Thursday, March 1, 2012

New Releases

At last the prototypes I have been wanting to finalize are now finished and available from my Etsy store.  I will have a few other new things in the works as well.  KaratStix is growing little by little and now I am having to be much more frugal with my new designs in order to keep up with the demand.  You won't see much color, if any, on the newest items.  As much as I love to color and see the finished colored items, it is not an efficient use of my time. You will still get quality bamboo tools with class and some whimsy that are useful and fun to use.  Many of the new tools or redesigned tools have multiple purposes -- you get two tools in one if not more.  Like the new version of the little Alpaca WPI tool -- he is now a needle gauge as well as a WPI tool.
Alpaca Gauge WPI Tool

I am happy at last to release "Tippy", the interchangeable needle tip display stand.  Almost just like the prototype, but with a little more class with the posts embellished with knit stitch column detailing, my signature palm tree on top and attention to accurate gauge holes.  If your needles don't fit smoothly in the hole, then they are most likely not to exact gauge.  I found that one 10 and a half size tip did not fit in either hole as easily as the other tip and saw that there was a bit of glue at the metal to wood join and sanded that away and now it fits fine. 
"Tippy" Front View
"Tippy" Back - Cables Organized

One problem that sat at the back of my mind when I first started designing Tippy was "What is someone going to do with their cables???"  Oh well, I'll just keep thinking about how I can add a pocket or something in the future.  Well, little did I realize at the time that the solution was already there, I just didn't see it until today!   I took a cable and just wrapped it around behind the posts and that wasn't too bad at all but then it got better.  I put all the cables in, and then I had the end caps, hey I'll just screw them on to the cables to store them, and oh, how about I just put those cute little locking pins in the extra size 3 holes that there are no needles for (yet).  Well that worked but the cables did look a little hard to figure out which was which and so I pulled them out, wrote the length of each cable on one end cap, screwed it on (before I threaded the cable back in), then threaded the cable back in, the end cap making a nice stopper to hold the cable in place and then easily and neatly tucking in the open end of the cable either behind a post or under a cable.  It not only looks very neat, now my cables are easy to identify and easy to remove by pulling on the end cap until it unwinds from the stand and the locking pins are easy to find too. 
Counter's Rule
I have used my Counter's Rule for a few projects now and I am addicted to it.  So much that I carry it with me wherever I take my knitting.  Although it was designed to be sitting on a table, I use it on my lap when traveling in the car.  I have a great item from my fellow Etsy seller, Slipped Stitch Studios, which is a wallet for your knitting pattern.  I use this all the time too, I just love it!  What I found though was that I can tuck my Counter's Rule inside the wallet, between the paper pattern and the plastic sleeve and when the wallet is snapped closed, my pegs will not fall out of the holes so no chance of losing my place.  What a great kit -- the chart is right there, I can track all of my rows, stitch increases and pattern repeats on my Counter's Rule.  But be warned though that since there is a thickness to the Counter's Rule that this will stretch out the plastic sleeve a bit -- it won't be so nice and flat as when new.  So if this bother's you, please don't store the Counter's Rule in your pattern wallet.  My little poem: "Count your stitches and rows so your knitting successfully grows." seemed the perfect embellishment!  Multi-colored rings that are on each peg, add some sparkle of color and make them easy to store on the lobster clasps.  My friend, Sue (hi gypsygirl!) who gave a Counter's Rule a good critique (she is now a convert to using one) complained that it was a little awkward getting the pegs onto the lobster clasps and that if I were to add another ring so the lobster clasp wasn't so tight up against the bamboo, it would be easier to operate and she was so right! Thank you gypsygirl for your help and last but not least, thank you Kat in Alaska for all your encouragement, support and getting me to get these done!   Counter's Rules are now available from my Etsy store.
What is it?

So I have some other ideas in the works which I think I'll just show you an image of and see if you can guess what it is (hint: it doesn't have anything to do with knitting). If they look like really lame dragons, well they are actually supposed to be sea serpents :).  They definitely have a purpose.  I'll save that for a future post.