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And the winner is….

customersamples

Congratulations to Verdi who won a small set of custom labels. Verdi please contact me so that we can create your labels for you. Do you have an idea for a label for your business or personal needs? The are the perfect finishing touch for your handmade items. Here are samples of this weeks custom labels:

Knitting for NicholaslittleJoys

JaneyJuly2014

 

 

 

 

 

Knitting news

I finished my summer tank top using the first and half of the second installments of the Kangaroo Dyer’s Joey’s Yarn club yarns. I miss knitting with this lightweight silky oh so soft yarn, so I can’t wait for the 3rd skein to be delivered next week so I can start another project.  Several people have asked me for the tank top pattern but I knit it freestyle and fitted it as I went.  I really need to invest in some knitting software so I can design and publish patterns. Can anyone recommend some software? I am looking for something I can design sweaters with.

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On the needles:

I am just finishing up my cat pillow. I will have pictures next week as well as the beginning progress of my newest pillow design. Also, I will be designing my annual “vacation scarf” made from local spun and died yarn that I bought on our trip to Stowe Vermont.

Happy knitting and crocheting!

 

 

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Summer Tank Top Progress and a Giveaway

tank

I received the 2nd colorway from the Kangaroo Dyer’s “Joey’s Yarn Club” and  I love the colors just as much as the first skein.  I had to figure out a way to incorporate the second color into the first without losing the stretch of the fabric.  I couldn’t just carry the second color along the back because I lost the stretch so I decided to use the intarsia method and randomly knit triangles into the second color. I am pleased with the way it is coming out. I love to knit free form — I fit the garment as I knit and I make up the pattern as I knit.  All I have left to do is finish the back which will have the same V neck.tank  Do any of you do free form knitting and if so what have you made? I would love to see pictures.

 

 

 

 

 

Label Giveaway

This week we are giving away a set of custom labels. The prize is a set of 15 small labels heat pressed onto natural cotton twill. These labels measure 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ and can be sewn into your garments. The winner will provide their own logo or idea for a label and we will make them for you. Maybe you are a dog lover and want a black lab on your labels or maybe you love music and want an instrument on your labels. All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and/or leave a comment re: why you need labels with your own design on them. The answers can range from needing it for a new business, to letting your loved ones know you made it many years from now. The drawing is open from now until Thursday July 3, 2014 at midnight. Winner will be randomly drawn on July 4, 2014 using “And the Winner” is plug in for Word Press. Good luck and be creative with those comments!  To get you thinking here are my latest designs for customers this week.rocket beaver

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Our Labels… Knitscene Accessories Issue!

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This month our labels are featured in another popular knitting magazine. This time it’s Knitscene by Interweave Knits. My whimsical bird labels appear on the “Cool Products” page. This is so exciting for us. It gives us lots of exposure and how cool is it to be included in such a great magazine?
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Our business has grown so quickly in the last couple of years. It’s amazing to think 2 years ago, my dream of quitting my day job and  working in my studio fulltime seemed so far away. That dream has come true and it’s everything I thought it would be and more. It’s so much fun being my own boss. I feel like my life has so much more balance. I am living a healthier life, exercising every day, eating better and having more time to relax with family and friends. It was a long road to get here,  working 2 fulltime jobs for the last couple of years  but it was worth it.

We have expanded our line to include wedding labels for those special items like bridesmaid gifts, bow ties for your ushers or wedding gifts. Also included in this expansion are custom clothing labels. I had no idea there was such a need for these labels using a customer’s own logos or idea. Customers love the natural look of our cotton labels.  This is the most creative and fun part for me. I love to take customer’s ideas and make them a reality. Below are some recent customer labels I have done either using the customer’s logo or I have drawn the design based on a customer’s idea. Next week we will be giving away a set of custom labels. Details will be posted next Thursday.

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This week I received the second installment of yarn from the Kangaroo Dyer’s “Joey’s Yarn Club”. It’s a mix of different shades of summer blues. The skeins are named after birds. Have I mentioned this is my favorite of the Kangaroo Dyer’s yarns? I love the feel of silk running through my fingers and it’s the perfect summer knitting yarn.   I am incorporating it into the tank top I started with the first installment skein. I will have pictures soon but in the meantime here is a peek at the colors.

 

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Summer Tank Top

I joined the Joey Yarn Club through the Kangaroo Dyer and received my first skein of three. I love, love this yarn. It’s a blend of superwash merino and silk and it is so soft. The color Bluebird reminds me of summer so I decided to make a summer tank top with the yarn. The pattern is my own design. It’s a 2 row rib pattern. Row 1 is K4, P2 across and the second row is purl across. It gives the body a nice stretch.  On the sides I decided to use a stitch called the Indian Cross Stitch. It’s a fun stitch to do.  I am almost out of the first skein and I am awaiting the second skein which will be a different colorway but will use one of the colors from the first colorway so I will need to transition into it by doing 2 rows of the new color followed by 2 rows of the old color then 1 row of each. Here are some pictures of the progress so far.

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A Little Bit of Home Decor

It’s been too long since I have posted to my blog. One of my New Year’s resolutions was to keep up with regular posts. It’s not too late is it?  This is my second week of not working 2 jobs and although it’s a little bit of adjustment, I don’t think it will take long to get used to. I have been doing Etsy fulltime for almost a year but I was lucky enough to still work a few hours a week at my old job during the transition.  I am not used to having nights and weekends off. Now that I work at home during the day, I have time to look around my house and I have noticed a lot of little things I want to do. I have been painting, washing windows and my husband installed the closet organizer we bought over a year ago and haven’t had time to do. It’s fun being able to go for a bike ride in the middle of the day if I want to.  I also have time for my true passions: knitting and crocheting.  Since I no longer have to dress up for work I decided to make things for the house rather than sweaters, etc.  I love making pillows and I really like using cotton fabric for the back of the pillows rather than knitting or crocheting them.  I used cotton yarn and it  gives my newly painted bench a fresh look. You might remember this bench from an earlier post. I knit the bench cushion.  Here it is again with the pillows added.IMG_0091

 

 

 

 

 

And here is a close up of the pillows: IMG_0090

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I went on to crochet some placemats. Again, I used cotton and picked up the colors in my Tiled kitchen table. After I crocheted the entire placement. I crocheted the vertical stripes on top.

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Here is a sneak peak at my cotton new pillow design. I will be adding patterns for pillow covers to our Etsy store in the near future. The back of the pillow will be a coordinating fabric envelope back which will also be available for purchase. It will be a great way to collect all of my pillow designs. Once you purchase your own 15″ pillow form you can change the pillow covers every season or whenever you need a change.

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My winter hibernation has resulted in some finished projects

This winter seemed longer and colder than usual. Maybe it’s because I am getting older but I didn’t go out much this winter other than to go to work and do absolutely necessary errands.  I did however knit quite a bit which resulted in finishing some projects which I am sharing below.

I taught myself how to do tapestry crochet. I love the look of the woven fabric. I needed another knitting bag to add to my already extensive collection. I admit it. I am  addicted to bags and pocketbooks.

bag

My second project is a swing jacket sweater which was a pattern I downloaded from Ravelry.I used a yarn by Cascade which was a cotton and rayon blend. The original pattern called for 2 strands of a thin yarn but I used this knitting worsted weight yarn and size 13 needles and I love the drape of it.

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My 3rd and favorite project is the seat cushion for my wooden bench.  I found this pattern in Rustic Knits for your home. It was a chair cushion and I modified it to fit my bench. I used 3 strands of a dk weight yarn instead of the bulky it called for. The bright teals and greens remind me that Spring is on the way. I repainted the bench an ivory color and now I am making pillows to put on the bench. The pattern is from the same book.

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The Boxy Cardigan that isn’t so Boxy

I finished the cardigan I talked about in my last post. It was so fun to make and it only took me just over a week to finish it. I experimented with fitting it through the waist area with knit one, purl one ribbing as I didn’t want it so boxy.  I am very pleased with the way it came out and it is sooooo warm.  Check out our new style of labels that includes care instructions on the back–I couldn’t resist sewing one into the neckline of my sweater. IMG_0515IMG_0516 IMG_0517

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On the needles-First Project of 2014

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  I know I did and when our business slowed down for a couple of days, I was able to get some “me” time in which means knitting! Also in this post, our first giveaway for the new year.

I went to Webs yarn store In Northampton and used my gift cards to purchase some yarn to make the Boxy cardigan I had my eye on. It’s a free pattern from Cascade yarns.  It called for Magnum Cascade yarn, which is a bulky yarn and I was all set to purchase it until I spotted the bulky yarn next to it.  It was much softer and looked like the yarn was braided.  The Magnum yarn looked like it would break easily and I liked the color choices of the other yarn better. So I scooped up 6 skeins of Ushya Miraso, a very luxurious bulky yarn spun in Peru.  It is by far the nicest feeling yarn that I have ever knit with.  The sweater is knit on size 17 needles so it goes fast. I call it my week long sweater.  I already have the back, 2 sleeves and the left front done and I am already feeling that sadness of “the sweater is almost done and I won’t be able to feel that soft warm yarn between my fingers anymore”.  Here is the progress so far: FrontBoxyCardiganThis is the left front of the sweater. I ended up doing some shaping about 6″ up from the bottom on the front and back as I wanted it to be a little more fitted than boxy.And here is one of the sleeves and a pic of the yarn I used.sleeve   I will post the finished sweater as soon as I am done.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now to the giveaway. We will be giving away one set of our new “Autographed” labels. These are our own design and are copyrighted. We are able to take your signature and transfer it to our labels. We haven’t seen anything out there like this and it’s just one step further to personalize your handmade garments. You can have Knit by, Crocheted by, Handmade by or Made by on your labels. All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and comment on this post by telling us if you got in any extra knitting between the holidays and what is on your needles.  The contest is open from January 4th to January 11, 2014. Winner will be chosen on January 12th.  One  winner will be  chosen by the WordPress plug in “And the Winner Is”. Winner will receive one set of 30 labels, measuring 3/4″ x 2 3/4″ heat transferred onto cotton.  Winner will need to email  a .jpg of their signature (first name only, please) to pamelaparenteau@comcast.net.

Autograph