Saturday, June 07, 2014

Oooh...Website Makeover!

Hello! How is early summer treating you so far? Have you been keeping up with your knitting projects or have you put them aside for trips to the beach and bike rides?

You may not know this about me, but I'm not an outdoors type of person. My sister, Kim, always asked me to go outside with her to play basketball or ride bikes, but I almost never said yes. Poor Kim. A comfy chair, a book and a quiet space inside was my favorite thing to do. And it still is. (See below for pics) *grin*

But, sometimes, I sit by the pool when it's not too hot or buggy :)


So far this summer, I've been...

- Updating my website layout (My hubby, Ian, figured out how to substitute the old layout with the new - yay!)


- Trying to find a distributor for my knitwear design books (I finally found one - Small Press United!)

- Creating and updating new patterns (Crossing my fingers for my current lace shawl design to be accepted. This is some of the yummy Plucky Knitter yarn I'm using...)


- Helping my oldest son get an internship for the summer (He finally got a job at DEKA Research...woo!) Here is a pic of us together on his 21st birthday in May:


- Cleaning out my closet (Omg...the horror! I finally created a little nook for myself where I can knit and read. Yes, in my closet! lol)


The hallway in my bedroom opens up to the closet area/bathroom, so I can use half my closet for yarn/clothes storage and half for books and knitting nook.


- Knitting daily on my Year in Temperatures Scarf (I look forward to it every day...so much fun to add to my routine.)


- Thanks to the awesomeness of Ravelry, I found out that I was the 91st Raveler to join! (super cool)

- My youngest son Ben, hubby and I went to the Skrillex concert and it was amazing! (Except for the tall people getting in my way...I always wish that I could bring a small step stool with me...)


- And, on May 23rd, I turned 41 (horrors again!), but now hubby Ian and I are BOTH 41. (At least I have that 5 or so extra months of feeling young...lol.)


So, I think that's about all that's new and interesting in my life since April. Hmmm...mostly, doing a million things at once and stressing out over things I probably shouldn't. (Calgon, take me away!)

I've also been inspired by my dear friends, Jessica and Heather, to get back into a daily yoga routine. And, truly, that's helped with some of my health issues AND with clearing my mind (and helping me to relax). Yay for amazing, helpful friends!!

You can get hear more about what I'm up to (and see some interesting knitting links that I share) on my Sleepy Eyes Knits Facebook page.

I'd love to hear what you've been up to and what you're knitting on now. Share away in the comments below :D








Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Spring Update!

Happy Spring, knitting friends!


It's so wonderful to finally see some sunshine and above freezing temperatures here in New Hampshire. The sweet tweets and cheery chirps of the birds always cheers me up. I (finally) took down my outdoor Christmas lights (whoops!) and gave my "Gnome Garden" a cleaning. I hung a pretty twig/flower (fake...d'oh) wreath on my door and cleared the cobwebs from my chimes (eeew). Though the grass is still brown and there is still a small covering of snow on my lawn, I feel spring in the air and I smile every morning :)

I haven't blogged in over 3 months (shame on me!) and so I have A LOT of lovely things to share with you. As you know, I love lists (he he) -

1. Phoebe Mouse and her lovely dress...with her very own Amanda Hat!



Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca (mouse), Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (dress, ears, face, tail) and Morehouse Merino 3ply (hat)

I had SO much fun knitting this adorable doll! I love all of Joanna Johnson's designs, but this was the very first book that I purchased and it made me super happy to be able to knit Phoebe Mouse. I smile every time I look at her. I want to make a different color dress for every day of the week! As you can see in the pic above, I had a bit too much fun giving Phoebe accessories...lol! (I'm working on her sweater, now...)


You can find the pattern and details for the hat HERE on Ravelry :)

2. Stitch Block Cowl by Purl Soho/Purl Bee (my favorite knitting blog!)


Yarn: Morehouse Merino 3ply (baby blue, cornflower, royal blue)


This cowl came out sooo lovely and soft...I actually wish it was a blanket instead of just a cowl. I want to curl up in it and snuggle all day! The stitch patterns were interesting and challenging to knit...it was never boring. It's amazing that this pattern was free because I would have paid at least $5 for it. Great pattern...beautiful design.

3. Archery Target Hat by Yours Truly


Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, Cascade 220, Lion Brand Fun Fur (shiver)

An archery friend of mine, Siobhan (who I call "Cinnamon Bun"), saw a hat like this in the crowd while we were at Nationals this year. She asked if I could make her a hat like this one and, of course, I was like "Sure!". After I got home, I realized that I only caught a quick glimpse of it and I had a hard time remembering what it actually looked like. So...I grabbed one of my own targets for reference and added some fun fur. She really liked it and I might write up the pattern that I created for it. (Though, I will probably ditch the fun fur...it was hell to knit with...blargh.)

On a side note, this was the very first time that I attended archery Nationals (45th Anniversary year!) and it was a daunting, but exhilarating experience. I don't know what I would have done without Siobhan guiding me every step of the way...where to have my bow checked or where to stand or where to sign up, etc. OMG...Crazytown Central! But, everyone was soo nice, encouraging and helpful. I've only been an archer for a little under 2 years and I had set a goal of 700/1200 for the weekend (only SUPER talented archers get over 1000). Surprisingly, I reached 752 with (7) 10s over the weekend and I was satisfied with that for my first time. I was nervous that I would be the very last in my category (Olympic Women's Senior Recurve) for the nation...but...I am only 6th from last! lol! Next year, I will get a MUCH better score...I know it :) Here is a pic of Siobhan and I (wearing our team shirts) at Nationals...


Our Team - Archery in Motion (AIM)


(Can you see how much shorter I am compared to the teen girls?? Oh, goodness!)

Nationals shooting area -


4. Follow Your Arrow Shawl by Ysolda


Yarn: Wild Hare Fibers Galaxy Laceweight (Baltic colorway...with beautiful silver sparkle!)

The design that I chose was BABBA...and I couldn't be more thrilled with it. Not only was the pattern extremely well written (a signature of Ysolda's incredible designs), but the yarn was scrumptious! Gorgeous blue, silver sparkle, super soft merino...what else could you ask for?? I was able to knit this shawl AND a pair of my Veronica Earrings and I still had lots of yarn left over. I'm not sure what I'll do with the leftovers yet (besides rubbing it on my cheek)...any ideas?

5. My Year in Temperature Scarf


Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (many colorways)

This is an ongoing (obviously) knitting project that my friend, Lora, came up with at our annual ManchVegas Knitting weekend. We all modified a design that was on Ravelry for this scarf and created our own temperature charts/colors. At our annual knitting weekend at the end of this year, we're going to bring our scarves and take pictures of them...and admire all the unique styles. I can't wait! It's actually something I look forward to every single day. I check my weather app, note the time and temperature (and any other notes I wish) in my journal and then knit the section for the day. You can find more details about my personal scarf/directions HERE on Ravelry.

6. The REST of the Projects



Links: I might as well share pics of the rest of the projects that I've finished since the last time I blogged, right? :D

Adelaide Yoke Pullover

Roxy Fox Hat (pink version)

(The ones below aren't publicly shared from Ravelry because I couldn't get the link to work...darn it.)

Bunny

Roxy Fox Hat (original version)

Amanda Hat with Pom Pom

Felted Clogs

Bearded Beanie

Chevron Missoni Blanket

What are YOU working on right now? Are you loving it? Hating it? Do you have starteritis or knitter's gloom?


7. Adventures with Barnes & Noble

I am still in the process of finding a distributor or wholesaler so that I can sell my Wonderlace book at Barnes & Noble. It may not happen, but I'm going to give it a little while longer. Primarily, the main reason for the delay is this - if you have self-published a book, it is much more difficult to find a company that will agree to be the "middle man" to sell your book to the "big boys" (aka Barnes & Noble, etc). So, even though Barnes & Noble WANTS to buy at least 20 copies of Wonderlace, I can't sell to them directly (though I still don't know why this is so). It's all incredibly confusing and no one seems very interested in helping you along or writing things out clearly. I'm an educated person, but some of these websites are CRAZZZZY! Also, opening up an account with a distributor costs many hundreds of dollars AND the companies take a large percentage of your wholesale profit...which, in the end (according to my calculations), might mean that I would earn approximately $1 off each Wonderlace book. It's very frustrating. Le sigh.

If all fails, I have the option of becoming a vendor and selling my book online through B&N. At least that's something. Despite all of this, I am optimistic. Wish me luck! lol

In case you were wondering (which I know you were...he he), here are some of places where you can purchase my Wonderlace (and possibly Dreamscape) books. My book - with a lovely skein of yarn - would make a fantastic Mother's Day gift...or birthday gift, etc. I am always happy to sign and/or personalize a book, too :)


Amazon.com (book only)

Etsy (book, pdf or sets)

My App (pdf only)

My Website (pdf only)

Yarn Stores*: Patternworks, Elegant Ewe, The Spotted Sheep Shoppe, Twill, The Knitting Studio, Knitting Knook, The Yarn Sellar (book only)

*If you would like to see my books at your LYS, please send them my information and have them request a wholesale account for Wonderlace & Dreamscape...there is free shipping on orders over $100*

As always, I would LOVE LOVE to hear from you (via comments, emails, etc) and please send your email to me (gina@ginahouse.net) if you would like to sign up for my Sleepy Eyes Knits Newsletter...which I'm just starting up.

Don't forget to join my Sleepy Eyes Knits Facebook page and my Twitter account, too! (I only need a couple more followers to make 100!) I share almost daily updates, projects, designs, contents, gift giveaways and inspiring knitting ideas. How can you go wrong? lol


Hope you're having a wonderful day and many hugs to you!!! xoxoxo

Gina :)



Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Barnes & Noble Loves ME!

Hellooooo my lovely knitters!

After much frustration over my website blog (no one could leave comments! whaaaa?), I decided that I would just go back to my old friend, Blogger.

So...WELCOME!!!

There is so much that I would like to share with you. As you know, I LOVE lists, so I will start with that :D

1. I have almost finished all of my Kickstarter gift knitting (for those who donated to my Kickstarter project). I only have one more item to knit. Last week or so, I finished the "Ridgeway Pullover #302" by Cabin Fever for my friend, Chip. I loved using the Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Bulky yarn for this sweater (great color and nice to knit with). I really hope it fits him nicely.



2. I (if "I" means my hubby, Ian - lol) updated my SleepyEyes app (FREE on iTunes!) - so you can now purchase and download both the Wonderlace and Dreamscape books, as well as 4 other patterns (Mari Lace Cowl, Lisha Lace Scarf, Bobbi's Birthday Scarf, Lotus Heart Socks)...plus at least 15 free patterns, too :D

3. I've also started creating individual patterns from the Wonderlace book - the first being, The Loralee Cowl. It's available on my ETSY SHOP...yay!


4. I love Sparkle. Sparkle makes me very happy. With that in mind, I designed a very cute (and girly) scarf pattern called the "Princess Sparkle Scarf". I'm hoping to finish up the pattern tonight so I can add it to Ravelry :) You may not be able to tell how wonderfully sparkly it is from these pics, but it's soo great.





5. Keep checking back here and on my Sleepy Eyes Knits Facebook page in the next week or so for a new CONTEST! I'm trying to get more reviews on Amazon.com for my Wonderlace book (and Dreamscape) and I will be giving away a super awesome prize for the winner of the contest. PRIZE - a gift certificate to an online yarn store and PDF copy of both Wonderlace & Dreamscape (for you or for a friend).

6. I want to thank all of my supportive and loving friends for keeping me company at my trunk shows/book signings. Although it's incredibly wonderful to be in a yarn store all day to sell my book (especially when they store owners are friendly and helpful), it does get lonely and sad sometimes. There are issues of "When can I leave the table to go to the bathroom?", "Why does that lady look so irritated over my patterns?", "I wish someone would bring me lunch.", "Should I ask this person if they want to buy a book or not pressure her/him?" and, always, "Why does this person have to say that they dislike lace knitting (and give a million excuses why they don't want my book) while they are browsing through my book???".

When a friend comes to visit me, there's MUCH less of that and I have someone to talk to when the people working in the shop are busy. Usually, I stay all day at the shop, so even company for an hour or so means a lot to me. (PLUS, it gives the impression that my trunk show is awesome...lol) I want to thank Melissa W., Lora K., Heather H., Sarah S., Jessica L.W., Kerry P., Jackie W., Julie R., Patti V., Trudy & friends and Edith H. for visiting me, giving hugs and keeping me company. (I hope I didn't forget anyone!) You are wonderful friends!



When knitters come to yarn stores just to see ME and my book, it is AWESOME! I can't express how it makes me feel that someone cares about me and my work. It usually only happens once or less per trunk show but, when it does, my day is made. Seriously. It's like a huge hug - on the inside :D


7. I want to thank the incredibly talented (and super sweet) Joanna Johnson of Slate Falls Press for the interview on her blog last month - not only was it lots of fun, but it was such a thoughtful and helpful thing to do. I have all of her design books and I love them all. If only I had more time to knit every single thing from all of her books. I received my copy of the new "Green Gables Knits" and the book is really beautiful. I hope to do an interview of her on MY blog soon!


8. Last, but not least, I finally heard back from Barnes & Noble Bookstores and they are going to carry my Wonderlace book!!! I am THRILLED!!! Beyond the moon. After the rejection of my first book, I was discouraged, but my friends encouraged me to try one more time...and I'm very, very glad that I listened to them! Woo-hoo!


With love and many hugs,

Gina
xoxo


P.S. My Wonderlace book is available on my Etsy Shop, Amazon.com, Ravelry.com and Artfire.com...and, soon, Barnes & Noble! Yay!!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Support me! Wonderlace Kickstarter Project :D

Hello Knitters! Long time, no see :D I don't use this blog address anymore, but I wanted to post another link to my NEW blog (even though I haven't posted in a while) and also to tell you about my Kickstarter Project, in case you haven't been able to check out the new website. Since you probably haven't been keeping up with what's been going on with Sleepy Eyes Knits, I'm happy to tell you that my new book, Wonderlace, is almost finished and due to hit the printers in August 2013! Woo-hoo! The Kickstarter project is to raise funds for the printing of the book - watch the video on the page to see pictures and hear more about what the project is about. There are a number of pledge levels and most of them come with great prizes...including copies of the Wonderlace book...and even the Dreamscape book! Any help you can give towards my project would mean so much to me! Even if you can't afford a pledge of $5 or more, sharing this post or the link on your Facebook page or email would be wonderful. Thanking you in advance...knitters are AWESOME! Love, Gina :) P.S. You can find me here, as well: Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram Etsy Artfire (to be updated soon!) Ravelry YouTube and my Ravelry group page.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I MOVED!


Hey knitters!!!

I'm really excited to tell you that I've moved my blog (and podcast...and website!) over to a new location! Please join me at http://www.GinaHouse.net :) I'm most likely going to keep this blog here, but everything that's here (except old blog posts) will be at the new website: podcasts, free patterns, patterns to purchase, etc. I think you're really going to like it - it's very much more like me and like my personality. It took me a lot less time than I thought it would to create it - thanks to the amazing iWEB program on my iMac! Yipppeeee!

New Features on the new website:

1. Better and brighter layouts
2. New Amanda Hat Tutorial movie
3. Podcast, blog and pattern downloads available in one handy website!
4. At least 5 photo albums (hooping, designs, knitting projects, family, trunk shows etc) to check out
5. New (upcoming) podcast and blog post! (very similar to this, lol!)

That's just the things I can think about right now...

I would LOVE for you to head over to the new place right now...subscribe to the blog and podcast...even to new photo albums!

I'd love to hear what you think and see you soon!

Love, Gina

Monday, October 10, 2011

New Designs are Creeping Along...



My new book is slowly coming together...if I'd only be able to focus on it (and not be distracted by my hundreds of other hobbies), I think I'd be further along. Seeing the lovely Kelly from The Elegant Ewe at SOAR this past weekend really motivated me to work on my book more. She (and the amazing owners of the Elegant Ewe) has been super supportive of me and my Dreamscape books. And, of course, my knitting group...especially Sarah, Jackie, Judy and Hilary.

In the past couple of months, I've completed 2 lace shawl designs (The Beauty Shawl is shown at the top.)and 1 cowl design. I'm sketching out and making plans for 7 more designs. The way things are going right now, I think the book is going to be geared towards lace. (Don't moan!) It will be lace projects that are accessible, fun to knit and for all ages. I have a project for almost every age bracket. I'm shooting towards getting this book done for early spring 2012.

My intention was to have the book done by the end of December 2011, but I was freaking out with stress over Tim going into college, trying to refinance our mortgage and working on getting my Hoopnotica Teacher Training (to start my hooping/hoopdance classes this fall) that I just said, "Okay...you're your own boss. Just put it aside and get back to it when you're more happy and calm." I can just imagine the projects I'd be putting together for the book if I was stressed out and upset...like the Knitted Noose and the I-Cord Strangler (which is not to be confused with the Crochet Chain Choker).



(pic of me with my Hoopnotica Teacher Training group for Level 2)

Anyway, I'd also planned on blogging much more than I have been, but it seems like I'm somewhat addicted to Facebook and my knitting page on there. I keep forgetting about my poor blog :( It's so much easier to add daily updates, pics and new albums of photos on there...know what I mean?

So, while I work steadily (and knit faithfully) on my new designs, I'd love to hear from you about what aspects of a knitting pattern book that you like best. If I'm able to incorporate those aspects into my new book, I will. So far, I know I'll be including:

- Spiral Binding
- No-glare paper
- Paperback
- Lace charts on its pattern page
- Wraps per inch for yarns
- Specific yarn information and suggested type of yarn for projects
- Full color photographs (with close ups, as well)

Anything I might be missing?

Thanks again for all of your support of me and my designs. I wouldn't be able to do it without you!!!

Gina
xoxoxo

Just in case you don't already know, here are other places you will find me (more often than here on the blog):

Sleepy Eyes Knits on Facebook
SleepyEyes on Twitter
SleepyEyes on Ravelry
SleepyHeads Group on Ravelry


and, of course, my website stuff:

Yoga Garden
HoopGlow on Twitter
Yoga Garden/Hoop Glow on Facebook

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Contest Winner!!



I'm VERY happy to announce the winner of the Design Naming Contest.....

Norma H of Columbus, Ohio!!!!
(NHoran on Ravelry)

Out of the 30+ truly fantastic suggestions that I received (via Sleepy Eyes Knits on Facebook, on the blog, and on my SleepyHeads Ravelry group), 3/4 of my favorites were suggested by Norma.

I've decided to go with....

"Tilia" (for lime tree)

It's a lovely, simple name and just has the little bit of extra sparkle that I wanted to describe the shawl's character.

Norma will be receiving a gift package of yarn and goodies, will receive a free copy of this lace pattern (or any pattern of her choice) and also be named on the pattern in the description.

Congratulations, Norma!!!!

I also want to thank EVERYONE who gave suggestions for this contest - I really loved reading all of the shawl name ideas! Thank you SO much!!!

(Please stay tuned for next month's contest as well!)

Before I go, I wanted to leave you with a couple of pictures of the new shawl design, "Tilia", blocking. I still have some writing, editing, and photography to do on the pattern, so keep a look out for a new post when the pattern is finished and available for purchase.



and



What do you think???? :D