Saturday, December 21, 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas! It's sad that the busy Etsy Christmas time is over, but I'm looking forward to doing some other projects in the new year. Meanwhile I've been knitting a few more stockings for next year while staying with my parents for the holidays. The background is great, I wish I had nice outside background in Dublin. There's no snow, but the frosty ground and the wind still air are also great for the photos:

Snowflake knitted stocking

Dog knitted stocking

Snowmen knitted stocking
 Next will be a cat stocking and I'll probably be out of turquoise. But 4 is a good number. 

Then I had some time and made a video of me knitting:

The stockings will be for sale in my Etsy shop next year: Gigi82Knits

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Angel Stocking

I finished these stockings recently:

The angel motif is new, it's quite big, but I like it. I'm going to knit it on a 2 colour stocking soon, red or blue with white. 

I'm going to publish my pattern soon, it's my plan for the next few weeks. It's  a lot of work, though. Lots of writing and re-writing and photographing and oh no, forgot a needle, have to photograph again... 

There will be just 2 more stockings shipped this year and that's it then. 

I might do a best-of 2013 stockings post or video, I think that would be fun. There were lots of stockings this year. I actually know exactly how many, I keep a spreadsheet ;) 

Happy Holidays

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Pure wool Christmas stockings set of 3

I have knitted a set of 3 stockings in pure wool (Donegal Tweed), so pretty!

Pure Wool Stockings

I'm very happy with how they turned out. They're huge, about 9" wide. They have to be that wide to accommodate the names, so this will probably be something I'll do more of next year. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Lots of stockings knitted

I've been very busy in the last few weeks, lots of stockings to knit. Next year I need more ready to ship ones. But here are a few that were finished this month:

I had to try out the cat pattern on another stocking, together with grey and turquoise, looks very modern. Black cats are the best!

The only difference was supposed to be the contrast colour, so I added more of the contrast colour, that turned out nicely.

I might make heels always in contrast colours now, I like it.

Now taking orders for 2014: Gigi82knits on Etsy

Monday, November 4, 2013

Christmas stockings just finished

A few more stockings were finished recently:

For this pair I used the contrast colour more so that the two would be more different. This was a very nice project, also introduced the contrast colour heel. 

This one is very wide, "Clementine" is a long name, so I made it a little shorter. 

I'm flattered so many people wanted the brown-red design, it was invented thanks to my mother (I would have gone for blue instead of red). 

For this one I knitted two rows of animals "walking", I usually don't do this, but the bears are small and it worked with the stitches available until I had to start the heel. 

Another grey one, next year I will focus on the grey ones a bit more, they're so elegant and the colour combination possibilities are endless...


Friday, October 18, 2013

Grey penguin stocking

I finished another stocking, this one is for a new baby and will match 3 others I knitted two years ago. In my more recent stockings I'm doing the cast on differently, the heel is smaller and the stockings are a little longer. I improvised a little, I know my knitting got tighter since I started knitting stockings, so I added a few more stitches to this stocking, to match the earlier, bigger ones.

These colours are gorgeous! I can't wait to knit a stocking like this again, if I don't get any orders I shall knit one with "Merry Xmas" on it. 

Etsy shop

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Cat Christmas stockings knitted!

Happy Times! Finally, after 2.5 years of knitting stockings I got a custom order request for a cat stocking. Who loves cats? I do! So I wanted it to be really really good. 

First I came up with three possible cats for the stockings: 

Customer chose sitting up cat, so I went from there:

First one was too big:

Then I turned it facing the other way and made it smaller while trying to keep the cat's perky position of elegant cuteness:

And success! The cat turned out lovely and I hope I'll get lots more orders so I can knit more:

 Here's my mother's cat, unfortunately no longer with us:

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wool Christmas stockings knitted

Here's my latest stocking. This time it's pure wool, a brand called Donegal Tweed, I love the speckled look of it:

 I hope to be able to offer the choice of pure wool stockings soon, haven't quite figured out the size of them. 

I think I'll have to go bigger, so the names will fit. 

Of course, that will mean it takes longer to knit them. 

Detailed view:

All three together:
For sale in my Etsy shop. All three are one of a kind and if I sell them and decide to knit more, they will be similar, but not the same. 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Merry Xmas Stocking

Last year I made a red and white Christmas stockings with "Merry Xmas" knitted on it. It sold pretty quickly in my Etsy shop, the only "Merry Xmas" stocking I sold, I think. I've been making a few more, they're nice for trying out colors, and I've been listing them as I made them. But strangely, the most views are still coming to the old one that was sold, from Pinterest! So I decided to re-knit the red one, of course, it's not exactly the same because that would be boring...

So the 2012-version:

And the 2013-version:

Merry Xmas knitted Christmas stocking with reindeer

For sale now in my Etsy shop, only one available. If I make it again next year, it will again be different! 

Which one do you prefer? 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Friday, September 20, 2013

Red Christmas stockings finished

I have knitted another set of Christmas stockings, all in the same design: 

Here are some more in these colours:

These also look nice with green accents instead of blue:

Happy Knitting!

Etsy shop

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

My new hat for the winter

I have a new hat, finished it just in time for the colder weather. I wore it today for the first time this season, there's a cold wind. 

I like how it turned out, the different shades of red will go great with my black winter jacket. It's very thick, I used 8mm needles, the yarn is a mix of wool and acrylic, the pompom at the top is a bit thin, but I was running out of yarn. 

Here is me knitting again: 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

How I learned sock knitting

I was 12 years old, it was winter, around Christmas time. That makes the year 1994.

A few weeks earlier, my mother picked up knitting again, trying to teach herself sock knitting with a magazine article. She almost had it figured out, just the tricky part of turning the heel didn't quite make sense to her. So she asked my grandmother, her mother, for advice and sure enough, her way of turning the heel worked very well.
So as it happens during the holidays, there's lots of downtime (at least if you're a kid) and I decided or maybe someone suggested to me, that I try a pair of socks. A little bit earlier I had learned how to knit in the round (which is how socks are knitted, around and around, no turning, no seams, just knit stitches). In school we knitted a decorative parrot, which taught me the in-the-round-technique.
My first attempt at sock knitting wasn't too bad, I think I managed the cast on, then knitted the leg part, then my mother had to do the heel part for me, then I knitted the foot part, then my mother got the toe part. The first pair was either grey or blue, a boring color compared to today's choice of self-patterning yarn. And it was huge! I used to knit very loosely, I must have been so relaxed back then.
My mother showed me how to decrease and finish the socks, that was really easy. After a while she got fed up turning the heel for me, showed me how to do that too and I was able to do it all by myself!
For whatever reason I decided to rip back the first pair of socks, I probably wanted to re-use the yarn, but it didn't work out (they were washed lots of times) and I ended up binning them. But I do have a few pairs of socks from that time. They still fit and look good.
I knitted lots of socks as a young girl, in the winters, and only for myself. Sometimes I went years without knitting anything, but if I needed something to do to relax, I always went back to knitting. Sock knitting is very versatile, there are so many patterns for socks, lace socks, fair isle socks, cable knit socks etc. The basic sock pattern is very easy, I never had it written down.
When I moved away from home, I stopped knitting for a few years, I only got back into it in 2009 or so, after briefly trying my hand at sewing and patchwork. But the sewing machine is just too cumbersome, there isn't space for it in my apartment and you can't watch tv while you're doing it. So I went back to knitting, always knitting, must knit now! 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Knit and crochet spots and stripes blanket

I finished a new blanket, I'm pretty happy with it:

Knit and crochet blanket with spots and stripes

I love the look of it! Originally I wanted to do different size spots in 3 colours, but I didn't find three matching colours that I liked, and I really wanted to start the project. Both the crochet and the knit squares were easy to make and different from each other, so I didn't get bored with this project.

What I don't like about this is the size: it's not very big, some of the squares are attached a bit crooked to each other, because of the different lengths, but I'm hoping it will be less noticeable over time. I wish it was black and white, that would be so stylish! 

Well, I'll have to make another one some day. First though, I want to make one with different sized and coloured spots. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christmas stockings

4 more Christmas stockings were finished today:

I really appreciate these early shoppers!

Etsy shop

Monday, July 29, 2013

Recycled Tshirts into a Rag Rug

Did I have fun last weekend looking for, cutting up and knitting together a bunch of old t-shirts:

 It's just gardener stitch, all knit, and a row basically equals a tshirt. 

I used 15mm needles, knitting with them is quite heavy on the arms as well as on the fingers. One or two stripes are all I manage at a time. 

Still the project grows quickly and it's lots of fun. I can't wait to show the ladies in the library on Wednesday ;) 

The rug feels very soft and it's very thick. I'm looking forward to using it. Hopefully I have enough old tshirts.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

My top 10 favourite authors

In summer I read a lot, and it's definitely summer at the moment in Ireland! These are my top 10 favourite authors of all time:

1. Kate Morton: I recently read "the secret keeper" which is I think the 4th book I read of her, I love them all.

2. Jeffrey Archer: I picked up the first book I read of him (the prisoner of birth) when I was waiting 6 hours for a flight (the plane was unavailable). 

3. Nicci French: I liked the first book I read the most ("beneath the skin"), it was so good I'm buying every book published by Nicci French.

4. Tana French: Gets extra points for location (Ireland, mostly Dublin)

5. Stieg Larsson: Pretty intense reading days when I read the series.  

6. Khaled Hosseini: Doesn't have many books published, but quality ones. Can't wait to read the newest one. 

7. Harlan Coben: Always a solid thriller.

8. Sebastian Fitzek: A German author, one wonders how he possibly concludes the books in any logical way, but mostly satisfying reads.

9. Frank Schaetzing: I didn't read the weird ones, but "the swarm" was really good and I also enjoyed most of the older books.

10. Nora Roberts: I haven't actually read a book by her in ages (because the last few I read were disappointing), but the first English book I ever read was by her ("River's End") and I like the stand-alone ones, not the trilogies that go on and on and on... My recommendations would be: Honest Illusions, Public Secrets, Sanctuary, Montana Sky


Tuesday, July 9, 2013

My sock drawer (in Dublin)

It's weird and wonderful, and who would believe it?! Summer is making a guest appearance in Ireland. This evening and last evening, first time in a long time, I didn't feel like knitting. So I sorted my paperwork yesterday and today I sorted my sock drawer. 

The socks are in the third drawer. 

I have more pairs of socks, some are in the to-be-washed pile. 

Check out my sock drawer in Germany: link

Monday, July 8, 2013

Christmas in July CIJ - Etsy

Christmas in July is taking place at the moment on Etsy. Individual shops are putting their items on sale, the discounts vary from 10% up to 75%, free shipping, buy one get one free/ half price etc. 

I just made my first purchase today, and thought I'd share some shopping tips. 

1. Use search to search for whatever items you want, add CIJ to the description. I.e. I was looking for chevron bags, so this is my search: link

2. Etsy has a new feature for creating lists, so you can go back and look through the lists you created for i.e. gifts for mom, gifts for myself, Christmas decoration etc. At the moment I'm adding things I like and might want and I can come back later to check if these items might be on sale.

3. The Etsy UK and Ireland team has a discount code for at least 10 % off, search for CIJUK10, like this: link This is especially great if you're in Ireland or the UK because the shipping is lower. 

4. To get inspiration, check out treasuries, search for CIJ, like this: link

Here's a video about the sale: youtube link

In my shop I'm offering a discount of 10% when the coupon code CIJUK10 is used, link

Happy Shopping!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Pure Wool stockings

I've been thinking about it for a long time, and yesterday I finally finished my first stocking out of pure wool. I used Donegal Tweed, maybe the best Irish wool. There are quite a few color choices too, although I miss my deep Christmas green. 

Christmas stocking made out of Donegal Tweed.

Next weekend I'm going to start one in green. I needed 3 balls of Donegal tweed yarn, I used less stitches and got the same width as my other Christmas stockings. So that's good on the one hand, it's quicker, but if I want to add a name to the top it has to be a pretty short name. It's not coming out well on this picture, but the yarn is a little speckled which makes it look interesting.

I will set up a listing in my Etsy shop soon for this. I need to take a close up photo to show off the nice yarn. 

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Set of 4 Christmas stockings all same colors

Another set of stockings is finished, this is the famous design that my mother wanted. I was going to make it blue instead of red. But she preferred red, a warmer color. 

Christmas stockings
 I'm sure they would look nice in blue as well, I have to try it some time! 

My Etsy shop 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mr & Mrs Christmas Stockings

I'm bringing back some small stockings into my Etsy shop. These are ready to ship and cannot be personalized anymore. 

Mr & Mrs Stockings as unique Wedding gifts
 I was inspired to knit these when I was looking for a wedding gift for friends two years ago. I found so many Mr. and Mrs things (I bought luggage tags), and since I was constantly thinking about knitting and my etsy shop, I knitted a few. 

 These are smaller (about 13") than my other stockings (about 22"). As always, they are unique, there will be no two same pairs and if time permits, I love to take custom orders.

Check out more Mr & Mrs stockings in my etsy shop 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Set of 4 stockings finished

I have just finished a set of 4 stockings:

The snowflake design is new:

More stockings here: Etsy shop


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bought a Kindle!

I bought a Kindle e-book reader (Paperweight). I had to have it!

Sometimes I get obsessed with things and have to go out and buy them. These are the reasons why I bought it:

- Ebooks are cheaper than paperpacks! Granted, I haven't been reading as much as before (ever since I got into knitting and selling on Etsy), but I'm dying to read the new Jeffrey Archer chronicles and wanted to order from, and the e-books are so much cheaper! Most kindle books are cheaper than paperbooks now. When I got my sony reader in 2008 or 2009, e-books cost just as much as regular books. 

- I want to be able to read while also knit (simple things), so just knit blindly, look at the screen, pause the knitting while touching the screen for the next page. I'm happy to say this works wonderfully! It's just a bit more exhausting to do both things together, it's more relaxing to do the one or the other. But it's a good alternative to the TV or watching something online. 

- Apparently the new kindles have built-in lights, or adjustable screen brightness, which is so much more convenient than having a clip-on light or no light at all. The clip-on lights cost almost as much as the cheapest kindle. That's a good enough reason for me, my sony reader didn't have a light!

I have already finished my first book on the kindle, a very pleasant experience! What I enjoyed most about reading on the kindle:
- Great for reading lying on your side: It's lightweight and small enough to hold it up for a while
- Love the adjustable screen brightness: low brightness in the dark is good on the eyes. It's such a contrast to my mobile phone, for example: when I check my phone first thing in the morning it's way too bright, hurts my eyes a lot. The kindle's brightness can be adjusted easily within seconds.
- The kindle store is great, lots of book, all sorts of categories, buy with one click. I'm just a bit worried my debit card will charge fees because of the different currency, but the kindle books are still cheaper than regular books.

The book I read was The Magpies by Mark Edwards 
I enjoyed it very much, it was suspenseful throughout, very quick paced, the horror that could happen to anyone. Just a few details didn't make sense to me and were never really explained, like how come everyone has a similar dream? I would give this book 4 stars! 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

High productivity!

Quite a few projects got finished recently:

A Christmas stocking for my friend's new baby.

I knitted these during the first two attempts at time lapse videos.

This is my most popular pair of socks on Etsy

This one will be swapped for something from another Etsy seller

I like this color, and the pattern is very easy, a mistake rip

I'll probably have this in my Etsy shop later in the year.