A milestone!

I know, two posts in one day? Who am I?

I’m just really excited because earlier today I noticed I was at nearly 500 followers on Instagram…and tonight as I was scrolling through, the number went up to the big 500!!

I have no idea how that happened. I don’t take professional photos, I don’t go crazy on the tags, and I definitely don’t do giveaways or similar things to increase followers. I think it’s just that I post waaaaayyyyy too much…and I’m not ashamed of it! I love to share pictures of what I’m doing because that’s how I find projects–I look at what other people are doing and go, “I want to make that too!” So if I share what I’m working on, other people will want to make that, and it’s just an endless cycle of yarn and happiness. I love it.

I know 500 isn’t THAT big of a number, but it’s still a really freaking cool number and I wanted to share!!

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Settling in, just in time

I got so caught up in moving preparations, and then the actual move…I’ve totally neglected this blog. Oops.

Now that we’ve been in our new Michigan home for nearly 2 months, I’m finally starting to feel like life is settling into a pattern again. We have nearly everything we need for our apartment, I’m getting better at my new job, and we’ve successfully paid rent twice now with relative ease. I think this town is going to be home for quite a while. Let me catch you up on the 6-ish months since I’ve been on here.

  1. Obviously, we’ve moved. We found a great apartment in a town that’s near a larger city, but our apartment complex is in a quieter area of town. Just a few minutes away we have all the big shopping centers and a giant grocery store, but back in our neighborhood it feels like small town life, just like where I grew up. Both myself and my husband are very happy we moved.

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    The sign that heralded the end! 4 days on the road, 1500 miles, and our whole lives packed up into boxes. This sign was the most beautiful thing I had seen in my life.
  2. I now live only about 45 minutes from my parents and little brothers! We’ve been going over to my parents’ house for dinner most Friday evenings since we arrived, but that’s probably going to cool down to every other week. I’m just taking advantage of being able to see them again!
  3. I now work in a bakery, so I come home every day covered in flour and never wanting to see a cookie again. But then I usually eat a cookie anyway.
  4. I am SO EXCITED to experience my first real fall/winter seasons in more than 5 years. I need to buy warm clothing again!

I think that’s about everything to catch up on! I won’t ramble on forever about every project I’ve worked on in the meantime, so let me just show you my current favorite WIP.

A week ago or so, my phone went off with a notification from the Michael’s app. They had a sale on most of their yarn. PLUS a coupon that applied to all regular and sale items. PLUS a coupon on yarn. So I bribed my husband to get him to go–we found a used video game/movie store nearby, which means if I want anything for myself then we usually go there and get him a game or two. I don’t mind because I can pick up some great used movies while we’re there for just a couple bucks!

Anyway, because of this wonderful coupon combination, the Caron Big Cakes that I had wanted to try for months worked out to about 4 bucks each instead of 9.99. Naturally, I had to buy 4.

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This colorway is called “Plum Pudding”. I don’t see the name inspiration there, but I love it just the same!

Isn’t it gorgeous? I hadn’t seen this colorway before. You know me, jewel tones are life, so I just HAD to get this one. I had no plans for it beyond “Probably a blanket maybe, perhaps?”

After hours of Ravelry-searching that night (I’m not kidding, I chose a pattern about twenty times but never actually started one), I came across one pattern that I’d had my eyes on for a while. The Crochet Crowd’s “Modern Granny Afghan”.

It’s similar in concept to a granny square, except it’s not really the same at all. I typed out an explanation several times but I just can’t put it into words. Essentially instead of alternating chunks of double crochet, you’re putting them directly on top of each other but with chain spaces in the row in between. Just look it up, I’m not doing the concept justice. Some people call the stitch “brick stitch”, I’ve heard. Or “stacked granny”. Whatever you want to call it, it’s a fun twist on the traditional granny square idea, plus this one is in a rectangle instead of a square so it’s more of a blanket shape at the end.

I’m currently about 1 and a quarter “Big Cakes” in, and it’s about 25 by 35 inches. I believe the finished product is supposed to be about 55 by 65 according to the pattern, but obviously you can make it any size you want. I don’t know how far I’m going to go, but I’ll definitely have to stop at the end of the 4th cake no matter what. I’ve put enough money into this blanket even counting the coupons! I think I’ll be giving it to someone for Christmas, but I don’t know who just yet.

Here’s where I am at the moment with it:

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Just gorgeous, isn’t it? It’s perfect for fall.

Okay, I think that’s enough rambling for today. I hope to give you more updates in the next few days on everything going on in life! Have a wonderful weekend.

My newfound addiction

A coworker of mine is pregnant. Which is totally awesome. I wouldn’t say we’re very close, but we definitely hang out while working and I was one of the first people at work she told about her pregnancy. (Because I work with the vitamins and she needed advice, but still.)

Of course, I wanted to make her a baby blanket. Honestly, I don’t think she was expecting it. We were talking one day and she mentioned how she was going to find out the gender of the baby in a couple of days, and I said something like “Let me know, because I want to make a blanket for you” and she looked really confused. I’m not sure she was planning to invite me to the baby shower or anything, and I really don’t care if she doesn’t. I’ll just hand her the blanket at work…I just really needed an excuse to make a baby blanket!

I looked through my long list of “someday patterns” and found several that I wanted to make, but one specific pattern was calling my name. This baby owl corner-to-corner pattern by Red Heart. I love owls anyway, so this one just kept coming back into my list. I didn’t really want to do a C2C, because I’m not usually a fan of them, but I finally caved and went for it.

Here’s my finished product:

Owl

Yes, it’s kind of lumpy-looking. I probably need to block it but I’m trying to figure out how to block something that big. Ignore that part and just look at the adorable owl!

Unfortunately (or maybe not), this has started a full-blown addiction for me. Hours after I finished the owl blanket, I grabbed some grid paper and started messing around with various C2C pictures I wanted to make.

This was yesterday’s creation:

Ice Cream

I wanted an ice cream cone, but not a normal one. That’s too boring. So I made a more realistic one that’s making a mess everywhere! I think it’s going to be a pillow, once I buy the correct size pillow form.

And I can’t stop. There are several more graphs floating around in my head and in the notebook of grid paper. I’m kind of wanting an entire set of messy food pillows…I feel like that could be adorable.

Be honest, though. Do you like the ice cream one? I really do, and it’s getting decent feedback on Instagram, but I want honest opinions! Constructive, of course, but tell me what you really feel. Is my “messy food” set a dumb idea? Or do you have ideas of what I could do with it? Any advice helps!

It’s starting to feel real

First, this is not really a crochet-focused entry. Sorry. But I have no real progress to show since my vest! Which, by the way, is totally awesome. I wore it out in public for the first time yesterday and it was super cute.

But all I’ve been working on since then is a sweater, and damn is it going SLOWLY. It’s the stitch, it’s a very dense/textured one. It’s adorable, but takes forever. I’ve been working on it for a few days now and I’m only just starting to get near the end of the first sleeve. To be fair, I say “days” but really that just means maybe two hours total between work and sleeping. This job is going to kill me. But I’ll stop rambling now.

You should check out the sweater, though. It’s called the “Spencer Sweater”. It’s kind of a pricey pattern at $7.50 but with how much work is involved I think it’s worth the price. Check it out right here on Ravelry! (This is not at all any kind of endorsement or anything, I’m just really excited about this pattern and want other people to see it.)

Anyway. What I wanted to talk about is how it’s finally starting to feel REAL that I’ll be moving across the country this August. A few times since we moved down here, we’ve made commitments to move back up north, but then my husband would always change his mind or admit that he didn’t really want to move away from Texas. But last fall, I finally sat down and told him that I’ll live back up in the Midwest someday no matter what, and I’d obviously like that to be with him and our future family.

So he finally gave in and we’ve been planning to move by the end of this calendar year. It wasn’t until the new year started that it suddenly hit us, though. Before that we were stashing away a hundred bucks here and there when we could afford it, but we had planned to move so many times before that it was hard to feel like it was really happening.

Now that it’s 6 months away? We’re getting very serious. At least a hundred bucks a week, often more, is being put away. I’m shopping around for places we can rent. I have no idea when it’s appropriate to start applying for jobs but I’ll start that as soon as I can.

I’m just really excited and wanted to tell someone. By this coming fall, I’ll be living near my parents again! I haven’t seen my family in nearly 3 years now and I can’t take it anymore. I’m dying to hug them again.

That’s about all I wanted to say. Sorry it’s not a very exciting post this time. But I hope someone out there can relate and is also excited for an upcoming move…or if you’re where I was just a year ago, getting really frustrated about not having a concrete plan, just be honest about it. Make plans! Make it happen! You can do it.

Now get back to crocheting/knitting, because that’s what I’m going to do! Go make some stuff and have fun!!!


I just want to remind you to please check out my recent pattern, the Hippie Fringe Vest, if you’re interested. Thank you!

It’s actually working!

Only a small update today because I haven’t put in much work on the vest…because I was out of yarn. But today I went to Joann Fabrics and stocked up, so now I can show you that the vest is over half finished!

Check out the first front part:

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Damn, I guess you can’t rotate images on here. Just pretend it’s not sideways. Check out how my shaping is actually kind of working! (I made it wider on the bottom because I forgot that hips/butt are a thing.)

That’s all I can say right now, I’m starting the second front part right now. I’m HOPING to have a finished item by the end of the weekend. Fueled by wine and pizza rolls, I might even make good progress tonight. Bring it on!

It’s actually working!

I just had to show you guys the progress. I spent too many hours on this vest today, but look!!


That’s the back piece. It actually turned out like what was in my head!! 

That’s all for now, I need to take a break for the night. But I’ll hopefully update with more finished tomorrow!

My largest undertaking yet.

I haven’t been on lately because I have such an exciting life! Just kidding, I’ve been working 45 hours a week. That leaves very little time to even touch yarn, let alone blog about it.

But I finished a few large projects recently (for myself…), so it’s time to start something new. And a couple of weeks ago, I saw a customer at work who was wearing this GORGEOUS long fringed black vest. It was an open stitch that looked so squishy and soft (I felt like it wouldn’t be appropriate to ask to touch it) and went down to about her knees. Then there was this fringe on the bottom and it was just so pretty.

I saw it and immediately was like “I have to make one”. I scoured the internet (well, Ravelry) and didn’t find anything quite right. One pattern came close but it wasn’t really the look I wanted.

So I decided it was time to truly challenge myself. I’ve been too scared to design anything but scarves, because they’re very much one-size-fits-all and easy to customize from there. But I’ve wanted to take on something a bit larger and more intricate, and this vest idea seems like the perfect opportunity.

I was thinking black like the one I saw on the customer, but that didn’t sound right. I considered charcoal gray, but it didn’t seem like that would go with many outfits.

So I was at Joann Fabrics last week (my newest obsession, plus it’s next to a brand new World Market…I’m in heaven) and just browsing around looking for inspiration as far as my yarn choice.

Then I saw the Lion Brand section. It was all on sale! That had to be a sign. And I remembered how much I love Heartland. It’s soft, drapes nicely, and has just a little bit of a sheen…perfect for a garment!

Then I spotted the perfect color, that I hadn’t even considered.

A deep, beautiful blue. Also known as their colorway “Lake Clark”. To demonstrate why this was the perfect choice, let me just show you my gauge swatch:

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I still just love staring at it. It’s a deeper color like I was looking for, but it’s far from boring.

Plus, as a pale-skinned brunette, blue is one of my best colors. Just saying.

So the gauge swatch turned out wonderfully, and I got started this morning on the actual product…

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Yum. It’s turning out even a tiny bit bigger than my gauge suggests, but I think that’s a math issue. Something drapey like a vest should actually have a few inches of wiggle room anyway, so I’m not worried.

I hope to be able to release a pattern within the next few weeks! I’ll probably be looking for testers, too, because this is a more complicated pattern than I’ve ever tried. Wish me luck!!! I’m going to get back to work now.

I finally found it.

A pattern that I truly, really like with Caron Cakes.

I’ve been really struggling with this dilemma. I absolutely LOVE the look of the Caron Cakes, I love their colors, I love the concept.

But I don’t often make large things like shawls or blankets, and in any smaller item like a hat, all the Cakes really do is divide the item into 2-3 color chunks. It’s cute, but kind of just “meh” in my opinion. (No disrespect to the many people who have created these patterns! I’d just rather have the hat/gloves/whatever be one color or more variegated.)

I even made a pattern for the Cakes that I love (remember my Cappuccino Scarf?), but I’m only 90% happy with it.

But now I’ve found it. My mom sent me 4 Caron Cakes for Christmas (I still need to send her present, I’m a bad daughter) and I was trying to find something to do with them without having to buy more of each color. It took me like two days of Ravelry searching and constant starting/frogging of various projects until I realized…

It turns out that those granny-triangle scarves that I’ve seen everywhere and never actually tried, are actually super cute! Check out the ones I’ve already made below:

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Yes, I need a friend to either model or take the pics for me. I know. I don’t have another option right now so I’m my own model!

Check out these gorgeous creations, though. That neutral one is probably my favorite of the two, which is weird for me. I normally don’t go for earthy colors or mild neutrals, but wow. And that bright one seems like it turned out so much larger, even though it’s only one extra row!

So that’s my favorite discovery lately. What have you done with just one single Caron Cake? I have two more to use up! (Although I might just make two more of these!)

 

Sock Monkey Scarf!!

I don’t have much time to write a full post, but I’m proud of this one and wanted to share.

A customer asked me for a sock monkey scarf and boot cuffs, since she had received a sock monkey hat for Christmas and wanted a full matching set. I found a pattern for boot cuffs pretty easily, but could NOT find a scarf like I was picturing! All the patterns I found had the little monkey faces on the end, or were knitting instead of crochet.

So I told her that I would try my best to make my own.

And here’s the result!

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Super freaking cute, right?

I’m sure the monkey-face ones are cute for kids, but she’s a middle-aged woman and I just didn’t think that would be appropriate. This one looks like a normal adult scarf but just happens to be an adorable sock monkey color combo!

I uploaded the pattern on Ravelry, and you can find it here for free! I know it’s fairly simple, but hopefully it can help out someone else who was as lost as I was.

Check it out if you want, I hope you enjoy it!

My “resolutions” for the New Year!

I’m joking because if you treat something as an actual resolution, it’s so much easier to give up and forget about. However, I really do like treating each January as a fresh start. I screwed up some stuff in 2016, and I did some things right too. 2017 is a new book and I look forward to writing it!

There are a few things I’m looking to change/start, and I figured I might as well share them on here.

Number 1 is probably the one that could be called a resolution if I felt like doing so. In my crochet life, I’m very much all over the place. I find a great pattern, vow to make a ton of items with it, and then I go on Ravelry and get lost in “I need to try that instead”.

So besides orders and special projects for family and whatnot, I’m going to spend a certain amount of time “stocking up” on multiple colors/versions of the same item. This helps me in several ways…

  1. I need more inventory
  2. When I post something for sale/have a booth at a fair, I always get questions like “my daughter really likes this hat but do you have it in other colors for my niece too?” And if I’m not stocking up on several colors of items, that’s turning a 2-3 item sale into a 1 or even zero-item sale because they wanted to buy other things but can’t.
  3. It gives me more practice!

I sort of started this by accident because I was working on this hat during the New Year…literally, I made most of it December 31st and finished it off in the early hours of January 1st.

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Gorgeous, right? Actually for some reason, an in-progress picture of this hat on New Year’s Eve got me probably the most likes I’ve ever had on Instagram. It’s at like 110 and counting. (I know that’s not much for most of you but my average is about 25-30.)

And then yesterday, January 1st, I wasn’t feeling well so I made another one…

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And it’s only gotten worse from there…

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I’m not going to set some frame on it like “I have to make the same pattern for an entire month” or “I have to make ten items”. For one thing, the month one would be stupid because there’s a lot of craft sales in February so I’d really only get to stock up on one item! And going by number would suck because stuff like this bun hat can be done in an afternoon or two, but other things are much more complicated.

So I’m just going to follow my gut. Once I’ve made probably 5 or 6 of these hats, I’ll move on to something else. But for now, I’m really enjoying them! We’ll see if I start on number 4 today because I’m still not feeling great…on day 2 of 3 days off, which is total bullshit that I never call in sick so when I’m scheduled for 3 consecutive days off, THAT’S when I get sick. Grr.

Anyway, on to my other idea for the new year!

I’ve always wanted to do a temperature blanket. But I’m planning to move across the country during this year, hopefully in May or possibly August. So do I do it for just one of the cities? Do I start in my current one and have the major change when I move? Plus they’re two opposite and fairly intense climates (Texas and Michigan) so either way, it would take a lot of work.

So I had another idea.

I’m going to do a MOOD blanket! I’m not sure exactly how but I’m thinking a 1-10 scale. 1 would represent a shitty day that just needed to end, 10 being a day that I would be happy to relive forever. And 5 of course is just a totally “meh” day that I won’t really remember. I’m guessing most of my days will be between 4 and like 7-8, and that’s okay. That’s fairly normal. But I think it would be fun to end up with a blanket that immortalizes my actual experiences of the year!

Let me know how you feel about any of these ideas in the comments please! Feel free to share better ideas too, my brain isn’t working great lately so this may be a really dumb concept. I don’t know, what do you think?