Monday, February 25, 2013

Knitting for Me and in Public

I find that knitters don't often knit things for themselves. I'm not sure if many creative people, such as jewelry artists or photographers, ever create much for themselves. I love knitting for the process and creation aspect, not to adorn my house and body. Occasionally, I will knit something that just doesn't turn out the way I wanted and then I will choose to start over or frog it all, or both. In the case of the above pictured cup cozy, the buttonholes aren't lined up exactly even and that bothers me. I will not list anything so flawed in my shop. But I really like this cozy! I added a couple sparkly green buttons and use it myself! The buttons are big enough to hide the misaligned buttonholes, excellent!

There is a National Knit in Public Day. Did you know that? Yep. It has become so popular, they expanded it to a week! I think, though, that a lot of knitting in public goes on every day. I always have my knitting with me. You never know when little pockets of time will appear and you can add a few more rows on that endless kerchief scarf! Here is a picture of knitting in public at the park while my son is in baseball practice. I'm not ashamed. I don't mind the stares! I usually get some interested bystanders and lots of questions. Being a SAHM, too, I enjoy conversing with people about my knitting and encouraging them to give it a try. On the day pictured above, I had a lengthy conversation with another parent that ranged from knitting to crocheting to homeschooling and baseball. Love that!

This week I am kicking off my Easter projects. I have a couple really good ideas for sets to knit. I think there is enough green in my shop to get some Saint Patrick's Day shoppers. I know I should probably be working on Father's Day listings already, but I gave myself permission to do Easter first. Next year I think I will be more organized.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Magic of Yarn

My favorite listing this week
The past two weeks have been so busy! My focus right now is filling up my Etsy shop. I set a goal to have at least 30 listings by the end of the month. Enter the 30-minute knitting projects! I have a book full of great items that can be knit in a short amount of time. I don't necessarily follow the patterns, but I definitely got inspired to make some small projects. The cup cozy pictured above is one of these projects.

I knit myself a Kindle cover with this same yarn, called Flower Power. I love it! The colors are so bright and cheery! I had enough yarn left for this project and even found the perfect button amongst the group from my grandmother. Love!

Pink Parfait Cowl and Fingerless Glove Set
This beautiful cowl and fingerless glove set was a bit of an accident. On Mondays, I am out of the house all day taking the kids to homeschool classes. I always have a project bag with me because I have a lot of waiting time. I forgot my project bag. Forgot it! I was devestated. Monday is a great knitting day for me and I look forward to it! What choice did I have but to go buy a set of cheap needles and decadent yarn? I HAD to! Believe me, DH understood.

I found this gorgeous pink variegated yarn, called Pink Parfait, ooh la la, and immediately knew what to do. This soft yarn begged to become a cowl. And then, what was left demanded to become a pair of fingerless gloves. So I knit this matching set while the kids were in social studies and science classes. I finished off the next evening and listed on my Etsy shop.

The person who purchased it a few days later told me, "The color and style just spoke to me and I had to have it." Whoa! She blew my mind. There was definitely something special about how this set came together, a misty destiny-ish aura surrounds it. I wonder where my customer will wear it? What happens to this Pink Parfait next?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Keyhole vs. Short

Funny story about this scarf. The stitch I used is mock cable, love! The pattern I thought I was using is keyhole, a keyhole scarf. I knew such a thing existed. I knew I had seen pictures. I truly thought that was what I had made by forming one end of the scarf into a loop so the other end could be pulled through. Isn't that like a keyhole? Sure! But, of course this is after I listed it and tagged it with keyhole, keyhole, keyhole, my husband was perusing one of my knitting project books, an unusual activity for him, and he says, "Oh, wow. I thought you made that term up yourself. Here it is right here, a keyhole scarf." I glanced at the picture, and froze. That scarf looked nothing like the one I made! Their keyhole was in the middle of the scarf! Doh!

Well, first things first, I looked up pictures of the scarf style I DID make, and it's called a short scarf. Yep, that's it. Short scarf. Definitely not as cute and peppy as keyhole scarf, but whatever. I changed all my tags and titles and relisted it as a short scarf. Then I added a vintage button from the bag of buttons my grandmother gave me. I love it! The button really adds a lot. So, here it is, a Kelly green short scarf!

When I'm looking at the stats for my shop, one number I always compare is the listing viewed to the listing favorited. In other words, I want to know if the numbers match. Did the shopper favorite the item viewed or not? You want favorites if not sales! This gray headband got a lot of views, but not many favorites. This was boggling to me since it is such a cute piece. Hmm. As with most of my knitting lately, the headband needed something, some pizazz, character. I added the black trim and changed my pictures. Immediately the favorites started matching the views! I am learning so much from running this Etsy shop! I know my knitting is in a evolutionary phase and I'm surrounding myself with different techniques for finishing projects. It's more work than simply binding off, but absolutely necessary.

I have so many projects on the needles right now. I have finished a few that are awaiting that final inspired touch. I have yet to pick up my needles today. You can read about it here. Time to make some coffee and get busy!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

This and That

This has been a very busy week for stinkR! I was learning about the daily promoting committments on PFT and it really blew my mind how far-reaching it went! These artisans are the serious-minded sales group I need! One of my goals was to hit 500 circles, or followers, so I could participate in all the promoting for my own shop. I had been climbing steadily for a week, then stalled out at 465 on Monday. I doubled my efforts and hit it yesterday. DH knew what a big deal it was and brought me flowers with a note, "Happy 500!" Love that guy!

More good news: I sold two bags this week to someone I don't know! Yay! I also sold the white eyelet scarf, my beautiful first-time eyelet lace pattern, to someone I do know. Still a yay! My shop had so many hits and favorites! Definitely a great week.

So, Valentine's Day approaches, which means I move on to the next holiday. St. Patrick's Day! I don't have any real themed projects, just a lot of green planned. This is a double beneft since green is the hot color for this year, according to Pantone anyway. I am aiming more toward a Kelly green right now. I also have a lot of spring colors in my stash, no pastels, just bright pinks, yellows, and greens, of course. I have a scarf on the needles right now, a chunky green yarn called Sprite. I love it! Being Irish, this color trend really appeals to me. :)

Here is the mock cable scarf I finished. I decided to turn it into a keyhole scarf. I'm pleased. I will do a photo shoot on Monday morning to start the week off with a full shop. My goal is to finish six projects this weekend. They will be small, but I want to build my inventory. I'm still looking for that niche project to focus on! I have a bridal shawl on the needles, but no end in sight. Too many other knitters are selling headbands and mug cozies and cowls and scarves. Focusing on afghans would take a major time committment so I am holding off on that until summer.

This week I learned how to make pom poms and tassels. Here is the first pom pom. DH claimed it since he helped me figure out the little pom pom maker gadget. The directions were all pictures, like reading a map, something I am notoriously not good at!

This is the purple pouch bag I deactivated becase it was too plain. Not anymore! I added some black trim, doubled the drawstring, and attached a tassel. Lovely! Tassels are big for me right now. I also added them to the dark red lined bag, and it sold the same day I updated the pictures! Progress!

I am up early to blog real quick and then get busy knitting. I have so many projects in my mind and on my needles! Time to get to work! Enjoy your day!