Category Archives: income

Treeline Cardigan – Finished

I finally finished knitting the Treeline Cardigan for Peep. Now I am on to working on some commission christmas gifts, and then my plan is to knit another Treeline to test my notes, and get the official pattern typed and ready for pattern testing by others. I’ll list the extra Treeline Cardigan for sale in the etsy shop.

image

image

image

image

I downloaded this great app from the Google play store called Time Meter that allows me to track progress/time on multiple projects at a time, and calculate a wage based on an hourly rate. I’ve been using it to keep track of how long my different projects take me to knit. I’m surprised by how fast of a knitter I actually am. Also, I thought I knit a lot more than I actually do. There is an extension you can download that syncs the time meter app with your Google calendar, so anytime you use the time meter app, it makes a note of it on your calendar too.

The other thing I’ve been busy with is learning about pattern writing and how to properly price my crafts. Based on everything I’ve seen, we (collectively)aren’t charging enough, and under charging can give buyers a false sense of. ..ummm…lack of quality.

So – we under charge, telling ourselves we need to be competitively priced, but when it seems too cheap, potential buyers might pass thinking is cheap because it’s cheaply or poorly made.

So, expect to see my prices go up, even though I don’t really have anything for sale yet. The prices in my head just went up lol.

Here are some of the links I’ve been perusing.

Fair Pricing for Handmade Items
Craftsy has a class I want to take called
How to Say It: Pattern Writing for Knitters
And What the Craft has a great FANTASTIC article on Pricing Your Handmade Goods. Really, if you sell your stuff, it’s a must read.

Finally, I’ve been bitten by the Traveler’s Notebook bug, big time. My mom gave me two of them, one a passport size, and one a personal size. They sat on my shelf for a while because they are neat looking but I don’t like to “use up” gifts from my mom too fast, and I didn’t really know what to do with them. Then I stayed playing with them a little, making my grocery lists in one insert, then my “I wannie” list in another insert, then I started doodling some embroidery ideas in another insert, and suddenly I was hooked. Now I’ve got some really great ideas in the works for some inserts of my own design. I can’t wait to show you what I come up with!

I’d you want to learn more about Travellers Notebooks, here are some great links.

Organize Your Soul
Inserts, Inserts, Inserts
Traveler’s Notebook Forum

Finishing Cashmere Sweater Repair

In my previous post, I explained how to pick up stitches and knit a patch to cover a hole in a machine knit cashmere sweater.

Now that you have picked up your skitches for the flap and knit it, you need to join the other three sides. The easiest way to do this is to pick up the corresponding stitches on the other side of the hole, in alignment with the stitches at the bottom of the hole.

image

You will pick up the right leg of each stitch, exactly the same way you picked up the previous stitches, and kitchener stitch them together. Make sure you have a very long tail, because you are going to go all the way around the patch.

If you don’t know how to kitchener stitch, there are plenty of great photo tutorials online, like this one at Knitty.com

image

image

image

image

When you get to the end of your kitchener stitches, use one needle to pick up 3 of every 4 stitches on the edge of the patch, and on the actual sweater directly underneath where the patch will end up. Both knitting needles need to have the same number of stitches on them. You want to pick up the “purl bumps” that are the bars between the knit stitches.

image

Using your ball point darning needle and the same piece of thread, ladder stitch/seam these two edges together. Pull firmly on the thread, but not so tight that you bunch up the fabric.

image

image

image

When you get to the end, duplicate stitch your way across the bottom,  and ladder stitch your way up the right side. Duplicate stitch your way across the top for 3 or 4 stitches, weave in your end and snip it.

image

The last thing I like to do is press the patch a little with a dp washcloth and brush it lightly with a clean toothbrush to give the patch a little but of a fuzzy halo toatch the fuzziness of the original garment.

image

image

A patch is always going to look like a patch. It is not an invisible fix, but well done, it can extend the life of your well-loved garment.

image

Cashmere Sweater Repair

I have a small side business repairing sweaters for local people.

Today I am going to walk you through my method for repairing a hole in the elbow of a machine knit cashmere sweater.

image

First you need a knitting needle that is the appropriate size to make a patch that looks similar to the original knitted fabric. Most cashmere sweaters are knit on a US size 1 or 0 needle. Here I am using Hiya Hiya needles in 2.0mm size. I could have used a smaller needle if I had them. I prefer these steel needles for delicate repair work because the yarn slides nice and smoothly across the needle.

You will also need a thread to produce the color patch that suits your interest best. Regia makes a woolen/nylon thread in a wide range of colors. Usually I can find a color similar enough for the project I’m working on.

image

So the first step is to determine the true size of the repair needed. It’s easy to underestimate the actual damage. Don’t be tempted to make a repair too small or it won’t last very long. 

Most holes are actually twice as big as they look if you take into account the area outside of the hole where the thread or yarn has worn thin. This will soon unravel if you attach your repair to this area. So go beyond that to where the yarn is strong, healthy and the original thickness.

Starting at the bottom of the hole, in the healthy fabric, pick up the right leg of each knitted stitch to accommodate a wide enough patch, plus 2 more stitches (I’ll explain why the plus 2 in a moment.) In this case I have picked up 24 stitches.  This actual patch needs to be 22 stitches, plus 2.

image

Now, counting up from the row you picked up, count how many rows you need so you don’t lose track of how big of a patch to make. This particular sweater needs 26 rows to get to the healthy fabric on the other side of the hole.

image

Next, you just knit and purl your way through the rows until you have a little flap of fabric attached at the end you started on.

image

In my next post I’ll show you how to attach the repair flap on the other 3 sides making a nearly invisible repair.

Light bulb moment

I was laying in bed listening to the rain on the yurt roof, trying to decide if it was regular reason or freezing rain last night around 0130. I couldn’t fall back asleep, so I got to thinking.

I love this little blog and want to take our relationship to the next level. I’ve been reading up on ways to increase readership through guest blogging, ways to monetize the blog without ugly, tacky ads.

You see, I’ve been a working woman since I was old enough to be a trusted babysitter and I’ve been earning my own income. Since deciding to be a stay at home mom and farm wife, I’ve taken on the hardest, most amazing job of my life. The only problem is that it currently pays zilch. I don’t need or want, really, too get rich. I’m happy living a simple life. But I want to own sheep, and sheep cost money, hay costs money, fencing costs money, a better rabbitry costs money and a bigger barn also costs money. As do spinning wheels, books, linen fabric and extra curricular activities for my girls.

Which brings me back to my brainstorming. I don’t have a lot of free time or space to make things to sell. Our farm and homestead are still young so we consume everything we currently grow and raise (which isn’t a bad thing, it just means we don’t have extra to barter with yet).

So it seems I’ve got a couple options.
1) Keep preparing. I’ve got time to keep preparing for the day when I do have space to make items to sell (goddess/altar dolls, hand sewn/felted/fur clothes)
2) look into some type of freelance writing gig, maybe some guest blogging on things I know about.
3) finally start writing up all those knitting patterns I have written down in my knitting journal and offer them for sale either through ravelry.com our some sort of national publication.
4) offer my services consulting on knitting projects and helping trouble shoot other’s knitting problems for a fee.
5) offer knitting workshops and classes

Here’s the funny thing.  When I came to item 3 in my midnight musings, my phone lit up the room. It was like the cosmos just wanted to get my attention so that I understood it really was an a-ha moment.

I’m the type of woman who is willing to listen to the universe. I believe in magic,  I have a tribe of sisters I love unconditionally, I have survived everything that’s ever been thrown at me or put in my way. Finding a way to make some money seems like such a small problem.

So maybe the way to take my blog to the next level is to just keep blogging, and start offering some of those knitting patterns I have for sale. I’m already writing and designing the patterns for my own family, perhaps the time has come to share them with the world.

What would you like to see on this blog space? How-tos? Tutorials? Knitting help? Homesteading trouble shooting?

Leave a comment below, or join my happy blog followers. Send me an email and I will personally respond to any questions you have.

busy mockingbird

a messy collection of art projects, crafts, and various random things...

Motherwell

Telling all sides of the parenting story

jiminy magazine

A conscious collective of wanderings dedicated to showcasing the best in sustainable slow design, creativity and travel.

Designs by Lucy Hague

Knitting and other creative adventures...

A nearly foreign sugar babe

Enjoying my life as a lover, a babe and maybe even more. Welcome to my inner shell...

thedementedfairy

Sewing, ranting, cooking, eating. Me.

Geelong Creative Fibre Arts

A blog for contact and information about the Geelong Creative Fibre Arts Group

feltingandfiberstudio

An international collective of felt and fiber artists

Jami Fowler

ponderings of a woman on a quest

Raw Feeding Community

A source of information for all raw feeders.

Gourmetfelted's Weblog

Helping People to find the "Joy of Needle Felting!"

Home Grown Heaven

the ups and downs of starting a smallholding

The Women's Tribe

Teachings of the Sacred Feminine For Soul Nourishment & Heart Open Living.

Of The Hands

Thoughts on voluntary poverty, peak oil, homesteading, farming, doing good work, reconnecting to the land, and muddling through a contracting economy