I think I've finally caught up on all of the custom orders that came in at the beginning of January. I love the frantic rush, mostly because it puts me into knitting overdrive and allows me to finish a sweater in a week!
Yep, finished in a week. Now that things have slowed down, the knitting factory desires have slowed down, too. After I get a few more new listings of my regular ol' tabi in my shop, I'm going to continue to work on my experiments.
I'm a nerd.
Now that we have that established, I'll disclose the fact that I'm a big Jim Henson nerd. Part of being a JH nerd means loving Fraggle Rock.
A few weeks ago, the entire DVD box set came up for deep, deep discount, and I decided that I had to buy it. I watch it while I exercise.
The last yarn order I made, I must admit, was inspired by the Fraggles, Gobo, namely. I have this sunny yellow yarn, but didn't have anything magenta-ish that was dark enough.
Now I do, and I'm almost finished with a pair of 'Gobo's Shirt' tabi. They're yellow with a magenta stripe around the instep.
So...dance your cares away...
For the past couple of weeks, I've really gotten into scrap stripes for my tabi socks. While winding out yardage for my latest pair ('Firepit'), I realized how much of a dent it was making in my stash and how much old yarn has been made into finished objects.
I usually buy a minimum of two skeins of each color when I make an order. I always have enough to make an extra pair, if one pair sells quickly or another size is requested, without having to reorder. That logic has worked out well for me over the years, but it's also resulted in stagnant skeins of accent colors. Usually, these are neutrals: grays, creams, tans, blacks, etc. Colors that work really well as a 'base' for stripe combinations.
It's nice to see the 10-20 yd scrap balls in my scrap bag being incorporated into new socks, and it's equally nice to see the neutrals being given a punch of color. I know lots of people like neutrals and single tones, but they don't inspire me like contrasts and complementing colors do. This has turned out to be a great, useful project.
Of course, now it looks like I'm crazy stripe lady!
For the past three weeks, we've been bouncing back and forth between my mom and stepdad's and our house. They live about 4 hours away, but needed help after my mom's surgery.
She's doing great and I think we're home for good, now, but GAH. I feel like I haven't gotten anything done. i actually did a few more color sketches last night when we got home just so I could feel like I've done something.
Since my shop hasn't been updated in awhile, I may put the socks I'm making for myself (luscious hand-dyed yarn) on hold for a day to knock out my last idea. When I've got ideas in my head, I tend to lose steam if I don't make some progress on them, and I'm full of ideas. I've written them all down, but it's not the same.
I'd really like to get 50 items in my etsy shop before the end of the month, but I don't know if that's going to happen. Guess we'll see!
I've been holding off on buying yarn, recently, in an attempt to work through my stash. As a result, I've found myself stagnated and avoiding knitting for my shop; new colors and textures are what keeps me going. It has been pretty productive, this avoidance, because I've been working on projects for me, my family, and finishing up things that have been hanging around for awhile.
But...I know I need to work on building up more stock! I'm already starting to get a trickle of custom orders for the holidays, and I was dreadfully unprepared last year for my etsy sales. Breaking down and buying yarn currently isn't in the cards, so I decided to whip out my bag of scraps and pull a couple of skeins of yarn out and see if I could come up with anything that suited my fancy. My goal was to use up some of my scraps and to use up an idle skein.
Last night in the HAF critique chat, someone mentioned 'sunset colors' in relation to my orange and pink ribbed socks. I had about 5 yards of each of those colors in my scrap bag, so I pulled them out on the table and saw that a winey red looked quite nice with them. I also had about 5 yards of that, so I wound off bobbins and have them paired with a skein of cream yarn.
When I finish the pair of socks I'm working on now (for me!), I'm going to get started. I'm actually excited about it! Maybe this'll keep me from splurging on supplies for a tiny bit. :)
As I mentioned in my last post, I'm working on knitting up some wayward yarn from my stash. I just finished a pair of gray tabi (size L) out of the wool/acrylic blend, and my mind just took the gray and wandered the entire time I worked on them. I wanted so badly to pick up and knit another pair of socks that it made it very difficult to finish.
It's not that common that I finish a pair and immediately, like within two minutes, dash to pick out yarn for a new pair, but that's what happened today. The new pair will be gray with a few hot pink stripes. I hate to list two gray pairs in a row, but I can't let this one go!
After taking last week to work on projects for my family, I'm back and really ready to knit for my shop. I finished a pair of slippers for my husband, a pair of socks for me, have almost finished the lace for my grandmother, and have picked out colorways for both my mother and mother-in-law for birthday socks. I'll probably start working on those later in the week.
Over the past two days, I've been working on things for my shop. I knit a pair of Orange Tabi that I've had listed as made to order in my shop, and have almost finished another pair of Watermelon Tabi that I'll probably list tomorrow.
I've also spent some time picking pictures out and editing them for color and contrast. It seems like my monitor must be really bright (even though I've calibrated it), because I've had a few comments about my dark pictures. Now that I've enhanced them a bit, I can see that they do look better, but I'm still a bit afraid that they're too blinding.
I'm also itching to buy more yarn! I've been doing really well on knitting up my stash, but there's really nothing quite like new yarn to get creative juices flowing. I did find out that I have three colors of alpaca (green, more blue, and black) on their way from my supplier. I back ordered them a few months ago and completely forgot about it, so that'll be fun.
I went up to my craft room yesterday after snapping a few pictures for my newest listing, and decided to take a picture of a dirty little secret of mine.
So?, you might ask, 'It's a pile of remarkably well knit artisan tabi socks! What's so dirty about that?' Well, if you look a bit closer, you'll see bits of yarn hanging from the socks. Some of these socks have been listed in my shop for months, and I still haven't gotten around to weaving in the ends!
So that's my secret. I hate finishing my socks. As much as I love to knit them, weaving in the ends is a torment. Something takes over my brain right as I'm finishing a pair that says 'Hey! here's another idea for some more socks! If you start that pair, you won't need to weave in the ends on this pair!'
The only problem with that is, almost always, a pair will sell before I get around to finishing it, and I have to sit down at midnight to weave them in to get them out in the mail the following morning. It should be the slow season for knitting, but I hope airing these dirty little secrets will give me enough accountability to take action.
I'm imagining knitting away all summer and having to weave in the ends of my entire inventory as winter orders start coming in. AAAGH!
Share your dirty little secret with me here!
I recently ordered a test run of tags from nuvonova, and have decided I absolutely love them. They wash well, the colors are vivid, and the fabric is sturdy.
I decided to invest in some tags after someone contacted me about a month ago, overjoyed he'd finally found my socks again. Apparently, he'd lost my business card, couldn't remember my name, and had been searching and searching (good thing I moved in to internet sales!) and finally found me. He said that the screenprinting I used to have done on the bottom had worn off, which made me start considering my tags.
I did some shopping and was really glad to find someone that could make small batches without me having to invest in plates, use stock fonts, etc. So now I have tags! They're located on the outside of the cuff on the left foot of my tabi, only. They're sewn on and and easily and safely be removed, but I'm excited about them. (Excuse the scraps of thread that i didn't remove before I took the picture, please! :))
As you might have noticed, I did a bit of tweaking on the website. I changed the layout and color scheme to something a bit less stark.
I liked the 'clean' look it had, but I realized that wide expanses of white with a touch of black and orange probably wasn't the most welcoming. I hope the red and gray is somewhat warmer. I still need to go back and redo the colors of some of the text to make them match the new color scheme better, but that can wait a little while.
The Shop section also now has a full range of custom listings, where you're able to pre-purchase a pair of socks and then communicate with me on the colors. I have a few other ideas for making that slightly more user friendly, but it'll do for now. Depending on how well I'm able to maintain stocking my etsy, 1000markets shops, and consignment sales, I'll probably add some pre-knit items there, as well. More organized than it currently is, hopefully!
I'm the brain behind twiddletoes. Read here about material experiments, projects, and my online adventure.