Monday, June 18, 2012

Knitting progress and New boots!

Look how far I got by Friday! I think I have a new addiction. I'm keeping the giveaway open a little longer, so if you have any creative answers about what crochet needles may get used for besides crochet, post them here or in my last post :)
In the meantime, I got a bit fluey at the end of last week so MrC chucked me out of the shop for the day. He's sweet like that. Instead of going home, however, I did what I always do when I need to relax- I headed to the Eastern Suburbs of Wellington, where the sea is close and it makes me happy! AND it just so happens that my favourite shoe shop is over there too. It specialises in big size shoes and tickles me that my problem big feet are nearly the smallest size they stock!
Well, I SAVED $600 by NOT buying two other pairs I loved. And I bought one pair of adorable boots:

Aren't they the cutest things!!!!??!!! And so comfortable too! The heel is just low enough to be comfortable for me but just enough to be a bit elegant. And the leopard skin tippets were irresistible.
They certainly did wonders for my fluiness! :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

If you can't beat 'em, join 'em, and a sort of giveaway

Today I picked up a skein of 8 ply and some size 4 needles, and cast on 35 stitches. The last time I knitted was over 30 years ago.
I know!! Knitting!! I do everything but knit!! I can't believe I even remember HOW to knit, but it seems to be one of those bicycle riding things - I stared at the needles and wool for about 5 seconds, and then just knew what to do.
Taking to knitting again like a duck to water!
 It's a bit of a miracle I can even knit a basic stocking stitch really. I am a leftie and both of my grans were right handed, so I was the granddaughter they couldn't teach. My clever Mum taught me, fellow leftie that she is, but I am a horrendous student of anything and never bothered to learn anything grander, although I did once knit a stitch in a brick/weave pattern. Cor!
The yarn I've chosen is 80% merino, 20% possum. It is a variegated colour scheme that, quite coincidentally, matches 'my' colour palette, which is called Dusky Cool Deep. My eye prefers a warmer palette really, but this one does suit me, and I still love it.
 Yummy colours - photo taken next morning, look how much I got done last night!
So why am I doing this knitting thing? It's a response to the winter chill. Usually I want to quilt, but it is not portable enough. Plus I've been reading about knitting on so many blogs, and it's been chipping away at me. In a good way!
And lastly but by no mean leastly, I sell wool, but I don't know much about it. So I want to learn. We are going to be stocking a new range of yarn soon, and I really want to understand it. I'll never be an expert but I want to understand what things knitters and crocheters think about.
Now, who would like to guess what size crochet hook we sell the most of, and for what purpose? Hints include - nothing at all to do with yarn, and our shop is in the funky, alternative part of the city. Te Aro is to Wellington what Camden is to London, Fitzroy is to Melbourne, and possibly Soho is to New York (although I am guessing there!). :) Any correct, or sufficiently entertaining answers, can go in a draw to win some yarn. I won't specifiy what kind as I've got a few options. It can be negotiated with the winner! :)

Friday, June 1, 2012

Reverse engineering - sewing time and sustainability

Hmm. I am feeling like a dirty stop out, going so silent for so long. Of course my devoted followers know it's because I am up the the gunwales in Made on Marion, which is a 7 day, 80 hour a week commitment, but I don't want to go down the rabbit hole!
And so in the interest of being of interest, I am reverse engineering this post based on the photos I have taken recently.
First up is the sewing machine area set up in the shop. This is my beloved Bernina 1230. It's awesome to have one's sewing machine set up at one's work, although I don't often get time to use it, but I am working on a couple of ideas and it means I can snatch a few minutes sewing from time to time without having to drag all my kit out and set up. Do you like our wallpaper? It's only in one place - I don't think it would be easy to live with beyond that one wall!
My friend here the organic cotton stand gets a photo and a write up because lately I have been thinking about sewing and knitting etc for vegans. A dear friend of mine is an avid crafter and a vegan, and for her this means editing out wool and silk too. I should add she is not at all righteous about this commitment, but I find it intriguing and have been looking for products that are vegan friendly, because usually that means they are also more sustainable by nature. Take this organic cotton as a case in point - cotton not being a food crop, gets sprayed out the wazoo with evil chemicals that kill lots of insects and probably other wildlife and probably don't do much for the Egyptian farmers who grow it either. So the organic type is much kinder to wildlife. It's a slow seller, by the way, mostly I feel because it comes in 200m reels which makes the price point a lot higher. Pity as it is only, pro rata, a few cents dearer than the 100m cotton thread we also sell far more of.
My search for vegan alternatives has also led to stocking linen and bamboo 'sliver,' which is the carded, pre-spun state of the fibre. Incidentally, I think linen sliver would make an excellent 18th C wig. I only have a little bit, as much for curiosity sake and because the design students who comprise such a big part of our clientele are always looking for unusual materials to make unusual things.
Last randomly selected image is of these wall hangings made by the Embroidenator. She loves poppies as much as I do and I love having these beauties in my line of sight all day! :)