October 7th–One Small Step, One Big Leap

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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.

 

 

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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

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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.

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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. ^_^

Pattern of the Week: Cross-Over Long DC Fingerless Gloves by Rhelena

IMG_20160323_2323541_rewindI finished these for my mom. She asked for them because her hands get cold at work but she needs her fingers unencumbered. I was actually looking for a crochet pattern that has just the fingertips missing but that comes up at the base of the fingers. But this pattern taught me a new stitch and worked out just fine for my mom!

I used Red Heart: Warm Brown yarn and my Boyle G 4.25mm hook. The pattern says its for petite hands and my mom’s hands are medium/large-ish so I increased by a few chains at the beginning. I think I chained 30 or more instead of 24. It seems like the project worked up thicker to me. That’s actually my hands in the pictures, which are smaller than my mom’s. (I’m not exactly the ideal hand model! It took an ounce of bravery to post the picture since I’m very self-conscious about my hands.)

Shout out to Rhelena over at Crochet N’ Crafts for this stylish pattern. If you like the Cross Over Long Double Crochet Fingerless Gloves, please visit Rhelena’s blog for the pattern and have a look around.

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The Ever Clever Miss Stitch’s New Blog

Feel Free to Visit My Etsy Store

Feel Free to Visit My Etsy Store (Previously Realm of the Heart)

I thought of making a new blog for a long time but am still trying to cut down on how many blogs I have.

I have a crafty blog on tumblr but I don’t want to use it anymore. I have also had a blog on WP for craftiness before but deleted it. New camera, new understanding of the importance of lighting, new concept of just how dark it is in my apartment–NEW BLOG. And, besides, so much of the tumblr community is such a bother. Additionally, most of my other blogs are on WordPress anyway.

This is personal blog for archiving my experiences and projects as a creative person and textile artist, otherwise known as a crafty. I hope other people find something useful or unique here.

–TECMS