Wednesday, July 31, 2013

More Stash Down Progress!

It's only been a couple days since my last update, but I've made even more Stash Down progress! I've been knitting like a madwoman, and eliminating yarn left and right. Still working on the dishcloths, and I am enjoying them. I might miss them once all my cotton is gone.
The top two cloths are some of my favourites. I love adding textures and small sections of stripes to the cloths. They make them way more fun. The blue finished off one ball, and the yellow was finished with the green in the second picture. More on the pink later!
The green and yellow cloth is pretty neat, too. It finished off the yellow and green in one swoop. It's actually like 4 garter ridges too short for a full size cloth, so I threw it in the drawer in the kitchen here. I wouldn't feel right selling a too small cloth to someone, even if I discounted it.
The last two pink ones, in addition to the pink one in the first picture, finished off one of the bigger balls of cotton I had. I still have quite a bit of the light pink left, which I'm working with right now.
This is FOUR balls of yarn finished since Monday! Not half bad, if I say so myself! This brings my count to +64. I always check the average I need to eliminate after I count a chunk. I went from 5.5 skeins per week for the rest of the year, to 5.18. If I can get that number down to 4 or less, I am sure I will get to my goal without having to give yarn away!
I'm taking a short break from the cloths, and working on a striped scarf on 8mm needles that I am loving. I hope to get it done in the next couple days, and share it with all of you.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Stash Down 2013: It's Not Over Yet

One of my goals for 2013 was the have a net change to my stash of -50 balls of yarn. If you've been following my Stash Down progress, you'll know that I acquired 150 balls of yarn a little while ago, and I was incredibly discouraged. Well, my knitting mojo is back in full force, and I've been knitting like crazy. Seriously, crazy amounts of knitting have been going on. Mom and I went grocery shopping last week, and I walked around behind her, knitting on a cloth. Between these six cloths, and a couple other partial cloths I have on the go, I've eliminated three balls of cotton. Sure, not a whole lot, but that's three less than I had before! Plus, it's yarn I no longer have a real need for, so I'm opening up a drawer in the storage area for yarn I really love. I've decided to leave dishcloth knitting to others so I can focus on things I truly enjoy making.
I calculated the other day that I need to eliminate 5.5 skeins of yarn a week until the end of the year, and not acquire any, in order to meet my goal. I'm intimidated, but I really believe I can do it. Summer is going to be difficult, but as soon as my hours at work drop down again, I'll be kicking ass and taking names.
What are you knitting on this week?

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Last Friday of the Month

This month is almost done, which is totally crazy to me. I know everyone always says how fast time is going, but seriously, where are the brakes?!
I've been pretty busy lately, knitting, hanging out with Rick, working, hanging out with my family and so much more.
Here is a "quick" recap. (I really hope it's quick, I have knitting to get done!)
I spent a few days out at Rick's earlier in the week. We baked and baked and baked together, which was a lot of fun. He has his project going on, which I can't share just yet, but I made some mediocre brownies. I used the recipe off the back of the cocoa powder. The pan made them pretty neat, but they weren't really that good. Nothing special about them. They weren't gooey and fudgey, which is how I like my brownies. Oh well, no big loss, the recipe only made these six brownies. I'll try a different recipe next time. If you have an awesome brownie recipe, let me know!
I went out with a friend to Second Cup after work a couple days ago. Second Cup is Canada's Starbucks, but I actually prefer it most of the time. I got an iced coffee, and he got a frozen hot chocolate. The coffee was a bad idea. I was laying awake in bed until like 3 am. I didn't feel tired at all. I don't think I'll be getting a large coffee at 9:30 at night again, any time soon. Unless the goal is to stay awake forever.
Anyway, my friend is moving to Sweden next weekend, for a two year teaching position. I'm going to miss him. I've known him since high school, and no matter how long we go without talking, we can catch right up whenever we get together.
Today, I was sitting in my room, knitting, and I heard someone knock on the door. My first thought was "Why don't people ring the door bell? It's so much more efficient" and then I finally got up and went to see who it was. The mailman was there, with a small padded envelope in his hand, and he said he was looking for Nicole. As soon as I saw the package, I knew what it was. I am so excited for this! I can't share it yet, because it's for the rebrand, but it's awesome.
I need to get back to my knitting! If I want to be down 50 skeins by the end of the year, I need to eliminate 5.5 skeins a week. That's a lot!
How was your week?

Monday, July 22, 2013

LUV LOCAL Windsor-Essex Creates: A Recap

This past weekend was the LUV LOCAL show at Walkerville Brewery. It was all day Saturday and Sunday, and I did pretty alright.
I was there bright and early Saturday morning, ready to set up. As per my usual, I started setting up, got halfway done, and then socialized for a little while. I got back to my space, and decided at the last minute to set up most of my winter wear, and put a sign up saying it was half price. I sold five items off this rack to a family with three young boys, so I am really happy I made that decision!
Over the course of the first day, I sold a few pairs of earrings, some rings and a couple bracelets. Not a whole lot, but I was happy with what sold.
I got dinner from Kildare House, which was pretty disappointing. They didn't have the lobster mac and cheese I was really looking forward to.
The second day was quite a bit slower, with only about half the number of people that Saturday had. I did sell a few things, but not as many as I was hoping for. I did get a bunch of sign ups for my mailing list, which is awesome. I want to notify as many people as possible when I launch with the new brand, and this will help.
I saw quite a few people that I know throughout the show, nearly all of which I was happy to see.
I got lunch from Salute Espresso Bar which is right next door to the brewery. It was delicious.
Overall, the show was a success. Not everyone did super well, and I was probably middle of the pack with how well I did. Regardless, I had a really good time, in spite of the heat (it was pushing 90 degrees inside for most of the weekend)
How did your weekend go?

Friday, July 19, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: July 19, 2013

This week is almost done, and I can't wait for the weekend! I have a craft show tomorrow and Sunday at Walkerville Brewery, here in Windsor. It's the same venue as my most successful show ever, so I'm really looking forward to it.
Here is a peek at what I've been up to this week.
I spent a few days out at Ricks, and we went and sat in the car, by the water, eating our chilli cheese dogs. It was raining, but it wasn't as oppressively hot as it has been lately. Seriously, Windsor-Essex County is having some strange weather. If it's not 95 F +, it's storming. I love the storms, the heat, I could do without. I can't wait for summer to be over! Bring on the chilly fall and winter weather! I don't know if I prefer winter more because it's cold, or because I can wear jeans, sweaters and scarves.
I picked up a four pack of Jones Soda when I was out at Ricks. I love this stuff. This was the first fortune that was under my cap. I posted it on Facebook and Instagram, asking if anyone would be interested in being a pen pal. I got a couple takers, and I'm looking forward to writing to them. I'm hoping to pick up some decent paper today when I am out and about with my mom. I don't want to be lame and boring and just write on plain lined paper. That's no fun.
If you would like to be my penpal, send me your mailing address to nicoleATknitnicoleknitDOTcom I'm hoping to have like ten pen pals or so, and I'm about halfway there. I'm excited. I had a pen pal in grade school, and it was so much fun writing to her.
And now for the knitting content! I've been working with a lot of thinner yarns lately, and I'm really enjoying it. I haven't posted much on the blog, but there has been knitting happening. I cast on for a Terribly Simple shawl, and it's a lot of fun. Miles of garter stitch, turning into a gentle crescent shape. It's super fun. I'm thinking of modifying the pattern a wee bit, and adding a ruffle at the end. Nothing too crazy, just enough to have a little texture. We'll see how much yarn I have when it comes time. But I'm not opposed to striping in another colour.
This is Knit Picks Shadow Lace Tonal in Summer Blooms. I got it a while back, and caked it up after I got my ball winder and swift, and just haven't found something I want to knit with it. I think this pattern will be just the right fit.
What have all of you been up to?

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Knitting Update: July 15, 2013

It's the halfway mark of July, and I can't believe it! I haven't been knitting as much this past week, because I worked quite a bit. I did, however, finish an awesome, super long, seed stitch mustard yellow scarf!
It's made of a vintage, fuzzy acrylic, held double, on size 11 needles. Super long, too! It's going to be great in the winter time. I had it wrapped around my neck four times, and the ends still hung down to mid-torso. I have a whole bunch of this yarn, as well as the same type in an olive green. This scarf used two whole balls. I'll probably do a few more identical scarves, to facilitate selling them online with the rebrand.
Speaking of rebrand, holy stress balls. It's a lot of work. I have a friend working on my graphic stuff, and I'm hoping to have that done soon. I'm still playing around with SquareSpace, and trying to get all of that figured out. I'm also trying to figure out how I'll sell off the rest of my Knit, Nicole, Knit! line of knitted items. So many things to figure out, and October isn't getting any farther away.
What have you all been up to?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wednesdays are for Gratitude: July 10, 2013

Wednesday is almost over, and I'm just getting around to blogging. I had a busy day today, filled with shopping, and I didn't buy a single thing! Well, unless you count lunch. Anyway, here is what I am grateful for this week.
Spending time with my family  /  Copious amounts of knitting time  /  New jewelry supplies that are on their way to me  /  Nail polish from Julep  /  Finishing my stinky antibiotics  /  Going out for fast food with my Dad, when mom and brother were gone  /  My friends going away party (but not him actually going away)  /  Cards Against Humanity  /  Free beer  /  Chinese food with mom  /  Visits at work from a friend  /  Hanging out with Rick  /  All you can eat sushi  /  Rick getting loads of supplies for his business  /  This blog, and all of you.
This past week has been a good one. I work the next two days, and then have Sunday off. I'm hoping for Monday off as well, but we'll see what happens.
How are things with all of you?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Monday Knitting Update: July 8, 2013

FINALLY! My mojo has returned! I've been knitting like crazy these last few days! I know it's partly due to StashDash2013, but I'll take what I can get! Here is a little peek at what I've made lately.
I've been working on a bunch of little yarn flowers. These have been turned into brooches for my summer shows. The grey in this picture is one of the tiny left over balls I had of the sparkly yarn I used for some head bands and what not a little while back. I'm so happy I got a ball finished, no matter how small it was! I have 20 or so flowers made now, which I think is a good number. I'll still try to get more done, though. I think they're super cute. I have one pinned to my purse and it just makes me happy looking at it.
This is a Wool Ease Thick and Quick scarf. Just a simple seed stitch, which is my favourite stitch for this yarn. most of the stuff I've made out of it, is in seed stitch. This also eliminated a ball of yarn. And being that its a large, bulky yarn, it's a pretty big ball that was used up. If I can get one of my large storage bins emptied, I will be more than happy. I have five bins in my storage unit, so I could bring one home if that's the case. Slowly but surely, I'm eliminating the stash that isn't ideal, and I will replace it with yarns that I love.
Here is the third ball I eliminated this week. This was an even larger ball. Not as bulky as the Wool ease, but definitely a bigger ball. I think it was almost 250 yards! It's a random wool blend I acquired at some point in my knitting career, and I think it looks awesome done diagonally like this. I think I'll be doing more scarves like this in the future. I have one more on the needles, and I'll probably start another one soon. It's still miles of garter stitch, but somehow seems more interesting. This is ball number three that's been used up this week. I'm on a roll!
Now ball number four. Another bulky, wool blend yarn. Patons Echoes Shetland Tweed, a discontinued yarn. It's a light, warm grey with flecks of red, yellow, blue and green. Really neat looking! It's a simple garter stitch scarf. I was going to do seed stitch, but I knit two rows plain before I thought about it. Oh well, I think it looks awesome anyway.

This is all I've knit since the last time I checked in. Not bad progress, I think. You can check my StashDash2013 progress on my post, here. Overall, this is four balls gone, bringing my total to +73.

Friday, July 5, 2013

My Week In Instagrams: July 5, 2013

Still trying to get back into the swing of things, and one of these Instagram Friday posts is definitely going to help. This week hasn't been too exciting, but I've gotten a lot of knitting done. This is a little peek at my week.
Rick came to pick me up last weekend and brought me to his place so I could go to work. It was super stormy off and on, and this was taken during a break in the down pour.
I won't be spending any more weekends in the county, at least not for a while. I finally got transferred to the store close to my parents, and I'm working a whole bunch. There is a second store a couple kilometres up the road that I have also picked up some shifts at. I was initially scheduled 16 hours next week, and with shifts from the second store, I am up to 32 hours. I'll gladly take that!
I've been earring factory-ing a little bit this week. I have a whole bunch of thingamajigs to make into earrings. These ones were made on Canada day, and I was feeling patriotic.
I am going to hold off on releasing most of my new earrings until I rebrand. Some of them will be ready for the Luv Local show in a couple weeks, but not all of them. I really need to get some yarny things ready for that show. Having loads of earrings is great, but I want something that will fill my space a little more. We'll see what I come up with.
My dad and brother were gone out of town for work this week, so it was just mom and I at home. This meant we got to have a little fun with dinner. We went for Chinese at my mom's favourite place. Chicken Soo Guy, shrimp with mixed vegetables, chicken fried rice, egg rolls, shrimp rolls (which were delicious), won ton soup, and of course, fortune cookies. It was nice getting to hang out with just her for a bit.
They're going away again next week to finish the job, so we'll probably be getting Chinese again! I can't wait.

Here is the completed Mosaic scarf! I am so happy with it. You might remember it from a couple days ago. I finished the skein off, and ended with a pretty nice looking scarf, if I say so myself. It's all in the yarn and the pattern I used. I just did knit stitch after knit stitch and let the fabric do the talking. I love it! This means I knocked another skein off for my Stash Down, and 209 yards towards StashDash2013 with TheKnitGirllls. I am going to start the second ball of this yarn soon! I'm working on a couple other projects right now, but I'll be getting my butt in gear for that. It's super easy, and so pretty!
I also finished a blanket I started a couple months back. I also finished a WET&Q scarf that finished up a skein. I'll have photos of that later on. Three balls of Wool Ease Thick and Quick gone makes for a pretty big dent in the space my stash takes. I have a drawer in my storage area that is now almost empty.
That's 4 balls down, for a total of +77. I'm making it, slowly but surely. I just need to start working with the smaller partial balls, and I'll definitely get there! Having two stash elimination goals going at the same time is really motivating me to knit more. I'm trying to end this blog post soon, just so I can get back to knitting!
I've mentioned it before, but I'm in the process of rebranding. I won't be Knit, Nicole, Knit! anymore. This has been a great journey, but I'm ready for something else. I'm using SquareSpace to build my new site, and it's a lot of fun. It has everything that I need. I can't wait to share the finished product with all of you. It's coming along quite nicely. It is a paid service, so I am using a temporary free account, which means I'll have to redo everything I've done so far, but that is alright with me. More practice means I'll be more likely to have it perfect. I can't wait to share it with all of you! I'm shooting for October to be fully functional, or maybe even late September. We'll see!
What are all of you up to these days?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Joining StashDash2013

Happy Fourth to all my American followers!
If you are a fan of TheKnitGirllls, I'm sure you've heard of StashDash2013. They set a goal of using 4000 yards of yarn in a period from 5/24 to 8/5. I got a late start, but I'm joining in to see how far I can get. I need to use an average of 125 yards from now till the end of StashDash to reach the goal. I think this is doable.
Check out my post for my progress HERE.
This will also help me make progress on my stash down project.
I'm excited. Are you participating in StashDash2013?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Math Isn't Always My Friend

As many of you know, I set myself a goal last year of having a net change in my yarn stash of minus 50. I've recently added a whole crap ton of yarn to my stash, bringing me to plus 81 total. I just did the math, and I have to eliminate an average of 5 balls of yarn A WEEK for the rest of the year. I have a feeling I'll be knitting my fingers to the bone. I have quite a few projects on the go that are almost done, so that will help my cause, but that might not be enough. I might have to give away some yarn.
Do you think I can do it?
In related news, here is the scarf I am working on currently. It's made out of Bernat Mosaic in the Ambrosia colourway. It looks kind of like a Noro yarn, but it is 100% acrylic. It feels softer than acrylic normally feels, but it still has a little bit of the plasticky "squeak" some have. It's about three times as long as this picture shows, and I'm into the pinks and purples, and almost back to the cool icy blue. I have one more skein of this yarn, and I'm really looking forward to seeing how it knits up. It's a different colourway. I'll probably do a biased scarf just like this.
How are your knitting projects going?

Monday, July 1, 2013

Starting Over

Lately, I've been feeling pretty apathetic in regards to just about everything in my life. I'm using today, July first to start over. I'm going to start counting calories and working out, blogging regularly, updating my YarnYarnYarnYarn tumblr, taking regular Instagram photos for a 365 type project, and knitting more frequently.
I haven't been feeling myself lately, and I think adding all these things back into my life will help me get back to what is "normal" for me.
I'm slowly but surely working on my rebrand. I have a friend who is working on the graphic stuff, and I'm working on getting familiar with the new site I will be using to host my shop. No more Etsy for me!
Here is a little peek at what I've been up to lately.
I've been trying to find fun, new, summer friendly projects for my warm weather shows. These tiny flowers are one of them. I'm going to turn them into brooches. I've made a dozen or so, and I want to double that number before my next show. They hardly use any yarn, are quick and easy, and I think they're pretty darn cute, to boot. I still have to put all the pins on them, but that shouldn't take too long. I'm also thinking about turning some into hair pins, so we'll see about that! I've also been looking around on Ravelry for some summer knits, and I've found a few more things I might add to my arsenal.

These tiny pink pearl earrings are going to be gifts with purchases of $15/$20 or more (not sure of the actual minimum just yet). I like having a bonus for my customers, and I think these are going to go over really well. I've already gotten some good feedback about them. Up until now, I was just having people pick a pair of earrings for their free gift, but I've had some complain that they can't get a three pack, or one of the more expensive pairs. I try to calmly explain to them that it's a free gift, and I am doing this as a bonus to them. I don't want to lose money at the end of the day by giving out free gifts.

I always get this genius idea of growing my hair long, and I usually end up hating it. This most recent time, I was considering getting a perm because my hair is naturally so straight. A couple weeks ago, I decided to chop my hair off. I am loving it! I style it a bit differently than this photo shows, but regardless, it's so nice to have all the hair gone. I am probably going to dye it in the near future, but that is all pending on how I feel, and whether or not I have the spare cash. I'm in a cycle of perpetual broke-ness, and I'm trying hard to get out.

Now for the not fun thing that has happened lately. I got new work shoes a little bit ago, and I loved them dearly. Needed to wear steel toe shoes means I get stuck with ugly footwear most of the time. These were actually pretty nice. Sadly, they hated me. I got a blister on my achilles. It got all icky, and the ickiness spread to the rest of my foot/ankle. I couldn't put any weight on it, and used crutches for a couple days. I went to the clinic, and the doctor put me on some crazy antibiotics four times a day, that stink to high heaven. The pain started going away after a few days. It's still slightly swollen and a little tender, but hugely improved from what it was. I'm returning the shoes this week. Which sucks, because I really did like them.

What have you all been up to?