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!  :)

How Could I Have Less Time?

With my foster kiddo back in school, I mistakenly thought (and actually planned as if) I would have more time to sew, see clients and generally spend more uninterrupted time in my studio.  How wrong was I?  There is NO time.  And, with the first week being only 3 days and this past week being only 4 days…………it hasn’t added up to much free time on my end.

Since my kiddo is on the spectrum, he does have some oddities………..and sure enough, the school has a new to the district RN, who grabbed my guy right off.  He was itching & she concluded we had a flea infestation at our home……..would I please take care of it?  Well, if there were fleas, yes.  However, she failed to note the itching was only on 2 limbs, on the same side, and only the lower parts.  What flea is only going to bite the right side of someone?  Plus, the whole anxiety disorder bit, with a new school AND a new place to live, I’d just bet that was more the culprit.  Anyway, a couple days were taken up with more doctor appts and then paperwork back to the school from the Dr,  who said my kiddo  had nothing that was contagious, and no, we didn’t have fleas!  So, there went the first week.

The second week brought the addition of therapy, which required my attendance at the intake interview.  Another half day.

And, the time has just slipped away and here it is October.  How did that happen anyway?  I don’t have much to show for September.  I forgot to mention that the school has not held the IEP meeting as yet.  So, we’re over the 30 day time frame now.   A multitude of phone calls re; this issue have been ongoing.  Why the phone??  The entire district has had no email for the past two weeks!  I’m sure that added to everyones’ frustration as we tried to get this new guy registered.

So, there is my sob song.  I just need to get better with my time & how I use it.  Nothing else is really going to change.

 

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Create Something Daily Challenge:  I do this without thinking anymore.  It’s been 9 months since I started the challenge.  What a FAST year this has been.

Today I worked for what seemed like forever on a couple client orders.  They were both supposed to be picked up tomorrow, but due to a family schedule change, they had to be upped to today…………So, the sewing room was in a whirlwind until about 2PM.

I’ve begun sewing the pile of granny squares together to construct the 5 Christmas Socks.

What a time consuming project.  The directions with the actual pattern are no help………….as the sock I’m copying for the client, was made with the pattern as an “idea” only.  So, I’m writing the new pattern as I go, and by the time I get 5 done, I’ll be able to recite it!  :)

The hat bands & side ruffles are done and blocked for the 2 custom order Cloche’s.  Was hoping to get the stitches picked up for one of the hats tonight…………but, no……I’m too tired to tackle a project that requires more math than my head will process on a good day!  I want one of them ready to knit before Wed, as I’m going to Knit Group again, and these hats make an easy project to work on whilst visiting.

I did take a picture of where I worked on the hat bands this past week…………..

When I’ve got time to myself, I typically head to the park at the beach.  Quiet, no phone, my knitting and maybe a cup of coffee.  Doesn’t get much better.  I cast on both bands for the hat at the same time, and worked them up together.  I forget that trick to make somewhat boring little things go faster.

I’m going to head into October with a couple new schedule ideas.  I need to get a different calendar for myself, I’ve been using one that is too small, and I seem to need a bit more room, now that I’ve got the school related items on it too.  I know I’m still ‘old school’ and using a real calendar, perhaps this next year is the year I move to a fancy pants phone that has a calendar/organizer with it.

I’m also going to incorporate the crock pot into the regularly scheduled meals here!  That and a soup night weekly…………..as well as a breakfast for dinner night too.  More planning will give me more time………..I know that rule!  (just let it slide lately)

I’ve already moved a sewing machine into the common area upstairs, so I’ve been able to work on smaller items while waiting on a client, or supervising a kiddo.  I really do hate to just sit.  In fact, I’m not sure I could!

And, I’m going to quit promising items for clients in a week.  Too short for me these days.  I’m going to add a couple days and shoot for a pick up appt in 10 days.  That will ease things up a bit.  I have been passing on a few jobs coming my way from the Craigs list ad too………..several this week that really need someone with upholstery skills and a couple that had deadlines that would have pushed me over the edge.   (patting myself on the back here)

Time’s up, I’ve got wine chilling and knitting to do.

 

 

Holiday Projects………..Already???

First week of September & I’m already feeling like time is slipping away from me.  Christmas will be here before I know it, and certainly before I’m ready for it.

Not even sure what all I want to accomplish………..but, the new foster kiddo is a big part of my TO DO list.  He has been asking Christmas type questions since he moved here, the last week in June.  :)   I’ve been scaling down my holiday prep over the last couple years, as our family has become so much smaller & spread apart, but I know that isn’t going to hold much water with this new guy.  He is a teenager, but developmentally around 10 years old or so.

I’m thinking the first thing out of the sewing room needs to be this kiddos’ new Christmas stocking.  Everyone gets one here, but they take them with them when they move on to their own place, or to an adult family home situation….so, no socks lying about here.  After that, I guess the house needs some Christmas pizazz.  I did put up a tree the last couple years and made swags for the doors, but that was it.  I think we’re going to have to do that & then some.

I started sorting through my holiday stash of fabrics and discovered I will never be able to use them all.  I have some set aside for placemats & napkins, as well as the stocking…………..and a new tree skirt.  Also have a couple coordinating pieces in case I get a flash of inspiration as to where I can add some more holiday flare.

 

But, the rest of the fabric is going to find new homes!  I have spent the day pressing, measuring, taking pictures and listing them in the Etsy shop.

Here’s what went in today………….hoping to get 4-5 more on a daily basis.  When in the world did I think I was going to use this much holiday related fabric???

Victorian Fabric at Stitchknit

Fabric with a Victorian Flair

 

All Over Holly Print

 

Holly & Ribbons

 

Santa Print

Create Something Daily Challenge:

-The wedding dress is finished.  And, picked up tonight.  Fit like it was supposed to.  I am finding I like fixing existing items more than I like making them……..in the dressmaking department anyway.  The challenge of trying to figure out what to do, then how to do it………and keep it cost effective for the client is way more fun than making something I’ve probably done before.

-Again with the crocheted motifs for the Christmas stockings.  Still haven’t counted the total.  Have 2 zip lock sandwich bags crammed full, if that is any sort of measurement of progress!  I’m really not enjoying granny squares.  I was pretty sure I didn’t like them before, this project is sealing the deal for me!  Hoping to have all the little squares done by the end of the month (or sooner).  Would like these picked up in November.

And, that’s it.  Not much creating going on here.  I did however make some HUGE strides in the sewing room.  I have been so torn up due to the new window/insulation project here, and made a commitment to clean & organize before putting the sewing room back to order.    I’ve freecycled the scraps I just couldn’t throw out………..I’m listing the excess fabric I’ll never get to……   And, I’ve got multiple boxes labeled and ready for sorting.  I ……..will………get………everything………..sorted!  I moved the empty shelving units to the hallway outside my sewing studio, and will start putting the supplies out there when they are sorted AND labeled.  I am getting excited to think about being able to put my hands on the right batch of fabric or notions when I want them….  But, I’m restraining myself and going to stick to my plan of truly going through everything before putting it away.

I think I’ll keep up with the project, as it is very hard to work in the space as it is now!