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Frozen Snowflake Blanket – Free Pattern Review

I tried to queue this up to post at my normal 2pm time, but I couldn’t get wordpress to log me in! It kept telling me the password was wrong, so, I go ahead and change it…only to be told I can’t change it to what I want because that password was “recently used.” Ugh. Anyway, back up and running now!

 

This project was both the bane of my existence and a glorious success that I love. I despise granny squares. I hate weaving in ends. I hate sewing them together. It is so pretty, but I hate all the effort that must go into them. But, when my friend took on a new foster daughter right before both her 3rd birthday and Christmas, I knew it had to happen. This little girl happens to be Frozen obsessed and the lovely Sarah of RepeatCrafterMe caters to Disney loving babes.

So, following her super simple snowflake granny square pattern, I was able to put together this amazing blanket in just over a week. Now, I imagine those with more than an hour or so a day to dedicate to crocheting could do this faster, but hey, I am a busy lady over here.

I made 49 squares, and the full picture is it lying on the center of my king sized bed. I joined with a single crochet through just one loop for each square, so that the white made a nice ribbing on the front, and a lightly visible connection on the back (see last photo). I used my standard J hook, and worsted weight yarn, more specifically, Lion Brand’s I Love This Yarn.

Sarah, again, knocked it out of the park with this pattern. It is really easy to follow, the squares work up quickly, and the snowflakes would be awesome stand-alone as decorations too!

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January Review

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January was a strange month shop-wise, and personally. I sold quite a few more items than I have been lately, but they were all the same. So, I have no idea what happened there as the etsy stats system is awful. But hey, I am thankful for the sales, no matter how confusing.

I also purchased A TON of yarn…because it was on sale for $1 a skein…but I had to buy it in bulk packs of 36 skeins…so I got 3 different yarns. Mostly because I have yarn problems. But a little because WHO CAN PASS UP A DEAL LIKE THAT?! Thank you Dollar Tree.

Personally, things got a little hairy and terrifying towards the end of the month, but it is resulting in buying my own home and hopefully slightly easier days ahead…once we close escrow and move that is.

 

 

Yarn Purchased in January

21,240 yards total 
3,096 yards of Bernat Baby Blanket
18,141 yards of Paton’s Metallic

 

Yarn Crocheted in January

1,863 yards total
928 yards of Lion Brand Pound of Love
781 yards of I Love This Yarn
83 yards of Caron One Pound
71 yards of Crafter’s Secret

 

Sales History

  • 2013 not open yet
  • 2014 0 sales for 0 items.
  • 2015 1 sales for 1 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2016 7 sales for 7 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2017 3 sales for 8 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2018 9 sales for 9 items, a reduction in revenue
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Big Fluff

I want to start by stating that I have the absolute cutest model ever. My little niece is pretty much the greatest model in child form to ever exist. Even amongst the chaos, dirt, and disaster that is my home, she still manages to look amazing. She is also wearing my younger daughter’s old pajamas, which makes this photo an even bigger favorite.

I posted a few months ago about the large roving wool blankets I was making for Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews. I just wanted to post this to show a quick peek at another of the finished blankets.

Again, I must strongly emphasize that this is NOT yarn. It is roving wool that is barely, barely felted together. It comes apart easily, it will tear, and it is VERY heavy (and very expensive). It is not designed to be dragged around the house, used all the time, or have pets on it. It cannot go in the washing machine or dryer. It is NOT a practical blanket at all.

These are decorative, good lap blankets for an afternoon in bed reading. And my sisters understand this, as do the older kids (the girls).

I love working with this stuff. It is super soft, easy to work with, and is so beautiful. But, I also had to accept that there is a good chance that the money I spent on the fiber will be a wash within a few months of gifting these blankets.

But, for me, that was all worth it. The kids are very happy, and to me, that is worth just about everything.

 

 

 

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House Scarves

I am a self-admittedly huge Harry Potter nerd. I have read the books about 5 dozen times. I have seen the movies about 10 dozen times. And now I have happily and joyously been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal California.

When I found out the L.A. Dumbledore’s Army was having a massive dress the 9 3/4 day event at Wizarding, I had no choice. I had to go. It combined my intense love for Harry Potter with a theme park AND dressing super fancy like the pin-up diva I am.

Fortunately, I had finally gotten in part of my order from Pinup Girl Clothing that contained one item in each house harlequin color…2 dresses and 2 men’s shirts. (I now have 4 men’s shirts, 2 dresses, and 2 skirts…so that I have something for each house, as does my husband 🙂 )

We did not have my younger daughter that day, so it ended up just being a Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and a Slytherin roaming around all fancy like.

 

What does this have to do with crochet? Well, obviously something. It is my life after all. It was November, so it should have been cool, correct? Nevermind this crazy 80-90F winter LA has been having. So, I decided to whip up some house scarves to match our outfits. Well, sort of match.

I am running out my stash of Hobby Lobby yarn, as I no longer shop there, so I had a few stash problems while making these scarves. But, in general, I used 1 full skein of each main color and about a third of a skein of each aux color. My tassels at the end really depended on how much of which color yarn I had left. My Gryffindor scarf used the yellow, my Slytherin used the gray. However, I had enough blue to use for my Ravenclaw, and my Hufflepuff scarf (not pictured because I only wanted fancy pictures) is both black and yellow.

I did the later series scarves, along with the movie colors, not the book colors.

And it is the simplest scarf ever…

 

I do not count my turning chain as a stitch for this pattern. I used HL brand I Love This Yarn, with a J (6mm) hook.

in main color Ch 22
1)          HDC in 3rd chain, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
2-5)       HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
6-7)       in aux color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
8-9)       in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
10-11)   in aux color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
12-26)   in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
repeat rows 6-26 until you are at the length you want then continue
repeat rows 6-11
final 5 rows) in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn. (tie off and weave in ends for last row)

 

Essentially, the pattern is all HDC, 20 across. 5 rows of main, 2 of aux, 2 of main, 2 of aux, 15 of main. Repeat the 2/2/2/15 until you want to end. Then do your 2/2/2 for your final striping, then 5 rows of main. Tie off and weave in ends.

My scarf was 5 large colored sections of 15, plus the striped sections and the 2 sections of 5 rows.

Tassels were easy, I did 11 tassels on the end, two pieces of yarn folded in half for each tassel, then looped through the last row on either end. You can do more or less, depending on how full you want your scarf to look.

 

So, here is my husband doing his best pinup pose.

 

My older daughter blowing kisses for extra love and wisdom.

 

And like the true Slytherin I am, I can’t even be bothered to look at the peasants taking this photo. 🙂

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Retro Bettie

This last October, I took part vending during the annual Retro Bettie Bazaar hosted by Cherry Dollface. This is an event that I attend as a shopper each year, and I have always really enjoyed.

Now, I walked into this event not intending to do well. It isn’t really my crowd, being that most items being sold are vintage or pinup oriented in some fashion, and my stuff is not. But, I figured, lots of pinup moms, and I would go and hang out anyway, so let’s give it a try!

Attendance was not what I had come to expect, it was pretty down. So, from the start it was a slow day. However, everyone there was fun and excited to be out and about. The ladies and gents (and kiddos) that came around were trick or treating, laughing, smiling, and just generally enjoying their day.

As far as sales go, for me, it was pretty much zilch. Like I said, I don’t quite fit the motif, and I think I am just more expensive than what people are used to at these sort of events. And the one thing I have learned after all of these years is that the sale isn’t worth selling my work short. The expense of yarn and the time it takes to make this stuff is worth a decent price, so it is all about finding those willing to pay it.

The day wasn’t a total bust, as I got to see some of my favorite ladies from the SoCal pinup community, and the wonderful Jessica of Bomber Betty Cosmetics, which is pretty much the only makeup I wear.

We are still trying to figure out a good pricing display for events…as I hate individually tagging things, because there is just SO much, plus whether sales tax is included changes based on the event. But, at the same time, because there is so much, it is hard to have a sign for the individual items.

What do you guys think? What is the easiest pricing situation when you have hundreds of different types, and differently priced, items?

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That 2018 Spirit

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2017 was a lot of falling behind, not meeting my goals, and struggling to keep my sanity. I had a whole slew of health issues, to include a surgery, non-related physical therapy, and an entirely separate day spent in the ER getting a CT. I started back at school full time, and I tried to spend a little more time focusing on what I wanted to do, make, and enjoy. So, the business side of the house didn’t go as swimmingly as hoped.

However, each new year brings a whole new level of chaos and crazy, so 2018 is bound to make up for 2017. It may be worse, but hey, it could be better! So, I have made a more realistic plan, and hopefully will be able to achieve all of this in the upcoming year.

 

Goals for 2018….

  • Crochet more yarn than I buy. Period. No ifs ands or buts…Get into that stash!
  • Update this blog at least once a week.
  • Sell 150 items, including through shows and online.
  • Attend 3 craft fairs. Actually sell something at each of them. 🙂
  • Write, review, and list 2 new patterns.
  • Have all Christmas presents made and ready to ship by Thanksgiving.

 

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2017 Review

2017 was an interesting year for me. My family went through a lot, and my husband and I both started back in college. So, things got a little hectic and crazy, but I think by the end of the year, we were starting to get the hang of it. However, considering I know what 2018 has in store for me, I can guarantee a much less aggressive goal oriented year.

 

Goals for 2017….

I am not setting an item goal. My focus this year is going to be on introducing new products. I have a big plan laid out that I will share in tomorrow’s post.
Technically, I met my goal 31 out of 52 weeks this year. So that is actually way, way, way better than I thought I would do! I am actually impressed with myself. I started slacking around June, and then things got really bad when I started back in school come September. I pretty much just cut everything out of my life and gave up.

Update this blog at least once a week.
Well, I managed at least once a month…

Sell 350 items. I am sticking with this one. This one will bring me joy. 🙂 HAHAHAHA! I sold 77 items. This was not my year apparently. I was also, obviously, way down on revenue this year. Like…wayyyy down.

Attend 3 craft fairs. Soka University, Patchwork Santa Ana Spring and Patchwork Santa Ana Fall. I don’t have the time to stock for more than that, and I know that these are good, solid shows. I actually only ended up doing 1 show this year. I did Retro Bettie, which I believe I still need to even blog about.

 

Yarn Purchased in 2017
52,056 yards, +18lbs of roving
12,740 yards of Red Heart Super Saver
11,544 yards of Lion Brand Scarfie
11,220 yards of Pound of Love
4,615 yards of I Love This Yarn
2,840 yards of Crafter’s Secret
2,600 yards of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread
1,970 yards of Lion Brand Ice Cream
880 yards of Bernat Blanket
812 yards of Caron One Pound
788 yards of Lion Brand Wool Ease
708 yards of Red Heart Super Saver Stripes
615 yards of Big Twist
440 yards of Bernat Baby Blanket
284 yards of Yarn Bee Urban
18 pounds of wool roving

Yarn Crocheted in 2017
39,979 yards, +18lbs of roving, +2 yards of fleece
9,209 yards of Red Heart Super Saver
7,067 yards of I Love This Yarn
5,928 yards of Lion Brand Scarfie
4,708 yards of Pound of Love
4,624 yards of Crafter’s Secret
3604 yards of Red Heart Soft
1,610 yards of Lion Brand Ice Cream
770 yards of Bernat Blanket
710 yards of Yarn Bee Urban
570 yards of Lion Brand Jiffy
472 yards of Red Heart Super Saver Stripes
268 yards of Caron One Pound
220 yards of Bernat Baby Blanket
184 yards of Lion Brand Baby Soft
35 yards of Aunt Lydia’s crochet thread
18 pounds of wool roving
2 yards of fleece