Welcome to the World Little One…

If you know me outside of my little yarn world, you know that if if you’re having a baby, you’re bound to get something from me that is crocheted! Last year my husband and I each had a co-worker that were having baby. One was having a girl and one a boy. I wanted the gift to be unique and something special, which can be tough because you never know what they’ve already received and what their tastes are.

I decided I wanted to do a blanket for both, I know a daunting task, especially as they were due just weeks apart and I was beginning full fall prep. I went to my magic place (Google Drive) where all my patterns are stored and looked in the blanket folder for the special and unique blanket I was in search of. I narrowed it down to a few options, but couldn’t decide, so I went a different route and picked out the yarn first. A little backwards I know, but I thought it’d help me pick a pattern.

I was starting with the little girl, and found this beautiful soft pink from Red Heart (Soft). Now that the yarn had been chosen I went back to the patterns and had two to choose from in that yarn weight.  I settled on the Reese Modern Hexagon Blanket by Lakeside Loops. Seriously fell in love 10 rows in. It fits so well with my business tag line a “A Modern Twist on an Vintage Craft”, in that it uses a technique called filet crochet. I absolutely love the hexagon as they look like little bee hives in a way. I loved it so much that I decided that I was going to do the little boys blanket in it also. My husband said that the couple were huge Buffalo Bills fans, so I went with the Bills colors and used color blocking with the three colors.

So without further or do here is the finished item! As always I encourage you to purchase the pattern if you are a crocheter, and if not I’ll gladly make you one of your very own just visit my Etsy Shop.

Happy Crocheting

~Mel

reese

 

 

 

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My Favorite Shawls…

I know that i’m really bad at this whole blogging thing, but I promise I’m trying to be better. With that being said I recently finished a new item for the shop and thought I’m going to give m followers, and those who stumble upon my ramblings, a list of my favorite shawl patterns.  I’ll start with the one I finished this weekend and its a free pattern to boot! So here they are, I’ll link to each pattern and as always if you aren’t a crocheter yourself you can always purchase a finished item from me!

Pleasure Shawl1

Genuine Pleasure Shawl

Genuine Pleasure Shawl

Pattern: Red Heart Yarns

Yarn: Red Heart Soft

 

 

Tea House Wrap

Tea House Wrap

 

Tea House Wrap

Pattern: Two of Wands

Yarn: Lion Brand Heartland

 

 

Wrapped In Warmth Shawl

Wrapped In Warmth Shawl

 

Wrapped In Warmth Shawl

Pattern: Elk Studio Crochet

Photo Credit: Elk Studio Crochet

 

 

Wedge Triangle Scarf

Wedge Triangle Scarf

 

Wedge Triangle Scarf

Pattern: Hooked On Serendipity

Photo Credit: Rosalie Rivera

 

 

Rustic Ridgeline Wrap

Rustic Ridgeline Wrap

 

Rustic Ridgeline Wrap

Pattern: The Cotton Road Designs (me)

Yarn: Knit Picks City Tweed DK

 

 

Here are just a few of my favorite shawl patterns, I am very partial to the triangle shawl, but had to throw in my rectangle wrap because why not! Clicking on the link will take to you to the pattern and if you’d like me to make one for you please head over to my Etsy shop or email me directly at thecottonroad@gmail.com

Thanks for reading and happy crocheting

~Mel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Bundle Up

So the snow has stopped falling, but it’s still very cold here. So now that its back to school and work, you’ll need a sweater to keep you warm. Since the blanket round up went so well here are some of my favorite sweaters and links to the patterns. Stay warm!

Cairbre cardiganCairbe Cardigan by The Velvet Acorn Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

sophie's cardiganSophie’s Cardigan by Mon Petit Violon (I love this pattern, and have made it several times! She is my go to designer for baby sweaters.

 

 

 

 

sweet heart fair isleSweet Heart Fair Isle Sweater by Ball Hank n’Skein

 

 

 

 

classic baby cardiganClassic Baby Cardigan by Holland Designs

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vphee_01_mediumVphee Sweater by Rohn Strong (Those lines, I love how its almost a chevron)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

danielle-1-logo_mediumDanielle Sweater by Sincerely Pam (I have this in my Revelry library, need the time to make it)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crochet_Cocoon_Sweater_

Cocoon Sweater Shrug by Kelly Brooks

 

 

 

Wisteria_Crochet_Cardigan_1_-_logo_medium

Wisteria Cardigan by Melody’s Makings

 

 

 

 

 

shining starShining Star by Drops Design

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer diamond-cardigan

Summer Diamonds Cardigan by One Dog Woof

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy the sweaters that I have shared. If you make one of the sweaters in the round up I’d love for you to share it! I’d love to hear what kind of round up you’d like to see next!

Blessings

~Mel

 

New Year, New Pattern

The year 2016 has come and gone. 2016 saw five new patterns from me, and lots of finished items. Last year was really the year that I feel my little pattern side gig, to my finished items, really took off. Five patterns may not seem like a lot but it was for me because each pattern was very different than the next. Not to mention that three out of the five were published patterns to either Happily Hoked Magazine or The Pattern Pack. It saw my love of Tunisian crochet explode. The three published patterns were all Tunisian items. Here is a quick look back at those five before I show you the new pattern.

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The Rustic Ridgeline Wrap as seen in Happily Hooked Magazine

View More: http://littlebelliesphotography.pass.us/baby-rug

The Bee’s Knee’s Honeycomb Rug as seen in The Pattern Pack

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The Tunisian Mop Cover as seen in Happily Hooked Magazine

As you can see each pattern is very different from each other. I’d like to think of 2016 as a growing year, not just from the difference in patterns, but in terms of retail. For the last two years if you live in Troy, NY you could find cowls at Blue Bird Home Decor, an amazing shop, check out Nicole’s little gem in the heart of the city. I was looking to branch out to boutiques in the Buffalo, NY area and found a shop called Thin Ice Gift Shop Another awesome shop in the Allentown district of Buffalo, NY, where amazing local artisans are featured. Toward the end of the year another Buffalo based business, Nickel City Designs, reached out and wants to carry some men’s and woman’s scarfs and of course Buffalo Pillows. It’s safe to say 2016 has been a big year and I’m going to work hard to make sure that 2017 is another year in which the business grows.

With the holiday season behind us, I started to focus on the request of the last shop. I have one scarf currently for sale but it was definitely not a unisex or manly one so, I got out my trusting stitch books and set off to create a scarf that was pretty enough for a lady but manly enough for a guy. Five or so stitch patterns later, the Cobblestone Scarf was created. This is the first pattern of the new year and another scarf is on the hook right behind it. Here is a look at the new design. You can find this one and the all the rest of my designs on Ravelry, Etsy, Craftsy, or Loveknitting.

Wishing you and yours a wonderfully happy and prosperous new year!

pattern-pic

 

Fall Fashion

It’s October and in most places, especially here in the Northeast, its the most wonderful time of year. The cool crisp nights, apple cider in the air, leaves a multitude of colors, pure heaven. I love the fall, and not sure I could live anywhere the leaves don’t change colors. So with these crisp nights and cool days one must prepare fashion wise. The standard scarf or cowl comes to mind immediately, but hot right now are wraps or shawls.

So just pursing Instagram as I do, and I see the most amazing shawl I’ve ever seen. Now I’m not a big fan of them, never worn one, or made one for that matter, but this shawl grabbed my attention and quick. So of course now I must find this pattern, and low and behold it’s a free one!!!! The angels sing hallelujah in my head, how can this be, its so amazing AND free. So I immediately add the Tea House Wrap into my Ravelry library for safe keeping. The next day I head to Jo Ann’s to purchase the yarn because this is getting made now!

The pattern calls for Lion Brand Heartland yarn, another sign I’m meant for this pattern, that’s one of my all time favorite yarns. With a little help from my boys I pick, Black Canyon, Grand Canyon, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone! The perfect fall colors for my perfect fall wrap!

I finish the wrap and its even more amazing than I though it could be. This wrap is so versatile it can be worn in so many ways the possibilities are endless. I convince my bestie that she needs to model it for me,because no justice is done with it on the mannequin, it needs shoulders and arms to wrap around. Check out the pattern here and show me your version.

~Mel

tea-wrap

Buffalo Love Collection…

I’ve wrote several posts inadvertently about the weather here in Buffalo NY, not a fan of it, but the city of Buffalo is an amazing place to live and work. DSCF3867The culture, the architecture, the pieces of history that only Buffaloians know, our sports teams (not so great this year), I could go on and on. I was working on a custom order Bunny cushion for a customer and the idea popped in my heBuffaload that I could design graph patterns. I let that idea sit there and for a few days thought about what I would graph, and then BOOM…my husband was showing me something Buffalo Bills related and the idea of a Buffalo seemed doable. What better way to show my Buffalo pride!

I finished up my Bunny, and set out to graph a Buffalo. I went online and found a buffalo silhouette that I liked. I Googled how to make a crochet grid and it seemed that Microsoft Excel was the most common answer. So I made the graph in excel, printed, and plotted my Buffalo. It looked great on paper but the first pillow I crocheted looked like a Buffalofailwarthog, yeah I’m talking Pumba from the lion king. Back to the drawing board literally. It turns out trying to use Excel to create a graph pattern doesn’t work well, at least not for me. I Googled crochet grids, not sure what I was going to find, but was pleasantly surprised to find a perfect grid pattern. I placed that over my Buffalo picture and printed. That was the easy part. After printing I took a sharpie and traced where I wanted the grid lines to be. I tried once again and I was getting closer. Seven drawings later I had a Buffalo that looked like a Buffalo when crocheted!

The hard part came when I was trying to write up the pattern. I couldn’t figure out how to get my hand drawn graph digitized to be able to put in the pattern. Another Googling session, a little swearing and the software pattern I found worked! If you are considering designing graph patterns I recommend Denise’s Easy Graph Designer Version 2.0, it worked like a charm. Still figuring some things out with the program but my cute little Buffalo was all computerized and ready for publication. DSCF3969

That Buffalo got me thinking some more and ideas began to swirl in my head. I created a New York State graph and placed a heart over Western New York. I’m in the writing process of that pattern but the pillow is done, on the first try. I’m hoping to offer other states in the future. Let me know which state you’d like to see in yarn!

DSCF3884I have decided to name this the Buffalo Love collection. Its a collection because I will be adding a heritage line. Any true Buffaloian knows that the Irish, Italian and Polish heritages play a big part of our city. I will be offering pillow patterns for those three heritages. You’l have to wait and see those are drawn up but not stitched yet.

I couldn’t be more happy with my Buffalo pillow a true labor of love. I know that theDSCF3985re are Buffaloian’s all across the country, in fact I have  a custom teal and pink Buffalo pillow heading to North Carolina tomorrow. You don’t have to be from Buffalo, NY to appreciate the Buffalo pillow. A little fun fact 16 states have a city named Buffalo. Maybe you’re from Buffalo, South Dakota, or Buffalo, Minnesota…the Buffalo silhouette is an image associated with more than just a City in 16 states though. It’s a symbol associated with the plains of our great country, you know where the Buffalo roam, Native American tribes and even some currency (the Buffalo Nickel).

If you’d like to create your own Buffalo Love Pillow you can find the pattern link to Ravelry here. Use BUFFALONY to get $1.00 off, but hurry this is only good until Wednesday (3/11/15) night. If you’d like to purchase a Buffalo Pillow already complete you can do that too. Check out my Etsy or Facebook page. As always I appreciate all the love and support from you guys. ❤

 

Blessings

~Mel     DSCF3880