socks in Cat's book I want to work on also. They are called "Veil of Leaves" and can be found on page 34 of her book. I have several "sock yarns" in my stash, but all are self-striping and wouldn't do the pattern justice, so I have to get to my LYS to see what solid like color I can find, or at least one that isn't self-patterning or self-striping!
Supposed to be cool and raining today so maybe I should go play with my horse before it rains, then come home and get the rest of my chores done as well as getting some errands done. I'm sure there's got to be an errand I can run near my LYS (which is out of my way unless I'm at work), so I can get that yarn for those "Veil of Leaves" socks!
Knit on!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Perfectionism -- Good or Bad?

Okay, I admit it, I'm a perfectionist! At times it is very bad. For instnace: I'd been knitting happily on my second pair of socks when, a short time ago, I noticed a place where I'd added a stitch. Ever since I noticed it, it just bugged me! I couldn't move on. Should I decrease to have the correct number of stitches? Should I rip out a good 4 inches of knitting, fix the mistake and reknit all that I ripped out? I even thought of dropping the stitch and working the extra yarn around each row.

I was ending a very busy day last night with a little knitting. I really need to get mye short-sleeve sweater (substitute SUMMER sweater) done, and the sock was screaming at me to fix it. So, I decided to ripped it out, all the way to about 2 rows below the cuff! I was then evenly spreading out the stitches on the needles when I noticed I was short one stitch. Hu?! After a lot of counting and recounting and checking to make sure I hadn't dropped a stitch it dawned on me: a while back, I noticed I was short a stitch so I increased that row by one! GRRRR! In frustration, I figured I'd ripped out 4 inches or more already, I might as well rip out the remainder of the ______ sock! I couldn't even knit anymore with that yarn.....I had to go get another skein and start a new pair of socks (my poor summer sweater had to wait!).

So, that is a case in point where being a perfectionist is not good.

It IS good that I tend to be that way with my stitch markers and row counters. It is evident in recent feed back, and comments made on my customer's blogs! I may not have a huge business and I will never able to live on what I earn there, but I can rest assured that I do good work and stand behind my product!

Perfectionism -- Good or Bad? I guess it is both!

Please check out what is being said by my customers on their blogs under "Customer Feedback"!

Have a good one, and happy knitting!

p.s. -- another case in point -- I've edited this post more times then I can count...I think I need go have breakfast!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

My Little Fiber Jewels

My little etsy shop, Fiber Jewels & More, is doing pretty well. Nothing I can quit work and retire on, but enough to keep me in crafting supplies. I've been told there is a 12 step program for craft-aholics, but the first step is admitting there's a problem, and I just ain't gonna do that just yet!

I'd like to get my lanyards listed in my store, but they are selling faster locally, word of mouth, then I can make and list in my store! They are pretty heavy duty, with 40 pound test weight beading wire, strong magnets that will release if the lanyard gets caught on something (like the paper shredder, or if a student decides to choke the teacher), and pretty. I make them fairly long so that one doesn't have to lean down to unlock doors. And, they are selling like hotcakes! I have also been selling the same version in a eye-glass necklace! I have two weeks off, so I'm hoping to get some of the lanyards made and listed in my shop during that time.

This week I did my first etsy barter trade. A gal convo'ed me in regards to my row counters. She loved them, wanted a different size, would also like matching stitch markers, but her price point was about $11. I checked out her store, saw the cutest items, convo'ed her back stating I'd love the Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate bowl and could we work out a trade? She's gotten her row counters, stitch markers, etc., and my little bowl should arrive any day. Check out LittleBirdProductions, she's got the cutest little hats too!

I have no idea what I'm going to use the bowl for, but I'm sure I'll find a use for it, maybe to store chocolate in at work!
I did an Internet search on "Fiberjewels" and was happy to find a wonderful review of my row counters on a blog of a customer. Check it out!
I've met such wonderful people through my etsy store, and earned some spending cash in the process...if I could only spend it on other things besides more and more beads!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good tools ARE worth the extra money

Every other week or so Micheal's has their ad with their 40% off coupon. I hate them! When I need something "big" it's not the sale week, the item I want is on sale for 10% off, or they are out of stock of what I want! When the coupons are good, I can't find anything I need and hate using them for a $2 item!

This week, after browsing the beading aisles, I ended up looking at beading tools. I needed a second set of pliers so decided that, with my 50% off coupon, I'd get the best quality they had, after all, I'd be saving $10 (let's not mention I'd still be spending more then I'd ever spent on any of my other beading tools)!

This morning I was making items for my etsy store, and while doing my wire wraps with my new pliers...OMG! What a difference they are! I love them! Normally, I end up breaking beads and have to make a new bead. These new pliers are a God Send! My wraps were tight before, but now they are so tight they could hold water back!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

So many projects, so little time

Today's post really has little to do with knitting, well, maybe.

At home, I'm know by my husband for being unorganized (keep in mind, this is a man who believes in a place for everything and everything in its place, he makes to-do lists and gets the items on his lists completed). Me, on the other hand, make to-do lists, and promptly loose them. At work everyone thinks I'm ultra organized, but it more if I don't "do it" now, it doesn't get done.

When my husband asks me to do something I get hives....let's just add yet one more thing to my list that I won't get done!

Yesterday, while avoiding work on the computer I found Microsoft Outlook Tasks manager. OMG! I can type up task lists and can't loose them (unless I loose my computer). Then it dawned on me that we have Outlook for our email at work and low and behold, I can write task lists there too....AND send myself reminders!

I have gotten so much done in the past 24 hours, I can't believe it. A stack of pants my husband has wanted me to make into shorts (since LAST summer), are now shorts. I have several pairs of pants that, either my leg gs suddenly grew 2 inches, or they shrunk and I've been wearing them as high-waters. One pair is now a cute pair of capris. Another, not so much--I didn't realize they had a slight flare and make silly looking capris -- they will become walking shorts, next week.

Last night, as I did some knitting, I actually did it guilt free....I've been adding tasks to my outlook and setting a date to get them done. It is freeing to see the complete list with several items crossed off! Now to figure out how often I want to do those chores that I am never caught up on, like my scrapbook (you know, if you don't take pictures, you remain caught up!), sewing/mending (I hate mending).

My list for today is done, so I'm off to play! Or knit!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Buttery Yellow Sweater - or "my problem project"

My "buttery yellow ribbed mock t-neck sweater" has become my problem project!

Took it to the LYS this Monday and got help trying to decipher the pattern. The designer neglected to say important things like breaking the yarn off, or starting a new row, or what to do with the front while I was working on the back (it is knit on circular needles)! I can be a very literal person, so this pattern has just got me!

I unknit and fixed the problem, broke off my yarn, started on the back when I noticed that the sweater just didn't seem long enough. Double checked meassurements and they are what the pattern said they should be. So, off to the mirror to try on the yellow tube that may, one day, grow into a completed sweater. Unless I planned to wear this as a crop top, it is too short!

This sweater has to get completed soon; but I'm beginning to wonder if it's not meant to be!

I'll be so glad when it's done!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Frog it, forget it, finish it?!

I've just spent an untold number of hours on a short sleeve mock T-neck sweater in a soft buttery-yellow color of fixation yarn. Now that I'm getting into the nuts and bolts of the pattern (shaping for neck, arms, etc.), I'm finding some major errors. I'm not happy!

I'm now 'unknitting' the last row because, if I follow their directions for dividing for the arms, I'll start the back in the middle of one of the arm pits! The pattern tells you to start on the RS -- but to continue, I will have to be on the wrong side?! OMG! The more I look at the pattern the more frustrated I become!

Am I the only one who will knit 'forever' and get to a point where I want to rip it all out and make something else!?

I fell in love with the pattern, and even more so when I found the buttery-yellow fixation yarn. But now?!

I guess I'll have to make a trip to my LYS and see if I can get some help there!? Or, frog it!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

spinning round and round

Here are my two new drop spindles. My niece is working on the smaller one and left me the larger one. I'm looking forward to getting it done and then trying to set the wrap or twist, or what ever it's called.
I think she may have already lost interest in it, though, I do think she's doing pretty well for a first timer.