Wednesday, 29 April 2009

This just made my day!

Figuring out how to do this just totally made my day! I always thought that these mosaic collages were so cool! Now I have my very own! This is how I would have liked to introduce my new yarns, all at once. This is the Yellow Label DK weight mosaic, lovely isn't it?

New yarns up in the shop

After an exciting introduction at this years Knitters Frolic I'm happy to announce that my two new yarns are now available in my Shop.

Pink Label Lace Weight:

And Yellow Label DK Weight: 


Monday, 27 April 2009

Knitters Frolic 2009!!

I'm back from the Frolic! It was one hectic weekend, but it was definitely worth sacrificing a little sleep for. For me, it was a huge learning experience. I had no idea what to expect, I didn't know how I was going to set up my booth, I didn't know if anyone was going to be interested in my booth or if anyone would have ever heard of me... it was all new and exciting. Everyone was so nice and so happy to be there, touching yarn, hugging yarn, appreciating yarn and giving lots of lovely feedback. The volunteers that put on the whole event were fantastic and so helpful. I had an extremely positive experience. People actually had heard of me and were excited to see me! It was great to be able to talk to the people that knit with my yarn, people were very encouraging and it was really nice to hear that kind of positive feedback from knitters who really use my product. It was equally great to see someone's face light up when they learnt about my company and saw my yarns for the first time. I was thrilled! 

A couple other highlights include meeting Laura from Cosmicpluto, she was very nice and since she's such a knitting star I was very flattered that she was interested in my yarn. Also, I got to see this amazing shawl in person (as well as the lovely and cool person wearing the shawl) I'm definitely going to be making one for myself. Very cool. 

So, here are some pictures of my booth, my mom and I spent hours figuring out how it was all going to work, but in the end I'm really happy with how it all came together. 

Here's an overall shot before we hung the sign, mom made me pose with it:

This was the sock yarn section, we had a rainbow theme going on, I have a hard time getting away from lining stuff up colour wheel style.

The aran weight yarn also got displayed in it's rainbow on a shelf in the front of my booth, with puddles of colours cascading around the bottom.

The lace weight got it's own corner of a table. Finally, this picture also shows off a decent view of my adamas shawl. 

The booth was colourful and full of goodies to fondle. My mom was such an amazing help during this whole process, she helped me label, package, organize and plan and then when this weekend finally arrived she helped me set up and then worked the booth with me! She's my first employee and was a real lifesaver. She's pretty much the best! And to top it all off since I didn't leave my booth for a second she bought me this book I'd been coveting for a while as a little token to make up for all the things I wasn't able to shop for at the Frolic (I'm telling you, it was like torture, I was surrounded by amazing yarn and goodies but wasn't able to shop!) I love my mom. 

Here's one last parting shot of my basket of sock yarn, I may just leave this basket exactly like this on my coffee table, it's yarn art.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Off to the Frolic!

Well, I'm off to Toronto to the Knitters Frolic this weekend! I have been working towards this for what seems like months! I've spent every day this month dyeing, drying, labeling, organizing, counting, planning and printing in preparation for this Saturday! 

I hope to meet lots of new people and see lots of great things. It'll be my first Frolic and I can't wait! 

I'll take plenty of pictures and share it all here when I get back. Hope to see you there!


Wednesday, 22 April 2009

not a green thumb

I'm not much of a green thumb, so I've decided to stick to succulents. I didn't have any plants for a while for several reasons, we have no space, since the yarn (and now Chris's beloved bike) have taken over our apartment we have little available floor or counter space, making it difficult to have plants. Secondly, Stella ate my last plant that I had managed to keep alive for 2 years! Seeing as how Stella's pretty much all grown up now and far better behaved then she used to be, I decided that it was time to welcome plants back in to our lives. We do have one deep and available windowsill, so that's where they live.

I only have one attractive pot, the two plants sitting on yogurt lids will get lovely pots soon. We have aloe, practical, beautiful and I'm told easy to maintain. Jade, also beautiful and very hardy, plus my mom had a beautiful jade plant when I was growing up that she bought as a small plant and by the time it died (like 20 years later) it was huge and stunning! The jade replaces the plant that Stella ate, I bought one when Chris and I first moved in together hoping that I'd have it for as long as my mom had hers and I'd tell my kids someday that I bought it when Chris and I first shared a home, but Stella crushed that sentimental plan. The last one, and I think the cutest, is some sort of adorable hot pink cactus! I might get more of these and have a cactus garden, it's so sweet.

Check out this site for more amazing succulents!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Study Hall Skirt

Here it is, my Study Hall Skirt. I haven't worn it yet, the weather just hasn't been warm enough. But we did have one kind of nice day last week, so I took advantage of the opportunity and did an outdoor photo shoot. In this photo I'm trying to appear as though I'm casually walking up some steps in order to fully show off the colourful pleat!

Here's a more natural pose, see the skirt is really flattering and sweet. I think I'll make the next one a little bit shorter (maybe 2 inches shorter) because though I love this skirt, I find it pretty conservative. I don't often wear knee length skirts, I'm short, so I don't find it to be the most flattering length on me. On me, knee length skirt definitely make heels a must. 

This close-up shot captured the wind that was blowing up and puffing out the pleats a bit. I think it's a neat picture. (Thanks mom!)

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

I like the colour blue

So I've made just a little bit of process on my Fiddlehead mittens since last week, but not nearly as much as I'd like. Hopefully a quiet night of cuddling with Stella can make up for the lack of knitting that's been going on these days. I've been very busy dyeing my days away getting ready for the Frolic, it's cut down on my knitting time and mostly my knitting energy. But I was able to finish this mitt and block it. 

It's lovely and I love it, the colours, the pattern, the whole thing. However, remember that pesky fit issue I had the last time I knit this pattern? Well, I'm an idiot for not realizing this sooner, but the pattern is designed to be lined! I thought that since it was stranded knitting that two layers of merino would be plenty to keep my hands warm, which I do still think, however of course the mitt is ending up large because it's supposed to fit a whole other mitt inside of it! It took me a while to figure it out, but now I've finally got it. I'm going to knit the liner using this sample skein of cashmere/merino/nylon that I had dyed up in Plum. it's going to be super soft, crazy warm, and really pretty nice I think. The next time, if I decide to omit the liner, I'll knit the pattern with fingering weight yarn. 

Last weeks sewing success, which I'm going to try and photograph tomorrow, got me really inspired to make/sew more! I got on Etsy and started planning and shopping for my next projects. Since Anna Maria Horner treated me so well the first time, I decided to stick with her and try a couple more of her patterns.

(Can you tell I have a thing for blue?) From left to right we have Sketchbook in Green from her Drawing Room Collection, Tablecloth in Ice from Garden Party, Mingling in Ice (Garden Party), Centerpice in Olive (GP) and Up All Night in Blue (GP). Plus her patterns for the Socialite Dress and the Multitasker Tote. I bought most of the fabric and the patterns at Sew Love Fabrics. The service was quick, the packaging was so cute and she sent along loads of surprises! I'll definitely buy from her again. Here are the bonuses that came with my purchase:

Two coordinating fat quarters from Anna Maria Horners new Good Folks Collection, plus 4 little sample squares of other designer fabrics. Lovely.

So, here are my plans for the fabrics, but I'm open to maybe changing things around a bit. I had intended to pair these two fabrics to make the tote:

using the floral as the main fabric and the squares as the pocket/lining/strap, but I really like the way that this one looks with a third fabric for the strap, so I may have to find a third.

Next I had intended on making another Study Hall skirt using these two fabrics:

Originally I thought that the fact that they were really similar in colour, but slightly different was a good thing, but now I'm not sure, maybe they're two close? I was trying to do that thing that Anna Maria does where she mixes patterns and colours so liberally, I'm not sold on this combo yet, I may look for another coordinating fabric for either print. I don't have a fabric in mind yet for the Socialite Dress, I figure that if I get through these two projects, plus the bag that I plan on making with Sketchbook in Green, then I'll be off to a good start. I'll leave the Socialite Dress for another day.

Last bit of news. I'm engaged!!!

Chris, I and Stella are all thrilled!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

A Very Crafty and Successful Weekend

Here she is! My pretty little girl doing her best to beg for the treat I have in my hand. In this picture you can kind of see up her nose, which isn't ideal, but I still think that she's cute. She's modeling her new sweater that was inspired by my trip to Preloved. The sweater actually turned out surprisingly well. She has a winter coat that fits perfectly and has a really clever and practical construction, so I based the design of this sweater on that.

This sweater gets pulled over her head and then you pull the funny little flap part under her belly between her two front paws and secure it to velcro on the inside of the back portion of the sweater on either side of her rib cage.

So it's easy to put on, sweaters that slip over the head and have leg openings are great too, but if she's excited it can take a bit more wrestling to get her to cooperate and stick her legs in the holes. From the top she's got the button band running down her back, so it really looks like a real sweater, I think it's a cute touch. It's not a functioning button band though, I sewed it shut so it couldn't stretch open. You can sort of see in the above picture how I cut out what used to be the shoulder part of the fabric between the raglan to accommodate her smaller frame, but still keep that raglan style look. Having the velcro on the underside of the fabric makes for a cleaner finished look, it looks like the sweater just drapes over her and stays put. When she's more cooperative I'll get a photo of her wearing it, but it's a miserable, rainy day here so I couldn't get a nice outdoor shot. 

On to the next thing I did this weekend! I made a skirt! All by myself! My mom was there for back-up and she guided me through the invisible zipper, but I did it all myself, pleats, zipper, the whole thing! Can you tell I'm very proud of myself? I made the Study Hall Skirt by Anna Maria Horner and it's lovely. Of course, I don't have a finished shot yet, but here are the fabrics I used.

The main part of the skirt is the beige polka dot and the pleats and bottom hem are the multicoloured fabric. From a distance it looks like I'm just wearing a lovely conservative khaki skirt, but then I take a stride and you get a flash of colour. I've already ordered some more dramatic Anna Maria fabric to make another version that's a little less safe, I love how she uses bright colours and bold patterns, so I'm going to take a cue from her and do the same on my next version. Modeled photo's to come.

I managed to block my Adamas Shawl over the weekend. This is a great pattern, and the yarn passes the experimental knitting test! It will be available at the Knitters Frolic and in my shop soon!

I couldn't resist and cast on right away for my drying rack inspired fiddlehead mittens. It's kind of funny how you get into a colour rut eh? I noticed that the palette for these mittens happens to be exactly the same as the palette of my new skirt! Maybe I need to branch out of the bright colour on neutral background theme for a while, but I just really love that combo!

Lastly, I sewed the buttons on my Ultraviolet February Baby Sweater. They're hard to photograph, but they're a lovely shade of violet that kind of look like they have rain drops on them. Very cute.

Tada! A very crafty and successful weekend indeed!

Love, Tanis

Friday, 3 April 2009

Favorite colours today

I haven't been knitting as much as I'd like to be lately. I've got a pesky wrist injury that acts up every once in a while, and it's been acting up in a big way this week. I even went out and bought myself a brace! Since I've been doing lots of dyeing, I thought it wise to cut back a bit on the knitting, too much wrist action could take me out of commission for longer then I can afford.

When I have been knitting, I've been working on this February baby sweater in a new dk weight yarn I'm dying. 

It's in my Ultraviolet colourway, and I'm really loving it. Of course the pattern is great, and I've always been a blue/purple/turquoise person, so combined, it's my perfect little sweater. I don't have a baby in mind to give this too, so I may just hang on to it for a little while.

Next I have a few more colours that were drying next to each other on my drying rack the other day and I just fell in love with them mingling together.

It's Sand, Amber, Garnet, Plum, Midnight and Moss. On the drying rack it was really only the Amber, Garnet and Plum, 3 colours that I wouldn't have combined, but I really like the way they work together! I added the Midnight and the Moss to round out the rainbow, and I'm considering making myself a pair of better fitting Fiddlehead mittens with the whole spectrum. So many possibilities! I'm really excited about my dk weight yarn (I'm thinking it's going to be called "pink label") because I think it's going to be the perfect yarn for colour work!

Lastly, here's a photo of my drying rack's, always full of colour and inspiration. Fun to look at.