Quick Knit for Christmas – and a Coupon Too!

Because I am entrenched in miles up on miles of boring stockinette stitch, I am changing the pace a little bit.

If you are anything like me, and I assume you are a little because you are reading this, you will be furiously knitting (or crocheting) wonderful woollen creations for those you love.  At least, those you love who will not accidentally felt that gorgeous aran sweater or has abnormally large feet or whose favorite color is unicorn vomit pink.  I keep discovering things that I want to make for those people around me who adore and crave hand knit items, so my holiday list is getting longer and longer.  I am contemplating putting a cap on it (keyword being “contemplating”).

While I may not have hope left for me, there may still be hope for you, which is why I am offering you this promo; a discount on some of my quick knit, single skein patterns.

Up first: Keyhole Cowl

keyhole1

This little cowl is knit flat, on a bias. The ends are then sewn together, and stitches picked up around the top and bottom for a neat garter ridge.

keyhole2

It is great for layering, for wearing indoors when your office is chilly. And it only uses one skein of a heavy worsted/bulky weight yarn!

Just use coupon code QuickKnitKeyhole at checkout to receive $2 off this pattern.

Check in next Wednesday to find out what pattern is up next!

Presenting the Cascading Leaves Cowl!

I would like to introduce to you my latest pattern:  The Cascading Leaves Cowl:

This cowl is knit flat and joins the leaves as you work your way around.  It is a quick, easy knit – using only 62 yards of bulky yarn and basic knitting techniques.

The simple construction allows ample room for personalization.  Use thinner yarn and add more repeats to make a delicate, lacey cowl.  Add more repeats to make a slouchier cowl.  Make a long chain with a simple join to make a wonderful scarflette.  It’s all up to you!

Little Green Pixie is proud to introduce your new favorite winter accessory: The Cascading Leaves Cowl available for immediate download on Ravelry.  Coming soon to Etsy.

Nothing if Not Efficient

Odin is an engineer.  He thinks, speaks, and lives like an engineer.  It makes it easy when we get in arguments because I know exactly how he is going to handle it – by being perfectly reasonable, logical, and incredibly, infuriatingly stubborn (and a lot of times – wrong).  That being said, it has often been the case that I come to him with a problem, and he creates a solution (let’s ignore that sometimes I, myself, am too stubborn to accept the solution, let alone that there was a problem to begin with).

Today, I spent the morning cutting tulle into strips so I could continue making fairy skirts (a.k.a. tutus) for the upcoming shows.  I have been having a hard time focusing on cutting them into strips, and Odin happened to be walking by as I sighed and said “there must be a better way of doing this.”  I had been measuring out the length of tulle, cutting it, putting it aside, and doing it again.  Odin looked at me and said simply “there is, you need a board with two pegs in it.  How long are the strips?”  And went into his work room.  I thought he was continuing work on his air plane, so I went back to work.

Since there wasn’t much else to do, I thought about what he said.  I realized my yarn swift has pegs.  Pegs in boards, in fact.  So I took off one of the sections of the tabletop swift, put the pegs the correct distance apart and began wrapping the tulle around the pegs.  A little while later, Odin emerged with a slightly more stable design than what I had improvised.  I looked at what he gave me, and then I had an epiphany.

 

A yarn swift turns.  A yarn swift like I had could work in reverse.  It was perfect.

I timed myself.  It was taking me around 5 or 6 minutes to cut one roll of tulle.  Now, it takes me about one minute.  I shaved 80% of my time off the process by this new device.  Then, I remembered he had put two pegs in the board, and I realized what that meant.

I made it through the dozens of rolls of tulle just through nerdy fulfillment.  But if I’m a nerd, at least I’m an efficient one.

What followed was a debate of whether three pegs would be more efficient than five.  Thoughts?

Tiny Houses

This weekend involved loads and loads of laundry.  Ellette and I went through her closet and dresser and got rid of loads of stuff that she doesn’t want or doesn’t fit, and everything else went through the wash.  (I recently discovered a cup of fermenting apple cider in her room, and the fear of little critters nesting about meant that her room has been ripped to shreds in the name of sanitation).

Laundry means that the dozens of knitted things destined for felting went through the wash several times, including a new item I’ve been working on:

The one in back is too short and wide for my taste, so this morning I hunted for my needle felting supplies and started decorating it.  I wanted to know how difficult/long it would be to decorate so I can judge my remaining 7 weeks (yikes!) wisely.

Ellette even helped!  She made half of the butterfly on the roof.  I think I have to get her her own kit so I can have full use of mine.

Ellette is keeping this one, for which she was so grateful she picked me a bouquet of flowers this afternoon.  And I am set to work making dozens more.  *sigh*

What do you think?

Thar Be Dragons Afoot

Yesterday, I completed a special commission.  This was a difficult assignment for a number of reasons.  One, it utilized a material I hadn’t previously considered knitting with, and two, there was a rather serious discussion revolving around “fair” pricing.

Roughly 16 hours and 600 aluminum scales went into the making of these custom fit, knuckle to elbow gauntlets.  Several curses escaped my lips as each scale had to be put on it’s designated stitch just so to ensure it would sit properly.  I ask you, what is “fair pricing” when it comes to services rendered?  Why is it expected to pay minimum wage to a bus boy but not to an artist?  We pay more hourly to special services like maid services!  How is an artist different?  Special skill sets require special compensation.  Knitting is a special skill.  If it weren’t, I would not have been hired to make these.  They almost ended up homeless as a result.  I worried an agreement could not be reached.

I am a Knitter.  This is a significant portion of my income.  I knit for hire, I design, and I make things for wholesale and consignment.  This is a job for me, just like teaching, building, and accounting are jobs for others.  I require a roof over my head and food in my belly, just as much as they do, and this is how I choose to make the money needed.

Perhaps it still has me a little frazzled how many people undervalue this .

I took note of everything I did and yes, a pattern will be following shortly, complete with a picture tutorial on adding the scales.

Randy the Pirate had so much fun modeling these for me.  Thanks!

Games in Q Basic

I have discovered that if I take my UFOs to knit night – the ones that only need the ends woven in, or something sewn on – I have a much higher chance of actually finishing.  For instance, the Tetris afghan has been lounging around my house for a solid two weeks, waiting patiently for the loose ends to be woven in.  I would make feeble attempts here and there, but could never bring myself to just get it over with.

After two hours and one beer at knit night, it is finished.  I was so happy, I had to show everyone as they walked by.

 

This morning, I took it to work with me, where I was able to package and meter it without leaving the office.  It is now on it’s journey to California to warm a friend of mine.

The construction is fairly simple – mitered squares that are worked together as you go along.  It makes for quick knitting, and the color changes keep it interesting.  It is almost fully reversible.  I would be interested in seeing the picked up stitches done in black, so that every square has a border.

And it is finished with an I-Cord edging which nearly made me strangle myself from frustration.

There have been several requests for a pattern, which will be out next week if everything goes right.  There may be another pattern coming out before March as well.

In the meantime, I rewarded myself with more yarn and have begun mapping out the next project in my head, although it is not so much a Spring project.  Some of the others are, so I may have to get through this one real quick to get on to the others.

I would damn the inspiration, but you never know when it will decide to leave you.  So I will offer it a humble thanks.

Getting Things Done

At some point in the day, every day this week, I have sat in front my computer, ready to write.  Then I would heave a sigh and close the lid, because I had nothing I felt worthwhile to say, or having too much on my mind to take the time to write anything down.

This house lately has been a string of stressed energy, and it has leaked into every facet of my daily functioning.  We have all been tiptoeing around each other, afraid the others will bristle at the slightest surprise.  At times, we are to withdrawn to interact.  Most evenings this past week, I have curled up in the corner of the couch with headphones glued to my ears and knitting in my lap.  No one wants to approach the pointy, potentially dangerous, sticks, and I’m okay with that.

My to-do list isn’t getting marked off, which is my own fault.  I have been focused on the never ending ever growing Tetris afghan, which is coming along nicely and pattern requests have already been made.  I am eager to finish, photograph, and send it on it’s way.  I’m worried that by the time I have finally finished, it will be too heavy for the weather in San Fransisco, it’s final destination.  Either way, it’s a journey.

The new year has inspired, as it usually does, the desire to purge the unwanted build up in my house, head, and life.  Starting, a much needed update to my Etsy shop.  For starts, we have new top hats:

            

They can be found here, here, here, here, and here (in the order they appear!)

Trust me, there are more to come.  This is a constant endeavor, as what I make quickly gets snatched up by individuals or consignment shops. I have taken to keeping yarn at the workplace with me and when I need a break from staring at a computer screen, I work a round or two.

I am also in the process of taking stock inventory.  What do I have that has been broken in transport (unfortunately, that happens a bit)?  What do I have from prior to 2011? (And I really don’t think there is much).  Then, there is a look at what materials I still have and trying to get through those so I can get started bringing out fresh designs.

And then, finally, I will feel like 2012 is on track – perhaps 3 weeks late, but things are still rolling along.

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