Sweaters: My New Obsession

So I go through phases of obsessions. They never really leave I just get new ones. I still love making baby blankets. I’m still very obsessed with Tunisian crochet!! In fact the first two obsessions have been put together and I’m working on a Tunisian baby blanket. A blog post will happen once I complete it. It’s been a labor of love. So the newest obsession you ask…well its been here awhile but recently leapfrogged to the head of the list, sweaters.

I’ve made a few baby sweaters in the past, even a toddler, and adult sweater. Sweaters are one of those items that I feel only look good in pictures if they’re being worn. My baby isn’t a baby anymore, and most of the sweater patterns are for little girls. So generally they are made to order which makes it hard to get orders, oh vey. So when a co-worker announced she was having a little girl and she was due on my birthday, I decided instead of my customary baby blanket I was doing a sweater…or two.

cardigan

Classic Baby Cardigan

I have two favorite clothes designers, Holland Designs and Mon Petit Violon. Trust me they are my go to’s. I head into my pattern library mostly on Ravelry. That’s another great website for us crocheters, it’s great for knitting too. There it is the classic cardigan by Holland Designs. I must make that one!!! I look at the suggested yarn and head into the yarn stash and find a beautiful cotton blend in lilac (the lighter purple in the picture). The pattern is quick and adorable. I posted the finished picture on my Instagram account and within a day someone wanted to buy it. Good and bad news! The yarn is discontinued and they wanted that exact color. So I thought about it and decided to sell the original sweater and made another for my co-worker in Cottonish by Bernat and Vickie Howell. I made them both in 0-3 months because she was due in July. I just love this pattern and think that for little girls it might just be my new go to baby shower gift.

1-2Y Zara Cardigan

Zara Sleeveless Cardigan

 

I wanted to make a short sleeve one too, so I went back to the library of patterns on Ravelry
and settled on the Zara Sleeveless Cardigan, from Mon Petit Violon. I used the same Cottinish yarn but this time I used Jade, a beautiful green color. I made this one in 1-2 years because it has no sleeves She would be able to wear it next summer.

I have almost all of Mon Petit Violon’s patterns here are a few items that I’ve made with her patterns. I still have so many that I haven’t made yet too!

PicMonkey Collage

Other Mon Petit Violon patterns I’ve made

I highly recommend these two designers if you have the need or the desire to make adorable baby girl items.

Blessings

~Mel

Being Connected….

As a crafter, you create from what you aBaby Bear Hooded Cowlre inspired by. I see a pattern on Pinterest and I must make it. I have people send me pictures, with a quick can you make this?. I love to put my own spin on things. I have a Facebook page, Instagram, Google+, and Twitter account. If your reading this you know I have a blog. I sell on Etsy. In the ever growing and changing world as we know it you have to be connected to keep some what up to date on things, there are a few hashtags I still don’t get.

All those social media sites are great and has allowed me to become fans of and receive fans from across the country to across the pond and into England, Australia, France, Saudi Arabia and other far away places. I am grateful for those fans and new inspirations but it has also allowed me to sell items to those countries. It makes me happy to know that somewhere in Australia a little baby is playing with my Monster Eyeball Rattles.

The great thing about being connected in this way is the people that I have actually met or had a real relevant conversation with. I love that in a crochet group on FaceRuffle Skirtsbook I could help walk a beginner through a stitch that they haven’t been able to get or even get feedback on color choices for my own projects. But most of all I’m excited about the new business connections I have made.

Early on I had a friend who does photography and she has the cutest little girls I sent her a few things and she took some pictures. She did a newborn shoot for a high school friend that had twins and asked me to make them something. Her work is amazing and you can findElf Stocking Cap more of her work on her Facebook page Park Avenue Photography. I was asked by a photographer based out of Mississauga Ontario Canada to use my props in her photo shoots. Check out Sweet Spot Photography and if you live in Mississauga or close to it contact her for your photo needs. I also work with a local Buffalo photographer Back Creek Stork Sack Photography based out of Boston NY, (just South of Buffalo NY). You can check out more of their work on their Facebook page. I love all the photos that they send me of my items in action. It can be difficult to imagine something on a baby, and their photos bring my vision into reality. It makes me proud to see my work on a precious little newborn and know that the photographer and new parents are happy with the items. All the pictures in this blog are from these lovely photographers mentioned above.

My other connection is huge to say the least. I was contacted by a friend who was embarking on big life changing decision. She and her husband decided to open a boutique in the heart of Buffalo. She contacted me to be a participaBaby Bear Hatnt in her store. She purchased a lot of baby items to stock in her store. Everything from hats, to boots, to blankets and baskets. It was the biggest order I had ever received. That order was a defining moment in my little hobby turned business. Yeah I had sold to family and friends, I had about 30 sales on Etsy but according to my taxes I have a net profit for 2 years of $3,100. This boutique order wasn’t anywhere close to that in dollar amount but it was so fulfilling to know that someone on their lunch break could go in and buy a pair of booties and give it as a baby shower gift or keep it for their own child. My shop has become legit! So if you live in the Buffalo NY area head down to Lafayette Square and visit Anne at Boutique in the Square. If you live elsewhere she ships so you can still check out her store and order.

These simple connectioLittle Feet Ballet Slippersns have made my shop become so much more that just a shop on Etsy. I couldn’t be more proud of myself and those ladies that I have partnered with. It is a difficult thing sometimes to follow your dreams. But no matter the amount of adversity one faces, in the end its about the goal. I went months without selling a single thing, but it only takes one person to believe in you and your dream. So I challenge you to check out these amazing ladies and their dreams that with your help can be achieved. If you have a business that needs a little love leave a link to your Facebook page, twitter, Instagram etc and I’ll check it out and show it some love. Everyone deserves a shot at their dream. Thank you to those that believed in me and my dream I hope to help others achieve theirs. Baby Girl Doily Photo Prop

Blessings

~Mel

Traditions…Do you have any?

Christmas is the season of giving back and our traditions involve giving back. For Santa to come to the Linton house Dimitri must give away some of the toys that he hasn’t played with in the last year. Daddy brings home a box and Dimitri goes through his never ending bin of toys and fills it up. We then take it to the Salvation Army and DSCF2344donate it. He then gets to make his list and mail it to Santa, in the hopes that Santa will fill the toy bin right back up. We’ve been doing this for years.

The next tradition isn’t as established but I think it might just become something we do every year. Last year I saw a post on a pattern designers Facebook page about the 12 days of Christmas Challenge. I checked it out and decided to try it. I made 12 hats and Dimitri and I delivered them DSCF2346to the hospital. It was rewarding on so many levels, one the 12 families received a hat for their small miracle that was made with love and two my son, who’s auditory issue and PDD autism makes babies a no no, got to see babies in a different light and a little sympathy lesson ensued. His autism sometimes doesn’t allow him to understand sympathy or that a baby cries because they need something.

Fast forward to this year and his little mind didn’t forget about our donation, he asked me if we were taking hats to the babies again this year. I promptly visited the Facebook page of Sunset Crochet to the see if the challenge was on again this year and it was, so I signed up and started hooking. I was so happy that he remembered and wanted to do it again that I got a little ambitious decided to make 12 hats for each gender, that’s 24 hats in all. The challenge is 12 hats in 12 days, DSCF2347my 12 days went a little long but none the less the hats were made. I chose a simple bonnet pattern for the girls and a cute newsboy hat for the boys. He even went to the store with me to get special organic cotton yarn, this was a Christmas miracle in and of itself, normally there are tears, yelling and whining when the yarn store gets mentioned.

I stayed up late most nights to get the hats done and at 3:20 am the last hat was hooked and ends darned. I slept for a bit and then we took pictures. He held all the stuff while I shoveled a path to my outdoor photo spot. The hats were tagged with my logo and a Merry Christmas, bagged and in the car we went. My husband even went with us this year. The whole family got involved. We made it through the snow to Woman’s and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo and delivered our 24 hats to the NICU. The nurse was pleasantly surprised and asked if I made them, I smiled and said “Yep, DSCF2348Merry Christmas” With the delivery of the hats our Christmas tradition is complete for another year at least.

There is still time to help your hospital if you would like information about the Challenge or how it started you can visit Sunset Crochet’s website for details.

The craziness of Christmas has turned into the giving of presents, this is seen by the countless commercials about Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, but you can give anything, time, patience, love, or simply an ear to listen, the gift doesn’t have to have a monetary value. Remember the season and what it stands for. Give of yourself in anyway if you can and you just might get something in return.

Happy Holidays from my family to yours.

~Mel