Oct 30, 2013

My News: Knitting Pattern for Slouchy Beanie Hat In Progress

This has been a bit of a slow week for me, as it's midterm and my daughters are off school, meaning that my working routine has to be a bit different: instead of starting work after being back from the school run after 9am, I still wake up at 7am, but I try and put in an hour or 2 of quiet work at my laptop before we have our breakfast together, then it's another hour or 2 of work until lunch needs to be cooked.

I've ignored Bank Holiday Monday and treated it as a working day (as I do most of my week-ends, except that my alarm is on a 8am on week-ends: I need my sleep!), but I took yesterday afternoon off so we could go to the cinema. I thought going to the cinema on a Tuesday afternoon, we would avoid much of the traffic (Wrong! There are no words strong enough to describe how ridiculous Galway traffic is at the moment!) and have a quiet time watching Turbo (Wrong again! those 5 teen girls that sat behind us, kept kicking our seats, talking and laughing noisily a la De Niro in The Hand That Rocked The Cradle probably get too much pocket money if they waste it ruining movies for other people).

I was hoping to be able to add my first slouchy beanie knitting pattern for sale on Monday, but I realized that, since I had used yarn from the snood that I had ripped in order to knit the slouchy hat I made for myself, I'm not sure of the exact quantity of yarn needed for this pattern (I am hoping it is just one, as my regular beanie hats each took about 3 quarters of one 100g skein).

I guess I could try and weigh my own hat in my kitchen scales, but being a bit of a perfectionist, I've decided to start making a new one, but this time I am starting a new skein. I am using King Cole Riot Chunky yarn again (I love this yarn, it's so soft and beautiful), and since the color stripes vary slightly from one skein to another, this still means this new hat is going to be one of a kind:

I started typing the pattern in English on Monday morning (I will also do one in French) and I started knitting the new slouch beanie hat on Monday evening. The reason why I haven't finished doing all this already is that, as well as my kids being on midterm, I also need to put on my Marketing Manager hat on for about half my working day in order to promote my Etsy shop.

I have nearly finished making another 4 phone cases apart from 2 embellishments and the toggle buttons: I ordered some yesterday from another Etsy seller, and I have another day to finish making that hat (I might even push it and list this one too before the week-end) and putting the finishing touches to the pattern, then I'm off to the Knitting and Stitching show on Friday (Yippee!) and to spend the rest of the week-end in Dublin.

I will try and schedule a blog post for Saturday and I can't wait to tell you all about the Knitting and Stitching show next week (I hope I get some goodies within my limited budget). In the meantime: Happy Knitting!

Follow me on Twitter and Like Sophie's Knit Stuff on Facebook for more updates.

Oct 26, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Random Halloween Stuff

This is the last Saturday before Halloween, so I thought I would share all kinds of Halloween things I found on Etsy.

You know the drill by now, so let's start with Halloween goodies from Irish Etsy shops:

Little Sofi has an original Exploding Pumpkin box card:

Stained Glass Fayre has a beautiful stained glass Pumpkin Suncatcher Halloween window decoration:

Barmbrack is a traditional Halloween food in Ireland. Thanks to Homespun Ireland, you can make some using their traditional recipe which comes in a muslim bag with 7 traditional charms and the obligatory accompanying teabag:

Rubys Ribbons and Bows is not afraid of giving little girls Hello Kitty nightmares with these spooky Pony O Streamers:

From International Etsy shops, here's some of what's on offer:

Sugar Tats has some odd Halloween Zipper Eyes temporary tattoos:

You can sweeten your tea with these sugar cube skulls from DemBones (even though it would be a pity to dissolve them):

Get scary with these Pumpkin Nail decals from NailsThins:

I have all these and more included in my Halloween Etsy Treasury, if you want to take a look.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 22, 2013

Would You Wear a Knitted Wig?

It's amazing what can be done with 2 needles, some yarn, and a lot of imagination!

A while ago I came across some knit wigs by Louise Walker in a knitting magazine, and I just could not not write about her funky knit wigs. Here are my 2 favourite knit wigs:

While I wouldn't be brave enough to go around wearing one of these even on a bad hair day (and I have many of those, luckily I have winter and hats!), I find them beautiful and can't stop wondering if maybe I should knit myself a witches wig for next Halloween.

Knowing how long it takes me to decide what do make and how will I go about making it, I should probably start now to be ready for Halloween 2014!

Random Technorati Code, for the sake of traffic

Feeling a bit technical today, as I've remembered that of the non-fun parts of writing a blog is all the traffic driving stuff.

I've submitted My blog to a few blog directories, and the most important one I can think about: Technorati is asking me to write a post containing a code that no one in their right minds would write in their blog.

So here I go: A2CWWK3VDXAA.

I hope you're happy, Mr Technorati, now maybe I can get back to knitting and talking about knitting?

(Must remember to turn off all my automatic Facebook/Twitter... postings of my blog posts before I publish this post).

Oct 19, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Halloween Jewelry

The weeks are going back so fast! It's time again for Saturday sharing of some items I love on Etsy, and this week I've decide to show off some original Etsy Halloween Jewelry.

Starting in Ireland:

Halloween Bloody Odd Earrings from Bloody Odd Jewellery:

Scary Spider Pendant, from Feanor Crafts:

Skull Charm Bracelet from Jayne's Jewels Online:

Jack'O Lantern Earrings from Rosie Recycled Crafts:

Other Halloween Jewellery from around the World:

Halloween Pumpkin Necklace from Out Of Space Jewelry:

Spider Bracelet from Studio DCT:

Halloween Earrings from Stone Horse Designs:

Is Halloween a good opportunity to wear original jewellery? Which one of these pieces is your favourite?

Oct 15, 2013

On My Needles: I'm Ready for Winter Cowl

When I say I'm ready, I mean nearly there.

I've got my hand knit fingerless gloves and hat already finished - I wanted to try and make a slouchy hat and I'm pretty happy with the result:

 My 11 year-old daughter doesn't want me to wear my slouchy hat, she likes to try it on herself and tells me she likes looking like someone from the 60s.

I'm not sure what she calls sixties style, but I'm still going to wear it, even though I'll probably leave the small round glasses a la John Lennon and the minidress for someone braver than me.

Anyway, I still haven't finished this cowl that I keep trying on to see if it's as big as I want it - I'd want to be able to put it over my head when I don't have my hat on (are we there yet?:-)

The knitting yarn I'm using is King Cole Riot Chunky in Monsoon shade, I just love how soft it feels and the self striping colours mean that I'm never bored with the colour. Also, the advantages of handknitting my own winter accessories means that I get everything to match, even though I won't go as far as knitting my own winter coat.

 I have a new matching;-) phone case planned so time to keep knitting this snood and free up my needles!

Oct 12, 2013

Saturday Etsy Share: Knit Halloween Goodies

I've decided to share some of the great stuff that's available on Etsy, so since Halloween is fast approaching, I am starting with Halloween items.

This week I have been looking at knit and crochet items. Of course there's a lot more than handknit and crochet on Etsy, but I had to start somewhere so why not with my favourite craft?

The first items are from members of the Etsy Ireland Team.

Here's Crow Cottage Crafts' Harry the Halloween Hamster

Next, check out these Victorian Vampire Mittens from Koticzka

Halloween Handknitted Art Scarf with cats, bats and witches from Purls of Colour

Olga Soleil has some Crazy Crochet Halloween Coasters

And a few more from non-Irish Etsy sellers:

There are a lot more cute and spooky Halloween items on Etsy, and I could spend hours looking at these, unfortunately I can't share them all here, so if you want to see more, head on to Etsy.

If you've enjoyed these, you can subscribe to my RSS, Like my Facebook Page or follow me on Twitter.

Oct 9, 2013

My First Free Cowl Pattern is Available on Ravelry

I did it! For the last few months I've wanted to publish knitting patterns on Ravelry and I've finally managed to finally upload a free knitting pattern for my Infinity Super Chunky Cowl on Ravelry.

For my first pattern, I decided to give it away for free, mainly because how easy it is to make: you can't really ask for payment for a pattern that most people could work out themselves, and now I've worked out how to do it, it will be easier to publish some more free and paid knitting patterns.

What I would really like to do also is have a go at publishing a pattern booklet of between 5 and 10 knitting patterns, but first things first: here is the download link for my Free Infinity Super Chunky Cowl.

And here's the picture of the finished cowl:
Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Oct 4, 2013

Knit Flower Tutorial: My Attempt.

Last week I came across a knitting tutorial for a flower on Craftsy.

I wanted to share it here so I've added the video to my Knitting Tutorials page. I think this flower would make a beautiful embellishment for a knit or crochet hat, bag, it could also be made as a brooch or attached to a hair band or hair clip for a cute girl accessory.

It seems difficult when you see the finished flower, but like most knitted accessories, it is easier than it looks and even a beginner knitter can make this. The instructions are easy to follow and to prove that it's not that difficult, here is what my own version of the knitted flower looks like:

This would look great also with beads or shiny sequins knitted into it, to add a bit of sparkle.

Oct 1, 2013

The Best Postman In The World

Sometimes you can really relate to the saying: "it's the little things that count".

I walk or drive my children to school every morning of the week (depending on the weather, and sometimes the mood). The timing seems to coincide with the time the postman delivers my mail, which is OK for bills, but if I get a parcel that doesn't fit through the letterbox, I have to wait until 4.00pm before I can get my package from my local post office.

While this is not a huge inconvenience, you must be aware of how much knitters love their wool; I can't even start describing the trauma we go through when we have to part with our yarn (can you believe that some flights don't allow knitting needles or crochet hooks on planes? What's a knitter supposed to do when traveling, it's bad enough leaving lots of wool at home - On the other hand, think about what treasuries can be discovered in the yarn shops of faraway countries). But I am straying: let's go back to my postman:

I had been waiting for a yarn delivery and expected it to be delivered on Monday but I had to walk my children to school. I spotted the post van on my way home and when I got home I took off my shoes and jacket and I had just started doing my morning housework when I heard the doorbell: I was my postman who said he had turned around when he saw me walking towards home and guess what he had for me?

 6 balls of Wendy Serenity Super Chunky in Celery shade: of course there are only 5 on this photo as the last one has already been turned into this (you'll have to excuse the picture quality, as I haven't had a proper photo session since last weekend:

 I love my Postman!