Knitting 101

If you follow me on Instagram, you noticed back in February that I attended a knitting class hosted by the Indie Craft Parade. I have picked up knitting on and off again but never made anything of importance. After seeing all the cool things Kristen and Anna have been knitting this winter, I was motivated to try again. I decided to take the class  so I could learn the basics (again) from someone who knows her stuff. Plus it was at a tea shop so I couldn’t pass that up. 🙂 Deb, who taught the class, was so nice. She runs a farm where she raises sheep, shears the sheep, spins and dyes the wool, and then sells that wool. I love supporting local people like this! In the class we made a coffee cup cozy with some of her handspun yarn. She also provided us with these cool wooden needles that I just love!

I so enjoyed myself that while I was at the class, I bought of skein of her yarn. I wanted to make a cowl with it and wasn’t sure I had quite enough but decided to go ahead and give it a try. I used the moss stitch (knit 1, purl 1 with an odd number off cast-on stitches), cast on 19 stitches, and began knitting. I enjoyed working with this yarn. It was so soft  and squishy to knit with. It was also the perfect project to work on at night after the kids went to bed and I wanted some down time to relax and maybe watch a little tv. I have such texture issues that I can’t stand knitting with cheap acrylic yarn, but my sensitive skin breaks out when I come near really itchy 100% wool yarn so this merino wool yarn was a very happy medium.

knit cowl

We have had some beautiful weather recently, so I was afraid that I wouldn’t get to wear this cowl until next winter, but I finished it just in time to wear it yesterday during our rainy, yucky, cold day. At least wearing a cute cowl and my rain boots made the day seem a little brighter! The cowl finished up at a good length. It only wraps around once but I like how it lays nice and bulky against my neck. Of course my boys also liked it and were pulling on it so now it’s a bit stretched out. I really should try blocking it, but I’ve never done that before. Any words of wisdom on how to block and what to use?

knit cowl

I’m probably done knitting until next winter but I am glad I actually finished a project for once. Also now that I know I can do something that looks good, I might attempt a harder project next time. Maybe I’ll try to learn circular needles so I can make some cute hats for the boys. I love these that Anna made from the Purl Bee’s free tutorial.

knit cowl

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Attention all Makers…

I had the privilege to attend the inaugural Maker’s Summit last year and was blown away by this awesome event! You can read my summary here. I was so excited to find out they have decided to make this an annual event and bought my ticket as soon as I could. The second annual Maker’s Summit will be held Saturday, March 1. Here is their definition of this event from the website

“A one-day business conference for the art, craft, and design world. Learn how to start or grow your business alongside fellow creatives. Hear practical advice from industry leaders and peers during keynotes, workshops, panel discussions and one-on-one time with experts.”

Some really cool people are going to be speaking this year, including Jordan Ferney from Oh Happy Day, Handmade Charlotte, and Susan Peterson from Freshly Picked. Seriously, if you live anywhere close enough to come, you should make the effort. This conference will inspire and teach you so much. I think it’s good for just about anyone who enjoys creating of any sort. And considering some of the other conferences out there, the price is quite a steal!

Makers Summit

Also there’s a pretty awesome after party affectionately known as the best craft party ever… Yeah, it’s true, peeps. But you’ll have to come and judge for yourself. Hope to see you there!

look it’s a hugely pregnant me from last year! Will be nice not to need so many bathroom breaks this year. 😉

 

 

Indie Craft Parade 2013

You may remember my posting about our Indie Craft Parade 2012 experience last year. I wanted to give another update about this year’s experience and let you know about some cool new independent artists I discovered. This craft parade was a week ago but we left immediately after attending to head to the beach for a week so I am just now getting to share my finds with you.

indie craft 2013

I am especially excited about the sewing machine necklace…been wanting one of those for a long time!

Indie Craft Parade defines itself as a celebration of handmade art. This craft fair is located in my hometown and showcases local artists from the southeastern US. This was the fourth year, and it just keeps getting better! I really enjoy going because it inspires me in my creative endeavors.

Instagram photo of the night

Most of the craft fair is free but you can pay to attend the Gala event on Friday night which includes food, drinks, and giveaways as well as a smaller crowd of attendees to wade through. And just like last year, I won a giveaway (more than repaying the price of our tickets!). We had had a rough week with Oliver and Ian both feeling sick so a Friday night date night was just the thing we needed. Here is a collection both of what I won and what I bought with links to the artists’ websites/stores. And if you notice, there’s a bit of a jewelry theme going on. 🙂

indie craft 2013

WON: handfelted terrarium from once again sam.

 

WON: handstamped towel from PerlaAnne

WON: handstamped towel from PerlaAnne

WON: Ring from Lily Pottery

WON: Ring from Lily Pottery

indie craft 2013

WON: Arrow necklace from Acorn + Archer
BOUGHT: Wooden Beaded Necklace from Spectrum
BOUGHT: Laser Engraved Wooden Necklaces from Once Again Sam

 

Makers Summit

This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Makers Summit. In their own words, the Makers Summit is “a one-day business conference for the art, craft, and design world” where you can “connect with fellow creatives while learning how to start or grow your creative business, hear practical advice from industry experts and participate in collective discussions.”

This conference was run by the same people who have run the Indie Craft Parade for the past 3 years. I knew that it would be a good conference but wasn’t sure that it would be worth it for me to attend. Thankfully my husband convinced me otherwise and I decided to try it out. It. Was. Amazing. The three main speakers were Stephen Fraser from Spoonflower, Kimm Alfonso from Etsy, and Grace Kang from Pink Olive. In addition, there were several discussion panels with various crafters/designers and chances for individual consultations with the speakers. I was inspired, challenged, motivated, and overall had tons of fun! How great to have the opportunity to meet and brainstorm with other indie crafters who were also seeking business direction and inspiration.

I plan on taking this week to think over the notes that I took and work on some plans for the future. Right now my brain is spinning with all the info that I absorbed and I am looking forward to mulling over it and developing some new ideas. I just happened to sit near Stephen Fraser for both lunch and dinner and really enjoyed hearing his Spoonflower story and getting to know him as a person. Everyone who came was so down to earth and willing to impart helpful tips and advice to those of us beginning our creative careers.

Makers Summit

Kimm’s speech: I couldn’t resist snapping a pic of this Dr. Seuss quote!

Makers Summit

Very nice lunch table decor

Makers Summit

Amy Flurry explaining how to pitch yourself to a blogger or magazine editor during one of the discussion panels

Makers Summit Makers Summit

 

In addition to the Makers Summit, I also attended the after party also known as The Best Craft Party Ever. It was tons of fun and Ian was able to attend this with me so we got a fun date night in on the deal. We had a great dinner, letter pressed cards, screen printed tees, and made a terrarium and beeswax candles. It was quite the full day and I am totally exhausted now but it was worth it! Events like this make me feel so blessed to live in this great town where so many fellow crafters are working to create a larger arts community! I tried to take semi-decent phone pics throughout the day so that  I could give you a taste of what it was like…

Me looking quite preggers in that apron screenprinting my own tee.

the afterparty crowd- stolen from the hub’s Instagram feed 🙂

 

 

This Weekend

Last night the hubs and I dropped Little Man off at Grandma’s house and went on a date night to the Indie Craft Parade Gala event. Sooo worth the money we paid for tickets! This is their third year running the Parade and our third year attending. I look forward to this every year! The Gala event featured yummy food, live music, and giveaways, (and I won! 🙂 ) not to mention a chance to peruse everything without the crazy crowds of Saturday and Sunday. If you are even somewhat local, I encourage you to come down to this event. So much fun! Spoonflower is a sponsor of the event this year and has donated fabric for everyone to make their own stuffed elephants ( from the indie craft logo). There is also a free photobooth for your posing enjoyment.

I got to meet the lovely Rachel of Stitched in Color and got stuck for a long time at her booth. So many pretties. I ended up splurging and taking home one of her fabric-covered journals AND a picnic quilt. I just couldn’t resist the quilt- full of Lizzy House and Flea Market Fancy pretty fabrics. It just called to me!

Here’s a bit of a photo journal of last night- mostly stolen from my hubby’s instagram feed.

The loot I bought: handmade cloth napkins, picnic quilt, fabric-covered journal, and children’s art book.

My winnings! Cory Godbey print (which happens to be part of a collection we have in Oliver’s room), Lily Pottery ring, Ink Meets Paper letterpress greeting cards, found*ling leather wrap bracelet. Valued at $173!

 

Now for the rest of the weekend. Since I more than emptied my paypal account last night, I need to get busy stocking up my Etsy shop with lots of goodies that will hopefully make up for the fun I had on my spending spree. 🙂 I am also happy to report that I have made some progress on the guestbook quilt and plan to plug away a little more at that as well. Oh and LIttle Man is officially a big kid and is moving up to toddler nursery tomorrow at church! Sniff, my baby is all growed up! 🙂