Yarn and Crochet Projects

One thing I’ve learned over the past year or so of designing is that designers have names. I seriously hadn’t really thought about the person behind the pattern before. I was not the type to buy a pattern because there’s so many free patterns out there, why bother?

I also didn’t buy yarn.

I have bought so much yarn in the past year and a half! It’s a almost embarrassing 😅 but I have learned a lot about yarn weight and material and yardage. And I have decided I do have yarn preferences!

Last night I made my first order from Lion Brand Yarn online. They gave me a bunch of points and a code to share. I don’t know how many loyalty programs I am part of now. This code is supposed to get you $5 off, and I think it gives me a coupon as well. If I had known there were codes I might have asked for someone to give me their code before I ordered.

When my grandma taught me to crochet around age 8, we went to Walmart and she let me pick out a pretty skein of yarn and the appropriate hook. In the next 20+ years I would buy approximately 4 skeins of yarn. That’s it.

I was given scrap yarn from my grandma and her friends. My mom told people she knew that I liked to craft with yarn so they would give me their scraps too. I had quite a stash by the time I met my husband.

A bag I made in high school. No pattern. Pockets on outside and inside. Button closure. All double crochet.

He also knows how to crochet (learned at a young age) so he also had a few bags of yarn when we met. Our yarn stashes mixed together but since we were both in university we didn’t really find time to use the stash. There was no point in buying new yarn.

People still kept giving us yarn – scrap balls, tightly rolled or random skeins of “new” yarn that had been out of production for many years. At one of the houses we rented, the previous tenants bailed on a few months rent and left all their stuff; 2 or 3 giant bags of yarn was added to our growing collection.

I made a pair of mittens one year. My husband crocheted me a bookmark when we were dating. The craft was always there in the background but never really a focus for us.

Then, after a few babies, I picked up my crochet hook again. I needed something to help me focus on more than motherhood. Maybe you don’t understand that concept. That’s ok. I love my children; I was drowning in motherhood.

I challenged myself to learn some new stitches. I learned how to read written patterns. I learned how to use those charts made up of weird symbols. I learned how to properly weave in my ends. I learned how to change colors. I made my first sweater. And then freehanded another. I learned from YouTube and a few magazines. It was a lot of self-determination that I could meet a challenge and succeed and grow.

I learned c2c (corner to corner) and made this blanket for my daughter. I used a random picture/chart I found online. I mostly planned on using up some of the yarn I already had but I did not have any colors suitable for daddy pig. I think this project opened the floodgates for me to start buying yarn.

Mug for size reference

After I finished a blanket for my firsborn I needed to make one for my son. I liked the c2c but wanted to learn another technique, so this one is a single crochet graphgan. When I began this project I was pregnant with my 3rd and I really thought I could get it done before she came. I was wrong.

This patient boy had to wait nearly a year for this blanket to be his! He was pretty excited to see it finished but, just like the Peppa Pig blanket, neither child actually wants to use the blanket I made them.

Also, copyright laws didn’t even occur to me. I have learned a lot about that topic but I still feel unsure and confused about the details and nuances. “Personal use” might apply, I am not sure.

I have not created a blanket specifically for my 3rd child yet. She is 2 already and I have crocheted more in the last year and a half than the last 10 years combined!

Seriously, these photos below are things I have personally made in the last 18 months. They are not in chronological order. Some are things I made with my cool new knitting machine. And although most of my projecs have been of my own patterns there are a few pieces I made from someone else’s pattern. I am kind of astounded seeing it all together like this. No wonder I’ve started buying yarn!

If I hadn’t started designing patterns I think I still would have crocheted a few things but probably not THIS many things! And I can even think of a few things that didn’t make it into these pictures (like Remi’s Buzz Lightyear Sweater and a scarf that will be released soon but I can’t show you quite yet.

You can find a list of my patterns here on my website or you can purchase from Ravelry or Etsy. I appreciate every single purchase and I am in awe that I have repeat customers!

Anyway, what’s the point of all this? Basically I wanted to compile a photo collage for myself and then decided it might be something you are all interested in seeing too. Apparently it is good marketing to show you all that I am a real person. 🤷‍♀️🤣 I promise, I am real.

And that code from Lion Brand made me debate on whether I should share it or not. I decided I needed a long blog entry if I was going to share a code that might get me a discount on yarn. So here it is, my long entry to prove I love yarn and always need more! Hahaha and also I give you permission to buy more too! 😉

Knitting Machine: Introduction and Child-led “Tutorial”

I ordered this knitting machine in November. It was supposed to arrive by December 10. I have FINALLY received it (Jan 16!) and it is an actual “Sentro” (a lot of people seem to be receiving various brands).

Of course, I had to interrupt my current work in progress to play with my new toy!

I *should* be finishing this square, not learning a new toy / skill

The box was quite beat up and the Styrofoam inside was crumbled. I was pretty nervous it would be broken. But, other than not having yarn in the box (like advertised) it seems to be perfectly fine!

My daughter helped me as we learned how to cast on and keep tension. She also learned NOT to turn the knob the wrong way… 🙈 I had to learn how to pick up stitches anyway.

She has created a tutorial for you!

YouTube video

As you can tell, she is very excited! And, after a few restarts, she created a beautiful hat!

Focus on her happy face and not my laundry lol

I stayed up late to make this blue hat, and I am so happy with how it came out! I just used up the whole ball. It is 3.5 oz of superwash wool from Loops and Threads (Washable Wool Stripes). It made 103 rows on my 48 pin machine, which, as it turns out, is pretty much the perfect size!

My bestie bought me a few grab bags when Michaels was having a clearance sale and I think there were 7 or 8 of these balls in 3 different colorways. So, it looks like I will be making at least 7-8 hats. 🤣

I need to get back to working on my valentine’s day project. I had hoped to publish this a month before valentine’s day but it is already January 18 so I missed my made-up deadline. Sorry.

I do not seem to balance “work” with “work” very well. I have computer work (drawing patterns, turning them into patterns you can understand, advertising, publishing on Etsy and Ravelry, etc) and I have crochet work (I have not crocheted all of my patterns, but I do have a lot of yarn to use up and I know that you guys like seeing the patterns in yarn-form plus I always need a yarn picture to post on my Instagram page and keep that current and engaging).

Plus, there is my actual life-priority: my family.

So, it is a learning experience. For me. I am always learning how to best do this or that and how to balance and stay sane. I hope you are staying sane too!