Tag Archive | Junie Balloonie

Let’s try this Etsy thing again

Several months ago, I listed several things on Etsy and was disappointed that nothing came of it. I got a few favorites but never a sale. Since then, my crafting skills have improved, as have my photography skills. I’ve also got a better idea (I think!) of how to make Etsy work for me. It seems like you’ve got to find a niche, make those unusual specific things that you can tag really well. Anyway, I decided to dip my toes back into the water, and I’ve listed three of my favorite pieces. My shop name is bonnyknitsforyou. I’d love it if you’d check it out!

They’re all different categories and they’re varying prices, so it’s kind of a test, to see which ones get more views/favorites etc. I’ve set a low budget for promoting the listings. After Christmas I hope to get a little more aggressive with it and post more, maybe promote more. Anyone have any great Etsy advice for me?

I also have a finished hat to show off. Remember the red cloche I made on Sunday? I got the buttons sewn on and I love the finished product. It’s really an ingenious design, because you can just button the flap as far over as you want it, so the hat can be as snug or loose as you wish. Too cute. I definitely will be making more.IMG_3227Here’s yesterday’s and today’s project. I’m getting clever and bartering with my favorite flower maker, Junie Balloonie. In exchange for four flowers (two for gifts and two for me) I’m making another headband and two sets of boot cuffs. I can’t show off the headband yet because it’s so flipping awesome and I want her to see it first, but I’ll show you the boot cuffs. This is my favorite boot cuff pattern.IMG_3234And of course I’ll show off the flowers when they get here. I hang them on my purse, but they’re also hair flowers/brooches, and she can make them in any colors your heart desires. You can see some samples on her Etsy page here. If you checked out my shop, you might have noticed that I have one of her flowers on my pink purse.

Now it’s back to the yarn. The puppy is sleeping and the house is silent. It’s the best time to create!

Finding My Happy (i.e. going to the LYS)

My craft fair is this Saturday! Eek! I’ve been so busy getting ready—I think I’ve made at least ten new hats in the last two weeks. I went through my for-sale items and pulled out a couple of older pieces I’m not as proud of anymore, and I pulled out all the things I’ve made since my last craft show, i.e. all the things that need tagged and priced. It was a bit daunting. IMG_5125Since I took that photo, though, I’ve gone through and tagged almost half of it. Of course, I’ve also made two earwarmers , a pair of bootcuffs and worked on a hat order. Like I said, I’ve been busy. And yesterday, a couple of flowers I ordered from Junie Balloonie arrived, and they got added to my bags. I love them! IMG_5127 IMG_5129Speaking of flowers, I also knitted a new one yesterday. The craft fair asked for a donation, so I’m donating a purple and green beanie made with some gorgeous sparkly Berroco Brio. It should make some girl happy. It was originally unadorned, but since it was going to be a focus item, I decided it needed a bit of flair. And quick! Thank to the Rose Pin pattern, I had a little dusky-purple flower to sew to the hat. I like it. IMG_5130Today I needed a break. I needed to do something I wanted to do, not something I thought would sell, not something that was an order or a suggestion. I needed to make something that came completely from me. Of course that means a trip to the LYS, right? I came home with some rainbow Mochi plus, and it’s going to be a simple beanie with a ribbed edge. I love rainbow yarn, hats, ribbing, and working in the round, so this project pleases me. And I even learned a new cast on for it: the German Twisted. It’s so simple and fun; I can’t believe I haven’t done it before! I’m sure the hat will end up at the craft fair, but right now it’s serving its purpose: knitting as therapy. IMG_5137

Finished Project: Purple Crochet Purse

Hey! Hey! Guess what?? I finished my purple purse last night!! And I’m sooo very happy with it. The girl had piano lesson yesterday (her teacher is my BIL) so my SIL helped me hem the purple cotton for the lining (okay, okay, she hemmed it. I watched.) and as soon as I got home I started stitching it into the bag.

IMG_4599It went quickly and after dinner I was ready to finish crocheting the rest of the bag. I did have a brief moment of panic after I tied off the last row: I got out the handles and held them up to the bag, and they were just a little bit wider than I anticipated. But I just spaced out the crocheted tabs to compensate, and it actually worked out really well. The final step was to sew in a little snap.

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 Then it was done! Really and truly done! I hung it on my chair and admired my new purse.

IMG_4602All right, it was done, but it needed *something* to jazz it up a bit. So I added my purple Junie Balloonie flower. (Have you ever checked out her website? Lovely flowers in all sizes, handmade, custom-made. Great to put on purses, in your hair, as a brooch, even on your pets! Take a peek here. I love them!).

IMG_2606The bag was done with one skein of Lion Brand Cotton-Ease in Sugar Plum, and used all but maybe one yard. The lining was a fabric remnant, and the snap and handles I found at Joann. I’m so glad this project didn’t linger on like my last fat-bottom bag. I’m delighted with the results and can’t wait to finish my pink bag now!

 

 

That Felt Great!

Wool is not always my favorite fiber: it can be itchy and scratchy, especially against my sensitive skin. But one thing I do love is how it felts! I’ve made a few small felted purses in the past and just love seeing the transformation from the loose, floppy, shapeless piece of knitting into a firm, sturdy piece of felted fabric. I also love that it negates the need for sewing in a lining. I recently found a few books showing felted purses accented with novelty fibers, like fur or eyelash or pompoms, and I liked the contrasting textures. I’d picked up some more books at that huge estate sale, and in one I found my perfect pattern: this adorable Vintage Bubble Bag. And after I got my new shelves set up, and my yarn all organized, I could see that I finally some good possibilities to work with.

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I started with the pinky-purple Cascade 220 because I had two full skeins of it, and I quickly matched it with the multicolor novelty yarn. I knew I didn’t have enough of the Cascade for the bubble bag, so I was toying with the idea of a contrasting band around the top edge. I liked this dark teal Lamb’s Pride, and it matched the teal in the novelty yarn, but I thought it would be too stark a contrast between the pink and the teal. I picked up a different skein of the Lamb’s Pride, a lovely shade called Supreme Purple, and as soon as I set the three together, I knew it was the right combination. I cast on right away, and since I was using two strands and bigger needles, I had the body of the bag done quickly.

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As it laid there, I wasn’t sure I’d done the right thing. It was bigger than I expected, and I wished I’d switched to the purple as soon as I ran out of the novelty yarn. But it was so close to being done, and I figured the felting and shaping process would change it quite a bit anyway. So I knitted the endless 40″ of I-cord for the handles, stitched them on, and the bag was ready for felting.

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In the past, felting had gone quickly and smoothly. Two cycles in the washer with a towel or a pair of jeans, and bam, it was felted. Not this time. The first cycle did nothing, and my washer complained that the load was too small. I added a couple of towels and tried again. The pinky section started felting, but the purple band and handles still had complete stitch definition. I was already using hot water so I had no idea what I could do differently. I tried one more cycle but saw little improvement. It was going to be hand felting for me. I talked to my SIL, consulted my knitting books, and filled up the sink with hot hot water.

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I stirred and rubbed with the spoon, I beat it with the spoon. I rubbed the bag together with my hands, focusing on the purple band that refused to felt. Finally I picked it up, squeezed out some of the excess water, and started throwing it into the other sink. I really heaved it, feeling the sink shudder slightly with the force. I beat the bag against the side of the sink. At one point, I confess I even took it outside and slapped it against the side of the house. Then I did it all again. In a way, it was good therapy, allowing me to vent my frustration at the silly thing for not wanting to felt. Eventually, it got close enough that I was happy, though the purple band never felted completely. I didn’t have anything perfect to shape it with, so I just lined with a plastic bag and stuffed it full of newspaper, adjusting it until the was the shape I wanted, and I left it out to dry.

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By mid-afternoon the next day, I moved it to the sunny windowsill and flipped it to allow the bottom to dry.

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Finally, after almost two full days of drying, the bag was done! I’m so happy with how it turned out. It feels wonderfully Springy to me, and the little bits of blue and teal just pop out of the wool. It’s about 10″ tall and 12″ wide, so it’s great for either a large purse or a good project bag. I added it to my For Sale items on my Facebook page and my Etsy shop, though I’d be happy to carry it myself…especially with my cute little Junie Balloonie flower added!

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