New Pattern: The Poppins Purse

Today is pattern release day!!! That’s right the first pattern of 2016 has been released, I View More: http://littlebelliesphotography.pass.us/baby-rugknow its already June.  The Bees Knees Tunisian Honeycomb Rug was published in April 2016 of The Pattern Pack.The Tunisian Mop Cover released in the April 2016 Happily Hooked

Magazine. I’m working on another pattern for the DSCF4683September issue of Happily Hooked Magazine. But this is the first one published
on its own.

I have a Bees Knees Tunisian Honeycomb Baby Blanket to match the rug that is almost done!!! I’ve been working on orders and working the day job so designing has taken a back seat. I decided I need to get something out so I went small. I saw a video in I think Dutch, so obviously I didn’t understand her instructions but loved the stitch. She was making a DSCF4791large baby blanket…I said I was thinking small. I settled on a change purse. Now I’ve never done this before so it was a bit of a challenge.

I set off to amazon and found metal frame clasps, ordered them two day shipping. Once they arrived I headed to the yarn room. I wanted cotton or a mostly cotton blend so that when the coins were DSCF4793added the purse didn’t stretch too much. The first purse I made was with 100% Egyptian cotton yarn, the second was with Bernat Cottonish yarn. Both work great but I’m partial to the 100% cotton.

I watched that video a million and one times, I’m not sure I did it the same as she did, but I like the look that developed. I tried round, I tried oval, but alas they didn’t look right. So I switched tactics and went rectangle and boom it worked. I will admit the sewing on of the frame was not easy, even after 4 coin purses.

DSCF4795As I crocheted it it began to look like a mini carpet bag and it took my to Disney…my absolute favorite movie is Marry Poppins! Her bag fixed anything!!! So the Poppins Purse was born. My little helped me model it and even asked for one himself. We’re giving them as teacher gifts for the end of the year.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry, Craftsy, Etsy and Loveknitting! I’d love to see your finished items, share on my Facebook page, hook it on Ravelry, or tag me on Instagram!!

Happy hooking!DSCF4796

Blessings

~Mel

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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

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

What Does Vintage Mean To You?

DSCF2269        Vintage is a word that you might find anywhere, from magazines to antiques to the runway, the model kind. They say history tends to repeat itself right? If that adage holds true then why wouldn’t the furniture, clothing and other items that people attach the vintage logo to make a comeback every 30 years, give or take. But does it come back in the original form or does it come back with a touch of modern flare to it? While you might find something vintage at an antique store, flea market etc, you are more likely to find something new as “Vintage Inspired”.

Lets look at the difference to be Vintage means, even that needs to be defined. A search on the Google machine, too lazy to find the real DSCF1803dictionary, actually says that Vintage is as noun defined: 1. The yield of wine or grapes from a vineyard or district during one season 2. Wine, usually of high quality, identified as to year and vineyard or district of origin or 3. The year or place in which a wine is bottled. I will concede that vintage wine is the best kind, I’m not writing about wine. If we look at vintage as an adjective it means, 1. Characterized by excellence, maturity, and enduring appeal; classic, or 2. Old or outmoded. We’re getting somewhere now, classic, mature, old, uummm maybe not getting somewhere. Vintage inspired is an item that has been inspired by or modeled after something old, out of date, etc.

DSCF1960Why am I going on and on about definitions. I was recently, 4 months ago, that’s recent in my hectic life, stumbled upon a blanket pattern and instantly fell in love with the pattern, not the price of the pattern, but the pattern. It was unlike any blanket I’d ever seen. I found a link on Pinterest while searching for crocheted blankets. It took awhile to find a link that wasn’t broken, but I did and for a few weeks I admired it, as its now pinned to my Blanket board. I gave in and bought the pattern and looking back now I’m sure glad I did. The name you ask “Vintage Crocheted Blanket” by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas. While I purchased through Raverly, on online pattern website, you can purchased from the website. There are two versions. The baby blanket or the adult throw and afghan. I purchased both. The blanket had vintage in its name and when you read the description on the blanket from the website it says this to describe the blanket:DSCF1810

“Nostalgia with a modern twist.” Among the many things we miss about our dear friend Pam Reece is her crochet savvy. She loved to take a familiar, even nostalgic idea and give it a modern twist.”

No matter which semantic you use, vintage, or vintage inspired we can revel in that nostalgic feeling, something that maybe reminds of years or people that have passed but allows us to impose our personality into it.

For me Vintage is an idea of things from the past. Things that may be gone, old or out of date but can be reinvented, revamped and be useful today, it simply takes someone willing to see the potential in the old to be new.

So I urge you to not pass over things that may seem old, or out of date, but to embrace your creatively and add a bit of the modern touch you may like. History repeats itself after all, its your job to make your history just a bit better, because someday someone will reinvent your idea of history.

Go forth and be creative. On your way I hope that you find inspiration in my “Vintage” blankets or search for vintage inspired patterns….

~Mel DSCF2270