Monday, March 2, 2015

NATCROMO

It's March! Know what that means? National Crochet Month!

I decided this is a good month to try and knock out a few crochet patterns from my Ravelry queue...I have a bunch. The entire queue is over 200 patterns, not counting all the designs-in-progress that I'm working on offline. Many Most of these are knitting patterns, though.
There are 51 crochet patterns in my queue as of this morning. There are 31 days in March. Nope, I'm not going to attempt to make all of them...but I'm going to attempt a few.

First up: This Amish Puzzle Ball. I think it will be a fun toy for the new baby, and it's been in my queue for a few years (since I was pregnant with Clinton, actually.)
Next: Hugo the Not So Hungry Hippo. Why? Because I like amigurumi, I like hippos, and I love Stacey Trock's patterns. She has adorable designs, her writing style is very clear and easy to follow, and her classes on Craftsy are great.
I think I might attempt this really cute newborn Beanie with Headphones. In my former life, I was a DJ, and this would just make for adorable newborn photos.

Three projects. That's probably about my limit (which is somewhat sad, since I doubt any of these will take more than an afternoon...but that's the nature of pregnant+toddler life.)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Testing...testing...

No, really. I have a pattern in testing right now. I had my DNA scarf test-crocheted by three very talented crocheters, who provided some very useful feedback in exchange for a free copy of the pattern. I've acted as a test crocheter and test knitter myself, but this time I was on the other side as a designer. Pretty neat, actually. (The free patterns I have posted here, my Fall Cables Lapghan and Oenfpp, were not tested prior to sharing. Also, my patterns published in I Like Crochet Magazine were not tested - the magazine has its own technical editors, but magazines have neither time nor resources to have patterns individually test-crocheted prior to publication.)

Now, I have another, somewhat smaller, pattern getting ready for self-publication:
Tea Wallets!

I've made quite a few samples, and most of them will be Easter gifts (and, really, with these pastels, they'll fit right in to the holiday.)


There are a few things I didn't anticipate when I decided to try self-publishing. I'm working through them, and every day I'm improving on my last efforts. 

My biggest challenge, I am learning, is photography. I don't have a super-fancy DSLR camera (which is probably for the best, considering I have a toddler in the house), I don't have extensive training, all I have is a willingness to take 100 pictures to (hopefully) get two or three workable ones.
Thankfully, the digital age has made this much more affordable than it was 20 years ago.

I'm also learning to create charts. This is an added challenge, since it involved learning how to use new software - I'm using Inkscape, which is open-source software similar to Adobe Illustrator. (I use open-source software whenever possible. I really don't have the budget for Adobe and Microsoft packages, even just the home versions.) But, it's pretty fun when I get that "ah-ha" moment, and the charts just magically fit together on the screen.

Anyway, the pattern for these tea wallets is on track to be released in March, just in time for some last-minute crochet Easter gifts. I'll post here when it's released, of course, but you can also stalk my Ravelry store here.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

New Pattern!!

I've been gone for a while.

Well, that happens...we moved to Las Vegas, which means I've been learning my way around a new city. I've also been adjusting to life back in America - culture shock works both ways, which was not something I anticipated when we initially moved to Japan. Strangely, the national chains of stores and fast food restaurants have been quite comforting to me. A spicy chicken sandwich from Wendy's is the same in every state, after all. And I can find the same things I need in any Target store. (And being able to read every label at the grocery store, without having to play guess-that-protein? Awesome.)

Other things I've been doing: Adapting to being a stay-at-home mom. Chasing my two-year-old around. Growing another tiny human - that's right, Clinton's baby brother is due to arrive sometime around the end of April!

And, of course, I've been crocheting. And designing. And even getting some of these designs published!

Which leads me to my big announcement:





This is my first self-published, paid pattern. It is written out line-by-line, and also includes a chart, if that is your preference for crochet patterns. The cables are created via post-stitches. The lovely sample seen above uses two skeins of Dream in Color Classy in Callous Pink.
I hope you like it!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Stress Relief Knitting

We all know it (or at least understand the idea.) Guess what I've been doing a lot of?
I have this awesome hexipuff kit that I received in a Ravelry swap, and it fits perfectly in my cargo pocket. So of course, the thing goes everywhere with me. And waiting doesn't seem so long, either.
My only problem right now is, I'd much rather be working on a big project, like a sweater or lace shawl...but they almost require too much attention, and I might find myself more stressed by having to rip out & re-knit any mistakes. At least with a hexipuff, it's only about 15 yards of yarn.
Anyway, here is my awesome traveling hexipuff kit!

posted from Bloggeroid

The Final Countdown

I'm still getting used to typing on the screen; I learned to type so long ago that it feels weird to do something different.
Anyway, that isn't what this post is about.
It's about moving, and the insane amount of stress it brings.
Have you ever moved internationally? There are a lot of details that become critical if you don't address them quickly. Some are obvious, like passports and plane tickets. Others are important but get overlooked if you're not careful, like veterinary health certificates and properly sized kennels for your pets. And then, the detais when you land - vehicles and housing, and phones and banking.
I went to the clinic yesterday, and was quite surprised that my blood pressure wasn't higher.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Testing the new tablet...

Tim gave me an awesome gift today - a tablet! This isn't something I would buy myself, but so far I love it.
And, I'd like to get back to blogging again - I've been slacking on New posts for a very long time.
So here I am, testing out the bloggeroid app (since the regular blogger app isn't particularly fun to work with.) So far, I like it; I've accidentally hit the home button twice while typing, and both times I only lost the last two words typed. That's pretty good, to me.
I haven't yet tried bold or italics or strikethrough so we'll see if those managed to come through.

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Two weeks in!

We are now two weeks into 2014!
Which means that my leave is up, and I went back to work this morning. Which involved a heartbreaking moment, in which I had to put my son back in his crib before heading upstairs to get ready. That wasn't the heartbreaking part, though.
When his arms turned into little vise grips, and he clutched at my neck with all his strength, and started sobbing in protest as if to say "No Mommy don't go!!" ...yeah, that part made me start to cry a little. And then I started to count how many days I have left before my obligation to Uncle Sam is up...(326, in case you were curious.)

But anyways.
I did manage to knit & crochet up a storm during my time at home (nap times are awesome for crafting!), and I can officially mark the book Pacific Knits as done, as I've now completed three patterns from it (which is actually one more than I require to consider it "done.")(Except I'm not actually "done," since I have a cousin who is expecting and I am totally knitting another sweater from this book as a shower gift.)(Plus I kind of really want to knit myself an Antler cardigan.)
Anyway, what exactly did I knit?
Well, I made the Campfire pullover for Clinton:
Not the greatest photo, I know. It's horribly over-exposed. But it's also the only photo he's let me get! This boy runs circles around me (and Tim. And the cats.)
But you can still see the lovely Fair Isle pattern (my first experience doing stranded colorwork! Woo-hoo!) and the awesome shawl collar that Tim dislikes so much. (I agree that this isn't a style I would buy in a store...but really, it looks so cute on him!)

Anyways, I know it's just morning in North America, but here in Japan it is getting very close to my bedtime, so I wish you all good-night!