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

Monday, January 20, 2014

How a Simple Hobby Turned into a Timesink

A flower made from ruffle yarn. I'm adding it to something in my shop soon.

Hello again!

I was looking at my works in progress and thought, "I could finish some of these or I could blog about it!"
Guess which one I decided to do?

As I look at this pile of work on my desk, I think to myself, "How did it come to this? This was supposed to be something simple." I move it to my stash and look at the various yarns I've collected since starting just a short year ago.

My grandma crochets and her mother crocheted; I still have some butterfly magnets made by my great-grandma. My mom still sews and I took up sewing for all of a month before deciding I wasn't any good at it and I hate it (tying in ends and sewing amigurumi is still my least favorite chore when crafting).  So even though it's in the family, I never got interested in crocheting until last year.

I blame the Doctor from Doctor Who.

I tend to fidget and even though I have a fidget toy on my desk, it wasn't doing it for me. I realized I wanted to make something. "Put something silly in the world that ain't been there before," said Shel Silverstein.

He was right. Last year, I saw a Tenth Doctor amigurumi and thought, "I have to make that!" Then I looked around at all the beautiful scarves in stores and thought, "I can make those, too."  So I started crocheting.

And I haven't looked back.

I still haven't made that Tenth Doctor and I still need to finish the Portal companion cube and the other projects below. I haven't made much money off of my craft yet.

But I have gained a rich skill and the ability to make something unique, that "ain't been there before."

I just need to finish it.

Here's what I'm working on currently:
My scarf!  I used the Harriet lace stitch from NewStitchaDay.  The yarn is special because it's made from a recycled sweater. I got it at an Etsy shop called ThoughfulRoseSupply . There haven't been many knots and it's so soft!
A sneak peek of something I'm putting in my shop soon. 

A ballet tutu coffee cozy. It has that seam going down the middle and a loose thread. When I tried to rip it out to redo it, I found the entire thing was stuck (so, yay durability?). I'm planning on making another one.

Fingerless gloves I made for a coworker. I just need to tie in the ends.
UPDATE: Done! 

How are your projects going? Is there anything you need to finish or redo? Let me know in the comments!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

How a Conference turned into a Cat Toy

Hello again!

I wanted to share my latest project.  It all started with a conference.

A few weeks ago, I had an idea to make a cat bed that looks like a cheeseburger. My cats love yarn and plastic, and of course, all cats love cheezburgers (at least, that's what the internet told me, so it must be true). I wasn't really sure how to start and I had other projects to work on at the time, so I didn't give it much serious thought. A week or so later, I was sent to a conference for the preschool where I teach. Usually the content is great and I love learning new things for the classroom, but this session in particular was irrelevant and worse, dry as dirt. They say necessity is the mother of invention but I believe boredom has more to do with jumpstarting the creative process. My e-reader was at home and my phone was dead. So I doodled.

This is the initial sketch and planning. Originally, I was going to make an entire bed, then decided I'd better start small. The square is because I had the mad notion to make the cheese square. I had plenty of stash yarn, so the project was on!

Well, after I finished Christmas presents and a commission for a coworker. Then there was the Steam sale...anyway.

Once I started, it worked up surprisingly quickly.  The only hangup I had was with the bottom (still not satisfied with it; it has this weird ridge where I joined it).

Of course, Mirri couldn't resist trying to sample it before it was done:

Finally, I finished it!  My first ever cat toy toy cheeseburger!


My cats can't stand it, which is odd because they love the red beanbag I made. That one wasn't even made for them; they appropriated it one day from my finished items, which I now keep tightly locked up.

Ajani was interested for a little while, until he realized he can't eat it. This is him batting at it, confused about why this thing is in his bowl.

I think the cats feel insulted because it's not actually food. It looks like food, but it certainly doesn't smell like it. Maybe I should try to give it to them from the table. Or keep them from it.  *sigh* And people wonder why my husband and I don't have children yet.