End of Season Sale!

Being the last day of February, I’m starting to prepare for spring and summer items in the shop.  But first I’ve gotta get rid of all this winter stuff!

40% Off - Hand Knit Fingerless Gloves - with or without White Pom Pom

Welcome to the End of Season sale, where all ready-to-ship items are 40% off! (Yes, it’s awesome, I know.) So, if you’ve been admiring anything in the shop, now is the time to pick it up before the sale ends.

40% Off - Chainmaille Earrings - Bronze Mobius Flower

I’ll also be featuring a different item in the sidebar everyday for the sale, so check out the shop to see if anything catches your eye!  Start stocking up on scarves for next year’s holiday gifts or get yourself a cool new pair of earrings just for the heck of it.

Go crazy at LittleNoteCrafts!

40% Off - Long Crochet Fashion Scarf - Open Lace Design in Ocean Blue

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Going Au Naturale…

…with yarn (what did you think I meant?).  I was lucky enough to be gifted some beautiful chocolate brown alpaca yarn recently.   Alpaca yarn is a gorgeous, all natural yarn that I instantly fell in love with.

First, a little bit about alpacas

Alpacas are amazing creatures.  If you have an alpaca farm near you, I suggest visiting just to meet them.
Picture
Alpacas themselves are gentle, docile animals, and they don’t bite or butt, have sharp teeth, horns, hooves, or claws.  They have no offensive odor, generally do not attract flies in the summer (as other livestock does), are resilient to a range of weather climates, and are very intelligent. They are a very earth-friendly livestock as well–they have padded hooves that do not destroy the terrain and prefer only tender grasses for food, which they eat without tearing up the roots.

Indigenous to the South American Andes in Peru, alpacas today are domestically breed as a renewable and sustainable resource for their luxurious fiber.

Now, some info on alpaca yarn

Warm – Alpaca fibers contain microscopic air pockets, providing great insulation and keeping you warm during the winter, up to 5-7 times warmer than wool. These same air pockets allow for outstanding breathability, thus keeping you cool in the summer.

Lightweight – Alpaca fiber is lighter than virtually any other natural fiber, due to those same microscopic air pockets that help to reduce the weight of Alpaca fibers.

Strong – Alpaca wool fibers have great strength and durability. Since these animals needed to survive long, cold Andean winters, their coat is tough and strong. With proper care, items made from alpaca fiber can last longer than any other luxury fiber, including wool, cashmere, and silk.

Super Soft – Alpaca fiber is softer than most other natural fibers, and is often compared to cashmere in texture and feel.  This is partially due to the hollowness of the fiber (all those air pockets mentioned earlier), and due to the alignment of individual fibers in the wool itself.

Variety – Alpacas produce fiber in 22 natural colors – more than any other fiber-bearing animal – so you can have a range of colors without using any dyes or harsh chemicals.

Health and Wellness – Alpaca fiber has an antibacterial property that resists staining and odors, so items made from alpaca do not require as frequent washing as other textiles.  Similar to the live alpaca, the fiber does not attract or hold smells.   Alpaca fibers are naturally water- and fire-resistant, and do not contain lanolin (an oil in sheep’s wool that can cause irritation ) making alpaca fibers hypoallergenic.

Now that you know soooo much about alpacas, here is the yarn I got!

This is called a ‘hank’ of yarn, and must be round into a ball before you can use it.  It’s the first time I’ve ever encountered this, and it is not a very fun process if you aren’t careful.  Knots galore!  But eventually I ended up with a nice soft ball to work with.

Now, I’m thinking this will make a luxuriously soft and warm hat.  I did just get some circular knitting needles, so it’s time to break them in.  Stay tuned for the finished project!

Win a Free Pair of Fingerless Gloves!

Megan over at Megan’s Creative Blog has been awesome enough to feature me this week, and as a thank you I’m offering up a free pair of fingerless gloves to a lucky winner!  Just in time for the colder months too (for those of you who live in the northern climates anyway).

I love fingerless gloves even if just a little chilly out–they let me text, confidently hold my cup of coffee, type at my desk where I always get cold, pick up change at the store, all sorts of stuff!
If you’d like to enter, visit Megan’s Creative Blog to read all the rules and ways to enter (you can get multiple entries for more chances to win too). Good luck!

green fingerless gloves

Win this pair of forest green fingerless gloves!

Self-Taught Knitters Interview

As the December 2nd Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show approaches, read all about the vendors and artists attending to get to know them and their crafts.

Today’s interviews were all about self-taught knitters (me included!).  Learn a little bit more of my story on the Avant-Garde Blog.  Happy Reading!

 

Want to attend the show?  (of course you do!)  Put it on your calendar now and get all your unique handmade holiday gifts!

2012 Summit County Winter Avant-Garde Art & Craft Show
Sunday, December 15, 2012 11:00am-6:00pm
The Tangier
532 West Market St.
Akron, OH 44303
Perfect time to finish your holiday shopping! This large show will feature artists and crafters selling their original handmade items at this beautiful venue! The show will also feature a la carte lunch items from Tangier’s and a full bar! Admission is free to the public. A portion of proceeds will benefit local animal rescue non-profit Jade’s No Kill Rescue for animal rescue.

Not Exactly What I Was Going For (Partial Crafty Fail)

This week I embarked on a new adventure in knitting–making a cozy for my Kindle! I love to take my reading with me, but am always afraid of scuffing up my Kindle by sticking it in my purse or bag.  I seriously don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier.  On Friday, I thought my progress was coming along nicely…

 

Really just getting started

 

Well, since I wasn’t really following a pattern (how hard could it be to knit a rectangle that closes at the top?), it did not turn out quite like I had hoped.  FAR too big for a Kindle, one of my stripes only matched up on one side, and the top….one side was taller than the other!  At first I thought, total crafty fail!

 

Aw, sad

Ok, so here’s a better, less dramatic shot. Notice the small stripe doesn’t match up on the side.

 

But I was pretty determined not to let my hard work go to waste, I did spend two days on this thing after all.  New plan–use it for real books instead!  When I’m not using my Kindle I do still love to pick up a real book, but I hate when my edges get bent and worn, especially with paperback books.  This little number fits the pretty thick book I’m just starting called A Clash of Kings, the second book in The Game of Thrones series.  (Side note, if you haven’t started reading these, you are really missing out.)

 

Nice and cozy

 

So, I’m calling this only a partial crafty fail.  It may not have turned out to be what I originally intended, but experimenting and mistakes are all part of the creative process.  I did like how the stripe pattern turned out, and am incorporating it in a dog coat I’m currently working on.  I also gained a great book cover that will fit even my fattest books and stretches to cover taller ones too.    For now, I’m off to find new inspiration and a new pattern for the elusive Kindle cozy I’m searching for.

 

Just the right size!

What about you?  What crafty failures have you used for inspiration?  Or had to re-purpose for something else?  Let me know, I’m interested to hear!

 

A Work In Progress

The new project:

I decided I want to learn to make more hat designs, so I searched the internet and found this beautiful false cable pattern for a hat. Unfortunately I don’t have circular needles, so I’m improvising.  I also ran across various patterns for drawstring hats that can double as neck warmers.  Ingenious idea! I loved the look so I’m taking an adventure in creating my own drawstring hat in this pattern without circular needles.  So far it’s slow, but I think if I focus it’ll turn out beautifully–and be the first project I didn’t follow a specific pattern for the whole item!

 
Eventually I’ll work my way up to real cables, and maybe even invest in more needles, but for now I’m being creative and making do, and I don’t mind that at all.

Start of a New Chapter

This is my first blog post ever–EVER.  I never thought I’d be starting a blog actually, but yesterday was my last day of work at my full-time job and we just moved to our new apartment about 2 weeks ago, so with this new chapter of my life beginning I wanted a way to connect to other people.

I’m working extremely hard to get my crafting business going, and enjoying some new found perspective on what’s important in life.  Like being home more to spend time with and take care of the relationships that matter most, and making time to enjoy the small things in life.  Really that’s the underlying theme for this whole blog, to find joy in the small things and share them with the world.  Like this perfectly purple fringed scarf I made today.  The color is so rich and elegant, it makes me smile to wear it!

Newest addition to my shop LittleNoteCrafts

As for leaving work, it’s a strange feeling, to not have to go back to the same office I’ve been driving to for over 2 years.  In those 2+ years I sat in the exact same desk at work, but moved 4 times in that same period.  I’m hoping we’ll be in this new place longer than a year.  It’s small but cozy, and fits us well with just me, my boyfriend (Nate) and our dog (Lola).  The plus side is cleaning the entire place takes only about hour (meaning more time to craft, or walk the dog, or generally enjoy my Saturday doing something that isn’t chores).

It’s late so I’ll keep this one short, but I have super awesome plans for this blog so spread the word and come back often!  I hope it becomes everything I dream it can be and more.