Friday, January 16, 2015

Just off the Needles

The alternation of yarns for cowls, scarves, and shawls has really captured my heart this winter. Here are two recent additions to the shop.

First up is a pretty shawl of two different luxury yarns. The lightweight one is a two-ply alpaca yarn, and the heavier weight one is wool blended with silk and cashmere. It super soft, and can also be worn as a scarf. The color is perhaps pear custard or perhaps dijon mustard, depending on your taste.

Knit Shawl or Scarf by KnotChaCha

This next item would be a great Valentine's Day Gift for someone in a cold climate. It's a pretty cowl knit of wool/acrylic blend in a variety of pink colors.

Hot Pink Cowl by KnotChaCha

Monday, January 12, 2015

Found: Golden Globes for Knit and Crochet

While watching the Golden Globe Awards on television last evening, I spent some time searching on Etsy.

With the search terms golden, globe, and crochet I found these cool bead crochet earrings:

Gold Globe Earrings by Donauluft

Here are the results for the search terms golden, globe, and knit--some pretty stitch markers

Stitch Markers for Knitting by Gerschubie

and a pretty shawl slip:

Golden Globe Shawl Gem by TixTrinkets

Friday, January 9, 2015

Crochet Covered Stones: The Paintings

While searching for the best Etsy examples of stones for the last post, I happened across two Etsy artists who have made fantastic paintings inspired by crochet-covered stones. Follow the photos' caption links to each artist's shop.

Watercolor Painting, Mauve Crochet Stones by ArtistaStyle

Watercolor Painting of Crochet Stacked Stones by ArtistaStyle

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Crochet-Covered Stones

Honestly, I have never done this, but it looks so cool--yarn bombing river stones with pretty crochet. Check out these rocking specimens from Etsy!

Red Crocheted Lace Stone by KnotByThreadAlone

Cactus Crochet-Covered Stone by TableTopJewels

Blue Flowers Crochet River Rock by KnotKnotShop

Lace Stone Pebble Beach by astash

Crochet Lace Stone with Curlicues by Laughingneedle

Crochet Lace Flower Stone by Monicaj

Pretty Posie Crochet Lace Stone by Laughingneedle

Tribal Crochet Stone by KnotByThreadAlone

Wouldn't this be fun?  What if all of us who crocheted made a few and left them lying around in the city or on the beach for people to discover. It would probably brighten their day!

Crocheted Linen Lacy Stone by LineStudioRG
And if you don't crochet, you might consider a purchase from one of these talented sellers on Etsy. Then keep the stone yourself, or leave it somewhere.

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year Moon in the Khan's Kingdom

Sometimes a simple word or phrase or a series of unrelated things leads you down a surprising path.

For example, last week I came upon a pretty photograph of the moon, taken by Ginger at Ginger's Photography and titled "New Year Moon". This happened during a search for ideas for a treasury to enter in a weekly challenge that is held by one of my Etsy teams.

The inspiration item for the challenge was a beautiful hammered copper and silver leaf-motif ring with a leaf-shaped garnet setting. It was created by JooniJewelry.

Something about the two items, the new year moon and the striking garnet ring, and the fact that Mr Cha Cha and I have been watching Marco Polo on Netflix, started me on an imaginary trip to the kingdom of Kublai Khan.  Here is the resulting collection of items I gathered on Etsy:

Hope you enjoy this little journey to the land of the khan. To see the actual treasury with clickable images and details, click on the photo.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Same Fiber; Different Projects

In November and December I finally put new inventory in my shop. You see, I was frantically knitting my way through grief again. After each of my parents passed away, knitting became a solace.

This series of items are all from the same type of fiber in similar colorways. All were fun to make and cheered me.  The cowl, or infinity scarf, unwrapped:

Vineyard Celebration Cowl

It was designed to hug the neck closely, so it is practical in cold weather. Don't you get annoyed with cowls that hang down too far and do nothing to protect your neck from the cold?

Here how it looks wrapped twice around the neck. Compact, snuggly, soft, and warm.

Then, there had to be the scarf/wrap version. Same design only longer, and no weaving together of ends for me. Hooray! I could just knit and knit!

This scarf is knit in stockinette stitch (jersey). You have to continually switch sizes of knitting needles to accommodate the two different yarn weights if you do not want the thinner yarn to have large holes like in scribble lace. This is the same idea as scribble lace, but, the scarf's thicker yarns create a denser product for winter warmth.

The thinner yarn for these two projects has sequins. (Love them!) They cheered me up while knitting, and if you are knitting your way through grief, you get help wherever you can.

Because the scarf is jersey knit, the edges tend to roll towards the back. You can shake it out from the long sides and wear it as a shawl or wrap:

Finally, this twisted rib scarf was made by alternately two different colorways of the fat yarn every two rows. Same idea as Brooklyn Tweed's Noro Scarf, but a much thicker and softer yarn and cool twisted stitches. One of the colorways was the same as the one used in the Vineyard Cowl and the Vineyard Scarf.

Twisted-Rib Colorplay Scarf

It's fun. Super thick, soft, long, and skinny. I may need to knit one for myself.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Counting Inventory and Taking Stock

The title of this post describes how my new year begins, and it's how the old one ended last night.

Raw Materials

Finished Goods: The Giverny Cowl

Taking inventory is an organized, controllable event. Taking stock is not.

You may have noticed my glaring absence in the past year. You might even have given up stopping by here because there were never any new posts. How to win you back is one of the things on my list in the "taking stock" category.

First, a little explanation.

In the spring of 2013, my elderly mother finally decided she wanted to move to Portland. After lots of refusals to come here, she finally decided, in her eighties, that she wanted to leave my home town in the Midwest, where her whole life had been centered. At the time she lived in the best continuing care facility in that town, and it had taken some doing to arrange her residence there. Oh, and she had some serious health problems.

A lot of you might use good common sense and encourage someone in that situation to stay right where they are. But some of you, like me, my sister, and my brother, would feel like you must move heaven and earth to make such a relocation happen.

You will be spared the details of our six months of planning, the next 10 months of our personal caregiving, and the sorrowful last two months of end-of-life care. The remembrance of every day in the past year is still so vivid in my mind and the pain of losing Mom three months ago is so raw, that I cannot speak of it, and you, dear reader, likely have your own grief to process or problems to solve.

So that's why my absence from this blog, why no new things got added to my Etsy shop for a year, why pageviews for my Etsy shop have plummeted, and why it's a perfect time to take stock of things.

How to move on? That's a good question for us all at this time of year. We examine our beliefs, relationships, career, and health. We set goals for the new year and make promises that we try to keep for a while.

It's still a little mystery how I will continue with this blog. What will be the content? Should I write more tutorials, or should they perhaps go in a newsletter for those who are interested in them. Should there be more writing on costume history? Information about Oregon?  Current fashion opinions? It feels like I've lost my voice, so there may be some experimentation. I'll need your feedback.

Happy New Year! I'll be here counting until it's time for the Rose Bowl game. (Go Ducks!)