Wednesday, October 31, 2012

review + giveaway: the sharp crochet hook

Isn't this hand towel cute?

I bought it for about $4 on sale from Hobby Lobby (kind of pricy, I have to say), though you can also find cute holiday-themed towels at your local dollar store.  But of course, it was a little too plain for me originally: I added the green trim.  How?  By using my new Sharp Crochet Hook, of course!

If you're like me, you've sometimes looked at adorable blankets, towels, or gloves, and thought, "These are cute already, but I'd love to crochet a nice edging around it."  Okay, maybe that's just me, but the truth is, I've definitely thought that before.  Special though it may be.

Crocheting a trim on fabric isn't something that couldn't be done in the past, and you've probably already seen it on cute towel toppers or baby blankets.  It's as "simple" as sewing a blanket stitch around your fabric's edges and crocheting into those stitches.  Tedious, sure, but doable.

But wouldn't it be nice if you didn't have to sew around your fabric first?  I don't know about you, but I stink at sewing.  I have a machine that's still boxed up and my embroidery is fist-shakeable.  And when it's time to sit down and crochet something, that's all I want to do: crochet.  None of this "prepping" junk.

That's why I was so happy when Jessica reached out to me and asked me to try the Sharp Crochet Hook.  I had seen it in passing, but hadn't been able to fully look into it.

What is this crochet hook you speak of?

Basically, it's a crochet hook that has a slightly sharper tip (not one that will stab you - no worries!) so that it can easily puncture most fabrics.  So now you can by-pass the whole blanket stitch thing and dive right into crocheting.  I bet you never thought it could be so EZPZ.

My experience:

Overall, I had a great time working with the hook and was surprised at how quickly I finished my small project (even though I had chosen the most intricate pattern).  It was so easy to just start working into the towel and adding the trim.  These towels would make great gifts for the fact they're small, quick, and practical alone.  Pick up some snowman or Christmas towels, white thread, and call it a handmade holiday.

Perhaps my only complaint is that it's difficult for me to crochet with thread in general, so I kept splitting it.  Those of you who regularly work with thread won't have much trouble - if any at all.  I'm sure that the more I use it, the better I'll become.

Now, for the most exciting part of this post: now's your chance to try it out for yourself!

Simply leave a comment below telling me what you'll make with the Sharp Crochet Hook if you win.  Then log in to the Rafflecopter widget below and click on "Leave a Blog Comment" to let me know you commented:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Note: THIS IS CRUCIAL.  I will be using Rafflecopter to draw the entries, so if your comment name doesn't match what you've used in Rafflecopter, I may accidentally disqualify when you when I cross-check entries.  We all know I love Rafflecopter and use it for all my giveaways, right?  I know, I know - it's kind of a pain, but it helps me ensure that the winner is drawn fair and square.  Plus if you win, you get your name displayed on my page all Hollywood starlet style :)

Have any of you tried the Sharp Crochet Hook before?  What did you think of it?  What did you make?  Would you use it again?

Monday, October 29, 2012

hurricane sandy prep

As most of you know, I'm located near the east coast of the US.  Depending on what source you're reading, we may experience either heavy winds and rain or potentially fatal conditions.  Either way, it's almost definite that we'll be without power for a few days at best.

Here's pretty much what they're predicting (I'm not sure how you've been able to escape the news coverage, but you never know):

I was supposed to post a Sharp Crochet Hook review tomorrow, but am postponing it because I'd like to be able to answer your questions.  I also ran out of time with everything going on, including Hurricane Sandy ridiculousness.

I may or may not have access to the Internet over the next few days, but either way, I wanted to let you know that we are prepared - though my responses may be slow.

Stay safe, everyone, and don't go outside unless you have to (which I do).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

finished: front- and back-post crochet beanie

Hello, hello, hello!

We have started another week, and it's back to work, class, and custom orders for me.  I'm not sure how I managed to do it, but I was somehow able to accomplish a lot this past weekend - including a bunch of custom orders (and even starting one for my upcoming craft show [so I'll at least have one item to show now]).

Here's one of my faves:

It's a cream-colored front- and back-post crochet beanie with matching flower.  I love making these and don't think people order them enough.  That said, it's been gaining in popularity lately, so I'm happy about that.

The pattern is my own, inspired by a picture I saw online years ago.  The yarn is Loops & Threads Impeccable, and I enjoyed working with it.  I couldn't get out to Hobby Lobby to grab any "I Love This Yarn", which is my new go-to acrylic, but I thought this was a good substitute.

If you support my opinion that not enough people are wearing this hat, then check it out in my etsy shop.  They make great holiday gifts (wink-wink-nudge-nudge) or they'll protect you from an early snow storm.  Shout outs to a few of my Canadian customers ;)

I hope everyone is having a great start to your weeks!  I'm sad that my favorite month is coming to an end - even if it means it's almost time to enjoy a delicious Thanksgiving meal soon.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

fun halloween knit & crochet patterns 2012

My new "thing" (if you haven't noticed) is compiling adorable knit & crochet projects that cater to upcoming holidays.  I'm not sure how or why this started, but I've really been enjoying my new found interest in Etsy treasuries and the joy they bring when preparing for crafty and festive events.

This week, I put together some paid-for knit and crochet patterns that struck my fancy.  Nothing like some eye candy to brighten a dreary day (and it's been a bit rainy in my neck of the woods).  I love fall and Halloween colors, so they made me happy.

These adorable knit and crochet patterns are sure to get you in the Halloween spirit - and may even make great costumes! Enjoy one of my favorite holidays with two of my favorite crafts:

PDF Pattern Five Li...

SALE Frankenstein H...

Witch Hat and Ruffl...


Halloween Set - Cro...

PATTERN Crochet BUN...

Crochet Garland PDF...

Pattern Frankenstei...

Halloween Witches A...


Crochet Pattern: Ha...

Crocheted Mini Hall...

X361 Filet Crochet ...

Knitting Pattern fo...

Owl Knitting Patter...

Knit your own Creep...

Friday, October 5, 2012

finished: custom crochet mother/daughter slouch beanies

Hello, Friday.  I've missed you a lot this week.  Please come again soon.

As we move on toward the weekend, I want to show you some photos of a mother/daughter(s) hat set I made this week:

The children's hats
The hats come in three sizes: adult, 10-year-old, and 3-year-old, and were created with Red Heart Shimmer.  If you haven't had a chance to work with Shimmer yet, I really encourage you to do so.  It's so soft and pretty, plus it drapes beautifully.  It's been perfect for making my slouchy hats, so I jumped at the opportunity to make more for a custom order.

In making these hats, I found this great hat sizing guide.  Instead of telling you how many inches around someone's head is (thus leaving you to figure it out for yourself), this chart tells you how big to make the crown.

I may whip up a few more of these this weekend in preparation for an upcoming craft show.  I now have less than a month to refill all my stock.  I'm not sure how this will be possible, but at least I'll have more items to show you :)  And possibly some new patterns to share, as well.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

my new "sharp crochet hook"

What a beautiful day.  It's raining and disgusting outside, I have a busy many hours ahead of me, and I woke up to my cat puking, at which point I realized I had the most massive sinus headache ever.  EVER!

The past week or two have not been the best for me, and it seems like my streak of bad luck is going to continue; however, there are a couple things that have made me smile during this hideously awful time.

Like this Sharp Crochet Hook I received to review in the next couple weeks:

And the fact I was able to take this photo on my new iPhone 5 (don't worry - there's a ridiculous story behind how I almost didn't get that, too, thanks to UPS not doing their jobs).

I'm excited to play around with my new toy this weekend.  Sounds like a trip to the Dollar Store for some Halloween-themed towels is in order :)
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