Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Snug Bunnies and Snug Hands

I had to get the sewing machine out to fix two of the three kids' backpacks.  So, I figured it was time to sew up these mittens that have been sitting cut out and waiting since....early last summer?  Winter is not going away here it seems!  Now, I will admit that I get the sewing machine out every three weeks to perforate the coupon sheets the kids give out when they collect for their newspaper route.  But I don't actually thread it.  That's what made the difference this time LOL
 I don't know how I feel about these.  I think I don't like the pattern I've been using--they're so wide!  I really trimmed down the inside layer (so they're not reversible now), but I didn't touch the outside layer.  The outside is so soft compared to the inside, which feels more like a boot liner.  But, the solid felted inside layer will really block the wind!  I also just don't like mittens with the thumb on the palm.  And, I have a hard time sewing these fabrics, and cutting them out...I try to be accurate, but they never come out identical.
The Pocket Bunny family went home today.  Last night I decided I needed to whip up a blankie, which was her original request, before the clothes idea.  I did it in purple, the girl's favourite colour.  Originally, I was going to make a little bag for them in this yarn, but I sort of thought I had done enough already.  I wish I had made a blanket that could have been drawn up into a bag.  If only I had thought of that sooner!  Oh well, another 22gr of yarn out the door!

Yarn In: 1226gr
Yarn Out: 22gr + 2132gr = 2154gr
Balance: 928gr more USED than bought
Costs:  53.39 /84 days = $0.64/day

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Canadian Classics Collection

I'm really excited to get started on a new line of knitted items.  Made with Briggs & Little "Heritage", this hardworking Canadian yarn has stood the test of time.  Perhaps not the softest wool out there, it is durable, and offers all the great qualities of wool!  It comes in some great colours too.

I'm planning on starting the collection with mittens.  Good, old fashioned mittens.  I will also test out hats, headbands and wrist warmers.  The mittens will be available in regular, convertible, and thrummed.  All sizes, from Child's 2, to Men's.  I am planning to start knitting soon, and have some as in stock, and always opened for customs.  Trying to decide between on the knitting machine, or by hand, or a hybrid.  My styling is going to be of a more classic nature--might break out the stripes for some added colour once I start having part skeins to use up, LOL.  I might even consider breaking out the dye pot again!

Although I have complained in the past about knitting the same item more than once, I'm hoping that by having some stock items, I can expand my sales.  I'll be better suited for craft shows, and perhaps get into some shops.  I'm excited by this new direction!

Yarn In: 226gr + 1000gr = 1226gr
Yarn Out: 2132gr
Balance: 906gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $13.45 + $45.94= 53.39 /80 days = $0.74/day

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Multiplying like Rabbits

I've just finished up an order for a family of Pocket Bunnies.  Oh my, are they ever cute!  They will be part of a young girl's Easter baskets in a few weeks and I hope she likes them!  The mom wanted them to represent their family, so there is the Dad (Mike) in white, the mom (Kim) in tan bling and the girl is made with one strand of each of those yarns!  Great idea!

 Just hanging out in a tree!  Cause rabbits can climb trees, can't they?  Oh, well, Pocket Bunnies can!
 They might not be dressed for playing in the snow, but Pocket Bunnies don't care!
 Momma Bunny shows off her ballgown in the ever popular black.
 Poppa Bunny is wearing the latest in denim shorts with suspenders.  His shorts are even built with the adorable feature of an opening for his tail.
 Soaking up some sun after the long winter
 Family portrait, 2015
 I liked both pictures.  It's my blog, I can post both if I want.
 Easter is coming!
 Momma was getting chilly so she donned a poncho
 My photo assistant shows a Pocket Bunny in their natural habitat
 The girls plot Easter shenanigans
 Their wardrobe:  Sundress (Noro sock yarn), purple poncho, scarf, mohair dress, purple mohair shawl, black ball gown (Bunny can actually stand up in that one!), blue shorts, pink mohair scarf, blue bow tie (there is also a blue scarf for dad).
Mom also really wanted hats.  I didn't think I could do it, but after she told me her husband got married wearing a baseball cap, I knew I had to try!  Purple, black, and blue!

The bunnies weigh 100gr and the clothes weigh 65gr.

And for those of you who prefer watching a video with music




Yarn In:  1000gr
Yarn Out: 165gr + 1967gr = 2132gr
Balance: 1132gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $45.94 /78 days = $0.59/day

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Mitten Slideshow!

In a FB small business group, it was brought up that videos are now the way to get views on your page.  It seems FB will include your video in more people's newsfeeds, then posts with links or pictures.  At first, I thought "I can't make a video about knitting!" and then someone said slideshows count as videos.  At first I thought "I can't make a slideshow!  I'll get my 14 year old son to help!".

We've had problems with Windows Movie Maker and Live Movie Maker.  Hugh told me he couldn't do it, it wouldn't work.  I said Pooey, and gave it a try.  And wouldn't you know--I made a slideshow!  It was even fun!  Though I had a few issues.  When I first tried to post it on FB, it wouldn't accept it.  Then I learned that I had "saved Project as" but actually had to "Publish movie".  I still never found how to get it as a mp4 file, but it appears that I can still post these on FB.  I also thought the quality was bad, but then realized I hadn't selected the "HD" option at the bottom of the viewing screen.  The next day I added some music even.  I wanted "Little Rabbit Foo Foo" but it was too long.

I did try to add the video to a recent post here, and it hadn't loaded after 30 minutes so I gave up.  I just tried with my second video, and it loaded, so I've gone back and tried to add the Pocket Bunny one, but I'm not sure it's working.

video

My second slideshow was a short one, for a hat I've been trying to sell.

video


video
My third slideshow is about mittens.  I love knitting mittens--nice ones in real wool!  It's hard to find songs about mittens!  Many of these pictures were taken before I got serious about my pictures!  I hope this post works, you never know with Blogger and videos.  I have two mitten slideshows and one has the titles slightly off, so I hope I got the right one!

Monday, March 09, 2015

Where'd It Go?

Last week sort of flew by...but at the same time, took forever.  Since the middle of January, I've only had 4 day work weeks, except finally this past week I worked all five lunches.  A couple of them were inside, and they were a little crazy.  I'm still having some memory problems, and then we started having problems with Meg's new aquarium and lost two fish--one which seemed healthy!

Anyway...it appears I do not have any finished projects from this past week!  I have three faceless bunnies sitting here though.  I'll get them finished up today.  I made another slideshow, but I can't seem to get them to load here.  You can see them on my facebook page, www.facebook.com/tracykmdesigns .

Yarn In:  1000gr
Yarn Out:  1967gr
Balance: 967gr more USED than bought
Costs:   $45.94 /67 days = $0.69/day

Monday, March 02, 2015

Oh Boy!

What a silly week I had last week.  I forgot so many things that were supposed to be routine to me!  I decided to go get a B12 shot on Thursday, when my doctor is in the walk in clinic.  She set it up for me so that I can go to the clinic every Thursday after lunch, and not have to wait!  However, the B12 shot didn't  stop me from forgetting even more things on Friday.  Like, why my daughter didn't come home on the bus on Friday...or that Pocket Bunnies are shipped pre-assembled complete with tiny pompom tail...Yes.  I shipped a Pocket Bunny on Friday and then realized late last night that I had forgotten to make his tail.  I seriously can not believe it.  None of my kids said anything either!  I did his photo shoot, I made a fun slideshow (my first!), we petted him, and smiled at him, and never clued in he needed a tail.  But here are his photos anyway!

 I've written down all the mods I make now, including that adorable face!
 He has much cuter cheeks than ever before.
 How could you not want to cuddle him?
I did the pick in the nose cause I didn't like how the stitches get finished off.  You can't really even notice in these pictures that he's missing a tail. But I'm ticked off at myself.  Anyway, he weighed 36gr and his scarf wardrobe weighed 7gr, for a total of 43gr.

Since I was over at the clinic, I continued on down the road to Michael's.  I was looking for a "Toronto Maple Leafs" blue, suitable for a bunny.  I don't want to have to reconfigure the pattern too much, so I was hoping for either sock yarn (double stranded) or DK.  I found some Astra in a bright blue that looks decent.  I also found some Deborah Norville Fashion "Jeweltones" in Red Diamond, Blue Sky Jasper, and Moonstone.This is a lovely feeling yarn, with 40% wool and nice shading but not a million colours in one ball.  The red is solid red.  My daughter's synchronized skating club's colours are red, white and black.  Many of the moms that were in the club last year have red ruffle scarves.  I do have some ruffle yarn in red, but well, I don't like to be a copycat.  So, I can make my own scarf...maybe a "potato chip scarf" on the machine!  They were all $1.99 a ball!  And the Astra was $4.99--but being regular price, I could use a coupon.  Wish I had waited for the 40% of coupon though.  I used the "20% off your purchase, including sale items" BUT it doesn't include clearance items!  All total, 500gr.

Yarn In:  500gr + 500gr = 1000gr
Yarn Out:  43gr + 1924gr = 1967gr
Balance: 967gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19 + $24.75 = $45.94 /61 days = $0.75/day

Wow, still doing great on those totals!  I felt a little guilty buying yarn without specific plans (but at $1.99/ball, I knew I had too!).  I have plans for a big yarn purchase in the near future, but there's still room in my totals!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Duh!

When I was making my coffee this morning, I saw another paper on the fridge with "2 square dishcloths" and "8 cotton pads" and their  weights written down.  Then I thought--did I blog those yet?  No.  Yesterday's comment about "another" two dishcloths would have made much more impact if I had already shown these dishcloths and pads, LOL!

So far, I've done 5 dishcloths and 8 cotton pads from this cotton yarn.  Years ago, when my 9 year old was a baby and I had just gotten into babywearing, I saw a pattern for a knit pouch.  Having gotten into machine knitting, I knew I could do it on the machine--though it was very difficult to figure out how much the fabric would stretch until it was sewn up and a baby put in.  To sew it up meant grafting 95 stitches, because of course I wasn't going to have a seam show!  Luckily, I hadn't woven the ends in, so I knew where the graft was and could unpick it (ugh.  Anything to save a few yards of yarn LOL).  I must have used those giant balls of Bernat Handicrafter, cause I have yet to find a yarn end.  I still have a fair bit left of this sling, and one more in the bin to unravel.

 I experimented with the  puff stitch pads.  The original pattern called for 11 loop puffs.  I found that really pouffy, and I wondered how well they would dry.  I tried both 7 and 9 loop puffs, and liked them both, though the 7 loop puff one was a slightly smaller diameter.  I will say, I think the puff stitch ones feel more like cotton pads though--not exactly fluffy, but the ones done in single, hdc, and dc have a much firmer, textured feel.  I really should try these out myself.
I tried two different patterns to get a solid square.  Well, I also tried a third idea before these two, but it wasn't quite right.  The top one, it started out having two chains in the corners, but I found that still pretty open, so I tried one chain.  Not a whole lot of difference.  The idea I had tried had no chains in the corners, but I was using hdc and perhaps the stitches were just not high enough.  The bottom one starts off with making a circle, then building out the corners.  It's a little wonky as I wasn't sure exactly where to start each side.  Funny how the colours made vertical stripes on the lower section!

While on the topic of crocheted/sewn baby slings, I just want to point out two pictures circulating.
 This one is probably not too bad, it's most like a real sling, though a little narrow at  the shoulder.  The pattern is no loner available on etsy though, so I'm assuming there was some flack about it by the bigger sling makers.  I also saw pictures of crocheted slings using an open mesh stitch (like what I've used for bottle holders).  What does it feel like after laying in a hammock for awhile?  I can't imagine it's all that comfy for baby to be pressing against the crocheted knots.
This one makes my blood boil.  If you click on it, you should be able to see it larger.  It actually says you can have your hands free!  Tell me, what will happen if she lowers her right arm? Whomp, there's baby on the floor.  This is a horrible design.  Narrow strap, NO head support.  Please don't make it.

Crocheted and knit fabric stretches.  Sometimes, that is a good thing.  A stretch wrap, made in a knit cotton, is awesome for a newborn, but we're talking knit at like 20stitches per inch.  T-shirt fabric.  In thicker yarn, the stitches are bigger, so there is more stretch over the length of the item.  Knit/crochet it tighter to reduce stretch, and you've made fabric cardboard.  As well, crochet stitches are knots.  It's never a smooth surface, like knit stitches.  I hate crocheted slippers because of this.  A sling would feel the same.  If you want to make a sling for a new mom, make a sewn one.  There are also decent no-sew ones you can create.  Or, support a WAHM and buy one.

Yarn In:  500gr
Yarn Out:  55gr (dishcloths) + 42gr (pads) + 1827 = 1924gr
Balance: 1424gr more USED than bought
Costs:  $21.19/57days = $0.37/day