Posts Tagged ‘handspun yarn’

For a limited time I am offering one of my original design patterns “Top Down Baby Jacket” as a free download pdf on Ravelry or Craftsy. I think you may have to be a member for the Ravelry one but you really should sign up, its the very best knitting site ever.

Link to free knitting pattern Top Down Baby Jacket on Ravelry

Link to free knitting pattern Top Down Baby Jacket on Craftsy

Oct 18

Mini Etsy

A little update on what for sale in my Etsy shop. These items are also available at

Nancy Elizabeth Designs Web Site

What’s up at the Etsy Shop? //

I’ve decided on a couple of designs for Cowls. I’m going to do a simple one, just once around the neck with a little drape and simple elegant lace design. I have a couple of traditional all-over lace patterns in mind.  I handspun some of my Mongolian cashmere fiber for this one in a fingering weight. I was really happy with the way it knit up. it’s so soft and the drape is perfect for what I want. I’m thinking I will write out the pattern for this one and another one with the “old Shale” pattern on it. I think the same yarn would be perfect. Put them both in the same pattern and just have choice of stitch patterns with everything else being the same.

The Big Cozy Cowl will be very different. I am using the China Cashmere from my old business Handknitting.com. I have dyed it myself simply by sprinkling the dye powder randomly and baking it in the oven at 350 for 1 hour in a glass covered dish. The dye bath did exhaust itself and the colours look fantastic. this one is the bulky weight with 6.5mm needle. It will be 60 inches long and about 14 inches wide. The idea is to have it long enough to wrap around the neck x 3 with a little extra for styling. Very luscious and exotic in thick cashmere. Cast on 180 sts and join. work in garter st for 14 inches or desired width.

This is all I have so far because Ive tried so many patterns and different size needles etc. and had to rip it out about 5 times. I have settled on the pattern written above. Just the right melding of cozy, thickness, drape and attractive but simple allover pattern.

 

 

All thought of building a web site and products for sale are slipping into the background as I contemplate what I’m going to knit for my family for Christmas.

The socks are always a big hit and I will certainly be doing them this year but what else. Everyone has a couple of scarves, mitts or gloves and the kids all have hats scarves and mitts but I’m sure anyone could use more. I will perhaps do the big cowl for the ladies. I saw a couple on Ravelry. This is the free Burberry Inspired Cowl that I thought would be nice in Cashmere or in Merino and Silk bulky.

I also thought about bags. Felted bags but I don’t think I have time to make them now. Why do I always wait until October to do this?

I did spin some Merino and Nylon from Knit Picks last week. I put it into a glass dish and sprinkled 2 colours of gaywool dye on to the soaked skeins. I covered with a glass lid and baked at 325 – 350 for about 1 hour. the water was pretty clear and I didn’t get much bleeding into the rinse at all. the effect was pretty and I will definitely try this again and refine. I knit them into a pair of men’s socks but it took 150 grams instead of the usual 100 that I need of the commercially spun yarns. I think my yarns must be more compact.

Still working on the patterns. I`ve got a bit knit on the Adult Hoodie and it`s going to be amazing.

The Patterns are posted to the Nancy Elizabeth Designs web site and Etsy and Craftsy. I am just getting my Ravelry `Yarnies“ account set up. When that is ready I`ll put the handspun on Ravelry.

This is the chart that I reference for spinning custom orders for handspun yarns

The thing I`ve been really working hard at this week is getting a chart made for the handspun yarns. I`m going to try something different. I want to spin the yarn to order Custom Made Handspun Yarn. I need to know, first, what all of the specs are for each yarn weight like yards per oz or pound as well as WPI or wraps per inch and suggested gauge and needle size according the the Craft Yarn Council and Ravelry which I consider the 2 greatest authorities on Yarn and knitting worldwide. I have come up with this chart as the standard for my yarns.

I have also developed formulas for the handspinning so that I can come up with the correct weights and measures for the requested yarn. However, I do plan to be in close contact with my customers so that I can truely make this a custom experience and spin the yarn for each individuals needs.  This is very exciting.  Here is my philosophy for why I am offering the yarns that I choose to spin.

Back to Basics – Simple and Elegant

I love clean and simple lines in a design and a classic traditional look. I believe it adds an elegance that cannot be acheived otherwise. Although I adore colour and use it often I can also see great value in using the colours of our natural fibers as they appear in nature. I find this to be expecially true with handspun yarn. If the design is right the handspun yarn will really “sing” in your project as it will be the focus itself with it’s lovely subtle variations and textures.The eye will not be distracted and confused by the multitude of colours often found in handspun yarns.

I’ve been trying to decide what to offer in handspun yarn. I notice an abundance of stunning multicolored handspun yarns that honestly look good enough to eat and I want them all. However, there are time when I also want something other than colour from a yarn. I decided to offer some natual colour, and hand dyed solid coloured yarns. Even though a photo of an individual skein may not be as eye catching as one of a delighful multicolored yarn, there are certainly times when they are preferable in my knitting projects. I use my natural or hand dyed solids when I want my design to show. When I want to showcase the style, the line, the drape of the design as well as the lovely organic texture of the handspun yarn. If the stitch pattern or shaping of your beautiful knitting is the focus of the piece then you may not want all of the confusion of colour to interfere.

I reached a goal today with the completion of the Hoddie with Cable Trim pattern in Infant sizes. I now have 3 patterns finished but they still need to be posted with pictures and stories.

I’ll put them on My Own Web Site – Nancy Elizabeth Designs , on and Etsy and Craftsy as well as  Ravelry.

I really love the Hoodie, in fact I’m going to do one for myself to test the adult sizes. I think I will add an afterthough front pouch.

I have decided that there will be no problem selling handknits or handspun yarns once I get started. People need to see and feel how special the knitwear and yarns are and know how easy it is to get help from a real person who is the artist and designer.

Before I can promote the site I need some handspun yarns and some pattern downloads to be available.

My next project will be to spin a variety of handspun luxury fiber yarns and put them up on Etsy and the Web site and to use these yarns to re-knit some of my designs. I’ll take lots of pictures and write up the patterns. I should probably get back to the magazines that have approached me about publishing some more designs. The more our name can be seen the better and people like things they see in magazines. It offers a level of credibility and professionalism.

Ok, I just may be a little too “wide” in my product selection. Right now I am planning to offer hand knit articles of clothing and accessories for all ages, socks, blankets, shawls etc. (wide range, right?) PLUS hand spun yarn of any luxury natural fiber and size and my original design knitting patterns for anything I dream up.

So, I will probably have to narrow my focus quite a bit. Do I do that now or do I try to put up a selection bit of everything and see how it goes?

There really will be several things to consider but mainly it will be what sells and what I love to do.

So, here are some of the strategies I have decided to try

Social marketing, simply by having pages on and linking to some of the popular Social sites Watching what sells and what I enjoy the most and work on narrowing my focus get my work into the hands of some people who will really appreciate their value and help me to spread the word. Participate more on the Social Sites creating circles and jumping in on the forums Promotions? what and more importantly when (I want to have the handspun yarns and some patterns ready) put videos on YouTube maybe more handmade sites similar to Etsy?