As some of you know, I’m a Hiya Hiya stockist selling some their knitting needles, accessories and Gift Sets exclusively on Etsy in my- Hiya Hiya Shop Section. The range is huge, and I’d need to take a new mortgage out to get the full list of crochet hooks, knitting needles, gift sets and accessories that Hiya Hiya make.
I’ve found that their bamboo DPN’s are very nice to knit with – smooth and non-snagging. How well they ‘grab’ depends on the yarn you use with them but they are certainly less slippy than metal DPN’s!
I like their fixed circulars too – I tend to use them over interchangeables most of the time but do have a few interchangeables. I don’t have any larger Hiya Hiya knitting needles – over 5mm right now so I don’t know how they are different from the ones I use now.
If you could add anything to the Hiya Hiya selection here in my Etsy shop, what would you want to see? Comment below and maybe you’ll get a little gift from me!
I really get used to using a yarn sometimes – and these yarns have been around for over 5 years, so it was a bit of a shock when I went to order more rainbow acrylic yarns for boobs and the colours I use weren’t available anymore. I sent off an email to the yarn company, but it seems that this yarn is discontinued and what I have left is all I can get.
So…. I had to find another rainbow yarn – or 3. Ice Yarns didn’t have any suitable at the time, so I looked elsewhere. Sirdar has a yarn that’s exactly like the first rainbow yarn I use but it’s 20% wool and a lot more expensive. Boo. I have enquired about being a stockist but I haven’t yet taken it any further as they have salesmen that you have to order through instead of actually just ordering online.
So I kept looking and a few months later, I saw a new rainbow yarn on the Ice Yarns Website. It’s heavier than the other Ice Yarns rainbow yarn by a fair bit but I decided to order it anyway and adjust my pattern. I managed to get a new boob made with it fairly quickly once it arrived with only minimal adjusting of the pattern which was a bonus.
Yup, it’s that time again… new items! This time it’s 4 Camera Scarf Straps – 3 with nylon straps and 1 with keyrings and lobster clasps.
The scarf straps are all upcycled from 2nd hand scarves. The kind of camera strap they get made into depends on the material, size and shape. Thicker ones like pashminas get made into non-adjustable straps with nylon strap fittings and I have to work with the thickness and make a larger pleather cover for them than for a thinner scarf. The long, fine scarves are sewn into adjustable straps with keyrings and lobster clasps for fittings. I don’t usually have much trouble with these ones; I’ve made so many now. I have plans to make covers for the straps that come with DSLR cameras; I have some bright and cheerful cottons as well as some patterned Fat Quarters too.
These 4 Camera Scarf Straps are all listed in my Etsy, Amazon and Ebay shops, so you get your pick of where to buy them! BTW, which is your favourite platform to buy from out of the 3?
I don’t often talk about my anatomical knits. Mostly because some people get very embarrassed when I tell them what I’m knitting when I’m out in public – but not children, interestingly. They always want to know “Why?” And I tell them as much as I think they will understand – or the adult they are with is comfortable with me telling them.
If you’ve read my blog for a while, you know I make crochet breasts and have made hundreds. I do occasionally get requests for modifications to my pattern – some I won’t do, some I can’t and some I don’t have time to make to the buyer’s timeline. (The request at the beginning of my Christmas rush for 3 knit alimentary tracts fell into this category). The request below didn’t fall into those categories.
I had a buyer in the US ask if I could modify a crochet breast to add a simulated tumour inside it. It took several tries to get it right, and even then I wasn’t sure. I sent it off to the buyer and then another one off to an IBCLC I know who is also a nurse. Both were impressed, so I guess I got it right as my IBCLC friend said: “I think you have nailed it. It is really good. The lump is not obvious unless you palpate the breast and women are told to use the flat of their hand and not finger tips to do this. If you do it that way you do find it but you have to be thorough which is what women need to be when looking for lumps. Got my husband to try it and he found the lump too.”
You have to palpate the breast to feel the “tumour” just as you would if you were self-examining your own breasts. I didn’t make it easy to feel because usually tumours aren’t easy to feel in a real breast.
It’s shorter and has a cardboard insert to press against while you palpate to find the tumour. It’s made from the same ever-popular pastel rainbow yarn and high quality polyfill as with my other crochet breasts.
Most of my anatomical knits are used as medical teaching aids or models – they don’t break, are washable and you don’t have to worry about handing them to all and sundry when teaching. You can find this Crochet Breast with Tumour in my Etsy Shop, Anatomical Knits by LGD.
Hello again. I know, I know, I abandoned you – but not intentionally! I ran out of steam to write blog posts – I did’t just want to post new items I have made to sell all the time, but couldn’t think of anything else to blog about!
In Real Life, it’s been hectic, son’s settling in well to boarding and singing, hubby’s been very busy at work and helping son with music practice. I’ve been busy labelling new clothes to replace ones that have gone missing at school, and reminding him to wash his hair properly. He’s shot up as well; he’ll need yet more new clothes in a few weeks, I’m sure. We already had to buy new school shoes to replace the half pair he lost a week before the holidays started – 1 went missing after Games and he hasn’t had his ‘Cinderella’ moment yet. We couldn’t wait to see if it did come back when the new term started, though. Right now, we all have colds, so are grotty and grumpy but I stocked up the house before Christmas so we have had enough stuff to make soups and meals you want to eat when you have a cold.
Looking Glass Designs has been doing well, too. I haven’t finalised accounts for November & December yet, but it looks like I have passed last year’s turnover for those 2 months. Not sure about the tax year as a whole yet. I also started selling on Amazon Handmade and am pleasantly surprised at how quickly I got busy on there.
I have plans for several new product lines that I hope will sell well, and another style of Camera strap too. This one will be a cover, so I can use some of the fabric on my shelves – I have some gorgeous fat quarters!
I smacked my hand on the edge of our kitchen door jamb in August and it’s still not healed. I’m going to look for a physiotherapist – I went to the doctor’s but as it wasn’t ‘deformed, bruised or not bending’ they wouldn’t do anything…
Pippy’s still missing Annie, he spends a lot of time wanting cuddles and sleeping beside me. He got “old” very quickly once she was gone; he refused to go outside almost at all for most of September. We used to have to pick him up and take him outside. He’s slightly better now, but I’m not allowed out of the house for longer than a couple of hours or he’s very upset when I/we get home. He will be 14 this year, in May/June time.
I hope you and yours have a 2018 that is mostly good – if there were no ‘downs’ the ‘highs’ wouldn’t be so wonderful!
I do get asked why I don’t do craft fairs right now. One reason is that my current best-sellers are mostly custom-made so can’t be made ahead of time. I also don’t have transportation right now either, which makes it difficult to get to craft fairs.
About a month ago, I was approached by Hiya Hiya Europe regarding stocking their products. I wasn’t sure, so asked quite a few questions, which were cheerfully and quickly answered.
I had a good look at their catalogue, trying to decide if I should go for it or not. I had some unexpected expenses in September – my printer had to be replaced for one – and didn’t go ahead right away. I let them know I was interested but that I couldn’t order right away and they extended the introductory offer for me.
I ordered this week and it only took a couple of days to arrive. I got a retail pack, so a good assortment of Hiya Hiya bamboo,steel fixed and interchangeable needles and lots of accessories. The sheep needle gauges are especially cute!
I spent 3 days writing listings and editing photos and they are now live! Join me on my Facebook page – Looking Glass Designs to enter the Giveaway on the pinned post!
I don’t often make clothes – by clothes meaning jumpers/sweaters, cardigans, socks, that kind of thing. (Actually I’ve never made socks!) But I got an email from a local-ish lady wanting to know if I was able to knit her a jumper – extra large, plain and using a very thick yarn. Many more emails later, we met up to talk and to get measurements.
She had picked out a yarn (Rowan Cocoon in “Clay”) and was looking for a pattern. Usually it’s the other way round, but I managed to find a pattern – plain, big, and one that I could add her requirements to – a polo neck and long cuffs that she can turn up. She had bought the yarn, so gave me that and 50% of the agreed price. (The remaining amount is due when half the work is done).
I started on the jumper – bulky yarn and 6 & 7mm needles mean it knits up quickly, but when you have to frog…. not so much fun. I knit up the front to about 2/3 done after swatching, then washed and blocked it – even without pinning it out, just laying it on a clean towel, it stretched 3″. So I took 1″ off the front and back length and started again. The front and back got done fairly easily, then I sewed the right shoulder seam together and started in on the neck to get the polo part started.
The sleeves I also started – 6″ and a 4″ cuff to check that which length she wanted and part of the sleeve as well. We met up for her to try on the pinned together jumper front and back and see how long she wanted the polo neck and the cuff length. 6″ cuffs it is, then…. 🙂
I also checked her arm length, as the shoulder seams come down over the top of the shoulder onto the upper arm. She was very happy with the partly done jumper – it will definitely keep her warm; there is going to be about 800-850g of yarn in this jumper once done and it’s thick as well. I haven’t washed it yet, so it will grow a bit. The yarn is a single ply wool and will soak up water. I’m going to wash it carefully by hand once it’s finished and all sewn together so the seams can support it.
I got busy and didn’t manage to get back to this post. The jumper is completed and is waiting to be picked up. I washed it once I sewed it together and it kept its shape well. I washed it in my bathtub, keeping it flat and making sure I didn’t wring, twist or agitate it so it didn’t go out of shape or felt.
I am happy with it, and I hope my customer is too!
I have finally managed to re-wallpaper my background board, it was looking a bit ratty. I had to wait until the weather got better- wet weather and wallpapering don’t mix very well. I used the same wallpaper, so no change there.
The first things I photographed using it were these neutral chunky mini-blankets – I also moved where I take photographs, so hopefully the lighting will be better. These came out well, I had to adjust the white balance and exposure a little, but I usually do. These were knit using 15mm needles and super-chunky yarn. It felt like knitting with broom sticks and rope, after the 4mm needles and fingering yarn I’ve been knitting shawls with!
There are 3 colours – cream, grey and light brown. They are perfect for layering under a newborn or popping under a sitter. These are great photography props! Each one is available in my Etsy Shop. Which is your favourite colour? I think mine’s the grey…
Blocking, what’s blocking, I can hear some of you ask. Especially if you have visited to look at my recipes…. Blocking is magic. It transforms a crumpled up a used tissue-looking piece of knitting or crochet into a fabulous piece of lace, cabling, plain stocking stitch hat/scarf/cowl/sweater/whatever that no one would be embarrassed to wear.
Sometimes the transformation is subtle, sometimes it looks like it’s not the same piece at all. There are whole threads on Ravelry.com about blocking, how-to do it and the results in photos… lots of photos….
This is an example of crochet. Not my crochet, I got this vintage crocheted table runner off ebay. It’s original measurements were 14″ x 22″. I think it was also ‘tea-dyed’ as when I washed it, a lot of colour came off and there are now some paler patches. I wonder if it was white, but was dyed after a tea-spilling accident?
When I washed it, I put it in a bowl of body temperature water, with a tiny bit of Eucalan, a non-rinse hand detergent. Then I swished it around a bit and left it in the water to soak and relax the fibres. When I got back to it a couple of hours later (usually I soak for 20 minutes) the water was tea-coloured and the crochet runner was lighter – not a lot but noticeably. I squished as much of the water out as I could then rolled it up in a towel and squeezed it again. Then I laid it out on my blocking mats (I have to get some that don’t have holes!) and began pinning out the middle 8 motifs.
This photo shows 7 of 8 center motifs pinned out. I started pinning like a clock face at 12,3,6 and 9 then pinned in between pulling the motif into as circular a shape as it would go. Then I moved onto the next one. There are about 20 pins for each motif.
This shows one corner pinned and stretched out. I pinned all 4 corners first, then started pinning from each corner towards the middle of each edge. I found that the middles would stretch more than the corners so tried to pull out the middles enough, but not so much I ended up with a piece with bowed out edges. You can see how much the crochet has opened up!
This is just a close-up of one corner.
The piece completely pinned out. I actually had to go out and buy more pins as I ran out even before I finished the center.
It stretched out to 17″ x 27″ and I suspect I could have stretched it out more. There are some ends of threads I’ll trim that have popped out because of the blocking, I don’t think it had ever been blocked. I’m not quite sure yet what I’ll do with it, I might sell it as is, for a photo prop layer, or I might sew it onto a little velvet blanket for a mini-bed prop…