Wednesday, September 28, 2011

All that last minute stuff

I am getting down to the wire getting ready for Indie Emporium!  I'm so excited and nervous!  I get nervous before craft shows a lot.  I hope I remember everything.  I hope my booth display is as attractive as I want it to be.  I hope people like my stuff!


 I've put a lot of work in to this year's inventory and so I think I am even more nervous than usual.  I have spent the last couple of days making lists, tagging more items, cutting all the extra tags, stocking my new little check out stand (which is going to make my life so much easier at shows!), making more lists, contemplating the booth display, and thinking of all kinds of last minute things I would have loved to have gotten made but just won't have the time to get to.


It would be nice if all I had to do was knit and then show up at the show and all of the organizational stuff would just take care of itself.  Its a nice fantasy, isn't it?  I love the knitting part and the talking to customers and showing them my work part, but sometimes right before shows I can get bogged down in the organizational details.  (the accountant in me admits that I have made an inventory spreadsheet already) Time to take a deep breathe, relax and remember to have fun.

If you are in the Tulsa area, make sure to come out this friday and saturday and show your handmade community some support!

Also, be sure to stop my MaieDae where I am giving away $25 in shop credit this week!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Photoshoot

Yesterday I had a quick and fun photo shoot with my new model, the fabulous Ashten.  I was getting down to the wire on getting photos of all my new inventory that I will be taking to Indie Emporium next weekend, so we really packed it all in yesterday.

 Once we got her to loosen up I think she had some fun with the whole process.  And I very much hope she agrees to do it again, don't you?  The cowl above is a mohair and wool blend hand dyed yarn from Angora Jane, a local spinner and dyer.  The pattern is my one Illy Cowl pattern (Free pattern over on the right hand side bar).  This yarn + this pattern came out beautifully.
 Ashten is going hollywood in this oversized cowl made of another merino wool and mohair blend, this time hand dyed by Dawning Dreams.  The linen stitch always makes a beautiful and complex looking fabric.  The drape of this chunky weight yarn is fantastic and this cowl will definitely keep you warm all winter.
 Many knitters are familiar with 3 Irish Girls, a well known brand of fantastic yarns.  This merino wool is a beautiful combination of grays and the drape of the yarn is lovely.  A basic ribbed edge and stockinette center makes this cowl beautiful in its simplicity.
This small cowl knit in a chunky lace stitch is make from a luxurious cashmere and merino blend.  Its a super light weight yarn with lots of "squish."  I can't say enough about this yarn.  (I might have bough 4 extra balls of it in a charcoal gray to make myself a cowl.)

At our next shoot I hope to be able to do more playing around and experimenting as well as some different backgrounds and locations.  I am not a world class photographer, but I do like to have fun with it and I am working on photographing my craft to show it in its best light.  Whether it is items I knit for sale or items I knit for myself, I always love to have a record of everything that comes off my needles and I want that record to show each item in its full glory.  I guess practice, practice, practice is the way to go, right?

Everything we photographed yesterday is one of a kind.  All of the hats and cowls I am taking to craft shows and listing on etsy this fall are one offs.  I love to 'knit what I feel' or let the yarn become what it tells me it wants to be.  This has led to some really fabulous pieces for this fall and I can't wait to show them off.  If you see something at a show or on etsy that catches your eye, just know that it is the only one.  Once it is sold, its gone.

I hope to see you at Indie Emporium next friday and saturday.  Make sure to stop by my booth and at least say hello.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Blanket for Baby E

I didn't get a whole lot of new inventory knit over the early or middle part of the summer.  But I have a really good reason.   You see, when I first found out I was pregnant the most important thing in the world to me (other than sharing my joy with my wonderful husband) was to find the PERFECT baby blanket pattern.  First I picked out the yarn.  I know most people pick out the pattern first, but I wanted to start RIGHT NOW so I sat down and went through my entire stash.  It happens that I had 11 balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran sitting around.  They had planned on becoming a sweater, but it hadn't happened yet and I decided the light grey/almost silverish color was a perfect unisex baby blanket color.

 And I still think that.  You see, we are waiting to find out if its a boy or a girl until it is born, so there was no reason to wait to start the blanket.  So what qualified as a "perfect" baby blanket pattern in my mind?  #1 - It HAD to have cables.  I love cables.  I enjoy the actual act of cabling and I LOVE the results.  #2 - It had to be something  could do on the go.  It was ok if it had a chart as long as it was easy to track or fairly simple to memorize.  #3 - It had to look incredible.
 I think I did a pretty good job of picking out a pattern.  The cables and ladders are beautiful and the design is timeless.  Its not going to go out of style.  The softness of the cashmere and merino wool yarn make the blanket all the more wonderful.  I can't want to wrap this blanket around myself and E.  I did make the blanket a bit bigger than the pattern called for.  I went longer than it called for and it blocked out beautifully..
So what pattern did I use?  This one: Cabled Baby Afghan.  The price of the pattern is totally reasonable and the results are beautiful, so if you or someone you know is looking for the 'perfect' baby blanket pattern for a keeksake worthy blanket, I would highly recommend it.

I'm a little nervous because I entered this blanket in to the Tulsa State Fair and the results won't be out until next week.  Eep.

This is the first (and only, so far) thing I have knit for Baby E but once I get past fall show season I have made the difficult decision not to accept any more custom orders for the time being and to focus on knitting more for baby.  I have a few ideas of the things I think I want to do, I'll keep you updated as I go!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Swagalicious

Today I posted over at make:Tulsa about all the great swag people have been making for the Indie Emporium Swag Bags.  You can check out the full post here.

With the help of my friend Shannon, I got all of my swag done and ready to turn in.  Here's the sneak peek I posted on facebook yesterday:

These swag bags are filled with goodies from many of the vendors and are only given to the first 50 people in the door on Friday night September 30th.  If you are in or around the Tulsa area, make sure to stop by.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Iron Crafter

I don't think I can thoroughly explain the concept of Iron Crafter to you, so you really need to watch this short video.  Its totally worth it, I promise.



See, its Iron Chef meets the crafting world.  And its the newest addition to Indie Emporium.  If you are in or around Tulsa, you are really going to want to come see the hilarity that is sure to ensue from this.  Its looking like I'll be up there for the Prairie Hive Vrs. make:Tulsa part of the competition.  I'm sure there are bound to be glue guns and pom poms and who knows what else.

I know that many of you probably think I have a one track mind right now, but when you spend every free moment prepping for a show, it really is all you can think about.  Besides, I have a 2 track mind right now, I just don't want to inundate you with baby stuff.  Once we start getting the nursery put together, I'll probably talk a little more about that.  The room is almost cleaned out and I have started sorting clothes received as both hand me downs and gifts by size.  Some days its hard to decide, prep for show or prep for baby, but in all honesty the show will be here first so I am working away like mad.  I also have a new display project I want to share soon.  Its taking a bit of time, but I think it will work great in my booth.

Have a happy Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Labor Day 2011 & More

I had a fantastic weekend with some fantastic people.  I definitely made the most of my three days off in a row.  Our many adventures included knitting, movie watching, pedicures, italian cream sodas, baby shower (not for me, for my friend), baby clothes sorting, more movies, raiding the Carters 50% off sale, Trader Joes (oh how I miss thee), Melting Pot, and so much more.  

This is my friend Kate and I at her baby shower.  We are kind of orange because the walls and the ceiling were all totally orange, but what ya gonna do?  It was a fun shower and she got many thoughtful gifts from friends and family.

The weather also took a dramatic turn and suddenly became beautiful.  It was so nice we took multiple walks to take advantage of it.

In the world of knitting to prep for Indie Emporium, I got a wonderfully luxurious merino and cashmere cowl knit up and I have a hat going that will match.  It is a wonderful deep green and I can't wait to get pictures to share it with you.  I also got back to some baby hats and I hope to get a few more of those done fairly soon.  I'm really excited about the inventory I will have for this show, I think it will be some of the most decadent overall inventory I have ever presented at a show.  So I am holding my breath and crossing my fingers that it is received well.

I suppose its time to get ready to go to work, but if I am being honest I must admit that I really don't want to.  I hardly slept a wink because now instead of just one hip hurting they both hurt and neither one wishes to be laid on but I can't sleep on my stomach (duh) or my back.  If anyone else has been through this and has a favorite body or maternity pillow, speak up!  I spent half the morning researching them and they are so expensive.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Blogging in a hurry

So the other day when I posted about working my fingers to the bone getting ready for Indie Emporium, I was in a total hurry and left out all of the funny and entertaining things I was going to talk about.  See, my blog posts are often much better in my head when I am in the shower than they are once I sit down to actually start typing and run out of time or just completely forget all of the stuff I told myself that I would mention.  For instance, I was going to tell you all how I have been knitting every single spare moment I have, which includes somewhat normal times, like any time Ben is driving and I get to be the passenger, and other not so normal times, like sitting in the dark little room at the eye doctor waiting for my eyes to dilate, knitting with them closed because it becomes too hard to focus on anything to have them opened.  I knit through the wait at every prenatal appointment (baby is doing great, by the way) and someone always asks what I am knitting.  I think they get caught off guard that it isn't baby stuff.  It generally a hat or a cowl or some other prep for Indie Emporium.  The eye doctor thing was definitely the funniest though.  Apparently knitting with ones eyes closed causes lots of people to stare and talk about you, mostly nurses.  And then they all wanted to know what it was (pretty wool cowl). and how the heck you could 'feel' the stitches.  (practice is the answer to that.  Even blind people can knit, so just close your eyes and practice.)

So see, there is all this good stuff that gets left out if I end up blogging in a hurry.  Even now I am probably forgetting something or another.  But it doesn't matter because I have finished my cinnamon toast crunch (yes, I was feeling childish this morning) and its time to go get ready for work.

Have a happy friday and remember to take time to slow down.  I know I need to remember that too, especially as the fall just gets busier and busier.