Handmade jewellery and ideas for knitters

A few months ago I tried my luck at making fantasy jewellery and guess what? I love it! So I dove in head first and started making lots of fantasy jewellery such as earrings, rings, bracelets, headbands, key chains etc.  I had a little shop on Etsy where I sold them but I closed the shop and am looking into a new idea for those products and how better market them. Here are some photos for you to see:

IMG_1274  I read a lot and so found the idea of making bookmarks attractive, and so I went on and made quite a lot of those

IMG_1319 A headband with a glass cabochon, those are so cute

IMG_1324 A bag/purse holder, this is a great idea when out at a café or restaurant and avoid putting your bag on the floor

IMG_1347 These are fun key chains that make finding your keys in your handbag easy peasy  IMG_1351 IMG_1361  These bracelets are nice, I love the quirky glass cabochons which give me a million possibilities

IMG_1375 IMG_1416  Bobby pins, these are super cute

IMG_1446 Cute hair pins

IMG_1461  I made a number of rings with glass cabochons

IMG_1552 This can be used either as a key chain or a bag charm

I especially love making earrings, I find there are so many possibilities and my new idea, that I’d like to run by you, would be to make sets something like a pair of earrings and a matching set of stitch markers. I could do those both for knitters (jump rings) and crocheters (lobster clasps). What do you think? Would you be interested in something like that? If sold in a gift box or special wrapping, would you consider giving that as a gift to a friend for example? Would you like to receive a gift like that? Please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me on the matter and leave a comment below 🙂

Here are some earrings I’ve made to give you an idea:

IMG_1482 IMG_1533 IMG_1525 IMG_1508 IMG_1490

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings

Earrings 

That’s all for today girls, I hope you are having a great day and look forward to hearing from you 🙂

ps- don’t forget there is still time to participate in my little game that I introduced in my last post (share my blog on your own blog or social media, leave me a comment with a link to the page and Saturday I will draw out one lucky winner who will receive this months copy of Simply Knitting magazine plus a little surprise from Knitting in France)

It’s the beginning of a new week and time to show you what I did this weekend :)

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great weekend with lots of time for crafting. I did some finishing and some continuing. First off I did some plying – as much as I LOVE spinning, plying seems to be a bit like the infamous “second sock syndrome” if you know what that is. So I usually just spin and spin and spin until I’ve used up all my bobbins and THEN I do some plying to free them up again. It really is ridiculous as the final gratification is actually seeing the skein of yarn but hey, that’s how it is for the moment at least. So I did some Navajo plying and some two plies. When I have a really colourful yarn with lots of different colours I prefer Navajo plying as then I get long stretches of color and the skein looks just delicious. When the colours are more muted or just less of them I usually make a two ply yarn. I don’t exactly know how I came to this pattern but it seems to work for me. So here are  some photos:

IMG_1980 These are the plied skeins, so counting from the left; skein 1 and 3 are two plies and skeins 2 and 4 are Navajo plied.

When I make a  two ply yarn, more often than not I use my Handy Andy tool and here is a picture of my Handy Andy with a skein worth of singles:

photo 2 (13) And then the skein itself once it’s been plied IMG_1981  The colours are all soft purples, blues and pinks.

 

And this is what is left for me to ply:

IMG_1984  This is a mix of different bats some that include add ins and I’m thinking of making this into a two ply yarn

IMG_1983  This is a huge bobbin with merino wool of all kinds of colours and will definitely end up as Navajo plied yarn

IMG_1982 As you can see my Handy Andy is full again and waiting for me to make my two ply yarn. I love the colours; pinks and greys

 

But I also did a bit of knitting and when photographing my progress I found two more projects that I hadn’t shared with you so now I will 🙂

IMG_1985 The Enchanted Mesa is progressing rather rapidly I think. When knitting sweaters I’m always afraid they will take forever to knit but not this one and in addition it’s super easy and relaxing to knit.

IMG_1986  My progress so far on the Rockefeller shawl by Stephen West. I’m using a brown yarn from Spud and Chloé and the yellow sparkly yarn is hand dyed by myself. I think the shawl will be beautiful once done.

IMG_1987  These fingerless mitts are “owlies”, I hesitated to put their picture here as I feel you don’t see the pattern clearly but at the top and bottom you have owl cables which makes these mitts super cute. I still have to knit one thumb and sew on all the seed pearls for the eyes.

IMG_1988 This is a sweater I knit for my oldest daughter (she is the main recipient of my knits as even though she has no interest in knitting she is a fan of my work – which is rather pleasing to me)

I don’t remember the name of the pattern but what I loved about it was the shaping which is unusual and also the fact that it is a seamless knit, knit from the top down. I used Almerino baby yarn which is 50% merino and 50% alpaca so super soft and warm. The only thing left is to wash and block the sweater. When I can, I skip the blocking but here there is no escape as the hem curls up and that is no good. I hope I will be able to block it so it will look as beautiful as the photos on the pattern…

Well, that’s all I was able to accomplish this weekend. What about you, did you finish some work in progress or begin a new one? Share with us by leaving a comment below if you feel like it (I’d love to hear from you).

Now in my first post I told you about my needle stoppers being featured in this months edition of the Simply Knitting magazine. I’m a subscriber myself and so was anxiously waiting for my copy to arrive to see my work in print and of course this time my copy took EXTRA long to arrive. I was actually convinced it had gotten lost in the mail so I called the magazine and they kindly sent me another copy. A few days later my copy finally arrived and a few days after that, the second copy came in! So I now have one extra copy on my hands which I would like to offer to one of my readers here.

So I’m launching a little game, to participate you need to share my blog with others either on your FB page, your own blog, Pinterest, Twitter etc and leave me a comment below with a link so I can see your participation/share. You have until Friday 31st of January and on the afternoon (Paris time) of the 1st of February I will draw out the winner who will receive this months copy of Simply Knitting and a little surprise from me 🙂 Sound good? I hope so. So, LET THE GAME BEGIN!

 

My latest projects and works in progress

ImageHi  there, today I’m going to share with you my latest knitting projects and my work in progress. The photo above is of a cute owl by Alan Dart. I saw the pattern and felt and urge to knit one myself. I did not have a recipient in mind, and still don’t, I just thought it was super cute. And so I knit my own pyjama owl and now it is waiting on a shelf for me to decide what to do with it:) I am a fan of Alan Dart, he makes such intricate patterns, so delicate and complex but yet doable. I usually am not much for knitting softies but I do love browsing his website for patterns. You can check his website here

Then I made a sweater for my older daughter. It had been ages since my last sweater. I went through a long period where sweaters just seemed overwhelming, projects that required way to much time and I just did not have the patience and so I only knit socks, shawls, hats, mittens etc. Until I saw this nice pattern and thought I could use my undyed 100% alpaca chunky yarn for it, it is incredibly soft and warm, so off I went and here are the results:

Image Unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the pattern and I was intelligent enough to throw my copy away!

After knitting an entire sweater I had to do something small so I decided on a pair of socks, again for my daughter who loves to wear hand knit socks (in my family of 5 we are the only ones that enjoy and understand the happiness of wearing hand knit socks). I chose a fingering yarn that I had hand dyed a while ago but had not sold – I don’t quite understand why because I thought the color was beautiful and once knit up in socks I think the results are equally beautiful. So here goes:

Image Image

And now I’m working on three projects, yes three! I am one of those knitters that cannot work “just” one project at a time, I need versatility and to be able to knit different things depending on my mood and opportunities. So, for tv knitting I have two projects both by Stephen West. One is a shawl but I don’t yet have a picture of that, it’s the Rockefeller shawl. I’m knitting it in Spud and Chloé yarn chocolate color fingering and then one of my own yarns in bright yellow with some silver stellina for added glam 🙂

The second tv project is the Enchanted Mesa sweater, yes i’m on a roll now with sweaters. This model is a fun one to knit, the construction is highly unusual and at the same time simple to do. The fun part I feel is that you can use a number of colours and either follow his instructions for the color changes or just make your own – as I did. One is sort of supposed to take this opportunity to work from the stash but hey why reduce your stash when you can buy some more yarn????

So of course, I bought some more:

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And here are a couple of photos of my progress so far:

ImageImage

 

I rather like the outcome so far. There is one trick to this pattern though, you are supposed to swatch and knit the pattern according to your outcome. I have a problem with swatches, I’m too impatient to do swatches, that is not good I know. I also know that swatching can help you avoid catastrophes, but…. So I admit I did not swatch and as I progress I become a little nervous and I hope that in the end the sweater will fit me! I know that if it does not, I can always give it to my daughter and try again but I really would like it to FIT ME!

And then my third and last project for the time being, is a lap’ghan – a small blanket- and I’m using linen stitch (I think) and my own hand spun yarn. This is turning out to be a thick and very warm little blanket and I look forward to seeing it all done. It’s extra rewarding to be knitting with my own hand spun yarn and as I like colours this one is going to have lots of them.

Here you go:

ImageImage

 

What about you? What are you knitting now? Do you also have a number of projects going at the same time? Do you also suffer from “resistance to swatch” as I do? I’d love to hear from you on these subjects, please feel free to participate and leave a comment below.

Thats all for now; happy knitting and just general crafting to you all 🙂

A little bit of bragging

Hi there, this is my very first blog post this year and to start off I’ve decided to tell you about my hand made stitch markers and needle stoppers. As a knitter I have accumulated a certain amount of fun knitting accessories over the years and those include stitch markers and needle stoppers. I find stitch markers to be super useful when knitting lace – I love knitting shawls- and when you have a large number of stitches I sometimes use them to help me count and avoid having to count a zillion times to be sure of my number of stitches:)

Needle stopper are great for avoiding loosing your stitches when you put your knitting down for a break – especially if you leave your knitting in your knitting bag for knitting on the go. I personally get very annoyed when I pick up my sock say, which has this great lace motif and find that x stitches have magically gone off the needle and I probably need to rip back a few rows and redo the whole thing. Quirky looking needle stoppers and stitch markers are an added bonus.

After spending a number of hours admiring beautiful markers on line I decided maybe I could have a got at it and I did! And as always I fell hard for this new craft! I love trying out new things, shopping for charms, making charms with polymer clay etc. I find this new craft is just as rewarding and relaxing as knitting or spinning. And so I decided sell some!

After I closed my own eshop on the net and opened a shop on Etsy I changed my focus and now concentrate on my own hand made products and these fit in nicely with my yarns. At the moment my stitch markers and needle stoppers are quite popular and the best thing is that my buyers leave me very positive feedback and that is so motivating.

Here are some photos just to give you an idea of what I’m making:

Knitting stitch markers

These ceramic owl markers are a hoot

Some foxy markers

Some foxy markers

A lifesaving device
A lifesaving device

 

The must

A set of stitch markers and a needle stopper

A French crochet designer found my products on Facebook and contacted me last year. She wanted to know if I would be interested in participating in her new crochet book by sending her some crochet markers for her to test/use and in exchange they would be photographed and published in her book along with information about my shop for her readers to buy some. I was just over the moon of course and immediately sent her some markers. Her book was published late last year and here is the book: http://www.amazon.fr/Miaouxdoudoux-leurs-amigurumis-Vinciane-Trufelli/dp/2814101722

This is a crochet book for amigurimi crochet animals – each cuter than the other and I’m so proud that she used some of my markers in her book.

Then I was contacted by an editor of Simply Knitting – one of the UK’s most important knitting magazines. They wanted to feature my needle stoppers in the Valentines issue (Feb 2014 which was published this beginning of January). That blew me away! I was so happy and proud that someone “in the business” had taken note of my shop and hand made stuff so of course I agreed and sent the a number of items. Needless to say I have been bragging ever since the magazine was published. And no reason to stop now, so if you are not a subscriber, here is a link to the page where MY needle stoppers are featured

I hope this will help me get the word out there and help me reach more customers. If you would like to discover my shop and browse just click here