Since My Last Post…

…about a month and a half! Oops! To be honest, I’ve sat down a number of times with the intention of writing something up but I’m an easily distracted person and…oh look something shiney!  (Lol 🤣)

Ok, so I’m not original with my humor, but at least I gave it a shot. Let’s get back to the matter at hand.

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A couple of months ago my husband and I decided we would move out of state, leave the warmth of New Mexico behind us and head to the chilly northern climate of Michigan. Are we crazy? Perhaps. I grew up in Ontario Canada, and my husband in Massachusetts,  so we aren’t going north blindly. Our reasoning for the move? We both have family in the north that we haven’t seen in a number of years, which includes my parents and our older children from our past relationships. The cost of flying to visit is just too expensive for everyone, so hopefully with our move we will be able to spend time with our family again!  We are hoping to make the move at the end of January or beginning of February.

Since we will be flying we can’t take a whole lot of our belongings with us, which means we have to get rid of a few things. This includes my yarn! And since I don’t want to get rid of my yarn stash, yet it’s too big and bulky to take with us, I’ve been working through it all making things we can use (or that I can gift to friends or donate). My thinking is that many balls of yarn would take up too much space in luggage, but sweaters and things can be packed easier because they are folded flat. Makes sense to me, at least that’s what I want to believe lol. Also, we’ve been in sunny New Mexico for almost 4 years now, and we don’t own a whole lot of warm clothing anymore. I NEED to turn my yarn into winter clothing! But it’s not all clothing that I’m making. A While back I was on a cotton yarn kick…I had every intention on using it immediately, but as soon as I got it home from the store I packed it away and pretty much forgot about it. Now I have a large reusable shopping bag of cotton yarn to work through (I’ve made a bit of a dent in it, having completed 1 or 2 Dishcloths daily for the past week now!). You want to know what the hardest part about all of this? I can’t buy anymore yarn until after we move! Every time I shop at Walmart I make a trip down the yarn aisle and drool. So many colors, so many ideas whirling around inside of my head. It’s heartwrenching at times 😭.

However, when the moment arrives when I can once again buy more yarn, I’ve decided that I will try to find a LYS in the area I’m moving to and treat myself to some beautiful handmade squishy 🐑🐇😍. I haven’t done that in about 5 years! I also have this belief that I’ll only buy yarn needed for the project at hand, and not build up another stockpile of yarn…but really, who am I kidding?? Lol

With the new year upon us I’ve also been thinking this provides me with the perfect opportunity to make some changes.  Not only the above mentioned idea that I buy only enough yarn for project at hand (and completing that project) before buying more yarn, but also that I make things only for myself, my family, and my friends, without the thinking that I’ll just sell it. I’ve got so many finished projects packed away, dating from 3 or 4 years ago until now, and nobody wants to buy it (unless it’s really cheap, in which case I don’t even get the money back that I spent on the yarn alone).  Perhaps if I stick to just making things for ourselves and then wearing or showing those things in public, people might see it and want one for themselves? However, there is a problem with this idea, that being when I design patterns (for example, a hat pattern), I don’t use testers and so I make multiple hats, in various sizes, to make sure the pattern works. Hence, I’m left with all these hats that won’t fit anyone I know. I suppose I could just donate the extra hats?

Anyhow, I’m not declaring all of this an absolute resolution for the new year (as Harry Potter stated, “when do our plans ever actually work out? We go in and all hell breaks loose”. Or something to that affect, lol.)

Another non-absolute-resolution of mine for 2018 is to publish posts and patterns to Crochet On The Brain regularly. Looking at my publishing history, there are a lot of gaps, big gaps, in my posts. I need to get organized and be persistent, even if that means I make a series of short, but regular, posts.  I realize this is “just a hobby”, but it’s my passion. It’s what I enjoy doing. Now, if only I could convince the universe to make things easier for me!  Some days I get so frustrated when I can’t do what I want to do and I wonder if the universe is working against me, and for what reason. But I keep soldiering on despite this feeling. As I always tell myself whenever something unwanted happens, this too shall pass.

I have high hopes for 2018. The past few years have been full of struggles, but we are still moving forward. Baby steps first, then leaps and bounds. I’m not saying that the grass will be any greener when we move north (it’ll actually be white when we get there), but we’ll be presented with different opportunities.  And change is always good. It keeps the brain active, and you get to experience new things.

Ok, now I’m done with my rambling. It’s time to show you what I’ve been up to lately, over the past couple of months.

First, here is a knit hat that I made probably back in October. It’s my own design. It can be worn as a slouchie, or the cuff can be folded up and it can be worn toque style. My original intention was to make a hat for Olivia, to match the knit sweater I made her, and then write up the pattern available in sizes for the whole family, but one thing led to another, as it usually does, and that idea got put on the back burner, like so many other things do. Maybe one day I’ll get around to completing the whole set. But for now, I’ve got myself a new winter hat.

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Next, here is the second sweater I’ve ever knitted. The pattern is On A Roll Sweater & Hat by Linda Cyr on the Red Heart website. It’s available in 4 sizes, and I chose the extra small. I didn’t check my gauge and the sweater turned out to small for my Olivia, so I gave it to a friend for her granddaughter. I used about a 1/2 skein of Red Heart Super Saver Jumbo, in the color Grey Heather. Even though it’s only the second sweater I’ve ever knitted, I think I did a pretty good job with it.

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Still on the sweater kick, I also made this one, crocheted, for my husband. The pattern used for this one is Father Pullover by Melissa Leapman which is also available on the Red Heart website.  The yarn for this sweater has been discontinued, so I substituted with Red Heart Super Saver, color Medium Thyme. I followed the pattern pretty much to a tee, but since my husband is very tall ( 6 ft 9), I had to add some length (about 3 inches) all around, to the body as well as the sleeves. Oh, and the best thing about this sweater, is that my husband picked out from numerous patterns I showed him which sweater he wanted made, and he even went to the store with me and picked out the yarn 🙂 Oh, and if you look closely at the photo, there are little feet behind the sweater ❤

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Okay, so now we move away from sweaters (actually, before I forget about it, I’m currently working on a knit sweater for myself, a larger version of Olivia’s Sweater, in the color “Autumn Red”. It’s looking gorgeous, and I’ll be making another post about it later on when it’s done…I’ve got the back and most of the front done, and then just the sleeves and putting it all together)…

Hats! It seems I’m always making hats. I guess because they’re quick to make, often pretty easy too, and there are so many cute designs! The first hat I’m showing you is Little Gnome Hat from Yarnspirations. A while back I bought 4 skeins of Bernat Softee Baby yarn in the color “White Rainbow”. When it’s all wound up in the skein the color looks really cute. I thought I would make a cute sweater or blanket with it, but I ran into a problem with it…when it’s crocheted it looks like crap! I frogged out so many WIP’s while I was trying out this yarn and finally put it all away in storage for a while. One day I saw this pattern (I think while browsing through Pinterest), and when I went to look at the pattern I noticed it used this particular yarn. Since it’s knit instead of crochet, I gave it a shot, hoping that the color pattern would work out nicer when knit. I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised with the outcome. I made the 4 year old size, and as you can see, it fits Olivia nearly perfect (she’s 3 years old, but with her afro I tend to have to make hats larger for them to fit nicely on her head).

After I made this hat using this yarn, I decided to try it with a different yarn. I have loads and loads of Caron Simply Soft in my stash, but not enough of one color to make anything larger than a hat or two. So, here’s the Little Gnome Hat using Caron Simply Soft, color “soft pink”, following the 18-24 month size directions (I think it turned out pretty sweet!):

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Now, another hat…of course…last month we bought Olivia a new winter jacket, after all these other hats were made. I felt that I NEEDED to make her a hat and mitten set in colors to match her new jacket. The hat is my own design. I’m not sure yet if I’m going to type it up as a pattern here or not. It needs some tweaking. It’s made to fit Olivia’s hair…er, head…size, but it also fits me 🙂  The mittens were made following the Crochet Mittens For All by Nancy Anderson pattern, also on the Red Heart Website. (This has been my go-to pattern for a number of years now for a quick and easy mitten!)

Now, sometime during the creation of all of these hats and sweaters I made some Christmas stockings. My intention was to try to sell them but no luck. They are just collecting dust, as I don’t celebrate Christmas with decorations or gifts. The pink and blue stockings were made with Red Heart Super Saver yarn using the Waiting For Santa stocking pattern on the Red Heart website. And the other stocking is made with Bernat Pop! yarn, color Scarlet Sizzle, following the pattern Bernat Pop! Crochet Christmas Stocking on the Yarnspirations website. I had a bit of trouble following the Bernat pattern instructions, but luckily there’s a video tutorial which helped me finish the project.

I’ve also made a pile of dishcloths, trying to use up my huge stash of cotton yarn, but I will (eventually) make a separate post about them, since there are so many different designs, including one of my own design 🙂

Most likely I’ve forgotten to list/show something, and I’ll remember it once I hit the “publish” button, lol. But I’ll wrap things up here regardless, as I think this has been one extremely lengthy post!

Until next time, which hopefully won’t be too far off, happy hooking!

Amanda

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