DIY Skull Cutout

There’s a flea market on Sunday that I’ll be employing to rid my closets of excess clutter. While going through old clothes, I found a plain, black unitard that hasn’t been worn in years. I decided to try the skull cutout that I had seen on a number of Ubran Outfitter -esque fashion sites. It was definitely questionable whether it would hold up because of the amount of stretch taking place when the unitard is actually on the body.

I had nothing to lose though.

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Apologies for the cell shot, but it was all on a whim. It turned out really well, honestly. So, I jumped online and ordered a leotard to try it again… A little less haphazardly with the scissors next time. And not so low on my back, because that one is crossing into panty line territory.

I ended up wearing it to teach an aerial silks class last night and it held up! New aerial attire trend on the horizon?

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Finally Settled (now you can help me pick curtain fabric)

We finally finished moving.  For those who aren’t in the loop, we moved from Savannah, GA to Wilkes Barre, PA back in August.  We had been living in the small side of a duplex until the landlord finished the larger side.

We moved in on Friday and there are a few things I need to do to make it cozy.  The kitchen has a farmhouse drainboard sink, like this one…

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Only ours is even longer and I love it.  Obviously, it needs a curtain to cover the bottom (and hide the random cleaning related crap I keep under there).  Help me pick out the curtain fabric!  I’m partial to matroyshkas and Russian decor, so take a look at these and tell me what you think:

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Carly Griffith, Little Matryoshka, Main Cream

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Kokka Japan, Trefle Matroyshkas Pumpkin

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Cosmo Textiles, Sweet Matroyshkas, Pink

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Suzy Ultman, Little Kukla Retro

So, those are all of the options for the kitchen.  In the following posts, you can help me with the curtain fabric for the living room!  If you have any input, please leave it in the comments.

Other things

While I’m waiting on all the booklet yarn to arrive (and there’ s a lot, pics next week when they come in), I’m finishing up a few personal projects.  I had purchased Malabrigo Worsted from Wild Fiber (lys in Savannah, Georgia) and after searching for the perfect pattern, I found the Cabled Pullover from Lion Brand.  Le sigh.  I saw that there had been corrections back in November and again just two days ago, but apparently they were still not aware of the shoulder shaping problem I ran into yesterday.  At least for the smallest size, the should shaping numbers do not add up and would be very ill-fitting even if they did.  So, I’m worked up the shoulders my own way.  If you would like to follow my errata for the pattern, you’re welcome to it:

Shoulder shaping (for front and back, smallest size):

When armhole measures 7″, BO 9 sts at armhole edge.

Work next row (which, for the back, is neck shaping).

BO 10 sts at armhole .

Work next row.

BO remaining sts.

Hope that helps.  I’m finishing up my Cabled Pullover as soon as I finish this post.  Pictures will be added shortly, so check back in the next couple of days for the completed pullover.

A little ditty on criticism

Indie designers, who are typically very casual and accessible, get a great deal of critiquing.  I wouldn’t go on to say that indie designers receive more criticism than your headlining, Vogue Knitting contributors, but they certainly receive a fair amount.  Criticism is inevitable, both good and bad, when you produce something made available to the general public.  These critiques reach far and wide with the enormous following on Ravelry.com as well as personal blogs.  So, how do designers handle dialogues amongst knitters and crocheters?  What’s the appropriate avenue to take with the positive and negative feedback on their work?

Let’s use the Ravelry.com forums for an example.  When a person or group praises your pattern work in a forum thread, would you enter the conversation to thank them for their support and kind words?  It’s a matter of opinion.  Personally, I do.  Establishing a presence is important to me for creating positive relationships with pattern patrons and letting them know that I am readily available. 

But what about the negative feedback?  Let’s use the same scenario as before, but now the person or group is negatively criticising your pattern work.  It appears that when there is negative critiquing involved, it is either ignored by the designer or perhaps handled through private messages.  Why is it different here?  What do you think makes it taboo for a designer to step up publicly and refute or remedy the situation? 

You can’t please everyone, that is true.  I believe in the 10% Rule, which means that 90% of a designer’s clients are generally good, well-mannered people with tact.  The other 10% are not as level-headed, emotional, and in some rare instances, combative.  Do you engage them?  I guess it depends on whether or not they engage you.  My take on it is that if they rage publicly without directly communicating with you, take it in stride.  Read their thoughts, determine whether or not it is a warranted criticism, and leave it be.  However, if they communicate with the designer about the grievance they have with the pattern and begin a public dialogue, it becomes a sticky situation.  Do you ignore it or call them on it?  The designer should put forth their best effort to help the person through the problem, privately or publicly – it’s their call.  If the negative review remains, at least you would know that you had done your best to make thing right. 

What’s your take on knitting and crochet designer criticism?

Pattern Recommendations

I’ve been slogging through the Ravelry pattern library to find patterns suited for the yarns I carry in my Etsy shop.  When you have a colorful, one-of-a-kind skein, it’s best to work it up in a pattern that A) uses up a healthy portion of the yardage and B) has stitch work that doesn’t get lost in the color changes (or pools).  I’m going to share some of my finds (and feel free to suggests some of your own).

Uber Sock

Uber Sock now has even more yardage, going from 460 yards to 500 yards per skein now.  You’ve got even more options than before, but here’s just a few of my favorites:

Jaywalker Socks

Simple Yet Effective Shawl

Razor Cami 

Celestine Sox

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (fingering weight yarns)

This yarn is relatively new at an amazing price.  With 400 yards per skein, you still have plenty of patterns to choose from.

Ribbon-tied Wool Vest

Nutkin socks

Francie socks

Bellatrix socks

Organic Merino and Extra Fine Merino (DK weight yarns)

Again, these are new and each has 400 yards per skein for quick socks, shawls, etc etc etc.

Forest Canopy Shawl

Child’s Placket-Neck Pullover

Oolong Socks

Bulky Alpaca

This yarn comes in 110 yards per skein.  I try to dye at least two identical skeins, but sometimes there are singles.  You can knit them alone or combine them together to make a vibrant, super smooshy project.

Meathead Hat

Trinity Stitch Hat

Aran Gauntlets

Plain or Flowery Slippers

Dolores Park Cowl

Rachael Neckwarmer

Anthropologie-Inspired Capelet

There’s plenty more where those came from and I’m tossing around a few design ideas for the bulky alpaca yarn.  I’ll  dedicate my next post to crochet projects.  You can find me at the Savannah Market Bazaar (at the Robinson parking garage on Montgomery and York Streets), again, this Saturday, May 9th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm.  Come say hello!

Zombie-Vampire-A-Go-Go

I kind of feel like both right now.  I can’t sleep at night and I’ve been moaning like the undead for the past few days.  Hello, Strep Throat, I can’t say it’s nice to see you again, but here you are!

It’s not getting me down though!  My sock club started getting their February installments on Monday and seem pretty darn happy with this month’s theme (ahem, which is Zombies vs. Vampires, so ironic in many ways).  The Savannah Market Bazaar (see previous post) is less than two weeks away and the excitement is killing me.  My mantra lately has been “Please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold, please don’t be cold…” 

I’ve got so much roving for this market, if it does turn out to be cold, I may just make a cocoon out it all or maybe a furry igloo.

Plan on stopping by?  Please do!  Here’s a list of the inventory I’ll have with me (I’ll update if there are any changes):

  • Streetwalker Sock yarns (superwash merino, cashmere, nylon)
  • Uber Sock yarns (superwash wool, nylon)
  • Smooshy yarns (alpaca)
  • Assorted wool rovings (in many natural, undyed colors)
  • Merino rovings
  • Mohair rovings (solid whites and blacks)
  • Yak down (undyed, dark brown)
  • Bamboo roving
  • Soybean (aka Soysilk) roving
  • Hemp roving (this sells out fast, so if you want it, you had better come early)
  • Superwash wool
  • Alpaca roving

See you there!

Market

Still so very busy around here.  A friend told me about a local, monthly market so I’ll be vendor there on February 14th.  So if you’re local or just visiting, please stop by and say hello!  I’ve got tons of fiber, roving, and yarn for your petting pleasure (but if you drool on it, you have to pay for it). 

I got the sewing bug, again.  It bit me fierce this time and ended up designing thisone restless night.  Last night, I went to sleep with the views sitting at 100ish.  When I sat down with my cup of coffee this morning, the views were at 700+.  After a little research and with the help of some really friendly, awesome Etsy sellers, we discovered that my Wait Until Dark dress had made Etsy’s front page! 
I ran upstairs and started jumping on the bed (while Mr. Yarn Bearer was still trying to sleep in it) squealing at about 1000 mph about it.  I think he’s still recovering from it.
ETA:  Check it!  Etsy Admin snagged a screen shot of the treasury!  SQUEE!

To Dye For! Sock Club

Fun, fun!

Fun, fun!

Slots are open for the To Dye For! Sock Club, only fifteen spaces!  I thought it would be fun to put together a personalized sock club.  In most yarn clubs, what you receive is a mystery until you open the package, we all know that’s half the fun!  But it can be a hit or miss situation especially if you don’t know your subscribers.
In the To Dye For! Sock Club, subscribers will receive a questionnaire to fill out and return.  It’s all in good fun and I will be dyeing each subscriber’s yarn using the answers they have given.  No two skeins will be alike and each will be tailored to fit its recipient.
I’m keeping this club small so that I can tend to each skein individually and insure prompt shipping each month (January, February, and March 2009).
Each month, you will receive one skein (a generous 100 grams/460 yards) of kettle dyed, superwash sock yarn (fingering weight) dyed just for you.  Subscribe by December 31st to secure your spot!