Saturday, January 30, 2010

Big ol' Saturday

This is turning into a big Saturday. Got up, watched Land of the Blind (a whacked-out movie. I can't tell whether I liked it or not), walked across the street to buy laundry detergent and deodorant, started laundry, cleaned like crazy, made and ate lunch, and now I'm sitting on the couch, listening to the president's meeting with a bunch of republicans. Interesting. Later, my brother and his girlfriend are coming over to make personal pizzas for us, and then all four of us (Jonny, Anna, Evan, and I) are going to the Rochester Philharmonic concert tonight to have a "grand old time," as Jonny said. I guess it's good to have productive Saturdays.

Last night I came across a new very cool blog, offering a free PDF for this project. I had to go to Joann Fabrics immediately to buy heavy weight fusible interfacing.

Not the best picture ever, especially color-wise, but you get the idea. Useful thingy. But I was reminded that I am definitely not a sewing person. My seams started out even and pretty, but by the end I started rushing, and the seams were considerably less even and pretty. Still functional, though.

On Thursday night I sang with Schola in Harmony for Haiti. The weather was atrocious, so the turnout was smaller than I had expected, but I think the concert was a success. I feel like a good person.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I'm having my first giveaway, and I am excited!

The i
tem: a handwoven scarf.

Made with Araucania yarn (75% wool, 25% polyamide).

8.5" wide and 60" long, plus 4.5" of fringe on each end.

The color palette features soft pinks and purples with gentle streaks of white and occasional dashes of grey and gold. Good Valentine's Day colors.

To enter, go here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

words for my niche

I've been reading a bit about finding/making your own niche, which is both important and tricky in the world of Etsy, where there is a lot of very talented, very cool competition.

What is my niche? Or what might it be?

I thought a fun brainstorming game would be to pick out words that appeal to me for one reason or another, and that I would like to somehow highlight in my niche.

Some words that make me smile: wool, yarn, knit, fiber. Really good stuff of substance and potential.

I'm big on pragmatism, so useful should go in the list.

Aesthetic pleasure is important, too... beautiful, pretty, lovely, etc.

Simplicity really appeals to me, but not to the point of being spare.

Crafting etc is really fun for me, and I want that to come across in my niche.

I want my niche to be a pleasant, friendly place to be, to come hang out, have a cup of tea, and enjoy the crafts.

I think that's a good start.

The harder, longer-term bit will be actually defining my style. Or maybe just defining a part of my style. Is it color-oriented? Structure-oriented? Fiber-oriented? or something else. And how should I best express my style? Should it extend to the background I use for my pictures, for example? Probably. The challenge is that I like to try new things a lot, and many of the projects I return to are quite simple, because I enjoy the simplicity, I guess. The other problem is that I don't have enough time (never enough time!) to really focus on this issue and iron it out. I've got this pesky graduate school business to deal with!

What's in your niche?

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Me: That would be an awesome super power, to get songs stuck in other people's heads and annoy the crap out of them.
Danny: Welcome to Britney Spears's world.


I've been trying my hand at making ATCs (Artist Trading Cards), since I suggested that we have an ATC exchange at the RNEST meeting on Monday night. These things are fun! As I said, they're like twitter for art!


I am pleased to report that I finished Evan's birthday present in time! With hours to spare! And he loves it. His dad loves it, too, and wants one of his own.

It is a reversible hat, with USC colors on one side, and U of R colors on the other side. It's basically two hats, so it's super warm.


Good things come to those who... enter a Halloween giveaway, realize 2 months later that they won, and sheepishly contact the giveaway hosts to see if they can maybe please still have the prize.

I received these sweet Halloween notepads recently from the Trans Canada Etsy Team. Those guys are pretty awesome.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

doctors/knitters without borders

I'm not often moved to give to charity, since I'm a fairly poor graduate student. But today, with the crisis in Haiti, I was. This post from the Yarn Harlot finally pushed me over the edge, and I gave to Doctors without Borders.

I encourage you to go read the post and do the same.

Monday, January 11, 2010


Today my shop was featured at, a blog for interviewing and promoting handcrafters and artists. You should go check it out. I got an interview. :)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Knitting Priorities

Priority projects:
1. The colorful, wooly scarf. I'm so close!
2. Evan's birthday present. I have 5 days. That's pretty close.
3. Katherine's hat. Haven't even started this one. I decided I had to make her something when (surprise!) she gave me a Christmas present. Damn, outfoxed! But I have the yarn, and I have an idea of the sort of hat I want to make. Just need to get projects No.s 1 and 2 out of the way.

Meanwhile projects:
more fingerless mitts for my shop
bookmarks, for quick satisfaction projects, and for my shop

Not quite forgotten projects:
- the wedding afghan for Izzie and Thatcher. I need to find that pattern packet...
- improv lace scarf. Shetland wool, and an improv pattern with diamonds, started last summer.
- lacy scarf for Jen, who helped Evan pick out my engagement ring, and who will most likely make our wedding rings. (Darn, I need to get on that, too.)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

old news

I was sitting here, thinking, "I should write in my blog. But what should I write about?" Then I recalled: "I took a bunch of pictures a while ago! I'll look through those and write about them!" Then there was the problem of picking which pictures to write about...

I'll go with some old news. A year and a bit ago I knit a sweater for my brother. (My fiancé wants a handknit sweater, too, but I'm superstitious, so he's not getting anything more than a hat before we're married.) Jonny loves this sweater and actually wears it without my prodding! Here are some pictures of him on Christmas morning. (Well, Dec 26. We had to postpone Christmas in Cheshire by a day because I had to play the Christmas Eve midnight mass in Rochester.)

Appreciate the sleeve cables:

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Some new year's knitting recap

There has been much knitting lately!

I am pleased to report that I sold three items from my shop, and accordingly bought three skeins of yarn for a prayer shawl. I got started on it in Cheshire, CT.

I also got started on a scarf from my handspun. The stitch is "mistake rib," which makes for a neat ripple effect.

I've moved on to the next ball of this yarn, and the colors shift at a slower rate, which I like better. I must have predrafted it differently.