2-Button Cowl Pattern

I think I have finally found a good balance between knitting and crocheting, and I have to thank my Aunt for that. She loves the items I make and is an avid crafter herself, making traditional Native walking sticks, Native jewelry and baby shower items, (click here to shop at her FB page) however she does not knit or crochet. So with her crafty wisdom, she suggested a trade. With my Mom’s help, they picked out some great vintage buttons from her stash to trade for some items. They sent me 4 gallon size Ziploc bags FULL of buttons, and a bunch of ribbon. So basically anything she wants she’s going to get! Here is my first installation of item payment. IMG_0123

She loves “Earth Tones” which to me always meant brown since earth is dirt right? After my sister laughed at me, made fun of me, she then explained what “Earth Tones” meant. Apparently they’re warm earthy hues of browns, greens, oranges, and even blues, and sometimes greys, well….ok. So naturally I had to pin some color pallets on Pinterest for assistance.

Back to the crafting portion, I thought I would share my 2-button cowl pattern with you. I know this one has four, but you see I have come into an excess of buttons lately, lol. I like this look because it can be changed up depending on your mood. The buttons give you the option of wearing it snug on the neck or loose for better accessorizing. I always love the self striping yarn, it saves way more time then switching yarn colors, but that is always an option. The stitch is large enough that you don’t need to add button holes, but check your button size about half way through your work so you can determine if you need to add button holes or not.

I use Charisma Loops & Threads, (Bulky 5) and can usually be found at any craft store. IMG_0134

Abbreviations:

St-Stitch

K-Knit

Sl-Slip one stitch from left needle to right needle unworked (as if to purl)

*-Repeat

Pattern:

With size 13 needles, cast on 28stitches (or any even number of stitches).

Row1: K

Row 2: K1, *K1, Sl 1* until 3 St remain, K3

Row 3: K

Row 4: K3, *Sl 1, K1* until 2 St remain, K2

That’s it! If you use this pattern as is, repeat these 4 rows for the entire skein until there is just enough yarn left to Bind off. If you need to add button holes to accommodate larger buttons you can do that in any Knit row. I would recommend K8, Bind off 2, K8, Bind off 2, K8 and in the next row you’ll need to Cast on those stitches (for large buttons), or any way you prefer to add button holes. Medium sized buttons fit perfectly between the stitches, or you can mix it up by sewing a ribbon and using it as a closure for a totally different look.

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Have a Crafty Day!

A Bloggy No-No

Sooo, before you read any further, be warned this is a rant.

Allow me to set the scene. Me, on my computer, browsing Pinterest for some crafty ideas. As you all know, my sister has a blog, Chucks for Chancho (C4C), I love her flawless work, and her photos are easily recognizable. She has a very distinct white wooden table that she uses to photograph her pictures on, plus I am a subscriber to her blog. It warms my heart to see her photos from her blog or store pinned by admirers. Enter my WTF moment. One of her photos had….gasp…someone else’s blog title. Immediately click and read. No, none, zero mention of my sister, her blog, but there’s her picture! What?!? My face gets hot, my hands start to tingle, adrenaline is rushing through my veins. I take a few deep breaths and email my sister, maybe she gave consent for usage of her photo, then I take a shower to calm my nerves.

Her response was, “What the heck? She should’ve at least MENTIONED photo courtesy of C4C.” DUH! More deep breaths. Maybe it is because I am the older sister, or the biggest sister, but my protection instincts are going through the roof. However, I know how to be diplomatic, so I email her, first with a compliment, followed by a “did you know,” “I’m sure it was an oversight,” and a “just making sure my sister gets the credit her hard work and craftsmanship deserves.” Then I wait…checking back….it’s been a week….no edit, no apology, but a post yesterday so no doubt she has received my statement.

My sister works very hard on her crochet projects, she borderlines obsessive perfection. She gives just as much attention to photographing her projects. When I asked her for tips, she sent me to 5 different blogs she has researched and follows for photo advice.

This is my interpretation of events. My sister’s post was obviously read because the blogger put a link to the pattern creator. Why not just add “photo courtesy of Chucks for Chancho” under the pic? Or after she received my email? Is that so hard? Hell I even mention C4C and link it back, and she’s my sister for goodness sake. It’s call c-o-u-r-t-e-s-y, courtesy between crafters and bloggers, come on!

The hard lesson here is watermark your pictures. There is a clear watermark app I found in the apple store, it was $1.99

IMG_0069See? The watermark is less obtrusive then others I have seen, but it’s there, and there is no way to crop it out. This is a yummy sticky bun breakfast ring I made for a wine and dessert night. The recipe I pinned from The Jones Way, and can be found here. See how easy that is!

Have a Crafty Day!

Crochet Character hat Craze!

Now that I know how to make character hats my hook is on fire! Check it out…

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Crazy right? I can’t help myself, they are just so amazing. So let’s break it down…

The Frankenstein and Girl Frankie hat patterns are by Simply2irresistible. If your a reader of my blog then you know I am a returning customer to this ETSY shop. The patterns are that good, and easy to read, use, and create. You truly get the finished product very similar to hers (if you are good at following instructions). It is well worth the $3 she charges because of the many variations you can create. Tis hat pattern goes all the way up to adult sizes. I made one for my brother and he has a very large head, ha ha.

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The owl hat pattern is courtesy of Repeat Crafter Me. This lady has my heart! She provides GREAT patterns for free! She welcomes you to sell your finished product giving her credit for the pattern, and so other crafters can find her. There are so many patterns I want to create from her blog, she is truly a selfless artist! I made a few variations to this owl, I substituted hDC for DC, following my Frankie pattern. I made the ear tuffs smaller, and the braids skinnier, more boyish looking I think.

Love the Dino hats! Here’s where I mixed it up. I used the hat pattern for the owl, without the color change, added contrasting trim, and used the twist braids from the Frankie pattern. The spike pattern was courtesy of Crochet Today.

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I saw this Monster High inspired hat on ETSY, by CraftyAccessories123, and decided to make it. Again using the owl pattern for the hat, minus color change, and the rest I just figured out on my own.

My list is still long for other character hats I want to make, but I think I need a break…yeah RIGHT!

Have a Crafty Day!

Back to Knitting

I feel like I have been crocheting non-stop, it was simply odd picking up my two needles again. But like riding a bike, I was soon making the familiar music of my two needles, the rapid clicking my husband could hear from our bedroom.

The debate between crochet and knitting is a never ending one. I really love both, or starting to anyway. With knitting, I can make the beautiful lacy look, or certain designs in my work, like climbing vines, that I just can’t figure out with crocheting. Knitting seems to make thinner, more pliable work. But oh, how crochet has stolen my heart and my hands. I absolutely love crocheted motifs! I just can’t stop making crochet character hats, especially since Halloween is rapidly approaching.

My sister, who runs the Chucks for Chancho ETSY store, had a fairly significant knit order for me. They were for some of my original creations. Knit baby legwarmers, and knit baby headbands.

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I developed the idea, shaping, etc. with the assist of what I call my knit “bible,” Margaret Hubert’s The Complete Photo Guide to Knitting. Yes, in case you are wondering, I have her book for crochet as well, she is just THAT good. I paid retail price for mine, but Amazon has great deals. With this book there are endless possibilities. I still haven’t tried all the stitches, that is my goal, to make something with each stitch.

Have a Crafty Day!

Dealing with Grief

These past couple of weeks have been difficult for me, my family has experienced some loss.

The last Friday of September my Aunt called me, which was odd because we usually Facebook. She called to inform me that my other Auntie, her and my Mom’s younger sister, passed away a few short hours ago. I proceeded, not to process this information, but do my part in the family phone tree. My Momma was getting some much needed rest on her day off from work so was not answering her phone. I then phoned my brother and sister (from that side of the family, I have a very confusing and blended family tree that warrants explanation….another time).

Being a military wife, I left my family and followed my husband. So I am not there to share in the grieving process. All the way on the opposite coast, with 3 children, I can’t just pick up and be there. That is one of the most difficult parts. I feel isolated in my grief. My husband did not know her, my eldest does not remember her, and the phone gives so little comfort.

We all deal with grief differently. Some call on their friends, Jack, Johnny, and Jose, to help them through it. Some become emotional and sentimental, ensuring their family that is still on this Earth know their love for them before it’s too late, in the case of my Bro. Some are like my sister, overly motherly by nature, the curse of the eldest female child, but when tragedy strikes she goes into hyper drive. Ensuring everyone else is alright and putting her emotional needs on the back burner. Me? Well I stay in denial for awhile. I like to suggest it’s called focusing on living…..it’s denial. I surround myself with projects and chores, keeping pre-occupied enough NOT to think about it until there is nothing left to do and I am forced to face reality.

Then there’s my Momma. We should all take a page out of her big book of grieving. She takes a day or so, a good hard day, and grieves for herself. She grieves for the hole in her heart and life that not having her sister around brings. She grieves for all the time not spent, words not said, future not shared, and then she stops. She just….stops….and celebrates. She celebrates the life of my Auntie, her accomplishments, her children and her memory. She celebrates the belief that my Auntie’s soul is in Paradise. She finishes grieving her lose and celebrates that my Auntie has reunited with others that have passed on before her. Such is my Momma’s belief, and it is a good, kind, beautiful one.

loveauntie