Monday, 21 November 2016

My First Vendor Fair... And Possibly My Last

This past weekend I tried my first ever Holiday fair - and it was certainly an experience. I have sold my artwork and various things at anime conventions in the past, but selling at a fair outside of an established convention was new to me. 

I really love making things and seeing them go to others. It brings me joy to make something that others love just as much as I did making them, haha. Ever since I started crocheting, I was inspired to do just that with my yarn items. I was hoping this new type of fair would enable me to do this more than once or twice a year.

I was under the impression that there was going to be a majority of crafters at this event, but the fair ended up being a mishmash of MLMs (multi-level marketing - read: Avon, Tupperware, Scentsy etc) with a few crafters here and there. It was a bit disheartening, but I wasn't discouraged. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Recent Projects #3 - October

October is probably my favourite month of the year. As much as I adore late spring and early summer, Autumn is my true season to love. I also absolutely love Halloween. For someone that loves cute and fuzzy things, I have a weird interest in the morbid and eerie.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to crochet anything Halloween themed this month because I am preparing stock for an upcoming craft fair in November! The fair is Christmas themed, so this month was full of elves and warm things. It was a strange October for me. I might crochet some Halloween things later in the year so I don't miss out entirely!

I also released my first pattern this month! I'll spare posting it again, but if you're interested in taking a look at my Junco Elf hat, please take a look at my earlier post (and pattern instructions) here.

A good friend of mine wanted to make a Pokémon themed costume for this year's Halloween, so I gladly made her a big plush Poké Ball. I think it turned out a bit big for her taste, but I'm really happy with how it turned out. There are so many different patterns out there for this sort of project, but thankfully I found a really nice one to my tastes here

[ For more information, see the project's Ravelry Project Page ]
Thankfully, she did enjoy the plush I made her! Not going to lie, after I finished making it I had to fight all my temptation to throw the ball at people with its soft, plushy goodness!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Crochet Pattern - Junco Elf Hat

I wanted to make a nice and simple elf-themed hat for a local craft fair. I found a few patterns but they just didn't workup as quickly as I'd like them to. I ended up making this quick little pattern on a whim. Thankfully it turned out very nicely! I know it's a bit early for Christmas items - it is a few weeks before Halloween - but with all the snow I have outside it almost feels like Christmas!

This is a very easy pattern and great for beginners. It only requires two basic stitches - the single crochet (double in UK terms) and double crochet (treble in UK terms).

This pattern is free to use. If you'd like to share it with friends, please provide a link to this page here. (It helps support me and also gives me incentive to make more free patterns!) If you'd like to sell items made from this pattern, please do by all means!

18/10/16 edit - did a minor edit fixing a missing 'front loop only' in a step.

In this pattern, we will be alternating between front loops and back loops while crocheting. This can seem a little tricky to a beginner, but it is actually quite easy. 

Maggie's Crochet has a wonderful series called 'Crochet University'. To learn more about front and back loops, she has a video on learning this technique. 

Junco Elf Hat
This hat is named on behalf of the White-winged Junco, a very cute little winter bird.


Sizes: Baby and Child

Hook Size: 5.00 / H / 8
Recommended Yarn: Medium (4), Aran (10 ply)
I used Caron Simply Soft Party in Spring Sparkle (0003) / Fuschia Sparkle (0002) for the hat and Bernat Happy Holidays in Twinkly White (31709) for the trim.
You will also need: a yarn needle, straight pins, two bells (optional) and a pompom (optional)

Crochet Stitch Abbr. Used:
sc = single crochet
dc = double crochet
sl = slip stitch
ch = chain
flo = front loop only
blo = back loop only

American terms are used in this pattern. For US-UK conversion chart, see here
Crochet abbreviations are used. If you are unfamiliar with them, please see here

Monday, 3 October 2016

Value Village Yarn Haul

I am an avid thrifter. I absolutely love visiting thrift stores and antique malls. Not only do I get a bit of a 'thrill of the hunt' but I also just really like older things. There was a sense of style and imagination with a lot of older pieces that aren't really around anymore. It's also so much easier to hunt for things that reflect my style, as my love for early 20th century clothing (and even older clothing/style for that matter) really shows in my look.

I visited my local Value Village and discovered a little corner of knitting things. I've never seen a thrift store with crafty pieces, so I was very surprised. I feel a bit foolish now as I took the time to look online afterwards and discovered it's not exactly a rarity. Maybe it's just uncommon in my area! Who knows?

The yarn was priced fairly for what it was. I could tell a lot of the yarn was older, probably relics from an older relative that someone had donated, but it definitely still looked usable. No frayed yarn or tangled bundles, thankfully. I didn't feel like buying a bunch of 99¢ skeins so I just grabbed a random bag for $5.99.

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Recent Projects #2 - September

September was a great month for crochet. With the organized chaos of August, a calm September was warmly welcomed. Autumn is my favourite season and it hits my local area very quickly. By the beginning of the month, there were already trees changing colour. It was a perfect setting for crocheting as well as great inspiration for colour!

At the beginning of the month, or rather very late August, the boyfriend and I started a Dungeons & Dragons campaign with some friends. So nerdy, I know. He decided to play as a half-elf, but was discouraged by their lack of beards. It was because of this that he made his character have a disguise beard, for no real reason other than to have one. Of course this meant I had to make him one for him - in reality - to have as well. My only regret is not making it with nicer yarn, but I was on a budget.

I also decided to make a dice bag for myself, as my old one I made many moons ago was falling apart. I already had the yarns lying around so it was a nice little treat to myself without costing anything. I love the colours together, as you can see I was already feeling the "autumn spirit", haha.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Rainy Weather Ghosties (Teru Teru Bōzu)

Yesterday was an incredibly rainy day. From morning to night - even extending to today! I think it must be one heck of a storm, haha.  I actually love the rain and it was a welcome change from the blistering heat we have had lately, but I know a lot of people were not pleased, haha. As long as I can get to-and-from my work and home safe, then I don't mind to see a change of pace with the weather.

I am really falling in love with amigurumi. The simplicity of making them along with the very visible progress while creating them is just fantastic. I wanted to make another amigurumi so I thought it would be fun to make a teru teru bozu! Teru teru bozu (てるてる坊主) are a Japanese folklore tradition. They are used to ward off bad weather in hopes of having good weather. People usually use these in anticipation for important events. It's more of a thing for children to do, but it's common all around the country!

A scene from 'Yotsuba&!' by Kiyohiko Azuma

Growing up I watched a lot of anime (Japanese cartoons) on tv. Through the translation process to English they often cut out cultural references, so I often saw these 'ghost things' on the cartoons and always wondered what they were. These are supposed to look like little bald monks, but I always saw them as ghosts!

I found the perfect pattern at the Happie Scrappie blog. The project was a nice and short one and I'm really happy with how it turned out! The half-moon smile and button eyes were the easiest part, but they definitely gave this little one the cute, little face it deserved!

[For more information on the project, see its Raverly project page.]

I had a really fun time working with the yarn I chose. While normally I’d hate the feel and stiffness of the Craft Smart Value yarn, I love the stiff feel when it comes to amigurumi. It feels so solid and it really keeps its shape. The affordability of it is just an extra bonus. Just lovely!
I made a tiny modification to the skirt since I wanted it to be a bit longer, just added one extra line of single crochet. I think I crocheted much looser than the original pattern called for, as the skirt ended up much longer! It may also have been an effect from the stiff nature of the yarn.

I also decided to make it a cute little scarf rather than just tie some ribbon around the neck. I thought it would be cuter and it definitely is. It's a super basic mini-scarf. One row of double crochet (us), length however long you desire. At one point before the end skip 3 ch (or however many rows you need for the button to fit) to create a buttonhole before the end. Easy!

All said and done, after I spent the time to make this doll I had completely forgotten to hang it up yesterday! I know! How could I forget? Maybe that was why it continued to rain today? 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Recent Projects #1 - August

Although I tried to teach myself crochet three whole times, I didn't really get it until the third attempt. Thank goodness! By  July 2016, I already had a mass of purchased yarn and many gifted crochet items from people who no longer enjoy the craft. I felt like I had won something once I was able to get past that foundation chain, haha. The guilt of those items just sitting there is now lifted!

My few projects are just awful and poorly made that I refused to share them here right now, haha. Maybe in the future I will share them, we'll see. Technically I finished those in July anyway so no need to share, right? ;)

This month was an absolute mess! I was so insanely busy, haha. The month began with a large convention event and a mud run (6k obstacle course up and down a ski-hill!) that absolutely wrecked me. It was so much fun, the exhaustion was very much worth it. After that weekend, I had spent a lot of weekends at other events and with friends, so it really cut my crochet time down!

This month is the month of my best friend's birthday, as well as her wonderful sister I also love, so I decided I would make them some presents. I had to use all that extra yarn anyway, right? (Spoiler alert: I bought more yarn, of course.)

My bestie and I grew close through a mutual friend and a passion for Bioware video games. This girl live and breathes Mass Effect! Femshep is a personal inspiration to her, and it very much shows, haha. I wanted to make her something to match her many N7 themed items. She owns far too many plushes and her boyfriend would flip if I gave her one, so I decided to make her a scarf! This girl really loves scarves so it's perfect!

I'm not super happy with the way it looks as far as the horizontal stripe 'thingies' go, but the scarf ended up so warm and comfy. She loves very, very long scarves so it was a bonus that it ended up this big! Originally I was going to make an infinity scarf but I decided not to. Happy happenings?

[For more information on the project, see its Raverly project page.]