Fall is Here!!!

It’s officially fall!! Which to me marks the beginning of the non-stop fun that is the holiday season ^_^ Alright, so maybe it’s not all fun and games, but I just get so ridiculously happy the closer we get to Christmas, and inspiration for new projects is everywhere! Right now I’m thinking about our upcoming local vendor events, specifically the holiday craft fair coming up in November and trying to decide what all I need to have ready for it. I’ve had the chance to try out several new patterns that I’m super excited about, and have been testing a few more of my own designs that I’m excited to share with you soon!

Every year I like to welcome the new season with a small splurge on some of the warm cozy yarns I’ve been holding off on all summer to try. So the husband took me on a yarn run the other day and waited patiently (for the first half hour at least) while I oohed and aahed over everything. Since I was on a budget (sigh) I couldn’t get nearly as much as I would have liked, but I love what I ended up with! I won’t go into too much detail now since I’m working on a yarn review post, but I’ll share a few with you now. While the goal was to try some new things, I couldn’t resist this Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable in Stained Glass, a colorway I hadn’t seen before.  I just finished using it to make this infinity scarf (free pattern here) and I am in love! All my favorite colors in one skein of yarn!

 

Crocheted fox cowl pattern by Heidi MayI was also really excited to find a new bulky weight yarn by Lion Brand called Woolspun (a Michaels exclusive). I had been looking for awhile for a good bulky weight yarn to use for a specific pattern and almost missed the display! It comes in some gorgeous solid colors and is really lovely to work with. I picked up some in a rusty color to use for this fox cowl pattern available for purchase from The Velvet Acorn. (Heidi, the designer, is in my opinion an absolute genius and I could spend tons of money in her Etsy pattern shop!)  It has a nice drape and feel to it, it doesn’t split like other bulky yarns I’ve tried, and has a squishiness (for lack of a better word) to it that is just really nice to work with!

Speaking of foxes, I received a custom order request for a fox ear flap baby hat and legwarmer set, and this is what I came up with:

foxset

While I’d made legwarmers for adults before, I’d never had the chance to try them for babies and I just love how they turned out! I ended up making this set for my own little man, and was so glad he sat still long enough to get a decent picture! The hat is a variation on the pattern described in a previous post and the legwarmers are from a free pattern by Danyel Pink Designs found here.

Our other big project for the past week has been moving my daughter into her own room. This is bittersweet for me since it means the loss of my dedicated craft room, but I knew this day was coming and on the upside it’s definitely cut down on the squabbling with her brother now that they each have their own space! Another positive is it gave me an excuse to go through all of my crafting supplies and finally get organized! It’s actually not that big of a loss since I like to work in the living room where I can be with the family anyway, and I really didn’t need a whole room for my stuff and was (miraculously) able to fit almost everything into the hall closet. So everyone’s happy, and I can finally find everything! All in all a good week ^_^

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The Yarn Owl is Now on Ravelry!

I joined Ravelry back in 2012 but until recently never really had a chance to do much with it other than look up patterns. This week I finally got around to getting my page set up and am working on getting my patterns posted (it’s a bit of a process to add patterns so it’s taking awhile). While there’s not much there right now, I’ll get more up as soon as possible, so be sure to check back!

If you’re not familiar with Raverly, if you knit or crochet it is an absolute goldmine! Basically it’s a database of patterns from tons of sources including online and print from thousands of designers. And since it’s also partnered with publishers, a lot of times you can find photos of most if not all projects in crochet books, which is perfect for me since I like to preview books before I buy them. It also lets you save all of your projects in one place so they’re easy to find and has tons of forums to answer your questions! Definitely check it out, and while you’re there be sure to visit my page! ^_^

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Double Drop Cowl Free Crochet Pattern

Double crochet drop stitch sampleSummer is still in full swing here in the desert, but my mind is already turning towards fall and and all the cold weather things I love to make. I lucked out and found several skeins of one of my favorite yarns, Red Heart Boutique Unforgettable, on sale the other day and have been experimenting with new stitch patterns to put it to good use. One I really like uses drop stitches (where you work stitches into the previous row to get a kind of woven effect) and works perfectly with the self-striping property of the yarn. I used it to make a cowl first and liked it so much that I made a matching slouchy hat! I haven’t finished writing up the hat pattern yet, but here’s the FREE cowl pattern!

Double Drop Cowl

***Update*** This pattern is now available as a free PDF download on Ravelry!

Materials:

One skein of worsted weight yarn (I used Red Hearet Boutique Unforgettable in Winery)

Size J hook

Yarn needle for finishing

Finished measurements: Approx. 26 x 9 inches before stitching ends together

Gauge: 16 stitches across and 13 rows high = 4 inch square

Your double crochets should be about ¾ inch tall

Abbreviations:

ch–chain

hdc–half double crochet

dc–double crochet

RS–right side

Instructions:

Ch 38

Row 1 (RS): Dc in 4th chain from hook (skipped chains count as dc), dc in next ch, *ch 2, skip 2 ch, dc in next 2 ch. Repeat from * across, hdc in turning chain, turn.

Row 2: Ch 4 (counts as hdc plus ch 2), skip the first 2 dc in your current round. You’re now at the ch 2 space you made on the previous round. Directly below this space are 2 chains from the foundation chain. Working over the ch 2 space, dc into these 2 ch, ch 2. *Skip next 2 dc, dc in the next 2 foundation ch, ch 2. Repeat form * across, hdc in turning chain, turn.

Row 3: Ch 2 (counts as hdc), *dc in next 2 dc from two rows down, (working over ch 2 space), ch 2, skip next 2 dc. Repeat from * across, dc in next 2 dc, hdc in turning ch, turn.

Row 4: Ch 4 (counts as hdc, ch 2), *skip next 2 dc, dc in next 2 dc from 2 rows down (working over ch 2 space), ch 2. Repeat from * across, hdc in turning chain, turn.

Row 5- 83: Repeat rows 3 and 4. Fasten off leaving a long tail. With right side facing you, align the two edges and stitch them together using the needle and yarn tail.

That’s it! You could easily adapt this pattern to make it longer, shorter, or wider by adjusting your starting chain, using any multiple of 4 plus 2, and then adding or subtracting rows as needed. If you plan to make a larger cowl or scarf, I would recommend buying 2 skeins of yarn and making sure they’re the same dye lot (there can be quite a difference in color from one lot to another). If you have any questions or problems with the pattern please let me know and I’ll be happy to help! And please let me know how it turns out!

 

 

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Turning Barefoot Sandals into Lacy Gloves!

I Gleeful things barefoot sandal crochet patternhave to say, with a few notable exceptions it really is fun to be a girl. I’ve always loved wearing makeup and jewelry and fun accessories that serve no purpose other than to look pretty. So when looking for crochet patterns, practical things like scarves and hats are always great but sometimes I want to do something a little different that’s just for fun!

This week I had the opportunity to test a pattern for Poppy Barefoot Sandals for Julie King of Gleeful Things, and now I’m obsessed! What a fun way to dress up your feet! These are perfect for wearing at the beach or around the house (especially if you’re like me and don’t like wearing shoes!), and can even be worn with heels or ballet flats to add some extra style!

While the Poppy Barefoot Sandals pattern isn’t available quite yet, Julie does have a gorgeous free Goddess Barefoot Sandal pattern available here. I just finished a pair using size 3 cotton crochet thread and love how they turned out! Then the other day Julie mentioned on her blog that she had seen people using these on their hands and I got a brainstorm! I knew I didn’t want to deal with a long tie on my wrist so I decided to try a button closure and it worked great!

Here’s how I did it:

I used slightly smaller crochet thread (not sure of the size, I had a bunch left over from my time in mexico but it’s just slightly thinner than size 3) and a size 1 steel hook and followed the pattern as instructed through row 6 where you make the toe loop. Here I wanted a slightly longer loop to make it more comfortable on my hand, so I chained 28, then continued with the instructions up until you make the first strap, and then instead of making the long strap follow these instructions to make a button loop:

goddessbuttonloopCh 25, then starting in 2nd ch from hook slip stitch in each ch, then slip stitch into the ch space where you started the strap ch (next to your last hdc), ch 1, turn. Slip stitch into each stitch to end, ch 1 turn. Sc in same chain space you started in to make the loop. Skip the part where it says tie a knot and FO, and continue with the pattern from 4 HDC as written until you get to the next strap.

Once you’re at the next strap, you’re going to add the button (I used a 1/2 inch black button with two holes).

Ch 32. Leaving a long length of thread, fasten off. Thread your needle onto your tail and thread button onto your chain, making sure it’s in the middle of your chain. Then sew end of chain next to where you started your chain. Remove needle and use your hook to pull up a loop where your next stitch should go, still using the same tail of thread, then continue on with the remaining instructions.

That’s it! While making your button loop, make sure to test it to make sure the length is right for your hand and adjust by adding/subtracting chains as necessary.

Now go make some!

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Back to School!

Well, my little man is off to preschool and my not so little girl is going into 2nd grade already! It’s crazy how time flies, and along with the relief I think most parents feel with the return to school, for me it’s always a little sad too. I love having them around, and I’ll definitely miss their help now that baby is on the brink of walking and into everything! But no one can stop time, and in the midst of all the back to school shopping I discovered there’s a new trend, and it’s everywhere! From backpacks to lunch boxes and everything in between, foxes are definitely in. Apparently there’s even a song….

ICrocheted amigurumi fox‘d been getting more and more requests for fox items so I headed over to Pinterest to do some “research” and came across some absolutely adorable patterns! For example, I made this amigurumi fox for a baby shower (it’s going to be the topper for a diaper cake!) from a free pattern (available here). I was so happy with how he turned out that I decided to add him to the shop! I had a small amount of this lovely rusty red color left that I had bought on clearance months ago and ended up using a mishmash of patterns to come up with a little fox hat! If you’d like to make your own, this is how I did mine: I used this pattern for the base of the hat (my go-to pattern for most ofCrocheted fox beanie the hats I do), but since I didn’t have enough yarn for the ear flaps I decided to turn it into a beanie, stopping at the last round before it tells you to start working on the ear flaps and finishing with a round of single crochet. Then I followed these instructions for the face, but changed the ears a little. I kept the inner ear pattern the same, and for the outer ear I used the red color up to row 4, then switched to black for the tips. Instead of using black yarn to sew the inner and outer ear together like the original pattern shows, I just used the white from the inner ear. I think it turned out really cute! I was able to find some similar colored yarn on my last foray and now I’m working on the ear flap version.

Aside from my foxes, I’ve been spending some time this week rounding up some of my finished projects and getting them photographed and listed, including a crocodile, cupcake, lion, and the fishy teether I wrote about in a previous post. Check them all out here!

Now it’s time to get backpacks packed and clothes ready for the first day of school tomorrow! Good luck to all of you preparing for the morning rush, I hope you have a great week!

 

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Summer Fun!

eleph3Well goodness, summer’s almost over and I’m proud to say we’ve made it through with minimal bloodshed! I think our favorite thing was our family trip to San Diego, where we visited the Zoo, Seaworld and the Safari Park. My daughter is obsessed with animals and now says she is going to be a zoologist when she grows up, and my middle son says he wants to be the guy that feeds the rhinos ^_^

Tiger face in colored pencilNot long after we got back, my laptop started giving me problems and eventually stopped working all together so I was stuck using my phone, which in turn decided to stop letting me connect to internet. I took it as a sign that I needed to “unplug” for a little while and have been spending time having fun with the kids and working on some art projects that I’d been meaning to get done for awhile, including this tiger that I did for my husband for Father’s Day. It’s amazing how much more productive I can be when I’m not distracted by the internet! I did eventually have to cave in and get a new laptop and phone though, and it’s definitely easier and faster to get stuff done when things actually work the way they’re supposed to!

While I’ve enjoyed my downtime, with my two oldest kids heading back to school in a couple weeks, I’m ready to get into full production mode (or at least as close to it as I can, some days are better than others!) to get ready for the upcoming holiday season. I’m hoping to do several local craft events this year, as well as expand my shop inventory to offer lots more ready-made items in addition to custom orders. I’m also offering portraits again, and while I plan to eventually open a shop for my artwork I just haven’t had time yet so for now they’re available here.

blue and black cuffed baby bootiesI’ve added a few new items to the shop, like these sweet little baby booties which can be customized with your choice of colors (see listing here). I’m planning to add more styles to the shop soon, as well as other baby items like the fun little “Bubbles and Goldfish” teether pictured below. My baby boy loves this thing, especially now that he has several teeth coming in at once (poor guy!). The pattern for the booties can be found here on the Repeat Crafter Me blog and the teether pattern is available on One Dog Woof, both for free!

That’s it for now, I hope you all have had a great summer and I’ll talk to you soon!

 

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Purses and Puppies!

While baby is napping and the older kids are occupied watching Frozen for the millionth time, I thought I’d try to squeeze in a quick post:) It took the better part of a week but I finally finished Bella’s whale bag awhile back and I LOVE how it turned out! This thing is huge! the pattern (from “Amigurumi on the Go”) was really easy to follow, just a bit time consuming. Definitely worth it though! I used Lily Sugar n’ Cream yarn and it worked perfectly for this project.

tashaI’ve made it my goal to make everything from this book (it’s rare that I love a book enough to commit to making every project!) but since finishing the whale I’ve been pretty busy (I’ve taken on a part time job babysitting and we also just adopted two new fur babies, Tasha and Paloma, to ease the pain of losing our beloved German Shepherd Tenaya awhile ago). I was able to make progress this week though and finished the next item on my list, the ladybug bag. This was a much quicker project! The only change I made was to the handle. The pattern just does a drawstring that ties at the top but I wanted an actual handle to make it easier to carry around. I modified it to make a double palomaloop drawstring handle by sewing the ends of the cord together after weaving it through the top and then puling out a long loop on each side. It works great!  This would make a super cute little lunch bag or purse to carry around all the little bits and pieces kids seem to accumulate!  Next on the list is an octopus bag, another pretty big project that hopefully won’t take me as long as the whale!

Baby’s awake, so I’m off again:) Have a great Sunday!

 

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