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Life is Weird

Life is just weird, fun but weird. Who knows when I will finally be comfortable in my business as an artist and crocheter. Things keep changing and I keep hoping that a 9-5 will be in my future. It would after all be much easier. This does not seem to be the plan right now so here we are.

Me- a rather reluctant artist doing fun things all the time with paint, fabric and yarn. Who wouldn’t love to have the opportunity to do what I am currently doing.

You- reading this blog and wondering what on earth is going on. Is this a painting blog or a crochet blog? Why can’t she make up her mind?

The siren call of a regular paycheck and regular hours calls to me frequently. Enough about this drama that unfolds when frustrations run high. That is all that it is frustration with the job. We all have it.

Bear with me and keep reading. Normal life and crochet should be happening at some point in the very near future. I hope!

Painting

Painting has been happening more than crochet. I must admit that right now getting up and around with painting seems to be easier on the body than sitting and crocheting. Netflix is letting me down lately and staying at home for large blocks of time just isn’t appealing. The kids art table is quickly getting finished  and will be up for sale on Facebook marketplace. Shipping is an issue but if you are interested-contact me and we can work something out.

 

The Sea glass stool is ready for it’s protective finish and the legs are staying unpatterned and simply painted.

 

Two chairs were dropped off to (hopefully) find new homes earlier this month.

Crochet

Patterns are being posted on Craftsy that have already been listed up in the studio shop and also Etsy. If you prefer to shop from a well known platform then Craftsy is the place right now as the patterns cost less than the Etsy shop.  New ideas are floating through my mind as I am working hard to clear the studio so that the Christmas quilts can be finished and the crochet can find its rightful place again. The urge to create a big scrap blanket or start some fiddley squares with lots of color changes is starting to grow again. I’ve been crocheting pretty constantly for 5 years and it’s easy to get burned out. Sometimes you need to recharge your creativity by doing other things. This time the burn out has lasted and lasted. I haven’t picked up a crochet hook in almost 3 months now, except to answer customer questions.

Studio Update

Moving the studio was hard and organizing it has been difficult. There isn’t as much room as I hoped. The (three crafts/art/hobbies/work) whatever you want to call it, all take an unreasonable amount of space and don’t work well all together at the same time. Paint doesn’t mix well with anything else and just takes time to dry. Fabric and yarn work well together but both are space hogs. It’s coming around but still not organized the way I need it to be. The handyman at my house is still recovering from shoulder surgery. I’m driving Mom to dr’s appointments, and playing with the grandkids from time to time, so studio time just isn’t happening frequently. Life, though fun, is just getting in the way of studio time.

 

There is now a table, in the small empty spot in the middle of the room.  The cutting table is here where the grey table is in the lower right hand corner. It is hard to get the studio up and running just right when it is trying to fill so many different needs.

 

What can I say? Life is just weird, really weird right now. Life is just blazing past like cars on the highway and I just standing there. Hang in there if you want to hear about crochet. There is the feeling in the air of some crochet happening really, really soon. The paint just needs to stop first as paint and yarn don’t  mix!

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

 

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Life

 

Life

Do you ever feel that your life is one frustration after or another or that the frustrations are all stacked up like so many building blocks. Life has been rather that way here in Oklahoma. Looking out the studio window has been really rare these days. First one thing and then another pulling me away from what “I think” is more important-only to find out it isn’t that important after all.

The continuing saga of the water leak is over. The last little bits done have been done for several weeks now and they don’t seem like that big a deal.  Which is good! We have another construction issue starting this week.

Learning Applied

There have been some learning experiences from all the construction taking place in the house. Painters- have you ever seen professionals at work preparing to do their job. Here is what I am learning from their work and why I am even telling you about all the work we have had done.

  • Clear out the old
  • Plan
  • Prepare for the work
  • Make sure you have the right tools
  • Lay the groundwork or frame work to the best of your ability
  • Be careful and neat while you are working
  • Finish the job
  • Clean up and put your tools away when you are done.

This seems to be a lesson I learn over and over. I tend to dash in and get started without counting the cost, having the yarn or finishing other projects first. This creates a huge backlog of projects in my WIP stack and projects get forgotten.

Life

How to Crochet like a Professional

If we apply all the lessons listed above we can come up with a short list of how to apply this to crocheting.

  1. Clean your yarn bags and baskets out of the old work and yarn from previous projects first
  2. Plan your work, play with the color pegs or yarn to find good color combinations or determine your color range.
  3. Write down or photograph the combinations you want to use.
  4. Practice any new stitches until you are more confident.
  5. Gather all of the tools you need and put them all together in your project bag.
  6. Read through the instructions at least twice to make sure that you have everything.
  7. Check your gauge and crochet
  8. Weave in your stitches as you go. It does make it less tedious at the end and makes it easier to work.
  9. Finish your work completely.  Ask for any help you need before you reach the point of no return on the frustration.
  10. Clean up your tools when you are finished working.

Life

When you take a break in the middle make notes on  the pattern where to begin next if the work is complex,  or at least finish the row or color you are using before you set it aside. Tie off any ends firmly if the color is done so you can continue work later. Tie it off loosely or use a stitch marker (or safety pin) so it doesn’t get frogged if someone picks up your work to Ooh and Ahh over. (Forgive them, they just don’t know any better.) 

Crochet

Crochet HAS been happening here in the studio, though I have spent a ton of computer time the past few months getting things set up. Though I have to admit that it hasn’t been at the top of the list. There has been a ton of painting happening. While I love crochet sometimes I need a vacation from it and we lost the remote to the television for a week or two. Living a healthier lifestyle has also been a huge contributing factor.

Painting

Painting has been happening and it is going extremely well.  Here are a few photos of finished projects.

Life

Life

The armchair is for sale at an art store in town and the stool has already made a customer very happy.

 

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

 

 

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Crochet Planning Worksheets

The past several weeks have passed in a blur of activity. I really feel this Lord of the Rings meme is accurate because I want to say…

LOTR meme

This is really how I usually feel around this time of year. Christmas is looming, and those of us who have small retail businesses are run right off our feet.

Thanksgiving means family gatherings and creating good food–tons of good food. The past four years have seen an influx of people to my home as my brother and his family come down to visit, and my college-age daughter’s friends come to stay for the weekend (they are too far away to go home for the weekend). Toss in Black Friday, managing an Etsy shop with after-Thanksgiving sales, cold weather, house cleaning, and cooking for everyone and life just gets really busy and really interesting.

Who am I kidding? It’s not just me — we are all run off our feet with time commitments: school, church, family, friends, decorating, grocery shopping, gift buying. I have to work hard at staying organized; I have forgotten about people during Christmas: family, small children in my home, {gasp!} my dear daughter. It was awful! I stayed up until after 3 AM sewing and beading a small denim dress for her “Santa gift” and scrounging through my stash of cool mini-gifts that I kept at the time. I decided then-and-there that I will never again forget anyone — and then I did it again. Twice. So now I work really hard to make lists, and I make sure my family sends me emails with their gift lists.

This year is no different. I am procrastinating instead of getting the housework  (or anything) done. Instead, I’m thinking of post-Thanksgiving when I will get to sit around and crochet. I’m also thinking about how some of you may be just like me. So, I created a couple of organizers to help you keep your crochet organized. These worksheets are my Christmas gift to you. They are yours free when you join my email list. If you are already a member don’t worry about it, they are coming to you in the next newsletter!

Crochet Planning Worksheets for you

The first one helps you figure out if you have enough yarn in your stash for your next project. The second one helps you create a shopping list for what you still need to buy after shopping your stash.

I finally put down on paper what I do when I plan an afghan using my stash yarn! I wish I had started doing this years ago. This worksheet will be an incredible help as you plan out your future projects.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

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New to Crochet: Picking Colors for a Project

Picking colors should not scare you.

Many beginning crocheters lack confidence about picking colors for their projects. The time-honored and traditional method that they often use: start with their favorite colors.

Picking Colors

What is an easy way to pick colors for an afghan? How can you know if the colors go well together? This video is a simple answer to these questions. and it will walk you through the process of picking colors for a project.

Color Theory

I hope this video helped you understand about which colors are more likely to go together. When you are new to crochet, it can be difficult to pick good color schemes. When you find a pattern you like but want to try different colors, you may need to crochet, take it out and pick new colors, crochet again, take it out and pick new colors, crochet and take it out again… until you reach something that resembles the color scheme you envisioned in the first place.

Color theory can be extremely complicated; this is just a quick refresher course. When in doubt, ask a friend or even the sales clerk at the yarn store for their opinion on your color choices.

What I’ve Been Up To

Remember that argyle swatch I made a few weeks ago? I am determined to make it bigger. I’ve enlisted the math lover at our house to help with the figuring. Although I’m pretty good at eye-balling it, it helps to get some math involved. So, I’m off to crochet more color pooling swatches today!

What about you? I’d love to know what you’re up to today. Start a conversation by leaving a comment!

Talk to you later,

Karen

PS: The November Pattern Giveaway is coming up fast, so keep checking back! Better yet, sign up for our newsletter and get notified whenever new posts are up! (On a computer, scroll to the top of the left column to sign up. On a mobile device or tablet, scroll down to below the comments to sign up.)