27 August 2007

meet the mini-mantis 7th grade class of 2007

Mini-Manti 7th Grade Class of 2007

1. Bianca, 2. Mick, 3. Angie, 4. Egon, 5. Trudi, 6. Cheri, 7. Hammy, 8. Ula, 9. Lala, 10. Igor, 11. Perri, 12. Edvard

Actually there is one missing from the mosaic (and three that are still in the works). I don't want to be a one-trick pony, but I am having so much fun with these little guys....

oh owen....

Owen

I normally don't care about celeb gossip, but this made me kinda sad. I hope he's alright and recovers from this soon.

24 August 2007

whew!

Six of the 14 mini-manti are now up at the shop. Please stop by and check 'em out. The rest are going to be available at the Open Studio in September. I'll post more info on the later, as we approach the date. For now, I plan to have a quiet weekend, taking care of stuff I have long-neglected:

the mess on my desk

Bills that I paid and piled, letters that I need to respond to, fabric that I cut and need to sew, sketchbooks, post-its, and some important paperwork I need to fill out for October. I think it's at the very bottom of the mountain your see here. I dread filling out paperwork. Even the simplest of forms sends me into an existential panic and morbid chills. I need to bite the bullet and get it done, send it out and get it off of my desk and my mind. (Yet, here I am procrastinating because I so loathe this t.c.b. crap.) Seriously, I am living under paper and fabric. I need to take care of this mess tomorrow. And oh yeah, perhaps I will have something exciting to share with you all come October. Fingers crossed!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!!!

23 August 2007

sometimes

Sometimes I have to remind myself that I have to do my own thing and not conform to whatever aesthetic, style, or theme is the prevalent one - to just keep doing my thing, translating my vision, playing with color, and creating something that will hopefully speak to someone. Sometimes that is easier said than done. It's hard to keep my focus and not feel bad about the fact that I don't want to make doughnuts with happy faces on them despite the tastemakers' adoration of this subject (and yes, there are some fantastic softie-makers who make some super-cute smiley-faced pastry-treats, but the subject is just not for me). It's not always easy to say, "Hey, this is what I am going to do, even though it's not what everyone else is doing nor is it necessarily the stuff that lands you in books and exhibitions because the cruel truth is that it just doesn't appeal to everyone." It's tricky to try and make something that will appeal to others but still maintain your identity and develop your own style. Anyway, it is especially wonderful when someones gets it, appreciates it, or just tells you they like what you're doing. This little piece made my morning. Thank you Elisa for the kind and thoughtful little article.

By the way, you know when I said the other day that I would update the shop by the end of the week and shot for Thursday? Well, it looks like I overestimated my abilities. I am hoping I will be able to update tomorrow, as I am still stuffing and seaming bugs and attaching wings and antennae. You'd think I'd be able to bang these out, but there are 14 of them altogether - it's A LOT of parts to stuff, and stuffing is the most time-consuming and labor-intensive part of all this. I swear I wish I had some sort of magic stuffing apparatus because it takes me forever (not to mention the strain it puts on my left elbow for some reason). I should be done with it all - the mini-manti and the photography - by tomorrow. If you are on the soto softies email list, you will receive notification of the update as soon as it happens. Thanks everyone for stopping by!

21 August 2007

p.s. - thank you!

Thank you to everyone who has bought stuff in the 2-part destash. Thank you guys! To the folks who bought stuff from yesterday's installment, I will be shipping all your yarn out tomorrow. Thanks again!

i guess cutting is to sewing what rhyming is to stealing

Things have been busy here. Fourteen new mini-manti are in the works, in addition to the ones that are finished and just waiting for wings and detailing. Half of these will go to the Open Studio and half will go up in the shop by the end of the week. I was hoping to update the shop tomorrow, but with so much still in the works (and some other stuff that I am juggling in the background), I think the most reasonable thing to do is finish everything up and update on Thursday instead. Speaking of shop updates, if you would like me to email you to let you know when I update the shop or about upcoming craft fairs that I will hopefully be participating in, please email me at sotosofties[at]gmail[dot]com - with the subject "mailing list." I am putting together a list because I think that might be more efficient than letting you know about updates on here alone (since I plan to email about updates right as soon as I update, as opposed to posting about them solely on here, which usually takes more time and hence doesn't happen until long after the update - and goodness help anyone who is hoping for a shop update via a subscription of this blog through Bloglines since Bloglines continues to hate me and doesn't post my updates until hours and hours later). Okay, I have bored you with enough details. Minutia, minutia.... Anyway!

Wanna be on the mailing list? Email me at the sotosofties address and I will add you to the list. I'm also planning to make it kinda fun in the future, like putting together a pattern PDF or a little promo pack to give away to anyone on the list, but right now I'm just bouncing ideas around.

In the meanwhile, check out my MOO! stickers:

Oh how I love them! Oh how I love MOO! You can make your own here. Have fun!

20 August 2007

le grande destash - part 2, not-so-electric boogaloo

Hi all! Thanks for stopping by for the second installment of the destash. Originally, I was going to put up a bunch of Koigu and some Opal, but I have since changed my mind about the Opal. I like the colors too much to part with them, and despite the fact that knitting with Opal feels like knitting with fine twine, the yarn blooms beautifully after the first wash, giving you some soft and durable socks. My pair of Opal socks are the ones I wear the most, and they have survived countless washes like super-troopers - no pilling, no twisting, slight fuzzing at the heel, otherwise perfect. I may still put one skein up for grabs if I do a third installment of the destash. Yes, heaven help me, there is the possibility I may do a third installment because I wasn't able to photograph all of the Koigu today. Not that there is that much of it, just that it became overcast very fast as I was doing my little photo session. Anyway, without further ado, I present to you the second installment of le grande destash:

Koigu KPPPM - P507 30

Koigu KPPPM - P507 30

Koigu KPPPM
colorway: P507 30
100% merino wool
approx. 175 yards per skein
2 skeins = $22 (SOLD)

Debbie Bliss merino chunky
colorway: 140205 (dyelot 20)
100% merino wool
approx. 50 meters/54 yards per ball
8 balls = $30 (SOLD)

Inca Gold
100% baby alpaca
approx. 200 meters/218 yards per skein
3 skeins = $30

Rowan Kidsilk Haze
colorway: Trance (shade: 582, lot: 8839)
70% super kid mohair, 30% silk
approx. 210 meters/229 yards per skein
4 skeins = $36 (SOLD)

Also, there are still a few things available from the first installment of the destash, namely the gorgeous skein of Hello Yarn sock yarn, a pair of Koigu, and the Fleece Artist in Piñata. If you are interested in any of these yarns from either destash installment or have any questions, please email me at cynicthelamb[at]gmail[dot]com. Also, this time please understand that I am only shipping multiple items via USPS Priority Mail, which is a flat rate fee of $4.60. Thanks for looking! Hope you like what you see!

16 August 2007

bring me penguin dust

le penguin

This little guy is a commission piece I did for a friend and one of several commissions that I have been working on this week, while simultaneously working on the stuff for the Open Studio. I am finally getting excited about this. I think that's because I now have some finished pieces to show, and there are a number of works that are almost there. I have to say, hand-sewing can be so satisfying, and as Lisa once said to me, that little round gusset head is especially satisfying once it's done.

By the way, a few folks have asked about the woodgrain fabric I've been using (A LOT) lately. It's part of the Aviary collection by Joel Dewberry, and I got some from Repro Depot. I know they also carry the line at Purl, Cia's, Sew Mama Sew, and Hancock's, but it seems that all these sources, including Repro Depot, are out of the dark brown woodgrain at the moment. (Actually, I think Sew Mama Sew might have some available.) Some do have the other color woodgrains available, and some don't have any woodgrain left at all. Considering how big the demand for it seems to be, I think they will all be restocking it soon, so keep an eye out for that. The entire collection is really beautiful, so even if you can't get your hands on the woodgrain, you will definitely fall in love with one or more of the prints.

13 August 2007

can you tell how much i love color?

Just thought I would share my flickr faves for this week:

le grande destash - part 1

That's right, I'm doing this in two parts because there's a lot of stuff to photograph and list. Hence, today is the first installment of the de-stash. The second part will be next Monday, and it will feature mainly Koigu and Opal. Okay, so let's get down to the de-stash. First thing's first: all the yarn has been stored in sealed plastic bags with lavender/cedar/spice sachets to keep the moths away (so that's the woody/spicy scent on the yarn). It has been properly kept away from the pets, and this is a smoke-free home. I prefer to ship via USPS Priority Mail, which is $4.60 flat rate. If you would prefer I ship via first class, I need to get a ship quote for you, but it will cost about $2 and change, depending on how much yarn you order (it could be more, making Priority a better option). I am doing this on a first-come, first-serve basis. Please email me regarding whichever yarn or yarns you would like to purchase, and I will send you a PayPal invoice for the total, including shipping. Any questions or to place an order, please email me at cynicthelamb[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks for looking guys!

Socks That Rock - Rooster Rock

Socks That Rock - Rooster Rock
100% superwash merino
mediumweight
approx. 380 yards
$19 (SOLD)

Socks That Rock - Pink Granite

Socks That Rock - Pink Granite
100% superwash merino
mediumweight
approx. 380 yards
$19 (SOLD)

Socks That Rock - Chapman Springs

Socks That Rock - Chapman Springs
100% superwash merino
lightweight
approx. 360 yards
$17 (HOLD)

Socks That Rock - Mustang Sally

Socks That Rock - Mustang Sally
100% superwash merino
lightweight
approx. 360 yards
$17 (SOLD)

Socks That Rock - Rare Gem

Socks That Rock - Rare Gem (one-of-a-kind colorway)
100% superwash merino
lightweight
approx. 360 yards
$17 (SOLD)

Hello Yarn - Morpho

Hello Yarn - Morpho
100% merino wool
fingering weight
395 yards
$17

Yarn Pirate - Punkinhead

Yarn Pirate - Punkinhead
100% superwash merino
fingering weight
approx. 460 yards
$19 (SOLD)

Fleece Artist - Piñata
Old base yarn (slightly fatter than the current), 100% superwash merino
fingering weight
325 meters (355 yards)
$16

Fleece Artist - Dragonfly

Fleece Artist - Dragonfly
100% superwash merino
fingering weight
325 meters (approx. 355 yards)
$16 (SOLD)

Regia - Canadian Color

Regia - Canadian Color
75% wool, 25% polyamide
420 meters (459 yards)
$10 (SOLD)

Lang Jawoll

Lang Jawoll
75% wool, 18% nylon, 7% acrylic
approx. 210 meters (230yards) each
$10 for the two skeins

Blue Sky Organic Cotton

Blue Sky Organic Cotton
100% organic cotton
150 yards each
color: 80
$14 for the two (SOLD)

Koigu KPPPM - P40042

Koigu KPPPM
P40042
100% merino wool
175 yards
$19 for the two skeins

Koigu KPM - 1160 41

Koigu KPM
1160 41
100% merino wool
175 yards
$19 for the two skeins (ON HOLD)

Lorna's Laces - Desert Flower

Lorna's Laces Sock - Desert Flower
75% superwash wool
25% nylon
approx. 215 yards each skein
$10 for the two, prewound (SOLD)

Lorna's Laces - Jay's Pond

Lorna's Laces Sock - Jay Pond
75% superwash wool
25% nylon
approx. 215 yards each skein
$10 for the two, prewound (SOLD)

Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks Candy - Savannah

Blue Moon Fiber Arts - Socks Candy - Savannah
96% cotton, 4% elite
approx 200 yards each
nothing but shipping for these ($4.60 for Priority) (GONE)
please just get them off my hands because they have been sitting in the stash for 2 years now

That's it for now. Oh, one quick thing about the Socks That Rock. If anyone has any of the following colorways and would like to swap, I would be open to that:

Space Dust
Downpour
Pebble Beach
Philosopher's Stone

To see more photos, such as close-ups and alternate views, of the yarns, please check out my de-stash set on Flickr. Once again, thanks for looking guys. I hope you see something that you like.

12 August 2007

the brutal truth

I love knitting. So much that I have 6 pairs of socks currently in the works - the three you see pictured above, one finished Pomatomus, one Pomatomus at the heel, and one finished twin rib sock. Yeah, I'm an ADD knitter. Sometimes, I start on a new sock because I forgot I had another one already in the works. Doh! Here's the thing, however, because there's always a thing.... As much as I love to knit, and as much as I adore the yarns I have lovingly collected as part of my stash, I am not knitting fast enough to justify having such a large stash. In fact, I feel bad that I have not gotten around to using some of these lovely yarns. There are some other yarns in the stash that I have to finally admit to myself that I am probably never going to knit with because I am not crazy enough about the colorway or the texture of the yarn itself. Therefore, I am having a massive de-stash tomorrow. I've been mulling this over for some time, and I feel that I have to do it. These yarns are just sitting in large, sealed plastic bags waiting around for me to get to them, and because of a surplus of other projects, namely quilting and softie-making, I am just not getting around to appreciating them as I should. You might appreciate them, however, or know of someone else who might appreciate them. I have reached a point where I would rather see these yarns put to good use than have them waiting around for me forever. So please spread the word and drop by tomorrow after noon for le grande de-stash.

Also, please bear in mind, I am mainly a sock-knitter, so most of what is available will be sock yarn - NICE sock yarn, like Fleece Artist, BMFA Socks That Rock, Hello Yarn, Koigu. I used to knit a lot when I commuted to work, but things have changed. I sit down to knit maybe once a week now, as opposed to every day. I would love to make the time for it, but there are so many other things on my plate. Besides, there are nights when after sewing and stuffing all day, my fingers ache. The last thing I want to do is aggravate my wrists and my fingers and knit. I am not planning to give up knitting, and I do miss it. I am not giving up the whole stash. I will continue to chip away slowly at my remaining stash. I will make more socks for the winter. Right now, however, knitting is not a huge priority for me. I almost feel as if I should apologize to you all for it, which is strange. I am just being honest about how I feel about knitting, a hobby I still very much enjoy. It's not like I'm saying I like to eat babies or bathe in the blood of virgins. But I still feel bad about it somehow. Anyway, yeah, I'm sorry. Please drop by tomorrow for the de-stash. I guarantee I will have something you will love.

11 August 2007

hooray for hand-sewing!

For all the wonderful reasons Hillary has listed (have you checked out her fabulous new pattern-cards yet?) and because it has afforded me the opportunity to spend a gorgeous day like today working outdoors. As Hillary said, it's fun and it's portable, not to mention highly relaxing. What else could one ask for in a project?

bugs in progress

I have to admit, I've grown quite enamored with the little rose-colored bug (which at this point has little arms and wings attached). Usually, when I make a softie, the thrill is in the process, and I have no problem parting with it because I know when I am making it that it's not for me. It's meant for someone else to enjoy. It's rare for me to not want to give a softie up, and I think this might be one of those rare instances where I may just have to keep this one. It will serve as a sample piece, if anything. The rest of these little guys will be up for sale at the upcoming Open Studio. In other news, the critters and mini-manti are coming along much slower than I thought they would. I will spare you the numbers (or lack thereof) and all that nonsense, but at least I can say that at this point there are a few more awaiting details than just the ones in this photo:


07 August 2007

distraction

I have been super-distracted the last couple of days. There has been the necessary distraction of cleaning before the hairballs take over:

and the work-related distraction of making more "thank you" cards to enclose with orders:

There has been the pleasant distraction of knitting:

there's knitting... on my cat!

(Hey, look Diana! It's a sock! On my cat!)

a new bauble:

my new bauble

and summer reading to catch up on:

summer reading

Regarding the bauble, which was a belated birthday gift from some family, I have to say that although I am not a big jewelry person, I LOVE this:

my new bauble

I adore the crazy mix of colors going on there, contained within a single, simple wide bangle. Love it!

Another welcome and happy distraction was celebrating Matt and my wedding anniversary yesterday. I spent the whole day with my favorite person in the world, doing what we do best - hanging out and eating at the various spots in our neighborhood. We had breakfast at The Biscuit, walked around Somerville for a bit, almost got caught in the rain, went for lunch at Darwin's, got caught in the rain, went for dinner at Chez Henri (amazing food, gorgeous artful presentation!), where it turned out the couple sitting right next to us were also celebrating their second anniversary. It was a wonderfully relaxing day spent in the best company ever. *sappy content alert* I am so lucky and so happy to share my life with Matt. We may not always see eye-to-eye on everything, but I love him tremendously. And he makes my life richer in so many ways.

I'm back in production mode now, hoping to have a dozen more softies cut and sewn tonight. My goal right now is to have enough softies made so that I can re-stock the shop on Friday and not have to worry about not having enough for the Open Studio. I am not even sure what that number may be, but right now, I'm thinking it's about 2 dozen. Ew, I don't want to even think about numbers. I just have to get busy.... Which means I will probably not be around these parts as much because let's face it, blogging takes time, especially when your internet connection keeps crapping out on you and behaving like dial-up despite the fact that it's cable (damn you, Comcast!). I just don't have the time for it right now. (That would be the unpleasant distraction I've experienced today. I swear, it was giving me chest pains just to check my email with the frustration on not being able to connect and open pages.) So I apologize in advance for not being in touch and commenting on blogs or returning emails over the next couple of weeks. I hope to be in touch with you all by Friday.