Tag: CrochetBasics

What’s in the Box?

Recently I did a blog entry about holiday gifts for the crocheter in your life. One of the gifts that I referenced is the gift that keeps giving….a monthly subscription box.

Because I am a yarn addict/hoarder, and have no plans to cure myself any time soon, I myself was intrigued by the idea. I had done a monthly yarn subscription before through Happy Yarn Mail, which has been (sadly) discontinued, and I loved the idea of getting a little surprise present in the mail each month.

Since Happy Yarn Mail stopped, I really hadn’t found another subscription that I wanted to try, until Christmas came around the bend and new offers started appearing in my email. One of the most intriguing came from Knit Picks, which is a smaller company that promotes itself as selling luxury yarns at affordable prices. I have purchased yarn from them before and have always been super happy, and their customer service is incredible. So, I decided to treat myself to a three month subscription.

I came home after a long day at work on Monday and found my first box waiting for me. Yay! What a great surprise. It really was a ray of light on a gloomy day. What was inside? What goodies awaited me. So, I wanted to share with you what I got – especially if there is anyone still on the fence for a Christmas gift for the knitter or crocheter in their lives.

The package was inviting and just made me smile. Look at the cute little balls of yarn. I loved the alpaca joke, I’m still laughing about it.

As soon as I opened the box I was greeted with two patterns that I could use the enclosed yarn to make (for protection of copyright, I did not take pictures of the patterns).

In addition to the patterns, which seem perfect for beginner to intermediate, I had four skeins of yarn and two faux fur pompoms (to add to the hats).

So what are my thoughts? I am very happy overall. This type of subscription is exactly what I would hope for – a chance to sample some of the yarns available to see if I like them. These probably would not have been yarns I would have selected for myself – I usually avoid wool, but I am excited to try them.

The bigger question (for the accountant in me), did I get a good deal. Well let’s see….

I subscribed to the three month prepay plan, which is $75 – that breaks down to be $25 per month (which is a savings of $2 per month from the month to month plan).

For each of these balls of yarn, I would have spent $9.99 (so that is $19.98 right there). I usually don’t use wool when I am crocheting – just because I know there can be an allergy factor included with this, but these don’t feel like wool. I am sensitive to wool (have been since I was a kid), and this just feels like a super soft hug. There is a mixture of acrylic in with the wool, so that might make a difference. Either way, it will be nice to give this a try.

I also got two super soft and squishy Swish DK balls of yarn. I just want to cuddle up with this yarn as is, no toy required. Again, this is wool (100% fine superwashed Merino), but it feels nothing like wool. There is no scratchy, irritating texture. It is just light and wonderful. I don’t quite know what I’m going to make with this – but I may have an idea or two.

Each one of these skeins would be $4.99, so that is an additional $9.98 I would have spent had I just ordered this through the Web site. Already, just in the yarn I received I have almost $30 in products (not counting the value of the patterns themselves).

I also got these super fluffy fake fur pom poms that I can use if I want to make the hats included in my pattern. If I add the value of these to my box, my total of products comes to $36.44, which means I saved $11.44 by getting this through a subscription. That’s a pretty decent savings.

Some may wonder, isn’t it better to just order what you want – or to go to the store and be able to touch and see the colors? I was leery about online buying for a long time. I had some early horror stories with Amazon that I would care to not repeat. However, now that I feel comfortable with some sites (lovecrochet.com and knitpicks.com), I am confident in what I am ordering. And the thrill of the subscription box is that you don’t know what you are getting: Maybe it’s something that I’ve seen and decided to pass on – for me, as I’ve mentioned, I would never buy wool for myself, but now I get to try it. Or maybe one month there is a splurge – maybe they will provide an ultra luxe yarn that I would not buy for myself on price alone, but now I get to play with it. That’s the fun of the subscription box.

So, yes, in the end I am so happy with my first subscription box from Knit Picks and I am excited to see what the next month brings.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

Sometimes it’s the little things

I don’t consider myself to be a super high maintenance girl. Yes, I like my yarn and some other goodies, but for the most part I’m just happy to sit and do my thing. The downside to this is that sometimes I can get upset over something that seems minor to other people, but the upside is that  small things can make me really happy.

Case in point….last night I was working on a new project; I am making a unicorn for next week’s Steel City Con. As part of the finishing touches, the pattern calls for pinkening the cheeks. The first time I made this, I ignored that part of the pattern.

First attempt at this cutie unicorn – without rouge

I was also making the first unicorn as a birthday present and didn’t want to take a chance the rouge wouldn’t be added correctly.

I’ve added cheek color before, but I’ve never been happy with it. It always ends up too light or too dark or too smeary.

I haven’t tried actual makeup on the Luvvies yet – I know some people swear by that as an option, but it just seems like that would come off far too easily, in my opinion. Plus, I don’t wear blush myself so I haven’t had any laying around the house to try.

I have tried using some of my daughter’s crayons – but I find the application to be uneven, and more often than not it tugs at the completed fabric of the Luvvie and distorts the finished piece.

More recently, I have tried fabric markers, but whenever I have used them directly on the piece the coloring comes across too harsh, practically screaming “HELLO, MY CHEEKS ARE COLORED IN. CAN YOU SEE ME, NOW?” And I am not happy with it.

Which leads me to my point and why I was so giddy with excitement – or maybe sleep deprivation, I’m not entirely sure at this point.

It was after midnight, I had to be up in 4.5 hours and I wasn’t done with my new unicorn, which I had hoped to finish. As I looked at her I decided I wanted to try to color her cheeks and I pulled out my fabric markers wondering how I could be less heavy handed and it dawned on me….makeup sponges!!!!

I’m not great at wearing or applying makeup, but I love makeup. Because of that, I have a large assortment of makeup accessories – including sponges that are used to blend makeup, or to help apply foundation. I dashed into my bathroom and grabbed a sponge. I took the pink fabric marker and applied several strokes of color directly to the sponge and then tapped the color to my unicorn’s cheek. With the taper side of the sponge – the side without color – I evened out the color a little to make it closer to natural. I still have to work on my technique a little, but this was the happiest I have been with pinked cheeks.

My semi-naked unicorn with her mane and tail curls ready for application and with her newly pink cheeks.

Although I was disappointed I wasn’t able to complete my new cutie last night, I was so happy that she looks as cute as she does. The color on her cheeks definitely made a difference, and I think she will be even more adorable once she is fully complete.

And with my little triumph at adding color to her, I consider that victory enough and promptly closed up and went to bed…after all, 5 am comes around very quickly when you are up past midnight; but, I do think my discovery was worth it…at least to me, it was.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

What’s New in Luvvies – 10/18/18

I make every effort to update the blog and to share in my crochet journey with you all, but somehow my best laid plans go astray.

Things have been busy. In September, I took some time off and went to a Supernatural convention with some friends in New Jersey. Also things at home have been crazy busy because my daughter started soccer, so we’ve been running to practices and games. And, to top everything off, my migraines have been acting up – so, I haven’t been as on top of my game as I would like to be.

Despite all the crazy that has been going on, I have been continuing to crochet and get ready for Rhode Island Comic Con (Nov. 2-4). I still don’t feel as prepared as I would like to be, but I still have two weeks to get there.

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As I’ve been preparing for con, I’ve discovered that one of the things I absolutely love to make are these adorable little voodoo dolls (Pattern by BlueRabbitToys on Etsy). The funny thing is I think these little ones are so adorable, but my father is legitimately scared of them. Even though I’m soon to be 41, I still share pictures of everything with my father after I’m finished, and for some reason these voodoo dolls just creep him out. It’s a little strange that these would be the thing he has a hard time with, but I also think it’s hilarious.

He also wasn’t a fan of my newest creation, that I’m calling Dee the Nightmare Prevention monster (Pattern by OneandTwoCompany on Etsy). Although he wasn’t as downright creeped out by her as he was by the voodoo dolls, he still wasn’t a fan. Dee was a lot more work than I was expecting, but I am so happy with how she turned out. I love her to bits. Also, OneandTwoCompany is one of my favorite amigurumi designers, I think I have almost every one of her patterns – I haven’t had a chance to make them all, but I have a lot of them. I really do think one of my post-con resolutions is going to be to go through the list and make as many of her items as I can to try everything.

 

Also in preparation for Rhode Island, knowing that Jenna Coleman from Doctor Who is going to be there, I tried to make some Doctor Who friendly items – like a Weeping Angel and an Adipose. I’m not as happy with how these turned out as I would like to be….they aren’t terrible, but the patterns just were not quite right and led to inconsistent results.

 

One of my favorite newest creations has been this little chickadee (another awesome pattern by OneandTwoCompany on Etsy). This sweet little girl was so much fun to make. The funny thing is I started her several weeks ago, and then had to put her on hold as I completed orders for my Etsy store. However, once I got back to her, I was so happy I did – she is so sweet. I just want to squeeze her all up.

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One other design from my fave at OneandTwoCompany was this adorable Logan the lion backpack. I probably could have made the straps a little longer, but Desi still seemed to like it, and was carrying around some of her reading books for the next couple of days. I still have some problems finishing pieces….like I look at this and I can see that my stitches weren’t quite straight. However, I guess when you look at it in the grand scheme, I’ve only been crocheting for a little over a year, so the fact that i was able to make something like this is pretty awesome – even if the perfectionist in me hates the mistakes.

 

These have been some of the highlights of recent times…there have been others that I’ve made, too, but are more repetitive. I love trying out new patterns, but I find myself going back to the old standbys more and more.

I’m hoping once I get back from Rhode Island that I’ll have some time to make a variety of different patterns and try to find some new favorites. Thanks for sticking with me!

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

Working on a new moose, eh? – WIP

I think I have mentioned before that I am a huge fan of the television show Supernatural. Because of that, the fandom has a particular love for moose. One of the first amigurumi I learned to crochet was a moose to represent the fandom. However, the further along I’ve gotten in my crochet journey, the more that pattern isn’t always my favorite. So, one of my dear friends suggested I try a moose chibi (or a baby moose).

What an interesting concept…

Jared Moose

The original moose pattern I started with

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Sorry to inconvenience you…..or the People Pleaser’s Guide to Business 101

hello my name is sign with blank white copyspace for text message

The picture above is probably one of the most accurate representations of me that I have ever seen. I am a people-pleaser; always have been, probably always will be. I remember from an early age always being concerned if someone was upset with me, or wanting to do the best that I could to not disappoint people, especially those I cared about.

Over the years, those tendencies have caused me problems: I’ve agreed to things that I probably didn’t want to do just to make someone else happy. I spent a lot of years not showing my geeky/nerdy side because I didn’t want to be a disappointment to my parents. I’ve learned some from these quirks – but, even though I have made progress in some areas, this is a fundamental part of my being.

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