Friday, December 30, 2011

new year 2012 knit & crochet resolutions

Image copyright Jennifer Renson.

Is it really this time of year again?  Time for everyone to pretend we'll be better people and lose a couple pounds in the new year?

Well, I'm going to stop pretending.  Yes, I'd love to work out more and improve myself as a human being, but I'm tired of making that same resolution every year (I really should just do it). 

Instead, I've set some crafty goals for myself to accomplish in 2012 that will continue feeding my addiction(s), but in more productive ways:
  1. Continue shopping in my own stash: I've done so well with shopping in my own stash this year that I can sadly say it's dwindling.  My huge supply of pink yarn is slowly melting, which makes me a little teary-eyed.  But I'm also proud of myself for not going out into the world and just buying any yarn that I like.  I had a few buying jags this year, but overall controlled myself.  And when your hobby/business needs to happen on a budget, that's a good thing!

  2. Buy more "fancy" yarns: Now, this might sound as if it totally contradicts #1 above, and... it totally does in many ways.  But most of the yarns I buy are for custom orders.  To keep costs down, I opt for yarns like Vanna's Choice, Caron Simply Soft, Red Heart Soft, Bernat Satin, and I absolutely love buying Stitch Nation if the color(s) I need are in stock.  But I'm talking about yarns like Debbie Bliss, Noro Silk Garden, Rowan anything, etc.  I don't often get to buy many of these yarns for myself, and I want to indulge.

    Because the price for such yarns is kinda "up there", I don't think adding more will make my stash explode.  I want to get more experienced with yarns and textures, and limiting myself to whatever my local chain craft stores carry that week isn't going to help me.  So that said...

  3. Shop local:  There are at least two LYS that I want to visit, plus another near my parents' house.  I always harp on and on about supporting local businesses, and then I procrastinate and never get a chance to visit because I'm shopping at 9PM and the only thing open is Target.

    Well, procrastinate no more!  This year, I pledge to not only visit my LYS more, but visit it at least once.  I still haven't gone to Knitter's Edge, which is barely a couple miles from our house and opened more than two years ago.  I suck.

  4. Learn to sew:  Okay, not technically knit or crochet related, but I mostly want to learn how to sew because I need linings in the bags I make.  I don't make bags often because I don't see a use for them without a nice lining, and I don't even know where to begin.  I found a really great tutorial and have it bookmarked, but my sewing machine is still in a box and I have no idea what I'm supposed to do with it.  Plus, quilting looks like another hobby I need to eat up more time in my life.

    Oh, and did I mention how my super thoughtful and supportive Hubby bought me a basic sewing book for Christmas?  When do I tell him he can't get mad at scraps I leave behind if he continued to indulge my craft obsessions? :P

  5. Learn tatting: This one is a relatively new goal of mine because I got an awesome tatting tutorial book and supplies from my oma for Christmas.  I've wanted to learn tatting for awhile, but didn't really have the chance.  I also thought a lot of the tutorials I found were limited.  Luckily, I now have a great book with companion DVD, all the needles and shuttles I'll ever need (until the couch eats them), and a great pattern book for making snowflakes.  I think I know what everyone's getting for presents next Christmas :)
I could come up with even more crafty resolutions, but I'm trying to be realistic.  If everything works out, the next year of my MBA program will be my last... only five classes left until I'm overqualified for almost every job in America!  Basically, I need to work Craft Time around Homework.  Not fun, I know, but it'll be almost worth it in the end.

What are your Crafty New Year 2012 Resolutions?  I challenge you to come up with some and let me know :D  Have a safe and fantabulous New Year's weekend!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

finally sharing some christmas crafts!

Now that Christmas is over, I can finally show off some of the gifts I made!  Here's a super cute pig hat I crocheted for my cousin using all kinds of pink baby yarns:

Crochet Pig Hat

Crochet Pig Hat
Crochet Pig Hat

Crochet Pig Hat
I didn't work from a pattern - just sort of improvised it.  If I had to do it all over again, I'd probably make the nose 3-dimensional, but I'm still kinda happy with it :)

Hope you all had a great weekend and are super excited to get back to the daily grind.  I know I am!  Just kidding.  I wish I'd have taken this whole week off from work to enjoy some of our new goodies, but alas.

I'll be back later this week and next to share some of the fun crafty things I got for Christmas (I'm gonna learn tatting and sewing!), plus I have some other projects to share.  In addition to getting fun things, we also got to spend a lot of time with our families and even squeezed in "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," which was a really great movie.  If you're interested, I'd recommend reading the book first only because the movie moves quickly and doesn't explain a lot - some people in the audience were lost and the one lady behind us spent the whole movie explaining to someone else what was going on.  Kind of annoying!

Hurray for the holidays, though, and I wish that they didn't go by faster and faster every year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

merry christmas!

Charlie and the rest of us (me) here at JennLikesYarn wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas weekend!

Hope everyone has safe travels and lots of tasty treats to fill yourselves up with.  I've already started packing on the holiday pounds - or at least it feels like it!  I bless you with Christmas wishes of lots of yarn this holiday season :)

Monday, December 19, 2011

a crochet hat for hubby!

Only six days left!  And only half of those are good for crafting because the rest are spent wrapping the presents you should have had done months ago.  Oh, well :)

Anyway, I can't show you most of what I've been working on because of the fact they're Christmas gifts.  But I CAN show you this quick project that I whipped up over the weekend because Hubby has been complaining about a cold head for at least the past month.  Well, I did promise to make him a hat for our anniversary and never did... so that's probably why.  But here it is:



The light grey yarn is some leftover Plymouth Encore Tweed I had from a shopping trip Hubby and I took while vacationing at my parents' lake house.  The dark yarn is some leftover Vanna's Choice I had from knitting the gloves I posted last week.

I only combined the two colors because I was running out of the Tweed, but I think the result looks great.  It's actually a little too big on Hubby because he complained that his last hat didn't cover his ears - and it doesn't.  Even though I had added an extra inch to the pattern.  So I just threw this new hat together and he wore it all weekend.  Because he wubs me.

I finished up two other gifts this weekend and will probably finish the last one over the next couple days.  I guess I have no choice, though :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

altered knit "bella" fingerless mittens = done!

TGIF!  I've never been more excited to see a weekend.  Well, that's not true, but it's still pretty fantastic that I get to sleep in until 8AM tomorrow.  It's the little things in life, isn't it?

I'm just popping in to show you this pair of altered "Bella Mittens" for a custom order:





As you can see, I modified the original pattern (located here) a little bit.  The mittens no longer have a horseshoe cable because I separated them and added a 1x1 rib between them.  I also nixed the top of the mitten and changed it to half-fingers - something I'd never done before, so I'm kinda proud :)

I really love how these turned out, and I hope the person they're going to enjoys them as much as I do!  It was definitely a learning experience, and a fun one at that.  Every time I fudge a pattern and happen to do something correctly, I feel like I can conquer the world :P

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

completed crochet zig-zag hat prototypes

Here are the prototype hats I finished crocheting on Monday night!  The pictures are terrible, since they were obviously taken in the evening, but hopefully you get the idea :)




The blue and black hat is the first one I made, and I wasn't too happy with the way the top or bottom came out, so I made the second one with all the super fun colors :P  I really enjoy them and want to alter the pattern a couple ways to a) make it slouchy and b) add ear flaps.  I think these would look super cute as ski caps!

In other news, I keep getting sick, and this is not the time of year to get sick!  I had a stomach bug at the end of the last week, and I think I feel another one coming on.  I just can't win and all I want to do is sleep - but of course, you can't sleep during the last week leading up to Christmas!

Monday, December 12, 2011

my weekend project(s)

Happy Monday!  As happy as a Monday gets, anyway.  The closer it gets to Christmas, the more I dread the weeks flying by so quickly.  Totally the opposite of when we were kids, right?

Anyway, I thought I'd pop in and show you part of a new crochet hat pattern I'm working on:

It'll be a zig-zag hat, but the bottom part will be flat.  I haven't seen too many of these hats floating around, so hopefully everyone will be able to get some use out of it!

I actually started making a second one last night and already modified a few things in my pattern, so we'll see how long it takes until "total perfection" - but I'd love to get it up before Christmas.  It's going to be a paid pattern, probably somewhere in the $3-$4 range, and I might add some ear flaps.  We'll see where this whacky world takes me!

So here's a fun story that'll induce nightmares to all knitters... I finished the second in a pair of gloves yesterday, only to discover I must have dropped a couple stitches somewhere in the pinky.  Needless to say, as I was trying to fix it, the entire pinky became unraveled... then eventually the left side of the glove became unraveled... I started to get really frustrated and Hubby wanted to kill me.

Eventually I just wove a piece of yarn through one of the rows just above the thumb gusset and ripped everything back.  We're in good shape again, but now I'm behind.  I really thought I'd be able to get those done and shipped out by this morning.  Crap.  So you can see why I needed to crochet a few hats.  I needed to feel productive.

Have a super-dee-dooper fun week, everyone!

Friday, December 9, 2011

sneak peek: knitted christmas presents

Here's a sneak peek at the Christmas presents I've been knitting since Thanksgiving.  Some of you know what I've been up to, but can the rest of you guess what they are?

Sneak peek: knitted Christmas gifts

I have at least five more to go, so wish me luck!  It's been consuming my life the past few weeks and will continue to do so until Christmas Day.  Guess you all know what I'll be doing this weekend :)

I hope everyone has a great Friday!  And that your Christmas gift progress is coming along much better than mine, lol.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

gift ideas for knitters and crocheters

Okay, crafters - it's officially "well into" the holiday season, which means one of two things:
  1. You're going insane trying to find gifts for everyone on your list who already has everything (or knitting/crocheting furiously to customized gifts in the nick of time), or
  2. You're fielding questions about what you (as a crafter) want for the holiday season.
And maybe you're even a little bit like me, where you're doing everything mentioned above and barely have time to breathe.  I've taken to bringing my knitting with me to work so I can get something accomplished during my lunch breaks.

I thought I'd make things a little easier on us all by compiling this short list of fun gifts for the crocheters and knitters in our lives.  Some are Christmas-themed, and some are not-so-Christmas-themed - but all of them are things I'd personally love to receive in my stocking this year:

Rockin' Around ...

Art Yarn, Red Hands...

Keep Calm and finis...

Christmas Ornament ...

Knit your own amigu...

Pattern Wallet Knit...

Hand Knit Stamp - H...

Needles, Crochets a...

Knitting or crochet...

Knitting Kit Sheep ...

Any Five Patterns

Drop spindle kit, w...

Handmade Wood Croch...


Thick and Thin Meri...

Wreath, 14" Ch...

And who says you have to buy all these goodies for everyone else on your list?  After all that shopping, and those long nights spent pouring over your knitting needles or crochet hooks, I think we all deserve a little something :)

You could even just leave this screen open so your friends and family "accidentally" see these fun little gift ideas.  I mean... I'm not sneaky.

I hope you enjoy the photos!  It certainly put me in the holiday spirit.  Make sure to keep supporting your fellow independent artists :D

Monday, December 5, 2011

monday comes onces again...

Sadly, Monday has made yet another appearance in our lives and I wish I had more to show for it!  I've been working on Christmas gifts and finishing up the last of my custom etsy shop orders - and since almost all of those are knitted, it's going a bit slower than usual for me!  And I'm a quick knitter!

Anyway, I thought I'd show you some of the new hat designs I've been selling in my shop.  People have taken a lot of interest in them, so I'll be making more in the near future.  Two of these have already sold!




How is everyone else's Christmas knitting coming?  I'm on gift #4 of 16 total, haha.  I'm worried I won't make it, but now that the shop is closed to custom orders, I can just sit down and focus on getting these things done.  Maybe I'll come back with a sneak peek later in the week :)

Hope you all had a great weekend!  Hubby and I went to Christmas at Hershey Park.  And be surprised - I got a pink Santa hat to make the experience that much more festive:

Have a great Monday!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...