Sock it to Me!

I got a sock loom for Christmas!!

I had been wanting one for quite a while, but just couldn't make up my mind as to which one I wanted.  I also really didn't want to pay much for one since it wasn't going to be something that I knew I would use much.  After looking at Pinterest for different loom ideas, I realized that the loom could be used for far more than just socks.  So, I sent this to my husband and asked for it for Christmas.

Along with that, I asked for some sock yarn.  Unfortunately, the girl at JoAnn's didn't know the difference between the different kinds of yarn and told him that any yarn could be used.  I got some of the Big Twist yarn, which is fine and I will use it for something else, but it is just too large for the loom and it separates too easily when using the little hook.

After Christmas, I went to Michael's and got some Woolike Yarn from Loops and Threads in several colors.  It was on sale for $1.29 a skein, which is a great price.  The wrapper shows that there are 678 yards per skein, which would be enough for a pair of socks, but I planned to use it for legwarmers.  I grabbed one each of several colors: Sage, Teal, Pumpkin Spice, Golden Yellow, Ice Blue, Lavender, Charcoal, Mauve, and Rose.  This yarn is lovely!  It is so soft and works wonderfully on the loom.


Unfortunately, I did find that the instructions that came with the loom were terrible.  It didn't explain anything about how to cast on or how to tie off in the end.  There is a DVD that comes with it, but it's not something that I can just sit down and watch whenever, so I did the next best thing - went onto YouTube and looked for instructional videos.



This video really helped me figure out the casting on part.  I have used other looms before and I know that I have done this particular cast on, but remembering it was another story. =o)

My next problem was figuring out the different stitches.  It was easy enough to do the flat stitch, since it was just using the same stitches that you use when you do the casting on.  But if you want to do anything different like the knit stitch or the purl stitch, it requires something a little different.


There is also a video for doing the heel and toe.  I watched it, but I have had no luck figuring it out so far.  Then again, I think that my problem is that I just am having trouble wrapping my head around the whole thing.  I am fairly certain that is also the reason why I haven't figured out how to crochet them.




Here is the video for binding off your project.  



After binding off the project, you have to sew the toe together. 


How to make the cuff.


I really liked these videos as they were easy to follow.  My only complaint would have been the fact that no one can seem to focus.  

I really like how it is coming out so far.  The stitches are nice and even, though I have messed up a few times.  One of these days, I may be able to figure out the heel and toe, but until then, I will be able to make some legwarmers and probably some arm warmers.  


Thanks for stopping by!

Have a nice day!










Head's Up!

So my daughter's friend told her that her ears are always cold.  I offered to make her a hat for Christmas.  It's an easy thing to do and generally doesn't take me too long to do, even with a billion interruptions.

We stopped at Michael's last night on the way home and I let her pick out some yarn.  She had a little trouble since she wasn't sure of what color her friend would like, so she found something that would look good with her coat.



We ended up with Red Heart Soft Watercolors, which she thought would look good with her dark purple and pink coat.  After holding it up to some colors that looked right, this choice seemed very nice.  I decided to just use one of my regular hat patterns, but I left off the pom-pom since her friend wasn't really into them.  

It took me all day to finish the hat.  Mostly cause I got busy and didn't have time to work on it and we had a workplace Christmas dinner to attend.  Always a good time and I don't have to pay for dinner.  My way to eat!  I did finish it when I got home, but......

I forgot to take a picture of it.

I got so wrapped up in helping my daughter finish her homework, that I forgot all about it.  Let's just say that it came out looking nice and I hope that her friend likes it.

Have a nice day!

Thanks for stopping by!





A Crochet Story

I saw on Pinterest recently a great pattern for a crochet Cheshire cat hood.  The picture of the young lady that was modeling it really made me think of my daughter's personality.  So, I set about getting supplies together to make it for her for Christmas.

Check out the pattern here.

I hit up Michaels with a 20% off total purchase coupon and took a look at the yarn.  I didn't want to go with the color choices in the pictures, even though I liked them.  They just weren't really up my daughter's alley.  And the Cheshire Cat colors weren't really her thing either, so I had to take a good long look at the colors available.  I decided on purples and grays for her hood.  She likes them both and they make a nice muted combination since she's not real big on bright colors.

I ended up with the following:

- Loops and Threads Powdery in Purple.  (Yes, the link goes to the black option, but there is a picture of the purple just under it)
- Loops and Threads Cozy Wool in Velvet.  (Once again, the link doesn't actually go to the color, but the color I used is the last color shown)
- Loops and Threads Cozy Wool in Granite. (And again, the link is the same as above.  The color I used is the 2nd from the left in the middle row)
- Loops and Threads Country Loom in Lavender Blue.  (3rd from the end on the top row)

Since I wanted one of these hoods as well, though not with the ears, I took a look around for some more forest elf-y colors.  It was a hard choice because there were a lot that would have fit into the color scheme that I was going for, but I narrowed my options down after a while.

- Loops and Threads 1st Kiss in Autumn Leaf.
- Loops and Threads Cozy Wool in Goldenrod. (6th color in the middle row)
- Loops and Thread Cozy Wool in Moss Green. (1st color in the middle row)
- Loops and Threads Country Loom in Fall Leaf.  (3rd color in on the top row)

When I did her hood, in the purple, I followed the pattern pretty religiously.  I figured out which color corresponded to the color names that she used.  I made sure to change colors in my stitches at the right times.  I measured out the yarn for the tassels.  The only thing that I changed was that I added some silvery grey eyelash yarn into my stitches with the Lavender Blue.  It really added some nice texture and made it stand out well.

After making her hood, I had quite a bit leftover, so I made another one.  This time, however, I did more free form with the color choices.  I used all of the same yarn that I had for the purple but allocated it differently to use what I had the most of as the main color.  I ended up getting two hoods out of the yarn that I bought, only the second one didn't have ears.

Check it out on my ETSY store.

For the forest colored one that I planned for myself, I still got two out of the yarn that I had, but I didn't do the tassels.  I didn't really want them on that hood and I was running short on yarn because the Country Loom Fall Leaf that I had was one I had already used some of so there wasn't enough.  The hood still came out looking quite nice and I am pleased with it.

Here is the listing at my ETSY store.

I will probably make these again in the future for my Etsy store with some different colors.

Thanks for stopping by!

Have a nice day!

Scarfie Woodsman Hood

The last time I was at JoAnn's drooling over yarn, I noticed that there was one color of the Lion Brand Scarfie yarn was on clearance.  I wasn't really sold on the color as it was a taupe/charcoal ombre mix.  I am not a huge fan of browns and taupes, but I have used the Scarfie yarn before and loved it so I decided to give it a shot.


For the pattern, I chose the Cheshire Cat Hoodie that I used already for one of my daughter's Christmas presents.  But, I am not using it for that particular purpose.  Instead, I am using it for a base.  

I started to follow the pattern for stitch number, but quickly realized that some changes needed to made. I added about 20 more stitches and about 5 more rows to make it full enough.  The front of the hood is done in alternating front and back stitches to give it a banded look.  The yarn worked up into a really nice grouping of ombre stripes.  I still used the lacing up the back of the hood to hold it together because I really liked the way that it looked.  It could easily be stitched up instead of laced.  The closure mostly depends on one's preference.  

For this particular variation on the hood, I didn't want to put the long tassels on the front since I was going for a slightly different look.  After looking at some other hoods online, I decided on a scarf addition to the front edges.  Originally, they were supposed to be the same length, but the yarn ran a little short, so one side ended up being a little longer than the other.  But, I think that it came out looking fine.  

Check out the listing on my ETSY page for this hood.  I plan to do another one in a black and green ombre after the holidays.

Have a great day!

Thanks for stopping by!






Crochet is my thing!

Come on by and check out my Etsy Store!

I have lots of scarves available for this cold weather we are having here in the Midwest, though I am sure that other areas are going to feel the sting of the cold as well.



This scarf is made from the new Caron Cakes yarn and is a lovely combination of acrylic and wool.  It's long enough to wrap around once and lay nicely around the neck and shoulders.



This fun cowl scarf is tight enough to hug your neck and give lots of warmth.  It's made out of acrylic yarn that stripes in watermelon colors.  The yarn is chunky so it gives this cowl lots of depth.



Now you can wear your lunch and look awesome!  This Chef Salad Scarf is made from all acrylic yarn and has lots of character.  With your salad you get leaf lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, egg slices, carrot sticks, and mushrooms.



Self Striping yarn makes this cowl really stand out.  It is made from a soft acrylic and wool combination in blues, gray and white.  It isn't long enough to wrap around twice, but lays nicely as it is.



This scarf is definitely one of my favorites.  It is made from the Caron Cakes yarn in a color called Gelato.  It is stepped meaning the it is stitched in a way that it has points on the edges.  It lays nicely and is long enough to wrap around a couple of times.



This fun and whimsical scarf is reminiscent of Luna Lovegood and her Dirigible Plums.  There are two beets hanging from several strands of green leaves.  It can be worn around the neck in several different fashions, all culminating in a silly and unique piece of neck wear.  

There are some other scarves up on my page, but these above are definitely my favs.  

Stop by and check them out.

Thanks!

Have a nice day!










Check out my ETSY store!

I have been on ETSY since 2011, but only recently has my store seen any actual activity.  I sold one item last month, which was super exciting for me because I didn't feel like anyone was even looking at my shop.

I have decided to share some of my items up here since a lot more people see this page than my store apparently.  Please stop on by and check things out.

AMBER BY DESIGN - CROCHET FARM STAND

Here we have a lovely selection of fresh veggies just waiting to top off your fresh salad green.






This selection comes with the following:
carrot sticks
mushroom slices
radish slices
red onion rings
cucumber slices

ETSY listing: Crochet Farm Stand - Salad Toppings

And to make those veggies stand out, check out the selection of salad greens.

This selection is comprised of different types of lettuce in a variety of colors.



ETSY listing: Crochet Farm Stand - Mixed Green Salad


AMBER BY DESIGN - CROCHET BAKERY

Try a toaster pastry for breakfast or for a tasty snack!  These won't leave crumbs on your plate!
Chocolate toaster pastries with confetti frosting are the perfect pretend food gift!

ETSY listing: Crochet Bakery - Toaster Pastries


AMBER BY DESIGN - CROCHET DINER

A classic breakfast treat!  Drippy syrup and butter pats on toasted artisan bread.  

This crocheted breakfast won't make your fingers sticky or make a mess on your plate.







Just about everyone's favorite breakfast - Fluffy pancakes with syrup and butter.

This crochet breakfast is just as yummy as it looks.  It comes with two pancakes, a syrup topping and some butter pats.

ETSY listing: Crochet Diner - Pancakes







A fully loaded cheeseburger makes a great lunch.

This one comes with one hamburger patty on a bun with tomato, lettuce and cheese.

There is an additional topping selection available, but I don't have it listed yet.  If you're interested, let me know or check back later.

ETSY listing:  Crochet Diner - Cheeseburger





There's nothing like a nice Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich.  Here is a great crochet one complete with artisan bread, lettuce, tomato, bacon, and mayonnaise.

ETSY listing:  Crochet Diner - Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Sandwich







Who doesn't love a good Mexican dinner?  Here is my version of fajitas.  These two tortillas come with a variety of meat options including grilled chicken and steak and seasoned ground beef.  Toppings include sour cream, shredded cheese, guacamole and tomatoes.

ETSY listing:  Crochet Diner - Fajitas





These are just a few of the items on my ETSY page.  I have several scarves up there as well and I plan to add some hats in the future once I can get good pictures of them.

Thanks for stopping by!










Christmas is just around the corner...

... and I have been crocheting like a mad fiend.

I decided to make a couple friends of ours scarves for Christmas.  One of them had mentioned something about a a pair of red dragon gloves using the crocodile stitch, but as of yet I haven't been able to figure it out.  So instead, I settled on a nice comfy scarf.  I made matching ones for him and his wife - a regular long scarf for him and a thick cowl for her.  I used the Lion Brand Scarfie Yarn for this project in the black and red gradient and it was wonderful to work with.  It is 78% acrylic and 22% wool, but blended nicely so that the wool isn't very scratchy.  I have a hard time working with wool sometimes, so I have to be careful which yarns I use for projects, but this one was very nice.  It is recommended for a "K" hook and crochets easily.

UPDATE:  I gave these to my friends this weekend and they loved them!  Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of them beforehand.  Oops!

Mug cozies are are also turning into a big Christmas project.  I sold a bunch of these at the craft fair that I did, some already on mugs, some just by themselves.  They are easy to crochet and whip up in no time.  I have been using the Lion Brand Homespun for these because the color variations make for a wonderful uniqueness when crocheting.  I can get about 10 cozies per skein of yarn and each one ends up being just different enough to be interesting.  The buttons for these are fun, as well, because I can sort through my button stash and find ones that compliment the yarn nicely.  I did buy some fun, silly buttons as well, just to change things up a bit.

For one of my former work colleagues, I make him something geeky every year.  So far I have made him a felt Jake the Dog from Adventure Time with wired arms so that he can be posed while he sits on the shelf; a crocheted Boxy Bear that I altered somewhat to look like BMO from Adventure Time dressed up as a teddy bear; and a felt Professor Farnsworth from Futurama Christmas ornament.  This year, I opted for something a little different.  Using the hat pattern that I have been altering (see my previous post Hats! Hats! and More Hats!) , I designed a Lumpy Space Princess slouchy beanie hat for him.  It has her big yellow star in the center of the front.  I had planned on making her face on the front as well, but once I got the star on it, I decided that was good enough.

My daughter is not forgotten in my crocheting frenzy.  I started working on a hoodie for her in purples and grays.  I am following a pattern for a Cheshire Cat Hoodie that I found on Pinterest.  I did add an extra skein of yarn in an eyelash style to the pattern that adds an additional layer of interest to the stitches.  The only complaint that I have at this stage into the pattern is working with the "Q" hook.  It is rather difficult to do so and I think that when I do this pattern again, I may make the base stitches longer and use a smaller hook.  Hopefully, I will remember to take pictures this time. 

She also has been very interested in Harry Potter lately, especially since we saw Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  Her favorite character is Luna Lovegood and as of late she has expressed interest in having more Luna inspired items.  We printed some SpectreSpecs from a website and laminated them so that she could wear them around.  I really need to find a pair that aren't paper. =o)  I would love to be able to afford to get her Luna's wand for Christmas, but they are quite expensive.  What I did determine that I could do was make her a Ravenclaw scarf.  The house colors are Blue and Bronze in the books, but when we put the two together at the store, she didn't like the way that they looked.  So, with that thought in mind, we went with the movie colors which are Blue and Silver.  I haven't asked if she wants the fringe on the bottom, but knowing her, probably not.

I accidentally made her another gift - legwarmers!  She loves them and I was practicing a new pattern that I found on Pinterest - Draft Dodger Legwarmers.  The pattern is not difficult, but it is very time consuming.  And it takes a lot of yarn, approximately 500 yards for a pair.  I wasn't really prepared for needing that much yarn.  I started making the first pair - for her - out of the Wild Cherry Sweet Roll Premier Yarns that I picked up at JoAnns.  I got exactly one out of that cake of yarn, following the pattern perfectly.  Unfortunately, I will have to adjust the pattern up a little bit to make the pattern fit me because they won't really fit my larger calves.  Which means that I will probably need 600 yards for mine.  Oh well, I will figure it when the time comes.  Right now, I need to get hers done.

Christmas is coming and I am not really ready, but I will get there eventually.

Happy Holidays!

Have a nice day!




Hats! Hats! And More Hats!

My best seller at the craft that I did were hats.  At the time, I had simple beanie slouch hats, but they sold very well.  With that thought in mind, I decided to expand my selection.

Since I have been using the Caron Cake yarns on a regular basis, I found a great hat for this yarn - Autumn Chill Slouchy Hat.  I really like how the striping works when it is used for this pattern.  I did, however, realize rather quickly that there was a good bit of leftover yarn, not enough to make another hat and not really enough to make a scarf, so I switched to a different version of this yarn available at JoAnn fabrics called Sweet Roll.  This yarn is fantastic for this pattern.  One roll makes one hat so there is no significant leftover yarn.

Finding how easy it was to make this hat, I started to alter it slightly.  Still using the basic pattern, I can make different varieties of hats.  They use about 200-250 yards each including a wonderful pom-pom on the top.  The pom-pom was easily made with the help of the Clover Pom Pom Maker.  You can get them at Michaels but I definitely recommend watching this video for help using it as the instructions that came with the maker are rather pitiful.


My first Autumn Chill Slouchy Hat was out of the Lemon Lime Caron Cake yarn.  I actually ended up with enough leftover to make a child sized beanie (not pictured), but nothing really after that.  I only made the beanie because I had requests for kids sizes at the craft fair that I did recently, so I figured that it wouldn't hurt to do one for now.


Unfortunately, the color got washed out quite a bit when I took the picture.  It is actually far more vibrant than this.  

After doing that one, I was out of cakes, so I switched to the Sweet Roll from Premier Yarns that I picked up at Jo-Ann's.  I had high hopes for them since the Cake yarn had been such a good choice and I was not disappointed.  


I used the following colors (from left to right) Cheesecake, Raspberry, Peaches, and Punch.  I did find that when I started one of these, it was best to make the pom-pom first.  That way if the yarns runs somewhat short for some reason, you won't have to go out and buy another cake just for the pom-pom.  (Sorry, the color is off on these as well.  Darn cell phones.)

After I got comfortable with how the pattern worked, I decided to switch it up a little bit.  I used some of the same stitches, but also added in my own changes.  I made a ribbed band on the bottom first off.  I like the way it fits a little more snugly.  Then I went into a HDC and a DCX stitch (a cross double chain - instructions here.)  I just did this in rows until it was the length that I wanted.  I am pretty happy with how they came out.


I used the Blueberry Cheesecake color of the Caron Cake yarn for this one.  It worked nicely for two hats that were a little smaller than the one shown first.  

I have made other hats with this general pattern out of other yarns and they all have come out rather nicely.  I do recommend having at least 200-250 yards of yarn using anywhere from an "I" hook to a "J" hook to make it work out nicely.  I may get around to writing out a pattern for the adjusted hat later on.  No time right now.

Have a great day!



Mermaid Tail Blanket


Recently, I have gotten back into crocheting.  Actually, I never got out of it, but I did put it aside for quite some time because I hadn't been real happy with my stitches.  But, this year has been different.  I have spent a good bit of time reading patterns and practicing and now I feel far more confident in my abilities as a crocheter.

So good in fact, that just a couple of weeks ago I had a successful table at a local craft fair.


This was my best craft fair table yet and I hope to have many more successful ones in the future.  Therefore, I have to get a move on and makes lots more items!  

But, now on to the real reason for my post -- the Mermaid Tail Blanket.

I have seen lots of these around on Pinterest and such, even a few patterns here and there, but, in all honesty, I didn't really want to pay for one.  I don't want to dive into a paid pattern when I don't know if I am really going to like it - or be able to truly understand it.


But, I found this one online and started working on it.  It uses the Bernat Blanket Yarn and works wonderfully.  I made one for my daughter and didn't really have to adjust it at all even though she is quite tall for a pre-teen.  But if I make it again, I may very well raise the number of skeins of yarn from 4 to 5 just to make it a little longer.  

The pattern itself only called for the two tail sections sewn together, but I had a good bit of yarn leftover so I decided to make 4 tail sections so that it looked more fantastic.  It was a good plan, as I think that it came out very nice.

The only complaint that I had about the pattern itself was that it did not state how far up to sew the back together.  I had to let my daughter try it on so that I could make a determination on how far up to sew it.  Not really a big deal.  Also, there was no note that the tail sections would actually be wider than the sewn bottom of the snuggle snack.  Therefore, it's best to use some clip together stitch markers to hold the tail sections to the bottom of the sack and adjust accordingly so that it is gathered evenly.  It was a little hard to do since the yarn is quite bulky, but it worked out fine.



The yarn, however, is fantastic!  It is soft and cozy and when worked for this pattern makes a thick and warm blanket, yet at the same time is easy to stitch.  The pattern uses a "L" crochet hook, which is what size the yarn is recommended for.  

The Bernat Blanket Yarn comes in a few different varieties - Baby, Brights, and Home and is available to order from Michaels and JoAnns, but is also available in stores.  It runs about $9.99 a skein, but I was lucky enough to get it on sale for 50% off on Black Friday.  It is made from 100% polyester and is machine washable and dryable, though I haven't put that to the test yet.  I used the Lilac Bush color, though it isn't really noticeable in the pictures above, but it alternates from white to lilac to gray and back.  It makes for a very nice look when completed.

Making one of the blankets is rather costly since it uses so much yarn, but if you can get it on sale and with a coupon at some stores, then it isn't so bad.  I would say that in total it probably took about 6-8 hours to work on, though not at all once.  

Yarn Description:
100% polyester
10.5oz (300g) 220yd
Super bulky weight #6
4"=8 stitches on size 11 needles
Suggested crochet hook: K
Machine wash and dry

I would love to know if anyone else has been using this yarn.

Have a great day!












I'm Baaaccccckkkk!

Whew!

I am glad to be back at it!

I have been working crazily on crochet projects left and right, trying to make enough inventory to get myself into a craft fair.  No luck so far finding ones that I can afford.  It's crazy how expensive booth space can be.  There is one local one that wants over $100 just for a table and two chairs.  And that's for the smaller table space!  I can't afford that, especially when I am not guaranteed to make that much back in sales.

But, in the meantime, I have gotten my Etsy shop set up and have posted a few items.  Please go check it out- Amber By Design.

I also have a dedicated Facebook page for my work.  There are some items on there that are not listed on my Etsy page.  Please check it out here.

I have been working a lot lately on my crocheting - learning new stitches, getting better at simple ones and following patterns more closely.  It's all working out nicely.  I will get some of my projects up here soon.

Unfortunately, I have not had nearly enough time or energy to focus on my costuming or just sewing in general.  I will get back into it soon enough.  Lots of new patterns (and some older ones) are calling my name.

Please check back later on.  My plan is to update weekly, as long as I can remember to.

Thanks all!

 
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