Sunday, July 29, 2007


Chris is making great progress on the Silk Slip from Lingerie Style. He has finished the lace that goes under the bust and has one cup almost done. I can't wait to see how it looks put together. He is doing an AMAZING job, especially since hes only been knitting about a week!!! The yarn, by the way, is a brand new one from The Painted Sheep-- "Wild Thing," a Tussah Silk/Merino blend in the color "Sangria"

I am currently working on the Hexagon Bag (pictures coming soon) and a pair of socks in Sushi Socks. The Sushi Socks is a joy to work with -- soo soft. It will be interesting to see how it wears. I'm also using the Sangria colorway.

Of course, Beau isn't making it easy for me to get my socks finished!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Lots and Lots of Yarn

A couple of days ago I had 2 huge boxes of yarn arrive. HUGE. 80+ pounds worth. Do you have any idea how much yarn that is? Its a lot. So guess what I am doing all day every day? I'm having fun. So if you've been waiting to order from The Painted Sheep, now is a good time! Plus, I got three new yarns in this order-- Sushi Socks (bamboo blend sock yarn) Sashimi (bamboo blend worsted) and Wild Thing (Tussah silk/merino blend, dk weight). All very yummy, unique yarns. I will be adding new photos and information to The Painted Sheep website soon.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Today's Finished Items

Several things came off the needles last night and today. Last night I finished the first of the Fishnet Stockings from Lingerie Style and cast on for the second (its about half finished now). I am really pleased with how they are turning out but have no idea what to wear them with!

I also (FINALLY) finished the Surplice Bodice Cami, also from Lingerie Style. This one had been sitting on the needles almost finished for a month-- I just couldn't get inspired to get it out and finish it. I'm glad I did though, I think I may wear it to work/open knit night tomorrow.

And Chris finished his first real project! And its also from the Lingerie Style book (my current favorite, can you tell?). He made a pair of panties, hehe. It was actually a great beginner project because it required knitting, purling, increasing, decreasing and, a new skill, picking up stitches. And YOs. All the basic skills needed. The next project he has in mind is the Silk Slip from the same book. It is more challenging and involves some beautiful lace. I think he can handle it. We dyed some beautiful red silk/merino yarn for it tonight-- we are calling the color Sangria. I can't wait to see how it looks dry. I think it might be my favorite color so far.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Painted Sheep Contest!!!

Though its still hot and humid here in NC, I am looking forward to cooler weather. I am also looking forward to knitting sweaters and cool weather accessories to snuggle up in. Unfortunately, my current color collection screams spring and summer. I am craving rich earth tones and spice colors- the colors you associate with autumn. But to come up with these new colorways I need your help. And yes, there is free yarn in it for you. Heres how it works:

1. You send me your favorite photos that showcase "fall" colors. You get to decide what that means. What does autumn mean to you? When the weather turns cool and you want to snuggle up in a hand knit sweater, what color is your ideal sweater?

2. I select my favorite(s) and use them to create new colorways.

3. If I use one of your photos, you get a skein (or 2) of your choice of yarn in your colorway. You also get credit on my website for having taken the photo and, if you'd like, a link to your website or blog.

So look through your photo albums, or snap some new shots, and email them to me at I can't wait to see what inspiring photos you have, and what colors we can create together.

p.s. You get bonus points for having a good story to go along with the photo!

Too see photos that have already been submitted and read updates, visit the new Painted Sheep Blog

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Having a hard time getting any knitting done...

Because this is what my lap looks like:


Beau is a 5 month old hound/pit bull mix puppy who needs a home. I am currently fostering him for AARF. He is adorable and super calm and relaxed. He likes to nap and have his belly rubbed. He isn't house broken yet, but we are going to work on that this week. I have him until this Saturday when I will be taking him to an adoption fair (which happens to be held right beside Knit Picky) to see if we can find him a family. I would really like to keep him, he seems like a great dog, but we really don't need another dog right now. Isn't he cute?

Ok, so back to knitting. I am working on lots of projects, as always, but want to talk about 3 in particular. First, I finished the Todos Scarf sample- its beautiful. Maybe thats egotistical of me to say, but honestly, it is. Now I just need to get a good picture of it. I have also put together some kits with the pattern and yarn for the scarf so you don't have to buy a full skein of each yarn.

I am working on the Hexagon bag from the current Knit Simple and it is gorgeous. The yarn-- milli colori-- is one of my favorites. And the bright colors are perfectly framed with the black Noro Cash Iroha (a change from the pattern). Wow. Its going to be a really nice bag. Larger than I expected, though. I am making it as a shop sample and will be offering a class or workshop on it this fall. Its a neat technique- very little seaming required!

Project #3 for today is a pair of the Fishnet stockings from Lingerie Style. I've been wanting to make them and finally decided to cast on today. It calls for Wick, a yarn I love but which doesn't come in many colors that I would use for fishnet stockings. So I decided to use black Ultra Silk instead. Wow is this yarn nice. Its a bit pricey, it is silk (well, a silk blend) after all, but it is just sooo nice to work with. Its a bit bulkier than the Wick, but hopefully that won't affect the finished stockings too much. I am trying to knit tighter than usual and hope that the stretchy pattern will make it work out alright.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Update on Chris's Knitting

His washcloth is coming along beautifully, even though he dropped some stitches and had to figure out how to fix it on his own (I wasn't around). He had a dentist appointment yesterday and took his knitting with him to work on in the waiting area. He calls it "kipping" (KIP-ing)---I don't know how he even knows what KIP means. I wrote the pattern for the washcloth wrong, so its going to be a diamond instead of a square (oops!) but no one says a washcloth has to be square. Hes out of town for a couple of days but is taking the project with him. His goal is to be able to knit this, eventually. I have no doubt that he will be able to.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Doing what I love with the man I love

Chris has finally allowed me to teach him how to knit. He has tried it a couple of times in the past but didn't enjoy it and never got past the first couple of rows. But in the last couple of days he has committed himself to finally learning and hes doing great! He learned how to purl, ssk, k2tog, m1 and read a pattern tonight. He has finished his training swatch and is ready for his first project-- a wash cloth knit on the bias to practice his increases and decreases. I wrote him a little pattern for it tonight. I'm so excited!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Painted Sheep is Open!

The big day has finally come-- The Painted Sheep is officially open!! So wander on over to the website and take a look around. By the way, the launching party at Knit Picky went wonderfully. So many of our loyal customers stopped by to support me and we sold a LOT of yarn! We've still got some left in the shop, though, so if you couldn't make it out on Saturday stop by soon.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Coolest Cake EVER

Take a look at the cake that Rebecca has made for the grand opening party for The Painted Sheep-- its PERFECT!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A girls' gotta have her dresses

I haven't sewn in years. It used to be my "thing", kind of like how knitting is my "thing" now. But a couple of years ago I stopped, cold turkey. There were a lot of different reasons, but I just wasn't enjoying it anymore. It was work, it was stressful, it made me feel bad. It was a good decision to quite. And I don't really miss it-- I enjoy my new passion, knitting, more. But the one thing I do miss was how quickly I could sew together an outfit. Knitting is much more time consuming. This is normally fine, but doesn't help me when I need something to wear, soon. Especially if that "something" isn't say, a hat or pair of mittens. Coming up in a little under a month Chris will be starting medical school and the year is kicked off with a week of orientation, including several dinners that I will be attending. I have nothing to wear. Really. I haven't shopped for that type of clothing in years. In fact, most of what I have is from back in highschool and the first year of college when I was still sewing. I thought about buying a couple of cute dresses but they are SO expensive! I just can't justify paying so much money on clothes I will only wear once in a blue moon. So today I went by the fabric store and picked out a couple of patterns and some fabric. I don't know if I will actually get any of these dresses sewn. And if I do, I'll probably hate them. Thats how it usually goes. But we will see. Its been a long time. I wonder if I will enjoy it.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Good News

I just found out that my application for a trademark on the name The Painted Sheep and the little hand colored sheep logo is going through! I don't think it will formally be trademarked for a year or something crazy like that, but since my application has been sent in and everything is in line, no one else can apply for it. Officially, its "pending" (I think). Anyway, what it all means is that the name and the logo are mine! This doesn't seem like a big deal, I'm sure, but it is a huge relief for me.

Monday, July 9, 2007

More Yarn PrOn

Look what just finished drying. I reskeined it and set it down on the table, preparing to twist it into manageable little skeins but it just looked so pretty laying there, how could I resist sharing a picture with you?

One of the skeins in the picture above is the last skein to add to my very first whole sale order (picture below)! 20 skeins of Foot Prints will be headed out to Wool and Company in Geneva, Illinois. If you are in the area, stop by and check it out. If you happen to not like in Illinois but would still like to see Painted Sheep yarn at your LYS, let me know and I'll send a sample pack to the shop.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

There is no yarn so beautiful as hand spun, especially hand painted, hand spun. I myself very rarely spin, and the result isn't usually very pretty, but thankfully my mom is a wonderful spinner. And, thankfully, is always happy to spin up samples of roving I have dyed. She says that she is unhappy with how lumpy these samples came out, but I think they are beautiful. These little sample skeins aren't big enough to knit anything out of but they are beautiful to look at and touch.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Wedding Plans

Ok, this isn't really knitting related, but I want as many opinions as I can get. Chris and I are starting to think about where we want to have our wedding. Remember, the wedding won't be for another 2 years (Summer 2009...probably), but we have busy lives that are likely to just become busier, so its probably a good idea to start planning now. The first thing, of course, is to find a location. Right now we are thinking that we would like to have it in the mountains. We both like the idea of having an outdoor wedding and something that is more casual and fun than formal. No churches. No generic formal banquet halls. We also don't want to spend a fortune. Its probably not going to be huge, but since our families have a lot of friends it will be more than 50 people (not a very precise estimate, I know). So, mountains of North Carolina. No churches. Outdoor ceremony, indoor/outdoor options for the reception (in case the weather is too hot, too cold, too dry or too wet). A grand old mansion or manor house with a broad front porch leading to a expansive lawn with ancient trees and flower gardens would be ideal.

Any Suggestions on the perfect place????

Oh, and to keep this somewhat knitting related, I think that I (and any other knitters who want to help me!) might knit a bunch of felted flowers to use in some decorative manner, haven't decided exactly how yet. Also open for suggestions.


  1. The Twisted Mitts pattern is now written up and ready to be tested. Hopefully there aren't any mistakes but I'm not holding my breath.
  2. The Todos Blanket pattern is almost ready.
  3. The free patterns for the mini sock and the worsted weight sock are on the website.
  4. The chart for the twisted socks is almost done, still need to write up the pattern though.
  5. A shipment of the yarn for Foot Prints and a new silk/merino blend arrived today. Will start dyeing it this afternoon.
  6. The website is functional, I think. There are tons of mistakes and its missing a lot of pictures and text but I think it is ready to accept orders. I imagine I will discover lots of problems once people start placing orders, but I can't find them or fix them until then. For those interested, I am going with Pay Pal for my shopping cart, at least for the time being. We shall see...

On the to-do list for this afternoon:
  1. Dye more yarn! Yay! Chris is coming over to dye up some of his colors. And I have a new silk blend to experiment with.
  2. Write up Todos and Twisted Socks patterns.
  3. Prepare wholesale info packages to be mailed out to yarn shops
  4. Prepare sample packages to be mailed out to designers/bloggers/podcasters (if you have a suggestion about who might be the more influential people to send samples to, please let me know. So far my list includes Brenda from Cast On, Lime and Violet, Eunny Jang and Cookie)
*note: since the first thing on my to-do list is to dye yarn, the rest of the list may or may not be ignored completely, at least for today.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


I need help. I thought I could do it myself. But I don't think I can. Now thats not something you are going to hear me admit to often. Its this whole e-commerce website thing. I built myself a nice little website that I'm happy enough about. I'm sure it could be prettier, could be fancier, but those things can come later as The Painted Sheep grows. I'm okay with that. But this e-commerce bit, accepting credit card, deciding on a shopping cart and then figuring out how to use it....its all just a bit beyond me. Now, keep in mind that the website is supposed to be open for business on July 16th-- 1 day less than 2 weeks from now. What am I going to do? I guess I need to hire someone to do it for me but to be honest, I'm not making money off this yarn yet so funds are a little tight. Especially after seeing how high the fees for many of these shopping cart programs are! And as of yet I haven't found any web designers who are willing to accept yarn (or perhaps some soft, warm mittens) as payment.

If you know of anyone who does this, either as a hobby or professionally, and could point me in the right direction or just do it for me, for a reasonable fee, please let me know ASAP. Here is information they may need to know:
My product line contains about a dozen different items offered in about a dozen colors (so about 124 individual items). I use Quickbooks Pro as my accounting software and am signed up for their Merchant account. I currently have been experimenting with Netstores and I like how it interfaces with my website but have no idea if it will work with Quickbooks and, if so, how to make it work. I would love to be able to just stick buttons into the website I already have, if thats at all possible.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give me...I'm feeling desperate and all of this computer confusion is really cutting into my dyeing and designing time and I really want to have a lot of yarn dyed and patterns ready for my grand opening in two weeks.

Update (7-5): I have decided to go with paypal for the time being. It doesn't do a lot of the fancy stuff (like interface with Quickbooks) that some of the other programs do- at least as far as I can tell--but its cheap and easy and will at least get me started. Looks like things will be good to go on July 16th!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

More Harry Potter

Just a few more pictures of Harry Potter projects. I finished the second of the House Scarf bookmarks, this one in Hufflepuff colors, and started on the mini-Weasley sweater ornaments. The little sweaters are going to be pretty cute I think. They will have letters (I am doing H for Hufflepuff, G for Gryffindor, etc) duplicate stitched on the fronts. Standing at only 2.5" tall they are very quick knits!