Quick Cowl Pattern

I really like this cowl because it is so easy and still manages to be fashionable! The yarn used is textured, and I crocheted into the back loop for even more texture.  And it whips up so quickly there’s plenty of time for you to make several for Christmas.  I used the Fiesta colorway because it is so colorful it will flatter most any skin.

Pattern link!

Enjoy!

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Donner Pass Beanie Pattern

One of the hats I made to sell this crafts fair season. Easy to knit up and comes in toddler, child and adult sizes.  The colors I used reminded me of the leaden skies and snow that we get in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.

Enjoy!

https://nittinninja.files.wordpress.com/2017/10/donner-pass-beanie1.pdf

 

 

Maybe It Wasn’t Meant To Be…

I really hate that expression.  It’s usually preceded by some depressing story about love, loss, etc., with an overwhelming feeling of helplessness.  What are you supposed to say?  “Maybe it wasn’t meant to be” always seems to be my go-to platitude.  And if to the receiver, I’m sounding like a broken record, then you need to make your life better, even if it wasn’t meant to be!

The incident that brought up this vitriol wasn’t nearly as dramatic as those stories one hears, but equally frustrating.  As those of you who have follow me on Facebook, you know I’ve been busting my buns, making accessories that I hope will sell at crafts fairs.  I was excited that maybe today, the last day at this one venue,  I’d be able to cover the basic costs of making all these goodies.  With three dismal shows under my belt, I was willing (and still am) to give it another go.

I made my normal preparations last night, ensuring that I had proper ice packs for my lunch since the temperature hit the 80s today – again – that I had plenty of business cards, that all the inventory was in the traveling bags, that the dummy heads still appeared presentable, and everything that was in its proper place and order.  Everything was A-OK.  We were ready to roll.

Then reality sets in.  Didn’t get to sleep until 6 am and the alarm went off at 8:40.  Had to splash cold water on my face at least twice.  Since part of my prep is picking out the clothes I’m going to wear, that didn’t take long.  With a set-up deadline of 9:45 looming over my head, I was in my car and driving with 25 minutes to drive 10 miles and be ready for biz.  As I don’t have a very complicated display table, we were still good.

Then the fuel gauge gives me an orange light.  We are on “E” and I’m not one of those types willing to push my car’s gasoline capacity limits!  So I had to go out of my way to get to a gas station, and while there, I discovered I had forgotten my cell phone.  I needed that to make scheduled calls as part of my business.  So back I go.

When I get back in the car it’s already after 10:00.  That means people are already ambling around at the farm, looking at the animals, examining the goods for sell. Well, mostly ambling around in my limited experience; it’s rare that people start buying before before 1:00.

After reassuring myself that the owner, who was emphatic about being on time, won’t be too terribly miffed, I’m watching my speedometer to ensure I don’t get crazy fast, which is kind of hard on these back roads anyway, and trying to remain positive.  I hate being late, especially in this kind of situation, but I always seem to be in a losing battle with the clock.

When I reached my destination, all was well.  No one was waiting with arms crossed and toe tapping, so I pulled my van into the vendor’s area, being as careful as I can because there are little children everywhere.  I see my spot, turn off the engine, and scoot around to the back to start unloading everything.  And I see this. 20171028_115345

So let’s play the game of “What’s Missing?”.  See it?  No?  That’s because it’s not there.  The table, where I’m going to place everything and drape with a cloth and dangle items from there with clothespins.  OMF!

I text the owner and ask if she has something I can use.  She does not.  And I’m hemmed in now by the horse buggy that’s loading up with it’s first payload of the day.  So I wait.  When the buggy has moved, the owner comes around and helps me back out so everyone’s safe and she’s all ready to see me next year.

The point of this story?  I’m losing my mind.  I cannot believe I forgot the table.

Well, it’s done and apparently, there will be another opportunity for another major screw up next year!!!

See you in the funny pages.

To Etsy or not to Etsy?

I’m going full tilt trying to get a Christmas inventory set up for either;

a. Etsy
b. Local Crafts Fairs
c. Consignment shop

To break it down, they all have their pros and cons. Let’s start with Etsy.

~ Worldwide competition where items are offered for less than I can purchase the yarn, 1.8 million sellers as of 9/5/17, and monthly fees.  This would seem to be a dismal market for a small crafts maker such as myself and I’ve read in more than one article that finding a niche market is what  a successful entrepreneur does.  I don’t do that.  I make what moves me at that time.  The are two things that offsets all this negativity is that it’s relatively cheap to sell and one does have a larger market.

Now onto Local Crafts Fairs

~ Nasty weather, low turn-outs, long hours of exposure to said nasty weather, seller’s permits and insurance are all part of selling directly to your customer.  Having said that, the big draw is that you are offering a product and the buyer is looking, handling and appraising the product right there.  No waiting for shipping, no information given at the electronic checkout, it’s just look, like, buy.  There’s a lot to be said about this approach in our instant gratification society.

Consignment shops

~ High cost of sales, the disposition of the shop owner and their willingness to display/market your product.  These would all seem to be a major deterrent, but if you are in with a shop owner who has high foot traffic, this can mean $$$ for your Christmas budget, UNLESS you get paid after Christmas.  With me, that would not be a problem, as I don’t have small children in the house.

So there you have it.  And now that I’ve written it, down, it seems I will not Etsy again; at least, not at this time.  It looks like the crafts fairs and consignment this year!  Thanks for hearing me out, you guys!  What do you all do?

From Scarf to Cowl and Shark Attack Socks

It is with a heavy heart that I must say….I FINISHED THE DAMN SOCKS!  Yay!!!  I was working on those so long that I felt I was in a bad relationship.  Say bye-bye to the shark socks – woohoo!

With that out of the way, I could focus entirely on my scarf.  I was so excited to finally work on a pooled crochet project.  If you saw my last entry, you know how keen I was to be doing this.  It was going to be the prettiest scarf, ever, with tassels and everything.  When I finished with the first skein, I was figuring out how to join the two yarns so that the color sequence remained the same, and discovered that in order to make the match, I would have to pull not from the center but the outside.  I unwound the factory skein with my yarn winder so the correct end would be used.  Ok, so I can be funny that way; I just didn’t want to be pulling from the outside as it always causes trouble later on!

As I successfully joined the yarns, I had to blink my eyes several times because, oh crap, the colors weren’t the same hue.  In my haste to begin with this beloved project, I failed to check dye lot numbers.  Goody.  I had already unwound the new skein, so there was no returning or replacing it.  Double goody.  What do you do when this happens?  You check how it fits around your neck and make a buttoned cowl, or neck wrap, which was no easy feat considering the pattern I was trying to keep; but, I persevered and got ‘er done! Ta-da!

I will be making a scarf next, and I will be checking the dye lots!  I will also be using a different technique to see how that goes.  I’ll let you all know.  In the meantime, behave!

See you in the funny pages.

 

Fast Fridays and Crocheted Pooling

 

The long hot days of summer have a way of making one lazy.  I still haven’t finished the Shark Bite socks I was so eager to start a month ago.  I’ve completed one sock and I’m slogging my way through the other one.  I’ve had to frog this project so many times I’ve seriously thought of giving it up; however, after spending $43 for the yarn, I just can’t.  I’m sure they’ll be my favorites as soon as they’re done, but that seems like such a long way away.

In the interim, I’ve started on a scarf using the pooling technique.  I’ve put that one off for awhile.  I’d heard about how hard it was, but argyle plaid is one of my favorite designs, so…

My progress since making the video

But it’s not all work, work, work over here.  I actually went to the races, something I’ve done only once before in my life.  The actual racing itself doesn’t capture my attention, but as I went with a good friend whose son and grandchildren are involved, it took on a meaning.  I had someone to root for rather than just watching some bikes race around a lap.  The engine noise could be a bit loud, but all I had to do was pull out my hearing aids and we were rocking!  LOL

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All in all, we’re enjoying life here in Northern California.  How about where you are?

See you in the funny pages!

Shark Week Socks KAL

It’s that time of year again.  The summer sun bears down on us earthlings with a vengeance, parching the ground, drying small ponds and sending us scuttling indoors where we shelter from the heat with our air conditioners, swamp coolers or just plain fans.  The public pools smell of sunscreen and are packed with children jumping and splashing and not paying attention to where they’re doing it.  A cracked skull may be in your future if this is your venue for cooling down.

If you’re lucky enough, you live close to the ocean; close to a large mass of water that regulates the temperature and cleans the air and is fun to frolic in with plenty of room.  No cracked skulls there.  You are fortunate.  You are blessed.  You are also probably wealthy, or are living in the house your great-great grandparents purchased back in the day, and it’s staying in the family.  Either way, it must be sweet.

Except I would never get in the water.  I’d be hanging out at the public pools – if such a thing exists next to the beach – and taking my chances with the splashing, jumping kids.  And the reason for that?  Sharks.  I was okay with going in the water until I turned 12.  “Jaws” the book and movie changed my mind.  Since then, I have learned of other, valid reasons why one shouldn’t go in the ocean, but the most dramatic and compelling justification for avoiding the open seas remains the movie.  And what better way to celebrate the fact the I’m freaked out than knit a pair of cool socks during Shark Week!

The Knit-A-Long starts on the 23rd of this month, so you just may be able to get your yarn in time if you want to join the fun.  This will be my first KAL and I’m excited.  If you rolled your eyes at that last statement, you are not a knitter!

See you in the funny pages!

Lovely, squishy yarn!

Click on pic to get Lara Smoot’s Shark Bite II sock pattern available on Ravelry