Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Please join me at the 29th Annual Kent Winter Craft Bazaar

Knitter Mama will have a booth in the Green River Room at this event. I hope I will see many of you there!

Thankful for a wonderful holiday season this year, thanks to all my supporters out there.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The holidays are coming too fast...

This is usually about the time I start thinking about my holiday gift-knitting. I've had my list ready for months now and I know what I'm making for each person on it, I'm just not sure how I'm going to fit it all in. Do you get that feeling? Right around the end of September? When you see the leaves changing you know its time to switch over to your cooler weather knitting and before you know it, the holiday season has crept up on you?

Now that I am gearing up for the holiday crafts shows and events, my personal gift-knitting seems to get pushed further and further down the "to-do list".  I could remember a time before this became a business for me that I enjoyed knitting to make handmade clothing and accessories for my family and friends, now I hardly ever get the chance to knit something that I want to give as a gift. I've found over the last two years that the business side of my knitting has increased astronomically and the fun side has declined terribly. Does anyone else feel like this during this time of the year?

I like to spend time picking out the perfect pattern and the perfect yarn for each person on my list and every year, I say to myself, I will start earlier with my gift-knitting so that I'm not scrambling at the last minute trying to get them done. But for the last two years business-knitting usually picks up considerably during the months of October, November and early December and I'm cranking out other people's holiday gifts that they'll be giving away instead of working on my own personal gift-knits.

The holidays in general can be a stressful time for everyone, what with the holiday decorations already out on display in many department stores as early as October! Then there is the the cooking and baking, holiday card sending, the list goes on and on. For some people this can a miserable time of year and it can put the perkiest, most upbeat person on the verge of depression.  So in light of this fact, I scoured the web to see what others had to say about the ways they deal with the holiday stress:

Nancy at A Rurual Journal writes about how she deals with stress this time of year in a post from last December, and I found after reading it, she had some really good ideas on how to de-stress and not let the holiday season become too overwhelming. One such solution she had was: "Knit. For the sake of knitting, with no objective in mind. Just knit."

Ah, what a novel concept, I haven't knit, just for the sake of it in over two years and during this season, I'm going to make a point to do just what she suggested. Something else, I like to do other than knit/crochet for relaxation is read and this holiday season, that will be on the top of my list of must do's. My son bought me a Nook Color last year for Christmas and I'm going to put it to good use!

Denise Dador on KABC-TV Los Angeles, CA wrote: Tips on how to de-stress during the holidays, December 2010. She gave tips on de-stress on the go by using accupressure: Dr. Lawrence Taw, an assistant professor of medicine at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine showed us three accupressure points that reduce anxiety and promote calmness. The first is a well-known one found on your hand: the pressure point between your thumb and your index finger.

"The most effective way of finding it is putting your thumb and index finger together," said Dr. Taw.

Apply pressure for 15 to 20 seconds.

"You press until you feel a sensation, that's how you know you're stimulating the point. For some people, it's very minimal stimulation, for other people you have to go much deeper," said Dr. Taw.

Jennifer Walters at Shape Magazine wrote: 3 Ways to de-stress over the holidays, November 2011. My favorite tip she gave was number 3: Say "no." Most of us get stressed during the holidays because we're overscheduled and feel obligated to do things when we really don't feel like it (or have the time). So this year, make a commitment to do less and prioritize your time for only the events that are the most important to you. Do this, and you'll kick holiday stress to the curb.

Saying, "No", yeah I have an issue saying that word, too often I find myself overwhelmed because I commited myself to doing too many things at the same time, because I just couldn't say "no". Well that will be my buzz word this year, well at least to a certain extent it will...

Above are only three of probably hundreds of great articles on tips and solutions to deal with stress during the holdiays, I know if you type in your search engine "de-stress during the holidays" you will get hundreds more, but I would like to hear from you, what do you to de-stress, or not get too overwhelmed, or deal with the anxiety of the holiday season, leave me a comment, I'd love to hear from you.

Happy knitting!!!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Knitter Mama's upcoming events

I am signed up to have a booth at the Renton Harvest Festival on October 13th at the Piazza in Renton, WA, I'm signed up once again for the Pre-Black Friday Holiday Bazaar taking place on November 17th at Kent Meridian High School in Kent, WA, and I'm also signed up for the Kent Winter Craft Bazaar on November 30th & December 1st at the Kent Commons in Kent, WA. So I'm going to be pretty busy for the next two months!

I hope all of you are enjoying the fall season so far, with the leaves changing to the lovely colors of the season - orange, red, and yellow and all the variations of these colors. Now is the time to start pulling out those fall knit projects that you put away during the summer.

Now is the time to start thinking about your holiday knitting as well. Do you have your gift-knitting list ready? Do you have patterns picked out? How 'bout the right yarn for each of those patterns? I'm sure your LYS is starting to get in the great colors and fibers (wool, alpaca, cashmere, silk, etc) of the season, so go check them out!

Happy Knitting!!!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Time for another drawing

October's drawing winner could win one of the new crochet hats that I've completed over this weekend. The pattern designs come from Diane McGettigan, who if you remember my post from January 14, 2011 - Crochet Cloche Progress, I talked about a cloche I crocheted from one of Diane's patterns, that was a big hit for my friend's mother and one of my friends asked for one as well.  I really do love Diane's designs, so much that I bought two more of her patterns last week and now I'm offering one of them to one lucky winner of the this month's drawing.  All of Diane's designs are lovely and I will probably buy more because they are so quick and easy to make.

So here are the choices for this month's drawing:

Uptown Fedora
Gold Winged-Brim Beanie Cap
Tangerine Winged-Brim Beanie Cap
These are just samples of the designs, they can be made in different colors and the winner will have their choice of the following colors, Pumpkin/Tangerine (above), Butterscotch/Gold (above), Cranberry, Green, Grey, or Black.

To be entered in the drawing you have to go to my Knitter Mama Facebook page and post the final score of the Seahawks v. Green Bay game that aired on Monday night football (September 24). For everyone who posts to my page, your name will be entered into the drawing! Good luck!!!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Summer is officially over and Fall is here!

Well now that Fall is officially here, I'm looking forward to seeing all the new fall color selections from at my LYS and getting into some serious knitting.  This summer I did knit, but mostly I was keeping up with my sales that I was getting from my Etsy shop and trying out new patterns to sell at the Kent Farmers Market.

I really enjoyed the Farmers Market and will most likely participate again next year. I only signed up for 3 Saturdays this summer because I just wanted to see how I would do and what kind of response I would get with my knitted products.  I did better than I anticipated and learned a few things about what people are looking for and pricing my products.

Here are pictures of my booth on the three Saturdays I particpated.

Here is my booth on a beautiful sunny day on August 11, 2012


Here is my booth on a not so sunny day on August 18, 2012.. That's me, sitting behind all the signs in the photo on the right.

Here is my booth, on another beautiful sunny day on September 1, 2012.

I actually enjoyed working the Farmers Market, but I only had two issues: working the booth alone, doesn't really allow for you to have bathroom breaks and setting up and breaking down can be a hassle and takes twice as long compared to those booths who have more than one person. But overall the experience was good and I like that I was getting exposure for my products and getting my name and brand out there!

I've signed up to have an outdoor booth in October at the Renton Harvest Festival in downtown Renton, WA at the Piazza, so if you live locally, I hope I will see you there. I'm looking forward to showing off some of my new fall-wear and you can get a jump on your shopping - hey it's never to early to start putting away those stocking stuffers for friends and family who live far away.

Some patterns I'm looking forward to trying out for fall include:

Lion Brand's - Brimmed Cap
Red Heart's - Brimming with Fun Cap (crochet pattern)
Leisure Arts' - Rainbow Stripes (crochet bag)
Vickie Howell's - Urban Revival and Urban Jungle (crochet slouchy hats)

Some new colorwork patterns I have designed for my team spirit hats include:

Dallas Cowboys
Oakland Raiders

 And a new team hat I completed earlier this month, for a local woman to give to her brother is the University of Oklahoma beanie:

I certainly hope all of you are getting started on your fall knitting and if you get a chance share some of your projects with me, I'd love to hear from you and Happy Knitting to you all!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

School is back in session!

I'm so happy that school has started back up again. My son, Aiden is a senior this year and I'm overjoyed at the thought of him graduating, but at the same time anxious and nervous over him moving even more toward his independence and adulthood.  Where did my little guy go? He's almost all grown up and it feels like yesterday that he was going off to Kindergarten.

All his school pictures from kindergarten to now
I keep thinking that I have all this time to spend with him, but more and more lately he's off doing his thing with his friends or at work. Yep, you heard right, he got a job this summer and now is earning his own money to buy what he wants. Again, another milestone toward his independence, all he needs now is his driver's license and I don't think I will ever see him! Well we will cross that bridge when we get there I guess.  This year is going to be a fun year with all the preparation that goes into getting ready for graduation, senior prom, and all the senior activities. I'm so happy for him, it brings back many happy memories of when I was a senior - but we won't talk about what year that was.

Now that school is back in session and the kids are wearing their new duds, some knitting projects that you could make to add to their school wardrobe this year, like team spirit hats, beanies, and scarves.  Some I found on Ravelry: School Colors Hat that is a free download on Lion Brand, for purchase on Ravelry there is the School Spirit Headband by Angela J. Baker, School Cardigan by Georgie Hallam. A free download on Ravelry is the crochet School Spirit Afghan for your college bound student designed by Bobbi Anderson. For those that aren't into wearing scarves there is the School Time Cowl by Isabeau Knits, knit it in your students school colors and they can show their school spirit during all the winter sports without ever having to worry about losing their scarf. Or if your student prefers a scarf, crochet this quick and easy scarf a free download from Lion Brand, School Colors Scarf.

Gently remind your college student to keep their studies in the forefront with these Back to School washcloths that have STUDY duplicate stitched on the front that they would use for the five days and PARTY can be saved for the weekends!

You get the idea, there are hundreds of patterns to choose from for your returning student or your college bound student. Ravelry is a great place to start.  Have fun getting those school projects going and happy knitting!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Jenny Wilson whose name was drawn to receive the Vanilla and Chocolate personal spa set.

Thank you all who have "liked" Knitter Mama so far and keep checking in on Facebook for monthly drawings.

September's drawing is for a cabled cowl. I've knitted three of them so far and one has already sold at the Kent Farmers Market on Saturday, September 1. I'm going to hold on to the winter white and charcoal colored ones for the winner of September's drawing.

Denim Cabled Cowl - sold at Kent Farmers Market
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Design: Quick Cabled Cowl - Gabrielle O'Leary
All you have to do to get your name in the drawing leave a comment on Knitter Mama's Facebook page of what the next team ear flap hat design I'm making - *hint* - scroll down to August 9 on the timeline.

Charcoal colored cabled cowl with dazzling black buttons

close-up of cable
Winter white cabled cowl without buttons

close-up of cable

So, please stay tuned for more drawings. And don't forget to leave your guess as a comment on Facebook for September's drawing. Happy knitting!

Monday, July 9, 2012

It's time for a drawing

Yes, you heard right, Knitter Mama is going to have a drawing. "Like" Handmade Knits by Knitter Mama on Facebook and your name will be entered to win a personal spa set, which includes: 20" wide x 36" long bathroom rug, wash cloth, face towel, bath scrub mitt, and soap saver/pocket in two shades of brown and off-white, pictured below.

A name will be drawn randomly at the end of August and that person will be notified via facebook email.  So click the "Like" button or the Handmade Knits by Knitter Mama link above and like Knitter Mama.  Good luck and have a wonderful summer.

On another note, I'm happy to announce that I am confirmed to participate in my first Farmers Market in downtown Kent, Washington. So if you live in the local area, come visit Knitter Mama in downtown Kent on August 11, 18 or September 1.

Click on the map below to get directions to the Kent Farmers Market located along Second Avenue N between W Smith Street and W Meeker Street.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I'm back!!!

I know I've been MIA in the blogging department lately, and I apologize to all of you who faithfully follow me here.

I've been pretty busy with knitting, felting, crocheting, and all things yarn related - getting ready for my first indoor flea market on Saturday and Sunday, June 23 & 24 at the Funky Junk Northwest Indoor Flea Market in Bellevue (located at 13310 Bel-Red Road, Suite 103, Bellevue). I hope to see some of you there.

You can come by and check out some of my newest market bags:

Grrlfriend Market Bag designed by Laura Spradlin of Sugar Bunny Blvd. These versatile bags are great for carrying groceries, books, knitting projects, and all sorts of things you need to tote around with you. The bag starts with a square bottom knit from the center outward using double pointed needles. When the square gets big enough you switch to circular needles. It's an easy design and fast to knit. I knit these within two to three days just doing it while watching TV in the evenings. I've already started on another one in this really great turquoise color.

Let's see what else have I been working on...hmmm. Oh yeah, I've been trying my hand at felting and I can only say that once you start, it's hard to stop!

I call this one Too Funky to be Square, my version of
the All Square Bag  (on Ravelry) designed by Eva Wiechmann
from Pursenalities
I call this one my Ruby Red Sparkle Bag
a spin-off of the Vintage Bubble Bag (on Ravelry),
another design by Eva Wiechmann from
This too is a version of another of Eva Wiechmann's
designs - the Lagoon (on Ravelry) that can be found in
Pursenality Plus
I've done a bit of crochet as well, I tried my hand at some other types of bags, such as this drawstring beach bag:

I call it my Beach Blanket Bingo Bag
my version of the Lace Tote by Ruth Sheppard (on Ravelry)
found in Enviro-Totes (on Ravelry)

My version of Ruth Sheppard's Bucket Tote (on Ravelry) also
can be found in Enviro-Totes (on Ravelry). This
is still a Work-In-Progress (WIP)
I've been trying out some new designs for slouchy berets as well, here are a few:

My version of the Gwen Slouch (on Ravelry)
designed by Lauren Nell
My version of the Because of Love (on Ravelry) 
designed by Janel Laidman
My version of the Spring Beret (on Ravelry) 
designed by Natalie Larson (on Ravelry)
As a very special gift for a friend's mother, I made this shawl called the Monarch Shawl designed by Denise @ Lost City Knits.


So as you can see I've been a very busy knitter.  I hope you will continue to follow my blog, even if I am a bit of a slacker when it comes to blogging these days.  I'm hoping to get a new blog up soon with my new Knitter Mama logo and this blog will be moved, I will keep you all posted about it, but until then, Happy Knitting!