Wow. A lot has happened since my last post and there’s so much awesomeness and good stuff that it’s a little overwhelming.
Awhile ago, @KyleeLane and I had a vision. A dream. A great-minds-think-alike idea that we’ve set in motion to become something completely amazing. As geeky crafters, we were dreaming of a place where other geeky crafters could come together and be promoted and shared with the world. We wanted to showcase the crafty inspirations, history, and all of the things that go into creating something original by hand. A celebration of geeky craftiness and handmade for the greater geeky good. And G33Kmade was born.
What is G33Kmade? Well, without gushing too much, it’s a company. A community. A network. Even though Kylee and I are soapers, it’s not just about soap, we just happen to both make soap. G33Kmade showcases craft geekery and promotes it; pulling all of the epic geeky goodness together in one place so you can easily find whatever flavor of geek you’re looking for. Our thought on the matter is this:
Geek stuff because geek stuff is “cool” is merely demographically targeted marketing (e.g. “punk” after the 1980s), whereas *true* geeks want the people making the stuff to be as obsessed as they are about time travel, software libraries, or medieval Germanic Lit, or whatever. Once you compare even mediocre handmade things with mass produced, handmade always wins.
What’s exciting about G33Kmade is the potential to connect with so many other geeky crafters in one place. A community feeling. Imagine the huge HUGE amount of inspiration and coolness at your fingertips? Let’s say you’re a geeky crafter. You contribute by submitting yourself/your craft via our [Contact] page. We receive the submission and check it out and potentially get back to you for more info. We do a write up to post on G33Kmade and promote you – you’re featured on the front page, we spread the love on various social media outlets, and we help make sure that the world is made aware of how completely and totally awesome you are. GEEKS FTW! Not only will the feature be great, but through G33Kmade you’ll have all kinds of access to other geeky crafters; you’ll be able to browse tutorials and get inspired by fellow crafy folk that think like you and enjoy some of the same things you do and put that love into their work just like you. But G33Kmade needs YOU to grow – to become this great, huge resource we need contributions and submissions from you. Check out our [Contact] page for more details. We want to hear from you, we really do! :)
But what if you’re not crafty? How will G33Kmade benefit you, you ask? Simple. Use G33Kmade to browse artists or crafts that you may not have otherwise stumbled upon on. Looking for the perfect geeky gift? Handmade is always better, and you’ll be able to sort through just about everything under the sun with a geek theme to fit any occasion or satisfy anyone’s geek tastes.
So it’s a positive thing for everyone involved, and that’s the major underlying feel: positivity! Spreading the love of geeky crafts and promoting artists and handmade. Sharing ideas, how-tos, projects, and inspiration. Providing a place to showcase all of this awesomeness together. If you’re a geek, you’ll love G33Kmade whether you make things or not, because seeing what others are doing out there and why is hugely fun and interesting. Did I mention inspiring?
See, now I’m gushing. I’m really passionate about G33Kmade and all it stands for. THIS is the way it’s supposed to be. It’s not about competition, it’s about supporting each others’ passions. I’m really excited to have found someone who holds the same values about handmade art, to spread the love instead of negativity, and roll all of that positive energy up into something that benefits everyone… and that’s Kylee. Even more fun and exciting is that G33Kmade will have an Exhibitor’s booth at Gen Con in Indianapolis this August to sell some handmade geek at the biggest 4 days in gaming. We’re also planning a G33Kmade Gen Con Tweet Up to accompany that – more info about that will be announced over at G33Kmade in the coming weeks.
So there’s LOTS going on around here. Besides all of this good stuff I’ve got orders up to my eyes and some really fun other crafty projects in progress. You should SEE this awesome custom order I just completed of Handheld Game Cartridge GEEKSOAP bars as wedding favors! Whew :) I have a week left of this school year, and then the summer off to focus hard on G33Kmade, prepping for Gen Con, and selling more and more GEEKSOAP! Next month is Lucas and I’s anniversary, and in keeping with the tradition, we’ll be staying in a bed & breakfast on the ocean… this time on the west coast in Vancouver, BC. We’re looking forward to a trip back to Canada and will be able to see a lot of Karpiuk family while we’re out that way. Score!
More soon – take care, and be sure to get on over and check out G33Kmade… keeping in mind it’s kinda in a “beta” mode as we roll things out, but at least you can get started and see where we’re going with it! :)
On the Friday of Lucas and I’s Nova Scotia trip we spent the day being too pumped about exploring downtown Halifax to remember that we’d gotten nearly no sleep on our red eye flight in. We found Halifax to be a really fantastic city; it was a big city with a small town feel, and we really enjoyed it. Of course I had researched ahead of time to find local yarn shops, and on Friday we checked out The Loop Craft Cafe on Barrington Street right in the heart of the city. What a great little place! Lucas insisted that I pick out something to treat myself. I’ve never actually purchased any “fancy” LYS yarn before; only drooled and wondered when my skills would be proficient enough to warrant purchasing something so lovely. I don’t know why, but I don’t feel I’m an incredibly skilled knitter yet so I’ve put off buying expensive yarns because I’m afraid that my mediocrity would just waste it. I realize this is foolish, and so I let Lucas treat me without much of a struggle. We were on vacation, after all! I had a hard time picking out just one thing to treat myself with. I’m thoroughly pleased with my choice, however!
I picked up a hank of Tanis Fiber Art’s yellow label DK weight superwash merino. I own some merino, folks. This is a HUGE deal to me. I chose the Spearmint colorway because I’ve found myself obsessively drawn to gorgeous sea greens and mints lately. Don’t worry, pink, I would never choose a true favorite over you… but sea green is so heavenly. And seemed especially fitting on our seaside trip. I was ecstatic to find that Tanis Fiber Arts has an etsy shop; this means when I run out of Spearmint I know where to get more without having to go back to Halifax… though that would make for a good excuse to get back out to the east coast; I sure did love it out there! This superwash merino is so squishy and soft that no other word but smooshy applies and I finally understand the meaning of such a word. It’s fantastic. I highly recommend checking out Tanis Fiber Arts on Etsy; you’ll love what you find there. I’d love to knit something fabulous in the Jewel colorway for my mom because she’d love the delicious violets and fushias blended together. Yum!
I lovingly toted my new yarn around and later photographed it with the backdrop of a quiet little beach in the Highlands National Park on the Cabot Trail we drove on Sunday. Cape Breton Island is so gorgeous! I haven’t completely decided what I’m going to make from this yarn, but whatever I choose it will definitely be just for me.
We’re back! Well, we got back on Monday night but I’ve been so busy this week finishing off the final week of one online course and having a second week-long-only course start up first thing Tuesday that I’ve been reading, reading, reading, and writing several papers. Most of my work (all due tomorrow) is in and done, including my final papers for both classes, so I can finally update you on some Nova Scotia trip crafts!
First of all, Nova Scotia was AMAZING. What a perfect wedding anniversary trip. We saw some of the most beautiful scenery and had some of the most relaxing experiences ever. And we got to do it together. It was utter bliss. Lucas wrote all about it over on our personal blog: Honeyversary? Anniversamoon? Honanniversamoonary?! so be sure to read all of the wonderful details and check out all of the gorgeous photos we took there.
So… as far as crafts go, Lucas and I both took our baby blanket patterns on the plane with us so we’d have a project to keep us busy during downtime. On the Saturday, which was our actual anniversary, we relaxed after the adventures of the day on the balcony of our seaside cottage and knitted while we enjoyed the sound of the Atlantic ocean waves crashing up onto the shore just a few feet in front of us. It was amazing! Knitting together with that kind of relaxing scenery while inhaling fresh ocean air was a moment in time I wish I could’ve preserved forever. I tried to in photos at least:
The blankets are really coming along! I’m about 65% through mine, but I’ve had to take a small break to switch and work on a little dishcloth gift set that I’m making for my boss. As it’s a temporary office job to keep me busy during the summer and Lucas and I are planning to move back to Indiana soon, I know my time there is going to be coming to an end soon and I’d wanted to make something to give to her in thanks for being so awesome. More on that project in another post.
The hearts. Remember in my last post how I’d mentioned a little secret knitted hearts project that I was trying to get done in time for our anniversary trip? Those went over really well :) After felting I sewed them together to create three little plush knitted hearts. I hid those in my purse and took them with us. I distributed the hearts over the course of the weekend in various times/places kind of spontaneously.
The first one I gave to Lucas when we were enjoying the breathtaking views at Peggy’s Cove. It was so peaceful and seemed like the perfect time to give him a token of my love. The second one I gave him the morning of our actual anniversary while he was in the shower. I sneakily placed it next to his wedding ring and glasses — two things he removes when showering. He came out to put them on and found the second heart there with his things. On the third morning it was the same idea, but this was Sunday… Father’s Day… so I placed a knitted heart on the nightstand at our seaside cottage with his glasses and a Father’s Day card that I had also sneakily made and brought without him knowing. The Father’s Day card came from our two dogs, Oliver and Winston. The inside had “Thanks for being a great dad” scrawled in doggie handwriting with pawprints for signatures. It was all very sweet :)
So those are our Nova Scotia trip projects! I’ll post soon about the really pretty cabled wine bottle cozy I finished recently for my parents’ anniversary coming up in July and the dishcloth set I’m making for my boss. First I need to find and settle on a dishcloth pattern I’m happy with! It seems I’ve started this project over more times than I can keep track of now, which is why it’ll be a post for a later time… I don’t have any photos yet because I’ve not gotten further than around 10 rows each time before I frog it back. lol.
More updates to come soon! :) Take care
My brother and sister-in-law found out today that they’re having a BOY! I am so ecstatic that I will have a nephew in October that Lucas and I went yarn shopping right after work. Do you think we got enough? The next few months will be filled with baby toques, booties, bibs, puke cloths, blankets and everything in between. I’m planning to pack the blanket pattern I’ve chosen to knit (the Organic Baby Wrapper by Fawn Pea [reg link] [Ravelry link]) in something soft baby blue, and Lucas is planning to take the Lion Brand Hooded Baby Wrap ([LB link] [Ravelry link]) to knit on the plane for our trip to Nova Scotia this weekend. We leave Thursday; I am SO excited!
Speaking of Lucas knitting — we both have finished our pair of socks now (his first official project!!!) for our dads for Father’s Day, and our socks will be shipped off first thing in the morning. They’re gonna be a little late I think, but that’s ok. Lucas did a fantastic job; I am so proud! Here he is finishing up his second sock.
I am too excited right now to write anymore; check back tomorrow because I have some FOs (that are successes) in response to yesterday’s failure post. lol.
I would be a bad blogger (and a liar) if I said that everything I attempt to make turns out as planned. Or even that I never have a craft failure, cuz’ clearly I have had my share. It’s not really that this cabled wristlet I whipped up didn’t look nice when finished. I mean, it doesn’t look too bad in the pic, right? Its functionality went down the tubes somewhere along the way, though, and that’s what made this project fail on me.
I was so looking forward to this post way back when I was still designing the wristlet. I couldn’t wait to share it, couldn’t wait to finish it in time for an upcoming trip, and couldn’t wait to give you all the pattern and my instructions so you could make something equally beautiful for yourself. In my lack of design experience I missed a few key things, however.
The idea was that I wanted to try cables. I had it in my head that cables were so hard. But then I actually sat down and made myself try them. They were such a piece of cake! And wow, did I ever really love the look of cables. Cables make it seem like I’m so much fancier and so much of a better knitter than I am. They’re easy, but to the untrained or inexperienced eye, they look super intricate and difficult. Add cables to an otherwise boring knit and suddenly it’s magic and you’re a superstar! I still feel that way about cables, which is why I think this wristlet project looks nice, but it just didn’t work out when it came time to use it. I haven’t decided if I’m going to even bring it this weekend on our trip or not.
Oh ya, the trip! That was really what inspired this knit; Lucas and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary and we decided to go somewhere that neither one of us have ever been, but that we’d been wanting to see. As we’re planning to move back to the states in the somewhat near future, we decided to stay within the country and finally make a trip out to the far east coast of Canada. Nova Scotia, to be exact. We’d talked about going out there for our honeymoon last year but never got around to it. So instead we’ve decided to treat ourselves to a 4 day getaway with no real set plans and no family members nearby. We realized recently that we’ve never taken a vacation that didn’t involve visiting family or friends. Every trip we’ve ever taken together has been to visit our family either in British Columbia or Indiana, and while the trips were fantastic and we enjoyed every minute of visiting with family we don’t see very often, we decided it was high timeÂ we take a trip for just the two of us. Our plans loosely include flying into Halifax overnight Thursday and staying until late Monday afternoon. No hotels are booked yet; we are renting a car and just driving… just planing to stay wherever we end up. We do know that for Saturday, our actual anniversary date, we want to stay in a really nice bed and breakfast way up on Cape Breton Island and eat somewhere nice. The exact how, when and where is still up in the air, and believe it or not, I rather like it that way.
Anyway, back on topic… this beautiful province we’re planning to visit in Latin means “New Scotland.” When the trip was planned (very recently) I realized I had just over 2 weeks to knit something to use/wear on the trip. I’m a slow knitter and have lots of things with a deadline coming up to finish, so I knew it wouldn’t be anything large and most likely I’d not have enough time to knit a shrug, either – though I’m dying to make one. I decided something cabled because for some reason, thick cables and either greens and blues sound like something that would fit in a place called “New Scotland.” Something I am really looking forward to experiencing in Nova Scotia is the Scottish flavor of music and culture that I keep hearing about up in Cape Breton. Cables make me think of (or remind me of) celtic knots in a way, and so a cabled wristlet idea was born, even if that reasoning sounds silly or illogical to anyone else.
In looking at basic cable patterns I kept seeing the same sorts of variations on a rib/cable pattern; ribbing along the sides and a cable winding up the middle. I stuck with that idea and using chunky yarn in a pretty sky blue, I whipped up a big rectangle. Wtih those cables, gah, it was just SO gorgeous. I was so proud! They looked so fancy! I folded the rectangle in half, and then to form the strap I just did a simple 6-stitches-across and repeated the rows until it was “long enough.” Design problem number one was not thinking ahead as to how that strap would stretch later on. I sewed up the side seams of the rectangle, sticking the ends of the strap inside one side seam. So far so good! I decided to line it and include a zipper, because I coudn’t very well let an open pouch dangle from my arm; all my stuff would fall out! The most secure way would include a zipper so there were no openings for my belongings to fall out through. I guess this is where the rest of the failure continued to go: I had a horrible time lining such a thick knitted pouch. I did the lining fabric pouch separately and used my machine to sew the zipper neatly to the lining. Then all I had to do was hand stitch the zipper neatly inside the knitted pouch. This all went according to plan, but the hand stitching looks awful (I even used invisible thread!) and when it was all finished, I realized how off my proportions were in the design. The handle is too long and stretches a lot, and the bag’s size is a bit big and looks a little awkward. Even with nothing IN the pouch, it’s so heavy and bulky that it makes the handle stretch, which makes the side seam of the pouch stretch in a very unflattering way. The end result really isn’t very flattering at all, to be honest.
I don’t know what I expected, but the vision in my head didn’t match up with the end result, and so to me it’s a failure. Lucas would say I was being too hard on myself, though, so maybe I shouldn’t use the word “failure” … on the bright side, I got in a lot of practice with cabling (which is my new obsession and I love it, which is automatically another ‘plus’ to the project) and so it wasn’t all bad and thus not a total failure. What do you all think? Would you make one for yourself? If so I could throw together the loose outline. Any suggestions on design changes for a future attempt or should I just leave it dead? Is the stretching as bad as I think it is?
Despite this not-so-great result with the wristlet, I did get in some really simple projects over the weekend: some dishcloths and a cabled (I told you I was obsessed) bookmark for a co-worker. More on those (with pics) later this week :)