Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kids and Knitting Looms

My youngest daughter turns 10 on labor day. Double digits and she's excited. Since I've been knitting for 8 years or so, she's been watching me the whole time, wanting to learn. Unfortunately she just doesn't have the patience level to do it with two sticks and string. So for her birthday she is getting the entire loom kit (circles and long ones) and ten skeins of yarn. Check them all out at Michaels or Joann Fabrics and Crafts (start there, it's where I work :)).

They are made for knitting like the kids do on their fingers. Things knit up pretty fast and you can do both knit and purl stitch. You can do both knit in the round as well as back and forth.

I gave Journey (the daughter) one of the round looms and a skein of purple heather worsted weight and let her go to town. In about a week (she was afraid of it in the beginning) she had made her very own winter beenie. She won't take it off. She wears it to school and gets scolded for wearing hats in school, but she does it anyway.

For the holidays, we are going to make 8 scarves for 8 teachers in the school colors. Each will be a different scarf but with the same two colors. It'll be interesting to see if we can come up with 8 different patterns with only two colors. Wish us luck. But this time Journey will get to help.

Looms come in both circular and long looms. Looms allow both circluar in-the-round knitting as well as back and forth knitting. The longest loom is 22 inches. When you get done using that loom, you will have a smaller blanket or have of a big one. Use one strand or several at a time to make anything you can imagine.

Easy to use and fun. So if you have small ones who want to learn, or even if you want to try something new, try the Knifty Knitter Looms!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not Feeling Very Creative

Sadly, I haven't done anything creative in a week or so. School and work have been keeping me busier than I planned.

I've made a few resin bracelets and pendants but no yarn dying (and I did buy a huge amount of undyed yarn for my etsy shop). And I work the next three days so no creative stuff then either.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

First Day at Work!

I got a job about 3 weeks after closing the bar. I'm lucky. In this economy I know many look for a long time before finding something.

I work at Joann Fabrics and Crafts. It's going to be hard getting that paycheck all the way out the door each week. It will want to stop and buy things for my next project!

Today I learned to run the register and I spent 4 hours asking people if they found everything alright and 'what are you making?' Sounds boring for some, but after 5 years of taking work home every day, it's nice to leave work and LEAVE WORK! I will go back Monday after class to learn the fabric cut table. Then it's off and running alone.

OTN: A boring pair of SS socks, half a poncho, half a felted purse. Been too busy studying to knit!

Monday, August 17, 2009

First Day of School!

So after 43 years of life have gone by for me and I finally get to go to college.

Today was my first day. I've got 4 classes, 3 on Monday and Wednesday and one on Thursday evenings. My Sociology teacher is nuts. But fun. It'll be a fun and interesting class. My English Comp teacher is equally fun and interesting. I'm looking forward to that class. Algebra is a different matter. Stereotypical math teacher including the almost completely mono-tone voice. That is going to be a hard class to bare. I've already starting counting down the classes. 29 more to go. My last class looks interesting and I'll know more about it Thursday.

I also managed to get a job. I will be an associate at Joann Fabric and Crafts. A good day all around! Now to get started on the homework!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Winter seems to be coming earlier for Colorado!

I went to the grocery store this morning for breakfast stuff and rode my scooter. It was downright chilly for that short ride and it seemed like winter was going to be here in 15 minutes. Got me thinking about the mittens, scarves and hats that I will need to make for the kids.

There are some great books on knitting for the winter. KnitPicks (my fav) is having their 40% off books sale and here are a few of my recommendations. . .

For mittens: Knitting New Mittens and Gloves. Some really fun mittens for all sizes as well as half mittens that just cover the hand, wrist and arm. I've got this book and can't wait to get started.

Scarves: I got Scarf Style at the library first to be sure I'd like it and I had to buy it. Nice thick and interesting scarves that even guys will like.

Cool hats can be found here: Hat Heads. Written by a guy, 50 variations on the beanie. My son actually picked out a few that he likes. He's not normally a hat head.

So, go to KnitPicks, get some books, some yarn and if you haven't tried their needles, pick up a couple sets of circular needles and be amazed!

Happy Sunday All!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New crafts to add to my long list

The purse is almost done. It's felted and is waiting for the straps to be sewn on. I will get photos of it as soon as it's all done.

I've decided to add another craft to my long list. Resin jewelry. I've been interested in this for a while and even bought all the stuff I need for it but never got to it with all the other stuff in my life. Now that my restaurant is closed and I am in college, I have more time to do some of the other things I've wanted to try.

Resin jewelry looks like glass but is really a polyester liquid goop that is poured in a mold or jewely blank and is allowed to harden. It cures overnight, water clear and you can see anything you've embedded in it. You can use dye to color either translucent or opaque. You can check YouTube for some great tutorials on the how tos.

I've done a couple easy pendants for my daughter and her BFF. Angel (daughter) wants me to make some she can sell at school. She says Jolly Roger and peace signs will fly off her neck.
I have some ideas for a floral line and a collage line. But those will be for sale on Etsy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

So, who LOVES TO FELT????

Last night right before I went to bed I started thinking about needing a new purse. I had moved all my yarn stash back down to the basement and saw all the Lamb's Pride I have collected. Hmmm. I DO need a new purse. And I do want it to be completely ME. That's tough for designers since none of them know me.

So last night I started thinking about all that feltable yarn, in cherry red and bright orange. I could hear it calling to me. And i shouldn't be thinking about something like that right before bed. Yep, you guessed it, at 2:10AM I was STILL thinking about it, doing the math in my head. . .okay I usually hold two strands together and on the 15s (needles) I get 3 stitches per inch, if I wanted the bottom to be 10 inches, I need to start with 12 inches so it felts down, so cast on 36, knit for 6 inches if I want it to be 5 inches on the botton, garter stitch on the bottom. . .etc.

Purse is 90% done already. I know that if I didn't do it today, I would spend all night tonight thinking about it. Sometimes you just have to make it to get it out of the head. I took pics as I went. . .

This is the bottom. 30 stitches cast on, size 15 needles, Lamb's Pride in Cherry Red, two strands held together. 11 inches by 4 inches.

Then I switched to SS and knit 24 rows (7.5 inches) and bound off.

I picked up 30 stitches on the other side and knit up another 24 rows and bound off loosely. This is the bottom, front and back of the purse.

I used the bright orange on the sides. I picked up 9 stitches and knit up 24 rows, but I decreased 3 stiches on the way up. So the bottom is 9 stitches, the top is 6 stitches.

I whip stitched the sides up and this is what I have. Gonna look great when done, at least I hope so.

After stitching up the sides, I made a small flap that I will put a button on. And maybe a magnetic clasp. Here are the I-Cords, will be put on tomorrow and tossed in the washer. Pics when it's done!

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Yarn Stash is Seriously Out Of Control!

I was re-arranging my stash (to get more of it downstairs and out of the way) and found that my stash is out of control. I keep my yarn is 21 gallon totes with snap on lids and I have 5 and yarn for 3-4 more that I have to keep in ziplocs in baskets til I can find more totes.
I have one full tote with nothing but sock yarn in it!

I would take a picture, but I'm afraid my husband could use it against me in a future divorce proceeding. . .

How did that happen?
Well, a few years ago there was a whisper that Patons was going to discontinue Kroy. So I went to my LYS and bought up most of the Kroy they had. 4 skeins of each color, it was on sale. And for me Kroy is too thin and would take me the better part of a year to knit a pair of socks, so I hold two strands together.
Then a friend decided she didn't want to knit with such thin yarn anymore and did I want to buy all her Opal for $5 a skein-well of course I did! I have 25-30 Opals now, yikes.
Then I do have an entire tote of feltable yarn in cones from my favorite ebay yarn seller for the time when I just have to make a felted purse, totebage, hat, slippers, etc. I've got 15 or so colors on big cones. And then just worsted yarn that was pretty. I had a plan for each skein I bought, though now I can't remember all the projects I wanted to do.

I was thinking that it's time to do some de-stashing. There are colors and weights I don't knit with anymore (those thin yarns can't even be seen with my eyes anymore) so maybe it's time to just give it away? Want some? Email me your name, address and top three color favs and I will send you sock yarn (US only please). Enough to do a pair, and maybe, just maybe more.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Scooters are Cool!

I ride a scooter.

Not everywhere, I do have kids that have to be taxied from one spot to another. But anywhere I have to go alone and not bring home huge things, I ride my scooter.
Husband rides too. Every day to work and for most small stuff errands.

It's a great way to get places, uses less fuel and is just fun! If you haven't ever tried one and think it would be a good thing for you, you should check your local scooter/motorcycle dealer. It's near the end of the season in most places and prices are dropping.
This is a stock photo of my scooter. It's a 150cc so I got a motorcycle license to drive it. Goes about 65-70mph and gets 80mpg or go. Zippy and Sippy.

Today I am eagerly awaiting a new shipment of acid dyes. I figured they would be here days ago so if they don't arrive today I will have to call the company that shipped them and see what the deal is. I remember when you ordered things by mail or TV and it would take 4-6 weeks to get to you. Now if things aren't to us in a week, we get antsy. That's what eBay did for us.

Garage sale at my house tomorrow and Saturday. Gonna be long days!
Cleaned out the small kids room to get the too small clothes and too young toys.
Now we can see the floor!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Let's Talk Sox! And yarn. And yarn dyeing. . .

So, I started crocheting when I was 6. One summer during the two weeks at the grandparents place my grandmother, a celebrated watercolour artist, thought I should learn to crochet. I'd never seen her crochet at all and never did after she taught me. Funny, I'm just really remembering that now. .
.Anyway, I am a 'spacial' person. I can look at something and tell you how it's made and usually make it myself. It's my only gift. But for a crafter/artisan it's the important gift. I would sit and crochet all kinds of things. I made gloves, slippers (not rectangle pocket slippers, mine were very intricate) shirts, etc. And I didn't know patterns existed.

I learned to knit because the woman in the yarn store, Showers of Flowers, said knitting used 1/3 less yarn so you could buy more yarn. Had me there! I got the Vogue Knitting book, sat myself on my couch and learned to knit. Then about a week later I learned to knit socks from another book, Socks Soar on Two Circs. No one told me socks were hard to knit so I didn't know. I just knit.

I love fun socks. I don't care if they match my outfit or even each other for that matter. I've never gotten SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) because I almost never make one sock at a time. I also knit Two-Up, meaning starting at the toe instead of the cuff, so I can try the sock on while knitting, no pattern watch or counting rows. Just slide on the sock and see if it's time to start knitting the heel yet. I also knit only for myself. I don't know many people who understand the effort it takes to knit anything, the expense for really good quality yarn and time it takes. I once decide to try and count the stitches in each sock and decide that it was info that I didn't really want to know. :)
So, since I've done almost every other craft known to crafter-kind, I decided that I wanted to dye my own sock yarn! I did tye dye so I had the dye already, I also used to make bird toys (told ya) so I had every color of Wiltons Icing Gels (which make outstanding yarn dyes, really-perfect for dyeing with the kids, and very little investment- Check your local craft stores for it).
Oh, bird toys should be colored with natural dyes like the Wiltons, or Kool aid since the birds chew on the wood pieces-just FYI. But I digress (you'll find I do that a lot-oh look, something shiny!).

Sock yarn. . .so I took a hank of natural colored sock yarn and the Wiltons and went to town! And I liked it, by George! My first hank came out exactly like I wanted it! No puddling of colors, the colors were bright and fun and melted into each other to make perfect new colors between. . .yummy!

So, I did it again. And again. These are some of the sock blanks I knit up on my knitting machine (a useful tool, if you have the means, I highly recommend one-Bond America is good and Craigslist usually has one or two for under $100) and then went crazy. You can buy them here. Great quality (everything from KnitPicks, is-try their needles!) But since I have the machine and usually want to have my blank more square than long, I do my own (cheaper too).

Both of these ou see are Wiltons. The ones I sell are Jacquard Acid Dyes. But Wiltons color holds up JUST AS GOOD as the more toxic acid dyes.
This orange one is outstand knit up. I can't find my pictures of the socks, but they are my favorites. I just finished another pair from a sock blank that I thought was going to be unfortunate looking. I just didn't like the colors together after it was dyed so I figured I would knit them up for my 15yo daughter. Nope. They knit up amazing!

So I kept them. She's good on socks anyway. . .

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

imagesinthewind studios

Evidently we needed a blog.

Okay, so here it is! I will post new creations,
inspirations, pictures and whatever else comes to mind.

Something came to mind!

We started an Etsy shop. All the new handpainted wool yarns will be posted there for sale. eBay is too expensive now and isn't the best place for artisan stuff anymore.

Here is the current offering, more to come. . .

Create your own web site