Mission Statement

Initially, I was planning a post on why I blog, as a continuation in my attempt to re-re-introduce myself to the blogging community.  Instead, I decided to tackle the small but significant task of creating a mission statement, after I saw this article.

Here was my process:

Step 1: “Write It Out” – Jot down everything you are currently blogging about, all categories considered.

My List: NYC places of interest, city musings, shop items, shop updates, blogging, knit inspirations, art/artists, personal randoms, crafter interviews, knit tutorials, knits in fashion, design inspiration

Step 2: “Cross It Off” – Edit the list by eliminating topics you don’t feel passionate about

My Eliminations: knit tutorials, art/artists (unless they are related to knitting), possibly crafter interviews

Step 3: “Combine Things” – Combine topics that could work well together in the same post

My Pairings: shop items + shop updates, knit + design inspirations

Step 4: “Find Consistency” – Try to spot topics that stand out from the revised list and re-evaluate it

My thoughts:  Personal randoms can be a broad topic.  I would love to write about certain lifestyle points on the blog, but I am not sure how personal they will be.  Should I only write about personal elements when they correlate with another blog topic?

Step 5: “Find Direction” – Ask yourself questions about your blog’s intentions and write one sentence to sum up your blog

My questions: What would make this blog unique so it stands out from others?  How to make a craft-inspired blog appeal to non-crafters?  How to make my life in NYC an inspiration to others?  Will readers be interested in both aspects of Ita Vero NY even though the posts might be separate?

My Sentence: I want to create a space to share my knitting projects and knitwear store, and how living in NYC constantly inspires how I work and approach my life.  It has always been a dream of mine to live in New York, and while I have worked hard to make this possible, I am still fortunate to call this place home.  It would be funny to reminisce on my favorite places and memories of living in such an eclectic environment in one place. 

Okay, so that was more of a paragraph, but I’m getting there! I could also never imagine my life without knitting and creativity; I started the blog as an outlet to be creative and exercise other passions I would not be able to pursue in my day job.  The blogging world is over-saturated by ego bloggers and personal style blogs.  It would be nice to be a part of a written community that inspires the pursuit of dreams and experiences rather than shopping hauls and selfies.

Readers, any thoughts on how you have fine-tuned your blogs?  Anyone else interested in trying this exercise?

Advertisements

The Carnegie Mittens

New item in the shop!

These mittens, named for the Carnegie Hill neighborhood in New York City, are knit from 100% merino wool.  Merino wool refers to a specific breed of sheep that produces the finest yarn quality.  The finer the yarn, the less susceptible it is to breakage, which you usually see as pilling in sweaters.  Because they are hand-crafted from Italian merino wool, these mittens feel like the softest, most plush cotton material, without the scratchiness of other wools.

The textured stitch of the mitten add a subtle design element and extra grip.  Soft charcoal colors and minimal styling allude to classic menswear influences.

Available now in the store.

Nice to Meet You

Believe or not, this little blog and knitwear line has been around for over a year already!  Almost as hard to believe as me becoming a quarter of a century old as of Monday.

It is a bit of an odd feeling to both hit your mid twenties, and to have blogged this long without properly introducing myself.  Twenty-five is an excellent age to self-reflect and I feel that this blog will become more than just a creative space and exploratory addition to Ita Vero.  I have big plans for this little space on the inter webs, and I would love to make it just a bit more personal.

I’m Tiffany, the creator and maker of Ita Vero.  I live in New York City where I currently live paycheck to paycheck in a tiny apartment I probably can’t truly afford because I have never wanted to live anywhere else and refuse to lower my pride.  Knitting has long been a part of life, from the time I picked up a pair of needles and a ball of yarn when I was nine to hand-crafting my senior thesis, it is both a professional and creative inspiration.

I started Ita Vero, because I was looking for a creative outlet outside of my full time job.  I’m still figuring out the business of crafting, but I enjoy every part of it, and I hope you readers share the same experience!

Being a silly tourist in D.C.

Metallic

My comfort zone color palette may be soft pastels and cozy neutrals, but I actually love metallics.  Especially when worked into knits, I think the contrast of the yarn’s softness and the hard edges of metals make for an eye-catching combination.

Antonio Berardi Pre-Fall

Weaving with a pop of gold from All Roads

Whether it’s a metallic dye treatment, or a piles of metal hardware connected to sweater knits, it is a feature I would love to explore more in the future.

Esther Paleologos creates knit art from various metal wires all from a domestic knitting machine.

This week, I found a bold metallic blue yarn deep in the archives of the Ita Vero yarn stash.  I thought the brightness and futuristic element of the color would pair surprisingly well with the worn-in denim look yarn I had been saving for a special project.   The “Mercury Cowl” is an ombre metallic textured knit cowl made from those two yarns.  The soft drape and simple silhouette will be a stylish addition to any fall/winter wardrobe.

Mercury Cowl – available for sale in the store

Ita Vero Knits on Etsy

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.

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 !

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

Carol Milne

When describing the tactile elements of knits, words evoking softness, drape, and coziness come to mind.  Artist Carol Milne has created works that have us re-considering that notion of knitting.  Her pieces showcase knitting, but with glass as the medium.

Milne has come up with a revolutionary method of glass-making to create the base sculpture.

She then painstakingly chips away at the piece to create the final artwork.  Therefore, all the yarn loops and textures have been sculpted by hand afterwards.

View more of Carol Milne’s works at her gallery site.