Friday, 16 March 2018

Very Amateur Video and the Shop is Ready!

I posted an extremely amateur video for my Etsy shop update on my page today.
Would you like to take a look?!

Here it is! - Well, this will take you to my Facebook page so don't click if you don't want to access Facebook.
I couldn't upload it directly to here as it was too big. And I have absolutely no clue how to edit video. Hence why it is so unprofessional! 
I need to do some research into making and editing video. Any suggestions for safe, free software would be greatly appreciated.

Here are some random yarn photos - I am so enjoying dyeing!
I was sad that some of the special yarn I ordered did not arrive in time, but hopefully it will be here next week, ready for next Friday's shop update.

That is probably enough for now!

The shop update will be going up very soon. 

My Etsy shop - Tiny Toadstool Cottage

I would love it if you would like to visit and give me some feedback. I know my photography leaves a lot to be desired compared to some people, but all the yarns are true to colour and can be seen well, I think.
Let me know what you think - what works and what could be changed. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Mystery Knitting Object

Mystery knitting object.

Can you guess what I am knitting here?

Think, birthday present for this little cutie's second birthday.

Yes, daughter and granddaughter are home from their Australia trip and staying with us for a while. So it is pretty hectic here at the moment, with seven people living in the house. And one bathroom! We really need a shower roster for the mornings.

Monday, 12 March 2018

Ridiculously Excited!

I am expressing a crazy amount of over-excitement that Lincraft has come to our country town!

I know it is crazy to be so excited, but when you live in a small town and have to either drive an hour or wait for an online order whenever you need something, this is cause for major celebration!

This is me when I first went in the shop today - I had to keep my cool!

I visited today and wanted to do a happy dance at all the rows of buttons and ribbons and fabric. I have been ordering buttons from the internet and it is not the same as taking the garment into the shop and being able to try out and match the best ones.

I am so thrilled that I can just pop into town (5 minute drive - yay!) and pick up whatever I need. 
It will also save me over-buying. When I did bother to make the hour drive to Spotlight, I had a tendency to buy things 'just in case', as I wouldn't be going back there for a while. No wonder I have so much fabric!

Anyway, that is my thrill for today! Hope you are having a lovely start to your week.

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Some More Knits

I promise I will start to chat about something other than knitting again soon. But I am slightly obsessed at the moment! I wish I didn't have to do anything else, to be honest.

Found this project languishing away in a bag during the week. Thank goodness for Ravelry as I had lost my hand written notes on size, etc. Luckily it is all stored in my Projects page! I do love Ravelry - it is well worth the effort of putting your information in there. And I think I have said before, how much I love to stash and project stalk and see what other people have and are knitting! 

Oh but I do! And you can find it all on Ravelry! Well, actually not all as I still have some boxes I haven't got around to photographing. I am a yarn addict, I'm afraid.

Anyway, back to the point. This project is the Amy pinafore from The March Sisters ebook. Definitely had to have patterns relating to Little Women!
My notes are here.

Definitely for someone who loves brights!
I am using my Nixie yarn base which is 100% fine micron wool in fingering weight in Shocking Pink and Lollipop colourways. I am hoping to have both these colours in the shop for the stock update on Friday.

I have also started a little project today. I wonder if you can guess what it is? Think, two year old granddaughter's birthday present - not clothing.

I really love a picot cast off edge. It takes longer but looks so effective.

I'll share some photos of the mystery finished object during the week.

I have just started reading The Boy Made Of Snow by Chloe Mayer. I am really enjoying it so far as I have no idea where the book could be heading. At the moment, there are so many possible avenues it could take. 
It is set in 1944 in England (just my era!) and is the story of a boy and his mother. She has suffered from post natal depression since his birth, but of course in those days, that was reason enough to be committed to an asylum. So she is trying to act 'normally'. The father is away at war and a group of German POWs have just been assigned to a farm near her house. 
That is as far as I have got, which is all pretty much in the blurb anyway. It could go anywhere so I am looking forward to finding out. And to discovering the meaning of the title.

I will link this to Ginny's Yarn Along for the month of March.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Maybe The Last of the Hot Weather and Some Exciting News!

Look at yesterday's blue sky! And today is just as sunny.

So I am taking advantage of the warm weather to do some dyeing. 
Lots of soft and fluffy yarn bases arrived in the mail (although I am still waiting on some gorgeous sparkly sock) and they were just dying to be dyed!

I just have so many colours that I want to experiment with - I would need hundreds of skeins!

These are some of yesterday's colours - lots of variations on the same colourway here (which I call Fairy Wings - more info to come), so not all that interesting. But I cannot wait to skein them and see how they look.

I am doing lots of tonals today, most of them brighter than these ones.

I have been getting in some knitting as well, while watching my podcasts. Sleep - who needs it?!

I have made Ode to Doris by Kelly Brooker of PekaPeka Design Studios before. It is a lovely, simple pattern that looks gorgeous. I am making it this time in my new Fairy Wings colourway, which I think is knitting up quite well.

I have called it Doris Has Fairy Wings in my Ravelry projects.

And my favourite of the week!
I have been watching a new podcast (new to me, it has been around for a few years) and I am working my way through all the episodes. That is my OCD nature - I have to watch in order from oldest to newest, not just dip in here and there. It will take a while!

It is called Give Me A Crown by Niina and you can find the Youtube channel here.

But the best thing is Niina has an Etsy shop, where you can find the most gorgeous knitting or crochet project bags. I love them as they have snap fasteners - I find yarn always gets caught in zippers - so you can snap the fasteners shut with the yarn in the bag and it will feed through the gaps. 

And Niina had two toadstool bags in her shop! Did I have to have them?! Of course! 
I am using straight needles for my Doris project and they fit in the bigger bag (which is called a 3 skein project bag). The smaller bag is a sock knitting bag.

And look at the pretty packaging. 

Even a tea bag for a knitting treat.

How did Niina know my taste? 
Peppermint, Liquorice and Lemon Balm - yum!

We went to the ice cream shop in town after dinner a few days ago, as we must be nearing the end of the warm weather, and just because.
The man in front of us ordered two scoops, one Peppermint, one Liquorice. It made me think yum, I'm going to try that. Everyone else in the family made gross faces at each other!

And now for the bags!

They are so beautifully made, the fabric is so soft. And toadstools!

I have some more bags on order from some fabrics that are so divine - cannot wait to show you those too!

I am hoping to order a bag for a special giveaway as well, to celebrate the opening of my Etsy shop.
Yes, I have finally done it! There are only a few items in there at the moment. I needed to open the shop to get the web address so I could print it on my labels and you had to add an item to open it. 
But I am dyeing away and will have an official shop update on Friday 16th March. 

My shop is on Etsy here. I would love it if you had a look! I don't have international shipping on there, but if any of my blogging friends were interested in anything, I would be more than happy to work out a postage quote for you special people!

I have also set up a Facebook page, for anyone who uses that. I will be using this for previews of new stock, competitions, giveaways and the like. And this is a great place to share any items made using my yarn. Like me on Facebook here!

I am very excited to be starting this new venture and just wanted to thank all you lovelies who read my blog and comment - I so appreciate it.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Sunshine On A Cloudy Day

It is a bit of a cloudy, cooler day here, but to me that is a welcome relief from the heat!

So I am blocking my sunny coloured shawl today - and it certainly brightens up the room.

I have named it my 'Sunshine On A Cloudy Day' shawl and I cannot wait to wear it on dreary winter days.

The pattern is a free one, the Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart. Well, you can either purchase the pattern or receive it for free if you sign up to Helen's free shawl email workshops series, which I found really helpful anyway.
The shawl is a quick and easy knit, but just enough of interest to keep you going. I really love the border pattern and the way it is quite narrow, makes it a perfect scarf-type shawl.

The yarn I have used is my own dyeing. You can find it on Ravelry here. I am planning to set up a shop selling it, so have added some of my bases to Ravelry as well. It is very exciting! I sold some yarn at our local Makers Market and would love to keep doing it. I cannot knit myself all that I want to try dyeing!

I love the tonal nature of this yellow. I never really dye total solids - they always have a tonal, semi-solid nature to them, which I prefer. 

And I am still knitting away at my Azel pullover, only because I have put it aside for a few days. All I need to finish is picking up and knitting the neck. Such an easy, quick knit. Love it! I cannot wait to try some more of Velvet Acorn's patterns! (If you buy them on Etsy, she has 3,7 or 10 pattern bundle deals! So of course I have 10 patterns now!)

Linking with Wool On Sundays.

What are you knitting today?
Have a lovely Sunday!

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Who Wants To See Some Dyeing?!

I have been having so much fun experimenting with dyeing and colourways.
And now I need your help with some opinions!

I purchased some gorgeous new bases from KnitPicks. I use Bendigo Woollen Mills for basic wool bases, but I wanted to try some others.

I have:

 - a 75% fine superwash Merino, 25% nylon and 5% stellina fingering blend - so pretty with the sparkle!
 - 80% fine Merino, 10% cashmere and 10% nylon fingering weight blend.
 - 85% Merino, 15% cashmere DK blend.
 - 70% Merino, 30% silk fingering blend.
 - 70% baby alpaca, 30% silk lace weight blend.
Then I use Bendigo Woollen Mills fine micron wool in 3,4,8 and 10 ply. They also have a 29 micron wool in 2ply. And an alpaca, wool, viscose blend in 8ply.

This gives me lots to play with! Although it is a bit daunting to commit to a colour for the more special bases - very scary!

I love to see all the skeins like this, hanging on the drying rack! Looks so pretty. I am still winding these so will have to post some finished photos of the full size skeins next week.

I dyed 10 mini skeins to try out some colourways and I would really appreciate your opinions. They are numbered 1 to 10 from left to right, to make it easier to identify!

I'll tell you later which are my favourites, so I don't influence you!
Also please let me know if there are any that you think don't really work and if you think they are saleable. Constructive criticism is how we learn!

I am really hoping to, finally, set up my shop. I have been working on a Facebook page, which is still set to private at the moment, until I can build up some stock to post. I would love to hear what you think would be great to sell, both dyed yarn and made up items. I have been prowling around Ravelry to look for all the designers that are happy for you to sell finished items from their patterns. And I am eternally grateful for the generosity of these designers in allowing sales. As I make items up, I will share them here so you can check out all these wonderful pattern designers too!

Friday, 23 February 2018

Podcasts - My New Discovery

Yes, I am the last person in the universe to discover and embrace the world of podcasts!
But now I love them!

So wonderful to have something interesting and informative to listen to and/or watch while I am crafting or gardening.

There are so many genres to choose from, but I will stick to a few of may favourite categories and spread them over the next few days (I'm sure you can already guess what they will be!)


So of course we will start with knitting, which also includes dyeing and other woolcraft.

Woolful is the podcast I started with - and I am still working my way through the episodes. I love this one as there is a different guest each week, speaking about their fibre journey. So far I have listened to an alpaca farmer, a musk oxen fibre collector, sheep farmers and numerous dyers and designers. It is so very interesting to hear all the stories and so inspirational. Audio only, so you can listen in the car and while doing difficult knitting where you can't look up at the screen.

The Savvy Girls is an audio podcast by two Canadian sisters, now living in New York. They talk about knitting, of course, as well as their travels, music, etc and some interviews.

Knitting Pipeline is called 'the knitting podcast with a Celtic flair'. If you love the bagpipes, this is the one for you. There are videos and audio podcasts. I enjoy this one as there are so many crafts shared - knitting, quilting, needle felting, embroidery. You will get so many pattern ideas from here, you will never keep up!

Yarniacs is another audio podcast that will give you hundreds of pattern ideas. There are lots of pattern links on the website, so you can find them all on Ravelry.

Now for some video podcasts, which are fun for your TV knitting time!

Fruity Knitting is a fun video podcast, always in gorgeous settings, with interviews and some amazing knitting. The first episode featured Andrea's Alice Starmore knits and if you have ever seen some of Starmore's designs, you will know how much work they entail! This is my kind of knitting and I love that her husband knits as well. Andrea is an Australian, living in Germany. I think you will love this podcast - I am still working my way through the episodes!

Inside Number 23 features gorgeous yarns and I love Katie's quirky sense of humour. It would be great if the shot was wider so you could see more of the garments, but still well worth a look.

The Woollen Homestead is the podcast formerly known as Knittin' From The Mitten. Knitting, dyeing and some other things thrown in as well.

The Charm of It - Eva started her podcast as she had no local knitting friends and wanted to find someone to talk knitting with (I know that feeling!) She is so lovely and shares some gorgeous projects.

A Wooden Nest is a new podcast, five episodes so far. Lindsay lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares her knitting, botanical dyeing and other projects. I love it so far!

Rose Hip Knits - I've included this one, even though there have been no new episodes since last August as it is an Aussie podcast and there are not that many local ones (let me know if you know of any other Aussie knitting/dyeing podcasts!) Lots of lovely yarns here and a trip to Bendigo. I really want to go to Bendigo (Spendigo) one year!

The Dyer's Notebook - this podcast is done by the owner of Gynx Yarns. There are knitting projects here but also some fantastic dyeing tutorials as well.

90% Knitting is a podcast by the owner of Fibernymph Dye Works. As the title suggests, it is mostly about her knitting projects, but it also includes regular shop update videos. These are worth watching just to see the gorgeous yarns she dyes.

And so many more! My list to watch is growing every day!

The Gentle Knitter

Sweet Sparrow Knits

Hey Sister

Fairy Little

The Fawn Knits

Wool Needles Hands

The Girls in the Yarn Café

A Homespun House

OK, stop, stop! I could go on forever! We all know how easy it is to fall down the rabbit hole of the internet - knitting podcasts can take you there very easily!

Of course, I have not watched all these episodes. I have been dipping in and out and it would take me SO long to watch them all. But it is like knitting with some friends while watching these and it is always handy to see what other people are making and picking up some tips and ideas that you didn't know.

Do you love knitting podcasts too?! Let me know your favourites and I can add them to my ever-expanding list!