Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Elephant Applique - Free Pattern!!!

We have had a lot of requests for the pattern for our Elephant Applique.  And, because we hadn't released any free patterns yet, we decided this would be the first one.

There was a lot of back and forth regarding the layout of this pattern.  It has been written with photos for almost every step of the process.  We know that some people print their patterns, while others don't.  For those who do print, you may not want to use a ton of ink printing photos that you may or may not need.  After much deliberation, we are releasing two versions of this pattern.  The first is the standard version has the photos posted alongside the step it goes with.  The second version, listed as Printer Friendly, has all of the photos together at the end.  This means that you can choose to print those pages or not.

The pattern can be found in our Ravelry store.  When you click the link to download, you will see both versions available.  Have fun - if you make this pattern, we'd love to see your photos!!

Pattern tested by Angella Thiel
Pattern tested by Heather Kirchmeyer

Pattern tested by Stephanie Haugen

Pattern tested by Kimberly Anderson

Monday, February 25, 2013

Rockin' Out the Projects

Last month we told you about the Rockin' Out the Projects Christmas Challenge that we are joining in on.  It's being hosted by Heidi Yates, the brilliant designer behind Snappy Tots.  So far, I have several projects in the works - some, I will honestly say, have been started since before this project, but are being done to give as Christmas gifts for 2013.  A few may be early gifts - especially one specific item that I'm determined to finish within the next couple of weeks.

I may share a few finished photos here and there of the items for Christmas gifts... that doesn't mean that my family members (and friends, of course) will know what is for who.  ;)  

If you think you may be interested in joining the project, it's a great group of people who are cheering each other on so we can stay motivated to get all of our handmade Christmas gifts completed.  You can join the FB group here.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Weekly Update

Since this is our first Weekly Update, this one is going to have a bunch of fun photos of projects we haven't yet posted on our Facebook page.  Before we get started, let me explain the purpose of the Weekly Update.  One thing we will use this blog each week to give you a sneak peek items we're working on (some may be for orders and some may just be new creations - and some may be both).  We'll also post photos of newly finished items here first... photos will no longer be posted on Facebook until Mondays.  Something else we want to use this update for is to give you information regarding upcoming events, changes, or to get your input or suggestions.  And, because many of you have been following our work on the Newtown Memory Blanket Project, we'll give updates to that here as well - at least until we're finished!  Now, on to the fun...

These aren't just items we've created over the last week, but they are all items that we haven't yet posted on our Facebook page.  Those who follow our blog will get the first look into these new creations:

Alabama Logo Beanie - This was a custom creation for a friend who wanted it to give her husband.  I used to do plastic canvas crafts when I was younger, but this was my first attempt since elementary school.  I have to admit that creating this logo was a little more time consuming than I expected, but it was definitely worth it in the end!

Fireman Hat - This isn't a new creation, though the original version was only available in baby sizes.  We now have a version that is available in all sizes, from baby to adult, and we will fully customize the front to say whatever you would like (as long as we can make it fit).

Strawberry Beanies - As some of you know, Kathy's middle daughter is pregnant with twins.  At the beginning of the month we hosted her baby shower.  A couple of days beforehand, the youngest daughter picked out the most adorable outfits for her nieces from Gymboree.


I whipped these up by the next afternoon - and it was a custom design.  Despite all of the patterns we have for berry hats, I didn't feel that the top "stem" was right for any of them.  I did make notes as I went and hope to write this pattern soon.

 Sugar 'n Spice Hats - This was a pattern I bought specifically with the Twinkies (that's what we all the twins that Mallory is having) in mind.  It was created by April Hudson of Sew Much Love and can be purchased in her shops on Etsy, Craftsy, or Ravelry if you're interested.

Because I had made the hats identical, I wanted Mallory and her husband to be able to distinguish between whose hat is whose.  Since I have been playing around with polymer clay to start creating some of our own buttons, Kathy and I came up with the idea of using the girls' first initials to make large buttons.  The L is for Lily's hat and the E is for Ella's.

In Progress
It's been a busy few days here at Hooking Housewives. We are currently working on 2 dog sweaters, a newborn carrot hat/cocoon set (no pictures yet), a birthday cake hat (based on the Snappy Tots pattern for the Snappilicious Birthday Cake Hat).


I also have several Christmas gifts in progress - any sneak peeks of those will be a part of our blog on the 24th of each month, though you won't see the full finished products until after the Christmas holidays.  :(  Yes, I know that's many months away still.  LOL

Newtown, CT Memory Blanket Project

While Kathy is working hard to get boxes of squares edged for me to assemble, I'm still working on sorting the last of the squares we have received.  In the meantime, I have started and am almost halfway complete with assembly on our second blanket.


As you can see, there are still quite a few squares in this box that need to be added - some of which still need to be edged due to being added to the box after Kathy had already edged.

Information for Our Fans

A friend of ours gave me a satin robe that is so pretty.  She let me know ahead of time that it had a couple of places that need stitched up, which wasn't a problem.  Unfortunately, because of it being satin, one of the spots is too far gone for stitching.  Rather than trashing it, I am feeling compelled to do something fun with it. I've considered making a few bonnets and using it as the trim, but I want to ask for your suggestions before I make any decisions.  Here's what the material looks like:

One last thing that we want to tell you this week... we finally got our business cards in!  

We kept them simple for our first set, but are very excited about them!  These cards will start being shipped with every order.  At some point we will be starting a customer referral program that will earn you credit toward our items with every customer you refer to us who purchases something.  There will be more information coming in regards to the referral program soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Share Your Blog Thursday!

As we announced this week, we are now hosting Share Your Blog Thursday every week.  I figured that we would give the bloggers who participate each week some extra publicity by linking to their blogs on our own, as well as the links they've provided on our Facebook page.

Here are the blogs we had shared with us today:
Jaime D. Designs 

Kim Mattox
Swirls and Sprinkles

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

New Events!!!

For those of you who are fans of Hooking Housewives on Facebook, you've likely already starting noticing a couple of new things.  We have decided that, because of the amount of support you have shown us, we want to return the favor.

Starting yesterday, we will be hosting Share Your Page Tuesday.  You'll see this photo appear on our page at some point during the day.  There are a couple of rules attached to this activity:
1 - You must "like" Hooking Housewives on Facebook.
2 - You must share the link on your business page.
3 - You should post a link to your business page in the comments section under the photo.
4 - You need to show some love by checking out some of the other businesses who have linked up with us.

I will personally go through and check out all of the business pages who post.  That means I will also see if you have shared the link as required.  To keep things fair for all, if you post your business but fail to share the link twice, you will no longer be allowed to link up for Share Your Page Tuesday.  You will not be notified, you're link will simply be removed from the comments section if you post it.

Starting tomorrow, we will be hosting Share Your Blog Thursday.  Now that we're getting into the routine of blogging, we want to help share your blog.  This is for both personal as well as business blogs.  When you see this photo posted on Thursdays, post a link in the comments section to your blog and we'll check it out.  We're also hoping that you check out some of the blogs listed - you may just find something that grabs you and pulls you in.

The other weekly activity we have in store for you is our Weekly Update.  This will be a blog that we post every Friday to let you know what we've been working on during the week.  It may also include information on upcoming projects or specials.  And for those who actually read our blog, you may even find the occasional giveaway or coupon code!!!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The Houndstooth Hat is Here!!!

It's been longer than anticipated, but the pattern for the Houndstooth Hat is finally available for purchase!  This was the first pattern that we've tested using a new group we've assembled of very talented ladies.  They worked hard and provided wonderful feedback so that we were able to get this pattern right for you!!!

The pattern is available in our Ravelry shop for $2.99 and you'll get it via instant download.  For our wonderful fans, you can get it from now until Monday night for only $1.49 using promo code ROLLTIDE.

The elephant applique pattern will be written up and sent off to our testers within the next couple of days.  We're hoping to have it available for you by the middle of next week.  It will be our first FREE pattern so we're very excited about that!!!  Stay tuned for more designs to come as we continue to create patterns that we hope you'll love.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Memory Blanket Project for Newtown - Update

The first blanket to be assembled by Hooking Housewives is officially completed!

This project has become so much more of an undertaking than we ever expected it to be.  When we joined forces with Good Lookin' Hooking and Crazy Hookers Crochet, our goal was to collect enough squares to complete 26 blankets for the families of the Newtown victims.  We have, in the end, collected enough squares to provide blankets to each victim's family, each classroom at the school, and then even more to go toward the emergency responders or Hurricane Sandy victims or wherever the final decision to send them is.  Thanks to everyone who has donated in some way, as well as to those who are still helping in many ways.  Your love and support are what is keeping all of us going as we dive full-force into what is sure to be a lengthy assembly process.

This first blanket took about 6 hours worth of edging, 24 hours worth of assembly, and 3 hours for the border.  That's 33 hours (and that's just guesstimating) worth of work over a number of days/weeks.  These blankets will not be assembled as quickly as we would like since each of us still has a family to take care of, jobs to go to, small businesses to run, and other obligations.  Please be patient with us as we work through the process.  We'll continue to post photos here of the blankets as they are completed.

Here are some close-up shots so you can see every square in detail:

For those interested in knowing, the squares in this blanket were donated by the following people (in alphabetical order - some people have multiple squares on this particular blanket):
Amanda Ledlow
Amy Frazier
Anita Mills
Ann McCoy
Anne Merriam
Annette Porfirio
Ashley Boudreau
Ashley Tucker
Betty Plemmons
Carolyn Bonjovi
Cathy Gerding
Celeste Kierstead
Connie Baldwin
Debbie Stewart
Deborah Carey
Debra Cook
Diane Calloway
Donna Jolley
Dusti Prioux
Free Chapel Knit & Crochet Group
Glynda Devore
Jacqui Wexler
Jamie Carder-Haas
Jessica Gomm
Jessica Hipps
Jodi Wiley
Josephine Gigi
Joyce Buchanan
Judy Kissel
Karla Bilawchuk
Kathy Phillips
Keary Uhlig
Laura Dukes
LaVeta Evans
Linda Chapman
Lois Devaney
Marcia Larson
Mary Belzer
MaryAnne Cook
Melissa Shankleton
Pat Azirri
Peggy Mackey
Raina Bruner
Rose Harris
Shannon Phillips
Shelly Finegan
Shelly Tucker
St. Mary's Crochet Group
Staycle Duplichan
Susan Paquette
Tatiana Lopez
Teresa Konopki
Terri Jouty
Timothy Birney
Vera Walker

Friday, February 8, 2013

New Sets Available

It's been busy here at Hooking Housewives.  We have been hard at work on 4 new sets that will be shipped off today to one of our photographers, as well as a separate set that is in progress for a customer but will be replicated for our local photographer.  Here are the four newest sets that have been added to our collection:

Newsboy Set - Hat, Diaper Cover & Bowtie ... Available in all sizes up to 12 mos
Mermaid Set - Tail, Shell Bikini Top & Starfish Headband - Available in Newborn/0-3 mos only

Snail Critter Set - Hat, Cape & Detachable Shell... Available in Newborn/0-3 mos only

Puppy Set - Hat & Diaper Cover... Hat available in all sizes; Diaper Cover in sizes up to 12 mos only

Monday, February 4, 2013

Do You Want to Learn to Crochet?

Over the last few weeks we have had several people contact us about teaching them to crochet.  Because of this, we have a couple of announcements that we think you'll like.

First, for those of you who are not local, ChiWei over at One Dog Woof is hosting her very first crochet along (CAL).  For those of you who don't think you can learn to crochet through a CAL, I am proof that you can.  I learned by participating in a CAL held by another blog site a couple of years ago and have been hooked ever since.  The voting was today for the pattern that will be used in the CAL... Sorry I'm late in announcing - I just found out about the CAL myself a few minutes ago.  The project will be layed out on Friday, along with information on what supplies you'll need to pick up.  Check out her blog for more information.  I'm hoping to participate but I have to make sure I can squeeze it into my hectic schedule first.

Second, for those of you who live nearby (along the Alabama Gulf Coast), my husband has decided that Kathy and I should have a mini-class at our apartment.  This will be a free class that we will hold as a wine party or potluck so we can all have snacks while we're crocheting.  Before we schedule this, we want to get an idea of how many people may be interested... If this is something you may want to participate in, please email us for more information.