Hoot! Hoot! Amigurumi Owls: In the Shop

I was on spring break last week and decided that I wanted to make an amigurumi owl for my son.  I mentioned on Facebook that I wanted to try and use Fresh Stitches Nelson the Owl pattern since it was so popular. Oh and I’m a little obsessed with owls at the moment.

Materials used:

Yarn: Red Heart with Love in Pewter, Navy, and Cornsilk. Caron One Pound in Off White and Sage. Red Heart Super Saver in Cherry Red.

Eyes: 12 mm craft eyes

Stuffing: Mountain Mist Fiberloft Polyester Stuffing

The first one turned out “okay,” especially considering this was my first time trying amigurumi. I knew I could do better though, especially in the sewing and assembly department. Part of the problem was I was so determined to finish it that I didn’t start assembling until 3 am and missed some steps. Oh and I had forgotten to give him ears initially.  Sesame (nickname for my son) didn’t care he loved it and was super excited.

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He loved it so much and dragged it all through the house with him, so I decided to make a smaller one that could go in his backpack when we’re out and about. I made it to coordinate with his new Thomas the Train backpack.

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At this point, I knew I wanted to redo his larger owl, so I spent a little time on Sunday getting started and then finished it up on Monday during and after nap time. He loves it and I finally felt comfortable enough to add it as a custom listing in the shop.

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Now I just have to make one for my office to match my other owl things and probably one for each of my nephews as well.

If you crochet, you can find the pattern for Nelson and Nel (tiny) at Fresh Stitches. I highly recommend purchasing the pattern from her shop. It was really easy to follow and their are lots of pictures, plus links to tutorials to help along the way.

If you don’t crochet, head over to my Etsy shop to order one in the colors of your choice.

Lace Headwrap: WIP Wednesday

I’m always working on something new, so when I started working on this blog I made sure to create a special category for these days.  Welcome to the first WIP (Work in Progress) Wednesday!

A few months ago, I got a great deal on this tabletop photo studio, so that I could start taking nicer pictures and not worrying about things being in the background. I decided to pull it out today. It came with fancy lights, but I didn’t try those out yet. Even without the fancy lights, I’m pleased with the outcome. On to the project…

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Spring is finally HERE! Let’s hope the weather starts to cooperate. I’m in Georgia and it’s still a bit frigid, especially in the morning and evening. In the hope that spring will visit soon, I’m working on a new item for the shop. A lace head wrap and I’m using Caron Joy yarn in Cerise. Sadly, this is a yarn that’s discontinued, so you can only get it in a few places and once it’s gone it’s gone.  It’s categorized as worsted weight, but is definitely a light one and it’s an acrylic/bamboo blend making it perfect for warmer weather.

I’ll be  sure to share pictures once I finish and of course the head wraps will be added to the shop shortly.

 

Wine Totes and Chain Scarves: In the Shop

Now that things are calming down I’ve finally had some time to start working on my Etsy shop again. This afternoon I added chain scarves and wine totes as new custom options.

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Wine totes come in your choice of off white, yellow, red, and sage. They are made from 100% cotton yarn, which makes them very sturdy and able to withstand cool liquids. If you’re going to a vineyard or want to give a hostess gift, these tote bags are perfect. Plus, they’re only $17 (plus shipping) and you can’t beat that price.

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I am all about accessories and scarves are one of my favorite accessories. I always miss them once the cold weather breaks and the sun peeks out. These lightweight chain scarves are perfect for spring and early summer, and will look great with pair of jeans and t-shirt. If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your outfit, a chain scarf is perfect. They come in a variety of colors, so be sure to check out the listing for more information.

My Stash (and a brief lesson on yarn types)

Hi everyone,

I finally had a chance to talk with the designer for the blog, so hopefully I’ll have a new fancy site to unveil in the next few weeks.Today I just wanted to share a picture of my yarn stash with everyone and talk a little about the different brands of yarn I use.

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This is only part of my stash. Buying yarn for projects is a little addictive, so be aware of that when you get started. I know a lot of people hear yarn and think about itchy wool, but I’m allergic to wool, so my stash is strictly acrylic and cotton at the moment. I do have some acrylic and bamboo blend in there and you’ll see that in use very soon when I debut the items for spring.

My current favorite yarns are Caron Simply Soft, Red Heart with Love, and Lion Brand Hometown USA. All three of those yarns are pictured in the picture. The first two cubes (top left is leftover yarn from projects) are actually all Simply Soft which is probably my absolute favorite of the three. I’ll be trying out Caron Joy and Lion Brand Heartland very soon. Oh and I’m working on a project with Red Heart Soft in the coming weeks as well.

My latest yarn order...

My latest yarn order…

One of the first things you need to understand is that yarn is weighted from 1-6. I primarily work with #4 and #6 yarn, worsted and super bulky, but even then all yarns are still not created equally. For example, Simply Soft and Red Heart w/ Love are both #4 yarns, but they work up completely different. Simply Soft is a bit thinner and results in more of a draped look, whereas With Love is a bit more bulky and results in a heavier warmer look. The blanket for my son used Red Heart w/ Love and it’s incredibly soft and warm.

When I first started out I primarily used Red Heart Super Saver (#4) yarn, but I quickly learned about other acrylic yarns that are low cost and “nicer” in my opinion. I still think that Red Heart Super Saver (RHSS) is great for beginners learning to crochet, but it’s not my go to any more. Plus, you can find it cheap at your local Wal-Mart. I say buy small amounts of different yarns until you find out what you like. I have a TON of RHSS that I probably won’t ever use.

Labor of Love + An Amazon Giftcard Giveaway

If you follow me on Facebook/Instagram, you know that I started a blanket for my son in December. It was supposed to be one of his birthday presents, but I didn’t finish it in time. I’m not a huge fan of longer projects like blankets because there are tons of ends to weave in and they just take a long time, but my muffin needed a new blanket. He’s outgrown his blankets from last winter, plus it’s a bit colder this winter, so we’ve been doubling up the blankets to make sure he’s warm and his little feet are covered.

Prior to choosing to make a blanket for him, I came across this beautiful pattern from Mamachee on Ravelry.

via Tara Murray on Ravelry

via Tara Murray on Ravelry

 

I loved all the texture in it, so I purchased it thinking I would make it for my Etsy shop one day. Well when I realized my son needed a blanket, I decided to do this one, but less colors..

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IMG_4088Initially, I was only going to do the base color of pewter (gray) with lettuce (green) and iced aqua (light blue), but as I was working on the blue section I kept feeling like there needed to be at least one more color. Now this could have halted my project altogether, but I’m a bit of yarn hoarder, so there was already more yarn in my stash. Most of my Red Heart with Love yarn was dark, but I remembered I still had some cornsilk (yellow) left and voila!

IMG_4118Since this is a long project, I didn’t want to have to start over, so I was really careful about counting stitches in the beginning and making sure the colors worked together.

IMG_4121Once I started a green section, I was in love and happy with my decision to add the yellow in there. Although, my husband helped me choose too. I took a break to enjoy NYE and then went out of town for a few days to see my family in Michigan. By the time I got back, classes were getting ready to start and I had to put the blanket on hold for a while. I’m glad I didn’t tell my son that this project was for him right away because he would have kept asking about it. Well this past week it snowed in Georgia and that lead to snow days, I should have used the entire time to work on reading and writing for my dissertation, but what’s the fun in that lol. I decided to go ahead and finish up his blanket and I’m so happy I did.

Doesn't he looks so happy?

Doesn’t he looks so happy?

Six skeins of yarn, countless hours of crocheting, and lots of wrist pain later my labor of love is all done and just in time for Valentine’s Day. He’s gone down for the night with no problems since receiving his new blanket, but nap time is a different story.

Are you interested in learning to crochet? You can find a lot of great crochet beginner items on Amazon.  Enter below for your chance to win a $125 Amazon gift card (ends Feb. 14th).

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Welcome to Hook Smart!

Thank you for visiting the website for Hook Smart! I hope to share my love for crochet with others and let you all in on my adventures of building a small business.

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Please bare with me while I get things up and running! In the meantime, you can find me here:

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