Thursday, August 23, 2007

New Stuff!

•JEWELRY•
I posted a few new things over on the Etsy site tonight. (Check out the offerings in the Etsy Mini at the bottom of the post.) As of right now I still can't accept credit cards or Pay Pal, so that doesn't help sales very much. I've got mixed feelings concerning a Pay Pal account. I know there are plenty of people out there who have them, but I can't get over my fears.... all those "what ifs" are lurking in the dark corners... (I just got this image of a purple and orange monster with a long crooked nose staring at me from behind my bedroom door. Now what's that about?) I understand that the people who do have Pay Pal accounts, and/or are looking to buy online, feel much more comfortable with a seller that accepts forms of payment other than a check or money order. I know that I do. Besides, it's a hassle to sit down and write a check out. I mean really, like who does that? (I do! lol)

I don't have credit card/Pay Pal options available on Etsy, but I can accept those forms of payment on My Website (FiddleLee.com), which goes through The Homegrown Market (almost like and Etsy for items handmade in America).


•LIFE•
Life..... yikes! I got a new car today! Well, it's actually a 2005, but that's new for me. I've been driving the same old beat up 1994 Ford Tempo since I first learned how to drive. It was a great car. It got me where I needed to go (for the most part) over the last 5 years. I have pictures of me sitting in it on my 18th birthday when I got it with a big grin on my face and waving at the camera. If I'd known then that I'd have the car for 5 years I might have died. The only reason I was so happy about it then was that it was a first. We all know that those memories of firsts stay with you forever. (And oh how I wish some of them would go away and stop following me... like my first boyfriend.... ugh, we won't go there.) The car (the Tempo) was some shade of ugly vomit gold (there's really no nice way to put it) and it always seemed old, even when it was new for me. Now my new car.... (I'm still trying to get my mind around the fact I got it) is a silver 2005 Ford Focus. It's cute and it suits me pretty good. It's not showy, but it doesn't look like an old persons car (not that I have anything against the elderly, but I don't want to seem 53 instead of 23). I'm very happy with it. The only drawback is the whole money issue. (Why is that always the case?) Basically I've increased my monthly bills four-fold since I've got the car payment and my insurance almost doubled by adding collision. I'm freaking out!! ::scream and a bit of hair pulling:: I'm a starving artist. How am I going to make my bills?? My mom's answer when I asked her? Get more fiddle students (yeah, cause that's an easy thing to do) and sell more of my jewelry. I LOVE both of those options and would LOVE to be doing that regardless of whether I needed to make payments. But if any of you are artists you know it's not like you can wiggle your nose and everything falls into place. If only....



Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade
FiddleLee.etsy.com

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Knit 'n' Stuff

KNITTING
The knitting tattoo is healing well! I figured I'd post an updated pic so the color and lines could be seen more clearly. It's really an awesome design. :) Thank you to DomiKNITrix for the comment, and for liking the tat when she could have been upset with me using her logo. Awesome awesome awesome! (I'm happy, can ya tell? lol)

My needles have been clicking away furiously recently. I'm working on two projects from Knitty. One is the Monkey sock pattern by Cookie A, which I'm doing in Schaefer Anne Raspberry Mocha colorway. The colors are absolutely gorgeous, but I'm not used to working with dpns and it's killing me! Well, almost. I sit down and do large chunks of the pattern at a time, but I am coming to terms with the fact that I'm not really a sock knitter. I know there are lots of people that love socks and are completely and totally obsessed with knitting them, and this isn't at all a bad thing. However, I'm not one of them. I'm thinking that every once in a while I'll drag out the tiny dpns and make the rounds, but otherwise I'm sticking to projects on straight needles.

The other pattern I'm doing from Knitty is the Bloom shawl by Trish Bloom. It works up wonderfully fast and looks great so far. I'm about halfway through the knitting. Pretty much instant gratification. I chose a bulky wool/acrylic blend that progresses through shades of blackberry purples and rose.


BOOKS
Two new books on the shelf: One Skein by Leigh Radford, and Knitting Lingerie Style by Joan McGowan-Michael. Just got both today, but so far I'm loving the designs. I like the idea of using a single skein for a project as presented in One Skein. I'm hoping that I can use some of my stash to work a few of the designs. Of course, what I'll probably end up doing is buying new yarn. I mean come on, the projects only take on skein, so that's barely a purchase, right? lol Knitting Lingerie Style has a number of patterns I'm itching to try out. Subtly (or not so subtly) sexy knits rock!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Birthday!

• YARN •
So..... as of yesterday I'm another year older. Yay! lol. No really, at 23 I don't particularly have an opinion either for or against birthdays. It's a day that inevitably pops up once a year and people send wishes and ask silly questions like "do you feel any different?" From what I can tell, judging by the majority of people, my neither here nor there attitude toward birthdays will most likely change one day in the future.

I really made out like a bandit this year with gifts. Everyone got me stuff I like! How awesome is that?! My parents even took the yarn hints and got me a skein of hand-dyed lace yarn (Angel Face, 100% alpaca) from Briar Rose Fibers. It's gorgeous stuff! Really. I haven't yet knit with any Briar Rose yarns, but it looks positively scrumptious. I got turned on to the site (and then not-so-subtly passed it on to my mom) after hearing Brenda Dayne of Cast On fame rave about Chris's (of Briar Rose) ability with color and yarn. The color my parents chose for me is a variegated blue colorway. It ranges from a medium blue to a darker navy. There is no name for the Briar Rose colorways, they go by numbers instead.


The Angel Face came in a 2500 yard skein that I am afraid to wind into a ball. Seriously! Mostly I work with sport to worsted weight yarns that have much less yardage per skein. For these I employ the around-the-knees technique of ball winding. This can be quite a pain, but I've gotten used to it and 220 yards of worsted goes by quick enough. the 460 yards or so of sock yarn that I just wound in this method was a little more trying on my patience and arms. Obviously I won't attempt to use my knees as a swift for the lace yarn. So, before I can do much with it I must invest in a swift. Preferably one that won't break the bank. (I mean really, I need some money left to buy more yarn!)

Looking around for a swift gives me some time to find a pattern. Since this is going to be my first attempt at a lace pattern with laceweight I figure I need something that's not horribly complicated. Yet at the same time I do want to have a challenge. I'm one of those people that can enjoy mindless stockinette, but I prefer something with more of a stitch pattern. In my mind it seems to make the knitting go faster. When I do stockinette I tend to let my mind wander and subsequently knit at a slower and slower pace.

• MUSIC •
It was nice to be home... while it lasted. My family, a.k.a The Homegrown String Band, spent 12 days touring through Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, and Maryland playing at various venues. The first 6 days we were on the road we played 6 gigs with at least a 3 hour drive before and after each one. On the 6th evening we finally made it to Poolesville, MD where we were staying for the next week with family (I mentioned some of this stay in the last blog, Knitting Tattoo.)

Anyway, the trip was fun. In the end it seemed to go extraordinarily fast. I talked my family into making a day trip to a yarn shop during one of our few days off in Maryland. We were going to be on the road for several more days and I had finished my project. Oh no! So I picked up some Schaefer Anne in Raspberry Mocha. Yum!

Tonight we head back out on the road for 4 days. Our destination this time is the AFBA Bluegrass festival in Wind Gap, PA. We've played at this festival twice before and it's always a good time. This year we're bringing the boyfriend, Brandon. He's so cute. He grew up in a very different atmosphere than me and has never been to a bluegrass festival before. He has very little idea of what to expect from this whole thing. I'm pretty certain that he'll enjoy it. Can't wait to see how he handles everything.