Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fingerless Mittens

Designing is not easy.  I am still adjusting the width of the mittens.  My customer choose black yarn in fingering weight and I am doing a ribbing for a simple pattern approach.  I was going to go for a 4x2 but I am thinking of a 2x2 since the yarn is rather stretchy.  I haven't even got to the request of knitting stitches for the thumb and index finger while the other fingers will be in a single opening.  I know that work hours have been very long the past few days which is contributing to my creative juices.  Plugging a way though and I am confident that I can get it done.

Taught my spinning class which was fun (even though I left my supplies at home).  We used drop spindles and a PVC spinning wheel.  We are going to have a 2nd class this coming week so that everyone can try my Louet wheel and different spindles.  I made a couple of rows of weaving on a table top loom.  So cool - I can definately see weaving in my future perhaps in 2012.  I still get the most passion and relaxation from my spinning wheel.  I am definately going to Estes Park this year and the Alpaca Festival this spring.  Shearing day is on Mother's day again at ATAR ranch and I will be skirting fleeces again.  I am to old to be on the barn floor gathering fiber but love this community event.  I look forward to it every year.

I'm in the beginnings stages of looking into owning alpacas.  We shall see what the future holds.  Well back to the designing the gloves - wish me luck!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Am I really doing this???

My emotional state says it has been a rough week and I haven't really accomplished much this week.  On the positive side I managed to Navajo ply some handspun wool singles created over a year ago.  Went through my stash and plied singles of alpaca 2nd fibers too.  I'm a 1/4 or 1/8 into my wool knitted scarf project.  I found a great document on starting a small business in Colorado which I am working my way through.  And hey I am writing my third blog post of the New Year. 

Tomorrow I am hoping to teach my rancher friends how to spin yarn on a drop spindle and look into the business end of owning my own ranch.  I also want to take a new batch of photos of the handspun yarn to post on Etsy.   I am quite proud of how well my yarn turned out - we shall see if others think so too.  Joined a local craft group and it seems that our first project will be to knit/crochet items for charity.  Life is so much better when you are doing something for others.  Along with library volunteering it should be a busy but fun weekend - let's just hope the weather cooperates (no snow!!!).  Well here's to the weekend and hope for good conversations, fun time and peaceful endeavors!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

First sale of 2011

I sold a pair of fingerless mittens yesterday!  I was showing items to a friend and she purchased them on the spot.  Well the sale has changed a bit.  It seems the color scheme wasn't to her liking but she has asked me to design and make her a pair of fingerless mitts in black yarn.  I am glad the quality of my work shows through now to create my first custom order.
Worked on new photos of the yarn, roving and scarves which have been added to the Etsty store.  I also listed my green twisted rib fingerless gloves today.  Green Fingerless gloves

Tonight is dedicated to knitting and baking!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

New beginnings

I have finally joined the world of online blogging.  The Etsy store has been set up and we actually had 2 sales in December.  I spent the holidays creating new items and joining Ravelry and other online forums for advice/support.  Today I will be teaching a friend how to spin fiber on a drop spindle - hoping this goes well for both of us.  Have to improve my pictures for the shop too this weekend.  I have a friend interested in one of my knitted scarves so hopefully there will be a sale this week.

My goal is to focus on improving one aspect of the business per month.  This month is photography - they say a picture is worth a thousand words.  I have been fortunate to have lots of support from friends and coworkers which has made the transition from hobby to business less jolting.  Although I still have to remind myself to keep things in perspective and not stress.

I frogged the dyed handspun and am now converting it to a scarf pattern from my Artic Lace pattern book.  I do enjoy lace projects the most and the new scarf is flowing so much faster.  Still need to find a good hat pattern for my CVM wool yarn but it will come in time.  Taking a small break from knitting fingerless mittens as the pattern was starting to bore me.

I actually have about 3 projects on my spinning wheel - yikes!  First to be finished and plied will be the suri locks a kind rancher gave me this fall to practice with.  The locks are white and really look white now that I have washed them.  Experimenting on how to spin the fiber - from the tips and over the fold.  I probably won't get much yarn yardage from it but it might make bookmarks or perhaps a knitted bracelet (must find a pattern for this).  I am using my flicker brush and must say that the locks have a long fiber length and truly do have a silky texture to them.  The second bobbin contains my huacuya fleece which is being spun into laceweight yarn and is reddish brown.  I am going for 2 oz of fiber per bobbin which will be plied together for hopefully 200+ yards of yarn.  I would like to sell at least one skein but the majority of the fleece will be kept for a special shawl project.

Well this is probably enough for the first blog post.  Hope to be here for updates at least once a week and will strive to keep it to crafts/store sales.