13 Jan 2015

This past holiday season was all about giving handmade goodness. Hats in all sizes were knit and crocheted, crocheted cup cozies were gifted to teachers, Abby’s blanket was worked on and is now truly in the final finishing stages, and I was even able to work on a little something for myself… a knit shawl.

I’ve admired shawls from many different knitting bloggers over the past few years and finally decided to try my hand at knitting one as well. I knew exactly which yarn I wanted to use… a soft cotton yarn that had been a sweater in its earlier life. I loved the brown to cream color change in it and knew that it would be perfect in every way.

Since I hadn’t picked up my knitting needles in over a year, I was afraid that my hands had forgotten how to work them, but thankfully everything went smoothly. I picked a fairly simple pattern, one that wasn’t too lacy or ornate, and went to work. There were times when I skipped an increase, an annoying mistake which probably wouldn’t happen if I would just knit when the kids are in bed… but all in all it was an easy, somewhat mindless knit that I only made one or two changes to… the most notable one being that I added about 20 rows to it to make it longer since I wanted to make sure that it would be nice and big.

Age of Brass and Steel - full

(I apologize for the photo quality – it was far to cold for the outdoor photos I’d hoped for)

I quickly got the shawl off of my needles and right away I knew that I loved it… but there was just one problem… it wasn’t nearly as big as I had hoped it would be. I tried stretching it as I blocked it, and though it did grow a few more inches, it just wasn’t enough. I let it sit for a few weeks to see if I could grow to like the finished size, but in my heart I knew that I couldn’t, so last night I finally started the heartbreaking task of undoing all the work that I had put into making this shawlette.

Age of Brass and Steel - closeup

I have learned many things about myself in the past few {*cough* 37 *cough*} years… one of them is that when it comes to making things, I’m a bit of a perfectionist… and I’m not above undoing and then reworking an item over and over again until it’s just right. Thankfully, this is not so much an issue for me when sewing, but when knitting or crocheting pieces that will be worn… well, let’s just say that when it comes to crocheting hats, I have lots of practice in getting the size just right! *wink*

This shawl will be knit again… with the same yarn, but next time I’ll use larger needles and knit many, many more rows! I can’t wait to show the new one to you!

25 Nov 2014

Fall left us pretty quickly here in the Midwest and even though it’s not even Thanksgiving yet, it looks like winter has arrived. The hectic holiday season is right around the corner… and thanks to a much-needed break from Etsy and sewing totes, I’m happy to say that I’m ready for it.

Between July and October, I had a steady stream of tote orders coming in… and for the first time since opening shop, I can say that I had a real streak going. It felt great to be a sewing and sending out so many totes, but I have to be honest… I felt very restricted creatively and by the time that last tote was sewn, I knew I needed stop so that I could make time to work on other projects. So I closed up shop right before Halloween with the intent to open it back up (with new products) right before Thanksgiving.

My creative time is pretty limited during the day and I had great big plans for those four weeks. I knew that my “creative” time would be divided between actually creating physical items and creating a cleaner, more organized, and more enjoyable home… so the first week was spent taking care of  our home. =)

The following three weeks were spent creating real physical items. I knit, I crocheted, I designed and cross stitched… in short, I stayed away from my sewing machine(s) even though that was not part of the plan. I spent my creative time divided between working on personal projects and projects for the shop. It was like the dam that had blocked the stream of creativity from running through me had been broken and I couldn’t stop the ideas from flowing. I’m actually excited to be making fun (and at times useful) things again… and I can’t wait to introduce them all to you.

During my time away from the shop, I also came to realize that, in the deepest depths of my heart and soul, I am a maker. It’s something that, if I’m truly honest with myself, I’ve known for a very long time. I need to make things, whether they be tote bags, hats, scarves, decorative items, or little people who look a lot like my husband. *wink*

I am a maker, but I don’t like to be stuck to making just one thing. I think that is why I started working on crocheted toy patterns and made Ellie. It’s also why I have a diverse collection of both finished and unfinished projects in various crafting mediums here at home. I am a maker and need to make, but I get bored if all I’m doing is making the same thing over and over again. And so….


Noby Designs cross stitch sneak peek

Be prepared to see some changes in the shop. I’ve opened it back up and although there aren’t any new products listed yet, I am taking tote orders again. Behind the scenes, I’m working hard on a new, very different product collection, that will be released very soon. I’m so very excited about it! It is the craft that, over the 25+ years, I keep coming back to… the one that I feel started my love of handmade and started this crafting journey of mine.

I hope you all are staying warm in your part of the world!

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