Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Radio Silence

I am sorry for the radio silence around here. I have to be honest, I have been completely swept away by the popularity of my Etsy shop. My list of commissions keeps growing (which I love) but the consequence of that is my free time shrinks.

I have some pretty amazing plans in the works. Next month I will be going to TNNA. I'm taking a few classes, some of which are how to better teach knitting classes. I have a class coming up in June where I'm teaching the magic loop technique.

It's interesting watching this unfold. By "this" I mean my life. There's a shift going on here that I'm thoroughly excited about. It's as if I'm finally moving towards my purpose, perhaps even moving towards a new career that I know I love. All of the creating I've been doing with the stuffed animals (wait until you see the latest) has shown me that I really do have some talent when it comes to this knitting thing and sharing that talent, teaching other people how or writing patterns so others can make them is really exciting. (I may be overusing the word "exciting" but there's just no better word!)

Unfortunately, the blog suffers from all these exciting things. I will try to post, but I can make no guarantees that it will be with any regularity. I still love reading all of your blogs even if I don't always have time to comment.

Without further ado, here's a couple of my latest creations:

Then, of course, someone saw this and wanted one... Just slightly different...

I'll leave you with a picture of my most favorite activity in my most favorite spot... This is how every day should be...

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A trip and more toys

Last weekend Sam and I drove down to Washington, DC for Passover with his family. I've never been to a Seder before so this was going to be a totally new experience for me. I also hadn't met all of his family on his dad's side before either. As far as all that goes, we had a lovely time and his all of his family members were very nice!

Sam was gracious enough to drive both there and back, which gave me some prime knitting time that I was overjoyed to have. We also had some down time on Saturday and decided to head over to the National Zoo.

I grew up in Maryland, just outside DC so I have some pretty great memories of going to the National Zoo. Now I have one more...

We had so much fun! We we even able to meet up with Sam's good friend from college who works down in DC now.

I have to admit, I was just super excited to get out and have an adventure. Work has been a bit stressful and it's nice to get away sometimes!

In knitting news, I've been making stuffed animals like crazy! First, I was commissioned to make a pink elephant for a little girl who will be turning one. They wanted it as a keepsake so I was happy to make it and embellish it for them. It's my first Etsy sale!

I pretty much stuck to the Elijah pattern (rav link) for this one, though the embellishments were all mine. She's one lucky elephant too, because I decided to use some of my merino/cashmere/nylon sock yarn to make her scarf!

This really is one of my favorite patterns to make because it just turns out so adorable and most people can't handle the cuteness!

Along that line, my coworker asked me to make a pig for her. I was more than happy to, but when I looked up pig patterns, there just weren't any that met my "cuteness standard." Seriously, it has to make you fall over with cuteness before I'm going to knit it!

So what did I do? I modified Elijah of course. Pretty heavily actually, but you can definitely tell that's where the inspiration came from!
I've decided to name her Annabelle. She even has a cute little curly Q tail that I added to her.

I modify the face slightly and the nose quite a bit to make it come up a little farther on the face. I made the ears up as I went along until they were perfect.

I'm quite proud of my little piggy. I hate to say it, but I think she's the cutest pig anyone's ever knit... if I do say so myself... :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

What I've been up to...

Just a quick post. I'm about to be off for the holiday weekend. Sam and I are traveling down to Washington, DC for a three day weekend. Before I go, I thought I'd check in and write a quick post (you know, to assure you all that I'm still alive!)

I've been busy working on a quite a few projects recently. One of which I was inspired to make to help take better pictures...

Yep, I made myself a lightbox. It took me all of about ten minutes and cost me three dollars. I bought some posterboard for the back drops in three different colors. So far, the white works the best, but with the right project black or blue might work.

I've also been working on some teddy bears that I'm super proud of. The pattern is loosely based on Otto by Ysolda Teague. I changed quite a few things though. The body is more like the elephant, the legs and arms are slightly different, but the ears I totally changed.

I wanted ears like a real teddy bears so I made them up as I went. My first attempt was just not right at all... but the second was perfect (at least I thought they were perfect!) I'm so proud of those ears. I get such a charge from creating something right out of my imagination! I was so excited that I couldn't wait to make something else up! We'll see what I come up with next.

I hope everyone has a great weekend and if you're traveling, have a safe trip!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

When do I slow down?

Have you ever felt you don't have an off button? That's me. I've just discovered that I don't have an off button. Here I've decided to take a long break from school because I was too stressed out over it, just to spend all the extra time developing patterns and trying to get an Etsy shop running where, if I'm successful, would mean almost all my knitting time would be taken up with projects knit for other people. Am I a glutton for punishment, or do I just not function well without self-imposed deadlines and pressures?

I have noticed a huge difference between this kind of pressure and the school pressure, though. This kind of pressure is exciting to me. I finally feel like I have my creative spark back, the spark that I lost when I went back to school in the first place. All I can think about is getting back home so I can work on my projects! It's been a long time since I've felt inspired by what I'm doing. I absolutely love the feeling. What I need now is time.

When I get inspired by something, I want ALL the time to be with it. Forget about this work to make a living thing, I want to dive into my craft. Unfortunately my craft doesn't earn me a living and I do so like to live.

I suppose I just have to take a breath and know that there is plenty of time. All things don't need to be done right now. It's a process.

 In all this craziness, I managed to finish the giraffe! The recipient loved it so much!

This project was such a challenge to me to keep my motivation up. Those spots went on forever. But, I prevailed and swore to myself that I would never make another giraffe if my life depended on it. So naturally, when a second co-worker asked me if I would make one for her I immediately responded: Of course!
 Perhaps I'll make the second one with less spots...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Playing Catch Up

This past week has been busy for me. So busy in fact, that I am woefully behind in catching up on my blog reading and obviously far too busy to even write a post myself! The reason I've been so busy is because this past week I had two dress rehearsals plus the two concerts for the choir I sing with. There was a lot of running around and not a lot of time for knitting.

The only thing I managed to have time for was to create an Etsy shop with an associated Facebook page. The Etsy shop has been in the back of my mind for awhile, I just didn't take the plunge until a coworker of mine (the one who I made all the baby things for) was asking me for a link to a page where he could show his friends because a lot of them are interested in the things I made. Not to mention I'm also in the process of making a lot of coaster sets. I only have one up for sale at the moment because that's all I had left over from last year. I made a ton of sets for friends and relatives for Christmas and they were a big hit. Here's to another crafty endeavor!

Hopefully this week won't be nearly as busy for me because I'm looking forward to catching up on everyone's blog posts!!!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Seeing Spots...

It's official. I'm in duplicate stitch hell. Obviously I bit off more than I can chew with this silly giraffe. Don't get me wrong, he's cute. Some might even say crazy adorable... but the spots. Each spot is duplicate stitched on and you just don't realize how big an undertaking it is until you start it! There are times I feel like I'm getting somewhere with it, only to turn it over and see all the blank yellow sections mocking me with their lack of spots.

What's a girl to do when there is a task this daunting??? Work on a pair of mindless stripey socks of course! I'm nearly finished the second sock! Two of my friends and I plan on getting together to add the afterthought heels. There's a certain amount of moral support one needs when she's about to cut into knitted fabric. Let's hope the tears are few.

It seems wrong to delve into this small-talk subject, but we have had unseasonably warm and gorgeous weather here in Central New York these past few days. Yesterday was the St. Patrick's Day parade and the weather couldn't have been nicer. Sam was actually in the parade helping a dog rescue group with their pups. He managed to get a bit of sunburn on the back of his neck....in March. I feel I need to remind myself of the month because normally we have at least two feet of snow still on the ground at this point. This has been anything but a normal year.

Daisies in the grass (Instagram)
Crocuses and bees
Pippin enjoying the sun (Instagram)
However, there are some flowers and a certain cat who are quite happy with the weird yet amazing weather. There were even bees hanging around the crocuses (you can see her hanging out in one of the flowers in the foreground)! I don't know whether to enjoy the weather, or just be completely weirded out.  I suppose since I have no control over it, I might as well enjoy it!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My first pattern (of many? Who knows?)

I just published my first pattern!

Around Christmas, Sam asked me to make a hat for him. I went searching for the type of hat he'd like, but I couldn't find a pattern that really suited him. What do we resourceful knitters do when we can't find exactly what we want? We make one up!

Sam's Brimmed Beanie (rav link)

I made it out of Hand Maiden Cashbah sock yarn, though any soft fingering weight will do. I just know how itchy some yarns can be when they're next to the forehead. There's nothing like a little cashmere to make the itch go away! I used size 1 US needles and surprisingly, it didn't take me very long to complete.

He loves his hat so much! He wears it all over the place, outside, inside (though thankfully he respects it enough not to wear it to bed!)

I'm very pleased with how it turned out. A few of my friends test knitted the pattern for me and they liked it as well!

 I realize that there is an overabundance of exclamation points in this post, but it's all very new and exciting! I'm beginning to wonder what else I can come up with!