Creative Block…

I find it funny that as soon as I open my Etsy shop and let the world know that I am here to craft my heart out, I reach a creative block. I first blamed it on my day job preventing me from dedicating time and energy to experimenting and developing new items for my shop. But then I think about how much knitting and crocheting I was doing before I was even seriously considering opening an Etsy shop. Perhaps it is the pressure to perform– I want so bad to do so well that I have psyched myself out. It could be that I just don’t like crafting anymore (yeah, right).

After a bit of reflection, I discovered what my overall problem is: clutter. Clutter in my craft space, clutter at work, clutter in the house, and probably biggest of all, clutter in my mind. You can ask my husband, parents, pretty much anyone that knows me, that I am not a neat person. On a good day, I am one of those people who is messy but knows where things are in the mess. So, on my trip to the library today to pick up my hold request copy of the first season of Community, I perused the shelves for books about organization. I ended up checking out “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” by Erin Rooney Doland. I started reading it today and the first step is to get rid of the clutter in the closet. I’ll be attempting that one tomorrow after work. My husband and I did go through the closet a couple weeks ago to go through clothes we weren’t wearing but I still feel like my side of the closet isn’t quite where it needs to be. Otherwise, it wouldn’t take me half an hour to pick out an outfit everyday…. t like that the book has a lot of baby steps to take instead of demanding drastic changes right this instant. Baby steps are my friend. I feel good about eliminating the clutter in my life. I’m especially excited about how it will help me as a crafty lady.

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Long time no blog

My goodness, it has been way too long since I’ve updated this thing! A thousand apologies! They’re not great ones, but here are my excuses for slacking:

I got a bad cold.

Matthew got a bad cold.

I set up my Etsy shop.

I’m all better now and am finally able to go crazy and use up my energy instead of reserving it for recovery. Yay! And what better timing: I’m on spring break and can devote my time to crafting. Upon making my announcement on Facebook that my Etsy shop was up and running, I had a few requests (mostly from my dear sister) to make things for people. Right now, I’m working on two extra wide headbands for a friend. The first one is a simple ruched headband that is very cute. I’m going to try and make at least two of these to put up on Etsy by the end of the week. The second headband is an uber wide (5 inches) ear warmer/headband with a cable detail in it. My friend sent me a picture of a cable headband she saw on Pinterest, I identified stitches, learned how to do cables and I played around until I got what I wanted. This is the first time I’ve ever knitted cables and I’m quite satisfied with the outcome. I had to write a pattern for this one (I even broke out the graph paper while I was designing) and it took me a few tries, but I finally got it!

Note: The pictures below are the same uber wide cable headband. My iPhone did something funny with the closeup picture: the headband looks lighter and discolored…. but the cable looks good! 😉

 

More to come in the next few days! I’ll be making up for the lack of posts this past month….

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.