After completing the last round of custom orders, I've actually started making forward progress again! I packed up a footlocker's worth of yarn that'll go with me during our move, but I have another left to knit from for the next few weeks.
In the meantime, I've broken out the kit I've made up for the second stocking for my brother and his partner. I finished the cuff and plan on tackling some of the colorwork tomorrow while it's nice and rainy out. It's a pretty quick knit, but it requires slightly more brain commitment than I usually need. It'll be good to have those done, boxed up, and ready to mail out when the time comes.
After knocking out a pair of socks for my shop, I decided to make myself a pair of convertible mitts. They turned out pretty kick ass, if I say so myself. I originally intended them to be just red, but the cream and yellow jumped out of my scrap drawer and had to be used. The cream and yellow stripes are at the top of the cuffs, the top of the mitten flaps, and two narrower stripes run at the base of the fingers on the fingerless glove part. Pleased!
I guess I've been psyching myself out for the holiday season, because the past few weeks have all been about making changes and progress towards being the best I can for the holidays.
Some of that includes:
Knitwear is a cool-weather thang. It just is, by nature, by assumption. It's now August, and I know the last thing on most people's minds is Christmas, Hanukkah, or anything 'holiday'.
Well, for most knitters, preparation for The Season started months ago. Ramping up on general shop listings, creating seasonal items, and moving back over to heavier knits and warm cuddly things. Yes. Knitting in August. Yes. Knitting when it's 105F outside. It really is a special kind of madness.
My family celebrates Chrismukkah (my mom's Jewish, my dad is secular Protestant), and I planned on creating stockings for a few couples. I started about a month and a half ago on this stocking, and finally sat down and knit it out today. It only took me about two hours, so I have no idea why I've put it off for so long. But there you have it.
As you can see, I changed tension after the cuff. I'm going to try fulling it a bit before I work on the embroidery (holly leaves and berries), but will have to rip it out, if it doesn't tighten up any more. I love it and plan on starting the second in a few hours.
I've reached an all-time high number of listings in my shop, so I've decided to slow down a bit on my tabi production. I really want to beef up the number of traditional-toed socks before cool weather sets in, since they did so well last year, despite the limited colors available, and I was pretty stressed in getting them made. I placed my order for the new yarn last week, so I've got awhile before I'm able to dig in on that.
While I wait, I've decided to work on some of my personal projects. Things are pretty slow in etsy-land, so I figured it'd be a good thing to take advantage of. I really want to crank out at least two sweaters before it gets cool, and have about six Chrismukkah stockings that I'd like to finish.
Knitting really causes a special kind of seasonal madness. In June, the pressure starts to get warm woolies ready for The Season, so orders of wool, alpaca, etc. start arriving. Thick sweaters, thrummed mittens, and warm slippers start production in the heat of the summer. If you're not planning or already working by July, a little bit of a panic starts setting in. By the end of August, you'd better have a nice bit of product stocked up, or the pinch is really on.
And I'm a willing participant. Below is the first repeat of the cabled cuff for a lovely, classic stocking. I plan on making six of these, and I'm getting a head start!
A new week, another Dirty Little Secret! In January, I started matching colors, trying to find a color combination that made me sigh, and I found it. The yarns arrived at the end of February, and can you guess the season they're for?
Pretty obvious, isn't it? I've been thinking about Christmas for three months -- ya know, the time when most people are paying bills and trying to forget about the holidays? That's me, always planning ahead.
The project is actually a personal project. I'm planning on making Chrismukkah stockings for my brother and his partner and my mom and stepdad, this year. If I have time, I'll squeeze in two more for my dad and stepmom.
Got a dirty little secret you'd like to share? Tell me about it here -- I'd love to feature other crafters and artists!
It looks like incoming custom orders are about finished for the Christmas shopping season, and I'm breathing a big sigh of relief. I have a few more to finish up, and I'm then going to tackle a few holiday gifts for my loved ones.
I got in a rather fat shipment of yarn today, and I'm resisting the temptation to rip into it and knit up a storm. I set a goal for myself at the beginning of the year to use up some yarns that have been hiding in the back of my stash, and I realized that I needed to ramp up on that before rolling around in my new lovelies. The recent stash busting has yielded two more large pairs of my Simple Luxury Alpaca socks in a nice, subtle buff color (found here and here), and a nice, cushy pair of super thick, large, graphite tabi (found here.)
Exciting news: After the holidays, twiddletoes will be joining hands with Leslie from CoolEastMarket, where my handmade tabi will accompany her extensive offerings of tabi. Leslie has been fantastic and upfront, as we've hammered out details, and I hope this relationship is lucrative for the both of us!
Well, I'm pretty sure the holidays have arrived. I've had several sales where people have mentioned that they're for gifts, and have been slammed with custom orders.
I'll be glad to have a bit of a break for demand knitting, so that I can concentrate on a few things of my own. I've got a sweater about half finished for my husband, numerous pairs of socks that need to be packaged for family, and a couple of treats for myself that I'd love to start, but I'm loving the rush, right now!
My usual supplier stopped carrying bulk of my stock yarn, so I've had to dedicate a pretty hefty chunk of time to finding a new source. Sadly, it looks like it's going to be harder than I thought. I've had to make some small orders, which cut into my bottom line a bit, so I really hope I'm able to locate a new supplier before my quickly approaching, scheduled yarn order!
I have a few more prototypes that I've been working on and testing, recently, and I hope I'll be on top of things enough to post back here about them soon. :)
The past couple of weeks have been a bit busy. We've been spending a lot of time on the road for family things, so I've been knitting when I can squeeze it in.
I completed my first order on Etsy last week on a custom pair of socks. That was extremely exciting and I've had a few other inquiries about other custom pieces since then. You can see that fun pair of socks here.
I also made my first sale on 1000markets last week. It was a nice, cushy pair of wool-blend house socks, here.
I'm working up several pairs of the Simple Luxury Alpaca Socks in different sizes (including another pair for myself!) for my various shops, so we'll see how those do.
And, on top of all of that, I've started my holiday knitting! Bet ya can see the sparks off my needles from here. :)
I'm the brain behind twiddletoes. Read here about material experiments, projects, and my online adventure.