Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Itty Bitty Fruit Hats

I thought I had figured out blogging on the iPad, and Google was backing up all my photos...but I just took some and then tried to blog and the new pictures didn't show up, and I don't know how to get them.  So, I moved to the desktop to write a different post with pictures already downloading on the computer.  Suddenly, every time we use Internet Explorer, we are getting a ton of pop up ads (that mostly say Jump Flip Ads at the side) as well as side bars...I moved the pop up blocker to block all pop ups, but that's not doing anything.  So, I'm trying Google Chrome, but the ads are still there.  Anyone else have this issue?

Anyway.  On to the fun stuff.

My husband, Rob, had a co-worker that he liked, who's wife was having their second baby.  I offered to give them a newborn pumpkin hat.  I'm trying to expand my client list and get my name out there a bit more.  I do more than newborn photography props!

They loved the pumpkin hat, and asked for four more, in NB and 3 month sizes!

 First up is a red apple, in newborn size.  This weighed in at 32gr.  I used a nice, brownish red, instead of a bright red you often see for apple hats.
 A newborn blueberry hat.  I played with the top quite a bit.  I wanted a bit more of a flappy look--if you look closely at the top of a blueberry, it's not flat.  In the end, I went with a round of stitches picked up and then casted off.  Weighed 58gr, in Shetland Chunky or Beehive Chunky...
 A 3 month plum hat.  I had the perfect plum colour, and Rob had the idea of a ridge down the side like you see on plums.  Subtle, but effective.  A seed stitch brim on this one, used up every inch of the yarn I had, 32gr.

A last, a green grape.  I loved the green I had, and I added a grape leaf and curly cue vine!  Total, 36gr.  This is the same green I used for one of the Christmas tree hats!

All total, 158gr.

Yarn In:  16 153gr
Yarn Out:  158gr + 15 076gr = 15 234gr
Balance:  919 gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $378.91/365 days = $1.04/day

Okay, using Google Chrome was interesting.  I don't like the way the blog looks; the font is way too small.  However, when I went to load pictures, I could crtl + select and get more than one picture at a time.  Mmmm.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Felting Fun

For her birthday, my middle girl, Lucy, got a book on different felting projects (from her grandmother!).  Some were needle felted, some knitted and felted, some recycled sweater type projects.  Lucy saw a striped pillow and realized she could do it on my knitting machine.  She didn't like the colours in the book, but chose her own from my Patons Classic Wool collection.  She kept the same repeating pattern (ie:  brown in the book became lime, orange was now black...).  The back of the pillow is solid lime, and was the first part.  She made it with no problems.  The pattern had you make front and back separately, but I suggested to keep on going.  The stripes caused a few dropped stitches at edges, and panic, but it all worked out.  The sizing in the pattern was interesting--the width before and after felting was about the same.  Normally there is some widthwise shrinkage.  She went out with her dad to buy some stuffing, and I sewed the sides (before felting). 

You can see that the white didn't felt much.  This is a common issue with white, as it's usually bleached.  It added a nice texture to the pillow, but probably not what you want for other items.  It's not a very big pillow, but it's cute on her bed!

I've got a few more felting projects of my own to show soon!

Yarn In:  16 153gr
Yarn Out:  128gr + 14 948gr = 15 076gr
Balance:  1077gr more brought IN, than out
Costs:  $378.91/365 days = $1.04/day

Monday, December 23, 2013


Did anyone hear that?  It's the sound of the year flying by!

I am done my custom orders for the year. What I do have on the go: some half done baby items I don't feel like finishing.  A sweater I stopped a year ago cause I needed to measure it and plan the next stage.  A pair of socks, two at a time, toe up, from one ball.  The other ball has disappeared.  I just ripped out two pairs of mohair baby pants that just weren't right.  A multi coloured pinwheel blanket that needs an edging.

Of course, I want to start something new, and have so many things I want to do, that I can't actually decide what to do!

Things to post about:
Two Santa Hats for Heather
Striped Hat and Purple Epic Hat for Heather
Brown Soaker
Blue Clogs
Red Turban
Neopolitan Dress/Hat
Four fruit hats

Wow, I've been busy!  So much I want to do though...

Monday, December 16, 2013

A Red Head Walks into Value Village.....

.....don't tell me you've heard this one already?  LOL.

I'm still trying to get mobile blogging happening.  Got the pictures to work, by I can't change the order they appear.  Can't seem to add a label either....the labels box is there, but when I try to click on one, it just jumps around on the screen and I can't actually select it.  Onwards though.

Last week my husband and I were Christmas shopping in Value Village.  Yes, we're that kind of people.  We were looking for something specific, can't afford it new, don't need it for long, but want decent quality (I'll fill you in after Christmas!)....anyway, back in the furniture section, I noticed a couple bags of skeined yarn!  I looked and found a tag, it says Condon'sYarns, 100% wool, Charlottetown, PEI, and also 2pky Fine, 4oz/113.4gr.  I went over to the yarn section, and found some more.  I ended up with five bags, 10 skeins, 1134gr for $16.89.
This is NOT a soft merino!  It's the coarse wool people who don't know merino or BFL think of when they think of wool.  I will knit up a swatch at some point, and I hope it softens up, but I don't think it'll ever become merino.  I was picturing a fair isle sweater, but I don't know yet.

Yesterday, I mentioned going to pick up this iPad Mini.  Right next door is a yarn store, Soper Creek Yarn.  I couldn't turn that down.  I just picked up a few balls, mainly from clearance.  Left to right--Diamond Luxery Collection, "Footloose", Sirdar "Freya", more Footloose, and Regia "Snowflake".  We are loving petting the Footloose.  I am so in love with the turquoise/purpley one!  I'm going to email them and see if there's another hank.  And yes, I will drive all the way back to Bowmanville for one hank of this yarn!  What to make if there's no more?  All of this weighs in at 250gr for $29.32.

I had just delivered Christmas hats to a client, and she wanted another striped Christmas stocking hat, but when I got home, I found a message.  I had given her business cards and told her to take a look on my Facebook page.  She fell in love with the pink "Epic" hat that I just recently posted here.  Her granddaughter's favourite colour is purple, and she wanted one done in lilac/purple.  Yay!  Finally, I get to do one in those colours.  I immediately went to my stash...
...where I was sorely disappointed by my lack of interesting purple yarns.  I had actually just given away some lilac Astra DK, but really, I had very little in purples.  Even the white...I wanted to start the brim with white-white....and remember how I had trouble finding white-white for the snowman hat?  I had just finished what was left of that yarn on the brim of the hat I had delivered to her.  I have a cone of bright white with a bit of texture, and some bright white eyelash, but still needed a bit more white.
I did have that skein of purple mohair next to the white at the 1:00 position, and the grey fur at 3:00, and a light purple fake mohair...I actually went to Value Village first, and there were two mixed bags that had lilac yarns; those aren't in these pictures.  The two bags were $4.50 and weighed 241gr.

Uh, is that picture above sort of glistening/sparkling?  I don't know all the different settings on the iPad camera and I think I might have done something, LOL!!
At Michaels', I had a lot of fun picking out yarns.  The purples were actually fairly easy, although there were some I loved that had other colours in them too. Right now, it is REALLY difficult to find single colour, multi-textured/interesting yarns.  They blend so many colours into one skein now.  Even fun fur is challenging, Bernat Boa has a great dark plum/black eyelash, but it wasn't quite right.
All totalled, including the white and red for the new stocking hat, I spent $64.27.  Obviously, this is way more yarn than I need for the two hats (and I did have a 20% off entire order coupon, so I saved $13 with that!), but they will all be great additions to the stash.  All  11 116gr.  No way.  Got to double check that!  Okay, now I get 1216gr.  That seems more reasonable!  LOL!!

I do have some items to show soon!  My older daughter got a book for her birthday about felting and knitting/sewing....I set her up at the LK150 and she made a striped pillow that we felted.  Looks great!  I was really pleased when I weighed it and found it weighed exactly the same as the yarn I had just bought back then, but then I went and got all this yarn, LOL.  Also have the two Santa hats...what else?  Right now, I must get to work on the new order!!

Yarn In:  2841gr  + 13 312gr = 16 153gr
Yarn Out:  14 945gr
Balance:  1208gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $114.98 + $263.93 = $378.91/351 days = $1.08/day

Hopefully I'll be back into the more OUT than in column when I post the recent finished items!  Though...at about 100gr for a stocking hat....no...not quite...

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I entered a photo competition earlier this fall, and won an iPad Mini!  I picked it up today and we're all having fun with it.  The kids are already Apple-smart, but it's all new to me.  There are somethings I much prefer on my tablet already, but I'll learn to like this.  Especially the outward facing camera.  My tablet doesn't have one.  The one on my cellphone is crap.  This should be good to posting to my Facebook business page quickly.  Or even for blogging.  Let's test it....tried once and it didn't work...don't know if it's blogger or iPad that'/s the issue....
Well....took several tries to get the picture window to open, then, there was the option to get pictures from picasa, my cellphone, or an URL.  Tried the phone option, but it says I need the google app.  Anyone blog using thei IPad?

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Santa's Coming

One of Jennifer's clients was a 4 year old who was a little big for the Santa hat I made last year, but had an adorable photo anyway.  The grandmother thought it'd be great if she had one that would fit the girl for upcoming Breakfast with Santa photos.  She asked for dark red, so I picked up a ball of Impeccable "Claret".  I think it's a dark red, without being burgundy.  Don't know if you can see that Ravelry link.

Of course, I can't find the receipt, but it's usually about $4.99 ($5.64)on sale or with a coupon.  So I'll go with that, LOL.

I started knitting it by hand, but I took it to my daughter's skating lesson, and forgot that I wanted to do a waste yarn cast on so I can go back and knit the white cuff after.  Got started, basing gauge solely on the suggested gauge on the wrapper.  Got busy trying to finish 4 little fruit hats that were a custom order and taking too long.  Decided I should rip out the Santa hat and do it on the machine since it's needed by Friday!  The main part is almost done, I was just waiting to hear how long she wanted it.

Yarn In: 13 184gr + 128gr =13 312gr
Yarn Out: 520gr + 14 425gr =14 945gr

Balance:  1633gr more used up than brought in
Costs: $258.29+ $5.64= $263.93/342 days = $0.77/day

Friday, December 06, 2013


A couple years ago, my son came up with the idea of being a jar of peanut butter for his Halloween costume.  At first, we were like, "Uh, no.  Pick something normal".  Then realized we could figure it out, and it would be a great costume for him--he would live on peanut butter if he could!

This year, my daughter thought she'd like to use the costume (they're at a different school now, though most of the kids moved to the new school when they closed their old one, but there's also 300 kids they didn't know LOL).  Great!  Re-use a costume!  I was so excited. 

Then, she thought, "Wouldn't it be awesome if my BFF could be a jar of jam?".  Well....I wasn't too keen on going through the whole thing again.  We figured the second time would be easier, but there was the first hurdle of finding hoops.  We told her that if her BFF could find two hula hoops (or other suitable hoops), we'd go ahead.  I didn't have time to search them out.  Wouldn't you know...she had two matching hoops in her garage!  Surprise!  They were quite a bit larger than the peanut butter hoops, but oh well.  We had some debating about the hat.  We hadn't like the original hat too much, and this time, I had a cheap plastic table cloth for the lid material.  It turned out to be such a windy, rainy Halloween, that the had just didn't stay on her.  It needed a chin strap LOL.

 The arm holes were cut a little more to the front because the hoop was so large, she wouldn't have been able to bend her elbows and hold her bag, LOL.  This meant that the label had to go below the holes.  If we had known this before, we would have made the label smaller.
 And what did the original peanut butter jar guy go out as this year?  He hadn't been able to come up with an idea, wasn't even sure he wanted to go out.  We couldn't find the spirit gum to affix the wearwolf fur to his face.  But then we just started pulling out stuff, and we put together a rich dude look.  That's fake money he's pointing to in his pocket (click on it to see a bigger image!).  As he was getting ready to go out, the girls thought he looked like Macklemore (a singer).  Then, I heard him say he was a pimp!  OMG.  That hat and coat had been used as a pimp costume before, but I didn't want to say it! 
They went to the neighbour's, and then the neighbours came here.  Katie asked if that had been our kids just at their house, and what was our son?  I said "a rock star" and she said she wondered if he was Macklemore, or if he was a pimp, but she hadn't wanted to ask him that, LOL.  So, either way, I guess his costume was effective!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pink Perfection

I never got around to showing this hat, because I had been hoping to get "real" pictures from the photographer.  However, she had asked for it in a 6 month size, and didn't seem to be getting any babies of any size that it would work for. 

Finally, I asked Jennifer, her partner, if she could manage to do something with it (they often share props).

It's of the same idea as the other "Epic" hats (one in browns, one in greens).  It was fun putting it all together, and I love the final result.

 Jennifer had liked how I had threaded ribbon through the inside of the beige one to make it adjustable, so this time, I made it a design element!

 I love Jennifer's picture, and creative use for it!  She didn't think the tapered tail with pompom worked in the picture, but I'm sure it probably would have still looked good. 
(I'm having a deju vu moment, like, I feel like I've already written all this before!  I wonder if it ended up as a draft?  After all, I finished this last February, and the weight was already included in my totals!).

I really want to make a blue hat like this, but I'm not doing it unless I get an actual order (hint, hint!).

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Almost Forgot

I almost forgot that I sold a little bit more yarn to the other mom on the school council!  It was a lot of Bernat Baby Co-Ordinates, three full/almost full skeins and a couple part balls.  I can't find a weight for it all, but based on the solid skeins being 140gr, I'm going to list this at 520gr.

Yarn In:  13 184gr
Yarn Out:  520gr + 14 425gr =14 945gr
Balance:  1761gr more used up than brought in
Costs:  $258.29/333 days = $0.78/day

Cream Elves

One of the most difficult hats Jennifer ordered was also the simplest looking.  A little pointed elf hat, in a cream thick and thin yarn.  What could be so difficult about that?  The yarn selection!  I looked at the major brands in big box stores.  I went to my LYS.  They had some thick and thin yarns, but not in a plain cream.  There was a dark taupe, and many, many multi-coloured yarns.  When I left the LYS, I was originally going to go to the next town over, to another LYS, but suddenly decided to go one block over to the Salvation Army, since it was getting close to end of school.

I really lucked out and found a cream, commercially knit scarf in a thick and thin yarn.  It was 100% acrylic, but other than that, it was perfect. 

I knit directly from the scarf, LOL.  It took a couple attempts to get the right size and shape and needle size...on one hat, it was too tight and the thicker parts weren't standing out. 

On another hat, the thin parts were stacking above thin parts, creating TOO much contrast (the thick parts were also lining up).

In the end, I think I created four hats, and ripped out one to re-knit in a newborn size.  One hat went into the grey dye pot, but the result was total yuck:

 I still have some of this yarn left.  Scarves are a GREAT option for yarn, as long as you pay attention, make sure it's knit or crocheted in one piece.

 I was recently given a scarf with an awesome purple yarn in it, but it turned out to be actually woven, and even though the individual strands were long, they weren't long enough to do two rows of a newborn hat.  Got to come up with other options for it!

Yarn In:  13 184gr (scarf already counted)
Yarn Out:  122gr + 14 303gr = 14 425gr
Balance:  1241gr more used up than brought in
Cost:  $258.29/333 days = $0.78/day

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Fairy Floss

I discovered buy and sell groups on Facebook.  There's also Freecycle type groups.  In one group, a woman had pink mohair she was giving away.  There were 4 balls, and a few of us interested.  This was on a Thursday and I knew I couldn't get out to her until Monday, but she was okay with that.  I was surprised when I picked up the bag and there were all four balls!  It's Newlands-Harding "Fairy Floss" in an adorable  pink, not cotton candy, not quite peachy, not really salmon.  A really nice vintage pink.  70% mohair, 30% Orlon, 2 oz each ball (56.7gr); 227gr total.  There's no yardage given, or even a gauge suggested.  I'm going to look in my old Newlands pattern books and see if there's any patterns for it!  The closest I can find to this yarn on Ravelry.com is Fairy Floss by Lady Galt.  Lady Galt also made Kroy sock yarns.  Not sure if Lady Galt was bought by Newlands and then Newlands by Patons and Patons by Spinrite....it'd be interesting to find out more history.  Galt, Ontario, was once it's own town and was amalgamated into Cambridge, in 1973.  Even all that is interesting on it's own!

Yarn In:  12 957gr + 227gr = 13 184gr
Yarn Out:  14 303gr
Balance:  1 119gr more used up than brought in
Costs:  $258.29/326 days = $0.79/day

Thursday, November 14, 2013

There's a Tree for Everyone

Jennifer included two different Christmas tree hats in her recent order.  Of course, there were some small details that were different than the original pictures.  The first one was in white, and the original had a red scallop trim.  She didn't want that, but wanted it in a ***** yarn (really, she drew little * shapes on the paper), sort of hairy, sticks out from the hat yarn.  I love deciphering descriptions of yarns by non-fiber people :)  Luckily, she had an existing hat in her collection to show me that she wanted an eyelash, or fun fur, yarn.  Easy!

Well, finding red eyelash that was affordable, wasn't so easy.  I found some quickly, but it was too orange.  I searched for hats and scarves at thrift stores.  None in solid red.  Finally I gave in and bought a ball.  Then, two weeks later, I find out there are solid coloured eyelash scarves at the big dollar store :(
I used the eyelash held double, and switch from the half double crochet in the white section to single crochet in the red, to up the oomph factor.  Eyelash yarn is pretty skimpy on it's own.

It's a nice little hat, not too cutesy.  It could even be worn backwards for a simple look, or for Valentine's Day.  (28gr)

The other hat was more of a stocking hat in a bright green.  Jennifer isn't in the bright colours, but I liked the "cleaner" shade of green (I first called it a "clear green" and she said that sounded like it should be transparent, LOL!).  I also worked up a sample in a dull, mossy green.  The brighter green won out.  The original had blue, red, and yellow bobbles, but she wanted grey, blue and yellow.  I didn't have much in a bright blue, but I had even less in a "nice" yellow.  I used up every little bit that I had.  How can I be so deficient in yellow and orange yarn (I had only a small amount for Frosty's nose too!)?

 She really liked this hat, and it was fun to make (even though she turned down my suggestion for real mini lights on it!).  Even her teen aged son liked it!  Isn't her shot adorable!  Very subtle Christmas, love how it matches the green ornament.  There's also a blue velvet Waves layering blanket in that stack!  (48gr hat).  Click on the picture to see a larger version!

Yarn In:  12 957gr
Yarn Out:  76gr + 14 227gr = 14 303gr
Balance:  1346 gr more OUT than in
Cost:  $258.29/319 days = $0.81/day

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


I showed you in the last post, a custom order Frosty.  Jennifer usually goes for the more subdued look.  I was really surprised when her Christmas order had novelty hats!  I really had not done much with novelty hats, as I get most of my enjoyment from the research, planning, and knitting.  I'm not fond of sewing on buttons, bows, flowers, or other bits and bobs.

I knew Rudolph was going to be a challenge in some ways.  The antlers!  One problem with trying to recreate something from a photo, is that you have no way to look up close, to see the backside, or hidden details.  The photographer is photographing the baby, not the hat.  In the original photo, the antlers seemed to be set back from the top of the head, which hid how they were attached to the hat.  Jennifer wanted them more on the very top.  I assumed they were made of felt, but that's all I could tell.

I found a ball of the perfect yarn at Value Village (along with a ball of mint green baby yarn that I promptly donated!).  Bernat Baby Softee Chunky, or something like that.  The main part of the hat was not a problem, I struggled a bit with the lower edge, trying to mimic the original, but I kept having problems with loosing the stretchiness.  Then I had problems in creating ear shapes.  Finally worked  something out, then realized when I sewed them on, that I had basically made two left ears.  But I didn't worry, it really wasn't noticeable.  Then there was the big red nose.  Knowing she doesn't like glitz, I suggested an actual light up red nose, LOL!  Surprise, she wasn't interested.  She didn't like any of the red buttons I showed.  Michaels' didn't have any single big red buttons.  There was a pack of primary coloured buttons but they seemed really cheap.  I noticed a large bag of assorted buttons that seemed to have some red ones.  At least now, I have an assortment of "fashion" buttons (though many in the bag were actually beads!). 

And still the antlers were weighing heavily on my mind (LOL).  While I was at Michaels', I found the felt, and discovered that you can buy stiffened felt.  However, it seemed to be glittery on one side.  Oh well.  I drew out my shapes, but still...how to sew on?  I got some embroidery thread in a light beige and did some tiny stitches, and then wrapped the yarn around the base of the antler.  Really, antlers are attached by a thick velvety layer, I could have done taller, random height, stitches.  But that might have been overkill.  I wanted to put a bead of glue on the backside of the attachment point, but I couldn't find my good glue.  They seemed to stay up, though they were a little floppy.

All in all, I think it turned out rather nice!  And Jennifer loved it, that's what counts! 

Yarn In:  12 957gr
Yarn Out:  32gr + 14 195gr = 14 227gr
Balance:  1270gr more OUT than in
Costs:  $258.29/317 days = $0.81/day

Friday, November 08, 2013


One of the hats Jennifer asked me to make was a Frosty Snowman hat.  She was very picky about her Frosties--her words.  Too many ugly snowman hats out there, she warned.  I asked her to show me pictures of snowmen she DID like, and she replied "Just that one picture I sent you!".  So, I asked for pictures of what she didn't like.  That can help a lot too.  Sometimes people aren't sure how to express what they like about something, but they can usually tell you really quickly what they don't like!

Frosty got off to a rough start.  Tried with a smooth yarn, then looked at the picture and realized it was textured, and I checked--yes, she wanted "snowman texture".  Tried a couple attempts with a lumpy, fuzzy white yarn...then I looked at it outside, compared to a "real" white....well, Frosty looked a little jaundiced.  I wasn't having much luck finding snowman yarn at my regular yarn buying haunts.  Finally, I found some at FabricLand, which is not the cheapest place to buy yarn.  Unfortunately, the yarn and the buttons ate up my profits.  But it's worth it.  Hopefully I have enough left to make a second one.

The picture she showed me had Frosty wearing ear muffs, and the baby wearing a scarf, in purples.  Jennifer hates purple, so opted for greys.  She was so specific, that the headband had to be solid grey, and the muffs a grey/black/white blend.  I certainly didn't want to buy more yarn just for those little muffs, but years ago, I had made a sweater in a grey/black/white yarn and knew I had a little bit left.

I thought I had a tiny ball, but I found this instead--my very first granny square!  I'm not sure "square" is the right word for this item, but that's what it was supposed to be!  It was enough for the two muffs.  For the scarf, I used Patons Divine in charcoal.  A  little different than the original picture, but a lovely yarn.  However, the baby was giving Jennifer a rough time, and she forgot to use the scarf :(  The season's not over yet though!

Take a look on her Pinterest page!

 I also have a Pinterest page if you want to check it out...I don't spend nearly enough time with it though!

I did have to get Frosty back and lengthen him a little, but that's what you get when you custom order from me.  If you're not happy and it doesn't perform/look like you ordered, I will do everything I can to improve it!!

Yarn In:  12 957gr
Yarn Out:  57gr + 14 138gr = 14 195gr
Balance:  1238gr more used UP than brought in
Cost:  $258.29/313 days = $0.83/day

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

More Yarn Out!

I wrote before that I had some yarn for sale on Kijiji.ca and some of it had sold.  Some of it was not trendy/big name/interesting and was sort of languishing in a pile here.  There's a mom on our "School Community Council" (the Ontario equivalent of PTA) who also crochets, things like sleep mats out of milk bags (here in Ontario, our milk comes in plastic pouches, inside a larger bag, and the larger, outer bag is sliced up and crocheted into sleep mats for developing countries), and blankets for at the cancer centre.  She also has an elderly aunt who knits preemie items and likes the thin baby yarns.

 Got rid of quite a bit of odd balls, some baby yarn (I loved making baby items out of the fine yarn, but I'm a little over pale pink and I just don't have the time), some of those giant jumbo skeins from the Spinrite outlet sale.  I don't have actual weights on the jumbo skeins, but I did have one bag of yarn that had been balled up from one, and it was 852gr. 

I don't know if all the skeins are the same weight, but I'll go with 800gr each for the other two.
All total, 3564grams walked out of my house this morning!  WooHoo!  And after she left, I realized I hadn't brought up one other lot she was interested in!  I'm sure some of it I might miss at some point (the Bernat Baby Sport is a great baby yarn, works well on my machines and I have a few patterns I wanted to try), but really...after awhile, if I hadn't gotten to it already....

Yarn In:  12 957gr
Yarn Out:  3564gr + 10 574gr = 14 138gr
Balance:  1181gr more taken OUT than in!!
Costs:  $258.29/310 days = $0.83/day

I think, towards the end of the year, I will go back and add up how much yarn I actually made into something, and how much of that actually left the house.  Sure, it looks impressive that 14kg of yarn left my house so far this year, but I did not knit/crochet all of that LOL!!

Monday, November 04, 2013

Newborn Hat Collection

I think I'm not going to make items to "stock" my "store" anymore.  They just don't sell.  Photographers have ideas in mind, and want unique, custom items.  Such was the case with an order I received from the awesome Jenna.  She showed me inspiration pictures, I showed her yarns, and the order was created.  This is a fun process, and a little less stress-inducing than trying to replicate items exactly.

 Most of these were in her order, a few were just little bonuses.
 Top:  Taupe "Kiss" hat in Sirdar "Eternity" (14gr), preemie pixie bonnet from upcycled sweater yarn (41gr), beanie in Patons "Lace" (14gr), beanie in Patons "Decor" (15gr), kitty hat in Patons "Lace" (12gr).  Bottom:  Beanie in a blue mohair I don't recall at the moment (13gr), beanie in Bernat "Boucle" with brim in the upcycled yarn (17gr), and white "Butterfly" beanie (17gr).
 I was a little cautious about her request for this yarn in the "Kiss" hat.  I wasn't sure if the yarn texture would override the cable and ribbing.  In the end, I think it adds a nice soft touch.
 I'd been seeing beanies done in a plain yarn, with a textured edging, and gave it a whirl.  This was Bernat "Boucle", I think, and the upcycled yarn from a thrifted sweater.  I really liked this combo!
I wasn't sure on the sizing of the basic blue mohair beanie.  I was trying it on my newborn "head" and it just seemed a tad big.  So I thought I'd whip up one in Patons "Lace", since I love how the blue graduates.  However, because of the smaller gauge, this did not just get "whipped up".  LOL.  And, I wish I had started with a bit more light blue at the top.  But it's still adorable.

There was one more set, not in the picture.  A grey mohair pixie bonnet and pants.  I had issues with it, and it'll get it's own post!  Haven't yet gotten pictures from her with these hats, but I'm waiting! 

Yarn In:  12 957gr
Yarn Out:  143gr + 10 431 = 10 574gr
Balance:  2383gr more brought IN than out
Costs:  $258.29/309 days = $0.84/day

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 kijiji.ca 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 big...it 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!