Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Yarn

Summer Knitting

Hey Everyone!

This past week I started watching Rhinebeck videos. I quickly realized that I need to go next year. I also realized that I really have no idea who anyone who is anyone in the knitting world is. That is another reason I need to go to Rhinebeck and other fiber festivals back east. That is one of the crappy things about living out west, we don’t have many fiber festivals and really none of the big names in the knitting world come out here.

Today I started winding up my Bad Sheep Yarn hanks. I had to stop after 3 hanks as I started not feeling well and needed to lay down. I did take some videos to put up on TikTok and my Instagram stories.

I love these Alaskan themed yarns. I am excited to see how they knit up when I get to them.

In order to go to Rhinebeck next year, I need to allow my PTO at work to accrue. I want to be able to get paid while taking time off work to go. In the mean time, I also need to watch more Rhinebeck videos.

goals, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Quarantine, Social Media, Socks, Summer, Wool, Work, Wraps/shawls

Alaskan Yarn and Life Update

Hey Everyone!

Last week a new to me indie yarn dyer came across my Instagram. Some of the colors, I couldn’t resist buyer. This yarn shop is called Bad Sheep Yarn and is based in North Pole Alaska.

My order arrived today. The colors are even better in person than pictures could show. It makes me want to go to Alaska that much more.

I am so excited to get to work up all the new yarn I have picked up recently. With the way that Gas prices and inflation keep going up, I need to work on the yarn I have. Since I am wanting to go to Rhinebeck, I am saving my money so I can go. We will have to see how the next 15 months go.

Besides the inflation and rising gas prices, the area I live in is apparently back in the high covid risk. Masks are being highly encouraged in indoor spaces and non essential public gatherings should be avoided, regardless of vaccination status. While I don’t know what to make of it all, I am pretty ok with staying home for the most part besides going to work and my doctors appointments. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually see another mask mandate here in my state. Since I currently work at a grocery store as my primary job, I do most of my grocery shopping at work, so I don’t have to make too many extra stops.

With that being said, with spending a lot more of my free time at home again, thanks in part to dealing with a chronic health condition, I will hopefully be posting more and have more content for you all.

Autumn, Fall, goals, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Social Media, Socks, Winter, Wool, Work, Yarn

Graveyard Smash

Hey Everyone!!!

I can’t believe that it took me two months to finish a pair of socks, yet I can at the same time.

October and November saw so much craziness and upheaval around here that it is good to finally be able to sit down and knit and actually be able to have my days off be days off.

Last night I finished the pair of “Graveyard Smash” socks I started back at the beginning of October.

This colorway is on the bubble sock yarn base from Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm. The bubble sock base is made up of 80% merino and 20% silk.

A lot has changed from the last pair of socks I finished, but I am able to get back to knitting more on my weekends, and get back to putting more time into my blog as well. I have missed being able to post regularly. Life was just so busy and demanding the past couple of months, and I needed to prioritize other things during that time.

I definitely have some plans for this winter as life calms down even more. There are some yarn stores I want to go visit in person on my weekends. With working full time now, I am able to put more money into what it takes to do what I love. I know I have said it for a while, but I have been wanting to put more into my blog and now I am able to do that.

Costuming, How Do you Wash?, Inspiration, It Came in a Dream, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Skills, Social Media, Work

Old Fashioned Velvet

Hey Everyone!

I was having a weird dream, like I sometimes do, and the question arose,

How does one wash Old Fashion Velvet? Without ruining it?

For context – person in the dream had in their possession an authentic period / Shakespeare period / Brand Name / Designer / Well Known Brand of the time Velvet cape with some dirt and stuff around the hem. So, it needed cleaning, and that is how the question arose in my dream.

Inspiration, Knitter's Talk, Knitting, Skills, Social Media, Socks, Wool, Work, Yarn, Yarn Store

Goals and Dreams Change

Hey Everyone!

To my American readers and followers, I hope you all had a safe and happy 4th. To our neighbors to the North, I hope you all had a good Canada Day!

I had the 4th off which was nice, though I worked Friday, Saturday and today. With the truck being delayed until Saturday and then showing three hours late on Saturday, stock crew was asked to come out for am extra shift this week, as our availability allowed. I was able to go in today and got a bit done.

For so long I have been anti TikTok, but with a little convincing from one of my coworkers (she uses it to share her art), I finally created one to share my knitting. While most of my first few videos aren’t knitting related (only 3 of them are), I have been kind of getting a feel for the platform. IDK how far I will go with it, but I am still testing it out.

I keep hearing on the news, that employers in my current industry (retail) as well as others similar to mine (grocery/restaurants/ manual labor) keep complaining about being short staffed. Some people not wanting to work is just a fraction of the problem. I have been back at work post furlough for about a year now, and looking for another job in my industry or a similar industry closer to home for said year (and many years pre-COVID). My own experience this past year, has been one of Cricket’s (aka silence). I have applied to many jobs that I can reasonably do with minimal training (ie how that specific company does things), yet I have only had three phone calls, and two interviews in the past year, and all of them were in the past 2 months. Yes, I was only at Home Depot for a short time, for various reasons that all boil down to it not being a good for for me. So I don’t totally buy the “we can’t fill all our open positions”. From my own experience, they aren’t calling everyone who applies and are choosing to not fill said positions. It is definitely frustrating for someone like me, yet, I feel like the past two months have made me rethink some things.

One of those things is possibly starting my own business one day. If I were to start my own business, I am strongly leaning towards a yarn dying business. I have also thought a yarn making business would be cool, where my company would buy raw wool and processing it into wool. Or doing the whole thing, from processing the wool, spinning it and dying it. If any of it works out, it’s still a ways out.

Not counting my KnitPicks socks, all my other socks were at least dyed here in the USA.

One of the things I definitely want to do more of it test out the different bases I have knit socks out of, while hiking and really see how they hold up / last with a bit rougher wear and washing after each wear. I want to know which bases hold up the best boot socks for hiking.

A few of the places I want to go hiking and test the ruggedness of my socks include: Mt Saint Helens, Sun River, anywhere really in Alaska, in Banff / Lake Louise as well as Jasper Alberta.

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. 

Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Knitting Projects, Skills, Social Media, World Vision Knit for Kids, Yarn

Charity Knitting Advocate

Hey Everyone!

It has taken me years, and having several jobs in unrelated fields (and one is a semi similar but different field) to finally put a name to what I am passionate about doing. For the past several years, I have had this ever growing passion for charity knitting, and sharing my experiences with others through this blog, other blogs I have kept in the past, my facebook page for this blog, and through ravelry. I have finally put a label to what I was working toward. That job title is Charity Knitting Advocate.  I love sharing the projects I have completed, especially the ones for children in need. Over the years, I had thought something along the lines of “why can’t I knit sweaters for kids in need for a living?” then that has become more of “why can’t I help lay a path for people who want to help children need, but don’t know how, or where to start, or where to go once they start, for a living”. The career is not based the final total of sweaters that I knit, but rather the process about what goes into it, the kids that are benefiting from it, and why people like myself choose to get involved. It is also a resource for those who want to get involved so they have aren’t struggling with how to go about it, or where to send their final projects. I want to help bring the resources that are out there, to knitters and crocheter’s who want to get involved but wouldn’t otherwise know how to go about it.

I love spending time on sites such as ravelry, finding new to me charity groups that have a program set up to collect hand knit items such as baby blankets, baby hats, sweaters, etc for children and babies in need, and many of them benefit babies and children right here in my own country, which is something else that is important to me.

If you have been following me for any length of time, you will know that I like trying different types and brands of 4 ply, 100% acrylic, worsted weight yarns for the sweaters that I make, as well as different types of 3 and 4 ply 100% acrylic yarn for hats and baby blankets for babies and children in need. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experiences and what I liked or didn’t like about different yarns with you, my readers.

I got the question of why do I use and push 100% acrylic yarn for these projects. Cost of the yarn is just one of the several factors. The durability of the yarn, the ease of care, variety of colors, where the items are being sent, and so on and so forth.

Not only is 100% acrylic yarn cost effective (where I live I can purchase enough yarn to make a size 10 sweater for $10 or less). The 100% acrylic is machine washable and dryable like any other regular garment. The ease of care is important when sending items to third world, and developing countries as well ad the high poverty density areas of the industrialized world. The blankets and baby hats are to be machine washable and dryable especially if they will be going to a hospital for babies, especially babies who are sick, as the hospital will have to wash them before given to the baby so that and outside germs and pathogens are eliminated. You don’t really have to worry about bugs getting to the garment and damaging it if it isn’t “stored properly”. There are a ton of color options.

While I love working with Wool and other natural fibers that take a bit extra care for my own personal use, I push and advocate 100% acrylic for charity projects for children for all the reasons I listed above and more.

I am currently working on more projects for kids in need, and interspersing personal projects in, so that I can have fresh new content for you all in my blog posts, and help get myself out there, and see where it will go.

Hats, Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Knitting Projects, Project of the Week, Social Media

Have Yarn, Will Knit Hats!

Hi Everyone!

This week, I have continued to work on hats for children living in rural India. The hats I was working on over the weekend, I was working on using up the last of the yarn I had used to make a baby blanket for a friend of mine’s foster daughter. What was left of that large 9.8 ounce skein of Bernat Baby Sport Yarn, I had plenty to make the blanket, as well as several hats.

I have also been using what I have left of a skein of Lion Brand pound of love skein of yarn, that I purchased in order to make a Christmas gift for a friend. Since that is done, I am now using what is left of that skein to also make hats.

I have also started in on a skein of Bernat Baby Sport yarn in Candy Print for hats. While I still have plenty of the Lion Brand yarn, I am enjoying having a cute girly yarn to work with to make a lot of child size hats.

This week I have been enjoying being able to work on hats, and having plenty of yarn to choose from to make these hats.

Hope For Hazel, Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Knitting Projects, Social Media, World Vision Knit for Kids

Projects with a Purpose

Hi Everyone!

I want to start this evenings post, by asking for pray for a little girl who is battling cancer. You may have heard about her on the news in the last few weeks, with the medical tape sign in the window of her hospital room stating “Send Pizza”. She is back in the hospital again, and she, as well as her family could really use some prayer right now. Here is the link to the Facebook page her family set up and Here is a link to the blog update. I do not know this little girl personally, but her story has melted my heart, and would love nothing more than to see God heal her, and allow her to live a full, productive life.

Image

I finished up last week’s project of the week sweater, so come Wednesday, It won’t be like “what happened to last weeks project?” kind of a thing. So here it is, Complete, Ready to go  (help) keep a child living in poverty nice and warm, like every child ought to be.

This sweater is a size 8, knit up from a Caron One Pound Skein of yarn in Sunflower, with some Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Shocking Pink in the sleeves.

This sweater is the 14th sweater I have completed so far this year, bringing my total up to 55 since I began. Before the year is out, I would like to knit up at least one more, but I’ll see how it goes. I have a basket full of yarn I would like to use up for hats as well, Lord willing.

I love being able to knit these sweaters, as well as knitting up hats for kids. I love it because, even in some small way, I am able to make a child’s life even a little better. I get that through keeping a blog and Facebook page, I am putting it out there. My driving motive for that, is to highlight a need that is ever present, and one of many ways to help combat that need, that anyone could get involved with. I am not trying to “brag” about what I personally am doing, but rather hopefully inform others of the need, and maybe inspire someone else to get involved in whatever way they are able to.

Lately, the kids here in the States who are living in poverty, have really been weighing on my heart. There are those whose families have been, and still are affected by the recent economic recession that many are still feeling the effects of (myself included). There are also those who are being raised in low income regions that have been high poverty regions for decades if not a century or more, and it is a vicious cycle that many of kids can’t seem to break, and don’t have much of a hope for the future. While times have been difficult, for myself, I have always had what I needed.

Knitting, Knitting for Kids in Need, Knitting Projects, Project of the Week, Social Media, World Vision Knit for Kids, Yarn

Project of the Week: July 31st, 2013

Hi Everyone!

This week’s Project of the Week is a size 8 sweater for World Vision’s Knit for Kids Project. For this sweater I am using a skein of Caron One Pound yarn in Sunflower and a bit of Red Heart Super Saver yarn in Shocking Pink in the front sleeves.

I really like the texture of the Caron One Pound skeins of yarn, they are thicker and softer than the Red Heart yarn, yet cost more, at the store where I typically buy my yarn. As for the Red Heart yarn I am using, I love the color, but it is a thinner rougher skein of yarn. I know I mentioned last week that it is hit and miss with the texture of Red Heart yarn, and this skein is a “miss”.

Today has been overcast pretty much all day. It feels more like Mid – September than the end of July. But that is fine by me, I prefer the cooler weather with overcast skies. It makes for  better knitting weather.

Beings as I got the front sleeves started yesterday, I have been working on the sleeves today, and I am working toward getting the done today, we’ll see how I do on accomplishing that, as I would like to have this project done this week.

I have also been thinking about projects for the near future and what yarn I want to use for what sizes. I am thinking about once I get this sweater done making a size 6 sweater, so that I will finally made at least 10 of each size.

Those of you who have “liked” my Facebook Page, and have been following my blog for any length of time, will have figured out, is that I have been making a lot more of the bigger sizes because I had knit up a ton, well not a ton, but primarily a bunch of size 4 sweaters tailed by size 2 sweaters, and I have been working on getting an equal amount of each size knit up, so that there is not this huge disparity between how many of the smaller sizes I have knit up and how many of the bigger sizes I have knit up. Honestly if I were to have another disparity between the sizes, I would prefer it to be that I had way more size 8’s and size 10’s than size 2’s and size 4’s. The smaller sizes are fun because they knit up quickly, and use less yarn, which is why I had made so many of them in the beginning, but as I have gotten older, it has dawned on me that there are older and bigger kids, that really need sweaters too. I also wonder how many people do knit up primarily the smaller sizes because they are quick, easy and cute.

I also took a little time to update the pictures of the sweaters from 2011 and 2012 on my Facebook page, so they are labelled with the size and the date they were completed.

That’s all for this week’s, Project of the Week update. Thanks for reading my Posts, and if you haven’t “Liked” my Facebook page, and you have a Facebook account, I’d greatly appreciate getting more likes on my page. Thanks!