Friday, July 30, 2010

SockPixie Handpun Yarns on Etsy and Hand-Dyed Yarns too!

A couple weeks ago, I talked about selling some of my handspun. I decided to open an Etsy store. I previously had had my own website, but found that the maintenance was a lot of work for a single person. Etsy offers a great platform, that is easy and fast to use, and therefore will allow me more time to spin and dye yarns.

I have just uploaded some beautiful skeins of handspun single ply worsted weight yarns. Each skein is 220 yards of either merino, wensleydale or BFL. They would be so beautiful as yokes for Cerise Baby Sweaters. Their generous yardage make them ideal for hat, cowls, or mittens or just to add that special touch of color and texture to your knit projects.

I also created some new colorways in sock and lace weight yarns. I am having fun!

I look forward to creating unique hand-dyed and handspun yarns for my new Etsy Store.I hope you will visit SockPixie on Etsy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Betsy Was Getting Jealous...

All this attention given to Barbie's new world made Betsy jealous! So, I made her some new pj's last night. She even got to spend the night in Barbie's new bedroom!

During my last visit to Winmill Fabrics Miss SockPixie spotted this wonderful tiny print fabric with stars, moons and sleepy suns. I found tiny lace at Windsor Button, as well as beautiful satin ribbon for the bows.

I know I have not posted much about spinning or knitting in the last few days, but I have been working on a design for a glamorous holiday top knit with Manos Silk Blend. I am hoping to be done with the knitting tomorrow, and will be taking pictures to show over the weekend.

For now, it's back to work on the dollhouse, a little bit of wallpapering, a coffee table and a dining table to make...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Birthday Countdown: 6 Days Left!

I made slow progress on the dollhouse today. I spent the whole day working on the sofa. I decided I would create a permanent padded upholstery for it. I picked a glorious piece of satin from my basket of odds and ends.

I had to do it over and over again. Each time I thought I had it, I would discover a big stain of glue in the wrong place, or the fabric would slip, or I would try to stretch it before the glue was fully cured... I got to practice all my French swear words!

Quite glamorous... I mean the sofa, not the swear words! I wanted to play with the textures, satin, wood and fresh water pearls... and of course the fur throw.

I think Little Miss SockPixie's new Barbie looks fabulous on it... It was all worth it. I just hope Little Miss SockPixie did not memorize all the swear words!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Birthday Countdown: 7 Days Left!

7 days left until Little Miss SockPixie's birthday! The dollhouse is taking shape. The main structures of the bedroom are in place.

For the back wall I selected wallpaper samples in tones of blue and sand. They actually inspired the whole room. The bed is a simple natural pine platform with a mattress on top, linen sheets, and a quilted blue flowered throw. The pillow is again simple natural linen trimmed with a navy blue ribbon. The bedside tables are white porcelain, and the lamps are made of aqua colored glass tiles in harmony with the sea tones of the room. A cork carpet lines the floor.

The boys are working on a few more pieces of furnitures while we girls are adding the last details to the room... That little piece of fur from an old glove is waiting to become part of the new little world...

Textures, that will be my focus tonight...

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Monday, July 26, 2010

Birthday Countdown! Only 8 Days Left!

This morning, I woke up with this absolutely crazy idea that I would make a dollhouse for Little Miss SockPixie who will be turning 9 next Tuesday!

The moment Little Miss SockPixie's siblings woke up, I shared the plan with them. They all agreed it was a great idea, and we started brainstorming. The house will be big enough for her new retro Barbie, and her Betsy. It will be a very modern 1 bedroom...

We started looking in Mr. SockPixie's wood collection for the perfect pieces. We found everything we needed. In my craft room we even found wallpaper samples and tile samples, and exciting flooring possibilities. We have clay to make dishes and pots, etc... The only thing we had to get this morning was some sandpaper, and more wood glue.

I love that the project will be basically using only recycled items. The boys have been working on the house design, and on the furniture. Miss SockPixie and I have been painting, wallpapering, and sewing. Little Miss SockPixie so far believes we are building a submarine for Young Mr. SockPixie! She did mention tonight that this seemed to be a really fancy submarine. Our answer: "These are the captain's quarters!"

There are some pieces of furniture drying everywhere, and Mr. SockPixie's office, which we have claimed as our work space now has the lovely smell of fresh paint and wood glue...

More tomorrow...

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Blissful Roving

This is what I will be spinning tonight...

Pure bliss...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Sewing for my Betsy

A few months ago, I got a Tiny Betsy McCall doll for little Miss SockPixie. She fell in love with the doll and so did I... I resisted the urge to get a Betsy for myself for months. I rationalized that I did not need it, that I was too old to get a doll, that I had no time for another hobby... So finally last week I gave in, I bought my own Betsy.

I spent last night designing a little dress for her. It takes a little practice to sew for an 8" doll. I picked a lovely light weight polka dot fabric, and some light green ribbon to flatter her hair color. I started the sewing last night.

 I pleated the bodice, and added a lace trim to the bodice and the pettycoat. I finished it this afternoon at the Frog Pond while the children were playing. I used little bits of ribbon for the straps, and added a simple ribbon belt to highlight Betsy's petite waist.

On our way home, we stopped by Winmill Fabrics which is conveniently located close to the Frog Pond and picked up cute fabrics to make more dresses and a leopard print coat!

I am having so much fun!

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vintage Beauty

Finding a vintage hat always makes me happy. This one made me particularly happy. I adore its 2 tone gathered veil, with its little flowers here and there, and the touch of velvet at the back of the hat making it all glow.

I wish women still wore hats...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Little Spinning

Yesterday was resting... Today was spinning...
I spun yummy merino roving that I hand-dyed in various tones of lapis lazuli, and emerald greens because I could not get the picture of this glorious peacock out of my mind.

I sat and spun my own peacock , soft and squishy, and so beautifully contrasted...

220 yards worsted of weight singles... Should I knit another baby sweater? This would make such a pretty Cerise...

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Day at the Beach

The kids were wonderful last weekend, patiently waiting for me to be done with the work on the Liesl Kerchief pattern, bringing me lunch and dinner and sending me "I love you" notes.

Today was a vacation day, so we went to visit my parents in Rockport. We spent a great day at the beach.

...Little Miss SockPixie enjoying some chips after her swim... Looking quite serious... Maybe she was wondering how she could get back at her siblings for splashing her...

Young Mr SockPixie tired after a lot of snorkling... Looking more grown up every day...

And Little Mr SockPixie, a frozen but happy snorkler! Don't you love the hair!

I got to rest, and hang out with my parents. It was a great day!
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Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Liesl Kerchief Pattern is ready

The Liesl Kerchief pattern is ready. After a few technical problems, everything is now working perfectly.

The Liesl Kerchief is a great project for hot summer knitting. It uses only one ball of Rowan Classic Yarns Siena, under 153 yards, and is so quick to knit. With its delicate lace edging inspired by a 40's vintage doily, Liesl, which can be worn both as a or as a scarflet, has a timeless feminine beauty. The pattern has both written instructions and charted instructions for the lace edging, as well as beautiful pictures and a companion video series explaining all stitches and techniques used in tha pattern. I hope you will enjoy knitting Liesl as much as I have... Click on the Buy Now Button to purchase the pattern and download it easily.  (You do not need to be a Ravelry member, nor do you need to have a Paypal account.)

For the first time, Mr SockPixie and I worked on a series of companion videos to the pattern. The videos cover all the important stitches and techniques in the pattern in order to make it as simple and enjoyable as possible for you to knit Liesl.  Here is part 1 for you to see. To view them full size, click on the title link under each video.
              Liesl Kerchief - Part 1 - Starting the Kerchief from SockPixie on Vimeo.

                           Liesl Kerchief - Part 2 - Increases from SockPixie on Vimeo.

                           Liesl Kerchief - Part 3 - Decreases from SockPixie on Vimeo.

                          Liesl Kerchief - Part 4 - Picot Edging Bind Off from SockPixie on Vimeo.

I look forward to getting your feedback, and to seeing all your beautiful Liesls.
Have a great evening!
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Saturday, July 17, 2010

The "Lace Kerchief" Has a Name and the Winning Comment Is...

Tonight, before I tell you the name I have chosen for the kerchief, and before I announce the randomely picked winning comment, I want to thank you all for your comments, for your creativity, your imagination, and for all the inspiration you gave me. So many times as I was reading your comments I would exclaim "Oh, I love this name!"
So the first thing I want to do tonight is give you a virtual bouquet of flowers to thank you, a bouquet of flowers from my beloved JP pond at sunset.

Inspired by all your comments I decided to name the pattern Liesl, the Liesl Kerchief: a little Vermeer, a little bit of France, a little bit of old Europe, a touch of medieval, a pinch of timelessness, a dash of romance, a hint of vintage, a summery night, simplicity...This is what Liesl evokes for me and much more...

I kept the best for last, the winner of the giveaway. I picked a comment at random using the Random Number Generator. I accounted for any double posts and used the order in which your comments appeared as they were posted to the blog and in my email to ensure they would be counted in the correct order.
And... the winner tonight is... Rachel!

rachel said...

going with a 40s glamour idea how about myrna kerchief for myrna loy

Congratulations Rachel! Use the Contact Me link in the upper right hand corner of the blog to give me the email address you would like the pdf e-mailed to, and your physical address for the yarn to be mailed to.

The pattern will be available Sunday July 18 at around 7 p.m. East Coast time. It is getting its last tech editing, and the videos are ready!

I wish you all a great evening!

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Friday, July 16, 2010

"Lace Kerchief": A favorite detail

There is one particular detail I love in the "Lace Kerchief". The little i-cord ties are finished each with a single  delicate Japanese seed bead. If the hair is slighty shorter, they highlight the beauty of neck, looking almost like dewdrops.

Remember that this lace kerchief does not have a name yet. I would love it if you could help me find a name for it. Regardless of which name I select, I will pick a comment at random  to receive a gift copy of the pattern and its video as well as a ball of Rowan Classic Yarns Siena cotton. Be sure to leave your comment by Saturday July 17 at 8 p.m. East Coast time. Click on the link to read about the "lace kerchief" pattern and to leave a comment for the giveaway and to help me find a name: Name Me!

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

"Lace Kerchief" Photoshoot

I wanted to share with you this picture from today's photoshoot of the "lace kerchief". The sun was shining gently, it was almost sunset on JP pond with an antique boat house in the background. My two daughters were loving their new kerchiefs... It was a beautiful moment...

Remember that this lace kerchief does not have a name yet. I would love it if you could help me find a name for it. Regardless of which name I select, I will pick a comment at random  to receive a gift copy of the pattern and its video as well as a ball of Rowan Classic Yarns Siena cotton. Click on the link to read about the "lace kerchief" pattern and to leave a comment for the giveaway and to help me find a name: Name Me! .

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Knitting in hot weather and giveaway

If you live on the East Coast, you know that it has been horribly hot and muggy here for at least 2 weeks. I actually call this type of weather "sit and sweat". It is practically too hot to knit, but I cannot live without knitting. So I had to think of something. I set out to design something small, yet fun and made with cotton yarn.

I had a couple balls of Rowan Classic Yarns Siena, one red, and one blue. My project needed to require no more than 153 yards. The red project would go to Miss SockPixie, and the blue one to Little Miss SockPixie.

I have a fondness for simple summer kerchiefs, that you can either wear on you head, or around your neck. I am endlessly making some out of fabric, but thought what if I made some knitted ones?

I opted for a simple triangular center, and a lace border. The lace pattern is actually based on a vintage 40's doily. I adapted the stitch pattern to fit my purpose. The little picot edging adds to the vintage feel of this charming romantic project. It also gives an informal, innocent touch to the kerchief. I am particularly fond of the sun like pattern in the center of the kerchief.

The project is small, light, cotton and super fast to knit,and only uses 1 ball of Siena, perfect for that odd ball left in your stash. The ideal kind of summer knitting!

I am testing the pattern right now. The photoshoot will happen tomorrow. I love taking pictures, so this should a lot of fun.  Hopefully there will be a little sun for us! I should have the pattern ready by this Sunday. I will be offering it as a pdf for $3.00, and am creating a video companion to guide you through the knitting steps. I often feel when knitting myself, or when answering your questions that things would be so much easier if we could just see it. I hope you will let me know what you think of this idea of video support.

Oh, one last thing. This lace kerchief does not have a name yet. I would love it if you could help me find a name for it. Regardless of which name I select, I will pick a comment at random  to receive a gift copy of the pattern and its video as well as a ball of Rowan Classic Yarns Siena cotton.

Just leave a comment with your suggestion by Saturday July 17, 8 p.m. East Coast time.

Back to testing...

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I could not resist any more...

All this spinning, and playing with colorful rovings made me want to get my dyes out of the cupboard.

Here is the result of today's color play...

Like a sunset in the sky of Normandie in Trouville when the clouds look like they are on fire against the blue grey ocean... This is going to be so nice to spin...  I love to spin so much... I am even thinking about selling my handspun... Not a lot of it, just a little of it...What do you think?

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Monday, July 12, 2010

And the Winner is....

It is noon on Monday July 12, and I just picked a comment  at random using the Random Number Generator. ( I checked the comments for accidental double posts, found one and accounted for it.)  But before I announce the winner, I want to tell you how touched I am by all your comments about my blog and about my work. You made me so happy.  I hope that you will continue to share your thoughts with me, that you will continue to write about your projects and post comments to my daily musings. Your comments mean a lot to me. It is so nice to know that I have so many friends and I wish you could all have won.

I know you are all impatient... So... the winner of this lovely Handspun Candy is...


Kris said...
I started following your blog about a month ago - what beautiful colorways you create! This skein is soooo lovely!

Congratulations Kris! Kris, please use the contact me button in the upper right of this page. Include you full name and address and I will ship your Handspun Candy to you today.

Back to knitting and spinning... I hope to be done with a new, cute, fun summer knit very soon. I can hardly wait to share it with you...

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July 10, 2010 8:08 PM

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hanspun Candy Giveaway

Yesterday's spinning was dramatic. The colors were deep, dark, and bold. Today's colors are bold, but at the same time playful, just like candy. Royal blue, periwinkle, aqua, mint green, coral, peach, and apricot...
I could eat it.

I picked 2 Wensleydale SockPixie hand-dyed rovings in compatible tones, and spun my favorite light worsted weight singles.

Spinning the Wensleydale was a lot of fun. The yarn feels  denser to me than the merino, but also like it will have a beautiful drape. About 220 yards of handspun bliss! Wouldn't it look great as the yoke of a Cerise Baby Sweater?

While spinning this yarn, I sadly realized that I would never have the time to knit everything I spin, so I am going to send it as a gift to one of you.

Just leave a comment by Monday July 12 at noon East coast time. One of you will be randomely picked and will receive this skein as a gift.

Now back to working on my secret project...

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Friday, July 9, 2010


This morning, as soon as I opened my eyes, I looked at my spools of singles. Sorry, Mr. SockPixie, but a spinner has her priorities. I am after all involved in a serious competition, the Tour de Fleece!

I may have been a little too openly passionate about my spinning, though. When Mr. SockPixie came to our room to give me a goob-bye kiss, he found sitting on his pillow, next to me, the spools of handspun... He took it with a smile, but I am sure he will be teasing me about this for quite a while!

Back to the Tour de Fleece. A racer cannot let their personal life interfere! As soon as Mr. SockPixie was gone, I started plying. I decided on an early start to try and take advantage of the relative coolness of the early morning. I "pedaled" hard, and got a great early morning workout.

The yarn is plied. I have 2 glorious skeins to show for it. Soft, squishy, sport weight sock yarn... My own personal "maillot jaune".

Mr. SockPixie may have yet another reason to tease me tomorrow!

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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Tour de Fleece

I joined the Tour de Fleece a few days late, but since I have been spinning every day lately, I thought I could just hop on my "wheels" and get going.

Growing up in France, I followed the progress of the Tour de France everyday on TV. Raymond Poulidor was my favorite racer. I can still hear myself screaming at the top of my lungs "Allez Poupou!!!" I loved him, even though he never won.

I worked really hard yesterday to spin the midnight blue yarn to be plied with my 4th of July single ply. I finished the midnight blue strand last night.

Let me tell you it was no small feat. It was swelteringly hot here in Boston, and I was pushing on these "pedals" as hard as I could. Who knew spinnning could be so physical! With each push, I mentally cheered, "Allez, Caro, Allez Caro, Allez!" (Caro was the nickname given to me by my childhood buddies.)

Tomorrow's "├ętape" plying in the heat! You know I just realized a funny thing while writing this post, the colors of the rovings I picked match the Tour de Fleece logo really well. The socks I knit up from the yarn will be my Tour de Fleece socks!

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