amandajocrafts

October 22, 2012

On A Granny Squares Update.

After lots and lots of bus rides to and from work, I’ve got all the granny squares I need for the blanket! (If you’re curious as to its inception, read here.)

I’m not making this to keep; instead, I intend to list it on my Etsy shop as a young boy’s blanket. It’s just the perfect size–at 6 squares wide by 10 squares long, it should be the perfect durable, run-around blanket for any boy!

As you can see by the picture, I didn’t have the chance this weekend to begin connecting them (something I haven’t actually ever done before…so it should be interesting!) I did, however, lay them all out how I wanted them (I was going for an eclectic feel, rather than a definitive “blue, green, white, blue, green, white”) and labeled them to make connecting a little easier.

I also took a trip to Michael’s and purchased some green yarn (kind of a muted army green color) to connect them all. It was harder to decide on a connecting color than I had anticipated, but I think the green will bring it all together.

I’m so excited to get them connected (!), but I suspect that it’s not going to be finished until after school finishes for the semester. Just not enough hours in the day! However, I’m really hoping to have it in the shop well before Christmas so it can be the perfect present for a young boy!

October 19, 2012

On Four Things to Look for Next Week.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:03 am

There a lot of exciting stuff coming up very, very shortly!

4) Utterly unrelated to crafting, but “Red” comes out Monday. As in, the new (and I’m sure to be awesome) Taylor Swift CD. I’m well aware that I am an anomaly of a T-Swift fan, and I’m also aware that people tend to either love her or hate her, so you may hate her. But I have respect for her because:

  • Her lyrics. Read them. As a writer, not only do I appreciate what I feel is a successful attempt, but I appreciate that she isn’t relying just the tone of the music and her name to get hits. She cares about what she’s saying.
  • She’s a good role model for younger girls. Think about what they have to work with right now (Katy Perry, Brittney Spears, and Miley Cyrus all comes to mind) and then think about T-Swift. Genuine. Doesn’t show her belly button every chance she gets. We don’t see her getting drunk every weekend (except perhaps on love).
  • I sing along to her songs, loudly and poorly, and they make me feel good 🙂

So now that my “why you should love T-Swift” rant is over, I can happily say I’ve already preordered the deluxe CD from Target 🙂 I’m as excited as a pre-teen!

3) I should be posting update number 2 on the hooded scarf next week. I’ve come pretty darn far, and I have actually extended the scarf past what the pattern calls for, because I just really want it to be long. I think, this time around, I ended up “knitting small,” which I never do, so it threw off the pattern a bit. But more on that next week, with some accompanying pictures 🙂

2) A granny squares update. I *think* I’ve finished all the squares I need to come up with a good-sized young boy’s blanket. I’ll at least get some pictures of the squares all arranged, even if I don’t get them all put together this weekend! (I suppose I should probably do some homework this weekend. Shucks.) I’m headed to good ol’ Michael’s for a one pound skein of yarn, which should do the trick in terms of having enough to connect them all.

and the really cool #1 thing is…

1) Look for cowls and scarves coming to amandajocrafts! I have three done so far, and I hope to get at least one more complete and them all photographed for Etsy this weekend. I’m really excited about this development; it’s the first time I’ve added something to my shop that’s not a doll or animal, and it think it will really bring some more diversity. People who will be looking for scarves might find my shop and then *boom* fall in love with an animal, or vice versa.

And let me tell you now, these scarves are pretty cool (err….warm). I have chunky cowls with classic scalloped edges that will hang stylishly on your neck and can be easily tucked into a coat, or can be hung over the top of your head in the snow. As for the scarves, they’re crocheted in a shell pattern with some super soft yarn, so they’re dainty, stylish, and very warm!

September 24, 2012

On Granny Squares.

Filed under: On Crocheting. — Tags: , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 10:44 am

I have a LOT of yarn.

My mom used to knit and crochet a lot in the years before I came along. After I grew old enough and wanted to know what the boxes and boxes of yarn were doing in our closet, she taught me. She also kindly offered all the yarn in those boxes to my project whims. (Mothers are so darn selfless!) Of course, then I was the one in possession of all these possibilities.

I remember, so clearly, dragging the heavy metal stepstool from the laundry room up the stairs to the hall closet. The folding doors would squeak delightfully as I pushed them open on either side. I would, so carefully, open the step stool, because it made a sharp snap when it locked into place, and my mom had always made it clear that my fingers would not be happy if they were in the proximity of the snap. I’d climb up the three steps and, with my short, chubby kid fingers, inch the box off the top shelf, holding it in the crook of my neck and shoulder while I eased my way back off the stool. I’d look inside, knowing just what I’d find in there because, of course, my mom had marked in Sharpie on the outside what colors, and just how many, were kept inside.

Last year, when I started my Etsy shop, I bought even more yarn. And then, when I moved out of my parents’ house to pretend to be a grown-up, I brought some of her yarn with me. It hung out in a lot of eco-friendly bags until my fiance encouraged me to purchase a wooden storage bench with some lovely baskets (I think he was just getting sick of all the bags in the corner).

I think, at the time, I felt as though I needed as much yarn as possible, “just in case.” Then, my Etsy shop didn’t have quite the direction and continuity as it does now; I was not sure what the next item would be, so I felt as though I just had no clue what I needed. However, I now have a clear vision, and it does not include all this extra yarn! (Especially when I bought out a certain brand a Michael’s a month ago for those teddy bears I’ve been making. They do not fit in the baskets with everything else in there.)

So, I pondered what to do with this yarn. I didn’t want to store it somewhere, because then I would forget about it. I didn’t have the heart to fill my parents’ hall closet back up with it again. Then, I stumbled across the fascinating “granny square.”

You would think, being a hard-core yarner, yarn-artist, and general yarn-a-holic, that I would have a lot more experience with a granny square. (Really, my only “contact” with them was when I was just starting out crocheting and found some of my mom’s old, leftover granny squares. She taught me how to connect them, and my American Girl Dolls had a nice little blanket.) Granny squares are the perfect way to utilize this “homeless” yarn!

I wasted no time in looking up how to create them, and even less time in coming up with my own, slightly varied, version of the traditional granny square. I tried a couple out, and decided this would be the perfect project to do on the bus on my way to work.

Putting thought into action, I assumed–with a slight delight–that this might cause some interest on an otherwise morning-dulled bus. Maybe I can hand out some business cards, I thought to myself. This could be great shop publicity. People can see me in action!

I was wrong. No one even looked twice! It actually harkened back to some even odder behavior by myself, where, right after moving, I put all my crochet animals in bags and took them to the park and beach to photograph them. (I have since changed my photos on Etsy, but some of my fourth and fifth Etsy pictures do still have examples, like my octopus here.) Although I didn’t mean to draw attention to myself, I thought that at least a couple people would wonder what the heck this girl in a sundress was doing with bags of crochet animals slung over her shoulder. Nope.

At any rate, I’m still really excited about these granny squares. I have quickly mastered their efficiency and can knock them out relatively fast (a little over one per twenty-minute bus ride). I’m looking forward to having enough to connect them into a really fun, colorful young boy’s blanket! I’ll let you know when it makes it onto Etsy. 🙂

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