I am pleased to announce that my knitting and crochet themed graphic designs are now available on Amazon! I’m stoked! I don’t know how hard their initial vetting process is, but, hey – I’m trying not to overthink that. I want to believe this is an achievement. LOL!
There are only two designs available right now, and I can upload only 10 designs a day. They do review the individual items carefully, because the first design I uploaded, I used the the phrase “guaranteed to bring a smile” in the description, and it was immediately denied. I fixed it up, and re-sent it, where it took about 12 hours for them to review and pass it.
If you feel you don’t have enough t-shirts that proclaim your crafting obsession, check out my store. The picture above is a link. If you’re not personally interested, but think someone else would be, please pass this info along!
“Divide each difficulty into as many parts as is feasible and necessary to resolve it.” René Descarte
If you read my blog with regularity, you know that I am caught in the machinations of trying to open a local yarn business. My biggest hurdle? Lack of confidence – and for once, it’s not a lack in myself. I did an exercise in Google maps a few weeks ago to help me get a grasp on where my customers would be, literally, in relation to the brick and mortar location. I was not impressed. I used zip code information and got the population from there. All in all, it was a dismal showing. Maybe that’s why there isn’t one in town already. I don’t know. With approximately 70% of the store fronts in town empty, it can be hard to justify opening a niche shop and making it work.
So…I’m juggling a little. Make that a lot. My internet savvy cousin, Nancy, told me to build an online presence first, then open the lys after you can make ends meet that way. Such pragmatism and great genes in one package! I feel like Veruca Salt from Roald Dahl’s creation “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” and the subsequent movie “Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” when she’s singing I want it now! https://youtu.be/2zcVnNwAHys
Up here in the mountains, the night temps are just on this side of less than comfortable and, even though there hasn’t been any color changes yet, the leaves are starting to litter the driveway a little. Yes, we do have a few warm days ahead of us, but all these signs herald the coming of autumn and a much busier crafting time, not to say anything about it being my favorite time of year. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lived the better part of my life in places where the summers are incredibly hot, whether being a redhead, I have a genetic propensity to enjoy the colder climate, or that I just like bundling up in cold weather fashions. And possibly, quite probably, it’s that Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, even Valentine’s Day, are not so far away on the calendar.
To mark our annual celestial trek through space and time around el sol when it crosses the plane of the earth’s equator, or autumn (could have saved some bandwidth there), I compiled a list of some really neat free pumpkin patterns. When they started popping up in my Google feed, I knew it was official. If these aren’t to your taste, fear not, as they are quite a few options out there. Whether you intend to make one or not, feel free to peruse these artists creations – they’re so cute! Enjoy!
Red Heart has finally produced a yarn that is specifically for pooling. Uniformity of color is assured, “engineered so that color repeats are evenly dyed for happier pooling” – as the ad says. I was looking for this about two weeks ago when I went to Joann Crafts, but they weren’t carrying it yet. I have to call them. And yet….am I being silly when I say I don’t want it to become easy? That means there will be no craft or hard-won hours to brag about? That’s why I need to try this out. As soon as it hit the shelves on my LYS, I’m getting some, and I will report the results.
We’re halfway through March and the February blahs have followed me with dogged determination. I have been working, very slowly, on a simple red scarf. It should have been a week at the most We are looking at a month right now – daaanng! For those of you who are following the link, be aware that I only cast on 29 stitches and didn’t do a center piece. Didn’t want to count all those rows. I feel like I’ve been too busy; even writing this entry seems to be a great excuse to not knit or crochet! Does anyone else have this waxing and waning pattern towards your yarn? I know that when I’m finished with the scarf, I’ll be fired up to do something else. I’ll be trying a new technique, working intarsia in the round. I’ll definitely document it, even if I don’t finish it. I’ll be doing “fan art”. Christ, I’m 54, almost 55, and I’ll be making”fan art”. What’s this world coming to?
Upside, my social media biz has grown; woo-hoo! So far, I’m still doing trade instead of receiving money, because it seems everyone I take on has a product or service I need! Tax-wise, it’s easier, and it’s definitely more friendly for new, local businesses that don’t have a budget or time to take care of their social media. I feel it’s more…organic? primeval? In any case, it’s the way I roll.
And speaking of rolls, around December 27th, after stuffing myself silly during the holidays, I reached my top weight. No, I’m not going to mention it; suffice to say, I was not happy. I didn’t want to do a New Year’s Resolution, because there is the new tradition, I’ve noticed, for the resolutions to fail. Have you seen that? Most people resolve to lose weight, but by February, they’ve given up. And that means more weight gained over the course of the year, and another resolution to fail. I didn’t want to do that. So I began thinking of food differently the day I decided I was going to lose weight. Nothing happened for the first month or so of me just eating less. It wasn’t until I started counting my calories, which I really didn’t want to do, that I noticed a change. I still have a ways to go, but I figure – eh. What else are you going to do? Any of you have New Year’s resolutions you’re still keeping? gave up? Let me know!
I really like this cowl because it is so easy and still manages to be fashionable! The yarn used is textured, and I crocheted into the back loop for even more texture. And it whips up so quickly there’s plenty of time for you to make several for Christmas. I used the Fiesta colorway because it is so colorful it will flatter most any skin.
It is with a heavy heart that I must say….I FINISHED THE DAMN SOCKS! Yay!!! I was working on those so long that I felt I was in a bad relationship. Say bye-bye to the shark socks – woohoo!
With that out of the way, I could focus entirely on my scarf. I was so excited to finally work on a pooled crochet project. If you saw my last entry, you know how keen I was to be doing this. It was going to be the prettiest scarf, ever, with tassels and everything. When I finished with the first skein, I was figuring out how to join the two yarns so that the color sequence remained the same, and discovered that in order to make the match, I would have to pull not from the center but the outside. I unwound the factory skein with my yarn winder so the correct end would be used. Ok, so I can be funny that way; I just didn’t want to be pulling from the outside as it always causes trouble later on!
As I successfully joined the yarns, I had to blink my eyes several times because, oh crap, the colors weren’t the same hue. In my haste to begin with this beloved project, I failed to check dye lot numbers. Goody. I had already unwound the new skein, so there was no returning or replacing it. Double goody. What do you do when this happens? You check how it fits around your neck and make a buttoned cowl, or neck wrap, which was no easy feat considering the pattern I was trying to keep; but, I persevered and got ‘er done! Ta-da!
I will be making a scarf next, and I will be checking the dye lots! I will also be using a different technique to see how that goes. I’ll let you all know. In the meantime, behave!
I sure hope my mail lady likes this! She is so sweet and easy to talk to, I felt it was time to make her something; but as I made this for her, it doesn’t quite fit the model (me) as I would like. Don’t despair, I included alternate instructions for curvy women! An original design and easy to make, I have it for sale on Ravelry. Get it free until midnight, October 16, 2016 by using this code on checkout: joanne.
Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades. One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor. The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit. Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed. Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.
Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood. This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable. I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store. Without further thought or research, I did just that.
I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook. With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it. I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it. As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside. It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements. My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.
Will I? Yup. But later. My fingers got callouses from this!
120 yards – what was I thinking?
Next time, I’ll be sure to have some lanolin handy!
So, just when I was really jamming on my Deadhead Baby Blanket – yea, someone wanted this! – I noticed a gaping hole in my fabric about 4 rows down. Puzzled, I tried to figure out what caused it. Normally, we’re talking an easy fix to pick up the stitch, because after counting my stitches, I discovered I was short one; but WHERE I lost it remained a mystery. I was stumped. As you can see on two of these pictures, I was pretty far along. And I also included the point that had me guessing. If you point out where I lost it, please let me know!
I was so frustrated, I just frogged the whole thing, and we’re starting again. I’ve decided I’m going to do a different texture, a bit more complex. Like I need that with this! Either way, it’ll look good when I’m done and again, Wendy better like this…!