Babies on my brain

No, I’m not pregnant. Just to clarify.

It’s been a very crafty whirlwind! I discovered the world of babies (minus the fetus and pregnancy cravings.) I am currently preparing for a couple of baby showers.20110719-111523.jpg

I was never really into making baby things until I realized, I can make the most ridiculous items that look like fun to make, but no respectable adult would ever wear. It’s not like babies get to decide what their outfit is for the day. They just lie there while you dress them up as cute little animals or vegetables or flowers and then they just don’t care! Plus I can whip up a baby hat in only 3 episodes of Fringe.

 

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Goodbye to the days of photographing your naked baby on a animal skinned rug and hello to Auntie CourTney’s outlandish baby clothes. Remember the classic bunny suit from The Christmas Story? (if not, Google it NOW)

 

Damn it feels good to be a knitter.

 

 

Kitty cats & Yarn balls…

There has always been a connection between cats and yarn. Thinking of a kitten playing with a ball of yarn isn’t such an outlandish thought. They go hand in hand.

Meet my kitty, Karma. She has a love for yarn. If I am knitting on the couch, she will attempt to sit on my arms while I’m knitting. If I leave her at home with yarn in a basket, it will soon be all over our apartment. Up the stairs, down the stairs, around the table, through the chair legs, back up the stairs, under the bed….

She’s a very supportive kitty. Many of times, I finished a project and only had Karma to show. She doesn’t judge when my stitches aren’t perfect, so it’s a good audience.

Every time I pull out the yarn swift to ball up a new yarn, she comes a running and sits and watches (like this morning).

Then one day, I began to wonder…does Karma love yarn…or does she envy yarn? Maybe she is angry at the amount of time I spend with yarn instead of her. Is she cuddling up with me and my yarn on the couch or is she trying to stop me from knitting? Is she being cute and chasing a ball of yarn or is she attempting to destroy and hide it??

That’s the thing about cats. You never really know what they are thinking.

48 hours of distractions and a Flea Market?

My 48 hours are up. I was pretty successful, given the amount of tasks I gave myself. I did get a little sidetracked on Saturday and went to the Brooklyn Flea Market.

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Mason Jars

Here’s my issue with the “flea markets” in the city. Now, let me preface this with the small fact that I grew up in Ohio. Flea markets in Ohio are great. They’re like huge treasure hunts. Nothing is organized and super pretty and boutique like. No. It’s like junk in boxes on tables in a town called Roger. Stuff is dirt cheap and you can find great treasures (or a bunch of junk.) They are fantastic. Now, the flea market in Brooklyn is very pretty and organized. The first thing I have learned to check when entering a new flea market is the price of mason jars. In the city, a mason jar is a “rare find” and “vintage” and worth $8!! Now, if I were to visit my friend Christine (in Ohio), who is living in her grandparents home, she could run down to her basement and pull out 12 mason jars from the jelly room, no problem. Do you think Ohioans could get away with selling mason jars for $8 in Ohio?? Hell no. So, keeping the $8 mason jar price point in mind, you can imagine how the rest of the “flea market” was priced.

This one vendor had some fantastic Ukuleles made of cigar boxes. I immediately went for the instrument thinking about a certain husband and what holiday would be coming up next. That is, until I saw the price point…. $200 to $400!!! Now, they were beautiful and a cool concept, but later, when I told the HB about my find, he told me (smirking at the $400 cigar box Uke) you could buy a professional Ukulele (yes, they exist) at that price. But what’s the fun in that. The cigar box one was cool.

So, this “flea market” was not a flea market at all, but an outdoor craft fair boutique. I would never go to a flea market and pay $40 for an old shirt. It’s just not the way I was raised. So, to all of my creative family and friends, save all of your mason jars and cigar boxes, I’m comin’ home to make items with you and then bringing them back to the city!

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2-at-a-time sleeves

 

Back to the craft weekend. After about 26 hours of knitting (1/2 of season 2 of Fringe, part of season 1 of Breaking Bad), I ALMOST got my sleeves done. I have just about 24 rows of decreases to do on each.

 

And buttons! Oh wow. I will start by saying I occupied about 5 hours of my time making buttons. It was invigorating. I started off with the normal paper ones, then decided to experiment with the silk scarves. After some fooling around, that was quite successful. very very pretty.

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Pinback buttons on CoffeeAndT.etsy.com

Then I had a thought…. Ribbon, Yarn, Thread!

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Fabric Buttons!

I began to try to press everything! Some were very great while other ended up looking like spider legs… (which is very bad if you know my level of hate for spiders) You can check them all out in our store: CoffeeAndT.etsy.com

Then, I got sidetracked again. On Sunday, they had a yoga class in the park. The payment of the class was a donation to the park for planting flowers. I convinced my friend Kyle to go with me (even though he’s never tried yoga). Lucky for him there were lots of young ladies in the class, so everybody won.

The weekend was wrapped with a quick trip to the bar. The HB (who got home at a decent time from work) wanted to be social, but I explained to him that I needed to craft and finish my 48 hours. So we compromised by going to a bar with sufficient light, so I could knit. I started a new neck warmer (very masculine colors) so it could be the newest addition to the store. The beer smell is free, no additional cost. I wasn’t about to haul my merino wool sweater to the bar….that would just be crazy.

So, all in all, my 48 hours were eventful and full of craft. Hmm…what will next weekend hold?

 

 

48 hours

It’s the weekend! 2 days, no plans and the HB is working; therefore 48 hours alone to craft. It’s like a race! I have so many things to try out, I don’t know where to start!

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two-at-a-time sleeves

First, I would like to marathon the sleeves to my yellow sweater, two at a time. Any time I have to make two of something, whether it be socks, leg warmers, gloves, sleeves, two at a time is the way to go. For those who have no clue what I’m talking about, it’s working both the left and the right sleeve on one very long needle with two separate skeins of yarn. The benefit is when one is done, they are both done! And more importantly they are identical, without the guess work, or keeping track of 200+ rows.

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silk scarves, soon to be buttons

Next, I want to work on my fabric buttons. I have a plan to make unique, one of a kind pins, that will look great on Tara’s bracelets she makes.

I also need to list a bunch of items for our site, coffeeandt.etsy.com.

And finally, I have a bunch of jewelry ideas and some sewing that I want to do.

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button press, ready to go!

Ambitious? Maybe.  Wish me luck! Time to get started.

 

Button me up

I have been waiting and waiting for this day! I have been stalking fed ex via the Internet and bugging the doorman. And today finally came!!

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My button machine came in the mail! Part of my large and loving family was visiting and I could focus on nothing but making buttons. I ripped apart my newest knitting magazine and random pieces of fabric and printed stuff to try it out. Everything became a button today. I tried to offer making them buttons to make up for my lack of focus, but no one was as excited as me…

I hope the HB doesn’t get upset if he finds random holes cut out of his New Yorker because they might make great buttons…

Any requests? I will custom make them for you and sell them through coffeeandt.etsy.com !

I would write more, but I must go to sleep so I can wake up and make more buttons!
Is it sad that I also got my Master’s degree Diploma in the mail today and this is the first time I even thought about it…

And it was all Yellow.

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I’m currently in a color coma. It started when i decided to knit my first vest, about 2 months ago. A nice mellow yellow. About 2 weeks into that I had to look away. I quickly knit up a rainbow neck scarf. I was over the yellow blues and ready to knit the vest again.

The next week, I was starting a KAL (knit-a-long) sketch cardigan. I bought the yarn a month earlier….Yellow. So now I have two projects going, big projects and they are both yellow. The sweater starts with 13 inches of DK weight yarn, CO at 200 stitches. That’s roughly 23,400 stitches of solid yellow, no switch up of interesting stitches. Just solid stockinette. (knit one way, purl the other.)

So now, I’m in that lull. Half way through the vest and 13 inches through the sweater.

20110704-104216.jpgOnce I got past the 13 inches, the shaping of the sweater starts, so that means I have to pay attention to each row and it’s a little more interesting again. THANK THE KNITTING GODS. Now it’s a race. Every row of 200 gets two stitches shorter, so every row I get a little faster and a little more excited. “That’s right, only 186 stitches this row!”

So this morning, even though I have the yellow blues, I have to do my real job and all I can think of is yellow…

 

Coffee & T is open for Business!

by CourTney and Tara

Our Etsy Store, Coffee & T, is officially open!  Please visit CoffeeAndT.etsy.com and check it all out!

Coffee & T Etsy Store

Why Coffee and T? Well Coffee and Chai Tea are two of our favorite drinks while crafting.  And the “T”?  We will let you ponder over that one.

* For all the crafters out there, the logo was made from acrylic paint treated as water color and tea bags.

The store is new so we don’t have a lot of merchandise yet, but please keep checking in!

The Knitting Factory

Monday was a good night of combining the arts. The HB (husband, Brian) is in a fun, fantastic band called Leaf Pile. They played recently, at a bar called The Knitting Factory in Brooklyn. They have always “included” me in the band by saying I play the needles. I am not musically inclined, whatsoever! But they always say I should sit on stage and knit leaves and them throw them into the audience. I always thought it would be fun, but it never seemed to fit. But Monday was my grand opening performance. I knitted while sitting on the stage at The Knitting Factory (it felt like a sign.)

After the show a few people asked what I was knitting and if I sold the stuff I knitted. So yay! Cross promoting! I will be knitting at every show in the future (if the band will have me, of course) and I decided to make business card buttons for our soon-to-be store and the band to hand out at shows…oh the ideas!

Check out the band at: www.leafpilemusic.com and view the show below!

Watch live streaming video from theknitbrooklyn at livestream.com

Search and Rescue

Exciting things are happening!!!!

First of all, I FOUND MY NOTIONS BAG!!!

The Notions Bag Bandits.

The yarn stash ate it.  They await sentencing for Tampering with Owner’s Sanity.

Here’s a story:

In sixth grade, I was voted “Most Organized” which is….shocking.  (Well, I also won “Shortest” in the class…which is not so shocking.  Or important…)  But I honestly can’t remember ever losing my homework or having to ask my mom where my other sneaker was (which she would have promptly responded, “wherever you left it.”)  It was a friendlier existence, the time before the hostiles of my subconscious had to fight to keep up with the insanities of responsible adulthood.  Thankfully I have CourT, who is a natural taskmaster, motivator, inspirator (not a word?  is now.) and for that I am eternally grateful.  She should probably be put into a lab and studied to benefit all of mankind, but we are trying to open a shop here.

Cheers to The CourTney and finding stuff you thought someone had viciously stolen!

Whale of a tale

By CourTney

My husband is super supportive of my knitting. He makes suggestions, picks out yarn and dislike patterns with me. I have tried to make him several items but every time I knit for him, it turns into a nightmare. I made socks once for him (size 13 feet) that ended up perfect for myself (size 6.). It is almost as though the knitting gods are angry that I found myself a gentleman that is willing to roll up yarn during a 2 hour movie.

The latest project he asked me to make was a whale hat. He wanted nothing for Christmas and his birthday or Easter, Halloween, or even our anniversary, except for this whale hat. I was super excited! He had a specific item. And I love hats! They are my favorite thing to make. I spent a day drawing on graph paper to get the math of his big head to match my repeating whale. It all worked out. I knitted the hat and to my dismay, it was TOO BIG! So, lucky for me, I knitted the hat from 100% wool. ( I know I just heard a huge groan out there from knitters and sweater wearers). But I knew better. I would be the first to conquer shrinking something in a washer by a couple inches without it coming out like a baby hat. ( truth be told, i sat on the hat for weeks, petrified to put it in the washer…. Afraid that it would come out like a huge ball of disaster.)

So, one weekend, while Tara was visiting, I got the courage. 5 minutes in the wash, nothing happened. 5 more…nothing. 5 more nothing….and then I….walked away for what I thought was 10 seconds…..nope. 10 minutes.

Never never never never walk away! No matter if u have to pee, or get more coffee or your cat is crawling out the window of your 5th floor apartment building.

So, after many tears and lots of husband disappointment, the whale hat, which he loved loved loved, was shrunk to a cone that wouldn’t even fit my head.

So, fast forward about 4 or 5 months. Tonight I did my first sewing project. I am making whale change purses, made from the wool-to-felted-cone-hat. I cut them out, drew a pattern and did a quick mock up. It was my first full use of the craft room. And it was all motivated by my Love. He even threw in a button flap suggestion.

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So, very soon our easy store will be ready to sell! And I think I owe someone a anew whale hat.