Monday, November 27, 2017

The Irma Hat and Holiday Specials

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex

  There's a new pattern in my Ravelry store! I'm not here to beg you to buy it. I'm just here to help you save some money in case you do buy it. Keep reading for a super deal I found on the yarn... You just might get a discount on this pattern's purchase price, and more! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  The full price for The Irma Hat crochet pattern is only $1.50 (USD). Using bulky yarn and a large hook, it's easy to finish a hat in a day (I'm able to finish one in about an hour if I don't take a break). The pattern includes a measurement chart for all sizes or any yarn, plus a photo tutorial to help you get started. It's made from the bottom up with my favorite "chain-less" beginning for plenty of stretch.

  With the holidays approaching, I think it's a great design for some quick gifts! Even using worsted-weight yarn, I was able to complete a hat in less than a day. And that means if you don't want to go buy more yarn... Wait... We always want to go buy more yarn, right??? But seriously, you can use the size chart provided in the pattern to adjust for anything you might happen to have in your stash. Here's one I made from scraps of worsted:

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex

  And now, for those deals! So, in case you really do want to buy more yarn, because you know you do... I want to give you a head's up about a crazy deal on the Loops & Threads Charisma yarn called for in the pattern: 

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Ooo, goody, goody! My dad handed me the Michaels Black Friday advertisement that was in the paper, and this "Epic Bag" immediately caught my eye. You get 20 color-coordinated skeins of Charisma for... Are you ready? $40!!! That's only $2 a piece for a yarn that currently sells for $4.49.

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  So I... The one who doesn't care for the holidays and absolutely hates Black Friday shopping... I was one of the ones walking through the door as Michaels opened on Thanksgiving day for early Black Friday deals. ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I got my Epic Bag, and I survived the not-so-bad Holiday Madness. Ready to open it with me?

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Wait, I'm sorry... Ready to open the reusable bag that the yarn comes in? You know, the bag that would be perfect for storing the afghan made from the yarn and one of the two patterns provided?

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Well, there's duplicate colors underneath, so I guess there's not much of a point in digging through the bag... But hold on - Maybe there is! What is that tucked in there?

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Oh, that's just something else that's included - I failed to get farther than "20 skeins for $40" on the label... So cool! There's even a nice-looking wooden hook in this big bag of beautiful:

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Now, just to stress the point: This isn't a review; I haven't used the hook yet. It feels smooth and light, yet strong. It's totally round, which I'm starting to prefer when my joints are swollen. For those who prefer a hook with a flat thumb rest, perhaps it might not be the ideal addition to your collection.

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex, Charisma Epic Bag

  Although I'm eager to try that hook out with the provided pattern, these skeins weren't bought for making an afghan. I'll be making even more Irma Hats to sell locally and online. Any profits I can make from the sale of the pattern or the hats will be used to help Rip and I find a new home after Hurricane Irma took ours... And since your purchase will be helping me out, I want to help you save money on the yarn, too.

  If you can't make it to a Michaels store for the deal on the Epic Bag, you can often find Charisma yarn on sale in-store or online for less than $3 a skein. When I purchased the original 5 skeins to work on this project, it was on sale for $2. If you can't wait to find it on sale, Michaels also always has coupons available for up to 50% off an item. One skein of Charisma yarn is all that's needed to complete an adult large hat.

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex

 To keep spreading that holiday-discount love, I'm also offering 25% off all patterns in my Ravelry store for the rest of the year! Just use the code "holiday" at checkout. But wait, there's more!!! (See, late night infomercials have taught me something. ๐Ÿ˜ˆ๐Ÿ˜)

crochet, pattern, for sale, Ravelry, holiday, holly, table runner 




  As my thanks to you for your purchase, you can get the Irma Hat pattern for just $1 until December 24th, 2017. Use code "Irma" at checkout or click this link. Once that promotion is over, you'll still be able to use the 25% off on the pattern until December 31st.

beanie, Black Friday, Bulky yarn, Charisma, crochet, Cyber Monday, discount, easy, for sale, hat, Loops & Threads, pattern, size chart, slouchy, unisex

  Irma took my house, but she couldn't take my love of crochet away. (Told'ya I just needed some time to straighten things out!) Hopefully I'll be able to get back to offering more free patterns soon... Until then, please enjoy discounted prices and know that your purchases will go towards a good cause. Thank you!

Happy Crocheting!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Sunday Snapshots

photography, cat, flowers, azalea, lantana, Florida, fall

  A sleepless night of crocheting led to a few finished projects. (5 hats!) I should have been spending the day working on writing a pattern and weaving in a few leftover loose ends, but a feeble attempt at sleep ended in a brain that's not fit for counting. I went outside to clear my mind in the mild fall air instead. Something caught my eye that made me go back in for the camera... And what was supposed to be "one quick picture" later, I have a few snapshots to share: 


  A guest plant has made a surprise visit to Dad's yard... A little wild lantana (shrub verbena) popped up next to the driveway! As a child, I thought these flowers were extra-special because one bloom is like a miniature bouquet of multicolored flowers all on one stalk. It was difficult to pick these "magical" blossoms because of their many sharp thorns, so most were lucky to be left alone to grow.

  Back in those days, I would find a mix of the multicolored variety along with solid yellow ones. Little did I know how special those bright yellow flowers were... A Florida native, l. depressa is now on the endangered list of plants that are getting harder to find. It's quite common to spot l. camara (the multicolored ones) growing along the sides of roads here in central Florida, and apparently they'll work on taking over your yard as well.


flowers, azalea, salmon/orange

  Already having the camera out, I decided to get some shots of Dad's azaleas. This salmon/orange variety makes a beautiful specimen for practicing photography.


flowers, photography, azaleas, white

  The same flowers in white made for a challenge! I found it difficult to find the right settings to avoid washing out the picture, and a mild breeze picked up while I was trying. Originally I adjusted for a lower ISO and longer shutter speed, but kept getting a blurry picture due to the wind. Eventually I got an almost-perfect shot with a higher speed of 1/2500 and the ISO at 6400.


flower, photography, azaleas, pink, variegated

  The same setting got me an awesome shot of this pink variety without having to worry about blurry blossoms blowing in the breeze.


photography, flowers, azalea, bud, blossom

  And I tried my hand at a closeup of this little bud, but found the photo just didn't have much aesthetic appeal for me. I got bored with the azaleas and started to review my photos, and that's when I noticed a little green bug had been hanging out on the lantana in some of the best shots. I wanted to try again without the photo-bomber, so I went back to the driveway...


photography, flowers, lantana, l. camara

  The auto-rotate function on the camera got me again! I leaned over too far trying to check for that bug and got a vertical picture. I should have been paying more attention... I have no idea what could have distracted me so much...


photography, cat, black, Jump Steady

   Oh, yeah, maybe it's that... "ME!!!" said Jump Steady... "You're supposed to be taking pictures of ME!!!" Obviously, any further photos of the lantana were forgotten as soon as the cats realized the camera was out...


photography, cat, black, Jump Steady

  Of course, as soon as the cats had my attention they had to act like I was bothering them. With the photo shoot interrupted, Jump Steady felt it was a good time to go take a nap. I went back to see if there were any more interesting blossoms on the azaleas I might have missed...


photography, Florida, toad, southern

  And found something interesting, indeed! Another guest has invaded the yard, making a home in the mulch under the azaleas. Aw, this little guy makes a cool picture, all camouflaged in his not-so-hidden burrow... 


photography, Florida, toad, southern

  But Mr. Toad wasn't so happy that I was bothering him. He started to ooze some stuff out of his warts, and I don't speak Toad but I'm pretty sure that means "leave me alone". It's also gross. I'm almost positive that this is just the common native southern toad which is harmless, but I'm no expert... Okay, it's time to leave Mr. Toad alone.

  The day progressed without any other photo-worthy moments. We went down to the old house to pack boxes of what can be salvaged, but came back empty-handed in the end. Starting in the kitchen, I tried to empty the cabinets... My cookie sheets: Covered in mold. Baking pans: Mold. Oven mitts, towels, ice cube trays, etc.: Mold, mold, and mold. I'm starting to think anything left behind is a total loss. It puts Rip and I both in a sour mood and makes rummaging through the remains a depressing task.


photography, long exposure, night photos, stars

  The sun set an hour earlier today, revealing a beautiful moon that's just one day past full... You can bet I was back outside with the camera for those night shots I've been working on. Again I had trouble capturing the perfect picture of what I'm envisioning, so I abandoned my attempts at getting the moon in the photo. Except for that issue, I think I'm getting familiar enough with the settings and I'm ready to try a scene other than Dad's trees.

photography, long exposure, nature, oak, moss

  Still, I love these shots for what they are... It might not be much of a scene to look at in a glance, but it's the feeling you get if your brain catches what's "wrong" with the pictures. I like things that have a creepy/beautiful style more than something that's just "pretty".

  Perhaps this photography will lead me in another direction after all... But that doesn't mean it will take me away from crocheting! I'm hoping my newfound hobby helps to feed my creativity; maybe it will just fuel my uncertainty in the end. All I know now is that I have a choice between going back out with the camera or weaving in loose ends on all those hats I've been making. For once, I'm actually looking forward to picking up the yarn needle.

Happy Crocheting!
PS - Although the pattern is still lost and may never be found, I finally finished that scarf.
๐Ÿ˜