Knit-wear, Knitting links, Knitwear, Ravelry finds, Style, WIPs

Currently on the needles…

I am currently knitting on a custom fit sweater – courtesy of Amy Herzog’s fabulous website – and knitting with this wonderfully rustic Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn in colorway Button Jar. 

Amy Herzog is the queen of fit in my opinion and has really been successful with her “Knit To Flatter” book and her custom fit website. 

I am knitting my custom fit basic crewneck pullover.  Amy gives instructions to knit in pieces and also gives the option to knit “mostly seamless” bottom up in the round.  I decided to go that route which has proven to be a bit tricky because I am a top down raglan sweater kind of girl.  But oh well, I like a challenge…. and I also like going to my LYS (should I need some additional guidance) :)

So far so good.  I’m not too far but I’m almost done with the decreasing for the shaping to which afterwards I will knit for x amount of inches before having to increase for the shaping.  And then comes the hard part for me.  I will have to separate the front from the back and knit separately for each with regards to shaping the underarms. That will probably be my most challenging part of the entire thing but I was given some great advice by my Instagram friend, Jen… by the way, you should check out her patterns on Ravelry – they are awesome!  

I’ve been scouring the internet and YouTube for bottom up in the round step by step instructions and have found a few but none as in-depth as I’d like.  So the search will continue.

If anyone knows of any great resources regarding the above and would care to share, I would truly appreciate it!

So for now, I will leave you with a pic of this WIP.

I’d love to see what you all are currently knitting / crocheting  / crafting!

Random Acts of Craftiness

My other creative outlet…

Lately I have been supplementing my knitting and crocheting with some art.  It started out with colored pencil and has since migrated into watercolor painting.

After doing research on both colored pencil and watercolor painting, I decided to go with Prismacolor Premier colored pencils and Winsor & Newton watercolor tubes.  And both have been great!

Here are some pics on what I have been creating:

Accessories, Hand dyed fiber, Hand spun yarns, Spinning, Uncategorized

Handspun mitts

I found the perfect mitt pattern to go with this beautiful handspun.  The handspun was created from a beautiful braid of Yarn Hollow fiber in colorway “Squiddles”. It is a 3 ply and about 137 yards.

The mitts are a pattern from Purl Soho’s blog Purl Bee. They are the Super Soft Merino Hand Warmers.

The pattern calls for about 88 yards of Purl Soho’s Super Soft Merino yarn which is a chunky weight yarn. However, I had no problems substituting my own handspun.

This is a great pattern and the mitts turned out very well! This will definitely be my go to pattern for mitts!


Accessories, Style, Yarn

It’s electric… boogie woogie woogie

I have these really amazingly fun and bright neon yarns in my stash currently and was trying to come up with the most awesome way to use them.

I decided I would showcase this neon yellow yarn as a crocheted blanket infinity scarf. This sucker will end up pretty huge if I do manage to incorporate all 3 skeins into it. Seeing how 1 skein crocheted up though, I think I will be ok. 1 skein gave me about 5 or so inches in width… So using 3, my guess will be that it would end up at around 15 inches. I think that would be nice for what I’m trying to achieve.

This neon yellow yarn is by Deborah Norville and is her Everyday Soft Worsted anti-pilling yarn in the Fluorescent Yellow colorway.

These pics are of this same yarn but in different lighting.

The top pic was in majority artificial lighting (however, it the more accurate depiction of the color between the two), while the bottom was with natural lighting and shading in the car on a dreary day (strange how it made it look more fluorescent green?).



The next up neon is mostly likely going to be a super bright fuschia!

Public Opinion, Random-ness

The (over) use of #Hashtags…and your thoughts

Featured Image Credit: YouTube

“What in the world is a hashtag and who cares?” was my first thought when Twitter blew up. Not being on Twitter and not having owned an Instagram account yet, I just didn’t get what all the buzz about hashtags was (or Twitter & Instagram for that matter) and it wasn’t until I joined Instagram that I became interested in using hashtags quite frankly for business purposes. I will have to admit – I used to incorporate hashtags into my Instagram posts all the time … until someone made me watch the SNL skit done by JT and Jimmy Fallon….

Once I began dyeing yarn and fiber as my business, I would hashtag the crap out of some of my earlier posts, but ever since watching that video, I’m lucky I use them at all these days. And when I do, there’s usually a purpose to it. For example, I feel hashtags are great for when I want to keep track of certain photos on Instagram. I love cowls and scarfs so I’ll use #cowlstyle to keep inventory of pics in which I am wearing cowls. And, I will say that I love it when my customers receive their orders and will give me credit by popping in #iknitiatives at the end of their message. :)

But, I still can’t help but feel a little silly because I automatically think of the original SNL skit. Yes, original… because unbeknownst to me, there is a SNL #Hashtags2 skit that was done in early 2014. I feel like it is a bit overkill and as if it’s like “ok, we get the point” but I managed to get a slight smile on my face with this version.

I feel like if you operate mainly as a business on social media like myself on Instagram, that it can also come across as a bit spammy. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for self-promotion especially if you joined one of the social media outlets as your business, but I know it can be a turn off for some people.

So I ask all of you- do you feel the same or do you feel differently regarding the use (or overuse depending on your view of them) with hashtags? Also, what do you feel is the advantage of using them? Has it helped or hurt you?

I’ll let you decide… which version do you prefer?

SNL #Hashtags

SNL #Hashtags2

Business Life, Goals

New Year, Same me… goals for iKNITiatives in 2015

As each prior year ends and a fresh year begins, I can’t help but feel a little sad. If you are anything like myself, you reflect back on all of the specific memories of that entire year and you hope that as time passes, each day/week/month/year get better. Overall, 2014 was not only a great year for me but also a great year for my family and for the growth of my *small* business.

A little background behind my small business: iKNITiatives. While I consider myself a solopreneur / craftpreneur, I am more specifically a yarnpreneur. Most of my business involves the selling of my hand-dyed yarns and fibers. While I don’t consider myself a knitwear designer, I even have a few knit patterns available for sale. But my passion is creating – knitting, crocheting, making, dyeing, spinning…. From my blog, you can also tell that I dabble in other crafty outlets as well – homemade apothecary, cooking, baking, fabric crafting, etc.

I operate iKNITiatives with the goal of one day owning my own brick & mortar retail space that will become the vessel to offering my hand-dyed yarns & fibers on more of a physical platform in addition to being online. Right now, iKNITiatives only supplements my family’s current income but I hope to change through the means of owning my own storefront.

Currently, I have a well paying job as a manager in the healthcare industry and while I’m ever so grateful for it, I know that it is not something that I am truly meant to keep doing throughout my life. I feel my purpose in life has been to make things and be crafty. Often, I hear from my family,”Why don’t you just pick one thing and focus on that and be really good at that?” And you know what my response is? No. I don’t want to! What’s the fun in that? My crafting is as random as my thoughts and conversations at times but one thing has remained consistent and that one thing involves and revolves around yarn.

So with that in mind, here are my top 5 business goals for 2015:

1. Continue to grow iKNITiatives to be a well known online (for now) curator of hand-dyed yarns & fibers by providing monthly yarn shop updates.

2. Build relevancy within iKNITiatives – i.e. do more shows in 2015, introduce either more yarn & fiber bases or more repeatable colors, get my yarns/fibers sold in my LYS (this one is currently in the works).

3. Be realistic with my time. Don’t bite off more than I can chew.

4. Commit to blogging more – 2-3 times per week.

5. Start either a podcast or vidcast.

Whatever your crafty or non-crafty endeavors be for 2015, I wish you all the best and a great year ahead!