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Christmas Aftermath

I got a wild idea about the middle of November to make everyone crochet beanies for Christmas. I had just had surgery in October and was home recovering thinking I had plenty of time.

I compiled my list of hats I needed to make. There were over 50 names on that list and with a schedule of making two a day and sometimes three I could technically make a Christmas deadline. Two hats a day was an impossible task for me with a full-time job and also just how slow I am apparently at making hats. Really thought I could whip those up faster.

So here I sit the first week of February and still not done with these hats. At this point these hats are giant leap towards crochet hats for Christmas 2017 as winter will soon be over if not already in our part of the country.

My grandmother always crocheted Christmas gifts throughout the year. Every November when I decide to make gifts then spend every free moment crocheting, I see her wisdom in her planning and vow to try it. This year I will be doing this and thanks to starting in November (and not making a Christmas deadline) I have a good amount done for Christmas 2017.

Valentine Cards

Last year I made two Valentine’s card with a crochet theme. I enjoyed it so much that I made some more for this year.

If I am doing it correctly, this should print on one page. Next year I plan on doing them as a .pdf for easier download.

Enjoy!

Halloween Pokeballs!

Each year for Halloween I make a small crochet happy to pass out to the trick or treaters. With the success of Pokemon Go and Pokemon mania in our house for Pokemon Sun and Moon, I decided to make more Pokeballs.

Crochet Pokeballs make for Halloween

I had made some back when we went to Gen Con. In all I made 21 Pokeballs. My goal was 30 but fell short. I had made them in stages – doing all the white first for 30 then adding the black, etc. We had one left over and I plan to finish the rest for Pax South in January.

Amigurumi Snakes on the Couch

Crocheted Snakes hanging out on the back of the couch

Crocheted Snakes

Here are a couple of my creations from back in the summer. They were a gift for one of my daughter’s friend and her younger brother. She loves snakes and has a ball python named Monty. She held her birthday party at the local snake farm, so it only seemed fitting to give her something reptile-themed.

I crocheted Monty out of some yarn I have been wanting to buy forever but never had a project for. It’s Sinfonia yarn that I bought at Hobby Lobby. So since the yarn is a thinner yarn I knew it would be perfect for the ami snakes. I did a Ninja Turtle snake for her younger brother who is wild about TNMT. Both were a big hit. I hope to make more but surprisingly it is time-consuming. I hate going in a small round although it looks awesome it takes a long time.

If I ever do a craft fair again, this will be one item I will make since I used a pipe cleaner in the body to give it some bend. I would like to try it with a stronger wire to possibly make a bracelet. That will be for the future as I have a few crochet projects to finish before the end of the year.

Crochet Organization

For the rest of 2016, our family theme is organization as we are looking to move in a year we need to take care of our clutter. Since we will be knee deep in stuff we might as well organize it. I mean seriously organize it like put stuff in boxes, writing down was in in said box and put that info in a database.

One area for me personally that would be so much easier to use is all of my craft stuff which is primarily yarn. To better get a handle on just how and where to store my yarn, I have decided to think of the projects I am likely to do in the next six -eight months.

I like to do something for Halloween and for Valentine’s Day. I’ve done small monsters, gnomes, and even more monsters in the past. This year I have two ideas that would both be cute.

One is Pokeballs building on my Gen Con venture. The other is snakes and possibly some dragons. The snakes I had made for a girl and her brother since they have a pet snake making one to look like her snake and one to favor a Ninja Turtle since the boy loves Ninja Turtles. Since I plan on making more Pokeballs for PaxSouth, I am leaning towards the snakes and adding some wings for a few dragons. Wow. I think I’ve made my decision. It’s amazing what just talking (or writing!) it out really helps bring clarity.

Projects I know I will have within the next six months:

Halloween happies
Valentine’s Day happies
Pokeballs for PaxSouth
Baby Gift (x2)

Holiday Crocheting
Mermaid afghan (possibly 2. Large project. I’m terrible with large projects.)
Crochet Hats

So yeah for a lot of this I don’t have the yarn yet or maybe I do once it is all organized. I may have more yarn than I realize.

For my actual yarn organization, I am using clear, shallow, plastic boxes with the idea that only one layer of yarn will fit. I’ve tried larger boxes but find that after time the yarn will tangle once I start going through the boxes to find something. I had tried using gallon Ziploc bags so the yarn wouldn’t unravel but find that solution tiring. Maybe a better organization system would mean grouping better yarns together. Before I had just done it by color which – in hindsight – wasn’t the best. This time I plan to group by weight and projects.

Gen Con Pokemon Crochet

Crafters are pretty cool people. Not only do they make creative things but they are also very generous. A while back I had seen a Twitter post from a fellow crocheter who spent the last year making cute, geeky amigurumi to hide at a con she was attending leaving each one with a note to tag her on Twitter to see where her creation would wind up in the world. I just thought that was the coolest thing and vowed that I would do the same.

So I had planned on doing all these great amigurumis for Gen Con but then procrastination and a general lack of desire to crochet took hold. The months passed and I still hadn’t made any amis as Gen Con just got closer and closer. Then, a bit of inspiration happened with the release of a mobile game called Pokemon GO. I could crochet Pokeballs for people to find. Pokeballs are basically a ball made up of three colors – red, white, and black – with the white and black button in the center. I had all the colors in my stash and could easily buy more if I ran low on the long car ride to Gen Con. So our journey to Gen Con began and so did the crocheting.

pokemaking

I tweeted it out and realized the power of the hashtag as I quickly had two likes! I continued to crochet Pokeballs and halfway through our journey I was up to 8.

pokemake8

Our trip took so long because we made a few stops to pick up the rest of our crew. By the time we rolled into Indy I had 16 and decided to stop there meaning that we could hide four pokeballs a day.

pokeballsready

We concentrated on places that were Pokestops to increase the odds a player would find them but really it seemed every other person was swiping their phone to catch Pokemon all over the convention center. It was so much fun to hide Pokeballs and then to see people find them. Good stuff. We did get a few tweets back from those who had found them which was awesome. Some Pokeballs we did give away to kids dressed in Pokemon attire which was too much fun.

I will definitely do this again next year. It was a blast from crocheting for hours in the car to hiding the balls to reading tweets from others. I will be doing more Pokeballs for PaxSouth in January. I can’t wait to get started.

Valentine’s Day Cards

February 14th is fast approaching. Chances are you have something on the hook for your Valentines. I was inspired to do a couple of Valentine’s Day cards that yarn inspired. I may do more before the big day depending on how I feel. I’m getting over a common cold that felt anything but common.

morethanyarn

hooked

Christmas Crochet

My Christmas crochet can best be described by one word: fast. I chose to give cup cozies because I waited too long to crochet anything else. It saddens me especially when I know that some really enjoy the gifts I make.

Next year I plan to be more on the ball. I see why my Grandmother spent all year crocheting gift items for Christmas. It does take that long to get it all done.

The end of the year makes me think about what I accomplished this year and what I want to do for the next. Next year I definitely want to do more crochet items for Christmas gifts because they are well received and let’s face it, it is just hard to buy gifts for some people.

Between now and the end of the year I will be planning out what I want to do for everyone. Then come January get busy with it. I will make a tracker that I can put here and update each month to keep me honest and hopefully help others do the same. It’s never too early to start thinking about next Christmas especially when you are crafting items.

Crochet All the Things

Lately I have been crocheting items to sell at a craft fair. I’m excited but am ready to work on a project for my or/and my brood. Pinterest is totally addicting. I love it. There are so many projects I have found that I want to give a try.

I should at least start a crochet project. It’s not like I don’t have yarn, hooks, and stitch markers. I have all of those things – in spades. My problem with starting a project is that I need to finish it ASAP or else it doesn’t get finished. I have several body-less amigurumis around the house.

Maybe to start my crochet all the things I will rotate between projects. I have gotten pretty far with the craft fair items. I should reward myself by trying something else. It’s hard to decide on a project as I want to use the yarn I have. Guess the first step is to find the yarn and then let that dictate which project. I think I will do an amigurumi with lots of detail. I need the practice with hair and accessories.

This week is back to school week so hopefully I will have some energy left in the evening to crochet.

Fiesta Medals

One local festival that trumps any festival I have ever been to is Fiesta. Fiesta is an 11 day event held in the spring in San Antonio, Texas. It started in the late 19th Century as a way to honor those who fought at the Alamo and San Jacinto.

Fiesta medals are extremely popular. Many businesses and organizations produce a medal making them highly collectible. Now you can make your own ‘medal’ out of yarn and personalize it to your family’s memories of Fiesta.

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Here is a quick pattern on how to make your own crochet medal. Not that much yarn is needed, so it’s a perfect project for scrap yarn. Any size hook should do. I used a 3.5 mm.

Starting with the top piece:

Chain 3
SC into 2nd chain from hook and one SC into last chain (2 SC)
CH 1, Turn, 2 SC (4 SC)
CH 1, Turn, 2 SC into first SC, SC into next 2 SC, 2 SC into last SC (6 SC)
CH 1, Turn, 2 SC into first SC, SC into next 4 SC, 2 SC into last SC (8 SC)
CH 1, Turn, 2 SC into first SC, SC into next 6 SC, 2 SC into last SC (10 SC)
CH 1, Turn, Even row of SC (10 SC)
Finish Off

For the Medal done in the round:

CH 2
SC 6 into 2nd CH from hook (6 SC)
2 SC into each of the 6 SC (12 SC)
2 SC into next SC, One SC into next SC, repeat for the round (18 SC)
Finish Off

Sew pieces together. OPTIONAL – Sew or glue a small piece of felt to the back of it to add sturdiness.

I sewed a button in the middle of the medal piece for decoration. Another idea is to use an applique for the round medal piece. All kinds of ideas to make this really unique.