Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I absolutely love this time of year; family time, great food, traveling around the area to visit friends, the songs and celebrations, and most of all: my birthday. I do love it ... usually. I have found in the last few years that my anxiety levels skyrocket because I feel that I'm falling short of the Christmases my mom gave us when we were little. It always seemed that she had time for EVERYTHING! I could be wrong, people including Amazing Adam and my Mom have said that I'm wrong. For what it's worth... it still bothers me.

That being the case I have decided to change my life a bit to ease stressful situations.

ANNOUNCEMENT #1: 
I will no longer be accepting custom orders as my main motive of selling crochet items.

Whew! That one was a difficult decision, let me tell you... I find that when I crochet custom orders, I have a tendency to fizzle out, I get tired. I get sick of the colors or the repetitive stitches. I can't find all the time I need to put into a deadline. All those are reasons that it is not fair to the customer, let alone to my family or most importantly, myself.

ANNOUNCEMENT #2:
In the coming year I hope to open a shop where people can buy ready made items.

I anticipate a lot of new patterns, new yarns, and other items that fall off my hook to be sold! This is exciting for me. As I'm not only learning more advanced techniques of crochet, I hope you all will follow a store listing to buy my items.

ANNOUNCEMENT #3:
On occasion I will both accept custom orders - within certain parameters - and I look forward to not only creating my own patterns and posting/selling them, but also continuing to assist testing patterns for other designers as well.

This I do look forward to. Yes, there will be deadlines, but nothing that I cannot commit to. I will not forget my lovely geeky followers, but I also look forward to continuing to develop this blog. (Can't believe it has been almost 3 months since the last post!)

So, here's to the new year, and all the new developments in 2014! Thank you for all your love and support in 2013, I never could have imagined that I would have almost 5,000 blog views!

I hope everyone has a great and wonderful holiday season, remember those of us who are truly gifted with caring families, a talent which can feed families and put food in bellies, but don't forget those who need the help of our talents, some of us aren't so lucky. 

Merry Christmas! 

Happy New Year! 

See you all in a few weeks with a refreshed frame of mind!

Friday, October 11, 2013

FREE PATTERN: Supernatural Moonlight Infinity Scarf for "I Love Yarn Day!"

Happy I Love Yarn Day!


I know it has been a long time. And let me tell you, chaos reigns! There has been a lot going on – but then again, who’s life doesn't have chaos?  Over the last few weeks I've been in quarantine due to a nasty cold that has been kicking my butt (hopefully, I’m on the mend now). Plus a nasty of creative block; I’d start a few patterns then unravel everything I’d done in the day. It just wasn't grabbing my attention and it was all lacking passion and enthusiasm.

This last weekend I was again sequestered into the bedroom as to not contaminate the rest of the family I watched Supernatural Season 8! Oh, I had finished Seasons 1-7 a few months back and had been wanting to catch up on Season 8 as it was the current season, but my cable provider (you know who you are) sucks and wouldn't provide them in any helpful order. Imagine my thrill when I was notified by Netflix that it was now available on instant streaming! Heck, yes!

almost too much squee for one geek!
Thus I was inspired by a healthy (and much needed) 2-day session of Season 8; which was luckily prior to the premiere of Season 9 this week. Lately, I’d been trying to do something with a “granny square” stitch and I had been collecting sparkly yarns over the past few months, knowing that I’d find the perfect project someday. Well, that someday happened!

To not only celebrate the rampant geek squee that is Supernatural, but to also celebrate I Love Yarn Day, I present to you my new pattern:

worn the long direction - bad selfie, sorry!
in this pic i have folded it to double up as a cowl
another bad selfie!
Materials 
N Size Crochet Hook
Yarn:
     Loops & Threads Charisma – Black, Purple & White (5 Bulky)
     Loops & Threads Dewdrops – Amethyst & Diamond (6 Super Bulky)
Yarn Needle & Scissors for cutting & finishing off ends

Notes:
  • Each round will finish with a slip stitch to the beginning cluster of the row.
  • Beginning Cluster:- ch 2 + 2 dc in the same stitch (the ch 2 will count as a dc for the beginning cluster only)
  • Pattern Cluster – 3 dc in same stitch
  • Do NOT chain any stitches between clusters.
  • It was my intention as I created this scarf that the clusters remain close, not too much space between as a more traditional cluster stitch may be, as I wanted this to be plush and cozy.
  • As you’re working or even when you’re done, I found that tugging the stitches both vertically and horizontally across the rows & columns helped to seat the clusters between other clusters making sure they settled where they were supposed to.
  • For changing colors I found it easiest to just tie off and cut the yarn mostly due to the number of colors in use and their mass to move around each other. It is your decision if you want to carry through or tie off.


Foundation: (Use your first color; see below for an outline of the color scheme I used.)
I found that there are two basic ideas to starting off a project. For this one, due to the amount of stitches required I preferred the beginning chain over the foundation row – here are both for you to decide:
  • Beginning Chain - chain 131 stitches, sc in 2nd stitch from hook, sc back to the beginning (130)
  • Foundation Row - Foundation sc for 130 stitches; sl to join to 1st stitch, careful not to twist the chain when you join to the beginning. (130) YouTube has videos on how to stitch the Foundation Single Crochet.

Supernatural Moonlight Color Scheme
Foundation              Charisma Black
Row 1                     Charisma Black
Row 2              Dewdrops Amethyst
Row 3              Dewdrops Diamond
Row 4                    Charisma Purple
Row 5                     Charisma White
Row 6                    Charisma Purple
Row 7              Dewdrops Diamond
Row 8              Dewdrops Amethyst
Row 9                     Charisma Black
Row 10 (sc)             Charisma Black

Pattern:
Row 1: (Black) ch 2, 2 dc in same st, skip 2 stitches, 3dc in next stitch. *skip 2 stitches, 3dc in next stitch* continue repeating from * to * until you reach the beginning cluster, sl st to join. Tie off & cut.

Row 2:-9: Repeat Row 1 – changing color with each new row, following the color scheme listed above or a color scheme of your own choosing. 

Row 10: (still using black) sc in each stitch around. Sl st to the beginning stitch, bind off.

Finish off any remaining loose ends.

That’s it. Super simple really, but I LOVE this scarf! I’ve got rave reviews about it from work and family. Have fun with this pattern, use colors that speak to you… I’m already thinking of what other color schemes I can come up with!

Feel free to sell the items made from this pattern, just please don’t replicate the pattern, if anyone wants the pattern for themselves, please direct them to my blog!

Also, if you find any errors or discrepancies, please let me know!

Hope you enjoy making your Supernatural Moonlight Infinity Scarf, I’d love to see your finished projects!

employee snapped what i hope is a better pic?


It had been my original plan to spend all day crocheting at Starbucks while the kids were in school. However because I've been ill and missed too much work and then the kids don't have school due to a teacher professional day. I'll be at work, but I'll be yarning in my heart!

Anyone do anything fun to celebrate?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just Keep Swimming? Just Keep Swimming!

I must offer my most sincere apologies for my extended absence. It was never my intention to let posting lapse this long, but I’m sure I’m not the first blogger that this has happened to.

I have been quite busy with not only crocheting, but getting kids ready for school, keeping my head up at work, and finding time to keep my yarn moving on my hooks, all on top of increasing anxiety/depression issues. I don’t know what the deal is but sometimes it feels as if my golden chaos has barbs!

I have been spending a lot of time testing patterns for KT and the Squid and Cuddle Me Beanies (both can be found on Facebook). I love testing patterns, but as I've been testing, I find that keeping to the required timeline has become increasingly difficult. Therefore, I’m pledging to be more selective in the items/timelines I test. Testing patterns is a truly honorable thing to do and I find great joy in it, however living up to your end of the test is of utmost importance.

Other than that, I've finished a family of Seahawks football hats (pictures available on my Facebook page, hopefully), a few other hats as test patterns, including a skirt, and a few bags and owl cuddlies. I hope to post pictures in the near future.

Being that I’m backing off of testing patterns, I hope to dedicate more time to quality blog posts. Some ideas flowing through my brain are:
·         Posts detailing my personal opinion of very inspirational blogs or great access to patterns, some pay for and some for free
·         Posts of techniques that I find useful…
·         My experience with expanding my color acceptance… not everything has to be paired with black – I know shocking huh? J
·         Links to posts/patterns that I've used the in past and my personal opinions on their structure and finished product.

I’m in the process of becoming more organized (seriously, I have a pile of notebooks on my couch as I speak!) and am seriously trying to figure out this blogging thing!


I'd love to hear any comments or recommendations you have including your suggestions for links, designers to check out or ideas for blog posts!

Friday, July 26, 2013

1500 BLOG VIEWS!

Freakin' awesome! 100 views in 15 days! Love you, guys!

I've been testing patterns lately - still wanna blog about that, need pictures!

Have to post pictures for the cozy pattern - got more cotton yarn to do so! Stay tuned...

Lots and Lots more projects I've been working on quietly - but still working. Will post pictures soon too.

If you'd like to keep up to date on all my happenings please feel free to Like my Facebook page

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

1400 Page Views Today!!!

I know I've been on the quiet side lately, however I have not been far from the hook; but I wanted to mark today as a milestone - 1400 blog visitors! Unbelievable! Heck, I had always hoped but never could imagine that there would be that many views - and I appreciate every single one of those views.

I also have been realizing that I haven't followed up on a few promises. One of which is getting pictures for the cozy/coaster pattern; well I purchased new batteries for my camera and hope to take those within the near future.

In addition to working on my own projects I've also become a Pattern Tester! (yes, when I say that I hear it in a super hero announcer voice & it echoes). If you are someone that may not feel that experienced but would love to attempt new projects and have new networking contacts, I highly suggest it. I have made quite a few valuable connections through certain groups on Facebook. Just realize that as you're testing these patterns for other people, they're depending on you to be honest and up front with them. Don't just jerk them around for the free pattern, it's not worth it.

I'm also contemplating the idea of starting a series of blog posts on stores, creators, crafters that I follow or are in contact with or even just have a scope of work that I adore.

What do you think? Who should I express a profile on first - just as a note, I'm not planning on promoting these pages or stores, I just want you to see what they're doing as I have done many times and it always sends my brain spinning with ideas and creativity.

So let me know what you think in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Entered a New Contest!

I've posted my Pom-Pom hat into a new contest on All Free Crochet Stitch & Share. Wish me luck!


Please, please remember to visit the page and vote for my hat!


Thursday, May 23, 2013

Hidden Projects!


I have been remiss in posting ALL my little projects that I have crafted between other projects. This is my attempt to rectify that.

I have attempted to enter links to either the inspiration for or the pattern for the projects I have done. If you find that I have missed something, please let me know in the comments area after this post.


Cherry Blossom Necklace - Crochet Today Magazine, July/August 2011

Pattern by Crafster, Sandy Meeks

I saw this pattern featured on the Crochet Today Magazine website and loved it! I made it for a co-worker's birthday and now, my Mom wants one with a matching bracelet!

Not only was this pattern adorable, but it was easily completed in just a few hours, mostly after work during the week. Very easy to follow instructions that also allow for your own customization of the pieces. I loved it.


Cat Butt - Inspired by Crazy Socks Crochet

The feared One-Eyed Unicorn!!!
After seeing this idea on the blog for Crazy Socks Crochet, I couldn't get it out of my mind! It was too hilarious! So, after a few trial runs and a bit of unraveling this is what I ended up with. I made 5. One for each of my co-workers/employees and one for myself. This is defiantly one I'll end up making again!


Easter Bunnies! - Pattern by The Green Dragon Fly
I wanted to make something special for each of the kids this last Easter. It was already postponed for about 2 weeks because all the kids were with their other parents for the holiday & we waited for our Family Weekend.

When I saw the pattern for these adorable bunnies I figured that not only would it be adorable, but it would also give me a chance to use the pom-pom makers I received for Christmas!

Riley's bunny was based on a Star Wars idea I had. Riley normally wears a lot of black, but the red represented the Dark Side and the blue the Jedi side. Here's a front and back of his bunny:
Little bunny nose!
Cute red pom-pom tail!
Aurora's bunny I nicknamed "Neapolitan" because the colors of the yarn reminded me of the strawberry, vanilla and chocolate ice cream! Which lead to reminding myself of the "Ziggy Piggy" ice cream scene from Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure, but that's another story!

Starting to show slight loving, it may get a twin !
Love how these colors worked together!

Then darling little Jacob, his bunny was "garbage truck" colors, greens and browns etc. I saw a quote somewhere along the interwebs this week that said "boy" was noise with dirt on it. That is totally Jacob. Here's the bunny he received:
 
Crooked ears, I stitched them on before he was stuffed.
Still loving the sunburst patterns on them.
Yes, these bunnies may get twins, mostly so they can have something from Amazing Adam and I at their other parent's houses. Just so they remember that we love them no matter where they may be. 


TEST PATTERN: Aviator Hat - Cuddle Me Beanies

This last weekend I took on my first TEST PATTERN!!! I volunteered my time to test the pattern to an Aviator Hat for Cuddle Me Beanies. I had about 48 hours to stitch up the pattern all the while looking for typos or anything that may help the potential customers follow the pattern easier. It was a lot of fun!

Jacob's birthday is this week and fortunately he has a large noggin, so I agreed to the Adult sizes and when I was done, I had both Amazing Adam and Jacob pose for pictures:

Instructed to give me his best "to infinity and beyond!" pose!

So excited to have his hat, he was practically VIBRATING!

I had a lot of fun with this pattern and found that I loved testing patterns! I just have to keep my eyes open on Facebook to see who else is wanting help!

There you go folks, my last few busy weeks in between other projects. I have finished Part 1 of Jacob's birthday presents, pictures and all, but I'm hoping to make another post of just those - after I finish Part 2... if only I knew what I was making next!

Please let me know what you think about these projects - I'm dying to hear any feedback you can give and thanks for reading!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all the folks out there that play a "Mommy" role in someone's life.

Since my son had plans with his father of this weekend he wasn't able to spend Mother's Day with me for the first time in 13 years. (sad) Instead of celebrating it on Sunday without him we started Friday night when we had all the kids with us.

I don't know how he did it, but Amazing Adam, being as amazing as ever, was able to find time in his running errands, playing school bus and chaperoning a field trip to the Children's Hands on Museum to get prizes for me.

When I arrived home, there were flowers waiting for me on the table, which my initial thrill was damped by darling Aurora walking in behind me and claiming that it smelled like pee in the house. (gee thanks!)

Pretty aren't they? I love the daisies and Adam's favorite is purple carnations!

Close up of the card... yes it does say "With Deepest Sympathy"!

Then as things settled down and people found some calm Amazing Adam called the children forward and each handed them a gift. The first one was from Aurora:

Love it! 
And a view of the poem on the reverse side:

So sweet!
I adore the fact that her teacher let her make two crafts as she still had one for her "Mommy." I brought this project to my desk at work to display proudly.

The the other prizes started revealing themselves from behind backs, under shirts and out of pockets!

A Hot Wheels '71 Plymouth Road Runner - black with flames
A Hot Wheels '66 Chevy Nova - blue and black
A Michael's Gift Card (of yarn) from Riley's pocket
Blind Box LEGO Mini Fig from Amazing Adam's pocket

So overall, it was quite a thrilling evening of prizes. Riley went off with his dad early Saturday morning with the warning that if he fails to call his Mother on Mother's Day he will be on a certain shit-list for the next 364 days. 

On Saturday, we had a great evening at the local speedway for car racing. Lots of crashes and fires under speeding vehicles. Amazing Adam's co-worker races there, he even took a break after his races to come visit us. You'd think Sponge Bob just came and sat with us from the way Jacob kept wanting his attention!

All the while on both Saturday and Sunday I was trying to get my project done for my Mother. She just got an RV so I wanted to make something to make it a bit homier, so I came up with the idea to make coasters with a holder for her. 

I found a pattern for Daisy Coasters by Whiskers and Wool and the inspiration started. I knew that I still had scraps of Lily Sugar & Cream cotton yarn at home, so I thought I'd start and see where it took me.

Finding that I still had rainbow colors, here is what my coasters ended up like:

Love them, odd tweak in the blue one, but oh well...
Then I thought that they'd be in the RV, rolling around flying everywhere as they went driving all over hell an' gone, so I wanted to make something to hold them in. This is what I came up with:


An adorable rainbow bowl to put them in! I free handed the base starting with red then every two rows changed colors, narrowing towards the top so they didn't need a fastener to keep them in the bowl. Just cram the stack in there and they stay!

I love this! Thinking of making more...

She loved them! I also made her a small white trinket bowl so that on their adventures if she found a rock or a shell, she'd have somewhere to start placing them, a collection of memories!

After we got home from delivering this to my mom, I finally received a Facebook message from Riley: "Do I still have to call?"

Boy, lemme tell you, I unleashed the caps lock on him, "YES!"

So I got the call from my little boy. I was happy.

Finished off the very last few minutes of the night, realizing that Amazing Adam had given me one of the best Mother's Day weekends I can ever remember. I had time to crochet and watch numerous episodes of Supernatural, I had prizes, I attended an event (more to his benefit than mine, but had a great time), and best of all, I have an amazing family.

None of us are really "morning people," we all have a tenancy to be quite cantankerous, quite a few of us want our way one way or another, but when push comes to shove, there is almost always one moment everyday that I can think of that is nothing but pure chaotic perfection. I wouldn't trade it for the world.



Please let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or would like to see patterns for anything I've posted, previous or current. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Co-worker Collaboration

Two weeks ago I took pity on one of my employees; she has just learned to crochet within the last year and had been trying to complete two travel blankets for two of her daughters... before June 1st! After weeks and weeks of watching her stress about this and the decorations for them, I - in a not so obvious way - offered my services. Later that day I found myself hauling home a lot of purple yarn. Two weekends later I returned with this:

My part is finished for this one!

Just a simple hdc blanket using 2 1lb skein of lilac yarn, simple scallop stitch along the edge. If you'd like the pattern (meaning I'd have to pull it out of my brain), please leave me a comment.

These two blankets were really a collaboration as another employee offered to create the skull and crossbones for the decorations, as the intent was to mimic the Monster High logo. Here's the finished purple blanket:


Adorable right?

 Considering that the pattern for the skulls and crossbones came from someone else, I don't have the pattern; although she's getting the idea that she may write it up and post it somewhere. I'll let you know if she does.

The second blanket was created by the first employee; I offered my services to create some leaves and flowers inspired by Attic24's Triple Layer Flower Pattern.

She wanted bright happy colors, pretty, huh?

Here's the finished blanket:

Adorable!

Also a simple hdc blanket pattern, finished off with fluffy/chunky yarn. Now that these blankets are finished, she's a much happier person to work with, except now she is on the same timeline for hats! I'm telling ya, she's on her own for that one!

TONIGHT, I'll start on Mother's Day project; which I hope won't take too long because then I have to start a pretty time consuming project for little Jacob's 6th birthday later this month!




Monday, April 22, 2013

Wibbly-Wobbly, Timey-Wimey and Absolute Squee!!!

If any one knows me lately, I have become a neuvo-Whovian. I will not state that I know everything there is about the Doctor and all his 11 versions, I do however have a solid geek hold on the newer episodes and have fallen in love. I love the whole Doctor/Rose interactions, died a little on the inside as he left her standing alone on the beach. Wept as Doctor 10 said his good-byes. And have quite fallen for the TARDIS:


A box, that has unlimited storage space (yes, I have imagined a TARDIS craft room) and can take you any where in any time, with anyone that so chooses to be your companion! Brilliant!

I have had a vision of a coffee cozy with the TARDIS from Doctor Who floating around my brain for ages now, and this weekend I finally succeeded!

Inspiration came from this TARDIS Valentine's Day Card posted at The Zen of Making.

Awesome, right?

So as this idea was terrorizing me every time I picked up the hook, I started by picking up paper and colored pencil (sorry, no scanned images of it yet). I jotted down on graph paper my inspiration and a rough sketch of what I wanted the cozy to look like.

Here is the almost completed cozy:

Still so happy with it!
Now that i'm looking at the two images of the TARDIS, I see the areas I should have included, however, now, it is completely original and may end up with more modifications as I continue working with this piece.
Please no comments on the shoddy cross stitching, I've never really done it before, so I did my best.

Now for the finished project:

Adorable right?
The bottom ruffles were inspired by all the TARDIS gowns that have been flowing through the interwebs lately. I used Red Heart Shimmer for the blue top and bottom borders. Basic embroidery thread for the hearts and TARDIS, although I had shimmery colors for the light and the windows. I ended up double cross stitching the hearts and mildly wish I had done so on the TARDIS. Either way, I love it.

More photos!

Left Side

Center

Right Side

This is one project I am completely taken with. Now I have to decide if it will be a free pattern or if I should charge for it. I'm leaning towards a free pattern - this time with pictures.

I'd love to hear your comments and/or suggestions about this project or others...



PS. I'm entering this post for the All Free Crochet Spring Stitch & Share Event that I saw mentioned on Stitch and Unwind.

The reason I chose this pattern for Spring is because all the new Doctor Who episodes started with the start of the season! Let me tell you they really bring the family together! Even our little ones, Jacob and Aurora love watching the Doctor with me, Amazing Adam and Riley, generally asking to stay up later or to watch it later on an cable video feature.