I know I promised to get better at the blogging frequency thing, but cold weather FINALLY came to Texas. Yes, by cold, I mean we’ve had days in the 60s. We take what we can get. Elsewhere in the world it’s starting to feel like actual winter. Combine that with the holiday season and suddenly the lid has blown off my little fiber arts operation. No, I’ve most definitely not become the next Twinkie Chan, but I’m at the very least breaking even for the year, which was my main goal for 2013, what with being a new start and all.
I’ve also been sewing more than I was, as Moose is growing straight up, which is making everything she owns too short. Because of that, I’ve been trying to repurpose some of her stuff, more out of principle than financial necessity.
So what have I been crafting lately?
I love boutique style kid’s clothes. It’s the Southerner in me. But I choke at the thought of paying $45 for a peasant dress (not saying that’s too much for a well-made piece if you don’t sew. But if you do, it’s too much). Mark my words, though- chevron will be the sofa floral of our generation. Kids will look back in 20 years and say “Gah! WHY would you put me in that?”
The next is one of my upcycle projects. I took a too short tshirt and attempted to add a bubble skirt. It doesn’t bubble quite right, but she wore it to church Sunday and folks thought it was cute.
When the first cold snap hit, I realized I hadn’t made this poor kid a hat since we lived in Colorado. Since she still doesn’t have hair, I threw this one together during nap time one morning.
This…I have no idea what this is, to be honest. Maybe I was channeling my inner Amish or something. I just got a wild hair to make a bonnet. Once I put it with the pillow case dress (which is from an actual pillow case), I got a great idea for a Halloween costume next year- Emily Binx from Hocus Pocus!
The rest are the crochet projects I’ve been elbows deep in, all of which I’ve already sold. Hookin’ is my business, and business is good, haha
And with that, I hear the Moose. Nap time’s over. Back to the Mommy business 🙂
I can’t decide whether I completely stink at this blogging business, or if having an on-the-move 9 month old and more crochet orders than I can shake sticks at just makes it hard to keep up with. Add to that the big move, and it’s just become nearly impossibly to sit down and write for any length of time.
I’ve been working on several different things. The sales business has taken off, though not really via Etsy. I made two Etsy sales (one to someone I know) before I put the store on vacation until we get to Texas. Everything else has come from word of mouth to friends and friends of friends.
This Cowboys inspired hat was actually one of a set of three for a dear friend’s grandsons. It was the first time I’d made multiples of the same item, which I’ll admit got a bit boring. I used Hobby Lobby’s I Love This Yarn, and have decided that it’s worth the small price difference as opposed to Red Heart SuperSaver. It’s so much softer. Next time I’ll find a lighter color for the football.
I’ve also been working on modifying a couple of different patterns for a summer shell stitch beanie. This one works up very quickly. For this, I used Peaches and Cream cotton. I think pure cotton yarns are my favorite to work with. To me, the final stitches are so much cleaner than with acrylic.
I’ve also started on what I’m calling a scrapghan. Since we’re moving, I’m trying to reduce the yarn supply a bit, so I decided on a granny rectangle afghan using scraps of what I have laying around. I have a love/hate relationship with traditional granny afghans. When Moose was born my mom gave me three or four that people had made for me back in the early 80s, and I thought they were hideous. I’ve figured out that the blankets themselves were bad, just the abominable color schemes of 1981. Not that my current color selections are any better, but because it’s a scrapghan, it isn’t really following a palette.
I also didn’t know that these kinds of blankets are in a revival of sorts. I’ve had a couple of people ask about blankets or afghans. I’ll send them pictures of different patterns, and every single one has asked for this kind instead. Apparently folks in the South view them as heirloom type things. I’d love to make a turquoise/coral/white one for our guest bedroom.
And finally, there’s the Texas hat. In order to make it, I had to crochet both sides separately, then sew them together. This left a gap in the front that I’ve got to figure out how to correct next time, but other than that I’m pretty pleased with it. Too bad Moose will probably never need it in Austin…
What have you been working on lately?
Or is it Pirates’ Progress? Since I’m only (for now) making this for one pirate, I guess we’ll go with the singular possessive.
I like pirates. Growing up in North Carolina, learning about pirates, for whatever reason, was part of the grade school curriculum. I knew more about Calico Jack and Blackbeard than any 9 year old should probably have been allowed to know. The remains of Queen Anne’s Revenge are actually housed at the NC Maritime Museum. Liking pirates is innate for the Tarheel State, I guess. So naturally I kind of fancy them in adulthood.
The idea for a Pirate Princess outfit for Moose came, as I mentioned before, from seeing an incredibly overpriced hat in one of my favorite stores (where, honestly, everything is probably overpriced) in Evergreen, CO. It was more or less that hat above, with an eyepatch sewn to it (which I’ll get around to doing today). I’ve thought about combining the hat with a black diaper cover (recently downloaded this cover pattern from UnravelMe on Etsy) with a Jolly Roger on the bum. There are a couple of listings for that sort of thing, but not as many as say, bunny hats. I like the diaper cover sets on very small babies, but once you start getting to the sitting up stage, they look a bit silly. I’m also not a huge fan of shirtless photos past six months, especially for little girls. Probably too many episodes of Criminal Minds and Law and Order: SVU, but it just makes me a little uncomfortable. (Note: By that, I mean staged photos, not snapshot of kids running around) Add to that the fact that I have quite a bit of black and red tulle lying around- Smee is a University of South Carolina alum- and the Pirate Princess concept was born.
The hat is just your basic beanie, double crochet flavor. There are about a million different patterns out there, so just choose your favorite. I tend to use the ones from Sarah at Repeat Crafter Me, because I like how she spaces her increases. The bandana “ties” are a work in progress, though right now I’m basing them off ears from Mamachee’s Dino, Monster and Alien Embellishment Package.
With all this Etsy talk, how do you feel about it? Do you sell items there? I, like I’m the sure the vast majority of you have, gotten constant comments about selling things I make. I stink at the selling part. I’d rather just give them to people. But being a stay-at-home mom, the extra cash certainly wouldn’t hurt. I think I’m more scared that nothing will sell than anything, although at $0.20 US per listing for four months, the worst I could be out for one listing is eighty cents a year. I probably have enough for four or five listings in the cup holder of my car. If the Pirate Princess comes out ok, I may try listing it, just to see what happens.
Any tips for an Etsy newbie?
Look Lionel! It’s a crochet blog! Happy now?
I’m a sucker for hobbies. I’d venture to say I’ve tried the majority of them, at least in the arts and crafts world, at least once. And usually only once. I have quite the collection of cake decorating tools, loom knitting paraphernalia and a sewing machine I don’t even know how to get out of the box, much less operate. I dabbled in glass painting- kind of liked that, until everything I shipped from Colorado (where we live now) to the Carolinas (where I kind of wish we still lived) for Christmas shattered. I’m an average amateur photographer, but that mostly stems from my intensely
cheap frugal nature and refusal to pay the mall picture people.
But what’s any of that have to do with a crochet blog?
I decided to teach myself to crochet in January 2013 for two reasons: A) It’s cold in Colorado in January, and there wasn’t much to do with a 4 month old besides stay home and watch Criminal Minds marathons, and B) Beard Hats. Actually, beard hats were the main reason. I love them. While no longer trendy, they still crack me up. After Granna (aka: my mom, though I’ve realized once you have a kid, the identities of everyone, including you, change dramatically) made a valiant but highly unsuccessful attempt to teach me to crochet, I bit the bullet and sat down with some ugly orange yarn, a K hook, and YouTube, vowing to sit in that chair until I figured it out. Lord bless the Crochet Geek channel. It’s taught me the majority of everything I know.
I’m not sure how long it took, but this was the end result of that first night:
I was so proud. Actually, I do know how long…about six hours. It’s a good thing Moose was still waking up at fairly regular intervals. Oh, Moose is the kid. You’ll probably see a lot of her.
At that point I was completely hooked, pun absolutely intended. I immediately went to Pinterest and started pinning every pattern I could find. Reality set in a couple of days later when I realized I had no clue what I was doing. This would be the usual point I’d give up…but then I thought of the beard hat…
(insert picture of beard hat here when I find it)
Fast forward 4 months. Moose is 8 months old tomorrow. My crochet has improved quite a bit in a relatively short amount of time. I discovered that the patterns on Etsy are worth it (like those from Mamachee. They’re fantastic, and where the ears on this hat are from). And my husband (hence forth known as Smee) is a nerd…which will get you this; the “official” picture for the grandparent wall, complete with obscene light saber:
And so, at Lionel’s urging, I present to you Coffee, Crochet, and Crap-a documentary of my crochet journey, which is sure to include a multitude of failures, the fleeting moment of brilliance and probably and occasional political rant or two.