2018 Year In Review, Crocheting, Creating & Resolving

Its New Year’s Eve, and 2018 is almost gone. Where did the year go? It felt like it went out faster than I can recall it being 2018. The year ended with me getting a cold that just won’t go away. Day 6 and its still here. So while I am resting, I thought I would put to paper my year in review.

January started out fantastic for Lee. The temp job he had became a permanent job! YES, Lee working full time, getting benefits, vacation hours. That makes up for the past 4 years. His boss is so nice, the company feels like an extended family, they all get along.

2018 began with me crocheting tentacles for the octupuses I ship to my consignor. Usually the first 3 months are quiet, but with Lee’s new job, he started to bring in a few of my animals to show his co-workers.  All of a sudden, sales were happening, custom orders were being taken and I was busy crocheting new animals.

tentacles for octupuses

Between consignment and new co-workers, I crocheted 150 animals, 90 of them went to Buy Hand Laguna Beach, 30 went to Lee’s co-workers of Lee and the rest for arts & crafts shows.

2018 I resolved to keep my consignor in stock of crochet animals, kids hats, and crossbody bags. I shipped product to her 9 times this year. She kept me quite busy, especially during the summer, with emails asking for crochet animals, as they were selling quicker than expected. That made it easy for me to not do any spring craft shows, more time devoted to her.

octupuses, clams and mermaid oh my

2018 found me creating and designing more patterns than in previous years. This year accounted for 6 new patterns. There were scarves, a hat, new animals just to name a few. I hope to be able to create more in 2019.

We did have a few fun moments: we saw one of my all-time favorite bands this summer. The Brian Setzer Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. Great concert, well worth the price. I just wish we could see his Christmas concert, it usually falls on the same night as Lee’s company holiday party.

The one project I HAD to do was to make my brother the blanket he now has. He lost his home in the summer to a wildfire in Redding. He lost everything he and Kris had. They got out, with their kitty, that was the most important to get out alive. They will rebuild on the same site. The blanket took me 3 weeks to make, a lot of hard work went into making it, but they have a new heirloom to cherish, and to keep warm.

crochet blanket and toss pillows

Not only did Los Angeles have the Yarn Crawl in April, this past November, Stitches So Cal happened in Pasadena. Lee and I provided the fixtures for the knitting guild booth to display members knitted and crocheted items from classes we had taken. I knitted and crocheted 6 seat cushions for the booth.

2018 ended with just 1 craft show I participated in. I was able to clear out merchandise I had been crocheting and knitting this year. Even one of my favorite grocery checkers purchased scarves from me. She placed 2 custom orders, with a third order to be placed in the next few days.

There you go, 2018 was quite an eventful year. The kitties pouncing, playing with each other, getting along as the year went by. Lee working many hours every day, up at 4:30am, asleep by 9pm. Me, learning new skills, taking time to create new product, working on the blog.

Here’s to 2019, resolutions or not: Blogging, stay healthy & happy, take time for myself, relax and enjoy each day as it comes.

the possibilities are endless when it comes to kitties

The Mad Rush of Holiday Crafting

It’s that time of year where fiber artists make the mad rush to finish off handmade gifts for family and friends, and even to those less fortunate. Where does the time go and how do we get everything finished in time to mail off the packages? Lets start by making a list of what we want to make.

The Mad Rush seems to happen right about now. Every arts and crafts website sending out emails letting you know about some new pattern, new yarn, new crochet hook (or knitting needle). How many emails do you have just sitting there waiting to be opened?

If you are short on time and The Mad Rush has got you pulling your hair out, here are a few of my favorite items to knit or crochet. These items are quick to make, and you can mark them off your list.

  Fingerless Mitts. My mitts are easy for the new knitter, can be modified depending on yarn & techniques you want to add to it. The original pattern uses thick yarn, big needles and just garter (knit) stitch. These mitts are great at keeping your hands warm, and you can still text, you can email and you can drive without taking them off. It is not safe to text and drive at the same time, wear the mitts but leave the phone in your pocket or purse.

Crochet Beanie Style Hat. There are many hat patterns out there, and this is one of my favorite designers to use for her hats. It’s a quick and easy pattern. From infant to adult, you can crochet a hat in less than 4 hours. Worsted weight yarn and a 5.00mm hook (H hook), one skein of about 200 yards of yarn. Add a cute pompom to the top, add earflaps and tassles to accessorize it. Sarah’s patterns are easy to follow, with size changes, additional rows, her cute animal hats are fun to crochet.

  Knit Hat. I cannot leave out knitters when it comes to hats. The As Good As Gold hat uses a chunky yarn like Lion Brand Hometown yarn or Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick yarn, size US 15 circular needles in 16 inch length. With knit and purl stitches and some decreases to close the hat, you will have a big chunky hat just like snowboarders wear on the slopes.

  Crochet Scarf. Rolling Along scarf is a quick pattern that uses 1 cake of Sweet Roll yarn, 245 yds, worsted weight and 5.50mm I crochet hook. The V Stitch pattern is easy to memorize, and in no time, you have finished a scarf. The pattern states it is an infinity scarf, no ends to weave in. Modified if you want to add fringe to the ends of the scarf.

  Knit Scarf. For knitters, if you do not want to use worsted weight or heavier yarn, the Light and Lacy scarf will work for you. Knit with #3 weight yarn, YO and K2tog are the stitches used to make a pretty scarf. Cast on more stitches, more yarn and you can have a lovely knitted wrap to wear. Add sparkly yarn to dress up an outfit.

Crochet Animals. What child does not like stuffed animals. I like to give stuffed animals to new moms as part of their baby shower gift. Bright colors, soft to the touch, machine washable. Elephant is my favorite animal to make. One of the first animals I learned to crochet in the round (amigurumi).

 Water Bottle Carrier. This is a fun cozy to crochet for those that do not like to hold a bottle of water. One of the first patterns I designed over 8 years ago. Made with cotton yarn, it will hold a bottle up to 24 ounces, even those metal bottles will fit. Using less than 1 skein of cotton yarn, an H hook and in a few hours you will have finished another gift to give.

The Mad Rush is on, by showing you that there are items that can be made quickly, you will in no time have your list finished. Enjoy your crocheting and knitting, but remember to always take time for yourself. Happy Holidays to you and your family far and near.