Archive for category other
Since I have had so many inquiries about my popular rainbow style Ablet, I’ve decided to write a blog post as explanation, rather than typing the explanation over and over in convos on Etsy and emails to my site.
So here’s the dealie:
We ran out of the beads to make the Rainbow Ablet over 2 months ago.
My supplier ran out of the beads too, but assured me they were on order from India. 6,000 cases of beads arrived in NYC on June 6th. I only need one case!
They have, apparently, been held up in NYC customs since then. I call my supplier almost daily (I think they are starting to dread my calls). If anyone happens to know a NYC customs worker and would like to offer them a bribe, I will be most obliged.
Now, for my Etsy customers, here’s the situation:
I have a contract with a distributor (Creative Commodities) who are having the rainbow style manufactured in China for distribution to large retailers here in the USA. (Exciting, yes!)
IF my beads get out of customs where they have been held captive BEFORE my distributor gets their first shipment, then I will be able to sell a few more of that style on Etsy. We will make around 20 of them, but when those are gone, they are gone for good.
IF Creative Commodities get their shipment before I get my beads, then I will only be able to sell that style on my other site knittingabacus.com and that style WILL NOT be handmade by me, but will be handmade in China.
Am I making any sense?
It is a race against the clock.
The Chinese order is expected by the middle of next week. (July 26th-ish). I have no idea when NYC customs will release my beads, and it is possible that the Chinese order gets held in customs too… it’s all so darned complicated. But my contract with the distributor gives them exclusive rights to the Rainbow style and I will be buying it from them wholesale, essentially becoming a reseller of one of my own products. All my other styles will still be handmade by me and available on Etsy.
This picture shows a sample of what the Chinese version will look like and it will be available at knittingabacus.com and (hopefully) some big retailers both online and IRL. Cool the way they are stamping the word Ablet on it, huh?
So that’s the story in a nutshell as they say… Thanks for your patience. If you would like my facebook page, I’ll be updating there as soon as I know anything.
Here are some sketches for a tallis for an upcoming Bat Mitzvah. I know, it means drastically switching gears… but I couldn’t resist, I do love making them.
Note: Click on the images to view larger.
This tallis would have a peach mottled background. The design would actually have to be worked backwards to what you see here, with the black hamsas done first. The white would then be drawn on with resist to prevent the dye from penetrating it. Then the whole tallis would be dyed a mottled peach. There would be a lot of subtle variation on the white hamsas which would be mottled and pale due to the process. The design has 18 hamsot (is that the plural of hamsa?) Each one would be different, and would be more my style of flowers and patterns. The ones shown here were just copied and pasted from the web (except for a couple that I drew myself)
The second sketch is more feminine and stylized with two larger Hamsot (I’ll just go with that). the visual elements would be outlined in gold resist. I may do them in black if the customer prefers, but it will significantly effect the feel of the piece, as black outlines will give it a heavier feel. I like the stripes as a visual element, but I don’t particularly like painting them! They are very hard to get on there straight, and will likely have variation in the line thickness.
A variation on the theme above, the Hamsot on this tallis have a floral print pattern. Again the stripes… what’s with that? I suppose it just doesn’t look tallis-like to me without them!I have outlined the elements here in black.
Looking at all three here, I think I should do one more with two simple black Hamsas on a peach background, like the first one, but without so many elements… I’ll wait for feedback from the customer though, as my backside has been glued to my computer chair all day and it’s gorgeous out.
I started work on the tallis. First printing out my sketch and tracing it in pencil, then outlining it in gutta. Then I made a very, very stupid mistake and washed it before setting the gutta… All my outlines washed off, except, of course, the pencil which I can’t get out, because I didn’t use my water based pencil, but a graphite one instead… Don’t ask me where my brain was… I will use the excuse of a nursing toddler going through molars and a growth spurt and keeping me up at night. So the tallis is a bust, and I’ll have to start over. Good thing I buy the silk in bulk.
So in my frustration, I put it aside for a bit and went to work on a home improvement project I’ve been wanting to do for ages. Hetta picked out the fabric (with a little influence from mom) … I convinced her that the pink sequined butterfly satin would be too flimsy for a roman blind and possibly not go so well with the blue sky and clouds painted on the walls.I used this tutorial, and with a few minor changes, am very, very happy with it. Thank you for the excellent tutorial. I used washers instead of the brass rings, those darned things would have cost me almost $20 at $6 for 15 of them at JoAnne, and since I’d already spent more than I’d anticipated on the fabric… I bought 100 washers for $6 at Lowes and used those instead. They work just fine. The girls were so excited, that they wanted to help every step of the way, and even cleaned their room a bit.
I steamed the folds so they would lay flat when pulled up. The tutorial says they will eventually do this, if you fiddle with them every time you pull them up until the fabric “remembers” on its own… Well, I figured I’d help it along a bit, cause who has time for all that fiddling? Ya think the girls’ll do it? Ya, me either.
I have plans to do some in my bedroom too. I am also going to make some for my kitchen with a map of the world on it. How convenient will that be for the upcoming school year? A pull down map of the world in my kitchen… of course we’ll see how that fits into my hectic schedule. So far, I have a sketch done in illustrator, thanks to a free vector download of the world map.
But tomorrow and Friday are earmarked for tallis work if I can fit it in. My awesome, amazing, and thoughtful husband plans on playing hooky from work to take the kids to the “ocean beach” (as they like to call it) on Friday.
Oh, and signing off with this: My littlest has become very attached to his blanket. He takes it everywhere he goes. So far we have managed to convince him to leave it in the car when we go to the beach. I must admit, as an old blankey devotee myself, that I find this very endearing.
It’s been a while since I posted, mostly because I have been so busy finalizing my packaging and display for my newest obsession: The knitting abacus. The knitting abacus, or ABLET (ABacus braceLET) for those that don’t know is a uniquely designed row counter bracelet. My Patent Pending status came through a few weeks back and I’ve been busily trying to get all the loose ends tied to get marketing like a madman. The patent is due to the unique design in how this bracelet works. Much experimentation has gone into finding the perfect combination of beads and other materials. The beads slide on the string and stay where you put them until you move them. They don’t need to be manipulated through a loop. (Other row counting bracelets use a bead through a loop technique).
Of course, if you do know me, you know what an ABLET is because I’m driving everyone nuts talking about how much I love them and how I know absolutely anyone and everyone who knits or crochets is going to want one too! Maybe I’m being overly optimistic here, but I’m seriously thinking that this is as important as blingy stitch markers and fancy needle ends. Personally, I believe it’s up there on the list of must have knitting tool importance right next to calculators and tape measures.
So here’s a picture of my POP display. I’m pretty happy with it so far. I think it needs paint and some lettering or something to jazz it up a bit!
I have also been working on a new website where ABLETS can be ordered by the thousand, Ok by the hundred… or the dozen, ok fine, only get one, and then maybe another to give to your knitting friend for her birthday. knittingabacus.com.
What a learning curve that has been! And to think I went to school for this stuff. My site is built through wordpress, so that’s kinda neat. I’m using a shopping cart theme that seems to work pretty seamlessly with wordpress. They claim you can get your store up and running in under an hour… Or under a weekend, anyway!
Here is another design… “much sparkly” as my little one would say. It looks gorgeous on. I’ve been wearing it all day to test it out, and the beads still tell me that the date is the 2nd. Yep, I use mine to tell me the date when I’m not knitting (rarely), ’cause I’m just that ditsy sometimes.
I’ll try and post pics of my wood beaded ones tomorrow, but I’m taking the kids to the zoo, so I may not have time. We’ll see.
Last night I finished my most recent project: a design for an exhibit in Misouri Sponsored by ImaJewNation.
I love the concept of Hiddur Mitzvah and am completely awed by the fact that something that brings me so much pleasure and satisfaction can also be a way to praise G-d. I often get lost in the process so much so that time loses all meaning. The idea of reinterpreting the traditional inspires me. Silk painting is my newest joy and I am making more tallitot and other silk painted items all the time.
I delight in the idea that a person wraps themselves in my art while they pray. It seems a tremendous honor to have my work used this way. I like the idea of art serving a purpose other than merely decorating a wall (not that I have anything against that, mind you, I have plenty of art on my walls). But something about utilitarian art appeals to the pragmatist in me.
The exhibit, meant to explore “rivalries inherent in the world and how we can mitigate its hurts” was an instant inspiration for me. As is my nature, I focused immediately on the positive aspect: “Tikkun Olam in a Chalah Cover”. If only we could let go of all the ridiculous boundary wars and oil wars and war wars and simply sit together as friends, share bread; accept our differences.
Sometimes an image comes clearly and easily to mind. I immediately pictured hands in a circle of prayer. It reminded me of the tradition of touching the challah while saying the blessing. I wanted to incorporate other meanings, not only acceptance of all nations, but also all creeds, faiths, and lifestyles. So, rather than painting the hands in various skin tones, I chose rainbow colors. The details were inspired by the Indian custom of painting hands with Henna. They are all different to represent the many cultures of the world.
The floral motifs that are so often found in my work are elements that have been with me since childhood. My elementary school textbooks are covered in them. They grew more bold and tropical during my high school years (spent inFlorida). And now, I find that New England has influenced many autumn flavored designs. It is something that flows from me unbidden like much of my work. I let go and let G-d.
This pattern was created by my (at the time) 6 year old daughter. She won several ribbons for it in local fairs.
It is a very simple knitting pattern that any beginner can do and comes out fabulous.
The nice thing about it, is that it is felted and so hides any mistakes in the knitting. It is very satisfying for a brand new knitter to be able to make a project that looks great without “frogging” (ripping out: “rip-it! rip-it!”) every row and knitting them two or three times due to dropped or added stitches. You end up learning right away how to increase and decrease and “fudge” mistakes the way experienced knitters do. Any problems disappear in the felting. How fun to have a project you can use right away that isn’t just a boring old scarf!
Rowan is selling this pattern for $2. through my Ravelry shop. 50% goes to Rowan to support her healthy yarn and beading addiction and 50% to tzedeka (charity).