Etsy Shop- remaining inventory

I’ve been meaning to post a list of remaining inventory for a while, but haven’t for the same reason I don’t have the Etsy shop going anymore: other things get in the way.

So here’s the list:

Small Notions Bag -$15

4.25″ x 6.25″ zipper bag with 3.5″ x 2.5″ stitch marker pouch

2 Citrus

2 blue circles

1 tangerine flower

1 Q-bert

Hat and Mitten Double Pointed Needle Organizer -$32

8.25″ x 5.5″ zipper bag with 5 – 1.75″ x 7.5″ needle cases

Labeled US5- US8 and your choice US4 or US9

1 Juicy Bloom

1 Citrus (6 needle cases US4-US9 -Price: $35)

1 Pink victorian

2 Blue Circle

Sock Double Pointed Needle Organizer – $35

8.25″ x 5.5″ zipper bag with 6 – 1.75″ x 7.25″ needle cases

Labeled from 2.00 mm to 3.25mm in quarter millimeter increments

1 Citrus

2 Blue Circle

1 Q-bert

1. Juicy Bloom, 2. Blue Circle, 3. Tangerine Flower, 4. Q-bert, 5. Pink Victorian

Until July 15th, I will only list the items on Etsy if they have been asked for through the blog or an Etsy convo.  This will give the folks who have been interested first chance.  After July 15th, I will list what I have left for anyone to stumble upon.

I do not see myself making anymore for a long time (or possibly ever), so get them while you can.  🙂

Thanks for your patience – Sarah

2010 Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival Haul

2010 Iowa Sheep and Wool Festival Haul

Originally uploaded by Stellar Babble.

Just got back from a soggy day at the Iowa Sheep and Wool festival. I’m going to need a daily spinning routine if I’m gong to get this spun for next Christmas…

Clockwise from top
20 oz Cormo Top
6 oz Garnet Merino roving
2 4oz balls of California Red (Scott’s request)
4 oz Dove Cashmere
Center: 2 3 oz balls of California Varigated Mutant (CVM) from Cedar Falls
Basket woven in Guana from Elephant Grass
2 4 oz BFL roving dyed in Rain Forest

New blog

Although I had originally planned to merge my fiber efforts and house efforts into one blog, I’ve decided to start a new one instead and keep this one for fiber projects.  The new blog is if you are interested in following my home improvement efforts.

New distraction

I found a new website that has made it easy to draw a floorplan for our house.  It’s   Follow this link to see what I have done so far…


It has been forever since I posted.  I’ve decided to start again, but my focus has shifted dramatically from fibers to home repair/renovation.  I will post mostly about house stuff, since that is what I seem to be doing the most of, with a few knitting/spinning projects here and there.

A bullet list of things that have happened in the last year since I posted:

  • Etsy shop started to become a full  time job with not much profit, so I stopped selling.  (Though I do have a few things in inventory yet, if anyone is interested)
  • Got a spinning wheel for my birthday and started spinning fibers, bot common and exotic.  So far I’ve made a cardigan out of black merino I spun, plied an ounce of handspun cashmere with an ounce of handspun camel, spun two different colors of alpaca and a whole bunch of wool (mostly merino tops from the Rose Tree)
  • Started working 1 day a week at the Rose Tree Fiber Shop in Ames (usually Wednesdays, 12-5)
  • Revisited a frustrating home improvement project (stripping paint from baseboards and molding) and got a second wind.
  • Knitted many small projects for family and friends, but haven’t done much photographing

I have more paint stripping awaiting me right now, but I will make the next post about my first major house project and try to catch up as quickly as possible.

A couple of knitting pictures, for interest…

Having an Etsy shop is addictive

I’ve been to a few knitter gatherings around town lately, and finally ran into Kristin of Craft  I found her site a while back, have chatted  with her through Ravelry to get the inside scoop on fiber activities in Ames, and had heard about her from others, but we hadn’t met until a couple weeks ago.

At that point, I had just started working on my Etsy shop, had maybe 3 items listed and hadn’t sold anything yet.  We were talking about Etsy and she warned us to “Watch out, Etsy is addictive”.  I was skeptical at the time, but now I see why.

It is such a thrill to get an e-mail in my inbox telling me someone has purchased my creation.  It has made me want to make more, make them better, come up with other products and generally spend all my time in my craft workshop.  A few sales was all the encouragement I needed to start a full time obsession.  In general, I’m as happy as I can remember being in a long time.  Even though Scott has to work such long hours and goes back to work after dinner every day, being busy makes being alone a lot less lonely.

I’d say I should have started this earlier, but this is the first time we’ve moved in 10 years that we don’t think we’ll be moving again soon.  Having time and space to develop something counts for a lot.

I’m very thankful for the sales I’ve had so far, and it has driven me to list new items.

Shameless promotion time:

A notions pouch in black, white and red paisley.

An organizer set for hat and mitten sized DPNs

And my newest set:

The Sock Knitter Set which includes 6 dpn holders, cards for recording sock recipients’ foot measurements in a custom holder with grafting instructions on back, a stitch marker holder and a work in progress (WIP) holder.

I think next I may change gears and work on another holder design, rather than stocking the shop.  Or I may just make another one of each of these in a different fabric.  I guess it depends on if the creative juices are flowing, or I’m in a production mode.  The flexibility of a little online shop really suits my work style. 🙂

I think I’ll end this rambling post, but heed this as a warning: Etsy Shops are addictive!

There’s always a learning curve…

Well, I have a long way to go before I’ll be comfortable saying I run a business, but I’ve learned a lot already.

I’ve learned there is a lot to be done to get things made, photographed, posted, and ready to ship.  I can tell I am still just ramping up, since I have been knitting for pleasure and sleeping 8 hours.  🙂

Taking photos that measure up to the Etsy average has taken a lot of time and learning.  I built a collapsible light box from this Instructables tutorial, that has definitely helped, but I could still use better lighting.  I’ve read a bunch of articles on Etsy about taking better pictures and have fiddled with my camera until I finally got something decent and then I fixed the white balance some more with Gimp.  I’m still learning, but after a couple of photo shoots, I got pictures I was content to use to list new items. Here are a couple examples.

As you can see, I got some new fabric (with a gift card from my mom to Crafty Planet in MN) that happens to have a 1 inch pattern that lends itself well to the top edge of the bags.  Getting the color right in the photo is still a tricky proposition and the real color is probably somewhere between these two.  The second item is my latest addition to what I hope to be a set of tools for the serious knitter.  🙂  I have a lot of double pointed needles, and I don’t want to carry them all around, so I use these little individual pouches to just carry what I need.  This set is for the mid-range needles, used for hats and sleeves and mittens.  I hope to make a set of smaller pouches for smaller needles some time this week.

Smaller needles have been on my mind since I got my book “New Pathways for Sock Knitters” by Cat Bordhi on Saturday.  This  book has been on my mind for a while, ever since Larissa got it and was excited about it.  I resisted a while, but I finally broke down and bought it.  This book was mentioned by the Yarn Harlot on Nov. 14th 2007 and it has been on my mind ever since. As the Yarn Harlot states:

” I think “There has got to be a simpler way” and Cat thinks “Screw simpler – get curious. There has got to be ANOTHER way.” and then all of these door swing wide open and it turns out that there really are whole new ways to knit stuff that you I thought were pretty firmly established.”

This is my kind of knitting.  I don’t really like doing the same thing over and over, even if socks are small and utilitarian.  This book has 8 different sock architectures with master patterns and tables of numbers to help you get the perfect fit.  She has different toe and cuff patterns to mix and match, too. I was so excited, I even used Inkscape and MS Word to make these little cards to store people’s measurements.

Card to be printed on Avery Business Card 8371

Card to be printed on Avery Business Card 8371

I plan to print a sheet of  business cards to carry around and get family foot measurements if they express an interest in wearing hand knit wool socks.  Want to use these cards yourself?  Try downloading the  Foot Measurement Cards-corrected pdf for a full page of business cards. I used Avery Business cards with template 8371, but plain paper would do.

ETA: My Cut and paste technique had some problems that have been corrected.

I’ve got one sock from the “Riverbed Architecture” nearly finished and I think I will try a different architecture for the other sock.  As long as they are the same color and the ribbing looks the same, who’s going to notice?   I may never make a matching pair (for myself) again.  🙂

Well, I guess I should get back to work…