KnitPicks, Knitting, Knitting Essentials, Socks, Wool, Yarn

I Finally Bought a Yarn Swift

Hey Everyone!

I have been knitting for over 19 years now, and it is a craft, hobby and passion that has hung in there and endured the test of time. I figured it was about time I invested in a yarn swift. I had been considering it for a couple years now, and when I had seen the ones on the KnitPicks website were on sale for half off, I decided to jump on that deal and finally get a swift for myself. I also purchased a hank of KnitPicks Stroll fingering weight yarn, because you had to spend $50 or more to get free shipping. The yarn swift was $49.99 on sale. So I had a dilemma, either pay for shipping, or find a hank or ball of yarn that I would use, on sale, and get free shipping. Getting more yarn won. I would rather spend my money on something I will use over spending money on shipping any day when the option is there and I was so close to free shipping anyway.

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As a knitter, who likes buying yarn, and who loves knitting, purchasing a yarn swift (especially when I have been knitting almost two decades), is not a frivolous purchase, since I plan to continue knitting and buying yarn for years to come.

I am trying to curtail how much yarn I buy at the moment, so I spend time knitting up what i have in my stash, there will come a point when I want and need more yarn to keep working on projects. Having a yarn ball winder an a yarn swift are two must haves for those who are dedicated to their craft.

I got my swift in the mail yesterday (the 21st), and I already have used it to wind up two hanks of yarn, and I have to say it works amazingly.

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This year I have really been working on knitting a lot of socks, and that is where my heart is for knitting right now. Yesterday I realized that the socks I have been knitting are the perfect thickness and height for fitting in my hiking boots, and helping my hiking boots fit my feet better. These socks help fill up the extra room in my boots without being too thick thus making my boots too tight. That is why I started knitting up my own socks in the first place, was to be a good boot sock for hiking. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we get plenty of grey, overcast, cool, and rainy days. I don’t want having cold feet and not the right socks stop me from going out, or making the hike any more miserable. I love the cool, wet weather we get from autumn to spring, and i want to be able to enjoy hiking in the “off season”.

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Inspiration, KnitPicks, Knitting, Knitting Needles, Patterns, Wool, Wraps/shawls, Yarn

Fall is Here

Hey Everyone!

It is looking and feeling like fall is here!

I am waiting for a couple of orders to come in, for fall knitting projects.

Today I picked up a couple more knitting related items at Joann’s for upcoming knitting projects. I picked up a pair of size 5 bamboo circular needles, to make sure I have the right length of circular needles for one of the projects I want to knit this fall. I am just waiting on the yarn to get here. I don’t want to talk too much about it until the yarn gets here. I also picked up another row counter so I now I have 3, so now I can work on multiple projects that need a row counter to keep track of rows for the pattern I am working on.

I am definitely stoked for my KnitPicks packages to arrive. The yarn for a new pattern I want to try is in one of the packages.

Knitting, Knitting Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn

Another KnitPicks Package!!!

Hey Everyone! 

Today I got one of my last KnitPicks packages for a while, in the mail today. In it, were the two pattern books I had Order as well as six balls of the Palette Yarn. Two balls each of the following colors: Comfrey, Caribbean, and Sagebrush. 

The two pattern books I got were: Highland Knits and Little Luxuries. The Highland Knits is a collection of patterns based on season one of Outlander. While I am not so much a fan of the show (the books are better), I did like the scenery and the costumes. I really liked Claire’s Rent Collection Shawl, and once I learn how to do short rows, and conceal short rows, I am going to make one for myself. The Little Luxuries book is a collection of patterns by KnitPicks that they showcase in their latest catalog. I was drooling over that catalog, and wanted a lot of the patterns, so now I have them. When I am able to buy more yarn, I am going to try a few of the shawls. 

I love finding yarns and patterns that inspire me, and set my creative wheels going. Whenever I get ahold of patterns, I get inspired. 

Before I dive into shawls and stuff from my new pattern books, I want to stash bust all my sock yarn and get my sock collection complete. Well, as complete as I have sock yarn to use at the moment complete. My last box of sock yarn should be here early this next week. 

But Erica, why are you going crazy knitting socks when you really don’t even like wearing socks? It’s true, I am not a huge fan of wearing socks. I am knitting up socks, because I want a variety of quality made socks for hiking socks that will last for a while and will actually keep my feet warm in the cooler, wetter months to go hiking and do other outdoor activities. I also have some synthetic fiber yarns, and eventually want to get some more of the lightweight sock yarn, to knit up my own hiking socks for the warmer months. 

I have my knitting work cut out for me, and I am totally ok with that. 

Knitting, Pattern Friday, Skills, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn Store

Why I Don’t Sell on Etsy

Hey Everyone!

Over the years, I have gotten a lot of people tell me something along the lines of “you should sell on Etsy” or “selling what you make on Etsy should be your career”, or “you could make a living on etsy”. I know they mean well, but I always hear it from non knitters, and at this point I tell them that for someone like me to sell on etsy, I would lose money on everything I sell, just to get it sold. 

I will use a pair of socks for example, using KnitPicks Palette Yarn, that I had bought enough of to get free shipping and had paid full price. For an average woman’s foot, to get a pair of socks, I need one and a part of a second ball, so I buy two of every color I want to use, for a single pair of socks. Then I also have to factor in the electricity I use while knitting up the socks, as well as the cost of the wool wash, the water, and electricity to wash and dry the socks, then cost of shipping materials, the cost of shipping and the labor from the time I start the socks, to completing them, washing them, drying them, taking the pictures, posting it on Etsy, packing them up to ship, and then shipping the items, would take a good 50 – 60 hours. 

So let me break it down for you in the numbers:

Cost to post an item to my etsy shop: $.20

Cut etsy takes from price items sell for: 3.5%

Cost for two balls of KnitPicks Palette Yarn (based on having an order over $50 to qualify for free shipping) – $6.98

Electric bill allocation for electricity used while working on each project: $20

Water & Sewer usage to wash a pair of socks – $5

Shipping materials: $5+

Shipping: $5+

60 hours of labor at $15 an hour – $900

So in order to take a living off of selling socks on Etsy, I would have to charge, roughly $990.47 plus shipping for a pair of socks.

I don’t care who you are, and what your budget is, or the fact that they are a good quality sock, no one is going to pay roughly $1000 for a pair of socks, but that is why I would have to charge to make a living off of selling what I make on Etsy. That is why I don’t sell on Etsy, I know i can’t make a living that way off selling what I make. 

Not to mention dealing with small business taxes, and that is a definite deal breaker for me. I am the creative one, not the numbers one. 

Gifts for Others, Knitting, Socks, Wool, Yarn, Yarn

Finished Socks for Mom

Hey Everyone!

I was up until the early hours of the morning this morning finishing up a pair of socks for my mom. I was working on the second sock, and I was working on the toe of the sock and it just kept getting later and later, and by the time the toe is down to the last 9 stitches on each needle, you run the risk of your needles sliding out of the stitches if you put it down. So I just stayed up and finished the second sock. 

Once I got up this morning, I washed the socks with the lavender scented eucalan wool wash, and I now have them drying on socks blockers. 

The yarn I used for these socks is from KnitPicks. It’s their Palette Yarn, in marble heather (the grey) and wonderland heather (the greenish blue). I used size 1 (2.25 mm) double pointed needles. 

Knitting, Yarn, Yarn, Yarn Store

When your Favorite Yarn Store Closes

Hey Everyone!

Today, I found out that my favorite local yarn shop has closed it’s physical store. I loved that store, it was well organized, it was light and airy, with a great selection without being over crowded. They also had a back room with a large table for people to sit around, and some couches that were around a gas fireplace.

I don’t know the reasoning behind the closure of their physical store, but it makes me sad. They also had knit nights Thursday nights. I was often sad that I would have to miss it while I had my previous job, since I worked until 6 pm, and knit night went from 5 – 8 pm. By the time I got off work, and would get dinner it would be about 7, so even if I was able to get out the door, I wouldn’t have gotten there until 7:30 to 7:45, so I was never able to go while I had my last job.

There are a few more yarn stores in the surrounding metro area that I haven’t been to, so I may have to check them out, and see if any of them become my new favorite. Happy Knits will be missed.

I hate seeing small locally owned businesses go out of business. When it comes to yarn and knitting supplies, Joann’s and Michael’s work for the basics, and for the kind of yarn I use for charity knitting projects (the 100% acrylic stuff), but for personal projects, they are sorely lacking in the good yarn, and the nice needles, which I had been able to get at Happy Knits. I am hoping I find a new favorite local yarn store before I need more yarn for personal projects.

blog, Community, goals, Knitting, Knitting Essentials, Knitting Projects, Personal Projects, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Being Inspired to Knit Again

Hey Everyone! 

Now that I have a bit more time to dedicate to knitting, I have been able to enjoy it so much more. All the creativity I had been able to channel a couple years ago had to be shelved for a while. I can tell it is starting to return.

My desire to post more about why I am working on, what is inspiring me, and the whole 9 yards when it comes to knitting is coming back too. While a lot has changed in the past two and a half years, at the same time, not a lot has changed. 

I am definitely needing to get back into some sort of posting routine, but I will figure that out in time. 

For those of you who have been with me since the beginning, I appreciate your patience with me for the past two and a half years, as I have not had the time to devote to my blog like I once had been able to. 

Portland, used to not inspire me. Over the past couple of years, this area, the climate, culture and way of life has really begun to inspire like it had never done before. Having been able to explore local yarn stores, and being able to shop local has been amazing and inspiring. 

While Portland winters are not particularly snowy, cold or harsh as other places, it has a unique style of winter and winter fashion all it’s own. It is very much a DIY, alternative city, which has opened the door for so many amazing Yarn stores to pop up, and thrive. While our winter highs are typically above freezing, the rain goes right through you and chills you to the bone. Hand Knit accessories are also a staple, especially for people like me who know how to knit for ourselves. 

I know several of my blog posts lately have been about knitting socks. While I don’t particularly like wearing socks, they are a necessity for the lifestyle I enjoy having that is primarily driven by being outside, and being able to be comfortable outside all year round. Not to mention the fact that store bought socks just aren’t the same. 

So, in the coming weeks and months I am hoping to deliver more quality content to you all.