Thursday, June 27, 2013

I get Anxious

True story. 

About anything and (almost) everything. Crochet is one of the things I do to reduce the anxiety. The trouble with the blog though is if I don't have something to show off, I have no idea what to write about. Or if what I have in mind will be interesting. But then I go and look at my stats, and I'm re-encouraged by my steady stream (alright trickle) of readers. 

I don't have to worry about that today though! Because I have TWO finished projects to show you.

First is the afghan for my mom. For Christmas last year, I promised to make her an afghan, and let her help design it. Her birthday present this year (end of June) was the finished product. I spent about 3 months working on it (intermittently). It is super cozy, and made out of Charisma yarn by Loops & Threads. The stitch pattern is the Done in a Jiffy Blanket which I found on Ravelry. 

<sarcasm> Perfect for all this frosty weather we've been having! </sarcasm>

BIG blanket.

Close up.

My second project to show you is a golf club head cover I made for my dad's friend Ken. It's a canary!

The reason it's a canary, is that when Ken, my dad, and their friends play scrambles, Ken always shoots first so the rest of the team can use his shot to read the conditions. He's sort of their "canary in a coalmine". 

Next up on my to do list is a companion cube from Portal! I'm designing the pattern myself, as well as keeping track of it so I can put the pattern up on my Ravelry. I've got all the pieces figured out, I just need to finish making them all and piecing them together. It's going to be awesome though!

What are you working on this summer? 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hello Sunshine!

I'm back! Where was I you ask? Well, nowhere really. I just took a wee break. Lot's of things going on around here and I needed some readjustment time. It was also nice to give my wrists a break (they get sore when I'm in super crochet mode for weeks).

How pretty are these flowers?
I love spring!
This week is looking a little empty though, so I'm getting my butt back into crochet gear. I'm super close to finishing the afghan for my mom, just in time for her birthday! So that's priority number one, and then I want to finish up the Companion Cube and the golf club head cover I've been working on. All preferably by the end of June, so make sure to watch for pics and updates on instagram & ravelry!

And to everyone who's been checking in and reading while I was a way: Thank You Thank You THANK YOU!!!!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crochet for your Cat ~ That won't make him hate you.

We've all seen it, someone learns how to crochet clothing like items, and decides to take it out on their furry friend. There are pictures all over the internet of mad angry cats wearing sweaters, hoodies, and any number of hats. 

Way back in early 2012 I pointed out the oddity that yarn people are usually cat people. And this seems to be the natural progression for someone who loves to create with yarn, and loves their cat. BUT NOT TODAY. I'm here to tell you that you can create things your cat will LOVE, without putting him through public humiliation (or giving him a reason to hate you). 

First. Does your kitty wear a collar? (Like all good kitties should?)
Then you should spice up your kitty's style with a brand new Bowtie!!  It increases your cat's style points by 50 (because bowties are cool). 
It attatches directly to his existing collar which means it's not constricting any part of his body.

Gus Gus loves his!
Doesn't He look Dapper?

Second. Does your kitty like to get into your yarn stash? Does he have a favorite type of yarn? Why not grab some of that and make him something that's okay to play with! I'm talking about this adorable Mouse Toy. I realise that this isn't something your cat can wear, but it is a constructive way for you to release your creative yarn energy into love for your cat. This is also a great pattern if you want to try out a super easy amigurumi project. 

It's even kitty approved!

I haven't even gotten to the best part yet! If you purchace both these patterns together in my Ravelry store before May 1, you'll recieve an automatic $2 off!

Friday, March 15, 2013

I have CDO. (That's OCD, only in the right order.)

Just something I've been working on.
I never know how to start these. I usually have a general idea of what I want to say, but where to start? Although I guess this is a start -of a sort- so here we go.

The reason I have such a hard time starting blogs (not to mention finishing them) is that I'm at least mildly OCD. It's not something you'd notice right away if we'd just met, like you'd see with Tony Shalhoub in Monk, Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, or Bill Murray in What About Bob?

My OCD mostly manifests itself in perfectionism. If I'm tasked to do something, I like to plan it out in my head until I've thought out every detail to complete the task in the best most efficient "perfect" manor  This includes thinking up everything that could go wrong and how to fix or avoid it. Obviously this isn't very practical; it's also highly stressful. Throw an internet mystery audience into the mix and you can see why I've whittled down countless ideas for blog posts into nothing. 

A cousin of perfectionism is my affinity for control. If I something can't happen perfectly, the least it could do is happen the way I want it to. But I realize the world doesn't work like that so I tend to have a very "all or nothing" approach to tasks. If I'm involved, I will to the best I can to complete it the best way it could possibly be done. If I'm not involved, or when I realize I won't be able to attain this most times impossible goal, I tend to just....fizzle...and put little to no effort into it. Why would I spend my time and effort on something sub-par?
Again, this is not the way the whole world works, and I know this, and it's something I'm working on. 

Crochet has been a wonderful coping mechanism. My work is always my own, and I can frog & re-do it as many times as I want until it is perfection. It's also a great way to distract me and use up a large part of worried thinking energy. Plus! I get to make lovely things to show the people around me how much I love them, even though I'm not always great at expressing it in other more common ways. That's why this blog is called "I love, Therefore I Craft."
I crochet because I love, and creating is the only way I know to truly express it.

What about you? Why do you crochet, craft, or create? 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Monkey Business

Hello again!
It's been a couple weeks since I've talked to you! Last week was Spring Break here, so I was spending some time with my Mister. He introduced me to Minecraft, so I have to admit I've been a bit distracted. Maybe I'll turn that into something constructive and come up with a few Minecrafty projects in the future. Hmmmm....we'll see. 

I didn't spend all my time playing though! This past weekend I buckled down and finished my latest project, and here he is!

You can find the pattern here!

I've made a couple other monkeys in the past few years, but I like this one best. I tweaked how I attach the arms and legs a bit, and I really like how it came out. It's crazy how much you can learn about crochet just by keeping a variety of projects on your to-do list. And I have to say, making things up as I go along is the most fun. I love the challenge of figuring out what shapes and sizes I need to use to get it exactly how I want, as well as the freedom to do it! 

If you like the Mischievous Monkey, you can buy the pattern on Ravelry, and don't forget to check out my other patterns too!

If you want to know what I'm up to between blog posts, you can follow me on Twitter and Instagram

Are there any amigurumi animals you'd like me to write a pattern for? I've got a couple ideas, but I'd love to hear from you! Just let me know in the comments or on Twitter.

Friday, March 1, 2013

My New Model

As fun as designing patterns is, when it comes to hats and other clothing that isn't one size fits all, it's also stressful. I'm not great spatially, so if I don't have the person I'm making something for right next to me as I'm crocheting....there's a good chance it won't always fit. 
Then, no matter what size I've made, there's the fact that not everyone who reads my pattern is going to be the same size. But I don't really know what size I've made, and trying to figure out how to "adjust" patterns to fit others is overwhelming. 

Yes, I realize most patterns are not going to have sizes for absolutely everyone, but I'm a bit OCD, and if I'm going to consciously try and include people of more than one size, I'm going to feel bad about not making it do-able for everyone. Even if this is completely outrageous expectation.

So! In order to fight the OCD anxiety of making something that will fit everyone, I had the genius idea of switching my model to someone that is always available for fittings, as well as the same size as many crochet-wearers across the world. 

Her name is Addy, and she is my American Girl doll. I can't believe I didn't think of this sooner. First, I made her a matching hat & scarf. (If you're interested, the pattern is available here.) I also just finished an afghan for her bed.

Hat & Scarf
All ready for bed.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Not So Ugly Duckling ~ Free Pattern

Download Free Pattern Here!

For anyone who wants to try their hand at amigurumi this little duckling is for you! He's small and completely adorable.

This is the first amigurumi pattern I've written so I'd love to hear from anyone who uses it, or even see pictures of your little ducklings! If you're having trouble, keep in mind that it's all in the details. Amigurumi is an art, and no two pieces are going to be exactly the same. Where and how you stitch pieces together can change the entire personality of the piece. 

Look at that little tail! It's my favorite part.

Little ducky feet, and also the tail again!

This is the last in my series of my free patterns, but that means I can put even more detail and time into my future work. I've got a few ideas for future projects, but are there any patterns you'd like me to try? I'm always open to suggestions! (Bonus! If I decide to sell a pattern from your suggestion, you can have it for free!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

just an update

Hey y'all. Just wanted to say hi. It's been a rough week to say the least. I'm going to be vague and not give you details because I don't really feel like talking about it yet. I'm just checking in. If you've found me on twitter and/or instagram you've already seen what i'm working on. It's a really pretty purple/blue scoodie (scarf/hoodie). Here's a close up texture pic:

I'll post more pictures when it's done. If you want to keep up with what I'm doing when I'm not blogging, go find me on twitter and instagram! @thereforeicraft 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

For the Beginners

This is for all those beginner crochet artists out there!
I've got two (that's right, TWO) free patterns for you today. They're both super easy, and don't require anything more difficult than a dc stitch. The best part? These are awesome projects that look and work great (without making you look like a noob). 

The first pattern is one you may recognize if you've read my old posts from 2012. It first appeared last January in Baby it's Cold Outside. Here is an example and a close up of the stitch.

Example from 2012

Close up of Kelsey's Shell Scarf

It's mainly just a super simple shell stitch, but if you need help starting & finishing for a scarf you can just check out my Shell Scarf pattern! My biggest tip for anyone doing a project with shells is to always end with a half shell. If you do it this way, every row will be exactly the same (instead of having to go back and forth between two kinds of rows), AND all your turns will only be ch 1 which (in my opinion) makes the sides of the scarf look a lot better. 

The second pattern I have for you today is a dish cloth, and it's not just any dishcloth, it's an Epic Dishcloth

Epic Dishcloth (Folded)

I call it epic because it has a great texture for hand washing dishes and it's also easy to make. It's the perfect combination, don't you think? The best yarn to use for dishcloths is definitely Sugar'n Cream. If you choose not to use it, just make sure your yarn is 100% cotton. Why? Cotton absorbs up to 27 times it's weight in water. If you need an idea for what to do with the rest of your cotton yarn, I highly recommend one of these lovely scrubbies!

Happy Hooking!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Quick Update

Not a lot to post, but I've been working on a bunch of things for the blog. Get excited!

If you haven't noticed, I've updated the blog a bit. To the left, I added a few social media buttons if you want to find me elsewhere on the internet. These buttons include one for Pinterest, which is super cool, because I spent several hours moving all my crochet pins onto their own separate Pinterest page. So, if you follow all "iloveicraft" boards on Pinterest, you can get lots of awesome crochet pins and none of my personal ones. Yay!

I've also been working on the three FREE patterns I have yet to post. They're all planned out and include a dishcloth, my favorite scarf, and something amigurumi! The amigurumi pattern is a surprise, but I love making critters and plan on writing plenty of amigurumi patterns to sell later on, so I'm going to do one for free to give you a taste.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Another Pattern, and a bit of News

The Pattern

Everyone has to keep warm in these cold cold months. Especially your little ones! 
I made this hat for a family friend of mine and decided to write a pattern for it as well. Isn't it cute? The ridges are my favorite part, but it also is doubly warm over the ears because the black portion is flipped up! 
It also combines my favorite yarns in one project. The top part is a gorgeous blue sock yarn that's good and stretchy, while the band is super soft and cozy. 

If you'd like to make a hat like this for your little guy or gal click for a link to the download the FREE pattern.

The News

At the beginning of the year, my goal was to write and publish five crochet patterns. This is the second. As my life stands right now, I should be at five in no time at all. 
Some of my patterns can get a bit complicated though, and just from personal experience I know that visuals are always a benefit when reading patterns. So I did a little research, and found this great program that is set up specifically to diagram crochet patterns! How cool is that? The issue, is that it costs $50. $50 that I don't have right now, but I have a plan. 

The Plan

  • Write 5 patterns and publish them for FREE so other crochet artists can see my work. 2 down, 3 to go. (These patterns will always be free.)
  • Continue writing patterns, but put them up for sale. (I may continue to publish freebies now and then.)
  • After sales reach $50 or more, I can get the program and my patterns with be THAT much nicer and easier to understand.
  • Retroactively update previous patters to make all of them equally awesome.
In the mean time, if you want to help out - and help me get the program sooner - I've added a donation button on the left! Any and all contributions are appreciated. 

So if you download one of my free patterns and think to your self, "This pattern would be a lot easier to understand if there were some diagrams," just keep in mind that I think so too! I  don't have the tools to do that right now, but I'm working on it!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

freezing cold update

Winter is finally here! and in case, this isn't true where you live, you're missing out. Well, except for the awful roads riddled with accidents and slide offs, white out conditions, and the bitter single-digit windchill that requires at least half a dozen layers on just to take the dog out, but it's really pretty outside!!

So I mentioned in my first post of the year that I'm working on a latch-hook rug, and it's just about half way done!  

The bottom ball of yarn was originally a gross salmony pink in the pattern, but i cut my own yarn so it could be purple. I'm also tweaking the cat so it's more solid gray and looks like Izzy. 

In other yarn news, I'm working on a new crochet hat pattern for sometime next week. This time it's toddler sized!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My First Pattern!!

I wrote a pattern!!!! Can you tell I'm excited?

I'm not sure how many exactly, but I've made at least 25-30 hats in my crochet history. Over half of them have been along the same lines as far as a pattern. In fact, the first thing I ever crocheted was a hat!! I'm not sure where that particular hat is, but the majority of the hats I've made since have been an evolution of that pattern. It's not really anything like the original anymore, since I've tweaked it a bit every time I made a new one, but I'm really proud of it's most recent reincarnation. And now I'm sharing it with the world!!!


Here's the link to download the pattern!!
I used Deborah Norville Collection Serenity Garden Yarn in Hibiscus. 

Since this is the first pattern I've written for the public, comments and feedback would be wonderful!! Happy Crocheting!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Employable, I Swear.

With classes starting next week and bills for said classes looming (not to mention other more non-essential things I would like to spend money on), I need a job. STAT.

Job hunting is interesting. You get a lead on one job, and start to feel really good about it, and dawdle with other leads because you don't want to pass up the first one. Then, inevitably, something goes wrong and that first job goes up in smoke. So you gotta buckle down again and go at everything you have with a little more oomph. Until another job starts to seem like a real possibility....and you start the whole thing over. Or maybe it's just me that does this. 

Then there's the fact that so much of job hunting these days is done online. Job placement services and chain stores alike just turn you away to go fill out their applications online. The fact that you made yourself presentable and drove out to talk to someone in person, because you would really like a job now [or yesterday would be nice] doesn't mean anything to these people anymore! So you have to stay at home, which is seemingly more convenient  and sift through the endless web of legit jobs and total scams online. Also, you need to do all of this without being too distracted by Facebook, Pinterest, or the fact that all three of your pets want attention, and oh crap, the internet just decided to get glitchy. 

I swear I can do this!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

2013. ready. set. GO!

Ok. So clearly my past blogging habits are less than desirable, and all but dropped off a cliff somewhere in June. But in light of the new year, (and since 13 is my favorite number) I got to thinking, and this post is what I came up with. 

Be advised. these are not New Year resolutions.
They are only goals, which means I'm not setting myself up to fail.
They're merely something to strive for spelled out in plain English for all the world to see. (as opposed to floating around in my head)

13 Goals for 2013

  1. Blog!!! At least once a week. No Limits.
    I know everyone enjoys my crochet updates, but no limits on topic, mean no excuses to skip a week, or two, or 13. And who knows where things may lead?
  2. Finish my Associates Degree.
    I'm 6 classes away from an Associates degree in business. Two of those classes start in a couple weeks. This is by no means where I intend to finish my education (I'm defiantly a lifer), but it's the next milestone.
  3. Write crochet patterns for the public. At least 5.
    Five seems like a low number for the whole year, but I'll tell you something. Writing a crochet pattern is HARD. Especially since I don't think about crocheting the same way as your average person. It's very mathy and numeric in my head when I'm making things, so translating this to regular crochet-speak takes some work.
  4. Finish the Latch-Hook Rug.
    I got a latch hook kit for Christmas. It's a picture of a kitty in a basket of yarn and is completely adorable. Unfortunately, this is one of those projects I don't usually finish 100%, so it's going on the list.
  5. Make Mom and Afghan.
    For part of her Christmas present, I promised to make my mom an afghan (that she may help design). It would be nice if that was done before NEXT Christmas.

  6.  Read.
    This one isn't so much of a specific goal, as a reminder to myself. I love to read and get lost in other worlds, but when life get's crazy, it's one of those things that falls to the wayside, and I don't want it to.
  7. Swim.
    I recently discovered that my exercise of choice is swimming. I'm definitely a mediocre swimmer, but it's the only physical activity I really enjoy.  I got a membership to the local pool for Christmas, so I'm looking forward to starting it up and taking full advantage. Yay for fitness!
  8. Get a new tattoo.
    Perhaps a bit silly, but I got my first and only tattoo back in the summer of 2008. Nearly 5 years ago. So I'm thinking it's time for another one. No specific plans yet however.
  9. Road Trip!
    I don't travel much outside my hometown, and visiting my friends and bf out of town. So it's time to nail down some plans and go somewhere.
  10. Try something new.
    What that might specifically be, is yet to be determined.
  11. Sleep Enough, but not too much. aka Stop hitting the snooze.
    I like sleep. No, I LOVE sleep. probably more than I should.
  12. Wear Sunscreen.
    If you've never listened to this speech. Do it. It's beyond inspiring.

  13. Breathe.
    Sometimes everyone needs a reminder.