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Summer Tank Top Progress and a Giveaway

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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!

KnitScene

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.

sweatercloseup sweaterFront sweaterback

 

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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Finally… the finished bedspread

I started this bedspread a year and a half ago. It’s a pattern from Lion Brand. All the squares are  a slip stitch pattern.  I love doing colorwork in slip stitch because you don’t have to carry the second color. IMG_0363You only work with one color on each row. It was a pattern for a throw and I doubled it to make it the size of our bed.  When I was sewing the 12 squares together this summer I couldn’t imagine it being cold enough to use. But, last night brought snow showers and 20 degree weather in Massachusetts and the 100 percent wool bedspread kept us so toasty warm. It was really hard to get out of that warm bed this morning. The yarn I used was Valley Yarns – Northampton.  Since I grew up in Northampton, I thought it was an appropriate yarn and hopefully this will become an heirloom.


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Here is the newest yarn bowl in our collection made from reclaimed wood. Last week we completely sold out of them in our Etsy store. IMG_0367 IMG_0368 IMG_0369We have just added 3 to our shelves and if you want one for Christmas, don’t delay.

Next post: More holiday ornaments from my new addiction!

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More holiday ornaments

Here’s my latest Christmas ornaments. I think I am addicted to making these. I like them because they only take a couple of nights to make. IMG_0342 I decided I like using knitting worsted weight with size 3 needles and the wool roving stuffing holds the round shape. It’s hard to believe Christmas is only a month away. I am hoping to fill a large basket with these to put on my coffee table

I finally finished the bedspread  I was working on. It’s pattern from Lion Brand and uses 9 different colors. I knit it in Valley Yarns – Northampton.  I am pleased with the way it came out and it is sooooooo warm.  I will include a picture of it in my next post.

Our new yarn bowls made from reclaimed wood are selling faster than we can make them. Here is our latest one. They make a great gift for a knitter or crocheter. Visit our Etsy store: mountainstreetarts.etsy.com

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Knit Christmas Ornaments…

Every year I like to make a couple of ornaments for our tree. Most of the ornaments I have on the tree are handmade. Last year my son gave me Arne and Carlos book called 55 knit ornaments. The ornaments are knit in the round using double pointed needles. I don’t like to knit with 4 needles on small projects.IMG_0332 So the first one I did I used a long circular needle and converted it to a magic loop pattern. I used knitting worsted weight wool, size 2 needles and I am pleased with the way it came out.

The second ornament I made, I decided to convert the pattern to 2 needles, draw my own design and used sport weight yarn and size 3 needles. I love the 2 needle design but I think I am going to stick to knitting worsted weight. On this ornament I attached one of my personalized labels with my name and the year.IMG_0331  I stuffed both ornaments with wool roving. This is a much better filling than polyfil and it holds it’s shape. I discovered using this for filling when I made a couple of teddy bears for shower gifts. I loved the way the finished Item felt and was much denser than something stuffed with polyfil.  Watch for more of my knitted balls over the next couple of weeks. In addition to making some for the tree, I am going to fill one of my baskets with them.  What kind of Christmas decorations do you make? IMG_0330

 

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Mini Fiber Art

Recently we decided to get rid of our landline. We have smartphones and the only phone calls we received on our house phone were from telemarketers and collection calls for someone that know longer lived at this house.  After we took the phone off the wall there was a blank space where the phone was.  I needed a small picture to hang there.  I love coffee and coffee mugs so I decided to make my own art piece. My husband/business partner is a woodworker and frequently makes frames.  A while back he had made 6 frames that were about 7″  x 7″ and about 2″ deep. It was perfect. I drew a chart for a mug and using stash yarn I finished it in a couple of hours. A little embroidery for the saucer and steam and Voila! Mini Fiber Art. If anyone wants the chart for this, comment and I will post it in a the next couple of days. I am going to do a series of these little pictures as they are quick and fun to make. Coffee cup mini art

I love these frames because you can also display them on a shelf because
they are thick enough to stand on their own. coffeeshelf

P.S. Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and comment on my fingerless mittens to receive your free mitten pattern and be entered to win a free kit.