Saturday, November 13, 2010

i make candles, too

A couple of years ago I was bragging to my friend Jane about how I had "invented" a way to make candles. I would save the burned-down scraps of old candles to remelt into new candles. I was super proud of my thrift and showed her my silly little setup: The old saucepan full of wax shards and a few feet of cotton wicking. She told me she had been making candles for a few years (this was a complete surprise as I had never, ever heard her mention any kind of crafty pursuit). No Way! People do that?

Anyhoo, a few weeks later a big, ridiculously heavy box showed up on my doorstep. Jane had sent me a complete candle-making setup. Soon we had about 100 votives sitting around the house. Lydia decided she'd sell them around the neighborhood and the rest is history. My candles are soy wax with cotton wicks and I don't go too crazy with the fragrance. I got these cute boxes for no-coast and will be selling both pre-packaged four-packs and giving shoppers the option to make their own.

thanks neon.mamacita for the pic.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

A preview

Just a few quick shots of some of the yarn I've dyed and a few skeins of handspun. I'm happy with my booth spot at No-Coast (just off the hallway to Salty Tart in case I need some pastries) and the variety of vendors is fantastic. I am really looking forward to the show. Clear your calendar for Dec. 3-4 as this really is the Twin Cities' biggest indie crafter shopping event of the year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Working with scrap yarn

Pattern is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Baby Sweater on Two Needles from Knitter's Almanac
All those little bits of leftover yarn that end up in the bottom of my knitting bag are treasures to me. So much so that I have been known to raid the knitting stashes of friends and family members for the precious little oddballs. When I have a good selection of colors I cut them into random lengths and tie them together for a scrappy skein. It's a rather putzy task but you end up with a colorful, fun magic ball that changes colors at your whim. Here's a baby sweater I made for little Frannie a few years back. It took 4.75 ounces of scrap yarn. I consider the tails part of the charm. It would be maddening to try to weave them in. The reverse side (not shown, sorry) looks cool, too.

Sokka was just a kitten here. He has always been really helpful with my knitting projects.

Scrappy skein. They're all one of a kind mini-time capsules of long-ago knitwear.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Four weeks to go

No-Coast is right around the corner and I am trying to be as productive as I can while still having a little bit of a life. I have no idea how much I will sell, no idea how much to make and no idea where I will get the energy to finish the enormous to-do list. There's a meet-and-greet this weekend at Midtown Global Market (the fantastic venue) where I hope to meet some of the other vendors and get the lay of the land... and lunch.

I feel pretty good about the amount of dyeing I have done (I am using Nebraska's own Brown Sheep Yarn exclusively for No-Coast. So far, I've worked with the Lamb's Pride bulky, Wildefoote sock and Naturespun sport weight. Now it's time to ramp up the spinning. I only got half a bobbin done tonight while watching Mythbusters before my tired hand cried out in protest. I'll do what I can but I'm not going to kill myself in the process.

On the candle front, today I ordered ten more pounds of soy wax, more cotton wicks and some festive "balsam berry" fragrance.  I hope it's nice... it's always a gamble ordering scents online. I try to use the most pleasant ones I can find, which is rather tricky since everyone's nose is different. One nice perk with my supplier, Peak Candles, is they always include a free one-ounce fragrance sample with each order.

I have some groovy new moo cards that I am using for yarn tags. The other side has spots for price, yardage, fiber content and gauge. I punch the corner with a hole-punch and tie onto the skein with a little string. It's pretty cute, right?

Punch a hole, tie on a string and Shazam! you've got a tag!