The heebie-jeebies are still haunting me, but my cousin who lives in Oregon has told me to hie my butt up to her place for knitting and crocheting and dog walking. Don’t worry – I was tested for Covid last week and it came back negative, so I feel fairly comfortable with the visit.
So what will I do while refuging in Oregon? My cousin and I share the crafting bug – yea! And that fits in nicely with what I just learned yesterday – my October vendor gig is on…and my inventory is sorely lacking. So, this will be like any other year, with me frantically trying to create a decent look for my mobile store LOL! That, and since I’m taking my dogs, I expect we’ll be doing a lot of dog-walking.
As for my online stores, as you may know – or not – Nittin’ Ninja: Graphic Designs For The Yarn Obsessed had to close up. Not enough interest, the graphics weren’t that compelling, wrong timing – take your pick. In any case, I was losing money, so there we are. Kinda sad, but not an original scenario. My other shop, olla podrida, is doing better. I’ll take this time to make a quick plug! Don’t let a perfectly fine link wither- click here!
As for the park meeting I had scheduled, one person, my bestie, showed up! And to top it off, we had to change the venue because the park was closed, so maybe it was a good thing it was just two of us.
Not easily daunted, I suggested a meeting at my place. Everyone behaved as far as social distancing, and we all had masks if an item or question about technique needed to be examined more closely. We will be doing this again!
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.
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!
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
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.
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
1 skein worsted weight yarn
Crochet hook size I or 5.5 mm
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!
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!
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.
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? 🙂
What happens when you try to get a group of knitters to meet at a bar on a Sunday afternoon.
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 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….
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.
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!
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 be; 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.
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.
I do enjoy a good excuse to get to my lys, and today was a fine example. I packed up my tote full of the Flame Stitch Bag crochet project, and set out in the beautiful Saturday spring afternoon to the Ben Franklin Crafts Store in Grass Valley, 16 miles away. When I got there, a very large group of knitters were sitting at a U-shaped table set up and I was fortunate enough to find a seat at the end. Best spot – sweet! Since I don’t frequent the weekly meetings, I felt a little isolated, but soon started chatting with those around me, and now I’m committed to going back next Friday evening! Another nice surprise was when several members of my weekly Stitch ‘n Bitch in Colfax showed up. Hi Diane and Tammi! I had made this the weekly meeting. Thought I’d mix it up a little.
Anyway, what did me in today was the 20% off LYS bag. Buy it for $4.99, and get 20% off your yarn purchase for the day. I was fine with this. I could resist, I could. Really. That is, until, the young woman next to me was wearing a sweater that was just gorgeous. And she told me it was a pattern in Ravelry, and I had to have it. *sigh* My bank account is now $85 lighter (to include a new circular knitting needle) and I now have another project awaiting my attention.
So what did you do to show your LYS a little love today?
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.