The Boss Bitch Shawl…

Spring has sprung here in Buffalo, New York, which means its time for spring shawls. I love traditional pointed shawls. Like the Tea House Wrap from Two of Wands. Tea House Wrap2It’s my favorite pointed shawl, or the traditional rectangle wrap, I’m partial to my Rustic Ridgeline Wrap.

So when I saw the Boss Bitch Shawl from Mamachee Patterns I fell in love with the asymmetrical shawl design. Even better when the pattern called for DK weight yarn I knew I had to use Knit Picks Cotlin yarn. When you read Tara’s inspiration for the name it just makes sense. Here is here description, “BITCH is an acronym for Beautiful, Intelligent, Talented, and Creative Hottie…that’s you! and if you’re a born leader or want to channel your inner leader then the Boss Bitch Shawl might be for you. ;)”. I just love it!Rustic Ridgeline wrap1

The design is amazing and when you pair it with the Cotton/Linen blend yarn it gets all the heart eyes. I had a few colors but knew that I had a WIP of a blanket that just wasn’t working that I could pull apart. It was painful to frog my blanket but so worth it once the colors came together. It was a quick project to work up.

I took pictures with it on my mannequin but it just didn’t do it justice so, as much as I hate pictures of myself, I had to brave the camera to get good pictures. So my photographer, aka mini me, and I set out to find the perfect spot and did we ever. I fell in love with this cement wall. And my 12 year old sure can take a photo. I only had to do minor editing of my face…

If you want to make your own Boss Bitch shawl get the pattern here.

If you want to have me make you your very own Boss Bitch Shawl you can order one here.

 

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)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cocoon Sweater Shrug by Kelly Brooks

 

 

 

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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

 

Brrrrr…its cold outside

If you live on the East Coast you know that there is a giant storm. Maybe you’re snowed in, or wishing you were. It’s winter’s last big hurrah before spring is officially here. Lets be honest though in certain parts of the U.S., Buffalo, New York being one of them, winter is never very far away. So while I did go to work on the first day of the storm, I’ll be home for the second day with my mini me. So I’ll be doing lots of crocheting! I have several projects started and a few new designs on my hook. It’s not a coincidence that three of those are blankets. So here is a sneak peak of my new blanket design and a few of my favorite blanket designs and a link to the patterns. Stay warm and snuggle up under your crochet!

new blanketNew design that is currently nameless but if you follow me you know I love ripples and cotton blend yarns. Pattern coming soon!

 

 

 

Charlie BlanketCharlie Blanket by Kristen Ballering

 

 

 

 

Rizo Crochet Baby BlanketRizo Crochet Baby Blanket by Fairmount Fibers Design Team

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hyden blanket Hayden Chevron Blanket by Lakeside Loops (I really want to make this)

 

 

 

 

wave blanketWave Blanket by Jane Green

 

 

 

vintage blanketVintage Crocheted Blanket by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas (I’ve made lots of these, its one of my go to’s for baby blankets)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow RippleRainbow Ripple Blanket by Celeste Young

 

 

 

 

monets garden throwMonet’s Garden Throw by Felted Button (Any thing by Susan is amazing)

 

 

 

 

 

Winfred blanketWinifred Baby Blanket By Little Doolally ( One of my favorite designers ever, I really could have chosen all her blankets. I’ve made several)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its a blanketIt’s a Blanket by Mamachee

 

 

 

4 seasons chevron4 Seasons Chevron Blanket by CrochetObjet

 

 

 

 

Vintage Fan Ripple Blanket Vintage fan rippleby A Creative Being ( I’ve made several of these too, and it’s FREE)

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

 

It’s been too long…

The last time I wrote it was days before I left for South Carolina for a month long academy for new job. It was a whirlwind few weeks, I was elbow deep in orders and magazine submissions if you remember the post about the Rainbow Blanket. I survived my academy and the hurricane…yes the hurricane that hit and flooded South Carolina last fall. I was stuck on a flooded military base, in jeopardy of being sent home to return to finish at a later date. Luckily we were able to finish. It wasn’t all bad though, I met some amazing people from all over the U.S., I visited Savannah, Georgia, which was breathtaking, I went to Fort Sumter, saw the beach for the first time, and officially earned my badge!

South Carolina

Adventures In The South 

 

Buffalo Magazine

The Buffalo Magazine 

The best thing, business wise, was that my Buffalo Pillows were published in the Buffalo Magazine while I was gone. WHAT!?!? I started receiving a lot of phone calls and messages of people wanting to know more. I left South Carolina with two pillow orders, large pillow orders, 10 pillows to be exact. I sent my husband to the store back in NY to find the magazine, he didn’t, but I found it when I returned home. Whew…I finished the Vintage Chevron Table runner, it was the only item that I hadn’t finished before I left. That had a photo shoot and was sent to the magazine for publication in January 2016.

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Vintage Chevron Table Runner

Needless to say when I returned home I was thrown into working on all the Christmas orders that I had received while I was gone. It was crazy to me that second week in October, I was closing the books for orders. It was hard to tell people no, but these hands only crochet so fast. I reopened the books for none Christmas orders with a two month wait…OMG two months, people are willing to wait two months for my handmade things. Mind Blown…

I lunched my very own website too! I had requested the domain www.thecottonroad.com, about a year ago and the domain was owned by someone else. Go Daddy monitored it and as soon it was available for purchase I did. It took me  a few months to get it together with all that I had going on but it is up and running. I haven’t added patterns yet, but will.

I finished all custom orders March 30, it felt weird to not have anything to crochet, but at the same time I was finally free to crochet what I wanted! AND I have. I’ll write another post on that tomorrow. I was able to get a little designing in there also. I wrote two tunisian patterns one for Happily Hooked Magazine and one for the Pattern Pack, both are for the April 2016 issue and are Eco-friendly options for Earth Month. I’m also working on a new tunisain baby blanket that will be published hopefully soon.

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

The Bee’s Knees Tunisian Honeycomb Rug

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Wet or Dry Mop Tunisian Swifter Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m going to try to be better about posting. I’ve settled in to my new job and completed my long black log of custom orders. I’m focused on designing and adding to the website, my section of baby clothes and toys are lacking, so you can expect several posts about those, as I have lots of patterns I have yet to crochet…

Blessings,

Mel

Is that knitted….

So last year a long time friend, who is one of a kind and loves the most eccentricDSCF4210 things, sends me a text and says “Babe can you make this?”. This isn’t a surprise this is how most of our crochet orders start out, but I’m looking at this picture thinking I’ve never seen anything like this. A little Google image searching happens and its a knitted scarf. Not my specialty, knitting and I have agreed to DSCF4202disagree. I let her know its knitting but to give me a few days and let me see what I can come up with.

It took some more Googling and YouTube to figure out you can actually do a drop stitch in crochet but you actually need a knitting needle to do it go figure! Well for the first scarf I made I didn’t have a big knitting needle so I used a large cake pillar, it worked great. You can tell in the photos because the loops are smaller in the one she is wearing. I’ve since bought the giant knitting needle.DSCF4208

I make the scarf, wrote a few notes down and moved on. It was Octoberish and I had Christmas orders to complete. I forgot about it until recently when I was going through my notebook trying to make sure I had actually wrote up all my patterns in the book and added them to Ravelry. Well that one wasn’t done.  I never wrote down how much yarn, the DSCF4205measurements, what hook I used, nothing but drop stitch, DC and SC repeat. Not super helpful. Oh vey it was like starting from scratch, AND I never took pictures of it, so I really had to remake a scarf to be able to have pictures of not only the finished product but also for the photo section of the pattern.

I start fresh, pick out the most beautiful soft Peruvian cotton yarn and set out to make the scarf again. I write everything down, take some pictures and before I can post the pattern the scarf sells. I write up the pattern add it to Ravelry and within 10 minutes it sells 5 copies! DSCF4212Wow, people love the scarf as much as I do.

My friend loved my version better than the knitted version she had originally sent me. I think its a unique piece that others don’t have, and you can’t find in stores. I hope you guys out there in the inter-web area love it too. It takes a little practice getting the hang of the knitting needle, because you will essentially crochet backwards and turn your work very little. A bit of a foreign Morgan Scarfconcept to us crocheters. If you’d like to try the pattern for yourself you can get the pattern on Ravelry, Craftsy and Etsy. If you are a follower who lives in the UK or any other European country check out Loveknitting. Not a crocheter and want the scarf, I can do that too head over to Etsy or Facebook and order the finished item.

This scarf is meant to be airy, the bigger your loops the more air, so get creative like I did and use whatever you have laying around to make your loops. You can also customize to other weights of yarn. I used worsted weight yarn but bulky or sport weight would look great too. You’ll need to adjust your starting number and length but it’ll look just as great. Thank you as always for your love and support!

Blessings

~   Mel

Is it Spring Yet?????

I sit here at my computer looking at this beautiful blanket that I designed and wonder where is spring? I live inDSCF3851 Buffalo NY and its about 0 degrees with wind chills in the negatives numbers and a winter storm warning in effect right now. Spring seems so far away….maybe that’s why when I was designing my newest blanket I thought of colorful spring bouquets of tulips.

This blanket is made with granny squares, my favorite. You can make the blanket in two colors or ten, its up DSCF3848to you. I chose five colors and used the cream as the main color and made five centers of each of the four other colors. So the centers were my colorful flower inspired granny’s. The blanket is a join as you go. So you make the centers and then connect them to form a beautiful airy spring/summer blanket. I used a soft, shiny cotton yarn. Unfortunately  the yarn I used was discontinued but this blanket will look great in any yarn. You can make this in several sizes by simply adding more squares.

I asked for names for this blanket from my FacebooDSCF3846k fans and my IG followers. It seemed like whoever I showed the blanket to saw something different. Flowers, butterflies, shamrocks, etc. I left it to the people and they choose Pansies in Bloom which I loved so I offer you the pattern with a little discount. Head on over to Raverly to purchase. Use code Spring1 for $1.00 off, it’ll be good for just the first ten purchases on Ravelry.

I hope that you are somewhere warm and will get much use out of this blanket. I’ll let you know when spring arrives and this mama bear can come out of hibernation.  DSCF3858

Blessings

~Mel