Episode 8 of the Bag Bliss Podcast

Back in Business!

Hi everyone, it has been a long time since my last podcast, I feel as though I should write “confession” instead of podcast here, but I have so many reasons or excuses. The great news, is I am slowing coming back from what was a traumatic event for me, that others would have found easy to overcome. I am working through “stuff” and making my way to a happier place! Thank you all for your patience and understanding and know it might take some time still.

So, let’s begin…again. This is Episode 8 of the Bag Bliss Podcast. The Bag Bliss Podcast is a podcast where sewing and knitting joyfully unite. You can find me on Instagram, FB and Etsy as MariaElenaBliss. On Ravelry and The Fold Line as mariaeb and as MariaBeuttenmul on Twitter and Periscope. I am also on Pintrest as mebeutt. So, that’s about it, almost everywhere.

August is the month for the Where in the World is the #wwMariaElenaBliss IG contest where I randomly select from photos posted to that hashtag depicting your MariaElenaBliss project bags. I am so excited to announce the August 2016 winners which are in prize order starting with first prize-@fitzjulia, @bellylaugher and @curioushandmade. Each will receive a project bag from the shop from an XLZippered Project Bag, a Snap Sock Clutch and a Nifty Notion Necklace, respectively. I will get those tailor made for the winners and ship them out next week. Thank you to everyone who posted pictures and played along and please, please keep posting as the next winner, only one, will be chosen on December 31st (2016). A new Bliss Bulletin was sent this morning to all my subscribers announcing the winners and also offering a code for free shipping available today to all my customers! Thank you all for five years of service, recommendations but more importantly friendship! I feel as though I know my regular customers quite well now and it is a joy to create a project bag for you while I think of you through the entire process…makes your project bag that mush more special!

Lets talk about sewing first as I want to tell you where I was last week…I was so excited for the opportunity to once more, create and learn new sewing and tailoring techniques from one of my favorite teachers, Gail Doane. Gail’s degree comes from British Columbia University and is one of tailor. She is absolutely amazing and her classes are a bit intense, but chuck full of amazing information. I will confess I am not one of her star pupils, but I do learn and after some wielding of the seam ripper, I will get it almost correct. This class featured a smocked dress with a beautiful two tone collar and lots of embroidery and smocking, but the main feature was a full length Italian wool coat which I am making for my littlest granddaughter. It is a size 4 and would never fit right now, but it gives me much time to complete and add all the intricate amazing details which will be a part of this outfit. Gail is a published author and has been published in countless magazines. Her most recent venture has been to be part of the new Classic Sewing Magazine, which I am looking forward to subscribing to.Thank you, Gail, for your patience and direction to all who attended! As per usual you are an amazing and patient teacher.

On the knitting needles: In Episode 7, I had quite a few shawls on my needles and can be deemed FO’s except the Oak Flat Road Shawl by Romi Hill. I truly made this project a lot more difficult than it needed to be by making it a two colors and for this reason I am on time out from it as I needed more instant gratification and in now way is a reflection on this well written and gorgeous pattern! In the meantime I knit Romi’s Headlands Shawl with the yarn I am offering in the Project Bag Clubs for 2017 with the  Yarn Option…check it out! Amber of LunarStitchesAmber is a fabulous Indie Dyer, I know you will love! She is taking a short well deserved break, but I can’t wait till she gets back!

Since then I have joined The Shawl Society by Curioushandmade and have managed to keep up until the Asana Shawl which is #3. I had a false start with lace yarn on this one and have frogged it and started over with fingering which makes me happier. I am using Wandering Wool yarn in the Udalpur Fingering base which has been discontinued. The color way is Cherry Blossom and it’s a 50/50 merino silk. Just lovely and I can’t wait to get to the lace portion and beads. Almost there. I know most of you have joined this brilliant club and am watching your beautiful shawls come off your needles! Also on my needles is Angelus Novus Cardigan by Renee Callahan. I am knitting this with Hazel Knits Lively DK in the White Winged Dove color way. This yarn is amazing and I’m plowing through the pattern and at a point where it’s a bit confusing, but I have it under good authority to just follow the directions and it will all make sense. It is truly a brilliant design and loved how it starts with a lace shawl type of knitting which flew off my needles…until now. I am also knitting off and on on the Song in the Air, MKAL which is my first knit in the round shawl and it’s growing by leaps and bounds. It usually takes about 45 minutes to finish one round and there are lots of stitches, but I am in no hurry for this one. I am creating this out of Prism yarn Delicato which has languished in my stash for years and has tried to become many things, but this time it took! I was lucky enough to get on a test knit for the Hint of Autumn Cowl by Laura Aylor and highly recommend this pattern which would be wonderful for, dare I say,  holiday gifting and cleverly constructed! I knit the test in Madtosh Pashmina in the Burnished color way, but any Sport weight yarn would be lovely. Please check my project page and the test knit thread in Laura’s Rav group for great ideas!

Books I have ordered and can’t wait to get to, are Rugged Knits by Andrea Rangel, The Baby Botanical books by Alana Dakos of Nevernotknitting, and the magazines, Filament by Anne Poldesack and Kathleen Dames and am truly enjoying my first issue of Making magazine by Carrie Bostick Hoge. I also ordered The Modern Natural Dyer by Kristine Vejar and some natural yarns in different bases. I have been collecting onion skins, avocado skins and pits and even Oak tree bloat to start to experiment with natural dying yarn and slowing consuming all the information in this beautiful informative coffee table style book! So much going on and everything in good time.

Coming up in October will be the last shipment of the 2016 MariaElenaBliss Project Bag Clubs, the opening up again of the 2017 project bag clubs for purchase, with and without yarn options. I have discovered a wonderful Indie dyer whose yarns are beautiful and wanted to add this option next year so you could experience as well, but if you would rather not pay for the yarn, then just choose the no yarn option.  Also in October is The Knitting Pipeline Retreat in Illinois at Eagle Crest. Thanks to all who have ordered their Monogrammed/ Custom Snap Sock Clutch for this event. I am especially excited about this trip as it promises to be such fun but will also include my first visit to SAFF. So if you are going to SAFF this year, I hope somehow we get to meet. If you know you will be attending, please reach out as I would love to make a point to meet you! You can email me or convo me through the shop. I love hearing from you, so please don’t be shy!

I have been listening to the podcast Happier by Gretchen Ruben and find it so inspirational. I highly recommend this podcast and their 80th episode is all about the Love Languages! So helpful and so appropriate for all kinds of relationships, not just your marital but also relationships with friends, family members, children, grandchildren, parents. Check it out!

Well, my friends, I hope your are knitting and sewing and into all kinds or crafty goodness. Looking forward to retreats, fiber shows and meeting your wonderful friends and family as we head into the holiday season. There are lots of great links on this page and I hope you enjoy! Happy sewing and knitting my friends! Until next time!

Music for the show “Springish”was provided by artist Andi Gillicuddy with his permission from freemusicarchive.org site. Andi is a young guitar artist and lives in Germany. If you love his music check out his site: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/gillicuddy/Plays_Guitar/IMG_3548


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Simee Dimeh Shawl- Episode 7 of the Bag Bliss Podcast Show notes and links


March 4th 2016 (the only day of the year that’s a command!)

Hello Everyone and welcome to the Bag Bliss Podcast blog and show notes! Please leave a comment on the show notes for your chance to win a Medium Triangle Notions Bag from my Etsy Shop in my choice of fabric! It will be a nice addition to your notion bag collection and positively charming and fun! Leave a note telling me what you thought about the Podcast and any suggestions on information you would love to hear in the future!

Off the needles:

Simee Dimeh Shawl by Romi Hill in Miss Babs Yummy Toes 2-Ply yarn in the Favorite Boots Sierras Kit. My Simme Dimeh Shawl project page on Ravelry.

Secret Garden Shawl by Alana Dakos, which I knit in Anzula Nebula and I love how sparkling and gorgeous this shawl is and will use this yarn again for another project

Also off the knitting needles is the Four Season’s Shawl also by Alana Dakos which started out as Alana’s first Mystery Shawl KAL and the pattern is just amazing! Knit in a worsted weight yarn the shawl is big and comfy and certainly one to wrap yourself in on a cold night. I like to put on my pearl necklace and comfy slippers and wrap myself in this shawl in the evening, while knitting and “watching” television and feel as though I am in a Sex in the City kinda mood! Lovely cabled and lace pattern and a well written pattern!

Ellen Cardigan free pattern by Berroco. Knitting mine from Quince and Co Chickadee it is a color work cardigan knit flat. I am knitting mine on size 7US circular needles with a 60″ cable, so I can try it on as I knit. A very clever way to knit a top down sweater and try it on as you go. My needles were gifted to me by my daughter for Christmas and I am getting so much use from the  Royale Knitter’s Pride set! I love them! Now, that being said, I was not too happy with the cables and cable sizes that came with the set, so I purchased different cables from Amazon. The cables I purchased were Knitters Pride gold with black cords and they fit and are such an improvement over the cables that come with the set. Since I needed a 60″ cable for the interchangeable needle set for the Four Seasons Shawl, I thought it was a great size to have for top down or bottom up sweater knitting. I also purchased a 16″ cable for hat and I believe you can even purchase a smaller cable if you want to try to use them for gloves. Because the set starts with a US size 3, I don’t believe you could knit fine gauge socks with the shortest cables, but you could definitely knit heavier gauge/ or worsted weight socks or slippers in the round….so very versatile! Love this set!

Also on the shawl knitting front was the kit I ordered from a Verb for Keeping Warm which is a Mystery Knit Along with Romi Hill which she has been hosting for the past four years and available at Stitches West. I ordered my kit during Stitches West  even though I could not attend, but I received my beautiful kit and the Annapurna yarn I ordered in gutted greens and they are absolutely amazing. The kit included one of Romi’s famous Shawl pins, the yarn, pattern and a small drawstring project bag. If you ordered the kit or if you purchased your kit at Stitches West you received the first part of Clue 1. It won’t surprise you, I finished with the Clue I received the night I got the kit and am in a holding pattern until March 18th, when the first clue is officially released! In the meantime, I am knitting on The Oak Flat Road Shawl by Romi and forcing myself to finish before embarking in the Mystery Shawl for 2016 .

Sewing News:

On the sewing needles were the first shipment of the 2016 Club Bags and boy was I pleased with the results! I loved the Maker’s Tote which both clubs received (one smaller in size) and also the Nifty Notion Necklace which was part of the first shipment and will be debuted at the Georgia Knitting Pipeline Retreat and later in the year in the shop! I created my Nifty Notion Necklace, inspired by the cables in the Alan Dakos Shawls I knit this year (see above), because I wanted my stitch markers, cable needles, tapestry needle and scissors right at hand. The inspiration was to create a charming necklace which would hold quite a bit of notions which you could wear knitting very similar to Ladies of old Chatelaines. Here is a picture of one of the Nifty Notion Necklaces, you can see how much hand work was used in creating these and the lovely wool fabric and wool felt applique pieces. I have also used other appliques besides the sheep, such as boots, pet paws. butterflies, hearts, bunnies….well, you’ll soon see. The Nifty Notion Necklaces either come with silver 30″ necklaces or 30″ satin necklace cords and will be your choice! As you can see, beautiful stitch markers can be placed on the outside ready for your use, but what you don’t see, is an internal pocket (yes!) and a pocket on the back for holding other notions. Hang your cable needle from the silver necklace or cord or place in the inside pocket…ready and waiting! This is a copyrighted design and I can’t wait to present it to you!


Also in the shop and on my needles are my new project bag designs!!! The first design is the Square Ditty Bag! I created and tested this for color work. I wanted a bag, you could use for color work where you could thread your yarn through snap tabs which allowed your yarn to be removable without having to cut it, as you would if you used grommets for color work. I am in love with this bag and it is such a wonderful and plump design with a substantial handle, drawstrings, clear pockets and of cours the color work pockets with snap tabs! I am using one to work on the Oak Flat Road Shawl since I decided in a not too lucid moment to make the shawl collar a different color than the entire shawl. What resulted was color work and using three yarn cakes which were constantly tangled together after every row and as it grew mid row, turned out to be discouraging and creating and using the NEW Square Ditty Project Bag, which not only handles the yarn but stands so nicely by my knitting chair has truly sped up the process of knitting this shawl and now I’m inspired again to finish….so if you have a similar project….purchase this NEW design. It is a wonderful color work tool!

I am also so excited to have finally found leather I can use as accents on my zippered project bags and Totes! I have been trying to connect with just the right leather (faux) for the project bags, because what has been available to me locally has been vinyl which is hard and unattractive. But this lovely leather is soft and supple and beautiful to work with. Although it takes all my concentration and “Calm” (my word of the year) to sew with it to make sure every seam is as straight and beautiful as possible, I am truly inspired by the look of these bags and by your overwhelming response to them! If you purchased one of these bags and want to touch up the leather a bit which may have happened in shipping…although, I am not shipping these bags collapsed as I usually ship my zippered bags….please make sure you use a nice ironing cloth over the leather parts. The ironing cloth should be made out of cotton and they work like a dream to protect your new bags!

On the sewing front, I have discovered a wonderful Indie sewing site called Indiesew.com! Amazing patterns for clothing and a choice of fabrics which you cannot purchase anywhere else! Some Indie patterns are $10! And if you have researched Indie patterns lately, you know what a great price this is! They are hosting a sew along and making Jeans! If you have ever wanted to make and have well fitting Jeans, this is your chance. There is a ten part tutorial on how to fit,sew and make a beautiful pair of Jeans. Sign up for their Newsletter to keep up with all they have to offer!

Remember to sign up for the Bliss Bulletin my Newsletter for a 10% discount in the shop, If you receive my Newsletter, please forward to a friend! join the Bag Bliss group on Ravelry, Like the FB page to keep up with specials and news from my Etsy shop, especially during 2016.  Subscribe to the Bag Bliss Podcast on iTunes or Podbean.com Make sure you use the #wwismariaelenabliss on IG for the next bag giveaway. Thank you to all of you who continue to post your lovely bags and knitting with the hashtag the next Give Away will be in August of 2016 and while that sounds far away, this gives you lots of time to post your MariaElenaBliss items!!!
Music for the show “Springish”was provided by artist Andi Gillicuddy with his permission from freemusicarchive.org site. Andi is a young guitar artist and lives in Germany. If you love his music check out his site: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/gillicuddy/Plays_Guitar/


Episode 6 of the Bag Bliss Podcast- show notes!

Happy “CALM” New Year

December 30, 2015

Episode 6 of the Bag Bliss Podcast  is now ready for listening on iTunes or Podbean!

Bag Bliss Podcast …a podcast where sewing and knitting joyfully unite
Follow me: mariaelenabliss on , Instagram, FB  Etsy
mariabeuttenmul on Twitter and Periscope and Foldline
You can find information, pictures and links of this podcast  on mariaelenabliss.wordpress.com this is a change from my blogger blog page. I apologize for the change however, there was a glitch with the other site and the technical support was poor. So please note this change for the show notes. Thank you!

Happy and SAFE New Year to all of you!!

Knitting: on and off the needles
1. Knitvent 2015 – 6 patterns with 2 shawls , 2 hats, 1 glove, 1 cowl
2.Oak Flat Road Shawl  by Romi Hill in her new book, New Lace Knitting, Designs for Wide Open Spaces in Quince and Co Tern the collar in Wampum and the body of the shawl in Dusk,  Check out Romi’s new book, it would be a great addition to your knitting library.
3.Also on the needles and making great progress is the Secret Garden Shawl by Alana Dakos with Anzula Nebula which is such an amazing springy and very shiny yarn in Coco color way. It will be spectacular and very dressy.
4.Also still working on Ravy Jr. for my granddaughter out of Quince and Co.Tern and
5.a scarf for my son using a Mink and Cashmere yarn called Chambery. I can’t even tell you how luxurious this yarn is and the scarf is of my own design. Great for a gentleman.
I sure hope all of you were able to get some of Tincanknits FREE patterns right before Christmas! There were lovely patterns which Tincanknits so generously gifted. Thank you so much, Tincanknits, what great additions to our Ravelry libraries and some great gift knitting patterns. Check out Tincanknits on Ravelry, IG, and their blog for great written patterns and tutorials.
Sewing: I have to confess, I have not been sewing more than the last MariaElenaBliss Club bags for 2015 and shop orders, but have kept up with some  sewing news and blogs. In sewing I have been more percolating than actual sewing. I am excited to offer the 2016 MariaElenaBliss Project Bag Clubs. Thank you so much to all who have joined in the fun. 2016 Project Bag Clubs will be amazing and where the fabric was the focus for the 2015, the 2016 will focus on the bag designs. Not that the fabrics won’t be fabulous but the design will make for project bags which will feature some leather, canvas, metal zippers, and Annies Soft and stable interfacings. In other words project bags which will make you the envy or your fiber circles and will bring a smile to your face overtime you look at it. Promise!
 If you sew your own project bags, make sure your sign up for the 2016 Bag of the Month Club which features famous bag makers and delivers 6 bag patterns for $40; If you sign up today or tomorrow, you get a discount of $5 dollars making your subscription $35. If you have purchased indie patterns lately you know what a great deal this is!
Podcasts I recommend. If you love sewing and watch project runway, you want to make sure you add Seamwork Radio to your listening list on iTunes. If you enjoy motivational podcasts and interviews think of subscribing to Elise Gets Craftsy on iTunes. Elise interviews people in the handmade business which you will enjoy knowing. Her most recent episode features her year end “guiding word of the year”. Choosing a word of the year is a great way to guide your thoughts and goals and keep you focused. I am choosing the word “calm” for 2016. It will be a way for me to stay on track with my new goals for my project bag business as well as my personal life. When I use CALM, I mean to be calm in a more introspective way and to really evaluate my thoughts and business in a positive way and in no way to be calm and exclude my passion for sewing, knitting and my love for life. I hope you listen to Elise’s podcast and think about setting your own word for 2016. Last but certainly not least is Paula Emons-Feusle of @knittingpipeline’s new youtube video “extra” to go along with her regular audio podcast on iTunes.
The 2016 Project Bag Clubs will be my focus for this next year. I truly enjoy these clubs and the designs, fabric choices and extras so much that I want to give it my all or most of my all. I will offer my usual project bags on my Etsy shop from time to time. I will also feature some of my bags on Instagram and invoice through Paypal for you, but I will not have the inventory which you have seen in the past. I will as always offer custom orders, so please feel free to contact me with your requests through the Etsy shop or use my email address: mariaelenabliss@gmail.com.
Today and tomorrow are the only days left to sign up for the 2016 Project Bag Clubs, the Ultimate and the Sock Club. If you have any questions please contact me through the Etsy shop or at mariaelenabliss@gmail.com. There are only a few memberships left…one more sock club and 3 more Ultimate, so don’t hesitate.
Also check out the newest Sewing community the fold line. Make sure you join the community and get your fold line ID as soon as possible. I am also mariaeb on TheFoldLine and will have links in the show notes for this site.  There are free patterns. So sign up to socialize, keep up to date with sewing news and make friends.
Thank you so much for joining me today. Show notes can be found on my blog at:mariaelenabliss.wordpress.com
I will have links to everything mentioned on this episode
Remember to sign up for the Bliss Bulletin my Newsletter, join the Bag Bliss group on Ravelry, Like the FB page to keep up with specials and news from my Etsy shop, especially during 2016.  Subscribe to the Bag Bliss Podcast on iTunes or Podbean.com Make sure you use the #wwismariaelenabliss on IG for the next bag giveaway. Thank you to all of you who continue to post your lovely bags and knitting with the hashtag. And tomorrow, New Year’s Eve ,I will draw for the last give away of the year!!! So please use the hashtag on IG and get your Mariaelenabliss bags posted…you have two days to win a FREE MariaElenaBliss bag…FREE. The winner will be announced on Instagram and via email! Good Luck and post away!
Happy Happy safe New Year. May 2016 be properous, happy and calm for all of you! Happy sewing and knitting!
Music for the show “Springish”was provided by artist Andi Gillicuddy with his permission from freemusicarchive.org site. Andi is a young guitar artist and lives in Germany. If you love his music check out his site: http://freemusicarchive.org/music/gillicuddy/Plays_Guitar/