Smitten with Mittens

Hello, my dear readers. Remember the sweater I designed for my darling little puppy? No? Well, here… take a look. Click here. Ringing a bell? Well I posted the pattern for sale and it has been quite a big seller. The mitten pattern, not so much…
However… I had someone order a pair of the actual mittens. I guess no one is interested in knitting a pair themselves!
I had an Etsy customer request these in a smaller size. Custom orders are the best… that’s part of the fun of the whole handmade marketplace, don’tyathink?

This was my first sale of a physical item–not a pattern download, that wasn’t by someone I knew personally. It was a little bittersweet since I was so into the sweater dress and didn’t want to switch gears and make those mittens again. Though if I’m going to sell things on Etsy that aren’t in stock, that’s the price I pay. And hey, it’s really not so bad.

I definitely had to glance over my pattern to give myself a refresher course on how the heck I made these mittens last time. As I started to string the beads onto the yarn, I thought to myself that I must have been crazy to pair this bulky yarn with little 6/0 beads. What a hassle. However, once I got started… it wasn’t so hard. And it’s so worth it! This yarn is wonderful. There are very few “chain-store yarns” that are worth writing home about. Lion Brand Baby’s First would be one of them. It is so incredibly smooth. Also, it doesn’t have a luster to it… I think “shiny baby yarn” is a little overused. This yarn is just smooth, simple, and luxurious–as far as cheapy yarn goes. I would highly recommend it.

Revisiting this pattern has reminded me of… for lack of a better description…how awesome I am! Not going to be shy about it… I’m very proud of this pattern. I didn’t snag the cabled pattern from a stitch pattern. Just experimented with the beads and yarn until I found something I liked. I’m so touched that someone ordered a pair! Having strangers pay money for my creations never gets old, and never will.

The Sweater Dress Experiment

I’m somehow under the delusion that designing two pairs of gloves and a dog sweater has in any way prepared me to jump right into designing a sweater dress. I’m about 4 inches up from the hem, and so far so good. With a little luck, this dress will turn out as beautiful as it looks in my head.

For Christmas, I was given a beautiful green sweater dress that fits me perfectly! This dress inspired me to design my own. I have 10+ balls of Zitron Ecco yarn that Chris’s mom bought me for my birthday. The original intent was for me to make a throw blanket to match my room. I’ve just been in too much of an experimental mood lately to want to knit something as repetitive as a blanket. This yarn is so luxurious that I can’t let it sit in a basket another day longer!

Long overdue blog…

It’s been weeks since I’ve blogged! I blame the Christmas rush. I was a little over-ambitious with how many gifts I would have time to knit for everyone. My mom and grandmother ended up getting single mittens with an “IOU a right hand.” Shameful!

I made the well-intentioned-yet-foolish decision to make my Christmas cards this year. This also cut into my knitting time. They turned out lovely, but I don’t think I’ll be doing that again any time soon. Card making for individual birthdays and such is fun, but an assembly line of Christmas card after Christmas card… not so much.

 

I was given some amazing books for Christmas. Just from skimming them, I would recommend each and every one of them! I made a lacy top from Knitting Lingerie Style. I just finished it last night. Photos soon to come! It turned out so lovely. It was nice to knit something for myself after all of that Christmas knitting! Chris bought me some lovely yarn that was a bamboo & silk blend in a very nice shade of blue. I’m not usually drawn towards blue shades, but this on is quite nice. It’s not a shade that would clash with jeans either, which is a big pet peeve of mine since I wear jeans with almost everything.

Most importantly…. I got a sewing machine for Christmas! It’s really nice… sews through 8 layers of denim.
I made an apron and a pillow bed for Charlie’s crate as little “warm-up” projects, since I have limited sewing experience. Last weekend, I made a knitting tote bag with a matching zippered pouch and knitting needle case. I’ll have to take pictures of those as well. I’ve already had one request for a needle case, and another request for a whole set!
I love the instant gratification of sewing projects. I will always always always be a knitter at heart, but little sewing flings on the side are fun as well.

Cha-ching!

Finally making some money with my knitting… from people not related to me, that is.

Let’s backtrack… Charlie’s fur was really tangled, so the groomer had to practically shave him down. This resulted in him being very cold on walks. Enter knitting. I made him an adorable little sweater to wear outside. I created the pattern myself. It turned out so great! Fits him perfectly and looks really cute. I uploaded the pattern to Ravelry as a pdf and listed it for sale for $4.50 for each download. A few hours later, and I’ve already had 2 customers! I made $9 today without even changing out of my PJ’s. Yes!

 

Sunday Night Blog


Busy weekend! I baked three different types of cookies: snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkles, and a new recipe I tried… mocha flavored cookies with chocolate chips and walnuts. They turned out okay, nothing like those snickerdoodles & chocolate crinkles though… heavenly! I packaged some up for my family, Chris’s parents, and some friends I’m seeing this week. Can’t have that many cookies sitting around the house!

I usually wait until after Thanksgiving to allow myself to listen to Christmas music… but I had to cheat this year! I just couldn’t wait. I’m making my own Christmas cards this year. I’ll post pictures when I’m done them all! They are turning out so beautiful, I can’t wait to mail them out. Chris was really impressed with them…. he thought they were store-bought! :-p

I finished the Hippo I am knitting for my cousin Sarah. It turned out adorable! I had made a hippo for Lizzie using this pattern when I first got the Itty Bitty Toys book. This time, I decided to knit the ears in the round instead of in separate pieces sewn together. I think it gave them a  much cleaner look. He turned out so cute!

I put Christmas lights up on our porch! I also wrapped the columns in ribbon. I was going for a candy cane look, though Chris says people are going to think we’re opening a barber shop…

I want to knit everyone an ornament this year. I messed around with this LionBrand pattern. I used smaller needles than suggested and still ended up with a softball-sized ornament. I’ll have to heavily modify this pattern if I ever use it again.

Now off to finish up some homework while Chris watches the Eagles game. Then maybe some more knitting while we watch The Grinch and The Walking Dead. I’ll leave you with the recipe I use for my Chocolate Crinkles. It is the best. I’m not sure where I found this recipe… somewhere online years ago. These cookies melt in your mouth, so delicious!

Chocolate Crinkles

Ingredients
·    1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
·    2 cups white sugar
·    1/2 cup vegetable oil
·    4 eggs
·    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
·    2 cups all-purpose flour
·    2 teaspoons baking powder
·    1/2 teaspoon salt
·    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Directions
1.    In a medium bowl, mix together cocoa, white sugar, and vegetable oil. Beat in eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the cocoa mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least 4 hours.
2.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll dough into one inch balls. Coat each ball in confectioners’ sugar before placing onto prepared cookie sheets.
3.    Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand on the cookie sheet for a minute before transferring to wire racks to cool.