Monday, March 26, 2012

Where did March GO??

Busy ~ Busy ~ BUSY!!  I've been knitting up several storms lately.   All to do with my YardSellr sales.  Such fun, great folks, and I'm getting more sales on there with HandCrafted than I have in the past 6 months on either Bonanza or Etsy!  Amazing.

These larger Diagonal Tuck Stitch dual drawstring bags have been so popular with folks wanting soft carry-alls for their Kindle or Nook readers.  Some are acrylic, some are all cotton.  They knit up very quickly on my Brother 890 punchcard machine (love that old workhorse of mine!)  I've been using Card #11 from a Toyota set of punchcards. Quite popular.  They're also great as a soft lunch bag.  Tons of different uses!  Great gift bags, too. 

These little Soap Sliver Saver Sacks zip right out the door!  These are quick to knit on a standard gauge knitting machine.  I like to use various fibers rather than all cottons.  Some are blends, some are a roving wrap, some all acrylic.  I was only making all cotton until I got requests for acrylics & blended yarns!  Another use for this lacy little bag is to put a sachet of potpourri (in fine netting) inside and hang it over a hanger hook in your closet, or use it in a drawer.  I like potpourri in my dresser, but never did like just having it in the netting.  So I started using these little lacy sacks to diffuse the scent a bit.  Sometimes, those scents are a bit overpowering!! LOL

The soap sacks usually get shipped out along with a set of my Facial Scrubbies.  The ones here are all cotton, but I have had requests every now and then for acrylics.  Maybe they have a cotton allergy?  Dunno.  I put finger loops on mine, some do, some don't.  I have arthritis and boy, that loop sure comes in handy when you're trying to hold on to a slippery wet scrubbie!   :)  I've had folks tell me they use them for washing up delicate china, too.  
That's what's happening with me and my knitting & crochet. :)  Leave a comment and let me know what crafting you've been doing lately.

Keep on crafting and SMILE!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Machine Knit Items NOT Handcrafted?? I don't THINK so!!!!!

Time for me to get on my high horse or soapbox or whatever one calls it these day.


What has caused me to start waving the flag of HANDCRAFTED??  There are two sites online where you need to have your items designated as handcrafted or made by you.  I am soooo tired of the infighting on one of those two sites; they natter at anyone who DARES to put up an item that is machine knit and put it in their handmade/handcrafted areas.

Well, let me tell you ... it takes a LOT of work to create a machine knit item.  You don't just stick the yarn on the machine and then VOILA ... it comes off completely done.  Doesn't work that way, folks.

You decide on a pattern. Either one you create your self or one that is available commercially.  Then, you need to choose your yarn and any of your patterning to the knit fabric you will be creating.

So you thread the yarn onto your machine.  Cast the stitches on over the required number of needles.  Set all the parameters to knit that lovely item you chose.

You begin knitting, moving the carriage back and forth.  It's a nice rhythm and you enjoy your craft. Maybe, you're adding eyelets or cables or another stitch technique as you go along.  You've reached the end of your pattern and your FABRIC that YOU created is done.  Finally, you have to cast off your work, even if you're using waste  yarn.  

Then, you have to put your precious item together.  There may be more than one piece that you've had to knit or maybe it's a single piece item.  Doesn't really matter.  It still needs to be stitched up!!  Put together!!  Whatever. 


Would you tell a person who does a lot of sewing that theirs is not hand crafted?  They CHOOSE a pattern. They BUY the fabric (ahem ... I'm MAKING MY OWN FABRIC - neener-neener) , they CUT it out, they SEW it up.  They complete the project.

Isn't that what *I* just did????  Using my KNITTING machine to MAKE the fabric???  How is this different???  I just don't see it.

I've removed all my handcrafted items from one site and am seriously considering doing the same on the other.  It'll only take ONE more comment / email / forum posting for me to yank my HANDCRAFTED items from that site as well.

I don't tell folks it is HAND MADE, I tell them it's HAND CRAFTED.  And it is.

Okay, stepping down off my soap box / rock / horse now.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Oh My GOSH! Happy Camper Here!!

Things are really popping at YardSellr for me.  I woke up this a.m. to even more positives in my decision to really market more of my items through them.  2 Sales and an offer.  Doing the happy dance here!!  

If you've never been to Yardsellr and are considering marketing your items, please go there.  Free to join, only need a Facebook account and it's a kick!!

Back to emails ...


Friday, March 2, 2012

Double-Scallop Trim

Double-Scallop Trim …

We did this at a seminar umpteen years ago 
( I think it was in Sacramento back in the 80’s) and I unearthed the hand-out sheet with my own notes so wanted to share this with you.

I once again drug out this little pattern and was playing with it on my Brother 390 Machine in 9mm mode.  Oh, it looks so nice!  Hmmm now to come up with some uses.  Anyone have suggestions?

Needle Setup:  ( Definition – “I” = working or “B/D” position, “O” = non-working or “A” position)


Use a closed edge cast-on (e-wrap or latch-on) over the working position “I” needles.  Get ready to add weights after the first row! 

·         Machine on HOLD (Russell Buttons/Levers UP)
·         Put the two single “I” needles into “E” position. 
·         Knit 6 rows.
·         Release HOLD feature on your machine, knit 1 row.
·         Pull the two single “I” needles back out to “E” position, machine back on hold and repeat these steps for as long as you want your trim.

If your machine does not have the HOLD capabilities, it can be done manually.  I've got the HOW TO and pictures in the FILES section on the Yahoo Group:  Fun With Big Brother for those with bulky machines.  Look in FILES > A LOT OF TIPS & TECHNIQUES FOR BULKIES > ManTuckStitch.pdf  

The principle of knitting off your HOLD needles with ravel cord or something similar will be the same for putting the above "I" needles into HOLD.  Takes longer, but the results are quite good. 


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Latest Projects

Most of my hand crafted items are doing fairly well on the various markets, but there's one that is really taking off lately and that is Tatted Flowers.  They're tiny, made with various thin crochet cotton threads (i.e. #10).  I've been doing them up in batches and listing them.  Currently only on Yardsellr.

These are great to glue onto mixed media, ACEO's, greeting cards, all sorts of applications. There are 'tails' on each of them for ease in handling them when adding them to your work. We used Aleene's Tacky Glue which dries clear, folding back the tails to the backside of the flower, then clipping close after it's glued to prevent unraveling.

I used to make tons of greeting cards, gift tags, even embellishing my business cards and such with these little tatted flowers.   I bought more shuttles and am working on variegated greens, parakeet blue, more yellow, plum and raspberry colors.