Getting Meta

A Blog Post about Posting in Blogs

Well, the shop is expanding to take on more of my online time.  Not ‘expanding’, as in actually getting much traffic or generating any income (yet) but it has spawned Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as an actual Menagerie Imagery blog*.  I’ve got plans to start a Facebook Fan page. All of which means I’m going to have to change the way I run this blog.

I’m definitely still going to be posting here. I have a draft which I’ve been writing, a little bit at a time, for a couple of days now. I’ve got Ravelry WIPS and FOs to post about.  I’ve got all kinds of stories and ideas for posts.

Some of these post ideas are things I think would be of interest to my hypothetial Etsy customer (have you met my hypothetical Etsy customer?  Her name is Bettie, she likes jewelry and crafting and enjoys things which are cute, but not too saccharine cute).  I’m supposed to build a picture of Bettie and come up with content which will be of interest and/or use to her.  This part is almost too easy – between gaming and writing I have a lot of experience in inventing people, it would take very little time to get to know Bettie very well, well enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about TMI.  At the same time, I’d like to have actual customers, you know, real people who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in all the details of my life.

If I talk about having a low-spoons day here (because of migraines or depression) that’s one thing, but if I do it while wearing my ‘merchant’ hat, it might be something else.  Admittedly, if I’d done the shop solo I would have probably just named it Eyebehold and used this as the shop blog, but this is definitely my space, and for various reasons (good or not) the shop is a joint venture with Jan, and deserves to be it’s own thing. On the other hand, the post about the earbuds (which has just gone up on the shop blog) or the cute story about the tea (which is coming soon) are things I would like to share with everyone, but I think are particularly relevant to Hypothetical Bettie.

The immediate solution has been to link the RSS feed in the sidebar here, so anything I post in the other blog will be easily accessible to you (though you’re still very much welcome to subscribe to both blogs).   I’m starting with the model that posts which are (at least) tangentially related to the shop will go there, everything else will go here.

But what about the blog contest and giveaway links?  I don’t know that anyone here is particularly attached to them, and they might be of some interest to Hypothetical Bettie.  I’m thinking of posting them there instead of here…

I’m definitely still going around and around about how this is all going to shake out.  I’d love to hear your opinions on how I should break this thing down, so please do comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

* Links to all those accounts are available from the sidebar of that same blog. Convenient, no?

A very strange thing happened yesterday. Steve and I were stopped at a light, just talking.  The light cycled and the car in front of us did not move.  Steve honked, but the car still didn’t move.  The cycle completed, I got out of the car and tapped on his window, with visions of having to call 911 dancing before my eyes.  The poor driver was just slumped in his seat, face up, eyes closed.  I rapped very hard on the window and he jerked upright…  He had fallen asleep during the red light!  He said that he was all right, and drove off after the light turned green again.  He did take the next turn after the light, which was an apartment complex, so that turned out well.  Still it kind of freaked me out.


The last time I saw my camera accessory pouch, the one with the cable, battery charger and tripod, was when I uploaded the pictures of our items at the Mother-in-Law’s house on Thursday.  I’ve promised myself I’ll take more pictures on Tuesday, and she has a digital camera.  Failing that I can use my iPhone.  One way or another there will be a shop update this coming week, otherwise I feel as though I haven’t given it a real try.  So far there’s been a few hits, and a favorite of the beaded earrings…

Anna (Czech Beads Exclusive) has shown her appreciation.  Jan and I will definitely be checking out her stuff.

Finished Object

have been knitting even while on my blog hiatus. Also spinning.  I’ve been doing pretty well with it, actually.

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First I spun the mystery fiber which came with my beautiful Geode spindle, which came out that weird and wonderful ‘first spinning’ weight.  Then I managed some worsted weight out of jacob and alpaca.  Then I got a turkish spindle from Turtle Made and spun about 100 yards of fingering weight.  I also played a little bit with my gorgeous phang from Tinas Angoras and came up with a dramatic finnsheep angora mix.

And now I have a wonderful, very funky, homespun hat.

Homespun Hat blocking



More Stuff Happened


Since Last I Posted

The Sky Fell

…and I fell off the Internet

but things have been happening, and instead of trying to catch up on everything, I’m going to jump in with

The BIG News

I’ve opened an Etsy shop with my Mother-in-Law.

Beginning slowly, because I really don’t want to overcommit.  So far we’ve just got a few things up there (on purpose).  I have some concerns over my spoon level, and hers, and the general going into business with relatives thing.  I’m trying to keep my hopes high and expectations low, but I’m really pleased with the start.





Eventually I may start a separate shop blog, but for now I’ll just try to give updates here.  I’m most excited about the recycled stitch markers (made from earbud cording). The two of us have decided to make a lot of different
stuff and see what gets the best response, but we’re both thinking upcycled and recycled* materials will play a big part. I’m going to be playing around with the idea of making string bags with handles of printer spools, because otherwise they tend to cut into my hands, but those will take a while. I plan to make the next shop update next week.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

The Brother Chicory CD giveaway  still hasn’t reached 50 likes, so no winner there. I won the Michelle’s Assortment pattern giveaway (and you should totally check out her designs!)  No other wins.

I’ve entered the February/March Expression Fiber Arts giveaway (15 March).

* Can anybody explain the difference, or does ‘upcycled’ just mean ‘this is cool’?

Things and Stuff

The Holidays were a strange mix of good and not so good.  I managed to get through without any Vicodin for my foot until last night (but it really did make for better sleep than I’ve been getting).  DH didn’t have a reinsurance of the digestive issues from Christmas Eve, but neither was he really up to enjoying the Christmas fare.  My mother-in-law has broken a tooth, and was doing her best to power through as well.

In addition, a really odd set of coincidences marred my gift receiving experiences to the point where I felt justified in purchasing more goodies for myself come boxing day (both Steve and Dottie enabled this choice on my part).  I ordered a gorgeous Ladakh Phang support spindle from tinasangoras, and am waffling on getting myself an Ashford Sampler niddy noddy as well.

This was our first Christmas with Abby.  We got to Facetime her while she was at the Peace Corps regional headquarters for her celebration, and we called her again on Boxing Day, so both sides of the family got to speak to her, but there was lots of missing going on.

Other than that, the seasonal cheer flowed freely, and the children had a wonderful time, and it was far less fraught than last years festivities were, so that’s good.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the November/December Luxury Yarn Package from Expression Fiber Arts, so I entered the next drawing (15 January). I didn’t win any of the multiple Phat Fiber or Knitter’s Pride giveaways either.  Nor did I win the indigo dyed shawl from Jennifer Falkowski, or the Susan B Anderson book from Knitting Pipeline.

I did, however, with the Ballpoint Pen yarn from “With Pointed Stitcks”.  According to my tracking spreadsheet, I’ve won more than 4% of the giveaways I’ve entered.  That’s pretty impressive.

Ballpoint Emerald Ballpoint Peppermint Stick

These are absolutely gorgeous.  I’m still deciding what to make with them.  I want to find the perfect pattern to show off the co-ordinated semi-solid and variegated yarns.  The top candidates are the Me and You… and You and Me shawl, Windowpane socks and Syncopated Hats, but I’m definitely open to suggestions if you have any.

The winter holidays are always fraught for me.  Judging from the spike in hit on the ‘depression’ tagged posts here on my blog in the last few days, I’d venture to say that it’s not just me either.  I’m just starting from a position of being on the cranky (and vulnerable) side.

Then, the day before yesterday, I got my first ‘present’:


Because, when I was walking down the steps in front of my house I stumbled, fell, and did this:

MENDEL- LISE - - CR From 12-22-2015 S0 I0

I can barely see it, but there’s a little shadow just above and to the left of my ankle.  Apparently I sprained it so hard that the tendon tore a little chip away from my talus bone.  So I’ll be hurting for three to five days, and in the boot for about three weeks.  I got a flu shot on Tuesday along with the X-rays, so now my arm is sore.  So yeah, holiday fun.

That would have been plenty to deal with, really, but this morning, poor Steve had another flare up of the ‘mystery ailment’ we thought we had sussed out.  Turns out, not so much.  He’s had about four hours of nonstop misery.  Hopefully he’ll be able to sleep today and get through the celebrations tomorrow.

Dottie has been a trooper.  Trying to have a happy family vacation despite the fact that her parents are both on the DL and her sister is in Africa.    The plan is to bake Buckeyes this afternoon.  I texted with Abby this morning and she seems to be having a good time with the other Peace Corp volunteers (they get together at the regional house for the holiday).

So here’s wishing that you have a happy holiday, whatever your tradition is.  I hope that it is full of joy and love and light.  Failing that, I hope that you can keep your sense of humor about you, hold the ice weasels at bay, and remember that the nights will just keep getting shorter and the daylight will return.


For Makin’ Whoopee

I’ve just gone to a Pure Romance party.  It’s sort of like a Tupperware party for the bedroom.    One of my friends volunteered to make some themed cupcakes, so I got into the spirit and offered to make some appropriate party favors.

Because this post may not be comfortable for all readers, I’m going to put the ‘last section’ first.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the Wool Baby pattern book from Knitting Pipeline.  I entered the next one, for a copy of Susan B Anderson’s Kids Knitting Workshop (17 December).

Knitter’s Pride has a two weeks of giving giveaway, and there are a couple of days left (18 December).  Jennifer Falkowski is giving away one of her shibori indigo dyed shawls (they’re lovely) (21 December).  With pointed sticks is giving away two color coordinated skeins (16 December – TONIGHT)

The photos which follow the cut are not appropriate for all audiences, but I promise no actual flesh is involved… Continue Reading »

Diamonds in the Ruff

One Project off the Christmas Knitting List

I’m the first knitter on Ravelry to finish (or even start) the Diamonds in the Ruff collar.  The pattern was published last March in Defarge Does Shakespeare from Co-operative Press, and I want to thank Heather at Craftlit for getting me hooked on both the series and the publishing company.

Diamonds in Ruff materialsKnitting

This is the project which helped me improve my beading method. As I mentioned before, I picked up the seed beads from Bead Biz.  I also got ribbon, focal beads (rose and leaf) and hook and eye clasps from Jo Ann Fabric, and just a couple of beads from stash.

There was lots of beading involved in this one, so the knitting took longer than such a small project normally would.  Not that the beading was that difficult, but it made the project completely non portable.  Too much set up before knitting and clean up after, too many little bits to make a mess.  So I could only work on this one at home.  It took me nearly three weeks from cast on to finish.


I have heard many people say unblocked lace supposedly looks horrible, but honestly, I just don’t see it myself.  It’s bumpy, true, but I usually find it interesting.

Diamonds in the Ruff Unblocked

This is another piece I blocked using wire.  I threaded one thin wire through the cast on stitches and the other one at the end of the “A” chart.  I threaded a thicker wire (because I was out of the thin ones) through the bind off.  I pinned the first two to the target measurement, and stretched the remainder of the ruff out to really display the lace.

Diamonds in the Ruff blocking


Once the piece was blocked I stitched 3/4″ ribbon to the wrong side, and sewed two hook and eye clasps on.  If I do it again I’ll leave slack at the short ends of the ribbon, and attach the clasps between the ribbon and the lace rather than on top of the ribbon, but it is acceptable as is.

Diamonds in the Ruff baubleMaking the faux clasp was a lot of fun.  I took a large silicone stitch marker and crocheted around it with the Knitpicks Gloss Lace I’d used for the ruff, beading as I went, and left a tail, which I then beaded.  I attached a second length of yarn and beaded it as well.  Then I sewed the whole assembly onto the ruff so that it hides the hook and eye clasps.

The final product is a very dainty and delicate piece, almost more jewelry than anything else.

Of course the person I’m giving it to probably expects a much bolder ‘infinity scarf’, so I bought one at Kohls to give her as well.  Because if I gift this to her and she seems disappointed I might just have to kill someone…

Diamonds in the Ruff FO

Blog Contests and Giveaways

I didn’t win the last Michelle’s Assortment name that pattern giveaway, so I entered the next one (20 December).  I’ve missed some, but I’ve caught a couple of the Knitter’s Pride series of giveaways (20 December) and the Phat Fiber Edgewood Garden Studios BFL roving giveaway (also 20 December).



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