#TestMyYarn **** Today is the day***

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Does that make your hands tingle with excitement? Do these make you want to dive in, touch, smell and knit or crochet like crazy? Well I hope so 🙂

Mini skeins are “in” at the moment and so I think this is the perfect format for my #TestMyYarn campaign.  And so as of today Friday January 31st 2015 and until Sunday February 8th 2015 all orders be it in the Etsy shop or my NEW online shop will receive a complimentary mini skein of my yarn, could be hand dyed yarn or could be hand spun yarn. If you have a preference for the yarn you would like to receive, please leave me a message with your order and I will comply to your wishes 🙂 Now isn’t that exciting? I think it is.

And as an added incentive for you, my Etsy shop has now reached 990 sales so once I reach 1,000 sales I will draw out a lucky client. Of course THE 1,000 order will receive a gift (to be disclosed later) but I will also draw a random winner out of orders 991-999 and that lucky client will also receive a gift. I’m so happy to reach this landmark in my shop and I really want to thank everyone who has supported my little entreprise and continue to do so. I hope to one day be able to make a living of my art and passion and to provide an even better shop with more variety and even more gorgeous products.

So I say let the fun begin share the #TestMyYarn campaign with your friends and social media, the more the merrier

Until next time, take care and happy crafting 🙂

#TestMyYarn and some self striping adventures

Hi there, now what does the title refer to here? Two things: 1) I’d like to draw attention to my lines of hand dyed and hand spun yarns by promoting them here on the blog as well as on social media etc. I will have an ad in an ezine to be published in feb or march and along with that mini skeins of hand dyed yarns from my lines will be included with knitting kits being sold at Addicted to Sock Knitting. I will also be donating a skein of yarn for a blog contest launching in February on the Tata tricot blog 2) But I’m also going to be talking about my yarns and my process be it for dyeing or spinning and will share that with you. I just received today my new warping frame which will make dyeing self striping yarns so much easier. I have not had the time to open the box yet so no photo but here is a link you can click on to see a photo of what it looks like: my new warping frame So I will try to do a post about the “behind the scenes” of self striping yarn dyeing for you to enjoy and I’m thinking I’ll also launch a little game here and ask for your help to promote my blog and my yarns and then draw out a few random winners that would in stead receive a selection of mini skeins. How does that sound. In my last post I talked about stitch markers and asked if any of you would be interested in testing my markers and in return share your feedback on your own blog as well as here and I have accepted the one offer I got so thank you Lazy Bene for that. I will be sending her a lot of markers of different types for her to try out, both for knitting and crochet and I really look forward to hearing what she will have to say about them. Also I managed to finish my socks using the gradient yarn from Knitcircus so here’s a picture of them at various stages IMG_2759   This is the yarn as I got it, would into 2 yarn cakes and you can see how the colours transition IMG_2758 Here I’m up to the heel placement. I decided on doing an after thought heel – I did worry about breaking up the gradient pattern of the yarn by not knitting the heels in a tradition way but hey, I just learned the after thought heel and when doing 2 at a time socks I find that just brilliant so on I went. IMG_2760 So here is an almost finished sock and you can see that I have picked up the stitches for the heel knitcircus socks 28jan And here are the finished socks. I love how regular the yarn is and the fact that the colours are really identical on both socks. Breaking up the yarn by doing an after thought heel finally did not do any harm as the heels are almost the same colour as the toes so I think it worked out just fine. Thats all for now so until next time I wish you a great day and lots of crafting time 🙂

Monday and a new week begins

Hello there, happy new week to you all. I do hope it will be a good one with lots of fun and creative moments.

Personally I began this week working on stitch markers. I fell into jewellery and stitch marker making about a year ago and I really love playing with different pearls, charms and wire. I’m not good enough to actually go on to work with silver and gold and semi precious stones as I still make mistakes and sometimes need to make a do a take two to get the correct results but I’ve subscribed to an online course in jewellery making on Craftsy where I hope to progress. If you are not familiar with Craftsy I highly recommend you go check out their website here: www.craftsy.com They have a library of both free and paying patterns as well as a shop for supplies involved in the projects you can make in their courses. The courses offered are very varied and can be from wood working to cake decorating to knitting to photography etc. If you are crafty and want to  either expand your skill set or learn new skills, then this is definitely a website you are going to get hooked on. I know I am and I’ve enrolled in a large number of different classes, some I do immediately and others I’ve enrolled in months ago and still have not gotten around to actually take. But then that is the beauty of Craftsy, you have lifetime access so if you enroll today and start your first class in a year, that’s just fine! So I definitely recommend you check them out 🙂

As for todays stitch markers, I made them using a 20 gauge artistic wire. I made split rings and then added glass beads to close them and give them a nicer look. I really love these small markers especially when knitting socks and shawls/lace patterns. When I do lace patterns for example, I put a marker after each repeat of the lace pattern. It helps me stay on top of the pattern and makes catching mistakes so much easier. So here’s a picture of my markers:

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So i’m wondering, do you as a knitter/crocheter use stitch markers on a regular basis? Which type do you like best?  Would you be interested in trying some of mine and in return write a review about your experience on your blog – a post that I could also share here on my blog? If that is something you are interested  in then please leave me a comment below and I will be in touch.

Take care and enjoy your week ahead

A new and exciting year – lots of changes in view

Hi there, first of all I’m sorry I haven’t written for months! Things have been hectic both in my professional and private life. But now we are in 2015 and I’m dead set on making this the YEAR OF! That being said, I wish you all a very happy new year and I thank you for your support and patience with me and I hope you will continue to follow my blog and my crafty adventures.

So what about this new year? What am I planning that is so exciting? Well, I want this to be the year when my shop really makes a name for itself. I’ve been running my shop since 2011 and I feel that slowly but surely my shop is getting better known and sales are slowly increasing. What I love is that I have clients from all over the world, from Iceland to South Korea to USA to Tazmania to France. Going to the post office is like looking at a wish list of places I’d like to visit 🙂

So my challenges this year will be to better maintain my blog and blog on a more regular basis. I’m also going to open up my own ecommerce website/shop which means I will have come full circle as I actually began this adventure with my very one online shop and then closed that down to go 100% on the Etsy platform. Now I’ve decided that Etsy is not enough and that I’d like to have my own shop that I can run and design as I wish. And so that is a huge project that will take a lot of time for me to set up. I’m already working on that and I plan on opening the shop even though the virtual shelfs will not be full but just as an incentive for me to really crunch and do what I can to fill them up in as short a time as I can. I will be linking to the shop here so you will be able to click from the blog to the shop so if you follow me on the blog you are likely to be among the first to actually see this new shop as I do not plan on advertising it until I feel I have sufficient stock for sale.

So  better blog and a new shop – those are two big challenges for 2015. I’m also going to dive more into dyeing yarn and fibre as that is what I really love doing. I have a nice set up for dyeing now which is great. I have invested in some professional tools to help me optimise my work and that will help me get more done. Also I have invested in a carding machine in addition to my blending board and I’m going to be offering more punis/rolags for spinning. Carding and blending wool is really fun to do and I’m sure other spinners will love spinning from my punis as much as I do. I also have hand spindles that I customise and will be selling in kits with wool rovings or punis.

I’ve been experimenting with mini skeins and they have met with a certain success so I’m going to work on doing the same thing with my hand spun yarn. People that have never worked with hand spun may shy away from that thinking it is not as good quality as commercial yarn or they feel the price is too high so maybe they will be more interested in a set of mini skeins for them to try out different colours, textures etc.

My shop now focuses more on my own production and less on commercial supplies. I may continue to sell knitting needles in the future but I will most likely be limiting myself to just one brand. I have however fallen for a small number of what I believe are exceptional items and I will be offering those in the shop. One of them is already for sale, the SOCK RULER! Have you heard of it? If not this is a new product that is pending its pattent in the USA. This is a flat, sort of sock formed plastic ruler that makes measuring for your sock knitting a lot simpler. It helps you to measure all the different parts of your sock in a fun and easy way. Since this item was first commercialised, late 2014 I believe, it has been a big hit with sock knitters and I believe I’m the only european retailer to offer those so I hope european sock knitters will enjoy these as well.

sock ruler 2 All measurements are in inches but as a lot of the sock patterns I knit are in inches that does not bother me that much.

I will also soon be offering some items made by crazymonkeycreations in the US, such as a row counter, sock blockers and mitten blockers.

I will be doing 1 show this year, probably the only one in 2015. At least I do not have another one planned for the moment but hey if something exciting comes my way I just might go for it. So this years show will be in London in the UK. The show will be on May 15-16. This will be a small show with indie dyers and independent producers and is organised by Iknit and if any of you live in the UK or have the possibility to come, then I’d love to meet you in person.

I have also recently joined a very addictive group on Facebook called “Addicted to Sock Knitting”. You can apply for a membership but be aware, if you like knitting socks, this can increase your passion to the point where it becomes an addiction. They have almost 10,000 members from all over the world and it is a truly fun group to be a part of and you see lots of pictures of beautiful socks and yarns and learn new techniques etc. The lady that runs the group also issues an e-zine called Addicted to Knitting that is for lovers of sock knitting and Knitting in France will have a small add in the next issue so hopefully that will draw some traffic to the shop 🙂

As for my latest dyes here are a few pictures:

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My latest knits have of course been socks as since I joined the Addicted to Sock FB groupe that seems to be all there is to knit

IMG_2694 These I knit with my hand dyed sock yarn  and I made these for a friend who since has admitted that she just might become addicted to hand knit socks 🙂

IMG_2733These are my wip socks, this is my first attempt at an after thought heel socks and I think I love the construction so I may be making more of these. The yarn is a Danish brand yarn that I purchased on my last visit to Iceland.

IMG_2732 These I made from my hand spun yarn. I love the way the colour and stripes come out and especially the fact that I made them from my own hand spun yarn. These are my first EVER socks with my hand spun yarn but I’m sure I will be making more but I think I have to test them some first, I worry that the fact this is 100% wool they may be fragile and I would/will be devastated if all the hard work of spinning the yarn and then knitting it was then ruined by holes in a record time so I’m going to do some “testing” before making more socks this way.

Well I think it may be time for me to say good by before this post reaches epic proportions and you just give up reading 🙂 Take care and have a wonderful and creative week