Christmas Wrap Up

Finally, I have pictures of the Christmas 2013 project here at Stitchknit.  This took a full year, from November 2012 and they were picked up November 2013.

This was the stocking to copy....4 times!

This was the stocking to copy….4 times!

It took me until February to source the materials, matching the 2 ply wool yarn was the toughest.  Ordered white Angora to match the hair and beard and discovered they were actually cream.  Finally got my materials and then tackled the “notes” from the original knitter.  These were truly notes.  Not a pattern as we know patterns today.  The notes started from the cast on at the top of the sock and had some detail regarding the Santa face……….but the directions stopped at the heel flap!  Said to just continue as a sock!  Good thing I love sock knitting, and after painstakingly counting stitches on the original………just barreled ahead.    I was sweating the supplies I had ordered, as I truly am NO good in figuring yards, ounces and such.  Once I had the first stocking done (minus the double knitting at the top, the bells and the personalization) I felt so much better with the amount of yarn I had for the remaining 3.

Sock #1 & #2 Before blocking

Sock #1 & #2 Before blocking

Inching towards summer at this point and starting to see the November deadline flashing in front of me!  Implemented an hour a day on this project which helped me see consistent progress and kept me from away from full-blown crazy.

Saved the fussy bits at the top of the sock until I had all 4 stockings knit and sewn up the back.  (yes, the original had them worked flat until the Santa was knit, then joined & worked on double points.  Did the double knitting on all 4, added the bells and then stitched on the names.  Stopped mid way to block these before the bells went on….  Getting ahead of myself here.

Best news ever…….I did finish them on time, the client picked them up before Thanksgiving, so they could have their traditional decorating event that weekend.  Thanks to Rachel from nomarkatall.etsy.com I have pictures to remember the project.   The client gave me permission to write up a complete pattern to offer in my Etsy shop too, so the pictures are ready to go!

The beginning

The beginning

Blocked and Completed

Blocked and Completed

 

Ready to Display!

Ready to Display!

Now, I just need to write up a pattern & share this vintage goodness!

Practice Makes Perfect

I’m saying the word “no” over & over to myself, hoping it reminds  me not to take on more custom work than I have hours.  I’m pretty sure I need to switch to chanting the word “NO” outloud …………or, wearing it as a sign around my neck!  It’s getting serious.  I didn’t feel the pressure until this week end, when all of the sudden, I realized I was going to have to cut anything without a deadline!

 

no

It doesn’t seem very accommodating, but I’ve stopped taking any custom orders, either on line or in my local shop, that have deadlines before Christmas.  My new favorite words are when a client says “No Rush!”  That’s a no I can live with!  I’ve packed the Stitchknit shop on Etsy, with hundreds of items that are completed and ready to ship, so there is still plenty  to choose from.  Please stop by!

Time to get busy knitting…………and I’ll see if I can practice the NO word while working on projects!  :)

 

 

Black Friday & Stitchknit

Trying this entry for the 2nd time here………….   Must be getting tired, as I have no idea where the entry went when I hit ‘publish’.

I’m joining in with the hundreds, probably thousands of other Etsy shops and holding a shop wide special for Black Friday.  Actually, for the whole week end, through Cyber Monday.  So, mark your calendars and plan on stopping by Stitchknit to get a head start on your shopping list.  This is definitely a low stress shopping experience.  Shop in your jammies, sip a glass of wine and browse through my shop full of hand made goodness.

I’m going to get back to work, as I have a few more items to finish up before the week end!

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Order for Christmas 2013!

That’s right!  2013

 

I was contacted through my Craigslist Ad (thanks CL) to see if I’d like to look at a project for next Christmas & this is the vintage piece I was given this afternoon.

I was thrilled the client brought me the “notes” from the original knitter, in addition to this stocking to copy.   The family has been using these for 2 generations now, and there are going to be some new babies, thus……………the order for more socks!

First on the list is to come up with the supplies.  The “notes” specify angora for the Santa, and 3 ply yarn for the stocking & Size 2 needles.  There are some general directions for the actual sock and some specifics for the Santa face.

Before I get started on the supply list, I think I’m going to dampen this one, and see if it smells like wool.  It has a yummy soft feel to the piece and was made in the early 70’s.  I want the new socks to mirror this original, to the best of my ability.

I am SO glad this is for next Christmas! I will be in the Christmas spirit all summer here at Stitchknit.
Anyone else get this giddy thinking about copying an older piece?

 

Pondering the Winter Solstice

Pondering many things lately.  I know most everyone is all a-dither about the holidays, but I can truthfully say, I’m not.  I love the holidays, (as long as you don’t count Halloween)  Maybe it is a Fall thing? Maybe I really like the inside-the-house bit during winter?  Whatever it is, I love this time of the year.

I’m also big into looking back…………as well as looking ahead, and I like to do that between Christmas and New Years.  This year, most of my thoughts have been about my 1 year milestone as an Etsy Seller!  What a fun year.  I can’t even list all the things I’ve learned.  I do know most of the things are not related to sewing, knitting or crocheting!  I also know I have not been just sitting around knitting all year!

As I finished up the last of the holiday deadline type orders here in the studio, I have come across projects for the Etsy shop that had been put aside, due to my serious lack of time, and over booking the calendar.  A few of them got finished up last night and are now in the shop.

Knit with the Universal Scarf Pattern, I just join the ends with a 3 needle bind off, and it ends up as this lovely cowl, suitable for both men and women. This one is done in a heather yarn, with both greens and blues with a hint of charcoal.  Yummy soft too.  See it here.

I’ve had this gorgeous piece sitting next to my sewing machine for months.  Finished it up last night and I love it!  Waiting for instructions, as to finishing the back.  Brooch pin or hair clip…………or left alone for someone to use it in a necklace perhaps?  This is so soft, lightweight and prettier in person than I could capture in a photo.  See other pictures of it here.

 

I have more completed and listed…………but I’m out of time.  The shortest day of the year is no joke here in my house.  With school out, and my kiddo home, it seems like I only get 5-10 minutes at a time in my sewing room.

 

If you celebrate anything at this time of year………..may your celebration be blessed.  And, if you don’t…………may your days be blessed anyway!

Baby Benjamins’ Blanket Update

Done.  Packaged up and in the box to ship tomorrow!  I feel like I’ve worked on little else since I started this blanket.  Poor picture, I know.  It really needed a pretty crib, or a lovely rocking chair, to drape over.  Fresh out of all that, since my kiddo is over 30!    I couldn’t get far enough away from the blanket in my sewing studio, so this is the best I could do.  Good thing I crochet better than I take pictures.  And, now when I look at the picture, the printing of the name looks like it was done by a child.  Kind of cute, but wasn’t what I was going for.

I did learn a few things on this project.  The main thing being…………..vertical lines (color changes) do not look good with just one single crochet stitch.  And, the cross stitch idea to add items onto the single crochet didn’t work well for me either.  The cross part of the stitch never was in the same place, so there was no uniformity.  Not sure what the deal was with this, other than the single crochet stitches all had the main hole in them , from the stitches on the next row.  Too much space for the cross stitching to slip around in I think.  Anyway…………I ended up embroidering the lines on this, that were single stitches, and I liked it better.  That way, both the front and the back looked alike…….other than the name.  Just couldn’t figure that one out!  The name will be backwards no matter what!

 

 

Just to prove the blanket didn’t make me give up crocheting………….I finished this beautiful scarf/shawl yesterday and have it listed here. 

Lacy Crochted Scarf/Shawl

This is such a pretty thing…………opened up, it fits around shoulders like a shawl…………and wrapped around ones neck, it ends up looking almost ruffled.  I love it!

I have been pretty motivated to get some new things into the shop, as I’ve had a few sales in the past couple weeks.  So exciting to see things I’ve created heading off to new homes!  Fun, Fun,Fun!  Anyway, I have ideas in my head………..yarn in the studio…………I just need to add in some TIME and I’ll have it made!  :)

Just in case anyone thinks I’m just sitting around doing nothing…………   The current excitement (?) , probably not the right word once you hear my tale….              I discovered a water ‘situation’ in the downstairs (where there should be No water) and found the pipe under the kitchen sink upstairs had been leaking for a bit…   Old pipes here, so no matter what one touches, the plumbing in that area will need to be brought up to code.  ICK.  Hate plumbing difficulties.  Anyway, I’ve learned how to shut the water off at the meter, since I also found out the shut off valve for the house is also OLD, and didn’t do the trick.  Have spent the last 24 hours with no water, other than what we ran prior to shutting off the water.  Sort of like camping!

Have a plumber scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so, with luck……..this should be taken care of by tomorrow night.  Just to make life fun, there is a regularly scheduled caseworker meeting here at the same time…………for our foster kiddo & myself.  AND, if that wasn’t enough……….there are out of town relatives here ……..aiming to come here for dinner tomorrow night, instead of at Christmas.  All this sounds like I’m making this up!  But, noooooo

I’ve been cooking all day……planning a Mexican feast for tomorrow………..We moved the meal up to 1:00, hoping to be done prior to the plumber, and just before the caseworker gets here.    I’m nothing if not flexible!

The good news?   Christmas should be wonderfully relaxing!   And, we’ll have running water!  :)

Blue for Christmas?

I’ve been going through my fabric stash and trying to pare it down.  I’m in the process of listing some of the blue fabrics, as an alternative to all the typical red & green at this time of year.  I love the blue & gold……………….

 

 

I have all the fabrics listed in the Etsy shop here.

 

Still working on the crocheted baby blanket.  Pictures forthcoming, as the buyer emailed today asking about the progress.  It is slow going, at best.  The project is now too big to take with me, so it has to be done here in the studio………….cutting down my available hours for it.   I am in the middle of the fire engine motif now, so there is a ton of color changing to do, and multiple balls of yarn I’ve been handling as bobbins.  I’m scared to do the math on this one…………    How long does a row take?  How many hours a day can I put in on this?           And, what year will I finish this????    I’d better get back to work!  :)