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!

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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

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

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

Oh Granny Journal Cover

DSCF3740In a previous blog I stated some of my goals for the year. Finishing the abundant WIPS that fill every nook and cranny of the house was one. I’m working on that I have one done and its a beautiful doily. Check out my previous blog Just One Of My Favorite Things to see it. I felt so accomplished having started on goals that I thought “Hey why not tackle another goal!” I started writing a pattern….DSCF3739

That’s right, my other goal was to become a pattern designer this year. I spent a few days looking at granny square pattern books because I had this idea for a journal cover in my head for years. That was going to be my first pattern. So I took a few days to write and painstakingly take pictures, with a little help from my wonderfully supportive husband, I had all the makings for a pattern.

I spent a day editing photos and writing the pattern. FYI if you decide you want to write patterns I suggest checking out Selena Baca of Baca Creations for her pattern template. It was a big help when I went to type DSCF3744all my scribbles up.  After I finished all that up I asked for testers. I had wrote that pattern so it could be made in one color or two. So I had three lovely ladies make it in a solid color and three make a two toned journal cover. They turned out amazing and I was surprised that they didn’t find more mistakes than they did. One of my lovely testers even modified the cove to fit her Bible to protect the worn cover. I added that adjustment to the pattern.

Today I achieved a goal!!!! I published my first pattern on Raverly, Etsy, Craftsy, and Loveknitting! Holy Cow Y’all I did it! Don’t worry it doesn’t stop here because I’ve got a second pattern already in the works. Want a hint…..its more granny squares but there are lots of them and you join as you go so stay tuned for it! I have a feeling there is going to be lots of patterns coming!DSCF3741

Best

~Mel