Wednesday, February 18, 2015

FREE eGuide: Take Better Photos of Your Crafts (and Everything Else)

When you blog on a budget, you have to be a jack of all trades. You need to have skills in HTML, CSS, writing headlines, tagging your posts -- an amount of knowledge that is usually spread throughout a web team of ten people. But the one area where I struggle most is taking photos.

Photos are one of the most important parts of blogging. Photos are what most readers notice first, and if your photos are yucky, you're likely to miss out on a lot of page views.



Taking great photos doesn't just apply to blogging. It can even apply to crafters who want to sell their patterns, photograph an event, or show off their work on Ravelry.

If you're like me and you struggle with getting the right light, focus, props, and angle with your camera, then this free eGuide from Craftsy is for you.

Download the Free Photography eGuide from Craftsy and start improving your photos now.

*Please note that the above is an affiliate link.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Feisty Links: Succulent Towers, Three-Color Shawls + Textured Clutches

It was a weird week, weather-wise. On Monday it snowed. Today, the high is 66 degrees.

Here's demon kitty in a rare peaceful moment, watching the snow on Monday.


And now for some of my favorite links this week!

1. These pinecone succulent towers from Rad Megan are a great distraction until spring arrives.

2. My sock knitting obsession led me to the public library, where I checked out The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. I love checking out knitting books from the library so I can take my time flipping through them and deciding if I want to buy them. Definitely going to buy this one.

3. These Three-Color Shawls from Kettle Yarn Company might just make me drop my socks for a minute to knit up another shawl.

4. I added this free Short-Row Textured Purse knitting pattern from CraftStylish to my to-knit list. Sigh. That list is realllly long.

5. This needle-felted pincushion from Mollie Makes is shaped like a teacup. A teacup!

6. My friend Liz from Cozyblue is creating and testing new constellation prints. They are awesome.

Friday, February 6, 2015

In Progress: Knitting Cobalt Very Vanilla Socks

Here's a little peek into what I'm working on this week. Oh, what a surprise. I'm still knitting socks!



Pattern: Very Vanilla Socks (FREE on Craftsy! Please note that I'm using an affiliate link.)
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Cobalt Mix

Jealous of how nice my dad's Christmas socks felt, I decided it was time to knit up a pair for myself using the same yarn. I chose a really basic sock pattern to go with it because I'm thinking about decorating the socks with French knots. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Knitting on Auto Pilot: Fingering-Weight Lace Shawl

Oops. I knitted this shawl before the cold weather crept in, but I forgot to post photos of it.

After working on lots of projects that required paying close attention to the pattern and instructions, I needed something I could knit on auto pilot. With increases only on the edges and in the middle, this shawl fit the bill.


I love this pattern because you can memorize it, then work on it without ever referring to the pattern. I just knit until I ran out of a color, attached a new skein, and kept on knitting.

Pattern: Basic shawl pattern from the Knitty and Color kit I bought at the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair
Yarn: Knitty and Color, a small yarn company based in Georgia

 
The kit had two color palettes and sizes to choose from, and I made the smaller of the two shawls. I'll probably end up wearing it more like a scarf than a shawl.
 
 
It feels good to work on something that's not too complicated. It was so easy that I even wrote a post for Craftsy about knitting without looking at the stitches, inspired by this very shawl.
 
What kind of patterns do you knit on auto-pilot?


Sunday, February 1, 2015

Feisty Links: Free Desktop Calendar, Sexy Men with Yarn + Knitting for a Good Cause



1. This free Marimekko desktop calendar is gonna get me through the February winter hump.

2. Craftsy announced their 2015 Craftsy Blogger Award winners. Go find new crafty blogs to follow (as if you needed more...)

3. The Great British Sewing Bee begins Series 3 this week. Woohoo!

4. I saw some awesome art at Asheville Art Museum this weekend. One of my favorites was the X, Y + Z: Dimensions in Sculpture, which includes the fiber art at the top of this post.

5. A Sexy Man Yarn Calendar. Need I say more? (Thanks to my friend Angela for sending this my way!)

6. Tamara at KnitOasis kicked off her Big 10 Knit-a-Long. Check it out to find out how you can knit for a good cause this year!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yep, It's Another Pair of Hand Knit Socks

I complained for weeks about how long it took me to make my dad's Christmas socks, and then I immediately cast on yet another pair of socks. Knitting can sometimes make us crazy, yeah?

This time around was way easier, in part because I used knitting needles that were one size larger than the ones I used for my dad's socks and in part because this sock pattern was much simpler.

 
Pattern: Simple Skyp Socks (FREE on Craftsy;! Note that this is an affiliate link.)
Yarn: Schoppel Zauberball in 1507 Autumn Wind
 

I made these for Alex, and he seemed to prefer this yarn over the yarn I used to make my dad's socks. And the color changes in the yarn mean that you don't need a crazy complicated stitch to make the socks look awesome.

 
The time for sock knitting is about to end, so maybe I should try to squeeze one more pair in for myself before winter is over!

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Knit Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater

After working on my dad's crazy size 1 needle socks, I needed something chunky that was going to work up quickly. Cue the Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater!



Yarn: Cascade Eco + in Sapphire
Pattern: Lace Wedge Yoke Sweater designed by Eunny Jang for Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure Craftsy class

(The above links are affiliate links.)

I whipped this sweater up in less than two weeks. Of course, it was during Christmas break and I didn't have much else going on. But it definitely took less time than Dad's socks!

I think the neckline is a bit too wide because I knit the yoke in a looser gauge than I did the rest of the sweater. Oops. I was not paying attention, mostly because I was watching movies during the knitting of most of the sweater.

To get the sweater pattern, you have to be enrolled in Eunny Jang's Choose Your Own Sweater Adventure class. I like the class a lot because it gives you what Eunny calls a "master recipe" for the sweater and then you can pick what kind of yoke, sleeves, and edge treatments you want. I chose the lace yoke and bracelet sleeves, and I chose rolled hems on the sleeves and edge.

I had quite a bit of yarn left, so I'm thinking about doing the cable yoke sweater using this sapphire and another color. Color block! This time I swear I'll pay attention to the gauge. Heh.