Monday, March 31, 2014

Sale & Giveaway

Spring is in full swing here in the South!!  To celebrate, our Carrot Top Hat & Cocoon pattern is on sale for only $1.99 through Saturday.

To help spread the word, we're asking our fans to share this Facebook post throughout the week.  Every public share that you do will get you an entry into a drawing that will be held on Sunday.  At least 1 winner will receive a free copy of the pattern.

Do you want to earn extra entries into the drawing? 
- Anyone who purchases a copy of the pattern this week will receive 2 additional entries into the drawing - if they are the randomly selected winner, we will refund you the cost of the pattern!! 
- Comment on this blog post and you will receive 1 additional entry.
- Share our tweet about this Sale & Giveaway on your Twitter page for 1 additional entry. 

Pick up the pattern in our Ravelry or Craftsy stores today!!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

And the winners are...

Thank you to everyone who entered our 2500 Facebook Fans Giveaway Extravaganza!!!  And an even bigger thanks to the vendors who donated their time to help us promote the Giveaway, as well as donating prizes from their shops.  Without further ado, here are the winners and the prizes they have won:

          Jacinta Wells - 3 patterns of choice from the Ravelry shop
          April Dudgeon Conner - $50 gift certificate toward purchase of $175 or more
          JoAnn Trowbridge - $30 store credit from store
          Heather Jock - 1 free pattern from the Ravelry shop
          Carina Plungis - a free copy of the Brooklyn Cap pattern
          Tina Dee England - a free copy of the Brooklyn Cap pattern
          Leah Morgan - a free copy of the March 2014 issue and Entwine t-shirt
          Tiffany M Charles - Strawberry Shortcake Hair Bow and Shabby Flower Headband
          Vinita McCall - 3 patterns of choice from the Ravelry shop
          Sally Korneychuk - a free copy of every pattern released in 2014 via Ravelry shop
          Leslie Mansfield - 1 set of yarn ball stitch markers
          Shamci - a free copy of the Cupcake Lovey pattern via Ravelry shop
          Francie Christensen - any item from Etsy store
          Stephanie Cummings - 2 patterns of choice
          Crystal Lamott - 2 patterns of choice from Etsy store
          Nicole Eckert - 2 patterns of choice from Etsy store
          Claire Bell Krueger - 1 free item of choice from Etsy store
          Carol Rupprecht - 1 pattern of choice from Ravelry shop
          Heather Staats - 1 pattern of choice from Ravelry shop
          Monique Holden-Reinke - 1 pattern of choice from Ravelry shop
          Amanda Thomas - free copy of Wyld Girl pattern from Etsy store
          Amber Keppler - free copy of Not Another Owl Hat in children's and adult's sizes
          Laura PoolGirl - free copy of 6 patterns shown here
          Stephanie Bean Nogle - free copy of 6 patterns shown here
          Nicole Bridge - 1 free Pearl Bubble Hook
          Kim Fary - free crochet-theme keychain
          Tia Moreland - 2 free patterns of choice from Ravelry shop
          Ninette Blake Burke - free copy of Diagonal Collection pattern pack
          Susan O'Brien - Darla Slouch Hat in your choice of color
          Brenda Earhart Burkett - Daddy's Girl Bow
          Leah Field - 6 custom pens
          Oressa Heilig - 5 patterns of choice from the Ravelry shop
          Jessica Figueroa - free small adult or child's size Lion Hat
          Linda Ziino - $20 store credit toward any ready-to-ship item
          Isla Salisbury - a free pdf copy of each 11 available patterns
          Katie Lynch - free copy of the Loopty Lucy Easter Basket pattern
          Traci Hiatt Markland - 1 free pattern from Ravelry shop or this scarf

Congratulations to all of our winners - you have until the end of the day on Tuesday to contact the vendor and claim your prize!  All unclaimed prizes will be re-drawn for new winners on Wednesday morning.  All of the links you'll need to claim your prize are included in the description.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

It's no longer a surprise!!

A few weeks ago we posted a sneak peek of a new pattern on our Facebook page and asked our fans to make their guesses.  Here is what we showed back then:

As you can see, it left a lot of options to guess from (which was part of the plan).

With today being the first day of Spring, we decided it was the perfect day to release this pattern. 

DRUM ROLL PLEASE.....................


This pattern was inspired by the yarn itself - Bernat Dippity Dots.  My testers and I discovered that this yarn can only be purchased at Joann's or through the Yarnspirations website.  It's a baby weight yarn that comes in fun pastel colors with mini pompoms attached to it. 

To celebrate, the Cupcake Lovey pattern (normally $3.99) will be available for only $2.99 from today through Sunday, March 23rd.  You can also get any of our other patterns on sale for 40% off - no coupon code is needed.  Visit our Ravelry shop to take advantage of the sale!!!  (The sale is not effective in our Craftsy store except on the Cupcake Lovey.)

Pattern Review: Loopty Lucy Easter Basket

One of the patterns that has been donated for our Giveaway Extravaganza is the Loopty Lucy Easter Basket by Weeping Willow Designs.  This was the first pattern I'd seen by the designer, Melissa Gorski.  My daughter was never a huge fan of the LaLaLoopsy Dolls, but she has friends who were, so I'm quite familiar with the brand.  The Housewives have also made several Loopsy Hats for customers. 

I have to say that I was very happy with the pattern.  I noticed a few quirks here and there, but nothing major that kept the pattern from working up successfully.  The instructions were clear and easy to understand, plus Melissa included pictures to help you along the way.  The one negative thing for me was that there was no gauge give on the pattern.  I've learned the importance of gauging over the last couple of years since I know that I tend to crochet tighter than many other designers.  I was fortunate this time - I worked it with the hooks listed and my sizes matched up to Melissa's perfectly.  YAY!!!

For my basket, I chose to make one with turquoise hair rather than pink.  I think the blue-haired girls get less love than the pink-haired. 

I think the pigtails are my favorite part of the entire Basket - they are so cute!  :)  You can pick up your own copy of the Loopty Lucy Easter Basket pattern in the Weeping Willow Designs pattern shop on Ravelry.  It's actually on sale for only $3.99 right now.  You can also visit their Facebook page - show them love and let them know the Hooking Housewives sent you!! 

This completed basket is now for sale in our Storenvy shop for $18.00 (plus s&h).  If you prefer a different color, send us an email and we'll create the item for you to purchase it as a custom order!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

We are Open for Business!!

After a couple of months of contemplation, we now have an online store for Ready-to-Ship items!!  We have tried Etsy in the past but have been unsuccessful - I'm not a fan of paying up front to list items if I don't have to.  My sister-in-law has her own online shop and introduced me to Storenvy.  I set up an account and did some research.  Last week the decision was made to open up a shop on the site.  You can reach the shop through our Facebook page (there's a tab underneath our cover photo) or by clicking here

We are slowly but surely getting our current RTS supply photographed and added to the store.  There will be many more items coming as well.  If there's something you're looking for specifically, let us know.  As always, we take custom orders without charging additional fees.  We will be using the Storenvy shop for selling all finished products from this point on - it's easier to keep records that way so we know what sells and what doesn't.  It will also allow us to have sales more easily and a little more often.  If you place an order for a finished product, whether it be via Facebook, email, or otherwise, we will create the custom item on our Storenvy page for you to purchase and pay there - this also guarantees that you get a receipt for your records. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to let us know!! 

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Crochet-Related Public Service Announcement

One of the first things that popped up in my personal news feed on Facebook this morning was this photo from Yarning For More:

Because not all of our customers are crocheters who look to us for patterns - many actually purchase only completed products - we thought this would be the perfect opportunity to share this information.  The majority of our products are available in cotton rather than the acrylic yarn we normally use on our hats and some other items.  If you are purchasing items from us at any time with the intention of using them during warm weather, please let us know.  We're happy to accommodate by using cotton for these items if possible without an increase in cost to you.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Have you heard!?!

If you missed the announcement this morning (it was still pretty early), the Hooking Housewives are now officially on Twitter.  While neither of us has really taken part in the site for personal use, the decision has been made to utilize it for our business.  We'd love to hear from our fans and follow you on Twitter - comment below or on the FB post with your handle and we'll look you up.  You can find us @HkngHousewives or just click here!!

What does this mean for you, our fans?  Following us could work to your benefit - in addition to being able to gain an extra entry in future giveaways, we may occasionally offer a coupon code or special deal that is available especially for our Twitter followers.  Or maybe even a sneak peek at upcoming patterns... who knows what we'll do!?!  ;)

Monday, March 10, 2014

Do you want to learn to crochet?

Over the last couple of years, I have had many people comment on how much they would like to learn how to crochet but don't know where to start.  I actually learned via an online Crochet-Along (CAL). 

I am pleased to announce that after much contemplation, we will be doing a blog series to help you Learn to Crochet.  I will begin shooting the videos/photos next week and will have more information coming soon.  The plan is to start it after our current 2500 Facebook Fan Giveaway Extravaganza is complete.

To make learning as easy as possible, there will be posts on the basics to begin with, even the most simple things that many people may not think they need to worry about.  The series will be geared toward beginners, but even those who are more advanced crocheters are welcome to join us! 

Friday, March 7, 2014

2500 Facebook Fan Giveaway Extravaganza!!!

Our 2500 Facebook Fan Giveaway Extravaganza is under way!!!  Our fans have helped us to expand and stay busy - to thank you, we have put together a multi-vendor giveaway for you to enjoy. 

The Giveaway is now officially open and will run through Friday, March 24th, or until we hit 2500 fans, whichever comes first.  That's where we need your help - there are additional ways to earn entries into the Giveaway simply by sharing the album on FB publically on either your personal or business page.  You can get one additional entry per day - that's up to 14 extra chances to win. 

The Giveaway has more than 30 prizes from 20+ vendors with additional ones still coming in.  If you have your own small business - it does not have to be crochet or craft related - and want to donate to the Giveaway, please message us on Facebook or email us for information.  We'd love to have you join us!!!

To enter the Giveaway, view the album on Facebook, like the photos of those items you would like to win (make sure you like the vendor page as well), then use Rafflecopter below to enter.  One of the other ways to help you earn an additional entry is to comment on this blog post.  Tell us what one prize you would like to win the most!!  We can't wait to see what you're after...

To all of our fans, thank you again for all of your support - 2014 is off to a great start and it's all because of you!  Have fun - and GOOD LUCK!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Learning Entrelac

For those who follow us on Facebook, you probably know that I recently learned how to work Tunisian crochet.  It's so much simpler than I expected it to be, which made me want to learn how to use it a little more.  Much to my surprise, the folks over at The Crochet Crowd popped up in my newsfeed that they would be sharing a video tutorial on how to do Entrelac crochet.  This is a technique I've always been intrigued by.  It looks difficult, but surprisingly, once you have learned Tunisian, it's quite simple.  If you haven't learned Tunisian, Mikey makes it easy enough to understand that you can still figure out how to do it. 

I decided that my first Entrelac project would be a baby blanket.  I bought an icy pink-colored yarn that I've been playing with but hadn't liked anything I've tried with it.  I knew a blanket would be perfect for a new baby girl that will be coming into the world soon!!  (Yes, this blanket is going to be a gift for one of the dozens of ladies in my world who are pregnant.)

I spent a few hours working it yesterday, and now that I've gotten the hang of it, things are moving much more quickly.  Rather than waiting until the blanket is complete, I thought I'd give you a sneak peek...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Polymer Fun

I have dabbled here and there with polymer clay, never really taking it too seriously.  Sure, I'd made some buttons that were pretty good, but had not really done much else with it.  A couple of months ago I picked up a 3-pack of clay tools that are double-ended, each with a different function.  I hadn't used them yet only because I was trying to figure out a better surface to work on.  Last week I bought an inexpensive pastry mat at Wal-Mart and figured it was time to pull my stuff out and give it a go.

I attempted my first canes using a technique I'd found on Pinterest.  Rather than making 3 of these canes, still unsure as to what I want to do with them, I took the leftover blocks, laid them out, and made the cane that you see on the far left.  (This picture also shows the two stacked canes - that's what I've decided to call them - before they were cut to even them out on the ends.)

Once I cut the uneven ends off, so as not to waste any clay, I rolled them out a little and turned them into buttons.  My 10-year old daughter is in love with them.  Something tells me one of the canes is going to be used to make her another covered hook of her own. 

The remaining canes turned out great.  It is a frosty glittered white, rosy pink, fuschia, pearl purple, and deep purple all stacked and rolled up in brown suede. 

The cane that wasn't rolled in the brown suede was cut into slices to create the two canes on the right (one is my daughter's and the other is an extra hook I have in case I need a back-up).  The other simply has the colors marbled together and was used to cover the hook my daughter uses for her Rainbow Loom. 

I used extra clay in the same colors to create round buttons in 3 different sizes and some small square buttons. 

 Of all of my current clay creations, my favorite is the mini yarn balls.  I followed instructions from a current blog post on Repeat Crafter Me.   I made 4 in each color.  Two sets have been turned into stitch markers, while the other two sets have been turned into earrings - they can also be turned into necklaces, keychains, etc.  They were fun to make, though I have to admit they were more time consuming than I expected.  If you're interested in the yarn balls but don't have the patience to try them out for yourself, check back in for our Giveaway Extravaganza this weekend.  I'll be giving away a full set of the stitch markers (one in each of the 4 colors) as one of the prizes.

The buttons, stitch markers/earrings, covered crochet hooks, and canes are all available for purchase if anyone is interested.  If ordering a hat or other finished item, we'll happily add one of the buttons at no additional cost.  You can email us or message us on Facebook for price quotes.  Custom buttons and markers are also available.  This does not mean crocheting and pattern designing is taking a backseat to the clay - it definitely is not!  The clay is just a way for us to expand our horizons and allow us a temporary yarn break from time-to-time.