Wednesday, December 31, 2014


My husband's sister and her family live about 12 hours away.  This was their year to come up for Christmas.  My niece's wish list included a hat made by me.  I knew it was unlikely I could get to that but I came up with the idea that maybe she and my youngest (they're six months apart) would like to make a scarf together on the knitting machine.  An "experience" gift.  That was a great suggestion, though I knew how busy they are when they come to visit, so I wasn't 100% sure it would happen.  It didn't.  On Christmas Eve afternoon, I decided to quickly "whip up" an infinity scarf for her.  How long could it take?!
  One strand of bulky yarn (an old Sears yarn, similar to Shetland Chunky) and a strand of Loops & Threads "Verona".  I've had this yarn for awhile, I thought it would be good for baby prop items (a layering blanket) but it was hard to work with.  It's a strand, with random long caterpillars of fluff.  So, where the strand parts lined up, the item would be thin.  Where the caterpillars lined up, it was thick and hard to work.  But crocheted along with a chunky yarn?  Awesome!  And it's 20% wool!
Doesn't that tag just look so perfect there?  Love it!  98gr.

I got her's finished on Christmas morning (or maybe it was late Christmas Eve?), and started on another one for my mom.

 I worked on it during the party (I wasn't hosting!), and finished it after dinner (156gr).  Started another one for myself before leaving the party.    Finished that one (except for the sewing) the next day and wore it to go see "Into The Woods" on Boxing Day (161gr)  This one is long enough that I can do one wrap around my head and two wraps snug around my neck!  Never have cold ears again!

These two were a strand of Paton's "Decor" along with a strand of "1lb Mill Ends of Unknown Fibers".  Well, this reminded me so much of Paton's "Pooch" that when I had seen it at the discount store, I snatched it up.  I knew it had a wool content, and could take dye, plus the soft cream colour would be awesome for baby items.  It was the equivalent of 6.4 balls (but in two large skeins), for something crazy like $6.99--what was probably regular price for one ball.

 Loved those so much, I thought I'd make another one, for the gift exchange game we'll be doing at my family party on Friday.  I'm really loving making these crocheted infinity scarves!  This is another one with Verona and a chunky Shetland style yarn (102gr)
This one is quite different from the cream and grey one I made.  Lucy had made a knit scarf with dark chunky and silver fun fur, and I loved the depth to it.  This one...well, I thought black chunky would be too boring, but maybe the charcoal chunky would have been better?  I still like it though!  This one, I made quite wide for a section, then tapered it quite narrow for the rest.  This way, it fills in at the front, but isn't too bulky around your neck in a coat.  Clever!

Now that I have one black, and one cream, I might get bold and make some colourful ones for myself.  That's why I bought boring coloured coats, right?!

These four scarves weighed in at 517gr!  Along with an additional 18gr for Lucy's cat, and 78gr for the scarf she was working on (the silver and grey one), and about 100gr for the cupholder mittens, that brings me up to 713gr.  I do have a Toothless that I'm finishing up tonight, but otherwise, I think I'm done!  There is one water bottle holder that is still waiting for a button, and a baby blanket from two years ago (?) that needs an edging....and a hat I'm working on for my Dad...

Yarn In:    10 076gr
Yarn Out: 713gr + 7348gr =8061gr
Balance: 2015gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:   $511.49/365 days = $1.40/day

Wow.  That's a low "Yarn In".  Less than half "Out" then last year, but last year I sold yarn and gave a lot away.  This year's "Yarn In" would have been a bit lower, but I did have 400gr+/- from the aran baby blanket that I changed my mind on, and quite a bit left over from Kelly's sweater.  From the summer onwards, I don't think I bought any yarn just for the stash (the Reflective yarn was probably the last of the stash adding).  My costs were more this year, but I was having to buy more yarn for orders.  I can't wait to add up how much I earned this year!

2013 Totals:

Yarn In: 16 153gr
Yarn Out:  16 805gr
Balance:  652gr more sent OUT than IN

Costs: $378.91/365 days = $1.04/day

2012's Totals:

Yarn In: 21 096gr
Yarn Out:  16 849gr
Balance:  4247gr more brought IN than used up
Costs:  $524.43 = $557.44/373 days = $1.49/day

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Roar vs Meow

During the big flurry of inquiries for the animal hooded cowls, I had a woman ask for two of the wolf hoodies--she sent me the pattern photo of the crochet version.  Despite having recently realized that some of these non-crafty clients DID have a preference of crochet over knitting, I never actually asked her what her preference was.  It was actually hard to see in the photo that it was crochet, and I only figured it out by comparing the photo with the designer's photos.  Well, I knit it.  And, it wasn't just was two sets.  Sets, as in, with matching mittens.  When I posted a sneak peak,  she expressed her concerns.  She said it wasn't "bulky".  I said that I had indeed used a bulky yarn, and matched the gauge of the pattern, and bulky is the only way to describe it.  What she meant, was she wanted the textured look of the crocheted stitches, and she was going to decline the items.  Bummer.

I posted this sad news on my personal FB page, along with the photos and a some-what sarcastic comment asking if anyone is looking for a wolf hoodie.  Well, someone did come through and said she'd take both sets!  Yay!  Slightly less than what the original order was for, but that's okay.

 The new owner was going to tell her daughter it was a grey tabby cat.
 For the mittens, I tried something new.  I sewed a button on one side (hid the jagged colour changes LOL).  When the mittens are off, the button can be pushed between stitches on the other mitten, to keep them together.  On the other mitten, I put one of my new tags.  When I started the design process with the original client, I expressed the difficulty of making matching mittens.  The yarn for the hoodie is very thick, and would not be suitable for mittens for little hands.  It's also not very woolly.  I solved some of this by using a yarn double stranded for the hoodie, and single stranded for the mittens.
 The hoods got  full size tags.
I did do the white around the face in crochet, and I think the overall hoodie is quite nice--if you weren't expecting the textured look of crochet, LOL!

Yarn In:    10 076gr
Yarn Out: 440gr + 6908gr = 7348gr
Balance: 2728gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:   $511.49/348 days = $1.47/day

Wait a's Dec can I be at day 348?!  Let's change that!  $511.49/364 = $1.40.  Much better!

Monday, December 29, 2014


Yes, another post today!  Want to keep up to date at the end of the year.  I had to get some yarn for orders, even though they won't be finished by the end of the year, I did get the yarn this year...

Three balls of Red Heart Soft, $3.49 each...$11.83, 113gr each = 339gr.  The client is really stressing that they want it soft.  But chunky.  It has to match the picture on the pattern.  The designer used Red Heart, which is NOT soft and luxurious feeling!  I thought I might use LionBrand WoolSpun but the gauge was a little off, though it would have that chunky look (maybe a bit too chunky), but the pattern has some details that I need to copy exactly and I don't want to improvise.  The Red Heart Soft is very soft, and machine washable...but then I was realizing that because of the unusual shape of the hat, hand washing will be the better I could go with a much better yarn---at a yarn store though...I'm keeping my options open right now.  Yarn is returnable!  I did buy a ball of Woollike in white for the Pocket Unicorn I'm going to make...and then realized that I was going to use the Pocket Dalmatian yarn.  So I returned it.  The other yarn was two more balls of Cozy Wool in ...."Mushroom" for a client who is friends with the lady that ordered five teddy hoodies!  127gr times 2 = 254gr, $13.54.  Michaels' was having a big yarn sale, which meant I couldn't use the awesome 30% off entire regular price order.  I love those coupons, they don't happen often, and usually I'm buying only sale items--which aren't 30% off.  I've even asked in the past  if they could be rung through at regular price so I could use the coupon...but no.

Yarn In:   593gr + 9483gr=  10 076gr
Yarn Out:  6908gr
Balance: 3168gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:  $25.37 + $486.12= $511.49/347 days = $1.47/day

Well.  I was hoping to keep it under 10 000gr for the year.  I could return one ball of the Cozy Wool, and use the leftovers from the other hoodies, in stripes....nah.  And I was hoping to keep it under $ was close...if only I hadn't gotten this hoodie order!  LOL!  

Odds and Ends

Just a little post with some odds and ends.

I think this was the first year I used yarn instead of ribbon for Christmas presents.  I didn't have any ribbon or bows (that I could find), so I went with yarn.  I could customize it for each present!  I started out with just tying a simple bow, then started getting fancy--tying each end into a bow, so it became fluffy, multi-looped bows!

 Canadian Christmas tree photo--our ice skates are all there beside it!  Our colours this year were turquoise and silver and I grabbed a roll that had red too (cause I thought Santa might have red paper).   Of course I have lots of yarns in those colours!

 Fluffy bows!

 None of those yarns were white--they were very pale grey and turquoise.  I used about 40grams!

For awhile, my sister in law has been wanting me to fix her gloves.  But she lives 11 hours away.  In the summer, she forgot to bring them, but they came up for Christmas and on Saturday night, she realized she had them with her, and could I fix them before they left--5:30am on Monday.  Sure!  What's one thumb in fingering weight alpaca?
 One thumb was split and the other had wear/thinning spots.  I made these for Christmas 2010, on the Singer 327.  At first I was going to re-knit the thumbs by hand...but then I remembered that I had used the glove calculator pattern and probably kept the print out!  I found the binder, and what I assumed was the pattern, on Saturday night and planned to get started bright and early on Sunday.  Of course, come Sunday, both girls wanted me to set them up with new knitting projects (including teaching Lucy how to do Magic Loop).  I did manage to get them done, though one thumb is a stitch or two smaller.
I always appreciate knowing that my knits are being used.  Wearing them out doesn't bother me.  I offer to repair when I can, or make more!  In this case, I used up another 5 grams of yarn!  Yay!  (Every little bit helps, especially since I just bought more!).

Yarn In:   9483gr
Yarn Out: 45gr + 6863gr = 6908gr
Balance: 2575gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs: $486.12/347 days = $1.40/day

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Pocket Bunnies

I had an order for three Pocket Bunnies, one pink and one light purple, and a slightly larger one in dark purple.  It's fun to make a few of the same item when there are differences to keep them interesting.  Making half a dozen "Mushroom" teddy hoodies in two sizes.....not so engaging LOL.

For the pink one, I used Paton's "Lacette".  Remember I had a huge cone of it?  I actually had a long swatch from doing those ponchos, and rather than try to wind off a small ball of this slick, hairy yarn on my electric yarn winder, I used up the swatch.  I had trouble with the first leg, getting the foot narrow enough.  And, I started from the bear pattern that I had used before, but when I do the bunnies, I want the legs to be longer...only, I haven't really made notes of exactly how much longer LOL.  I didn't want to do purple in the ears, so I went with a cream.

 The light purple was next.  I used two strands of a fake mohair that I got from the dollar store.  It was pretty fine stuff!  I used the dark purple on it's ears.

The dark purple one was fun.  In  a way.  You start with the body, and I think I finally got a good belly on it.  Of course, I didn't write it down.  I made two heads for this bunny.  The yarn shifts from lightish purple to almost black, and when I was doing the head, it was almost black.  I was nearly done, and I put it on the body to check the size, and it looked awful.  I had hoped there'd be some gradation through the body, but this was too dramatic.  So I re-knit it in a lighter shade.  I knit the arms in the dark purple, but not the darkest part.  On the legs, I had an issue and the yarn broke.  When I re-joined it, I guess I took the other end of the ball, and there was a sudden change from light to dark.  Ripping out long haired mohair is hard!  This yarn was I had found at Value Village...It might have been Sirdar.  I'll try to find the label.  It's Christmas, you know!

The necks looked two small and wobbly, so I made them all scarves.  Three in purples, and three in the pink.
 I did the fork method of making  pompoms, though I find they turn out like two gumdrops stuck together, rather than a round ball.  Takes some trimming, but still cute.

In my updates post, I listed these at 75gr.  The final weight was actually 78gr.  I'm going to up it to 80gr but there are a lot of ends that get trimmed.  Although, I did use mainly scraps of the dark purple to stuff parts of him, especially the tips of the paws and the feet where you go from 5st to 10sts right after casting on.  I hate using white stuffing!

Yarn In:   9483gr
Yarn Out: 5gr + 6858gr = 6863gr
Balance: 2620gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs: $486.12/345 days = $1.41/day

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Woof! Woof!

Everyone seems to love my "Pocket Buddies" and I got to add a new one to the line up.  I had a request  for a Dalmatian!  He's a bit bigger than the bunnies and bears, but could be made smaller, quite easily.  I did a LOT of searching for a pattern.  Dalmatians aren't really what I consider a "cute and cuddly" puppy, and I didn't know if the boy wanted a "sit on the shelf" puppy or a "stuff in your pocket" buddy.  At first, it was to be in a standing pose, instead of the bunny pose.  So, the easiest way to do that is with pipe cleaners.  I asked the client, and she said to no to the pipe cleaners, as her boy is autistic and wants this as a cuddly buddy.  So I stuffed the bottom of the feet pretty densely.

I used the Pointer pattern from "Knit Your Own Dog" volume 2. My library had this book, but not the first book, which has a Dalmatian pattern in it.  They appear to be very similar though.  My only complaint is that if you're knitting the pointer, following the colour scheme/pattern, you'll know where to place the ears and eyes by the pictures.  I did random spots, so when it came time to place the ears, and particularly the eyes, it was tricky--where the eyes should have gone there were already black spots.  So I used black beads, but they still didn't stand out too much.

I used two strands of "Georga" baby yarn from Wal-Mart.  The gauge for this yarn is a ridiculous 22st/4" on 4mm needles.  I used TWO strands, and 3.5mm needles.  It was tight in the paws, but in the rest of the body, where I was working in the black spots (Astra), it was much looser.

I'm not actually a fan of the pattern writing in these books.  Many instructions took me a couple read throughs to figure out.  I made the legs and tail in the round so there's no sewing.  I had some weird bunching between his hind legs, so I did a sort of mattress stitch to narrow the stomach panel through there.  The neck is a little thick--they mention this in the book.  I think it's so the head isn't floppy.  There isn't as much definition to the head as I'd like, but some of that is due to using two strands of yarn.  The collar is using the reflective yarn, with one of my tags :)

Yarn In:   9483gr
Yarn Out: 73gr + 6858gr = 6931gr
Balance: 2552gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:  $486.12/341 days = $1.43/days 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

No Pictures...

I'm aiming to keep my yarn totals up to date, and then I can add pictures later.  I have 3 bunnies that need faces and tails, and I'm working on a Dalmatian puppy to go with that order, so I'll have pictures soon.

Meanwhile....way back in early summer, Megan realized there wasn't any point trying to finish knitting the felted walkie-talkie bag for the cruise we went on last January.  So, she wanted to start something new, because Lucy was working on knitting a cat.  So I got Megan started on knitting a dishcloth--the old fashioned, diagonally knit one.  She made a great start (though not perfect!), and planned to give it to her aunt when we met up for camp at the beginning of August.  She thought she'd knit all the way there and have it done.  Well, no.  She finally finished it last week or so.  It's great that she actually finished something.  She is the princess of unfinished projects.  It weighs a lowly 16 gr.  It's not big, and it wasn't with Handicrafter cotton, it was Bernat Cot'n'Tots, I think--an unplied cotton with a wrap.  So, my plans of her knitting dishcloths to use up my cotton stash?  Ummm.  Yeah.

The cat weighs 40gr.  Again, not a huge stash buster.  She said she wanted to knit every cat in the book.  Well, I'm not so sure that's going to happen.

Lucy has also started making scarves.   The first one was an old purple chunky, probably Bernat Softee Chunky, and some purple eyelash in a lighter shade.  There wasn't much of the chunky, so it's a single loop scarf.  She was supposed to do 1 st on each edge in garter stitch, though that wasn't quite enough for the curl (I'm hoping some steam helps).  However, she kept getting distracted, and had a hard time seeing the stitches because of the long fun fur, so she's actually reversed the stockinette stitch many times throughout the scarf, causing the edges to curl one way, then the other.  It's interesting.  She wants to sell it, but is having a hard time coming up with a "business name" (so she can get tags made too).  Something like "Classy Giraffe Scarves" but I told her not to limit herself with "scarves".  This weighed 58gr.  Now she's working on one that has black chunky yarn, and a mid-grey fun fur.  It looks awesome.

Dark purple bunny--37gr; light purple bunny--18gr--pink bunny--20gr

No weight on the dalmatian yet, or the crocheted cup holder mitt, or the MK cupholder mitten set.

Did buy a ball of yarn for the Dalmatian...120gr "Luv Baby" by Georga--Walmart brand.  It was $3.92 and will be a good staple in the stash--a bright white, very soft, it says 22st on 4mm, but I'm using it double stranded on 3.5mm, LOL!  A "percentage of all proceeds" will be donated to the Children's Miracle Network.  Doesn't say how much!

I was hoping to have some other projects finished up so I could add them to the totals.  However, I've actually unravelled some items this fall, LOL, so now what?  I had made some pumpkin hats years ago that were odd sizes, and some of the newsboy caps I made last year were really too little.

Yarn In:  120gr + 9363gr = 9483gr
Yarn Out: 189gr + 6669gr = 6858gr
Balance: 2625gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:  $3.92 +  $482.20=$486.12/336 days = $1.45/days 

Monday, December 15, 2014


I've been busy with holiday stuff (concerts, shopping, being sick, etc), and I've been working on three Pocket Bunnies for a couple weeks now.  I now need to make a pocket Dalmatian.  I have no white yarn suitable.  How is that possible?  I have Patons Lace in white--with sequins...but Dalmatians have sleek coats.  I have bright white in worsted weight, but I can't find any in DK, which is what the pattern calls for.  I have some white sock yarn, but probably not enough.  And I'm not keen on the pattern.  The boy wants his dog to be standing, but the mom doesn't want it to have the pipe cleaners. She wants it to be cuddly, but Dalmatians aren't really cuddly dogs to me.

And, I was trying to get THREE Toothless stuffies made.  I've got one body and two front legs.

And...I got sidetracked by a cupholder mitten.  I offered this as a prize on my 300 Likes contest on Facebook, but the winner took the other option, a Pocket Buddy (she chose a unicorn).  Then, last night, a local crochet business posted her version, done in crochet.  Well, crochet is quicker than knitting, and it looked sturdier.  Surely it wouldn't take too long to make up?  A trip to Ravelry and a stroll through my stash...I've got it about half done, and I decided to do the cuff in knitting, for a better fit.  And, this cup holder doesn't have a bottom.  I couldn't get to sleep last night because I was thinking of a way to make this on the knitting machine.  And then, I thought...what about sewing one?!  I can't figure a way to sew on the bottom without topstitching.  And really, I should make three mittens to make a set--two matches and one cupholder.  Now that I've got the construction figured out, I think I can do it on the machine (or even just a quicker crochet stitch).  The bulky yarn in crochet seems a little too bulky too.  But if I could sew these out of felted sweaters?  A google and Pinterest search revealed no patterns---or anyone else doing it!

And...I need to sew up the cat Lucy knit.

Oh, and then there's the issue of the three matching bears I need to knit for the new babies in the family.

And, orders are coming in for January!  Eeek!  Off to work I go!!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Matching Roars!

The teddy bear hooded cowls are so popular this fall.  I received one order in late summer for four--2 for 2 year olds, 2 for 5 year olds....then she added another 2 year old size.  I had already cleaned Michaels' out of Cozy Wool in Mushroom when I first got her order, so she was open to the 3rd small one being in a different colour.  When the time came though...I couldn't bring myself to use a different colour.  That's what led to that trip to Michaels' with the last "yarn in" report.  I wish more people liked the knitted versions of these cowls though--the crocheted ones take so much more yarn!

 I don't think I need to show photos of all five.  The only thing different is the smaller ones got a smaller button (but same design), and a smaller tag.
 Something I've started doing is leaving the very bottom of the back seam open.  I figure this will help it spread a bit around the neck, since there's no shaping in the cowl part.

I have two versions of the little tags.  The top one was the first mock up.  I like it, though Sandra thought it was perhaps too small of type.

This one has bigger type, closer to what I use in my cards/watermark/etc.  But without the "Designs", it feels a bit like a name tag to me.  What do you think?  I'm inclined to stick with the first one.  I also wasn't sure of the colour on this hood.  The yarn is a really cool taupe, and the gold tags seemed too bright, but the silver tags were wrong.  I had some small pink ones, but since the hood is unisex, I didn't want to go with pink.  I think I might need some other colour of tags :)

I carefully wrote the weights of each one down, since the two larger ones were just slightly different sizes.  And now can't find that sheet.  I do know that it took nearly every yard I had, and what was left wasn't enough to get two matching ears from any of the leftover bits (the dyelots got mixed up with the little bobbins left over).  I do know that I bought 8 balls x 127gr = 1016gr, and I'm going to be generous to myself and count it as a neat 1000gr.  The kids often take my yarn for projects, or I use bits for things, and there's always all the ends that get  trimmed off and aren't accounted for :)

Yarn In:  9363gr
Yarn Out:  1000gr + 5669gr = 6669gr
Balance: 2694gr  MORE brought IN then out
Costs:   $482.20/333 days = $1.45/days 

Thursday, December 04, 2014

New Photo

I had finally gotten my laptop running again, though it seemed fussy.  I had been putting all my recent pictures on there, and doing the editing/watermarking/collages on it cause our laptop has been really busy.  I kept meaning to transfer the pictures over to my desktop....and now the laptop won't turn on at all (well, a few of the icons on the keyboard light up).

I thought maybe I'd share this photo with you today instead of suffering through this cold and trying to post something that needed watermarking, etc.

Romper, hat, and pocket bunny.  Can it get any sweeter?  Thanks to for the adorable photo.

And now I'm going to curl up on the couch.