WIP Wednesday

Just wanted to share something I am working on: a TARDIS iPhone sleeve! I seem to be preferring my knitting needles lately and for this TARDIS experiment, I think it works best. This is my “first draft.” After this one, I’ll be adding more recognizable details.

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Weekend Update

What an exciting and tiring week! The kids at work kept me busy all week, I had lots of knit and crochet projects, and I just bought and started reading the e-course “Dream Job” from Red Velvet (recommended by Cornflower Blue Studio— thank you!). I’m super excited about changes that are happening at my job. Our school district is encouraging the integration of personal mobile devices into the classroom. I’ve been working with some of the kids using my iPhone and my laptop to play learning games, practice their handwriting, etc. The kids love it and we (the teacher I work with and I) love it because they’re having fun while learning.

Projects-wise, I finished the headband/ear warmer for the soccer player. I wrote the pattern down, which is a first for me, when I worked on the lighter blue one. This was a blessing in disguise– it sped up the process of making this one. It turned out to be pretty cute: (Pardon my bad hair…)

The baseball beanie I’ve been working on has proved to be more challenging than I expected. I think I’ve knitted the entire hat and completely frogged it at least twice. Thank goodness the beanie is small. I still haven’t tackled the red stitching at all since I’ve been trying to get the basic beanie perfected. I finally decided to go buy some 16″ circular needles so I wouldn’t have to sew two ends together. That was a good idea. I’ll post pictures soon of the finished project.

The most exciting part of my week was starting the Dream Job e-course. I’ve mentioned that I want to start an Etsy business soon and I’ve decided I want to be a full-time crafter. It may take months, maybe even years for me to get to that point, but that’s what I want to do. Making this decision, I want to play it smart and do as much research and prepare as well as I can to make sure my business will be the best that it can be. The tricky part is still working full time while trying to start a business. But since I work in education, I may be able to use my summer break to get all kinds of things done.

Works in progress and other things

I learned how to crochet almost a decade ago, stopped doing it for a few years and recently picked it up again. When I picked it up again, it was like riding a bicycle for the first time in a long time: the awkward yet familiar feeling of the movement, the apprehension, the excitement of it all. Picking up crocheting again, I used patterns (and still use them) to instruct me how to make items. The past few weeks, I’ve been able to create items without having to find a pattern on Ravelry or Crochet Pattern Central or Etsy or wherever. I’m not saying that I never need to look at a pattern again to create anything, but I do feel like I’ve got my training wheels off. I sometimes find myself examining crocheted pieces and identifying stitches and/or techniques. This now means it’s time to look for more advanced patterns and broaden my crochet knowledge (and knit a little more). It’s pretty exciting. The only thing that I still have a bit trouble with (and very much dislike doing) is weaving in my ends. I may have to meet up with some other crafters to get some advice on how to make sure those yarn ends stay hidden in the work.

Alright, here’s the good stuff: what’s on my hook (and needles).

I was wearing a knotted crochet headband at work (pattern from Maybe Matilda), mostly because I was having a bad hair day, and luckily people were noticing how cute the headband is and not my weird hair. This is the headband I made:

This pattern is quick and perfect for if you’re just starting out. I used a yellow cotton yarn from Sugar and Cream. The best thing for me: I can adjust the tightness of the headband by pulling the knot or tightening it. As I showed a couple of ladies at work the features of this nifty headband, one of them asked if I could make something similar for her daughter. She wanted something to cover the ears and keep them warm. I said, “Sure!” I went home and got to work. This time, I didn’t use a pattern. I just imagined a simple design in my head and started crocheting. The result is a very simple, wide headband. I didn’t get a picture of the back, but it is tapered to allow for a better fit on the back of the head. I was thinking of adding a flower or something to it but even without any embellishments, it doesn’t look too bad (then again, I’m a simple girl and can do without the fancy embellishments).

I’ve also received a commission to make a newborn baby sized baseball beanie. I’m excited about this one because it will challenge me to work with something I’ve never worked with before: ribbon. I am also knitting this item instead of using my hook. I needed some knitting practice anyway. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

I recently inherited my parents’ old Singer sewing machine (probably from sometime in the late 80s, early 90s) and got it repaired and running like new again. I actually remember both my mom and dad making pajamas for me and my sister growing up. I haven’t been able to use it yet and will probably wait until next weekend (or later) to attempt any kind of sewing project. However, I’ve been looking at super easy patterns and getting ideas for fabric. Since I’m a little bit of a geek, I wanted to find someplace that sells geeky fabrics. Lo and behold: Spoonflower. They have all kinds of themed fabrics: Doctor Who, Nintendo, Star Trek, Portal, and so much more! It’s a little pricey only because I will be a novice seamstress. If and when I get a bit more experience under my belt, I will definitely be ordering some fabric from Spoonflower. I’m thinking of making a skirt some day using their “Blue Mountains and Smiling Clouds” fabric. In fact, I might just make a bunch of skirts out of many of their fabric prints. Spoonflower is definitely an awesome find.

A few links to show and share

Always looking for new sources of inspiration, I started subscribing to craft blogs not too long ago. It is great to see what other crafters are doing– and most of it is stuff I want to share with the world! Here are a few goodies I have found this week:

First up: Being Geek Chic’s DIY Wonder Woman Shoes! I’ve been thinking lately that I need to try and customize a pair of flats (even with a husband that’s more than a foot taller than me, I still can’t bring myself to wear heels). I work with preschool kids, so having sparkly shoes like these would be very appropriate. They love glitter. If you want to attempt these, the video tutorial is here.

I love Star Trek. And I love these buttons. These are from hownice.etsy.com. I do not believe these are listed in the shop anymore, but this store has some pretty neat buttons, magnets and pet tags.

If you are crafty and dig Ryan Gosling, you may enjoy the Handmade Ryan Gosling tumblr page.

I’ll be posting something this weekend about what I’m currently hooking– people have been making requests and I am more than happy to oblige! Apparently, wearing my own work is a great way to advertise and get people interested.

Setting up shop

For 2012, I’ve made it my goal to start selling my crochet goodies through Etsy. I haven’t set the shop up yet– I want to have a decent inventory first. The idea of selling my crocheted items online wasn’t my own– I crocheted a few things, showed friends, made and sold stuff to them, and naturally, they told me I should start an Etsy shop.

I’ve been thinking about what I could possibly make in a short amount of time that is simple, practical, and easy for me to make (just in case the item becomes popular). This is what I’ve come up with for now: iPhone cozies. I made one for myself and have gotten compliments on it from friends and complete strangers. I’m starting simple though: no fancy buttons or embroidery, just a secure cozy for an iPhone in fun colors. I do have plans to sell both a pattern and cozy of the one I currently use. It is a flip wallet iPhone case. It may sell a little better since I don’t see many of them on Etsy.

If you have any suggestions or comments, please let me know! I want to be able to sell items that people want. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

The iPhone cozies I’m working on:

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My iPhone cozy:

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Crochet Laptop Sleeve is Complete!

It is finished! My laptop doesn’t have to be naked in public anymore! I got rid of some scrap yarn finishing this project and I think it turned out quite nicely. I was worried the color combination would look strange and unattractive but that is not the case (at least in my opinion). So, for $0 and a few hours, I crocheted a simple, tightly stitched sleeve (or should I call it a laptop cozy?) that will protect my laptop from getting scratched up in my bag. Success!