Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Working like a crazy person

I have been working my fingers to the bone recently getting read for my favorite show of the year.  Thats right, Indie Emporium is coming up!
I am so excited to be doing a full booth solo this year and  I am working hard to ensure I have a great selection of hand knit goodies for all the shoppers to peruse.  So many factors make this my favorite show of the year, but one if them is that so many of my make:Tulsa friends will also be vending there.  Speaking of make:Tulsa, did you see the new button on the left? 


I'm very excited about this fall and everything that make:Tulsa and Indie Emporium will have to offer.  Be sure to come out and see us all at Indie Emporium and don't forget about the fashion show on Saturday evening the 1st.  For the full schedule of events, including things like bands, craft demos, etc, go check out Indieemporium.com.  And if you are one of the first 50 people in the door friday evening September 30th you will get a free swag bag filled with all kinds of awesome goodies.  Yours truly is working on a fun swag project, so get there early to get one!!





Monday, August 22, 2011

Back to the Future

Getting back to more of that new inventory for the upcoming fall shows.  This is still all stuff I finished week before last, I just haven't gotten to photograph any of the stuff from this week yet.  Besides, I didn't want to skip these goodies.

 This hat is wonderfully soft and squishy.  I'm thinking it might need a small brooch or little bit of sparkle  right at the pinch.  The picture doesn't do the richness of the purple shade justice, it is really a lovely shade.
 This bright blue gem is bouncy, squishy, soft and fun all rolled in to one.  The basic spiral lets the lovely color of the yarn take center stage.  This cowl is long enough to wrap twice, as shown below.  Even though it s a wool blend, it is soft enough to go against the delicate bare skin of your neck.
I really can't wait to get modeled pictures of both of these items as well as all the new pieces from this week.  I have 2 more cowls and 3 more hats that I need to share with you and another hat in progress.  I am working on beefing up the mens inventory so today I made a nice soft black and grey beanie in a very basic stitch pattern and I am working on another in a large rib.  I'm using Three Irish Girls Lindon Merino in Flynn for both these hats and it has been a real pleasure to work with.  Some yarns just glide through your hands easily and others don't.  This one is definitely worth its price tag.  If you are a knitter and have never worked with Three Irish Girls, I encourage you to check out their yarns.  They are popular for a reason.

Believe it or not, I have managed to keep the studio clean ALL WEEK.  That is an amazing feat for me and I hope to continue the trend.  Hopefully if I hold myself accountable here that will help.  I really love to walk in and sit down at a totally clean desk and be able to start a project fresh with no stress about other things waiting to be picked up or put away.  I am just also very good at clutter.  If you have a quick organizational or cleaning tip on how you keep your creative space picked up, feel free to leave it in the comments!  I am totally open to your suggestions.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Awesome Yarns

This morning I ran over to Loops South on my way to work and snatched up a bunch of great deals on lovely yarns.  I like hitting sales because it means I can try knitting with things I normally can't afford and I can bring a wider range to my customers without charging an arm and a leg.  Sure, most of these yarns would still be considered "expensive" compared to if you hit up a Hobby Lobby or a Michaels, but the quality 100% worth it.  I grabbed some really good deals today and I can't wait to get them knit up!  I have plans for some cowls that I would normally have to charge $80 or more for just based on yarn cost, but I think I can get them down to $50!  That is excellent savings for you, so be on the lookout this fall for some great deals on luxury knits.  If I remember to, I will photograph my haul before I start playing with it so you can see the amount of awesomeness I snagged.  :-)  I'm almost giddy with it and I wish I didn't have to work, I wish I could go straight home and start knitting!  The absolute best thing is, last night I spent the evening tucking in ends and I never started a new project, so I am ready to dive right in.  No impatiently having to work though the current project when I really just want to go play with the new stuff, instead I get to go straight to it. 

**I know I said I was going to knit from stash, but some of this stuff just couldn't be passed up, I swear!**

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Getting Back My Knitting Groove

Its not that I haven't been knitting at all.  In fact, eventually I will show you the baby blanket that I spent most of the summer working on.  Its just that one day at the end of July I woke up are realized I barely had more than 2 months until my first fall show and I hadn't made any new inventory on the knit side in quite some time.  Luckily, just a day or so after this some yarns jumped out at me and I found some inspiration and things took off from there.
 I had an ends-weaving party for myself on Saturday after I finished cleaning the craft room, if I would be more disciplined about doing it right away when I finished a project then I wouldn't have to spend hours on it later, but oh well.
 This wool blend seed stitch cowl is amazingly soft and fluffy.  This was one of the yarns that told me what it wanted to be the minute I saw it.
 There were no models around on Saturday, so I got out the stand I use at shows and took some quick pictures.  I can't wait to actually photograph them all on some people though, I know that will be a more accurate representation of how they fit and all.  But I was anxious to be able to give you a quick peek.
 If you remember me mentioning the wool and mohair yarn I got from Dawn of Dawning Dreams at Fiber Christmas, this is it!  I knit it up so quick after getting it that it never made it into the stash at all.  This cowl is big and thick, meant to be super warm in the cold months and can be worn doubled up to keep your neck warm or long to keep your whole torso warm.
 I actually love the way the colors pooled as I knit this up.  I think blues and whites are wonderful winter colors.
 This is another wool blend cowl, the same yarn as the first one pictures, just a different colorway.  This cowl is actually my Slipping Away Cowl which is a free pattern over there on the side bar -->
I don't think either picture accurately captures the depth of color in this yarn, so hopefully when I get model pics I can get them outside in some fantastic natural light.  I hope to start that process soon, but it can be hard to convince people to wear hats and cowls when its 100 degrees outside.  Thankfully, August is already cooler than July for the most part and I really hope it continues this way.

There is so much more but I don't want to inundate you all at once.  I have lofty goals for what I want to get done before Indie Emporium.  Lets just hope that both time and motivation don't get away from me.  If you are in the greater Tulsa area, plan to come to Indie on Friday September 30th and Saturday October 1st!  It's really going to be a great time!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Reclaiming the Craft Room

In preparation for our little one, we have been doing a lot of cleaning and organizing recently.  I can tend to be a bit messy and a bit of a pack rat, so I have been attempting to declutter as I clean.  It has been a lengthy process, going through every scrap of paper in every folder and drawer, but in the end it will be so worth it. 

To fuel this cleaning frenzy on Saturday I armed myself with a wonderful smoothie of 2 cups of spinach, 1/2 cup not fat greek yogurt, 1 1/2 cups of mixed blackberries, raspberries and cranberries, and 3/4 cup dark sweet cherries.  All of that toped with a dollup of light whipped cream.  The spinach is especially important because ever since I got pregnant a lot of vegetables taste funny to me and I have been having to find clever ways to hide them in things.  It really did help me power through the morning and end up with these fantastic results.
This (slightly backlit) picture is my craft table.  It sits on one end of the room right in front of that large window so I can open the blinds for natural light when I want it.  The basket in the center is finished knits waiting on photographing and tagging.  A mere fraction of my yarn stash sits in the basket to the left and my ball winder and swift occupy the left side of the table.
I love this cube storage shelf.  I got it at Target a few years ago, but it really helps keep my little knitting and crafting supplies organized.  One cube is all beads and stitch marker supplies, one is all sewing, one is all knitting notions, one is fabric...you get the idea.  The basket on top is small works in progress and all three jars to the left are knitting needles in various lengths and sizes.
Just down from the cube storage is my large old teachers desk.  It is such an awesome desk, I can't tell you how much I love it, but its super large surface does lend itself to clutter.  It has 6 drawers, which are always full, and two additional pull-out work surfaces, so you can get very in to whatever you are doing and pretty much surround yourself.  I have a large comfy desk chair to sit in when I use it because often times when I sit down there I don't get up for hours at a time. 

I admit that until this massive cleaning binge, all three of the surface above were heaped with mounds of different things pretty much all the time.  I love that I have them all clean again and it inspires me to want to sit down and work on things.  Soon I will start posting about all the knitting I have been doing because when I haven't been cleaning I have been throwing myself in to prep for Indie Emporium with gusto!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Sock and Lace Markers

One of the main things I did in July to get read for Fiber Christmas was work on beefing up my selection of sock and lace size stitch markers.  Tiny markers are a lot harder on the hands to make than bigger ones, but I think ultimately they are worth it.  Its nice to not have giant markers flopping around while you are trying to knit tiny or delicate things.
Because it was 110 degrees, I did not go outside to take pictures, so please forgive the less than super fun photos.
Winning the award for most time consuming markers I make, these bell flower markers are tiny, delicate looking and beautiful.
These smiling guys are great for happy knitting.
This set uses foam animal beads to make super lightweight and adorable markers.  I carry these in a variety of sizes from sock to large.
These little stars captured the kid in me and I couldn't resist the beads.  I knew they needed to be stitch markers.
Wooden beads have a calm and classic look to them.  I love their simplicity.

As soon as I go through what is left now that Fiber Christmas is past I will start posting these in my etsy shop.  As always, if you are ever looking for anything in particular, don't hesitate to ask.  :-)  Other than posting what I already have and making things on request, I will likely take a break from the stitch markers to concentrate on all the fun accessories I want to make before Indie Emporium!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

If you were wondering where I have been...

Its been a very slow summer of blog posts.  And there are only so many times I can apologize for not posting more, so instead I will let you know that there is a good reason I have been tired and distracted.
 But that doesn't mean I haven't been doing anything.  After enjoying a fantastic vacation back in June, I spent much of July gearing up for Fiber Christmas in July.  I absolutely love doing Fiber Christmas in July.  Every year we have so much fun and there is a wonderful sense of community.  I mainly took stitch markers and some yarn from Africa, which I definitely need to tell you more about at some point.  I spent a few weeks making tons of new stitch markers, tagging and organizing.
This year's Fiber Christmas was even bigger and better than ever.  More vendors and more space and the same wonderful folks cooking up some great food in the kitchen.  Thanks to Kate and Jane and everyone else who pitches in to make this a wonderful event year after year!! 
I loved being just across the way from Dawning Dreams, her stuff is always so tempting and I came home with a couple beautiful skeins of bulky wool and mohair, which I have already knit up!  Hows that for love?  Yep, I knit that up within a week or so of bringing it home.
One other fantastic thing about Fiber Christmas is that I was inspired to actually do some spinning.  I spun up a beautiful braid that I got from Angora Jane last Fiber Christmas.  I can't wait to knit this up soon!

Ever since Fiber Christmas, I have shifted my focus to getting ready for Indie Emporium at the end of September.  It is so hard to think about cowls and hats when its 108 degrees most days, but I have some wonderfully inspiring yarns in the stash for this year and I have really loved seeing how it has knit up.  I need to get to photographing some of my newest cowls, although getting a model to put one on in this heat is going to take some serious bribery.  Until I can get some good pictures and do a big reveal, just know that in store for this fall are even more luxurious cowls and definitely more pinch hats.  So far I have been concentrating on super soft, decadent feeling designs and no two are alike.  Linen stitch and seed stitch are current favorites for their classic and classy look.  More on all of that coming soon!  And I will definitely try and do better on regular posting again!