Vendor Fair Report | Fall 2016

Ahhh, it's nice to finally sit down after two months and write a post. Life has been busy lately, with an assortment of school work, the end of the first grading period, music, and a vendor fair!

You may or may not remember, but last year I attended my first vendors fair. I was an excited wreck, running a one woman show. This year I did just that... except under a constraint of 14 days!! I was stitching my fingers off every spare minute I had. It was after all my fault that I hadn't used my time wisely.


I decided to keep it simple, since my inventory was extremely limited. There is beauty in simplicity!!



I decided to use my apple crates again this year, I love the versatility they give. Last year I had them vertically on each side of the table, with a line between them to hang my hats on. This time I decided to use them more as decoration. I found it wasn't very effective to put merchandise in the crates. The way I did it this year allowed me to put business cards at eye level... which makes it so much easier for the customer to grab one. I also made a quick sign to advertise custom orders that way customers could be informed about the service.


Something else that I wanted to try was showing how my products were made. I set out my Furls yarn bowl and wooden crochet hook to set a natural vibe. I also crocheted while standing, this way the customers could engage. Saying things like " That's cool!" or "Wow, you do that fast." 


After looking at my most popular items from last year's fair and other orders, I decided that hats were the most popular item. I only got to make 7 hats so I stacked them on top of each other just so that you could see the design of the hat. I tried to do as much as possible to make it look like I had decent inventory - though I didn't have as much as I had liked to.



I was fumbling through some shawls that I had made last winter as christmas gifts. I decided, Hey! Why not? Shawls and cowl were next up on my list! I brought a few to fill up my table. In the bottom crate I folded up a few left-over cowls so that you could still see the texture and color.




Not much has been happening lately, but lots of content is coming soon! I hope that you enjoy the rest of your week... I'll see you soon.

Choosing the Right Yarn | Choosing Yarn Weights, Materials, and Colors

Just recently, I posted an easy-peasy conversion chart for crochet terms as well as abbreviations. Check it out here. 

I remember when I was just a beginner crocheter, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. Since I had no resources, books, no blogs to follow; I was lost. My first crochet purchase was a Susan Bates 3.75mm hook and 1 skein of Red Heart Super Saver. I desperately searched online for an easy to understand tutorial, and I only ended up with an ugly chain, a mess of yarn, and a teeny crochet hook. 

Have you ever been there? Or even, are you there? The truth is that you're not alone. Every single crocheter has had a learning phase. Thats alright!! Today we are going to crack down on all things yarn. 

Yarn is awesome. It really is. But how do we know what yarn we should buy? It all comes down to three things; weight, material, and color.


Though the process of buying yarn may not seem a huge deal, the right yarn is important because you want to achieve the a beautiful end product. You can spend hours making a beautiful white sweater... only to hear that your friend has a bad allergic reactions to natural wool fibers.

Here's the easiest way to find the PERFECT skein of yarn for your next project.


Yarn weight the thickness of yarn. There are about seven common categories of thickness. Lace weight, super fine/fingering weight, sport weight, light worsted DK, worsted weight, chunky, and extra bulky. 

Yarn weight is important because it will determine the thickness and bulkiness of your finished product. If you choose a beautiful lace weight yarn to make a shawl, you'll a beautiful drape effect. However, if you use a bulky or chunkier yarn... the fabric you create will become very big and stiff. 

It is important to know what kind of yarn you are looking for. Usually, most patterns will have a specific yarn recommendation. It's never a bad choice to use that same yarn, the creator of the pattern has tried out the yarn and has gotten positive results. If the yarn is not available to you, try to use yarn of similar weight. 

This can also give you a broader horizon when it comes to materials and colors. 


Material is what the yarn is consisting of. Fibers consists of two categories.  Man-made fibers and natural fibers. Yarns can have pure fiber or fiber blends. There are 100% acrylic yarns as well as yarn that have 5 different fibers. But fibers aren't just thrown into a basket of roving and spun into a random heap of yarn.

Each fiber has it's pros and it's cons. 

Acrylic yarn is durable, color fast, and easy to wash. Acrylic also comes in a variety of colors. Cotton fibers are good for warmer weather... as it is a more breathable material in the first place. It's a very lightweight category. Bamboo (made from the pulp in a bamboo stalk) yarns are very luscious and soft, great for babies and children.  

The list goes on and on even more into very complex yarn blends. But regardless, it's an important factor to think of when buying yarn for a project. For chunky and warm cowls... try a soft wool blend. A rug or placemat... try more durable yarn like acrylic or t-shirt. 

Just like the weight of the yarn, the yarn make-up itself is extremely important. 


Now you have found the perfect yarn for your kick-butt project, now you can choose the color scheme. In my opinion its the best part!!

Color can evoke many emotions and feelings. There is detailed psychology behind this... and it can be more interesting than you think. 

That's what makes it so fun. You have complete control over the mood  of your crafted piece. You can have lots of happy pastels for a colorful and upbeat project. Or you can imitate a gloomy and cold winter scene with dark hues of blue and gray. 

Color blocking, contrasting colors, and hues of colors are also great choices.

There is NEVER any wrong way to go when choosing colors. The sky is the limit!! Its what you as the creator feel like making that day... it is entirely up to you. 




Top 10 Crafting Pet-Peeves

Us crafters can get ticked real fast. Thats why today we're going to look at the Top 10 Crafting Pet-Peeves.

          Whether it's not being able to find the end in a yarn skein or getting the seam straight, creating is not easy!! Though it may seem that all we do is sit at our crafting table, couch, or machine we are busy at work making our finest. Why not steal a laugh to kick-off the week?



1. When you're crocheting in public and a stranger asks you what you're 'knitting'.


Please! Someone needs to put a stop to this!! Who else is tired of repeating it?




2. When someone thinks they're being cute and repeatedly asks if they can have it.


Um.... how about Christmas???

gulp :|




3. When you can't find the right scrapbooking paper of knitting needles.


The struggle is real!!




4. The overwhelming joy of find the end of the spool or skein.


"I feel very accomplished right now. Don't ruin it yet."



5. Oh the dangers of my home.


Haha, this one would drive my family nuts!!




6. The final shot before you're finished.


Just think about all those hours of watching Netflix with your favorite pattern!!




7.  IF you've finished that mountain of WIP's.


I'm no where close to that point!! Definitely not.




8. That creepy lady that stares at knitted objects at the mall... yeah thats me.



Guilty as charged, this meme was perfect!!




9. Walking down the yarn aisle like a happy kid.


Oh yass gurl!




10. Figuring out the airline regulations for each flight.


               This one got me on my last international flight!! Why can't each country have an easy search bar like the TSA?







That's it for now! I wish you a happy Monday (not that it necessarily exists). If you'd like to see more of my favorite memes check out the board on Pinterest or simply share on social media with your friends! 

I'll see you soon...cheers.





Crochet Abbreviations | US and UK Terminology

This resource has been revised as of April 7, 2017.



The patterns I use are usually written in US Terminology. US terminology is more dominant between crocheters and the web. Since most people learn to crochet with US terms, and therefore many of the published patterns are written on these terms. I learned to crochet in US Terminology (just spoken in a foreign language)!! Therefore my patterns on this blog are written in US Terminology. You can find my patterns in the "Patterns" tab above.

UK Terminology is different. Also known as British crochet terms, they are popular through Europe and out. Though these terms aren't that different, it can be tricky to convert to and from a pattern in US terms. But how are they so different?

Differences 

Again, American and British crochet is not too different. UK terms are one step up from US terms. To further explain, here's an example using a US terminology double crochet(dc) stitch.

In this example, the British term would be Treble Crochet Stitch. In American terms it is still Double Crochet Stitch. The way the stitch is crocheted is the SAME. The name does not change anything.  An American double is crocheted the same way as a British treble. *Yarn over, insert hook into stitch. Yarn over and pull up two loops, pull through last two.*

But why is this so important?  Why do we as the crocheter have to change a perfectly beautiful pattern? Can't we just use a pattern in foreign terms and be okay? The answer is no, we really can't. If last week you went through something like me... you'd understand.

I started crocheting a beautiful backpack I found on Pinterest for my mom (Christmas crochet season is running away ladies)! The tutorial was beautiful and easy to understand, I had the perfect color yarn for it. But then I got to the 5th row and saw, Dc for the next 43 rounds, fasten off. Immediately I knew something was wrong. I scrolled through the pattern, trying to figure out where it came from. At the top were beautiful highlighted words stating that the pattern was written in UK terminology.

And, yes. I was very angry that I had learned to read patterns through an American eye.

If you just remember this 'one step' rule, you should be fine!! Now that you know, converting US and UK terms should be easy. Here you can download a conversion chart! as well as a charts with the US abbreviations and UK abbreviations.

Here you can download the US and UK Conversions. Basic stitch names and directions can be found all in one place!!!




Next is the US Crochet Abbreviation chart. All the correct stitch names and their abbreviations are here. Directions also included!




Last but not least, here is the UK Crochet Abbreviation chart. Like the US Abbre. it has all your basic stitches and the unique directions with their abbreviations.




That's it for this week everyone!! I hope that this helps you as much as it'll help me! Now converting crochet terms will be a breeze!!! 

Also, please share on social media and follow Geekly Chic Crochet on our platforms!! See our links here.  We will appreciate it!

                               Cheers!!
                                                                                        

Crochet With Unsual Material

I bet you just read the title, Crochet With Unusual Materials. What does she mean by 'unusual'. If you don't crochet with plastic, then yes this will be unusual for you.

       
          For hundreds of years, knitters and then crocheters have either used natural or synthetic fibers spun together to create a strand. Depending on the thickness, they use a proper size of needles and hooks. But some have dared the fiber arts; in a out-of-the-box way. You can take a cheap house hold materials and create your own yarn!!!!!

       


Plarn is a term for "plastic yarn". Its pretty simple, yarn made of plastic. Many make plarn using plastic grocery bags. I made plarn myself...its SUPER fun. And the crochet outcome is amazing. It can stoke just about anyone you meet and the look you get is very one of a kind!!!
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About.com Style
Alexis from the blog Persia Lou has even tried crochet with plastic table cloths! I love that you have control over your colors and patterns. Why not take a dollar store item and transform it into something better? 

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Great tutorial by Alexis @PersiaLou

Now lets move on to something thought impossible. PAPER YARN. Yes, someone thought of this before you did. This world has very very creative people!!! I can't imagine the patience it takes. Considering...
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Similar to this yarn, Mademoiselle Chaos also has a tutorial.

I'll be honest, this one surprised me. Denim crochet is a real thing. No longer a fantasy. This technique is similar to T-Shirt yarn. It creates a continuous strand of yarn, letting you crochet and knit with it easily. This design is especially creative, adding the denim jean features.
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Tutorial by Diary of a Creative Fanatic

And last but certainly not the least, t-shirt yarn. as a byproduct of the t-shirt industry, this fiber has become very popular. You can make and also buy this yarn. Similar to plarn's characteristics, it can be durable and great for household items and accessories. It too is created like our denim yarn. By far, this tutorial by Mollie Makes is the clearest. If you are looking into new material I definitely recommend this.


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Mollie Makes tutorial



Heck is this cool or not!!! I'm going back on my yarn shelves and digging out that leftover plarn. What I am doing this year and the next is making plarn out of all my Micheal's bags. I'm collecting every bag,  cutting little strips inch by inch. I look forward to making a bag with it for my future yarn hunting!!

Peace 'til next time...

Lisa ;)

Let's Talk Ami

     Have you ever seen that plushy on Pinterest and wondered, how is it that humanly possible to actually CROCHET that thing? 


I was at that point as well. Yes that was a long time ago for me, but the same question still crosses my mind. This is called amigurumi, the Japanese art of crocheting 3-D objects such as stuffed animals and characters(stay tuned to see my first amigurumi project). First though, we have to know where it originated from.

Amigurumi started evolving from Japan to the world in the 50's. According to Wikipedia, western cultures didn't actually explode over amigurumi until 2003. They also mention that in 2006 it was the most popular selling item on Etsy. You tell that now its much larger than that, and still counting.

Yeah, okay, its from Japan and all... but what does the word amigurumi(編みぐるみ)mean?  'Ami' means knitted or crocheted; and  'nuigurumi' means stuffed toy or doll. Just as Rachel from Little Yarn Friends said,"...so knitt it, stuff it, and you have amigurumi." Pretty self explantory.

Most ami projects include, worsted/DK yarn and a hook smaller than the usual. Typically I use a 3.75mm F hook. The reason for this is to create a gauge that keeps the poly-fill stuffing in the crochet stitches. You'd hate to make something so looses and open that it falls apart. Safety toy eyes and stitch markers are also used. Safety toy eyes are an alternative to embroidered or button eyes. You can find them in various sizes and colors, from black to neon. Stitch markers help you keep your round end and start visible.  Amigurumi is worked in a spiral to leave out the stripe effect of color changing.

Last but not least, I wanted to prove to you that I wasn't an expert from the start. Here is a look at my first amigurumi project. An adorable baby pink elephant!


     Everyone welcome Ellie!! She was made by a pattern from Crochet by DK Publishing. As you can see, her ears and eyes are crooked and uneven, her tail still has an undarned thread, but heck. Its not that bad. You can imagine my excitement when I finished her. Surprised my parents didn't throw a party for me and my friends!!

Thnx,

          Lisa
Me after my first orchestra concert...

Meredith Slouch Hat~ FREE PATTERN


This page is being revised as of February 13th, 2017.

Meredith Slouch Hat Pattern

Materials

  • Size 2 weight yarn
  • Chunky weight yarn
  • 4mm crochet hook & hook to match chunky yarn
  • Buttons (optional)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle

Notes

  • You will need two different weights of yarn (for help with buying yarn or understanding yarn weights). Fingering weight and chunky. I am using a size 2 wool blend from a local farm and Loops & Threads Charisma. Use whatever you have!
  • I used crochet hooks to match the recommendation on my yarn Use whatever you are comfortable with. Remember, the larger the hook the more your slouch hat will drape.
  • The main portion is crocheted with your fine yarn and 4mm hook, and the band is crocheted with your chunky yarn and it's recommendation.
  • The buttons are optional... they are the embellishment I used for this particular hat. Feel free to add anything you'd like!!
  • Be wise when choosing your hook and crocheting tension, the hat will stretch over time!!

Hat Body

Row 1- Begin with a mr and dc 12.

Row 2- 2 dc in each st.

Row 3- *Dc, 2 dc in next. Rep from * to end.

Row 4- *Dc in next 2, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 5- *Dc in next 3, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 6-  *Dc in next 4, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 7- *Dc in next 5, 2 dc in following. Rep from * to end.

Row 8- Dc in each st around.

9 to End-  Keep on rep row 8 until your hat has the desired slouch you want. Keep in mind that the forehand will add about 2 or so inches to your project. Fasten off.



Hat Brim/Band

For the brim... take your 6mm hook and thicker yarn. Tie on your yarn in any random stitch.

Row 1- Ch 9.

Row 2- Sc in 2nd ch from hk. On the hat,skip on stitch,sl st into the next.You might find its easier to skip 2.

Row 3- Ch 1, turn.  Sc into the back loops(bl) only. By doing this you're creating a ribbed effect.

Row 4- Ch 1, turn. Sc in bl. Join to hat like we did in row 2.

Row 5 to End- Rep rows 3 and 4 until you've reached all the way around the hat. Fasten off with long tail left.


Once I finished, I stitched the two together, the starting chain and final row, now I had made a complete circle around the body. If you wish to add any embellishments this is the time to do so!! 

Simple Cowl | Free Pattern

This pattern has been revised on January 9, 2016.


Hello and welcome back!

This past week, I was at Michael's picking up the last of the post-holiday sales when I came by a new yarn. Country Loom by Loops & Threads is a soft and chunky yarn with color ways you won't forget. 

After picking up a skein for myself in the shade Kiss Me, I grabbed a 9mm hook and started brainstorming. I ended up chaining a foundation of 60 stitches. I then made a slip stitch into the first chain that I made to form a big ring.



For the the first row, I chained 2 and double crocheted into each stitch. At the end I slip stitched into the first double crochet. Once I had decided to make the entire body of the cowl in a simple double crochet stitch I continued on until I ran our of yarn.


Once I fastened off, I wondered what I could add to the cowl to give it a little extra detail. After considering flows, motifs, and many colors of yarn I chose to add a simple chain. 

I got out my favorite shade of Vanna's Choice and a 3.75mm crochet hook and chained about 140. My chain started to form little curls... and so I began calling it a 'frill'.



To attach my little frill, I took a 6mm hook and wove it in and out of each row. You can see below how easy it was.


Then I took the end of my chain and pulled it through the rows. Now it looked kind of like a dotted line!


Next I repeated those same steps, on the other side. I was left with a U shape.


Afterwards, pull on the two ends to scrunch up the fabric.



Finally, I tied a bow to finish it up. Now you your very own beginner-friendly cowl!!

Here's the free pattern...


Simple Cowl Pattern

Materials

  • 1 skein of Loops & Threads Country Loom yarn
  • Scarp yarn of your choice
  • 9mm crochet hook
  • A darning needle ( for sewing in ends)
  • A pair of scissors

Notes

  • The body of the cowl will be made using the Country Loom yarn. The scrap yarn of your choice is for the accents (frill, flower, motif, etc).
  • I used a 9mm hook because it was recommended on my yarn label. However, even though is no gauge, you may use whatever hook you'd like too.
  • Make sure that since it is a chunkier yarn that you use a large eye needle.
  • I used one full skein for the main part of my cowl.

Pattern

Ch 60. Sl st into the first ch, make sure not to twist.

Row 1- Ch 2, dc in each st. Join to the very first dc.
Row 2 to 10- Rep the first row.

That's it! Fasten off. From here you can add any embellishments you'd like.

I can't wait to see what you guys come up with! Tell me below what you added to your new cowl.



That's all I have for today, if you're ready for more remember to subscribe to the blog on your right side. If you love this cowl as much as I do, please share it with your beginner friends. Its a fun and easy introduction to crochet so invite them.

I'll see you next week!!