Current Custom Orders In Progress

I’m currently working on 2 custom orders. I try to keep Sunday for personal crafting and family and chores, but I thought I could show you all where I’m at with both orders. That doesn’t really count as working, right?!

The first order I’m working on came to me because of a custom order I had just finished and shared in my InstaGram feed. It’s for a moose hat but with slight differences from the original one. I enjoy that because then it’s not quite the same hat twice in a row!

20140427-160136.jpg
I think it’s going to be adorable and I know the mother is going to love it.

The second custom order is something a bit different. It was for a fox photography prop for a newborn baby. Not with a diaper cover style bottom though, just with one of those little blankets that drapes over them.

20140427-160424.jpg
So far so good! I was really happy with my yarn choices. I think it gives a softer, more vintage style to the piece and won’t look so harsh on baby or in photos.

I have tons of personal works in progress and works that I wish were in progress. The life of a crafter is never dull. I’m hoping to make progress on some of them today and then finish a few things up over the course of the upcoming week too. I need to keep a better eye on how many things I have on the go! I always just seem to forget about certain projects when I’m taking a mental tally before starting something new, go figure!!

Advertisements

Stash Enhanced

I’ve been working to “stash down” my yarn, so why would I be enhancing?! Simply put I needed some springy colours and a couple weights of yarn that I didn’t have.
20140313-155351.jpg
See? Springy colours.

I also finally broke down and bought myself a ball winder. I have skeins of yarn that need to be wound. I wound one by hand and that was enough. I’ve been avoiding using the yarn because I don’t want to have to hand wind a ball! I also wanted to wind some of my other yarn that comes wound in what is supposed to be centre pull balls that just end up in a big knot. I also get really sick of using the outside yarn and having to stop every few minutes to unwind more to use.
20140313-160138.jpg

So I’ve spent lots of today winding balls to prepare for some super crocheting time where I don’t have to waste time! I can’t wait.

20140313-160249.jpg

I got a pair of sock blockers with my order too, so I’m hoping to finish up the pair of socks I’d been working on at some point in the near future. And then do a new pair. And maybe another!

That’s my stash enhancing for the week, now to work on using it up.

March Goals!

I’ve decided that in order to have any semblance of a plan of attack, I should have a list of goals each month. Then at the end of each month, I can go back and look and see how much of what I wanted to do actually got accomplished and where I didn’t necessarily flourish.
My first goal of the month is to sit down tonight and get my last couple listings wrote up so that I can say I officially opened my Etsy shop on March 1st!
I have a list of UFO’s that I need to complete, all in various stages of “doneness.” 1. Horse hat 2. Gumball Hat 3. Herringbone Neck Warmer 4. Scarf for homeless.
I have a list of new items I need to make for my Etsy store, I went through this morning to see what items I needed to order yarn for and I have placed that order so I can get those items dealt with. This includes some Amigurumi work, baby booties, leg warmers and some fun neck accessories.
I have 4 items that I would like to cast/hook on this month that are personal projects. Knitabulls is hosting a stitch surfer sock KAL in March. Technically I haven’t finished my first pair of socks, but I think with all the help and her tutorials that I may just be able to do it. I love the way they look and have been dying to own a pair. This is my lofty goal…so I’m hoping to get them cast on and off, but we will see once I browse the tutorial videos. I also would like to hook up another couple dishcloths to add to my gifting dishcloth stash. The last thing I’d like to cast on this month for myself is the Hanois Cowl on Ravelry. I ordered a very pretty skein of hand dyed yarn from my friends shop on Etsy, ChaoticYarns. I think it will look great in this cowl and there should be enough yardage left to also make myself a pair of fingerless gloves or wristers to match.
I would like to actually get some sewing in this month! I need some project bags and have had the fabric to make them for months now, so it’s time to buckle down and get at them. I also need a new hook and needle roll, so it would be wonderful to be able to stitch those up too.
I got the linen and embroidery threads to do my Once Upon a Time Sampler last week. This morning I woke up to have the March square in my inbox, so my plan for March is to finish both the March and February squares so in April I can work on January and Aprils. I have some of the “framework” stitches in, but I think I will try to work on the frame section that goes with whatever square I’m currently working on. I will be framing this and gifting it to my daughters for Christmas as their combined Christmas gift, so very excited to see how it turns out and to make progress on it!
I am going to try to exercise 3 days a week this month, plus start a morning “get energized and stretched out for the day” routine. I need to clear the treadmill off before the end of the weekend because my first run will be Monday.
Along with exercising my body, I have a goal to read 2 books this month. One a self help style book, called “The Success Principals” by Jack Canfield. I have it on Kobo so I can read from my phone or iPad. I also want to read “Bossy Pants” by Tina Fey. I bought it in paperback well over a year ago and haven’t stopped to make the time to read it yet.
So, those are my main goals this month. Being able to accomplish them will require me to be more vigilant in other areas of my life, like house keeping and meal planning. But I think it will all work out, and I am going to work hard to make it all work out. Stick with me, and watch my journey through March unfold!

A Productive Week

I feel like I’m on the ball, not so much with blogging, but with a lot of other aspects of my life. I did a whole lot of “making all the things” this week, so let’s do a recap.

20140222-194459.jpg

20140222-194510.jpg
When ruffle yarn first came out, like many people I jumped on the ruffle scarf bandwagon. I bought a ball in every colour there was. Then, I made my first ruffle scarf. I had just learned to crochet so I was ecstatic to have something that actually looked like something. I then immediately made another ruffle scarf. I decided that I would move on and try something else but keep making ruffle scarves in between projects. After crocheting my first cloth and my first hat, I decided I really disliked crocheting with the ruffle yarn. I hid it all in my giant stash pile for over a year. This year I pulled it all out and made another ruffle scarf, the feelings of hatred for the yarn immediately rose in me. I put the yarn away again. Until now. Bound and determined to find a use for it I decided to finger crochet some cute chained infinity scarves out of the ruffle yarn. I’m pretty happy with how they turned out, and while they aren’t warm cowls by any means, I now have a colourful stack of fashion infinity scarves ready, and have gotten rid of all the ruffle yarn I owned. And it feels great!

20140222-195516.jpg
I finished most of this owl hat. It still needs it’s owl beak but I didn’t have my orange yarn out at the time that I was finishing it up. This hat is part of a custom order for a baby girl.

20140222-195719.jpg

20140222-195737.jpg
I took a little break in my regular custom order schedule to create these 2 cute hats. I do have my Etsy store basically set up, I’m just lacking the product to photograph for it because I’ve been so busy working on custom orders. I’m very happy with how these hats turned out and I really love the colour combinations.

20140222-200859.jpg
One of my favourite projects of the week. This was a custom order for a newborn baby girl. I tried out a different style for this owl and really love how it turned out. My kids have all asked for one already. The booties have a special place in my heart because I really wish I could make a pair for myself, hahaha. I hate sewing on buttons because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and they have to be in the exact right spot and the holes on the buttons need to be lined up. The finished product is definitely worth the button hassle.
I’m still working on my scarf for the less fortunate, it’s at least doubled in size from the picture last week. I’m quite happy with the progress.

As for the rest of life this week, it’s been pretty good. No one was sick, the kids helped clean, everyone got along. Well, as much as you can expect them too. I found a cleaning schedule poster on the internet that I’m going to employ this week I believe, to see if it is enough for our family.

20140222-212115.jpg
I have meal planned my suppers for the week so tomorrow at some point in time I will be going grocery shopping. Tomorrow is going to be a long day. The gold medal Olympic hockey game starts at 6am. And we’re making breakfast for it. Right now we are watching UFC so it’s going to be a late night as well. I expect afternoon naps for everyone tomorrow!

This Week in Stitches

I haven’t really had a ton of time in the last little while to do a bunch of crafting. I’ve been busy trying to clean and organize the house and get caught up on a bunch of housework so that I can spend time doing crafts! Yay! Here’s a quick look at things I managed to work on this week.
20140214-164909.jpg
A custom order knight hat with removable face mask. I have seen some of these floating around on different sites but being the difficult person I am, I had to struggle through and make my own pattern. The Mohawk on top and the face mask both were done with yarn held double to make it a bit more stiff.
20140214-165127.jpg
20140214-165138.jpg
I made this set of amigurumi owls as a custom order as well. Again, I made the pattern up as I went. Having never made an owl before (I’ve only made amigurumi monsters) I was a little terrified. I am very happy with the outcome and heard they were a hit with the recipient.
20140214-165421.jpg
The start of a newborn owl hat to match a set of booties that I had already completed and are awaiting me to sew on buttons. The hat needs it’s owl face and then the set will be ready to be photographed and sent off to the person gifting it.
20140214-165628.jpg
20140214-165643.jpg
The pictures above are of my old yarn stash. This is stuff I bought when I first started, most of which isn’t quite the quality of yarn I would use to make items to sell. However, this stash still needs to be used, so I’ve determined this year I will try and work my way through it as much as I possibly can. I went through and decided that I will be making scarves for the less fortunate out of a good majority of it. This year a few people in my town got together and knit scarves for the homeless in our area. I wasn’t able to work any up, because I was overwhelmed with life, but they will be doing it next year as well. They will be accepting donations all year long, so I figure I might as well start. I think this year they managed to have 70 scarves or so and apparently they were all claimed within 2 hours. With all the stash yarn I have that I need to use, I’m aiming to be able to make at least 20 scarves myself. They will mostly be garter or simple patterns as this is going to be my distracted knitting or things I can quickly put down if kids need my help. But I may be able to try out new stitch patterns and techniques as we go!
I also have some that I set aside because it’s variegated and aimed more at kids. This is going to get knit up into newborn and preemie baby hats and I will drop them off at the local hospital. It feels amazing to have a purpose for these skeins of yarn that would otherwise go unused by me. I wouldn’t be able to just toss them either though, as I’d feel guilty I had wasted money on all this yarn.
Now, as for the cotton, well that is going to be made into kitchen accessories and gifted to adults as needed. It’s not a nice enough cotton to get away with using it for anything but kitchen goods or facial scrubs/reusable makeup remover pads.
20140214-170638.jpg
The first of what I hope to be many scarves for the homeless and less fortunate. Because everyone deserves to be warm!
In other news, the baby is sick right now, he has a cold and is teething like crazy. It’s kind of aggravating because he’s a pretty clingy baby to begin with and when he’s sick he becomes even more so. He did get a good nap in in his swing this afternoon for an hour and a half, so that was nice.
I almost have the house back in order. I’ve been busy trying to get it to a point where if I do about 45 mins of work a day it will stay clean. Leave me more time to work on orders and work on ready to ship stuff for Etsy. I am horrible with time management so it’s one of the things I’m working on this year. I know in my head that it makes more sense to spend half an hour a day working on dishes and laundry or sweeping than spending all weekend doing it, but knowing and doing are two completely different things!
I’ve also been on a bit of a hiatus from buying yarn. Self imposed because otherwise I’d drown myself in it. I haven’t bought any yarn this year so far. I’ve given myself very strict rules for when I do have to place an order for supplies to continue creating custom orders and supplying my Etsy store with cute handmade goods. I haven’t had to place that first order yet though. When I do have to place it it is going to be a test of all kinds of willpower. We will cross that bridge when we finally get there. But, since it’s Valentine’s I should probably get busy figuring out what’s going on for supper and this evening.
Enjoy your weekend crafters 🙂

Weekly WIP’s

While tidying my living room last night I realized that I have things on needles and hooks in basically every corner of the room. I have decided to show you pictures of where my projects currently are in hopes that it will kick my butt into gear! I don’t want to be in the same spots next week, and I would like a few of these to become finished objects of course.

1) Christmas dishcloth:
20130726-114831.jpg
I started this with great intentions and had left it by my arm chair so I could work on it when my little Rémi fell asleep. Worked wonderfully until I decided that the love seat was a better spot to sit while feeding him! Then it was no longer in a convenient spot and haven’t worked on it since.
2) Chevron & Feather Scarf:
20130726-115223.jpg
I set this aside purposely but I do really want to finish it. The reason I set it aside was because the thinner yarn is also more slippery and so it’s hard to work on when the baby falls asleep on me as I found I kept dropping stitches.
3) Infinity Circle Scarf:
20130726-115545.jpg
This needs to be frogged and restarted unfortunately. The gauge is more off than I thought and I just can’t leave it.
4) Sunshine Blanket:
20130726-123210.jpg
This is a blanket for my little guy. I got it to this point and then it became too large to work on without bugging him.
5) Giraffe Hat:
20130726-123403.jpg
All I have left to do on this hat is another horn and both ears and it will be done!
6) Basic Baby Hat:
20130726-123538.jpg
This is the first not square or rectangle knitting project, and my first use of double pointed needles. I wanted to learn on something smaller and mindless. I’m quite enjoying it.

I’m hoping that by this time next week I have at least 4 of these projects done. I am trying very hard not to cast/chain anything else on, but there is never any guarantee!

Crafty Book Review

I order crafty books and I will try to review them as I actually make items from each book. Lately, since I’ve had a baby glued to me 24-7 I have been able to work only on smaller things. This has made it a perfect time to actually give some of the patterns in this first book a try!

Crochet Boutique: 30 Simple, Stylish Hats, Bags & Accessories
By: Rachael Oglesby

20130723-180201.jpg

I want to start off by saying that I LOVE this book. The projects are great and the photos and styling of everything is absolutely gorgeous! The patterns are laid out by type (hats, etc) and difficulty level. I found the patterns very easy to follow. They are only written, no charts for those who like them. Lots of patterns call for bulky weight yarn, so many projects are quick to work up and would be perfect for travel crochet projects.

Bonnie Beret:
20130723-183438.jpg

Sunburst Beret:
20130723-183826.jpg

Head wrap:
20130723-184002.jpg

Boy Beanie:
20130723-184751.jpg
(I also made some of these with an extra round of the main colour because I know some males with big heads and lots of hair.)

Slouchy Beanie:
20130723-185007.jpg

I am working on the Infinity Circle Scarf too, I just haven’t been able to finish it yet because my little man has had a couple of really sucky days where I haven’t been able to put him down for even 5 minutes without him getting extremely upset.
20130723-185311.jpg
This picture is before I frogged it and started all over again because I only did 2 double crochets where I should have done 3.

All in all I’m very happy with this purchase. While I did most of my tests in just cheap Walmart yarn, I can only imagine how luxurious some of these would be when done in better yarns! I give it 4.5 out of 5. Great, quick, gorgeous small projects for everyone.