amandajocrafts

December 11, 2012

On Some Things to Look Forward To.

I got busy with my hook this weekend and started two new patterns for two exciting things to come in the shop!

The first is a pair of boot cuffs. This pattern was more challenging to create than I had expected. First, I’m not the best mannequin for them, because I think my calves run slightly larger than your average calf (all those years of dance class!). Second, I wanted a good blend between an interesting pattern and something that didn’t take forever to work up. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out! (And, of course, I had to add a bit of scalloping at the top :))

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Second, I hopped on the start of a newish bandwagon–move over moustaches, peter pan collars are up next! I’ve loved the look of a peter pan collar on cardigans and blouses for a good long time now, and then I started seeing some necklaces that mimic that design. Well, I took it a step further and crocheted a peter pan collar! I absolutely love the way it turned out–the pattern kind of fell right into place naturally, without much redoing on my part to get it the way I wanted it. I’ve ordered some great buttons for it, so I just have to wait for them to come in to start listing on Etsy!

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What were you working on this weekend?

November 12, 2012

On Some Fingerless Gloves.

Gotta share a quick one 🙂

I just listed my first pair of fingerless gloves at my Etsy store, and I couldn’t be more excited about them. I made a pair for myself last week (in pink, a made-to-order set in that color will be showing up later this week in the shop!) and have been wearing them to work ever since–they’re great to type with, they keep my hands nice and toasty, and I love the dexterity!

I wanted something that was both super warm and cozy and something that looks delicate and classy, and maybe a little Victorian–so both bulk and delicacy (I wanted it all, basically :)) Well, I worked with it for a bit and finally came up with a pattern that I think satisfies both!

Also, I just wanted to mention how excited I am by the photgraphy of these gloves–don’t they look great?! I owe the photo to my fiance, because my hands were in the gloves!

If you have a moment, come and check them out here!

September 27, 2012

On Never Judging a Boot by Its Genre.

Filed under: On Observing. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:16 am

I’m not much of a country-western junkie. I don’t really go in for the hog-ties and bull riding, I really dislike riding horses (mostly because of the smell), and I think cowboy hats look pretty silly on anyone except Kenny Chesney. The only country music I really listen to is Taylor Swift (I love her, can’t help it). Frankly, I’m really much more of a Victorian girl. So, it surprised me just as much as anybody else when I fell in love with a pair of cowgirl boots.

A huge fan of boots, I wanted something I could wear pretty much anywhere and any way. I have a FANTASTIC pair of Victorian knee-high boots that I love for certain things, but they’re hardly daily wear. (PS, those are not my legs! That’s the photo from the website I purchased them from.)

At the same time, I didn’t want just the simple brown boots that everyone seems to be getting. I wanted something a little…different. Well, my fiance found this awesome website, sheplers.com, which sells quite a bit of western gear. Most of the cowgirl boots didn’t appeal to me, but then I found a pair that were still cowgirl boots, but, I swear, Victorian. See for yourself:

They are super comfortable, too! Such a rich, red color that I haven’t seen anywhere else. Amazing quality and stitching. And look at the scalloping on the top! I fully anticipate wearing them with those pretty ivory lace socks that go up just over the boots 🙂 Look at the details!

The moral of the story: never judge a boot by its genre. I have been totally boot-whipped. 🙂

September 17, 2012

On Hooded Scarf Update #1.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 9:53 am

The hooded scarf is coming along swimmingly! It’s been about 10 days since I first posted that I had started this project, and it’s actually been going pretty fast! (If you’re curious about it from the get-go, check out my first post here.)

I try to devote a little bit of time every evening to knitting for myself (and I really do put it on my calendar in that way: “knit for myself,” because it’s too easy to end up using that time for things in my Etsy shop!)

My fiance and I finish whatever else we’re doing by a certain time, and then take about a half hour together to watch reruns of Frasier and do some knitting. (Yes, he knits, too! I taught him how :). He’s making a knitted tie in a thin, black cord-type yarn with really small double-pointed needles. Maybe once he’s done, I’ll get a picture of it!) It’s a nice opportunity to wind down at the end of what is always a busy day, and it feels rewarding to treat yourself to some crafting for yourself.

Here’s how far I’ve come:

This pattern starts by making the entire scarf part, and then connecting it to the hat part later. On the far left is where the first pocket will be; you do three sets of the pattern and then one knit row, so that it folds over and the pattern stays on the correct side. For about two weeks of work, I’d say that’s some progress!

A nice close-up of the pattern:

I love the way those middle circles are working out. They pop out so nicely against the background, and since the yarn is really soft, they give a great texture.

And here’s my “artistic” shot:

I just love working with this pattern and this yarn! Now that I have the pattern down pat, I barely have to look at the directions at all. On the flip side, I “try it on” every night just to see how it feels because I can’t wait for it to be done–and it’s great! So soft, and so warm. I think, when it comes down to it, it’ll probably be done right when it needs to be: just in time for winter.

September 7, 2012

On Bundling Down for Winter via Knitting.

Yes, I know that it’s even shameful for me to think of this season right now, as in the US, it isn’t even autumn yet, but I have a project in mind.

I am not great at managing cold weather, snow, and wind, and so I want an extremely warm covering for my head. With that in mind, I had intended to make a “scarf hat” last winter but had never gotten around to it. It’s basically a hat whose back kind of trails into a thick scarf that you can wrap around your face and neck. (But it’s not the end of the hat that turns into a scarf; it’s the front piece on either side.) I saw something similar to what I was looking for at an amazing Etsy shop, pixiebell:

The only problem is my stubbornness; I tend to insist on making winter items myself. Since I know how to knit, it always feels like a huge cop-out to just buy it from someone else, even if that someone else is incredible and it would be in my best interest and completely worth it.

So I went on the great hunt for a pattern, digging through endless false leads. (Do you know how many hat and scarf patterns there are out there? Shouldn’t typing {“scarf hat” pattern} into Google search yield more relevant results?) And then, I realized how silly I was being. There are names for this thing: a hooded scarf and a scoodie.

And armed with that critical piece of knowledge, I have found the perfect pattern. It’s a beautiful knitted, cabled, hooded scarf with pockets at the end for your hands (something I wasn’t expecting to enjoy, but I’m quickly warming–pun intended–to the idea).

A trip to Michael’s later, and I had the yarn I wanted to use: Caron’s Simply Soft in Dark Sage.

I have a dark brown knee-length winter coat, so this should go perfectly :). Of course, I had to buy a couple extra skeins for mittens, “just in case”! I’ve already modified the scarf’s pattern to use on the mittens, as well, so if that goes as planned, I’ll share that pattern with you, too!

I do actually slightly prefer knitting to crocheting, just because you can really do some awesome detail work. However, since it is so labor intensive, I don’t knit for my shop, because I would feel uncomfortable charging that much for an item. Instead, I knit clothing for myself and occasionally for my fiance. I’m excited to have this chance to work on something for myself!

So far, I have the first pocket done. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

Are you planning any winter projects?

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