Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Etsy Shop Makeover!

A few days ago, I was lucky enough to win a premade shop set by Sara Rubendall and today I got the new banner and avatar installed in my shop and this very blog! It looks so great and it's such a huge improvement from what I had before. Thank you so much Sara for doing this giveaway and choosing my shop! Sara has an amazing selection and great prices, so check out her shop if you are looking to make a professional impression with your online store.
Here are some of my favorites:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Nest and Book Review

Well, late Saturday night I finished crocheting my Easter gift for my mom. Hahaha

 At least I got it done in time for Easter. I had intended to finish it about a week earlier but I found that working with rafia really hurt my fingers and I could only do so much in one day. Sadly the eggs are a little too big for the nest. I might crochet some smaller eggs for it, but I am definitely NOT making a bigger nest!

75 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet Review

I got the pattern for this nest and for the eggs from the book 75 Birds, Butterflies & Little Beasts to Knit and Crochet by Lesley Stanfield. I thought I would write a little review of it in case anyone is interested in making their own nest.
Let me state that this book was given to me by a friend who is not affiliated with the book's author or publisher in any way.
The first thing I like about the book is that it has BOTH knit and crochet stuff, because I like to mix it up, and it is hard to find patterns to knit little detailed objects. A few of the projects combine knit and crochet, but most of them are either or.
The first section of the book is about techniques and materials. Many of the techniques used in the patterns are pretty advanced, so I felt that section of the book was rather wasted. By the time you are advanced enough to work these patterns you will already know the difference between worsted and DK weight yarn, for example. I think a shorter section with just the most unusual techniques would have saved some paper.

Patterns grouped by theme

The next section has pictures of the finished objects grouped by theme. This was really nice to spark some creative ideas of what to make together. There is also a section in the back with some "project pictures," which is really just some ideas of how to use these crocheted beasties.
The next two sections are the patterns, and they are so creative and cute! There are plenty of fun and inspiring projects from spiders and caterpillars to mushrooms and leaves to wheat and birds. As I mentioned above, many of them are advanced, but there are beginner and intermediate ones too. If you are working on expanding your skills this book might be just the challenge you need.

A few caveats

Overall, I like the book a lot. A LOT. However, I do have a few bones to pick with it. First, although it says the patterns are written in US style, in many places non-standard terminology is used. For example, in the crochet section "miss" is used instead of "skip". This may throw off beginners. I suspect that the book was written English style first and then converted. Second, most of the patterns don't have yarn and needle/hook recommendations. In fact, I don't think ANY of them have needle or hook recommendations and most don't have yarn listed either. I would have liked at least to see what was used in the example photo. When making my nest I had to start over after 6 rounds because I wasn't using a big enough hook. For a non-standard material, I feel the author should have recommended a hook.

Hope this helps and have fun crafting!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lil Love Purse Crochet Pattern Decisions

Well, first let me apologize for the long delay in blog posts. My computer died and I just got it fixed. It was really a shock to my system not to have my computer available, and I barely knew what to do with myself!

During my down time, I did some designing and some looking at my patterns. I decided that at least one of them could use some improvement. I have this heart themed crochet pattern set for sale, called Lil Love.
Lil Love Hat and Purse

I was looking at the purse and wondering what could be done to improve it.The purse alone looks like this:
Lil Love Purse - no ruffle

So, the strap looks a little thin, and I decided to do a little experiment. I made this version of the purse with a ruffle on the strap.
Lil Love Purse - strap ruffle

Now I'm wondering, which one looks better? Both of my parents like the one with no ruffle, but I like the ruffled one more. I'm wondering what people would rather give their little girls, as well. Any feedback would be welcome!