On My Knitting Needles; Beach Walk Cowl

Mermaid Bay

Beach Walk Cowl is on my needles this week.  It’s a fun knit. Simple enough to knit while watching TV if you’re an experienced knitter.  It has some lace work to keep it interesting.  I chose a new to me yarn called Sensible Sock by Savvy Skeins. It’s 80% Merino wool and 20% Nylon, a combination that bodes well for wearing it frequently.  My only issue with the yarn is that it seems to be spun a bit more loosely than other sock yarns I’ve been using.  Sometimes this can affect durability.

Beach Walk Cowl

This color way is called “Mermaid Bay.” It’s not a solid color and is described by the company as “tonal, speckled, variegated.” It has several shades of blue, a bit of green, some brown, and splashes of purple.  I purchased this online from Loopy Ewe and was really pleased that their photo showed the colors accurately.

Cowls take a fair amount of time to knit so you won’t be seeing this for sale in AllUnwound’s Etsy shop.  Instead it’s going to become part of my regular wardrobe.


Posted in Clothes, clothing, wardrobe, Creating patterns, Knitting, On My Knitting Needles, Scarf, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Pinterest for Business

Hats hand knit blue gray silver font changedIn A new Beginning I talked about changing my Pinterest account to a business account. I was very ambivalent about it because I post a wide variety of items for personal use, rather than business. Can you say Recipes to Try?! One of my many boards about food.

I am still learning about Pinterest and how to use it to promote my business. Since that post Pinterest has changed the preferred size of pins, and how pins are presented to the community. And possibly a few other things I’m not aware of!  Most of my pins have been repins. Some of my original pins are directly from sites I consider useful or want to refer back to.  A few of my pins are directly from AllUnwound’s Etsy site.

Changing to a business account was the right choice. This change led me to some articles about the need to create pins instead of posting directly from my Etsy site. That’s both fun and challenging. Below is the very first pin I created. I have a quality product and a good photo. My Etsy site is included on the bottom of the pin. I even had a theme; enjoy being outside!

Enjoy Being Outside After looking at a few Pinterest pins in what I think is my category, I realized my pin needs some work.  My photo shows the hat well, but has a colored background. Many pins have hats photographed without a background. Those pins seem to show the hat floating in empty air.  Not my favorite look but I do see the benefit of a simple background in photos used for pinning.  I love the brick background of my pin, but having the photo background on top of it is a bit distracting.

Check out the first photo in this blog post to see my latest pin. It’s got hand knit hats, color and a fair amount of white space. I think I’ve learned a few things about creating pins! Keep up to date and see if I get sucked into the floating hat photo trend on Pinterest!

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Hand Knit Wool Sock Weather Returns!


You can see by the fuzzies on the heel that these socks have been worn many times!

We had a stretch of unusually warm weather for a couple of weeks. Happily this week the cooler weather has returned. Now it’s cool enough to wear hand knit wool socks again.

This is one of my favorite pair. I purchased the yarn from this indie dyer, LolaDoodles , she sells on Etsy and is easy to communicate with. It’s the “classic sock” blend.  I knit these socks using the pattern Emily’s Atmosphere Socks. I found it on the crochet and knitting site Ravelry.

Normally I don’t wear my hand knit socks with my sneakers, wearing exercise socks with them instead.  Tonight I’m going to be walking outside just to get from place to place, if you can imagine that! So hand knit socks will keep me warm and comfortable. I also plan to wear a hat and a cowl of my own design.

What hand knits are you wearing around town this week?


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New Business Cards Lead to Blogging

Business Card FrontI’ve been selling my hand knit items at AllUnwound.etsy.com for years. This is the year that I’m going to start selling my knitting patterns. Why did I wait so long to do this? Life got in the way.  Check out Tips for Visiting Friends and Family in the Hospital to see where it all started.

I’ve spent years untangling quite a few loose ends and trying to weave them into my life.  It’s as if I’ve knit a long multi color scarf out of a thousand different balls of yarn. Now that some of the loose ends are taken care of, I’m ready to focus on my business again.

Shifting my business focus and including knitting patterns meant it was time for new business cards.  I was so excited and started passing them out right away. Today I posted about this on AllUnwound’s Facebook page. When I looked at it what did I notice right away? My new business cards have this blog address prominently displayed. A blog that I haven’t been posting on. A blog that I was feeling very ambivalent about. Covered that here. Obviously my subconscious mind has decided that I’m going to continue blogging. No other explanation for putting Artisan All Unwound’s blog address in a prominent location on my new business cards.

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A New Beginning

Lantana Planter Flowers Pots Gardening Dusty Miller Salvia Geranium


Life is simply a series of new beginnings. I am beginning anew with this blog.

I haven’t reread any of my previous posts so I don’t know if there will be any continuity between this post and my previous posts. For the lead photo I reposted a pretty spring flowerpot arrangement that has “Finished!” as the subtitle. Sometimes things that seem finished begin again.

Why am I beginning again?  Because of a notice from Pinterest. Everyone now knows what Pinterest is, right? Sure some people think it’s just a web site for party planning. In reality it is far more useful. I view it as a French memo board, I even wrote a blog post explaining that, Pinterest the Basics. How quaint that there was a point in time that Pinterest needed to be explained!

The gist of the notice is that Pinterest would like anyone using their site for business to upgrade their account to a business account. Seems pretty straight forward. Am I using Pinterest for my business? I’m really not sure.  I signed up with my business name All Unwound. I have a board with some of my hand knit items on it. I sell these items on Etsy. Sounds like a business account right?

But, I don’t use it like a business account, and maybe I should.  I don’t remember the last time I posted one of my own hand knit items on Pinterest. I haven’t made any sales or business contacts through Pinterest. The overwhelming amount of my time spent on Pinterest is for personal relaxation.  I find it relaxing to scroll through photos of things I’m interested in and group like items together. My  Pinterest boards are quite varied, see what I mean at Pinterest All Unwound.  Being a visual person I really like to see things laid out in images, whether that’s shoes, jewelry or hand knit scarves.

However, I do have links on my Pinterest account to this blog and my Etsy site, AllUnwound. So I’m going to convert my account to a business account, right after I post this blog entry. Because linking to an inactive blog seems pretty pointless.

Now that I’ve reactivated this blog am I going to be using it to promote my business? I’m really not sure. This is a new beginning and some of the old things may be left behind.

Posted in All Unwound ETSY store, Blogging, ETSY, My Thoughts on Life, Pinterest | 1 Comment

New Years Resolutions 2012 Review

Footsteps by Rubber Dragon
Footsteps, a photo by Rubber Dragon on Flickr.

For 2012 I focused on increasing the number of steps I walked each day. I made an effort to drink more water and to make the healthiest food choices available. I was able to move from the sedentary hospital visitor of January and February to an average of 8,552 steps per day! October 2012 success!

Unfortunately I stopped wearing my pedometer around Halloween, or early November. Then I focused on preparing my home for visitors and cooking. I walked in January of 2013 but didn’t record my steps. By February 2013 I was back to sitting in the hospital with a sick family member. Here are some tips from my hospital experience last year, Tips For Visiting Friends and Family in the Hospital.

This time around I am making an effort to get up and walk during each of my visits. Yes even if it means walking up and down a hospital hallway. I am more convinced than ever that the best way to increase our health is to keep moving. Once I start spending less time at the hospital I’ll focus on keeping myself moving in 2013.

Posted in Diet, My Thoughts on Life | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Saved By The Izze

Izze by Artisan All Unwound
Izze, a photo by Artisan All Unwound on Flickr.

Have you heard of Izze? It’s a juice and sparkling water drink. A fruit soda, without any added sugars. I bought some as a treat for my kids the other day and it was a good thing I did.

When we came I home I decided to clean out the little drink fridge we have and put the Izze in there. Well it turns out the drink fridge had stopped working sometime earlier. The mini freezer had a lot of ice in it and that had all turned to water. The inside of the refrigerator was a bit wet. Happily none of it had leaked out and gotten on the nearby carpeting.

I’d like to put a photo of the fridge here but WordPress isn’t accepting the HTML or BBC code and actually posting the photo.  So here’s a link to my lovely mini fridge with paper towels on top of it and paper towels underneath it and paper towels inside it!  Mini Fridge

It took time and 2.5 rolls of paper towels to clean up the mess, but thanks to the Izze we quickly discovered the broken fridge. When problems are discovered quickly it’s easier to avoid lasting damage, so please go check your extra freezers and refrigerators to be sure they are working!

Posted in Diet, Household Tips, My Thoughts on Life, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Laundry Room Redo Continues

When I last posted about my laundry room here. I showed you some parts and pieces that I intended to use to make the laundry room a more functional and attractive space. Some of them I’ve used and others I haven’t gotten to yet.  Life and family simply got in the way.

Baskets Laundry Room Hangers

I didn’t remove clutter for this photo! The baskets work really well.

The good news is that the “Feel Good Lime” baskets on the shelf are GREAT.  They are a cheerful color and continue to keep the items I need looking good and easy to reach.  A true success story.

The lime hangers I got are great too.  They continue the pop of lime color and do their job.  Sadly I haven’t seen any other hangers in this color, I’d love to buy more.  I returned the white hangers since the last thing this room needs is more white. LOL

Laundry Room Hanging Rack

Eye screws are screwed into the wood and the rack hangs from them.

Speaking of hanging space I showed a preview of this rack in my last post.  It required time, a stud finder and a power drill but it’s up!  Now I know that it’s not as attractive as it is functional, what with the extra wood added to the ceiling.  A small space means the rack had to go where the screws couldn’t go!! My husband came up with this creative solution. The screws go into the ceiling studs to hold the wood.  Remember the wall studs are metal so we can’t use them.  Then the eye screws go into the wood where the rack needs screws to be.  I may paint the wood to get it to disappear against the ceiling.

I’ve successfully reduced the clutter in my laundry room, created more hanging space, and made it a more attractive place to be.  It’s still a work in progress but so much nicer than before.  Check out “Laundry Room Before” to see how far I’ve gotten.

Posted in Decorating, Household Tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Completed Socks

Cuff Down Socks

Comfy Socks!

Last February I knit these socks and posted about the process.  They were knit cuff down. Details are in this post, Hand Knit Basic Socks.

I’ve worn them several times and been hand washing them and laying them flat to dry.  Not much effort for the enjoyment of good fitting and good feeling socks!  I recently reread my post and realized that I promised a photo of the completed pair of socks. Here they are!

Socks Cuff Down Blue

Check out that heel!

Posted in Creating patterns, Knitting, My Thoughts on Life, Yarn | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Uppity Blues Woman Ann Rabson Dead at 67

Ann Rabson by kenficara
Ann Rabson, a photo by kenficara on Flickr.

This week I was saddened to read about the death of Ann Rabson. She was a founding member of the trio Uppity Blues Women. She sang, composed music and played the piano and guitar in the blues music style.

She was only 67 at the time of her death and that seems so young, since her mother lived into her 90s. I was introduced to Ann Rabson and her music by her mother, Dr. Alice Rabson many years ago. Ann Rabson’s mother was proud of her and her accomplishments and gave me one of Saffire’s early albums.

I’ve enjoyed listening to the Uppity Blues Women over the years. The world has lost a talented musician. If you haven’t heard their music you should check it out. Here is her obituary from the Washington Post.

Posted in My Thoughts on Life | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments