Saturday, June 20, 2015

Spring acquisitions & beginnings

This spring, my crafting space had two unexpected acquisitions - one old & one new.

Something old

My husband's adorable grandmother is getting married & moving to Florida with her beau!  They are both octogenarians, but that can't stop love!  Since Grandma will be moving quite a distance, and her boyfriend already maintains a household in Florida, they found several things that wouldn't need to move, but find new homes.  We were blessed to inherit one of those items: a cedar chest that had belonged to the hubs' paternal great-grandmother (Grandma's mom).

It's lovely, in wonderful condition, and still smells of cedar, even though it is between 65-115 years old (based on a quick Google search of the G.S. Stewart Furniture company, which is no longer in business).  Another interesting fact - the chest was made in Norwalk, Ohio, a neighboring town to a previous job & home for me. Upon learning it would be coming to live at our house, I rearranged the studio to make room for it.  This ended up being a joy in itself, as we reevaluated the space, moved quite a few things around & I'm happier with the space AND the functionality of it now than I was before!

My sweaters are happily residing in the chest & I'm not (as) worried about little wee beasties devouring them now.  Project Sweater Chest is in full swing! Now if I can just finish more sweater knitting...

Something new

Coincidentally enough, shortly after discovering more space in my studio, I found another item to take it up.  Through some happy circumstances (some deals you can not pass up), I found myself the owner of a new spinning wheel, a Schacht Ladybug that I have named Karen.  While trying to find a name for my new wheel, my husband noted that I already (inadvertently) named one of my wheels after characters from Mean Girls, the 2003 classic from Tina Fey.  So, really, the question wasn't what should I name her - it was 'Is this wheel more of a Karen or a Regina George?'   Definitely Karen.  Ironically, the lady who sold her to me is also Karen.  It was fate.
[Naturally this means I must now get a cherry Matchless and name her Regina George.  Obviously, the Matchless is the queen bee.  It's the only natural progression that can happen here.  Don't worry - there may be a Cady, too... I've got my eye on a miniSpinner in an African hardwood.  It's almost too easy!!]

Karen is adorable and spins very nicely.  Even though we're still getting acquainted with a bump of Polwarth (my new favorite wool), I think we're going to be good friends.  I really love the treadling motion of this wheel.  I completely understand why so many spinners are dedicated fans of Schacht's products.  They are truly a feat of engineering.

I will still keep Gretchen the HoneyBee.  She is a good little wheel, and my first wheel; we've learned a lot together.  Also, I have a Woolee winder for Gretchen and I love that tool!!  Gretchen may likely become my primary plying wheel because of it.  A Woolee winder for Karen isn't an immediate need - changing hooks isn't such a stop-and-go process now that my spinning has gotten finer.

A beginning

After years of nice people telling me I should sell my knitting (which no one would pay a fair price, even if I paid myself minimum wage - and I'm not a slow knitter), my response was that knitting wouldn't ever be profitable as a craft-for-wage hobby, as evidenced by the cottage knitting profession dying out in Europe & Russia.  And when these complimentary people told me I should do something crafty and open an Etsy shop, I had started replying, 'I wouldn't knit for money; sew maybe...'  I realized I hadn't done much sewing in a long time, since I didn't own a machine.  Alas, driving an hour to my mother's sewing machine wasn't very convenient.

I woke up one morning this spring, consumed with the need of a sewing machine.  Within an hour, I had researched, selected & purchased a sewing machine (because I found it on a fantastic sale - Thanks Amazon!!).  On May 7, I opened an Etsy shop.

My Etsy shop features handmade project bags for knitters & other crafters.  Really, they are nice at holding anything; they are sturdy cotton & machine washable.  Put whatever you like in it!
Locally, I am also selling my bags at the 614 knit studio - if you can find one in-stock!  The customers there have been wonderfully supportive!   I am slowly getting my shop onto crafters' radars outside of my area via some of my favorite podcasts, prize giveaways and coupon codes.  Like my shop on Facebook for sneak peaks of upcoming updates & discount offers!

Life is a journey - there are endings & losses, sure.  But there are also beginnings and acquisitions.  Cheers to those!