Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Crochet Ladies' Navy Blue, Cornflower & Grey Beret

I had fun making this hat not only because blue is one of my very favorite colors but because the beret style is so fashionable and flirty.  When designing this beret, I wanted it to have a subtle feminine scalloped pattern, so I added rows of variously sized scallops through the middle.  The brim of the hat fits snug around the face, covers the ears and is edged with a feminine scalloped design.

I just love the color combination, but it could be made in any color combo--or even in one solid color. The possibilities are many!

When I tried this hat on for sizing purposes, I fell in love with the style and color.  I have never considered myself a "hat girl", but this hat changed my mind.  My husband even commented on how much it complimented my face shape and eye color--and that's significant coming from a man who barely notices a new haircut.  ;)  I am definitely making another for myself!

This hat is available for immediate shipping at my Etsy shop!  Just click on any of the images below to be directed to the listing.

This hat is very similar to one I made for my niece a few years ago as a Christmas gift.  Here is my daughter modeling it below.  She's my little camera ham, for sure!

Thanks for visiting my blog!  Please come again any time!

Take care!

A Busy Crochet Christmas

I have been a busy Christmas elf lately and just realized how badly I've been neglecting my blog. Though I haven't shared much new lately, that's only because I only have two arms, and they have been elbow deep in yarn for weeks.  Now that a spare moment has presented itself, I'd like to share the new designs on which I've been working.

The Crochet Christmas Elf Hat

I made these one day when the Christmas spirit overcame me, and I just had to let it flow freely through my crochet hook.  These hats have a long, thin tail with a pom pom at the end, and the brim includes white ribbing that fits snug onto the head.

These particular hats were purchased by a customer, who wanted them for her grandchildren's busy Christmas baking day.  They were a huge success!  She shared a photo from their special day, which I am giddy with excitement to share.  Here they are below--three adorable Christmas elves sitting with their grandfather.  The sweetness in this photo is nearly unbearable!  THANK YOU to their grandmother and parents for permitting me to share their precious faces!

A few days after she shared this photo with me, my customer's daughter-in-law commented on my Facebook page that her son loves his hat so much that he sleeps in it. Oh my, how sweet is that!

I also made this hat for my daughter in cobalt blue with snowflake appliques and a tassel including two small pom poms and a tiny snowflake.  Immediately upon posting this photo on my Facebook page, I received an order.  I am also using the same snowflake concept to create a future navy blue newsboy style hat per another customer's request.

I also made my son a green elf hat.  His is a bit different.  Instead of a long, thin tail, he wanted a hat "like Santa's but green".  I decided that he would get a kick out of finding our family's Christmas elf modeling his new hat.  He, of course, thought that was the best thing ever.  Here is "Elf Christina" wearing his new hat.

The Crochet Men's Christmas Green Bow Tie

One of my colleagues is quite the character and wanted something fun and unusual to wear during the holidays.  He wanted something eye-catching that would be a fun conversation piece to wear to parties and work in general.  He gave me one of his old bow ties to reference for size and shape, and this is what I created.  Here he is--my first male model! He was quite pleased with his new bow tie.

The Crochet Chunky Infinity Scarf & Ear Flap Snowflake Hat with Fluffy Lining

This is the warmest, most luxurious hat and scarf set I have ever made. The scarf is my Chunky Infinity Scarf made in blue variegated chunky yarn, and I made a navy blue & cornflower ear flap hat to coordinate.  This set was made per a customer's request to give as a Christmas gift.

This hat is special because it is lined with the same super soft chunky yarn used to create the scarf, which adds a generous layer of extra warmth. To finish the hat, a coordinating decorative border and snowflake were added. With winter in full swing here in Western New York, this set will definitely come in useful.

If you are interested in ordering this hat for yourself or someone else, just shoot me an e-mail at my Etsy shop, and I can create a custom order just for you!

Thanks for stopping by my blog!  

Here's wishing you a very happy holiday season!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Crochet Convertible Mittens with Easy-Expose Thumb

When one of my customers requested a pair of mittens to be designed for her, she presented me with a challenge.  She is a photographer, so she needed a pair of convertible mittens that would not only expose her fingers but her thumb as needed as well.  She didn't want to fumble with a thumb flap on a photo session, but instead a thumb slit positioned where the pad of the thumb sits inside the thumb sleeve.  The mittens needed to consist of non-bulky yarn, have long wrist cuffs in a scalloped design, be a specific color and include light brown wooden buttons.  The top picture below is what I initially designed.  The same customer also requested a second pair of convertible mittens (pictured below made in green yarn with a shorter fingers flap), which she could give as a Christmas gift.

Thumb Slit

As you can see in the below picture, the thumb slit is positioned where the pad of the thumb sits.  

The picture does not include a snap closure for the thumb slit, since the customer wanted her thumb to slide in or out as easily as possible.  However, if a snap closure is desired, that could be arranged.

If a thumb slit is not desired, I can certainly crochet them without.  

Fingers Flap & Easy-Expose Thumb

The middle button on the top of the hand attaches to the loop on the fingers flap at the tip of the mitten when it is folded back to expose the fingers.  The two smaller buttons on the side are for decoration only or could be omitted entirely.  

In this picture, you can also see my thumb poking out from the thumb slit.

Top View of the Closed Mitten

This is how the mittens look with the fingers flap closed.

Palm View

This view shows just how much of the fingers are exposed with the finger flap open. Also notice the scalloped design from the wrist cuffs is continued along the edging of the fingers opening.

In this picture, the finger cover does not attach to the palm.  If a velcro or button closure is preferred at the palm of the hand (where the cover sits when it folds back over the fingers), that can be arranged.

The Yarn

The type of yarn I used in both of these projects was Bernat's Vickie Howell Sheep-ish Yarn in Greyish and Oliveish.  I like this brand of yarn because it is 70% acrylic + 30% wool and relatively easy to clean (cold water & dry flat).  It is also super silky soft and helps to retain hand warmth.  If wool is not desired, another light yarn could be substituted.

How to Order

If you are interested in purchasing a pair of these Convertible Mittens for yourself or as a gift for someone else, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop.  For the Convertible Mittens Etsy listing, simply click on one of the above pictures, and you will be directed to that specific listing.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my blog!

Crochet Camouflage & Pink Baby Set

This unique set was a special request from a friend to give as a baby shower gift.  Her friend and husband love hunting and the great outdoors, so she wanted something that would suit their personalities while also being feminine.  She didn't have a specific style in mind.  She simply requested that I create something beautiful.  This is what I designed.

The Circle Baby Sweater

I call this the "Circle Style Baby Sweater" because it is fashioned similarly to a circle skirt.  It could be worn as a sweater or over a onesie as an adorable dress with a cute pair of ruffle-butt bloomers.

The Beanie Hat:

This hat includes a feminine scalloped edging and an over-sized flower with a button in the middle to coordinate with the buttons on the sweater.

Mary Jane Style Bow-Toed Booties

My favorite bootie style for baby girls is the Mary Jane.  They are so adorable and easy to put on and take off.  These booties do not include a button strap closure like most Mary Janes.  They do, however, include a strap that fits snugly around baby's ankle.  I made the soles in pink yarn to coordinate with the rest of the outfit.  I prefer the soles of booties to be a different color, since I feel it gives them more dimension.  To finish, I added a sweet pink bow across the toe for a bit more pink feminine flair.

I must admit that while crocheting this set, I was very nervous.  When I first posed the idea of a camo & pink set to my customer, she had complete faith that I would create a "masterpiece" (her words exactly).  I didn't admit it to her, but I was skeptical that it would actually turn out cute.  Surprisingly, as I worked on it, the combo actually began to grow on me.  In fact, it grew on me so much that I'm thinking of making my own daughter a camo & pink hat & scarf set.

When I shared this set on my Facebook page, it was astonishing how many people liked and commented on it.  But the true test was finding out whether my friend liked it.  Much to my relief, she said the LOVED it.  Phew...!

This particular baby set is not listed in my Etsy store, but I would be more than happy to recreate it for anyone interested.  I would simply create a custom order just for you.

Before starting this project, I poured over the Internet for days before finally coming to a decision on what to make.  There isn't much out there for little girls that involves hunting and camouflage.  I personally have an aversion to pink camo (because where would anyone hunt wearing pink camo anyway--Mars?  Hehehe...), and I didn't like the idea of making a Carhartt look-alike for a girl because it seemed too masculine.  If you're looking for something suitable for a little girl while also honoring your hunting roots, this just might be the solution for you.  :)

Thanks for visiting my blog and allowing me to share my crochet creations with you.  Come again if you please!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crochet "Frozen" Inspired Elsa Snow Queen Hat

This hat is inspired by the character, Elsa, from Disney's hit movie, "Frozen".  I really wanted to create a true-to-design hat that resembles Elsa's "Snow Queen" hair in the last half of the movie.  The trouble was that no matter how hard I tried, I could not achieve the desired results. After hours and hours of working and reworking, I decided such a design is nearly impossible using such a medium as yarn.  The hat would be way too heavy and bulky.

Also, as my movie critic husband noted, Elsa's hair is not as recognizable as my other Frozen-themed hat designs--meaning people are less likely to know specifically which character the hat represents unless it is also paired with other elements such as Elsa's "Snow Queen" dress.  To most, the hair hat alone would simply look like a yarn wig.  He had a point...

Instead, I decided to go a different route while still differing from most crochet Elsa hat designs I've seen out there. As you can see, the side braid is similar to that in the movie.  Although I was disappointed in my inability to recreate the wild tendrils atop her head and her loose, flowing french braid, I was able to add a pewter-blue sparkly crown with one blue gem bead sewn into the center, two mirror snowflakes and a head band.  Then I added the small snowflake buttons sporadically throughout the braid.  I think those finishing elements make it less one-dimensional and add a bit of flair.

If you are interested in asking me to make this hat for you, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Crochet Journey - Taking Chances

I was crocheting last night until 1 a.m.  I was on a roll and couldn't stop.  Yes, "My name is Becky, and I'm a crochet addict."  Most likely, I would have continued further on into the wee hours of the morning--that is if I hadn't needed to wake at 6 a.m. for work today.

Folding and neatly packaging three completed projects to prepare for shipping the next day, I felt so accomplished.  Though my eyes and hands were tired, a fulfilling sense of satisfaction swept over me.  There is something about being able to see the physical evidence of your hard work that makes a person feel good about what they do.

It may seem insignificant to some, but to me, crocheting is a necessity.  Not only is it a wonderful creative outlet, but it is a much-needed stress relief.  When I sit down at night after a busy workday and having kissed the kids goodnight, my yarn and hook take my focus from my everyday, worldly problems.  It's just me, my yarn and my thoughts; and this is good.  Who needs therapy when a few hours of playing with yarn does the trick?

There's something more about crocheting that feels much like performing a humanitarian service.  To see the smiles on the faces of those who have received my handmade creations--that is the true reward.  Putting my love into each stitch while imagining their reaction--that is an amazing anticipation.  Spreading happiness in any shape or form never goes out of style.

In the past, I have crocheted mainly for family and close friends for the pure purpose of gift-giving.  I didn't have time then to make it a business.  Now that I've opened an Etsy shop, I feel equally satisfied as always about crocheting.  Even though now I receive payment for most of my crochet creations, happy thoughts still evoke.  In my mind, I picture those smiles painted across the faces of the customers and children for whom I have crocheted all over the United States, and this makes me happy.

My heart is filled to the brim with gratitude for all who encouraged me to begin selling my crochet creations.  Through the years, my husband and friends urged me to sell my work; but there never seemed to be enough energy or hours in the day.  It wasn't until recently that I have felt comfortable enough, brave enough and as though there is enough time to devote to an entrepreneurship.  Since I opened my Etsy shop, it has been a whirlwind of sales activity, and I am loving every minute of it. My creative juices are flowing, I'm making new connections and I am so thankful for having taken the leap into this new venture.

Who knows what the future holds--more inspiration, more chance-taking, more opportunities...  The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crochet Skull & Crossbones Baby Sandals

I liken my crochet projects (or "experiments", I should say) to many times in life, when a person must break free of his/her comfort zone.  Last week, this happened to me, and I am so grateful for the experience.  I was brave enough to tackle a new project and create something completely unique and different than I've ever done before.

A friend/customer requested that I crochet her toddler daughter sandals that she could wear around the house with socks (as slippers, I suppose).  She wanted black, strapped sandals with enclosed toes and a button at the ankle in size 4T.  I had never made baby sandals before but had made booties, so I quickly agreed.  Furthermore, I had never made toddler-sized booties/slippers that had to fit exactly. However, I was confident that I would figure out how to make these sandals.  Knowing a bit about her husband's and her personalities, I added one more self-challenge to the project and suggested a skull & crossbones applique for the toes.  As predicted, she happily agreed.  And so I set off to create...

The sandals were not terribly difficult to crochet and assemble, but they were challenging only because it was my first time.  With the aid of my trusty shoe-sizing tool (thanks to my mother-in-law for that lovely gift!), I ensured the sizing was correct.  Then came the straps placement and ensuring the correct length.  After hours of maneuvering, unraveling stitches and starting over to get them just right, the sandals were finished.

Then came the skull & crossbones applique...  It was surprisingly easy to create with thin-gauged yarn and a smaller-sized crochet hook.  After sewing them onto the sandal toes, I realized there was something missing.  They needed a little extra element to make them "pop".  Of course!  Hot pink, girly bows would do the trick!

Also, to make them safe for toddler feet walking on hard floors, I was sure to add no-slip grippies to the soles.  I just happened to have hot pink, glow-in-the-dark puffy paint in my craft supply.  What a convenient coincidence!  I didn't take a photo of that part, however, but just imagine the soles of the sandals with small polka-dots of hot pink.

As soon as the sandals were finished, I sent my friend/customer photos.  I was a bit nervous that maybe they wouldn't exactly fit her vision, especially since my suggestion of the skull & crossbones applique.  What a relief when she responded that she LOVES them!

I am so happy that she's happy and am also thankful for having the courage to step outside my warm, cozy box of a comfort zone.  I've been doing a lot more of it lately and urge others to try it too. It's invigorating!

You'll never know what you are capable of accomplishing unless you decide to try!

PS:  These sandals are now available in my Etsy shop not only in sandal form but Mary Jane style booties if preferred.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Crochet "Frozen" Inspired Baby Sven Reindeer Hat

This is my crochet interpretation of "Baby Sven", the adorable and silly reindeer, inspired by Disney's hit movie, "Frozen".  I originally made this little cutie in newborn size but have since made it in toddler to child sizes.  I've also added a fleck of white to his eye for a little "something" extra.

All of Baby Sven's features are crocheted separately and appliqued onto the hat; his mouth, nose and ears include embroidery for a little extra detail; and I use double layers of yarn for his antlers, so they stand upright best as possible.

Here is a closeup of his facial features.  Just look at that sweet face!

Below on the left is the image I referenced when creating the Baby Sven crochet design.  I think it's the cutest picture I've seen of him so far.  To the right is a Disney version of his character, which is not quite as color-detailed as the other--but still very adorable, though!

I am very excited to share this crochet design with you because believe it or not, little Sven took a lot of work to assemble and quite a bit of research to attain just the right coloring and facial expression. But he was soooo worth it!

Wouldn't you agree that Sven and Olaf make an adorable pair?  I have fulfilled many Halloween and Christmas orders for this particular twosome.  

If you would like me to make a Baby Sven hat for your little one, please just click on one of the images above for the Etsy listing.  Please also feel free to visit my Etsy shop and browse around.

Thanks for visiting & reading my blog!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Crochet "Frozen" Inspired Olaf Hat

"Hi, I'm Olaf, and I like warm hugs!"

This Olaf hat, inspired by the hit Disney movie, "Frozen" has been my favorite "Frozen" character hat to make so far.  I mean... Look at those eyes!  Don't they make you want to just hug him... or I guess part of him... okay, just his head if we're being literal here...


I crocheted lovable, warmhearted Olaf using baby-soft white yarn, orange yarn and cotton stuffing for his carrot nose, grey yarn to shape his mouth and eyes and black yarn to add his eyebrows and twig hair. All of Olaf's features are crocheted separately and appliqued onto the hat.  I also use very stiff yarn for his "stick hair" to ensure it stands upright.  This version was crocheted for a toddler girl, so that's why the scalloped border was added along the bottom of the hat.  For a more masculine version, I would crochet a straight edge.

Another cute version of him is with ear flaps and under-chin ties.  I've also made him with ear flaps and braids or with a side-buttoned chin strap.

Please feel free to click on any of Olaf's photos above for the link to his listing, or visit my Etsy shop for other ideas.  

Thanks for stopping by!

Crochet "Frozen" Inspired Anna Cap

This hat was inspired by Anna's snow cap in Disney's hit movie, "Frozen".  It was so much fun to recreate in crochet.  Of course there were a few design flaws that I worked through in the beginning, which resulted in one failed prototype, but I'm absolutely in love with the end product.  And so is my little princess!

The colors of this cap are based on the snowy movie scenes with Anna's nearly-magenta and dark purple trimmed cap and cape.

However, in performing my initial design research, I had not been thorough enough.  It wasn't until I posted a work-in-progress photo on Facebook that a friend pointed out a discrepancy in the colors.  At first, I was confused.  I thought maybe the colors simply hadn't photographed brightly enough in my photos because in-person, it looked so purple.  But then after consulting Mr. Google and oodles of other movie scene pictures, I realized the problem.  In the brighter scenes with Olaf, the magenta / bright violet of Anna's cap and cape was really evident.  Silly me for not noticing this before!

So back to the craft store I went, smartphone in hand with the exact photos to compare with the different shades of yarn...  Here's the prototype on my beautiful hat model.  She says she likes it anyway, so it wasn't a complete waste of time after all.  ;)

I took my daughter to the craft store with me this time.  Surely she, the "Frozen" fanatic, would spot the exact shades of purple with her keen eye for color in the "candy store" of the yarn aisles.  We were so excited when we finally spotted "the ones".  Only a true crafter or artist knows the pure elation of finding just the right color/texture/size element to make your project really come to life. Mentally, I was fist pumping into the air with crochet hook in hand.

Late last night (and I mean late--2 a.m.), the Anna-inspired cap was finished!  My hands just couldn't stop until it was done.

I crocheted the cap using super soft bright violet yarn and trimmed it with a sparkling plum yarn. There is a soft, fluffy lining along the top front.  Attached to the bottom are the braids, which are a combination of two shades of reddish-brown yarn to create a highlighted look, as well as Anna's signature white steak on her right side.



This hat is the second most popular of the "Frozen" themed hats I've created.  The Olaf-inspired hat is #1 so far.  

If you are interested in ordering this hat for your little princess, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop or click on any of the photos, which link directly to the listing.

Thanks for visiting my blog!