Tuesday, March 30, 2010

new years resolutions...not forgotten

{french graffiti; who new the word 'Punk' was universal?}

good afternoon everyone ^^/

at the beginning of this year i made a vow not to start any new projects until i finish off my extensive collection of WIP's. now i know i've strayed a little bit from this vow, mainly for the purposes of new designs, but i'm still determined to work exclusively on my WIP's from here on out. I have at least 3 designs in the works that i desperately need to finish up so i've got no excuse to go starting new designs.

i recently finished this pair of socks that i cast on in December of last year:

the design is Sugar Maple by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from the book "2-at-a-time Socks" and i've just gotta say that i LOVE Melissa for thinking up this technique and publishing a book about it. i think i'm the queen of second sock syndrom because before i found this technique i just couldn't seem to finish a pair of socks ever. these yellow beauties are the very first pair of socks i've ever complete for myself and i'm really happy with them. i've been wearing them like non-stop since they came off my needles xD

and on another note (spring related i might add) i was thinking the other day that i really don't do enough posts about me personally. it's mostly my designs or giveaways or tips, but not a whole lot about me and i'm sure some of you are wondering "who is Carla Cappi?" well i'm gonna tell ya!

i'm a 26 year old history student with a passion for life, languages, music and color. i'm what most people would call a jack of all trades and a master of none, as throughout my life i've played 5 different instruments including piano and guitar, written and recorded my own songs which can be found on my myspace music page, studied ballet for 12 years, been in numerous musical theatre performances, sang in numerous choirs and ofc, my latest passion - knitting and crochet design.

i also happen to be married to a Frenchman who still currently resides in France :<

{this is me and my husband Christophe when i went to visit him in France last Spring}

for those of you who don't know our story, we met online in an Anime (japanese animation) forum. 2 years ago i was searching for a japanese animated movie my brother and I used to watch as kids that was really hard to find, so i went on an online Anime forum in search of it and instead i found him :) (i did eventually find the movie too, lol.) it's funny how life turns out because at the time i was in a relationship and wasn't even looking for anyone. but he answered one of my posts and one day we just started talking in the forums chat room and discovered we had a lot in common.

my relationship at the time was really strained and he was there for me through the rough ending and hard breakup, but all the while very respectful of what i was going through. so we talked everyday for like 2 months straight before we started "dating" and finally in October of '08 i flew to Nice, France to meet him for the first time. he proposed to me on that trip and when he came to visit a few months later we got married. he's truly the most wonderful man i've ever met, he's funny and smart and incredibly kind-hearted. and for the last year and a half we've been continent hoping back and forth from France to the US to visit each other.

the funny thing is that i first started trying to learn to speak French when i was 10 years old. my dad had some language learning tapes i used to study, and then i studied French all throughout highschool and college. i've always had dreams of living in France and so we decided that when i finally finish my degree we'll be moving there permanently. right now we're trying to save up a bit of money for a green card application so that Chris can come to the US while i'm still in school.

and i'll leave you today with a little picture montage of my future home; Nice France in the springtime:

(i apologize for the fuzzy pictures, i don't know why they came out so fuzzy when i uploaded them, i'll have to try to figure out what i'm doing wrong)

{the Cote d'Azur, Nice France. this was the view from one of the hotels we stayed in. it's very similar to the view from Chris' apartment}

{the sink from the tiniest bathroom in Nice, seriously this sink couldn't be more than a foot wide}

{the Chateau de Crémat, a local castle turned winery where we did some wine tasting}

{the view from the Chateau de Cremat}

ta ta for now


Monday, March 22, 2010

a new design, a new winner, and a wbdt

happy monday everyone ^^/

today is a great day. i'm debuting a new design, naming a new winner in my giveaway, and i arrived home from work today to see a lovely BIG box sitting on my doorstep which could only mean 1 thing....new yarn!!!!!

i know my blog has been ominously silent all last week, and that's because i was slaving away at my newest design purls interrupted. if you follow my blog this is that new revolutionary design i promised a picture preview of. this has been my most changed design from the original concept, as you can see from the picture progression below:

in my very first test knit the silk yarn i used just wasn't working for me so i switched to acrylic

i thought the acrylic would make the cables pop up a bit more, but i still wasn't satisfied. at this point i got the brilliant idea of using a contrasting color to knit the cables, and also using Knit Picks yarn so i could submit this design to the Independant Designers Program

{the final version}
ah the evolution of a design... and to think this design started out as me trying to find a way to cable with purls (which i've discovered is completely possible, but just doesn't look all that great.)
i hope you all like my new design, and wish me luck with my submission to Knit Picks. i'll be crossing my fingers until i hear back from them ^.^
and on another note, i was unable to get ahold of one of the winners for my petite vache designs super awesome free giveaway, so i'm pleased to annouce a new winner:


you've won a set of rainbow detanglers :)

i'll be emailing you just incase you don't make it by my blog this week so we can work out the details of which colors you'd like.

and now it's time for another Weekly Budding Designers Tip!!

{the newest members of my yarn family xD}

as budding designers we are artists, and yarn is our medium, and if you're anything like me you need a LOT of yarn to fill the demand for your designs. but yarn support is not always available, especially if you're not designing something specifically for a certain company or magazine. if you do a lot of freelance design then you really need to check out LittleKnits.com.

my recent order was for 13 skeins of Ella Rae Classic (100% wool) AND 2 jumbo balls of Opal sock yarn which, as you can see from the picture bellow, is 150gms and 420m per skein!!

this is a grand total of 3440m or well over 3700yds of gorgous yarn. the MSRP on these yarns would have put my order at over 120$ but i got everything for just a little under 70$ including shipping!

so my best tip to budding designers out there is to bargain shop for your yarn, and always check LittleKnits first because they have some of the most amazing deals i've seen on the net

well it's time for me to go and put the finishing touches on my purls interrupted pattern so i can get it submitted to Knit Picks asap. thanks for stoping by my blog and have a great week everyone :)


Monday, March 15, 2010

and the winners are...

aye, tis the ides of March and the petite vache designs' super awesome free giveaway is now officially over!!!

(that sign should say "winners" but i will hold you in suspense no longer...)

Cary at Serenity Farms


Flying Goat Farms

::pause for applause::

i'll be trying to contact you two ladies on your blogs if i don't hear from you first. email me at mellonninamarie at gmail dot com to claim your prizes :)

but if for whatever reason i'm unable to get ahold of the first 2 winners by next monday they will forfeit their prize and i have 2 alternate winners chosen at random already. so be sure to check back with the blog next week because you might still be a winner!

and to those of you who didn't win never fear!! there will be more super awesome free giveaways to come. i've got 2 patterns that i'm going to be publishing within the next month and everytime i publish a new pattern i do a giveaway here on my blog.

thanks to everyone who participated in my 2nd free giveaway. if you're a new follower welcome and i hope you stick around :)

my new super secret revolutionary pattern is almost complete, so be on the lookout for me blogging about it this week with a picture preview.



Sunday, March 14, 2010

the wbdt is back :)

good afternoon everyone ^^/

i know this weeks edition of the weekly budding designers tip is long overdue, so lets just get right to it!

today i will be doing an Easy Cable Chart tutorial, much like my Illusion Chart tutorial from a few weeks back. i mentioned in my last post that i had a new design i was going to be previewing here on my blog and submitting to the Knit Picks Independant Designer Program, and it just so happens it's a cabled pattern. in preparation for my impending submission i've taken some time to create an easy way to make cable charts that i could utilize in my own patterns.

if you do a google search for "cable chart tutorial" you'll come up with a number of sites that explain, in no easy terms, how to write out cable charts. if you're a budding designer with limited chart-making experience, or just a knitter who has a great idea for a cable design and wants to chart it out, these tutorials can be a bit overwhealming. my chart technique is a much simplified version that just about anyone should be able to do!

Easy Cable Charts:

before we get started with the Cable Chart tutorial i suggest you read through my previous Illusion Chart tutorial. to make a Cable chart i'll be using the same software and most of the same techniques i used in the last tutorial.

  • first things first, if you don't already have a spreadsheet program you're going to need one to make your Cable chart. you can head on over to openoffice.org and download a free version which is the version i'll be using.

  • next we'll be opening a new document and adjusting the cell width just like in the Illusion tutorial. for a cable chart i like to use a slightly bigger cell width than for an illusion chart, about .43" (make sure to highlight the area for your chart before adjusting cell width or it won't work.) once you've adjusted your cell width, you're ready to begin charting.

{click on "Format" and then go to "Columns" and "Width" to adjust}

  • the last technique i'm going to use to make my cable chart is merging cells. this really couldn't be any easier as OpenOffice has a fantastic little "merge cell" button right at the top of the page

{the location of the "Merge Cells" button}

  • now that we've got our column width adjusted and we've learned how to merge cells we're going to start creating our cable chart. i've chosen to demonstrate a simple 2 x 2 twisted ribbing:

  • since this pattern calls for columns of simple reverse stockinette, i'm going to start by shading those columns in grey and when i make the key for my chart i'll indicate that grey stitches should be purled on the right side and knit on the wrong side.

  • next i'm going to create my symbols for the cabled stitches. i'll start by finding all the cells that will have cable symbols, merge them and add borders (note: merging and bordering is actually not mandatory, but i like the look it gives to my finished product and feel it makes my charts easier to read. if you want an even simpler way to chart you can skip his step entirely.

  • once i've merged and bordered my cells its time to add my cabling symbols. i'm going to be using the simplest symbols of all; slanted lines. these slanted lines will indicate that these stitches need to be cabled with a right front crossover on the RS and a right back crossover on the WS. when i'm finished my chart will look something like this:

  • now that my chart is finished all that's left to do is make a key or legend for my chart just like i did for my illusion chart, and that's all there is to it!

now here's the fun part:

the main concept behind charting is using symbols to represent certain stitches or techniques. this means as long as you use a key or legend to explain your symbols, you can use pretty much any symbols you want! do you want a row of 4 smiley faces to represent a 2 stitch cable crossover? go for it! for many years now designers have been using the same old symbols to represent the stitches used in cabling and lace making, so why not change it up a bit? for the purposes of this tutorial i've kept the symbols in my chart very simple, but i'd like to encourage all the budding designers out there to not be afraid to deviate from the norm. take control of your knitting and your design process and make it your own. differentiating yourself from the pack is a great way to get noticed as a designer :)

thanks for checking out my Easy Cable Chart Tutorial, i hope this will be helpful to some of you out there who are wanting to venture into the realm of chart making, but are maybe a bit daunted by the task. hopefully i've shown you how easy it can be and that anyone can do it!

peace & love to all


Thursday, March 11, 2010

yippy!! my first sale!!

happy thursday everyone ^^/

it's been exactly one week since i opened my new Etsy shop, http://www.ginger1990.etsy.com/, and i'm super excited to announce that i've just made my very first sale evar!!

la petite vache is doing a happy cow dance today in celebration ^.^

if you've been follow my blog since the beginning (or if you taken to the time to read through all my posts) you'll know that this little Etsy venture has been a dream of mine for the last 9 months or so, and i'm just thrilled and encouraged by the support i've been getting from my blog followers and all my friends on Ravelry. i honestly thought that it would take much longer for me to pass this first sale milestone, expecially considering i haven't really done much advertising for it yet. so when i woke up this morning and saw the email in my inbox about this sale it was such a splendid surprise.

i just wanted to take this time to thank all my followers and friends, and especially my friend Sarah from The Student Knitter. without your advice and encouragement i may never have had the courage to embark on this adventure, so thank you from the bottom of my heart for believing in me, even when i didn't believe in myself.

on another note, i've got a brand new, revolutionary design that i'm going to be submitting to the KnitPicks independant designer program very soon, and i'll be doing a sneak preview of this design sometime in the next week. so make sure to check back with the blog for that and to see if you've won one of the sets of detanglers that i'm giving away as part of my grand opening promotion :)

peace & love to all,


Monday, March 8, 2010

Grand Opening Giveaway!!

(rainbow detanglers)

Happy Monday everyone ^^/

after much hard work, and many days of sewing, knitting, taking pictures and uploading them my Etsy shop is now open for business :)

(a techo-geek jewelry cove from my shop)

i don't even have half the stuff i made uploaded to my shop yet because it can be a bit time consuming typing out descriptions and uploading pictures to Etsy, so i'll probably be adding new merchandise daily for at least the next week.

(heart to heart notions-to-go tote)

one of the items i'm most proud of are these "notions-to-go" totes like the one above and the one featured in my last post. these babies are handknit, then the lining is machince sewn and hand sewn into the knit tote ::whew:: they take a lot of work, but i just LOVE the finished product.

so this means i should have time to do a wbdt this week. i'm going to try to get that Cable Chart Tutorial up finally since i've been promising it for 2 weeks now, but i may not have time. but don't fret, there WILL be a wbdt this week, even if it's not the Tutorial.

and now, as promised, it's time for another...

petite vache designs' super awesome free giveaway!!!

i'll be giving away a 2 sets of detanglers, one set of 3 grey with wood star buttons, and one set of 3 rainbow with plastic buttons from my shop as seen below:

(if you win the rainbow detanglers, you can pick which colors you'd like)

the drawing will be held a week from today, and there are 3 ways to enter:

  1. follow my blog (if you're already a follower, you're already entered!)

  2. leave me a comment on this post telling me what you think of my new shop.

  3. blog about my Etsy shop and giveaway on your blog, and let me know about it in my comments section

email me at mellonninamarie at gmail dot com so that i'll have your email address to contact you if you win.

good luck with the contest everyone, and wish me luck on my new business venture :)


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

wbdt pre-empted

ok, so i know i promised everyone a spectacular weekly budding designers tip last week about making your own cable charts. and i know i failed to deliver but i have a really good excuse xD

(a set of alpaca detanglers i'll be selling in my Etsy Shop)

i've been hard at work preparing for the opening of my Etsy shop which will FINALLY BE OPENING this Friday come rain or come shine!!!

i'm super excited about this new venture and since i've been so focused on it i didn't get a chance to do the wbdt last week :(

but fear not! since my shop will be officially open on friday i'll have the whole weekend to get the wbdt up for this week.

until then though, here's a little picture preview of one of the items i'll be selling in my shop: lucky stars notions-to-go totes.

i'll be blogging throughout the week with new pics of my Etsy merchandise and might even throw in a free giveaway in there somewhere ^.^ so be sure to check back with the blog all week for those updates.
i hope everyone is having a splendidly crafty week like myself :)