Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Christmas in July Mystery CAL: Part 3 - FINISHED!!

Up until this point, I was completely clueless as to what the final product would be.  I was happy to see that it's a stocking.  Part 3 was a little tougher than the rest - trying to figure out where all of the stitches along the sides was easier said than done at times.  After a few days of working on it - no, I was not able to sit down and knock this part out due to a crazy schedule - I finally finished last night!!

My final thoughts - I love the design of the stocking.  It was slightly time-consuming, but totally worth it.  I'm not a huge fan of how the heel turned out, nor do I like how the cuff appears too large, but those are adjustments I could easily make when I work the pattern again.  Yes, I will be working it again in the future.  I am hoping to have time to make one for each member of our family in the colors we're using to decorate this year.  I do plan to use a larger hook so I can make them larger in size - Santa only provides one "cool" gift and fills stockings for our kids, so we like to have decent size stockings. 

The pattern has received a name - the Winter Waves Christmas Stocking.  If you did not pick up an advance copy, you can now get the final version here.  Many thanks to the Design Wars team and Jennifer over at A Crocheted Simplicity... and I'm off to post the photos in my projects on Ravelry so I can get my chance to win a full set of Clover Amore crochet hooks!  :)





Monday, July 28, 2014

Pattern Review: Pretty Baby Barefoot Sandals



A few months ago I came across the most adorable pair of barefoot baby sandals while scrolling through Pinterest.  I hadn't had a reason to make any yet, but finally got an order.  YAY! 

I pulled up the String With Style blog and found the pattern for the Pretty Baby Barefoot Sandals  - a freebie, which is always a plus!  The sandals worked up pretty quick once I determined which size to make.  I had an order for a pair in 6-9 month size. Unfortunately, the pattern doesn't include much in the way of details for the sizes -  small, medium, and large are all you get.  That meant I had to work and compare each finished size against another pair of baby shoes I'd already made for the same order. 




In the end, I love how cute they turned out.  The flower was so much easier than I thought it was going to be, and because there are two different edgings to choose from, it's an easy flower even for a beginning hooker.





Thursday, July 24, 2014

Christmas in July Mystery CAL: Part 2

The second part of the Mystery CAL was scheduled to be updated on Tuesday.  Because of where Jennifer lives, her internet was being a pain.  Needless to say, it was on the later side before the update came through on Ravelry.  No problem though - I updated Wednesday morning and completed Part 2 while it stormed yesterday. 


Honestly, this part was so much trickier than I expected it to be.  I love that the seam blends in so well with the rest of the piece.  The texture is so neat - and it could easily be used as a reversible one for some pieces. 

As far as Part 3 - it comes out today.  And I can't wait!  I am still clueless as to what the finished piece is going to be.  LOL  I guess we'll find out soon enough!!!  If you're interested in participating in the Mystery CAL, it's not too late.  You obviously won't get the "mystery" part of it, since I (and others in the Ravelry group) have posted pics of our work along the way, but the pattern is 40% off right now.  You can pick it up here.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pattern Review: Dragon Hat

As you may or may not know, I LOVE Dragons!!  Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated by all things fantasy - witches, wizards, castles, and especially dragons.  Yes, I know they aren't real, but I love them none the less.  I was fortunate enough to meet a man who shared the same passion for dragons - and he's now my husband.  LOL  When our son was born, we agreed to give him the middle name "Drago", which means dragon in Italian.  Keiran has always thought dragons were cool too, so when I came across the Dragon Hat pattern by Briabby Designs a few months ago, I knew I was going to have to add it to my collection.  After going back and forth about buying it - $7.99 is way more than I normally spend on any pattern - I finally gave in.  Keiran had been telling me he really wanted one, and since I hadn't made him anything recently, I went online and purchased the pattern. 

I have to admit that I didn't go into this with my eyes wide open.  In all honesty, had I read through the pattern in full before beginning, I may not have started it at all.  There are a TON of individual pieces to make and most of the hat is worked in single crochet.  I pushed through and after 1 full day plus another hour or so of crocheting, followed by almost a full day of assembly, the hat is finally complete... and I have a VERY happy 5-year old!!!

The pattern is very well-written, with photos to make things easier to understand on the parts that may need a little more explanation.  There are a ton of different hat sizes to choose from, so you could make a dragon hat for absolutely everyone in your life if you wanted to.  I do think that if I make another one I will probably attempt to stitch all of the pieces (aside from the wings and legs) onto the body before pinning it down.  I may even use linked double crochet in place of the single crochet in some places where it seems that it could work.  All in all, this is definitely a pattern worth the price!!!  If you are a beginning hooker, this is not a pattern I would recommend trying... and not because it's a complicated pattern, but because there are so many different parts, it can be discouraging. 

I love the way the final product turned out.  With the dragon being fully three-dimensional, it is going to garner a ton of attention when my lil' man wears it out of the house!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Mystery CAL: Part 1

Those who follow us on any of our social media sites, including this blog, may remember me telling you on Saturday about the Christmas in July Mystery Crochet-Along I'm participating in .  The CAL is being hosted by Design Wars and A Crocheted Simplicity.  There's still time to pick up the pattern and join here if you're interested.

The pattern was updated yesterday to add Part 1.  I jumped right in and got started.  Let me tell you that I am clueless as to what the end product is going to be.  LOL  Here's what my completed Part 1 looks like: 

The pattern may seem a little too much for those who are beginners - but then again, Jennifer has the pattern listed as being for Advanced Beginners/Intermediate crocheters.  Part 1 was not challenging or difficult so much as there were quite a few lines that were similar but just different enough that I needed to keep a close watch on what I was doing.  I was more surprised that it took half the day to finish this one piece. 

Part 2 will update on Tuesday, though it will be later day before I get to start working on it... I'm so excited to see what is still to come, and even more excited to figure out what the final product will be!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

New Pattern: Perfect Simplicity Scarf

Back in the Spring we released the Perfect Simplicity Boot Cuffs/Legwarmers and Hat... the designs were such a hit that we are adding the Perfect Simplicity Scarf to the collection. 

This pattern is different from the Hat and Boot Cuffs/Legwarmers in that you can use any yarn or hook size that you prefer to make this yarn as personalized as you want it.  Add a button to one side and you can fasten it using the chain spaces created. 

Because the set is growing, we are removing the option to purchase them together in our shops, but will be adding a discount when 2 or more are purchased via Ravelry.  There will be an e-book option at some point in the future - I'll be working on a few more items to add to the Perfect Simplicity Collection first. 



Pick up your copy of the Perfect Simplicity Scarf on Ravelry or Craftsy now!!  The Scarf is $2.99, but you'll save when purchasing 2 or more of the Perfect Simplicity designs.

As always, we'd love to see what you make using our patterns - you can email them to us or share on our Facebook page!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Mystery CAL with A Crocheted Simplicity

I have participated in several crochet-alongs during my time as a crocheter, including one Mystery CAL.  I had so much fun with the first one I did that I will be participating in another - and this one is being hosted by Design Wars and Jennifer over at A Crocheted Simplicity

The contents of the CAL are unknown - and will remain that way until each detail is released piece by piece.  The theme has been announced and will be CHRISTMAS IN JULY!!!  You can purchase the pattern you'll need for this CAL for only $3.00 on Raverly

Each person who completes the piece and submits a photo will be entered to win a set of 10 Clover Amour hooks from Jennifer.  YIPPEE - that's a great prize!!! 

The pattern is being released as an update to the Ravelry pattern via 3 updates.  The CAL will officially begin on Monday, July 21st, with updates coming out on Tuesday, July 22nd, and Thursday, July 24th.

I have picked up my yarn:  Red Heart with Love in Lettuce (a sage green), Chocolate, and Berry Red (a deep red) to match the new colors we've picked for our Christmas d├ęcor this year.  The CAL is written for 1 color, but I figured I can either make multiples or figure out a way to mix the colors up... that is one thing I'll have to play by ear.  After all, I have no clue what we're going to be making. 

So how about it... are you in!?! 

Friday, July 18, 2014

New Pattern: Cupcake Coffee Sleeve

I was looking back through some of our pattern listings yesterday when I realized that it's been WAY too long since we offered a free pattern to show our gratitude.  That was all I needed to sit down and write one that I've been wanting to put onto paper for a while now.  Introducing the Cupcake Coffee Sleeve!!


You can pick up the pattern for FREE in our Ravelry or Craftsy stores.  We'd love to see your finished projects so add them on Ravelry or send us your photos to HookingHousewives@yahoo.com!!
 
 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Field Trip: CLARA'S LOOM (Part 3)

First off, I want to apologize for the delay.  I know I was supposed to post this last part of our field trip on Tuesday.  Unfortunately, things have been total CHAOS over the last two days.  From longer-than-expected trips running errands on Tuesday to a mass blueberry fiasco yesterday my brain has not been functioning properly. 

Things are feeling more normal this morning (as normal as they get around here) so I'm ready to do it.  Today, our final day, I will take you into the outdoor area of Clara's Loom.  Here, you will find Celia's Garden Loom. 

For those who may not know what a Garden Loom is, you can see one in this first set of photos.  Essentially, it's a large wooden frame that you weave on.  There's a bar across the top that some twine is wrapped around vertically. 

If you were to Google "garden loom", you would come up with a ton of different photos and they all pretty much look like this.  The biggest difference is what people weave into their loom.  I've seen photos where some people choose to use nothing but organic materials and others who use strictly yarn.  Because Clara's Loom emphasizes sustainability, Celia uses scraps of fabric and yarn that she collects herself or that friends and customers bring to her.  And while the current piece she has going may not look super exciting, you'll see by the end of this field trip that every piece you add to it makes a difference.



Celia taught the girls the proper way to attach the pieces they would be weaving in, then one at a time, showed them the proper way to weave and helped as necessary.  In this photo, you can see that my daughted selected a piece of loopy yarn and attached it to a piece of scrap fabric.  The photo below is a close-up of my daughter's hand and Celia's hand as they worked together - it's one of my favorites from the entire day!!




This is where you'll get your chance to notice the difference in on the Loom.  We had 6 girls who went to Clara's Loom with us and participated in the Garden Loom experience.  I never would have expected that 12 scraps of fabric/yarn would have such a strong impact.  Celia even gave each of us an incentive to come back to see her soon - additional scraps that we can come back and weave in on our next visit. 

What will happen to this piece once it's completed was a big question for the girls.  Celia explained that once it's finished, she will finish off the ends so that the scraps stay together, then the banner that has been created will be hung up.  The girls loved the idea that they may be able to see their contribution hanging in the shop or classroom at some point, especially since we're already planning our next Girl Scouts field trip to make Friendship Scarves. 

***************************************

If you have scraps of yarn or fabric that you'd like to donate to Clara's Loom, feel free to contact me (I'll gladly deliver them for you) or contact Celia yourself for more information.  You can email her or call her at 251.943.2960.  If you're concerned about it being cheap yarn, that's not issue.  In her own words, Celia "doesn't discriminate".  Just like the majority of those who will read this post, she is a lover of all kinds of yarn!!! 

***************************************

Thanks for joining us on our first Virtual Field Trip.  I've already started scouting local spots for our next one.  It may or may not be a shop... follow our blog to stay updated on field trips, new additions to our online shops, sales, and just fun randomness!!! 






 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Field Trip: CLARA'S LOOM (Part 2)

Thank you for joining us on Day 2 of our visit to Clara's Loom in Bon Secour, AL.  Yesterday we visited the storefront, where Celia Dionne sells yarn and lots of other goodies.  Today we are moving to the area behind the store where you will find the Coastal Textile Center.

Upon walking in, you see a large, beautiful wooden room.  In the room are tables and various looms all around.  With completed shawls around the room, there is plenty of inspiration to get your creative juices flowing.


















This is one of the Celia's WIPs that is being done on the square loom.  I have to admit that I've never had any interest in weaving on a loom, but after seeing this and the other beautiful pieces she has done, I cannot wait to learn - and to have my hubby build me a loom of my own.  (Shhhh... he doesn't know he's going to do it yet.  LOL)
In addition to the classes available to take at the Coastal Textile Center, Celia provides the option for you to come in to use the studio.  The prices do vary depending on whether you are borrowing her equipment or are bringing your own.  The particular shawl on this loom is being worked on by one of Celia's customers - she comes in to work on it whenever she has the time and is able to keep it on the loom in the process. 
 
 
All around the room you can see different tools and pieces of equipment available for use, and all of which you can receive private lessons to learn how to use.  There are even baskets of yarn you can choose from to use during those lessons - or you can bring/purchase your own from the shop. 
 
The one thing I absolutely loved about the Coastal Textile Center - and some of you will think I've lost my mind - is the bathroom.  Yes, the bathroom!!   Because Clara's Loom focuses on sustainability, nothing goes to waste, and that includes scraps of yarn and fabric.  Whether it goes to the Garden Loom (which will be the final visit of our field trip tomorrow) or is used in other ways around the shop, textiles do not go into the garbage.  All around the top of the bathroom is beautifully sanded wood lined with these painted starfish.  If you look closely, you'll notice the metallic threads that are used to decorate the starfish.  What a fun way to bring the Gulf of Mexico (just 10 minutes down the road) into the textile world!! 
 
If you're going to be visiting the Foley/Gulf Shores, AL area and are interested in studio time or scheduling a private lesson, contact Celia Dionne at 251.943.2960 or email her at clarasinfo@clarasloom.com.  Group classes are also available!

That's it for today... check back tomorrow for the last stop in our Clara's Loom Virtual Field Trip!!!  If you missed yesterday's stop, you can see it here






 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Field Trip: CLARA'S LOOM (Part 1)


On Day 1 of our field trip to Clara's Loom we will be taking a look around inside the shop.  Located in Bon Secour, Alabama, about 10 minutes north of the renowned beaches of Gulf Shores, we pull in to see the cutest building I could have imagined for my new Heaven on Earth. 

The downstairs space of the building on the left side of the photo is the shop.  Here you can purchase Island Scarfs, Drop Spindles, a variety of Looms, other finished projects, a few quirky items, and of course, YARN!!  Upstairs is Celia's personal studio where she works, and to the back right is the Coastal Textile Center, which we will learn about tomorrow.






Let's walk through the doors and have a look around, shall we?

This is the area just inside the front door... as you can see, there is an abundance of color, style, and fun all around you.  From the tabletop tree decorated with Island Scarves to the first rack of designer yarns, this is truly a textile lover's dream.

On the opposite side is a little table with cord necklaces complete with a yarn charm and lots of information about Clara's Loom and the Coastal Textile Center.  There are a few more racks of yarn, shawls, and a beautiful wooden hutch with completed shawls.  One of my favorite things about Celia is that she encourages you to "pet" the yarns and try on the shawls to help you find something you're sure to love.


Let's take a closer look at some of the yarn, since really, we know that's going to be our favorite part!  ;)   These four are only a few of those I fell in love with... I picked up on skein (not pictured here) but will be going back again soon to pick up some others!!  I've already advised Celia that she'll be seeing me on a regular basis.  LOL

1 - Pastiche by Mango Moon Yarns
2 - Felicity by Universal Yarn
3 - I thought I'd got the name of this one, but unfortunately I didn't.  Looks like I'll need another trip out there sooner than expected.  ;)
4 - Legong by Mango Moon Yarns

That's it for this leg of the Field Trip... check back tomorrow for a look at the Coastal Textile Center!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Coming Soon... Actually, Tomorrow!

On Sunday we will be taking our first ever Virtual Field Trip.  Our Girl Scouts troop visited Clara's Loom and the Coastal Textile Center today and we had a blast!  Due to the number of photos I took - some which cannot be posted (I will not use photos with any of the girls other than my own daughter in them) - the field trip will start tomorrow!!! 

"Start"?  Yes, it will be a multi-day field trip.  There are 3 different parts of our visit that will be shown.  The first day will be the yarn shop that is Clara's Loom.  The second day will be the Coastal Textile Center.  The third day will feature our Garden Loom Weaving experience.  Stay tuned for lots of photos, information, and fun over the next 3 days!! 

If you want to learn more about Clara's Loom, you can click here to visit the website (it's currently under construction so be sure to bookmark it and check back often for udpates)! 

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ready to Ship

We have a couple of new items ready to ship - you can currently contact us to purchase either one.  They will be added to our Storenvy shop over the weekend.  We'll also be adding more ready to ship items shortly! 

FlutterShy My Little Pony Hat
$25 w/shipping
size:  4-5 yr old
(Unicorn Hat pattern by Briabby Designs)

Minion Birthday Set
$35.00 w/shipping
hat size:  1 yr old
diaper cover: size 4 (based on disposable diapers)
(design by Hooking Housewives, currently unavailable for purchase)

Our Ready-to-Ship album is going to have several new additions soon so check back regularly!! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Pattern Review: Baby Flip Flops


 On Sunday night I came across an adorable pattern for Baby Flip Flops - even better is that it was a free pattern by Whistle and Ivy.  I shared the pattern on my personal FB page rather than the business page and I was suddenly bombarded with orders. 

I have learned one thing from posting on my personal page - I will be sure to test the pattern before I post it with the possibility of orders coming in, at least from this particular designer.  As cute as the Flip Flops are, and as easy as the pattern really has been to follow, there are quite a few things I've disliked.  There was no gauge provided, and as someone who tends to crochet on the tighter side, gauge is essential to making sure the Flip Flops fit properly.  I actually posted on the Whistle and Ivy blog to find out what the gauge should be, but instead all I received from the designer was an approximate length for each size of the Flip Flops.  As it turned out, I ended up having to work each size 2-3 times to determine which size hook to use - and the recommended F hook was definitely not the right hook for me.  I had to use H and I hooks, depending what kind of yarn I was using. 

The next issue I noticed with the pattern came with the chains that are worked along the back and front sides of the Flip Flops.  Those along the back seemed alright, but the ones in the front were not long enough to properly tie down as directed, meaning I had to play with that part of the pattern to find a chain that would work.

The final issue came with the band that goes across the top.  Working the specified number of rows was definitely not enough to fit all the way across and still allow room for those adorably chubby baby feet that would be slipping into the Flip Flop. 

I think I have finally found a fit that works - and I was sure to save my notes on my saved copy of the pattern itself.  The finished product is very cute and I cannot wait to get it onto a baby foot (hopefully today).  One of my neighbors ordered a couple pairs for her youngest so we shall see how they fit when I take them to her!!! 

If you'd like to try your hand at this pattern, you can find it here!  This is definitely a pattern that works for boys or girls!!!