Crafty Spirit

Things have been pretty difficult for me recently. So I haven’t had a lot of time to do crafty stuff. 

I lost a loved one. I also had to resign from my job where I crocheted and knitted over 100 handmade. Continuing to work as literacy mentor to first graders, I crocheted unicorns for the girls and bears (the school mascot) for the boys. I wasn’t able to finish all of them but managed to give this bear to one of the boys who was going to a different school.

Falling short of my crafty expectations for myself and not being able to give these gifts to my students was hard. But I’ve had to take some time to take care of myself. Hopefully my enthusiasm for handmade will return soon and I can embrace it with open arms.

–The Ever Clever Miss Stitch

Advertisements

Crafty Winter Holiday Patterns (Free Ones!)

I came down with a sinus infection so I couldn’t finish all the winter holiday stuff I was making for the kids at school. However, I did make a list of all the awesome free patterns I came across!

Crochet Cane Hat

From RepeatCrAfterMe.com

This pattern from Sarah at Repeatcrafterme.com is exactly what I wanted in holiday hat. It comes in baby sizes, toddler/child, and teen/adult, I planned to do it in red/green, red/white, gold/white, and purple/white.

*Note: I finished three of these hats and all of them were too big for my kindergartners all the way to fifth grade kids even after I took out one of the increases and made it more like a beanie. The person who wrote the pattern admits that it isn’t tested and that she wants feedback; and there is some feedback in the comments section from crafters who tried the child and adult sizes and adjusted them through various methods. The pattern as is simply works too wide and deep so I’ll I have to do some more finagling to get the right size…

 

Mrs. Murdocks’s Mittens

From Interweave.com

Of course I want mittens to go with my hats and scarves! ^_^ (Still working on these. Have you made some yet?) Brought to us by Brenda Anderson over Interweave.com.

Simple Striped Scarf

From Interweave

A scarf pattern from Interweave by Marcy that likely looked wonderful in red and white to get that classic candy cane look!

Holly and Mistletoe

From Little Treasures blog, Maya Kuzman

I thought this might make cute hair bands or shoe ties for boots. Not that we’re trying to attract kisses here! By Maya Kuzman Crochet and Crafts on her blog, Little Treasures.

Rudy the Reindeer Amigurumi

From Tales of Twisted Fibers

So adorable, brought to us for free by Serah at her blog, Tales of Twisted Fibers. I plan to make one for each of Santa’s reindeer.

San Valentine’s Day Hot Chocolate

From amigurumifood.com

This is actually a pattern I picked for Valentine’s goodies for my kids at the school but it can easily be modified for a festive winter holiday theme.

I had to include more, for obvious reasons. So enjoy!

Christmas Lights

From Ravelry.com

 

Pixie Elf Striped Hat

*Note: Newborn pattern size available for free but larger sizes must be purchased on Craftsy.

From Andreasnotebook.com

Crochet Santa Patterns | Mooglyblog.com

 

October 7th–One Small Step, One Big Leap

TECMS Logo 10.4

I will be a vendor at a local craft fair here in Fresno. Basically, I’m offering everything I currently have in my Etsy store and whatever I can finish before the date.

So I’m nervous. I’ve never tabled before or been able to call myself as a “vendor”, so this will be a learning experience for me.  Part of me wants to stay under a rock. The other part gingerly accepts that exposure is important and people should know what I do as a crafty and a writer.

I’ve been focused on a potential new career path and haven’t been able to finish new items for my store or indulge my craft work. I also don’t have a ton of friends, connections, or family to promote me so I’ve felt invisible this whole time. Even with the steps I’ve taken to promote myself–creating social media accounts like this blog and Instagram, trying to stay on top of posting regularly, and keeping an eye out for other crafty who also do what I do and connect with them–it is exhausting and nothing ever seems like enough.

Loving what I do is important to me and I wonder if “business” is really for me. Never viewed myself as much of a businessperson. I am an artist and I try to stay passionately true to that.

But I promised myself The Ever Clever Miss Stitch would be a vendor at this event, that I would try it. So I will. This is a good opportunity to do so, even if its just for the experience.

In the grand scheme of things, this effort is probably be very small. But to me, it is a huge leap.

 

 

Pattern of the Week: My Little Pony Pattern by Knit One Awe Some

A HUGE thanks to the crafty over at Knit One Awe Some for their My Little Pony: Friendship is Magical pattern. I’m not sure if the creator is active anymore or not, but regardless I want to always, always give credit for this pattern. But unless I’m needled for not giving credit every time, it goes without saying whenever I make an MLP style pony, its likely made from this pattern.

Every pony I’ve ever done comes from Knit One Awe Some. I even designed my crochet sheep off a modified version of this pattern. People love them.

This is the first I crocheted a few years ago. My skills have improved since then as you can see in my most recent work above and below ^_^;

I typically use Red Heart yarn and Caron Simply Soft (sometimes for the mane and tail).

The hook I typically use is a Boye H hook. Sometimes the stitches gape a little or look too spacey and I don’t notice until after assembly so it might be wise to use a small hook depending on the consistency of the yarn.

Agonizing over the face and attaching limbs and eyes just right is always a thing for me. I don’t like cutting felt and I still haven’t learned to use or be comfortable with applying puff paint.

I wrote the pattern I use for the eye pieces myself and they are sewed on. I cut felt for appliques/decoration like stars and hearts and use hot glue to apply them, along with rhinestones. Or I crochet the appliques and sew them on.

I may have to do a tutorial to explain how I do the mane and tail; there are two methods for the tail and I pretty much do the mane the same way every time.

This free pattern for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magical can be found over Knit One Awesome, a blog for free knitting and crochet patterns. This pattern really is pretty awesome.

These are more examples of my ponies, old and new.

Errata–Its Important, My Fellow Crafty

CRAFTY LOVE FRIEND! ^__^ (holding the book) Support Ccaftys and Visit Shanay’s shop, Starving Artist SC!

I’ve noticed that craft magazines issue for “errata” corrections when they need to correct something that was misprinted in a pattern. Never thought I’d have such an intimate experience with this.

Neither the publishers of Designer Crochet: 32 Patterns to Elevate Your Style nor its author, Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby (Shibaguyz Designz), noticed that the beautiful pattern on the cover of the book is misprinted.

Somebody had to have bought this book and noticed the cabling on the cowl neck sweater dress pattern is misprinted…right?

Wrong.

The book was published April 2015. I bought this book and surprised my friend and fellow crafty (pictured on the left, she owns Starving Artist SC) with it that December as a gift. I felt like the gift was ruined when the one pattern my friend wanted to crochet was obviously incorrect. She noticed that the cabling wasn’t right by the way the pattern was written. After she emailed them once or twice, Lark Crafts (the publishers) were slow to respond at first…

Really, really slow.

Obviously, correcting a misprint is a process. I bought this book for my friend in December 2015… The errata correction was not issued until July 2016, over half a year later.

Mistakes happen. The cowl neck sweater dress now has a correction and that’s good.

Seeds & Flowers Scarf

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

Even though I’ve made my peace with knitting, I don’t have the proper tools, inspiration,  or the knowledge to make anything other than a scarf.

Sooo I made a scarf.

Yarn: Woolspun by Lion Brand, in Tomato (at least 3 and 1/2 skeins)

Needles: Crystal Palace (size 11)

Stitch: seed stitch

Notions: Puffy Daisy (crochet) by Cecile Balladino @ Eclectic Gipsyland (Which I also wrote about here in Pattern of the Week)

I cast on at least 20 or so stitches though I do think its a little wide. I also made double the puffy flowers do the scarf is double-sided on my ends. I had to order more yarn because the only skein of Woolspun I had was gift from a friend. I had planned to make the scarf really, really long but later thought it might be cumbersome to wear and besides the yarn worked in a seed stitch is fairly stretchy.

I made learning the seed stitch really, really hard when in fact its not hard at all. I kept getting ribbing instead of a seed stitch because I kept second-guessing what to do after I worked a row instead of just continuing to knit one then purl one. As I worked, I started to see the difference between the way knits and purls look and it became easier for me realize when I’d made a mistake and where. At times it was frustrating, there was a lot of unraveling and having to pick my stitches up again (at least a dozen times). I learned that I prefer to cast off with a crochet hook and I even learned how to pick up dropped stitches during this project.

Unfortunately, at the time I wrote this, it was getting reaallly hot in California and every time I looked at the scarf, I got a little mad. Seeing red, I guess. Its very soft and cute though.

Making Peace With Knitting

IMG_20160501_1128206_rewind

Crystal Palace (bamboo, size 11), my favorites!

I always thought knitting looked cool. But not only does it require two needles as opposed to one hook, its more tedious to me than crochet because it seems to require more tools/accessories, more counting, and more attention to detail and stitches. And changing color looks more difficult. Furthermore, I never bothered to perfect my skills because I thought knitting was only good for scarves, bumpy-looking hats, socks, and, of course, the quintessential ugly sweater. Crochet was (and is) more versatile, in my opinion.

I bought more knitting needles in college and I sometimes practiced basic stitches by making scarves (that I never finished). However, after spending so much time learning crochet and its terms and ins and outs, it was hard for me to give knitting the time it deserved because it looked infinitely more difficult.

Knitting and crochet are two different things. Don’t compare them.

Or something like that, my crafty friend said to me once.

So I am here to say now that I like knitting and have taken the time necessary to learn more about it. After MUCH trial and error, my favorite stitch is the seed stitch. In trying to figure out my knitting style, I think its safe to say I’m a continental knitter. Flicking the yarn really strains my index finger though -__-. The style I’m interested in is is Scottish knitting, that looks dangerous and convenient!

Its so great to learn/relearn and practice a new craft then obsessively try to perfect it. I literally spent hours and days making my newfound peace with knitting. I’m glad for it.

IMG_20160430_1914116_rewind

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch.  The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^

My seeds and flowers scarf knitted in seed stitch. The puff flowers are crochet. ^_^