Month: January 2015

This New Year’s (2015) Clearance & Yarn Sale on Lion Brand

Hello my fellow yarn-craftin’ folks,

It’s the very first Monday of the new year 2015 and I found myself caught up checking out on-sale yarns. Being that it’s a new year and considering that most of the most popular yarn and craft suppliers didn’t exactly have to-die-for sales on yarn on New Year’s, I figured there must be a good sale coming soon. As I was checking my e-mail, I had one from Lion Brand and sure enough! They’re doing a sale on some select yarns, one of those being the “Amazing Yarn 3-skein value pack” which is 75% off the original price right now:

Here’s a close-up of Lion Brand’s Constellation yarn from their Amazing Yarn line.

I can’t honestly say that I’m really digging any of the yarns I’m seeing on sale, and that unfortunately includes the Amazing Yarn. At 75% off, I have to admit, I was tempted, but just can’t find anything I truly love about the colors there, so I thought it better to just back away and wait for a color I actually want or need to go on sale. However, I did think of you guys, so the sale inspired me to share for folks who might happen to like the yarn.

They also have a 3-skein value pack for the Baby’s First Yarn listed for 50% off, and the two colors featured on their front sales page are beautiful. — “Sea Sprite,” which is a mist or mint green, and a peach color called “Twinkle Toes.” Both colors I really love.



Baby Soft Yarn, in a 6-skein value pack
is also 75% off

The “Lemon Drop” is a pretty bold, sunshine-y color! I actually like this shade of yellow, and I typically have a very hard time finding yellows and oranges that I think are pretty.

Bellini Yarn, in 3-skein value packs
are 75% off too.

Can’t say I’m loving the Bellini line yet either, but I’m pretty excited to see Lion Brand doing a nice sale! Perhaps they’re getting ready for new selections! I’m so ready for new yarn choices right now.

A 3-skein value pack of Cotton Ease
is 75% off, but the colors I saw available — greens — were not to my liking, although I have been hoping to pick up some from the Cotton Ease line at some point.

Now the Da Vinci yarn in Oceania, which is also a 3-skein value pack that’s 50% off did catch my eye. I am very fond of those beautiful color combos. I could see some very artsy creations being made from a skein of the colors they had available. My favorite from this line is “Oceania,” the green/blue color combo skein shown below:

They also have a gradient gray/black colored skein.

Festive Fur is also featured on the sales page, in multiple colors and for 75% a 3-skein value pack.


Joann does have Lion Brand’s “Fun”
yarn on sale for $1.57
right now, which isn’t half off its usual price of $2.09.

The pink color is gorgeous, but I never buy this yarn because it doesn’t come with much (only 85 yards.)

Caron Natura Acrylic
yarn is $1.72 on Joann right now, where it’s usually priced at $2.29.

It appears Lion Brand yarn is marked down on various other shopping sites, including some on Joann. There are several other small-ish yarns marked down a bit on Joann at the moment. Go here to see them all.

As far as ordering off Joann via the internet, I never do that unless I can get free shipping because their shipping fee (comes in around $6 for me) normally is just way too much when you consider your purchase being just a roll or two of yarn. That’s an instant $6 per skein/roll whereas if you went in-store, you’d save that & still be likely to find it marked down.

To shop their entire clearance page yourself here’s the link I found them on. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to get any emails notifying me of any other companies or manufacturers with nice sales today, but perhaps Joann and other companies will jump on the sale wagon soon!

Crochet in Fashion — Outdated or Here to Stay?

Don’t underestimate crochet’s widespread effect and adoration. Virtually everybody and their mama have owned or do own a piece of crocheted work whether it’s an afghan or a sweater.

While crochet and knitting and most all yarn crafts do have somewhat of a “grandma” reputation, I feel like the crafts aren’t always given the credit they’re due, and I’m pretty sure my fellow crafters would agree. I mean, you spend 6 months working on a small throw or a sweater. Knitting and crochet both require a serious amount of time and work, and not to mention all the brain work that goes into it.

But this is not a rant about the time and effort that goes into creating something with two sticks (or one hook), your hands and a tangled ball of yarn. I’m not here to convince everyone to dig out their old, itchy sweaters handmade by grandma (or the memories of said itchy, old sweaters) and start wearing them again with a newfound, but itchy appreciation. If you can’t appreciate a hand knitted or crocheted item, then that’s totally fine! I think sometimes us yarn crafters tend to expect everyone to be able to love and value our craft, but the truth is, some people simply don’t dig it, and that’s okay.

I am one of those folks who don’t have an eye for art. I look at a painted canvas and my mind starts slowing down. I still appreciate the time and effort that the artist put into their work, but I am not likely to want to hang it on my wall or wear it just because. So really, the same applies to me and my yarn works. I have to remember that not everybody has an “eye” for what I create, and I can be okay with that. I just have to remember it.

That aside, what I actually wanted to discuss is that crochet and knitting might be under-credited crafts when it comes to the reputation it gets. People always think granny when you mention knitting or crochet, but if you look around, the crafts are so amazingly timeless!

Knitted and crocheted items have literally seeped into every corner of the world, every culture and even most categories of shopping. In fact, the granny square is alive and well, even at the start of 2015, the granny square is still being seen in the form of garments and afghans.

In fact, just today (January 2, 2015), I flipped open W Magazine — which is being sent to me unsolicited despite my pleading with the senders to stop wasting paper and resources to send me magazines I never even want or read — and there was a red-headed woman dressed in a funky printed dress with a red, black, and white granny square tank top snugly over it. (MiuMiu)

On the right, the exact photograph I described from W Magazine — Designer Miu Miu.

So these timeless crafts are still as big as ever in our world, and here most of us yarn-crafters were thinking we were some of the only folks left on the planet who ran around with needles, hooks and a ball of yarn in our hand (or for some of us, purse).
Another example of crochet in high fashion. Image source: Helenrodel.com.br

Crochet and knitting shows up on the runway more often than chiffon. The holiday season always brings new fair aisle sweaters in a brand new color combinations to greet our eyes as many designers crank out new designs and patterns.
Another Helen Rodel example. Source: https://www.helenrodel.com.br/news/2014/11/29/helen-rdel-in-shanghai

Even Dolce & Gabbana are well-known for their crocheted pieces, although I can’t honestly say I’m a fan of D&G, and that definitely includes this grandma-tacky bag! And we wonder why crochet gets such a granny-esque air about it?

Yves Saint Laurent in crochet + mini pup = Epic!

Let’s face it, as far as knitting and crochet, those crafts are here to stay!

The finished Child’s Cardigan!

Well, I finally finished the last sleeve on the little cardigan I have been working on crocheting for my 5 year old niece. Now that I’ve had the time to weave in all those irritating yarn ends, I was able to make time for a few photographs of the finished product, too!

I did end up adding some ruffle touches to the sleeves. I am a sucker for ruffles, so it wasn’t easy to contain myself and leave it to the sleeves and front edges only. Otherwise, the entire thing would be nothing but frills! Believe me, it wasn’t easy not to do that.
Bug's Cardi. 2

Bug's Cardi. 3

Bug's Cardi

Bug's Cardi 4

Bug's Cardi 5

Bug's Cardi 6
I feel like this was a pretty rewarding project, but will be even more so when I get to witness my niece actually wearing it, and liking it.

I’m definitely glad that I decided to go ahead and use the Caron One pound of yarn, although it surprised me that this cardigan actually took up the entire pound almost! A tiny little cardigan! I thought for sure I’d have about half the yarn roll left over. I like the rose-color and figured the gray and white made for the perfect color combo, as it always does. But the reason I’m happy with the pink Caron yarn is because I didn’t realize how snugly soft this stuff was compared to other acrylic yarns like Red Heart until I actually began using this soft stuff. Compared to the other popular acrylic yarns on the market, this stuff is perfectly soft, and others are terribly scratchy, which I hate.

I want to make note that not all Red Heart yarn is scratchy. In fat, the Made With Love is some of my favorite, soft-wise. It’s bouncy and soft, and fluffy, but you don’t get much in those rolls, so I try to get it on sale when I’m using it.

Unfortunately, during my rushing around today, I left my flat iron on near the cardigan and apparently, part of the straighteners plate was touching the cardigan. The result:

Here you can see where my hair straightener had touched the cardigan. Odd that it turned yellow, but I am just glad it didn't damage the yarn itself!
Here you can see where my hair straightener had touched the cardigan. Odd that it turned yellow, but I am just glad it didn’t damage the yarn itself!

Back and mistake

Imagine how horrified I was to have just finished this sweater only to realize that as I was getting ready and doing my hair today, I mus have sat the flat iron a bit too close to the cardigan and it burned the yarn… yellow! How odd! It’s almost as if it striped the pink dye from it, and the original yarn color was this ugly yellow color! I kicked myself all day for doing this, but have thought up a couple solutions, although not perfect ones. 1. a technique where you simply cover the posts/stitches that are damaged and mis-matched in color with thread of matching color (pink.) By simply wrapping some thread, or the matching yarn around the stitches that are damaged, and tying off in the back, it should cover it. Thread will do the trick without creating a thicker (which extra yarn will create) spot where the mistake was.

Solution number 2: Simply turn the cardi inside out. Since it’s virtually identical on both sides, this could work. The only problem I have with using this easy out is that the decorative bubble stitching around the neck is more noticeable on the original “right side out” and by having to turn it inside out to hide the mistake from my flat iron, those pretty stitches won’t have the same “sticking-out” appearance. 🙁
Bug's Cardi 9

Bug's Cardi 10

Bug's Cardi 11
Still, I believe the only option other than a total re-do, which is out, is to turn it inside out where the ugly mistake is on the inside, not the out.

What about you guys? What are some of the last-minute fixes you’ve had to wing? Any ideas on a way to fix mine?

Free Crochet Amigurumi Octopus Patterns

I’ve added a brand new project to my to-do stash and am actually quite proud of myself for completing it in a somewhat timely manner. This is the octopus I finished just in time for Christmas, and finally had the chance to share him with you guys.

As a matter of fact, he was featured here on Crochet As You Are in one of the recent posts. I thought he was so cute I had to hurry up and make one myself. He is available on Joann as a free pattern, but in order to complete him in a timely manner, that required some tweaking to the size for my own octopus. I also tweaked mine to only use two colors instead of the multiple colors the pattern actually calls for.

I went for simple, so you don’t necessarily have to follow the exact same amount of color changes the pattern calls for. I do recommend using contrasting colors for the eyes, though or else it might look odd. 😉

Another thing that should be mentioned is that the original pattern contains mistakes, so if any of my lovely, fellow crocheters want to create an octopus of your own, I recommend heading over to Gleeful Things where Julie has kindly laid out her own notes for you so that you can avoid the mistakes you’ll run into if you only follow the original pattern. So, bookmark her page or print out the instructions she gives and then begin the octopus from the original pattern. You’ll be glad you did, unless you don’t mind the mistakes, and ending up with a 4-legged octopus! Technically it’s an 8-legged octopus, but if you go the route I did with him, you’ll end up with what appears to be only 4 legs, split at the very ends.

Take a look at the photos to see what I mean. I chose to sew my octopus’ legs all the way to the near bottom that way he ends up with more curl to his legs and it kind of distracts from the fact that he has 4-legs total (8 technically, but not if you sew the entirety of each leg up from top to bottom.)

All this leg talk probably will not make sense to you until you’ve taken a close look at the photos and the pattern for this octopus.

Overall, though, this really wasn’t too complicated to complete. The instructions can be a tad confusing, but most crocheters will probably be able to follow. I just wish I’d have caught the printed mistakes before I started crocheting! I still think he turned out okay since I’m no perfectionist, but if you are one, the legs will probably be a real bother to you until you get them just right, so don’t take any chances and be sure you follow Julie’s instructions for getting past the mistakes.

I just love her color combo for the giant octopus she created!

While on this octopus kick, I came across severely really cool patterns for different octopus, and later wished I’d have chosen one that did not contain mistakes. I thought I’d share my octopus results with you here and also include patterns for a couple of different ones available online for free! Yay for the kind folks willing to give their awesome free patterns, right?

Below, I’ve listed a couple of the free patterns for octopus that I’ve found and think are mighty cute, so you can choose from more than just the one pattern here.

1.Free Octopus Pattern by Paula Gail

I think the one by Paula Gail is stunning, and appears to be a bit more simple than the one I went with. I’ve actually been hoping to get this one going sometimes on, too! What a interesting yarn color she chose.

2. Mini Octopus by Sarah from Esshaych

These perfectly miniature octopus are much smaller than the first one pictured in this post, but equally adorable octopus are probably going to be a great option if you want to crochet an octopus in a short amount of time.

Aren’t they adorable? I know I can’t seem to resist them, and will more than likely be crocheting one or more myself! I am counting down for the moment I can start on one.

And lastly, here’s one more mini version Baby Octopus Amigurumi Pattern by Amanda at Adorably Kawaii

So, which of these adorable little fellas will you be crocheting? Please do share your project pics with me, too!

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