Thursday, September 27, 2012

finished: crochet ribbed headband with flower

The week is almost over, which means I'm thisclose to enjoying a weekend of craftiness.  As long as I get my homework done timely, anyway, but that's my goal.

But before that happened, I wanted to show you pictures of a new headband I listed in my etsy shop:

It's a very simple crochet ribbed headband made from Mary Maxim Starlette in Light Willow, which I had left over from all the Christmas stockings I knit as gifts last year.  It was sitting in the craft bag I took with me while visiting friends last weekend, and I wanted something quick and easy to whip up while we chatted.  This was a great, mindless project that I can't wait to try in other colors.

It's topped off with one of the Leona flowers I've been making a ton of lately.  They're really fun, fast, and versatile; I want to put them on everything!

I'm going to add this to my list of patterns to write down and publish (and it will probably be free because it's so darn easy)!  So keep checking back.  It won't take long for me to write it down - really, it's that simple and quick!

Hope you're all having a great week and can look forward to a fun weekend of yarn :D

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

i "pumpkin" fall - hanging crochet sign and painting

If you thought I gushed about fall too much in my previous posts, then you're probably not going to like this one, either.  Because I made a sign that says, "I Pumpkin/Heart Fall".  And it's now hanging in our hallway.

I found the free pattern online here and made it my first seasonal challenge in my new group "Yarn Challenge".  If you haven't seen the description on my Facebook page, I'm inviting all fiber artists to take part in monthly and seasonal challenges.  I provide the pattern and ideas; you provide the time and supplies.  It's a great way to not only bust your stash, but to make some items you may not have made before and challenge yourself with new projects.  You can join Yarn Challenge by clicking here.

It was much faster to make than it looks.  I think I completed the whole sign in about 2 hours - maybe a little more.  And I even got to practice my embroidery which, as you can see, I haven't done in awhile.  I love my sloppy chain stitch, I guess.

This past weekend was crafting day with the girls, which is where I started working on the sign.  Our boys decided to go golfing, but we wanted to do something that was actually fun.  So we packed up our crafts, picked up some pumpkin coffee and munchkins from Dunkin Donuts, and headed down to the action.

For the most part, we painted wooded pieces all day - and it was awesome :)  Here's what I made:

Ghost "BOO" door hanger, purchased from ACMoore in 2007.
Painted pumpkin and witch hat magnets.
I started the ghost door hanger back when Hubby and I started dating - in 2007.  Five years later, I finally painted the rest of it and hung it on our front door.  The little pumpkin and witch hat, I turned into magnets.

It was such a gorgeous weekend and we had a great time sitting outside painting our fall crafts.  So much fun that it put me in a mood to keep painting; I had to hit up ACMoore yesterday to buy yarn for a custom order and I walked out with $20 of wooden items and paint.  I smell divorce papers in my near future.

Today is once again a beautiful fall day.  I wish I could sit on our porch and keep painting fun Halloween tchotchkes, but that will have to wait until next weekend.  In the meantime, I have plenty of custom order to enjoy and keep busy with.

Hope everyone else is enjoying the season as much as I am!

PS: My iPhone 5 left China yesterday and is due to arrive on Friday.  Color me happy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

finished: custom knit black headband with maroon flower

Hi-ho, hi-ho, to another week we go!

After a few days of gorgeous fall weather, we're sadly experiencing some rain and chilliness in my neck of the woods.  When I woke up this morning and saw a wall of grey, I decided it was going to be a pumpkin coffee day from Dunkin Donuts.  Life has been grand ever since.

So as I sit here sipping my autumnal treat, I thought I'd show you some photos of my latest completed custom order:

My customer wanted a black headband with detachable maroon flower.  I had a fun time making this because I don't usually get to mix up the colors and I thought they looked great together.

I also used the cable cast-on this time around instead of the usual long tail cast-on.  I had been having issues with the cast-on side being too tight, especially now that I use the super-stretchy bind-off.  Now, both edges lay flat and even, and it's even a little stretchier.  Woohoo!  It just stinks that it takes a little bit longer to do.

In other news, I got another custom order yesterday and have now surpassed 100 orders in my etsy shop.  The start date says 2007, but I didn't really start selling until sometime in 2009.  I consider 100 orders a huge milestone and want to push myself further once classes are over.  I swear, I'm diving in head first in the new year.  Lots of new products and ready-to-ship items will be coming your way :)

Aaaand, if you'd like to order something custom, now's the time.  I just redid my order form.  This year, I may close down custom holiday orders early just so I can get everything done for my personal gifts.  We'll see what happens!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

finished: knit headbands for custom orders

Hi, everyone!  As the week winds down to a close, I wanted to show you these cream-colored knit headbands I made for two custom orders:

The base pattern was my Whitney Headband (that you can grab by clicking here) and the flower is once again the Leona Flower - my new favorite.  These headbands are already becoming more popular in my shop as we head into fall, so I'm looking forward to making a bunch more.  Next up is a black headband with maroon flower.  It should be gorgeous!

So once class is over in November, I'm going to convert my patterns to PDF.  You'll still be able to print them directly from my blog, but I've decided to also make them downloadable from Craftsy.  I think this will help make it not only convenient for you (my wonderful readers), but it'll also help me organize which patterns are free and which ones are for sale.

Someone remind me to do that because I know I'll forget to do it (thanks to upcoming holiday preparation).  I've already started on some gifts, but keep getting distracted by random things that pop up.

Anyway, I'm excited for this weekend.  Somehow, all my evenings have had something going on, and now all my weekends (that I purposely left open) have filled up, as well, all the way into November.  I know I say this in almost every entry, but I think I need a break.  Or another vacation.  It's hard to believe our beach vacation was already four months ago.  Seems like just last week!  I hope everyone is a little less stressed out than I am at the moment :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

and now for something different: box stitch afghan in progress

I know what you're thinking... "When was the last time Jenn made something that wasn't a hat?"

To be honest, I couldn't tell you.  I've been whipping up all sorts of hats and headbands for the past couple weeks.  Don't get me wrong - I love making them.  There's that whole "instant gratification" thing that I love, which is mostly why I've chosen to make and sell hats to begin with.

But sometimes it's nice to switch gears  and work on something mindless and long-term.  Take this simple box stitch afghan I've started making with some Red Heart Super Saver scraps:

I originally purchased the yarn to make a different afghan, but never got around to it.  Shock!  It feels good to put it to some use.  The colors still look great together, and to be honest, I think this pattern looks so much nicer with these colors than the afghan I had planned for it before.

I was inspired by this pattern in the Sep/Oct issue of Crochet Today magazine.  If you have access to a copy, definitely take a look.  It's a simple pattern that I've used before, just never for a full blanket.  For example, I once made a box stitch afghan in strips then sewed them together, which created a zig-zag effect.  This is quite pretty, though, too.

Not entirely sure what I'll do with it when it's done.  Maybe it can be a blanket for my craft room.  Cool fall nights and winter are coming up, and it can get chilly in there!

On that note, I'm really happy that it's starting to feel like fall.  It's my favorite season with two of my favorite holidays, not to mention the three year anniversary with Hubby.  I'm excited for everything this season brings each year, and for some reason, I'm really amped up this year.  I'm looking forward to crafty weekends with my lady friends, Celtic Classic, leaves changing, yarn shopping in Philadelphia, concerts, and most importantly, finishing my Capstone and being done with school.  YIPPEE!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

finished: knit double moss stitch hat with flower

Happy Thursday after Labor Day!  Short weeks are my favorite, and this one has been blowing by.  I can't believe we're more than halfway through already.  It's both good and bad - I'm looking forward to the weekend, but I'm worried about never having enough hours in the day.

The good news is that I finished a bunch of custom orders last weekend, so I had some time to work on patterns I've discovered over the months.  One of them was this cute knitted hat:

I can't find a link to the pattern right now, but I'll add it as soon as I do [ETA: FOUND IT!].  It's just a simple 1x1 rib followed by rounds of double moss stitch.  I'm always amazed at how the simplest patterns create the most beautiful textures.

I added the crochet flower later using the Leona Flower pattern - my new favorite!  I made it detachable by placing it on a safety pin.  Then, I glued on a pretty gem.  Originally, I had wanted a clear gem, but I think the yellow-green one sets off the yarn's teal color.

Speaking of the yarn, I used Stitch Nation Bamboo Ewe - another one of my favorites.  This particular ball sat in my stash for about a year, so I'm glad I finally used it for something - even though I have a ton left over.  Not that I'm complaining (it's always a good thing when you can stretch out the life of your yarn!)

I may take better photos and list it in the shop this weekend.  We'll see if I can part with it; I'm tempted to just keep it for myself.  Then again, if I did that with everything I made, we wouldn't have room to move around in our house.

Hope you're all having a great week and that you have wonderful weekends to look forward to :)
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