Thursday, 30 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #50 New Shiny Things and Snowflakes Part 2!

My snowflakes come from here!
Ah, my first 2 part post! Nayu's Craft Time #50 New Shiny Things and Snowflakes Part 1 of 2! was posted yesterday; I introduced you to my new hooks and my very first snowflake. Today I'm going to explain the rest of the snowflake experiment. I wanted to show you have different sized hooks used on the same yarn produce different results, and a part of me wanted to see whether the 1.5mm hook or the 2.5mm hook is best with this particular yarn. 
1.5mm hook snowflake vs 2mm hook snowflake
My second snowflake, seen on the right, was made with the 2mm snowflake. I've decided that there isn't really much difference between them (other than a few more yarn issues). I like the pattern, although I'm tempted to change the single chain in the last row to 2 single chains, to make that space at the top of each hole more distinct. What I did next was make the snowflake using my trusty 4mm hook, which I love not only because it's purple but because it's such a versatile size. 
Ho hum. Upon starting to crochet I instantly knew this yarn was wrong for this size hook. It isn't as neat and tidy. It doesn't feel steady while using it. It annoyed me, but for the sake of experimentation I carried on. I have to say now I've used a smaller hook I may wait until I have my 3mm and redo the few motifs I've made for a shawl, since I think it will be a bit neater (if a bit smaller...) 
Current shawl starting motifs

To make myself feel better I used a thicker yarn and made a 4th snowflake (still using the Frost pattern). 
It makes a huge difference! I loved every moment of creating this orange snowflake. I wanted to make more, but my experimenting time was up. I'm glad I can make snowflakes on both a smaller and larger scale - I'm sure in the future I will join some together as a shawl/blanket, and others I'll make with the teeny tiny hook so they can be snowflake charms on blanket. 

I'm so excited about my lovely snowflake patterns! I was going to promise to make all 100 - I may still do that, but I didn't quite understand the first snowflake so I don't know if I will make them all. I'm hoping as I go through the ones I can follow I'll eventually be able to do the ones I found trickier. Practise makes nearly perfect in crochet. I'm looking forward to showing all of my experiments and attempts with you!
Here are all the Frost snowflakes!

Back to shiny things!
I've saved this point til last to justify why this part 2 features new shiny things. What is really nifty about the new hooks is the special metal cover for the 1.5mm hook, I guess to stop it being squished by a crochet book or whatever else it gets squished by. Yes it amused me taking the cap on and off a few times. It's the little things! (Vague pun intended)

I hope you've enjoyed this 2 part post - expect more to come over the next few months!  
Snowflakes make me as happy as Elsa is here!

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #50 New Shiny Things and Snowflakes Part 1 of 2!

This says it all!
This is my first every 2 part post - whoohoo! Thought it would be easier for you to digest than a super long post. That and it gets you coming back for another visit to see what happens next! Mwhahahaa.... 

My shiny things!
Ahem! Tuesday heralded the arrival of the smaller hooks which I've already talked about (or not - yes there are times I make posts up in my head and then don't post them).  As you can see they still have funky handles, and the close-up below reveals just how thin the 2mm (green) & 1.5mm (yellow) hook are compared to the not new 4mm (purple) hook. 
My pretty hooks!
Now I've been crocheting with a 4mm from the time I started. I haven't really needed a smaller hook since none of my projects so far were required to be a certain size. However, with my future projects most definitely needing some delicate work and the suggested  yarn for all the snowflakes I hope to make, smaller hooks were needed. 

The source of my snowflakes!
Once they arrived today I thought what better than to test them out using what I think might be 4ply cotton yarn and launch into snowflake #2 called Frost. It perhaps wasn't the wisest decision to try a teeny tiny hook out on an unknown pattern, but I went for it. 
1st ever snowflake!!!
It took a a few tries of the first row to get used to the smaller 1.5mm hook. It was a bit tricky as the stitches are teeny tiny and occasionally the yarn twisted (cue me glaring & mentally thinking 'grrr' to the hook - as a good craftswoman I rarely blame my tools-yarn isn't a tool!) 
My version and the book's.
I was happy with my first attempt, and quickly moved on to making the same snowflake with the same yarn and different hooks. You'll have to wait for part 2 link will take you there to see how why I'm as happy as young Elsa from Disney's Frozen is when she makes snow regarding my snowflakes!

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #5 Tree building and squares

Cherry blossom/Sakura tree in bloom
Morning all! Apologies for lack of post yesterday - I was feeling flakey, so thought it best to rest up and only blog when I felt more normal (normal is relative!). I read a lot, and since this is a project progress report I managed some crochet yesterday. 
I like to say I'm tree building because I'm creating lots of flowers for the border of a blanket - this flowers could easily be the blossom on a tree. Currently I'm not sure precisely how many I need - I'm simply making a load and then seeing how they will look. I'll make more than I'll use simply because there will be a few which aren't quite right for whatever reason. 

This morning I was up early reading (I'm a bookaholic, as is shown on my other blog Nayu's Reading Corner), then I caught up with the few TV shows I watch and yes, I got some crochet in! 
I hope to make more squares later, work on building my tree as well as getting in a fingerless glove or two. It's all go here! Tomorrow I'm hoping to upload some new items for the NCD shop, so stay tuned!

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #49 Out of juice

Super short post today, as I'm fairly tired since I slept badly Friday night and accidentally used up my typing energy catching up on book reviews for Nayu's Crochet Dreams - for full details click on the link. I did manage some crochet yesterday and have it planned for today too. I'm taking it easy! I recommend it from time to time, it's nicer when you aren't forced to do so by being overtired.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #48 Craft is sociable

Nowhere I've been, sadly.
While craft is often done by someone on their own, it doesn't mean they have to do it in the middle of the woods with no one but bunnies, squirrels, and other cute creatures for company. (We can ignore all the creepy crawlies and less friendly creatures). 

Which is why yesterday I spent several hours with a friend, chatting away while we crafted together. I worked on more rainbow fingerless gloves like these. 

My friend worked on a small pansy tapestry. 
Pansies look like this
We didn't sit in silence, we chatted the entire time we worked with yarn and thread, for an entire 3 hours without stopping. I stayed a bit longer after lunch, then went home. 
Take 1 girl away, set it in a home, nix the pig-tails and uniform, swap the knitting for crochet & sewing to get me and my friend having fun ^o^
It was a super fun day for both of us! The great news is that we intend to do this on a semi-regular basis, hopefully every 2 weeks, although it's dependent on how well I feel at the time (today was rescheduled from last Friday). 

Today I've been working on squares for a new baby blanket - I can get 6 from 1 ball of yarn, which since I have 10 balls is plenty big enough. I'm not joining them together until the end, when I'll use join as you go method once I outline the squares in white or cream yarn. Carrying on with ball #2 tonight!
6 made, another 54 to go!

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Nayu's Craft time #47 My first sale!

Let's celebrate!

I've had my first ever official sale on my Etsy store Nayu's Crochet Dreams!!!! 

If you hadn't already guessed from the opening picture and large announcement, Tuesday night became one of celebration when my first official sale came through. I say official because the commissioned blanket was bought outside of Etsy and it was a family member. 
This cute baby blanket is sold!
I sold the beautiful Lemon Meringue Dreams to someone I know a little on Twitter. Disturbingly Etsy sent them an email saying the blanket was unavailable after they'd bought it - I was able to reassure them their blanket wasn't sold out and that Etsy had had a hiccup. 

Cue much excitement from me, a mental happy dance, and a few texts to friends to share the news. I am in business! 

Sophisticated & cute purse which I'd love
 It's mostly definitely official because yesterday I dutifully declared myself as self-employed to the tax office. I'm possibly one of the few people who gets bouncy & excited over sorting tax details. Since its it's not all that obvious what to do I did use the web chat function, which works brilliantly and the adviser gave me the self-employment tax helpline number. I know I'll be using it a lot once the paperwork comes through. But that's what it's there for! 
A mega cute purse I'd love to have & which makes me think of Little Red Riding Hood (be grateful I didn't add more than 2 purse examples as there were thousands to choose from!)
Yes I'm currently super excited about doing my taxes. That may wear off, but judging from the tasks at work which I loved and my colleagues didn't it is possible that I'll still be bouncy & excited when I do them. 

Either way, I'm finally in business! Spent a lot of time this morning staring at the official looking order form/receipt/packing slip and doing a lot of squee-ing. Being excited meant it took longer to pack up the blanket to post because I kept looking at it and going 'squee' to myself. I'm not giving times from yesterday morning, let's just say the excitement hadn't worn off. I sincerely hope I get as excited over ever sale (very possible) because it's an amazing thing to think that something I've made from what is simply yarn and a crochet hook someone wants to buy and have my dreams in their life. 

I'm one happy Nayu!

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #4 Rainbow fingerless gloves

1 and a half gloves made
Today I'd thought you'd like to see the progress of these funky coloured fingerless gloves! I'm going to have two sizes for ladies, small and small to medium. I have poor circulation and am a huge fan of fingerless gloves, and since wherever I go people like them I thought I may as well give you the opportunity to have some of your own. Yes I am having to resist adding these to my collection! These gloves will keep your hands warm all year round, and cheer you up whatever the weather ^o^ They are coming soon to my Etsy store!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #46 Blankets aren't just for winter

Rising Pink Rainbow Dreams blanket, now available to order
Blankets keep us cosy warm on winter days - and on the cool summer nights. Not everyone has a hot summer, and not everyone can cope with the mild weather. Whatever the medical reason behind it, I know a lot of people are like me and are frequently cold, to be found snuggled up with a blanket on a warm summer's day. That's why I make blankets all year round. 
I found a model to show how comfy my Pumpkin Patch Dreams blanket is!
Blankets are like a big hug, much needed if life is being a bit crazy for you. They are perfect to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate/a cup of soothing tea/a freshly brewed cup of coffee. For me little beats curling up with a comfy blanket and reading. Frequently I'll be working on a new blanket while sitting with one on me too!

You can check out the featured blankets and  more on the Nayu's Crochet Dreams store.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #3 Autumn Leaves commissioned blanket

Making progress!
It's time to give you an update on the progress of my first commissioned blanket! The request was from a family member to turn my Autumn Leaves Dream blanket into one big enough for a 4 foot bed. Progress was halted for nearly a month due to major hold up in acquiring more yarn. However, I am now merrily making it bigger. It's coming along rather nicely.

Today I'm actually visiting the family member in question, which means I can check my estimated measurements against the actual bed size - there's only a single and a double bed in my household. I'm hoping by the next time I visit this family member I can present them with a fully made blanket! Watch this space for more updates.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #45 Fairytales in future projects

Picture source
Fairytales are timeless and known all over the world. Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast - there are countless variations of classic tales in both literature and film, some with castles, some without. I remember reading a story about Snow White and Rose Red when I was little - I've no idea where the book is now. I've been in love with Disney's version of fairytales for a long time...although it took other versions for me to truly enjoy Snow White and the Seven Dwarves - thank you must be said to Once Upon A Time series which had me finally fall in love with Snow as well as Abie Longstaff and Lauren Beard who helped me like the original tale. 

At the moment I have extremely vague ideas about how I'll incorporate fairytales into my crochet projects. I'm sure various flowers and bows will be part of the item, maybe familiar colours too (yellow for Sleeping Beauty's ballgown along with some red roses for the beast's rose). All I really know is that it's a theme I want to explore at some point. 

I'd love to hear what your favourite tales are and if there's anything else you'd like to feature in my future projects.

Friday, 17 July 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #44 Snowflakes!

Yes, I really am talking snowflakes at the height of summer. If you like using your imagination, then I'm sure you'll like the Disney fairy version of snowflakes being made by Tinkerbell's sister Peri's friends, the Winter fairies. 
A Winter fairy making snow
Or it could be made by Princess Elsa from Disney's Frozen 

Regardless of their actual origin, I adore snowflakes. I love the distinct trudging sound when I walk in fresh snow, which barely happens as we've had snow-free winters the last few years. 
I love how magical the world looks with snow covering everything in a white blanket. I love seeing my cat & other animals' footprints. 
I love knowing that every single snowflake is unique - that's really amazing, and is one of countless reminders how great this world God created for us is. Knowing I like snowflakes, I was super excited to find the perfect crochet book which has 100 of them! 
I'm hoping to get this before the end of Autumn, as snowflakes can be used all year around since there is always somewhere on earth which has snow, and my snowflakes can be multicoloured, unlike the ones which fall from the sky! 

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Nayu's Project Progress #2 Butterflies, bats, crocodiles and crochet

Aren't butterflies beautiful? I love any creatures with wings, especially bats especially bats who I think are beautiful, albeit not a traditional type of beauty. 
I also adore baby crocodiles (and the bigger ones too) - they are just so adorable with their cute little snout, their teeny tiny teeth, their mini tail and legs...
Mummy/Daddy crocodile being used as a surf board...
Ah-hem. As I promised yesterday today's post is a catch up on the projects I've worked on this week. The reason I brought up butterflies is because while I was ill I couldn't always settle on one project, so I flitted (if there's such a word) from project to project like a butterfly (which then led to bats and crocodiles... who I think are as cute as a mummy cat and her kittens which will make you go awww!
I'm sure you will think this is cute!
First I'd like to share the star bunting which I made the other week. 
Twinkle, twinkle, little star...
They need pressing so they keep their shape, and at the moment I'm not confident enough to make them to sell on Nayu's Crochet Dreams Etsy store but it's one I'm keeping in mind for the future. I have since had inspiration what I can do with these stars in the future, and other shapes which don't necessarily fit nicely together for a blanket. I'll attach them to plain crochet squares on a blanket/other item to jazz it up! 

One item whose future variations will include cute flower/stars/etc is fingerless gloves. This pair I've made for a friend, but I'm hoping to start selling them soon too. The multicoloured yarn gloves, like this pair, won't have anything added as they are pretty enough. Those which I use single colours I'll add a flower or other motif, or perhaps edge it differently. These are the first pair of gloves I've joined together by crocheting the edges as if I was using the join as you go method. I realise some of you may not understand what I'm saying, but I know you'll appreciate this is a more secure method than sewing the glove edges together, and easier. 

My starting point
As well as crochet I've worked on this cute project for a friend. It's really starting to come together now. I did have to unpick and resew a few areas, because while super tired/hyper/not exactly able to concentrate I miscounted where those areas needed to be. 
I added the purple writing, the purple flowers, and a few other details.

Finally last night I wound up these balls of yarn and spent over 5 minutes deciding what order to put the colours - they will be the flower petals on the picture shawl with white centres. The reason I can't simply make lots of motifs then figure out the colours is that the pattern uses the join as you go method, which means you attach each flower to the next during the final row which provides a more secure connection then simple sewing does, plus is much faster too ^o^
My shawl will be the one on the right
  I've opted for using the darker colours followed by the lighter shades because it looks pretty.

I love crochet and sewing!
This weekend I'm working on my commision blanket since after nearly 1 month delay due to warehouse moves and supplier stocktake the rest of the yarn arrived yesterday. I did a mini dance of joy as I've waited a long time for it. 

That's it for today - stay tuned tomorrow for the next post, whose subject I currently have no idea!