Past Couple Weeks Crafting: 3.19.23

The big news is that I finished my Learn to Tech Edit Crochet (LTTECrochet) course and have started to offer this as a crochet pattern designer service. My landing page is here and I am very excited to start this next adventure. I will be figuring out marketing and all that good stuff as I go.

Meanwhile, I worked on a few things this past couple weeks and here they are!

More Stamp Carving

I pulled out my stencil for my month grid in preparation for starting work on my Pagan Calendar for this next year. The rough edges need to be cleaned up a bit but otherwise is tis good to go.

I am hand carving the months and years that will be in the calendar. I also made stamps of the kittens names and did to caring doodling to play with patterns. I will be planning the large stamps for each month and hopefully getting stared on this in April.

Pattern Testing: the Shiloh Sweater

I was selected to pattern test this sweater for designer Oxana Sorokin through Yarnpond. I volunteered to make the 3XL size. This is a very fun pattern to work so far and I am excited to see how it turns out.

Pattern Testing: the Apricity Color Block Sweater

I was also selected to pattern test the Apricity Color Block Sweater for designer Lindsey Roe of Off the Beaten Hook. I am also testing the 3XL size for this sweater. The color blocking is starting out really well and the bulky yarn and larger hook make this project work up quickly.

Markers and Paint Pens

I may have mentioned “mark making” in my last post and as an update, I did in fact go out and buy a bunch of mixed media for more of this process. I really only had colored pens, crayons and watercolors for my first try and will be playing with paint sticks and oil pastels and all the things for my next go round.

Tarot Card Tapestry Patterns

I continue to work on getting my Major Arcana tarot card tapestry series off the ground. I have been working on this one for a year or so now and think I have finally cracked the code on getting the grid counts done in an efficient manner. I am sort of re-working the first two cards and I think after they are done the process will go much more smoothly for the rest of the cards.

That’s all for now, see you all in a couple of weeks for the next batch of crafting!

Past Couple Weeks Crafting: 3.5.23

It has been a crochet heavy couple of weeks. It all started with a snow storm that locked down traffic for just under 15 hours. We don’t get a lot of snow where I’m at and we certainly got more than we expected. Mainly, I have been working on turning the pile of mystery patterns I found last month into physical items. Some of them turned out to be pretty ok, others not so much.

Crochet in a car

I parked on US 26 after being in barely moving traffic for 3 hours. Working on this was a great distraction, but after another hour I drove down the shoulder back to the nearest exit and battel my way through town to get home. It takes me 40 minutes to get to get home from work usually. That day it took 6 hours that day. Which was apparently a shorter commute than others had. Would not recommend.

A weird slipper

This was from a pattern I wrote in 2016. I only made one to see how it would turn out. I will not be making the other one 🙂

A finished shrug

Here is the completed shrug from my last post. I love the pattern and how it turned out. I apparently wrote this pattern when I was a size small, however, because it’s needs to be graded up a bit to fit me. The pattern itself is at least written now so I can work on writing for different sizes.

A granny square sweater vest

This one is also a pattern that I think worked out well. I used this red sparkly yarn that I think gives it just the right amount of pop while still being something that can be worn in a casual setting.

Crochet hook case for crochet hooks

This is the make I am most proud of this week. While I was not able to do the Rose City Yarn Crawl in person due to the snow that week, I did do the virtual crawl and got a new set of Knitters Pride crochet hooks from the Knotty Lamb. I love using them and an so glad that I found them.

I wanted a case for them and was looking around for a pattern but ended up just winging this one based on a combo of what I saw on the webs. I used yarn that I got at a thrift shop and finally found a use for these buttons that have been hanging around for forever. It was also a very quick make, taking less than 4 hours all said and done.

Temperature snake update

Last but not least, I got caught up with my Planet June Temperature Snake crochet along (CAL). I love that each round is only 20 stitches so even if I am a couple weeks behind, it only takes me about an hour to catch up 🙂

I have some plans for continuing to work on patterns over the next couple weeks. I will be updating some of my larger patterns with the help of the light table at my parents house and hopefully finishing another sweater from a 2016 pattern. Maybe I will branch out into non-yarn crafting again as well!

See you all next time!

Past Couple Weeks of Crafting: 2.19.23

I typically use my phone photos section to track what I have done over the past couple weeks crafting wise. I did get a new phone and transferred a lot of pictures off of the new one so I hope i don’t miss anything!

More stamp carving

During the Bright Collective monthly meet up we did some stamp carving. I made some doodles and tried to do letters free hand and even though I made a mess of some things, the process was amazing! I also used my ink jet printer and made a stamp of my pool leagues team name which I will make patches with at some point.

Joining Crochet squares into a blanket

This Pagan Holiday Symbol square throw has literally been a year in the making. I started with Ostara (spring equinox) last year and just finished the last square with Imbolc (February 1st-2nd) this year. I love the way the crossed double crochet stitches add flexibility to the blanket and I am super happy with how this blanket turned out.

Machine knitting 8 hats

I had a cold the other week and not wanting to be “that person” I stayed home in hopes that I would not spread it. I can never just do nothing so I made several hats while binging Harry Potter movies. Using the Sentro knitting machine, I was able to make a 125 row double thick beanie hat in about 30 minutes. I still need to figure out how to make flat panels properly with it, but after this hat making stint, I am pretty sure I have the tube knitting function down pat.

Water color doodles

I’m just really proud of these doodles and wanted to share 🙂

Temperature snake start

I received my yarn order for my Planet June temperature snake and got caught up with January. I didn’t have any safety animal eyes so I used to really cute buttons my mom got me years ago. I think that they are perfect.

Stash of old patterns and a shrug

And finally, a stash of patterns that I started writing back in 2016, as far as I can tell. These were some of my first attempts as pattern writing and they were so fun to find. I have developed my style over the years and plan to dust them off and write them up using what I have learned since then. This shrug in the making is from one of the earliest patterns I ever tried to get on paper.

That’s all for now, see you next time!

Past Couple Weeks of Crafting: 2.5.23

Here is what I have been up to crafting wise the past couple of weeks.

Finished a Sweater!

This was started at the time of my last post but I officially finished it. It is big and bulky and so warm. I used a back stitch to account for the gap in the sleeve construction and the seam came out pretty smooth. These pictures were created post blocking and once blocked the sleeve join smoothed out as well.

Stamp Carving

First attempt at hand carved stamps. My wand looks kind of like a weird cactus and i cleaned up some of the extra lines. Over all, I like the way these turned out and will be playing with this process some more.

Temperature Snake CAL Prep

The short version on temperature projects is that you take the high or low temperature of each day and crochet on row per day. You break the temperatures into ranges add each range is a different color.

I joined a temperature snake crochet along (CAL) hosted by Planet June. This is the planning part and I am waiting for yarn to arrive. I am super excited to see how these snakes turn out. It is such a cool take on the temperature crochet project.

Weekly Water Color Washes

I’ve been playing with water color washed for the background of my weekly planning and notes and everything else page. The first two were last week and the last on one is this week.

So, that’s it for now!

Past Couple Weeks of Crafting

I have been working on several things the past couple of weeks and thought I’d put a compilation here.

Some were classes or meet ups through the Making app. I participate in paper making meet up and a water color class.

I always have some crochet project going and found this amazing Scarfie yarn from Lion Brand and had to turn it into a sweater. It is seriously the softest and warmest yarn I have worked with in a long time.

My partner also found an amazing bag for me at Powell’s Books and the only thing it needed was a pocket. So I added one!

Honestly, most of my time has been spent in editing and compiling patterns for my Pagan Holiday Symbol Square crochet pattern book. I am hoping to have it together by the end for February for sale at my Etsy and Making shops.

Paper Making

This was such a cool process. I got to use up all those pretty scraps of paper I just couldn’t let go of and make something new! I got a pretty crap blender from the Goodwill but it worked well enough to pulp the soaked paper. I also had a few trial and error moments with the thickness of the paper but to the hang of it in the end. Since there was a lot of pulp left, I drained the water and squished it out to make a puck of pulp that can be re hydrated to make more paper later.

Water Color

I took a water color theory class from Janice Hudson through the Making app. She has such a great way of making things feel easy and natural. These are some of my first attempts at art journaling. The process will likely refine itself as I work through it .

Adding a Pocket

Admittedly not the greatest pictures because I did this near midnight when I got home from work but there you are. The bag is a good sized canvas tote with the tarot inspired High Priestess screen printed onto it. The pocket is one of the samples I did inspired by a Sashiko course. It fits literally everything I need daily as well as a project bag so I can just carry one bag rather than a bag and a purse and a lunch sack and…and…and…you get the idea.

Designing a Sweater

This is the start of my design process. I basically just start crocheting and figuring out the construction as I go, making random notes throughout the process. It is chaotic but it works for me. I also write in pattern “recipe” because I want my patterns to be adaptable to all body sizes and shapes since standard fashion sizing conversions just don’t work for most people. I finished the back panel last night and started the front panel. I will be doing some unorthodox sleeve construction for this piece as well. It is going to be an adventure!

Working on a Book

March 2023 will mark the year anniversary since the conception of my crochet book idea. I started making afghan squares using tapestry crochet and have done all the planet symbols, all the astrological sign symbols and all the pagan holiday symbols. Through trial and error I believe I have come up with a good format and am now focusing my efforts on getting the Pagan holiday square book ready to be put out into the worlds. The planets and astrological symbols will follow and I hope to have all three out by the end of the year. Fingers crossed!

Whew! That was a lot, thanks for hanging in there for it and I’ll update again soon!

Projects that Followed me into 2023

Welcome to 2023 everyone!

Like many crafters, I have a long list of Works In Progress (WIPs) and Unfinished Objects (UFOs).

While I don’t usually make formal resolutions, I do want to make a concerted effort to finish some of the things I started in the past year. At the very least I need to organize all my WIPs and UFOs so I know what and where they are.

The other side of this effort is to really and truly finish the new projects I start. I love finding new and exciting crafts to try but I need to be better and controlling the impulse to jump to the next shiny thing before wrapping up my current shiny thing 🙂

There are a couple new shiny things that I do have going, however. One is the Rose City Yarn Crawl mystery crochet along. The other is a Crochet Lentil, a pattern that I got from the Making App. Good news is that I finished the Lentil this week, so finishing something I started within the first week of the year feels like a good omen!

With the confidence of completing something, I feel ready to tackle my unfinished list. So, here are some of the bigger projects that I would like to finish (or at least make substantial progress on) by the end of January.

The Nordic Mosaic Afghan

The Annie’s Mosaic Tile Kit Club

The Cable Yolk Pull Over

The Wood Burned Runes

Projects of the Week: Yarn Frogging Hack, Bath Bombs and that one Sweater I have always wanted to make

I have been pointedly ignoring the two huge blanket projects I have going. One because I have not had time or the patience to fix what I am pretty sure is an error in the pattern. The other because I can’t decide on a color scheme and keep going back and forth on how I want it to work. So of course the solution is to start other projects, right? I thought so too.

Yarn Frogging Hack

If you are someone who makes things with yarn, you have absolutely had the experience of either making a mistake that needs to be pulled out and re done or have decided that what you are making is a wash and pulled out the entire thing. This is a process called “frogging”, as in “rip-it, rip-it”, get it?

Anyway, I was lucky enough to stumble upon this method for hand winding yarn (Banana Moon Studios video here) and have adapted it to the situation where you have a substantial pile from a started project and you want to maintain the flow of the yarn color. This can be particularly helpful with variegated or ombre yarns where the color changes fade into one another.

I start by taking the tail and wrapping it in a figure 8 around my thumb and pinky several times then fold the 8 in half and loosely wrap the yarn around the folded 8. The result is a center pull ball at the front of the original skein that will result in the intended color change as before I started using the skein in the first place.

Bath Bombs

I fell in love with bath bombs when baths became part of my moon cycle ritual a couple of hears ago. I quickly discovered I could drop a large amount of my paycheck on them, using them as frequently as I do. I also discovered that a lot of them (and I mean A LOT) are scented like food. I am not someone who is keen to smell like a cake. I prefer scents that are more commonly associated with the masculine, and trying finding bath bombs that smell like sandalwood or other woodsy scents was infinitely frustrating.

So making my own it is. I found this bath bomb recipe in the Inspired by Charm site and have to say I think I am hooked. The recipe is so easy to follow and I will absolutely be making these again. I did not follow the recommendation to “pack lightly” into the molds and my bombs sort of deflated while curing. I also learned to leave them in the molds for about 5 minutes rather than the recommended 1 minutes. I am keeping the most misshapen of the lot but am putting the rest out for whoever wants one at the Yule party this Wednesday.

Sweater I have always wanted to make

I will freely admit that I but patterns that I have every intention of making but don’t get to. For years. Case in point, I bought the pattern for this intricate top down sweater in 2018 from TLH Patterns on Etsy. I am just now getting around to making it and it is a joy to make. The pattern is well written and easy to follow. I regularly substitute materials to use the yarn I have and was excited to find that I happened to have the yarn recommended in the pattern. I am super excited to see the finished product.

So that’s my week in projects.

Wishing you all a warm and safe holiday season and a happy Yule!

Projects of the Week: Mostly Food and Not Finishing Things :)

With Samhain and a gathering of people my focus was mainly on the food to make and decorating. I am not someone who has a lot of things to decorate with but I do have a few items I enjoy pulling out once a year. Overall, in terms of making project progress, it was a wash this week. I did finish a couple things but made no progress on the runes. I’m hoping to get back to that this week.

The Food

I made this mushroom and baby bok choy ramen that was so good. I have made it a few times and think it is going to be one of my regulars. I also made an apple cider sangria (non-alcoholic). I basically threw a bunch of fruit into the apple cider and shook it ever hour or so until serving. I also made mashed potatoes with cabbage and an oat bread. All vegan and all went over pretty well.

Adapted Dr. Who Scarf

I found this amazing filet crochet pattern for a Dr. Who inspired scarf but did not have the right yarn to make the filet so I adapted the pattern to be a tapestry version. It is coming right along and will hopefully be done in time for my partners birthday!

Samhain Symbol Square

I continue to make these Pagan Holiday symbol squares as each day comes along. I am mostly using scrap yarn to get through my stash and I like how this one has a couple distinct color changes and some more subtle ones. I wrote the pattern using Stitch Fiddle and was so happy with how easy it was to get a readable pattern to follow.

Work Pumpkin Decorating Contest

I have never done a pumpkin decorating contest before but this year we gave it a go at work. My teammate sketched this and I painted it in. There was spider web hair and pip cleaner spiders by the end. It was glorious. I have no idea if we wone yet though, I took the Friday off and that was results day. I am looking forward to finding out who did win though, there were a lot of really cool pumpkin designs!

So that was it for the week!

Projects of the Week: Yarn, a Blanket and Wood

Here is what I have been working on this week. I have been trying to make incremental progress on several things and really only got to two of them. I also was able to finish a couple of surprise side projects (read: things I had no plans to make but made anyway).

Hand Made Rune Progress

I got the wood rounds sanded and was looking at different ways to inscribe the rune symbols on them. I fond a chemical burning pen and gave that a shot but was not super stoked on the way it came out. Perhaps for larger projects it could be ok. The liquid comes out a sort of clear yellow then turns dark once you apply heat. However, for my purposes is kind of just looked like I drew on the wood round with a marker. I was considering using a soldering pen but read that this was mostly not advised. So I got a wood burning kit at Joann’s to try out and will play with that this upcoming week.

Pom Pom Hats

The Joann’s trip lead to a couple of impulse buys, the first were these pom poms. I have never in my live bought a pom pom. Nor do I have any recollection of being drawn to hats that have pom poms on them. But for some reason these were calling out to me and so they cam home with me. I found this Crochet Beanie Hat with Pom Pom pattern on and made hats for the girls. It’s my first go with pom poms so I will be interested to see how they hold up.

No Sew Throw

Impulse buy number two was the No Sew Throw. I have always wanted one of these and this fabric pattern is so up my ally. I adore moths so of course could not resist. The great thing about this blanket project is that it took me about 2 hours all told. While there is no sewing, there is cutting. You do have to cut the corners out then all the tabs before getting to the tying part. I also recommend doing a few knots at each end and alternating back and forth. You should also tug where you just knotted to flatten out the bunches. It was totally worth it, the two panels of fleece are super warm and I am looking forward to a winter of movies on the couch with this perfect blanket.

Gauge Practice

For those of you unfamiliar with gauge, it is the way you make sure that the project you are about to invest a good chunk of time will turn out the size you need it to turn out. The hook determines the length and the stitch size determines the height. People stitch in different ways, some more tightly, some more loosely, so checking gauge is the best way to make adjustments needed so your sweater or hat will fit when you are done. It is a very important piece of garment making and one that I continue to end up baffled by.

I am a member of the Crochet Guild of America (CGOA) and have enrolled in one of their masters classes. While I cannot discuss the specific content of the course I can say that I got quite stuck on the gauge example this week and this was one of my favorite stuck points. I had three different hooks and a pile of yarn and no idea if it was the hook or the stitch height I needed to adjust (turns out it was both). It was a great challenge, though I am admittedly glad it is a challenge that is behind me. For now.

And that was my week. I’m curious to see what others are working on as well!