Grab your knitting needles and come relax with me.
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This post was written under the influence of Sting.
Twirly progress!!!! This skirt is turning viral, both A. and my mom are knitting one up. They are almost done while this slow poke lags behind.
I am really enjoying this bit of straight knitting (I am about 2 inches more into the blue as I type this). The Twirly Skirt is going well, I am not bored and I am EVEN contemplating another one (fantasizing about new colours). I finished up a horrid day of i-cord knitting (bleh!!) and "sewed" the casing for the i-cord to go through. I say "sew" because I merely knitted the cast on edge to the live row about 5 or 6 rounds after the i-cord holes. The white you are seeing is the kitchen cotton I used as a core in the i-cord. I am hoping by both using that core and knitting the cord on size 3s it'll make the cord less likely to go super stretchy.
Pretty, eh? Lori is a hard task master. If I am not knitting it she becomes irritated and demands, "Why are you not knitting my skirt!?" I am also knitting a small commission piece for a friend...so I am trying to sneak that in. So this week: I am surrounded by cotton. Cotton all day every day. Grin. The I Love Cotton is really soft and easy to work with (unlike the rough kitchen cotton).
Speaking of cotton, I am going to reconfigure the Aegis scarf pattern as a baby blanket (knit with a soft fingering weight cotton) for a friend of ours with a baby girl named Athena. Jamey thought it would be something really cool for her, since the name and the theme of the Aegis was inspired by the goddess Athena. I will be offering the blanket reconfiguration as well. It's to be a free addendum to the scarf pattern. I also wanted something easy to wash, but still blockable.
Further speaking of cotton (dude it IS all about the cotton isn't it??), I picked up some Blue Sky Cotton for a special project. (More to come tomorrow, when I can get pictures and all). It's really neat and I am hoping this will bring this project to more knitters. Anyway: preview, the cotton is a beautiful deep teal...and lusciously soft.
Well it's that time of the week again! I have made another spotlight of some of our fellow guild members from ArtFire, you can search artfire for texasartfire and find many more items from our guild members. I was looking for insperation this week and found the Picnic Basket necklace and thought I would do a spotlight on items for a picnic. Unfortuneately there weren't items in every shop for that, so I just selected the items I liked from each shop. I hope you like them too!
I was browsing my knitting blogs yesterday and I came across the cutest skirt from The Blue Blog. Alison is ALWAYS making the cutest things for her little daughter.
I was intrigued, so I go to Ravelry to check it out.
And WOW, the cuteness!!! Even though it's MILES of stockinette, I have to make this skirt for Lorelei. And she agreed.
We skipped out and Lorelei picked out the colours at our local Hobby Lobby.
Lori especially picked out the brown: she WANTED brown for the top of the skirt. And the rest of the colours felt into place. (The order from top to bottom is the order the colours will be in the skirt).
I immediately cast on. (Now the pattern is NOT in the barefoot knits book, and the magazine it was originally published in is now defunct, so Christine published it in this Ravelry forum.
I am taking copious notes on my printed out pattern and here on my Ravelry Project Page, because I am heavily modifying the construction--mostly based on the outcomes of the other knitters on Rav that have knit this before me.
I altered my numbers because the Hobby Lobby cotton is a leetle heavier than the recommended yarn, I am knitting it in the round (because DUDE if I can I get out of seaming and YES I am magic looping it), and I am doing a folded over picot hem. I may or may not make an i-cord tie, I am thinking elastic, but Jamey thinks the ties will make the skirt last longer as Lori grows. We shall see. I am also feeling the need to embroider.
Jamey is also doubtful on a my time line: he is thinking it'll take me 5 months or more to finish. Hmmm, I am hoping a month or two, but then I have ALWAYS been overconfident in my project time lines. With Lorelei's nagging, I am thinking it'll help speed things along.
Win some Dual Use Stitch Markers from Birdy's Knits
Interested in winning some of our dual use stitch markers? You can visit the shopbyhand blog and learn how. They have some wonderful contests going on right now to win hand made items, and we are one of them. If you are iterested in trying out some of our stitch markers, here's a great way to try and get a free set. Just head on over to the Shop ByHand blog and follow the directions. We're even paying the shipping, that's right no costs, just a bit of your time, and you could walk away with some of our stitch markers FREE!
Soapdeli of Byhand has been gracious enough to hos this contest and we are very pleased to be a part of it. If you are interested in hosting a contest for items that you have, please conact her, her information is located on the Blog.
Don't forget Birdy has realeased her new pattern Aegis, which is a scarf named after the Greek Goddess Athena's sheild. You can find it in our shop on Birdy's Knits. Please stop by and take a look. We hope to have her patterns up for sale in more locations soon, but for now they are only available at www.birdysknits.com
So I have been wondering what to do with the 6 grams of the Sea Silk I had left over from the Aegis.
Jamey suggested I make a bracelet. Eh. That idea didn't pop, although gauntlets did sound interesting. But today, a wee, tiny knitting bunny was born. What about a choker? That was be fun. (Okay yeah I have serious issues with things on my hands, esp nice things that I could lose or ruin. I had an incident as a child with a dumpster). I gotta go run and look at my stitch dictionaries now.
And ya know: speaking of the Aegis...ya know despite it being lace. It is quite manly lace. Just so ya know...
The past few days I have been knackered--utterly and completely. I have two knitting bunnies gnawing on my shoulder (the tired brains aren't very tasty apparently). But I am just too tired to care. I am blaming allergies. But I have been knitting.
I dragged my arse off the couch (or whatever reclined position seemed fit) and took some pictures. I've been knitting on fairly easy stuff, nothing I need brain cells for.
The Aegis (pronounced eejis) is a fun lace scarf, knit with one hank of Handmaiden Sea Silk; it's also a great project for a beginner lace knitter. It's knit in one piece without a special cast on or grafting. It just looks like you need to be an expert lace knitter to play with this one, but you don't.
You can buy the knitting pattern for this lovely Aegis at our shop.
It's Spring and Here They Come!--Texas ArtFire Guild
It's Spring and the Blue Bonnets are coming out here in Texas! So in honor of these beautiful flowers we have made our first weekly spotlight a tribute to the blue bonnet. This is full of Blue items from some our Texas Artfire Guild Members.
This is the start of a weekly promo we will be doing with other Texas Artfire Guild Members. To feature eachothers items. Each week we will be putting together a spotlight on ByHand.me that features our different members. This week I decided to celebrate the coming of Spring, along with the blooming of the Bluebonnets. I will be going through the list alpabetically and taking nine at a time each week. This way everyone gets a chance to be featured. You will notice the one item is silver, that is because all this artisan had in their shop was silver, there is some blue in the background though!
Last night was my knitting clubs monthly potluck: once again no piccies. Saturday was so high energy, I was too pooped to snap. I had taken nearly 70 pictures that afternoon of the Aegis scarf, I took about 50 more today. Not sure if I am happy with how they turned out.
The pattern WILL be up Monday. I have to decide what pictures I want to use in publishing it and polish up the formatting in the pattern as well.
So I'll ask y'all a question (or two): What do you like to see in pattern pictures? What is it that makes or breaks whether you'll buy/knit up a pattern based in the image?
Last night, I was finally persuaded to take the dive and join Facebook...so I did in spades. I joined both as an individual and a business so look for me (if ya want) as Birdy Evans or Birdy's Knits. So far I feel lost and I am a definite newbie. And since we are on the subject of social networks, I am also on MySpace, as the same.
Now that I am finished with Aegis and before I start a new design, I decided to start some socks. I decided upon the Bettie's Lace Stockings (rav link) from Spring 09 Interweave. I just started them so I don't have proper in progress pics. I did decide to do my own toe (instead of following the pattern, so I had to rearrange some things when the lace pattern started). I am using some of the new sock yarn I got for my birthday, a delicious red yarn.
I picked up the needles on the Lace Ribbon Scarf and the Snow Flurries Blanket. I'll prolly start sketching my new design this week...letting the knitting bunny work itself into a slather sometimes makes the design have a bit of punch to it. Grin.
Ok so I was chatting in the ByHand forums when I went to an Introduction post. It was from WeeKnit. They are on etsy and were jsut introducing themselves. I click through to their store, and I thought these little finger puppets were just too cute. I couldn't resist, so off to create a new spotlight. I am getting addicted to these things. I thought our readers could appreciate this. I asked if they were selling patterns for them, and she told me not yet, but they might look into it. Either way they are just adorable.
I know Birdy is just going to love the little bee one, and there's one in the Zoo set that looks like a miniature sock monkey! They are just adorable. Please check out their etsy store by click on any of the pictures above, or visit them here: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6870773
--James-I hope your enjoying these little things, because I am loving putting them together.
Well most of you know that Birdy just LOVES bees. If not, one look around our site and it should just jump out at you. So while I was on artfire I thought why nto search for some Bee items, and see if I could find some I thought Birdy might like. Then I thought why not use the new ByHand spotlight feature as anouther test to see what I can do with it, and post it here for you all to see. This is a sampling of the items that I found that I thought Birdy might enjoy. The center item is our Bee Hive Stitch Markers, which links to our Etsy Shop, but the rest are from ArtFire. Please Enjoy!
Woot. Stayed up late last night finishing it. The pattern ought to be ready next week. It's blocking and I have been told to let Handmaiden SeaSilk dry for a few days (please join me in hoping my cats stay off of it!). And then I still need to take the final pictures.
But here is the scarf blocking: it blocked out to 12 inches by 57 inches.
I decided to play around with the edging as a finished the scarf--it's slightly different from the beginning. I am just glad it's done--it was a fun scarf to knit and the yarn was absolutely sublime to work with.
Speaking of yarn I had 6 grams left of the 100 gram hank. I cut it very close--but that's good--one wants a project that uses up a whole hank of expensive yarn.
Oh and the yarn smelled EVEN better while it soaked than it did dry. LOVE this yarn. Grin.
My Photo Set, if you want to check out all the beauty shots, as well as the rumpled mess it was pre-blocking. Oh and I got to use my new foam mats to block--love them!
P.S.: What do work on next? I am itching to start the lace knee highs I have been jabbering about. BUT the Knitting Bunnies need tending too. AND I still have several projects, yet unfinished, that well need some finishing. Oh the dilemmas us knitters face. Grin.
Hello Everyone! I know that Birdy is a knitter and so are most of our followers, but some of you also crochet. While I was on Artfire today looking around at different items, I happened apon this great item. I wanted to share it with you all here. It also allows me to play with a neat feature on Byhand.me which allows you to create something they call spotlights. I created one with just this one item, so I could test it out.
If it doesn't work, then you can view it here: http://www.artfire.com/modules.php?name=ViewListing&product_id=136969 It's a PDF pattern for a crochet Banana Split Sundae! It is too cute! If Birdy could crochet, then I would ask her to make this up just to have as a cute toy for the kids. But since she can't I figured share it with the world. This artist (Melbangel2) also sells on Etsy and some other sites, but I just love the whole feel of ArtFire the company so I am trying to support them. Tell me what you think of the pattern, and if you stitch it up, send us a note with a picture, PLEASE!
This is the continuation of our series on how to use stitch markers. Like I have said in the past, we have found that there are a lot of searches coming to our site using this term. So we decided that I would put out a little series on how to use them. In the first post we included some descriptions of the different kinds of stitch markers, you can find that post here: How to Use Stitch Markers.
Let's begin with lace stitch markers. These are usually very small, many people use jump rings, rubber bands, some us a bit of scratch yarn tied in a loop. We happen to sell some made with wire and glass beads in our shop. These are very small with little or no weight to them. This is because in a lace project you may need to use quite a few of them, and you don't want the project to get too heavy. Also these should not have any dangles coming off them. With fine lace if you have dangles they are likely to get tangled up in your lace, which will not be fun to remove.
OK now how to use them! Well there are many thoughts and process that people use to determine where they put their markers, so this will be mostly up to you, but here are a few of the main ideas. With lace markers it is especially useful to mark where the lace repeats itself, for instance if you are in a pattern that includes a small repeat then you would like to mark the beginning of each repeat. With lace projects they often repeat themselves over and over again, and until you have the pattern down pat, you may not remember where each one begins and ends. This will be your little reminder.
Also when you change your pattern, you will want to put a marker down to notify you of the change of pattern. For instance where an edging begins, this would be ideal for a different color or size marker to distinguish the change. In our Lace Stitch Markers, you can order in different colors for the jewel (as we call them) this could help with the pattern changes.
Another great time to use them is in the middle of a large pattern to mark something special. If you are free style knitting this can be helpful. Birdy once was knitting a randomized scarf where she would just randomly place a little mini cable, or a bead or a weird little pattern switch. This was a great place for her to use them to remind here of where she wanted to do this.
Lastly with the lace markers, if you are knitting some lacy thing in the round, you will definitely want at least on to mark the beginning of the round. This is very helpful since if you miss this you may not be knitting the correct row in your pattern. This again is useful for a differing color, or style. Using a Dual Use Stitch Marker would be a good idea for the row marker here.
Special note: In all these cases the stitch markers were uses on the needles between stitches not on the yarn itself.
If you have some ways that you like to use stitch markers in your lace projects, please include them in the comments section. I will be talking about more ways to use the other markers shortly, as well as ways to make your Dual Use Stitch Markers work for you in more than two ways!
This is my second Knitty submission and my first acceptance. I was beyond excited and thrilled, but I was also terrified. It didn't feel real. It felt wispy, so I told almost no one. I told: my husband (first thing actually--I screamed and cried), then my best friend, Phisto, then my mom. Eventually I also told A. and S. But told no one else, and of course only hinted it on the blog, I was petrified that some how they would change their minds and I DO NOT like to tempt fate by being a blathermouth. Knitty Spring just went live and few know yet. The Thrill!!
This has been a Super Secret Project since last fall--one of the two and now both revealed. I finished it mere days before the December 1 deadline and only had my self to photograph and model. So all these pics of me? It's me, a tripod and a green chair (GOD, my thighs hurt SO MUCH the next day from stepping up and off that chair 50 times). I set my camera to timed shoot with two shots--the first shot was crap the second the focus and color worked out. I must have taken finally 60 shots (many also that I deleted straightway because of well, they were shite). And yes for San Antonio--it was VERY VERY cold. I did my best to pretend it was Springy with shorts and tank tops.
I took these shots right after Thanksgiving, I think on November 29 or 30 (the camera was relatively new and I hadn't changed the time on it yet, so Flickr says all these were taken August 28, 2058. Yeah, time travel baby...and you were wondering who the Doctor's next companion would be? Hee hee.) The chalk you see in the background is Micci's art work on his wooden playset in our backyard.
The scarf itself is meant to be a short flirty scarf (one can make it longer, if desired). It's worked in one piece with no grafting, just a little bit of "magic" in the cast on.
This is the green chair I stood upon while taking most of my shots. It turned out to be a very handy chair. Grin.
The book that I am "reading" in the shots is The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind by Julian Jaynes. I LOVE this book. I also used it in the shoot because of the color of the cover, it fit perfectly with the white/dark theme of the shoot. But honestly, if you love a book that makes you think: READ IT...it's an amazing read.
I am so happy and enthused that my pattern was selected; not to mentioned honoured and blessed. New visitors welcome! Old friends: try to hold me down so my head doesn't get too big, grin. And a BIG congratulations to the other Knitty contributors: I am in such a wonderful group of designers. A big woot for all of us!!
In my surfing this weekend, I saw these wonderful stockings (THIGH HIGH) and thought: I must blog about them. And then I PROMPTLY forgot! Until, I read this blog post this morning, which reminded me about my own Socks That Neverend. (And I really love her "heading thingy": knitters=angry mob. So very very true). And then of course reminded me about my blog find a few days prior.
Total aside (with a elevator version of "This Is The Song That Never Ends" playing in the background): I really am on fine form today. I am seriously resisting the urge to insert various dashes and parenthesis--I have SO much to say about what I am saying, I am beginning to think I need foot notes. BUT WHY? It's just random thoughts, not even important or relevant thoughts. Don't mind me: I think the caffeine has hit the blood stream. ;-)
Okay, stockings...these Mothering Day stockings ARE so up my alley. I want to knit them SO bad, BUT, dude, it would take me TWO YEARS to knit these things. As you may recall, it took me a year to knit my Neverending Socks...and those were merely knee highs, NOT thigh high. And then there's the having to resize them to fit my skinny chicken stick legs. But...even then...I want to make these stockings. The are SO me.
Was kidnapped last night for some coffee/book buying/knitting time last night by A. I finally found a copy of Franklin's It Itches.
No flickr today kidlets--Momma and Flickr are having a disagreement. HA! Momma lost her brain and can't remember her sign in!!
It's fabulous (and had me in stitches) and it just makes me want to meet Franklin ALL the more (hmmm, he lives in Chicago, maybe he's a U2 fan and would let me crash...hmmm. Nah. That would be weird. LOL. Sorry I learned today that I will have to be driving 5 hours to see my precious band and I am kinda bummed. I was hoping to trick Bono to peeing on the Alamo...lol. J/K really.). LONG inset there, sorry. I was so close to meeting him too! He sent this lovely card with my friend.
On to other things: The Aegis scarf. I have about 20 more ounces until I need to start the border. My math got way off so I am not even sure how many more repeats that is.
See I am just plowing through it:
I really need to magically learn to knit faster--my blog would be so much more interesting and I would get SO MUCH more done!! Grin, but really, then I wouldn't be the same obsessive compulsive Birdy now would I??
Another slow knitting day. I was out all day, getting a hair cut (see other blog) and running errands. So I decided to that y'all needed to see the inside of my knitting bag. I tossed the candy wrappers and napkins in the bin, y'all don't need to see that. Grin.
I also emptied the contents of my notions bags. That's all on the bottom left: three pairs of scissors, measuring tape, needle sizer/gauge ruler thingy, various stitch holder jobbies, safety pins, Norwegian thimble (for stranding), buttons and red silk thread. Then going right: cookies (what if I am stranded and NEED cookies!!), cell phone Aegis Scarf, hair oddments, lipsticks in the center, U2 No Line On the Horizon (once again WHAT IF!!), pens, fork (not sure why--but hey I am prepared!), dime, keys, swatch, NOW upper right going left, Namaste bag for my iPod stuff (but no iPod-go figure), chinese jade holder, mirror, sunglasses and case, red mini purse (wallet, and business cards therein) and finally a silk bag full of the Lace Ribbon scarf.
I spilled. Now it's your turn. Show me what's in your knitting bag. It'll give ya a chance to clean out the tissues and gum wrappers. ;-)
The other day a Knitting Bunny jumped out of my head fully formed. Yea!! It's one I have been working on for that Buffalo Gold yarn I bought a few months back (at Kid N Ewe).
Now, I am wishing that damn Bunny could knit too! My swatch is giving me a headache on top of the sinus headache (thank YOU allergies!) I already have. The numbers aren't adding up and with this head ache--GOOD BYE!
So I frogged the blasted thing and threw the yarn back in the drawer. Arggh! I think I might swatch again with some left over lace yarn to work out the numbers (don't want to ruin this nice luxury yarn with multiple froggings). The yarn looks great knitted up...it's really lovely.
Now, the Aegis scarf is coming along swimmingly...if I could behave myself and I might be able to finish it this weekend (yeah didn't I say that LAST week?) And very very soon you all will get a nice surprise: one that's been cooking for months...
P.S. I hope y'all have enjoyed my husband's posts. He's having lot's of fun writing posts when I come up "dry."
Well I have been watching where our traffic comes from through searches, and one of the most interesting is the search string "how to use stitch markers". I found this interesting, since we sell stitch markers, but have never set up anything explaining how to use them. I think many knitters already know how to use them, but new knitters, or knitters who are just now moving up to more complex knitting designs are starting to use them. So I thought I might put a bit of a note in here. Today I will cover the First installment, Kinds of stitch markers and when they are best used.
There are several types of stitch markers out there. They are all used in similar methods but with slightly different methods in some cases, or applications. For instance we sell Lace Stitch Markers which are a bit smaller and no dangles to get tangled in your knitting. These work best when you have the need for many stitch markers on a project, since they will not weigh down your knitting. A very inexpensive method to do this, but not as pretty, is to use jump rings of different sizes to match your needles.
Next is the typical plastic or rubber stitch markers from companies like Boyle. These are usually just like plastic jump rings, though some are split so that you can remove them your needles or project if they accidentally get stitch in. They usually come in a mixed pack of different colors, this can come in handy later when I talk about how to use them.
Then there are your typical beaded stitch markers, usually made on either split rings or jump rings, these have been known to snag your yarn, which can be a bad thing if it's a thin and expensive yarn. Many makers of these do try and take the time to work with the rings and make sure they are smooth so they do not snag your yarn. A few makers will either use toggle clasp ends or wrapped wire to avoid the snagging bit.
Let's not forget about our crocheting friends. They have their own unique stitch markers, although some will use the same as a knitter. Theirs usually need to clip onto some stitches, in order for them to hold them while they come back to them. There are other reasons too, but we will get into that in the next segment. So these are usually made with either a lobster claw clasp, or are open on one end similar to a fish hook earring.
Last there are multipurpose stitch markers, our Dual Use Stitch Markers line fits into this category. They are designed with more than one purpose in mind, I have see many of these out there, many are meant to be used for knitting and crochet. I have seen some unique designs to help get achieve their multi-purpose goal. I will probably feature some of them, even though they compete against us, so that you can see what their thought process is. Our thought process was a knitting stitch marker that was easy to remove if it got stitch in. Could be used with crochet as well. Did not get snagged easily in the yarn, and was something that you would love to add to your knitting. In the process we created something that could also be worn as Jewelry (earrings). Now we are creating several designs and are expanding the line of Dual Use Notions. Remember: They're not just jewelry for you, they're for your knitting too!
Next time I will actually start the break down of how to use them. If we are lucky I might be able to persuade Birdy to take some pictures or a video of stitch markers at work.
Hello, this is James here, Birdy's husband, and I had a thought for a blog post. We have had this site live for over a year now. We have had some sales of different items, but we wanted to get our name out there some more, so we started an Etsy Shop. We were surprised to get 2 sales in the first day and another sale within two days of those. But have not had much luck since.
This set off a fury for me, to find all the best places to sell online. I have been searching sites, and joining sites left and right, trying to find the best way to promote our site. Some I have signed up for just to preserve our name, and some we have listed items on. We have them spread through out the land, but have not gotten any sales from any. So what do we do. Well I have been in the forums of many of the sites trying to find out what others do. Many talk about their publicizing their sites on blogs, in the forums and using online advertising. So what do I do, I get in the forums and talk a bit, set up an advertising account with project wonderful, and sign up for more accounts.
Well I guess we keep doing it, we did get one sale from our advertising promotion, which is good to see. I have alreayd sent it off, but it is the only one we can attribute to any of these efforts. We still get sales from our regular traffic, but where do we go from here? Well I guess we mention our shops more, but now there are too many to mention. *smirks* I guess that's what you get for being over ambitious. They always say take it slow, and grow at the pace the business takes you. So we will just need to let it flow as we can. I did find a neat site, that has been somewhat helpful for us, it's called ByHand.me it has some neat functions that I have not really focussed on yet, but what I like is that you can link to all your differnt shops in one place. Just the same I thought I would list some of our shop sites here for those that are interested:
Artfire: You have heard us mention them before, and seen their links around our site.
Etsy: The most popular showcase for most people, but it is getting so over crouded that you have to constantly list just to get your items seen.
Shophandmade: It's new and allows you to list for free with sponorship, but has a good look to is and random searching.
MadeItMyself: MIM for short. I really like this site and our items get good views, but no takes yet. Still new but very helpful people.
There are many more out there, but we have not listed in them yet. I would like to see which of these are going to do well before we add more. I barely have enough time to do anything else, much less socialize on each of these sites. Oh well, let's just keep trolling along, and one day everyone will know the name of Birdy's Knits!