Saturday, June 26, 2010

One Man's Sweater Is Another Man's Project

Shameless Promotions

Today I finally posted my scarf I made about a week ago. With the coloring of the yarn I decided to simply call it my Green Tea Fringe Scarf. I also listed my Peacock Boa Scarf that I made instead of going through my yarn stash like I had planned on doing. Stayed up until midnight... Didn't even realize the time until I was cleaning up and noticed the clock. Another night flies by due to crafting... And another morning I wake up dead on my feet because of it. Thank goodness for coffee!

Fruitful Searches

I used to work for Goodwill Industries and know first hand all of the wonderful treasures that come through there. We would have regulars who would come in looking for specific materials in clothing and would make quilts out of them, gloves, and other project, many that they would turn around and donate themselves.

Every now and then I will go in there to say hello to my former coworkers and after reading several articles about salvaging knitted sweaters to make something else I decided to keep my eye out when I visited. Today I struck pay dirt! I found a medium length house coat in a light cream 90% wool/10% nylon yarn with "good seaming" (term from 's article on unraveling a sweater.) Not only was I able to find a sweater to practice unraveling, it was a nice size to yield a good amount of yarn and it was 90% wool so I get to try out dyeing and for the heck of it give felting a try!

I brought it to the checkout and had a brief conversation with one of my old managers and went skipping out as if I found a $20 bill in my pocket after doing the laundry.

I figured I'd start small and unravel the knitted belt that came with the sweater. I figured that would be the easiest part as well as give me a little bit of practice yarn to try dying with. After winding the belt into a neat little ball I set it on my little scale and was happy to see that I had just shy of 2 oz of 'brand new' yarn to play with. My adventures with dyeing will be another post though. I'll probably continue working on unraveling the rest of the sweater after my little chat with you about these WONDERFUL ETSY SHOPS!

Every Color of the Rainbow and Then Some

Today we're going to check out 5 Etsy shops that will knock your socks off with their beautifully colored yarns. Some of them would indeed make lovely socks to cover your now bare feet!

I poke my head in the Etsy chats and have seen SpinningStreak and have found that in addition to their handknit wearables they dye their own yarn! They have 35 listings alone dedicated to dyed yarns spanning from bright fun colors to sensible colors for even the more mature color pallet. I have my eye on 4 colors in particular, my favorite being Highland Fling. The deep blue and purple play well together with a splash of green and pink that make it pop.

This shop dedicated to art inspired dyelots. Grant Creek Yarns includes the artwork that inspired the colors in the photos of the yarn for sale in over half of their listings and gives a little back story on what inspired their color choice. The colors match so perfectly you'd think they used the same paints available to the original artist! Lavender Iris inspired by artwork by Carol Hoffnagle is by far the most attractive colorway in Grant Creek Yarns' shop.

Don't like the bright colors that you can see a mile away? Maybe Franknit has a color that will better suit your taste. These soft and welcoming colorways are sure to appease any pattern with their pleasant colors. Franknit's Raspberry Truffle would make an elegant top to sweater, or hat, or tank top, or scarf! The possibilities are endless and sure to produce a wonderful piece.

If color is your thing and you can't decide on one, two or three colors this is your shop! These yarns pack a punch sure to satisfy any knitters craving for color. Vintage Psychedelic Mini Dress is sure to catch everyone's eye with a blend of bright pink and blue with a splash of green any project you turn out with this yarn will be a blast to wear. And I'm sure it will be a blast to make, too!

I love how KingBecky portrays her yarn in her pictures. Wound tightly in a hank and topped upon a stick it reminds me of brightly colored candy, both lollipops and cotton candy depending on the color of the yarn. I would buy a few and display them as they are in the picture! Orange Candy brings three complementary colors together, orange, pink and yellow, to form a a yarn that will bring cheer to any knitters project any time of the year.

Yarn, Yarn Everywhere

I hope you enjoyed these shops I have shared with you today... Though I should say, 'tonight' now. Between looking through Etsy, reading information in shops, writing, and a little bit of distraction by the hubby or television, I spend a good 2 hours or so speaking with you. And that's if I do my research on shops before sitting down to to write! I get so caught up in looking through the shops and wish I could share every one that I find that has something noteworthy... Which is just about every shop out there on Etsy. (What? I can't really count the shops that are empty! They get an honorable mention.)

Please share the love and visit these shops, buy if you can and happy crafting!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Warm Embrace

1 Shawl To Warm Them All

Yesterday I pieced together the finished panels of my first shawl! I was so excited, but realized the importance of checking your gauge! The shawl turned out massive, spanning just over 90 inches wide and 36 inches long. The purples turned out very nice in my opinion and hope someone thinks the same and wishes to add it to their wardrobe collection. To see it you can scroll to the bottom of the blog and check out the thumbnail of the shawl, as well as the other items in my shop. OR you can go directly to my shop at to see it first hand.

Needle In a Hay Stack

It was hard finding shops to showcase this evening. Not because there were a lack of beautiful shawls, but people miss-tag their items. The first page alone I was bombarded by shrugs and necklaces! Out of the 33 items only a small handful were actual shawls. After about a half hour scrolling through page after page of lovely shawls, and other items mixed in, I narrowed down my list of top 3 for today's Etsy Picks!


Tonight we're going to start out not with a shawl but a shawl pattern showcased through NoTwoSnowflakes by Karen Walker. You can visit her Etsy shop heirloomlace and be amazed at the detail and work she puts into each of her items. Just owning one of these works would be the crown jewel in anyone's closet. To have the skill to knit this shawl is completely awe inspiring.


With 22 gorgeous knits, several of them shawls, it was hard to choose just one. DagnyKnit's Violet Mist Shawl represents elegance to a tee. This lightweight lace shawl will add more than a touch of class to any evening wear and sure to turn heads as they admire the lovely work of art you proudly wear.


What could be better than a shawl that will be compliment after compliment? Free shipping of course! That is what reflectionbyds is offering when you purchase this crocheted mesh shawl adorned with a crocheted flower motif trim. This ivory shawl, she also offers custom orders if you would like a different color, would make a perfect gift for the girl in your life with an eye for fashionable knit wear.

In Closing

I hope you have enjoyed looking at these creations by our fellow Etsians. I know I can't get enough. You can look through the site a hundred times throughout your day, every day, and always find something new and interesting. I salute you Etsy creators!

Happy Crafting!

Oh! And I decided to get a twitter account. For up to date tweets about my crafting, know exactly when I post a new blog, or if I find a special find on Etsy that I just have to share!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Shooting Star


I had an idea to crochet up some flower motifs and make a "Build Your Own Scarf" kit and after making up a bunch of flowers I wondered what other shapes I could do. OFF TO YOUTUBE I WENT. I found a comprehensive tutorial video on how to crochet a star by mikeyssmail and sat down to try it. I simply loved how it turned out and sat down and made this!

I added this to my Etsy Shop as a custom order. Simply pick the color you want the stars, color of the letters, and tell me the name you'd like on it and I'll set up a reserved listing for you after it is finished!

Today's Shop Spotlight will focus on other cute and original wall pieces!


Let's start with jolinne's shop. This darling canvas print of a little girl in a yellow dress in a spring time setting. I'm sure it would brighten up any room all year long!


Next we have ChuckEBrydWallArt who, as the name suggests, specializes in wall art! This Vinyl Tree in the Wind would be a beautiful addition if you have an open wall. Measuring in at 63" tall the tree can be arranged in any way by you! Pieces include the tree, your choice of flower color (you pick 2 out of 56 available colors!), and color of birds!


This Hello Kitty Vinyl Wall Sticker from ccnever is great for any child's room or any Hello Kitty fan! 58x54 in 24 different colors is a picture of Hello Kitty standing at an easel with a crayon ready to share in the creative process!


ellynelly has a great idea: "Create your own fan club!" Each lenghth measures 22 inches Long x 4 inches High and includes, but not limited to: A man in a suit, person with umbrella, couple walking together, lady with a large bag, man on cell phone, and man looking at his watch. Definitely a must see item!


Jungle lovers with bundles of joy will simply adore this Monkey Hanging On Vines wall sticker! designedDESIGNER offers this fuzzy little friend to watch over your little one as they sleep or play in their room.

Thank you for stopping on by and reading my blog! I hope you check out my shop as well as the others that I have shared with you today!

Happy crafting!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

How I came into Crafting


As a child my mother shared with me her craftiness. She did cross stitch, she made quilts, and indulged in other small projects on the side. She taught me at first to do plastic canvas, soon after to do cross stitch patterns, though mine were never as elaborate as the ones she worked on, and introduced me to latch hook rugs as well. Though I never caught on to quilting, as of yet, I did surprise her when I took up knitting on my own.

With the help of how to books and the WONDERFUL people posting videos on youtube I taught myself to knit with the use of 2 pens and some scrap yarn I found stashed away from previous projects my siblings and myself worked on throughout our childhood. That was 4 years ago.

A year after I had learned to knit a group of friends and I flew out to San Fransisco for our friend's wedding. During that flight I sat next to my friend Katy who worked on her crocheting. We got to talking about different things we've worked on and that we each only knew how to do our own thing. By the end of the flight we decided that we would each learn the others' craft. I ended up losing touch with my friend after a while so I don't know if she ever learned to knit, but I watched video after video and picked up a set of crochet hooks and got to work!

I'm no expert at either by any means but I enjoy both of them equally using them as a means to relax after a long day of chasing after my toddler son. I enjoy simple and short projects and would have to say my favorite part is most definitely scoping out craft stores, both in person and online, for new yarns. I'd use my talents to create gifts for friends and family and recently have decided to try my hand at sharing my projects with the world, for a fee of course.


There is a site called Etsy that allowed people world-wide to sell their handmade items, crafting supplies, and vintage items. Their definition of vintage is items over 20 years of age. You can find items ranging from hand crafted jewelry, woodworkings, needlework, clothing, housewares, glass and more! I took the plunge and created my own store on the site MajikalFairy's Simple Pleasures to show off my creations. Right now there are just 2 scarves that I've made and when I get new projects done they'll be posted as well. Right now I'm on the last steps of a shawl so be sure to keep an eye out for that!

I hope to use this blog as a means to share my Etsy as well as the wonderful finds I happen upon in the shops of other Etsians. In this post I have shared my own shop and I'd like to showcase a shop or two I have found starting with one that I recently purchased some BEAUTIFUL hand dyed cotton yarn.


Snappish hand dyes her cotton yarn ranging from soft pastels to vibrantly bright colors. She currently has 6 hanks of her yarn for sale with more to come after the 50% off sale ends. TODAY IS THE LAST DAY! I cannot wait and am sure I will be buying from her again.


With an astounding 55 items for sale, BloodCross's Shop holds cute and colorful handmade charms on bracelets, necklaces, cell phone straps, and rings! With several of her items modeled after deliciously sweet snacks any person with an eye for cuteness and an ongoing sweet tooth will love these items!


And lastly we're going to look at Made By Moko! With 37 items displayed in her shop you will find coloring button pins made from elegant origami paper and upcycled manga pictures as well as a few cellphone charms. The pins seem to be her main focus. In groups of 3 and 4 button pins with the low price of 3 dollars they are sure to spruce up any backpack, purse, jacket or anything else you may want to adorn with these lovelies.

Thank you for stopping by. I will try to post every couple of days to update you on my projects, side stories, and all the incredible shops out there!

Julie H.