Women’s March

What can I say? I’m an inclusive feminist who believes in equality and tolerance. 

I’d been looking forward to the Women’s March ever since it was announced. Post election I was feeling really down because #imwithher and the loss and subsequent trepidation about the future left me with a sadness I haven’t yet been able grasp.

While reading up on the march, and following various discussions online, I became aware of the #pussyhatproject. At first, I admit it seemed kind of foolish and (dare I say it) lame, but after seeing lots of photos of the hats tagged on Instagram, my interest was piqued and I had to try making one.  

If you’ve read my other posts, you know that I just learned to knit about two months ago, but I really wanted to follow the original pussyhat pattern so I learned to read knit patterns and set about making my first hat. After finishing it, I whipped up several more; I’d invited some ladies to join me at the march, and damned if I wasn’t going to have a hat for each of them come January 21st. 

Ripper supports women’s rights too!

Not knowing what to expect the day of, I headed into downtown Spokane with my mom, mother in law, and sister in law to meet our fellow marchers and holy shit, were we surprised. Our convention center was full and we couldn’t get inside to hear the speakers and the crowd milling outside was MASSIVE. I’d expected a couple hundred people to be there considering how our city tends to err on the more conservative side. But what we actually saw was over 8,000 people, peacefully gathered to share, laugh, hug, and support each other. Wearing our hats all together, we were greeted with smiles of appreciation, requests for photos of all us all pussy-hatted out, and compliments on the craftsmanship (gee-whiz, thanks!). These silly little speedily-knitted hats were a small statement that we were part of something, and that felt so amazing.


I can’t truly put into words what that day meant to me, or how it has lit a fire within me that has given me purpose and hope; but I will always remember the immense joy I felt, standing outside for hours on a cold January afternoon, linking arms with my brothers and sisters for equality. 

Knit It

I learned to crochet over ten years ago as a freshman in the dorms at Eastern Washington University. My next door neighbor taught me and that year for Christmas, everyone got a scarf. Granted, I only had mastered one stitch and was so poor I had to buy the extra clearance yarn at the local hobby store so each scarf was made of this weird feathery-looking fiber in assorted colors. I also knew nothing of style so each one was about 3″ wide and REALLY long. Imagine that for a moment.

Anyway, while I feel I’ve become very familiar with the art of crochet, I never learned to knit. Over the past couple of years I’ve taken to longingly gazing at other makers and their gorgeous knitted projects and wistfully wishing I was talented enough to know how. I bought a knitting kit from Joanns (that did not go well). I downloaded a free online class (four hours of frustration). Eventually, I gave up and decided to be ok with *only* knowing crochet. 

A few weeks ago, I was lamenting about my knitting misfortune to one of my coworkers when two of the newer girls in my department said that they both knew how to knit! The following week I brought in my needles and yarn and with some tutelage I FINALLY learned to knit! 


This has been an exciting development in my crafting repertoire and I’ve already amassed a collection of 7 sets of needles. Currently, I’m trying to learn how to read knit patterns. I keep reminding myself that it took me over a year of solid crochet before I learned to read patterns but gosh darn it, I want to know right now! 

Anyway, I’m thrilled, this has been a goal for several years now and having a whole new world of crafting opened up before me is very exciting. Just you wait, I’ll be mastering sweaters someday soon (I hope).

Scarf It Up

My absolute FAVORITE accessory is scarves. I love light, floaty scarves for early fall/spring and big, warm, chunky scarves for winter (which lasts about 6 months here in Eastern WA). 

Anyway, I’ve accumulated my fair share of handmade scarves over the past two years. Some are hella (HELLA) wonky, and others are so flipping perfect, I can barely remove them from my person. I have so many because obviously, I have to try out new scarf ideas on myself before others, right? Right. 

My scarves are one of the things that I usually make without a pattern, I decide which stitch is going to look killer with whatever yarn I’m working with and just go to town. So, it’s pretty safe to assume that no two scarves are alike. And, to be honest I kind of dig it. That’s the beauty of handmade, right? Each difference or mild flaw tells a story that belongs to that piece and that piece alone. It’s pretty neat. 

I *wish* I had a photo of the first scarf I ever made, about eleven years ago. I was a very poor college freshman with about $20 to my name and a big list of folks I needed to get Christmas gifts for. I’d just learned to crochet a few weeks prior so I bummed a ride to the local Ben Franklin’s and got clearance yarn (the weird, feathery, fuzzy kind) and made about six of the skinniest, ugliest scarves anyone’s ever seen. At the time though, I was prouder than hell. And each person that received a scarf seemed so genuinely pleased with their handmade gift that I thought I was pretty hot shit stuff. 

Again, we’ll fast forward to about two years ago when I picked up crochet in earnest and put my skills to the test. I did start off with some of those free patterns you can find in the yarn aisle at craft stores, and they helped me get a better idea of how to go about making scarves and cowls and the rest is history. 

I’ve made cowls, big cuddly infinity scarves, and lightweight shawl/scarf things and just love them all. The perfect accessory for any season (unless it’s like, super hot). 

Scarf, bonus hat, cowl. Mustard yellow is the bee’s knees.

Puff stitch cowl and my first attempt with the self timer.

FAVORITE ever. This is using All About Ami’s Triple Luxe pattern.

Lightweight shawl/scarf thing. Sold it. Kind of wish I kept it.

The best part about making scarves is that they’re pretty forgiving. Even if you’re terrible at crocheting in the round, joining ends is easy, and then you don’t even have to keep them neat while you’re working; you can just blast right along until your scarf is as big as you want, join those wonky ends, and BAM! Glorious scarf. 

Blankets

I’m sure if you’ve read my previous posts you’ll notice I haven’t mentioned any current projects. My thinking is since it’s taken a while to get a blog going, I should cover all my big leaps and bounds in my creative journey, and then when I feel caught up, I’ll start posting current projects. 

With that said, I think it’s high time to talk about blankets. 

Crocheting a blanket was SO intimidating to me. When I really started pumping out projects, my focus was mainly on smaller items like headbands, hats, scarves, ect. And those also weren’t anything fancy. Maybe a stripe here or there, but that’s about it. Then one day, one of my close friends told me she was pregnant. 

When I found out she was going to have a boy and had these cute nursery colors picked out I knew this was the perfect opportunity to make my first baby blanket. Mainly for two reasons, 1) she’s my friend so if it turned out terrible, I knew she would still think it was a nice gesture and 2) baby blankets are way smaller than regular blankets. 

First, I decided to learn how to crochet chevrons. Because when you’re making a project that intimidates you, you should always go for an unfamiliar technique.

The two ugliest yarns in my stash.


After making my chevron swatch, I was ready to tackle the blanket. Of course, I had no idea how much yarn was required for this venture so I didn’t buy enough and then I couldn’t get a hold of any more of the gray I needed. But, I made it work and there it was, my first chevron item and first ever blanket! 

It really makes me happy knowing that this blanket is now in a sweet little boy’s room.

After finishing the blanket, I felt pretty confident in my skills, so I posted it as a custom order item in my shop. As it turns out, this blanket ended up being my first “stranger order” via Etsy. Meaning, a complete stranger stumbled upon my shop, and liked my blanket enough to buy for herself. Before this, my initial sales were all friends and family members (thanks guys). 

I literally stayed up until 3 a.m. one night to get it finished because I wanted to send it early as a nice surprise for the customer (I never do this anymore, sleep is non-negotiable). 

Presentation game on point.

Well, the staying up late (or early) paid off because I got an order from another gal who liked the blanket I’d done. But she wanted something a little different: stripes and the first letter of her son’s name added to the blanket. Of course I said, “hell yes!” and figured I’d find a way to make crochet letters no problem. 

Obviously that wasn’t the case, my first foray into letters was dismal. The “W” I was attempting to make looked more like a weird non letter thing than anything at all. It took me about a week to find a decent alphabet pattern, but I did, and it turned out pretty great (by the way, this blanket is just hdc over and over again until I got the size I wanted, you’re welcome).

With a matching bowtie, of course.


I loved the way this blanket turned out so I made several more, the hdc stitch really gives it a great texture. 

So I’d mastered the chevron blanket, and the stripe blanket, it was time for something new; another girlfriend was having a baby (for real, I had so many preggo friends in a very short period of time) and I wanted to try a new pattern for her.  

The shell stitch was something I’d seen around on various other blogs and boy did it look awesome, and it was! Not only is this stitch super adorable, it’s pretty easy and I was really happy with how this newest baby blanket turned out. 

Look how cute! SO cute.

Are you still with me? So now I’ve got several baby blankets under my belt, and Christmas was now looking right around the corner so I thought, full size blankets. Blankets for everyone! It took weeks because these puppies are big enough to cover a queen size bed but boy, I was happy with how they turned out. 

And then I spent six months working on one for myself.

I just finished up one for myself (it really did take me six months to finish) and let me tell you, there is nothing better than finishing a project for yourself. I mean, making things for others sure is nice, but the satisfaction I felt at finally completing my own blanket and being able to snuggle it eternally is indescribable. 

Welp, thanks to all of you who stuck it out for this lengthy post! And thanks for stopping by! 

Hats Hats Hats

Where I live, we tend to get some pretty decent winters. And I’ve never been a big fan. I really hate being cold. Funnily enough, I love skiing, but if I was never cold again, I think I’d gladly give it up. 

As much as I dislike winter, I love where I live. We have four full seasons, mountains, lakes, and it’s truly the most beautiful place in the world to me. So, I bear with the long cold winters. 

One of the many reasons I got into crochet was to make cold-weather items that were cute, warm, and versatile. I love a good scarf and beanie and being able to make my own not only ensured I’d be warm, but I’d have enough to go with just about any outfit or color combo imaginable. 

My very first hat, boy was that a hot mess: 

Yikes

 
For a long time, I exposed all my family members to “gift” pieces like the one above. Sorry guys. But hey, practice is how you get better, right? Now that I have about a zillion hats under my belt, I’m pretty comfortable with just making them up as I go along, and that’s what’s so great about crochet, you can just make shit stuff up and it’ll work out. Or it won’t, but it’s easy-peasy to undo just about anything. 

I love pom poms, every hat should have one.

While we’re talking hats, see anything you like? Check my shop or message me for something special! I promise, it won’t look like that monstrosity at the top of this post. 

Weaver Fever

As I began building up my Etsy shop, I started an Instagram account to share projects and to hopefully attract more visits to my shop. Through Instagram, I discovered so many amazing creators, from knitters and crocheters to graphic artists and photographers. And eventually, weavers. I instantly became enamored with weaving and followed every weaver I could find! It all looked so beautiful, and challenging and I was seriously awestruck by some of the talent out there.

Of course, I got to a point where just ogling weavings wasn’t enough for me, I wanted to learn to create my own. There’s a wonderful tutorial on A Beautiful Mess that I used to get started. My first creation was small, but I was instantly in love with the craft.

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My first little baby weaving.

I’ve kept at it, and my husband even obliged me by making a large loom for some bigger pieces, which I absolutely love.

It’s been a fun journey, and I’m learning more everyday. As I’ve said before, there are so many talented folks out there who generously share what they know with the rest of us and its so fun to add new techniques as I learn them.

If you’re curious about weaving, I really recommend the tutorial on A Beautiful Mess, it’s easy to follow and there are some additional lessons available after you’ve mastered the basics. Who knows, you might just find your new favorite hobby!

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Grrrrrrrr!

After I mastered the elephant amigurumi, I started pinning tons of other cute animal tutorials to my Pinterest board (anyone else addicted to that site?). I had owls, and kitties, and unicorns, all pinned and ready for me to try. Quick sidenote: can we all give a HUGE thanks to all the wonderful creators out there who share their patterns and tutorials for free? I’ve learned so much from generous folks who do this and am very grateful! 

Anyways, I had all these fun and adorable amigurumi ideas planned when I received an invitation to my dear friend’s son’s first birthday party. And on that invitation? A bright blue dinosaur. I had to make one for the birthday boy. 

Being a complete amigurumi novice, I knew I needed to find a pattern, but not just any pattern, I wanted it to look as close to that dinosaur invitation as it could. That’s a pretty tall order, but I found it on Maggie Makes Stuff and it was SO perfect! Her pattern was incredibly easy to follow and took me no time at all and, ta-da! Cute dinosaur for the cute birthday boy: 


This little guy could not have been more perfect and I loved it so much, I made another for my brother’s 25th birthday (we’re big nerds). 


I mean, come on, how cute are these guys? So cute, and so tiny, they fit right in the palm of your hand, which is the perfect size for little kiddos, and big ones, like my brother. 

So, there it is, my second amigurumi adventure, the adorable dinosaur. 

Elephant

I wanted to learn how to create amigurumi; I have a lot of friends with babies and small children and I thought it would be wonderful to be able to make cute animals for baby showers.

After some searching, I came across the cutest amigurumi elephant on All About Ami and it was just what I’d been looking for!

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These little guys have become one of my favorite projects, and I love that I am able to customize them by color for a special gift; or for myself, because if I’m being real here, I’m more than mildly obsessed with stuffed animals. Fastest way to my heart? Stuffed animals. And pizza. But I digress. I’ve lost track of how many of these fellas I’ve made, but suffice it to say, I’ve gotten pretty speedy at pumping them out, AND bonus-they are available for order in my shop! You know you want one. 

 

First blog post

Hello! Now that I’ve had my Etsy shop for over a year, I’ve decided its time to take my fiber crafting to the next level. Enter: blog. I’ve tried to keep up with blogging in the past and it just did not stick. But, my hope with this one is to share something that I’m actually passionate about, creating things.

I have had a lot of fun over the past 18 months developing my crochet and weaving skills and styles and I’m looking forward to furthering my abilities. And how better to share this journey (and keep track for myself) than a blog? Right?

So, welcome, I hope you enjoy my things!