Saturday, November 6, 2010
I promise, there will be more to come. In fact, I am in the process of finishing up a custom order for my Aunt at the moment. It is turning out quite well and I'll be sharing it with you soon. I also have a new hat pattern to post that I hope will be the apple of your eye or at least something that the apple of your eye might like to wear.
Happy NaNoWriMo to you all!
Thursday, October 28, 2010
|Courtesy of PBS/Jim Henson|
I did make a few minor changes to the free PBS pattern. These are as follows:
2. I put elastic around the ankles of the suit. I knew it was going to be a little big and, with elastic, the pants legs would stay rolled up better if needed. Besides, I like how it looks this way.
3. I did not attached the mittens to the sleeves of the suit. While I like this idea, both my boys hate having the gloves or mittens attached to their clothes; so I kept them separate. Instead, I cut the mittens 1.5 inches longer at the wrist than the the pattern called for and put some 1/4 inch elastic in the wrist edge hem so they would not fall off too easily. I also added a claw to thumb and the finger section of the mittens to simulate the T-Rex claws on each of their two 'fingers'.
5. Since Monkadoodle is going to be wearing this costume to go trick or treating (thus, wearing his tennis shoes), I made the feet into spats rather than slippers by leaving the non-slip suede bottoms off the feet and stitching an elastic loop to the bottom hem. This way he can wear the spats to cover his shoes.
Monday, October 18, 2010
|Picture by Lil Blue Boo Photography|
I will most likely be making several of these in an assortment of measurements over the course of the next few months. While Ashley uses poster board or heavy card stock to make her templates, I plan on making mine from the Dritz Quilting Heavy Duty Template Plastic I just happen to have on hand. It should be quite durable.
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
My sewing room used to be located in a cheerful,sunny bedroom located in the north west corner of the second floor. I had a closet and dresser in which to store my stash and loads of natural light from two almost complete walls of windows. When our second son came along in 2007, it soon became clear to me that sharing a room with his big brother was not going to work out. The baby was such a light sleeper that every sniffle and rustle that came from his older sibling left him awake and angry. Since was I was nursing him, I was the one who got up with the baby. The decision to shift my older son to his own room was born of sleep deprivation. It was the right choice for that moment. Unfortunately, it meant that my sewing and knitting would have to find another home. I carved a out a corner of the 'family room' in our mostly unfinished basement. My stash is stowed away in plastic bins which are shoe-horned under my hubby's camo/winter gear, just behind the love seat, and next to my sewing table. There isn't much in the way of natural light, but Hubby loves well-light spaces and installed additional overhead lighting in the basement when we first moved in. It's working out.
PBS has a free pattern out there. I printed off the 51 pages of pattern last Sunday so I can start putting this thing together. Add to that the Thomas flannel that my little guy latched onto at Hobby Lobby the other day as he begged for new PJ's. He did need new PJ's and the flannel was on sale. So the PJ's are just about finished, the Buddy costume pattern pieces are being assembled, and I am thinking about an adult panda costume this year to use up the black and white faux fur in my stash. Yep, its October. Good thing too. I needed a bit of a break from my knitting needles.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The second to the last pattern in this book is Special Baby Gift Bib (page 116). It is a basic, fast, very easy knit and I love it. It would be a wonderful first pattern for a beginner knitter. Most people would not think to knit a bib for a gift so you know that it will be a unique handmade thing to give. Also, if made with a standard cotton yarn like Sugar'n Cream or Peaches & Creme, this is a nice absorbent dribble catcher that covers most of baby's torso, which is the whole point. Speaking as a mother of two, I can tell you absorbent is nice, especially during the teething phase when my little ones wore their bibs every waking moment.
Me, being me, I did not like the pattern's original hook & loop closure arrangement. This is, strictly, a personal preference. I am tired of having hook & loop items go through the laundry and come out stuck on to sweaters and fleece, regardless of prewash prep. The pattern as it is looks great and the original design would cover baby's shoulders, but I just can't get past the hook & loop. I suppose you could use a button or a snap instead but then you might loose some of the "grow-with-me" potential. A good bib is something baby can use from birth to preschool. So I chose to get rid of the hook & loop by altering the original pattern to include I-cord ties instead. Below are my alterations.
I cannot, nor do I want to, reprint those parts of the pattern that I did not modify. So you have to get your own copy of the original pattern.
Hynek's Handmade Alterations for Claire Montgomerie's Special Baby Gift Bib
Work both sides as follows:
Row 5 - Seed Stitch 4, K7, Seed Stitch 4
Row 6 - Seed Stitch 4, P7, Seed Stitch 4
Row 7 - Seed Stitch 4, Sl-K-psso, K3, K2tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 8 - Seed Stitch 4, P5, Seed Stitch 4
Row 9 - Seed Stitch 4, Sl-K-psso, K1, K2tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 10 - Seed Stitch 4, P3, Seed Stitch 4
Row 11 - Seed Stitch 4, K3tog, Seed Stitch 4
Row 12 - Seed Stitch all
Row 13 - K, P, K2tog, P2tog, K, P, K
Row 14 - Seed Stitch all
Row 15 - K, P, K, P2tog, K2tog
Row 16 - Seed Stitch all
Row 17 - K, P2tog, K2tog
Row 18 - Seed Stitch all
Row 19 - Seed Stitch all
Place one side on a stitch holder. Switch the other side to 2 DPN needles and work a 3 stitch I-cord until it is 15 inches long and bind off. Then work the other side in a 3-stitch I-cord for 15 inches and bind off. Weave all ends.
I need to test knit it one more time to be certain of the stitch counts. However, I think you'll get the general idea once you get it on the needles. I tried to maintain the integrity of the seed stitch pattern border. It turned out pretty well I think.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
|Original pattern had velcro closure|
Now I am beginning to branch out from using other people's patterns to making my own. I started by tinkering with existing patterns to modify them to my style and preference. Now I am starting to simply make a sketch and then pull out my calculator to figure out the number of stitches I need to cast on my needles or the yardage of material I'll need. The first few times I did this I was a little nervous about wasting my time and materials budget on something that might not work out. So I started out on things that were for use in our home: curtains for my sons' rooms, EVE pillows for Christmas, and a new sweater for an old Pooh are good examples. Every time I look at these things I see what I would change or do differently the second time around - but that is just my design process.
|A new sweater for an old Pooh|
There is something incredibly liberating about crafting 'without a net' and on the fly. So what if I screw up, I'll just take it apart and start over. So what if some material gets mucked up, I just add it to the scrap bag and it will get used by another project. The hard part now is to remember to journal what I do so I can write down the pattern and instructions to improve or reproduce the product. Some of these on-the-fly patterns are very spur of the moment, like my Bottle Cozy pattern, or simple experiments in texture and materials like The Ashton Hat or Lorica's Toque. However, judging from the number of hits that those particular blog pages get and the fact that some other pattern sites are beginning to link to my blog, I think I am having some small successes.
|EEEVAH! for Xmas|
Product testing is tough for me when it comes to baby things because I don't have babies any more. I do gift things but I always take any feedback I get about these gifts with a grain of salt because most people are loathe to criticize, in particular, handmade gifts. However, experience as a mom and with knitting in general has given me a good feel for what works versus what doesn't. Still, feedback is nice.
|Cotton-hemp soap sack in beta testing now|
Thursday, September 16, 2010
|Oetzi Iceman's Shoes|
As an environmental engineer, an eco-conscience woman, and a whole and organic foods nut, I am quite interested in natural fibers. This along with my interest in history and my knitting has led me to experiment with different yarns over the last year. My stash is developing into quite an eclectic assortment.
|Red Heart Super Saver - 100% Acrylic|
Nylon is a common addition to yarn. It is strong, durable, and lightweight. It also has a nice stretchy quality. You see it in a lot of sock yarns but it's in other types of yarn as well.
Polyester is a also a common addition to yarn and is easy to care for. The new glamour yarns and fun furs are often polyester or a blend thereof.
|Caron Dazzleaire - 80% Acrylic, 20% Nylon|
|Swish Worsted - 100% Superwash Merino Wool|
Cashmere and mohair come from goats. They have very similar properties to wool but are more luxurious and soft. Definitely a high end yarn. You will see these included in yarn blends as well. Very nice stuff, though unfortunately I don't have any in my stash.
|Tahki Cotton Classic - 100% Cotton|
|The Wool Peddler 100% Hemp Yarn|
I am curious about bamboo. I've been drooling over some bamboo yarn I saw the other day but so far have resisted the urge to add it to my stash. It is lovely, soft, fuzzy stuff just begging to be a baby hat. Bamboo has antibacterial and ultra violet protective properties as well. The down side is that it all seems to be hand wash only and, I've heard, that it can be splitty making it more difficult to knit.
Soy is another new fiber I've read about. I have not had the opportunity to look at or feel yarn made from soy protein but it's an interesting idea and it does come from a renewal resource.
There are a whole host of other fibers available, both man-made and natural. I've even heard of people spinning their own yarn out of cat and dog hair. As my journey in knitting continues, I am certainly looking forward to trying as many different things as I can. Who knows perhaps I'll take up spinning and create my own fiber blends and yarn.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
A large part of my learning curve deals with improving my product photos. Pictures are extremely important when trying to sell something via Internet. Lighting, backgrounds, and angles are everything. I have been experimenting and learning a great deal. You can see, or at least I can see, a marked difference between my early product photos versus those that I take now. I am continually trying to improve.
One key aspect is how the product is modeled. I make a lot of infant's and children's hats for my Etsy shop. They are fast knits and I am trying to build up some inventory before branching out into longer term projects like sweaters and blankets. Right from the start, I have had a dilemma in how to model my knitted hats for photos such that they look nice. A picture of a knit hat laying flat on a table just doesn't quite do it. For the best results, you really need to find a way to pose the hat such that it looks as though it is on a head.
Initially, I approached the problem creatively. I tried using balls of yarn, dolls, teddy bears, glass vases, and anything else I could think of to try to achieve a head-like shape. The vase and the yarn balls worked the best but they were still just off enough that I was unsatisfied with my results. I am able to get my kids to model some of my hats. However, as most parents can attest, it is tough to get preschool age children to stop moving and smile long enough for a good clear picture. Also, this does not solve my dilemma for baby hats and little girl's hats. (I am blessed with little boys.)
|Homemade Head Forms|
|Modeling Child- and Infant-Sized Hats|
At some point a better method for modeling my smaller hats will present itself. Until then, my homemade, muslin covered head forms will do just fine. Now, perhaps if I am a really, really, good girl and pinch my pennies till they scream, Santa will bring me a really nice 35mm digital SLR camera. Well that is not really in the budget for this year, maybe next.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
I used a Peaches & Creme ombre to make these and I just love how the yarn's color pooling worked out into a candy stripe effect. I did one in pink and the other in purple. The girls can, or perhaps my cousin should, decide who gets which color. For those who are interested but don't knit, I will be making more of these for sale in my Etsy shop but I am certainly able to take custom orders for color requests.
Note: I have test knit this pattern 3 times; however, I have not had a second set of eyes or hands review or test knit it yet. So if you find an error or if something is not clear in the instructions, please let me know so that I correct and/or improve the pattern.
Lorica's Spring Toque
You will need:
- 29-in circular needles US #7 (or size to obtain gauge)
- 16-in circular needles US #7 (or size to obtain gauge)
- Set of 4 DPNs US #7 (or size to obtain gauge)
- Yarn needle
- Stitch marker
Yarn: Worsted weight yarn (~150 yards) Samples pictured here were made with Peaches & Creme #183 Lilac Ombre and #144 Strbry Cream by Pisgah Yarn & Dyeing Co., Inc. - 100% cotton)
Gauge: 4 1/2 stitches per inch in stockinette stitch on US#7 needles
Size: 0-6 months (6-12 months, 1-2 years, 2 years+)
Beginning and Ruffled Brim:
- Round 1 - K2tog to the end of the round. 128 (144, 160, 176) stitches remain.
- Round 2 - Switch to 16-inch circular needles. K2tog to the end of the round. 64 (72, 80, 88) stitches remain.
|Close-up of the lace pattern|
Begin decreasing as follows:
- Round 1 - *YO, K2tog, YO, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round. 56 (63, 70, 77) stitches remain.
- Round 2 - *K5, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round. 48 (54, 60, 66) stitches remain.
- Round 3 - *YO, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round.
- Round 4 - Knit all stitches.
- Round 5 - Switch to DPNs. *YO, K2tog, YO, K2tog, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round. 40 (45, 50, 55) stitches remain.
- Round 6 - *K3, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round. 32 (36, 40, 44) stitches remain.
- Round 7 - *YO, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round.
- Round 8 - Knit all stitches.
- Round 9 - *YO, K2tog, K2tog, repeat from * to the end of the round. 24 (27, 30, 33) stitches remain.
|Close-up if finished decrease sequence|
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
I am always trying to think of something unusual to make for baby gifts to friends (and, to be quite frank, something that might sell well from my Etsy shop). While I love baby hats, everyone makes them; the same goes for baby blankets as well. A knitted baby bottle cozy though, now that's much more unique. It's practical too.
Baby bottles can get a little slimy, what with little hands coated in mother's milk/formula, teething drool, and baby urp-up grabbing the bottle to 'help'. This can make that bottle not so easy to hang on to, especially during those 3AM feedings where mommy is half asleep herself. A nice bottle cozy made of worsted cotton yarn absorbs the moist sliminess and adds traction for mommy's hand. It may also help keep that warm bottle warm just a bit longer for those slow eaters and, I think, it looks pretty darn cute.
To be honest, this wasn't my original idea. I saw a crochet version in a book and thought it was a great idea so I sat down and came up with my own knitted design. It's very easy and, this is the part I like, it's very fast. I can whip a couple of these in an evening. This pattern is sized to fit the standard Gerber-style baby bottles, plastic or glass, with a 2-inch diameter (measured at the bottom, since they kind of taper at the top). You can vary the length as noted to fit the 8-ounce bottle or the shorter, 4-ounce bottle.
Baby Bottle Cozy
You Will Need:
- Worsted weight cotton yarn
- 1 set of 4 double pointed needles, size US7
- 1 16" circular needle, size US7
- 1 stitch marker
- Yarn needle
Cast On 224 stitches onto Circular needle. Use stitch marker to mark the end of the round.
Join being careful not to twist the stitches and work in the round as follows:
- Round 1 - K2tog to end (112 stitches)
- Round 2 - K2tog to end (56 stitches)
- Round 3 - Switch to DPNS. K2tog to end (28 stitches)
- Round 4 - Knit
- Round 5 - *YO, K2tog, Repeat from * to end (the eyelet row)
- Round 6 - Knit (28 stitches)
- Round 7 - *K2, P2, repeat from * to end
- Next Round - K2tog to end (14 stitches)
- Next Round - Knit
- Next Round - K2tog to end (7 stitches)
Next make an I-Cord drawstring tie as follows:
- Using two DPNs, cast on 2 stitches.
- Knit the stitches but do NOT turn the work.
- Slide the stitches to the other end of the DPN. The yarn now comes from the last stitch.
- Bring the yarn around the back and and knit the stitches. Once again, do NOT turn the work. Simply repeat the process of sliding the piece to the other end of the DPN. You will be essentially working in small tight round using two DPNs.
- Continue until I-cord is 24-inches long.
- Periodically pull down gently on the cord as it forms to help the stitches fall in place and prevent kinking.
- Bind off then cut the yarn and pull it through the last stitch to secure it.
- Weave the ends by pulling them back up through the middle of the I cord using a yarn needle.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I was in a hurry and trying to stick to my shopping list that day. Thus, I almost said no but he had such a big smile on his face, his eyes were shining, and he had never asked me to knit him anything before. So I said, "OK, buddy. One Monkadoodle hat. Are you sure you want that yarn? You can pick any other yarn here if you want or we can go to the yarn shop and get something really nice."
He stood that for a moment looking at all the different yarns and colors around him in the aisle, walked up and touched different skein, then, shaking his head, turned back to me saying, "No, I want this one."
Out of curiosity I asked, "Why that one?"
He grinned and said, "It's soft and BLUE!"
How could I argue with such an emphatic love of blue. Laughing, I said, "It's good that you know what you like, Monkadoodle. OK, put it in the basket. I'll try making a hat for you with this stuff. I can't promise how it will turn out because I've never knitted with this yarn before but we'll see what I can come up with."
So we got home and I tucked the skein away in my stash and spent the next few months thinking about what kind of hat I could make with Home Spun. I love the color, Montana Sky. It is blue with subtle changes to blue green and it is soft. It's the first #5 bulky yarn I've ever tried. It looks almost like a boucle', except the strand is stronger.
So after looking around online at different projects made with this stuff and scratching my head, I decided that this yarn was not going to give me very good stitch definition so a basic ribbed hat would probably be the best. I also wanted this to be a hat that he could wear for several winters and ribbing makes for a nice stretchy, able-to-grow-with-a-growing-head kind of hat. So this is what I ended up making for him.
This is a very easy, basic hat pattern. There is nothing special about it in any way, shape, or form and there are probably a dozen similar patterns running around out there either free or for purchase. I've made so many basic hats that I don't really look at a pattern anymore and all the patterns I have used are beginning to blur together in my mind anyway. I did not even check gauge on this prior to making it. I just cast on what looked like about the right amount based on other hats I've made and went from there.
MONKADOODLE'S STOCKING HAT
You will need:
- #9 16-inch circular needles
- #9 DPNs
- 1 skein Lion Brand Homespun Yarn (but you can probably use
just about any yarn you want just make sure to adjust needle size and # stitches
cast on so that it will fit the desired head circumference)
- Stitch marker
- Yarn Needle
Gauge: 4 stitches = 1 inch in stock stitch (I did not measure gauge until after I was finished So this is how it worked out.)Pattern:
- Using circular needles, cast on 72 stitches. Put a stitch marker on the right needle to mark the beginning of the round.
- Join, being careful not to twist the stitches and knit every round in 2X2 rib (K2, P2. Repeat to end of round.) for 6 inches from cast on edge.
- Switch to knit stitch. Knit all rounds for next 2 inches (total of 8 inches from cast on edge).
- Next begin the decreasing as follows:
Round 1: K6, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (63 stitches remain)
Round 2: K5, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (54 stitches remain)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Switching to DPNs, K4, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (45 stitches remain)
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: K3, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (36 stitches remain)
Round 7: Knit
Round 8: K2, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (27 stitches remain)
Round 9: Knit
Round 10: K1, K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (18 stitches remain)
Round 11: K2tog. Repeat to end of round. (9 stitches remain)
- Cut yarn leaving 5 inch tail and thread onto yarn needle.
- Pull it through the remaining stitches and cinch it tightly to close the hole.
- Weave in the end on the inside of the heat. Weave the end on the brim of the hat being mindful that the cuff will be turned up on the hat.
This pattern is based on the notes I jotted down as I was making it. I have not tested this pattern yet but plan to in the near future. Thus, it may be subject to a few changes in the future. If anyone out there is interested in becoming a pattern tester for me, please let me know.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Sunday, February 28, 2010
I am a little disappointed that the boucle' yarn does not knit up with the same stretchiness that worsted weight or even baby yarns have so I do have plans to modify the pattern further (and perhaps beyond all recognition) to a use a different knit pattern, such as a 1X1 or perhaps even a 2X2 rib to try and increase the stretchiness. I will update this post later on once Cottontail version 2.0 is complete to let you know how things turned out. In the meantime, this little hat is quite a fun number and my kids (ages 2 and 4) just love it. Since they are the target demographic for this hat, that is all that is important.
Monday, February 8, 2010
I use PayPal so as to entertain credit card purchases. I have used PayPal to make purchases for a couple of years now but this is the first time that the money flow has ever been incoming. I discovered Friday afternoon, after the bank had closed it's books for the week, that you have to be a 'verified' PayPal customer to receive payments. This is a process which requires a test 'handshake' between PayPal and your bank account. Thus, I was not going to be able to claim my payment from my first sale until the handshake posted this morning. Already, I am three days later than I prefer in completing my end of the transaction and shipping the product. Not the most auspicious start; but I figured hey, I am new at this. So I penned a quick thank you note, printed up care instructions, gathered up my packing materials, and staged it all to be ready to go first thing this morning. That's when I discovered that the small flat rate box I was confident that I had was no where to be found. Oops.... Well, at least that is cured with a quick trip to the post office near my house. No great delay.
When I first set up my Etsy shop, I had settled on Priority Mail Flat Rate shipping as my method of choice. My thought was that that most of my products were small enough to fit in the smallest of the flat rate boxes which meant $4.95 to anywhere in the USA, a price that seemed reasonable at the time. However, no matter how I folded my little nautical layette, it would not fit in the small Priority box with out mangling the box, a very unprofessional package to say the least. So I located a box that did fit and, with a quick perusal of the USPS website, found that I could still make that $4.95 shipping payment. However, I also discovered that I can probably figure out a way to ship my products for less with a comparable amount of transit time. Ah, but that is a issue I will have to address another time. I must get my beloved first sale shipped to that wonderful woman in Illinois, who is probably already beginning to wonder where the heck her purchase is and why is this seller being such a slacker. I also have to pick my son up from preschool and get all my errands finished before the forecasted snow storm hits trapping me in my house for the next 24 hours; but these are all trivial details.
I walked in to the post office for the second time today, once more giddy with delight at the thought of completing the process of my first sale. The post mistress was great and a font of good information, I wish I could download her brain into my computer. It turns out that Priority Mail does not include package tracking. This is an extra service which costs additional money, beyond the $4.95 that I allotted for shipping. This is the point where I slap my forehead as though I should have had a V-8 and realize that, as a SAHM, I have been away from the business environment too long. OK, so I have had an inept and naive last few days, but I am going to remedy the situation with the shipping comparison spreadsheet that I am building tonight. I am determined to optimize things a bit and make the chaos of today improbable in the future.
The important thing is that the precious little 'Weigh Anchor' set is now on its way to Elgin, Illinois. I hope it gets there alright. I hope my wonderful first customer likes it. I hope it withstands the drool and spit-up to which it will soon be subjected. I hope I measured it right when I sized it.
Friday, February 5, 2010
I surprised Mom when I expressed an interest and I remember the look on her face when she told me that it was something that she couldn't teach me. As a parent myself, I now understand what that look meant - "I really wish I could help you, darling, but I just can't. I feel helpless on this one." Seeing my disappointment, Mom suggested what my parents have always done when they did not know something, getting a book. She and I made a special trip to the library and we found a how-to-guide to knitting. Then she dug out her mom's (Grandma Emily's) double pointed sock knitting needles and some old rug yarn which had both been living at the bottom of her sewing box for 25 years or more so that I could practice the stitches pictured in the library book.
A couple of weeks later, I was visiting my grandmother in Houston. She saw me sitting quietly with the library book in my lap practicing my knitting and asked me about it. After I explained what I was up to, she observed that I was running out of yarn. She called a good friend of hers, who knitted, and asked where to shop for such things and got the name of a needle arts store not too far away. I remember walking into that store and being amazed at all the different yarns in the bins that lined the walls from floor to ceiling. Then there were the all the different types and sizes of knitting needles and crochet hooks hanging from the floor displays. I was in heaven.
Grandmother explained to the shop keeper what I was doing and I showed the woman my sampler. She made a suggestion for a real first project, a garter stitch afghan in two colors. She wrote down the instructions, set us up with yarn and a pair of knitting needles. I spent my entire two week summer visit with Grandmother working on my afghan. Grandmother was very proud and told all her friends about my project. I still have it to this day tucked away in the bottom of our blanket storage. It is a study in learning to knit. You can see in the stitches where I finally learned the nuances of yarn tension and consistency.
Until I reached my 30's, I had always been shy about my knitting. I made a sweater for Mom, a couple of scarfs for cousins, and a sweater for a college boyfriend (which took a ton of courage). But for the most part, my projects were for personal use and the frequency of my knitting became few and far between. Then our friends started having babies and I picked up my knitting needles again to discover that I liked knitting baby clothes. The projects are small, relatively quick, and satisfying to complete. The compliments on the handmade layettes I have given away have done much to bolster my confidence.
Now I am a stay-at-home-mom seeking a way to feel as though I can provide something to our financial bottom line. After reading some encouraging articles about other women who have made successful businesses with their knitting, I have illusions (or maybe delusions) of grandeur for my own knitting potential, never mind the fact that such businesses have a much lower success rate than even restaurants. But, I have put together a simple business plan, have been chanting the mantra, "Start simple and small and work up", and have picked up my needles again. In the weeks that it has taken me to organize and build a small inventory, I have learned some new techniques/skills and have experimented with different yarn. I have all kinds of product line ideas and I love the creativity that is flowing. So we will see what happens. In the meantime, you can check out my new online store, Hynek's Handmade, on Etsy.