Monday, December 21, 2009

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle

I just thought I would come out of my dungeon to blog a little (sorry, I have been locked away making dozens of Christmas presents for our 8 children and loads of friends and family, I promise to get back to posting my projects soon).

I know this girl from my wool soakers group and and love her idea of recycling wool sweaters so I thought I would share about her blog here.  She post really cool ideas for using up those recycled wool sweaters.

She has occasional, really cool give aways so go check her out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Handmade Christmas 2009 Challenge

Starting this Saturday, November 14th, I will be starting a 30 day Christmas Challenge.  For all the details head on over to Crunchy Catholic Momma.  Crochet related ideas will be posted here but for all the other great ideas you will have to go crunchy catholic momma.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, to take the pledge to have a handmade Christmas this year by giving those on our Christmas list a handmade gift.  

Here are the rules:  
1. Gifts must be handmade by you, or,
2. Purchased from someone else who handmade it, check out Etsy or Artfire, go to a craft fair, or, 
3. Upcycled items such as thrift store, antique store or garage sale treasures.  If this one is alarming to you maybe you should think about what it really costs to make something new, the energy to make it, ship it, house it and how buying something pre-loved is using a resource which has already made its impact.  My brother asked me if buying someone a, basket counts, I said yes but buy a pre-owned basket, really could you really tell if you received a new basket or not and if it was new would that make it a better basket?  Think green. 

The point is to use your imagination  instead of buying all the mass produced stuff at the mall which every store is going to convince us we need and will make our Christmas this year perfect.  Shop at home first.  If you are a crafter, you have a stash.  Most of us crafters don't even know all the stuff that is in our stash so instead of heading over to the craft store, shop from your stash first.

If you have a blog and you leave me a comment with a link to a gift idea or better yet a tutorial on how to make the gift, I will post a link to your blog at crunchy catholic momma.  Please post your ideas or what you will be giving to your loved ones. 

If your idea, tutorial or pattern is about crochet it will be posted here as well as at crunchy catholic momma.

 I will be having a giveaway for this one (a really cute Christmas softie, or perhaps a Swiffer replacement duster and sweeper set from my etsy store) so please send in your ideas and I will have my 3 year old pick a winner from a hat. (Don't worry he is only a cheater if it benefits him)

I will of course be posting some of my ideas and projects to inspire all of you too. (hey most of my viewers are probably on my list so gotta keep it hush hush) 

Here is the pledge:

I, state your name, pledge to: 

To take a political stance against mass consumerism of Christmas

To give gifts that are unique, meaningful and full of love

To promote, encourage and celebrate hand-made  You may not have the time to make all your gifts but I know you will be out purchasing them.  Why not purchase a handmade gift from someone instead of somewhere.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Wooly Buns Diaper Soaker Pattern

Here is my newest baby.  This baby has been in the works for longer than my real baby and it has finally come to life.  The pattern is done and redone,  the pictures are taken, the Pdf has been created.  All I need now is a tester before it can be posted for sale.

This pattern has a nice drawstring, adjustable waist band with the cutest flower pulls, a crotch insert to stretch with baby and accomodate thicker prefolds or inserts for nighttime use, a very special insert in the back bottom portion to really fit babies bottom well and a cute delicate scallop edge.  This pattern comes with the directions for the oriental poppies design as well as direction to make them look more simple for a baby boy.

There is also a pattern for a flower I came up with which I call a bell flower (you can see it on the natural colored diaper baby Olivia is wearing in the previous post).

I would love to hear your comments on my project, good or bad (don't worry... I can take it)

What I've been up to...

So.... I have been MIA from Crunchy Crochet for a few weeks because... I have a life...  No, no that is not the reason.  I have a very cute little baby who takes ALL my time... No, no that isn't it either but actually that very cute baby did need some things.

I cloth diaper, of course I do, I am Crunchy remember?  Well,  although I have really wonderful easy to use cloth diapers, they have been through alot of babies and it is time to start replacing them.  I was introduced to the idea of using a wool cover (soaker) with the old fashioned prefolds.  Though this seems archaic I have been giving it some thought since I was expecting that really cute baby.

Number one:  The cost is so much better.  Indian Prefolds are the most absorbant and cost less than $1.50 each as oppossed to the $15 per diaper I have paid in the past.
Number two: You don't have to use pins anymore,  you can use these things called snappis which grip the diaper and won't hurt the baby.
Number four:  Wool is natural, (not itchy I promise) and it lets the skin truly breath.  Now think about it, if you were going to spend 1.5 to 2 years of your life in a diaper,  wouldn't you want your skin to breathe?
Number five: You need a wool cover and so an excuse to do some crochet.   After an exhaustive measure I was not able to find a cover that I loved so began another pattern.

This one was inspired by an Oscar the Grouch green, wool soaker from the 60's or 70's.  While the soaker was too ratty, I loved the panel that was worked into the but portion to give the babys bum some room (mine definetely needs this).  The rest of it was just experimentation and lots of ripping apart my work and redoing it until I liked it and now I LOVE it.

Next I will be working on a long pant version called a longie and a skirtie which is a soaker with a skirt attached to it.  Cute!!  and very cost effective.

So that is what I have been up to and the next post has the pics and a request.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

1st pattern is up

What I have been putting off for about a year now, is now done.  My Etsy store is up and running and my first pattern has been tested, tested and retested, made into a pdf, pictures done and it is now listed for sale. Yipee!!!! Why did I put this off so long?

I have a few dozen crochet patterns that I have designed and written, but that does not mean that they are done.  That just means that I can use it.

In order to offer a crochet pattern for sale, here are the things you must do:
1. Come up with an idea.
2. Work on creating the item and write down the stitches and steps used.
3.  Write, re-write and make changes to get it the way you envisioned it.
4.  Make up a sample.
5. Get someone or a few people to test your pattern.
6.  Get the perfect picture (the picture is everything)
7.  Type up your pattern in a professional manner using some type of desk top publishing program.
8.  Covert your pattern into a PDF
9.  Place it for sale, cross your fingers that someone else will think your baby is as cute as you do.

If you would like to see this cute little loafer in my store Check it out here.

I want to thank everyone who wrote to encourage me and all your kind words on the baby penny loafer pattern.  Stay tuned, the best is yet to come.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Pennies- Babies Penny Loafer

I have been working on this for a few weeks even though I started it before I was pregnant last year (I told you I was a procrastinator)  It feels good to have it done.  Here it is.  I would not recommend you actually put pennies in the holders (choking hazard) but I made the pattern so a penny would fit.  As soon as I have it tested it will be in my Etsy Store- Crunchy Crochet.


Swiffer Sweeper Cloth Crochet pattern

What kind of crochet pattern would be appropriate to be the first on Crunchy Crochet.  Well,  this one represents our families goal to use less, waste less and make more instead of buying mass produced things.  Want to see what I mean, go on over for a visit at my house.

I know there are so many already online but this being a product close to my heart, I designed this one to have a few functions, sweep, mop and dust really well.  It glides across the floor so easy and even though I made this one in organic unbleached cotton yarn, you could make it out of any kind of yarn and the acrylic ones (though I don't really use them very much) would probably attract dirt because of static electricity.

I have a patent pending on a similar product at my Etsy store the green market  which we sew and have been selling for a few years.  I thought the best way to combine my two worlds would be to make a crochet version.

So, you want to see if it works huh?  Here the dirt shot,  I do have dogs and kids but we vacuum constantly and I will still able to pick all this up.

On the publishing of crochet patterns...

I have so many patterns that I have written in the last two years, most of the baby ones were during my hours in bed this last pregnancy.  I am a major procrastinator and it is very difficult for me to stick to and finish one project because I always have so many new ideas coming into my brain.  I was also disheartened by a little problem a fellow crochet designer had this year with someone copying her designs and selling those patterns on Ebay.  Unfortunately, I was the one who found out and I saw the whole process she had to go through and the whole while the lady would not admit what she had done.  I work really hard to come up with my patterns.  Those are hours that I take away from other things that I could be doing and I would be heart broken if someone did not respect that fact and decided to steal one of my designs... one of my babies.

That being said,  if I don't take the chance and put my patterns out there, then I will never have the satisfaction of sharing them with the world.  After much reading and investigation into copyright laws (as well as numerous attorney folk in my family and my husbands family), I am taking the plunge.  I am in the process of going through my notebooks (that is were I keep all the patterns I write) and picking the ones that I think others will really like.  Stay tuned for many many patterns which I will be working, having tested and publishing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

In her honor...

Crochet for me, is the realization of the ideas that whirl around in my mind at night.  If I need something I usually see if I can crochet it, sew it, paint or build it.

I have been crocheting since I was 9 when I was sent to my grandmothers house for the summer.  In those hot sweaty summer days, I would sit on the floor in my grandmothers porch and watch her work with a thin needle and cotton thread and produce amazing doilies and all kinds of inventions out of nothing, out of thin air.  Until then, the extent of my craftiness was encompassed in raiding my moms junk drawers to see what treasures I could find to create something else (can you say no Micheals or Joanns).  That summer after pestering my grandmother for weeks with questions and just peskiness, she finally gave me a needle and showed me how to make a chain.  She told me I was doing it wrong and that I held it wrong but also told me that everyone probably does it different and as long as it worked for me to go ahead.

My grandmother was a mother of 14 with 9 daughters. Crochet was for sure her getaway from the everyday life that goes with raising a mega family.  That I know of I am her only descendant who has inherited a passion for creating something out of thin air with nothing more than a needle and some thread.  This blog is in her honor. Rosa Eva

Hi I am Tricia and I am a crocheter

It has been 12 hours since I crocheted last (tongue in cheek).

I have many hobbies, the ones that pay for kids piano and ballroom dance classes are cake designing, painting and sewing but the one that helps to quiet the ideas that wake me from my sleep is crochet.  Crochet is the making of an idea into a reality with nothing but a steel tool and string.  If you are reading this blog then chances are that you know what I mean.