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

 

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 cut yarn.

 

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

Goofing around

 

 

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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

Review of Bernat Home Mix Yarn

Failed crocheted floor mat. And yes, I plucked this sucker out of the garbage to get this pic!

This endeavor was one of those spur of the moment, “let’s break it up a little bit” type of moves.  I was meandering around the local Michaels Crafts with my husband without any plan in my mind.  I wanted to check out the new Halloween displays and be inspired by what I saw.  Well, I was, but not for seasonal decorating.  The yarn clearance bin was strategically placed right in the middle of all the brilliant autumn colored silk flowers and garlands, and everything else faded away as I worked my way to the display.

I glanced over the typical off-colorway offerings one would find in such a bin, then noticed a whole load of the Bernat Home Mix yarn on the bottom.  At half the regular going price, I thought, why not?  I’ll make a new door mat.  The one we currently have was a Dollar General impulse purchase and had done a good job for over a year; in fact, it still is.  I bought two of the large skeins just because.

In order to justify the crocheted hot mess I posted, I must say that I’ve always had trouble with textured yarn and the crochet hook.  Amazingly, I do have a few crochet patterns that feature knobbly yarn and they came out great, so what the deal really is, you got me.  This was one of those instances where the yarn just wasn’t willing to work with me, so in my frustration, I just bundled up the disaster and tossed it into the trashcan.  I knew at this point that knitting was the only way to do this, so I brought out the second skein.  Good thing I bought it, huh?

I didn’t count how many stitches I cast on, and I worked the whole skein in garter stitch, so this was a no-brainer.  What I noticed about the yarn, though, is that the mix wouldn’t, in my opinion, make a good blanket.  I mention that because a blanket pattern is printed on the inside of the label.  It was actually a little rough on my hands, and the differences in yarn texture created uneven edges.  Still, for a floormat, who’s going to be looking?  Other than that, I was happy with it.  If you want a fun or different yarn to work with, this would be an option.

So much to say, so little time to say it!

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A lot has happened since my last entry, though none of it has had anything to do with the yarn shop except for the idea that I’m presenting in the YouTube video!  LOL  So, like I ask, talk to me!  Suffice to say, I had a busy few weeks here and I’m trying to put it all in perspective.  The reference book seen in the photo gallery is Knitting Pattern Essentials by Sally Melville.  So far, so good.  I’m one of those kind of people – I’ll read just what I know to get started, then when I get stumped, I’ll return to the book and read what I should have, usually wasting time and resources.  Don’t ask – it’s just my way!!

For those of you not registered on YouTube, I’ve given you the option of a poll:

See you in the funny pages!

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 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?  🙂

 

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….