2 Articles to Share: One on Etsy and the Other About Social Media

This Teen Paid for College by Selling on Etsy. Here Are 5 Ways She Did It.

In three years, this teenager has used her artistry, marketing abilities and time-management skills to rake in $100,000 on Etsy selling handmade jewelry on her shop DesignedByLei. Think: dainty layered necklaces, statement pendants, knuckle rings and her latest obsession: wire jewelry. Not only does it provide a creative escape from schoolwork but also is a way for Secor to pay for college tuition.

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/247609

And this interview on Fresh Rag:

Improve your Social Awareness With Caitlin Bacher of Little Farm Media

With all the different social media choices out there, it can be really difficult to separate wheat from chaff, and decide where to spend our precious time online. Some might have you believe you need to be everywhere, but is that really the case when it’s possible that some of your people may not be in some platforms?

http://www.freshrag.com/improve-your-social-awareness-with-caitlin-bacher-of-little-farm-media/

Advertisements

Crochet and Knit Washcloths

So, I never said I’m the fastest crafter (any type of craft) but man!  I disappeared (as in didn’t even turn on the computer yesterday until after hubby got home from work) and this is what I have to show for it!  Well, I do get easily distracted and have been working on a creative something in my head (will post pictures once I figure out how to do it and get it done … have to devise some sort of frame) so that may explain the multiple attempts at the one (yes, just one) knitted wash cloth.  I kept dropping stitches and messing up the pattern.  That’s why I didn’t have the computer on at all yesterday.  That was the only way I could concentrate enough to finally get it done.

CAM00146

The two green and one tan were crocheted using this pattern.  The tan one looks used, well, because it is.  I wanted to try it out in the shower.  See, I wanted something that would really scrub my skin, so that one is wool (don’t freak out … it’s not fancy wool.  I had barely half a skein of something labeled “Mothproof 100% Virgin Wool Knitting Worsted” from Kmart … the price tag says it cost $1.07 so that should tell you how old it is … got this one in the grab bag of yarn from the thrift store).  It worked well except my fingers kept poking through the holes in the pattern.  All the other yarn is acrylic.  Here’s a close-up:

CAM00148

The burnt orange on is knitted with this pattern.  I love the way it turned out and would have been even better if I hadn’t lost track of which side I was on and got the pattern backwards.  Oh, well.  This is why I am not selling the fruits of my crochet and knit labors.  🙂

CAM00147

Time to catch up on all my emails (and Facebook posts) that I’ve neglected.  Once I finish that, it’s onto something creative.  I really want to paint something but currently do not have the right paints (I need something for wood and/or metal).  I just haven’t gotten that far in the planning stages for those projects.  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Jewelry Box Idea

I got this beautiful jewelry box from my sister (I love it when she cleans out her closets … it’s like Christmas).  I loved the wood but as you can see, there are spaces for pictures on top.  I don’t know about you but the idea of having to dust off pictures in tiny recesses (not to mention there was nothing to protect the pictures from dust and cleaning anyway) really disturbs me.

CAM00136

So, this popped in my head.  Basically, pin cushions!

CAM00142

I took a piece of thin cardboard (well, it was the bottom flap on an envelope for Avery address labels).  I cut it to the size of the photo area, then traced each hole with a pen.  I then cut bits of fabric, roughly one inch larger than the hole.

CAM00139

I then used fabric glue (I’m sure someone could think of a less messy way to do this) to glue and gather the fabric pieces so they were just outside the traced shapes, leaving one end open so I could insert the stuffing.

CAM00141

Let it dry, then fill.  I used some polyfill I’ve had for years.  I just left the open end open, inserted the cushions into the holes, then secured with the wood locking plate.  My initial idea was this would be great for lapel pins, hat pins, brooches, etc.  I looked for anything to use to display in the picture but I didn’t even have something ugly to stick in there!  I’m obviously not a brooch kind of person.  🙂

CAM00142

Finished Full Apron

Well, I’ve been a bit busy.  I’m really enjoying sewing and can’t wait to move on up to something that can be worn out in public, though this is pretty dang close, even though it is an apron.   So, let’s start with the basics:

This is the pattern I used:

apron

I am not a girly girl in any way (my usual attire is a 3X White T-shirt and sweat pants, worn with Birkenstock shoes, of course).  Hair?  Makeup?  Twice a year, at the most.  So, to test myself, I chose apron E (center right) but decided to add the ruffle to the bottom.  For some reason, I felt the ruffles over the shoulder would be a bit much.  🙂

This pattern was much less confusing than the bath robe I made.  The only thing I had to learn, really, was machine gathering.  See, I could never understand what they were saying when I read about how to do gathers on a sewing machine, so I decided to just do them by hand.  Well, since these sewing projects are being done so I can learn how to make things properly, I decided to look again.  Once again, You Tube to the rescue!  Now, I had two comments on my Facebook wall about this.  Both said they learned to machine gather by sewing three (not two) lines of basting.   I will try that next time.

I did change one thing, though.  There is no way I’m going to button and unbutton (or try to slip this thing on) the straps.  So, I left them loose and just tied them around my neck (I still need to figure out how to make button holes on my machine, anyway).

And since I am not a girly girl, I decided to go all out and become one for the photos of this apron.  I love this thing!  The fabric I got from my hubby’s grandmother.  She was a spit-fire of a woman and we miss her dearly.  I think of her every day.

Apron2Apron3

You and Etsy

I know virtually nothing about Etsy.  Whenever anyone mentioned it, I figured it was just some website for some people to sell doilies.  🙂  Then, I stumbled onto this article:

https://www.yahoo.com/diy/secrets-of-the-richest-seller-on-etsy-105472402320.html

This woman, Alicia Shaffer of Three Birds Nest is bringing in an average of $65,000 per month! That’s insane! So, I did a little searching and found this article about other Etsy shops:

15 Etsy Shops That are Killing it With Sales – Fresh Rag

This is the article that shocked me. I had no idea the varied items offered on Etsy! So, I wanted to learn more and it turns out Dave Conrey of Fresh Rag had a follow-up article:

Top Shop Selling Secrets of Three Bird Nest

He offers great tips for any sales website. I was hoping to find a podcast of his interview with Alicia Shaffer but had no luck. I did find other podcasts on his website that are fantastic.

My reason for this post is simple: You all are brilliantly creative. You can make money doing what you love (I’m still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up). So, read these articles and check out Dave Conrey’s Fresh Rag website. Go forth and prosper. 🙂

Knitted Triangle Stitch

I have been teaching myself to knit. So far, I have knitted two hats (this way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hnGiE2tuts),  two cowls,

M4034S-4211

and then decided to add knitting to my patchwork afghan/blanket/whatever you want to call it (here are the crochet/tunisian crochet panels I did a few years ago … finally went back to this now https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HevK-AQPdvU&list=UUJ6WgGiNiMDC34VxEMKRBSg). I will do another video on my progress (it’s easier for me to babble on video than to type it) but in the mean time, I will just tell you what knitting I am adding to this work in progress.

I did one strip of seed stitch (knit 1, purl 1), then attached it to one end using this method (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpRJzMBXjqY). It’s not as pretty as I would like, even though I did not pull it tight (even ripped that out and tried it again).

The second strip I did was a basket weave. I tried doing versions I found on You Tube (my favorite resource for learning anything new) but I did not like the way it looked. So, I found a book called, “Just Stitches: 54 Knitting Stitch Patterns” by Tara Cousins. Her basket weave pattern is simple and well defined. I really enjoy how simple the patterns are (I’m not sure if I’m allowed to share one pattern of the 54 included in the book but I’m going to anyway).

Just Stitches 54 Knitting Stitch Patterns

The third panel I’m working on is for one of the longer edges.  This is why I’m writing this blog post.  I cannot find this exact stitch anywhere online.  I found this one in book “Knitting and Sewing: How to Make Seventy Useful Articles for Men in the Army and Navy” by Maud Churchill Nicoll, copyright 1918.  It’s called a Triangle Stitch.  In the book, it is a “fancy stitch for mufflers”.  I will give you the original pattern here but put my notes in parenthesis.  She suggest using “2 12-inch long bone needles with tips at one end, size 7 with 1-lb. 4-ply double knitting wool in khaki colour or navy blue.”  I am using worsted weight (4-ply) acrylic yarn on 5 mm needles.

For a muffler:

Cast on 72 stitches (Multiples of 9)

1st Row: Slip first stitch (knit wise), Knit until the end.

2nd Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 7, *Knit 1, Purl 8 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 1

3rd Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 1, *Knit 7, Purl 2 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 7

4th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 5, *Knit 3, Purl 6 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 3

5th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 3, *Knit 5, Purl 4 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 5

6th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 3, *Knit 5, Purl 4 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 5

7th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 5, *Knit 3, Purl 6 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 3

8th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 1, *Knit 7, Purl 2 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 7

9th Row: Slip first stitch (purl wise), Purl 7, *Knit 1, Purl 8 and repeat from * to end of row, Knit 1

Repeat rows 2 through 9 until desired length.

Now, this is really simple (and that’s coming from a very new knitter) as long as you keep count.  I did not want this strip that wide (it no longer lies flat once you add more triangles per row), so I cast on 9 stitches and slipped the first stitch, did the purls and the first amount of knit stitches.  This is the result so far (I need this to be long and want to use the same yarn for both edges):

M4034S-4211

Macrame Belt

I started this project and, once realizing how long it was going to take me, my A.D.D. brain wouldn’t let me finish.  BUT I wanted to share this with everyone because I love the way it looks and how it will turn out.  The problem I had with it was the video.  There are no written instructions and no audio describing what is being done.  So, I ended up downloading the video to my computer (since, for some reason, my internet connection and/or You Tube have been buggers and decide not to cooperate a couple of times per day).  Watching it on my computer allowed me to pause so I could count how many times to macrame this section or that one and how many times to repeat a sequence.  I will post the notes I made once I am finished. Once you watch the video, if you see any errors with what I noted, please let me know.

First, here’s the video:

Now for the notes I’ve taken so far (for definitions and pictures of knots, check out this web page: http://www.stonebrashcreative.com/MacrameTutorial.html):

The following knots are used in this pattern:

For the flat area just after the buckle:
Lark’s Head Knot (for attaching your cord to the belt buckle)
Square Knots
Half Hitch

For the design:
Square Knots

And, my results so far (one thing I didn’t take into account when starting was the different weight of the yarns.  The white yard is thinner, so I had to adjust by adding how many macrame stitches I did to maintain the proper look):

S4010005S4010008