Thursday, December 10, 2009

Raw Herbs - Very Traditional Medicine

So, I have had an interesting balance of getting back into regular exercise, a busy quarter with prepping for my comprehensive exam (next weekend), a little work, and staying on top of crafting.

One of my favorite ways to unwind at home is to cook, and one of the more fascinating yet complicated aspects of my homework is studying and writing formulas. Like recipes, or following a pattern, there are many classics that are memorized for testing purposes. Then clinically, the traditional form is used, and prescribed in a patent (similar to a pharmaceutical) or a customized powder or raw formula is given. Cooking the raw herbs is almost an art form of it's own, since the instructions can be very simple, (place in a cup of hot water and drink like tea) or follow a specific process involving straining, boiling, simmering, stirring, and different times.

For convenience, I typically take patents or powders, and got a chance to practice cooking a raw formula last week and thought I's share a picture of the herbs before cooking. What is interesting, is how natural the medicine looks in this form, and that is does not have the side effects of some other options since it is customized to both nourish and eliminate.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Already December.....

Wow - with my schedule shifting by academic quarter, a hige thing realizing is, I joined etsy a year ago this week (and will be having a special sale this weekend and some specials set up for the holidays) and 4 years ago this week, I registered to check out acupuncture school since I thought it might be interesting.

well, lets see, I had my 25th sale on Etsy this week, and am busy studying for my comprehensive exam (required to graduate) later in the month! Considering my store was something I decided to do for fun, and also am selling to friends, it is a great balance, and very grateful able to knit, create, and get a break and some balance while other days are blur of class, interning, and reviewing everything I've learned over 4 years, and some information from classes still have to finish up over the next year.

It's also very cool to see how much Ive learned, and gained from trying new things, taking risks, and following my interests. Through my etsy teams, California Crafters Coalition on Etsy (CCCOE) Etsy Knitter Team, and Unique Women in Business (UWIB) I've met a lot of great women who also love being creative and entrepreneurial - and have enjoyed this part a lot more then expected. In school, also surprised that am making great friends and am in a pretty supportive and fun environment and through both, while different, have a lot in common. Of course, my other friends just tease me about fact I usually have some sort of needles with me, wherever I go.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Festive Cooking

So, in trying to eat healthier while in school, and actually enjoying cooking, I love excuses and reasons to whip something up. Typically, this means modifying a recipe, making it up as I go along, or adding a personal touch to a pre-made mix. I have been considering sharing some of my faves online, so post Thanskgiving here are a few from the last week.

The gooey sauce is a made up as went along pomegranate -cranberry glaze on Gingerbread. The Gingerbread was from a great organic mix, with a nice kick of ginger and molasses. It was turned into a birthday dessert surprise with the super yummy glaze. The glaze was the perfect amount and was based on a basic combination of powdered sugar, boiling water, and mostly tart seeds and berries.

Next up, a classic and simple holiday dessert. Apple pie made a simple way my mom showed me, with Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples. For some extra flavor, cranberries were mixed in, as well as cinnamon - sugar both on top, and in layers of the pie, giving it a sweet and tart flavor, with some subtle spice. This was for a lovely outdoor Thankgiving potluck at the Learning Garden in Venice.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

First Giveaway !!! Twilight scarf

I have been wanting to host a giveaway for a few weeks, and decided to list this suer cute and warm one of a kind scarf. Inspired by the colors of Twilight, this seemed like a fun choice since "New Moon" is opening this weekend and has been getting a lot of publicity this week (even more then usual). This scarf is a blend of super soft angora and a purple / white merino and matches the Twilight neckwarmer.

To enter: leave a comment with your favorite character from the Twilight series. For an additional entry, or alternative if you don't know the movies or books, visit my store at and leave a comment with what your favorite item is. Finally, follow this blog for an entry as well. I am trying to keep it simple with the options.

Deadline to enter is Sunday 11/22 and winner will be selected Monday through and will be contacted by e-mail.

Good Luck and Thanks for visiting !

Monday, November 2, 2009

Catch up time on unfinished projects

One of my favorite reasons for carfting is the therpauetic effects. It gets you present and focused on creating something unique, expressive and in the moment. Today, I was reading an e-mail and was reminded of this, as I have not been spending as much time crafting over the last week after being home sick watching Weeds, drinking tea and taking a lot of Chinese Herbs. FYI Weeds is very funny and great for a day whe dont feel like leaving couch, reading email etc....

Tonight, went for finally checking out house, and checking out my stash of almost completed items. Finished three neck warmers, and have some items ready to list later this week. Also, am working on anew line of upcycled accessories which is pretty fun and enjoying the simple and laid back therapy of working on a new project and completing some of those ones that never quite get finished and end up in a nice neat pile somewhere.

Banana Silk scarf in Aqua Laguna - available soon at

Monday, October 19, 2009

special and unique handmade and upcycled jewlery

As a big fan of eco-friendly anything, as well as handmade items, I wanted to share a group of items from another Southern California etsy seller. Kim at Circles are Forever features unique and handpainted pins, buttons, earrings, ornaments, rings and pendants in her etsy store. . Panda pirate one of my faves, can be worn as a pin or pendant (Im actually making an upcycled felted bag he is going to be part of) and when I can decide which to give and which to keep, the rings are an early start on my Christmas gifts. They are shiny, adjustable and amazing in detail in the painting. Plus, it is keeping bottlecaps out of landfills and channeling creativity and unique design and expression. She has many great styles in her shop and even her packaging is repurposed. Check out the box everything arrived in.Custom made out of cereal boxes for a fun and colorful treat. That itself is a great gift box and specially sized for her products.

Monday, October 12, 2009

About to read a book - mixed feelings already

Ok, so this has nothing to do with knitting, or etsy. I work a few blocks away from the public library, and go in to check out what new dvd's they have and books on breaks. Today, while getting some movies to throw in while working on some knitting, I walked by a book related to Chinese Medicine in the sustainability section.

The book is "Tiger Bone & Rhino Horn" two substances used in ancient medicine for herbal properties. It addresses the black market trading of endangered animals / species which unfortunately exists - even though the substances are actually illegal both to prescribe and purchase.

Anyways, the cause for venting is on the back of teh book, several comments brought up the attention getting things like the traditional uses are not known to be effective, etc..... and some of the stuff that counteracts the steps forward alternative and traditional medicines are making in acceptance in medical community. I am curious enough about how they perceive and discuss the use of acupuncture and herbs that I will be starting to read tonight - since seems like the type of thing patients and potential patients could ask about. However, I was not exactly looking for a serious book to read since also have several knitting relates projects that I am working on, as well as going through my recipe collection.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

blogspot vs typepad

Okay, so I admit it. I have two different blogs for different businesses. That is common these days. However, I am finding pluses and minuses of each account. I would love to hear others experiences with different blog hosting services and fees. Because, although I love the way my other blog is formatted, and how great it looks for what I am doing with it (promoting a pilates business and using it as platform for website), I am also looking at places to cut expenses and seeing that I get traffic, but have not gotten any business from it in the year it has been up. Here is the link

plus have lots of content ready to add, and realizing concernef about taking the time, and not actually promoting business. hmmmm

Monday, August 31, 2009

Summer in Santa Monica - a little late this year

(A view North of the pier towards the beach clubs homes on the sand)

OK, so after a summer of fog, a cooler then usual temperatures and one week of heat, a heat wave has taken over Southern California. While I was starting on fall and winter knitting, it is so hot and without a/c (especially since rarely needed) seems a little weird to be getting ready for fall on etsy. so, as summer winds down, here are a couple pics from a bike ride a few weeks ago around the Santa Monica Pier. Class was out for an afternoon, and my patella had moved back into place from being dislocated so I celebrated with a bike ride.

Best of all, as passing under the pier, a sound check for the Twilight Dance series was under way (free concerts - featuring a variety of music and performers that happen weekly for about 2 months). Enjoy.

Biking back south - looking towards the pier

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Inexpensive and Eco Girls Night Clothing Swap

With recycling, decluttering, and saving money all the rage, why not spend an evening with the girls, clean out your closet, and get new clothes and accessories to bring home?

I've been a fan of reselling my clothes since undergrad - especially when going through a vintage and thrift store phase at some point in 1993-1995. When I moved to LA, I mostly brought clothes, even after selling and donating at least a car full of items. While attending Pepperdine, I got introduced to sample sales, and some of the best boutique and high end sales for unique and designer pieces, and also how to sell on ebay.

Last month, friends from school hosted and organized a super fun clothing swap, which was also very much a Girl's Night since, the one male crasher left quickly, and there were plenty of laughs and drinks. Beyond having a blast, it also served a purpose - and was a great way to clean out the closet, and get new and wanted or needed items without being as wasteful, stay fashionable, recycle, and save money. Plus the items that didn't go home with someone, got donated to charity. Here is a picture of the bag I took and a few of the lovely new items I brought home. It was a great event, and could probably write many entries on all the benefits, and everyone who went had a great time and already talking about the next one....

Sunday, August 16, 2009

wow catching up

Ok, so I have photos taken for two posts, and a third one planned. However, due to a midterm last week, a final tomorrow, and my odd summer quarter schedule, I am really just grateful that my browser is working again - also was acting weird for a few days.
Anyways,my next blog post will be about a great and fun idea for a Girls Night that helps clean out your closet, tons of laughs, and some great finds to bring home.

I am also working on creating a tulle petticoat skirt to layer into a dress for next weekend. it is fun although my creative energy is getting redirected from knitting and splitting it with school. I have been meeting some amazing Etsy shop owners and trying out some wonderful products, and looking forward to next week and having a little more time to blog.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Afternoon on Main St.

Yesterday, do to looking for a dress or tunic to wear to an event, I spent some time window shopping and browsing along Main St. Unfortunately, 2 of my favorite stores have gone out of business, and a few have turned over since I had last been in, including a store that had been a consignment space for independent lines -Hopefully the just moved. My friends used to have a great store before the rent went up a few years ago in same space. The replacement store was like etsy (before I knew about it) in a storefront. Now it is a luxury children's store.

After browsing several boutiques, and avoiding the newer chain stores, I ended up making a purchase for "supplies: at The Urban Craft Center. Located a convenient 7 or 8 block walk from my place, it is also a block from the Beach, and a popular local surf spot at Bay St, famous for the Lords of Doggtown, and minutes from the pier. This store offers a summer crafting camp for kids, and has a variety of hemp, wool, and cotton yarns. They also have fabric, felting supplies, sewing machines, and space for quilt blocking and working on projects. What is great about this store, is much of the housing in the area is apartments, condos, and small houses, that in many cases, were built as weekend beach homes, and are short on a lot of crafting space. It is also in a great plaza to hang out at, and near tons of unique shopping down on Main Street.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Shopping for Bloomers - Summer Wedding

So who doesn't love getting to browse around and have an excuse to pick out and and look for new pieces to wear and play with? A friend from school is getting married next month and on her wedding blog, posted many links to items sold on Etsy to help guests find ideas on how to participate in the theme.

The last time I went to a themed wedding, it was actually harder then I expected to find the right outfit for a Pink Wedding, in November, in the Northwest, with a reception at a microbrewary. When I got to Oregon. forgot the skirt I'd raced all over to purchase, and ended up buying an outfit a few hours before, and seeing someone else wore the same skirt I'd left in California. I had spent many hours looking for the right combination of "pink" and "warm" plus would fit in - and actually still wear the lovely and classic pink boucle plaid skirt I had bought for the event . (and got rid of the last minute "rush" purchase).

But I digress, this time, I am shopping for a bicycle friendly outfit to fit a Victorian / Modern Steampunk theme comfortable enough to be able to be on bluffs over the beach in August. Several of the pieces linked to from the offcial info blog were sold, extremely expensive, or for men so I've been browing etsy looking for perfect pieces that I could create my own look with and be able to use at other times.

I am , probably, due to my love for high heels, going to change shoes between the ceremony and reception, but that is because I found perfect heels to match the other pieces - the ceremony is actually on bikes, and in attending, will be taking my mountain bike and most fluffy things will catch on the surfboard rack. This fact alone, has put the some reigns on my ideas and love for costumey outfits, and gets into some of the bloomers I've been looking at on Etsy these days.

cream cotton bloomers

cream cotton bloomers
pretty bloomers in cream cotton.
they have an elasticated waistband, and are elasticated at the knee, and edged in pretty cream lace. (they are also shown in 2 lengths and 3 colors)

Classic White Bloomers

Classic White Bloomers
These bloomers are a classic...knee length lightweight cotton in white pique or ivory stripe. Perfect for riding the wheel or lounging around at a summer picnic. These bloomers have a wide elastic waistband, and are minimally gathered, so that the waistline is slim, unlike bloomers made with a drawstring. The waistband can be worn at the waist or hips.

FREE SHIPPING Bayou Bloomers simple rustic ruffle pantaloon in Oyster ...size Small...from down de bayou

These sweet simple and rustic bloomer/pantaloons are modeled after my own antique pair. I decided to forgo the drawstring and put elastic in the waist. Fashioned from 100% made in the U.S.A. cotton and sewn with care in the city that care forgot. You can wear them as lingerie or as shorts or as an underskirt. Perfect to wear with your bayousalvage art to wear!

Etsy is making it much easier to shop, and also fun and economical at the same time. Also, being crafty helps, since after fining the embellished slip dress "sold" in my favorites when I was ready to purchase, I saw a plain slip yesterday at a boutique I walked by and am probably going to embellish my own as a study break. Accessories are still up in the air - next post !

Friday, July 17, 2009

Spring and Summer Cleaning

I have been sorting through my yarns and supplies to find new ways to use some of the smaller pieces. A simple idea, that I have seen, and while not unique, am finding a great way to reduce extra yarns fast, is making very simple knotted lariats. I initially tried to make a braided scarf, with long strands of yarns, as a holiday gift for my Aunt. My cat, found it extremely entertaining and had his first experiences getting tangled in yarn (considering how much I knit, and have had him for 12 years - was a surprise) - he usually ignores yarn and my kniting- which is great for me to keep hi away from projects.

Since I had to untangle, I ended up hanging this from my curtian rod - the braiding still tangled, so after stumbling across a similiar item, thought hmmm, I 'll just knot it and then I can finish the gift. However, I didnt think I would actually end up adding any of these to my store. A few weeks ago, that changed, as have a box of supplies that I was considering donating since I do not like knitting with them, or not enough , or do not match very many yarns. I was watching "Confessions of a Shopaholic" and making some wrist cuffs. I got inspred to make a few more of these simple, knotted lariats, and last week started listing on etsy and am finsing they are great for spring and summer. This one sold and is being shipped out today.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

An Amazing Bath Treat for Sore Muscles

When I first joined Unique Women in Business, I needed to make a purchase from another member. I was looking through the choices, and thought hmmm, what do I actually need right now, after looking at stores and websites offering everything I could imagine, cosmetics, jewelery, cards, prints and much much more. While I tend to be on the practical side, most of my extravagant and impulsive purchases tend to be designer shoes and on occasion handbags. However, bath products are also one of my favorite items, so much that I really have to watch it, since end up stocked for 6 months or more at a time on the basics.

Since I had been busy working, and spending my "free time" opening a store on etsy, and posing for pictures and video filming for my pilates website, I my muscles were a little more fatigues then usual. A regular user of epson salts and or fresh lavender (I can pick it outside my door), I decided to get some bath salts from Soap Rehabilitation to try out.

Swiss Alps Bath Soak--Fizzy Bath Salts

Swiss Alps Bath Soak--Fizzy Bath Salts

After browsing through all the options, I went with "Swiss Alps" an infusion of mints, and prefect for tired muscles. when the package arrived, and I had a chanc eto chec it out, I had spent an hour of my work break filming advanced exercises with a friend on a concrete surface, and was pretty sore from a mat class earlier in the week, and a concentrated photo shoot of ab work.

These salts blew me away instantly. The aromatherapy blend worked very similiary to my old and familiar stand-by friend Tiger Balm, and these Golden Flower patches from my school clinic. The plus is that these salts were also relaxing and soothing, for mind and body, and did not have the strong smell since they are more of a spa product then part of an orthopaedic prescription or treatment. However, I thought they worked just as well, if not better, since they also helped me wind down and sleep since was in a go, go , go type of mode with starting a project (that is still awaiting full editing and posting) after a few months of various changes and weather delays.

For a full range of products, check out Soap Rehabilitation at Sara also has adorable packaging with a little nurse in her logo. Her lip gloss and the samples she included of sample soaps are also amazing and it was a great welcome to Unique Women in Business. Check out our group page for a wonderful variety of shopping for all your needs and wants.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy July

Exciting news! yesterday I finally got a locker assigned, meaning less clinic supplies to haul around in my trunk, and also less books to take back and forth. This of course means, my book bag will probably end up with even more knitting projects stashed in it. However, all of that is a digression. Most of this month, my camera has been at the repair shop, and I had finals, and several things going on to take care of. I am finally drafting some blog entries on recent purchases I have made that I have found incredibly useful in my business as well as fun.

I had no idea starting a blog, a business out of a hobby, and school could be so exhausting. However, now that I am getting caught up on things that had gotten behind, I am able to get back on track with blogging attempts, and throughout the past few months have been very grateful for my knitting since it has played a big part, as usual, in staying present with the moment, and in sense very grounding. Hopefully, I will be getting my camera back within a week since I also have many new items to share, as well as new posts coming up.

I wonder if blogspot has the feature in typepad, where you can write up posts at once and then set up a posting date?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Playing with Needles and feature idea

Today I got inspired to change my blog a bit and actually start updating it as it has been a very overwhelming quarter in acupuncture school, and I've gotten an amazing amount of knitting completed and underway. One thing I am finding, is that I've been knitting long enough to easily grab a pair of needle that work with a yarn. In fact I often go on intuition and just start seeing what happens.

In treating more patients as an intern, I am finding that I am starting to mix up needle sizes in treatments more comfortably and use that same intuition more, since initially it can be a bit intimidating to actually put needles in a person. (we are encouraged to practice on oranges, sofas, and even raw meats at first - before ourselves and classmates - then actual patients).

This is similar to learning how to knit and work with fibers. Another thing is the openness to imperfection, which is what I find one of my favorite things about handmade. Each item is truly unique, and in that, has it's own character and purpose, like each treatment, can have the same points, yet very a bit with intention and what a patient needs.

The tools are also important, and needles are just that. Every acupuncturist and every knitter has a preference. That may change from time to time. Lately, I have been prefering bamboo and some new sustainable birch. There is something about the natural feel, that seems to increase my knitting speed and connection with the process (to use meditative qi language).

My next blog post will be sooner - I am thinking about adding a monthly entry with pics around Santa Monica and Venice - especially since its almost summer - and great local events the tourists just stumble upon if they're lucky around the pier and beach.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

First Recycled Knits item for sale

Ok - so this is an interesting, unique and fun upcycled piece. I will be adding pics of the item that inspired this line soon (as also was wearing today). This is made out of a white cotton t-shirt and a pair of bright yellow cotton terry pants - knit together in an uneven basic stitch to form stripes. Great for casual beach wear and due to the cotton terry, also on the thicker side. This item was listed on etsy a few weeks ago and is part of this debit one of a kind edgy line.

Re-Design Blog

I'm still trying to get used to all this blogging and tweeting. More energy and time is going into my business blogsite and just realized Spring Break is almost over and have barely gotten into working on this blog or artfire.

Since I have been checking out more craft related blogs, seem to have found what works for me in terms of a way I want to structure and add so I will be taking down or editing old posts and focusing more on the stories behind what I do with yarns, materials , etc.... instead of trying to set up under ways that seem to be generating traffic.

Most of my items are one of a kind and handknit. I primarily knit while in class (especially pathophysiology slide shows) between clients or when waiting if they are late, and occasionally while waiting to pull needles out of someone if caught up on clinc work ( I also tend to work on my business blog then so kinda of a toss up).

I also tend to knit while watching tv or movies and even if follow sam epattern or use same yearn, tend to change one or the other. For gifts or personal use, I do read and use patterns, however, usually it if more free form and whatver comes out of the needles at a given moment.

Upcoming posts wioll include more pictures and stories grouped togther by a yarn. Ie what made with group and why, or inspiration behind why a name was picked for the item.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Blog Redo

After spending more time working on my pilates weblog / website. I am starting to reconfigure this blog. I am pretty new to blogging and am finding it intersting to learn about, yet a lot of work to try to start to blogs at the same time. In knitting news, finished my prototype scarf for Recycled Knits line. It is my favorite colors and is actually based around a great Hello Kitty shirt that was getting to ratty to wear out ot to exercise in. A lovely cotton and soy scarf is in the works - a great mix of colors and is extremely soft.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

More about Recycled Knits line

One quick note, this grouping of items will be 100% unique since the materials are based on handcut fabric strips from clothes, fabrics and even some traditional yarn thrown in. The first items is about halfway complete - although a few of the little balls of tshirt strips for this have migrated somewhere with my index cards. What I love about this idea is it is totally green, and is a way to reuse or repurpose textiles and also make fun and wearable pieces. Part of the inspiration was seeing scarfs made out of tshirt fabric - which look much better with my normal work attire - plus they are mostly machine washable. Several of the color combinations are picked out so really looking forward to listing all my completed items and getting through finals so I can start working on these more.

Working on new line - Recylced Knits

I have been getting more materials together for a new line I am working on. Hopefully I'll get more done over spring break since finals are approaching very quickly. I will be adding a few new items to etsy soon and have been joining teams and getting more involved with the community. Today I took some pics that turned out great in terms of the colors of my items, however, the way the natural light reflects through my wondows and curtians gives some glare in the background so working with those a bit. Instead of posting, I ended up visiting several etsy stores owned by UWIB members - which are amazing - joined twitter, and found out that I ended up in a treasury for the first time thanks to CCCOE.
Plus all of this was much more enjoyable and fun then studying formulas or re domain mapping a glitch with my pilates blog /website.

Next post will include links to all the wonderful unique women in business member sites and blogs since do need to spend some time studying this weekend.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Double meanings

I realized that as I am starting to promote my blog, the title might seem a little odd. I did list a post when the name changed, yet wanted to share a little more technically on this.

When I knit, I frequently grab some yarn, cast it on and then try out a few different stitch patterns, tear it out, and start again, either with different yarns or stitches. Within a row or two, it is usually clear if something works or not by what is on the needle. I also have noticed that the items that do not work well are a bit harder to knit and feel a bit of resistance while working with the items.

Since I took my blog title from a saying in acupuncture, it is like when treating a patient and the needle is in a place that the patient does not need it or, there body is not ready for the needle to go in further. In class it is said that the needle knows when to stop, avoid veins and arteries, and other things that it could just as easily be the body knowing as well as the practitioner having an awareness and knowledge about how to use the needle as a therapeutic tool.

I also thought it would be fun to integrate both ways I am around needles into the title since they are pretty different versions of a tool with the same common name.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Offical ETSY store opening

After starting to set up a store over the last few months, my Etsy store called Design Knit Fun is officially open for business and promotions. It is still a work in progress like everything else, however I have been reading up since it is actually a friendly yet competitive maketplace Meaning it is a super supportive and hellpful community with a huge amount of sellers selling similiar items. Artfire is a smaller site and a few items are also available through them. I might expand the Artfire store as well to include each item, however would also like to start making some sales first. Currently, my knitting projects have been a variety of neckwarmers and scarves with a few headbands and necklaces thrown in. I did make a great neck corset which will be pictured soon on this blog. Photos, seem to be improving as Im actually getting the best pics using my webcam and standing in front of my window . Strange but also solved the question of finding a model or someone to take pics - plus gives them an intersting artsy feel. I dont knoe what that says about macs being easy to use if the webcam is actually producing some bette pics then a digital camera with more features - or maybe its my own digital camera usage skills that need some practice. lol

Monday, February 16, 2009

A new favorite yarn

Well, another one for the long list of favorite yarns to work with. Last week I picked up a few balls of Schulana Fusione which is a silky soft 78%cotton 22% nylon ribbon looking yarn with a little shimmer. It is a bit streychy and amazingly soft and easy to work with. After ,making a neckwarmer / scarflette I ended up going back for more since it was 50% off at Yarns Unlimited. So far, Ive knit two pieces and have a third one planned and hope to find it online in more colors. They only had a few options so stuck with the blue tones since the color saturation was great. Definetly fun to work with amazed how silky the texture is and also amazed the cotton content was as high - i actually thought it was all some sort of nylon / poly blend so even more amazed by it now that found it was mostly cotton.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

The fine details

One of the beautiful and unique things about creating handknit (and other handmade items) is in the fine details that can add an extra bit of love or energy to the project. By adding some sort of trim, fringe, buttons, or a little embroidery, an piece can get an extra bit of personality even though it is these small bits that actually take a little bit of extra effort after a project is completely knit, and blocked / sewn if needed yet make it stand out on its own after they are added.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Getting started on Etsy

Well, I am very grateful for all the blogs out there with information on how to have a profitable and visited etsy store. I thought it would be a lot like ebay, and am finding it is a bit more challenging since trying to knit and create items is much more enjoyable then taking photos ans sitting in front of the computer and listing. I am finding it a little harder to write descriptions, with ebay they seemed to write themselves, or I just had popular taste in clothing and shoes. Its weird that it is so different with writing the descriptions and setting prices is also a bit more perpexing. Factoring in yarn, time spent knitting, and then adding in the current economy, and prices of similiar items. A whole other issue is knitting things so much from yarns that Ive had in my stash for years so missing content / care instructions for some, and even have some items listing that knit and never wore or gave as gifts so no idea cost of the yarn etc.....

All of that said, it is also a pretty impressive variety of items and stores with amazing and beautiful items for sale in one place - which is what is so incredible about a handmade items website with individual srores - and an online community that also exists around it with advice and support while getting started and helping others to all do well. Hopefully since a rainy LA weekend, will finish a few items and create some time to sit down, get better photos and list them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Wrist Warmer Re Do in a simpler pattern

The pattern I posted about a last month was a bit challenging to follow the way it was written. After going to the store that gave it out, I relearned that they had changed ownership. I work near the store, yet had forgotten why I stopped going there for my yarns and supplies. Needless to say, the former owner took her original patterns and samples with her so I was stuck with a 2/3 knit fingerless glove. Luckily, with the amazing options available on the internet. I found a few simple patterns that worked with the yarn I chose for this project. The yarn used for this project is an amazing hand dyed organic cotton from Uruguay purchased at a yarn store in Eugene, Oregon (forgot name) in 2004. I have seen the yarn on Etsy recently in a variety of colors.

The pattern I found was listed for free on blogspot and is amazingly easy to follow and the actual wristwarmer has a cute, simple and edgy feel to it when on. The pattern link is:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Wristwarmers inspiring patience

I have been starting a restarting an adorable pair of wrist warmers and am seeing how much patience it takes to follow a pattern exact and use smaller needles. This has been interesting since the pattern has some gaps so it takes some thinking a reworking to decrease as needed and maintain a consistent rib pattern. Each time I restarted I would get further and further, and last night finally got through the section with a uniform rib. This is a pattern that was designed at Wildfiber - one of my favorite yarn stores - and good or bad around the corner from where I work (luckily I am usually not at work with extra time when they are open anymore) and a source of most of my yarn collection. The pattern was originally given out with purchase of a fine cashmere and takes 1 50 gram skein. I over ambitiously tried this as the first pattern I wanted to follow after getting the basics down, and ended up making a lovely scarf with a delicate vintage inspired lace pattern to it. (the scarf also had a lot of re starts and unfortunately got misplaced last year after a holiday card photo shoot).
The pattern fits a lovely Peruvian cotton I decided to make wrist warmers out of and is a much better fit then for the yarn then the easier pattern I have and planned on. Since I am prone to making things without patterns that must be strictly followed, this is definitely full of some lessons, as also really want to get better at wrist warmers and eventually develop the patience for fair aisle and other trickier sweater patterns (with sweaters - have mostly stayed in the safe stockinette) since realizing that can go back and restart something - and if it is worth learning and doing it is also worth starting over.

Monday, January 12, 2009

latest projects

Currently, just completed a scarf inspired by Feng Shui and a lecture last week in a class on Chinese Nutrition. The colors are considered lucky ( bright red and gold) It is a supersoft merino wool with some chunky texture and fine metallic threading - next is the task of trying to embroider characters representing the five elements onto the scarf. Hopefully this will be easier then it sounds since using a simpler form of the characters.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Incomplete projects: What to do with them

In my last post, I wrote about the patience of sitting an unraveling 2 sweaters that did not fit whe they were sewn up. Both had spent years in closets. car trunks and pretty much wherever instead of taking the time to pull them apart and recycle the yarn. Mostly, they took time to create and some pride of the first two completed sweaters was also keeping them intact, and unwearable.

In further cleaning and untangling, I re-read a knitting magazine I had kept for patterns. Someone interviewed talked about having many different projects going at once, and got me thinking, what do other people do with old projects when they find them, especially if parts have become unraveled after many hours of stitching, or whatever it was the made you put the project down in the first place.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Current projects - an exercise in patience

My recent projects involving kniting and yarn are requiring some patience and also bringing up the meditative nature of working with yarn. In some cases, it forces you to turn your mind off and focus only on the project, in others, it can help focus on what you are listening to. In my present project, it seems to require some concentration mixed with a mindfullness I usually find in meditation when caught into the presence required.

So the project is what influenced my blog title: unraveling a bulky and complex sweater, which after dry cleaning does not fit. The stitch is a great open weave and it ws knit on size 36 needles, and in a very big chunky wool. Great sweater, however it does not fit me anymore the way it was, so I decided to give it a fresh start for the new year. I am actually doing this to recycle the yarn all unfinished items dangling of needles or "misknits" in the closet. What I am learning is that its slower to pull all the pieces apart and at times a bit frustrating, yet pretty amazing to see how much beautiful yarn I can put to use in a beter and more usefull way. The above paragraph reflects a period I was unraveling and focused on the sweater and somehow 2 hours flew by before I knew it that were truly being present as result of patience.

Ok, so this might sound a bit out there for some for a knitting blog, so I will also add my personal new years resolution is to be more present and look at things in a new and more open way. Before the yarn was in a sweater, hanging in the closet for 5-6 years, a piece needed cut out from stain, and it took about 8 balls of slightly expensive yarn to make (while housebound with a broken foot). I thought it had to stay that way and would be too hard to pull apart yet liked and wanted the yarn to change into something better. It is currently transforming and finding the unwinding and re rolling much more enjoyable then I thought and also a simple way to recycle and change something that isnt working into something that will.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A new year of beginnings

This is a first official blog post and is a start of a new beginning of sharing my hobby and interest in knitting with others. Currently, knitting related I am working wit the technicalities of trying to take pictures that reflect a design colors and texture accurately. Coincidentally I ended up online during a pause from knitting a scarf and needing to untangle parts of the ball that unraveled and tangled, hence part of the title as well as idea of unplugged refers to music that more uncut, a knitting project has many stages in which it could be considered unraveled as well as different reasons for it so just seemed like fun name. Future posts wil likely be more interesting yet figured best way to kick of a new blog was to at least make an entry.