shop update

How Bapsicrafts Orders are Made

Since opening Bapsicrafts, I’ve filled and sold at least a hundred knit items for now-warm people all over the world. By now the process has become automatic—another safe space to meditate (which is just the kind of thing I was going for).
Here’s how each Bapsicrafts item is typically made, from start to finish. I took the time to document an order made for a good friend of mine in Canada for this post.

Planning, Materials— It always starts with an idea. Most of the custom orders have a simple pattern-color combination, so I’ll pull up the pattern I wrote for the particular design(most have been memorised by now), order the yarn and get going.
This customer wanted something more specific, and he was diligent enough to pull up reference to help me get an idea of what he was looking for—a striped Chullo style hat, with a red and gold color scheme. He also wanted 100% wool. After I understood the request, I set up a listing and got to hunting for the perfect yarn.
I chose an Andean wool, seemed fitting for a Andean style hat.

Stitching — This is easily the longest part of the process. For a hat you’re looking at about 7-8 hours usually, or about 4 for a pair of wrist warmers, typically done while I’m watching a show or reading a book! Since many completely custom pieces are designed from scratched or improvised, it can take even longer to get just right. I had to frog quite a bit of the work to make sure everything fit as planned. In total I think this hat took about a week on-and-off to create, not counting design sketching and the like.

Special Touches — I always like to add a little something that makes a custom piece just that much more unique. In this case I added a crocheted border to handle the stockinette stitch curling, and to better balance the red and gold color relationship. I also set up and braided yarn to use for the tassel part of the hat, which was really fun to do!

Hand washing — After everything’s just right, bound off, with every end woven in and knotted, I’ll wash the piece with a hand made soap, reshape, and leave flat to dry. This soap in particular is the previously blogged Wool or You bar by Sweet Tea N Biscuits. It smells like heaven.

My Signature — After allowing it to dry for a day or so, I'll 'sign' my work with a hand sewn label. I source my labels in small batches from the lovely Michelle Ruyle of Inked Papers, a small business based right here in the United States.

Wrapping it up — After all of that, I have the pleasure of carefully wrapping the piece up like a little gift, including a personally handwritten note and some care instructions. I prefer to keep the packaging simple and minimal, but still meaningful. Here, I had enough yarn left over to make a little bow to match the color of the hat. Then it’s just taking it to the post office! The finished piece will take its long journey to its new owner.


To place a custom order find my shop Bapsicrafts, and send me a message via Etsy. Let’s work on together on something new!

I'm Alive!


Yes, I'm still alive! It's been a slow recovery, and my knitting been a bit slower but I'm still at it. I'm currently finishing up the last touches for my one-of-a-kind Condyle wristwarmers which will be available in the first week of November online. It's exciting to see these go from the shelf to needles and (soon) in the Etsy shop.
The domino socks for Jason are about 75% done as well too. I think they may be in his hands by Christmas!
I'll write again soon, it's been a real pleasure to read everyone's knitting blog posts this summer/fall and I'm excited to jump back into craft and shop blogging soon. :]

Happy 2nd Birthday, Bapsicrafts!


In these two years I've knit 34427 meters of yarn(according to knitmeter), made 98 sales that are warming lives and homes as we speak, followed nearly a hundred knitting blogs, interacted with and befriended many fellow crafters, craft-lovers, and small business owners. It's been a joy so far and I hope for many more days of learning, growing, sharing, and (of course) knitting!

To celebrate these fun two years of crafting and selling handmade, I'm holding a sale until the 28th--you can get 15% off anything and everything in my shop with the code HBDBAPSICRAFTS. This will even include any custom orders or requests--I'll apply the discount to the quote when we talk about your vision.

Thanks so much, reader, for being here to make this worthwhile. I wouldn't have had so much fun without people just like you. :]

And in the spirit of signal-boosting, I'd like to share some things I've enjoyed while browsing my feeds--
Jenna started blogging at hardknitlife just last month but has been doing a very entertaining job of it so far. Give her a read!
Sandra Singh is currently holding a giveaway for her Sieden Prairie Cowl--ready to knit with 4 skeins of Sandra Singh 1 Ply Merino Worsted in your color scheme of choice. Enter for your chance to win it!
Susan bound off a pair of ombré socks with yarn spun KnitSpinFarm's batts. I wish I could spin--those socks are just divine.
 And Wendy of Wendy Knits is currently working on the sample for her Mystery Summer Shawl KAL! Watch that space--it's bound to be a great knit, all of her work is beautiful. :]

Ippikin

I have a million thanks to give to the LYS Search feature on Ravelry. I'm lucky to have the map light up like a little christmas tree in Los Angeles, but around Bridgnorth, it's a slightly rarer sight. So when I found out about Ippikin, I had to sink the £20 travel fare to visit!

Unfortunately it had to rain on the day we set out, but I was determined to travel anyway (and Jason was such a great sport about it too!) The moment we spotted the shop I snapped just one photo and ran inside for shelter. You'll have to see for yourself if you get there--the place is a little yarn haven!

Among local brands carried are Rowan, Lion Brand, Opal, and much more. I had a great time squishing skeins that I've only seen photos of online.

There's also a nice little nook to knit and chat. On the day I visited, a small crochet class was currently in session.

Lesley was a fantastic host and was a tremendous help to me. I let her know I was looking for some local yarns and she showed me big parts of the wall devoted to these gorgeous skeins of soft wool! I chose 4 skeins of Woolyknits' Aran for Bapsicrafts. These skeins will each turn into lovely Condyle wristwarmers that I'll have for sale in the shop. :] Woolyknits' yarn is spun in their mill in Saddleworth, Yorkshire in the valleys of the Pennines in northern England. I'm more than excited to have this part of Britain on my needles and to share it with shoppers of Bapsicrafts. :]

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And, of course, I made a rather large personal purchase. I don't allow myself the luxury very often at all, since I'm kind of in practice of not having a personal stash when I can help it.  But these yarns! I've seen sock after sock knit in Regia or Opal yarns and, crap, here's my chance! The Rhubarb colorway, and this variegated bluish shade of the Opal yarn are going to look fantastic as socks.

I'm not going to cast any of those on just yet, since they'd most likely be in progress for a while. I anticipate not being allowed to knit at all on the airplane back, so sparing myself of a sock wip in the suitcase will be the best idea.

As for the DK Knitcol yarns, well..

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...my hand slipped.

shop update: The Synapse

I announced this a little while ago already on facebook, but there’s something about blogging that makes me anxious. It is the relatively formal format? Maybe. It is my inability to explain something that I feel more comfortable designing visually or discussing one-on-one? Pretty much entirely exactly absolutely. But I’ll feel the fear and try anyway.

I call this new design Synapse (from synaptein "to clasp," from syn- "together" and haptein "to fasten”.)
I remember (admittedly only vaguely) studying about this in high school. I responded a little emotionally to the importance of this part of your nervous system.

It takes a large amount of effort for a signal to make it for the first time from one brain cell to another. but having made that connection for the first time it eventually gets easier to do. With time, that message or signal can take next to no effort at all to get across. The bond’s been strengthened.

Now, I have it totally wrong about this bit of neuroscience here (my class notebooks were more sketchbooks than anything else oops), but it wasn’t hard to immediately connect my understanding of the concept to the initial difficulty of making that first connection to another person and to begin a relationship.
The thought of your first “hello” becomes this massive ravine that gets wider and wider the more you think about it, but after you manage to cross it, things get a little easier don’t they?
Over time that metaphorical line you bravely threw across the ravine becomes a solid bridge, and now you have a good friend you can share just anything with. It’s almost like not sharing is the unnatural thing to do. That space between you and everyone you connect with is always a very important thing.
The gap helps remind you that even if you’re connected to someone else you still are your own whole thing. That little separation makes sure that there’s always news to receive and to give and always a discovery to make. But the gap also makes it easy to lost touch if and when that bridge collapses from neglect. I can go on about that but my focus here is on the magic of that connection as it happens. :D

I made this design synapse because I’m just so enamored with that little space between you/me and the world that I think is a necessary and beautiful thing.

I wrangled with garter ribbing to give the impression of spaces getting gradually smaller as you reach the brim (or gradually larger if that’s your perspective). My long-time readers will know that I love ribbed knitting—it’s stretchy and plushy, and offers a sleek line along the length of your head when its worn.
The Synapse in 100% Fisherman’s Wool is currently available in the shop, and this lovely design will also soon be available in my wool-acrylic blend once I get to editing the photos I took back home. (Some wool-blend synapses are already out and about, as I’ve sort of secretly debuted them in last year’s craft shows. :D)

I had a lot of fun seeing this come together on paper and the needles. Every new knit design I make further cements my love for knitting and sharing handmade, and I’m excited to see Synapse and other Bapsicrafts designs become a part of someone’s slow-fashion closet/lifestyle.

Hello 2014!

It’s January 3rd, 2014 and I’m diagnosing myself with first-page syndrome. Artists and writers will know what I’m talking about. You buy yourself a new sketchbook, planner, or journal and stare at the first page, almost afraid to make that first mark because you might ruin your shot at this new wonderful fresh start.
It was at this point today that I realized that this is exactly the thing new years goals are for—this is the fear I need to practice conquering daily, so instead of staring at false start after false start hoping for the ‘perfect’ entry to happen, I’ll just go right ahead and get to writing to you about what’s happened lately.

First of all—Hello to 2014! The big news here is that I’m living in England for the first half of this year with Jason for a semi-sabbatical.

Expect more:
  • “Places” posts: I plan to visit some lovely places around here in the UK, and would love to share photos with you.
  • Personal knitting projects Knitmeter tells me that I’ve knit a total of about 10.3 miles in 2013, and imo not enough of that knitting was for me. 2014 can do to be a year of more selfish knitting.
  • Reviews/handmade appreciation I’ve been catching a lot of really beautiful handmade show and small businesses around the internet and locally! One personal resolution this year was to buy handmade, and giving props to crafters could be a good part of that too. :]
What this semi-sabbatical means for Bapsicrafts shoppers is that for now, only ready-made items will be available for purchase. We’re looking at about 80+ items available to be shipped to you from my little shop. I will steadily stock up on different color variations of existing made-to-order designs as I can. It will take time to send finished knits home but it will happen, so check back soon or drop a line if you don't mind the long order turn-around!
Oh, and my brother was nice enough to take the time to handle shipping for Bapsicrafts back home, so orders should continue to work smoothly as before!

Thanks for being such wonderful readers everyone. I hope you had a great holiday season and new year's celebration, and I hope your resolutions for 2014 stick! I'll write a bit about how my 2013 resolutions went and this year's plans next time. :]

preparation

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I've spent the last few months steadily building stock for my first craft show, but never made the move to actually apply to any event until now. It's been and will be a lot of hard work to prepare, but I'm faithful that my first show will be a meaningful one, no matter the outcome!
Stay tuned for more information of the when/where of the show, I'd love to meet some of you socal knitters/lovers of handmade at the event!

shop update: black and tan beanies

I've been on a little hat-knitting frenzy for the little shop lately, thought I'd update you all about what's been listed! Click through the photos for each hat's listing in my shop.
tanblackstripes
These two were made to be sister pieces--after knitting the first one in tan and black, I saw that I had enough yarn left over to make a ctrl+i version, so I went ahead and did it! They both turned out really beautiful, I might work on more sets like these in the future.

I think my favorite feature of these two hats is the versatility. The hats were knit just long enough to be worn slouchy like in the first two photos in the post, but just short enough for the brim to be folded over for extra warmth. It appeals to the part of me that wants just a few good useful things in her closet for different occasions.
I've found myself to be a terrible judge for what is guy-friendly as far as knitwear goes. Feedback so far from male friends has been positive, so it may be safe to say that these can make good gives for sisters, girlfriends, and boyfriends and brothers alike!
As always, you can learn more about and buy these hats in my little shop, Bapsicrafts.

shop update: teres

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i finished up a new design that i've been excited to share for a while--here! my favorite moss stitch in the form of a warm cowl, with a little bit of crochet on each end as a finish. for this design sample i just had to use a deep hue so i went for cranberry. i'm very happy with how it turned out and would love to learn how it will look in the colors my customers may choose for their own.teresupclose moss stitch hasn't failed to wow me yet--i absolutely love the texture it creates in different weights or materials. this cowl is currently available in a soft blend of lamb's wool and acrylic. you can see a bit more about this custom-knit neckwarmer here.

in other news:
i had the pleasure of being interviewed by kelly stahley! You can view the interview on her blog here.

and remember to enter my giveaway for the vegan shift hat here! i will draw the winner's name at the end of this month!

finlet

finlet
this is finlet,  the newest addition to my shop. it's a neckwarmer that i actually put together a few months ago that i really love but had mixed feelings about making it available to buy, mostly because of the amount of time spent actually knitting it. for a long time i kept the prototype myself but recently made the decision to make another for the shop, since i loved it so much.
one big challenge i have with selling my knitwear is pricing them in a way that could seem reasonable to customers. i spend many hours swatching, searching for yarns, knitting and ripping back, and writing the patterns for my pieces, but there is always this lingering fear that despite my best effort, the level of craft in my work won't be made clear enough to people browsing my shop. i guess when all is considered the best i can do is price in a way that is fair to my skill, service and high level of quality of my materials, and take the best more true-to-life photos i can and hope there are people out there who recognize that value and choose to make bapsicrafts a part of their wardrobe and lifestyle.
finlet is a much-loved design of mine, and i hope it finds a good home and owner to keep warm this winter.

shop update

i've been doing a lot of listing lately, here's a glance at a little of what's new in the shop! one's my torse design in vegan-friendly yarns for anyone who may be allergic but still wants to wear a bapsi-made item, and two [of a total of four] of my little series of winter hats, all named meld. inspired by the beautiful phenomenon of diffusion. i think i'll admit now that i reeeally enjoy knitting hats, but i can't let myself have so many hats in my own closet, so expect a lot more in the shop very soon!

shop update

released a few new little knits in my shop recently. as usual, you can click through the image to see the listings on etsy.

this one i'm proud to call my first fingerless mitts design both made and listed in my little shop! knitting and shaping in the round is a little daunting for me when it doesn't involve a simple crown shaping, so i'm glad i tackled that! more designs are definitely coming soon! this color featured is denim, a personal favorite right now. i'm excited to see how this piece looks in other colors as well!
torse
this one's been a simple favorite that's been sitting in both the notebook and shelf for a long time. the torse beanie, named that because of the ribbing pattern and other little design features that mirror features of the human torse. i loved making this design so much that i decided to make a number of ready-to-ship versions for people to be able to order and receive immediately! but as usual for my designs, this will be available in the customer's choice of colors. it will be really interesting to see which will turn out to be the most popular!
7 little white scrubbies and these i've been keeping in the works for a long while, but finally decided to make available--little white cotton scrubbies in a set of 7! hopefully someone loves them! i may offer them in different quantities if they're ever requested.

i have many more little knits waiting for their photoshoot [which i've been putting off because i'm overdue for a haircut..]. i can't wait to show them and hopefully ship them!

the ceph



here's the first of a few designs i finished recently! this one's named the ceph for the evolutionary trend of cephalization, where nervous tissue becomes more concentrated on one end than on the other, which eventually forms a head with a brain. it's one of my favorite things to mind when designing simple creatures, as it's something that causes the area of interest and the line of symmetry in things to change.
anyway, went with my current simple favorite k1 p1 type pattern, which works a lot for what this is. it's really beautiful to me how such simple things like the knit and purl stitch have the potential to create very interesting, detailed knitwear.

veral in spice

just sharing a new featured color option for the veral cowl--spice. when i first saw the colorway at my local craft shop, i fell in love, and had to knit with it to gear up for the upcoming autumn season. [some more new featured colors are coming soon, btw.


the yarn's really soft and defines stitches very well, and has a lovely variegated scheme--just a little more red in some places, a little more brown of gold in others, suiting the bold style of the veral cowl's design. needless to say, this cowl's become an instant favorite for me.
as always, you can view this pretty knit here in my little etsy shop.

lots of little washcloths


i've been hard at work lately to make more washcloth sets with the lovely skeins of yarn bought last month. each set takes an awful long time to finish but it's worth it to see such a pretty little folded square in a new color added to the stack. i find myself putting them in little separate stacks, seeing what kinds of pretty combinations appear.peach washcloth set

the two beautiful skeins in this post were finally transformed into little washcloth sets,  recently put in my shop this week. please see them here, on bapsicrafts.

condyle


here's a new cowl design that i just couldn't wait to share. it's called condyle, named for the ends of bones, right where they meet with others. i love finding condyles while doing figurative drawing, and i love the idea of points of visual interest at the  edges of things. my hope is that i've achieved just that with the ribbed pattern at each end of this cowl.
i made it tall enough to pull up and warm your nose, but not so chunky that you feel smothered when wearing it.
you can see it here on bapsicrafts.

shift


i spent a long while putting this one together, a lot of frogging and re-knitting to make sure it was just how i wanted--and it's finally done. it's called shift, for its shifting ribbed stitch pattern which i love because it reminds me of little rows of little cells, gently colliding with each other. i'm really glad to see this finished, i'm so proud of it.
please check it out in my shop!