Tuesday, August 28, 2012

finished: black slouchy crochet hat

Good morning, fiber friends!  How is your week treating you?  Mine is just blowing by thanks to not having enough hours in the day to accomplish everything I need to accomplish.  But that's just something I've gotten used to - what fun is life if it's not spiraling out of control?

I'm here to show off this black slouchy I made over the weekend for the Playin Hooky Giveaway winner (click here for the pattern):

The winner liked a previous hat I had made in this style using Caron Simply Soft.

So let me complain a little bit about Caron and their prices (and yarn prices, in general).  I remember a time not four years ago when Simply Soft surpassed the $3 mark.  It had always been one of my favorite, better-quality, mass-produced acrylic yarns, so I used it for everything and winced every time the register rang up more and more.

Do you know how much a skein was when I purchased more this past Friday?  $4.29.  What is going on?  For the same price (or maybe $2 more), I can get something similar from my LYS, which I want to support more than these chain stores, anyway.  Good grief.  And because the hat is slouchy, you can only get one hat per skein.  I might be able to squeeze out a skullcap or headband, but who knows?

And so ends my rant for the day.

If you didn't hear about the giveaway, basically a bunch of talented online vendors came together to promote each other's shops and help Playin Hooky reach 5,000 Facebook fans.  The response was amazing and I am pleased to welcome over 400 new fans to my own Facebook page.  I'm grateful for everyone who appreciates what I do as a current hobby and (hopefully) future full-time business.  I hope you enjoy these posts!

Friday, August 24, 2012

finished: custom knit headband with flower

Happy Friday!  I hope you've all had an enjoyable week with lots of crafting.  I feel like I've been able to accomplish so much without having class (even if it was just once a week).  No homework to worry about has been an awesome thing.

I'm popping in to show you a headband I finished up for another custom order.  I'm loving how it turned out:

The pattern is my very own Whitney Headband, and the flower is the Leona Flower.  This crochet accessory is exactly what I've been looking for all these years: a layered rose that stays flat against your head instead of sticking out and looking like something is growing out of your ear.

I hope my customer loves it as much as I do.  These headbands are so fun and quick to make up and they're definitely a best seller for me.

And, believe it or not, cream is the most popular color.  I would love to find out of it's just because cream is a nice color, or if it's because neutrals match anything.  This time, I chose a cream color from Hobby Lobby's "I Love This Yarn" brand.  I started shopping at Hobby Lobby about two months ago and really do love their yarn.  The selection, as well as the quality, is amazing.

Have a fabulous weekend!  I'll be taking some projects on the road with me while Hubby and I travel to a wedding.  I'm looking forward to seeing some friends and enjoying one last fun weekend before my capstone class begins on Monday.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

finished project: red slouchy beanie for custom order

'Ello, 'ello!

Is everyone back to normal after the Olympics?  Or the Ravellenic Games?  I meant to participate this year, but it just didn't happen with my summer class.  I guess it was worth it since I got an A - can't complain!  My inner chant sounds something like, "Three more months... three more months..."  November can't come soon enough.

I wanted to pop in and show you a photo of my most recent custom order: a red slouchy beanie using my own pattern (available here):

Red is the most popular color for this beanie, but I can make it in any color(s) you'd like.  I'm thinking about making up a few in some more sample colors - I need to stock for an as-of-yet-unscheduled craft show in the fall anyway, so might as well!

I'm not sure what happened, but I've been getting regular orders again recently.  Must be close to Autumn :)  My favorite time of year!  Time to whip up a bunch of hat and scarf projects, which is exactly what I'm about to do for some upcoming commissions.

Hope you're all having a great week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

knitted bunny set (baby photo prop)

Two posts in as many days - wow!  Something must have kicked my bum in gear.

Or not.  I've had some photos sitting around that I never posted about, so since I've been taking a short crafting hiatus, I figured I'd fill in the gaps with some old photos.

So for this entry, I'm going to show you a cute bunny set I improvised for a custom order:

The hat is just a standard baby hat with some easrs I free-formed using a similar technique to the puffs in a Beekeeper's Quilt.  I'm thinking of writing up a pattern and/or doing a tutorial because they can be altered for any hat.  Halloween is coming up, so you can never be short of home-made costume ideas.

The diaper cover is fairly basic, as well.  I found a free diaper cover pattern I liked and altered it by using  plain old stockinette.  This helped the hat and cover match in style.

For the finishing touches, I created a pom-pom bunny tail by using just my fingers, then sewed on some clear buttons to hold the cover in place.  I think it came out pretty cute, if I don't say so myself.

Since taking this photo, I also imrovised a little carrot for the baby to hold in the photos.

All in all, a quick and easy set that will look great on any newborn!

I'm working on getting photos of my 8,000 current projects, so expect some more posts next week.  I'd like to work on some knitting this weekend, but I'm headed to the Poconos for a fun trip with the ladies because all our husbands will be baseball groupies out in Pittsburgh.  My guess is I'll be a little distracted - I've already started packing wine.

See you all next week!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

fireworks surprise - fun and different granny squares

Hi, everyone!  Today, I wanted to show you some photos of granny squares I completed for a group giveaway.

The contest's winners were able to choose what colors squares they wanted, so each group member had to crochet one black+white square and one purple+pink square.

Now, it's nothing against granny squares, but I didn't want to make a standard one.  I've made a crap ton of those in my lifetime, so I was looking for something a little more challenging.  That's how I wound up coming across this Fireworks Surprise square over on Ravelry.  And I just went to town on it.

Here's what I came up with:

The yarn is Red Heart Super Saver in Black, White, Medium Purple, and Petal Pink.  I'm not the world's biggest fan of Super Saver, but the color variety is fantastic and it works up really well for nice, thick, comfortable afghans.

Do you have any non-traditional granny square patterns that you've fallen in love with?  What attracts you to something a little different?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Yarn Haul - Classic Elite Yarns Fresco

I've been a bad blogger.  I'm sure you can guess that summer classes have started, so I've been going a little nutty.  The good thing about summer classes, though, is that they're quick - I'm already halfway done with the course.  I can almost taste the sweet victory of that MBA!

As far as projects, I've been working on things on-and-off since my last entry.  Still working on putting the finishing touches on those baby photo props.  It's been too overwhelmingly hot to knit the pea pod cocoon because it uses four strands of worsted weight yarn and is fairly large - I might as well be wearing a blanket in 100 degree heat at that point.

I did, however, get to visit my parents this past weekend.  Hubby was in Philadelphia at a friend'a bachelor party, so I decided to go home for some pool time, puppy hugs, and Mom Food.

Speaking of my mom, we also ventured to this yarn shop she's been promising to visit with me forever.  Located in Kingston, Gosh Yarn It is an adorable little yarn boutique that's been luring me in since it opened. 

Of course, I knew I'd be going there beforehand, so I had to find something to make with the yarn I purchase (if I don't have a project in mind, I'll just buy $100 of yarn I don't know what to do with).  That's how I ended up downloading the latest issue of Interweave Knits featuring the marvelous Downton Pullover on the cover.  I knew immediately that it must be mine.

The pattern calls for Classic Elite Yarns Fresco and, being lazy and not wanting a substitution, I picked up exactly that - just in different colors.  Here's my little (expensive) haul:

I'm happy with my purchase because I've yet to try Classic Elite Yarns, even though I've heard only good things.  The price was surprisingly good, considering it had been marked down from suggested retail.  It's quite soft and perfect for the impending fall weather, too.  I'll be using the green color as my MC, with the grey as my CC.  I think it's going to look gorgeous, and this may even be the first pullover I finish.

Otherwise, I've taken to making friendship bracelets during my nightly Olympics gawking.  I decided not to participate in the Ravellenic Games, even though I should have just to show my support.  I need a temporary break from knitting and crocheting, so friendship bracelets it is.  Chevrons for everyone!

I'll have other pictures to share in the coming week, so stay tuned :)

Also - if you've been missing my posts, make sure to check out my guest blog "Crochet Projects that Beat the Heat" over at Stitch and Unwind!
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