Sunday, October 27, 2013

Favorite New Stretchy Bind-Off

I have been experimenting with various cast-ons and bind-offs since I've been doing so many accessories for my shop. Many of these items (headbands, some of my hats, fingerless mitts) need stretchy cast-ons and/or bind-offs. Since I've gotten the excellent book, Cast On, Bind Off, 54 Step by Step Methods, by Leslie Ann Bestor of WEBS, I've found a treasure trove of methods to try.

The winner today: The Lace Bind Off (aka Russian, Purl Two Together) which I used for my latest headband.


It doesn't leave a gap between the last row of knitting and the bind-off, as some of these methods do. Instead, it leaves a nice, neat, but stretchy finished edge. It's also quick and easy. I'll continue to try and report on other techniques!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Getting Serious

Last weekend was the trunk show at my daughter's sorority. While I only sold a few items in person, I did generate some interest in my Etsy site. I think if I had had more inventory there, I would have done better.

I'm determined to make my shop work! So today I took the plunge and signed up for some Google advertising as well as some promoted advertising on Etsy. We'll see what happens and I'll take it from there. Also posted the newest item that I sold at the trunk show, knit in a few days this week and sent off this morning.


I'm liking the colorful backgrounds. One of the things on my list is a photography class, perhaps this one offered on

I'm looking forward to documenting my journey as an independent crafter here on my blog--come along for the ride (and all suggestions welcome!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Getting Ready for the Trunk Show!

Next weekend I'll be testing the waters for my online business, SchoolSpirit Knits on Etsy, at my daughter's sorority trunk show at the University of Michigan. I worked on photographing some of my new knits today and posted them on a variety of social media. What do you think?





Friday, October 04, 2013

Science Proves What We Know: Knitting and Reading Are Good for Us!

I was thrilled to read the results of a study conducted by researchers at The New School for Social Research and published in the journal Science. As The New York Times reported,
"[the researchers found] that after reading literary fiction, as opposed to popular fiction or serious nonfiction, people performed better on tests measuring empathy, social perception and emotional intelligence — skills that come in especially handy when you are trying to read someone’s body language or gauge what they might be thinking.

The researchers say the reason is that literary fiction often leaves more to the imagination, encouraging readers to make inferences about characters and be sensitive to emotional nuance and complexity."

I love knowing that there is a scientific reason to read wonderful literature.

Similarly, some studies have shown that knitting is an important stress reliever--and are formalizing it through programs such as Project KnitWell, an organization based in Washington, DC hospitals that brings knitting to those in stressful situations.

As knitting and reading are my two greatest passions, I think I can pursue both this weekend without guilt. After all, it's good for me and those around me. I urge you to do the same!

Taking the Plunge

My daughter has asked me to participate in her sorority fundraiser by selling my knitted items in her school colors. I've done this in the past and attempted to turn this into a business--or at least part of a business. This time, I think I'm really going to go for it. I've put some items in my Etsy shop and will take special orders at the event. Being overwhelmed with orders is exactly the problem I want to have.

Take a look at my shop and see what you think. Any feedback, tips, social media strategies, etc. are most welcome!


Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The Seemingly Impossible Can Happen

ImageMy husband's beloved Pittsburgh Pirates made it into the first round of Major League Baseball playoffs in an inspiring one-game playoff game against the Cincinnati Reds tonight. Along with thousands of other Pirates fans, my husband has waited over 20 years for this! I only wish he had been able to be at PNC Park to see the game. I'm so glad we got to go to see the Pirates on a beautiful August Sunday with our whole extended family. Also glad that there will be more baseball games to watch--more knitting time!

As I try to figure out what is to come in the next chapter of my life, I'm going to keep tonight's inspiring win in mind. The Pirates and their fans never lost faith (well, maybe the fans did a few times), and I know that I will find the solution that will represent a win for me. Stay tuned as I work it all out.