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Tag Archives: Knitting

Making a Comeback

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Hi guys! Long time no post! I tried hard to focus solely on my studies & take a break from crafting, but I’ve come to realize I am just as passionate about this as I am about my career. Crafting is my outlet – I need it to survive. So I am determined to get back on the horse and spend some of my free time rejuvenating my blog and my Etsy.

This weekend, I spent some time thinking about how I wanted to go about doing this. First, I decided I will not be crafting unless it is going to serve a purpose. Graduate school has made me very conscious of time and time-constraints. I have very little time and a lot of constraints! If I’m going to successfully craft, particularly to sell, then I need to be crafting for the sole purpose of selling. I’m pro at making things for myself and then never wearing them – I have bins of cowls and headbands and hats that I thought I loved, but then never actually wore. What a waste! If I can’t enjoy my items, then I want to make things that other people will. I would much rather purchase something amazing that someone else has made than make something for myself – I think there’s an aspect of novelty and fun that way, something you don’t get when you’re going through the development process yourself. I’ve always failed at making things for myself, it’s just taken me an unusually long time to realize that.

Some things I’ve been working on this week:

The Bow Headband by NorthThirty-Fourth:

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The Turban Ear Warmer by This Ninja Creates:

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And the Urban Slouchy Beanie by Little Things Blogged:

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I hope to have new stuff on my Etsy starting something this Spring, so be on the lookout!

Thanks for reading!

 

An Extended Vacation

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Hi guys! I know it’s been forever & I know I keep saying this will stop happening – but who am I kidding! I’m a student, & life is always insane!

I graduated from college in May & moved home to live with my parents for the summer. At home, I got a full time job & pretty much did that for 4 months, while packing & getting things ready for my big move 8 hours south for graduate school! Now, the time has come for me to make the big move, & unfortunately my MASSIVE craft collection can’t come with me.

My apartment in my new hometown is tiny. Like so small, it doesn’t even have a real closet or a full-sized fridge. That’s right, I’m going to have to survive with only a mini-fridge for a year. Yikes! Anyways, the lack of a closet or ANY storage for that matter makes it really difficult for me to take my bins & bins of yarn, embroidery thread, sewing machine, craft books, etc. with me. I can’t even begin to tell you how sad this makes me.

Ultimately, I hope to get a two bedroom apartment I can afford & keep the rest of my years in graduate school. That way, I’ll have a bedroom AND a craft room… & a living room & kitchen, which I’m not really used to having in separate places either!

I also feel the need to apologize for my lack of crafting & blog updating this summer. I’m not really sure what happened. For the first month of summer, I remember being so elated at being a college graduate. I sat in the sun & tried to tan [‘tried’ being the keyword], I read lots of books, I crocheted, & I bugged my dad to help me clear a space for my sewing machine. I was so gung ho about having 5 whole months off! Then I got a job, & all that went out the window. All I did after that was sleep, eat, shower, & work. & now, it’s suddenly September & I’m moving out of state in a few short days. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! Hell if I know.

 

One last thing – On August 5th I had almost 600 views on my blog! That’s super crazy for this blog, especially because I haven’t been updating it. Over 400 of the views were said to be brought here by Facebook, but my Facebook page hasn’t been getting much traffic lately so it couldn’t have been from there. Many of the views were only for my one post, the Sharpie Mug post, which isn’t all that uncommon, but typically if people are brought to the blog they look around a little & other pages [home & about] get some hits. I guess I was just kind of confused & wondered if this is a common thing. Was it some sort of spam? Could someone have linked to my page & I have no idea? Am I just worrying too much when I should just be enjoying my small spike in views for a day? I know. I can’t help it.

 

Thanks for reading guys. I’m taking my knitting needles & crochet hooks with me to graduate school, but no yarn. That means I have hope that some crafting may occur at some point this year. Otherwise, I’ll see you in a year, when I have a new apartment & ample space to frolic & craft in!

A SMASHing Update

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I’ve been meaning to do a post like this for awhile, since I’ve had my SMASH book for about 8 months now. I have to say, I’m not that great at updating it – but I’m getting better! It’s actually really hard to get used to picking up business cards or saving receipts, or other things that are normally inconsequential & trash-worthy. But I think I’ve succeeded at SMASHing most of the important things that have gone on this year.

First off, this is what my SMASH book looks like:

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I had to get one those nifty bands to hold it all together, or else it would look like this:

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Some sample pages that don’t need any explanation:

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I didn’t actually go to New York this year, but when I got hooked on tiny crossbody bags, I had to downsize my wallet & found these things still in my old one from my two trips to NYC in 2011:

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Things I’ve accomplished or experienced since starting my SMASH book:

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I had to document the only accident I’ve ever been in. Except this was a hit & run that happened while my car was parked on the street overnight, so I guess technically I’ve still never been in an accident [& I hope to keep it that way]!

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So that’s what I’ve got so far in my SMASH book. I enjoy it, but every time I see someone else’s beautiful book I’m like ‘damn, I suck at this!’. Oh well – the point is to be “messy & beautiful” [which is perfect for me since I’m so bad at scrapbooking]!

I also finally gave my best friend her Christmas/Birthday present which means I can post about this beautiful infinity scarf I made. I’m so jealous – why is it that I can make adorable things for other people, but not for myself? I just don’t understand. But it turned out beautifully & she loved it, & that’s what matters. :]

CowlLong

 

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In other news, I went to a grad school interview in February & got accepted! The funny thing is that this place was at the very bottom of my list when I first applied, but a lot can change a. after you’ve gotten lots of rejections & b. after you visit & fall in love. I really loved it there – the area, the program, & the people – & am fairly certain I’m going to commit to attending soon.

Oregon State Logo

 

Beavers

 

I also got waitlisted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, which basically means they liked me & I was qualified, but that they liked others more & wanted to offer their open spots to them first. My being accepted or rejected hangs on how many of the people they originally accepted choose to accept the offer.

US-Madison Logo

 

 

 

Either way, the wait is finally over. All the work & lack of sleep & lack of crafting & anxiety was worth it. I’m going to grad school! YAY!

 

I hope Spring has come early where you are as it seems to have here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s beautiful & sunny out today, even tho it’s still only 40 degrees out.

Happy Crafting!

 

 

New Listings on Etsy!

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I’ve posted 4 new listings on my Etsy page in the last few days, so check them out, if you will. I would appreciate it very much.

Fall & Winter are right around the corner, & I’m loving making cowls/infinity scarves for that time of year. They’re some of my favorite accessories, so I figure other people probably love them as much as I do.

The bright, floral colors are a great addition to any Fall/Winter wardrobe, since people often get down & depressed on the coldest & darkest days of the year.

Check out the new listings here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/theyarntotell

Dani

 

Busy Summer

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Today I took a break from all the craziness in my life that is GRE preparation and research paper writing to do a little crafting. I’ve only added one thing to my Etsy since opening it, & it depresses me to know I’m simply too busy to do much more. Hopefully, when all my summer work is [mostly] over, I’ll be able to craft my heart out – because that’s really what I would like to do all summer.

Firstly, I’ve been considering business cards for The Yarn To Tell for awhile now, but for the longest time I was trying to design them on Vistaprint or Moo & then I came across handmade cards somewhere on Pinterest & fell in love. That’s when I realized it would be super easy & inexpensive to make cards using my personal printer & cardstock, especially since I don’t need the 200+ you get when you purchase through a website.. In the end, I also added a zig-zag embellishment using my sewing machine & some lavender thread, & they turned out so great. I can’t wait to leave them all over town & hand them out to friends & family.

After completing a small stack of cards, I went to work on the gift I’m making for an exchange I’m participating in. I’m doing this month’s Craftaholics Anonymous Handmade Gift Exchange – my first EVER, I’m so excited! I don’t quite have pictures & I’m hoping to make some other things to add to the gift, but I’ll keep you updated on my progress, & there will be pics when it’s all ready to go. :]

It was a busy day, but this is a pretty short post. I’m working on more items to list on Etsy, as well as a shrug that my mom commissioned me to make her. Life has just been so crazyyy.

As mentioned, don’t forget to check out my latest listing on Etsy – http://www.etsy.com/shop/theyarntotell! Here’s a peak:

Thanks for reading, & happy crafting!

Summer has arrived!

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So this is going to be a long post. There were a few things I’d been meaning to post about when I had the time, but that ‘few’ turned into a lot more very quickly. I’ve been neglecting this blog a lot more than I thought I had!

First, I finally took some good pictures of the scarf that has recently become the bane of my existence. The pictures turned out great & it looks fairly complete – but it isn’t. I keep thinking so too, but it probably needs a foot or more to make it a decent scarf. Plus, as I’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot more work that will go into it after it’s completion [note the tails on every row & the curling]. Either way, at least this is proof that I’ve been spending every spare minute working on it, & I haven’t given up [though I sometimes wish I could].

So, it’s coming along & I think it’s pretttttty. It’s just tedious & time consuming. Crafting should never feel tedious & time consuming.

Next on my list: I told you all months ago that my dad was going to make me a thread holder for my sewing space, & he did! It looks so great! He obviously had a lot of fun with it, because he spent lots of time making it especially functional & stylish – it even MATCHES my sewing machine! He made it so that there are about 4 shelves of thread/bobbin storage, & 3 bigger shelves to hold jars of buttons, etc., & the very bottom shelf we made into a ribbon holder/dispenser. Anyways, I really love this addition to my crafting collection, & I’m sure it will get years of use.

Here it is along with the entire sewing corner. I recently did some organizing & cleared out the drawers of the desk so that it could hold my sewing accessories & other crafty items. I also placed my sewing/crafting books next to my printer on the right [since every other bookshelf I own seems to be overflowing with movies &/or other books!].

Most days tho, my sewing area looks like this, with my sewing machine all cozy in it’s cover. Hopefully that will change very soon. :]

So, I’ve always really loved thrift stores, especially for the cheap, good books you can buy. But recently, I discovered the hidden treasure of buying fabric from thrift stores. Some thrift stores have specific ‘notions’ areas, which are my absolute favorite. When my parents were here for my university’s Mom’s Weekend a few weeks ago, we went to all the thrift stores in the area & I bought TONS of fabric. This time around, I mostly just got scraps [fat quarters & the like], but I also have a huge roll of tulle & other fabrics that I found at thrift stores in the past.

The only issue with scraps is that they’re just that. They’re too small to do much with & many of the patterns I want to try need larger cuts of fabric. So, I’ve been considering my options & I think I might just have some fun sewing pieces together & making things out of the pieced together fabric. But I’ll keep you posted.

A few months ago, I successfully followed & pattern & sewed my first item. It was a simple little reversible bag, & I think I did pretty well considering it was my first time. I think I printed the pattern out wrong [I don’t think I did it at 100%] & I didn’t choose especially attractive fabric, but it was just practice, so all of that is okay. The good news is, I didn’t sew any handles together or something like that [though, I nearly did, haha]. I got the pattern here.

The last thing I wanted to post about were the gifts I made my best friend Jessica for her birthday this year. I knew I couldn’t afford anything serious, so I figured some cute, handmade gifts would work, && they did! They actually turned out way better than I expected, I was pretty excited. I pretty much everything about it was made my hand, except for the frame of the embroidery. I made the mat for the frame myself, as well as the roses on the frame. So fun! :] I got the pattern for the cow here.

So, now I’m FINALLY caught up on blogging about the crafting I did this semester. A few of the things on my list for this summer are:

1. FINISH THE  SCARF.

2. Make mom this shrug [in a cream color].

3. Work on my granny square blanket.

4. Make dad fingerless gloves.

5. Make things for my Etsy stock & open my Etsy

6. Have fun!

I’m off for now. Once Upon A Time will be on soon – I’ll watch it while I spend some time working on that scarf.

The semester from hell

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Hello everyone. Once again, it’s been far too long since I’ve been able to update my favorite blog. The main reason I haven’t updated is because I haven’t done much crafting or cooking the last 3 months. This semester was absolutely insane. I’ve never experienced such a busy semester, && I’m finishing up my 8th. At least it’s nearly over. In 8 days time, I’ll be done with my finals & ready for Summer. I seriously cannot wait.

Speaking of college, many of my best friends are graduating this year. I’m going to miss them a lot, but I’m excited to see where everyone is a year from now, when I’m graduating. It was especially hard for awhile because I knew that I was originally supposed to graduate this year too. BUT things change, & bigger, better opportunities come up – which for me, means an extra year of undergrad. So now, I’m class of 2013 – & now that I’ve come to terms with it, I’m actually kind of thankful. I’m so not ready for graduate school.

My best friend Jessica & her boyfriend

Also, I’m STILL working on the scarf that I’ve now had for months & months. I’ve tried to do it in my free time, but sometimes it takes too much focus when I just want to relax. And, it’s now April & 60-70 degrees out here – I figure it probably doesn’t matter when my friend gets his scarf now, as long as it’s before October. I’m sure I’ll work on it a ton next week. Once my last final is over on Wednesday, it’s going to be SO weird to not have anything to worry about. But, I’m determined to get this thing done, ends weaved in, &  blocked so I can send it off & work on some other stuff. I’ve been craving crocheting lately – I really want to make a headband or work on some granny squares for my parents blanket. I’d also like to sew. I’ve had my sewing machine for several months now & only gotten one thing made with it. Every time I walk into a thrift store, I end up leaving with several handfuls of fabric scraps from their ‘notions’ area. I think I want to try & make something quilted. Either way, I know that when I get this scarf finished, I’m done taking commissions for awhile. I want to craft for myself, & for the Etsy that I want to open this Summer. I’m so over being stressed about something that I used to enjoy doing so much.

Okay, so now let’s get to why I decided to do this post in the first place. I made a mug cake today & had to share it, because I love it SO much. I make these easy, microwave cakes a lot because I live alone & they’re super easy prep & cleanup – something that is embarrassingly important to me these days. Anyways, the only one I’ve ever actually tried making is from this website, & that’s because it’s so good & so simple. This one is a peanut butter cake that only takes an egg, flour, baking powder, brown sugar, & peanut butter. I always add chocolate chips, & lots of them, but you could probably add anything you want! Seriously though – this is a must try. What are you waiting for?!

Let me know what you think of the cake – & point me in the direction of any others I should try! I hope everyone is less stressed than I am, & I can’t wait to start blogging regularly again here in a couple weeks! :]