Monday, April 30, 2012

Pocket Scarves

Pocket scarves are great when it's cold and you have small items that you need to get to.

Cell phones, mp3 players, keys, cigarettes, cash and bus passes all can be carried where they are easily accessible without have to open your coat or purse.

The key to a good pocket scarf is to have a pocket that is big enough to get your hand into, but tight enough that it won't sag or fall open.

I currently have three available for purchase. Shown here are the blue and multicolored, with one done grey also ready to go.

The scarves are generally knit on a knitting board, then I crochet the border and secure the pockets with the crochet.

Turn around time for a custom pocket scarf is 1-2 days, depending on how quickly I can get the requested yarn.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Blue Scraps

The Rainbow Afghan put a dent in my scrap yarn pile, but then I found a plastic tub with even more odds and ends of yarn! (We had been using the tub as a nightstand. lol)

As I sorted through the yarn, I noticed I had a lot, and I mean A LOT, of blue yarn. Which kinda made sense since I have made many things for my mother over the years, and her favorite color is blue.

What else could I do except make a scrap afghan out of blue yarn?

In this case, I used the standard method of knitting up squares, then using a crochet hook, working them together while creating a unique pattern for between the squares.

This is definitely a one-of-a-kind afghan, as I never wrote down how I made it, or how I did the crochet design.

Not to mention I would never be able to duplicate the colors and placement exactly.

I loved how it turned out. The mixture of the different blues keeps it from being both too light and too dark. While the crochet looks light and airy, it is very heavy and very warm.

Sales info for the Blues Afghan HERE.

Up next - Pocket Scarves

Friday, April 27, 2012

Scrap Afghans

I was cleaning my craft area one day (what normal people would call the dining room) and realized that I had 4 1-gallon Ziploc bags full of small to medium balls of yarn, in all sorts of colors, materials and designs.

I wanted to start using this, and I had been looking at different afghan patterns that were made differently than the standard back-and-forth knitting. So I combined a few different methods, and created a corner-to-corner design.

This enabled me to start knitting without having to calculate how much yarn of which color I would need. With all the colors I had, I figured a rainbow would be pretty, colorful and use up a lot of the smaller balls of yarn.

I like this type of afghan work - I can change colors whenever I am bored with the color I am using.

Here's the result of that fun:
 After I worked it up, I went around with single crochet with black of a simple, yet effective border.
 Here's a detail shot of the basketweave stitching:
 This Rainbow Afghan is for sale through my WePay store. Just look to the top right of the screen.

Next up - Blues Scrap Afghan

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Some Changes

I'm in-process of making a few changes.

For one, I am leaving Etsy. If you shop on Etsy, you already know why. If you don't, then it's not relevant anyways. lol

Second, on the right is a new little widget - it's my store on WePay. You can click the image and details will pop-up in a smaller window. You can shop right from here! Please note that all shipping and handling is included in the price that you see for all US orders.If you are interested in custom work, please let me know.

Third, if you use Facebook, please "Like" my Store Page. New items, future items, sales and craft fair info is posted there.

And finally, I started using Twitter again. Some personal stuff, some political stuff, and some stuff that is shortened versions of what I put on Facebook. If you are that bored, or that curious, it's OriginalsbyJ.

I have three new items coming, in different states of completeness. One is about 25% done, one is about 50% done, and one is about 70% done. I am hoping that all three will be done by the end of the month.

An aside to all the FJL's reading this: without saying too much, I got the thrill of my life today. Someone we all think very highly of emailed me in response to an idea I had. The first words were, "This is fantastic!" I swear I have never received higher praise, or more meaningful, than that.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I like socks

I have fun making socks. Especially for my dad, as he wears socks with sandals, and likes them as wild as I can make them. The pic below is an example of a pair I made for him. And yes, I made him model them for me.

So when my dad asked me to make a sock for a friend of his, I knew it would be fun.

You read that right - a sock. His friend lost one of his legs a few years ago.

Dad told me to make it as wild as possible, and that is what I am doing.

Now wild does not have to mean uncomfortable. I went out of my way to design this sock with comfort in mind. The center of the foot is done with a very slightly thinner yarn with a lot of stretch, so it hugs the foot nicely. Then I'm using a slightly thicker yarn at the heel for a tad more cushion. here's the sock so far:

I used a toe-up pattern so I could easily estimate how much of each yarn to use. I'm using all left-over yarns from previous socks for this, trying to make the colors clash as much as I possibly can.

Just because you knit (or crochet) something doesn't mean it has to be boring or old fashioned!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Changing My Store

There are over 4,000 people selling knitting on Etsy alone, not to mention all the other sellers on-line.

So to stand out, I will be focusing on unique afghans, intricate knotwork cables and illusion knits.

As more items are finished and listed, the shop categories will be changed to reflect that.

As such, all my standard knitted items will not be available for sale on-line pre-made. All shawls, standard hats and pocket scarves will no longer be available once their current listing expires.

Of course, I am always available for custom orders!

Check them out before they disappear!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Crafting for Charity

I try to do what I can to help others. Much of my profit from my sales goes to charity, or for materials to make items for charity. It's just who I am.

I am happy to say, it's not just me. There are a lot of sellers on Etsy that donate a portion of their sales to charity.

And then there is a large group of Fat Jealous Losers, also known as April's Army. They are the Regretsy community. They may tear a seller of crap a new hole, but when someone is in need, out come their hearts - and wallets.

And talent. These crafters make items just so that Regretsy can sell them for charity. This month's charity is to assist a disabled woman with getting a new harness for her service animal.

If you have a moment, please click the link below to read the story and visit the charity shop. There is an option to "buy" a $5 donation.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Kitchen stuff

I make a lot of crochet and knitted items for my kitchen. Some of them I sell, as anyone can use them.

My potholders, for example, were designed after years and years of cooking for my family. I crochet a loop instead of using a plastic circle, as the plastic can get hot. I personally hang mine on a small hook near the stove so they are always right at hand.

My cup and spoon sets are another like that. I hate the little half-moon dried coffee that happens when you set a coffee (or tea) spoon on the counter. I really hate it when people put the spoon on top of the coffee pot! And thus the set was born.

But beyond those things, (and towels and wash clothes) I make things that are just needed. For example, in my kitchen, the stove is set close to the wall, with about 2" of counter between them. Of course, this is the spot you are going to set down your utensils, and is also very difficult to clean. So I got out my yarn and made two strips to fit exactly that area. When they get dirty, I pop them in the dishwasher. Problem solved!

More kitchen items will be added as I get them finished.

Back again!

Time to get serious again.

Well, as serious as I ever am. Considering my current read is Tough Sh*t by Kevin Smith (Silent Bob, for those that do not know), joking on the square is my norm these days.

The best place to start is with my new store on Etsy - Originals by Jeanene. Right now I am focusing on my knitting. There are over a dozen items ready for shipping right now, with more in process. While there are some things that those that know my knitting will recognize, I am doing new things as well.

On Etsy, if you search shops for "knit", 4,263 shops come up. How does 1 person stand out???

My best sellers have always been my complicated, self-designed knotwork cabled items. My second best seller has been my items made from recycled materials, especially my plarn items.

But that wasn't quite enough, now that there are others doing similar knitting. So I learned Illusion Knitting.

In Illusion Knitting, the knitting part is easy - you knit the right side rows, and knit/purl the wrong side rows, changing color every other row, creating ridges. That's a heck of a lot easier than many of my knotwork patterns!

It's creating the patterns that is difficult and time consuming. So I started with something easy - a heart shape. I liked it, so I duplicated it, but reversed the colors, and made this:

Now was time for something a little bit harder. I also wanted something that had more use than sitting on a couch. A tote bag was the answer, and here's the end result.

My next design combines two of my favorites - illusion knitting and knotwork cables. Stay tuned here, and in both my Etsy and WePay stores, to see it when it's done.