Of Yarn Crawls, Craft Shows, Re-Imagining, And A Snowy Thanksgiving

Here we are, staring Christmas in the face, and I am, yet again, in the middle of the busy craft season. I started building up my inventory in August, but I think it looks woefully small…again. I should have started in June, but I don’t feel like spending the better part of the year, and my life, making stuff for sale. I like wearing the stuff I make *pout*.

Adopting our newest family member from the shelter!
My new baby and a sweater I knit

Conversely, no one is putting a gun to my head and forcing me to do this. I feel that selling my goods is a way to not feel like a freeloader in my house. Along with my writing gig at Outlaw Soaps that I mentioned a few posts back, I realize that, yes, I am contributing, but it doesn’t feel like enough.

In the spirit of that thought, I decided to up my game with my graphics. Rather than keep them in the limited world of Cafe Press, Zazzle, etc., I have re-imagined my Nittin’ Ninja brand. I now have shops on Etsy, Inktale, and Bonanza platforms. Still working on loading graphics – did not realize how much time it would take! However, if you’re interested, click on those links! If this isn’t your cup of tea, do me a solid and share the goodness, please! This is a very limited niche market, and I’m just trying to spread the word at this point. Thank you guys!

On to other stuff!

After many years of reading about yarn crawls and wondering what they were like, our area LYS finally got it together. Of the 11 participating shops, I made it to only three before I ran out of money!

Map of Sierra Nevada 1st Annual Yarn Crawl
Those three pins look sooo lonely!

As you can see, I will have to pace myself. I had actually planned to hit up at least 6, but there were other events going, such as the Colfax Railroad Days event that happens every year.

While there, I purchased some fiber art from really cool people.

Beautiful mandala work from Bohemian Designs by Silvermoon Regalia (artist not pictured. She had to go take care of her children while her mother and husband manned the shop!)
Local folks having a laugh

Those both pics are from October, and a lot of the merch has been sold and replaced with new stuff – yay!

Taking a break from shoveling a track for the tires on our slanted driveway!
The view from the other side…

And this was Thanksgiving. Three hours of scraping and fighting to get the Subaru up the driveway – but I freakin’ did it! And I still managed to gain weight!?

What’s everyone else up to these days?

Weekend

When two middle-aged women find wooden blocks at a crafts store.

Hey, my knittahs and crafters! Don’t you love this time of year? Yea, it’s still hot, it’s still summer, but August is to the knitting and crafting world like Friday is to the weekend. The anticipation of cool weather means you’ll be able to follow your passion full-goose bozo style!

Southwest Salad at Noodles
Of course we had to eat before exerting so much energy, searching for yarn!

Yesterday, my friend Donna and I went to Joann’s Crafts and Fabric and had a little fun there. I need to remember that not everyone is on the same energy or interest level as myself when it comes to yarn or knitting. There was a class going on, and I just ran right up and said Hey what’s everyone doing? and I screwed up someone’s stitch count.  She didn’t look too pleased; in fact, she looked kind of pissed. I backed off immediately, then laughed when Donna said, We’re gonna get kicked out!  To further that concept, we happened upon some wooden letters that spelled out the word PENTS.  So, you know what I had to do – I switched out the letter T with the letter I.  We giggled like teenagers, snapped a pic, then quickly walked away.  Yeah, it’s fun to be our age!

Being juvenile at Joann's!
tee-hee
Yarn I hope to transform into great art.
Yea, the veritable mountain of yarn I purchased

Part of my seasonal frenzy includes me rewriting an easy pattern for a rolled brim hat.  While annotating my “improvements”, I’ve discovered that I really like to use the continental style of knitting. After 33 years spent using the throwing method, suddenly, I’m switching hands!  Does that mean I’m going to be using the continental style for everything? Or does it mean I’m just working so heavily on the fair Isle technique that it’s starting to feel more comfortable? Either way I’m embracing it and just going with the flow.

Rewriting pattern for Rolled Brim Beanie while making it.  Love the stripes!

Last year, I had written a lot of patterns that I was going to publish; This year, I will endeavor to get all of them out. It happens! In the meantime, I still must edit my Kitchener stitch video. Damn! Does it seem like I have of a lot of pending projects going on?  I’m always so amazed by crafters who have young children and manage to put out patterns, blog posts, and video tutorials on a regular basis.  In particular, I’m thinking of the ladies behind Whistle and Ivy and Repeat Crafter Me; they have little children and they their output is pretty spectacular.  Oh, I know there are many more working moms out there, but those two came to immediately.  They must have very supportive husbands!

On that note, I’ll end this entry.  See you in the funny pages.

A Cheater Post

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, eyeglasses and closeup
In all the excitement of the travel and what-not, I forgot to mention here that I finally finished the Zweig sweater!

So, it begins. With the crafts season coming up in October, I’ve got to roll! I wanted to post something, so I did a video. Enjoy!

World Wide Knit In Public Day: Fail!

What happens when I die-hard yarner doesn’t participate in World Wide Knit in Public Day?

I had every intention of knitting in public on June 8, 2019, even if it was just in the damned park by myself. I didn’t realize until it was too ate that I had scheduled the Colfax Stitch ‘n Bitch for a roadtrip to Truckee on that exact day. When I did find out what I’d done, I put public knitting on the itinerary.

That didn’t pan out; however, I did my part for the yarn industry by purchasing my first organic linen yarn and pattern by Quince & Company. The shop? Atelier in Truckee, California, a great place with art supplies and books in the front and yarn in the back.

All in all, I don’t feel too bad for not knitting publicly. I do it twice a week at the local Starbucks so I feel like I do my yarnly duty all the time. Besides, this was fun also. We’re now trying to figure out another venue for our next road trip, perhaps next month?

What did you do for World Wide Knit in Public Day?

Snow Day and a Freebie

Snow day pictures and a knit pattern freebie!

So far this year, my entries have been a bit on the dark side; the post about my daughter, absolutely harrowing. This time, I promise, I’ll focus on something else. Nevermind the title, I like snow…unless I have to shovel it. So that’s what I’m going to do. Post pictures of the snow.

Snowy trees line my driveway
Guess who’s shoveling this snow….?
Tulips peeking through the snow
Taken from my front porch
I really liked the gate
A little subtle HDR action

Looking up

And just in time, the freebie! A simple Rolled Brim Slouchy pattern. There is a little shaping to the hat, it’s not just a tube, and I should have possibly made it a bit longer to get more of a slouch, but, oh, well. I still like it, and hope you do too. Enjoy!

Adieu, adieu, parting is such sweet sorrow – NOT!

As I pack up my minivan for the last show of the season, I am loathe to admit that, yes, I am glad that it’s over, and yes, I’ll be doing it again!  I went all out this year, purchasing a canopy, lights to illuminate my wares for night time shows, a cool pink chair that has a lot of gee-gaws, including a fold out side area for my lunch, electronics, etc.  I am pleased to say that my endeavors were able to cover the costs of the purchases I felt necessary, even though the money earned managed to disappear in the general household fund.  How does that happen?

Anyway, with all this industriousness, I was able to write up a few of my own patterns and will be sharing them as soon as I can.  The first one I have is very popular and doesn’t stay around long.

 

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

California Little Quail Messy Bun Hat

I named this hat after the California Quail because it’s little curved crest reminded me of the bobble stitches on the hat.

This pattern is worked in rounds with joins.  When joining, sl st to the first st, and work first st in the new round in this spot.  Here is a link for the method.  It reduces the gaps when joining, giving the finished work a much neater look.

Abbreviations:

Yo = yarn over

Ch = chain

St(s) = stitch(es)

BLO = back loops only

Sc = single crochet

Dc = double crochet

Tr = treble crochet

FPSC = work single crochet in the post of the stitch directly below from the front

FPDC = work double crochet in the post of the stitch directly  below from the front

Materials:

1 skein worsted weight yarn

Crochet hook size I or 5.5 mm

Definitions:

Bobble stitch: work tr EXCEPT leave the last two loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat, leaving three loops on hook; yo twice, and repeat.  There should be four loops on hook; yo, draw through all the loops.

With I hook (5.5 mm), ch 20, join with sl st to first ch to make a circle.

Round 1:  ch 1, 24 sc into the circle.  Ensure the sts are lined up so as not to twist them; join

Round 2:  ch 2, dc in each st = 24 dc

Round 3:  ch 2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next st* around, join = 36 dc

Round 4:  ch2, *2 dc in first st, dc in next 3 sts* around, join = 45 dc

Round 5:  ch 2, *2dc in first st, dc in next 5 sts* around, dc in last 2 sts, join =  53 dc

Round 6:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 7:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, *work 2 dc in first st, dc in next 6 sts* around, dc in last 3 sts (the last st will be half hidden because of the unusual join at the beginning of the round – don’t despair, it’s there!), join = 61 sts

Round 8:  ch1, sc in BLO around, inc. 3 sts evenly, join =  64 sts

Round 9:  ch 3,*Bobble stitch, 3 sc* around, join with chain on top of first bobble cluster

Round 10:  ch 2 , dc in same st as the join, dc around, join

Round 11:  ch 2, FPDC around, join

Round 12:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 13:   Working in the back round of sts, ch 2, dc around, join

Round 14:  ch 1, FPSC around, sl st to first sc, then sl st to first st in back row

Round 15:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc around, join

Round 16:  repeat round 9

Round 17:  repeat round 10

Round 18:  repeat round 11

Round 19:  repeat round 12

Round 20:  Working in the back round of sts, ch 1, sc in BLO around, join

Round 21:  ch 2, dc in BLO around, join and end off.

Optional earflap extension variation:

Row 1:  Using last round as reference, DO NOT CUT YARN.  ch 2, turn, hdc 30 BLO.  Check at this point for position and comfort; if you need to go further, add a few sts at a time, if less, remove a few sts at a time.  If more length is needed, repeat the row as you see fit.  If you like what you see, follow next step.

Finishing:  sl st into next st, turn, sl st across the row plus one.  End off.  This should round out the squared edges and give the hat a less “home made” look!

Work in any ends, tuck your hair up and enjoy!

Goofing around

 

 

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!

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/

10+ Halloween Decoration Free Crochet Patterns

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

Crochet Ridged Pumpkins

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

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

What happens when two cousins meet for the first time and you’re researching the market for grants for opening a yarn shop

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 stops 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 by 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?  🙂