10.28.2010

Giveaway Winner and Voting Results

Well, the mint green received the most votes.  Don't they look cute?!  This was my favorite choice too.  Four people voted, but one of them was my sister.  She can have copies of my patterns whenever, so I didn't enter her name in the drawing.  So, the winner is..................Kari!  Kari, if you will email me at bananamoonstudio (at) att.net (take out the spaces and use the @ sign of course) with the 2 patterns you would like from my etsy shop http://www.bananamoonstudio.etsy.com/, or my ravelry pattern store www.ravelry.com/stores/banana-moon-studio, then I will send them to you as soon as possible.  Yay for Kari!

I did put a pair of buttons on the mittens last week, pale blue ones, to take pictures for the pattern.  I used that color because it is a close match to one of the colors offered in the suggested yarn.  I put the green ones on this morning to show to everyone and I like them a lot!  They are so cute!  Now I have to decide what to do with the mittens.  Sell them? Give them as a gift to someone? Give them to charity?  Do another giveaway?  I haven't quite decided...

I received the beautiful Plymouth Yarns Suri Merino that I requested.  They were so nice and sent me an extra skein.  So, I've been working on finishing the stitching on that project.  Almost done!  I plan to take pictures this weekend, and get the pattern up early next week.  Let's hope I run on time!

Also, the call for patterns for Interweave's Fall 2011 issue came out recently, so I have been pondering what to submit for that.  Submissions are due late November.  I also started on 2 more designs while waiting for the Suri Merino to arrive, and made a few more pairs of baby mittens.  Today, I have a date with my girls to go to the library and grocery shopping (ugghh!  I detest grocery shopping!)

Happy crafting everyone!

April :)

10.21.2010

Choose your own color -- and a giveaway!

Do you remember a couple of posts ago that I mentioned the comment from a woman on Ravelry about the shape of my "Sweet Little Mittens".  Well, I agree with her, that the shape isn't as nice as it could be.  As I mentioned, I rather like the rounded shape more.  So, I am going to redesign the pattern in the rounded shape and offer both of them, so that buyers can choose the one they like most.  They will both have the cute crocheted "button" on them.  I am writing the pattern in Valley Yarns Superwash DK.  It is so soft and nice!  I've made a pair of mittens in a dusty light purple and have not yet made the buttons.  I took some pictures of some colors of yarn next to the mittens and want to take a vote. 

The choices are
1) teal
2)mint green (color doesn't look quite right in the pic..sorry...I did my best with the camera)
3)mauve
4)light blue
5)aqua

Leave me a comment please with your choice for the buttons (or anything else nice you want to say!).  One week from today Oct 28th, I will draw a winner from those who have left comments.  That winner will get a free copy of the new mitten pattern as soon as it's done, and one other pattern of their choice from my etsy shop http://www.bananamoonstudio.etsy.com/.  Good luck!

Happy crafting!

April :)

PS -- Remember to join me on my new blog before the end of the month http://www.bananamoonstudio.blogspot.com/.  See you there!

10.20.2010

Answer to a Question (@momwhoknits)

Momwhoknits asked me why I chose to use Etsy to set up my online shop, and if I had ever heard of Artfire.com.  Thanks for your question!  Here is my answer:

I first heard of Etsy in one of the first issues of Interweave Crochet that I read.  I was very intrigued, so I went to the website and looked around.  I was very impressed by many of the outstanding, beautiful, creative, unique things that I found there.  At that time I did not know of any other online handmade marketplaces.  I have since read of Artfire.com a few times, but have never actually visited the site, so I can't really give an opinion on it, except that Etsy's marketing efforts paid off, and Artfire's apparently did not.  I am seeing a lot more ads for individual shops within Etsy, than I am for Artfire shops lately as well.  When other sellers, or the Etsy admin, bring attention to the site, it helps all of the sellers, including me.  I do not however feel that Etsy is perfect.  I have a serious problem with their ridiculously low standards on what constitutes a "mature" item or image.  However, I have discovered that the only place that I tend to happen upon such images unawares (and I never go seeking them, so it doesn't happen any other way) is when browsing through the treasuries.  So, I do exceptionally little of that anymore.  I don't know what the standards for such items are like on other sites, but maybe that would be worth investigating for me.  So, really it was not a well-researched choice on my part.  Aside from the maturity issues, I like Etsy a lot.  I like the look of the stores and I have found SOOO many other sellers making fabulous things, that, atleast for that reason, I am proud to be a part of it.

Good luck to you momwhoknits if you decide to open up shop somewhere!  I hope it goes fabulously for you!

Visit my Etsy shop at http://www.bananamoonstudio.etsy.com/

One of my recent listings.  These are size 12 to 24 month mittens in a Superwash wool/Bamboo blend yarn.  They are super soft!  And so cute!




10.19.2010

Sneak Peek & Free Yarn For Me


Here is a sneak peek for you of my next self-publish pattern.  I've been waiting to get paid for my "Avery's Wavy Scarf" pattern from Interweave Crochet's Accessories issue, just out, so that I could buy 3 more balls of this Plymouth Yarn Co. Suri Merino to finish the model item.  The pattern is nearly all written already.  Then I had the bright idea to find out who the design director at Plymouth Yarn Co. is and see if they would be willing to provide the 3 balls of yarn for me -- and voila! the yarn is on it's way (Big thanks to them!).  This is such a nice part of having some published designs under my belt.  It lets the yarn manufacturers see that I am actually a serious designer, and not just a consumer looking for a deal.  So, much to my joy, I have that yarn, and some other great yarn from another yarn company on the way for design projects.

 
Now, these two pictures are for you to compare.  The teal mittens on the left are the model pair that I made for my self-publish pattern "Sweet Little Mittens".  You can see that the shape of the mitten body is rather long and narrow.  The red mittens on the right are a pair that I just listed in my Etsy shop.  The body of those mittens is more rounded.  Just recently someone uploaded some pictures of some mittens she made from my pattern on ravelry.  She said that the pattern was nice and easy -- good.  She also said that she thought the shape was a little odd since babies tend to keep their hands curled up into fists.  I think that either shape works fine, but I have concluded that I prefer the more rounded shape just because I think it looks cuter.  I'm curious what you all think.  Do you prefer one over the other?  I think that I may do another verison of this pattern in the more rounded shape, probably written in Valley Yarns Superwash DK.

I have been making lots and lots of baby mittens to list in the shop this week and last, but I think that tomorrow, with what craft time I have, I will probably focus on the re-write of the mitten pattern, and the writing of the sneak peek project I showed you at the beginning of the post.  Mostly though, I'll be cleaning house tomorrow.  I have begun having a crafting night for myself and friends that I am calling "Get Your Craft On".  Our first get together is at my home tomorrow night, so I have to tidy up a bit.  That way I can deceive all of my friends into thinking that I am Superwoman, and can crochet a lot, AND have a clean house ;)  Hopefully the kids will cooperate with my scheme and not undo all of my cleaning-up as the day goes on.  Fingers crossed! (but not holding my breath!).

Happy crafting!

April :)

PS-Don't forget that I will be moving over entirely to my newer blog http://www.bananamoonstudio.blogspot.com/ at the end of this month.  I hope to see you there! :)

10.15.2010

Etsy fun

I've been having fun this week making more baby mittens to list in my Etsy shop.  This pair, and the others that I've listed this week are actually ones that I made last year, but I will soon list the ones I made this week.  If you're looking for a great baby shower gift, stocking stuffer, or Christmas gift for a baby, these would be a great choice. 

I have a lot of fun picking just the right color for the button to really make the mittens look exciting.  This color combo is one of my favorite -- dark grey with bright green.  What is your favorite color combination?

You can see this and the other items in my Etsy shop here: http://bananamoonstudio.etsy.com/.

Happy crafting this week!

April :)

10.13.2010

My Week Thus Far in Crochet

I just added these mittens as a finished item to my Etsy shop.  I will be adding additional pairs of baby mittens within the next few days and weeks.  When I first began my Etsy shop about a year ago this style of thumbless baby mittens was the first thing I began selling.  This started because I made some baby mittens as gifts for friends.  I so loved how they turned out that I decided to start an Etsy shop and see if I could sell others.  I did sell several pairs, but I backed out of selling finished items early this year because I knew that I didn't have the accounting set up correctly to do this.  Well, I have devoted a lot of time to getting that kink worked out, and am now working on selling off my remaining mittens.  I will also finish using up the yarn I purchased for it by making more and listing those.  I have lots of ideas for things I would like to put in my Etsy shop.  Some of them will be crochet items.  I also have lots of great ideas that I'm really excited about  for upcycling items....oh my goodness...I just felt an earthquake.  At least I think that's what that was.  It shook the house and rattled the doors.  To some of you that's probably no big deal, but I've never felt one before.  Wow, how unusual for Oklahoma....

Anyway, where was I....I am really excited about the ideas that I have for selling items in my Etsy shop, but I will still continue to publish patterns as well.  In fact, I've been working on another self-publish pattern this week.  I ran out of yarn, so I won't be able to finish it until after I get more yarn, but I've nearly got the pattern written.  That pattern should be available late this month or early next. 

I would love to hear about what you are crafting.  What would you like to see in my Etsy shop?  What patterns would you like to see me design?  I would love to have your feedback!

Happy crafting!

April :)

10.08.2010

The Reveal

At long last I can show you the pictures of my latest published design!  This is "Avery's Wavy Scarf" from Interweave Crochet Accessories 2010
These pictures are all of the ones taken by Interweave Crochet for the magazine (copyright Interweave Crochet).  Below is the sneak peek picture that I showed you several months ago.

This accessories issue is awesome!  You can check out the full preview at http://www.interweavecrochet.com/.  I'd love to hear what your favorites are.  There are a ton of great patterns in this issue.  It's not included in subscriptions, so you'll have to go to your LYS or a nearby bookstore to get it, but you won't want to go without it!

I finished making some swatches last night for a new project and started stitching the model for my next pattern to self-publish.  This one will be fairly quick and easy, so I hope to have the pattern available within a month.  I need to block and photograph my swatches today and work some more on stitching this next project.  I've also been working diligently on getting my accounting books all set up -- a necessary evil that comes with designing and selling things.  Two of my girls, Princess and Baby, have been sick with a virus (high fevers and hurting tummies) the last 2 1/2 days.  I've had a very snugglie baby sitting in my lap for most of that time, so it was a good time to have computer work to do, although it would have gone faster with 2 hands available.  Oh well, snugglie babies are awfully nice!  Well, it's going to be a beautiful day!

Happy crafting!

April :)

10.05.2010

Busy Swatching and Etsy Treasuries

Well, my faithful blog readers, you may be surprised and dubious to know that I have not forgotten about you.  I haven't had much exciting news since my last post, and nothing to show for all the work I am doing.  I have been busy making swatches for an upcoming project.  I have also been working on an inventory of my supplies and completed items, as I will need this come tax time. 

I have so many great ideas of things I'd like to design and make.  I don't have nearly enough to time to bring all of my great ideas to fruition -- one of the downsides to creative thinking.

I have made a crochet-themed treasury on Etsy, and two other Etsy sellers have recently featured some of my items in their treasuries.  That's always fun.  Treasuries can be so pretty.  If you aren't familiar with them, a treasury is a themed collection of items that a seller puts together (just digitally, not on paper) and lists in the "Treasury" section of Etsy.  You can view the treasury list by going to http://www.etsy.com/ and scrolling down.  On the left hand side there is a tab for the Treasury.  Click there.  I will caution you though that the default method of sorting for the list is by the most popular first.  Unfortunately, many of the most popular treasuries contain items that depict scantily-clad, or un-clad, people, so, if that bothers you, as it does me, proceed with caution.  I usually don't click on the treasury tab until I have my hand strategically-placed slightly to the right of center to cover the pictures.  You can still see the titles, and hopefully you'll be able to tell by the title what you can expect from that particular treasury.  Anyway, I will give you some links for the treasury that I made, and the two where you can see my items.  All three of them are perfectly appropriate.

Here is the link for the crochet-themed treasury that I made: http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4ca35832c9fe8eef8fd9d7c3/hooked?index=1  It does not include any of my own items.  Typically it is not considered good manners to put your own items in a treasury.  The idea is to feature the work of other artists.

My bolero pattern is in this one:

http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4c95fac6e6f28eef88156f14/a-wedding-in-oklahoma?index=2
My mitten pattern is in this one:
http://www.etsy.com/treasury/4caa4c860ed48eef307d00fa/teal-harvest?index=0  This treasury is really beautiful!  I'm honored to be a part of it!

I hope that you are all enjoying some fun crafting too! Have a lovely fall day!

April :)