Monday, December 31, 2012

happy new year!

To help celebrate the dawning of a new year, I am offering FREE SHIPPING today (12/31/2012) and tomorrow (1/01/2013)! What better way to celebrate then with new patterns on their way!

When placing an order for patterns on my Etsy shoppe, enter the code: 2013PARTY to receive the free shipping coupon. If it doesn't work, just send me a message to let me know. I will make sure you receive your free shipping costs. I appreciate your business and want to say 'thank you'!

Happy New Year!

Happy Knitting!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Snowman Season!

We received a dump-load of snow here in Minnesota, and it is finally starting to look a bit like Christmas. The stuff for snowman making is upon us. Actually, it needs to warm up just a bit first!

But everyday is 'snowman' weather for the Woolly Snowman! The snowman above was knit for a client. Just before mailing it off, I stuck a few of the decorative pins into his hat. Isn't he cute? The pins, above, come in a set of five: 4 snowflakes and one cardinal, thus the name, 'Snow Bird'. I love these whimsical pins!

Most of my samples are still in Colorado at a trunk show. But when they return I will demonstrate a few other ideas for using these and other winter-y pins!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Year of the Woolly Snowman

Next year, 2013, will mark the 10 year anniversary of the Woolly Snowman pattern. I can't believe it has been that long!

To help celebrate the anniversary, I have created a special Facebook page. Still working on a clever name for the sight. Here I will have fun photos, ideas and quotes like this one, above, as a tribute to the snowman. In addition, I am encouraging others who have knit and felted a snowman or two to share their photos. Especially photos of their snowmen going new places, worldly travels, interesting sights. If we get enough photos, I would love to create a snowman calendar for the year 2014.

To mark the beginning of the year, I am now knitting and felting a HUGE snowman using bulky yarn and size 15 needles. Not life-size, but big enough to melt your heart. Stay tuned for photos.

Come 'like' my page to receive updates and to stay-in-touch.

Happy knitting!

Monday, December 3, 2012

woolly santa gnome

woolly Santa gnome
NOTICE: As of January 1st, 2015 I have taken the Santa Gnome PDF off my website for downloading. My new book, Whimsical Woollies, is coming out in May 2015 and will have all the gnome adaptions in it. They are new and improved and all in one simple location. Thanks!

Today I completed the last of the PDF downloads for all the adaptations to the Woolly Gnome and Mushroom pattern. Many of you may already have this one, but for those who don't, here it is, just in time for the holidays!

This pattern has been a lot of fun to play with: Matilda the Witch, the Leprechaun and now the Santa Gnome. Remember that you need the Woolly Gnome & Mushroom pattern to complete the little guy. This pdf download is a supplement to the original pattern.

This Santa gnome's beard calls for curly mohair locks. If your local yarn store doesn't carry them, email me and I will direct you to a source. You can usually pick up a small bag or two at a local sheep and wool festival.

Happy knitting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Fun New Items!

'N is for Noel'
I just added a bunch of new pins, such as the set above, to my Etsy Shoppe. They are decorative pins used to adorn a favorite pin cushion or in my case, a favorite woolly item. These pins come from one of my favorite companies, Just Another Button Company.

Each set includes five pins. Each pin measures about 2-inches high (including pin) by 1/2-inch wide.

The pins are first created out of clay, built into canes and then reduced and cut into each individual shape resulting in precise consistency and detailing. They are sturdy and solid pins.

In the next several weeks, I want to show several ideas on how to use these pins on your own woolly projects adding that further whimsical detail. Stay tuned!

Happy knitting!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Free Shipping Today

To celebrate the beginning of this year's holiday shopping, I am offering FREE shipping on all orders of patterns and kits today only, Friday, November 23rd, 2012!

Place an order before midnight (Central Time) on my Etsy Shoppe. When ready for check out, it will prompt you 'to apply coupon', enter: MAYHEW23.

Let me know if you have troubles. I will make sure you receive the free shipping.

Thanks again for your interest and support of my woolly patterns!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

woolly candy corn knit in bulky weight yarn
Wishing you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving! Hope your day is filled with lots of family, friends and wonderful eats!

Happy knitting!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Varying Yarn Weights & Needle Sizes

Woolly Bird pattern
I have been teaching several workshops this fall on creating various ornaments using my patterns, such as the above pattern, Woolly Birds. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and size 10.5 needles.

What gets fun is if you change out the yarn weights and use the appropriate size needles for that weight, you get a whole other size bird without any changes to the pattern, such as a smaller bird--perfect ornament size!

When felting, the rule of thumb with needle sizes is go up about 2-3 sizes from what the yarn brand suggests. Below is a chart with the yarn weights and the needle sizes. So if you don't like the original size that my pattern creates, try something new!

Just remember though, if you change the finished size it will effect the embellishing instructions with the pattern. That is, if you make a smaller bird, that new size will need a smaller beak and so forth. But those changes can be very minor.

Don't be afraid to experiment! Let me know if you have any further questions. I am here to help!

Happy knitting!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Frog Tree Alpaca Yarns Available

Frog Tree Alpaca sport weight yarn
Frog Tree Yarns has given me several skeins of yarn to sell and to help promote my newest pattern, Woolly Bird Holiday Ornaments. The colors are the exact colors used on the pattern cover to make the cardinal, the owlet, the tufted-ear owl and the penguin chick.

I encourage you to check with your local yarn stores first to see if they carry Frog Tree sport weight yarns. If not, I have 10 skeins in each color available for sale on my Etsy site. When these skeins sell out that is it! 

So get them while they last!

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

New pattern available!

I can't believe it myself, but yes, I have another new pattern this year, Woolly Bird Holiday Ornaments! I am excited because they are so quick and easy to knit up and whimsical to embellish.

The birds call for alpaca sport weight yarn. That way after felting they can be vigorously brushed using the nap riser brush, to create fuzzy, soft little creatures! The perfect final touch to these little birds. The birds in the photo were knit using Frog Tree alpaca sport weight. One skein makes dozens of birds.

I actually timed the knitting process. Each bird took 15 minutes to knit up. The embellishing materials include many items found already in your craft bin: acrylic felt, embroidery floss, wool roving for the beaks and 20-gauge wire (found in any craft store) for the hooks. Don't be intimidated by the hooks, I give very detailed instructions and diagrams.

My favorite ornament? The cream owlet, of course! I love that simple little face! Which is your favorite bird ornament?

Word of caution, you will be making them for everyone this year!

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Matilda the Witch

Matilda the Witch

NOTICE: As of January 1st, 2015 I have taken the Matilda the Witch gnome PDF off my website for downloading. My new book, Whimsical Woollies, is coming out in May and will have all the gnome adaptions in it. They are new and improved and all in one simple location. Thanks!

Matilda the Witch has been around for awhile, some of you may recognize her. What is new is a pdf download now available for easy access to these supplemental instructions.

Matilda is created using my Woolly Gnome & Mushroom pattern. This pdf gives you clear instructions on the yarn colors needed, how to needle felt the nose and chin, a template for the little felt bats and more! Contact me if you are interested in a PDF download.

Be sure to check out my website for other fun pdf downloads. My goal is to keep adding to this page and to keep the fun coming your way!

Look for my Woolly Santa pdf download, another adaptation of the Woolly Gnome & Mushroom pattern.

Happy knitting & felting!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Colorado Workshops

Colorado here I come!
The dates, the stores involved, the workshops, and the times are all official! Below are the stores participating:

October 23, Tuesday, My Sister Knits, Fort Collins
October 25, Thursday, The Recycled Lamb, Lakewood
October 26, Friday, The Recycled Lamb, Lakewood
October 27, Saturday, Knit Knack, Arvada

Check out my website for further details for each class descriptions: Special Events.

I am looking forward to coming back to Colorado, the awesome mountains and all the wonderful people I have met and shared my patterns with. Hope you are in the neighborhood and can drop by and support these local yarn stores!

Happy knitting & felting!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Colorado Here I Come!

As the details still roll in, it is official! I am definitely coming to the beautiful state of Colorado again this Fall. I do know for sure that I will be arriving the week of October 22 through the 29th, 2012.

First stop is Tuesday evening, the 23rd, at Fort Collins, CO, with My Sister Knits. We are still working out the specifics of workshop ideas and times. Second stop is Friday, the 26th, at Lakewood, CO, with The Recycled Lamb. Specific times and specifics are still forthcoming for this workshop.

And lastly, I will be doing two workshops in Arvada, CO, with Knit Knack LLC. One workshop on Saturday, the 27th, and the other on Sunday, the 28th. At Knit Knack we will be featuring my newest pattern, Woolly Matroyshka Dolls, and finishing techniques for these dolls. The second workshop will feature some needle felting techniques and the embellishing of a leaf or two from my Woolly Leaves pattern.

I will be updating my blog site as details are finalized. Be sure to check out my 'events page' on my website for further updates!

Happy knitting & felting!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Free Shipping Today!

To celebrate 500 'likes' on my Facebook page, I am offering FREE shipping on all orders of patterns and kits today only, 9/21/2012. Place an order before midnight (Central Time) on my Etsy Shoppe. When ready for check out, it will prompt you 'to apply coupon', enter: MAYHEW500.

Let me know if you have troubles. I will make sure you receive the free shipping.

Thanks again for your interest and support of my woolly patterns!

Happy knitting & felting!

Monday, August 27, 2012

woolly beehive skep

The third newest pattern! They are all at the printers and will be available September 1st, 2012. I am excited to share them all with you.

This little beehive has so many possibilities. I will be showing more samples in the next few weeks after the patterns are released. Stay tuned!

The beehive pattern comes in two sizes: small and large. The small felted beehive measures about 3-1/2 inches tall and the large, about 5-inches tall.

In the olden days, beehive skeps were baskets made of grass or straw. They were used for housing a colony of bees as they produced their honeycomb. Now you can knit and felt a whimsical small or large beehive as a tribute to the hardest - the honey bee!

Speaking of honey bees, I am going to be selling the bee pins and buttons, as shown above, on my Etsy shoppe. I love these bee pins! They come from Just Another Button Company. Each pin and button is made from polymer clay with whimsical detailing. Stay tuned!

Happy knitting & felting!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

a 'before' & 'after' bunny

I got this great idea to show the 'before' and 'after' photos of my little brushed bunny. Yes, that little nap riser brush makes all the difference. Who would know such a small brush can create such hairiness?

The brush fits nicely on your finger and gives you lots of control while brushing, to get into those delicate spots like around the face. The nap riser brush works great on alpaca or mohair yarns, pulling out the fibers especially after felting.

The bunny screams "touch me" again and again. And if you do and the fibers become flattened, simply brush again! That simple.

The yarn used on this little Woolly Bunny was Frog Tree's alpaca sport grey, two strands carried together. I love Frog Tree yarns! A great yarn for knitting and felting with. 

Happy knitting!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

woolly matroyshka dolls

This is another new pattern still in the works. All I need to do is photograph them and they are off to the printers.

There are three sizes of dolls: large, medium and small, but I call them: Mother, Teen and Child. They appear as if to nest, but they do not. I made a decision early on to not make them nesting. That way I would have more flexibility in embellishing them if they had a solid inside.

For the cover photo I have kept the dolls fairly simple. I have felted a set of all-red dolls and plan on more elaborate needle felting scenes and motifs to go across their dresses. I will take photos of them once I have finished them.

I am shooting for the first of September as their birth date. Stay tuned.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

hand-winding a center-pull ball of yarn

Click on photo to enlarge.
I found myself in a predicament a while back, needing to hand-wind a skein of yarn but definitely needing both ends for double stranding the yarn in my project. I found this link from the blog, Damp City Knits, on How to Hand-Wind a Center-Pull Ball of Yarn. It gives a great tutorial on how to hand-wind a loose hank of yarn into a ball with two available ends.

The tutorial is straight forward and easy to follow with lots of photos. Just remember to wind the ball loosely to not 'stress' the yarn and don't lose track of the inside end. The blog's author cautions that when using "some delicate or 'sticky' yarns, such as mohair or lace-weight silk yarn, it can be difficult to pull from the center, as their strands tend to stick together and tangle. In these cases, it is best to knit from the outside of the ball." Good to know!

I then tested out my new ball of yarn by knitting double stranded, pulling from both the center and the outside. It worked slick! A great reference.

Happy knitting!

Monday, July 16, 2012

needle felting trick

Unknown source
I couldn't find a direct source for this pin from Pinterest, sorry to say. I was so looking forward to whatever else this site had to offer. For all those that needle felt in the crowd, this idea is quite clever and will save you some time!

What's clever about this technique is Step 1, first tying the loose roving into a knot. This gives the ball a firm center right off the bat. Next the 'tails' are simply needle felted to the center knot.

The difference between Steps 2 and 3 is the continual needle felting: poking the ball until it is round, solid, and the desired size. Judging from the size of the above felting needle, I'm guessing the roving ball in Step 3 is about the size of your thumb nail.

The above technique is great for the addition of wool beads to whimsical jewelry creations. Or how about a unique fringe on that one-of-a-kind scarf?

I plan on using this technique especially for the little needle felted eggs in my Woolly Nest Ornament Kit. Who says this technique is limited to a ball-shape?
 Happy knitting!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

favorite books of my trade

I have started using Pinterest for my pattern business in some new and interesting ways!

One such way is my Favorite Books of My Trade board above. I use this board for pinning all my favorite and resourceful books from my collection here at home. Books that continue to give me great tips and wonderful inspiration such as needle felting, embroidery and woolly design.

What I love about this board is that it contains lots of information in one quick and easy sight: the book information, the cover photo and a brief comment by me on how I use this particular book.

Check it out.

I am pinning new things on it every day!

Friday, June 29, 2012

woolly kitty kat

woolly kitty kat
I have decided to start sharing with you a few photos of my soon-to-be released (August 2012) new projects, especially as they are getting closer to printing stage.

Here is my Woolly Kitty Kat pattern. I just love his little face! A quick knit and felt. And easy embellishments too.

Believe it or not, that tail has been a dickens to get 'just right'. I have a few ideas still to try, but it is getting closer and closer.

This little guy is knit using a sport weight orange yarn carried together with Rowan's kidsilk haze to give the kitty that whimsical fuzzy feel. He will stand, after felting and stuffed with fiberfill, about 9-inches tall.

I hope to have some black kat kits complete with yarn and pattern for sale as a Halloween special.

This pattern is for all those kitty lovers out there, who love to knit and need that special companion!

Stay tuned . . .

Sunday, June 17, 2012

fork pom-poms

I have had this tutorial on my Pinterest boards for quite sometime and decided today to try it. Making tiny pom poms using a fork and a little yarn. Very clever idea!

Simply wrap a fork with yarn and tie off. These pom poms are smallish in size. Great size for the snowman and snowbaby's hats! If you wanted a larger pom pom you would need a wider fork to wrap such as a serving fork size.

Here is the link to the tutorial by Eskimimi Makes: How to Make Pom Poms Using A Fork.

Friday, June 8, 2012

my pinterest summer adventure!

Sorry to say I haven't written in here in a while. Two good reasons though.

One, I am working like crazy to finish writing several new patterns by the end of this summer. I am really excited about them. Preview photos to come soon.

Secondly, I've been having fun playing on my other blog: Been There. Done That. On the new blog I have daily entries regarding my new adventure. I am calling it: 'My Pinterest Summer Adventure'. My goal is to try a new pin each day, then report back what I think. Did I like it? If I do, then does it receive the 'red pin award'. A symbol that I would definitely try it again.

So far I've tried a new taco salad, an underarm stain remover, the best-ever oven fried, a Picmonkey collage tutorial and several others!

It has been stimulating experimenting with these new ideas. The goal is to hopefully push my level of creativity to new heights. Stay tuned . . .

Follow me on Pinterest:  woollysomething
Check out my other blog:  Been There. Done That.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

words to live by

I am practicing here on how to create my first quote to pin on Pinterest. I love this quote!

I know that housework is a necessary evil, but it sure can get in the way sometimes. Wouldn't you agree?