Good-bye, Summer. See you next year!

For many knitters and crocheters in the northern hemisphere, September 22 is an auspicious date.  Having taken a hiatus from the beloved craft because of the heat, September usually brings cooler temps, for some, only slightly, but it’s enough.  Out come the hooks, the needles, patterns and yarn, and the crafting season is on!

https://people.com/home/fall-equinox-2018-everything-to-know/

I found this particularly cool crochet hat pattern while perusing Pinterest – of course!  Originally designed in conjunction with Lion Brand yarns, Jennifer created this pattern for a Stomp Out Bullying campaign.  I found it a bit too late to contribute, but I still had to make it.  This is for a good cause, and even if we can’t send the hats in on time, we can sure spread some love.

Meanwhile, some lucky child of my friends’ will be getting this hat!

See you in the funny pages!

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Holy Flercking Schnit!

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!

One of my designs on Amazon

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!

Meanwhile…

“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

 

 

Crocheted Pumpkin Roundup!

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!

 

https://www.stitching-together.com/country-crochet-pumpkin-patterns/

https://coolcreativity.com/crochet/halloween-decoration-crochet-patterns/

https://www.favecrafts.com/Thanksgiving/Awesome-DIY-Crochet-Pumpkins#dQpyBSjGKIlrMwOy.32

http://www.sewrella.com/cute-easy-crochet-ridged-pumpkins-with-meg/

https://www.whatyousow.co.uk/blogs/news/13855267-crochet-pumpkin-diy

http://theslantedlife.blogspot.com/2014/08/crocheted-pumpkins-i-love-pumpkins-free.html?m=1

http://allwhatninalikes.blogspot.com/2011/09/crocheted-pumpkins-decoration.html?view=classic

https://pixeledpeach.com/2016/10/19/free-pattern-pumpkin-amigurumi/

https://amvabecreations.blogspot.com/2018/06/cute-pumpkin-bear-free-crochet-pattern.html

http://www.rebeckahstreasures.com/blog/free-crochet-pumpkin-pattern

Oregon Visit and More Research

About two weeks ago, I went up north to Oregon to visit a cousin I had never met, let alone, knew even existed.  Long, complicated story; suffice to say, there were valid reasons.  Yup.  Like so many families I know, ours is messed up, too!  I had been communicating with her for a few years before the idea of a visit occurred to us; it was just time.  There is something to be said about meeting a person face-to-face.  All sorts of information was omitted when I talked to her online, via skype, or on the phone.  I realized almost immediately that I finally met someone as crazy as me, in the same ways, and she is family!  ❤ ❤  Better still, she crochets, so our nights were spent with our projects out, listening to the television.  She knows how to party, crafter-style.

Yea, yea. I had to put a pic of me in here. This was on our stop in Ashland, OR.

Long-lost cousin

Nancy and I finally meet! Never knew of her existence until about 3 years ago.

Tillamook cows

In Tillamook country!

Clowning around with Sasquatch! Didn’t really think of the crotch shot there…

A farewell gif

Saying goodbye to my cousin, Nancy and one of her doggies, Odie.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super helpful employee at Web-sters in Ashland.

Obligatory visit to Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock. Reminds me so much of Morro Bay in California!

 

That meant a trip to a yarn shop.  I didn’t get any pictures, I don’t know why, because the owner I spoke to was real helpful.  Hi, Tina!  Anyway, check out her page, and if you’re in the Hillsboro, OR area, meander your way into her shop.  I did get images while I was in Web-sters, in Ashland, OR.  I was wonky when I walked in there – no other to say it.  We had driven from Colfax, California to Aloha, Oregon, with as many stop as we could handle.  That meant a LOT of Starbucks and the occasional gas station (btw – did you know that in Oregon you MUST have your gas pumped the a station attendant?).  By the time we reached Ashland, we were a little over halfway to our destination, and I was in no fit physical state to talk to anyone.  It literally took a few minutes of walking around to orient myself.  While I perused the yarn shop and confused the nice girl (see pic), my husband took a walk in Lithia Park.  I don’t think he got to see all those beautiful sights, because he didn’t mention anything!

It was a great stay, and I’m thinking I have to go back.  This Wednesday.  And why?  Because the CGOA (Crochet Guild of America) is having their annual conference in Portland.  And it’s BIG.  There is also a class I would love to attend that addresses my shop-opening concerns.  I have tried to research yarn store opening tips online, and besides vague references to the craft or yarn itself, nothing has been very specific.  I would hate to drive all that way just for one class!!  Does anyone know where I can access similar information online?  Thank you in advance for any leads there.

And speaking of accessing, I have been researching grants, and I must not be doing this right.  I am a woman and a veteran, and I can’t find anything.  I have followed up on promising information on grants.gov, only to discover that the grants are not valid anymore, or the links are no good, or just out of date.  I did decide to add chocolate to the store, not coffee, because of all the regulations involved, and I’d have to be a barista, and that just doesn’t cut it in a 500 sf area.  The chocolate I decided on is artisan, one brand is actually local, and it would be their bars and bagged goodies.  I don’t want to try and fit refrigerated cases in here.  So, if I don’t locate a good grant program, my whole idea hinges on Kickstarter – !  Again, does anyone know anyone who would be interested in philanthropic causes?  The cause being me wanting a yarn shop to help boost local economy, pass on the bug to younger generations and keep the craft alive.  That, and there’s a whole bunch of yarn. ❤  

But enough for now.  What’s everyone else doing out there? And am I the only who spends an inordinate amount of time to write these quick entries?  🙂

 

Bar Knitting

You don’t have to drink to enjoy the view.

As many of you may already know, I have a local crafts Facebook group called “Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch”.  In an attempt to increase participation, I added another meeting day to include the people who couldn’t manage Thursday evenings.  Sunday afternoons seemed a good thing.  I also wanted to change up the venue a bit and set up a poll with possible sites and threw in a red herring.  With my sense of humor being what it is, that was a given.  The red herring?  A local bar called The Red Frog that boasts the best mountain view that I’ve ever seen.  I haven’t been to that many bars, much less those that feature views, so, take my word for it.  It’s beautiful.  The Red Frog was chosen, so I posted it was, and quite a few people were excited about the event. There were some members who declined because it was a bar; I get it.  Otherwise, I thought I’d see a few new faces.

I like taking my bowl with me!

I showed up on time, made my way back to the patio and was surprised to see how busy it was.  In general.  The patio part of the bar is just that – open to the elements.  With only a roof, there’s no heating, no air conditioning.  You deal with what nature gives you.  It was 95 degrees F that day.  With the shade and a little breeze it was tolerable enough.  I saw the one remaining table available and I grabbed it up.

And there I sat for 30 minutes, knitting and drinking my virgin mango margarita.  It was delicious.  I expected someone to say something to me. A lively bar is not where you’d expect to find a middle-aged woman knitting, but all I got were some second glances and everyone went about their drinking and/or eating.  When a spot cleared up at the open viewing area, I quickly gathered up my gear, switched seats and continued to nurse my drink.

All-in-all, it wasn’t a bad time.  I rather liked it and intend to return either alone or with more people.  As for my group, I called them all wimps!  I may not have a group much longer….

It’s Here!

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.

http://www.redheart.com/yarn/super-saver-pooling

A Little Too Much

So pretty

Hi, there, dear reader.  Glad you could drop by after my long absence.  It’s been awhile, I know, so let the excuses begin!

The last several weeks I have been caught up in spring.  This season makes me feel light-hearted and yet, ready to take on the world.  Out in the garden everyday, buying flowers, potting soil, and seeds, spring cleaning, clearing out the fountain and raking away the tons of pine needles that threaten to take over my roses, and in general, just being outdoors; enjoying the sun after months of a typical gloomy Californian winter.  Granted, in just a very short while, I will be posting about summer’s relentless, grinding heat and moaning for autumn; however, in the meantime, I will bask in this mindset and weather.

I finally finished the flame stitch bag and gave it a strengthening liner to turn it from a bag to a purse.  I didn’t do the pom-poms because I am really tough on my purses.  They’d need to be taken off after a week!  For the handles, I purchased some at Joann Crafts and Fabrics.  Attaching the handles did turn out to be problematic, but I went with it anyway!

Malabrigo Sea Green yarn

I was supposed to get the $2.99 rings only. $65 later….eeesh!

With the temperatures climbing higher on the thermometer, all the fresh, new growth has attracted deer, especially to the aforementioned roses.  I’ve babied those bushes because they have to Floribunda rosesbe; the pine trees block all but about 5 hours of sun, even on the summer solstice, so I’m always sure to prune them, nourish them, ensure they’re disease-free.  Anyone who has had a serious interest in roses knows how hard this can be.  With the drought conditions we’ve been having, my roses have become a food mainstay for the hungry deer.  To combat this, I’ve been using Must Garden natural deer repellent.  During the winter, it didn’t work so well.  The deer were starving.  So my poor babies were beat up. I didn’t think they would make it this year.  But lo, and behold, they’re blooming.  Not a whole bunch, but it’s a start.

So pretty

Colors are Malabrigo Ravelry Red and Spun Right Round Newsprint

And now that we’re finished with my easy purse, I’ve moved on to another Malabrigo project.  I know, I know.  I love that yarn and it was on sale.  At least, today’s purchase was on sale….But I digress.  I’ve been working on a pattern for a sweater that I bought on Ravelry, Zweig, and I can’t wait to finish it.  I’m realistically shooting for November, when I’ll need it!  I intend to do some more planned pooling on a new brand of yarn – I will report the results!  I’ve also got some more fan art to do.  Never thought I’d be that kind of a fan at my age!  LOL  Life’s too short not to do the things you want when you can.

See you in the funny pages!