Oct 31, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 43 Check-In and Roundup (October 24-30)

Happy Halloween to all. :D

Roundup of Week 42: What We Crafted From October 17-23

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica finished Michelle's hat, knit four Karl glove fingers, knit about two inches of the Christmas socks for her mom, knit a coffee mug cozy, and started knitting some soakers for her coworker Courtney's son.

Check-in for Week 42: What Have You Done Lately? (October 24-30)

Last week...

Virginia's scarf...On Sunday, I skeined and washed the red/black Corriedale singles, picked up the neckline stitches on the vest UFO, photographed and frogged an old UFO scarf, wrote a quick little knitting pattern draft, and knit on the Lighthouse Gansey sock to the beginning of the gussets. Monday, I washed the frogged UFO yarn, made a new front page graphic for the S&C Web site, finished knitting the UFO vest neckline ribbing, and knit a little more of the sock. Tuesday, I knit the stem and vine for a UFO pumpkin, spun a skein of rainbow organic yarn and a skein of yellow variegated yarn, wove a triloom triangle, and almost finished knitting the Chichi tea towel. Wednesday, I wove, embroidered and sewed together a soap sack, wove another triloom triangle, spun and dyed a skein of wool (it ended up aqua), dyed some wool for a custom order, spun another skein of Corriedale, and finished knitting the body of the Chichi tea towel. Thursday, I crocheted aroun the edge of the Chichi tea towel, then went to Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream and rode roller coasters. ;D Friday, we packed up the car and went to Daytona for the Hallogreen craft show. Saturday, we did the show, and I spun two bobbins of variegated blue-green wool yarn.

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Oct 28, 2010

Evidence of pre-show madness

I always go a little nuts right before a craft show, and start cramming lots of production time into the last few days before the event. Time creeps up on me now like it never did when I was young — younger? — and I'm always like, "Man, I meant to make 3,000 more things before this show! Now I only have time to make 300!" ;)

Here are pics of some of my most recent 300. There are actually more finished things than I have photos of right now, as most of the newly-finished stuff is in various states of drying. (I've actually spun more yarn in the past two days than I have in the past two months, I think.) Maybe my quicksilver side comes back in fits and starts ... that happen to coincide with the last three days before every craft show.

Rainbow yarn, in progress
Proto-yarn, waiting to be spun.

Rainbow yarn
Yarn in progress, still on the bobbin. (Pardon the blurriness. I didn't want to stop long enough to set up the tripod.)

Rainbow yarn
Finished rainbow yarn!

Embroidered soap sack
And my first embroidered soap sack. Embroidery depicts ... uh ... a free-form weird thing — but don't laugh too hard; it's not bad for a first try. ;)

There will definitely be photos of the other things I've made, but I'm not sure I'll manage to post them before the Hallogreen on Saturday. I may be totally absorbed by the pre-craft-show madness.

Oct 26, 2010

The UFOs are coming alive!

No, I'm not talking about the latest UFO scare in New York. I'm talking about all the unfinished objects in my knitting queue that have suddenly reared their heads and demanded to be worked on.

Just today, while I was rebelling against the idea of starting a large project I'll need to finish before the Daytona Hallogreen this weekend, I pulled an old knitted, felted pumpkin project out of the UFO pile, thinking I could motivate myself into a larger project if I finished something small — like one or two of the little wedge-type sections that are going to be the pumpkin's body.

(The pattern, by the way, is Jordana Paige's pumpkin pattern from Knitty.)

Felted pumpkin UFO
This color of orange is not the orange you're looking for. Move along.

But then I realized the pumpkin sections were all done. All that was left to knit were the stem and the vine. Well, sheesh. I knocked those out in well under an hour. Ta-da!

UFO pumpkin, now with stem and vine
Trust this orange more than the other. I remembered to switch the camera settings for this photo. Good orange. Good.

Now I just need to weave in the tails, sew the thing together, felt it, and stuff it. Maybe it'll even show up at the Hallogreen this weekend, so that I can justify having worked on it this week instead of making product. ;)

I also recently excavated an old knitted vest I tore through when I was originally knitting it, except that I got stuck on picking up and knitting the ribbing. See, I started knitting it back when I was first learning, and I had virtually no experience with pick-up-and-knit, and I'd decided I was going to do the main body of the vest in a completely different weight of yarn than the pattern called for. We did all the math so I could knit the body, and that came out fine, but then when I got to the ribbing, I had no clue how to pick up the right number of stitches to make sure the ribbing — which I was doing in the original weight of yarn that the pattern called for — came out right.

The other day I was staring at the remarkably cluttered craft room, in which said UFO vest was sitting underneath my spinning chair, and I realized I could just arbitrarily pick up stitches along the armholes and neckline however I wanted, and knit the ribbing, and if I didn't like the result, I could rip it out and redo it. Duhhh.

This tactic worked, and the vest is now sitting and waiting for the ends to be woven in. No pictures yet ... but send knitwear-photographing vibes, and maybe I'll take some soon.

Oct 24, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 42 Check-In and Roundup (October 17-23)

Next CoB check-in will be the last day of October — Halloween! What are you doing that day?

Roundup of Week 41: What We Crafted From October 10-16

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica got a big box of Knit Picks yarn in the mail — yay! Yarn! She also finished Kelsey's hat, started another hat for her friend Michelle and made it almost to the crown decreases, knit more of Karl's gloves and rechecked the math to make sure the fingers will be okay ;), and worked on her grad school application materials. Go Jessica! (How do you calculate whether you're behind in your Christmas knitting, anyway?)

Check-in for Week 42: What Have You Done Lately? (October 17-23)

Lighthouse Gansey socks, Day 1This week, on Sunday, I sorted some of the mess that is the craft room, spun a little bit of lumpy rescued Merino/silk fiber, and finished knitting the test-knitted sock. FINALLY. Monday, I sent comments to the designer of the test-knitted sock, knit some more of the tea towel, and knit more of the Argante shawl (still stuck in that second increase section). Tuesday, I spun a skein of (I think) Corriedale singles, and finally added the ribbing to one armhole of a long-abandoned UFO vest. Wednesday, I did some general shop maintenance stuff, tweaked the blog, etc., but nothing super-crafty. Thursday, I prettified the gallery page of the Web site, finished the ribbing on the second armhole of the UFO vest, got yarn in the mail for a Will Work for Yarn swap, cast on a Lighthouse Gansey sock for the WWFY swap, and knit almost to the end of the lighthouse chart. I also bought a new domain name, started playing with Drupal, and read an entire (young adult ;)) book. Friday, I replaced the photos on a shawl pin listing and wrote up a knitting pattern design schedule. Saturday, I knit a tiny bit of the Lighthouse Gansey sock and spent the afternoon and evening volunteering at the Sweetwater Farm Planter's Ball — chopping up salad vegetables and then taking entrance fees.

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Oct 20, 2010

Help us get famous!

Or at least featured. ;)

Want to help me fight off the evil encroaching poverty-monster? You can help us get featured on the Florida Etsy Street Team's blog for all of next month — the big huge holiday shopping month! — by going and voting for my shawl pin in the current monthly challenge contest. It's even the top item, so you don't have to scroll at all. How convenient is that?

Just go here and click "Copper shawl pin" in the voting box at the top right, in the sidebar. My shawl pin looks like this:

Shawl pin

And yes, that is a new style of shawl pin that I've been making lately! Thanks so much for asking! ;) I need to restock the shop with a few more colors, so if you have a favorite semiprecious gemstone or a favorite color, leave me a comment here and let me know what it is ... and maybe you'll see it in the shop soon!

And don't forget there's a giveaway going on right now, too. Check out the knitting pattern wish list giveaway details here if you haven't already entered!

Oct 17, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 41 Check-In and Roundup (October 10-16)

Anyone else out there have the sniffly-coughy bug that's going around? For once, the first mate and I both have it. Oh, for some elderberry syrup...

Roundup of Week 40: What We Crafted From October 3-9

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica cast on a Brambles hat for a friend named Kelsey, and knit about half; finished the cuffs of her mom's socks and started the lacy legs; and made it through the gussets of Karl's gloves and almost ot the base of the fingers. And even though she thought she did more than that, that sounds like a lot to me! ;)

Check-in for Week 41: What Have You Done Lately? (October 10-16)

Shawl pinSunday, I did the SaSS Bash with the Disco Dolls, at which I spun a whole bobbin of fattish red yarn. Yay! I also knit one more repeat of the second increase section of the Argante shawl. Monday, I transferred my semi-abandoned test-knitted hooded shrug off the broken circular needle cable and onto a new circular needle, then finished the ribbed edging. Which I am probably going to have to rip out and re-do because it looks ruffly. HMPH. Oh, well. Tuesday, I wove a triloom triangle with the red yarn from the SaSS Bash, and discovered that lo, it is fuzzy like mohair and likes to stick to itself. Oy. I also made a new Project Wonderful ad, made three shawl pins, and knit two reps of the leg pattern on a test-knit sock. Wednesday, I made another new PW ad, knitted on the Argante, and finally got out of the test-knit sock's leg and into the heel flap. Thursday, I picked up copper wire and beads at Jo-Ann, knit through the heel flap, turned the heel and made it into the gussets of that sock, and cast on a ChiChi tea towel. Friday, I knit more of the tea towel, made a new shawl pin, entered the Etsy FEST monthly challenge, finished another shawl pin and a charm pin, and spun some black BFL singles. Saturday, I knit yet more of the tea towel, finished another shawl pin and two charm pins, got out of the gussets in That Sock and into the foot, knit on the Argante shawl, and skeined, measured yardage, and center-pull-balled the black BFL. Whew.

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Oct 15, 2010

Wholesome knitting for the home

There's something refreshing about knitting a simple, straightforward, pretty item that's going to get used in a practical way. It's sort of — wholesome and nourishing, and re-energizing in a not-overstimulated way, like a knitter's Master Cleanse. ;) (Of course, I've never done the Master Cleanse, but it reminds me of what people have said about it. Moving on...)

I call it the Palate Cleanser because it's helping me get my taste for my larger, more complicated projects back, but it's really a ChiChi Tea Towel from Yarnplay at Home.

ChiChi Tea Towel

A super-simple knit in what They like to call "dishcloth cotton," and it's strangely addictive. I may end up knitting a whole drawer full of these.

Oct 12, 2010

And the bash was a blast

It's inevitable: Every time I have a craft event coming up, I end up doing it on virtually no sleep. It's not nerves, either; it's cats. I don't know how they know there's going to be an event the next day (sure, I move boxes around before an event, but I move boxes at other times, too), but they invariably go nuts the night before a craft show or other vendy event where I'll need my wits about me. This time the upstairs neighbor's cat even got into the act by climbing up our window screen at six a.m. I guess it's like when I was in high school, and every time an audition was coming up, I'd get sick just in time for it — even when I didn't know there was one coming up, I swear. I'll just have to accept that when I am doing any event as a vendor, I will always be slightly crazier than usual and more than slightly sleep-deprived.

Other than the apparently compulsory lack of sleep, the SaSS Bash went reasonably well. Sales were slow, but socializing was not, and I met a ton of great people, listened to good music, and ate my first pear champagne cupcake and my first red velvet cupcake (courtesy of Frostings, Inc.). As I told the organizers: It was probably the most fun I've ever had making that little money. ;)

We set up in the old 1910 streetcar barn on the river while it was still sunny outside. Have to say, I loved the lighting in there in the afternoon. Wish I could have that lighting all the time for my product photography.

The booth setup
The first mate crafted away on his chain mail stuff while I wrapped up the last of booth setup. Oh, yeah, and took his picture.

The spinning wheel got some exercise.

Fiber + spinning wheel

Fiber + spinning wheel
Yes. This is my lap. Plus fiber.

Then the wheel got tricked out with glow sticks, and let me tell you, I've been wanting to do that for a while, but this is the first nighttime event we've done. Finally.

Spinning wheel has glow-bling!
Is this a little disco-esque? If so, it's appropriate, considering the event was organized by the Disco Dolls.

And with that red fiber up there, I spun an entire bobbin of yarn without even trying (which is officially the first time I've done that at any event). Here's the yarn after I got it home:

The SaSS Bash Yarn

I even made a sale on Etsy while I was away, which was pretty amusing (and luckily, I didn't sell something out of the shop that I also sold at the event ... though that would have served me right for forgetting, in my sleep-deprived state, to put the shop on vacation ;)).

So all in all, it was a pretty productive time. Woo to that.

On to the next!

Oct 10, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 40 Check-In and Roundup (October 3-9)

And Jessica the Steadfast is my sole companion for this week again ... Hey, it's nice to have the company. ;D

Roundup of Week 39: What We Crafted From September 26-October 2

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Jessica finished knitting part of the sheep pillow but hadn't sewn the pieces together, started a pair of Christmas gift socks for her mom (which also serves as a project for Sock Knitters Anonymous), and ripped Karl's gloves back to the cuffs and restarted (send her good vibes for not having to redo any more :D). And gave her dog a bath because she got skunked. Just FYI. ;)

Check-in for Week 40: What Have You Done Lately? (October 2-9)

First triloom shawlSunday and Monday, I didn't do much but clean and grump and read. ;) Tuesday, I wove a triloom triangle and knitted several repeats on the second increase section of the Argante shawl. Wednesday, I hung out with a friend, went to Jo-Ann, and cast on and knit some of the leg of a sock for a test knit. Thursday, I wove another triloom triangle, knit some more on the sock, knit some more on the Argante, and baked a chocolate cake. Woo! Cake! I also organized some of my craft supply boxes. Friday, I did a pre-craft-event inventory, photographed a shawl pin, wove a triloom triangle, and knit a bunch of bracelets. Saturday, I knit more bracelets, sewed together my triloom shawl, took a bunch of product photos, and prepped for the SaSS Bash!

Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Oct 7, 2010

Soft blue, prickly green: a quick check-in

Still cleaning, still reorganizing, still crafting (particularly in preparation for the SaSS Bash this weekend).

We recently harvested all the lemongrass from our front "yard" under the imminent threat of the homeowner's association president removing it for us. I would have appreciated having more of a warning than an offhand mention while she was complaining about how "junky" it looks when people have decorations on their porch, but I guess I should be thankful that I got a warning at all.

On what I hope is an up side, we have an obscene amount of lemongrass in the freezer now. Last year the lemongrass tea went through an interesting (not actually bad, but not really good, either) taste-morph as cold weather came on, so maybe having a huge stock in the freezer will mean summery-tasting lemongrass tea all winter.

Also: Lemongrass loves Florida. One tall plant gives a truly serious amount of tea-making leaves. We had two. This is maybe a third of what came out of the larger of the two:

Lemongrass harvest
For scale, that is a bed the lemongrass is on, and it takes up about a third of the bed. The leaves are on the order of three feet long.

In a bright spot, today the yarn I won from the Grad School Knitter giveaway got here. It's a lovely squishy skein of superwash Malabrigo in my favorite color.

Nom nom nom.

Now I need to figure out what to do with about 200 yards of Malabrigo. Suggestions, anyone? ;)

Oct 3, 2010

Craft or Bust Week 39 Check-In and Roundup (September 26-October 2)

We have a new member joining us for the crazy holiday crafting season! Everybody give a warm CoBer welcome to Echo M, who says: "I hope to accomplish each week at least 3 crafting goals, these will coincide with my deadlines and school assignments. In each post, I will put up the project, and deadline, and the progress the project thus-far."

Roundup of Week 38: What We Crafted From September 19-25

Last time, on Craft or Bust...

  • Echo sewed six burp cloths, attended a baby shower, and started planning for another one. She's been working on her Cropped Cardigan, but her speed been foiled by school stuff, and she has 42 coffee cozies to make by December 25. As of last week, she was on #3. Holy whoa. Read about it on her blog.
  • The ever reliable Jessica had a birthday recently! HAPPY HAPPY to you, O Wonderful Jessica! I hope it was a lovely one. In crafting news, she ripped out That Mitten because her sister didn't want them (gasp!) and the mitten didn't fit Jessica. But no worries, because she wasn't enjoying knitting it anyway. So there, Mitten. She also started a Fair Isle pillow with sheep on it (that sounds ridiculously cute), and went to the fabric store for pillow-back fabric and a zipper. She also knit two pairs of tiny cable owls and attached them to hair clips (I loves me some owls), and finished(?) Karl's bag by sewing the pieces together, embroidering numbers on, and sewing in that zipper she got at the fabric store. Go Jessica — sounds like a good week. ;D
  • Lesley, as of last week, was nearly done with another Christmas gift — hurraaaaayyy! She was five rows from finishing her Sprout Blanket and ran out of yarn, even though she bought more than the pattern said to. Oops. She ordered more from Knit Picks and was, as of last week, waiting for its arrival. (I know how that goes. Waiting for some Cotswold locks here.) She almost finished another sock during the wait, which is, yes, another gift. Such a giving person, Lesley. ;D

Check-in for Week 39: What Have You Done Lately? (September 26-October 2)

Ewephoric Fibers yarnIt's been a busy week here at the S&C headquarters. But that's the way it should be leading up to the holidays, right? This is what I've been up to: Sunday, I researched photos for shawl pin inspiration and did some brainstorming/sketches for autumn shawl pins. I also made a couple of new shawl pins, picked some yarn for knitting a Buttonhead hat, cast on, and knit about half of my Buttonhead. Monday, I went to Jo-Ann to pick up a new circular needle for finishing the hooded shrug test knit, and did some creative redecorating of the post-Debacle house. Tuesday, we cleaned some more of our ex-trashed belongings rather than crafting. Wednesday, I washed the yarn that was formerly a sweater, photographed some shawl pins, listed a shawl pin in the Etsy shop, did a bunch of crafty business admin stuff, and knit an inch or two of the Buttonhead. Thursday, I went thrift-storing for white sheets to make into curtains (and found some actual white curtains, too), went to Jo-Ann looking for candle wick but found it at Michaels instead, and went to the health food store for supplies to make bread. I even found some sourdough starter to replace the stuff that got thrown out in the Debacle. Yayyy! Also finished the Buttonhead hat — I even sewed on the buttons and wove in the tails rather than procrastinating. Friday, I wrote a draft of a new free knitting pattern, took pictures of the Buttonhead, divided my yarn into halves for an Argante shawl, cast on said shawl, and knitted to about half of the first increase section. Saturday, I made it through the short rows and into the second increase section of the Argante shawl (I'm going so fast on this one that I can't wait to see what interrupts me for a month and keeps me from finishing! ;)), made a bunch of shawl pin bases, actually finished two new shawl pins, listed one of them in the shop, and wove a triangle on my triloom with the recently-recycled sweater yarn.


Your turn — share your own crafty accomplishments from the past week in the comments here. Don't forget to use the standard check-in format on the rules page, and you can also add your photos to the Craft or Bust Flickr pool!

And as always, if you're new to Craft or Bust, check out the CoB rules page and sign up if you like — it's easy!

Oct 2, 2010

I'm a Buttonhead, knitting an Argante

I finished knitting my first handspun hat! Yayyy!

Buttonhead hat pics, better

Buttonhead hat pics, better

Too bad it's hard to take photos of things that are on my own head. If it weren't so, I'd have a decent photo of me wearing it. (Okay, okay. If you really want to see it, there's a photo of me wearing the Buttonhead on my Flickr account.)

I also cast on an Argante shawl this week. The shawl is designed by Corrina Ferguson of Picnic Knits, who did a shawl-knitting demo at the Florida Fiber-In this year, and who is doing her first Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the Cure this year. Aside from both happening this year, these two things are related in that if you go this week and buy a Picnic Knits pattern (say, a shawl?), you get a discount and the proceeds go toward the three-day walk.

I am super-enjoying knitting my Argante shawl so far, so if you have any inclination to support the fight against breast cancer and get a pretty pattern to boot, check out the Picnic Knits pattern shop and pick something up. You'll get to say you participated in the Boobie Blitz, too — bonus. ;)

Beginning of Argante shawl
The beginning of my Argante shawl. It is much bigger than this as I type.

Oct 1, 2010

October goodies: the knitters' wish list giveaway

It's time for another giveaway! This one is for all the knitters out there who are gearing up for cooler weather (or maybe it's already arrived where you are?). It's the First Ever Wish List Giveaway, and it's a winning situation for everybody! You have a chance to get free stuff, and I get to have people ogling my pattern, which will help motivate me to finish the ones in my design queue. (Oh, yes ... I have manymany plans for more patterns. No way I'm going to finish designing everything I want to this autumn/winter, but I can sure try.)

Anyway. Remember these fingerless gloves?

Princess in the Wilds fingerless gloves

Princess in the Wilds, not worn

I'm giving away FIVE copies of the pattern PDF. Because everybody needs toasty hands.

You get one entry into the drawing for doing each of these things:

1. "Heart" the pattern in my Etsy shop. (Make sure your favorites are publicly visible so I can see you, or you can heart the pattern and post a comment here if your favorites aren't public.)
2. Add the pattern to your Ravelry queue.
3. Add the pattern to your Ravelry favorites.
4. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what sorts of things you like to do best in autumn.
5. Tweet, post on Facebook* fan S&C on Facebook and post a comment about it here on the blog, and/or blog about the giveaway using this link: http://bit.ly/9T7T6Y, and comment about it on this post. If you tweet, please also mention @starncrossbones so I can see you! ;)

Entries close after October 31, and shortly after that date, I'll draw five random numbers, and five lucky knitters will get to download the pattern from my Ravelry store. Yayyy! I'll actually be drawing one winner each from the people who have the pattern favorited on Etsy, from those who have the pattern queued on Ravelry, and from those who have it favorited on Ravelry — and the last two winners will come from the comments on this post. So you have a ton of ways to win, and yes, you can enter through every method you can, to maximize your chances. How cool is that? I think it's pretty cool.

And if you're not a knitter, you can even enter on behalf of someone else. (Like if you know a knitter who's not online, or one who doesn't like to enter contests ... I'm sure there's someone out there like that, right? ;)) If you win, and you don't knit, but you want to gift the pattern to someone you know who DOES knit, just let me know and we'll make sure it gets to them. :D

And in the meantime, I'll work on finishing the pair of Princess in the Wilds gloves I started knitting in January out of ridiculous sparkly blue handspun wool.

Handspun wristwarmers in progress
"Finish me!" whispered the bright and sparkly handspun fingerless gloves...

*"Posting on Facebook" is no longer an option for entries because apparently Facebook doesn't like people talking about giveaways there without permission. Nice.
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