The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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2013

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Have a Sale if I Want To!

Today I am 30 years old! Holy moly right?!

To celebrate I’m putting everything on sale for 30% off! (On my 100th birthday you guys are going to be STOKED!)

My Ravelry Store!

My Ravelry Store!

Use coupon code Happy30th to get 30% off everything in my Ravelry Store.

My Etsy Shop!

My Etsy Shop!

Or use coupon code HAPPY30TH to get 30th off everything in my Etsy shop.

Those coupon codes expire January 1st at midnight, so get on it! And thanks so much for helping celebrate my birthday!

The Sweatshop of Love on Kollabora

Kollabora

Kollabora

If you aren’t familiar with Kollabora yet, get over there! They are doing a ton of amazing, super fun things as a crafty site for today’s crafty lady. You can set up a profile, find and share your favorite crafts – everything from knitting and sewing to embroidery and general crafty stuff – and follow makers from all over the world.

The Sweatshop of Love on Kollabora

The Sweatshop of Love on Kollabora

I haven’t had a chance to play around with my profile yet, but I’ve got The Sweatshop of Love set up as a brand, so you can follow me there, purchase my patterns, and share your WIPs and FOs.

My favorite thing to do on Kollabora is gaze at all of their user’s projects. It’s better than pinterest! Check it out.

Nora Meets the Maker: Me!

Nora Meets the Maker: Me!

And this week I’m their Meet the Maker feature! I had a ton of fun being interviewed for this feature, so check it out!

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FO: Men’s Convertible Gloves and Thumbs

The new boyfriend hasn’t had a lot of exposure to knitting or crafts before. Or really anything you can MAKE. He’s got a Northface fleece hat for goodness sake.

But he’s been super curious about and receptive to this new world I’m bringing into our home. Our tiny knit sweater Christmas tree he’s super into! And he rarely complains that all I do is knit while we are together. Win!

The other day he very shyly brought up how cool convertible mittens are, and how he would really like a pair of them. I ran to the Ravelry and found this Men’s Convertible Gloves and Thumbs pattern by Steph Thompson. I dug out some leftover Dirty Water Dyeworks Clara in Earl Grey and got to work.

Two at Once!

Two at Once!

What’s cool about this pattern is that it’s written so you knit the body of the mittens two at once, something I’ve never done but have always wanted to try! I did a little youtube-ing and found this video was most helpful. I cast on and was knitting two at a time like crazy!

Mitten tops stay open well!

Mitten tops stay open well!

Nice Ribbing to keep the mitten tops closed.

Nice Ribbing to keep the mitten tops closed.

Mitten Cops and Thumbs Open!

Mitten Cops and Thumbs Open!

Mitten Tops Closed.

Mitten Tops Closed.

The rest of it was easy peasy. I sized everything down, leaving a few rows out for each finger and the mitten cap. Shane was always sitting right next to me, so I kept making him try them on, and everything as written was a little big, even with the smaller yarn and needles. But I finished these over the Thanksgiving holiday. Since I went down to worsted weight yarn I used size 6 needles and the size as perfect, as you can tell in the pictures being modeled by my very reluctant model.

Shane loves them! He isn’t sold on the thumb flip. He says they are always open a little bit, so his thumbs are always cold. It might not be worth being able to flip them open to deal with them just being a little open all the time, but he is still on the fence about it. If he decides he doesn’t like them I’ll just seam them up.

But overall they are a total win! I think I’ll make a knitting enthusiast out of this man soon enough!

Pattern: Men’s Convertible Gloves and Thumbs by Stef Thompson

Yarn: Dirty Water DyeWorks Clara in Earl Grey

Needles: Size 6 45″ circulars and DPNs for fingers

Ravelry Project Page

Holiday Gift Guide: Plan B

A month ago I published a Holiday Gift Knitting Guide. That guide was published a very healthy 6 1/2 weeks before Christmas. Plenty of time to knit up lots of gifts for your loved ones.

Today is December 9th. A very scant 16 days until Christmas. If you haven’t been as vigorous with your Christmas knitting as you would like, it’s time to revisit that gift giving list and swap some of those hand warmers and socks for quicker to complete creations.

It’s Plan B time! Break out the sewing machine, find your closest thrift store, and get ready to dig for shit you’ve got laying around your house, because it’s time to seriously knock out some Christmas presents!

1. Straight Stitch Society

Straight Stitch Society Patterns

Straight Stitch Society Patterns

These insanely well written patterns are easy, clear, and perfect for every sewing skill level. And how cute are these projects?

2. Reverse Applique Place Mats

Brett Bara's Reverse Applique Place Mats

Brett Bara’s Reverse Applique Place Mats

Brett Bara has a ton of super clear tutorials over on Design*Sponge Sewing 101, but I’m really into these Reverse Applique Place Mats. A set of these would make me insanely happy!

3. Recycled Mooshy Bunny Belly 

Recycled Mooshy Belly Bunny

Recycled Mooshy Belly Bunny

And for all the babies on your list: run up to the thrift store to buy a couple jersey knit tops and follow Chez Beeper Bebe super simple tutorial for these cute stuffed bunnies. Set up an assembly line and you could pump these out quick!

4. Tea Tin

Super Simple Tutorial

Super Simple Tutorial

Tea Tin!

Tea Tin!

This is another great thrift store idea! Clear them out of all of their cookie tins. Dig out some paint and follow Home DIY Idea Blog’s Beautiful Tea Tin tutorial to create these fun tea tins. Fill with tea and maybe even some homemade treats and you’re good to go!

5. Awesome Book Ends

Doggie Book Ends

Doggie Book Ends

Dig around the thrift store toy bin for some silly plastic toys – they wouldn’t even have to match! How fun would they be if they were just two different dinosaurs, or two cats. Get some wood blocks cut at the hardware store, glue them together then go crazy with some brightly colored spray paint and you’ve got these fantastic book ends! This image I snagged off pinterest without a link to the original source, sadly, but these were just too good not to share.

So there you have it! A couple good Plan B ideas for crafters running out of precious knitting time. Let me know if you end up making any of these!

Basketweave Tapestry Needlepoint Kit from The BagSmith

Basketweave Tapestry Needlework Kit from Sanjou and The BagSmith

Basketweave Tapestry Needlework Kit from Sanjou and The BagSmith

The goodies have continued to roll in from my new friends at The BagSmith! A couple weeks ago a took a look at the beautiful Sajou handmade scissors that made me one of the happiest girls in the world, and today I get to take a look at another Sajou product – a Basketweave Tapestry Needlepoint Kit.

Everything is better covered in French, right?

Everything is better covered in French, right?

In case you missed my scissors review, The BagSmith is the only American distributor for the French company Sajou, who specializes in quality needlepoint and sewing supplies. Take a look at all of the beautiful Sajou products The BagSmith carries here.

Clear, beautiful, easy to read charts

Clear, beautiful, easy to read charts

There are 4 Sajou Basketweave Tapestry kits on The BagSmith site, and I got sent The Vivers Model, which is awesome because I’m such a sucker for coral and light blue!

From The BagSmith: With this complete tapestry kit from Sajou you will be able to needlepoint an 8″ x 8″ (20cm) square pillow.  The pattern was inspired by the cement tiles which were very fashionable in France in the middle of the 19th century.  Production of these tiles first developed in the Ardeche region.  The kit contains a 25 cm square piece of 5.2 mono canvas, the necessary Laine St. Pierre cards of yarn, a full-color pattern chart and an explanation of the basket weave stitch.  Backing fabric and stuffing are not included.

Great Laine St. Pierre yarn for stitching!

Great Laine St. Pierre yarn for stitching!

Since I’m a knitter I was immediately drawn to the piles of Laine St Pierre floss included in the kit! Piles and piles of it! I say floss because I’m just getting into this embroidery and needlepoint thing, and in the pattern description calls it yarn, but it’s more like super soft and fluffy thread. The colors are very saturated, especially that stunning coral!

Canvas and instruction

Canvas and instruction

I’ve never done basketweave stitch before. And honestly I didn’t even know what it was before I cracked open this kit! But I spent just a few minutes with this chart and the instructions, and it feels similar to cross stitch, so I think I can tackle it! The canvas is like a very stiff cross stitch fabric with larger holes.

I can't wait to get started!

I can’t wait to get started!

I absolutely adore project kits like this. Especially for a craft I’m not super familiar with! But because I’ve got all my materials and instructions together in this kit, I’m excited and confident to jump into this project! Once finished, it will easily be the fanciest pillow in my house and no one will ever be able to use it.

So be sure to head over to The BagSmith and order one of these super fun kits! They’d make anyone happy this holiday season. And if you are over holiday shopping for others I know this would make a fantastic selfish project after the holidays! I’m going to try to resist starting mine until then, but I don’t think I’ll succeed!

Again, a huge thank you to The BagSmith for sending me one of these beautiful kits. Look for work in progress pictures soon!

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