Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tutorial Tuesday - fingerless gloves/ handwarmers

Head on over to the Create and Delegate blog for the full tutorial on these great fingerless handwarmers! I may make a pair today!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Update on my new cleaning system

So I told you all last week that i'd be trying a new system to try to whip my house back into shape without getting overwhelmed. If you didn't see that post, you can read it here. Basically I was going to clean/declutter in each room of my house every day. The first 2 days went great, and I cleaned/decluttered for 10 minutes in each room as planned. The 3rd day I had a lot going on, and was exhausted (my son has not slept past 5:15 am in 2 weeks), so I did nothing. I could have doubled up & did 20 minutes in each room the next day, but that started to sound overwhelming, so I decided to give myself 2 days off a week, 3 if it's a busy week. That relieved the pressure. Well, the end result was good! My house isn't perfect yet, but looks much better than it has in a long time! I was able to get to things I haven't in a long time, like scrubbing the grout of the shower walls, etc. I think i'll stick with this system.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

My dog sweater with a twist!

When my dog sweater tutorial was blogged about over at Create and Delegate, it reminded me that winter is on it's way, and that Spots needed a warmer sweater. I picked this fun striped thick wool from my stash, but realized that she would look like a boy with all that blue. We can't have that ;) ! I decided to add a skirt to it. Basically I did the same thing as the original tutorial, except I took a band of wool and added it to the edge. Just cut your band bigger than the edge of the sweater, and stretch the sweater edge as you go.

That will give you a "skirt" added on to your sweater!

Please forgive me though, for the sizing on Spots's sweater... I never checked the original pattern before making this, and realized (a bit too late) that she had grown a little (which is really emphasized in the last picture!) since we adopted her. I'll have to make another now that fits her better, but you get the general idea!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Resweater will be making some major changes for safety!

Our country is in the middle of a bedbug epidemic, and I need to change the way I do things. Let me preface this by saying that I have not had any insect problems of any kind, I have just become more aware through the news & articles. These changes are strictly of a preventative nature. I have not heard of any in my area, but many thrift stores in the US have had infestations of bedbugs. Due to the nature of what I do, and the volume of thrift store sweaters that are brought into my home, I need to make changes before it's too late. I could just keep the sweaters in the garage, to protect my family, but that doesn't protect my customers once I send the sweaters out. Bedbugs are extremely resilient, and it takes a lot to kill them & their eggs. I obviously wanted a safe non toxic method for our environment, and for the safety of both my family & yours. After speaking with a pest control expert, we agreed that the best solution was freezing. He said it takes 10 days of deep freeze to guarantee that any bedbugs & eggs will be dead. I bought a large chest freezer this weekend, just for the sweaters, and put it in my garage. From now on, I will be taking the sweaters as I get them, and placing them into the chest freezer for 10 days or more. After that, they will be brought into my house for Sweater Sunday and proper inventorying.

What does this mean for you? You can be absolutely certain that there are no bedbugs, moths, eggs, or bugs of any kind, in any sweaters you buy from me. No thrift store can offer you that guarantee. The downside is that if you are requesting me to look for certain colors/patterns/etc. that I don't have on hand, it will take longer to fill those requests because of the 10 day "quarantine". Also, I will start charging an additional 25 cent charge per sweater, to cover the additional costs & labor involved in the process. So, what was $6, will now be $6.25, and what was $8 will be $8.25 etc. I am hoping that you all agree with me that the 25 cents is well worth the piece of mind.

ETA: From time to time I will also be putting sweaters in the dryer, in medium size loads (a large load could cause insulation from the heat), for 30 minutes at a time. This way I can add to my inventory in a quicker way when needed, though it is not as cost or energy efficient.

Feature Friday - Cookies For Sale

When I saw this Etsy shop, Cookies for Sale, through a blog giveaway, I knew I had to have one of the necklaces! I decided to have one made to wear to shows. The necklaces she sent were perfect, and even nicer than I expected. The customer service was superb... quick & thorough communication, and the whole process, including shipping time, took less than a week! Her prices are extremely low for custom work. She even makes wooden play cakes that can be decorated with chalk. Definitely some great gift ideas! I can't wait to order myself a family tree one next!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Make a Sweater Better - series of recycled sweater tutorials

You know how it's been a while since i've been posting tutorials with any regularity? Well, apparently Nicole of Create and Delegate isn't a slacker like me ;) ! Until I get going again, you can head on over to her blog for her series of recycled sweater tutorials, Make a Sweater Better, and included is one of mine! Here's a few of the tutorials so far:

Stay tuned for a new twist on my dog sweater, that I will be posting Saturday!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Totally off topic, but my house is a mess!

Here I am, on a Monday morning, feeling a little overwhelmed by the clutter in my house. I am not a dirty person, and I guess I can't be too bad since several people have told me how uncluttered and organized I am, but lately it's been overwhelming. I've been busy, we've all been busy, and the house has suffered. I'd like to say that it's Jack's toys that are all over, but the dang kid is so organized! It's mostly me and my stuff... mail I haven't sorted, coupons I haven't clipped, sweaters I haven't sorted, and don't get me started on my sewing area! Of course when things are cluttered the actual cleaning takes longer, so it's a vicious cycle. When it gets like this, I get overwhelmed and shut down, and of course it doesn't get better on it's own.

I have devised a little challenge for myself, that I will do this week. I wrote the name of each room on slips of paper, folded them in half, and threw them in a hat. On each slip is a room/area in my house. I am committing to cleaning/organizing each area for 10 minutes each day. I will pick a room/area at random whenever I have a spare 10 minutes, and that is what I will work on. Committing to cleaning a whole room, competing an entire task, or even a block of time, can be overwhelming, but this system isn't at all (at least for me). Since my husband works full time, I am going to ask him to pick 1 slip each night. How can he argue with only 10 minutes of housework, right?

Want to join me on my challenge? I will report back next week with the results (hopefully a clean house!).

and the Resweater giveaway winner is...

according to random.org, #52 is the winner...

"Elizabeth said...

I plan to make more diaper covers! :)"

Congratulations, Elizabeth!

I wish I could send a sweater to each & every one of you, but there's that pesky mortgage... ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No fiber show today!

I showed up there today and the place was empty. Apparently the show was yesterday. I had written down the date that was on the website for months, September 19th, 2010. They had updated the year, but not the date. At some point they have updated it, because it now says the 18th, but it is too late. I can't begin to tell you how upset I am. I really hope none of you drove all the way out there today just for me.

Edited to add: There were extenuating circumstances to why the site was not updated right away. I do not blame. There will be other shows.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Mittens, mittens, mittens!

So what have I been up to? Mittens! I made some last year for friends, but this year I wanted to sell some at Fiber In The Park. I will be there all Sunday, so local folks come see me! Wool & cashmere mittens are the best... naturally moisture resistant, soft, warm, insulated, moisture wicking, and just so dang cute! Here are a few of my mittens that I will be selling:

double layer cashmere..

single layer thicker cashmere...

wool and wool blends...

... and there will be many more at the show!

After the show, I will be launching a new shop with my finished products, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have a question for my sweater customers...

Would it bother you if I opened up a second Artfire shop for my finished goods (diaper covers, hats, dryer balls, etc.)? One of the biggest reasons I haven't done that until now, is out of respect for my regular customers who make the same category of items. Obviously my diaper covers are different than others, and my hats are a different style than what my customers make, but it almost feels like competition to me. I don't want to compete with my sweater customers... I want to promote them! I like to sew and create, and would like to be able to sell to those who have asked me where they can buy my items, including local folks that ask about my things (so they have a venue to browse what I have on hand). I would still continue to promote other shops that make the same categories of goods, and nothing would change about my blog or what I do. So.... what do you think? :)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Resweater giveaway!!!!

I feel bad that i've been neglecting my blog, especially with all the new readers :( I have been preparing for the Fiber In The Park show next weekend, so I haven't been posting any new tutorials. I promise i'll get something up after the show. Until then, so you don't get bored ;), i'll have a giveaway for any 1 sweater from my shop (or even in my inventory, if you have a specific color in mind that I don't have listed). Even the cashmere is included!

Ready for the details?

Mandatory Entry:
* Tell me what you make from recycled wool, or what you plan to make if you don't already use recycled wool.
Want extra entries?
* Follow my blog, and if you already do just say that.
* Blog about this giveaway & link to it.

Make sure to leave a separate comment for the entries you complete!

Deadline: Friday, September 17th at midnight, Central time zone. I will use random.org to pick the winners the following morning (September 18th). **please leave an email if your blogger profile does not include it or you don't have a blog. I need a way to contact you.** Once a winner is drawn I will contact them and the winner will have 48 hours to reply back before I draw a new winner.

Good luck!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Gettin' ready for the fiber fair!

My last show of the year, Fiber in the Park, is coming up in just a little over 2 weeks, so i've been busy! Thanks to Kid's Play World, I have have gotten a TON of work done this week, while my son had a blast. I am able to work, while watching my son have fun with his friends & get his energy out. Now that's a win-win! Here's what i've been up to, and what you will see at the fiber fair along with my sweaters:

Dryer balls

hats. I have been trying to use very stretchy ribbing on most of the headbands, so most of them will fit a 4 year old on up to an adult! Next, by the request of a few friends of mine, I will be working on boy colors!

Ornaments. These are made from the scraps from other projects. I need to make some in Christmas colors now!