Quick Update…

Wow – been a while since I’ve been around.  I’ve shut down the shop for the next few months as I am devoting time to some personal knitting… it’s been a long time since I’ve made anything for myself, and I have a few projects that I’d like to get done before it’s too hot to knit! I also needed to slow things down as I started a day job at the end of January, and just don’t have the knitting time I used to.  I did see this coming, so the fact that sales were slowing down meant it was a good time to close up for a bit.

Sales in the shop were pretty steady until early January – it kept me very busy (almost too busy), and I look forward to opening it back up in the fall!  Until then, I will try to keep things updated here as I work on my own projects.  I keep adding things to my queue on Ravelry, and I’m trying to find things I can make without buying more yarn (like that will stop me).  

Until later…

Happy New Year!

Yup – it’s been pretty slow on the blog (ok – some of you may have thought I dropped into a black hole, never to appear again).  What happened is that my orders shot up like fireworks, and I’ve been so busy knitting, I’m not sure which way was up!  In the months leading up to Christmas, I made 50+ items for orders! And I still have a dozen or so to fill!  Needless to say, my pointy sticks were moving so fast, I’m shocked they didn’t catch fire!
Here are the “highlights” of some of my work 🙂

Cowls

Cowls

Oh – the cowls & infinity scarves I made last month!  I must say – these have become the most popular item  requested!  I made 7 for 1 customer!  The -40 C temperatures may have had something to do with their popularity.  They are warm, squishy, and oh so comfy!  I really need to make one for myself!

 

Hats!  Lots of special requests for character hats!  Not my favorite things to make, as they are time consuming, and usually take some creativity on my part to come up with patterns based on pictures (some are from patterns, some I’m only sent a picture, and no pattern is available). But they get made, and my customers are happy.

Twilight Sparkle

Twilight Sparkle

Tuscan Raider

Tuscan Raider

 

Shark

Shark

Bumble

Bumble

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course, there were mittens, wrist warmers, Minions and many other things that were made!  I’m sure all the recipients of the knitted gifts will be kept toasty warm this cold winter! I’m sure things will slow down now that it’s after Christmas, but my needles are still busy.  I’m hoping to find time to make a few things to keep me warm this winter – need to do some serious stash busting.

I’m hoping to keep the blog up-to-date a bit more often too, time allowing.  My resolution this year to to just be more organized, and that includes keeping the blog current.

I wish all of you the best in 2014!

I Did It!

I finally ‘bit the bullet’ so to speak, and opened shop.  Well, it’s a Facebook shop, but it’s live, and I’ve made a sale already!

I finished the ice cream cone pillow, and it was sold the day I posted the picture! The buyer wants me to make something for her other daughter’s room!  The three scoop cone stands about 26″ tall! I can make them with 1, 2 or 3 (or more) scoops, and in a variety of colours.  The scoops are RedHeart Gumdrop yarn, so there are lots of colour options.

Triple Scoop Ice Cream Cone Pillow

Triple Scoop Ice Cream Cone Pillow

I’ve also completed one of my mom’s fingerless mittens that she wanted for her cruise.  I’ve had a lot of requests come in for them!  I’m working out the details with those interested to settle on patterns and colours too.  I love fingerless gloves.  I live in a frigid province (Saskatchewan), and in the last few days, Fall has hit hard, and it’s finally sweater and mitten weather!  Fingerless gloves/mittens are great as you can still function with your fingers, but your hands and arms get that added warmth.  I wore them all last winter when I was working – my office was so cold, but as a programmer, you need your fingers free to type – this is the best of both!

 Constellation Gloves

Constellation Gloves – fingerless

I’ve been plugging away at my minion iPad cozy, but it’s the project that falls to the side (along with my socks). I’m focusing on my orders at this point, and work on my own here and there.  Both don’t require a lot of ‘thought’ when doing them, which is nice.https://jennwithyarn.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php

Today, I’m organizing.  I got a KnitPicks order in the other day, so I have some notions to put away, and of course more yarn!  I got these mittens,  so now I have them in three colour sets (still wanting the Forest Floor colours too).  I love these mittens, and they are so easy to knit up. I also got some sock blockers, and conductive thread so you can use touch screens through mittens.  At the moment, my notions are all over the place, so my goal is to get it all organized in one place so I know what I have, and can find it when I need it.  Then I have some knitting to work on, and my contract work after lunch.  Plus it’s the dentist for my hubby and I at the end of the day.

New Routine

It was so nice to have a week off with the hubby home.  We did a quick trip to Ikea, and got most of what we needed, and the rest of our Pax systems will be ordered online once they have stock. Managed to get some stitching in, but still feel behind my ‘self declared’ deadlines.

I have decided to put out to the world that I am accepting knitting orders, possibly for Christmas gifts.  So far, the response has been slow, but gotta start somewhere.  I’m trying to finish up all my projects, and get pictures posted, and hope that will spark some interest.  Still not sure how much to charge for items, but it’ll depend on what people want I guess.

On that note, I started a bit of a consulting thing for a friend.  It’s not a lot of work, but it’s web based programming work, so it’ll keep me in the ‘game’, so to speak.  He runs an eCommerce biz, and need help with his site.  They sell various tartan items (hats, kilts, bag covers, badges, etc), providing for various pipe bands in the world.  He just happened to mention that he was in the process of sourcing some knit socks (dance/kilt hose), and a light bulb went off in my head.  I can TOTALLY do that!  He has the patterns already, and just needs a knitter.  So far, his best bet is someone overseas to knit them, for a hefty price, plus supplies, plus shipping.  We got talking about it, and I agreed to look into sourcing some wool, and to create a sample pair (to estimate time involved, and how much wool needed), and then we can discuss the price per pair.  He’s hoping to list 3 sizes, and then a ‘contact for custom sizes’.  As long as they aren’t all custom, this may actually be a way for me to make some money doing what I already enjoy doing.  The first sample pair will let me know if it’ll work.

So, with that, and a bit of his IT contract work, I’ll be keeping busy. The routine I’m trying to get into is to job hunt first thing in the am, knit until noon, and then do my IT work in the afternoon.  Sure beats surfing Face Book all day.

Will have some pics to post tomorrow.

Early mornings

Seems my internal alarm clock strikes again and I’m taking advantage of a quiet house to enjoy a Cafe du Monde (from the hubby’s last trip to New Orleans), and some stitching and blogging.

This week has been hectic with work on the house continuing, and me just trying to settle back into a non-working routine. And yeah, I bought more yarn.

I managed to finally frame some prints I’ve had for a while, but they still aren’t hung. Will wait for the hammering on the walls to stop before doing that. Would hate for them to all fall off the walls from the banging.

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They are done by an artist who I really admire, Kal Barteski. I went to high school with her, and now she lives in Winnipeg with her family, and her work is amazing! You should check her out here.

Made more progress on my pillow too. Just have to do the ruffle on the blue scoop and then make the cone for the second side. This is the first side done:

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I had found some Felici yarn on sale at Knit Picks, so I bit the bullet and cast on for a pair of ‘vanilla’ socks. I don’t generally make socks since I lose interest after the first one, but the colours were just too fun to pass up. This colour is called Spooky, and hopefully I’ll be done by Halloween:

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My folks will be travelling in October, and mom just bought herself a beautiful cape for wearing on cooler evenings. I have promised to make her a pair of fingerless mittens to keep her arms warm under the cape. I picked up some nice black worsted yarn, and now need to decide on a pattern. I have so many of them, my favourite being a pair done with cables, but I’m afraid the cables would be lost in black. Any suggestions?

This week will be another busy one. My hubby is on vacation!! It will be nice to have him around, but it will cut into my stitching time. There will be a road trip at some point, so a project will be packed for that 🙂 Now that I have some picture of things, posts will get a little more colourful.

Back to my knitting while the house is still mostly quiet!

Busy busy

It’s a long weekend here in Canada (Labour Day), so it’s a slow, coffee filled morning in our house.

We get up early, but that’s due to my fat cat (Mouse), and his never ending need to beg for food prior to 6am. He’s hovering around 22lbs, so I’m not joking when I say ‘fat cat’. He’s also an insulin dependant diabetic. And needy. But he’s our fur baby, and we love him, so we put up with his crazy antics so early in the morning. After 13 years with him, we aren’t about to teach an old cat new tricks.

We’ve had a busy weekend around here, but I finally got my office organized, and that makes me pretty happy. I now have most of my yarn in one place, and that’s a terrifying sight (anyone else with a stash that overflows a room??). But now that its somewhat sorted, I feel like I can finally make some progress on using it up. Plans are in the works for some new projects, and yarn lists are being made – seems like no matter how much yarn you have in your stash, new yarn always seems to be on the list (and I blame KnitPicks for this – stupid yarn sales). I just got an addition to my Harmony needle sets, and I’m itching to use them.

What’s on my needles now?

  • Ice Cream Cone Pillow – really enjoying this quick croched pillow. I’ve finished one side, and am working on the top scoop of the second. Thinking it’ll find a forever home as a prop for a friend who does children’s photography.
  • Minion iPad Cover – my husband and I are big fans of these cute little guys, and when I found the pattern on Ravelry, I couldn’t think of a better warm fuzzy for my new iPad.

Today’s plan is to work on my stitches, and then clean my pantry (it’s supposed to be a walk in, but the floor is covered in stuff). Hopefully this means a trip to buy some new Rubbermaid containers for storage! I so enjoy organizing things and shopping for storage totes!

I’m hoping later this week I’ll get some pictures posted on here. I’m using my iPad to write posts, and I have no picture on it yet. They are all on the iPhone, and I’ve been too lazy to transfer them. Now that my office is set up, I can get to it.

Is anybody out there?

Hello. Are you there? Do I write like someone is actually reading this? I’ve read so many blogs, but I feel like a bit of a newbie writing one. Blogging is one of those things I’ve thought about doing, but never took the plunge. But now here I sit, unemployed once again, and contemplating what to do next. So I thought I’d start here and see where it led.

Now, where does one start these things? A little bit about myself would be a good place?

I’m a daughter, a sister, a wife and an auntie. I enjoy cooking (people keep calling us ‘foodies’), cleaning/organizing, house DIYs (within reason, I’m no contractor), and I am a yarn junkie. I love nothing more than to spend my time knitting and crocheting. I will knit or crochet just about anything, for anyone who wants something, as long as I get to keep the yarn flowing. But I’ll get back to that.

As I’ve mentioned already, I’m currently in between jobs. I seem to be a magnet for working at places going through financial cut backs, and layoffs are the result. I was laid off from my job of over 7 years last April. I started a new job in mid-July, and found out yesterday that they are now not making the money they anticipated making when I was hired, so they let me and the other new guy go. Short and sweet. Both of these jobs were IT based (I write code, if you must know, mainly ColdFusion, but my most recent job involved a heavy amount of CSS). I could go into more detail, but its likely that unless you’re in the industry, geek talk is of little interest to you. But if you are in the industry, and looking for someone to do web development, I can start fairly soon 🙂

While I look for a day job, I thought I’d notch out a little corner of the web for myself, and possible see if I could turn my crafting into a small side business. I have more than enough knit things in my house/wardrobe that I don’t need to knit for myself (how many afghans, scarves, toques and mittens does one person need??). After cleaning out not one, but two desks in the last six months, I realized that I have enough knit stuffed toys to stock ToysRUs for the Christmas season (yes, I decorated my offices with my stuffed animals – what else does a 30-something do with them?)! Why should they all sit in totes in my basement when someone could be enjoying them. I’d ask your thoughts, but I doubt anyone has found this yet to be reading it.

For now, I’ll see where this blogging thing leads. Not sure if anything will happen with my plans. This first week off will be quite full of house cleaning, organizing, and continued work the outside of the house (not by us, some things we know are best left to the experts).