Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday: Ripple Baby Blanket

 

This pink, purple, and white baby blanket has been a work in progress (WIP) for about 3 months. When Noah was younger, it was difficult to work on toys. Blankets require less concentration than the shaping that goes into toys. Plus, I recently received my large yarn order for the year, and I want to clear some space in my crochet studio.

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Musings: Back to Work

 

As I mentioned in my previous post, I took a break from The Silver Hook in August for a family vacation in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Long car travel with a 4 month old baby (and a pair of cats) was a learning experience, but the whole trip was fantastic. We climbed a mountain, went swimming in the ocean, did a little geocaching, visited The Fortress of Louisbourg and Village Historique Acadien.  Below are pictures from Village Historique Acadien: a woman using a drop spindle to spin wool and some naturally dyed wool yarn.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Buffer App: An Increase in Social Media



download (1)Social Media

If you follow my Facebook Page or my Twitter account, you might have noticed that I have been posting often an regularly. For years I’ve been using RSS feeds to follow an assortment of crafting, crocheting, finance, and news websites. With many hours being spent nursing my baby, I have had lots of time to spend on Feedly (I used to use Google Reader before it ended last month).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy Canada Day: Shop Locations on Etsy

 

Recent reports have shown that many Canadians are over educated for their jobs. Graduating with two science degrees, I had a near impossible time finding employment “in my field”. When I was having trouble finding employment, I took a step back and thought about what I loved. I was always creative and crafty. I love observing and figuring things out. Looking back, it isn’t too much of a surprise that I am a professional crocheter and designer. Through the years, I have met many talented creative people with similar stories. Below I detail how to find shops in a specific location on Etsy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

May Flowers and Other Inspiration

 

I love the time of year when the snow has melted and the early leaves and flowers are opening.

I often mail my Etsy orders early in the morning before the daily mail pick up. The mailbox is not very far away and I often extend my walk along my neighbourhood. These pictures are from early May. I love the shapes and architecture of trees.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Crochet One-Skein Wonders–I’ve Been Published!

 

IMG_4979Big, exciting news – I have a pattern published in Crochet One-Skein Wonders – 101 Projects from Crocheters Around the World. You can find Louis Lobster on page 234.

The book is organized by yarn weight so it is great for finding projects to use up your yarn stash. Like many crafters I suffer from collecting a vast variety of yarn sizes and fibres. The book is full of bright and colourful pictures. There are a few projects I can’t wait to try: Pinwheel Newboy Cap by Jenny Allbritain and Switchback Scarf by Ryan Hollist.

If you are looking to pick up your very own copy, Barnes & Noble customers will get 5 bonus crochet project patterns with your in-store or online purchase.

 

The Process

In Spring 2011, I found out online that Storey Publishing was looking for submissions for a new

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Rainbow Baby Blanket: Part 2, Size and Pattern

 

IMG_4905In Part 1, I described how and why I chose to use a bright rainbow collection of worsted weight acrylic yarn for my baby blanket. In this post I go into detail on the size and pattern of the blanket I made specially for my newborn son, Noah. He’s doing a great job modelling it in this picture :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rainbow Baby Blanket: Part 1, Colour and Yarn

 

IMG_3743Around the middle of March, I gave a sneak peak of a work in progress (WIP): a rainbow ripple baby blanket. I finished it a few days after my son was born. Both he and my cats (that’s Nike in the picture) enjoy hanging out on the blanket. This and the next blog post are about the decisions made during the designing of this blanket. This post is about the colours and yarn, and part 2 is all about the blanket size and design.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Welcoming the Newest Member of The Silver Hook

 

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I haven’t been posting much lately, but I’ve been a bit busy with Noah, our new product tester and model. He was born April 8th at 9:15pm via Caesarean section, weighing in at 9lbs 11oz. A big baby, but less than the predicted 10.5lbs! I always heard that parents of newborns are sleep deprived, but I now understand.

The sling that I am wearing in the side picture has been wonderful. It keeps my hands free so I can hopefully return to a little crocheting soon. He loves carriers and we have found them to be the most reliable soothing method. I bought my ring sling carrier from BabyEtte on Etsy.

He has already begun his toy testing with a little nibble on an elephant trunk. He also enjoys staring at the bright colours and stitch pattern of his rainbow ripple baby blanket.

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Extra Love with Hearts

 

IMG_3254Every yarn crafter eventually winds up with a large stash of yarn odds and ends. If they are natural fibres like cotton or wool, you can cut up leftover yarn into strands, stuff them into a perforated bag (like an onion bag), and hang outside. Birds will grab strands for their nests.

With my odd balls of acrylic yarn, I wanted to make something that would be cute, work up quickly, and could be added to orders. Hearts show the love! I have been making them in all different sizes. I’m not sure what people are doing with these hearts, but I’m happy if they create a smile or two. Keeping reading below for some suggestions for these hearts!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Personal Crochet WIP (Work in Progress)

 

The Silver Hook 2I am very much looking forward to my new “toy tester” to arrive.  I am very proud of the detail that I put into each toy, and I know that each is perfect for children of all ages.

  • All my toys contain zero small parts (potential chocking hazards)
  • Low care: machine wash and dry, and stain resistant
  • The crocheted fabric is thick and the toys are firmly stuffed so that they will last a very long time (especially good since children develop strong emotional ties to their favourite toys!)
  • Can be used for teething or in the bathtub
  • Promote imaginative play (the faces only have eyes – a child can imagine any facial expression)

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Cute Weeping Angel Doll Crochet Pattern

 

Cute Weeping AngelFirst new pattern for 2013 is now available on Etsy, Ravelry, and Craftsy! My Etsy shop statistics revealed my Cute Weeping Angel doll has been gaining some attention. It was time to finalize the pattern and make it available to fellow crocheters. Continue reading to find out a bit more about these angels and some considerations in creating this pattern.

 

 

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Goals

 

greysHappy Birthday to my sister the avid knitter!

March already! February was a great month. I participated in the OVCC craft show, filled an order for Fiddleheads, and had great pattern sales on Etsy (especially the alien pattern). I helped a fellow crocheter resize my carrot pattern. Oh, and other than the one missed in January, I’m up to date with my blog post goal.

Now I am looking ahead to March. It is going to be a busy month culminating with my due date, March 31. Baby’s weight was estimated at 7.5lbs at my 34 week ultrasound, so I think we are in for a large baby. With our baby preparations this month (and my extra fatigue), I want to set out some specific goals to keep The Silver Hook on track this month.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Things I look for in a Craft Show: OVCC Show Review

IMG_3102I recently attended a new craft show hosted by the OVCC guild. I am still very much new to the Ottawa craft scene and am still looking for shows for selling toys and rattles of The Silver Hook. Baby is now due in 6 weeks and this was likely my last show until the Fall. I will continue to sell online through Etsy and through stores. Continue reading below for my review of the show.

Friday, February 15, 2013

This & That: Craft Show, Fiddleheads, and Pictures

 

I have a few different things I really want to share with you this week. First, my two daytime companions: Nike and Artemis. For the most part they are so used to the yarn and toys that they leave them well alone.


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Thursday, February 7, 2013

New Product for Crafters: Small Rattle Inserts

 

IMG_3087I love making rattle toys, and they are my top sellers. Years ago I used squeaker inserts, but I was having trouble maintaining a quality supply of inserts, plus they were difficult for young children to squeeze. So I switched to rattles!

Two or three times a year I place a large, bulk, wholesale order of fused plastic rattle inserts. This way I am able to offer some of stock to other crafters at reasonable prices. I am happy to announce I now have 2 sizes available!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Upcoming Event: OVCC Craft Show

 

final_poster_glebe_smI’m very excited to announce that I will be attending the Ottawa Valley Crafts & Collectibles Show and I invite anyone in the region to stop by and visit on Saturday, February 16th from 10am-3pm at the Glebe Community Centre.  No admission cost!

The OVCC will be making a donation to The Royal (supporting mental health awareness) of  partial proceeds from the show. There is a guaranteed donation of $500, plus vendors are donating items for a silent auction. I haven’t yet figured out what I will be donating, but I’m open to suggestions (leave a comment below or on my Facebook Page).

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Baby

 

IMG_2944Still in the first month of the new year and am already off track on one of my goals – writing 52 blog posts this year. Roughly one each week. But I missed last week. I plan to still meet my goal by completing 2 posts in one week in the near future.

Why did I miss a post?

My husband and I are expecting our first baby due March 31st. . Last week, I simply had other things to do.

Baby is going to change so much of my life including The Silver Hook. I am sure that Baby will change my daily routine (especially since I work from home), but I love to crochet and will definitely continue to make more toys and patterns. Below are two ways in which having a baby will be motivating The Silver Hook.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Hal-Con 2012: A Crafter’s Experience Part 4, Pictures!

 

Wow! Hal-Con gave me four full posts to share. In the previous posts I wrote about the decision making process to attend; the lovely guests; and the hidden benefits. This final post is full of pictures of gaming, costumes, and customers.

Gaming

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

 

IMG_2906Happy 2013 everyone! I spent the first day of the year doing a general review of the past 12 months of The Silver Hook and I have been setting my goals. I’m not very strict about meeting my goals, but I like to have a bit of a road map. I expect there will be many planned and unplanned detours.  September through December is a crazy, hectic time for me and I have trouble finding motivation in the dark, cold post-holidays months. It feels really good to have a road map for the next little while.