Wednesday, May 23, 2012

nifty loopy flower and baby headband

Today, I want to talk about a flower pattern I tested last week.  Not just because it's beautiful, but also because the photo is kind of hilarious:

The pattern is called Nifty Flower.  Created by my friend Rachel, it's available for purchase and download on Ravelry.  It features a loopy stitch in the center (that I got a little too excited about, as you can see) and then some very pretty petals.  Add a contrasting border and voila!  Instant masterpiece.

I couldn't just do nothing with my flower, so I found a quick and easy newborn headband pattern to attach it to.  Tiny head, ginormous accesory.  I fear for my children when I have them.

This is going to become one of my go-to flowers for my headbands and hats.  I'm thinking about letting people choose from a variety of flowers when they purchase one of my accessories, and this is making the list because it's so lovely and (most importantly) different than a lot of others out there.

In other news, I only have a few more days of work before my first vacation in three years!  On Friday night, Hubby and I will be traveling to Philadelphia to see The Polyphonic Spree - very exciting.  Then Saturday, we're packing, cleaning, and making dinner for his mom's birthday.  Sunday, we're heading out again to a friend's wedding.  Then Monday, we're going straight from the wedding to OCMD with some of our friends, where a condo and endless supply of cake vodka await my arrival.  I'm pumped.

Oh, and stay tuned for a special announcement that may or may not be about a birthday giveaway :)

Friday, May 18, 2012

custom teddy bear crochet hat progress

If you follow me over on Facebook, then you already know I've been working on some custom baby hats for photo props.  I've done a bunch of these hats here and there, but mostly the munchkin/elf hats you see floating around.

These hats are different for me because a lot of them are character hats - which, until recently, always frighten me because sewing on the parts can often be comparable to light torture. But they were all so cute that I had a hard time deciding which one to start first.

So I chose to make the Hunny Bear bear hat because I thought it would be good practice.  I'm happy to report that I'm almost done - just need to make a little bumble bee to put on his head:

I took a photo before adding his face, and you can see that it would be a cute hat even if it's just plain:

I'm pretty much free-forming the whole thing, but let me know if you'd like a pattern.  I'll add it to my ever-growing list of patterns to write someday when I finally have my MBA and 20 extra hours in my week :)  That day will be glorious!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

mother's day project: pink tatted heart

As some of you know, I took up tatting at the beginning of 2012.  It's been a little... slow-going, we'll say.  It's not that the technique is particularly difficult, but - it's not easy.

The type of tatting I enjoy is needle tatting.  I hated the shuttle - hated hated hated.  I can't use any other word to describe it.  Needle tatting is easier and more practical to me - I can see how the stitches are forming, they're all the same size, etc.

So far this year, I've made everything from small flowers and butterflies to tiny snowflakes.  Nothing too extreme since I'm still intimidated by it.  But for Mother's Day, I decided to try my hand at something more difficult.  That's when I stumbled across this adorable 34 Hearts Tatting pattern online.

This was the result:

Of course, I had already given my mother hers on Sunday, so like a sane person, I just made another one to show you.

Those loops are supposed to be little hearts - like I said, I'm still not very good.

I'm not sure if I have any fellow tatters reading my blog, but if I do, I need some help.  My threader thingy keeps breaking and driving me crazy.  I've annihilated three in the past week and I think it's because I chose a really thick thread (as if I had options in-store vs. online).  Any advice would be excellent.

Anyway, I hope my mom enjoyed it and that she can use it someday.  Happy Mother's Day to my mom and #1 fan :D

Me and mom on Mother's Day 2012!

Friday, May 11, 2012

new yarn from (review)

A few weeks ago, I committed the ultimate marketer sin: I fell for a Facebook ad.

I know, I know - they're stalkers, they compile too much information about us, we're the guinea pigs in their data compiling experiments, yadda yadda.  But I have to admit, I really like seeing only ads that pertain to what I like.  Even if I purposely ignore them half the time.

Anyway, my sin involved clicking on a link to a site called TopHatter.  It's advertised as an auction site for crafters and - well - that's pretty much exactly what it is.

When you first sign up, you get a $5 credit, so of course I had to try it out.  Finding something that catered to my own crafting needs was a little difficult - most of the auctions are for jewelry-makers.  But the fun thing is that you can browse upcoming auctions and Tophatter will text you once the auction goes live.

So picture me waking up late at night to sit in front of my computer and bid on yarn.  This is my life.

It was worth it, though, because I really wanted this hand-dyed merino wool blend from Northwest Originals on etsy.  Of course, I won it quickly and easily because everyone else was there to buy jewelry supplies (and I'm almost loathe to brag about it in case I up my competition).

With my $5 credit, I paid something like $6.  $6 for hand-dyed yarn when you might pay $20 for the base alone.

*Halleluja Chorus*

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with the site (if you couldn't tell).  Awesome yarn at great prices?  Sign me up.  I'm all over it.
Tophatter.comThe site itself has been kind of buggy for me on my old PC, but I think that's mostly the PC's fault.  Like almost everything else, it runs perfectly on my Mac ;)  Just be warned that it doesn't play friendly with 4-year-old laptops running archaic versions of Windows  with IE browsers that refuse to update past version 8.

If you're interested in trying out Tophatter, then simply click this link!  As a thank-you for signing up, you, too, will receive a $5 welcome gift when you create an account.

Or if you'd like to purchase great yarn directly from the seller, make sure to check out Northwest Originals on etsy.

Monday, May 7, 2012

custom order: black slouchy hat with white stripes

Happy Monday-After-Cinco-de-Mayo!  Did everyone see the Super Moon?  Hubby and I had gone to dinner in Stroudburg with some friends on Saturday and tried to find the moon after getting home.  It was a little too overcast, but what we could see wasn't so super.  I was kind of sad.

In any event, I really haven't been knitting, crocheting, or tatting much these past few weeks (with the exception of some custom orders).  I've made a couple more Jack Skellington hats and I'm currently working on a red slouchy using a new ergonomic crochet handle that I'm in love with.  I also went on a massive spending spree over the past couple months, so I have yarn and supplies to one day share with you.

But for now, I wanted to show you this picture of a cute black slouchy hat with white stripes up the side:

I made this hat for a custom order last month and am so happy with the way it turned out.  I can picture it in a bunch of different colors: pink with black stripes, black with teal stripes, etc.  I might make a few more of these to list in the shop.  I just improvised the pattern, but I may write it down for everyone, too.  But we all know what happens when I say I'll do that - nothing :)

Anyway, that's all I have for you today.  More frequent updates to come (again) now that I only have one class and some free time on my hands for the first time in two years.  Should be fun!
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