Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kidz at Heart Kollages and my new logo!

I wanted a new logo, so I asked Kidz at Heart Kollages to make me a logo.  I had no idea what I wanted, but she came up with this really GREAT logo!!!   I have seen her logos for other shops, and she has done amazing things making collages for me too!

My new logo, created for me by Kidz at Heart Kollages

I just wanted to take a moment and publicly thanks Miss Rebecca for all her hard work!!!!!!!!!!

Links to find Kidz at Heart Kollages:

Some of the awesome work she has done for me:

Collage of my yarn by Kidz at Heart Kollages

Yarn Tags made by Kidz at Heart Kollages

Saturday, September 8, 2012

A behind the scenes look at Hooked In Yarn

I recently had the opportunity to ask, Shelly, owner of Hooked in Yarn a few questions!  What a delightful, and engaging interview.  I hope you enjoy the behind the scenes look at Hooked In Yarn.....

When did you start crocheting?

I started crocheting around age 4. My Grandma was a firm believer in girls being raised to be proper women. I learned also to sew, knit, and embroidery over the years, but I've always stuck with crochet.

Who inspires you?

Even though she's been gone many years now, my Grandma is still one of
my biggest inspirations.  She also taught me that family, and being
happy were the most important things in the world. She did such
beautiful work and taught me that there was nothing wrong with
changing things until they were perfect for you.  I know I am a bit of
a perfectionist at times, but I'm always proud to put out items that
make me 200% happy!  I think this craft if about making yourself happy
in what you're doing, a true love of it is necessary!  Also all the
wonderful women I've met on Facebook since I made my love of crochet
public (that sounds strange, but people tend to give young women weird
looks when you tell them you love something like crochet!).  They have
pushed me to succeed, encouraged me, and made me feel positive in
times I've not felt it in myself!  And that applies to so much more
than just the art, you're all truly like a second family!

Your blankets and purses are amazing, why blankets?

I'm not sure why blankets are my thing, but I made my first one at age 7. Prior to that it was tons of clothes for my barbies! I had some of the craziest dressed barbies as a little girl, I'm quite sure. There is something about making a blanket that someone can cuddle up in, and get comfort from that really makes me happy. On top of having all that space in one project to go crazy with my color choices! Purses have become a recent passion, and I'm surprised at how much I love them. They can be so versatile though, and each one so completely different. I think that's the biggest appeal for me in any project I do, I don't like to do repeats.

When did you decide to start selling your completed projects?

I don't know that I ever fully decided that I was going to sell my
projects.  It started with blankets and hats for friends and family,
and then there was a lot of push from them that I should start a
facebook page.  Thanks to many wonderful and insightful friends I've
met along the way (especially our own wonderful Valorie!!), things
have just evolved in that direction.  I'm very thankful to be able to
do something I love, share it with others, and help a little with my
family budget while I get to stay home with my little man!

You recently began writing and selling crochet patterns, what made you decide to get into designing?

The designing part is not new for me.  The writing down my designs for another to use is what is new.  I was asked over and over on a daily basis, "How did you make that?"  Almost every item I made that wasn't from a pattern I was asked this same question.   
I always had the same answer, "I just came up with the design in my head and made it."  The answer was rarely received in a positive manner.  I just didn't know what else to say.  So, I wrote one of the patterns out, and it was so well received, I just kept writing them down.  I doubt I will run out of pattern ideas for quite some time, as I have so much already done that just isn't written out.

So, are you enjoying writing patterns?

I wasn't sure if it was something I wanted to do, but yes.  I love the creativity of it.  What is really exciting is seeing what others make from my patterns.  

Besides crochet, what makes you happy?

Besides crochet, family is definitely what makes me happiest. I have been married to the most amazing man since July 2008, and things have been fabulous since! In February of 2009 we completed our family with the sweetest little boy! Nothing makes me happier than spending time with them, and extended family when we get the chance. Life is all about the people we put in it, right?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Why Art Yarn?

My love for spinning started with a drop spindle from ilashdesigns:  I began spinning and fell in love.  I watched lots of videos on youtube to learn how to spin using the spindle.

My first spinning with a spindle.

One of my favorite videos on the basics of spinning:
One of my favorite videos about drafting:

Then I started looking at videos on how to dye fibers.   I found lots of interesting and helpful videos, but one video stood out to me:  I immediately wanted to learn to dye locks.  But if I dyed them, how would I spin them.  I don't have a carder, and all I had was a drop spindle.  I started falling in love with locks - dyed and NOT dyed.

I began researching spinning even more.  I began researching wheels.  I found an amazing video that had me hooked.  Neauveau Fiber Arts,, had already caught my eye a year before with some very helpful videos about business questions.  So when I came across her video on corespinning,  I watched it every day for weeks.  I kept reading about wheels, watching videos and learning.  I decided that within my budget, I would get a Louet S17 spinning wheel, and then buy the jumbo flyer and bobbin later.  This seemed the best solution for me.   I began saving money, but then would end up helping someone else out.  I finally decided to do a fiber auction to raise money for a wheel.
My amazing wheel!

Unknown to me, a great group of friends got together and bought me the very wheel I was trying to get.  (Note: It still brings tears to my eyes.)  The wheel showed up at my house, and ever since, I just can't stop learning more.

Some of my first yarns using my wheel

So, today, I was able to spin my first Art Yarn and I am so happy!!!   I wish I could put into words how grateful I am, but I can't.   If you have ever had a dream become a reality, maybe you understand.

If you have a moment check out the wonderful videos that taught and inspired me!

My core-spun art yarn still on the bobbin!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Ravelry - my new hero

As a crochet pattern designer, I began using Ravelry for my pattern sales.  I had several customers ask me if I would put them on Ravelry, so I decided to do so.  Since then, all of my patterns are available through  Little did I know that this move was going to save me.

I also started buying patterns, almost exclusively, through Ravelry because they allowed for me to "gift" a pattern to someone else.  And what better gift is there for a fellow crocheter than yarn and a  pattern???  Although I don't often use other people's patterns, I do buy them just in case I get in a designing funk -- it does happen.

So, last month, my computer's power button died - at least that is the current diagnosis.  Although I have attempted to replace the power button, I have not found a suitable replacement.  I know enough about electronics and computer hardware to be dangerous, not effective.   So, all of my own designs and every pattern I had purchased became inaccessible to me.  I was totally panicked.

Popsicle Kozie from Kidz.At.Heart.Krochet
Pattern available at Ravelry:

I needed to look at one of my own patterns to be able to answer a customer's question.  I didn't know what to do.  Just out of desperation, I went to ravelry, and sure enough I could download my own designs.  Everything that had been released was right there at my fingertips.

And imagine my surprise when I attempted to purchase a pattern I knew I had lost on the old computer, Ravelry let me know it was already in my library.  I went to my library and WOW was I shocked.  I could not replace all that was lost, but I was able to replace a LOT of patterns.

So, if you haven't tried ravelry - give it a try.  You will not be disappointed!   This is one convert that won't ever go back.  If you want me to buy your pattern, make it available through Ravelry!!!

All of my patterns can be found here:

Saturday, August 25, 2012

An interview with Crochet Creations by Steph


Witch Hat
The owner of Crochet Creations by Steph is Stephenie Hickok, and she is a dynamo with a hook and some yarn.  She can take any pattern and create magic and she can design her own patterns and just rock them.  This candy corn Halloween Treat bag is an adaptation (just changed the braid and added another stitch to bring the size in a bit) of her Candy Corn ear-flap hat pattern.

Candy Corn Ear-flap Hat Pattern
by Crochet Creations by Steph
My version of Crochet Creations by Steph's
Candy Corn Ear-flap Hat Pattern

I have purchased patterns and completed items from Stephenie and have always been amazed at her work.   I thought it might be nice to learn a little a bit about the lady behind the hook.  So, Stephenie gave me a little bit of time and gave me a little bit of background information.....

     Hi!  I am a stay at home mom of 5 wonderful kids, and the fiance of the love of my life.  We have been a wonderful blended family for almost 10 years now.  Our kids range from 17 to 9 and I realized last year that they are gone more than they are home anymore.  So I decided to take my love of crochet and keep myself busy.  I learnt to crochet sometime back in elementary, and grew up watching Mom and multiple Aunts, and Grandmas making blankets and doilies.  Until last year I had only made a few blankets of my own and too many washcloths to count.  I then decided to start my own photography business and I thought, Hey, I can make my own props.  I made a few and posted them on my Facebook page just to brag because I was so proud of myself.  I sold all the hats that I posted and had orders waiting in line.   Well, that was the beginning of Crochet Creations by Steph.
     I was a bit scared to take the step and start a business page, but after watching a few other pages and all the fun that I had with them, I was really inspired to take the leap and make this work.  Almost a year later, here I am.  
Red Riding Hood Poncho
Crochet Creations by Steph's version of
Snappy Tots' pattern, Mini Poncho pattern

I asked Stephenie a few questions to get to know her a little better.
What or who inspires you?
Simply put, my Mom.  As far back as I can remember, my Mom has worked hard and gave 110% to give me and my siblings a good life. She always made sure we were taken care of, but it's the little things I remember most. Letting us stay up late to watch a movie on a school night, or that something extra at dinner just because she knew it was our favorite.  Now that we are grown and have kids of our own, she is one AWESOME Ma-maw.  I am almost 36 and if I turn out to be half the woman my Mom is I'll be happy.
Crochet Creations by Steph's version of
Bonita's Patterns' Marte, A Crocodile Stitch Hood
 If you could do one thing, what would it be?
The one thing on the top of my "Bucket List", that I want to do the most, Is be able to take our kids to Disneyland.  Growing up that was one thing I always wanted to do. My fiance and his parents took me 4 years ago on a mini vacation and they surprised me with Disneyland.  Now that I have been, I want to take our kids and experience it through them.  It is my hope that in the next 2 years we will be able to do just that.
I thought I would share some of her original designs with you.

Rag Doll Boy Pattern
Rag Doll Girl Pattern
SeaScape Photo Prop Cape Pattern
Bumble Bee Photo Prop Pattern

Scarecrow Pattern
Crocodile Falls Set Pattern

And some of her work using other people's patterns:

Incredible idea using a 12 pt star pattern!
One of my purchases from Crochet Creations by Steph
Note: my son LOVES it!
Very impressive sweater!
I just Love this pattern by Retrend You
and really love this version of the pattern!
This hat is just too cute!
Crochet Creations by Steph really ROCKED
this pattern by Desert Diamond Crochet
And of course, as a designer, I LOVE when
Crochet Creations by Steph tests my patterns!!!
So now you know a little bit more about this shop, and it's owner.  What do you think so far?  If you have more questions for Stephenie, you can reach her through these links:

Friday, August 24, 2012

GET SKINNY Belt / Scarf Pattern

Any weight of yarn  (I used RH Boutique Unforgettable)
The amount of yarn is dependent upon how wide and how long you make it.  I used less than one skein.
Hook suggested for yarn you are using - see yarn label.
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Special Stitch:

DCL: [small daisy stitch or daisy cluster stitch]

DCL in First Row: Insert hook in st closing previous DCL, y/o, pull up a loop, insert hook in same
stitch as last spike of previous DCL, y/o, pull up a loop, skip ch, insert hook into next chain, y/o, pull up a loop, y/o pull through all 4 loops on hook, chain one to close cluster.

FIRST DCL in a Row: Ch 3, insert hook into second ch from hook, y/o, pull up a loop, insert hook into 3rd ch from hook, y/o, pull up a loop, skip stitch, insert hook into next stitch, y/o, pull up a loop, y/o pull through all 4 loops on hook.

ALL OTHER DCL: Insert hook in st closing previous DCL, y/o, pull up a loop, insert hook in same stitch as last spike of DCL, y/o, pull up a loop, insert hook into next DCL, y/o, pull up a loop, y/o pull through all 4 loops on hook, chain one to close cluster.  

Helpful videos:
If you have NOT worked a DCL, this video may help you understand how to work this stitch.    

This video is just how I work the first stitch in each row of sc, hdc, dc, and tr.

Ch 11 (you can chain less for a skinnier belt or lots more for a wide scarf - just make sure it is a an ODD number), 
1. hdc in 3rd ch from hook, (first two ch count as hdc), hdc in remaining chains across.
2. ch 2, hdc in next stitch and each across.
3. repeat 2 until you reach desired length of belt.
4. (Working DCL along LONG side of belt) ch 3, insert hook in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a loop, insert hook in top of stitch just completed, pull up a loop, insert hook in base of hdc from row just finished, pull up a loop, pull a loop through all four loops, ch1 to close,  work DCL stitch down the side, skipping one space between the 3rd and 4th loop on each stitch (see photo explanations below).  Continue to work DCL down the side, to corner.
5. ch 3, insert hook in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a loop, insert hook in top of stitch just completed, pull up a loop, insert hook into ch from beg ch, pull up a loop, pull a loop through all four loops, ch 1 to close, work DCL across beginning ch row to corner.
6. (Working DCL along LONG side of belt) ch 3, insert hook in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a loop, insert hook in top of stitch just completed, pull up a loop, insert hook in ch from beg ch, pull up a loop, pull a loop through all four loops, ch1 to close,  work DCL stitch down the side, skipping one space between the 3rd and 4th loop on each stitch (see photo explanations below).  Continue to work DCL down the side, to corner.
7. ch 3, insert hook in 2nd ch from hook, pull up a loop, insert hook in top of stitch just completed, pull up a loop, insert hook into top of first hdc, pull up a loop, pull a loop through all four loops, ch 1 to close, work DCL across beginning ch row to corner.

Fasten off, weave in ends.

If desired add fringe to the narrow ends of belt.

To add fringe, cut strand 7" (or double the length desired) pieces.  I used 5 strands for each DCL.  Fold all the strands desired for the DCL in half, pull up a loop of all the strands using hook, make sure ends are even, pull all strands through loop and pull tight.  Repeat for each DCL.  Trim Fringe to ensure it is even.

If you have questions, just ask!

DCL photo explanation:

Insert hook into 2nd ch from hook

Pull up a loop

Insert hook into top of last stitch completed.

Pull up a loop

skip the space of one stitch, insert hook into next space

pull up a loop

Y/O and pull a loop through all 4 loops on hook

Ch 1 (DCL completed)

Where the 3rd and 4th loops go on this edge!

See the space between 3rd loop and fourth loop??

What the edging looks like...