Busy, busy, busy

I have no time to make things for us any more, all my crafting time is taken up with making hats for other people! I’m not complaining though as it is nice to have something purposeful to do, to be bringing in a little extra cash for treats and to have the beginnings of a little business (maybe!). I currently have 10 hats on order and excitingly a few repeat orders which suggests I did a good job of the first hat!

I am in the process of designing myself a little logo and have been refining my ideas. This week I have made a rugby themed bobble hat (as the local team won the Super 14 championship), a beanie with a digger on it and a couple of minion hats. Next on the list is a little fedora style hat. Despite being busy with these I am making plenty of time for my little man who is very time demanding! I never want this to completely take over my life as it is supposed to be a means to gain some extra cash more than an attempt to bring in an extra salary and I am aware that most of my orders are from friends and that they will only want so many hats! I’m still awaiting my first on line order.

Hubby is impressed with my efforts and celebrates every new order with me, he’s even become chief bobble maker (he’s very good at getting them kind of splodgy, if that’s even a word!). Possibly in the future I might look to sell at craft fairs but we have a trip to the UK to get out of the way first and then some other news that I will share in my next post, so I think that will be a development maybe for next year.

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A little digger hat for a little man.

There’s an octopus on your babies head!

I am the first to admit that sometimes my ideas can be a little bit out there, a little bit strange, a little bit kooky! Well my inner odd voice certainly took control when I decided to make my next baby hat and somehow I came up with the idea of a hat with a little octopus sitting on it. I think I may have been slightly influenced by this Mitsubishi advert in which an octopus takes up residence on a boys head and stays there until he sees a much more attractive prospect, the Mitsubishi.

I am getting a bit of a pro at making my basic bonnet now and another quick search on the internet came up with the perfect Octopus pattern which I could adapt. The octopus was nice and quick to make up and I think he looks rather nice in his two tone red (yes I ran out of wool and had to change but I can pretend it was deliberate!). I added a red and yellow border to the hat, my usual plaited ties and a little yellow starfish on one of the ear flaps and Bob’s your uncle one rather … umm … interesting hat had been created!

The hat is being added to my Felt shop so fingers crossed someone out there shares my love on the slightly unusual! Although saying that I have already had a request from a friend for an adult sized one!

A new venture

Being on maternity leave is great and I love spending time with my little man(providing he’s not screaming his head of for no fathomable reason!) but there are times when I wish I could contribute again. With this in mind I made the decision this week to start trying to sell some of my crochet baby hats and set myself up a Felt shop.

It is exciting to have my hand made hats up for sale but at the same time a little daunting. A lot of people sell crochet baby hats so trying to make mine stand out is hard work. I like to think that I am making lovely items but obviously the only way to know that other people think the same is when they buy something. Pricing the items is tricky too. If they are too expensive people won’t buy them but if they are too cheap you are devaluing the labour that goes into producing a handmade item. Felt is a New Zealand based craft website though so I keep my fingers crossed that the people selling there will recognise this and already have made the decision that handmade is worth something.

I put my first hat up on Wednesday and two more have followed. Since then I have checked numerous times to see how many times they’ve been looked at with fingers crossed that one might have sold! So far all three are still on offer and another (rather kooky) one is being made. Fingers crossed they do get noticed though as I am rather proud of them.

Another crazy crochet hat

We got given some clothes for the little one by one of our neighbours so I decided that I needed to make a thank you for the slightly less little boy who owned them originally. As I was in a crochet hat mood I decided to try and make another crazy crochet hat!

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Monster hat

I found another pattern on The Boy Trifecta to use as my base and rummaged in the stash to find some wool I could use. I found a ball of variegated wool in purple with a hint of pink (I know pink for a boy but I decided it wasn’t too much pink and anyway boys can wear pink, can’t they?!). The pattern was easy to follow and quick to make, the mouth part looked a little odd to begin with but made sense when I added the accessories. I used big blue buttons, a piece of cream felt and some google eyes to create the big monster eyes and then some yellow felt to make the teeth. Finally I added some strands of sparkly yellow wool to the top to create hair (I made them different looks to create a shaggy look).

The hat fits perfectly and the new owner tells me he likes it! It was fun to make, especially as it gave me the chance to let my imagination run away a little in order to add the finishing touches. Let me know what you think or what you would do to create your monster look.

Thank fully my little one is sleeping a little more again after a week of not napping so projects and housework are possible again, crafting is so much easier with a sleeping baby!

Teaching Hubby

I’m going to try and teach a friend to crochet tomorrow. I’ve been crocheting for years now and am pretty quick (I can do a granny square almost without looking) so I know I need to slow it down and work out how to describe everything. With this in mind I asked hubby if I could try and teach him this weekend and bless him he said yes.

He loves to watch me crochet, especially when I am making cool things for the little one, but has never expressed an interest in actually learning. He undertook the lesson with enthusiasm though and we were aiming to make a crochet jellyfish.

We started with a simple chain and he quickly picked that up, producing a tentacle in no time at all. Pleased with his progress he wanted to move onto the body, confident he could make the other tentacles later. To do the body I needed to explain double crochet (or single depending on where you are from), a much more tricky undertaking. I learnt one lesson very quickly, dark wool is not good for beginners as it makes seeing the stitches quite tricky. I also learnt that it is surprising how much goes into a good explanation of a stitch. Hubby got frustrated with me for not explaining things well, I got frustrated for him not understanding me and taking a while (my impatience rather than any fault of his) but he was definitely starting to get the hang of it by the end of the weekend. I’ll see if he will let me publish a picture of his jellyfish when it is finished.

I feel much more prepared for my next attempt at teaching my friend tomorrow although it could be interesting as we will have two baby boys with us…fingers crossed they sleep!

My boy looks awesome in hats

The aviator hat

The aviator hat

As I have said before I love making hats for the little one and that is what I have been busy doing. Firstly I made a new aviator hat (pattern by Kat Goldin of Slugs on the Refrigirator) as the one he came home in is now too small. It’s a really easy pattern to follow and I can make one in about three hours all toll (providing the boy behaves).

I also decided that I might try and sell some of my hats in order to bring in a few extra cents and I was given my first commission, a fedora hat. Now I had no idea what one of those was but thank goodness for the internet I was quickly enlightened and a pattern was downloading itself onto my computer.

The Fedora hat

The Fedora hat

The pattern was from Posh Patterns at Craftsy and was very well written. It was easy to follow and the base of the hat was made within about an hour and a half (afternoon naps are great!). I decided the hat looked a little plain without some colour so set about making a two tone band to go round it which then took me another hour and a half (although that was partly due to the nap ending!). I’m really happy with how it turned out and the little one looks so cute in it. The lady who asked me to make one likes it too so now I need to make another one!

Making little monsters

The daytime sleeping has continued, someone asked me if I knew what to do with myself now he was sleeping and I said I sure did! I have been making some more hats, one for our little one and one for a friends little bit bigger one!

White and Green Dino Hat

White and Green Dino Hat

This time I chose a dinosaur/monster theme and decided to see what free patterns I could find in order to achieve my desired outcome. I found a great beanie pattern (complete with ear flaps) on Ravelry* and then a dino spikes pattern on The Boy Trifecta. The beanie pattern was nice and easy to follow (despite my best efforts to keep adding in extra stitches Рsee previous post!) and built up quickly (always a bonus, especially when crafting time is so precious). I chose a nice blue colour for the first hat and then white for the second hat (mainly dictated by which colours I had the most of in my stash!), the hat then has a nice contrast band around the bottom so I did orange for the blue hat and green for the white hat.

Blue and Orange Dino Hat

Blue and Orange Dino Hat

Next I made some spots in various sizes and stitched them onto the hats to create contrast and hopefully a skin effect, I did these in the contrast colour that was around the bottom of the hats. Finally I made the spikes in the same colour adjusting the size to make them in proportion with the rest of the hats. I also made them slightly different sizes so the spikes got smaller as they went down the back of the hat. The white and green hat was a bit bigger so I did a couple more spikes on it. The spikes were pretty easy to make as well although a little fiddly at the beginning due to the tight circle to start. It’s a good idea to leave a nice long tail as you can then use this to sew them onto the hat (the same is true of the spots).

I’m really pleased with how they both turned out. The little ones hat (blue and orange) is a little big at the moment but better that than too small! I’m loving making these hats and am open to suggestions for the next one if people know of any good designs.

My next project has arrived in the post, a kit to make a fancy christmas stocking for the little one. Annoyingly I need some softie guts for it though and I don’t have any at the moment so the kit is sat teasing me at the moment! Fingers crossed it won’t be long until I can get to town to buy some and get stuck in!

* The Ravelry link may not work unless you have a Ravelry account, if you don’t and love craft I would highly recommend signing up as there are loads of free patterns for both knitting and crochet on there!

A little bit extra

No matter how hard I try I often gain stitches when I crochet. I’m not really sure how I do it as I am very careful, counting stitches as I go to make sure I am following the pattern, checking the number of stitches on a regular basis, using place markers to ensure I know where a row ends. But despite all of this I still gain stitches. If it is only one or two then I can fix it as I go along but sometimes one or two becomes ten or more and invariably that means starting again. It’s more than a little frustrating, even more so now crafting time is precious and making mistakes can lead me to feel like I have wasted that precious time. Maybe it’s from the over excitement of actually getting to do some crafting, maybe I need to calm myself down a little bit!

Oh we’ll, it looks like I am going to have to undo some of my work and try and figure out where I went wrong. The little one is still asleep so there is still crafting time to be had this morning!

Finally some crafting

New funky bibs.

New funky bibs.

So after weeks of struggling to find time to make anything I have been on a bit of a roll the last few days. I managed to make some more bibs (we seem to use them so quickly I’m struggling to keep up with washing them!) and I made some bandana style ones too for when the teething dribbling starts. I’m pleased with how they turned out and love the way they let me use up odds and ends from my fabric stash, suddenly I feel justified in having all that fabric!

Then yesterday I was set the challenge of making another hat for the boy, an Asterix style hat. Hubby has a Viking helmet (complete with horns, although actually the Vikings didn’t have horns on their helmets but we won’t go into that here!) and his sister thought it would be cool for the boy to have a winged version just like Asterix. A quick hunt on the internet and a wings pattern was located off Ravelry and I already had the Viking helmet pattern which I knew would work too.

The wings pattern was pretty easy to follow although somehow I ended up down the wrong end at one point so had to finish off and start again! The wings are built in two pieces, one slightly smaller than the other and then sewn together.

The crazy new hat.

The crazy new hat.

I made them a little smaller than in the pattern as I thought they would be far too big otherwise. The Viking helmet pattern is nice and easy to follow and includes a really cool stitch called the popcorn stitch which basically makes a little bump of wool (it looks like rivets on the helmet). With the two pieces made all that remained was to sew the wings onto the helmet and “Bob’s your uncle” it was done! Saying that I might try and line it later to make it really nice and snuggly to wear.

I love to be challenged to create things like this and hats are among my favourite things to crochet. I can’t wait to try it on him and show it off on our next cold day outing. He’s grown out of his aviator hat already so it’s good to know he has a new slightly crazy hat to wear instead!

It’s so nice to have finally made something again as some of the things I want to get done (like the toy box) are difficult to find time for which I find frustrating. It is great to have a bit of me time as well after the little one has gone to bed, it helps to keep me sane. I already know what I’m going to make next as well, I feel like I’m on a roll!

Finally some crafting time

Since the little one has started on supplemental feeds he has been sleeping which means I now have some time to do stuff. Annoyingly some of this stuff has to be things like trying to keep on top of the ever growing washing mountain but it has also included some crafting time over the last couple of days.

The newsboy hat

The newsboy hat

I decided another hat was in order as generally they are quick, relatively easy and you can never have too many hats…even at 3 weeks old! A few moments on Etsy and a little newsboy hat pattern had been purchased. A quick check of the wool stash revealed a rather lovely blue ball that looked perfect for the job. I was rather excited!

The next time the little one was asleep i jumped into action and spent a very happy hour crocheting away. It was so nice to do something I wanted to do rather than something I had to do. It is still a work in progress but that doesn’t matter, what matters is life feeling a little more normal and not being simply about feeding, cleaning and sleeping.

I will post again when I get it finished!