And the hits just keep on coming

Had a good time at the Cubs game – even if they did lose. The weather was nice and we were surrounded by nice folks…that happens most of the time but the one time when you are surrounded by jerks makes you appreciate the 100,000 times when you are surrounded by non-jerks even more.

Came back to Chez Honey and finished the third of the eight wedding scarves and started number four. I would take a photo but my suspicions are running high and I don’t want to tempt the evil fates who want nothing more than to mess up my working mojo.

And then, for some strange reason, I checked the shop last night when we got home (after eleven) and found out this had sold: To someone in Australia. Yes, my second sale to someone in Australia. I am thinking slouch hats must be the rage or they have figured out they are the best thing to catch wild dingies. (I’m good with either one.)

One of the quirky things that is coming out remapping the business plan is how the price will change on an item. Using the granny slouch as an example: I have renewed the listing on this hat and the price increased $10. There have been similar increases on other items that have sold and been renewed. I wish it was because I was looking at supply and demand and pushing the price envelope. Alas, it’s because the price of the fiber has increased from the time I made the original and priced it to having to go out and purchase the fiber now.

Special Things

Do you feel a little neglected? I don’t mean to ignore you. I’m emotionally all over the map today. Mr. Honey asked me to move the vehicles last night because the street is being cleaned this morning and I dutifully moved them…and this morning he informed me we got tickets on the cars. I moved them to a street where there were o cleaning signs and other cars. He doesn’t believe there were other cars because he says our cars take up all the space. Dude, we have a Toyota and a Kia not Humvees. Our cars were the first ones in line and I had to maneuver to get those. So mood: bad. On the other hand, I have a special order to make eight scarflettes. They have to be different colors. I get to select the colors as long as one is brown and one is either gray or black. I wanted to make them from the same fiber so I went to the stash and pulled out six full skeins (they will use almost an entire skein.)  But I need eight. So, I have to head off to the land of fiber. Mood: Great!

One scarflette takes about eight hours to complete. So I will need about 64 hours – or three to four days to complete the project. Mood: calm. I have 5-7 days to complete. But there is a ball game we have to attend and some other things on the schedule. Mood: a little less than calm. Why am I posting when I have this to do?

I am out of shipping /boxing supplies. I need to take a trip to The Container Store. While I am there, I discover they have shipping supplies at a price less than the place I usually get them. So, I don’t need to take a trip to the other store and I can get everything I need in the one place for a pretty reasonable price. Mood: grateful. But I am still upset over the tickets. In the almost twenty years living here that has never happened.

On the other hand, two of the eight scarves are done and the third one has been started. I can probably work really hard to get it almost off the needles before we leave for the game – if Mr. H. is still talking to me. I kind of wish he would take his BFF to the game and leave me home to finish up but work can never come before family. Mood: oh forget it.

Excited…

I actually looked forward to ‘coming into work’ today. I used to say I had a commute of ten seconds to my office but since I was working in the living room for the past year or so I think my attitude toward my work had changed to something less than committed. Being back in my office has changed that. I also think changing web host companies and merging the site and the blog does as well. It’s a little more ordered and I am always in conflict between order and freedom. I like them both and sometimes they fight for my attention.

I’m not sure I did much knitting yesterday. It was a busy day yesterday. I took a lot of photos yesterday. I either did or redid photos for five hats. I finally settled down to do some knitting when we got back from date night and that was after nine in the evening. As it turned out, I haven’t finished the snake and I was settling in to watch my movie and work on it when fate intervened. The movie last night was Loving Leah which I watch on my computer and not on the t and v. The part of the snake I’m on requires some attention so I put down the snake and started crocheting another hat. That, too, requires attention but not so much as the snake. By the end of the movie, I was half way (quite literally) through. So at some point that will be finished. It’s the first time I’m making this particular lid. I am using a wool/acrylic blend from Ella Rae called Amity. Purchased at the now defunct Chix With Stix. It’s crocheting up nicely and I have high hopes for the finished project.

I am off to do some shopping. I have run out of some shipping supplies – that sounds so good to say. I am off to Staples for mailing and packing supplies and to the bank to deposit funds – that sounds really good to say. I hope you have a great weekend – though I suspect I will talk to you between now and Monday!

Come Together

So, we have the fabulous Melissa to thank for today’s post because she had me thinking about something the entire time I was awake last night, when I awoke in the middle of the night and this morning when I got up. I was thinking about the new website, true, but that means I was thinking about what to post and the fact that Melissa is working on something, which I forget what’s she was working one because she’s doing Spud and Chloe but Chloe wasn’t being worked on. She was working on something else but she asked if we knew how to Kitchener Stitch. (Why, yes, I do.) But the book she had didn’t tell her how to do it. It just said to use it to make her seam.

That kind of sucks. I have run into that before where they say ‘use mattress stitch’ and assumes you know what that is and how to do it. Unless there is a huge disclaimer at the beginning of the book or the pattern that says: this is what we assume – that you know how to mattress stitch (or whatever) they should darn well give you instructions on how to do what they ask.
For those that do not know (see how I don’t assume?) Kitchener Stitch is a technique used to graft or seam live stitches together so it resemembles knitting as opposed to a seam. It is often used in knitting socks.

It starts out with stitches on two different needles and those are the ones that will be grafted. You hold the needles together, one behind the other, points to the right. You will  need a long enough tail to graft all the stitches on your needle and the tail is threaded with a tapestry or yarn needle. The yarn needle will be inserted through the stitches knitwise or purlwise.

In any case, I tried to talk it out and being Kitchener Stitch, it’s not all that easy to talk out. And that’s what I’ve been thinking about. How to do a short, easy to understand verbal on how to do Kitchener Stitch.

Here goes:
There are three things to remember that will ensure Kitchener success.

1. The set up stitches start with a purl stitch in the first stitch on the front needle and a knit stitch in the first stitch on the back needle. Both of these stitches are left on their needles.

2. Whatever you do last on one needle is what you will do first on the other needle.

3. You always take off the first stitch and leave the second stitch on the needles.

So, this is how you do the stitch: If you want to test it, knit up two small swatches of ten (or how many you like) stitches and leave the stitches on the needles and follow along:

Insert YN purl wise in the first stitch in the front needle. Insert the YN knitwise in the first stitch on the back needle.

Insert the needle knitwise in the first stitch on the front needle – take it off. Insert the YN purlwise in the next stitch on the front needle – leave it on.

Insert the YN purlwise in the first stitch on the back needle – take it off. Insert the YN knitwise in the next stitch on the back needle. Leave it on.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat: So, what do you do next? Remember the rules: what you did last on one needle is what you’ll do first on the other needle. So you will insert the needle knitwise in the front needle. The second rule is always remove the first stitch. Which means you’ll remove it. Just like the first step.

And there it is. How did it go?

We’ve Moved….

It just made sense to put the blog and website together…so The Knitter’s Restaurant can now be found at http://www.beverlybochenek.com

New Digs…

So, I’ve moved the blog here to WordPress because that’s where the website will be. It seemed to make sense to have the blog and the website in one place and this gives me more options than Blogger did. So there it is. Nothing against Blogger but my new web hosting company offered WordPress. Can’t stay old if you’re going new.

As the website evolves, you’ll notice some things are different. There will be a page dedicated to profiles of folks and some other things as they come up. It makes me a little nervous, but I think I might just make it through.

On the knitting scene, we had our meetup this evening and it was just the core group: the marvelous Melissa, the wonderful April, the  fantastic Miss Vickie and me. It’s always a fun time – even when I give Melissa strange looks when she asks me if I want to go see Donny and Marie in concert. I really didn’t intend to be mean about it. I just saw them on The View a week or so back and my blood sugar rose about 140 points. One on one I can take them but together I cannot and I cannot imagine paying money to feel that way. I suspect it will be a good time – just not for me. But thank you for thinking about me. I mean that sincerely.

The snake is in the last throes. I am on the shaping part and after that the only thing left is to stuff it and sew it up. This means a trip to Joann for the fiberfill and how lucky and I a new circular came today. Of course, it doesn’t kick in until July so I hope I have the old one somewhere near. Not that Fiberfill costs all that much.

Did I mention I had another sale? The rasta hat is really big to hold a bunch of hair, braids or dreads. I have another one on the needles that won’t be as big but the original is off to California.

I’ve been to the post office three times this month. Remember my lamenting it was March and I hadn’t had a sale? Well, now I’ve had nine. It’s not a lot but I am liking how the stats on Google Analytics is showing an uptick in visitors to the sight and that’s how I actually measure my success.

Believe it or not, we were talking about the holiday craft shows we want or are doing. I know, the weather just turned and we’re already thinking about the cold part of the year. But that’s necessary when you want to give the public what they want. So I am thinking about December in June. Everything I make over the next few weeks can be used as gifts. I think I said that in my last post.

I am off to finish off the snake and then look for the next project. Can’t complete the snake until I get the filling.

I have Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian in the background. I am going to finish off the snake and enjoy the movie.

 

 

Some Steps Down the Road

I am slowly moving back to working in my office. For one thing, the computer connection is faster than the laptop – which is freaky considering how much older it is. Two, it’s my office and I want to get away from using it as a yarn hoarder area and get back to using it as an office where I can be more isolated and concentrate on what I need to do. Third, well, I don’t need a third, but Mr. Honey uses my laptop when he wants to go on line. He won’t upgrade his laptop with the necessary equipment to use the wi-fi going through the house so he uses the laptop sometimes when I am using my laptop but not right in front of it. My going back to my office will bring some guard against resentment. And banishment – his, not mine.

OK, so you want to see it? It is almost a scarf that would not end and it’s not as long as the pattern called for. The pattern says to make it 140 inches long – I’ll wait until you divide that by 12 and get more than 11 feet long and then wonder who thought that up. This is made with Cascade Magnum, a hefty hank with a hefty price of $20. This is two of them and is a little over 70 inches. It would take two more – $80 as a base price if it were sold without any thought of making any money on it. Warren Buffett might do that but no one else will.

Coincidentally, we met someone new at the Sunday knit get together. Jean joined us for the first time and she is working on the scarf with the fiber the pattern calls for and she’s doing the entire length. She is also doing the Master Knitter’s course from the Guild. She’s brave on both counts.

It is stunning in the picture and stunning in person. I have to put it away because it is all wool and susceptible to all that can happen to wool.

The thing that is on the needles now is a snake. A snake from a book of knit toys. It’s a book with some fun patterns and I am going to be able to use up some of the stash because it’s a long snake…and I can make it longer if I want to. Great fun!!!

Here She Is!

Ignore the big person, the star is nestled in his arms. This is my nephew, Mike, I got him when I got Joe. Not complaining – he’s quite the guy.

That little sugar plum is Bridget, his third child, second daughter and hereby declared to be my sweetheart. I love Megan (his eldest) and Jason (his doppelganger) but Bridget is going to belong to me. I think it was sweet of them to have a baby for me – a baby they will pay for, provide for and keep – but who belongs to me. Mazel Tov to the happy family and I will be over soon to get my baby (and bring her back when she needs changing.)

In knitting news, I am almost finished with the ‘leaf’ scarf. I started it a few months back and put it away because it uses size 13 needles and Cascade Magnum yarn which is really bulky and untwisted. It does work up quickly but it also works up heavy. The scarf in it’s original pattern is more than 10 feet and I will do that but with a less expensive yarn – not to mention a lighter weight. But it is beautiful and I look forward to the photos. I don’t want to spoil it with a teaser. OK, I don’t want to mess with it until I have to; that thing will hurt a small child if it falls on them.

I know this will cause some of you to cringe but it’s just six months to Christmas. I am using some Etsy guides to improve my store and traffic and this is the time to start thinking about and working on holiday gifts. It makes sense, especially if you are in one of the crafts that require some time. I was going through some books to find something I could point to and say ‘gift’ and the first thing I came across was an afghan that I started to make a while ago but I am going to start over with a nice chunky weight fiber. I went to the even better organized yarn stash and found I have a ton of this particular fiber so away I go.

Tomorrow, after church, I get to spend time with a couple of my peeps at a new place to knit. I should be able to work on the afghan because it’s done in squares with a relatively easy cable pattern. Should be fun!

The Princess and Prince of Piece(s)

You all know I love me some Mr. Honey but one of the things that keeps this thing working is that I don’t work with him. We used to work for the same company but we very rarely crossed paths – though we crossed long enough to catch each other – but if I had to work with him on a day to day basis I don’t think it would be the best thing for either of us.

However, Kenny and Renee seems to make it work. They run the shop The Pixel Prince together and they don’t seem to have tired of each other. Now grant it, they haven’t been married that long so they are still in the ‘You’re pretty.” “No, you’re pretty.” “OK, but you’re prettier.” phase of their relationship but it works for them and I want them to be happily married and working together decades from now.

The duo makes buttons, magnets, notecards and more. I, for some reason I cannot explain, love maps of the world and they have several of them for sale. They are of a cute size but I want a really big one. I have absolutely no place to put it even if I had it so it remains a dream for the moment, but if I find myself with some spare wall space, I am going to get my wall map and I am going to ask them if they can make a big one for me.

The couple have been on Etsy since 2009 and already have more than 1000 sales. If you ask them the secret of their success – Renee says they love having satisfied customers. They combine that with great customer service and persistence and the creative outlet it provides and you have yourself a business that generates lots of customer contact.

This would be a great shop to go to if you want to buy a little something for a whole bunch of people. You can get 25 customer made keychains for just $42. Think of that for family reunions or weddings – what a great wedding favor, huh?

Check out the shop and have a laugh at some of the buttons and if you have a mind to, let the happy couple know you stopped by the shop by liking an item or two. It’s a fun shop and a fun time.


The Three Graces

A knitting update – I have put a sign up box for my mailing list – I don’t expect knitters to sign up – it is more for folks interested in designbcb – buying knitted items. There will also be discounts and giveaways and more information. If you know of anyone who may be interested, please have them sign up.

Also, there are more hats coming off the needle and I am averaging one new per day in the shop. I am up to seven sales for the year – which is really poor – but they’ve all come in the last six to eight weeks. I’ve been looking at the stats and the traffic to the shop is up over last year and the last months but it’s still a little low on weekly and daily tracks. I think the new pictures with the wigs has improved the look of the site and also because there are items being placed or renewed on the site everyday brings the shop higher in searches.

As you can tell, I’ve been concentrating on the business side of things. Hopefully, business will pick up.

These are the three graces.
My nieces. My brother’s daughters.
Eboni is the eldest and I met her when she was two years old and she’s a lot nicer than she was then. To be fair, we were new to her and at two years old she didn’t want to be around a bunch of new people. Erica shares my middle name and a bunch of other qualities – one thing she has that I don’t have is a brain – the girl got a free ride to ASU and just finished or is almost finished working on her Masters’ – just like her sister. Anesha is the youngest and I just met her. My brother insisted I met her at some point during my engagement/wedding thing but considering she’s thirteen and we’ve been married fifteen years, I’m thinking that wasn’t possible. Then he said I must have met her when I spent three months in AZ before and after my father’s death – Nope. Managed to miss her. But not this time we had just enough time to take the picture. I will get to know her better the next time we are in the same place.

Beautiful little women. They and the two other nieces not pictured. Generation next for the women in the family is in good hands.