Fuzzies

Winter seems to be the longest season.  As we pile on layer after layer of clothing to brave the harsh temperatures, I can’t help to gravitate towards fun novelty accessories to brighten our wardrobe.  Lately, I’ve been really interested in fuzzy, furry textures.  There’s just such a warm cozy look about them!

We now offer our own set of fuzzy knit mittens in the store!

Woodlands

After seeing an abundance of lush forests on a mini road trip through Vermont last month, I came up with three new designs inspired by the scenery.  I am starting to get the hang of a true winter vacation, dreaming of redwood forests, snow, cozy log cabins, hot chocolate by the fireplace…and Sean Parker’s unforgettable wedding.

Here’s a look at the latest additions to the Ita Vero shop, and the images and places that have inspired them.

Ita Vero Cable Color Block Beanie

Ita Vero Ombre Cable Hat

Ita Vero Olive Knit Headband

Blush

I’ve just added another lovely scarf to the shop.

The fur cables cowl is an interesting mix of a chunky yarn that blends into a fine fur textured knit.  I’ve been daydreaming of soft blush and rose tones, romance, and winter chills since I’ve been spending so much time indoors this season.

Below is some of the inspiration that created the vision behind this piece.

Both yarns are incredibly soft to touch and warm.  The pretty blush tones are a romantic shade of neutral colors and pair well with a wide range of skin tones.

The dimensions of the scarf allow for it to be worn long or twisted for a more snug fit around the neck.

Pre-Fall 2015

A round-up of knitwear in the Pre-Fall shows.

Adam Lippes’ classic cream sweater styled with dusty rose fleece.

Funky pockets in another look from Adam Lippes

Chunky stripes and textures seen at Chloe

Babydoll silhouettes at Calvin Klein

New

Added a few new items in the shop.

I’m clearing out my inventory, so there are a few beautiful yarns listed for bargain prices!

And introducing the new Grayscale Ombre Beaded Texture Knit Hat ($26).  I love the idea of embellished knitwear, and this piece has subtle scattered hand beading between the ombre colors.  The fun seed stitch variation also adds elements of texture to the design!

Conversations with Jésabelle

It is so easy to make a chaotic mess when working on a big knitting project.  Supplies, notes, and yarns are strewn all over the place, tangling up together.  I just find it so difficult to be organized when I am working on something creative.

I stumbled upon Jésabelle’s shop Otterburn PQ the other day.  She sells these clever little knitting bags to hold your yarn so that you can knit anywhere you go.  The bags come in various fabrics and are designed to slip over your wrist.

What inspired you to begin a business?

I’ve always sewed, with my mom usually and I would make clothing and all sorts of stuff. I made so much at one point that I figured I had to start selling some so I could get the space and then the money to make some more !

What do you think is the key to a successful Etsy store?

I think that the key to a successful Etsy shop is caring for it. You have to be committed and always try to make it better. It shows when the owner takes care of there shop. New articles, great profile story, good pictures, etc.

How did it feel to make your first sale?

The first sale feels amazing ! It really is crazy. You think then that everything is possible. You also think : I hope they don’t realize I don’t know what I’m doing…
At first, the shop was just for fun, to see if it would work. Then it started to be a real job. I’m so thankful for every sale I make. I’m so lucky to be doing what I like.

Are there any other Etsy stores that you love to follow or often browse?

I love Thimble and Accorn.
She has a great style, simple but great pictures and obviously super nice women’s clothing.

In the description, many of the designs are based off your great-grandmother’s version. How else has she been an inspiration to this business and in your life? Do you come from a family of crafters?

My whole family sews. But my mom is the one that inspires me and helps me the most. I couldn’t do it without her. She showed me how to use a sewing machine and made me redo a lot of stuff back in the days… Today, we work well together and she is the best « employee » ever ! She rocks !

I love the muted shades of grey and denim blues of the bags. How did you come up with this selection of colors and natural materials?

The fabrics I use for my Knitting Bags are for me classics. You really can’t go wrong with Denim, Linen or blue and white Stripes…
Plus, I like that the yarn you are using is the star. That said, I’m planning to make some limited edition bags with busy print fabrics just for fun.

What kind of future do you see for your store? Do you think you will be adding other types accessories or expanding sales outsides of Etsy?

I already have knitting bags in a couple of stores locally and one in New York soon…
In the future, I will be adding other versions of the bags, other accessories. My mind is full, I just need more time… More time !

Holiday DIY

‘Tis the season for DIYs.  Whether you are looking for that perfect gift or you have some extra time over the holiday break, these fun projects make use of yarn in creative ways.

 1.  Yarn Backdrop

Dramatic, but simple to create.  Using gradient yarns adds to the bold visual of this wall piece.

2. Pom Pom Wreath

Don’t you just hate it when that lush green wreath hangs dried and brown after the holidays?  This pom pom version is sustainable and super cute.

3. Glitter Twine Ball

A great idea for a dinner centerpiece or as a tree ornament.  Everything looks better with a little sparkle for the holidays.

Conversations with Vaiva and Liudmila

Oftentimes, families pass down knowledge and stories of crafting from one generation to the next.  The handmade works become a symbol of family history.  Mother and daughter duo Vaiva and Liudmila run the Etsy store Woolspace.  Here’s what they had to say about doing business together and how their culture shapes and influences their approach to work.

How did you learn to knit and crochet?

L. Strange, but I learned knitting naturally. My mother didn’t knit so I learned it myself, of course it was very simple, only knit and purl. Later more skills were gained reading books. And I don’t like crocheting:)
V. I remember I had to knit something at school but my mother did it. I learned knitting not a long time ago about a 4 years ago when I saw my mother’s beautiful intarsia knitting. I asked her to teach me how to hand knit and since when I’m still in love with knitting.

What inspired you to begin a business?

L. At first I hand knitted socks only for family members but my neighbours noticed it and asked to make something special for them too. I made more socks then needed so idea of selling socks for others came naturally. Probably our story is similar to many others who make extra money from their hobby.
V. At first my mother sold socks in local markets. Later I suggested to start selling on the Etsy as seemed the best place to fit in:)

What are the benefits and disadvantages of working with family?

L. For me it’s only advantages. We think very similar so there no arguments.
V. Well, yes, I don’t see disadvantages too. Everything is simple as we don’t keep it bussiness. It’s still more hobby for us.

Where do you look for inspiration for your designs?

L. Inspiration is a process of creation. I like folk designs and try to make something unique mixing or changing them.
V. I’m only a beginner so I play more with colours as reading design charts and adopting them to certain sized socks is not so easy. Nature is my biggest inspiration.

What has been the most technically challenging piece or design that you have knit?

L. My first pair of socks with intarsia design. It took almost a few weeks!
V. Every piece is challenge. Sometimes the simple design can become nervous wracking.

What do you think is the key to a successful Etsy store?

V. Hard to tell where lies the treasury of success. Of course nice Etsian style photos have influence if the items looks attractive to customers. Still it’s not the main key. After trying various strategies with photos, descriptions, prices I can say that main key to success is to follow you sixth sense. Sometimes no matter what and how other shops sell the only important thing is follow the way you feel it’s your way.

How did it feel to make your first sale?

Oh, our first sale gave so much joy. Every sale gives a piece of happiness too.

Any advice for those looking to start their own crafts-based business?

V. Best advice – do what you want to do and forget about others as it might distract from your way.

Are there any other Etsy stores that you love to follow or often browse?

V. I try not to browse other shops which sell similar items to ours. I don’t want to start comparing other made pieces with ours and there’s no need to bother my head by seeing copies of our made designs or stolen ideas of description, photos etc. Nobody can stop stealing ideas so only thing we can do is to change our feeling about it:)
But there are so many amazing creators in Etsy. I like browsing shops who sell unique pieces, sometimes I can’t believe how creative people are. It gives a lot positive emotions.

How did you come up with the name Woolspace?

V. This name suddenly popped into my head and without much thinking we named our shop WoolSpace.

It’s interesting to note that while their store does well as a business, the pair value their mother-daughter relationship first and foremost, rather than as business partners.  The innate familial bond boosts great teamwork and supports creative intuition.

All images via Woolspace