Eastendhomearts's Blog

Knitting, Crocheting and comments about life

Archive for the tag “Etsy”

Happy National Crochet Month! Blog Tour- Where does your inspiration come from?

Happy National Crochet Month! I am so excited to be apart of the Crochetville’s 2014 National Crochet Month Designer Blog Tour! What an amazing time when many crochet designers come to together to celebrate what we love to do. Crochet is a unique art that is not only gorgeous but portable and super fun. It can tap into creative parts of your brain you never knew existed. I started crocheting after developing a love for handmade items I kept seeing. So while my boyfriend (now husband) at the time was in the hospital recovering from a splenectomy, I grabbed my first H hook and skein of yarn coupled with a Leisure Arts “I Can Teach Myself How to Crochet in One Day” and started my journey.

My journey has been more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined. Crochet has helped me to not only be creative, but has helped me finish grad school as I crocheted in class to help stay focused on what the teacher was saying, start my first creative career selling finished items on Etsy and then developed into my current career as an independent designer with a successful shop on Ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/designers/suzy-allen ).

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Many ask me how do I find and stay inspired, so join me in my journey as I share with you what inspires me:

Nature:

Nothing to me is more inspiring than the colors, textures and experiences that nature affords to us. I often take my color wheel in my backpack along with my sketching book and head to my local nature preserve to go for a walk. I am captivated by the colors that are in an early morning sunset, ocean vignette or high among the treetops. One summer my local beach became my inspiration, a trip to Montauk Point, left me with a nautical feeling I could not shake. So out of that trip came my Montauk Beach bag (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/montauk-beach-bag ), Yale Cowl (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/yale-cowl ) and the Sea Shore Shrug (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sea-shore-shrug )

Also, the lines, the natural lace, branches, flowers and water features add a multitude of depth to inspire the crocheter. Many a stitch patterns have been chosen or developed after a trip to the park. Color plus texture equals a great fabric making a great canvas for design. To see how I took this inspiration and made it into designs. I will be posting a collection in my Ravelry Shop today! Check it out!

Runway:

This trip for inspiration is as close as your computer as you google crochet fashion to see the latest runway fashions or taking a walk through your local mall.  Crochet has been an integral part of the fashion world since its inception. Crochet lace, creative placement of motifs and accessories are everywhere this season. A great place to see this is by taking a trip to your local Anthroplogie, J.Crew, and Free People. I often find inspiration for home décor by perusing the catalogs of Pottery Barn, Urban Outfitters and Williams and Sonoma. Luckily, I live close to New York City as well so the streets of the city also serve as my own personal runway show full of inspiration.  

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Friends/LYS/Crochet Social Media:

Another great source of inspiration for me is getting involved in the supportive community that is the crochet world.  My LYS, (local yarn shop), my local guild chapter (http://www.tkga.com/members/?id=16714646) , Ravelry (www.ravelry.com ), Facebook and of course Crochetville (http://crochetville.com/ ). I’d encourage you if your looking for inspiration to find a local yarn shop that supports and encourages crocheting. I’m very lucky to have one at The Village Knitter (http://villageknitter.com/ ). I love watching my friends creating awesome projects with gorgeous yarn. Often times, when one of us does a project inspires others to do the same.

As the Vice President of my local chapter of TKGA and CGOA, the Eastern Long Island Knitters Guild (http://www.tkga.com/members/?id=16714646) we try to bring in programming that is inspiring and encouraging people to continue their journey in needlework. Not only do I participate in my chapter, I also visit other chapters to either volunteer, collaborate on a project or gain inspiration as well.

Social media can link crocheters from around the world, Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter and of Crochetville has helped me to link up with other like-minded people to help celebrate and share my love of Crochet. Here you can often find a way to get involved with crochet related charities such as Halos for Hope website link , Facebook page . To help out all crochet hat patterns in my shop are 50% off (Code: ch2)

Lastly, taking classes at my favorite Crochet related show is a great way to ignite your inspiration. I have taken many a great classes with the greats of Crochet such as Marly Bird, Lily Chin, Melissa Leapman, Robyn Chachula and more. I am proud to announce that this summer at the Knit and Crochet Show in Manchester, NH I will be teaching for the first time on a national level. I would love to have you join me for Color Theory and Healthy Hands. (http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/ ) (http://www.knitandcrochetshow.com/pdf/2014-KCS-Classes-At-A-Glance.pdf )

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For more great inspiration: check out National Crochet Month blog tour http://crochetville.com/blog/ . Also be on the look out for an ebook by all the designers on the blog tour with a great Spring Garden theme. Thank you to all the great people at Crochetville and CGOA. Thank you for being awesome !

Please enjoy 50% off all crochet patterns in my shop with coupon code: ch2

A sneak peak of my Spring Garden contribution to the ebook is included in the photograph below.

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RJ’s Striped Preemie Beanie- Great to whip a few for charity

Another great preemie hat to knit for charity or your favorite little preemie. Sized to fit a preemie from 2 and half lbs to 4 lbs. Super stretchy and versatile. Pattern may be used to give as gifts and charity but pattern may not be sold and items made from this pattern may not be sold.Free preemie beanie pattern

Pattern: Ridged baby cap

Yarn: 1 skein of sport weight baby yarn

Skill Level: advanced beginner

Estimated time to finish: 2 hours

Needle size: US 6 (4.0mm)

Gauge: 5 sts/in

Abbreviations:

Sts= stitches

Co= cast on

K= knit

P = purl

K2tog= knit two together

Pattern:

Co 44 sts

  • Being careful not to twist sts, place marker and join rnd
  • K1, p1, around for 4 rnds

Next Rnd:

  • Knit each st around for 5 rnds
  • Purl each st for  1 rnd
  • Repeat these last two rows 2 more times
  • Knit one more rnd

Decrease:

  • k 9, k2tog, around
  • k each st around
  • k8, k2tog
  • p each st around
  • k7, k2tog around
  • k6, k2tog around
  • k5, k2tog around
  • k4, k2tog around
  • k3, k2tog around
  • k2, k2 tog around
  • k1, k2tog around
  • k2 tog around
  • Leaving a long tail cut yarn and with a yarn needle thread through remaining sts and pull and weave in yarn

© January 31, 2011 East End Heritage. Pattern may be used for instructional purposes as long as credit is given to the designer Susanne Allen-Wuttke and  her shop www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com.

You are so knit-worthy/crochet-worthy!!!

Crochet/Knit Worthy: (noun)
A term used by stitchers alike that describe someone that is worthy of spending countless hours knitting or crocheting an item, toy, accessory or if really special a garment for.

The term itself may seem simple to you but as a stitcher this is a very precious term not used very often because it takes a lot for a stitcher to give this special honor to. As we leave the holiday season, many people check their Christmas card list to see who sent them one and who didn’t… well us stitchers we have our own list of who is worthy of handmade stitched items and who is not. A lot of times people graciously accept your handmade items with a polite smile or gentle thank you, other times people tell you it doesn’t fit or its not their style. Then there is that person that laughs with joy, gasps at your handiwork, immediately dons the item and proudly parades it for everyone to see, I have even made some people cry. Now those people are knit/crochet/stitch worthy. These are the people you long to knit for. As a new knitter, you think they are a dime a dozen because really who doesn’t like a scarf. As your skills grow and you start cabling, lace or even if they are really special entrelac, you realize there are less and less people that appreciate your new skills and you never see the items again. (People, to a handmade artist this is like when your favorite Aunt goes out and buys you the most exquisite bridal shower gift and you hide it in your closet! To you you don’t want to ruin it but to your Aunt she wants it to be used because she uniquely picked out for you!) Then (enter the deep drum music) when you can take your skills and put them on garments, the list gets even smaller. (yes, even husbands sometimes are not worthy of this honor!)

So who is knit/crochet/stitch worthy…….(It is different to every person but for me here is my top 5)
1) My darling little Caitlyn Joy-
Yup my two year old is the most knit-worthy person in my life currently! I know hard to believe and many will disagree but come on she asks to go to the yarn shop and picks out the yarn she wants for her hat. (yes it is true she asked me to make her a hat and she picked the most beautiful wool roving called Crea at our local yarn shop in Stony Brook, NY Rumplestiltskin)
2) My sister in law Jonelle Wuttke! She is great… she knows I am going to knit her something so she finds a style she likes or a picture of what she wants so I know exactly what to make her. Some may say thats picky I say she is a smart cookie for telling me what her style is. If you don’t tell me how do I know!

3)Emma Katherine- my baby niece! She is 6 weeks old and yup knit worthy…. Ok i know i have an obsession with stitching for little ones but my thought is teach them young and who knows! She has a whole year of hats to wear.. yup you read that right a whole year!

4) Shana Cassidy Carroll- My dear friend for a while. I designed for her new baby boy Quinn a gorgeous ( if I do say so myself) Log Cabin-esque baby blanket. Not only have I seen it in public many times, she even texted me for specific washing instructions because she wanted to treat the organic cotton the right way. You warm my heart Sha!

5) Sarah Steiner! Just facebooked me to tell me that her little Elsie snuggles with the cabled blanket I made her!

6) My co worker who I have not yet knit for but responded to a frustrated holiday post asking the fb community who they thought was knit/crochet/stitch worthy and why…hmmm I wonder what Bob wants me to stitch him.

So thats my list ! There are more but those are the ones that have encouraged me this week ! Maybe there will be a follow up to this blog…only tiime will tell!

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RJ’s Striped Preemie Beanie- Another great free pattern to stitch during the Super Bowl

Another great preemie hat to knit for charity or your favorite little preemie. Sized to fit a preemie from 2 and half lbs to 4 lbs. Super stretchy and versatile. Pattern may be used to give as gifts and charity but pattern may not be sold and items made from this pattern may not be sold.Free preemie beanie pattern

Pattern: Ridged baby cap

Yarn: 1 skein of sport weight baby yarn

Skill Level: advanced beginner

Estimated time to finish: 2 hours

Needle size: US 6 (4.0mm)

Gauge: 5 sts/in

Abbreviations:

Sts= stitches

Co= cast on

K= knit

P = purl

K2tog= knit two together

Pattern:

Co 44 sts

  • Being careful not to twist sts, place marker and join rnd
  • K1, p1, around for 4 rnds

Next Rnd:

  • Knit each st around for 5 rnds
  • Purl each st for  1 rnd
  • Repeat these last two rows 2 more times
  • Knit one more rnd

Decrease:

  • k 9, k2tog, around
  • k each st around
  • k8, k2tog
  • p each st around
  • k7, k2tog around
  • k6, k2tog around
  • k5, k2tog around
  • k4, k2tog around
  • k3, k2tog around
  • k2, k2 tog around
  • k1, k2tog around
  • k2 tog around
  • Leaving a long tail cut yarn and with a yarn needle thread through remaining sts and pull and weave in yarn

© January 31, 2011 East End Heritage. Permission is given by designer for the sale of items from this pattern as long as credit is given to designer Susanne Allen-Wuttke and  her shop www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com. Stealing is mean!!!!

Another Cute Preemie Hat- Preemie Beanie- Great project to do while following the game !

Here is another great preemie hat as promised!

Yarn: Variegated Sport Weight Baby Yarn 2 oz or so
Needle Size: US 6 (4.0 mm) 12 in circulars and/or dpns
Gauge: 5 sts/in
Abbreviations:
Co= cast on
K= knit
P= purl
Sts= stitches
Rnd= round
Pattern:
Co 40 sts
Rnd 1: k1, p1 around
• Repeat 2 more times
Next Rnd : k every st around

• Knit till piece measures 3 in from bottom

Decrease:
• K6, k2tog around
• K each st around
• K 5, k2tog around
• K each st around
• K 4, k2tog around
• K each st around
• K 3, k2tog around
• K each st around
• K 2, k2tog around
• K 1, k 2 tog around
• K2tog around
• Leaving a long tail cut the yarn and use a yarn needle to pull tail through the remaining sts and weave in yarn ends
Pattern for all other sizes besides the preemie area available in my etsy shop. http://www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com
(C) January 2011 Items made from this pattern may NOT be sold and only used for charitable purposes! Stealing is mean!
Preemie Beanie

Fleece Preemie Beanie

Fleece Preemie Hat
Gauge: 4 sts/in
Yarn: soft fleece yarn (worsted weight)
Needle size: Us 8 (5.0mm) 12 in circulars / and or dpn’s
Abbreviations:
Co= cast on
Pm= place marker
K= knit
Rnd= round
Using a long tail cast on co 35 sts
Rnd 1:Being careful not to twist sts, pm and join rnd and K every st around
Repeat rnd l until piece measures 3 in in length begin decrease
1) k5 k2 tog around
2) k each st around
3) k4 , k2 tog around
4) k each st around
5) k3, k2 tog around
6) k2, k2tog around
7) k1, k 2 tog around
8) k2 tog around
• Leaving a long tail and a yarn needle pull that yarn through the top sts and weave in ends
• Donate or give to your favorite preemie charity, local hospital or friend.

Cables Cables Cables!

How many times have you looked at a beautifully cabled garment and said … I wish I could do that it is so beautiful but I like to do simple things. All too many times I have said that. One day I was in an amazing yarn shop in Essex, VT called Kaleidoscope yarns. With a pattern in hand from Green Mountain Spinnery for a bulky weight cabled mitten and I was paralyzed with yarn choices and if I could actually do it. Even though it was kind of busy in the shop the amazing staff at Kaleidoscope yarns took the time to explain to me that it was just simply taking the stitches to another needle and holding them in front of or in back of the work to twist stitches. It was a release of fear that enabled me to dive into the world of cabling. (They also helped me to pick out some gorgeous charcoal grey yarn)

So you might be saying, I am still fearful. I will try to do a blog post on technique soon but for today here are my tips on choosing a project….
1) Choose a simple pattern (not more than 4-8 row repeat)
Why? because counting rows take concentration
2) Give yourself time to learn in peace and quiet (its not fun to yell at your two year old because she is stealing your cable needle)

3)Try possible knitting your project in a round… That way you can minimize purling until you have the technique down

4) Enjoy cabling really is fun and rather simple when you get the hang of it!

Want some great projects to start off with … I just so happen to have just listed four great cable hats in my etsy shop http://www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com

Mention the word cable in the checkout message to the buyer and you will receive a free cable pattern with your purchase.

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New Skills!!!

As a stitcher, I am always looking to learn a new technique that’s why I was super excited when Interweave Crochet Winter 2011, had a basic sock “recipe”. This past Christmas season, I had been designing a lot of Christmas stockings (which are basically large socks!) and was über excited to bring stocking design to crochet.
I eagerly sat down with some leftover brown sheep yarn and started stitching.. Sounds like a great start right! Wrong! First of all, you know you are in trouble when you are trying to stitch with a two year old running around (she has a cold too…), second of all I assumed I knew enough to start changing things around, third of all I didn’t read all the directions before I dove in.

So why am I blogging about this experience. I am using it to encourage all of you out there with new years resolutions to learn new skills to have a successful experience.

1) Find a really great resource like Interweave Press Magazines, Vogue Knitting, a great book by your favorite designer ( my top 5 fave designers are Rosemary Drysdale, Nicky Epstein, Candi Jensen, Maureen Clark and Debbie Bliss…oh and Melissa Leapman too!)

2) Set yourself up in a quiet place with few distractions

3) Take on the journey when well rested

4) Remind yourself that mistakes are part of the learning process

5) Remember if you don’t succeed you can always try again and your success was in that you found one way not to do the new technique

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You are so knit-worthy/crochet-worthy!!!

Crochet/Knit Worthy: (noun)
A term used by stitchers alike that describe someone that is worthy of spending countless hours knitting or crocheting an item, toy, accessory or if really special a garment for.

The term itself may seem simple to you but as a stitcher this is a very precious term not used very often because it takes a lot for a stitcher to give this special honor to. As we leave the holiday season, many people check their Christmas card list to see who sent them one and who didn’t… well us stitchers we have our own list of who is worthy of handmade stitched items and who is not. A lot of times people graciously accept your handmade items with a polite smile or gentle thank you, other times people tell you it doesn’t fit or its not their style. Then there is that person that laughs with joy, gasps at your handiwork, immediately dons the item and proudly parades it for everyone to see, I have even made some people cry. Now those people are knit/crochet/stitch worthy. These are the people you long to knit for. As a new knitter, you think they are a dime a dozen because really who doesn’t like a scarf. As your skills grow and you start cabling, lace or even if they are really special entrelac, you realize there are less and less people that appreciate your new skills and you never see the items again. (People, to a handmade artist this is like when your favorite Aunt goes out and buys you the most exquisite bridal shower gift and you hide it in your closet! To you you don’t want to ruin it but to your Aunt she wants it to be used because she uniquely picked out for you!) Then (enter the deep drum music) when you can take your skills and put them on garments, the list gets even smaller. (yes, even husbands sometimes are not worthy of this honor!)

So who is knit/crochet/stitch worthy…….(It is different to every person but for me here is my top 5)
1) My darling little Caitlyn Joy-
Yup my two year old is the most knit-worthy person in my life currently! I know hard to believe and many will disagree but come on she asks to go to the yarn shop and picks out the yarn she wants for her hat. (yes it is true she asked me to make her a hat and she picked the most beautiful wool roving called Crea at our local yarn shop in Stony Brook, NY Rumplestiltskin)
2) My sister in law Jonelle Wuttke! She is great… she knows I am going to knit her something so she finds a style she likes or a picture of what she wants so I know exactly what to make her. Some may say thats picky I say she is a smart cookie for telling me what her style is. If you don’t tell me how do I know!

3)Emma Katherine- my baby niece! She is 6 weeks old and yup knit worthy…. Ok i know i have an obsession with stitching for little ones but my thought is teach them young and who knows! She has a whole year of hats to wear.. yup you read that right a whole year!

4) Shana Cassidy Carroll- My dear friend for a while. I designed for her new baby boy Quinn a gorgeous ( if I do say so myself) Log Cabin-esque baby blanket. Not only have I seen it in public many times, she even texted me for specific washing instructions because she wanted to treat the organic cotton the right way. You warm my heart Sha!

5) Sarah Steiner! Just facebooked me to tell me that her little Elsie snuggles with the cabled blanket I made her!

6) My co worker who I have not yet knit for but responded to a frustrated holiday post asking the fb community who they thought was knit/crochet/stitch worthy and why…hmmm I wonder what Bob wants me to stitch him.

So thats my list ! There are more but those are the ones that have encouraged me this week ! Maybe there will be a follow up to this blog…only tiime will tell!

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Where does your needle craft inspiration come from?

Inspiration from Classical Knitters
With the new resurgence of needle crafts, many of us “new” knitters are looking for information. I love to go to a LYS (local yarn shop) and just chat with whoever is in there whether it be the owner, customer or teacher. This practice is so underrated in this technological age. Knitting and crocheting used to be an art that you just knew. There where few written patterns for sweaters as most people of the period just “knew” how to make a sweater. Lately on my yarn shop adventures, I found myself at Knitty City which is really close to Central Park and started talking with one of the amazing staff members and we started discussing designing and where we get our inspiration. She found time while the store was a flutter with many customers and students to help point me to the right books I was looking for. I usually find knitting and crocheting books by accident and then find out later that the book that I thought was “the” source on a technique actually is. I left with “Knitting from the Top Down” by Barbara G. Walker, a book by Mary Thomas and Knitting Guernseys. Three of the most information packed books on knitting that I have ever found. If you are looking for a text book on sweaters and stitch patterns they are IT!!!!! This week on my blog I will dive a little deeper into what I find out to be THE authority books on needle crafts. So I say to a new generation of knitters and needle crafters not to pass by the books that look slightly dated because if you really want to knit and to eventually break away from commercially written patterns these books are for you !

Leave a comment about where your needle craft inspiration comes from and you will receive a free pattern from http://www.eastendhomearts.etsy.com

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