I guess we’re on a beard kick. Once I posted the Leif Erikson hat, I had a request for a Duck Dynasty type beard beanie for a Halloween. I told the buyer it’d take about a week, but I was so excited to try it that I went out and found the camo yarn, then made it yesterday!
Please forgive the sad, sad look in Moose’s eyes. She wasn’t as angry as she looks. She just cut her right eye tooth yesterday, so she wasn’t feeling like her usually cheerful self.
We’re well on our way in the (American) football season. What better way to show your team spirit than with a FREE Team Colors football beanie? Click here to see the prize (your choice of colors!), like and comment with your favorite team for a chance to win!
NFL, NCAA, High School, Pop Warner, even FIFA (we’re not particular about what kind of football!)! Show your team some love! And show Carolina Colorado Crochet some love with a LIKE while you’re there!
Did I mention busy?
That’s what we’ve been the last couple of months. We survived the move to the Great State of Texas (they are incredibly proud of it around here) relatively unscathed. The first day of 100+ degree temps- the day we crossed the border, actually- I missed Colorado for about three seconds. That all changed when a woman stopped me in the middle of the grocery store and we talked for five minutes about mayonnaise. That probably seems odd to you, but for a born and raised Southerner, it’s a sign that you’re home. Considering it also snowed in Denver today, the first week of October, I don’t think we’ll be missing Colorado for quite a while.
I’ll be the first to admit that there are parts of Austin that are NOTHING like any part of the South you may have ever been to in your life. However, if you know where to look, you can easily get away from the hipster super liberals that they tell you scary stories about in other parts of Tey-hass. We kind of like them, so we don’t tend to run from them often.
The highlight of moving here, besides the barbeque, has been the day an older gentleman in full on cowboy boots and ten gallon cowboy hat tipped said hat in my direction and said “Howdy, ma’am” in the middle of Hobby Lobby. I felt like we’d officially arrived.
So, like I said, the temperature was well over 100 for about three weeks in a row, and still hasn’t gotten below 92 most days. Add to that having both my and Smee’s parents visiting for a couple of weeks at a time, and I haven’t had a lot of time to play with the yarn. The last week or so I’ve gotten back in the swing of things, mostly because we’re taking a vacation to Disney World in a couple of weeks and will be attending the MIckey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party dressed as Snow White (Moose) and the Seven Dwarves (Me, Smee, Granna, Poppa, Uncle Boppy, Pete and Repeat, whom you’ll see a picture of soon), and I’ve been charged with making seven dwarf hats and beards. For the hats, I’ve been using an adaption of this slouch hat pattern from Crazy Sock Crochet, which is FREE, and the best basic slouch I’ve found. The beards are a lot of trial and error. I’ll be sure to post pics of the finished product when we get back!
A few of the other projects I’ve been working on:
I got on a coffee cozy kick for about a week. I listed this one in my Etsy shop. No bites, so far. Actually, it’s the only thing in my Etsy shop right now. I’m not sure I’m going to stick with that. I’ve been making some sales, but have had far more luck with Facebook than Etsy. Also, by not using Etsy, I’m saving on fees.
Another crazy idea I had- let’s make cowls when it’s hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk! I doubt I’ll ever need this here, but I got quite a few inquiries about them from the folks in Denver today. Oh, and yeah, that’s me, sweating profusely. You probably don’t want to buy that one.
Speaking of cowls, I did the unthinkable. I made one for the newly one year old Moose. It screams pretentious, but darn it, I think she’s awfully cute in it. The next few photos are totally indulgent parent, so you may want to skip them. You’ve been warned.
If nothing else, I have cute talent that works for graham crackers to model my stuff.
If you’re not into baby couture, perhaps doggy couture is more your style. Charles the Dog thinks it’s excellent.
Of course, there have also been a few hats.
And finally, a few baby shower gifts for Baby Beaver Bever (not his real name):
You know, now that I think about it, I may have been a little busier than I initially thought. What have you been working on lately?
So I scraped the scrapghan. I have no qualms with being honest- it was ugly. I tried to embrace the granny concept, I really did. I just couldn’t get on board with it. Instead, I told myself I was dropping everything else and working on a coral, turquoise and white chevron throw. I even talked Smee into letting me buy a new duvet cover if I finish it. I need 75 rows. So far I’ve finished 25. I’m hoping to get it finished before the move (in 20 days, eek!) so that I can have a new look to the bedroom in Austin. Unfortunately, as you’ve probably figured out about me by now, I can’t stay with one project for long without starting something else.
Yesterday I decided to try my hand at a free pattern I’d pinned a while back from Playin’ Hooky Designs. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit I hated it until the very last row. Not because it’s a difficult pattern (although it isn’t one you can do while watching tv. There’s a lot of counting involved), but because it just didn’t feel right. After the last row, though, all of the sudden you look at it and think “Dang, this is cool!” I thought they’d make a nifty fan-type beanie for different sports teams. Seeing as how we live in Denver right now, I thought I’d try Broncos colors…
Unfortunately, the dark blue and orange kind of look like tiger stripes. I did have a few people point out that if I changed the blue to purple, these would make fantastic Clemson fan hats. Considering the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!) is responsible for the roof over my head and the groceries in my fridge, I’d have to make them while hiding in a cave deep in the woods. Blasphemy, I tell you.
All in all, I think Moose really could care less about the whole situation:
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?
It’s confession time. I am cheap. Frugal is a much nicer way of putting it, but the truth of the matter is, if I can figure out how to do it cheaper than than you can do it for me (I’m talking to you, Wonder Bread), then I will do it myself. Even if it takes forever and causes me to swear like a sailor…I hope my pastor isn’t reading this…
Logically, the only thing better than cheap is free. Lucky for me, ye ole Interwebz is chock full of free patterns. A lot of them are fantastic, like the one I used as a base for this eyeglass case , from Allison at Dream A Little Bigger. Please take a look at hers, because it is infinitely better than mine. I’m also positive she didn’t hot glue the fabric in, but hey, we do the best we can, right?
Admittedly, the idea of buying crochet patterns nearly put me over the edge at first. Why would you spend money on something you can readily find for free online? The simple answer? You can’t find the majority of the super good stuff for free. There. I said it.
Case in point- slippers. I’ve made a variety of slippers since I started. For some reason that seems to be what everyone wants. Like a good little cheapskate, I scoured Pinterest for hours looking for the best free pattern. One popped up repeatedly, but it wasn’t free. Well, if it wasn’t free, it wasn’t for me (har har har). So I stuck to the freebies, which were ok, but lacked that little something.
After coming across the idea of upcycling old flip flops to crochet flats , I realized I needed a pattern that included both a sole and an independent upper. As you probably know, almost all of the freebies are done in the round, which I’ll agree is easier, but frankly just doesn’t look as nice. So back to Pinterest I went, and decided to take a good look at that pattern that kept popping up, the Oma Slipper from Mamachee on Etsy. It was exactly what I needed, and at $5.50 for a variety of sizes, plus the ability to sell what you make as long as you give her credit for the pattern, it seemed like an ok deal. After I made the first one, I realized it was beyond ok. It was a screaming deal. The difference between that pattern and the free ones I’ve been using was remarkable.
It isn’t that the free pattern is horrible, and since this was my first attempt at the bought pattern, the slipper from that one looks kind of wonky, too. But a few more attempts yielded these:
So, the moral of the story? While free is great, sometimes it’s worth it to pay a little.