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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Vintage Knitting Inspiration

While surfing the net looking for inspiration I found this blog....

 I started to download the magazines and one by one and found so much of use and interest...even among the oversize, drop shouldered '80's fashions I downloaded them all.

I found a few things I want to make for myself, some neat instruction and information.

This white V necked ribbed pullover will be very smart for Spring and Fall. Perhaps out of a cotton acrylic blend, Cannele cotton? We'll see. I think I'd do it using the Garter Carriage rather than use the ribber....never been very good with the ribber.

My husband, who was sitting next to me as I went through the mags glommed onto this one and said he even liked the gold colour....though he likes the lighter blue too. I think if I switch the colours it'll look's a combination of Garter Carriage and Fairisle knit in patterning.

I really want to work this dress....but shorter to wear over pants as a 'top'.

Working through the patterns - all included in the mags - I'll have to figure out the I have some similar? What sort of switches will I be making.

What fun to browse these mags and they're not taking up any room on my studio shelves!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Etsy & the Fluctuating CAD!

What to do...what to do! I've had an Etsy shop for years now and it's done OK..and not OK but it's a great way to have a shop attached to my web site and have it seen around the world. I know I'm competing in large market but rather that than not at all

My dilemma now is our fluctuating Canadian dollar, you see, Etsy is a US shop and all prices are automatically listed in US dollars, that's been ok when our dollar was strong or on a par with the US dollar but now it' plummets and I can't keep up

I had my student look all around Etsy to see how I could change my listings to CAD so I could put accurate prices on and not have them blow out of proportion with the exchange. A couple of weeks ago I sat with the Currency Exchange site open on my iPad and listed my work with the US equivalent of my Canadian prices....OK so far but then the dollar plunged again.  The other day I took a look at a pair of socks, clicked on the little blue USD next to the price and found that my $65 socks which I had priced at $50something USD translated at over $71CAD!!!!!!!

Now I have changed everything to CAD but on my 'dashboard' where I create my listings....they are still listed in USD!!! Whew:

So you can see that I had to list my socks at $51USD to get them even close to CAD ($66.55)!!!!

I have 49 items on my shop...I've sometimes had over I have to go in each day and change my US prices to reflect the correct CAD?!

Last year the One of a Kind started an online shop of their own and as I decided to end my 30year relationship with the shows I purchased a 'shop'. I started to work it but found the 'shipping' page to be ridiculous and haven't returned. They had you having to price shipping to every item using Post Office standards and having to refer to that. I tried to plough my way through that and gave up.....

I think I'm going to look at the OOAK shop (and get my money's worth before it expires) or maybe Zibbet.


Sunday, January 25, 2015

Painting on Knits.

Winter and I'm working through my custom orders. I didn't to a Christmas or 'Holiday' show as I have done over so many of the past 32 years so I have't a lot of pending work. That could be good, no one likes to have no work, but it gives me more space, makes me go into the studio and push myself to do 'something. You know what they say 'if you want something done give it to a busy person' and that is soooo true! So I always keep busy.

One order is a pink cotton knit collarless cardigan...very Springlike, Summery. My sample has a purple Morning Glory motif and the order is to be worked in hot pink & khaki.

I had my student put in a few hours and had her work with me as I mixed the colours and held down the stencils...she was also very handy to hit the sink to wash off the stencils & brushes.

I first saw painting on knits back in 1988 when I went to Secaucus NJ for a Mac Knit of the neatest thing's I've attended. There was a mother & daughter duo - one knit pullovers in and the other painted on them...beautiful work. I learned lots that weekend but that stuck with me and I have used it since.

Not being a painter I cut my own stencils and Pebeo Setacolor...I have used many different ones over the years and have stencilled sweaters, dresses, walls, nightdresses, bags and more. After putting down the basic colour I use some shading and accents to give more depth and interest.'s fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cochenille Design Studio Update.

It's that time of review your life, what you are doing and how you are doing it. I've been updating some web sites that I've built (check out the list at my other business site) and some still need a lot of updating....including mine!

Anyway - Wow! I got an email this morning about Cochenille's design bundles. I've been using Garment Designer for years and though Susan Lazear has been sooo active in workshops, teaching, travelling and updating I've long thought the site needed ... um.. 'freshened' up.

Well, it has and I love it! It keeps up with her blog which is so fun to read and inspirational.

If you are interested or just curious...check out this page where there is a video overview of Garment's such fun to work with and it helps me get the fit I need for myself and my clients.


This Winter is a bit less stressful as I'm not heading to the One Of A Kind anymore and digging down the back of the couch cushions for those last few pennies for the hefty booth fee! So now I have more time and energy for is the link to my web site and to the email I sent case yo aren't on my list....

I'm also up for travelling in case I need to come to you in case your group is in another town.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Show Time! A New Year.

Well, it's that time of year for artists, artisans and craftspeople...time to send out those applications, forms and cheques to sign up for this year's shows.

I wrote a post last year on my return to the Beach neighbourhood in Toronto, my old stomping grounds, to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  Thinking about the upcoming year and what to do I can breathe a sigh of relief that I don't have the One Of a Kind show to stew over and decided to ask if I could be on the Beach Studio Tour again this year. A space came free so I high tailed it down to Toronto on Sunday for the first meeting of the 2015 Spring tour.

It was wonderful to be among these wonderful artists and crafts people again (they're very rigorous about everyone's participation) and as no one is allowed to sit back and wait I volunteered for one or two tasks.

I met new participants and old  and I'm so looking forward....I guess I'll be burning up the 401 highway a few times this Spring.  Here's a shot of the gang with some of their work (mine's on my iPad!).

I had better start working on some new Spring designs and upgrading and updating my web site!

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Mesh & Knitted Treats

These two things came about because of Christmas ... the first beforehand and the second was a little gift from my niece.

 I wanted to make some felted soaps as Christmas gifts and needed some mesh for the process. A colleague - Robert from Kingston Soap Co. said he had used mesh from a scrubby to hold the roving together around the soap so I found one to cut up.

It gave me a long tube of mesh of which I needed about six inches....there must be something useful to do with the rest...of course! Fruit/veg shopping bags. I had bought some in an Eco shop in our old neighbourhood in Toronto years ago and I have but one left...I cut lengths of this mesh and tied a knot in one end of each length of about 18". Now I have washable, reusable bags to take with me when I shop for fruits & vegetables! Yeah.

I just had to share these little items which my niece got from one of her always resourceful friends. The little crocheted wreath went on my Norfolk Island pine tree, the little knitting basket will go in a special place in my studio.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Two Hats Simple Sites....New Business!

Two hats...what's she talking about? Well, I started building my own web site many years ago as I always wanted to keep it up to date.....then got onto building for others.

I found working with technical stuff challenging and fascinating and fell in love! My husband even updated my laptop for me this year as I do so much work on it and my old one just couldn't keep up.

Trying to think of a name for my second business I hadn't come up with anything but I knew I'd have to put a link from this site to my Carolyn M. Barnett Designs site as I seem to wear two hats.....two hats! That's it! That's how the name came about.

I love working with the technology, images, people, balance, creativity and it's a great alternative for me from travelling for shows and always being in the studio....I can work elsewhere and one on one (seated) over coffee with my clients.

I do end up doing a bit of instruction too, with how to take decent photos of work for the site, working with your Mac computer, Mail Chimp for your business and so on.

So, check out my site and see if there is anything there you or someone you know might need.