Mermaids and Mystical Creatures

I’ve been filming the opening of my spinning box from spinningbox.com for a while now and I’ve had multiple challenges over the years. First one was what do you use? Tried my computer and my camera…..okay results. Then bought a nice little video recorder and that created a very nice video but the lighting was off…..so I tried various ways to create adequate lighting….and final decided that outside in natural light was the best. That decision led to another problem!

I live next to a trucking company and on a busy highway. On to sound. I tried two different microphones but they only intermittently worked and as anyone who has seen any of the latest videos knows…..I’ve not had sound. Since you can only have ONE box opening there has been no going back for a redo so I kept on looking for a solution. This video I used an “interview” microphone. I have it hung in front of me (hoping to drown out the lawnmowers that seem to be out whenever I want to film).

Let me know how it sound!

 

What I’ve learned from knitting socks….

I’ve been reading a lot of posts and seeing a lot of pictures of people who knit socks. Their socks are beautiful! How hard can it be? They knit on a plane, they knit in a car, they knit standing in line at the grocery store, they knit two at a time, they knit from the top down and from the toe up, they knit solids, stripes and colorwork. Starting to feel like the start of a Dr. Seuss book!

So I dipped my toe in the sock water. I started just before Christmas and I can say I have knit just over 8 pairs (I can say just over because some of my socks don’t have a mate). I’ve knit different techniques, learned new stitches, tried out new yarns….

So what have I learned?

I do like to knit socks! My granddaughter Kaylee does not like hand-knit socks however I don’t think she likes socks of any kind. I’ve learned that I need to learn how to knit a gauge first as so far NONE of my socks are very wearable. They are pretty to look at! If you are going to knit multiple colors you should probably switch the colors more randomly than I did…..I have a line where you can see all the color changes! Alpaca fiber gets bigger and bigger as it stretches. I have socks the Jolly Green Giant can wear! Needle size really does matter!!! Socks are not as complicated as they seem. A lace pattern in the sock is beautiful but very time consuming and one stitch off changes the whole pattern.

Well back to socks…..practice makes perfect. I’m going to wear my misshapen, slightly too big at the top and too small at the bottom socks and be proud to say that no one else has a pair like these!

Fiber from my Spinning Boxes from spinningbox.com

I’ve been getting Monthly Spinning Boxes from spinningbox.com since it began almost 3 years ago! I love the fiber submissions from all the fiber artists. Occasionally I spin the entire box into one skein and at other times I put the like colors together to make a more cohesive colored yarn. Lately I’ve been saving up the fibers from various artists and spinning all of their fibers together. This has been quite an experience. I get similar fibers but lots of color in the yarn. I recently documented one spin in photos:

 

I spun up over 5 ounces of fiber from several different spinning boxes. I looked for fibers that would coordinate with each other. 20170604_104334

I spun up two bobbins and plied them together:

 

After that I knitted up two shawl/scarves:

The Day MK Unique Designs Closed…..(for the day)

Little black and white, furry, low to the ground, stinky balls of “your not going to work today” blocked the entrance to the wood shop! Where is that written in any “Start Your Business” books?

It’s hard to open a business. There are a lot of things to work out. What products? How to make the products? Where to market the products? Etsy? Ebay? Amazon? Brick and Mortar? Internet? Web page? and once you figure all that out….branding? themes? concepts? packaging? space? buildings? Then production. We are well on our way in those departments. My wood shop puts in about 8-10 hours a day building and creating unique one of a kind bowls, vases, boxes, hunting calls and many other wood items and the wool shop averages 3-4 hours a day.

In a new business even a small break affects the amount of goods being produced so we take very little time off right now. In the heat of the day we work on the computer in doors since neither shop is very cool during the day. We have a goal to have enough products by next fall to start going to craft shows to try to get some local business coming our way also.

As we pour every spare second into the business and we jump hurdle after hurdle. Read books and articles and realize what we could be doing better or different and then go back and change, update and rearrange. Frustration builds. We keep finding things we didn’t know or didn’t think about that cause us to slow to a crawl. Well this week we hit a full on STOP! In all our careful planning and preparation no book or article or wise words of wisdom prepared us for what was coming!

SKUNK INVASION!

Little black and white, furry, low to the ground, stinky balls of “your not going to work today” blocked the entrance to the wood shop! Where is that written in any “Start Your Business” books? We had been smelling skunks in the neighborhood and one was in the yard one morning when I was leaving to go to work. Not so unusual. Then one in the driveway. Also not that unusual.¬†The wood shop started to smell of skunk…..okay still not worrisome until…………..a ¬†little skunk poked its tiny head out from under the ramp up to the shop. FULL STOP! ENGINES IN REVERSE! RUN!

Time to regroup and rethink this business plan……

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For all the animal lovers in my life the skunks were humanely trapped and relocated to a place where they will be able to run free.