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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sneak Peek!

I was getting bored with my etsy shop's branding, so I decided to shake things up a little!  I got the amazing Maria of StyleGraphicDesign on etsy to make me a cute new logo and I'm giving you a sneak peak today!!

Here is my old business card...  It's still a fine logo, but lately I feel like it is just too pastel and soft looking and I want to be a little more sassy.


So...  here is my new card!!  I'm loving the new colors and slightly bolder fonts.  The butterflies are fun too - that was totally Maria's idea, but I think it really works.


I ordered matching stickers to seal up my packages before mailing, so as soon as those get here and I have all my new branding elements in place, I will update the shop and everything digital with the new look.  So very excited about this!!

Friday, November 21, 2014

JKnit: A Cool Knitting App

I know there are some knitters out there with awesome memories and the uncanny ability to "read" their knitting so that they don't need to use row counters.... but, that's not me.  I like to use a row counter.  I own like 10 row counters and they are pretty much all in use.  So, when I got my very first iPad, you can imagine the first app I went to download... a row counting app!  (FYI, my favorite app for counting rows is called Knit Counter, but that's not what this post is about....)  In my search for an awesome row counting app, I stumbled upon JKnit.  It's sort of a row counter, but it is also much more!

(I actually purchased the pro version of JKnit for use on my iPad, I just happened to take screenshots on my phone, which only has the lite version installed).

So, what makes JKnit neat is that it counts your rows AND gives you instructions for the row you are working on!  How cool is that?  This is such a great idea if you are working on a complicated lace pattern with text instructions and you are having a hard time finding the correct row on your pattern.  I usually have to move a sticky note up and down the pattern so I can easily see what row I'm on, but why use a sticky when you can use an awesome bit of technology!?


See how it tells you what row you are on, and what the instructions are for that row?  It also gives you helpful information like how many stitches should be on the row you are working, etc.

JKnit comes with a built in pattern and you can download more at their partner website.  If you have the pro version, you can also convert any pattern you want into the program, though, to be honest, the process is time-consuming if you are inputting a really complicated pattern.

The other downside to using this program (and any row counting app) is that if it takes you too long to finish the row, your screen goes to sleep and you have to slide to unlock it and enter a passcode if you have it, which is kind of a pain.  There may be a setting on the iPad/iPhone that lets you keep your screen active for longer... but then it may eat your battery, so I'm not sure if that's a great solution.

The upside to using JKnit and other row counting apps is that they (usually) track pattern repeats as well as keeping track of your overall rows, which is pretty bad ass.  No resetting the counter at the end of each pattern repeat and keeping a second counter on hand to count how many times you have repeated the pattern.  You can also keep track of multiple projects all in the same app - so no more owning ten row counters (and never being able to find a single one of them when you need it!!)

So, in conclusion, I love the idea behind JKnit, but, for me, the work it takes to enter your pattern into the system is a little more trouble than it's worth, and I don't want to be limited to using the patterns already designed to use with the system.... so, it's not for me.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A brief moment of panic...

Yikes!  I officially have less than a month to finish up that Sugar Maple Shawl and I really haven't made much progress on it at all since I last updated you!  I'd better get to work on that soon!

ETA: The last two days I have totally phoned it in with regard to my NaBloPoMo commitment to post every day, but tomorrow I will try to write a post with actual meaningful content.  (Although, I think yesterday's post touched on a very meaningful topic when it comes to a knitter's budgeting priorities...but I didn't really explore the idea...)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yarn for Sale!!

Like many knitters, I have a bit of a stash problem.  According to Ravelry, I have 192 different yarns in my stash...  that's not the number of balls, just the number of varieties!  Yikes!  That's a whole lot of yarn!!  As much as it pains me, I realize that occasionally I must part with this yarn, because it really is a ridiculously huge stash.  I keep my "Will Trade or Sell" tab on my Ravelry stash pretty up to date with yarns I am looking to find a new home for.  I love trading/selling yarn via Ravelry - so far I have found good homes for 24 yarns.  So, I thought I'd throw in a little plug here: if you need yarn, check out my stash on Ravelry!  Everything on the trade/sell tab must go.  If you see something you love in the regular stash, I may be persuaded to part with it, so feel free to contact me about it (unless you want the Felici.... I'm never parting with that!!)




I would especially like to draw your attention to this white acrylic yarn.  I managed to acquire 46 skeins of this stuff a few years ago and I will never ever use it all!!  So I'm willing to share some.  It is great for amigurumi, or if you want to go crazy and make an afghan or something with it - I could get behind that!  I would say it is the equivalent in softness to Red Heart Super Saver, if you are familiar with that yarn - not the softest in the world, but not too bad.  You can have it at the bargain price of $0 per skein.... just pay me whatever it costs to ship it to you.

Do you ever have yarn you need part with?  How do you find it a new home?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Maybe Monday: Pleated Vest

I'm loving this pleated vest designed by Amy O'Neill Houck for Blue Sky Alpacas!


I often shy away from knitting garments for myself because they are such a huge time investment and I find that I don't get as much wear out of them as I do out of knitted socks and accessories, but this vest might be a good option.  It won't be as much of a time commitment, and it's something I could wear year-round, increasing the odds of it actually getting worn.  I also love the shape.  It reminds me of the Mrs. Darcy cardigan and Bluebell, two of my favorite pieces I have knit for myself.

The only thing I don't love is that it's knit out of two strands of sport weight yarn held together.  That's sort of weird, right?  I don't want to do that because it means I would have to buy twice the amount of yarn as I would if it was knit out of a worsted or bulky weight yarn to begin with.  So, that's a modification I would have to make.  I'd probably try my best to knit it out of a worsted, because a vest knit out of a bulky weight yarn sounds... well, bulky.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Something Other Than Knitting.... Crewel Embroidery

I worked long and hard on knitting my Sugar Maple shawl yesterday morning, however I started to feel a little burned out with it, so I switched to another project.  I didn't really feel like doing more knitting (gasp!) so I pulled out a crewel embroidery kit that I bought several months ago but haven't started yet.  I made a little progress on it and it was a nice break from knitting.


When I'm finished, I will end up with a really colorful sort of retro tree, like so:


I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do with this tree once it is all stitched up, but that is a problem for another day!

The danger now is that I'm sort of in-the-zone on this project now but I can't afford to neglect the shawl, as the clock is ticking on that one.  So far today I have been busy with other stuff, but perhaps this afternoon I will have a little time to work on both the shawl and the tree.  AFTER I go to Petco to retrieve some food for my dear hungry kitty cat.