Thursday, May 1, 2014

Latest WIP

I like peacock feathers and thought it would make a great barefoot sandal! I had to stop before finishing the dark green round. I'll post the finished product here when I'm done! 2 1/2 hours and counting so far; I hope the other one doesn't take that long!

Edit: So now, this is just a pile of yarn. As it got bigger, it kept curling and I was running out of yarn anyway. Then I thought it might be too big, so I just frogged it. I'll have to work on it this summer when I have a little more time, but I'm pretty much done for any serious crocheting until next Sat. Still trying to crochet a little every day or at least draw. 

Here's what I drew:

It's going to be
this little guy from Broken Age: Part 1.  My problem is I want it to be perfect, so I'll just have to experiment and see what I can come up with. There are others out there, but no pattern yet, which means an extra challenge for me. But it's a good challenge. 

Until later!


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spring Flower Roundup!

What's this? I'm posting another "Style on a Stick" post before I post on my teaching blog? The world must be going backwards!

Remember that hat from the last post? The green and blue one I said needed a flower?  I've been spending more time researching flowers than actually making them!  I tried a pattern of my own but it ended up looking like a square with a strange squiggle in the middle.  Not very attractive. My wonderful and supportive husband said, "It looks fine. I like it." Usually he's very truthful about what's straight and what works but he could tell I needed some encouragement.

So.  Because it's spring.  Because Mother's Day is next month. Because I really don't want to have to go through all this again. Because you all are awesome people that deserve a little beauty in your life. Because I don't feel like working right now. 

The (My) Definitive Flower List!

(And the best part is, they're all FREE!)

1. Crochet Flower Bracelet from Petals to Picots

I love this. I pinned it a while back and have made it a goal to make a few out of stash yarn. They look easy to work up once you get the pattern and I bet there are truckloads of ways you could customize it. 

2. Flower Necklace Hawaiian Dream

Did you know "Hawaii" is actually pronounced "Huh-VUH-ee"? Thanks, Gabriel Iglesias!
I'll confess: I really like wearable flowers. I used a magnolia in my hair instead of a veil in my wedding. In general, they're a great way to brighten up an outfit and your spirit. I'm going to try one of these as an anklet since I found a great deal on embroidery floss in lots of great bright colors!

3. Flower Power Pot Holders

This project just appeals to me and shows me how a great name can energize you. "Flower Power." Doesn't it make you immediately reach for those bright oranges and yellows and pinks and greens and make something straight out of the 70s? My mom grew up in the 70s and is moving soon, so I might make this as a housewarming gift. 

4. Flower Appliques

Here's more wearable art. Brighten up a simple tank top or summery skirt with these. 

5. Flowers that Won't Wilt

I love the multiple layers of this design! This flower could really work with anything. It would be great on a pillow or blanket or as an embellishment on a hat. Use different colors throughout for a different look.

6. Flower Earrings

I love learning new techniques (see my last blog post).  These lovely flowers are made with cluster stitches. I think what really got me was the purple. If it's purple, I want it. I might have to practice this one a few times but it looks fairly simple.

7. Flower Brooch

The name says "brooch," but these would be good on anything, really.  I like how the layers come together. Plus, the button in the middle is so cute! Not a new concept by any means but you really can't go wrong with it. 

8. Flowers for Momma

The pattern says these are dahliahs. I don't know anything about flowers, so I'll take the creator's word for it. I just love how simple and elegant these look! 

9. Christmas Poinsettia Flower

No, it's not Christmas. (Or maybe it is. If you're reading this around Christmas, Merry Christmas!)
This is still a beautiful flower that uses an interesting technique for the petals to give it that extra "pop." It reminds me of the crocodile stitch flower that I still have trouble getting to come out right. 

10. Um...

Ok, I couldn't find 10 entries. Maybe you can help me with that! 
What are your favorite flower patterns? 
If I make one of them for Etsy, I'll give you a coupon for 10% off! 

Feel Free to Pin these, but please give credit to the original source! 

Friday, April 11, 2014

How a Vacation turned into Summery Accessories

Hello all!

Yay, all Relaxed

     I just got back from a fantastic vacation in Florida! My husband has family there so we only paid for transportation and incidentals. If you ever get the chance to visit the Destin area, do it. Everything is right next to the beach and the sunsets are absolutely incredible. The sand is white, the ice cream is homemade, and the dolphins are abundant. In between biking and sightseeing, I got plenty of time to relax and work on some new projects. The walks on the beach and warm sunshine inspired me to capture summer in my work. Scroll down to see items that will be on sale as soon as I get some decent pictures!

Neopolitan Beanie

       I found a great pattern from Meladora's Creations and as usual, couldn't resist putting my own spin on it. These hats are open so they'll keep you cool while protecting your scalp from the sun.
This yarn made me think of Neopolitan ice cream. When you sit outside with the ice cream in a styrofoam bowl on a hot summer day, the ice cream melts together into the perfect consistency, creating unique swirls, just like this hat. I used Peaches and Creme in Sandstone Stripes, which was easy to work with and light, being 100% cotton. "Sandstone Stripes." Even the name of the yarn conjures up gorgeous beaches.

I Dream of Beanie

    This hat was made from stash yarn. Originally I bought it for a pair of handmade flip flops but I never made it past the initial stages. The colors in this hat make me think of blue, cloudless skies and key lime pie.

  I think the lime green and blue together will be a striking combination for a flower once I can get more yarn (isn't that always the way it goes? Instead of getting rid of 1 ball, I'm adding 2!)Plus, I can use them for an amigurumi from one of my favorite games, Broken Age.

"It's...a...HUG ATTACK!" D'aww...

Twilight Sands Barefoot Sandals

Finally, here are some barefoot sandals using this pattern. They were easier to make than I thought they'd be. The most trouble I had with them was in working in the ends. I also think they ended up a little smaller than I wanted, so I'll have to play around with gauge. To me they evoke twilight on bright sand.

Win 10% off any item in my shop!

Time for this month's contest! I need some great keywords for Etsy. What so these projects make you think of? Let me know in the comments below. If I use your answer, you'll get a code for 10% off anything in my shop!
Thanks for reading and I'll see you next time! 

Amy Latta

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Not Yet Dead

I've been learning a lesson this month: always take time for what makes you happy! In this case, it's crochet, which has fallen by the wayside. I've had tons of work in my day job as a preschool teacher so my lunches (crochet time) have been cut short or nonexistent. I just got into a Master's program and UNC Chapel Hill (Yay!) and have been working on the application and grant application. All this work before it even starts! Besides that, we had a storm here in NC that knocked out our power for 3 days. I was more worried about staying warm and making sure my husband and I were in safe places than crocheting those days. Plus, we just got Nintendo 3DSs so we had to try those out!
 I've also been taking time for a few personal projects, like this Zelda iPad cover for a friend:

I'm not really happy with the triangles; next time I'll work them directly into the fabric. 

And a hat for an auction at work:

I'm terrible about taking pictures before I weave in the ends. It's my least favorite part of crocheting!

I love the hat pattern, which can be found here:

Plus, my husband and I are planning a trip soon so of course we have to find deals on activities and hotels!

I'm setting a goal for myself to get one item made for the shop and 2 next month.  I am working on a pair of these little beauties and plan to make more in different colors. 

Any guesses? Leave them in the comments below and I'll pick someone to get 10% off any item in my shop!

How do you make sure you have time for your hobbies? 

Friday, February 14, 2014

How a Duchess Gave me Gloves

Sometimes it all starts with the yarn.
I found this beautiful, multicolored yarn with greens, blues, and purples intermingled. It was soft and fuzzy. I knew it would be just perfect for fingerless gloves!

 It took me a while to find a good stitch; I finally settled on something called "Dutchess Lace" from NewStitchaDay. That site is quickly becoming a favorite.

I love the diamond pattern and figured it would be perfect for gloves.

Unfortunately, patterns don't always turn out like you expect them to.  What I ended up with instead was an interesting scale pattern with a nice scalloped edge. Using some basic stitches as a base, I made these:

If you like them, click on the pic or here to get them for your very own! I also put up a rough pattern on my Ravelry project page here.

Have a great day!

-Amy Latta

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

So many projects...

Hello all,

You probably don't know this, but I'm a bit of a geek. My husband helped me build a computer so it can handle modern games. I love old cartoons and role-playing games. I play Magic: the Gathering 2014 almost obsessively (on Steam). With this in mind, there are a few projects I need to make before I put anything else up in the shop (once I finish my current project, which is for the shop).

Recently I played a game called "Broken Age." You may have heard of it; it's the one that raised $3million on Kickstarter just for the virtue of being created by DoubleFine. In that game, you play from two perspectives: a girl in a village and a boy on a spaceship. Imagine my surprise when I played the boy's story and found tons of yarn!  Even the star charts are knitted. So I saw this little guy:

Isn't he adorable?  
I don't know what they're called, but they're made entirely out of yarn. I'm going to make the blue one.

My friend asked for an amigurumi of Oblina from "Aaaah! Real Monsters!
The picture is from DeviantArt. Challenge accepted.

Another friend of mine asked for a Zelda-themed iPad case. I'm making it black and putting the Triforce on it: 

Finally, my husband saw some fingerless gloves I made for a coworker's husband and wanted some too. I don't have a picture of them, but they were awesome. Ribbed at the bottom, nice and long, thick grey yarn. 

I'm posting these here because they've been in my personal queue for a while and I can't wait to share the finished products with everyone!

Until next time,

Amy Latta

Thursday, January 30, 2014

How a Sweater turned into a Scarf

Hello all!

It's finally done. After holding onto the yarn for over a month and crocheting in bits and pieces for weeks, it's finally done! The hardest part was figuring out the pattern. I knew I wanted something lacy, since the yarn itself is a light fingering weight. I settled on a scarf because the softness of the yarn would be nice and warm. After some searching, I used the Harriet stitch, which can be found on NewStitchADay.  I ended up modifying it a little so the edges would be straight.Here's what the first few rows look like before blocking.  It's a good thing I'm not selling it! Yikes!

And the last rows once I got the pattern figured out. It's also closer to the true color:

So what about the sweater? Well, that's the best part. I do some posting on Etsy and found a great yarn shop called ThoughfulRoseSupply. The owner recycles sweaters by unraveling them and winding the yarn. She will even make a center pull ball for free! As a result, I got a great rayon and silk blend at a great price.

Here it is laid out:

I still have some yarn left; what should I make next? Leave your project in the comments and if I pick yours, I'll give you a discount on the finished product.

--Amy Latta