Made It Into Ravelry's Top 5!
I was so excited yesterday as I watched my Cosmic Cozy pattern work its way up the top 20 list on Ravelry's Hot Right Now section in the Patterns tab. I was hoping to make it into the Top 5 and I did!
I wondered why this pattern became popular so suddenly and I saw the front page of Ravelry. In the Community Eye Candy ChristalLittleK's "Nid pour ratous" is featured and what an adorable little rattie peaking out!
This cozy was also featured in an article in Issue 92 (May 2015) of Let’s Knit magazine about knitting for pets (and if you know me you know how much I LOVE animals). The base is crocheted and then you pick up stitches along the sides and decrease quickly to create the shape of the roof which is knit quite densely to hold its shape. Wool yarn is a great choice for this cozy because it has a natural absorbency which will eliminate the smell of urine, wick away moisture and if you use a superwash wool it is easily washable.
The pictures were taken by my sister Nancy and the rats (Isabelle & Grace) in my project pictures belong to a sweet girl named Bryn.
I had been watching my way through The X-Files while making this and its design reminded me of a UFO which was also the inspiration for its name. If you have a small animal why not consider making a Cosmic Cozy for them to snuggle up in. You can find the pattern for FREE in my Patterns section and also on Ravelry.
Etsy Team Captains Summit
This time next week I will be off to Toronto to attend the Etsy Team Captains Summit. It is a very intense yet informative gathering with many Etsy leaders from across Canada. I learn a lot from these people and I gain a lot of insight about upcoming Etsy news and promotions. I'm pretty excited because Canon Canada will be there and I'm hoping to learn more about taking better pictures.
I will be posting about my experiences while I am there so keep watching.
Jeremy and I will be checking out some of the sites and enjoying the big city. The day we arrive we will be listening to Maynard James Keenan (mostly known as the vocalist in Tool and A Perfect Circle) with his latest project; Puscifer.
Click on the above band pic to watch a video of one of my current favourite songs (language warning)
I'm hoping to see Milla Jovovich who sings in a couple songs *fingers crossed* We are also planning to check out some of the markets and a few obscure shops. What should we see and do while we are there and more importantly what knitting project should I bring??
More Brioche Please
After knitting an unbelievable amount of brioche when I worked on the 2 projects I knit for Dean Renwick and Sask Fashion Week last year (which I just realized now I didn't really post about my process.... new blog post idea) I picked another brioche project to work on. I chose the Basic Brioche Loop Cowl by Handmade by SMINE. It is a great pattern because it has instructions for a longer, skinnier version or a shorter, wider version which is the one I made and all using just one skein of sock yarn.
I had this luscious blend of Merino/Silk/Cashmere in my stash that I picked up from Kim of The Wacky Windmill and it was the perfect yarn for this cowl. This is her Ethereal sock yarn and it is so cozy and soft around my neck.
I cast on using the long tail cast on and bound off in my normal way. For seaming the edges, I used a crochet hook and single crocheted the edges together. I could have done a provisional cast on but thought of it after. I would like to make the other longer version of this cowl and will do the provisional cast on next time and a three needle bind off.
I used up the majority of the yarn and only had a couple yards left. I always worry about running out of yarn and I could have knit a couple extra rows - darn!
This cowl took me about a month to knit but I was only working on it periodically to start. I got down to business when I saw Kim's Brioche Challenge posted in her group which gave me some extra incentive.
The colours of this yarn are hard to capture. I have edited these photos to get a more accurate representation of its beauty. It is mostly fuchsia with a bubblegum pink spotted throughout and a bit of yellow every now and again. The colourway is called Cherry Cobbler :P
I have been eyeing up all the brioche patterns from Stephen West. Especially the Askews Me shawl. If you want to give brioche a try this is the site and the video that made it all clear to me. Sometimes new terminology and weird symbols on a chart can make a new project look pretty daunting. I am a huge advocate of just jumping in and trying out new techniques even if they scare you because in most cases, the technique wasn't hard at all and you avoided a pattern you wanted to try. It is relaxing to knit, it makes a nice cushy fabric and can be done in one or two colours. Here is a good starting point if you want to try it out.
My New Blog Planner
I have recently joined the "planner culture" and have become quite obsessed with everything I am seeing on Instagram and such. I want it all - but of course I don't NEED it all. Since I am a very busy person and aside from working at my 40 hour/week day job, I am also juggling 3 other jobs as well as my own business, I was looking for a way to get more organized. I have lots to talk about but not a lot of time to devote to writing about it. I would like to change that and I thought if I have everything written down in one place rather then scratched on several scraps of paper I would be better at sharing what I want before it's become old news. This is a desk in our upstairs hallway beside my studio which used to be a place for me to put things instead of putting them away. It has now become my new spot for writing in my journal and planner related activities.
I was searching online to find a nice layout for a blog planner that would suit my business. I found a really awesome one on the Living Well Spending Less website that is good for a whole year! I found this 5.5" X 8.5" binder at staples for $6 (gorgeous purple colour) and I printed off the blog planner to go inside. It's no Filofax but its great for my budget and if you aren't sure on what size planner binder to get this makes it easy to try before spending more money. I used some paper I got in one of my Planner Society kits (awesome subscription!!) for the front cover.
I got some dividers with the binder ($4) and organized the sections. The first portion is for my long term goals and my year at a glance. The second divider is for my monthly blogging goals, my weekly post planner and my monthly brainstorming. Breaking the work down like this helps the process feel less daunting and helps me schedule my time better. This blog planner gives lots of room for post ideas and a lists to make sure I am sharing to social media and making sure I check my spelling and write everything I wanted to include as well as adding the correct pictures etc. The third section is my monthly stat tracker. This is important to me because I like to see how people are finding me and what they are interested in reading. I can use this info to make my content better. For instance I see that lots of people find my webpage by searching "spindles" and this tells me I need to get back on board with my spindle reviews!
I also have a handy password keeper and connections section so I can write down the contact info of important people in my business projects.
I am all set to get down to it and share some cool things with you! I hope you will join me more regularly and we can discuss all the fibre-y things we love.
Thank you SO much to everyone who came out to support local artisans at the Etsy Sask Bring on Spring sale yesterday! It was a wonderful day and I was happy to talk to lots of people about my process, my yarns and wool in general. I met a lot of fellow Etsy Sask team members and even Elaine, who is one of our Team Leaders. Erin, Elaine and I organized this event and were happy to see so many people supporting our very talented bunch of makers. We had something for everyone and I even came home with a few goodies myself.
This Necessary Clutch Wallet above has been on my list for a while and it has yarn balls in it!! I saw it in Dear Leora Designs' booth and I quickly grabbed it and had to have it! Kathryn even said she had me in mind when she made it :D SO perfect.
I read on Ravelry today that Tom Forrester and his wife were killed in a car accident a couple weeks ago. Such sad news :( Another fine craftsman gone too soon. I will be spinning on my favourite Forrester sheep spindle tonight.
I also own one other Forrester which is the Orchard version. I coveted this spindle for quite some time until one came up in a destash. I feel very lucky to own a couple of Tom's fine spindles.
Bring On Spring!
Etsy Sask Team has been organizing another sale. Erin, Elaine and I will all be selling at this one. It is on March 13th at the Saskatoon Farmers Market 10 - 3. Click on the picture above to be taken to our Facebook event page and read our vendor profiles.
I have picked out a bunch of new fibres from my stash to spin for this sale. I am hoping to have 30 new skeins in bright, spring colours.
I've also got some nice Easter egg felted soaps :) Hope to see you there!