Thursday, 30 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #27 Competition Update #3

Read on to see what this pyramid of coloured yarn is all about!
I know I said I wasn't going to show you any more of my competition entry blanket until I finished it, but to make up for the lack of crochet posts on both Facebook and Twitter I thought you could have a few pictures which don't give much away, but hopefully have you wondering just what these squares 
Tada! Yes I know the penultimate row has 2 missing.
have to do with an earlier progress photo of the blanket. There's only a week to go before all will be revealed! You all know what I'll be up to this bank holiday weekend ^o^ 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #26 My first commission!

Yippee! Otome from the anime Aikatsu sliding down a rainbow slide looks like she's shouting this ^o^
I'm super excited at the moment, as I've got my first commissioned blanket! Well, nearly got it. It's from a relative, and they'd like a blanket in autumn colours. The decision of exactly colours, yarn, and pattern will be made over the next few weeks which makes me excited about what I'll get to do. Commissioned work is something I'll be advertising towards the end of the year, but I won't say no if anyone asks me now :) I'll most definitely keep you updated on the various stages of this exciting project! 

I'm still busy working on my competition piece, whose deadline is only a week and a bit away. It's action stations time!
Must keep crocheting...

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Filler post

If I don't see you, you don't see me!
Normal posts will resume Tuesday - I wasn't well yesterday so have been resting and don't have time to write a post today. As I get better the rest includes crochet! Yay!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #25 Shiny yarn!

The yarn isn't literally shiny, but, like with any yarn lover, all yarn is shiny! These two came all the way from the USA. I thought I'd give them a try for dishcloths, since they say they are kitchen yarn. With alternate rows of white and mustard yellow I think the dishcloths will be rather smart. 

Once again I'd planned to write about some of the crochet books I've received this week (still waiting for 2) but it's late afternoon, and after only just avoiding a migraine yesterday I'm feeling drained. I've done a fair amount of crochet, can you show you these lovely squares which are for the final blanket in my Spring collection (coming soon!). 

I hope to do a little more of my competition piece tonight, which is also growing nicely, but first I'll be reading. Often after a migraine/almost migraine for a while I crave things which don't move and aren't brightly coloured. I've watched both human drama and anime today, which may be why I want to steer clear of it now - I've had my fill! Time to dive into the world of spy dogs, Amish country, dystopian royalty, friendship and ever so much more, as well as shiny yarn, both in the books I read and in the crochet I do! ^o^

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #24 Nayu Branches Out

Big Idea hint: this could be coming to a coffee shop near you!
A Big Idea 
I know some of my hyperness is due to a bit of chocolate cake and chocolate cheesecake which I've recently nommed on, but the rest is due to A Big Idea I had this morning. I'd had the idea probably a month or so ago, and thanks to a part in a book I'm reading about where the character decides to do a decorating course and help others with their home improvements The Big Idea grew Bigger! 

In the name of research
Before I spill the beans (or as I originally wrote bins), one of many things I'm looking forward to in July when I go self-employed is having a bit more time and concentration to learn some new crochet skills. In the name of research I've ordered a couple of books, mostly with designs for cute things so I can embellish (fancy word alert!) my blankets and make them even more gorgeous. 

Although I only bought a couple of books, not looks which seem to be here, I feel as happy as if I bought an entire library ^o^

Slightly off track
 After some research it turns out that it's not illegal to use some or all of a pattern in a piece that I sell, since it's the pattern itself rather than the finished product which is copywritten. Which is good news for me because I did envisage spending months/years figuring out how to make flowers/leaves/bow in crochet form. Yay! 

Back to The Bigger Idea
"Keep your eyes on me rather than the yarn and I'll show you to turn a corner."
 I've still got to let it simmer and work out all the fine details, but, hopefully before the end of this year, I'll be offering one-to-one crochet lessons to some of you in my local area! 

Each 3 hour session will include learning all the steps needed to make a granny square blanket including putting it together, and will include a starter crochet kit compiled by myself in yarn colours of the client's choice including: 

crochet hook
appropriate scissors
yarn needle
enough yarn to make a lap blanket in colours chosen by you
a hints & tips sheet
a cute bag to keep all this in 
While it is possible to learn to crochet from online - I've found a variety of free classes which will help me hone my skills, there is something about having someone else teach you in person, to encourage you when your first granny square doesn't necessarily look like a square, to help you practice over and over until the stitches click in your head and off your hook. There would be the ability to contact me any time if you needed to go over a step, and perhaps a shorter top up session for further queries.
The support will continue after the lesson
I've taught a few people how to crochet already and I love doing it. In the future I'd look into the possibility of teaching through skype so more of you have access to this fun opportunity, but for now it would be in a coffee shop of my local town. I'd offer to do it at my home, but public places are safer for me and for you. What could be more fun than learning a craft which will stay with you for life (if you practice) from me over your favourite tea/coffee/juice and come away with all you need to start making your own blankets and other items! 

Expect more updates towards August/September on this venture for Nayu's Crochet Dreams, where I want to help you make your own dreams!
I'm not a penguin (& it won't be knitting), but I'll be there to hep you take your first steps in the wonderful world of crochet!

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Gallery #3 Dewdrop in the Desert Dreams

Dewdrop in the Desert Dreams neatly folded up
Today I'm going to chat about one of my Individual Blanket range items, the Dewdrop in the Desert Dreams, which is currently for sale over on my Etsy shop
Dewdrop in the Desert Dreams in all it's glory
A close up of the two colours
It was a random blanket, as I was browsing various makes of yarns and spotted the blue first. I fell in love with the subtle changes of colour, and then looked what colour to pair it up with. Seeing the second colour made me think of the desert. 
My kind of desert
I know deserts can have cactus and other shrubs in it, but somehow I think desert of mostly yellow sandy-soil, which is why there's no green in this blanket. I know that dewdrops are clear...
Dewdrops on a leaf
...but somehow when I think of them in my head they are sometimes blue. I probably got that incorrect view from when I was younger and always painted a river and sea blue. Either way, Dewdrop in the Desert feels like an appropriate name given the images the yarn conjured up for me. 
Here Dewdrop of the Desert Dreams blanket is folded in half and pulled back so you can see how neat the back is.

I confess that lately when I think of this blanket, or a desert, I instantly see Sora from the anime Aikatsu in her own brand Bohemian Sky outfit, right at the part of her song routine where she does a special appeal (think extra showy part of the dance) and is in a desert oasis.
I couldn't find a clear image of that precise moment in the song, so here is Sora at the start. Her outfit - and her hair - includes a lot of blue.
As you can tell anime heavily influences every aspect of my life (^o^) I think this blankets would suit Sora!
This is a never seen before photo - instead of being neatly folded I picked the blanket up, shook it out, dropped it, then took a photo. I've done this for practically all my projects so you'll get to see how it will look like in your home when in use. It might not be a conventional photo, but I like like it because when in use blankets do get like this!
I hope you like this blanket, remember it can be yours! Many more are on the way so do keep an eye out for them. 

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #23 Competition Update #2

I'm working on my entry!
You are possibly wondering why I've got yet another competition update so soon after the previous one. Well, I wasn't happy with my 2nd attempt. I know I've used cream yarn before to create what I call spacer rows, rows that separate other colours, so that's what I used in my entry. The problem was it didn't look quite right. When something becomes a niggle I'm not satisfied until I resolve the issue.

For a while I simple kept on adding new rows, but it got to the point where I wasn't keen on the blanket. I decided the cream was too yellow, other creams have been subtle, so I've stopped work and started what I hope is my 3rd & final piece for the competition. I've taken a picture so you can see the abandonned project, and my current one which won't have any spacer rows.
Current piece is on the right. The cream doesn't look as yellow here as it does in natural light in the first piece.
I will make the discarded attempt a little bigger and give it to my cat to use on her bed. It's not something I feel I can sell, as I believe in only selling items I'm happy with. If I'm not happy with it, I certainly don't expect other people to be happy, and I want to make my customers happy!

Although the competition piece by nature is taking most of my attention, I am working on dishcloths so that you'll have new items to buy on my Etsy store - they are quick & easy to make, highly satisfying in feeling I've achieved something when my competition blanket takes time to be completed. I'm leaning more towards keeping it for myself - don't worry, I fully expect to create another (with spacer rows in white) which will go up for sale. I plan on making colourful blankets with spacer rows a staple item for you here on Nayu's Crochet Dreams!

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #22 Yarn is a girl's best friend

Picture source

I thought I'd confuse you all this week and write Tuesday's post today, Wednesday, and keep up with normal schedule for having another post tomorrow. Which on reflection isn't confusing, you just get a new post 2 days in a row! 

I've been fairly wiped out this week, possibly due to not the best planning of meeting some friends & doing various chores. The weather is slowly warming up which is good news as my body responds well to sunshine.

While I have rested a fair bit more than normal (when I say rest I mean no reading/writing/craft of any kind, just watching shows) I have also been doing my usual hobbies, including crochet. Yarn is never too far away from me! I get grumpy if I don't crochet for a few days, so I do try to do some. As I said to a friend, even just a few stitches makes a huge world of difference to a crafter's mood. 

Tomorrow you can find out what I've been working on - it both is and isn't what you think! Stay tuned until then.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #21 Competition Update

Morning all! I hope you are getting some sunshine which is bursting through the clouds on this windy day. It's time to update you on my competition entry which I first mentioned in Nayu's Craft Time #18

Not quite there yet
I've been working away at my emoticon protoype. Yesterday afternoon I sent the picture to a friend to see what she thinks - she does crochet too so is a good critic. She explained that it needs to be a bit clearer what it is, which an extra row of white squares between the mouth and the upside down vs which are eyes may work, as well as making the eyes from 5 not 3 squares. 

I then started brainstorming more ideas for the competition since the entry is looming (start of May). I had a few chores to do will I mulled things over, and thankfully came to the following conclusion which will bring sanity to my friend gets all of my ideas. 

I'm still entering the competition, but I'm not debuting my emoticon blanket. 

I'm fairly competitive and in the past being super motivated tends to make me focus only on whatever I'm working on, leading to not taking enough breaks and lots of self-pressure. Looking at it with perspective it seems a bit crazy to enter something I haven't yet made successfully, so I'm not. I'm going for a classic Nayu blanket, using either stripes/coloured squares just to make a fun pattern. 
Like the occasonal blue rows in this blanket made as a present for a younger member of my family

I am still going to be working on perfecting the emoticon blanket...except I will play around on paper first! That way it doesn't matter if I don't get it correct straight away, I can see what's wrong visually using squares of paper to display the pattern. It will lead to lots of drawing and cutting out which is part of designing - and a load of fun!
It's also why I bought a pad of squared paper the other week.
I will give continue giving competition updates - here's a picture of the different yarn I'm using.  At the moment I'm undecided whether the competition piece will make it to my shop, or if it will take residence in my bedroom. Either way I've a few weeks to decide that! 

Remember to take a peek at what I've got on sale on my Etsy store - more items are coming soon! (hopefully Tuesday).
I'll leave you with a glimpse of the colours for my competition blanket!

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #20 Dishcloth heaven

This little dishcloth is waiting for a home!
I may only have 1 dishcloth up for sale on my Etsy shop, but more will be coming soon! A package full of lovely cotton yarn is on its way to me, so hopefully will have more to show you soon. Tired after work so whatever post I thought I'd write today will wait until the weekend ^o^ I'm off to rest with some anime...and then lots of crochet and audiobooks! Will post my progress pics soon.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #19 My Etsy store is live!

Nayu's Crochet Dreams is now open!!
You've probably noticed the big Etsy sign like this one at the top of the page- you've guessed correctly if you think my Etsy store is live! It's the place to be to buy my crochet creations. Please hop on over to take a look, and spread the word if you've got someone you want to give a bit of love to in the form of a blanket or dishcloth. More stock is on the way, so stay tuned! 

I'm super excited that it's all coming together. There is a lot of stuff that needs tweaking, but after a very long day Sunday getting the basics ready I'm doing everything one step at a time.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #18 Competition & NCD's Etsy shop

Read on to find out what I'm making with this pretty range of yarn!
I hope you've had a good week. Craft wise I've been working on a new, unexpected project which I must tell you about. I don't consider myself highly skilled crochet wise. What I do isn't too complex, when it comes to the numerous stitches that can be crocheted, as well as doing crochet in rows rather than simple squares, but it's enough for me, so I never dreamed of entering a competition. However, when the online shop where I buy all my yarn announced they had a competition I got curious. 
Find out more here
You can find out all about it by clicking on the link under the picture. For those wanting a condensed version, there are 6 categories, you can enter as many as you like, so long as you take on board the main theme and produce a knitted/crocheted item. Me, I'm going for the rainbow theme, and I'm going to debut my emoticon blanket range! 
This is part of the prototype, hopefully you can see that this is the eye half of the emoticon. The competition piece is going to be more colourful and bigger. I'll keep you updated with my progress. I know I wasn't going to show you until I'd finished it, but I'm just so excited I had to share! Once my entry is made I simply do a blog post about it, then send the details on to Deramores. Simple! I have until the start of May, which is why my focus this month will be my competition piece.I forgot to say the prize is an extremely shiny £500 to spend on Deramores yarn! 
Yes please!
Very shiny. However, although I'm entering I'm not doing it for the prize (which, in all honesty, I dont think I've got a high chance of winning). Entering is more than a good experience. All entries get shown on Deramores website, which means some promotion for both this blog and my shop. Plus taking a peek at the 6 blogs who chose the competition themes means I've found 6 decent craft blogs which I can follow, and not have to worry if the posts will be regular. So it's win-win for me!

Nayu's Crochet Dreams Etsy Shop
I know that I'd hoped to have it up and running by now, but with unexpected health blips my launch date is having to be put back a little. I'm now aiming for the end of April! It will be worth the wait, I promise you that, and there'll be a fun competition for you to enter. It gives me time to make a bit more stock which is always good!
Until then I'm playing with yarn!

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Winner of my opening blog competition!

Is this yours?
Although a little later than usual, as promised today I can reveal the winner of my opening blog competition! It seems forever since I put up my first blog post. Shop wise I'm getting much closer to opening up my Etsy store - today I spent a good 2 hours taking measurements of my blankets and taking a lot of photos too. Step by step will get me there! 

Right, time to get on with the winner. I let Rafflecoptor decided the winner, and I had to smile because I know them! The winner is... 

Many congratulations Lynsey, I hope you love the blanket as much as I do. I've just emailed to sort out posting it to you. 

Thank you everyone who entered - there will be another blanket competition coming soon! I can reveal that you will have a say in some of the design, so keep an eye out for it - it will tie in with opening of my Etsy store ^o^
Bye til then!