Thursday, October 31, 2013

Yup, More Yarn In

With all the Hallowe'en shopping at Value Village, there was bound to be more yarn coming home. 

Five balls of Brilliant by Novita, 50gr each, 31% acrylic, 21% cotton, 19% wool, 17% nylon, 12% viscose.  How do you like that combo, LOL!  It's sort of  pale green with darker (but not dark) green slubs, sort of  bumpy, with a long halo that sort of shines.  I can totally picture the sweaters from the early 80s!  $4.50

A large, 200gr ball of "Sweety", a white DK yarn, with 80% acrylic, 10% mohair, and 10% wool.  A nice basic yarn, will look sweet as little pants and bonnets, or a blanket, or hat or scarf... Also $4.50.  It's "made in France" but I don't see a maker's name.

Next year, I might keep a total of how much of what I make actually leaves the house.  It was probably pretty good this year, as I've done so much custom work, but I did do a bunch of newborn hats that didn't go anywhere except the sale box.  It's not really yarn out, if the yarn is just transformed and moved to a new location within the house, LOL!

Yarn In:  12 507 + 450gr = 12 957gr
Yarn Out:  10 431gr
Balance:  2 526gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $9 + $249.29 = $258.29/305 days = $0.85/day

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monkey Business

On one hand, I love getting a picture sent to me, and being asked "Can you make this?".  On the other hand, it usually ends up being a lot of work.

It takes away most of the design process, which is good and bad.  I know exactly what my client wants, though I usually ask a few more questions ("this bright?" "textured?", etc).  But actually trying to find the yarn, and figure out the techniques....not always enjoyable!!

Take this monkey set:
Jennifer had done a maternity shoot with a woman that loved monkeys.  So she sent me this picture to see if I could make it.  I was almost certain the yarn was LionBrand Homespun.  I didn't have that colour, but was able to get it easily.

Got started on the hat.  Didn't like my first couple attempts at sizing, but the third (or 4th...) was good, so when I was at the forehead (starting from the top), I took a look at the picture again, and realized I had forgotten the cream and red stripe at the top!  Rip rip!  I didn't have cream in Homespun, but used two strands of a thinner yarn.  Using two strands allowed it to have more texture.  I did have a deep red in Homespun.  Got the hat finished.  Moved on to the diaper cover.

I had used a pattern before for a Homespun diaper cover, but there was no gauge, or sizing given in the pattern.  Why post a pattern to the internet without this info?!  Anyway, got it done, but struggled making the tail stand up.  If I had more time (which, since the momma ended up being late, I actually did!), I would have tried working the tail tighter.  In the end, I used a pipe cleaner, which we're not all that impressed with.
I think I did a very good job copying the original picture.  This was my sneak peek:
Things always look much better with a baby in them.  Plus this was taken with my cell phone so I could post easily to Facebook.

I don't have the "real" photos yet, but they are posted on Facebook.  Go take a look!  The baby was awake for the whole shoot, so Jennifer couldn't get the positioning she wanted, but that's okay.  There'll be more babies later :)

There's also another hat I did custom for Jennifer in that album--the Frosty hat!
I can't find my note with the weight of this set, and my scale is acting funny (it says the ball of red Homespun weighs 176gr...yet the new ball is only 170grm and I used some of it...).  I'm going to give it an educated guess at 90gr.  If I find my notes later, I'll adjust everything :)

Yarn In:  12 507gr
Yarn Out:  90gr + 10 341gr = 10 431gr
Balance:  2 076gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $249.29/303 days = $0.82/day

Of course, I have MORE yarn in to show later... but also, more yarn out!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Yarn Out!

Got some yarn sold/donated!  The Cascade 220 and Nashua Snowbird went fast, though I had several inquiries for them, they all fell through until a nice, young, TEENAGE girl bought it!  She's going to make Christmas gifts!  Awesome!
I got the mint baby yarn donated, so that's outta here too.  Hoping to sell one other lot, depending on the shipping cost.  If you haven't seen my ads, go take a look.  They're in the Toronto (Durham Region) section of crafts/hobbies, and there's 3 ads.

Yarn In:  12 507gr
Yarn Out:  917gr + 9424gr = 10 341gr
Balance:  2166gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $249.29/296 days = $0.84/day!!

I don't think I got under a $1/day last year!!  And, considering I've sold some of what I've bought this year (yarn AND finished items), that means I've probably MADE money from knitting!  (well, if you don't count the time factor...)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Halloween Knits....And a Lesson

A little while ago I got a call from my sister-in-law, she wanted her whole family to dress up in Despicable Me characters for Halloween and needed an extra long "Gru" scarf for her husband (he is quite tall!), and an "Edith" hat for her girl.  No problem, I can use my machines!  Well.  I showed you what I had to do to get my standard gauge going.  Then all the issues I had.  The injury (which, the doctor says isn't broken, but might have tendon damage).  Finally, the scarf was done.  One thing I did to help speed it up, was carry the grey threads up during the black stripe.  Once the scarf was done, I used a laundry Sharpie to darken those grey threads.  I did cut the black for each stripe though, because otherwise it would show too much in the grey sections.  I used Loops & Threads "Woolike" .  This is a really nice, non-wool acrylic yarn in sock yarn thickness and manly colours.  I used black and grey, though I added a strand of a darker grey cone yarn that I have as I didn't think the grey was dark enough.   And, I was trying to use up a black sock yarn that I have that was a smidge thicker, so I thought it'd balance out.  According to my notes, this scarf weighs 203grams.  I'm not sure how, as the black is used less, and I used up the entire ball of grey....
For the Edith hat, I used my LK150, and based it on a pattern online for one on the Bond.  I had to make it bigger though.  My niece's head is 24" (she is smart, but also has a lot of hair!), and she's going to wear her ninja scarf hat under it.  I swatched, let it rest overnight, then got going on the pattern.  It seemed big, and my kids didn't like how it got pointy at the top.  So I re-did the top part.  It was bigger than my 21" wig head, so I got it finished and off in the mail (hat: 98gr).

Last night while shopping I got a call from my SIL saying it arrived, but the hat was way too was almost 28"!  How?!  No, I didn't measure it before mailing, just trusted my math.  I suggested she try sewing up the back seam, she's crafty and fussy and I felt she could probably figure out something.  But it made me very mad at myself!!!  I get so annoyed when knitting math lies to me.  But this was terrible. 

As soon as I got home, I checked my math.  I didn't have the swatch anymore, so I made a new one.  Tugged and pulled it into shape, let it rest a little.  Measured a few times.  My math was right.  Started working on it, somethings I did a bit different, some things went more smoothly, until a stupid error stopped me for the night.  Finished this morning and sewed up after lunch.  However.  It also seemed to grow, from 4.5st/inch to 4st/inch!  Doesn't sound like much, but that means 24" grows to about 27".  So I resewed the seam smaller.  I also somehow made each stripe a row or two wider and this meant the top ended up being shorter...I'll post a picture later.  Not a big deal, I hope.  Got it mailed.  Started feeling weird while standing at the postal counter....suddenly got very hot....
This version weighs in at 95gr.  So it MUST be smaller, right?

Yarn In:  12 507gr
Yarn Out:  396gr + 9028gr = 9424gr
Balance:  3083gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $349.29/290 days = $1.20/day

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Yarn In

This post is a little depressing, LOL.  Tallying up all my yarn in over the past couple weeks.  Some was bought specifically for projects, some was bought because I couldn't pass it up at Value Village/Salvation Army.

Red Heart Buttercup, 50gr, $9.03.  This one really depresses me.  I had an order for a snowman hat, and I tried several of my stash yarns, but they were either not white enough, or not textured enough.  I searched around, and finally found this yarn at FabricLand.  Good thing is, I've used a good amount of it; I hope there's enough left to make a second hat though.

Loops & Threads (I think), "Woolike", 2x100gr = 200gr, $15.80.  Again, bought for an order.  I was disappointed I couldn't get my stash yarns to work, but this is a really nice sock weight yarn that's not wool at all.  And about 140gr is already gone.

Impeccable (and "Brights"), 228gr (total), $11.28.  Also for an order, and about half gone.  Unfortunately, I bought this yarn, and the Woolike, while at Michaels' with my girls, and they picked up something that was higher value and got the 40% off coupon.  Should have made them check out separately LOL.

Cream thick 'n' thin scarf, 219gr, $1.   Bought this for an order, searched everywhere for a thick and thin cream yarn that wouldn't cost more than I was making from the order LOL.  Found perfect scarf at Salvation Army!

Cascade 220, 5 skeins, 500gr, $5.64 Value Village
Nashua "Snowbird", 350gr, $4.51 Value Village

I hesitate to include these two since I'm selling them, but it's "yarn in" until it's "yarn out" LOL.

Parisiana, a blue and black thick n thin, vintage yarn, with Eatons' price tags still on ($1.49).  Total 206gr, $7
Blue Shetland Chunky, 59gr $1
Cascade 220 Superwash, 100gr, $3.38.  There were other balls there (Value Village) but I didn't like the peach colour.  Love this green though!

 Bernat Big Value in a baby mint, 117gr and Bernat Softee Chunky, 100gr in a beige, bagged together, but I needed only the Softee Chunky for an order.  I'm donating the other ball to a woman that does charity blankets.  $4.51

Turquoise "Mystique Mohair Boucle, Handpainted by Jan Gilray", from New Zealand, 300gr total, $3.38.  I don't know what I'll do with it, but I love the tropical colours.  Oh, I think the photo is on my phone.

Yarn In:  2429gr + 10 078gr = 12 507gr
Yarn Out:  9028gr
Balance:  3479gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $57.50 + $291.79 = $349.29/289 days = $1.21/day

 Can't wait to add up the "yarn out" pile!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Yarn OUT!

I posted some yarn for sale on (Canada's version of Craig's List) back in early summer, and got a few replies, but no one followed up.  Last week, someone did, and we arranged a pick up time.  Cleared out some yarn, the "easy" way, LOL.

Green/yellow Fiorito, 400gr; Bernat Country Wool, 700gr; and Naturally "Cafe", 250gr.  Still have lots #3 and 4 available.  Nice way to clear out 1350gr!  It was all leftovers from projects!

Last week, I posted three more ads after totally re-arranging my yarn bins.  Despite taking a huge pile of yarn out of the bins, I can't quite fit all what was left back in...but the bins aren't quite full either...In an hour, a woman is stopping by to buy some bags of Classic Wool that I've had for awhile (2009 was the last time I went to the Spinrite Tent Sale, but I don't know what year I got this).  Twenty balls, two colours, 2000gr.  I'm a little sad to see it go, but I'm pretty certain I don't want another handwash sweater, and the yarn is more valuable as bagged lots than odd balls.

I do, however, have that huge pile from Value Village I need to tally up still....I wonder if this yarn in is going to equal this yarn sure would be nice to get ahead on the yarn out for a change!! 

Yarn In:  10 078gr
Yarn Out:  5678gr + 3350gr = 9028gr
Balance:  1050gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $291.79/283 days = $1.03 per day

That's looking pretty good!  I've got a monkey set, a snowman set, a bunch of tiny hats, a "Gru" scarf and an "Edith" hat to add up to get the Yarn Out up...but also all that Value Village yarn to bring the Yarn In up as well....

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Still Ouch!

My toes still hurt.  Not the "OMG I BROKE A TOE" hurt, but the "man, when is this going to stop" hurt.  A sort of burning feeling.

Anyway, got the "Gru" scarf off the machine, all the ends woven in, washed, and it's drying.  The "Edith" hat has just come off the machine and needs the hand finishing.  I'm going crazy with photographer props and a few other orders.  Bought a fabulous lot of yarn at Value Village, hate to add it all up, LOL.  Some of it I'm re-selling on (I have three ads posted in the hobbies section).   I recently sold some yarn, so I guess I can add up how much that weighed and add it to my "out" total!  I've tried so hard to not buy yarn on speculation, but I just couldn't leave these really nice yarns at VV.  Pictures will come later.  I've got to get back to work on the Edith hat, and put my foot up to rest again!

Tuesday, October 01, 2013


Knitting is supposed to be relaxing, right?  Sit on the couch and watch TV.  Ride the train and keep busy.  Watch the kids' swimming lesson and make a sock.

Well, machine knitting is not like that at all.  It's loud.  It's physical.  And sometimes, you get hurt!

I got an order from my sister-in-law for an "Edith hat" and "Gru scarf" from Despicable Me, for Hallowe'en.  There was no way I was making a 9ft scarf without using my knitting machine, and the best option was the standard gauge with ribber, since I should be able to find medium grey and black fine yarns with no trouble.  Well.
I wrote about the flooding in the spring.  With the resulting construction on and off, my workstation became more of a dumping grounds.  Although I had projects I wanted to make for myself, the mess down there was very uninspiring.
 Ugh.  Terrible to look at!  The other side of the room is just as bad.  There's no where to put a lot of the stuff while we're working, half the floor is missing, the walls are bare concrete.  But I was determined, so I got at it.

It really didn't take too long, even with cleaning the machine.  However, what you can't see is that a LOT of stuff just went over to the other desks!
I got started with swatching, didn't like my available yarns, feared they wouldn't be enough anyway.  Couldn't understand why a sock yarn, at 30st/4" was giving me a hard time (the black stripes).  Went and bought some new yarn, Loops & Threads "Woollike".  Got started on the Gru scarf, but still was having troubles.

And not just normal troubles.  Stupid operator errors, kids needing things upstairs, clumsiness, something about the black yarn...everything was joining forces to make this project unpleasant.  It almost got to be funny--knit a few good rows (usually in the grey), switch to black, see another thing that might be causing the problem, something else goes totally wrong...and then it all dropped off the machine.  Yup.

So, after a time out, I got back to it on Monday.  I switched out the old black for the Woollike black, thinking the slightly thinner black would make a difference.  No.  Realigned the ribber, but it still got slightly off alignment when pushing to the right.  More weight, less weight, etc.

Then, as I was leaning over the machine, I pushed the carriage and squashed my finger against the back rail.  As I sat down to pout, my knee knocked the 7 hanger (which I can never get to stay in!) and the large ribber weight (519gr/18oz) came down on my bare toes.

At this point, my husband said I had to quit for the night.  I quit to make dinner LOL. My toe is very blue and sore still.  Normally on Tuesdays I got skating at lunch, but not today.

I got back at the machine, but this time, I switched the SRP20 ribber carriage for the carriage I normally use.  When I had packed up in the winter, I had put on the 321 ribber to test it out while the mainbed was getting some work done.  At least I think the ribber on it is the 321's.  Even if it's the one from the 327, doesn't matter.  The other ribber carriage (just says SRP) seems to be the solution.  But then I got the latch tool stuck while trying to fish down tails from a black section and then those tails got knitted in to the next row, jamming the carriage and making more mess that I barely got fixed before I had to leave for work.  This project is seriously cursed!!