Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I know I only have a few readers. And I am not kidding myself into thinking that any of them (you) are waiting with bated breath to read my posts. But if this blog is gonna ever be anything even remotely meaningful or worthwhile, I am going to have to POST MORE and about KNITTING. I realize that. And I think I should start posting more WIP (work-in-progress) pictures too. I know that. I'll get better about that. I promise. Oh and the Daily Drool!!! That sorta turned into the Weekly Drool, though that alliteration-less phrase is so lackluster. Must...get...better. I will. I promise. But....probably not today.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A date with my son.

If you're a parent, or even if you have frequent contact with a child or group of children, you know that every once in a while - a kid needs one-on-one time with his or her primary caregiver. This may even be especially true if that child has siblings, as mine all do. As the mom of three kiddos, it has become increasingly apparent over the years that it's HARD to make sure that all of their needs are met. And really, what parent has made sure that ALL of their needs are met?? Have you MET any kids?? Their needs are VAST!! They're little need vortexes. Black holes of NEED. So yeah - once in a while, my kiddos start acting like um...*not the best version of themselves*...and that's the surest sign that they need some one-on-one time. This weekend, we made plans to have some one-on-one time (we have referred to them as mini-dates) with each of the big kids. Today was my son's day. And it was my turn to spend some time alone with him. I was EXCITED!!! And I'm not even remotely kidding!

He got to choose our plan of action today, and he chose going to a local playground/park, then to Toys R Us, and then to the mall, and then to a yarn store. Yes, you read that right. My little thoughtful guy wanted me to get some yarn for myself because he knows that I like pretty things. That's how he put it, anyway. (Can I get an "awwwwww")

We started at the playground/park. It was awesome! I didn't have to run around chasing after my 4yo, I didn't have to carry my 1yo in my Ellaroo Wrap the whole time, nor did I have anyone in a stroller. Just one 7yo boy. It was positively exhilerating! He swung, he merry-went-round, he walked up the little mountain. We played "imaginary volleyball" (existent ball, nonexistent net). Then we laid down on the cool grass and looked at the clouds...and pretended we were on a rocket to Neptune. HEAVENLY!

And then on to Toys R Us. Hey, he's 7. He likes *things*. So he selected one toy for himself, and one for his sister. There was no tugging, there were no arguments, I didn't have to split my attention between two aisles (one entirely pink and one entirely star wars). HEAVENLY!

After TRU, he decided to go home - his cup had runneth over and he was satisfied. Or he wanted to go play with his new toy. One of the two.

Anyway, for me it was a soul-soothing day. My little gentleman kept asking me if I was having a good time, and expressing his joy that we were out together alone. And I wonder now if our little kiddos simply sense when WE as parent need some one-on-one time with them to remind us that we actually do like them as people. LOL!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tuesday, Tuesday...

You know that song "Monday, Monday" by The Mamas and The Papas? That's how I feel about Tuesday. Mondays are usually just fine - I'm still floating on the high of the weekend. It's no secret that it's also partly because my kids are both in school on Mondays, and my 4yo goes to lunch bunch! This is not to say that I don't enjoy her company immensely. But I do relish the times when my 7yo and 4yo aren't trying to set up intricate traps to kill each other. Oh, they love each other fiercely. But that fierceness also comes out in other ways. Often. And Tuesday...oh, Tuesday. I've got a whole day of the week behind me (for those not following along, that would be Monday). But there are still 4 LEFT! It's not even hump day so I don't feel like I'm cresting that hill. It's just...Tuesday. I can't even *really* look forward to American Idol that night because let's face it - most of this year's contestants are mildly interesting, at best. I love Mamasox well enough, but I still don't get wildly excited when she takes the stage. Not like Adam Lambert anyway.

So today is Tuesday. I haven't cleaned up the dishes from last night (when I made an INCREDIBLE havarti dill cheese sauce that I poured generously over chicken, asparagus, mushrooms, leeks, and kalamata olives - oh heaven!!). I've chugged some coffee and my 7yo is ready for school. I'm planning to finish knitting a custom pair of small longies on Mosaic Moon's lovely Goblin colorway. I just hope that my 1yo allows me to. She's been known to cling like a barnacle on days that I've dared to hope I'll have some down time.

I'm starting to realize that this blog, which I created for my business, is turning out to be more personal than professional. And I suppose that's because Little Knittles is pretty personal for me. I create toys and clothes for little ones. The children of friends of mine, or of customers who will become friends. There's something very intimate about this business...knowing that all of the time and attention I spent on each stitch will be wrapping someone's most important treasure, hopefully for a long time! It's not an impersonal endeavor at all. Do I *need* for my customers to know me intimately? Certainly not. But I also don't really fear it. I don't suspect that I'll be garnering corporate accounts or soliciting sponsorship from mega-businesses. This is a business about families. About friends. I've never been accused of being a business savvy woman, so maybe I'll regret the more personal tone of this blog in years to come. But that isn't gonna stop me.

Maybe my next post will be about actual knitting. I guess that would be nice. For now, I'm off to nurse the baby and bring my son to school. Thanks for reading.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tough decisions...

I have decided to go on hiatus for a few months in terms of in-stock items. I am so grateful to have so many custom orders right now that I am at full capacity. Unfortunately, that means that I simply do not have the time to list new in-stock items right now. It's killing me because I really do love creating and designing new things, but it is just going to have to be put on hold for at least 2 months. My customs list is now pushed all the way back to August! I am absolutely THRILLED that so many awesome customers have put their faith in me, and in order to deliver on my promises to them, there really is no other alternative but to go on hiatus for a little while.

I will still continue to post on here, however, because there are just so many hours in the day when I'm nursing my littlest one and can't knit but CAN type. I will also probably still be designing, at least in my head, and will share some of my sketches and ideas on here. This means that I will not be stocking at Bella Tesori for a few months. The stock that I have there currently will be put on CLEARANCE SALE within the next few days. So keep a look out for those new slashed prices!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

The corniest of us would say something like "Every day is Mother's Day!" but the honest..est of us would say something like "Sometimes even Mother's Day doesn't turn out to be Mother's Day." Goodness knows we've all had years when that happened. But that's not gonna happen today! Today my kids told me they loved me, just like every day, but they added a little extra pizzazz. The baby peed on the floor which I know was a little nod to me - saying "I trust you to care for my needs, Mommy. Here. I'll show you." My 4yo gave me her homemade Easter basket, because she has two of them. And my cynical 7yo agonized about not having finished the book he wrote for me. And then he hugged and kissed me. So it's all good.

As I've shared in a previous post, I'll be lunching at Legal Seafood today. Very excited! Now I'm off to make some breakfast for the crew. That cynical 7yo I mentioned keeps telling me he's famished. Happy Mother's Day!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Who tweeted?

Well I can tell you it wasn't me. Not yet anyway. I just set up a Twitter account. It's "LittleKnittles" because I like to keep people guessin'. LOL But I truly have no clue how this thing works. So bear with me while I figure it out. In the meantime, follow me! Or whatever it's called. If you can find me. Is it easy to find me? I don't know how to tell you to look for me other than saying that I'm called littleknittles. That's all I got. If you've got a Twitter page and want me to follow you, let me know!

Mother's day approaches...

What are your plans? I'll be enjoying some expensive (yet free with a gifted gift card) food at Legal Seafood with my very own awesome Mom. I'm especially excited because although we see each other at least twice a week, it's always with the kids. Of course, that's fun too but let's be real. It's a different beast altogether when you're sharing a bottle of wine, chatting about things that are not appropriate for "little ears".

I always have the.best.time. when I'm with my Mom. I'm so lucky to have navigated adolescence and adulthood with her in such a way that we've come out on top, the best of friends. Yes, fine, it's 99.9% due to her. I was OBNOXIOUS. Story of my life - ask me about how my husband and I have made it for nearly TWENTY YEARS (I'll save you the math trouble - we met when I was 14). That's another post. Back to Mom. She's one of those impossibly-patient people. Impossible because you just KNOW that she screams bloody murder as soon as she's alone after a harrowing day. But really, SHE DOESN'T! I lived with the woman in an old house in which sound carried for 17 years. She really doesn't lose it! I swear! It's kind of creepy, while of course being totally awesome at the same time.

I, on the other hand, am cut from a different cloth. My father's cloth, mostly. I'm workin' on it. But my main point was - my Mom rocks. She and I must talk daily or the planets fail to rotate in their natural orbit. It's no secret that she's a second mother to my 500 children (ok I only have 3 but it feels like more, I swear). As proof, this morning my darling thoughtful 7yo son started making plans to surprise her for Mother's day to show her how much they appreciate all of the hard work she does for them. Can I get an "Awwww"?

So Mom's way awesome with the kids. But let's not forget that she was MINE first! So while I love that they get to hang with her and absolutely adore watching them play with her the same way I played with her as a child, sometimes IT'S MY TURN! So we're gonna go hang out and drink wine (oh wait, we're going to lunch - maybe we won't be drinking wine. OR MAYBE WE WILL!) and chat about random things and probably laugh so hard that one or both of us does the wiggle walk of shame to the nearest ladies bathroom (it's happened before). When we're together, we inevitably have one of those laughs that are just ugly. You know, when you can't even speak because you're laughing so hard or if you do manage to get some sound out it sounds like you're trying to make fun of someone who has a difficult time with speech. Or the snort - the snort is always fun. But the epic sign of a great laugh is the pee. Yeah, I said it.

So that's what I'll be doing this Sunday with my Mom. Peeing at Legal Seafood. I CAN'T WAIT!

Love you, Mom. :)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let's talk yarn.

Oh, sweet yarn. The knitter's life force. Or kryptonite, depending on your perspective. If you're me, for example, it is the most incredible stuff on earth - woolly happiness. If you're my husband, on the other hand, it's the destroyer of all our financial hopes and dreams. It's all about perspective.

But since you're reading this, I'm going to assume that you A) are not my husband, B) are at least moderately interested in yarn and knitty things, and C) are physically capable of navigating away from my blog if talk about yarn completely bores you. Hopefully you won't do C though. :)

So yarn. There are so many different kinds of yarn and sooooo many different artisans who hand dye all of those different kinds of yarns. I can't possibly go through all of them, nor can I possibly go through MOST of them. So I'll just go through some of them. At a later date I will compile some pictures of different yarns dyed in the same colorways so my readers can get a sense of how different yarns take dye, side by side. Probably not tonight, though. :)

*DISCLAIMER: These are just my opinions as a humble little knitter. You may not agree with everything I've said, in which case I'd love to hear it!*

No discussion on yarn would be complete without this extremely popular yarn (and deservedly so). My good friend Theresa of Little Turtle Knits was one of the first hand dyers I know of to use this farm's yarn way back in the very early 2000's. Back then they were known as something else - of course the name escapes me right now. Since then, most yarn dyers have this yarn base as part of their repertoire, and rightfully so! I absolutely love Cestari yarns. They sell a few different types of yarn. The one most commonly found amoung hand dyers and knitters is their superfine merino, followed closely by their fine merino. I'll just be honest right now and say that I don't really know what the difference is between their Superfine and their Fine. I've never had the occasion to have both at the same time to compare. They are both easily recognizable as Cestari, and are both hardy yarns which soak in dye quite well and have what I would call a matte finish to them. I mean this as distinguished from something like Blue Faced Leicester or Eco Wool, both of which have a bit more sheen to them. I have to say, though, that my favorite yarn of theirs is their Traditional 2-ply yarn. In particular, I love their Blue Denim solid - this is what I use to make my Skeiny Jeans. When I first receive the skein, I must admit it's a bit rough to the touch. But once it's been washed, it has the butteriest feel to it - I just love it. It is also a very hardy yarn and will withstand most rough and tumble play. I love how natural it feels, how unprocessed. If you're looking for something that creates a stiffer, hardier fabric (especially cloth diapering longies) - you can't go wrong with Cestari.

Blackberry Ridge
My second favorite yarn - hereafter referred to as BBR. This yarn is thick and spongy - almost springy. If you pull on either end of a piece of BBR yarn it has so much stretch to it yet doesn't loosen its plies easily - it's very tightly plied. It is perhaps one of the softest yarns, in my opinion, and is VERY vibrant in terms of how it receives dye. It is a thick yarn and therefore doesn't have the most delicate drape. But it is SO incredibly soft, I highly recommend it for anything going against a little babe's skin. Since teeny tiny babes are not usually standing around much, I don't mind the stiffer drape. For cloth diapering, I absolutely love this yarn. The fabric it creates is very thick and really holds up well even with the heaviest wetters. It does not pill very much, nor does it felt very much.

Blue Faced Leicester
Another yarn base that is extremely popular in the knitting world, especially around Hyena Cart. It is also a pretty springy yarn, though it is much thinner in terms of the fabric it creates. The plies are thinner and slightly looser, in general, though it is still a pretty hardy yarn and will take rough and tumble play relatively well. I have found that it pills and felts more than either Cestari or BBR, but it also has a nicer, more delicate drape. I tend to use this for tops or delicate accessories. It receives dye rather boldly, in my experience, and has a bit of shine to it (as compared to Cestari or BBR). It is definitely a thinner yarn, though, and I often find that I need to use smaller needles in order to achieve gauge on patterns (again, as compared to Cestari or BBR). BFL is not one of my favorite yarns to knit with, personally, as I find it to be a bit "hairier" while knitting - though finished products done with BFL are quite beautiful.

I don't have an enormous amount of experience with Targhee, though I have used it some. It seems very similar to BBR to me, though perhaps a bit less refined. I find some thick & thinness to it, and have often found little chunky bits along the yarn. I happen to like that, so it's never been a problem for me. It is also *extremely* springy and very tightly plied. It's a very soft yarn to the touch, but creates a very thick fabric like BBR does.

Marr Haven
Oh, Marr Haven - how to describe you?? You are chunky, you are hardy, you are bumpy, you sometimes have little veggie bits and grass bits in you, you sometimes smell like a farm. All as it should be. MH has such an unrefined feel to it, you either love it or hate it. I love it. But it takes a while to get used to while knitting. It's a very sticky yarn, in the sense that it is not drawn easily over needles. If all you've got is wooden needles, hang it up sistah (or brothah). Invest in some metals if you're gonna be using Marr Haven. But once you've washed it - Holy Soft, Batman. Nothing butterier! It is pilly but not in the same way as other yarns are pilly. Marr Haven releases enormous chunks of yarn once in a while, but somehow the integrity of the fabric is never compromised. At all. It is HARDY. I have a feeling you could be dragged through town by your knees wearing Marr Haven longies and nobody could ever tell. Not that I'm encouraging anyone to do that. In fact, wow. What a horrible image. Sorry.

Again, I don't have too much experience with Purewool but what I do know of it, I like. It seems to be pretty tightly plied but less so than BBR or Targhee. It's springy and a very rounded yarn. It is also pretty soft to the touch while still maintaining a very nice drape. It's a forgiving yarn in terms of stitch mistakes (not that I make stitch mistakes - I am an EXCELLENT KNITTER), though I'm not sure exactly why. It blooms nicely and becomes even softer once washed.

Eco Wool
Shiny! I've only ever worked with this yarn twice but both times I was struck by how delicately shiny it was! The most beautiful sheen, truly. It was not as tightly plied as others I'm used to, and is a sort of flat yarn. By that I mean that when you squish it down, it flattens easily - the plies all lay side by side. I mention this in comparison to a rounder yarn such as BBR, Marr Haven, Targhee, or even Purewool.

Gaia Organic Merino
A very popular yarn, perhaps one of the most beautiful drapes I've ever seen worked up. The worsted weight is a very light worsted, bordering even on DK or sport (for those non-knitters out there, I mean that it's a really skinny yarn and you'd have to use smaller needles to avoid the fabric looking to holey). It takes dye brilliantly and is uber-soft. I highly recommend this yarn for a newborn layette. It does pill and felt easier than the hardier yarns I've mentioned, but with the littlest ones this doesn't seem to be as much of a problem. I use this most with tops and accessories.

I think that my posting time is up - my 4yo has fallen asleep leaning into my back. It's becoming increasingly uncomfortable (for ME - she's snoozing away like she's been drugged) so I'm going to carry her upstairs now.

Thanks for reading! :)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Daily Drool!

I am an active member of the Hyena Cart forums, I'd venture to guess that most of you who are reading this are as well - because how else would you have found me?? LOL! Anyway, in the same spirit as "Spotting" on HC, I would like to start something on this humble little blog that I call "The Daily Drool". I will add it to my little sidebars over there on the right and I will change it as I see fit. I will leave each item up for at least 6 hours, sometimes I'll have more than one item, and sometimes an item will stick around for longer than others. These will be things that I have found myself, anywhere really. On HC, on Etsy, on individual shop websites, you name it. The caveat is that they MUST be available for sale either currently or in the near future. As soon as they are sold out, they get pulled (unless it's 2am and I'm sound asleep and the only drool is on my pillow).

So why am I telling you this? Because you get to join in on the fun! If you see something that you think is droolworthy, post it in my comments section or e-mail me outright. I will read every comment and every e-mail and choose which ones I put up for display. If your droolworthy item doesn't make the cut at first, don't despair! I don't want to overwhelm the blog with 8203702934 pictures - I gotta keep it nice and sparse and readable. So at most I'll have 2-3 items up at a time.

Now go find something droolworthy!!
(eta: yes i do keep changing the name of that little sidebar LOL)

The tools I use...

I will be compiling (and constantly updating) a list of the tools I use in my work - needles, hooks, stitch markers, needle rolls, yarns, etc. So to kickstart that I thought I'd do a bit of review of each of the items that I plan to put in the list. I'll keep coming back to this post over the course of the next couple of days.

I have a mishmosh of needles (that's not a word but I don't care, I'm a rebel). I learned to knit using those ubiquitous Bates needles - I'm sure you've seen them.

I have long since abandoned the ones actually pictured above - the ones that double as swords and could easily kill a small child. Or a large one, for that matter. I do, however, still use good ol' Susan Bates' DPNs (double pointed needles).

For the most part I love them. The only issue I have is in the fact that the size 6's and size 7's are SO CLOSE in color the difference is practically imperceptible (or is it 5's and 6's? I can't even tell). And if anybody out there is a knitter, you know that the difference in thickness between two sizes, one size apart, is ALSO practically imperceptible. Yet somehow, it makes a huge difference in your garment and you end up with a sweater with one little vestigial arm and one hefty one. Not that I've done that. I'm an EXCELLENT KNITTER. But anyway, you'd think they could make one BRIGHT GREEN and one DARK BROWN or something rather than the current system of "light pink" and "ever so slightly lighter light pink". It irks me. **Alright, I've just scoured the whole of the internet and cannot find proof of this travesty. I'm starting to think that maybe I'm insane and really they're all the same size. They're all the same color. But I swear they are slightly different!!**

This is exactly why sometimes I just put my metal needles down and pick up my trusty Clover Bamboos, with their CLEARLY PRINTED SIZES on each needle.

Oh, the smoothness. Yet not so smooth that your work just slips right off when you're trying to fumble with a teeny tiny baby sock and you throw it in the corner in a huffy tantrum for the last time dangit! Not that I've done that. I am an EXCELLENT KNITTER! But my point is that these are the perfect amount of smooth and the perfect amount of sticky. And the points are not SO pointy that you create a divet in your "knitting finger". I sometimes (blasphemously) refer to those as "knitting stigmata". Oh how I love my Clover bamboos. I have exactly ONE circular needle made by Clover. My trusty size 8's. (Not a picture of my own personal pair)

Love the cord, love the needles, love it all. So why do I only have one pair? The short answer is that I'm cheap. The long answer is that I'm verrrrry cheap. Instead, I use this very cheap set I got off of ebay for an EXTREMELY low price (so low I have to assume there is some sort of scam going on). I don't particularly like them. The points are too pointy. The needles are too sticky. The cords are too thick. But I still use them. Because they are the only ones I have in so small a diameter. And because I'm cheap.

Now on to interchangeables! My darling husband bought me an interchangeable needle set 2 Christmases ago. He went to Joann's and asked the sweet ladies there to set him up with a whole bunch of stuff he should get for his darling wife who is an avid knitter. They pointed him to the Boye KnitMates/NeedleMaster set.

This is a perfectly respectable set. But, because I'm picky and obnoxious and ungrateful, I have a few complaints. There is an odd ridge at the point that sorta makes your stitch get a little hung up every time you pass it over the needle. The cords are a bit too stiff to do any Magic Looping comfortably. And the points are a little too pointy for my taste. But they work, and in case you hadn't heard - I'm cheap.

Oh, don't think that I haven't dreamt of buying a brand new interchangeable set. In particular, I have spent many a night drooling over Hiya Hiyas, Addi Clicks, and the KnitPicks sets (who hasn't been mesmerized by those Harmony needles??). Someday maybe I'll finally make up my mind and just buy one already. My current obsession is the Hiya Hiya set. We'll see...

I think that I will have to stop this post here, my children are calling...


I have been taking some steps toward becoming a bona fide knitwear designer. I have been so grateful to hold a Cottage License from Little Turtle Knits to create her entire line of diapering knitwear (Picky Pants/Shorts, Skirties, Soakers). Theresa (owner of LTK) is a fantastic designer and I aspire to her creativity and skill. She's been generous with me in terms of modifying her patterns to create my Transitional Inseam design and Interchangeable Cuff design (no pic yet, that' still in process), but I've been feeling like I want to branch out even more and create my own designs from scratch. So that's what I've been doing.

Now, let's be clear. I've been making up patterns the entire time I've been knitting (22 years). But as I mentioned before, I was using crappy yarn and I was not writing anything down. So no matter how awesome something was I could never re-create it. And nobody would wear it because it was with nasty squeaky acrylic yarn. But now I am giving myself license to use wonderful yarn and put my full attention toward this knitting thang so things are changing 'round here. I'm writing things down! I'm making them more readable to others who might like to re-create my designs! It's daunting and a little scary but also the most fun I've had in a long time. Professionally, I mean. Let's not exaggerate.

Knee Socks
So my first foray into from-scratch designing THIS time around with my new resolve was a pair of knee socks for a lovely woman on Hyena Cart as part of a yarn-for-socks swap. I've made socks before, I've even made reeeeally long socks which I suppose could be considered knee socks, but not because they were specifically designed to hug the calf. So this was a true first for me. It also incorporated my new favorite thing: cables! Yes, it's true. For 22 years I avoided cables. Not because I was particularly afraid of them in terms of technical skills (I have a pretty big ego), but because they reminded me of little old ladies. Now before you start typing some mad hate toward me in that tempting comment section, let me re-iterate that I was TWELVE when I started knitting. So back then, 25 year olds were "little old ladies". My current 34 year old self may as well have been the crypt keeper in my 12 year old eyes. So don't hate me for hating cables back then. Feel some mild distaste for my unwillingness to change that opinion over the subsequent 22 years, sure. I'll grant you that. But anyway, the most important thing to take away from this tangent is that I LOVE CABLES now. In fact, I may write an entire blog post about how much I love cables (go ahead, mark that on your calendar so you can prepare by grabbing a scone and some tea - because all my readers are refined - and hunker down to read all about my thoughts on cables).

So my point? That my first knee socks have a beautiful plait running down the front of the calf. Pictures, you ask? Why yes I do have pictures. Why are they not here, you ask? Because I can't figure out how to embed them in this post. I will figure that out soon. In the meantime let me share that it has taken me many months so far to design these socks (the future recipient is so very patient - thank you) but I am pretty pleased with how they are turning out (except that blasted toe which is still wonky and I still have to fix). They are completely customized to the recipient's leg (it must have been so fun for her to take 802934072 measurements). And as anybody who has ever worn socks knows (that must be just about everybody, right? Except of course my 1yo daughter who flat out REFUSES) - it is important that they fit well. There is nothing less attractive than a bunchy sock. Unless, of course, you're back in 1984 when slouch socks were ALL THE RAGE and it was even cooler if you had TWO pairs on of different colors and you transposed the order on each leg (I was SO cool, even back then). So the sheer amount of math required to make the sock contoured to a specific person's leg was downright scary! And yet, intoxicatingly fun. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Except not any time soon because my brain needs a break. Anyway, I am about halfway done the second sock, and hope to finish them by the end of the weekend. Hope to. We'll see.

Figured out the picture thing! (Yes I know the toe is wonky in this picture, this was pre-first-frogging...I have to re-frog the toe AGAIN because it still ain't right)

Doll Clothes
After my brain exploded during the creation of the above knee sock pattern, I decided to create some smaller things that rely a little less on exact custom measurements of an individual's body. And what better to achieve that than DOLL CLOTHES! Who doesn't love doll clothes?? Dolls themselves love to get dressed, children love to dress them, and parents who are confident enough in themselves to admit it - love to dress them too.

I started out with some boyish longies (these are still available for purchase, by the way...I'm just sayin').

They were so much fun that I decided to tackle a girly version for our Beatles theme at Bella Tesori (a Hyena Cart congo of which I am a proud member). The result was my "Michelle, my belle...bottoms" (these are also still available for purchase...hint hint).

I think this is my favorite creation so far. I love the button, I love the shape of the pants, I love the way the straps loop around the button and create a very dainty multi-string strap, and I love the delicate grass stitch I selected for the top. If it made any sense at all, I'd buy it myself!

On the horizon

So what is next, you ask? Well, in the immediate future I will be finishing up some customs and swaps. Once I have cleared out my queue a bit more, I will be doing some more doll clothes. This will include writing up the patterns for sale and making the clothes themselves, also for sale. I'll be working on doll sizes from 10" through 18". Some lovely ladies from Hyena Cart have already sent me their dolls' measurements so that I have some numbers to work with, but if you're reading this and happen to have some dolls you could measure to give me even more data, please e-mail me so I can give you the looooong list of measurements I need.

Also on the horizon is the completion of my Interchangeable Cuff design, which I will write more about in a later blog post. I think this post is plenty long enough, thank you very much! My little 1yo, she-of-the-no-socks, must take her nap now. Thank you for reading!!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Please forgive my craziness...

As I attempt to completely restructure my very new blog. You will see some crazy stuff over the next couple of days. Right now, there are things in spanish on here. Not that spanish is crazy. Heck, I'm Peruvian. I could actually write my blog in spanish. But I'm not. Which is why seeing spanish on here is sort of crazy.

Anyway, please just bear with me while I completely renovate everything. If you happen to see something you like and then I go and change it on ya, drop me a line to let me know. If you care that much. :)


Such a conundrum. No, I'm not sure how that's spelled. You go look it up and let me know. I think maybe I've avoided blogs because I'm a perfectionist. And since my blog doesn't instantaneously look like some of my favorite blogs that have been around for years, I quit in a spiral of shame. Well maybe it's not that dramatic, but the point is that I stop. Because it's not perfect. Well, this blog isn't perfect either. But I'm determined to just keep at it.

It's sort of like knitting for me, I guess. I started knitting waaaaaaaay back "in the day" (that ubiquitous and vague way of saying a damn long time ago). I was in 8th grade. It was so NOT cool to engage in any of those types of handcrafts. It was especially uncool when you only used the most garish of yarns. Oh I shudder when I think of what I forced my poor hands to fumble with. I tried to crochet back then too (my Mom is an accomplished crocheter) but all I could do was a long chain. There's not too much of a market for a long crocheted chain. So I quit that. I've since picked it up again and have found mad love for amigurumi animals. Apparently there IS a market for those.

Anyway, what was my point? Right - that I'm a perfectionist with my knitting. It derails me sometimes, and makes me a little slower sometimes as well. My actual knitting is pretty quick - but I frog a lot. For those of you non-knitters out there, "frogging" is when you rip back your knitted rows and start over. It's sort of silly how that word evolved, I suppose - it comes from "rip-it". You know...sorta like "ribbit" Or however you spell that onomatopoeia? And however you spell THAT?

Back to the point. I frog a lot (don't you feel all "in the know" now??) - and it's not because I'm not a skilled knitter. I'll just toot my own horn right now and say that YES I am a SKILLED KNITTER. It would be horribly depressing if I weren't a skilled knitter after 22 years of knitting. But what kills me is my impulsivity. Gauge swatches?? Pft - who needs gauge swatches?? Oh right. Skilled knitters do. Following pattern directions exactly?? Pft - who neds to follow pattern directions exactly?? Counting rows?? Pft - who needs to count rows?? You see my point.

Now, all of those little shortcuts I made over the past 22 years didn't *really* matter because I was just making things for myself, or for my friends who, let's face it, never wore my acrylic garments. Oh they smiled and nodded and thanked me but I'm convinced that those things never made it past the first trash can. Not that they weren't made well...THEY WERE MADE WELL...it's just that they were made from nasty acrylic yarn that squeaked. Yes, it squeaked. You yarnies know what I mean.

But now that I'm a PROFESSIONAL KNITTER - oh how my knitting has changed. I am so careful now it's practically disgusting. I do gauge swatches. I follow patterns. I *write* patterns now! Can you believe it?? (OK you don't know me, so I guess you probably do believe me - have I ever lied to you before? In my previous blog post?) I think it's sort of like growing up. It's like that realization that YOU have become the crotchety old lady who calls the cops when those hooligan teenagers are being too loud outside your house at 9:00 at night while you're trying to get your babies to sleep. That's what happened to me. I grew up. And I'm trying to, you know, build a business built on a good reputation, solid knitting, creative designs.

And the yarn...oh, the yarn. I can practically hear my fingers sighing in relief. If you readers out there have never ventured to Hyena Cart for some incredible hand dyed or even handspun wool yarn - you have been missing out. It's heavenly. If I dared to force my fingers to knit with acrylic, they might all break on me in protest.

So now it will all come full circle - it's all about branding and customization. I want to set myself apart professionally. So in some ways, it feels like it all hinges on this blog. On how it looks, on the links I point you to, on how many followers I have, on how many people "Like" me on Facebook (goodness could you tap into a more dramatic adolescent obsession, FB??).

With those things in mind, you may see my blog change from time to time. Because along with impulsivity comes indecisiveness, restlessness, and boredom. I'm likely to change my blog's outfit a lot over the next few months until I get it *just right*. And then I'll change it again. So stick around for the ride, please. Follow me. Like me. I promise you I'm worth it. :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Let's give this a shot.

Despite the fact that I've been an avid internet clicker for over a decade, I am relatively new to the blogging world. At least as a blogger. I'm not exactly sure how I will be using this blog. I will be adding a custom/order list so customers can come here and see where they are in the queue. I will also be sharing little tidbits from my knitting design endeavors. At some point I'll probably post some inane drivel, hoping desparately that someone will get a little chuckle out of it.

I welcome ideas, critiques (nice ones, please - I don't wanna hear that I'm an idiot or something), and comments.

And you can officially thank my awesome friend Tara for the look of this blog. All together now - THANK YOU, TARAAAAA!

ETA: My very first post *edit* - if anybody knows why my facebook thingy over there <--- on the left is wonky and tiny, please let me know. I entered in the right code but it's not keeping it as I copied it in there and is instead shrinking it to this little teeny tiny font. It's damaging my enormous ego. Please offer suggestions if you can. ANOTHER Edit - if anybody knows why my Subscribe thinger ---> over there on the right isn't working, please let me know!!