something new from something old

Remember these little cuties? I’ve been carrying them around for nearly a year, but sadly not many people have been willing to take them home.

“What do you do with them?” They would ask me.
“Uh… buttons? Jewelry? Stuff? Get creative!” I’d reply.

felted balls

But I should know better by now. It’s not enough to have the supplies there. You need to help people figure out what to do with them either by providing patterns or examples. So I have finally started making SOMETHING with my “wee felt balls”. Here are my latest creations!

bracelets

It’s exciting to be trying something totally different. Not knitting. Not spinning. Not weaving. Jewelry making! I’ve gone to several craft stores and stocked up on beads, findings, everything. Just playing and experimenting. I started with bracelets, but really I could just about make anything. We’ll see where this goes.

bracelets

bracelets

squares reincarnated

Remember a few weeks ago when I wrote up that desperate plea for test knitters? Well, the ship has sailed on that — the pattern has been rewritten. This morning I finally sat down and took another look at it, making a few adjustments of my own and incorporating the testers’ notes. I’m hoping that in the future I will be better equipped for this endeavor. But feel free to let me know if you find any mistakes.

Special thanks to April and Haizle who were so helpful!

squares cuff

Check out version 2 of the pattern:
Squares Sophisti-cuff

I am laughing to myself because now I am on Ravelry as a “designer” with one pattern. Woo! Link up, friends.

test knitters wanted. will receive presents.

I am really bad at writing and giving instructions. Or just explaining things in general. I should be sharing techniques, giving tutorials, and writing patterns, but I am not. First, I don’t feel like I have anything worthwhile to share. Second, I just can’t manage to explain things in a logical, useful way.

So far I have put on paper one mitt pattern out of all the different fingerless mitts I have knitted. Rich tells me it’s so simple that no one would ever need a pattern for it, but then I see instructions on Ravelry about knitting a square (which is basically what this is), so maybe I should just share this and let you decide. In fact, I’ve been meaning to post this free pattern for over a year and have not done it.  Now is your chance to check out Easy Garter Stitch Mitts, my first pattern. Gotta start someplace, right? If you do take a look at the pattern and find any glaring errors, let me know. I don’t really know what I’m doing.

Garter Stitch Mitts, knit 2 @ a time!

And if you are feeling more adventurous, test knit my brand new, absolutely unrefined pattern, Squares Sophisticuff. I will even give you a present if you make one of these and help me work on the pattern. Since it will probably be obvious to you that I need help. Just send me an email through the contact form here on my blog or a message on Ravelry (gwenerin).

TEST KNIT. FEEDBACK. PRESENT.

squares cuff
Squares Sophisticuff

friday’s question

Yesterday I discovered a new spot for taking photos. It’s on the same side of the house — the south side — but the window is a little farther down. It all started with my cat wanting to sit by the window, but not wanting to sit or stand on the crates. I put her basket by the window and she finally sat in it, but she would stretch all the way across the crate to reach the basket. Later in the day I took a leaf out of the dining room table. While I was looking for a place to stash it, I realized it fit perfectly across the top of the crates. Now the cat can get to her basket and her fur won’t fall through the holes onto my yarn. But then I wanted to take a few quick photos while I was in the wool room, so I cleared a spot by the window. At first I thought the wood would be junky looking, but I think it works. And the light isn’t bad there either. Of course, it all hinges on getting it at the perfect time of day and hoping the sun is out. But I was pretty excited to find a new photo spot! I’ll have to experiment and see how the hour effects the light.

sassy cuffs with buttons  sassy cuffs

The one on the left was taken in the new spot and the one on the right is at the previous spot. Which do you like better?

Question: What is your photo taking process? Do you have a special spot you go to for pictures? Do you always try to use natural light? Do you adjust the pictures on the computer afterwards or do adjustments with the camera?

win-win-win

A few years ago I realized three things. 1) I have a lot of tiny balls of handspun yarn. 2) I have lots of neat old buttons. 3) I need to sell something cheaper than a pair of mitts. And that is when I started to crochet ‘snuggly cuffs’.

snuggly cuffs
Snuggly Cuffs

They were super easy to do and used very small amounts of yarn. Well, recently someone pointed out to me just how easy they are to make, and while I found that comment irritating, I realized he was right. Sure you need to do something that is easy for you, but you don’t want it to look easy. So instead of just griping about it, I decided to take a different approach. I got out my stitch dictionary and reconsidered some of those interesting patterns I’d always wanted to try.

sassy cuffs
Sassy Cuffs

Before I knew it I had a fun little assortment — cables, lace, seed stitch. Last year’s new tiny item was the wristler, so maybe this year I’ll have ‘sassy cuffs’! I’ve found that it’s similar to doing a neckwarmer except that it is so much smaller and quicker. Plus it’s giving me a chance to test out some stitch patterns that I’ve wanted to use in mitts, but couldn’t be bothered to swatch. Win win win!

hand model w/ bracelets
Wristlers

 

A name has been chosen!

First, I would like to thank all of the wonderful participants who submitted names to the contest.  I really enjoyed reading your submissions and your great senses of humor.  It was difficult to decide on a winner since your names were much better than anything I could have come up with, e.g. “roving holder bracelet thingie”. 

The winning entry is “Wristler” submitted by Teah.  The name itself is short and fun, but I also really liked the thought behind it – from wrestler/wrestling with one’s roving.  Don’t wrestle with your roving, use the Wristler!  Thanks, Teah for giving my new product a sassy name.

In order to show my appreciation for the other four ladies who gave me great submissions, I will be sending all of you a Wristler too!  And don’t worry if you are not a spinner, these are just fun little bracelets – no fiber necessary.  I’ll be contacting all of you soon.  Thank you again!

hand model w/ bracelets

Naming Contest!

Hey there, friends. I’ve got a job for you. You see, I inadvertently came up with something I think is pretty neat, and I’m hoping to give it a fun name. That’s where I need your help.

Let me tell you what it is first. Of course there is a story to go along with it, right?
While sitting at my desk a few months ago, I came up with an idea for a new bracelet. So when I got home, I worked up a few samples and brought them to my recent craft show. That day it was very hot, especially for October, but I wanted to wear something I made (as suggested by everything I’ve read). Since the bracelet was small and not a neckwarmer or pair of mittens, I slipped one on. During the course of the day I worked on my drop spindle, but the fiber would keep getting tangled around the spindle. Usually I stick the extra up my sleeve, but it was hot and I didn’t wear long sleeves that day. That’s when I started tucking the roving inside my new bracelet! “Wow – how awesome is this?!” I thought. And the rest of the day, when I wasn’t spinning, I could just keep the bracelet on. It was soft and comfortable and always there when I needed it. Also, the stretchiness of the knit allows you to stuff a good amount of roving in there, but the bracelet isn’t too big that if falls off your wrist.

new bracelet!
Click thru and check out my photostream for larger photos

The project initially was set in motion basically as 1) a way to use my buttons 2) something small I could offer people at a lower price point. Instead I found a cute little thing to keep my roving from tangling around my spindle. (This is like when I turned an unwanted neckwarmer into a tea cozy and now I enjoy making tea cozies).

Other similar things are called wrist distaffs. I have one that hangs from my wrist, but it’s always getting twisted in an annoying sort of way. I’d like to call this something else, to differentiate it from those, but I’m not good at naming things. Get those brains working, readers, and give me a creative name for my new product! If I select your name submission, you will be awarded with a “name to be determined” of your own and some of my exciting handdyed spinning fiber to give it a try.

Thank you for you help with this task.  I look forward to reading your creative submissions.

Winner of the naming contest will be selected over the weekend and announced next Monday (November 7).