Wednesday, August 25, 2010

An Interesting Client Query

This past week has been insanely (but good) busy.  My hands are tired, my head is swimming with projects I need to get done in the next week, and some patterns that I want to put up, and in the midst of all this, one of my clients asked me an interesting question:

"What exactly is Kusala Knitworks out there?  Is it just you?  Do you have a store?"

Sadly, no, no store.  And it's just me... knitting away in front of the computer, or listening to some of the podcasts from (these guys are seriously great... I haven't heard a single podcast from them that I haven't liked yet!)

Fortunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I live in a city that is alive and thriving with artists and artisans, as well as general all around crafty types.  I would love to have some of my kids accessories (like the little learning to walk socks) in some of the children's boutiques, and some of my knitting notions maybe featured in some of the yarn shops... (hear ye, hear ye, Portland shop owners!)  That being said, the competition around here is pretty cutthroat and unless you know someone...

Right now, I'm content with building a brand that is known for being willing to customize items for clients, whether it be size, shape, or color; as well as being known for great service and quality, regardless of the type of yarn they choose.  Every piece should have the same attention to detail - whether the yarn is a $4.50 ball from JoAnn or a $14.50 skein of sock yarn from Knit Purl.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Wow Guys!

I just checked my Google Analytics for yesterday, and I had the most visitors yesterday that I've ever had!  WOW!  Thank you so much for all of the visits!  I know that it has a lot to do with the patterns that I put up on Ravelry, and I hope that y'all like them and can use them extensively.  :)

As someone who has mainly been a writer, this whole knitting thing, while it isn't new (I've been knitting for just about ten years), sometimes it is easier to fall back on something that you know how to do well.  I try to invoke some humor... and perhaps a bit of sarcasm... into my writing.  Even if it is about knitting, yarn, and the stupid needles that make my hands hurt!

Again, thank you all very much, and I encourage you to check out my Etsy site for some really cool, recycled notions for your knitting!  My son calls them "Knitting Jewelry".

Monday, August 16, 2010

Two Other things for Today....

I love when my Etsy site gets random clients.  It makes me happy.  Especially when after they purchase something from me, they then decide to order more!  I like a) selling things, obviously but b) I like finding and trying and modifing other patterns.  For example... here is another freebie pattern that I am offering up.  It is a single cable scarf, done in a Super Chunky [6] yarn on size 13 needles.  You can find the story behind it on the actual .pdf, but suffice it to say, I am getting better at this pattern stuff!  :)

Single Cable Chunky Pull through Scarf - Level: Advanced Beginner (due to cables)

This is a take off on the Lion Brand Pattern “His & Hers Easy Cabled Scarves” that can be found in their “University Knits” booklet. I didn’t like how wide the scarf turned out for the women’s version, I also like my cables spaced closer together. The original pattern calls for fringe at the end, which I don’t include, but you are welcome to add. I also added the pull through, merely because with a super bulky yarn, it can get hard to tie under jackets. This is also easily scaleable for a child – just use a worsted weight and smaller needles…

A few abbreviations to know:

C6F – Slide the next three stitches to a cable needle, let it lay in front of your work, knit the next three stitches, then knit the stitches off of the cable needle.


Size 13 or 15 (US) needles

Your favorite Super Bulky [6] yarn… this one is pictured in the Lion Brand Hometown USA yarn, but will also work with everything from a Malabrigo Super Chunky to a super chunky organic cotton (all depends on how much you want to spend).

Alright, Alright! Here are the instructions:

CO 18

Odd Rows 1-7: P2, K2, P2, K6, P2, K2, P2

Even Rows 2-8: K2, P2, K2, P6, K2, P2, K2

Row 9: P2, K2, P2, C6F, P2, K2, P2

Row 10: Same as Even Rows

To Make Pull Through (close up pictured at right):

After 5 pattern repeats, work rows 1-4.

On Row 5: P2, K2, P2, BO 6, P2, K2, P2

Row 6: K2, P2, K2, CO 6, K2, P2, K2

Continue with rest of pattern repeat

After Pull Through is completed, continue pattern repeats until scarf reaches desired length, BO in pattern (I’ve found it looks the best if you BO on a row 6 – then there is half a cable repeat, just like at the beginning), and weave in ends.

Notes, Disclaimers, etc.:

I am not claiming this as a completely original work. I have merely altered it from an existing pattern that wasn’t to my satisfaction. Please do not sell this pattern, as the original is available from Lion Brand, although you are certainly welcome to sell objects made from it, as stated on their site. I would appreciate if you give me or my blog a shout out, should you choose to use it. Thanks and enjoy!

The other thing for today, I put these little stitch markers up on Etsy last week, and oddly haven't really gotten much interest in them... I can't imagine why, as they are AWESOME and really not expensive at all!  Check out the full details on the Etsy site by clicking here.

A New Freebie!

The other day, I found a shirt in the closet that I got for my husband over a year ago.  He hasn't worn it - not once... so, I decided to modify it to fit me.  Good thing that I can sew too!  :)  That being said, it is a navy blue mechanic's style shirt with a red and white design on the back and even though I love my Yankee ballcap, I get tired of wearing hats all the time.  (I'm attempting to grow my hair out)  I decided a red headband would look super spiffy with a red tank top underneath... I even painted my fingernails red.  I have OCD - can you tell?

I love patterns that are short, quick, and useful... so here is another freebie!  :)

The Thirty Minute Headband – Level: Beginner

This is a quick and easy, beginner level knit, using a moss stitch. It should take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on the size of the head you are knitting it for!

A few abbreviations to know:

M1 – make an additional stitch by picking up the “bridge” between your right and left needles and pull up to the left needle, then knit as you would any other stitch. This is an easy increase stitch. Not working for you? No worries, just use your favorite increase method!

K2tog – knit two stitches together. Instead of sliding your right needle through one stitch on your left needle, just slide it through two! This is a super easy decrease stitch.


Size 7 (US) needles

Your favorite cotton or cotton blend (Lion Cotton, Sugar n Cream, Cotton Ease) yarn. I use cotton for this project because of the ease of care.

Enough Already! Here are the instructions:

CO 3

Knit these three stitches back and forth in garter stitch for approximately 6”

First Increase Row: K1, M1, K1, M1, K1

Row 2,3,4: Knit

Row 5: K1, M1, K3, M1, K1

Row 6,7: Knit

Row 8: K1, M1, K5, M1, K1

Row 9: Knit

Pattern row: k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1

Continue Pattern row for about 12”… or as long as you need, depending on head size.

Prep Row for Decreases: Knit

First Decrease Row: K1, k2tog, k5, k2tog, k1

Row 2,3: Knit

Row 4: K1, k2tog, k3, k2tog, k1

Row 5,6,7: Knit

Row 8: K1, k2tog, k1, k2tog, k1

This will give you three stitches remaining on your needle. As with the first tie, knit for approximately 6”, or to size of your head.

Notes, Disclaimers, etc.: This was made up on the spur of the moment because I needed a red headband. If it resembles anything else out there, it isn’t intentional. I don’t care if you make these for sale on Etsy or craft fairs, or fundraisers, however, please don’t sell the pattern, and give me credit (Kusala Knitworks) for the pattern content.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A few weeks later...

A few weeks ago, I had written that I was nervous about writing my own patterns.  Well, I can't say that I have overcome that... not even close.  SO.  Instead of worrying about that, I decided to start with something a little easier.  I have managed to convert a fairly simple free cabled hat pattern from Bernat to a "knit in the round" pattern.  It is coming along pretty well, and I'm hoping to have it done tonight.

I have begun enlisting the Kusala legion... I have discovered a loyal fan in Pittsburg who has ordered several things from the Etsy site, as well as enlisting a custom order from me - for two hats!  Those were completed last week and received today!  They love them and I am very excited to have fans across the country. 

I have also been working on some designs... i.e. I take patterns and modify them to make them mine... :)  and I have come up with this cute little cabled pull through scarflette...  It is PERFECT for when you are chilly at work, but can't have the length of a full on scarf to get in the way of typing or writing.

One of my goals is to get put in a few more shops.  I made a connection with a knit shop in North Portland the other day about the cool end stoppers that I had made, and I need to see how that is going to pan out... I need to email her.

I'm working on the Fall/Winter collection for Etsy and hopefully will have more pics to post soon!