Saturday, January 19, 2008

Beautiful Things, Part 1

I feel like recently I've been surrounded by beautiful things. So many, in fact, that when I tried to write this post I realized it was going to become too long trying to show them all to you at once, so I am spreading them out in two posts. Next one to come in a few days. But for now,

Yarn is Beautiful

First, I discovered the world's most beautiful yarn.

Did you see that? No, I don't think you saw it. Let me try again.

Yeah, that's it. Gorgeous, right? This is from Tempted Yarns. She sells at The Loopy Ewe and also on Etsy. This is the Thigh Highs colorway. I hardly ever see this type of dying, and it surely is the only thing I have in my stash that looks like this.

Socks are Beautiful

Then I finally, after elevnty billion years, finished my pair of Jaywalkers. I wouldn't say I had Second Sock Syndrome per se, I just took a really long break. I always intended to finish and didn't cast on another pair of socks (except for the ones for my stepfather for xmas) in the meantime because I knew I was coming back. The yarn was gorgeous and the pattern was perfect for it.

Did you see it? Missed that one, too? Okay, let me show y'all how taking a picture of socks while they're on your feet is really done.

Mmmhmm. This I got from The Loopy Ewe many months ago in their signature colorway Loopy Blues, made for them by the indie dyer Yarn Pirate. It's a wool/tencel blend and has great luster. Especially before you wash it. Man, I washed that first sock and it bled soooooo much. I think I used regular laundry detergent like tide. So the second sock I just washed with diluted conditioner and it came out soft and didn't bleed so much. I'm sure you can see the difference in the photos.

Hand Crafting is Beautiful

Last for this post, I received as a Christmas gift a knit tote I had been wanting for a long time. Since early last year. Check this out:

What? You blinked, you say? Okay, just one more time:

Yes, the ribbon is pink in the first shot and blue in the second. I got it from her Etsy shop and it was posted with the blue ribbon. But I really wanted a pink and told the designer so. She knew who I was because I had already contacted her months ago about how beautiful her purses were and from a failed attempt by a friend to get one. So I guess after all that effort she decided to throw in a pink and brown ribbon, which I really appreciated.

Now let me speak to the price of her bags. I posted on Knitting Help when I first found these purses about how gorgeous they were. Everyone agreed, but some thought her prices were a bit too high. That you could buy some wool on sale and knit it yourself. Yeah, okay. Have I ever seen anyone's hand knit bags look this good? NO! Do a search yourself on Etsy and see what else you get for "knit bag/tote/purse" and compare. I don't want to diminish the value of anyone's work, but can we stop BSing and be real for like 5 seconds? Every piece of work is not made with equal skill. I have seen scores of knitters' hand-knit bags and none of them look this good. I gave it a try a couple of times myself. If you can't sew well, you have no hope of doing anything like this anyway. Did you see the inside of that bag? Now, I have to listen to knitters and crocheters complain about how people don't appreciate their hand knit gifts (why people think someone should care as much about our hobby and fall over fainting for some knit thing they never wanted in the first place is a rant of mine for another time). But when someone invests the time to knit and sew something like her knit totes and sells it for under $100 and the same people complain, I start rolling my eyes. If you can't afford it, you can't afford it and I couldn't either for a long while and that's why it ended up being a Christmas present. But don't say they are overpriced. Her bags are a steal at that price. *end rant*

On Beautiful overload? Take a rest, have a cool drink. When you're up for more, I'll be back with the rest.


Cyn said...

Those tote bags are freaking gorgeous. I'd have to count myself among those who can't afford one, but if I could I'd have no issue with paying the asked price. Crafting is SLOW.

Every time my mother sees something I've knitted she goes on about how I should start selling my knitting, and no matter how many times I reply "do you know how LONG it takes to do this?" she doesn't seem to believe me. Graaah.

sappmama said...

Shut up that bag is trimmed in corduroy.

Okay. You've gotten me fired up.

You are ABSOLUTELY right. How can people who complain about how underappreciated handwork is wanna throw shade when someone else commands a decent price for her work? I say decent, because, really, those bags are worth more. If they were sitting in Nordstrom's people would line up to pay 350 for them. Sh*t.

And this is what else I find: We say we can "just knit it ourselves" but will we ever get around to it? Even if we have the skill. If I set out to knit every single thing I see that I like and I know I can make, I won't have time for anything else. So does it hurt to save up or use a holiday or birthday gift allowance to support a fellow maker? Someone who obviously puts more thought and detail into an item than I am likely to if I whip it up for myself (in between the zillion other things I'm working on)? No.

I'm glad you said what you said. Also, you've woken me up and I will not faint dead away if someone doesn't pee her pants the next time I give a handmade gift.

Enjoy your beautiful bag.


Karine said...

I agree, the bag is gorgeous and I'm sure that it's cost is probably less the minimum wage if you count all the hours put on it. I have to say that whenever I buy something that I can make myself, the price difference to me is the price I pay for the convenience.

Wannietta said...

I have a couple of Tempted's yarns and the colours are stunning!

Those bags are awesome! Some people just refuse to recognize quality. I have no problem acknowledging my skills and my weaknesses and am totally prepared to pay well for what I can't do - especially when someone else rocks it out. I'll be watching her etsy shop for the bag that calls my name.

Nik said...

I just took a look at those bags and I must say that they are beautifully made.

If she's selling that bag for less than 100 bucks, hell, that's GOOD. I think it's worth every penny.

One problem that I have with knitters who sell their handmade stuff is the fact that they are afraid to ask for what it's really worth. I often go to fairs where hand knit items are sold. What I see a lot of people selling for $20 bucks, I'd easily pay more for because I understand the work that went into making it.

A guy wanted me to design a sweater for him, and when I quoted him a price of 350-400 bucks, he thought I was crazy. Mind you, this was supposed to be an originally designed aran sweater made out of some high quality yarn. And his ass wasn't small. I didn't decrease my price because I thought it was fair.

aruni said...

wow, that bag is gorgeous! i wish i could craft something like that. or afford it, as you say.

i didn't understand what you meant about the yarn until i looked at Tempted's etsy site and saw the "fishnets" yarn. i don't think i've ever seen anything like it.

i also got your yarn in the mail the other day, and while i haven't had a day off to take a photo, i've been dreaming of what to make from it. mmm, ruby laceweight. thank you so much!

WineGrrl said...

I just had to go look.

I think her prices are quite reasonable considering the amount of time she probably puts into designing and making those items.

Sappmama is right; women (and quite a few men, for that matter) would be fighting over those bags at Nordstrom even at $350.

WandaWoman said...

That bag is absolutely gorgeous. I'm not mad at you for the price, b/c it is beautifully handcrafted.

Nettie said...

That bag is beautiful. And the rant was totally necessary too.

Harlem Purl said...

don't know what beautiful thing to comment on first. The sock yarn is just uniquely gawjus, the jaywalkers are a just lovely and the bag is a masterpiece. I would pay her price & more for that tyoe of quality because as a knitter/sewer/spinner, I know the type of work it takes to make something so stunning.

Larjmarj said...

The bag IS gorgeous and truly, I can't even imagine the hours that went in to it. You're right not all handcrafted items are created equal. Being a knitter and a jeweler...I call it as I see it.

Love that sock yarn, it looks neon like.

Don't ya LOVE Etsy?

Larjmarj said...


Unnn.. nnnn...nnnn........

iasade said...

I love yarn too and those items!!! I also love crafting things with my hands from leather, feathers, silver and gemstones!!

Adrienne said...

That yarn is TDF!!!!

melissaknits said...

Amen to all...and I want that bag!!

Jenni said...

I really need to snoop around Etsey more! I can believe your finds! They are fabulous!

ZantiMissKnit said...

Awww, now I have to add that purse seller to my favorites. I could never make something THAT beautiful myself without tons of blood, sweat, and swears (and tons of do-overs), and I'd love to support someone with that kind of skill.

That sock yarn: gorgeous. Must. resist!

AR said...

You are right! All of those things are beautiful. I love the blues and blacks in that yarn!

beadexplorer said...

LOOOOOVE those totes! Thanks for sharing the link!

affectioknitter said...

Your socks are lovely!