Saturday Command Center

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Hi there. It’s been awhile, huh? I’ve been crafting some, but nothing like usual. We’ve had my brother’s dog (#Brodsmontana) on and off since January. While I adore him and he’s a love, he’s not helpful for crafting so I don’t get much done.

Since he’s back to my brother’s now for the foreseeable future, I thought I’d get back to crafting and blogging some.

Today seemed like a good day to start. I’m in the car, headed to NJ for a cousin’s wedding, crocheting away!

Next weekend I’ll be in Chicago and maybe doing some kiddo crafts! Can’t wait. Any thoughts on crafts I can do with an almost 5 year old boy and an 11 year old girl? I’m thinking rockets…

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“I don’t generally like crocheted work, but yours is just beautiful”

I’m taking a moment to toot my own horn because an absolute stranger made my day with those words.  I’ve been told for a long time now that my work is lovely and I should be selling it but it was often from people who had maybe the slightest of biases for me and what I do. Like my mom and best friends. And Frank. To hear it from a stranger who had no vested interest in my ego was really a happy moment.

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First show
I had about a whole minute to snap some cell shots between people so I apologize for the crappy photos.
I even brought the big girl camera and never used it.
Such is life.

I’d been been plugging along on the whole crafting thing, but one week out I started to panic that I wasn’t going to do well, that it was a giant waste of time and money, that people wouldn’t think I did good work, and I wasn’t anywhere near where I thought I should have been for it.

What could I do though? I’d spent a bunch of money on supplies, registration fee, etc and I REALLY wanted to do well. I threw the crafting into overdrive and then spent the week alternating between excitement that I was finally doing this and anxiety that it’d be a huge failure. I carefully crafted, made lists of what needed to be done or purchased still and consulted with Sue for what I’m sure was ad nauseam for her. (I can not thank her enough for her thoughts, help, and company through this!)

Saturday morning, I walked into the event excited to do this and ridiculously nervous that one of two things would  happen: a) that everyone would hate my work, think it’s too expensive or just ignore me or b) that it’d be a huge hit and I would run out (seriously unlikely, I know) but I was still nervous.

I ended up somewhere in the middle. Almost everyone who stopped by and said hello had incredibly kind words to say about my work and although I didn’t sell out of things I was sure I would have, other things went like hot cakes. I spent the little bit of down time I had working on projects I’d brought to finish up.

Was it worth it? Yes. The energy, time and money were good investments in pushing myself. I had planned to take a break from crafting for the next week or so, but when I found myself awake at 2am Saturday night, I reached for a ball of yarn and a crochet hook to start something new. What can I say? I’m looking forward to finding another show to do and will need goodies to take.

US vs. UK Crochet Terms. They’re both English, but they’re not the same!

Hey there, I found this today and I’m sharing because all the sudden it makes sense why some of my crochet projects don’t end up right. It turns out Chips and Crisps aren’t the only terms we don’t agree on!

Granted I should be able to tell from photos, but sometimes they’re not clear enough or there isn’t a photo to go from.

This will be super helpful.

Have you ever had something not come out right and wondered what was up with it?

Thanks Fiber Flux!

(By the way, Fiber Flux is an awesome site for patterns and inspiration!)

Projects for Good: Penguin Sweaters

rtxkihhAren’t they cute? What could be cuter than a penguin in a sweater? Adorableness aside, these cute little guys NEED sweaters! These guys are Little Penguins and live down under.

But sweaters? On Penguins?

From here:

These knitted penguin jumpers play an important role in saving little penguins affected by oil pollution. A patch of oil the size of a thumb nail can kill a little penguin. Oiled penguins often die from exposure and starvation. Oil separates and mats feathers, allowing water to get in which makes a penguin very cold, heavy and less able to successfully hunt for food.

When oiled penguins are admitted to the Wildlife Clinic at Phillip Island Nature Parks, a knitted jumper is placed on the penguins to prevent them from preening and swallowing the toxic oil before they are washed and the oil removed by staff.

Now you know I’m not a knitter but I might be able to figure out a pattern for these adorable and needed little numbers to be made with one stick instead of two. (If you’re interested in working on this, here’s the knitting pattern.)

(Photo from here.)

Friday Five – Products that I puffy pink heart – Crochet

wristersHey there, I’ve had some crafting friends ask me what products I like to use for different projects. I thought I’d take a few minutes and tell you that. I’ll break it down into different areas and today is CROCHET day.

First things first. I’m naming particular brands because I personally like them. I’ve spent my own money or received them as gifts from friends and am being in no way compensated by the company to write anything about them. The links below marked with a * are affiliate links.

Second things second, but not less important. This is what I like to use, if you don’t like it, oh well! We all have our personal preferences.

  1. Susan Bates Silvalume Crochet Hooks* Specifically, lately, the J-Hook. For most of my crochet work, the J-Hook is an invaluable tool. Don’t get me wrong, the H, the I, and N are good too. I basically never work in less than an H-Hook. I just don’t have the patience.
  2. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice Yarn. I really do like this yarn a lot for many types of projects. The colors are awesome and plentiful, the yarn is soft but durable and it’s not wool. This girl can’t use wool yarn. It’s also heavy enough to be warm, but not ridiculous to work with for bigger projects.
  3. For home I’m a huge fan of the Fiskars 5-Inch Micro-tip Scissors * Mine are similar to those but have a different handle. They’re super sharp and excellent for any fabric or yarn trimming. For the road I’m a big fan of Fiskars Softgrip Kids Scissors.* They’re handy and I’m less likely to hurt myself with them in the car. They’re also excellent for paper projects while traveling.
  4. Gallon sized freezer bags. I’m not even kidding here crafters! This is a trick I learned from my G-d mother. If you have more than one project going on or you’re traveling about with your project, put it in a gallon sized freezer bag with the directions, the hook you’re using, and your yarn. It will help keep your project and yarn clean and you’re not left wondering which hook you might have been using. Not every J Hook is created equally! Actually, the H-Hook from my grandmother is slightly smaller than the ones made currently and in some projects you can see where you changed. Keep the hook with your project.
  5. Pinterest and Ravelry. I can’t tell you how much I love these two resources. I’m sure you’ve heard of them, but on the off chance you haven’t? Well, now you have. There are an endless list of places to get patterns for projects but these two are my go to for inspiration and patterns.

Those are some of mine, what are some of yours?