Patterns and Colors

I remember visiting fabric stores with my momma when I was little. “I’m going to make you a dress,” she’d say. “But first we have to pick out a pattern.” We’d go through pattern book after pattern book. She’d see something cute and point it out to me. I’d say no, I didn’t like the color, or the print, or too many flowers. Because the picture was made in a fabric that didn’t suit my tastes, I would rule the pattern out completely and keep looking. Most of the time we both ended up frustrated. Sometimes she would find a pattern she liked and we’d go straight to picking out material. It was years before she made me realize that I was only supposed to be looking at the shape of the dress, that the rest was completely up to our discretion and we could do whatever we wanted.

I like to think that I’m better about that now. I like the freedom of being able to take what I want and like about a pattern and change all the rest of it. I have an easier time doing that when it comes to sewing.
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This dress is a perfect example. The inspiration was white and blue. I was presented with green satin. I had some very overwhelming pink organza. I love how it turned out, and so did the owner.

Crochet patterns are ever challenging though. I see a gorgeous pattern, and I love everything about it. Then I look at my yarn stash, and see nothing that will do justice to that pattern. Much of my stash is a collection of hand-dyed single skeins. They are the most beautiful yarns I’ve ever seen, but finding the perfect patterns to showcase their beauty is difficult. To that end, I will be showcasing my collection of one-skein patterns. Many that I have used, many that are in my ravelry queue. Reviews will be provided where appropriate, of both pattern and yarn. My work schedule is about to get crazy with the upcoming holiday season, so hopefully this will provide an opportunity to reflect.

Hiatus

I’ve always found it particularly difficult to blog during the summer. There’s always something to do. This year my something to do was taking a break from everything except work in an effort to deal with stresses. I did quite a bit of creating over the summer (though I’m now on forced hiatus from that so I can make myself accomplish several time-sensitive projects) so I’ll hopefully have several yarn and pattern reviews coming up and several other things as well.

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Silk and a Struggle With Perfection

There is no challenge in worsted weight acrylic. It is a tool, and a tool only. No longer do I marvel at the colors, the texture is so-so. I find it to be very serviceable for babies and children, because it wears extremely well and it washes extremely well. But there is no challenge and there is no excitement in the yarn itself, only in the pattern.

I purchased a skein of Silk Ribbon Yarn from YarnBabyLLC several months ago. It is green, it is beautiful, and I promptly crocheted it into this thing that was nothing like the thing that was in my head. I grew frustrated, so I put it away.

Not long thereafter Darn Good Yarn was running a promotion for their Mystery Box – 4 skeins of yarn for a little more than half price – a great opportunity to try out some new fibers. I bought, they shipped, it arrived, and lo and behold, two more skeins of Silk Ribbon Yarn. (check out Darn Good Yarn, they have a great ministry)

Now what was I going to do with all of this bulky yarn? Each skein consisted of 50-ish yards, not enough for really anything.

Then I happened upon the Zpagetti Clutch pattern on Ravelry. Designed by Cecily Rosol of Happy Chatter, the pattern calls for a tshirt yarn, but only about 50 yards of it. I decided to try my silk and what a success!

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It has been a tremendous challenge for me personally. I struggle with perfectionism. And this silk, with its knotted ends and varying widths has made me let go. I had to. Otherwise I would lose my mind. The stitches are not even, they cannot be. But I think that adds a charm to it, a whimsy, a certain carefree spirit. I need more of that carefree spirit.

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I hope to be finishing the last of these today, then working on the finishing and photography process. Listing on Etsy to take place soon after with the option for custom orders. I see them as bridesmaid gifts, personally. What about you?

A Break

Sometimes a girl just needs a break. My need came from six-day workweeks, from stressful jobs and coworkers, from not enough sleep and too much on my to-do list and laundry that simply wasn’t getting caught up. The creating didn’t stop though, as the following images can attest.

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This is an amazing silk yarn from Yarn Baby LLC (my new guilty pleasure), it has since been turned into a scarf/shawl/cowl/belt, but I’m not positive I’m happy with how it turned out, so it may be reworked soon. If not, I’ll post photos once I get my model to cooperate. ;)

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Also from Yarn Baby, this is a Polwarth Wool which perfectly matches my bedspread. It has been cowled, and I LOVE it. I’m hoping to get a pattern review up soon because it is gorgeous.

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This is my Shades of Sunflowers necklace (now available on Etsy). Malachite, shell and wooden beads hand-wrapped in brass wire are set off by a silver-tone sunflower charm.

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I love this bracelet! Hemp, malachite and brass wire, crocheted together for a beachy, summery wrap bracelet. It’ll be available on Etsy soon, I hope.

I have several “new” projects in the works, a few original patterns, etc. I’ll try to stay on top of those while keeping y’all updated on Craft Show planning!

It has been nearly a month

This happens every single time I blog. I start out with the best of intentions, at least a post every single week, I tell myself. I tell myself. Then life happens, and when life happens, the blog seems to be the first thing out the window with laundry landing smack dab on top of it. So when life pauses for a moment and I can recollect, the laundry has to be moved before I can find the blog.

My life has been busy. The work. The shooting class. The never-ending need and desire for more sleep than I have. The eating habit. It has left me with little or no motivation to blog. I crochet, starting project after project (and I even finished one today!). I photograph, shooting class after shooting class and snow, too. I’ve had this tremendous ache for sunrises lately, so if I ever get up early enough to stop and take pictures on the way to work, I’ll continue to photograph those as well. I have thoughts and ideas and I am overwhelmed with characters, but I have no time. I’ve promised myself a summer off, just one job, no classes. Until then I’m being overwhelmed with creativity and drudging along in the same crochet paths I’ve drudged before. Until then I will attempt to remain constant. Trying ever so hard to carpe diem instead of sleeping, napping, or watching netflix during my two hours of free time.

NEW on Etsy!

It’s about time, right? I think I’ve spoken about my good intentions and bad follow through before. If we add that to two jobs, one at 40 hours a week, the other at 12ish, my inability to say no, two shooting classes at roughly 1.5-2 hours each, and the fact that I really really enjoy sleeping and eating, I don’t have much time left in my week for the things I really want to do. But I’m trying, I promise! I’m nearly finished with the first (of many, I’m sure) Eloise sweater by Moogly and I am positively loving it. I can’t wait to review the pattern and show you the photos. It’s been an excellent stash buster project and I intend to make a matching Bobble Poof hat to finish up the last little bits of color. This one has been earmarked for a favorite little girl, but I hope to be making more soon because they are just so cute! I’m really hoping to have several different sweaters to feature at the craft show later this year.

And now onto the latest finished projects. These first two key chain sets, Gomez and Morticia and Lucy and Ethel are for sale on Etsy already. I’ll try to get the others up at some time this week, but if you’re dying to have one or the other, let me know and I’ll arrange for it.

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Couples are on my mind obviously with Valentine’s coming up, but best friends are always present. These pairs stood out most in my head, with a few more to come as I sort through beads. ;)