27 April 2011

Blog Giveaway Winner!

The blog giveaway winner is blog commenter Jan!

She will get to choose three of my new dishcloths. Didn't win? I'm so very sorry. But hey, you can still get your very own dish cloths at my etsy shop! I am taking all of your facebook responses to heart and will make more to suit YOUR kitchen decor. So thanks for your input and I look forward to playing with color (after all, we have established that I love color right?)

The way I did the drawing, was I took all of the entries, many of you had the max number of entries (3), and lined them up in excel, then I went to random.org and generated a random number:

Blog commenter Jan's name was in row 39 so she is our lucky winner!

Thank you all for playing (it was a blast!) and I will do this again really soon. I'm also going to make another post about all the things we do to benefit the earth--many of you had really great ideas and I'd like to bring those into the spotlight in their very own post :)

23 April 2011

Earth Day

So I'm a little late to the party, but hey, you don't have to go "green" on any specific day. You can do it ANY time.  I do my part as much as I can--here are some of the simple things I do and I hope they inspire you as well!

  •  I don't use paper towels but on very rare occasions
  •  I use my washable plates and cups
  •  I bring coffee cups with me to school instead of buying a cup at the store.
  • I type notes for school on my netbook instead of in a notebook
  • I repurpose all old t-shirts
    • Some become rags
    • Some become underwear for my son
    • Some are made into yarn and crocheted into hot pads
    • No clothes go to waste! :)
  • We recycle plastic, paper, cardboard and metal

We keep a relatively modest household anyway--we use our stuff until its dead and then we recycle it or repurpose it. I don't really feel like its "on purpose" or a conscious decision, I just think it comes with being a poor college student and being raised in a farm country where you save everything because you might need it elsewhere. My dad has jars of assorted nails and screws "just in case" and sometimes they came in handy.

Don't misunderstand. I'm not a hoarder. I have no problem getting rid of stuff that I flat out will never use BUT the difference is I don't tend to accumulate a lot of stuff like that in the first place. At least I try not to. Probably someday that will change, once I begin my career and have my own home and not have to rent and move things from place-to-place every few years.

Now for the good part! In the spirit of Earth Day, I'm trying to build up my inventory of items for the home. Including my new reusable cotton dishcloths.  I have several other items in the works to decorate your place that I'm so excited to start on!  In the meantime, I'd love to do a giveaway of a set of my dishcloths to YOU.

Visit my facebook page for a full range of colors :)

I loved making these because some of them are knitted, some of them are crocheted, and I freestyled all the patterns. Each cloth is unique in its own way. The cotton allows them to be machine washed, although I would probably wash them in cold water alone the first few times as I am unsure of the colorfastness of this yarn. These can be used for facial cloths in the bath, or for washing dishes! They are very versatile. They are also quite large--each is 9" x 8" so they are a bit rectangular. Sizes vary slightly due to the different patterns of each cloth, but as you can see from these pictures they fold up nicely and the size difference is undetectable.


There are three ways to enter (and you can do all three)--

***Just leave one comment stating what all you have done to enter the drawing***


These are the three entry methods, then I will draw a winner at random.org next week and that lucky winner will get to choose three of my dishcloths for their very own!  Please share with your friends as we need to have lots of entries to make things interesting ;)

Have a great week!

20 April 2011

Squishies behbehs!


I looove squishy babies. I'm getting a new nephew or niece this summer and have been making a lot of items for newborns lately.

A new one is a newborn hammock. These are so great for newborn photoshoots

(Disclaimer: Hammocks should only be used for photo shoots and nothing more, babies should be supervised at all times and the hammock should not be suspended more than a few inches off the ground. I am not responsible for accidents!)

Had to get that out ^.  Of course it seems obvious, but then you've got the idiots that require the directions on the shampoo bottle. Now...I like to see how different companies mix up the shampoo bottle directions, but let's face it--they are there for a specific kind of person and that person may be the kind that would leave their kid hanging outside in their newborn hammock. <----that is not advised. again, I'm not responsible.

ANYWAY, back to the topic of hammocks and squishie babies. This was my first hammock, and as I got going on it I thought, "man, this is a quick and easy project that others should really try out!"  So I wrote a pattern.

Now I'm still working the kinks out, but I think it has actually turned out quite nice. My whole process is kind of agonizing. I sit there (usually in the middle of the night so I don't have to pull my yarn away from my 2-year old) and I have my netbook on one side of me, the yarn on the other and I go row by row or round by round writing down exactly what it is that I'm doing.  Sometimes what I'm doing is not quite symmetrical. When I make stuff for people, I don't typically count and pay attention to what I am doing as closely as I do when I'm writing a pattern. When I write patterns, I have to almost preplan each row or round ahead of time so that it will be symmetrical. Ultimately, I produce a better product that way and from then on, when I make that item its better than it ever was. That's a plus!

You can expect this pattern, plus another super special pattern, to come soon AND the baby hammock itself will make its appearance in the shop as well. I'm really excited for this, because it is a different direction with a lot of opportunity for growth.

Did I mention my hammock is modern and chunky and stripey (in pattern, not color)?  It is, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  Pics will come once the sun is up, I promise!!

Cheers!

14 April 2011

Who?

Ok, so this is what I was using Vanna's Choice for:



How ridiculously cute did this turn out? Its  basically made by crocheting a tube, and then stitching it up straight across. No decreasing or increasing, you just make a tube big enough for your head circumference and then stitch 'er up!

13 April 2011

Oh Vanna White

That Vanna White makes a mean yarn, I'll tell you what. Now I've been using Vanna's Choice as a cheap acrylic for a long time. Her colors are really rich and some are completely unique. When looking across the yarn aisle, Vanna's Choice by Lionbrand really stands out.  Wow this sounds like an ad for Lion Brand--they really should be paying me for this.

Anyway,  I bought a particular skein this week and just started using it. IN LOVE.
Click to view detail of 860-401
Its called "Grey Marble" and is a little bit lighter in person. It has awesome black and fawn flecks in it, making your crocheting interesting. You never know what the next row will be like.  If you have a particularly tight gauge, as I do, then it just enhances those awesome stitches and brings them into focus moreso than just a plain solid yarn.

My brain is swirling with all the things I want to make with it. Its very earthy and has almost an art-yarn feel to it with all of the different flecks of color.

There are three others of this type available as well

Click to view detail of 860-400
oatmeal

Click to view detail of 860-402
Wheat (which I'm dying to get my hands on)

and

Click to view detail of 860-403
Barley

Even their names suggest the flecks of color spun into each strand. Pure perfection that we typically do not expect from an affordable retail store yarn.  Good job LB and Vanna!

10 April 2011

Its in your hands--or hair!

These super cute bows were made for a friend of mine who is opening up a shop soon. I can't wait to see what she comes up with!

Choose 5 bows

What I especially love about these bows are the colors and the fact that I put the color choices in the hands of my buyers. This batch was especially fun because it was such a large lot and I was given a bit of freedom in the color selection.

I hope someone uses these as a bowtie, or attaches them to headbands like this:

Choose 5 bows

These are so super easy to slide onto any old headband, its ridiculous. If you're like me and like to change it up, these bows are absolutely the best.  They are so fun to make. I can just chill out and make them and see immediate progress--unlike a lot of my bigger projects.

I hope you enjoy these as much as I do!

02 April 2011

Supplies!

I have been trying to keep my business up during my "off" season and have decided to make appliqué flowers for my customers to use any way they choose. I have grand visions of them being placed on baby hats or headbands, affixed to adorable sweaters, maybe used in jewelry or even clipped onto some ballet flats. These are just the right size, so the possibilities are endless!

I'm going to give several listings of colors I match myself, as well as a DIY option where customers can choose a custom color combination. I'm really excited for this as the options are simply endless. It gives me the opportunity to work with lots and lots of colors as well as keeping my business moving throughout the summer.

Here is a preview of what the flowers look like. They are quite simple, 5 petal flowers. I'm going to make larger ones as well as roses and pansies!

Bahhhhhh Bahhhh

So the funnest thing I've done lately?  Taking a spinning class at the yarn barn, which is my local yarn store.  It was SO fun. Seriously. It makes me want to toss all my crocheting and knitting supplies and just spin yarn. What I like about it is the pulling motion and treadling with my feet. To get a feel for the pulling I'm talking about, try pulling apart a cotton ball. Its kind of like that. Easy, but good for the soul.

I have been spinning my own yarn on a drop spindle and hope to make some more soon. I am really interested in taking things in their barest form and turning them into something useful. When I cook, I like to do so from scratch and with home grown ingredients, when possible. With yarn, I want to do the same. My dream is to have a few sheep and an alpaca and get wool for spinning.  I've raised sheep in the past, so that part I know how to do, but the processing of raw wool is something I have been investigating via youtube.  The Yarn Barn also has more advanced classes I can take to learn more about this.

OK. With all of that, I have had sheep on the brain. Lucky for me, I was commissioned to make an adorable sheep for a great little boy. He will go up in the shop soon for your enjoyment!