For the past seventeen years my family and I have spent one week on Edisto Island in South Carolina. And this year I worked on a brand new knitted owl project, visited an adorable local yarn shop and answered a few knitting and crocheting questions from Instagram.
I hope you find this little hodge-podge of a post helpful in some way, even if it’s just a distraction from the daily grind. It’s a mishmash of warm Atlantic waves, a quaint historic town, a knitted owl and answered questions.
When Dawn from Dawn’s Days and Jeanette from Crafty Clegg Creations announced their #yarnbirdmal2020, I had a hard time choosing my project. The requirements for this make along challenge are to create a bird out of yarn, you can crochet, knit, or even embroider a bird, as long as it’s made from yarn.
The deadline is the end of June 2020 and there will be prizes! Tag your makes on Instagram with the hashtag #yarnbirdmal2020 to enter! It’s that simple!
I was waffling between the Pica Pau woodpecker and the Cheeky Bird from Tiny Curl. I couldn’t decide between the two when a completely different creature popped into my mind.
Knitted Animal Friends
Once Louis the Owl from the pattern book, Knitted Animal Friends, popped into my mind I knew immediately that he would be my choice. This is the first time I’ve made a toy from this book and so far I am impressed. He is going to be the largest toy and my first knitted owl ever.
When I completely finish this handsome chap I will be sure to write up a full review of the book with all the pros and cons.
This post contains affiliates links and at no cost to you I may earn a teeny tiny commission if you choose to purchase them. Please know that I only recommend products I use and love! Thank you for supporting Le Petit Saint Crochet!
Trip to a LYS (Local Yarn Shop)
After getting a little too much sun we skipped the beach and took a day trip over to Beaufort, South Carolina just so I could visit a local yarn shop. I was pleasantly surprised when we stumbled upon this quaint historic town. In the heart of the Lowcountry, Beaufort was founded in 1711 and is the second oldest town in South Carolina. The historic homes and Spanish moss captivated my heart. Although the heat was almost unbearable at 95 degrees Farenhiet and 77% humidity, my body was melting but my heart was soaring.
We also learned that it’s called Bew-furt (bew rhymes with new), we had been calling it Bow-furt (bow rhymes with snow). The locals jokingly informed us we’d be chased out of town if we pronounced it the wrong way, so from that moment on we corrected each other as we tried to remember the correct pronunciation.
Situated in the heart of the historic district is the cutest little yarn shop. I totally forgot to take photos, but I do have video! Check out my Youtube link above! Coastal Knitting carries a variety of beautiful yarns, notions and patterns. It’s always a treat to squish skeins of gorgeous wool and chat with folks who love knitting and crocheting as well. Not only was the air conditioning a sweet relief from the sweltering heat, but the shopkeepers were as warm as they were helpful.
If you are ever in that part of the country stop by this adorable yarn shop and tell them I said hello! I’ll be sure to stop in again next year!
Hand Dyed Yarn
I’m fairly certain I looked at every single skein, hank and ball of yarn in the entire shop. Coastal Knitting carried several of my old favorites like Berroco Vintage, but many brands I had never run across before.
I kept going back to the gorgeous hand dyed collection from Fiber Seed. The beautiful colors and squishy goodness won me over. At 510 yards these hanks are hefty. I chose the sock weight in three different colors that reminded me of our beach vacation, Winter Sky, Polar Bear and The Golden Age.
Selfish Knitting Project
After purchasing the hand dyed, sock weight yarn I thought, what in the world am I going to do with this? I typically knit and crochet toys in worsted or DK weight yarns. And then a delicious thought creeped into my brain. What if I knitted something just for me? What if I finally made a shawl for myself?
I’ve played around with the idea for some time and have even browsed patterns. But I always end up back at the idea that other projects are more important. I need to reopen my Etsy shop, I need to try different amigurumi patterns, I need to make gifts.
Now armed with my beautiful new yarn, I finally have no excuse and I must make something for myself. There’s just no choice, don’t you agree? I have decided upon A Girl’s Best Friend from Isabell Kraemer. Honestly, I don’t know how long I will be able to wait to cast on on this dreamy project.
About a week before we left for our beach vacation, in desperate need of inspiration for the blog, I asked followers on Instagram to “Ask Me Anything”. I got several great questions and I thought I would share them and my answers with you all.
Yarn? How do we choose?
This question from @layhew is one I get a lot. How to choose yarn for amigurumi projects. Thankfully, I’ve already written a blog post all about it. There’s a lot to think about when choosing the right yarn, but I’ve got you covered.
How often do you crochet? Is it everyday and for how long?
@dawnym62 sent in this question in and the answer is a resounding YES! I try to knit and/or crochet daily. Usually for an hour or two a day
Do you have “me time” = crochet/knitting at certain times of the day?
The answer to @hanneingrid’s question is yes! I consider my crocheting/knitting time as “me time”. I almost always settle myself into my comfy leather armchair to knit or crochet each evening while the family watches TV. It’s one of my favorite times of the day.
Just wanna say I love you! I love following you!
@farmgirl_makes, thank you so much for your kind comment. It is truly humbling to me to receive messages like this. There is so much negativity in the world and I have found so much support and encouragement in the crocheting and knitting community on Instagram and Youtube.
Do you have any tips for knit animal feet?
@knittfanatic’s question is a bit difficult for me to answer here. I’m not sure if this is a specific question about a particular pattern or just a question in general. But, I do have have an entire series about knitting toys.
Knitting Toys 101
Most of the time, the best way to figure out how to knit a particular section is to really read the pattern. Write out in your own words, what the pattern says. Also, if you have a digital copy of the pattern zoom into any photos to see what is being done for that section.
How do you fit it all in?
@littlehartcreations asks this question and I’m tempted to give all my best organizational tips and share my perfect schedule, but that would all be a big fat lie, lol. I’m a hot mess, just ask my family. I regularly run around like a chicken with my head cut off.
Here’s the real answer, I don’t. I don’t fit it all in. I find myself in a tizzy a lot of the time. The more my creative brain takes over the more the rest of me falls apart. That’s the truth. My house is regularly a mess, I lose my car keys and phone daily, but I always know where a random skein of yarn is.
I stay up too late knitting, I neglect the laundry and I don’t exercise enough. I’m a work in progress and I’m trying to find a little more balance in my life, and that’s the truth.
How do you always get the best pics of Olive and Jersey?
This question from @changesinattitude is a really fun one. If you don’t know who Jersey and Olive are, they are my rescue pets. Jersey is an almost ten year old mutt and Olive is a ten month old kitten. I regularly share photos and video of them in my Instagram stories.
The way to Jersey’s heart is through food. If I want a good photo of him I get a piece of chicken or a scoop of peanut butter. He will do whatever I want if there’s a treat involved.
For Olive, the way to get her to look at the camera is to shake something just above the lens. She loves things that makes rustling or crinkling sounds and will stare intently at them.
My advice would be to find your pet’s currency. What do they like more than anything and bribe them with that.
What was it that prompted you to make podcast videos and also gave you the courage?
Another great question sent in by @lori3891. When I began my blog back in June of 2018 I knew I wanted to share my love of crocheting and amigurumi. In the fall of 2018 I took a course from Lisa at Farmhouse on Boone.
Lisa has become a very successful blogger and believes that creating video content helped her reach a wider audience. Through her course and private Facebook group, I gained not just the knowledge but the courage and support to add video to the blog. Check out her course if you’re interested in blogging and video yourself!
I also explained the lessons I’ve learned from becoming monetized on Youtube in this post: How I Got Monetized on Youtube as a Crafter.
How to price handmade products?
Finally, Karen on Facebook asked this question. Oh goodness. This is a tough one and is why I saved it for last. Pricing handmade is such a difficult decision. Some people recommend using a handmade formula for pricing like this one.
Originally, I tried using a pricing structure like the one above, but ultimately it didn’t work for me. Because making handmade toys is so labor intensive I would have to price my items ridiculously high to cover my cost per hour + materials.
At one point, I heard the advice to price handmade items for a dollar amount you feel is fair. That resonated with me. I now price my toys based on what I feel is fair for me and the buyer. If a toy is more complicated or uses more materials, I will price it higher. If it was quicker and used less materials then I will price it lower.
I’m also not going to apologize for the prices I charge. Only once did I have someone question my price for a toy. Either she didn’t understand the time it took to create the piece or she was just looking for a deal, I don’t really know.
For me, I am committed to not undervaluing my work, while at the same time being conscious of people’s hard earned money. Honestly, I would rather give a handmade toy away than sell it for less than I know it’s worth. I routinely give away toys and opt not to sell them because I know the price for the item will be high.
Those are just my thoughts on the subject and truly I’m not sure there is a right or a wrong answer. My best advice is to go with your gut. What’s a price that makes you feel good and that you also feel is fair to potential customers?
Thank you all so much for being here today. I appreciate each and every one of you. I would love to know your answers to any of the questions above. Let me know if you have ever made something from Knitted Animal Friends or made any knitted owl!
I hope this post finds you and your family happy and healthy!