Thursday, July 25, 2013

Zen Gnome Hat

I love custom orders, though at the same time it's a little anxiety-producing to take someone else's idea and turn it into a finished item.  Especially when the customer is not a knitter, LOL.  One of my clients saw a newborn hat that was elfish, but the tip was held to the body of the hat by a flower.  I wasn't going to show the original at first, but thought it might be interesting to show the comparison.  The photographer is also from Ontario, so that's nice for me to support.  I don't know who made the hat, but I will try to find out!

She was going to be doing a newborn photo shoot and wanted two of these hats, one with a button and one with a flower (girl/boy twins).  The big issue (for me)?  The original was made with a yarn that blended softly from one colour to the next, though it came across as stripes.
She wanted to come over and see all my mohair-ish yarns.  Well, my "studio" is not really a studio anymore! 
 First there was the flooding I showed earlier (in May?).  The rest of the basement has been gutted, bit by bit, and now it's time to get over to my side.  Originally this wasn't going to happen for awhile, but plans change.
All my bins of yarn are actually not in this room, but even though I tried to organize them when re-packing/moving them, it's just not a situation to bring a client to.
So, I spent an afternoon going through the bins in the freezing basement and picked out some striping yarns, some gentle coloured yarns, and some mohair-ish yarns and schlepped them to her!
We came up with a design and I got to work.  I didn't like the tan yarn we chose, so I made an executive decision to get something else.  The other yarns were lace weight/DK solid coloured, smooth mohairs, and the tan was Patons' Divine, which I use in the layering blankets for it's lumpy, shady, bulky, textured look.  It would have been fine for a brim, but it was also to appear further up in the stripe pattern.  I switched it out for Patons' Lace Sequins, but I had to trim all the sequins off :(
 See how out of scale the Divine is?  I was also practicing with blending from one colour to the next.
 What a perfect button find!
 By not sewing the button down, it'd allow for adjusting size, or for knotting the tail.  See the pretty sequins I had to snip off? :(  LOL.  We had a few emails about that!

 I was struggling with the flower, trying to create something simple but looked like the photo she had found.
I made a couple different flowers, one I didn't show here was in the cream, with more open loops.
Isn't that the sweetest picture?  The boy was 8lb, and the girl, 5lb!!  Jennifer is a wonderful photographer and I LOVE when our collaborations result in fulfilling her creative vision!
The only downside--the two hats together (including buttons), weigh only 35gr!!
Yarn In:  7837gr
Yarn Out:  35gr + 4799gr = 4834gr
Balance:  3003gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $227.61/207 days = $1.10/day

Friday, July 19, 2013

Purchase Updates

So, I've bought some yarn in the past few weeks.  And an item to turn back into yarn.

From left, two balls of Bernat "On the Fringe".  ($3.00 each, clearance at Wal-Mart, 120gr total).  This is the most soft yarn ever.  It's like a thick eyelash.  Would make an awesome bear, but I don't have enough for my usual pattern.  So I think it'll be a layering blanket.  One ball of silver eyelash yarn, 50gr, one ball of Bernat "Fab Faux" ( 70gr--not sure if it's a full ball, but since I've already started working with it, I can't weigh it), a ball of plain blue and variegated brown (total 145gr).  All those (except the ones from Wal-Mart), were in a bag from Value Village, for $2.99 ($3.38).  I will probably donate the blue and brown yarns.
Below the yarns in the top photo is a vest I bought for the yarn.  It's edged in garter sts, with a long tie, in a yarn that looks like Patons "Decor" or maybe even Classic Wool.  I'll compare them once I unravel.  I have no idea what the main yarn is, but it's soft and lumpy bumpy boucle.  Quite tightly knit--hard to even tell if it's garter stitch or stockinette stitch.  It looks good with the yarn it was paired with, and also the silver eyelash.  I picture a vintage inspired pixie hat, leg warmers, and layering blanket!  I won't weigh it till it's unravelled, but the price was $5.99 ($6.77)

Yarn In:  385gr + 7452gr = 7837gr
Yarn Out:  4799gr
Balance:  3038 gr brought IN than out
Costs:  $16.93 + $210.71 = $227.61/201 days = $1.13 per day

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


After making the crocheted tote bag for the raffle basket, I decided to make another one, but with a flat, round bottom (the one in the raffle basket didn't have a bottom).  It didn't take too long to make, though it got a little boring and took a bit longer than I was expecting--I guess it really was larger than the other one, LOL.

I was originally going to do a short loop and a long loop, and feed the long loop through the short one, to close it off and make the shoulder strap.  Sort of forgot, LOL.  I did remember to do a row of single crochet around the straps (and top) and I think this really helps clean it up.  It didn't sell at the arts festival, so if anyone's interested, $15 plus Shipping.

Yarn In:  7452gr
Yarn Out:  175gr + 4624gr = 4799gr
Balance:  2653gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $210.71/199 days = $1.06/day

That's looking great, though I have to show what I bought over the past week :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Keeping Busy!

My DVR died, and I had a lot of shows recorded to watch during the summer slow now I don't have much motivation to sit on the couch in the evenings and knit.  I'm out and about a lot with the kids, so I need easy, portable projects, and when I'm home, I've been busy sewing.  On Saturday, I'm going to be a vendor at a local arts festival (music, crafts, arts, etc).  It'll be my first time doing it since....April 2007?  And back then I had a couple of table-sharers.  This time, I have sewing to offer too!
I have 21 sewn water bottle holders, in three sizes.  Almost all of them were made in the past two weeks (well, started two weeks ago, but the straps didn't happen till this week).  I also have 10 crocheted water bottle holders, and one crocheted tote bag, and some neck coolers...would have had more, but I can't get the crystals (and forgot to look at another store tonight...).  I wish I had more of the crocheted ones too.  I just hung some up to stretch out a bit and finish drying, and they fit a variety of bottles so easily.  I've got a 1L pop bottle in one!  Rob says they're too "girly" though.  We'll see.
I also bought three balls of yarn tonight.  Oops.  Two for layering blankets or pods, one for water bottle holders!  I'll add that up later, I've got to get more done for the sale!  It's all the little things that suck up time--printing photos, price lists, stock list, etc.

Friday, July 05, 2013

Sweet Soaker

I can't believe it's been a week since I posted last!  We had our Canada Day holiday on July 1, and time is just flying by this week!  I have been mainly crocheting water bottle holders and doing some sewn ones too.  Not the most interesting things to show!  I thought though that I'd take some time out to knit up a wool soaker to have on display when I do an upcoming arts festival.  I was in a hurry, grabbed what I thought was a 4mm needle (still haven't checked it, but I like the resulting material anyway), a pattern, and headed out.  After working for an hour, I checked my gauge and size, and it's definitely a preemie size, instead of the intended newborn!
I kept going anyway.  I was pleased to get it done in one day (though that day included my daughter's 70min  skating lesson and a trip to the beach).  Yes, I can do the main part on the knitting machine, much quicker (30 minutes for the body), but doing the ribbing by hand, and the sewing up, means it still takes me almost as long! 
I'm going to lanolize it anyway, and take it as a sample.  I might knit up a larger size too, in a more boyish colour.
Yarn In:  7452gr
Yarn Out:  29gr + 4595gr = 4624gr
Balance:  2828gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $210.71/187 days = $1.13/day