Velvet Acorn, A Favorite

Tis the season for yarn, coffee, needles and hooks. With the increasing cold weather, those of us that make, have an increase in orders. What is the most requested items this year? Non other then the wonderful Velvet Acorn designs.

I have had my eye on this lady for over two years now. Since before she had crochet patterns available, and before she lifted her “personal use only” terms. When I saw her recognizable designs all over ETSY, I had to hop aboard!

Her patterns are extremely well written, and easy to follow for all skill levels. She also has pattern pack purchases available at a discount. I have gladly participated in her pattern packs.

Here is her knit Failynn Fox hood. I’ve made quite a few of these this winter, and it always comes out fabulous. With a color change or two, you can make many animals. Knitters will need to know some basic crochet to get the proper look.

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Knitters only- This hat is so absolutely gorgeous. If you love cables, or have always wanted to make a cabled project, you will not be disappointed with the Serenity hat. The math that it must have taken to get the cables just right in this pattern, well, it gives me a headache just thinking about it. This was actually requested by a crochet friend. Yarnies, not afraid to ask others for a must have =)

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Crocheters only- The Ashby scarf is a very feminine cowl that is great for those (like me) that worry about a choking hazard. One end tucks in the other, and can be pulled open. The make up is very simple, but the look is exquisite. This is a great beginner pattern.

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I have other patterns that I have yet to make. I admittedly went pattern crazy, but they are all so adorable, I blame her ever so cute models =).

Have a Crafty Day!

 

 

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Flower Lovey pattern

I’ve been wanting to post this for awhile now, but it was a gift, so I had to wait until my expectant friend got it. ANNND, she loved it =)

One of my absolute favorite Crochet blogs, is by the talented Miss Sarah, creator of Repeat Crafter Me. I tell ya, I just don’t know how she has the time! Her blog is so professional, and she has such amazing creations. She has perfected the “Lovey,” a fleece piece, with a crochet border, and crochet stuffie attached. For years there have been the crochet Lovey dolls, a stuffie attached to a crochet square. Maybe because Joanne’s constantly has fleece sales, but I just like Sarah’s version better.

I used Repeat Crafter Me’s tutorial for a Monster Fleece Lovey as a starting point. Here’s the thing, I bought a skip stitch blade, BUT, it was the wrong one….of course! On to plan B.

I am not a pro with a ruler, or measuring, or making straight lines. Weird right? So I stitched a long serger stitch around the edge of my fleece with my sewing machine. Using light weight yarn, and a 2.75 metal crochet hook, I crocheted 3 double crochets (DC) in every 3rd sergered stitch. Since the sewing machine already made a hole for the thread, it was easy to make the hole larger to accommodate the yarn. Then I crocheted two more rounds of 3 DC between each cluster. On to step 2. 2014-04-27 17.32.54I couldn’t find a cute, and free, flower pattern so I made one.

Abbreviations: st- stitch; sc-single crochet; dc-double crochet; dec-decrease; * repeat

Petals: Hook- 3.25 mm; I made this in a continuous round, you can always slip stitch to the first stitch and chain 1 in the beginning of each round if you are more comfortable doing that.

Make 5 sc in magic loop (6)

*2sc in same st, sc in next 2 st* (8)

*2sc in each st* (16)

*sc in each st* (16) *repeat for 2 more rows*

*sc in next 2 st, scdec* (12)

Repeat previous row (9)

I slip stitched the ends together, you can do this or just bind off, these will be hand sewn. to flower face. Leave long tail to sew. Make as many as you want to get the look your trying for (I made 12).

Flower face: Make 2

Make 6sc in magic loop

*2sc in each st*

*sc in next st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 2 st, 2sc in next st*

*sc in next 3 st, 2sc in next st*

sc in each stitch for 2 rows

Bind off, leaving a long tail to sew.

Here is what you have, a whole lot of small pieces, AAAAGH!!!

2014-04-23 12.27.24Now you will sew your petals to one side of the face. I used a whip stitch, but really, any hand stitch will work. 2014-04-23 12.30.152014-04-23 12.30.58If you want eyes and a smile, now is when you will sew it on one of your flower faces. Then you will begin stitching your faces together. When you have about a couple inches left to sew, now comes the stuffing. I used the poly-fill for stuffed animals, you can get it at any craft store. I also put a bell in the middle of the fill to form a rattle effect.

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All what’s left is to stitch it up, and sew it onto your fleece.

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FYI, I used some fleece from another project, I didn’t measure it, I just used what I had left =)

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Have a Crafty Day!

Pricing items- Something to think about

If you’re like me, it’s really hard to price your creations.

I tend to think like a buyer. Would I pay that much? Where else can I get it, and at what cost?

I need to think like a crafter. Handmade item. One of a kind. How long did it take to make? How much was the materials to make it?

A character hat can cost up to $12 of inexpensive yarn, just for the appropriate colors. Then time and talent need to be factored in. Think about it.

Thinking

Here’s a great article for crafters and buyers alike.

http://www.handmadeology.com/pricing-for-time-intensive-handmade-items/

Special orders

I know, I know, I’ve been MIA for a couple of weeks, sorry. I’ve been inundated with special orders. It’s been wonderful. I love when people recommend me to their family and friends. It helps me KNOW the quality I’m putting out. It’s different when you THINK you know, but it feels so much better when you KNOW you know, you know? (ha-ha-ha)

Here is one of my special orders. Nursing cover and burp cloths, made with Monster Inc fabric and coordinating Monster faces, and a baby Mike Wazowski beanie.

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Here is the link to the Nursing cover tutorial. Nursing covers take a lot of fabric! I have never done something so large before. Never worked with boning, or sewing hardware onto a project. This tutorial is fabulous for a novice sewer. My dimensions were different, simply because I had already cut the fabric for the burp cloths before my friend requested the cover, so I added trim from the coordinating burp cloth scraps. It made a matching set =) She was tickled, and I was able to add another item to my volley of “can do’s.” Fyi, I purchased this super cute fabric from the Fat Quarter Shop.

This is my new crown jewel achievement (I know, I keep saying that). Another crafter/baker, and I had traded items (love it when that happens), she recommended me to a customer who was looking for a very specific baby shower gift. Can you guess what it was? Well if you’re a Star Wars fan, then maybe. (Insert exciting unveiling music here)…..

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TA-DA!!!!! Mommy and me Boba Fet helmets! The photo shown to me had the details in felt. Maybe I’m just not experienced enough to work with felt, but I can’t seem to use it, unless felt is just glued, not sewn. Either way, I choose to crochet each piece, and sew them on individually. Very painstaking work, but the end result made it completely worth it. The gifter relayed that her niece was practically jumping through the phone when she saw it.

I vow to post more patterns this month, so stay tuned…

Have a Crafty Day!

 

Charting for Intarsia

After my success with intarsia crochet, I went Google and Pinterest crazy! I used keywords, “pixel, knit chart, crochet chart,” and then expanded to “cross stitch chart, bead chart” so many options! Then I found this very helpful website, Knitpro. It’s ah-mazing! And FREE! It takes any picture and turns it into a chart that you can print or save. What’s the down side? There are a couple.

First, it takes the picture and digitally separates the color spectrum. Now I don’t know the techie talk for it, but I’ll show you what I mean.

Here is a picture I uploaded, thunder, Thunder, THUNDERCATS, HOOOO

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Nice crisp lines, perfect for intarsia work! Knitpro saves as a PDF, so I had to take a photo of my screen to show you what I mean.

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The reds are in different shades, black and greys make up the darker areas, but still, I am not artistic enough to draw it myself. So we have 2 choices, color it in, guess, or re-graph it.

I didn’t have large enough graph paper to re-graph this picture, boo, but I was able to graph other ones I found on my google search.

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Here is some bead art of R2D2 I found. There are pretty distinct lines here, very easy to chart for yarn work. Of course I took some artistic liberties.

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Now I can use this for intarsia, YAY! The possibilities are endless, just takes a computer, color pencils, graph paper, patience, and maybe some glasses, your eyes might hurt if you go at it for as long as I did.

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Happy charting!

Have a Crafty Day!

Intarsia Crochet

One of the most challenging words I hear is “Can you make?”

When someone starts a sentence with that phrase, I immediately get a feeling in the pit of my stomach, coupled with a blank look, open mouth, and then one of two things happen; a wave of relief if I’ve made something similar, OR a look of thoughtful confusion. If it is something new, my mind starts working at warp speed, taking internal inventory of my crafty knowledge, and trying to determine if I am skilled enough to take on said challenge. Thus was the case of the crochet Yoda blanket.

Initially the request was a brown crochet blanket for a baby shower gift, no problem! As I was working on the rest of the order, leaving the blanket for last since it takes the longest, my friend, in her infinite wisdom, said it would be really cool if I could add a Yoda to the center. I was playing around with shaping, thinking a Yoda applique, then she emailed me this:

yoda chartI had yet to do such extensive work in my crochet endeavors. Knitting, yes. I had made my good friend a skull blanket as a baby shower gift. She was having a girl, she hated pink, flowers, basically anything girlie. So I made her a knit skull checker blanket, using Intarsia knitting.

skull blankieIntarsia knitting uses different colors in large blocks. Instead of carrying the colors over, like in Fair Isle knitting, you use separate skeins, or bobbins of yarn (small amount of yarn taken from a larger skein), dropping one color and picking up another, as you work along.

Since I had experience with Intarsia knitting, I figured, Intarsia crochet? Why not.

First things first, the graph she sent me was fantastic! But it’s kind of small. So I decided to double each square, and repeat each line in half double crochet. Then I decided to make the Yoda center first, then add to that center, making it larger, like you would if making a large granny square style blanket.

The smaller colored areas (hands, feet, staff), I carried my yarn, the larger areas (robe, head, sides), I used Intarsia crochet. At some points I had 3 skeins of yarn, and 3 bobbins of yarn working at the same time. This is how it turned out.

IMG_1083Pretty cool for using Intarsia crochet for the first time =) I love, love, LOVE, that it looks the same on the right side and the wrong side. With knitting, it is obvious which side is the wrong side, but not in crochet, happy dance!

As I mentioned, I crocheted around this rectangle, using triple, double and single crochet, to get a nice stripped pattern. I also crocheted 2 of whatever stitch I was using, chained 2, and crocheted 2, in each corner *example: 2DC, chain 2, 2DC = corner stitch. In each round after, I put a corner stitch in each chain 2 space. My final blanket measured 36×30 inches, perfect for a crib.

IMG_1084 This technique has endless possibilities. I immediately went out and bought some graph paper to make my own patterns, thereby adding to my never ending to do list. Expect more posts soon.

Have a Crafty Day!

 

Geeking Out

We are feeling truly blessed in our crafty endeavors. My sissy was approached by a Comic book shop, Brave New World Comics, that was looking to expand by opening a Geek Boutique. They were looking for crafters that fit their Genre and customer base. I am admittedly a geek. I heart Marvel comics, thanks to my collector brother, and have the entire first series of Marvel cards, complete will team-ups, origins and first appearances. I am a fan of Sci-Fi, and like Sheldon Cooper, prefer Star Trek: The Next Generation, but the original series deserves honorable mention. I think my sisters all kind of looked at me funny because of my geeky passion, but I have found my people! More appropriately, those that share my passion, have found our shop, WOOT, WOOT!

I have been working on stock for upcoming craft fairs, so I immediately sent a sampling to the shop for a preview. They love them!

geek boutique tmnt geek boutique

They have already had customers try to reserve the character hats, WHAT? We are so very excited, and overwhelmed by the response. Our ETSY shop has been fabulous, and busy, but this is a whole different experience. My hook is on fire, and my mind is whirling with design ideas. Here are my two latest ones. Previously mentioned Star Trek, series, Gold for Command; blue for science, and medical; Red for security and engineering.

DSC01102For those non-Trekies, please don’t confuse these with Next Generation. They decided to change colors around for Next Generation, namely the red and gold. Red, more of a maroon red, is for Command and pilots, and gold is for engineering and security, while blue stayed the same. Plus the Next Generation communicators are set on top of an oval. I know, I know, geek lesson, but you gotta know.

My next new design is one of my kiddos favorites, Beemo from Adventure Time.

BeemoMy 3 year old started “playing” with the buttons as soon as I finished.

You can call me a nerd, geek, Sci-Fi fanatic, it hasn’t changed me, and with this new chapter in our crafty lives, it will only fuel my geekyness (yes that’s a word).

Have a Crafty Day!