Prepping for LP Days

My sister lives in a little community that does a celebration every year. Usually it’s a kids’ parade and some activities at the park, followed by a dinner and such. This year she’ll be involved in a booth that will be selling treats and little desserts. She said that if I wanted, I could come by and sell some of my crochet things!

I’m still fairly new to crocheting and such so I’ve never done a craft fair, or a booth of any kind. Obviously this isn’t any type of craft fair, but it is an opportunity to get my things out there to more people and boost the number of people who know about me and my shop. I’m really excited.

I have just over a month and a half to get stuff done. I wish I had more time to crochet and build up a stock of stuff, but James keeps me pretty busy. I’ve also been trying new patterns to build up my inventory, so that take up a lot of time, too.

Now with the realization that baby and toddler stuff is my niche, I’m going to try to stick to that as much as possible. But with the start of fall and cooler weather around the corner of LP Days I also want to feature some winter hats, scarves, and arm warmers. It just seems like so much to do!

The great thing is, by doing all this prep, I’ll also get to bulk up my etsy shop. It’s kind of been on hold since I’ve been prepping and struggling through this pregnancy. I feel bad, because I want to get my stuff out there, but I just don’t feel like I have the time. It’s a frustrating conundrum.

One of the new things I’ve been trying is a baby dress. It has been causing me so much grief! I finally had to set it aside and work on some sandals. That’s been a lot calmer. But I’ll tell you all about the dresses next time. Maybe I’ll feel better about it by then.

 

 

What would be something you would like to see at a crochet table? All input welcome!

Today’s Picture: Today’s sandal work!

new sandals

 

Starting Anew

Does it feel like I’m constantly starting over here? It feels that way to me. Perhaps I’m not one of those people who is really cut out to be a blogger. It feels like I always have so many other things to get done and this just falls between the cracks. How frustrating.

But I’m determined, if nothing else. I really want this to work. I think I really need it to work, for my own sanity.

So where do I start from here?

I’ve done some crochet soul searching in the past few days. I’ve looked at what I’m doing now, and where I’d like it to go. Sadly, what I’m doing now is not leading to where I’d like to go. I know a lot of this isn’t technically my fault. Having to take those few months off because of morning sickness really put me far back from where I had planned to be. But when you’re too sick to hold a crochet hook there really isn’t anything you can do about it.

Part of my soul searching is discovering my niche. What do I really like to do and what should I do about it? I browse Ravelry often and see all these cute patterns for women’s tops and sweaters for adults. But is that something I really want to be doing? Truthfully, no. I have a hard time completing things that take a while. I have a hard time finding motivation to continue the same thing over and over as you have to do for bigger and more complicated items. I sometimes have a hard time making 30″ by 36″ baby blankets. I shy away from some patterns because it looks so involved and complicated. And while I think I could do it if I really wanted to, I just don’t feel like that’s me.

But give me a baby pattern? Find me an adorable pattern for little baby boots and sweaters? I’ll be all over that. Even if I have to fight that I will do it. Because I truly love making baby things.

So there it is! That’s my niche. I don’t care if that is 1000 other people’s niche, too. That is what I like to do with my hook. I love to make booties, hats, sandals, dresses etc as long as they are going to a tiny little person. I love knowing that some little snuggly newborn is going to be outfitted in something that I spent my time and energy on. Even if I never know that baby, or if the items were a gift at a baby shower, I’ll still be happy thinking that they got to spend some time snuggled up to a baby. And I always hope that the mom enjoys those items and keeps them so that baby can see that they were outfitted in love.

While this is the bulk of what I like to do, I also enjoy doing accessories like hats, scarves, and purses for women. In the winter I will be stocking my inventory with scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, ear warmers, and boot cuffs for women. I think every woman should get to wear warm, beautiful, hand crafted items. There’s no need to be wearing the same stuff everyone else is when you can buy it from a crafter and have it made just for you.

I think this is what I’ll leave you with for today. The next time I come back (which will be soon!) I’ll update you on my fight with a dress pattern, my fight with a new logo, and my frantic efforts in creating enough items to stock a table at a local community celebration.

 

Big pat on the back if you made it through that! Here’s a picture of my cutie son to reward you!

 

james and hat

Twists and turns in the road

It’s funny. My last post was about how I had missed a week or two and would be better about getting on here. That’s laughable now. It’s been well over a month (possibly over 2?) and here I am again.

February 4th I was able to confirm, with much joy and happiness, that I was finally pregnant. We had tried for nearly a year before getting one that stuck. Hubby and I were ecstatic, as were the family and friends that knew just how long we had waiting for this.

Not even a month later I was dealing with morning sickness much worse than I had ever imagined. I had had minimal sickness with James so I was not expecting it to be this bad with this one. Most days I had to work to feed James and to get out of bed and to the couch. Luckily James is really sweet and intuitive and would play quietly or just snuggle with me on the couch. We consulted with my doctor and tried all the non medicine routes we could. You know those suggestions everyone seems to have? Have you tried ginger? Have you tried mints? Sprite? Unisom and B6? Eating every 2 hours? Crackers? I heard those so many times and I can honestly say yes to each of them. We tried pretty much everything. We also had an early ultrasound around 8 weeks to see if twins were a possibility. We only saw one baby but left with the tech telling us, “I can only see 1 baby, but I can’t see everything.” Hubby still teases that there may be 1 more hiding in there, but I don’t think so.

Around the time of the ultrasound I started phenergan for the nausea. It put me to sleep for hours so I tried half a pill. I was leery to try the zofran pills because of all the side effects I’ve heard about. I’m already prone to migraines so I really didn’t want to try a pill that has a big effect of headaches. When the phenergan stopped helping I just couldn’t eat. I couldn’t drink water. I was finally given a prescription for zofran cream that you rub on your wrists. That with half a phenergan finally helped me stop feeling so much like a zombie,  I was able to eat again, and I was gaining back the weight I had lost.

Now,  about 13 weeks later, it seems that I have put the morning sickness behind me. We’re 17 weeks into this pregnancy and it’s progressing well. I’m starting to feel movements, which make up for the insomnia and fatigue (somewhat). We don’t go to our anatomy scan until June, though, so we have a few weeks to wait for that.

So what did all this do to my crochet? I had to put my shop on vacation for over a month. I still did a few things for some friends that had asked me to do them before I got so sick. I’m still finishing those up now. Looking at the yarn and trying to crochet it made my nausea worse some days, so there were days were I didn’t so much as touch a crochet hook. I wondered if I even wanted to open my shop back up. But now that I’m feeling better, I can’t stay away from making things.

I’m going to try to be back on here at least once a week, updating on what I am working on for my shop. Right now I’m working on sandals and sun hats and I’m also gathering ideas and patterns for the fall and winter. I’m due October 16th, so I’m hoping to start the winter sales in September to give myself time to get everything made before Christmas.

I’ll leave you with some pictures of things that I’ve been working on. :)

solesrori sandalhatsbunnies

Back on the Bandwagon

If you actually read this on a regular basis, you’ll notice that I was not able to post last week. My sister was here for a week long visit, and James, hubby, and I are all recovering from spending that week sick. I didn’t even crochet much, just because I didn’t have the energy.

I did get a few things done that I’d like to show you all. I don’t think I’ll get through everything I’d like, but here goes.

After fighting with the flowers on my girl baby bootie and hat set, I really wanted to try something with ribbon bows. My aunt is due any day now and they were giving me some clothes for James, so I thought it was the perfect time to try to adjust the set. I use the patterns here and here for the basic premise, and then adjusted some.  I adjusted the numbering on the last two decreasing rounds of the booties to get them a little more even. The hat, I follow the adult pattern with a G hook and baby weight yarn for the baby hat. I do 7 rounds of the 4 stitch groups. Then I hdc + 1ch in every other stitch around the hat. The last round was a hdc in each stitch and ch space. Then I threaded the ribbon through and tied a bow. I added tied bows to the booties and I love it! It looks so feminine and delicate.

pink bow set2

The other main thing I worked on for my shop was a new hat for the unisex baby set. I didn’t like the brimmed hat at all. And with a few friends asking me to make brimmed hats that look like baseballs, I knew I needed to find a new hat pattern. If you follow my facebook page, you’ll have seen the before and after. The pattern for the new brimmed hats can be found here. I think the brim should be easily adjustable to fit other sizes of hats. I just love how it is rounded on the corners and doesn’t have a weird wave to it. I also made it in baby weight yarn to match the booties. I also believe I went down a hook size, and I only did a sc edge after I did the brim, not before and after like the pattern says.

blue set3

I so love doing baby items. And more may be in my future. I’ll tell you why next post!

Until then, thanks for checking in!

Animal Hats 2.0

It seems like I was just trying out animal hats for the first time. Maybe it’s because I was. I can’t believe that it was only Jan 3rd that I opened my etsy shop and the 4th that I started this blog. It feels like much much longer than a few weeks. I can’t believe how many new things I’ve gotten to try and how much  my crocheting has improved in these few weeks.

Some of my mommy friends ordered some of the animal hats so we got to talking about them. I am planning on adding a dog to the mix, and probably a bunny, but we also were talking about other animals we like, such as raccoons and woodland animals. I spent some time looking at pictures of raccoons and seeing if I could find a pattern, but there aren’t many out there. So I figured I would give it a try since it’s pretty darn similar to the fox. This is what eventually came about. (yeah, i know the ears are a bit crooked. They aren’t that easy to sew on straight and even.)

20140120_203619

 

I knew I could make the hat up really easily. The ears are also the same as the foxes. So what it really came down to was the mask and the nose. I originally wanted more realistic looking eyes and mask area, but I haven’t quite figured out how to do that just yet. So I went with this mask.

This is an adult sized hat so I wanted the mask to be large enough to fit. Here’s how I did it.

in black

chain 30

row 1: hdc in 2nd stitch and the next 12. DC in next 3. Hdc in next 13. ch 1

row 2: hdc in first 3, chain 10 (skip next 10 spaces), DC in next 3, chain 10 (skip next ten spaces), hdc in last 3 spaces.

row 3: hdc in first 3, 17 hdc in chain space, dc in next 3, 17 hdc in chain space, hdc in last 3.

row 4: hdc across, switch to white yarn

hdc around mask in white. slip stitch to first white stitch. fasten off.

 

So there’s that! I think the next time I make it I will make my chain length a little longer so I can have some wider opened eyes.  I think it would be pretty easy to scale this down in stitch number for a child and use sc and hdc instead of hdc and dc.

 

The other new thing was the nose. If you look back at my first fox, the nose is pretty skinny and gives it a wil’e coyote look. Soo my goal was to widen this nose up so I could shape it into more of a triangle (the pictures don’t really show this) since both a fox and raccoon face is somewhat angular.

For the adult nose I dc15 in a magic ring (i love this technique) in black. slip stitch to 1st stitch to close off.

round 2: 2dc in each stitch around. slip stitch to 1st stitch

round 3: 2dc in first stitch, 1 in next stitch. repeat around.

round 4: 2dc in first stitch. 1 in next 4. repeat around.

round 5-6: 1dc in each stitch.

6 rounds was a good length for an adult hat.

For a toddler fox hat where i used this nose i scaled down the magic ring to 5 stitches and scaled the rest down to suit. Also with the fox nose I did the top half orange and bottom half white and lined it up with the color change of the hat. I think it looks more realistic that way.

Speaking of the fox hat, I also scaled the eyes down a round. The huge eyes gave it a slightly crazed look that I wasn’t too fond of.

20140108_162300 edited fox

 

Big difference, right? I think it looks so much better. As you can tell, I also changed the braids and now they look great! So after I updated all my animal hats (the 4 I have right now), I updated the pictures in my shop to reflect the change. They look so much better!

The other things I’ve been working on is my baby bundle set. I got my purple and white blanket to about 36 x 24 inches and finished it up. I also started working on a blue and white blanket since I wanted to see how changing the hook size and tension would affect the blanket. If you look closely at the blankets below you can see how big the differences in the blankets are. It works up much faster (obviously) so I set on 36 x 36 for the blankets for my shop. I think that’s totally doable after working on this blue and white blanket. So now customers can get the bootie and hat set, or the complete bundle of the blanket, booties, and hat. Yay! I’ve been so looking forward to getting this bundle up and available. I would be totally okay with making these all the time.

Baby Bundle5 boy bundle3

 

So that’s what’s been going on here in my crocheting adventures!

Thanks for reading!

 

It’s in the bag!

Hey everyone!

I’m going to attempt to make this short and sweet. I have to pack because we’ll be heading to the in laws tonight for the weekend. But since I’ve made a goal to myself to blog twice a week, I didn’t want to just skip over today’s post.

My goal with this blog is to show you the new things I’m attempting. I never want to bore or beat a dead horse, so today I want to show you the beautiful boutique bags I made earlier this week. And just to throw this out there, I am not clever enough with crochet right now to come up with a pattern on my own. My brain doesn’t work that way (yet, maybe one day). So today’s credit goes to this blog here. I found these bags on Ravelry (loving that website) and they were too cute to pass up.

both bags2

 

One big perk for me is that these bags are made with a bulky yarn. This lets them hold their shape even when they are empty. I imagine you can make these with worsted weight yarn, but the bulky just makes them so soft and adds just a little more appeal.

As you can see from the picture, they are made with a cluster stitch. You do 3 DC in the space between 2 clusters from the previous row. Since it’s an easy stitch, this bag works up really quickly. I also love the transition to the SC at the top for the handles. If you go look at the tutorial for this bag, you’ll see she actually has 3 different handle styles. I kind of combined two of them to get this handle here. The handles are just big enough to slip up to your shoulder so the bag is pretty much right against your underarm. Sometimes that’s want I want when I don’t want to lug a bug purse around (especially after having James and having to lug him around!). The tutorial does this bag with 8 inch wide and 6 inch tall dimensions. My green bag is about that, and the purple is 10 inches by 6 inches. The green 8 inch is perfect for little kids.

Rori with bag

(my beautiful niece)

You might be able to tell from the pictures that the purple bag has a bit of yellow in it. I thought that the spaces in the stitch might be big enough for a pencil to slide out. So I just grabbed a scrap piece of material and pieced it into a little liner. It’s easily stitched in with thread and voila!

So that’s that! I hope that counted as short and sweet.

Next week I hope to show you a dog hat and a raccoon hat!

Thanks for reading!

 

Catching Up!

Do you ever have those days where you’ve got so much on your mind that you can’t really focus on anything? You’re dreading how slowly time will move through the day because you can’t collect yourself enough to get anything done? Sometimes I feel like a hummingbird flitting around from here to there, never spending much time anywhere or on anything.

That is definitely today. I have been trying to get some things taken care of in my life but I keep hitting roadblock after roadblock. There is a lot of things up in the air at the moment and all my family can do is what and see where the pieces fall. This has been weighing heavily on me and distracting me lately. So, with all that in mind, I’m going to catch you up on the things I have been working on since I posted last. I’m grateful that I finished the animal hats and was able to move on to new (and not new) things.

I’m trying to expand my shop past hats and booties right now. I have some patterns for shrugs and boleros that are going to get worked on soon, but I started with a beautiful summer top that I found here. Isn’t this beautiful?top

I also love the color. It’s perfect for spring and summer.

The beautiful thing about my experience so far is that it’s been so easy so far. At first, I was huddled over my kindle, reading the directions for the row over and over as I crocheted it out, but as I got into the rhythm it started to fly by. I shared a picture on my facebook page of it maybe a few inches tall and here it is now. It’s obviously not done, but I am almost done with one side. edited summer top

 

I am so in love already. I know that this is going to get worn by me more than a few times. :) I am about 4 inches away from being done with this piece. Then I start all over on an identical piece. Once they are both done I have a little bit to do to attach the shoulders together (according to the pattern) and then just stitch the sides together! Easy peasy.

Now I try not to celebrate too much when patterns come together really easily because I know that the next pattern may just kick my butt. But much to my surprise, the next pattern didn’t.

I guess I should tell you that I love baby hats and booties (as if you couldn’t tell in my shop). They are just so tiny and precious so I love to make them. It’s especially poignant to me at this time because opening this Etsy shop and spending so much time between James and crocheting has helped me not focus on having another baby. When James was 7 months (back in April) we were under the assumption that hubby was getting deployed in about a year. We really wanted to have kids close in age since we’re only planning on having two and hope that they will be good friends. Luckily, the deployment was cancelled so now we don’t have a time constraint. But from the time James was 9 months to 15 months, we were trying to conceive a sibling for him. My baby fever was unbearable. It was terrible months of tracking days and taking tests. Lucky for us I got pregnant right away in May, but it was a chemical pregnancy, meaning that I lost it around 4 weeks. It was pure devastation that I’d known one time before (before James). Obviously we kept trying for a long time and it just wasn’t happening. So we took December off. And we’ll probably take this month off, too. And what a relief it has been. But it wouldn’t be so easy for me to just step back if I didn’t have this to fall on.

So back to crocheting. This next pattern is a really cute baby bootie (more of a boot style than I’d tried before). They work so fast and easy. (You can find the pattern here.) I sat down Sunday night and found this pattern and immediately pulled out my yarn. I made the pair to it last night and listed them in the shop. Here’s how they look.

best booties2 best booties4

I adore these so much. Obviously they can be made in any color that baby sport weight yarn comes in and I think they are so sweet! I had zero problems making them and will love making them again. I had to list them right away in hopes that someone buys a pair so I can make them again (I really don’t need any more pairs just lying around with nowhere to go).

Between these two projects I have been working on the baby blanket that I previously posted about. I’m happy to say that I’ve gotten about 4 or 5 inches added to it and think I have decided on a good width to end it on. I still need to figure out the dimensions that I want to use for blankets to sell with the complete baby bundle (blanket, booties, and hat. what more could you need?). But I’ll be glad to get this one done so it’ll stop leering at me in the back of my mind.

That is all that’s going on with me at the moment. I did buy some yarn to start on some purses, and I’ll continue with this summer top. After that we’ll continue into the world of shrugs and boleros. It should be interesting..

Thanks for reading!