Crochet Resolutions 2017

It is time once again to make a few ambitious goals for the new year. First, a review of my 2016 resolutions

“Go through all 21 patterns…” was an insane resolution. there was no way I was getting through even one of them. That book is a little intimidating, so I will adjust my resolution to learning five new patterns from the book, Crochet to Calm. This book was a gift for Christmas and the projects are small, simple, and colorful.

“Take one class…” should have been an easy task. I found a lot of the classes offered take place during work hours. Very recently, I walked into a Michaels craft store and found they offer some classes on Monday evenings. That being said, this resolution will stay on the table!

“Open up an Etsy store…” is actually in progress. Although I didn’t make any sales online, I did sell my products through close networks. I am currently tweaking patterns and adding a personal touch. I am hoping to have all the kinks smoothed out so my Etsy shop has a smooth launch.

“Post … once a week” simply didn’t happen. I don’t think I gave myself a realistic goal given my time constraints. Going into 2017, I will post once a month.

img_6597A quick review:

  1. Learn 5 new patterns from Crochet to Calm.
  2. Take one class.
  3. Open the Etsy store.
  4. Blog once a month.

Let’s be honest, I didn’t technically complete any of my resolutions. After reflecting on them, I am still confident that I am making progress. I am very excited to start creating, learning, and selling more in 2017. Thank you to everyone who supported me last year.

Palette and Purl

This past October, Chase and I took a trip out to Minnesota. He was born and raised in a suburb of Minneapolis, so we hit all the stops: a few parks, restaurants, the science museum, and a lot more. On our last day in town, we tried finding some new places to explore. Chase found Electric Fetus completely by accident, which happens to be a famous record shop and often visited by Prince.

pp_fb_logoMy find wasn’t nearly as famous, but still was very much worth the trip. I wanted to find a local yarn shop, and that’s exactly what I did. I wish I had taken more pictures of the store, but I was so preoccupied by the yarn. As I walked in, I was greeted by the shop owner, Kelly Sadler, and there were a couple ladies there working on their own projects. I felt she knew I was from out of town based on my Packer jersey, so we chatted for a little bit and she showed me around.

They stocked everything from skeins of local alpaca wool to acrylics. I love shopping local, so I splurged on a couple of Minnesotan skeins. Chase picked the 100% alpaca skein from Avalon Alpacas in a rich brown and I gravitated toward the 90% alpaca/10% wool in aquamarine by Fibers by Nature. As I was wandering around, I stumbled across a giant skein of a green Peruvian highland wool by Cascade Yarns. Not local, but it was a great deal. Kelly also had these adorable cinch bags, perfect for yarn, projects, and tools. It took me the longest time to decide on my favorite pattern. They were all great, and reasonably priced too. If I hadn’t picked out so much yarn already, I would’ve bought several of these. I ended up picking out one to bring home for mom and another for myself.

fullsizerenderThis yarn shop provided me with a lot of good conversation, ideas, and of course yarn! When I return to the area, I am bound to visit them again. I need to find some great projects to use the yarn before I head back. If you have any ideas, please leave them in the comments.

Links:
https://squareup.com/market/palette-and-purl
www.avalonalpacas.com
www.fibersbynature.com
www.cascadeyarns.com

The Bucket Bag

IMG_4599As I mentioned in my last post, I got a crochet book for Christmas with new techniques and stitches. There are 21 patterns in the book to apply skills to, some of them aren’t really up my alley and I might skip over them, but the first one is interesting.

The first pattern in the book is a bucket bag. It uses a couple skeins and some fabric for the lining. The book lists some fancy yarn I haven’t heard of, but with it being my first time trying the pattern I didn’t want to waste it, so I bought some classic I Love This Yarn. The pattern uses single crochet and also introduces the trail stitch which I have never tried. One thing that looks challenging is adding a liner to the bag. I have no skill in sewing so I may have to use my resources (A.K.A. Mom).

Today is my day off so I’m excited to jump in and get started on this as well as finishing up a couple other projects I started a while back. Check back in to the blog to see how it turns out!

Crochet Resolutions

IMG_4453Long time, no see!  With the holidays and a recent vacation, I’ve definitely fallen behind on crochet projects and the blog. I made a mad dash to finish my first afghan and two sets of washcloths which all had to be done for Christmas. Since then, I’ve only started a set of fingerless gloves and that’s about it. This week for the blog, I decided to reflect on the holidays and make new goals for the year. For Christmas, I got a few things that I can’t wait to use. Mom gave me a full set of Boyce hooks so I no longer have to run out and buy hooks for new projects (unless it’s something crazy obscure). I also won’t have to mark my stitches with a paperclip anymore because I have a set of stitch markers as well. My boyfriend got me a great crochet book with references to the stitches I already know and new ones I haven’t heard of yet. There are several projects to apply new techniques, so I’ll be posting my progress as I get through them.

That being said, here are my crochet goals of 2016:

  1. Go through all 21 patterns in Marie-Noëlle Bayard’s book, Crochet!: Techniques-Stitches-Patterns.
  2. Take one class at a nearby yarn or craft store to learn a new technique.
  3. Open up an Etsy store, not necessarily to make a mad profit, but to make my hobby self sufficient.
  4. Post regularly to the blog once a week.

 

They’re all simple goals, but they will accomplish so much. When I started, I could only make washcloths and I’m hoping by the end of the year I can get out of my “beginner” rut.

The Mega Cowl

IMG_4332I have always wanted to try crochet with bulky yarn. I figured I could make an easy project quickly. I wasn’t completely wrong. I did end up with a cool bulky cowl, but it was my first time using a giant yarn and hook so it took longer than I had hoped. I found the perfect opportunity when I went to the store a couple weeks ago and the Bernat Mega Bulky yarn was on sale. I grabbed a couple skeins of grey and one in a really cool mustard yellow along with an S hook. When I got home, I found the cowl pattern I was looking for on the Yarnspirations website. If you haven’t been on that site, it’s really helpful if you have yarn and don’t know what to do with it. You can search for projects by the brand, what you would like to make, or skill level. I found the Big Clusters Cowl pattern and went for it. It wasn’t as easy as I had hoped, then again it was my first time. It was sometimes difficult to see the stitches and I was super clumsy with the S hook. Once I took it apart a couple times, I really got the hang of it. I would definitely recommend it to a beginner looking to try something new. The cowl turned out great! It was a nice change from my usual washcloths and mug cozies. I’ll have to find something to do with the one skein of yellow I have left.

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5 Crochet Bag Essentials

IMG_4295One of my favorite things about crochet is how portable it is. I can pick it up and take it anywhere, all you really need is some yarn and a hook. When I started crochet, I got myself a Thirty-one bag and filled it with some added essentials.

  1. Several mismatched hooks. I don’t quite have a full, consistent set of hooks, my first hooks were hand-me-downs from my mom and other friends. I have hooks from size D up to N so that I can pull out almost any project to work on.
  2. The Crochet Answer Book by Edie Eckman. I found this gem at a Goodwill for 50 cents and it has been the best resource for me. I highly recommend this book to any skill level.
  3. A small pair of scissors and tapestry needles. If there’s something I procrastinate on, it’s sewing in ends. I keep these with me so I don’t have an excuse not to finish a project on the go.
  4. My favorite yarn. I usually take along Sugar ‘n Cream brand yarn. It’s inexpensive and compact. I use this yarn a lot for mug sweaters, washcloths, etc.
  5. A small notebook and pencil. If I’m out and I don’t have time to finish a project, I can take notes on my progress so I don’t forget where I left off.

ColorKeeper Tested

IMG_0124I tested my first pattern! Thanks to the ChrochetHome blog, I was fortunate enough to try out a draft of Nela’s pattern for the ColorKeeper granny square. I hadn’t tried a granny square before and I’d have to say, it was very successful. This project pushed me to try something new and I even had to run out and get new yarn. I used Sinfonia yarn and a Yarnology D (3.25mm) hook.

The pattern has great quality pictures to guide you along and she explains the stitches very well. If that was just a draft, then I can only imagine that the finished product turned out ten times better. This would be an awesome pattern for some beginners even. You can go ahead and purchase the pattern at her etsy store and make sure to follow her blog.