It’s been four weeks since my last post. Like that yellow bird, I fell right off the NaBloPoMo wagon face first into the dirt. And it’s a wonder, because I really enjoy writing here more than I enjoy all my other work. You’d think I’d be playing hookey all the time just to be here. But no, I get side-tracked with the serious and the mundane things in life. Why do I have to pay taxes and mop…
I owe you guys some serious crochet news!
News I’ve been aware of for a few weeks, but have been remiss in passing on. Did you get the winter Interweave Crochet issue and wonder where the 2nd article is? Well, that 2nd article on crochet hand holds has been moved to the Spring 2014 issue! Just about in time for me to go to Spain! So hang on another season and look for it then. 🙂
My latest projects
I stayed busy in December with a couple shows and madly crocheting for Christmas gifts. These are just a few of my projects that actually ended up in pictures.
I’ve been working on this new stitch idea. I have no idea what to call it, but it involves making some stitches in a diagonal pattern and stretching them kind of in the same way you stretch the loops in a Solomon’s Knot when you make it. It requires some definite discipline and consistency to get the stitch to come out evenly for the entire project. I had to practice it a bit, because during my first run, after putting the project down for a couple of days, my continuation turned out completely different in gauge than my beginning. This project, while considered advanced in skill, is fairly consistent once you get the hang of it, because the entire piece is this one stitch.
My sister-in-law saw me working on this and really fell in love with the texture, so she asked if I could replicate this pattern for her in purple. Remember my quest for a very specific yarn? Well, thanks to T-Rex from Ravelry who was kind enough to sell me her Taki Savoy, I was able to create this for her. The way it’s photographed here, it might look like some sort of ladder stitch, but it isn’t. It’s exactly the same stitch as you see in the red, just redone in this lovely eggplant yarn.
You might also notice the necklace she’s wearing. That was another crochet project that I finished for her.
The pendant is a large piece of charoite that I found on a trip to Arizona a year and a half ago. There’s this sweet little town called Jerome, about halfway between Prescott and Flaggstaff. Getting there is a nightmare for anyone with vertigo of any kind as the roads to get there are not only winding through the mountains, but there are steep drop offs just off the edge of the roads with no shoulders. Jerome itself is an old copper mining town that’s built right into the sides of the mountain cliffs there. And it’s aptly called “America’s most vertical city.”
Today, the town is very artistic and full of interesting shops and yummy little places to eat. Walking around the town didn’t bother me a bit, but driving the roads – well… let’s just say that I had no idea I had a problem with heights and steep drop-offs until we took this trip. Of course, why would I think otherwise. I grew up in the Great Plains where the only mountains nearby are amongst the oldest and most worn down on planet Earth. I’ve never been faced with roads the likes of these before. And I didn’t like it.
Anyway, back to the great parts about Jerome. While we were there, my dear hubby noticed a yarn shop, up on the second story cliff above us (seriously, it’s an oddly built town). “I’m probably going to regret this, but let this be proof I truly love you. Dear, there’s a yarn store up there – do you want to check it out?” My hubby is so awesome! “Yay! Of course I do!” The name of the shop is Knit 1 Bead 2, and not only did they have a variety of specialty high-end yarns there, they also had some amazing beads!
That’s where I found this sweet little (ok, not little at all) pendant. And what I decided to do was instead of simply putting the pendant on a leather thong or a silver snake chain, as would seem more typical, was to instead crochet several separate strands of cotton thread to put together to create the necklace for the pendant instead. These photos don’t do it justice, but I like the texture they create and of course I like the comfort and lack of metal reaction that crochet jewelry can offer. My sister-in-law is much like me, allergic to many metals. That said, I did still use sterling silver findings for the clasp in the back (not pictured). Believe it or not, this took many hours to make.
I had some fun getting things together for a couple of small shows. I didn’t get into any big shows this year thanks to breaking my ankle and surgery at the end of summer. (I guess I haven’t really told you that story. Sigh, OK, it’s on my list.) Anyway, thankfully(?) the deadlines for all the big shows are in the summer. And well, I knew I couldn’t handle my usual crazy hauling and churning out product this year. So I didn’t. I focused on walking again. However, I did have an opportunity to sell a bit of my stuff off in December, including some old inventory.
Every year I add new inventory and every year some of it doesn’t sell. It’s part of doing business. However, I have come to realize that holy cow! Between moving last year, packing the winter before that and breaking my ankle this year, I still have inventory from – get this – 2009!
I do not like to carry inventory very long. After too long, it feels like stagnant energy itching to find a different home. So it’s past time for me to clear it out. Which is also a cue to watch out for some sales, because this is one time I completely advocate slashing your prices and I will be doing it. And every penny will be going toward Spain.
Amongst new things I added to inventory this year are my ruffled gothic muffs and a few more eared hats. Here you can see just how much my kids love me, as I test out a hat to make sure I didn’t make it too long. I would almost say my life is like a musical, but that would really be a little too normal. Although, seriously… we’re all musical and we all do sing. Perhaps a better description is that my life is a comedy, but I think it would only appeal to a small few as most of the laughs are inside jokes and there seems to be an awful lot of work. So I guess really, it’s a surreal sort of thing. Oh and that shirt I’m wearing, is indeed a Doctor Who spoof on Michelangelo’s cherubs smashed up with the Weeping Angels. I love it, though I try to remember not to wear it around little kids.
Anyway, so in this other photo you’ll see not only the pair of my ruffled gothic muffs, but a copy of Hyperbole And A Half that my kids’ English teacher snatched up for Christmas. I didn’t know she was a fan, but I’m not surprised and even pleasantly pleased! (I know some of you are HAAH fans!) The book was just released a couple of months ago and it has both new and classic favorites! Btw, if you have not heard of Hyperbole And A Half, and if your humor is remotely like mine (and you can tolerate some coarse language), then seriously check out Alie Brosh’s blog and book. And let me tell you, the book does not disappoint. It’s super thick and full of full color pages of Allie’s artwork and stories. I’m so glad they didn’t try to edit it down for space and fewer pages! The God Of Cake is one of my favorite stories. Go check it out. You are welcome.
As far as the ruffled muffs, I didn’t realize that’s the only photo I have of them! So I guess I will have to figure out making another pair. Besides the fact I have yet to write that design idea down either. Hmph…
And so, there it is I guess.
The weekend between Christmas and New Year’s is here and I am catching up. Lot’s of work to do and Spain is only a couple of months away. And I am working on details there! Turns out there might be a yarn store close to us in Barcelona! I am totally stoked and will fill you in as I set things in stone, or at least have a clearer idea of what I hope to pull off. Btw, if you’d like to help me out with a few dollars towards my trip, you can find the secure link here. I just discovered I will have to buy new suitcases for us.
Ah well, I guess it’s about time.
In the mean time, stay tuned for more world of handmade talk. I have some nuggets of support for you that I think you’ll like.
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Dear Artists: There’s A Problem With Your Pricing – Part 2
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