When I found out that the local yarn store was going to sponsor a Scarf Bomb through the month of December, I decided that I would make 3 of them. I now have one scarf finished and two more to make. I'm sure that whoever picks the scarves that the ladies are making for the Scarf Bomb will really appreciate them when it's cold outside.
Last week, I started knitting a scarf that is from an easy pattern and I was hoping that I would have it completed by tomorrow so I could take it to the yarn store where the knitting group meets. I'm not even halfway done with it. I will get back to it this evening. Yesterday, I decided to crochet a scarf because I knew I would have it completed today. All I need to do with it now is block it so that it will be all evened out and the corners will be less curly. After I finish the scarf I started with first, I think I will make one from leftovers. I can crochet one with stripes of different colors.
Small Business Saturday was started on November 27, 2010. It is an American shopping holiday that was conceived and promoted by American Express so that holiday shoppers would be encouraged to shop the brick and mortar stores that are small and local. This shopping holiday is in contrast to the Black Friday shopping day on the day after Thanksgiving and feature big box retail stores.
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Business_Saturday )
Although I did not participate in any of the Black Friday events yesterday, I did Shop Small Business today. I went to the local yarn store, called River Wools, where I got a really nice book called Crochet One-Skein Wonders. All of the items are made with just one skein of yarn each. There are 101 crochet projects from crocheters around the world. They include hats, stuffed animals, jewelry, baby booties, and lots more! I know that I will be making a few items that are in this book because they are going to be Christmas presents for my great-grandson and my great-granddaughter. I also bought 5 skeins of yarn that will be used for the Christmas presents.
The store owner put my purchase in a project bag that had other little goodies in it. There was a pattern for a really nice short-sleeved cardigan, a couple packets of "soak" that can be used to launder sweaters, a measuring tape (you almost can't have too many of those!), and an 8" rule/knitting needle gauge combo.
While I was at the yarn store, I noticed that there were quite a few handmade scarves for the Scarf Bomb that is coming up. It was awesome to see so many of them already there!
Yay! I'm moving right along with a couple of things I'm making with yarn. Since after correcting the mistake on the poncho this past Sunday, I have knitted 30+ rows on it. I feel so much better about there not being a mistake showing up on the poncho. Also, I have completed the cuff and have crocheted the first inch of the leg of the sock I started last week.
I plan to start crocheting a scarf later on today. The scarf will be for the Yarn Bomb...or in this case a Scarf Bomb... that the local yarn store will be doing throughout the month of December. The store will take donations of handmade scarves and then tie them to the little trees on one of the downtown corners. There will be a note attached to the scarf that will encourage someone to take it if his or her head and neck are cold. I should be able to make at least 3 scarves for the Scarf Bomb.
For the past few months, I have been knitting a poncho that has three different kinds of simple cables in the design with the pattern repeats being 8 rows long. A few weeks ago, I noticed that there was a mistake on one of the largest cables about 3 or 4 repeats back. At one point, I decided to just leave the mistake alone and continue on. I think I knitted about 5 rows and then let it be for a few weeks. I could not leave that mistake in the work because I knew it was there and it was noticeable.
Sunday night, I took the circular needle out of the project and pulled the yarn back to a few rows previous to where the mistake was. I then carefully placed the needle back through the stitches and started knitting on it again. After I knitted a few rows, I noticed another mistake and had to back up about a row and a half. Now, each time I finish cable stitches, I double check them so that I won't have to back up the work again.
I should probably use a "lifeline" and thread a thin yarn through the stitches at the beginning of a pattern repeat. That way,if there is any mistake in the pattern repeat, I can pull the yarn back to the lifeline and start from there again. Also, there is less chance of dropping stitches when pulling the yarn and/or placing the needle into the stitch.
Yesterday, I had a table set up at the 4-H Fairground for the Holiday Bazaar. I finished getting everything ready for it the evening before. I also made a price list and placed it in a silver picture frame. I thought the silver was an appropriate color for the holiday season. I got up around 6 a.m. after sleeping only about 4 hours and went to the fairground around 7:30 so that I could get my table ready for the bazaar.
There were about 100 vendors there. Most of the vendors had hand-crafted items. There were woven scarves, Christmas decorations for the home and trees, homemade fudge, crocheted and knitted items, Mary Kay Cosmetics, a chiropractor, and more!! There was also a food booth for lunchtime eats.
I was actually very surprised when I sold an item during the first 15 minutes after the door opened to the public. It gave me hope that there would be a trend of people buying some of my items. Altogether, I sold seven items for a total of $32. That was twice the amount of money made at the Christmas bazaar the previous weekend.
I don't think I will do any more craft shows. After paying for a space at the shows and taking the time to set up and tear down everything, it's really not worth it. I paid $45 for a table at two shows and sold $48 in handmade items. So I cleared $3.
I'm going to have to find a few other ways to sell what I make. There are a few places on the internet that I will be looking into very soon. I will need to narrow down the selections so that I can concentrate on making a few variations of these selections. I have also been designing easy patterns for knitting washcloths. I figure that if lots of other people can sell patterns to me, I can sell patterns to them, too!
When I get a couple of shops set up online, I will make an announcement here. I should be able to get them started some time in early January. Stay tuned!!
I have knitted a few pairs of socks and I am not all that crazy about that process. For one pair, I used double pointed needles and they would get in the way of each other. Very frustrating for me. I used 2 circular needles for the other pair. That went better because the needles would "fall" out of the way of the work and not get in each other's way. Still, I wasn't too crazy about using circular needles either.
When I was at knitting group the other day, one of the ladies was crocheting a sock. There weren't 3 to 5 needles that got in the way of each other. No circular needles cables to get tangled up. Just yarn and one crochet hook. I really liked the look of the sock, too, so I asked the lady where she got her pattern and she told me that she got it online at yarnspirations.com . Last night, I looked for the sock pattern at that website and downloaded and printed a copy of it. I read the pattern a few times and I'm pretty sure that I will have much better luck with this crocheted sock pattern than I did with a knitted sock pattern.
The free crocheted sock pattern can be found at:
In the photo above is the yarn that I will be using for the crocheted socks. It is Deborah Norville Collection SERENITY Sock Weight yarn. The color is Chilli. The yarn consists of 50% Superwash Merino Wool/25% Rayon made from Bamboo/25% Nylon. The yarn is fairly soft so it should feel good on my feet. The pattern calls for a Size D crochet hook. That will be a skinny hook compared to the ones I have recently been using to make hats!
This will be the first time for me to crochet a pair of socks so let's hope that they will be wearable! Stay tuned for the photo finish!
I don't have to go to a shrink in order to feel fairly human. I have yarn to turn to. The colors, textures, and smells of yarn help me decide what to knit or crochet with them. Looking at the huge selection of patterns also help me to decide what to do with the yarn. Going to knitting/crocheting groups force me to get out of the house so that I won't be such a hermit.
Colors, Textures, and Smells
The first impression I get from yarn is the multitude of colors that are available. There are many different shades of reds, blues, whites, yellows, oranges, and on and on and on. I seem to navigate toward some shades of blue, purple, burgundy, darker greens, and darker oranges. I also prefer white to off-white. These colors I use mostly when I make something for myself. If I'm making something for someone else or for charity, I'll use colors that are not on my regular color palette.
The next thing I notice about the yarn is the feel of it. It can be soft, scratchy, silky, or smooth. There can be nibs, beads, or sequins in the yarn. The strand of yarn can be very fine or bulky. It could also have a crinkley look to it that would give the knitted or crocheted item a different texture rather than just smooth.
The smell of the yarn can be nice, too. Wool can smell like the sheep, alpaca, or llama that it came from. To me, some yarns have a chemical smell to it and certain ones can give me a headache. Cotton yarns have a nice, fresh fragrance.
Selecting A Pattern
There are so many patterns for knitting and crocheting to chose from. I see them everywhere: on the internet, at the yarn store, in books at the library or book store, and in magazines. I like to use a pattern that is pretty easy and doesn't take a whole lot of brain power to figure it out. Sometimes, some of the ladies at the yarn groups that I go to will show a pattern that they are using on the their current project and if I really like it, I ask them where they got the pattern from and get it for one of my own future projects. As I already mentioned, I like patterns that are pretty easy. Once in awhile, I will get a pattern for a sweater that has cable work or for an item that has some lace work. The free patterns that I can get on the internet are the best kind! Although, I have bought several online, too.
Going To Knitting/Crocheting Groups
A couple of times a week, I pack up my knitting bag with a current project, some accessories, extra crochet hooks and maybe extra yarn and head to the local yarn shop. Not only do I get out of the house, I get to be with other people who have a common interest. We all like to work with yarn. We help out each other whenever we have a problem with doing certain stitches, don't understand something about a pattern we are using, or in choosing colors of the yarn for our next project. Like me, some of the other ladies knit and crochet. Some others either knit or crochet, not both. Also, at least two of the ladies do some weaving. No one has brought in a spinning wheel yet. I'm waiting for the day that someone does do some spinning. Who knows? It might be me!
The main reason I knit and crochet is that I like to see the end result of my efforts. When I complete a sweater, a poncho, or a shawl that has a nice design and it looks good, I feel good about myself.
For those of you who may not know what WIP and FO stand for, they are Work In Progress and Finished Object. Oh! There is one more. UFO. UnFinished Object (not quite Work In Progress but not quite Finished either).
I like to work on more than one item because I do get bored with just one. With two or three items, I can switch off and do something different for awhile. I currently have a short-sleeved summer top on circular knitting needles and a poncho on another circular knitting needle. The summer top I started back in June or July. I just need to knit the sleeves and the neckline in order to get it finished. I think I'll be able to get it finished up by next spring. I'll be sure to post a photo of it when it is completed. I am pretty sure you will like it. I know I do. I am halfway finished with the body of the poncho and then will knit the neck onto it. It will be sort of like an open turtleneck. There are three different cables down one side of it, too. I will post a photo when I'm completely finished with it. I'm liking how it's looking so far.
The items I have recently finished are ones for the craft shows this month. I have been making mostly hats the past few weeks. I can crochet one in 3 or 4 hours depending on whether I use an easy stitch or a different one that takes a bit more time.
I have a short-sleeved cardigan that I need to get completely finished up. Thing is, I am not totally satisfied with the seaming on it. I think I will take it apart and seam it back together again. Then the last thing that will need to be done is the neckline and front bands and then sew on the buttons. I would really like to finish it up because it was about six or seven years ago that I started it. Oh my!! I am so bad at putting things off.
These are just some of the WIPs, FOs, and UFOs that are happening right now. I'm sure there are more but can't think of them right off.
Yesterday evening, I set up my table at the church where the Christmas craft bazaar was held today. I covered the table with muslin and edged the top of the table with green tinsel-like garland. After I did that, I set out my crocheted and knitted items nice and neat. When I was finished with that, I took a few pictures of the table. I thought it looked pretty good.
This morning, I got to the church about a half an hour before time for people to start coming in to browse and buy the handmade items that were available. Several people stopped to look at what I had on my table and some made very nice compliments about my work. That made me feel good about what I do. A few people seemed to be interested enough to buy one of my items but didn't. The first hour passed and no one bought anything. Two hours passed...nope. Three and then four hours and no one bought anything!! During the last half hour of the bazaar (we were there for 5 hours), I finally had 2 people who bought something. One lady got one of the hooded scarves and the second lady bought a crocheted hat.
The final tally of the Christmas craft bazaar was: $20 that I paid for my table set-up and then the total for the 2 items that I sold was $16. I was really disappointed about the outcome this year. Last year I sold enough items to cover the cost of the table and then some. I hope that I have better results at the holiday craft show that will be at the county fairground next weekend.
Today is the first time of me posting a blog on I Play With Yarn. It took quite awhile for me to decide on the name for my blog. There were some that I had thought of but they were already taken. Here are a few names that I had thought of: "Knit One. Purl Two." Taken. "Knit 1. Purl 2." Taken. "See What I Made!". Taken. Some names I thought of were pretty corny or not really memorable. Then the lightbulb lit up! What is it that I do? I play with yarn!
Most times, I will share what I have been making whether it be by knitting or crocheting. Other times I will share information about the kinds of yarn I use, where I have found patterns that I am making an item from, and maybe even a few patterns that I have designed myself.
So please be patient with me as I start getting the ball....yarn ball, that is....rolling around here.