amandajocrafts

October 26, 2012

On Hooded Scarf Update #2.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 11:52 am

I’ve made a lot more progress on the hooded scarf since the last update, but I still have a bit to go!

I only have one or two more go-rounds with the pattern (which is 16 rows) before I can finish up that second pocket. Then, it’s (theoretically) easy breezy from there on our–it’s just the hood part!

I’d better get cracking, though, and not let all my big Etsy ideas keep me from working on this–the weather isn’t going to stay nice for long!

(Of you’re looking for the original post with the pattern for the hooded scarf, check it out here!)

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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!

October 9, 2012

On Pattern Hunting.

Filed under: On Creating. — Tags: , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 4:35 pm

Okay, my crafty folks!

Does anyone know of a knitting pattern that looks like this sweater from Bloomingdale’s?

Yes, in the end, it would probably just be simpler and cheaper to spend the money, but there’s something so rewarding about making it yourself 🙂

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 12, 2012

On Yarn Art Humor.

Filed under: On Wordless Wednesdays. — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — amandajocrafts @ 9:55 am

(Not quite a wordless Wednesday, but it is a comic!)

Pickles, by Brian Crane:

Special thanks to junxtaposition (my aunt) for pointing this out to me 🙂

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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