Sunday, 24 February 2008

Learning and doing

What an exciting week it has been! Following last week's post I did indeed open an Etsy store with the username (and shop name) 'Rumpelstiltskin'. So far I have listed some spinning wheel oil and the Durmstrang sock pattern for sale. To do this I learnt how to make a 'banner' using Photoshop so I could have some visual whooomf at my store. Perhaps I can post it here? Let's see. Yes:

I also learnt how to create PDF files (so I can easily send the pattern via email), and found some free PDF software to do it with.

Already two people have bought the sock pattern, one of whom has posted a photo of the work in progress on Ravelry. It is very exciting and lovely to see my socks knitted by somebody else in beautiful alternative yarns.

At the suggestion of one of my friends in the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap I've also spent a lot of time this week creating a design for some Ravenclaw socks. I've ordered yarn to knit them with, as I need to test the pattern and create photos of an FO before I can publish.

I'm also researching sock blockers as I plan to make and paint some to sell in the store. I found a lot of posts in Ravelry decrying sock blockers as a waste of money because its not worth using them. What?!!!! I love my sock blockers, and wouldn't dream of giving socks I've made to anybody without first of all shaping them with some. Today I finished knitting some (more) school socks for Tom and took a picture after I'd blocked the first to demonstrate the joy of blockers. The blocked sock is not still on the blocker - it holds its new shape perfectly after steaming and airing on it:

Otherwise my time has been filled with completing the 'kit' for my Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap partner. Extending my creativity still more I made my own card packaging pouches and boxes with Harry Potter font saying 'especially for 'n'' and little house crests repeating all over it. When she has received the kit I'll post some photos of the contents, the final addition being some pumpkin pickle I made on Friday with some of our frozen allotment produce. It's very hot - I burned my fingers chopping the chillies for it!!

This evening I finally took some pictures of other recent 'FOs' - hats for the boys, knitted a couple of weeks ago (just in time for the snow, and then the hard frosts this week). I've posted pictures of ones from the same pattern before, the difference is that I've knitted the boys names into the border near one earflap on these:

And finally - a picture of the completed Durmstrang socks I used for the front of the pattern:

Friday, 15 February 2008

Durmstrang finished

Having taken less than a week to complete the first of my 'Durmstrang' socks, I have taken over a month to knit the second! It is now complete and I am wearing the pair as I write this. I will post pictures when I am home (writing this at my sister's). I have also almost finalised the pattern which Dave will help me to put into a PDF format.
After much deliberation I have decided to see if I can sell the pattern. I have been thinking for some time of opening an Etsy store as a little enterprise that I could make work with being a fulltime housewife and Mum. Having seen on Ravelry that the socks are well-liked, I think it is possible that some folk might actually be willing to part with some money to get the instructions to knit them. If I'm going to open an online shop I need something to sell in it, and thought the pattern would be a good start.
My thoughts on the store have progressed quite a bit since the first notion. I have thought of a shop name ('Rumpelstiltskin'), and have made a list of things I could make to sell, including handspun (got to have this in a shop called 'Rumpelstiltskin'!), hand-dyed yarns, small knits, my own patterns, painted bits and pieces, stitchmarkers (learnt how to make these from doing the Hogwarts Sock Kit Swap), my lavender spinning wheel oil, and other handmade spinning and knitting accessories. If any of my readers have ideas/ comments/ feedback to offer this would be most welcome.

Friday, 8 February 2008

Yarns and yummies!

Was my last post really two weeks ago? Where does the time go? To the Hogwarts sock kit swap, I'll tell you. And one word just about covers it - Quidditch! Last week was spent playing online quidditch, which involved a quiz, a picture 'scavenger hunt', and (what else) seeking for the golden snitch, hidden by our headmistress in a very sneaky place.

I have managed some knitting though - two hats, one for Tom and one for Toby, with their names knitted into the border. I used the same Danah's earflap hat pattern that I've posted about here before. Pictures will follow when I have a little more time.

My package for the sock kit swap is nearly ready. I've dyed some silk yarn a varigated green mixture for a lucky Slytherin who's allergic to wool. I've also spun some silk blended with angelina to make a 'silver' yarn which I've dyed black. It contrasts nicely with the green, and the silver highlights work really well (pictures will follow after my 'spoilee' gets her package). For 'goodies' I've exploited my English location to provide some of the muggle sweets mentioned in the books - sherbet lemons, mint humbugs, and treacle toffee. I've also put in a tin of spotted dick, and some custard! Then there's my home-made jam, and I'm planning to make some pickle to put in too. And I must stop there because I'm already wondering what the postage will be on that lot!

Off to Dave's parents this weekend for a family get-together to celebrate his mum's 80th birthday. A meal out is proposed. Yummy!

One piccy for you -here's the snitch sock I've knitted to be a prize in the sock kit swap (the broomstick sock is yet to do!):